06 Jul

Written by Kristin on July 6, 2017

Even though summer is in full swing, it’s not too late to get that beach body you’ve meant to work on all winter. But if you think getting in shape means joining a gym or signing up for an expensive meal delivery or weight loss service, you’re wrong. With so many options out there today, especially online, you can lose weight, tone up, and fit into that bikini just in time for your August holiday!

Eating right 

Recently I came across the Louise Parker Method, created by personal trainer to the stars and royalty, Louise Parker. Her book, Lean for Life (£9.99 on Amazon) is a quick read, and lays out the plan you need to follow. The method is very simple and involves healthy eating, 15 minutes of exercise a day, sleeping for 7 hours, and getting 10,000 steps in. Her plan also involves changing your mindset to a positive one and avoiding “stinking thinking,” along with decluttering your space and practicing meditation. In just six weeks during her “transform” phase, you can easily lose those extra five to ten pounds, have more energy, clear up your skin, and most importantly feel healthier.

An overhaul in your eating and exercise habits can seem like a massive undertaking, so it’s best to grab a friend or three and keep each other motivated and accountable.  In the beginning of June, I started the Louise Parker Method along with a group of friends and we have a Whats App group (you can download the app for free). Louise Parker also has her own free app where you can track your meals, daily steps, and so forth.

At first I found it quite easy to adapt to the LP way of eating, which meant no carbs like bread and pasta, no alcohol, and definitely no sweets. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners at home were simple since I was cooking for myself and controlling what I ate, but when I stayed with family for a weekend, went out to a restaurant or to parties, that’s when it became more difficult to stay “in the circle,” as Louise calls it. Stepping out of the circle means eating a piece of cake or having a pint, but as long as you jump right back in to eating healthy again, Louise stresses that you shouldn’t worry too much about it.

I’m almost at the end of the transform phase and I’ve lost five pounds and definitely see a difference in the post-baby stomach I’ve been trying to lose, so I can tell you the plan works! Along with Lean for Life I picked up Louise’s cookbook (£9.99 on Amazon) to help get more ideas for healthy meals. So far I’ve been eating a tonne of salads, mostly eggs for breakfast, and simple dinners like grilled chicken and vegetables. If you’re missing starches like potatoes or rice, you can easily substitute cauliflower rice, which I did in a stir-fry last night.

Exercise

One of the easiest ways to get yourself on the path to more exercise is wearing a fitness tracker. I have the Fitbit Flex 2 (£69.99 at Currys) and it definitely keeps me accountable to get those steps in every day. It also tracks my sleep patterns and reminds me to get up when I haven’t moved in a while. There are loads of less expensive fitness trackers out there if you don’t want to spend too much, though, and you can find a simple pedometer for under £10 on Amazon, or a Fitbit type tracker for around £25 (although I definitely noticed a difference in accuracy between the cheaper version I originally bought and the actual Fitbit).

If you buy the Louise Parker book, or download the app, you can follow her workout regime. But if you need to see exercises in action, or prefer more of a “class” atmosphere without actually going to a gym, YouTube is an amazing resource for exercise videos. Whatever you’re into can be found for free, whether it’s cardio, Zumba, ab exercises, yoga, pilates, you name it. I’m a fan of the YouTuber Blogilates; her videos are easy to follow even for beginners, and if you’re looking for flatter abs you’ll definitely get motivated by her exercises.

Of course, walking instead of driving is one of the best free exercises out there! I’ve made it a point to walk more, even when I’m driving somewhere I’ll park further away to get more steps in. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Every little bit counts!

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