Sleep and Your Weight: The Why and How
What if you were to learn about a way of losing weight that was natural and healthy, and didn’t involve stricter dieting and getting more exercise? What if all you had to do was rest a little more? “Sign me up!” Right?
Well, there is a way, and it’s not a gimmick. It’s called sleep. Getting enough sleep helps you feel better the next day, of course, but this natural refresher does more than you might even imagine for your weight, metabolism, and physical and mental health. You may not think you have time to get all the shut-eye you need, but you may change your mind after reading this. Here are some reasons why sleep should be a top priority, and how you can make the most of the time you dedicate to dreamland.
Natural Weight Control…And More
Cut yourself short on sleep, and you might as well order in some pizza and wings. Your hormone levels get out of whack when you skimp on sleep. You can feel hungrier even though your body does not need the calories from food you’re craving. Speaking of cravings, you are more likely to crave sugary and fatty foods when you are tired, and less likely to be able to resist them.
More hunger, more cravings, and lower resistance sound like a good combo for weight gain, especially when you add in feelings of fatigue that can get in the way of a calorie-burning workout!
Why else do you need enough sleep?
It helps maintain better insulin resistance so your blood sugar stays in check.
It allows for muscle repair, so your muscles can keep burning calories all day and night.
It lowers your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.
It improves your mood.
It helps you learn, concentrate, and function better.
Safe to say: sleeping is a pretty good use of time no matter how busy you are! So how can you maximize yours?
Cut Back a Little at Dinner
We’ve all been there, done that. You eat too much at dinner, and you spend a few hours tossing and turning, or you get heartburn. There’s an easy solution: watch what you eat! Cut back a little on the portions, and avoid heartburn triggers such as greasy foods. Try subbing a high-protein, calorie-controlled BariatricPal Entrée for some of your regular but unhealthy faves. For example, try:
Nacho Cheese Pasta with 140 calories instead of mac and cheese with 500 calories.
Vegetable Lasagna with 250 calories instead of a cheesy, meaty lasagna with up to 1,000 calories.
Spicy Oriental Chicken with 230 calories instead of Chinese take-out with up to 1,000 calories.
Chicken Enchilada Verde with 290 calories instead of a Tex-Mex enchilada plate with 700 calories.
They are all ready within minutes. Plus, they are shelf-stable so you can stock up and have them on hand for whenever you need them. Since fiber can help you sleep a little better, too, you can always pair an entrée with some extra veggies.
Keep Dessert Light
A sugary, fatty dessert does not just pack on the pounds. It can send your blood sugar levels through the roof, making it harder to sleep. Choose smartly if you need a little something sweet after dinner. You can get by with protein pudding for under 100 calories, or opt for a portion-controlled Protein Cookie. Enjoy flavors from chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin to vanilla and mocha.
Watch the Caffeine
Caffeine is great for perking you up, but it can kill any attempt at a good night’s sleep. Caffeine stays in your body for up to 8 hours, so it’s best to stay away throughout the afternoon and evening. If you are really craving some coffee or tea, you can always make yourself some Decaf Cappuccino, Peach Tea, or Raspberry Tea. Each has 15 grams of protein and is low-carb. If you’re already set for the day with your protein, you can sip on Lemon Fiber Iced Tea Drink with 5 grams of fiber.
Sleep Aids for a More Refreshed Tomorrow
There is not much worse than being unable to sleep, and sometimes, you need a little help. That’s what our Sleep Aids are for. You can use them at home or when you are trying to get over jet lag, and they are non-habit forming.
We have sleep starter patches with natural melatonin as well as for relieving PMS symptoms and menopausal symptoms. You can also try BariMelts melatonin melts or BariatricPal Liquid Sleep Aid Drops with melatonin and other natural sleep, mood, and energy regulators.
Good sleep is priceless, and better shut-eye is well within your grasp. You can make a few small changes to improve your zzz’s, and those efforts might show up on the scale and almost everywhere else in your life.
- Alex Brecher