Even with the best eating pattern and fitness routine, if sleep is off, your weight loss efforts are severely hindered!
Sleep Controls your Diet
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35 percent of people are sleep deprived. And when you consider that the statistic for obesity is nearly identical, it’s easy to connect the dots and discover that the connection is not a coincidence.
We all have heard that in order to lose weight is to “eat less and move more”. It’s not quite that simple. Sometimes you want to eat less and move more, but it seems impossible to do so. Do these reasons sound familiar: Between living your life, working, and exercising, you’re forgetting to sleep enough. Or maybe, more importantly, you don’t realize that sleep is the key to being rewarded for your diet and fitness efforts.
What are the effects of lack of sleep?
- Poor sleep changes your fat cells. Have you ever wondered why you wake up exhausted? Dazed? Confused? Maybe even a little grumpy? Within just four days of sleep deprivation, your body’s ability to properly use insulin (the master storage hormone) becomes completely disrupted. When insulin is not functioning well, excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places like the liver. This is also how we become fat and suffer from Diabetes.
- Lack of Rest Makes You Crave Food. Many believe that hunger is related to willpower and learning to control the call of your stomach. This is far from true! Hunger is controlled by two hormones: leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in your fat cells. The less leptin you produce, the more your stomach feels empty. The more ghrelin (the greedy hormone!) you produce, the more you stimulate hunger while also reducing the amount of calories you burn (your metabolism) and increasing the amount fat you store. Trust there are many other factors that go into the equation. In a nutshell, adequate sleep will help you control leptin and ghrelin and aid in successful weight loss.
- Sleep Sabotages Gym Time. Unfortunately, the disastrous impact spreads beyond eating and into your workouts. No matter what your fitness goals are, having some muscle on your body is important. Muscle is the enemy of fat—it helps you burn fat and stay young. But sleep (or lack thereof) is the enemy of muscle. Research supports that sleep debt decreases your body’s ability to make muscle, causes muscle loss, and can lead to a higher incidence of injuries.
What is the solution? (Summary)
Prioritize Sleep! (and reduce your evening ‘To Do’ list) While there’s no hard number that applies to all people, a good rule of thumb is to receive between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and to make sure that one poor night of sleep isn’t followed up with a few more nights of poor sleep. It might not seem like much, but it could make all the difference and mean more than any other health decision you make.
Feel free to drop me a line to tell me what you think about training at SandraYourRDN@actionchoices.com