Sleep and Weight Loss

First of all, Happy Mother’s Day, or month as I like to call it…we deserve a whole month, right!

So, when my husband asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Month, the first thing that came to my head was SLEEP!!! Yes, I want to sleep–in. I want to sleep in peace without Grif running and screaming down the halls…no banging, no yelling, no dog barking…just lots and lots of uninterrupted sleep. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I slept-in since Griffin was born almost two years ago…in peace.

Well, as it turns out, that may be the culprit of these last 5 pounds I have been trying to get rid of. Hmmm...sleep and weight loss. I know, as crazy as it sounds, getting enough sleep is a critical ingredient when it comes to reaching those weight loss goals.

There are four hormones that affect the way we metabolize fat and carbohydrates, our appetite, and the recovery/growth of our lean muscle.

Leptin and ghrelin work together to keep our appetite in check. More specifically, leptin tells us when we are hungry and ghrelin informs our brain when we are full. Here’s the kicker, when we don’t get enough quality sleep, our leptin levels increase while our ghrelin levels decrease. Our body is continually telling us we are hungry and our brain never tells us we are full…we just keep eating and eating.

Wait, there’s more. When we don’t get quality sleep, our growth hormone levels decrease. This growth hormone is a magical protein that enables our body to burn fat while growing and repair lean muscle. Remember, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn throughout the day.

If that isn’t enough, lack of sleep causes the release of a wicked hormone called cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Cortisol is guilty of promoting that belly fat that we so struggle with after we have a baby….ugh.

Sleeping-in is starting to sound like a pretty good Mother’s Day present isn’t it. Seriously, set yourself up for success and try to get 8 solid, peaceful hours of sleep every single night. Not only will you feel more energize but you will look dang good in your “skinny jeans”.

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