If losing weight or getting in shape is on your list of new years resolutions and you’re facing some challenges, don’t despair. There are some surprising factors that can affect weight loss and getting on track is possible with some simple lifestyle fixes.
1. Lack of sleep – getting less than 6 hours of sleep at night can cause levels of the hormone ghrelin to spike which triggers hunger and cravings. Make sleep a priority by setting aside 7-8 hrs each night and address the underlying causes of poor sleep. Make your bedroom dark (or wear a sleep mask) to optimize secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin. Block out disrupting noise with ear plugs or a sound machine. Nasal dilators (Mute) can help improve night time breathing and reduce snoring, which is a common sleep disruptor for both the snorer and partner. A magnesium drink before bed can help relax tense muscle and nerves. Melatonin can help adjust your sleep-wake cycles if you work shift work.
2. High stress – chronic stress increase cortisol levels, which leads to increased hunger and cravings and promotes fat storage. Take time each day to de-stress. Try Yoga, meditation and deep breathing exercises. Eat slow-release carbs during the day and be sure to get plenty of healthy fats and protein. Think avocado, nuts, seeds and fish. B-vitamins can help support the nervous system and supplements of the amino acid L-theanine (Suntheanine) can promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
3. Hormonal Imbalance – fluctuating blood sugar and insulin levels can affect hunger, cravings, metabolism and fat storage. Get your hormone levels checked and review the results with your doctor. Consider adding soluble fiber to your diet to improve blood sugar control and stabilize insulin levels. Soluble fiber also fills you up and prevents hunger and cravings. Good dietary sources include chia seed, oats, bananas and apples. Not getting enough through diet? Consider a supplement such as Sunfiber, a tasteless, odourless, clear-mixing fiber that improves helps stabilize blood sugar balance, curbs appetite and also improves bowel regularity.