Monday, 11 April 2016

bodycoach: cycle three review

So I had this post in draft form and never got around to writing it. Hellooooo. This is what having children and being a certain age does to your brain. To be fair to the Bodycoach programme, this last review will be pretty brief and based on memory, of which I obviously have none.

I actually liked this cycle although it's even crazier low carb than cycle 1. You have refuel meals four times a week (i.e. you get one refuel meal post workout, and you aren't supposed to work out more than four times a week), which isn't a lot. In keeping with inconsistencies in previous cycles, no bread products are in the list of suitable refuel carbs but there is one recipe for a tuna melt that calls for two slices of "high protein bread." So...yeah. I suppose the point of this is to make people think they can only have bread if they make the tuna melt which is probably something they won't want to do four times a week.

Oh god, the side sauces. No. Make them stop. I don't want dairy with every freakin' meal. There are examples of non-dairy side sauces in the plan such as salsa verde, so go for that if you can't cope with cottage cheese or sour cream with every meal.

At the end and after I submitted my final photos and numbers, I got a "graduation report." Like the introductory information, much of it is written like a form letter and I don't know how much of it is personalised. Part of this is a recommended calorie amount and macros for rest and training days, which I suspect are based on the same formulas used by other sites. You also get some (generic) information about training and an advert to join their graduate plan.  I received an email from my coach which again, seemed very generic and auto-generated. There was one reference to something I wrote in my report, but it was brief.

In summary -

End of cycle three stats:
Lost .5kg
No inches lost

End of plan stats:
Lost 2kg
7 inches lost in total

I have had a lot of issues with this plan (The typos! The weird food combinations and measurements to make up macros! The typos! Seriously, how could you not notice all the red squiggly lines underneath so many words?!) but there were definitely positives that I carried on doing after finishing the plan. I like that you take photos each cycle. I never would have thought to do this, especially taking photos from the side and back. I was astonished and very happy to see a big change in my back, of all places. I think the basic premise of this plan is how I need to eat (e.g. getting my carb sources from fruits, vegetables, rice, and potatoes) and although I criticised the lack of information about macros and calories, simply giving people a list of foods and recipes is better than forcing them to do a lot of calculations. It does make eating away from home more challenging to the less experienced macro tracker, but it's a good way to kickstart better eating habits. The exercise is definitely beneficial and it's great to see HIIT and weight training (especially for women) being introduced to a much wider audience.

There is a lot of room for improvement, especially at this cost. I have heard that there is a newer version of the plan out as of January 2017, so perhaps they've listened to the complaints on social media (TYPOS!) and adjusted accordingly. I would be really curious to hear if this is the case. It's not a terrible plan and if you follow it to the letter, it should work.

Having said that, if you can find a macro and calorie calculator online (the IIFYM site has a good one - avoid others like on MyFitnessPal as their estimates are far too low), focus on eating lean protein, don't fear the fats, and get your carbs from "whole" (ugh, sorry) foods and not processed/gluten-free junk, look up some HIIT workouts on YouTube and do one at least three times a week, and look at weight lifting to put on more muscle (you can eat more if you have more muscle and less fat, fact!), you will do just as well. Joe Wicks is good fun to follow on Instagram and I've heard his cookbooks are good, too.