Celebrity Health - Glynis Barber

Actress Glynis Barber chats to Liz Parry about the diet that revolutionised the way she eats and exercises

South African-born actress Glynis Barber first shot to fame as Sgt. Harriet Makepeace in the British police drama Dempsey and Makepeace. She has also appeared in EastEnders, Emmerdale and Night and Day. Here she talks about her passion for natural health and wellbeing.

A healthy lifestyle is very important to me because I really hate being sick, even with a cold. I like the feeling of being fit and well. I believe that looking after one’s health is the best investment one can make.

The In-Sync Diet was devised when I went to visit nutritionist Fleur Borrelli and she changed how and when I ate and exercised, with fantastic results. I had thought I was already eating healthily and pretty much knew it all. Fleur had me cut out grains, explaining that they cause quite a bit of inflammation in the gut and that we get all the fibre we need from vegetables. She also got me eating more protein and healthy fat. In fact, the size of my meals increased by quite a bit.

So now for lunch, instead of having a few slices of smoked salmon, for example, I’ll have the whole packet with the addition of two hard-boiled eggs. Fleur explained that because I was already quite active and going to the gym regularly, I was simply not eating enough protein to support and maintain my muscles. And muscles, which decline with age, are important to maintain and even increase, because they burn fat, keep you strong and give your body definition.

She also got me to exercise on an empty stomach. This was a big mental adjustment for me, but, physically, it took a remarkably short time to adjust. And it’s a game-changer. Exercising in a fasted state turns your body into a fat-burner and activates your longevity genes. I also started doing different kinds of exercise rather than the same thing all the time. I switched from regular yoga to hot yoga, started doing a long walk at least once a week and then in the gym would switch from strength training on one day to cardio the next.

The bonus from all this was that I had more energy than I’d had since I was a child and felt in fantastic shape. I was so impressed by the In-Sync lifestyle, and by the science behind it, that I decided to write a book with Fleur as the expert and me as the guinea pig who could tell people exactly what it was like from my own personal experience. The book became a bestseller on Amazon and now we’ve made it into an even better online diet plan. (The book is now out of print and is only available online.)

I seem to have a great passion for health. It manifested in my late twenties and I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps it’s simply the fear of being ill. I love reading about the latest research and will happily read an entire article about a particular vitamin. In fact, I’m a big fan of supplements and have taken them for years. The soil is very depleted and even with a good diet it’s impossible to avoid processed foods on occasion. And things like stress take their toll. I therefore take a probiotic, which I believe is vital for the gut, as well as various antioxidants. Living in England, I think vitamin D3 is important as well as K2 and magnesium. These three work in synergy and I consider them to be three of the most important supplements. I’ll change my supplements occasionally to meet my needs.

I’ve also learned so much from Fleur who is the only person I know who’s even more passionate about research than I am. She was the first person to graduate in the UK as a psycho neuro immunologist and her work, and indeed the In-Sync Diet, is based on evolutionary nutrition.

My days vary a lot depending on whether I’m doing an acting gig or not. I could be rehearsing, filming or learning lines. If I’m between acting jobs I will start the day with exercise. I’ll eat afterwards, which is usually about lunchtime. I’ll have some sort of salad with fish or chicken. Some days I might have leftovers from dinner or an omelette. I love eggs and eat them almost on a daily basis. We love eggs on the In-Sync Diet and consider them to be just about the perfect protein.

I have two meals a day with no snacking. Snacking will stop your body from fat-burning and eating less often gives you more energy. But I eat large portions at each meal so never go hungry. I’ll either have an almond milk cappuccino or green tea with my lunch and then settle down to work.

I write for my health and beauty site and also do a monthly column for a health magazine. There’s always tons of work to do for our In-Sync site as well. We have a YouTube channel whereby I go into a celebrity’s house and see what’s in their fridge and then I rate them. It’s great fun. So far I’ve done Kate Thornton, Andrea McLean and Lisa Faulkner. We also have In-Sync Chat where I have a talk about food issues with whoever’s fridge I’ve just been in. We also have In-Sync Exercise talking about how and when to exercise.

My top tip would be to keep active and always exercise in a fasted state. This is something that we very gently introduce to people on our online plan. It can be a life-changer and is the best way to efficiently burn fat.

For more information about the In-Sync Diet, visit www.theinsyncdiet.com. Also, visit agelessbyglynisbarber.com for Glynis’ top tips about health and beauty.

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