Lean in 15 book review

You’d have to have been living in a bubble to not have noticed the number of health bloggers bursting onto the scene proffering advice on how to shred the lead, ground the pounds and tone your flab zone but one such offering actually promises to help you eat more and exercise less, following the trendy High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) training technique.

Now I’m no stranger to following a healthy lifestyle and tend to try to steer clear of fads but the evidence towards exercising at high intervals i.e. really going for it in short bursts until you’re a red sweaty mess, basically and eating the right things at the right times, has been gathering pace and more importantly, it makes sense to me and seems pretty straight forward to follow. 

I have been following Joe Wicks and his Leanin15 social media campaign with interest for a while and now he has hit the mainstream with never a week going by without him appearing in the press or on TV.  So never one to miss a trend I jumped on the bandwagon and pre-ordered his book before Christmas.

I’m normally fairly disciplined with food and exercise (apart from when I’m not!) so I felt using the book for now was adequate rather than signing up for his body coach programme, although the results of this look immense. #LEANINGLIKEAWINNER (angels sing!)

The thing I really like about it, apart from the fact he calls broccoli, midget trees, which I’ve also done since childhood, is the fact that the recipes are quick. If you’ve been working all day, the last thing most of us want is to spend ages preparing food, so this is a big tick for me.

The other thing is the easily defined sections on what to eat post workout and what to eat the rest of the time. I can see that once you get your head around this stuff it would be easy to integrate into everyday life.  I’m still struggling to keep it up when I go out to eat, though, but hey life is too short and I try to follow the 80:20 rule anyway. 80% good, wholesome healthy stuff and 20% raw, down and dirty, filthy treats. I do like to go out to eat so being good most of the time means I don't feel guilty about doing this.

The other thing to focus on is the exercise. Yes I know this is not what some of you will want to hear but it’s a big part of #Leanin15. The good news is it is quick – usually about 20 minutes but if you’re doing it regularly i.e. 4 times a week or more then you could reduce this to 15 minutes per session if you work really, really hard. The exercises involve working for short bursts of 30 seconds, followed by the same rest periods to get your breath back. Fairly quickly I’ve seen a difference in my strength and fitness, with my old exercise routine barely making me out of breath now! I’ve still got a little way to go but I’ll stick at it and report back.

The other thing I like about it is the ability to do this exercise anywhere, anytime, which is great for frequent travelers who want to keep fit. 

Anyway, I won’t go into the science of why it seems to work but there is lots of evidence to suggest it does and Joe does a great job of explaining this in his book. If you want to see for yourself you can find it here.

What style of exercise do you prefer? Are you following a healthy eating plan at the moment? I’d love to hear about what works for you.

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