Summer Body Challenge

Welcome to the SUNDERLAND ECHO ‘Summer Body Challenge’.

 

The Summer holiday countdown has started. Schools break up in just under six weeks. Are you feeling body confident?

I have designed a 6-week ‘Summer Body Challenge’ to whip you into shape just in time for your Summer holiday.

It’s all about getting you looking and feeling your best, without having to go on a crash diet or beast yourself in the gym every single day.

The only thing is, you must start now. If you leave it any longer, you won’t have enough time to see and feel good progress.

So, what is the ‘Summer Body Challenge’?

It’s a fitness and nutrition programme that I have designed to help you lose weight, tone up and get leaner within six weeks.

What does it include?

Every Wednesday, for the next six weeks I’ll be providing you with:

  • A workout to complete 3 times a week, in your own time.
  • A new 7-day mean plan each week, with a shopping list and recipes for every meal.
  • Some small tasks to help you stay on track.

 

Who is the challenge for?

It’s for anyone who wants to look and feel better over the Summer. It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to fitness or you’ve been working out for years. I’ll be giving you lots of variations so you can control the intensity of each workout.

When does it start?

It starts this week, with today’s article. All that you have to do is buy the Sunderland Echo every Wednesday to follow along each week.

 

Summer Body Challenge: Week 1

 

If you’ve decided to join me on this challenge, let’s get started straight away!

Here are your first tasks to complete over the next couple of days:

  1. Have a clear out.
    Your first task is to get rid of all of the foods in your fridge, freezer and cupboards that are making you gain weight and preventing you from losing body fat. This includes all processed ready meals, refined sugars, fizzy drinks, snacks and booze.Why? Over the next few days you are bound to experience a few cravings while your body adjusts. If your cupboards are full of junk you’re more likely to give in to those temptations. So, the best thing to do is remove the temptations before the cravings happen. By removing the junk, it will make it easier to stay on track and it will give your body the chance to start burning some stored fat.

 

  1. Download your shopping list.
    Once you have cleared your kitchen of the unhealthy foods and drinks, download your first weeks meal plan, shopping lists and recipes below…
    East Coast Fitness Meal Plan 1Click Here >>> East Coast Fitness Meal Plan 1
  2. Stock up on healthy foods.
    Go get your shopping in and re-fill your cupboards with the healthy ingredients.
  3. Complete the ‘Summer Body Week 1’ workout (below) at least 3 times before next Wednesday.

Summer Body Challenge Week 1 Workout:

 

The first workout is designed to strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve your core strength. This workout is relatively low intensity so it won’t get you really out of breath, but you should definitely feel like your stomach has had a good workout! As the weeks pass by the workouts will increase in intensity so that you see amazing results by the end of the six weeks.

The aim is to complete 20 seconds of each exercise without rest. Focus on tensing your abs during every exercise. You should feel that muscle burn during the first round.

20 seconds CRUNCHES
20 seconds BICYCLE ABS
20 seconds SQUIRMS
20 seconds LEG RAISES
20 seconds STRAIGHT LEG SIT UPS
20 seconds JACK KNIVES

REST FOR 60 SECONDS.

Try to complete 6 rounds in total.

Remember: the aim is to complete this workout three times before next Wednesday.

 

Summer Body Challenge: Week 2

 

The importance of staying hydrated.

 

The Summer Body Challenge kicked off last week. I gave you a meal plan, shopping list, and a home workout to complete three times per week.

It’s the same again today, but first I want to explain why it is so important to stay hydrated.

You should aim to stay hydrated all of the time, no matter what your goal is. But, especially when you’re trying to lose weight and get lean.

  • Hydration increases your ability to BURN FAT. If you’re dehydrated your fat burning process will slow down!
  • Water acts as a natural appetite suppressant and aids in metabolism.
  • When you are not properly hydrated, you may feel a burning sensation in your stomach which can be easily be mistaken for hunger pains and lead you to unnecessary calorie consumption.
  • A study conducted at the University of Washington found that drinking one 250ml glass of water eliminated midnight hunger pangs in 98 percent of the subjects, which decreased caloric intake from midnight snacks.
  • Water may also cause an increase in energy, allowing you to push harder through workouts.

 

So, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to take a drink of water. Start drinking water as soon as you wake up on a morning – have a glass with your breakfast. Then keeping sipping throughout the day. You need to have a minimum of 2 litres of water per day. Really, you should aim for 3 litres. Especially on the days that you workout. That may seem like a lot but trust me it really will help you burn fat and look leaner.

When your body is hydrated you will also see other benefits including:

  • Healthier skin
  • Healthier teeth and bones
  • Healthier joints
  • Improved digestion
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Suppresses appetite
  • Increased fat metabolism

 

My advice is to fill up a 2 litre bottle on a morning and make sure it’s gone by the end of the day. And, replace your normal cups of tea and coffee for 3 cups of green tea per day. 

Checklist for week 2:

✅ Download week 2 meal plans and shopping list here… Click here >>> Meal Plan week 2

East Coast Fitness Meal Plan 1
✅Go get your shopping in and stock your cupboards/fridge with the healthy foods.

✅Get rid of any processed, sugary foods that may have found their way into your cupboards over the last week to remove any temptations.

✅Complete this week’s workout at least three times before next Wednesday.

Week 2 Workout – 30/30 Supersets

 

The second workout is designed to target all parts of the body. You should feel more out of breath than the last workout (which focused on your core and abs). There’s a good mixture of cardio and resistance exercises so that you burn body fat and tone all of the major muscles.

Round 1:

30 seconds SQUAT JACKS
30 seconds ISOMETRIC SQUAT
30 seconds rest
30 seconds PRESS UPS
30 seconds HILL CLIMBS
30 seconds rest
30 seconds SIDE STEP LUNGES
30 seconds SIDE STEP THRUSTS
30 seconds rest
30 seconds CRUNCHES
30 seconds LEG RAISES
60 seconds rest

Repeat another 3 rounds so that you complete 4 rounds in total.

 

Summer Body Challenge – Week 3

 

Turn Up The Heat This Summer

 

We’re into week 3 of the Summer Body Challenge and its time to turn up the heat!

Although working out in sweltering temperatures may be the last thing on your mind you might want to have a rethink because exercising in the heat can have big benefits.

When it’s hot outside, your body works hard to keep you cool and maintain a steady temperature so when you exercise in warm temperatures your body needs to kick into overdrive and burns more fat and energy to cool itself.

The warm weather also opens up a whole load of potential activities to mix up your workouts; you can go for bike rides, long walks, games in the park, outdoor jogging or running, swimming in the sea on holidays.

Don’t go overboard though. If you experience dizziness, muscle cramps, weakness and headache, stop exercising. These are signs of heat exhaustion, which can be treated by getting to a cooler place and drinking cold fluids.

Here are 5 tips to get your summer workout sizzling

  1. Do drink lots of fluid

It’s important to stay hydrated during exercise anytime but especially in warm temperatures. Your body will sweat more and this will increase during even mild exercise like walking, so make sure you replace the fluids you are losing or you will run the risk of dehydration. Drink water about an hour before working out and rehydrate after your workout.

  1. Don’t eat protein before working out

Eating protein can increase your core temperature which when working out in warm temperatures could cause heat shock. You are much better off reloading on protein after your workout.

  1. Do lower your core temp before working out

Ice based drinks drink about an hour before exercise or having an ice cold bath or shower can lower your core temperature which will help your maximise your performance and delay the effects of the warm weather on your body.

  1. Do get outside

The sunshine won’t last forever so make the most of it while you can because before you know it it’ll be dark and cold again.

  1. Don’t forget sunscreen

Protecting yourself against sunburn, sunstroke and harmful UV rays is really important and people often neglect the most basic protection which is sunscreen. Even when it’s cloudy overhead UV rays can still be damaging to your health so don’t underestimate the power of the sun.

 

Checklist for week 3:

 

✅ Download week 3 meal plans and shopping list here… Click here >>> Meal Plan week 3.

✅Go get your shopping in and stock your cupboards/fridge with the healthy foods.

✅Get rid of any processed, sugary foods that may have found their way into your cupboards over the last week to remove any temptations.

✅Complete this week’s workout at least three times before next Wednesday.

 

Week 3 Workout – 3:2:1

 

The 3:2:1 workout is one of my favourites. It’s a workout format that lots of Hollywood celebrities use to get in shape for movies.

Theres 6 rounds in total…

3 rounds of LOWER BODY exercises
2 rounds of UPPER BODY exercises
1 round of CORE exercises

V
V
V

Round 1: (lower body)
30 seconds LUNGES
30 seconds SQUAT JACKS
30 seconds ISOMETRIC SQUAT
30 seconds LUNGES
30 seconds SQUAT JACKS
30 seconds ISOMETRIC SQUAT

60 seconds rest

Round 2: (upper body)
30 seconds PRESS UPS
30 seconds WALKOUTS
30 seconds T-PLANK
30 seconds PRESS UPS
30 seconds WALKOUTS
30 seconds T-PLANK

60 seconds rest

Round 3: (lower body)
30 seconds LUNGES
30 seconds SQUAT JACKS
30 seconds ISOMETRIC SQUAT
30 seconds LUNGES
30 seconds SQUAT JACKS
30 seconds ISOMETRIC SQUAT

60 seconds rest

Round 4: (core)
30 seconds CRUNCHES
30 seconds STRAIGHT LEG CRUNCHES
30 seconds FLUTTER KICKS
30 seconds CRUNCHES
30 seconds STRAIGHT LEG CRUNCHES
30 seconds FLUTTER KICKS

60 seconds rest

Round 5: (upper body)
30 seconds PRESS UPS
30 seconds WALKOUTS
30 seconds T-PLANK
30 seconds PRESS UPS
30 seconds WALKOUTS
30 seconds T-PLANK

60 seconds rest

Round 6: (lower body)
30 seconds LUNGES
30 seconds SQUAT JACKS
30 seconds ISOMETRIC SQUAT
30 seconds LUNGES
30 seconds SQUAT JACKS
30 seconds ISOMETRIC SQUAT

Workout Complete!

 

Summer Body Challenge – Week 4

 

If you have been following the Summer Body Challenge meal plans, you should be starting to feel less bloated and more energetic. If you’ve stepped on the scales you’ve probably dropped a few lbs too.

This is down to eliminating sugar and eating the better types of carbohydrates.

It’s the bad carbs (refined sugars) like jams, sweets and sugary food that make you hold onto body fat!

But, the good carbs like wholegrains, oats and quinoa that give us energy and fuel our workouts.

The carbohydrates below are natural products and are included in the Summer Body Challenge meal plans. This makes them a good energy source, as well as a good source of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.

 

Good Carbohydrates

Wholemeal & Wholegrain Products

Wholegrain Rice

Fresh & Frozen Vegetables

Sweet Potatoes

Pulses

Quinoa

Soy Beans

Lentils

Peas

Kidney Beans

Black Eyed Peas

 

 

Eating the wrong types kinds of carbohydrates, like the ones below will cause you to have very unstable blood sugar levels. One minute you will have very high blood sugar levels, the next you will have very low levels. You then often continue to eat these types of carbohydrates, as the low blood sugar levels leave you feeling tired and hungry.

This causes you to eat more refined carbs and be left in this vicious circle. During this cycle, only a very small amount of carbohydrate is actually used for energy. Meaning that a large percentage of the carbohydrates you eat are stored as body fat.

For that reason, you should remove refined sugars from your diet, or drastically reduce the amount that you eat.

 

Bad Carbohydrates (Refined sugars)

White bread

White rice

Pasta

Cakes

Biscuits

Pastries

Sweetened yoghurts

Tortillas

Fruit juice concentrates

White potato

Chocolate

Crisps

 

A further note is that continuing to eat these types of carbohydrates will also cause you to be at greater risk of Type 2 Diabetes.

If you’re following the meal plans that I have been providing, you have nothing to worry about. I have eliminated refined sugars from the meal plans and included just the right amount of good carbohydrates, so that you will have lots of energy to workout and start burning fat instead of storing it.

 

Checklist for week 4:

 

  • Download week 4 meal plans here >>> Meal Plan week 4
  • Go get your shopping in and stock your cupboards/fridge with the healthy foods.
  • Get rid of any processed, sugary foods that may have found their way into your cupboards over the last week to remove any temptations.
  • Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water every day.
  • Complete this week’s workout at least three times before next Wednesday.

 

 

Week 4 Workout:

 

 

We are deep into the Summer Body Challenge now, and the workouts are progressing nicely.

There’s six exercises in todays workout, which work every part of your body. Each exercise is performed for 40 seconds, with 20 seconds rest between each of them.

It’s quite intense, so if you need longer than 20 seconds rest, just take it.

40 seconds SPIDER PRESS UPS
20 seconds rest
40 seconds KNEELING GET UPS
20 seconds rest
40 seconds ALT ARM THRUSTS
20 seconds rest
40 seconds LUNGES
20 seconds rest
40 seconds SIDE STEP GET UPS
20 seconds rest
40 seconds SQUAT JACK BURPEES

60 seconds rest

Perform another 3 rounds. (4 rounds in total)

 

Summer Body Challenge – Week 5

 

A Good Night Sleep Can Help You Lose Weight…

 

Do you struggle to maintain your focus when trying to lose weight?

Do you always end up off the rails after a couple of weeks eating healthy?

Do you have trouble controlling hunger?

Always craving sweet foods?

Despite your biggest efforts in the gym, you don’t achieve the results that you want?

Maybe it’s genetics. Maybe you’re lazy or lack willpower. Or maybe, diet or exercise isn’t the real problem…

If you want to look better, the most common suggestion is “eat less and move more.” But it’s not that simple. Sometimes you want to eat less and move more, but it seems impossible to do so. And there might be a good reason: Between living your life, working, and exercising, you’re forgetting to SLEEP enough.

When you don’t get enough sleep and your body is tired, you can’t control your hormones as well. Especially the hormones Leptin and Ghrelin. I won’t go into the whole science, but basically, when you are sleep deprived your body produces less leptin and more ghrelin. When these two hormones aren’t controlled properly you can experience these side effects:

  • Fat burning slows down.
  • Metabolic grogginess (your metabolism slows down)
  • Feel hungry
  • Crave sugary foods

 

When you don’t sleep enough, your cortisol levels rise too. This is the stress hormone that is associated with fat gain. Cortisol also activates reward centres in your brain that make you want food. At the same time, the loss of sleep causes your body to produce more ghrelin. A combination of high ghrelin and cortisol shut down the areas of your brain that leave you feeling satisfied after a meal, meaning you feel hungry all the time—even if you just ate a big meal.

The bottom line: Not enough sleep means you’re always hungry, reaching for bigger portions, and desiring every type of food that is bad for you—and you don’t have the proper brain functioning to tell yourself, “No!”
As well as the disastrous effects on your diet, lack of sleep can also affect your workouts. You won’t have as much energy to push yourself. If you do manage to workout, the increase of cortisol will slow down your recovery after workouts. The increase in cortisol will also prevent you from gaining as much lean muscle, which in turn will slow down your fat burning process.

My advice:

While there’s no hard number that applies to all people, a good rule of thumb is to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and to make sure that one poor night of sleep isn’t followed up with a few more. It might not seem like much, but it could make all the difference and mean more than any other health decision you make.

 

Checklist for week 5:

 

  • Download week 5 meal plans here >>> Meal Plan week 5
  • Go get your shopping in and stock your cupboards/fridge with the healthy foods.
  • Get rid of any processed, sugary foods that may have found their way into your cupboards over the last week to remove any temptations.
  • Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water every day.
  • Complete this week’s workout at least three times before next Wednesday.
  • Make sure you get between 7-9 hours sleep every night.

Week 5 Workout:

 

Week 5 of the Summer Body Challenge! The workouts are starting to really increase in intensity now.

The ai of this quadruple pyramid workout is to complete it without any rest. It’s very challenging!

But, if it’s too tough it can be made easier by taking a 30 second break in between each time increase.

This is the workout….

15 seconds ROTATING SQUAT JACKS
15 seconds WALKOUT PRESS UPS
15 seconds BURPEE STAR JUMPS
15 seconds T-PLANK KNEE DRIVES

30 seconds ROTATING SQUAT JACKS
30 seconds WALKOUT PRESS UPS
30 seconds BURPEE STAR JUMPS
30 seconds T-PLANK KNEE DRIVES

45 seconds ROTATING SQUAT JACKS
45 seconds WALKOUT PRESS UPS
45 seconds BURPEE STAR JUMPS
45 seconds T-PLANK KNEE DRIVES

60 seconds ROTATING SQUAT JACKS
60 seconds WALKOUT PRESS UPS
60 seconds BURPEE STAR JUMPS
60 seconds T-PLANK KNEE DRIVES

45 seconds ROTATING SQUAT JACKS
45 seconds WALKOUT PRESS UPS
45 seconds BURPEE STAR JUMPS
45 seconds T-PLANK KNEE DRIVES

30 seconds ROTATING SQUAT JACKS
30 seconds WALKOUT PRESS UPS
30 seconds BURPEE STAR JUMPS
30 seconds T-PLANK KNEE DRIVES

15 seconds ROTATING SQUAT JACKS
15 seconds WALKOUT PRESS UPS
15 seconds BURPEE STAR JUMPS
15 seconds T-PLANK KNEE DRIVES

Workout complete!

 

Summer Body Challenge Week 6

 

Meal Planning To Stay On Track

The last week of the Summer Body Challenge!

If you’ve been following along with the meal plans and workouts, then you’ll be experiencing some great changes to your body. You should feel less bloated and more energetic. You’ll definitely notice a change in your shape too. Maybe you’ve even dropped a clothes size or two!

You’ve only got one week left with my meal plans, so I wanted to show you how you can design your own plans once the challenge is finished so you can continue with the health eating. The last thing you want is for all of your unhealthy habits to creep back in.

The key to healthy eating is PREPARATION.

And it starts with meal planning. It doesn’t take long to plan out your week, and it will keep you on track.

This is how I do it:

  1. QUICK RESEARCH
    Every weekend I spend ten minutes flicking through cook books on my book shelf, and picking out some meals that I fancy for the following week. Pinterest is another good source for healthy meal ideas.
  2. CREATE YOUR PLAN
    I write them down on a meal planner blackboard in my kitchen. (along with the cook book name and page number – to save time when it comes to finding the recipe again)

For example:

Monday – Goats Cheese Frittata (Hemsley Hemsley pg32)
Tuesday – Chicken with Thai Broccoli Rice (Body Coach pg45)
Wednesday – Chicken & Avocado Wrap (pinterest)
Thursday – Tuna with Green Beans (Bear Grylls pg112)
Friday – Tortilla Pizzas (pinterest)
Saturday – Spicy Beef Stir-Fry (Summer Body Challenge)
Sunday – Chicken roast (sainsburys mag pg72)

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m a bit pushed for time so I make sure the meals for those days are quick and easy to make. On a Friday, I like to have a treat so I’ll schedule that on the planner too.

Having a structured meal plan like this makes it quicker and easier when it comes to making your meals. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll waste a lot of time staring into the fridge wondering what you can knock up. Then you’ll probably give up and reach for convenience foods, because conjuring up a meal in your head is very difficult.

  1. SHOPPING LIST
    Once I’ve put the meals onto the planner, I go back through the recipes and write down all of the ingredients to create my shopping list.
  1. GO SHOPPING
    Then I’ll go get the shopping in for the week ahead.
    Going into a supermarket with a structured plan and a shopping list saves you from throwing away foods, and saves you money too!
    Without a shopping list, you’ll walk up every single aisle of the supermarket, throwing anything in your trolley that takes your fancy. I can guarantee you’ll not eat half of those impulse buys and they will end up in the bin.
    You should also find that you spend less time in the supermarket because you can whizz around for the items on your list, without having to march up and down every aisle.
  1. STOCK UP
    Head home to fill up the cupboard/fridge with the healthy ingredients I’ve just bought, and that’s me set for the week ahead.It’s a simple as that. I can do the whole thing in less than an hour. I may have to make another quick trip to the supermarket to pick up more fruit if I run out, but that’s it.It may take you a little longer to begin with, but as the weeks go by you’ll get quicker and quicker.

Checklist for week 6:

  • Download week 6 meal plans here >>> Meal Plan week 6
  • Go get your shopping in and stock your cupboards/fridge with the healthy foods.
  • Get rid of any processed, sugary foods that may have found their way into your cupboards over the last week to remove any temptations.
  • Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water every day.
  • Complete this week’s workout at least three times before next Wednesday.
  • Make sure you get between 7-9 hours sleep every night.
  • Follow my advice and design your own meal plan for next week!

 

Workout Week 6 – Tabata

The last workout of the Summer Body Challenge! Each week has been increasing in intensity, so this is a pretty tough one. But the time limits are short so the workout will fly over.

The theme for this workout is:

20 seconds RESISTANCE EXERCISE

10 seconds CARDIO EXERCISE

x8

(4 minute rounds)


Round 1:

20 seconds SQUAT JACKS

10 seconds SPRINT ON SPOT

20 seconds SQUAT JACKS

10 seconds SPRINT ON SPOT

20 seconds SQUAT JACKS

10 seconds SPRINT ON SPOT

20 seconds SQUAT JACKS

10 seconds SPRINT ON SPOT

20 seconds SQUAT JACKS

10 seconds SPRINT ON SPOT

20 seconds SQUAT JACKS

10 seconds SPRINT ON SPOT

20 seconds SQUAT JACKS

10 seconds SPRINT ON SPOT

20 seconds SQUAT JACKS

 

60 seconds REST.

 

Round 2:

Change the exercises to…

 

20 seconds WALKOUTS

10 seconds rest STAR JUMPS

 

Round 3:

Change the exercises to…

 

20 seconds PRESS UPS

10 seconds rest CRUNCHES

 

 

Round 4:

Change the exercises to…

 

20 seconds BICYCLE ABS

10 seconds rest HILL CLIMBS

 

 

Round 5:

Change the exercises to…

 

20 seconds LUNGES

10 seconds rest BURPEES






  • Timetable & Booking

    MORNING BOOT CAMP – SEAHAM



    Date: Monday & Friday
    Time: 06:00 – 06:45
    Venue: Seaham Youth Centre (Strangford Road, Seaham, SR7 8QE)
    Price: £30 for 4 week block booking / £85 for 12 week block booking (saving £5) / £160 for 24 week block booking (saving £20)



    Morning Boot Camp – Seaham






    EVENING BOOT CAMP – SEAHAM



    Date: Tuesday & Thursday
    Time: 18:30 – 19:30
    Venue: Seaham Sea Front – meet in Tonias Cafe car park (North Road, Seaham, SR7 7AG)
    Price: £30 for 4 week block booking / £85 for 12 week block booking (saving £5) / £160 for 24 week block booking (saving £20)



    Evening Boot Camp – Seaham





    CIRCUIT TRAINING – SEAHAM



    Date: Sunday
    Time: 10:00 – 11:00
    Venue: Seaham Leisure Centre (Deneside Recreation Ground, Seaham, SR7 8NP)
    Price: £5 per session