If you’re trying to lose weight, a good night’s rest might help. Here’s how staying rested helps you meet your healthy weight loss goals.
How Sleep Affects Weight Loss
More Sleep, Less Snacking
The longer you’re awake, the more likely you are to continue eating and snacking. Most often, any snacks you do have aren’t going to keep you healthy and nourished. One study showed its participants who were told to stay awake later ate an average of 550 calories during those hours and gained more weight over the course of the study than their sleepier counterparts.
More Sleep, More Calories (and Fat) Burned
A different study found that better sleepers are “better” at burning calories the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition learned that people with healthier sleep patterns burned more calories than those who slept little, both asleep and awake.
This pattern is similarly true for fat loss. The University of Chicago found —even with the same diet and the same calorie count—study participants who slept more burned more fat. Those who slept less lost the same amount of weight, but not as much of it was fat (meaning they lost more muscle mass).
Shop Sleepy, Shop Unhealthy
Your weight loss doctor has probably given you some tried and true advice: never got to the grocery store when you’re hungry— since you tend to make unhealthier choices. Same is true for when you shop with insufficient sleep.
The less sleep you’re getting, the more calories you’re buying. There’s a similar trend when it comes to sitting down to dinner: if your sleep deprived, your body thinks you need more energy from food. So, you’re more likely to put more calories on your plate.
More Sleep, More Focus
This isn’t directly related to food or metabolism, but can obviously help you reach your weight loss goals. When you get more sleep, it’s easier to focus and more difficult to get distracted. You’re less prone to issues with impulse control, and more able make decisions with clear judgment.
So if you’re having trouble meeting your weight loss goals, we have one suggestion: rest on it! How does sleeping more help you feel better?