If you're like me, you probably wish that there was a way for you to lose weight without having to put in much effort, right?
Everyone knows the importance of exercise and how it helps us with weight loss, but on some days don't we all wish we can just sleep in bed and lose weight at the same time?
Well, I've got some great news for you...
Sleep is a critical part of your weight loss program!
This is a little-known fact, but did you know that sleep can affect your weight? Rather, it's the lack of sleep that can make you put on unnecessary weight. You may actually lose more weight if only you were to sleep more every day. What an intriguing thought, isn't it?
In a review of several studies examining the impact of sleep on the regulation of metabolism, Dr. Eve Van Cauter, Professor and Research Associate at the University of Chicago, noted that the association between hormones and sleep was identified more than 30 years ago when it was reported that adult men secrete growth hormone during the early phase of sleep. Since then, research has indicated a harmful effect of sleep loss on the endocrine system and glucose modulation.
One study examined the effect of sleep debt and sleep recovery on hormone concentrations and glucose tolerance in healthy males ages 18-27. One week of sleep restriction produced dramatic results: a 30 percent slower response to both the glucose tolerance test and acute insulin response compared with results in rested subjects. Sleep deprivation also raised the 24-hour cortisol profile.
Another study found that sleep deprivation resulted in 30 percent lower levels of leptin. Amazingly, the effect is similar to that observed with caloric restriction (3,000 calories over 3 days), signaling a negative energy balance.
A more recent study examined the effect of 10 vs. 4 hours of sleep on appetite. Subjects who slept 4 hours were always hungry and craved starchy, sweet, and salty foods. These results suggest that sleep deprivation produces a signal mimicking negative energy balance, inducing people to eat and thereby predisposing to obesity.
These results indicate an association between sleep debt and obesity. Sleep deprivation would affect glucose tolerance and leptin levels and increase the appetite for unhealthy foods. She noted that sleep restriction would have greater impact on obese individuals, who have higher leptin levels to begin with, and on older adults.
Dr. Van Cauter also noted that the studies were performed in males only. Because females have higher baseline levels of some hormones (e.g. leptin), sleep restriction might have worse effects in women than in men.
Hey, did you notice the groups which were mentioned specifically in the last 2 paragraphs that may be more severely affected by sleep deprivation? I'll recap them here again: (1) obese individuals, (2) older adults, and (3) women.
That's really crucial for us because this means if you're a woman over 40, not getting enough sleep will probably make you feel hungry constantly and crave for all the unhealthy foods even more as compared to other people. And the more overweight you are, the more you may be affected by the lack of sleep.
Not surprisingly, another study has indeed found an inverse relationship between increased body mass index (BMI) and sleep duration in women. That is, women who do not sleep enough tend to be more overweight than women who get sufficient sleep.
And just in case you still believe in the myth that "Oh, it's alright because I'll catch up on my sleep on the weekends", you should note that Dr. Van Cauter also made the following observation: Sleep debt is generally not paid back fully by weekend sleep. I suppose this is kind of like the saying "An apple a day, keeps the doctor away" -- eating 7 apples on Sunday instead of 1 a day just isn't going to give you the same results!
Now, I'm not_ saying that you don't have to exercise and all you have to do to lose weight is to sleep it off. Exercise, strength training and physical activities in general are vital components of a permanent weight loss program.
It's simply that if you don't sleep enough, you'll just be making it more difficult for yourself to lose the extra weight. There's no point in sabotaging your chances of weight loss success if it's a simple matter of making sure you get enough sleep every night, right? I mean, how much easier can it get?
According to William Dement, Stanford University sleep researcher, adults need about 8 hours of sleep a night. Try your best to get this amount every day, and you'll reduce one more obstacle in your path to attaining your desired ideal weight. Simple idea, isn't it?
Lets face it everybody knows that strength training builds muscle but did you know that it does more much more for you in the health stakes. Lets have a look at these strength training tips one by one and you will see what a difference this valuable tool will make to your general health:
Weights Improve Immunity - Immune strength depends on the availability of the amino acid glutamine and your muscles have to supply the glutamine to your immune system in order for it to work.
The more muscle you have the more abundant the glutamine supply, and other things being equal, the better your immune system works.
Weights Grow Bone - A study at Stanford University showed clearly that about 20% of bone mineral density is dependent on maintaining muscle.
A new study reported in February 2000 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that even in elderly women, a one-year weight-training program increased their strength by 20-30%, with a significant increase in bone density.
Weights Combat Diabetes - New studies published between 1995 and 2000 show that weight training has an unexpected benefit - it improves glucose tolerance in patients with Type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes.
In one of these studies, post-menopausal women with diabetes followed a weight-training program for four months. Their glucose sensitivity to a challenge improved by an average of 29%.
Weights Wack Arthritis - At Tufts University in the USA, researches gave patients with rheumatoid arthritis 10 weeks of high-intensity weight training.
Results showed significant reductions in joint pain and fatigue and a big gain in strength. Results showed that the weight work caused a significant decline in arthritis activity.
Weights Raise Testosterone - Did you know that strength training is one of the best exercises to raise testosterone levels in men and women! With strength training the levels of both testosterone and growth hormone rise dramatically.
Since loss of strength and muscle mass are the prime causes of most age-related diseases a lifelong strength training program is one of the best insurance polices for a better quality of life for both men and women.
Avoid Muscle Loss - although endurance exercise improves our cardiovascular fitness, it does not prevent the loss of muscle tissue.
Only strength training maintains our muscle mass and strength throughout our mid-life years. After the age of 20 up to 1/2 pound of muscle tissue is lost per year in both males and females owing to the normal ageing process.
By Strength Training once a week using all the major muscle groups until you are unable to push each exercise for another repetition, 3-4 exercises, and 15 -20 minutes max training time. Keep getting stronger, Smile, be positive and live life.
Avoid Metabolic Rate Reduction - because muscle is very active tissue, muscle loss is accompanied by a reduction in our resting metabolism.
Research indicates that an average adult experiences a 5% reduction in metabolic rate every decade of life. Only high intensity strength training performed once or twice a week with prescribed rest periods can avoid this.
Increase Muscle Mass - because most adults do not perform strength exercise, they need to first replace the tissue that has been lost through inactivity. Fortunately research shows that a standard strength training program can increase muscle mass by about 4 kg or 10 lbs over a ten-week period.
Increase Metabolic Rate - Research reveals that adding 10 lbs of muscle increases our resting metabolism by 7% and our daily calorie requirements by 15%.
At rest, 2 lbs of muscle requires 77 calories per day for tissue maintenance and during exercise, muscle energy utilization increases dramatically.
Adults who replace muscle through sensible strength exercise use more calories all day long thereby reducing the likelihood of fat accumulation.
Reduce Body Fat - In a 1994 study, strength exercise produced 10 lbs of fat loss after two months of training, even though the subjects were eating 155 more calories per day.
That is, a basic strength-training program resulted in 8 lbs more muscle, 10 lbs less fat and more calories per day food intake.
Increase Bone Mineral Density - The effects of progressive resistance exercise are similar for muscle tissue and bone tissue.
The same training stimulus that increases muscle strength also increases bone density and mineral content. A 1993 study demonstrated significant increases in the bone mineral density of the upper femur after four months of strength training.
So, now you can go ahead with your strength training endeavours knowing that you will be experiencing all these benefits found in the above tips.
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