‘How can I lose weight in 30 days?’ Easy! I’m not normally one to advocate quick-fix diets or crazy exercise routines, but 30 days is more than enough time to lose 15-20lbs and kick-start your journey to better health and a better body.
Instead of giving you 30-days worth of eating plans for weight loss, just follow these simple 30-day diet and exercise rules – you’ll quickly find that everything else is just details.
#1. Conquer your Carb-fears!
It’s true, one of the quickest ways to lose weight is to go low-carb, but that doesn’t mean you can’t (or shouldn’t) eat them. In the wake of eating plans like the Atkins Diet which have demonized carbohydrates, you’d be easily forgiven for thinking that losing weight means axing bread, rice and pasta for good. But not all carbohydrates are created equal – it’s the type that counts.
The ‘trick’ to losing weight and keeping it off is to have few, if any, peaks and troughs in blood sugar throughout the day. Simple, refined carbohydrates (think white bread & sweets) break down quickly which ‘spike’ blood-sugar levels. These are also the type of carbohydrates which contribute to belly fat – eek!
QUICK-FIX: Go Low-GI. Swap white breads for wholegrain alternatives made with seeds, pumpernickel and sour-dough. Swap white potatoes for sweet, The same goes for pasta and rice, swap white for whole grain and Basmati.
DON’T OVERDO IT: Overdosing on carbohydrates can lead to unwanted fat gain so be sure to juice-up your carb dishes with lean protein sources like meat, fish & beans. The reason? Protein builds muscle, raises your metabolic rate and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
#2. Make Fruit your Friend!
Because fruit contains sugar, many people mistakenly put it in the same category as other sugary treats and cut it from their diet completely. But fruit can be your weight loss ally, thanks to it’s high levels of water and fiber which help to keep you feeling full.
HOW DO I GET MY DAILY DOSE? The top fruits for weight loss include grapefruit, melons (watermelon, rock melon and honeydew), berries (blueberries, strawberries and raspberries), papaya and peach. Dried fruit has four times the energy density of fresh fruit, so stick to fresh where possible.
SMOOTH-MOVES: A smoothie is another great way to boost your fruit intake. With their thick, creamy textures infused with healthy ingredients, these waistline-friendly snacks help to keep your hunger levels under control and provide a great grab-and-go option when you’re stretched for time. It’s not just fruit, either. Foods like oatmeal, protein powder, yogurt, milk and honey are all excellent additions and can help boost flavor and nutrient value.
#3. Get Some Pork on Your Fork!
Pork, chicken, turkey, beef and other lean meats are all excellent sources of protein – a potent fat-fighter – and can make weight loss a breeze. Not only does protein help build and maintain muscle, it increases your metabolic rate and promotes feelings of satiety. For the best results, aim to consume between 0.5 – 1g of protein per pound of body weight.
In addition to red/white meat, you can boost your intake from varied sources including, dairy, fish and eggs. Vegan sources including tofu, beans, lentils, leafy-green veggies and nuts are excellent, too.
#4. Eat Slimming Snacks!
When it comes to losing weight, calories are important. What’s your target weight? Add a zero to that number and that’s (approximately) how many calories you should be eating each day. Keep track of how many calories you consume. The numbers wont lie and neither will your jeans. Clocking in at under 200 calories each, here’s a quick list of grab-and-go snacks. For more ideas, checkout our list of fat burning foods.
1) 1 apple, sliced and 2 tablespoons of hummus.
2) 1 banana and 1 tablespoon of fat-free chocolate syrup and 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts.
3) 1 nectarine, chopped and 1 tablespoon toasted almonds and 1 teaspoon of honey.
4) 1 handful of whole-wheat pretzel sticks, 1 tablespoon dried cranberries and 1 tablespoon raw cashews.
Fresh fruit aside – soda, artificial fruit drinks, candy and processed foods all feature highly on the added sugar scale and should be limited as much as possible to prevent fat gain. Too many sweet treats can also damage insulin control, trigger stress hormones and wreak havoc on your appetite….back away slowly from the doughnut and no one gets hurt!
#6. Move your Body!
Getting in shape isn’t just about noshing on the right foods at the right time. Sure, it’s important, but it’s equally important to get active regularly too! Try to do something active for at least 30 minutes every day to help boost your calorie burn, improve your health and fast-track your body makeover during the first 30 days.
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get results. In fact, the best forms of activity are often freebies, like taking a walk with a girlfriend, gardening, walking the dog, yoga, cleaning and household chores, doing an aerobics video with a friend, walking to the shops, shooting hoops, cycling, dancing, hitting the beach or taking a dip in the pool – the choice is yours!
Don't put it off any longer! 30 days is the perfect period of time to jump-start your own healthy eating and exercise goals and get the body you want. Why is it so good? Well, it's not too long that it saps your motivation from the start and it's not too short that it stops you from seeing results. In fact, just like Goldilocks and the three bears, 30 days is just right! 4 weeks also gives you a good chance to 'feel-out' the program and see whether or not it's going to be a good fit for your lifestyle.Click here to read more