Ready, Set, Sleep

We’ve all heard the saying that abs are made in the kitchen and, to a certain extent, this is true. But let’s not leave out back fat and flabby thighs. All of our body is effected by what we eat and drink. But our food habits are just a piece of the puzzle that leads to success. There are other pieces that need your attention. Do you know what one of the most important is? Sleep.

It’s one of my favorite things to do. It seems to be the first thing people sacrifice when life gets busy and it’s understandable. When you sleep, you don’t get anything done. But that’s not exactly true. Your body and mind need this time to recuperate, renew, and heal. But that’s not all.

Studies indicate that sleep is critical when it comes to losing weight because it affects hormones that influence your weight loss. Leptin and ghrelin are controlled by your fat cells and when they get out of whack, your body is sure to feel it. When things are functioning as they should, your fat cells produce leptin and you don’t feel hungry. When your fat cells produce ghrelin, hunger is stimulated.  This is the natural balance of our hormones and everything works fine when the body has what it needs. These hormones we never think about need to be controlled when attempting to lose weight and guess what helps this happen? Right. Sleep.

So what happens when we don’t get enough sleep? It all begins with insulin. Sleep deprivation cause your fat cells to slack on their job. Lack of sleep triggers your brain to need more food. In short, insulin sensitivity drops and things start getting wacky.  When you don’t get enough sleep, your hormones react. As a result, your body senses the imbalance and it begins to feel a little stress and, boom, there it is. Trouble trying to sneak in through the back door.

When this imbalance starts taking place, cortisol enters the picture. Why? Because lack of sleep releases cortisol. Now you’ve got nice little hormone cocktail that’s going to make a mess of things. Why? Because cortisol activates pleasure centers in the brain, which might make you want some cookies or ice cream. Lack of sleep increases ghrelin, too, which makes you feel hungry. So, it is possible to feel hungry having just eaten because of these hormones. It is a never-ending cycle that can mess you up if you don’t get it under control.

Sleep is underrated. It does a body good and your job is to find out just how much you need. Don’t try to make yourself one of those people who can go on four hours of sleep for days. One day when you don’t have to get up, go to bed at a decent hour and sleep until you wake up. Notice how rested you feel and go to bed early enough to make that happen on a regular basis.

Your body will love your for it and getting that diy tummy tuck won’t be so hard to do.

 

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Sources:

National Institutes of health:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18564298

Mayo Clinic
Journal of Clinical Endocrinoloy and Metabolism

NewsMaxHealth:
http://www.newsmax.com/health/Health-News/sleep-blood-pressure-diabetes/2013/11/06/id/535194/

 

 

 

Whatever It Takes

Let’s face it – things get busy and difficult sometimes. Life is the thing that gets in the way of many dreams and goals. At the end of the day, it takes a lot of determination to keep pushing toward something when you’re tired. There’s plenty of advice about how to plan your day and achieve success.

I’m not going to argue with any of those tactics. In fact, I’m going to say whatever it takes to get you up and moving is the thing you need in your life – no matter how silly you may think it is.

Case in point: I’ve been struggling with a little boredom when it comes to my exercise routine. My shoulder is injured, so I’ve been concentrating on lower body work. It gets kind of boring. The other day, I was looking at some of my old playlists and found a gem I’d forgotten about… it was my funkadelic list and I thought I’d give it a try since it has been literally years since I’ve listened to it. Boy, am I glad I did. I know why I made that list because it makes me want to move. I love it! I know it’s cheesy and the music is really outdated but… I don’t care. It works for me.

So the takeaway today is to find something that makes you want to move. Find something that inspires you and cling to it. Hold on to it with delight and let yourself get lost in it. Let it make you feel good and forget about the world.

The body you want is easier to work for when you want to move – especially on those days you don’t feel like it.

So, let it rip! Here’s to Zapp, Brick, Wild Cherry, Kool and the Gang, KC and the Sunshine Band, Earth, Wind, and Fire and more for giving me music that makes me want to move.

If you have any songs that get you ready to move, I’d love to know what they are.