Establish A Food Routine

What we do know from lots of scientific research, based on real life studies is….

There is VERY little evidence to suggest that eating 6 meals a day compared to 3 will BOOST your metabolism.

There is also VERY little evidence to suggest that skipping breakfast will SLOW your metabolism.

So why do we recommend that establish a food routine? Well, we do know this….

There  is universal acceptance that the amount of calories you consume in a day affects your weight and there is a HUGE amount of research which says that skipping meals leads to HIGHER DAILY CALORIFIC INTAKE.

According to lots of studies, breakfast is really important and the chances are that if you skip breakfast, you will eat more calories in a day than if you eat a healthy breakfast.

It may seem counterintuitive, but skipping meals can actually hinder your weight loss. By skipping meals during the day you’re likely to become extremely hungry, which can lead you to make poor food choices or overeat later.  In addition, eating breakfast and the right foods can help you stay fuller longer.  This helps you stay on track for your weight loss goals.

Whether you’re filling up on fresh and free foods or enjoying a snack, it’s important to eat healthy snacks in between meals. The same principles that apply to skipping meals also apply to snacks; they keep you experiencing a dip in blood sugar (and energy),

If you’re just starting a planned weight loss program, you may be surprised at the sheer volume of food—meals, snacks, free foods and even desserts—that make up your daily plan. You may even feel that you’re eating too much!

But trust us: over time, eating more of the right things and less of the wrong things will help you distinguish between cravings (which typically pass in about 15 minutes) and real hunger.

If your meal plan calls for added vegetables or piece of fruit, don’t skip it! It’s an important part of your nutritional intake for that day.

Food Routine Elements

  1. Planning.  All good food routines start with planning.  So, either follow a food plan provided by a professional or take some time to make a food plan of your own.
  2. Preparation.  Make time to prep foods as much as you can.  Schedule this in to your diary.
  3. Tracking.  Make sure you track what you eat, but also why.  Find out if your poor meals are due to lack of preparation or if you have certain meal times where you eat poorly.
  4. Practice mindful eating.
  5. Brush your teeth after your evening meal
  6. Consistency is key.  Stick to the plan 6 days out of 7

How often should I eat?

his is a common question many people have when starting their weight loss journey.

You have got several options.

  • 3 meals and 3 snacks.  Evenly Spaced calories.  Regulated insulin and hunger

Your meal frequency should be spaced out and snacks at regular intervals, about 2-3 hours apart. Example: if you have breakfast at 7 a.m., you can enjoy a snack at 10 a.m., lunch at noon, your afternoon snack at 3 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m and a night time snack before bed around 9-10pm.  Make sure your night time snack does not contain many carbohydrates (keep it under 20 grams) or your body will not burn fat in the night.

  • 2-3 meals and informal snacks

If you are never hungry at breakfast, don’t always force yourself to eat it.  Try it out but don’t worry if you can’t do it.  Get a snack mid morning or when your body wakes.  Eat 2 good sized meals but again limit your carbohydrate intake later in the day to prime your body for burning fat.

  • Time restricted feeding

Another food intake strategy that is gaining support is called Time-Restricted Feeding and we all do this to a certain extent (we don’t eat while we sleep).  This uses our bodies natural circadian rhythm and metabolism to help you achieve your weight loss goals. Essentially, there is a 12- hour nourishment period during the day to consume your daily calories. After that, your body goes into a 12-hour rejuvenation period. This rejuvenation period is especially important and beneficial to weight loss, as your metabolism naturally slows down at night. This is why late-night eating stacks the deck against you.  An example of eating timing could be that you start the day with breakfast at 7 am and finish eating all your meals by 7pm.  Brush your teeth straight away and get ready to burn fat all thought the night!

PICK A ROUTINE AND STICK TO IT FOR A PERID OF AT LEAST 2 WEEKS TO SEE WHICH WORKS FOR YOU.

Picking a routine and sticking to it is going to be hugely beneficial for a number of reasons.

  1. Structure
  2. Consistency
  3. Control Hunger
  4. reduce over eating later in the day
  5. less likely to overeat during any one meal

 

Why Tracking Food Is Good For Weight Loss

Lose weight with food tracking

Weight loss works best with food tracking apps you can use anytime, anywhere. Food tracking means keeping a record of all your food, meals and beverages, too. At first, it might seem to be a lot of work logging what you eat. But it’s worth it. And food tracking isn’t something  you will need to do forever.  You just need to do it until you have learned two things:

  • Firstly, you need to learn what macronutrients are in the foods you eat
  • Secondly, you need to learn which combination of foods make you feel  energised and support your fitness goals.

Studies show that people who keep a food diary lose twice as much weight as those who don’t.

Here are 7 more reasons why you should keep a food diary:

1. Food tracking creates awareness

A piece of cake here, a bottle of soda there and a small snack in between:  it’s sometimes hard to eat healthy on a busy schedule.  At the end of the day, there’s usually not much time to reflect on all the food you ate throughout the day.  But if you take the time to do it once, you’ll soon realise that you probably consumed way more calories than you wanted to. A food diary can help you gain more awareness of your own eating habits.

2. Keeping a food diary makes you more accountable

If you want to lose weight, a food tracking app is the right choice for you:  if you consistently keep track of everything, you might think twice next time before putting certain foods into your mouth.  Try it; you will be surprised how your conscience helps you out when it comes to food tracking.

3. You learn more about your eating habits

Do you think your diet is 100% healthy? Are you eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables? And do pay attention to a balanced macronutrient ratio?
If you write down everything you eat during the day, you will quickly get a sense of what your diet is really made of:   MyfitnessPal shows you, among other things, how much protein, carbohydrates and fat you are consuming. This information can help you change your diet to reach your goal.

4. Food tracking leads to “aha moments”

On the days when you track your food, you will experience numerous “aha moments”: before you started writing things down, maybe you weren’t aware of how many carbohydrates or how much fat you were eating per day.

If you want to lose 1lb of fat, you need to burn 3500 calories.  You wont do that with exercise alone, so it’s a good idea to know that you haven’t eaten too many ansd the only way to be sure is to track food.

5. You learn how many calories you should eat per day

Do you know how many calories you should be eating per day? An app takes the guessing out of the equation: it can calculates how many calories you need depending on your goal. If you want to lose weight, all you have to do is look at your food diary to find out where you can cut out the most calories with the least effort. Food tracking can also help you if you are looking to gain healthy weight: maybe you never stopped and asked yourself if you were eating enough calories.

6. A food diary shows your progress

The longer you track with your app, the more information you will have at your disposal. You can look at the entries for the last few days and weeks and see what is working well (and what isn’t). Have you lost a few kilos, perhaps? Keep track of the progress you make – it will help you stick with your healthy diet and reach your goal!

7. You feel fitter and full of energy

You will see – once you get a sense of which foods are healthy and good for you, you will feel better and above all fitter. And who wouldn’t like to have more energy through the day?

Track Food

Lots of studies have shown that people who actually keep track of what they eat on paper, in an app, or in some other record, have better success at losing weight.

Tracking will make sure that you do not overeat and that you do not under eat.

And you will learn about where your calories come from.  You will learn about macronutrients (protein, carbs and fats) and how they work in your body.  It’s also a good idea to add accountability where ever you can . Put a menu up on the fridge of the food you are going to eat.  It might sound silly, but these little things will help you.

NOTE:  Starving yourself will slow your metabolism down and the body will do everything it can to hold on to fat.

Six reasons why drinking water may help you lose weight

Many studies support the theory that drinking water is beneficial for weight loss. Also, hydration is key for many factors that play a role in weight loss, including digestion and muscle function.

1. Water is a natural appetite suppressant

When the stomach senses that it is full, it sends signals to the brain to stop eating.  Water can help to take up space in the stomach, leading to a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger.  A person may also think that they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. Drinking a glass of water before reaching for something to eat can help to curb unnecessary snacking.

2. Water is necessary to burn fat

Without water, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates.  The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids.  Drinking enough water is essential for burning off fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat.  A mini-review from 2016 found that increased water intake led to increased lipolysis and a loss of fat in animal studies.

3. Water helps with workouts

One of the most important components of any weight loss plan is exercise.  Water helps muscles, connective tissues, and joints to move correctly. It also helps the lungs, heart, and other organs to work effectively as they ramp up activity during exercise.

Being hydrated reduces the risk of things that can get in the way of a good workout, such as muscle cramps and fatigue.

4. Water increases calorie burning

Some research indicates that drinking water can help to burn calories.

In a 2014 study, 12 people who drank 500 mL of cold and room temperature water experienced an increase in energy expenditure.  They burned between 2 and 3 percent more calories than usual in the 90 minutes after drinking the water.

Drinking cold water may further enhance water’s calorie-burning benefits, because the body expends energy, or calories, by heating up the water for digestion.

5. Water helps to remove waste from the body

When the body is dehydrated, it cannot correctly remove waste as urine or feces.

Water helps the kidneys to filter toxins and waste, while the organ retains essential nutrients and electrolytes. When the body is dehydrated, the kidneys retain fluid.

6. Drinking water can reduce overall liquid calorie intake

Water is a calorie-free alternative to energy drinks or juice.

It is easy to accumulate liquid calories by drinking soda, juice, or sweetened coffee or tea.  Most people also ignore how many calories they consume in sports drinks or alcoholic beverages.  Replacing even a few high-calorie drinks each day for water or other no-calorie beverages, such as herbal tea, may have long-term weight loss benefits.

How much water do you need to drink?

Recommended water intake relates to factors such as age and health.

There is no standard recommendation for how much water to drink. Some people require more or less water, depending on a variety of factors, including:

  • activity level
  • age
  • body size
  • temperature
  • humidity
  • sun exposure
  • health status

Most health authorities suggest ranges for daily water intake. The following water intake recommendations are from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

  • 2,700 mL/day for adult women
  • 3,700 mL/day for adult men

Getting enough water

Many adults, especially older adults, did not drink enough water to meet WHO guidelines.  The following tips can help to increase water intake:

  • drinking at least one 8-ounce glass of water with each meal
  • carrying water in a reusable water bottle
  • drinking extra water when exercising or during physical activity
  • drinking extra water when it is warm, humid, or very sunny
  • keeping a glass of water near the bed
  • eating more soups and liquid-rich meals, such as curries, stews, and smoothies
  • eating fruits and vegetables with high water contents, especially berries, grapes, melons, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, and lettuce

The Benefits Of Drinking Lots Of Water

Water is the most important nutrient in your diet. Nothing else comes close. Got your attention?

Your kidneys get very lazy on the job when you’re dehydrtared and your kidneys give most of its unfinished work to your liver.   One of your liver’s primary functions is to help your body burn stored fat for energy.   Your liver can’t burn fat effectively if has to do the kidney’s job as well. 

How To Adopt This Mantra

Let’s look at how to implement a strategy that allows you to adopt this mantra with the least amount of stress to the fact that you are making lifestyle changes.  Remember these two things:

  1. You want to be the best version of you.  You are not currently happy with how you look/feel and you want that to change.  That means changing your current lifestyle habits.
  2. You will need  to go all in on this project if you really want this to work and you need to get used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable

Use these 3 questions to help you adopt this mantra

1.  How can you make this habit personal?

Choose how much water you would like to start consuming with each meal and thus daily. If you’re not used to drinking fresh mineral water, then start with a small amount each meal, like 100ml. If you’re used to drinking fresh water, then focus on increasing your consistency or slightly increase you normal intake.

2.  How can you make this habit easy?

The first step is to scale the habit to something you are 90-100% confident you can do for 6 days of the week. Have one day off per week from completing the habit.
TIP: Get a nice bottle to store water in and have it with you all the time, to keep reminding you to increase your water intake.

3.  What can you piggyback off?

It’s likely the existing trigger to eat something will be the cue for this habit. It could also be linked to meal preparation if you like to bulk cook for days ahead. You can also prep your water for each meal then too. Just pick a pre-existing habit to use as your reminder. If you are not eating regular meals yet, use another trigger like when you drink coffee or tea.

If you don’t have any kind of established food routine to piggyback off, then SET MULTIPLE ALARMS to remind you to drink until this habit becomes established.

So I advise you to get a water bottle and carry it with you all the time.  Have another one at work and leave it on your desk. Drink water before EVERY meal. Don’t leave this to chance.  Make it happen. Have a drink of water right NOW, if you have some available. If not, go and get some!! I need you to trust in that, what I tell you WILL work. 

Mantra Completed

Thanks for reading and adopting this mantra.

As you strive to make better decisions, it’s an excellent idea to spend some time on your personal growth.  I’m talking about you honestly, attentively listening to yourself.  This is the best source of wisdom. Kindness is a good habit, and it can be cultivated.

In fact, the process of successfully breaking a bad habit takes only three steps:

1: Be honest and understand Why you do it – let the reason be painful if necessary.
2: Connect to who you really are and set an important goal; think well about it.
3: Act accordingly and Never look back!

Don’t Hit Snooze

Clip 1

I know, I know, you must be thinking Youre NOT a morning person. You’ve never been able to rise early, you ‘value’ your  sleep, and you think you feel better with more of it even though, nowadays, there’s no question, you simply don’t get enough of it, (thanks to a full-time job, daily workouts and trying to balance a social life and family.)

But no matter how late you stay out or stay up, snooze shouldn’t t be a  part of your daily routine..

Why? Thats a valid question. Well, for a start, there’s scientific research that says that a snooze isn’t actually good for you. It disrupts your sleep rhythm, and studies have shown that those who use snooze more regularly feel groggier. But for me, it not the scientific reasoning that’s kept me to one alarm. It’s been about the behaviour that snooze is reinforcing.

This might sound daft, but what you are doing to the brain by hitting snooze is, telling yourself that it’s OK NOT to follow through with the things you intended to do today: right at the start of the day.

The more time you have to prepare for the day the less stress you will feel and that will help your daily amount of will power.

It’s more of the principle behind snoozing (or not, in my case). I firmly believe that how you wake up sets the tone for the day. Is it long, and drawn out and dreaded? Or does the sound of your alarm actually signal the start of a new, positive day?

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather just get-up and get-at-’em, while staying excited about what’s ahead.

Clip 2

Here’s why avoiding snooze will work for you

 

  1. It’s about quality.

Not hitting snooze reminds you what you want to prioritise–quality vs. quantity. You want to stay deeply in sleep until the last possible second. Snoozing only compromises that because the second you give in to that temptation to sleep just five more minutes, you won’t be in a healthy sleep for those moments. You’ll feel agitated during that time and afterwards, sleepier than if you didn’t hit snooze. Try going to sleep just five minutes earlier instead.

  1. It forces you to plan.

You go to bed knowing exactly when you need to get up–down to the minute. Some days that 6:17 a.m. Other days that might be 7:05 a.m. Whatever the time, you will be forced to take a few minutes every evening and plan. When does my dog have to go out? What am I eating? How long will it take to prepare?

The better your plan the night before, the more sleep you will get. ‘If I pack my bag and prep my clothes tonight, I get an extra 10 minutes.  By taking the right steps to being prepared means there’s nothing standing in your way.

  1. It eliminates excuses.

Set your intentions and set yourself up for success. Your mindset is so powerful. It’s that same attitude that guarantees you won’t be skipping the gym or bailing on plans with friends. No matter the time, the plan or the commitment at work, exercise or otherwise, excuses have no place in my day and they shouldn’t in yours.

  1. It makes You commit.

You commit to your day from the moment you wake up and You’re  all-in right from the start. You are forced to make decisions and stick to them, and you will apply that to your entire day. What are the things you want to get done and how am you going to do them?

Remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing: ‘I’m waking at 6 so that I can get my exercise done before the family is up, so I can have some quality time with them”.  Whatever it is you’re committing to, make it something you’ll look forward to–I promise the very act of promising yourself makes getting up that much easier.

  1. It reminds You to slow down sometimes.

Sticking to your commitments all week is hard and having a go-go-go morning plan can be intense. That’s why on the weekends,  try to take one day and forego the alarm. Still plan for quality shuteye, but with no alarm and no snooze, let your circadian rhythm (and sunlight of course), kickstart your day.

The Benefits of Getting Up Early

Getting up early will not only enable you to accomplish more, the feeling of that extra time will have a big impact on your stress levels throughout the day.
Rising early gives you the most amazing start. If you are used to starting your day by jumping out of bed late after hitting snooze multiple times and rushing to get yourself and the kids ready, and rushing to drop them to school and getting in to work late, then this might seem like a daunting prospect.  But ask yourself this:  Do you feel rushed, rumpled and barely awake, grumpy and behind everyone else? Would you like to feel organised, refreshed and ready to sieze the day?

How To Adopt This Mantra

Let’s look at how to implement a strategy that allows you to adopt this mantra with the least amount of stress to the fact that you are making lifestyle changes.  Remember these two things:

  1. You want to be the best version of you.  You are not currently happy with how you look/feel and you want that to change.  That means changing your current lifestyle habits.
  2. You will need  to go all in on this project if you really want this to work and you need to get used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable

Use these 3 questions to help you adopt this mantra

1.  How can you make this habit personal?

Choose how often you are going to commit to getting up early.  Is it just one day a week to start with? Is it 2?  Is it just week days?  Make the choice to get up and stick to it and be decisive.  Weekdays or when you have to be up for work and family routines work well to begin with.

2.  How can you make this habit easy?

Don’t make drastic changes. Start slowly, by waking just 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Get used to this for a few days.  Then cut back another 15 minutes. Do this gradually until you get to your goal time.   Aim for an hour in the long run.  Adjust your bedtime accordingly and have quality time at the start of the day, rather than forced ‘you time‘ at the end, when you are actually tired and ready to sleep.

3.  What can you piggyback off?

Your trigger here is gong to be your morning alarm. The good news is that you are probably setting an alarm on work mornings.  The difficult thing here is that because you are coming from a state of sleep to awake, you might not notice the trigger and you may hit snooze, if that is your current habit.

That’s why you need to move your alarm out of arms length!

So, imagine having a renewing morning ritual, where you get so much done before 8 a.m.  You can do some exercise, plan your food, enjoy the peace and quiet before the rest of the family wakes.  The early morning hours are so peaceful, so quiet. It’s my favourite time of day.  I truly enjoy that time of peace, that time to myself, when I can think, when I can read, when I can breathe.  You will have time for breakfast and it will create harmony with family members and by the time you get to work, you feel like you’ve gotten a head start.  There is no better way to start off your day than to wake early, in my experience.

Write down and say your personalised mantra out loud every night.

  • I am going to get up at least 15 minutes earlier
  • I am 100% ready to make changes in my life and I am ready to take the early riser challenge.
  • I am 90-100% confident that I will get up at least 15-30 minutes earlier for 6 out of the next 7 days

“The early morning has gold in its mouth,” said Benjamin Franklin.

Getting up earlier will make you more productive, reduce your stress levels, ensure better sleep, have a higher mental and physical capacity and will provide you with lots of positivity. This will help you feel more in control of life. .