Shape Up in 7 Days: How to Look Good by Next Weekend

We all try to stick to our healthy lifestyle but no one is perfect. If you follow this plan, you can boost your efforts into high gear and look great for that party, wedding or whatever your reason, in just one week.


When up against a deadline, you have to start be eliminating your diet traps. No eating out at your favourite restaurants or grabbing a meal on the go as these places tend to use more salt, sugar and fats than you would find if you had prepared the meal at home. Obvious no-nos. On day 1, make a list and head to the grocery store to stock up on a rainbow of vegetables, leafy greens, lean proteins, fish, nuts, seeds and eggs. Now is also the time to plan your workouts for the week. These will include one hour of high intensity cardio in the mornings or afternoons as well as one hour of power walking after dinner. Moving after a meal is a great metabolism booster. For your morning/afternoon workout, try to make it a cardio class. It will keep you motivated to finish. If you don't have a gym membership, try a workout video to keep your head in the game. 0.2


Start today (and everyday) with 16oz of water with an entire lemon squeezed in. It will help detox your system. Patrick Murphy, celebrity trainer, recommends drinking 100oz of water a day. Staying hydrated, according to Murphy, helps keep your body systems functioning efficiently and this includes your metabolism. Drinking more water will also help curb hunger pains as you begin to eat less. At this point in the plan, you should be limiting your portions. They will be smaller than what you are used to but you can snack through the day on raw fruits and veggies. Before you workout, have a breakfast that contains protein and fiber like a hard boiled egg and an apple. Yesterday was your cardio day so today you should be looking at full body resistance training. Your focus should be on compound exercises that use multiple muscle groups. Exercises like step ups with a one-arm shoulder press or lunges with bicep curls burn lots of calories because they spike your heart rate. Try to resist turning your evening power walk into a jog. Keeping it at a power walk pace will help you avoid feeling burned out.


Time to eat more raw foods. Eating foods this way means reducing excess salt and calories. For foods that must be cooked, like chicken or fish, trying baking, broiling or poaching them. For lunch, think about a spinach salad with cranberry, walnut and baked chicken topped with an olive oil vinegar dressing. Switch it up at dinner and have poached salmon with asparagus. For the high intensity work out today, try circuit training. Or, if you are anything like me and you're tired of the gym, try a hike. It will work all your major muscle groups in the lower body and core. Invite a friend on your post dinner walk. Things are always more fun with a pal.


Today, your focus should be on adding foods and beverages that help purge excess water.  “Asparagus, apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, garlic, cranberries, Brussels sprouts, dandelion leaf (tea), green tea, fennel, juniper berries, parsley, celery, lettuce, watermelon, gingko biloba, coffee, watercress, and beetroot are great examples,” Murphy says. Have a little watermelon and green tea at breakfast, celery and beetroot with dandelion leaf tea in the afternoon. watermelon2 Day 4 is endurance training time. The goal here is to keep your heart rate elevated by doing a high number of reps (up to 20) with a minimum amount of rest in between (30 seconds is perfect).


Keep with it. Stay on top of doing all the things you're already doing. Drink your lemon water, eat your raw foods and properly cooked lean proteins, be mindful of portions, eat your water purging foods but don't forget to mix it up. Don't repeat the same meals day in and day out or you will get bored. Boredom can lead to giving up. You may be totally sick of your workouts by now. Try a different cardio class today or switch to a new high energy video. These high intensity work outs can be difficult so don't forget to have a good breakfast and to keep yourself hydrated. Your body will thank you. blog257


Congratulate yourself for making it this far and use that to spur you forward. You are in the homestretch. You are eating smaller portions so make sure you are getting enough protein. Drinking coconut water with a scoop of whey or vegan protein is a great way to stay on top of it. "Change evokes change," says Murphy so challenge yourself to not repeat a workout this week. Even if interval training on the treadmill will always be what you chose to do, add a little variety by altering the routine each day.


By now, you are handling this like a pro. Push yourself today to have your best workout yet and keep up with your healthy eating habits. Murphy suggests skipping salt and loading up on those water eliminating foods to give yourself extra bloat fighting powers. For your full body work out, make it a mix of calorie burning cardio and muscle toning movements. Sound like something you can handle? Give it a shot and share your results with us.  

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