More and more informationn is being discovered about the importance of getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. In terms of weight loss, a lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight by interfering with the hormonal processes that take place while you sleep.
The two hormones that are key in this process are ghrelin and leptin. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, your body makes less leptin. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat. When you are sleep-deprived, your body makes more ghrelin. The result? Your body is telling you to eat more and your body is not telling you when to stop. In other words more ghrelin + less leptin = weight gain.
Keep a sleep log to see if you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. If you are not, make a list of the barriers that prevent you from getting 7-8 hours of sleep. Are your barriers to quality sleep things that you have the ability to change? If so, what can you do differently to get your ZZZ’s?
We have many choices each day when it comes to our well-being. What we choose to eat being a big one. Have you ever thought about how food affects your mood? Have you ever though about how your mood affects your food choice? I am not here to get preachy and tell you what to eat and what not to eat, I am just asking you to be a mindful observer of how your food choices make you feel and how your mood affects what you choose.
A great way to observe how your food choices make you feel or what you are feeling when you make your food choice is to create an awareness journal. In your notes include things like:.
- How hungry were you when you ate or were you even hungry at all?
- What kind of day were you having? What was going on?
- A summary of what you ate (don’t worry about counting calories, fat grams, etc..)
- How you felt when you were done eating.
Did you notice any connection with your hunger level and food choices? Are there any patterns with regards to your mood and your food choices or how much you ate? How about your energy level? Were you tired, bored or stressed?
If you ate too much, make a note of how you felt both physically and emotionally. If you ate and you were not even hungry, what was going on at that moment? Remember, this is about mindful self-awareness, not about feeling guilty or shameful with regard to your choices. All we are looking to do is recognize patterns and build new habits that will lead to instinctive eating.
You might be surprised what you discover!
- How To Overcome Emotional Eating (healthfirst24.com)
- Do You Eat More than You Think? (foodfromthegarden.wordpress.com)
- Identifying Hungers: A Tool for Recovery (Part 2) (innerdoorcenterblog.wordpress.com)
- Identifying Hungers: A Tool In Recovery (Part 1) (innerdoorcenterblog.wordpress.com)
- You ARE what you EAT! (bodylovemethod.com)
The drive to be perfect often flows over into exercise and diet. We are bombarded by the media telling us how we should look, what we should eat, what new exercise will give us the perfect backside, what new diet will melt the fat away, you get the picture! Not to mention your Facebook friend that has 5 kids, just ran a marathon, is getting herin astrophysics and just won 10 grand on her fabulous vacation in Vegas. Darn her!
Looking at these images, negative self-talk rears it’s ugly head and guilt sets in. “I was so bad today”, “I ate like a pig, I am going to have to eat celery sticks for the next week”, “I shouldn’t have ate so much ice cream, I am going to have to work out for 2 hours tonight!”. Sound familiar? In the endless pursuit of the magic diet and exercise program we often find ourselves swinging from one extreme to another, back and forth, back and forth. Self-compassion goes out the window and the more we try the worse we feel.
There is nothing wrong with striving to be your best but not at the expense of your self-worth. It is easy to get trapped in the notion that we have be the “ideal” only to be disappointed when we don’t achieve the unrealistic goals we set for ourselves. Repeat this vicious cycle again and again and it erodes our self-confidence.
Rather than trying to be perfect all the time, strive to do your best in each moment. Your best one day might be squeezing in a 15 minute walk in-between meetings and your best on another may be going to the gym for 45 minutes. And if you are unable to meet your exercise goals one day accept that wellness is not all or nothing and pick up where you left off. Tomorrow is a new day. When you get rid of the drive for perfectionism, you can move to a place where challenges are now opportunities for growth. Focus on progress rather than perfection and ditch the all or nothing mentality.
Learn to do things that work for you rather than what the so called “experts” say. Become the expert on you. After all who knows you better?