The 21-Day Challenges-Way to Weight Loss 21 Pounds in 21 Days
A deep and no BS step-by step approach to transforming you lifestyle and get you Healthy, Happy & In Shape
Speak to anyone about the saga of losing weight and I can guarantee you that the story you’ll hear will list many, many tried and failed diets in the past. Sadly, almost every diet blog also begins this way: “This is not a diet blog! This blog is not like all the others, promise!”
Well, this blog isn’t like the others, and I really do promise that.
Day one-weighing in
You know what’s really easy? Losing weight. No really. Any old fool can stop eating for a few days and lose weight, it’s almost stupidly simple. The tricky bit is to keep that weight off. If you don’t mind landing up an emaciated, dehydrated and crabbier version of yourself after these few days, then go right ahead. But I’ll assume you’ve probably tried this once or twice before already. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now.
Today, we start our journey with a “weigh in”. No, not the kind you see on
Go down the list of all the excuses and reasons that are keeping you overweight. Keep this list somewhere safe, so that when one of them rears it’s devious head, you can whip it out and, well, argue with yourself.
Day 2 calorie requirements
In a way, calorie counting can be liberating – there’s no room for excuses, for stretching the truth. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas or if you’ve been through a bad break up – 200 calories is
200 calories is 200 calories.
So how many do you need?
The standard rule of thumb is that eating 10-20% below your caloric requirements will result in slow but steady weight loss – the kind you can keep. Stay at your caloric requirement and you’ll maintain your weight. So, if you usually need around 1800 kcal, knock 10-20% off that to give you 14501600 kcal. Even if you’re on the small end, be very cautious about going below 1200 as this could disrupt your basal metabolic functions (all the things your body needs to do even when completely
Step one: calculate your BMR – basal metabolic rate
This is most precise if you use the first formula that takes your body fat percentage into account. Your lean body mass is your total body weight minus your total fat mass.
BMR = 370 + (21.6 X lean body mass in kilograms).
If you don’t know your body fat percentage ,you can estimate your BMR using the following formula:
For women: BMR = 655 + (4.35 X weight in pounds) + (4.7 X height in inches) – (4.7 X age in years).
For men: BMR = 66 + (6.23 X weight in pounds) + (4.7 X height in inches) – (6.8 X age in years).
Another alternative is to go online and search for a BMR calculator, although be warned that some of them are highly inaccurate.
Step two: calculate your maintenance level
Find this by multiplying your BMR by the activity level that you (honestly!) have:
Sedentary = 1.2 (sitting around at a desk and …yeah, no, that’s all) Lightly active = 1.375 (light exercise a couple of times a week) Moderately active = 1.55 (moderate exercise a couple of times a week) Very active = 1.725 (more serious sports and activities more than 5 or 6 times a week) Extremely active = 1.9 (crazy person level: regular marathons, intense sports and all the rest every day)
Step three: reduce
Knock 10 or 20% off your maintenance level. Be careful here – you may be tempted to be a dieting cowboy and eat less than that, but it’ll only end in tears. Promise. This range is a sweet spot because it’s high enough to maintain for a longer period of time without feeling too hungry and deprived, but low enough to steadily lose weight if you stick it out. Which you will – because it’s easy!
Step four (optional): compare
What you could do now if you’re curious (or a masochist, like me) is to take a
look back at how many calories you have been eating, and try to identify times of day, certain meals or particular situations where you went significantly over the calories you really needed. This gives you a good idea of where you need to be extra vigilant in the days ahead.
Day Three: The Anti-meal Plan Meal Plan
you can draw up a loose meal plan. Here are some “rules” to help you do it right:
Include protein with every meal. Of course this doesn’t have to be meat or fish. Eggs, nuts, tofu, beans, leafy greens and dairy all contain some protein.
- A good guideline is to go with a portion of meat roughly the size and thickness of the palm of your hand.
- Next, add carbohydrates. Spend them on veggies of all kinds if you decided to eat low carb, not anything stodgy, refined and full of sugar.
- Finally, the fats. This could be butter or oil used for cooking, coconut oil or milk, fat from meat, eggs and dairy, avocado, nuts, oily fish or cheese. Go “low fat” if you’re thinking of harmful oils like canola or refined sunflower oil, but in general, healthy oils like butter and olive oil are perfect.
Have a good idea of what an ideal meal looks like. An adequate serving of protein with plenty of fresh veggies, healthy fats and some carbohydrates can take many forms
a coconut soup with sweet potato, a chicken quinoa salad, meatballs with roast veggies and whole-wheat pasta… get your head around portion sizes and macro-nutrients and you can be flexible.
Decide on the frequency of your meals.
With a meal guide built on the above principles, you can easily go to a restaurant and find something that matches your criteria.
Day Four: Drink Up!
water in your life:
Fill a pretty jug with slices of lemon, lime, strawberries or sprigs of mint. Let it chill and mellow a little in the fridge, then have a few refreshing glasses throughout the day.
Start a collection of fun and interesting herbal teas. I have a somewhat embarrassing section of my kitchen cupboard devoted only to tea: buy a nice tea pot with an infuser inside and you can make a delicious cup of tea with nothing more than a nub of ginger and a stevia leaf.
Though it’s not a good idea to drink it exclusively, carbonated water, soda water or tonic water can be very refreshing and a nice change of pace. Of course, making cocktails defeats the purpose of increasing your hydration…
Soup! Anything from clear, Asian style broths to chunkier veggie soups will add precious hydration. Soups also fill you up while keeping your calorie count pretty low, and they’re a great way to squeeze in all your veggies.
Day Five: The Importance of Exercise
Here are some reasons exercise makes more sense
From today onward, try to incorporate more physical activity into your life. I’m not talking about joining a gym that you know you’ll never go to even as you’re signing the contract. I’m not talking about forcing yourself to run like a rat on a treadmill. I am talking about moving your body in any of the millions of ways it likes to move.
So, how does your body like to move? Why not try:
walking in the park Swimming,
diving Track sports,
archery Rock climbing
Taking a bike ride through the city
Playing with children Gardening
, playing in the park with your dog Football,
DIY , home improvements or woodworking
Day Six: Chill Out
If you’ve ever seen a weight trainer’s schedule, you’ll see that they often pencil in “rest” along with all their other tasks because, well, rest is not nothing. It’s important. It’s not the absence of activity, but a different kind of activity all on its own. The body is not a closed system – energy comes in, but it also goes out again.
Today, take some time to rest. But make it focused, mindful rest: journal a little to track your progress, take a stroll through nature, meditate or read a calming book.
Day Seven: The 5 secret ingredients for a perfect night’s sleep
Yes, I know you’ve been doing it for years, but do you really know how to sleep properly? If you do nothing, your body will eventually pass out where it stands, but this is less than ideal. Regular, refreshing and deep sleep balances your hormones, “resets” your neurochemicals and gives your body and mind a fresh start for the next day
1. Set the stage –
a firm and supportive mattress, high quality bedding that is
soft and breathable, a pillow that aligns your spine, blackout curtains and a perfect temperature, well ventilated and quiet room …I’m getting sleepy already. You spend a huge chunk of your life dozing, so spend some time making sure your equipment is up to scratch.
2. Remove interruptions –
gracefully turn down that after dinner cappuccino and stay away from heavy meals, exercise, overly stimulating movies or tons of REM disturbing liquids a few hours before you turn in.
3. Focus –
The day’s over. What’s done is done. Tomorrow, you get a chance to make some fresh mistakes, but worrying won’t make the day come any faster or slower. Clear your head with a meditation, prayer or flip through your favorite poetry book. Deliberately tell yourself that you are going to sleep now, and the cares of the world can come and find you in the morning – where you’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to kick their asses.
4. Commit –
Within half-hour error margins, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. Just
like glasses of water, you don’t need 8 hours of sleep, but very few people thrive on 6 or 10. Settle at an amount that leaves you feeling less like a zombie with morning breath and more like a productive member of a society when you wake up. Remember, too, that as you get older you may require less sleep. It’s all good.
5. Spread the love –
while napping is usually not a good habit to form, it is a good idea to regularly take time out from your life to take a breath, stretch your neck and get perspective before going in again. Stop every hour
you’re at your laptop and walk around or gaze at the birds outside the window. Pause on your walk home to feel the breeze. What I’m saying is, chill out man.
Day Eight: Reflect
So far we’ve taken a very nuts-and-bolts look at weight loss. Obviously, the picture is a little more complicated than this.
In the deepest sense, why are you the weight you are now? Don’t worry if a neat and tidy answer isn’t forthcoming, just keep asking anyway. That little voice deep down knows.
In the same way, why do you want to lose weight? Start with “to look better in a bikini”, but don’t stop there …what’s so great about looking good in a bikini?
What does food mean to you? Is food a friend, a reward, entertainment, a hated enemy, a chore just like everything else in life, a hobby, a symbol of love, a waste of time? Dwell on it a bit and see what comes up.
Forgetting about food for a moment, what are you hungry for in life right now? More love? More challenging work? The respect of your peers? A family? Fun?
Think about the last thing you ate. Why did you eat it? How did your
feeling before and after you ate it?
Ok, end of therapy session. But, the point stands. Macronutrients, good sleep and eating at or below your caloric requirements are the first building blocks to a healthy lifestyle that makes sense, but you’re a complex organism and your emotions, thoughts and beliefs are just as important. Sleep on it (yes, in that wonderful sleep altar you prepared yesterday!) and let it stew a bit in your mind.
Day nine: A Positive Relationship With Food
remembering what’s so awesome about eating in the first place.
Cook something you never had before
Pack a beautiful picnic and go outside into a park to have a super-chilled snack in the fresh air and sunshine.
What’s your favorite food? Yes, yes,
everyone’s favorite food is extra cheesy pizza, but pick something a little more nourishing
Do a “food meditation”. Eat your next meal with a calm, focused attention and mindfulness
Day Ten -How to kill your cookie monster
Don’t fill your house with bad snacks.
It’s an oldie but goodies: don’t go shopping hungry. A good variant: don’t go shopping in a bad mood.
Take a high quality multivitamin
Go shopping with a list and try to stick to the outer edges of the supermarket, where the fresh produce is.
If you’re constantly hungry on what seems like enough calories, try upping your fat content.
Where to Go From Here
Day 1….day ..2 ……… day 21 .. …Repeat this process for 21 days.
Repeat this process until you are successful.