Sleep, Nutrition and Weight Loss by Chef Charles Knight
Let’s take a look at sleep and how it influences your health. There’s nutrition and then there's sleep (or lack thereof):
- You feel hunger. As a result…
- You eat more food, and…
- You make poorer food choices.
Studies shows that people who are sleep deprived report feeling hungrier. Missing out on sleep interferes with the normal rhythms of your hunger hormones.
When you get less than 7 hours of sleep (even in the short term), certain chemicals in your body decreases, which is why you are most likely to be hungrier after a restless night.
Unfortunately, when you’re sleep deprived, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that missing a few hours of sleep in just one night can cause people to eat an average of 559 more calories the next day.
In the end, if you miss a few hours of sleep every night in the course of the week, you could see the number on the scale increase by about one or two pounds.
Sometimes it’s hard to say no to sweets, and staying up until 3am to meet a deadline the perceived energy from eating sweets makes it nearly impossible to resist.
As documented by the International Journal of Obesity; the lack of sleep increases your desire to eat ultra-processed, calorie-dense treats like potato chips, cakes, and cookies.
In a recent study, a group of people were allowed to sleep a full 8 to 9 hours, while another night they were made to stay up late getting only 4 to 5 hours of sleep. Being deprived of just one night’s sleep caused their brain’s reward center to go wild over images of high-fat, refined, carbohydrate-heavy processed foods. Even stale donuts looked extra good after a night deprived of sleep.
In the end, we all know that skipping a great night’s sleep takes a toll on dietary habits, but there’s more to it. Lack of sleep affects your stress levels. When you’re stressed your sleep can suffer. Lack of sleep also impacts your memory, judgement, and mood, adding to your level of stress.
When you’re sleep deprived you’re less active and your physical exercise may suffer as well, or non-existent.
A study published in Obesity showed that people who logged 4 hours of sleep for 5 consecutive nights began to show a 3% decrease in REE (Resting Energy Expenditure) or about 42 calories per day. If your body is trying to conserve energy you are most likely to forgo your exercise routine. So your daily workouts suffer and the normal amount of calories burned, are not.
People who are tired are 2 to 3 times more likely to skip their planned workout. So get a great night’s sleep, get moving, get healthy, and lose weight.