How ZZZ's Could Be Affecting Your Waistline

f word to live by fwordstoliveby getting better sleep sleep sleep and weight Aug 10, 2023

Sleep is an essential component of overall health and well-being, and it plays a critical role in any fitness journey.

Inadequate sleep can have detrimental effects on our metabolism, causing disruptions to our hormones that regulate appetite and energy balance. This can lead to increased cravings, poor food choices, and decreased physical activity levels - all of which can negatively impact fat loss efforts.

Additionally, poor sleep can even prevent the growth and repair of lean muscle tissue, which is important for staying strong and maximizing your fat loss efforts.

When you don't get enough sleep, your body's hormone levels become imbalanced, specifically the hormones that control appetite. Leptin, the hormone that regulates satiety or signals to our brain that you are full, decreases, while ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, increases. This hormonal imbalance can lead to increased cravings, especially for processed, high-calorie, high-carbohydrate foods - like that afternoon chocolate bar you just can’t help but have. In addition, lack of sleep can also affect our decision-making abilities, making it more difficult to resist temptation and make healthy whole food choices. So, if you've been struggling with uncontrollable cravings that never leave you satisfied, it might be time to focus on improving your sleep habits!

Lack of sleep can have even further impacts on your hormones, causing imbalances that can negatively affect your fat loss goals. As mentioned earlier, the hormones that regulate appetite, leptin and ghrelin, are affected by inadequate sleep. However, other hormones, such as cortisol and insulin, are also affected. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can become elevated with lack of sleep, making it that much harder to deal with kids, home, career, and everything else that goes into your day. Without sufficient rest these stress catalysts can lead to increased fat storage and decreased muscle mass.

Insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels by transporting glucose from your bloodstream into your cells for energy, can also become imbalanced by lack of sleep. This can lead to increased hunger, cravings, and potentially even diabetes due to an increase in insulin resistance - a condition where your cells become less responsive to insulin, thereby saturating your bloodstream with glucose. Overall, the disruption of your hormones due to lack of sleep can have a cascading effect on our body's ability to regulate excess fat gain and can make fat loss efforts even more challenging.
In addition to affecting your hormones and increasing cravings, a lack of sleep can also prevent the growth and repair of lean muscle tissue. During deep sleep, our body releases what's called growth hormone (HGH). This is necessary for the development and repair of muscle tissue. Without sufficient sleep, your body doesn't have the chance to release enough HGH, which can prevent the growth and repair of muscle tissue. This can make it more difficult to build and maintain lean muscle mass, which is important for overall health, strength, and fat loss efforts. You’ve worked hard, shed lots of sweat (and maybe a few tears) to earn the lean muscle mass you’ve gained - you deserve to keep it! 

Also - If you’re feeling tired, you’re more likely to skip your workout altogether!
A lack of sleep can also slow down your metabolism, making it more difficult to burn fat and maintain momentum on your fitness journey. When you don't get enough sleep, your body's natural processes slow down, including your metabolism. This means that your body may not be burning calories as efficiently as it could be, leading to stubborn fat gain or difficulty losing excess fat.
Prioritizing your sleep is more important to your overall wellness than you may realize.
Without sufficient hours of rest, not only will you be rubbing your eyes all day to stay awake, but it can have a significant impact on your ability to burn away stubborn fat and succeed on your fitness journey.

When you don’t get proper rest, your whole body is affected, down to the chemicals in your bloodstream. In other words, your hormones.

These are the cellular messengers of your body that tell every other cell what’s going on - think of them as directors on a flight tarmack. Without proper rest they can’t properly tell everyone where to go, which means metaphorical planes crashing within your body, effectively sabotaging wellness and fat loss efforts.

Dr Stephen Cabrall suggests the simple 3,2,1 rule for good sleep hygiene. Three hours before bed stop eating. Two hours before bed stop drinking. One hour before bed put away all electronic devices and turn off the TV.