Since announcing her arrival on 2011’s Geordie Shore with the pronouncement, “I’m fit, I’m flirty and I’ve got double F’s”, Holly Hagan has reinvented herself as an unlikely fitness guru. Her 3 stone weight loss in 2012 prompted the reality star to write a series of weight loss and diet books that have established her as a bona fide fat loss pro. So, what did it take to go from Page 3 pin up to weight loss wiz?
In 2011 Holly’s brash party girl image was what made her an instant favorite on Geordie Shore. But it was also what made her overweight, unhealthy and unhappy with her body image. The decision to get serious about her physical self came towards the beginning of 2012.Too much booze and too many Christmas treats had see her weight blow out over the holiday season. 2012 was going to be the year that the emerging starlet turned things around.
Holly’s Food Transformation
Holly knew that she had to make immediate and drastic changes to what she was eating. After all, her go to breakfast had been a bowl of pasta with cheese. From there, her daily eating plan generally went downhill. She was a self admitted ‘carb fiend’, and she was decidedly unhappy about what it had done to her body.
Her first step was to take control of her sweet tooth. She was eating way too many processed, empty carbohydrate calories that were giving her body nothing good nutritionally. Realizing that if she didn’t have it, she couldn’t eat it, she grabbed a rubbish sack and began tossing out all of the high sugar, highly processed junk foods that she’d been accumulating in her pantry and kitchen.
Even though she was tempted to finish off her half eaten packets of cheezels, Holly knew that she had to treat herself like an addict and go stone cold turkey from day one. That meant she had to be ruthless. After eliminating every unhealthy temptation from her home, she headed for the grocery store in order to restock with food that was nourishing and life giving.
Holly stocked her fridge, pantry and counter with fresh fruit, vegetables and lot and lots of lean protein based foods. She kept her purchase of carb laden foods to a minimum, knowing that the key to stripping off the body fat was to go low carb.
Once she’d restocked her home with good food choices, Holly underwent a 3-day detox. She knew that her body needed time to rid itself of the impurities and toxins that she’d been feeding it over years of neglectful eating. Over that 3 days, she relied on juiced vegetables and honey-lemon green tea for her energy. By the end of it she was feeling good and ready to move ahead with her fat loss diet.
Holly decided to follow a carb cycling diet that would force her body into the state of ketosis where she’d be actually burning off stored fat rather than carbohydrates for energy. Here’s what her daily carb plan looked like:
Monday: HIGH CARBS
Tuesday: NO CARBS
Wednesday: LOW CARBS
Thursday: LOW CARBS
Friday: NO CARBS
Saturday: LOW CARBS
Sunday: HIGH CARBS
The carbs that Holly did eat came from such foods as oatmeal, whole-meal bread, brown rice and green, leafy vegetables. Her go to protein sources were white fish, chicken breast, eggs and whey protein powder.
Holly’s carb manipulation plan was exactly what she needed to force her body into the state of ketosis. Her key fat burning days were Friday and Saturday, by which time her body was so starved of carbs that it was churning through her fat reserves like crazy. By the time that Sunday rolled around, she was so carb deficient that she was able to enjoy a sweet treat absolutely guilt free.
Holly swears that her carb cycling diet was the major impetus to dropping from a size 16 to a size 8 in just 12 weeks!
The Workout Transformation
Holly didn’t just throw herself into a new way of eating. She took that same focus and zeal and applied to her exercise program. She’d had always had a love-hate relationship with exercise, but she knew that it was time to get serious if she was ever going to get her body under control.
Holly wanted a workout program that she could do anywhere, anytime. She didn’t want to have to drag herself to the gym every day so she settled on an exercise routine that she could do in the comfort of her own home that would still provide the calorie burning and body shaping intensity that she needed.
The reality star knew that reshaping her body meant she’d need to work on both her aerobic and anaerobic systems. To do that she devised a body weight workout program and a cardio regimen to complement it. Here’s Holly’s home workout:
Skipping – Skipping is one of the simplest, most efficient fat burners that there is. Holly was no expert, but, by starting slowly and patiently, she was eventually able to skip for five minutes without too many tangle ups. It was enough to get her body primed for exercise.
Body Weight Squats – With hands extended out in front, Holly would drop into a deep full squats. Keeping her spine neutral and knees tracking over her feet, she would pump out three sets of 30.
Step Ups – 3 sets of 25 reps.
Burpees with Deep Squat – From a standing position, Holly would get down into a deep squat with her palms on the ground. Then she’d kick her feet back and do a push up with an exhale. From there, she’d jump back in to a deep squat and then explode into the air.
3 sets of 15 reps.
Lunge Kick – Assume a bottom lunge position, with the rear knee just off the ground, Holly would come up out of the lunge, kicking the leg directly in front of her as high as possible. She’d then return to the start position and repeat.
2 sets of 12 reps on each leg.
Front Back Lunge – Start from a standing position with her feet shoulder width apart, Holly would take a big step forward with her hands on her hips.
She’d then step through with the back leg into another deep lunge position, keeping the knee off the ground. Finally, she’d step back through to the original lunge position. She’d be sure to keep the knee of the planted foot behind the toes at all times.
2 sets of 12 reps on each leg.
As can be seen, the above workout is very squat and lunge focused. That’s because Holly’s key weight loss areas were her thighs, hips and glutes. The combination of squats and lunges, in their various incarnations, are the best moves on the planet to transform those areas.
Holly’s cardio workout comprised running on the track. Three alternate mornings per week, she’d head down to the local 400 meter running track and jog a 2 lap warm-up. Then she’d begin her sprint training. Setting her stop watch, she’d run as fast as she possibly could for 20 seconds. Then she’d stop to catch her breath for precisely 10 seconds. This pattern would repeat until she had completed 8 full out sprints. She’d finish with a final warm-down lap of the track.
Holly’s determination to stick with her hardcore diet and workout plan paid rich rewards. Not only did she half her dress size, but she carved out for herself a whole new career as a health and fitness guru and and weight loss inspiration.