Weight gain? Check these 6 Common Bedtime Mistakes
When you’re trying to lose or simply maintain your weight, you know the drill like the back of your hand: eat healthy, exercise constantly and keep yourself hydrated in the process. While you swear by these rules during the day, there might be some things you do during the evening that annihilate your entire weight loss plan.
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Curious to know what you’re doing wrong? Then take a close look at these 6 most common bedtime mistakes that could make you gain weight and find out how to avoid them. You know what they say: forewarned is forearmed!
Late night meals can be a real motive for weight gain
We’ve all heard the rule to stop eating at least 3 hours before going to bed, even more so, if we’re interested in losing weight. But rules are meant to be broken and this one makes no exception.
Unfortunately, by having late dinners or snacks, you’re putting your body to work while you sleep. Instead of restoring the energy lost throughout the day, your body needs to take care of digesting your late meal, thus affecting your sleep. This, in turn, adversely affects your weight and even cholesterol and insulin levels.
Action plan: Have dinner at approximately the same time every day. Your body will get accustomed to receiving food at a certain time and you won’t experience any more late-night cravings. For support, see our 14-Day Keto Meal Plan.
Not getting enough sleep
The recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7-8 hours per night. Many people, however, sacrifice sleep for other things such as work or social life, involuntarily making room for many health problems.
In relation to weight, sleep deprivation slows down the metabolism, thus reducing the number of calories you may otherwise burn. In addition, the longer you stay up the more your body produces the hunger hormone, ghrelin, making you feel hungrier and more likely to give in to unhealthy cravings.
Action plan: Try to go to bed around the same time every night and get at least seven hours of sleep. This will help you stay focused the next day and able to control your food impulses. See also How to Beat Insomnia With the Best Supplements for Sleep.
Consuming caffeine close to bedtime may lead to weight gain
A cup of coffee in the morning, especially if it’s black, can give you a boost of energy and help you burn extra fat during the day. Drinking coffee close to bedtime is a whole different story.
It not only disrupts your sleep, making you feel tired the next day and prone to consuming more calories, but also your weight due to a substance called chlorogenic acid, which reportedly can make you fatter during sleep.
Action plan: Replace coffee with a relaxing drink, such as herbal tea or anise, which facilitates sleep instead of disrupting it. Stay away from anything caffeinated 6 hours before bedtime. Read also Is Coffee Good or Bad For Our Nutrition?
Using electronic devices before bedtime
How many times have you got yourself ready for bed but lost yourself with social media scanning or playing on the phone? This is a common occurrence nowadays, but scientists warn that blue light emission from electronic devices can have serious effects on our health and even weight.
Such devices hinder the body’s production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. When your sleep cycles are no longer regulated, your circadian rhythm and sleep pattern are affected, and you stop burning the extra fat.
Action plan: Stop using electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed. Substitute social network browsing with reading a printed book or listening to music.
Having the wrong colors in the bedroom
If you sometimes feel like you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed, your room color might be responsible for that. That’s because colors can have a significant impact on how you feel.
The color blue, for example, promotes feelings of comfort and relaxation and is efficient in taking us to dreamland. Not to mention it is also credited for suppressing appetite. Bright colors, such as red or orange, make you feel energized and hyper. You feel like staying up late and eventually end up getting hungry.
Action plan: Paint your bedroom walls in cold colors that promote relaxation and make you sleepy, such as blue or green.
Waking up too late
If you think you’ve got your 7-8 hours of recommended sleep covered by waking up late, just know that you’re still at risk of gaining weight. Research shows that individuals that wake up and get exposed to bright light earlier have a lower body mass index and more balanced bodies.
People who get up at the last possible minute, on the other hand, are constantly in a rush and have elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. This affects their ability to control their impulses in terms of food choices and makes them feel hungrier.
Action plan: Try to wake up at a reasonable hour to give your body and mind a chance to prepare for the upcoming day. And allow yourself some time for breakfast!