Jen Stanbrook, from award winning interiors blog Love Chic Living, has been doing the Joe Wicks #Leanin15 healthy eating plan and here is how she got on.
Over to Jen …
If you’re thinking that pancakes are time intensive, and not a healthy solution for a breakfast, think again. I’ve just completed the Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan, and have eaten a variety of these pancakes all the way through the journey. They are utterly delicious and my favourite recipe from the plan.
If you’re not aware of Joe Wicks and the 90 Day #Leanin15 Plan, let me tell you more.
Joe Wicks is an Instagram phenomenon, building a massive community of food and exercise lovers through his simple, energetic style. His ability to make ordinary people feel motivated to change their eating and lifestyle habits has seen him deliver over 160k individual 90 day plans to clients, and have 3 hugely successful recipe books, with a 4th to follow in a month or two.
His ethos is simple. Eat plenty of clean, delicious meals packed full of nutrients and goodness, coupled with regular HIIT exercise sessions you can do at home to get lean. Burn fat and build muscle whilst eating huge amounts of delicious food. No dieting in the traditional sense. Nothing low calorie, just lots of great fats, proteins and carbs to refuel your body.
I’d been following Joe for a while, cooking his recipes and doing some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for a little while, when I decided to buy my own tailored plan. For £147 and a set of swimwear wearing photos of yourself, you get 3 information-packed documents, telling you how you should eat and train. The plan is split into 3 cycles. Cycle 1 is Shift – where you eat and train to shed body fat. Food is high fat, high protein and low carb. In fact, you only eat one carb meal after you train. That’s it. Goodbye potatoes, rice and pasta. Hello healthy fats, tonnes of greens and a bucket load of eggs. Recipes are delicious but take a fair bit of planning.
After 30 days and submitting Cycle 1 results, you are sent Cycle 2. This is where you need a lot of faith in Joe because, after training your body to run off fats and not carbs, you’re back on the carbs in a big way. This Cycle introduces weights into your training plan (again you can still do this at home) and as a result you eat 3 carb heavy meals on a training day. It’s a big change, and it’s where you start to see the Shape element of the plan come into action. You begin to develop muscles in places you never knew you could get them! Many people don’t shift too much weight, but the inches still fall away. Remember muscle takes up less space in the body than fat, so whilst your weight might not change, your shape certainly does.
In fact, Joe is adamant you should throw away the scales. Don’t become a slave to the ‘sad step’. Train, exercise and eat well to feel good and you don’t need them. After 25 years of being addicted to weighing myself, I rarely do so anymore.
And so, onto the final Cycle, Sustain. This is a low carb, high fat cycle again, aiming to shed the rest of the body fat. And its weight training too. In fact, the training is very intense, brutal at times and aims to get big results. This is where the magic happens, and many people see a big shift in fat, inches and weight.
All the while through the plan you have support from Joe’s team. Support coaches are on hand to answer all your queries and help you through the 90 days. You can access the Body Coach database for information on food swaps as well as the myriad of unofficial Facebook groups with other clients working their way through the same plan.
After 90 days, you submit your final results and photographs (the before and after transformation photos are what brings Joe’s plan to life) and await your graduation report.
So, did it work for me? Well I lost 18 inches, dropped nearly 2 dress sizes and 9lbs. I am fitter and healthier than ever before. I totally love my new way of eating and I’ll never starve myself in the name of dieting again. It’s been a huge effort and a massive achievement. It’s given me a big self-esteem boost, and shown my tween and teen daughters about looking after your body, staying fit and healthy and eating in the right way. They’ve even adopted some of my recipes and ideas themselves, making overnight oats, smoothies and reducing their sugar intake.
These protein pancakes are my go to breakfast in the mornings after I train, and they often keep me motivated when I don’t have the energy to workout. Containing banana, blueberries, oats, eggs, and whey protein powder and blended to make a smooth batter, I cook them in coconut oil and serve up with a huge dollop of Greek Yoghurt.
Would I recommend the 90-day plan? Hell yes. I’d say follow Joe on social media first and try out some recipes, maybe even getting one of his books. Do a few HIIT sessions too so you know what you’re letting yourself in for, and then just go for it. You absolutely won’t regret it!