with Sleep How to Trying to lose weight? Focusing on diet and exercise is just part of the puzzle. Sleep needs to become a priority as well. That’s right, getting more zzz’s can help you reach your nutrition and fitness goals. Poor sleep can increase appetite, likely due to its effect on hormones that signal hunger and fullness. By making sleep a priority, you set yourself up to get the most out of every workout and build muscle more efficiently. While a good training session is crucial to building a strong body, you have to balance all that hard work with enough rest. Otherwise, all those extra hours training might start to work against you. Training your body by lifting weights and running sprints wears down the muscle tissue. You get stronger when the body not only builds those muscles back up, but builds them bigger and stronger. When does that important work take place? You guessed it–while you sleep. Adequate rest, including sleep, is necessary to further improve recovery and performance. Getting more sleep may help improve performance and By: Suzanne Iovanni, RDN, CSSD lose weight also supports a well-balanced eating plan that includes the right amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates, vegetables, and fruits. Adequate sleep helps regulate everything from food cravings to your responses to those cravings. When you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to make less nutritious food choices with foods higher in fat and sugar. Depending on your age, you should be getting anywhere from seven to ten hours of sleep every night. If you’re doing heavy physical training, you may need even more for your body to keep up with the demands you’re putting on it. Studies have shown that athletes who get more rest perform better in competitive situations. All that hard work pays off when you give your body everything it needs, including nutrition and sleep! 8 THOREAU INSPIRED | WINTER 2019