New Years is the perfect time to recommit yourself to a healthy lifestyle— and really commit. Below are three of my favorite healthy-eating challenges. Through my life I have tried all of them and had amazing results and a longer-lasting healthy resolution.
All of the plans last 30 days or more and are designed to jump start a healthy lifestyle. They require you to follow the program 100% for the entire duration, followed by an 80/20 after. On these plans, you will eat well, listen to your body, and not be hungry. The plans will reduce cravings, regulate hormones, increase energy levels, reduce fat pounds, and improve overall health. Sounds pretty great, right?
Some General Guidelines
It takes time to adjust, and that’s ok. During the first 10 days or so you may not feel so great if you have been eating a standard American Diet (S.A.D.). You may feel lethargic, experience headaches, mood swings, brain fog, cravings, crankiness, bloating or constipation, nausea, and/or breakouts as you detox from sugar, gluten, alcohol, and preservatives, among other things. This is NORMAL and will pass if you stay strong. The benefit once this passes is to experience how great your body is designed to feel.
Avoid the scale. During these programs, it is best to avoid stepping on a scale. Instead, before you start any of the plans you should step on the scale one last time; take a before picture; and measure your neck, bust, waist, and hips—then put the scale away till the very end. After 30 days, take your after pictures and measurements to compare. This will be a much more rewarding experience once you’re done.
Follow the plans 100%. The programs work. Pick the one you know you will be able to follow without slip-ups and commit. They all require planning and effort. Don’t leave room for a “slip” or an excuse to fail before the 30 days is up.
Get support. Ask a group of friends to do the challenge with you. It is much easier to accomplish your month-long goal when people are supportive and keeping you in check. Use online support groups to share any frustrations and accomplishments. You can find these on Facebook and/or forums.
Who this is for: You are the type of person who likes clean eating and non-packaged foods. You are organized, disciplined, and willing to prepare meals ahead of time.
The Whole-30 program last 30 days and involves real food, plenty of healthy fats, proteins, vegetables, and fruit in moderation. It asks you to avoid added sugars, alcohol, grains, dairy, legumes, carrageenan, MSG and/or sulfites. The Whole 30 book comes with a full guide and plenty of recipes.
I followed this program before having 3 kids. I grocery shopped 2-3 times a week and prepared my meals every 3-4 days. It was easy to follow with enough dedication, the results were amazing, and I loved knowing exactly what was going into my body.
Get the details at Whole 30.
Arbonne’s 30 Days to Healthy Living
Who this is for: You are busy and don’t have the time to prepare all your meals, but you still want to minimize toxic foods in your system. To top it off, you have a crazy sweet tooth you are trying to tame.
Arbonne’s program allows you to replace up to two meals a day with a vegan, dietician-approved protein shake (vegan, gluten free, diabetic-approved, no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives). The program includes probiotics (to regulate gut health and improve metabolism), 60 servings of protein shakes, daily fiber (to help you feel full and regular), energy boosting fizz sticks (to help reduce caffein cravings), detox herbal tea (to clean the liver an improve fat metabolism), and a 7-day body cleanse (to clean the colon).
I love this program because it takes a lot of the work out of preparing foods and it is almost fool-proof. You get a private online community that will lead you through the journey, your own nutrition coach, meal plans, shopping lists, and tons of recipes.
See the support guide at 30 Days to Healthy Living
For 40% off your order, email me with the subject “Arbonne’s New Years Resolution”.
The Carb Nite Solution
Who this is for: You have a tendency to start a new diet, but then fall off the wagon after a week or so. It is just too tempting to give up desserts, pasta, cheese, and other foods. Plus you do not want to miss out of social meals or feel deprived.
The Carb Nite Solution, designed by physicist John Kiefer, is an ultra-low-carb (ULC) diet, combined with carb nights every 4-7 days to create an insulin spike which helps burn fat, efficiently use carbohydrates, preserve muscle, and avoid plateauing. The carb night starts between 4-6 pm and requires you to eat high glycemic carbs and protein all through the night, finished off with your favorite desserts. Think bread, pasta, white rice, fries, cake, ice cream, donuts! This is not a cheat day, but necessary to the success of your fat loss. The program can go from 30 days to 6 months.
I was first introduced to this plan over five years ago by my friend Alex Navarro, but never found the need for it. However, after having my third kid, I found it difficult to stay focused long enough to lose significant body fat. I’ve been following the program through the holidays and programming my carb nights during holiday parties and date nights. It sounds almost too good to be true, but so far the results have been consistent and in the right direction. Although you can get the bulk of the diet by researching online, I strongly recommend reading Carb Nite Solution first. Although he allows any kind of food as long as it is high protein and fat, I choose clean and paleo foods for my ultra-low-carb days.
Get the details at Carb Nite Solution.
What healthy resolutions are you making this year? What have you tried in the past?