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10 Reasons You Should Go For Traveling Even If You Don’t Have Much Money

10 Reasons You Should Go For Traveling Even If You Don’t Have Much Money

One misconception is that we need a lot of money to go travelling. The first time I went travelling on a low budget I made the hoice three months before I went. I wanted to move over to another state for six months and travel around. I had no job to go to and no plan. It was the best investment I made in myself and the returns were high. Travelling without much money was not only an amazing experience but transformed my outlook on life even after the trip was over. It has led me to pursuing a new path something that would allow me to feel truly rich within. After a year and a half of being home my quality of life is still soaring.

1. Because, adventure!

Everyone’s idea of adventure is different. Travelling is mine. Each time I go away I unleash myself into the unknown. Adventure feeds the soul, propels us forward and amazingly can stir up the most creative ideas. You don’t need much money to see beautiful places and do things you haven’t done before. Knowing I had limited resources motivated me to step out of my comfort zone. I caught the bus, went on really long walks and explored places by foot; things I normally wouldn’t do at home.

2. Moments to connect with ourselves

Reconnecting with ourselves requires no expense just our time and any place. There is something truly amazing about being away from everything we know, in some random place, quieting our minds. Some mornings I woke up at 4am, walked down to the beach and watched the sunrise come up with a McDonalds coffee ($3.50). It might seem cheap but staring out into the vast ocean with no one around and thinking of all the things I am grateful are moments I still think about today. They are the times when I felt the magnificence of this universe and was filled with the presence of absolute joy. Money can buy some happiness but no amount of money can buy the feeling of pure peace.

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3. Thinking outside the box

I needed to find things to do for myself by myself that were either free or low cost. Most of the time I read, wandered the streets and sat at the beach listening to music and thinking about everything. It was probably the first time in my life that I wasn’t consuming pointless information or buying things I didn’t need. I think sometimes we do things repeatedly without thinking about whether it’s even good for us or not. Having less to spend allows us to brainstorm other ways to enjoy our time and sometimes it’s good to just be. Like walking around the streets with music in your ears and no exact destination in mind. Which leads to the next point.

4. Learning to be a light traveller of life

This trip showed me how a lot of my belongings are wasted and compulsive. Removing the clutter our lives is one way of clearing our head space. It can be symbolic of letting go but also learning to appreciate what we have rather than always reaching for more. When we are less focused on always having the latest stuff and being stimulated by external things we have more energy for what’s everlasting and meaningful like experiences and hobbies. Travelling for a long period of time without much showed me that I am happier with less and can be content with what I already have.

5. Can improve eating habits

I ate out rarely, dining out was more of a treat. I became more excited about finding local produce and making my own meals. This is where my Instagram food prep photos began and inspired a few people I know to start eating healthy. When budgeting to ensure you will have enough to eat each week you really start to pay attention to what you buy and avoid unnecessary extras. I also learnt a lot about nutrition during this time and felt super energised from all the fresh food I was making. Preparing your own food is a healthier option and is lighter on the wallet.

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6. You have time to read and write

Reading and writing isn’t everyone’s choice of down time but for those who enjoy it travelling is the ultimate time to read and write. There are things to see and do however the best part of travelling is how much we learn. Whether it’s the culture, a new person we have met or something we suddenly had an epiphany about, using our creativity whilst travelling can bring out some great content. I also journalised almost everyday and learnt a lot about myself that I didn’t even realise before. I was able to develop my skill of writing and even wrote some articles for websites whilst being away. And guess what? It’s free. Unless you need wifi, that might cost. However there are cafes that have free wifi and writing in different places can really stir the inspiration – don’t be shy and get the password!

7. Courage to change direction in life

I quit my job to go travelling which to some people who made snarky remarks was ‘a stupid idea’. But imagine whilst travelling deciding to pursue a whole new path in life one that ends up aligning with your heart. If I stayed in my career because it was the safe thing to do I wouldn’t have discovered what I really wanted. I think when we let go of what we are used to it gives us a chance to breathe and taste freedom. We realise it’s not the end of the world if we quit and start something new. I have done this twice now and both times its expanded my life more than I could have planned. When travelling on low costs it also proves that you can still experience the fullness of life without a lot of money. I think part of the reason it took me a long time to go travelling and change direction was because I was used to the dollar figure and taking a step back financially seemed like a step back in life. But it was the biggest step forward.

8. No plans are the best plans

I am by nature a planner and perfectionist. Lists and diaries have always been my guide. But as I have grown I have come to know the art of ‘going with the flow’. On my travels starting each day with a hopeful spirit and saying to myself ‘everything that is meant to be will be today’ and then laughing at all the awesome things that occurred was enough to get me thinking. If I don’t plan my life to the minute and it still works out better than I could have planned, then why do I try to control my life so much? Sometimes when we plan our lives without room for going with the flow it can rob us of opportunities that are present which might be more beneficial to our lives. Travelling is the perfect way to practise the art of going with the flow and letting go. Part of releasing that controlling side was venturing off without a plan or much saved up.

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9. It’s a health booster

I had been very unwell for years prior and never had time to really relax. This motivated my choice to travel so that I could take time out for myself. The beginning of travelling was tough as my condition worsened in the first month away. However due to having faith that I would recover and making the choice to relax I began to feel health for the first time in a really long time. Relaxation and time to de-stress is good for everyone. It can do so much for the soul, mind and body. In December 2013 was the last time I had any symptoms. This is a testimony of what faith, relaxation and taking time out to do something you love can do for you. Even if you don’t have much money. I feel like I have gotten a second chance at life and you can imagine how incredibly valuable that is. Do it for your health.

10. The taste of freedom

When you leap into your first trip with enough to get you by, you might realise how possible it is to go places without much money. You may even go home and change many aspects of your life that will lead to more growth and freedom. It’s such a liberating feeling when we realise we are the only ones building up walls in our minds preventing us from doing things we want to do. And if travelling if one of them but the reason has been money, think again. You don’t need to stay in expensive places and do everything touristy. Make your own experiences, do things a little different, spend on quality things like food and walk as much as you can. The experience of travelling is always enriching and what we learn can last a lifetime.

New York low budget is on my list to do next. Can’t wait to see what I’ll write about after that!

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Featured photo credit: Harvey Enrile via unsplash.com

More by this author

Anjelica Ilovi

Anjelica writes about how to grind and unwind for increased productivity, focus and joyful living anjelicailovi.com {grind + unwind}

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Last Updated on November 15, 2019

Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

Wouldn’t you like to be able to eat twice as much as you do now without gaining weight? If so, I have good news for you because this is possible when you learn how to increase metabolism.

How Much Do You Know About Metabolism?

Before we get to the meat, let me say that metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.[1] These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning, however, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn.

The metabolic rate is a rough estimate of how much energy your body needs to simply stay alive and perform all its biochemical reactions. These reactions require energy, aka burn calories.

Imagine that your brain alone consumes nearly 20% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure at rest),[2] your digestion and the detoxifying system come second, repairing tissues third and so on.

Staying alive is expensive for your body and its two main currencies are fats and sugars.

When I am talking about improving your metabolic rate (metabolism), I mean improving the amount of energy, your body requires to (pretty much) lay down in bed and do nothing for 24 hours.

Extra physical activity, extra thinking or fighting illness are things that require a lot of energy (burn a lot of calories) but they don’t really increase metabolism… actually they can decrease it.

Can You Naturally Change the Speed of Your Basal Metabolism?

The answer to this question is yes and you can also achieve an increase in metabolism and a drop in body fat by eating more.

Shocked? Well, I was too.

The way I came across this phenomenon is quite funny. Over my 10 years as a coach, I helped many busy professionals to naturally increase their metabolism by getting them leaner, fitter and stronger but, at the beginning of my career, I actually had no idea whether they were losing weight because of an increase in metabolism or because we created a calorie deficit with diet and exercise.

When I was training my clients regularly, they would lose weight. Every time I would take a few weeks of vacation, I would come back to London and find out that most of them gained back a generous amount of weight despite the fact that they were following their diet and they swapped our weight training sessions with cardio.

On the contrary, when they were going on vacation, they would do zero exercises and binge like there was no tomorrow but come back either lighter or weighing the same (but looking more muscular).

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Observing this phenomenon happening over and over again, got me curious about the mechanics of our metabolism and the ways to hack it.

Was it really possible that by relaxing and eating more food, someone could actually maintain his/her current weight or even be losing fat?

Driven by the desire to answer this question, I spent a good amount of years researching and testing different food strategies until I finally cracked the code to an improved metabolism that allows you to eat like a king and look like a Greek God.

Does Eating More Increase Metabolism?

Before I explain why eating more increases your metabolism, let me dig into something that I see people doing much more often: “eating less and moving more.”

It is quite common to see people embarking their yearly weight loss journey (usually after Christmas or Easter) by following very restrictive diets and bombarding their body with several hours of exercise per day.

Despite the short-term effectiveness of this approach, in the long run, if the goal is to increase metabolism and lose a lot of fat over an extended period of time, this simply won’t work.

As I have mentioned before, eating fewer calories and exercising more are energy-consuming activities for your body. In the first case, your body needs to use its own energy reserves to top up the missing energy it needs to fully function; and in the second, it takes your body extra energy to contract your muscles.

In both cases, your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure at rest) doesn’t vary much; therefore your metabolism stays unchanged.[3]

A different scenario happens when you eat less and move more for an extended period of time (weeks or months). In that case, your metabolism will slow down because your body is receiving a “we have little access to food and we need to run away from threats” signal.

Your metabolism is like your bank account.

To understand this concept, let’s imagine that you have $4,000 coming into your bank account each and every month. The money you spend on housing, transport, food and leisure are calibrated according to this monthly income.

Now, imagine that a rich uncle starts to send you $1,000 each day. What would you do? Probably, you would save that money for the first two or three days but, when you notice that $1,000 keep on coming every single day, you would likely start to spend more right?

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What if, instead of a rich uncle sending you money, a poor uncle needed your financial help to pay for the treatments of his illness? You would probably try your best to adjust your spending according to your old $4,000 monthly budget.

That’s exactly how your body reasons:

More Resources Coming in = More Energy Released (Improved Metabolism)

Fewer Resources Coming in = Less Energy Released (Decreased Metabolism)

Note that activities like weight training[4] and high-intensity interval training (HIIT),[5] when combined with an increase in nutrient-rich foods, will also improve your metabolism.

For this reason, today, when I coach a new client, I always start by increasing their daily food intake and their physical activities. Usually, people are quite confused because they come to me to lose weight and I tell them to eat more but, without fail, the next weekly weight-check shows a lower number.

Be aware that not all foods are equal and only certain foods have the power to increase metabolism to a noticeable extent.

Foods That Increase Metabolism

Doubling up on Snickers bars won’t improve your metabolism and you know that. What you may not know is that certain foods that are marked as “healthy” doesn’t help you with increasing your metabolism. They also make you gain weight.

Before giving you a list of foods to eat or avoid, let me explain a simple principle of human biochemistry.

Your body uses energy from three (or four) main sources:

  • Sugars: whether you eat a Snickers bar or a banana, the carbohydrates contained in both get absorbed in the gut and become blood glucose (the basic form of sugar our body utilizes as a source of energy).[6]
    When blood glucose is present in the bloodstream (elevated levels), the body always uses it as its primary source of energy. When blood glucose levels drop (this phenomenon happens when you’re using these sugars to fuel a physical activity or when your pancreas produced a spike of insulin and stores that glucose into fat and muscles), your body starts to release fatty acids into the bloodstream to use as a source of energy.
  • Fatty acids: either from your own fat cells (adipocytes) or from whatever fat-containing foods you ate in the past 2-3 hours. Fatty acids are a slower and more consistent form of energy than sugars that your body can utilise.
  • Amino acids: Amino acids are the broken-down form of proteins. Proteins cannot be used by the body as a source of energy, not even in their broken-down form. Your body can transform amino acids into glucose with a process called gluconeogenesis.[7] This is a very inefficient process where a decent amount of energy gets wasted (and that’s a good thing for us but I’ll get to that later).
  • Ketones: when you don’t feed your body any source of carbs (or proteins in excess), your liver produces an alternative source of energy called Ketones. It can replace the need for glucose (most of it at least).[8]

Now that you know the four energy sources the body can use to fuel its metabolism, let’s get to the meat (quite literally).

To make this simple for you, I am going to divide foods into three categories:

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  1. Red Flags – Avoid the red foods because they slow your metabolism. They are usually extremely low in micronutrients and high in antinutrients (agents that are highly toxic). They are highly processed or spike your insulin levels (therefore stopping your fat burning process).
  2. Orange Foods – Limit your consumption of orange foods. The orange foods on the list are suboptimal choices but they don’t have a negative impact on your metabolism when consumed in moderation. In fact, they contain a decent amount of micronutrients and, if eaten in small amounts, they shouldn’t stop your fat burning process.
  3. Green Foods – These are foods to consume most. Green foods will improve your metabolism and should be the main bulk of your diet.

Next, I’ll get into details exactly what foods to eat and avoid:

Sugars and Carbs

Sugars do not directly improve metabolism because they stop the process of fat utilisation. There is an exception to this rule though. When you eat a diet extremely low in carbohydrates and sugars for an extended period of time (two to six days onwards), introducing carbohydrates and sugars can actually improve metabolism quite a bit.

Unfortunately, for most of us that love eating bread, pasta, fruit and yoghurt, unless we were on a low-carb diet for the past few days, these foods are not an optimal choice.

Sugars like fructose (found in fruit or commercial sugar) actually decrease metabolism and should be limited. Heavily processed sugars and carbohydrates should be also limited. Here is the colour list of sugars and carbs that affect metabolism:

Red Flag Sugary Foods You Should Avoid:
  • Dried fruit
  • Commercial and packaged corn
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • All sorts of candies and lookalike
  • Packaged fruit juices and purees
  • Sugary dairy products like flavoured yoghurt, condensed milk etc
Orange Sugary Foods You Should Limit:
  • Bread and flour-based products
  • Milk and also vegan milk alternatives that are sweetened
  • Most fruit (exceptions are in the green list below)
  • Potatoes and potato starch products
  • Oatmeals and other grains
Green Sugary and Carb-Containing Foods That Improve Metabolism
  • All berries except strawberries
  • Tubers like squash, carrots, parsnips etc
  • Sweet potatoes
  • White rice
  • All green vegetables

Fats

Fatty acids and fats, in general, can improve or decrease metabolism depending on their composition.

Red Flag Fatty Foods You Should Avoid:
  • Margarine and hydrogenated fat
  • Lard
  • Gmo oils
  • Most vegetable oils from seeds and peanut oil
Orange Fatty Foods You Should Limit:
  • Nuts
  • Meat fat
  • Nut oils (macadamia, almond, cashew etc..)
  • Seeds
Green Fatty Foods You Should Eat Daily
  • Extra virgin olive oil (non-heated)
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter (organic)
  • Egg yolks (free-range)
  • Bone marrow

The fatty foods in the green section tend to be very effective in increasing metabolism, especially in the absence of carbohydrates because they stimulate the production of ketones (I’ll talk about this later).

Bear in mind that 1 gram of fat has 2.5 times the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates; therefore “eating more fats” to increase metabolism should be done very gradually to avoid weight gain.

Proteins

Eating food not only sends regulatory signals to your brain about abundance vs scarcity of resources, but it can also increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).[9] It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.

Protein causes the largest rise in TEF.[10] It increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats

Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating, in fact, a study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.[11]

Also, proteins help preserve muscle mass.[12] The more muscle mass we have, the higher our basal metabolism is.

For these reasons, the first nutritional advice I usually give to clients is to reduce sugars and increase proteins. This quick swap is often enough to kickstart their metabolism and commence the fat burning process.

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Red Protein Sources That Should Be Avoided
  • Cheap whey proteins
  • Soy proteins
  • GMO meat
  • GMO eggs
  • Packaged meat
Orange Protein Source to Be Limited
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned fish
  • Canned meat
  • Gluten-rich products like Seitan
  • Farmed fish
Green Protein Sources to Have Daily
  • Free-range meat
  • Free-range eggs
  • Wild meat and fish
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Collagen and beef protein hydrolyzed

Note that this is a general categorisation of the foods that, when added to your diet, have the power to increase or decrease metabolism. There are some specific foods and supplements worth mentioning because they have been proven to improve metabolism by increasing thyroid output or resting heart rate, they are as follows.

Other Foods and Supplements

Cold water

Drinking water may temporarily speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 litres) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.[13]

This is not a surprise since our body is made up mainly by water and proper hydration is key to a fast metabolism. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.

MCT Oils or Powders

Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT have been shown to improve metabolism by stimulating Ketone production.[14] Coconut oil contains MCT fats and, when used as a replacement for cooking oil can help you improve metabolism.

You can buy the concentrated version of MCT oils and eat it separately to further enhance this effect. Either way, coconut oil or pure MCT oil can be a great addition to your diet if you’re following a ketogenic or intermittent fasting protocol.

Caffeine

Caffeine and coffee have been shown to improve metabolism by improving heart rate and, therefore improving calorie consumption.[15]

Green Tea

Green tea

is thought to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and to reduce fat production and absorption.[16]

Bottom Line

In this article, I just covered the basics of food and metabolism but, there are many other non-food related things you can do to improve your metabolism, like improving your sleep quality and following certain exercise routines.

For now, just know that making small and gradual changes to your diet can increase your metabolism and improve your general health. Starting from changing one habit at a time is always the best strategy to accomplish any goal.

Once you improve your diet, your hydration and your supplementation you can think about testing more advanced “bio-hacks” or techniques like ice baths and fasted HIIT training.

And remember, having a higher metabolism doesn’t only help you lose weight and keep it off but it also give you more energy and a feeling of vibrancy. If you give it time, it really is worth the investment.

Featured photo credit: Fitsum Admasu via unsplash.com

Reference

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