Worried About Holiday Weight? Don’t! Just Do This One Thing…

For a lot of people, the holidays seem to be a pitfall of bad foods, too many drinks and no time to workout. So it’s not a surprise that people start saying that “it’s bulking season” or that they are ready to put on the holiday weight. If you are someone who has conceded to let this happen and dread the long road back, there is no cause for alarm. If you are someone who stresses out and still tries to stay on diet and in the gym, there is a little relief coming your way.

While you might be making a mental list of all of the things you need to do to stay healthy, eat well and stay active, there is an easier way. Instead of ramping up, try focusing on one thing.

Getting enough sleep.

Does that seem to easy? Well maybe because it is. Sleep might be the single more important key to you staying on track during the holidays. When we are sleep deprived a plethora of issues arise and even our best efforts to eat well and work out might be in futile.

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep regulates our hormones which in turn regulate nearly every essential function of our bodies. There are several that directly pertain to weight loss. Knowing the damaging effects from not getting enough sleep, might just be what you need to help you stay on track.

  1. Sleep regulates the production of Human Growth Hormone – Your body produces the most HGH at night during your sleep cycle. Studies show that shortened periods of sleep are inefficient in allowing the body to produce HGH. [1] Human Growth Hormone plays a significant role in the utilization of fat in the body.[2] For people who do not get enough sleep, the process is interrupted in the body and fat may not be utilized at an efficient rate.
  2. Sleep deprivation disrupts the balance of hormones released into the body [3] – Some of these hormones are extremely important to weight management. The hormones Leptin and Ghrelin are both responsible for inciting and controlling hunger, appetite. [4] An imbalance in these hormones can lead to overeating because your body is not getting the correct signals for when you are full. Even worse your body can be getting signals that you are hungry when you truly are not. Both of these can lead to overeating.
  3. Loss of sleep can lead to an increase in your stress – sleep deprivation leads to higher levels of cortisol the following morning. [5] Cortisol has negative effects in the body in both metabolic and cognitive functions of the body. That means not only does it affect how you metabolize the foods you eat and the fat you store, it also leads to added mental stress. And if you’re a srtess eater, this can be a double whammy.

So let’s recap.

Less sleep = lessened ability to repair your body and use fat efficiently.

Lack of sleep = unbalanced hormones and uncontrolled hunger and cravings.

Inefficient sleep = stress on the body, metabolism and brain which can lead to weight gain.

So before you worry about avoiding the holiday cookie table, you should be working on getting a good quality, full nights sleep. Then you don’t have to fear the holidays. You’ll be better equipped to portion control, stop eating when you’re full and be able to burn off calories more efficiently. With adequate sleep, even the best efforts around the table and at the gym may be in vain if your body can’t utilize all the hard work you’re doing.

Do you self a favor and stop dreading the holidays and your waistline, and start looking forward to getting enough ZZZs!

[P.S. If you can get to work on time, you can get to bed on time. Set your alarm at night to start winding down and getting to sleep. It’s THAT important. Make it a priority and you’ll find a considerable increase in the quality of your health.]