Could Moving Less Help You Lose More Weight?
When we hear about effective, sustainable weight loss, two ideas always come up: diet and exercise.
Those two ideas are then reduced to the even simpler refrains: eat less and move more.
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Now, anyone who’s tried to maintain an exercise program or adjust their eating habits knows that what is simple… is not always easy.
That’s why it was more than a little surprising to us when we heard some contrarian advice: moving less could be just as important to your weight loss… if not more so!
To be fair, we’re not actually talking about moving less… we’re talking about not moving at all. Or, sleep!
Beyond the common sense of having more energy to exercise when you’re well-rested, there’s plenty of other surprising science backing up a good night’s sleep. And just as much suggesting that a lack of sleep could negate the benefits of healthy eating and regular movement.
So the next time you’re not feeling up to your workout, refer to the list below. Then you’ll see just how going to bed early could actually be just the thing you need to meet your weight loss goals.
Why Science Says Sleeping More Helps You Lose Weight
Fortify Your Frontal Lobe - Your frontal lobe is where all of the tough decision-making takes place. When you’re sleepy, you set yourself up for the slippery slope of questionable choices. And it’s not just about the choice to exercise or not to exercise for one evening - it’s the risk of giving into your brain’s cravings, which is also a result of your fatigued frontal lobe. That could mean a double-whammy of bad decisions that goes from skipped squats to an extra burger, resulting in a set back on your way toward your ultimate weight loss goals.
Naps Help Your Appetite - When we aren’t sleeping well, we could end up eating more. This study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that less sleep led to more snacking and a higher overall intake of calories - without a corresponding increase in energy for that extra time spent awake. That sleep deprivation could even be responsible for us eating an additional 400 calories every day.
- Sleep More to Lose Weight - And here comes one of the clinchers: a lack of sleep increases cortisol, a stress hormone. That in turn tells your body that something is wrong, that it’s time for crisis mode, and your primitive body holds onto more fat (even though the stress isn’t from an ice age, just binge-watching a show then waking up early for work). To make matters worse, a few consecutive days without sleep leads to your body having difficulty producing insulin. Instead of metabolizing carbohydrates, your body will simply store them as fat. That can, as we all know, lead to even more complications down the line, including diabetes.
Fortunately, the solution to this stressful situation is fairly simple: just get some more sleep. Of all the ways you could be taking care of your body as you reach your weight loss goals, it’s a pretty relaxed one!
What about you? How do you make sure you're getting enough sleep in your diet?