It’s summer and time to hit the beach. You’ve put in a long winter of home workout sessions, you’ve been tracking your macros, and you’ve been following all the popular weight loss advice.
But you’re still not where you want to be. When you’re at your wit’s end when it comes to weight loss, there’s a good chance you’re skipping over a key factor. Sleep.
A nutritionist’s advice suggests there are three tenets to follow that will make sure you’re getting the most out of the work you’re putting in. These are Rest, Recovery, and Sleep.
According to Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar speaking with the NDTV Health Desk, rest isn’t the time we spend lounging on the couch. When we say rest, what we mean is proper posture and a relaxed spine.
One easy rule of thumb is the “30-3”. For every 30 minutes you spend sitting or in a dormant position, spend 3 minutes standing or walking around.
Without actively making time for rest, it’s going to be hard to start the process of weight loss in any meaningful way.
Here is the area where most of us walk a thin line. We want to exercise, but we don’t want to over-exercise. We want to take a refreshing nap around mid-day to give our body’s a chance to absorb and process the stress of the day, but we don’t want it to extend into a 2-3 hour nap and hurt that night’s sleep.
So how do we recover in the right way?
The first step is to allow your body adequate time after exercise to recover. Going into your next session at 70% isn’t helping you.
Secondly, according to the Mayo Clinic, you’ll want to keep those mid-day naps to around 10-20 minutes. By doing this, you give yourself a chance to recuperate without affecting that night’s sleep process.
The final step—and what should be around one-third of your life—is sleep.
Why does sleep play such a large role in weight loss? Your body is operating, even at a reduced level, while you’re not consuming any new sources of energy. This is important for your metabolism, your hormonal balance, and several other regulatory processes your body completes while you sleep according to Diwekar.
Your best bet is to develop a sleep schedule. Prepare your body to relax and shut down around the same time every night. Avoid gadgets or any bright screens before bed. Only use your bed for sleep. The more factors you can turn in your favor, the easier it will be to get the consistent sleep you need.
When you’re struggling to get the results you want, consider taking a look at your sleep habits. Ask yourself if you’re getting the right kind of rest and if you’re giving yourself the time and space to recover.
If you’re not, this could be the next key area to focus on to help you reach those fitness and weight loss goals. As personal trainer Joe Siracuse of F45 Black Rock once said, “Eight hours of sleep is the best pre-workout no one talks about.”
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