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Rise and shine and lose those extra pounds! Our mornings are often fast-paced and rushed, and everything we do during that period can affect our entire day. That said, there are a few things that we can include in our morning routine if we want to lose some weight.

A good morning routine won’t only help you shed some extra pounds, but it could be exactly what you need to have a health-driven day. So, how can you start your morning off right?

9 Morning Habits For Weight Loss

1. Open the shades for sunshine

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The first thing you should do when you wake up is to open the curtains and get you some sun. Doing so will provide you with a dose of vitamin D, which won’t only boost your mood but it will also help you with your weight. 

According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, people who spent more time in the morning light had lower BMIs than those who were in the dark, no matter their age, activity level, or what they ate.

2. Take a cold shower

Yes, we all love a good, warm shower in the morning but frankly, we should be taking cold showers instead. Not only does this boost our energy levels, but taking a cold shower can also be progressive for your weight loss goals.

The body contains brown fat which, when activated, can help you burn calories. According to a Harvard study, people who spent 10 days straight in rooms cooled to 60.8 degrees significantly increased activity levels of their brown fat. 

3. Have a protein-rich breakfast

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and eating a protein rich one could be exactly what you need to shed some of those pounds. How so? Well, protein helps to curb your appetite which serves to reduce food cravings and prevent overeating.

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According to a study published in Obesity, eating a high-protein breakfast was associated with less fat gain and reduced daily intake and hunger.

Start off your day with protein-rich foods that include eggs, quinoa, oats, a whole-wheat muffin, or chia seeds.

4. Drink plenty of water

Drinking a glass of water is a great way to start your day and boost your weight loss journey.

A study published in the journal Obesity found that overweight women who increased their water intake to over one litre per day lost an extra 4.4 pounds over a year – all without changing up in their diet or exercise routine.

5. Don’t read the news in the morning

Yes, we’re still in a pandemic and it’s important that we keep up with all the facts surrounding the coronavirus. Unfortunately, continuously reading the news and refreshing your timeline every morning can have a negative impact on your health, as well as your weight. This is because long-term stress causes stem cells to turn into fat cells (1).

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6. Take a few minutes to meditate

Sitting down and focusing on your breath for a few minutes in the morning can help you manage your weight better. According to research from Brown University, following the completion of a 15-question survey by nearly 400 people, people who showed low levels of mindfulness were 34% likelier to be obese and held a pound more of fat in their bellies.

Mindfulness won’t only help you center yourself so that you can properly prepare for the day ahead, but it can also stabilize your emotions, reducing the likelihood of you stress eating with one study showing that mindfulness meditation was able to decrease both emotional eating and binge eating.

7. Get more sleep

You might want to start going to bed a little earlier so that you can get the necessary eight hours of sleep per night, especially if you ‘re watching your weight.

According to a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, participants ending up eating an average of 559 more calories after getting just four hours of sleep, compared to when they got a full eight hours.

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8. Pack Your Lunch

Instead of ordering takeout or spending your lunch hour in front of the office vending machine, why don’t you spend some time in the morning packing your lunch? Doing so could be exactly what you need to shed those extra pounds.

A 2017 study found a strong association between meal planning, better diet quality, more dietary variety, and a lower risk of obesity. Additionally, a separate study found that participants 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.

So with that said, why don’t you spend a few minutes during the evening to plan and prepare your meals so that in the morning you can just grab your lunch and go?

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9. Change Up Your Commute

Yes, driving to work is easy but you’d be better off taking public transport or even biking.

According to a study that followed 822 for over four years, those who commuted by car tended to gain more weight than those who walked, biked, or took public transportation.

The Bottom Line

The early bird catches the worm and doing your best to make a few small changes to your morning habits can be an easy and effective way to increase weight loss. By focusing on your morning habits, it won’t be long before you find yourself adopting a well-rounded healthy lifestyle.

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Brondel, L., Romer, M. A., Nougues, P. M., Touyarou, P., & Davenne, D. (2010). Acute partial sleep deprivation increases food intake in healthy men. The American journal of clinical nutrition91(6), 1550–1559.
Ducrot, P., Méjean, C., Aroumougame, V., Ibanez, G., Allès, B., Kesse-Guyot, E., Hercberg, S., & Péneau, S. (2017). Meal planning is associated with food variety, diet quality and body weight status in a large sample of French adults. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity14(1), 12.
Katterman, S. N., Kleinman, B. M., Nackers, L. M., et al. (2014). Mindfulness meditation as an intervention for binge eating, emotional eating, and weight loss: a systematic review. Eating behaviors15(2), 197–204.
Leidy, H. J., Hoertel, H. A., Douglas, S. M., Higgins, K. A., & Shafer, R. S. (2015). A high-protein breakfast prevents body fat gain, through reductions in daily intake and hunger, in “Breakfast skipping” adolescents. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)23(9), 1761–1764.
Mills, S., Brown, H., Wrieden, W., White, M., & Adams, J. (2017). Frequency of eating home cooked meals and potential benefits for diet and health: cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity14(1), 109.
Reid KJ, Santostasi G, Baron KG, Wilson J, Kang J, et al. (2014) Timing and Intensity of Light Correlate with Body Weight in Adults. PLOS ONE 9(4): e92251.
Stookey, J. D., Constant, F., Popkin, B. M., & Gardner, C. D. (2008). Drinking water is associated with weight loss in overweight dieting women independent of diet and activity. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)16(11), 2481–2488.
van der Lans, A. A., Hoeks, J., Brans, B., Vijgen, G. H., Visser, M. G., Vosselman, M. J., Hansen, J., Jörgensen, J. A., Wu, J., Mottaghy, F. M., Schrauwen, P., & van Marken Lichtenbelt, W. D. (2013). Cold acclimation recruits human brown fat and increases nonshivering thermogenesis. The Journal of clinical investigation123(8), 3395–3403.
Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.