I HAVE MOVED! My main blog as of Sept of 2010 is TWO YEARS TO HAPPY WEIGHT AFTER. Visit me there. My post links in the updates below will link up to the new blog. THANKS for reading!

Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bad sleep, salt bender, and more depressing research on how women's bodies hold onto fat....

Well, I've been struggling to stay on a normal schedule, and my nite owl body is resisting like mad. I was so happy when I was up early and to bed early, but that only lasted like 2.5 weeks and then I started having sleep issues as my body wants to be a vampire again.

When I don't sleep well, I am hungrier and more prone to want those fast food baddies. Don't know why, but it's true. If I sleep well and deeply and at least 8 to 9 hours, I do better with my eating and exercising. When I sleep poorly, I crave salt and I crave sugar and I can barely get through a training session. Yesterday's Pilates class was a struggle punctuated by cramps and having to stop and start several times, whereas the ones when I was getting up earlier were hard, but doable. And I've been practically sucking on the salt shaker.


So, today, I'm gonna go get some veggie and fruit smoothies and try to mitigate some of the damage from all the sodium. I feel bloated and I have dark circles under my eyes. Not nice.

Of course, to add insult to bloaty injury, I read this: Weighing the Evidence on Exercise.  This is a really interesting article, and I recommend any of you who are struggling with diet AND exercise to read it. It's not the happiest news for us ladies, though, because, as we already knew, when it comes to weight loss, biology favors the gents and royally screws us. The article highlights how, especially in women, exercise increases ghrelin which increases appetite. (I can attest to this. I'm always FAMISHED after a hard workout and hit Starbucks for a sugarfree latte posthaste.)

But it's not all grim news in the article, though it is still grim for those of use with BMIs higher than 25 (and if you're obese, yeah, your BMI is way over 25). (see page 2 of article).

If you plan to lose the weight and keep it off, you (and I) better learn to either love to exercise A LOT or just buck up and do the exercise, love it or hate it. Why? Cause exercise isn't just about calories out. It seems to do something to your very physiology:

Scientists are “not really sure yet” just how and why exercise is so important in maintaining weight loss in people, Braun says. But in animal experiments, exercise seems to remodel the metabolic pathways that determine how the body stores and utilizes food. For a study published last summer, scientists at the University of Colorado at Denver fattened a group of male rats. The animals already had an inbred propensity to gain weight and, thanks to a high-fat diet laid out for them, they fulfilled that genetic destiny. After 16 weeks of eating as much as they wanted and lolling around in their cages, all were rotund. The scientists then switched them to a calorie-controlled, low-fat diet. The animals shed weight, dropping an average of about 14 percent of their corpulence.
Afterward the animals were put on a weight-maintenance diet. At the same time, half of them were required to run on a treadmill for about 30 minutes most days. The other half remained sedentary. For eight weeks, the rats were kept at their lower weights in order to establish a new base-line weight.
Then the fun began. For the final eight weeks of the experiment, the rats were allowed to relapse, to eat as much food as they wanted. The rats that had not been running on the treadmill fell upon the food eagerly. Most regained the weight they lost and then some.
But the exercising rats metabolized calories differently. They tended to burn fat immediately after their meals, while the sedentary rats’ bodies preferentially burned carbohydrates and sent the fat off to be stored in fat cells. The running rats’ bodies, meanwhile, also produced signals suggesting that they were satiated and didn’t need more kibble. Although the treadmill exercisers regained some weight, their relapses were not as extreme. Exercise “re-established the homeostatic steady state between intake and expenditure to defend a lower body weight,” the study authors concluded. Running had remade the rats’ bodies so that they ate less.

As someone whose fat is primarily that dangerous abdominal adiposity, this is actually something that offers a bit of comfort. I may really hate aerobic exercising (though I enjoy Pilates), but the fact that it might have an effect on my worst fat issue--that deadly abdominal fat--is something of a spur.

I'm gonna go check Netflix and On Demand for doable aerobic exercise for big me. I hate to sweat, but I hate this huge, deadly belly more.

It's not good news. Good news would be, "NewsFlash: We've found the magic bullet and you can all be trim with one daily pill with no bad side effects that also happens to make you look younger." :D

Until then--we know, we know--eat wholesome food and move, move, move.

So, let me finish watching THE DOCTORS (they have the Eat This, Not That dude on today, and he's kinda cool), finish my second cup of java, and then do a shopping list for debloating and defatting this week.

Later...from the bloated Princess...

ETA: Well, I found this on sleep and weight loss in a Washington Post article:

What do we know? Scientists have an idea for how lack of sleep might contribute to obesity. In two studies, lack of sleep was found to influence two hormones that help control hunger. Leptin, made by fat tissue, tells your brain when it's time to stop eating, while grhelin, which is made in the stomach, signals that you ought to eat more. Both studies -- one involving 11 subjects, the other more than a thousand -- found that restricted sleep led to suppression of leptin and increased grhelin activity, two states that could make you want to eat more.
At least one doctor is willing to take the leap and recommend that people who want to lose weight should get a handle on their sleep. Michael Aziz, author of "The Perfect 10 Diet" (Sourcebooks, 2010), writes, "Getting enough sleep is the cheapest and simplest advice I can give for losing weight."


moonduster said...

Well, it's good news only because I already exercise A LOT! LOLQ

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Good for you. You're one step ahead. :D