5 Big Benefits of Fat Loss (Plus Low Carb Spaghetti w/ Meatballs Recipe!)

Almost every new client comes to me with the desire to lose fat – for a variety of reasons. The most prevailing reason that I hear is that they want to look more fit and attractive as a result of the fat loss.

Maybe losing fat in order to look better is a strong enough motivator for you, but I’ve found that most people need something more compelling. My experience with helping my clients achieve their fat loss goals has really opened my eyes to exactly what they gain when they lose the extra weight.

My hope is that by reading the 5 Big Benefits of FatLoss below, you’ll feel the driving motivation that you need to jump into fitness with both feet, and that you’ll find out just how amazing and capable you’ve been to achieve your goal all along.

Big Benefit #1: Confidence

lack-confidence-fear-failure
You may not consider it a concrete benefit, but that doesn’t stop confidence from being one of the most important perks of dropping fat. When you have increased confidence, you change how you view yourself and go about your daily routine. The world is at your fingertips and you are able to take on whatever it throws your way.

Additionally, when your confidence increases after losing a few pounds, you’re poised to keep losing. So the confidence you gain gives you what you need to lose more weight and feel even more confident.

Big Benefit #2: Money

money
It may be difficult to understand how losing weight saves you money, but it happens. How? When you start eating and drinking healthier options, this means you are most likely preparing meals at home, and dining out less often. Additionally, losing weight may make it possible to stop taking certain medications, which will help save you even more money.

On top of that, when you lose weight, you get a boost of confidence. (See previous point.) That boost of confidence will change how you handle yourself at work, helping you make the right impression on your boss, so you can get the promotion you need.

Big Benefit #3: Better Health Now

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Go to the doctor with some sort of health condition, and unless it’s the common cold or flu, losing a few pounds can almost always help you manage the condition better. From diabetes to heart disease to joint pain, trimming the fat from your body gives you a heads up right now. Cutting fat makes it easier to get around on your joints, reduces your blood pressure, and helps you sleep better.

As additional perks, less fat today means better sleep and better sex tonight. Since both of these improve your quality of life, taking the time necessary to shave off fat will give you the best life you could experience!

Big Benefit #4: Better Health Later

Doctor Speaking with Patient
Today isn’t the only time your health will improve if you lose some fat. Shred some pounds and you’ll reap the rewards for years down the road. Instead of having to manage a variety of health conditions, you will be able to keep those conditions at bay. A few health issues you can cut your risk for by cutting fatare diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, a variety of cancers, high blood pressure, and dementia. In other words, get rid of the fat today and you can avoid all the health issues in the future that requires fat loss for maximum management.

Big Benefit #5: Everything Tastes Better

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As you settle into your new fat-burning lifestyle that includes eating healthily and working out regularly, you’ll notice something. Because you no longer overeat at the buffet or go for a second or third helping, you will begin enjoying every bite that you take. As the bite sits in your mouth, you won’t swallow it before tasting or chewing. You will take your time and really savor the flavor.

And when you do start chewing your food and enjoying the flavors, your brain will have time to register when you’re full and cut you off before you stuff yourself with more calories than you can burn. Do this regularly and you’ll lose even more fat!

I’ve dedicated my career to helping people, just like you, conquer their fear of exercise and clear up their confusion with healthy eating. I know that a healthy life is within your reach – I’ve seen hundreds of my clients before you do it, and I’ll see hundreds after you do it. Today it’s your turn.

Call or email now to get started on an exercise program that will make fat burning second nature, and will transform your body for the best.

Are You Hungry?

When you find yourself reaching for a candy bar—WAIT! Are you really even hungry? Or are you simply eating out of habit? Next time you find yourself gravitating toward a junk food fix do a short burst of physical activity instead. A dozen jumping jacks, 15 sit ups, a walk around the block… you get the idea! By the time your heart rate returns to normal you will find that your craving has passed—and not only did you save yourself from empty calories, you burned extra calories as well!

Low Carb Spaghetti and Meatballs

Meetballs mainSo you ditched that package of high-carb noodles from your pantry, now learn to love nature’s healthy noodles: spaghetti squash. If you haven’t yet tried spaghetti squash then you’re in for a real treat. A pile of tender spaghetti squash strands piled high with protein and veggie meatballs makes the perfect fitness meal.

*Always buy organic ingredients*

Servings: 12

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 pounds organic, grass-fed ground beef

  • 1 pound lean, sweet free range turkey sausage

  • 4 celery stalks, diced

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 3 carrots, diced

  • 3 pastured eggs

  • 1/2 cup almond meal

  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • dash of celitc, or sea salt and pepper

  • Optional: handful of olives

Sauce

  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 can NO high fructose corn syrup tomato paste

  • splash of white wine

  • 2 cups fresh basil, chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped

  • dash of salt and pepper

Noodles

  • 1 spaghetti squash

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash spaghetti squash and poke all over with a knife. Place directly on the middle oven rack and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled, slice in half and remove the seeds. Scoop the spaghetti squash strands out with a large spoon, set aside in a bowl.

  2. Throw all of the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and mix with your hands. Form into large, golf ball sized meatballs.

  3. Combine all of the sauce ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well.

  4. Cook with Crockpot: Place the meatballs in your slow cooker. Cover with the sauce and cook on low for 6-8 hours. OR Cook with stovetop: Place meatballs in a large pot. Cover with sauce and cook, covered, over low heat for 2-3 hours.

  5. Place a scoop of spaghetti squash noodles on each plate, top with meatballs and some sauce and then throw on a few olives.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals:  266 calories, 12g fat, 426mg sodium, 14g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 26g protein

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7 Food Hacks For Fat Loss (Plus Omelete Recipe!)

The term ‘hack’ is being used a lot lately. While it used to have a negative connotation, these days to ‘hack’ is to find a quicker, easier and more effective method for achieving a goal.

There are life hacks (like packing Christmas ornaments in empty egg cartons), food hacks (like placing a handful of cherry tomatoes between two plates and using a knife to halve them all in one fell swoop), and as I’ll share with you today, fat losshacks.

Fat loss hacks are ways of doing everyday things, like eating, in a way that promotes fat loss and blocks fat storage. Sounds pretty great, right?!

Here are my 7 most effective Fat Loss Hacks

Fat Loss Hack #1: Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower-Rice-008_680

Serve shredded, sautéed cauliflower as rice, rather than traditional brown or white rice. This simple hack will save you hundreds of calories per meal and will leave you no less satisfied. You can even add your favorite spices and flavor additions as you do with traditional rice.

Fat Loss Hack #2: Vegetable Noodles

 Sesame-Noodles-with-Fresh-Vegetables-GI-365-7

There are many ways to create and enjoy noodles made from vegetables, rather than noodles made from grains. The veggie noodles are a hundred times less fattening than grain-based noodles, so what are you waiting for?! Use a spiral slicer to turn zucchini or butternut squash into noodles; bake a spaghetti squash and scrape out those nature-made noodles; or simply use a traditional veggie peeler to create long noodle strips from zucchini.

Fat Loss Hack #3: Lettuce Wrapped

Hamburger without bun

By simply replacing your sliced bread and buns for large pieces of lettuce, you’ll quickly eliminate a couple hundred calories from each meal. Once you get used to the crunch of the lettuce you’ll enjoy your new style of sandwich and burger even more than the traditional way.

Fat Loss Hack #4: Protein Powder

Did you know that protein powder can be used in many recipes to increase the protein and reduce the carbs? Replace a portion of the flour in your pancakes with high quality protein powder and you’ll see how delicious it tastes while being so much healthier for you.

The healthiest protein powder on the market is Shakeology.

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Fat Loss Hack #5: Coconut Oil

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Replace the vegetable oil in your kitchen with coconut oil, and enjoy benefits such as increased fatburning and reduced appetite. In addition, you’ll be avoiding the pitfalls of other, less healthy oils and fats. Coconut oil can be used in virtually any recipe – both stove top and baking.

Fat Loss Hack #6: Wholesome Sweeteners

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Throw the refined sugar out of your kitchen and replace it with any one of these wholesome sweeteners: coconut sugar, raw honey, pure maple syrup, or pitted dates. By getting your sweet fix from these wholesome, real food sweeteners you’ll be taking in fewer calories and there will be less of an impact on your blood sugar, which will result in less fat stored.

Fat Loss Hack #7: Water

pouring water in a glass collection isolated

Replace high calorie beverages with crystal clear water. This simple hack could quite possibly change your life. If high calories, sugar-laden beverages make up a significant part of your daily calories then switching to water will swiftly induce fat loss.

Start using these Fat Loss Hacks today and enjoy a leaner, more fit physique. Let me know when your jeans start to feel loose around the waist!

A consistent, challenging exercise program, like the ones that I provide for my clients, is the only way to achieve and maintain your ultimate fat loss goal. If you’re on the fence about starting one of my programs today then call or email for the details. We can start online as early as today!

Let me be your #1 secret weapon in fat loss.

A Simple Mind Shift

Want to eat less without feeling deprived? This simple mind shift will help you do just that: Instead of eating until you feel full, stop eating as soon as you are no longer hungry.

Fire-Roasted Chile Omelet

omelette-roll-sliceHere’s a recipe to spice up your breakfast. Eggs, fire-roasted green Chile and diced tomatoes create a tasty omelet that is bursting with flavor and packed with protein. Serve with a side of salsa and sliced avocado. Always buy organic ingredients.

 

Servings: 2

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 small tomatoes, finely chopped

  • 2 (4oz) (bpa free) cans of fire-roasted, diced green chiles

  • 12 organic pastured whole eggs

  • 2 Tablespoons water

  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

  1. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and chiles and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Season with pepper and salt and set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl whisk the egg whites and water. Lightly coat a medium non-stick skillet with coconut oil and place over medium heat. Add 1/4 of the eggs and swirl to evenly coat the bottom of that pan. Cook until the eggs have set, about 2 minutes.

  3. Use a rubber scraper to lift the eggs up and let the runny uncooked egg flow underneath. Spoon 1/4 of the Chile mixture onto half of the omelet, fold over, and slide onto a serving plate. Repeat with remaining egg whites and Chile mixture.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 163 calories, 10g fat, 6g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 26g protein.

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How To FINALLY Get Rid of Cellulite (4 Proven Methods)

This past week I was at the beach sippin’ on some good ol Shakeology when I couldn’t help but notice that cellulite was EVERYWHERE. From the “thin” to the overweight, cellulite was peeking it’s ugly head all over the place. And let’s face it, it is ugly. Speaking as a former obese guy I can tell you it’s not just a problem for women!

It’s no wonder that the most common question I get from clients is “How do I get rid of this damn cellulite!?”.

Before you shove out hundreds, or thousands of dollars in a desperate attempt to get rid of your cellulite, often called ‘cottage cheese’ or ‘dimples of the thigh’, let’s try something simple and MORE effective.

Oh wait, did you already spend several dollars? It’s okay, you’ll know better next time.

This article contains 4 methods for significantly improving, or even eliminating, your cellulite once and for all. Backed by the latest in cutting edge science, follow these methods and it will be like someone “photoshopped” the cottage cheese right off, only it’s legit.

In order to figure out how to treat cellulite, it helps to know what causes it. Cellulite is created by enlarged fat cells pushing up against the connective tissue (made partially of collagen) just below your skin.[1] Since these tissues aren’t very flexible, when the fat cells beneath them expand, they push out on your skin and cause dimples and irregular bumps.

And the more fluid and toxins you retain, the larger the cells get, so the worse your cellulite looks. I talk a lot about the importance of reducing inflammatory foods in your diet, and as you do so, you will notice an improvement in your skin quality and appearance.

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TOP INFLAMMATORY CAUSING FOODS THAT PRODUCE CELLULITE:

  • Sweetened Drinks,  Soda,  Soy, Trans-Fats, Margarine, Pasteurized Dairy

  • Vegetable Oils, Processed Foods, Wheat, Gluten, Potato-Starch, Corn-Starch

  • MSG, Aspartame, All Microwaved Foods, Overcooked Meats

Avoid all of the above foods like the plague.

Now that we’ve established how we get cellulite, let’s dig deep into how we can get rid of the damn thing, once and for all!

#1 Dry Skin Brushing

woman using bath brush

Your skin is a complex system made up of nerves, glands, and cell layers that, when healthy, serves as a buffer that helps protect your body from extreme temperatures and chemicals.

Another crucial role your skin plays is supporting optimal detoxification. But if your skin is overrun with toxins or dead skin cells, it will not be able to eliminate wastes from your body efficiently.

This is where dry skin brushing comes in, not only in brushing off dead skin cells but also in activating waste removal via your lymph nodes.

Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This is a very effective way to diminish the appearance of cellulite. 

Dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue, although some believe the effect is temporary (and mostly a result of skin become more plump and swollen after brushing).[2] [3] The Huffington Post reported:

When we’d heard dry skin brushing was an effective method for reducing cellulite, we knew we had to include it in our anti-cellulite road test. Sure enough, it was indeed one of the more successful ways to smooth away less-than-perfect spots on your legs.”

Other benefits of dry skin brushing include:

  • Stimulate Your Lymphatic System

  • Exfoliation

  • Increase Circulation

  • Stress Relief

  • Improve Digestion and Kidney Function

  • It’s Invigorating

#2 Acceleration Training

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Cellulite has been shown to improve measurably with acceleration training, [4][5][6] in which you perform exercises on a vibrating platform such as the Power Plate. (pictured above) The idea of acceleration training is to cause tissues throughout the body to tighten in response to gravity.

Interesting right?

Acceleration Training improves your lymph circulation, helping break down cellulite from the inside out. The vibrations cause thousands of muscle contractions that pump your lymphatic fluid out of problem areas, reducing fluid congestion in your tissues. This helps to flush out toxins and ease the load on your immune system. This mechanism has been scientifically shown to actually help rid your body of excess pounds and unsightly cellulite.

In a 2004 German study,[7] Acceleration Training alone reduced cellulite on subjects’ thighs and buttocks by nearly 26 percent. When cardio exercises were added to Vibration Training, cellulite dropped even more; just over 32 percent. Other research confirms its benefits for sustained fat loss. For example, one animal study[8] showed that Acceleration training caused a drop in the creation of new fat cells, and a 2010 study[9] on humans found that:

  • Those using Acceleration Training in addition to a low calorie diet lost twice as much visceral fat after six months compared to those who followed a low calorie diet with cardio and weight training.

  • The decrease in visceral fat remained at the same level in the vibration group after 12 months, while the diet and fitness groups returned to their normal baseline values after 12 months. The researchers suggested that the maintenance of visceral fat loss in the Acceleration Training groupmight be related to hormonal changes—specifically, increased production of human growth hormone (HGH).

Acceleration training also stimulates human growth hormone – an anti-aging hormone that enhances the growth of the muscle that burns those pesky fat cells that cause your cellulite in the first place.[10]

You only want to jump on for 10 to 15 minutes to see and feel results, and more time every day isn’t necessarily better. Dave Asprey, the Bulletproof Executive, designed the ‘Bulletproof Whole Body Vibration Plate’, or ‘Bulletproof Vibe‘, so you can easily set one up in your home and use it whenever you want.

Don’t have access to acceleration training? Many chiropractors now offer the Bulletproof Vibe, or something similar, in their offices.

If you are interested in learning more about Acceleration Training, follow this link.

#3 Intermittent Fasting

woman-with-empty-plate

I previously wrote an article on the numerous life enhancing benefits of Intermittent Fasting. In order to reduce the appearance of cellulite, you want to shrink the size of the fat cells that are pulling on your skin. One of the most important things you can do to shrink these particular fat cells is to turn on your body’s fat-burning mode (ketosis) so that it eats away at your fat stores. This is accomplished with Intermittent Fasting (IF).

One of the mechanisms that makes fasting so effective for fat loss is the fact that it provokes the secretion of human growth hormone (HGH), which is a fat-burning hormone. And yes, ladies need a healthy dose of HGH too.

Fasting also increases catecholamines, which increases resting energy expenditure while decreasing insulin levels, which allows stored fat to be burned for fuel.

Together, these and other factors will turn you into an effective fat-burning machine.

I personally practice Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting. The Bulletproof style of Intermittent fasting gives me the benefits of traditional fasting without having to actually fast.  It allows me to avoid the hunger pangs I would get as a consequence of feeling hungry and tired by going long periods of time without food, which mostly people cannot easily do. It also helps you to avoid losing muscle because you eat normal amounts of protein each day, just not in the morning.

To ramp up your intermittent fasting, consume nothing but Bulletproof Coffee and water until about 2pm each day.  For the window in which you do eat, which should be about 6-9 hours a day (while fasting the other 15-18 hours a day), continue eating your normal amount of calories from whole food sources; you want to have healthy protein, minimize your carbs like pasta and bread and potatoes and exchange them for healthful fats like butter, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts. (The type of fats the media and “experts” tell you to avoid.) This will help shift your body from sugar-burning mode to fat-burning mode. Remember it takes a few weeks to make the transition. You have to do it gradually, but once you succeed and switch to fat burning mode, you will easily be able to fast for 18 hours and not feel hungry. Your cravings for sugar will magically disappear and it will be much easier to achieve your ideal weight.

Another bonus of fasting, by adjusting your diet to what is low in both sugar and toxins, you won’t undo the good you’ve done while fasting and your body will continue to eradicate stored toxins, deflate your fat cells, and make your cellulite less visible. Even just eliminating inflammation without reducing fat will make a visible difference.

#4 High Intensity Training

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Reconsider how you exercise. One form of exercise that provides numerous benefits is high intensity interval training (HIIT), such as the Shredfat inc program. Cellulite has been shown to improve measurably with high intensity training. One of the ways it can be particularly helpful for combating cellulite is that it significantly boosts your levels of human growth hormone (HGH) which is a fat-burning hormone.

Even if you use a vibration platform to speed lymph flow and stimulate your muscles, you should still add 15 minutes of HIIT throughout your week to fight cellulite. It’s a great cellulite-buster because it increases your HGH and burns fat more effectively than regular exercise does.[11][12][13] And it takes less time!

HIIT requires that you perform very short, very intense rounds of exercise followed by a short period of active recovery. You can do HIIT with weights, and it works best.

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References and Sources:

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cellulite/basics/causes/con-20029901

[2] http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/beauty-style/dirt-dry-brushing

[3] http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/2014/02/benefits-of-dry-brushing/

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23888254

[5] http://powerplate.com/education-training/research/whole-body-vibration-helps-reduce-cellulite

[6] http://www.powerplate.fr/etudes/Frank_EffectsWBVCellulite.pdf

[7] http://www.benchmarkmedicalgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/PPUSA_research_cellulite.pdf

[8] http://stke.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/pnas;104/45/17879

[9] http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/04/19/cellulite-elimination.aspx#_edn2

[10] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10352397

[11] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=HIIT+Human+growth+hormone

[12] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12797841

[13] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25567049

3 Practical Solutions to Better Sleep

It’s 10pm, you FINALLY got everything done at a manageable hour, the kids are asleep, your significant other is out cold, you rest your head on your pillow with a smile on your face because you know that tonight you are getting some good ol’ ZzZz’s!

It is now 11:30pm and you are still wide awake. Well, there goes that plan.

What gives? Why does this happen? You’ve had a long and fulfilled day, so why can’t you just fall into a deep sleep that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the task at hand come morning time?

It can be extremely frustrating.

I’m writing this article to provide you with 3 scientifically proven ways you can catch some high quality sleep. I mean it, with these tips you will fall asleep quicker, and stay in deep quality sleep longer.

Good sleep is one of the cornerstones of optimal health.

Newborn baby

Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious effects on your health.

For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:

  • Dramatically weaken your immune system

  • Accelerate tumor growth—tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions

  • Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your weight

  • Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep—meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the next day

  • Impair your performance on physical or mental tasks, and decrease your problem solving ability

When your circadian rhythms are disrupted, your body produces less melatonin (a hormone AND an antioxidant) and has less ability to fight cancer, since melatonin helps suppress free radicals that can lead to cancer. This is why tumors grow faster when you sleep poorly.

sleep-health-danger

Impaired sleep can also increase stress-related disorders, including:

  • Heart disease

  • Stomach ulcers

  • Constipation

  • Mood disorders like depression

Recent studies show poor sleeping habits cause both brain damage and brain shrinkage, and may even accelerate onset of Alzheimer’s disease. [1] 

Research published in the journal Science[2revealed that your brain removes toxic waste during sleep through what has been dubbed “the glymphatic system.”[3], [4], [5This system becomes active during sleep, thereby allowing your brain to clear out toxins and harmful proteins.

Sleep is also necessary for maintaining metabolic homeostasis in your brain.[6], [7],[8] Without sufficient sleep, your neurons will actually begin to deteriorate—and catching up on sleep during weekends will not prevent this damage.

brain-synapses

Sleeping soundly appears to be key for aging well, and maintaining healthy brain function into old age.

#1 SOLUTION: TURN YOUR BEDROOM INTO A SLEEP CAVE

Add these few changes to your bedroom for a significant increase in sleep.

Adjust the temperature.

Studies have found that in general, the optimal temperature for sleep is quite cool, around 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit.[9] Temperatures that fall too far below or above this range can lead to restlessness.

Temperatures in this range help facilitate the decrease in core body temperature that in turn initiates sleepiness. A growing number of studies are finding that temperature regulation plays a role in many cases of chronic insomnia.

Researchers have shown, for example, that insomniacs tend to have a warmer core body temperature than normal sleepers just before bed, which leads to heightened arousal and a struggle to fall asleep.

Make your room as dark as possible.

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Unplug everything that glows, cover your windows with black curtains. Yes it might feel like you are about to begin a 3 month hibernation, but you’ll sleep like a baby.

Turn off electronics at least one hour before bed.

This may be the hardest tip to do. You read from your Kindle, check your email, text friends, all while trying to fall asleep. Many experts feel that our excessive use of communications technology (e.g. cell phones, laptops, television, etc.) is driving this significant level of sleep deprivation. It’s no wonder so many Americans struggle with poor sleep, since 95% have reported using some type of electronics at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed.[10]

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Research has showed that nighttime light exposure suppresses the production of melatonin, as mentioned previously, is the major hormone secreted by the pineal gland that controls sleep and wake cycles. [11] Therefore, it would make sense that a reduction in melatonin at night is associated with subjective levels of sleeplessness. [12], [13] But melatonin suppression has far worse consequences than simply poor sleep outcomes: it has also been shown to increase the risk of cancer, impair immune system function, and possibly lead to cardio metabolic consequences such as type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and heart disease. [14], [15] This is some serious business.

Listen, if you are not willing to shut down the Macbook, or power down the iPhone, at least reduce the brightness on the screen. Setting the cell phone on ‘Airplane Mode’ is also a good idea.

 #2 SOLUTION: BED TIME SUPPLEMENTATION

Sometimes you need to signal your body, and tell it “Hey, I’m ready for sleep so let’s start shutting down now”. These supplements will relay that signal.

Magnesium.

The most powerful relaxation mineral available, and it can help improve your sleep.

Magnesium from Mendeleev's periodic table

A deficiency in this critical nutrient makes you twice as likely to die as other people, according to a study published in The Journal of Intensive Care Medicine.[16] It also accounts for a long list of symptoms and diseases — which are easily helped and often cured by adding this nutrient.

Think of magnesium as the relaxation mineral. Anything that is tight, crampy, irritable, and stiff – whether it is a body part or an even a mood is a sign of magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is responsible for over 300 enzyme reactions and is found in all of your tissues — but mainly in your bones, muscles, and brain. You must have it for your cells to make energy, for many different chemical pumps to work, to stabilize membranes, and to help muscles relax.

Take 400mg magnesium 30-60 minutes before bed. Too much will result in diarrhea aka disaster pants. The most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate, threonate, or aspartate.

Potassium. 

fotolia_1866134_XSSynergistic with magnesium; the combination will remove nighttime leg cramps for most people.  Less cramps equals more sleep.

A recent study demonstrated results that may indicate an improvement in sleep consolidation with potassium supplementation.[17]

Take 400-500mg of potassium citrate 30-60 minutes before bed.

 

MCT or Coconut Oil.

This works well if appetite cravings are keeping you awake, but you don’t want an insulin spike from carbohydrates or protein. This strategy works well for people who are on a diet or who have really stepped up their level of physical activity.

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Take 2-3 tablespoons MCT Oil, Brain Octane or coconut oil 30-60 minutes prior to bed.

Raw Honey.

During the night, your brain uses a lot of energy.  One efficient form of brain energy comes from sugar stored in your liver, called liver glycogen.  Your brain taps your liver glycogen before hitting your muscle glycogen (stored sugar in your muscles), so having a little extra sugar before bed can help your brain function better at night.  Raw honey is preferentially used to stock liver glycogen, so it is used first for brain function.

raw-honey1

Raw honey is 22% better at making liver glycogen than the cooked, conventional stuff you’re likely to find at the supermarket.

Take 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey before bed if it helps with your sleep.

#3 SOLUTION: CAFFEINE CURFEW

If you are a regular reader of mine, you know how much I love my coffee; specifically my Bulletproof Coffee as it puts my mind into an amazing place where I become more productive and perform better.

lark-caffeine-and-sleepHowever, you also need to let your mind rest after its high output performances.  In general, don’t drink coffee after 2:00 PM, or at least 8 hours before bedtime, which ever comes first.  This will make sure you get all of the cognitive benefits of caffeine without sacrificing your sleep. Some people need more than 8 hours of caffeine avoidance to sleep with maximum performance.

If you’ve been cutting it close with your caffeine and bedtime, consider this study which showed that caffeine taken 6 hours before bedtime has important disruptive effects on sleep.[18]

 

 

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References and Sources:

[1] http://www.neurobiologyofaging.org/article/S0197-4580(14)00203-6/abstract

[2] http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6156/373

[3] http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/news/story/index.cfm?id=3956

[4] http://healthland.time.com/2013/10/17/your-brain-cells-shrink-while-you-sleep-and-thats-a-good-thing/

[5] http://www.kurzweilai.net/how-the-brain-takes-out-the-trash-while-we-sleep?utm_source=KurzweilAI+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1f13ae0363-UA-946742-1&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6de721fb33-1f13ae0363-282120781

[6] http://www.jneurosci.org/content/34/12/4418.short

[7] http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/news/News_Releases/2014/03/veasey/

[8] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/274258.php

[9] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8022726?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

[10] http://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/annual-sleep-america-poll-exploring-connections-communications-technology-use-

[11] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21552190

[12] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22526883

[13] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3047226/

[14] http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07853890.2011.586365

[15] http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-079X.2010.00773.x/full 

[16] Tong, GM and RK Rude. 2005. Magnesium deficiency in critical illness. J Intensive Care Med 20 (1):3-17. Review.

[17] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1947601

[18] http://www.aasmnet.org/jcsm/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=29198