There is no way to sugarcoat this, trying to get rid of the extra fat around your hips, legs and tummy is not a piece of cake! Everyone knowns that diet and exercise will help you shed a few pounds here and there, but did you know that a good night’s sleep is a critical factor in your quest for a leaner and fitter body?
If you want to look better, the most common suggestion is “eat less and move more.” But life is not that simple; between living your life, working, socializing, 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. Not sleeping enough – less than seven hours of sleep per night – can reduce and undo the benefits of dieting and exercising.
Why the heck nobody before you told me that the secret to weight loss is to sleep longer?! Thank goodness I bumped into this video – sleeping longer to lose weight?! Hhm sounds like a piece of cake to me?!
So, if you want to find out why sleep is so important to fat loss, drop everything you are doing right now to watch this video. And don’t forget to support our new channel by sharing, commenting, and subscribing.
A lot of us have been on a never-ending journey of trying to lose weight. They are countless diets and exercises out there, and plenty of health gurus to preach to you the virtue of their methods compared to others.
When it comes to weight loss, diet and exercise are usually thought of as being the two key factors that will achieve results. But nobody is talking about how important sleep is to your weight loss journey. The recommended sleep duration for adults is seven to nine hours a night, but many people often sleep for less than this.
Typically, the goal for weight loss is to decrease body fat while retaining as much muscle mass as possible. Not obtaining the correct amount of sleep can determine how much fat is lost. Various studies show that shorter sleep patterns may be associated with higher body weight and affect weight loss. For those of you who have been on that journey you will be familiar with talks such as this:
The secret formula to reducing your BMI is a high metabolism + high RMR and low glucose intake. And don’t forget to increase your leptin level whilst keeping your ghrelin level low. Oh, one more thing, make sure that your cortisol level stays low too. That’s it, really!
Did you get that? The only thing to remember is: low BMI, high RMR, Low glucose, high leptin, and low ghrelin & watch your cortisol?!
I can hear most of you say: Of course, I didn’t get that?! I am not a biologist!
All right, let me unpack this for you.
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. The BMI calculation divides an adult’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared. For adults, an ideal BMI is in the 18.5 to 24.9 range. If your BMI is below 18.5 – you’re in the underweight range. Between 18.5 and 24.9 – you’re in the healthy weight range. Between 25 and 29.9 – you are in the overweight range. Between 30 and 39.9 – you’re in the obese range.
While we often think of appetite as simply a matter of stomach grumbling, it’s controlled by neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that allow neurons (nerve cells) to communicate with one another.
The neurotransmitters ghrelin and leptin are thought to be central to appetite. Ghrelin promotes hunger, and leptin contributes to feeling full. The body naturally increases and decreases the levels of these neurotransmitters throughout the day signaling the need to consume calories. So, you need to control leptin and ghrelin to successfully lose weight, but sleep deprivation makes that nearly impossible. Studies have found that sleeping less than six hours triggers the area of your brain that increases your need for food while also depressing leptin and stimulating ghrelin.
There are several reasons why shorter sleep may be associated with higher body weight and affect weight loss. These include changes in metabolism, appetite, and food selection. This means, that in the long term, sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain due to these changes in appetite. So, getting a good night’s sleep should be prioritized.
Reduced sleep has also been shown to have an impact on food selection and the way the brain perceives food. Researchers have found that the areas of the brain responsible for reward are more active in response to food after sleep loss when compared to people who had good sleep. This could explain why sleep-deprived people snack more often and tend to choose carbohydrate-rich foods and sweet-tasting snacks, compared to those who get enough sleep.
If that’s not enough, scientists discovered that when you don’t sleep enough, your cortisol levels rise. This is the stress hormone that is frequently associated with fat gain. Cortisol also activates reward centers in your brain that make you want food. At the same time, the loss of sleep causes your body to produce more ghrelin. A combination of high ghrelin and cortisol shut down the areas of your brain that leave you feeling satisfied after a meal, meaning that you feel hungry all the time; and that is where you enter the danger zone called “comfort eating.”
Metabolism is a chemical process in which the body converts what we eat and drink into energy needed to survive. All our collective activities from breathing to exercising and everything in between are part of metabolism. Many studies have shown that sleep deprivation (whether due to self-induction, insomnia, untreated sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders) commonly leads to metabolic dysregulation. Poor sleep is associated with increased oxidative stress, glucose (blood sugar) intolerance (a precursor to diabetes), and insulin resistance.
Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is the number of calories your body burns when at rest. It’s affected by many factors, such as age, weight, height, sex, and muscle mass. Studies have shown that sleep deprivation reduces your RMR. Poor quality sleep may also decrease muscle synthesis, which may lower RMR.
Sleep duration also influences metabolism, particularly glucose (sugar) metabolism. When food is eaten, our bodies release insulin, a hormone that helps to process the glucose in our blood. However, sleep loss can impair our bodies’ response to insulin, reducing its ability to uptake glucose. We may be able to recover from the occasional night of sleep loss, but in the long term, this could lead to health conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.
An excess of glucose (both from increased intake and a reduced ability to uptake into the tissues) could be converted to fatty acids and stored as fat. Collectively, this can accumulate over the long term, leading to weight gain.
The good news is that you can fix this with exercise.
Did you really think that it was going to be that easy?! That you could just sleep through your weight-loss journey without breaking a sweat?! NO WAY. It is time to wake up, put your sports gear on, and off you go.
No matter what your fitness goals are, having some muscle on your body is important. Muscle is the enemy of fat – it helps burn fat and stay young. Research has shown that exercise training may protect against the metabolic impairments that result from a lack of sleep, by improving the body’s level of insulin, leading to improved glucose control.
The connection between sleep and weight gain is hard to ignore. Good quality sleep has a vital impact on health and well-being. A lack of sleep can increase appetite by changing hormones, makes us more likely to eat unhealthy foods, and influences how body fat is lost while we are counting our calories.
The moral of the story is that getting adequate, quality sleep is an important part of a healthy weight loss plan. Not getting enough sleep can sabotage your fitness efforts. If your weight loss efforts are not producing results, it may be time to examine your sleep habits.
Thanks for watching and remember the secret formula: low BMI, high RMR, Low glucose, high leptin, and low ghrelin & watch your cortisol?! No need to translate you are not a biologist, but you know the drill by now and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to our channel.
Yours Truly, Scriptwriter, Joanne Reed
For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble. The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com