This week we are focusing on what we drink and when we drink it.  There are a few things you can do to improve the benefits of the liquids you put in your body.  Your challenge is to follow these three rules for beverages:

Don’t drink your calories. You are getting plenty of calories in the food you eat. So outside of a low calorie protein based drink such as milk or protein powder mix, you should avoid sugary drinks. When you take in sugar via liquids, it goes directly into your bloodstream causing your blood sugar to spike. Now instead of burning the calories from food, your body starts processing the calories from the beverage you just had. We don’t want this! We want our bodies to focus on processing the calories from food and to keep our blood sugar low to help our bodies be most efficient at this. So this week before you put a beverage to your lips, I want you to be sure it has less than 5 grams of sugar per 8 oz. If not, choose a different drink.  This counts for your alcohol and coffee as well. 

Stay away from carbonation. Can we all agree that eating smaller portions can help us eat less overall and also can help us lose weight? When you start eating smaller portions spread throughout your day, the size of your stomach will also shrink allowing you to eat less food at a time and still be satisfied. Carbonated beverages expand your stomach making it easier to take in larger quantities again. So in order to be able to continue on a positive path to smaller portions in your diet, you’ll need to avoid carbonated beverages like carbonated water, soda, and beer. I gave up beer completely. This was hard for me, but I’ve learned to enjoy other beverages that help me meet my goals and stay on track.

Don’t drink during a meal or 30 minutes afterwards. When my nutritionist gave me this tip, I thought I’d never be able to do it! I’m a thirsty girl. But when she explained why it clicked. When you drink during a meal it basically washes everything down and coats the food, allowing your stomach to process food easier and leaving room for you to eat much, much more during your meal. You’ll find when you don’t drink during a meal that you allow your stomach to process food fully. It will be extremely uncomfortable at first, after all, you’re used to comforting your stomach during meals with a beverage, maybe even a fizzy beverage to make it super comfy. Not drinking during a meal or 30 minutes after will cause you to stop eating much faster, feel fuller longer, and eat smaller portions at each meal successfully. So when you start a meal, stop drinking and when you’re done eating, set a timer for 30 minutes and leave that beverage alone!

Week 3 Fitness Challenge:

I have to rant for a minute about weight loss and fitness. It’s frustrating when people see my progress and say, “oh wow you look amazing you lost so much weight, what are you doing at the gym?” THEY THINK I LOST THIS WEIGHT AT THE GYM!! I was doing cross-fit 6 days a week for two years and never lost a pound. They never noticed my fitness then.

Only after I lost all this weight IN THE KITCHEN, did people start asking me about what I was doing IN THE GYM! Marketing has miseducated the public that fitness will directly lead to weight loss. Moving more burns calories and this can HELP with weight loss. But if you are eating the same amount of calories, eating the wrong foods in the wrong order, eating too much food in a sitting, and drinking your calories, it’s not going to matter how much you work out or how hard you work out. You’ll be right back where you started.

If you want to lose weight, follow the tips you’ll learn in this challenge. If you want to work your heart and reap the benefits of increased strength and blood circulation, hit up your favorite workout!

Each week’s fitness challenge will involve compound body weight movements. Body weight movements are great because they can be done from anywhere without equipment required but they are extremely effective at increasing your muscular and cardiovascular fitness. If you combine body weight movements with compound movements (movements that work multiple muscle groups at one time), you will find yourself getting fitter and stronger everyday.

This week’s challenge is the pushup and squat. The pushup works your chest, arms, and abs. The squat works your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, soleus, and even your abs and core. There is a lot of competing information about the proper way to execute the squat and whether its safe for the knees to go beyond the toes. Be sure to watch the video at the top for a full explanation of this week’s movements.

The challenge is to do 100 of the exercise each day, 6 days per week alternating between pushups and squats each day. You can break these up any way you’d like throughout your day or fit them in during commercials while watching your favorite TV show. All that matters is that you do them. If they’re too easy, go to a harder version. If they’re too hard, work on an easier version. As Nike says, “Just Do It”!

Check in with the group with your progress. Did you stick to the rules? If not, what can you do tomorrow to meet your goal? Identify the problem and come up with a plan to fix it. No excuses!