My Favourite Morning Habits for Happy Weight-Loss
My Favourite Morning Habits for Happy Weight-Loss
Everyone says the most important part of your day is breakfast: it alone sets you up for a happy, successful, healthy day. However, that’s only part of the truth. Yes, breakfast makes a big contribution, but what really counts is the morning as a whole, especially if you want to lose weight. Here are the easy habits you should add to your morning for better weight-loss and a better day!
Everyone says the most important part of your day is breakfast: it alone sets you up for a happy, successful, healthy day. However, that’s only part of the truth. Yes, breakfast makes a big contribution, but what really counts is the morning as a whole, especially if you want to lose weight.
Through trial and error when I was on my own weight-loss journey, I discovered that a morning routine of happy, healthy habits really makes a difference to the overall success of your weight loss and overall daily happiness.
Without good routines, mornings and days can be a mess.
As you might know, trying to lose weight can be really hard: full of deprivation and sometimes minor depression. It took me literal months of fine tuning to discover how to lose weight without the pain, hunger and moments of loneliness.
You know what I mean right? Like going to a movie with friends and missing out on the pizza meetup later, so you can avoid the temptation of breaking your diet. 🍕
This would happen to me all the time. I remember one Christmas when I went with two of my friends to a lights display festival and and had to skip going with them to the ‘after party’ where we had originally planned hours of cookie decorating, music, and holiday Hallmark movies, all because I hadn’t met my monthly weight-loss goal. 😓
Truth be told, this is one of the reasons why I went to find a weight loss formula that would work with everyday life, which thankfully, I managed to do!
I even perfected it and shared it with my friends. Actually, it worked so well for me that they begged me to share it with the world, and because I love to help people, eventually I did! I turned it into my step-by-step program Lose Inches In An Instant. 😄
But, I digress. How do mornings fit into this?
Even though I managed to find a meal plans and hacks to fit fun into my ‘food life’, I still found mornings to be a crucial part of my day. For example, if I rolled out of bed, quickly crammed down my breakfast, and rushed out the door, I often realised that this would leave me in a ‘funk’ so to speak. Because I hadn’t taken the time to take care of my body, plan my day, or prep my mind for the day’s events, I would be less productive or feel tired earlier on in the day.
This lack of accomplishment and energy would leave me more prone to breaking my diet and/or skipping a workout, which, you guessed, would only negatively impact my weigh-in. 🙄
That’s why I worked on developing a morning routine that would work along with my diet plan to boost my mood, metalbolism, productivity, and overall quality of life and health.
If, like most people, your current routine is to jump out of bed, grab a coffee and bagel, check your inbox and rush to work (no tardiness!), well, it’s time for you to make a change. If you want to make any positive change in your life, weight related or other, you need to fix the morning. Plus, getting habits done in the morning makes it more likely you’ll stick with them. 🙏
So today, I want to share with a couple of the tricks that really worked for me and my ‘Inspirited Goal Getters’!
When you start your morning off right, not only will you be able to help boost weight loss, obtain more natural energy, develop a happy mood, and give yourself extra motivation, but you’ll also most importantly be prepared to conquer any obstacles that you face throughout the day.
Okay! I'll stop rambling on, because you're probably asking: That’s all great and such, but how do I start my morning off right?!
Get Prepped - Sleep Longer 💤
Okay, so it might not exactly qualify as being part of a morning routine, but I want to include this step anyway because it’s an important one.
Sleep deprivation may cause you to eat more calories because it causes you to have increased appetite, research even says so!
That's why creating a healthy sleep schedule is a SUPER critical to weight loss. In order to maximize your results, aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night. 😴
Try going to to bed just that wee bit earlier, and keep it on a regular schedule to regulate your hormones - it will really help.
However, I love my ‘couch time’ with my family watching Netflix; it's my way of relaxing, spending time, and winding down at night, and if you’re like me you can’t imagine skipping that time.
In this case, try adding some extra time to your alarm clock to squeeze in some extra sleep. If you can’t (it coincides with school work, etc.) I’m afraid you should try and get to bed sooner. There’s no way around it if you can’t wake up earlier. Even 30 minutes will help!
If you’re not a great sleeper, check out my article on easy ways to get better sleep here! 🛌
1.Wake Up, 2. Drink Water!
Drinking a glass of water right after you wake up is the best habit you can have for optimal health.
Your body needs water for everything! Drinking water is such an easy but crucial practice, yet it's ignored by so many people.
I definitely suggest putting fully filled 8.oz glass of water on your night stand at night (I do!), and then as soon as you wake up in the morning, drink it all up. After a couple of days, check if you can feel the difference - kinda energizing! Also, drinking water will help you be able to tell if your body is hungry or not, which will prevent you from force feeding yourself for the sake of ‘breakfast time’. 🍳
Did you know that drinking plenty of water during the day may reduce fake appetite and therefore food intake, leading to weight loss? 😋
Oh, and did you know that starting your morning with a glass or two of water is great at metabolism for enhancing weight loss too? Water can help increase your energy expenditure (number of calories your body burns) for at least 60 minutes. Cool right?! 😉
If you’re not into plain water, feel free to add a bit of fresh lemon juice. Be wary though, sometimes the juice can make an empty stomach feel acidic.
So yeah… starting your morning with water and staying well hydrated throughout the day is a great way to boost weight loss.
Set An Intention For Your Day
If you want to make a positive change in your life, setting an intention for each day is SUPER important.
You can't just say once “oh… I want to make this change, or that change” and call it a day. It’s not enough! You must make the change you want into a mantra for each day, remind yourself of it, and decide what step you can take each and everyday to make it happen. 👍
Decide: I’m going to be good to my mind, body and my health today, and set an intention that will make this change a truth.
You can make it as specific as you want, like “Today I will make my health a priority and will drink tea instead of soda, have a salad instead of a donuts, and bike to work instead of drive” or, be more general, “Today I will put my health and body first, and I will consciously eat with my health in mind”.
I personally like to write what ever my intention is down, and I suggest you do the same. ✍️
Maybe jot it down on a post-it note or a sticker and put it up at your desk or wallet, or wherever you'll see it most during the day.
Even if you're not planning on losing weight or are not working on changing anything in your life, I would still very much suggest setting a positive intention for your day because this can give you a positive mindset throughout your day.
Try a mantra like this: “Today I will smile more, wave more, and say hi more; today I will be thoughtful, I will hold the door more, think more before I do, and I will bring coffee for everyone in the office”. ❤️
Do this and you will feel more bonded with those around you, at work, at home, and at a meetup with friends.
Get Moving: Exercise & Walking!
This next morning habit is to exercise, move around actively or to go out for a walk in the morning. It won’t just help you lose weight by burning calories, but it’ll also help your mind feel refreshed and energised. It’ll help you feel better about yourself, feel way more detoxed and cleansed, and also feel more accomplished - all of which will lead to you make better choices later in the day.
I find that when I take my walk or do my Pilates early on in the day, I feel way happier and less overwhelmed about everything going on in my life.
I find it especially great for when I've had a cheat treat day the night before because it helps burn some calories and makes my body feel more cleansed and less stodgy! 🍨
If you want to practice this habit, all you’ll probably need some are active comfortable shoes and 15-30 minutes!
Try Pilates (my fave), yoga, cardio workouts, weight training, or even turn on some of your favourite music in the morning and dance if that’s what you want to do; dancing is a great fun way to start out and it'll put you in a great mood if you’re not ready to do ‘conventional exercise’.
Also, you can try running, walking and biking around your neighborhood, a local park, or even on your commute to work (more on that below)! 🚴
Start tomorrow or as soon as you can, it's a super rewarding habit!
If exercise is already a part of your daily routine, try working out in the morning if you haven’t up until now; it will help ensure you do your workouts (no matter what happens in the rest of the day) and all that breathing'll put you in a better mood all day.
It's Time To Switch Up Your Commute
Like I said before walk or bike to (wherever you’re headed) if your work, school, etc. is only about 15-30 minutes on foot or transit. 🚗
Yes, maybe driving is the most convenient way to get to work, skipping the drive is the best for your mood, health and waistline.
As I said before, moving in the morning is a great mood booster, and what a better chance to do it then walking to work? It’s a trip you were already making, and now you get to do the same but HEALTHIER; it will boost your mood even more because you won't be cramped sitting in the car after just waking up, stuck in that nasty morning traffic. Instead you'll be with nature, scenery, and doing something for your body and mind.
Even try asking a friend or two to join you, maybe star a walk or bike to work group and enjoy the companionship. 🚶
Walking, biking or using public transportation may be tied to a lower body weight and reduced risk of weight gain, so you have no reason to not start today!
Step On The Scale… Weigh Yourself!
Believe me, I know the fear of weight gain and the worry of disappointing weight loss, but you have to step on that scale. The truth is that it could be good, or it could be bad, but you have to know in order to celebrate or do something about it!
If you step on that scale each morning and weigh yourself, it’ll be an effective method to either increase your motivation or improve your self-control for the whole day. 👌
Weigh yourself right when you wake up after using the bathroom and before you eat or drink anything.
Your weight may fluctuate daily (mine does!), and weighing yourself every day will allow you to regonise this and develop a healthy relationship with the scale.
I used to fixate on the scale, on every pound up or down. Whenever I lost weight, it was never enough, and whenever I gained weight, it was the end of the world. I failed to realise that there are normal fluctuations in weight (especially for women) and keeping an eye on the general pattern of how much I weighed was more important then how much I weighed on any given day. Because of this, the scale ruled my life. 😥
Focus instead on the overall trend; with time you’ll be able to see if in general you maintain, lose, or gain weight, and that curve will allow you to decide the overall steps you need to take in your diet and exercise to either continue or change that trend.
So, I need you to remember that weight can be influenced by a variety of factors. Keep accountable and realistic rather than being fixated on small day-to-day changes.
If you start to become obsessed about your weight, stop weighing yourself and reach out for help. You can even share it with me; I’ve been there before and I’m happy to give advice on how to deal with it so you can stay accountable and stay healthy. 😘
Don't ruin your mindset over a number - just keep accountable of what you are doing!
Eat Breakfast… But Only When You’re Ready!🤯
People say breakfast is super important, that it’s unhealthy to skip it as it sets you up for the day, and yes, in a way they have a point.
BUT, if you’re not hungry right after you wake up, don't eat for the sake of it.
Drink some water, do your exercise of choice and then see when you get hungry. That’s the time to have breakfast.
Hungry Yet? Eat The Right Breakfast... Healthy Fats!
Once you're READY to eat breakfast, what are you supposed to eat?
The answer? Healthy fats! 🥑
If you’re the type of person who just drinks coffee, picks at a whole grain muffin, or nibbles at granola for breakfast, then you’re missing out on a BIG opportunity to hold off your hunger for long enough to make the right choices at lunch or snack times. You’re also missing out on an opportunity to refuel your body in a healthy way with well needed nutrients.
Your breakfast should consist of healthy fats and high protein foods. Why?
Eating both fat and protein at breakfast helps keep blood sugar levels under control, which helps keep you fuller longer - this helps you not feel as hungry as often, avoid cravings, and stave off energy crashes.
Let’s say you were to have have a cup coffee with a tsp of sugar and a bowl of fruit and oatmeal for breakfast; your body would get the benefit of caffeine, glucose, soluble fiber, and healthy vitamins. 🍓
But, the problem is that it’s actually a sugar-heavy breakfast.
The meal above would cause your glucose levels to soar, your pancreas would then pump out insulin in response to the rising blood sugar levels, and then the glucose would be metabolized quickly causing your blood glucose levels to plummet.
Sciency? I know, but hold on, I'm getting there. 😉
So, though you were on initially full and maybe a little bloated (from oats & coffee), in an hour or so you’re STARVING and all your energy levels begin to crash.
The reason behind this? It's ‘bout to get a bit more complicated. 🔬
Because your blood sugar levels drop quickly after the high sugar, low protein and low fat breakfast, the adrenal glands start to secrete cortisol (a hormone), which tells your liver to produce and release glucose into the bloodstream. Then the pancreas will secrete glucagon and glucose in storage, causing your energy to crash. This makes you (without knowing) go for some high carb glucose filled snack for another spike. It then becomes a cycle.
And at lunch, this viscous cycle is probably gonna repeat.
This is NOT good for weight los. Eating more snacks filled with sugar and carb without realising it isn’t balanced for your body, and can cause weight fluctuations. 🍬 Maybe sounds similar to what happens to you, right?!
So how do you stop it?
Like I said, choose healthy fats (egg yolks) and high protein foods (turkey) for breaking the fast (my way of saying breakfast - yup, I’m a bit dorky 😊).
This is why I always suggest healthy fats and high protein breakfasts to everyone in my Lose Inches In An Instant weight-loss program, and why I even specially designed delicious breakfast recipes all based around healthy fats and high protein foods for all of my students. It’s that important to me!
With a happy belly, your decisions will be more health conscious for lunch because your stomach is not STARVING!
Prepare Your Snacks And Lunch (Yes, Ahead Of Time)!
To increase the chances of eating healthily for the whole day after you leave your house, prep your lunch and snacks.
This will help with decrease the temptations of office food and ordering out.
Let’s be real: even with the help of the full stomach from the right breakfast, it can still be hard some days to curb the craving - ‘cuz I’m only human after all’ (if you know that song - which you likely do - sorry, I couldn’t help it 😂).
So, to triple your chances of staying on track while out and about, take 5 minutes in the morning to make yourself lunch and little snackies. Choose a healthy fresh salad 🥗, or cottage cheese and veggies – something grab and go.
All you need is a good lunch container! 😊
Crunch! Eat MORE Fibers! 🥕
Fill your whole day with foods that take more time to eat. Yep, that means fiber.
I know fiber has a popular association with trips to the restroom 😂, but seriously, fiber is no joke when it comes to your weight and your health.
Whole foods that contain more fiber take considerably more effort to chew, and all of this extra time between bites will let your stomach catch up and feel full faster after eating less.
They’ll also help you feel fuller longer.
Not eating enough fiber can make it quite tough to control blood sugar and appetite because fiber regulates the speed of digestion and contributes to fullness. More fiber will help you reduce your overall caloric intake while creating a slight uptick in how many calories you burn throughout the day.
Oh, and a high-fiber diet also can reduce the risk of stroke, hypertension, and heart disease.
Now, simply eating fiber may not be enough to shed all those 25 pounds you want, but trust me, every single little bit counts! And more importantly, eating more fibrous whole foods will improve your overall diet. It will give your body the nutrients it needs to thrive.
That's not the only benefit though - eating healthy fibers is awesome for your health!
Whole foods like celery, carrots, and whole grain rice are full of fiber, which will keep your... um… bowels healthy *awkward silence* - okay, so now that’s over, yes, I said it. I know you might not want to think about that but… healthy bowels are important. 🤦♀️
Your body actually needs fiber to… well... digest. 💩
Skipping a daily dose of fiber often leads to constipation, which makes going to the bathroom painful and uncomfortable.
Let’s hear it for bowel efficiency! 👏
Keep in mind though (before you keep on scrolling), too much of a good thing does exist, and in this case fiber is that good thing.
Don't start overdoing it with fiber, because too much of it can move food through the intestines “too” quickly, meaning fewer minerals will get absorbed from food. This can also result in un-comfy gas, bloating, and cramping, especially when fiber intake is dramatically increased - like overnight.
Speaking of high-fiber foods, almond flour contains a sneakily large amount of fiber - for more on that (and why you should avoid almond flour) check my blog post here.
Sunny... Sun... Sun…! Bring On The Sunshine! 🌅
Opening up those blinds or curtains to let in some sunlight or taking a couple extra minutes outside each morning will help kick-start weight loss.
You maybe asking: “how does sunshine help with my weight loss, Isabelle?”
Actually, I cover this in more detail in some of my free (and premium) courses, but here's just one of the reasons why:
Obtaining sunlight is one of our main sources of vitamin D. Okay…. so what?
Vitamin D helps with your emotional stability, organ function, and the warmth from its beautiful rays is a mood booster.
Yes, but what’s that to do with weight loss? Hold on…! 🛑
Well, if you add to your morning routine some morning rays, you will start to feel way more energized, motivated, happier, and healthier, because of the vitamin D and hormonal changes from sun exposure. This’ll, in turn, give you the energy to stick to your all of your goals: exercising, packing healthy lunches/snacks, being kinder to co-workers, checking calories, walking instead of driving, cooking a healthy meal, etc. the list goes on.
It’s makes it a lot easier to stick to a health goal when you feel motivated and energized.
It's a fact.
If you make sure to get your morning sun exposure (no matter what), you’ll create an early morning routine, which, once it's established, make it a lot easier to wake up in the morning.
Morning sun contains higher levels of blue light, which normalizes your internal circadian rhythm. So when sun gets your circadian rhythm working as it should, you'll sleep a lot better and have more energy throughout the day. That's definitely something everyone needs, (including my good self), amiright?! 🙏
Don’t forget that we also need sleep to keep our organs, metabolism, and important other bodily functions running properly.
You only need around 20-35 minutes of sun exposure in the morning to get the best benefits. If you combine it with other morning activities (like your walk) you can easily fit it into your busy morning.
So, enjoy your cup of morning sun! ☕
It's Time To Practice Mindfulness!
You’ve probably heard about mindfulness from friends or ‘the social medias’, but never really took any notice.
But come on... it's time to do it… and make it part of your morning routine!
Mindfulness is a practice that involves being fully focused on the present moment and bringing awareness to your thoughts and feelings (if you want to read more into how mindfulness works, check out this blog post).
Did you know this practice of mindfulnesss has been shown to enhance weight loss and promote healthy eating habits?
Don’t worry, I didn’t know either before I started!
But in fact, an analysis of 19 studies found that mindfulness-based interventions increased weight loss and reduced obesity-related eating behaviors, and it’s super simple to do!
I even have a FREE easy 4 Day step-by-step Mindfulness Challenge you can do to get a hang of the practice— after you finish it mindfulness will start to become like second nature, and your health goals will become easier to achieve!
You can even practice it as a part of your morning sunshine routine (maybe out in your back-garden) and get two of your healthy morning activities done at once.
Well, played, well, played! ✋
Cold Showers - What The… Seriously?🤨
I know, I know.
Cold showers are, well, downright miserable. Everyone, L-O-V-E-S a good hot shower in the morning - it slowly wakes you up and makes you feel great.
But, listen up: the truth is that having a cold shower in the morning can help boost energy levels, raise your metabolism, and regulate your hormones!
Free calorie burn anyone?! Yaasss!
When your body is cold, you begin burning extra calories in order for your body to continue to keep you warm, and your bodies internal faculties jump on board in order to keep your body healthy. Your metabolism will be kicked into gear; cold showers are a great way to prepare your body for a breakfast (esp. a large breakfast), which will regulate your blood sugar levels and keep your cravings at bay through the morning.
BTW, before you hop straight into that freezing cold water 🛁, I want to recommend that you probably start the first half of your shower at your a nice (warmer) temperature and then slowly make it colder, depending on how long you shower for.
Work the timing around three to four minutes of cold water for the maximum benefit. 🚿
I don't recommend taking a cold shower when you are sick or if you have some sort of medical condition; that also goes if your house, gym, or wherever your showering is cold - I don’t want you getting ill! 🤒
I found taking cold showers quite difficult to do at first, but with time it gets a bit better; what can I say, a cold shower is a cold shower!
Track, Track, Track, Your Food Intake
This is an all day habit as well as a morning one - but it’s still pretty important!
Keeping a food diary to track what you eat is super effective to help boost weight loss and keep you accountable even if you’re not on a diet (are you eating the right things at the right points of the day). A study showed that a group of participants who regularly used a tracking system to self-monitor their diet and exercise lost, on average, more weight than those who did not regularly use the tracking system. Crazy right? 😎
So, if you are already tracking your food, keep tracking!
For those of you are on a diet and not tracking your food, I suggest you do so! Writing down exactly what you eat is the only way to accurately analyse your weight loss progress. From experience, it’s all to easy to convince yourself you didn’t quite as much as you did on a given day - ‘just a few bites’ might not be as far from ‘a whole bowl’ as you think, so be careful.
✏️ To get started, use a pen and paper to record what you eat and drink, starting with your first meal of the day.
If you’re more of a ‘techie’, you can also give using an app a try. Actually, I have a full tutorial in my Lose Inches in an Instant program on how to set a food tracker using the Trello platform - in fact, you can use it to track all of your goals, from daily activity to weigh-in progress - it’s the exact setup I use myself! If you’re interested, you can check it out here!
I know food journaling can be a little annoying and time consuming, but really, your waistline will thank you. 👌
My Bonus Step: Treat Yo’self! (Well, Kinda)
Again, maybe not part of a morning routine per se, but I thought I’d throw it in as it’s to do with noon to lunch. Kinda morning? No? 🤦♀️ Well… let’s press on.
We all know that we should try and stay completely on the wagon when we’re trying to lose weight, but let’s be honest - every once in a while we really need to fall off. I’m not saying go crazy, but it’s nice to pepper in the occasionally treat.
However, if you decide to do so, you need to have your treat as early as possible.
While of course eating treats during a diet it isn’t the best scenario, eating the treats early will at least help your body to not store it as fat so quickly and give it a fighting chance to burn through some of the excess energy before you hit the hay that night.
Yup, that means ice-cream for breakfast (well, maybe more like brunch 😊)!
The earlier you eat your sugary ‘junk foods’, be it pizza or potato chips, the more time your body will have during the day to work through it. It’ll have ample time to process the food, digest it, and maybe even utilize it, instead of it just sitting in your full stomach overnight after a Netflix and dessert binge. Can you tell I love Netflix? 🎥
And you’ll have an entire day to burn some of those nasty calories.
If you’re a member of my Lose Inches in an Instant Program and want a bit more information on the best ways to handle ‘cheat days’, check out my ‘Ultimate Cheat Day Guide to Manage Cravings’ in the bonuses section. However, if you’re not a member and interested in joining my Lose Inches in an Instant tribe, you can join here!
Wait?! That’s it? Whoop whoop!
You officially made it through all my favourite morning routine habits (and a couple bonus tips)! Awesome! It’s been really fun sharing with you! 🤟
If you add just a few of these easy and effective ways weight loss changes to your morning routine you'll see an amazing difference in your weight-loss, mood, emotional balance, and your overall outlook for your day!
Don’t beat yourself up if at first you miss a day or two, just get back up and continue solid routines are developed with time - and remember, the only way forward is through!
Practicing these healthy behaviors in the morning will also get your day started on the right foot and set you up for success.
If you want the best results, make sure you combine these morning habits with a well-rounded diet and healthy lifestyle. Once you get the hang of these practices your self-confidence will surge and it’ll help you to believe in yourself and your steadfast abilities.
Having the confidence and willpower to implement some of these strategies, will help you to wake up with a smaller waistline day after day after day. Sure, it’s not a super-fast weight loss method on it’s own.