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  • Writer's pictureAmber

The 4 Principles of tissue re-composition and weight loss

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

Principle #3: Prioritize 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep plays an incredible role in muscle maintenance during caloric deficit and in weight-loss intervention success.

 


 

Main Goal

  • Decrease body fat percentage while increasing or maintaining lean muscle mass.


Why?

  • Losing weight in the form of muscle is not the ultimate goal, muscle tissue consumes energy at rest. The more muscle tissue we gain, the more calories we burn at rest. This helps us to balance the energy equation at the bottom of our pyramid more easily.

Where to Start

Keep an “Awareness Log”

Self-Awareness – You must be aware of what’s happening and when it is happening. Your emotions, triggers, etc.


To do this we must be grounded.


How do we ground ourselves?

  • One of the easiest ways to do this is to breathe. Take a moment to breathe and to feel. Note this down if you need to and any actions that may have led up.

  • I was listening to a great podcast today that mentioned, “Breathing is free”. To me, breathing and movement are the two most free forms of medicine we have.


The Four Principles


Principle #1: Weight loss happens when calories burned is greater than calories consumed

Principle #2: Resistance training and protein consumption are just as important as cardiovascular training when it comes to changing your body composition.

Principle #3: Prioritize 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep plays an incredible role in muscle maintenance during caloric deficit and in weight-loss intervention success.

Principle #4: Start to organize nuanced nutrition. Servings of fruits and vegetables, types of fats, carbohydrate resources.


Principle #3: Prioritize 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep plays an incredible role in muscle maintenance during caloric deficit and in weight-loss intervention success.


3) Getting the proper amount of sleep will help you to balance the energy equation more easily while maintaining muscle mass, our energy-burning mass, during the caloric deficit.


The unfortunate truth for sleep is that it has become the norm to sleep under the recommended amount, then to use it as some sort of throne that they sit on to put themselves above you. You know what I’m talking about, the guy from the gym currently tossing back a Bang and a Reign bragging about the 3 hours of sleep last night because he had to up that ratio in COD with his buddies.

Yeah, that guy isn’t the epitome of health and you shouldn’t look up to that behavior, no matter how chiseled his abs and biceps are. I hate to break it to you.

One of my most interesting reads thus far, “Why We Sleep” by Dr. Matthew Walker, goes into great detail about the importance of sleep and why we are recommended to spend 1/3 of our lives slumbering. I am going to skim just the surface of what he covers in this blog. If you enjoy jumping down the rabbit hole of sleep, I’d suggest this read.

Addressing sleep and sleep habits or routines is one of the lowest hanging fruits when it comes to weight loss or body composition. While we are sleeping, our body carries out a ton of systemic processes that contribute to our recovery and learning from the day before. This is why we preach so much sleep for athletes, but it turns out you don’t need to be an athlete to justify getting the proper amount of sleep.

Most research suggests about 7-8 hours of sleep. This is going to be the sweet spot for most people. That doesn’t mean everyone needs 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Some people are perfectly capable of fully functioning off of 6 hours of sleep. This is why we mention sleep habits. Having good sleep habits assures that those 6 hours are primarily spent in slumber because piecing together 8 hours of sleep isn’t the answer either.

As a coach, I want to meet you where you are and help design a temporary path to get to where you need to be. Together we pave that path out as we see the results of what we implemented.



WHY?


1. Remember the tissue remodeling that I mentioned in step 2? Sleep is where most of this tissue remodeling happens. The truth is, when we are asleep we are in our most calm state. Our parasympathetic nervous system is running the show. We’ve developed communities to ensure safety to give us the ability to completely slip into an unaware slumber while our bodies take the time to repair themselves.

Good sleep promotes an anabolic environment or an environment where maintenance can take place. BAD sleep can promote a catabolic environment creating metabolic dysfunction (aka the hormonal imbalances that mention later) sending you down the never-ending spiral of “I can’t sleep, I can’t lose weight” “I can’t sleep because I can’t lose weight and I can’t lose weight because I can’t sleep”



2. The secondary reasoning to suggesting more sleep to those who are interested in losing weight is: it simply eliminates the amount of time you are awake and can therefore consume food. For example, if I sleep 5 hours per night currently but have set a goal to get 8 hours of sleep a night, I have essentially eliminated a meal off of each day by adding 3 hours to my slumber. If each meal runs between 300-400 calories after 10 days of this you’ll have accumulated a deficit of 3000-4000 calories or ~2lbs.



How do I get from A to B?


If you’re someone who fills their schedule from wake to sleep leaving ~5 hours for sleeping and eating, our approach will be much different from the following example. We must have a conversation about the importance of providing enough time for recovery. Your sleep routines might not mean anything if you haven’t even given yourself the courtesy to get enough sleep. This might be time to address your daily routines and find where we can delegate some tasks to find the time to sleep because eventually, your current routines will catch up to you in the form of injury, hormone dysfunction, gains, etc.

Let’s say, we’ve managed to build your schedule so that you are in bed for 8 hours a night. The next step is to get the TV or screens away for 8 hours a night. Next, to be in bed in the dark for 8 hours every night regularly. So on and so forth until you are asleep for 8 hours a night.



If you’re someone who has the time mapped out in your schedule to get 8 hours of sleep but you roll around in bed for 3 hours every night, the next step is to get you a new routine surrounding training, nutrition, and sleep because your body is obviously not ready to sleep when you want it to. Ultimately, it may be time to find another health care professional specialized in sleep to find out why.

Weight gain, insomnia, etc. can stem from hormonal imbalance. It might be time to seek out another health care professional to find out if there is another avenue to go down to get you to sleep!



Now, let’s not be naïve enough to assume sleep is the only way. There is a reason this is the 3rd string up on our pyramid. It has a lot of importance and packs a huge punch when it comes to success in weight loss results, but we must cover the basics first. Without knowing what we know about the calorie equation and how to maintain muscle, our energy-burning furnace, focusing on sleep alone would not have the kind of effects mentioned above on our body composition.


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