Tricia lost a stone in 8 weeks
My tum’s flatter now then before I had kids!
Actress Tricia Penrose was thrilled when she heard that Nikki Sanderson was joining the cast of Heartbeat. But the minute they began filming together in January 2008, Tricia felt conscious of how much bigger she was than her svelte co-star. “Nikki looks drop dead gorgeous when she’s behind the bar with me in Heartbeat,” says scouse Tricia who plays barmaid Gina Bellamy. “She’s a tiny size 8, but while her wardorbe was getting skimpier, mine got frumpier to cover me up.
I’d just found out I was pregnant for the second time, so I was getting bigger every day!” “Even once I’d had my baby boy, Freddie, I came back on set and still looked like the frumpy old aunt next to Nikki – that was when I knew I had to lose weight,” says Tricia.
Before falling pregnant, Tricia has been a svelte 8st and a size 8 thanks to making her fitness DVD, Tricia Penrose: Before And After Body Blitz, in 2007. But after giving birth, 5ft 4 Tricia weighed 11st and was size 14. Even Tricia’s husband of six years commented on her figure. She says: “He said I was looking dowdy! Mark loves me however I look, but I knew I had to do something. I’d developed a taste for pies, chips and glasses of wine each night. I decided enough was enough!”
So Tricia embarked on a healthy-eating and fitness regime. Having already got down to 11st thanks to running around after her kids, she started eating balanced meals and working out regularly and managed to lose a stone in just eight weeks. She’s since lost another half stone too, and is now 9st and a shapely size 10. “It was maybe a bit crazy to start my diet just before Christmas!” laughs Tricia, who has been in Heartbeat for 17 years. “Luckily, we went to Lanzarote for Christmas where it’s so warm, you dont want to each much, and there’s lots of fish and salad available.” But when the family got home it was a different story. “Mark got a bread-maker for Christmas and always bake some overnight, so i’d wake up to the smell off fresh bread. It was agony!” she says.
Undaunted, Tricia stuck to her 1,200 calories-a-day regime. On a typical day she’d have a slice of wholemeal toast, a poached egg and a tomato for breakfast. Lunch was a jacket potato with tuna or cottage cheese followed by a yoghurt. And for dinner, she’d have grilled fish or chicken with roasted vegetables. She also ate only healthy snacks like fruit and seeds. The star also started working out three times a week with personal trainer Leroy Stewart, doing 30 minutes if cardio exercises plus toning routines using weights. “I used to exercise at home, but after having two children, I find it easier to go to the gym,” says Tricia. “Jake is at school and Freddie can go to the gyms creche”. The pounds steadily began to fall off! I lost about 2lbs a week,” says Tricia. “Now my tummy looks flatter than it did before having two kids, which i thought would be impossible!” Tricia admits she’s been a yo-yo dieter in the past.
Tricia’s diet and exercise plan
Follow Tricia’s 1,350-cals-a-day healthy-eating plan and you could drop up to 2lbs a weekl. Here’s what to do…..
- Choose one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner and two snacks each day, but vary your choices to get all the nutrients you need.
- Have an extra 300ml of skimmed milk every day on it’s own, in tea, on coffee or fruit smoothies to provide you with calcium.
- Don’t skip the fruit and veg in the plan as it provides your essential five a day portions.
- Eat iron-rich foods such as lean red meat, nuts and leafy green veg to prevent anaemia.
- Have two portions of fish each week – one rich in heart-healthy fats such as slamon, trout or sardines. If you’re a veggie, nuts, seeds and leafy green veg have the same healthy fats.
- Don’t add salt to food when cooking or at the table. Flavour meals with spices, herbs, garlic, lemon juice and black pepper instead.
- Drink six to eight glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration. This can include tea, coffee herbal and fruit teas.
This diet is suitable if you have less than 1st to lose. If you have more than 1st to lose, have an extra 250 calories a day. Use the nutritional information on food labels to help get these extra calories.
Tricia’s exercise plan
These exercises are part of Tricia’s workout, which also includes more toning exercises and 20-30 minutes of cardio, three times a week. Tricia did a combination of bodyweight exercises and moderate hand weights (2-4kg) for her toning routine aswell as adding 20-30 minutes of cardio work each session for a total of 2 sessions per week. The following exercises were a selection of those done during the sessions.
Squat and press overhead Works legs (quads), bottom (glutes) and shoulders (deltoids). From a standing position hold a weight in front of the chest. Keep feet hip width apart. Squat down bending the knees ensuring that they don’t go over the toes and touch the weight to the floor. Keeping head up and back straight. Stand back up to the start position and push the weight overhead. Keep a steady rhythm. Do 15 reps.
Works shoulders (deltoids) From a standing position keeping feet hip width apart, hold a weighted object in each hand with arms bent about 90 degrees. Keep legs slightly bent, abs drawn in and back straight. Push hand upwards until fully stretched and slowly return to start position. Do 12-15 reps.
Squat and twist
Works glute, quads, oblique, abs, delts. From a standing postion hold a weighted object in outstetched arms in front of the chest. Keep feet hip width apart and keep head up and back straight. Squat down keeping knees over feet, keeping arms out in front of you as you stand back up, twist to the left side and lift the left knee up. Do 20 reps in total (10 each leg).
Works the biceps (front of the upper arm). Hold 2 weighted objects in front of shoulders, bring right hand slowly down until by the thigh and bring back up to start position. Repeat this process with the left hand and keep alternating for the pescribed number of reps. Do 24 repetitions (12 each arm).
Bum squeeze and point
Works bottom (glutes) and (core) 15 reps with each leg. Get on all fours keeping back straight and pulling tummy button in. Extend the right leg backwards until straight and parallell to floor with the toes pointing downward. If you are able to balance then extend your opposite arm out in front of you as you take your leg backwards. Hold for a second squeezing the right buttock and bring the leg and arm back to the start position, trying not to touch the floor. Do the required numbers of reps with the right leg, then swap to the left leg (extending the right arm this time).
Works abdoms, delts. Laying on the floor face up, bend legs with feet on floor. Pull tummy button and press lower back into the floor. Hold object in outstretched arms over the chest. Slowly crunch upwards, using your abdominal muscles whilst breathing out bringing object in hands over the knees. Hold for a second and come slowly down breathing in. Repeat for1 5-20 reps.