The Silent Saboteur: How Sleep Affects Your Weight Loss
Your sleep is impacting your weight goals.
And it’s working against you (or for you) in more ways than one.
Last week we hosted a workshop “Change your Sleep, Change Your Life!” to help you use sleep as a way to make all of your other goals easier to accomplish. . . including weight loss. If you missed the workshop, you can catch the replay here.
When you’re on a weight loss journey, you often focus on diet and exercise, but have you ever looked at your sleep as a barrier or supporter to your weight loss? You probably should! Read below for 3 ways sleep affects your weight loss. . . and start prioritizing sleep!
#1. Hormonal Balance
One of the hidden contributors to weight gain or difficulties with fat loss is sleep deprivation due to its effect on your hormones. Sleep plays a crucial role in regulating your appetite hormones, namely ghrelin and leptin. With just a single night of poor sleep, ghrelin, often dubbed the “hunger hormone,” surges, causing increased feelings of hunger, cravings for calorically dense foods (think pastries, chips, fried foods) and a higher likelihood of overeating.
Meanwhile, leptin, which signals fullness, dwindles, making it harder to feel satisfied with what you’re eating. This hormonal imbalance can lead to excess calorie consumption, hindering your weight loss goals. One study found that when we’re short on sleep, we consume 250 extra calories per day…which adds up to an extra pound over the course of 2 weeks. Prioritizing 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night can help maintain hormonal equilibrium.
#2 Sleep impacts your metabolism
Sleep also influences your metabolic efficiency, especially your blood sugar metabolism and insulin sensitivity. Insufficient sleep disrupts your body’s ability to process glucose, resulting in higher blood sugar levels and increased insulin resistance. This not only contributes to weight gain but can quicken your path toward developing type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, when we’re not sleeping enough, our bodies more quickly take the fats from our diet and store it in the body (versus using it for energy!) Prioritizing adequate sleep ensures that your metabolism functions optimally, supporting your weight management efforts and overall health.
#3. Sleep impacts our emotional relationship with food.
In the realm of weight loss, emotional well-being is paramount. Sleep deprivation often leads to heightened stress, anxiety, and irritability, which, in turn, can trigger emotional eating or cravings for calorie-laden comfort foods. This phenomenon, known as “stress eating,” can significantly impede your weight loss progress.
Moreover, fatigue weakens your willpower and decision-making abilities by ramping up your impulsivity, making it challenging to resist temptations and stay committed to your weight loss plan. By prioritizing sleep, you not only effortlessly manage stress better but also bolster your emotional resilience, enabling you to make healthier choices and remain steadfast in your weight loss journey.
Watch the recording of the Change your Sleep, Change your Life workshop!