Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Don't Let Lack of Sleep Derail Your Fitness/Weight Loss Goals!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 @ 11:15 AM

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Can’t stop snacking? Make sure you’re not skimping on sleep. Research
already shows a link between not spending enough hours in dreamland and weight
gain, but exactly how sleep contributes to weight gain and overeating isn’t
clear. According to some research, the answer lies with the way sleep affects
two appetite hormones that turn on and off the desire to eat.

The Dueling Duo: Leptin and Ghrelin

Leptin and ghrelin are hormones that control appetite control. Leptin is
produced by fat cells and sends a signal to the brain that curbs the desire to
keep eating. It essentially puts a brake on your appetite. Some obese people
don’t respond as readily to the satiety signals leptin sends because their body
is resistant to it, a condition known as leptin resistance.

Ghrelin is produced by cells lining the stomach and pancreas. It’s the
hormone that causes your to stomach to growl and sends you rushing to the
kitchen for a snack. Ghrelin is a hormone you don’t want working overtime if
you’re trying to control your weight.

Together, leptin and ghrelin working quietly behind the scenes in
conjunction with other hormone players to control your desire to eat. They’re a
powerful duo when it comes to appetite control.

How Sleep Affects Appetite

In a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers measured
the effects of inadequate sleep on appetite hormones in 12 healthy young men of
normal weight. They did this by restricting the amount the men slept for 2
night consecutive nights. On those nights, they were only allowed to sleep for
4 hours.

When researchers measured levels of appetite hormones in these
sleep-deprived young men, they found that their leptin levels had dropped by
18% and their ghrelin levels rose by 28%. Not surprisingly, their appetite also
increased, and they experienced more cravings for high-carb, energy dense foods.

Even though this study was small, other research also suggests that lack of
sleep boosts appetite and cravings for carbs. Some experts believe it’s an
underappreciated contributor to obesity.

Another Way Lack of Sleep Causes Weight Gain

If you deprive yourself of sleep, levels of the stress hormone cortisol rise. Cortisol is a hormone that breaks down muscle tissue, reduces resistance to infection and boosts belly fat, especially the most dangerous kind, visceral fat. Cortisol is another hormone that can trigger cravings for carbs and send you running to the vending machine for a high-calorie snack.

As you can see, a variety of hormonal players work overtime when you don’t
get enough shut-eye. That’s why sleep should be a priority in the same way
exercise is. If you’re working out regularly and aren’t shedding body fat, keep
a sleep diary for two weeks and see if you’re getting enough sleep. If not,
it’s time to re-prioritize.

To keep your appetite hormones in line, between seven and eight hours of
sleep a night appears to be optimal. Less than that and you’ll have a harder
time reigning in your appetite and may find it more difficult to resist
high-carb treats like doughnuts that usually get passed around the office.

The Bottom Line?

Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep for controlling your weight.
Lack of it can upset the delicate balance between your appetite hormones and
undermine your efforts to control your weight. Next time you’re tempted to
watch a late show on television, head to bed instead. You’ll feel better the
next day, and you may eat less.

For more healthy fitness tips contact our fitness director/certified
personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, directly at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  And be sure to visit our website at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
for our latest weight loss program special and lose weight fast tips!

 

References:

Medscape CME. “Getting Sufficient Sleep May Help Reduce Weight Gain”

 

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Enjoy this Snowstorm with Calorie Burning Winter Sports... see the breakdown below..

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jan 03, 2014 @ 06:41 AM

 

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Don’t let this snowstorm sideline you from exercising!  Stick with your weight loss goals by going outdoors today!  Take advantage of this beautiful winter weather with these calorie burning activities that can be done alone, or with your family and children.  For more fitness tips, contact Step Ahead Wellness Center's certified personal trainer and fitness director, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  Visit www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com to take advantage of our latest healthy weight loss specials!

 

 

Winter Sport

120-lb
  woman

150-lb
  woman

Skiing

273

340

Snowboarding

273

340

Snowshoeing

382

476

Cross-Country Skiing

436

476

Ice Skating

327

408

Ice Hockey

436

544

Winter Hiking

327

408

Shoveling Snow

273

340

Sledding

327

408

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CARB BLOCKING SUPPLEMENT Now Available at Step Ahead Wellness Center!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 @ 01:23 PM

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If you've been battling carb cravings, Step Ahead Wellness Center can help!  We are thrilled to announce a new carb blocking supplement called CARB CHECK designed to stop cravings for empty carbs that sidetrack your healthy eating goals.

Empty carbs can sabbatoge your healthy weight loss plans and keep you off track.  This new supplement can help you block your cravings for empty carbs thus allowing to stick with your healthy eating plan optimizing nutrition, keeping your sugar levels steady and allowing you to feel energized all day long.  Additionally

Carb Check contains a northern white bean that inhibits the breakdown of starch in the intestinal track, thus alleviating cravings for empty carbs. By blocking these empty carbs, you're energy/sugar levels remain steady throughout the day thus making it much easier to stick with your healthy eating plan, and your execise regime!

In addition to Carb Check, Step Ahead Wellness Center offers many other healthy doctor supervised weight loss plans including OptiFast, on site one on one personal training and small group exercise sessions also on site.

 Let us help you stay on your healthy weight loss track this holiday season and beyond!  Call today to learn more about Carb Check, and all of our weight loss programs:  Call 908-470-2235 or email drneiman@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

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8 Holiday Treats Under 80 Calories

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 02:43 PM

We have been loving Health.com this holiday season with great tips on staying healthy. Check out this article for delicious holiday treats under 80 calories!

With the holidays just around the corner, breaking a diet could happen easily. Stay on track with these festive treats that are shockingly light.

Mulled wine

mulled wine glass 400x400 resized 600

From Health magazine

79 Calories

3 ounces red wine simmered with 3 cloves and 1 thin orange slice

Rosy red bites

red velvet mini cupcake 400x400 resized 600

44 Calories

Red velvet mini cupcake with cream cheese frosting and cherry (bakedbymelissa.com)

Grizzly treat

lindt chocolate bear 400x400 resized 600

58 Calories

Lindt Milk Chocolate Bear

Minty musts

peppermint malted milk balls 400x400 resized 600

68 Calories

Peppermint malted milk balls(nutsonline.com)

Gingerbread cookie

gingerbread cookie 400x400 resized 600

57 Calories

3- by 2-inch cookie, 1 teaspoonvanilla icing, and 3 Wilton Cinnamon Drops

One for the crunch

peanut brittle pieces 400x400 resized 600

73 Calories

3 Pieces peanut brittle (1/2 ounce)

Truly truffle

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63 Calories

Fig Truffle (bissingers.com)

Breath-freshening sweets

peppermint puffs 400x400 resized 600

70 Calories

Peppermint Puffs(hammondscandies.com)

 

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20543961_last,00.html

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Step Ahead's Health Tip for Today... Drink Water!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 06:47 AM

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For more information on Step Ahead Wellness Center's healthy weight loss program and/or personal training/fitness programs, visit www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  Be sure to click on our special Holiday Giveaway! 

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