There are a number of blogs I check on a regular basis. At this time of year in this particular type of year, these blogs are mostly political. Today, I was cruising the health blogs at Yahoo while I watched college football and got ready for my run. Last week it was Lucy Dazinger’s blog about losing weight. This week it is Gabby Reece’s blog about weight loss mistakes.
The intro to the basic weight loss mistakes made me think of a phone conversation I had with a girlfriend of mine back in July. She was annoyed she was seeing no visible signs of weight loss after having started a walking program. She was also annoyed that she was seemingly winded when keeping up with a 22 year old. She and I are both over 40 so the winded part did not surprise me. I can’t keep up with my 21 year old daughter when we run together.
But back to Reece’s blog and what caught my attention. The very first weight loss mistake mentioned was getting enough sleep. This sort of threw me as I couldn’t figure out why it was essential to weight loss until I read further.
After a very short period of time (about 6 nights), studies show that your glucose levels can rise if you get only 4 to 7 hours of sleep each night. New parents are excluded, but everyone else should try to hit the 8 hour mark as often as you can and get to bed BEFORE midnight. Every hour of rest before 12 a.m. is twice as valuable as the hours after midnight: Our cortisol levels are lowest before midnight therefore our recovery is the highest.
These few facts are probably a big issue in why a lot of women cannot figure out why they are not losing weight. Few women – I have noticed but truly have no scientific evidence to back this up – get eight hours of sleep. This could be because we are trying to work our own fitness into a schedule already laden with work and family responsibitlities. There is no way to add hours to a day so how do we get enough sleep. Usually, it means “depriving” ourselves of something.
As with working fitness itself into our lives, sleep has to be a priority. If you need to schedule when you sleep, do so. If you find yourself only getting four to six hours of sleep a night, think of your health – and sleep will do more than help with weight loss – first. Without a healthy you, a lot of other parts of life suffer.
Some of the other basic mistakes are more common sense – eating fewer refined and processed foods, avoiding sugary drinks, reaching for more water. A few of the items further down the list include getting to know your kitchen. You cannot eat fewer refined foods if you do not know your kitchen. Not only can you control what you and your family are eating if you know your kitchen, you can also turn the kitchen into a communication center. This is way it was in my grandmothers’ homes. When family came, we always – whether I am talking about my mom’s mom or my dad’s mom – ended up in the kitchen talking while someone was cooking. Communication does not always have to be across the family dinner table but can be in the kitchen itself.
Can you think of other basic errors we can all be making in our weight loss journeys?