Four weeks from today my family and I will be sailing off on a Disney Cruise. Between now and then join me in the challenge to uncover your abs. As we have discussed recently, the main factors are moving more and eating right. For the next 4 weeks I challenge you to add the following to your routine:
1. Complete my 10 minute ab program (LRWOC #52 Core Buuuurner) three (nonconsecutive) days per week. Strengthening the core muscles will help the definition and are good for overall health and fitness.
2. Drink water: 2/3 of an ounce for every pound of body weight every day. Roughly 2/3 of your body is made up of water! Drink enough water every day will help keep your muscles and skin toned, assists in weight loss, transports oxygen and nutrients to cells, eliminates toxins and wastes from the body, and regulates body temperature.
3. Consume 30g of fiber every day. Recent studies showed that increasing your daily fiber intake by 5g (from the recommended 25g to 30 for women) can result in the same amount of weight loss as a very specific diet plan prescribed by the American Heart Association.
*The water and fiber together will keep your digestive track well-regulated and reduce
bloating. However, if you aren't used to a higher fiber diet, it might have the adverse effect for the first few days. Hang in there!
Here is the link to the challenge Facebook event! Take a before picture (you don't have to share) and join me!
Download the challenge checklist and hang it somewhere as a reminder. Check off your water and fiber each day and your 3 workouts a week to track your progress.
You can reach your most of your goals and live a healthy life through everything we discussed in the past few weeks: Move more, eat balanced meals with proper portions, and drink plenty of water. That is the foundation. Now here is how you kick it up a notch!... BUILD LEAN MUSCLES! You will feel stronger, have more energy, and burn more calories. As opposed to traditional cardiovascular methods of training, most forms of resistance exercise (aka. strength training) will increase your overall calorie expenditure, even in the hours post exercise. In one study, researchers found that regular weight training boosts basal metabolic rate by about 15%. This is because muscle is “metabolically active” and burns more calories than other body tissue even when you’re not moving. Adding muscle is just as important as working the muscles you already have on the body. Therefore, this week I collected some older blog posts geared towards this idea. Later this week, I will show you how to adapt these workout specifically to fit YOUR body and YOUR goals. So keep up with the blog and social media.
Strength Training and Building Muscle
There are many benefits to strength training; some of them might even surprise you! Lifting weights can help you lose fat, shrink your dress size, become more flexible, build strong bones, ease joints pain.....and more>>. Make sure you are strength training the proper way to maximize your results, including lifting the right amount of weight. Learn more about how to lift the right way and the right weight for your goals >>
Protein To Support Muscle Growth
Last week we talked about the basics of proper nutrition. It really can be simple. Below is how I put it all together. This by no means an exhaustive list of everything I eat. It's to give you an idea of some my easy staples. For the most part we are lazy when it comes to eating. No 10 ingredient meals with multiple steps in preparation. I think the key is to good nutrition really learning to love food in its simplest from… KISS!
First, preparation is the key!
There are so many complicated diets and crazy "easy" recipes made with the new super food of the week. I know those had the opposite effect on me. I got overwhelmed and then had a bowl of cereal for dinner. Nutrition can be really simple! Start by putting your foods into 4 different categories: Carbs, Protein, Fat, other Vegetables.
Carbs: Grains, Fruits, Starchy Vegetables
Protein: Meat, Dairy, Eggs, Fish
Fats: Oils, Nuts, Cheese
Carbs should make up 45%-65% of the calories in your diet, Protein 10%-35% and Fats 20%-30%. It's important to note that fats pack a bigger punch with 9 calories per gram instead of the 4 calories per gram of carbohydrates and protein. Even though fats make should make up a decent part of your diet, their portion sizes should be a lot smaller
So, ok how is this easy? First start with some staples. I try to keep the list below on hand regularly. I actually made a printable grocery list with all of the necessities so I make sure I always remember to get them. You will see that we love dairy in my house!
Carbs: Brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal (steel cut is best, but to keep I easy I do organic instant oats most of the time), Lots of Fruit
Protein: Non-fat Greek yogurt, chicken breast, sirloin steak (lean, only once per week), salmon, tuna (canned in water), nitrate free turkey bacon
Fats: Raw almonds, olive oil, cheese
Veggies (choose your favorites, but try to add variety): Asparagus, broccoli, bell peppers (a few colors), cucumber, baby spinach or kale, celery. I cut up some of the raw veggies (peppers, cucumber, and celery) to keep readily available in the refrigerator, then I just throw a handful on the side of my plate for lunch.
Then, for every meal, pick something from each category (use the appropriate portion size) AND then pile on the veggies. Stay tuned next week for some examples of how I put my meals together.
Look at that picture from high school - the one on the left if you couldn't tell ;). Don't I look scared?!?! I should have been. I had no discipline. Often, us distance runners were left to ourselves to complete our workouts. I distinctly remember this one day at practice my senior year. As seniors we were the leaders, in charge of carrying out the working prescribed by the coach. We were instructed to complete half mile repeats. I don’t remember how many we were told to do, but I know we were scheming to get away with doing less. One of the brand new freshman said to us, “We are never going to get better that way.” What did we do? We made fun of her and told her she could do more herself if she wanted to. I wish I could slap my b*tchy teenage self: 1) for being mean to the new girl (who, by the way, was right) and 2) for not working up to my potential.
Now look at the picture on the left. That’s me yesterday after completing 6 half mile repeats – ALL BY MYSELF. Nobody told me to do it. I did it because I knew it would make me better. I’m getting older and will probably never be as fast again as I was in high school. I wish I could go back and tell myself that SUCCESS REQUIRES HARD WORK. There are no short cuts, no cutting corners if you want to reach your goals. The feeling of “what if” is not a good one. I cannot go back. All I can do is be the best version of myself today, tomorrow and the next day.
PS. Half mile repeats are one of the best things you can do to improve your time in running, whether you are training for a 5k or a marathon. I can help make it a part of your customized training plan. Ask me how!
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