I have created a guide to help you tone up and slim down. It is purely made from my experience and research, and it is effective if you want to shed a few kilograms. The REAL secret to success and quick results is a positive mind set. When you love your body, your body will love you back. Communicate with your body and know what you really want. Your mind, body, and soul will all flow with energy that will get you to where you want. Thank your body every day. Thank it for enabling you to move, talk and breath. Tell it how beautiful it is and how much you want it to be even more beautiful and healthy!
Breathe deeply and do basic stretching to give you more energy, as it improves blood circulation and therefore supplies you with more oxygen. Do stretches that you enjoy and ones that are suitable for your body.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iY5V0xiiKw Here is an example of a five minute stretch routine.
Have a glass of warm water (you can squeeze a few drops of lemon on it) as it wakes up your internal organs and makes you feel refreshed!
I always recommend to do the exercise you love at the time you like. If you are not a ‘morning’ person, you can skip morning exercises, although it is a good thing to push yourself and try to see what you can do! Morning exercise is great as it burns fat rather than calories because you are doing it on an empty stomach.
- 40 minutes of fast walking, using your arms and all your strength
- Mixture of 10 minute intervals of walking, sprinting, jogging
- Dance routine
- An exercise DVD/Video of your choice
It is soooo much fun and really energises you in the morning! Add your favourite tunes to your cardio activity to get you up and going!
*Also beneficial as you are not working the same muscles over and over again, therefore they don’t get bigger*
In the morning, it’s also great to train your abs (see my “Smaller Waist/Ab Training” page), it only take about 10-15 minutes.
Breakfast (Meal 1):
You should wait at least 30 minutes between having your morning glass of water and breakfast. That is to make sure the water doesn’t interrupt your digestion and the absorption of your healthy and nutritious food! A big, healthy breakfast which contains slow-releasing carbs is great, and it prevents you from binge-eating during the day.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas:
- Porridge Oats (make sure it is the natural, unflavoured version!) cooked with water. Add your preferred toppings. Here are some ideas:
- Honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, almonds, dates, banana slices, berries, coconut oil, apple slices, etc.
- Add a drop of milk from sources like cows, soya, almond, hazelnut on top of the hot porridge
- Try cooking porridge with apple juice, it tastes gorgeous and on top of the hot porridge, add a drop of cold apple juice for extra tangy flavour. Top with cinnamon and add honey to sweeten.
- For an extra creamy taste, add Greek yoghurt on top of cooked porridge and mix together.
2. Natural yoghurt (with no added sugar and not ‘low fat’). Greek yoghurt is the best because it’s high in protein. Add honey and your favourite fruities! Natural muesli is also a great to add.
3. Two slices of whole meal bread with:
- 6 Turkey slices
- Smoked salmon
- Scrambled eggs
Add greens such as rocket, or spinach. Also have your favourite piece of fruit!
4. Cottage cheese with cayenne pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Add cherry tomatoes and greens such as rocket/spinach.
5. If you want a healthy ‘English Breakfast’, you can have 3 vegetarian sausages (they are high in protein, low in fat and taste gorgeous), grill some mushrooms and cherry tomatoes on the vine with a drizzle of olive oil. Fry up some eggs and serve with whole grain bread. Don’t forget a piece of fruit!
Mid-morning (Meal 2) and Lunch (Meal 3)
You can find ideas on the Recipes section. Aim to have a good portion of protein!
- Fruit/Fruit salad with natural, Greek yoghurt
- Green leaf salad with boiled eggs, grated carrots and beetroot
- Tuna salad with cider vinegar and a squeeze of lemon, try adding Greek yoghurt instead of mayo.
- Chicken fillet in whole grain bread with greens and sliced tomatoes/cucumbers.
- Turkey slices in whole grain bread with greens and vegetables.
- Soup! Healthy, low fat, low sodium soup is great as it is easy to digest, full of nutrients, and convenient
- Smoothies – also very convenient! How much berries can you pack in there? Do you want to add protein powder?
- A handful of nuts is an excellent source of protein , omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Go for almonds, hazelnuts and chestnuts
- Hummus with celery or carrots and oat/rice crackers
- Avocados cut in slices with a drizzle of honey on top
- Guacamole with lettuce and pepper seasoning
- Scrambled eggs with salad
- Cottage cheese with salad
- Tofu salad
- Sweet potato
You can choose to do your cardio now for about 40 minutes (if you skipped morning cardio) and after, do some strength training for no more than 30 minutes. In the ‘Workouts’ tab, you will find arm, abs, butt and leg strength training. It is good to plan your week ahead and focus on a specific body part everyday. For example:
Monday: Morning – > cardio and quick ab workouts + Afternoon – > Arm workouts
Tuesday: Morning – > cardio and quick ab workouts + Afternoon – > Leg/butt workouts
Wednesday: Morning – > Ab workouts + Afternoon – > Cardio
Thursday: Morning/Afternoon Cardio
Friday: Afternoon -> Legs/Butt
Saturday: Morning – > Cardio + Afternoon -> Arm workouts
This way, you are having good muscle recovery by allowing more than 24 hours for specific muscles to rest. Remember to make your plan work for you! There is always time to exercise and do what you love!
Post-workout (Meal 4)
After your afternoon strength training workout, have a smoothie made with Greek yoghurt or protein powder to help support your muscles.
Dinner (Meal 5 or even 6 or 7 if you had several meals!)
This can sometimes be out of your control if you live with your family and you don’t cook. However, stay away from processed foods. Having a healthy portion of carbs such as brown rice or brown pasta is great as they are nutritious. Also try other whole grains such as quinoa, barley, bulgur, freekah and wild rice. Have a portion of protein such as chicken, turkey, fish (I love salmon and tuna fillets!), a selection of seafood, healthy Chinese stir fry with tofu and lots of veggies! You can find ideas on the Recipes section.
- Have small, frequent meals through out the day to keep your metabolism going. Aim to have 5-8 meals!
- Aim to have a protein portion with every meal. Don’t be scared of carbs! Just have whole-grain carbs and fresh, organic fruit whenever possible. Also, don’t be scared of fats. Good fats actually help you to slim down and they are contained in sources like (organic) butter, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts like almonds and avocados.
- After 8pm (or two hours before sleep), try not to eat anything as you burn a lot of calories during sleep. You want that ‘burning’ to work on fat, rather than calories. In addition, sleeping while your food is being digested makes your body ‘busy’. Instead, your body should focus on being relaxed while you sleep. If you are really hungry, eat cottage cheese, natural yoghurt, a spoon of natural peanut butter or some nuts.
- Drink plenty of fluids! Especially water! It will not only help your overall health and water weight, it will make your eyes and skin glow! When you exercise, you need even more water than usual so you need to amplify your water intake. I usually have a meal every 2-3 hours and in between, I have 2-3 cups of water. This is to make sure that the water/fluids is not interrupting my digestion of food.
- Drink around 2-4 cups of green tea a day. It is full of antioxidants, great for your metabolism and could even be an appetite suppressant.
- Always aim to have natural, unprocessed foods. If you can, try to make it organic.
1.When should I see results?
As soon as you decide to love your body more than anything! You should feel different, more healthier, and more livelier within a week or so. Proper results that you can see all over your body are within 6-8 months. Good luck on your journey, and let us all be updated on your progress!
2. How often can I treat myself?
When you indulge, you must enjoy it, choose to make the most out of it! I recommend to listen to your body whenever you want to indulge, and you could try asking yourself, ‘do I really need this in my body? How will my body benefit from it?’. If you treat yourself everyday, that’s fine! Just reduce it bit by bit everyday and find healthier alternatives. Healthy food can be soooo yummy, you just have to discover them, and find what you love. Plus, the more meals you have a day, the less you’ll be chasing after unhealthy/processed snacks.
3. If I am tired, and I can’t workout, what should I do?
Take it bit by bit, communicate with your body and let it know what you really want. If you are tired, have a rest and enjoy it. Workout as soon as you feel like it. If you are sick, wait until you have fully recovered, and make sure you eat well and sleep well.
4. I’m struggling with motivation
Who or what is stopping you? Only you are in the way. Find out what you really want, what are your intentions? How much do you want it, seriously? Connect more with your intentions (make toning up/slimming down to be your intention) and it will become your reality. However, do it on a basis that your body deserves all that is healthy, love your body, and seek to improve and develop yourself. Smile! Plan tomorrow, write down what you are going to do, what you are going to eat and your workouts. Do it with love! The fact that you are reading this shows that you are motivated!
5. I can’t do 40 minutes of cardio!!
How do you know? Push yourself gradually everyday, with your mind, body and soul until you could do 60 minutes and just truly know that you can do it. Make sure your cardio activity is something that you love like a walk, your favourite dance routine, or 10 minutes of each machine in the gym. Create variation too, change your workouts every month or so, or whenever you feel like it! Look at the cardio activities that I have included in the workouts tab! Do you like weight training? It is great to input in your exercise routine!
6. I have the busiest timetable, I can’t afford to fit exercise, or making food into my daily life
For me, a base that I always try to accomplish to be healthier is to get enough sleep. Do you get at least 7 hours of sleep each day? Another thing, is that there is no right or wrong in how you live your life and organise your time. You can sleep at 8:00pm and wake up at 3:00 am, if that suits your lifestyle and will allow you to fit exercise, and a good, healthy diet into your lifestyle. You can prepare healthy food the night before if that helps you save time the next day. You can wake up an hour earlier to exercise. Healthy food can be simple, quick and easy to make yet taste so good, if you discover recipes that suit your lifestyle. Always have snacks near you, such as your favourite fruits, or nuts, little pots of hummus, pots of yoghurt, so you are having enough meals in the day, every few hours to keep your metabolism going and so you stay away from binge eating.