Over the past 10 years, I have worked as an exercise professional and have seen an incredible surge in ‘fad’ diets and trendy training.

It seems like everyone and their gran is flogging radical and supposedly life-changing products.

I see GP referrals daily and know that quick fixes don’t last. We want sustainable change.

It’s time to move away from following fads and start working towards a ‘PHATTER’ way of life.

PHAT (short for Positive, Healthy And Toned) is my approach to managing your health and wellbeing safely and getting results.

Becoming PHAT isn’t easy, it requires us to think about our goals and be honest about our efforts.

I am about to break it down for you. Here’s how to get started:

Write out the pros and cons to becoming more active. They should be specific to your life and should be what you think, no-one else. If you identify more cons than pros, you might not be ready to take the first steps.

In this case, consider what you like about your current lifestyle and what you dislike about your situation. We need to get you thinking for yourself, not listening to mumbo-jumbo from the body beautiful-types on TV. 

Those who are ready to become PHAT should start by setting their goals. These should be general (goals will become more specific once you know what works for you).

Once you know what you want to achieve, it is important to take a baseline. This is information you gather for yourself at the beginning of your journey. It can include weight and waist measurements. I use scaling questions as well, to remind me how I felt about myself.

For example, on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the best, where do you rate your physical/mental health today? If you remember a time when you would have given a rating of 100, how far away do you feel from that?

Remember, the more honest you are with yourself and your trainer, the better advice you will get.

For my next column, the theme will be ‘Got started? Keep going...’

Send questions to @wakeupwithsteph or check out #healthinthenews