April Challenge- #FitAndFlyByJuly

When I set the date w/ Maria Moore Photography to update Sweat’s pictures on its web page, I had about a 2 hour time frame where I frantically went into full blown diet mode.  I basically planned a bikini competitors “diet down” plan for myself where there would be a strict, bland regimen of chicken, tilapia, egg whites, steamed vegetables, and perfectly measured out starches.

Then logic and reasoning returned and I knew that type of approach…

1.  wrecks our hormonal balance and can create a very difficult to manage relationship between leptin and ghrelin, two hormones which regulate hunger and fullness.

2.  is NOT sustainable long term.  We cannot live out of tupperware containers or chicken breast our whole lives and once we achieve results, we want them to KEEP them!!

As I wrestled with what to do, I realized that I wasn’t alone in feeling like I had a deadline to reach.  Pools open Labor Day weekend!!!!  We’re all freaking out a little bit so I am challenging all of you to join me to get #FitAndFlyByJuly!!  (Credit to Lift for the creative name.  Thanks Wes for letting us steal it!)

The game plan:

April– 30 Day Jump Start- Spring clean your meals and emotional eating habits.

May– Tweak the Jump Start based on results and begin utilizing “cheats” to keep our metabolisms revved up and our palettes happy.

June– Sustainability- Pool are open, goals are reached…but don’t bail on everything you’ve started.  Are you able to mindlessly continue the new habits created?

April #FitAndFlyByJuly Jump Start.

This jump start is protein and high fiber focused.  It will ask you to fill up on protein and high fiber fruits and vegetables first and insert whole grain starches and healthy fats to stay satiated and energized.

I have followed this exact jump start with great success many times.  While you will see 3-8 options per meal I do not recommend you seek too much variety during this initial phase.  You want to be able to easily pin point what will need tweaking and where emotional cravings set in.  Too much variety will confuse you in phase 2.

Meal #1- breakfast

Option 1:  1 egg + 5 egg whites, 2 cups vegetables, 1 small fruit

Option 2:  1/2 c oatmeal (dry) made w/ water, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 2-3 slices of Canadian bacon.

Option 3:  Build your own smoothie-

A.  Pick flavor of protein and use 20-50 g of protein.  (I tend to need 30-38g depending on my workouts.)

B.  Pick liquid- 8-12 oz of water, unsweetened almond or unsweetened coconut milk

C.  Pick fiber source- for fat loss stay fibrous!!!- think berries and greens over bananas, start with 1/4-1/2 berries or fruit of choice and a handful or two of greens or veggie of choice

D.  Pick your fat-  start w/ 1 TB of coconut oil, almond butter, or hemp or chia seeds.  Remember this is a meal replacement and it’s CRITICAL you embrace some fat into your shake.

***A MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKE for fat loss should still be able to hold you off for 3-4 hours.  If you find yourself hungry in under 2 hours, you need to add more protein and/or fiber.  If that doesn’t work, try adding protein and/or fat.

Meal #2 (as needed) or meal #4 (as needed)- When to snack??? Why snack??? 

Do you need a morning snack and/or an evening snack?  This all depends on YOUR INDIVIDUAL SCHEDULE and your workouts.  If you are phasing in a lot of exercise especially endurance sports like running, you need to snacks.

Regardless, I don’t recommend you go more than 4 hours without a meal nor should you ever go into lunch or dinner starving.  That will lead to overeating and binges later on.  Snacking will actually save you from yourself later on.  A huge mistake made by most women is to avoid a mid afternoon snack before dinner.  If your goal is to be in control of your hunger and energy (and it should be!) then STOP fasting during hectic parts of your day.

Option 1:  Protein bar- not a Fiber One bar that simply says protein on it either!!  I want this to have no less than 18g of protein in it and hopefully a bit more!  My favorites are Cookies and Cream from Quest, Peanut Butter Crunch from Think Thin, and Peanut Butter Chocolate from Isagenix.

If you find it hard to choose a bar, Metabolic Effect has an awesome way for you to figure out if the protein bars at the store are the right ones to pick for fat loss:  Total Carbs – (Fiber + Sugar alcohol + protein) = “hormonal carbs”  You are looking for a number under 10 and negative numbers are great!  Click here for a video explanation.

Option 2:  “Naked” protein shake- liquid + powder

Option 3:  1/2 c cottage cheese w/ 2 TB almonds/walnuts

Option 4:  4-5 hard boiled eggs and pre-made guacamole

Option 5:  Apple,  1 TB nut butter, pack cottage cheese

Option 6:   Snack hack!!!- Go to Zoe’s or Taziki’s for lunch and order a big salad w/ a double order of grilled chicken.  Both restaurants will neatly wrap in aluminum foil your meat of choice.  Eat half of the chicken for lunch/dinner and save the other half for snack.

Option 7:  Greek Yogurt (2%) for a sweet tooth- sprinkle seeds and berries

Option 8:  Greek Yogurt (2%) savory- prepare your favorite spinach dip w/ plain greek yogurt and enjoy w/ all the veggies you want

Meal #2 and Meal #4/5- lunch and dinner

Option 1:  HUGE salad with protein!!!  Add any and all the veggies you want, pick 2TB of any olive oil based dressing.  The three biggest mistakes people make when creating a salad:

A.    Dressing:  DO NOT USE reduced fat or fat free dressings.  They are full of sugar and additives.  Opt for the natural fats in oils!!

B.  Stingy:  When I say HUGE AND GIGANTIC, I mean get a mixing bowl out to serve yourself.  I was introduced to this $25 kitchen gadget and I adore it and make most of my salads with it.  It’s worth all the space it takes up in my cabinet!- OXO Salad Chopper

C.  Boredom:  Salads require creativity.  Head into the grocery store w/ your favorite salads in mind and re-create it.

Option 2:  Protein smoothie- follow the structure given in Meal #1

Option 3:  4-8 oz meat, 1-2 cups roasted veggies, 1/4 c of favorite whole food starch.  I am a fan of lean meats but please do not feel like the only meat you can eat are tilapia and chicken breast.  In fact, I do better w/ a fattier meat for either lunch or dinner and I NEVER eat tilapia because I’m always hungry 60 min later.

***What about alcohol?  What about a cheat meal?  This is a jump start.   It’s strict by design.  It doesn’t allow for alcohol or cheat meals.  However, BE SMART… If you need a cheat to stay on track then it is allowed but under lean eater rules.  Here is one of the strategies we will all implement in month two… give yourself ONE MEAL a week.  Make sure it’s “worth it” both food wise and emotionally.  Make sure you eat exactly what you want and WITH whomever you want.  Enjoy the food as much as the company!  Don’t cheat at home alone with golf fish crackers!!  Cap a cheat meal at 2 hours.

My schedule this month is absolutely insane so this year my jump start includes the Isagenix 30 Day Energy and Performance System.  It’s basically the jump start above except I will not need to add anything extra to my shakes because all the work was already done for me in their meal replacements.  Between packing, moving, and unpacking neither cooking nor grocery shopping is high on my agenda at the moment.  In addition, I’ve ended up forgetting my trust mini-blender several times and ended up without food at very inconvenient times.  Hangry is a place you NEVER need to see me reach and I always react with a binge.  I want no mess ups in the next 30 Days so I’m reducing the risk 🙂  I am choosing to do 2 shakes per day along with 2 traditional meals per day, 1 protein based snack/mini meal and either big lunch or dinner.  My schedule isn’t the same every day so I have to be flexible with when it’s best for me to eat a meal vs. drink a shake.

As always, if you have questions send me a FB message or email at jeidi@sweathuntsville.com.