For Thursday, March 6th 2013 your challenge is as follows:
Purge! On Day 1 of your Mardi Gras makeover, you need to go into your kitchen and your office and get rid of any remaining king cake or other seasonal sugars. Hide it if your kids or significant other still wants at it, but not you, you are on a mission to get back on track towards a healthy lifestyle. Put any high calorie tempting foods out of sight.
Take those Girl Scout cookies and hide them in the back of your fridge. Yes, sugar is fine in moderation and that is why during your Mardi Makeover you are allowed to eat up to 150 calories per day of dessert! That’s the equivalent of 2 or 3 Girl Scout cookies, not the entire row of thin mints. If you think you’ll have a hard time sticking to the 150 calorie rule, go through your sweets and sort them out into individual serving sizes. Buy desserts that come already individually packaged and are within your calorie allowance. Do whatever it takes to make sure as you go through the next 10 days you are going to stay on track by eating nutrient packed foods that will power up your workouts and help you to rev your metabolism.
Your next step is to make a grocery list than includes 5 different types of fruits and 5 different types of vegetables, as well as 2 – 3 lean protein sources such as chicken, turkey meat, or lean ground beef. The following specific items must be on your grocery list: 10 apples, 2 bunches of kale, and non-flavored oatmeal. You’ll be digging in to these items as the week goes on.
Homework for day 1: clean out your kitchen & office; ditch any high-calorie, high-sugar foods! Make a grocery list and head to the store today or tomorrow.
Exercise Encouragement: Get your heart rate up for at least 30 minutes today. Cardio is going to be important during your Makeover because you need to maximize your calorie burn. Go for a brisk walk or run indoors or outside. For the last 5 minutes of your routine, jump rope (or pretend to) for 30 seconds, then recover for 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times for a grand finale to your cardio training. If time allows, add some abdominal work to the end of your routine. Try to hold a plank position as long as you can, complete 50 crunches (going slow, not fast!), and do 25 leg lifts and lowers.
If you don’t know how to do these ab exercises, don’t worry, I’ll attach some pictures with tomorrows email. In the meantime, feel free to work your abs any way you know how for as long as your schedule allows today! Abdominals can be worked almost every day because they are such an important muscle group for balance, stability, and movement.
Homework for day 1: Cardio (walk or run) + jump rope & abs if time allows.
Relaxation Rx: Practice deep breathing for 10 minutes. Go into your bedroom or home office and shut the door. Play some relaxing music if you have to drown out other sounds. Go in your car if you have to. Mardi Gras can be a hectic time of year with friends in town and parties to go to, so it is important to take some time to get yourself to relax. Deep breathing can help to calm you down and send the message to your body that it’s okay to be still. You might feel silly, but the more stress you have in your life, the more your body holds on to fat. If you want to ditch the fat, you’ve also got to send a signal to your brain that you can ditch the stress as well. This doesn’t mean that your life magically becomes far less stressful overnight, but rather that you are able to manage and control the stresses as they occur. Studies show again and again that mental health significantly contributes to physical health, so spend 10 minutes today relaxing your mind!
Homework for day 1: Spend 10 minutes focused exclusively on taking deep breaths.
Just a reminder that today is the last day of the Mardi Gras challenge I will be posting on my blog… If you want to get the challenges for the rest of the 9 days, send me your name and email by filling out the form below.