As a way to inspire people to get over the slump of the New Year festivities and additional pounds, I started a friendly challenge among a few online forum members to help get them motivated to reach their ultimate fitness goals. Since many of these individuals are aiming for fat loss, I decided to present this as a 30 day fitness challenge for those wishing to join in. We set a healthy 1-10 pound weight loss goal which keeps it very real and very attainable. If you haven’t personally started a 30 day challenge yourself, now is the time to get started!
The first thing to write down is your current body weight and your goal weight, while documenting the total pounds you need to lose in order to reach your goal. The last piece of the puzzle is to provide some type of detailed overview or summary of your diet plan and workout schedule that will help you reach your fat loss goal. If you can put forth the effort into writing it down and visually seeing it, this will create a commitment and also encourage follow-up journaling as the 30 day challenge gets started.
It has already been 2 weeks into the fitness forum challenge with all of the members and there have been some “challengers” showing weight changes on the scale for the better. However, there have also been several members who are stuck at the same weight and they are getting frustrated. The most important thing you need to do in this situation is to look closely at your diet when you don’t see the scale dropping. It’s almost always something you’re eating or drinking that is causing the issues, so look very closely at everything you’re putting into your mouth each day. This includes all of those tasty coffee drinks at your favorite place which could be sabotaging your weight loss goals.
For those of you who need that extra boost, you may want to present this type of friendly challenge to friends or family members. Choose a time period a few months ahead so that you can all prepare for it. It’s always great to get people close to you into a positive project that will help them get healthier.
For those people who joined in on our current 30 day fat loss challenge, I made sure to provide some feedback to help them along the way even if it was just a little encouragement rather than specific corrections to their diet and exercise plan.
By getting on with things sooner than later, those of you who did not jump on the January 1st “get fit” bandwagon, now is your chance! You still have time to get ahead of the game because summer is still a season off. The summer months are usually a common goal for people who set fitness goals since the desire to look their best so they can wear fun and sexy summer bikinis and swimsuits is at an all time high!
Some of my workout suggestions include focusing on compound exercises since they hit multiple large muscle groups which helps to exert more effort during the workout and results in more fat burning! Examples of these exercises include leg exercises such as squats, leg press, leg curls and Romanian deadlifts. Chest exercises include barbell bench press and incline dumbbell press. Back exercises include barbell deadlifts, pullups, T-bar rows and bent-over rows.
Lift as heavy as possible in the 6-8 repetition range (after warmup) and always try to overload the muscle to help build size and strength. Remember, building muscle is the key to burning fat so lift heavy to pack on lean mass and use cardio and a clean diet to strip the fat off!
For your diet, I suggest focusing on nutrient dense carbohydrates with clean starches and dark leafy greens as the bulk of your carbs! Carbs are needed to give you energy for all of those intense workouts and also to refill glycogen levels when you’re finished training. Great choices for starchy carbs include yams, ancient grains such as quinoa and millet, oatmeal and brown, black and red rice.
Next, focus on lean protein sources like egg whites, chicken breast, turkey breast, fish and steak (top round, London broil). Shoot for one gram of protein per pound of body weight. So, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should be eating 200 grams of protein every day (divided up into 5-6 meals). Healthy fats are also important so make sure to include nuts like almonds, walnuts and Brazil nuts, along with all natural peanut butter, olive oil, avocados and flaxseed. Include 2-3 liters of water per day to really flush out all of the toxins while helping to stay optimally hydrated.
Try out this 30 day fat loss challenge out for yourself and see how it goes! It’s a short commitment but may provide some positive fitness gains over a short period of time and give you the encouragement to keep going for even better results!