Back to school…you either dread those words or praise them. For many of us, it means back to routine and as a weight loss and fitness expert, I am all about routine. I have been able to keep the dreaded peri-menopause weight off by implementing a consistent routine just like the one I am about to give you.
Is there such a thing as a perfect day? I am guessing if you are a working mom trying to juggle it all you have no idea what that feels like and the thought of it is as close as you on a beach in paradise. The good news is you don’t need perfection. That's right…something is better than nothing.
But, since you are here for results I want to give you my version of a perfect routine. And remember…progress over perfection, something is better than nothing. Can you start with just one section of your day?
Here is a back-to-school daily checklist that can help you get organized and back to prioritizing your health and fitness this fall.
6:00 am-7:00 am
Drink 16-20 oz of water. A big complaint of many of my clients is they get so busy they don’t remember to drink water during the day! Hydrated individuals binge less throughout the day, and boast a more functional metabolism. It is one of the best ways to battle the bulge! Starting your day with water will help control your stress hormones that are to blame for anxiety, depression, and binge eating.
Get 10 minutes of morning sun and enjoy a cup of coffee. The extract found in coffee beans may help boost weight loss. Plus, just sitting in silence for a few minutes every day is such a calming way to go into your hectic schedule.
Get 10 minutes of daily movement. According to a study published by the International Journal of Obesity, working out in the morning can result in significant weight loss compared to working out later in the day. Getting some movement first thing will ensure it gets done, plus you'll have a good dose of happy hormones to start your day! Anything you get done the rest of the day is like extra credit! Double down on your morning habit and combine this with getting 10 minutes of sunlight! Look at you being efficient.
7:00 am-8:00 am
Eat a well-balanced breakfast that includes 20-30 grams of protein and 20-30 grams of complex carbohydrates. This will not only help prevent binge eating later in the day, but it will also help reduce belly fat! Some of my client's top choices that you can find in my Feeding Your Athlete E-Book are:
Strawberry Almond Protein Smoothie
Mocha overnight protein oats
Berry baked oatmeal and hard boiled eggs
Get yourself and the little nuggets ready for a good day. Don’t forget to pack yourself a lunch and fill up a big old jug of water. So many of us are guilty of packing lunches and hydration for everyone but ourselves! It may be helpful to set some alarms on your phone to remind yourself to pause and eat or drink.
9:00 am -4:00 pm
Work Breaks are important! This depends on your line of work, but it is important to get up and move every 90 minutes or so. If you can set a timer and get up and walk around you will feel so much more productive and by the end of the day, you are going to feel less frazzled!
Squeeze in a lunchtime walk or workout, especially if you skipped it in the morning. Already got movement in? It’s time for extra credit! To break up your workday as well as boost your metabolism for the afternoon, skip the lunch date with your co-workers and opt for a workout instead. To make the most of your lunch hour, aim for a total-body circuit emphasizing multi-muscle moves like a squat to overhead press and lunge to curl. For a solid workout, you can do at your house or office join my Power of 10 program. In just 10 minutes you will get a metabolism-boosting workout and be back at the office in no time. Research has shown that an afternoon workout can also help your circadian rhythm, meaning you will have better sleep which leads to a healthier weight.
Just because you take a 10-minute workout break doesn’t mean you can skip lunch. Focus on taking in a meal high in protein, moderate in carbohydrates, and low in fat. The protein will help you stabilize your blood sugar, while the carbohydrates will give you an afternoon energy boost. Adding in healthy sources of fat will ensure you absorb all of those quality nutrients, plus it adds some great flavor to your food. Not to mention, fat is an essential building block of hormones-the drivers of metabolism and fat loss.
Have a snack! I am not talking about the office candy bowl or leftover doughnuts. I am talking about a well-balanced, intentional snack. Plan a snack that combines a complex carbohydrate with an equal amount of protein. For example, an apple and two-string cheeses, or a protein shake blended with a banana. Your evening cravings are going to be non-existent if you implement this practice!
6:00 pm-9:00 pm
Eat a homemade dinner. Getting dinner on the table when school is back in session can seem impossible. Many times clients will tell me they feel guilty for eating so late. Eating a well-balanced dinner will not only help you sleep better, but you won’t have that late-night craving or sugar binge. Ultimately, it's the quality of food choices and the amount of food you are eating that matters more than when you are eating it. If you struggle with what to make with so little time, join my Power of 10 program where I give you simple meals you can make in 10 minutes or less.
9:00 pm -10:00 pm
Finally, it is time to hit the hay. How on earth you got it all done, no one knows. But you did! Now is the time to focus on a nice little bedtime routine. One of the most impactful ways to do this is to plan your day out for tomorrow. Going to bed with a plan is going to help you get the much-needed rest you need. I am teaching how to implement a fat loss bedtime routine in my Power of 10 program. You can learn more here.
As you turn off the lights and close your eyes, remind yourself you are worthy and appreciated. I believe in you and you are amazing. And finally, don’t forget…progress over perfection will get you results!