Getting enough sleep isn’t only important for your mental health; did you know that it also affects weight loss?
While we sleep, our bodies repair and detoxify. Sleep helps build muscle, it helps repair blood vessels, it supports growth and development, and it helps keep the immune system strong.
Sleep also affects our hormones, particularly insulin. Insulin controls our blood sugar levels; if we aren’t getting enough sleep, or enough restful sleep, this can lead to elevated blood sugar, which in turn can lead to diabetes and obesity. To maintain proper hormone balance, which controls everything from weight loss, to appetite to sex drive, we need deep, restful sleep.
Another way sleep causes weight gain is the resulting behavior from a lack of it. Think about this: you wake up after a poor night’s sleep; you’re too tired to make breakfast and can only manage some coffee. You stop by Starbucks to get a latte and pick up a breakfast sandwich. Maybe you grabbed your dinner leftovers from the night before, so you’re at least having a healthy lunch (hopefully). At 3pm you’re feeling like you’re about to fall asleep, so you either reach for another coffee, or get a sugary drink to perk you up. By the time dinner rolls around, the last thing you feel like doing is preparing dinner, so you order in. See what I mean?
Lack of sleep not only affects our immune system, our ability to repair on a cellular level and our hormones (which control weight loss), but lack of sleep sets us up to fail.
If you do drink coffee, have your last cup by 1pm. Aim to get around 8 hours of sleep per night, 10-6 or 11-7 is a good place to start. Make sure your room is comfy, dark, and free of distractions while you sleep. The next pillar of healthy is movement.
(Don’t worry, I’m definitely NOT going to tell you that you have to bust your ass in a gym to get the body you want).
Despite what many people say and what you’ve likely been told, you don’t need a gym membership to lose weight, but you do need to be active.
Many of us are mostly sedentary, sitting behind computers all day. This doesn’t mean you can’t still be active. Set a timer on your phone or computer every half hour, get up, stretch out your legs, take a small walk, do some lunges, just move! This is so important and really does make a difference.
Personally, I am not a big fan of the gym. Repetitive workouts can easily become really boring, so I’m a fan of getting my workouts from activities. Here are some ideas:
- Go on a walk in your neighborhood
- Go for a swim
- Go kayaking
- Do squats while you brush your teeth
- Play Frisbee with your kids
- Do a few sprints
- Ride a bike
- Take a day trip a lake, ocean or park
I know these things seem small, but they really do add up and make a difference.
The body composition is mainly reliant on what you eat. You can work your ass off in a gym, but if you’re eating Doritos all day, not much is going to change, and you’re still going to be extremely unhealthy.
On the other hand, if you’re eating a good diet and making sure to move around, get a walk in, play with your kids, go run around with your friends, you will be able to lose weight, and you’ll be able to do this on a long-term basis.
No one gets anywhere with an attitude of doubt, fear, negativity, insecurity or self-deprecation.
I can’t tell you how many people come to me and say, “I’m fat, I hate the way I look and I want to lose weight.”
Here’s the thing: you will never lose weight until you appreciate and love your body.
Here’s why: those who approach weight loss from a vain, negative perspective may lose weight in the short-term. Those who have decided they love themselves enough to take care of their bodies, to give their bodies the best nutrition, to be the beautiful women they are, are the people who lose weight.
So many people are overweight simply because they haven’t loved and appreciated themselves enough. Decide the following:
- That you’re effing beautiful
- That you deserve the best
- That your body is worth it
- That you’re going to give yourself the best nutrition
- That you care enough about yourself to change your lifestyle
Beauty is a result of health. You can only be the best version of yourself when you take your health into your own hands, and decide that you’re worth the effort.
Did you know that everything you apply to your skin reaches your bloodstream within 26 seconds?
Did you know that most lotions, shampoos and makeup products have endocrine disruptors, known as obesogens?
Let me clarify. Your endocrine system controls your hormones. When you apply products that contain endocrine disruptors, they interfere with proper hormone production.
Hormone production controls the amount of fat you lose or retain, your mood, your appetite, your sleep and so much more.
So when you apply these products to your skin, you can literally affect your weight loss efforts. Not only that, but these chemicals are extremely dangerous and some have even been known to be carcinogenic.
Safe effective detox methods, like rebounding, juicing, sweating are all helpful to rid these toxins from your body. Not ingesting or applying toxins in the first place, is what I like to call “no-tox.”
Just like we shouldn’t eat toxic food, we shouldn’t apply or use toxic products.
Next, onto the food!
EAT. GOOD. FOOD.
The last and most important pillar of health: food.
In my practice, there is one thing I do not ever advocate: diets.
If there is one thing that is the backbone of my practice, it’s a healthy lifestyle.
This is how to lose weight and keep it off. Losing weight isn’t just about shedding pounds, getting toned and building muscle. Losing weight is about being healthy, it’s about having energy and feeling great!
Why the hell would you do it if it didn’t feel awesome?
Most people have no idea how amazing we are designed to feel. Mood swings, weight gain, irritability, stress, skin problems, headaches, all of these things are often a result of poor diet.
And all too often I see people turn to fad diets, to counting calories, to green smoothies, to bland, boring, unhealthy food. Food is social, food is fun, and it’s meant to be enjoyed. This doesn’t mean you can eat anything and everything, it just means you have to make healthier food.
Hell, I just ate a brownie! But it was a healthy brownie, and it still tasted damn good.
It’s not about restricting your food intake, or counting calories, or weighing your food. It’s about making healthy food, it’s about enjoying your food and appreciating it.
Food is awesome. Let’s stop dieting and start eating to sustain our bodies.