It’s no secret that being a caregiver is a tough and demanding job. Often times, it can be difficult to keep tabs on your own health when you’re busy caring for someone else 24/7. Most people who have chosen this career will tell you that actually finding the time to catch some sleep is very challenging. To justify it, they simply tell themselves that they don’t need much sleep and that they will be perfectly fine with a few hours of rest. However, lack of sleep can have a greater effect on us than just the constant battle against our eyelids.
According to new studies from the University of Chicago and Stanford University in California, sleep deprivation can cause hormonal changes that inevitably increase your appetite and decrease the feeling of being full. Ultimately, this can lead to serious weight gain amongst caregivers.
So with there being very little you can do about your responsibilities cutting into your sleep time, how can you manage to maintain a healthy weight? Try a few of these suggestions:
Portion Control – When you’re trying to grab food here and there and aren’t making the time to actually sit down and have a regular meal, you’ll more likely to overeat. Prepare yourself a healthy meal ahead of time, sit down to enjoy it and make sure that you are actually being mindful of how much you’re consuming.
Choose Quality Proteins – Foods that are high in protein and low in saturated fat can help to maintain heart health and control your weight. Make a conscious effort to introduce various types of nuts, lean meats, fish and poultry into your everyday diet, and to avoid those foods that are high in sodium.
Control Your Cravings – It’s incredibly easy to reach for a salty snack whenever you feel a bit hungry. However, while you may be satisfying your hunger with these snacks, you’re also dumping tons of calories into your body that can lead to increased weight gain. Make sure that there are plenty of whole grains and pre-cut fruits and vegetables within arm’s reach instead. With their complex carbohydrates, it will take your body longer to digest these foods and won’t leave you craving more food.
For more great tips on how to take control of your weight while struggling with lack of sleep, check out the extended list at AARP.com. Have you ever found yourself personally struggling with this particular situation? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments section below!