Losing or gaining weight is not just about calories. Studies have demonstrated that multiple factors beyond what we eat affect our weight. So the best way to reach the right weight is to create a balance on different levels. And since the morning sets the tone for the entire day, a healthy morning routine will increase your odds of successful weight loss.
Before you write off all of this as “hippie talk,” understand one thing. The amount of fat we store as well as how hungry we feel are determined by the hormones leptin and insulin. For anyone to successfully lose weight, these two hormones must work correctly. Since these hormones communicate with every other hormone in our body, for them to work correctly, we must have something close to total body balance. Your weight loss hormones will head for a tailspin if there are too many stress hormones or inflammatory markers.
The Ideal Morning Routine To Lose Weight
1. Use A Gratitude Journal
Before you even get out of bed, take a couple of minutes to write about the things you are thankful for. But why do this? Because as difficult as life can get, you still probably have some good things in your life. Focusing on the positive at the start of the day will increase the “feel-good” hormones and relieve the stress hormones.
Stress is bad for the waist line for multiple reasons:
This might mean touching your toes, stretching your arms, or anything else that improves flexibility.
3. Drink A Glass Of Water
You are naturally dehydrated when you wake, even if you don’t feel the signs of thirst. And dehydration will eventually lead to inflammation. The inflammatory markers here can interact with the hormones insulin and leptin, throwing them off balance.
If this doesn’t provide you with enough motivation to stay hydrated, consider this. A 2003 study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that drinking 500 ml of water had a thermogenic effect that increased metabolism by 30%. When your digestive system is more effective, your food is processed more effectively, which will support a healthy weight.
Once you feel signals of thirst, you are already in a severe state of dehydration. Start off the day with a glass of water before you are thirsty! For extra credit, add a squeeze of lemon. Lemon water first thing in the morning will help ready your digestive system for the day.
4. Detoxify By Body Brushing
Most of us are exposed to a high level of toxicity in our daily lives. And this causes system-wide inflammation that, as already mentioned, has a disastrous effect on the hormones required to control weight. While true detoxification is a detailed process, small habits can still contribute.
Body brushing is a simple process of brushing the skin to awaken the lymphatic system and get it moving and takes only a couple of minutes. When the lymphatic system is working correctly, it effectively removes toxins from the body. When you lower the inflammation associated with toxicity, the body will be much more sensitive to insulin, which means that your body will be programmed to store less fat.
5. Have A Good Breakfast
While a good breakfast is important, what is more important is to just eat something. So if you don’t have time for breakfast, grab a fruit or a few whole grain crackers or anything that will wake up your metabolism.
A good early breakfast ensures more controlled hunger signals, which can improve your eating habits for the rest of the day. Studies show that those who eat only later in the day have higher levels of the hormone ghrelin during the day. Ghrelin informs your brain that you’re hungry. Eating in the first half hour of the day will give your metabolism an early wake-up call, meaning you will potentially burn more calories in the early part of the day.
So there you have it! Allocate just 20 mins every morning to this 5-step routine to keep your body balanced, positively start the day, and ready your body for weight loss. Of course, this routine doesn’t give you permission to overindulge later in the day. True weight loss comes from a consistent practice of health-supporting habits. But this routine is a great foundation for your day. It will help you get the most out of all the other healthy choices you make later. And in weight loss, every little bit helps.
Have you ever wondered why some people seem to get so much done?
When they say, "I’m going to…start exercising, eat healthy, get organized, read more", etc., you know that they’re going to make it happen. But when you try to go after similar goals, it’s a different story. You might be able to stick to them for a while, but then, somewhere along the way, you always lose your motivation and quit. When that happens enough times, it's easy to get frustrated and discouraged. But creating and sustaining good habits doesn’t have to be so difficult and painful. In fact, it can be quite easy. And even a lot of fun.
Here's how to develop good habits and make them stick:
1. Start Ridiculously Small
Most people want to create big change as quickly as possible.They want to go from zero to four gym sessions every week, switch to a healthy diet overnight, and meditate for 20 minutes every day even though they've barely managed 5 minutes in the past. The problem, of course, is that this requires a tremendous amount of willpower. And research has shown that willpower works a lot like a muscle. If you use it a lot, it will get tired. And when it does, you'll be very likely to quit. The solution to this problem is to start so small that it hardly requires any willpower at all:
2. Get Hooked on Your Habit
Have you ever noticed how hard it is to let go of a project when you’ve invested a lot of effort into it? We can use this tendency to our advantage by using what comedian Jerry Seinfeld calls the “Don’t break the chain” strategy. Seinfeld used this method to become a better comic by writing a new joke every day. Each time he completed his writing for the day, he put a big red X on that day on his calendar. Within a few days, he had a chain he didn’t want to break. This is a very clever strategy you can use to create a visual reminder of how much effort you've invested in your habit. You'll likely find that the longer the chain grows, the harder you’ll fight to keep it going. So, get a calendar, put a marker next to it, and get to work on your habit. Your only job next is to not break the chain.
3. Have Clear Intentions
If you’re serious about your new habit, vague intentions like “I'll try to hit the gym three times this week” won’t cut it. Research has shown that you'll be much more likely to follow through if you've decided beforehand exactly when and where the behavior is going to take place.Here are three powerful strategies for doing this:
4. Celebrate Your Small Wins
If you’re like most people, you’re much better at beating yourself up for a bad performance than you are at rewarding yourself for a good one. And that’s a shame because research has shown that celebrating your progress is crucial for your motivation. Each time you reward yourself for making progress, no matter how small, you activate the reward circuitry in your brain. That releases some key chemicals which make you experience feelings of achievement and pride. These emotions, in turn, empower you to take action and create bigger successes in the future. So, reward yourself for each step in the right direction, no matter how small they happen to be.
5. Design Your Environment
In many ways, your environment drives your behavior. Have you ever walked into your kitchen, spotted a plate of cookies on the counter, and eaten them just because they were in front of you? If so, you know what I mean.Professor of psychology and bestselling author, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, provides an excellent framework to shape your environment to support your desired habits. What he recommends is that you deliberately change the "activation energy" of your habits. The idea is that each one of your habits requires a certain amount of energy to get done. And the more activation energy it needs, the less likely you'll be to follow through and do it.
Let’s say you want to read more books, but you usually find yourself watching TV instead. What you need to do is:
6. Surround Yourself With Supporters
The people around us have a surprisingly big impact on our behavior. One study showed that if you have a friend who becomes obese, your risk of obesity increases by 57 percent — even if your friend lives hundreds of miles away! Other research has shown that we tend to feel the same way, and adopt the same goals, as the people we spend the most time with. So, one way to dramatically increase your chances of success is to make sure you have the right people in your corner. If you want to create healthy habits but all your friends are unhealthy, it’s time to make some new friends. And if you want to make big things happen in your life but you’re surrounded with pessimists who drag you down, it’s time to create a support group who inspires you and picks you back up when you fail. You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so be selective about them.
7. Pre-Commit To Your Habit
Imagine it’s 6:00 am and your alarm goes off. Within seconds, your plan of going to the gym before work is in jeopardy as your brain starts rationalizing.
”Hmm, I’m actually really tired. I wonder if it’s even healthy to work out when I’m this tired. I could go to the gym after work. Or, I could go to the gym tomorrow morning instead. Yeah, I’ll hit the snooze button.” But then, you remember that you’ve promised a friend to meet up the gym at 7:00 am. Or, that you’ve committed to your workout plan by sending a friend fifty bucks every time you fail to get to the gym before work. Or, that you’ve declared publicly to your family/blog readers/Facebook friends to stick to your workout plan for thirty days. Or, if necessary, all of the above. Suddenly, going back to sleep won’t be such an appealing option. By pre-committing this way, you can add an extra layer of accountability that makes you push through even when it’s hard.
8. Change Your Mindset
Whenever you're creating a new habit, adopt a "scientist & subject" mindset. Consider everything you do a behavioral experiment where each setback provides valuable data for your next step. Shift your attention away from the long-term goal and instead focus on showing up and doing your habit every single day. Don’t break the chain. If you stick to the process, the results you’re after will inevitably come as a side effect of your efforts.
Is Sugar Holding You Back?
Is sugar secretly killing all the hard work you’re putting in at the gym? Many people consume high levels of hidden or masked sugars in products marked as 'healthy'. This can undo all the hard work you put in at the gym and can even lead to more weight gain.
Sugars in unnatural forms and amounts will create havoc in the body. It will create a cycle of addiction, erode and/or degenerate vial organs and can strip nutrients from the body. There are over 144 diseases that are attributed to sugar consumption.
You can’t out train a bad diet. The full picture of health has many different parts, yes one is exercise but this doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want and however much you want with no negative results. Highly processed foods that contain high amounts of sugar and toxic chemicals will be a detriment to your health regardless of how much you work out. Toxic ingredients and preservatives are in most sports drinks, sports bars and recovery snacks marketed to the health-conscious individual, these are not burnt as energy but rather stored in fat cells (a physiological protection mechanism to keep the toxin contained so that they cannot damage our vital organs).
For thin people who work out in high amounts but are constantly treating themselves with highly processed foods post workout, these toxins don’t have as many places to go, as they have a lower fat mass…this means their vital organs are at risk of damage directly from what they are eating.
Working out a puts stress on your body and for your body to repair from this it needs highly nutrient dense and antioxidant dense foods in order to repair and recover. Nutrient rich foods trump powders and supplements always!
Quitting sugar cold turkey can be difficult so here are a few strategies to help:
Precautions To Take While Exercising In The Cold
With the temperatures starting to drop, many people wonder whether it is safe to exercise outdoors during cold weather, especially below freezing. As a general rule, it is; but you do want to make sure you take certain precautions, and pay attention to signs and symptoms of specific cold-weather dangers.
Additionally, there are likely better and safer options than exercising outdoors during very cold temperatures.
Three primary dangers of cold weather exercise are:
Better Options Than Exercising In Cold Weather
There are several concerns about exercising in cold weather and the colder the weather the more serious the concern.
It is unclear the damage you can do if you are rapidly ventilating large amounts of frigid air. Your lungs were not designed to breathe in large amounts of very cold air, which may also have very little moisture, and it's unclear whether you might cause some damage this way.
Another potential concern and danger is slipping and falling on an icy patch. Older individuals can fall on the ice and break their hip, and a significant number of people actually die after breaking their hip as a result of a lung clot (pulmonary embolus) after long periods of immobilization.
So it would be a good idea to go indoors under extreme temperature conditions and do some high intensity training on a recumbent bike or elliptical, or do some strength training exercises until the temperatures warm up. If you feel the need to exercise outdoors there are some additional concerns and recommendations below.
Signs of Frostbite and Hypothermia
Once the thermometer dips down to -5°C or so, you'll want to use extreme caution and make sure to protect your skin from exposure, as such subfreezing temperatures dramatically increases your chances of developing frost bite.
As body temperature falls, your body compensates by shunting blood away from your skin and towards your vital organs such as your heart, lungs and brain. Of your organs, your brain and heart are the most cold-sensitive, and as your core temperature drops, the electrical activity in these organs slows.
Symptoms of hypothermia include:
Who Should Avoid Cold Weather Exercise?
Besides drawing blood away from the surface of your skin, in toward your vital organs, as described above, when you are in low temperatures outdoors, your cardiovascular system also tends to respond by increasing blood pressure and heart rate, which can promote a heart attack. Additionally, when you're cold, your airway tends to narrow, making breathing more difficult.
Therefore, exercising in cold weather may not be ideal if your clients have any of the following health conditions. If they do, be sure to get medical clearance prior to engaging in cold weather exercise:
How to Stay Warm and Safe During Cold Weather Exercise
If, for whatever reason, you decide that you want to exercise outdoors then it would be important to exercise caution. Dressing appropriately and paying
attention to the following safeguards can help keep you safe and warm when exercising outdoors this winter:
While staying warm is important, a common mistake people make is actually dressing too warmly when exercising in cold weather. Remember that exercise will generate body heat and sweating, even though it's cold outside. And once your sweat starts to accumulate in your clothes, it can have a significantly chilling impact. If it's really cold outside, it may even end up freezing close to your skin, which can lower your body temperature and increase your risk of hypothermia. Staying DRY is equally important as being warm—hence the importance of putting on a wicking layer closest to your skin, and dressing in layers so you can remove a layer or two if you're sweating profusely. Just remember to put those layers back on once you begin to cool down.
The Effects of a High Protein Diet on Body Composition and Health
It is widely know that protein is beneficial for increasing muscle mass and loosing body fat. High protein diets build muscle (fat free mass) and help keep you full while trying to improve body composition (increase muscle and loose fat). But how much protein is enough and how much is too much? Excess protein intake has been thought to be detrimental to ones health.
Antionio et al. (1) discovered that consuming protein in amounts that are 3–4 times greater than the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) result in a similar muscle gain for both the normal protein intake (~2 g/kg/d) and high protein intake (>3 g/kg/d) groups, however, the high protein group experienced a significantly greater loss of fat mass compared to the normal protein group in spite of the fact that they consumed on average ~400 kcals more per day over the treatment period. One could speculate the muscle gains in both groups were the result of providing a different training stimulus than what each subject had previously used. A prior study showed that the consumption of extremely high amounts of protein (>4 g per kg daily) had no effect on body composition if training was not altered even though there was a trend towards better body composition. In the current study, the high protein group demonstrated greater compliance with the training program than the normal protein group; perhaps this can explain in part why changes in fat mass were substantially greater in that group.
Antionio et al. (2) then proceeded to test the safety of this high protein dosage. They had subjects consume 3.3 g/kg/day of protein for 16-weeks and examined blood lipids as well as other markers of health. They found no negative effects of high protein consumption. There were no changes in blood lipids as well as renal or hepatic function. On average, subjects in this study consumed ~3 g of protein per kilogram of body weight daily for four months. In fact, the subjects with the two highest levels of protein intake showed no changes in renal function despite exceeding the RDA by 483–724 %. Thus, it is evident that even at very high protein intakes, there are no harmful side effects.
So what all does this mean? In order to optimize muscle gains and fat loss from your workouts, consuming a high protein diet (>3g/kg/day) will lead to more muscle gains and fat loss while causing no negative effects on the blood lipids, or kidney and liver function. More food, more muscle, less body fat. Who wouldn’t want that?!
1. Antonio J, Ellerbroek A, Silver T, Orris S, Scheiner M, Gonzalez A, et al. A high protein diet (3.4 g/kg/day) combined with a heavy resistance training program improves body composition in healthy trained men and women--a follow-up investigation. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:39.
2. Antonio J, Ellerbroek A, Silver T, Vargas L, Peacock C. The The effects of a high protein diet on indices of health and body composition – a crossover trial in resistance-trained men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016;13:3.
3. Antonio J, Peacock CA, Ellerbroek A, Fromhoff B, Silver T. The effects of consuming a high protein diet (4.4 g/kg/day) on body composition in resistance-trained individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014;11:19.
Get Back Into Your Fitness Routine This Fall
Although the summer is winding down, there are lots of things to look forward to in the fall – pumpkin flavored everything, breaking out your favorite sweater, and getting back into a routine.
As the kids head back to school, here are some tips for getting back into your workout routine:
1- Layout your clothes the night before - That way, if you’re pressed for time in the morning, your outfit and water bottle will be ready to go.
2- Sign up ahead of time - Wellness Revolution Studio uses the MindBody websiteand app to allow you to sign up in advance. When you’ve already committed to your place in class, you’ll be more inclined to go.
3- Find a workout buddy - Having a friend to attend class with will hold you accountable so you don’t bail AND make it more fun. Check out our September special on our Facebook page. *HINT Buddy BOGO sale*
4- HAVE FUN! - Try a new class, like POUND, to get all of your fitness juices flowing and have a blast while doing it. Don't forget to sign up, space is limited.
WRS offers a variety of fitness classes from weight lifting to yoga to core. For $200 a month, you have unlimited access to all of our class offerings. With so many exciting classes offered at convenient times, WRS is the perfect place to help you get back into your workout routine this fall!
FIND YOUR ROUTINE!
3 Ways Alcohol Effects Your Fitness and Weight Loss
The topic of alcohol and fitness is a touchy one with some studies showingthat alcohol also has some benefits. The good news is that drinking does have some benefits but for someone who’s serious about their fitness and weight loss, alcohol does more harm than good. Here’s a quick overview of 3 ways in which alcohol can affect your body.
1. Alcohol Inhibits Nutrient Absorption
Though exercising feels good, physiologically speaking, it's stress on your body. This type of stress is good because the whole point is to send your body into overdrive so that your metabolic rate goes beyond the usual levels. Alcohol metabolism inhibits nutrient absorption which means that the food you eat doesn’t necessarily make it to the tissues and organs that need it to recover.
If you’re working out to get more muscle mass, you should know howimportant recovery is because that’s when your muscles actually grow, not in the gym when you’re doing your workout. To counter the inhibitive effects of alcohol on the nutrient absorption process, you may have to take additional supplements. Or you could just quit drinking.
2. Alcohol Affects Hormone FunctionHormones are like chemical switches that can turn systems on and off in your body. Your health, fitness, perceived well-being, energy and body composition are a product of the regulatory response of hormones to our internal and external environment.
Moderate to high levels of drinking (10 or more drinks per week for men, 7 or more for women) lowers testosterone, increases estrogen, and elevates cortisol. These changes will increase fat mass and muscle soreness while decreasing muscle mass and energy levels. Not to mention increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and depression. If your fitness is important you, the best thing to do is stay away from the heavy drinking category.
3. Alcohol Stops Fat Metabolism
The goal of any fitness regime is to metabolize as much fat as possible. But when you drink alcohol, it gets in the way of this process. Alcohol, the technical term for which is ethanol, is metabolized into acetaldehyde. Your body flags ethanol and acetaldehyde as toxic, these organic reactions take precedence over all others, hence shutting down the metabolism of other fuel avenues.
Basically, your body diverts all of its resources to getting alcohol out of your system. So it stops processing other forms of energy and stores them for later. Add to that the fact that most people have alcohol along with fried, fatty foods which your body is busy saving up as fat. No wonder beers have become synonymous with bellies.