This week I’m focusing a bit on sharing what I do personally to lead the Balanced Babe lifestyle. In my previous article I shared my daily routine, so now I’m going to share what I do each day to boost my metabolism. I typically follow these habits every day, while during the time of the month that I’m PMSing (let’s be real, this time of the month can change errrrrthang for us ladies), some of these habits change.
Now this is what helps me in my own experience, since everyone is physiologically different, this may work for some and not for others. The main mantra of living a Balanced Babe lifestyle is finding your own routine and focusing on *balance* – not going in one extreme direction or the other. That includes daily routines, our fitness routines, and EVEN our diet. No extremes, no labels, just living intuitively and finding balance (since we never truly are “balanced” – it’s a constant, fun, journey). So let’s get to it.
What I Do To Increase My Metabolism All Day
As I wake up:
I mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again. Coffee is my essential morning staple when I wake up. Did you know that coffee can boost your metabolism between 5-8 percent? Yea – another reason why I love it. The key though is moderation. Once you start having 3+ cups a day then you’re over-doing it and the benefits turn into detrimental effects.
My morning yoga.
I always practice a quick yoga sequence in the morning that involves a lot of twisting to jump-start my digestion in the morning. I’ll create a post on this soon so that you can do it too! But if you want to learn more about morning yoga practices that help digestion, this article discusses some poses that you can do.
For breakfast, I like to eat foods rich in zinc.
Not only is zinc a flippin’ fabulous mineral that helps combat blemishes , it is also linked to help increase the hormone leptin which helps our metabolism function optimally. So I’ll have some hummus in the morning since sesame seeds contain zinc, or if you eat eggs you can make an egg scramble with spinach since both egg yolks and spinach contain zinc.
For lunch, I incorporate warming foods into my meal.
Mid-day pick me up I’ll have green tea or matcha.
A compound in green tea, EGCG, has studies behind it that show it boosts metabolism. The caffeine in green tea, especially matcha, also has research behind it to show that it gives you energy without the jitters! So I’d say there are double benefits to this afternoon pick-me-up!
Throughout the day:
- I drink a boat load of water, with lemon: I wrote before how drinking 3L of water helped me drop weight when I was feeling bloated. I’m a huge believer in that the more water you drink, the better you function throughout the day. A University of Utah study came to the conclusion that subjects who sipped on 12 glasses of water a day lost more body fat than those who only drank 4. So cheers!
- I walk or jog whenever I can: I know a lot of people say that doing intense exercise helps boost your metabolism the most, but for me personally intense exercise just makes me hungrier and then I eat way more throughout the day. Does this happen to anyone else? What helps keep my metabolism revving all day is walking a minimum of 35 minutes a day (I walk to and from work, to clients, to the gym, to the grocery store..literally everywhere). I also get my morning 3-4 mile jog in which helps my digestion.
- I make sure I have protein and fiber in every meal: Protein rich foods take longer to digest in our digestive tract which requires more energy and some research has shown that increase calorie burning by up to 35% post meal! I get my fiber from fruits and veggies all day which has also been linked to increased fat burning. So I always make sure I’m getting these two nutrients in every meal!
For dinner, I add capsaicin to my macro bowl.
Capsaicin, a compound found in cayenne pepper has been linked to helping you curb cravings and boost your metabolism. So I always sprinkle a bit in my dish for an extra boost.
At night, my focus is to de-stress.
At night our minds can get easily worked up thinking about what we had to deal with throughout the day or what we have to deal with tomorrow. Stressing out causes our stress hormone cortisol to spike which causes all sorts of imbalances within our system including hindering our ability to blast fat away. This is why at night my mantra is self-care, or any activity that simply makes you feel good. You can check out this bedtime ritual that I follow to get some ideas of how to unwind at the end of your day.
Sleep…as long as you need.
Some people function on 6 hours of sleep, but not me. I feel my best and look my best when I get between 8.5 and 9 hours of sleep per night. This is why I go to bed at 10pm and wake up at 7am. I know you probably read this everywhere, but there are countless studies that link lack of sleep to weight gain. So if you have to choose between a 5am workout class or 2 extra hours of sleep, choose the dang sleep!
An additional tid-bit:
When it comes to alcohol, the only thing I drink is tequila. I’ve cut back drastically on my alcohol consumption throughout this past year and I’ve noticed that it is incredibly easier to maintain lean muscle mass and to simply look less “bloated”. We all know that drinking alcohol regularly hinders our fat burning capabilities. So when I do occasionally have a cocktail, I’ll only drink tequila on the rocks with lime – since it comes from the agave plant, it’s easier to metabolize in my system and I don’t even experience a hangover the next day. Yassss I say!