What’s the latest news on sleep and weight gain? How does losing sleep impact your weight loss efforts?
Sleep habits and weight gain are intricately linked, by a chain of events and body changes that lead to higher tendencies to both eat more and to store fat. So if you’re wondering if sleep impacts your body weight, YES, losing sleep can definitely deter your efforts to get back in shape. So one of the key changes to make in terms of lifestyle changes is to ensure you’re getting adequate sleep. Here’s why:
- Regularly losing out on quality sleep can create conditions in your body that make you more prone to weight gain.
- Too little sleep can also thwart your efforts to lose weight, and lead to emotional eating and poor food choices.
From hormonal changes to emotional vulnerabilities when you’re overly tired, your food intake AND your motivation to stay on track with a nutrition plan, are likely to change when you’re chronically exhausted.
From a recent article in the news about Sleep and Weight Loss – how losing sleep can lead to weight gain:
Appetite changes related to stress hormones from sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain or failed dieting attempts.
When you’re running on empty in terms of sleep deprivation, your typically not running on empty on food. In fact, if you’re sleep deprived, your caloric intake will tend to be higher, leading to weight gain.
Here’s more information on how lacking sleep can interfere with weight loss efforts OR lead to further weight gain:
- “The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite,” warns Dr Michael D Breus, in Sleep Newzz (Issued Apr 16, 2015).
- So you might BURN more calories by being awake, but you’ll end up consuming more than you would have if you’d gotten quality, healthy sleep.
- In another recent article, even actress Margot Robbie’s nutritionist, Dana James, assures people that failed weight loss plans have multiple causes.
- So it’s not necessarily just caloric intake and caloric expenditure, but the entire whole-body-mind experience that can impact whether or not you’ll be successful losing weight even if you’re extremely motivated to do so.
Other factors that impact your ability to lose weight successfully:
- hormones – their fluctuations impact everything from appetite to mood, which in turn impact your intake and other lifestyle ‘coping’ choices (many heavy individuals use food as a source of comfort during times of stress – and let’s face it, life today can be stressful – but to lose weight, you need to work on your psyche as much as your stomach)
- sleep quality and duration
- inflammation in the body, influenced by everything from diet to stress to what you consume
- gut microbiome (gut bacteria necessary to keep a healthy gut flora)
- medication side effects
- unexpressed emotions
- mental health conditions
So getting ENOUGH quality sleep is something that you CAN, with dedication and effort, have control over!
(Exception: Having very small children, but there are ways around that also – consult a sleep expert for details).
So take the reigns, and consult a sleep specialist or your GP and/or counsellor to find out how to change your life so that you get better sleep – and have a higher chance of losing weight and getting fit!