Nikola Green is a 33 year old single mum to 3 year old twin boys and lives in Victoria in Australia.
She has been following the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge meal plans for just over 1 year and has lost 35 lb* and over 80cm from her body! Not only has she lost weight, but she has improved her overall health and fitness. Nikola is now the most confident and happy she has ever been
Raising young children is both rewarding and exhausting, and as a mum you naturally put your needs after everyone else. One day I decided it was finally time to put myself first.
I wanted to change my life for the better and I was excited to think I could possibly have the amazing results that the other Healthy Mummy challenge members I had been reading about, were having. I knew their dramatic weight loss results were real. Not photoshopped, not models advertising a loss, but real women of all ages and sizes – which I loved!
Starting my very first 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge was both exciting and daunting! I was looking forward to having my own amazing weight loss results which would hopefully inspire others one day.
Leading up to my first challenge I had many questions and thoughts running through my head.
How will I have time to meal prep and cook?
Will I like the food?
Will I lose weight or will I just fail like every other weight loss product I’d tried.
Will it be too hard?
Can I afford it?
I just had to block those thoughts out and only focus on one thing:
What if I just give it my all and I succeed? That’s what I did and I haven’t looked back since!
I am so happy to have lost 35 lb and over 80cm from my body and regained my confidence again.
As someone who’s been doing the challenges for over a year I thought it might be useful to pass on some tips and tricks that I’ve learnt along the way.
Meal Plan Tips and Tricks
Download the 28 Day Challenge app and watch the tutorial video.
Plan your meals to suit your needs, taste and budget. The menu plan is fully customisable with over 2000 recipes so take advantage of that amazing function. You don’t need to buy 7 different types of protein for the week. You can swap them around. e.g. if prawns are expensive I’ll change to chicken breast. It may alter the calories a little bit but a small difference in calories isn’t going to affect your overall weight loss.
Use what you have already. Don’t go buying things you can’t afford just because it suggests a certain meal on a particular day.
Repeat meals to save on time and money. Don’t feel like you have to eat what is written on the plan. There are 6 meals a day with 7 days in that week that’s 42 meals for the week. Pick and choose the ones that suit your taste and budget and repeat if you wish.
Cook in bulkand freeze meals so you’ve got back ups for alternative days when you can’t be bothered to cook.
Plan, prep and prepare! Fail to prepare then prepare to fail. If you plan ahead and prepare things ready to go there’s no reason why you will fail by grabbing that takeaway meal or those 4 Tim Tams from the packet. Cook things like muffins, cakes, slices and bliss balls as snacks and have these in the freezer ready to go. Have veggies cut up ready to use for dinners or as a snack with dips.
Allocate time. Try set some time aside where you do a bit of a cook up. I allocate a couple of hours on a Sunday to get things ready for the new week ahead. As difficult as it is to find time, if you can allocate some time to prep, it actually saves you time during the week.
Use the shopping list provided. Once you have customised your meal plan for the week, print out the shopping list from the hub. This makes things so much quicker and easier when you are out shopping.
Keep it simple. If time or money is an issue, keep your meal plan simple. You don’t have to be baking all the time. Have basic snacks such as fruit, nuts, boiled eggs and dips on hand. Don’t overwhelm yourself thinking you have to bake for every snack.
Your first shop will be the most expensive but don’t let this put you off. It’s expensive because you may be buying things you do not already own like chia seeds, almonds, coconut oil and quinoa as well as sauces and spices. But after the initial shop, these items become staples and are not something you have to replace each week. Try buying ingredients in bulk or stock up from places like Aldi or Costco. Markets are also a great place to get cheaper fruit and vegetables.
Exercise at a time of day that suits you. Don’t feel like you have to exercise first thing in the morning. Do it when it suits you. Your app will require you to do 3 rounds of each exercise. If you don’t have time to complete them all at once break them up to fit in with your day. Even if you’ve never exercised before, they are simple enough to follow.
Don’t be overwhelmed by certain exercises that may have weights. Only use weights when you are ready. You don’t have to go out and buy weights. Improvise with things you have around the house. I first started out using cans of tin goods. I later increased the weight by using empty milk bottles filled with water.
The 28 day challenge app makes exercising easy. The challenge website and app has videos to demonstrate each exercise so you know you are doing it correctly. It also has a timer so you can record your workout results. I recommend putting on some music and you won’t even notice your working out! I often get my boys to join in. It makes it fun and keeps them active.
Tips regarding calories
Calculate how many calories you should be consuming. When you first start out you will need to work out your calories using the BMR calculator. This will tell you how many calories you should be consuming a day. It will be different for everyone. It can be a shock to the system to see how many calories you can consume but I assure you that number will be correct.
Lower calories only starve your body. More calories boost your metabolism and fuel your body. I’ve lost 35 lb by eating 1800 calories a day. The difference is you will now be eating better foods that fuel your body. Just think of your body as the car and your food as the petrol!
Calorie counting can be time consuming. If you select recipes from the challenge the app automatically adds up the calories for you. I don’t count my calories everyday. I might count them for a week to get a rough idea of how much I should be having but you don’t have to strict calorie count. As long as you have a good idea about what you should be having then that’s fine.
If you are breastfeeding you need to add an extra 500 calories to your total.
It can seem overwhelming in the beginning but I promise you it’s not. It just takes practice and a bit of patience. It will become second nature to you soon enough. The Facebook support group has amazing support so if you are ever unsure of anything. Never feel that your question is too silly to ask. Chances are there will be others who are wondering the exact same thing as you. With so many members, there is always someone there to help.
Good luck, have fun and enjoy all the yummy meals on offer!
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