Why Sleep is Important for Weight loss and Dieting?

From a pure thermodynamics standpoint, you would think that the longer you’re awake the more calories you’ll burn.  Although this is true, other hormonal factors come into play. If you really want to geek out on the subject, a good read is Mastering Leptin by Byron and Guignon Richards.

Leptin and grehlin are hormones that affect appetite, satiety, metabolism and fat burning.

Have you ever felt run down from lack of sleep?

There are so many life stresses that impact our ability to get enough sleep. The demands of business and family life can throw of our routines off.  For those of you that have kids, you know what I’m talking about.  Last night our 7 month old daughter decided that 5am was a good time to play patty cake with my face.  I usually get up 6:45am – and although it’s only about an hour and a half of lost sleep, it adds up.

It compounds during the week.

That’s why by Friday you can feel pretty run down.

If you’re working on a big project (life, fitness or business) you can have months where you’ll feel pretty terrible.

Sugar Cravings

When you’re under recovered, under rested and severely deprived of sleep, eliminating a sweet tooth can be almost impossible.  You’re always hungry.  To make matters worse, your ability to stay staying satiated goes up – requiring you to eat more to be full.  Everyone responds differently and metabolisms differ, but being in a sleep deprived state will increase your likelihood of over eating every time you encounter food.

It’s more severe for some than others, but understand appetite and eating behavior will bias you towards eating just a little more each day causing weight gain.

Working the night shift (graveyard)

Have you ever worked days and then change your schedule to working during times when you should be sleeping?  I’ve trained many women that use to be 110-120lbs, but after 5-6 years doing shift work, they can’t get their weight below 180lbs.  Some individuals balloon up to 200lbs+.  For a  5’4″ female – that’s crazy.

Although there are other factors that come into play and what I’m sharing with you is small sample size of anecdotal evidence – we can all agree sleep is important.

Realize that if you don’t feel well rested, it will be harder to diet.  You will want to eat more and fight sweet craving more often and it will be harder to push away the plate – this is especially true if you’re training hard and dieting for weight loss.

I promise I’ll write more about this in the future, but be sure to make sleep an important consideration when deciding to watch an additional episode of a TV series you’re hooked on Netflix.

Don’t misunderstand me, that I’m suggesting you should sleep instead of exercise.  This is not an either or thing, this is a both thing.  If your schedule allows for only 3 workouts  a week (if that), prioritize your workout.

And if you’re run down, adjust the workout session.

Thanks for reading, share this with a friend if this blog post was helpful.