Let’s start here by going out on a limb…
I’m going to guess that the first thing you think about when you awake in the morning, alarm blaring or not, is not weight loss.
Sure, if you have extra pounds to shed, it’s on your mind, but I doubt you wake up thinking about it.
But, did you know that how you begin your morning can have a lot to do with your success when it comes to shedding those excess pounds?
Yep, that’s right…something as simple as your morning routine, the things you do so often that you don’t even have to think about them, can help you lose weight!
So often weight loss can be a dreadful thing. Lots of to-don’ts, right?
Well, here we’re going to show you ten powerful to-do’s that you can easily incorporate into your morning routine to set you up for weight loss success!!
1- Hydration Station
What’s easier than drinking water, right?
Starting your day with a glass or two of room temperature water (preferably with a bit of fresh squeezed lemon for optimal health benefits) can actually help you shrink your waistline.
Hydrating first thing in the morning can boost weight loss by increasing the number of calories your body burns for the next 60 minutes (it does this by increasing your metabolism). And, it can reduce the overall amount of calories you consume, due to making you feel full.
Staying hydrated also helps your body flush out toxins, giving another helpful boost to your metabolism and aiding you in your weight loss efforts.
2- Protein Packed
Some folks skip breakfast, and some folks can’t erase what their kindergarten (and first, and second, and third grade) teachers told them: “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
Now, of course, there is conflicting evidence debating the truth of that matter, but what isn’t debatable is the power of protein!
Eating a breakfast high in protein has been proven to reduce cravings and promote weight loss.
Protein can also reduce levels of ghrelin, a hormone known to control hunger, thereby reducing your appetite, keeping you feeling full for longer periods of time.
Studies have also shown a link between those eating protein-packed breakfasts and a reduction in body fat (possibly due to the fact that protein is harder for your body to store as fat).
Reach for protein rich foods like eggs, greek yogurt, nuts, and chia seeds for a healthy, protein-packed breakfast.
3- Mindfulness Matters
Most of us are familiar with the Rene Descartes saying, “I think, therefore I am.” But, do we truly act on this notion?
Studies have proven the truth of this sentiment for centuries. What you think about matters!
Mindfulness involves intentionality.
Rather than spending your mornings mindlessly scrolling through social media or sitting in front of the television, focus on the present moment, being aware of each of your thoughts and feelings.
This time spent mindfully, first thing in the morning, can set you up for success throughout the rest of your day.
And, studies have found the practice to significantly impact weight loss (successfully), reducing behaviors contributing to obesity specifically.
Spending just 5 minutes in the morning, choosing a comfortable spot to sit and connect with your senses, training your body to focus on intentionality, can increase your likelihood of success in losing weight.
Mindfulness has even shown to indirectly boost weight loss by reducing mood swings (often a contributing factor to weight gain through mood-related binge eating).
4- Brown Bag It
I’m sure you’ve heard the classic Ben Franklin quote, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” And yes, this applies to packing your lunch…in multiple ways.
Taking the time to pack a nutritious lunch in the morning:
- ensures you have a lunch full of foods that are consistent with helping you achieve your weight loss goals
- keeps you from succumbing to in-the-moment temptations (think drive-thrus and vending machines) when hunger calls
- ensures you have healthy options midmorning and midafternoon when hunger is known to strike (when you pack healthy snacks to consume throughout the day as well)
- as opposed to eating out, you can control exactly what goes into your meal, measuring accurately your calorie intake (crucial for weight loss) and other dietary needs
And, studies have shown that people who prepare their meals ahead of time have better quality diets overall and are less likely to be obese.
5- Move It To Lose It
Okay, I know…you can exercise any time of day, right? True…but, studies show those who exercise first thing in the morning reap more rewards from it.
- Those who workout in the morning are classically more consistent at getting in exercise each and every day.
- Exercising in the morning has been shown to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level all throughout the day.
- A reduction in afternoon food cravings is associated with morning exercise.
- Morning exercise has been proven to boost weight loss (overall).
- Some claim that working out prior to breakfast boosts fat burning.
So…move it in the morning and reap those benefits all throughout the day.
Plus, when you workout in the morning, you don’t have to worry about squeezing it in at a later time in your busy day or being too tired to workout at the end of a hectic day.
6- Change Your Commute
Have you considered that simply switching up your drive to (and from) work can do wonders for your waistline?
One obvious reason to change routes would be to avoid any temptations on your drive that may cause you to routinely forego your goals for sugary or fatty fast foods on the way to work.
But, you can also check off your morning exercise goal on your way to work by choosing to walk or bike instead of driving to work.
As studies have shown that those commuting via car tend to gain more weight than those who get to work on foot or cycle (or rollerblade…nothing wrong with creativity), it’s no wonder that similar studies have proven such choices regarding active methods of commuting contributed to lower body fat percentages and significantly lower body mass indexes.
7- Step On The Scale
I know…that dreaded ‘s’ word is a rough one. But, hear me out.
Studies show that daily weight monitoring results in greater weight loss, and there’s truly (and scientifically) no better time to do it than first thing in the morning.
Before the water, before the exercise, before breakfast, and after you’ve urinated first thing in the morning, step on the scale. This is your most accurate weight reading of the day.
A healthy mindset regarding the scale involves knowing causes for fluctuations (ate at a later time the night before, haven’t had a bowel movement, consumed more sodium) and using the number you see to not reflect on yourself but your overall progress.
Weighing yourself first thing in the morning shouldn’t be a discouraging factor, but a tool to collect data to motivate you regarding your weight loss goals and provide the information you need to adjust your diet or continue on with what you’re doing that has proven successful.
Routine morning weigh-ins can build healthy habits, and studies show those who regularly engage in this practice lose more weight on average than those who skip the scale.
8- Sleep, Sleep, Sleep
Whether it means getting a few extra z’s in the morning or heading to bed a bit earlier in the evening, changing up your routine to allow for some extra sleep may help you lose weight.
Many studies centered around sleep and weight loss/gain have shown that a lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your waistline.
Not getting enough sleep has been linked to an increase in:
- calorie intake
Specifically in regards to weight loss efforts, studies have shown that when sleep was lacking, dieters lost up to 55% less fat even though their dieting efforts remained the same.
Aside from this, lack of sleep in general doesn’t always set you up for the best decisions when it comes to weight loss.
I’m sure you know the drill: You’re too tired, so you skip your workout. Then once you skip your workout, your other goals seem less important (even if only for that day) and your nutrition isn’t on point, and those decisions seem to snowball from there.
Getting enough sleep (at least 8 hours nightly is recommended for adults) will help your decision making, curb those cravings, and regulate your appetite, all keeping you on track to reach your weight loss goals!
9- Time For Sunshine
Sunlight can help you shed pounds in a few surprising ways, specifically in the morning.
Studies show those individuals who are exposed to the sun in the earlier hours of the day generally have a lower BMI (body mass index) than those people who don’t get sun exposure until later in the day.
One study found that even moderate amounts of sun exposure had a direct impact on weight.
And, animal studies have shown UV exposure to actually suppress weight gain.
Your hormones also benefit from the vitamin D your body produces when exposed to the sunlight, thereby boosting your energy levels, aiding in your weight loss efforts.
Morning sunshine also contains the highest levels of blue light. So, when you develop a habit of getting sun exposure first thing in the morning, even something as simple as letting the sunshine in through your windows, this can greatly influence (in a good way) your circadian rhythm, helping you get better sleep.
Seek to get 20-30 minutes of sunlight exposure between the hours of 8 am and noon to fully benefit from all nature’s light has to offer in regards to your waistline.
10- Cold Showers
You read that correctly. It’s not a typo. But, don’t skip this one…hear me out…
As awful as a cold shower sounds, first thing in the morning, there truly are many benefits to be had from this practice.
While a hot shower is no doubt comforting, the heat can actually be pretty harmful, causing unwanted skin conditions and even high blood pressure.
A cold shower, however, while it certainly boasts benefits to the health of your skin and hair, can also help you lose weight!
A specific type of fat, known as brown adipose fat, can be activated by a cold shower. The activation of this fat then causes the release of two types of hormones (irisin and FGF21) which can help you lose weight by burning white fat tissue.
A cold shower in the morning can also boost your metabolism and improve your energy levels.
But, since the thought of a cold shower first thing in the morning doesn’t sound all too pleasant, let’s detail the best way to reap those benefits:
- First, you can begin your shower at a temperature that is comfortable to you, then gradually continue to lower the temperature after the first few minutes.
- Once you’ve reached a cold temperature, keep the water at this temperature for at least 3-4 minutes.
- Keep in mind that you can also ease yourself into this practice, starting with only a few seconds (of cold temperature), then working your way up each day until your body is used to the cooler temperatures.
As your body seeks to warm itself after these cold showers, you’ll automatically be burning more calories, already on your way to shrinking your waistline!
#1 sleep mistake packs on belly fat
Did you know sleeping a certain way could pack on belly fat?
One 68 year old grandma was making a big mistake and since fixed the issue and lost 84 pounds…
Who knew this sleep position was causing a deadly, stress-induced response in her already frail body that caused her metabolism to crash and this one recurring nightmare to almost come through…