Four weeks to fabulousness ...
IT'S that time of year when people often ask me, "I'm going on holiday in four weeks, how much weight can I lose by then?". Or, "I'm going to a wedding in two weeks and I want to look my best, is there anything I can do in that time?" So I figured it was about the right time for a four week count down to a fabulous, confident you.
You can do a lot in four weeks, so long as you're prepared to go the distance. And I'm not talking running 10 miles a day, I'm talking targetted workouts and a healthy attitude to your nutrition. You won't achieve optimum results in 4 weeks if within that period you have a few boozy/calorie laden nights out or a massive work deadline that's going to get in the way of your results. I'm not being mean, just plain honest!
If you can get stuck in, you can realistically expect to lose a maximum of four Ibs body fat in four weeks. Not enough to drop a dress size perhaps but certainly enough to make that dress hang better, with fewer squidgy bits and more importantly, give you a little confidence boost.
Now there's a lot of information out there on how to lose fat, fight flab or get a bikini ready body in four weeks. The difference you'll find here is that I'm not trying to sell a magazine or a gym membership, I just want to give you the honest facts on what I would do and what I would recommend to my clients based on the wealth of research, evidence and experience I've accumulated throughout my eight years in the fitness industry.
STEP ONE: RE-VAMP YOUR KITCHEN
Our clever female bodies have a hormone response to training that makes us want to eat back the calories we've just burned off. So dealing with your food and nutrition has to come before the exercise in order that you might resist temptation.
- Fill your fridge with salad vegetables, carrots, low-fat milk, lean meats, fish and cottage cheese.
- Re-stock your cupboards with spelt pasta, oat cakes, spelt crackers, tuna fish, nut butters and nuts.
- Overload your vegetable baskets with butternut squash, sweet potatoes (both great alternatives to carbs), dark green leafy vegetables and avocadoes.
- Spruce up your fruit bowl with melons, apples, berries and summer fruits.
STEP TWO: SCHEDULE YOUR WORKOUT DIARY
We're going to keep it simple for now. Whatever you're doing in the gym or in the park, make it effective. A 20-minute hill training run is going to burn more fat than a 40 minute jog. A 40-minute spin class will burn at least twice as many fat calories as 40-minutes on the cross-trainer will (regardless of what the calorie counter on the machine says)! And I know you all know the key to long-term weight management is raising your resting metabolic rate by training with weights, so I don't really need to say that.
If you don't get to the end of your workout and think, "phew - I couldn't do another thing,' then you're on the right lines!
Here's a suggested workout diary for the week - again this is based on what I would do or recommend to my clients:
Monday: Weights session (30-40 mins). This is the sort of weights/power training that gets you very hot and sweaty. I'll be going through some suggested workouts next week.
Tuesday: Interval training (20-40 mins). Either an interval training run; a spin class; or a Body Attack class.
Wednesday: Hill runs (20-30 mins). Find a circuit near you which includes hills or inclines, any outside running is great because you'll find more undulating terrain.
Thursday: Weights session (30-40 mins).
Friday: Fun exercise (something you enjoy) - this is in place of a rest day, so a swim, a round of golf or a low-impact class.
Saturday: Weights session (20 mins) and Interval training (20 mins).
Sunday: Fun exercise
Now this might all sound like a lot but look at the length of each workout. It's not a two hours a day commitment. You only need to visit the gym three times in one week. You will still get results in four weeks if you don't do this much but you are unlikely to significantly change your body composition (fat to muscle ratio).
So what are you waiting for? If you want results in four weeks, you need to take action right now.