I suppose I should put some sort of disclaimer by results, because I realize that losing 12lbs in one month doing only 20 minutes of exercise and adapting my diet minimally is not typical. I'm a post-partum mom of three, with an 8 month old who still almost exclusively breastfeeds, and a husband who is a way a lot.
I suppose that might mean that I'm stuffing my face constantly and drinking. And honestly, it used to.
But I replaced a lot of my bad pregnancy eating habits (because let's face it, when you're pregnant and/or breastfeeding for almost 5 years straight, you get into this "I can eat whatever I want" mode) with a decent diet, exercise, and a whole lot of running after the kids.
If you've been doing the 30 Day Shred on a consistent basis, you really should still see some pretty dramatic results, particularly if you were leading a sedentary lifestyle (like me) prior to giving it a whirl.
So, if you're not, here are my suggestions on how to get the most out of your 30 Day Shred experience.
Eat less fatty foods
Sounds pretty simple, right? Just cut down on the fat intake. Carmen Stacier dropped a pajillionty pounds combining her ELFF diet and regular exercise, and she continues to document her experience at The ELFF Diet blog.
Lose the Condiments
When I was trying to drop 20lbs in college, I decided that losing all condiments might be an easy way to cut down caloric intake. I also decided not to eat the food either, which is a terrible idea, but the condiments thing – it's like magic. You'd be surprised how many fewer calories you'll take in by losing them mayo, ketchup, and dipping sauces. Don't even get me started on dipping sauces.
If you really like condiments, you can replace them with healthier spreads – Guacamole (which is high in fat, but they are good fats and high in protein) and Hummus (still a bit on the fatty side, but beans – good for you!). My feeling is use the calories you wasted on crap to load up on better stuff.
Only Drink Water
I really haven't had anything but water and a few sips of juice with alcoholic drinks since March and I feel much better for it. And I'm pretty sure I dropped a good solid five pounds by getting rid of my juice addiction. Water is way cheaper than anything else you're going to drink and it's way better for you.
Also, if you're feeling hungry, slug a glass of water because you might actually just be a little dehydrated and not necessarily in need of that plate of macaroni and cheese.
Stop Drinking Alcohol
I know this is going to be a less popular option, and even I have not stopped drinking alcohol, but I do find I'm drinking way less. Okay, so that makes it sound like I was a lush, which I wasn't, but I might have maybe 1-2 drinks a week. Alcohol has a lot of calories, yes, even those workout beers.
But even if you have just one drink, it's way better than downing a bottle. You'll find that you won't get as good a workout in the morning because you're tired.
Join Weight Watchers
Several of our Shredheads, including Christina from Hot by BlogHer and my Shredheads Co-Contributor Bill Gookin do Weight Watchers. It's a program that puts you in control of your own eating choices, and they even have a program for breastfeeders.
Modify the 30 Day Shred
The workout itself should not be easy. You should feel like you are near death by the end. If you are not, then you need to do make some adaptations to your workout so that you are getting the maximum out of the 20 minutes. Bill has some great 30 Day Shred modifications that might work well for you.
The 30 Day Shred Might Not Be Enough
Many of our Shredheads found that 20 minutes was not enough. I under the firm belief that if you make some dietary changes, you will see good results, but if you're not able or willing, then you might need to add more cardio and strength training to your daily regimen.
What have you found makes the Shred more challenging for you? Any other simple changes to help maximize your exercise program?