You’ve read all the best weight books on weight loss, your kitchen is stocked with nothing but healthy foods, and you spend as much time as you possibly can at the gym; heck, you even make sure you are constantly stepping while you’re at work so you can reach your goal of 10,000 or more! And, you’ve tried all the best weight loss supplements on the market. Yet despite all of your efforts, nothing seems to be working. The pants you currently own are still too snug; forget about fitting into that dress you bought a size too small on purpose!
It could be that you aren’t getting enough sleep. Yes, sleep! As it turns out, sleep is just as important for weight loss as diet and exercise; in fact, it may be even more important.
Here’s a look at why health experts, dieticians, and workout professionals consider sleep the best supplement for weight loss.
Sleep Keeps Your Diet Under Control
It doesn’t matter many nutritious foods you have stocked in your fridge and cabinets, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you’re probably going to find it hard to control your diet. Why? – Because when you are sleep deprived, your appetite increases. Furthermore, you’ll experience cravings for foods that aren’t exactly weight loss-friendly (think carbs, sugars, and unhealthy fats).
Sleep helps to improve activity in the frontal lobe of the brain – the part that makes decisions and assists with self-control. As a result, you may find that you’re craving more fast food, and you might not be able to resist the urge to pull into the drive-thru (even though you know you shouldn’t) if you aren’t getting enough sleep. However, when you are well rested, you’re more likely to keep your diet under control, experience less cravings, and exhibit more willpower.
It Keeps Your Appetite Under Control
Sleep can also help to decrease your appetite. Your body produces two hunger hormones – ghrelin and leptin. When you’re stomach is empty, ghrelin is produced and released into the stomach lets your brain know you are hungry. When you’re full, fat cells release leptin, which lets your brain know that you are satiated.
If you’re getting enough sleep, the production of these hormones is kept in-check. However, if you are sleep deprived, the production of these hormones increases, which means you end up feeling hungrier and you eat more to feel full.
These are just two of the main reasons why sleep is considered the most effective supplement for weight loss. Getting an adequate amount of sleep also helps to improve your metabolism, boosts your energy levels, makes you more motivated, and keeps your blood sugar levels balanced. The bottom line: if you are trying to lose weight, you really need to get more sleep.
But with such a fast-paced lifestyle and so many distractions, getting more sleep may seem impossible. But increasing the amount of sleep you get – and in turn, the amount of weight you lose – is possible! Here are some sleep tips to consider:
- Establish a bedtime. Consider when you have to wake up in the morning and then count back 8 hours. That’s when you should go to bed.
- If light distracts you, try using a sleeping mask. Invest in one that is comfortable, fits right, won’t shift while you’re sleeping, and really blocks out the light. It could make a huge difference.
- Wind down. About an hour before bedtime, turn off your devices, avoid doing anything strenuous, and try not to engage in activities that really get your mind going (like paying the bills or having a heated debate). The less stimulated your mind is, the easier it will be to fall asleep.