Beauty sleep really does exist

Published Thu, Jun 28, 2012 10:10 AM
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Submitted by Carrie Riggin — Correspondent

Ever heard of the phrase, "If you snooze, you lose?" Well, it's true. Except this time you aren't missing anything except that last 10 lbs you've wanted to shed.

Believe it or not, it has been proven that the amount of shut-eye you get has a direct correlation to your waste-line. No z's equal no craving control either.

There are two reasons that lack of sleep can alter the number on the scale. The latter of the two being the main reason you can't stay in your skinny jeans:

LESS ENERGY: Sleep-deprived folks generally have less energy throughout the day, making it hard to get motivated to exercise. Raj Kakar, MD, MPH, and the medical director at the Dallas Center for Sleep Disorders in Plano, Texas was quoted on everydayhealth.com saying that people who don't sleep enough get less exercise than people who get enough sleep every night.

IMBALANCE IN APPETITE HORMONES: Many studies have pointed to this, namely leptin and ghrelin, for the lack of self-control when it comes to food. When these hormones get thrown out of whack, the appetite-stimulating ghrelin elevates, and leptin, the appetite-suppressing hormone, gets pushed out. This is what tempts you to reach for high-carbohydrate, calorie-dense foods.

Some researchers have even gone as far to say that shortchanging slumber by as little as 80 minutes can lead to consumption of on average, 549 calories more the next day.

We've all been there. That 4 a.m. bedtime often follows with greasy, salty meals the next day. My advice: Get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep. No less, no more.

But if you can't, there are ways to battle those next-day cravings:

Drink lots of water: Dehydration, coupled with lack of sleep is a dangerous mixture that often leads to the vending machine.

Eat a big, healthy breakfast: Combine protein, carbs and healthy fats into a healthy a.m. dish that will keep you full longer throughout the day.

Fake your craving: If you need to munch on something, go for popcorn, wheat crackers and hummus or nuts. These foods will give you the crunch you are craving (that often comes with salty chips) without the calories.

I've felt it; I know you've felt it. We crave foods we wouldn't normally put into our bodies when we aren't rested, aren't feeling good or aren't in the right mindset. So strive to get your beauty sleep, and your waistline, tush and other trouble zones will thank you.

Sweet dreams.

XoXo, Carrie

About Carrie Riggin
Carrie is the Triangle's go-to health and nutrition guru, sharing the latest trends to help you get in shape. She is a certified group fitness instructor and writes a blog, TheSkinnBuzz.

Twitter: @CarrieRigginFIT and @TheSkinnyBuzz


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