There are myriad different diets and a wealth of scientific evidence on how best to lose weight. One factor they all have in common is that if you consume fewer calories than you burn daily, then the body falls back on using existing deposits for energy and you begin to lose weight. There are also several other factors that determine the success or failure of a diet.
One such factor that has received little attention until now is sleep. Recent studies strongly suggest that getting the right amount of sleep regularly can be crucial.
Make sure you get enough sleep
The optimal amount of sleep is somewhere between seven and nine hours, which varies a little from person to person. If you sleep for less than seven hours, long-term studies have shown that both the susceptibility to a higher percentage of body fat and the risk of developing obesity increase.
But that's not all. Regularly getting too little sleep doubly reduces the effect of diets that work with calorie reduction. People on a calorie-reduced diet who do not get enough sleep break down fat on average more than 50% more slowly. At the same time, they also build muscle mass more slowly. In addition, sleeping too little leads to an increased feeling of hunger.
It changes what you eat
People who sleep too little not only feel more hungry. It also affects their choice of food. Sleep deprivation affects the brain's reward system, which means that tired people have an increased desire for "rewards" in the form of unhealthy, especially sweet, snacks.
"I'll catch up on sleep later"
Perhaps you've heard someone say they'll catch up on sleep that they can't get during the week on the weekend. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.
To put it bluntly, this strategy doesn't work. You cannot catch up on missed sleep because sleeping longer on the weekend cannot compensate for the negative effects of lack of sleep during the week. This is also due to the fact that sleep deprivation disturbs the hormonal balance. Two hormones that determine whether we are hungry or not are leptin and ghrelin. Lack of sleep causes the level of leptin in the blood to drop and the level of ghrelin to go up, leading to an increased feeling of hunger and an increased craving for snacks.
If you want to lose weight successfully over the long term, it is not only important to find a diet that suits you. It is equally important to ensure that you get enough sleep. As a result, you will not only lose maximum fat and build up maximum muscle mass, but you will also have better control of your cravings because they won't get so strong in the first place.