Posted by Joe Wicks in Fitness, Recipes
We all know that eating healthy food and exercising regularly has immense benefits - you improve your health, get fitter, stronger and feel all-round awesome. What you may not realise, though, is that your healthy habits can also benefit your friends, family and colleagues too.
New research from the University of Connecticut has discovered that when one member of a couple commits to losing weight, their partner often drops the pounds too – even if they're not trying. The study tracked 130 couples over six months and discovered that when one half of a couple was undertaking a weight-loss plan, a third of their partners also lost three percent or more of their body weight, despite not participating in any fat-loss plan themselves.
It's what the lead investigator of the study Professor Amy Gorin calls the ripple effect. "When one person changes their behaviour, the people around them change," says Gorin. "And their new healthy behaviours can benefit others in their lives."
You may have seen this for yourself when following The Body Coach plan. Friends who see your progress start asking you to share your workouts, your children join in with making the recipes and your partner gets excited by trying new foods. And you wouldn't be alone.
"If I have a bad day my wife spurs me on"
Scott Renton, 51, from Helensburgh near Loch Lomond, has got his wife on board.
"I started the plan as I was going to become a type 2 diabetic if I didn't do something quickly. At 20st 3lbs I was morbidly obese and seven stone heavier than when I left the Royal Navy eight years ago. I had zero energy, a complete lack of motivation and it was dragging me down mentally.
"Seeing the difference in me after I started the plan and how much I was loving life got my wife interested. Being a nurse and working long, crazy shifts she doesn't have a lot of spare time or energy but she started eating the same as me and does the odd HIIT workout when she can, on top of her other activities. The great thing is that her weight has now been stable for two-and-a-half months and she tells me she feels much better in general.
"Now we can support each other – if I have a bad day she spurs me on and vice versa. Knowing that we are doing something good and beneficial together really helps."
"My friends and I have a Wicksy WhatsApp Group"
Rachel Endersby 39, from Bedford, got her three friends involved in The Body Coach plans "I first did the plan back in 2016 and had great results.
"I'm veggie, so when the new veggie plan was released I signed up again. This time though, three friends decided to give it a go too.
"Having others to share the experience with really helps. We have a Wicksy WhatsApp group and message each other non-stop. We send photos of our sweaty faces after each workout, pics of our dinners and are constantly sharing the little victories and offering support.
"It really helps to keep the motivation going, and knowing my friends are expecting to see evidence that I've done a workout makes me accountable. It also feels a lot less isolating knowing that at 6am you're not the only one jumping up and down in your living room sweating like crazy.
"I'm particularly proud of the friend who started the plan last. She's always laughed at me dragging myself out of bed at 6am to workout and said she'd never be able to do something like that. Like me, she's a working mum of two young kids, so we always moaned about not having enough time and energy, and she also swore she didn't cook. But even after just 21 days it's her way of life now – she's smashing 6am workouts and cooking all kinds of meals from scratch. I'm so chuffed!"
"My teenage daughters make themselves smoothies from the plan for breakfast"
Kate Armstrong-Taylor, 44, from Hertfordshire, has got the whole family joining in "It was the ripple effect that got me started on The Body Coach plan.
"A friend had signed up and showed me her food plan (delicious) and her pictures (impressive). I looked at the transformations online and that sealed it – I thought if they can do it then why shouldn't I do it and get results too.
"My teenage daughters were really interested from day one. Every dinner time they'd ask if this was a meal from the plan and mostly it was as, working full time, I don't have time to cook lots of separate meals.
"Soon my older daughter began to join in, making smoothies and other recipes. Once she saw my progress photos she began to have a go at the workouts too. Now both daughters do the workouts around three times a week. They've even taken some of the recipes in for food tech class at school.
"It's really encouraging to see. They've always been interested in being fit and healthy but like me, need a structure and a goal to keep going – their goals are around being fit for the lacrosse season at school. Their enthusiasm and interest inspires me to keep going too and to keep being a role model for them.
"I hope it's teaching them to take responsibility for their physical fitness and helping them understand that fuelling themselves with good stuff, rather than junk, will make them feel energised and good about themselves. As teens I can't control their diets anymore, they're out in the world making their own choices and I hope they are learning how to make them and knowing that they can enjoy all food, none are to be feared or avoided but balance is key."
'The Body Coach plan has made me and my sister even closer"
Lizzy Donnelly, 30, from Dublin, does workouts with her sister.
"Within two weeks of me starting the plan my sister, Sarah, decided she wanted to join in too. I'm a single mum to two-year-old twin boys and started the plan as it fits into my chaotic daily life.
"My sister is really sporty so I didn't think she'd be interested but one day she called over when I was doing a workout. She was impressed that I had the motivation to do it at home and couldn't believe it only took 25 minutes. When she saw me happily tucking into a chicken caesar bagel for lunch, she knew this plan was right up her street.
"Teaming up with my sister has been great. We plan our prep days together so we double up and get it done while having a laugh. We do workouts together at the weekend which is a bonus as my sister helps me with maintaining good form – and we get quite competitive. Whenever there's a new recipe or snack I'll make double and send some over to her which always goes appreciated.
"It's been lovely having her to go to on days where you find it's tough or doubt that you are progressing. Whenever I feel like throwing in the towel she's always quick to send me a reminder as to why I started and it works both ways.
"Whenever we finish a cycle we get together and take measurements and weight and celebrate. We're now closer than ever and see a lot more of each other."
"My four year old helps me make breakfast pizza"
Katy Marinovic, 35, from Glasgow, loves making recipes with her son.
"I've been doing the plan since the start of May this year and can't believe the difference in my eating habits and also that of my four-year-old son. He loves to help me cook and really enjoys making his own pizza base and putting on the toppings – and it's healthy as well.
"He's been eating so much more veg and trying some of the other recipes and even has his own 'mousse me up' at night with me. He also loves that's I'm exercising and likes watching Joe and having a wee go himself.
"I hope this is teaching him about the importance of a healthy diet and exercise and I think he sees that mummy is much happier and much less tired."
About Joe Wicks
Joe Wicks is the online nutrition coach inspiring people all over the world to cook with his #Leanin15 video meals on Instagram. He is also transforming the lives of thousands of people with his tailored online nutrition plan, The 90 Day Shift, Shape & Sustain plan.
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