Uncategorized Archives - Studio ME Fitness



Tamara has really found her groove on the WaterRower and has gained SO much strength over the past year. Your hard work and dedication hasn’t gone unnoticed. YOU GO GIRL! 

“Initially I tried out Studio ME after following one of my favorite fitness instructors (Megan) from another place she used to teach. Studio ME had small class sizes and something I hadn’t done before (Indoor Rowing). I was tired of all the floor classes and spinning. Shockwave, HIIT Row and the addition of kettlebells continues to draw me back in which is something I was craving. Bootcamp is one of my favorite things to do as it offers that consistency that I know I need to get up for in the mornings and really helps set the day right.


I have increased my lifting weight and my cardio has gotten very strong over the last few months which is a big plus. I appreciate all of the instructors at Studio ME as they are tough, correct form, continue to encourage all in the classes, and offer a great variety in the classes. No routine is ever the same.

Love all the members and new members that continue to workout at Studio ME as this truly is like a little community.

Thank you Megan and the entire staff for creating such a great workout environment.”

Digestive Enzymes

All About Digestive Enzymes


Not everyone should be taking digestive enzyme supplements; and not all of them are created equal.


I find that many people with digestive issues want to jump straight into using a supplement. And many times I would rather try other strategies first. Not to mention, that some supplements can be harmful if used inappropriately.


So, let’s dive into a few of the common digestive enzymes, what they do, and who should NOT take them.


What are digestive enzymes?


Technically, “enzymes” are compounds that help critical biochemical reactions to happen in your body. These reactions can be anything, from making neurotransmitters like serotonin, to burning food for energy, to breaking down food we eat into smaller pieces that our guts can absorb.


Oh, and they all end with “ase”.


As I just hinted, “digestive enzymes” are specifically those enzymes we use for digestion. They’re enzymes that our digestive system naturally makes and secretes when we eat.


Now, all of the “macronutrients” we eat (carbs, protein & fat) need to be broken down into their individual (smaller) parts so that we can properly absorb and digest them. They’re just too big otherwise, and if we don’t absorb them properly, we can get symptoms of fatigue, malnutrition, digestive distress, or a host of other symptoms.


It is these individual (smaller) parts that our body amazingly rearranges and uses to create other larger molecules that our body needs.


The most common digestive enzymes you’ll see on product labels are:


  • Amylase – Helps to break down starch into its sugars.
  • alpha-Galactosidase – Helps to break down specific “fermentable carbohydrates” into its sugars.
  • Lactase – Helps to break down lactose into its sugars.
  • Protease – Helps to break down protein into its amino acids.
  • Bromelain and/or Papain – Help to break down protein into its amino acids.
  • Lipase – Helps to break down fats into its lipids.


Who should consider taking digestive enzymes?


I would always recommend that you see a qualified health care practitioner for an expert opinion on whether your issues can be related to digestion, and which, if any, supplements can help you.


In general, the most common digestive symptoms that enzymes *may* help with are bloating, cramping, and/or diarrhea. Particularly if it happens after eating certain foods (think lactose-intolerance symptoms after eating dairy).


One reason for these symptoms can be that food particles are not broken down properly, and the larger pieces travel further down the digestive tract to the microbiota where those little critters start breaking them down themselves. And this is definitely troublesome for certain people.


Don’t get me wrong, a healthy gut microbiota is absolutely essential for good health. And more and more research is showing just how it can affect not only our digestion, but also our immune system, and even our mood.


What do I need to know? – Medical conditions


Of course, you should read the label of any products you take, and take them as directed, especially if they’re not specifically recommended for you by your health care practitioner who knows your history.


Here are two critical things to be aware of:


1 – Digestive enzymes that break down carbohydrates into sugars are not recommended for diabetics, or pregnant/breastfeeding women.
This is because taking them breaks down more carbohydrates into sugars than your body normally would; so, anyone at risk of blood sugar issues should take caution.


2 – When it comes to enzymes that break down proteins into amino acids, there are a few people who should avoid them because of potential interactions. That is if you have an ulcer, or are taking blood-thinners or anti-inflammatories, or if you’re having surgery.


The reason is because the digestive enzymes that break down protein are thought to cause or worsen ulcers, as well as have the ability to “thin” the blood and prevent normal clotting.


What do I need to know? – Possible Side effects


Using digestive enzyme supplements for a prolonged period of time may well justify an appointment with a knowledgeable practitioner. There may be strategies other than daily supplementation that can serve you better.


If you find that your symptoms get worse, or even if they don’t get better, you should probably stop using them.

Allergies are always a possibility, so if you know or suspect you’re allergic, then you should avoid them.

And, as always, keep supplements away from children.


Before considering a digestive enzyme supplement


You shouldn’t just jump to supplementing with digestive enzymes without a proper diagnosis, or trying a few strategies first.


My first recommendation for digestive distress would be to relax more, eat slower, and chew more thoroughly. This helps to break down food and can put less stress on your digestive tract.


The second step would be to try eliminating certain troublesome foods from your diet (dairy & gluten, for example) and see if that helps.




While many supplements are safe products, they’re not all for everyone.


I recommend that you:

  • Read your labels carefully (who should take them, how to take them, when to stop taking them).
  • If you have a medical condition or are taking medications speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • If you want expert advice on whether a specific supplement is for you, speak with a qualified health care practitioner.


Recipe (food containing bromelain & papain): Tropical (digestive) smoothie


Serves 1


1 cup pineapple, diced

1 cup papaya, diced

1 banana, chopped

1 cup coconut milk

ice if desired


Put all ingredients(except ice) into the blender and blend. Add ice if desired.


Serve & enjoy!


Tip: The levels of enzymes in whole pineapple and papaya aren’t as concentrated as taking them in a supplement; so if you’re not allergic to these delicious fruits, you can try this smoothie.
















Natural Medicines Database, Bromelain, Papain, Retrieved January 21, 2017 from https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com

Success Story Update

Remember Aaron? Read about his initial success here.

Aaron has continued to work hard since the first post. Talk about a total transformation! Check out an animated before and and now pic. It is crazy how his body has changed.  Read Aaron’s full story below:

“In January of 2016, my cousin Rachel suddenly passed away at age 44 due to a massive heart attack. Like me, she struggled with her weight and it was a wake-up call for me.

For the past 10-15 years I had slowly gained a bunch of weight. As pant and shirt sizes increased, I would tell myself “This is it, I’m not moving up another pant size”, but I still got bigger and bigger and kept sizing up. It was seemingly endless.

However, I knew with a little bit of work, it was possible to shed some of this fat. My wonderful wife had, over the course of a year or so, worked her ass off and lost a bunch of weight. While she got fit, I made excuses. After Rachel’s passing, and a little gentle encouragement from Larissa, I decided to make a change.

A year ago last week (3/14/2016, to be exact), I started down the path of trying to be healthier. I had my first “Bootcamp” class at Studio ME Fitness (in St. Anthony Main). I about died. It was hard. I was very fat. I was very sore afterwards, but I came back to the next class. Before long, the soreness subsided as the muscles I had been wasting became acclimated to a little bit of physical activity. Pounds weren’t flying off, but I was losing weight.

I was having success, but I would sometimes “plateau” and when I talked to my doctor in May, he suggested using a calorie tracking app, My Fitness Pal, to track what I was taking in. It turns out that eating a little bit less (like one bowl of hotdish rather than 2 and a half) and exercising regularly can help a ton in dropping pounds.

So over the past year, I’ve lost a lot of weight. It wasn’t fast (and as one person said, you didn’t gain all that weight in a couple months, you won’t be able to lose it in a couple months), and it took commitment. No excuses. Sometimes I’d be a little hobbled because I did something wrong, or was just too sore, and Megan at Studio ME would suggest a slightly different exercise that avoided the problem, but still allowed me to keep that heart rate up.

Am I done? Well no, I’ve still got work to do. I havedays where I eat or drink a bunch of crap, but I’m honest with myself. I’ll just work harder next time I exercise, or be smart with my diet over the next couple days. Considering my job is sitting at a computer all day, I might always need to take these steps to remain physically fit. But I feel great now, and I don’t want to lose this feeling.

As of today, I’ve lost 65 pounds. That’s four pants sizes, two shirt sizes and 11 notches on my belt. I’m fitting into clothes that I had when I was in my early 20’s. I’m not an expert at this, but if you’re looking to lose some weight, I’m more than willing to talk about what I’ve done (send me a private message if you don’t want to talk about it on this post). I don’t feel like I’ve sacrificed much. I still drink beer. I still eat pizza. I still LIVE and I’m happy doing it.

Thanks to everyone that has helped or given me moral support: My rock star wife Larissa, Megan at Studio ME, The Studio ME bootcamp crew (Tamara, Erin, Sue & Larissa)

Take care of yourself!”





May Member of the Month


Congrats on your successes in just four short months! In February, only one month after joining Studio ME, Nick participated in our semi-annual Rowing Challenge and came in fifth place rowing a total of 94,913 meters in one month. That’s equivalent to 58 miles! We are so glad to have him as part of our crew and are looking forward to sharing even more success with him.

“In high school, I was over 200 pounds and lost 60 pounds through a restrictive dieting that I loathed. I said to myself, never again, as it was an unhealthy and not sustainable lifestyle. After moving to Minneapolis in July 2015, I gained 30 pounds and started hating how my body looked again. I said to myself, “I really want to be fit,” which is something I never considered myself to be. I was looking for a small gym that was close to home and provided friendly competition all while giving me a butt-kicking workout. In January 2017, I became part of the crew at Studio ME with my partner, Justin, and still have fond memories of our first class—Total Body Row. I was hooked! I loved the indoor rowing aspect that was low impact.

As someone with lupus, I was especially concerned about my ability to optimally participate. I did not want to be perceived as a “lazy” person not willing to participate. I remember my first e-mail to Megan about this and she was so helpful and let the rest of the trainers know about my situation. She also told me to always ask for modifications on an exercise if it is too much of a strain on my joints. The flexibility, yet full result of the workout has been great.

Some of my goals include to have my body fat in the “fit” category and to continue to build muscle. I have lost weight since starting Studio ME, which has been thanks to the rowing and helpful food tips. However, instead of worrying solely about weight loss, I am focusing on losing body fat, building muscle, and more stamina. Since my first work-out with Siri, where I was barely able to finish 100 meters in 30 seconds, my personal best is now 18 seconds. Also, I can engage in rowing and barre classes without much pain, other than the “after-burn” of the workout.

I attribute my rekindled love for fitness through the patience, care, and guidance of Studio ME. I love the unique instruction styles of the instructors and have enjoyed getting to know this great community!”


Three Must Eat Breakfast Foods

Do you love your breakfast?  Do you have a short list of “go-to” recipes?  Do you need a bit of inspiration to start eating breakfast again?


Getting some protein at each meal can help with blood sugar management, metabolism and weight loss.  This is because protein helps you feel fuller longer and uses up a bunch of calories to absorb and metabolize it.  So I’m going to show you how to get the protein, as well as some veggies and healthy fats for your soon-to-be favourite new “go-to” breakfasts.


Breakfast Food #1: Eggs


Yes, eggs are the “quintessential” breakfast food.  And for good reason!


No, I’m not talking about processed egg whites in a carton.  I mean actual whole “eggs”.


Egg whites are mostly protein while the yolks are the real nutritional powerhouses.  Those yolks contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats.


Eggs have been shown to help you feel full, keep you feeling fuller longer, and help to stabilize blood sugar and insulin.


Not to mention how easy it is to boil a bunch of eggs and keep them in the fridge for a “grab and go” breakfast when you’re running short on time.


And…nope the cholesterol in eggs is not associated with an increased risk of arterial or heart diseases.


One thing to consider is to try to prevent cooking the yolks at too high of a temperature because that can cause some of the cholesterol to become oxidized.  It’s the oxidized cholesterol that’s heart unhealthy.



Breakfast Food #2: Nuts and/or Seeds


Nuts and seeds contain protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Nuts and/or seeds would make a great contribution to breakfast.


You won’t be fooled by “candied” nuts, sweetened nut/seed butters, or chia “cereals” with added sugars – you know I’m talking about the real, whole, unsweetened food here.


Nuts and seeds are also the ultimate fast food if you’re running late in the mornings.  Grab a small handful of almonds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds as you’re running out the door; you can nosh on them while you’re commuting.


Not to mention how easy it is to add a spoonful of nut/seed butter into your morning breakfast smoothie.


Hint: If you like a creamy latte in the mornings try making one with nut or seed butter.  Just add your regular hot tea and a tablespoon or two of a creamy nut or seed butter into your blender & blend until frothy.


Breakfast Food #3: Veggies


Yes, you already know you really should get protein at every meal including breakfast; but this also applies to veggies.  You know I would be remiss to not recommend veggies at every meal, right?


Veggies are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, fiber, and water.  You can’t go wrong adding them into every single meal of the day so if you don’t already you should definitely try them for breakfast!


And no, you don’t need to have a salad or roasted veggies for breakfast if you don’t want to but you totally can!  You wouldn’t be breaking any “official” breakfast rules or anything like that.


Adding some protein to leftover veggies is a great combination for any meal.  Including breakfast.


I’ve included a delicious recipe below for you to try (and customize) for your next breakfast.


Veggie Omelet Recipe

Serves 1









1 teaspoon coconut oil

1 or 2 eggs (how hungry are you?)

¼ cup veggies (grated zucchini and/or sliced mushrooms and/or diced peppers and/or spinach)

dash salt, pepper and/or turmeric


Add coconut oil to a frying pan and melt on low-medium heat (cast-iron pans are preferred).


In the meantime grab a bowl and beat the egg(s) with your vegetables of choice and the spices.


Tilt pan to ensure the bottom is covered with the melted oil.  Pour egg mixture into pan and lightly fry the eggs without stirring.


When the bottom is lightly done flip over in one side and cook until white is no longer runny.


Serve & Enjoy!


Tip:  Substitute grated, sliced, or diced portion of your favourite vegetable.  Try grated carrots, chopped broccoli or diced tomato.











Everyone has story…Meet Molly

Molly became a member of Studio ME over one year. I still vividly remember the conversation with her that very first day at the Studio. I left the meeting with her that day feeling blessed and thankful that I had the opportunity to start Studio ME and build a community that wasn’t just about fitness or working out but life and making each person stronger both physically and mentally than when they walked through our door. Molly, you are an amazing, strong and powerful woman! We are so grateful to have you as part of our crew and in our lives!


Do something today that your future self will thank you for”. Those are the words that I saw on the wall when I first visited StudioME, and a little over one year since I became a part of the crew, they couldn’t be truer. I have struggled with anxiety my whole life. Most of the time I like to think I have it pretty well controlled, but there are times that it stops me from meeting new people, going new places and doing the things I want to do. About this time last year, I was in the middle of a pretty anxious time in my life. My doctor encouraged me to start working out regularly because the benefits of exercise on stress and anxiety are well documented.

I had seen more and more stories about rowing and how it was the hot new trend in the workout world. I was intrigued and curious to try it. I googled places to row in Minnesota and began the search for a cool new workout. Because of my anxiety, it was important to me that the gym I chose be welcoming and not intimidating. While I’m sure many of the small gyms in the area try very hard to make everyone feel at ease, the fact that StudioME put that feeling into words right on their homepage encouraged me to try it out. It took 2 months before I worked up the courage to email Megan. She met with me one-on-one after a class one weekend to show me the ropes of rowing and I was hooked. Going to my first class was nerve racking and for a while, I stuck to the same few classes with the same instructor while I found my footing.

Over the next year, I challenged myself to branch out into new classes, new days and new times. It has been totally worth it! Classes at StudioME have helped my push myself to new places and mindsets I once thought I could never achieve. Towards the end of last year, when my anxiety was high again, I fell off going to classes. At the beginning of February I challenged myself to workout four times a week until I go on vacation in June. And I’ve done it so far! Not only has going to the gym four times a week helped my anxiety levels, over the past month and a half, I’ve set some new PR times on the rower! The best part is hearing everyone else in class cheering me on and celebrating wins with each other, no matter how small. So the me-of-today is so, so proud of the me-of-one-year-ago for letting StudioME help me be the best I can be!”

Why is my metabolism slow?

You may feel tired, cold or that you’ve gained weight.  Maybe your digestion seems a bit more “sluggish”.


You may be convinced that your metabolism is slow.


Why does this happen?  Why do metabolic rates slow down?


What can slow my metabolism?


Metabolism includes all of the biochemical reactions in your body that use nutrients and oxygen to create energy.  And there are lots of factors that affect how quickly (or slowly) it works, i.e. your “metabolic rate” (which is measured in calories).


But don’t worry – we know that metabolic rate is much more complicated than the old adage “calories in calories out”!  In fact it’s so complicated I’m only going to list a few of the common things that can slow it down.


Examples of common reasons why metabolic rates can slow down:

  • low thyroid hormone
  • your history of dieting
  • your size and body composition
  • your activity level
  • lack of sleep


We’ll briefly touch on each one below and I promise to give you better advice than just to “eat less and exercise more”.


Low thyroid hormones


Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism.  When it produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  The thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) tell the cells in your body when to use more energy and become more metabolically active.   Ideally it should work to keep your metabolism just right.  But there are several things that can affect it and throw it off course.  Things like autoimmune diseases and mineral deficiencies (e.g. iodine or selenium) for example.


Tip: Talk with your doctor about having your thyroid hormones tested.


Your history of dieting


When people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down.  This is because the body senses that food may be scarce and adapts by trying to continue with all the necessary life functions and do it all with less food.


While dieting can lead to a reduction in amount of fat it unfortunately can also lead to a reduction in the amount of muscle you have.  As you know more muscle means faster resting metabolic rate.


Tip: Make sure you’re eating enough food to fuel your body without overdoing it. This is where I see a lot of my clients falling off the bandwagon.  They are eating far less calories than they should be so their bodies are in starvation mode so it stores everything and actually causes you to gain weight. 


Your size and body composition


In general, larger people have faster metabolic rates.  This is because it takes more energy to fuel a larger body than a smaller one.


However, you already know that gaining weight is rarely the best strategy for increasing your metabolism.


Muscles that actively move and do work need energy.  Even muscles at rest burn more calories than fat.  This means that the amount of energy your body uses depends partly on the amount of lean muscle mass you have.


Tip: Do some weight training to help increase your muscle mass.


Which leads us to…


Your activity level


Aerobic exercise temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move and do “work” and you can tell because you’re also getting hotter.


Even little things can add up.  Walking a bit farther than you usually do, using a standing desk instead of sitting all day, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can all contribute to more activity in your day.


Tip:  Incorporate movement into your day.  Also, exercise regularly.


Lack of sleep


There is plenty of research that shows the influence that sleep has on your metabolic rate.  The general consensus is to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.


Tip: Try to create a routine that allows at least 7 hours of sleep every night.


Recipe (Selenium-rich): Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding


Serves 4


½ cup Brazil nuts

2 cups water

nut bag or several layers of cheesecloth (optional)

½ cup chia seeds

¼ cup unsweetened cacao powder

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)


Blend Brazil nuts in water in a high-speed blender until you get smooth, creamy milk.  If desired, strain it with a nut bag or several layers of cheesecloth.


Add Brazil nut milk and other ingredients into a bowl and whisk until combined.  Let sit several minutes (or overnight) until desired thickness is reached.


Serve & Enjoy!

Tip:  Makes a simple delicious breakfast or dessert topped with berries.









Are you an Ectomorph, Endomorph or Mesomorph?

Now that you know your predominate body type let’s find out what it means for your in your health and wellness journey.

As a reminder the three types are:

  1. Ectomorphs – lean, skinny type. Sometimes call skinny fat. They are bony, have fast metabolisms and low body fat.
  2. Endomorphs – larger, have a soft roundness and have difficultly losing body fat
  3. Mesomorphs – muscular types, lean and naturally athletic and gain muscle with ease.

All three types are listed below with descriptions and tips for nutrition and training.  Feel free to scan to your body type and read just that piece. Not sure what you are? Read them all and find out.


You are naturally lean and skinny.  You probably lose weight easily and have a hard time gaining muscle.  Still not sure if this is you? Do you fit these traits?

  • long limbs
  • small joints/small-boned
  • small wrists with narrow shoulders
  • fast metabolism
  • good carbohydrate balance
  • high energy
  • may suffer from insomnia
  • may be difficult to gain weight

When it comes to your training and nutrition…

1. Slow down and reduce stress.

2. Focus on strength training. You will respond well to this type of program.

3. Keep cardio to a minimum.  Try no more than 20-30mins/day three days a week.

4. EAT! Keep your daily caloric intake high, don’t skip meals and don’t forget about healthy fats and carbs. You’ll want about to consume about 50% carbs in the diet, 30% protein, and 20% fat.

Next up… Endomorphs

You find yourself to be more round and on the heavier side. You tend to gain weight fast and lose it SLOW! Weight loss can be a struggle your entire life. You are an endomorph if:

  • high levels of body fat
  • big-boned
  • short arms and legs
  • round or apple shaped body
  • wide waist and hips
  • may not handle carbs well
  • respond to higher protein diets
  • can’t get away with overeating
  • may not be able to keep weight off
  • fall asleep easily

When it comes to your training and nutrition…

  1. Reduce carbohydrates. Diets should be high in protein, healthy fats and fibrous carbs.
  2. Watch those cheat meals. Instead of the typical 80% good, 20% bad. You may want to stick more with 90% good and 10% bad. Your body does not respond well to poor food choices and will result in excess fat storage.
  3. Increase cardio duration and intensity. HIIT workouts or longer interval training may be best for you.
  4. Strength and resistance training is very important to raise your resting metabolic rate but cardio will help keep you there. Think squats, deadlifts, lunges, pull ups, rows, presses. Does this sound familiar? This is what the Studio ME MEfit Bootcamp is build around. 
  5. Consider becoming more active in your everyday life. Siting around watching TV is hurting your progress.
  6. Avoid oversleeping! Do you hit the snooze button a lot? Well stop!
  7. Be consistent and patient. You tend to lose weight more slowly so this will not be an overnight thing. You need to be in this for the long haul. It needs to become a way of life.
  8.  Your daily caloric intake may look like 25% carbs, 40% protein, and 35% fat.


You tend to be naturally muscular. You gain muscle pretty easily and loose fat pretty easily.  You are a mesomorph if:

  • medium joint size
  • broad shoulders with smaller waist
  • muscular build and naturally strong (think gymnast body type)
  • high energy level
  • faster metabolism
  • respond quickly to any type of training in that you gain strength and muscle easily

When it comes to your training and nutrition…

  1. Don’t rely on your genetics. You have a gift. Take advantage and work hard. Trust me, it will pay off!
  2. Pay attention to food quality. You may be able to get away with eating like crap but it could take a toll on your health.
  3. You respond well to all types of training and should have a balanced fitness plan that includes both cardio and weight training. Lucky you, you don’t need to do as much cardio as endomorphs and because you are naturally muscular you don’t need to go heavy with the weight lifting all the time. One you reach your goal think about maintaining with medium weights. Go get ’em!
  4. Consider 40% carbohydrate in the diet, 30% protein, and 30% fat.

Understanding your body type is key in your health and fitness journey. Just because your genes have given you one type over another doesn’t mean it’s time to throw in the towel. You just need to take responsibility and plan according to your body type. Don’t get discouraged. You can overcome any obstacle if you are willing to work hard enough!

As the late UCLA Bruins basketball coach Jon Wooden said, “The good lord in his infinite wisdom, did not create us all equal when it comes to size, strength, appearance, or various aptitudes. But success is not being better than someone else, success is the peace of mind that is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you gave your best effort to become the best of which you are capable.”


Venuto, Tom. Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle: The Secrets of the Leanest People in the World. London: Vermilion, 2013. Print.

Precision Nutrition. John Berardi, Ph.D. Body type nutrition: Here’s how to eat right for your body type. [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.precisionnutrition.com/eat-right-for-your-body-type

Three Ways to Avoid Overeating at Meals


Sometimes we overeat on regular days.  Or at regular meals.  Or All. The. Time.


Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.


(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)


Tip #1: Start with some water


When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it’s too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.


But did you know that it’s possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger?  Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.


Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten.  And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (…just sayin’).


Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.




Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”


You’ve heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?


This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.


Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.


Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful.  Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture.  Breathe.


This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.


When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.


So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.


Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.


Tip #3: Start with the salad


You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish.


But don’t start there.


(Don’t worry, you can have some…just after you’ve eaten your salad).


Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they’re full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.


Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller.  They’re “satiating”.


And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you’re about to indulge in a large meal.




Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.


Recipe (Water): Tasty (and beautiful) Pre-Meal Water Ideas


If you’re not much of a plain water drinker or need your water to be more appealing to your senses here are five delicious (and beautiful looking) fruit combos to add to your large glass of water:

  • Slices of lemon & ginger
  • Slices of strawberries & orange
  • Slices of apple & a cinnamon stick
  • Chopped pineapple & mango
  • Blueberries & raspberries

Tip: You can buy a bag (or several bags) of frozen chopped fruit and throw those into your cup, thermos, or uber-cool mason jar in the morning.  They’re already washed and cut and will help keep your water colder longer.







What is metabolism?

This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.


You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight.  But what exactly does this all mean?


Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body.  It’s how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.


Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive.  And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.


Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:

  • Allow activities you can control (e.g. physical activity etc.).
  • Allow activities you can’t control (e.g. heart beat, wound healing, processing of nutrients & toxins, etc.).
  • Allow storage of excess energy for later.


So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.


Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.


Metabolic rate


This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).


The calories you eat can go to one of three places:

  • Work (i.e. exercise and other activity).
  • Heat (i.e. from all those biochemical reactions).
  • Storage (i.e. extra leftover “unburned” calories stored as fat).


As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.


There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate.  One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you’re not being physically active.


The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.


What affects your metabolic rate?


In a nutshell: a lot!


The first thing you may think of is your thyroid.  This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism.  Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you’ll burn.


But that’s not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.


How big you are counts too!


Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial!


As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does.  So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be.  Even when you’re not working out.


This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program.  Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.


The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don’t want to happen.  So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.


Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate.  Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they’re doing “work”.


The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!


Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food.  This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).


You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.


Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%.  By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.


Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow.  By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.


And don’t forget the mind-body connection.  There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.


This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.





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