Leicestershire Mum Blanka Harvey made international headlines at the end of last year, after becoming a champion bodybuilder just three years after joining a gym – ditching fast food and 32kg in the process…
Here the 31-year-old shares her top tips for slimming down and getting bikini ready, in time for the summer!
1). Meal Prep is Key
We all know how easy it can be to grab delicious (but horrendously high calorie) fast-food – especially when we’re on the go!
In order to avoid falling into this trap, Blanka encourages people to plan ahead and prepare their meals in advance so that temptation’s less likely to set in once hunger strikes.
“Cooking in batches and preparing portions to take to work with you is a great idea,” she says.
“However, if you are tempted by a take-away, there are always healthier options there.
“For example if you go to McDonalds with the kids, the Crispy Chicken Wrap is a great alternative. If you really want to lose weight, there is always an option.”
2). Choose Smaller Portions
Following on from this, Blanka is keen to encourage those who want to lose weight to do one simple thing – cut down their portion sizes.
“For example, if you go for a Sunday roast with the family, you don’t necessarily need to have five potatoes, just have three,” she advises.
“If you’re going out with the girls and there’s a bottle of wine, just limit yourself to two glasses or make it a spritzer with a diet lemonade…
“There are always options to cut your calories down and still enjoy life.”
3). Get a Training Partner
For people who are just starting out on their fitness journey, Blanka recommends planning exercise with a friend, so that you’re less likely to quit.
“If you set a day and a time when you’re both going to do it, you’re less likely to cancel because you’ve actually made an appointment,” she advises. “It’s great for motivation and you can really push each other.
“The same can be said for joining a class, like Zumba or Pilates,” she adds.
“When you book a class, it’s a commitment that you’re less likely to cancel. Plus you’ll be among a nice group of people with a similar mindset.”
4. Get in the Gym – Get in the Zone…
Blanka loves being in the gym, but understands that others may not share her enthusiasm.
“I know there are some who might be anxious or self-conscious about going.
“However, music can really help you to switch off and get in the zone,” she advises.
“Don’t worry about others in the gym – what anyone thinks or what anyone does, because no-one really cares,” she adds.
“Everyone is there for themselves at the end of the day. So stay focused and above all, stay consistent.
“Don’t rush the fitness journey, and don’t expect results straight away,” is Blanka’s final piece of advice. “It takes time but the results will come if you put the work in. It absolutely gets easier!”