I’m not normally one for fat loss programmes or aesthetic goals, but recently I think there might have been a bit of a backlash against exercising or eating to change the way you look. While I personally exercise to do cool shit (like run up mountains) and I eat to fuel that, I do not think there is anything wrong with wanting to feel confident in your own skin. I have an issue with the way media portrays and targets women’s insecurities, and with people preaching about a certain way you should look, or the promulgation of unrealistic goals and dangerous methods of aesthetic manipulation. I certainly do not think that there’s anything wrong with wanting to look good, and setting out to achieve that with realistic goals and healthy methods. This is why, when Julia Buckley offered a chance to review her new fat loss book, The Fat Burn Revolution, I was keen to get an insight.
I’d seen Julia’s fat loss programme gain a lot of momentum on twitter. Her participants were talking of solid results and increased energy levels (no complaints of tiredness or hunger, just increased energy and strength), and she had started and fostered an online group that encouraged and supported its members. No body bashing, no shame, just support and growth. This impressed me. The lovely Becca over at From Snickers To Marathon has been training with Julia and using her methods for over a year now, and is a big fan of the programme. Becca is a marathoner and tough mudder competitior, and I know she values and appreciates her strength and power. Becca has seen amazing results and, as well as looking absolutely fantastic, she is stronger and fitter too. Surely not a bad thing?
So, what did I think of The Fat Burn Revolution?
What does it cover?
The book covers a wide range of topics, from food, gear, metabolism, mental preparation, full boy stretches and three phases of workouts. It’s pretty comprehensive.
What did I like?
I liked the fact that food is not dictated to you – it instead lays down several sensible guidelines (cut sugar, include protein at every meal, up your veg intake etc.) and leaves the ins and outs to you. The advice isn’t ground breaking, but it’s a good set of rules to live by if you’re looking to cut body fat.
I liked the section on stretches – I thought it was very comprehensive and would be useful to any athlete, not just those following the programme. It identifies which muscles are targeted, how to carry out the stretch and things to avoid, all with photos, so it’s a pretty good little stretching bible. I also liked the section on mental preparation – an often overlooked but key part of embarking on any training regime for any purpose.
I haven’t had a chance to test out any of the workouts but they are short, sharp and require minimal equipment. Great for people who don’t have access to a gym (or who don’t want to join one) or who like to workout from home. Although I’ve not tried them, they look like they shouldn’t be underestimated! Short doesn’t mean easy. Julia also covers what to do if you miss one workout or several workouts, as well as workout safety points – ticking all the boxes!
Julia’s programme incorporates her own mantra, “mostly healthy, most of the time”. I personally try and follow the 80/20 rule to life and try not to be too rigid when it comes to diet and training, and I think this is a healthy and sustainable approach to healthy living. I like that Julia’s book promotes moderation and acknowledges that you can be committed without obsession, and thought it was refreshing to see this approach in a book dedicated to fat loss.
What didn’t I like?
Overall I thought the content of the book was very good. I thought the e-book layout could be improved, for readability and also for purely aesthetic reasons, but this doesn’t affect all important content so I should stop being so picky. I personally don’t go in for the motivational quotes under some of the pictures (“be your own superhero”) but this may be your bag!
I didn’t really like the concept of “you wear what you eat” either (a little close to food/fat shaming for my liking) but, again, this kind of motivation could work very well for someone else.
One note on the food is the approach to carbs – rice is described as “tasteless, cheap bulk” and starchy carbs are not part of The Fat Burn Revolution diet. Instead, Julia urges participants to full up on vegetables. While I do think that limiting carbs is a good way to lose fat (and water) I also think it’s important that this particular bit of advice is read in the context of the book. The workouts are short and sharp and are designed to blast fat and increase metabolic after burn. In this context, filling up on vegetables is a great idea. If your workouts are longer, or you do any kind of endurance training, carbs will not be stored as fat and are an essential part of your fuelling strategy.
I think this book is a good, easy to follow guide to losing fat healthily. I think it’s suitable for beginners (it explains everything) through to people who are more advanced (who may not need the introductory sections as much) and takes a realistic approach.
Julia’s e-book is available on Bloomsbury or in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon. You can find out more about Julia, the programme and the results over at her website. I’d also recommend checking out Becca’s blog, as she has a whole section on posts about training with Julia, as well as this great post on a year using Julia’s method.
You can also chat with Julia and Becca over on twitter, and join in the movement using #TFBR.