Sunday, November 10, 2013

How Sleep Affects Your Weight

Some research studies have revealed that short sleep and weight gain are linked! Losing sleep tends to make us eat more and gain weight, and now a new study suggests that one reason may be the impact that sleep deprivation has on the brain. If you're a short sleeper, that is, you sleep for 5 to 6 hours or less a night, you'll have trouble losing weight! In a 7-year study of 7,022 middle-aged people, researchers found that women who reported sleep problems were more likely to experience a major weight gain.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, when we are sleep-deprived, our general energy expenditure is 5 % less than it is when we get a good night's sleep, and the post-meal energy expenditure is 20 % less. In a study at the American Heart Association's 2011 Scientific Sessions, it was shown that women who got only 4 hours of sleep, ate 329 additional calories the next day than they did after 9 hours sleep.

In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 11 volunteers spent 14 days at a sleep center on two occasions. During one period, they slept 5.5 hours a night, and during the other, they slept 8.5 hours. When the subjects were sleep-deprived, they increased their nighttime snacking and were more likely to choose high-carbohydrate snacks.

This is probably the biggest revelation about the connection between sleep and weight loss—and the biggest challenge for you if you're not getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Sleeping too little affects the hormone levels in our body. The two hormones that are key in this process are ghrelin and leptin.

Ghrelin, a hormone released by the stomach increases hunger, slows metabolism and decreases the body’s ability to burn fat. Lack of sleep causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food. When you don't get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don't feel as satisfied after you eat. The two combined, can set the stage for overeating, which in turn may lead to weight gain. Now that you are eating more, your metabolism is slower when you are sleep-deprived; it explains all the reasons for weight gain!

Sleep is an important tool in weight management. These studies clearly indicate that getting enough sleep can help prime your brain to help you win the battle against weight gain. It’s the most effective thing people can do every day to reset their brain and body health.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Triphala for Weight Loss

weight loss
Triphala for Weight Loss
Triphala meaning ‘three fruits’, is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal formulation consisting of three fruits native to the Indian subcontinent. These are Amla (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). It is a natural antioxidant commonly known for its use as a gentle bowel tonic. It also alleviates constipation, supports the nervous system, boosts the immune system, helps fight cancer, nourish and rejuvenate the tissue, helps support the reproductive system and fight against bacteria that cause any disease.

Triphala contains five of the six tastes recognized in Ayurveda -sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and astringent. It helps to prevent sickness and is being used as a therapeutic herbal food. Since triphala powder does not cause any serious side effect, almost any person could consume this supplement.

weight loss
Triphala is a healthy approach to weight loss while helping the body get rid of the toxins as proper digestion and elimination are important factors in maintaining an optimal body weight. Triphala promotes healthy eating habits by supplying the body with the full spectrum of natural tastes.  Also, triphala reduces excessive water content of the tissues. That is why triphala can be successfully used as part of a weight loss program.

The effective way of ingesting triphala for weight loss is as tea. For this, make a decoction by adding ½ tsp of triphala powder to about 150ml of hot water. Stir and allow the tea to cool and drink. It can be taken on an empty stomach in the morning or before retiring to bed. If you cannot stand the taste, or have shortage of time, it would be convenient to take 2 triphala tablets (1000 mg) with water, before bed or upon rising in the morning. Remember to eat plenty of vegetables, greens, berries, nuts, seeds, fruits, and proteins when taking triphala because maintaining good health is as significant as attaining optimal weight.

Side Effects of Triphala
Triphala is a natural detoxifying formula. Some people may experience headache, nausea, upset stomach and diarrhea. Since Triphala supports healthy elimination, one may experience looser. If the problem becomes too intense, stop taking triphala until the symptoms subside or simply reduce the amount you are ingesting. If the symptoms recur, it is best to stop use and consult a practitioner. 


  • Vani, T. et al. Antioxidant properties of the Ayurvedic formulation triphala and its constituents. Pharmaceutical Biology 1997; 35 (5): 313-317.
  • Williamson, Elizabeth. Major Herbs of Ayurveda. Churchhill Livingston, 2002. 210-214, 294-297, 298-301
  • G. H. Naik, et al. In vitro antioxidant studies and free radical reactions of triphala, an ayurvedic formulation and its constituents.Phytotherapy Research 2005; 19(7): 582-586.
  • Shi Y, Sahu RP, Srivastava SK. Triphala inhibits both in vitro and in vivo xenograft growth of pancreatic tumor cells by inducing apoptosis. BMC Cancer. 2008 Oct 10; 8:294.