A balanced night routine can be a game-changer for a weight loss since it creates a smoother, stress-free morning. When stress is chronic and prolonged (like something we deal with every day), it can directly impact our health. For example, our immune response is hampered and we may crave more comfort foods, which could lead to weight gain. Digestion, mood and cardiovascular measures are also negatively affected.
Here, five simple, actionable tips to help save you time, energy and anxiety in the mornings, while setting you up for a more streamlined day.
Rather than skipping a meal or reaching for the doughnuts at the office, (which will result in a sugar crash), take 10 minutes to prepare breakfast the night before. If you want a smoothie to take on-the-go, try pre-measuring and putting some of the ingredients together the night before, or even pre-mixing it. If you’re more of an oatmeal person, try overnight oats.
PACK YOUR LUNCH AND SNACKS
If you’ve meal prepped on the weekend, this shouldn’t take long but you can also take advantage of leftovers and pack them the night before. This could include pre-cut vegetables for a salad or making a grain bowl with whatever protein, whole grains and veggies you have on hand. It’s also a good idea to pack your snacks so you have an appropriate portion size and won’t be tempted by less healthy choices.
HAVE A HYDRATION PLAN
Whether it’s coffee, tea or water, it’s important to make sure you’re well-hydrated. Pre-set the coffee maker or fill the tea kettle so you can just heat it up in the morning. Fill your water bottle and keep it in the fridge so it’s ready to go in the morning. Being hydrated helps your body function at its best, which aids weight loss.
KEEP A JOURNAL BY YOUR BED
Journaling can be a therapeutic way to get thoughts out of your head and onto paper so they don’t keep you up at night. It’s a great way to help you visualize your goals and even writing a short to-do list for the next day can help you fall asleep faster.
Meditation, or the act of slowing down and being mindful in the moment, is a great way to reduce stress and is linked to many health benefits. Meditation is not necessarily about turning off your thoughts, it’s also about learning to observe them without judgment. Starting with even 5–10 minutes at a time can help keep you feel calm and set you up for a better night’s sleep. In turn, you’ll feel well-rested the next morning to tackle your workout and have a healthier day.