Fat loss (and fitness goals in general) involve SO much more than just diet and exercise! Of course there’s no denying these are 2 of the biggest factors, but there are many other factors involved as well, that have a bigger impact than most people realize!
Today I want to focus on SLEEP (or lack thereof)!!!
If your goal is fat loss, and you feel your progress has stalled, or isn’t coming along how you’d like AND YOU ARE STICKING TO A PROPER NUTRITION & EXERCISE routine – take a look at your SLEEP habits!!!
Chronic lack of sleep is associated with a higher BMI, but lack of sleep in and of itself does not make you retain or gain fat. What happens is, when sleep is lacking, your overall mood and ability to train properly will most likely suffer.
Lack of sleep also effects your hormones, which in turn effects hunger and eating habits! Your leptin and ghrelin (hunger hormones) are typically affected by lack of sleep – leptin levels are decreased and ghrelin levels are increased, which leads to increased hunger, which can increase bad eating habits and excess snacking/overshooting calorie / macronutrient targets.
When you are lacking sleep, you are more likely to be less active during the day, which in turn can significantly decrease your daily calories expended through NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis – aka calories burned through non exercise activity in your day).
Last but not least, many studies have shown that people who are consistently low on sleep (5.5 or less hours per night) have a consistently lower resting metabolic rate (metabolism) than those who sleep around 8 hours per night).
So to sum it all up, YOUR SLEEP MATTERS!!! Lack of sleep impacts your fat loss and fitness goals in these ways:
- Quality of training sessions!!!!
- Hunger & Satiety (fullness) cues!!!
PRIORITIZE your sleep!!! Aim for around 8 hours per night!!!!!!!