‘I ate and worked out like Rebel Wilson for a week, and I’m never looking back’

‘I ate and worked out like Rebel Wilson for a week, and I’m never looking back’

Rebel Wilson has reportedly lost over 20kg following a strict diet and exercise routine, so Stephanie Nuzzo put it all to the test. A week later and she was left shocked with the results.

In January, Rebel Wilson announced that 2020 would be “The Year of Health” for her. And global pandemic or not, the Aussie actress has stuck to her guns. Wilson is progressing through her health journey like a champ (have you seen her flipping tires?!) and according to her Instagram account, is now only eight kilograms away from her goal.

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Unsurprisingly, fans of Wilson have flocked to the Internet to find out what is behind her success. People all over want to know what this year of health involves, and if they can achieve something similar.

To try and answer that question, I did some digging. I scoured the Internet; sat down with Wilson’s trainer Jono Castano, and spoke with dietician Rebecca Gawthorne. I then attempted to follow Wilson’s health program for a week.

Here’s how I went…

In the early stages of my research, I stumbled on reports that Wilson had followed the Mayr Method diet. In a nutshell, this diet is linked to a weight-management program at the VivaMayr spa, Austria. The approach to eating is centred on mindfulness and encourages practices like chewing your food as many times as possible.

Gawthorne explained that among other things: “The diet focuses on consuming high-alkaline wholefoods; reduced snacking, [limited] dairy and gluten, and eating mindfully.”

I bought ‘The Viva Mayr Diet’ book, which lists everything you should eat while following this program and set out to get my Mayr on. The portion sizes were small, and my consumption of carbs and protein dropped considerably.

Seeing as I was not in a retreat and had to cook each of these meals myself, I will admit I took creative liberties at times. I couldn’t always whip up vegetable gratin in the middle of the day, so would settle for “close enough”.

This did not bode well for me. My energy levels crashed quickly. I attempted a strength-training workout on day two, one that I’d completed several times before, and couldn’t get through it.

It wasn’t until I spoke with Castano about my fatigue that I learnt I had been doing this thing wrong. He explained that when Wilson trains with him, they focus on nutrition and healthy food choices.

As I understand it, the Mayr Method may suit some folks in the setting it’s designed to be followed in, but if you’re going to train like a weapon (as Wilson does), you need enough fuel to do that. In short: you should always chat to a health expert before diving into a new routine.

After I bailed on Mayr, I adopted a simple eating plan where I ate loads of veggies, avoided processed foods and watched my portion sizes.

Gawthorne encouraged loading up on fibre-rich foods like “vegetables, legumes, fruit, wholegrains, nuts and seeds,” which “keep you feeling fuller for longer,” so I did precisely that.

On the exercise front, I trained with the ACERO team three times and completed two workouts of my own (one yoga session and my strength-training fail).

Castano explained that our 45-minute sessions were going to be low-impact, but he stressed that “All our focus is on burning calories: burn, burn, burn. [With] Limited breaks”.

“When we think about anyone trying to lose weight, it’s all about ‘how many calories can I burn in that session?'” he said.

This is the approach he took with Wilson, and it’s what he suggests to any client seeking a slimmer frame. Importantly, however, he made a point to mention that every fitness plan needs to be designed for the person undertaking it.

“With any client, we talk about getting their age, getting their weight and height,” he explained.

“That will determine their BMR [basal metabolic rate – or the calories your body uses while at rest].” From here, the team will calculate how many calories you need to burn to get the results you’re after.

Now, I didn’t quite get to the level where I was flipping tires, but my sessions with Castano and fellow trainer Ben Putland pushed me to work harder than I had in a long time. I started with a legs session, followed by upper body and finished out the week with a full-body conditioning workout. The training we did is the kind Wilson regularly does and mate; it was a challenge. (A positive challenge, but a challenge nonetheless.)

Putland explained that I’d targeted my entire body twice over in three days. He went on to share that with hard work and the right recovery regimen, even just three sessions a week can help you see a transformation.

So, did I notice a change?

Yes, I did!

During my first session, Castano showed me how much effort goes into burning one calorie. I was on a bike, and it took way longer than I expected. I suppose this insight had an impact on my mindset because from then on, healthier eating choices were far easier to make.

By the end of the week, I noticed my stomach looked flatter; my energy levels had returned, and I was feeling motivated to continue working my butt off. While the inspiration behind this trial was Wilson’s health journey, I was able to find an approach that suited me pretty damn well.

Hopefully, that means I’ll be strong enough to flip tires one day soon, too.