10 morning habits that help you lose weight

Eating a proper breakfast may be your first step to successful weight loss.


  1. Eat a High-Protein Breakfast

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There’s a good reason breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day.

What you eat for breakfast can set the course for your entire day. It determines if you’ll feel full and satisfied until lunch, or if you’ll be heading to the vending machine before your mid-morning snack.

Eating a high-protein breakfast [ scrambled eggs, an omelette, stir-fried tofu, greek yogurt, a shake ] may help cut cravings and aid in weight loss.

SUMMARY

Studies show that a high-protein breakfast may aid weight loss by reducing cravings, appetite and ghrelin secretion.

  1. Drink Plenty of Water

Starting your morning with a glass or two of water is an easy way to enhance weight loss.

Water can help increase your energy expenditure, or the number of calories your body burns, for at least 60 minutes.

In one small study, drinking 16.9 fluid ounces (500 ml) of water led to a 30% increase in metabolic rate, on average.

What’s more, drinking water may reduce appetite and food intake in some individuals.

In fact, most studies on the topic have shown that drinking 34–68 ounces (1–2 liters) of water per day can aid in weight loss.

Starting your morning with water and staying well hydrated throughout the day is a great way to boost weight loss with minimal effort.

SUMMARY

Increasing your water intake has been associated with an increase in weight loss and energy expenditure, as well as a decrease in appetite and food intake.

  1. Weigh Yourself

Stepping on the scale and weighing yourself each morning can be an effective method to increase motivation and improve self-control.

Several studies have associated weighing yourself daily with greater weight loss.

For instance, a study in 47 people found that those who weighed themselves daily lost about 13 pounds (6 kg) more over six months than those who weighed themselves less often.

Weighing yourself every morning can also help foster healthy habits and behaviors that may promote weight loss.

In one large study, frequent self-weighing was associated with improved restraint. Furthermore, those who stopped weighing themselves frequently were more likely to report increased calorie intake and decreased self-discipline.

For best results, weigh yourself right when you wake up. Do so after using the bathroom and before you eat or drink anything.

Additionally, remember that your weight may fluctuate daily and can be influenced by a variety of factors. Focus on the big picture and look for overall weight loss trends, rather than getting fixated on small day-to-day changes.

SUMMARY

Studies have found that daily self-weighing may be associated with more weight loss and increased restraint.

  1. Get Some Sun

Opening the curtains to let in some sunlight or spending a few extra minutes outside each morning can help kickstart your weight loss.

One small study found that exposure to even moderate levels of light at certain times of the day can have an influence on weight.

Exposure to sunlight is also the best way to meet your vitamin D needs. Some studies have found that meeting your vitamin D requirements can aid in weight loss and even prevent weight gain.

The amount of sun exposure you need can vary based on your skin type, the season and your location. However, letting in some sunlight or sitting outside for 10–15 minutes each morning may have a beneficial effect on weight loss.

SUMMARY

Sun exposure may have an influence on weight. Sunlight can also help you meet your vitamin D needs, which may help increase weight loss and prevent weight gain.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a practice that involves fully focusing on the present moment and bringing awareness to your thoughts and feelings.

The practice has been shown to enhance weight loss and promote healthy eating habits.

Practicing mindfulness is simple. To get started, try spending five minutes each morning sitting comfortably in a calm space and connecting with your senses.

SUMMARY

Some studies have found that mindfulness can increase weight loss and promote healthy eating behaviors.

  1. Squeeze in Some Exercise

Getting in some physical activity first thing in the morning can help boost weight loss.

Exercising in the morning may also help keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. Low blood sugar can result in many negative symptoms, including excessive hunger.

However, these studies focused on very specific populations and show an association, rather than causation. More research on the effects of morning exercise in the general population is needed.

SUMMARY

Some studies have found that exercising in the morning may be associated with increased satiety and improved blood sugar control.

  1. Pack Your Lunch

Making the effort to plan and pack your lunch ahead of time can be a simple way to make better food choices and increase weight loss.

In fact, those who ate home-cooked meals at least five times per week were 28% less likely to be overweight than those who only ate home-cooked meals three times or less per week.

Try setting aside a few hours one night a week to plan and prepare your meals so that in the morning you can just grab your lunch and go.

SUMMARY

Studies show that meal planning and eating home-cooked meals are associated with improved diet quality and a lower risk of obesity.

  1. Sleep Longer

Going to bed a bit earlier or setting your alarm clock later to squeeze in some extra sleep may help increase weight loss.

Lack of sleep has also been linked to an increase in calorie intake.

Establishing a healthy sleep schedule is a critical component of weight loss, along with eating well and exercising. To maximize your results, aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night.

SUMMARY

Studies show that sleep deprivation may increase appetite and cravings, as well as calorie intake.

  1. Switch up Your Commute

While driving may be one of the most convenient ways to get to work, it may not be so great for your waistline.

Research shows that walking, biking or using public transportation may be tied to a lower body weight and reduced risk of weight gain.

Changing up your commute even a few times per week may be a simple way to ramp up weight loss.

SUMMARY

Walking, biking and using public transportation have all been associated with less weight gain and lower body weight and body fat, compared to driving to work.

  1. Start Tracking Your Intake

Keeping a food diary to track what you eat can be an effective way to help boost weight loss and keep yourself accountable.

Try using an app or even just a pen and paper to record what you eat and drink, starting with your first meal of the day.

SUMMARY

Studies have found that using a food diary to track your intake can help increase weight loss.

The Bottom Line

Making a few small changes to your morning habits can be an easy and effective way to increase weight loss.

Practicing healthy behaviors in the morning can also get your day started on the right foot and set you up for success.

For best results, make sure you combine these morning habits with a well-rounded diet and healthy lifestyle.

Source:  Rachael Link, MS, RD

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