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Blog, Health & Wellbeing

Research shows that sleep is very important for weight loss. Most people understand that you have to eat less and move more for weight loss, however not much is mentioned about the importance of sleep for weight loss and for good health in general. 

Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. If you are struggling to lose weight maybe you should have a look at your sleeping habits.

Lack of sleep can lead to food cravings and can lead to stressful days. This in turn can lead to erratic eating patterns, emotional eating, and increase in appetite and binge eating.

Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling low of energy and in turn you may reach out for a bar of chocolate, a bag of crisps or other comfort foods. It’s a vicious cycle, and eventually this sleep deprivation can sabotage your waistline and your health. If you are not getting good quality sleep your metabolism will not function properly.

A good nights sleep helps to lift your mood and makes you feel better. Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling irritated, can cause anxiety and can contribute to depression, it can affect your emotional well-being.

Research as shown sleep may possibly help you live longer and also impacts your quality of life. If you sleep better, you can certainly live better. It can help improve performance, improve your memory and attention span.

Severe and recurring sleep deprivation can impair learning. Getting enough sleep can help to reduce stress and this has many health benefits such as; a better control of your blood pressure.

So what can you do to get a better nights sleep?

Try to keep a set sleep schedule and stick with it. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. A regular sleep routine keeps your biological clock steady so you rest better.

One hour before sleep give yourself time to wind down from your active day routine. This might include taking a warm bath or shower, relax in bed, reading with a small, low-wattage book light. You can also try practicing deep breathing or try meditation or soothing music.

Try to avoid TV or other electronic devices as part of your bedtime ritual. Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with the quality of our sleep.

Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Don’t overeat before bedtime. This can lead to discomfort and might keep you up at night. Also limit how much you drink before bed, to prevent disruptive middle of the night trips to the toilet.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and nicotine. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to wear off and can affect the quality sleep. Also avoid alcohol, it might make you feel sleepy at first but can disrupt sleep later in the night.

Try to create an comfortable sleeping environment. e.g. cool, dark and quiet. Your mattress and pillow can contribute to better sleep so check these and check your pillow position.

Sleep makes you feel better, but it is importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, well-being and more.

How well do you sleep?

Thanks for reading!

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Blog, Health & Wellbeing, Nutrition

The media and magazines are regularly seen promoting the latest celebrity faddy diets. Some of these diets are very popular, in particular with women. Often many of these ‘faddy’ ‘crash’ diets include bouts of starvation, missing nutrients, meals, or very low calories.

Diets may help you successfully lose weight in the short term – but most faddy diets can leave you feeling deprived or hungry and this makes it impossible to stick to them in the long term. When you come off these diets you regain the weight back and you may even gain more weight then you were before you started the diet. 

Research shows most people will regain almost all of what they lose, which is why the typical dieter tries a new plan almost four times a year. Some people struggle with this all their life and become serial dieters – often referred to as ‘yo-yo dieting’ – a continuing pattern of gaining and losing weight.

This pattern of dieting can have many negative effects physically and it can also have negative psychological and behavioural consequences. The crash dieting cycle increases metabolic hormones such as insulin. These changes can affect your waistline, causing you to start putting weight on around your mid-section, which research has linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Yo-yo dieting can have a negative impact on your emotions, confidence and self-esteem. The more times you go through the repeat gain-lose-gain pattern the more it can possibly affect your emotional wellbeing – and you become less convinced you can break free from the constant ups and downs. 

So, although you may achieve some fast results with dieting, sooner or later the body will adapt to the reduction of calories you are taking in and metabolism begins to slow down. This is often when many people will start to struggle with the diet, and the weight begins to come back on. Because the metabolism is slower many people will find they end up with more weight gain then what they started with! If you are starving yourself the severe calorie restriction can cause loss of muscle tone (catabolism). This is not good news if you want to lose weight, because less muscle means a slower metabolism.

So how can you get yourself out of the Yo-yo dieting pattern?

Well rather than trying to go for quick diet fixes think about taking a long term sustainable approach. Change your mind-set and think of your diet as a healthy eating plan. Start making lifestyle changes, look at your activity levels and what and when and why you eat. Try to increase your physical activity levels gradually this will help to boost your metabolism. Most importantly do not miss meals or starve yourself such as; skipping breakfast.

It can really impact you mentally and emotionally to go through all that dieting, just to be back where you started. If you are really struggling and are stuck in a Yo-yo dieting pattern then seek some professional help; from a dietitian, therapist or health fitness professional.

Ditch diets forever and be happy, healthy, and body confident!

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