Set your day up for success by sticking to a healthy morning routine that supports fat loss
Morning routines seem to be all the rage, and I am here for it.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “early to bed & early to rise, makes a man healthy and wise,” and I couldn’t agree more.
However, setting your alarm early just to beat the line at Starbucks for your Mocha Choca Latte you sip while rotting away in front of a computer screen all day defeats the purpose.
Here is a morning routine conducive to weight loss you can work into your schedule. Adapt these healthy habits one or two at a time, and your day will be set for success.
PS- you can listen along to this article on the Nutrition Awareness Podcast.
Prioritize 7-9 Hours of Sleep
“Early to rise” is counterproductive without the “early to bed.” Chronic sleep deprivation (defined as less than 7 hours most nights per week) is a common ailment we see with our weight loss clients who comply with healthy diet and exercise regimens but can’t shed the pounds.
Sound like you? Then get off this blog and go to bed! Seriously- adopting a consistent sleep routine is a fundamental piece of the weight loss & healthy lifestyle pie.
Making time for a healthy morning routine may require adjusting your evening rituals so you can get to sleep earlier.
Does this mean sacrificing an extra episode of Netflix or late night Twitter scrolling? Yep, sure does. If losing weight is a priority to you, it’s well worth the loss.
Not convinced? Read or listen to how sleep impacts weight, cravings, and hunger for an extra kick-in-the-butt.
Before you gulp down any coffee or tea, drink at least 8 ounces of fresh H2O. Your body is 80% water and after 7+ hours without it, you need to rehydrate. Don’t skip this step.
It may be helpful to fill a glass or snazzy water bottle the night before so it’s ready to go. Some experts will argue room temperature water is better for your digestive system. I say as long as you’re rehydrating with water, it won’t matter if it comes from your fridge or a glass on your nightstand.
Jazz up your morning water with lemon or lime.
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Before you roll your eyes, humor my take on how meditation can influence your weight loss success.
Cultivating a healthy lifestyle is a mental game. It requires consistent effort, changing your habits, saying no to old temptations and hello to hard work.
Carving time to sit in silence with your thoughts provides you with an opportunity to set your intentions for the day & reflect on your progress. It allows you to remind yourself why you are making a change and how you can continue to press on.
How motivating is that? It’s hard to walk away 10-15 minutes of focusing on being your best self and plop on the couch with a bowl of sugary cereal. Instead, you have set the tone for a successful day.
I personally meditate by writing my thoughts, intentions, and daily goals in a journal. If you prefer to meditate in the traditional sense (criss-cross applesauce with your eyes closed), I recommend using an app like Headspace to get you in the groove.
Move Your Body
How exercise can support weight loss and maintenance is a no brainer. Incorporating it in the AM helps get the blood flowing and, just as Newton made law, a body in motion stays in motion.
A common misconception is you should bust out your entire workout in your morning routine. While this works for many, time constraints may not allow for you to fit an entire fitness routine into your morning regimen.
If this is the case for you, simply block off 10-15 minutes for simple movement such as walking, stretching, yoga, or a series of body weight exercise on your back porch or living room.
You’ll feel refreshed with a noticeable amount of energy, giving you the motivation to complete a longer or more intense workout later in the day.
Bonus: Weather permitting, complete your morning movement routine outside. There is something about being closer to nature that helps you feel more grounded, and sunlight exposure is hard to come by if you’re day job is indoors.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast (with Company)
Whether or not you’re intermittent fasting, your first meal of the day should be nutritious and satiating. I commonly tell clients what they decide to eat at 7am determines how they eat at 7pm, meaning a high-sugar breakfast with no balance will likely snowball into a full day of snacking and suboptimal food choices.
What is included in a healthy breakfast? Whole food sources of fiber, lean protein, and satiating fat. I like a veggie & egg scramble with sprouted grain toast.
Best case scenario, you prepare a healthy meal to eat at the table with your family in a stress-free enviroment. However, I live in the 21st century and understand this is not always possible. You may be off to work or trying to get the kids off to school.
In this case, plan how you can incorporate a healthy meal into your morning routine:
Do you need to prep breakfast the night before? (Overnight Oats or Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos are great options!)
Will you need to take these with you and wait until you are at work to eat?
Is it possible to wake up 20 minutes earlier to make time for breakfast?
However you decide to incorporate breakfast, the process should be simple & relaxing. The last thing you want is to cap off your morning routine with a rushed, chaotic meal you won’t even enjoy. Often times, these overly rushed meals cause us to overeat or experience cravings later in the day.
Want help setting up a morning routine for weight loss that includes individualized nutrition & eating recommendations? Book a consultation with one of our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists. We’ll get you on the right track and hold you accountable to your goals.
Kait Richardson is a registered dietitian nutritionist in Orlando, FL. She is a partner at a private practice, Nutrition Awareness, where she helps frustrated yo-yo dieters reach their health goals using 1:1 nutrition coaching. She is the co-host of the Nutrition Awareness Podcast.