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How a Lack of Sufficient Sleep Makes You Fat

By Ritamarie Loscalzo

sleep more and weigh less

The subject is SLEEP:  how lack of sufficient sleep disrupts your hormones, your immune system, and your ability to think clearly. The average person in our modern world gets between 5 and 6 hours of sleep each night.  And that’s just not enough.

Ever wonder why you can’t diet or exercise your weight down to where you’d like it? Or, have you ever thought about why you have a spare tire around your midline, even though the scale says you’re not overweight?

Resistant weight loss and belly fat are intimately related to your hormones, and your hormone balance can be severely disrupted by chronic sleep disruption.

Did you know that your sleep habits are just as important as what you put on your fork when it comes to releasing weight? (especially the extra padding around your middle!) Research shows that shift workers are, on average, heavier than those who work day jobs! And it has to do with disruption to the hormone dance that happens while you sleep.

The hormones affected by sleep control your appetite, the growth of lean muscle and your fat, and carbohydrate metabolism.

How Insufficient Sleep Affects Your Weight:

  1. sugar cravings and sleepDecreased serotonin and dopamine production, which leads to cravings for sugary foods to bring the levels back up.
  2. Increased ghrelin (a hormone that makes you feel hungry even if your body has enough food) and decreased leptin (makes you feel full and satisfied after eating) – the result means sugar cravings and continued hunger even after you’ve eaten a full meal.
  3. Decreased growth hormone, leading to decreased ability to burn fat and lay down lean muscle.
  4. Increased cortisol, “the stress hormone” which triggers the breakdown of muscle stores, increased blood sugar, and increased insulin. This leads to the deposition of fat, mainly around your waist.

Module 3 of my new program, B4 Be Gone, is called The Hormone Dance. In it, I outline the exact steps to take to determine how much sleep you need and what to do to get your hormones in balance so you burn rather than store fat at night.

Sleep Your Way Slim

My video, The NOT-So-Sexy Hormone Imbalances That Keep You Flabby, Foggy and Fatigued goes into a lot more detail more about the hormone imbalances and offers you a couple of steps to take right away to turn your bed into a super charged fat burning monster. On that video, I bust the myth of eating small frequent meals, which plays havoc on your hormone balance.

It’s not just important for your appearance that you get a good night’s sleep. These same hormone imbalances can have long term, dangerous consequences on your heart, increase inflammation and pain put you at a higher risk for cancer.

The loss of my parents, then my sister, a couple of friends and cousins, and most recently my brother-in-law and father-in-law has made me fiercely determined to stop the madness. I know their deaths could have been prevented had they just known what to do and had a guide to take them through every step of the way.

Turning Loss into Life

I created the B4 Be Gone Program to offer just that step by step guidance that so many need. Within 30 days, most people have lost their cravings and reset much of the faulty metabolism by bringing into balance five key elements: diet, stress, exercise, sleep and TIMING.

All the sleep research has me really taking a look at my own choices. I push the envelope with sleep because I feel fine even when I don’t sleep. But that’s on the outside. I know enough to realize that what’s going on inside as a result of my lack of sleep could come back and bite me in the you-know-what. Indeed, I have noticed that I’ve been extra hungry during the day these past few sleep-deprived weeks.

I am looking forward to doing the 30-day metabolic reset with the group and committing to getting enough sleep.

It’s All About Balance.

lifestyle balanceBalance is the key. It’s not enough to just drink green smoothies or just exercise daily or just get lots of sleep. The balance among stress, sleep, exercise and diet are key.

And on top of that, Timing is EVERYTHING.

You can do all the right things, but if it’s out of sync with your bio-rhythms, your belly will stay flabby — no matter how many sit-ups you do or green drinks you drink.

If you’re feeling flabby and frustrated, my advice to you is to sleep on it and then join us in the next B4 Be Gone Journey.

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Medical Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, drritamarie.com, and the experts who have contributed. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

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  1. Julie on October 27, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Great points! We often overlook the role sleep plays to maintain and restore us to good health. Exercise and diet must be supported with an appropriate amount of sleep.

  2. […] day I will truly follow the healthy habits to balance sleep and hormones that I teach in my B4 Be Gone program for balancing blood sugar and getting rid of belly fat, […]

  3. […] day I will truly follow the healthy habits to balance sleep and hormones that I teach in my B4 Be Gone program for balancing blood sugar and getting rid of belly fat, […]

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