SLEEP: What it does to you and your body

garfield_sleepy

SLEEP— I define this as one of the most basic needs of man. It plays a major role in our life as it is one of the ingredients to living a normal and healthy life.  But unfortunately, in this fast-paced world, sleep deprivation is now a common feature of our society. Perhaps, as much as we want to have more of it, we  tend to trade sleep for the things that we need to accomplish throughout the day. As a result, people living in this modern world grows to be a sleep-deprived generation.

HOW IMPORTANT SLEEP IS?

images

You and I both know that sleep is IMPORTANT. However, you and I always have an excuse why we are not having much of it. Busy work schedule, laundry to do, family affairs, parties to go to, school work, and the list goes on forever. I know, because I do these excuses too.

So, how important is it really?

According to Science:  During sleep, your body recovers from your days work and stress that you experienced throughout the day. Sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels as well as it works to support your brain function. When you sleep, your brain stays active, and to prove this, studies show that a good night’s sleep improves learning. When we are sleep deficient, it alters some parts of the brain which affects our emotions and behavior and most especially our physical health.

According to me: Its simple, when you don’t have enough sleep you can’t function effectively. In my experience, when i’m sleep deprived, the things that I want to get done ends up half baked. Thing is, I trade sleep  so I can do more, but by not sleeping,  I always end up wasting my time by being unproductive throughout the day.  Its either I find myself napping on my desk, or wasting a few minutes staring from afar. hahahaha! Its embarassing, but it happens to me all the time.

HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU REALLY NEED? 

Sleeping

Average Sleep Needs by Age
Newborn to 2 months old 12 – 18 hrs
3 months to 1 year old 14 – 15 hrs
1 to 3 years old 12 – 14 hrs
3 to 5 years old 11 – 13 hrs
5 to 12 years old 10 – 11 hrs
12 to 18 years old 8.5 – 10 hrs
Adults (18+) 7.5 – 9 hrs

To be able to meet the demands of our everyday life, most adults these days are only having around 5-6 hours of sleep.  And to be able to compensate with our body’s need, we try to fill in the gap through daytime naps.

Now Here’s the thing, this table above shows that an adult (ages 18+) needs AT LEAST 7.5 hours of sleep a day.  Majority of adults these days think that 6hrs of sleep is good already. Thinking that they could function well with just this amount of sleep. Well, you better think again.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco discovered that some people have a gene that enables them to do well on six hours of sleep a night. This gene, however, is VERY RAREappearing in less than 3% of the population. For the other 97% of us, six hours doesn’t come close to cutting it.

SO… I guess its safe to say that.. 6 hours of sleep is enough = MYTH. If you’re an adult sleeping less than 7 1/2 hours a day, chances are, you are sleep deprived.

 Thing is, our body needs a specific amount of sleep and there is a big difference between functioning effectively and having  just enough energy to get by throughout the day.  Just try to evaluate, if you are meeting your sleep needs you are supposed to feel energetic and alert all day long. If not, well, you might not be logging enough hours.

WHAT IS SLEEP DEBT?

images (3)

So.. if you’re not keeping up with the hours that you’re supposed to be sleeping, the hours that you lack becomes a sleep debt. Meaning to say, everytime you trade sleep for something that you think is of “more importance” you add to the debt, and the same with all debts, it needs to be paid.

Many of us try to repay by sleeping on the weekends. But sadly, compensating with our sleep debts doesn’t work that way. Even if you sleep the whole weekend, your body will not completely make up for the lack of sleep.

images (2)

What happens if you are having a lot of sleep debts?

1. It makes you dumb. 

images (4)

Sleeping plays an important role in our brain development. (And yes, it goes with adults too. Not just infants ) Sleep helps our brain in processing learning and critical thinking. Lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem solving. So if you’re not having enough sleep, you are least likely to remember the things that you learned throughout the day.

2. No sleep= Overweight. Yes. You’re gaining weight because you’re not logging enough sleeping hours my friend.  According to a study, adults who are only sleeping for 5 hours a night are likely to gain 2lbs in weight over a week because they tend to snack more. According to this study,  “They consumed more calories in the form of after-dinner snacks than in any other meal.”

heavy_sleep_197965

According to my internet research..

A regular sleep schedule helps your body maintain a regular appetite and hunger schedule. This is because shortening your sleep schedule increases your production of the hormone ghrelin which stimulates hunger and decreases your production of leptin which suppresses appetite. Throwing off your appetite increases the likelihood that you will overeat, study has shown people who sleep less than 7 hours a day are likely to be more obese than those who sleep 8 hours of sleep or more.

As to what I have experienced, the hours that I have invested in the gym has been put to a waste because my muscles did not recover properly. So even if I don’t snack after workout, it still made a negative effect on my body.

3. It causes accidents. 

skateboard 2

Its obvious, poor sleep would eventually lead to accidents.  People who sleep less looses their concentration and leads to serious mistakes (especially for those who are driving) because their reaction time is slower. So if you don’t want to get into a car accident, hit the hay.

4.  Damaged skin.

images

 Ladies, we all know this, the secret to beauty is a good night’s sleep. You can’t keep those dark circles under your make up forever. 🙂

How do you avoid it?

1. Make sleep your priority.

images (1)

 I know, I know, you have a lot of commitments. But you should make this a priority. Adjust your schedule so you can have enough time for sleep. Check your day to day activity, maybe you are committing to a lot of things and maybe you can cut back a few from it just so you can have more time for your sleep. We have 24 hours a day, no matter how busy you are, believe me, you can make time for it.

2. Set a regular bedtime and regular waking time.  If you are having trouble sleeping at night, you can discipline your body by setting a regular bedtime . This way, your body will always have this pattern which will help you in having the right sleeping hours.

3. Limit your naps. We try to compensate by napping but sometimes, it doesn’t help.  A power-nap can make you more alert and productive but only if you do it correctly. I’ve heard in a TV interview before that the most effective power nap should only be for 20 minutes. If you go higher than that, you are likely to feel more tired and unproductive.

4. Be smart about what you eat or drink. 

coffee_love_milk_by_toreti

If you want a good night sleep, watch what you eat and drink before going to bed. To some people, coffee has been part of their everyday life that its difficult for them to avoid it. You can limit your coffee to 2 cups a day and exchange your coffe at night with milk or green tea. Also, have your meal 2-3 hours before bedtime, Fatty foods take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and may keep you up, this way you will have a better sleep and you won’t store up fats too! 🙂

5. No gadgets before bedtime. Try to put away all your gadgets before bedtime.  or better yet, stay away from facebook, twitter, or instagram hahahaha! 

6. Schedule your workout. As for me, I usually workout at night after work. Sleeping normally becomes a problem because my body stays active a few hours after I did my workout. So make sure that you finish your workout routine at least 3 hours before bedtime.

Thing is, no matter how important your day to day activities are, sleeping should be on top of your to-do list.

I hope this post helps! 🙂

Stay Happy and Healthy everyone!

God bless! 🙂

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” ~3 John 2

Your Period and Your Cravings

pms-daniella-batsheva

Women experience different symptoms (PMS) during their menstrual month. Some may experience bloating, cramping, fatigue, depression, and migrane and of course, its that time of the month when you crave more food than usual and its like you’ve turned into an eating machine. Yes, you’re not the only one who experiences that. Many women find themselves eating more just before, during, or after their period.

The Reason

During this season, your body burns more calories because your body is not in its normal work load. There is an additional activity taking place internally and thus, your body is working hard meaning it needs more fuel. In my case, I eat more during my period. I feel weak and inadequate during this time of the month and so I feel like I want to eat more.

pms_600

Research say that the female metabolism increases up to 10% during this time. An increase in metabolism can lead to an increase in appetite because your body burns more, then it needs to refuel after. Another reason for your cravings is because of hormonal changes and blood loss. I think the same principle goes when you donate blood, you feel more hungry after.

Your Food Intake

It really is difficult to ignore the urge to eat during period. Your hormones are on its highest level and it feels like you want to treat yourself with an ice cream or maybe a bag of Doritos will do too. The level of hunger varies from person to person. However, research suggests that in the days before your period, it is likely that you are consuming extra calories. According to Weight Watchers, you intake an average of 100 to 200 calories more than usual before your period.

Hungry girl

Another thing to keep in mind is you can gain water weight because of the salty foods that you have eaten during your period. Sure your metabolism increases during this time, but even though your metabolism rate increases up to 10% percent, lack of control could sabotage the days that you have sacrificed working out.

What To Do?

Unfortunately, there’s nothing that you can do to stop your cravings. However,  there are ways to prepare your body and to help block the extra calories that your body body has taken during this season.

1. Exercise

woman-exercising

The best way to burn the extra calories that you digested is of course to burn it off at the gym. An average woman during period eats more than 200 calories; and an hour of doing cardio exercise at the gym burns around 400-600 calories depending on your weight. That way, you can balance it out by calorie intake vs. workout. So if you don’t want those extra pounds, hit the gym.

2. Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits-and-vegetables

Vegetables are of course, high in fiber. Eating more of these will make you feel full without digesting much calories. Not only are they rich in iron and B vitamins; their high fiber count also can help with digestive problems which often occurs during your menstrual cycle.

3.  Eat Whole Grains

Nutritious-Whole-Grains

Whole grains are healthy choices when it comes to carbohydrates. Just like fruit, the fiber in whole grains can help you feel full and helps with digestion especially during your period. Whole grains also include complex carbohydrates, which provide important vitamins and minerals too.

4. Eat Red Meat

168398_88036487

Of course red meats are known to be a good source of iron. A high content of blood is lost during period, and so we need to include red meat to our diet to help us regain the energy that we lost. By including this to your meal, you won’t be needing more food to it as it helps to refuel your body.

5. Control-Portion, Portion-Control

stop-eating-sign

If you really can’t stand eating cookies, cakes, chocolates, or junk foods, then portion-control rule always works. Don’t binge. Discipline yourself. Remember that these cravings come every month. They can definitely make you gain 5-10lbs in a week’s tme.

In Conlusion

checklist

Truly, our bodies seem to tell us to eat more during our period. The cravings are difficult to ignore. (I am guilty of that!) In my case, I am not really a fan of sweets, but during my period, I usually crave for redvelvets  and vanilla ice cream, I could eat half dozen of redvelvets in one sitting -_-  #dietfail. Hahaha!

tumblr_m06n9vNGQQ1rqdkk7o1_1280

But of course we can prevent these by making healthier food choices. Even though our bodies compensates by metabolizing more, I wouldn’t suggest eating purposefully while on your period. Our bodies know when it needs more energy, it will let  you know when to eat and when to stop.

Thing is, you should choose a plan that works for you, whether it be burning it off at the gym, replacing it with healthier foods, or  controlling the portion sizes. Listen to your body and don’t give in to temptations easily. As what they say, MIND OVER MATTER always works! 🙂

two-thumbs-up

I hope this blog helps.

Stay Healthy and Pretty girls! ❤

God bless everyone! 🙂

… He (Boaz) said to her “Come here and eat some bread and dip your morsel in the wine.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed to her roasted grain. And she ate until she was satisfied- Ruth 2:14

On a fruit diet?

Zd7wHu6dg9Various-Fruits-Piled-up-Green-Leaves-on-the-Top-List-Impressive-for-Its-Color-Combination-HD-Creative-Wallpaper

FRUITS. Known to be rich in fiber, and an excellent source of energy and nutrition. It keeps the body hydrated and of course, as we all know most fruits and vegetables are low in fat and calories making them ideal for use in weight loss.

So here are my TOP 5 Healthy and Ideal Fruits to Eat for Weight Loss.

1. Raspberries

fruits-salad

Raspberries are at the top of the list of high fiber fruits. Not only that they are colorful and fun to eat, but berries are loaded with vitamin C and fiber, and they are also one of the fruits with the lowest sugar content.  They are also low in calories:  1 cup of strawberries has only 50 calories; 1 cup of blueberries has 80 calories; 1 cup of raspberries has 65 calories; and 1 cup of blackberries has only 60 calories.  Craving for something sweet? Why not try berries instead? 🙂

2. Oranges

???? Vol.22 ???????????

Of course its famous for its vitamin C qualities, which helps to prevent you from having illness plus it makes your skin glow and maintains the beauty of your hair. But another amazing quality of this citrus fruit is that its caloric value is small. One large orange  provides 86 calories which makes it ideal for snacks. Also, its size lets us forget about hunger for some time during the diet.

 3. Bananas

banana-250x250

Known to be an energy fruit. A glass of water plus this fruit is the perfect combination to give you that extra energy in working out. Bananas are best known for containing large amounts of potassium, magnesium and vitamin B6 and are surprisingly low in calories. The average large ripe banana, which ranges from 7 to 8 inches long, contains only 105 calories.

4. Apples

24804492_JxArKxyz_c

They say that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Apples are definitely one of the healthiest fruits you can eat.  A medium apple has less than 100 calories, while a small apple  contains 55 cal, more than 4 grams of fiber, and a good dose of vitamin C. The vitamins and minerals especially the fiber which this fruit contains helps you feel full longer as it expands in your stomach, so it takes less food to satisfy your hunger.

5. Grapes

24804492_JxArKxyz_csda

For me, this is the best snack fruit. First, because they are bite size and it makes it easy to control portion sizes. Second, they’re sweet and you can eat as much as you can without the feeling of being guilty after. Thirty-two (32) seedless grapes are considered equal to one cup of fruit which contains only 110 calories. Another thing about it is that its a natural diuretic and laxative which helps eliminate waste and water weight.

The truth about it.

brainfood1

Adding fruits to your diet is essential for good health and of course, to help us lose weight. Fruits are sweet, which can be a replacement for unhealthy sweet snacks that we usually have. They are low in calories and fat, and high in fiber which are the 3 most important ingredients for weight loss. Not only that it helps in shedding pounds, but it also helps in making us look young and feel great because it contains plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Thing is, fruits actually weigh a lot, but they don’t have as much as many calories compared to other foods. Example, Calories in 100g of Cadbury’s chocolate milk =520 calories. While 100g of the following contains.. berries= 27.6 cal, Oranges= 62.1 cal, Banana=95 cal, and Grapes=61.5 cal.

07c9c4934dcf863d4f331e5c6e2e-400x349

So get my point? Same amount but wayyyyy lesser in calories. You will feel just as full as you’ve eaten the same amount of food but you’ve saved a lot of calories. I wouldn’t recommend having an all fruit diet because the goal here is to always have a balanced meal. But I would suggest EXCHANGING your bad food habits into healthy ones.  So instead of grabbing a chocolate bar, cookies, or donuts, why not eat fruits instead? 🙂

LIV_01.02_Diet2013_Slide5_636x424

I hope this post helps.

Stay Healthy and Pretty girls! ❤ God bless everyone! 🙂

Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.- 3 John 1:2

FOOD AMOUNT?

In weight loss or weight gain, counting your food amount is important.

So how do you count food amount? Say hello to CALORIES.

You must admit, this term is too familiar. It’s everywhere! You can hear people talking about it, counting it, plus you cannot find something at the supermarket that does not list its calories per serving somewhere in the package.

But have you ever wondered what exactly a calorie is?

A calorie is a unit of energy. We tend to associate calories with food, but they apply to anything containing energy. For example, a gallon (about 4 liters) of gasoline contains about 31,000,000 calories.

Nutrition-Facts-label

When it comes to weight loss, counting your calories is important. Again, COUNTING YOUR CALORIES IS IMPORTANT!

Question 1: “so.. how much calories do I need to take per day in order to lose weight?”

Answer: Recommended calorie intake varies from person to person. It depends on a person’s age, weight, height, and on how much activity you do per day.

But if you want to check the exact daily amount of calories you need, here’s an effective tool to do that.

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm

As for me, according to this awesome calorie calculator, I can eat as much as 1,908 calories per day including exercise.  (I workout 4-5x a week, btw) Now that’s my MAINTAINING CALORIE INTAKE PER DAY. Meaning, if I go beyond 1,908 calories I am most likely to gain weight.

Now in weight loss, 1,200 calories is the SAFEST CALORIE COUNT PER DAY for you to lose weight while you can still work and do activities effectively. Remember that calories are the amount of energy in a food. Meaning, NOT ENOUGH CALORIES, NOT ENOUGH ENERGY.

For some people, they limit their calorie intake around 700-800 calories per day but I wouldn’t suggest that. Surely you will lose weight but believe me, you cannot work effectively if you are going to less than 1,200.

Question 2: “So how do I track my calories?”

Answer: Try this website, http://www.myfitnesspal.com/ This website will allow you to track your calories effectively. You will be asked to choose your goal weight, and the calorie limit you want to have per day. You also need to input your food intake from breakfast to dinner. Then this tool will calculate the calories of the food that you had. Say, you had pizza for breakfast, it will ask more specific details like the brand, how many slices, etc. Don’t worry about filipino food, they also have it in this website. 🙂

They have everything here, fast food, sweets, canned foods, etc. I can say that you can eat anything you want for as long as you track your calories and you don’t go beyond your calorie limit per day. This is good especially for those who doesn’t want to be deprived of the food that they want to eat.

MyFitnessPal

If you limit your calories in 1,200 this tool will show you the remaining calories you can eat because it subtracts the number of calories you already had for the day. It also shows you what weight you can expect in a number of weeks if you maintain your calorie limit.

You can also include the exercise you did on that day. Say, you did cardio exercise (treadmill) for 30 minutes, this tool will show you how much calories you burned in your cardio exercise. Let’s say you burned around 150 calories, that will be added to your calorie limit. So 12000+150= 1350 calories.

Meaning, IF YOU WANT TO EAT MORE, YOU ALSO NEED TO EXERCISE MORE. 🙂  Believe me, try this website. It will surely help you reach your goal.

To maintain a healthy weight, you need to balance the amount of calories you consume through food and drink with the amount of calories you burn through physical activity.

Tip: Get educated. Read blogs, or books about dieting and choose which is the most effective for you. Get a diet buddy. YOU NEED THE ENCOURAGEMENT.  Again, again, again, count your calories, and be concious about it.  Do not do estimates! The amount of calories in a food can be deceiving, especially for sweets. Eat anything you want, just don’t go beyond your daily calorie limit! Do not eat when you’re not hungry and stop eating when you are already full.

Last but not the least, Be serious about losing weight. Focus. You have to decide your goal weight. I know its frustrating at first, but DON’T GIVE UP. Believe me, I’ve been in that sea of frustration a couple of times before.  Again, NEVER GIVE UP. Just keep on going! 🙂

 

I hope this blog helps.

Stay Healthy and Pretty!

God bless everyone! 🙂