Most people focus on one of two things: Diet and Exercise. However, there is another factor that is just as important--if not more so, but is often completely ignored.
That factor is rest.
Rest is pretty much THE most overlooked factor when it comes to losing fat-and it's as essential as the other two components.
In fact, it's so essential that the equation for shrinking your belly and seeing good fat loss results looks like this:
60% Diet + 30% Rest + 10% Exercise = 100% Results
Yes, it's that important. Even more so than exercising. If you aren't getting good rest you won't get good results. Period.
Not getting enough rest (which most people don't) harms your waistline in the following ways:
Insulin resistance goes up (this causes fat storage and can lead to type 2 diabetes).
Cortisol levels go up (this breaks down your muscles, encourages fat to be stored in the abdominal region specifically, and also encourages increases in insulin resistance).
Energy levels go down (this is due to a decrease in your ATP levels).
Ghrelin levels rise and Leptin levels decrease (these two hormones are responsible for making you feel hungry or satisfied. When Ghrelin goes up you feel hungry, when Leptin goes up you feel full. So basically, when you don't get enough sleep: you get hungrier.
Self-Discipline goes down (which, combined with the point above, makes snacking go up).
Stress levels go up (adrenaline spikes, which causes more fat-storage).
Base Metabolic Rate decreases (which means you burn less calories overall).
Testosterone levels decrease (which discourages muscle growth, and again-encourages more fat. It also makes you feel less manly.)
And, if all that's not enough reason to make you go to bed on time, maybe this is: You'll be happier.
The benefits of sleep are numerous as well-but I won't list them because they're basically the opposite of those listed above and that would be slightly redundant.
The point is: Don't skip sleep-especially when trying to lose fat around your mid-section.
Rest is when your body recovers from the stresses of the day-so get as much as you can.
A Good Sleep Routine
So what is a good sleep routine? How do you make sure your rest is actually effective?
Well, you should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep EVERY night.
You should be going to bed and waking up AT THE SAME TIME... EVERY night. I can't stress this enough.
Good sleep is of utmost importance in any fat-loss program.
The Other Side of Rest
Rest doesn't just apply to sleeping though-you should have time to relax during the day as well.
If you're constantly busy and are running from one activity to another-that creates a lot of the same negative effects as above.
Stress by itself is bad for fat-loss.
In order to maximize your results, you need to have one day of every week completely off to do whatever you feel like doing. I use Sundays.
You should also be taking short 3-7 day vacations once or twice a year. If you don't do this already, you'll be amazed at how great you feel afterwards.
If you're too busy, then reschedule some stuff, and arrange your life so you have time to lay back and enjoy yourself.
Go hang out with friends, go read a book, or watch a movie. If you don't relax (or rest) you're just going to keep gaining fat.
**The above is an excerpt from The 2012 Belly-Fat Breakthrough, written by Jeff Russell. If you'd like to learn more about losing fat the fast--and correctly--you can check out http://www.fatmassacre.com/ where he's giving away The 2012 Belly-Fat Breakthrough as well as his Kick-Start Fat-Loss Workout Program.**
Jeff Russell is the #1 online fat-loss expert for middle-aged men who want to lose 30+ pounds of fat for a better, healthier, and happier life.
Also known as "The Weight-Loss Warrior" he is dedicated to helping 1 Million people transform their bodies--and their lives--by 2020.
If you would like to learn more about Jeff, or losing weight, you can visit his website at http://www.fatmassacre.com/ where he's giving away his Kick-Start Fat-Loss Workout Program as well as a report titled: The 2012 Belly-Fat Breakthrough.
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