According to the best-selling author, professor and metabolic scientist Benjamin Bikman, Ph.D., getting metabolically fit—especially with the holidays approaching and all the accompanying treats—boils down to just three simple, but elusive steps: sufficient sleep, regular exercise, and a healthy diet.
Sleep deprivation dangers
Sufficient sleep allows our bodies to recover and is vital for good health—including weight management. The common advice is we all need approximately eight hours of meaningful sleep nightly. But one size does not fit all. Some of us may need more sleep, while some are fine on less sleep. The key is being mindful of the number of hours of sleep that help you perform optimally, and ensure you keep at that level.
“One of the potentially many negative effects of developing a sleep debt is pronounced changes in the endocrine system, meaning our hormones change,” said Bikman. “Just one week of insufficient sleep can make the body roughly 30% more insulin resistant, which can contribute to weight gain and a host of potential health challenges.”
Regular exercise essential
One way to improve sleep and your metabolism, said Bikman, is regular exercise. It need not be strenuous or extreme, just consistent.
“The best exercise for your body is the one you will actually do,” said Bikman. “But exercise alone won’t lead to significant weight loss – the key is combining it with sufficient sleep and a healthy diet.”
Secret to a healthy diet
Advising people on what to eat and what not to eat is where Bikman’s years of research truly shines. Undoubtedly, his expertise is why his top YouTube videos have garnered millions of cumulative views and has led to his numerous press and podcast interviews, as well as countless speaking opportunities.