• Amanda Boyd

You Snooze, You Loose - 6 Ways Sleeping Affects your Weight Loss

The secret to weight loss is, there is no secret. For some, the pounds drop off after eating a stick of celery and stepping one foot in the gym but for others it's a life long struggle. Over the years we have been exposed to the "do this, not that" type of information but what it really comes down to is being able to adjust the habits that you can control and figure out what works best for your body. One fact that has remained a constant over the years is the recommended hours of sleep for our bodies and our minds. Now studies are revealing just how much lack of quality sleep effects us. The information punches us right in the gut.

Eight to nine hours is what the docs and scientist recommend to keep our body in tip top function. It is reported that a third of Americans do not get the recommended amount of sleep but lets be honest, that number is probably higher. So to all you night owls, procrastinators, 24 hour shift workers and toss-&-turners, this information is for you.

6 ways sleeping affects your weight loss

1. Hunger Hormones: Increase in ghrelin + decrease in leptin

Hunger hormone research has grown over the past years. Data shows with a lack of sleep the hunger hormone in charge of telling us we are hungry (ghrelin) increases. In reverse, the hunger hormone responsible for tell us we are full (leptin) decreases. Cravings spark and we literally feed into the cycle. (1)

2. Insulin: Decrease in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity

Insulin converts foods into energy (carbs and sugars mostly). Not enough Zs and the efficiency of this conversion is stalled leading to fat storage. (2)

3. Body Temperature: Possible indication of a lower metabolism

In conjunction with the first two points, this makes sense. Some studies have shown that those who are in a sleep deprived state have a lower core body temperature which could indicate their metabolism is slower. (3)

4. Cortisol: Increase in the stress hormone

Cortisol gets a bad rep but it is helpful in regulating stress and assists in glucose metabolism. However, when it can't function properly it will store store store! Lack of sleep is like calling out to cortisol, "hey buddy, go crazy!". (2)

5. Frontal Lobe: Foggy brain = poor decision making

You have a choice each and every day; to cook a healthy meal or to grab something from a window service. The last thing we want to do when we are over-worked, stressed and TIRED is cook up a meal for ourselves. The frontal lobe is our decision center and with poor sleep comes poor choices. (2)

6. Lack of Physical activity: Too tired to move

We didn't appreciate naps when we had the chance. Everyone has felt that mid day slump but those who don't get that quality sleep tend to be too tired for much of anything. The first thing to go is physical activity of any kind.(3)

In conclusion the more you snooze the more you loose and in this case that is a good thing. In a sleep deprived state we not only move less and have a decrease in metabolism but our hormones become wired for increased fat storage. The best thing to do; slip into those pajamas a little earlier and catch a good nights sleep.


1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632337/

2. http://www.webmd.com/diet/sleep-and-weight-loss#2

3. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/sleep-and-obesity/



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