Top 3 Habits to Maximize Weight Loss
The equivalent of the couch potato in the digital world is being glued to your laptop, tablet or smartphone. If you're having a hard time losing weight, take an honest look at your daily habits for things that could be sabotaging your efforts. Are you Netflix-bingeing on the regular? Spending hours upon hours playing Minecraft? With so many digital distractions, it's easy to see how the pounds can pile on before you know it. Fortunately, I have three simple tips that will make you more aware of those activities thwarting your weight-loss success and help you get back on track.
1. Limit your screen time. Keep the time you spend online or watching videos or shows during the week to no more than an hour a day. This means spreading out your House of Cards viewing time, leaving your phone or tablet at home or in the other room (out of sight, out of mind), and setting an alarm to remind yourself when your gaming allotment time is up. It's especially important to unplug at least an hour or so before bedtime so your body can naturally wind down. Computer monitors, mobile phones and TV screens emit a blue light that tricks your brain into thinking it's daytime, thereby decreasing your production of melatonin (the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle). I know limiting the screen time will take some getting used to, but think of all the free time you'll have to sleep (more on this in tip No. 3!), jog around the neighborhood, go biking with a friend, or do some kick-boxing at the gym.
2. Make fitness a priority -- because it is. Schedule your workouts as appointments that can't be missed. Working out isn't a thing you should try to do, it's a thing you must do to stay healthy and burn fat. Turn this calendar item into a habit as routine as brushing your teeth. But be sure to change up your workouts often, so you don't get bored or hinder any weight-loss progress you're making.
3. Get enough sleep. Zzz's are crucial to weight loss. I recommend a good seven to eight hours a night to give your body the time it needs to regenerate and release the hormones to help keep you slim, including HGH (which burns fat and maintains lean muscle mass) and leptin (which controls your appetite). Conversely, lack of sleep will release hormones like cortisol (which promotes fat storage) and ghrelin (an appetite stimulator). A study from the Mayo Clinic found that shortchanging your sleep by as little as 80 minutes a night is enough to lead someone to eat an average of about 550 additional calories the following day. Need I say more?