When you think about it, summer is all about the “less is more” rule: Less work, more play. Less stress, and (hopefully) more vacation. Less clothing, and you guessed it, more skin.
Whether you’re summer dress shopping and concerned about toning your freshly-exposed upper arms or you’re looking to get swimsuit-ready just in time for beach season, here’s the good news: When it comes to exercises that help you lose weight and feel and look your summer best, less is STILL more!
Today, I want to show you three incredibly SIMPLE things that you can do before your morning shower that will jumpstart your metabolism, and set your day up for success. These aren’t gimmicks or impossible goals; they are simple tactics I live by each and every morning. These easy changes will give you a jumpstart to a better body and improved health. After a while, they’ll become second nature.
1. Do a morning shot
Start your morning off with one of the following 3 drinks:
- A glass (or two!) of water to keep the metabolism high. Drinking at least 16 ounces of H2O can kick your metabolism up to 30% for the next hour. Throughout the day, set a goal to drink ten glasses of water and eliminate any other form of liquid calories. I found the best way to this is to set a timer and drink a glass every hour on the hour from 8 am to 5 pm.
- A cup of green tea. Green tea has been shown to reduce body weight, increase fat metabolism, reduce cholesterol, and release powerful age-defying antioxidants. If you’re dreading a coffee withdrawal, never fear. Green tea has just the right amount of caffeine to keep you alert at work. It’s the perfect beverage for enhancing your health and improving your physique. Plus, if you make too much, you can freeze it and add it to your next protein shake!
- A ginger shot to stimulate your body and wake you up! Ginger is an age-old treatment for nausea, plus it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. To make your morning ginger shot, boil a cup of hot water, squeeze in a lemon, and add in a few cubes of freshly chopped ginger. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper!
2. Roll out your mat for movements that matter
Not only does yoga help lengthen and tone muscles, but it also helps you be mindful of your breath so you make healthier choices throughout the day.
Yoga is a simple and powerfully effective workout for getting the slim, defined shape you want, and the strong, clear mind that you need. By doing yoga to raise your metabolic rate and clear your mind first thing in the morning, you’ve won half the battle towards improving your physique. A few simple yoga poses will jumpstart your body’s calorie-burning machine, and keep it burning faster all day long.
Yoga has a triple benefit on your body.
- First, it gives your metabolism a swift kick, keeping you slimmer.
- Second, yoga tones muscle, giving you a leaner look.
- Finally, yoga helps you to fight stress and anxiety, both of which have been tied to excess weight.
Yoga is a great addition to your strength-training repertoire, especially as a morning wake up. And it prepares both your mind and body for the day ahead. Calm your mind while strengthening your muscles with the yoga workouts available every day as part of my ReShape Fat-Burning Program.
3. Practice Planning
If your day is off to a stellar start, don’t blow it by sinking your teeth into junk food later on. Good eating begins with good planning, and that planning happens at the start of the day. Planning will help you stick to your goals by staving off those pesky extra ounces that come from indulging. Before breakfast is the perfect time to pack your lunch, select a dinner recipe, and slip a snack or two into your purse.
When you plan out your menu, you not only have the option of preparing healthier meals, but you also bring your food expenses down. Stock your pantry with healthy fare, and use Sundays as your food planning day for the week. Prepare your chicken breasts, mason jar salads, or soups that can be frozen or pulled out later in the week for healthy and easy-on-the go options. Remember to shoot for 5-9 daily servings of daily vegetables, and eat all colors of the rainbow to incorporate a variety of nutrients.
An easy way to do this is to prepare mason jar salads. The dressing-on-the-bottom approach ensures that your veggies stay crunchy and fresh until the second you’re ready to enjoy your meal. Simply flip over the jar, and your dressing will drizzle on top. Start with this recipe:
Delicious Quinoa Mason Jar Salad
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
1/3 C. zucchini1/3 C. red peppers
1/4 C. peas
1/4 C. radishes
1/3 C. cooked quinoa
1/2 C. spinach
In the bottom of the mason jar, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and honey. Mix together until the oil and vinegar combine. Layer in zucchini, red peppers, peas, radishes, quinoa and spinach.
The before-breakfast solution to a better body is simple. Do your yoga, drink some water and green tea, and prepare healthy food. You only have one opportunity each day to put these practices into motion. Before breakfast is the golden opportunity to create a haven of health and repose before the day begins. With each morning, you’ll be taking action toward a more vibrant body.