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The Connection Between a Lean Body and Sleep

I think we all know people who even though they work out regularly and eat well, they just can’t seem to lose weight. The mysterious link to not being able to lose weight could be sleep. Seems to be that sleep is frequently an illusion, especially as you get older. I struggle with this myself. I can fight to keep my eyes open, but the minute I get into bed I’m wide awake, thoughts racing through my head. I am totally aware of the whole night and hear every little noise. Frustrating to say the least, especially knowing how this can be detrimental to my health and having a lean body.

So, if you thought that tired mornings and cranky days are the only side effects of not getting enough sleep, think twice. Sleep affects appetite, digestion, and metabolism. Improving your sleep can be one of the most important things you can do if you want a lean body.

In fact, research backs this up and proves that missing out on sleep can also lead to weight gain. A study from Columbia University found that people who slept less than seven hours per day had a harder time losing weight and were on average heavier than those who got at least eight and a half hours of sleep per night. Another study echoed the results of the Columbia study that eating less and moving more is not enough for healthy weight loss, you must also sleep more.

What all this means is that getting the right amount of sleep is as important as sweating at the gym. But why? Why can’t we just get results cutting down calories and working out every day? Here are a few reasons.

Sleep Stops Food Cravings. The longer you stay up, the more likely you are to feel the need to snack and that can cause a pound or two of weight gain per week, according to researchers. Studies show that those who stay up at night, eat as much as 550 calories from 11pm on.

Sleep Boosts Fat Loss. Eating the right amount of food and not getting enough sleep will stop you from losing body fat. A University of Chicago study concluded that even people who lose the same number of pounds, those who slept more lose more body fat than those who sleep less.

Sleep Helps You Burn Calories. A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that sleeping more helps you burn more calories even when you are not moving. You also lose 20 percent more calories after a meal than those sleep-deprived people.

Sleep Helps You Shop for Healthy Food. We all know not go to grocery shopping when we are hungry, but did you know that shopping while tired makes you buy more calories in food than those who are well-rested. One study found that sleep-deprived people bought almost 1,300 calories more than those who had enough rest.

Sleep Affects Your Genetic Weight. A University of Washington study proved that the more you sleep the less importance genetics play a role in how much you weigh. What this means is the excuse that you are “large boned” doesn’t work anymore and if you eat right, exercise and get enough sleep, you will be lean and have the body you always dreamed about.

Sleep Sabotages Gym Time. Building muscle is important for lean body but lack of sleep is the enemy of muscle. In fact, sleep debt decreases protein synthesis or your body’s ability to make muscle, causes muscle loss and can lead to a higher incidence of injuries.

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