Join in our City Fit Challenge and diet your way to health

THERE isn’t a worker in the City who doesn’t sometimes struggle to balance work, a social life and their health. Late nights in the office make trips to the gym harder. Regularly eating out makes controlling your calorie count difficult and, on the flip side, making a commitment to an intense exercise regime can impact heavily on your social life.

So what is a City worker to do? The 5:2 diet is designed with these needs in mind – it involves five days of eating reasonably and two days of restricting your calorie count – and the results can be startling. To encourage City workers to lead more healthy lifestyles, City A.M. has teamed up with Danone to launch the City Fit Challenge. We have selected three participants with varying health goals to undertake the 5:2 diet while following a health regime devised by fitness expert Christian Finn. They will also get a personal consultation with Dr Sarah Schenker, who has devised a number of meals that will see them through their lean days without leaving you hungry enough to eat your fist – and Danone’s new high protein Danio yogurt is a great starting point. City A.M. Life&Style editor Steve Dinneen will check in with the participants each week to see how they are getting on.

Challenger one: Neil Somauroo

  • Job: Business owner
  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’5”
  • Weight: 20 stone 7
  • Waist size (widest point): 51”
  • BMI: 34.4
  • Fitness goal: Lose excess weight

Neil stopped smoking around 18 months ago and has “piled on” weight since, to the extent he is now starting to feel heavier in his everyday life. His job entails a lot of travelling between Yorkshire and London. Not only does this make it hard for him to get to the gym, travelling around means he has to rely on grabbing ready-made food on the go, which is often high in salt and saturated fats. He is, however, highly motivated and feels through the combination of more exercise and the 5:2 diet, he can come down to a weight he is more comfortable with. Ultimately he hopes this will lead a healthier lifestyle. He has gone through training regimes in the past with some success but says he is no gym fanatic.

Challenger two: Jeremy Slattery

  • Job: Sales director, City A.M.
  • Age: 47
  • Height: 6’
  • Weight: 17 stone 6
  • Waist size (widest point): 40”
  • BMI: 33.49
  • Fitness goal: Tone, trim and reduce fat

Jeremy is sales director of City A.M. The job involves regular lunches with clients and media agencies. Making sensible choices in a restaurant is difficult and he often chooses high carb foods such as pasta or potatoes over high protein. Otherwise, he enjoys healthy foods and an active lifestyle. Having played lots of sport when he was younger, he tries to keep fit and is a gym member. He has found it harder in recent years to shift excess weight through exercise alone.

Challenger three: Ryan Orton

  • Job: IT recruitment manager
  • Age: 38
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 13 stone 7
  • Waist size (widest point): 39.2”
  • BMI: 29.9
  • Fitness goal: Get fit to play football again

Ryan is an accomplished footballer who played to county level when he was younger. A knee injury stopped him playing, and he has since gained weight, but is keen to get back to match fitness. Working from 6am to 7pm, he feels he has little time to prepare freshly cooked food at home. His job also requires him to attend client lunches so rich, high-calorie food is a regular part of his diet. He has tried the 5:2 diet before and saw positive results but re-gained the weight once he stopped.