If You Want To Lose Weight, Get Enough Sleep

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If You Want To Lose Weight, Get Enough Sleep

If you want to lose weight, be sure to add getting enough sleep to your weight loss program in St. Louis, according to several experts nationwide.

Significant scientific evidence reveals that a critical component to weight control is avoiding sleep deprivation. “There is no doubt that insufficient sleep promotes hunger and appetite, which can cause excessive food intake resulting in weight gain,” according to Eve Van Cauter, director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health Center at the University of Chicago. After studying the topic for over 15 years, she notes our bodies aren’t wired for sleep deprivation – we’re the only mammals that do this!

Studies have shown that sleep deprived people:

  • Have increased levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin and decreased levels of the satiety/fullness hormone called leptin, which could lead to overeating and weight gain.
  • Consume about 300 calories a day more than when they are well-rested from high-fat foods.
  • Snack more and do less physical activity.
  • Eat more than what is needed to cover the energy cost of staying awake longer, especially at night, which can lead to significant weight gain.

When study participants were sleep deprived for 5 days, they consumed more carbohydrates and gained nearly 2 pounds in that time. Kenneth Wright with the University of Colorado explained that “when people are sleepy, they make poor food choices and are more likely to eat more than they need” whereas “when people got enough sleep, they reduced their intake of both carbohydrates and fats.”

Other research showed that getting enough sleep helped fight a genetic predisposition to weight gain. Even medical doctors agree there’s a growing body of evidence that sleep deprivation heightens your chances for weight gain, according to University of Chicago associate professor of medicine, Matthew Brady.

Are you getting enough sleep?

  • Young adults need 7 to 9 hours a night.
  • As people grow older, their need decreases to 7 to 8 hours a night.

Sleep Test

You can determine what your sleep needs are next time you have a few days off or go on a vacation. Go to bed at your usual time and allow yourself to awaken naturally without alarms (silence those mobile phones). The first few days you may sleep more than usual as your body “catches up” to the sleep debt. After your sleep has stabilized a few days into it, record how much you sleep, again waking up naturally. That’s your sleep need or capacity give or take 15 minutes.

If you’re struggling with weight loss, our personal trainers and licensed dietician can help you get started today. Evolution Fitness offers nutritional counseling in St. Louis and in-home personal training in St. Louis or at our gym location in Brentwood. Don’t wait! Pick up the phone or contact us here to get healthy today!

Read 3236 times Last modified on Tuesday, 20 January 2015 21:38

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