Why you need to sleep to lose fat.
One of the most underrated tool that you have to help you burn fat and change your body composition is sleep. On the flip side, there are many people who cannot burn fat properly because they are not getting enough sleep. That may seem like a strong statement to make, but research backs it up.
One study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed some very interesting effects that a lack of sleep has on fat loss. The study separated dieters into two groups. One group slept a normal amount and the other got less sleep. The results were very interesting. Even though the dieters lost the same amount of weight, the type of weight they lost was very different. The group that got a normal amount of sleep, more than 1/2 of the weight loss was fat. On the other hand, the group that slept less, less than a 1/4 of the weight they loss was fat. This means that the group who slept less lost more muscle and water. This is definitely not the goal of weight loss.
Since that study was published, we know a lot more about the devastating effects that less sleep has on fat loss.
One of the things that we have been saying in our clinic for years is that we have the ability to become resistant to all hormones that we produce. What does this mean? Let’s look at insulin as an example. There are millions of insulin resistant people in North America. The reason is simple. Our diets high in carbohydrates has resulted in years of insulin spikes in our bodies. After awhile, our cells become resistant to insulin. This means that we have to make more insulin just to get the same job done that used to take less insulin. This is not a good thing.
We believe that just like insulin, we can become cortisol-resistant, ghrelin-resistant, leptin-resistant etc…If you make too much cortisol over a period of time, your cells stop responding to it and you make more of it as a result. This is why many people’s bodies will overreact to stress. A stressful situation will cause their bodies to ache more, fatigue and store more fat. They had to secrete more cortisol to get the same job done. They are cortisol-resistant.
Why is this important? One of the negative effects of a lack of sleep is that you secrete more ghrelin. This very important hormone, among other things, regulates appetite, regulates energy expenditure and regulates fat storage. When you secrete more ghrelin, you expend less energy, you get hungrier and you increase fat storage. If you chronically get less sleep and continually secrete more ghrelin, you run the risk of becoming ghrelin-resistant. Again, this means that you will be forced to secrete more ghrelin to do the same work that it used to do before. You can imagine the effects that ghrelin-resistance has on obesity levels.
Also, when you sleep less you will have higher daytime levels of cortisol according to research. Again, this is very detrimental to your health. As we have explained in our book, Serial Killers, an out of balance cortisol metabolism will eventually kill you.
If secreting more ghrelin and having higher levels of cortisol were not enough, then add more belly fat to the list of effects of getting less sleep. If you are not getting enough sleep, you will store more belly fat. Remember, belly fat is a special kind of fat. Belly fat releases toxins into your body. Belly fat can lead to cancer, heart disease and a shorter lifespan.
As you can see, a lack of sleep can not only jeopardize your ability to lose fat, it can also make you obese. There are many reasons why we don’t get enough sleep. Some of them are our own faults. We stay up too late, overstimulate our brains before bed, too much caffeine etc…
In our clinic, we recommend our Sleep Formula for those who have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep. This all-natural, non-addictive sleep formula was specially formulated by the Martin Clinic.