I had a conversation with a client the other day on how she hasn’t found a way to truly enjoy exercising (and fitting it in to her schedule) regularly yet. And as she tries new things out, and in the meantime, these are the tips I recommended she work on instead of putting the pressure on the need to workout a certain way or length of time. You can try them all, or start with at least one or two!
When you read that, do you say, “duh”? Us too, yet most people don’t actually put this in to practice and is the lowest hanging fruit when it comes to making a big impact on our health and how we feel. More sleep (at least 7.5, up to 9 depending the person), and more quality sleep (at least 25% REM and 20% Deep) will have a huge domino effect on everything else. Your cravings. Hunger. Energy. Decision making. Hormones. Blood sugar. And SO MUCH MORE. Start with a working towards a consistent bedtime routine that allows for 8 hours of “trying to sleep” time – aka lights out, laying down trying to sleep. This habit of consistent and quality sleep is NEEDED before you try anything else.
There are numerous ways to do this. And more and more research is showing the benefits of fasting aside from gaining our favorite benefit, metabolic flexibility. We’ve talked about how there are 3 main levers you can use to lose weight, and fasting being one of them to use at the right times. When we fast we give our body a chance to used stored fat and glucose as fuel. This can help us lose weight more easily and even improve your health due to fasting’s other beneficial side effects. If you haven’t tried it out yet, our recommendation is to first try a 14 hour fast a few times a week (then increasing the hours higher 1-2x/week as you practice more). This means if you stop eating around 7pm, then you wouldn’t eat again (consume any calories) until 9am the next day.
Get More Daily Movement In
Did you know that the majority of your calories burned in a day come from your daily movement and habits OUTSIDE your “workout”? You don’t have to get a fancy workout in to move your body on the daily. Can you instead take the stairs? Sit and stand at your desk? Take a couple 5 minute walking breaks? Do a few air squats between activities? Play on the ground with your kids and teach them a plank? There are a LOT of ways to get more movement in throughout the day, usually it’s our mindset that gets in the way of actually doing these small things. So next time you think, I’ve been sitting here a long time, I could take just 2 minutes to do X – DO IT!!! Action over anxiety.
Eat More Protein
When we eat more protein (as opposed to fat and carbs), we tend to be more satiated, have less cravings or hunger, and therefore tend to eat less overall more naturally. Not only will you be able to lose weight more easily with this nutrition habit, you will keep your muscle mass (which you want for many health reasons) and in time have a better body composition – lose fat, not muscle – and fit in your cloth better, look great naked. So start by adding more protein to EVERY meal. That could be one more ounce of meat. One more egg. A beef stick instead of a banana for a snack/add on. An ideal goal is to have at least 30g protein at every meal, and if you are taller, bigger or still feel hungry, have more! Up to your ideal body weight in grams. (Ex: if you’re goal weight is 150, get 50g of protein at every meal for 3 meals/day). If you struggle to eat enough due to palatability, read here.
I know you may be thinking, “Well easier said than done.” And we get it, we used to be chronic snackers and hungry all day long – and we’ll help you do this and make it feel way easier here in a sec. But know, we aren’t meant to snack (aka graze) throughout the day. Not only will that lead to overconsumption of calories (we usually eat snacky foods that are not high in protein or quality and/or spike blood sugar which leads to fat storage), but also 1., train our body to “need” food constantly (metabolic INflexibility), and 2. cause gut issues by not leaving enough time to properly digest. So, how to do this more easily? Start with adding more food to your meals! Specifically protein, fat and fiber. These 3 will help fill you up, and keep you satiated and energized for longer. An example breakfast would be 3 eggs with one chicken sausage for the protein and some fat, any leftover veggies (broccoli, brussels, bell peppers, etc) as the fiber, and 1/4 avocado or handful of pumpkin seeds for some extra fat.
So instead of stressing about not getting to the group class or not feeling up for a hour long HIIT workout, always remember these 2 things… 1. Something (and staying consistent) is better than nothing when it comes to movement, and 2. look to where can you make a small adjustment in your day with the tips above to still work towards your goal of weight loss?
If you’re still struggling or have questions, book your free coaching call with us today! In that call we’ll see where there may be some hidden obstacles and find a very simple plan of action to help improve on at least one habit.