When it comes to losing weight, most of us can use all the help we can get. The process is seldom easy, especially when you want to do it smartly and make the weight loss last. Thankfully, there are some habits to help you get the job done by boosting your efforts in eating right and getting plenty of exercise.
In particular, we're talking about helping clients set up a good foundation by making the most of their mornings. We might not all be morning people, but anyone who wants to lose weight would do well to start developing these eight habits for your morning routine.
And that's per night, not for the whole week! As fitness professionals, we all have those clients who love burning the midnight oil, but setting up for success begins with waking refreshed and ready to take on the day. A lack of sleep can lead to a reduction in productivity, be it on the job or in living a healthy lifestyle. Mood plays a role in weight loss as well, and sleep deprivation can put a damper on the day. Either of these can lead to skipping a workout or making bad choices when it comes to meals and snacks.
Hydration is key to good health, so why not start your day with it? Water speeds up the breakdown of food and boosts the absorption of nutrients. It also will curb hunger by making you feel full quicker at breakfast. Another benefit of drinking water is that it rids the body of unhealthy toxins. So, give your body a jumpstart by upping your morning water intake to get hydrated early in the day.
Encourage clients to aim for 20+ grams of protein in their first meal of the day. This gives them a great start to reaching the recommended daily protein intake, which is calculated according to body weight. Getting that initial shot of protein in the morning jump-starts the metabolism, which aids in weight loss.
Because protein takes a long time to digest, it reduces appetite, which makes it easier to make it to lunch without succumbing to a potentially harmful craving. Check out the downloadable handout at the end of this article for healthy, high-protein breakfast options you can recommend to clients.
Generally speaking, morning exercise isn't any better for you than working out later in the day. But when it comes to losing weight, make time in the morning for a short jog, a quick weight training session, or 20 minutes of yoga. That way, even if your day doesn't go as planned, you still got in some exercise.
Exercise boosts metabolism while also helping to keep blood sugar levels steady. It helps set the mood for the day as well, beginning with breakfast. Your clients will be less likely to settle for an unhealthy breakfast after taking the time to work out.
Planning meals ahead of time is a great way to develop and stick to good eating habits. It begins with making smart choices at the grocery store. Then be sure to put together a healthy lunch in the morning before heading out the door. This will eliminate the chance of making unhealthy food choices at a fast-food restaurant or an office vending machine. The same holds true for a snack. Bringing along a piece of fruit or some nuts for healthy calories and to reduce the urge to buy a pack of chips or a candy bar in the afternoon.
Vitamin D is the obvious benefit of getting some sun at any time of the day, but morning sun can have an important impact on those looking to lose weight. Sunlight stimulates hormones, which are made up of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Having breakfast on the patio or going for a morning walk or run will help boost your metabolism and get the fat-burning process started.
Being aware of what is going into your body is one of the best ways to develop healthy eating habits. As a personal trainer, review your client's food intake occasionally to help them pinpoint opportunities for better choices. Losing weight is all about doing the right thing when it comes to eating, whether it's the quality of the food or the size of the portion. Keeping a journal is a strong deterrent to doing the wrong thing.
Set up a routine for a daily weigh-in or at least every other day. The scale can be a motivating tool. The numbers don't lie. Keeping a close watch keeps you on course and will lead to developing good habits. No one who is committed to losing weight wants to find out too late that efforts to eat better and exercise have been falling short. Staying on top of things means staying on top of the scale.
Developing healthy habits goes a long way toward meeting weight loss goals and creating a holistically healthy life. If you're interested in nutrition and helping clients build better habits, explore the ISSA's online course in nutrition. You can use this knowledge for your own wellbeing and to get certified to help others.