Great ways to boost your metabolism

Happy Monday!

I came across this great info on how to boost your metabolism and thought it was worth sharing. Some of these things surprised me, especially the being sure to eat enough. For people like me on Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) diets, it definitely is not about restricting your food intake, it is about eating enough of the right things for your system.

Did any of these items surprise you?

The Secret to a Super Fast Metabolism | Skinny Mom | Where Moms Get The Skinny On Healthy Living

Morning workout: 1, Snooze button: 2 = Let’s Be Real

Have you ever noticed that everyone always shares the best version of themselves in social media? While I understand that to an extent, I find it frustrating that people can’t be honest when things are not going as great as they would like. We live in a world where perfection is king…even though it is so unattainable.

That being said, I will honestly tell you that I did not get up and workout today. I don’t even have any excuses, except I was just not as motivated as I hoped. The rest of the week is out for morning workouts, so I am hoping I can get back into the groove this weekend.

As many of us journey to be the best versions of ourselves, I think it is important to be patient with ourselves. Between what we wear, what we eat, how we act, how we perform, how we make others feel…there are several challenges we face every single day. Even though Facebook and social media says you should be perfectly killing it with all these items, the reality is that we are strong women with a lot on our plate.

Next week is a new week. Instead of drowning in disappointment, I plan to celebrate my victories this week like being really great about sticking to 110g of carbs a day.

For those things that have been more challenging (like waking up and working out for me…):

What are some of your victories this week?

Morning workout: 1, Snooze button: 1 = FITNESS OPPORTUNITY

The snooze buzz hasn’t always been tied with me. I did conquer the snooze button in our epic battle last time we met.

Today, I am sad to report that I lost the battle. The snooze button did have outside help…my husband sleeping in, my pups who wanted to cuddle, and of course my cat (who is slightly evil and may have been trying to sabotage me):

My cat, Oliver, keeping me in bed

To be honest, it has been incredibly difficult for me to motivate myself to get up and workout. I wish another time of day to get my 20 minutes in that my doctor prescribed for me everyday…but morning really is the only time. The days I wake up and workout I am a lot happier and I feel like there is great momentum…it is pulling myself out of bed that is so hard.

They say it takes 3 weeks to develop a habit, so I need to hunker down, and get this workout party started. I have an early meeting Thursday, but it will be my goal to get up and get my 20 minutes in tomorrow and Friday mornings.

To try to get myself in the mindset of working out, here are some inspirational quotes I found. Hopefully, they motivate me…and maybe they can help you, too!

How do you motivate yourself to exercise?

Exercise: Getting into the groove is harder than I thought

You guys know I am trying to workout. The doctor says 20 minutes of exercise a day…and I am still struggling. While I had some success following these tips to get up in the morning and exercise, I have had a difficult time maintaining the routine.

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Writing to you guys about working out motivated me to get up in the morning and do it…hopefully, this post will help inspire me and some of you to keep that fitness motivation going.

Need an instant dose of inspiration? Take this quick, healthy-habit quiz. (I’ve used diet as an example, but you can plug in any behavior that you’re trying to maintain). Answering these questions often helps to boost motivation just enough to remind you of why you started the diet in the first place…

If I stop my diet, how will I look in six months or one year from now?
If I stop my diet, how will I feel in six months or one year from now?
If I stop my diet, what will my health be like?
If I stop my diet, how will my family and friends be affected?

This mini-quiz definitely puts exercising into perspective for me. If this isn’t enough, here are a few more tips to keep that motivation going:

Drink more water.

This is something I can do throughout the whole week to help set me up for success.

For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.

Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.

Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. “When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer,” says Guest.

 Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. Follow the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for fluid intake before and during physical activity. These guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise. During exercise, they recommend that people start drinking fluids early, and drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.

If you think you need to be drinking more, here are some tips to increase your fluid intake and reap the benefits of water:

  1. Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
  2. Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
  3. Eat more fruits and veggies. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
  4. Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
  5. Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water.

Change your perspective

Shift your thinking from couch potato mentality to thinking like an athlete. This may sound like a big challenge, but it’s not as big a leap as you think.

Try to think about exercise as a blessing rather than a sacrifice. Find inspiration in others—looking outward for extra motivation. Take inspiration from everyone you meet—even people who can’t be physically active.

Here are some great articles that helped inform this post:

Morning workout: 1, Snooze button: 0 = FITNESS SUCCESS

It happened. It really happened. THE SNOOZE BUTTON GOT SCHOOLED BY A MORNING WORKOUT! I appreciate all the support and accountability you all have given me…it honestly is making me a healthier, happier person.

Since my Endocrinologist only prescribes 20 minutes of exercise a day to get started, I bought myself an awesome stepper:

Sunny Health & Fitness Twister Stepper with Handle Bar
by Sunny Health & Fitness
Link: http://amzn.com/B001IDZHF6

  • Twist stepper workout machine with handlebar and multi-function LCD computer
  • Twist action works and tones your bum and leg muscles with reduced bone/joint pressure (good for me because sore joints are a side effect I endure from Insulin Resistance and PCOS)
  • Computer functions include: time, calories, scan, and count
  • Adjustable stepping height; handle bar for balance
  • Very small footprint and lightweight making it easy to store

It was a great start and I am feeling very accomplished! Today was a great day at work…I think it has a lot to do with a great start to the morning! I will admit, now that we are into the evening I am EXHAUSTED. Even right after the workout, my pups tried to lure me back to bed as you can see from this photo…but I was strong:

Cute pups trying to lure me back to bed

Here are some of the tips I tried that worked great for me:

Laying out my clothes the night before 

By doing this, I really was mentally prepared for the harsh reality of the alarm. It also made getting ready much, much easier.

Making my bed right away

It isn’t quite as easy to go back to bed if it is made!

A burst of sunlight

The morning hours really are beautiful. By opening up the blinds, the sunshine really woke me up in a lovely way…I felt like I was getting a great head start to the day.

Coffee!

This was ready to go thanks to Keurig almost instantly after I was up. I will admit that I had to up the coffee intake today, but it was nice to start the morning with that jolt of java.

Now let’s see if I can make this work again tomorrow…

Morning workouts and the snooze button: An epic battle

It’s cold outside. Your blankets are extra soft. Your pet is extra cuddly. You stayed up extra late to catch up on your DVR. You are having an amazing dream that you can eat whatever you want and never gain weight. [Insert cheesy tropical ringtone.] All of the happiness and comfort you were experiencing just a moment ago is gone as you consider getting out of bed to exercise.

If you are like me, this scenario is all too familiar. My Endocrinologist prescribed me 20 minutes of exercise each day to truly fight Insulin Resistance and PCOS, but none of that seems to matter in the epic battle between morning workouts and my snooze button. After a few minutes of negotiating with myself, I determine that I will likely be late if I workout and that work has been extra challenging this week and I deserve the extra sleep. The snooze button is activated and I am reunited with the comforts of bed.

While lunchtime workouts are an option for some, my curly hair tells me that unless I want to look like I stepped out of a 1980s music video that was running short on hair product, lunchtime workouts are not an option for me. Every time I think I can squeeze in a lunch workout, I am reminded of the following: 1.) If even a drop of sweat comes in contact with my hair, major frizz is activated leaving me looking unprofessional and like I traveled to 2015 from 1985. Tying my 1980s quaff back only seems to make both of these statements even more true. 2.) My boss surely would not appreciate me taking a 2 hour lunch. All these things considered, lunch workouts are out for me.

Evening workouts have been something else I have considered, but since my work hours can be late and I have to brave a 45-60 minute commute in LA traffic, consideration has dwindled. Once I get home, working out is the last thing I want to do especially if PJs have been activated.

With morning and evening workouts ruled out, I am left with my battle of morning workouts vs. snoozing. I will admit that putting in writing that I cannot drag myself out of bed 20 minutes earlier to get healthier sounds ridiculous, but I assure you…THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. Research suggests the early morning hours are the best time to get your sweat on—fueling your metabolism, energy level, and mood all day long. So balancing research with doctor’s orders really seem to be great weapons to battle that snooze button.

My hope is that blogging about exercise will hold me more accountable. Tomorrow shall be the day that morning workouts triumph over the snooze button! It is documented now on the Internet, so it must be true.

Knowing the challenges I have waking up in the morning, here are some tips that I will hope help me (and maybe even some of you) wake up tomorrow morning. May the force be with us all:

1.  Prepare your gear the night before. This has two benefits – the obvious one being that you’ll free up another ten minutes of sleep the next morning. As you can tell by this article, I am all about that sleep, so I will take any extra ZZZs I can get. The less obvious benefit is that the feeling of preparedness should make you fall asleep a little better. You won’t have the, “I still have to get my stuff ready tomorrow” thought gnawing at the back of your brain as you lay in bed.

2. Stash Mints in Your Nightstand. Brett Hoebel, founder of Hoebel Fitness and trainer on NBC’s Biggest Loser season 11, suggests grabbing a mint the second your alarm goes off. The sugar in the mint will excite and your brain, and the mint itself will liven up your tongue’s taste buds and nerve endings, says Hoebel. “You can completely fool your body into thinking food is coming,” he says. The gist: You’ll get rid of morning breath and wake up your mind and body for a sweat session.

3. Get a blast of sunlight. When your eye senses light, it sets off a chain reaction in your brain that leaves you feeling alert and energized, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Soak up rays by standing near an open window, or position your bed so it faces east and natural light will wake you.

4. Hydrate. Did you know that you can lose up to a litre of water while you sleep? True story. Start every morning off with a big glass of water and return your body to hydrated-status.

5. Have a Pre-Sleep Ritual. Getting up is exponentially easier when you have had a good night’s rest. Insure a solid 7-8 hours by having a pre-sleep ritual. Caffeine has a pretty big impact on me, so I try not to drink any caffeine after 3pm to help me get a better night’s sleep.

6. Have a set of cues for when you wake up. Habit is an extremely powerful thing. Use it to your advantage by creating a set of cues that will make getting up a habit instead of having to rely on willpower. Here is an example–

Turn off alarm.

Open blinds.

Make bed.

Go to the bathroom.

Drink a full glass of water.

Make breakfast.

Watch the news for 5 minutes.

7. Coffee!!! You know that drinking coffee stimulates your brain, but one study found that just the scent of java can ease stress caused by sleep deprivation, potentially coaxing you into workout mode. If your coffee pot has a timer, set it to brew a few minutes before your alarm clock for an amazing smelling wake-up call.

8. Tell the world about your plans. Well, here’s to hoping this one works. But seriously, tell your family, friends, Facebook, Twitter, co-workers…anyone who will listen! By spreading the word you are starting a morning exercise, it holds you much more accountable. So go post on social. And maybe tag #MyCarbBreakup. Because that would be cool.

Here are some great articles I referenced on helping you wake up for a workout:

Do you have any tips on what helps you wake up in the morning? Share your advice in the comments!