WARNING: This weight loss challenge could result in any or all of the following:
- Weight loss of up to 10 pounds
- Feeling and looking fabulous
- More restful sleep
- Self-confidence boost
- Extra energy
- Improved mood
- Could be habit forming
Try our 4 Step Weight Loss Challenge for 30 days and transform your body for a lifetime. These steps are easy to understand, free of charge and accessible to all ages & fitness levels.
Step 1 – Water
1. Drink approximately 2 liters, or 8 eight ounce glasses, of water each day. Feel free to add sliced fruit to your water for added flavor.
2. Flush The Fat Away Drink recipes are great alternatives to plain water. Since processed fruit drinks are high in sugar content, it’s recommended that this type of drinks be limited or avoided completely over the next 30 days. If you do choose to drink fruit-flavored drinks, read the ingredients label and avoid any beverages that contain sugar or other added sweeteners.
3. Water flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to your cells. Even mild dehydration can zap energy. Water is vital for optimal health!
Step 2 – Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners
1. Avoid all refined sugar and artificial sweeteners.
2. Read ingredient labels on packaged foods to eliminate any foods that contain these. Almost all processed foods have some form of added sugar. This means that whole foods will be the biggest part of your diet over the next 30 days. To understand in full what is meant by no added sugar, read our 30-Day No Sugar Challenge.
3. Limit unrefined sweeteners to less than four teaspoons, per day. Read our list of 10 Alternatives to Refined Sugar which can count toward the 4 teaspoons. In addition to the 4 daily teaspoons of unrefined sweetener, stevia is also permitted during this weight loss challenge.
4. If there is a food product with an unrefined sugar in the ingredients label, i.e. honey, maple syrup, etc., there is no way to know how much has been added. Therefore, these food items should not be consumed during this weight loss challenge. The only way to know that you have had the allotted 4 teaspoons of unrefined sweetener in one day is to measure them yourself.
5. Review Other Names for Sugar which will help you to become better informed when reading ingredient labels.
Step 3 – Portion Control
1. All meals should be eaten on salad size plates instead of traditional dinner plates. These plates are approximately 7-inches in diameter.
2. When eating at a restaurant, ask that your meal be served on a salad plate.
3. When eating soups or stews, follow the 1 serving size, which is typically 1 to 1 1/2 cups.
4. Read the Skinny Plate Challenge for more information on portion sizes.
5. Portion sizes of foods must be no larger than the palm of your hand. That means that ‘normal’ restaurant portions have to be cut down in size in order to fit on your salad plate. (This is one of my best tips for losing weight.)
Step 4 – Exercise
1. Exercise a minimum of 30 minutes, six days per week.
2. Exercise can be broken into increments of 15 minute blocks or completed at one time.
3. Exercise can consist of weight training or cardio, or a combination of the two.
4. Find workouts that are appropriate for your fitness level, while still challenging yourself.
Any of the following routines will work perfectly for this challenge:
Top Weight Loss Tips for Success:
- Avoid processed, packaged foods that are often found on the inside aisles of grocery stores.
- Shop the outer parameter of the grocery store. Here you will find fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy.
- Eat or drink low-fat dairy consisting of 0% – 1% fat.
- Eat lean cuts of meat, or better yet, eat wild-caught salmon, rainbow trout, and halibut.
- Avoid all battered and deep fried foods.
- Eat 3 small meals and 2-3 healthy snacks each day.
- Eat one treat meal each week. What’s a treat meal? Whatever you like.
- Refrain from consuming alcohol, in order to avoid it’s high sugar content.
- Keep going after the 30 days. Write down your long-term goals.
For an effective guided workout program, check out:
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published March 19, 2013 and has been updated.