IF you’re trying to shed the pounds, the decisions you make throughout the day are key.
But there are a few morning rituals that can really set you up for success – and maximise your weight loss.
Leading dietitian Susie Burrell says things like having a protein-filled breakfast and adding a little caffeine to your diet first thing can really make a difference.
Here, she shares five morning habits that will help blast that pesky belly fat.
1. Focus on water
One of the best ways to lose water weight is to actually drink more water.
Susie writes in her blog: “The simple act of starting each day with 300-500ml of water is one of the easiest daily rituals you can adopt.
“Not only to rehydrate after the night’s rest but to help get the digestive system moving.
“Ice cold water, in particular, has been shown to increase metabolic rate slightly after consumption.
“Herbal tea is another great option as it offers antioxidants and a small amount of caffeine which will also contribute to a slight metabolic boost.”
2. Have a protein-filled breakfast
Having a protein-filled breakfast will help you feel fuller for longer and, as a result, help to boost your metabolic rate.
Susie says: “Consuming 20-30g of high quality protein via foods such as eggs, Greek yogurt, protein based smoothies and higher protein bread is the easiest way to set the platform for a day of healthy eating.
“Not only will a high protein breakfast help to regulate blood glucose levels throughout the morning and keep you full for several hours, but protein rich foods actually require more calories to digest than carbohydrate rich foods thus helping to boost metabolic rate.
“Good options include scrambled eggs with vegetables; smoked salmon and avocado or nut spread on high protein bread, a smoothie with protein powder or Greek yogurt with a little fruit.”
3. Don’t forget about fibre
Fibre is a powerful appetite suppressant, so Susie recommends starting you day with foods such as wholegrain bread and seeds.
She says: “One of the biggest issues with high protein diets is that they forget about the numerous benefits associated with consuming 20-30g of fibre each day.
A high protein breakfast help to regulate blood glucose levels throughout the morning and keep you full for several hours
“Not only will your digestive system be a lot happier, but adding fibre-rich foods in at breakfast will help to keep you full and satisfied throughout the morning.
“Good options at breakfast time include vegetables or sliced fruit served with your eggs; high protein, lower carb breads that are generally made with fibre rich wholegrains and seeds and a serve of bran, oats or fresh fruit which you can add to smoothies or Greek yogurt.”
4. Add a little caffeine
Your morning coffee may have the power to get you out of bed, but it might also help you to lose weight.
Susie says: “One of the easiest ways to boost metabolism is to include a daily dose of caffeine and there is no better time to do this than first thing in the morning.
“Caffeine as a stimulant has been shown to increase fat metabolism, albeit in relatively small amounts but every little bit counts.
“The average shot of coffee contains 100mg of caffeine compared to just 40-60g for tea or instant coffee so including a piccolo or macchiato in your morning routine is an easy way to get a daily metabolic boost.
“Just keep in mind that an upper daily limit of 300-400mg of caffeine each day is recommended for an average adult.”
5. Be strict with the sugars
Susie emphasises the need to “start as you mean to go on” when it comes to your daily food intake.
She says: “The more sweet food we consume, especially early in the day, the more we are likely to want, which explains why a day that starts with banana bread and a caramel latte only seems to go downhill food wise.
“This pattern occurs as processed carbohydrates including white bread and foods with loads of added sugar including fruit yogurt, banana bread, smoothies and sweet coffee result in relatively high amounts of the hormone insulin being secreted.
“Insulin drives our appetite for more sweet food, and is also involved in fat storage.
“As such, the less processed carbohydrate and sweet food we consume through the morning, the better it will be for weight control overall.”