Everyone is busy and often getting the full balanced breakfast each morning can be a mission. Don’t despair, there are ways to hack some energy while you on the run.
Prioritize a Healthy Eating Habit
In most cases, non-athletes may need to eat and drink the right foods at the right times to ensure athletic success. That sounds like a lot of food, right? Quite frankly, it is – and the thought of eating a million times a day to make sure your body gets all the right nutrients can sound nauseating.
By now we know that loads of eating without going to the gym probably isn’t the healthiest habit. If you’re aiming to lose weight, says Paul Arciero, D.P.E., a professor of nutrition and exercise science at Skidmore College. People who eat their biggest meals early in the day shed more weight than those who eat the same number of calories with a majority of them later in the day. So keep your dinners light and try to dig in to your lunch around noon or in the early afternoon.
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When you’re thinking about how to get a summer body, stretching probably isn’t the first thing to cross your mind. But an injury can majory sideline your quest. “The power of stretching is vastly underrated and oftentimes forgotten,” says Joey Hays, a certified GX cycle instructor in Portland, Oregon. “As we age, the elasticity of our muscles decreases and is accelerated by sports that can overuse and overwork muscles through repetitive motion.” This overuse can lead to aches, pains, and injury.
That’s why it’s important to develop a stretching routine that targets the muscles you use the most—probably the ones in your legs and butt. After your cooldown, devote about five minutes to static stretching, making sure to hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. This dynamic warm-up will absolutely improve your weight-lifting game.
Ditch the potentially bloat-inducing carbonated drinks and brew some tea instead. Grate some ginger—the flat-stomach food is known to soothe the digestive tract—into hot water, then add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or steep about 5 grams of dried dandelion leaf (a diuretic) in one cup of hot water, strain, and drink once the water cools slightly. Other varieties of tea shown to help with gas include peppermint and chamomile.
Update Your Playlist
Seek out remixes or mash-ups of your favorite music to freshen up your playlist. Only add songs that make you want to move—a strong beat can help you stand up and dance, making it easy for food to digest and not build up any unwanted fats. We love Pandora’s Pop and Hip-Hop Power Workout station and Spotify’s Gold School playlist… try it too!
Skip the Chips
You already know that spicy foods that have capsaicin, an ingredient found in chile peppers, can help heat up your metabolism. But eating salsa and chips every evening isn’t the best strategy if you’re aiming for weight loss: Corn tortilla chips may be lower in fat than potato chips, but they still pack in seven grams and 140 calories per ounce.
Instead, sub foods such as endive leaves or slices of red pepper or carrots as you scoop up salsa. You’ll still get that great crunch—without the extra fat and calories.
Upgrade Your Cocktail
Cocktails tend to be super sugary drinks, says Chrissy Wellington, a nutritionist at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts. Instead of that margarita (which can pack almost 500 calories), try a shot of your favorite spirit with a splash of soda and squeeze of citrus for around 100 calories.
Have a water “appetizer” before each meal. You’ll stay hydrated as the heat rises, which can make exercise feel easier, and drinking 2 cups of water before eating can help you consume fewer calories when you dig in, according to research from Virginia Tech.
Then grab a spoon: Scientists at Pennsylvania State University found that people who ate broth-based (or low-fat cream-based) soups two times a day were more successful in losing weight than those who ate the same amount of calories in snack food. Soup eaters also maintained, on average, a total weight loss of 16 pounds after one year. “Plus, it’s a simple way to get your vegetables,” says Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., R.D., author of Power Eating.
Tweak Your Salad
Pass on the creamy salad dressings and choose oil-and-vinegar-based ones, Gans suggests. Better yet, ask for all dressings on the side so you can control the amount you use. And remember to skip the fat-free ones—your body need fats to feel satisfied and absorb the veggies’ nutrients
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