For hardcore carnivores and dairy devotees the thought of ditching all animal products for over three weeks may be excruciatingly painful, but after witnessing the stunning transformations of stars like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez, even the most meat-obsessed people we know are hopping on Marco Borges’ plant-based bandwagon. The health guru, whose client list also includes Shakira, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell and Ryan Seacrest, has devoted a whole book to The 22-Day Revolution, breaking down his healthy living and weight loss plan into five simple (and perhaps even doable for the laziest of us!) guidelines.
- Choose Plant-Based over Processed: Okay, so we obviously know that we aren’t supposed to eat any animal products on a plant-based diet, but we also need to eat food as close to it is found in nature—which means stay away from “Frankenfoods”,” as Borges call them, which include potato chips, fake meats and other chemically and unnatural flavor enhanced products. While they may be vegan, “our bodies work overtime to break down and digest them.”
- Eat 3 Mindful Meals a Day: Instead of gorging until we are full, eat three meals until 80% full, completing your day with dinner at least two hours before you go to sleep so your body will have time to digest. Borges also includes “healthy snacks as needed,” which may come in handy for overeaters who may find his portions leaving them hungry.
- Aim for 80-10-10 (80% Carbohydrates, 10% Fat, 10% Protein): Carbs aren’t always the enemy—especially when we are consuming them in fresh, whole and directly from the earth form—and we also don’t have to obsess over calories when we are eating only plants! Borges suggests eating heavier carbs like quinoa and legumes during the day, because it takes longer for your body to break them down and this way your body will have a “chance to work off of fat stores for needed energy overnight.” As for those of us who are obsessed with consuming protein, he points out that we don’t need animals to get all of our vitamins and minerals, as most of the animals we consume gets theirs from plants as well!
- Exercise for 30 Minutes Each Day: While weight loss is 75% diet, the other 25% is exercise. The good news is, Borges isn’t ordering us to five grueling one-hour workouts per week, he recommends working for at least 30 minutes every day to get those natural endorphins working.
- Drink Water, aka Don’t Drink Your Calories: According to The Institute of Medicine, men should drink 13 eight-ounce cups and women nine eight-ounce cups of water a day, because “this is good for alkalinity, digestion and rehydration.” Borges suggests drinking a glass of water/fluid with and between each meal and before, during, and after exercise, drinking more water when it’s hot and not waiting until you are thirsty. While he recommends staying away from sugary beverages like soda, lemonade and sweetened teas, unsweetened teas and water with lemon are also acceptable forms of hydration.
If you feel up for Borges’ challenge, his new book, which hits shelves May 2015, contains everything you need to embark on his plant-based journey, including more than 22 days of meal, juice and smoothie recipes, grocery store lists and nutritional information on plant-based favorites as well daily support and motivation – the willingness, however, you will have to find on your own!