How Sleep Affects Your Weight Loss*

Wednesday, 8 March 2017, By Jerard Jackson

Are you training really hard in the gym and not seeing the results you're working for? Are you filling out your food diary and reaching your macronutrient targets, but can't get those last few extra kilos to budge?

If you answered yes to either of the above questions it could actually be your sleep or lack of sleep that is stopping you from getting those hard earned results. According to the Australian institute of health and wellbeing, 63% of adults are actually obese and if you match that with the sleep health foundations research on Aussie sleep deprivation it begs the question - is this  merely coincidence or do the two go hand in hand? The sleep health foundation's research states that up to 45% of Australians are actually sleep deprived on a regular basis.

Not getting enough sleep (less than 7 hours) can actually reduce or undo the benefits of diet and exercise. Those that are sleep deprived whilst dieting tend to feel hungrier; less satisfied after meals and generally lack the energy to exercise. A person who lacks sleep can also reduce their fat loss for up to 55% compared to those who get an adequate night sleep. Your brain and muscles are not the only parts of you that get exhausted, dazed, confused and potentially even a little groggy; your fat cells too will feel that effect. This is known as "metabolic grogginess".

If that's not enough to prevent you from losing weight, the lack of sleep can actually raise the cortisol levels in the body. This is a stress hormone that is frequently associated with fat gain. To make matters worse, sleep deprivation will make you crave the foods you should stay away from. If you have ever thought to yourself "I shouldn't have that pizza" but then a thought inside your head creeps in and that thought turns into "oh one slice won't hurt me"; this can be due to the fact that when you are lacking sleep your brain can function the same way as if you were drunk. You just don't have the mental clarity to make great decisions especially around the food you want to eat and the food you shouldn't eat

The truth of it all is that not enough sleep will likely mean that you will always have the feeling of being hungry, want to reach for bigger portions and often desire the types of food that can derail the results of your hard work. On top of that you probably won't have the proper functioning brain that would usually help you in making better decisions. Think about making specific sleep habit improvements part of your weekly goals with your Trainer to get started in the right direction and support your results!

 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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