For those wanting to shed some weight, they can dream of the day they wake up feeling slimmer than the day before. While overnight miracles are a rarity, (except for the tooth fairy and Santa, of course) there are ways to make this dream a reality. Follow these 10 tips to help you wake up slimmer after your slumber.
Avoid late night nibbles
Having a cheeky nibble and treat before bed is common for most people, but eating late at night should be avoided if you’re hoping to wake up a couple of pounds lighter the next morning. Studies have shown that eating late at night can cause weight gain as the food eaten before bed is generally stored instead of burnt off.
By all means, you should not go to bed starving as your body need calories throughout the night, but instead you should aim for around 100-200 calories after dinner, just not immediately before bed.
One US study found that mice that ate throughout the day and night had 70 per cent more fatty deposits than the mice who only ate at set times. Not only that, giving your digestive organs more to process when they should be resting can lead to bloating and the feelings of heaviness and stodginess the following day. Instead try enjoying a lighter, healthier snack an hour or so before bed, allowing your stomach time to properly digest the food, is ideal to satisfy hunger but ensure food is not stored as fat overnight.
Choose slimming foods
Utilising when you eat can be a major factor for sleep and weight loss, but picking the right food will inevitably affect how and whether food is stored as energy or fat throughout the night. Enjoying a light and easily-digestible dish for your evening meal as opposed to rich or stodgy foods, particularly fats and carbs, could go a long way in helping you achieve slenderness overnight.
Avoid complex carbohydrates and red meat, particularly steak, as well as high saturated fat foods and low GI carbs, as these are notoriously harder for the body to digest. Opt instead for simple and plain foods such as salmon and chicken, spinach, sweet potato, melon for you evening foods.
Avoiding high fat and sugary foods before bed will not only prevent the storage of food as fat, but will also help your sleep...
Avoiding these high fat and sugary foods before bed will not only prevent the storage of food as fat, but will also help your sleep, further promoting your much needed rest. These foods release energy quickly which can increase your blood sugar, keeping you awake and encouraging your body to store fat. Controlling your portion sizes is also key for assisting weight loss through the night, following the old adage, ‘eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper’, can change the rate of your weight loss.
Some people will advise against exercise in the evening as it can potentially disrupt sleep if you haven’t relaxed properly afterward, but fitting in a quick exercise session can benefit your metabolism greatly. A half hour workout can do a world of good in countless ways; it can lift your mood due to the release of endorphins, clear you mind of stress and, most importantly, boost your chance of waking up slimmer.
Psychologically, exercise makes you feel fitter and slimmer giving you the confidence boost you need when it comes to your body shape. But more importantly exercise can improve digestion; boosting blood flow to leave you bloat-free and slimmer the following morning.
Exercise also engages your metabolism, requiring more fuel burnt for energy, and exercising in the evening will result in your metabolism to continue burning through your sleep, using up your fat stores without even having to move, how efficient.
Before sleep, it is important to get some much deserved rest, and television is a common form of winding down. While you’re indulging in your evening TV ritual, make more use of this ‘me time’ by incorporating some low key exercises. Watching TV whilst doing some low intensity workouts is ideal before bed as your mind is distracted by whatever show you have chosen, yet your muscles and metabolism can feel the rewards of any form of exercise.
Most people also neglect the importance of non-cardio exercises and so training your muscles can help tone and shape specific areas of the body that may get you down. Doing some basic toning exercises on carpet or an exercise mat, TV exercise can improve not only muscles but your mental perception, making you feel better and more confident about your body the next day. This little boost, although short and sweet, may help you feel and look that little bit more tucked and toned the following day.
If you’re heading to the gym, the pool or out for a run, aim to push yourself that little bit harder than you normally would. Challenging your stamina and strength will not only give you an adrenaline high, but you’ll also burn more calories and challenge your muscles in new ways, helping you tone up and feel slimmer. This sudden increase of energy burnt will speed up your metabolism and encourage it to keep burning for longer, particularly through the night.
Working out more frequently at a higher intensity will help you see results more quickly...
Working out more frequently at a higher intensity will help you see results more quickly, it is generally known that it takes 4 weeks of exercise for you to see a change in your body and 12 weeks for anyone else. If you increase your exercise and push yourself this time will shorten, making you feel fabulous sooner.
If hitting the gym or going out for a job isn’t ideal to your schedule, then finding useful tricks to burn the additional calories without being bogged down by fitting in a workout can be a beneficial extra to your day. Turning up your favourite tunes or switching on the music channels and dancing to your heart’s content can be a fun but effective way to feel better and shed some weight.
Letting loose in your living room to your favourite hits will free inhibitions while burning the calories too. Some upbeat tunes to get the heart pumping and the endorphins flowing is the perfect way to relax, have fun and fit in a bit of exercise without the daunting feelings of having to go the gym. You can wake up the next day feeling refreshed and lighter, a very good way to start the day.
Set a Routine
Most people will stay up late watching the next episode of their favourite programme or surfing the web until they get bored, but these relatively unimportant activities can cut into your sleep time, which is vitally important for weight loss. The University of Chicago studied two groups of people on the same diet, the ones who received around 8 hours of sleep actually burned more fat than those who get fewer winks.
If you set a pre-bed routine and follow it regularly, this will not only prepare your body for a more efficient slumber, but will ensure that your getting around the recommended eight hours, aiding weight loss and fat burn.
Banish the booze
After a long day it is always nice to relax with a glass of wine or a refreshing beer, but alcohol is notorious for bloating and gas due to it’s fizzy nature, making you feel tubby and larger than you are. Not to mention, alcohol isn't renowned for its calorie free nature assisting your diet.
Alcohol typically contains high amounts of calories and sugar, damaging to any diet, and particularly when consuming sweeter drinks and heavy beers later in the evening, these calories typically won't be burnt off through the night, encouraging you to store the pounds and feel tubbier in the morning. Containing seven calories (29 kilojoules) per gram, alcohol is not kind on your waistline, and so it is best to give the late night tipple a wide berth when trying to lose weight.
We've all woken up in the early hours of the morning gasping for a drink, but can't bear the thought of emerging from our beds in the dark to get a glass of water. But ensuring you're hydrated before bed and having water available during and after your sleep, can be a beneficial technique for weight loss.
Keeping hydrated can prevent water retention and bloating typically found when lacking fluids, and is a vital factor for a number of basic functions in every area of the body. Adding to your exercise performance, health and weight loss, water is key and keeping yourself hydrated is essential to ensure your body performs efficiently aiding how quickly you can lose weight.
Herbal teas such as green, peppermint, chamomile and dandelion are the perfect beverages for achieving that all-important slim feeling as they are hydrating and aid digestion, whilst also as a relaxing aid before bed, helping you unwind and get to sleep quickly. Aim for 6-8 cups of herbal tea or water throughout the day and you’ll feel lighter come morning. Avoiding carbonated drinks, alcohol and caffeine is ideal before bed as these drinks will typically keep you awake or pile on the pounds through the night.
As we all know, the mind is a powerful thing, and making sure your mental balance is not skewed can be almost as important as ensuring you body’s balance is correct. Some believe that slimness can be a state of mind rather than a physical state, so ‘thinking thin’ can be more effective than you would anticipate.
Many studies have shown that if you start believing that you're losing weight, the results will appear more quickly. Stress is often linked with being overweight, leading to emotional eating and an increase of the hormone ghrelin that stimulates appetite, so why not give relaxation techniques a try.
Yoga or meditation are perfect options to aid flexibility, decrease heart rate and help relaxation before bed. Calming the mind and focussing on your breathing can help center your thoughts, taking your mind away from the inevitable troubles life can bring, and perhaps even improve your perceptions of weight and your body.