Welcome to episode four of my recap of Get A Holiday Body. This was the final episode of this oddly titled Channel 5 diet programme which was more about sustainable lifestyle changes than it first appeared.
If if it’s not your first time on this here blog, then you’ll be well acquainted with me saying the diet industry is public enemy number one to saving and getting value for money. Antony Costa and Zoe Birkett had help from personal trainer Tim and nutritionist Linia Patel. However, I wanted to show as ever that eating more nutritiously or exercising doesn’t have to be expensive. Then we can put our earnings towards big goals like saving for a house instead.
Here’s what I’ve covered below:
Get A Holiday Body Episode Four
- Linia’s Recipe Suggestions
- Calorie Swaps: Takeaways
- What Does Paying For A Personal Trainer Get You?
- How To Exercise For Free: Apps And Assistants
- Nicky Investigates: Heat Treatments
Nicky Taylor’s role on the show was to try and match Antony and Zoe’s efforts on a budget without any professional help. Like Nicky I don’t have a PT or a nutritionist. Assume any health claims below come from the show’s experts therefore unless I’ve linked to someone else qualified. They say you shouldn’t poke a bear. However, do poke me in the comments if I’ve forgotten to link anything because I’d rather not make any claims of my own.
If you’re looking for their final weight then you are on the wrong blog. As with all the diet shows I’ve recapped, this ain’t something I ever include. As Linia says, how much weight anyone loses from a lifestyle change depends on our build, body composition, age, and history with diets.
So for example, a yo-yo dieter will usually lose weight more slowly anyway. Our weight is only one measure of health and I was more interested in the health gains and whether any of it is really essential spending.
While I’m anti-crash diets and I’m not trying to invent my own health claims, this blog post references parts of the show that could bring up memories of disordered living for some of you e.g. over-exercising or calorie counting. If you’ve had an eating disorder before, or suspect you have an eating disorder, please speak to a professional ASAP.
Disclaimer: If you sign up for a free trial or purchase via an affiliate link in this post, I earn a commission from the seller at no extra cost to you. This might go some way towards covering the cost of hosting the blog etc.
If you are in debt, please mind when free trials end and please do not try and support the blog generally by purchasing through my affiliate links. Speak to National Debtline, StepChange, your local Citizens Advice, or all of these about your debts. If you want to support the blog, share it and the free mailing list with someone you know instead, or share my notebooks available on Amazon with them. I add about one new notebook per day, so the collection is growing.
Let’s blow this popsicle stand.
Linia’s Recipe Suggestions
Breakfast: Breakfast Smoothie Recipe
Blend mixed berries, banana, Greek yoghurt, oats, almond milk and flaxseed. The flaxseed points to my omega 3 chia seed
rant analysis from episode two. I’m curious to know why Linia specified almond milk for this one as in this post she says it has the calcium potential of cow’s milk, but with less protein, no B vitamins, and high sugar.
Obviously almond milk’s no use if you have a nut allergy, but it might be worth paying extra if you have a diagnosed allergy to dairy or soy. I don’t see why anyone else would need to pay a premium for almond milk especially for this recipe. Linia also suggests choosing unsweetened fortified milk if you do buy almond milk. (Otherwise it’s going to have added sugar and lack vitamin D also…)
They’ve specified FAGE Greek yogurt on the recipe page. This will just be because of whatever brand agreement they had with Channel 5, so own brand (cheaper) yogurt will do.
Stir fry prawns and veg in coconut oil, soy, honey, garlic and fish sauce with a wrap made from two eggs.
I haven’t made either because I don’t tend to eat prawns or eggs these days, and I don’t own fish sauce. Instead I favour Joe Wicks’ Pad Thai from his Veggie Lean in 15 book.
Joe has one of the few recipes books I recommend in my monthly series on what I did and didn’t find worth buying: How To Save Like A Bear In July
This is baked cod with a blended marinade of sundried tomatoes, parmesan and olive oil, and frozen peas on the side mashed with mint. Other frozen white fish will be cheaper, and it’s also possible to buy own brand hard cheese cheaper than parmesan. I wouldn’t expect this to change the nutrition too much (any dietitians et al please correct me in the comments if you disagree).
Are you an Amazon Prime member? Occasionally their deals blow everyone else out the water (especially if you don’t live near a discounter in the first place and rely on grocery deliveries). Amazon Fresh are now offering free delivery to selected postcodes. If you usually pay for food deliveries, see if it nets you a saving with a 30 day free trial of Amazon Fresh first.
If you’re not a member, you can get a 30 day free trial of Amazon Prime beforehand. That should give you time to do some price comparisons on your food shopping (while you access everything else included like access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, free streaming of TV and music, and one-day delivery on your orders).
Students will want a free trial of Prime Student instead as the free trial lasts six months, and you pay 50% less if you decide to stay.
Calorie Swaps: Takeaways
Following on from Linia’s takeaway replacement above, this week’s tips revolved around ordering takeaways without consuming a week’s worth of calories in one order…Quitting takeaways can obviously save a lot of money as demonstrated on Eat Shop Save.
- The thicker the chip, the less oil it absorbs, so chips from the chippy will be less oily than fries
- Ask the chippy if they’ll grill your fish instead of frying it in batter
- Plain rice instead of pilau and a vegetable-based curry should have less calories
What Does Paying For A Personal Trainer Get You?
In the final week, Zoe and Antony were also exercising for 30 minutes on “off-days” in addition to Tim’s workouts. I suppose they were taking what they had learned from Tim to apply to their own time. My immediate thought was that this won’t be sustainable though. It seemed like a lot of time to sink just to shed as much weight as possible as a one-off.
The reason I say it’s a one-off is because if they can’t maintain that kind of calorie burn going forward, they would expect to just put weight back on after filming had ended… (Is that exactly what happened I wonder?)
The medical consensus seems to be that any weight loss is beneficial even if it’s temporary. This aspect of the show though played into the idea that crash dieting promotes where the aim is to change our appearance as quickly as possible. However, exercising for over six hours a week might not be any more sustainable long term than a crash diet. I just don’t personally see the point in trying to be a target weight or size this way by a deadline if it’s going to be for a few days. But perhaps I’m the one whose priorities are skewiff… What do you think?
Personal trainer Tim’s Get A Holiday Body exercises:
- Walking lunges
- Lat pull downs (in a gym)
- Lateral raises
- Dorsal raises
- Dumbbell pullovers
Most of these can be done without a gym though. (Disclaimer: there’s a risk of injury without a trainer, and a risk of injury with, you know the drill). They said three sets of 12 is a good rule of thumb if you’re not sure how many repetitions to do. Although on How to Get Fit Fast they suggested we should aim for muscle failure instead to find the point at which you’ll really challenge yourself.
True to what I’ve said above about no one having time to exercise for over six hours per week unless we work in a gym or similar, Antony was worried. He didn’t know how he’d continue exercise after the personal trainer went away.
Zoe paired up with her friend Michelle Heaton as she is also a personal trainer these days. Michelle gave her extra ideas to workout by herself in future. You know what this means, my fellow bears? They invested in a personal trainer to get started, but still planned to exercise for free afterwards.
Michelle suggested you only need to alternate three exercises for a workout:
- High knees
- Mountain climbers
Repeat until muscle failure… I linked to her channel in one of the earlier eps, but here’s Michelle’s three minute videos again. If we can’t find three minutes, then there’s no hope.
How To Exercise For Free: Apps And Assistants
Meanwhile in Nicky’s no gym required approach, she went litter picking instead before trying out Zombies, Run! She burned 250 cals in 30 minutes, but also felt like she was in a nightmare. I would definitely have nightmares as I already have dreams to the effect of Zombies, Run! (It’s kind of fun when dream me hits reset though and I don’t die and get to run away all over again… Is it just my subconscious that does this???)
Anthony used Alexa to give him health reminders like drinking more water, or to get up and move every half an hour or so. Has anyone else tried this? Is it useful or really annoying? Is an assistant like Alexa worth the money for this alone? Say it in the comments…
Did you know Alexa refers to the AI that talks to you, and not the name of the speaker itself? This one is an Echo Dot that comes with Alexa included.
Nicky Investigates: Heat Treatments
Another randomer tried to convince Nicky that she should wrap herself in layers of clingfilm for at least eight hours a day to sweat off three dress sizes.
An expert told her that if she loses anything doing this it would just be fluid loss. Yet again this links to How to Lose Weight Well and Xand’s bit on fluid retention and water cutting… As soon as you rehydrate, the weight goes back on, and everyone has to drink each day. Maybe spend the time learning a new skill or enjoying yourself instead (unless you particularly enjoy wrapping yourself in sweaty clingfilm).
Tim got Anthony doing hot yoga instead and Zoe went to an infrared sauna. There’s no conclusive evidence that the latter has any effect on weight loss according to the programme. This again ties in with similar sentiment on How to Lose Weight Well and casts a new (infrared) light on Zoe’s infrared cellulite treatment from episode two of this programme. (Hot yoga meanwhile will definitely make you sweat while moving, but again some of the weight loss will just be fluids that need replenishing after).
So How Do You Get Holiday Body Ready?
Or as the makers should have named the programme: how do we make sustainable lifestyle changes without breaking the bank?
- If you’re paying more for an alternative milk and you’re not vegan/allergic to other milks, take a look at the nutrition you’re paying for as there may be a better alternative.
- We can make our takeaways at home.
- Clingfilm’s bad for the planet, and sweating to lose weight pretty much matches Einstein’s definition of insanity. You will be back where you started again as soon as you drink water (so you know, tonight or tomorrow).
They all got fake tans at the end because that’s apparently a sign of health… Actually the more likely reason apart from the holiday theme as they didn’t have the budget to send them on holiday at the end also, is that it makes muscle definition easier to see. That’s why bodybuilders paint themselves orange. Antony and Zoe saw a professional contourer while Nicky dyed her hand brown, so DIY fake tan might not be worth the saving. Oh dear. Let me know if you do successfully use fake tan and think it’s worth the price tag.
Make exercise pay
Paying for a personal trainer can be a temporary investment if you plan to use it to give you ideas to continue alone.
Antony and Zoe are not the first pair to spend hours exercising to achieve a certain look. Keep in mind that a lot of celeb bodies are made through hours at the gym even if they say otherwise. If we’re not being paid to put in that kind of time, it might be better to focus on other health markers rather than aiming for a certain weight or size.
Try a free fitness app for inspiration, or if you have an assistant like Alexa, see if it doesn’t give you a boot up the bum if you’re forgetful.
Zoe and Anthony both wanted to continue with their new lifestyle because they felt more upbeat. Exercise can be a real mood improver, so I’m glad they mentioned this after everything.
So what do you think? Has any of this convinced you the gym isn’t needed, or that you should be diverting your savings to a personal trainer? Would you rather have a house? How do you stay fit on a budget? Comment to your heart’s desire.
I’m a bit tapped out after recapping this and The Truth About Carbs. I’m going to do a few more food posts and then there will be a slight change of scenery on the blog. I’ve been recording a podcast with lots of ways to save money in every episode. Join the mailing list for extra savings tips and to keep up with the blog and the podcast (and YouTube!) going forward.