Yeah, yeah. Everyone has heard that we need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. Well, it turns out it is way more important than you think when it comes to fat loss and health. It is estimated that the average person will spend 1/3 of their life sleeping. Your body actually does a great job of using stored fat for energy while we sleep, but sleeping less makes the body preserve fat for energy rather than utilize it. Sleeping under 7 hours a night causes the body to produce more of the hormone Ghrelin. Ghrelin hormone signals hunger, and that typically leads to overeating during the day, and longer eating windows.
STRATEGY ONE: UNINTERRUPTED SLEEP
Stop eating 4 hours prior to bedtime. Take that a step further and stop eating carbs with any meal 4 hours prior to bedtime. Eating processed carbs or carbs high on the glycemic index raises insulin levels and will have your body searching for energy instead of using the stored energy in your fat cells. When insulin is present in the blood, it will suppress the secretion of melatonin in the blood and interferes with natural sleep windows in the body. Melatonin is a vital hormone that helps you fall asleep.
Try to go to bed by 10pm. Our bodies are programmed to go to sleep a few hours after the sun goes down. For most people that is between 9 and 10pm. Throughout the day
your body builds sleep pressure in the brain in anticipation of an ideal sleep window.
If the pressure and the window align this will allow you to fall asleep easier.
Quit stimulating your brain with electronics. Stop watching TV, or scrolling through your IG feed before bed to see who tried another “cool” new burger at the pub that is no where near your house. This is just disrupting your sleep window. Get the electronics out of the bedroom. By forcing your body to stay awake, you will get a second wind from a programmed rise in cortisol which will lead to staying awake longer. Cortisol should decrease as the day goes on until we fall asleep. Once asleep cortisol will continue to elevate to wake you in the morning.
STRATEGY TWO: QUIT LOGGING YOUR FOOD + COUNTING CALORIES
It takes the average person anywhere from 40 seconds to 3 minutes to log a meal on either an app or writing everything down. It’s time consuming, and most people don’t really follow through for extended periods of logging because it takes up so much time.
For most people logging food is not a long term solution.
We have been sold the wrong information for so long that it only makes sense that people are confused when it comes to calories. What is a calorie? The better question is, do you even really need to know? I can assure you that your body has no idea what a calorie is, so why are you logging?
Okay, I get it. You need to know your calories. IIf that’s the case, then focus on these three numbers: number of calories you get from proteins, healthy fats, and processed carbs. When you intake most of your calories from healthy fats and proteins, you keep insulin lower. Insulin controls whether or not you lose, gain, or maintain your weight. When you ingest sugar, and processed carbs, your insulin spikes and this causes you to slowly gain weight, which leads to more stored fat in the body. That should be your focus. DITCH THE SUGAR AND PROCESSED CARBS and you will find that you can lose body fat a lot quicker.
STRATEGY THREE: TAP INTO YOUR STORED ENERGY BY EATING 3 TIMES OR LESS A DAY
When your body consumes food, it knows exactly what to do with all carbs, fats, proteins, and water. It uses a systematic approach to store the food we eat as energy to be used when necessary. Constant eating throughout the day typically means that your body will mainly use that food you ingest for energy rather than use the energy it has stored already. Meaning your glycogen (stored in muscles and liver) and stored fat never really get a chance to be used up. This process leaves many of us spinning our tires while gaining fat, weight, and increasing the total time our body is insulin resistant. This is not good for fat loss or overall health.
Think of your muscles and liver as a gasoline tank, and food is the gasoline. When your tank (muscles, liver) is full, it can’t carry any more gasoline, so it has to find a different way to hold that gas. This is the same for your body. When sugar/processed carbs enter the body, a signal is sent to release insulin to carry them to store in the muscles and liver to be used later. If the tank is full, the body has to send them to fat cells to be stored as energy. The more energy you store in fat cells the harder it is to lose fat.
THE SIMPLE TRUTH
- Concentrate on controlling your hormones rather than just worrying about
calories all the time.
- Focus on eating quality proteins and fats while minimizing processed carbs.
- Get quality sleep more consistently.
- Stop eating all day long.
Companies use tactics to market products, foods, and their agendas to completely go against what many of the scientific studies present as proven strategies to become healthier. With obesity on the rise for the last 20+ years, there has been significant evidence dating back prior to the late 1800’s on how to control weight, body fat, and insulin to combat obesity, yet the practices to deal with nutrition in relation to weight control, high insulin levels, and obesity almost always completely ignore the actual evidence.
Cereal companies have been loading boxes of cereal with harmful amounts of sugar & chemicals, while preying on those that are uneducated about this topic, claiming that cereal is made with whole grains. Yet, all of a sudden, we see in the food aisles, boxes of cereal advertising “Made with Natural Ingredients” and “No Artificial Flavors”. In reality, what these boxes should be reading is “We stopped putting as much poison in our products”.