So today officially marks 10 days following The Body Coach 90 Day SSS plan. I feel as though it has taken over my life a little! I have completely immersed myself into every aspect of it as best I can… and I mean this in a really good way. Overall I can say that I have really enjoyed my first 10 days although it has been overwhelming at times. There have definitely been ups and downs.
If you’re not already acquainted with The Body Coach 90 Day SSS Plan let me explain. So the plan is split into three cycles: shift, shape and sustain. After deciding you want to sign up, you fill out a questionnaire that asks all about your current eating and exercise routine, height, weight and a whole load of other things that are important for the team to know so they can put together a specially tailored plan. After around 3 days you then receive your plan for Cycle 1. This is predominantly a food and exercise plan with a few lifestyle tips. When you are ready to start, simply take your before photos and submit your measurement.
Once my plan arrived I was super excited and couldn’t wait to start planning out my food. It can be a little overwhelming as there are quite a few concepts to get used to and lots of recipes to play with. Each recipe though has the exact amount of grams that YOU need to consume in order to start burning fat. Cycle 1 being the ‘shift’ section of the plan, it involves a 25 minutes HIIT workout 4-5 times a week and three meals plus 2 snacks a day. The meal recipes are divided into ‘Reduced Carb’ meals and ‘Carb Refuel’ meals. The latter to only be eaten after a workout. Sooo, on a rest day you eat 3 reduced carb meals and on the other days you eat 2 reduced carb meals and 1 carb refuel meal. So essentially, the first cycle does have a heavy focus on low carb eating.
So how did I get on?
The exercise routine is very simple. You just need to allocate 30 mins a day to your workout which is a lot less than I am used to! The idea is you do a short amount of really intense exercise that gets your heart rate up and into the fat burning zone. This is very easy to fit into your daily routine whether you are a gym goer or not. Whilst you can do HIIT on a treadmill or a bike, you can also just follow one of Joe Wick’s many youtube videos and follow a HIIT workout. I didn’t think I would be very good at working out in my living room but Joe is very motivating and it has actually worked out really well. You hardly need any space either! I like to exercise in the morning so would just do it quickly before work. I have been warned though that the exercise routine increases considerably in Cycle 2 and 3.
I love my spin classes and thankfully these count as a HIIT session too so I have still enjoyed a few of these! It does say though not to do any more exercise than this. Your food and macros are calculated to work and help your body to start burning fat as long as you follow these guidelines.
The low carb diet took a little getting used to. I normally exist on a lot of sugary foods (both healthy fruits, sushi and wholemeal along with sweeties and chocolate). So with these foods essentially eliminated from your diet it took its toll! I found myself quite tired and lethargic during the afternoon of the first few days although this did start to clear up as I went on. I definitely felt the sugar withdrawals heavily around day 3 and had a bit of a slump. But as I said it does get better.
My issue with the food was that whilst nearly all the meals I made were super super tasty, the portion sizes were pretty tiny! It was strange because a lot of people on the plan find the portion sizes huge and cannot manage them during the first cycle. I was pretty hungry most days between meals though and especially when going to bed. I calculated the macros on My Fitness Pal and my daily calorie intake was around 1,500-1,600 a day. This is actually more than what I was normally eating (I would try and stick to the dreaded 1,200 calories) but I think the huge reduction in carbs is why I was left so hungry.
I should mention thought that most of my breakfasts were quite filling. I think this is because I did my workouts in the morning so I have my carb refuel meal then. You can eat the likes of protein pancakes and these are literally delicious! I couldn’t believe the stack of pancakes I was allowed to eat for my breaky! On rest days though, even when I was eating a 3 egg omlette with feta and broccoli for breakfast it just wasn’t touching the sides. It has certainly taken some getting used to. I have loved the food though and really enjoy having a plan to follow. I think I definitely respond well to having a routine.
For me this was the hardest part of the whole plan. Before I started I didn’t really get the issue with it and couldn’t understand why everyone kept going on about prepping. I love cooking so thought I would enjoy this aspect of it. However, when you are prepping breakfast, lunch, dinner plus 2 snacks every day, with each and every ingredient measured out exactly to a T it gets exhausting! I know Joe’s mantra is Lean in 15, but it definitely took me a lot longer than 15 minutes to make each meal. In addition I was cooking double sized portions for my boyfriend plus extra carbs for him as I didn’t want him to go hungry! So I was juggling a lot of numbers and it got a bit too much. I definitely had a few strops during the first 10 days…
I made the mistake of planning to make a huge variety of different meals throughout the week using lots of different types of ingredients. I learnt pretty quickly though that this isn’t the way forward. It makes a lot more sense to use similar things for example meals with turkey mince in them. It also makes sense to batch cook lots of portions at once and then freeze them. I haven’t had a freezer for the first 10 days so haven’t been able to do this! Perhaps this is why I struggled so much but when the freezer arrives I will definitely be making use of this. Once you know which meals you love the most definitely get a load batch cooked into portions and pop them in the freezer.
I have really enjoyed the first 10 days. The prep has been exhausting but I have learnt a lot and I hope that it will only get easier. I also feel a lot slimmer, I think it is just the water weight but just a week into the diet I was already feeling better about my body.
The support is incredible also. You can message a Support Hero by logging into your area on the website and they are brilliant if you have any questions or queries. I have had some great support on there. There is also an unofficial Facebook group full of other people completing the plan. I have learnt so much from others on there and it is really motivating to know you are not alone. Any issue you come across, other people absolutely will have done too!
I am actually pausing Cycle 1 for the next week as I am cycling from London to Paris! It would be ridiculous to even try to carry on with the plan as 1, I couldn’t prepare anything and 2, I need to eat all the carbs I can to fuel all the miles I need to cycle! I really do hope though that I can keep my diet healthy none the less as I don’t want to ruin all my hard work so far. I am tracking my progress on my Instagram account @mcr_food_bee so check that out for updates.
I’ll let you know how I get on!
To find out why I signed up for the plan have a read here.
Here are a few pics of meals I have enjoyed along the way!