Exercise · Fat Loss · Fitness · Goals · Health · Hormones · Lose Weight · Metabolism · Muscle Gain · Weight Loss · Workout

Morning vs Evening Workouts

Morning vs evening workouts. This topic is one that has been debated for ages, and yet we still don’t have a definitive answer. Some people love morning workouts. For those people, working out is part of their morning routine. I am one of those people. For me, it’s coffee and Jesus time (reading my Bible and prayer time), and then a workout. Other people cannot possibly fathom waking up any earlier than necessary – especially to workout. These people love using their end of day workouts to destress and decompress from the day’s events. 

So does it really even make a difference at what time of day you choose to workout? Yes and no. Clear as mud, right? 

Ultimately, the answer to this question is this…the best time to exercise is whenever the best time is for YOU to do it consistently. Do you love getting your workout in before the day gets started so you have your evenings free? Great! Stick with morning workouts. Are evenings the only time you have to squeeze in a workout or it just doesn’t happen? Perfect! Workout in the evening. When you sit down and look at the facts, people who make fitness a priority and workout consistently see more weight loss and better results over time. Studies have shown that your body adapts to your routine, meaning that if you condition your body to workout in the mornings, you will get better results during morning workouts, and vice versa. 

Now, with that being said, let’s discuss the benefits and disadvantages of both morning and evening workouts:

Let’s start with morning workouts:

  1. When you exercise on an empty stomach, or in a “fasted state,” you actually burn more fat then when you exercise after eating, or in a “fed state.” The reason for this is that your body has to use existing fat stores to fuel your workout, not the food you just consumed.
  2. Working out in the morning may help to improve your sleep cycle. I am not naturally a morning person. I used to be the person that slept until the absolute last minute and scrambled in the mornings to get out the door. But after several years of incorporating a morning routine (AND having a child that is an early riser), my body has shifted into a different pattern. Morning exercise can help shift your circadian rhythm so that you are more naturally tired in the evenings to fall asleep earlier and you are able to wake up earlier with more energy. Morning exercise also promotes deeper sleep. Sleep is SO important for overall health. Sleep also aids in muscle growth, so if you are getting deeper sleep, you may also see more strength gains as well. 
  3. Working out in the morning can help you establish a solid fitness regimen. It’s a fact that people who workout in the morning are more consistent simply because they knock it out at the beginning of the day before the days get away from them. There’s far less room for excuses this way. If you get your workout in first thing in the morning, before activities, work, kids, friends, and LIFE start to pull you in a million directions in the afternoon, you don’t have to worry about skipping the workout because it’s already done. 

Now let’s chat about the benefits to working out in the evening:

  1. It can help to relieve stress. Exercise is such a great stress reliever ANY time of day, but working out in the evenings can help alleviate the stress of the day and help blow off steam. 
  2. You also have hormones working in your favor. Your body produces more testosterone (men and women alike) in the afternoon, and testosterone is importantly for muscle building. So if you are looking to build muscle and gain strength, evening workouts may be more beneficial for you.
  3. Research has shown that most people physically function better later in the day. Endurance, strength, and flexibility improve as the day goes on, so your physical performance may improve as a result. Also, evening workouts use less oxygen, which can make workouts more effective and can help with endurance and performance. So if you are a serious competitor training for a specific goal or competition, evening workouts may be the way to go. 

The bottom line is that the TIME of day you choose to work out doesn’t matter as much as actually making sure you get it done. Choose a time that works best for you and your particular habits and lifestyle, and then stay consistent with it. Studies have shown that people who work out consistently at the same time every day have better results, no matter the time they choose.

If you choose morning workouts, just be sure to take time to warm up properly to wake up muscles that may be cold and tighter from being inactive from sleep. If you choose evening workouts, make sure you put it on your calendar and make it a priority so you control your day and not let the day end up getting away from you. No matter the time of day, set yourself up for success with a plan in place so excuses no longer win…and I guarantee you’ll see results. 

Which team are you? Share with me in a comment – are you team morning or evening workout?

Before and After · Fat Loss · Health · Hormones · Lifestyle · Macronutrients · Metabolism · Muscle Gain · Nutrition · Results · Reverse Dieting · Transformation · Uncategorized · Weight Loss

Reverse Dieting

Reverse dieting may not be a phrase you’re super familiar with but this is how I help the majority of my clients when we begin working together. It requires a high level of trust because I usually have my clients start out eating more than they ever thought possible to lose weight – BUT that’s actually the reason they were having a hard time losing weight or they were stuck in a weight loss plateau in the first place. They simply weren’t eating enough! With that being said, let’s dive head first into reverse dieting. 

What is a reverse diet? 

This term is something that is really uncommon but it truly shouldn’t be. A lot of times reverse dieting is referred to as “the diet after the diet.” To make it simple, a reverse diet is a way to gradually increase calories over a few weeks or months to allow you to eat more food after you’ve been on a “diet,” or series of diets for that matter (where you are restricting calories or just not eating enough to fuel your body properly). This increase of calories also increases your metabolism and prevents fat gain or regain. 

I know what you’re thinking…”Rachel, that doesn’t make sense. You’re telling me to eat MORE and I’ll finally begin to lose weight.”

Yes. I am! Let me explain. 

When we go through restrictive periods (which most of us have in the past), and when we try these fad diets where we are eating 1,200 calories or less, our metabolism decreases. This is where we start to see weight loss plateaus. Think about it: you can only go so low with your caloric intake, right? Once you do, you can’t go any lower and your body stalls out in a lot of ways. There are also a lot of things going on behind the scenes in our bodies when we limit the amount of fuel we are taking in. We have been conditioned to believe that we are doing our bodies a service by restricting them, but here is actually what is going on: 

  1. We experience hormone changes, and this is where things can start to get out of whack pretty fast. Our bodies begin to either suppress or release various hormones to increase hunger and push us to eat more. Think about it: your body needs more fuel and you aren’t giving it the fuel it needs. So it starts using these hormones to send you signals that it needs fuel. Your body is literally saying “feed me!”
  1. Our digestion slows down because it’s trying to absorb as many nutrients and calories as possible because it isn’t sure when you are going to give it adequate fuel again.
  1. Our resting metabolic rate decreases, which causes our bodies to redirect all focused energy on vital organs to keep us alive. When you are eating a minimum amount of calories, your body has to focus on the essentials because you don’t have any extra fuel in the tank to dedicate to anything else – your body is almost in survival mode. You don’t have adequate energy to dedicate to “non-essential” functions, like hair and nail growth. If you’ve been restricting calories for a long time, you may notice that your hair is thinning or your nails are brittle. This is why. When I was in my 20s and was eating less than 1,000 calories a day, I saw a noticeable difference in my hair. I have always had super thick hair, but I noticed that it was becoming extremely thin. I didn’t know why back then, but looking back I had physical evidence of the damage I was doing to my body by not feeding it what it needed.
  1. You may also feel like you have less energy to exercise or you see a noticeable difference in stamina and endurance, even in day to day activities (cleaning, washing dishes, playing with your kids). This also means you burn less calories through the activities that you do. The good news is though that this metabolic adaptation likely isn’t permanent! Your metabolism can gradually increase as you begin to increase your calorie consumption. And this is where reverse dieting comes into play.

So, how do you know you need to do a reverse diet? 

There can be many reasons to try reverse dieting. For example, if you want to eat more without gaining weight or if you are someone who has  been dieting for a long time and you are ready to maintain your current level of body fat, then the reverse dieting method is right for you. This method is really great for the transition period from dieting to maintenance because it teaches you how to increase calories without going crazy in the process and regaining all the weight you worked so hard to lose. 

If you have been eating 1,200 calories (or less) a day and not losing weight, reverse dieting may be something you can try. Low calorie diets may result in weight loss for some, but it’s usually temporary – it isn’t sustainable. They can also trigger physical and emotional side effects, such as nutrient deficiencies, fatigue,  irritability, anxiety or depression, and obsessive thoughts about food and weight. Studies have also shown that following a 1,200 calorie diet or living a restrictive lifestyle actually boosted levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone known to increase belly fat.

Reverse dieting can also help improve body composition. In other words, you want to lose fat, gain muscle, and maintain your current weight. Increasing calories while keeping activity high is a really effective strategy for muscle growth.

Reverse dieting can be pretty great, right?! So why doesn’t everybody try it?

The mindset! 

Eat more food without gaining weight. That sounds too good to be true, right? And since we live in the glorious era of social media, it can be hard to know who and what to trust. But more importantly, what MOST of us are thinking is that we don’t fully trust our bodies. We have been conditioned to believe that we should punish ourselves for reaching this point (with starvation diets and overexercise), and we’ve tried ALL the things out there to lose the weight and none of it has worked – so something must be wrong with us. And that simply isn’t true. God created your body to work FOR you – not against you. Give it a chance – and GOD a chance – to take care of you. Work with your body – fuel it properly – take care of it – give it what it needs…and I promise you – it WILL respond. 

If this concept resonated with you and you’d like to learn more, I invite you to schedule a discovery call and see if it’s a good fit for us to work together. Click the link below to find a time that works for you. More importantly, I’d love to help you get clarity on what’s holding you back from trusting your body to work for you and not against you. Remember, you have to do the work – there is no quick fix, no magic pill, or end all diet…but when you do it God’s way, lasting change begins to come. 

Fat Loss · Health · Macronutrients · Metabolism · Nutrition · Uncategorized · Weight Loss

Why Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat

“Eating fat makes you fat.” That has been the school of thinking for most Americans for nearly two decades. 

This is a theory and a myth that is making our nation very sick and overweight.

As a kid growing up in the ‘90’s, I remember my parents buying “low fat” products. This craze took off like a rocket. Even though this myth has been dispelled now, so many of us are still fearful of eating fat.

This mindset, however, will get you nowhere with your weight loss goals. 

Incorporating the right kinds of fat into your diet will ACTUALLY help you lose weight and hit your goals. The body requires fat to function properly. Healthy fats provide anti-inflammatory benefits and improve insulin sensitivity. They help our bodies in a multitude of ways including optimal brain function and heart health. 

Our food choices affect everything. They control everything. Hormones, gut health, metabolism, heart health, brain health. All of these are affected by our food choices. 

Take sugar, for example. When you eat sugar, your brain gets a surge of dopamine, the feel good chemical. So when you eat sugar, your brain likes it! Then, when that sugar wears off, your brain is looking for the next hit. You continue to go through this sugar craving cycle. Your brain wants your body to feel good and safe and sugar will make that happen, even though it’s temporary. 

You can see how our addiction to sugar has contributed to our overweight and “low fat” addicted society. “Low fat” does not mean low sugar and oftentimes, if the fat is taken out of something, it’s replaced with sugar. 

Not all fats are created equal, however. I always advise my nutrition clients to avoid trans fat and saturated fats when possible. Keep it simple by prioritizing God-given foods and avoid man-made foods. 

The one thing I want to leave you with is this – You are in control of the weight you gain or lose by the quality and type of food you eat. Focus on healthy foods and the rest will fall into place. 

If you know your mindset around “low fat” foods is keeping you stuck, I’d love to invite you to apply for a laser-coaching call with me to help! We will dig deep on a one-time, 90 minute call to get you those mental breakthroughs so you can hit those weight loss goals you have. 

APPLY HERE

Weight Loss

The BEST “Diet” to Follow

Hear me on this… when you start any kind of diet, you don’t need to be extreme on day one. 

Too many times, we, as women, go all in on changing our eating habits when we really don’t need to to get started. 

Before you jump into any new nutrition plan, I always tell my clients to fix your vitamin deficiency first before you try anything else. Without adequate vitamin intake, your body will not function optimally.

After that, start small. Up your protein. Get in healthy fats. Drink enough water. Your body will be working better in no time. It really is that simple!

My suggestion would be to pick the biggest limiting factor and start there! If you’re not getting enough water, start there. Add an extra glass to your meals. 

Pick one habit to focus on at a time and as you feel capable, add another one. 

Picking a nutritional goal or plan can depend a lot on factors like budget, dietary restrictions, and preferences. Find the approach that works for you! Our bodies are extremely adaptable and so stinkin’ smart! 

So which diet is best for you? 

By keeping your changes small and smart, you can tailor a diet to fit your goals and your age. Key in on those lifestyle changes where you are consistently creating habits toward your goals. Add in more protein and more whole foods and you’re on your way to hitting the goals you want in the way that is best for your body.

If you’ve tried and tried and know you need accountability in reaching your nutritional goals, let’s chat! I’d love to see if we’d be a good fit for working together. You can schedule a call with me here.