When looking at weight loss tips and strategies, people tend to overlook one simple, yet crucial, step. Sleep for weight loss is important because sleep contributes to how well your body heals, performs and takes care of itself. To achieve your goals you can’t just want it, you have to dream it — literally. Obtaining a good night's sleep can often be difficult, but continuing to catch Z’s will not only help in your healing post-weight loss surgery, but will also majorly affect your weight loss progress.
Sleep Deprivation Triggers Stress Eating
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body chemistry creates a disruption between the balance of hormones that trigger the differences between feeling full and hungry. Not only does it affect your hormones, but being tired is almost like being drunk. It dulls the activity in your frontal lobe, which regulates decision making and impulse control. Your brain's reward center activates when you are sleep deprived and actively starts looking for something that makes you feel happy.
This can negatively affect your eating habits and make you more irritable and stressed. Often your choices in meals and snacks will be different. When you are sleep deprived your body gravitates toward food with higher fat and carb content to try and give you a boost of energy.
You will also find yourself eating late night snacks because your body is trying to supplement food for restorative sleep. If you have a fitful night of sleep and find yourself reaching for food more than usual, or you’re reaching for a less favorable option, make sure to ask yourself if it’s because you are tired.
Lack of Sleep Slows Your Metabolism
The stress hormone cortisol can be triggered when your body is sleep deprived. This hormone invites your body to try and store energy it’s not getting through sleep as extra fat. Losing sleep won’t help you lose pounds. In fact, in a two week period with less sleep you can lose up to 55% less fat than in previous weeks, even if you have no change in the amount you eat or exercise.
Your body’s ability to produce insulin naturally can also be severely affected by lack of sleep. After just four days with less sleep, your body’s insulin production can drop nearly 30%. This can lead your body to store sugar, even good sugar from fruits, as fat. Allowing your body to rest can help make your weight loss journey easier.
Energy Levels Contribute to Exercise
It shouldn’t be surprising that the less sleep you get the less you feel motivated to exercise. Doing physical work requires high energy levels and a poor night's sleep can leave you drained and ready for a nap, not ready to give your all at the gym.
Avoiding your exercise routine because of lack of sleep can throw off your weight loss journey and make you more likely to skip workouts in the future. Once you start skipping, it is harder to stay on track and maintain momentum toward your health goals.
While it’s easy to overlook the importance of sleep for weight loss, it’s a step that can really make a difference in your journey. If you’ve experienced difficulty losing weight, bariatric surgery might be a solution for you. Our team at Riverside Surgical & Weight Loss Center is here to support you on your journey to a healthier, happier you. To talk to our team about your options for weight loss surgery, schedule a consultation with our doctors today!