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  • Tom Toth

How Sleep Helps With Fat Loss

Many people suffer from sleep issues, with up to 1 in 10 North Americans having chronic insomnia, and up to 3 in 10 of us having less serious, but nevertheless irritating sleep problems. Sleep is essential for the optimal functioning of the human body. Without it, our tissues are not repaired, our hormones are not balanced, and our brain can't form and store memories. It is also essential for maintaining a healthy weight.

Sleep helps with fat loss in several different ways. For one, it helps even out our hunger and fullness hormones called leptin and ghrelin. These two hormones work together to signal your brain when you have eaten enough. When the hormones are out of whack, the tendency is to eat way more than necessary. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that sleep deprived people at an average of 385 calories a day more, the equivalent of another half a meal. Every day! The extra calories came mostly in the form of fat, while protein intake decrease. This is the exact opposite of what you want if you are trying to maintain your weight or lose body-fat.

Another study, this time by the Mayo Clinic, showed that not getting enough sleep decreases our ability to say no to snacks and generally shifts our intake. to less healthy foods. Essentially lack of sleep makes you eat more, and worse food. In the many years I have spent learning about fat loss, I have come to believe that getting enough sleep is the real key to weight loss. It's the secret that allows you to stick to your nutrition plan.

The third thing to consider is how difficult it is to exercise when exhausted. We all know the benefits of exercise on maintaining a healthy weight. Resistance training (weight-lifting), in particular, is very beneficial, because building muscle mass helps increase the calories we burn on a daily basis. That's besides other benefits like increased bone density, healthier joints, and more strength.

Sleep is clearly essential for being a healthy weight, not to mention being generally healthy. If you think a lack of sleep is making you gain weight or is making it hard to lose body-fat, check out some of my articles on my main website at, or email me directly at

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