August 3rd 2016
Behind The Guide: The H.E.L.P Nutrition Guide by Kayla Itsines
January 18th 2016 / 110 comments
Instagram @kayla_itsines. Image of Kayla from Women's Health. Photographer: Carlotta Moye
The global fitness superstar has brought her meals to the masses. Turns out that eating like Itsines gets results…
Kayla Itsines is young, fit and full of ideas; she’s got from small city personal trainer (she hails from Adelaide, Australia) to big time ‘Fitstagram’ sensation- currently there are 4.3 million of us ‘sweating with Kayla’, and counting. Her sell out bootcamps and Bikini Body Guides deliver results, as the ever popular ‘Before and After’ client shots testify, but how about the nutrition side of things? What does the H.E.L.P plate look like? You won’t be spelling out ‘help’ with peas and the like, I promise. It’s actually pretty mouthwatering, or in Kayla’s words, ‘droolworthy’.
What is it?
A no faffing, cut the crap two week recipe plan. There are 90 pages of health wisdom to devour in total. H.E.L.P stands for ‘healthy eating and lifestyle plan’ by the way, it’s not a cry for urgent aid. You won’t be crying as you eat either, as each and every recipe has been designed to satisfy tastebuds as well as tummies, and no major food groups are omitted, which in these days and times is almost revolutionary. Yes, there are carbs (generally the low GI, wholegrain type), and also, lattes. An emphasis on portion control and maximising your nutrient intake keeps things balanced.
Who is it for?
Anyone who’s sick of superfood sensationalism (or any ‘ism’ for that matter, apart from vegetarianism) and wants to eat well and either lose weight or maintain their current weight while eating real, affordable, easy to prepare food. The guide is available in a vegetarian version too.
What’s the main message?
That in the end, common sense prevails. Woman cannot live on lettuce leaf alone, and Kayla emphasises both anecdotally and scientifically, that unless the body is getting the micro and macronutrients it needs, along with the necessary calories required to lead an active lifestyle, things are going to go wrong. She’s not an advocate of calorie counting, but she does promote eating sensible amounts from each food group every day, not to mention eatings relatively often to keep blood sugar levels in check. Also worth noting, ‘good’ fats benefit our health and can actually speed us along to achieving our #goals, and protein can quench sugar cravings like nothing else. Which is just as well, because this is a no pudding zone.
What will I learn?
That you shouldn’t feel weak when adopting a new way of eating if it’s as healthy as it claims; you should feel full of energy, although you may experience the odd pang for junk. That’s natural and normal, and a cheat meal isn’t the end of the world, especially if you’re doing Kayla’s fitness drills on the side.
Any final takeaways?
Pizza and pancakes anyone? Many comfort food favourites have been reworked for maximum nutritional kudos, so feeling deprived and sorry for yourself is not on the menu. Unless you REALLY love dessert that is. Conquering your chocolate ice cream habit may just have to be a case of tough self-love.
The H.E.L.P Nutrition Guide by Kayla Itsines, £33.59, click here to purchase from our e-guide marketplace
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