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Your Zen Place

yoga at the beach

I hate the layout of my house! I understand the desire to have an open concept living room/kitchen, but then I am always sitting in the kitchen. It is ten steps from my living room couch to my refrigerator and fifteen steps to the pantry. This layout is making it so hard to do intermittent fasting. I usually try to stop eating at 8 p.m. but a girl only has so much willpower. After torturing myself for months, I have decided to go upstairs for the evening at 8 p.m. and hang out in my room. This is bedtime for my kids which makes it a little easier. However, I am unwilling to admit I am old and can imagine the reaction from Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City fame as I write this. Remember the breakdown she had when “Big” put a TV in their bedroom?

I like sitting in my bed watching the The Real Housewives of Wherever . . . (I watch too many different cities to actually admit it.) I also, however, find that it is a trigger for me when they are drinking wine and eating some fabulous meal to want to eat and drink myself. If I am upstairs, the chances of me walking downstairs—which would take effort and let everyone in my house know I am eating—is enough of a deterrent. Besides, if I give myself a moment to resist the urge, I will quickly realize that there is nothing that great to eat in my fridge and I am actually not hungry. I will let the moment pass.

By going upstairs earlier in the evening, I am also more likely to get more sleep. If I am in my room and my husband wants to go sleep (or do other fun stuff . . .) at 10 p.m., I will get a better night’s sleep. I also try and turn the TV off around 9 p.m. to prepare myself for sleep. At that time I will either take a bath, talk to one of my children who should be asleep but is procrastinating by actually talking to me (I get the best information about how they are doing from them at this time of night), or I will read a book.

There is lot of good medical data showing that you need eight hours of sleep to reset your body and help you lose weight. Some of the data even suggests you get the best sleep between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. This is why if you are still awake at 10 p.m. you get that feeling of a second wind and watch even more TV. Your body had prepped that 10 p.m. time for the energy of repairing itself in a sleep state. If you are sleep deprived from just missing one good night of sleep, you can become as insulin resistant as a type 2 diabetic. Also after twenty-four hours of overall sleep deprivation, your brain is getting less glucose than it is used to getting. Your frontal lobe then kicks in and remembers how carbs such as ice cream, candy, and chips can give it that glucose you need. This urge to eat will override any willpower you may have.

So, head to your room early. Make it your zen place where you reward yourself with great sleep. You earned it. Get your eight hours so your hormones can repair the day’s damage and wake up refreshed! Sleep is integral to your weight-loss journey.

“Joint Consensus Statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society on the Recommended Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Adult: Methodology and Discussion,” Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Vol. 11, No. 8, 2015;