Sleep Your Way to Fat Loss

By Haylie Grayson

We all know that eating right and working out are important to help us reach our fat-loss goals. But what if there’s a missing piece to the fat-loss puzzle? Today we’re going to talk about how to sleep your way to losing fat.

To lose fat you have to be in a caloric deficit, meaning you’re burning more calories in a day than you’re consuming. The easiest way to put yourself into a caloric deficit is to eat a little bit less food and increase your activity. I just want to reiterate the importance of proper diet and exercise.

But what about sleep? Could getting more shut eye be the key to losing more fat?

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You are constantly burning calories. Just sitting here reading this, your body will burn a certain amount of calories just to keep you alive. Did you know you also burn calories as you sleep? A proper 8 hour sleep can burn up to 400 calories!

Proper sleep is crucial to fat-loss. As you can see, simply getting adequate sleep can result in a significant amount of calories to be burned. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, not only are you missing out on the calorie burn, but you could also be throwing your hormones off, resulting in weight gain.

Last week we talked about two important hormones called leptin and ghrelin. Think of ghrelin as a green light in your body, telling you when it’s time to eat. When you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body produces more ghrelin, which increases your appetite. Now, think of leptin as your red light. It tells you when it’s time to stop eating. When you’re sleep deprived, your body produces less leptin, which can can cause you to over-eat.

+ ghrelin – leptin = weight gain.

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So, the takeaway message is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep so that you can burn extra calories and have balanced hormones. As far as the amount of sleep you should be getting, most health professionals agree 7.5 hours of sleep is perfect for most adults.

 


Haylie Grayson in a banana peel: Certified fitness professional, motivating health coach, meatless athlete, animal/human rights activist, & lover/fighter. She specializes in My Fight Gym’s Strength & Conditioning and Nutrition classes & is the author of My Fight Gym’s series of nutrition guides.

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