When it comes to slimming down, nothing works as effectively as exercising + dieting. But did you know having a restful sleep every night can also shrink the waistline? So how can catching much-needed zzzs every night speeds up weight loss? Let’s find out:
Curbs Late Night Snacking
Getting a solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night reduces the chances of late night snacking. When you are awake for a long time, you are more likely to consume extra calories you don’t need. Studies show that late night snacking could lead to up to two pounds of weight gain in a week. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania noted that sleep-deprived subjects gained more weight compared to subjects that were able to get enough sleep at night. The weight gain was caused by the consumption of 550 extra calories from late night snacking!
Speeds Up the Metabolism
When you are well-rested, your body is able to break down food more efficiently. How? When you are getting enough sleep, you wake up feeling energized. When the body is energized, you are able to burn off more calories even if you do not exercise regularly.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a well-rested individual’s energy expenditure is 5% higher compared to his sleep-deprived counterpart. Energy expenditure is the amount of calories burned when the body is not moving. Incredibly, subjects that slept better burned 20% more calories after every meal compared to their sleep-deprived counterparts!
Burns More Fat
Getting enough sleep at night promotes fat burning too. In a study by the University of Chicago, researchers compared the weight loss results of well-rested subjects (slept 8 ½ hours per night) to sleep deprived subjects (slept for only 5 ½ hours per night). Scientists found that subjects that sleep for 8 ½ hours every night burned off more fat as opposed to their sleep-deprived individuals. This, despite sticking to the same diet!
Promotes Clean Eating
Who know hitting the sack early promotes clean eating? Studies show that sleep-deprived individuals are more likely to crave for fattening, calorie-dense foods. When buying food in the supermarket, those who did not get enough sleep were purchasing more fattening foods compared to well-rested subjects! The study, which was published in the journal Obesity, also noted that sleep deprived individuals bought foods that are almost 1,300 calories more than food bought by subjects that got more sleep at night.
Promotes Portion Control
So why do you crave for fattening foods when you are sleep deprived? When sleep-deprived, the brain demands more calories. This is the brain’s way to (over)compensate for the lack of energy caused by insufficient sleep.
Sleep deprivation is also linked to decreased leptin level and elevated ghrelin level. Leptin is a chemical that signals satiety while ghrelin triggers hunger. When you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to consume an extra 300 calories in a day.
Getting sufficient sleep promotes weight loss by keeping the balance of leptin and ghrelin. In addition, being well rested also promotes healthy eating and encourages portion control. When the level of leptin and ghrelin are balanced, you are more likely to resist the urge for seconds!