Tag Archives: sleep

Be a Portion Control Pro! 5 Ways to Divide While Conquering Your Meals

By Janis Jibrin, M.S. RD, Lead Nutritionist for TheBestLife.com

Having trouble getting your portions under control? Here are five tactics to help you rein them in.

portion

Get enough sleep. When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re likely to feel hungrier because your body produces more appetite-spiking hormones and fewer “I’m full” signals. For instance, a German study found that after just four nights of sleeping seven, six, six and finally just four hours, women took in 20 percent more calories than they did after getting eight hours of sleep. For most people, seven to eight hours is ideal.

Don’t wait too long between meals. You know what happens when you do—you become ravenous and devour everything in sight! Make sure to carry a nut and seed bar or another 150- to 200-calorie snack for when you’re stuck in a meeting, on a plane, or in another situation where having a meal isn’t an option. (more…)

Your Dusk-to-Dawn Guide to Weight Loss

By Team Best Life

The simple choices we make day in and day out—such as when to exercise or what time to hit the sack—can have a huge effect on how many calories we burn, and thus, how much weight we lose. Read on to learn how to get the most out of your day.

alarm

Start your day with a healthy breakfast. Eating breakfast within an hour of waking will help jump-start your metabolism and sets the stage for a day of healthy eating. Get bonus points by pumping up the protein at your morning meal: Research from the University of Missouri showed that the more protein you consume at breakfast, the fewer cravings for processed foods you’ll have throughout the day. Even better? People who have a protein-packed breakfast (which increases levels of leptin, the hormone that triggers feelings of fullness) eat an average of 200 calories less during the day. (more…)

Baywatch Bodies Still Banging 20 Years Later

David Hasselhoff, famous for talking to a car and running on a beach, is 60-years old and has never looked better. OK, that’s not entirely true, but the actor/German pop star looks pretty svelte for a senior citizen.

pam and hoff

Hasselhoff had a resurgence of fame in the late aughts when a series of drunken scandals landed him in the news. But today, the Hoff has cleaned up his act and is riding the health wave. A long time exercise fanatic, Hasselhoff has sworn off alcohol and adopted a balanced diet and lifestyle.

In an interview with The Daily Meal, Hasselhoff said that his usual breakfast is chock full of fruit, along with a more conventional breakfast. He described, “Three poached eggs, wheat toast and sliced tomatoes,” as typical. “On Sundays, I splurge and enjoy bagels, lox and cream cheese, capers, onions, and tomatoes,” he said. The Hoff also admitted that if he ever craves a snack, carrot sticks, mushrooms, and celery are his staples. For dinner, it’s all about grilled chicken, fish, and sauceless pasta for Hasselhoff, who also drains five quarts of water a day.

Hasselhoff’s early afternoon power nap gives him the energy for his daily workout, which helps ease anxiety and stress. (more…)

5 Ways to Think Small About Your Weight Loss

By Team Best Life

Bigger isn’t always better. In fact, when it comes to weight loss, it’s often the small changes that end up tallying up to greater rewards. No wonder the idea of small victories is one of the hallmarks of the Best Life plan. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking small.

women
Say a word—or two.

Flexing your small-talk muscle can actually aid in maintaining your overall health. Social interactions have a lot of positives, including an elevated mood and reduced stress-hormone levels, that can keep you both emotionally and physically healthy, studies say. Not to mention, chatting it up can be an effective distraction from the buffet table or bar at most parties. (more…)

8 Tips to Sleep Better and Longer, Tonight

As we move into spring it’s the perfect time to become more mindful of our sleep patterns. Adequate rest is important for so many reasons. Health and fitness expert Stephanie Mansour of Step it Up with Steph points out that adequate rest can help reset and cleanse our bodies to get back on track. “Some people even look at spring as a rebirth or revival and a chance to start over,” she said, suggesting more rest can be a “spring resolution” of sorts.

sleeping-woman

Mary Hartley, RD, agrees, noting good rest is necessary all year long. “Health wise, sleep is just as important as diet and exercise,” she said. “Getting enough sleep may also be a critical factor in a person’s weight.”

While 7-8 hours is recommended and a new study even suggests Americans are getting more shut eye than usual, it’s also important to ensure it’s quality rest. Otherwise, the benefits of those precious ZZZs can slip right through our fingers.

To help, we’ve gathered eight simple tips to help you start sleeping better and longer, tonight. (more…)

When to Exercise May Not Matter After All

People wanting to get the most out of their workouts have been asking for some time when the best time of day to exercise is. They wonder if waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise is better than fitting your fitness in right before bed. According to celebrity nutritionist and fitness trainer Diana Le Dean, when you exercise might not matter.

shoe time

A recent article in the New York Times suggests that it may not be best for people to exercise right before going to bed. Le Dean feels that could be true for some individuals, but not for others. She said that the time of exercise is dependent on personal preference, and jokes that’s the reason gyms are open so many hours.

“Exercising before bed could cause people to find it difficult to sleep. It could also help you sleep very well by decompressing work from the day,” Le Dean said. She said that she personally prefers to exercise before bed because it allows her to “let out frustrations and worries.” (more…)

5 Ways to Lose Weight While You Work

By Team Best Life

Is your office job making you fat? If you’re like most Americans, you spend the majority of your waking hours at work–and that means a healthy workplace mindset is crucial to your best life. Use some of these tips to get started:

desk job

Get a head start.

Ensure a good night’s sleep by visiting the gym, preparing a healthy meal and relaxing before you hit the sack. Try to leave work where it belongs—at work. If you absolutely must get in some screen time, keep it as far away from bedtime as possible. The display light on your computer or smartphone can interfere with your body’s internal clock, and elevating your heart rate even a little can increase cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. (Learn more about the connection between sleep and weight loss.)

Dress for success.

Opt for flats over heels, and shoot for comfortable rather than couture. Studies show that folks who work in comfort move more, burning more calories in the process. (more…)

Top 4 Reasons Diets Fail and What to Do About It

New Year’s resolutions are in full swing, most of which revolve around losing weight and getting in shape. If this describes you, how confident are you that this will be your year? New Year’s resolutions are notoriously short-lived for many reasons.

healthy diet

According to Dr. Jessica Bartfield, a weight loss specialist from Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery & Bariatric Care, only 20 percent of those who plan on losing weight are successful. She gives her top four reasons so many dieters fail to lose weight. We’ll give you the remedies.

1. Underestimating Calories Consumed

Dr. Bartfield: “Most people (even experts!) underestimate the number of calories they eat per day.”

Our Suggestion: If you’re the type that prefers to wing it when it comes to eating, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s not enough to want to lose weight. You have to prepare, plan and research what you’re going to eat.

Like Dr. Bartfield, we suggest writing down everything you eat. If you prefer an old-fashioned written food journal, that’s great. However, there many digital solutions that offer a more comprehensive experience with access to your favorite foods’ calorie count, weight tracking, and many other features. (more…)

Yoga Nidra Practitioners Learn to Consciously Sleep While Calming Their Nerves

We all know get-rich-quick scams work about as well as weight loss from a pill. While these enticements are tempting for most people in this country, there is another camp of people who always seem to want to make things harder for themselves. Be it working, dieting, or exercising, the old adage “less is more” often takes a back seat to the preferred “no pain, no gain.”

For those of you who are tired of experiencing pain for your gain, an ancient yogic practice called Yoga Nidra may help loosen your fierce grip on your need to achieve your goals.

Yoga Nidra is essentially the yoga of sleep, but it is not the type of sleep we engage in while napping, or at night. It is a relaxation induced, conscious sleep.

The benefits of attaining a super-restful yet fully awake state of mind reach far beyond just putting your feet up and enjoying a cup of tea. Yoga Nidra settles the nervous system and slows brain waves for an overall feeling of euphoria and inner peace.

A typical Yoga Nidra class may involve some guided imagery, body scanning techniques, or gentle pranayama practice. To aid in relaxation, participants are instructed to lie comfortably with their eyes closed and listen to the teacher’s vocal directions. (more…)

How Much Sleep Do You Really Need? New Research Points to a Magic Number

By Bob Greene for BestLifeDiet.com

How many hours of sleep did you get last night? If you answered seven (or right around there), then you’re in great shape—seven seems to be the magic number for sleep, according to new preliminary research.

You may already know that skimping on shuteye is associated with a number of problems. Your ability to focus and your reflexes are impaired, which can lead to accidents and decreased productivity. Then, there’s a whole host of physical changes that occur when you’re sleep deprived. For instance, your metabolism slows down and your body pumps out more ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and less leptin, the hormone that signals fullness, putting you at an increased risk for obesity and diabetes.

That’s enough to make you want to pull the covers over your head! But researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that too much sleep is not good for you either. In fact, it seems to impair memory and brain function.

Using data collected from 120,000 nurses who are part of the Nurse’s Health Study, the researchers found that those who logged less than five or more than nine hours of slumber per night scored lower on cognitive tests than those who slept around seven. (They presented their findings at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.) That means that logging the right amount of sleep may help keep your brain sharp and potentially protect against dementia as you get older. (more…)