4 tips for fat loss

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Last week I did 4 tips everyday for sleep, Let’s start the 20 fat loss tips with 4 here.

 

 
1. Get Protein/Fats in for breakfast.
First thing in the morning your blood sugar levels are low, and believe it or not your body is ‘burning fat’ – the word Breakfast literally means, “Breaking the fast”.
If you go for toast, cereal or anything high carb,
you literally switch from fat burning to high blood sugar and fat storing mode. Protein and Fats also keep you fuller for longer, meaning less snacking mid-morning.
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2. Big glass of water first thing.
Whilst we’re not dehydrated first thing, we are moving that way. A glass of water starts hydration, wakes us and our digestive system up. Squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice into it to benefit the digestive system further.
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3. Prepare your own meals as often as possible.
Like anything in life, the more we’re in control,
well …… the more we’re in control!!
Not being prepared tends to place our choices in the hands of others, or pot luck – not really the best way if we’re looking to shed some weight. Own your Decisions!
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4. Don’t eat when stressed.
This is any form of stress. I’ve talked before how ‘being stressed’ puts us into our Sympathetic Nervous System or ‘Fight or Flight’ – this moves blood away from the digestive system which slows down the breakdown of foods. Often results in wind, stomach aches and poor digestion. Either look to slow your mind/thoughts down, move environment to a more relaxed place, or lay off food until you can – seriously it will have that negative effect on digestion and nutrient absorption. ….. Regularly stressed? Could be why you struggle to lose weight.
 
And in answer to those who say “I’ve lost weight before when going through a stressful time” …. that’s mostly muscle tissue you’ve broken down – prolonged stress and cortisol release is catabolic …. it breaks down muscle tissue, and screws up hormonal balance …. not good

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More ways to sleep better

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Here we go, last 4 – giving you 20 this week

1. Sail away
OK, a tropical beach would do it, but I mean the mind. We ALL appreciate an overactive mind is not what we want before bed, so try some guided or unguided meditations on youtube, and plug your headphones in. Just search 3minute (un)guided meditation , or however long you want close your eyes, breath and be swallowed up by the sounds to relax. Here’s a favourite of mine – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zy7A2wuImOw

2. Exercise
Exercise raises endorphins our feel good hormones, alongside adrenaline for alertness. So whilst evening exercise might not benefit sleep, and in some cases can affect it, exercising during the day helps regulate our hormones and can improve sleep – if workouts are erratic or not existent, find something that elevates your heart rate from a run/walk to boxing, to a class and start steady to benefit your body and sleep

3. 5-HTP
Nope, not a robot from Star Wars!
5-HTP works in the brain and central nervous system by increasing the production of the chemical serotonin, which helps us to relax. Look to consume around 100-200mg before bed, though be wary if you take anti-depressant drugs as it can cause ‘cross-overs’

4. Watch your pillows.
How many do you use? Some use 2 …. not good – this can affect your neck/spinal posture and muscles which can affect nerves firing to the brain. Ideally you should be sleeping in a position you ‘stand in’ so head and spine aligned. So therefore too high, or too marshmallow like isn’t great. Pop to a chiropractor who may be able to recommend one.
After a spell of neck issues, I got one from my chiro that looks like a brick – initially thought it was going to be the most uncomfortable thing ever …….. but now can’t sleep properly without it!

Value your sleep …… you’re asleep half your life – should give you clues as to it’s importance ……. hope they help

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More ways to improve sleep

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Following last 2 posts here’s another 4 tips for better sleep,

Final ones tomorrow!

 

 

1. Valerian Tea
sounds like something out of Game of Thrones, but you can buy this tea in most supermarkets.
Valerian root has a sedative effect on the brain to benefit relaxation and sleep, because of this be wary if you take any anti-depressant medication.
Can taste bitter so a squeeze of lemon or lime might help.
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2. Routine
I’ve talked a lot before around the benefits of routine, and you’ll likely agree that when you’re ‘in them’ things often happen easier, and stress levels are lower.
Look to have a bedtime routine most of the time, especially the time you go. The more consistent and regular the routine, the more your body adjusts … common sense but true!
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3. Fluid intake
Yup we should all be staying hydrated with around 1.5 litres way a day, but look to reduce the amount you might have from 8pm onwards – limiting evening drinking will reduce the night time ‘pee breaks’ and water all, we want deep, uninterrupted sleep.
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4. Fiction
Try reading a fiction based book for round 15mins when in bed.
I’ve talked about a few reasons to slow the brain down prior to bed,
but reading fiction uses a different section of the brain than ‘work or social media’ focus, which requires more attention and processing skills. Fiction is almost ‘throwaway’ to the brain after initial attention

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Another 4 Sleep Tips!

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Sleep Tips #3
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OK next 4 tips for improving the above, taking us to numbers 9-12
 
1) Daily Closure.
Ever found yourself thinking, or saying aloud “Day’s just seem to fly by, or keep rolling into the next” ?
How about bringing a bit of ‘mental closure’ to a day?
Something along the lines of, end of day write down (throwaway paper or in a diary) ONE thing that went well for you and WHY, and ONE lesson you learnt or realised in the day. We do this in my L.E.A.N group,
because the WIN helps us celebrate daily/regular success, so life doesn’t feel a constant battle or snowball,
and the Lesson gets us thinking.
Thinking about something that didn’t quite go to plan and why, to help us should this occur again in the future, but also a form or ‘acceptance’ of situations.
Doing this kind of thing can bring some mental ‘closure, fulfilment and a bit of contentment’ at the end of a day – just what we need to slow down 🙂
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2) Caffeine.
No not drink some, the opposite – look to restrict how much and when you have it.
The odd morning cup is fine, but drinking caffeinated drinks post lunch time,
can hormonally affect your sleep, especially the ‘deep’ sleep you want to be having.
Regular caffeine Feinds might say “doesn’t affect my sleep”, but we’re not talking about getting to sleep,
we’re talking about the hormones that get released
when you’re in a deep sleep that we ALL need
for health and fat loss benefits. Caffeine can stay in the bloodstream for up to 6 hours, so that evening or post meal coffee really isn’t what you want or need
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3) Bath it Up.
I talked yesterday over the benefits of magnesium,
another you can try is an ‘Epsom Salt bath’ which fundamentally is magnesium sulphate or Chloride flakes you add to a bath. Relax in here for 20-30mins before bed, and your body will update the magnesium,
then it’s “goodnight Vienna” ! Grab some off easy and add a half pint glass worth to your bath for starters.
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4) Wind down the eyes and brain.
We all enjoy a bit of TV in the evening to wind down, but ideally you don’t want to be switching it (or any other screen) off immediately before bed. The retina in our eyes get’s stimulated from the light, and triggers our brain into action – again not the best thing when we want to sleep shortly after.
If you do watch tv, try to have a decent cut off time, to allow yourself a further 20-30mins rest for the eyes from light, or to read a book etc.

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More ways to better sleep

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OK, next 4 tips to improve one of the most important ‘routines’ for Health, Fat loss and Mood.

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1. Eating before bed.
No less, rather than more! Ideally we should eat larger meals earlier in the day when we need the energy.
Our liver is our biggest fat burning organ, and our digestive system uses a lot of energy to operate. If you’re attempting to sleep on a full stomach, you’re losing fat burning potential, and drawing both energy and hormonal release away from where it’s needed.
Quick digesting foods like scrambled eggs, omelette or stir fry is more beneficial than heavier, potatoes, pasta or red meats.

2. Put the rubbish out.
OK that’s once a week, but I mean the emotional rubbish.
If putting phone on airplane mode was #1 yesterday this is #2.
How active is our brain during the day,
both around actions and plans,
but also just thoughts, worries and reminders?
End of the day is when we’re shutting down
both physically and mentally,
but also when we go into;
– What haven’t I done?
– Must remember ……..
– I wonder if …..
– How could I ……
– Tomorrow I must ……

and all kinds of other internal dialogue.
Letting this stuff just ‘sit’,
is like loading up the washing machine and turning it on!
Write down everything on a bit of paper from reminders to just ‘on the mind’ thoughts.

Doing this physical/logical act, mentally shifts those
‘thoughts’ into a different section of the brain,
and will not just let you sleep better, but deeper.
…………Oh and you also have a ready made action list for the next day, and/or things you can cross off.

3. Consume before bed.
3 things can help the body nutritionally to relax and sleep.
Half a banana contains levels of magnesium, potassium and tryptophan, all which help relax the body.
Peanut butter on celery is another which can aid sleep (starting to get a bit more calorific!)
Magnesium and zinc together as a supplement will give you a great sleep too (look for a citrate version- around 300mg magnesium and 20-40mg zinc)

4. Just breathe!
How often do we take breathing for granted,
and do it automatically?! Well, for life’s sake often,
but this will fit well with number 2 above,
and once done, just sit.
Roll, shrug the shoulders, close your eyes,
and take 3-4 of the biggest breaths you can,
in through the nose, and out slowly through the mouth.

Controlled breathing is a great way to slow
the heart rate,
slow down the brain (if you concentrate on breathing and not on thoughts!) and just relax ….. try it some time

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