Some of us workout regularly and also are disciplined at the dining table. But we still don’t seem to lose fat. Why does this happen? What could be amiss?

Most probably, sleep. And how does sleep affect fat loss? Let’s get technical and see how we can sleep our way to fat loss.

Insufficient sleep impacts our hormones

ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin sends hunger signals to the brain. Sleep loss makes the body produce more ghrelin. Leptin, on the other hand, cues your stomach that it’s full. With lack of sleep, leptin levels plummet. With your hormones off-kilter, your body will react in ways that will have you reaching for that tub of ice cream.

Our cortisol spikes from too little sleep

With too little sleep, the body produces more of the stress-response hormone – cortisol. And this happens later in the day, a time when it (cortisol) should be tapering off. With heightened cortisol levels, your body holds onto fat so that it can provide you with energy/fuel during your waking hours.

Affects our cognitive skills

Apart from messing with our hormones, skimping on sleep affects our cognitive skills. Sleep deprivation decreases or dulls activity in the critical decision making region of the brain – the frontal cortex. This means that your sleep deprived brain will not be able to reason and stop you from reaching out for the bag of chips in your pantry.

Bust that plateau

Despite eating right and training hard, this is why you won’t see results without sufficient sleep. So, get that shut eye and help your body break that fat loss plateau.

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