New ways to slim down

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No excuses with two new fat-burning programmes.

Time to get off the couch, blobby potatoes – the weight loss buzz has hit Queenstown.

Two local women are introducing separate fat-burning programmes in the wake of the festive season.

One kilo-buster course is a dieting phenomenon just introduced to New Zealand, while the other’s a local, modified version of hit US TV show The Biggest Loser.

Kathy Nicol is a walking success story after trying the “Dr Cohen Diet” – she lost 40kg in 21 weeks last year.

The 36-year-old mum of three, a size 24 last July, is bringing Cohen’s Lifestyle Clinic to Queenstown and NZ from Monday.

Now a size eight to 10, she lost weight through a prescribed diet set down by medics associated with Dr Rami Cohen – a United States-based cardiologist who developed the theory that hormonal problems cause obesity.

The Cohen clinic tested her human growth hormones, serotonin, insulin, and glucose levels, and then gave Nicol a strict diet to follow – mostly “normal” foods – based on the results.

And here’s the best bit for the exercise-averse – you’re not meant to do any. Exercise, that is.

Nicol found this concept hard to grasp at first – she’d been pounding pavements plus trying other diets for years.

“I just couldn’t get my head around the idea that you weren’t supposed to exercise, but after the first few days of doing [the diet] I was so stuffed I couldn’t,” she says.

“After six weeks, I was totally convinced that exercise was not the answer for me. It was definitely based on my hormone imbalance because the weight just fell off.”

Nicol did her programme over the internet but she’s decided to become a consultant offering personalised support on an individual basis or through group sessions at her Frankton-based office.

“The Cohen’s programme is easier than most other programmes. A gastric bypass doesn’t work this quick.”

Personal wellness coach Doris Nicol – unrelated to Kathy – is starting up a weight-loss competition where, like The Biggest Loser, people try to lose the most flab for cash.

She’s organising 12-week challenges in Frankton and Arrowtown and participants meet weekly to measure up and get ongoing nutrition advice.

“The challenge is a lot of fun and good motivation for people – it doesn’t matter what [weight loss] programme they’re on,” she says.

Queenstowners keen to be motivated by celebrity health gurus from TV3’s Downsize Me can also attend a seminar with nutritionist Damian Kristof and trainer Lee-Anne Wann at Wakatipu High on February 26 – which precedes their nationwide “112-Day Challenge” next month.

Or for those wanting to follow the “points system”, Weight Watchers holds weekly meetings at the Salvation Army rooms.