One of the most challenging elements of the Diabesity Challenge—at least initially—is not eating anything before noon. Until you are accustomed to skipping your morning meal, here are a few tips on a morning routine that may be helpful:
- Exercise upon waking.
- Meditate or pray for 30 minutes.
- Sip on green tea and/or coffee.
Upon waking, put on your sneakers and exercise. Whether you walk, go for a light jog, swim, do yoga, or pop in an exercise DVD...just get up and do it first thing in the morning.
Merely cutting calories here and there during the day will not promote vigorous fat-burning—just ask anyone who’s tried to lose weight and keep it off that way. Exercising while you’re fasting, however, most certainly will.
When you wake up in the morning, you’ve been “fasting” for an average of 10–12 hours, and your carbohydrate stores are low. Once they’re used up, your body resorts to burning fat and produces ketones, which serve as energy in the absence of carbohydrates. This process is called ketosis.
Eating, especially typical high-carbohydrate breakfast foods like orange juice, cereal, toast, and fruit, shuts down this fat-burning process, and the body goes back to metabolizing carbohydrates, its preferred energy source.
Skipping breakfast, however, and engaging in aerobic exercise rapidly depletes your remaining carbohydrate stores, and your body shifts to ketones for energy. When your muscles burn ketones as their primary fuel, you’re burning fat at a high rate. And you’ll continue in this mode until you eat again at lunchtime.
Meditation and Prayer
Stress plays a large role in weight gain, as well as the inability to lose weight. I’ve found that meditation and/or prayer is a great way to combat stress.
Meditation, once considered a fad, has been proven to enhance concentration, improve performance, and defuse negative emotions. It’s even being taught in hospitals to help patients cope with cancer, chronic pain, and other conditions.
Meditation reorients the brain from the stressful “fight or flight” mode to one of calmness and contentment. Blood tests show that it reduces levels of cortisol and other stress hormones and improves the activity of white blood cells.
To help you get a grip on stress, take some time for yourself every day. Pray, meditate, or listen to classical music—whatever relaxes and calms you—for 30 minutes every morning.
Drink Green Tea and Coffee
Multiple studies show that caffeine increases the body’s ability to release fat from storage, providing muscles with a ready source of energy. It also helps turn up your metabolism, which translates to even more weight loss.
Use this to your advantage in the morning, and enjoy a cup (or two!) of green tea or coffee. You can add a little low calorie creamer and xylitol or stevia as sweeteners.
I hope this information helps you as you continue on your weight loss journey. Have another great week and keep up with the program…it works!