Losing those extra pounds may be more than just exercise and diet.
Since the time you were young, you probably heard someone in your family tell you that you need plenty of rest. “Go to bed early”, “get a good nights sleep”. We have all heard those things and yet, we still stayed out late, got up early, and survived on low levels of energy from lack of sleep. We were also young enough to handle it.
As time goes on, sleep is more and more important, especially if you are trying to drop some body fat and lose unwanted pounds.
Not getting enough sleep could equal, not losing enough fatty pounds, even if you are training like crazy and watching what you eat.
Let me break it down for you:
- A hormone called cortisol is released in response to physical and emotional stress. It tends to be increased at a high level in people that don’t sleep enough. Cortisol makes us feel hungry even if we are not. People that continually lose sleep will be more hungry at times when they really shouldn’t be. Studies have shown that people that lack sleep will tend of overeat, and binge throughout the day. Pretty bad, huh? Well it gets worse
- When we lose sleep and not sleep deeply, our natural growth hormone levels are low. GH is what helps our bodies regulate the proportion of fat and muscle. The result of having low levels of GH is that our bodies will store more fat and make less muscle. This goes against everything that we try to do while training. We are constantly trying to make more muscle to help burn fat. Losing sleep will counter this goal big time.
- Carbs are not metabolized as well when we lose sleep. This will lead to a marked increase in fat storage and increases of blood sugar. Increases in blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance and that can lead to all kinds of other problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Finally, if you are not sleeping enough, you just are not going to have enough energy throughout the day. If energy is low, you get less done. By doing less, you are going to burn less calories and your metabolism is going to be even lower. Your chances of burning fat are almost gone. When this happens we actually tend to eat more junk, in hopes to gain some quick energy.
It’s an endless cycle of getting fatter.
Take home message; Train hard, eat right and get plenty of good, deep sleep. If you are not sleeping well, or enough, your number one goal right now should be to find out why and then correct it. The body you desire and your health depends on it.