- Dacey Orr For the AJC
Fitness is a 24-hour priority, but getting a good start each day is crucial to the success of any fitness or weight loss journey, both mentally and physically. But the obvious ways to increase weight loss in the morning aren't the only ones. Here are four ways to kick off your weight loss journey each day.
A trip outside doesn't have to involve a sweat session in order to be good for your weight loss journey. According to Northwestern University, catching some sun in the morning can help keep extra poundage at bay. The findings come from a study that showed people who were exposed to bright light early in the morning reportedly had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who were not. "Light is the most potent agent to synchronize your internal body clock that regulates circadian rhythms, which in turn also regulate energy balance," said the study's senior author Dr. Phyllis C. Zee to the university newspaper. "The message is that you should get more bright light between 8 a.m. and noon." Step outside for 20 to 30 minutes to reap the maximum effect of this phenomenon.
While the jury is still out on the conventional wisdom that eating breakfast will help you shed pounds, one particular factor in breakfast has been linked to weight loss: protein. According to Women's Health, the high-energy nutrient takes more time to digest, burning calories while stretching that full feeling for a longer period of time. Protein also triggers the release of a gut hormone called Peptide YY, which promotes long-lasting feelings of fullness, too.
Yep, the cure-all for many other physical ailments works for dropping pounds, too. Your body works best when it's properly hydrated. When you haven't had enough water, your metabolism slows down to preserve fluids. After (ideally) eight hours of sleeping and going without any hydration, a glass of water in the morning is a great way to jump-start your metabolism and get the day going in the right direction. According to a 2003 study by The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking just two glasses can increase your metabolism by 30 to 40 percent.
Sure, it's an obvious way to work toward results, but according to Weight Watchers, there's evidence to show that those who log their exercise right after waking up are more likely to work out harder and longer. Getting your blood pumping first thing in the morning sets the tone for the whole day, and early risers in the gym are more likely to integrate exercise into their daily routine. Besides, getting it out of the way in the morning means there's more time to devote to your other priorities after work, when friends are awake and there's more fun to be had.