The annual New Year, New You extravaganza is in full swing, with a larder-full of new-fangled diets vying for our attention. But there’s one that’s really caught our eye.
The Louise Parker Method: Lean For Life: The Cookbook (£20, Mitchell Beazley) promises amazing results, without a chia seed in sight, the health and fitness regime helped the Duchess of Cambridge after she had Prince George, and has been praised by Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson.
The Method apparently helped the 57-year-old Nanny McPhee star drop two dress sizes – from a 14 to a 10 – and lose around 8kg in six weeks.
She’s quoted on the cover of the new cookbook as saying: “Louise is the only one out there I trust. I love that her method is genuinely sustainable. She just gets it.”
So what’s the Louise Parker Method all about?
Down with dieting
In the introduction, Louise confesses she hates dieting, hoping that when her three daughters grow up, it’ll seem “as absurd as smoking was on planes”.
She writes: “Dieting is deprivation, tediously boring and doesn’t even work.”
The Method is a “lifestyle” instead of a diet, with the side effect that “your body will transform into one that is exceptionally lean, sculpted, strong and graceful”.
Louise is sceptical about clean eating and superfoods, writing: “No food or drink is a ‘superfood’. What is ‘super’ is a balance of all highly nutritious foods.”
Crucially, the pleasures of life are allowed “in moderation, to keep you sane and happy”.
1. The ‘transform phase’ lasts 42 days and is a transition period, giving your mind time to adjust to the new habits you’ll be adopting. The key to success is adopting a positive mental attitude and surrounding yourself with positive people. To get more active, Louise prescribes walking a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.
2. The ‘lifestyle phase’ is where the new habits become your life and you learn to enjoy a burger or a cocktail “in perfect balance”. Your new lifestyle will involve sleeping 7-8 hours a night, taking 20-minute ‘brain naps’ during the day and having a declutter.
The Four Pillars
On her website, louiseparker.uk.com, the body sculpting expert, who has worked with hundreds of clients around the world for 20 years, explains the four pillars of the programme, which are key to transform phase:
1. Think successfully
You’re going to cultivate a winning mindset and repeat it until it becomes a habit. With this mindset and an assumption of success you will set yourself up for success on your programme. Your brain is the most important muscle there is in your transformation, and you are going to train it consistently, as you would your body.
2. Eat beautifully
You’ll eat a calibrated balance of fresh wholefoods, evenly spaced throughout the day to keep you in the fat-burning zone, turn off hunger and ensure you feel incredible. Our method is gimmick-free and includes recipes for those who cook, as well as practical options for when you are on the go. We’ll establish your personal balance of fantastically healthy, simple food, with some indulgences – true balance can be taught.
3. Work out intelligently
Very simply, you'll move more. You’ll also exercise in the most intelligent way, combining the maximum amount of fat-burning and toning, while boosting your metabolism and making you feel fabulous. We’ll build the mindset where exercise becomes a habit and part of your everyday life wherever you are.
4. Live well
With our regular support, we’ll help you to integrate your new approach to nutrition and exercise into your lifestyle. We’ll help you to target any lifestyle factors that stand in the way of success whether it be sleep, stress, hectic travel demands or helping to prioritise your own time and needs alongside everyone else’s.
The Louise Parker Method – Lean for Life: The Cookbook by Louise Parker, published by Mitchell Beazley, £20 www.octopusbooks.co.uk