It's very common, when we think about losing weight , to focus on eating well and training. But there are other factors that count. The key to success and one of the main tips for losing weight has precisely to do with the quality of sleep . If you just thought "Mine is a disgrace...", then be sure to read until the end!
Did you sleep poorly and wake up wanting to eat sweets? It's normal
Think about it with me: how many times has it happened to you, after a bad night's sleep, that you feel a huge desire to eat sweets or fast food ? Well, whether it’s because we only slept a few hours or because our sleep was of poor quality, this feeling is very common.
On those days, we feel an immense need to eat chocolate to be able to work, a higher-calorie meal to have energy, or we are so tired that we can't even go to training . No matter how many weight loss tips you follow, if you don't sleep well, the road to losing weight will be much more difficult.
4 Negative effects of sleep deprivation
All these sensations and needs are interconnected, with sleep deprivation as a common point. Let’s see what science tells us about its impact on difficulty losing weight :
- Sleep deprivation increases the levels of hormones that stimulate appetite , namely ghrelin , and reduces the levels of hormones that decrease it, such as leptin . This hormonal dysregulation means that the worse our sleep, the greater our hunger;
- If we stay awake all night , we have a greater window of opportunity to eat. The hours we would spend sleeping are often spent hand in hand with a snack , generally of poor nutritional quality and high caloric density ;
- Short or poor quality sleep causes fatigue . Therefore, we are less likely to do physical activity at the appropriate intensity the next day;
- Sleep deprivation increases nighttime cortisol levels, the stress hormone, causing metabolic consequences that harm the weight loss process. When we sleep poorly, we have a greater risk of insulin resistance, meaning our ability to use carbohydrates as a source of energy decreases. There is also a greater gain in abdominal fat , a fat with an inflammatory nature, which increases the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases or cancer. Therefore, in addition to increasing the risk of developing diseases, sleep deprivation will worsen your body composition, increasing the percentage of fat and reducing muscle mass .
Going to bed early and getting up early is one of the main tips for losing weight
There are lots of tips for losing weight and, in fact, this is a process that requires a combination of several factors. Therefore, specifically in relation to sleep quality , it is important that you follow the following recommendations:
- Fall asleep between 10pm and 11pm , a time when melatonin, the sleep-inducing hormone, is at its greatest capacity;
- Try to have an early dinner and avoid supper. Eating food at night will activate the body again, waking it up, instead of sending it to sleep;
- Avoid the consumption of stimulating substances when bedtime approaches, such as green or black tea, coffee, soft drinks, ginger and sugar;
- Reduce exposure to light at night by opting for low-intensity lights . Also reduce the use of electronic devices, such as cell phones, tablets and even television. Reading, talking or meditating can be good activities for the night;
- Eat foods that include sources of tryptophan, magnesium and vitamin B6, to help with the production of melatonin . Eating a healthy diet , increasing your consumption of fruit, tubers, vegetables, legumes and oilseeds is a good tip for losing weight.
If you want to stay healthy and lose some weight, follow our weight loss tips and pay more attention to your sleep.
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