1. Exercise every day for at least 45 minutes.

This can be any form of exercise that gets your heart rate up to 60% or more of your maximum heart rate.  Your maximum heart if roughly 220-age. So, at 43 years old its 177. 60% of that is 106 beats or more per minute. Having a watch makes this easy and is a great investment in your health!

2. Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water every day.

This requires that you weigh in so you know how much to drink. You do not need to share that information, but you will also need it for #5. Weight is just a number we can use to gauge what is working and what is not, and knowing that number, even if you don’t like it, will help us determine what works and what doesn’t. The best scale is the one that analyzes body composition. This is a worthwhile investment for your home. I have an OMRON at the gym; those of you who are gym members are welcome to start your workout with a weigh in once a month. 

3. Eat and drink mindfully 

For most of us, this is the problem. We eat and drink junk as a response to stressors, reinforcing a poor stress response. Avoiding these indulgences for 19 days will hopefully help us understand why they should be treated as a TREAT, and not as a go to in response to something that happened in our lives. When you have cravings for these things during the challenge, look back at the cause. Did your boss say something that stressed you out? Did your teenager freak out about something? Did you have a crappy day? Be prepared. Have something healthy and sweet on hand if your craving sugar. Eat all the fruit you want. Nice cream is a great way to avoid processed sugars. Coach Jentry has posted several Nice Cream recipes on the blog so try them out! Peel those bananas and keep them in the freezer for those moments when you just got to have it. If alcohol is the issue, then informing yourself of the drawbacks and having options to serve your evening ritual are two helpful ways to conquer this obstacle. At night we make a spritzer to have with dinner, and then have plenty of tea on hand to wind down with. Should you need a concrete meal plan for weight loss, I recommend a plant based plan. The mediterranean diet, for example, was just voted the most effective for weight loss. Meat, dairy and eggs are eaten rarely, and the focus is on whole plant foods, legumes and fish. As many of you know, I am celebrating 20 years vegan this month. Should you want to try going vegan I will provide you with my 14 day vegan meal plan and grocery list for FREE (a $150 value)  if you join the challenge. Simply enter VEGAN MEALS in the comments when you sign up. Gumsaba also offers a 14 day detox plan should you really want to jump all in!  

4. Keep a daily log in my fitness pal

Accountability is critical when it comes to sustainable change. Announcing where you are at and where you want to go to those that mean the most to you is step on. Step two is being held accountable by someone like me, who will guide you and cheer you on. If you choose to do this challenge, you will need to link up with me on myfitness pal. Once you are signed up for the challenge I will link to your myfitnesspal account. 

5. Set your own short term S.M.A.R.T goal for the duration of the challenge.

This is the part of the challenge where you get creative, but your must be SMART. SPECIFIC – MEASURABLE – ACCOUNTABLE – RECORDED – TIME BOUND. Enter this smart goal in the comments at sign up or write it on the board at the gym yourself!

Here is an example of a few goals to inspire you:

No alcohol or processed sugar allowed from 1/7/19 – 1/25/19, recorded in myfitnesspal

Exercise for 1 hour per day at >60% MHR from 1/7/19 – 1/25/19, recorded in myfitnesspal

Prepare meals on Sunday 1/6 and 1/13 and 1/20 for the duration of the challenge. Record meals in my fitness pal. 

No soda or processed foods allowed from 1/7/19 – 1/25/19, recorded in myfitnesspal

Walk for one hour per day from 1/7/19 – 1/25/19, recorded in myfitnesspal

Lose 2 lbs of fat during the challenge by creating a daily caloric deficit of 360 calories via exercise and mindful eating, recorded in my fitness pal. 

Eat Vegan for 19 days and record it in myfitnesspal.

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