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By Jackie Cartier
October 11, 2017
If you’ve made weight loss a priority and are feeling stuck, we have some ideas to get moving off that plateau. Some clients share that even though they’re eating well, making sure they get their protein, fat and carbohydrate at each meal and snack … their weight isn’t budging. No doubt this is frustrating, but today we’re sharing how lack of self-care may be getting in the way of your weight loss goals, without you even knowing it.
Here are two critical ways we (and research!) suggest you take the time to care for yourself.
Yawn, we’ve all heard this before, but truly, listen up, this is sometimes THE factor holding people back from their weight loss goals. Plus, research states that at least a third of adults do not get enough sleep – that means 1 in 3 people reading this article are sleep-deprived! Are you one of them?
We’ve done whole podcasts before on How to Lose Weight While You Sleep, sharing essentially that the lack of sleep slows your metabolism and slows brain function. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that when dieters received adequate sleep, half of their weight loss was from body fat. However, when dieters slept less than 7 hours, the amount of fat loss was cut in half, even though both of these dieting groups were on the same weight loss eating plan.
The reasons why people aren’t sleeping vary, perhaps they are having trouble falling and staying asleep, for those people we have lots of suggestions for better sleep. Some people are staying up because they are catching up on their TV shows or their “TV friends” (characters of show’s they’ve watched for long periods of time), reading books until way past their “bedtime” or just wanting some time after the hustle of the day is done.
But this creates a vicious cycle that we discussed in a recent Dishing Up Nutrition podcast, “You don’t get enough sleep, so you wake up tired, throughout the day you’re groggy and cravings take over. When cravings hit you’re not as able to prioritize eating well-balanced foods, which makes you go all day not feeling well, maybe using caffeine and sugar to get your body going. Then, at the end of the day, you feel deprived. You need “me time,” so opposed to going to sleep you watch TV, because again, that’s stimulating for our brain chemistry to get those highs, but ultimately, it’s a vicious cycle.” And those highs turn on the pleasure center in the brain and that feeling becomes addicting meaning that you’ll likely repeat that behavior again and again. You might not realize you’re addicted to watching TV at night or whatever your habits may be, but if you’ve been developing those habits for years they are going to be even harder to break. That’s where our nutrition counselors come in, with support and accountability we’ve helped many clients overcome this habit-addiction and can help you too.
If any of this sounds like you, we encourage you to change your sleep habits to change your weight. Make your bedtime just as much a priority as your children’s and see what the impact is on your life. Remember, we’re here to help!
Another common way we see a lack of self-care is that our clients skip meals too often. Perhaps they went without breakfast because it was too hectic getting the kids out the door for school or off to childcare. Then maybe they skipped lunch because of an important meeting or looming work deadline – or worse, they skipped both.
Why is this a big deal? According to the National Institute of Health, skipping a meal sets you up to binge eat at the next meal. Researchers have also found that skipping breakfast is associated with obesity. In a nutshell, when you skip a meal, your glucose or blood sugar drops below normal and you lose control, because your biochemistry takes over. This often leads to bad decisions, such as eating something high in sugar or processed carbs, or eating uncontrollably, until our blood glucose is rebalanced and we feel “normal” again. Listen to this Dishing Up Nutrition explain why this happens and how you can stop it.
If any of this sounds like you, we encourage you to change your habit around skipping meals to change your weight. Make your meals just as much a priority as your family’s health or your work projects and see what impact that has on your life.
For even more inspiration and information, check out our weight loss resources. For a more personalized approach, consider booking a nutrition counseling appointment (available by phone or in-person) or signing up for our popular 12-class series Nutrition 4 Weight Loss.