Wondering whether our downloadable fitness and nutrition guide is for you? The health and fitness experts who created Project Me answer your questions about the plan
But what if you're new to it? We spoke to the Project Me dream team AKA top chef Nina Parker , nutritionist Zoe Stirling and personal trainer Joslyn Thompson-Rule to answer some queries that have cropped up.
1) Will Project Me be time-consuming?
In a word, no. Project Me is designed specifically to suit the lifestyle of a busy, time-poor woman and is all about making healthier lifestyle choices easy to implement, as well as gaining long lasting results.
The workouts are never longer than 30 minutes which means you can easily fit the sessions into your hectic schedule. Each week there is a selection of cardio and resistance training exercises with two rest days (resting is as important as the workouts). Plus, workouts are designed to fit into your life wherever you may be - all your need is a bit of floor space the size of a yoga mat. So whether you’re at home, in the gym, outside, in your office, a hotel room or even the kid’s playroom, the workouts are achievable everywhere. No excuses!
All recipes are delicious and easy to prepare and many can be made ahead of time and kept for a scrummy lunch the next day - saving on those Pret lunches.
2) Do I have to stick rigidly to a strict eating and fitness plan?
The more you put in to following the plan, the better your results. There is no easy quick fix so remember that consistency is always key. Please note that our meal plan is just a guide (we don’t expect you to eat the same thing for 24 weeks!) so feel free to mix up the meal plan with existing recipes we have on Get The Gloss by some amazing chefs and nutritionists. Also, try never to skip a workout - if you start skipping them, then you may continue to do so. Be honest with yourself - don’t pretend that a few biscuits here and there or a few missed workouts a week don’t count. They all add up and will stop you reaching your goals.
3) Do the recipes include 'normal' ingredients that I can buy from my local supermarket?
Zoe Stirling and Nina Parker designed the nutrition and recipe element of Project Me with budget and taste in mind. The recipes don’t include hard-to-find or unusual ingredients or expect you to spend hours browsing supermarket shelves. It’s based around foods which you can pick up in a supermarket with the exception of some superfoods found in the smoothies which can be picked up at most health stores or online. We always recommend that you buy the best produce within your budget.
4) On average, how long does it take to cook each meal?
Each recipe varies a little in prep-time but most take about 15-20 minutes to prepare with the longest taking about 30 minutes.
5) How many calories a day should I stick to?
Project Me has been designed to give you nourishment and balance through eating a variety of nutrient dense foods, at the right times and in the right portions. The major problem with counting calories is that people start to undereat, and undereating won’t give your body the energy it needs to burn fat. You need to fuel your body correctly to get leaner. Counting calories also takes away from the nutritional value of food and the balance of macronutrients which create an optimally healthy body.
6) What should I limit my caffeine intake to?
Ideally, we recommend a maximum of 1-2 coffees or teas per day. Swapping out coffee for matcha green tea is a great idea as you’ll also benefit from green tea’s thermogenic properties which optimise fat burning in the body (plus Matcha Tea contains up to 20 times the amount of antioxidants of normal green tea) We suggest Pukka Supreme Matcha Tea . If you can’t put down the coffee the ‘Swap Shop’ on page 63 of the guide suggests swapping a Latte for a black Americano.
7) Can you snack?
Yes and no. Nina and Zoe have created some delicious healthy snacks that work perfectly to help meet the energy demands placed on the body pre, during and post exercise. Nutritionally they are a million times better for you than shop-bought snacks and will be burnt off by the exercise you do/ have done. On days when you’re not active however, snacking is not recommended as your body needs a fasting period between meals to start using a different fuel for energy i.e. fat. If you’re constantly snacking, then this can constantly spike your insulin levels which can cause your body to hold onto fat in areas like your tummy and hips.
8) Will I understand the workouts if I've never exercised before?
Yes, Project Me is designed to be accessible for all fitness levels from complete beginners to exercise pros. The exercises have both clear visual and written explanations so they are easy to follow and include ‘advanced level’ options as well as cardio alternatives e.g. swimming and the cross trainer.
9) How much should I exhaust myself during the intense sections of each HIIT workout?
The HIIT workouts are designed to be tough but the aim of the first four weeks is to gradually prepare you for this. All sessions are designed with enough recovery time so you can hit each intense section hard. If you feel you cannot continue after the rest and recovery period then dial it down a little. You will get a feel for this as the weeks continue. Our advice is to try and push yourself out of your comfort zone however, the harder you work, the better your results.
10) Will I see a difference?
If you are true to yourself and really give this a shot you will see a difference physically and mentally. Adding clean, fresh produce to your diet, cutting out refined foods and giving your all in the workouts will mean you will see a positive change. The only person you let down by not giving it your all is yourself so go for it and get ready to see some amazing results.