You don’t have to be able to arabesque in pointe shoes to get the graceful, sculpted body of a dancer. What you do need: our fat-blasting Ballet Boot Camp Workout. Created by Sadie Lincoln, founder of Barre3 fitness studios, these quick-slim moves combine yoga, Pilates, light weights, and a secret weapon that in-the-know exercisers (including celebs like Ricki Lake) swear by—barre work. We know the plan works because we tested it on real women. For 25 days, they followed our Ballet Boot Camp plan, as well as Hot Body Eating Guidelines and Recipes, created by Andrea Nakayama, a functional nutritionist in Portland, OR (find them below!).
The results were astonishing: One tester lost 12.8 pounds (9 were gone after only 11 days!), another trimmed her hips by more than 2 inches and whittled her waist by 3 inches, and tough-to-change upper arms shrank by up to 1.5 inches! The group also saw improvements in posture, grace, and balance—even lower-back pain!
Lose weight and tone up like our testers by following this healthy eating plan.
Hot-Body Eating Tip No. 1: Wean yourself off sugar
Curbing your consumption will cut mega calories—1 cup of the sweet stuff packs nearly 800 calories—and speed fat loss by reducing insulin levels. Packaged foods, including everything from yogurt and cereal to baked goods and soda, often contain hidden sugar, so be sure to check labels (sucrose, fructose, and corn syrup are common sugar derivatives). Craving a treat? Grab some fruit or add a packet of stevia (a natural, no-calorie sweetener) to unsweetened Greek-style yogurt, tea, or coffee.
Hot-Body Eating Tip No. 2: Reach for water
Feeling hungry even though you know you’re well fueled? Stop and drink a tall glass of water and see if you can avoid that trip to the bakery or vending machine, says Nakayma: “It’s important to remember that you often think you’re hungry when you’re really just thirsty.” Aim to drink half your body weight, in ounces, of water each day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces—a little more than 9 cups—of water daily.
Hot-Body Eating Tip No. 3: Fill up on (healthy!) fats
Omega-3 fats, like the type found in salmon, olive oil, walnuts, avocados, and flax, hemp, and chia seeds, are good fats that are critical for brain and hormonal health, notes Nakayama. They also help keep you satisfied, so you’ll be less likely to snack between meals.
¼ c chia seeds
2 c water or coconut water
8 pitted prunes (if hard, soak them overnight)
2 med frozen bananas
1 lg handful of spinach, chopped
2 Tbsp almond or sunflower butter
10-15 drops vanilla stevia or 1 tablespoon honey
Pinch sea salt
Dash cinnamon (optional)
If you don’t have a high-speed blender, pour the chia seeds into the water and allow them to sit there while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This will soften them for blending. One by one, add the remaining ingredients to blender, blending between each addition separately so that you can achieve a smooth consistency. (If you have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec, everything can go into the blender at once and blend on high.)
MYO Energy Bars
Yields 16 bars
Coconut oil, for greasing pan
1¼ c gluten-free rolled oats
1 c chopped toasted nuts (try combinations or full quantity of almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, or macadamia)
¾ c combination of any of the following ingredients: ground flax seeds, oat bran, sesame seeds, ground coconut, raw wheat germ, or more ground nuts
1½ c puffed or crisped grain cereal without added sugar
1 c dried fruit (try raisins or juice-sweetened cranberries, coarsely chopped, or larger dried fruits such as apples, pears, dates, or prunes chopped into pieces)
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ c brown rice syrup or raw honey
¼ c nut or seed butter (almond or peanut butter or tahini or sunflower butter work particularly well)
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
½ tsp sea salt
1. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with the coconut oil.
2. Combine the oats, nuts, ground seeds or grain, cereal, dried fruit, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Combine the sweetener and nut butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat gently and stir until smooth. Turn off heat and add vanilla or almond extract and salt.
4. Pour liquid ingredients over cereal mixture and stir until well combined and evenly incorporated. Spread into prepared pan. Using wax or parchment paper, press mixture tightly into pan. (Take your time doing this and use a bit of force to really press out all the air bubbles and get the mixture as compact as possible.)
5. Refrigerate for several hours or over night before cutting into 16 bars.
6. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
Grain-Free Lemony Biscuit Scones
1½ c almond flour
½ c ground chia seeds
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp xantham gum
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1 flax “egg” (1 Tbsp flax blended with 3 Tbsp water)
2 Tbsp yacon syrup, coconut nectar or pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
Zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix together dry ingredients in a food processor. In a small bowl, whisk wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients into the food processor along with the dry ingredients and pulse until combined.
3. Form into a ball of dough and place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. With slightly wet hands, press the dough into an even circle, about ½ inch thick.
4. Score the scone circle into 6 even wedges.
5. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cut through the scored wedges to separate. Place back in oven for 2 to 4 more minutes to allow the edges of the scones to harden slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Serve warm from the oven with glee!
Andrea’s Favorite Granola
3 to 4 cgluten-free rolled oats
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
½ c chopped nuts
¼ c sesame seeds
½ c Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, gently melted
1 Tbsp carob powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ c dry coconut palm sugar or same amount brown rice syrup
½ tsp sea salt
Set aside any combination of the following:
½ c shredded coconut
½ c raisins
½ c chopped dates
½ c dried (fruit-sweetened) cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix together the oats, sunflower seeds, nuts, and sesame seeds in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, carob powder, cinnamon, sweetener, and salt. Add this mixture to the large bowl and combine well.
3. Spread the mixture evenly in a lasagna pan or on 2 flat cookie sheets, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top layer is browned. Then, flip/mix with a spatula and place back in oven for another 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven. The mixture will be moist, but will dry and harden as it cools. Mix in dried fruit ingredients and let cool, stirring every so often to prevent clumping. Store in an air-tight container.
** Alternately, you can place all initial ingredients in a slow cooker or crock pot overnight and add the fruit in the morning.
DIY Spice-Rack Chai
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp ground cloves
⅛ tsp cardamom
Pinch of sea salt (optional)
¼ c warmed coconut milk
½ dropperful of vanilla liquid stevia
¾ c hot water or hot brewed rooibus tea
Add all powders to an 8-ounce tea cup. Pour in your warmed coconut milk and whisk to blend, making sure to dissolve any clumps. Add liquid stevia. Pour hot water over the top of the mixture. Carefully whisk, and enjoy.