Exercise and breakfast. Breakfast and Exercise. These are two of the foundational pieces to being vibrantly healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. But my healthy “hacks” may surprise you. First, most of us have been told that we must eat a big, healthy breakfast. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper we are told. If you enjoy and are energized by a big, protein and healthy fat breakfast and have the time – by all means go for it!
Then we are advised to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and cut back on fat. Well not exactly, but I will explain below.
Also we are told we need to spend at least 45 minutes to an hour exercising most days of the week to stay healthy and fit, as well as to lose or maintain weight. Well, again, if you have the time and enjoy that, more power to you!
Here are the 3 healthy hacks I recommend to clients who prefer to go a different way:
1. Eating a nutritious breakfast is definitely a healthy habit to begin if you don’t already do this. However, rather than feeling you must sit down to a huge breakfast at the crack of dawn, consider waiting a few hours. This falls into the category of intermittent fasting. The easiest way to do it is to have your first meal of the day closer to a normal lunch time (if you can) so you extend your “fast” since you haven’t eaten since dinnertime the day before and then compress your meals for the day to a 6-8 hour window.
This practice is associated with many health benefits including detoxification, hormone regulation, anti-aging, enhanced longevity, weight loss, accelerated fat loss and muscle growth. Intermittent fasting can be done several different ways, but delaying breakfast for a few hours and intentionally eating the day’s meals within a shorter window of time is the way I prefer. I find it easy to do since the bulk of my fasting time falls during the night when I am sleeping. By the way, fasting is also believed to encourage the body to recycle diseased and damaged cells. So this is definitely a win-win.
2. As far as the eating goes, I flip-flop that – eat lots of vegetables, especially green leafy, and fresh fruit in moderation. Don’t misunderstand. Fruit is healthy, however, overdoing the fruit can put you over the top with fructose. Granted, it is natural fruit sugar and comes in the best package possible – the original, whole fruit with fiber, vitamins and minerals intact. But I still recommend limiting it to 2-3 servings a day as long as you have no issues with candida. And instead of cutting out fat, I suggest you pay attention to the quality of the fat and choose healthy fats like avocados, pasture butter, coconut oil, ghee, olives, hemp and chia seeds and fish like sardines and salmon. These are fats your body needs not only for health but also to burn fat! Counter-intuitive but true.
3. My two-part exercise hack is to exercise first thing in the morning on an empty stomach as often as I can and to do high intensity interval training 2-3 times a week. I still meet a friend for a walk outside on the trail in the afternoons but my high intensity interval workouts are done first thing and on an empty stomach. Now everyone won’t be able to do this. If you feel weak or light headed, then by all means eat first! There are different opinions as to the benefits, but exercising in a fasted state improves insulin sensitivity, body composition by burning fat and building lean muscle mass and increased production of growth hormone and testosterone, which is helpful and important for both men and women.
What are some of your healthy hacks?
About the author:
Ann Musico is a holistic health coach and wholeness advocate who works with women of all ages to empower them to exemplify lives of vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body – in a way that is simple and effective, in order to be a positive influence in their world. Her focus is on nutrition, detox and healthy, long term weight loss because she believes those areas are most often the root cause of so many other problems. And she addresses them not only from the physical but also the spirit and soul as well, which are often overlooked. Learn more at her website, Three Dimensional Vitality. And be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for free exclusive giveaways as well as daily inspiration and motivation!
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