In order to make each morning count in your weight loss journey, you need to have some solid habits on deck. The journey can be challenging at times, and having the right sense of direction can make all the difference in the world. If you’re looking to speed up your progress, we’re here to help with just that.
We spoke with Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, a nutritionist in private practice, and a member of our Medical Expert Board, who shares five of her best-recommended morning habits to lose weight faster. Add them to your routine, and watch the scale go down! For more, don’t miss 5 Habits To Do Every Morning for a Fitter, Healthier Body.
Bumping up how much water you drink each day can support your weight loss efforts—research says so! For instance, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, participants who drank around two cups of water 30 minutes before having breakfast, lunch, and dinner dropped weight and experienced a decrease in their body mass index (BMI) score.
Young says that drinking a glass of water first thing in the AM is a smart move. “When you wake up in the morning, you may be dehydrated, so hydrating with a glass of water is a great idea. You also may think you are hungry but you’re really just thirsty,” she explains. And if plain old water is just too drab for you, consider adding fresh lemon or mint to your glass.
Kicking off your breakfast with a protein-packed food such as eggs, yogurt, or nut butter will have you feeling full for a longer period of time. Plus, it will help “stabilize blood sugar,” according to Young. This is the ultimate recipe for weight loss!
Research backs up how important protein can be in your journey. Plenty of clinical trials have revealed that bumping up your protein intake—aka eating more than the recommended dietary allowance—can help you lose weight and improve your overall body composition by lowering fat mass and helping you maintain fat-free mass.
Fruit is a stellar food to add to your morning routine, considering it’s jam-packed with antioxidants and fiber. You’ll be adding “bulk and volume to your meal without unnecessary calories,” Young explains.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that bumping the amount of fiber you consume each day up to 30 grams can decrease your blood pressure and help you shed weight. Adding more fiber to the start of your day is such a simple way to support your progress, so give it a try.
If you need inspiration, take a cue from Young. “I love adding berries to my yogurt or slicing an apple into my oatmeal,” she says. “And healthy weight loss focuses on what to add rather than subtract.”
If you think all carbs are bad, think again. The last tidbit of morning inspiration as far as your diet is concerned has to do with adding whole grains to your breakfast. “Whole grains like oatmeal or whole grain bread contain fiber and nutrients and help keep you satisfied. No need to fear carbs,” Young stresses.
There’s something so exhilarating about carving out time for some morning exercise. This is an amazing and smart way habit to get into if you’re looking to lose weight and start the day in a clear headspace. So lace up your shoes, and head outdoors for a brisk walk! Your mind and body will thank you.
“Losing weight by walking is a great adjunct to eating a healthy food plan,” Young says. “Walking burns calories, helps keep your bones strong, and is great for your mood.”