When trying to lose weight you don’t want to mess it up first thing in the morning. Avoid these 10 morning habits that prevent weight loss.
By learning these mistakes and making an effort to avoid them you can avoid things that slow down or completely stop your weight loss efforts.
1. Eating certain traditional breakfast foods
A lot of people might know this one already.
However, it is so important everyone needs to know this. Eating certain traditional breakfast foods in the morning is a direct way to gain weight instead of losing it.
Now, what are some of these traditional breakfast foods that can prevent weight loss?
Spiking your blood sugar & insulin levels to crazy amounts every morning with foods like this is not something you want to do if you plan to have a successful weight loss journey.
These traditional breakfast foods will spike your blood sugar temporarily only to be followed by a crash.
When your blood sugar comes crashing back down you’re going to feel really hungry for more of the same bad foods that got you into trouble to begin with.
This doesn’t mean you can’t eat carbs for breakfast. You can definitely eat complex carbohydrates. This means carbohydrate sources that are not processed.
You can almost never go wrong with single-ingredient foods.
Things like oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, and fruit are examples of more complex carbohydrates you can eat at breakfast.
You’ll get fuller faster from the high fiber content of these real foods. You won’t have such a dramatic spike in insulin levels and it will be a lot harder to overeat.
2. Impulse eating
Eating foods that contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, additives, sugar, and flavor enhancers is a recipe for disaster. Certainly, when it’s the first thing you do in the morning.
All these foods mess up your brain and actually become addicting. These artificial flavors and excessive amounts of sugar get your taste buds used to a crazy amount of stimulation and your brain to large amounts of dopamine.
The dopamine from eating real foods like fruit and cinnamon-flavored oatmeal can’t match the dopamine release you get from unnatural sources that are full of added sugar.
This is one of the reasons regular food becomes less enjoyable the more you are used to eating unnatural foods.
Once the high from these stimulating foods comes down you start to feel worse. Your brain quickly learns that by eating these foods the bad feeling goes away. So it makes you grab another unhealthy but stimulating food.
This vicious cycle creates a full day of impulse eating led by the reward center of your brain seeking its fix. The more you eat these kinds of food the more of a problem this becomes.
How to stop this downward spiral of impulse eating
One solution to this is resetting your palette by staying away from these addicting ingredients for a consistent period of time.
Just after 3 days of staying away from foods like this, you will appreciate real healthy food much more. After a few weeks, your desire for bad food will diminish significantly.
3. Force feeding yourself breakfast
A lot of people believe that skipping breakfast is bad for weight loss. This is based on the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day & without it you delay “starting your metabolism” or won’t have enough energy.
Some people believe so strongly in this “you must eat breakfast philosophy” that they think it’s better to eat something bad, like a bagel or a muffin, rather than not eating anything at all.
This is not the way to go. For most people having your first bite of the day a little later is a good thing.
Your metabolism continues running all night at a slower pace while you sleep because you’re lying still doing nothing while you sleep. As soon as you wake up get out of bed and start moving around your metabolism already increases.
It is true that having breakfast will temporarily increase your metabolism but that’s simply due to the energy cost of digesting food.
This means any meal will temporarily increase metabolism. But you will wind up taking much more calories than you burn during digestion.
Even if you are used to getting your energy from carbohydrates you will have enough energy throughout the day. This is due to the fact that your body stores excess energy from carbohydrates in your muscles to be used when you need it.
And if your body is already used to burning fat from your body you have plenty of energy to go around on your body.
So do you need to eat breakfast to lose weight?
If you don’t like breakfast there is no point in forcing down calories. When you don’t feel like eating breakfast, it’s fine to skip it.
However, there are some people that don’t do well if they skip breakfast. They might end up overeating at lunch or dinner because they didn’t have breakfast. In that case, you might have to force yourself to eat breakfast anyway. But at least do it with healthy food.
Fasting is fine for most people and is even beneficial.
4. Certain breakfast drinks
Coffee itself is harmless for weight loss, it can even help you lose a couple extra pounds over an extended period of time.
The potential problem with coffee is what you add to your coffee every morning. The wrong ingredients can potentially hurt your weight loss efforts.
By adding in cream, sugar, and a variety of other flavors you can reduce weight loss results. If you add these things to every single cup the calories will add up throughout the day as you drink cup after cup.
Certain starbucks brews can knock the extra calorie count up to a massive 800 calories. Compare that to tiny 10-20 calories you get from a small coffee.
5. Snoozing instead of doing your duty
The next bad morning habit is hitting the snooze button when you’ve planned a workout. You know you should get out of your bed, put your sneakers on, and go exercise.
You don’t have to work out first thing in the morning.
However, for many people this ensures the exercise gets done. Your willpower is strongest in the morning, distractions come up later in the day and you might have no energy after a long workday.
Advantages of working out in the morning
By working out first thing in the morning a couple things happen. Number 1 you get your workout done and out of the way before you have the chance to start procrastinating.
Number 2 you feel more energized and more motivated to take on the rest of your day.
And number 3 you’re creating momentum and you’re encouraging a positive mindset. You did what you said you were going to do. Every morning that you refuse to work out you train yourself to do that over and over.
If you have a good evening or after-work routine that you can stick to, then keep doing that. But, if you dread exercising after a long day, make it a habit to get your workout done first thing in the morning.
6. Improvising instead of planning
The next bad morning habit is not planning ahead.
And that’s not just planning out your morning routine and breakfast. It’s also what you will eat at lunch. Once you leave the house there will be a lot of terrible food choices.
If you get hungry when you’re not prepared, you may find yourself at a drive-through ordering unhealthy things.
If you’re serious about losing weight, make sure you plan your day ahead of time and prepare your meals accordingly.
7. Paying too much attention to daily weigh-in
Another bad morning habit that prevents weight loss is paying too much attention to your daily weigh-in.
First of all, you don’t have to weigh yourself every day. However, it’s a nice way to get an overview of our weight trends.
To keep a healthy relationship with the scale you need to attach fewer feelings to every individual number on that scale. It will go up and down from day to day, weight loss is not always fat loss.
Keep in mind that one pound of body fat is about 3500 calories. There is (almost) no way to gain that much fat in a day.
Try to keep an eye on trends over multiple weeks to make sure you’re losing weight.
If you get emotional about every single measurement things like binge eating can happen.
The flip side is never weighing yourself at all. You do want to measure your progress in one way or the other.
8. Not sleeping the right amount
Both sleeping too short and sleeping too long can be bad.
If you don’t sleep enough your body won’t have time to repair, your hunger and cravings increase, your willpower goes down, etc.
This can cause you to start a day of constantly eating unhealthy things. It will also reduce muscle mass and the list of negative consequences of bad sleep goes on for a while.
On the other hand, sleeping too much isn’t good either. Researchers seem to agree that the sweet spot for adults is 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
9. Drinking anything else than water, coffee or tea
If you’re not drinking coffee or tea you should be drinking water. Water is going to help fill you up and it has no calories.
For many people, breakfast time is when you kick back a glass of orange juice. Drinks like this will add on hundreds of calories of pretty much pure sugar.
Starting your day like this will make you crave other sweet drinks and unhealthy foods throughout the day.
And on top of that none of these drinks quench your thirst the way water would. So you wind up feeling thirsty, leading to you drink more.
This ends up costing you tons of excess calories that could’ve easily been avoided. Just by switching to water for a few days, you will already begin to lose your cravings for calorie-rich drinks.
10. Not avoiding sneaky stressors
The last bad morning habit is stress.
A lot of people spend their entire morning stressing about what’s going to happen throughout their day.
However, the truth is that a lot of these worries never really come true in reality. This makes you waste your energy on thoughts and ideas that aren’t even real.
Stress also causes a hormone called cortisol to go up. Cortisol makes it harder to build muscle. It can slow your metabolism. It can increase your food cravings.
And when you’re in a constant state of stress it becomes much more difficult to lose unwanted pounds.
So lower stress.
Possible stress solutions
Try to first identify the trigger and if possible eliminate the trigger. If it’s not possible then you can use methods like focusing your attention only on things that are actually in your control.
Short meditation sessions work great as well. And breathing exercises throughout the day can really lower stress. Getting enough sleep can greatly help with stress reduction as well.
Another thing that can help is getting rid of social media and news in the morning. You really don’t need those things for a good morning.