We all know two people, whether they be friends or family, who have an easy time dieting and making overall healthier choices. The other constantly struggles with keeping weight down, despite all their best efforts. To add insult to injury, both these people eat meals that focus on lean protein and vegetables, exercise at least three times per week and know which foods to limit themselves to (and they do). Yet one constantly struggles more with losing weight than the other.
The one friend, the one who continues to struggle, can’t seem to maintain their focus. They have trouble controlling their hunger. Maybe they have a craving for sweets they can never shake. And despite their workout efforts, they can’t reach the same results as one who follows the same regimen as them.
The problem might seem obvious at first. Perhaps they stray from their diet more than they should. If exercise “isn’t working,” it probably means they just doesn’t really know how to train. Maybe it’s genetics. Maybe they lack willpower.
Or, conversely, diet or exercise isn’t the real problem.
How Sleep Affects Your Diet
The debate about the best way to get to a healthy weight almost always revolves around diet and exercise. If you want to be healthier, most people will suggest that you “eat less and move more.” But it’s not always that simple.
Between living your life, working, and exercising, you’re most likely forgetting to get enough sleep. Sleep is the key to being rewarded for all your diet and fitness efforts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35 percent of people are sleep deprived. When you consider that the statistics for obesity are almost identical, it’s easy to see that the connection is not a coincidence.
Getting less than seven hours of sleep per night can undo the benefits of dieting. Those who are sleep-deprived while dieting encounter a 55 percent reduction in fat loss compared to those who are well-rested. When your body is sleep deprived, it suffers from a sort of “metabolic grogginess.” This term comes from the researchers at the University of Chicago who analyzed what happens after just four days of poor sleep, a common occurrence during a busy week.
Within just four days of sleep deprivation, your body’s ability to properly use insulin becomes totally disrupted. Here’s why that’s bad a bad thing: when your insulin is functioning well, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent storage.
When you become more insulin resistant, fats circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually this excess of insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places, like tissues in your liver. This process leads to diseases like diabetes, and other health problems.
Lack of Sleep Makes You Crave Food
Many believe that hunger is related to willpower and learning to control the call of your stomach, but that’s not true. Hunger is controlled by two hormones: leptin and ghrelin.
Leptin is a hormone produced in your fat cells. The less leptin you produce, the more your stomach feels empty. Whereas the more ghrelin you produce, the more you stimulate hunger while also reducing the number of calories you burn. To put it simply, you need to control leptin and ghrelin to successfully lose weight, but sleep deprivation makes that nearly impossible.
Lack of sleep also pushes you in the direction of the foods you know you shouldn’t eat. As it turns out, sleep deprivation is like being drunk. You don’t have the mental clarity to make good complex decisions, especially regarding the foods you eat/want to avoid. Normally you might be able to fight off this desire, but because of deprivation, you have trouble fighting the urge.
The bottom line is that not enough sleep means you’re always hungry, reaching for bigger portions and desiring every type of food that is bad for you—and not having the proper brain functioning to tell yourself no.
It Also Interrupts Gym Time
Unfortunately, this disastrous impact spreads into your workouts. No matter what your fitness goals may be, having some muscle on your body is important. Muscle is the enemy of fat as it helps you burn it. But lack of sleep is the enemy of muscle.
Not getting enough sleep makes it more difficult for your body to recover from exercise by slowing down the production of growth hormones, which is your natural source of anti-aging and fat burning that also facilitates recovery.
Poor sleep means less slow wave sleep, which is when the most growth hormones are released. Not getting enough sleep at night increases a stress hormone called cortisol, which slows down the production of growth hormones.
Prioritize Sleep for Better Health
The connection between sleep and weight gain is hard to ignore. With all the connections to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and cognitive failure, the need to sleep goes beyond just seeing results from your diet and exercise efforts.
A good rule of thumb to get a good night’s sleep is to receive between seven and nine hours a night, and to make sure that one poor night of sleep isn’t followed up with more. Canna Hemp offers two Sleep related products: CBD Vape Pen Sleep and CBD Elixir Sleep.
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