If you are about to start, or are currently engaged in, an exercise program, your water needs are even higher. A really easy way to improve your health and lose weight is to simply trade out your soda (regular or diet), flavored coffee drinks or other calorie or artificially sweetened beverage.
For most of us, it’s just a habit we’ve formed. What is the trigger for you? Is it going by the cafeteria, fast food drive-thru or the stash in your fridge or pantry maybe?
Studies show that even diet soda increases our appetite. So, while the drink itself may be zero calories, you end up eating more food to go along with it.
If you’re addicted to the caffeine and relying on caffeine or stimulants to wake up in the morning, they will also shut your appetite down and later in the day send your cravings through the roof. I recommend starting the day with a glass of room temperature glass of lemon water upon waking. You may find you naturally cut down one cup of java in the morning and curb your mid morning cravings!
You can try unsweetened iced tea, water with fresh fruit or unflavored carbonated water with a splash of fruit juice if you just need some fizz in your drink.
By trading out your sugar or chemical-filled beverage for water you’re giving your body what it needs – proper hydration. You are also showing your liver some LOVE!
So how much water do we need? You should be drinking about half your body weight in ounces. For example, I am 130 lbs. Half of that is 65. I need at least 65 ounces of water. I google a conversion and I get 1.9 L. So I need about 2 L of water per day.
TIP: If you do not have a water bottle, go get one. Fill it up and keep it with you. This is an easy way to track how much water you are drinking and keep you super mindful about what you are taking in, or what you are not.
ACTION TASK: Find out how much water you need. Start drinking that everyday. I find it helps to start my day with big glass of water with fresh squeezed lemon or a drop of DoTERRA Lemon oil which packs a powerful taste without the acid (it also cuts down one of my cups of coffee in the am). If you do not already have one, get yourself a water bottle so you can be conscious of exactly how much water you are drinking. You can even get fancy and add strawberry’s, blueberries or mint to make it a little more interesting.
I LOVE power packed, nutrient dense, guilt free smoothies. They are great in the morning or after a tough workout as they are easy to digest and when built right, can provide you with all the macro nutrients you need to boost your energy and recover properly after a tough workout. To help you learn to create your own easy but epic healthy smoothie I have asked Gaylene Gomez, smoothie expert and holisitc nutritionist at Compass Rose Nutrition to give us the exact detailsto do it right.
Here is what she had to tell us:
"We see smoothies everywhere now! In mall food courts, airports and trendy neighborhoods. I am happy to see that they have become so common, and even though I don't think they are just a health trend, doesn't mean that ALL smoothies are healthy either.
If you have included smoothies into your day to boost your energy, help with weight loss, for a quick breakfast or to increase your fruits and veggies in your diet then GOOD FOR YOU!
But... we can be hurting our weight loss progress and ruining our energy levels if we don't make smoothies with the right formula.
In general, we toss in a bunch of ingredients, whatever tastes good and hit 'blend' until creamy, then we are good to go, right?
In theory, that's all there really is to a smoothie, but we can make them healthier with a few tweaks.
Each recipe and in fact every smoothie we make will differ. A good rule of thumb is 60/40 rule. 60% fruit and 40% leafy greens. This will help the taste and guide you to find a recipe you enjoy.
1) Start with greens- this can be spinach, kale, chard, romaine or any other favorite leafy greens. You can even use carrot tops! Many of us do not get enough veggies in our day, and this is a great place to hide them. If you don't like the taste of greens, then I suggest spinach to start with... you won't even notice! You can even use frozen spinach if that's easiest for you. Put your greens in the blender first so they get chopped up very well. If you have regular smoothies, then be sure to mix up which veggies you use. This helps with a balance of nutrients.
2) Add in a teaspoon of either Hemp Seeds, ground Flax Seeds or Chia Seeds. This little teaspoon is going to take your smoothie to another level in terms of health benefits! I personally rotate between these 3 options, and they provide you with Omega 3's, fibre, protein, antioxidants and so many nutrients that we tend to miss elsewhere in our diets.
3) Now add your fruit. This can be anything you like, bananas, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, papaya or anything else you can think of. You can use fresh, or frozen. I love using frozen fruit to give my smoothie that cold creamy texture without having to add ice. If you use tart fruit such as raspberries, then add in something sweet as well such as a banana. This is so that you won't need to add any sweeteners to make it taste better. An important part of adding your fruit is that you don't want to ONLY have fruit in your smoothie. Fruit is high in sugar, and even though they are good for you- there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
4) Add liquid of your choice. This can be almond milk, coconut water, plain water or anything else you choose. Just add a bit at a time until your smoothie is at desired consistency.
5) Extras. This is a great place to toss in some extra ingredients. You can add things like:
Get creative! There are so many ways to add in extra nutrients and flavor into our smoothies. Using the tips above, we can avoid adding sugar or artificial sweeteners. You are not going to put all of my suggestions in at once (it would taste terrible, I'm sure!) but rotate and try new things!
Variety is the spice of life and it is most definitley important when it comes to our health. We need such a variety of nutrients to stay healthy and by having fun making smoothies we can really, really make a big difference to our diet, and in turn our health!"
Smoothies really can be a runner's secret weapon when it comes to re fuelling quick and easy after a tough workout. I LOVE smoothies and they are one of the healthy habits I encourage all my runners to add to their daily healthy habits most days of the week. Have you heard of the 7 Day Healthy Habit Challenge yet? It's FREE and it starts June 19th. JOIN ME and get back to the healthy basics of nutrition, hydration and mindset to set your body up to burn fat and feel amazing in just 7 short days, 7 simple habits. You will amazing when you are done!!!! JOIN HERE
Yes. Yes you should.
But what exactly is it about coconut oil that makes it so healthy? And which type is best?
Let’s dive into some of the fascinating research and find out.
Coconut oil is a special kind of fat.
Coconut oil is fat and contains the same 9 calories per gram as other fats.
It is extracted from the "meat" of the coconut. Coconut oil is a white solid at room temperature and easily melts into a clear liquid on a hot day.
The idea of adding coconut oil to your diet is NOT to add on to what you already eat but to substitute it for some of the (possibly) less healthy fats you may be eating now.
And here’s why - Because not all calories or fats are created equal.
Coconut oil contains a unique type of fat known as “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs). In fact, 65% of the fat in coconut oil are these MCTs.
What makes MCT's unique is how your body metabolizes them; they're easily absorbed into the bloodstream by your gut, where they go straight to the liver, and they're burned for fuel or converted into "ketones."
This metabolic process, unique to MCTs, is what sets coconut oil apart from other fats.
Coconut oil MCTs may help with fat loss
Coconut oil’s MCTs have been shown to have a few different fat loss benefits.
First, it can help to increase feelings of fullness, which can lead to a natural reduction in the amount of food you eat.
Second, because of their unique metabolic route, MCTs can also increase the number of calories you burn; this happens when you compare the calories burned after eating the same amount of other fats.
In fact, a few studies show that coconut oil may increase the number of calories you burn by as much as 5%.
Third, some studies show that eating coconut oil can help reduce belly fat (a.k.a. “waist circumference”).
Just remember not to add coconut oil to your diet without reducing other fats and oils!
Still thinking fat will make you fat?
Think again. Healthy fat, like coconut oil, is fuel for your body and it actually boosts your metabolism for hours after you eat because fatacts as a buffer for the sugar you consume. When you consume fat every time you eat, it slows the assimilation of any sugar in your bloodstream, promoting stable blood sugar levels and boosting metabolism for hours after you eat by allowing your body to release a turbo-fat-burning hormone called glucagon.
Plus fat has a ton of other amazing properties: like boosting you brain power, making food taste good and keeping cravings away.
How much coconut oil should I eat?
Many of the studies that showed increased fullness, increased metabolism, and reduced belly fat only used about 2 tablespoons per day.
You probably don’t need any more than that.
What kind of coconut oil is the best?
There are so many coconut oil options available in grocery stores these days that it can make it difficult to know which is best.
I recommend you stay away from "refined" ones, and opt for "virgin" coconut oil. That is because it is processed at lower temperatures and avoids some of the chemical solvents used in the refining process; this helps to preserve more of the oil's natural health-promoting antioxidants.
Pro Tip: Always (and I mean ALWAYS) avoid "hydrogenated" coconut oil. It can be a health nightmare because it contains the infamous "trans fats."
One thing you should also consider is that each oil has a specific high temperature that you should avoid surpassing (e.g. its "smoke point"). For virgin coconut oil, that temperature is 350F. That means you can safely use it on the stovetop on a low-medium setting, as well as in most baking.
Substitute some of the fat you eat with virgin coconut oil; this may help you to lose weight and belly fat by naturally helping you to eat less, as well as slightly increasing your metabolism.
Oh, and it tastes great too!
Ideas to Add Coconut Oil to Your Life;
Recipe (Coconut Oil): Homemade Healthy Chocolate
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup cocoa/cacao powder
4 tablespoons maple syrup
2 dashes salt
4 tablespoons slivered almonds
1. Melt coconut oil, and whisk in maple syrup, salt, and cocoa/cacao powder until smooth.
2. Stir in slivered almonds until evenly distributed.
3. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.
4. Store in fridge or freezer to avoid melting.
Serve & enjoy!
Tip: Substitute other seeds, chopped nuts, or dried fruit instead of the almonds if you wish.
To run well you reallly need to eat well. Nutrition is easy when you stock your kitchen with all the right super foods. Be sure to grab my complete list of SUPER FOODS for Runners and get ready to power up your running and shed fat with a few simple foods and recipes for everyday. GRAB THE SUPER FOOD LIST HERE!
Running feels hard after babies, why is no one talking about it????
I think pregnancy and the time it takes to recover are hardest on us runners. All those skills and mindsets that made us successful, strong runners before baby make the period getting up and running again after baby really, really hard. Setting goals, following strict training plans, tracking miles and paces, working out even when we don't feel like it will not help us in the return to running phase after babies when we really need to take it easy, listen to our bodies, work on foundational strength, core and pelvic floor and understand the journey at this time is about quality training over quantity.
And let’s be honest, we want to run but damn... running feels hard right??!!
That is because running after baby is hard on your body and despite the emotional strength, drive and determination you possess as a runner, your body needs time to rest, recover and heal after that baby comes. The thought of new mamma’s pushing their running too early makes me cringe because I have been there and done all the wrong things. I destroyed my pelvic floor, made a healing diastasic recti worse, broke my body down and I felt so lethargic and guilty about my poor running distances desperate to shed weight that I was not able to enjoy my time with my little one in my pursuit to getting my body and paces back as quick as possible.
Runnign after babies is HARD!
Here are 5 reasons why it feels so hard:
In addition to all of that, you likely have postnatal depletion. You just gave everything to grow that baby. During pregnancy, a mother’s body becomes depleted of several key nutrients especially iron, zinc, vitamin B12, folate, iodine and selenium, as well as omega-3 fats like DHA, in order to support the baby’s growth and development in-utero. This depletion is compounded with each pregnancy, especially if they are close together with extended periods of breastfeeding, you have had twins, or if you had hyperemesis (extreme nausea and vomiting in pregnancy). In some cases, mamma's are literally "running on empty".
We have a lot to deal with in those months to years after baby and that is why I strongly discourage you from running too soon. I recommend women wait 4 - 6 months before returning to running, never mind racing. That does not mean you have to sit around and do nothing. It means you learn to nourish your body with healthy food, you try get some sleep, you learn to reconnect to your core again and you do the right strength work to prepare your body to handle the impact and load of running again. It is a great time to learn to love and appreciate how movement feels and to get consistent in your workout efforts without further depleting your body of the energy, nutrition and sleep it needs during this period.
Want my return to running 28 Day Postpartum Training Program to restore your core and pelvic floor as you build a base of essential stength in all the right places to help you get back up and running safe and strong? JOIN RUNNINGMOMS HERE. It's included in the membership club and I'll help you through it every step pf the way.
Carey, Physiotherapist & Founder of RunningMoms
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I love stories of how women changed their life becuase they learned to run. Here is one powerful story of one mamma who not only shed some uncomfortable weight but found herself again in the process.
“My name is Claire, I am 36 years old, the proud mother of two little girls and wife to my amazing husband.
As a child, and even through early adulthood, I was always thin. However, after a troubled first pregnancy that required hospitalization and lots of bed rest I had gained quite a bit of weight. It came off fairly easily but after enduring 22 months of fertility drugs for my second pregnancy I tipped the scales 247 pounds. I'm 5'1".
Seeing the pictures of myself made me sick to my stomach, I was so frustrated with my body and the way it was betraying me. I saw doctors and specialists and finally joined a gym where I met the most amazing personal trainer named Aliza. She helped me shed 30 pounds and taught me a lot about fitness and health, but you wanna know what really resonated with me? She showed me that even though I was flawed in my own eyes, I was beautiful and worthy in hers. Unfortunately Aliza left for maternity leave a while later and I hit a long plateau. Feeling defeated I decided to take a break from the gym scene and become exactly what I needed, a certified personal trainer. My course was 16 weeks long and I finished it with a 92% average and the feeling like I had the power to change the world... starting with me :)
I started my journey as a personal trainer in March 2011, and started a ladies Bootcamp program in July 2011. I was 197 pounds and on a mission to save my life while sharing my knowledge. I took up running and I sucked. I was slow, everything jiggled, my lungs burned, but I grew to love it very quickly. It got easier, I got faster, and very soon I was running my first 5K followed quickly by my first obstacle race- Warrior Dash, then Mud Hero, then Warrior Dash, then Mudmoiselle!
My body started changing and I felt stronger than ever. That was it. I was officially in love with running. Happy, sad, angry, even in the rain and snow. When I run, I am free.
I'm not going to sugar coat it though, getting healthy was HARD. My friends weren't always supportive and I often got left out of any outings that involved food. No dinner invites, no parties, no BBQ's. Not because of me but because THEY didn't know how to behave around me. When I did get invited I had to listen to things like "you brought a salad, seriously?!?" "just eat it, one piece of cake wont kill you" and "my food eats your food”. I hid my sadness with a smile and trudged on knowing that one day they would see my success and it would all be worth it.
Sure enough, 2 years later I was happier, healthier, and 106 pounds lighter!
I try and run 3-5x a week anywhere from 5-15Km and am currently preparing for (my very first) island girl half marathon in September 2017 :)
I have slowly encouraged ladies from my Bootcamp program to try running and happy to say that some of them are hooked on running now too.
That's my story. It's long, I know.
Thank you for reading,
I LOVE IT!!!
Now if you are ready to learn to train STRONG and lose weight too, join my next FREE 5 Day Get Fit, Lean and Learn to Run Challenge for moms. I will teach you the basics becuase there is more to running and losing weight than just downloading a free plan and lacing up. I want you building lean muscle, burning calories, reving metabolism and shedding fat fast without a wasted second on ineffective, outdated and old school training methods that I know with certainty will leave you broken down and injured...likely even gaining weight. Join the challege HERE. We start Monday, February 5th.
XO - Carey
If you are running for weight loss that is awesome, especially if you have a significant amount of weight to lose. Obesity is a massive health crisis that leads to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, joint replacement and more. Running can be a great way to lose weight, get in control of your health and change your life in the process but you have to approach running intelligently and with the right mindset to get any of the rewards.
It all starts with how you set your weight loss and running goals because that will dictate the action you decide to take to achieve that weight loss goal.
If you are running for weight loss is your goal to lose 50 lbs or to get freaking FIT?
Can you feel the energy difference between those two goals?
I encourage all my runners to set dream driven positive , emotionally charged goals that has them to focus on taking consistent action and getting FIT versus negative, objective based, boring goals focused around numbers on the scale and scanning the internet looking for more information on the latest fad diet.
When your goal is “to lose 50 lbs”, to me, this is negative, boring and doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun. Motivating yourself by reducing numbers on the scale causes you to track and measure your progress based on the difference between what you weigh now and what you want to weigh. You are always left focused on that gap. Real weight loss takes effort, patience and time and when you are always looking at the gap between where you are now and how far you are from where you want to be, it is easy to get overwhelmed, frustrated and eventually quit because you feel you aren't making progress fast enough.
The other way you can set your goal is by focusing on getting FIT. This sounds more like this:
“I want to train to crush a 5k and do everything I can to cross that finish line feeling strong and badass like I never have before.”
That is dream driven, emotionally charged and positive. It will get you excited and you should seek out a great training program and get the structure you need to take action. You will be able to measure your progress by the workouts you put in and the small changes you see and feel as you train to get fit that have nothing to do with your weight on the scale. You will feel momentum, energy and you will keep your motivation high as you celebrate each workout and each healthy, home cooked meal as you are able to constantly look back and measure your success by how far you have come. That builds momentum, self confidence and more energy to keep training.
Can you feel the energy difference between setting a goal to get fit versus setting a goal to lose weight?
Yes. Here are 6 other reasons you I think you should keep your focus on getting FIT and running strong instead of simply losing weight:
BOOM. I started running years and years ago to lose weight. I did the calorie restrictions, tried carb cycling, tracking and measureing my macros, whole 30 and hated every second of being so focused on food. I struggled with energy, insane sugar cravings and food guilt. I never shed the weight and I never ran faster and stronger. When I actually focused on how to eat, followed a holistic training program that included every aspect of becoming a fit and healthy runner from the inside out that included strength workouts, core workouts, speed sessions, nutrition strategies based on healthy habits, macro nutrition and how to boost performance, mindfulness, understanding hormones and how to manage them to help my body shed fat, I got into the best shape of my life.
When I ditched the scale and got into training to get FIT and all the weight came off. I got my energy back, crushed my sugar cravings and was better able to handle all aspects of my life because I felt amazing from the inside out. Now I train you how to do the same without long, boring cardio sessions, complicated gym workouts or restricting anything you love, like wine or chocolate!!!
Are you interested in training with me and joining my onlinehealth, wellness and run training program to improve your health, your body composition and your running perormance so you can start feeling and looking your best? Get on teh waitlist to get all the details, a quick action discount and some amazing bonuses for saying YES to your health now. Get ready to ditch the scale and train to get FIT instead. JOIN HERE.
Strong is the new skinny!
Founder of The RunningMoms Wellness Training Academy
Stalk me for more tips, tricks and insider views into my life as a RunningMom here:
PS. Other non scale victories of training to get fit may include but are not limited to:
PPS. If you are REALLY ready to focus on getting fit and shedding FAT, you can also grab my brand new "Beginners Guide to Fat Burning for Runners" HERE and get on my email list for continued tips and strategies that will get your body into fat burning mode without stressing about the scale.
There are so many reasons to run from emotional health to physical health to weight loss. Becoming a strong runner inside and out is an amzing feeling. Have you joined the FREE 12 Days of Wellness For Runners yet? It's 12 days, of my top 12 running tips to get you fit, fast, burning fat and injury proof. Join the FREE 12 Days of Wellness For Runners here. The next challenge starts Monday.
Here are a 10 transformational blogs and stories I think you may like about how running helped women shed weight and change their lives. From weight loss, to stress management to pushing for epic adventures, check these out:
Need more inspiration to learn to run STRONG and hange your life? Here are 10 more awesome stories of massive and epic tranfmoration. READ THEM HERE
Do you have significant weight to lose? Do you want to become a badass mother runner and get freaking fit like each and every one of these ladies?
Have you joined the FREE 12 Days of Wellness For Runners yet? will teach you everything you need to learn how to run STRONG for fat loss and for fitness becuase there is more to running and losing weight than just downloading a free plan and lacing up. I want you building lean muscle, burning calories, reving metabolism and shedding fat fast without a wasted second on ineffective, outdated and old school training methods that I know with certainty will leave you broken down and injured...likely even gaining weight. Join the challege HERE. We start December 10th
XO - Carey