A month’s worth of easy but effective changes that can be tailored to fit your needs and fitness level lie ahead. Try these moves as you get in great shape and drop some belly fat.
Day 1: Have a mission
Write a specific wellness mission for the upcoming weeks (think: “I will eat two per day for two weeks”) and stick it where you’ll see it. Remember: This is a jumping-off point, so it’s OK to start small.
Day 2: Purge your pantry
Toss out three food products labelled “low-fat,” “reduced-fat” or “fat-free.” They often pack more salt, sugar or even calories than the full-fat versions.
Day 3: Weigh yourself
Research has linked hopping on the scale regularly to better weight-loss results.
Day 4: “Go” for a mile
Walk, run-walk, bike, swim—your pick. And don’t forget to time yourself.
Day 5: Eat off smaller plates
New research has confirmed the age-old diet trick: Smaller dishes (try 9-inch ones) and cutlery will help with portion control and naturally reduce your calorie intake.
Day 6: Try a bird-dog plank variation
Start in plank position, then extend one arm and the opposite leg without disturbing your form; switch sides. Do 10 reps on each side.
Day 7: Trade butter for avocado
Everyone loves replacing butter with avocado for avocado toast. But you can also swap it into other recipes to up your fibre; replace 1 tablespoon of butter with 1/2 tablespoon of avocado.
Day 8: Scan your kitchen
Do you have any foods that you just can’t stop eating once you start? (We’re looking at you, buttered popcorn.) Think about what those are for you, and purge three of the ones that tend to knock you off track from your diet goals.
Day 9: Get up and move
Walk, stretch, even squat—every hour on the hour. New research has shown that sitting for long periods raises your chance of getting a chronic disease, even if you exercise.
Day 10: Hop on the scale again
If self-weighing seems to be working for you, aim for check-in once a week. Recent research shows that weighing yourself at least once a week may help you stay on track toward your weight loss goals. That said, some people find weighing themselves frequently just makes them frustrated—especially since the number on the scale doesn’t always reflect an actual slimdown since muscle is denser than fat.
Day 11: Beat your own mile time
On Day 4, you ran, walked, or biked as fast as you could. Today, try to beat that time to hit a new personal record.
Day 12: Build an open-face sandwich
Only use one piece of bread, which will save you about 100 calories. You could also opt for a lettuce wrap instead.
Day 13: Add a hot ingredient to dinner
Foods like chilli peppers and hot sauce have a thermogenic effect, meaning you quite literally burn extra calories while you chew. Try throwing a diced hot pepper into a salad.
Day 14: Write out a new goal
Two weeks down! Write out a new goal, or expand upon your Day 1 mission. (Did you manage to eat two clean meals a day? Strive for three clean meals per day for a week.)
To be continued…