Your morning routine can make or break your weight loss efforts. It’s true! So, if you’re struggling to lose weight then taking a look at how you start your mornings could be very helpful!
Over the years I’ve learned two things about weight loss. First, routines are life! Actually, healthy routines are life. I mean it. If you can break out of unhealthy routines (or habits) and replace them with healthier ones that’s the key to losing weight. That’s how you change your lifestyle. It’s all about routines.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, right?
There are all kinds of daily routines to help with losing weight. In fact, I wrote about morning routines and evening routines that’ll help you organize a healthier lifestyle. Or let’s not forget meal prep, this routine is a game changer. For real!
The second thing I learned is this…
If you can master your mornings then you can master the day. Hands down, without a doubt, I feel that if you start the morning strong that’ll have a domino effect on the rest of your day. I’ll even go as far to say if you start Monday strong then you’re more likely to stick to healthier choices throughout the week.
This is the reason one of my top exercise rules is to never miss a Monday. It’s also why my Sunday routine includes preparing mason jar salads, smoothie kits, and other meals. I like to wake up Monday morning ready for the week.
Of course there are many other lessons I’ve learned since starting my weight loss journey in 2010 but creating healthy routines and mastering your mornings are two that can make or break your weight loss efforts.
I want to talk more about morning routines. I’ve already gave a morning routine you can put in place to make life easier and get healthier. You can read about that here.
Now I want to talk about the different ways your morning routine is keeping you fat. I don’t mean to sound harsh but sometimes we all needs some tough love – I know I do. The reality is, if your morning are unproductive and/or filled with stress then it’s likely you’re going to struggle to lose weight. I know this from my own experience and talking with many other people.
When the pounds aren’t coming off I’d be willing to bet your morning routine includes one of these 5 habits.
5 Reasons Your Morning Routine Is Stopping You From Losing Weight
Waking up late
Lack of time is the #1 excuse people use for not exercising, prepping their meals, and every other healthy habit. I get it, we’re all busy. However, it’s more about managing ourselves than it is about managing our time. We all have 24 hours in a day and it’s up to us how we prioritize that time.
If we choose to wake up late then we choose the consequences that follow. For example, we don’t have time to exercise or eat a healthy breakfast because we’re rushing to get ready. The we get stressed because we forget, or can’t find, something that we need for the day.
Think about how the rest of your day goes when you wake up late. Do you make good choices or are you just trying to survive the hot zones? Do you feel accomplished or behind the eight ball?
By waking up even just an hour earlier, you add more time to your schedule. So you can get in a quick 30-minute workout and/or get a couple chores done before leaving. If anything, that extra time will give you an opportunity to wrap your brain around the day.
I know waking up earlier isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, especially if you’re in the habit of rising at a certain time. It’s likely you’ll have to force yourself to get up the first few days. The good news it only take 3-5 days for your internal clock to start adjusting.
Removing the habit of waking up late is a great way to start mastering your mornings.
Checking your phone right away
Another bad habit is reaching for your phone immediately after waking up. First this wastes time. We’ve already established that time is limited in the morning. You got things to do, don’t spend 20 minutes checking Facebook.
Second, it keeps out brain in sleepy lazy mode. The quicker you send triggers to your brain to get moving the better. Think about it, if you wake up and get right into your exercise clothes what message is that sending to your brain? It’s saying “time to work out”. If you check your phone what does that say? It’s saying “chill girl, you got time”. Changing your morning routine is all about changing the triggers that go to your brain.
Last, checking your phone can put you in a bad mood. Seriously, who wants to be in a bad mood at 6:00am? Not me! Trust me, that annoying email from your boss can wait. The world is not going to come crashing down if you don’t check your email until you actually get to work.
Start the day on a positive note. Don’t check messages or social media for at least ½ hour – an hour after waking up.
Turning on the TV
This is another morning routine that’s likely putting a halt to your weight loss efforts. I don’t know about you but sitting on the couch, and turning on the TV, doesn’t motivate me to exercise, or do anything. When I turn on the TV I go into instant chill mode.
Not to mention, 5 minutes of TV turns quickly turns into 45 minutes which then results in rushing around and being late. If your goal is to exercise in the morning, or do something productive, then I’d keep the TV off.
However, if you must watch TV then I recommend combining morning television time with exercising. This is something I’ve recently done in the last year or so. I love my trash TV shows but don’t like wasting time watching them so instead I watch them while on the treadmill. This little time management hack has trained my brain to look forward to exercise because I get to watch my shows alone and without interruption. I also watch my shows while prepping meals for the week or doing laundry. Basically, I use television as reward for getting stuff done.
Consuming too much sugar
I love coffee – I might even say I’m borderline obsessed. I can’t imagine waking up and NOT having a cup of coffee. However, it’s not the coffee that the issue, it’s the sugar and/or flavored creamers.
Of course, I would never suggest giving up your morning cup of joe. However, if you’re struggling to lose weight then I strongly recommend taking a look at your coffee creamer habit. Did you know that 1 tablespoon of Coffee Mate French Vanilla has 35 calories and 5 grams a sugar? This means 3 tablespoons is as many calories and sugar as 1 Reese peanut butter cup. And that’s if you measure the creamer. If you simply dump the creamer in who knows the amount of calories and sugar you’re consuming. That’s a lot of sugar to start your day with.
If you can’t switch to black coffee, or green tea, then I suggest limiting the amount of creamer used. You can do this by:
- Measuring out your creamer.
- Reducing the number of cups you have in the morning.
- Use a smaller cup.
- Try to wean yourself off creamer completely.
This also goes with soda or juice. Pay attention to the amount of sugar you consume first thing in the morning.
Not being prepared
Nothing will catapult you into the hot zone faster than not being prepared ahead of time. When clothes, lunches, and bags are not ready for the next day you start the day unorganized and late. <—This never ends well!
Instead of exercising, or eating a healthy breakfast, the morning is spent trying to get everything ready Not to mention, this ALWAYS causes stress. Who wants to start the day stressed? No me! A stressed day results in stress eating and feeling unmotivated to do anything productive.
Being prepared ahead of time gives you the confidence to wake up and take on the day. When you start the morning organized you add more time to your schedule which allows you to prioritize the things that are important to you and stay focus on the habits that matter.
All of this sounds wonderful but clearly, changing up a morning routine is easier said than done.
In general, changing up routines is hard but I feel a morning routine is especially difficult. We are tired in the morning and often have limited time. We are used to doing what works, even if it’s not really working. The thought of exerting ourselves as soon as we wake up to make any changes is not something we look forward too. Listen, I’m human. I know the struggles.
However, like I said earlier, if you can master your mornings then I truly believe you can master your day. I think creating a productive morning routine is the first step in building healthier lifestyle habits.
Remember, it takes about 3-4 weeks to form a new habit. The first week is typically the hardest so mentally preparing to push through that time is important. Once you get past the first week then it becomes easier.
Actually, it doesn’t become easier YOU GET BETTER.
Download a free workbook I created that includes a daily to-do list worksheet, weekly goal setting worksheet, and 3 different healthy habit checkoff lists! Exactly what you need to create a healthy morning routine!