Is lack of sleep hurting your weight loss efforts?

So you have changed your diet, ditched the junk food, and now consider the gym your second home, but the needle on the scale seems to be stuck.  While it’s always a good idea to have someone else take a look at your food journal and exercise plan, it might just be the quantity of “Z’s” that you’re getting or not getting each night.

New studies are showing that chronically reduced sleep durations are associated with a higher BMI (Body Mass Index).  Some explanations are that as we are staying up later, we’re eating more.  It’s hard to have a midnight snack if you are asleep in your bed by 10 PM.   Lethargy from sleep deprivation affects our willingness to exercise and often the effort is expounded when we do make it to the gym.  Scientists are also looking at the links between sleep duration and various hormone levels which govern fat and glucose metabolism.  Seems that many of these are ruled by genetics, but getting enough sleep can override some these genetic influences.

So what does that mean for you?  If you are having trouble sleeping try the following:

  1. Go out and exercise.  The exercise is good for you, and it will help exhaust you so that you’ll be sleeping much better the next night.  
  2. If your lifestyle insists that you burn the midnight oil, step away from the bad snacks. Opt for fruits and veggies to keep you going.
  3. Turn off that cell phone! It’s proven that we spend way too much time looking at these tiny screens before we go to bed -sending our brains the wrong messages and reducing our natural flow of melatonin.
  4. If all else fails – see your doctor. Get professional help to see what might be causing your sleepless nights.

 

Be well, eat well, live well – Love, Audrey

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