Have you been struggling with your weight lately? Tried to lose weight but can’t? Or maybe you have gained several pounds the last year and you can’t understand why. Maintaining a healthy weight is important for several reasons. Too much weight gain is hard on your joints, heart, and is associated with diabetes and other health risks. Some people struggle to keep their weight at optimal levels while others have a much easier time maintaining a healthy weight. What is the difference? For some people, lack of sleep could be the culprit.
The medical community has determined that without getting a full night of sleep on a regular basis, you are more prone to gain weight or struggle to lose those unwanted pounds. Just how does lack of sleep contribute to weight gain? Read on to discover 4 reasons weight can be a problem if you’re not getting enough “zzz’s”.
Eating for energy
Many health and fitness experts concur that when people are overtired, they inadvertently reach for refined carbs or sugar, which lead to weight gain in most individuals. These empty calories give you a quick fix of energy but they don’t fill you up for long and lead to unwanted pounds. The body intuitively knows that refined carbs and sugar give you an energy boost. Maybe it’s our subconscious working too, reminding us that if we grab a package of cookies and sugary coffee, we’ll have enough energy to finish our day at work.
Too tired to exercise
Having a regular exercise plan is necessary for most people to keep their weight in line, especially once they get a little older. Even if it’s just taking a couple brief walks throughout the day, it helps with our weight. However, it can be difficult to get motivated enough to participate in activities when you’re dragging your feet with weariness. Not getting adequate sleep will make exercising next to impossible, which can be a vicious cycle.
No energy for healthy food preparation
Eating healthy requires planning. You need to decide what to prepare, ensure you have the ingredients in the house, and then take the time to cook the meals. All of this means you need mental sharpness and physical energy to keep up with healthy eating. It’s so much simpler and quicker to just stop at a fast food place and grab something to eat. But a fast food diet is a sure way to put on extra weight.
The hormone connection
Hormones play the biggest part in the sleep-deprived person’s struggle with weight. Two important hormones in weight gain are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that lets the brain know it’s time to eat and leptin tells the brain it’s time to stop eating. Physicians state that when you don’t get enough sleep, your ghrelin levels increase and your leptin levels decrease. That means the hormone that tells you to eat is high and the one that tells you to stop eating is low. So, you do what your brain tells you to do. You may resist it by counting calories and making sure you don’t overeat, but it’s difficult to keep that up for very long. In time, your hormones rule what you do.
It’s no wonder that people who aren’t sleeping enough are also the same ones who can’t seem to lose the weight they want to lose. If you are one of those people, getting enough sleep is a first step to becoming healthier. Once you are rested, you’ll discover you have the energy to eat healthy, exercise, make the best choices for your body, and stop eating at the appropriate time. Your body will be working with you instead of against you.
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