Fitness
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how to get metabolism going in the morning


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I'm getting a lot of mixed messages on this site and beyond...

Some say you have to eat right away in the morning to get your metabolism going.

Some say you should work out in the morning to get your metabolism going.

Are they both true? Which is more effective?

17 Replies (last)

Probably both.

Just don't do fasted cardio under the mistaken belief that it's better for losing fat.  It isn't.

Eat then workout, if that's best for you, or work out then eat.

Or eat, and workout later in the day.

The only thing I wouldn't recommend is working out and not eating until later in the day.

In my opinion, that isn't a mixed message at all. Eating a good breakfast is on all the lists of common traits for successful weight control. Eating a good breakfast after an early morning workout is great.

Whether you do exercise in the morning or evening is more individual, and if there is a benefit of morning vs evening, that benefit is not as important as picking a convenient time that you enjoy and can make part of your lifestyle.

Personally, I find that I have more energy throughout the day if I have exercised in the morning. That means that I probably do things with more vigor, getting more done and burning more calories throughout the day. Unfortunately, my schedule often forces me to work out later in the day. 

 

Some things that I have read or been told more than once by professionals in the fitness/health/diet field are:

  • Drink a large glass of water to start the day off
  • Eat a healthy high protein breakfast
  • Getting a good workout in the morning to start the day can be a way to rev up the metabolism

I am not a fitness/health expert in any way -- and if the true experts on CC know the above to be myths, then don't do any of them.

I think that makes three for three in agreement. That is boring, but probably meaningful.

Ok ok I'm sold. Now for specifics--

I work early in the morning so most of the time I have to work out in the evenings. However I can occasionally get to the gym before work, and I can usually get a 15-30 minute walk in before work.

Is a 15 minute walk enough to get my metabolism going? How about 100 jumping jacks?

Also I hate eating early in the morning-- I never have an appetite. But I'm getting the message that I should try to fix that. Is a handful of almonds adequate? How about a protein shake?

Again, I am not a health professional, just someone who spends a lot of time reading about diet, exercise, and fitness.

Here are my opinions about your questions:

1) A brisk 15 minute walk and/or 100 jumping jacks could help rev up your metabolism.

2) For many years, far too many, I did not eat breakfast other than an occasional doughnut or something similar and many cups of coffee.  Within the last year, I make sure on most days that I have a very tasty (to me) nourishing breakfast.  I feel that first meal has done wonders for me as far as keeping my old man metabolism revved up.  Also, I really look forward to that first meal now, as much as I used to look forward in years gone by to a late night, high calorie snack or meal.  

I am suggesting that once a person gets a mind-set that a good breakfast is the way to start off the day, he/she becomes use to it and looks forward to eating it.  But I do understand about getting into a habit of not eating breakfast.

3) One other thing that I have often read and been told by professional health experts is that spreading out meals (around 6 meals/snacks during the day) is another way to keep the metabolism cranked up.

4) A handful of nuts or a couple of slices of whole wheat bread with peanut butter or a couple of eggs or a few egg whites, etc. would all be ways to get some early morning protein in.  A good protein shake could do the same, but if you have the time, make your own at home, putting in as many organic and natural ingredients as you can find.

How early do you work? My wife gets up a 5 AM, eats, does core/ball exercises at home, snowshoes half a mile to her car, drives 45 minutes to town, does 20-30 minutes of cardio at the gym and makes it to work by 8:30 AM. She just likes working out in the morning and knows that she'd likely skip PM workouts fairly often, due to fatigue or lack of motivation.

For eating, find some easily digestible carb thing (single toast or half a bagel?) to eat right when you get up. That is fuel for the workout. Post workout, you could do a liquid (like your protein shake) right in the locker room to help with recovery and then snack on nuts, fruit, or something at work.

Even 15 minutes is well worth doing if you go hard and break a sweat. There is a huge health difference between that and nothing. But, your heart takes 10-20 minutes to adjust and get up to large volume pumping, and the time spent in that state is important for cardiovascular health. From that perspective, 30 minutes gives you more than twice the benefit of 15 minutes. So, every minute will really count in your case.

 

Original Post by oldguysrule:

, snowshoes half a mile to her car,

This must be really fun on grocery shopping days.

I work at 6:45 am and I don't have a car, and I get home around 10 pm many days a week, so getting up in time to work out in the mornings is not a very good option for me most of the time. Occasionally when my roommate is feeling motivated we get up at 4:30 and go to the gym (in her car) and then I bus to work from there. Today I bussed half the way to work and then walked the rest (40 min) so I guess I could try to do that a few days per week. I was a little late however. I do 60 minutes of lifting 2x per week and 90 minutes of cardio 3x per week, at least, so I am getting exercise. Just wondering about getting things going in the morning.

Also I am allergic to gluten so bread is out for me. However, I will definitely try to start eating breakfast. I don't have time to cook in the mornings but maybe I can do instant oatmeal when I get to work or something. A handful of almonds was my breakfast today. It kind of hurt my stomach and made me want to barf, but I'll keep on trying.

Thanks so much for all the tips! You guys are really kind and helpful.

Kudos to those who can work out in the morning. Personally I prefer working out at night. Usually the first thing I want to do when I wake up is go back to sleep..LOL

 

This is really an each to their own decision - some feel better working out before eating while others cannot fathom the thought of working out with out some food in their system! Whichever one gives you energy.... is the one that works!! :)

Original Post by rosieblue:

Original Post by oldguysrule:

, snowshoes half a mile to her car,

This must be really fun on grocery shopping days.

It just happens, she'll be bringing home groceries tonight. She drags a kids snowplay sled and wears a headlamp. I have a bigger sled for propane and gasoline jugs etc. We have more than average snow and drifting this year, so haven't parked our truck near the house since Dec. 8.

double post, sorry

I'll take some of your snow.  I live in the East Kootenays (the rockies) and my lawn is bare.  It's going to make for a dry summer.

When I was a kid, we lived in a house at the top of a steep hill.  When it snowed, we couldn't bring the car up.  And it was us kids who trudged up and down bringing in the groceries.  Now that I'm old and only semi-decrepit, I thank my parents for that.

Original Post by oldguysrule:

Original Post by rosieblue:

Original Post by oldguysrule:

, snowshoes half a mile to her car,

This must be really fun on grocery shopping days.

It just happens, she'll be bringing home groceries tonight. She drags a kids snowplay sled and wears a headlamp. I have a bigger sled for propane and gasoline jugs etc. We have more than average snow and drifting this year, so haven't parked our truck near the house since Dec. 8.

Where do you live, OGR (I feel funny calling you old guy, and you need a nickname)?

both are true...you should always eat breakfast when you get up and exercising does raise your metabolism although with cardio theres a slight raise for about 24hours so its not vastly important when you do it, I find it wakes me up in the morning and makes me more active in the day though

Original Post by amethystgirl:

Original Post by oldguysrule:

Original Post by rosieblue:

Original Post by oldguysrule:

, snowshoes half a mile to her car,

This must be really fun on grocery shopping days.

It just happens, she'll be bringing home groceries tonight. She drags a kids snowplay sled and wears a headlamp. I have a bigger sled for propane and gasoline jugs etc. We have more than average snow and drifting this year, so haven't parked our truck near the house since Dec. 8.

Where do you live, OGR (I feel funny calling you old guy, and you need a nickname)?

I live in northern AZ, near Mt. Humphreys (12,693 ft.) and  60 miles south of the Grand Canyon.

I chose the name because I have a special admiration for older fellows that stay in shape and still have adventures. To name a few: I have two climbing partners that are in their 60's and a 71 year old beat me and a lot of other people in a 100 mile mountainous trail race (The Hardrock 100, in CO).

I didn't think ahead about the nickname problem, but OGR seems OK for now.

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