“Rise and Shine!”
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, but sometimes “shining” is the last thing on your mind in the morning. It’s much more likely that desires to return to dreamland are the first thoughts to escape your brain. As tempting as it may be to turn off your alarm and settle in for a few more moments of shut eye, you’ll be a much happier and healthier person if you learn how to make your mornings work for you.
Believe it or not, getting too much sleep can be just as bad for your figure as not getting enough shut eye. A sleep study in Quebec focused on the relationship of sleep to weight loss. The results found that people who slept longer than eight hours a night were more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. It also found that people who slept 8-10 hours a night were 25 % more likely to gain 11 pounds (approximation) over a 6 year period. Additionally, long sleepers had a 21% increase in their obesity risk.
So how do you keep morning grogginess from hurting your fitness and weight loss goals?
Use these five simple tips to help you reach for more than a cup of coffee in the morning and you’ll be on your way to waking up your weight loss:
1. MORNING PREP
You’ve heard of meal prep but morning prep may be a new concept for you. Sometimes we dread mornings because there’s so much to do in so little time. Take a new approach and try getting some of your morning responsibilities taken care of the night before. Pick out your outfit. Plan a breakfast menu. Pack up your lunch and stick it in the fridge so it’s ready and waiting. If you have kids, make sure their backpacks are loaded with homework and any other essentials for the busy day ahead.
2. LIGHTEN UP
It’s proven that light wakes up the brain. In fact, there are specific cells in our eyes whose function is to absorb light in order to set our circadian clock (which tells our bodies when to sleep and when to wake up). Exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning is also associated with a lower BMI That means that getting yourself outside for an early morning walk has extra weight loss benefits for you.
3. SAY GOODBYE TO THE SNOOZE BUTTON
As tempting as those extra nine minutes of sleep may sound, it’s time to lose the snooze button and force yourself to start the day as soon as your alarm goes off. CNN reports that hitting the snooze button may actually make you more sleepy. Returning to sleep changes your sleep inertia which slows down decision-making skills, harms your memory and makes you less effective once you actually get out of bed. If the lure of your snooze button is just too tempting, try moving your alarm clock across the room so that you have no choice but to get out of bed and to turn it off.
4. FILL UP AND FUEL UP
You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but hectic mornings often make it the first thing to go when time is an issue. Eating a healthy breakfast boosts your metabolism, gives you energy and helps you focus. Making the most out of breakfast is easy with IdealShape. Our plans are designed to give you a quick and easy breakfast that will fuel you up and keep you full. Meal replacement smoothies are one of the easiest ways to put breakfast together when you’re in a hurry. Plus, they have the added benefit of hunger blockers to help you stay focused on weight loss during your busy day.
There’s plenty of research to prove that morning exercise is great for weight loss, but it also improves your mood, energy and relationships. Exercising first thing in the morning is one of the best ways to wake yourself up. It sets the tone for you to make healthy choices all day long and morning exercisers are much less likely to skip their workout. If you don’t know where to start with an exercise program, consider starting with the free 12 week IdealShape Up Challenge.
FINAL WAKE UP CALL
Ultimately the best thing you can do to master your mornings is to set yourself up with a consistent sleep schedule. You’ll never be able to wake up feeling rested if you don’t give your body enough time to rest.
According to experts the magic number is somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. It’s up to you to figure out what is best for you and then make a plan to stick with it. Once you know how to get enough sleep and make the most of your mornings, you’ll have one more tool in your belt to help you work your way towards weight loss.
Feeling tired and fat? Check out these two posts to learn how sleep and weight loss (and gain) go hand in hand: