It seems too good to be true that sometimes the best thing for your waistline is your bed and not the gym, but it works. Proper sleep is an essential component of any weight-loss program—especially when you need to have enough energy to fit in all those workouts! Stop sabotaging your success and set yourself up for weight-loss success tonight by avoiding these mistakes.
1. You don't make sleep a priority. Research has shown that those who are sleep-deprived tend to eat hundreds of calories more, not just because they are awake longer, but because sleep affects levels of hunger-regulating hormones. If you're constantly saving sleep for the weekends or always surviving on too little sleep, you could be causing your body to crave more food than it needs.
2. You never get quality sleep. Even if you hit the hay at a reasonable time, if you're constantly waking up at night, it could cause your body to hold onto more belly fat, since you're more likely to feel stressed and anxious when you don't have quality sleep. Help ensure you fall asleep and stay asleep by creating a comfortable bedroom environment, turning off electronics at least 20 minutes before you go to sleep, and avoiding alcohol. Get more tips on how to get quality sleep here.
3. You can't go to sleep without a snack. An ice cream nightcap may help lull you to bed, but even a little indulgence can add on thousands of calories by week's end. However, remember that it's not the best idea to go to sleep starving—you'll be more apt to give into cravings in the middle of the night or the next day—so be smart about your nighttime snack. These tips for preventing unhealthy late-night snacking will help you get on the right track.
4. Instead of working out, you hit the snooze button. If mornings are the only time you have to fit in your workout, you won't make going to the gym a habit if you constantly choose the snooze instead. If you find yourself swept up in mindless TV and Facebook time before bed, cut out the distractions so you can be sure you go to bed early enough to feel ready for a 6 a.m. sweat session.