- Get enough sleep. You may want to supplement with melatonin, the “sleep hormone.” With age, production of this compound tends to decrease. Get tested for sleep apnea and other conditions that inhibit sleep, and treat accordingly. You should also implement other techniques that promote good, restful sleep: Keep a consistent bedtime. Sleep in a completely dark room so that your body gets the signal to pump up its natural melatonin production. Avoid electronics an hour or two before bedtime, as blue light can also impact melatonin production. And if needed, an hour or so before going to bed, take a calming herb to help promote relaxation and a sense of calm. Some good ones include chamomile and valerian.
- Buy organic meats, dairy, and produce. Also avoid processed foods and make sure your diet contains as many whole, natural foods as possible. Doing so can help you avoid a good number of obesogens. In addition, consider using natural disinfectants like vinegar and baking soda to clean, instead of the chemical options found in most stores.
- Get moving—and stay moving. I get it—not everyone loves to exercise. But you don’t even have to go to the gym or take a fitness class. All you need to do is stay active throughout much of the day. Get up and walk around for 10 minutes every hour. Incorporate weights into your walks to build more muscle. (And remember—the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day.) As the research shows, sitting/staying sedentary for too long is the real enemy—even if you do work out vigorously every day.
- Owen N, et al. Sedentary behavior: emerging evidence for a new health risk. Mayo Clin Proc. 2010 Dec;85(12):1138-41.
- Baillie-Hamilton PF. Chemical toxins: a hypothesis to explain the global obesity epidemic. J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Apr;8(2):185-92.
- Holtcamp W. Obesogens: An environmental link to obesity. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Feb;120(2):a62-a68.
- Greer SM, et al. The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Nat Commun. 2013;4;2259.
- Copinschi G. Metabolic and endocrine effects of sleep deprivation. Essent Psychopharmacol. 2005;6(6):341-7.