The undeniable link between sleep and weight loss.
The less sleep you get, the higher your BMI will be. Why? The answer lies in hormones. When you get insufficient sleep, your body will produce more ghrelin and less leptin.
Leptin regulates your energy levels and suppresses your appetite. It is a naturally occurring hormone that regulates your weight and metabolism. This is therefore a really important hormone when it comes to weight loss. Depriving yourself of sleep will deprive you of leptin.
Ghrelin, on the other hand, sends signals to your body telling it that you’re hungry. Have you ever noticed that when you’re tired you have an increased appetite? That’s the work of increased ghrelin.
So to sum it up: less sleep means a slower metabolism and a greater appetite. Get enough sleep and weight loss will become easier.
Is it that simple? Will simply sleeping more do the trick?
Although there is a clear link between more sleep and weight loss, there is a little more to the story. You need to focus on doing everything you can to boost the levels of leptin in your body. There are several things you can do to increase leptin:
- Get sufficient sleep. See if you can manage to get an extra hour’s sleep every night.
- Exercise regularly. Include both weight training and aerobic exercise in your regime. Exercise will boost your metabolism and the activity levels of fat-burning enzymes. Leptin will also boost these enzymes and increase your metabolic rate – even after exercise! To put it differently, increasing your muscle mass will increase the number of calories you burn – even while resting.
- Follow a healthy, balanced meal plan. Add fruits, vegetables, good fats and lean protein to your diet. Cut out sugar and unhealthy fats.
- Avoid extreme diets. Fad diets and the like have a negative effect on your hormones and encourage your body to store fat. All that you will lose is water and muscle tissue. Forget about counting calories, read my previous post about why you should stop counting calories.
A lack of sleep coupled with starvation is simply damaging and punishing your body. The relationship between sleep and weight loss reminds us that the key to looking great is to follow a healthy lifestyle. And that means eating right, exercising right, and sleeping right.