Challenges,Weight Loss

30 Day Weight Loss Challenge

Combine a healthy diet with daily exercise with our FREE 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge, to see a change in your health, fitness and likely, weight! We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but if it was easy it wouldn’t be a challenge! Are you in?

You’re probably reading this because you’re thinking of making a change, you’d like to live a healthier life. Perhaps you don’t know where to start, or maybe you have just had enough of abandoned diet attempts and need something serious to motivate you. If that’s the case, keep reading!

Our FREE 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge combines a healthy diet with daily exercise to give you results in 30 days. You’ll pick up some great habits along the way, habits that we hope you will keep onboard even after the challenge. 

This 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge should motivate you to stay on that path to eating well and moving your body! This could be just the kick start you need to make those lifestyle changes!

Flourescent bulbs spell the word 'Change'
Photo courtesy of Ross Findon via Unsplash

Are you as excited as we are? You should be! You may well find that you’ll pick up some great habits from this challenge which will have a great  impact on your health and body in the long run!

Please be sure to consult with your practitioner before starting any new exercise or weight loss plan.

How The 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge Works: 

First and foremost, it’s important for us to talk about WHY we’re suggesting the combination of daily exercise with a healthy diet. Our goal, over these next 30 days, is to get a consistent calorie deficit every day (1)

What does this mean? It means that we want to use up, or ‘burn’, more calories than we consume. 

Weight Loss   =   Calories IN   <   Calories OUT

Of course, you could achieve a calorie deficit by cutting your food intake by 500 calories. But this is pretty hard to stick to, and often leads to frustration. It’s much more enjoyable to stick to a less restrictive plan, let’s say, eating 300 calories less and burning 200 or more calories a day to get you into a calorie deficit of 500 calories.

So this is how we’re going to do it. We’re not saying this is a piece of cake either, but that’s why it’s a challenge! Are you ready for a healthier, more energetic and leaner you?

You’ll do a High Intensity workout everyday. 

Get ready to sweat! This may require a little willpower at the beginning, but once you get used to waking up 20 minutes earlier every day and feeling great after your workout, you’ll find it becomes a habit!

Eat 3 meals a day (no snacks). 

This is also habit adjustment. Most of us are used to eating three meals a day and snacking in between. Just by cutting out the snacks, we could probably reduce our calorie intake by at least 200 calories! 

The key to not feeling hungry is eating balanced meals which are high in protein and fiber (check out our article on Weight Loss Foods here for more information on that). We have some great meal  suggestions later on this article too, and you also have access to our FREE 28 Day Holistic Meal Plan!

Do another hour of low impact exercise everyday. 

Yes, this is in addition to the cardio workout you’re doing every morning! This can be as low or high impact as you like. All we’re asking is that you move your body to burn a few extra calories. This can include walking, cycling, cleaning and of course, dancing!

And here’s the kicker: No food after 7pm.

If your work or life schedule doesn’t allow for 7pm, then pick a time that does work for you. The point of this exercise is not to snack after dinner. We have some helpful tips to help get you through the evening hours.

So what do you think? Are you on board? Then let’s get started! 

Are you on the fence? Then think about how GREAT you’ll feel after this 30 day weight loss challenge. Not only will you be able to pat yourself on the back to your success and determination, you will probably experience several benefits, from higher energy levels to improved sleep and likely weight loss too!

1. The High Intensity Exercises

We have a few suggestions and ground rules on the High Intensity Training exercises before we start the weight loss challenge:

  • Always check with your practitioner before starting a new exercise regime.
  • Try to do the workout as early as possible, preferably in the morning right after you wake up. This way, you’ll be more likely to stick to the plan. This might mean getting up 20 minutes earlier, but you’ll be glad you did!
  • Each workout should only take 20 minutes. 
  • Do the reps as quickly as possible. When you’re done, you’re done.

The daily High Intensity workouts, as well as a guide on how to do the exercises are below, and they’re FREE!

For each move, we will have the regular high intensity version and a modified version, where applicable. Go at your own pace, if something hurts, stop what you’re doing and take a break. And always make sure you are cleared by your doctor before starting a new exercise regime!

Two women partnering in sit ups.
Photo courtesy Bruce Mars via Unsplash

Warm up

Do this every morning before your daily High Intensity Workout moves.

  • Run or Walk in place – 60 seconds
  • Arm Circles – 60 seconds
  • Side Lunges – 60 seconds

Workout routine

Below are the exercises that will be part of your daily High Intensity workout on this FREE 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge. If you are unsure of how to do them, please check out our guide, and find your daily workout plan, once again, below.

  • Jumping jacks
  • Plank
  • Plank walk
  • Side Plank
  • Mountain climbers:
  • Squat (with jump for High Impact)
  • Speed skaters
  • Walking lunges
  • Burpees
  • Sit ups
  • Russian Twists
  • Push ups
  • Tricep dips
  • Jump Rope
  • 20 minute run/jog or interval walk/jog

Cool Down & Stretch

Always finish each workout routine with a cool down and stretch. Spend 2-3 minutes stretching your calves, hamstrings, biceps and triceps. Roll down slowly to touch your toes, if you can, and roll back up slowly, take time to breathe deeply. 

If you went on the 20 minute run, spend the last 2 minutes walking at a reduced pace to bring your heart rate down, and follow with some simple stretches.

2. The Three Meals

Whilst we’re doing all this work burning off calories, we also need to fuel our bodies with useful calories, not empty ones. 

Let’s refer back to the calorie deficit we mentioned earlier. Sure, we can fuel our bodies with coffee and a donut for 300 calories, but we’ll likely be hungry again an hour later. A better choice would be a delicious yogurt bowl with berries and nuts for the same caloric value, which will give us protein, fiber and a whole host of other nutrients. 

The first option would give us a sugar high of processed foods followed by a crash, and empty calories that are high in fat and sugar. The second option will nourish us and keep us full until lunchtime. What’s your choice?

Studies have shown that eating protein not only helps people feel satiated, making them less likely to overeat, but eating a protein-rich breakfast also helps curb sugar cravings throughout the day(2)

Let’s have a look at some protein rich breakfast options below, we’re aiming for 30 grams of protein per meal. Why 30 grams? We find that 30 grams of protein will allow you to feel full and satisfied until your next meal, whilst allowing room for other important nutrients.

*The amounts of protein listed below are approximate and can be used as a guideline so that you can create your own meals. Numbers in brackets denote approximate grams of protein.

A bowl of goodness, containing fruit, granola, nuts and seeds. A great way to start your day!
Photo courtesy of Louise Burton via Unsplash

Breakfast suggestions:

Yogurt Bowl (32.5g protein)
  • 1 container plain Greek yogurt (17g)
  • 3 almonds (6g)
  • ½ cup blueberries (0.5g)
  • 1 oz. hemp or pumpkin seeds (9g)
  • Drizzle of honey for flavor

Add all ingredients to a bowl and enjoy!

Omelet or Scrambled Eggs (31g protein)
  • 2 eggs (12g)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (10g)
  • 2 slices turkey ham, diced (8g) 
  • 1 cup baby spinach (1g)

Cook your omelet or scrambled eggs as you normally would, adding the feta, turkey ham and spinach at the end before folding over. 

Protein Rich Smoothie (27g protein)
  • 1/2 frozen banana* (0.5g)
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds (10g)
  • 2 Tbsp natural almond butter (7g)
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds (2g)
  • 1 Tbsp raw cacao powder (1g)
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt (5g)
  • 1 ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (1.5g)
  • 1 – 2 pitted dates or maple syrup (0.2g)

*a great way to use overripe bananas, is to peel and then freeze them in a zip lock bag. They make amazing smoothies!

Add all your ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. 

Lunch Suggestions:

A colorful quinoa salad with black beans, peppers and corn will satisfy your appetite!
Quinoa Salad – photo Kirsty von Boch
Chicken, Salmon or Tuna Salad (approx. 28g protein)
  • 2 cups of leafy greens (2g)
  • ½ cup cooked chicken, salmon or tuna (19g)
  • ½ avocado (2g)
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes (0.6g)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta (5g)
  • Top with your favorite dressing*
Chickpea Bowl (39.5g protein)
  • 1 cup quinoa (8g)
  • 1 cup kale, chopped (3g)
  • ½ cup chickpeas (19g)
  • ½ avocado (2g)
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (7.5g)
  • Top with your favorite dressing*
Chicken Salad (27g protein)
  • 1 ½ cups chicken salad – mayo based (17g)
  • 5 walnuts, chopped (4g)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced (1g)
  • ¼ cup hummus to dip (5g)

*NOTE: Store bought dressings are often high in hidden sugars and preservatives. The best way to ensure a healthier dressing is to make your own! Try one of our favorites below.

Basic Vinaigrette 

In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine:

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, 
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, 
  • ⅛-¼ teaspoons honey (to taste),
  • salt and pepper. 

Tighten the lid and shake. This will last you for a few meals! For a variation you can add garlic, fresh herbs, or dried oregano. Use 1-2 tablespoons of dressing per meal.

Dinner Suggestions:

Salmon and veggies (approx. 32g protein)
  • 3.5oz salmon filet, roasted, baked or steamed (22g or more)
  • 1 cup broccoli, roasted or steamed (3g)
  • ½ cup wild rice (3.5g)
  • 1 cup dark leafy green salad with cherry tomatoes and nuts (5g)
  • Top with your favorite dressing
Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables with Shrimp or Chicken (approx. 41g protein)
  • 1 red pepper, sliced (1g)
  • 1 zucchini (2.5g)
  • ½ red onion (1g)
  • 3.5 oz. cooked shrimp (24g) or chicken (27g)
  • 1/4  cup tzatziki (10g)

Toss the pepper, zucchini and red onion in a little olive oil. Roast at 400F for 20-30 minutes. Top with cooked shrimp or chicken and serve with tzatziki on the side.

Turkey (or plant based) Bun-less Burger (approx. 31g protein)
  • 4oz Turkey Burger Patty (22g) or Plant -Based Burger alternative (19g)
  • ½ avocado (2g)
  • 1 slice of cheese (5g) or vegan cheese 
  • ¼ cup microgreens (negligible)
  • 1 cup dark leafy green salad with cherry tomatoes and nuts (5g)
  • Top with your favorite dressing

Please feel free to look at our FREE 28 Day Holistic Meal Plan, which is full of healthy meals that you can easily incorporate into your 30 day weight loss plan! 

3. Mild exercise

The third part of our FREE 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge is the extra hour of mild exercise. You may be thinking – what?! I do 20 minutes of high intensity activity every morning, why should I do another hour? Well, here’s why.

Movement is good for you. Period. 

It’s good for your heart and lungs, your bones and muscles – in short, your whole body (3)! And, yes – you will be burning calories too.

You don’t have to do this all at once either if you are pressed for time. Split it into three parts if that’s more manageable for you. Try fitting 20 minutes in during your lunch break and again after dinner, you’ll get to 60 extra minutes in no time!

Scrabble letters spelling 'move more'.
Photo courtesy of Brett Jordan via Unsplash

You don’t need to run a marathon to exercise your heart. Here are some suggestions:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator;
  • Pace around the block whilst you’re on the phone;
  • Bike to the store instead of taking the car;
  • Clean the house whilst listening to your favourite podcast;
  • Walk around the mall a few times at a slightly faster pace than usual; 
  • Do your grocery shopping in a random order instead of section by section; 
  • Try a new yoga class; 
  • Join a pool and swim or try water aerobics;
  • Call a friend and do these activities together!

Remember, it doesn’t have to be strenuous, it has to be active and you can make it fun! 

4. No Food After 7pm

Last, but not least, the fourth part of our FREE 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge is not to eat after 7pm. This is somewhat flexible of course, depending on your lifestyle, but the key is not to snack after dinner. As we mentioned earlier, grazing and snacking can easily add upwards of 300 calories to your daily intake! 

Here are some ways to distract yourself from the urge to snack:

  • Remind yourself that you can’t be hungry, you just had dinner;
  • Have a glass of water;
  • Have a cup of peppermint tea, or another (decaf) herbal tea;
  • Occupy your hands, take up knitting, crochet, scrap booking;
  • Read a book or catch up on your favorite show;
  • Go for a walk! See point 3 above ; )
  • Call a friend;
  • Call it a night and go to bed early!

You really only need to crack this habit once to know you can do it. That one day will be such a motivation that the following day will be a little easier! Soon, you’ll have broken the habit of snacking after dinner altogether. 

Girl holding a slice of water melon in front of her face.
Photo courtesy of Caju Gomes via Unsplash

So, are you ready to tackle our 30 Day Weight Loss Challenge?! In this article you have all the tools you need to make this challenge happen – the workout plan, the exercise descriptions and the meal suggestions, and it’s all for free! 

We also have some more FREE tools to help you succeed! Be sure to have a look at our 28 Day Holistic Diet Challenge for more simple recipes and our article on The 20 Best Foods For Successful Weight Loss

For more general weight loss tips and discussion, we recommend you read our article on the 3 Surefire Steps to Lose Weight and Weight Loss Diets!

As always, if you have any questions, or just need a little motivation, please email me – kirsty@bodyhappiness.com and I’ll be happy to help!

This article was nutritionally checked by Beth Weiner, MPH, RDN

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