Little too much party-time this summer?

Here is my 4 point plan to #Shred it fast.

1. Sculpt Thy Body Perfect

I recommend a total body strength workout using dumbbells twice a week. It tones all major muscle groups to create a balanced body and saves time. It’s great for burning calories, losing fat, and getting lean. Plus, life is simply easier when we are stronger.

Your challenge: Add 2 25 minute strength training sessions a week.

Remember to check your form (This is easy if you workout in front of a mirror).

Start with 5-12 lbs dumbbells.

Challenge yourself to lift heavier weights if you can.

Upper Body: 5X5

5 exercises, 10 reps, 5 sets.

Bicep Curls, Shoulder Press, Triceps Kickback, Chest Press (or Push Up), Reverse Fly

Lower body: 5 x5

5 exercises, 10 reps, 5 sets:

Squats, Lunges, Sit-Ups, Deadlift, Standing Calf Raise

2. Boost Calorie Burn with Interval Training:

Want to burn calories even faster? High-intensity cardio rocks for busy peeps.

Short 20-25 minute sessions on a machine, biking, walking or running outside is all it takes.

This, along with lifting can make you feel fitter and leaner within a week!

And, no excuses….This works for beginners and advanced.

Your challenge: Add 3 20-25 minute sessions of heart pumping interval training sessions per week. Shred it tip: Add music, go faster.

5×5 cardio option:

2 Minutes Walking, 2 Minutes Jogging, 1 Minute Running/Sprinting. Repeat 5x.

3. Sit Less

Reading this while sitting down? Stand up.

Sitting at your desk all day? Then drive, fly or Uber it home and sit more? It’s almost as bad as smoking. Sitting a lot increases your risk of atrophy and many diseases like diabetes and cancer. Slows down your metabolism too.

Research suggests that even shorts bursts of activity during the day make a difference.

Ideas: Set a timer like the Tomato Timer and get up every 25 minutes to take a lap around home or the office, make a cup of tea, fetch a glass of water. Plan a walking meet with your team at work.

Walk the dog. Walk or run at lunch and after dinner. Conduct walking meetings. Play Twister, dance or play ball with your spouse or kids after work. Do jumping jacks and squats while binge-watching. Act like you have ADD. Whatever.  Just move more.

4. Eat Dinner Earlier:

Heard the buzz on Intermittent Fasting (IE)? Research show it is an effective eating pattern to boost weight loss. And, has load of bonus benefits.

You just eat within a smaller window of time a few days a week.

I consulted my talented friend Barret Butler, RD, LD, MPH for her professional advice. She tested a bunch of diets on her friends and clients a few years ago. Out of ALL the diets, the most weight loss was with her plan, a version of IE, which she has kindly provided for us below.

1. Eat 3 meals a day and one afternoon snack.

2. Avoid alcohol during Monday-Friday.

3. Two nights a week prep dinner early and finish eating by 5pm.

Example Day:

Eat Breakfast (protein, healthy fat, fruit or toast)

Eat Lunch (protein, healthy fat, big salad)

Eat Snack (handful nuts and kombucha or green tea)

Eat Dinner (protein, steamed, boiled, grilled veggies or big salad).

Summary:

· Add 2 25 minutes of strength training a week.

· Add 3 25 mins interval training a week.

· Move a lot more during day and evening.

· Commit to Barret’s simple eating pattern.

That’s it!

Fit this #Shredit challenge into your freaking busy life? Ha.

I know how you feel.

You have too much to do. You don’t need yet another freaking challenge. You don’t need yet another must-do to squeeze into your hopelessly busy schedule.

But hey, we want to get fit and lean.

Here’s my simple advice …

Start small.

Commit to #JustDoIt for a 1 week test.

Then, assess the data. Do you feel leaner, stronger, happier? Are you sleeping better?

Yes?

Add another 2 weeks. You got this.