Sleep Your Way to Belly Fat Loss?

Stephen Holt, Timonium personal trainer

Millions of readers of national fitness magazines including Shape, Women's Health, Fitness. Woman's Day, Family Circle, Runner's World, (and many others) have made their exercise programs both more effective AND more efficient with fitness and nutrition advice from "America's Baby Boomer Expert," Stephen Holt.

[Sleeping baby. Awww.]

Sleep your way to fat loss?

A small (239 subjects) but long (6 years) study showed that increasing sleep from 6 hours or less to 7 hours or more reduced belly fat gain by about 26%.

[Read closely: That does NOT say you will lose 26% of your belly fat by sleeping more. The point here is that sleep does indeed make a difference.]

There’s a pretty good chance you’re noting getting enough sleep. About a third of American adults don’t.

Get your sleep routine together:

  • Decide on a bedtime – and stick to it
  • Get outside in bright sunlight when you can
  • Watch the late day caffeine intake (duh)
  • Avoid screens (phone, TV, etc.) at least an hour before bed
  • Consider a magnesium supplement. My doctor-wife recommends Natural Calm to her patients.
  • Make sure your bedroom is cool (69 degrees or lower) and dark. If you can straighten your arm and still see you hand, the room’s not dark enough.
  • Experiment with a quick shower an hour or so before bed. Some people find a hot shower relaxing, while others do better with the body-temperature-lowering effect of a cold shower.

Geeky footnote:

“A spontaneous change in sleep duration (from a short to an adequate duration) is independently and inversely associated with long-term VAT [Visceral Adipose Tissue] accumulation.”



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