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, 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.
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?
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.