Karen is an Eating Psychology Coach. She is the creator of the Conscious Eating Programme: Changing your thoughts about food to transform your body and your life.
Find out more about Karen's work here.
Sleep isn’t just about rest and recovery. It is essential in maintaining mood, memory and cognitive performance, together with normalising the endocrine and immune systems. Whilst asleep, the body secretes important hormones that regulate and control metabolic and endocrine functions. Without adequate sleep, the body cannot produce the necessary hormones to operate the body properly.
With working longer and longer hours, a result is less sleep and this is proving to have negative effects on our health. In 1910, the average night’s sleep was 9 hours, reducing down to 7.5 hours in 1975 but in modern times for many shift workers experience less than 5 hours.
Research shows there is a direct link between lack of sleep and weight gain. When a person is sleep deprived there is a reduction in leptin levels, thus an increase in ghrelin levels which means appetite increases and even when eating a meal, the individual still feels hungry. This causes them to want to eat more food to satisfy the hunger.
To add insult to injury, working longer hours and eating late, or at unnatural times due to shift work, is sure to cause you to gain weight. Ideally, you should not eat after 7pm and you should definitely avoid carbs as it causes a significant rise in the storage hormone, insulin which halts fat burning.
It’s a good idea to plan your meals if you are working late to have a hearty meal late afternoon and then a low carb protein-based shake or lean chicken/turkey later on. These slow digesting proteins provide your body with a steady flow of amino acids throughout the night which help you to increase your fat loss. Sadly, no matter how well-informed we are about what we should be eating and what’s good for us, many people turn to high fat, high carb ‘quick fixes’ when it comes to late-night eating in the form of cakes, ice-cream, pizza, etc.
If you are struggling with your eating habits or are a secret night-time eater, I offer a FREE 30 minute ‘Transform your relationship with food’ consultation. Or you may want to come on one of my one-day ‘Introduction to Conscious Eating’ workshops which are held once a month. To find out more please contact Karen, Eating Psychology Coach at The Conscious Eater 07804 529371.