Whether you are thinking of taking on our Fit for Fall group challenge in food(macro-nutrients), adding in Advocare supplements(micro-nutrients) have already purchased your challenge ONE/80 bundles from us, or are a few days in….then this post is for YOU! Let’s get you your money’s worth and load you up with 24 tips to get the best possible results over the next 24 days and beyond. Set alarm reminders in your phone with the ones that will help you best so it gets your attention when you get busy. That always helps me. 🙂
I have a Facebook support group for people I help coach through the challenge and those still following the plan years later. While I am the first to admit I am no where near a health and fitness expert, I have definitely gathered some useful information through the experience of working with so many people. That experience came after a personal health journey I started in 2001. I have found by opening up about my own journey for others to see that we all seem to face the same road blocks and we all struggle with the same questions. I believe locking arms with others that have not done things perfectly always, have struggled, have fought and keep fighting can help us all find the same success by making adjustments where we need to.. Know you are not the only one who feels like you have “failed”, not been the most committed at times, needed a mind shift, tried all things because you had no idea what to do or how… been there done that and love helping others find the right fight and stay in it. Upper left is me in 2001 weighing the same as I do now but sick, tired and puffy from inflammation. Starting from that photo in top left is my progression over the last 17 years to now. Not to brag, keep reading and you will see why this excited me more than any look on the outside taking care of the inside has brought me:) At 43 and overcoming what seemed like a hopeless health situation for me the first part of my life is now a mom of 3 boys reaching new goals everyday in lifting. A mom who will be competing with MY BOYS this Fall in our first parent/kid lifting and functional movement competition. My boys fought over who got to partner with their mama. 🙂 I never thought I would see the day anyone would fight to partner with me, the fact it is my boys makes that moment even sweeter!! I share my story briefly below so you know where I came from and what is possible for you. I will also share a few more friends I have the opportunity to run with and coach who have seen success in their situations too.
My short story.. Photo time span of about 20 years, 16 knee surgeries between right and left knee, 4 endometrial surgeries, right eye surgery for vision loss due to inflammation, thyroidectomy, digestive disease and inflammatory disease diagnosis in high school which created all things mentioned. Didn’t share the details with others until a few years ago because I didn’t want to be “that person” who was “sick”. Now I share openly because I was that person but am not now thanks to what I get to pay forward in knowledge gained from the best researchers in nutrition and applying it consistently not perfectly in my own life experience through the years and been able to watch others do the same. I loved everything sports, played it all, adaptation became my way of life. In 2001 the decision was made to stop the madness and address my nutrition life. What I did is what I coach in food and supplements. I cannot deny the benefit I have seen using Advocare supplements in my health but it takes both those and food too. I host a workshop online that explains the difference in macro-nutrients(foods our body needs in big amounts to build a strong foundation and be satisfied) vs. micro-nutrients(supplements that are important in healing that we don’t always get from food), you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org for more information related to those topics specifically. I will stop my story here for now and leave you with this should it be you to.. I was once a calorie counting, cardio manic to burn off all the calories from food.. why, how and where I am today is because of a decision made and a level of pain my physical body was bringing me that was no longer acceptable. Because… My next level life of family was coming and where I was wouldn’t work out well for a mom of 3 energetic boys that were waiting in my future. What is driving your change may be totally different but I believe we all deserve to know how to feel our best. I hope you find this does that for you as I have. I see most are trying and have no idea where to turn, who to believe or follow. Whether you are doing this with us or decide to, I encourage you to find those doing the things you would like to see and living it as a lifestyle not following a fad for quick gains that they cannot sustain. This has worked for me since 2001 and keeps getting better as I ease into my 40’s. Fun part is watching it worked for countless others I coach including my 3 boys who have been watching us and our friends. Below is a photo of the lunches they made by themselves based on what they have heard and seen through the years with us… shameless mom brag 😉
Before we move into tips.. I thought sharing others success would be fun to see. Check out a few of my friends too. From left to right…
My friend has lost 80 lbs since February 16th 2018. She is a mom of 3 girls who decided it was time to do something her future self and girls would thank her for. Her results to this point have been accomplished with following a macro-nutrient plan and using Advocare supplements. She only walked for exercise. Was able to lose 80lbs, not lose but one lb of muscle and lost half of the body fat she started with.
My friend top right shifted her body composition like I did. Has not seen the scale move much but I think we can see her body has moved a lot:) She also followed the plan above.
My friend bottom right saw the same shift as my friend above.
These tips fit those doing our Fit for Fall Challenge and Advocare combined:
- Read over the Daily Guide and products carefully. As soon as your Advocare box shows up at your door I know it’s tempting to want to dive in head first, but trust me when I say you should look through your products and ask us how to take them so you get a better idea of what to do when. Take things one day at a time, but familiarize yourself with the products and what’s to come.
- MEAL PLAN. Every weekend plan out your clean meals for the entire week. I typically eat similar things for breakfast and lunch but dinners I plan a different meal for each night of the week. I use this my fitness pal to track my foods and a food chart of what food groups to eat when with my amounts for each meal based on my needs. I build my grocery shopping list from my meal template, I enter my meals ahead of time in my fitness pal as my guide through the day(my phone is always with me so it is handy to have it saved there) and hang a copy on my refrigerator so I know what I am having each night for dinner. I can’t stress enough how much this will help you stay on track and feel organized.
- Journal your food. This doesn’t have to be anything obsessive, and if it ends up becoming something you don’t enjoy doing, then stop. The cool thing about what you will learn from this challenge is to stop obsessing over food. Portions, calories, points etc…let them be a thing of the past. I let my fitness pal do the work after I program it to fit my needs based on a body analysis not it’s default of the average person. Writing down what you eat is kind of fun, gives you a plan for the day, and gives you something you can look back on and share with your coach to see if there is anywhere you can make some changes if you feel stuck. I check-in on the Facebook page and it’s great to start my day writing out what I will eat, and sticking with it. It also gives others an idea of what they could eat that day and really helps you feel organized.
- Do your health and fitness Challenge with someone else. Get your spouse, family member, best friend etc to tackle the next it with you. It makes it fun to have someone who understands exactly what you are going through! Plus it’s much easier to stay the course when someone you are close with isn’t tempting you with what they are eating, and supports you in your new clean eating lifestyle.
- Take before photos and measurements. I know those before photos are hard to see…but take them! You will feel so incredibly motivated when you can SEE the difference in a matter of 24 days. Don’t let that scale tell you how you did, let the inches and visible proof do the talking. You will be amazed! If you are a member of my Facebook group I have a great measurements sheet that you can print straight from the “files” tab before you get started.
- Plan on starting on a date that avoids tempting events. Although I’m not encouraging you to keep holding off on starting a challenge, I do think it’s best to avoid beginning when you know you are about to leave for vacation. If something major falls within the 24 days that you know could bring about temptation, I would wait until you know you have a low key month to get started.
- Don’t give up. Let’s say you end up falling off course and snuck in a few things that aren’t challenge friendly. Don’t tell yourself that you have “ruined this” and there is no point in continuing on. Although you can’t hit rewind, you can certainly press play and continue on. Small steps lead us down the path of success as much as the big leaps can. As you brush it off and go your body will be your best coach in letting you feel how your “off course” moments make you feel and steer you back on the path. And talk to your coach if you need a little motivation…that’s what we are here for.
- Exercise!!! What you put into your body is the most important part of the weight loss equation, so the One/80 and Fit for Fall Challenge can get you results without exercise. But why not take all that extra energy you’ll be fueled with and do something with it that will get you even further ahead, and make you feel great?! Ease into what you are comfortable with. Even just setting a daily step count and challenging yourself to move more than you did the day before. Find a way to get in 20-30 minutes of something that gets your heart rate up! You will be so surprised with what you can do!
- Drink lots of water. I repeat…drink lots of water. Take your body weight, divide it in half, and that’s how many ounces you need to drink. My goal is to drink at least a gallon of water now.
- Don’t skip your snacks. Or any of your other meals. It is so important to keep eating throughout the day. Eating five to six small meals a day helps regulate blood sugar, control cravings, helps regulate metabolism, keeps you plugged into a constant fuel source and keeps hunger at bay. I know that fiber drink might make you full, and all that water drinking can curb your appetite…but really do your best to stay on an eating schedule especially with your supplements.
- Speaking of Fiber Drinks. There are a lot of silent observers in the Facebook group, but let me tell you something…everyone comes out of the woodwork when our beloved fiber drink is discussed! Are you ready for it? Here’s your advice. Throw it into a blender bottle, with ice cold water, shake it, don’t let it sit at all…and CHUG. Keep adding water if you need to. If you need to mix half a pack at a time you can do that too. If you’re feeling really desperate squeeze the juice of a fresh orange into it, or mix it up with your Spark. You’ve got this!
- Use Catalyst and Biocharge. Did you purchase a bottle of Catalyst or packets of Biocharge with your challenge? I sure hope so. The branched chain amino acids that are in Catalyst and Biocharge will help burn fat, lean out and preserve your lean body muscle and enhance your strength and endurance. This is my go-to product…all day, every day (and Spark too of course)! See blog entry on my site, “Did you know?” for more information on BCAA’s and their role in our fitness and health journey.
- Buy extra Spark. Speaking of Spark…if you like it, you’re going to want more! Love the convenience of the packets that come with your challenge bundle, but next go around get yourself a canister of your favorite flavor. It’s a much better value and will last you a long time…unless you have to share it all with your Spark obsessed family like I do! **Moving into foods. Someone shared this on Social Media and I liked it so much I wanted to use it here. I wish I remembered who I borrowed it from so I could thank them for the visual. We can buy and consume a lot of food in exchange for the stuff I use to love. Which brings me to food which is my next tip!
- Eliminate all processed foods. The next few tips will be advice regarding how to eat while on the Challenge. As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I give information on this on my online nutrition workshop and some in my Facebook group. There is no set definition on what “clean eating” means, and there are several opinions of what this encompasses. These “try to avoid or minimize” are universal and have yielded results in myself and my clients. *Coffee/Soda/Alcohol* White foods (pasta, bagels, white bread, white rice, processed foods) * Soy Sauce or any sauces/dressings with sugar in them *Sugar * Dairy Products (cow’s milk, yogurt, cottage cheese etc) *Fatty foods, Fried foods, fast foods*
- Incorporate all fresh foods. *Tons of fresh fruits and veggies *Brown rice (in moderation) *Brown rice pasta (in moderation) *Sprouted grain Bread (in moderation…Ezekiel is a good brand) *Sweet potatoes, *Chicken, fish, lean ground turkey *Almond milk *Eggs *Nuts- raw almonds, raw natural peanuts, raw natural peanut butter *Vegetable broths *Fresh diluted Juices *Legumes (in moderation).
- Eat foods with very few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or better yet, no ingredients listed at all. The order of ingredients listed on the label are in order from what it has the largest amounts of(listed first) to the least(listed last). We have so many awesome recipes we share in the Facebook group that it’s almost overwhelming how many exciting meals you can create within these guidelines.
- Be creative with your food. This is not a “diet”…yes, it’s a change in your diet…but we want you to feel like you can do this forever (because you can). Try something new each week, and of course stick with some of your favorites. Try to make variations of some of your previous favorite meals…spaghetti and meatballs? How about baked spaghetti squash with homemade turkey meatballs? There are so many ways to get creative and we share those in our facebook group and will share some in future blogs. Next up will be Healthy Tailgating How To’s:)
- Don’t be a short order cook. I know this is a hard one, but give it your best shot….what you eat, your family eats (yes, I mean your picky 2 and 4 year old). If you start to feel like a slave to your kitchen and are making 3 different dinners for your household, this will get old real fast. You can ease into it…if you’re making chicken fajitas for yourself maybe still use a whole grain tortilla and almond cheese which are great alternatives to those things we love. I have snuck these in on my boys many times and they either did not notice or complimented the new creation. I will post Healthy Tips for Picky Kids after Healthy Tailgating soon. There are so many amazing meals you can make out there that everyone will like AND everyone will benefit from. I have some of these tips in the Facebook group and will continue to update as we go.
- Don’t step on the scale period. Everything in-between doesn’t matter. Losing weight on the challenge is one of the awesome benefits that comes along with it, but if you can see past that number on the scale and focus on how you’re feeling, how your skin is glowing, how your pants are looser, your tummy is flatter, your energy is up, the intensity of your workouts have increased, your cravings have subsided, your bad habits have been kicked and how happy you are knowing you have only been putting the very best foods and supplements into your body…well then you can stop obsessing over that number on the scale, and be proud of your lifestyle shift. If you want a sneak peek at something put your before photos next to where you are now. It will show you just what a liar the scale is 🙂 Step off that scale….the number on there isn’t your medal for crossing the finish line.
- Talk to your coach. Can you do this on your own? Sure you could! However, the whole premise for starting the Facebook group was to provide for others, what I felt I was lacking on my first challenge. A support system. A cheerleader. A person to turn to for all your questions. I am often shocked at the number of e-mails I get from people who are almost done their challenges, and are completely lost in the process and are out on the internet Googling answers and end up finding my blog. Know that when you order Advocare from this team you are getting so much more than an AdvoCare box delivered to your doorstep. You are getting help, group support, and someone who genuinely cares about your success. Put your coach to work, that’s what we are here for.
- Embrace the change. This…all of this, is for YOU. Taking on the Challenge is not meant to be something that you push through just to say you finished and that you did it. It’s not a quick fix. It’s not something fighting against you, it’s not holding you back, you shouldn’t wish for it to be over…it’s helping you grow into a better version of you. With each year it I have followed the plan I have seen better and better results which counts the years I am adding in number but feel like I am reversing in my health and physical body. What you can learn can change the way you look at food, fitness and overall health for the rest of your life. Go into this challenge with an open mind, and the willingness to allow this to be that game changer you have been searching for. See it as a solution not a challenge as we like to call it and I promise your future self will thank you for it.
Let’s do this!!
Chris, Tonya and the Boys