My friend Samantha and I grabbed breakfast yesterday morning—I ordered the egg-topped avo toast. She got a smoothie. “I’m on a diet,” she said, “and drinking my meals.”
Poor Samantha. What she was really drinking was her calories.
To turn your metabolism into a fat-burning furnace, steer clear of sugar-filled drinks, fat-laden fast food burritos, and quick fixes. According to new research in Zero Belly Breakfasts, “eating a healthy, high-protein breakfast every day—with lean proteins, healthy fats and belly-filling fiber—leads to weight loss and prevents obesity.” And it’ll help you burn fat all day, every day.
To make sure you keep your furnace burning, avoid these 15 morning metabolism mistakes—and click here to discover The 44 Worst Breakfast Foods on the Planet.
You Woke Up Too Early
…Or went to bed too late. “A lack of sleep can cause several metabolic problems,” says Los Angeles-based nutritionist Seth Santoro, CHHC. “It can cause you to burn fewer calories, lack appetite control and experience an increase in cortisol levels, a hormone which stores fat”—which is exactly why you should try out this One-Day Plan For Better Sleep tomorrow.
You Didn’t Get Your 2 Cups In
Sorry, coffee, but we really shouldn’t be waking up with you. Hitting up Starbucks instead of chugging two cups of water right after waking up is a big no-no for your metabolism. To give your metabolism a nudge, Lisa Jubilee, MS, CDN strongly recommends getting your 16-ounces in early in order to replenish your body with the fluids it needs post sleep. “My clients who have implemented this report less bloating, more energy, and a smaller appetite,” she admits. Plus, because our bodies’ cortisol levels peak about 20 to 30 minutes after waking up, we really don’t need the java first thing in the AM. Not to mention, mixing high levels of cortisol with caffeine can increase your tolerance to caffeine. H20 is way cheaper than your double-shot soy latte… which leads us to our next point.
You Hydrated Wrong
Your thyroid is responsible for ensuring your metabolism functions properly. But sipping on fluoridated and chlorinated water can wreak havoc on your thyroid. The Rx? Drinking filtered water can prevent any organ-wrecking chemicals from entering your system. Take things up a notch by steeping a bag of green tea in filtered water. The hulk-colored brew contains antioxidative catechins, which work to blast fat by speeding up the liver’s fat-burning capacity.
You Ordered Your Coffee Wrong
The best time to drink coffee is mid-morning and mid-afternoon, which are the times when your cortisol is lowest. But if you’re going for an afternoon pick-me-up, make sure it’s not wrecking your metabolism and adding inches to your waistline. “Don’t make your coffee a dessert meaning don’t put too much stuff in it,” says Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of Real Nutrition NYC. “Coffee is meant to pick you up not fill you out, so stop with the sugar, cream, syrups, whipped cream and chocolate shavings and appreciate coffee for what it is, a strong drink that will give you some pep.”
You Bought A Smoothie For Breakfast
Busy mornings can leave you famished and desperate to grab a smoothie at the market and go. But many of these refreshing beverages are usually made with ice cream, syrup-drenched fruit, and sugar—which all scream bad news for your metabolism. Cut these calorie bombs out of your diet and opt for making your own at home using the 100+ weight loss recipes in Zero Belly Smoothies today, the bestseller that blasts fat at the push of a button.
You Skimped Out On Protein
Protein should be a part of every meal—especially breakfast. This muscle-building macro boosts your post-meal calorie burn by as much as 35 percent. Not to mention, more muscle means that your body will be incinerating more calories at rest (yup, even when you’re Netflix-bingeing!). Now that’s a win win.
Click here for 25 Best & Worst Low-Sugar Protein Bars!
You Indulged Refined Carbs
If you’re popping a piece of white bread into your toaster, you’re not providing your metabolism with the complex carbs it needs to keep you satiated and speed things up. Go for whole grain toast or, even better, Ezekiel. Once you hop on the sprouted bread bandwagon, you too will share these 15 Reasons People Are Obsessed With Ezekiel Bread.
You Sprinkled Sea Salt On Your Eggs
Cooking up some protein-packed eggs for breakfast is a metabolism-boosting decision, but if you’re seasoning your scramble with sea salt, you’re skimping out on some serious benefits. Sea salt adds both texture and flavor, but it doesn’t contain iodine—a key nutrient that helps your thyroid gland produce hormones that regulate your metabolism. Swap your grinder for iodized table salt—just a half-teaspoon of the stuff will provide 100 percent of your recommended daily iodine amount.
You Forgot To Brown Bag It
Leaving your hunger to decide what’s for lunch is a seriously bad idea that can leave your metabolism screeching to a halt. Packing your own meal thats rich in whole grains, healthy fats, fiber-filled veggies, and tummy-filling protein can help you feel slim and satiated. Just make sure you’re avoiding these brown bag lunch mistakes making you fat.
You Said ‘No Thank You’ To Yogurt
Creamy, dreamy Greek yogurt is a wonderful snack that also doubles a fat burner. Why’s that? A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that probiotics helped obese women lose almost twice the weight as those who skipped out on probiotics. Besides for the powerful probiotics found in this dairy treat, yogurt also packs in a great deal of calcium—which, according to researchers at University of Tennessee at Knoxville, can help you slice off that button-busting muffin top.
You’re Too Hot
…But not in a good way! Researchers at the National Institutes of Health discovered that folks who slept in chillier bedrooms (set at 66°F) for a month doubled the amount of brown adipose cells—a type of fat that burns calories versus stores them (yeah, those exist!). Turning down your thermostat just may be the coolest way to rev your metabolism and slim down.
You Forgot To Pack A Nutty Snack
Just one Brazil nut packs in an impressive 135 percent of your daily selenium recommended intake—which is, like, the best thing you’ll hear all day. Why’s that? Selenium helps protect your thyroid from its hormone production process’ inflammatory byproducts, deeming this superstar trace nutrient a defender of metabolism and hormone health! Not to mention, according to a review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in nuts (especially walnuts) can enhance the activity of fat-burning genes. That means you should definitely reach for the mixed nuts rather than a healthy fat-void snack in between meals.
You Ate Too Late
Skipping breakfast sounds like a good way to conserve calories so that you don’t have to order the salad for dinner tonight, but it can actually slow down your metabolism for the day. According to researchers from the University of Hohenheim in Germany, skipping breakfast may increase your risk for metabolic impairment, which can up your risk factor of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Plus, “when you are hungry, your body stops burning calories. That means that your metabolism will dramatically slow down. You need to constantly be replenishing your body’s stores to allow it to burn normally,” explains Dr. Matt Tanneberg of Arcadia Health and Wellness Chiropractic.
You Snoozed Through Your Workout
You may want to rethink snoozing through your alarm collection. A study published in the journal of Physiological Reports found that people who engaged in five 30-second bursts of intense cycling followed by 4 minutes of rest actually burned an extra 200 calories post-workout that day. That equals to just 2.5 minutes of strenuous exercise that results in a day-long resting metabolism boost. We’ll take it!
You Got Road Rage
Stress is bad, duh. But how can yelling at a speedy driver, who most likely can’t even hear you, halt your metabolism? Chalk it up to the stress hormone cortisol. “When you make too much cortisol, you feel stressed and anxious and prevent rapid weight loss,” explains Dr. Rob Silverman, author of Inside Out Health. That’s because the fat-storing hormone stops your muscles from using protein to help breakdown fat. Next time someone cuts you off, take a deep breath. Or better yet, ride a bike.