weight loss

Sleep Your Way to Success

Sleep may potentially be the most overlooked aspect of overall health, physical health and view of self image. People who habitually sleep for shorter periods are more at risk for a negative view of self image as compared to those who regularly get a full night of restful sleep. How amazing is it that we have the ability to increase self-confidence and view of our own bodies simply by sleeping more.

From a physiological standpoint, we are tearing down the body throughout the day whether it be by means of physical exercise, stress levels, or overexerting ourselves at work. As noted in The Big 3! everything is putting a stress on our systems, muscle fibers are broken down, adrenal stores that give us energy are being used up, and our brains are worn out due to high stimulus. Sleep helps to combat all of these regular systems. Sleep promotes Growth hormone release from the pituitary gland, which is responsible for overall repair of the body. Everything is affected from muscle rebuilding/growth, hair, skin and nail health, and longevity of health. The pituitary is also responsible for the restoring of the adrenal glands with help from the hypothalamus. With lack of sleep these organs do not function to their fullest potential leaving you with a repetitive state of less energy and risk of mental and physical injury. Water balance is also regulated during our sleep. Ever notice how on a sleepless night you wake up bloated and watery? This is because your body is protecting itself from the lack of sleep by holding onto extra water to use as hydration. With a full night of sleep this water is release because your body has repaired itself and no longer needs the additional water.

While all people are different, it is still recommended that the average working person get a minimum of 7-9 hours per sleep a night. Take into consideration a high dieting or workout phase, increased work hours, or additional mental stress on a project and the amount of sleep needed may increase a few additional hours. People often say, “oh well I only sleep 4-5 hours a night and I’m fine”. This often leads to burnout and inconsistencies during the day. One may argue the fact that less sleep equals more hours in the day for work, however the downside to that is that the productivity levels and efficiency of what is accomplished is far inferior to if a full night’s rest were had. Try increasing sleep and see how overall levels of productivity, muscle growth and fat loss are affected in a positive manner.

Breaking the Diet Monotony

As we finish the holiday season and immediately look to accomplish our summer weight loss goals, we are faced with the fact that we must eat in a way to lose fat while continuing to fuel muscles and preserve proper brain function. It is important to avoid completely cutting out all carbs and fats, but equally important to be in a caloric deficit. With improperly varied meal options, achieving weight loss goals can be a monotonous process. With proper levels of Protein, carbs and fat you will be able to keep energy levels high enough to properly function while still losing fat. To help boost metabolism and maintain mental satisfaction, it is important to include scheduled cheat meals into your diet. Depending on your current metabolism and body fat percentage you may be able to handle one or two cheat meals a week while continuing to lose body fat. In an effort to make this process more fun I will be creating videos for themed cheat meals. This will also help some of you come up with ideas to create new delicious meals, while keeping them healthy and satisfying. I will be starting this week with a full meal themed after the Golden Globes. Stay tuned for all of the great ideas and tips to have an amazing cheat meal while not hindering your progress.