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Is Joe Wicks' Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan a must-read?

November 17th 2016 / Ayesha Muttucumaru Google+ Ayesha Muttucumaru

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Photography by Maja Smend

We picked up a copy of The Body Coach’s new book to see if it could change the way you see food and fitness forever

Getting people excited about fitness is no mean feat, yet Joe Wicks aka The Body Coach’s Lean in 15 book series has helped change the perceptions of the nation one page at a time.

The best-selling author of 2016 with two number one books under his belt, the fitness pro’s emphasis of nutrition over deprivation in the kitchen and quality over quantity in the gym has really resonated with the increasingly time-strapped Brit. And, with reports saying that young people spend more money on food due to a lack of basic cooking skills too, it’s no wonder that his easy yet appetising recipe repertoire has helped remove some of the hurdles that face aspiring home-cookers today.

Writer of the third best-selling cookbook of all time and allegedly responsible for a 25% increase in broccoli sales in the UK(!), his newest go-to guide, The Sustain Plan, looks to follow in the highly successful footsteps of its predecessors. Joe says: “I am so excited to release the final instalment of my Shape, Shift and Sustain books which are keeping the nation lean! This book is full of all the exercises needed to sustain your new body shape as well as loads of new delicious 15 minute meals including pies, curries, frittatas - as well as my favourite food of all time...the big juicy burger!”

Sounds like the dream - could it change the way you see food and fitness forever? Here are the facts that you need to know about the last chapter in this lucrative trilogy.

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How does the third book differ from the first and second?

With 100 new Lean in 15 recipes and new workouts, this book follows the third and final phase of Joe’s successful 90 Day Shift, Shape & Sustain Plan. Its main objective is to help increase fitness and strength while also showing you how to maintain your results long-term.

The key difference though to the other books lies in the training plan. It introduces Pyramid Resistance HIIT into the mix, a more intense upgrade from The Shape Plan’s Volume Resistance HIIT program, combining weight training with high intensity interval training and resulting in you doing up to 300 reps per session in order to 'shock' the muscles into changing. Not for beginners, Joe recommends building your fitness up first with some of his free YouTube workouts before attempting the book’s training plan.

What’s the main message?

That cooking healthy food can be easy. “The less hassle you have in the kitchen, the more likely you are to stick to the plan,” says Joe and we couldn’t agree more. Both the reduced carbohydrate and refuel meals, snacks and treats (tailored to rest and training days as advised in the book) are seriously tasty, simple to make and zero faff, with the vast majority of them able to be made in 15 minutes. Batch-cooking is encouraged and calorie-counting discouraged, with a healthy approach towards healthy eating evident from the get-go.

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Who is it for?

The busy, the cooking novice and the moderately fit. If you’re looking for a serving of sautéed quinoa with chargrilled baby’s breath, you’ve come to the wrong place. Joe is the first to put his hands up and say he’s not a chef, but rather a self-taught personal trainer who loves to cook. Coupled with his sports science studies and passion to wean the world off fad diets once and for all, his refreshingly realistic recommendations make the prospect of making healthy habits stick all the more likely.

MORE GLOSS: Lean in 15 protein pancakes recipe

What will I need?

Food storage containers, food scales, a non-stick wok or pan, a small food processor or blender, a bench and set of dumbbells and a water bottle.

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What will I learn?

“You should eat to feel awesome,” says Joe and the food and fitness plans have been devised with this very objective in mind. So in addition to expanding your culinary collection, you’ll be encouraged to see what works best for you and what fuels you most efficiently. As well as providing a clearer idea of the type and quality of the foods you’re eating and when to eat them in relation to your exercise, Joe recommends seeing how you feel and adapting your reduced carbohydrate to refuel meals ratio accordingly.

Any final takeaways?

“Numbers do not tell the whole truth - progress pics and how you feel are much better indicators,” says Joe and we agree. It’s all about making a long-term change in Joe’s book, and his message of moving away from a more numbers-based way of thinking could definitely be the way forward in changing the way you see getting leaner and fitter for good.

Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan by Joe Wicks The Body Coach is £16.99 and available to buy online here.

Want to try some of the new recipes? Check out the delicious overnight oats recipes from Joe's new book here

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