Losing weight is no easy task.
In fact, sometimes it can feel impossible to see just a little bit of progress.
What if there were a few small changes you could make to your morning routine that could help tip the scale?
Let’s look at 4 simple habits to add to your morning regimen to help with weight loss and overall health.
The Simple Morning Habits to Lose Weight
1. Start Your Day With a Workout
Consider boosting your metabolism with an early morning workout.
Adding in physical activity first thing in the morning, whether it’s cardio or strength training, can help to enhance weight loss and improve energy levels.
The best part of a fitness routine is finding an activity that is enjoyable.
This makes those minutes of exercise fly by.
Most importantly, choose activities and exercises you can enjoy. Also, it’s essential to select a type of workout for your specific goal.
Whether you are looking to burn extra calories, gain muscles, or burn more fat, there is an exercise for that!
Exercises for Weight Loss
Getting your heart rate up is a great way to burn extra calories and aid in fat loss. (See the Best Exercises to Lose Weight)
This can help improve your body composition and of course your weight.
Luckily, you don’t need hours or a gym.
If you are low on time in the morning, consider a quick beginner’s high-intensity interval training (HIIT) weight loss workout plan.
Choose 3 exercises and complete 3 sets each with a few seconds of rest in between.
Add in dumbbells or lighter weights to add an additional challenge.
You can also use bodyweight if you have minimal equipment or as you work to increase your fitness level.
If you are a beginner, it’s important to make sure to practice good form to avoid the risk of injury.
Working with a personal trainer is a great way to find a workout program that is tailored to your needs and abilities.
Exercises for Building Muscles
Incorporating a regular strength training routine that works all major muscle groups can help to build lean muscle.
The more muscle mass the higher your metabolic rate and the higher number of calories you will burn at rest.
The most effective way to build muscle is to get into a routine and find the best exercises for you that work for all muscle groups.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 2 days a week of this type of exercise.
A great way to do this is by incorporating compound movement.
A compound movement is any exercise that works for more than one muscle group.
One example of this is a squat.
Squats work your abs, hamstrings, thighs, glutes, and hips.
Cardio for Burning Calories
Cardio or endurance exercises can help to torch substantial calories.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise.
Endurance exercise consists of many different types of workouts, such as walking, biking, hiking, jogging, or similar.
You can also consider steady-state cardio for more effective fat loss.
This is when doing an endurance activity at a moderate pace for an extended period of time.
However, this is not encouraged for beginners.
For cardio workouts consider a 20- minute jog on the treadmill or a low impact morning walk.
Always be sure to stretch after a workout to prevent the risk of injury.
Cool-down stretches help to reduce cramping and stiffness post-exercise.
Exercise to Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Not only will early morning exercise help to burn excess calories and create a bigger calorie deficit, but it can also better control your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Steady and controlled blood sugar levels help to avoid excessive hunger and snacking and promote healthy eating.
Insulin, a hormone that helps to balance our blood sugar levels, also helps with appetite regulation.
High levels of circulating insulin often occur in those with insulin resistance or Diabetes.
The more circulating insulin the more our appetite and desire to eat increases (1).
Also, try adding in more workouts outside for a great start to your day.
Consider outdoor activities on the weekend.
Not only is this a convenient way to get in a great workout, but it’s also fun and a great opportunity to get some sunlight exposure!
Also, check out this: 5-Minute Breathing Exercise Lowers Blood Pressure as Much as Exercise, Meds
2. Take a Cold Shower
A study conducted in 2009 linked exposure to cold temperatures to help activate brown fats (6).
These are the fats responsible for regulating our body temperature.
Most of our body fat is made of white fat, which stores energy and can lead to obesity.
When our body temperature decreases, our brown fat breaks down sugar and fat molecules to heat us up (7).
This process is said to increase your metabolic rate and energy levels while burning additional calories.
Physical activity is also believed to help activate our brown fats.
3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
No matter what your fitness level, you can’t escape a bad diet.
Breakfast, the first meal of the day, often referred to as the most important, is commonly overlooked.
Unfortunately, starting your day on an empty stomach could make or break your successful weight loss.
The same can be said for those who choose low-quality breakfast options such as processed or fast food which is often high in calories.
Instead, choose whole foods and other healthy options such as lean meat, fresh fruit, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, and veggies rich in soluble fiber.
Skipping breakfast is also often associated with increased nighttime snacking on unhealthy food choices which can cause weight gain.
Sleep is also an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle, however; it should not come at the expense of breakfast.
Choose your first meal wisely as it will be setting you up for the rest of your day.
Avoid sugar-laden coffee, fruit juice, and other high-carb foods and drinks to avoid a binge later in the day.
This can also cut out a significant amount of empty calories.
Those who consume a healthy breakfast are far more likely to choose a healthy lunch and dinner as well.
Add in a good lean protein source to your meal to help get you through the morning without excess snacking.
For those who plan to incorporate tip #1, consider adding in a healthy carb source, such as fruit or whole grains such as oats or brown rice along with protein to adequately fuel your workout.
This could be something simple such as bananas with peanut butter.
This can also be a healthy snack option.
Studies have shown a high-protein breakfast can help reduce cravings, keep your appetite at bay, and aid in weight loss.
This is because it helps to keep our hunger hormones better under control.
Good protein sources to start your day include eggs, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese or other low-fat dairy options, nuts and seeds, or turkey/chicken sausage.
If you struggle with eating in the morning, consider a low-sugar protein drink instead.
If you find yourself struggling with time in the morning you can consider a meal plan or meal prepping for convenience.
Healthy eating habits take time to develop.
It’s important to avoid restriction and instead slowly incorporate more healthy foods for a weight loss routine that is more easily sustainable.
4. Drink a Glass of Water
Although it’s considered a vital nutrient, most of us don’t consume enough water throughout the day.
Our body is made of 60% water and our organs rely heavily on adequate hydration to function properly (8).
When we wake up in the morning, our body is dehydrated.
To prep our system for proper digestion, and performance if exercise is involved, the first thing we should ingest should be water.
Low water intake can also cause us to overeat.
Our brain cannot differentiate between thirst and hunger.
The cause of frequent snacking could very likely be thirst.
Although there is no current recommendation for water intake, 64 ounces a day is a good starting point for most.
The Bottom Line
A healthy weight loss takes time.
Adding in physical activity to increase your heart rate and burn additional calories can help along with choosing a healthy diet, avoiding skipping meals, and staying hydrated.
Consider adding these healthy habits to your morning ritual for weight loss.
Become an early bird and start your day in the morning sun with an activity you enjoy and a protein-rich breakfast.
Remember the early bird gets the worm.
If you continue to have a hard time losing weight, consider seeking medical advice from your doctor or health care provider to rule out any potential underlying causes.
- Austin, Juliana, and Daniel Marks. “Hormonal regulators of appetite.” International journal of pediatric endocrinology vol. 2009 (2009): 141753. doi:10.1155/2009/141753
- Khosravi, Zahra Sadat et al. “Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Weight Loss, Glycemic Indices, and Lipid Profile in Obese and Overweight Women: A Clinical Trial Study.” International journal of preventive medicine vol. 9 63. 20 Jul. 2018, doi:10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_329_15
- Bassatne, Aya, et al. “Vitamin D supplementation in obesity and during weight loss: A review of randomized controlled trials.” Metabolism 92 (2019): 193-205.
- Mason, Caitlin, et al. “Effects of weight loss on serum vitamin D in postmenopausal women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 94.1 (2011): 95-103.
- Penckofer, Sue et al. “Vitamin D and depression: where is all the sunshine?.” Issues in mental health nursing vol. 31,6 (2010): 385-93. doi:10.3109/01612840903437657
- Cypess, Aaron M et al. “Identification and importance of brown adipose tissue in adult humans.” The New England journal of medicine vol. 360,15 (2009): 1509-17. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa0810780
- “How Brown Fat Improves Metabolism.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 17 Sept. 2019, www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-brown-fat-improves-metabolism.
- Jéquier, E, and F Constant. “Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration.” European journal of clinical nutrition vol. 64,2 (2010): 115-23. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2009.111