Shape Your Self

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

Background

Shape Your Self was written by tennis legend Martina Navratilova so that she could share her broad knowledge and personal experience to help people lose weight and improve their fitness. It is a six-step plan that is concentrated on making lifestyle changes that will promote health and long-term sustainable results.

Navratilova explains that the real secret to achieving successful weight loss is not primarily related to diet or exercise but rather with having the right mental attitude. She encourages dieters to make a long-term commitment to their health and wellbeing so that they are able to sustain a more positive lifestyle once their goal weight is achieved.

Shape Your Self Diet Basics

shape-your-selfThere are six steps to Navratilova’s plan and each are given equal importance as playing a vital role in a balanced approach to weight loss.

  • Step 1 – Develop the mentality of an athlete
    This step involves positive visualization, goal setting and learning to recover gracefully from your defeats.
  • Step 2 – Building a support system
    Dieters are encouraged to seek the company of supportive people and to develop strategies to cope with those that may attempt to sabotage your weight loss attempts.
  • Step 3 – Fuel your body and mind
    Dieters are encouraged to eat a wide variety of foods with an emphasis on vegetarian foods including fruit, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
  • Step 4 – Go organic
    Navratilova is a big advocate of juicing and raw organic foods to enhance nutritional intake and promote optimal health.
  • Step 5 – Build fitness to function
    The focus is on functional exercises, which help to improve posture, increase strength and build stamina.
  • Step 6 – Recharge and energize
    When dieters notice that they are feeling tired they are advised to commence eating small and frequent meals, always eat breakfast and increase the intake of water.

Recommended Foods

Fresh fruit and vegetables (preferably raw and organic), fresh juices, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, non-fat dairy products, soy milk.

Sample Diet Plan

Breakfast

Raw pear
Vegetable and cheese omelet

Morning Snack

Fresh vegetable juice

Lunch

Black bean soup
Whole-wheat crackers
Large mixed vegetable salad

Afternoon Snack

Strawberries with low fat yogurt

Dinner

Grilled chicken breast
Steamed spinach
Baked potato

Evening Snack

Fresh peach

Find more healthy meal ideas here.

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is a major component of Shape Your Self. Navratilova recommends cardiovascular exercises such as jogging, swimming or tennis 3-4 times a week for 30-45 minutes.

The book also includes four weeks of functional fitness workouts with photos of Navratilova demonstrating exercises that are designed for a range of fitness levels.

Also these exercises can be used with Shape Your Self.

Costs and Expenses

Shape Your Self retails at $27.95.

It will also be necessary to purchase some exercise equipment including dumbbells and a medicine ball in order to follow the fitness plans that are included in the book.

Pros

  • Encourages gradual weight loss in favor of more drastic approaches.
  • Does not eliminate entire food groups.
  • No counting or measuring.
  • Many practical tips are included.
  • Exercise program is interesting with a lot of variety.
  • Includes a 28 day menu plan with recipes.
  • Suitable for vegetarians.
  • Includes personal stories that many readers will relate to.
  • Navratilova may inspire many readers due to her success both on and off the court.

Cons

  • Does not allow coffee or alcohol.
  • Intake of meat and dairy foods must be limited.
  • Requires a degree of commitment to follow the exercise guidelines.
  • Necessary to purchase some exercise equipment.

Conclusions

Shape Your Self has created a very sensible and well-rounded program with an emphasis on permanent results. It will allow dieters to develop the skills necessary in order to maintain their health and can be followed as a lifestyle maintenance plan once the goal weight has been achieved.

Shape Your Self will especially be suitable for dieters who would like to increase their physical fitness and develop positive lifestyle patterns that will support their health and wellbeing over the long term.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: August 10, 2010. Disclaimer
  • Graham

    Although the suggested diet above appears to be a healthy one, recent research has indicated that consuming unfermented soy products such as soy milk and also low fat dairy products increases the likelihood of getting cancers. Unfermented soy products upset the hormonal balance in the body providing a more favorable environment in the body for cancers to form and grow. Processing of low fat foods removes fat soluble nutrients which are then replaced by synthetics alternatives such as retinol which nullifies vitamin D levels in the body. (Latest research is suggesting that vitamin D is extrememly important for preventing cancers to form and grow.)

    A healthier diet would be to avoid unfermented soy products such as soy milk and low fat dairy products. Best diet for health is currently thought to be as follows: 4 to 5 small meals a day each containing some protein such as fish, chicken, eggs, whole milk natural yogurt, plus vegetables, whole grains, small amount of good oil such as olive oil. Eat fruit in moderation between meals. 1 or 2 of these meals a day could be a whey protein shake which is a very healthy protein. Take a fish oil supplement each day (krill oil may be the best). Drink plenty of water/tea between meals. Limit coffee intake. Avoid sugar as much as possible as cancer also grows best in a sugary environment. A teaspoonful of cider vinegar in a glass of water sipped before or during a meal helps digestion. Note: a meal is not a meal unless it contains some protein (at least 20g each meal). After 3 hours if you do not eat some protein, your body will start to consume your muscle tissue.