How is it that people who are already fit can get away with eating foods that would practically jump out of your hand, skip your mouth and just glue itself to your belly? Sometimes it can be chalked up to metabolism, and every so often you’ll find someone with truly lucky genetics. More often, the fit person you see “eating whatever they want” doesn’t actually eat whatever they want all of the time, or as much of it as an overweight person would. Quite possibly, they have a better “ON/OFF” switch than you do!
Why is that? There are several factors at play here. Read the three quotations below:
“Running to the medicine cabinet or to doctors for sleeping pills may be one way to battle chronic insomnia, but aerobic exercise might be the best prescription, new research indicates.” – WebMD
“Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.” (Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep and the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, Ariz.) LINK
“Losing weight can directly aid in bettering the quality of sleeping among obese or overweight people, according to a study being presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions.” - Medical News Today
Aha! Quite a cycle. And it has a snowball effect!
exercise=better sleep=eating better/fat loss=better sleep (and better exercise)=more fat loss, etc.
The key, of course, is to step into the cycle. Though none of it is easy at first, the most promising first step would be the Exercise. It is nearly impossible to force yourself to sleep, and eating better when you are sleep deprived is torture. Exercise, however, takes less time than food prep and less will power than eating right or going to bed earlier.
My advice? Start with 20-30 minutes of exercise each day. After a week, see if your quality of sleep has improved. If it has, try using some of that to your benefit, by regulating some of your food choices during the following week. Take a smaller portion of something just once a day. Continue your exercise, and test out slightly earlier bed times, even just 15 minutes earlier than usual. With some exception, chances are that whatever work, TV or internet activity you are spending time on can be wrapped up a mere 15 minutes early.
Keep this up, adding a regulated meal and 5 minutes earlier bed time every so often. Continue 30 minutes of exercise at least 3-4 times a week. After a few months, I’m betting the pounds will start to drop off, and (unlike most plans) you won’t feel like you were just beaten up and left in the desert. In fact, you’ll probably feel pretty good!