A high-fat diet, heavy weights and laser focus. We trial the two-week, 20-minute daily diet and exercise plan that will get you in shape for summer.
THERE’S a yellow-green congealed lump of rubber about the size of a small dog sitting on the front reception at Educogym, the tiny personal training gym in Moorgate’s Light Centre health complex.
It represents 5lbs of body fat, Educogym owner Sanj Baines tells me, around the amount I should lose after taking on their 12-day body transformation programme.
Visualisation is one of the most important aspects of this weight loss system, which has served as a not-so-secret weapon for those looking to shed half a stone seriously quickly and keep it off for good.
Well, there’s also the strict high-fat and protein diet and short but hardcore weight training sessions. However, the mind, I am assured, will be just as powerful a weight loss tool as the towering weights machine that takes up most of the floorspace in the gym.
“That’s why this particular approach works so well in the City,” Sanj explains. “These guys work hard and they’re used to setting tough targets for themselves.”
There is, however, one type of client known for out-psyching even the toughest City execs in the business.
“Brides,” Sanj says without hesitation. “They’re my favourite people to work with, they have this laser-sharp focus on what they want to achieve – it’s almost scary.”
What is it?
Educogym is a personalised nutrition and training programme that combines short, sharp daily weight training sessions with a strict diet plan designed to get your metabolism burning fat and building muscle as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The results speak for themselves – rapid fat loss, remarkable muscle gain, and increased fitness and energy levels with long-lasting impact.
How does it work?
The programme can be broken into three parts; the psychology, the nutrition plan and the training.
It’s all personalised depending on your goals, but most clients begin with the 12-day fat and protein bootcamp-style programme to kick start the process.
First, Sanj and his team take your measurements and help you set some realistic and very specific health and fitness goals. Specific, down to visualising what you can smell and taste once you have achieved your goal. This element might raise a couple of eyebrows, but Sanj insists it works.
“There was a university study where two groups of dieters were put on the same diet and fitness plan, but one group was told to visualise their dream body,” he explains. “Guess which group doubled their fat loss?”
But, of course, it will stay a dream body without the other two components. The initial 12-day diet is made up of very strict ratios of protein and fat to reduce the amount of insulin in your bloodstream and put your body into a state of ketosis, where it is forced to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy.
This means plenty of high-fat protein sources like eggs, oily fish, beef and lamb, good fats like avocado, nuts and cheese, and a small amount of greens.
All sugar (including fruit), carbohydrates, processed foods and alcohol is out, but full-fat cream, butter, cheese is in so there are small wins. There are also supplements to maximise results but these aren’t mandatory.
The diet is combined with daily 15 to 20-minute weight training sessions led by a trainer on a specially designed workout station.
These sessions are mostly two-on-one, and rotate between working your shoulders and arms, chest and back, and legs all finishing with an abdominal series. Trainers will push you to the point of failure, increasing the weight and intensity quickly with no rest between sets.
The science behind it is that one pound of muscle burns approximately 50 to 100 calories a day, so the majority of calories you lose are burned by the extra muscle.
The more muscle you can build the more calories you lose, so maintaining the weight loss is easier once you relax the diet.
What are the benefits?
In short, the benefits of Educogym’s programme are exactly what it says on the tin. I lost 8lbs of fat – the equivalent of one and a half times that lump of rubber smirking down at me from reception.
In the process I also gained 1lb of muscle and shaved two inches off my waist and hips. My body fat percentage also dropped from 28% to 24%.
The workouts are fast, efficient, and easy to work into a busy schedule – you barely have time to break a sweat on the machines before you’ve finished the session.
The first few days of the nutrition plan are difficult as your body goes through sugar withdrawal symptoms and you will likely have low energy levels, muscle fatigue and mood swings. As your body learns to run on fat, rather than glycogen, you will find yourself feeling full for longer and actually eating less throughout the day.
Meal prep and strict ratios make eating out and socialising difficult during the 12 days, but the short timeframe and daily encouragement and advice from trainers made it relatively easy to stick to. Seeing results from day one is also a great motivation.
Once the initial bootcamp is over, Sanj and the team will help you reassess your goals, whether it’s more weight loss, muscle gain or a maintenance programme.
Most clients loosen up their diets a little, incorporating some fruits and grains. They also drop down to around three workouts per week.
Prices start at £297 per month.