The little things…

…Can make the biggest difference.

During my nutrition journey I have picked up a few little tricks that are easy to add to your daily routine, but can make big differences.

It can be very hard to get into a dieting routine or a workout routine, especially when your work schedule varies greatly. That’s why making small changes in your daily routine can help you stay on track. I have found that when I keep a few things constant during my day, it has a way of settling the madness that may surround me at work at home or at school. These small things are going to get us closer to our goal, and eventually going to be things you don’t even think twice about.

  1. Drink a lot of water throughout the day (I try to hit 72 ounces each day)
    1. When you drink more water you burn EXTRA calories! Just by drinking water, it’s as simple as that. It has been found that drinking 18 ounces of water increases your metabolic rate by 30% for about 40 minutes. For any science lovers out there, like myself, this is due to the water inducing thermogenesis in the body. Thermogenesis is the body heating up, and when the body heats up internally, calories are burned. Now, if we do a little math. 18 ounces burns about 25 calories, if you drink 72 ounces of water, that’s 100 EXTRA calories burned! Just by drinking more water each day!
    2. What else can water do for you? Well, drinking more water has also been found to aid in burning fat and calories as well as building more muscle. Calories. Calories have two fates inside the body – they either get burned, or they get stored as fat. Calories are burned in the process of protein synthesis, which is essentially the process of building muscle. When you are dehydrated, the rate of protein synthesis decreases, when protein synthesis is slowed down, more calories are going to be stored as fat. SO! Simply put – Dehydration equates to more calories being stored and less muscle being built – Drink more water, burn more calories! 
    3. How bout one more benefit of water? This one is pretty much common sense. Drinking water keeps you full! Water can be seen as an appetite suppressant. when you drink water, your stomach gets full and reduces appetite. Drinking a glass of water before a meal will help prevent you from overeating during that meal.
  2. I know I’ve droned on about water enough already, but how bout one last way you can add water to your daily routine? Drinking 16 ounces of water right after you wake up is an easy way to get your metabolism moving in the morning! That morning glass of water will fire up that drowsy metabolism, hydrate you, help your body flush out toxins, get those neurons firing in your brain, and as we’ve talked about already, control your appetite.
  3. Now this may be one of the easiest things you can do to help in your journey to better health. Sleep more! You should strive to get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night (I know this is a lot easier said than done, but the impact can be great) On top of feeling well-rested each day, sleep can affect three very crucial hormones in your body; Ghrelin, Leptin and CortisolGhrelin is the chemical in your body that tells your brain that it’s time to eat. When you don’t have enough sleep it has been found that levels of ghrelin in the body increase. Then, in comes leptin, the chemical in the body that tells you to put that fork down and stop eating. Again, when sleep deprived, levels of leptin have been found to decrease. When these two things are combined it’s a recipe for disaster in the way of overeating! Lastly, if that wasn’t enough, there’s a cortisol spike that comes from too little sleep. Cortisol signals your body to conserve energy (stored calories as fat) to fuel your waking hours. Put all of that together, and you get this simple translation: YOU’RE MORE APT TO HANG ON TO FAT! That’s one thing we don’t want, and one thing that can be avoided with a simple change in daily routine.
  4. This last little trick is one that I have found the hardest to incorporate into my personal lifestyle. But doing this can help with eating less as well as portion control, two very important aspects of dieting to lose weight (I’ll go into those in another post). This habit is simply, slowing down while you eat. Take longer to eat your food and chew it more. This will give your body time to release our new friend leptin to signal that we are full! Again, this is a lot easier said than done. I recommend starting out by timing yourself when you’re eating. Set a time point that you want to hit, and make sure you hit that time before you finish your food. Something like 10 minutes is a good time to start with.

So this post ended up being a little longer than I initially planned! Sorry for going on and on about things, but I think these are some very important things that you should consider adding into your daily lives. They are small, simple things, that can make a big difference! Every step in the right direction, no matter how small, is a positive step.

-R

Eat clean, Lift dirty

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