Your Secret Weight Loss Trick!

Your Secret Weight Loss Trick!
by Robert Wright, Jr., Ph.D., COFT

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control 35% or almost 80 million adult Americans are considered to be obese based upon federal standards? Did you know that a comprehensive 2014 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that more than one third of adult Americans and 17% of children are obese? And that based upon 2008 figures, the health related costs associated with obesity were almost $150 billion?

Did you know that recent studies show that being obese can result in contracting many types of preventable diseases? This includes obesity related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease and certain types of cancers. Did you know that sleep plays a key role in how much weight you gain or lose? Did you know that how long you sleep and the quality of your sleep can significantly impact whether or not you become obese? Did you know that when you don’t regularly get a good night’s sleep, the chances that you’ll gain weight skyrocket?

Not getting enough sleep is common in our society and some people even brag about how little sleep they get. Far too many Americans erroneously assume that being sleep deprived “proves” that they are not slackers, thinking that continually burning the sleep candle at both ends–going to bed late and getting up early–has few consequences. Recent studies show that the average person requires between 7-9 hours of sleep daily to function effectively.

In fact, based upon the results of recent sleep studies some top college football coaches have moved into the dorms to enforce the “lights out” policy by 10PM. Why? Research results conclusively show that players who get 9-10 hours of sleep per night perform better on the field and have higher grade point averages since their ability to concentrate and focus is enhanced because they are rested.

So how does sleep influence your weight? First, if you do not get enough sleep, your metabolism cannot function properly. During sleep, two key regulatory hormones-ghrelin and leptin-tell your body whether you’re full or it’s time to eat. When you are sleep deprived your body produces more ghrelin. This hormone tells your body when you’re hungry and need to eat. The hormone leptin tells you when you’re full and to stop eating. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more ghrelin and less leptin. This combination often results in “automatic” weight gain since you eat more and your metabolism is slower.

Second, if you are currently sleeping less than 5 hours per night, when you begin to get more sleep, you will automatically begin to lose weight due to the rebalancing of your system. Third, the quality of your sleep also matters. If you sleep a total of 8-9 hours but your sleep is interrupted, then this may also result in weight gain. Since so many millions of Americans are sleep deprived, negatively impacts their weight, the trick is to figure out how to log more hours of sleep as well as more hours of quality sleep. That’s the weight loss trick! Here are some tips for getting your sleep weight loss groove on!

Be Honest: Make a diligent effort to keep track of how many hours you are sleeping by keeping an honest sleep log. You may be surprised to learn just how much sleep you are not getting.

Weigh In: Keep a daily log of your weight. Weight yourself right before you go to sleep; then weigh yourself right when you wake up. Over time, you will begin to see a pattern especially when you compare the time you went to bed with the number of hours you slept.

Drop the Term: Consider changing the words you use to describe weight loss. Instead of saying “losing weight” change to “dropping weight.” Why? The mind doesn’t like “to lose” so unconsciously you may sabotage your efforts to get to a healthy weight simply by using the term “lose weight.”

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