Do you suffer from Sunday night insomnia? That’s the tossing and turning roughly 60 percent of people who responded to a sleep survey do on their typical “day of rest.” This is mainly caused by Sunday anxiety for the week ahead.
Sunday anxiety and lack of sleep can set you up for a really bad diet day.
Studies have found that lack of sleep can make you hungry—and not for a big salad. People were found to crave unhealthy fatty and sugary snacks when tired. Worse, their ability to resist them was also impaired.
The solution to Sunday anxiety? Be prepared. If you use your Sunday to plan for the week ahead, you can reduce some of that anxiety. A survey by a noted stress management psychologist found that planning ahead was the most effective strategy for minimizing stress.
Here are a few things you can do to beat Sunday anxiety and lose weight all week:
1. Prep that menu.
Having ready-to-eat meals in the freezer or fridge can ease some of the high anxiety that you feel when you have to stay late at the office, chauffeur three kids to six different events or take care of an elderly loved one. You know that not having something on hand when you’re starving will make the drive-through window start calling to you.
Use your Sundays to plan meals, shop and cook. Decide what Nutrisystem foods you’ll be eating on each day of the week and when you’ll be having a flex meal you cook yourself. Have your calendar handy so you can see when your most time-crunched days will be and adjust accordingly.
2. Make a list and stick to it.
Don’t bring anything home from the grocery store that you don’t want tempting you during the week. Go through your favorite recipes from The Leaf and stick to the ingredients you’ll need for meals and snacks. You’ll save money and calories at the same time.
3. Cook big.
Multi-task by making large-batch meals in a slow cooker and on your stove or in your oven. Make it easy on yourself. While you’re making stew or soup in the slow cooker, broil or poach four chicken breasts and have different recipes and sauces ready (chicken fajitas, chicken salad, chicken stirfry) so they’re good for a flex dinner, a flex lunch and a side to your Nutrisystem foods. Cut up veggies for snacks, stir fries and salads.
4. Package and freeze.
Be aware that leftovers and pre-cooked foods don’t last indefinitely in the fridge. Most precooked foods can last for three or four days in the fridge, salads for one or two days, veggies for two or three days and mayonnaise-based salads, three to five days. When you can, freeze in small single-serving containers so you don’t have to defrost and refreeze food repeatedly.
5. Schedule your workouts.
Since you already have that calendar out, write in times and types of workouts you’re going to do this week. Check the 10-day weather forecast to help you know when you’re going to need to go to the gym or mall walk and when you can take it outside.
6. Stick to a sleep schedule.
Weekends, not just Sundays, can be hazardous to your health. The National Sleep Foundation says that staying up later and sleeping in over the weekend amounts to “social jetlag.” It has the same physical effects as flying from New York to Los Angeles and back again.
Without spoiling all your fun, try to keep the same bedtime and wake-up time on the weekends as during the week. At least, most of the time. Look at late nights and sleeping in as luxuries that you experience once in a while, not every week.
7. Create a sleep routine.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you relax your way into a good night’s rest on Sunday night. Cut out sleep-disrupting caffeine four to six hours before you hit the pillows. Skip the wine. Alcohol may help you fall asleep but it can wake you up once it wears off. Do something else that helps you relax, like meditation, listening to music, taking a warm bath or reading a good book.