It’s 9:30 p.m. and you just got home from work. You should be in bed by 10:30 p.m. if you want to make your 6:00 a.m. alarm call. Thing is, you’re wide awake.
Sleep deprivation is the new norm and it affects your health much more deeply than just causing next day drowsiness.
Your cells repair themselves more rapidly at night time, the body produces higher levels of human growth hormone, which promotes cellular renewal and your digestive system gets a break. So if you skip it, you skip those crucial processes―and it doesn’t stop there.
Research says that sleep deprivation leads to increases in grehlin, the hunger hormone, and decreases in leptin, the hormone that tells the brain, “I’m full”.
All this means that less sleep equals more overeating. You’ll also look to sugar, processed carbs, and caffeine to get more energy. A regular bedtime will get you into a good-sleep rhythm and so will these additional simple tactics you can use to increase your time on the pillow.
Ideas for getting a bit more sleep:
Set an electronic sundown. About an hour before you go to bed, stop sitting in front of your computer or TV and switch off all other electronic devices. They are too stimulating to the brain and will interfere with your sleep.
Keep the room dark. This is not good news for city dwellers, but our bodies need complete darkness for production of melatonin, the important sleep hormone. Cover all the lights of any electronic device and use dark shades or drapes on the windows if they are exposed to light. If you’ve got one too many local streetlamps, invest in an eye mask.
Break up with Starbucks. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant with a typical half-life of seven hours, which means that half of it is still coursing through your veins seven hours later. So you’re not crazy, that late afternoon latte really is keeping you up. Caffeine blocks sleep neurotransmitters, over stimulates the adrenal glands, and throws off your circadian rhythm.
Cut back on boozing. It may seem counter-intuitive considering how sleepy a glass of wine on Friday night can make you, but in general, those with problems sleeping should avoid alcohol, as it can be as disruptive to the body’s sleep rhythms as caffeine. While it can have an initial sleep-inducing effect, as the body breaks it down, it can lighten and disrupt sleep by causing frequent and early awakening.
Set the mood. Don’t expect to go from full speed to passed out in the blink of an eye. Turn down the bedroom lights an hour or so before lights out. Meditate maybe, or listen to some calming classical music at low volume. Take the time to slowly ‘power-down’ your mind and body so you can drift happily into the good sleep you deserve.
It’s every weight loss enthusiast’s dream to zap belly fat but, far from pure vanity, there’s actually a reason why having a lot of fat in the abdominal region can be dangerous.
Fat is stored all over our body, but why does an expanding waistline grow your risk for chronic illness.
Location, location, location: Your body’s fat impacts on your health differently depending on where it’s stored. While most fat found on other parts of our bodies (think arms, legs, buttocks) are considered “subcutaneous fat,” belly fat is more likely to be “visceral.”
Pinchable versus Pressable: “Subcutaneous fat” is the pinchable, squishy fat right between your skin and muscle that helps keep you warm, cushions you against shock, and stores extra calories. “Visceral fat” stores calories too, but isn’t as pinchable because it is in your abdominal region surounding your organs including your liver, pancreas and intestines. It’s hidden deep within the belly region, which is what makes it firm (rather than squishy) when you press it.
Proximity: Fat doesn’t just store calories — it’s a living tissue capable of producing and releasing hormones that affect other organs. Too much visceral fat can raise your LDL (a.k.a., “bad” cholesterol) it also interferes with how your liver functions and interrupts normal hormonal communications between your vital organs. This can lead to insulin resistance (the beginning of diabetes), high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and a higher risk for developing heart disease. High visceral fat storage has also been linked to breast cancer, colorectal cancer, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Telling bad belly fat apart: Even if you’re thin, you can still have visceral fat around the abdominal region — being “skinny” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. There’s no surefire way to tell visceral from subcutaneous fat short of an expensive CT scan, but it’s important for you to get a rough idea of what your visceral stores are. Here are a few tricks to figure out where your belly stands:
Waist circumference (WC): Feel for the top of your hip bone (it’s at the same level as the top of your belly button) and circle a tape measure around this point. Remember to relax and don’t suck in your gut (be honest!). Take 2-3 measurements and figure out the average. Men should have a WC of less than 40 inches (102 cm) and women should have a WC of less than 35 inches (89 cm).
Know your family healthy history: If your parents or siblings have insulin resistance, heart disease or non-alcoholic fatty liver, you may be at a greater risk for storing visceral fat. Keeping an eye on your visceral fat may be beneficial, but know that the causes of these chronic diseases are complex. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider.
If you fall in the normal range for WC, that’s great! Keep working at your weight goals as you see fit. If you’re not there, don’t despair. Because of its proximity to the liver, visceral fat is usually the easier fat to burn. It’s the less risky subcutaneous fat that likes to stick around.
Sleep more, stress less. It’s easier said than done, but in order to take care of your physical body, you have to take care of your mental state.
Sleep loss and stress can sabotage your health and fitness goals, as we mentioned earlier.
Cut way back on added sugars and alcohol since these nutrients will more likely end up as visceral fat.
Try and Sweat for about 30 minutes each day. Visceral fat responds well to regular endurance exercises, such as running, biking, rowing, swimming, that elevate your heart rate ( if you are able, if not don't worry walking will do). As your body uses fat to fuel exercise, it’ll start using up your visceral stores.
The Katonics Weight Loss Programme will help you get rid of belly fat, fast, and at the same time, reduce your visceral fat as well.
The maths is simple – lose 10% of body weight and you will lose 30% of visceral fat.
Monday: About 20 minutes of circuit weight training,
including 4 exercises such as pushups, squats, lunge
curls and back row. Don't take breaks between sets
and continue until finished.
Tuesday: Interval exercise for 20 minutes. Start with 20
seconds hard, followed by a rest for 40 seconds.
Then 30 seconds of hard exercise with 30 seconds of
rest. Add 10 seconds with every set and take to 1
Wednesday: Repeat Monday.
Thursday: Repeat Tuesday.
Friday: Repeat the exercises of Monday and Wednesday.
Saturday: You can run or walk as much as you want.
Try and walk for about half an hour to an hour every day to lower cortisol and try to make sure you get enough sleep every night.
Big Bones don't make children fat, parents do.
The Katonics Weight Loss Programme is great for Kids who need to lose a bit of weight and get into shape.
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