Cath Tyldesley: fitness chat

Former Coronation Street star Catherine Tyldesley chats to me about her approach to health and fitness…

How are you feeling about your body at the moment? Better than I ever have. Since I started training with Ultimate Performance [a new Manchester gym] my body has completely changed shape. I’m a curvy girl and I want to keep my curves but it’s all about sculpting certain areas now. I’m getting definition in my back, which I’ve never had before. So for me it’s about being strong while still looking feminine. I don’t want a raging six-pack!

How often do you work out? At the moment I’m so busy with work it’s two times a week, but ideally it’d be four. A typical 45-minute routine is mainly weight training with High Intensity Interval Training at the end of the session. I feel stronger than ever and I was leg pressing 30 stone the other day! I’ve gone from 22 per cent body fat after having Alfie [Cath’s 11-month-old son with fiancé Tom Pitfield] to 13.7 per cent.

Do you exercise with Tom and Alfie? Yes, Alfie loves being outside so we take him for walks along the canal so he can see the ducks. He’s been swimming since he was six weeks old so we do that, too. He’s learnt to hold on to the side!

How do you motivate yourself to exercise? I’m a big believer in goal setting. my main focus is looking good for my wedding [in the spring] but I’m also doing TrekFest in June which is a 50km walk in the Brecon Beacons, so I need to do some practice. I’m very squeamish about blisters!

What is your least favourite part of your body? I’ve always struggled with having big legs, but I don’t mind that now, so long as they’re toned and muscular rather than wobbling.

Do you take any supplements? I take a multi-vitamin, especially in the winter months, and I take extra omega-3. I’ve given Alfie vitamin D since birth.

What’s your diet mantra? Stick to nature. My rule is if it ran, swam or grew from the earth, then eat it. Anything else has been tampered with. I’m doing a nutrition course at the minute, devised by the medicinal chef Dale Pinnock. I don’t want to be a nutritionist, I’m just doing it for me and my family.

How important is it that Alfie eats well? Very. we make all of Alfie’s food. I boil up vegetables on a Sunday night and then freeze them. Then during the week we whiz it up in the blender. he’s obsessed with broccoli – which is really weird because I was obsessed with it when I was pregnant!

Do you have any food intolerances? Yes, I’m lactose intolerant. a couple of months ago I risked having some mushroom soup which I knew had cream in and it wasn’t worth it. I felt very ill. I also choose to avoid gluten because it makes me bloat really badly – I look six months pregnant!

What’s your guilty pleasure? Pizza or chocolate. I have dairy-free, or dark chocolate if it’s just a couple of squares. For pizza, I use a gluten-free base and use lactose-free cheese. It’s very rock ’n’ roll in our house!

Age: 32 HeigHt: 5ft 8in Dress size: ‘I’m an 8 to 10.’ Weight: ‘Last time I weighed myself, two weeks ago, I was 9st 10lb.’

Breakfast: ‘I always start the day with protein so it’s normally salmon or an omelette.’

Lunch: ‘I really enjoy chargrilled chicken breast with a large serving of spinach and broccoli and some avocado.’

Dinner: ‘I like making bolognese at home using lean beef mince and a fresh, tomato-based sauce, but I use courgetti instead of pasta.’