Three rules for effective weight loss:
1, Always wait at least 90 minutes after eating before you go to bed, and if you can eat earlier that is even better. A research study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed that eating easily digestible carbs 4 hours before bedtime led people to fall asleep faster, because it gives your blood sugar a chance to balance out before sleep.
So eat that Mediterranean salad, (with a few carbs) earlier in the evening so that your blood sugar has a chance to recover, so that your quality of your sleep will become deeper.
*Note: If you need to eat a light snack before bed make sure that it’s high-fat, and low carb, such as avocados, a few nuts such as almonds, a small piece of dark chocolate, or perhaps even try eating a few small fresh tomatoes, before preparing for bed.
2, Make sure that you have a balanced healthy diet with long gaps between the meals to help you to digest what is eaten. Sip water between your meals to help this process. Avoid all foods that say they are low-fat; these are foods that have been interfered with and usually even filled with hidden sugar, and sometimes palm oil and so forth. Stay natural, eat natural and then become naturally slim and healthy, with even your skin quality improving, so it even slows down the ageing process!
And make sure that you get enough sleep (8 hours each night ideally), don’t compromise, being sleep deprived reduces your leptin hormone levels, which then increases unwanted feelings of hunger all day. Fact.
Enjoy the gaps between your meals, hydrate regularly throughout the day, and get enough oxygen in your bloodstream by taking regular walks whenever you can. This will help your body to burn calories whilst at the same time giving you an oxygenated mind full of ideas throughout the day.
3, Start your day with smoothies, but go more for the green smoothies with loads of leafy vegetables, spinach, kale, cucumber, avocado, kelp, maybe some blueberries and strawberries but keep fruit to a minimum as the point of this mixture is the focus on green and to not to cause a spike in your insulin.
Also a handful of almonds or some protein, perhaps a boiled egg or a fried or poached egg and some fresh smoked salmon on a piece of rye bread (*if you’re not vegan or vegetarian), so that you are turning your body into a fat burning machine instead of eating foods that turn you into a fat storing machine like toast, fruit smoothies, cereal with milk, bagels, pancakes, processed sugar, maple syrup and oatmeal, which will all cause your insulin to spike straightaway in the morning, for all the fats to be stored instead of burned!
And recognise that drinking alcohol is one of the classic sleep architecture destroyers. In other words drinking alcohol causes us to have poor sleep which affects those hormones and makes us want to eat more again. This is why most people who’ve got a hangover crave all the wrong foods for losing weight; they just want to eat carbs, fatty foods and processed foods, all of which sabotage becoming slim and healthy.
All forms of alcohol contain high amounts of ‘empty calories’.
For example: just one glass of wine has the equivalent calorie value of packet of crisps!
So you have been warned!
The most important reason for not using alcohol in the evenings is that it can seriously ruin your sleep quality. So even though alcohol has been shown to improve sleep quality if used very occasionally in low amounts, and earlier in the evening, it does in fact ruin your ‘sleep architecture’.
REM sleep is significantly disrupted by alcohol, which means that you won’t be able to achieve deep sleep, and it damages dream sleep REM, so that your brain and body won’t have the chance to fully recover and rejuvenate from the day before. Alcohol can also affect your memory, as (both) NREM deep sleep, and REM ‘dream’ sleep are damaged by alcohol. It also causes you to become dehydrated, and wake more frequently in the night; even if you drink enough water before bed you will probably be going to the bathroom all night for one reason or another, and in the morning feel fairly ghastly, needing caffeine, headache pills, and all the ‘wrong’ foods to try to ‘kick-start’ your metabolism, and hold back the mental fog in your mind.
By getting enough good sleep, you are increasing your memory processing. This means that your daily short-term memories and experiences get converted into long-term memory. Eight hours of sleep will actually make you become smarter and perform better.
The five pillars of successful weight loss are:
1, Only eat natural ‘real’ foods
2, Take regular daily exercise
3, Get eight hours of regular sleep
4, Avoid alcohol if you want to lose weight
5, Last meal of the day must be two hours before bed
By following these five simple suggestions you are literally guaranteeing yourself a slim and healthy body, as well as a longer and healthier life.
So the secret for successful weight loss, is to increase your sleep, eat the healthiest foods, last meal two hours before bed, and take lots of regular exercise.
As always, I wish you a great night’s sleep.
Max Kirsten aka The Sleep Coach