The process of losing weight the healthy way (and keeping it off) isn’t easy — if it were, everyone would do it. But it doesn’t have to be unnecessarily difficult, either. In fact, there are a few easy morning habits you can adopt that will set you up for success for the rest of the day and make shedding pounds seem a lot simpler.
Incorporate as many of these practices into your morning routine as you can, and you just might notice a big difference in how quickly and easily the number on the scale drops.
Start your day with water
Staying hydrated is essential for weight loss (and important for everyone), and starting your morning with a glass or two of water is a great way to jump-start things. Water can help increase the number of calories you’re burning for at least 60 minutes, and it’s also been known to reduce your appetite.
Eat a protein-packed breakfast
You’ve probably heard that eating breakfast can actually help you lose weight, but it’s also very important to eat the right foods — specifically, foods packed with protein. Protein is a key factor in weight loss, and starting your day with it will really help. And if you don’t like eggs or can’t eat them because of dietary restrictions, fear not. There are plenty of other delicious high-protein breakfasts you can make.
Most of us begin our day in a hurry, rushing to get out the door for work, getting children ready for school, or launching into an important task. But studies have shown starting the morning by practicing mindfulness — a practice that involves fully focusing on the present moment and bringing awareness to your thoughts and feelings — enhances weight loss. And all it takes is spending five minutes sitting quietly in the morning, focusing on your breath and connecting with your senses.
Get some exercise
Daily morning workouts aren’t necessarily realistic for everyone, and working out at any point in your day is beneficial. But a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that morning exercisers stayed more active throughout the day and weren’t as tempted by unhealthy food. And don’t think you have to commit to a full hour, either. Just 10 minutes of heart-pumping exercise is all you need to make a difference.
Pack your snacks for the day
Enjoying a healthy snack or two throughout your day will keep you away from the office vending machine or from mindless munching in your kitchen. It only takes a couple of minutes to whip up some quick, healthy snacks to take with you, and then you’ll be well prepared when hunger strikes.
Start tracking your calories
Keeping a food diary to track what you eat can help you lose weight faster. There are plenty of free apps that will track your calories for you, or you can use an old-fashioned pen and paper. But starting in the morning as you enjoy your high-protein breakfast will keep you on track all day.
Get some sun
A recent study revealed that being exposed to sunlight early in the morning is associated with a lower BMI. In addition to boosting your mood, it will expose you to vitamin D, an essential nutrient for weight loss. You only need 20 minutes of sunlight to reap the benefits, and if you don’t have time to go for a walk, opening all the curtains and blinds while you get ready will help. Plus, you can use special lamps in the winter as a substitute for the real thing.
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