Our Feature in ELLE:
Are these five steps all we need?
Overnight, an article written by one of the most sought after trainers in the UK, Jean-Claude Vacassin of W10 Performance, ran online in the UK Telegraph and piqued our health-addicted interest – in fact, it seems like the easiest diet we’ve ever come across. And so we wondered, is this IT?
With the January diet and exercise silly-season out of the way, now is the time that we can start to bring things back to centre and find a bit more balance in all our nutrition and exercise planning. The honeymoon period is over for most of us who started a rigid programme at the turn of the year, plus, a combination of disappointing results and the realisation that we can't sustain what we started, will have dawned upon us.
So what now? The task now, as it probably should have been on January 1, is to find a way of moving and eating that will work for us in the long-term, very much as part of our lifestyle.
Vacassin, who is known for his relaxed, life-friendly philosophy and no-BS approach to fitness tells us that despire what we've heard, actually, we don’t need to count macos, calories, daily steps or teaspoons of sugar – all we need to do is these five things:
1. Drink water
We know this one, don’t we? It’s every beautiful woman’s secret to their skin. Hydration. Vacassin says that we should be drinking a litre of water for every 25kg. If you drink significantly less than this, he advises to up your intake slowly. “We do not need to go from 500ml to three litres overnight,” he says.
2. Eat “real” food
What is “real food”? Real food that is not processed or packaged. Simple, no? Vegetables should make up your main intake, followed by everything else, such as meat, fruit, fish poultry, nuts, seeds, legumes and some grains and some dairy. “If we eat these foods, basing our meals on the palm-sized portion guideline, “ he says. “Which is a palm-size or two serving of vegetables and a palm-size serving, or equivalent, of something protein rich, we are very likely to get what we need and gravitate to our natural weight. We can add other foods as required, but this is a good start.”
3. Walk Daily
Vacassin has the philosophy that if we are just on our feet more, we would all be better off. He says a minimum of 30 minutes walking a day, everyday, will help keep our body and minds in check. “And beyond a daily walk, “ he writes, “we should consider a standing desk. If this is not viable, get up every half an hour, even if it just to sit back down again.”
4. Workout at least 100 times a year
While Vacassin says he doesn’t mind what kind of exercise you do – be it yoga, weight training, running, circuit, whatever, just make it something you enjoy and do it, and challenge yourself, 100 times a year. Sure, some weeks it may be more other weeks, you might be a bit slack, but 100 is the goal.
5. Try to get at least 50 hours of sleep a week
We could all do with more shut eye – its another one of those beautiful people staples. Sleeping is when our body recovers from the day, de-stresses and repairs, it’s one of the cheapest, easiest and most important things we can do for ourselves. Aiming for a benchmark of seven to nine hours a night is where we all need to start, failing that, just try to get at least 50 hours a week.