8 Simple Tricks You Can Use to Lose FAT This Week – Without Changing A Single Item in Your Diet or Exercise
8 Simple Tricks You Can Use to Lose FAT This Week – Without Changing A Single Item in Your Diet or Exercise

Hey mate,

 

I hope this finds you better than ever and rocking your weekend.

 

When it comes to FAT LOSS, there are three things that I rate as super important yet the frequent lack of drives me nuts….

 

1. Sleep, insufficient quantity and quality

2. People drinking (especially dairy based) liquid meals post workout (or any other time)

3. Insufficient consumption of calories (yes I said insufficient!)

 

This post covers the sleep part.

 

If you are stuck on a plateu with ANY body composition goal, then sleep, stress, and cortisol (they are all related) are likely to be your biggest impediments to success. Remove those impediments, and voila!

 

 

Biggest issues of getting insufficient sleep…

 

 

•  sleep deprivation dramatically impacts insulin sensitivity, making you more insulin resistant

THE ABOVE CAN HAPPEN AFTER JUST ONE BAD NIGHTS SLEEP. ONE!

 

•  sleep deprivation dramatically alters cortisol levels

 

•  sleep deprivation limits our ability to utilize growth hormone efficiently for fat loss

 

•  insulin resistance causes us to store fat around the middle and we have issues using fat for fuel

 

•  chronically high cortisol levels cause us to store fat around the middle

 

•  chronically high cortisol levels result in elevated blood glucose, won’t help your fat loss one bit

 

•  chronically high cortisol levels sabotage muscle gain at all times, and sabotage lean muscle retention when leaning out.

YOU NEED THAT MUSCLE to burn fat

 

• chronically elevated cortisol smashes testosterone out the window – sorry romantic weekend, energetic and happy husbands, or workout recovery (both sexes)

 

• chronically elevated cortisol levels impact collagen production – say hello wrinkles

 

In other words, if fat loss is your goal and you are NOT sleeping well…. if you are chronically insulin resistant and have elevated blood glucose levels from cortisol from lack of sleep…. then your insides are very similar to what they would be if you were eating a high carb diet and regularly chomping down on pasta.

 

“Sorry body, I wanted to give you some serious fat loss, but I couldn’t be bothered making sleep a priority.” ??

 

Worse, if you don’t get enough sleep your ability to burn fat is effectively castrated by the negative impact poor sleep has on your hormones. Pretty much ALL of them.

 

You will also feel horrible, have limited sex drive, more likely die of cancer (just google it!), and look old before your time, but I digress.

 

How about some good news?

 

If you DO get plenty of quality sleep, here is what you can expect

 

Yes! Improved cortisol levels in the body

Yes! Improved utilization of growth hormone for fat loss

Yes! More energy

Yes! A longer life

Yes! You will look younger

Yes! You will feel freaken awesome

Yes! Any health or fitness goal will begin to happen a lot more easily

AND… Yes! You will be happier, I GUARANTEE it.

 

Ahem!

 

So…. this week, how about a focus on SLEEP quality AND quantity?

 

Want to get leaner, stronger, healthier? You will thank me for it.

 

Here are EIGHT basic tips to get your started:??

 

1. Use black out curtains and sleep in a pitch black room

 

2. Stop looking at back-lit screens at LEAST two hours prior to going to sleep. That is NO tv, NO computer, NO ipad, NO smart phone.

Instead read, walk, listen, or talk… to someone – especially if that someone is your significant other – see end of post

 

3. Whatever caffeine you consumed on average per day last week, this week…. halve it

 

4. Try and stop caffeine consumption within 4-5 hours of waking up, for most people, a simple rule of thumb is stop by midday. whatever you time you set, STICK to eat each day

 

5. Try and go to bed at the same time each night this week

 

6. Don’t stuff yourself with a big meal inside 2 hours of sleeping, this can cause sleep disturbances and potentially mess with growth hormone release during sleep

 

7. By the same taken, avoid alcohol, it not totally, then at least two hours prior to bed

 

8. And the best one: try and wake up WITHOUT an alarm, every chance you can. If this means you have to go to bed earlier…. then what is your body telling you???

 

 

 

Some extras to play with (btw, there is a whole CHART here folks):

 

– consider valerian tea, chamomile tea, as a pre sleep beverage

– consider playing with melatonin if you have real issues, but start with low low doses under 1mg

– try bikram yoga in the evening, then don’t look at your phone, tv, or computer afterwards until sleep time

– an ice bath in the evening (this seriously rocks for sleep quality)?- a long japanese style, deep, hot bath (ofuro) with 1kg of epsom salts (watch hydration and finish this with sufficient time that you stop sweating before you get into bed)

– one day, take the entire evening off, read or talk to someone, then get a long deep tissue massage in, then pass out

 

I go for a rhythm where I try and shut down my brain by not thinking about work, reading work or thinking-related material (or looking at my computer) at least two hours prior to bed. Then for at least the last 15-30 minutes before bed, I read fiction, in relatively low light conditions (just enough soft light that your eyes don’t strain).

 

Of course,  the argument could be made that making love to your significant other is the ultimate good night’s sleep night cap.

 

Nature designed it that way, there is not a single positive hormone in your body that won’t be happy with you if you do this. So Kiwi Two Cents: Take those endorphins and pass out with a smile on your face.

 

Feel free to jump in on on the comments with your own tips, tricks, and suggestions.

 

Asked specifically, what THREE things do you find most help you get a deep, big, happy, long, refreshing sleep??

 

???”100% Focus on Happiness”??

 

That is my mantra, and it starts with phenomenal health – now tonight, go get your sleep!

 

Best,

 

 

Chris “the Kiwi” Ashenden

 

 

ps did I mention I have a CHART on all this? Hehe.

 

You can see an entire chart and blog post dedicated to this issue on my Fat Loss, Cortisol, and You post. Since I suck at excel and that chart took me a LOOOOOONG time to generate and put into that post I would appreciate it if you could at least check it out, and then if you like it, SHARE it with your mates and family.

 

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About the author
Chris 'The Kiwi'
So named because he comes from a little country in the Pacific called New Zealand where a small, fat, quasi-blind, and largely defenseless bird by the name of “Kiwi” is the national animal, and what we are called when we land in other countries. He is focused on using what he can remember from his studies for a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science and his cumulative years as a nutritionist and strength coach to help other people enjoy amazing levels of health and energy. He enjoys ticking through his list of life goals and meeting new people.
  • Apartment Diet

    Thanks Chris, great article.
    We agree wholeheartedly about SLEEP and how humans need rest…and I love how you’ve made the information accessible…so much sure that we’ll be sharing this on our blog tomorrow with our favourite links for the week.
    Have a great week!
    Natalie

  • Anonymous

    ESH – Lately i was low on $$ and debits were killing me from everywhere! That was Until I learned to generate money on the Internet. I went to surveymoneymaker point net, and started doing surveys for straight cash, and yes! i’ve been really more able to get around financialy!! I am very glad, that I did this!! With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. – T0Ok

  • Marilyn Jenett

    Chris, please bear with my long post…

    I’ve been a health nut for decades and am knowledgeable about the sleep situation, especially since I’ve always been a night owl. A few years back a U.S. university isolated a gene that proved that our circadian rhythm can be inborn and impossible to change, like the color of our eyes. (Fascinating episode on highly respected and longstanding TV program, “60 Minutes” )

    To my point…although I agree with the idea of complete darkness for quality of sleep, I have a personal issue with that. I must have some fresh air when I sleep – which means an open window – in my case, bedroom has large patio doors with floor to ceiling levelor blinds. I leave the door slightly ajar but even with the blinds closed, light comes through. If I cover the glass doors completely, light won’t seep through the blinds, but it will still enter the room from the part of the door that’s open. If I cover all exposure to light (curtains, shades, etc), it also cuts off the circulation of air. So the light in the morning would be fine if I were an early bird up at the crack of dawn, but I’m not. I haven’t discovered a way around that. Since I awaken late, the light enters when I should be in deepest sleep. Sleeping in an air tight room with air conditioning on is certainly not an option. I love the fresh air and the peace and quiet. And forget those sleep masks – very uncomfortable.

    There really isn’t a way to shut out all light in this case. Although my hours are different than others, I sleep well. My weight is perfect. I came from a “fat” family – mother and younger sister were obese and are both dead, but I studied the laws of mind for decades (I’m now a renowned prosperity teacher) and I programmed my mind to never let me go beyond a specific weight – it worked. I also look at least 20 years younger than my chronological age. So I must be doing something right. But they say that as we get older, our quality of REM sleep decreases. I think quality of sleep is paramount for all aspects of life. I would welcome any suggestions on how to get my best sleep and fresh air too. No, I don’t wish to move to a country where it’s dark 6 months out of the year. :)

  • 4hourguy

    The Kiwi,
    I use athletic greens because it makes me happy. I also am happy because I feel I gain 2 extra hours per day by hacking my sleep with Everyman 2 sleep schedule. Are you saying this is bad?

    Thx,

    • Anonymous

      Hey mate.

      Thank you for the comments. Yes, I would go for 8 to 10 hours, every night.
      Hit that for three months and watch what happens. Expect improvements in happiness, energy, body comp, strength, recovery, memory, productivity, and sexual performance.
      I rate sleep WAY up there on the importance scale.

      Hope that helps mate, let me know how you get on.

      C

      Chris Ashenden

  • Anonymous

    Hey mate.

    Really sorry on delayed response. My thought are three-fold

    1. Food quality trumps all – simple looking a macro nutrients says nothing to me

    2. Fuel to your optimum requirements – if you are doing a lot of gylcolytically demanding exercise (any time of short rest protocol in any format, high total volume of training, or any type of intense endurance sport) then you are way better off to fuel with carbs. Training intensely for a long time on very low carbohydrate diets is going to cause your body to crank up cortisol and derive sugars from gluco neo genesis, not to mention that it will put your body under a decent amount of stress.

    3. Even if you are still insulin resistant, and your exercise is largely walking, lifting weights say two times per week, and doing some sprints every now and again, I am still a fan of cycling carbs in once every 3-21 days depending on personal needs after an initial period without. This would be the ideal long term eating plan for the majority of folks who aren’t doing much in terms of really intense exercise or chasing aggressive levels of performance.

    Bear in mind the Food for Fat Loss is just that, for fat loss, it is not an eating protocol for athletes or even most weekend warriors without some decent modifications.

    Food QUALITY however, remains the paramount concern, hope that helps.

  • Penny

    Hi Chris,
    My question to you is – I get how importent sleep is, I am a nurse and I see what sleep deprivation can do to your body not only physically but mentally as well. I work the night shift and that means I work 11pm – 8am. Sleep for about 3-4 hrs in the morning and then another 3-4 hrs in the evening befor I go into work. This is the only sched. that allows me to function. But I have been fighting weight all my life. I only eat organic, no artif. sweeteners, low to no carbs from white stuff., no wheat, corn, sugar, or soy products. How do I make this work and loose that unwanted weight keeping this sched?
    Help Please.

    • christhekiwi

      Hey Penny,

      The answer is going to be in managing, 100% ALL other elements of fat loss.

      Are you exercising intelligently? When was the last time you completely changed up your program?

      What are your stress levels like? What can you do to mitigate those?

      Alcohol? Clean eating? I mean really clean eating?

      Vitamin D and sun levels? Do you know what your vitamin D levels are like? (get them to between 45-65 ng/dL asap).

      It may be that on that sleep cycle you will have a lot of difficulty in leaning right up, but getting leaner is definitely doable, you will just need to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

      Failing that, even if you take a pay cut, I would look at moving off shift work. 3 x increase in cancer rates, and a much lower average mortality age.

      Sleep deprivation/distrubance kills people, after a while.

  • http://twitter.com/blueharv Rohan Thompson

    Chris – On the topic of cortisol and inflammation, on Tuesday the Journal of the American Medical Association published a report that low carbohydrate diets can in fact increase cortisol and inflammation. I’d love to read your response. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/which-diet-works/

  • Jon Jimenez

    You didn’t explain #2 and the wording is (to me) ambiguous; I assume yoy are against the drinks post workout. Why, and what is the added problem with Milk products?

    • Anonymous

      Hey Jon, as mentioned, this post is about the SLEEP part. Short version: Post workout drinks: spike the crap out of your insulin. Very likely it is the insulin problems that are resulting in people wanting to chase fat loss.

      Milk: SUGAR/protein fractions designed for baby cows/gut irritants/potential auto-immune issues and REALLY spikes your insulin levels. Milk is filtered cow’s blood, designed by nature to grow a cow at a phenomenal rate of knots. If fat loss is your aim, ditch the milk

      • @CJ_NZ

        Are you concerned with all post workout drinks (including protein shakes with water) or just some post workout drinks (power-aid, high carb drinks, protein shakes with milk).

        I have been taking a protein shake with water and BCAA pre and post work out. Is this right? Maybe a post on what we should be doing (Your BCAA one covers what to do for those).

        • Anonymous

          Hey Craig,

          IF fat loss is your main goal (and you should have one main goal at a time if you really want your body to go somewhere quickly) then I would ditch the liquid meals pre and post workout, and especially stay away from dairy.
          My take on it would be to use BCAA’s. I give my recommendations here:
          http://www.christhekiwi.com/a-lean-body-performance-edge-without-compromises/

          Hope that helps!

          C

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the post mate. I’m really digging these. Lately I’ve been spending more time here than on Tim’s blog haha. What’s your research process like? How do you teach yourself this stuff?
    Reading your blog had definitely been making a difference.
    Cheers! =]

    • Anonymous

      Thanks mate!

      Years of reading and tinkering with diets and training, using clients results and feedback to figure out what works :)
      C

  • Norman Weissman

    SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS GOOD SLEEP? IS THAT WHERE YOU HIT THE PILLOW, CLOSE YOUR EYES, AND WAKE UP 4 OR 5 HOURS LATER, HAVING TO PEE? OR, IS IT FALLING ASLEEP, THE SAME WAY, BUT HAVING WILD CRAZY DREAMS, AND WAKING UP TO PEE, BUT WANTING TO GO BACK TO THE DREAMS? AND, WHAT IF I SLEPT FOR 9 HRS. TOTAL, WITHOUT ANY DREAMS? IS THAT THE SAME AS WITH?

    • Anonymous

      Long deep un-interrupted sleep where you wake to no alarm feeling awesome. Feel free to go back to bed and chase more dreams.

  • Reidesign

    I have a “sunset” and “sunrise” clock. It dims (you set the time frame in 15-minute increments) until it shuts off at night. So, I will read until I can’t see very well anymore, then put the book down and the light continues to go out. In the morning, a half-hour prior to the set alarm time, it steadily gets brighter. Once it gets to the full brightness, if you still haven’t turned it off (meaning you aren’t awake yet), you can set it to have a sound play (birds chirping, cows mooing, some other new-age music, the radio or your iPod)–and even that starts our low and gets louder over a couple of minutes. The idea isn’t to jolt you out of a deep sleep, but to trick your body into thinking the sun has come up and it it time to get up. I love it. My alarm is set for 4 a.m. and I am usually up by 3:40–I just need a little bit of light. And for anyone wondering if I am getting enough sleep, I go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 p.m.

  • Anonymous

    first post, just making sure…..

    • Anonymous

      I like it

  • Jpgraz4

    I always sleep well when I pray the rosary when I am going to sleep. I usually fall asleep before I can finish the rosary. I can be anxious and worried when I first lay down to bed. When I start praying the tension evaporates and I can’t stay awake. Try it!

    • Anonymous

      Nice!

  • Nhanif09

    Any recommendations for M-F night shift workers (11p-7a)? My sleep schedule changes Sat & Sun too, what about that?

    • Anonymous

      Be extremely aggressive with your bed times during the M-F so you get the best rhythm going you can. Whatever you do, get some sun everyday when you “wake up” and before work. The photosensitivity will really help. Overall, not the best long term option for health (try 1/3 increased cancer risk, just from shift work) but understood, as I have been there.

      Then I would try to NOT change it too much on the weekend, so you are not effectively moving timezones every week and back.

  • Jeanette Brose

    SLEEP – at 76 years old I find if I avoid the current “sex & violence” TV shows and watch the good old shows like Mary Tyler Moore, Newhart, Mork & Mindy, etc. and laugh my self to sleep plus with 4 minutes show & 3 minutes commercial I get sleepy on the commercials and fall off to a great nights sleep. Try it.

    • Anonymous

      Great.

  • Saoirse Brown

    Sue, was just thinking that not having 6 month old twins should be at the top of the “do” list. Sigh.

    • Anonymous

      Rule number 1: accept that you are chasing HEALTH
      Rule number 2: do the best you can

  • http://www.idealbodiesonline.com/ Sue

    So, if you’re a parent frequently getting up to an unsettled child you’re pretty much stuffed then :)

    • @CJ_NZ

      As the proud “owner” of a newborn, I would also be interested in any tips to improve sleep when it is interupted, and not at regular intervals where you could try to plan you deep sleep around it.

    • KevinJ

      I’m a parent of a two year old, and I’ve got another baby on the way in July. I’ve learned that the only possible way to get adequate sleep as a parent is Naps, Naps, Naps! It can be a life saver.

      In addition, you have to balance priorities. Yes, reaching your fat loss and fitness goals are important, but raising a healthy happy child is much more important.

      • Anonymous

        Yes naps whenever you can. When the baby faceplants, try and faceplant too. And I 100% agree with you on the focus. Raise a healthy kid.

        For the parent these are my two rules:

        Rule number 1: accept that you are chasing HEALTH
        Rule number 2: do the best you can

    • Anonymous

      Hey Sue, you know my answer to this one

      Rule number 1: accept that you are chasing HEALTH
      Rule number 2: do the best you can

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