Health & You · Healthy Lifestyle · How Lose Weight · Lose Weight

How Much Sleep You Get Is More Important For Your Weight Loss Than You Realise

It’s a new year, and resolutions abound. It’s hard not to feel energised by this goal-setting spirit, which can make you eager to set your own resolutions. Perhaps you’ve been inspired to put goals in place to help you lose some weight and lead a healthier lifestyle all around. It might seem intuitive to work out more and eat a varied diet full of healthy foods to reach those fitness goals. And yes, those are great resolutions. But you could be overlooking one very important resolution: to get more sleep.

Sleep is often one of the last things people tend to think about when it comes to setting goals to help lose weight and become fitter, but it’s actually crucial for healthy living. Here are some shocking ways in which sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain and hinder your fitness resolutions as well as solutions to these issues.

Your Stress Levels Will Skyrocket

If you regularly get less than seven hours of sleep per night, your body will produce increased amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone. The increased presence of cortisol sends your body into a catabolic state, encouraging muscle breakdown and fat storage, which won’t aid your weight-loss efforts.

“When our body is under stress, its priority is very clearly for us to survive,” says Christine Hansen, FDN-P, CSSC, nutritional therapist with Sleep Like a Boss. She explained that cortisol makes our bodies go into emergency mode, triggering processes to store fat so that we have reserves to draw on. And while this mechanism definitely has a purpose, it’s not especially helpful when you’re trying to shed a few kilos.

Cravings Will Intensify

Another unintended negative consequence that lack of sleep brings is a desire for food — the sugary kind, in particular. It’s necessary to get a good amount of sleep because it helps regulate your hunger hormones, ghrelin (which stimulates your appetite) and leptin (which diminishes appetite). Low ghrelin levels and high leptin levels are good for weight loss, but when you deprive yourself of sleep, the inverse of that happens: your ghrelin levels rapidly increase, causing you to feel hungry, and your leptin levels start to fall, which makes it hard to fight off the feelings of hunger.

Eating right is an essential part of any fitness regimen, so if you’re constantly battling cravings, you could be slowing down your weight-loss efforts.

Gains Will Be Diminished

Weightlifting is an effective, proven method for weight loss. However, your workouts could be suffering from a lack of sleep. Sleep is a period of rest for your body, allowing it to repair and recover from the day. Our bodies release natural growth hormones as we sleep, aiding muscle growth and repair, fat burning, and even bone building. Poor sleep means your muscles won’t be able to undertake that much-needed post-workout recuperation.

“Timing is crucial as well,” says Brandon Mentore, a certified strength coach and owner of The BodyLogic. “The initial pulse of growth hormone occurs within an hour of falling asleep, and there are pulses that occur later in the sleep cycle, but [they] are contingent . . . on the quality of the initial pulse.”

Mentore further explains that if you miss this initial release from lack of sleep, the amount of growth hormone released is significantly reduced. This means that all the benefits you get from recovery during proper sleep, such as building lean muscle and burning fat, are hindered. It’s frustrating to think that the results of your challenging workouts could go to waste.

How to Get Better Sleep

So what solutions can you put in place to get more sleep and ensure that you’re supporting your weight-loss efforts? Here are a few to get you started.

1. Set a “no electronics before bed” rule. Instead of curling up on the sofa and opening up your Instagram feed, try to stay away from electronics for around 30 minutes before bedtime. According to Dr. Sujay Kansagra, MD, Mattress Firm sleep health consultant and author of My Child Won’t Sleep, “When engaging with content on social media, the brain releases chemicals such as norepinephrine and dopamine. This makes it harder on your body to fall asleep because these chemicals stimulate the ‘wake centres’ of your brain.”

Furthermore, the blue light emitted from electronic devices such as mobile phones suppresses melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that signals to your body that it’s time to go to sleep, so a deficit could make it much harder to catch some shut-eye.

2. Take a hot shower. If you find hot showers relaxing, that’s because they genuinely are — and they can help you sleep better, too. If it’s hard for you to unwind at night, tossing and turning for hours, take a hot shower an hour and a half before bed. Hot showers aid your sleep because your body temperature rises during the shower and then rapidly drops once you step into a cooler room. This experience sends you into rest mode, making you feel sleepy as your body starts to slow down its metabolic activities.

3. Practice gentle night time yoga. Yoga is a calming, centreing practice that can also help you sleep better. A study from Harvard Medical School found that daily yoga can help with sleep efficiency, the amount of time spent asleep, and the amount of time it takes to fall asleep. While there is still limited research linking yoga and better sleep, it is a worthwhile practice to take up that can still your mind and ease any aches and pains you may be experiencing. Try out this calming yoga sequence to wind down before hitting the hay.

If you’re serious about losing weight, it’s time to start paying attention to your sleep. Apply these tips tonight to stop the cycle of chronic sleep deprivation and kick your fitness resolutions off right.


Healthy Lifestyle · How Lose Weight · Lose Weight

Five Best Essential Oils For Weight Loss: How To Use Them To Burn Belly Fat

If you have been trying to shed those extra pounds, you probably would know what it takes to attain that desired results because there’s no shortcut to health and successful weight loss. If the thought of making healthy lifestyle changes, which include diet and exercise, often sends your stress levels through the roof, you may want to consider a different approach that will not only help you lose unwanted flab but will also benefit you in a number of surprising ways. Believe it or not, but using essential oils as part of your weight loss tool may be one of the best things you can do for your health.

Essential oils have been used for nearly 6000 years in various parts of the world owing to its therapeutic properties. They are aromatic, highly volatile in nature and packed with healthy ingredients that support you in your weight loss goal plan as well as promote your health in a number of ways. In fact, former Miss World and Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan revealed that she uses essential and toning oils to keep her figure svelte and stunning even after giving birth to her daughter Aaradhya. Apparently, the key to Aishwarya’s weight loss secrets lie with Ayurveda that helped her lose those extra pregnancy pounds. Here, we have listed five best essential oils to help you achieve a long-lasting weight loss success:

Lemon essential oil

A natural fat dissolver, lemon essential oil is extracted from the lemon rind or skin and aids weight loss by suppressing appetite while boosting your mood and energy levels. Lemon oil is a perfect tool to help detoxify and eliminate harmful waste from your body, and thus speeding up the fat loss process.

How to use lemon essential oil for weight loss: Either inhale lemon essential oil directly from the bottle or apply a drop of this oil on the inner side of your wrist and smell it whenever you want to control food cravings. Read: Savasana – Best yoga exercise for weight loss; 10 amazing benefits of corpse pose

According to the FDA, lemon essential oil can also be ingested with a glass of water, preferably in the morning, to support digestion and detoxify your body.

Peppermint essential oil

This natural oil helps you with weight loss by suppressing your appetite to keep you from overeating. Peppermint essential oil also helps improve digestion and prevents bloating. In fact, the cooling medicinal properties of peppermint oil have also been shown to wake you up and clear your mind.

How to use it: Try inhaling the strong aroma of peppermint oil right before eating to reduce your appetite and avoid overeating. This will trigger a sense of feeling full, making you consume fewer calories.

As per the FDA, this oil is also safe to take internally. Just add 1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil to a glass of water and have it before meals to curb your appetite.

Grapefruit essential oil

You already know the fat-burning properties of grapefruit and how they help with weight loss. Apart from curbing cravings, grapefruit essential oil also contains a phytochemical called nootkatone, which stimulates the enzymes that are involved in metabolism. Thus, this yummy-smelling citrus oil effectively helps your body get rid of unwanted flab, including the stubborn belly fat linked to a number of chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc.

How to use it: Rub a few drops of grapefruit oil on your wrists, chest, temples, or just under your nose and smell it whenever you want it. This will instantly help you curb your appetite and control craving. It is said that ingesting 1-2 drops of therapeutic-grade grapefruit essential oil with one glass of water in the morning can help increase fat loss, detoxify the body by flushing out toxins.

Ginger essential oil

A great remedy for burning fat, ginger essential oil is an excellent anti-inflammatory oil, which supports weight loss. Ginger contains a compound called gingerols that reduce inflammation in your intestines and improve absorption of vitamins and minerals from the food you eat. This, in turn, helps boost cellular function and energy levels, which encourage weight loss. Ginger oil can also help curb your cravings for sugar

How to use it: Just diffuse a few drops of ginger essential oil on your desk or around your home to reduce appetite and cravings. You can also put one single drop of each in water and drink it that way, but look for therapeutic-grade ginger oil that is safe for internal use.

Bergamot essential oil

Turns out, bergamot is one of the best essential oils for weight loss. Some people give in to emotional eating when they’re feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed out. But this oil makes you feel good mentally, helping you to avoid piling on the pounds.

Also, bergamot naturally contains polyphenols – the same compound found in green tea – that have antioxidant properties. Polyphenols have been linked to a number of health benefits – from weight loss to an improved heart health.

How to use it: Inhale deeply the aromatic scent of bergamot oil to suppress your appetite and help you lose weight. You can also add a few drops of this oil into your bathing water for a relaxing bath.


Calories · Health & You · Healthy Lifestyle · How Lose Weight · Lose Weight

Five Healthy Habits You Must Adopt For Successful Weight Loss And Beyond

Getting fit doesn’t have to cost loads of money, but there are a few crucial things such as dedication, hard work and motivation that you need to have if you want to get fit and lead a healthy life. Perhaps, weight loss can be made easier with the right strategies and there are many simple tricks that can help you burn those extra kilos without difficulty. A bit of determination, along with these tips will ensure you win the battle of the bulge as well as maintain your hard-won weight loss.​

Changing what you eat or eating healthy is the first and significant step. Combined with the right exercise, this will certainly speed up your fat burning. Here are five effective tricks for long-term weight loss:

More vegetables and fruits

When it comes to losing weight, there’s nothing that can beat the nutrients in fresh fruits and veggies. Low in calories and high in fibre, they are super healthy and nutritious. Fibre increases satiety, keeps you feeling full for longer periods, and thus helps you to consume fewer calories. Fruits and veggies contain several properties that promote effective weight loss

Less red meat

Avoiding or cutting back on the intake of red meat can go a long way in helping you slash calories and slim down. Calorie-dense red meat is not only high in saturated fats linked to an increased risk of heart and circulatory disease, but it is also often associated with weight gain, obesity and cancer.

Adding spicy foods

It has been found that spicy foods like Cayenne pepper contain Capsaicin, a compound that can boost metabolism and reduce your appetite slightly, which can be beneficial for weight loss.

No diet sodas

Being cautious with sugar-sweetened beverages, including diet sodas, can be one of the best things you can do if you’re committed to slim down. Diet soda seems like a health-conscious choice, but these artificially sweetened drinks may encourage you to eat more or to make less healthy food choices, according to some studies. Some health experts are of the view that artificial sweeteners actually cause you to crave sweet foods

Instead, drink more water, which has zero calories and will keep you hydrated. Drinking enough water cleanses your digestive tract, flushes out toxins from your body while boosting your metabolism. Drinking water helps you burn more fat and may suppress your appetite. In fact, drinking enough water may help you cut back on soda.

Good oral hygiene

Turns out, your oral health can also have an impact on your weight loss goal, although it has not been proven by any studies yet or may not directly help you burn calories. It’s just that many people who have a habit of brushing their teeth after dinner generally feel hesitant to give in to a late-night snacking, which may help them avoid eating too many calories.


Health & You · Healthy Lifestyle · How Lose Weight · Lose Weight

New Year Resolutions: Five Healthy Habits That Will Help You Lose Weight, Live Longer

Believe it or not, but 2018 is finally here! As we get ourselves immersed in the celebrations of the New Year, most of us also set goal and resolutions to be a better person. Indeed, New Year is the time to make pretty good resolutions and take vows. Making New Year’s resolutions have become a tradition in many parts of the world. While there are awful lots of things that people make their resolutions on January 1, the most common ones that top the list are to lose weight and jumpstart healthy change in life etc. But leading a healthier lifestyle or following a weight loss programme is also one of the toughest things to achieve because change is a challenging task after all.

Yet, with some tricks and tips, you can cultivate healthy habits that last a lifetime. Even research has also shown that the most successful behavior change occurs during times of novelty. Also, it’s best to commit to just a few healthy habits and cultivate them throughout the year rather than making a long list of resolutions and not sticking to them. Here are five simple tips you can follow this new year to help you become a healthier, fitter person. Incorporating these healthy changes into your daily lifestyle will wake you up from bad habits, enabling you to lose all of the weight that you have been trying to get rid of for months or years now.

Choose natural and whole foods

Instead of gorging on junk, processed foods, make long-term wellness your goal this year by adapting to natural and whole foods. This could mean eating fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts rather than taking supplements to provide the fiber, protein, and vitamins they contain. This also includes swapping refined grains for whole grains whenever possible. You need to eat a healthy, balanced diet if you’re trying to lose weight.

Also, there are many natural herbs that give many health benefits. For instance, Guduchi – a famous Ayurvedic herb – can significantly help in preventive care as it is a great promoter of immunity. The herb is rich in antioxidants and aids in the fight against respiratory problems. Including this immune modulatory herb in your daily life can help you achieve better health. In addition, embracing preventive care by consuming appropriate supplements can help reduce the chances of facing health problems altogether, instead of simply resorting to curative care when it arises.

Drink more water

One of the healthiest things you can do for your health is to drink enough water – at least eight glasses of water a day. Drinking adequate amount of water has numerous health benefits besides keeping your body well hydrated. It can help you with weight loss, detoxification, digestion, beautiful skin and hair, easy bowel movement, and even keep the doctor away. Truth is, like food, water acts like fuel in your body and helps your body function.

This new year, promise yourself to put down the wine glass, instead make water your new best friend to keep your body functioning smoothly as well as lead a healthy, beautiful life

Move more

Recognising that our bodies were designed to move and that it functions best when it is habitually physically active, promise yourself to spend a minimum of 40 minutes every day exercising. Regular exercise improves sleep quality, strengthens cognitive function, boosts metabolism, relieves stress, enhances physical and mental performances, and supports healthier food choices. You don’t need to follow the same routine to achieve your goals – just ensure that you work out every single day. Whether you are starting a beginner workout or you’re a hardcore runner, adding running to your fitness regime can help you reap a plethora of health benefits. Running is simple, easy and a great way to improve your overall health. It is also one of the best forms of exercise to lose weight and keep it off.

Get enough sleep

Although sleep is the only natural way to repair, rebuild, and recharge the body, we tend to care more about recharging our iPhones than ourselves. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting sufficient sleep not only helps relax the body but also restores the mind. Proper sleep is necessary to heal and repair your heart and blood vessels. Lack of sleep affects your overall health. It increases your risk of various medical conditions such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Commit to sleeping a minimum of seven hours every night while aiming for eight. A good night’s sleep will benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. This tells that the amount of sleep you get is just as important as your diet and exercise if you are trying to lose weight.

Spend more time with family and friends

When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, most of us vow to spend more quality time with family and friends. But between technology and busy schedules, we end up missing out on our lives – it is never intentional though. Studies show family time is important and has profound health benefits. Spending time with family and friends not just strengthens ties but also reduces stress, anxiety, depression and nurtures positive behaviors among many others. People who have strong social networks have been linked to better health, fewer health problems, and a longer lifespan.

So, begin the new year in a healthy way by cultivating these simple habits to ensure that you create a healthy, fit body and mind for the rest of your life


Exercise · Fitness · Health & You · Healthy Lifestyle

This 1 Habit Can Change Your Body Without Diet or Exercise

We all want to look and feel our best, and for that, the advice is clear: Get plenty of exercise and eat a healthy diet. And while the benefits of exercise are immeasurable and eating healthy foods can add years to your life, there’s much more you can do to change your body for the better … and it might surprise you what habit can truly change your body

Wellness is all inclusive

Your health is about much more that just eating vegetables and going to the gym a few times a week. Sometimes people get so hung up on the numbers on the scale or the way their pants fit that they forget about other factors — staying hydrated, keeping stress levels low, and getting regular checkups with a doctor, for one. Even if you have a short-term goal of weight loss or muscle-toning, you long-term goal should be your overall wellness.

Feeling overwhelmed?

Trying to stay on top of your wellness can be intimidating — especially when there are so many things you can, and should, be doing to look and feel your best. But there is one thing you can make sure to do for yourself every day that will change your health for the better, and will even make noticeable changes to your body. And you’ll probably like it.

That 1 habit? Get your Vitamin Zzz

That’s right — even if you don’t change your diet and exercise habits, you can change your body and mind by getting enough sleep. In fact, the benefits of sleep are so numerous that many health experts claim that sleep is the most important thing you can do for a better body. If this seems like great news, read on — preferably from bed.

Sleep controls your diet …

It’s tough to eat right and move as much as you need to when you’re exhausted. Studies have shown that those who regularly sleep less than seven hours per night are undoing some of the benefits of dieting. Not only can cutting back on sleep cut your fat loss in half, you might end up feeling significantly hungrier and feel less satisfied after meals.

… and diet controls your sleep

Did you know you can actually eat your way to a better night’s sleep? Sipping cherry juice and tea and eating things like walnuts, vegetables, and kiwi can all help you rest well due to their nutrients. So not only will you be resting well, you’ll be eating well, too.

Sleep keeps you young

Sleep may be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth. Your body repairs itself and recovers while you snooze, and that leads to fewer wrinkles, brighter eyes, and an overall glow. They call it “beauty sleep” for a reason.

Rested people exercise more often (and better)

Sleep deprivation impacts your energy levels. No one wants to workout when they haven’t slept well, especially if they already have a long day of work ahead of them. But when you’re rested, you’ll be much more motivated to move, meaning you’ll slim down and tone up faster.

Remember: Quality matters

Just like the quality of the food you eat matters, the quality of sleep matters, too. So try to go to bed around the same time every night, limit your screen time in the evening, and prioritize your rest. Your body will thank you, in part by looking amazing.