Pumped for the July 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge? Ready for the delicious, healthy meal plans that are budget friendly and suited to the chilly winter days? Excited about warming and energy boosting exercise guides?
healthy eating meal plan
To make the July Challenge even more successful for you here are our top 5 tips to get ready, organised and focused:

1) Set Goals

Before you even think about meal planning and scheduling in exercise, you should get your goals for the July Challenge in place.
What do you want to achieve over the next 28 days? And how are you going to achieve those goals?
Write down an overall goal e.g. “I want to lose 4kgs by the end of July” or “I want to drop a dress size” or “I want to be fitter”.
Then write down smaller goals or plans to help you reach the bigger goal(s). Be really specific so you can measure your success each week. Make your smaller goals achievable for you e.g. “I will exercise every day for at least 20 minutes a day” is probably more achievable than “I will do 5 x 1 hour gym sessions each week” as things can change, your diary may get filled, you may get sick, the kids may get sick etc and you might not get to the gym as planned.

2) Fill In Your Diary

If you don’t already use a diary, get one and try using it during the 28 Day Challenges as it makes achieving goals and being organised so much easier.
Start by writing down the key dates for the Challenge – when are the Meal Plans released (the Wednesday of the week prior), when are the exercise plans available, when are the fitness tests etc
Then see what your weeks include – when are you working, when are the kids at home from kindy/day care/school, do you have any outings? do you have any birthdays or family events?
Now you know what your weeks ahead include you can realistically add in the times when you should be able to fit in some exercise, when you can shop for the meal plans, when you can set aside some time to make some of the recipes ahead and freeze etc.

3) Cleanse The Cupboards

Start by having a look at what’s already in your cupboards, fridge and freezer. Are there unhealthy snacks or ingredients in there that are going to make it hard for you to stick to your healthy eating goals? Get rid of lollies, chips, sugary biscuits, processed cakes, soft drinks etc – anything you know doesn’t form part of a healthy eating plan and that will tempt you.
Then you can start to add a few healthy items to your grocery shops in the lead up to the start of the July Challenge. Obviously it will depend on how you customise your meal plan as to which exact ingredients you will need but some items that are used all the time in the recipes that you can stock up on are:

  • wholegrain bread (gluten free if required), wholegrain wraps, wholegrain crackers for snacks
  • grains and seeds: brown rice, quinoa, chia seeds, rolled oats, mixed nuts, wholegrain pasta
  • condiments and cooking ingredients like: cinnamon, maple syrup, honey, dried mixed herbs, salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil
  • tinned items: mixed beans, tinned tomatoes, tinned tuna, tinned beetroot
  • snacks items: dried apricots, air popped popcorn and pretzels
  • baking goods like baking powder, cacao/cocoa, wholemeal flour, desiccated coconut
  • frozen berries and peas
  • and if meats are on special and you have the space in your freezer, stock up on skinless chicken breast fillets, stewing steak e.g. lean chuck steak, lamb shanks, pork steak, white fish fillets

4) Exercise Expectations

Lots of Challenge participants get worried if they can’t fit in their daily exercise and think they’re not going to achieve their goals if they miss out.
Schedule in time for exercise throughout the week but manage your expectations about what you may achieve. As said and as many of you know, life gets in the way pretty quickly and all it takes is a sick child or a sick you and sticking to your exercise schedule may get really hard.
Something simple like “exercise every day for at least 20 minutes” is a great expectation to have as it’s really flexible:

  • you haven’t set an exact time to exercise so can do it whenever is possible during the day
  • you haven’t set an exact type of exercise so if you can’t get to the gym/go for your run/do your Challenge exercises for whatever reason, you can do whatever you can e.g. including a walk to the park with the kids, taking the stairs instead of the lift, doing some squats while waiting for the kettle to boil
  • you haven’t set an exact amount of time i.e. you’ve said “at least 20 minutes” but that’s it. 20 minutes of exercise per day isn’t that hard to fit in, especially when including incidental exercise and if you do have more time then keep going, turn that 20 minutes into 40 minutes etc.

5) Take A Breather

Try not to go into the July 28 Day Challenge with loads of stress and worry and “what if I don’t achieve my goals” type thoughts.
Try and take some time out for yourself in the lead up to the Challenge, even if it’s just going to bed a little earlier with a good book or when feeling stressed throughout the day, stopping and making a cup of herbal tea and sitting down for a few minutes.
Trying to be more relaxed and focused on the actual moment, rather than thinking too much into the future and what may or may not happen, is calming and allows you to feel more positive and confident about the Challenge and what you’re going to achieve.
Continuing these little time out moments during the Challenge is a great idea too.
These top tips should help you to get focused, planned and organised so that the July 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is a true success for you.
healthy eating meal plans