Sleep & Stress Management = Weight Loss

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Beautiful young woman sleeping in bed with eye mask

As you know I am writing a month long series on Frugal Weight Loss, called Renew for YOU.  This week I am writing about Sleep and Stress Management.  In case you missed Frugal Exercise or Eating Frugally you can check out those posts.  I didn’t realize how much sleep impacted your weight loss.  In August when I started my weight loss journey I didn’t realize how little sleep I was getting.  As a part of my plan I journal all of my calories as well as my stress level and sleep per night.

If you are trying to lose weight it is very important to go to bed early.  Not only is what you eat and exercise important but a key piece to the puzzle is the hours of sleep you are getting per night.  Too little sleep effects your body’s appetite controls.  It lowers levels of a hormone that makes you feel feel and boosts levels of a hunger hormone, which can lead to overeating.  A good nights rest is 7 to 9 hours per night.  When I sleep at least 8 hours a night I notice that the weight comes off easier.  If you are only getting 5-6 hours a night you will not lose weight as quickly (and you just don’t feel good the next day).

It is also important to reduce stress.  By reducing your stress level your body will function at a higher level which equals weight loss.  So you can exercise, watch what you eat and sleep well but if you are living a high stressed life your body still may not lose the weight.  One tip is to eat walnuts.  By doing so it will help reduce anxiety.  A daily serving of walnuts in your diet lowers blood pressure because of the omega-3 fatty acids.  It is very important to eliminate stress from your day.  I like to work out, take a hot bath, do yoga or deep breathing exercises to eliminate stress.  Also by getting a massage once a month it helps to keep my body stress free.  They say just making a massage appointment reduces stress because of the anticipation of the appointment!

If you try to go to sleep at the same time and get up the same time this will help with your weight loss goals. If you skimp on sleep you will reduce your leptin, which is a weight loss hormone. This hormone is responsible for telling your body when it has had enough to eat! When you lose sleep you also increase the production of the hormone ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone that tells you when you are hungry. So increasing this hormone makes you eat MORE!

What do you do to reduce stress?  How much sleep do you get a night?  I would love to hear from you!

Disclaimer: I am not a health care professional and I am not providing medical advise. Always consult with a medical professional before you change your diet or implement a weight loss strategy.

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Comments

  1. I KNOW this is an area I need to improve. I definitely DO NOT get enough sleep and I do see it directly affect my eating habits. That is very interesting about walnuts – I will have to stock up on those for a quick snack.

    • It is tough to make the time isn’t it Lynn? At least for me. I can get blogging and before I know it is midnight :-(

  2. You are so right on the sleep part. Not enough sleep makes me grouchy and have no energy to work out. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for the walnut tip. I ususally get enough sleep but have very high stress levels.

  4. I sleep the 7-9 hours I need at night. I require a lot of sleep, but I function without the aid of caffeine, so I don’t feel bad going to bed at 10 and up at 6.

  5. Yes and when I don’t get enough sleep at night I end up taking a nap instead of working out. And the cycle continues…

  6. I get enough sleep at night. I sleep from around 10-5:45 am when my husband leaves for work, then I get an extra hour until 7 when my alarm goes off to get my son up for preschool. I am pretty lucky that I get that much. I have 2 friends who have a hard time getting sleep because of their kids having nightmares and getting into bed with them.
    My stress level is probably an 8 out of 10. 6 out of 10 when I’m not around my MIL. Seriously that woman can get on my nerves….thank God I don’t have to see her only every 2 weeks or longer if possible. LOL! ;)

  7. I will be stocking up on walnuts and try to get more sleep!

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