App review: The Body Coach

17 Mar 2022
By Hazel M., Freelance writer, journalist and total bookworm at Unite Students

Being fit and healthy has never been as trendy as it is right now – and I’m not talking about being skinny (that’s a whole different issue). No, what I’m talking about is actually taking control of your body in a healthy way. Today, there’s apps for that.

Now, I wouldn’t call myself a trendsetter by any means but getting fit was something I had wanted to do – and struggled with - for a long time. So, if an app could solve my problems? I was in.

Signing up

Rewind to early 2020 and we were struggling with lockdowns and a whole different way of life to what we had always known. Unsurprisingly, it took a real toll on our mental health.

And, for some of us, that meant a lot of comfort eating, ‘treats’ and alcohol to get us through the hard times.

Now, I never ate amazingly well or particularly badly – I was always a happy in-between. But, suddenly, drinking at home became a common thing and, in the absence of hanging out with friends on the weekend, we started to order more and more take-outs.

With these, came the lockdown weight gain and, after asking around, it seems like I wasn’t the only one who experienced this.

But there was someone out there tackling this issue head on; the British hero that is Joe Wicks. His P.E. with Joe workout videos gave the country an unexpected lift at a hard time and left thousands with a whole new vision on what it means to work out (me included).

So, as soon as he launched The Body Coach app, I downloaded it. With promises of getting fit in 90 days, it seemed like a no-brainer. Everything I needed to know about what to cook and eat, as well as what exercises to do, was right at my fingertips; all I needed to do was throw in a few measurements.

Committing to the plan

Possibly the hardest thing about committing to Joe’s 90 Day Plan was actually getting out of my current eating habits. The exercise was pretty straight-forward and was easy to do from home, but telling myself not to buy snacks every Friday night was harder than I could have imagined.

Not only that, but, because I was doing more exercise, I was suddenly hungrier than I had been in a long time. My body was using more calories and my mind wanted to overload on sugar to compensate. The snacks on the plan weren’t nearly as appetising as a chocolate bar, to say the least.

But, to top it off, I had to drink around 2.5litres of water a day and, if you’re new to drinking that much liquid, the amount of toilet trips in your day undoubtedly increases ten-fold. I started panicking about going out to places that didn’t have public toilets (plus, I would wake up countless times in the night to pee).

So, it’s safe to say that committing wasn’t as easy as the before and after pictures suggested. In fact, it took a lot of hard work. Nevertheless, I persisted.

Pushing through

The good news is that, within a few weeks, I got over my snack cravings and even started to look forward to my handful of cashew nuts with my tea mid-morning. The bloat from all the water I was drinking disappeared and I was peeing less, so things were definitely on the up!

Halfway through the plan, however, I hit a brick wall. It took a lot of support from my other half to keep going and, for about a week, I seriously considered giving up. My body was aching and I seriously wanted an off-plan pizza.

Reminding myself of all the positive changes I’d made, though, I pushed through. Eventually, things became easier again and I even began to look forward to those daily workouts.

Reaching the end

Getting to the end of the plan was a bit of a shock for me. Having never managed to finish a diet plan in the past, I was proud that I’d actually got to the end of this one – and the results spoke for themselves.

Physically, I’d lost more than a stone in weight. However, in reality, the plan gave me so much more than a stronger, more toned body.

After a year of lockdowns and restrictions, my mental health hadn’t been great but the exercise gave me an outlet. Post-plan, I felt more positive about the world, had far more energy and was pushing myself to do more – both in my work and personal life.

In fact, the results were so good that I decided to carry on. Today, I’ve been doing the plan for about nine months (albeit, not as strictly in the last few). I’ve lost almost two stone altogether but gained a hell of a lot more confidence.

The best part is that I now know how to cook tasty, healthy food that doesn’t cost the earth, and, when I rarely do have a take-out, it finally feels special again.

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When not stringing words together, can usually be found on the local beach with her cocker spaniel pup, Huey.