Fitness Food

Tips for the Tone It Up Bikini Challenge

April 25, 2016
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Last year, I committed to doing the Tone It Up bikini challenge after I bought the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan.  It was what got me excited about clean eating and working out every day.  Today is the first day of the bigger and better 2016 challenge.  Karena and Katrina and the rest of the Tone It Up team make it  easy to participate and see results. (Yes! That is really me) Here are some ways to make this year’s Tone it Up Bikini Challenge work for you.

Plan, plan, plan

This will look very different for each person.  I am such a planner, I plan time to plan.  Each week, I schedule a day to plan out my meals, workouts, grocery list, and meal prep list for the next week.  Most of the time I grocery shop and meal prep on Sundays, but sometimes I have to schedule it for another day. love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger tone it up bikini challenge prep schedule workouts nutrition planTypically, I sit down for 20-30 minutes and plan out the next week. First, I block out any meals that I know I will be eating out (there are several this week due to birthday celebrations).  Then, I use the Tone It Up bikini program nutrition plan to fill in the rest of days.  I try to stick with the plan 100%, but sometimes I make substitutions for snacks or meals for convenience.

Each meal I write down, I jot a list of the ingredients I don’t have and will need to purchase.  The nutrition plan comes with the meals and grocery lists each week, but it is easier for me to write down what I need since I am feeding Colton and myself.

Once my meals are planned out, I write out my workouts for the week.  Confession: I have not been great with my morning workouts the last few weeks, so I am committing to getting in these “TIU bootycalls” for this challenge.  Again, I follow their plan and make tweaks as needed (since I like to take classes at The Barre Code or for TIU meetups).

Clean out your kitchen

Get rid of all processed junk foods and foods that are not good for you.  Usually we don’t keep a lot of that around the house.  However, it begins to accumulate, so I throw it out (or send it with Colton to work).  Also, cleaning out your kitchen makes it much easier to locate the ingredients you will need for your meals throughout the week.  Challenges are the best time for me to take inventory of what I have and what I need.

Restock your kitchen with healthy snacks and plenty of fruits and vegetables.  My fridge becomes a sea of green at the start of any challenge.  When you feel hungry, grab an apple or carrots!  I pre pack snacks during my weekly meal prep so that it is easy to grab and go.


If you don’t already have a large water container, get one.  I carry my Yeti around with me every day at work and around the house.  Make sure you fill it up and drink at least half of your body weight in water.  It will keep you from unnecessary snacking and make your skin glow. love you more too north dallas blogger plano lifestyle blogger tone it up bikini challenge prep schedule workouts nutrition plan yeti

Before photos and measurements

Do them.  You don’t have to post them anywhere, but it is so nice to see how far you come in just 8 weeks.  I like to keep mine and do a 4 week progress comparison to get me even more hyped up for the last 4 weeks. Sometimes it is hard to notice small (and big!) changes in ourselves.  However, with side by side photos, you will be amazed at your progress!

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This year’s 2016 TIU bikini challenge before photos

Get involved

If you haven’t already, create a TIU or fitness specific Instagram.  That way you aren’t annoying all of your friends on your personal list and you can engage with other TIU girls around the globe.  My TIU instagram (tiu_redheadjess) was how I stayed motivated during the last bikini challenge.  We have lots of meetups, #TIUDallas girls…. so keep an eye out.

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Write out goals

Make your goals measurable and attainable.

My goals for the 2016 Tone It Up bikini challenge are:

  1. Restart my healthy eating habits by making dinners at least 5 nights a week
  2. Encourage others daily on social media throughout the process
  3. Reach at least 10k steps every day
  4. Complete mini ab/arm bursts every day during the challenge (in addition to daily workouts)
  5. Tone up all over

Let’s do the Tone it Up Bikini Challenge together, girls!  Write out your goals, plan, eat lean clean and green, and workout with me for the next 8 weeks!

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  • Chelsea April 25, 2016 at 6:40 am

    Wow! You look fabulous already! This post came at the perfect time for me because I’m trying SUPER hard to get that bikini body I’ve always wanted. My weight is some of the lowest it’s been in years but the problem is that I don’t FEEL healthy; I mostly have dropped weight because I’ve been stressed and eating less. It’s time to stay committed and not cheat myself. Going grocery shopping after work today !! Thank you for the inspiration!!

    • Jessica April 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Thank you so much Chelsea! Feeling healthy is so important. Glad I could be a little inspiration. YOU can do this!! 🙂

  • Ginger Marie April 25, 2016 at 7:17 am

    You go girl! Love that you are doing the Bikini Challenge! I know you’ll do great!!! 😀

    • Jessica April 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks!! I hope so. This week will be rough, but I will hit the ground running next week for sure.

  • Jessica April 25, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Great post! Especially the ‘hydrate’ part, I forget to do that too much and need to focus on it more!

    • Jessica April 25, 2016 at 1:51 pm

      Me too! That’s why I wrote it…to remind myself. 🙂

  • Mai Lyn April 25, 2016 at 8:36 am

    My life revolves around my planner. Special sticky notes and cute pens make it more fun! Love these tips. I know you’ll slay that challenge!

    • Jessica April 25, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      I don’t know what I would do without my planner. Glad you’re right there with me!

  • Rebecca Hicks April 25, 2016 at 9:01 am

    YAYAYAY it’s bikini series time!!! I can’t wait. You’re gonna rock this challenge girl!

    • Jessica April 25, 2016 at 1:53 pm

      Woooohoooo!!! We’ve got this, girl!!! 🙂

  • Karin Rambo April 25, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I’m also a TIU girl, but I have to be honest… I don’t love a lot of the meals in the meal plan. 🙁 It makes me so sad!! I do try to stick to the principles behind the plan though. I think it’s worth purchasing just for learning how to tweak your nutrition for the best results!

    • Jessica April 25, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Oh no! Have you looked at the newest one? The bikini plan has a ton of new recipes that look great. I was a big fan of the last bikini recipes. I agree though, the principles are great.

  • Shann Eva April 25, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Sounds like you are set up for success! It’s a really inspirational plan. You look great in your before pics, so I can’t wait to see the progress. I’m making my plan and shopping on Wednesday.

    • Jessica April 25, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Thank you so much! You’ve got this!! 🙂

  • Stephanie Suire April 25, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    Meal planning is so important, but I find that is where people slack the most because it takes so much time and effort. You look great already but I will be cheering you during the challenge!

    • Jessica April 25, 2016 at 6:12 pm

      Yes!! It can be a challenge but it saves so much time during the week. Thank you, dear!

  • Brittany Giles April 25, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    you look amazing and you make this sound so fun! Preparation is key and you def have that covered!

  • Julie M April 25, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    I always hesitate to buy the meal plan because reviews say the meals are complicated or have weird ingredients. It’s obviously working for you though. 🙂 What are 5 pantry ingredients that you keep stocked that never would have been in your kitchen before TIU?

    • Jessica April 26, 2016 at 8:52 am

      Thanks, girl. Some of the recipes are a little complicated. I save them for summer when I have more time, but most of them are easy. The ingredients can all be replaced or left out if you don’t have them. They do a great job with their challenge plan because it uses the same ingredients all week so you don’t waste. That’s an excellent question. I would say…
      1- Unsweetened Almond milk (both regular and vanilla) 2- A variety of different nuts (all unsalted) 3-Chocolate and vanilla protein powder 4-kale (not really pantry, but you get the point) 5-cacao powder/cacao nibs 😀

  • Rosemond April 26, 2016 at 1:26 am

    I am so impressed with your preparation and planning, love that you said you plan a day to plan! I need to tone it up too because Summer is coming up fast!

    • Jessica April 26, 2016 at 8:53 am

      Haha. I do what I can. It’ll be here before we know it. Every little bit makes a difference.

  • Brandi April 26, 2016 at 9:05 am

    I love the TIU girls. I have been with them from the beginning. Glad to know another great team member! You look ready to rock this out!

  • Martha April 26, 2016 at 9:09 am

    I’ve been curious about this meal plan, but it’s hard to find the right into (it’s not something I’m willing to invest in unless I know I can make it work for me)! So thanks for sharing!!

    • Jessica April 26, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      Of course! I was hesitant to buy it last year, but I really am so thankful I did. It has made such a big difference in how I cook, eat, and stock my kitchen.

  • Maya April 26, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Great tips! There is so much focus on exercise but I love that you talked about food! I know that the kitchen is where I sometime fail…. I know I need to get ride of my chip stash!

    • Jessica April 26, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks, Maya. The kitchen is where you see the biggest changes. 😉

  • Jenn April 26, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Planning is key to success! This looks like a great challenge. This is something I should look into. Thanks for sharing.

  • Joanna April 26, 2016 at 10:08 am

    You look amazing in the before photos!!! I have been really trying to keep any and all processed foods out of my house as well.

  • Carol Cassara April 26, 2016 at 10:20 am

    What I like the most is that you are super-organized. There’s no question that putting a p lan together and executing the steps will get your bikini ready body!

    • Jessica April 26, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you, Carol! I am hoping this will be the best challenge yet!

  • Brie April 26, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    I can’t wait to hear how the challenge goes! I just recently heard about Tone it Up and definitely want to try one of their programs!

    xo Brie

  • Rachel April 26, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    You’re looking great, girl! I’ve heard so much about TIU but haven’t done any of their programs yet. Meal planning is something I’ve been wanting to try though!

    • Jessica April 26, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you, Rachel. You should totally participate. It just started. The workouts are free and it takes less than an hour total a day. (some days way less). The community is super motivating too!

  • Maegan Clark April 26, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Ah! I’ve had their food program for two years and still haven’t done a challenge. Good luck!

    • Jessica April 26, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Do it girl!! There are some great prizes!

  • Christian Simome April 27, 2016 at 12:00 am

    I thought I was the only one who plans this much. You will do great!

    • Jessica April 27, 2016 at 9:27 am

      Haha. Thanks, Christian! We are all in this together. 😉

  • Chantal April 27, 2016 at 8:16 am

    This sounds like a great program! I wish you all the best with this challenge, hard work always pays off.

    • Jessica April 27, 2016 at 9:28 am

      It’s a lot of fun, but the community is what makes it! Thank you!!

  • Liz Jo April 28, 2016 at 8:24 am

    These are such great tips! I always forget to hydrate enough. I go through spurts where I’ll hydrate well for two weeks and then just fell off the ball.

    I’m definitely thinking of looking into this! Would it bother you if I contacted you more about this?

    liz @ j for joiner

    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      I understand. Hydration is my biggest struggle too. Please email me. I would love to chat about it more. 🙂

  • Psychic Nest April 28, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Hi Jessica,

    You have done such an amazing progress, well done! You really look awesome! I am not planning the whole week’s meals, for some reason I want to be spontaneous about it and still eat healthy. Though I plan my groceries, always getting ingredients to make smoothies and fresh juices at home. Also, yes, I drink lots of water during the day.

    Good luck on your challenge, you got this!


    • Jessica April 28, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      Thank you, Zaria. I think if you prepare your kitchen with the right ingredients… you will make healthy spontaneous choices. Drinking water is so important (and something I sometimes get too “busy” to remember to do). Great job girl.

  • Aubrey S April 29, 2016 at 8:54 am

    No matter what your diet or fitness goals are, this article is helpful. You have to have specific goals and a game plan if you expect to successful.

    • Jessica April 29, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Thank you, Aubrey!

  • dixya @food, pleasure, and health May 1, 2016 at 6:48 am

    i think planning and making that mental shift that you are doing it for your better health makes a huge difference!!!

    • Jessica May 1, 2016 at 8:32 am

      Thanks, girl!! 🙂

  • Lindsay May 2, 2016 at 2:33 am

    I definitely need to work on hydration. Did you really mean half my body weight? That seems impossible! Eek!

    • Jessica May 2, 2016 at 8:28 am

      I know! It seems impossible, but totally doable. I just have to remember to do it. haha.