Filed Under Weight Loss |
As a mother of two small toddlers, 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is unheard of, especially during the winter season when they’re sick and not sleeping well. As it turns out, insufficient sleep will make it harder for you to lose weight.
I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but I’ve noticed a pattern that whenever I don’t get enough sleep, I over eat the next day. I’d say I have pretty good self-discipline when it comes to food , but when I’m tired, I can’t control it as well. As a person who was trying to lose weight, this troubled me. After analyzing the problem, I came to the conclusion that lack of sleep was making me over eat because I thought my body needed more calories to convert to energy. Well I was a little off, but I was right that lack of sleep was detrimental to weight loss. Today I stumbed upon an article in Psychology Today (April 2008 Issue) that talks about the relationship between sleeping and eating. According to Christopher Gardner, a nutritionist at Stanford University, “There’s a critical mass of evidence that we need to help people sleep better to help them lose weight.” Another study by the University of Pennsylvania concluded that people ate more junk food after a four-hour night’s sleep.
The article goes on to say that we do indeed eat more after a few nights of poor sleep because the chemistry in our bodies change–specifically the levels of two appetitie-regulating hormones, Ghrelin, which signals hunger, and Leptin, which supresses hunger . Due to lack of sleep, the levels of Ghrelin increase more than usual, while the levels of Leptin decrease more than usual. Hence, the brain relays a faulty message to the body to keep eating. And if you’re too tired, you’ll probably move your body less, burning less calories.
The article also advises to avoid eating foods with high protein or high fat within three hours of hitting the hay because they take longer to digest. It suggests that if you get hungry just before bedtime to eat complex carbs.
Additionally, it states that eating beyond a certain time will NOT make you fat. It says it’s more about portion control and the amount of fat consumed in the evening. Europeans do eat late and are thinner than Americans, so maybe the Mediterranean diet is best. However, when I stopped eating late, I began losing weight quicker. I eat dinner between 5:30 and 6pm. My portions are not huge either.
In conclusion, sleep deprivation causes havoc to your health and mood. It elevates your blood sugar levels, contributes to weight gain, leads to depression, affects immune system, memory, heart, and the list goes on and on. Find a bed-time routine that works for you. Maybe you need to switch your pillow or purchase a black-out shade. If you’re asking yourself how to lose weight and get that quick fat loss make sure you’re getting enough sleep.