Long-standing challenge member, Nikola Green shares her tips and tricks for getting started, making the most out of the 28 Day Challenge and obtaining the weight loss results you have always dreamt of.
Nikola Green is a 33-year-old single mum to 3-year-old twin boys and lives in Langwarrin, Victoria.
She has been following the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge meal plans for just over 1 year and has lost 17kg and over 80cm from her body! Not only has she smashed her weight loss goals but also her healthy and fitness goals as well. Nikola is now the most confident and happiest she has ever been.
Here is Nikola’s story
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 17kg 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 from the app store and watch the tutorial video to get started.
- Plan your meals to suit your needs, taste, budget and eating habits. The menu plan is fully customisable with thousands of 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. eg. prawns can be expensive so instead, 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. Make sure you customise your meal plan to your eating habits and budget.
- Repeat meals to save on time and money. Don’t feel like you have to eat what is written on the meal or diet 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 bulk and 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 to 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 in the app. 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. Checkout your local farmers market or just regular market as you may find some ingredients, especially fruit and vegetables, that are cheaper.
Exercise tips and tricks
The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge also provides you with exercises to complete. It’s like having a personal trainer with you no matter where you go.
- 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 2L milk containers filled with water.
- The 28 Day Weight Loss 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.
- Choose an exercise program that suits your needs and fitness level. Whether you enjoy cardio or HIIT (high intensity interval training) or working with a personal trainer choose a workout plan that helps you achieve your fitness goals. In order to achieve your goals you need to be engaged in a fitness routine that not only helps you to lose belly fat, or build muscle or work on toning your body but you also enjoy doing.
Tips regarding calories
- Calculate how many calories you should be consuming. Then 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 17kg 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 every day. 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. You also need to take care of your body when you have just had a bub, there are multiple workout videos that are suitable for post-natal mums available as part of the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
How the Healthy Mummy Smoothies help
- Fantastic meal replacements. You can replace up to two meals a day with Healthy Mummy Smoothies. You can do more, but we also recommend having a balance of good nutritional food in your diet plan too.
- Made in minutes. As amazing as the challenge breakfasts recipes are, I have a smoothie most mornings. I can whip them up in minutes which is perfect when I am rushing around getting myself and the boys ready in the morning.
- They can be enjoyed on the go. I often take my smoothie with me and drink it in the car.
- Are so filling and nutritious. They keep me full and satisfied. I used to be a breakfast skipper until I tried The Healthy Mummy smoothies.
- Can be enjoyed at lunchtime too. A lot of mums replace their lunch with smoothies too as they are so quick and easy to prepare. Drinking a smoothie stops you from skipping lunch. Some days I might have the odd smoothie for lunch if it’s been a busy day. If I have a lunch smoothie I tend to add veggies to it so I’m not missing out.
I hope I’ve been able to reassure and calm those anxious feelings about starting the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
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 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 over 280,000 members, there is always someone there to help.
Good luck, have fun and enjoy all the yummy meals on offer!