I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, but I start with several intentions. Family and faith are at the top of my list, and fitness is too. I intend to start my days better, so I can make some improvements to (and maintain) my nutrition and health this year. Here are 5 of my intentions for 2016 mornings:
Sleep ½ hour longer.
I waste a lot of time before bed and in the morning. If I manage my time a little bit better, then I can get in at least 30 min. more sleep. Recent sleep studies suggest that adding even a half hour to your night’s sleep can help women eat less (and/or make healthier food choices) throughout the day. They suggest hormones play a key role in triggering hunger and cravings. They may be speculative, but it’s worth a try: sleep more, eat less/better.
Soak in some Sun.
Open the curtains and draw your blinds as soon as you can, and try to step outside (i.e. take out the trash, get the paper, sweep the porch. The sudden onset of UV light has a mood-altering, energizing effect. A recent study found that people who got a dose of daily sunshine had lower BMIs (body mass index: a measure of relative size based on the mass and height of an individual) than those who stayed in the dark. Researchers postulate that morning rays help synch up your body clock so your metabolism gets fired up.
Pack in the Protein.
Complex carbs alone won’t give you the kick that a protein-carb combo can. Approximately a 50% carb, 30% protein, 20% fat ratio what will make you feel full and promote steady blood-sugar levels, say many registered dieticians. Easy ideas: egg whites and whole-grain, high fiber toast or Greek yogurt, granola and fruit parfait.
Get Hydrated Early in the Day.
Eating solid food helps fill you up, but also hydrating with a tall glass of water in the morning will flush out the bloat and help you [process your food better. It takes about 24 oz. of water to help process a pound of food, so if you want to actually process what you’re eating, you MUST drink, too.
It is important to be prepared for the day, so one of the ways to stay ahead of the game is to actually put in the effort and pack a snack. Choose options with at least 20 g of protein, 5 g of fiber, low-sugar, low salt and plenty of veggies. Eat one piece of fruit before 4 p.m., and lay off the sugar of any kind after that. If you’ve given yourself enough to much on during the day, you won’t be running to the ice cream shop or grabbing a sugary soda to quench those cravings.
To read more about contributor, Alli Salibian, visit our Contributors Page!