Eat Less, Exercise More

Eat less, exercise more. Sounds easy doesn't it! Then, why do millions of people struggle with losing weight?  Our relation to food is more than just eating to sustain life, we have a deep emotional connection to what we eat. From the moment we come into this world, the act of consuming food is associated with a bond to our mothers. Then, as we grow older the sustenance that comforted us or was given to us as a reward carries into our behaviors as adults. Beneath our relationship with edibles consists an underlying physical or psychological  imbalance that can lead to cravings and over eating. That is why the ability to stop over consuming comes as such a hard task for a lot of people.

Comforting yourself with food when your feeling angry, bored, fatigued, nervous, sad, stressed, or even tired is common. However, with some simple tools and techniques  you can control your binge eating and stop packing on the pounds. It is important to look at what causes you to over eat. If you can pinpoint a specific emotion and the cause of that sentiment you can start to see why that sensibility causes you to over eat or crave unhealthy foods.


Create awareness of what you eat, what you are feeling when you crave "junk" food, and how it makes you feel after you have ate that foodstuff. You should ask yourself, "Do I lose my appetite when something goes wrong in my life and gain 10 pounds?", "Do I eat even though I know I'm not hungry?", "Do I turn to food when I'm stressed at work or about my personal life?". If you gain weight when something goes wrong in your life, then you're probably a stress eater. Becoming aware of the problem is the first step to solving it.

Plan ahead.  Keep healthy snacks like raw nuts and dried fruit on hand, make your own snacks at home, carry a stainless steal water bottle filled with H2O, eat breakfast, keep a food diary, plan your meals and grocery lists, eat slow, eat on smaller plates, eat a salad or cup of soup before dinner, and cut processed foods out of your diet.

Forgive yourself for past mistakes. If you think you might be an emotional eater, take comfort in the fact that everybody does it. Our brains are hard wired to associate food with our emotions and we've done it since we were children. Most importantly, you can do something about your emotional eating, such as gain awareness of your feelings when eating, explore physical and emotional reasons behind the cravings, and start to investigate how to change your diet. These little adjustments, even if done one at a time, can help you make big alterations to your eating habits and waist line.


Lack of Sleep Linked to Weight Gain

lack of sleep linked to obesity As the percentage of overweight and obese people in the United States continues to grow, it becomes increasingly important for the public to understand how to obtain optimal health. Though diet and exercise are at the utmost importance when helping a person maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, other factors, such as stress, metabolism, genetics, and sleep also contribute to a person’s predisposition and capability to take pounds off of their frame or avoid diseases. According to a study published in The American Journal of Human Biology, getting enough sleep at night may ensure that a person eats when they are hungry and stops when they are full. Therefore, poor sleeping habits directly effect appetite control and glucose metabolism.

The research released shows that the hormones, ghrelin, which send signals to the brain when the body needs food, and leptin, which informs the encephalon when you have eaten enough, do not secrete properly in people that possess deficient sleep patterns. According to Dr. Kristen Knutson, from the University of Chicago, “these findings show that sleeping poorly can increase a person’s risk of developing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.” Consequently, our fast paced sleep deprived society pays little attention to how our slumber patterns affect our energy, and as a result we miss out on the health benefits a good night's sleep provides to our overall wellbeing.

Setting your evening up to ensure quality restoration takes little time and effort, and can dramatically improve your health and disposition. Creating healthy sleep patterns will allow you to feel better throughout the day. Start by setting a sleep schedule and sticking with it.  A sleep timetable ensures that you go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This will reinforce your body’s sleep wake cycle and prevent you from being jolted out of slumber by an alarm. Another great tip to ensure that you acquire an adequate amount of shut eye includes creating a bedtime ritual. Recreating the same acts each night signals the body that it’s time to wind down. Relaxing pastimes such as listening to tranquil music, taking a shower or bath, or reading a book assists the body in transitioning between wakefulness and drowsiness. However, it is important to note that the use of electronic devices may interfere with the bodies ability to fall asleep. Lastly, make your bedroom an ideal room for sleeping by making it cool, dark, and quiet. Think about using earplugs, a fan, room-darkening shades, comfortable pillows, or any other contrivances that will aid you in falling asleep.

The important message this study delivers is that sleep deprivation and weight gain have a cause and effect relationship. All constituents of a healthy lifestyle must be maintained, and if one facet becomes an inferior concern the other well-being components will suffer and not work to your benefit. So, get the minimum of seven hours of sleep per night to ensure that you do not fall victim to easily preventable weight gain.