If your head’s spinning from all the diet dos and don’ts, you’re not alone. This time of the year seems to make everyone an expert on nutrition and weight loss. With tips raining from sensible to completely absurd, it’s hard to know which ones to trust.
The good news is, most fitness and nutrition experts agree that what you do in the morning impacts the choices you make for the rest of the day. That’s why it’s important to start your day off right and keep the momentum going until your head hits the pillow at night.
Yahoo Lifestyle talked with Jillian Michaels, the world’s foremost fitness expert, renowned life coach, and creator of the personal training app My Fitness by Jillian Michaels, about some of the best morning habits for weight loss.
Give these seven tips a try and see how a simple morning routine can lead to better health and greater weight loss.
1. Don’t skip breakfast
This one might sound obvious, but so many people skip their morning meal. “Opting out of important nutrients early in the day may cause you to overeat at lunch and make poor food choices throughout the day,” says Michaels. So don’t do it. She says to make sure your breakfast has a good balance of protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats. For example: Steel cut oats with crushed walnuts and berries, or scrambled eggs with veggies and a piece of whole grain toast.
2. Have a cup of organic coffee
“Clean caffeine, when consumed in moderation (no more than two cups a day or 400 mg) can actually help improve cognitive function, inhibit type 2 diabetes, potentially lower your risk of pancreatic cancer, and improve athletic performance,” explains Michaels. In fact, a 2017 study published in the journal BMJ found that drinking coffee is more likely to benefit health than to harm it.
3. Take your vitamins
Your metabolic function is dictated by your hormone balance. Michaels says your body needs the proper micronutrients to facilitate the production of key fat-burning hormones like T3 and T4 (active and inactive thyroid hormone), HGH or human growth hormone, leptin (the satiety hormone), etc. The key supplements she recommends are a probiotic, quality multivitamin, omega-3 fatty acid (krill or fish), and collagen (which you can add to the coffee mentioned above). A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition found that taking probiotics could reduce body weight and body mass index (BMI).
“Pound a glass of water (preferably alkaline) first thing in the morning. It helps wake you up and boosts your energy,” says Michaels. “Plus, it gets your hydration underway, and proper hydration can help boost fat metabolism by up to 3 percent.” Just in case you need a little more convincing that something as simple as water can aid in weight loss, researchers discovered that staying hydrated may be linked to maintaining a healthy weight. Adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids for women.
5. Find time for fitness
Michaels recommends packing a gym bag so you have it ready, or if possible squeeze in a morning workout before the family is awake with an app or streaming platform in your living room. “If possible, hit the gym, but if you are a mommy, that’s probably not likely, so download that app and get moving.” Working out before you go about your day just might help you stick to a regular exercise routine, which can lead to greater weight loss.
6. Plan ahead to combat hunger
“Pack a healthy snack so you have clean nutritious options for the meal between lunch and dinner,” suggests Michaels. “This will keep you from snacking on crap at your job like those doughnuts in the office kitchen.” Instead of grabbing the leftover piece of cake or pizza from the office party, opt for one of these quick, healthy snacks instead: bell peppers and guacamole, veggies and hummus, hard-boiled eggs and strawberries, dark chocolate and almonds, banana and almond butter.
7. Find your source of motivation
“Consume a form of media that motivates, energizes, and focuses you,” she says. It could be one of your favorite self-improvement podcasts on the way to work. Or you can perform a quick mindfulness mediation exercise using an app like Headspace to focus your intentions and boost your zen. There are thousands of podcasts and apps that are designed to give you a shot of inspiration and get you on your way to permanent weight loss.