Waitrose Kitchen road-tests four of this year’s most popular diets and decodes the hottest nutritional buzzwords.
Food stylist Katie Marshall takes up the gauntlet with a good old-fashioned exercise and healthy-eating plan, devised by coach Jean-Claude Vacassin, founder of west London gym W10 Performance. Does the combined approach do the trick?
The aim: I’ve been meaning to dedicate more time to exercise for a while, so a personal trainer sounded like the kick-start I needed, especially because W10 Performance’s USP is to fit in with your lifestyle, not take over your life. After an initial assessment to gauge my mobility, stability, posture and overall movement, a body composition test gave me the hard facts about my BMI and levels of muscle and fat. Jean-Claude advised that I aim to lose some body fat, gain a little muscle and improve my general fitness.
The regime: I completed two hours with a personal trainer weekly, during which I was put through my paces doing squats, lunges and weights. These steadily built up in intensity as I developed muscles I never knew existed. I also joined a group session of similar exercises with added cardio each week. The first session was a real shock to the system, but even by the second, I felt my body responding. I noticed changes very quickly – I felt like I was walking taller, my body felt tighter and I was gaining a better overall body awareness. It also quickly became clear that a couple of glasses of wine the night before made a morning exercise session that much harder. Jean-Claude helped me devise a complementary eating plan loosely based on The Paleo Diet, and told me to eat “more consciously”, with greater awareness of my food’s quality and quantity. Being strict with your diet is a lot easier when you know someone is scrutinising your food diary, and after my first training session, I knew I wouldn’t want to waste all my blood, sweat and tears by eating junk.
The results: After two weeks, I lost 3.5lb of weight. More importantly, I lost 7.5lbs of body fat and gained 2.5lbs of muscle mass. Strengthened muscles mean that my posture has improved, I sleep well, have more energy and am already leaner. My clothes fit better and all those endorphins from exercising have made me happier. I don’t think the plan took over my life, but it did encourage me to make dietary changes and reconsider what to do with my evenings. I’m now determined to keep up my fitness levels – I just hope I can manage it alone.
Contact us on 0203 489 5428 or drop us an email on email@example.com to find out about training at W10 Performance.