Joe Wicks—aka The Body Coach, the man behind #LeanIn15, which has been used more than 542,000 times on Instagram—is on a mission to get Britain fitter and healthier. It's his upbeat Instagram persona (he films 15-second recipes for the platform) and charm that has scored him 1.4 million followers and his own ITV show, Joe Wicks: The Body Coach. He's pretty much a household name, so I'll say no more on what his credentials are. What I will tell you is that Wicks has seven simple rules for getting and, more crucially, staying lean.
Rule 1: Do Hiit Cardio 4–5 Days per Week for 25–30 Minutes
Wicks recommends HIIT as a quick and efficient way to burn fat. If you follow his short, sharp workouts, your body will continue to burn fat after you have stopped exercising, and your metabolism will stay revved up for longer. Get yourself a good pair of training shoes if you're going to take up HIIT; we love the Nike Flex TR8.
[Ed. Note: HIIT can be hard on your body and is not for everyone, so you should start slow and build up your fitness base first.]
Rule 2: Drink 2–4 Liters of Water per Day
We know: Everyone says drink more water, from models and actors to personal trainers. But that's because it's key to weight loss. If you don't drink enough water, your body can become mildly dehydrated and in turn, slows down less vital processes like the metabolism of fat to compensate. Plus, more often than not, we think we're hungry when we're actually just thirsty.
Rule 3: Prep and Cook 80% of Your Meals Each Week
It's simple: If you prep your healthy home-cooked meals and plan what you're going to eat, you'll stay on track. Wicks's USP is that he creates tasty meals that are super quick to cook, which means he's less likely to reach for that takeout menu.
Rule 4: Eat out 2–3 Times per Week
Unfortunately, that doesn't mean eating out at Prêt for lunch every day and then eating out at restaurants two or three evenings. Those Prêt lunches count, so choose your away-from-home meals wisely.
Rule 5: Get Boozy Twice a Month
Yes, you can still drink on Wicks's plan, but only twice a month. When you break your healthy routine to drink, you should have what you fancy, and if that's wine, so be it. However, a tequila with soda and fresh lime only has around 80 to 100 calories, whereas a large glass of wine has around 160; it all adds up.
Rule 6: Treat Yourself to Chocolate or Ice Cream Twice a Week
Well, that's what Wicks treats himself to. If you're more of a savory person, have a bag of crisps and enjoy them. Then move on.
Rule 7: Repeat Every Week, All Year
"Staying lean is a lifestyle choice," says Wicks. "It's a habit which we can all adopt."