Posts Tagged ‘weight and sleep’

If like me, you would like to lose a few pounds of body weight. Well, maybe more than a few. With age, losing weight becomes more complex and challenging. How do we stop this run-away fat-train and reverse the damages? With the start of a new year, most of us become more mindful of our need to pay attention to how we treat our bodies.

On the start of 2015, keep these thoughts in mind.

  • Don’t stress out. Worrying about weight could be harmful. Some people tend to eat and snack more when stressed. Many grab any food available without thought of the limited nutritive value or excessive calories.
  • Get more sleep. A good night’s rest gives you energy to be more active throughout the day. Awakening refreshed helps to focus on the body’s needs instead of pumping in the caffeine to stay awake.
  • Plan ahead. While planning helps relieve stress, it may improve diet. When we wait until hungry to consider food, we often end up making poor choices. Decide on meals or snacks in advance. Plan to take an apple and nuts with you to work instead of snatching up a cola and cake at breaktime.
  • Enjoy your food. While our bodies need foods loaded with nutrients to remain healthy, food is meant to be enjoyed. Denying favorite foods seldom results in continued weight loss or management. Modify high-calorie favorite dishes to lower calories.
  • Appreciate yourself. Regardless of your current weight, God loves you, and I expect so do a lot of family and friends. If you need to lose weight—not because of vanity but for health reasons—remember Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” While you need to do your part, will-power often weakens when it comes to eating. Prayer is always a viable choice for needed help. Remember, you are worth staying healthy.

Have a happy and healthier new year.

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While I have taken time off from writing about nutrition, I hope you initiated many points stressed earlier foZzzz, -, comique, expression Cliparts vectorisésr safe weight loss. As fall creeps closer, you may plan to put aside a carefree summer and concentrate on a healthier you.

I last discussed the foolishness of attempting to lose ten pounds in a short time. I listed several lifestyle factors other than food and exercise that may impact weight. One was sleep. Researchers found that individuals who were sleep-deprived for five days ate more carbohydrates and gained nearly two pounds.

Sleep loss affects metabolism. It increases insulin resistance causing the body to want more energy-dense food. That’s right. Losing sleep causes us to want more junk food. The body produces more ghrelin—the hunger hormone, and less leptin—the fullness hormone. We tend to eat more snacks while exercising less and consume about 300 more calories per day.

Poor sleep habits of parents may result in overweight children. A parent’s routine influenced sleep patterns of children in the household. Parents who stayed up late or had irregular bedtime schedules usually allowed their children to do the same. Children whose parents slept less than seven hours were 1.3 times more likely to become overweight. The researchers suggested that children’s bedtime stay constant to help abate weight gain.

Probably the most compelling evidence of how sleep affects obesity came from a study of more than 1,000 children followed from age six months to seven years. Mothers kept a detailed account of sleep patterns. Researchers assessed the children at age seven for weight, BMI, waist-hip circumference, body fat, and skin-fold thickness. Children who got the least sleep were two and a half times more likely to be obese, had more abdominal and body fat, and had larger waist and hip measurements.

Sleep-loss affects our circadian rhythm, especially in shift workers who are more than twice as susceptible to metabolic syndrome (a conditions including excessive weight) than regular daytime workers.

How can you get more sleep and a good night’s rest? Consider the following:

  • Set a specific bedtime. Get into a routine of going to bed earlier.
  • Avoid stimulating activities and excitement several hours before bedtime including use of electronic devices.
  • Choose a sleep-inducing environment. Comfortable temperatures, quiet surroundings, and a darkened room encourage sleep.
  • Select sleep-friendly foods in the evening. Many foods contain specific nutrients which contribute directly or indirectly to the production of melatonin, a body substance that influences sleep. Some choices include milk products, apples, bananas, almonds, turkey, and whole grains. Chamomile and other herbal teas have a calming effect.
  • Avoid non-sleep-friendly foods. High-fat meals in the evening may cause gastric distress that disturbs sleep.
  • Avoid high-sugar foods and caffeine at night. Sweets increase blood-sugar levels and give a burst of energy. Limit caffeine four to six hours before bedtime.

Getting adequate sleep may help you and your children maintain appropriate weight or to lose unwanted pounds. Eventually you could awaken to a slimmer you. Sweet dreams.



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