Pastry chef, Julio, showed us that it’s possible to ‘have your cake and eat it’ when it comes to getting in fantastic shape.
As a star baker and professional Instagrammer, chef Julio was surrounded by cake every day.
But every time he shared recipes online, he noticed the first reaction of his followers was a fear of weight gain. Cakes seemed to be everyone’s guilty pleasure that were loved and feared in equal measure.
He undertook the Ultimate Performance transformation to show everyone that with a balanced lifestyle and diet, you can look good and still enjoy the occasional treat… of course, he also wanted a lean and muscular body for himself.
“So, 20.9% body fat down to 8.7% and 67.6kg down to 56.3kg – during the transformation, you focus on the numbers because they are solid evidence of your achievements.
“However, the sense of achievement goes well beyond the numbers themselves. It is a lot more about what you see in the mirror and how you feel mentally as a result of those numbers.”
When Julio started at U.P. London City, he wasn’t particularly overweight but was driven by the fact that he could look much better if he only tried to do something about it.
However, he didn’t know where to start and decided to entrust U.P.’s professional trainers with his transformation.
“I eat cake – lots of cakes! However, before U.P., I was not balancing the cake out with proper meals throughout the day. Some days I would under-eat. Some days I would overeat.
“The most problematic thing about my diet was that I did not know or have enough information to care about the macros. Also, about what I was getting and what I needed to get from my food, which would ultimately massively influence the way I looked.”
It wasn’t just his diet that he needed to get a handle on; it was getting into good habits with his exercise.
He was always active with his job, but he could never make working out stick.
“I have a busy routine, travelling a lot, carrying boxes, on my feet most of the day. I was not sedentary at all. In the past, I exercised a bit, went to the gym, played football, and even looked trim in my early 20s. However, over the past two years or so, I had no discipline. I was even paying a monthly subscription to my local gym, but not even turning up more than once a month.
“I just looked like an average bloke who probably did not exercise, so I was not happy with my body because I knew I could do better, a lot better, but needed to be pushed, encouraged.
“I wanted a body that made me proud, not only because of the way it looked but also because it was an achievement, the result of hard work, discipline, and balance.”
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One would think, as a pastry chef, that his job would not be compatible with his U.P. nutrition plan. But that was certainly not the case. Julio, literally, had to eat cake every day of his transformation.
“From day 1, my trainer, Amy, asked me what I like to eat, so I knew it was going to be a tailored diet programme. I did have to focus on the macros (carbs, fat, protein) throughout the 14 weeks of transformation. We had to count calories.
“However, rather than undereating, we were making sure that I was actually eating enough not to feel hungry and to ensure I was getting all I needed for a lean body.
“During the transformation, I had to test 30 new recipes for a new online course I was launching, so I had to eat some cake every single day. That was factored into my diet programme and balanced out with everything else I was eating – result: I was still on track and looking better each day even with cake as part of my diet.”
This approach might not work for everyone – but even with Julio’s job and responsibilities, it’s an approach that worked for him.
The change in diet, the motivation, the obvious transformation that was happening every day kept him thoroughly disciplined because he knew the end results would be amazing.
“Having a body that you think looks good is great. The sense of achievement is even better. I am now disciplined, enthusiastic, and a much more self-confident bloke that can look at himself in the mirror and say ‘You look awesome, and you earned it. Now grab yourself a piece of cake.’ It has even become easier and more fun to appear on camera every day as part of my Instagram job.”
His most crucial learning through his transformation journey is the power of discipline and commitment. With his newfound self-confidence, Julio is now going further with his fitness regime at U.P.
“The benefits go well beyond a sculpted body. It is the beginning of a ‘new you’. My self-confidence has been a result not only of the body I have now, but also of the fact I wanted it, I committed to it, I worked hard on it, and I achieved it. This is something I can apply to everything that I do.
“I always thought this would be a 12-week programme. I was just going to sign up, look good, go to Brazil, and be the next Naked Chef. But it has changed my life so much that I want to carry on and see what else I can achieve.”
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