Summer is just around the corner! For many of us, sunny summer beach days are exactly the motivation we need to shed our winter weight. If you’re looking to get in shape, kickstart your healthy lifestyle with seven days of clean eating and fun workouts in this summer weight loss challenge.
There’s no crash dieting or excessive exercise here! This weight loss challenge is about more than dropping pounds. It’s about making changes to get your body working at its best. Following this plan can help you feel more energetic and might even boost your self esteem!
Begin by calculating how many calories you should be eating per day. Tools such as Mayo Clinic’s online calorie calculator can be helpful. This handy tool will give you an estimate of the calories you burn in 24 hours. To maintain your current weight, eat about as many calories as you burn. To lose weight, aim for about 200-500 calories less than you burn. Don’t go more than 500 calories under your suggested intake. This can cause muscles to become starved and it might slow down your progress.
Once you know how many calories you should be eating, you can create your 7-day clean eating meal plan. The challenge is to keep your diet clean for seven days. This means wholesome ingredients, tons of fruits and veggies, and a healthy balance of protein, fats, and carbs. To complete our summer slim down challenge, steer clear of processed foods, frying oils, and added sugars for a week. Follow these guidelines to make the most out of the challenge.
1. No added sugar. To sweeten coffee in the morning, we recommend getting a small box of stevia for the week. You can also use stevia in smoothies and to flavor plain Greek yogurt.
2. Limit grains. Have no more than one or two servings of grains per day. This includes bread, cereal, flours, pasta, and other wheat products.
3. Bake instead of frying. Fried foods are high in artery-clogging trans fats. They’re also dense in calories that can harm your progress.
4. White meat instead of red meat. For these seven days, get your protein from lean chicken breast and turkey. Fatty fish such as salmon is also a great option as it’s loaded with important omegas.
5. Load up on veggies. Include vegetables with every meal. Bright-colored low-calorie veggies are the best choice. This means broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus, Brussel sprouts, leafy greens, onions, and squashes.
6. No processed foods. This especially means no soda, chips, TV dinners, pizza, or candy.
7. Drink water. We mean a lot of water. Make sure you’re getting your recommended eight glasses of water per day. On days when you exercise, you might even want to up your water intake to make up for fluid loss.
Browse our recipe database for some good, clean, healthy meal ideas.