Read the Ex-EastEnder's 7-step plan to keep weight off
Natalie Cassidy is still beaming after dropping 2½ stone and shrinking four dress sizes.
Her workout regime transformed her from a size 16 to a size 8, turning her from frump to vamp in just four months.
Her new slimline figure is all thanks to her bestselling Then And Now Workout, which has become the fastest-selling fitness DVD ever.
Friends say that Natalie, 24, is thrilled at its success.
‘She wanted to show women out there that anyone can do it,’ reveals one pal. However, the ex-EastEnders star admits she still has to stick to her diet to keep off the extra pounds.
‘It’s hard to stay in shape, but the results are worth it,’ says Natalie.
‘I don’t want to go back to the size I was, especially considering all the extra shopping for clothes I can do now.
‘Once you break the bad habits, it’s not as hard as you think it’ll be. I’m happy with my shape. I feel I’ve shed Sonia and I’m a whole new woman.’ Here’s how she did it…
See Natalie Cassidy’s work-out picture gallery >>
Top Tip 1
Fill up on fruit
‘Snacking during the day means you’re not tempted to eat badly at mealtimes. Fruit helps with sugar cravings, too, so I often snack on dried fruit and keep an apple in my bag.’
Top Tip 2
Lay off the alcohol
‘I love a glass of wine in the evening, but when I started the diet I cut right back on alcohol because it has so many calories in it. If you don’t want your mates to pressurise you into having an alcoholic drink while you’re out, have one that looks similar. I have diet tonic water with lemon and ice. It looks like a gin and tonic and tastes a bit like one, too.
Top Tip 3
Eat more veg
‘A great way to fill yourself up so that you’re not tempted to snack on rubbish is to eat lots of vegetables – but try to generally steer clear of potatoes, parsnips, peas, sweetcorn and baked beans because they’re full of sugar.’
Top Tip 4
Drink more water
‘Try your best to drink 2ltr of water a day. It flushes out your system and you’ll feel so much better for it. It sounds like a lot, but if you divide it into eight glasses throughout the day, you’ll find it much easier to do.’
Top Tip 5
Cut the carbs
‘Avoid carbs, such as pasta, bread or potatoes after 6pm – they bloat you out and you can’t work them off. In the evening, I try to stick to fish or chicken with veg and sometimes brown rice. If you’re going out to dinner, always say no to dessert and the cheese board.’
Top Tip 6
Don’t be too strict
‘Allow yourself treats every now and again. A diet’s not supposed to be torture, after all! If I fancy a small piece of chocolate or cheese, I’ll have it. It’s better to occasionally have a little of what you fancy – that way you won’t feel tempted to go off the rails and binge. Also, if you can, find something to do with your hands that’ll stop you snacking out of boredom. It’s all about breaking bad habits.’
Top Tip 7
‘Over the years, I’d dabbled with exercise and done bits and pieces, but I’d never stuck to anything. I’ve done other people’s DVDs and I always think they’re great because you can do them in your living room and you don’t have to go out – I hate being all red-faced and sweaty in the gym surrounded by people!
By training with my DVD – every day to begin with – I really felt the results. As you get fitter, you only have to do it three times a week to get the full benefit and now I really enjoy exercise. I feel strange if I haven’t worked out.’