No sleep or not enough of it is a killer for weight loss.
Studies show people who get less sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese than people who get at least 7 hrs sleep a night.
It’s day 3 of Bella (age 3 1/2) having a temperature. She’s coming into my bed every night, rolling around, coughing, stirring and cuddling her burning body up to me.
I really feel for her, and she’s missing out on some of the Easter holiday plans we’d made, but as you know as a parent when the kids are ill, you suffer too, usually with lack of sleep.
Here’s 8 reasons why sleep is a problem when you’re trying to lose weight or watch what you eat, and what you can do about it.
1. Impaired insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerace. In other words, your body doesn’t acknowledge you’ve eaten (especially sugar/carbs) and so doesn’t use those calories for energy. Instead it stores them as fat and tells you to eat more by making you more hungry!
Solution: Avoid sugar which acts as a stimulant and sets off the up-down energy cycle. Lower carbohydrate intake, raise protein and vegetable intake and add fat, which is great for balancing energy levels.
2. You have no energy to exercise. Even if you do attempt a workout, you won’t be able to give it your all and won’t get so many benefits.
Solution: This is not an excuse to never exercise because you’re always tired, but rather a reason to address the situation overall. Cut your workouts to very short and sweet 1 minute bursts of intense exercise spread throughout the day. Think jump squats, press ups and burpees for some examples.
3. Your have more of the hunger hormone ghrelin and less of the ‘full’ hormone leptin, so you’ll have a bigger appetite.
Solution: Eat solid food rather than liquids (even protein shakes) which most people find more satisfying. Keep vegetable and protein intake high. Leftover roast meat and cold broccoli from last night’s meal make an excellent snack if you really need something to pick at.
4. Cravings for sugary foods increase, especially sugar + fat ones like chocolate.
Solution: Put 2 tsp. cocoa powder in a mug with stevia to taste and a little milk if you like. Fabulous for giving you that chocolate hit and dampening cravings.
5. Metabolism slows to conserve energy, so you burn fewer calories and have less energy.
Solution: Green tea is my absolute favourite ‘pick me up’, as you don’t get the ‘come down’ like with coffee. Try flavoured versions, it’s an acquired taste so I recommend you ‘acquire’ yourself to it!
6. More of the stress hormone cortisol – this can build muscle when combined with intense exercise, but also (and more likely with sleep deprivation) increases hunger and encourages fat storage, especially around the belly.
Solution: Download the free ‘Headspace’ app and lie for 10 minutes doing a guided meditation, even if that’s 10 minutes when you get into bed that night. Alternatively gentle walking if you can during the day is brilliant at reducing stress and gets you moving.
7. Your body burns most calories during the REM (deep) sleep, and melatonin, which helps you get into this deep sleep, is also important for muscle recovery.
Solution: If you’re not sleeping well and you don’t have a sick child to blame, follow the usual sleep well advice we’re told (because they work); cool dark room, no TV/Internet before bed, dim the lights in the evening, and try a protein/fat snack before bed (like warm milk) to keep your blood sugar stable over night.
8. Muscles don’t recover properly or build. This applies to women wanting to lose weight not just male bodybuilders. Muscle burns a lot of calories, and gives you the toned look you want, so muscle is your friend.
Solution: Make sure you’re eating enough protein and doing some resistance (HIIT or weights) exercise to support muscle synthesis as much as possible, with ample rest time between sessions (I recommend working out every other day if you’re doing it intensely).
Life as a Mum doesn’t always go to your plan but if we focus on finding solutions to the problems rather than wishing the problems would go away (likely they won’t) together we will help you make progress.
I’m expanding my intake of BodyBack members and am looking for just 6 women who feel rubbish when they look in the mirror, have not enough energy to really enjoy life like you know you could, and just want to look and feel like your old self again.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat and this programme is only for certain women so I do assess all applications first but if you’d like to apply simply drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange a time that suits us both.
No need for a long detailed explanation if you’re in a hurry, we can cover that on the call.
Just send me a quick email and give me some good days/times for you.