Many of us don’t thrive on long-term goals. Lose two stone by February? Yawn!! Lose 2-4 pounds by Friday? Yes please!!
Step One: Drink two litres of filtered water every day. If you live somewhere hot (sadly, the UK is damp and soggy so if you are enjoying sunshine, appreciate it!) then you may need three litres, or if you’re exercising for more than 90 minutes at a moderate to hard intensity. Increasing your fluid intake makes your skin look healthier and flushes away toxins. It aids many of the body’s chemical processes and encourages fat loss. At the same time as increasing your water intake, try to reduce teas and coffees to a maximum of two a day, or avoid completely if you nibble biscuits at the same time! Avoid fizzy drinks and fruit juices too.
Step Two: If you don’t currently do much exercise then this week that’s all going to change – no excuses! If you have a gym membership then show your face and kick your butt in the weights room! Do a complete body circuit using exercises such as squats and lunges with dumbbells, press ups and pull ups (assisted) and alternate every 2-3 exercises with HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). You can find many examples on YouTube, but basically it’s alternating working at near-maximum effort (9 out of 10 on perceived rate of exertion table) with short rest periods. This style of exercise burns more calories in a short space of time.
If you don’t have a gym membership, or are seriously pushed for time, then pop your trainers on and go for a walk, jog or run from your house. Get out for at least 40-60 minutes every day this week.
Step Three: Take care of your skin. Buy a body scrub (any brand will do, it doesn’t have to be a luxury product) and run yourself a bath every evening. Scrub your whole body with either the scrub or exfoliating gloves and shower gel and follow up with a rich body moisturiser. Do this for three days.
On the fourth day, moisturise only dry areas: elbows, knees, ankles and feet. Then apply a coat of self-tan straight after the bath when skin is soft and warm and will absorb the product more easily. Apply a small amount and build up gradually. Remove the staining from the hands with real soap and exfoliating gloves. I find that the St Tropez brand works best on my fair skin. If you’d prefer not to use a self tan, then opt for a moisturiser containing a small amount of self tan for a subtle warmth to your skin tone.
If you have a facial scrub and mask then use this while in the bath when the steam helps open the pores and make the product more effective. Follow up with a night-time mositurising face cream (and serum if you have it).
Step Four: Eat a diet based around vegetables and lean protein sources. Try scrambled eggs or omelette with chopped peppers, courgettes and tomatoes for breakfast. A tuna or chicken salad for lunch with a large portion of baby spinach leaves, watercress, rocket plus any sliced raw vegetables and a drizzle of olive oil and fresh lemon or lime juice. A sprinkle of cayenne pepper will enhance fat-burning effects. For dinner have a piece of baked fish (try organic salmon) or chicken or steak, with steamed or stir fried vegetables. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon have a couple of raw carrots or celery sticks with a handful of plain almonds or brazil nuts. Add 2-4 mugs of green tea to your daily intake and you should feel fairly full by about 5pm and far more energetic by Friday. Avoid sugar and alcohol.
Step Five: Change your mindset to a positive one. Use positive affirmations such as ‘I love myself’, ‘I am a kind, loving person and deserve to be loved’. You can find many of these positive affirmations online. Avoid negative affirmations – a good example of this is when we look in the mirror and tell ourselves we look fat or disgusting.
Do one positive thing in your living space every day: clear out a kitchen drawer, sort out the pile of bills on your desk, clean out your car, wash all your cushion covers or clear a surface completely and pop some flowers in a vase.
I’ll also be doing it with you. Today, I’ve done 40 minutes cardio-vascular exercise in the gym, plus a few weights exercises. I’ve eaten a lovely omelette with vegetables and chicken after my workout and drank lots of green tea. The positive affirmations are flowing ‘I’m feeling good, I’m back in the game’ (that’s IN the game, not on the game….which would be an entirely different post!) I’ve scrubbed, moisturised and applied the self-tan; nails are filed and ready for new polish. The only decision is which colour to choose?
I have a friend’s birthday party on Saturday night…what could you do on Saturday as a reward for all the positive energy you’ve spent on yourself this week?