Wake up on the healthy side of bed with these seven morning habits that will help keep you losing weight all day:
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast to Lose Weight
It’s tempting if you’re in a hurry (or think sparing yourself the calories will help), but meal-skipping is a major no-no if you’re trying to lose weight. It just backfires on you, boosting your appetite and inviting bingeing later on. In one study at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, people who skipped breakfast or other meals lost almost eight fewer pounds than those who didn’t.
2. Have Protein
The breakfast of weight loss champions is a high-protein meal. People who ate a sausage and egg-based breakfast (containing 35 grams of protein) felt fuller and ate less at lunch than a similar group who either ate a low-protein breakfast or skipped it altogether in a study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2015. Another study found that eating eggs in the morning can help you eat less for the next 36 hours! The secret: It takes longer for your body to digest protein which can help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling fuller longer. Not sure if you’re eating enough protein? Get the facts here.
3. Soak Up the Sun
Early risers have an edge when it comes to weight loss. Studies have shown that exposure to morning sunlight can help control your appetite and even help you lose weight. One study of 54 people who wore sensors that monitored the timing and intensity of their exposure to light found that body weight corresponded to exposure to early light the equivalent of a well-lit indoor room. The earlier people got their dose of light, the slimmer they were. People who were exposed to light later in the day tended to be heavier on average. What’s at work? Light affects circadian rhythms, your body’s internal clock, which plays a role in regulating appetite and metabolism.
4. Get Moving and Motivated to Lose Weight
Exercise revs your metabolism, burning calories both during and even after your activity. That means that exercising in the morning can keep calorie-burning activity going just about all day. A 2012 study by Brigham Young University researchers also suggests that an a.m. workout could kill your cravings. When 17 healthy weight and 18 obese study participants walked briskly for 45 minutes in the morning, they were less likely to respond to food cues from photos of delicious eats. There’s also evidence that early movers have lower blood pressure and sleep better than those who hit the bricks or the treadmill later in the day.
5. Eat, Don’t Drink, Your Fruits and Veggies
You got one of those trendy juicers for Christmas this year so you’re tempted to turn all your produce into a smoothie. Or your morning habit since you were a kid was to start your day with a glass of OJ. Well, don’t. By removing healthy fiber, juicing can boost the glycemic index, of produce, meaning how quickly it can raise your blood sugar, a known appetite booster. (Fiber slows down digestion and the flood of sugar into your bloodstream.) Your body also doesn’t recognize liquid calories as food, so you’re not going to feel as full as if you’d eaten solid food.
6. Have A Cuppa’ Joe
Coffee not only wakes you up, it revs up your metabolism so you burn more calories and could lose more weight. Studies have also found that your morning cup of java can help you exercise harder and longer, burning even more calories. Just don’t load it up with sugar, cream or syrups that can turn a dieter’s friend into an early morning calorie bomb. (Not a coffee lover? Black and green tea do the same thing.)
7. Write it Down
People who keep a faithful food diary can lose twice as much weight as those who don’t, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research. Writing down everything you eat or drink actually encourages you to eat less and to eat healthier, say researchers, making this the ultimate in starting your healthy day off right.