There are many factors that contribute to weight gain and it can be difficult to pinpoint which ones have caused you to put on a few extra pounds. Here are the morning habits that are contributing to your expanding waistline.
7 Morning Mistakes That Are Causing Your Weight Gain
1. Not Exercising Early In The Day
We all know that exercise is important when it comes to maintaining a healthy body weight, but the time you exercise can also affect your ability to keep off extra weight. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that people who exercise in the morning are less likely to consume additional calories during the day (1). People can also burn up to 20% more body fat by exercising on an empty stomach in the morning (1).
Try to wake up extra early and get your workout in before breakfast to achieve the body you want.
2. Skipping breakfast
You’ve probably heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” – and it’s true! Breakfast is a critical meal because it raises energy levels in the body and restores blood glucose levels to normal after fasting overnight (2).
Breakfast is also the most satiating meal we consume and impacts food intake for the entire day (2). Eating a large, healthy breakfast lowers appetite and tends to reduce daily caloric intake (2).
Take the extra time out of your day to prepare and eat a healthy, filling breakfast if you want to stay lean.
3. Not Drinking Water Right When You Wake Up
Drinking adequate amounts of water is beneficial for your overall health and can help you maintain a healthy weight. Angela Lemond, the national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, insists that drinking a few glasses of water when you wake up in the morning will “allow the body to rehydrate and allows for better digestion when you do eat” (3). Drinking water when you wake up can also stave off the munchies since your body often mistakes thirst for hunger (3).
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Keep a glass of water on your bedside table and make it a habit to drink it right after you wake up.
4. Not Weighing Yourself
Many of us have complicated relationships with the scale, but weighing yourself in the morning can actually be a good thing! A study published by the Journal of Obesity found that frequently weighing yourself and having visual feedback can help with weight loss and maintenance (4). Using a scale is a great way to keep yourself in check and prevent unexpected weight gain.
Keep a scale in your bathroom and step on it after relieving yourself in the morning – it might motivate you to stay on track throughout the day. (But if you find that it’s only stressing you out, chuck it!!)
5. Starting Your Day In The Dark
Sometimes it can be pretty difficult to wake up in the morning and getting ready in the dark may seem like a good idea for your tired eyes, but it isn’t. Embrace the morning sun because it can actually help you stay in shape! Studies have shown that sunlight boosts your mood and shrinks the size of fat cells in your body (5).
Open your blinds as soon as you get up to reap the benefits of the morning sun.
6. Reading the News
Reading the news first thing in the morning has become a habit for many people – after all, how else are you supposed to catch up on all that has happened while you were asleep? Even though this activity keeps your brain active and healthy, it isn’t necessarily good for your body. Keeping up to date on the latest news can be downright stressful these days, and long-term stress causes stem cells to transform into fat cells (6).
Try to resist the urge to read the news in the morning and replace this activity with something that will lighten your mood and allow you to de-stress, like listening to music.
7. Giving Into Cravings Later On
If there are certain foods you like to indulge in don’t wait until later on in the day to have them. A study conducted by researchers at Tel Aviv University found that foods are much less fattening when consumed in the morning as opposed to the evening (7). Daniela Jakubowicz, who ran the study, explained, “Our body metabolism changes throughout the day. A slice of bread consumed at breakfast leads to a lower glucose response and is less fattening than an identical slice of bread consumed in the evening.” (7).
Let yourself live and give in to those pancake and muffin cravings you have in the morning (in moderation of course).
Starting your day off right is important for both mental and physical wellbeing. If you nip your bad morning habits in the bud today, your waistline will thank you for it and you’ll be slim and trim for the foreseeable future. Read this next to learn how to reach your weight loss goals and keep a healthy lifestyle.
(1) Lose fat faster before breakfast. (2013, January 24). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130124091425.htm
(2) Ivy, J.L. (n.s.). Why Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal of the Day. Retrieved from http://easacademy.org/trainer-resources/article/why-breakfast-is-the-most-important-meal-of-the-day-eas-academy
(3) Abbasi, W. (2017, March 15). Why you should drink water first thing every day. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/03/14/why-you-should-drink-water-first-thing-every-day/99123938/
(4) Pacanowski, C.R., Levitsky, D.A. (2015, May 12). Frequent Self-Weighing and Visual Feedback for Weight Loss in Overweight Adults. J Obes. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Frequent+Self-Weighing+and+Visual+Feedback+for+Weight+Loss+in+Overweight+Adults
(5) Sandoiu, A. (2018, January 11). Weight loss breakthrough: Sunlight is key. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320592.php
(6) Sandoiu, A. (2018, April 5). Why does stress lead to weight gain? Study sheds light. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321407.php
(7) High-energy breakfast promotes weight loss. (2018, March 18). Retrieved from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-03/tes-hbp031418.php
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