IT’S been a tough job whittling down the 300 entrants to just eight people, but today The Journal can finally reveal the Fit Factor finalists.
We originally planned to help six overweight readers turn their lives around, but we were so overwhelmed by the emotional stories we added two more places.
The Active 8 range from 14 stone 10lbs to 28 stone. The most common definition of obesity is more than 25% body fat in men and 30% in women.
Most of our finalists have dangerously high levels of body fat at around 50%, risking heart disease, cancer and diabetes. All have a metabolic age at least 15 years above their actual age.
Fitness instructor David Fairlamb, will be mentoring the group. He said: “My job over the next three months is not just to train them, but look at the whole person and change their lifestyle and habits.
“These finalists are desperate to turn their lives around and I’m sure will give 100% commitment.
“With the help of me, my team and the finalists encouraging each other, they are in for a positive, exciting and motivational three months.
“One male and one female are carrying more than 13 stones of pure fat on their body, which is a damning statistic.
“But that’s why there are here and the hard work starts now.”
The Active 8 will get three fitness sessions a week – a mentored gym session at David Fairlamb’s private gym in North Tyneside, an outdoor bootcamp and another fun activity which will vary each week between boxing, pilates, hiking, paddle boarding and cardio tennis.
They’ll also get a personal nutrition plan and will meet inspirational slimmers whose stories will encourage them to shed the pounds.
This week they were briefed on their new healthy eating regime and met Peter McCowie, one of David Fairlamb’s clients, who lost six stone in 16 weeks.
On Monday, the 12-week challenge begins with an official weigh-in. And on Thursday, Run Geordie Run charity champ Mark Allison will be telling the group about his physical and mental battle across the USA before taking them for a walk or run along Tynemouth Longsands beach.
The Active Eight will also be on Real Radio Breakfast with Gary and Lisa this morning ... and The Journal and Real Radio will be following their progress every Thursday.
Whoever makes most progress and is deemed the most inspirational contestant will win a holiday to Dubai with flights from Newcastle, courtesy of Emirates, and hotel accommodation at the Hilton Jumeirah Residences, as well as £300 spending money.
They’ll also receive a six-month free membership at the Livingwell Health and Leisure Club at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead plus a one-hour spa treatment courtesy of the Ocean Rooms and Spa. Five of the runners-up will receive a month’s membership at the Livingwell Health and Leisure Club at the Hilton Newcastle Gateshead plus a 30-minute spa treatment courtesy of the Ocean Rooms and Spa.
The Journal will be starting progress updates on The Active 8 from Thursday, April 12. Next week we’ll be meeting our sub-group – The SpeedFlex 5 – who will be trying to lose weight using a new resistance training system over the same 12 weeks.
Click the links below to find out all about our finalists