Overeating is the number one suspected cause of weight gain. What most people don’t realize is that lack of sleep can keep you from losing pounds—and can actually add them! If you’re trying to find ways to lose belly fat, it’s time to consider sleep as a catalyst.
Read on if you’re feeling frustrated that you’re not losing weight even though you feel like you’re doing all the right things. Not getting enough sleep can be linked to your growing waistline. Check out five of the main reasons why not getting enough sleep may be affecting the numbers on your scale.
Also, let’s see how we can remedy this challenge and turn it around, once and for all. There are several ways to lose belly fat, but getting a good night’s sleep may just be the answer!
#1 Lack of Sleep Slows Your Metabolism
Do you feel like you’re too busy to sleep? Is there always so much going on that getting a good night’s sleep winds up on the bottom of your list? Truthfully, it’s probably time that you place restful sleep as a priority.
Besides affecting your mood, your brain, and the way you look, lack of sleep slows down your metabolism. A slow metabolism can result in weight gain. If you’re wanting ways to lose belly fat, eat nutritiously and moderately, exercise—and get enough sleep. Most experts will concur that for adults, 7 – 8 hours per night is healthy.
you’ll need to monitor your stress levels
Testosterone production decreases from an increase in cortisol output. Testosterone builds muscle; when your muscle-mass depletes, your metabolism slows down.
#2 Lack of Sleep Increases Your Appetite
Do you experience stress? Does it affect your sleep? If so, your cortisol levels may be high.
Cortisol is the fight or flight hormone that gets produced from stress. Your brain may read the surge of hormones as your body using energy. So then, it will encourage you to replace those calories by eating.
The problem is that you really haven’t burned any calories. In fact, when we’re stressed the body tends to hold onto fat. It thinks it’s in survival mode. If you want to reduce stress and lose weight, make sure you’re getting proper rest each night.
#3 Sleep Loss Changes Gut Microbiota
Scientists at Uppsala University believed that sleep deprivation affects the gut. So, they conducted a study and discovered that lack of sleep actually changes the levels of gut microbiota. Frighteningly, they observed that the change looked a lot like the microbiota in those with Type-2 diabetes.
If there’s an imbalance in the amount and diversity of gut microbiota, there’s cause for health problems. One of those is how our gut informs our brain. This too, affects metabolism. Once again, we’re confronted with a body that burns calories very slowly. Getting sleep is one of the simplest ways to lose belly fat and positively impact your metabolism.
#4 Loss of Sleep Affects Digestion
Is your sleep disturbed often? If so, your ability to digest food properly may become impaired. Noteworthy, almost 40 percent of adults claim to have occasional sleeping problems.
Believe it or not, insomnia can affect your ability to process foods adequately. Unfortunately, this can result in poor nutrition, vitamin deficiency, and weight gain. Work on maintaining healthy sleep patterns, and you may find it easier to lose those unwanted extra pounds.
If you aim to go to bed at the same time each night, that will help your body’s internal clock. Also, try to wake at the same time every morning. It will make a big difference if you’re consistent with the amount of sleep you get each evening.
#5 How You Eat Affects Your Sleep, Which Then Affects Your Waistline
Sleeping well, as mentioned, can be one of the ways to lose belly fat and keep off the extra pounds. Here are some food tips to help you get a better night’s rest:
- Avoid alcohol before bed
- Reduce sugar intake throughout the day
- Eat foods that regulate melatonin (fish, eggs) or take a supplement
- Add tryptophan to your diet (turkey, cheese, grass-fed beef)
- Eat foods high in magnesium (leafy greens, yogurt, avocados)
Exercise is also another way to reduce stress and help you sleep well. Finding the proper balance between food, exercise, and rest can be the key to maintaining or losing weight. For a great selection of articles to keep you healthy, check out Get Thrive! and feel free to sign up for our Newsletter.