fat free?

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 September, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 September, 1998, 12:00am

Anthony Tam Programme: Jennifer Walker, The Natural Health Clinic, Wyndham Street, Central.

Starting weight: 81.5 kg (179 lbs) Present weight: 76 kg (167 lbs) 'I'm looking for a toned body, not a big, bulging one,' said Anthony of his new training programme at his local gym. He is working out for one hour three days a week, far more than he had been doing. His weight hadn't budged for more than a month and he realised more effort was needed. He didn't cut portion sizes but, on Jennifer's advice, rearranged his meals so that he eats more protein and carbohydrates earlier in the day, when he is more active.

He has cut out bread in favour of rice, which Jennifer believes he is more suited to given his genetic background. His evening meal comprises primarily boiled or steamed vegetables with maybe a little rice.

He is in training to walk the Maclehose Trail next month, and during his Sunday hikes consumes lots of water, isotonic drinks, rice cakes and raisins.

Over the past five months Anthony has learned to enjoy vegetables that are not coated in fat, and has cut out coffee, lunchboxes and barbecued duck. This is the first summer he can remember that he hasn't had a cold. So although he has found the scales a bit of a battle, his body must be in good health.

Even though he is about to stop his programme with Jennifer, he still hopes to reach his ultimate target of 70 kg (154 lbs) and he is confident he can maintain his low-fat, vegetable-packed diet and newfound enthusiasm for the gym.

Fiona Overton Programme: Bodywatch at the Hong Kong Football Club, Happy Valley.

Starting weight: 75 kg (165 lbs) Present weight: 62.3 kg (137 lbs) Fiona reached her 144 lb (65.4 kg) Bodywatch target about a month ago, and is fast approaching her personal target of 132 lbs (her weight five years ago). She hasn't stuck rigidly to her diet for the past six months, and is frustrated that after a weekend of indulgence, she regains weight. She is now eating normally but keeping away from butter, oil and other fats while keeping up her vegetable intake. Her between-meal snacks of fruit or dry toast are far healthier than the pre-challenge crisps and biscuits.

'Tired after a long day with three small children, the easiest option is fish and chips,' said Hilary Rowark of Bodywatch. 'Fiona had the determination to keep going.' Although she didn't make all the meetings, Hilary feels the group support helped enormously. 'Having others rooting for you helps keep you on track.

Support is so important for Fiona now as the real battle of keeping the weight off begins. Fiona is determined to reach a personal goal of 135 pounds (61.3 kg), her weight five years ago.' She will attending Bodywatch once a month rather than weekly, and as a prize pupil has been offered life-membership.

Andrew Rutherford Programme: Personal training at Tom Turks Gym, Central.

Starting weight: 95.4 kg (210 lbs) Present weight: 91.25 kg (200.75 lbs) 'I can't describe it as a six-pack, maybe a light-lager two-pack,' said Andrew of his abdominal muscles after six months at Tom Turks. After his World Cup excursion, Andrew hit the running machine and weights with gusto, working out three or four times a week. Unfortunately it didn't last. Living in North Point, working in Quarry Bay, house-hunting in Sai Kung and commuting to Central for a workout just got too much However, he has managed to stick to his diet, losing 4 kg and four per cent body fat. His recipe for success (without really trying) was replacing beer with wine, cutting out junk food and eating every little carbohydrate after 5 pm. 'It's a relatively easy diet with few restrictions Although some may question Tom Turk's weight-loss philosophy (low-sugar, no carbohydrates at night), Andrew has been very happy with the practical approach and supports shown by all at the gym. 'I't the first time I've tried to work hard at my fitness level and it is paying off,' he said. Once he settles into his new home in Sai Kung, he plans to start running and lifting weights to achieve that six-pack stomach.

Liz Case Programme: Personal Training and the Apex Nutrition Programme at Ray Wilson California Fitness Center, Central.

Starting weight: 81.4 kg (179 lbs) Present weight: 80 kg (176 lbs) The physical changes caused by pregnancy are now dictating Liz's workout regime at California Fitness. 'How she is feeling on the day is the deciding factor, as over-training does more harm than good during pregnancy,' said Jenny Goodwin, her personal trainer. Her cardio programme has been reduced and the focus is on strengthening the lower back area, protecting the joints and practising her pelvic exercises, all geared to the demands of late pregnancy and childbirth. Liz swims twice a week and is thoroughly enjoying a pregnancy Biokinetik Exercise Technique (BET) programme at the BET Centre in Central.

She is still lighter than her starting weight. 'It's all been pretty easy so far,' she says. She feels the main reason is because she was so healthy starting out. 'Two months of almost-starvation has certainly taught me discipline,' she admits and is now very careful about added fats and eats lots of vegetables (at least three portions of greens a day). The extra energy needed during pregnancy she gets by supplementing her meals with nutritious snacks of yoghurt, fruit or bran biscuits.

Ada Chu Programme: Weight Management Programme at the Renewal Day Spa, Duddell Street, Central.

Starting weight: 73.2 kg (161 lbs) Present weight: 67 kg (147.4 lbs) 'Size 14 is getting looser,' said a delighted Ada, who was formerly size 18. Her target is still a Marks and Spencer size 10 to 12. Now into phase two of her programme, her exercise regime has increased dramatically under her new supervisor, Suzanne Ng. She now works out five or six days a week - lifting weights and stepping up her power-walking routine - and has detoxing and toning treatments three or four times a week.

According to Suzanne, a realistic goal for Ada's body type is about 62 kg (136.4 lbs). 'It's the long-term benefits that we are trying to help Ada achieve,' said Suzanne. 'The scales are one issue but even more important is her overall body shape which has changed quite dramatically over the past five months.' Ada has shed 51 inches and six per cent body fat, an indication of increased muscle mass.

Is she frustrated with her ongoing battle? Apparently not. All smiling Ada would admit to was occasionally breaking her very low-fat, pork-free diet by having a lunchbox with friends.

Catharine O'Brien Programme: Biokinetik Exercise Technique (BET) at the BET Centre, Duddell Street, Central.

Starting weight: 58.5 kg (129 lbs) Present weight: 56.5 kg (124 lbs) After five sessions of BET (Pilates-based exercises using simple movements which are gradually built up) there is noticeable improvement in my overall posture, especially in the shoulders and lower back. BET specialist David Bayldon says my abdominal muscles - the main problem area - are 'recruiting' better, which means I am beginning to use the correct muscles more as my back muscles relax with increased stabilisation in my pelvis.

I spend hours at the computer every day, which leads to stiffness in my neck. With each session I feel my neck muscles relax more.

My home exercises concentrate on my abs, pelvis and shoulders. Although I don't practise daily, I do combine the exercises with my gym routine three or four times a week in the Football Club, where I stick to the programme devised for me by Tom Fairhall at the Spa.

Despite minor fluctuations I have managed to maintain my weight and measures and try to stick to a relatively low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. Like Anthony, I haven't suffered the usual summer colds, thanks to my healthier lifestyle.

There will be an update of the Challenge on RTHK Radio 3's Lunchbeat With Liz Case on Tuesday, October 20 at 1.15 pm.

Challenge 4: Body measurements (inches) Liz Andrew Anthony Ada Fiona Catharine Chest 40 39.4 39.3 38.5 33.2 Waist - 34 32.6 31 26 Hips 42 37.6 39.2 37.5 34.2 Challenge 3: Body measurements (inches) Liz Andrew Anthony Ada Fiona Catharine Chest 39 43.25 40.4 39.4 38 33 Waist 30 37.35 35.5 33.5 31 26 Hips 40 42 38 39.4 39 34 Challenge 2: Body measurements (inches) Liz Andrew Anthony Ada Fiona Catharine Chest 39 42 39.5 41 41 32.4 Waist 30.5 37.5 36 34 32 26.5 Hips 41 41.25 39 39.5 39 34 Challenge 1: Body Measurements (in inches): Liz Andrew Anthony Ada Fiona Catharine Chest 41.5 41.5 42 41 42 34.5 Waist 30.7 38.3 36 36.4 33 30.3 Hips: 42.7 - 38.5 41 - 36