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(CBS11) – If your goal is to be healthier this year, experts say what you do before 9:00 a.m. can make all the difference.

“Start your day off early,” said fitness expert Larry North. “It seems to be the one common thread all healthy people have.”

While exercising in the morning is a good start, don’t stop there.

Here’s our top five things healthy people do before 9:00 a.m.

1. Eat 30 grams of protein
Many nutritionists believe in this “30 in 30” idea – thirty grams of protein within thirty minutes of waking-up.The science behind it suggests eating protein keeps blood-sugar levels steady which decreases cravings.  Consuming three whole eggs will account for 18 grams of protein or a cup of low-fat cottage cheese has all 30 grams of protein you need.

2. Plan your next meal
Nutritionists say bad eating habits often come down to not being prepared, so right after breakfast make a lunch and plan for dinner.
North said, “That’s the key. Know in advance what you are going to eat, so it’s not a guessing game where you’re stuck making a bad food choice when you don’t even want to.”

3. Take a cold shower
Why would you subject yourself to such discomfort? Research shows cold showers increases metabolism, improves your immune system, improves your circulation, and can boost your mood.
Plus, some say, after about 20 seconds you won’t even notice the cold.(no promises with that)

4. Focus on the positive
Many of world’s most successful people schedule time in the morning for meditation or prayer.
“The other thing healthy people do is they have gratitude,” North said, “They look at life like they appreciate it. They take time in the morning to create positive affirmations for their life.”

5. Make your day top heavy
Whatever hard and important decisions or tasks you have to do on a particular day, do them first. Research shows your ability it make high quality decisions becomes fatigued throughout the day, so it only makes sense to do what’s most important first.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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