Have you ever wondered why you are not able to lose weight even after eating a lean protein and vegetable based diet and exercising regularly?
This is not an uncommon problem. Many people, especially women, fail to achieve their weight loss goals even when all the boxes are ticked. So something doesn’t add up, something must not be right in your quest to lose weight?
1. Be Aware, If You are Sleeping Less, The Scales Could be Rising
There could be many reasons that are contributing to your struggle to lose the bulge including lack of willpower, failing to stick to your diet, not meeting the exercise quota or just plain and simply, being genetically disadvantaged. However, one of the most important reasons why you might find it difficult to lose weight, but is given little priority is, sleep.
The mantra to achieve your weight loss goals is to ‘eat less and move more’ but to successfully achieve this, you must have the required will power and energy. Sleep can affect both of them. It is now scientifically proven that people who sleep less tend to be obese, find it difficult to lose weight or are unable to lose weight at all.
Here are 5 reasons how not getting enough closed eye can affect your goal weight.
2. Your Diet is Controlled by Your Sleep
My diet is controlled by my sleep… but I don’t eat in my sleep?
People have become busier these days than what they used to be a decade back. With so much to do, they often ignore their sleep.
A study conducted by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention found that almost 35% of women are sleep derived. This figure coincides with the ever increasing obesity rates and therefore, you can easily make a connection between the two. According to a research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, sleeping less affects your weight loss plans as it reverses the benefits of exercising. In their study, the researchers experimented with some dieters and found that those who slept less were unable to lose body fat. They had food cravings and didn’t feel like exercising, whereas the other group was able to lose weight significantly more than their counterparts.
3. When You Sleep Less, Your Fat Cells Undergo a Change
We all know that when we sleep less or have a bad and disturbing sleep, we feel exhausted, confused, and lazy. This happens because when you sleep less, your body suffers from ‘metabolic grogginess’.
Apart from being a pretty cool term ‘metabolic grogginess’ it was coined by the researchers from the University of Chicago which found that when you sleep less one day, you are more prone to sleep less on subsequent days and within 4-5 days, you will be severely sleep deprived. When you are sleep deprived, your body’s ability to use insulin gets affected. It is found that your sensitivity towards insulin drops by more than 30 percent.
Why are we concerned about insulin? Insulin helps fat cells by removing the fatty acids and lipids from your body. When your insulin functioning gets affected, your body will not be able to remove the fat. In fact, fat will get stored in your body, especially in your liver tissues which causes diabetes.
4. You Experience Food Cravings Due to Lack of Sleep
Food cravings are one of the most notorious factors that hinder weight loss, even after dedicated efforts in the gym. Even when you have a strong will power, you will not be able to control your food cravings, if you sleep less.
Your hunger is controlled by two hormones, Leptin and Ghrelin. Leptin is produced by the fat cells of your body. If the production of Leptin goes down from its normal level, you will feel hungry. Ghrelin is another important hormone that controls your hunger. If your levels of the Ghrelin hormone produced in your body increases, you will feel hungrier. Therefore, in order to successfully lose weight, you have to control the production of these two hormones.
So how on earth do I control these hormones? By getting adequate sleep.
But there is another hormone that also wants to join the party to halter your fat loss. It’s called Cortisol, the hormone we release when we get stressed. It not only increases when we get stressed but when we have inadequate sleep. So Cortisol comes about when we are stressed, increases when we have little sleep and guess what? It also induces food cravings! So…you end up being cranky, tired and lacking willpower, which leads to you not only crave the block of chocolate, but demolishing the entire block.
Put simply, unless you get a good restful sleep, you will get tempted to eat food that you know you should not eat.
5. The Less You Sleep, the Less Amount You Spend in Gym
When you are trying to lose the inches, this is the biggest impact of not getting enough sleep.
Recent research conducted in Brazil found that people who suffer from sleep debt have decreased protein synthesis. When protein synthesis slows down, this affects our body’s ability to repair muscles, effecting both muscle growth and fat reduction. Basically this is because muscles burn fat and this helps you to stay young. The study also found that sleep deprived people are more prone to injuries. This is because when you sleep less, your body produces less growth hormone which are required to be able to facilitate speedy recovery and good growth of the overall body.
In combination with increased cortisol levels by lack of sleep, you feel stressed out, and will prefer not going to gym or not doing fulfilling workout. Plus, due to muscle deterioration, your body doesn’t burn the fat as much as it should. See how it can all be a downward spiral once you neglect your sleep?
Prioritizing sleep therefore, becomes the most important rule for weight loss and your overall health and well being. The amount of sleep that an average person should get varies across different age-groups; however, six to eight hours of sleep is strongly recommended for everyone. If you are determined to lose weight, you should be getting your daily dose of zzzz.
If you find it hard winding down and switching your mind and body off at night, you need to make some adjustments to your pre bed routine. Download our FREE eBook for some breathing and yoga exercises to calm you down from your hectic day.