We’ve all been there—you commit to shedding a few pounds, but they seem just as committed to sticking to you. You’ve done away with the obvious culprits—out-of-control portion sizes, fast food, happy hour etc. One of the biggest mistake people make when trying to lose weight is getting their day off on the wrong foot. Those first waking moments lay the foundation for the choices you will make the rest of the day—and every day after—so it’s important to establish good habits that you can fall back on when you’re still foggy-headed and not quite awake.
- You Get Ready in the Dark
If you keep the blinds closed after you wake up, you could be missing out on the weight-loss benefits of the sun. Researchers suggest that people who got some sun in the early morning had significantly lower BMIs than those who didn’t, regardless of how much they ate. According to the study, just 20 to 30 minutes of daylight is enough to affect BMI, even when it’s overcast. That’s because your body syncs up your internal clock—including your calorie-torching metabolism—using the blue light waves from the early morning sun as a guide
2. You Don’t Make Your Bed
A national survey found that bed-makers were 19 percent more likely to report getting a good night’s sleep compared to those who didn’t make their beds. This may sound silly, but putting your bed back together in the morning can spawn other good behaviors, like packing a healthy lunch, perhaps. Studies found that those who make their beds regularly are better at sticking to budgets—a demonstration of willpower that may carry over to keeping your calorie count in chec
3. You Skip the Scale
When researchers tracked 162 overweight women and men for two years, they found that those who weighed themselves every day were more successful when it came to losing weight and keeping it off. And the best time to step to it is first thing in the a.m., when your weight is at its lowest. Not only will the measurement be more accurate (after a night of metabolizing, you’ll be carrying less water weight), you’ll be able to make adjustments if the number’s a bit higher than you expect.
4. You Skimp at Breakfast
Researchers from found that low-cal dieters who ate a balanced breakfast that contained 600 calories of lean protein, carbohydrates, and a little something sweet reported less hunger and fewer cravings the rest of the day compared to those that ate a low-carb 300-calorie breakfast. They were also better at sticking to their calorie limits. What’s more, they had lower levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin after their meals. The researchers suggest that it’s possible that satisfying your cravings first thing in the morning may help keep you from feeling deprived and going hog-wild later in the day.