Whatever your goals, losing weight can sometimes seem impossible. However, shedding a few pounds doesn’t have to involve a complete shake-up of your current diet and lifestyle. In fact, a few small changes to your morning routine can help you lose weight and keep it off.
This article outlines 10 simple morning habits to incorporate into your diet to help you lose weight.
1. Eat a protein-rich breakfast
There’s a good reason why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. What you eat for breakfast can determine the course of your entire day. It determines whether you’ll feel full and satisfied until lunch, or whether you’ll head to the vending machine before your mid-morning snack.
Eating a high-protein breakfast can help curb cravings and help you lose weight. In a study of 20 teenage girls, a high-protein breakfast was more effective in reducing postprandial cravings than a normal protein breakfast.
Protein may also promote weight loss by decreasing levels of ghrelin, the “hunger hormone” responsible for increased appetite. In fact, a study in 15 men showed that a high-protein breakfast suppressed ghrelin secretion more effectively than a high-carb breakfast. To start the day off right, consider protein sources like eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts and chia seeds.
2. Drink plenty of water
Starting your morning with a glass or two of water is an easy way to boost weight loss. Water can help increase your energy expenditure, or the number of calories your body burns, for at least 60 minutes. In one small study, drinking 500ml of water resulted in a 30% increase in metabolic rate, on average. Another study found that overweight women who increased their water intake to more than a liter per day lost an additional 2 kg in one year, without making any other changes to their diet or exercise regimen. exercises.
What’s more, drinking water can reduce appetite and food intake in some people. A study in 24 older adults showed that drinking 500ml of water reduced the number of calories consumed at breakfast by 13%. In fact, most studies on the subject have shown that drinking between 1 and 2 liters of water a day can help with weight loss.
Starting your morning with water and staying well hydrated throughout the day is a great way to boost weight loss with minimal effort.
3. Weigh yourself
Stepping on the scale and weighing yourself every morning can be an effective method to increase motivation and improve self-control. Several studies have linked weighing yourself daily to greater weight loss. For example, a study in 47 people found that those who weighed themselves daily lost around 6 kg in six months compared to those who weighed themselves less often. Another study found that adults who weighed themselves daily lost an average of 4.4 kg over a two-year period, while those who weighed themselves once a month gained 2.1 kg. Weighing yourself every morning can also promote healthy habits and behaviors that can aid weight loss.
In a large study, frequent self-weighing was associated with better restraint. Additionally, people who stopped weighing themselves frequently were more likely to report increased calorie intake and decreased self-discipline. For best results, weigh yourself as soon as you wake up. Do this after going to the bathroom and before eating or drinking anything. Also, remember that your weight can fluctuate daily and be influenced by various factors. Focus on the big picture and look for general weight loss trends, rather than focusing on small day-to-day changes.
4. Take the sun
Opening the curtains to let in the sunlight or spending a few extra minutes outside each morning can help jumpstart your weight loss. A small study found that exposure to even moderate levels of light at certain times of the day can influence weight. Additionally, an animal study found that exposure to ultraviolet light helped suppress weight gain in mice fed a high-fat diet. Exposure to sunlight is also the best way to meet your vitamin D needs. Some studies have shown that meeting vitamin D needs can aid weight loss and even prevent weight gain.
In one study, 218 obese and overweight women took vitamin D supplements or a placebo for one year. At the end of the study, those who had met their vitamin D requirements had lost an average of 3.2 kg more than those whose blood level of vitamin D was insufficient. Another study followed 4,659 older women for four years and found that higher vitamin D levels were linked to less weight gain. The amount of sun exposure you need can vary depending on your skin type, the season, and where you live. However, exposing yourself to the sun or sitting outside for 10 to 15 minutes each morning can have a beneficial effect on weight loss.
5. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice of focusing fully on the present moment and becoming aware of one’s thoughts and feelings. This practice has been shown to improve weight loss and promote healthy eating habits. For example, an analysis of 19 studies found that mindfulness-based interventions increased weight loss and reduced eating behaviors linked to obesity. Another review found similar results, noting that mindfulness training resulted in significant weight loss in 68% of the studies reviewed. Practicing mindfulness is simple. To start, try spending five minutes each morning sitting comfortably in a quiet place and connecting with your senses.
6. Get some exercise
Exercising first thing in the morning can help with weight loss. A study of 50 overweight women measured the effects of aerobic exercise at different times of the day. Although there was no significant difference in food cravings between those who exercised in the morning and those who exercised in the afternoon, exercise in the morning was associated with a higher level higher satiety. Exercising in the morning can also help keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Low blood sugar can lead to many negative symptoms, including excessive hunger. A study in 35 people with type 1 diabetes showed that exercising in the morning was associated with better blood sugar control. However, these studies have focused on very specific populations and show an association, rather than causation. More research on the effects of morning exercise in the general population is needed.
7. Prepare your meal
Making the effort to plan and prepare your lunch ahead of time can be an easy way to make better food choices and boost weight loss. A large study in 40,554 people found that meal planning was associated with better diet quality, more diet variety and a lower risk of obesity. Another study found that eating home-prepared meals more frequently was associated with better diet quality and a lower risk of excess body fat.
In fact, people who ate home-cooked meals five or more times a week were 28% less likely to be overweight than those who ate home-cooked meals three or fewer times a week. Try to dedicate a few hours, one evening a week, to planning and preparing your meals, so that in the morning you can just have your lunch and go.
8. Sleep longer
Going to bed a little earlier or setting your alarm clock later to sleep a little more can help with weight loss. Several studies have shown that lack of sleep may be associated with increased appetite. A small study found that sleep restriction increased hunger and cravings, especially for foods high in carbohydrates and calories. Lack of sleep has also been linked to increased calorie intake. In one study, 12 participants consumed an average of 559 calories more after sleeping just four hours than when they slept eight hours. Establishing a healthy sleep schedule is an essential part of weight loss, along with good diet and exercise. To maximize your results, aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night.
9. Modify your movements
While the car is one of the most convenient ways to get to work, it may not be so good for your waistline. Research shows that walking, cycling or taking public transport may be linked to lower body weight and a reduced risk of weight gain. A study followed 822 people for four years and found that people who traveled by car tended to gain more weight than those who did not. Similarly, a study of 15,777 people showed that using public transport or active methods of transport, such as walking or cycling, was associated with a significantly higher body mass index and body fat percentage. low, compared to the use of private transport. Modifying your movements, even just a few times a week, can be a simple way to speed up weight loss.
10. Start tracking your consumption
Keeping a food diary to track what you eat can be an effective way to speed up weight loss and hold yourself accountable. One study tracked the weight loss of 123 people for a year and found that keeping a food diary was associated with greater weight loss. Another study showed that participants who regularly used a tracking system to self-monitor their diet and physical activity lost more weight than those who did not use the tracking system regularly. Similarly, a study in 220 obese women found that frequent and consistent use of a self-monitoring tool improved long-term weight management. Try using an app or even just pen and paper to write down what you eat and drink, starting with your first meal of the day.
Making a few small changes to your morning habits can be an easy and effective way to boost weight loss. By adopting healthy behaviors in the morning, you can also start your day off right and set yourself up for success. For best results, be sure to combine these morning habits with a wholesome diet and healthy lifestyle.