Do you find that you are following a clean diet and exercise program and still struggle with losing weight and stubborn belly fat? We all know that frequent exercise and a healthy diet are key elements in weight loss success. However did you know that sleep is also an important factor to consider when you want to shed stubborn body fat?
Getting proper sleep is an essential ingredient for optimal health and weight loss. When you begin to maintain good sleeping habits, you will discover that having a restful night will affect your life in so many positive ways. You will feel better, have more energy, think clearly and be more motivated to eat better throughout the day. As well, your body will be more efficient at burning calories therefor resulting in weight loss. Developing a consistent sleep routine is key to optimal health and fat loss.
Research has shown that sleep plays an important part in fat loss. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep may increase hunger and affect the body’s metabolism, making it challenging to lose weight and maintain it.
Key Factors That Link Quality Sleep to Weight Loss
When you do not get enough sleep your hormones shift and become imbalanced causing your appetite to change and for potential health issues. Two hormones that play a key role in stimulating and suppressing your appetite are leptin and ghrelin. When your body is sleep deprived the levels of these hormones can be affected. Leptin is produced by your body’s fat cells and is responsible for suppressing hunger. Ghrelin is released by your stomach, and is an appetite stimulant. If your body is sleep deprived the levels of leptin in your blood is lowered which then increase the levels of ghrelin resulting in an increase of appetite. When you get enough sleep, the opposite occurs and you decrease hunger therefore support your weight loss.
During a deep sleep, your pituitary gland secretes more growth hormones than during your waking hours. Growth hormones are responsible for stimulating cell regeneration, reproduction and growth. As well, these hormones are known to help you build and to maintain your muscles therefore increasing your metabolism and the rate of which you burn calories and fat. The best way to capitalize your exposure to this hormone is to get to sleep by 10 pm each night.
Cortisol is a hormone that regulates many processes throughout the body including your metabolism, immunity and response to stress. Getting sufficient hours of sleep at night helps your body to lower the cortisol levels in your blood, while the lack of sleep raises your cortisol levels. With increased levels of cortisol it lowers the production of the muscle building hormone testosterone. Over time, this causes a decrease in muscle mass and eventually leads to a sluggish metabolism and therefore increasing stored body fat, especially visceral fat. Visceral fat is particularly dangerous because it surrounds your vital organs and releases fatty acids into your blood, raising your cholesterol and insulin levels and eventually leading to the cause of heart disease and diabetes. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night is important and will ensure that you have low cortisol levels in your blood resulting in a more efficient weight loss.
Sleep is a crucial factor for achieving your optimal health and losing weight. Sleep suppresses your appetite and increases your metabolism, and allows for your body to rest and to regenerate. So aside from exercising and eating a clean diet you should also make sleep an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. To become stronger, leaner and healthier be sure that you get your full 7-9 hours of quality sleep a night.
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