10 Things To Do Before 10am To Lose Weight
Whether or not you’re a morning person, the choices you make in the morning make all the difference for how you go about your day.
For those of us trying to drop a few pounds after our holiday indulgences, these morning decisions take on even more weight. Given that the average person can put on up to 8 pounds over the holiday season, now is the right time to get back on track with a healthy reset.
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According to scientists, the right time to make those decisions is the morning. As we move along in our days, we get more tired, our decision-making becomes sloppier, and we make riskier decisions.
When it comes to healthy eating and losing weight, those decisions can end up sabotaging the diligent work we’ve been putting in.
To that end, we’re highlighting 10 morning habits you can start working on to start losing weight gradually and safely.
While implementing all 10 might be a lot all at once, we hope you find a few that fit with your schedule – so you can stick with your goals!
Your New Morning Habits To Become A Healthier You
1. Sit Down For Breakfast
Being mindful of what you’re eating helps to keep your weight under control.
Though mornings can be rushed, finding a few minutes to sit down for breakfast and focus on the food in front of you – instead of eating while getting ready – can make a big difference.
When we eat while doing other activities (so-called “mindless eating”), we aren’t as able to listen to our body. This can lead us to eating more than we intended.
One way to avoid that is to take away the distractions and be present with breakfast, even if only for a few minutes.
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2. Water Before Coffee
While you’re waiting for your Mr. Coffee to drip or your coffee pod to percolate, grab yourself a glass of water.
For one, you’re likely a bit dehydrated after going eight hours without any liquid.
More importantly for this conversation, though, a glass of water in the morning has some surprising weight loss benefits. According to one study, drinking water helped increase participants’ metabolic rate up to 30% for up to 30-40 minutes.
It also helps to curb your appetite, too, with one study of adults showing a decrease in calorie consumption of up to 13%. While 13% may not seem like a lot, that’s a number that will compound as it becomes a habit.
And all it takes is a simple glass of water each morning!
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3. Don’t Snooze – Sleep!
Unless you’re going to bed at 6pm and waking up at 2am, a good part of your morning is dedicated to sleep. That’s what makes this next habit such a delicious one: get more sleep!
While that can be easier said than done with the encroachment of work and the demands of other responsibilities, eight hours of sleep each night helps to keep you healthy. In particular, the appetite hormones ghrelin and leptin are kept under control, meaning when you break your fast, you’ll do so in a normal fashion.
The more regular your sleep and diet, the more easily you’ll be able to address any of that extra holiday weight you’ve put on.
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4. Make The Weekend A Part Of The Week
Before we get started, no, this isn’t advocating the complete abolishment of brunch. Eggs Benedict, crepes, and avocado toast are all too delicious to get rid of completely.
Plus, the point of habits is to create something sustainable and achievable you can do week in and week out. When you deprive yourself of the things you like, it’s much harder to fully commit.
Instead, consider a subtle shift of making your weekend plan similar to your week plan to build consistency.
That could be keeping the same sleep schedule (when possible, of course!) so that you can continue to make good decisions before 10am.
It could be cutting out alcohol from your weekend breakfast + brunch routine because, well, you’re probably not drinking too many mimosas before work.
By creating this foundation – and not treating the whole weekend like a cheat day – you have a better chance of sticking to the positive habits you’re developing. While science is in support of the occasional cheat day, indulging too often will end up counterproductive.
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5. Supercharge Your Breakfast With Protein
Breakfast is a land of temptation. In the office, you may come across a box of donuts or cinnamon rolls. At your coffee shop, muffins call your name in a sweet siren song of double chocolate.
Yet it’s protein that will help you with your appetite throughout the day and your weight loss goals. According to a study in the Nutrition Journal, high-protein breakfasts helped reduce cravings for both sweet and savory foods.
By choosing to start your morning with more protein, you also help pave the way for easier diet decision-making for the rest of the day.
6. Step On The Scale
Though confronting the scale on a regular basis can seem scary, there is an increasing amount of research that supports a daily check-in as a way to build healthy habits.
This study found that participants who weighed themselves daily lost significantly more weight compared with those who weighed themselves less often. More than just a short-term solution, this daily habit also showed benefits with a study conducted over two years.
This daily habit can also become the foundation for your other good decisions throughout the morning and the rest of the day. By centering yourself on the goal, you help to align your actions.
Best practices for daily weighing are centered around consistency. Find a time after you’ve gone to the bathroom and before you’ve had anything to eat or drink. That will give you a consistent number.
7. Exercise In The Morning
There are a number of potential benefits to making morning exercise one of your weight loss habits.
Perhaps the most powerful one? Once you do it, you don’t have to think about it any more! This could be personal bias speaking, but whenever I’ve put off exercise until the afternoon or evening, it’s that much easier to just cancel it completely because I’ve been tired or because plans have come up.
Fortunately we’ve also got science to back up my anecdotal advice. Exercising in the morning can help your body better control its blood sugar levels and it may also leave you feeling slightly more satiated.
It’s specifically these kinds of decisions, though, that help to build a healthy foundation for weight loss. Feeling just a little bit more satisfied after your workout helps to cut down on midday snacks so you can stay on track.
8. Pack Your Lunch
In the morning, we often have more energy for making decisions. As the day presses on, we use up our decision-making power. As a result, we succumb to decision fatigue, which can lead to us making the easy, convenient decision instead of the one we’d make if we had a clear head.
If you’ve had a busy morning at work and your meetings have run long, buying a quick lunch and eating it at your desk can seem like the easiest thing to do. Yet, that can leave you eating more than you meant to or eating foods that you wish you hadn’t.
By packing your lunch in the morning, you can reduce this risk entirely. Plus, meal planning has long been associated with a better variety of diet, better quality, and lower obesity risk.
What’s more, by eating home-cooked meals (even if it’s a lunch you’re bringing with you) at least five times a week, you put yourself in a healthier position.
9. Start A Food Journal
There is a whole community of people excited about the idea of morning pages, or morning journaling. The idea is to help you clear your mind and become more creative.
A daily food journal can offer the same sort of clarity around your weight loss goals. This kind of self-monitoring has been positively associated with weight loss over 12 months, as well as weight loss management.
Given that the goal of these morning weight loss habits is not just to lose weight but to build a sustainable plan for a healthier future, long-term management is as fundamental as short-term weight loss.
10. Get A Little Sun
While this can be easier to do in the spring and summer than the dead of winter, getting sun has a number of potential benefits when it comes to weight loss.
In addition to helping us with our sleep and our circadian rhythm, sunlight was found to be correlated with our body mass index. The findings suggest that regular exposure to light is an important factor in weight regulation.
In another study, the lack of vitamin D was shown to predispose participants to fat accumulation, while higher levels of vitamin D were associated with lower weight again.
Since sunlight helps us naturally produce vitamin D, making a habit of getting some light exposure in the morning can help to regulate your sleep cycle and your body’s natural vitamin production.
Of course, getting sun doesn’t have to be a passive act. If you’re combining it with a daily walk or bike ride, you’ll have the added benefit of exercising while enjoying your daily dose of Vitamin D.
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Building habits is one of the most important ways you can ensure a healthier future. That said, the process of building habits is a long road that’s all about consistency.
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NO ONE CAN STOP YOU
There’s no more important journey you’ll start than the first step in caring for your health. That’s an achievement in itself. To keep earning these IRLAs, you’ll have to show your dedication and commitment, but these coins will be just a small token to symbolize the work you’re putting in for yourself to succeed. Lose weight, earn achievements, and win something even more important: a longer, more satisfying life.
Losing can be the best way to win.
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