If you saw the title of this blog and have continued reading, then I am going to assume that you have or have had a goal of losing fat. Therefore, I am going to let you in on my #1 tip for fat loss. Are you ready? Here it is:
GET MORE QUALITY SLEEP!!
That’s it. Not very exciting right? It may not be exciting, but it is something easy to focus on for the next month, and it will make huge improvements in not only your ability to shed fat but also your energy, mood, and productivity.
When I consult with a client that wants to lose fat, sleep is the first thing we focus on. It is that important! We set the goal of getting more than 7 hours of sleep a night. This does not mean being in bed for 7 hours. You need to be ASLEEP for 7 hours. Therefore, if you struggle to fall asleep, then plan for this, and try to go to bed a little earlier. Do not think laying down at 11pm and getting up at 6am counts as 7 hours of sleep.
Here are some tips to get in bed earlier and to get more quality sleep:
-Turn off all electronics (computers, TVs, cellphones, etc.) an hour before you plan on going to bed. Instead, read a book (boring ones are especially helpful in making you sleepy), talk with your spouse, meditate, or do whatever calms and relaxes you.
-Make your room as dark as possible. Any light at all can interfere with certain beneficial hormones that are released when we sleep. Therefore, turn you clock away or down, buy good shades, and eliminate any night lights.
-If possible, try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Once your body gets used to these times, you will notice yourself getting sleepy when it is close to bedtime, and you may even wake up on your own without an alarm clock.
-Perform a “brain dump”. If you are like me, you normally have a thousand things running through your head and it can be hard to shut this off when it is time to go to sleep. If you have the same problem, write a list of things to do for the next day before you go to bed. Research has shown that just by writing tasks down you are more easily able to let them out of your mind.
-Eat a small protein and fat meal before bed. Consider doing this especially if you wake up hungry in the middle of the night or have poor blood sugar regulation. The protein and fat are slowly digested and will keep you satiated throughout the night.
-Supplement with Magnesium. Research has shown that most people are deficient in this important mineral, and it can help to improve sleep quality. Take 200-400mg with dinner or 1-2 hours before bedtime.
So, this is my challenge to you. I want you to focus on nothing else besides getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep a night for the next month. If you are successful, I can promise you will be quite pleased in more than the body composition changes you will see.