Sophie doubled her level of fitness, dropped three dress sizes and lost more than five inches from her waist in just six weeks following The Bodydoctor fitness programme

In these manically body-obsessed times. Is it any wonder that being in fantastic shape is a celebrity’s top priority? But how so they shed those unwanted kilos and firm up the flab in less time than it takes to watch Lord of the Rings? Glamour nominates the following stars for the most memorable weight losses we’ve ever seen – and asks the dieticians and personal trainers who helped them: “How do they do that?”

Sophie Dahl
The Bodydoctor

Starting point: Sophie Dahl wowed the fashion world as a voluptuous size 18 but obviously tired of the ‘big girl’ label. Goal: “I wanted to get fit, sculpt my body and look good.”

How she did it: By following Bodydoctor David Marshall’s advice, Sophie doubled her level of fitness, dropped three dress sizes and lost more than five inches from her waist in just six weeks. His fitness programme combines yoga principles with cardiovascular work and weights. Marshall explains his secret fitness formula: “My set of 22 exercises must be followed in sequence – with no improvisation – because each one is designed to offset any negative effect of the previous exercise.” His technique helps to create a long , lean body instead of the chunky look many people get from working our incorrectly at the gym.

Sophie also follows Marshall’s nutritional programme, which revolves around combining the right foods and drinking plenty of water. For maximum results, never mix carbohydrate (starch) and protein in the same meal. Though some diets include vegetables and salad in the carbohydrate food group, Marshall considers them neutral ingredients that can be eaten with protein and carbohydrates. The ratio of vegetables and salad to meat or carbohydrate should be four or five to one. And, as a general rule, each meal should amount to no more that what will fit into your cupped hands.

If your budget can stretch to a course of personal tuition at Marshall’s north London gym (£80 for one and a half hours – minimum of 20 sessions) you get the obvious benefits of never being left to your own devices. However, clients have shown equally impressive results from following his book, which illustrates what to do – and, equally importantly, what not to do.

Caution: David Marshall insists that water is your body’s best friend. “It is important to keep your body hydrated – especially if you’re working out,” he says. “You should never wait till your thirsty before drinking water – thirst is a sign you’re already dehydrated. I recommend that everyone aims to drink one and a half to three litres per day.” He also suggests starting the day with a mug of hot water and lemon and avoiding tea and coffee – but drinking as much toxin-flushing green tea as possible.