I go to work early in the morning and come home very late so I never find the time to workout. I just wanted to know if drinking hot chocolate and having a biscuit in the morning is very fattening. Will eating this type of breakfast really ruin my diet? I absolutely love hot chocolate and I drink 3-4 cups a day!
Finding the time to exercise is very important. Just 30 minutes a day of body resistance exercises is all you need. If a straight 30 minutes is not permissible with your schedule, you can break it up into two 15 minute workouts.
Body resistance exercises are great workouts for those who lack time. These exercises can be done anywhere and they don’t require a monthly gym membership or any exercise equipment. The key to a quick and effective workout is to get your heart rate up as fast as possible. You can achieve this by performing jump squats for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of pushups and 30 seconds of pull-ups or inverted rows. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat until you reach 15 minutes. Repeat this 15 minute workout once more during the day. This particular workout activates the three primary muscle groups (legs, chest, and back) which in turn work the secondary muscle groups (biceps, triceps, and shoulders). It is considered a full body workout.
Pushups can be modified by doing them on your knees or using a wall or table to perform them. Pull-ups can be modified by placing your hands on top of a refrigerator, squatting down to a seated position and slowly pulling your body up. Make sure you are breathing properly while exercising. A lot of people tend to hold their breath while working out. Make sure to exhale while you are squeezing the muscle that you are working. For instance, when performing a pushup you want to inhale as you lower your body and exhale as you push up and squeeze your chest muscles. When you are performing any sort of jumping (plyometric) type exercises you want to exhale as you lift your body off the ground. This breathing technique allows oxygen to flow properly throughout the body and aids in the release of lactic acid from the muscles.
In regards to your nutrition concerns, hot chocolate and biscuits are not only fattening but they lack a lot of nutritional value. The ingredients in most biscuits are made with enriched flour and saturated fats. Hot chocolate is loaded with refined sugars.
A better choice in place of a biscuit would be a multigrain or veggie muffin. Many bakeries and grocery stores carry healthier versions of biscuits and muffins. It’s wise to look at the ingredients when choosing your pastries. Look for whole grains, natural sweeteners, and nut flours. Stay away from enriched flours and high fructose corn syrup. See my healthy recipe below for a delicious muffin that is low in carbohydrates and gluten free.
Water should be the majority of your daily beverage intake. Our bodies are made up of at least 75% water so it is vital to keep it hydrated. Stay away from flavored water beverages that are on the market. These are usually loaded with sodium or artificial sweeteners that can actually dehydrate your body. You can however make your water less boring by adding some fresh fruit slices or cucumber slices to your glass of H2O. It’s very refreshing!
Since hot chocolate is your drink of choice, limit it to one cup a day. If it is too difficult to drop from 4 cups to 1 cup a day, start by eliminating one cup a week and replacing that cup of hot chocolate with water. This will make the transition easier and before you know it you won’t even miss that cup of sugar!
Spiced Pumpkin Muffins Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease a 9 cup muffin tin with coconut oil.
3. Mix the following ingredients together:
- ½ cup oat flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup pure pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 3 egg whites
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar or stevia (optional)
4. Pour batter into muffin tins and bake for approximately 12-14 minutes. Remove them from the oven when they start getting a golden brown color. Place a toothpick in them. If the toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are done. Enjoy!
These muffins are perfect for a healthy snack or when you’re on the go. Their low carbohydrate content will also prevent a drop in blood sugar levels. A drop in blood sugar levels causes fatigue, headaches, and lack of concentration.
Another important factor in keeping your blood sugar levels normal is to eat small meals every 2.5 to 3 hours throughout the day. These meals should be low-fat and low sugar. The majority (60%) of your calories should come from carbohydrates. That’s right, CARBS! Not all carbohydrates are created equal. The carbs I am talking about are the whole grains, yams, rolled oats, and brown and wild rice. The body uses these specific carbohydrates for fuel. A day without carbs is a day without energy. Your body cannot function properly. It’s like putting gas in your car. Without gas your car won’t run.
Proteins should make up about 25% to 30% of your total daily calories. These proteins should be lean meats such as chicken and turkey breasts, eye round (lean steak), and fish to name a few. Eggs are also a great source of protein.
If you are a vegetarian, you can get plenty of protein by combining various beans with a mix of different grains and nuts. The reason for mixing the beans and grains is to provide your body with a complete protein. A complete protein is made up of all of the essential amino acids needed by the body. Meats and eggs are complete proteins so they do not need to be mixed with anything to get all of the essential amino acids.
Fats should make up about 10% to 15% of your daily calories. The fats I am referring to are healthy fats. Olive oil, coconut oil, almonds, walnuts, and avocados are a few that fall into this category. Butter and dairy products should be eaten in moderation.
Stay away from fried foods! There are so many other alternatives when preparing foods. Sautéing with olive or coconut oil really brings out the flavor in meats and vegetables. Steaming food is another delicious way to prepare your meals. It takes little time to cook and it holds in all the nutrients that meats and veggies have to offer.
By following this way of eating and exercising, you will find your energy levels rising, your immune system strengthening, and an all around positive outlook on your day-to-day life!