Thinking about a lifestyle change? Want to lose weight but not sure where to start? Been on unsuccessful diets before that didn’t work? These are a few of our top tips:
- Think about what to eat and when to eat it
Plan your meals in advance. Have the right things in your fridge and store cupboard, remove the temptations and the habit calories – 3 biscuits with a hot drink when you get in from work. If you prepare you stand a better chance of being successful. Plan your snacks and have them there ready, so when the adverts come on you reach for an ounce of almonds or some carrot sticks and a healthy dip instead of the supersize bag of sharing crisps that isn’t actually designed for you to share! Think about some healthy swops, something you can take to work for your mid-morning snack to avoid temptation when your blood sugar levels start to plummet and someone at work has brought celebratory cakes in.
- Think about increasing your activity levels
Find something you love doing. Obviously for us that is hot yoga but for you it might be walking to work when the weather is glorious. Taking the dog that little bit further on your nightly walk. Planning a bike ride at the weekend with the kids instead of the trip to the cinema with the giant popcorn bucket and the fizzy drinks. If it is a walk in the park at weekend you are on a double bonus. Weight bearing exercise increases bone strength and even better, exercise in sunlight helps to synthesise that much needed vitamin D for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. Vitamin D is essential in the absorption of calcium and phosphate. Without these our bones can become soft and weak and leave us at risk of things like osteoporosis. Fresh air, exercise and keeping hydrated with water instead of fizzy pop or sugary hot drinks will make a massive difference physically and mentally.
- Think about your sleep pattern
Now this might sound extremely strange to you but getting enough quality sleep plays a massive part in weight loss. Firstly, if you have a restless, interrupted night’s sleep just try and be aware of how you feel and what you do the next day. Studies have shown that people who haven’t had enough sleep spend the next feeling shattered and hungry. When monitored closely they tend to eat more, make poor food choices and emotionally eat more calories than people who have had a full, restful night’s sleep.
Why is this?
Well it’s all down to a hormone that you may or may not have heard about called ghrelin. This bad boy helps regulates your appetite. It sends messages to your brain when it thinks you need to eat, when you should stop burning calories and when you should store your energy – unfortunately as fat cells! When you sleep you don’t use a lot of energy, so you have low levels of this hunger hormone. People who don’t sleep well end up with too much of this hormone floating round their system telling their brain to take in some calories. In addition, sleepless and restless nights lead to high levels of stress hormones and also to resistance to insulin. Insulin is produced naturally in the body for most people and is the key that unlocks to cells to let the glucose in. One of the ways to increase insulin sensitivity and to promote great sleep quality is to exercise and for us that’s just got to be hot yoga!