Starting tomorrow, November 1st, I am going to do my own Progresso weight loss challenge spanning three weeks. This means I’ll be eating a lot of soup over the next 21 days. And the last time I did this, I lost more than 20 pounds.
But why only for three weeks? Because the challenge will end Thanksgiving Day…and I plan on celebrating with some Turkey with the family.
At which point, I’ll write another article that Friday to go over my results.
Why Progresso Soup?
When compared to alternatives, Progresso soup is usually the best when it comes to calories and carbs. For instance, the light versions can range anywhere from 80 to 100 calories per serving.
This is aside from some of the healthy benefits that are in the product.
If you’re really strict on serving sizes, each can of Progresso soup is two cups. Each cup is technically one serving. However, I tend to eat the entire can. Which is still lower and healthier than anything you’ll find at a fast-food restaurant.
And the biggest reason I focus on a Progresso weight loss challenge is because of past experiences. I lost a lot of weight eating soup only for lunch and dinner when I started.
In fact, I dropped more than 20 pounds inside a month and a half.
What Does the Progresso Weight Loss Challenge Include?
Well, obvious it includes Progresso soup. But in general, it’s all about getting active and burning the calories to drop weight quickly. This is because of the potential soups have for weight loss.
As soup is often mostly water, you digest it faster than other solid foods. In reality, it spends less time in your system while helping you hydrate.
Eating Soups of All Kinds
Luckily, you can choose from a wide range of Progresso soup flavors. You can enjoy everything from Beef Barley to Tomato Rotini, two of my personal favorites.
Lately, I’ve had a penchant for Italian-Style Wedding.
The point is that you’re less likely to get bored with Progresso soup because of the variety. You can just about eat a different soup each day for an entire month or so.
Morning Exercises in Front of the Kinect
Although I know I can simply lose weight by curbing my intake, I also want to add definition to my body. Not because I want to look sexy, although that’s a nice side effect, but because I want to climb a slight hill without wheezing.
Physical fitness does far more for you than just add shapely muscles. It improves a variety of things in life. Whether you’re shopping or playing sports, physical prowess impacts most aspects.
One of the things I found effective for me is playing the Xbox Kinect. While wearing weighted gloves and ankle weights, I am putting a great deal of developmental effort on various parts of my body.
After playing for about 25 to 30 minutes, I am a sweaty mess. And recently, I’ve felt the strain on my shoulders, back and abdominal muscle groups.
For me, playing the Xbox Kinect gamifies fitness. Which means it keeps my attention and it’s something I won’t get bored with after a few months. Unlike workout DVDs that people own which wind up collecting dust.
Increasing Physical Activity
On top of playing the Xbox Kinect in the mornings, another part of this Progresso weight loss challenge is to get more physical movement. I am a bit of a slug in the afternoon, and I need to do more to keep the heart rate elevated.
Usually, I’ll go for walks but the weather has made it difficult. Perhaps I’ll play another round of the Xbox or find a bowling team to sign up with.
The point of this is to do more than just sit at my desk all day long. And thanks to my Fitbit Charge 3, I can monitor how many calories I burn from movement.
Breaking My Lying Leg Raise Record
One thing I love doing is breaking personal records. In this case, I’m going to see if I can break my lying leg raise record yet again. I set it a couple of months ago, and think it’s time to shatter it.
I like doing the lying leg raises because it works out the lower abdominal muscles. And because I need to work on my core, it’s a great way to strengthen it up a bit.
How do I plan on breaking this record? The same way I did last time: At 10:00 am and 3:30 pm, do a set of 15 lying leg raises during break. Because I am quite busy during the day, I break up my body-weight workouts in 5-10 minute increments.
I often add other things like a set of resistance bad curls, toe touches and maybe a set of push-ups or planks.
By doing this Monday through Friday, I was able to completely destroy my previous record. I’m fairly confident I can do it again.
Keeping Track of My Score in Exercise.com
If you want to check out my progress, you can look me up on Exercise.com through My Tools.
For the next three weeks, I’ll keep track of all my points for exercises. I’d love to get back to being in the top 800 users of the site. Unfortunately, I keep forgetting to record my workouts.
This time around, I’ll set a 9:00 pm alarm to remind me to record everything I did for the day.
Exercise.com is a great tool for keeping track of your physical progress. I use it mostly to record my personal records. It has thousands of exercises you can do, most of which are accompanied by videos.
MyFitnessPal is a great tool for monitoring your intake and output. Since I have it connected to Fitbit, I get a semi-accurate portrayal of how much I’m burning compared to eating in terms of calories.
For the next three weeks, I’m going to put myself through a 600-net calorie diet in MyFitnessPal. Which means if I want to eat more, I need to be active.
Now, make no mistake, I’m not just eating 600 calories worth of food per day. In MyFitnessPal, the calories are offset by how active I am. Even though my total calories will show 1,500, I’ll still be in the green under 600 because of my activity.
In other words, you can eat more if you burn more.
And yes, I’ve lost most of my weight with this practice.
My Progresso Soup Meal Plan
So, what kind of meal plan am I using for this Progresso weight loss challenge? Pretty much the same things I eat already.
However, I am making a few adjustments to the plan.
Keeping Carbs Below 30g per Meal
Because I am a desk jockey who works and plays sitting at his desk, I need to keep the carbs a bit lower than I have been. This is because I don’t really need to develop glucose to energize my muscles if I’m not using them.
This will decrease the number of soups available to me for the next three weeks. For instance, no more pastas like Tomato Rotini or Creamy Tomato Penne. Which is a shame because they are two of my ultimate favorites.
However, a lot of my other favorites are under 30g of carbs…especially if I focus more on the Light versions of Progresso.
Normally, I have an 8-ounce bottle of Emerge to kick-start my morning workouts and then a Max Pro Elite protein drink mixed with milk afterward. It helps in recovery as I tend to put my muscles through the wringer when playing the Xbox.
Sometimes, I’ll mix it up with an egg and a couple of links of sausage or perhaps a bowl of Cream of Wheat with fresh berries mixed in.
I’ll fill the cupboards with various Progresso soups. I don’t really have a set plan about what I eat for lunch; just what ever looks good to me that day.
One thing I like to do is place a bunch of cans in a bag and select one without looking.
When it comes to dinner, it’ll be the same plan as it was for lunch. This is why I kind of like randomizing what I eat. It’s almost like a surprise with each meal. And since I buy all the things I like, I’m never disappointed in what I pick.
If I pushed myself and have enough calories, I might add something to my dinner. Perhaps a fresh veggie or fruit. However, I focus on keeping the calorie intake low. So I don’t know how often I’ll add something to the meal.
Snacking is where I have the biggest issue, especially at night. This is part of why I need to find something to do after work, like a hobby of some kind. I need to keep my mind off of nightly snacks.
It’s a habit thing that I’m trying to break.
Anyway, I don’t believe you need to remove some of the tasty things for the holidays. As long as you can eat them in moderation, you can still lose weight. And so far, I’ve lost 70 pounds with this mindset.
Start the Clock…
So there we have it. Three weeks of putting in the effort of a Progresso weight loss challenge. If anything, it’ll give me a good basis for a personal case study on how Progresso affects losing weight over the span of 21 days.
I just really need to focus on maintaining this challenge. It would be awesome to show up to Dad’s house weighing 30 pounds less than when he saw me last time.