Only need to think about 3 things this week:
[learn_more caption=”1) Get Sleep (click the arrow for more details)”]
Try to get 7 hours of sleep (6-8), but everyone is different so shoot for what is right for your body. You just need to feel rested.
Lack of sleep plays a role in your body fat.
There have been lots of studies done on sleep and the impact on increasing the odds of heart disease or body fat accumulation or getting diabetes. One thing is for sure. Of all the studies I’ve read, none of them have come to the conclusion that we should deprive ourselves of sleep. Most studies will suggest several benefits to a good night’s sleep.
Here is a study by the University of Chicago called Impaired Insulin Signaling in Human Adipocytes After Experimental Sleep Restriction: A Randomized, Crossover Study published October, 2012.
The objective of this study was to determine whether sleep restriction results in reduced insulin sensitivity in subcutaneous fat, a peripheral tissue that plays a pivotal role in energy metabolism and balance.
For four days, one group of people slept for 4.5 hours and the another group slept for 8.5 hours under controlled conditions of caloric intake and physical activity.
Their conclusion was: “Sleep restriction results in an insulin-resistant state in human adipocytes. Sleep may be an important regulator of energy metabolism in peripheral tissues.”
The significance of this study is that:
lack of sleep alters our biochemistry in a way that makes us gain weight, independent of calories in vs. calories out.
Another study called Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain just released this year found:
- During nights of insufficient sleep, food consumption increased beyond what was needed for normal energy balance
- Food consumption increased particularly at night after eating dinner (and it was more carbs)
- Insufficient sleep resulted in an average weight gain of 1.8 lbs.
- Lack of sleep affected women more than men
- Weight was maintained in women who received adequate amounts of sleep, but increased during nights of insufficient sleep
The significance of this study is that:
lack of sleep makes you eat more of the wrong things (fyi – when you are sleep deprived there is no willpower left).
We see this in real life all the time with our one-on-one clients. When they are overworked or have personal issues that cause them to not sleep, the food choices that show up on their weekly food log are not normal for that person.
When you are in a sleep deprived state, you have two things working against you. Your biochemistry (independent of calories in vs. calories out) working to add those 2 lbs. of body fat. The second is your mind essentially forcing you to consume more carb-heavy foods in the evening time.
These are just a couple of small studies. There are plenty more things going on here. The bottom line is this:
you need need the proper amount of sleep for your body.
But what is that? It depends on the person. Most studies say between 6-8 hours a night with 7 hours seeming to be a sweet spot. But everyone’s situation and body is different. Our recommendation is to just sleep enough so that you feel rested.
Having problems sleeping? Here are some quick tips:
Sleep in complete darkness – Our natural rhythms are driven by natural sunlight and darkness. Even small amounts of artificial light from clocks, TV, computers, cell phones, can all cause disruption in our sleep.
Temp no more than 70 (ideal is 60-68) – Temperatures too hot or too cold can cause restless sleep.
Keep electronics away from sleeping area – Electro-magnetic fields can disrupt the pineal gland and the production of melatonin and serotonin, and interfere with the quality of sleep.
Get to bed before 11 pm (ideally 10 pm) – The body starts recharging between 11 pm – 1 am. Prior to electricity, we would go to bed shortly after sundown.
Consistent bedtime – Our bodies like routines and once you get into a bedtime routine, your body will become accustomed to going to bed at that time.
Cut off fluids 2 hours before bed – This will minimize the likelihood of getting up to go to the bathroom at night.
If you have to snack, protein is helpful (avoid grains and sugars) – Sugars and grains will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Protein sources that contain L-Tyrptophan support melatonin and serotonin production. Some ideas are: spirulina, raw watercress, white mushrooms, beet greens, red lettuce. But, if that doesn’t sound like a great bedtime snack, try: hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, beans, lentils and hummus. One of my favorites is hummus and Flackers.
Put work away 2 hrs before bedtime – This will give your brain some unwind time to forget about all work related issues.
Avoid caffeine after 12 noon – People process caffeine at different rates. Afternoon caffeine can cause sleep problems for certain people.
Avoid alcohol before bed – Although alcohol will make you drowsy initially, the effect is short lived. You will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep.
Exercise – A good exercise regimen can help you sleep better at night, but it is best to not exercise right before bed.
[learn_more caption=”2) Define Your Goal (click the arrow for more details)”]
Define your vision and create a vision board.
There was this line from the opening scene of Pretty Woman that goes something like this…
…”everybody that comes to Hollywood has to have a dream, what’s your dream!”
Okay, we are not going to go all Tony Robbins on you here, but having a goal is important. If you do not have a specific goal as it relates to healthy eating and fitness, it will be difficult to get there.
Create your vision
One of the things we have always done is create a vision board. This is a simple and fun exercise and you will be amazed from your results. Here is what we did.
At the end of each year, we would sit down with the family and pull out a bunch of old magazines and cut out images of the things we wanted in our life the next year. Don’t think of how you will get that image into your life, just cut out pictures that resonate with you at that moment. Then glue them on a small board and hang that board up somewhere you can see it every day. The bathroom is a place I visit each day, so that is where I hang mine.
The reason you choose images and not words is that our bodies do not understand English. Images are the universal language. If you have images of what you want in front of you every day, you will always have your goals subconsciously on your mind.
Your body needs a specific road map and you need to be crystal clear with your body about what you want. You cannot just say, well I just want to be healthy and eat better. That is a little too vague.
To take this to the next level, here is an exercise that can help you reach your goals.
This 4 step process was given to me by my father-in-law who is a retired professional coach and has trained hundreds of coaches. We have learned so much from him and are blessed to have him in our lives and to have his support as we help our clients on their journey.
Step 1 – What is Your Desired Outcome? (what do you want?)
This is not – I want to lose X pounds or whatever. This is you describing your desired outcome in great detail, with clarity and precision.
Here are some questions to help you get started:
- What will the end result look like (i.e. what will you look like)?
- What will it sound like?
- What will you be wearing?
- Where will you be?
- How will other people look at you?
- What will you feel like (internally)? When you have achieved your goal, what will it feel like to you?
These questions are just ideas to get you thinking. Take your time with this, as it is important. Close your eyes and think about these questions. Get a picture of this in your head so clear it is like a high-resolution picture.
Step 2 – What will you need to do?
Read the questions below. Take your time and really dig deep, then write your answers. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer here. (I know this probably feels cumbersome and you may think it is a bunch of hooie, but once we get these things nailed down, we will really be able to attack your goals like never before. Don’t knock it until you try it.)
- What will you need to do to achieve your desired outcome?
- What will you do? What actions will you take?
- What strategies will you use to get what you want?
Step 3 – What Inner Resources will you need?
What inner resources will you need to carry out the strategies you identified so far?
Step 4 – How will you know you are successful?
How will you know when you are successful? What feedback will you accept from the world that verifies that you have achieved what you set out to create as your desired outcome?
Write your responses to these questions in a notebook or in your computer and save it. Review your responses maybe once a month or every quarter just to see where you are at and to keep reminding yourself of your goals for the year.
The mind is a very powerful tool that can work with you (or against you).
I have always gotten what I truly have wanted and you can, too. Many times what we think we want (in our head) is not what we really want (in the core of our being).
Once you have a true crystal picture of what you truly want in your life, you can and will attract it.
So, you now have a “vision board” that allows you to see daily the things you want to attract into your life. You have a “crystal” clear picture of what you truly want when it comes to your own health and fitness. You know what steps you need to take to reach your goal. You know what resources you will need to help you reach your goal. And, you have a very specific outcome so you will know when you have reached your goal.
[learn_more caption=”3) Evening Visualization (click the arrow for more details)”]
Listen to the evening visualization audio file every night for the next 30 days.
The evening visualization audio file was made by Jon Gabriel (author of The Gabriel Method). You will recognize him from the movie Hungry For Change. We recommend you watch the movie first to get some background on him. This is his free evening visualization CD.
The evening visualization will help you reach your weight loss goals. It’s also helpful in other areas of your life. It is very relaxing and should also help you fall asleep. The reason you will want to listen as you go to bed is that you want your mind in a state where the message is reaching the subconscious mind. It’s okay if you fall asleep while listening to it because your subconscious mind will continue to take in the affirmations.
Here are some tips that will help you get the most out of the evening visualization exercise.
- Download the audio file to your ipod, ipad, laptop, phone or computer. It is just a mp3 file, so it should play on any device. You want the device away from your head so having a device with speakers and that shuts off when the file is done is best.
- Complete your vision board.
- Complete the goal exercise.
- Before you get into bed each night, look at your vision board. Also think about how you want your day to go the next day. What do you want to accomplish towards your work, personal life and goals.
- Now, start the audio and fall asleep.
Recommended Viewing & Tools
- Watch Hungry For Change – this is on Netflix.
- Evening visualization download here.
- Body Awareness Training – video. Have you ever tried yoga? Well, here’s your chance if you haven’t. (And, no one is watching.) Body awareness is super important when it comes to health and well-being. In this video, our good friend Ashley Josephine will introduce you to some movements to help you become more aware of the messages your body is sending to you. Ashley is a certified yoga instructor and in this video, she introduces you to some specific ways to improve your body awareness. Watch the video and try some of the stretches with her. She designed these specifically for you. (To learn more about Ashley, check out this page. She is full of great skills & resources. We know you’ll love her.)