Pilates has really taken off and no wonder why, because it works and I’ve had some great feedback from my clients. Thank you for those of you who attend my classes. I very much enjoy teaching the class and meeting new friends.

I now teach 3 classes a week on a 6 week rolling course with a mixture of body weight, bands and Pilate’s balls.

Tuesdays @ Francis Baily School at 7.45pm
Wednesdays @ Frank Hutchings Hall at 7.30pm & 8.30pm.

My classes are only limited to 10 spaces so please book prior to the course to ensure you can get a space. I’m currently looking to start some day time classes on Tuesday and Friday for those who can’t make the evening times.

New courses start week beginning 13th Feb.

I also teach on Friday lunch times at Donnington Valley Spa, so if you are a member, come along to my class.


Due to the success of Bootcamps last summer, I am now starting Bootcamps after half term on Tuesday and Friday mornings at 9.15am at the park on Harts Hill Road, Thatcham.

First class is FREE, so why not give it ago.


Aqua is still going strong with a full class of 30 participants at Kennet since January. Aqua is really taking off at the moment which is brilliant as it’s such a great way to exercise with something different. I try and mix my music with latest chart music; dance and some good old 70s funk music. So come along and give it ago. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment as spaces do go very quickly.


Due to my last success of my course, I’m looking to start a Nutrition and Weight Management course for 8 weeks again soon. Details of the course can be found on my website. http://www.master-fitness.co.uk. I’m also looking to find a way on how I can also do this online for those who work and unable to make the day time course. So I’ll keep you posted on this.


Don’t forget to read my blogs. This month I have blogged with regards to protein weight loss shakes. I’m having quiet a few people asking me about the benefits about them, so have a read and see for yourself.

Please email me or Facebook me is there are any topics you would like me to blog on.

Personal Trainer and Pilates Teacher


Protein Shakes for Weight Loss – are they good for us!

Protein Shakes for Weight Loss – are they good for us!.

High Protein diets – are they any good for us?

Are protein diets good for us? Everyone raves about the Atkins diet/protein diets, so why are they so bad for us?

Let’s look at the benefits of Protein and the important role within our body.

Protein enables us to carry out its unique function of building and repairing body issues such as the

•formation of skin and hair
•Forms fibrous connective tissue found in the bones, muscle and cartilage.
•Transports oxygen around the body via blood
•Provides protection from bacteria and viruses.
•Stores oxygen in the muscles.

We require 10-15% of calories from protein which isn’t as much as you may think. On average, we consume around 17% per day which is slightly over the recommended guidelines.

Sources of good protein

We can obtain protein from two sources, Animal and plant protein.
When choosing animal protein, ensure that this is low in fat

•Chicken •Soya
•Low fat mince •Vegetables
•Eggs •Nuts
•Fish •Seeds
•Diary products •Beans and pulses

In a normal condition, your body burns carbohydrates for calories, however in the case of high protein diet with a low carb, your body tries to obtain calories from your fat stores. Thus your fat largely from your belly, thighs becomes the energy stores of your body.

High Protein diets – Should you consume these types of diets?

High protein diets are one of the best resources when you are looking to lose weight fast, however, high protein diets results in 30 to 40 percent of calories from protein which is not suitable if you are above 40 years of age as these diets have associated risk of some very deadly diseases like Kidney failure, high cholesterol, kidney stones, osteoporosis, cancer & unhealthy metabolic state due to the increase in fat content which are found in a lot of animal proteins.

If you are consuming a high protein but low carb diet then you are inviting much bigger problems to your body than fat. High protein diet puts too much strain on your kidneys efficiency as well as a rich resource of high cholesterol. Avoidances of natural contents of your diet like carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals result in high risk of cancer as well.

The diseases may not visible in near future but can eventually become life threatening. So, I will not recommend you to take this type of diet, but there are some circumstances when a diet rich in protein may benefit some people.

Any good reasons for a high protein diet?

So after reading the above, are there any times we can consume a high protein diet? The only time I would recommend a higher level of protein within a diet is for strength athletes. An increase of protein intake would require an increase of carbohydrates intake to avoid the formation of ketone bodies and acidosis. Provided that the above guidelines are considered and implemented, there is no reason that an athlete cannot effectively use a high protein regime and maintain good health; however, eating extra protein will not achieve the desired goal by itself!

To ensure you are eating the correct levels of protein in your diet, I suggest you seek advice from a nutritionist/advisor.

Sarah Pennicott

Loose weight, Eat Healthy the natural way

With so much conflicting information out there, it is easy to become confused about healthy eating. You don’t need to go on any special diet to loose weight; you just need to eat the right foods and how much we need to consume to loose the weight in a healthy balanced way.

A healthy diet is likely to include a large number or variety of foods, from each of the food groups, as this allows us to get all the nutrients that we need.

We need energy to live and this is provided by the carbohydrate, protein and fat in our diets, however, the balance between these nutrients must be right for us to remain healthy. Getting the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and water is also important for health.

Different food and drinks provide different amounts of energy. Carbohydrate is the most important source of energy for the body. Sources of carbohydrate include starchy foods, e.g. bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, pulses and breakfast cereals.

We all need different amounts of energy and this will depend on your own basal metabolic rate (BMR), which measures the amount of energy you use to maintain the basic functions of the body, as well as your level of activity. Some activities use more energy than the others.

Your weight depends on the balance between how much energy you consume from food and drinks, and how much energy you use up by being active. When you eat or drink more energy than you use up, you put on weight; if you consume less energy from your diet than you expend, you lose weight; but if you eat and drink the same amount of energy as you use up, you are in energy balance and your weight remains the same

I offer a 8 week class to help with the principles of eating healthy in a natural way. There are no points system, no fad diest, its purley based on your own individual calories and eating the correct balance of foods.

•Small group of 10 people


•Discuss course contents
•Weigh and measure all participants
•Identify your existing eating habits or patterns
•Discuss possible changes to your habits/patterns
•Provide a forum in which you can feel supported enough to share experiences and get to know each other.


•Establish the guidelines for a healthy diet.


•help you to understand the principles of weight management in simple terms of energy balance
•show you what calories are, where we get them from and the way in which they influence total energy intake and their role in weight management
•Show you what happens to the excess calories we consume and don’t use.


•Show you how to adapt the healthy eating plan to suit varying lifestyles.


•Discuss the benefits of fibre, salt, vitamins and minerals,
•Discuss the effects of salt, pre-packaged food and alcohol on a healthy eating plan
•Discuss opportunities for enhancing the nutritional value of meals through recipe adaptation.


•Highlight the importance of exercise in the slimming process and show how it fits into the energy balance equation
•Discuss the difference between physical activity and exercise


•Explore the relationship between food and body image
•Raise your awareness of the links between emotion and food
•Discuss strategies with the group on ways of dealing with the factors that influence eating habits.


•Conclude the course
•Establish weight and inch loss
•Help you to continue with the progress made to date.

FATS – why are they good for you?

Fat has to be the most debated part of food. Most people are so scared of fat in their diet due to guidelines like the food pyramid; however, fat is an essential part of our diet if we are to function properly.

Fat plays an important role in the body such as;

Energy: Fat produces more energy compared to protein and Carbohydrates.

Storage: The body stores fat, also known as adipose tissue. Fat can be stored
when alternative energy resource are not available.

Transportation: Vitamins A, D, E and K are only soluble in fat and therefore can
only be transported round the body in fat. Without fat, these vitamins would not be
able to transport around the body which would lead to problems such as bone
growth, nail production, eye sight, kidney function and many more.

Water proofing: Fat in the skin helps with hydration; it prevents water loss through
the skin via evaporation.

Fat is an essential part of our cell membranes and aids in detoxification and good fat sources contain a number of antioxidants.

There are 3 types of fats:
•Saturated fat
•Unsaturated fat

Saturated Fat:
These fats are considered to be bad for you as they raise cholesterol and linked to heart dieses. They are normally a solid fat at room temperature. These fats are found in meats and diary products, coconut and palm oils.

Unsaturated Fat
These are normally a liquid at room temperature.
rans Fat:
These can be found in some margarines, many fast foods, snacks and foods from hydronated oils such as fried chips.

The UK government guidelines have recommended we consume between 33-35% of fat in our diet. If you want to figure out if diet does contain this amount, you will need to figure your total caloric intake each day and how many calories you are consuming from fat each day.

Essential Fatty acids
Omega 3 and 6 are the two essential fatty acids which help the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune and nervous system to function as well as being involved in manufacture and repair of all membrane cells.

Omega 3 fat sources help with brain function. These foods are found in oily fish
Whitebait & herrings
Oils – linseed oil, whetgerm, walnuts, rapeseed oil and soya beans.

Omega 3 fat sources have anti inflammatory properties so it is good for joints and injuries.

Fish oil (the best source of Omega 3 fats) increases basal metabolic rate helping you burn more calories overall. Fish oil also improves the use of fat as a fuel source during exercise meaning you use less muscle glycogen and more fat for your training. This means you lose body fat faster.

Omega 6 fats are found in walnuts, sunflower seeds, sunflower oil and whetgerm.
These are a more healthier fats. They are believed to reduce cholesterol and help reduce heart disease and offering some protection against cancers.

So, all in all, fats are not as bad as you think, you just need to eat the right fats and stay away from the bad fats.