28 mins

Lose Weight and Get Fit with Tom Kerridge

Series 1: 1. Episode 1

In the first episode of this six-part series, Tom recruits 11 like-minded volunteers from Gloucester, the city he grew up in, to join him on his weight loss and fitness challenge. He believes that teamwork is one of the main ingredients for success. Like Tom, the volunteers have personal reasons why they want to get in shape and goals they want to work towards. But beyond that, they are in the dark, so Tom calls everyone together at the sports faculty of a local university to reveal what they have signed up to.

First everyone is weighed, has their body fat measured and has their fitness tested on a fancy machine. While most of the gang already knew how much they weighed, no-one knew what was going on inside their bodies or how unfit they were. For some, the results are a big shock but Tom explains that this a starting point to work with – a benchmark. They will be retested in two months’ time to measure what they have achieved.

The NHS recommends following a calorie-controlled diet to lose weight in a steady and healthy way. Tom believes that boring food and tiny portions are a recipe for diet failure so, acting as team chef, he promises to provide the gang with dozens of generous and tasty calorie-counted recipes which everyone can enjoy without feeling like they are on a diet at all. A batch of new recipes will be sent out weekly to the gang.

Spending two days together, Tom can demonstrate his food philosophy, kicking off with an exciting evening meal of steak tacos with a zesty corn salsa. The following morning, he serves up peach melba oats, a creamy and nutritious breakfast to set everyone up for the day ahead. And after a lengthy workout, Tom dishes up steaming bowls of chicken miso ramen loaded with healthy protein, carbs and vitamins. The gang deliver their verdict.

For the exercise part of the challenge, Tom has roped in his old mate Adam Peacock, a personal trainer. Adam helps people of all ages, abilities and medical conditions to get fitter and stronger, and this expertise will be needed with Tom’s volunteers. They range in age from 20s to 60s, they are overweight and in the group there are people with diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis.

The NHS says we should do at least 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise each week, plus at least two sessions of resistance training to build strength. To Tom and the gang, this sounds daunting, but Adam takes them through the basics. He shows them routines to help them achieve their targets which can fit around their busy lifestyles. As Adam explains, they don’t even need a gym membership for this. He also urges everyone to find sports and other physical activities they enjoy in the weeks ahead - to increase their chances of success.

The intensive two-day introduction is an eye-opener for everyone and Tom is delighted to see the gang bonding and supporting each other. This will serve them well for what lies ahead. And Tom explains that he will be cooking meals with them at home, joining them on training and exercise sessions and giving them the encouragement and support they’ll need to succeed. Armed with their starter packs of recipes and Adam’s fitness routines, the gang head home, determined to rise to the challenge.

Related chefs