An extra 31 pounds a year?! The potential of that kind of weight gain is enough to make us stop in our tracks and evaluate a few things. Thankfully, there’s a solution: sleep! Getting more (and better) sleep can curb our appetites, help us control cravings that lead to late night snacking and can boost our metabolisms. Sounds like the best diet we know about! Keep in mind, though, to be well, proper nutrition and a healthy balance of exercise combined with good sleep is still key.
Getting enough sleep at night is easier said than done so we’ve compiled a handful of ideas to get you on the right track to sleeping better (and hopefully losing a few lbs).
Achieving those required hours of shut-eye each night isn’t the easiest task to accomplish. This becomes especially tricky when it means going to bed earlier and you’re a night owl or there’s an artist you love on late night television or that new book is calling your name. So, take it easy: start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier and getting up 15 minutes later. Set your DVR, bring your book with you for the next time you’re waiting in a line or make a list of things you want to accomplish in the evenings so you’re focused instead of flipping channels. Keep adding 15 minutes on each end each night (or just bedtime if you’re crunched for minutes in the mornings) until you’re getting 7-8 hours of consistent sleep per night. Not only will you be better rested, those late night snacking opportunities will disappear!
Going to bed 15 minutes earlier not happening? Try setting an alarm. Make sure to set an alarm for the time you should start getting ready for bed so by the time you wrap up your routine and crawl under the covers you’re on time. Soon this will become a habit and your body will start to notify you of bedtime on its own.
We’ve heard this one before: don’t grocery shop when you’re hungry – you’ll purchase food you normally wouldn’t (and typically foods higher in fat, salt or sugar, just like the ones you reach for late at night). But here’s a new angle: grocery shop after a good night’s rest. Why? When your body is well-rested, cravings for those “cheat” foods are reduced, helping you fight the temptations you face in the grocery aisles.
Our best tip? Don’t try to do it all at once. Take small steps, make easy changes and aim for consistency – building habits is a marathon, not a sprint. Happy sleeping!
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