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1st February 2016

Pursuing a healthier version of yourself this year?

Founder of Student shred and all-round fitness and nutrition expert, Tom Burns reveals the secrets behind getting rid of your Christmas belly…

Provided that you’ve been making the most of home cooking, free alcohol and a lengthy distance between you and your uni gym, you’ll probably be embarking second semester with a little poor cushion for the pushin’. But never fear, Student Shred is here. Set up by a student for students, the company’s founder Tom Burns understands the strains and struggles that student life puts on the body and caters this first-hand knowledge into amazing advice for his clients, and for you lucky readers.

Let’s not kid ourselves, a run in the freezing Manchester rain isn’t an overly appetizing thought. So you’ll be relishing at the news from Tom that cardio really isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Instead, he recommends weight and resistance training. For women, this may seem a little daunting, especially to those who’d rather not emerge from the gym resembling Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Tom asserts that muscle training is actually the key to achieving the curves and shape that so many strive to achieve. However, Tom is also a big advocate of the more unusual forms of cardiovascular exercise. Take sex, for example. Apart from feeling pretty darn good, Tom asserts that it will not only “lower stress” and “increase confidence”, but your sex drive will also increase and thus, your performance, too. Not to mention the increased flexibility…

For those who want to burn fat, Tom asserts that “nutrition accounts for 80% and training 20%”. No matter how much you train, if you’re eating badly you’re unlikely to achieve the chiselled body you desire. So if you’re a student who has chosen not to add cooking to your list of life skills, then this could be a bit of a wake up call. Tom is big on cooking and counts it as an essential part of achieving optimum fitness on a student budget. To those with untrained taste buds, many super foods may seem like tasteless, vile and expensive things unlikely to grace your store cupboard in the near future. But with the right knowledge, Tom asserts that eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank and can taste good, too. There’s no need to completely sacrifice those post-exam booze binges and cheeky Chicken King meal deals. Tom admits that “your favourite wine or alcohol may not be the right choice” but advises spirits with non-carbonated drinks as a healthier alternative. For combating a hangover, he recommends consuming a nutritious meal prior to your night out and regularly drinking water in between drinks.

There is a popular belief that carbs are bad. But in reality, they’ve just been given a bad name by a select few. They’re essential to maintaining healthy energy levels, especially if you’re exercising regularly. But which carbs are good and which ones are not?! Well, that all depends on their glucose levels. The glycemic index categorises carbs in the order of how fast they release glucose into the blood. High glycemic foods such as bread, sugar, honey and chocolate (and basically every other food that’s too tasty to be good for you) are BAD. Not so bad for you are the foods belonging to the medium category: pasta, white rice, fruit and potatoes. The best of the bunch however are the low glycemic foods which include: nuts, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, vegetables and oats.

So now you know what to eat and how to train, but fat loss isn’t solely dependant on food and training—particularly if you’re female. Sleep, hormonal cycles, stretching and motivation are all major factors. So sleepless nights from either partying, last minute revision or essay prep could be more damaging than you thought. The trick is to get into a routine. But don’t be too hard on yourself— as with all things in life, it’s all about balance. A social life is also of great importance, but it’s not all about big nights out and sharing a Domino’s pizza. Try and integrate your new active lifestyle into your social life—go cycling, walking, or join a class with a friend. Ultimately, there’s no need for a triad of unattainable New Year’s resolutions, but instead, a single aim to pursue a healthier version of yourself this year.

If however, you’re in need of a little extra inspiration, then why not try out Student Shred? Tom offers nutrition and exercise programmes catered around student living’s needs and expectations, as well as budget!

For more information, contact Tom Burns on: [email protected], or visit his website:

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