“Little changes can make a big difference”

Hands in the shape of a heart around words "Wellness Wednesday Workshops"

The ‘Wellness Wednesday Workshops’ return in the New Year. YMCA Club Nutritionist, Nick Owen, and former Michelin Chef turned Personal Trainer and Manager, Ed Lindinas, have joined forces once again to bring you a series of talks about healthy eating and healthy living.

When and where?

Every Wednesday in Keith Clarke Room 2 from 5th February at 6.15pm until 7.15pm.

You will get more out of the workshops if you take our FREE InBody test first, which will show you exactly what you’re made of. This is free for both members and non-members.


Following your InBody test, you might feel disappointed with your body fat to muscle mass ratio or maybe you’re confused by the outcome? Have no fear! Take your test results to the first Wellness Wednesday Workshop where Nick and Ed will interpret them, and over the coming weeks, give you the tools you need to achieve better results and smash your future goals. You’ll also have the opportunity to have your questions answered after every workshop.

Workshop 1 (Weds 5th Feb) ‘My Body, My Food’

In light of your test result, we explore what your body is made of and how different body types (endomorphic, ectomorphic or mesomorphic) can impact your goals.

Plus, what’s in your food? What exactly is protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, minerals and fibre and what’s their role? How much do we really need and how do they help or hinder our goals? 

Workshop 2 (Weds 12th Feb) - 'Whatever Moves You'

We'll provide an overview of health, fitness, sport and movement to help you understand and prioritise what areas are most important to your health.

We'll also explore how the Club's new exercise class timetable - as well as sports, hobbies and good movement practice - can benefit you and impact the ageing process.

Workshop 3 (Weds 19th Feb) – ‘Fat Loss – Facts, Fiction and Fads’

We explore the science and myths around fat loss and so called ‘healthy eating’.

We’ll equip you with the best training and eating regimes for your particular body type.

How does your specific body-type impact a ‘fat-loss’ focussed goal?

Workshop 4 (Weds 26th Feb) - ‘Muscle and Strength - Facts, Fiction and Fads’

We explore the science and myths around building muscle and body strength.

We’ll equip you with the best training and eating regimes for your particular body type.

How does your specific body-type impact a ‘muscle mass’ focussed goal?

How much?

Each workshop costs £10 for members or £15 for non-members.

A rare opportunity to access the combined expertise of a Michelin Chef, Personal Trainer and Nutritionist. Bargain!


Your InBody result

Ed offers some reassurance for anyone displeased with their InBody result:

“If your result indicates that you’re carrying more weight than you’d like or you need to build up more muscle, don’t worry! It’s not set in stone! Your result (a bunch of numbers) is just your starting point. Everyone has a specific goal to reach, whether it’s gaining muscle mass, losing body fat or training for competitions. We’ll show you what changes you can make and how to achieve your goals throughout the Wellness Wednesday Workshops. In a few months’ time, when you take the test again, you’ll hopefully see an improvement.”

Life is a balancing act

Balancing what you eat with your exercise routine might be tricky at times, but it’s all about the bigger picture, says Nick:

“One day doesn't make or break our fitness regime. It’s our habits which, over the course of time, define whether we are moving towards achieving our goals - that's how I keep my balance. There will be days when I go off track because of work, an evening out or an occasional lack of motivation, but if my fundamentals are healthy most of the time, I’ll continue to maintain the healthy balance I desire.”

Fact or fiction?

The world of healthy eating is awash with the latest food fads, which often contradict previous evidence. Nick advises on how we can navigate this minefield of information:

“Science does change - we all thought fat was a bad thing at first, until we gained more detailed knowledge. Ask yourself, where does the research come from? Is it based on scientific evidence? Does it come from a trustworthy source? Does the text say “may” which suggests hypothetical or is it actually proven?

Some popular myths here.

As a former professional sous chef (second in command in the kitchen) at the prestigious Hakkasan Restaurant in central London, Ed is all too familiar with resisting the urge to stuff his face. Over the years, Ed has learnt how to combine nutrition, exercise and self-control to reach his goals, rather than relying on fancy fads:

“People think they need to eat less to lose weight. This is a myth! If you want to lose body fat, reduce your carbs (pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, etc) and have enough protein and healthy fat to achieve your goals. When you reduce carbs, your body starts to burn body fat as an energy. You don’t need to starve, just eat the right things. When I prepare for my body building competitions, I never starve myself or feel hungry, I always have enough food.”

“Eating lots of fruit is another myth – you only need one or two pieces of fruit per day to give you the right vitamins and minerals. You can also get your minerals and vitamins from water and vegetables, but eating too much fruit (especially bananas and pineapples), actually creates fructose which is high in sugar. When you have too much sugar in your body, you will struggle to lose body fat.”

There is no ‘silver bullet’

It’s very difficult to lose body fat and build muscle at the same time. Nick says we need to prioritise our goals:

If you’re focussed on losing body fat, it will be hard to build muscle at the same time because muscle requires a calorie and energy surplus to grow. With fat loss, you should eat well and maintain your existing muscle mass to become leaner. If your focus is muscle and strength, you will need to eat a small surplus of your energy requirements, so as well as adding muscle, you may also add a small amount of body-fat. Your body-type will also have an impact on your goals.”

Exercising vs eating

During the workshops, Nick and Ed will explain what ‘better lifestyle choices’ actually look like. Ed says, exercise is only part of the equation:

“We want to make people aware of how they can change their lifestyle, eating habits and exercise to help them reach their goals. Exercising is the easy part – you go to the gym, exercise and then it’s done, but when you leave, you have another 23 hours left. A lot of your lifestyle revolves around eating and drinking habits. Instead of having five beers consecutively, alternate beers with glasses of water, which will help you to dilute alcohol.”

“Instead of obsessively exercising in the gym to achieve your fitness goals, we’ll introduce the idea of adapting your lifestyle outside of the gym, like taking the stairs instead of the lift, walking up the escalator or getting off the bus one stop earlier to incorporate more walking into your day. These are all good little lifestyle tips.”

Measuring success

First decide what you want to change, then measure your progress against those goals. Nick shows us how:

“If it’s physical, choose an item of clothing or an InBody test, but avoid the scales. Scales don’t show changes in your body composition, for example, if you’ve achieved muscle tone, you might still weigh the same because muscle is denser than fat, but you will look more athletic. What other changes do you want to make? If you want more energy, better sleep or more concentration, change your health and fitness regime and see the difference.”

By making a few small changes and healthier choices over the coming weeks, with the help of our Wellness Wednesday Workshops, you’ll be surprised at what you can achieve!


Helping you make those little life changes that go a long way.

Claire.Gilderson | 24 February 2020