Success is simply doing the little things right on a daily basis. In contrast, the same is true of doing the little things wrong, which is when failure occurs.
Being aware of your actions and holding yourself will ensure you’re doing the little things correctly, and self-correcting the mistakes before they lead to a downfall.
Those downfalls come in different forms — from a bulging waistline to losing lean muscle mass.
A football coach of mine once told me, “It’s never as good as you think, and never as bad as you think.” With that in mind, we’re going to go through a 24-hour day of fat-storing habits and the solutions that will help you rev up your metabolism.
Our 24 hours will begin the evening after working an 8-10 hour shift.
6:30pm – Arrives home from work
8:00pm – For dinner has pasta with tomato sauce and bread
10:00pm – Has ice cream
11:30pm – Goes to bed
6:00am – Alarm goes off to get to the gym; turns off alarm and falls back to sleep
7:30am – Wakes up and has a cup of coffee
9:30am – Arrives to work; eats toasted bagel with cream cheese for breakfast
12:00pm – Has second cup of coffee
2:00pm – Has a burrito at Chipotle for lunch
3:30pm – Starts to feel sluggish and has 3rd coffee
5:30pm – Leaves work
This individual started the evening by having pasta with tomato sauce and bread. From a body composition perspective, this dinner is extremely starchy (carbohydrate) causing her to fill up her glycogen (carbs stored in muscles and liver) stores. Think of pouring water into a glass. Eventually, if you don’t stop pouring or drink some of the water it will overflow.
When you eat starches and sugars, you’re filling up your glycogen stores and if you’re not doing anything to stop the fill up (burning through exercise/activity or eliminating from diet), it will overflow and be stored as fat. Your body can store approximately 250-500 grams of carbohydrates.
From a physiological prospective, the starches really impacts this person’s blood sugar. Pasta is a 71 on the glycemic index (70 & over is high, the spike of the blood sugar is followed by a hard crash, causing cravings.
The craving that this person had was sugar, which was satisfied by eating ice cream. Eating this just before bed causes a massive insulin response that leads to sleepiness and diminished concentration. In addition, the body temperature increases because of the flood of insulin, the result leaves you feeling restless and sluggish.
Due to the impacts of the night before it is safe to say that this individual did not get a restful sleep, which is why they weren’t able to get out of bed to exercise.
Once up, the individual foregoes eating a balanced breakfast, choosing to have a cup of coffee instead. This decision slows down the metabolism and impacts blood sugar leaving the body with roller-coaster-like energy levels. This is the start of a vicious cycle that will be followed by more cravings for refined sugars and caffeine.
Long periods between meals will trigger the body to go into “starvation mode” and begin to store fat. By the time this person eats breakfast at 9:30am, the body is in full blown fat-storing mode, storing many of the calories that are consumed as fat.
This individual triggers the sugar and caffeine cravings by not establishing times to eat frequently, in addition to eating a diet that is deficient in protein and veggies, leaving them to pile on the starchy carbs and sugars.
You may be this person and/or know someone like this who struggles with energy levels, body composition, and being happy with their body. Have no fear, there is a solution to remedy this problem, but you have to try something new to get a different outcome.
For starters, this individual should strive for more protein and vegetables to add to their dinner. This will decrease the impact on their blood sugar, resulting in smaller surge of insulin, which is fat-storing and toxic to cells.
Incorporating the veggies will also increase fiber intake and leave the body filling fuller longer. This individual should also opt for a protein shake (insert link to biotrust), greek yogurt, or cottage cheese rather than ice cream. This will help to curbs the sweet tooth with a compliant meal that will absorb slowly overnight keeping the body feeling full. This results in a more restful sleep, allowing you to wake up easily to your alarm.
“80% of success is showing up.” Simply put, make it a point to exercise. Remember glycogen stores? Exercise is the main way to empty the “glass.” The more you can deplete your glycogen stores, the faster you’ll see results because your body is now burning body fat as fuel, rather than the carbohydrates you eat.
After exercising this individual should have 20-30 grams of protein, and include some complex carbs like sweet potatoes, oatmeal, whole grain bread, fruit, or vegetables.
After exercising is the absolute BEST time to have any starches (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes. Eating a post-workout meal within one hour and eating every 3-4 hours following the first meal of the day will increase the metabolism.
In the end, we will all have days that look like this. The key is to approach the next 24-hours with a new attitude that is focused on doing the right thing, as opposed to continuing to build upon bad habits.