Our very own Scarlet Hollands sets you the ultimate 14 day weight loss challenge to get you on track this Autumn.
We were fortunate this year to have a great summer season and hopefully we all enjoyed a good bit of sun, relaxation and summer festivities. It seems that the Autumn has well and truly come around fast and the bikinis and shorts season is done and dusted for another year.
Many of us spend the build up to summer investing time in the gym and nailing their diet in a bid to transform ones self into a beach buff but now Christmas is on the horizon, its very easy to slip back into old habits and as the amount of clothing increases as do the waistlines. Just because summer is over, by no means should we use this as an excuse to not continue striving for those physique goals and stay lean, fit and healthy over the rapidly approaching Christmas period! Needless to say, ladies in particular, we still want to look fabulous in our slinky, sparkly dresses at the works “christmas do” do we not?
Now is as good as time as any to continue on the road to looking fabulous 356 days of the year or if you are reading this and perhaps didn’t quite nail it this summer, why not hop on our bandwagon and you too can join us in getting in peak shape just in time for Santa’s annual visit! Let’s get this started with a specialised 14 Day Challenge. This way we have already set ourselves a short term goal of 14 days in which to find some motivation, determination and routine to which hopefully we can hold us accountable long term to continue nailing your individual goals.
14 Day Challenge
Day 1: SET A WEIGHT LOSS TARGET
So, we have decided it’s time get back in the game, firstly, you need to set a realistic weight-loss target. Keyword: Realistic. A recent survey revealed that just 20% of dieters last through the first month and two in five don’t even get past the first week! This is because they set unrealistic goals that they just can’t stick to, leading to hunger, discouragement, and disappointment. Know your body, know your lifestyle and compliment that in the best way you can. Saying you are to “lose 3 stone in 30 days” is a bit farfetched even for the most elite athlete!
Day 2: CLEAN OUT YOUR FRIDGE
Late-night binges on chocolate or cheese while standing in front of the fridge are bound to pack on the pounds. But you already know that! What you may not know is the way your fridge is organized may also affect your food choices and ultimately your weight. So today, clear the junk from your fridge and be rid of anything that is likely to cause you to give into temptation.
Day 3: STOCK YOUR KITCHEN WITH DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS FOODS
Yesterday, you cleared out your fridge; today, it’s time to re-stock with staples that allow you to throw together a healthy meal at a moment’s notice. Eating more of your meals at home instead of dining out is one of the easiest ways to reduce your calorie intake. When you dine out, you can easily consume an additional 200+ calories so think about those lunches from your work cafeteria, stops at the drive-through, and dinners out with friends or family. It is those meals add up to big calories.
Day 4: ASSESS YOUR PERSONALITY
Whether you’re the life and soul of the party, a workaholic, or a night owl, your personality plays a surprisingly large role in your ability to slim down as ultimately it will aid your choice of foods for that day.
Day 5: FIND TIME FOR FITNESS
Sure, you can try to lose weight with diet changes alone, but the truth is, you’re more likely to lose the weight [and keep it off] if you exercise regularly too. Not to mention the endless list of health benefits to all forms of exercise. (Increased metabolism, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes to name a few!) We would recommend a minimum of 20-30 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio every day (a brisk walk in the park after work would be appropriate) and even better if you could get at least two strength-training sessions a week. Unfortunately many people don’t manage more then a few minutes walking a day ..
Top excuse for skipping exercise: “I’m too busy.” We get it, some days it can be impossible to squeeze in a full on workout. Minor changes like walking to work or taking the stairs instead of the escalator all add up to staying active during the day.
Day 6: CUT YOUR PORTIONS
Losing weight is all about burning more calories than you consume, being in a deficit. But no one likes the word “diet”. The good news is that you can cut calories painlessly by tricking yourself into eating less by using the protocol we know as “portion control”. See my previous blog “A Balanced Diet” with a useful table to guide you into choosing the correct sized portions depending on the type of foods your are eating.
Day 7: INTRODUCE CALORIE BURNING STRENGTH WORKOUTS
By introducing strength training twice a week for 30 to 40 minutes will burn an extra 100 calories a day within three months. In other words, the more muscle you build, the more calories your body burns. Not to mention you will look stronger and leaner during your weight loss challenge! If you would like advice on strength training or would indeed like to see one of our personal trainers, get in touch and we would love to offer you a complimentary taster session.
Day 8: EAT MORE FAT BURNING FOOD
Certain foods have a thermogenic effect, which means you literally burn calories as you chew. Other have nutrients and compounds that crank up your metabolism. Stoke your metabolic fire by eating more foods such as; whole grains, lean meats, chilli, hot peppers, green tea, while cutting out unhealthy snacks and empty calories.
Day 9: DROP THE BAD HABITS
Exercise plays a vital part in any successful weight- loss plan, but the pounds won’t budge if you take shortcuts. Bad habits such as poor form, not finishing full movements and incomplete workouts are what will blow your total calorie burn. Solution: Give every session 110%!
Day 10: TOSS THE LOW FAT FOODS
I hate to break it to you, but it’s time for another fridge and cupboard clean out. Look for anything labeled “low fat,” “fat free,” or “reduced fat.” While these labels are fine for dairy products like milk, you shouldn’t automatically assume other types of foods are any better for your diet than the full- fat versions. Why I hear you say? Companies use more sugar, salt, and additives to make them taste good. The result is foods that are lower in fat, sure, but more sugary and sometimes even more caloric.
Day 11: EAT A HIGH PROTEIN BREAKFAST
Hunger is one of the biggest obstacles to any weight-loss plan, but studies show a protein-packed breakfast slows digestion and keeps blood sugar steady, meaning you’ll feel more satisfied for longer and energized for the rest of the day. Eggs are a great source of protein, why not try a delicious fluffy 3 egg omelette with veggies and even some shredded chicken to start your day. Protein = TICK!
Day 12: SEARCH FOR HIDDEN SUGARS
You may not be eating Oreos by the packet or guzzling cans of Coke, but that doesn’t mean sugar is absent from your diet. You’re likely to be eating sugar throughout the day without even realizing it. It’s added to foods that don’t even taste sweet, like breads, condiments, sauces. That’s why most of us taking more than double the recommended amount of added sugar per day.
Check the nutritional information on the back of food packets and find “Carbohydrates”. Usually it specifies in grams how many total carbs are present in the food. Look directly underneath to where is says “carbohydrates of which sugars” it is this number we need to focus on. If the number is the same or as close to/more then specified in the “total carbohydrates” then this particular food is made up primarily of sugar, stay away! If the number is a lot lower then stated on the “total carbohydrates” then these carbs are coming from sources that are low GI and little sugar which are perfectly ok to eat!
Day 13: SKIP PACKAGED FOODS
For anyone trying to lose weight, cutting down consumption of added sugar like mentioned in day 12 is essential. One way to do it: eat clean. Focus your diet on whole foods—like lean meats, veggies, and fruits and working to eliminate artificial and processed foods. [anything that comes in a wrapper or box]
Day 14: GET INSPIRED
Congratulations! You’ve made it to Day 14! If you’re struggling to maintain your motivation, you’re not alone. Many dieters start their plans feeling motivated and many also lose steam at the 2 week – 1 month mark. Remind yourself every day why you’re losing weight. Whether it’s to improve your health, boost your energy, or simply feel better in your own skin and that if you stick with the habits you’ve adopted over the past 2 weeks, then you’ll reach your goal.
Stay strong team and keep smashing it!