Many times getting a better body is seen as a goal that’s on the other side of a lot of hard work, physical exertion, and intense hunger pangs. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As long as you begin with the end in mind and take strategic steps that serve a distinct purpose, there’s no reason to think that you can’t get to a new physical state in a fraction of the time you might think it would take. As long as you stop hindering the body with the wrong food and a sedentary lifestyle, it can’t be as awesome as it wants to be. This path is one of least resistance, so your body can do what it does best: Be!
Week 1: Detoxification and Preparation
The initial week is all about putting a wedge between your old ways and habits and clearing the slate for a new lifestyle to take root. Out with the old and in with the new. Most diet plans fail because followers just start one day, they don’t plan ahead and prepare their bodies for the changes about to take place. You need to clear a foundation before you can start the building, and trying to make broad sweeping lifestyle changes starting with a weak foundation in place is a recipe for failure.
Suggested Steps (you can change or rearrange these as you see fit):
Day One – Cleaning out your cupboards is the step for this day. Get rid of anything that is pre-packaged and any sort of temptation to stay with your old ways. You’re getting ready to cleanse and detoxify the body and you don’t want to take one step forward and two steps back.
Day Two – A colon cleanse is the order of the day, as this is often one of the more backed up parts of the body, and a lot of good can be had from a quality cleanse. Look for a cleanse that doesn’t use psyllium husk or anything else that is a stimulant as this can lead to your colon depending on these just to function properly.
Day Three – TV Detox. Cut out television watching while on this program. The constant advertisements for fast food, junk food, and chain restaurants will have you trapped in the endless cycle of food consumerism. You’ll be amazed how little you feel like eating junk when you don’t have a constant reminder of it.
Day Four – Establish a workout area in your home. Clear out a corner or clean up the garage. There are plenty of at-home workouts these days that are actually really good. Choose one you like and set yourself up so that you don’t have an excuse not to exercise. More on exercise in Week Three.
Days Five and Six – Do a two-day juice fast. There are several high quality juice detox programs you can follow, whereby they’ll send you enough juice for a two day fast, as well as how to complete the process. This will help your digestive system clear itself out, and also floods your body with nutrients and minerals so you can start eating healthy food afterward.
Day Seven – Do a friend and family check and identify anyone that is a toxic influence on you. Make an effort to steer clear of them or limit your interactions with them while you’re attempting to makeover your body. Negativity has a pulling force, and you don’t want anything but positive support fueling you on during this process.
By the end of this week you’ll have made major progress at making true changes in your life. You’ll have taken away temptations, cleared your body for what’s to come, and
Week 2: Adjusting to Eating Right
Your body has gone through a lot of adjusting in the last week, now is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. During the detox you were asked to get rid of all of the food that doesn’t move you forward. Now you can fill your kitchen with foods that will support a healthy lifestyle. There are plenty of diet programs out there that have detailed information on what to eat, including lists of foods you can eat, which makes it much easier to hit the supermarket and get the things you need to succeed.
Day One – Time to go shopping! Last week was all about colon cleansing and juice fasts, so not your typical grocery shopping list. This week is all about filling your cupboards and refrigerator with foods that will propel you forward rather than drag you down.
Day Two – Try a fruit you’ve never tried. You might have to go the exotic route on this one but there are plenty of different fruits for you to try, and they change with the seasons so you can always go back to this step until you feel like you have a wide selection of fruits to choose from.
Day Three – Try a vegetable you’ve never tried. There are so many vegetables in the produce section that we’re sure there are a dozen you haven’t tried yet. The Internet makes it easy to find a recipe for every veggie under the sun, so don’t be afraid to buy it because you can watch YouTube videos for how to prepare it, and how to cook it.
Day Four – Give sugar the boot. Sugar is not your friend and is not doing you any favors. Once the momentary sweet sensation passes from the lips it’s doing nothing but mucking up your body, raising your blood sugar levels, and becoming fat if you don’t burn it off in time. By removing this unnecessary item from your life you’ll notice plenty of healthy benefits once your cravings go away.
Day Five – Ease off the grains. There is much evidence that grains are not very beneficial to the human body, and there are several diet programs that advocate getting rid of them altogether. Whether it’s the gluten they contain or the carbohydrates, one thing is clear: cutting them out often results in effortless weight loss and increased feelings of wellbeing.
Day Six – Ditch the dairy. The major attraction to dairy products seems to be the calcium they provide, but you can easily get this from leafy green vegetables and other sources. Cutting back on dairy or eliminating it from your diet will yield plenty of benefits, and is definitely worth trying if you’ve never gone long without it.
Day Seven – Go out to eat to a nice restaurant that has healthy menu options. Look at the menu online and choose a healthy option in advance. It’s your reward for making it this far, and to prove that you can go out and have a nice time without ruining your progress or making bad food choices.
Week 3: Introduce Exercise to the Equation
Now that you’ve gotten a handle on your eating, it’s time to slowly get the body used to being more active. This should be easier than it was just two weeks ago because you’ve helped your body rid itself of waste, and have been fueling it up with wholesome, natural foods so you should have much more energy. The type of exercise is not altogether important, just as long as you do it. That’s why you’ll want to pick out an exercise or a combination of exercises that you know you can stick to day after day.
Walking – Nothing is more natural to the human body than walking. After crawling it’s the first thing we learn how to do in the way of exercise, and it’s something that can sustain us all the days of our lives. There’s hardly ever an excuse not to go for a walk, since you can always put on a raincoat, a parka, or a pair of shorts depending on the weather and time of year. You don’t have to power walk to get the benefits of walking either, just try to go when the sun is shining to get Vitamin D.
Swimming – Next to walking and running, swimming is the next most natural exercise for us. Perhaps it goes back to our earliest aquatic ancestors, our webbed fingers are no accident, but it just feels good to be in the water. If you’re not a very good swimmer don’t be afraid to take lessons as an adult. Feeling comfortable in the water and being able to swim and feel better than you did before you swam is a gift you can keep with you for life.
Cycling – Cycling is a great way to get outside and get some fresh air, as well as a fantastic leg and core workout. Just be careful you don’t start it at the wrong time of the year and then use the weather as an excuse not to go. Getting yourself a stationary bike is worth the investment if you really want to use cycling as your method of getting in shape.
Yoga – Yoga is a great exercise because it works on so many levels. You’re stretching the body, increasing flexibility and mobility, while at the same time building strength and getting your heart rate up. If you regular yoga you may want to try out hot yoga, but this isn’t necessary to get the benefits from doing simple poses.
Week 4: Make It Routine
You’ve come along way in a short time, so now it’s time to establish this as your routine so that you don’t have to think about it anymore, it’s just the way you are. Taking out the thought process is important because it increases your chances of long-term success. Your routine is just that – your routine – so you’ll have to find out what works best for you and your life. There are some helpful things you can do that are universal and work for everyone that tries them, and we’ve included them here so you can use them when constructing your ideal routine.
Go to Bed Early – You really start tomorrow by how you finish tonight. If you stay up late and fight off sleep to get things done, or just to watch TV, you’re setting the tone for the next day as you wake up bleary eyed and sleep deprived. You’ll notice that you start yawning at a certain point in the night and it’s hard to keep your eyes open. This is your body’s way of telling you that it’s time for sleep, and this is the best time to hit the hay.
Wake Up Early – By going to bed early you’ll have an easier time of waking up early the next morning. Imagine being able to wake up before your alarm goes off and feeling great. You can do this because you’ve been eating right for weeks now and you’re going to bed early so you’re getting your full amount of sleep, just at an earlier time so you get more deep sleep.
Lunch as Your Main Meal – Eat a filling lunch that leaves you satisfied, as you’ll have the rest of the day to work it off and use up the nutrients you’ve consumed. Don’t eat so much that you’re stuffed and sluggish the rest of the afternoon, but don’t make it just a quick meal that leaves you hungry an hour later.
Light Dinner – Have a light dinner and don’t eat anything from dinnertime till bedtime. It only takes about a week or so to develop this habit, as long as you are going to bed early enough.
Relax After Sunset – When the sun goes down it’s time to transition your body from a state of activity to one of rest and relaxation. Recharge your batteries with a healthy, light dinner, and then find relaxing activities you can do from dinner until it’s time for sleep. Read a book, listen to soothing music, chat with friends and family, whatever soothes you.
Week 5: Get Your Mind Right
The connection between the body and the mind is often overlooked in many diet and exercise programs. This week’s focus will be on finding quiet time throughout the day to meditate, reflect on your life, and discover latent talents and abilities to strengthen the new you.
De-Stress – Take time each day to do something that takes the stress away. It will vary from person to person. Maybe you’ll want to take part in a physical activity like kickboxing or a martial art where you can take out your frustrations. Maybe you just need to take a hot bath each day. Spend at least 30 minutes per day doing something with the sole intention of relieving stress and feeling better.
Meditate – Meditation is something all of us should be doing, but few of us find the time for. If you started doing yoga in Week Three you may have already gotten a taste of what it’s like to quiet the mind and search within yourself. Whether you meditate with yoga or you simply like to sit alone in your room and explore your inner workings, just make sure you make it a priority and do it daily.
Surround Yourself with Positive People – We touched on this in week one when you were advised to limit your interactions with people that bring you down. The flip side to this is filling your life with people that make you feel good when you’re around them. It should be much easier to do now that you’re five weeks in and are feeling better yourself. You may have even noticed that these sorts of people have naturally been gravitating toward you over the last month or so.
Always Have a Strong Why – Keep your why strong and you’ll have no trouble staying the course and keeping the right mentality. You started this for a reason, and maybe that reason isn’t applicable anymore, or maybe it is. Whatever the case, whether you have to come up with a new reason to keep going, or your original reason still holds, make sure you always know why it’s important to keep a sound body and mind.
Week 6: Propelling Yourself Forward
In the sixth and final week we’ll be making sure that the time you’ve spent until now was just the springboard to an even better you. You’ve climbed a mountain, and now you have a better view of what you want to do next. You’re lighter, have more energy, and a better outlook on life in general. Start making goals from this new place in your life and you’ll be amazed at what you come up with.
Set a Plan for the Year – You may find yourself ready to take on the world and do things that just six short weeks ago may have seemed like an impossible. Sign up for a 5k or a half marathon, or even a full marathon. Plan that vacation you thought you couldn’t go on because of health issues. A year from now you can’t imagine how great you’ll feel.
Get Excited About the Future – Who knows where this path will lead you. If you’ve had trouble looking forward to what’s on the horizon, it’s time to start getting excited about what’s to come. It’s a lot easier to do now, and as long as you have fun things planned you’ll always have something fun to look forward to. With your improved physique you can travel more, experience more, or even attract the right mate if needed. The world is your oyster!
It’s now been 42 days since you’ve embarked on this journey, and if you’ve followed through with the program outlined above you can now say you have a better body, and that it’s getting better every day. Not everyone can say that, and you probably couldn’t either before you started. Congratulations!