summer bod: prep school

“if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.” 

obviously anyone that creates something like the fitbook is your typical type-a, mildly obsessive, totally organized personality.  and while there are some downsides which i won’t bore you with, when it comes to your fitness + nutrition (and life!), planning ahead is crucial.  i’m always lecturing on this subject which is why i’ve pulled together a little prep school 101 for you so that anyone can apply some or all of these lessons to your lifestyle.  ok class – pay attention:

begin with the end in mind
whether it’s your health or even your finances or a project at work, the first step to making a plan is to identify where you’re going first.  that’s why about 7 weeks ago we set our 12-week goals so that we’re not just reaching for some arbitrary goal, but we have a concrete idea of where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.

break it down
while i love dancing, no this is not what i mean here. focus. it’s important to take that big goal and break it down into smaller, more achievable steps.  while a big goal like “i want to lose 12 lbs” might seem overwhelming, breaking it down into “my goal is to lose 1 lb per week” makes it seem more attainable.  if you don’t break goals down into little bite-size chunks, often times you get overwhelmed and give up before you’ve even started.

work it out
for me, i never go to the gym on sunday.  and while i do something active (walk, rollerblade, swim, etc.), it’s just the one day where i don’t want to step foot in the gym.  so i use that extra time on sunday evenings to sit down and plan out my week’s workouts ahead of time. while not everyone uses the fitbook this way (and that’s ok), it was designed to help you map out your week ahead of time so that you know not only what you’re doing at the gym each week, but you set a time schedule it into your day.  our days are crammed with work, family, and often times random chaos – and i promise you that if you don’t block out time to workout, odds are that you won’t fit it in.  sit down and plan out your week to give you a week-at-a-glance view of what’s ahead. while inevitably you’ll have to switch things up, odds are that you’re more likely to stick to it if you plan ahead!

grill, boil, slice and dice
after i make dinner on sunday night, and since the kitchen is already in cooking-mode, i take about 20m to prep healthy foods for the week ahead so that i can “assemble” foods during a busy day instead of slaving over the stove.  plus it makes it ten times easier to have your grab-and-go meals be healthy instead of accidentally veering toward a drive-thru or opting for highly-processed “health” foods.  while your list may vary, each sunday i try to prep my proteins (grill chicken, hard boil some eggs, thaw fish, cook ground turkey), boil my whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, steel cut oats), and then slice and dice fruits and veggies and place them in the fridge at eye-level so they’re the first thing i reach for.  other foods you can prep before-hand:  protein pancakes, spaghetti squash, and homemade trail mixes in pre-portioned baggies.  having those foods prepped almost guarantees you’ll make healthier choices throughout the week because a.) it’s already ready to go and takes less work than anything else and b.) you’ll want to consume those things first so they don’t go bad.

ok class, now that you’re on the up-and-up on planning, here’s your weekly assignments to whip those bods into killer shape – focus and be determined as we head into week 7!

weekly fitness challenge: switch days + up intensity
this is the last week on the same plan – but the last thing you want is to be bored, not just mentally but you don’t want your body to get in a rut either.  so continue with the same workout plan this week, but when planning your workouts for the week, switch up a few of your days and even alter which lifting you do with which cardio workout.  keep that body guessing for maximal fat burn.  then, again this week step it up even more on your intensity.  this is why we jot down important info like distance/stairs/RPMs…each week you can challenge yourself to push harder and beat that number within the same time frame, meaning that you’re working harder.  the last 4 weeks are going to be semi-torturous (hey – you want this right?), but that means you need to push yourself hard this week to prepare for what’s to come. so sprint faster, lift more weight – and push through.

weekly nutrition challenge: prep + pre-portion
in line with today’s lesson, even though sunday night is gone (note: author apologizes for her late post due to her un-planned afternoon nap that extended into the early evening) when cooking dinner on monday night, play around in the kitchen and prep foods for the week.  pick and choose what foods work well with your nutrition plan, but aim to have at least 1 protein, 1 whole grain, and unlimited fruits + veggies prepped so you can keep on track throughout the week.  take it one step further and pre-portion your meals so that in a rush you don’t grab too much or if you’re starving, you don’t scarf everything in sight.  i like using little snack-size baggies or even invest in a tupperware set that has the tiny little that measure out a 1/2 cup.  rule of thumb for portions: proteins should be 4-6oz, whole grains and dairy should be 1/2 cup, and you want to keep fats to 2 tbsp.  [visit the food log guide page of the fitbook for more deets!]  don’t own a food scale?   i highly recommend it so that you keep your portions (and caloric intake) in check.  you’d be surprised how even just an extra 100 calories per day is all that’s standing between you and your long-term goals.

now class, if you have any questions/comments/concerns…leave a comment and i’m happy to help.
make it a great week…class dismissed!

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