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How do you maintain a healthy, toned body? Go to bed!

Muscle-stacked personal trainers swear by the gym while triathletes claim huffing and puffing around the track keeps you toned up and slimmed down. Dieticians argue that a nutritious, balanced diet is the key to a long, strong life. But they’re all wrong. Sustainable, successful and real weight loss (and long term health) emerges from an unexpected place: the bedroom.

Believe it or not, a majority of your life is spent in the bedroom – approximately 7-9 hours every 24 hours – almost a full third. What if you could create a weight loss routine that you can literally take to bed?

Today is your lucky day! We’re going to give you 5 tricks to help you slim down and maintain quality sleep.

5 tricks to lose weight while you snooze

1. Don’t count sheep, eat lamb or turkey A food coma isn’t the only joy of your Thanksgiving Day nap, it’s the turkey. Tryptophan, an amino acid found in many meats, is a well-documented sleep super hero. Turkey and lamb contain less fat and calories when compared to chicken and beef, which makes them easier to digest so your tummy can sleep when you do. Next time you want a bedtime snack, go for a mini turkey sandwich.

2. Ditch the nightlight – Exposure to light not only wrecks your sleep but can also pack on the extra pounds. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that women who were exposed to electronic light before bed had a higher increase in body fat over time compared to those who powered down before snoozing. The increase still occurred when physical activity was constant – weird, right?

Secondly, exposure to light decreases the amount of melatonin, a natural chemical in your brain, which regulates sleep.

Help yourself get better sleep with these 3 tips:

  • Begin to dim your light levels 3 hours before dozing off
  • Switch to warm light sources such as LED lamps
  • Power down electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bed

3. Hit Pause on Netflix – Don’t get freaked out too much, but research studies have found that for every 2 hours spent staring at the TV, your risk for diabetes, heart disease and even early death increase. And it can also lead to weight gain – yikes! Try an evening walk, reading a book or family game night to relax after dinner.

4. Get the nighttime bluesThere’s a reason why McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s all have the same red and yellow colors. Those tones send a subliminal message to the brain that it’s time to eat. If your bedroom is painted red or yellow, you’re setting your brain up for some late-night munchie cravings.

Next time you’re redecorating paint your bedroom blue. Blue promotes relaxation, suppresses appetite and helps control blood pressure.

5. Make dinner, then make whoopee – After a delish candlelight dinner with your partner, move the romancing to the bedroom. When it comes to weight loss, studies have shown that 1 hour of sex can burn 150 calories, reduce late-night snack cravings and keep your diet on track. When it comes to sleep, making love helps release cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone. Surges of cortisol leaves the body feeling more relaxed and results in a better transition into sleep.

No matter how many pounds you bench, miles you log or granola you crunch – it won’t get you near your goal unless you’re also getting enough quality sleep. Check out these additional tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in and outside of the bedroom:

This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.