Sleeping Your Way to Weight Loss
Summertime is around the bend. You’ve bought all the current magazines pushing different swimsuit body diets, you’ve probably been all over the internet looking for top diet trends. The time to start is NOW! Wait! Before you go off and buy that magic pill, before you go off and start drinking nothing but kale juice for 21 days, take a few minutes and just consider the basics, a balanced diet, additional exercise, and BETTER sleep. Yes, better sleep, the easiest way to shed pounds.
Your weight loss plan can go haywire if sleep is not an integral part of the program. “Sleep is not only a pillar of healthy living, it’s a foundation of a healthy life,” Matthew Walker Ph.D., Author Why We Sleep. Sleep controls your mindset, your willpower, and your hormones. Without a plan to sleep better your diet plan is lost before it even begins.
Any weight loss plan is built around good willpower and a decision to hold off on eating “bad” foods.” You want to stay away from useless calories and only eat what will help you stay within your caloric goal. These are great steps to take for shedding pounds, but without sleep, your willpower takes a beating. Without a good 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep, control over your hunger hormones is impacted. Yes, you have hunger hormones. Ghrelin is a hormone that signals your brain when it’s hungry and time to eat. Without enough sleep, your body makes more Ghrelin, and your brain signals the need for more food. To make things even harder on your already stressed willpower, another hormone, Leptin, is reduced. Leptin is the hormone that tells your brain “Hey, it’s time to put down the fork, you’re full”. Can you start to see some of the issues with missing out on sleep now? Wait, we aren’t done yet, it gets even worse for your diet plan! Your cravings for high carb foods and fats also increase due to insufficient sleep. The culprit here is another hormone that was thrown off kilter by your staying up too late, cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone, it’s purpose is to help us deal with stress, and it helps manage the use of fats and carbs throughout your digestive system. An overabundance of Cortisol makes staying away from those donuts all that much harder.
Another important facet of a weight loss plan is exercise. Without additional exercise, you will not be burning enough extra calories to impact your burn off of extra fat. Sleep plays an integral part in your willingness to expend this extra energy. Sleep also plays into your ability to concentrate and focus on tasks. Without necessary sleep, you are more likely to choose sedentary activities like watching TV.
Hopefully, you can see plainly now the importance of good sleep in your life and your weight loss plan. Dieting and weight loss are hard enough without starting with a great foundation of sleep. Don’t make all your hard work go to waste after you’ve reached your goal weight either. Sleep is essential all the time, not just to shed those extra pounds. Remember, when you Sleep Well, You Live Well.
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http://time.com/4757521/sleep-yourself-slim/, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201709/weight-loss-and-sleep-is-there-connection-1, and Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker Ph.D. 2017.