It’s Time for the “Get Fit for Summer” Challenge!
We all want killer abs, a tight tush, and to look great in that swimsuit this summer. Well, make it happen! Make March your month to stay active and get serious about your eating habits. There really is no secret to weight loss (or weight gain), it’s the energy balance equation. The energy (food) you put in your body vs. the energy you burn (physical activity and your body’s metabolism). Yes, there are some health issues that may effect your energy input or output, but overall it’s calories (energy) in and calories out. Now is the time to get in shape!
Here’s what you do…
1. Weigh yourself and take measurements.
You need a starting reference (and re-measure every 4-6 weeks). Stand with your feet shoulder width (closer than shown above) and weight even on both legs, then measure:
- Center of bicep (widest part).
- Center of chest (nipple line).
- Belly Button. Some experts say smallest part of waist, BUT if you have a long torso, your measurements may actually be slightly off each time you measure. Right at belly button is most accurate.
- Largest part of hips is usually right across the center of your butt. Also note: as you tone up, measurements may increase slightly as you reshape your booty.
- Largest part of thigh is typically higher on the thigh.
- Calf is optional, there usually isn’t much change from month to month.
2. Keep active most days of the week. It can be a challenge to exercise when you work full time and have a family. Take small steps for success. Here’s some tips to help you along the way:
- Start with just 10 minutes a day doing something. Work up to an hour on days you can. Example week: Day 1, go for a walk. Day 2, ride a bike. Day 3, do sit ups and stretch. Day 4, do a set of stairs a few times. Day 5, do some strength training exercises or pilates. Day 6, go for a hike. Day 7, rest.
- Do activities you enjoy. Think outside the box. Join a team if you like soccer, volleyball, or softball. Try aerial yoga or a circus class or dance class for something completely new and different. Go roller or ice skating, swimming, do a 5k fun run – whatever. Just get out there and be active.
- Make a activity journal. This can be the same journal you write you foods in (see below).
3. Eat mainly whole foods. Whole foods are just that…whole. You don’t find them in a box and this usually means planning out your meals and cooking.
- Breakfast: maybe eat oatmeal with fruit (and turkey sausage if you like), whole wheat toast with a nut butter, a protein/fruit smoothie that you make (no Jamba Juice), eggs with spinach and a side of fruit, etc.
- Lunch: sandwiches are easy – have lunch meat on hand (or beans if you are vegetarian) and pile on the veggies. Salads are great too, but be careful on how much fat (cheese, dressing, nuts) you are adding to your salad.
- Dinner: limit how much you are easy eating out. Plan out your week, make ahead when you can (freezer-friendly meals are great) and try new recipes. Remember this, if you can read a recipe, you can cook.
- Drink water: this keeps your metabolism high, plain and simple!
- Eat healthy snacks: nuts, fruits/veggies (washed and ready to use), greek yogurt, etc.
- Consistency is key: if you fall of the band wagon one day – that’s ok! Brush it off and get back on track.
- Make a food journal: know how many calories you are eating daily. I personally use the My Fitness Pal app. It’s probably the most popular app out there and most foods are already in the system. Once you have your history of foods, it’s fast to just plug them in. Plus, you can track your activity on it too.
- Follow my Fit 4 Summer Challenge Board on Pinterest. I have shopping lists, recipes, and workouts (like the ones I’m doing above in the photos).
Who’s with me? Do you accept the challenge? If you do, leave a comment! Would love to hear about your progress. 🙂