by Matt Weik
If you are trying to lose weight, you know it can be a daunting task and something you need to meticulously plan out in order to see the results you desire. With that being said, there are actually seven things you should be doing before you go to bed to speed up your weight loss results. While some of them may seem simple, they are something that many refuse to implement to put themselves in the position to aid in their weight loss efforts.
1. Have breakfast ready to go
Why do so many people skip breakfast? It’s easy – they don’t have time to make it (or so they say). Well, this strategy will help eliminate that excuse as well as prevent you from hitting the donut shop on the way to work or school. Have your breakfast ready to go as soon as you step into the kitchen each morning to help simplify things and help speed up your weight loss results by eating a healthy breakfast that will energize you through the morning. I would recommend utilize something like overnight oats for your breakfast so that all you need to do upon waking is pull it from the refrigerator and grab a spoon.
Or, if you prefer to have eggs, scramble up some eggs and store them in a Tupperware container so all you have to do is toss them in the microwave to warm them up and you’re good to go. You can even combine the two items and you will have an amazingly healthy protein and carbohydrate mixture ready in a matter of a couple minutes. This is a great weight loss strategy that can be done before you go to bed each night.
2. Have your lunch packed
Just like with breakfast, if you meal prep once a week and have your food in Tupperware containers, you can grab and go before heading out the door. Have your lunch box/bag ready to go by your refrigerator so all you need to do after you eat breakfast is to toss your lunch from the refrigerator into your box/bag and you’re off to the races. No more excuses to run to McDonald’s at lunch and no more excuses to skip lunch altogether. This weight loss strategy allows you to properly portion out your lunch rather than quickly trying to toss something together in the morning. When you plan things out you have a greater success rate.
When you prepare your lunch before bed, in the Tupperware container you will want to have a source of lean protein as well as healthy carbohydrates and fats that align with your weight loss efforts. You can either combine everything in one large Tupperware container or if you have them, use the containers that have dividers which give you the ability to separate all of your food items.
3. Pack healthy snacks for the day
There’s a large number of people who are watching their weight or engaging in some sort of weight loss program, yet they are visiting the vending machine in the afternoon for something to tide them over until dinner. This is not helping them get any closer to their weight loss goals. To combat this (since most of the options in vending machines are not healthy), pack your own healthy snacks to take with you each day and kick those sugary and high carbohydrate sources to the curb.
There are several snack options that you can consider packing. Grab some nuts and put them in a sealable bag or container and toss them in your backpack or briefcase. If you crave something sweet in the afternoon, take something like an apple to eat along with the nuts or even some natural peanut butter to put on your apple. The key is to try and get some type of protein in with not only your meals throughout the day but also for your snacks.
It would even be a good idea to keep some nutrition or protein bars in your backpack, briefcase, or desk at work as a backup just in case you forget your snack at home or if you are still hungry during the day and need a little something extra to help you make it through a grueling afternoon schedule.
4. Fill up your water bottle
Water is extremely important to not only help our body function properly but also our brain. In addition, drinking water throughout the day can help speed up your weight loss results by keeping you feeling full throughout the day and help prevent you from overeating. If you want to mix it up during the day by drinking some tea (unsweetened) or even some coffee feel free to do so. Staying hydrated throughout the day even if you aren’t exercising is vital with helping the body perform optimally.
Something you should do each night before bed is to fill up your water bottle and put it in the refrigerator. By having your water bottle full and ready to go in the refrigerator, it simplifies your morning routine by only needing to grab the water bottle from the refrigerator along with your lunch and snack and you’re on your way out the door to tackle the day.
5. Plan your day
If you roll into your day without a plan, your day will run you rather than the other way around. Before bed, you want to plan out exactly what needs to get done the following day and schedule it in your calendar. This also includes putting your workout in your calendar so you don’t get sidetracked and wind up missing out on your workout which can be detrimental to your weight loss results.
Remember one thing, if something is a priority, you will make time for it. No excuses to bail on something you need to get done and something that is important to you – such as your workouts to help you with your weight loss.
6. Relax and destress
Each night you will want to put some time aside to relax and destress. This will not only help you get a better night’s sleep, but it will also help you better manage your cortisol levels which can cause your body to retain and hold onto body fat. Anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes would be ideal.
There are many ways to relax and destress such as meditation, deep breathing, listening to calming music, sitting in a quiet room, reading a book, watching a movie or your favorite television show, or anything else that you find relaxing where you can remove yourself from the stressors of the day and unwind.
7. Get to bed at a reasonable time
Getting enough sleep is extremely important to help you with your weight loss results. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, not only can it put you in a mental fog the following day, but it also zaps your energy which can cause you to have a terrible workout. To help with your weight loss results, you should be striving for a minimum of seven hours of quality sleep each night. If you aren’t getting that, find out what is causing you to stay up late or simply lay in bed wide awake and make some changes. Make it a priority to get to bed at a reasonable time each night rather than staying up all night like you’re a teenager again. Also, be sure the environment where you sleep aligns with your sleep efforts and isn’t the cause of why you can’t sleep at night.
What I mean by this is that if you find you get to bed at a reasonable time but can’t fall asleep easily, try to pinpoint what’s keeping you up and attempt to eliminate it. Maybe your room is too hot? Turn on a fan, the air conditioning, or open a window. Too much ambient noise? Try a white noise machine. Phone ding all night? Turn it off or put it on silent. Or if you find you’re overstimulated by drinking coffee or some type of energy drink/pre-workout, eliminate it or try to use a caffeine-free version instead.