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Water, Sleep and Friends: Three Keys to Weight Loss

Water, Sleep and Friends: Three Keys to Weight Loss

weight loss

    Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight knows how difficult the whole journey can be. It should be as simple as burning more calories than you consume, but it rarely feels that is all there is to the process. Although calorie intake and expenditure are the basic elements of weight loss, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration too.

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    In this article, we will look at some of the less considered factors affecting weight loss or weight gain. These factors greatly contribute to a person’s success with losing weight; however, only very few people actually pay attention to them. If you have been dieting and exercising but seem to be stuck with unsatisfying results, taking these factors into consideration may be just what you need.

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    Water And Weight Loss

    Water is a natural appetite suppressant. If you constantly fill your stomach with water, you are less likely to feel hungry all of the time as the human brain is not wired to differentiate between hunger and thirst. Aside from suppressing your appetite and stimulating your satiety, water also helps boost your metabolic rate. While each person’s hydration needs are different, experts generally suggest 64 ounces or 8 glasses of water a day. Although you are free to space out your intake of water all throughout the day, new studies have found that drinking 2 glasses of water before a meal is best for weight loss. Also as the body struggles to separate hunger from thirst you might just be thirsty and water to the route to feeling sated while not adding to your calorie count.

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    Sleep And Weight Loss

    You may think that sleep and weight loss are so far-off, but there is substantial scientific evidence suggesting a strong association between the two. One study reports that people who sleep 5 hours or less per night generally weigh more than those who get a 7-hour sleep.  Other research has shown that inadequate sleep compromises efforts to lose weight through dieting. The link between sleep and weight loss is attributed mainly to hormones.  The production of the hormones leptin and ghrelin which work to control feelings of hunger and fullness is said to be influenced by how much or how little sleep a person has. When you do not get enough sleep, your leptin (satiety hormone) levels tend to be low, and your ghrelin (appetite hormone) levels high. This means that you are likely to overeat as your appetite is stimulated and satiety is suppressed. So if you want to keep your natural weight loss mechanisms in place, make sure to get around eight hours of sleep every night.

    Friends And Weight Loss

    As they say, everything that is happening in your life is in one way or another influenced by the people around you and this includes weight loss. Your friends have a lot to do with the outcome of your weight loss efforts. If you are surrounded with people who have no desire to lose weight, it is very likely that you will end up veering away from your weight loss goals. If the people you hang out with eat a lot of unhealthy foods all the time, it would be very hard for you to integrate the lifestyle changes that you need to get to your ideal weight. So, if you are serious about shedding off those excess pounds, find yourself a set of friends that will help you achieve your goals. Find friends who have the same desire for weight loss or a healthy and active lifestyle this way you can still enjoy great company without compromising your want to lose weight.

    (Photo credit: Peter W.)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

    Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

    The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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    The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

    Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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    Review Your Past Flow

    Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

    Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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    Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

    Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

    Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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    Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

    Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

    We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

    Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

      Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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