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1. Start your day off by drinking a cup of hot water with slice of lemon in it.

2. Follow this with a fresh fruit and vegetable juice or smoothie, mix with “green powders”, and other protein sources such as hemp and pea protein powders, avocado or almond milk. See above an example of a smoothie our New Year, New You winner has been tucking into before her classes at London E8. Yum!

3. Add as much raw food to your diet as you can through the day, accompany meals with salads, and try to incorporate vegetables into every meal.

4. Spices are great for adding taste and have hidden medical benefits – so everyone’s a winner! Stock up on garlic, ginger, chilli, turmeric, cumin to name a few.

5. Alcohol and caffeine in moderation.

6. Keep hydrated during and after your reformer Pilates classes with at least 8 glasses of water a day. Green tea highly recommended as a post class pick up!

7. Natural based supplements recommended.

8. Probiotics – daily for protection of the gut.

9. Omega 3 fatty acids – for protective effects on the vascular system and the brain. Quality supplements can be acquired from marine or plant based sources.

10. Vitamin D3 – Important for bone health, potent anti-inflammatory agent and is involved in brain function and cancer prevention. Blood levels should be checked.

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Reformer pilates london

After 4 weeks of eating smart and jumping on Tempo’s reformers at London E8 three times a week, my New Year Challenge is officially over. It’s hard to believe that just a month ago I was still looking at any sort of exercise with serious suspicion!

The last four weeks of regular Pilates at Hackney E8 has helped me lose some weight (2.3 kg if you’re wondering… that’s about 5lbs), especially from around my tummy area. Considering that my diet was not particularly restrictive and basically only stressed a lot of fruit and veggies, that’s a pretty solid result!

Generally speaking I physically feel a lot better, I sleep better, and I have loads more energy during the day. I’ve definitely gotten a little toned throughout my body, it’s nothing huge, but considering what I was starting from (non-existent) I couldn’t be happier with the result.

However, as much as I had an open mind, I have to admit that those first couple of days of following my new diet from Tempo Pilates instructor and nutritionist Jane saw more than a few sceptical grimaces, and required some personal tweaks. Yet, my new way of eating has hugely cut cravings for unhealthy snacks, and never allowing myself to get to ravenous-monster-mode means that I’m rarely tempted to reach for quick-fix food (pizza pizza and more pizza).

Transforming my diet into a sustainable, realistic lifestyle change is the biggest challenge now. But I think balancing out those tasty restaurant meals with plenty of nutritious food at home is the best way for me to hold onto both my health and happiness.

What I’m most thankful for is the chance to look at things from a different perspective. I mentally shifted from considering exercise as a strange, tortuous thing that people who I can’t relate to whatsoever inflict upon themselves (have you ever look at the face of a jogger… it’s hard to believe that they are having a good time). To be honest, now I don’t see what the big deal was. Tempo Pilates at London E8 is never boring, always challenging, and basically… fun.

This may be my final blog post as part of the New Year Challenge, but it ain’t all over yet! Tempo Pilates has asked me to continue blogging for another month as I continue to take reformer Pilates classes, so you’ll be hearing even more from my further adventures in the land of health.

Will I keep up the 3-times-a-week fitness schedule with Tempo Pilates reformer classes? YES! Will I do my first EVER push-up? Hope so! Will I be tempted by a burger?

Yes… yes I will, and I will eat it. Sorry to ruin the ending.

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Tempo Pilates FEB PLAYLIST

Beck has probably just made the coolest comeback ever with talk of a new album emerging! He is Spring 2013 for Saint Laurent and on 10th of February, is debuting a rework of David Bowie’s cult classic “Sound and Vision” (click here)with an orchestra of 150 musicians no less.

How could we not put him on February’s Pilates playlist at London E8 and WC2?!

Yes, we know when we are on to a good thing so we have included another great remix of Haim, winners of ‘BBC sound of 2013’. Three sisters normally bringing it together in Fleetwood Mac style, have manipulated their sound so brilliantly here, it would sit perfectly in a remake of Top Gun. Yes, swooooon. Dan Lissuk’s remix however brings the extra dazzle we need for squats in our Pilates classes, Swedish style!

They are busy making their mark in the US but we are sure they will be in London soon enough!

If you don’t get a chance to hear the whole of ‘Wait’ by M83 in your cool down to our Pilates classes, go home, relax in the bath and play it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the artist before but this is the song that has made me sit up and pay more attention. Now….I get it. I mean this song is part of a trilogy for crying out loud with three cinematic videos to boot.

Although, its slightly cheesy and X men-esque, anyone that makes music into a sci fi trilogy is pretty interesting to me.


By Hayley Johnston

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I have some good news and some bad news for you.

Here’s the good news – you can achieve success if you stick to one simple principle: consistency. The more consistent you are with eating good quality, unprocessed foods; taking part in some form of resistance training (lifting weights, cables, Tempo Pilates!) at least twice a week (preferably more) and sleeping at the same times each night, you will make progress.

The problem is that when it comes to fitness we all want quick results – but to get the deep results we want takes time, so we need to create an environment that will be conducive to helping us get there.

This means that if you’re starting out, or restarting out after a little lay-off, you’ve got to start small and micro-progress the intensity and volume. This is the key to creating sustainable fitness: adopting a fitness regime that is challenging enough to produce results, but intelligent enough for you to keep going without injuring yourself.

Because when we do get to where we want, we want to stay there! Having to take 4 weeks off due to an injury following your 6-week intensive program might regress that progress you just made.

This brings me to the bad news – unless you opt for some kind of surgical route, there are no fast results with your body – that will last. For example, research shows that the average dieter regains 107% of the weight he/she lost in the diet.

I’ve also read the magazine articles that claim “6 weeks!” to look like that guy/girl on the cover. Only that guy/girl has worked hard for years to look like that and perhaps their genetic window of opportunity was in their favour along with some photoshop magic.

Which brings us back to sustainable fitness. We all want to get quicker results, but we’ve got to be aware of our tolerance levels: where are you starting from?

For example, what’s the potential outcome for the stressed-out, under-nourished, lawyer who’s lacking sleep and then decides to start training for the London Marathon in 3 months, starting with a 10k run?

Or the person who hasn’t done any exercise for 3+ months, who decides to take part in a new crossfit/kettlebell/military-fitness class 3-4 times a week along with a strict no-carb diet?

What levels of stress are these people experiencing before starting? Remember, exercise is a stress and any change on your system is also a stress. So what’s the outcome from these new regimes?

In the short term, perhaps really good results!

In the long term, quite often progress slows down, reverses, or the person gives up because they don’t have the ability to recover. The long term outcome from this rapid and huge shift is not a consistently positive outcome.

“But hold on Goulden, I’ve done this and I’m still going!” Maybe you’re the outlier, or maybe you’re slightly younger and able to tolerate the huge shifts in stressors, but think of this as an analogy: you wouldn’t lay out in the sun for 10h without suncream to get a tan, if your skin is not accustomed to sun exposure, as you’d just end up getting burnt.

It’s unfortunate that we’re surrounded by fitness marketing and hype which leads us to believe that, when it comes to getting results, only an all-out approach will work. But it’s no coincidence that most of those programmes last for six weeks only.

By working with clients over longer periods, we see time and time again that sustainability is the key to long-term success. So remember: micro-progression, eat good quality food, take part in resistance training and sleep well – recovery is so important to your success. We’ll cover these tips more, in depth on the blog.

About the author

Michael Goulden is a biomechanics specialist and is the founder of Integra – Muscle Activation | Training, in Spitalfields, London.

He specialises in personal training and exercise rehabilitation, using Muscle Activation Techniques and resistance training and can be found here

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