How Sleep Effects Fat Loss:
I am not a doctor or registered dietician. The information I provide is based on my personal experience as a Personal Trainer and my studies of Kinesiology and Nutrition. Any recommendations I make about strength and conditioning, nutrition, supplements or lifestyle should be discussed between you and your doctor before practicing such advice.
Now, back to the article…
Getting adequate sleep (at least 8 hours or more) helps you lose fat by reducing your need and desire to eat carbohydrate-rich foods (e.g. bread, cereals, food bars, pancakes, pastries, grains, fruits) when you wake up (, , , and V this, 2005). More Specifically, getting adequate sleep helps control your hunger (your body’s actual need for food) and your appetite (your mental desire for food) by causing your body to produce normal amounts of the hormones that control hunger and appetite, for carbs in particular (Sizer, Whitney, & Piche, 2009; Spiegel et al., 2005). Not all carb-rich foods are bad for you, but the point of this article is that lack of sleep increases the likelihood that you will over-consume carb-rich foods upon waking and throughout the day, which if done consistently, is bad for you, the reasons for this are explained below (Spiegel et al., 2005).
So, how does avoiding over-consumption of carb-rich foods help you lose fat? Because your body uses carbs as energy to a far greater extent than fat, if you consume too many carbs, because your body converts carbs into energy much faster than it can convert fat into energy. So, if you give your body more than enough carbs, like when you carb-binge on a huge bowl of sugary cereal, several pieces of toast, and a pop-tart after inadequate sleep, your body will burn less fat for energy than it would if you didn’t just give it a huge pile of carbs to feast on.
When you carb-binge on a huge bowl of sugary cereal, several pieces of toast, and a pop-tart after inadequate sleep, your body will burn less fat for energy than it would if you didn’t just give it a huge pile of carbs to feast on.
The Other Problem Caused By Carb-Binging:
If you carb-binge consistently (i.e. daily or several times per week for a long enough period of time) you also put yourself at risk for developing Type II Diabetes by screwing up the way your cells respond to the hormone Insulin. Insulin controls your blood sugar levels. Consistently high blood sugar levels, over time, leads to the development of Type II Diabetes.
Change your lifestyle habits so you can sleep enough. Start small–go to bed 30 minutes earlier every other day. After this earlier bedtime becomes a consistent part of your bedtime ritual, then start going to bed another 30 minutes sooner (now your sleeping an extra hour! See how you’re slowly improving!?). Keep this up and soon you’ll be sleeping enough, so when you wake up, you won’t crave fat-trapping sugar.
Change your lifestyle habits so you can sleep enough.
Before you eat again today and in the future–pause–and ask yourself: will this food or the way I’m eating keep me healthy 10 years from now or will it give me diseases and illness 10 years from now? Because your lifestyle habits–the little, seemingly insignificant things you do consistently, create your health, not the things you do once in a while.
The little, seemingly insignificant things you do consistently, create your health, not the things you do once in a while.
In terms of maintaining optimal health, please, think 10 years ahead.
Want to learn more fat loss and healthy living strategies? Come try out a free 30-minute sample workout Thursday July 2 at 5:15 pm, Monday July 6 at 5:15 pm, or Thursday, July 9 at 5:15 pm. These sample workouts will allow you to see what my upcoming small group training class–“The Fundamentals of Fat loss”–will be like. The class officially starts Monday, July 13 and will run for 6 weeks on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5:15 pm.
Remember, think 10 years ahead.
For more info on this topic or to find out more about Prepare Strength and Conditioning personal training services, message me on my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/preparestrength or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Book your free personal training assessment today!
Sizer, F., Whitney, E., & Piche, L.A. (2009). Glossary. In F. Sizer, E. Whitney, & L.A. Piche (Eds.), Nutrition Concepts and Controversies (pp. GL-2, GL-9). Toronto, Ontario: Nelson Education
Sleep loss: a novel risk factor for insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. Journal of Applied Physiology, 95 (2), 2008-2019.