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The missing pieces

So often we talk about losing weight/being healthy/getting stronger/being in shape in terms of the diet and exercise program that we need to follow to achieve our health and fitness goals.

Depending on your specific goal, you may even be told that diet is 80% of the battle.

But is it really that simple?

Are diet and exercise really the main players in the healthy equation?

Yes…and…No.

Yes, if you follow a well-developed diet and exercise program, you most likely will hit a lot of your health and fitness goals.

BUT, these goals may be more easily realized AND easier to maintain IF you get some of the other pieces of the puzzle in order.

Like SLEEP. And STRESS.

The amount of stress you have and the amount of sleep you get both affect your hormone levels, appetite and level of fatigue.

Too little sleep and too much stress can cause your body to not only try to hold on to fat, but also to feel hungry and overeat.

Holding on to fat!?! Overeating and feeling hungry when you really aren’t!?!

HMMMM…Maybe sleep and stress need to be a part of our program…..

And not only can too little sleep and too much stress cause you to hold onto fat and overeat, but both can also make you feel fatigued which can lead to crappy and/or skipped workouts!

Sound familiar? Skipped a few workouts recently or have you seen your numbers slowly declining even though you KNOW you aren’t overtraining?

Maybe you aren’t getting enough sleep OR maybe your body is just too stressed!

And if all of this wasn’t bad enough…let’s face it….they both also really affect your self-control.

Tired? Stressed? Where do most people turn for comfort?

FOOD!

And usually BAD food.

That doesn’t sound very good for your health and fitness goals…

So maybe diet and exercise aren’t enough on their own. Maybe you do need to consider your sleep and stress levels.

I’m not saying to change jobs to lessen your stress level. BUT it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t start to plan in some “me time” to help you unwind every once in a while so that you don’t turn to food.

I’m not saying to start sleeping in and going in late to work, but every once in a while maybe try to take a nap or sleep in instead of forcing in that extra hour of work that realistically you COULD do at some other time. If you really do create a time management schedule, you may just find you DO have more time that you could use for sleep than you originally thought!

Anyway, sleep and stress ARE two other things you should consider when trying to create a healthy lifestyle. Diet and exercise AREN’T the only pieces to the puzzle.

ZZZ….ZZZ….

Let me tell you a little secret…Actually it is the true key to success if you want to get stronger, fitter, healthier and happier….

GET MORE SLEEP!

Click on this cartoon for some more reasons why sleep is important!

Click on this cartoon for some more reasons why sleep is important!

That’s it…Get more sleep.

You don’t need any fancy supplements or to do crazy workouts or the latest diet fad.

All you need to do is get more sleep.

Don’t believe me? Think sleep is overrated?

Do you love to BRAG about how little sleep you’ve gotten and how much caffeine you’ve consumed?

Well stop. Because all you are bragging about is BEING STUPID. (And who really wants to brag about being an idiot?)

Anyway, if you could only do one thing this year to make yourself better, I would recommend that you get more sleep.

Sleep affects how well both your mind and body operate. If you think you are doing fine now on only 4 hours of sleep just think about how well you would do if you got the eight you needed!

Why settle for fine when you could be great!?!

Why not do everything you can to make your performance and your health better?

Because you supposedly don’t have time?

COME ON! You have time to sleep. You just don’t choose to MAKE time.

If you don’t believe me that you have the time to get enough sleep, take a look at your schedule. I bet you will find a ton of “time” that you are wasting on stuff that you could be using to get more sleep.

But then again…You have to VALUE sleep if you are going to make the effort to get more.

The question is, “How can you NOT value sleep?”

How can you not value something that makes your mind function better? I mean who doesn’t want to be more productive each day?

How can you not value something that improves your health and helps you lower your risk of heart disease? I mean who doesn’t want to live longer?

How can you not value something that helps your body prevent illness? I mean who doesn’t want a strong immune system so that you don’t get sick?

How can you not value something that makes all of your healthy eating finally pay off? I mean who wants to deprive themselves of delicious bad food all of the time if they aren’t losing weight and feeling great because of all the healthy, whole foods they are consuming?

How can you not value something that makes all your workouts worthwhile? I mean who doesn’t want their workouts to pay off because they aren’t giving their body enough rest and recovery to rebuild itself stronger than before?

So…How can you not value sleep?

I know I do. And that’s why I made some changes. So are you ready to make some changes?

Are you ready to really make all your dieting and hard work in the gym pay off?

THEN GET SOME SLEEP!

Why are we proud of our sleep deprivation?

I feel sleep deprived all too often and I hate it. During the work week, I try going to bed at 9 p.m. if I can just to get enough sleep.

And I LOVE vacations where I get the chance to catch up on sleep. I LOVE sleep!

I don’t want to be sleep deprived. I don’t think its cool. Actually, it sucks. You feel tired and sluggish and your workouts aren’t near as good as when you get at least 8 hours of sleep.

Yet it seems like so many people enjoy bragging about how little sleep they got and how much caffeine they need to stay awake.

I mean how many times have you heard a friend say, “Dude, I only got like 3 hours of sleep” as if it were a good thing and super cool?

Too often!!

Why do people brag about being sleep deprived? Why does our culture tell us it is cool to run only on caffeine?

Seriously, I don’t get it!

I LOVE SLEEP!

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