"Go To Bed Hungry" (#167)
For the past decade of my training career, the only successful fat loss clients (including myself) I've had were the ones who quickly accepted that they just simply eat too much, and eat the wrong kinds of foods. The slightest feeling of hunger sends many of us rushing to eat, when really feeling a little hungry is totally normal and ok. I'm not saying to go starve yourself, I'm assuming that you're eating a well balanced diet throughout the day; I just want you to realize that you don't need to fill up on extra calories before bed that will just be stored as fat.
Instinctually, a hunger signal means that you better eat or you're going to die. But in todays day and age (in most of the world), that just isn't the case anymore. In fact, we have such an abundance of food available to us at all times that we are getting fatter and fatter by the day.
Don't be afraid to feel a little hungry...I repeat, it's OK to be hungry! Growing up our parents told us to finish everything on our plates, and Grand-Mom shoveled everything down our throats because well, its Grand-Mom. And don't forget all the people telling you that you have to fuel your muscles every two hours or you're going to get frail and weak. But no one ever told you that if you're battling a weight issue, you eat too much and you have to change your eating patterns. Instead, we're all told that we have a slow metabolism, a thyroid problem, or a stomach worm.
Now obviously I know these issues do exist, but it's in such a small percentage of the population that it's probably not your issue. Between the hundreds of successful clients I've dealt with over my years as a Coach, and my own personal battle with fat loss, there only thing that works is eating LESS and better quality foods. Going to bed a little hungry is a great start if you want to really demolish your excess weight. You will wake up hungry (which is good), eat a nice breakfast, and kickstart your day (and metabolism).
I am certain that water (or lack of) is also a big problem in people when in comes to weight gain. The brain can play tricks on your body and send "hunger signals" telling you to eat when really you're just in need of some water. A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water per day. Example: If you weigh 150 pounds, drink approximately 75 ounces of water. Yes, the foods you eat (assuming you're eating good foods) have a ton of water in them too. Fruits and veggies are 99% water.
Whether you eat out of anger, sadness, loneliness, boredom or stress (which many of us do), realize that with a few simple tweaks like going to bed a little hungry, you can make huge changes. It comes down to discipline! When you can implement a little more discipline in your life, you gain control of what may seem is a spiraling shit storm. Just take a step back and set specific goals (I want to lose 20 pounds in the next 4 months / I want to lose 5% body fat over the Summer), and write down everything that you're going to change that will allow you to reach these specific goals.
* Obviously, I understand that some of us have crazy schedules and we may not get home to eat until later. In these cases, eating before bed can be ok IF you're still staying under your caloric needs for the day.
Keeping a food journal (on paper) is a game changer. Write down what time you eat, what your ate and how much you ate. If you keep a strict (HONEST) food journal, you may be shocked at what you see. Those calories can really add up over an entire day, and keeping a food journal can really help you spot your issues. Once you accept and identify the issues, you can take control and fix them.
Start by going to bed a little hungry...You're glycogen stores (stored sugar) will do their job and you'll be fine. Make this a habit and you will create a cascading effect and those extra pounds will fall right off.