Happy we lost an hour of sleep and are all zombies because of it, day! Um, I mean Sunday…
Am I right or am I right? I even planned for this and went to bed early and still am wondering why the lids are open.
You know what other time of year it is fixin’ to be? Spring/summer.A very popular topic on social media and in client sessions lately has been winter weight gain, and how to shed it for the summer season. It’s on your mind. It’s on my mind. Tank tops are coming. Are you ready?
In honor of that, I thought I would shift focus for the next few weeks on weight loss. Or more specifically, fat loss.
I have a very love hate relationship with the scale. It’s good because it helps you benchmark yourself. But it can quickly turn dark when you are going hard, watching every bite, and getting your sweat on and still the scale won’t budge. So, get your one weigh in done, and then lean on other measures to track your progress. For example, measure inches, body fat, how does your clothes fit…etc. After all, it’s less about the weight and more how phenom you feel!
If I’m all about fat loss (aka phat gain, get it?), one might ask, how do you recommend we get started?
One of the most critical pieces of your wellness journey absolutely MUST be sleep.
No, don’t close the email…stick with me.
Sleep is absolutely mission critical to all areas of your health. Yes, I am talking to myself as much if not more than I am to you!
The sciency part:
- When you are short on sleep your body releases more cortisol throughout the day. Cortisol, which then tears down muscle and helps you store fat. Without any additional behavior changes on your part.
- Hormones and metabolism are whack. Bottom line, your body starts to crave carbohydrates to energize up. It takes more food to make you feel full and satiated. You don’t want either of those things to occur.
Real life part:
- Willpower be gone. There’s this thing called decision fatigue. Long definition short, you get tired of making decisions all day and your decisions became wayyyy less rational. Now, when you’re exhausted from lack of sleep, what could have been a mindset or willpower decision to stay healthy is now officially a desperate grasp at doing the right thing. Fighting to stick to your plan turns into a tomorrow idea.
- Cravings. Because of earlier mentioned hormone wackiness, your body is literally going to keep whispering sweet carbo thoughts in your head all day. You will crave that sugar rush to get you through the afternoon, and it sure ain’t going to be broccoli you’re reaching for.
- Energy. Cooking dinner at home will be a laughable thought at best. Dinner will turn into a grocery store frozen meal, take out, or any other non intimidating option that allows you to just…finally…sit.
Okay, now finally. Here are a few ways to get yourself to actually sleep earlier, and better. Because we all know just saying it is not going to make it happen.
- Suck. It. Up. Oops, I should have said that nicer. Nothing about this is fun. You actually have to decide, this is going to suck but I’m going to do it because I need the sleep.
- Predetermine your time. I know tomorrow morning I have to be up at 5:05. From there I reverse back the hours and establish my bedtime. It’s best to have a similar bedtime every night to get you body in a rhythm, but honestly, some days I’m up at 5:00, some at 7:45, so I will be more lenient when I can.
- Create a bedtime alert. When it hits about 30 minutes before I have to call it a night, my Fitbit goes off. That tells me it is time to start my routine, walk the dog, clothes laid out, coffee prepped, teeth brushed, get in the mindset of bedtime.
- Shut the electronics down. Omg murder, I know, but you have to turn those screens off and let your brain start shutting down before you can ever pass out. For the most part my rule is an hour before bed I’m supposed to shut it down. This includes computer, TV, and social media. I’ll still use my phone but the night settings are on which changes the background lighting. I may turn on a podcast, but if that gets my mind turning I reach for a book. Again, all of this is easier said than done.
- Pay attention to how you feel after your first, second, and third days of almost substantial sleep (being realistic). If you pay attention and see you have a bit more pep in your step, you’re going to positively reinforce that behavior. Reward yourself for the sacrifice, because that’s what it is! Tell yourself you did a good job. Brag on yo sleep havin’ self!
Okay there you go. That’s legit the first step to starting your fat loss journey. If you start there, man oh man, the rest is just so much easier.
Don’t make me do this alone!!