Trying to lose weight can be an incredibly frustrating experience for most people. Wouldn’t it be great if you could lose weight while catching a bit of shuteye? Well let me tell you the Good news – you can! Here are my favorite ways to burn fat while you sleep.
Managing Your Metabolism
Metabolism is all the work your body does that requires calories (energy) like, thinking, breathing, and moving your muscles. Metabolism plays a major role in how much you weigh, especially with each passing birthday. Sometime in your 30s, your metabolism starts slowing down by about 5% every decade. That means if you eat about 1,800 calories a day and fit into size 10s when you’re 35, you’ll be shopping for 12s when you’re 45, even if you’re eating the same number of calories.
The culprit behind this decline in calorie-burn is muscle loss, says Steve Farrell, PhD, associate director of The Cooper Institute in Dallas. Every pound of muscle you lose can decrease the number of calories you burn by as many as 30 a day. During perimenopause, that time where a woman’s body makes its natural transition toward permanent infertility, you start losing about 1/2 lb of muscle a year. This loss that can double once you hit menopause (blame it on lack of activity and just plain aging). If you’re not careful, by the time you’re 65, it’s possible to have lost half of your muscle mass and see your metabolism slowed by 200 to 300 calories. So the first thing you can do to help yourself is weight training.
To keep your metabolism chugging in high gear, you need strength training. This is just a must, and if you’re not on board with lifting a little bit of weight, get on board and quit fighting it! Increasing strength and mass of muscles, bone strength and metabolism. It is important for you to gain sufficient muscle strength, because it can help you perform daily activities with ease especially as you age. If you work your major muscle groups twice a week, you can expect to replace 5 to 10 years’ worth of muscle loss in just a few months. Lifting weights can literally reverse the aging process, so you look and feel years, maybe even decades, younger.
How Weight Training Works
Lifting weights increases your calorie-burn. In a study of 15 sedentary people in their 60s and 70s who strength trained 3 days a week for 6 months increased their daily calorie-burn by more than 230 calories. Almost one-third of the increase was from a boost in their metabolism from the muscle they gained.
The remaining calories were burned as a result of their workouts, their increased daily activity, and “afterburn,” which is an added incentive to strength training. Author Gary R. Hunter, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham explains, depending on how hard you work out, your metabolism can stay elevated for up to 36 hours after you’ve finished lifting. This also means while you sleep, and I know that when I train hard enough, I wake up covered in sweat.
However, these training session don’t need to be excessive. A simple weight lifting routine will suffice, even if it doesn’t push you to the limit and leave you breathless. Check out my full body workout routines HERE!
Get Enough Sleep
You may be shocked to find out that actually getting enough sleep helps you lose weight. Around 40% percent of Americans get just six hours of sleep or fewer per night, according to a recent Gallup poll. The groggy mornings and a cranky attitude aren’t the only side effects of insufficient sleep, as missing sleep can also lead to weight gain. In fact, an analysis by researchers at Columbia University found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are heavier, gain more weight over time, and have a harder time losing weight! So if you’re trying to slim down or shape up, hitting the sack is just as important as sweating at the gym.
Depriving yourself of sleep can cause a lot more stress on your body than you think! The two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, regulate your feelings of hunger and fullness. Without enough sleep, these two hormones can act up, causing you to think you are hungry when you aren’t. This can create an environment for overeating, and potential weight gain. Make sure you have enough sleep each night to keep your hormones functioning properly.
Keep It Cool
Some scientists have drawn a link from home heaters to obesity, claiming the simple act of turning down your thermostat may cause several pounds to melt away effortlessly over time. That’s because your body must work to create extra heat in cooler climates to maintain a normal body temperature.
The key is a process called non-shivering thermogenesis, which researchers link to brown fat. Unlike white fat that makes up most of your adipose tissue, brown fat is highly active, burning calories while regulating your internal temperature. Harvard Medical School Professor Dr. C. Ronald Kahn has studied brown fat, and told The New York Times that it can burn 100 to 200 extra calories a day in colder weather. The effect is strongest when you wear lighter clothing.
While shivering the night away in freezing temperatures is not advised or what I am even suggesting, you can benefit from this thermogenic effect by setting the temperature to the low 60s or simply leaving the heater off on milder nights. You will not only lose more fat over time, but you will save money on your heating bill! A WIN/WIN!
Eat Small Meals During The Day
Eat little and often is a favorite tip of trainers and dieticians the world over, and you’ll be glad to hear this is a great way of boosting your nocturnal weight loss. Eating small meals frequently throughout the day serves to keep your metabolism ticking over, and will ensure your body continues burning fat throughout the night. Of course, these meals need to be healthy and nutritious for this technique to work!
As well as boosting your metabolism while you’re asleep, this frequent eating method will ensure your appetite is kept in check, which should reduce any cravings you have when you wake up in the morning.
Foods that burn fat while you sleep burn more calories than the food contains. Eating the foods throughout the day will help you get a good night’s sleep while nourishing your body. Foods will be low calorie, but highly nutritious. In order to achieve weight loss goals, be certain to include exercise in your daily routine.
Whole grains contain nutrients that burn fat by keeping your insulin levels low. Low insulin levels assist in boosting your metabolism and burning calories. They provide excellent sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber, both beneficial in stimulating your metabolism, which results in burning more fat and calories. Whole grains include whole wheat, barley, brown rice, quinoa, spelt, kamut, wheat bran and wheat germ. Eating a bowl of oatmeal in the morning will both fill you up and start your day energized. A late night snack of a whole grains also will help your body burn calories while sleeping.
Legumes provide plant-based lean protein that takes longer to digest, which will burn more calories. Eating a bowl of bean soup like chili for dinner or having a bean salad can help burn calories during sleeping hours. Legumes include lentils, split peas and varieties of beans. Beans include dried kidney, black, navy, white, red, chickpeas or garbanzos, great northern and lima varieties. This is exactly why I have created recipes for snacks and treats that are made from beans. You can’t tell, they keep you full and help you in several different ways to lose weight.
Eating certain dairy foods can also help rev up your fat burning as well. Dairy foods can boost weight loss by assisting in fat cell breakdown due to the calcium content, because this mineral triggers your metabolism. In order to receive the fat-burning properties, you need to consume between 1,200 to 1,300mg daily. That said, I am not a fan of milk due to the pasteurization, antibiotics and steroids that are harmful to the human body. Yet, other calcium-rich dairy foods also assist in fat burning include hard and soft cheeses, along with Greek yogurt & kefir. Consuming three to four daily servings of dairy foods. Taking a calcium supplement will not be as effective in stimulating your metabolism as eating the foods.
By eating more hot peppers, or just adding black pepper to your meal, you can boost your metabolism. Studies from Japan have shown that eating a fiery red pepper-spiced meal may boost metabolism up to 30%. Try cracking some fresh pepper onto your salad, or adding some jalapeño to your eggs for a spicy addition!
Brew Some Green Tea
In a study from Switzerland, 6 out of 10 men who took a green tea supplement (the equivalent of 1 cup of green tea) 3X a day with their meals, burned about 80 more calories during the following 24 hours than those who took a caffeine pill or a dummy pill. The researchers believe that flavonoids in the tea were responsible for the metabolism boost.
Green tea has also been shown to increase metabolism and fat oxidation, due to its thermogenic properties, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It also contains less caffeine than a coffee, fewer calories and is loaded with flavanoids and antioxidants.
Citrus fruits contain the fat-burning nutrients fiber and vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a role in your body’s fat processing capability. This nutrient speeds the process up by diluting the fat and then eliminating it from your body. Eat a variety of fiber and vitamin C-rich citrus fruits to increase your metabolism and burn fat. Citrus fruits include grapefruit, guava, lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, papaya and tomatoes. Drinking juices made from these fruits can also help burn fat.