Hey Guys! I have a bunch of different advice floating around in my big brain today, so instead of sorting through it, I'm going to blog a sort of stream of consciousness with advice. I'd love your feedback if this is too hard to read or if you enjoy the randomness, ha!
Here are some tips for feeling and looking your best. These are things that I not only do, but advise my clients to do, as well:
- Go to bed hungry
When you stop eating after dinner and don't eat again until the next morning (or lunch if you're fasting), you allow your body's digestion system to rest. And rest is good for our bodies. This rest tells your body to tap into its fat stores. Now, you shouldn't be so hungry that you wake in the middle of the night, that's no fun. But being a bit hungry at bedtime is a good thing. And guys, you're going to sleep SO soundly! Try it!
- Drink your ACV
Apple cider vinegar is an amazing addition to your health routine. Make sure you buy the "Braggs Brand" because it contains The Mother, which is a community of digestive enzymes that helps improve your gut health, in addition to about a million other benefits. I drink it more frequently when I think I might be getting sick and it helps me kick it faster. It aids in weight loss, it's an appetite suppressant, it improves skin, and the list goes on and on. Here is a video I recorded about it about 6 months ago with my favorite "recipe."
- Be observant
You are the only expert on your body. Doctors, trainers, coaches, etc. don't know more about YOUR body than you do. Take careful and observant inventory on how you feel when you eat certain foods, calorie levels, during and post workouts, when you wake up, when you go to bed. Be a scientist when it comes to learning about your body and then you can take what you know and use it to make you better.
- Fuel your workouts
When you exercise, you should be eating to fuel them so that you 1) feel your best, and 2) get the most benefit from them. I like to eat carbs directly after my more intense workouts because my body will burn them faster. I also like to have a clean source of protein following my workouts to help repair my muscles. Working out fasted is another strategy that I frequently use because I love the energy I have, and doing this allows my body to burn body fat faster because it's not busy burning the food I just ate.
- Rest days are important
Overtraining is a real, actual problem. You must have a rest day or two or three each week to allow your body to repair. It's actually during the REST that our muscles grow, not during the workouts. Listen to your body and schedule rest days as needed, or schedule them in advance. I like to schedule them, and then adjust as necessary if I need to make changes.
- Sleep plentifully
Just like our bodies need rest days, we also need plenty of sleep to repair those muscles. Think of your body like a machine. It can't work as well if it never gets turned off, right? When you're eating right and getting the proper amount of exercise, sleep will be good! So treat your sleep like a workout: schedule your bedtime and wakeup time and stick to them!
- Try intermittent fasting
IF is such a great strategy that will improve all areas of your health and fitness, and it's a pretty easy strategy to implement. Not only will it help you burn more fat, but it will allow your body to reset and rest during your fasting window. Intermittent fasting is not calorie restriction; instead, it just reduces your window of eating so that you are only eating for an 8 hour (or less) window of time. Honestly, it simplifies the day! You'll sleep better, have more energy, and burn more fat without changing your diet. Here is a video I recorded about IF.
- Plan ahead
No matter where I'm at in my fitness journey, one thing is always true: planning ahead makes everything easier. Being good at making a plan, and adding that to your weekly agenda, gets easier with time and practice. But it's always something that you have to make time for. Even 4 years in to this lifestyle I still make time to write out our meals, create our grocery list, and plan my workouts. If you want to improve your health and fitness, you've got to give it your attention.
- Enjoy your treats
Life is too short not to enjoy treats occasionally! I've spent a lot of time studying treats and how best to enjoy them, and what I've found is that they taste better when they are limited, but not obsolete. Planning regular treats is good for your sanity and your mental resolve with your fitness goals. And planning ahead helps to prevent from binging and ruining progress. Plan your treats, enjoy them, and then move on.