Phase 1 – Putting it Together
In this HeartStrong.com video/article, we are going to simply take all the concepts from the Phase 1 Healthy Eating Plan and the Phase 1 Exercise Plan and put it together in a schedule for you to follow.
The reason we use this approach:
- Plan ahead
- Track achievements for rewards
- Reach goals
Making Your Schedule – Healthy Eating
Here is what you need to know before writing your healthy eating plan. These were discussed in previous videos:
- The rules of the phase 1 healthy eating program (see the Phase 1 – Healthy Eating video/article)
- The type of physical activity that you like
- Keep the motivation, stress levels low, build your willpower and succeed!
Now that you know all the right heart healthy things to eat, we need to get this down on a set schedule. This can be done with an online calendar such as Google Calendar or iCal, but you could also use a daily planner notebook as well and write down your schedule.
You have already been doing a lot of thinking about healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Now make your inventory. Be specific in regards to portions and calories (optional), but again…as long as you are truly on the whole foods plant based diet following the rules of phase 1, calories will not matter much.
Write down all your meals on this calendar for at least 4 weeks. Remember, YOU get to make the meals to allow flexibility to eat foods that you like, but they MUST be heart healthy and following the phase 1 rules. Repeat the meals as often as you like of course.
Find a way to use your program to track your success in sticking to the plan, such as making a checkbox or simply writing “yes” next to something you stuck to.
Scheduling Your Physical Activity
Just like you made a healthy eating schedule, make yourself a physical activity schedule as well. Be sure to follow the guidelines in the Phase 1 Physical Activity plan.
You have figured out by now what type of aerobic physical activity you want to do and have an idea about how you can strength train (at home or at a gym). You also know how to cautiously ease yourself into physical activity with your doctor’s clearance and by starting out slowly. Remember to only increase the amount of aerobic exercise by no more than 10% per week to avoid injury and to avoid burning out. You know When NOT to Exercise if you have heart disease and you have the motivation all built up to be successful.
Be sure that the intensity of exercise is moderate as discussed in other videos/articles. The total week’s duration for phase 1 needs to build up to 150 minutes per week. It does not matter at all if you you do 30 minutes 5 days per week or 15 different 10 minute sessions of aerobic activity. Remember, even if you are active at work, we need to do this extra exercise to get you to do MORE physical activity compared to before starting the HeartStrong.com program.
Putting it Together
Below you will find a log sheet that you can use for HeartStrong.com Phase 1 for Plant Strong, Plant Perfect and Heart Disease Reversal plans.
Once you have your schedule set up, you should remember to check the boxes off as you go along and be sure to track your progress. Use a calendar to track your weight every day. Also, track your BMI at least once weekly and if you would like, your percent body fat. You know how to do this from all you have learned in the HeartStrong.com videos.
Try to think of at least one thing that you did each day to help you stay on a heart healthy lifestyle path and write it down such as:
- Talking to a friend or coworker about your new lifestyle
- Taking 5 minutes to stop and envision your future good health state
- Spending more time online reading about plant based nutrition, heart disease and its risk factors
- Reward yourself with new exercise gear or clothes that fit better as you lose weight
Once you meet these criteria, move to Phase 2:
- Ability to maintain moderate intensity physical activity for 150 minutes per week
- Ability to strength train once per week
- Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or less
- Total of 5% weight loss if BMI was 28-30 to start phase 1
- Ability to stick to the healthy eating plan
Now, use the HeartStrong.com Phase 1 Log Sheet to track your progress: