Sleep - The most underrated aspect of Fat Loss
It seems almost seems like an oxymoron to say that one of the best ways to lose body fat is to ensure you're getting enough quality sleep. But it's true.
When your sleep is restricted it can cause a huge knock-on effect of hormonal balance that can result in some not ideal habits and circumstances;
1. Insulin sensitivity is reduced - Insulin sensitivity looks at how effective the body is at using insulin to reduce elevated blood glucose levels. Basically in order to have a healthy body we WANT to be insulin sensitive. Insulin resistance can inhibit fat loss.
2. Ghrelin increases & Leptin Decreases - Ghrelin is the hormone that signals the brain to pick up the fork, and Leptin is the hormone that tells you to put down the fork. Sleep deprivation and interruption will basically make you want to eat more - and never stop. (That kind of sounds good actually ...)
3. Cortisol Rises - Cortisol is a famous hormone now. We've all heard of scary cortisol that causes us to store tummy fat right? Well the process is a little more complicated than that, however it is a hormone that can cause fat storage.
4. Demotivated - This one is obvious, but the less sleep you're haing, the less likely you are to want to train. Your mood shifts, you feel like shit, you want some kind of gratification and joy so you reach for the two things that provide you with instant gratification - ice cream and tinder. Not a healthy habit at all.
So before you kill yourself with another Barry's Bootcamp session, or sign up for that 30 day skinny tea-tox program to shift 'stubborn fat' try my tips below to get some more sleep. And just chill the funk out.
1. No screens past 8.30pm. The blue light technology is wreaking havoc on our circadian rhythms and consequently our sleep inducing hormones.If you've been staring at a bright blue light that is similar to that of 12pm midday sun, your body and brain thinks it's time to stay awake - not sleep. Turn it off and read a book. That email can wait. (You know I'm looking at you chess!)
*An article published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science highlights Epidemiological studies that link short sleep duration and circadian disruption with higher risk of metabolic syndrome and diabetes. The results of the studies showed that in humans, prolonged sleep restriction with concurrent circadian disruption alters metabolism and could increase the risk of obesity and diabetes.
2. Meditation - No excuses for this one please. Everyone can meditate, and the ones that hate it the most, need it the most. Download Headspace, OMG I can meditate, Omvana or Getting into the Vortex (only get this one if you like Abraham Hicks) and listen to a meditation while you lie in bed (the phone should be put onto airplane mode of course, and should be on the bedside table, not in your hand).
3. Stop Carb cutting - Low carb diets can greatly inhibit your serotonin production and therefore effect the quality of your sleep. Eat carbs at night, it will not make you fat. :)
Hope these help ... What other tips do you have for improved sleep?
Comment them below so that everyone can use them and we can have a big sleep party ... Wouldn't that be the weirdest and most boring party ever.