Losing weight can be a struggle for some. Even when undertaking a healthy eating plan and incorporating a fair amount of exercise, you may be disappointed in the immediate results. One thing that could be affecting your ability to lose weight, is the amount of sleep you get. More specifically, you may not be getting enough.
According to some studies, over 60% of Americans don’t get enough sleep. There are a number of contributing factors. Work, stress, or an excessive lifestyle could all be contributing to lost hours. The average person needs between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. When you don’t get enough, you will feel it in the form of tiredness, leading to a lack of energy and motivation. Your mind will also be affected, causing slowed reactions and cloudy thoughts. Extreme sleep deprivation will produce symptoms that are similar to intoxication.
What Happens When You Miss Sleep?
What does this mean for weight loss? Firstly, you will likely take in extra calories to combat grogginess. You might grab a coffee on the way to work, and continue to consume more throughout the day. When you are tired the reward center of your brain will go into overdrive. You may find yourself subconsciously seeking out comfort food to make up for your lack of sleep.
Most importantly, a lack of sleep will affect your hunger hormones. There’s a hormone called ghrelin which signals your brain that it’s time to eat. Another hormone, leptin, determines satiety, and signals your brain that you’ve taken in enough food. When you don’t get enough sleep, ghrelin levels rise and leptin levels drop. You don’t need to be a dietitian to know that this is going to wreak havoc on your weight loss plan. Without even realizing it, you will eat more, even when you don’t need to. This will affect your calorie balance, leading to a caloric surplus which is stored as fat.
Change Your Routine to Achieve Fitness Goals
Knowing this, you can see how missing out on a good night’s rest will work against your fitness goals. If you want to get the most of boot camp training, or any other kind of exercise program, you will need to make time for rest, and possibly reduce activities or factors which are contributing to your lack of sleep.
Avoiding caffeine, working out later in the day, and avoiding TV and electronic devices in the evening, can all help you to get a better night’s sleep. When you are able to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern, you will find that good nutrition and regular exercise will be more effective, helping you to work your way to a healthier and stronger body.