Many of us are familiar with lack of sleep during menopause. But are you aware it can also be contributing to your weight gain?
Sleep is a regulator of two hormones that effect appetite, leptin and ghrelin. Leptin helps suppress food intake and stimulate energy expenditure, while ghrelin stimulates appetite, fat production, and body growth. When you are sleep deprived, the level of leptin drops and the level of ghrelin increases. The result is a drastic increase in hunger. One study reported a 24% increase in hunger, with excessive, uncontrollable cravings for calorie and carbohydrate packed foods such as biscuits, cakes and chocolate. It can all add up to a vicious cycle of late night binges, lack of adequate sleep and uncontrolled snacking.
1. How many meals and snacks did you eat after 5:00 pm?
2. How many meals and snacks did you eat during the day?
3. How many total calories did you consume after 5:00 pm?
4. How many total calories did you consume for the day?
5. What activities occurred while you ate after 5:00 pm?
Put An End to the Evening Binge Cycle!
You CAN control evening eating disasters. Try these tips to normalise sleeping patterns and fend off hunger:
* Plan activities to do throughout the evening, but don’t make food a part of the activity:
* Take a bath
* Walk the dog
* Pay bills
* Play board games with the kids
* Call a friend
* Take up a hobby. (sew, knit, or do any craft)
* Expand your mind and learn something new
* Read a book or magazine
* Try a relaxing fitness video such as yoga or meditation
* Eat 3 meals daily and 1-2 planned snacks, keeping in mind your total calorie range.
* Plan to eat about the same number of calories at each meal throughout the day. The total should be within your calorie range.
* Make a list of low-calorie snack options. Select one for the evening. Eat it, but no more.
* Don’t eat mindlessly! Eat all meals and snacks at the kitchen table, keeping all of your attention on the food you’re enjoying. Take your time and really enjoy every bite.
* Get 7-8 hours of sleep nightly. (Ah if only!)
* Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule, even on the weekend.
* Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine.
* If you have trouble sleeping, leave the bed (or room) and pursue another activity like reading until you’re ready to sleep.
* Keep laptops, phones and TV’s out of the bedroom.
*Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex (if you can remember what either of them are!)
* Finish eating at least four hours before your regular bedtime.
* Exercise regularly.
* Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime; avoid nicotine altogether