Updated: May 15
In my previous post, I mentioned that I would elaborate on some healthy habits to avoid the weight gain trap of a lockdown. Well here goes for healthy habit number 1 :)
In a time like the lockdown where we don’t have our normal routines of going to work or out to exercise, creating new routines/habits (starting from wake up) can be helpful in improving mood, positivity and productivity. Starting the day on a healthy note can make it feel easier to follow on a the same trend for the rest of the day.
Some healthy morning habits to try out
Try to get out of bed at a similar time every day, aiming for the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep. If you decide to sleep in a bit on some days, aim for the 9 hrs, and when there is less time to achieve that, aim for the minimum 7.
Start to hydrate as you wake up. Whether you prefer to drink hot/cold/ room temperature/lemon water or herbal tea it doesn’t matter. Hydrating awakens your cells and helps you to feel more energised for the day. The aim is to achieve at least 6–8 glasses of fluids per day depending on body weight and activity levels. This is actually easy to achieve if you start hydrating from wake up time and make a habit of drinking fluids with each meal/snack/coffee.
Get the blood flowing with some kind of movement. Anything from some light stretching to HIIT can energise you and create a more positive mindset for the day ahead.
Then start with a healthy, high fibre breakfast that contains protein. Try include fruit as part of your breakfast as an opportunity to get in one of the recommended 2–3 daily servings. Eating enough at breakfast can help to prevent high hunger and cravings later on in the day.
Enjoy a warm drink with your meal. Drinking any fluids (hot/cold) with meals creates a heightened feeling of fullness since the stomach is filled up with liquid. Since breakfast is often the quickest meal of the day, drinking something warm with it (which takes more time) can help stretch out the total meal time and allow more time to feel fullness signals. This can help to prevent overeating or picking again soon after breakfast.
Make a check list of tasks/goals to achieve for the day. You can group these into work tasks, home tasks i.e. groceries/cleaning/cooking/finding recipes and personal goals i.e. exercise/movement for the day, relaxation time, communication time, and 1–3 specific healthy eating goals. You will feel really on top of things when you can visualise everything that you aim to achieve in the day and it is a great feeling to tick off each completed task. Even if you don’t manage to complete every task for the day, you are less likely to forget about it or ignore it and you can simply just add the uncompleted ones to the next day’s tasks.
Don’t feel bad if this is not the way that every day lands up going. Life is not always perfect and there may be hurdles or challenges that get in the way of our goals. It is important to be flexible enough to be able to cope with those challenges and not let them derail you.
Use these healthy morning habits as a guide. Remember, what works for one person is not the same for the next person. So pick and choose what works for you. I hope that some of these healthy morning habits help you out over this time and that some of them can be continued when things go back to normal too :)
For personalized guidance in making healthy food choices book a consultation here: https://www.gabilaskerdietician.com/book-online.