Dismiss this opportunity if you’d like. It is easy for someone to say that challenges are silly or that challenges do not make a lasting impact. I have done this longer than them. These work. Sure, if you are only engaged for the first week and a half you will likely not pick anything new up. But, my friend, but, if you stick to this, trust the process, and take it one day at a time, you will wake up at the end of five weeks pretty surprised with what you accomplished.
Why challenges? Why resolutions? Because your life changes in a moment, not over time. Sure, the progress is made overtime and the journey is really where we find our joy, but every change you made had a moment when that change would almost certainly be realized. Almost in an unfair way, life rarely allows our first intention to be that moment. Maybe I read a book and resolve to implement whatever I have just learned. I likely will waiver from that path at first. But then, one day, I finally step onto the path and that is when that moment occurs. Maybe it is inspired by another life event, or a time of introspection where a different future is desired. The point is that you do not always know when that moment will be.
Committing to 5 weeks gives you 33 days to have that moment, and that is when the hope of something new shines bright.
As Monday nears, we must prepare. Never underestimate how much we must plan in order to succeed [at anything, really]. This is not difficult. Do not worry. Here is your step by step guide to success as it relates to changing your food choices.
CLEAN OUT THE KITCHEN/HOUSE: Clear out the pantry, the refrigerator, the counter top, and any hiding spots you have for other treats. YOU DO NOT HAVE THE WILL POWER TO LIVE WITH M&Ms IN THE HOUSE and that is not even your fault so just avoid the temptation. Throw it away.
-Sugars and sweet treats
-Chips and other snack food
-Vegetable and Canola Oils
-Any beverages that are not water, mineral water, coffee, or brewed/steeped tea
WRITE DOWN A POSSIBLE MEAL PLAN FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS: This might be overwhelming to a newcomer at first. Meal plans are intimidating only because we have never thought how easy it just might be. Simply write down what you easily could eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Remember, some would suggest keeping it simply and repeating meals will lead to the most success.
-Meals do not have to be breakfast meals. A beef patty is just as good in the morning as it is in the afternoon.
-You do not have to get ridiculously detailed. This is about the grocery list coming up.
MAKE A LIST FOR THE GROCERY STORE: You are busy. Life is hectic and stress is everywhere. Being able to pop into the grocery store every two days might not be convenient. That being said, you will probably be visiting your local grocer more often than before. As you learn your rhythm you will be more efficient, but the first week or two could see a few daily trips. Using the meal plan (remember, no pressure, it is just a guide), list out the quantities you will need to get through however long you need to. And do not forget your snacks (carrots, almond butter, bag of mixed nuts).
-Always know why you are going to the grocery store. Wandering is highly discouraged. Do not be in a grocery store without a plan.
GO BUY IT: It will be a short trip. PRODUCE, then MEAT, then, lastly, oils (from the actual aisles).
-Go to the store. Stick to the plan (your list). And get out of there.
-The tried and trued suggestion is to stay on the border of the store. That is normally where everything you need is. Produce and meat and the eggs you’ll be buying are all on the outsides of the store. The aisles have our dry seasoning and our cooking oils (olive oil and coconut oil primarily).
-DO NOT GIVE YOURSELF A CHANCE TO “SHOP.”
HAVE A GO AT YOUR FIRST MEAL PREP SESSION: Keep it simple. Do not stress. Just make food and set aside to be stored once it cools. If you wold like to go ahead and divide it into daily meal containers then you will be ahead of the game. But the first step is just getting the cooking done. We are always able to divide up the food later.
-Have containers on hand that will store your food well (large enough)
-Do not refrigerate foods when they are still hot (if you have the time to allow it to cool)
IF YOU ARE COMPLETELY LOST THEN SIMPLY DO THIS:
1) BUY AND PREPARE 4 CHICKEN BREASTS (BAKE THEM OR GRILL THEM), 4 BEEF PATTIES, AND, IF YOU’D LIKE, BOIL 8-12 EGGS.
2) BUY AND THEN SAUTE (THROW INTO A PAN OF HOT BUT NOT POPPING COCONUT OIL WITH SALT OR OTHER DRY SEASONING TO TASTE) , ROAST, OR STEAM BROCCOLI, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, AND ANY OTHER VEGETABLES YOU’D LIKE. BUYING THESE IS EASY AS THEY LIKELY COME IN BAGS AT YOUR LOCAL GROCER. BUY A BAG OF EACH AND GO FROM THERE.
3) BUY AND USE YOUR NEW SELECTION OF OILS (OLIVE OIL AND COCONUT OIL PRIMARILY) AND A VINEGAR (I LOVE BALSAMIC) TO HELP PREPARE THE MEALS AND ADD FLAVOR (AS WELL AS TO ADD HEALTHY FATS TO THE MIX).
4) BUY AND HAVE ITEMS FOR SALAD AVAILABLE. YOUR MEAT FROM STEP ONE WILL GO NICELY OVER A BED OF SPINACH ON DAYS YOU DO NOT WANT IT BY ITSELF. JUST TOSS SOME OLIVE OIL AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR OVER IT FROM STEP 3 TO TRULY FIND HAPPINESS.
5) DRINK ALL OF THE WATER
About that nutrition challenge. It begins Monday morning when you wake. Be ready when you go to bed Sunday meaning have your food ready and have a plan for when you’ll be eating that food (without a plan you will fail).
Each week will see an addition of something new so do not fear when you read the terms for week 1. There is a reason for this. And it has proven very, very successful in the past.
Your food logs must be submitted weekly in order to receive feedback from your coaches.
There is not much more to say. Be sure to listen to the nutrition talk from today if you have not already and simply read what is posted as the challenge progresses.
Most importantly, get into the gym. Not just to workout, but to be around people who are on the same mission as you. You are likely to come up against resistance outside of the gym. We must do the best we can to separate ourself from that negativity during this period of change.
You are awesome. Stay the course. Trust the process. And stay off the scale (after you do your initial weigh-in, of course).
The Terms: Week 1
Eat lean meat and vegetables along with our favorite fat sources. NO FRUIT. NO STARCH. These will be introduced in week 2 to a degree.
Write down everything you eat each day and submit your food log this Thursday evening or Friday in order to have feedback by Sunday midday.
Drink coffee or tea (that you are able to make yourself), but mostly water (add a touch of seas salt in order to retain it and be sure to squeeze lemon into it if you get bored with water easily).
NO PROTEIN OR RECOVERY SHAKES DURING WEEK 1 (AND 2). We are simply looking to control our insulin and blood sugar. Avoiding spikes is what will help us see quite a bit of progress in such a short period of time.
Supplement with magnesium and/or Pure Pharma 3 (this contains vitamin D, magnesium and zinc, as well as your daily serving of fish oil). You are able to find a magnesium supplement at Sprouts called Natural Calm. This is an awesome product. The Pure Pharma 3 is sold at the gym and should be seen as your daily vitamin.