In some cases, it is not necessary to change your entire diet or lifestyle to lose a few kilos. Sometimes all it takes is a small change in routine to help you reach your goals in the long run. The following tips will help you not only lose weight, but also keep the weight off. These are very simple habits that are easy to implement into your morning routine.
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1. Healthy, high-protein breakfasts
It’s not for nothing that breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is the first meal we take on an empty stomach and therefore determines the course of the entire day and also our metabolism. There are small studies that mention protein-rich breakfasts and their effects.
If we choose protein-rich foods such as eggs, cheese, Greek yogurt, nuts or chia seeds as the first meal of the day, we can avoid mid-morning cravings and support our weight loss efforts. Above all, it prevents fat accumulation and reduces the total amount of calories we consume during the day.
Protein also helps to lose weight by reducing levels of ghrelin, the ‘hunger hormone’ that affects our appetite. It is this hormone that protein-rich breakfasts are more effective against than carbohydrate-rich breakfasts.
2. Adherence to a drinking regime
One way to promote weight loss is to drink plenty of water. A good habit is to drink two glasses (0.5-1 litre) of unsweetened still water immediately after waking up. According to studies, water (500 ml) increases energy expenditure, i.e. the amount of calories burned, by up to 30% on average over the next 60 minutes. In addition, water helps to reduce appetite and thus the amount of food consumed. Increasing the amount of water you drink by 1 litre a day is a great way to reduce the amount of calories you take in.
Another option is to add about 10 ml (a tablespoon) of apple cider vinegar or a squeeze of lemon to the first glass of water. Apple cider vinegar improves digestion and insulin sensitivity, thus contributing to weight loss, helps lower blood pressure, is a great help against bloating, lowers cholesterol and even reduces the risk of cancer. Drinking diluted apple cider vinegar in the morning is a great way to kick-start your metabolism.
3. Get a digital scale
A third simple habit to start your day with is to weigh yourself. After sleeping, fasting and without clothes on. Weighing yourself every day can be an effective method for increasing motivation, improving self-control and taking responsibility into your own hands. A digital scale that is more accurate will help you do this.
However, it’s good to remember that your weight can fluctuate, which is especially concerning for women and hormonal fluctuations. Weight loss is not a linear process, it is important to follow the overall tendency, from which we can then derive results and not get stuck on small fluctuations. It is normal for weight to fluctuate by up to two kilograms from one day to the next, so don’t worry about it, let’s take these numbers as one of the data that can show our progress. For example, when losing weight, it is also good to measure yourself (for example, once a month, always on the same day, for women at the same point in the menstrual cycle).
4. Get your vitamin D from the sun
Draw the curtains, have breakfast on the porch, or go for a short morning walk. Several studies have shown that being out in the sun at certain times of the day can contribute to weight loss. The most important thing about this habit, however, is that you get a dose of vitamin D, which people are currently deficient in.
People who meet their daily requirement of vitamin D are more resistant to weight gain, especially in the form of fat. The need for the vitamin varies from person to person, depending on skin colour or season, for example. It is therefore advisable to take this vitamin in the form of supplements, if appropriate. If you decide to take the vitamin by sunbathing, it is not recommended to stay in direct sunlight for more than 10-15 minutes.
Vitamin D is especially important for our bones as it helps in the resorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestines. It also has a positive effect on innate immunity, thus positively influencing respiratory diseases, for example, it was used to treat tuberculosis and today it is a good dietary supplement for asthmatics, for example. It also acts on the beta cells of the pancreas, increasing insulin secretion, reducing insulin resistance and reducing inflammation. It helps against depression, high blood pressure and cancer.
5. Start meditating
Simple meditation helps you achieve a state of consciousness in which you become more aware of yourself in the present moment. This practice has a positive effect on weight loss and promotes healthy eating habits. If we become more aware of ourselves in the present moment while being aware of our food and its true purpose, i.e. to be a source of energy, our fuel, we will be more likely to choose foods that support this philosophy.
The simplest form of meditation is meditation through the senses. All you need is 5 to 10 minutes of sitting quietly in an upright meditation position. The only task is to perceive your surroundings with your senses, what do you see? What do you feel? Feel your breath and stop for a moment.
6. Short home exercises
A short physical activity first thing in the morning, preferably before a meal or after one piece of fruit, can help you lose weight more effectively. A short morning run or a few sun salutations can help get your blood flowing, get your bowels moving and kick-start your metabolism for the day. Little research has been done on the actual effect of morning exercise, but in general it has been confirmed that morning activity helps keep blood sugar levels stable, thereby increasing satiety.
7. Prepare a healthy lunch for work
If you’re already adept at preparing meals, this point won’t surprise you. As long as we’re fresh and full of energy in the morning, it’s easier to make healthy eating decisions. If you prepare a takeaway lunch, you won’t be looking for something to eat in the middle of the day, you’ll be hungry, and so you’re less likely to reach for a bagel in the canteen. According to one study, people who ate home-cooked meals were 28% less likely to be overweight than those who ate restaurant food.
For proper meal preparation, it’s a good idea to set aside one day a week when you prepare all the ingredients in advance that will last. For example, rice, pre-cooked legumes, oven-roasted vegetables, and even meat will keep in the refrigerator for the entire work week without any problems. It’s a good idea to create a repertoire of foods that are easy to combine. Then, mix up your lunch box each morning to your liking.
8. Sleep longer
The impact of sleep, or lack of it, has been one of the big topics in recent years when it comes to weight loss. Lack of sleep has been linked to increased appetite and cravings for sweets and generally high carbohydrate foods, leading to increased calorie intake.
Establishing a healthy and regular sleep schedule along with a healthy diet and exercise will support your weight loss efforts. If work permits, go to bed earlier or get extra sleep. The ideal sleep time is 7 to 9 hours, it is better to fall asleep two hours after your last meal, also don’t drink too much before bedtime. Beware of alcohol, which interferes with the ability to achieve REM sleep, during which the brain recovers, plus the body burns calories from alcohol before from food, which slows down night-time digestion.
9. Leave the car at home
Driving to work is by far the most convenient way to commute. However, it’s easy to see that this convenience is the reason why we’re unable to walk 10,000 steps in a day. When we leave the house and get behind the wheel, we barely walk 50 metres, and the same is repeated when we drive to work. One way to incorporate more exercise into your lifestyle is to change your mode of transport.
Using public transport is quite a big change, just having to walk to the bus stop and then walk from the bus stop to our destination gives us the extra movement we need. It is also possible to swap the car for an active way of commuting, such as cycling or even walking if possible. Changing your mode of transportation, even if only for a few days a week, will increase your overall energy expenditure and thus contribute to weight loss.
10. Start counting your calorie intake
The biggest help in trying to lose weight is calorie counting. A calorie deficit is important in weight loss, but this threshold is different for everyone. To find out if we are in a calorie deficit, we first need to find out how many calories we are actually taking in. A food diary can help. Get a food diary in which you keep an honest record of the amount and calories of everything you eat during the day. It is a good idea not to restrict yourself during the first week. This step is to help you see how you are really doing, so deliberately restricting would be counterproductive.
Studies show that tracking your calorie intake helps to reduce calorie consumption and therefore weight loss. People who track their caloric intake and expenditure perform better than those who don’t. In addition, calorie counting produces better long-term results. If your goal is to lose weight, it’s imperative that you know your calorie balance, so why not start this morning?