Exercises To Lose Weight Not Gain Muscle – Strength training continues to burn calories after the session is over, keeping the body in calorie-burning mode all night, even after sleeping. Maxpetac / Getty Images
Losing weight can be difficult – especially this year as we face the pressures in our homes and the stresses eating our way into 2020. So who wouldn’t be happy with some easy ways to maximize calorie burn and promote weight loss?
Exercises To Lose Weight Not Gain Muscle
Focusing on a healthy diet and regular exercise are key, but there are some strategic changes you can make to optimize your fat-burning sleep.
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While the idea may sound very far-fetched, there’s actually a growing area of research revealing that it’s possible to lose weight while you sleep. Modern life disrupts the natural circadian rhythms that the human body normally follows, according to research from the National Sleep Foundation. In fact, this condition can encourage the body to retain fat when it really shouldn’t.
The first step to optimizing your sleep for weight loss is getting enough. dr. Richard K. Bogan, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and a sleep researcher, said sleep itself can aid weight loss. “Sleep is necessary for the normal functioning of the body’s hormones and the immune system. A sleep-deprived or sleepy brain is a hungry brain,” he said. “Poor sleep leads to weight gain.”
He suggested having a consistent sleep schedule and said the average adult needs about seven and a half to nine hours of sleep.
Cardio is great and there are many good reasons why it should be part of an overall fitness plan. But strength training should be too, especially for anyone looking to benefit from overnight weight loss. That’s because strength training continues to burn calories after the session is over. A stop at the gym after work or even a simple strength workout at home can keep the body in calorie-burning mode all night, even after bedtime.
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Keeping a pair of dumbbells or a resistance band by your bed is a good visual reminder to add in full-body strength training at least three times a week. Work the larger muscles, such as the glutes and legs, as well as the arms, back and core.
Don’t have access to a gym or weights? Anyone can use their own body weight to do strength training. Do 10 squats before bed, then hold a plank for 30 seconds. Or try walking around the house one at a time and then doing modified pushups for 5 minutes before hitting the hay.
You don’t have to give up your daily walk in favor of strength training—just grab a pair of 1- to 3-pound dumbbells or an ankle band to turn your walk into a strength-training and cardio session in one. Since strength training is so important for building muscle and burning fat, it’s a smart way to increase your calorie-burning potential throughout the day (yes, even when you’re sleeping) by squeezing weight into your workouts whenever you can.
Certain yoga poses help calm the mind and relieve anxiety and tension. Try sitting upright in bed with your legs extended forward and then hinged forward at the hips. Feel the stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings) and take five deep breaths in and out slowly. Feel the melting towards the legs and bend the feet. Do this before bed to calm the nervous system and promote better sleep.
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According to a small study published in the journal Diabetes, people who kept their bedroom at 66 degrees for a month increased the amount of brown fat calories their bodies burned by 42% and increased their metabolism by 10%. A room that is too warm can also prevent you from falling or staying asleep. Bogan recommends setting your thermostat to 65 degrees.
To lose weight while you sleep, try getting rid of that nightlight too. Research suggests that light before bed can suppress melatonin, and sleeping with the light on appears to affect circadian regulation of metabolism, increasing the risk of weight gain, according to the Sleep Foundation. So turn off the TV, phone and all bedside lamps and consider investing in blackout curtains to block out the light.
Charlotte Harrison, a London-based nutritionist at SpoonGuru, recommends keeping meal and sleep times fairly consistent. “Our bodies work on a circadian rhythm, a 24-hour schedule that our bodies use to help us function. It’s the body’s internal clock,” she explained. “Meals have a big impact on our circadian rhythm, so the timing of our eating is very important. For example, if your body is used to eating between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM, it knows when to prepare for incoming food by releasing the “hunger hormones” ghrelin and leptin, digesting the meal and then releasing the hormone melatonin to help us sleep.If we stick to the same rough schedule, our bodies can prepare and we can really making the most of our meal and sleep times.”
There is an old saying: breakfast like a king, lunch like a gentleman and dinner like a beggar. There is indeed a kernel of truth in that. Eating a big dinner too close to bedtime will drain your body of energy trying to digest rather than detoxify and recharge. So focus on a smaller dinner and a bigger breakfast. And reserve your snack for the morning and afternoon.
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According to Harrison, if you suffer from conditions like heartburn, eating a heavy meal before bed will likely keep you awake. “Even just the digestive process is enough to keep you up at night,” she explained. A recent study found that participants who ate late at night burned less fat than when they ate the same amount of calories earlier in the day. So keep dinner light and small, but don’t go to bed hungry.
Bogan suggested limiting your intake of alcohol and other substances because they can interfere with sleep (not to mention adding several hundred calories to your daily total). An evening cocktail may sound like it’s super relaxing, but even one alcoholic drink too close to bedtime can hinder your body’s ability to burn calories. This is because instead of focusing on burning fat as it should, the body is busy metabolizing alcohol instead. So while a glass of wine with dinner is fine, leave it at that.
Feeding the body protein every few hours helps stabilize blood sugar levels. And this speeds up metabolism all day (and night!) long. Protein is muscle-building and will fill you up, preventing overeating and the urge to graze on processed foods full of empty calories that can inhibit weight loss.
James Collier, a UK nutritionist and co-founder of Huel.com (a health food company), said the body can only use about 30-35 grams of protein in one sitting. So if you want to build muscle, it’s important to include it in every meal. Lean meats like chicken and turkey breasts are always easy, and plant-based options like beans, quinoa, nuts, and edamame can help keep your meals interesting while adding a healthy dose of fiber (another important nutrient, an ingredient that fills you up). and aids in weight loss).
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To lose weight at night, all devices with blue light – laptop, tablet and/or smartphone – must be removed. Research has shown that nighttime exposure to the blue light everyone emits interferes with the production of melatonin, which the body needs to get to sleep. In addition, a study by researchers at Northwestern University reported that exposure to blue light at night increases hunger and insulin resistance, which can naturally lead to weight gain, not just a disturbance in the body’s ability to burn fat.
In addition to having less time at night to walk around the house and possibly snack, going to bed early can also help you get enough sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, keep the room cool, dark, and free of electronics. As Bogan recommended, set the thermostat to 65 degrees and leave your phone outside your room.
Put a book on your nightstand to help you relax. Going to bed earlier ensures your body has plenty of time to sleep and falls into your body’s circadian rhythm, both of which contribute to weight loss, research shows.
Stephanie Mansour is a health and fitness writer for . She is a certified personal trainer, yoga and Pilates instructor, and women’s weight loss coach. She is the host of Step It Up with Steph on PBS. Join her free health and weight loss challenge and follow her for daily inspiration on Instagram and in her new app. Two crossed lines form an “X”. Indicates a way to close the interaction or ignore a notification.
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