An Australian personal trainer with 14 years of experience and a leading nutritionist have shared the perfect four-week fitness and dieting plan to get in top shape by the first day of summer.
Adala Bolto, founder of the New South Wales HIIT studio ZADI, said the first step is to have a positive mindset, plan scheduled workouts weeks in advance and avoid setting unrealistic expectations.
Melbourne nutritionist Laura Ford said those who are aiming to lose weight over a short period of time should avoid extreme fad diets and maintain balance with healthy foods from each core food group.
Adala Bolto (pictured) said the first step is to have a positive mindset, plan scheduled workout weeks in advance and avoid setting unrealistic expectations
Nutritionist Laura Ford (pictured) said those who are aiming to lose weight over a short period of time should maintain a balanced diet and consume healthy foods from each core food group
Week one: The ‘conditioning phase’
Adala describes the first week the ‘conditioning phase’ as the goal is to prime yourself for the goals you’re wanting to achieve.
‘Commit to three workouts per week of any form of exercise that you enjoy and will cover the key fitness components, such as strength, cardio and flexibility at a moderate intensity,’ she told FEMAIL.
Cardio and weights training are both important to weave into your schedule.
During this initial week, Adala recommends keeping the workouts simple and remove any junk food, excess alcohol and sugary foods from your diet and replace with nutritious meals.
Adala calls the first week the ‘conditioning phase’ as the goal is to prime yourself for the changes you’re wanting to achieve while starting the new routine
‘Focus on lean proteins, fruit, vegetables and lots of water – I would highly recommend a tool or app, such as My Fitness Pal, to track your calorie consumption,’ Adala said.
Laura agreed and said being in a calorie deficit is an ideal way to lose weight fast.
‘Research shows that any diets can be effective for weight loss as long as there is a caloric deficit,’ she said, adding: ‘It’s really about finding a diet that allows you to maintain long-term healthy eating habits.’
She recommends eating nutritional food that’s high in fibre and protein, and to not cut out carbs completely.
Maintaining a healthy diet will also help your muscles with recovery to be able to workout again sooner.
During this initial week, Adala recommends keeping the workouts simple and remove any junk food, excess alcohol and sugary foods from your diet and replace with nutritious meals. Laura agreed and said being in a calorie deficit is an ideal way to lose weight fast
THE FIVE DIFFERENT FOOD GROUPS
1. Breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles and other grains
2. Vegetables and legumes
4. Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives
5. Lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes
THE FOUR-WEEK PLAN AT A GLANCE
Week one – plan three workouts per week and a healthy meal schedule to begin
Week two – intensify the workouts
Week three – boost the number of workouts to four per week with added cardio
Week four – keep going to maintain and maximise results
Week two: Boost the intensity of physical activity
During the second week, the intensity of all physical activity should be boosted to shred down quicker.
‘Use a heart rate monitor to help you determine the quality of every workout; it’s recommended that your session is spent in the “fat burn zone”, which will increase fitness and burn calories,’ Adala said.
This ‘zone’ is measured between 60 to 70 per cent of your maximum effort to burn fat.
Laura also said both fitness and dieting are important when developing a healthy lifestyle or physical transformation; during the second week it’s important to continue to fuel your body with the right food.
‘By following a healthy diet, you’re giving your brain and your body everything it needs to function at its best,’ she said.
During the second week, the intensity of all physical activity should be boost to shred down quicker. Laura said both fitness and dieting are important when developing a healthy lifestyle
It’s important to focus on the exercises you enjoy doing and incorporating both cardio and weights into weekly training sessions
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WORKOUTS AND THE BENEFITS
Cardio improves cardiovascular health and strengthens the heart to help pump blood efficiently! It also lowers blood pressure and helps regulate blood sugar
Weight training increases muscle mass which expends more energy, therefore burning more calories, while also increasing bone density and improving posture, balance and flexibility
While cardio and weights differ in training style, both are just as important to do each week
Any type of exercise has many benefits, like better sleep, improved brain power and energy, regulating weight and improving immunity
Source: Adala Bolto
Week three: Increase the amount of workouts to at least four
By the third week the number of workouts and exercises should increase to push the body further and maximise results.
‘Now that you have kept up a consistent routine whilst watching what you are eating to maintain a calorie deficit and increase fitness and strength, try schedule in one more session as well as keeping more active in general,’ Adala said.
She recommends adding in daily walks and consider how you can be active during the day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or riding a bike to work.
By the third week the number of workouts and exercises should increase to push the body further to maximise results
A typical day on a plate to follow to tone up in time for summer
Breakfast: 2 to 3 scrambled egg whites cooked in a teaspoon of olive oil, 1/2 cup cooked cherry tomatoes and 1/4 avocado on 1 slice wholemeal sourdough. 1/2 cup mixed berries on 1/2 cup low fat or Greek yogurt
Lunch: Chicken salad 200g chicken, 1/2 cup grilled veggies (pumpkin, zucchini, onions and capsicum, add a handful baby spinach and 1/4 cup quinoa then dress with lemon juice, chilli flakes and salt/pepper
Snack: 1/2 cup snow peas with 2 to 3 tablespoons of hummus dip and almonds
Dinner: 200g Baked salmon, 2 cups steamed greens (beans and broccolini) and 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
Drink 5 to 8 glasses of water throughout the day and if you love your coffee, swap out full cream milk with soy or oat milk or stick to black coffee as a low calorie option.
Source: Adala Bolto
Week four: Keep going as hard as you can to maximise results
By the end of the four-week plan, both experts strongly recommend continuing the healthy fitness and nutrition lifestyle to maintain and maximise results.
While both Laura and Adala said major visual changes may not be noticeable, gradual changes in behaviour and lifestyle habits can lead to a full transformation.
‘If you want to get lean and keep it off, opt for healthy long-term goals like adding two serves of vegetables to your lunches and dinners, or taking the time to go for a walk for a half hour each day,’ Laura said.
‘Finding smaller things that you can do consistently in the long term will help you to develop a lifelong healthy lifestyle at a more manageable weight, and with a lot less angst and stress.’