We have posted about fitness and health options before because, well, I’m all about exercising, eating right and being healthy as a lifestyle.
But I understand that not everyone is super into fitness, or doesn’t have time, inclination, ability, or interest in doing it as a lifestyle.
So I wanted to show you a list I’ve curated once again, that I’ve used and can offer on experience because I hate to tout something I haven’t tried. And the rule of thumb for any of the advice below is to actually follow it – at least for the time it is supposed to be followed. I’m no exercise guru or nutritionist or fitness expert, but I do know that results come from your personal accountability to the program and being regimented enough to follow it. It’s creating a habit that might actually last longer than the weeks before your wedding – if anything, use one of these to battle the Newlywed Five – those dreaded couple of pounds that seem to pop on after the wedding thanks to wedded bliss, and maybe a lot of honeymoon cocktails.
1. 21 Day Fix or 21 Day Fix Extreme.
I did this to jump start my body after Baby #3 / Pregnancy #6. What was so great was that the exercises were not extremely strenuous and everything was between 30 – 35 minutes long. You do have to exercises every day for 21 days in a row, but it goes quickly, and is very easy to follow. It will ask you to have the following things in your home (because, thankfully, this can be done in your house in front of the TV as long as you have at least 5 feet of space): 5lb, 10lb and maybe 15lb dumbbells, a yoga mat and a water bottle. Easy and they show someone doing modifications for every single exercise. I’ll admit my first day, I turned it on pretty skeptical on the difficulty level because I was used to doing some sort of crazy Insanity work out while pregnant, but I broke a sweat and was seriously sore for a few days afterwards.
The additional part of this is the portionology that the program introduces – you receive color coded containers explaining what goes in each and how many you should eat of each every day to get results – the goal is to teach you what is really and truly a serving of protein or vegetables. I’m a good one for the kitchen, and this took a little bit of training myself how to put together meals, but they give a lot of examples and by the second week, I was totally able to put together hugely hearty meals that satisfied the requirements of the program and my husband ate without questioning.
This is a good one for a fast fix, and for quick results, and if you stick to the food as well, you should see results in time for the big day.
2. Insanity Max :30
I don’t mean to tout Beachbody products, but I’ve been using them since 2009, so I’m likely a little biased. I know I’ve discussed Insanity before, but this is a newer one – Max :30. You guessed it – every exercise tape is 30 minutes long exactly. This program is designed to make you fail at some point – if you don’t stop exercising you are either the guy running the program or not doing it hard enough/right enough. It’s awesome tough and melts fat, especially belly fat, pretty fast as long as you eat along the lines of the 21 day fix – a lot of protein and vegetables.
This is a hard program, but you won’t need anything other than yourself and a water bottle – everything is done using your own body weight. You do get into pretty nice shape in 60 days, and you also get some days off on the weekend. I use this program as a nice way to whip off any surprise body fat or fluff from a long weekend eating kinda stupid and if I don’t have any program I’m following.
3. Precision Nutrition (PN)
Since July, I’ve been trying Precision Nutrition, a program based in Canada. It is a year-long program and is likely one of the more pricey options out there, but it’s very involved every day with a very hands-on coaching program and focuses on weight / strength training as well as habits that you are supposed to learn for life to sustain a healthy lifestyle far beyond the year of the program. I’m only halfway through this, but it’s certainly really helped with muscle tone, definition, and I look more shredded than I ever have, so that is something. The hardest part is having very little guideline on what to eat early on, but as it’s a long program, they don’t slam you with the exercises and the food all at once, it’s very slow and steady. Perfect for those who get overwhelmed quickly.
The downside to this is that if you want to get in shape (or look in shape) quickly, then this is not for you, but it’s a wonderful program to do in tandem with your sweetheart the year before your wedding, or afterwards to stay in shape together. The exercises say they take 60 minutes, and I suppose if you milked it, it could, but I am generally able to bang them out in 20 – 25 min. You get weekends off, as well, which is nice – with kids, I like to have the option to sleep in of a Saturday.
4. Diet That is Not a Diet.
I know that this is not the popular thing to say ever, but seriously, vegetables and protein are going to be the first thing you need to be eating every day – sometimes if you just cut out almost all carbs except like a bit of a sweet potato or some beans and even cut back your fruit intake (and no soda, no juice, no lattes – just black coffee or water or a protein shake) you’ll see results. And it’s not a diet. It’s eating super clean, and super healthy because you’re taking out most of the sugary carbs. You’d likely see results in a week if you just eat pretty darn clean. I miss the booze most when I focus on eating like this, but I totally love my results in a matter of days. It’s like the belly fat just starts to disappear.
Anyway, it’s totally possible to get shredded (or in better shape than you are now – whatever shape that is!) before that wedding day, but it does require some time, focus, and regiment. Still, those photos are going to last forever, right? It’s worth it to feel your best (because if you feel your best, you’ll likely look your best!)…and who knows? You might enjoy it all so much, the exercise and eating becomes your lifestyle and you’ll be able to feel awesome about yourself every day beyond the wedding.
Photo of me…courtesy of Front Room Photography