And maybe a new mattress, because it’s not just the amount of time you spend sleeping that keeps you lean, it’s also the quality of your sleep. Fat cells in your body produce a hormone called leptin that helps the body keep track of how much potential energy (i.e. fat) it has stored. But leptin is only produced during certain stages of sleep. Miss out on those stages because you’re not resting soundly enough, and you’ll disturb levels of the hormone, leaving your body with no real idea of its energy reserves. Consequently, you’ll end up storing calories rather than burning them.
Don't go it alone when it comes to weight loss—unless you want to make things harder on yourself. Research shows that changing and maintaining healthy behaviors is made easier with support from others. Most friends and family members want to be supportive of your weight loss efforts, but may be unsure how to help you, so help them help you. Be specific about the support you need. Rather than saying, "Help me eat healthier and exercise more," say, "Could you go for a 20-minute walk with me after dinner on Mondays and Wednesdays," or "It would be great if you could offer me a small bowl of popcorn rather than a bowl of ice cream as an evening snack."
Ultimately, long-term weight loss requires some short-term behavior change and healthier habit formation. That's why we created our Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved Emblem, which exists to help turn smart food choices into healthier eating habits. All GHNA foods and drinks make it easier to find — and eat — good-for-you foods without additional time, effort, and cost. We target the lifestyle-related factors that make healthier eating hard, and find simple but creative solutions that actually work! Look for the emblem on labels wherever you shop for food.