If you want a flat belly, then get a good night’s sleep. Research shows that sleep deprivation can slow down your metabolism and play havoc with your natural body clock. Result weight gain, which makes your belly fat.
Here’s why we are saying that sleep is the way to a flat tummy: Think about it, when you are short on sleep, you will chuck in more coffee to stay alert (sugar); skip exercising because you are tired; order from the restaurant (tired to cook); and then with a heavy tummy, have trouble sleeping for the second night in a row.
There you go, you fall into a vicious cycle of lack of sleep. Here’s what happens when you do not get enough sleep:
Bad decisions galore
Ever tried to make an important decision when drunk? Well, lack of sleep puts your frontal lobe of the brain in sort of a drunken stupor. The result: dulled decision making and impulse control. Lack of sleep also powers up the reward centre in the brain to make you feel good. So a second serving of ice cream or another bag of chips don’t seem like a bad choice.
The sleepless brain craves junk food
Science has proof for this. In a study, featured on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that late night snacking (due to sleeplessness) mostly included high carb and sugary snacks.
A University of Chicago study finds that people low on sleep tend to eat high-fat meals. Another study finds that portion control is a big problem for people deprived of 8 hours of sleep.
The sleep deprived brain may also make you crave for high energy and carb loaded foods. In other words, junk food.
Less sleep = increased levels of ghrelin (hunger) and low leptin (fullness) levels.
That is worst possible equation for your body. Ghrelin sends signals to the brain that translates to ‘I’m hungry, where’s food’. Leptin, on the other hand, tells you to stop eating. Skewed levels due to less sleep means weight gain and obesity too.
Oh! Don’t forget the high levels of stress hormone cortisol from sleep deprivation. Which means all that you eat in your groggy state gets stored as fat.
A study by the University of Chicago finds that lack of sleep may make insulin’s action blunt too. Insulin helps you use up extra sugar and energy.
SO HERE’S WHAT LACK OF SLEEP DOES TO YOUR BODY
Lack of sleep makes you eat more and doesn’t signal your brain about fullness. The stress hormone saves everything you eat as fat and renders insulin’s action ineffective.
The answer: Sleep well
Want to lose weight? Then sleep well. Here are some practical tips to try for getting a good night’s sleep and a flat tummy too.
No electronic devices an hour before you sleep. Mobiles, TV, computer activate your brain and drive sleep away
Associate bedroom only for sleep. Avoid keeping TV or computer in the bedroom. That way you will feel sleepy the minute you enter the bedroom
Have a bedtime ritual like bathing, brushing or meditating. It primes the mind for sleep
Keep a fixed sleep and waking time
Don’t consume stimulants like coffee or tea before sleeping
Turn the lights down in the house as you approach bedtime.
Along with a good night’s sleep of 8 hours, a good diet and exercise plan will also help. We give you a first time free consultation from one of our experienced nutritionists to help you out. Avail by clicking on the link.