This is a contributed post about weight loss by Sonia Devine.
To help shed pounds and get your metabolism in gear, getting up earlier is a good way to start. There are reams of research that agree on a simple fact: low amounts of sleep are directly linked with poor food choices, exercise patterns, energy levels and even your metabolism. If you are wondering how, let me explain.
Sleep and Weight Loss
The numerous studies that look into the hormone changes linked with sleep patterns all show that cortisol, a hormone often released by stress, has a great effect on the regulation of fat stored in the body. When a person is under large amounts of continuous mental or physical stress, this can have the same effect on your hormone levels as not getting enough sleep. Both causalities can result in a resistance to insulin which effects your body’s ability to reduce the amount of fat stored. This can make it difficult for even the most dedicated to achieve healthy weight maintenance.
Studies are not the only things that tell us lack of sleep can affect our health. Poor sleeping habits can make us overly emotional, less productive, and affect our general mood. In many cases, when people are feeling the pressure from any of these stressors, the natural response is to eat. The body has a high preservation response which tells a person to consume items that will give them large amounts of energy in a relatively short period of time. Thanks to the ready availability of packaged foods, most people make poor choices that are full of highly refined sugars and carbohydrates.
One of my dear clients, “Jill” learned like so many others, the hard way. For many years she struggled with getting her added weight under control. She thought she was following her regime to the letter; she even increased the frequency of her workouts only to find that she still was unable to lose weight. After speaking with her about her habits and regime, we learned that the real issue with weight loss was the extreme amounts of stress she was under. She had three great but energetic children to care for, a husband, home and even a successful career to maintain.
Jill only got about four hours of solid sleep nightly making her extremely fatigued. She felt that she was responsible to be there for everyone and put very little priority on her own health. With a few sessions and dedication on her part she was able to put more emphasis on her personal health, get more sleep and finally began to drop those extra pounds.
Another of my esteemed clients, “Angela” was also afflicted with a case of what I like to call workaholicism. After many grueling hours in the office, she often treated herself to lavish but unhealthy meals as a reward for her hard work. She didn’t have a family or husband at home to occupy her evenings, but in essence she was married to her job. The combination of being overworked and eating cholesterol heavy meals meant she was on the sure path to heart disease. After she came home from work every night, she would either order in, or snuggle up to a plate of snack foods in front in the television.
For her, getting out of the routine long enough to see the big picture was the challenge. She thought that working hard to get to the top of her field was the only way to be happy. While this is true; sacrificing her health wasn’t part of the plan. It resulted in not getting enough sleep and eating more. When a person is overly tired on a regular basis they have a harder time burning calories. The decrease in metabolism makes it harder to lose weight and keep it off. People who use their free time to lounge on the couch or sit in front of the computer are not burning any more calories than if they were in bed asleep.
Being tired or sleepy isn’t a great motivator to get out there and exercise. Those that do manage to get themselves to the gym often don’t work out as much as they would if their energy levels were higher. You may be wondering how much sleep is enough to keep your weight loss on track. Studies show that 8 hours of sleep is optimal for healthy body function, and removing electronics from your schedule at least an hour before bed will help you cut back on cravings for snacks. More rest will allow your body to boost its metabolism making your weight loss goals more reachable. Next time you decide to switch on the television, think to yourself: Do I really have to watch the last episode of Top Chef? Instead you could put that time towards resting your mind and body.
About the Author – Sonia Devine is one of Australia’s leading experts in mind power techniques. Through her work as a certified hypnotherapist and senior lecturer at the Academy of Hypnotic Science in Melbourne, Sonia has developed successful and innovative methods that establish her as a true leader in her field. To know more visit http://www.soniadevine.com.au/