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I recently stopped by the new house of an ol' college buddy to meet his fiance and new baby boy. He's getting married in 5 months time and we had to have a serious chat. You see, he's gained 25 pounds since birth of his son. He really fell off the wagon. But he's taken the first and most important step by admitting things have to change and so we sat around for over 2 hours in his backyard on a beautiful day and hammered out this plan. I could have wrote a 5-month plan, but I wanted to fast-track his results - and YOUR results because research shows people who start losing fat quickly get better long-term fat loss results as well. So here's your complete 14-day FAST-TRACK guide to fat loss (if you like it, please forward it to a friend or print them off a copy too): Day 1 - Stop Everything to Plan, Shop, & Prepare This Meal Plan I hope you're reading this on Sunday, because I want you to plan, shop, and prepare today. If it's Monday, skip your workout and do this instead - its THAT important. And I don't just mean planning what you are going to eat for dinner. I mean planning what you are going to eat for every meal for the next 2 weeks. Don't tell me that's too hard. After all, most people with lean physiques stick to a relatively similar diet for 90% of their meals and then enjoy a random cheat/reward meal 10% of the time. So your schedule might go like this: Breakfast - 2 eggs, 1 slice rye toast, 1 apple, Green Tea, fish oil Snack - 1oz raw almonds, 1 pear, Green Tea Lunch - Grilled chicken/salmon or black bean salad with spinach, onion, peppers, mushrooms, etc., 1 banana or bowl of cherries, 2 cups unsweetened iced tea with lime or lemon Snack - Unlimited raw vegetables and hummus Dinner - Protein and vegetables and fruit...so this could be a small piece of steak, chicken, or fish, along with your favorite vegetables, and a bowl of your favorite fruit.
Or it could be the veggie dinner I had last Monday of quinoa with red pepper-cashew sauce and avocado wrapped in kale leaves. Or it could be wild rice with beans and avocado and salsa. That schedule won't change much, with the exception of a slight variation in your main course at dinner, right? And then once per week schedule a meal of your favorite food. Everyone can stick to this plan for 14 days, and this tip alone will help you lose 5-12 pounds of fat in just 2 weeks. And this is also how you'll need to eat for the rest of your life. It's not hard, it just requires a little practice. Keep at it and never, EVER give up. Alright, so to review, here's your 3-step guide to Day 1. i) Plan your meals. ii) Shop for the food. iii) Prepare the food (cut everything up, put in the proper trays, cook food if necessary, and get it all packed up for work) In addition to planning out all of your meals, you must also start keeping a food journal (you could do it online too), because studies show that keeping a food journal will help you lose fat faster. Next, make sure you do 60 minutes of activity today AND take a "before" photo along with your weight, body fat (if possible), and measurements of your waist, hips, arms, and thighs. Continue to weigh yourself every other day, as research shows that frequent check-ins lead to greater weight loss. Day 2 - Attend An "Online Fat Loss & Fitness Seminar" You must set EVERY workout and activity session as an appointment with yourself that you must keep - just like a doctor's visit. Let nothing, except real emergencies, come between you and your workouts. Today you're going to do a short, burst exercise workout. Now if you are currently using long, slow, boring cardio to lose f at, stop that bad habit immediately and switch to short, burst workouts. If you need to learn more about short, burst workouts, go to YouTube and search for interval workouts. While you are there, look up my "Diet vs. Exercise" video series to see why diet is much more effective for fat loss than cardio. If you are a beginner, please start conservatively. But if you have been working out for a while, the next 3 weeks are your time to step your workouts up a notch. Day 3 - Write Your Way to Fat Loss First, you must schedule 60 minutes of easy to moderate activity. I'll talk about that in a second,
but you can do anything from a 60 minute walk, a yoga session, a light bodyweight and stretching session, an hour of playing with your kids, or playing an easy game of your favorite sport. Don't go too hard, but stay active. You must also carve out 30 minutes to sit down and write out 3 short term goals and 3 long term goals. Write down EXACTLY what you want to accomplish in these 14 days. After that, write down what you want to accomplish in the following 90 days. Once you've done that, you're going to prepare a contract with yourself promising to take the steps necessary to achieve these goals. Sign the contract and review it everyday to keep you on track. Day 4 - Recruiting Day Today's another short burst workout. Make sure you are using a professionally designed structured and proven fat loss workout, rather than just "winging it" or using long slow cardio for fat loss. You'll also spend time today recruiting for these 3 components of your fat loss social support team: - Nutrition buddy - Workout partner - Fat loss forum accountability buddies Research shows that recording your nutrition in a food journal and having someone review your meals increases your chance of losing fat. Another study found that if you workout with a partner who is losing fat, then you'll have a greater chance of losing fat as well. And finally, a third study found that the more often subjects checked in to an online fat loss forum, the more likely they were to lose a lot of fat. Get your team together and you'll get more results - faster. Day 5 - The 60 Minute Solution Why am I telling you to get 60-minutes of activity on your off days? Well, to be honest, I do NOT expect you to burn massive amounts of fat with easy, off-day activity. However, every minute you spend moving, you are NOT snacking! I know the biggest problem you will have is your diet. So instead of snacking in front of the computer or TV, spend your free time away from food. That's the simple secret to the 60 minute solution. So get 60 minutes of activity on Day 5. Day 6 - The Challenge
Your 3rd workout needs to be a challenge workout so that you can improve your performance each week. In fact, you should set at least one personal best in each workout. If you improve your performance, your physique will improve as well. Day 7 - Diet Check-In and Reward Meal Congratulations, you've made it through 7 amazing days of fat burning. Today you're going to double check your nutrition plan by reviewing your food journal. If you haven't already done so, eliminate all liquid calories and replace with water and Green Tea. If you need to learn more about nutrition, start using the free service called Fitday.com. It will help you track your calories. And if you're really struggling to avoid night eating, try this tip. Place a small mirror on your fridge door. Research shows that subjects consumed fewer calories when they did this because it will remind you to make smarter choices. Finally, as a reward for all of your hard work, you can treat yourself to your favorite meal. But that doesn't mean gorging. It simply means having a normal meal of your favorite foods to give you a mental break from your plan. When the meal is over, don't go back for seconds. Get right back on the 14-day plan instead. Days 7 & 8 are also 60 minute off-day activity days. Day 8 - Review your goals. It's no good to write your goals down and then forget them. Review them at least weekly, if not daily. Heck, carry them around in your pocket and look at them at every meal. As you workout, visualize yourself reaching your goals. Believe in yourself, keep a positive attitude, stay motivated and you'll continue to make fast fat loss progress every day. This will also be another great day to plan, shop, and prepare. Day 9 - Take It to Another Level Week one was great, but with only 5 days left it is time for you to step it up again. This time I want you to hire a trainer for just one session to make sure you are doing all the exercises correctly and training as hard as you can (safely, of course). Add this trainer to your support team. And by the way, a good trainer should be able to estimate your body fat better than any of those "fat scales" you can buy at a store...so get them to check that too. Day 10 - Plan Your Next Shopping Trip Today is another 60 minutes of off-day activity, and you'll also work on improving your nutrition
even more. What I want you to do is focus on eating more from the Fat Loss Foundation. The 3 components of my Simple Nutrition Fat Loss Foundation are raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Research shows that eating more of these 3 foods will help you lose weight better than a diet that is low in fruits, vegetables and nuts. Make an effort to eat one new fruit, vegetable, and nut each week during your between meal snacks. If you aren't already eating grapefruit, try one today and see how it helps fill you up (because it contains a lot of soluble fiber called pectin). Add a new vegetable - such as broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus - to your dinner. And try walnuts or pecans instead of almonds at your morning break. Slowly but surely increase the fiber in your diet until you hit the recommended amount of 35 grams per day. And I hope this goes without saying, but you should have eliminated all foods that contain added sugar. That is one the simplest yet most effective nutrition changes you can make. Day 11 - Recruit Again Add a new member into your social support team, such as a new workout partner or healthyeating partner. This will add strength to your commitment. If possible, join a transformation contest online, or start one among your friends or co-workers. But when you do that, keep in mind that you want to help other people succeed. The more you can help others lose fat, the more you will help yourself as you share what's working with your friends and they show you their fat loss secrets too. Stay positive, and you'll build a powerful fat loss team. Today is also another fat loss workout day, so give it your best. Day 12 - Check-In Time Today you'll re-measure your weight, body fat, and measurements. Take a look in the mirror to compare yourself against your before photo to see big changes that will motivate you to stay strong. I also want you to start thinking about getting a tan. Yes, I said getting a tan. Why? Because simply adding a little bit of color to your body can make you look leaner. There's a reason all those models in supplement ads are tanned, you know. Finally, if there is a "big day" at the end of the 14-days, make sure you try on the outfit you are going to wear to double-check that it is going to look great on you. Make sure you do this check-in either before your 60 minutes of activity or a few hours after so that exercise does not mess-up the numbers.
Day 13 - Mental Performance Review Write down all obstacles that are still in your way of success, and then brainstorm 2 solutions to overcome each. Get some help from your social support team on this. The more you and your team share solutions, the more fat you - and everyone else - will lose. For example, you might come up with rules like, "No eating in the car" to help cut down on bad food choices. Someone else might suggest "brush your teeth after dinner to avoid night-time snacking". Those are simple yet powerful tips to keep you on the fast-track to fat loss. Follow up this positive session with your best TT workout yet! Day 14 - Review, Plan, & Prepare Congrats on making so many powerful changes in just 2 short weeks. By now, you'll probably have lost 5-12 pounds of fat and just as importantly, you'll have developed proven, life-long fat burning habits that will be easy for you to stick to forever. Keep this weight loss train moving by reviewing your original goals. Next, do your planning, shopping, and preparing for another week, and get ready for even more fat loss. Enjoy your 14-day results and celebrate with a reward meal (and show off your firmer, leaner body at the big event too!). Wishing you success! Please email me with your success story in 14 days (or sooner!).
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training for Fat Loss have helped thousands of men and women with weight loss and fat burning in less than 45 minutes three times per week. Turbulence Training for Fat Loss workouts help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment. Craig's bodyweight workouts for fat loss help you lose fat without any equipment at all. You have permission to publish this article in your web sites, ezines or electronic publication, as long as the piece is used in its entirety including the resource box, all hyperlinks (HTML clickable) and references and copyright info.
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Published on Jan 7, 2012