It might sound too good to be true, but one of the very best and most effective ways to lose weight is to spend more time lying completely still.
Music to our ears, right? And it’s true; research has found that how much you sleep has a direct impact on your waistline, with people who get just five hours a night about 30 per cent more likely to experience significant weight gain than somebody who gets seven hours or more.
Need more proof? You’ll find it in the fast-vanishing waistline of Kieran Gilbert.
The Sky News chief political reporter and Fox Sports Rugby World Cup host has just changed his schedule, ditching the 4am starts required for breakfast television for a far more civilised 7am alarm.
Those three hours might not sound like much, but they’ve made a massive difference.
“It’s not easy walking up at four in the morning. Now I’m doing a 9am start, and the difference is huge,” he says.
“Over the past few months I’ve noticed a real change in my energy levels and I don’t feel jet-lagged all the time.
“I found I was suddenly sleeping eight hours a night and within four months I’d lost five kilos. I’m doing the same exercise, eating the same diet, living the same lifestyle. It’s just more sleep.”
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But if getting up proved a problem for Gilbert, falling he asleep was never an issue. For that, he has a secret weapon. Actually, he has two of them.
“Chasing my six-year-old and four-year-old girls in the afternoon means I never struggle to get to sleep,” he says.
We might be used to seeing him chasing down a scoop on Sky News, or calling the tries and big hits on Fox Sports, but away from the television you’ll find the Gilbert pursuing something far more relaxing.
“I got injured in my late teens playing cricket and my physiotherapist suggested I get into yoga,” he says.
“And 20 years later I still love it. I find yoga and meditation really helps me to be more effective at work and at home, because it helps to calm my mind.
“I was actually into yoga before it got trendy, but given I’ve never been trendy, that fits.”
* Every game of every nation for the Rugby World Cup 2019 is live and ad-break free on Foxtel
FAST FACTS ON … MINDFULNESS
WITH KIERAN GILBERT
There’s an app for that
“I use a couple of mediation apps called Headspace and Calm, and I really like them,” Gilbert says.
“You don’t have to think about how to meditate, the apps will tell you what to do, and they’re not at all expensive.”
Turn up the heat
“I like power yoga, which is in a room heated to about 30-degrees Celsius, and I like Bikram yoga, which is even hotter, at 40-degrees plus,” Gilbert says.
“It feels like you’re getting a grease and oil change when you go for a stretch in a room like that.”
Find the time
“The thing is to pull yourself away from life and just be in the moment somewhere,” Gilbert says.
“Even 20 minutes out of work and away from the computer and phone just breathing is really helpful. It might sound boring, but you get addicted to it.”
Question: Hi Adam. I find as I get older it’s harder to fall asleep. Maybe it’s just all the chaos of adult life, but I find I’m tossing and turning more than I ever have before. Is there anything you can recommend?
Answer: Exercise really is the miracle cure for so many things, and insomnia is one of them.
While exercising right before bed can actually keep you up, training earlier in the day will help use up your excess energy and have you sleeping like a baby.
Better still, researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have found that losing weight (another happy advantage of exercise) will help you sleep better, too.
* Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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