When you first make the decision to get healthy, it can be quite difficult trying to choose the program that is right for you. It won’t take long for you to come across a plan that promises fast, significant results. While these types of programs may sound appealing, they usually don’t work long-term and can be potentially dangerous for your health. When it comes to choosing a safe and effective fitness plan, slow and steady is the way to go! This 3-month plan for getting a leaner, healthier body, will help you reach all of your fitness goals, safely and effectively.
There are many factors involved in working towards and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The two most significant factors are eating right and exercising often. You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s 80% diet and 20% exercise,” however, this statement isn’t totally accurate. Instead, you should think of it as 100% diet and 100% exercise all of the time. If you want to be successful, you must completely dedicate yourself to the process!
Take it One Step at a Time
A tip that will most definitely come in handy is to take this one day, week, and month, at a time. Smaller, more specific goals are much easier to manage and achieve. This particular plan covers 3 months, but you can still break it down into smaller increments of time. We recommend doing this because it will provide you with daily and weekly goals to hit so that the 3 months don’t get away from you.
At the beginning of your journey, you’ll want to write down some goals. Do you want to lose weight? If so, how much weight do you want to lose? Do you want to become stronger or more flexible? Are there any particular things you’re working towards, like completing your first marathon or getting in shape for your wedding?
No matter what you’re goals are, don’t be afraid to get specific! Having something to work towards, or a goal in mind, will keep you motivated even on your worst days. Don’t let huge, drawn-out goals overwhelm you. Break it down and be specific, and I promise you WILL succeed.
What does eating right mean, exactly? Does it mean cutting out carbohydrates? Decreasing your fat intake? Eating purely organic?
Eating right, is simply eating a well-rounded diet made up of properly portioned, nutritious foods. It doesn’t require you to eliminate carbohydrates or fats. You don’t need to limit yourself to only consuming organic products, although organic products are good for you!
Eating Habits: Things to Include and Avoid
Include: Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
Avoid: Sugary, high-calorie, processed foods
Include: Plenty of lean protein (chicken, fish, eggs, etc..)
Avoid: Fast food
Include: Whole grains and fiber
Avoid: Skipping breakfast (After all, it IS the most important meal of the day.)
Include: Lots of water (at least 64 ounces, each day.)
Avoid: Soda, and other sugary beverages
Include: Meal-prepping in your routine
Avoid: Bringing unhealthy foods into the house
It’s All About Portion Control
Your body requires a certain number of macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates) in order to function optimally each day. These macronutrients make up the foods you eat. This food provides you with the energy, or calories, that you need to get through the day.
One of the best things about eating right, is that it’s very difficult to overeat. Healthy food, although relatively low in calories, is packed full of nutrition that keeps us satisfied all day long. This means that when we eat right, we don’t necessarily need to count calories or track our food.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on eating healthy foods for a few weeks, check your progress (weight, measurements, etc…) and then adjust accordingly. If you’re losing weight, keep doing what you’re doing. If you’ve stayed the same, or gained, try to eat a little less and check your progress again in a couple of weeks.
This brings us to the importance of portion control! No food is inherently “evil,” for instance, fat does not make you fat. Instead, remember the mantra “Everything in moderation.” Properly portioning out your meals will not only keep you from feeling neglected, but also stop you from overeating.
You must read these, totally-helpful tips on How to Lose Weight with Portion Control.
Consider trying one of these simple, yet effective eating plans to get you started:
- Your Healthy Transformation Diet Plan
- 21-Day Flat Belly Meal Plan
- Clean-Eating Overhaul: 30-Day Weight Loss Program ebook
- 14-Day Clean Eating Meal Plan
No matter how long the plans listed above last for, you can continue to repeat them for the next 3 months. For instance, try out the 30-Day Overhaul. If you end up enjoying it or seeing awesome progress, do it again next month. If you’d like to try something different, switch to the 21-Day Flat Belly Meal Plan! Everyone is different, so we’re not all going to agree on the same diet. You need to find what works best for YOU.
When it comes down to it, all that really matters is that you get up and move at 5-6 days per week! It’s important to choose exercises that you enjoy so that you’ll remain consistent and continue to follow through.
How Many Cardio Sessions Per Week? You should aim to do cardio 5 to 6 days per week.
Steady-State or Moderate-Intensity Cardio: General guidelines recommend getting at least 150 minutes total, weekly or five 30-minute sessions per week. This includes: walking, jogging, running, elliptical, biking, dancing, swimming, etc…
You may also enjoy one of these awesome cardio plans:
- 10K Training Plan for Beginners
- The Ultimate Fat-Blasting Cardio Workout Plan
- 30-Minute Melt Off the Weight Cardio Workout
- Lose Weight with the Walk Slow/Fast Plan
HIIT: If you don’t have 150 minutes to spare on traditional cardio each week, you may consider HIIT instead. General guidelines recommend getting at least 75 minutes total, weekly or five 15-minute sessions per week. Since HIIT is more intense than steady-state cardio, you don’t have to do as much (in terms of duration). This form of training can be completed on any type of cardio equipment listed above, or you might enjoy one of these bodyweight HIIT programs:
- 28-Day HIIT Body Weight Workout Challenge
- Lean Body HIIT Cardio Challenge
- 14-Day HIIT Workout Challenge
- 30-Day HIIT Makeover
How Many Strength-Training Sessions Per Week? You should perform a strength-training routine a minimum of twice a week, but you can choose to do it up to 6 days a week!
Some people enjoy performing total-body strength routines, and others like splitting up each muscle group into different days. No matter what you choose, the AHA recommends you perform at least 12 reps, at a moderately difficult weight, twice a week, for each muscle group.
Check out some of the great, strength-building and muscle-toning plans, below! All of these options provide you with an excellent place to start.
- 7-Day Intro to Weight Training Plan
- 6-Week Body Weight Workout Plan
- The Ultimate Fat-Burning Workout Plan to Shed Pounds & Inches
- 21-Day Body Toning Workout Plan for Beginners
You can feel free to use one (or more) of the plans above. Each of them can be repeated several times to get you through the next few months! They’re all great for beginners as they will teach you proper form and help you build up your strength.
Check out the all of our Strength Programs and Routines.
How Many Flexibility/Yoga Sessions Per Week? It is highly recommended that in order to maintain flexibility, you stretch 5-7 times per week. Stretching is best saved for after your workout, when all of your muscles are sufficiently warmed up.
Try out one, or ALL, of these fun and relaxing Yoga routines…
- Morning Yoga Routine
- 10-Minute Beginner’s Yoga Workout for Balance
- 8 Yoga Poses for a Strong Core
- 10 Best Yoga Positions for Absolute Beginners
You can perform a different routine each day, week, or month. Again, choose what works best for YOU.
Check out the rest of our incredible Yoga Routines.
This 3-month plan for getting a leaner, healthier body provides you with all of the options that you’ll need to get fit over the next few months! Applying healthy eating habits and consistent exercise to your daily routine will allow you to progress and reach your goals before you know it.
Fitness journeys can feel long and difficult, but by breaking them down into smaller, more specific goals, you will go from overwhelmed to, “I’ve got this!” It’s okay to take it one day, week, or month at a time. If you ever find yourself needing a little pick-me-up in the motivation department, read How to Get Motivated to Lose Weight & Stay Inspired.