“The biggest mistake people make when trying to lose weight is getting out of bed the wrong way and following the steps they take,” says Susan Piers Thompson, president of the Sustained Weight Loss Institute. It turns out that those first waking moments set the stage for the choices you make throughout the day. Therefore, it is important to develop good habits that you can follow automatically even as soon as you wake up, when your head is still foggy after a night’s sleep.
We’ve rounded up the common and most common mistakes that can ruin more than just your morning, as well as how to fix them.
1. You oversleep
We have all heard that lack of adequate quality sleep can lead to weight gain due to increased levels of cortisol (an appetite stimulant) in the body. But the opposite is also true: too much sleep is also bad. One study in the journal PLOS One found that sleeping more than 10 hours a night also increased the risk of a higher BMI. Moreover, the bill goes really to the clock: participants sleeping 7-9 hours a day did not experience frequent feelings of hunger.
So, turn on your willpower and let go of the warm blanket if your sleep lasts longer than 9 hours. Your body will thank you.
2. You are going in the dark
Another PLOS One study showed that if you leave your curtains closed after waking up, you run the risk of gaining weight due to the lack of daylight.
The authors believe that people who get a boost of sunlight early in the morning have significantly lower BMI scores than those who don’t. And it does not depend on the amount of food eaten per day. Just 20 to 30 minutes of daylight, even on cloudy days, is enough to affect BMI. This happens because your body synchronizes its internal clock (including metabolism) using blue light waves from early morning light.
3. You don’t make the bed.
A National Sleep Foundation survey found that people who make their beds sleep better than those who leave their beds unmade. It may sound strange and even silly, but Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit (“The Power of Habit”), writes in his book that the habit of making the bed in the morning can lead to other good habits, such as packing lunch on work. Duhigg also writes that people who regularly make their beds can better keep track of their budget and calorie intake because they have developed willpower.
4. You don’t know your weight
When researchers at Cornell University examined 162 overweight people, they found that those who weighed themselves and knew their weight were more successful in weight loss and control. Morning is the best time to weigh in. When you see the result with your own eyes, you are able to keep it under control and move on. But don’t make weighing insane.
5. You hardly eat breakfast
Perhaps this is the most obvious, but common mistake. Tel Aviv University researchers found that those who ate a 600-calorie breakfast that included protein, carbohydrates and sweets experienced less hunger and cravings for snacks throughout the day compared to those who ate a 300-calorie breakfast. Breakfast lovers are also better at sticking to the same calorie content throughout their lives. Scientists believe that satisfying your physical hunger at breakfast may help you not feel left out. Little tip: don’t overeat at night. The most common reason for not being hungry in the morning is a heavy dinner. Try to have a light meal for dinner once, and you will understand that you can have breakfast not because you “need”, but because you “want”.