Get More Sleep, Lose More Fat – Part 1
If you’re like many people, you’d like to lose some weight this year. You may have a weight loss goal, such as reaching a certain weight, or to lose a specific number of pounds. But simply losing weight is not enough. Along with your weight loss goal, you also want to melt off as many pounds of blubber as you can, while retaining or increasing your lean mass, which includes your bones and muscles. What you eat, how frequently and intensely you exercise are two critical components to burning off unwanted fat. However, there is a third component that most people overlook…one that is starting to receive more attention from the scientific community.
That component is, sleep. Yes, getting enough sleep could be the missing ingredient that has been holding you back from achieving the physique you desire.
A Focus on Calories Is Misleading
Most weight loss programs focus on reducing the number of calories you consume, as well as increasing the number of calories you burn from exercise and other physical activity.
While calories are important, they are not the only thing you should be aware of. In fact, focusing on calories can be misleading, because the type of calories burned – either from sugar or fat – is what is most important. Your hormones determine what type and how many calories your body will burn. Most people’s bodies are programmed to burn sugar and conserve fat. This is an ancient survival mechanism that helped humans get through the fairly frequent “feast or famine” cycles that typically occurred earlier in human history. There have always been environmental signals that tell the body to burn fat. Light and sleep are the two major ones. And light and sleep are intimately related when it comes to human behavior and metabolism.
How Seasons Affect Your Weight
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Let’s take a look at how humans evolved in synch with the seasons, and how this affects us today when it comes to our metabolism. First, imagine you are ancient man or woman...