Gaining some extra pounds despite all your tireless efforts at keeping your weight in check? Frustration setting in? If your answers are yes, know that you’re not alone; many have been there before, but we also have some great news for you – all that can come to an end. It’s easy.
You probably are doing so many things right such as throwing in a few days of exercise and cutting down your junk food consumption. Kudos to you. The problem, however, is that weight gain troubles can spring from complementing those right things with some very wrong ones. Be on the strictest diet you can think of, but if you overlook certain habits, you can hardly escape the extra dreaded pounds and expanding waistline. But worry no more because we’ve got you. We’ll let you know some of the practices which are thwarting your hard work and robbing you of your weight management success, and we’ll be focusing on the most important time of the day – morning.
Your Six Morning Habits Which Encourage Weight Gain
1. You Skip Breakfast
Now and then, we all tend to miss breakfast – the most important meal of the day – under some unavoidable circumstances. That’s fine as long as it is not habitual. But if it becomes routine, then that is a problem that needs to go away. Whether purposely or unintentionally, skipping breakfast instead of helping you lose weight, as many probably believe, actually encourages weight gain. Skipping it negatively affects your metabolism, disrupts your biorhythm, generally makes you unsettled, and increases your cravings for high caloric foods later in the day, which you’re more than likely to give in to. A study by Hoertel, Will, and Leidy indicates that eating breakfast rich in protein can significantly curb late-morning cravings, resulting in unhealthy food binges. Other studies also show that eating breakfast greatly contributes to better portion control, balances glucose and energy levels, reduces the likelihood of diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases, among others. That said, frequently skipping your morning meals do you more harm than good. If you want to be successful with your weight management, get rid of the habit!
2. You Eat Like It’s a Sprint
This might seem so insignificant a habit, but you’d be surprised by its effects on your weight management efforts. We understand you’re extremely busy, or you’re always in a hurry to beat rush hour, and you don’t have the time or patience to savor a nice breakfast. But your brain disagrees. According to Healthline, it needs ample time to receive signals from your stomach that enough is enough and that it is full and that time can take up to 20 minutes. Give your stomach this amount of time it requires.
Moreover, eating fast has also been associated with bloating and accumulation of gas in your system. Eating slower has been known to aid better digestion since you get to break the food down properly into smaller particles. A recent study further observed that fast eaters are approximately twice as likely to become obese compared to slow eaters. If you’re bent on putting the issue of gaining weight to rest, eating your food like it’s a sprint isn’t the right way to go. Find a way to manage your time well so that you don’t always have to rush through breakfast time.
3. You Sleep Too Little or Too Much
Sleep can be therapeutic and restorative but only when obtained right. Getting too much or too little of it can affect not just your morning but how the rest of your day goes. You can become very tired both from sleep deprivation and from oversleeping, and that exhaustion inevitably inserts itself everywhere throughout the day. This phenomenon can cause a myriad of problems for you, including an unwelcome effect on your weight which you’re trying to keep at bay. A study shows that nine and ten-hour sleepers are 21% more likely to become obese over a period of six years compared to average-duration sleepers, that is, those who get between seven and eight hours.
Similarly, being deprived, as aforementioned, makes you exhausted, which increases your chances of grabbing some comfort foods to keep your energy levels up during the day but which don’t auger well for weight management. Proper sleep hygiene is crucial. If your inability to attain it has little to do with self-induction and more to do with insomnia, hypersomnia, or any other sleep disorder, then you should check with your doctor to see how best to deal with it.
4. You Don’t Get Any Exercise
Getting a few minutes of exercise in the morning also goes a long way to prevent weight gain. It is best to exercise before breakfast. Adopting this habit helps boost your metabolism and facilitates a quick burning of calories and fat. What’s more, exercising also gives you positive energy and an active spirit to tackle the day ahead. It has also been known to induce better sleep at night, and that’s another plus. You can either hit the gym in the morning or choose to do some at-home exercises such as yoga, stretching exercises, squats, crunches, rope jumping, and of course, the very convenient one – walking. If you want to shed off those extra inches, make it a habit to wake up each morning, get your exercise spirit on, and go through the rest of your day feeling so much better as an added benefit. It might not be easy at first, especially if exercise doesn’t form part of your daily routine, but remember that good things come to those who sweat!
5. You Don’t Drink water
Do you drink water in the morning? If you don’t, then you might want to make some changes there. Metabolism, removal of waste and toxins, replenishment of the body, and the burning of calories, among other biological processes, all of which affect your weight, take place efficiently in the presence of this essential nutrient – Water. That is why beginning the morning with a glass or two before ingesting anything else is something you can’t afford to sacrifice. Some studies suggest that consuming enough water in the morning and on an empty stomach greatly aids digestion, burns calories due to increased metabolism, fills up your stomach, and prevents overeating at breakfast or unhelpful cravings, and balances the nutrients in your body. While you jumpstart your morning with a glass or two of water at room temperature, make sure to continue to practice water therapy to stay hydrated throughout the day as well.
6. You Avoid the Scale
One of the best ways to keep tabs on your weight is to check it every day, and that should be the very first thing you do early in the morning. Lauren O’Connor, registered dietician and owner of Nutri Savvy Health explains that weighing yourself in the morning is relatively more effective. During the nighttime, your body has had time to digest and process the food earlier eaten adequately. Hence, the scale gives you fairly accurate numbers. Checking your weight daily isn’t a particularly daunting task especially considering how it can help you in your weight management journey. A 12-month study by a group of researchers found that adults who weighed themselves on a daily basis were more successful in losing weight. This is because regularly checking your weight motivates you to practice self-control, restraint, and discipline, especially regarding unnecessary intake of calories and other habits that can promote weight gain.
Now we’ve looked at six of the morning habits making you gain weight and which you can get rid of. Let’s do a recap of the ways you can adopt instead to help you in your weight management and fitness endeavors:
- Don’t skip breakfast and while you’re at it, be sure to eat one rich in protein.
- Don’t rush when taking your breakfast. It’s not a sprint. Take your time and enjoy the meal.
- Get enough sleep. Eight hours should suffice to keep you well-rested. See your doctor if you’re struggling with any sleep disorders.
- Make time to work out. You can go to a gym near you or have some at-home exercises.
- Drink a glass or two of warm water in the morning and make sure to practice water therapy throughout the day.
- Keep close tabs on your weight by weighing yourself every morning, preferably after you hit the washroom and before you eat or drink anything.
The Bottom Line
If you find yourself guilty of any of the aforementioned habits, don’t be hard on yourself. What’s important is that you start making the necessary improvements and adopting a better lifestyle to keep your weight in check. Remember, health is wealth, and weight contributes so much to that. Be good to yourself and your body, and don’t forget to share your thoughts with us in the comments!
- Malia Frey, Pros and Cons of Skipping Breakfast, verywellfit.com, March 19, 2021
- Physical Side Effects of Oversleeping, wedmd.com, January 15, 2020
- Kristeen Cherney, How Often Should I Weigh Myself? healthline.com, May 22, 2019
- Quick Dose: Is Eating Too Fast Unhealthy, mm.org,