Regular readers will know that I like the Body for Life program by Bill Phillips, as well as Burn the Fat by Tom Venuto. I think they’re great ways for homeschool mums to get fit, healthy and strong…in a minimum of time. As busy homeschool mums and wives, how can we afford countless hours at the gym each week? I also love to read inspiration books and magazines of those who  do live a healthy and fit lifestyle. So, as soon as I saw Crunch Time by Personal Trainer, Michelle Bridges, on the store shelf I grabbed it!

Crunch Time: Lose Weight Fast and Keep it Off

Softcover, 204 pages and it is divided into 4 sections.

Part One is titled Get Real! It’s all about why we do what we do…looking at the excuses we make, the habits we have allowed to form and how we change those beliefs and attitudes by developing a plan. Michelle wants us to know that we can in fact lose weight fast and keep it off. She says,

“show me someone who has put the weight back on because they lost it too quickly and I’ll show you five people who put the weight back on because they lost it too slowly!”


Section Two, titled Get Moving! is where Michelle is photographed doing all the weight loss exercises. Yet for some reason, seeing this thin, well toned woman exercising doesn’t make me mad- rather it inspires me! She talks about body types, body shapes and all the different forms and types of exercise. She also talks about debunking the myths, like “walking is a great way to lose weight and get fit” or another one, “you shouldn’t train with weights everday” and yet another myth in, ” pilates, yoga and stretch classes are great for weight loss” and my favourite, “women get big if they train with weights“. In this section, she also gives a 12 week, Get Moving exercise plan.

“Okay, you’re passionately committed to becoming a leaner, fitter you…Now you are going to exercise. That’s right. You will be an exerciser forever. Not just until you fit into that dress…or until you look great so you can dump your boyfriend while looking hot. No. You are an exerciser. Period.”

The next section is called Get Cooking! and here she outlines what should be in the fridge and pantry and what you should throw out. She goes into the nutrition of it all, which should interest many homeschoolers.She also includes a sample eating plan and her favourite, healthy recipes and tips for eating out.

A theory behind this book is one that I’ve agreed with for years…the key is not so much how quickly or slowly you lose the weight…Rather, the key is whether or not you change your lifestyle habits of eating and exercising. Once one hits their goal weight, if they stop exercising or revert to old eating habits then the kilograms will go back on! It has to be a healthy lifestyle change- not a diet. Because of this she advises that we try to lose the weight fairly quickly with your new lifestyle and then you can get on with living your new lifestyle- the new you!

The last part of the book is about Staying on Track where she gives you a journal and a progress chart.

Why do I like this book? Michelle doesn’t muck around. Just like on the Biggest Loser show, she calls it like it is. She takes away any and all excuses. It is written in a very conversational style…which not all will like but the book is real. It is just as if i were talking with Michelle, in the flesh.

Walking is a waste of time for weight loss unless you either start negotiating some serious hills or you pump up the speed to around 6-8km per hour.

Crunch Time: Lose Weight Fast and Keep it Off

This book is great for me as I’m trying to lose weight and tone/strengthen up. It’s also great for Miss A, who is studying to her Cert 3 in fitness. For her, this book is a ‘living book‘- written by a specialist in her field, in a truly engaging and living way…although I’m not quite sure Charlotte Mason would agree lol. (To be fair, the writing style isn’t rich in literary quality)

Oh, just realised that some may not know what I’m referring to when I mention quick weight loss. No, I do not mean any diet scams, berries, teas, gimmicks, fasting or anything else. I simply mean: calories in, calories out.

Calories in – calories out = calorie surplus or calorie deficit…along with ‘the higher your heart rate, the more calories you smash up‘. Michelle gives an indication of what people may expect to lose:

  • If you are less than 100kg you can expect to lose between 0.5 – 1.5kg per week
  • If you are between 100 – 129kg you can expect to lose between 1.5kg – 3kg per week
  • If you are more than 130kg you can expect to lose between 1.5 – 5kg per week.

If you need to get serious about health and fitness…if you need to become a healthy and positive role model for your children, if you want to lose weight and maintain it, then you need to rush out and beg, borrow or steal (just kidding)  Crunch Time. Want to read more…head over to the author’s website and read on… where you’ll find a brief synopsis of the book, author info and downloadable tools. But wait! There’s more…head over to the book publishers website to see even more excerpts from the book!