If you follow me on twitter then a couple of weeks ago you might have noticed me tweeting about the diet and exercise programme I was following called Educogym. Educogym is a results-driven gym and diet programme that is designed for time-poor people.
There’s a whole lot of research behind Educogym, but the basic premise is that it’s a twelve day programme of no-carbs, high protein, high fat plus high intensity, short time exercise. As I mentioned, Educogym programme is all geared towards people with little time, but who want to be in as good a shape as possible, as each work out is only 15 mins, but is designed to push you as hard as you can within that time – but not take a huge chunk out of your day.
The exercise was one thing, but it was the 12 day no-carb diet that I felt most intimidated by. Whilst I have done previous weigh loss programmes, such as weight watchers – I’ve never done what I call a proper ‘diet’ where you cut out certain things or follow a super-strict eating regime. With weight watchers, I’d still eat pretty much what I wanted – but I’d just be counting the points/calories during the process. For Educogym, this was totally different – I had to totally cut out about 90% of my regular diet (I’m a carb addict!)
One of the main features of the 12 day programme is that there are a whole host of supplements to take to help boost the results and help the body recover from the daily workouts – and when I say supplements I mean pills the size of grapes! Well, maybe a slight exaggeration – but I did wonder at times if I was going to rattle I had taken so many!
So the week started out with replacing my regular cereal breakfast, with salmon and cream cheese. Lunch became an avocado and crayfish salad from Pret instead of a sandwich and dinner varied from scrambled egg with a few mushrooms to a cheese omelette – instead of a prawn & pasta dish.
|Breakfast (with lots of pepper!)|
|Avocado and crawfish salad|
|Three egg and cream cheese omelette (again, with lots of pepper…)|
I have to say I found the lack of carbs a lot easier than I thought I would, but it certainly wasn’t easy – when I’m hungry, carbs are usually the first things to pop into my mind, so I almost had to re-programme my brain to stop craving it.
Exercise wise I felt ok, each day I was working a different body part – legs was definitely the toughest! But knowing it’s only 15mins definitely takes the edge off, because you are always just a few mins away from being done! Every day also included a pretty intense ab routine, with at least 60 various-style sit-ups involved. This was a killer.
I was warned about how the first three or four days would feel, warned that I might get a bit dizzy and light headed from the carb and caffeine cravings – and that I could have a small amount of orange juice. On the third day I did have a pretty shaky time post-work out, I felt very light headed and dizzy after working out at lunch time. So I had a bit of orange juice, as I was feeling really unwell – but I think I drank it too quickly as it actually made me sick.
Obviously, anything that makes me sick does make alarm bells go off as not being healthy – at this point I made the decision that, or anything similar happened again, I wouldn’t continue. It didn’t and actually, from that day on I felt pretty good.
I kept a diary of how I felt on each day – but rather than running a day by day I thought it would be more interesting to summarise the educogym 12 day programme.
What did I like:
It’s fast – as long as you live or work fairly close to the educogym (the one I was using was on Harley St) then this is very convenient time-wise.
Not hungry – once I got used to the food I could eat, I rarely felt hungry. The increased protein really helped curb my appetite.
Balanced energy – I almost didn’t notice this as one of the positives at the time, but when I did go back to having diet coke and carbs in my diet I really noticed how I had far more extreme energy high and lows, with far more yawning and more extreme tiredness.
Results – I lost 8lbs in two weeks. There is no grey area when it comes to the scales!
What I didn’t like:
Sickness – I can’t avoid the fact that this made me sick on the third day. Granted, it was for a short time and I felt absolutely fine afterwards but it’s obviously less than desired side effect. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a result of the fact I eat so many carbs normally.
Daily workouts – I know this will probably sound lazy, and I don’t mean too, but even when the gym is walking distance from work, it still can be a challenge to fit it around a day job and blogging! You have to be really ready and willing to make the commitment to working out daily – including the weekends.
Cutting out food groups – This diet has shown me that a diet that cuts out a whole food group isn’t suited to me. Whilst I managed it, and I am really pleased with how I stuck to it, as a long term lifestyle choice it doesn’t feel totally realistic or balanced.
Overall, I would suggest that Educogym is ideal for people who want to kick start a long term weight loss/tone up mission, but those who already have a pretty decent routine – then it won’t feel quite as intense. I found that when I completed the 12 days I was just dying to gorge myself on pasta, which isn’t really the point… Educogym is also ideal if you have a big event or holiday coming up – I would consider following the programme before a holiday next time!
I am really pleased with the 8lbs I lost overall, it was most noticeable around my face, but I could still do with a bit of work on the stomach area and upper arms!
What have I learnt from Educogym?
– Increasing protein is ideal for my diet.
– Weights are my friend – toning up isn’t just about cardio, weight exercises can be just as effective.
– I do need to cut down the amount of carbs I eat, especially in the evening.
– Eating out can’t always be a free-for-all celebration, where I can eat what I want.
After the 12 day programme, I was moved onto a further programme – still pretty much carb free (it had some non-obvious carbs, like some fruit), but now low fat too. I actually found this phase more challenging than the initial 12 days, I think because I had an end in sight for the 12 days but not as much for the low fat part. I ended up not completing this phase, partly because I wasn’t very well and partly because I felt this wasn’t the programme for me.
I do have to say though, that if you are up for the Educogym challenge then you will really appreciate the encouragement, support and positivity from the Zana and the rest of the Educogym Harley Street team – I wouldn’t have been able to finish the 12 days without it!
You can find out more about the Educogym on the website. Or if you have any questions, please comment below!
I was a guest of Educogym.