Stylist Gok Wan and West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady share their health tips

Karren Brady follows a programme by Diet Plan, which delivers specially prepared food to your door.

Karren Brady follows a programme by Diet Plan, which delivers specially prepared food to your door. Picture: PA Photo/Handout. - Credit: PA

It’s all too easy to make those pledges to diet and workout, but cold, dull days and a return to work can sap our resolution, and knowing that you’ve failed for another year can be dispiriting.

Gok Wan walks his dog to help stay healthy. Picture: PA Photo/Handout.

Gok Wan walks his dog to help stay healthy. Picture: PA Photo/Handout. - Credit: PA

Follow the advice and tips of two celebrities - Gok Wan and Karren Brady - to help you stay on track and succeed in 2013.

- Gok Wan

Gok Wan, 39, who’s presenting Gok’s Style Secrets on Channel 4 is brand ambassador for Activia’s Feel Good From Within 2013 campaign. (


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Feeling good starts from within. It’s all very well doing your hair and make-up, but if you really want to be at your best and feel really good, you have to start by looking after yourself on the inside.

If you get that right, then everything else falls into place. It’s getting that extra bit of fabulousness.

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It’s so important to feel good mentally and to build your self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing, so I want people to make a “to-don’t” list, not a “to-do” list.

Have a really good think about the things you need to be doing in a day, and the things, such as worrying, getting stressed and feeling insecure, that you shouldn’t do. Then make a conscious effort to stop those naughty feelings creeping in.

Regularly check that “to-don’t” list so you can see whether you’re really avoiding those negatives, and you can keep yourself moving forward on to a feel-good track.


Last year I had a serious problem with my back, resulting in two operations and ongoing treatment.

It’s finally improving; I’m off the medication and I don’t have to use a stick any more, which I feared I’d be stuck with for life, so it’s all very positive, even though I don’t know whether it will ever fully recover.

So my resolution is to rest more and take care of myself. I eat well, I try not to drink too much but resting is something I find hard as I’m a workaholic.

I need seven hours’ sleep a night and also ought to have time off at weekends. I’m working on achieving both those goals and I remind myself regularly, “Don’t work late”.


I try to do regular gentle exercise and I have physio which is good for my back. I also walk Dolly, my French bulldog puppy, every day.


I eat pretty healthily, although I probably drink too much coffee.

In the morning I start the day around 6am with a coffee and a handful of nuts which I have while I walk the dog. Then I come back home for a breakfast of porridge or fruit.

At lunchtime I’ll have sushi or fish and in the evening I’ll have seafood, noodles and vegetables or another fish dish.

I also make a ginger soup, the recipe came from my grandmother who was a herbalist. I use goji berries, fresh ginger and coriander, then I make a stock and add lemon juice. It’s brilliant if you’re feeling off colour or if you are ill.


Walking my dog is key to my wellbeing.

Getting her was a massive learning curve because it was the first time I had something completely dependent on me.

I enjoy all the caring, cuddling, the walks and getting about with her, and doing something that was just about my happiness and not work.


It was a horrible feeling to discover your body can let you down and I realised last year I had taken my health for granted.

You fear when you have a problem with your body that people will treat you differently and it really shakes you up.

I have a real respect for anyone with a disability as I’ve had a tiny experience of how hard it can be when you’re restricted physically. Thankfully, I’m on the up again now.


I love working with people and helping to show them that you can gain control of your life, and that what you eat and drink and how you live is truly up to you.

Changing the way you feel needn’t cost a lot, it can be small alterations to lifestyle, diet and the way you look at yourself.

I do have one tip on how you can instantly to look better in pictures - and that’s by posing properly.

Turn your body 30 degrees, one hip out, drop your weight down, slouch one shoulder, then bring your entire torso round. What that does is stretches your entire body round, almost like a helter skelter, and gives that beautiful curve from your waist.

- Karren Brady

Karren Brady, 43, assists Lord Sugar on BBC’s The Apprentice and is vice-chairman of West Ham United. She follows a programme by Diet Plan, which delivers specially prepared food to your door. (


It’s easy as you get older to allow the portions of food you eat to get larger or at least stay the same, even though you may not be taking the same amount of exercise and your metabolism is slower and you’re burning off calories less easily. That can mean weight creeping on.

I think it’s important to take a fresh look at what you eat and be honest with yourself about how much you’re eating and what you’re eating. Writing down what you eat in a day can be very revealing.


Regularly at the beginning of every year, I’ve promised myself I’d shape up and end up looking like Elle Macpherson! But good intentions have always gone out the window because I often eat on the run, love food and lose resolve by the end of January.

So I’m thrilled to already start this year 9lbs lighter, so that I can fit into a smaller dress size and I am back into my skinny jeans.

It’s thanks to Diet Chef, which delivers healthy meals in a hamper so you can eat around 1,200 calories to 1,500 a day but not feel hungry and still burn calories.

I started it in September and my resolution is to stay on it for the time being. TV can make you look heavier than you are, so I have to contend with that as well as getting rid of a little more unwanted weight.


I’m always running around. I’m juggling four jobs and family life in Birmingham with my husband, Paul Peschisolido, and our children, Sophia, 17, and Paolo, 15.

That makes it difficult for me to have a fitness routine. I fit in exercise when I can, but that can include running up down a pitch supporting my son when he’s playing in a rugby match or rushing through an airport trying to catch a flight. I think it all counts.


The new diet has reintroduced me to breakfast, which I’ve skipped for years. Now I’ve found that eating one of the Diet Chef muesli bars and having a skinny cappuccino in the morning stops lethal snacking before lunchtime!

Following the diet has helped to educate me about portion sizes and re-educated my brain to want food which is tasty and filling but not fattening.

I realise my weaknesses - mayonnaise, cheese, chips and canapes at parties - have to be very occasional treats.

They’re not worth the pain of having to return to my wardrobe of clothes which I reserve for when I’m feeling a little heavier.


I’m not a naturally stress-prone person. I take things in my stride.

I love work and it’s a big part of my life and, of course, I love my family.

I believe that career and family have equal weight and I believe people can be trusted to manage both.

Enjoying time with my husband and children and being a wife and mum, as opposed to “Karren Brady the businesswoman”, is the way I recharge.


Nothing. I’m really lucky in that I’m very healthy. I had brain surgery for an aneurysm six years ago. It made me realise life is short. It put things into perspective.

Trivial things that you worry about aren’t very important. I spend more time with my children now and work my own hours.

I do the things I like. Without that brain operation, I probably wouldn’t have done The Apprentice - I’d have said I was too busy.

I’m enjoying life more, which is a good thing for my family.


It’s going to be really busy with West Ham being named the preferred choice to move into the Olympic Stadium.

On the family side, my daughter will be taking A-levels and learning to drive this year, so that will be challenging for me as a mum!

I hope to try to get the balance between work and family as good as possible - it’s never possible for it to be perfect, but you have to keep juggling to aim for that.

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