Own Your Morning

Winter is annoying. Period. End of blog… Wait don’t leave!

As if the temperature dropping wasn’t enough of a wake-up call, all of a sudden the first snow comes, kids activities and school work pile up, it’s darker earlier and motivation drops the further we get from summer.

Sometimes it takes weeks to readjust. In the mean time you may be more irritable, more tired and overall feeling not yourself.

What can you do this time of year to get adjusted faster?

Start owning your morning!

Sunrise, Sunset

Your body craves natural habits and patterns. Think of the Circadian Rhythm in your body as a clock. In a 24 hour period, changes in hormones, heart rate and even body temperature differ depending on what time of day it is (or what time your body perceives it to be).

Winter just so happens to be a perfect storm of nonsense that tends to influence the perpetual NETFLIX binge cycle. With less daylight, it’s easy to retreat to our caves and hibernate. Rather than falling into this trap, use this time to GET SHIT DONE. That might seem contradictory, but less time spent outside allows more time to dive into a fitness routine, if you have the right plan.

Take this time to boost your productivity and even achieve a few goals by changing your outlook on these darker months.

It all starts in the morning.

Start Your Day This Way:

1) Early to Bed, Early to Rise

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Getting to sleep by 10 p.m. and waking up at the same time every morning (fingers crossed it’s relatively early) has a positive effect on your body.

Our ancestors went to bed as the sun set and woke up as the sun rose. They had to hunt and gather while it was light out to survive. Nowadays you live in a home that has lighting, go food shopping and don’t exactly need to fight for your life everyday, unless you take public transportation.

Our first tip starts the night before. Start by going to bed a half hour earlier than you normally would to make the change more gradual. Eventually, the goal is to be asleep by 10 p.m. or shortly thereafter, depending on what time you have to set your alarm for. Setting a goal to sleep a certain amount of hours may not be possible right away, but you can start by aiming to spend 6-8 hours in bed each night.

The same idea applies to waking up. Try setting your alarm for twenty or thirty minutes earlier; you may be surprised by what you can accomplish. Once that’s a habit, try an hour earlier and continue to monitor how you feel.

2) Have Some “Me” Time

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How would you spend the morning if you had no responsibilities? Nobody around. The morning is yours.

What do you like to do? What do you wish you could do more of? What makes you happy? What makes your day better?

The morning is a great time to find out who you are or who you’d like to be. You really enjoy cooking but after work you’re exhausted and the kids are asking for help with homework and the dishes need to be cleaned and, and, and! We may need to tackle meal prep in the future, but for now try making a nutritious breakfast. You will feel good that you took that time for yourself.

3) Avoid Social Media

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You’re around social media all day, everyday. Why start your day with it? Seeing who’s doing what, why you’re not good enough and comparing your entire life to a strangers.


Ditching the phone in the morning will again give you more opportunities to GET SHIT DONE! Read, do something new! You have all this time and yet you reach for your phone. It’s subconscious. It’s programmed into your routine and that’s okay. But, the more you fight it, the more time you’ll have to do more important things.

4) Move, Eat and Drink

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As we said earlier, your body goes through physiological changes throughout the day. Cortisol levels are highest in the morning. To take advantage of this, workout in the morning.

If you prefer to move in the afternoon or evening, rock on, but there is a benefit to exercising first thing.

Morning workouts can boost your metabolism and energy levels. It may also help you stay consistent and keep your self-discipline in check throughout the holiday season.

Water… it’s good for you. If you’re having a difficult time getting the recommended amount, try front loading your day. Now, this works for some, but not so much for others, so play around with amounts until you find what’s right for you. Start with half a glass, then go to a full glass and so on and so forth. You can also try adding lemons or other citrus fruits to make the process more fun and healthful.

Lastly, eat some good food. We suggest eating as many whole foods as possible; food that is close to nature and therefore contains a high amount of nutrition. But… last time we checked you weren’t a robot. Eventually we want to stick to fruit, veggies, quality protein sources, and other real foods, but for now… JUST EAT!

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry about it! This is the right time of year to make the most of what you have. Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. Small progressive changes lay the foundation for real results. Drink a little more water, set the alarm earlier and move often! You’re worth it!

Booze Choose: Optimizing Your Alcohol Intake

Do This, Not That, When You’re Thirsty for a Beverage!

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With countless holiday parties friends, co-workers and loved ones, combined with peer pressure, daylight savings and less outdoor activity, your goals fly away on Santa’s sled.

Alcohol is a fun way to break the ice with people you don’t know or would rather not be around (hello family). It’s okay to drink and have a good time, but what’s the cost? Can you still party like it’s 1999 and drop some lb’s?

What does eggnog, coquito, apple cider, Irish coffee and a hot buttered rum all have in common?

They’re all delicious belly warming drinks to sip in colder months. Unfortunately they’re high in calories. Dessert-type libations tend to have a good amount of fat in them. Sadly, fat has about nine calories per gram, compared to carbohydrates and protein that have approximately four calories per gram. So you can see how the alcohol choices you make are important if you’re trying to manage the calories you ingest.

If you want to party, be smart about it…

Don’t Let Your Goals Get Wasted

1) What’s Wrong with Tea?

If you’re feeling cold, you actually have some healthy options to drink. Tea, black coffee and even a hot toddy can hit the spot. Try adding warming spices to your food and beverages. Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne and cardamom are all good choices to keep the chilliness away.

2) Good Alcohol, Bad Alcohol

Many alcohols contain the infamous gluten (cue horror movie scream). If you want to keep your body’s inflammatory response to a minimum, try vodka which is made from potatoes or tequila that comes from the agave plant.

Alcohols like whiskey, scotch, rum and wine may not always have gluten but they’re higher in sugar.

3) Mind the Dessert Table

It’s quite alright if you’re indulging in a few spirits over the holidays, but watch doubling up on other empty calories. Foods that don’t have much nutritional value aren’t the best choice to eat while you’re drinking. Processed food and sugary desserts are the main culprits to watch out for.

The holiday season is a time for joy and celebration. It can be difficult sometimes to have fitness goals AND have a life. Luckily, you don’t have to choose. Make one good choice after another and they’ll stack up. If all else fails, throw back several shots and pray you still look good in the morning!

Are You Making These Fitness Mistakes?

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Four Ratios of Food and Fitness

Use These Four Ideas to Balance Exercise and Calories

Not exercising and eating a lot means the scale goes up. But did you know that it’s also unhealthy to workout more and eat less?

Say whaaaaaaat!?

Finding time for fitness is hard enough. Then add traditions like counting calories and meal prepping and you’re ready to pull your hair out. It seems impossible to keep your head above the water.

Relax, take a deep breath! There is a way to keep it simple!

Keep reading to learn about the four ratios to fitness…

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The Math, Simplified

  1. Eat More, Train Less - Bad

2. Eat Less, Train More - Bad

3. Eat More, Train More - Good

4. Eat Less, Train Less - Good

Depending on how often you exercise and how strenuous those workouts are, you will need to eat accordingly.

Ratio #1: Eat More, Train Less

This is the classic example of an unhealthy lifestyle. The person who eats more calories and barely exercises, if they do at all. This combination means you will add unwanted body fat.

If a person doesn’t exercise very much and has a sedentary job, they don’t need to eat very much to maintain energy during their daily activities. This can even go for the avid exerciser as well. If there are days where you don’t plan on training, you don’t have to eat as much food. It’s ok.

Ratio #2: Eat Less, Train More

You may be thinking: “Wait a second, isn’t this how I lose weight!?” Yes and no. More exercise, less calories is effective to a certain extent, but keep in mind that healthy weight loss is slow and steady.

To lose weight you do have to be in a caloric deficit but that only works in short stints. We’ve had members follow restrictive meal plans for months at a time. They were effective in the beginning and the person is happy! Then 6 months later they’re upset that the diet isn’t working any more.

Your body needs calories for repair and daily activity. If you’re working your butt off to lose some of your unwanted butt, you have to plan to eat a little more on those days to keep the process sustainable.

Choose 4-8 week blocks that may be more calorie restrictive, then back off for 8 to 12 weeks.

Ratio #3: Eat More, Train More

If you’re someone who is working out A LOT, you’ll need more calories than someone who doesn’t. Eating more will ensure that your energy levels stay up, you can keep up with your training schedule without burning out and you’re fueling your muscles.

This feels like the toughest pill to swallow for most members because they’re so used to Ratio #2. Eating more got them to this place in the first place, so why would it work now? We get it but we still need you to try eating a little more. A little more protein. A little more vegetables. Even a little more carbs. How’s that sound?

Ratio #4: Eat Less, Train Less

Say you’re someone who usually exercises frequently but is coming off of an injury, pregnancy, surgery or simply has a bad week and you have no time to workout. In this scenario, you’re moving less and therefore don’t need to eat as much.

Awareness is the key here. Be cognizant of lulls in your training routine. Maybe there are weeks you lift less on purpose or you run a few extra miles. Eat accordingly. When we get in the mindset that eating is important to sustain our exercise frequency we get blinded by our ambition and we end up over eating. One week of over eating isn’t the worst thing in the world, but you’ll have to pivot if it’s a prolonged period of less activity.

If this whole equation seems abstract and too complex, that’s okay! Like we said, this is a simplified version of these ideas. Of course a lot depends on your own body and how it works. Make sure to talk to a coach or find someone you trust with your fitness and nutrition goals. To simplify the process even further, get a good amount of sleep, eat nutritious foods, move your body often and find a way to de-stress daily.



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