When you’re trying to lose weight or adopt healthy habits, look at each day as a new opportunity. If you get started on the right foot, it sets the tone for the rest of your day. That’s why morning habits can make or break your efforts to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
Though many people don’t like to get up in the morning, it’s actually an ideal time to give yourself momentum as you make it through the long afternoon and evening hours.
Use these strategies in the morning to get inspired to be healthy each day, and you may find that your weight loss journey becomes easier and more enjoyable.
1. Drink lemon water
Many people start their day with a cup of coffee. While this isn’t necessarily bad for you if you avoid sugar and excessive amounts of caffeine, consider another option: a large glass of lemon water.
Lemon water is a favorite beverage of natural health enthusiasts and weight loss experts alike. You already know that water is a major contributor to weight loss success. A squeeze of fresh lemon will add nutrients and antioxidants, and some believe that it can also help balance your pH, get digestion moving, and aid in healthy weight loss efforts.
In addition, the smell of fresh lemon has an uplifting and invigorating quality, and it may give you more perk than a cup of coffee without the caffeine crash later.
2. Step on the scale
There is some disagreement among diet experts about whether weighing yourself is helpful or harmful. But the latest research seems to suggest that a morning step on the scale could be just what you need to kick-start your healthy habits each day.
Numerous studies show that weighing yourself daily could help you stick to your weight loss goals. We know weight is only one measure of health, but it is a quick and easy way to see whether you’re staying on track or not.
Looking at that number on the scale should not be a time to beat yourself up or become frustrated. Rather, that number will tell you how you’re doing and whether you might need to tweak some things to get to your goal weight.
Look at this habit as a morning check-in, not something you need to dread. Only you need to know what that number is, and you can use it as a way to view your own progress and celebrate what you accomplish.
3. Eat to reduce cravings
If you get up in the morning and don’t have much time, you may be tempted to grab a quick bite for breakfast without giving it much thought. You may even skip breakfast altogether. But your breakfast choice is vitally important — because what you eat could either leave you feeling satisfied or starving by mid-morning.
Pastries and sugary breakfast foods may taste good, but they will most likely cause you to crash and burn later. Once the sugar wears off, you’ll probably feel exhausted and very hungry.
For a healthy breakfast that will get you through until lunch time, focus on protein. In fact, studies have shown that a high-protein breakfast could help you with weight loss and hunger control. Specifically, research shows that it prevents hunger and weight gain.
Rather than bacon and processed breakfast meats, however, try some healthy protein options. This may include plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, or an egg with avocado. Even if this means getting up a few minutes early to prepare something healthy, the extra time to make the right breakfast will pay off later. If you’re always pressed for time, try hard-boiling some eggs on Sunday night, and grab a couple on your way out the door.
4. Plan your meals
Don’t let your healthy eating goals fall to the wayside after breakfast. Part of your morning routine should include a plan for what you’ll eat for lunch and dinner. Research shows that self-control is stronger in the morning, so plan your meals in the morning, and don’t allow yourself to make any changes.
Most of us know that without planning our meals in advance, it’s all too easy to resort to convenience foods, the vending machine, or fast-food restaurants that quickly sideline our healthy eating goals. In fact, a large study found that people who planned their meals ahead of time weighed less and ate healthier than those who didn’t plan.
Each morning, pack a lunch filled with satisfying, healthy foods that will give you energy for the afternoon. If you’re not a morning person, make your lunch the night before. You can use the morning as a final check to be sure your meals for the day are planned out and ready to go. And now is the time to check the fridge and make sure you have what you need to prepare a healthy dinner so you can stop at the grocery store if needed. If you can’t pack a lunch, try placing a lunch order in the morning so you don’t even have to think about it later, and won’t be tempted by unhealthy foods when your self-control is weaker.
5. Get your body moving
Getting started with a morning exercise routine takes some discipline. But exercising in the morning may be well worth the cost of getting up earlier. If you get it done first thing, you’ve done something important and healthy for your body and you can check it off your list.
Morning is also the perfect time to exercise because you can do it on an empty stomach and turn your body into a fat-burning machine. In fact, studies show that exercising before eating will burn more fat, as your body has to pull from its stores to give you energy. This could also boost your metabolism.
In addition, morning exercise may help you sleep better, according to one study, and we know that quality sleep is important for weight loss. It may also help you resist food cravings, according to some research.
Start your day off right
Many of these morning habits require a little extra time. This means you may need to get out of the habit of sleeping in or pressing the snooze button. While you don’t want to sacrifice sleep, work on shifting your sleep schedule and going to bed a little earlier so you have time for these healthy habits in the morning.
Do you need some guidance on how to get healthier and slim down? At Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers, we’ll take the guesswork out of your health goals with a customized weight loss plan. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!