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The way you start your day can dictate how the rest of your day plays out. It’s easy to let a negative start impact your mood and actions for the rest of the day. However, kicking bad habits at the start of your day can provide you with more motivation to move through the day in a healthy way.
In fact, your morning routine might even be a determining factor of your weight. The following morning habits can help in better weight management.
1. Incorporate Protein in Your Breakfast
The first bite of food you put in your mouth will set the tone for what you decide to eat later in the day.
By starting your day off with a filling and slow-digesting meal, you can prevent overeating and, ultimately, weight gain. Your hunger and feelings of satiety are largely influenced by your blood glucose. Foods that burn through your bodies quickly leave you feeling hungry sooner.
On the other hand, meals that include adequate amounts of protein and fiber keep you satisfied for many hours. In addition, skipping breakfast has been associated with weight gain. (1) The type of food you consume also matters. Research shows that highly processed foods are linked to weight gain. (2)
Start your day off right by creating a breakfast that follows these simple guidelines:
- Choose a high-quality protein such as chicken, eggs, or protein powder.
- Pair your protein with a low-glycemic carbohydrate such as whole-wheat toast, whole oats, or bran cereal.
- Include one whole fruit or vegetable.
Examples of a well-rounded breakfast include:
- Scrambled sweet potato hash with eggs, onion, and spinach
- Whole-wheat toast topped with avocado and turkey
- Steel-cut oats with protein powder and blueberries
You can also set yourself for success by drinking water with each meal. Water intake has been associated with feelings of fullness and is an easy way to stay hydrated and prevent overeating. (3)
2. Get Adequate Amount of Sleep
Studies have shown that the amount and quality of sleep you get every night are a large factor in regulating weight.
In a peer-reviewed article, authors Guglielmo Beccuti and Silvana Pannain explained, “Sleep is an important modulator of neuroendocrine function and glucose metabolism, and sleep loss has been shown to result in metabolic and endocrine alterations, including decreased glucose tolerance, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased evening concentrations of cortisol, increased levels of ghrelin, decreased levels of leptin, and increased hunger and appetite.” (4)
These findings have been duplicated so many times that poor sleep habits are now considered a risk factor for obesity.
Insufficient sleep has been associated with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and depression. (5) As an adult, get at least 7 hours of sleep. (5) You can start your morning off right by ensuring you get out of bed feeling refreshed and energized. Interestingly, research also shows that oversleeping can contribute to weight gain. (6)
3. Indulge in Some Physical Activity
As hard as it may sometimes be, there isn’t anything quite as rewarding as a morning workout. Lack of physical movement is a risk factor for weight gain and obesity. It’s often easier to work out before a tiring workday allows you to make excuses to skip the evening jog or gym session.
In fact, one study even showed that a morning workout could lead to great feelings of satiety than afternoon workouts. (7) Don’t feel discouraged to skip a workout just because you don’t have long amounts of time. Physical activity is about moving your body in a healthy way.
You don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap the benefits of any type of physical movement, short or long.
4. Get Some Sunlight
With daily physical exercise, it is also important to soak in some sunlight regularly for your body weight management.
A study showed that 45 minutes of morning light could help reduce body fat and decrease appetite in obese individuals. (8) Several studies indicated that varied types of light possess therapeutic effects in weight regulation. (9)(10)
Besides, morning light provides vitamin D. High levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in the body support weight management, whereas low vitamin D levels may lead to fat accumulation. (11)
5. Reduce Morning Stress Through Yoga and Meditation
It’s no secret that stress puts just about everybody in a bad mood. Studies have found that weight is associated with stress, notably work-related stress. (12)(13)
In addition, stress reduction techniques are effective ways to reduce stress and weight. (13) Finding ways to reduce stress early on is simple and can take as few as 5 minutes.
In the morning, you might find your mind racing. Sipping a cup of tea for a few minutes before starting your day can clear your mind and help you set good intentions for the afternoon.
Another simple way to reduce stress is to take 5 minutes after your alarm goes off to practice a full-body meditation scan. You can also try yoga or mindfulness techniques to calm yourself. (14)
6. Weigh Yourself Daily
It was seen in a study that dieters who weighed themselves daily lost thrice more weight in comparison to those who did so infrequently. (15)
It is best to weigh yourself immediately after you wake up and freshen yourself. Measuring your weight in the same amount of clothing every day gets you more accurate results.
7. Pack a Healthy Snack Option
People often ignore their dietary requirements when in a rush, ending up eating food from outside. It is best to make a habit to pack a healthy snack for you daily.
This snack can keep your metabolism racing and refuel your energy in the middle of the day. An unhealthy snack will only lead to weight gain. You can search for healthy recipes to break the monotony so that you don’t end up relying on unhealthy snacks.
8. Start Tracking Your Calorie Intake
Along with weighing yourself daily, you need to keep track of the number of calories you consume and burn every day. This helps you modify your exercise and diet according to your goals, enabling better weight loss and management.
It also helps you determine the foods you need to avoid and the alternative healthier options that you should instead be munching on.
However you choose to start your morning, remember that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to conduct a morning routine.
Identify habits that best work for you and focus on eating healthy, sleeping well, moving your body, and reducing your stress. These healthy morning habits might sound complicated, but they are easy to implement and ultimately can save you from packing on the pounds.
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