The Best Morning Routine for Metabolic Health and Fat Loss

If you're looking to start your day off on the right foot and improve your metabolic health, then you need to create a morning routine that is tailored to your needs. There are many different things you can do in the morning to set yourself up for success, but not all of them are created equal. Here's how to structure the best morning routine to improve metabolic health and boost your resting metabolic rate throughout the day. And to maximize the benefits of a healthy metabolic rate, we'll also take a look at the optimal evening routine for getting quality sleep to help you burn fat even overnight.

Follow these tips, and you'll be well on your way to a healthier, leaner body!

Learn more about how the functional experts at CentreSpringMD can help you master your metabolic health for effortless, sustainable weight loss.

The best morning routine for fat loss

How you spend your mornings and evenings can have a huge impact on your metabolism, mood, hormones, resilience to stress, and even your immune function.

To begin, the ideal morning routine occurs in about a 90 minute window after waking. This is a time where you can set the tone for the rest of the day to boost metabolism and burn calories.

Here are the top recommendations for the best morning routine to boost your metabolism.

Get sunlight within 30 minutes of waking.

Your internal body clock is heavily regulated by natural light, and getting outside within about 30 minutes of waking up is the best way to turn off melatonin and activate other hormones, like cortisol, that make you feel awake and alert—plus it also increases your metabolic rate (1).

Sunlight activates appetite-regulating hormones and neurotransmitters that increase your body's ability to digest food and produce more energy.

In the colder months when it’s not practical to get out of the house, get sunlight instead by sitting near a window with lots of natural light. A well-regulated circadian rhythm supports a better resting metabolic rate and will help you burn more calories without a bunch of extra effort. 

Move your body.

Doing some form of exercise before you start your day helps to stimulate your muscles and activate fat-burning hormones. Whether your main goal is increasing muscle mass, weight loss, or just overall metabolic health, morning movement is a great way to get there. 

Aim for at least 10 minutes of low-to-moderate physical activity, like walking or yoga.

Wake up a lazy bowel.

A healthy bowel is essential for a healthy life, and you should expect to have at least one bowel movement daily. You can never really achieve optimal health if you have a sluggish or lazy bowel. Infrequent—or uncomfortable—bowel movements are a sign that your liver and metabolism in general are not functioning at an optimum level. It also means toxins and metabolic waste that your body should be eliminating are are more likely to recirculate back into your bloodstream

Infrequent bowel movements or constipation play a role in hormonal issues such as estrogen dominance or a relative progesterone insufficiency. Constipation can also be a sign of underactive thyroid.

Read: Quick Tips to Improve Gut Health

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Eat 30 grams of protein with breakfast.

Research shows that it’s crucial to eat about 25-35 grams of protein with breakfast, as this switches metabolic processes from a fasted to a fed state—initiating calorie and fat-burning (2). Some studies also suggest that until you eat a meal with enough protein-rich foods, your body may actually be breaking down a small amount of muscle tissue for energy (3). And since lean muscle is the key to a fast metabolism at any age—you definitely don’t want to lose muscle!

Adequate protein intake is also associated with lower body fat, fewer cravings, more energy, and better body composition. One study in women showed that increasing protein intake from 15 to 30% of total calories helped them lose11 pounds over 12 weeks (4). 

Having trouble getting enough protein? A clean, high-quality protein powder can help you meet your goals.

The best morning workout to target fat specifically.

For those who prefer a morning workout, the best way to maximize fat loss is with a mix of strength training exercises and sets of higher intensity actions. This approach is sometimes called high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) (5).

Strength training exercises help to build muscle and burn calories, while a mix of higher intensity activities improve cardiovascular and metabolic health. Meta-analysis shows that this approach supports greater and more sustainable long-term fat loss, improved cardiovascular health, and an increased metabolic rate (6).

You might like: Berberine for Weight Loss, Fertility, Metabolic Health, and More

Sleeping better may help you lose weight—Evening tips for fat loss

Every great morning is preceded by a good night’s sleep. Getting enough sleep is associated with decreased appetite and hunger, as well as a lower risk of weight gain. One study of 68,183 women showed that those who slept five or fewer hours per night over a period of 16 years were more likely to gain weight than those who slept for longer than seven hours per night (7). 

Can’t sleep? Try these methods to clean up your sleep hygiene.

To help maximize your daytime efforts, here’s what you should focus on at night to lose weight.

Include healthy fats and protein with dinner (and avoid refined carbs).

Poor sleep is linked to insulin resistance, which is a major player in weight gain (8). Insulin is a hormone that helps store glucose (sugar) in your cells for energy. Consuming processed or refined carbohydrates too close to bedtime (or without a protein or fat to slow absorption) can disrupt insulin levels during the night which causes fragmented and poor quality sleep. You may even wake up periodically if your blood sugar dips too low.

Read: 4 Benefits of Insulin Sensitivity & How to Improve Yours

Have a consistent bedtime and wake time—even on the weekends.

Regulate energy expenditure and your circadian rhythm by sticking with a consistent sleep and wake time.

Irregular sleep or a lack of adequate sleep directly contributes to alterations in hunger hormones, increased appetite, and a higher risk of obesity (9). If you’re struggling with sugar cravings or not losing weight despite a healthy diet & exercise, your sleep schedule may be to blame!

Try a sleep-supportive supplement.

Supplements that contain magnesium, amino acids like glycine, or relaxing herbs are a helpful part of a good evening routine. About half of adults don’t get enough magnesium, which may make it difficult to relax both your mind and body. Magnesium exists in several different forms, but magnesium bisglycinate or magnesium glycinate are easily absorbed and commonly used to support restful sleep.

Try Sleep Savior, or a blend of amino acids to help activate calming neurotransmitters like GABA.

Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugary desserts before bedtime.

Anything that can disrupt hunger and fullness hormones—or that’s a toxin such as alcohol—should be avoided in the hours before bedtime. Not only can they keep you awake, but sugar in particular can worsen a phenomenon known as leptin resistance. This tricks your body into feeling hungry even when you’re not (10).

When leptin rises, appetite diminishes, which means leptin is crucial in controlling how much you eat. If your body doesn’t respond to leptin signals, you’ll end up craving more and gaining more weight. Inadequate sleep also contributes to leptin resistance, and it can be a vicious cycle. 

Don’t go to bed with your phone.

Specialized receptors behind your eyes respond to light and send signals to your brain. This process regulates circadian rhythm, metabolic rate, and energy expenditure. These receptors are so sensitive to changes in light that even the subtle light from your phone or a TV in the bedroom can disrupt the production of melatonin and other relaxation neurotransmitters, potentially confusing your circadian rhythm and contributing to a slower metabolism.

Metabolism testing at CentreSpringMD

If your goals this year include weight loss, a metabolic evaluation can help you figure out the best and most strategic plan for your individual chemistry.

Metabolic testing is especially beneficial for men and women over 35, those who have been following a healthy eating and exercise routine but aren’t seeing results, and anyone who suspects a hormone or metabolic imbalance.

A functional medicine specialist may recommend testing for:

Hormone and Metabolic Markers – Thyroid hormone, insulin, adrenal function and cortisol, plus reproductive hormones like estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testosterone.

Gut Function – Nutrient absorption for a healthy metabolism, plus inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein.

Toxic Load & Detox Capacity – Environmental contaminants interfere with thyroid function causing inflammation and endocrine dysfunction

Genetic Testing and Epigenetics – Your lifestyle affects your genetic predisposition for metabolic conditions like obesity, metabolic syndrome, and insulin resistance.

Metabolic testing provides a clear picture for you and your doctor to develop a strategic plan for successful & sustainable weight loss. 

Resources 

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4089089/ 
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30204837/
  3. https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/jphysiol.2013.253203 
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16002798/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/ 
  6. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cdtp/2022/4273809/ 
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16914506 
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3767932/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632337/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16782141/ 

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