When I work with private patients to help them lose weight, I start with this question “How much and how well do you sleep?’ It never fails to them! What has sleep got to do with losing weight? More than you think…
I spent 10 years researching concepts / ideas for my book and my wellness programs. During that time I found many health secrets that startled me. These were contrary to popular belief, practice and not common knowledge. This is the skinny on sleep:
Sleep deprivation causes up to release a hormone exactly like when we are facing famine. As far the body is concerned, it doesn’t care for the fact that you have a paper to turn in or it tax season. No sleep equals famine. Famine equals storing as much body fat as possible so that you don’t die of starvation. So, lack of sleep equals a bigger middle!
And we are just warming up. Get this. Constant lack of sleep increases your body’s hormone that stimulates hunger. So you tend to eat more because you feel hungry all the time. And it makes you crave for the bad stuff – highly processed, fatty, high calorie food. But here the kicker.. as if that wasn’t bad enough, it also decreases the hormone which signals your brain when your body doesn’t require any more food, so you don’t feel full and overeat.
Yeah….really!!! No kidding folks…..told you I found some crazy stuff didn’t I?
So picture this…you don’t sleep well, you are constantly tired. Your hormones are totally out of whack, so you crave the bad stuff all the time, you finally give in, then we overeat coz we no longer know when we feel full, and all that fat and carbs gets stored straight in the fat vault around the belly, hips, butt and tighs. And now you feel bad because you feel like a loser without willpower or control. Well…ITS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!
Alarmingly, this problem didn’t just apply to adults. It affected children too, leading to the catastrophic childhood obesity.
So, if you can’t shake off that jingling love handle or the belly bulge is wearing on, as yourself “Am I sleeping enough?” Remember your abs are built in bed!