a person sleeps under a patterned blanketIt's a new year and you're trying your best to lose weight. You've made a diet plan for your weight loss, and you've made time for regular exercise as well. So if you're still struggling to see a change on the scale, you may be wondering what else you can do. If you've already started with the weight loss basics - i.e. healthy diet plan and exercise - then you're next step may actually be getting more sleep.

While rest may not seem like a major contributor to your weight, sleep is actually an essential function that our body uses to run smoothly. As a result, good sleep can help us lose weight - and lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. Here are three big reasons why this can happen:

  1. Less sleep leads to a bigger appetite. Many studies have found that people who are sleep-deprived report having an increased appetite. Experts believe this is because sleep negatively impacts two important hunger-related hormones. Inget adequate sleep leads to more ghrelin (a hormone that signals hunger to your brain) and less leptin (which signals fullness). The result of these sleep-deprived hormone levels is increased hunger and appetite - and that leads to a higher calorie day.
  2. Poor sleep leads to poor choices. If you've ever had a poor night's rest, you probably noticed that it was harder to think or get through the day after. This is because the brain relies on sleep to function. Without a healthy amount of sleep, the brain struggles to work as smoothly as it could. Specifically, sleep deprivation dulls activity in the frontal lobe of the brain, which is in charge of decision-making and self-control. One side effect of this is that you struggle to make healthy choices, including resisting unhealthy foods. You're also more likely to crave foods that are high in calories, carbs, and fat - leading once again to higher caloric intake.
  3. No sleep keeps you from the gym. This one is fairly straightforward. If you feel fatigued, you won't want to go to the gym. You'll also tire out quickly during physical activity. Therefore, healthy sleep is needed to support your other weight loss habits.

These three key things highlight exactly why poor sleep and weight gain share a connection - and why healthy sleep and weight loss also share a connection. Sleep truly is as important to weight loss as diet and exercise. Unfortunately, currently as many as 30% of adults are sleeping fewer than six hours most nights. So this year, as you focus on healthy changes one of the best ways to lose weight, will be to consider whether or not you’re getting enough sleep (i.e. 7 to 8 hours minimum). And not only will sleep support your weight loss - but you’ll feel more energized, too!

Do you still want additional help with your weight loss journey? We may be able o help. Right Weight Center offers a variety of personalized programs that are designed to help you reach your goals in a supportive, physician-directed setting. In addition to four different weight loss plans, we offer fat-burning boosters to help you lose or maintain your weight. 

Interested in booking a free weight loss consultations from one of our board-certified staff? Give us a call at 301-345-7885! You can also walk-in during our office hours to discuss your weight loss goals at our two locations in Greenbelt and Camp Springs, MD.

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