5 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine for Better Weight Loss

Let’s be real. Weight loss is more complex than counting calories. Instead, every decision you make throughout the day can influence your health, especially your morning routine.

What does it take to wake up on the right side of the bed and start achieving your health goals? Below, I’ll talk about the best five ways to improve your morning routine for better weight loss results.

Want to learn more ways to develop healthy routines? Check out The Food Fix, my clean eating and weight loss system designed to transform your relationship with food so you can meet your health goals once and for all! Go to foodfix.me for more info.

Don’t Check Your Phone in the AM

It’s no longer news that cell phones can suck away our free time, but early morning phone use can lead to weight gain too. Research shows that email notifications triggers feelings of stress. That’s because checking your phone first thing puts you in a compromised state of mind where it’s easier to give in to unhealthy foods or skip a workout. So do yourself a favor and keep your phone on airplane mode until you’ve started your day in a healthier way.

Eat a Protein-Packed Breakfast

Eating breakfast is important- but you’ll get the most benefit if you fill it with protein. Research conducted with teenage girls reveals that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced their food cravings throughout the day, and further studies found that eating protein early in the day led to less weight gain. I recommend starting your day with clean protein like hard boiled eggs, steel cut oatmeal, or Greek yogurt to tide you over until lunchtime.

Sip Water after Sleeping

Sleeping all night makes you dehydrated, so make it a habit to drink at least sixteen ounces of water when you first wake up, and strive to get in a full liter by lunchtime. Water promotes weight loss because it increases the rate at which you burn calories immediately after drinking it, and one study found that participants increased their metabolic rate by a third after drinking 16 ounces. Likewise, a big glass of water with breakfast can reduce your calorie consumption by 13%.

Move Before You Make Coffee

Exercise is excellent at any point in the day, but the benefits are profound in the early am. Physical exercise first thing in the morning can improve your fat burning potential because it steadies blood sugar levels, especially for those with diabetes. This helps you curb food cravings and leaves you with higher satiety levels throughout the day.  

You don’t have to fit in a full workout to get the benefits, just follow a 15-minute morning yoga routine or bike to work instead of driving. Even 15-20 mins of running or walking is better than nothing at all! Moving in the morning also improves your mood and helps you wake up faster, so you might manage to ditch the coffee altogether.

Pack Protein-filled Snacks for the Day

Midday munchies can strike at any time, so protect yourself from the temptation of the vending machine by packing healthy snacks to take to work instead. I recommend single serving packets of unsalted nuts, low-fat cheese, or healthy meats like turkey. Instead of slipping into a sugar coma after chomping down a candy bar, your body will get a boost of protein that keeps it focused and alert.

Improve Your Morning Routine for Better Weight Loss

Your morning habits set your mood for the rest of your day, especially when it comes to weight loss. Want to learn more ways to develop healthy routines? Check out The Food Fix, my clean eating and weight loss system designed to transform your relationship with food so you can meet your health goals once and for all! Go to foodfix.me for more info.

A healthy Super Bowl plan

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Super Bowl Sunday can be one of the toughest days of the year when it comes to eating.  With the unlimited spread of snack foods, giant hero sandwiches, pizza, wings, and not to mention beer, it can be pretty hard to defend those resolutions that were made just a few weeks earlier.  This year, however, with just a little planning, we can easily score big on taste without penalizing our waistlines.  

The Game Plan

Prior to Kickoff

First, ensure that you aren’t starving by the time your Super Bowl party starts.  Make sure that you eat regular meals (i.e. breakfast, lunch, and a PM snack) before you arrive at your party so that you can perform well at game-time.    

The Defense

As a Super Bowl party guest, you will be playing on someone else’s turf, and so you will need to be on the defensive.  

  • When you get to the party, hold off on hitting the food table.  Converse with the other guests, and grab a glass of water to help fill you up.
  • Allow yourself a small taste of everything at the party that you want.  After that, bench the fattier options, and send in the low-cal replacements.
  • Bring something with you.  Prepare a healthy dish such as a turkey chili, or arrange a colorful fruit or vegetable platter with a low-fat yogurt based dip.  
  • Bench the high-cal beverages.  Though Super Bowl Sunday may encourage loads of beer drinking, remember that one regular beer contains about 150 calories.  Try water, seltzer, or diet drinks instead.  If you feel you are missing out on the alcohol, try a wine spritzer (1/2 wine, ½ sparkling water), or even a light beer.

The Offense

If you’re the one throwing the party, you have the home field advantage.  Instead of putting out the usual fatty fare, surprise your opponents and slim down the options.

  • Though chili has a wonderful healthy base of beans and tomatoes, the beef, sausage, cheese, and sour cream can intercept your healthy eating plan.  Try choosing extra-lean ground beef or turkey, or opt for a soy crumble.  Try low-fat cheese and/or non-fat sour cream in place of the higher calorie condiments.
  • Instead of saucy, fried wings, try oven-frying some boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Cut the breasts into bite size pieces, dip them in egg whites or buttermilk, and dredge them in either breadcrumbs or cornflake crumbs.  Bake in the oven and serve with a honey-mustard or barbecue sauce.
  • Foot-long heros may be an old standby on Super Bowl Sunday, but the high-fat and high-sodium meats, the cheeses, the oil, and the mayonnaise (not to mention the sheer quantity), can easily add up to hundreds of extra calories.  Instead of buying the pre-made sandwiches, make a sandwich platter.  Arrange different lean meats like turkey, chicken, and ham.  Put out low-fat dressings and mayo, and loads of veggies.  Provide a variety of whole grain breads, wraps, and rolls.  
  • For a low-fat cornbread, use part whole-wheat flour, low-fat or fat-free buttermilk, and canola oil.
  • Bake tortilla chips or pita wedges and serve with low-fat dips that use fat-free or reduced-fat yogurt, sour cream, or cream cheese as their base.
  • Load your potato skins with salsa and a sprinkling of reduced fat cheese instead of bacon and cheese sauce.  Top with a small dollop of non-fat sour cream if desired.
  • Order pizza without cheese and ask for extra veggies.
  • Put out pretzels, popcorn, and baked chips instead of greasy potato chips.
  • Don’t forget the veggies!  Put out a big vegetable platter with a variety of cut-up veggies and low-fat dip.
  • Provide other drink options aside from beer.  Keep plenty of water, coffee, and diet drinks on hand.

Whether you’re at home or away this Super Bowl Sunday, you are now prepared to avoid getting sacked by those extra pounds.  Now all you need to do is hope that your football team is as prepared as you are.   

A walk down sugar lane

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Over three-quarters of packaged food in grocery stores today contains added sweeteners, making it easy to overindulge, even if you pass on dessert. Most Americans eat over 82 grams of sugar daily, which is triple the amount recommended by the American Heart Association.

Over one year, that equals 150 pounds of added sugars per person. Feeling gross yet?

Five Dangers of Added Sugar

Below are five health risks of overeating sugar and sugar substitutes.

#1 Driving Force Behind Type 2 (and Type 3) Diabetes

The results are in; eating too much sweet stuff raises your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to the CDC, an estimated 100 million Americans have the disease, and millions more are at risk. Insulin resistance is the trigger for diabetes, and foods filled with fat and sugar reduce your sensitivity to insulin, meaning your blood-sugar levels go unchecked.

Sugary drinks tend to be the most dangerous. When the British Medical Journal conducted an analysis of fruit juice and soda, they found that even eight daily ounces raised diabetes risk by 13 percent. Likewise, research published on PLOS One shows that every extra 150 calories of sugar (the amount in a single canned soda) every day increased diabetes risk by one percent, compared to just 0.1 percent for non-sugar calories.  

Now, new evidence from the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology shows that sugar-filled diets might increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, the link between insulin resistance and Alzheimer’s is so strong that some scientists are considering renaming the disease as ‘type 3 diabetes’.

#2 Promotes Addiction and Brain Fog

Eight times more addictive than cocaine. That’s what research from Princeton is reporting about the sinister side of sugar. Your body craves this sweet substance like it’s a drug because, well, it is. And like many other drugs, sugar only hurts your body in the process.  

The taste of sugar triggers signals in your brain that light up its reward pathway and create a surge of feel-good hormones. Too much stimulation reduces their effectiveness, meaning you start needing larger amounts of sugar to feel the same way. Likewise, sugar-induced insulin resistance weakens the synaptic connections between brain cells, leading to impaired cognition, higher depression rates, and emotional mood swings that leave you depleted.

#3 Develops into Dangerous Belly Fat

Eating refined sugar overloads your liver with fructose, and anything you don’t immediately burn is turned into fat- predominately around your belly. Not only does this leave you looking bloated, but it also leads to lingering health challenges. In fact, reports from Harvard reveals that abdominal fat can raise your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, and premature death.

#4 Triggers Premature Aging

Wrinkly, saggy skin is hardly the fresh start you want this year. Yet, sugary snacks might make it a reality. A study conducted at Dartmouth Medical School states that overindulging on sugar leads to glycation, a process where excess sugar molecules attach to collagen fibers, causing them to lose flexibility and strength. As a result, your skin loses elasticity and becomes more vulnerable to skin damage and sagging. A high-sugar diet also deactivates your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes, which leaves you more susceptible to sun damage and skin cancers.

#5 Zaps the ‘Good’ Bacteria in Your Gut

Your digestive system is a zoo of beneficial bacteria that keep things functioning as they should. Research funded by the American Cancer Society show that sugar alters gut bacteria in ways that affect mental performance and potentially raise toxin levels in your bloodstream. Because most sugars are digested without microbial help, these hungry bugs turn to nibbling on your intestinal lining instead. Permeating this barrier allows food particles into the rest of your body, which can cause inflammation and fungal growth like candida.

Further research from Tel Aviv University also shows that artificial sugar might promote the growth of harmful gut bacteria, which can lead to irritation, allergies and skin conditions, as well as digestive distress.  

 

Why Greek yogurt is good

Why Greek yogurt is good

We all know that yogurt is good for us. Low fat yogurt is a good source of dairy and calcium, helping to make our bones stronger. It's also packed with beneficial bacterial cultures that help support digestion and our immune system. But do you ever get bored of your watery, runny American-style yogurt? Have you been looking for a thicker more indulgent alternative that will still keep you healthy? Look no further than Greek yogurt.

Make any restaurant meal a healthy meal w/ this guide

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Eating at a restaurant or ordering take out does not have to = diet derailment. You just need educated guidance from a pro.

I'm Heather Bauer - nutritionist, author, and food lover. My FREE dine out guide will tell you exactly what to order at virtually every type of restaurant. This is the same guide that I give to my paying clients and I'm almost certain you'll be surprised by what you learn.

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