Follow this very do-able plan to revamp your eating and lifestyle habits and kick-start your body into its best shape ever! For each of the 10 days, you’ll be asked to incorporate one new habit and stick with it. The idea is to make change simple. The pace picks up as you start layering good habit upon good habit, until Day 10, when you’re properly hydrating, eating right, working out and taking valuable stress-busting time for yourself. Your new habits will make you feel so great, you’ll be hooked for life!
DAY 1: DRINK WATER
Lots of it, to flush out bloating and puffiness which is often a result of overdoing the chips, nuts and other high-sodium foods. Drink at least 11 230ml glasses of water a day. Water not only helps flush out excess sodium, but it’s also critical to the proper functioning of every major system in your body, and it helps you feel full.
DAY 2: EAT EVERY THREE HOURS, PLEASE!
That’s three meals and two healthy snacks in between in one day. Here’s the trick: each meal should contain a palm-sized serving of protein, two fist-sized servings of veggies and a fist-sized serving of healthy carbs like whole-wheat pasta or whole-grain bread.
DAY 3: INCORPORATE SOME CARDIO
Today, start working out – do anywhere from just 10 minutes to an hour (you can split up the hour into three 20-minute segments throughout the day). Aim for 60 minutes if you can, even if you go slowly. Then, over the next seven days, do cardio daily – no excuses. Remember, you’re trying to start a habit, seven days in a row is not something you need to do for a lifetime!
4: ADD IN STRETCHING
Start by doing three to five minutes of very gentle stretching in the morning. This is very important as stretching opens the hip flexors and brings flexibility to the spine so that you’re not starting your day off tight. Finish the day with gentle stretching too especially if you have been sitting desk-side all day. Most importantly, do a full stretching routine after your cardio workout holding to the point of mild tension for 30 minutes without bouncing. Or try out these 3 simple yoga poses at the comfort of your home!
DAY 5: REVIEW YOUR PORTION SIZES
You’ve been eating well for five days now, but you’re probably started to eyeball the portion sizes and guesstimate just how much is the right portion. Go back to Day 2 and use this strict portion guideline for the rest of the programme. If you’ve been hungry at any point, examine your plate: you may be opting for fat-free dairy instead of low-fat options or white flour carbs instead of healthier choices that keep you fuller longer, such as oatmeal and wholewheat bread.
DAY 6: FOCUS ON STRENGTH TRAINING
While cardio is essential for losing fat, strength training will accelerate your efforts and build muscle which burns more calories at rest than fat tissue. Begin with one to two sets of 8-12 reps of moderate weight at least twice a week on non-consecutive days. Focus on one exercise per body part: arms, abs, chest, back and legs.
DAY 7: GIVE YOURSELF A POSTURE CHECK
Remind yourself at least twice a day to stand and sit tall, which has the added benefit of making you instantly slimmer and taller. Look in the mirror, draw your shoulders back, press down on your shoulder blades, lift your chest and pull in your abs. Try to maintain this posture while you breathe normally.
DAY 8: MIX IT UP
Exchange your daily stretching for a yoga class or book a salsa class or any other dance class for your cardio. Exercise should be fun, not all work. If you decide to stick to your routine run or walk, at least vary your route or intensity.
DAY 9: TRY ONE NEW RECIPE
Nothing elaborate, just something different. You have to learn to eat what you love or you’ll never continue to eat healthily. Just finding a new way to cook the same old, same old is enough to keep you from boredom eating and bingeing.
DAY 10: TAKE 10 FOR YOURSELF
You must add something restful to your life, whether it’s a bath, massage or just kicking up your feet on the couch and listening to your favourite music. As few as 10 minutes can refresh your mind. Pampering is necessary: you can’t get your best body ever if you don’t take timeout for regular tune-ups.
Now, you should feel better – and most importantly, rejuvenated. If you fall off the wagon a few months from now, don’t worry. The 10-day anti-flab routine can be re-applied to your life anytime you need to set the foundation for good health and your best body.