IS SLEEP DEPRIVATIONMAKINGYOUGAINWEIGHT? WHY DIET AND EXERCISE AREN’T ENOUGH
The most common strategies for weight loss include diet and exercise. When you eat right and exercise regularly, you’ll likely lose weight and be healthy. While these are essential components of any weight loss strategy, the formula is incomplete. There’s one major area that can override both of these concepts and derail even the most comprehensive exercise program. Sleep deprivation may be sabotaging your workout goals without you even knowing it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of people are sleep deprived. This isn’t sleep deprivation like you might think of it, where you only get two or three hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation can start occurring when you miss as little as 30 minutes of what your body needs from a night’s sleep. This doesn’t just affect your mental clarity and motivation to exercise; it also has a massive hormonal impact that affects your weight. Cortisol is a stress hormone that affects your appetite and fat retention. The less sleep you get, the more cortisol your body produces, causing your body to retain fat. In addition, this
imbalance will cause your appetite for fat and carbs to spike drastically. In other words, your body will want to eat fat and store it.
Ghrelin and leptin are two more hormones affected by sleep deprivation. Ghrelin tells your brain it’s time to eat, and leptin lets you know when you don’t need to eat anymore. When you’re sleep deprived, ghrelin spikes and leptin plummets, which tells your brain you need to eat more. A major cause of sleep deprivation is mindset. Many Americans look at sleep as an inconvenience or a way of taking time off. In actuality, sleep is your body’s reward for a workout or accomplishing a day’s work. Give your body exactly what it needs and desires. If you think a lack of sleep is hindering your workout goals, try prioritizing it in your life. If you can accompany this with a sleep journal, you may be able to find the breakthrough in your weight-loss goals.
ZESTY ZUCCHINI ENCHILADAS
2 teaspoons cumin
4 large zucchini
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can enchilada sauce
1. Heat oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Saute chicken for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup of the enchilada sauce. 2. Use vegetable peeler to thinly slice zucchini lengthwise. Lay out three slices,
slightly overlapping, and spoon chicken mixture on top. Roll the zucchini “tortilla” and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all zucchini and chicken is used. 3. Cover the enchiladas with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 minutes, and enjoy!
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