During the month of May, subscribers to the Lean and Fit Plan will receive one task each day which will help them to burn an estimated 500 calories or lower their caloric intake by that same amount. The goal is to burn or reduce calorie intake by 3500 calories each week, enough to reduce body weight by one pound each week. Plan participants can also expect to enjoy improved health by eating better and moving more.
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Today’s task: Avoid processed foods. Instead, choose fresh whole fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. “Processed foods are more “energy dense” than fresh foods,” according to New York Times writer Michael Pollan, “they contain less water and fiber but more added fat and sugar, which makes them both less filling and more fattening. These particular calories also happen to be the least healthful ones in the marketplace, which is why we call the foods that contain them ‘junk.’”
The calories you save by eating less and choosing leaner foods will depend on how many processed foods are currently in your diet. To make sure you hit the 500 calorie goal for the day, you may also want to choose a workout from days 1-9 and complete a mid day workout.
Tips to make the plan successful:
- Do not compensate for your day’s task by adjusting your normal routine. For example, if your task for the day is to complete a walk/run interval workout, don’t celebrate by ending the workout at Caribou Coffee or taking an extra nap. This will cancel out the 500 calorie effort.
- Calorie estimates are general. To get a more personalized calorie count for your particular workout or dietary restriction, consider a tool such as a BodyMedia FIT armband, or have metabolic testing performed by a personal trainer or health professional.
- Each day’s task may involve some planning. For that reason, you may want to carry out each day’s activity on the day after you receive it in your email inbox. That way, you’ll have time to purchase groceries or schedule a workout. If a particular task simply doesn’t work on a given day, use a prior task instead. But don’t skip a day!
- Err on the difficult side. If you are not sure that you working hard enough, work a little harder. If you think you might be eating too much, you probably are. For this month, live conservatively. Enjoy your food, celebrate your activities, but postpone indulgence until another time.
- As with any exercise or weight loss program, be sure that you are in good health before you begin. Consult your health care provider to be sure that you are fit enough for physical activity and that diet restrictions are reasonable for you at this time.