Get some sleep! (Did you just yawn?)

Sleep is a necessity. It is a regeneration process built into our system to help us recover, reset and recharge in advance of the following day. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is a must, it is the rule of the game that can not be broken. For those serious about losing weight, increasing the quality and quantity of sleep should be the starting point.

Although much of the process is still shrouded in mystery a lot of what we do know suggests that lack of adequate sleep is detrimental to our physical and psychological wellbeing. Prolonged lack of sleep can lead to metabolic changes that effect your energy expenditure, calorie intake and fat distribution around the body. For example some weigh related hormones can become unbalanced causing unwanted wight gain. Changes such as uncharacteristic spikes in cortisol levels, lowered glucose tolerance or decreased levels of Leptin (the hormone that tells the body it has stored enough fat and no longer needs food) will eventually lead to increased fat storage and resistance to losing it.

The effect of sleep deprivation on psychological wellbeing will contribute to weight gain. Sleep induced irritation and stress lead to a state of constant anxiety. For some this state is so natural that they are no longer aware of their permanently wired behavior. It pays to be aware of what this does to the body.

Lowered glucose tolerance (or decreased insulin sensitivity) is more than just a temporary glitch. Not only do these become triggers for weight gain, especially around the middle of your body, but more importantly can lead to more severe conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

Making adequate sleep a regular part of your bedtime could have more beneficial effect on weight loss (and more importantly health) than any diet or fitness regime.

Ideal number of sleep hours is recommended to be 6.5 – 7.5 which means 7-8 hours of bed time. Numerous research exists to back up this recommendation. Interestingly too much sleep (8hours+) also correlates with health problems, so while sleeping in on a Sunday morning is a must, it most certainly should not be a daily occurrence.

Adequate amounts of sleep are a must for anyone looking to reset their body to its natural metabolic state. Once in this state, dropping the excess weight, be it stress related, festive or a post baby pudge becomes much easier. Make it a habit to plan for 6.5-7.5 hours of sleep every day and your body will thank you by optimising body fat and muscle composition.

With healthy wishes,

Dmitri Tkatchev

Read on:

Introduction to the 31 Day Fitness Kickstart

Day 1 – Water

Day 2 – Protein at breakfast

Day 3 – Meal frequency

Day 4 – Sugar

Day 5 – Lifestyle

Day 6 – Carbohydrates

Day 8 – Start easy with Cardio – frequency not the quantity.

Day 9 – Get clever with your fats!

Day 10 – Find or become a role model

Day 11 – Coffee

Day 12 – Exercise improves your appetite response.

Day 13 – Consistency over intensity

Day 14 – Add cinnamon to your diet

Day 15 – Energising morning fix

Day 16 – Active rest

Day 17 – Holistic fitness.

Day 18 – Minimise muscle loss.

Day 19 – Don’t forget steady paced cardio

Day 20 – Eat plenty of fibre

Day 21 – Take up a physically demanding hobby.

Day 22 – Hire a qualified and an experienced Personal Trainer

Day 23 – Eat Cake

Day 24 – Don’t forget that the feeling of hunger is the best cue for when to eat

Day 25 – Tune in to your training

Day 26 –  Sort out the calorie density of your meals.

Day 27 – Eat more grapefruit

Day 28 – Eat within an hour after your workout!

Day 29 – Stay in the low range of Glycaemic Index and Glycaemic Load

Day 30 – Cycle crunches.

Day 31 – Learn to listen to your body

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