Spring is well and truly here in Australia and it’s time to reset some simple behaviours to help you feel and look your best.
Here’s what you need to do:
Studies have shown that an average of 7.5 hours sleep per night can help assist with weight loss. How? Our hormones. Ghrelin tells us when to eat and leptin tell us when to stop, so in short, more ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain. And this is what happens when you are sleep deprived.
In addition, your metabolism slows down and you are more likely to reach for that sweet treat or extra latte for a quick pick-me-up. Susan Zafarlotfi, PhD, clinical director of the Institute for Sleep and Wake Disorders at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey says “when you have sleep deprivation and are running on low energy, you automatically go for a bag of potato chips or other comfort food”. Time for some-eye don’t you think?
Another benefit of going to bed earlier is that it allows you to rise early and fit in a quick 30-minute workout. This is fantastic for your metabolism, and longer term, works to accelerate your body’s fat burning ability. Training in the morning is also a fantastic way to ensure you avoid missing a session due to the usual afternoon interruptions and excuses.
Cut the refined sugar
Refined sugar is the leading cause of inflammation, which can be directly linked to the longer term development of chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. In the shorter term, the consumption of refined sugar causes blood sugar disregulation, cravings, mood swings and body fat gain.
Keep your refined sugars low by minimising your consumption of processed and packaged foods and keep your overall sugar intake under control by keeping fruit at a maximum of two pieces per day, avoiding agave syrup (and other “natural” but high fructose sweeteners) and nourishing your body with good fats, proteins and predominately non starchy vegetables.
As the weather warms, your fluid requirement naturally increases. Aim for at least two litres of water per day and add in another 600ml for every hour of exercise. Make sure you are well hydrated before a meal, as overeating is often a result of thirst, interpreted as hunger. For variety, try fresh lemon, grapefruit or mint. The occasional coconut water is great, just be mindul not to drink it like regular water as each small bottle contains approximately 15g of sugar.
What is your favourite spring shape up tip? Join in the conversation below.