Have you ever been in that frustrating place where you are working out hard and following a solid nutrition regimen and you just can’t figure out why you are struggling so hard to lose weight OR you are actually GAINING? The answer could be the amount of sleep that you are getting! When we are sleep deprived a number of factors can cause us to gain weight.
For one, when we are tired we reach for quick foods for energy – sugary coffees, potato chips from the vending machine, etc. – this causes additional empty calories in our diets and could cause weight gain.
For two, when our bodies and/or minds are exhausted we find excuses not to go to the gym and get that exercise in. This is another reason why our calories could be imbalanced and we could pack on the pounds.
Lastly, and in my opinion most importantly, when we do not get 7-8 hours of sleep each night it messes with our hormones which can cause weight gain. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells us when to eat. When we are sleep deprived we have more ghrelin in our system. Leptin is the hormone that tells us when to stop eating and when we are sleep deprived we have less leptin. Therefore, more ghrelin + less leptin = WEIGHT GAIN!
To avoid weight gain related to loss of sleep, try the following:
• Don’t drink caffeine past 2 PM
• Exercise, exercise, exercise
• Don’t eat big meals before going to bed
• If needed take herbal supplements such as chamomile and/or melatonin