It is a popular misconception that you can only burn calories during a workout. As a matter of fact, you can burn calories all day long! The road to a better body is paved with 3 things, a good workout, good food, and most importantly, consistency. If all of them are done properly, in tandem, you will be on your way to a fitter tomorrow in no time.
So let’s break the process down in time slots,
6:00 AM – 9:00 AM
1. Have a Hearty Meal
Eating a protein rich breakfast (about 35-40 grams) has known to reduce hunger throughout the day, and also increase metabolism. You should probably avoid wheat based food items like bread and roti’s. As much as they might feel filling, all they provide you are carbs. And carbs in the morning will not go a long way for you.
My father always says that the first thing you should do after getting up is to drink a warm glass of water and walk around for 5 minutes. This not only kick-starts your body cycle, but also drastically improves bowel movement as well. Water is one of those things that can essentially improve all sorts of problems that you might be having. Skin quality, fever, cleansing the body, water does it all! Ideally, you should aim to drink 4-6 liters of water throughout the day; every 45 minutes to a hour or so.
3. Pill time
Our diet, especially the Indian diet, is not necessarily the most vitamin rich diet. The morning is the perfect time for multivitamins and the fat-soluble vitamins are best taken around mealtimes because the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K require a source of fat for absorption, and the iron in multivitamins is less likely to cause side effects, such as nausea, when taken with food. The water-soluble B vitamins and vitamin C don’t necessarily need to be taken with food and should be well-absorbed regardless of whether you take them at night or in the morning. Keep in mind that some of these should not be taken together. For example, iron and calcium shouldn’t be taken together, and you should also avoid eating high-fiber foods or drinking coffee or tea when you take a multivitamin or iron supplement.
This is also probably the ideal time to sweat a little. Working out on an empty stomach forces the body to dip into those fat reserves that it has been storing in your love-handles. A small 15 minute cardio session on an empty stomach is equivalent to a 30-min session in the evening. Also, you gain the most out of that protein rich breakfast and vitamin pills that you will take later on!
5. Prepare for the day ahead
It’s nice to not worry about problems as they come along, and prepare before hand. If you take your lunch from home, prepare it right now. Make your office bag, make sure you have that presentation ready in the thumbdrive. Make sure your boss doesn’t blow your head off for something that would’ve taken 2 seconds for you to do right now.
9:00AM – 12:00PM
1. Avoid being static
Depending on what job you have, more often than not you will end up sitting in one place for a long time. Even though this might be crucial for your job, try to move every 30 minutes or so. Not only does this help you take a quick break, but also makes your body circulate blood better. You can also use this to concentrate better on the tasks at hand.
As I said, its important for you to keep drinking water throughout the day. My mother gave me this advice that I follow to this day, if you ever feel hungry at a time that you’re not supposed to, drink a glass full of water. It has worked wonders in stopping my mindless munching on food whenever I was at home on holidays and eat everything in the kitchen. Also, try to drink warm water whenever you can. Even though cold water will quench your thirst right from the first sip, psychologically because of that affect you end up drinking less water than you should. Warm water takes longer to quench your thirst, and you end up drinking more water!
12:00PM – 4:00PM
1. Take a breath
Take a step back, this is the time of the day when you are usually done with most of the laborious work and anticipating when you can go home. Take a breather to calm down. Put down your phone, close your laptop, and just exist. You’ll be surprised at what all you might notice around you, if you just step out of the chaos for a second.
2. Snack time!
Your breakfast can only go on for so long. Although you might be inclined to eat a maharaja mac right about now. Choose a more filling but light on carbs and fat meal. Go ahead and open up that lunch box you got from home, or get a chicken salad from the salad counter!
If you don’t already have plans with your friends for dinner, try whipping something up by yourself! You might just enjoy the thrill of deciding and putting the effort into making your own meals. It surely increases your perspective into how much work goes into the art of cooking, and help your metabolism get that boost it needs to burn more calories.
2. Rewind Back
Think back on your day, what you need to do for tomorrow, what your assignments are, if you need to go shopping anytime soon. Just take sometime to make sure you don’t miss something.
3. Have fun
As much as being healthy and proper nutrition might be important, nothing is more important that being happy. I for one would never hesitate to live a single best day of my live, over a hundred miserable ones. Go out with your friends, have fun, call that friend you’ve been meaning to get in touch with from school. Have fun!
Your bedtime should be fast approaching right about now. Try not to push 11:00PM when it comes to bedtime. Sleeping about 7 hours a day is important for proper brain function. It’s also equally important to sleep at the same time, everyday. Having a routine bedtime will help your body work internally to process all the food, and give you the best out of your day!
Keeping all these things in mind, your metabolism is sure to increase over time and help you burn calories even when you’re not exercising!
I feel that I keep coming back to this one thing that is missing from all our lives. Do what make you happy, not the people around you. People in India have this weird obsession with external validation, finding a reason to be accepted in a society that is historically known to alienate people that don’t ‘fit’ in. Screw all that man, you do what makes you smile at the end of the day. Don’t run 10Km a day in the hopes that someone might like you better, don’t workout thinking that you might impress that girl in your office. Workout because you’re not happy with what you see in the mirror. Do what makes you happy, the world will always be there to tell you you’re wrong.