The decisions you make in the morning can set the tone for the whole day. If you make healthy decisions in the morning that can empower you to make healthy decisions all day. However, the same is true for the reverse; making unhealthy decisions in the morning can set you up for making unhealthy decisions all day.
It is important your morning routine helps you not hinders you for desired weight loss. Here are some common morning habits to avoid that can contribute to weight gain.
Most research suggests that eating breakfast in the morning can be helpful for preventing weight gain. Eating a healthy breakfast may help prevent excess hunger later in the day. Avoiding this can be helpful because when people get very hungry it increases risk for unhealthy food choices and larger than needed portion sizes.
There is some research that shows an inverse association between consumption of breakfast and body mass index (BMI). If you are not used to eating breakfast, start with something small and simple like a piece of fruit or drinking a fruit/vegetable smoothie.
High calorie coffee drinks
Coffee can have some beneficial health benefits, but that doesn’t mean all coffee drinks are healthy for you. Some people may have adverse effects from the caffeine in coffee, but some research suggests moderate coffee intake may help lower the risk for type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular disease and liver disease in most people. Teas and coffee are also high in antioxidants, which can be beneficial for lowering inflammation.
Drinking a coffee drink in the morning with a lot of sugar, artificial sweetener, preservatives and high calorie components is not the best thing when trying to lose weight. High calorie drinks can be a common source of hidden sugar and calories that can add up easily. Some sweet coffee drinks can have as much sugar as a can of soda!
Keep in mind even if you add just a little coffee creamer, most commercially made creamers are made with partially hydrogenated oil. This is the source of trans-fat which is considered the worst type of fat for heart health. Food manufacturers can claim a food product is trans-fat free but have up to 0.5 grams. Choose creamer without partially hydrogenated oil or use real milk instead for a lower trans-fat content.
See also: Ways to make your coffee healthier
Impulse buying can be dangerous anytime of the day. We are naturally influenced by what we see in our environment to influence our food choices. Driving by a fast food establishment, seeing donuts in the break room or smelling something enticing can trigger the desire to eat something unhealthy.
Keep your morning routine free of making impulse food or drink decisions to set you up for success throughout the day. Avoid morning temptations like donuts, baked goods or high fat breakfast sandwiches. Eating something before you get to the office or before your drive to work can help you not give in to these temptations. After a while, you may even find you won’t miss these morning temptations!
When you first wake up, you are probably somewhat dehydrated because you obviously don’t drink liquids during sleep. It’s important to rehydrate when you wake up because being hydrated helps with proper fluid balance and can impact appetite. When you are thirsty, that can be mixed up in the brain for a signal to eat something even if you’re really not hungry.
Drinking coffee will give your body some fluids, but drinking plain water or tea can further hydrate your body better than coffee. If you’re not used to drinking fluids in the morning, start slowly and drink a cup of water in the morning. (See also: Benefits from drinking hot water with lemon in the morning)
Every individual has a slightly different fluid need based in age, activity level and sweat loss rate. Aim to have your urine color very pale yellow to clear for most of the day for proper hydration level. Starting the day off by drinking fluids can make drinking fluids later in the day easier and part of a habit.
Unhealthy decisions anytime of the day can hinder weight loss efforts. However, unhealthy habits in the morning can be especially critical because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. A common habit of skipping breakfast may be contributing to weight gain. Some research suggests eating breakfast is inversely associated with BMI.
Avoid impulse decisions in the morning that you may see on your commute to work, at the office or around your house. Saying yes to those impulse decisions can make it easier to choose unhealthy food later in the day too.
Coffee and tea are obvious drink choices for many in the morning, but coffee drinks can be an unhealthy source of extra calories, sugar, artificial sweetener or preservatives that could impact weight gain. Some coffee drinks are as high in sugar as a can of soda.
Drinking water in the morning can help with proper fluid balance as being dehydrated can increase signal in the brain to eat something.
References used in this article