Maintaining a healthy weight requires watching calories and eating the right foods. It’s also important to avoid weight cycling (losing and regaining weight multiple times), which increases the risk of health problems.
Some things can make it harder to control weight, such as stress, lack of sleep and some medications. These include antidepressants, steroids and some types of diabetes medication.
Get Enough Sleep
If you want to stay on track with your healthy eating plan, it is important to get enough sleep. A good night’s sleep is a natural energy booster and supports normal functioning of the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin. Insufficient slumber can disrupt this balance, leading to increased hunger and decreased satiety. This can result in overeating, especially of ultra palatable foods that are high in calories and fat. Optimal sleep is also critical for maintaining healthy stress levels, and emotional and mental health.
The best way to ensure adequate sleep is to make it a priority by setting a regular bedtime and a consistent wakeup time each day, including weekends. Getting a full night of quality sleep may also be helped by creating a relaxing sleeping environment, and by avoiding large meals, caffeine and alcohol before going to bed.
Stress, especially chronic, low-grade stress, can lead to weight problems, mainly because the body produces hormones that trigger cravings for highly palatable, high-calorie, high-fat foods. These foods raise cortisol levels, which can interfere with healthy metabolism and weight loss. Adding stress-reducing activities into your daily routine can help decrease the negative effects of chronic, low-grade stress on hormones and normalize metabolism and weight control. Psychotherapy, or cognitive behavioral therapy, is often helpful for treating stress-related weight issues and teaching coping skills to reduce cortisol. Adding these behaviors into your regular routine will also help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. You may even find yourself losing more weight.