sleep and health

Sleep Your Way to a Healthier Weight

Cutting calories and working out are well-known ways to lose weight. Recent research shows, however, that another factor could significantly affect weight loss: sleep. Here are the ways that better sleep can lead to a healthier weight, and how to achieve it.

Avoids overeating

Missing your ZZZ’s can cause decreased levels of leptin, the hormone that gives a sense of fullness or satiation. This can increase appetite, often resulting in overconsumption. Similarly, levels of the hormone that makes you feel hungry, grehlin, increases when you are sleep deprived. This combination is what causes most tired people to eat an additional 300 calories a day than those who are well-rested.

Leads to better food choices

When people are tired, they’re more likely to reach for the easiest, tastiest food available, often in the form of high-fat snacks loaded with carbohydrates. This “eating for pleasure” sense is heightened in the afternoon for those who are sleep deprived and can lead to significant weight gain over a prolonged period of time.

Helps process sweets faster

Sleep deprivation can cause the food processing parts of your cells, the mitochondria, to shut down. This means that the sugar in your comfort foods just sits in your blood, raising your blood sugar levels. Your mitochondria are also what regulate your metabolism, or the number of calories burned for energy every day. Getting sufficient sleep can help maintain healthy mitochondria, and therefore, prevent weight gain.

To get better sleep…

Pay off your sleep debt. Most Americans don’t get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night, but it can be mostly made up over the next few nights. Over the weekend, go to bed at your usual weekday time, but then sleep until your body naturally wakes up the next morning. You will probably sleep for longer than usual, but it should go a long way in calibrating your sleep schedule.

Make sure you’re supporting these efforts with the best sleep essentials possible. Use a high-quality mattress and top it with pillows that are soft but supportive to help prevent waking up in the middle of the night.

Weight Loss vs. Happiness

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So you are struggling to lose weight because you know once you achieve your goal you will be happy right? Well, let me be the bearer of bad news; that’s not going to happen!

Woman gagged by a measuring tape

Happiness is not determined by a measuring tape or a weight scale.
Photo by Jeanne Claire Maarbes

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Shocking Revelation on Why You Quit Exercise!

why you quit exercise

You could be exercising and eating right and still not getting the results you should. You know why? The surprising answer could be that you are suffering from the “nocebo” effect. It’s the evil twin brother of the “placebo” effect. Continue reading

Women vs. Men: 9 Exercise Facts You Probably Don’t Know but Should

Men and women have different fitness needs.

Men and women have different fitness needs.
by photostock

  1. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only 6% more men engage in regular exercise than women. It’s high time gyms became more “female-friendly”.
  2. Women are not “female-men” and men are not “male-women”(I bet you didn’t know that) so they need a completely different training regime, nutrition plan, and amount of hydration during exercise.
  3. I had to talk specifically about squats because women love their squats.  Women should use a wider stance when doing squats as their pelvises tilt more. The feet should also face more outwards and the practitioner should avoid going too low. Failing to do so could cause serious injury.
  4. Men may have better upper body strength but women have better lower body strength.
  5. Women exhibit a higher lactate threshold during long distance running thanks to their slow twitch fibre percentage. The longer the distance the more advantageous it becomes.
  6. The heart responds differently to exercise when it comes to men and women. The American College of Cardiology recently declared the “220 minus age” to be flawed. The formula was developed 40 years ago based on a group that was predominantly male.
  7. Women tend to burn more fat than men during workout and men burn more fat than women post workout.
  8. One of the best ways for men to subjectively track fat loss is to measure their waist. Women can use both the waist and the bust to distinguish fat loss from weight loss.
  9. Men who lift weights grow primarily type II muscle which make them bulk up. Women grow primarily type I muscle fibers that are not able to grow as big.

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A Fit and Healthy 2018 Starts With Your Mind

 

Fitness man drinking water

Bridge the gap between your fitness goals in 2018 and where you are today. Image by stockimages

Well, here we are again – New Year’s resolutions time! It’s that time when we resolve to do all the things we know we should do in order to live the better life we imagine for ourselves. And for most of us, those resolutions last all of ten minutes! Then we’re back doing the same old things that have brought us to a life that we’re less than happy with. And as the old saying goes: If you want things in your life to change, you have to change things in your life.

This is true for all areas of our life, but specifically we’re going to look at health and fitness in this piece. Most of us aren’t exactly where we want to be in terms of our health and fitness level. We want to be healthier, more trim and toned than we are at the moment.

We start off with the best of intentions. We decide that once and for all: We’ll eat more healthily, we’ll go to the gym and do all the things we know we need to do in order to get fit and healthy this year. So we do that stuff for a while, and then we stop.

What usually happens is that we reach a point where the temptation to eat or drink what we know we shouldn’t becomes too strong. We succumb to the bad weather blues when it comes to going out for a run, or we stay in bed for that extra hour instead of getting up and going to the gym for the workout that we committed to a few weeks ago. Then we gradually slip back into our old patterns of too little exercise and too much of the wrong kinds of food.

So how can we avoid slipping back like this and keep our new healthy eating and fitness regime going? Continue reading

If Hell Had a Workout Boot-camp

workout hellIf people in hell were forced to work out as a punishment it would probably resemble what me and my teammates went through during the 1998 Coast Open Karate Championship preparation.

Our coach – Sensei Yetoo – used to call it the blue balls workout because we would all feel like someone kicked us in the nuts when we were finished due to the intensity of the workout.

The workout takes a little over an hour to complete. Mombasa is a beautiful island and we trained on the beach on soft sand which made it even tougher.

Today I would like to share this workout from the depths of hell so you can enjoy it as much as I did. Continue reading

When it’s OK to be Fat Your Mind Will Tell You

When it's OK to be fat

I am sure many of you have felt like giving in to a lifestyle where you do not have to drive to the gym after work to exhaust yourself for another hour. Where you can eat everything and not feel guilty. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world in which you don’t criticize yourself constantly for having little extra fat around your waistline?

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