Sunday, April 13, 2014

Week 3--10 Weeks to a Slimmer Summer

by Rebecca J. Clark
ISSA and NSCA certified personal trainer

Welcome back! How is it going so far? If you’ve been following the plan, your pants should be getting a bit looser around the waist and you should be feeling a bit more energetic in your day to day life.

This challenge is adapted from my new book, The Checklist Diet, available at most ebookstores now.

If you’re just joining us now, please refer back to Week 1 and Week 2.

This week, you’ll continue tracking everything you eat, and will keep eating a healthy breakfast within an hour of waking up. Plus you’ll add this next step:

After eating breakfast, 
eat only when you’re hungry

This is the hardest step for me. I want to eat when I’m bored, when it’s “time” to eat, or pretty much any reason other than being hungry. This step is where I differ from many of my fellow trainers. You’ve probably heard how you *should* eat every 2-3 hours. From a scientific standpoint, this makes sense, because every time you eat, you rev your metabolism. Eating every 2-3 hours give you steady energy, more even-tempered moods (no more low-blood sugar crashes) and could help you to avoid cravings.

But when I eat this way, I’m constantly watching the clock, counting down the minutes until I can eat again, whether I’m hungry or not. Our bodies are very smart. I don’t think we need to listen to someone else’s rules on when we *should* or *should not* eat. When we’re hungry, we eat. If we’re not hungry, we don’t eat. Pretty simple, eh?

Think of your hunger as a scale of 1-10.

10 — Thanksgiving stuffed

7 — You feel like you ate a bit too much and are slightly uncomfortable

5 — Comfortable

3 — You’re a little bit hungry, but you could wait

0 — Your stomach is empty and you need to eat right now

Eat when your stomach is at 0-3.


You’re going to continue with the exercises from last week, but I’m going to make them a bit harder and add one strength move.

CARDIO: Five days this week, choose one of the following cardio workouts. Feel free to mix and match, or do the same one each day:

--Walk out your door. Walk for 10 minutes. Turn around and come back. For 2 of those minutes, pick up the pace until you’re a bit winded.

--Get on a cardio machine of choice (treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc). Go slow for two minutes. Pick up the pace a bit for 15 minutes. Cool down at a slow pace for 2 minutes.

--Pick five of your favorite fast-paced songs (for a total of about 20 minutes). Crank the speakers. Dance around your house until the songs are over.

STRENGTH-TRAINING: Two days this week, do the following strength moves (can be done on the same day as the above workouts).

20 Pushups (against a wall, counter, or on the floor)
20 Sit and Stands from a chair or bench
10 Dips (slide your hips off a chair or bench, fingers curled around edge. Bend and straighten your arms.)
30 seconds of elbow planks (lie on the floor on your belly, propped on elbows. Lift your body up until you’re balancing on your elbows and toes. Hold.)
15 Supermans (lie on your stomach, arms overhead like Superman. Lift and lower arms and legs at the same time)

Repeat those exercises

Have a great week. Let me know if you have any questions. If you are enjoying this program, please tell your friends!


  1. I have a lot of trouble wanting to eat by the clock. Lunch isn't as big a problem for me as dinner. I like to eat early like 5-5:30 so I have the evening free to do other things. What I've tended to do is I might be hungry about four and I will wait because if I eat then I won't be hungry for dinner. Is there any disadvantage to this plan?

  2. Not at all. It sounds like you're making the plan work for your schedule. You could also eat something really small, like 1/2 an apple or a few bites of something, just to tide you over.

  3. I thought I needed to eat a carb and protein with a veggie or fruit at every snack and meal. Is that right? The problem I run into is it's too filling a snack for me to eat that much and why I went to skipping the snack unless it was several hours before mealtime.