Change Your Diet for Successful Slumber to Lose WeightPosted: May 2, 2012 in Healthy Eating by Craig Primack MD FACP
Getting the right amount of sleep every night can help your metabolism to function correctly as you concentrate on your weight loss efforts. On average, most people need 7.5 hours of sleep every night. But on busy days where there’s just too much going on for our brains to settle down, getting a full night’s sleep just seems a little unrealistic.
Whether you have trouble falling asleep, don’t get enough of it or just can’t seem to shut your brain off for bedtime, there is hope yet! Eating a healthier diet is linked to a better night’s sleep, which means that you can increase your odds of a successful night’s sleep by adding some of these ingredients to your dinner menu once you are in the maintenance phase of your weight loss program.
Here are some healthy foods to help you get substantial shuteye for maximum weight loss.
- Fish – Fish like salmon, halibut and tuna are packed full of vitamin B6. Your body needs plenty of vitamin B6 to naturally produce melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone triggered in your body by darkness, so try eating healthy fish in moderation for dinner and turn down the lights before bed to increase your zzz’s.
- Yogurt- Studies show calcium-deficiencies may cause difficulty sleeping. You can get more calcium by eating low fat yogurt. Ask your weight loss doctor how yogurt can be a useful component of a successful weight loss diet.
- Whole Grains – Consuming too little magnesium may play a part in difficulty falling asleep, so try eating more whole grains like bulgur, barley or other whole grains rich in magnesium. Make sure to ask your weight loss doctor about recommended servings, as dietary guidelines differ between weight loss programs.
- Bananas –In addition to being rich in potassium, bananas are another great source of vitamin B6. This fruit can help you to fall asleep by stimulating melatonin production. Remember though, bananas are lower in water and higher in sugar than many other fruits, so be sure to take into account the effect of a bed time banana on your caloric intake for the day.
- Kale– You may or may not have heard of it, but this leafy green is rich in calcium. Try adding more greens like kale or collards to your diet to help you fall asleep easier.
These are just a few healthy foods that you can add to your diet to increase your chances of getting the amount of sleep that your body needs. You may also want to reduce the amount of caffeine you consume each day and exercise on a regular basis to improve your sleep quality. If you have any other questions concerning how the foods you eat can affect your sleep as well as your weight loss efforts, don’t hesitate to ask your weight loss doctor.