Have dinner for breakfast: 33 easy, expert fitness tips you will actually stick to (2023)

An all-out fitness campaign often seems like a good idea at the start of the year. But lifestyle overhauls are usually destined to fail, simply because they’re unrealistic. By taking your time and finding exercise routines you actually enjoy, you’re more likely to develop healthy habits you can stick with.

We asked fitness experts for the one tip they would give someone who wanted to get fit – or fitter – in 2023. This is what they told us.

Start with tiny changes

If you try to copy the fitness routine of an Olympic athlete, you’ll struggle to keep it up. Make small tweaks to your day instead, such as adding in a set of squats before you get in the shower, doubling up on dog walks or doing 10 jumping jacks every time you go to the bathroom. You can even use a kitchen worktop to do a few press-ups while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
Jay Unwin, mental and physical fitness consultant

Live by the 80/20 rule

Try sticking to nutritious, whole foods 80% of the time and incorporate your favourite treats into the remaining 20% of your diet.
Francesca Lancaster, nutritionist

Take advantage of your environment

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Whether it’s the beach, the forest or your local park, your surroundings provide plenty of natural training equipment. You can run up skate pipes, find logs to use as weights, use steps for elevated lunges or use a bike rack for triceps dips.
Lori-Louise Boyton, personal trainer

Rub your palms together vigorously before getting out of bed

It might sound strange but doing this for a minute or two each morning increases energy levels, helping us to perform with more efficiency. It’s a good starting point for anyone who is feeling stiff or struggling with mobility.
Miranda McCarthy, accessible yoga specialist

Take a free exercise class

You don’t have to spend a fortune to find a new hobby, and plenty of places (for example, Zumba classes) offer free trials. As a plus-sized dance fitness instructor, I understand it can be a struggle for some people to kickstart their plans. By remaining open-minded and trying lots of different classes, you’ll find something you enjoy and be more likely to stick to it.
Kat Henry, dance teacher

Have dinner for breakfast

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Many people don’t get enough protein in the morning, which affects their energy for exercising, as well as their food choices throughout the day. The more tired you feel, the more likely you are to reach for that chocolate bar for an instant hit. Try having roast chicken, potatoes and spinach for breakfast, or fresh salmon, eggs and green vegetables. It will set you up better for the day.
Thalia Pellegrini, nutritional therapist

Reframe self-care as a necessity

Whether it’s committing to a yoga class, a walk or a short run, try to carve out that time for yourself every day. Treat it as non-negotiable, the same way you treat other forms of self-care such as showering, eating or brushing your teeth.
Claire Mace, yoga teacher

Download apps to explore the outdoors

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Gym classes aren’t for everyone, but a hiking trip means you can combine sightseeing with exercise. Apps such as OS Maps, Strava, AllTrails and Komoot are great for picking new and interesting routes, whether you’re experienced or a beginner. You could also join a local walking group if you’d rather get fit in a social setting.
Chris Bone, the founder of the non-profit company Green Pathway Outdoors

Build muscle first

Most people turn to cardio when they start their fitness regime, but it’s more important to build muscle through lifting and bodyweight exercises, especially for women who are going through the menopause. You don’t need expensive weights – tin cans and water bottles will do the job.
Sam Palmer, nurse and menopause fitness specialist

Remember 10 is the magic number

When it comes to fitness, the 10th class or workout is usually a breakthrough moment. If you feel like giving up early on, keep going, because there will be a moment when it just clicks and you start feeling the mental and physical benefits.
Rowan Feilden-Cook, trainer and mindset coach

Add 15 minutes to your existing routines

If you struggle to find the time to exercise, small tweaks to your day can make a big difference. For example, if you usually walk to school with your children in the morning, take the longer route home.
Mari-Carmen Sanchez-Morris, women’s health and fitness coach

Use yoga props

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If you’re trying yoga for the first time, invest in blocks, straps and other support tools, or find a studio that offers them. Props will help you get into the poses and reduce the risk of injury when you’re getting started. They can also help make yoga more adaptive for people with disabilities and mobility challenges.
Basma Gale, yoga teacher

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Eat intuitively

It’s common to start a “deprivation” diet to kick-start your fitness regime, but it’s usually unsustainable. Instead, eat what you want, but only when you’re physically hungry. Eat slowly and pay attention to the textures, flavours and aromas, as well as the fullness signals from your body. Slowing down and being mindful can help to prevent overeating.
Annabella Zeiddar, therapist and coach

Up the intensity

To grow stronger, your body needs to be pushed beyond its comfort levels. For example, if you’re going for a 15-minute run every day, try to gradually increase the distance you’re running in that time, rather than the length of time you spend running. You’ll need to build your stamina bit by bit and be mindful of your body’s limitations to avoid injury.
Duncan Attwood, personal trainer

Use a heart monitor while cycling

There is plenty of technology that can help you tailor your workout to your body’s needs. If you’re new to cycling or building your strength, I recommend alternating your energy levels, going hard for one minute then easy for two, and repeating for the duration of your workout.
Kelsey Mitchell, Olympic cycling champion


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It’s good for relaxation, but meditating after exercise will also help to lower your cortisol levels and ease you back into balance. It can boost those feelgood endorphins when you’ve completed a workout.
Chloë Webster, meditation teacher

Be accountable

If you write your goals in your diary you’re more likely to stick to them. You can also try arranging to meet a friend for an exercise session. By making it a part of your schedule – especially if others are involved – you’ll find it easier to carve out the time.
Tori Sharp, personal trainer

Practise breathing techniques

Functional breathing exercises, which you can learn online, can boost your health and fitness by supporting faster recovery and enabling you to train more comfortably for longer periods.
Matt Bagwell, Paralympic and Team GB instructor

Set ‘Smart’ goals

When you’re starting your fitness journey, it’s important to know exactly what you want to achieve before deciding how you’re going to get there. Once you know that, it’s time to implement the Smart theory by setting goals that are specific, measurable, attainable and relevant, as well as being time-sensitive to your own needs.
Kirsten Whitehouse, women’s fitness and mindset coach

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Gamify routines

If you find it hard to get going with basic exercises, try gamifying the process. Strava segments, streaks, virtual badges, online medals and personal bests are popular ways to boost your motivation.
Michelle Flynn, health coach

Try hypopressive training

These are brilliant low-impact, breath-led exercises for women to help strengthen the pelvic floor. They take just 10 minutes a day and can help you to build the confidence you need to train – without worrying about embarrassing accidents.
Kirsty Victoria, postnatal health practitioner

Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude

From eating well to exercising, staying healthy can seem overwhelming. It’s not realistic to become a health guru overnight, but adopting some healthy habits (such as walking or eating an extra piece of fruit) all the time is better than doing everything at once when the motivation hits.
Becks Hamill, fitness trainer

Join a group activity

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Being part of a group is a great way to build motivation and exercise in a fun, sociable way. From high-intensity interval training classes in the park to five-a-side football with colleagues, there are plenty of choices available. By making it fun, you’re more likely to learn to enjoy movement.
Carole Dowling, personal trainer

Prioritise your form

When it comes to learning new exercises, quality is more important than quantity. Practise getting your technique right with your trainer (or through online videos) before you start to increase your reps.
Adele Andersen, bootcamp founder and online trainer

Eat 30 plant-based foods every week

We know fruit and vegetables are healthy, but so is variety. Research shows that eating many different types of plant-based food improves gut health and protects against disease. It’s also important to slow down while eating, chew well and take a few deep breaths before a meal to increase stomach acid and improve digestion.
Anna Mapson, nutritional therapist

Try a tempo run

By running at a pace that is hard but at least 10% less than maximum effort, you can train your body to maintain speed for longer.
Kalia Lai, fitness influencer

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Immerse yourself in cold water

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Studies show that cold water exposure has numerous positive benefits for the body, including preventing and treating muscle soreness, boosting the immune system, and reducing stress and depression. It can also reduce insulin resistance and protect against cardiovascular diseases and obesity.
James Davis, psychologist and health coach

Get your body moving in water

Exercising in water is much easier on your joints, making it an ideal choice for beginners. If swimming isn’t for you, why not join an aquafit class or try your hand at synchronised swimming? If there is no team in your local area, you could always try setting one up with friends.
Pippa Best, health coach

Turn the music on

Find yourself getting bored during exercise? Playing music while you train can distract from pain and fatigue, reduce perceived effort, and increase stamina and enjoyment.
Emma McCaffrey, fitness trainer

Start with basic full-body sessions

To build muscle, start with a simple routine and repeat it three times a week, giving yourself time to rest in between. Try doing three sets of each exercise, with 10 reps for each. Examples include squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses, rows, biceps curls, dips and triceps overhead extensions.
Alexandra Wren, bodybuilder and trainer

Up the antioxidants

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Foods rich in zinc, vitamin C and antioxidants reduce inflammation, which is especially important when you’re exercising. Try adding more herbs, berries, onions, and nuts to your diet, as well as beans and whole grains.
Hannah Hope, nutritionist

Be sceptical of costly fads

People can get fit and healthy without special equipment or expensive diets. Try cooking easy meals that can be made in large batches, such as soups and casseroles, rather than splashing out on protein powders and weight-loss supplements.
Andrew Telfer, head coach at Wild Strong

Use mind drills

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Instead of saying “if I exercised” or “if I quit smoking”, change your language to “when”. By shifting your focus from possibility to actuality, you’re more likely to adopt new healthy habits.
Anji McGrandles, wellbeing expert


Is it better to Eat dinner before or after a workout? ›

While the importance of eating before a workout may vary based on the situation, most scientists agree that it's beneficial to eat after exercise. Research shows that some nutrients, particularly protein and carbs, can help your body recover and adapt after exercise.

What is the relationship between eating and exercise? ›

Food provides energy. Exercise burns energy. But exercising only to “burn” the calories you consume can make it feel like there is a direct transaction happening between the foods you eat and your workouts. This mindset might make you think that the answer to weight loss is simply eating less, training more, or both.

Should I eat breakfast before or after workout? ›

That depends. It's often recommended that you work out first thing in the morning before eating breakfast, in what's known as a fasted state. This is believed to help with weight loss. However, working out after eating may give you more energy and improve your performance.

What not to eat after a workout? ›

Rule No. 1: “Avoid pure protein right after the workout, because your body will just use it as energy again,” says Collingwood. Also, steer clear of foods that are mostly sugar (cookies, candy and the like) or mostly fat like a handful of nuts (without yogurt or fruit to balance the fat) or fried foods.

What should I drink before a morning workout? ›

All you need is some protein powder, Greek yogurt, almond milk or water, and some fruits like a banana. It provides all protein, carbs, and fluids your body requires to perform at its best during exercises. So, never forget to drink a homemade protein shake before a workout. Protein is also good after exercise.

Should you eat before bed? ›

Experts recommend waiting at least three hours after you've eaten to go to bed. This allows your body time to digest your food so you're not up at night with an upset stomach, indigestion, or acid reflux. And it helps you stay asleep. Don't forego a meal to follow this rule.

What happens when you exercise and eat a lot? ›

Some people may experience various side effects when exercising shortly after eating. These include bloating, nausea, cramping, reflux, vomiting, diarrhea, sluggishness, and potentially hindered performance.

What happens if you eat more and exercise more? ›

You're Consuming More Calories Than Your Body Needs

Incorporating a few days of exercise into your weekly routine is likely to increase your appetite-especially if your body is burning more calories than it's used to. Unfortunately, this can cause many of us to trip up and consume more calories than we really need.

Is it OK to workout right after waking up? ›

In general, for healthy individuals looking to lose weight or get fitter – morning workouts are perfectly fine. In most cases, they are even a great choice (see next section).

Is it better to walk before or after you eat? ›

There is a belief that walking just after a meal causes fatigue, stomach ache, and other types of discomfort. However, the author and one volunteer participant had no such negative reactions, and found that walking just after a meal was more effective for weight loss than waiting one hour after eating before walking.

What should I drink during workout? ›

Water is truly the best choice for most types of day-to-day workouts. It will be absorbed quickly and provide the fluid needed to keep your blood pumping, and it will replace fluid losses from sweat during exercise.

What fruit is good after a workout? ›

Consuming fruits like bananas, berries, dates and grapefruit is a great way to replenish after a sweaty workout. They are loaded with vitamins, folate, antioxidants and macronutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium.

What bread is best for muscle gain? ›

Wholemeal bread provides carbohydrate throughout the day, making it ideal for sports, especially when combined with a diet that maximizes the nutritional intake. Wholemeal bread is a food rich in fibres, as well as minerals and vitamins, making it perfect for training aimed at increasing muscle mass.

What food has only protein? ›

Meat, poultry and fish are excellent sources of protein. Varieties with little to no fat, such as skinless chicken breast, deli style turkey breast or canned light tuna, are strictly protein foods.

Which juice is best before gym? ›

Oranges with Lime Juice and Grapes : Oranges and lime juice are good sources of Vitamin C while grapes provide natural sugars. Having a drink loaded with oranges, green grapes, and lime juice topped with roasted cumin seed powder may help improve your performance while your workout.

Is peanut butter good pre-workout? ›

And to get the most out of strength training workouts, it's best to consume a little protein both before and after, so peanut butter on a banana or peanuts added to oatmeal can be great pre-lifting fuel. The goal with pre-workout fuel is to have a small amount of food so your stomach doesn't feel heavy when exercising.

Should you exercise on an empty stomach? ›

Exercising in a fasted state may burn some quick body fat, but it's not the best option for your body in the long-run. Eat a small snack or meal before and after your workout to ensure that you're properly fueled to perform your best in the gym and recover quickly when you get home.

What cereal is best before bed? ›

A bowl of unsweetened cereal (e.g. rice puffs, bran flakes) or muesli high in complex carbs, coupled with milk makes for a yummy bedtime snack. As a bonus, the duo in this combo help your body produce melatonin to lead you into a more restful night.

Should you drink water before bed? ›

It's important to drink enough water during the day, however, it can be disruptive if you drink directly before bed. Avoid drinking water or any other fluids at least two hours before sleeping to prevent waking up at night.

What not to do before bed? ›

Don't drink caffeine-containing beverages (coffee, tea, soft drinks) after dinner. Don't eat heavy or spicy food in the evening. Don't eat late evening meals or drink large quantities of liquids in the evening. Don't watch TV, eat, or read in bed.

Can you lose 10 pounds in 3 days? ›

You will likely lose weight on any diet if you eat less than 910 calories a day. But losing 10 pounds in 3 days is both unlikely and unhealthy. To lose just 1 pound of body fat, you need to reduce your daily calories by about 500 a day for a whole week. That's giving up 3,500 calories over the course of 7 days.

What to eat to lose weight? ›

9 Foods to Help You Lose Weight
  • Beans. Inexpensive, filling, and versatile, beans are a great source of protein. ...
  • Soup. Start a meal with a cup of soup, and you may end up eating less. ...
  • Dark Chocolate. Want to enjoy chocolate between meals? ...
  • Pureed Vegetables. ...
  • Yogurt with berries. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Apples. ...
  • Yogurt.

How much water should I drink to lose weight? ›

Drinking at least 64 ounces (eight cups) of water every day may help with weight loss. Downing liquid is not the only way to meet this goal. About 20 percent of your hydration needs can be met through your diet, says Caroline Susie, RDN, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

What juice is good for muscle pain? ›

Drinking tart cherry juice may benefit both trained athletes and novice gym-goers alike. Studies show that tart cherry juice and tart cherry juice extract might facilitate muscle recovery and mitigate delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

What should I drink when sweating a lot? ›

Many sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Pedialyte, are specifically designed to maintain your body's electrolyte balance when you're sweating a lot. You can also find electrolyte powder or tablets, which you can mix into a bottle of water, at many drugstores.

What drinks help sore muscles? ›

Much like cherry juice, tea's high levels of antioxidants have been shown to help reduce muscle soreness and recover muscle strength quicker. In one particular study from 2010, trained male athletes found many benefits from drinking tea after completing intensive sprints.

What drink gives you the most energy? ›

  • Water. Water is the most crucial energizing ingredient on this list. ...
  • Coffee. Coffee is a recognizable energy booster. ...
  • Green tea. Green tea still contains small amounts of caffeine, but it also has compounds that may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. ...
  • Yerba maté

What foods give you energy when tired? ›

What to Eat When You're Low on Energy
  • Spinach. Iron-rich spinach is great if you need an energy boost. ...
  • Chia seeds. They may be small but they pack a might punch. ...
  • Avocados. Avocados boast fiber (which helps maintain steady energy levels) and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. ...
  • Beets. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Oats. ...
  • Sweet potatoes.
Mar 29, 2022

Why is my stomach getting bigger but not gaining weight? ›

We tend to lose muscle mass, so our abdominal muscles aren't as tight as they once were, and the loss of elastin and collagen in our skin allows gravity to have its way so skin starts to sag. Both can cause the waistline to expand.

Can I eat junk food if I exercise? ›

You can eat junk food and get in shape provided you monitor your calorie intake and meet your essential protein and fatty acids needs. Junk food should never make up the bulk of your diet, even if the food choices fit your calorie needs. Junk food isn't filling and may leave you feeling hungry.

What medical conditions stop you losing weight? ›

Here are five health conditions that can make it harder to lose weight.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone-related condition that affects millions of women. ...
  • Hypothyroidism. ...
  • Insulin Resistance. ...
  • Hormonal Changes. ...
  • Mental Health Conditions.
May 11, 2020

Why do I gain weight in my stomach only? ›

Causes include poor diet, lack of exercise, and short or low-quality sleep. A healthy diet and active lifestyle can help people lose excess belly fat and lower the risk of problems associated with it.

Why do I gain weight after walking a lot? ›

When you exercise regularly, your body stores more glycogen to fuel that exercise. Stored in water, glycogen has to bind with water as part of the process to fuel the muscle. That water adds a small amount of weight, too.

What can I take to suppress my appetite and lose weight? ›

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved these prescription appetite suppressants:
  • Diethylpropion (Tenuate dospan®).
  • Liraglutide (Saxenda®).
  • Naltrexone-bupropion (Contrave®).
  • Phendimetrazine (Prelu-2®).
  • Phentermine (Pro-Fast®).
  • Phentermine/topiramate (Qsymia®).
Sep 25, 2020

Is it better to get more sleep or exercise? ›

Both sleep and exercise are key components of a healthy lifestyle and shouldn't be pitted against each other, Dr. Czeisler said. Sleep is important for workouts, he noted, reducing the risk of injury and allowing muscles to recover from exercise.

Should you exercise on an empty stomach in the morning? ›

Contrary to popular belief, working out on an empty stomach does not jumpstart your metabolism. After approximately 30 minutes of exercising without eating first, the body starts to use muscle as an energy source, which can lead to overexertion, dizziness, and dehydration.

How soon after waking up should you eat? ›

The best time to have breakfast is within two hours of getting up. "The sooner you eat breakfast after you wake up, the better it is for your metabolism," says Larson. If you hit the gym in the AM, it's best to have a light meal like a banana or an avocado toast 20-30 minutes before workout.

Should I eat before a 5am workout? ›

The Best 5am Workout Routine

At the weekend, when you have eaten breakfast before exercising, is the best time for your more intense workouts. These include heavier weight lifting sessions, Barry's or Orange Theory, or a boxing workout. Just make sure you finishing eating at least an hour before working out!

Is it safe to workout on an empty stomach in the morning? ›

Exercising without eating first can cause dramatic shifts in your blood sugar, and when it drops quickly you can feel nauseous, light-headed or dizzy. You might even faint, which is especially dangerous if you're in the middle of exercising.

Is it best to workout on an empty stomach in the morning? ›

Contrary to popular belief, health and fitness experts assert that after training on an empty stomach, you may feel weak and dizzy as the body needs fuel to build muscle and burn calories hence, be sure to have a snack or a fruit 30–45 minutes before working out.

What should I eat 30 minutes before a morning workout? ›

The best things to eat 30 minutes before a workout include oats, protein shakes, bananas, whole grains, yogurt, fresh fruit, and more. An ideal pre-workout meal should be low in fat, moderate in protein, and high in complex carbs.

What to eat at 5am? ›

12 Best Foods to Eat in the Morning
  • Eggs. Eggs are undeniably healthy and delicious. ...
  • Greek Yogurt. Greek yogurt is creamy, delicious and nourishing. ...
  • Coffee. Coffee is an amazing beverage to start your day. ...
  • Oatmeal. Oatmeal is the best breakfast choice for cereal lovers. ...
  • Chia Seeds. ...
  • Berries. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Green Tea.
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