Meal plans

If you’re tired of wading through reams of information and websites trying to find the “perfect” workout and diet plan, your search ends here.

Honestly, you can’t beat this one for simplicity. You do a single type of workout a day, each one only once a week. The variety keeps you motivated and each workout benefits the other.

Dr. Paul Arciero, a researcher from Skidmore College, developed the PRISE method, which stands for protein, resistance, intervals, stretching and endurance. People who stuck with the program dropped an average of 7 pounds and lost inches on their waist within 16 weeks. It’s not a fad, get-thin-quick scheme (which never work in the long run, anyway), but the only dietary change they incorporated was the addition of 20 grams of whey protein 3x a day (see below).

So you can skip the usual “3x a week weight training” and “stretch after every workout” advice if you decide to try this approach. I have not yet tried PRISE personally, but I have a routine that works for me (cardio six days a week, weights three days, stretching almost every day at night or sometimes after my workout) that already incorporates these principles.

If you’re still looking for ideas, this may be the ticket.

Here’s the gist of it:

Every day:

P is for protein: 20 grams 3x a day, once within an hour of waking up, then within an hour after working out (or between lunch and dinner) and within two hours of going to bed. This helps keep you full, revs your metabolism and helps you maintain muscle.


Day 1:

R is for resistance: 45 minutes of body weight exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and exercise tubing moves (rows, chest flies, biceps curls, etc.)

Day 2:

I is for intervals: 20 to 30 minutes of interval training keeps your metabolism cranking long after you’ve finished working out. The beauty of this tactic: you work within your own fitness level.

If you’re a walker, warm up for five minutes at a slow pace, then alternate between a faster walk (at a level where you can barely talk) for 30 to 60 seconds and then back down for 30 to 60 seconds. You can do this on any type of cardio equipment. To increase the challenge bump up the “work” intervals and lower the “rest” intervals

Day 3:

S is for stretching: 45 minutes of stretching can take whatever form you’d like: an at-home stretching program, DVD or take a yoga class.

Day 4:

E is for endurance: 60 minutes is the longest workout and can consist of any cardio workout of your choice, whether you go for a brisk walk or mix it up by biking, swimming, taking an aerobics class, etc.

Break up these workouts so you have a day’s rest in between wherever you feel you need it. That’s it. When you start getting more fit add a second day of intervals or endurance cardio and/or another day of resistance training.

I’d love to hear from you if you decide to try it. Or if you don’t like the idea, what would you like to see different? Do you have any questions about the program? Please leave comments below. 

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Fit & feisty,