Bikini Competition Prep: 21 Day Plan

Like I’ve said before, maybe your goal is to compete OR maybe you just want to look and feel better in your jeans. Either way, we can all learn a little something from training the way fitness, figure and bikini athletes train: like it’s our job.

This week marks a new program for me and will last for the duration of 3 weeks. I love short duration programs as I usually make the most changes then. Why? Because I can commit better to a diet and exercise program as long as I know it won’t last forever:) I’ll outline the new program for you, then give you a peek into the things I refuse to give up…at least for now.

First off, I am “sweating it out”. What exactly am I sweating? Fat? Calories? Feelings of insecurity? No, it doesn’t work that way. In forced sweat workouts what we’re trying to do is really two-fold. First, we’re sweating out toxins in the body that hinder the utilization of fat for energy. Your 2 biggest culprits here are alcohol and sugar (hence why it is SO important to abstain from both during these 3 weeks). Second, we’re sweating the stored water on the surface level of the skin. This is another reason why this phase doesn’t last long and shouldn’t be a part of your daily life. The water between muscle and skin is great to have as it plumps the skin and makes it all youthful (you know you’ve gone too far when you no longer look youthful), but in the quest for seeing serious definition, as in a competition, photo shoot, film part or reunion, ditching the water will allow more of the muscle to show. Take a look at the basic principles of the Tight Skin Diet while you’re here though. There is nothing worse than definition and loose skin! With the TSD you can maintain tight skin through proper nutrition.

sweating it out

What else? Well, due to the new workouts and proficient sweating, my water intake has gone from 1 gallon to 1.5 gallons. About half of that has lemon in it. I’ve also upped my protein by about 10 total grams per day and this will slowly go up with time. I’m still getting in plenty of fresh veggies too, as that is key to great skin and great health. SUCK IT UP AND EAT YOUR VEGGIES! My carbs have increased in that my afternoon snack is always oatmeal, usually with a banana. This snack enables me the necessary energy for my second workout. Do you have to do a second workout? Of course not! But eat some oats and that can be an option for you ;)

I do struggle with ditching some things. First of all, I won’t give up my green shake every morning. That’s not a bad thing not to give up, really, so I just refuse. It makes my skin glow and has eliminated unsightly pimples at the age of 35, thank you very much. Also, I won’t give up my coffee…or my half and half. Shameful, I know, but I do have an addiction and I’m seeing how far I can get while holding on to that pet. I did give up alcohol and my beloved Gummy Bears (yes, you read that right), so I figure I’ll ride the cream and coffee train for a bit longer. I have cut back though :)

So, if you want to change your body, add some definition or just try something new, consider following in the steps of someone who has done it…I mean, they’ve actually accomplished it so why not?

Until next time, live healthy!

 

Michelle

 

DETOX: The Simple Facts

We’ve discussed it before, but detox tends to keep popping up in questions. So, here we go with the basics :)

detox-diets-020413

Don’t get scared by the celery! It’s going to be ok.

For starters, there is a marked difference between what nutritionists think of as detox and what they think of as cleanses.

A detox is restructuring eating habits and weeding out the processed food and drink that can tax your system over time. A true detox should be based on whole foods (think of the whole30 movement and you’re just about there) and loads of water. A detox should not leave you starved nor should it have you running to the bathroom every 5 minutes. In other words, done right a detox is totally doable.

A cleanse is more about deprivation and will often cut out food in and of itself. Cleanses often include drinking nasty concoctions and having ample amounts of time to visit the toilet. These types of diets are also associated with fatigue due to low amounts of nutrition. Most cleanses last only for a few days to a week at most. Cleanses can be beneficial if done under the watchful eye of a trained nutritionist or dietician.

So, which is better? In my opinion, we can all benefit from a detox from time to time (I usually do one about 3 times per year of after a heavy travel period). Daily life can tend to accumulate nutrients that will cause our system to work more than it should. Let’s think about this from our livers point of view. You have nothing better to do so do it!

Your liver is one of the hardest working organs in your body. It takes the trash out from all other systems, so to speak. So, imagine your little liver, trucking along and doing its job as you proceed to pack in some junk food (don’t judge, we all have those days). Well, the liver has to crank up the work load to weed out the toxins in your Cheetos, Twizzlers and (shiver) Diet Coke. Pile on top of this the copious amounts of pasta you woofed down, followed by a bottle of wine (2 glasses is for wimps!). While you’re trying to sleep, your liver is now in overdrive and yelling “I’m giving her all she’s got captain!”. You wake early after a late night and your liver has to punch the overtime clock as you start to down the coffee to combat said wine from the night before. Do you get a little of the picture here? I haven’t even mentioned the stress the liver takes trying to process sugar, environmental grossness in the air and STRESS. Poor thing needs a break now and again.

Why should we care about one organ so much? Well, your liver is your biggest player in fat burning, or rather, utilizing fat for fuel. The liver has more to do with your body than you might think at first glance. Imagine if all the trash men in the world just quit and left the pickup to one guy. He would get overworked and our streets would start to get more clogged with trash. The more trash, the slower everything would move and the more stressed out we would all get. Same thing happens in the body, we just can’t see it. If you pay attention you can feel it though.

lemons

Detox shouldn’t mean you have to take a week off of work or retreat from friends and family (unless you just want to, then by all means). All that is needed is a few simple changes to start.

  1. Start the day with warm lemon water. Why warm? It gets into the liver faster that way, or so goes the theory.
  2. Drink a gallon of water per day and squeeze the juice of 2 lemons into it throughout the day as well to boost the cleansing effect.
  3. If it’s comes in a box, DO NOT CONSUME IT.
  4. Try a salad for lunch, no creamy dressings.
  5. Stay meat free…until dinner.
  6. Ditch dairy.
  7. Steer clear of processed foods like bread and pasta as much as you can.
  8. Try starting your day with a green smoothie or juice.
  9. This one might sting: no alcohol! I know, it sounds crazy, but your liver will thank you :)
  10. Get your zzzz’s. Shut off the computer, TV, FB, whatever, a little earlier and aim for a minimum of 8 hours per night (I struggle with this one!)

Most of my clients look at this and say “But what will I eat?!?!?!” Um, take a gander at the produce department and then have your way with it! Fruits and veggies are all good, as are proteins, whole grains (no cereals you! I know you were wondering) and all that jazz. Hit the perimeter of the store and expand your mind. I’ve got plenty of detox friendly recipes on the blog for you as well and I try NEVER to spend too much time in the kitchen.

Take it in stride and expect results. Feel free to ditch your caffeine unless it turns you into the Hulk at a moments notice should you feel deprived, which is precisely why I still indulge in my coffee….

Stay clean, stay healthy,

 

Michelle