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Health TipsNews

Can being a morning person promote weight loss?

By 06/03/2017 No Comments

Have you ever thought about whether your sleep wake cycle can impact your weight and food choices? If yes, you may just be onto something! Interestingly, new research shows early birds eat more balanced diets and are overall healthier. The main differences between the diets of early birds versus night owls was that the latter were found to eat less overall protein and more sucrose (a type of sugar) in the morning and in the evening more sucrose, fat and saturated fats. Night’s owls also reported worse eating habits on weekends and poorer sleep. Overall the research suggested metabolism is not only affected by circadian rhythm but also food preference! This could be a factor to consider if you are trying to lose weight and/or change your dietary habits.

If you would like to become a morning person but not sure where to start, try these tips:

  • Get up and go to bed at around about the same time daily, including weekends!
  • If you have trouble falling asleep take a magnesium powder and/or make sure your diet is high in magnesium including leafy greens, cashews, legumes and wholegrains
  • Exercise daily and avoid exercise too late at night as it can have an stimulating effect
  • Eat a serve of slow release carbohydrates with dinner to help promote serotonin production, a neurotransmitter which helps to regulate the sleep/wake cycle
  • Eat a serve of protein at each meal and snack to help regulate energy levels during the day
  • Avoid caffeine intake after 12pm if you are sensitive to its effects
  • Try a mindful based practice an hour before going to bed to help switch off the mind

Alternatively, if you are content with being a night owl and would simply like to make sure you are making the best food choices, try these tips:

  • Cut back on fatty cuts of meat and replace with lean cuts of meat
  • Eat fish at least 2-3 x weekly
  • Adopt meat free Monday each week and enjoy a plant-based meal
  • Limit intake of refined sugar and replace with fresh seasonal fruit
  • Eat a source of protein at each meal and snack to help keep appetite in check including eggs, dairy, nuts/seeds, fish, legumes, tofu and lean meat
  • Add fibre to each meal for satiety and to decrease sugar cravings
  • Eat a balanced breakfast daily to set a healthy tone for the day such as whole oat porridge, yoghurt, fruit, nuts and seeds or boiled eggs and avocado on wholegrain toast
  • Vitamin C is linked to restorative sleep, eat a vitamin C rich diet including capsicum, berries, kiwi fruit, leafy greens and cauliflower