Tis the season - the season where our social feeds are hammered by fitness challenges and promises to get us eating right in order to look great in time for *gulp* ‘swimsuit season’. While I’m sure every modern human can relate to the desire to drop some kgs, our friends at Say Yes Fitness say that the ‘challenge season’ really boils down to just this: people being over feeling unfit and unmotivated from inconsistent health habits. We love Say Yes’s approach to helping people feel more balanced and energised.
What if I told you there was one thing you could do that would almost double your chances of achieving your health goals - and it doesn’t involve cardboard crackers or endless salads? A study published in the journal Obesity, found that getting adequate sleep increased the chance of weight loss success by 33%. That’s right folks, you’ve gotta snooze to lose!
In reality of course, weight loss is really a collection of good health habits. So how does it all tie together?
Think back to a day when you got less than perfect sleep: you might not have to think that far back! You’ve been dragging yourself around since you rolled out of bed, and feel as though you’ve been running around like a headless chook all day. You leave work feeling scattered and stressed, with a list 10 miles long. Where does your car take you? To the gym or to the couch? Most of us are heading for the couch because we can’t fathom spending what valuable energy we have left at the gym instead of on our to-do list. For those that made it to the gym - a big *high five*! Although today is probably an ‘at least I’m here’ workout with a bit less intensity or skipping the hard bits - but it’s still a real win.
Next choice - dinner. Do you go for the healthy veggies, fish? Or ..... something in a take-away container? Biology is working against us now, because our body wants quick, easy energy and will be craving carbs and sugars. Additionally, our hunger hormones will be all out of whack, increasing our appetite, and forgetting to tell us when we are full. Foiled again.
This is a vicious cycle, because not moving our bodies and heavy meals can negatively impact our sleep, and even increase our chances of getting certain sleep disorders. And so it continues... I feel exhausted just thinking about that day!
So, let’s ‘sliding-doors’ this day, and start instead with a good night’s sleep. You awake refreshed and ready to hit the ground running. You might even hit that early morning Fierce fitness class that always looks like fun but you can’t imagine waking up for, or heading out for a brisk walk or jog to appreciate the morning. Now it’s 8am and you have finished your workout, eaten an energizing breakfast and are ready for your day- you are crushing it!! You’re feeling sharp and focused, and so you glide through your day like the superhero that you are, while that 80’s pop playlist soundtracks your life.... “I’m walking on sunshine - waaah-ohhh”!
You’ve just had one of those super productive days that make you feel like you can take on the world, so why not keep these good vibes going and grab the fam for an evening walk and watch the sunset on the river. When you open the fridge, the contents no longer look like a cryptic crossword and you smash out one of those nourishing recipes you have been dying to try.
Having conquered this day, you take a few minutes to plan your attack for tomorrow. Maybe you prep your gym bag or decide to pack some of your delicious leftovers for lunch. You can close the book on today, and reward yourself for a day well-lived with your relaxing bedtime routine - knowing that tomorrow is going to be another good day.
I know when I choose my own adventure, I want door 2!! Just having the energy to make good choices changes EVERYTHING! Healthy habits abound. Don’t take my word for it. We have all had days like #1 and days like #2 - you know the difference a good night’s sleep can make.
So, before you hit the gym, make sure you’ve spent enough time on your pillow so that you can find the energy to live the life you dream!
Add a sleep habit swap from our routine rewards article to your fitness challenge this season to help get you started on the right foot. If you need a little extra something, reach out to our dream team for info on our sleep coaching sessions, and let us help you energize your health habits!