Imagine this …
You’ve worked out hard all week.
You’ve watched your diet like a hawk, and didn’t cheat once.
You’ve dropped sugar intake like a hot rock, and denied yourself your favorite dessert.
You’ve cut back or completely eliminated all alcohol consumption.
And you’ve even gained extra credit by taking evening walks instead of watching that favorite TV show and eating that bowl of popcorn.
Then you step on the scale only to be crushed to discover the weight scale didn’t budge an ounce.
In the meantime, a friend you know has just dropped 3 pounds effortlessly.
Determined, you redouble you efforts, cut back on your caloric intake, add an extra workout during the week, and continue down the strait and narrow path called calorie deprivation.
The result? Anger, frustration and disappointment when the weight scale refuses to move south like it should.
Elsewhere, your friend just dropped a few more.
It’s maddening, to be sure.
In times like these, you could be forgiven if you thought that all the effort in losing weight wasn’t worth it.
When you finally “cave” into your food cravings, you select greater portion sizes of all foods — because you no longer have the proper brain function to reason with your appetites.
What is going on?
One possibility is that you are unknowingly using a torture technique on yourself, in the same way the CIA and virtually all governments in the world use it to break the will of a prisoner.
And while you are obviously using this technique on yourself in a smaller scale, the net effects on fat loss could be significant.
So, what is this mystery torture technique?
It’s true. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture against your body that destroys all dieting efforts.
In other words, sleep deprivation destroys all diets.
Now, before I continue, the purpose of this blog is not to toss all the scientific papers, research or jargon into your lap.
Nope. Instead, I’ll save you the rhetoric and the long studies proving the facts, and just cut to the chase.
- Depriving yourself of just one night of less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep is enough to impair your brains frontal lobe activity … the area of your brain responsible for making complex decisions.
- Sleep deprivation is kind if like being inebriated. You simply don’t have the cognitive ability to make good decisions … especially those decisions containing extra calories and portion sizes.
- Not getting enough sleep keeps you feeling hungry.
- Don’t sleep good — don’t recover good from every stressor in life, including workouts and work stress.
- Not getting enough sleep is proven to reduce — or even undo — your dieting efforts.
- Sleep deprived individuals experience a 55% reduction in the ability to lose fat compared to those who get plenty of sleep.
This goes on and on, but your primary takeaway should be to follow the sleep patterns of some of the greatest professional athletes.
- Mega tennis star, Roger Federer, averages 11-12 hours of sleep per night.
- Skiing athlete, Lindsey Vonn, averages 9 hours per night.
- Fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, catches 8-10 nightly.
- Golfing protege, Michelle Wie, crashes 10-12 every night.
- And basketball legend in the making, Lebron James is out like a light for 12 solid every night.
In light of all this, when you don’t get the sleep you need, your brain, body and even your fat cells feel the effects of “metabolic grogginess” and fatigue.
Listen, it’s easy to lose a few hours per night throughout the week, and it’s easy to justify it with your busy schedule and all.
If you insist that you don’t need that much sleep, and that you feel just fine, don’t be surprised when your hormones and fat cells don’t agree with you, making losing weight next to impossible.
Your body won’t be fooled, and it won’t be tortured with a lack of sleep either, without preserving the one thing that helps you survive a famine … fat.
If you are having trouble losing weight, and still think you are doing everything right, increase the hours you sleep.
It’ll do your body and mind a world of good.