Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

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Top Tips for Weight Loss Success

November 2, 2010

(Article first published as Top Tips Can Deliver Weight Loss Results on Technorati.)

Food Balance Plays an Important Role in Weight Loss

Food Balance Plays an Important Role in Weight Loss

You may be surprised to find out that successful weight loss is better achieved by controlling the balance and timing of when you eat, and less about counting calories and working out at the gym. That’s not to say that overeating and developing couch potato characteristics will promote weight loss. It’s important to eat healthy proteins and fats, limit carbohydrates and avoid between meal snacks.

Food choices and meal timing have a major impact on our metabolism and the hormones that are in control of how fat is stored or burned for energy. You’ve made the decision to begin your weight loss journey, and that’s an important first step. The following tips will help you to work in concert with your body to naturally shed excess pounds.

Tip 1: Drink Water Before Meals

Water Before Meals Assists Weight Loss Efforts

Water Before Meals Assists Weight Loss Efforts

Drinking water right before eating can help you avoid overeating and provide your body with essential hydration to stimulate weight loss. The results of a study published by the American Chemical Association demonstrates that drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before eating allowed aging participants to lose 44% more weight than those who didn’t follow the regimen. The study authors concluded that the results were due to the stomach filling effect of water that resulted in lower calories eaten at each meal.

In addition, research has shown that drinking water takes the place of other high calorie alternatives such as soft drinks and other sweetened beverages. And there’s another reason that water is so important to weight loss. Our body cells are more than 70% water and this critical fluid provides the primary means of removing toxins. Less water means more toxic buildup and the body responds by creating more fat cells to store our extra calories.

Tip 2: Eat 3 Balanced Meals a Day

Many people make the mistake of restricting calories too much when trying to lose weight. While watching calories is important, restricting calories below your survival threshold will make your best efforts futile. By supplying your body with 3 protein-balanced meals each day you keep your base metabolic rate high so you continue to burn calories evenly throughout the day. Restrict sugar and refined carbs and include a healthy protein option with each meal. And no between meal snacks, as this provides a source of energy between meals that will shut off the fat burning cycle.

Tip 3: Get Enough Sleep

Restful Sleep is Critical to Weight Loss and Health

Restful Sleep is Critical to Weight Loss and Health

One of the most difficult concepts to understand is how sleep can stimulate the release of body fat. Our body remains metabolically active during the overnight hours and needs a constant supply of energy to perform a wide variety of tasks. Anything that interrupts our sleep will slow or halt this critical process and leads to weight gain and disease. The two keys are to sleep in a totally dark room and stop eating at least 3 hours before retiring for the night.

People with the desire to lose weight will need to incorporate an arsenal of tools that will help them to reach their goal. Including water before each meal, making the right food choices and planning to get a restful sleep are important tips that will allow you to reach your permanent weight loss goal.

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Drink Water to Drive Weight Loss Results

November 2, 2010

(Article first published as Top Tips Can Deliver Weight Loss Results on Technorati.)

You may be surprised to find out that successful weight loss is better achieved by controlling the balance and timing of when you eat, and less about counting calories and working out at the gym. That’s not to say that overeating and developing couch potato characteristics will promote weight loss. It’s important to eat healthy proteins and fats, limit carbohydrates and avoid between meal snacks.

Food choices and meal timing have a major impact on our metabolism and the hormones that are in control of how fat is stored or burned for energy. You’ve made the decision to begin your weight loss journey, and that’s an important first step. The following tips will help you to work in concert with your body to naturally shed excess pounds.
Tip 1: Drink Water Before Meals

Drinking water right before eating can help you avoid overeating and provide your body with essential hydration to stimulate weight loss. The results of a study published by the American Chemical Association demonstrates that drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before eating allowed aging participants to lose 44% more weight than those who didn’t follow the regimen. The study authors concluded that the results were due to the stomach filling effect of water that resulted in lower calories eaten at each meal.

In addition, research has shown that drinking water takes the place of other high calorie alternatives such as soft drinks and other sweetened beverages. And there’s another reason that water is so important to weight loss. Our body cells are more than 70% water and this critical fluid provides the primary means of removing toxins. Less water means more toxic buildup and the body responds by creating more fat cells to store our extra calories.
Tip 2: Eat 3 Balanced Meals a Day
Many people make the mistake of restricting calories too much when trying to lose weight. While watching calories is important, restricting calories below your survival threshold will make your best efforts futile. By supplying your body with 3 protein-balanced meals each day you keep your base metabolic rate high so you continue to burn calories evenly throughout the day. Restrict sugar and refined carbs and include a healthy protein option with each meal. And no between meal snacks, as this provides a source of energy between meals that will shut off the fat burning cycle.
Tip 3: Get Enough Sleep

One of the most difficult concepts to understand is how sleep can stimulate the release of body fat. Our body remains metabolically active during the overnight hours and needs a constant supply of energy to perform a wide variety of tasks. Anything that interrupts our sleep will slow or halt this critical process and leads to weight gain and disease. The two keys are to sleep in a totally dark room and stop eating at least 3 hours before retiring for the night.

People with the desire to lose weight will need to incorporate an arsenal of tools that will help them to reach their goal. Including water before each meal, making the right food choices and planning to get a restful sleep are important tips that will allow you to reach your permanent weight loss goal.
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Light During Sleep Hinders Weight Loss Efforts

October 21, 2010
(Article first published as Light Exposure While Sleeping May Effect Body Weight on Technorati.)

The human body is acutely sensitive to all forms of stimulation we receive from the environment around us, and this can have a profound effect on how we metabolize and store body fat. In addition to our surroundings, the type of food we eat and the timing of when we eat affect our natural circadian rhythms that also impact our ability to lose weight. You can control many environmental and dietary factors to assist in your weight loss efforts.

Light at Night Affects Hormonal Balance
We are creatures of evolution, and rely on the function of hormones in our body to survive. Metabolism is controlled by a delicate balance that is influenced by environmental cues and gives us the ability to adapt to different stimuli. Melatonin is the hormone that our body uses to signal when we’re tired and when it’s time to wake up. Any light when we’re trying to sleep will disrupt the release of melatonin and affect our sleep. This in turn influences the way fat is metabolized overnight and can halt natural weight management.
Study Demonstrates Negative Effects of Light During Sleep

The results of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrates that by increasing the amount of light exposure during the overnight hours, changes in body mass could be measured after just a week. More importantly, it was noted that after 30 days of light exposure during sleep the test subjects were found to be glucose intolerant, a known risk factor for diabetes and weight gain. An author of the study performed at Ohio State University concluded, “Light at night is an environmental factor that may be contributing to the obesity epidemic in ways that people don’t expect”.

Meal Timing Critical to Fat Metabolism

The timing and size of meals is important when considering a weight loss goal. Circadian rhythms are in control of our metabolic rate and change during the day to meet our energy needs. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that food eaten earlier in the day generated more energy than food eaten later in the day. This information provides evidence that our metabolic rate is much higher when we first rise and calories are used for energy to fuel our body. Larger meals eaten during evening hours are much more likely to be converted to stored body fat.

Use Darkness to Your Weight Loss Advantage
The results of this study as well as many others confirm that natural weight loss and maintenance is much more than simply reducing calories and exercising more. It’s important to control the environment around you as this influences the hormonal balance that improves fat metabolism. Be certain that your room is totally dark when sleeping. Cover any light sources such as alarm clocks, cell phones or cable boxes. Working with your body’s natural circadian rhythms and eating your largest meal earlier in the day will set the stage to achieve your weight loss objective.
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Sleep Burns More Fat, Assists Weight Loss

October 9, 2010

(Article first published as Good Night’s Sleep Essential to Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)

Adequate Sleep Encourages Fat Burn and Weight Loss

Adequate Sleep Encourages Fat Burn and Weight Loss

The importance of a good night’s sleep on overall health and weight loss efforts cannot be underestimated. Humans have evolved over countless generations to sleep at least 8 hours each day as our body requires a daily rhythmic cycle involving sleep to perform many essential repair and maintenance functions. When this rhythm is disturbed by eating late at night or when we don’t sleep enough, hormonal balance is disturbed and fat is stored rather than burned during the nighttime hours.

Sleep More to Burn More Fat

Sleep Deprivation Leads to Appetite Hormone Dysfunction

Sleep Deprivation Leads to Appetite Hormone Dysfunction

The results of a study performed by the University of Chicago Medical Center and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrates that a sound sleep of 7 to 8 hours helps to burn twice as much fat compared with 5 to 6 hours of sleep. The study participants were on a reduced calorie diet with a goal of losing weight by reducing body fat.

In the normal sleep group, 55% of the weight loss was found to be body fat while only a quarter of the weight lost in the deprived sleep subjects was due to fat loss. In addition to a reduced calorie diet and regular exercise, you can compliment your weight loss efforts by making essential lifestyle changes that work in concert with your body’s natural rhythms.

Sleep Controls Your Appetite Hormones

Leptin and ghrelin are the hormones your body uses to switch the hunger sensation on or off. Ghrelin is secreted in the digestive tract to signal hunger, and leptin is produced in your fat cells and alerts the brain that you’ve had enough to eat. Insufficient sleep lowers levels of leptin so you don’t feel satisfied after eating and are much more apt to overeat. Poor sleep also raises ghrelin secretion, making you feel hungry upon waking.

Inadequate sleep also causes leptin resistance, where the hormone is present but not effectively read by the brain and eating becomes uncontrolled. Leptin resistant people have been shown to increase their desire for calorie-laden, high carbohydrate foods by 45%. Studies confirm that 7 to 9 hours of sleep are required to keep our hunger hormones properly balanced and functional.

Stop Eating 3 Hours Before Sleep

Stop Eating 3 Hours Before Bedtime to Boost Fat Metabolism

Stop Eating 3 Hours Before Bedtime to Boost Fat Metabolism

We require about 3 hours to complete the initial stages of digestion after eating. During this time, our body expends a considerable amount of energy processing our food and extracting the nutrients and calories we need to live. The body is in a state of burning calories for energy and storing the excess for future use. We want our body to release fat to fuel our metabolic engine as we sleep, and this natural process is disrupted when eating too close to bedtime. Fat is stored instead of being burned as a result and weight loss efforts are diminished.

We normally take sleep for granted and don’t think to consider how improper sleep patterns can affect our health and weight loss efforts. Restful sleep influences our appetite signaling hormones and has been shown to burn more stored fat during the overnight hours. In addition to a low calorie diet with healthy physical activity, a good night’s sleep should be a priority to drive your weight loss efforts.

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Sleep Linked to Weight Loss Efforts

October 9, 2010

(Article first published as Good Night’s Sleep Essential to Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)

The importance of a good night’s sleep on overall health and weight loss efforts cannot be underestimated. Humans have evolved over countless generations to sleep at least 8 hours each day as our body requires a daily rhythmic cycle involving sleep to perform many essential repair and maintenance functions. When this rhythm is disturbed by eating late at night or when we don’t sleep enough, hormonal balance is disturbed and fat is stored rather than burned during the nighttime hours.

Sleep More to Burn More Fat

The results of a study performed by the University of Chicago Medical Center and published in the Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrates that a sound sleep of 7 to 8 hours helps to burn twice as much fat compared with 5 to 6 hours of sleep. The study participants were on a reduced calorie diet with a goal of losing weight by reducing body fat.

In the normal sleep group, 55% of the weight loss was found to be body fat while only a quarter of the weight lost in the deprived sleep subjects was due to fat loss. In addition to a reduced calorie diet and regular exercise, you can compliment your weight loss efforts by making essential lifestyle changes that work in concert with your body’s natural rhythms.
Sleep Controls Your Appetite Hormones

Leptin and ghrelin are the hormones your body uses to switch the hunger sensation on or off. Ghrelin is secreted in the digestive tract to signal hunger, and leptin is produced in your fat cells and alerts the brain that you’ve had enough to eat. Insufficient sleep lowers levels of leptin so you don’t feel satisfied after eating and are much more apt to overeat. Poor sleep also raises ghrelin secretion, making you feel hungry upon waking.

Inadequate sleep also causes leptin resistance, where the hormone is present but not effectively read by the brain and eating becomes uncontrolled. Leptin resistant people have been shown to increase their desire for calorie-laden, high carbohydrate foods by 45%. Studies confirm that 7 to 9 hours of sleep are required to keep our hunger hormones properly balanced and functional.
Stop Eating 3 Hours Before Sleep
We require about 3 hours to complete the initial stages of digestion after eating. During this time, our body expends a considerable amount of energy processing our food and extracting the nutrients and calories we need to live. The body is in a state of burning calories for energy and storing the excess for future use. We want our body to release fat to fuel our metabolic engine as we sleep, and this natural process is disrupted when eating too close to bedtime. Fat is stored instead of being burned as a result and weight loss efforts are diminished.
We normally take sleep for granted and don’t think to consider how improper sleep patterns can affect our health and weight loss efforts. Restful sleep influences our appetite signaling hormones and has been shown to burn more stored fat during the overnight hours. In addition to a low calorie diet with healthy physical activity, a good night’s sleep should be a priority to drive your weight loss efforts.
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Sleep Essential to Weight Loss

September 13, 2010

(Article first published as Sleep May be the Key to Successful Weight Loss on Technorati.)

Proper Sleep Linked with Weight Loss

Proper Sleep Linked with Weight Loss

Amazing as it may sound, sleep may be the missing link to achieving your weight loss goal. The importance of a good night’s sleep is discounted by many people, yet the impact on overall health and body weight cannot be underestimated. The body performs many critical functions while we sleep that assist our immune response, guide cellular restructuring as well as fat metabolism and weight loss maintenance.

Sleep Essential to Burn Fat

Insufficient sleep causes a disruption of the appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin which direct fat metabolism. When these hormones become resistant to cues from the brain due to dietary abuse or lack of deep sleep, fat is not released efficiently and remains stored as excess weight in the body.

The results of a study published in the journal Sleep, reveal that teenagers who received less than 8 hours of sleep per night consumed 2.2% more dietary fat on average. Since fat is densely packed with calories, this leads to weight gain over time.

Young Children at Risk for Obesity with Insufficient Sleep

Poor Sleep Leads to Future Weight Problems in the Young

Poor Sleep Leads to Future Weight Problems in the Young

Young children require even more sleep than teens and adults, and may be increasing their risk for weight problems and obesity in later life when they average less than 10 hours a night. This is according to a study published in the American Journal of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine which studied adolescents who received fewer than 10 hours of sleep each night, and found they were more than twice as likely to be overweight five years later, with some becoming obese as well.

Poor Sleep Disrupts Appetite Hormones in Adults

Insufficient or disrupted sleep causes levels of the critical appetite hormones, leptin and ghrelin to fluctuate leading to increased hunger. Normally, leptin signals the brain when you’ve had enough and it’s time to stop eating. Conversely, ghrelin sends the cue that you’re hungry and ready to eat. In studies where sleep was deprived and subjects received less than 7 hours per night, leptin levels dropped and ghrelin rose, resulting in the urge to overeat.

There was a direct correlation between the number of hours slept and the desire to eat too much. Those who were most sleep deprived had an overwhelming desire to eat, and didn’t know when to stop. More importantly, these participants desired high carbohydrate, calorie rich foods nearly twice as much as those who slept at least 8 hours. Lack of sleep causes metabolic disruption affecting how body fat is stored and influences our hormones causing us to overeat.

Plan 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep Every Night

Avoid Sugar and Sleep 7 to 9 Hours Daily

Avoid Sugar and Sleep 7 to 9 Hours Daily

The best way to avoid weight gain from sleep deprivation is to plan a minimum of 7 hours and no more than 9 hours of sleep each night. Extensive research concludes that this is the proper zone to ensure optimal health and avoid weight gain from hormonal imbalance. Additionally, you can help by making a conscious effort to limit or eliminate refined carbohydrates and sugar from your diet. This will become easier to do as you normalize your sleep patterns since your desire for excessive carbohydrates will subside.

We have evolved to sleep one-third of our lives, a critical process that has served us well for generations. The body performs many essential repair functions while we sleep which lead to improved immune function and a disease free life. By ensuring the proper hours of sleep every night, you’ll feel energized during the day as you attain and maintain your naturally healthy weight.

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Sleep Essential to Permanent Weight Loss

September 13, 2010

(Article first published as Sleep May be the Key to Successful Weight Loss on Technorati.)

Amazing as it may sound, sleep may be the missing link to achieving your weight loss goal. The importance of a good night’s sleep is discounted by many people, yet the impact on overall health and body weight cannot be underestimated. The body performs many critical functions while we sleep that assist our immune response, guide cellular restructuring as well as fat metabolism and weight loss maintenance.

Sleep Essential to Burn Fat
Insufficient sleep causes a disruption of the appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin which direct fat metabolism. When these hormones become resistant to cues from the brain due to dietary abuse or lack of deep sleep, fat is not released efficiently and remains stored as excess weight in the body.
The results of a study published in the journal Sleep, reveal that teenagers who received less than 8 hours of sleep per night consumed 2.2% more dietary fat on average. Since fat is densely packed with calories, this leads to weight gain over time.
Young Children at Risk for Obesity with Insufficient Sleep
Young children require even more sleep than teens and adults, and may be increasing their risk for weight problems and obesity in later life when they average less than 10 hours a night. This is according to a study published in the American Journal of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine which studied adolescents who received fewer than 10 hours of sleep each night, and found they were more than twice as likely to be overweight five years later, with some becoming obese as well.

Poor Sleep Disrupts Appetite Hormones in Adults
Insufficient or disrupted sleep causes levels of the critical appetite hormones, leptin and ghrelin to fluctuate leading to increased hunger. Normally, leptin signals the brain when you’ve had enough and it’s time to stop eating. Conversely, ghrelin sends the cue that you’re hungry and ready to eat. In studies where sleep was deprived and subjects received less than 7 hours per night, leptin levels dropped and ghrelin rose, resulting in the urge to overeat.
There was a direct correlation between the number of hours slept and the desire to eat too much. Those who were most sleep deprived had an overwhelming desire to eat, and didn’t know when to stop. More importantly, these participants desired high carbohydrate, calorie rich foods nearly twice as much as those who slept at least 8 hours. Lack of sleep causes metabolic disruption affecting how body fat is stored and influences our hormones causing us to overeat.
Plan 7 to 9 Hours of Sleep Every Night

The best way to avoid weight gain from sleep deprivation is to plan a minimum of 7 hours and no more than 9 hours of sleep each night. Extensive research concludes that this is the proper zone to ensure optimal health and avoid weight gain from hormonal imbalance. Additionally, you can help by making a conscious effort to limit or eliminate refined carbohydrates and sugar from your diet. This will become easier to do as you normalize your sleep patterns since your desire for excessive carbohydrates will subside.

We have evolved to sleep one-third of our lives, a critical process that has served us well for generations. The body performs many essential repair functions while we sleep which lead to improved immune function and a disease free life. By ensuring the proper hours of sleep every night, you’ll feel energized during the day as you attain and maintain your naturally healthy weight.