The BHH Summer Shape Up Plan

Posted by Amina AlTai on

Summer is just around the corner in the Northern Hemisphere.  The trees are blooming, allergies are running amuck and in every workout class I attend there's a trainer or two who will inevitably shout something about a bikini body.  Cue the eye rolling.

At BHH, we’re big proponents of feeling great in your skin year-round, not just when more of it is showing. A lot of it has to do with self-love, but that’s a story for another post.  : ) Today, I’m sharing my tips on how to feel great quickly without crazy dieting or over-exercising.  We tap into this plan whenever we’re feeling a bit puffy, have overindulged, or just need a bit of a reset. Read on for a few of our tips, plus my personal workout and meal plan.

Working out

  1. Create a regular and varied workout schedule: Humans are creatures of habit. Sure, it’s easier to roll out of bed and frequent my neighborhood Pilates studio but if you want to change your body, you need to change up the muscle groups you’re working. Repetitive movement is not going to change your body.  A workout plan is personal and depends largely on where you are today and where you want to go. But here are a few tips to get your started:
    1. Schedule it: The best way to stick to your fitness goals is to schedule your classes and workouts like you would a business meeting. The week before, look at your schedule for the week ahead and add in your workouts. Many people like to do morning workouts so they make sure they get them done, while others prefer the energy boost of a midday workout. Some night owls even like to go post 9pm— It’s all about what works for you and your body. But make sure you add your workouts to your calendar and you honor them the way you would a business meeting.
    2. Types of workouts: I get this question all the time. “What workouts should I be doing each week?” The answer is, it’s different for ever BODY and every set of goals. If you wanted to strengthen your back, I would recommend a different set of exercises versus if you wanted to lose fat mass. However, when it comes to working out, balance is key. There are a few principles you can design your workouts around:
      1. Cardio: Make sure this has a spot on your schedule. Cardiovascular activities are great for, you guessed it, your heart. And they’re also great for the brain.
      2. Strength training: whether you want to raise your resting metabolic rate, or you just want to be able to carry your groceries up to your 3rd floor walk-up, some form of strength training is important.
      3. Stretching: This often overlooked activity is super important as we age and I can’t stress it enough. Work in a yoga class or spend time on the foam roller. Whatever you do, make time to lengthen and stretch, it will help your mobility as you get older.
      4. Rest: I coach a lot of type-A personalities in the business world and “rest” is not a part of their vocabulary. However, it’s really important to allow your body and your muscles a day or two of rest. Pushing beyond our limits can lead to injury and even adrenal burnout.

Healthy Meal Planning

  1. All the veggies please: When designing your meals, add in as many colorful veggies as possible. Plan your meals around your veggies first, making them the centerpiece and ensuring they take up at least 50% of your plate or roughly two cups full.  Cooked vegetables generally have a higher carbohydrate content than raw veggies, so if your stomach can tolerate it (aka you don’t have major GI issues or autoimmunity) keep your veggies raw. Filling up on vegetables will crowd out other less-than-healthy culprits on your plate.
  2. Protein at every meal: Protein is incredibly important for muscle development and muscle development is extremely important for raising your resting metabolic rate. If you’re working out hard in an effort to tone up and lean out, you’ll need protein at every meal to constantly replenish your muscles. Aim for 4-6 ounces of lean protein at each meal or a serving that is roughly the size of your palm. If you don’t eat animal protein, plant-based protein is great too. Hemp seeds, Non-GMO fermented soy,  legumes and vegan protein powders are all great options.
  3. Watch the sugar: Sugar has a habit of working its way into our diets without us realizing it. Most packaged foods, protein bars and restaurant meals have sugar in them.  And, what I’ve seem in my practice, regardless of age, body type and blood type, sugar causes puffiness, water retention and weight gain.  Remove white sugar and substitute it for fresh fruits or sweeter veggies like sweet potato.  Avoid synthetic sugars at all cost—not only are many of them cancer-causing, but they can also majorly tax the adrenals. 
  4. Be consistent: My personal philosophy is to avoid cheat days as it can quickly morph into disordered eating. You might eat very healthy Monday through Friday, and then the weekend becomes a free-for-all of donuts, pizza, ice cream and other body-sabotage (Note: Just because it's gluten-free doesn't make it healthy).  And suddenly you’re living for the weekends and feeling extremely out of control. I like to encourage people to be kind to their bodies as often as possible and the best way to do that is by being consistent. I’m not suggesting you never have a treat again, I’m suggesting that you work them in mindfully and not from a place of deprivation or lack.  A better approach is a treat meal once a week where you treat your body and taste buds to something lovely.  I highly encourage clients to make their treat meals as healthy as possible as well.  So, for example, if you’re craving pasta, have a bowl of lentil pasta which contains 20 grams of protein versus your run-of-the-mill wheat pasta.  Or if you want dessert, maybe you make raw, vegan brownies or protein bites instead of having a cup cake.  

So, what does this end up looking like in a meal plan and workout schedule, you ask?! I’m sharing mine below to give you an idea!  (Note, I’m only 5’5 with a resting metabolic rate of 1300 calories, so each plan should be unique and tailored to you. PS. I’m a creature of habit and don’t mind repetition).

 

 

Workouts

Breakfast

Snack

Lunch

Snack

Dinner

Monday

HIIT

Two hard boiled eggs & lemon water

1 cup of blackberries

4 ounces of grilled chicken breast, mixed greens, ½ a cup shredded carrots, ½ cup of cherry tomatoes, 1 tbs of EVOO and Balsamic Vinegar

12 raw almonds

Grilled arctic char, spinach salad with mushrooms, carrots and balsamic vinaigrette

Tuesday

Spin

Two hard boiled eggs & lemon water

1 cup of raspberries

¼ of a pound of tuna salad over spinach, tomatoes and carrots.

1 serving of roasted chickpeas

Ground turkey burger served up in a lettuce wrap with a side salad & balsamic vinaigrette.

Wednesday

Hot yoga

Two hard boiled eggs

& lemon water

1 cup of blackberries

Zoodles with pesto and grilled tempeh

A green juice

Swordfish kebabs and cucumber salad

Thursday

HIIT

Two hard boiled eggs

& lemon water

1 cup of raspberries

Leftover Zoodles and grilled tempeh

1 serving of roasted chickpeas

Grilled salmon and dairy free kale Cesar salad

Friday

Pilates Reformer

Two hard boiled eggs

& lemon water

1 cup of blackberries

¼ of a pound of tuna salad over spinach, tomatoes and carrots.

12 raw almonds

Rotisserie chicken with cauliflower mash

Saturday

HIIT

Two hard boiled eggs

& lemon water

1 cup of raspberries

Ground turkey burger served up in a lettuce wrap with a side salad & balsamic vinaigrette.

A green juice

Chilean sea bass with grilled asparagus

Sunday

Rest

Two hard boiled eggs

& lemon water

1 cup of blackberries

Carrot noodles with roasted red pepper marinara and grilled chicken

12 raw almonds

Grilled arctic char, spinach salad with mushrooms, carrots and balsamic vinaigrette

 

clean eating fitness plan healthy eating summer shape up

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