Insufficient sleep makes your body want to store fat.
Why it matters: Most people understand that regular exercise and good nutrition are vital for good health, and important for weight loss in people who are overweight. However, it has been a more recent "discovery" that good sleep is equally important for maintaining a healthy body composition (adequate muscle, not too much fat).
One study of 12 healthy young men found that short sleep was associated with hormonal changes that decrease fullness, increase hunger, and overall increase appetite (see image below)
Another study showed in 10 overweight adults fed the same reduced calorie diet over 2 weeks on 2 separate occasions, when sleep was restricted to 5.5 hours they lost more muscle and less fat compared with when they were allowed to sleep 8.5 hours.
A few basic recommendations:
Make sleep a priority
Aim for 7-9 hours of time asleep (not just time in bed)
Set up a routine to help ensure quality sleep (this checklist can help)
P.S. If you missed any previous emails, the content is posted weekly here
P.P.S. Below are the pictures from my exam room wall which we are exploring for this email series.
Dr. Christopher FoxI am a board-certified endocrinologist in Superior, CO, and I have been in private practice since 2003. People I work with achieve success when they learn all the ingredients of healthy lifestyle and the system to consistently follow through on good intentions. I use my knowledge of endocrine science, psychology, neuroscience, and human behavior to help people make meaningful, lasting changes in their health that they can sustain long-term.