Is Your Morning Routine Jeopardizing Your Weight Loss Program?

You’ve worked so hard to get to the gym, cut calories and get into your skinny jeans! Yet, maybe you’ve hit a plateau and can’t get the scale to budge. Sound familiar?

Many people just like you experience hitting a wall in their weight loss program.  This is a common occurrence and quite often, the culprit is the morning routine. The way you start your day can either help or hinder your weight loss journey, and for many this is the ultimate roadblock.

Here are some tips to ensure that your morning routine is setting you up for weight loss success:

Make small changes and incorporate them slowly. Extreme weight loss diets work for a short period of time, then tend to fizzle out. While they absolutely will work (though unhealthy), they get boring, mundane and often backfire after you lose weight initially. Be sure the weight loss plan you are embarking on works for your dietary lifestyle, not Khloe Kardashian’s. Before you consider making drastic changes, be sure you actually enjoy eating the foods on your plan, the food preparation is realistic given your daily life, and that it meets your financial budget.

Get up 30 minutes earlier to prepare your breakfast or plan ahead the night before. Stock up on high protein, lower sugar and lower carbohydrate breakfast options on the weekend and make sure you are well stocked for the week ahead. Stopping at Starbucks for just a coffee sounds good theoretically but if you are hangry and your blood sugar is tanking, you may be tempted by the pound cake rather than the egg white bites.

Consume the majority of your calories earlier in the day rather than later. Many dieters skip breakfast in efforts to save their calories and “bank” them for that 4pm crash or their evening meal. If this is a tactic in your daily schedule, reverse your thinking. Eat within 30-60 minutes of waking up to jumpstart your metabolism and wake your body up. You need to turn your body into the most effective fuel burning machine you can and eat a healthy breakfast.

Make sure your breakfast is balanced with a healthy protein (animal or plant based), complex carbohydrate and nourishing healthy fat. For example, try having a piece of sprouted grain bread with 1 tablespoon almond butter, an apple and a hard boiled egg.

We all get in food ruts. We eat the same foods out of habit and stick with what we know. It’s time to surprise your metabolism and discover new breakfast ideas and recipes. Pinterest and Instagram are excellent resources for culinary inspiration.

Coffee can wake you up and get your day started, but your cup of joe could be packing on the pounds. Be mindful of what you are adding to your coffee in the morning. Eliminate added sugars from sugar, flavored creams, whipped toppings, Frappuccinos and chai. If you are adding artificial sweeteners such as Splenda, this could be making you hungrier without even noticing. Try nondairy beverage or creamers or try eliminating anything at all from your coffee and you may be surprised.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to sleep. Your body needs water, especially in the morning. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day as a goal and carry a water bottle with you all day.

Exercise is critical to your weight loss journey. Getting it done in the morning starts your day with a motivating tone, and leaves no room for excuses as the day drags on, gets busy and filled with work, after school activities and Netflix.