When we try to lose weight the first thing we think of is cutting calories.

The second is exercise. Less calories, more exercise.

It’s true this works (calories are not created equal, however), but the two things we need to address and evaluate first are not calories and exercise.

They are sleep and stress.

Be sure you are sleeping enough to avoid the carb overload the next day. On average, people getting only 4 hours of sleep for 3 consecutive nights or more ate 400 more calories during the day.

This is not going to help with weight loss, friends. Sleep duration affects the hormones that regulate hunger—ghrelin and leptin. If you want to keep them in check get 8+ hours a night.

Lack of sleep can also affect your motivation. How likely are you to get a good workout or yoga sesh in if you are exhausted? Not gonna happen. Get some sleep to get physical.

When you are experiencing stressful events, your adrenal responses are triggered—the body’s natural protection system of fight or flight. Back in the day (cavemen days) this worked great because you had to use the surge of energy (activated glycogen stores in the liver and muscle tissue) to actually fight or run. These days we aren’t really ever put in that position so this triggered response can lead to fat storage, loss of muscle mass, and the urge to overeat.

Cortisol release during stressful episodes attack muscles mass and slow down metabolism.
Cortisol also encourages fat storage around your middle, just in case you are put in more stressful situations.

Ergo, chronic stress = weight gain. No matter how you add it up.

The cure.
How can you get out of this vicious cycle of no sleep, chronic stress, and continued weight gain? Take 10 minutes for yourself each day and meditate (yes, you can).
Use stress-relieving breathing techniques.
AND schedule time for exercise. We suggest a regular yoga class. You knew that was coming 😜 but it really is a fabulous solution—it’s an all-in-one stress-busting, sleep-inducing, heart-pumping solution.Routine (daily) exercise decreases cortisol release and increases better sleep. Both needed for effective and sustainable weight loss. Plus, you’ll just be happier. 😀👏🏼

In the end, winning is sleeping better.

~Jodie Foster