When you’re on a diet, or trying to lose or maintain weight, calories are always part of the equation. The only way to lose weight is to consume less calories than you burn. With this knowledge, it beneficial to choose your calories wisely. This is where some decisions need to be made. You can choose to eat fewer calories, or eat the same amount of calories and just exercise more. Either way, you can lose weight.
So, here’s my dilemma. There are inevitably times when I really want to eat a cookie, brownie, or bowl of ice cream. My body craves a sweet treat and I desperately want to eat one. This is when I need to make a decision. Is this cookie, brownie or ice cream worth the calories it would cost me?
If the cookie is 250 calories, am I willing to exercise an extra half hour in order to burn those calories off? If the answer is yes, I can go ahead and eat my sweet treat without any guilt. If the answer is no, I need to walk away from the extra sugar. Once you know the price of a cookie, you can easily decide if it’s worth it.
Let’s face it, while working out in the morning can help us to avoid the hottest times of the day, we’re still going to feel some of the sun’s heat when we workout in the summer.
Increase healthy carbohydrate and electrolyte intake to replenish your body after working out in the heat.
Want to learn more about electrolytes and how to replenish them? Check out this video and read about Electrolytes for Dummies.
Try these electrolyte packed smoothie recipes.
Ultimate Power Smoothie Recipe
This week’s challenge is going to get you up and moving before the sun is the strongest. It can be difficult to get outside and workout during the hot summer months, but making sure you get out during the morning hours can really help you avoid the heat.
Workout in the morning to beat the heat! Whether you like to go for a run or take your yoga mat to a quiet park, plan to go before the afternoon sun starts shining down.
Sun and heat safety is important when exercising outdoors. Be sure to read about sun safety. Not only will you avoid the heat by working out in the morning, but there are other benefits as well. Here are our Top 5 Reasons to Workout in the Morning.
Tell us about your morning workout experience in the comments!
As a mom, I understand how hard it is to get up in the morning, especially when you got to bed late, or didn’t sleep well. As the sun is coming up, the last thing you want to do is get out of your warm and comfy bed, and go outside to exercise. I’ve been there, and it is extremely hard to drag yourself out of bed. However, every time I put forth the effort and get in a morning workout, I feel more awake and happy the rest of the day, I feel thinner, and I tend to get more done throughout my day. So, here’s a list of the top 5 reasons I like to workout first thing in the morning:
1. Exercise Induces a Feel Good Chemical that makes you Happy
2. Exercising actually Gives your Body More Energy to use all day
3. It kick starts your Metabolism to Burn More Calories throughout the day
4. Prevents you from coming up with Excuses as the day goes on
5. Mornings are so Quite and Peaceful, they help you Clear your Head
If any of these reasons sound appealing to you, set your alarm clock a little earlier, get in a great morning workout, and see how much better you feel!
The past few years I’ve noticed something unusual about my diet. I usually wake up around 7:30 am, but I don’t start to feel hungry until around 9:30 or 10:00. The same thing happens with lunch and dinner. I usually don’t feel hungry for lunch until around 2:00, and dinner doesn’t sound good until at least 6:30 pm. This doesn’t work well when the regular eating times are 8am, noon and 5pm.
I’ve read that you need to eat first thing in the morning in order to kick start your metabolism, but when I do that, I feel sick. After careful consideration, I’ve decided to listen to my body and trust what feels right to me.
Throughout the day, I only eat when I feel hungry, regardless of what time it is. I figure my body is what’s digesting the food I eat, so why not let it run the show? When I follow this model for eating, I don’t over eat, never experience that yucky feeling you get when you’ve eaten too much, and can maintain my current healthy weight.
Eat Your Water Challenge!
This week eat high water content foods like: cucumber, lettuce, celery, radish, tomato, green peppers, watermelon, cauliflower, spinach, strawberries, broccoli, grapefruit, baby carrots, and cantaloupe. All these foods are over 90% water!
You can also check out the DietTools articles about water:
Eat More Water Through Fruits and Vegetables
Is Bottled Water All That?
Challenge Yourself with Some Water Sprints!
Visit the DietTools Pool workouts and find a sprints or speed workout to try. If you’re new to swimming strokes, there are tons of videos online that you can review to learn different strokes. Water workouts not only keep you cooled off but work the entire body! And until the day after, it doesn’t even feel like you’ve worked out.
Share your favorite stroke with the Facebook Group.
This last Saturday I did a new workout with my friend that involved dead-lifts and squatting with the bar. Although I regularly do weight training a few times a week, these were moves I had not done in a long time. As I performed these exercises, I felt fine, but the next day, my quadriceps muscles were extremely sore. When this soreness continued the next morning, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I went for a slow jog, then played some casual soccer with my husband. Although it was painful at first, the more I ran, the better my legs felt. I exercised for almost an hour and had a great time. Later on that day, as my muscles cooled down, the soreness came back, but to a lesser degree. The next day I did the same thing, and my muscles felt even less sore.
So, here’s the take home message. When your muscles are sore, don’t back down, just keep working out. It will help them recover more quickly, and keep you burning calories.
The first date my husband and I ever want on was to play basketball with some friends of his. To his surprise, I invited myself along to play with them and we had a great time. I think he was pleasantly surprised to see that I was an actual basketball player, and that motivated him to play even harder. Move the clock ahead 15 years and it’s plain to see our friendly sports competition is still alive and well.
This week I took him and my daughter to the park so we could get some exercise. I put him through the workout I normally do a friend and it really worked him. Being side by side as we do push ups, plyometric bench jumps and planks is great motivation to push ourselves even harder.
The most fun part was when we did sprints. At our local playground there are lanes painted on the ground that are perfect for running 10 second sprints. As we line up and run at the same time, it’s easy to let his speed push me to run even faster. Our daughter even got in on the action. We challenged her to beat us, and with a small head start, we struggled to catch up with her. In the end we all did 10 full out sprints, burned some serious calories, and had an awesome time as a family. The next time you need a little workout motivation, try working out with someone that will really push you to perform at your best.
This week is the MEAN GREEN Challenge!
Eat a green seasonal veggie with each meal this week.
Green vegetables (especially DARK green veggies) are rich in fiber, which helps with weight loss, vitamins, minerals. They fight disease and help manage blood sugar levels. Just run a search for the benefits of green veggies and you’ll be bombarded by soooo many articles about how healthy greens are for you and your family.
Check out this video to get even more info on your green leafy friends!