Does Sleep Affect My Weight Loss on the HCG Diet?
Sleeping less than seven hours per night can cause weight gain, even if you’re on a weight loss diet. With adequate sleep, half of the weight lost was from fat, not muscle, but those on a sleep-deprived diet experienced 55% less fat loss. Sleep-deprived dieters were significantly hungrier, less satisfied after meals and didn’t have the energy to exercise.
When your body is deprived of sleep, your body’s ability to properly respond to insulin signals is diminished. When your body doesn’t respond to insulin, fat cells are far less able to release fatty acids and lipids to produce energy. This causes blood glucose to remain higher and any extra fats and sugars circulating in your blood cause you to pump out more insulin. This excess insulin causes you to store fat in various places including tissues like your liver.
Insulin isn’t the only hormone affected by sleep deprivation. Sleeping fewer than six hours reduces the hormone, leptin, and stimulates the hormone, ghrelin, causing you to feel hungrier and less satiated. Leptin is a hormone that is produced in your fat cells. Your stomach feels empty when you don’t get enough leptin. Ghrelin stimulates hunger, reducing the metabolic rate and increasing fat storage. Cortisol is the stress hormone associated with fat gain. When you lack enough sleep, cortisol levels rise. Cortisol also activates the reward center in your brain that makes you want to eat.
Other reasons to make sure you get enough sleep:
- Sleep deprivation can cause accidents.
- Lack of adequate sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning and damages these cognitive processes.
- Not enough sleep can lead to serious heart health problems like heart disease, heart attack, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.
- Sleep loss can contribute to the symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Insomnia and depression feed on each other. Depression can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
- Lack of sleep ages your skin causing sallow skin and puffy eyes after only a few nights of missed sleep. Chronic sleep loss can lead to fine lines, colorless skin and dark circles under the eyes. Less sleep causes stress that breaks down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.
- Sleepiness causes forgetfulness and affects long-term memories.
Sleep-deprived (getting six hours or less of sleep per night) people think they’ve gotten used to it and are doing just fine on less sleep. However, studies show that over time, their tests on mental alertness and performance are down. Whether you’re on the HCG Diet or not, be sure to dot your i’s, cross your t’s and get your z’s!