I Lost 45 Pounds Without Following Fad Diets—Here's My Morning Routine

What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed in the morning? A well-rounded morning routine sets the tone for the day and gets you prepped—both mentally and physically—before diving into a packed schedule filled with emails, chores, happy hours, workouts, and more. Our series Morning Person profiles those who have mastered the art of the morning routine. Tune in every Monday morning here and on our Instagram to learn exactly how the pros get it all done before the sun comes up, from their go-to breakfasts to their a.m. workouts.

In a world of keto and intermittent fasting, it's refreshing to hear from someone who lost weight in a simple, natural way. No secrets, no tricks—just eating healthily and incorporating regular exercise into her routine. When Katie Dunlop (now a certified personal trainer who frequently posts free workouts on her YouTube channel) found herself overweight post-college, she set out to revamp her lifestyle and ended up creating a career in the process.

We recently asked her what was the one wellness trend she regretted trying, and she was quick to pinpoint dieting: "I spent years destroying my body trying every crazy restrictive diet there is." Years later, she's come to realize that crash dieting doesn't work; instead, she's focused on developing a healthy routine. "When I finally lost 45 pounds, it was only because I created a healthy, balanced diet for myself, and that's the only reason I've been able to keep the weight off for eight years and continue to get stronger each day."

So what does that routine look like exactly? Keep scrolling everything her morning routine entails, from how she gets her energy to her go-to coffee concoction.

7:30 a.m.

I'm usually up until about midnight working each night, but I know how important sleep is. I'd love to get a full nine hours, but I typically wake up naturally around 7:30 a.m. and lay in bed snuggling with the hubs until around 8 a.m.

8 a.m.

After spritzing myself with energizing essential oils, I sweat it out. I like getting my workouts done in the morning for two reasons: It helps wake me up, and it gives me dedicated time to set my intention for the day and refocus on my health. If you exercise first thing in the morning, you'll probably make healthier choices all day long. My LSF workouts can be done at home, at the beach, or anywhere in between—they only take about 30 minutes, so it's not a crazy time suck either.

Photo:

Katie Dunlop

8:45 a.m.

My favorite time of day? Coffee time! I have hypothyroidism, so caffeine generally isn't my best friend, but I love the ritual of it more than anything. I've been doing a half-caffeine coffee for the last few months and I feel amazing. I mix one shot of decaf espresso and one regular with unsweetened almond milk steamed with cinnamon, and add two scoops of Vital Proteins coconut creamer. It's the best! I'm not a big morning eater, so this allows me to get healthy fats and proteins post-workout without forcing myself to eat a giant meal. While I sip, I usually sit in my backyard and start my list of top-five to-dos for the day. I have plenty more than that, but these are the major priorities.

Photo:

Katie Dunlop

9 a.m.

My workday officially starts! Our team gets to our literal "in-house" office, and we get working on all things Love Sweat Fitness (we launched the LSF app this year and have plenty of free workouts on our site) I work super hard to develop new content to help inspire, empower, and motivate women to live their best lives.

Photo:

Katie Dunlop