10 Morning Habits to Help You Lose Weight

by Dr. Ahmed Zayed
Published on May 29, 2019

Losing weight may seem easier said than done, but it’s definitely not impossible. Successful weight loss requires lifestyle modifications as choices we make have a major influence on our BMI. To slim down successfully, you need a great strategy that keeps you focused and motivated. The strategy needs to involve a morning routine to lose weight mainly because starting your day the wrong day may hinder your efforts to reach the desired body goal.

Throughout this post, we’re going to highlight some useful morning habits you may want to adopt in order to achieve a successful weight loss.

Wake up every morning at the same time

Do you have a certain sleep schedule? If not, it’s never too late to start. Most of us go to bed when we feel like it and almost never wake up at the same time every morning. Getting enough sleep, however, is not just about sleeping for seven to nine hours but about having the same sleep and wake time every day. A growing body of evidence confirms that a sleep schedule is important for a successful weight loss. In fact, people who maintain their sleep routine have a lower percentage of body fat than persons who keep irregular sleep hours (1).

Set up the alarm to wake up every morning at the same time and make sure you don’t snooze it. The best thing to do is to keep the alarm where you’d need to get out of bed to turn it off. After a week or two, it will become a habit to wake up at a certain time, and your body will get used to it. This works because regular sleep and wake time is important for metabolism.

Have a protein-rich breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but unfortunately, it is also the meal we skip the most. How many times have you rushed out without eating anything? Most of us have committed that mistake, but it’s never too late to change things.

In addition to eating your breakfast regularly, it’s important to make it protein-rich. Why? High-protein breakfast curbs cravings and aids weight loss. For instance, one study found that participants who consumed breakfast high in protein reduced post-meal cravings as compared to their counterparts who did not (2).

Additionally, high-protein breakfast is linked with less fat gain and reduced daily food intake. Protein supports weight loss by decreasing levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin. High levels of this hormone increase your appetite. That’s why starting your day with a nice, protein-rich breakfast will help you eat less, feel full, and lose weight. To stick to this morning routine, you may want to start meal prepping during weekends for the upcoming week or plan your breakfast the night before.

Get some sun

Sunshine makes us instantly happy, but did you know it can support your weight loss too? A study from Northwestern University discovered that people exposed to moderately bright light in the morning tend to have lower BMI than people who get the majority of their light exposure later in the day. This happens because sunlight supports your internal body clock and promotes healthy metabolism (3) which is crucial for weight loss.

About 20 to 30 minutes of morning light is enough to support your BMI and overall health. Open the shades, let the sun enter your room early in the morning, drink your coffee outside, instead of parking near the workplace you can leave your car farther away to take a walk in the sun, and options are endless. Making the sunshine part of your morning routine to lose weight will also lift up your mood.

Drink a glass or two of water

The truth is that most people don’t drink enough water during the day although our body needs it to function properly and it’s important for weight management. Now it’s time to introduce water to your morning routine. Try to drink a glass or two of water every morning for an effective and healthy weight loss. You see, water increases energy expenditure and accelerates metabolism. In one study drinking 500ml (16.9 fluid ounces) of water increased metabolic rate by 30% (4).

It’s needless to mention that water intake reduces your appetite thus making you eat less and allowing you to curb cravings. If you tend to forget to drink water until feeling thirsty, you can download an app or set up a reminder on the fridge or some other visible place to drink a glass or two of water in the morning.

Butter the bottom side of the toast

Nope, this isn’t some kind of joke. While it may seem weird to butter the bottom side of toast, it can help you lose weight. Toast is a staple breakfast food, and we usually put a little bit of butter on it. Then we take another one and before you know it you’ve eaten too much and feel guilty. This trick can help you avoid that problem.

When you eat your toast this way, the flavor hits the tongue the right way, and you’re able to taste more of it. As a result, you won’t end up eating more than you should. Although it may be odd to eat toast this way, it can help you cut down calorie intake and promote weight loss. Try it tomorrow morning, and you’ll notice the difference.

Exercise

Exercise is vital for successful weight loss and a healthy life. When we get home from work, we usually start thinking it’s difficult to work out considering how tired we are and leave it for tomorrow. But tomorrow the same thing happens. Putting off exercise is a mistake that most of us happen, but it’s so easy to solve it. Try getting up earlier than usual and exercise in the morning. Studies show that time of the day when you exercise may affect weight loss and its maintenance. For example, adults who exercise in the morning are more successful in weight loss programs than their counterparts who don’t (5).

Morning exercises boost your energy levels and paired with a nice breakfast (as mentioned above) they can speed up metabolism while preventing you from eating too much. It’s needless to mention that the extra flow of energy will also make you want to move more and avoid being sedentary too much.

To easily incorporate a workout into your morning routine to lose weight you can set up a reminder every night before bed, exercise with someone, treat it as an appointment you can’t miss, and get enough sleep. When you’re well-rested, it will be easier to get up and exercise. Another useful thing is to create a playlist that will keep you energetic and alert.

Weigh yourself

One of the most common mistakes that most of us repeat is avoiding the scale like it’s the devil in disguise. The last thing you want to do is to step on that scale mostly because you’re afraid of seeing the number you don’t want to see on it. But, you should still make sure your morning weight loss routine involves weighing yourself. The reason is simple, and multiple studies have linked weighing daily with more successful weight loss.

One study found that participants who weighed themselves daily lost about 6kg (13lbs) more over a six-month period than their counterparts who did not (6). So, why weigh yourself in the morning then? Including the scale in your morning routine allows you to be more mindful regarding the choices you make throughout the day. You’ll be more likely to eat healthier foods and increase activity levels in order to slim down. To avoid forgetting this part of your routine make sure the scale is in your bedroom or bathroom at a visible place.

Drink your OJ from a tall glass

You drink a glass of orange or apple juice for breakfast each morning? Most of us do without realizing that this seemingly harmless habit could set us up for weight loss failure. While there is nothing wrong with OJ and apple juice, drinking too much could increase sugar intake and lead to excessive calorie consumption in the morning which could turn into a disaster if you don’t adjust your meals later in the day. If you use short glass and pour yet another glass, this could be a problem. Studies show that people who use short glasses tend to drink more than persons who don’t (7).

Why? The reason is simple, and people tend to focus on the height of the liquid they pour rather than width and automatically assume that taller glasses hold more liquid than shorter ones. On the other hand, you may think that a shorter glass doesn’t contain too much liquid (in this case OJ or apple juice) and drink more than you should. Therefore, switching to narrower, but taller glasses for OJ or apple juice in the morning could contribute to your weight loss regimen.

Pack your lunch

Your morning routine determines how the rest of the day will go. That’s the foundation on which you will build a house. In other words, it sets the tone on how much you’ll eat during the day and activity levels you’re going to reach. Once you’ve eaten your breakfast make sure you pack your lunch before you head out and go to work. It’s easy to go and buy something to eat, but actually preparing something on your own and packing it for lunch is healthier for your weight loss.

What’s more, studies show that meal planning is associated with a better quality of diet, versatile menu, and lower obesity risk (8). Plan and prepare your meals during the weekend for the upcoming week. That way, you can easily pack your lunch in the morning. Always keep in mind that this useful habit will not only help you lose weight, but it also makes you healthier and keeps more money in your wallet.

Change the way you’re going to work

If you drive to work every day, it’s time to switch things around a little bit. Sure, it may seem faster and more convenient, but in order to lose weight, you need to boost your activity levels from the early morning. Evidence shows that people who commute to work in their cars gain more weight than non-car commutes (9).

The reason is simple, and there’s not enough physical activity. Finish off your morning routine by introducing a different commute to work into your lifestyle. Depending on the distance, you can choose to walk, ride a bicycle, or use public transportation. Pair up with a colleague who lives near, or a neighbor who works close to your workplace, and you can do it together.

Conclusion

Successful weight loss is not just about going to the gym and eating less, and it also requires making certain lifestyle adjustments and changing our routine. This article presented ten easy ways to change your morning routine to lose weight. The goal of this routine is to boost your energy levels, increase physical activity, and eat in a healthy manner. Set up alarms and reminders, pair up with someone, and encourage yourself every day – in a week or two all these tiny changes will become an irreplaceable part of a new, healthier lifestyle.

References

(1) https://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/11/21/easiest-weight-loss-tip-ever-change-your-sleep-schedule/#23a64c5d1020
(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25098557
(3) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160518141416.htm
(4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14671205
(5) https://www.healio.com/endocrinology/obesity/news/online/%7B6ee3c625-be4c-4e12-8251-09ed57155ac2%7D/morning-exercise-may-yield-best-weight-loss-results
(6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25683820
(7) http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2005/12/shape-glass-influences-how-much-alcohol-poured
(8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5288891/
(9) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23332335

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