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Let’s start with the best case scenario; you are eating a great balanced diet of natural food and exercising to the optimum level for your body type and goal (or as close to implementing these as possible). At the beginning you saw massive improvements in your body shape and you thought you were on the way to reaching your target in record time.

It’s now been 6 weeks, you haven’t reached your goal, in fact the last week or so has seen an increase in body fat and a decrease in energy. When you began your new healthy lifestyle you felt amazing, you could skip around work all day and still make it for your gym session in the evening. Firstly, investigate the food you are eating, are you eating enough to maintain your activity level; and often enough to encourage constant fat burning?

If, after reviewing your food intake, you are still getting poor results and finding your body at a constant fatigue; there is one secret ingredient many people forget to tell you… SLEEP! Different to the subject of over training, rest days and recovery periods, bodies need actual sleep to fulfil the healthy lifestyle you are striving for.

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No matter your age, gender, background, target, goal, ability, circumstance, any possible variant,  your body needs enough sleep. The amount of sleep is dependant on each individual, some bodies are happy on 5 hours sleep, some people need 8 hours; but if you don’t get enough sleep the negative results are quick to appear and easy to recognise.

Benefits of sleep are often ignored, forgotten or sometimes unknown; this is my chance to inform you of the truth behind the phenomenon of sleep. Beginning with fat loss; during sleep your body will burn fat, it will respond to the work undertaken that day, and assist in the reduction of body fat. Muscle restoration also occurs, the repairing and building of muscles happens quicker while the body is at complete rest. When your body is sleep deprived it will crave food, especially sugar (for fast releasing energy); long periods of this will also result in the loss of lean muscle mass, causing other health problems. After a good nights rest you are ready to give you work out 110%, therefore also having the ability to achieve greater results.

There are many other physical, mental and emotional advantages to getting sufficient sleep; it has been proven to lower stress and help prevent depression. As well as sharpening attention, assisting in productivity with studies or work, spurring creativity and improving memory. A major fact to acknowledge is sleep aids a longer life; investigations show that lack of sleep is associated with a shorter life span.

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There’s the proof, go to bed a little earlier, set the alarm a little later, hit the snooze button for a little longer, and make the most of your sleep. Your body, mind and health will thank you for it. Listen to your body; if you feel fatigued, you probably are! Don’t give up necessary sleep for an extra work out, it will probably damage you more than assisting you reach any form of goal. Ladies, you know if you are being lazy or if you are genuinely tired, this is not an excuse to skip the gym later!

Salaam ❤ zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Safiyah Esack – 06/03/2013

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2 thoughts on “The secret ingredient.

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