Sleep More, Lose More
By June Ping Lim
(Bachelor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with First Class Honours, TCM Aesthetics)
The stubborn, hideous and disgusting belly fat seems almost impossible to get rid of. Everyone wants an easier, lazier, yet effective way to lose it but only a few seems succeed. No belly belt, no body wrapping, no slimming tea, no gym and no money required. All you need to do is to have enough sleep you will lose your belly fat and love handles that come along with it.
We know we need to sleep, and we know when we don’t get enough or are deprived of sleep, it will ruin our mood the next day. But do you know they could damage your waistline?
Although it may be surprising, lacking of sleep is actually the most common culprit of belly fat. You can be maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, you get still get belly fat. The size of a person’s stomach gives an impression of their overall health. Belly fat makes them look unhealthy and those who have it often feel unhealthy because of it.
A little bit of fat in the abdomen brings no harm. It acts as a protection to your stomach, intestines, and other delicate organs. But it becomes the most dangerous type of body fat to carry when extra fat cells located deep in abdomen (aka visceral fat), as it indicates a higher level of visceral fat around the internal organs.
An excess of visceral fat is known as central obesity, the “pot belly” or “beer belly” effect, in which the abdomen protrudes excessively. This body type is also known as “apple-shaped‚” as opposed to “pear-shaped‚” in which fat is deposited on the hips and buttocks.
Sleep – Your Body’s Best Buddy
Researches have shown that those who have belly fat most likely are suffering from poor sleeping quality – and vice versa. There’s a bidirectional relationship between sleeping quality and central obesity.
Many of you might not realise sleeping quality is one of the complicated factors that cause belly fat, other than genetic influence, diet, exercises and etc. As you age, your sleeping quality will be gradually decreasing. The most significant sign will be poor quality of slow-wave sleep (SWS), often referred to as deep sleep. SWS is important, not only because it is a reset button to your body, but it allows fat burning to be carried out while you’re not eating and resting.
Anything less than 7 or 7.5 hours of sleep a night reduces the secretion of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, and increases levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. In short, less sleep means more time to eat. When your body has no chance to reset, it opens you up to added stress during the day due to fatigue. Sleep and stress go hand in hand.
Apart from that, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are some useful tips that you can do at anytime and anywhere.
#1 Kneading & Pushing Method
Do it an hour after every meal, for about 30 times repeatedly.
Gently, knead in clockwise motion for about 100 times and reverse motion for about 100times.
#2 Patting & Hitting Method
These two methods can stimulate the fats beneath the abdomen, promote and speed up the breakdown of the fat cells.
Now that you know the power of sleep and some useful tips, put them into action and get your 7-9 hours of beauty sleep start from tonight. An extra hour in bed sure beats going to the gym. You’ll feel so much better and look so much better.
Sleeping could be the best kept secret in fitness as it requires only a warm and comfortable bed. Remember, “SLEEP MORE, LOSE MORE”.