Why Fall is a Great Time to Join the Aspen Clinic

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The leaves are changing, the temperatures are a bit less hot, and football is on the TV- it’s fall! Not only is fall one of the best times of the year, it is also the best time to join the Aspen Clinic of Louisiana! Here are a few reasons why we think you should sign up to start your weight loss journey and embrace healthy habits this fall. 

Spend Some Time Outside

There is nothing quite like the crisp air of the fall season. There couldn’t be a more comfortable time to get outside and start exercising! Take a stroll in one of Louisiana’s beautiful parks, or do a little work out in your backyard! Take advantage of the beautiful weather with the help of the Aspen Clinic’s guidance this fall! 

Post-Summer Restart

It is only human to over-indulge on ice cream and cheeseburgers during the summer. Let us help you get back on track, or even start your weight loss journey and work off the last of the summer indulgences! 

Develop Healthy Habits Before the Holidays

It is so hard to stay on track with your weight loss journey when the holidays roll around. If you join the Aspen Clinic before they arrive, you’ll be able to set yourself up with a sturdy foundation of healthy habits! The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. Get some tips on how to maintain those changes before temptation strikes! 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

Schedule Appointment 

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 
Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started!

Off the Scale Ways to Measure Success

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Are you doing everything you can to stay on track with your healthy lifestyle, but you still aren’t seeing results on the scale? Let’s ignore the numbers for now, and explore some other ways to track your progress! Here are a few ways to ditch the scale and measure your progress in other ways from the Aspen Clinic of Louisiana. 

Try On Old Clothes

Do you remember those old jeans you left in the back of your closet because you grew out of them? Take them out and try them on! Even if they still aren’t fitting as you would like them to, you are sure to have made some progress if you have stayed on track. Try on some old clothes. Maybe some fit perfectly now, or maybe some are too big all of a sudden! 

Write Down Measurements

Yes, measurements are still numbers, but sometimes it is easier to see progress through loss of inches around your body than it is with numbers on a scale! Take down your measurements one every week, or even every two weeks if you want to see bigger gaps in your measurements! 

Analyze Endurance

Another great way to keep track of your progress is to take note of your endurance! Were you able to walk an extra mile that you couldn’t before? That is major progress, and something you should be proud of!

Mindset Matters More

At the end of the day, if you feel good about your progress it doesn’t matter what the number on the scale says. If you are living a healthy lifestyle but the scale isn’t reflecting that in the way that you would like it to, that is no reason to give up. As long as you stick to it, results will come! 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

Schedule Appointment 

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 

Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started! 
You can also visit our online store, we carry all the weight loss essentials including water bottles, vitamins / supplements, protein powders, and more!

How Does Stress Affect Weight Loss?

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Stress has woven itself into almost every aspect of our lives. Whether it’s about money, relationships, work, etc., stress is always hanging over our heads like a dark cloud. While on your weight loss journey, there could be nothing worse than adding stress into the mix. Stress is not a friend to weight loss, and here is how stress will only make your journey harder to finish. 

Stress vs Weight Loss

While it is almost impossible to completely remove stress from your life, it is important to try, especially when trying to lose weight. According to Healthline, for many people, stress can have a direct impact on their weight. Whether it causes weight loss or weight gain can vary from person to person — and even from situation to situation.

In some cases, stress may lead to missed meals and poor food choices. For others, stress may cause them to completely lose the desire to eat. Oftentimes, this change is only temporary. Your weight may return to normal once the stressor has passed.

One of the main problems with high-stress levels in the body is the production of the hormone cortisol. Your body identifies stress and the adrenal glands will begin to produce cortisol, which puts the body into a catabolic state – meaning it will begin to eat or break down muscle. Muscle is key during weight loss because it helps to increase our body’s basal metabolic rate to burn fats. Therefore, if you are losing muscle mass, you are losing the ability to burn fat which is very counterproductive when trying to lose weight. We must keep our stress levels down in order to prevent excess cortisol in the body and maintain our muscle mass! This is why we like to say your adrenal glands are your “key to weight loss”.

Whichever way stress affects your weight loss, neither option is healthy for your body. Whether you put weight on, or weight falls off, both fluctuations are temporary because stress is temporary! 

Signs Your Weight Loss Is Connected To Stress

A change in your weight can be linked to stress if you are also experiencing:

  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Aches and pains
  • Tense muscles
  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Difficulty with short-term memory
  • Increased heart rate

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

Schedule Appointment 

If you need help working through your stress or help along our weightloss journey, join us! The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 
Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started!

Don’t Diet, Do Make a Lifestyle Change

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Dieting has been proven to be the worst thing for your health. While taking control of your eating is vital to your weight loss journey, there is a better way than choosing a fad diet. A complete lifestyle change is what will be most beneficial to the lasting success of your journey. Allow the Aspen Clinic of Louisiana to give you some tips on how to make a lifestyle change, and ditch the diet. 

Diet vs Lifestyle Change 

A diet is a temporary change. You change your eating habits temporarily until you meet your weight loss goal, and then you return to your old ways. This takes quite the toll on the body and will have you right back where you started in no time. 

A lifestyle change consists of adopting healthy habits that promote long-term weight loss and control. This means making small changes in your everyday life, rather than making drastic changes all at once. Some examples of ways to kickstart your lifestyle change could be:

  • Gradually cutting back on junk food
  • Organize / plan workouts as a part of your everyday routine
  • Meal prepping
  • Drinking more water
  • Trying to incorporate more nutrient dense foods and cutting back on junk food
  • Organize / plan physical activity as a part of your day
  • Meal prepping
  • Drinking more water
  • Meditate or find ways to manage stress
  • Reduce TV or screen time to prioritize sleep

Eventually, if you stick to it, it will become a routine, and each step you take toward bettering your health will become a permanent change. 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass.


Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started!

Weight Loss Tips: Get More Sleep

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Sleeping is more important to your weight loss journey than you may even realize, in fact, it’s just as important as exercise and eating right! The Aspen Clinic of Louisiana is here to explain all of the amazing benefits that come with getting a good night’s sleep! 

How Does Sleep Affect Weight Loss?

Sleep is like nutrition for the brain. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours each night, and according to WebMD, too little sleep triggers a cortisol spike. This stress hormone signals your body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours. Translation: You’re more apt to hang on to fat. 

Research tells the story. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Found that when people were starved of sleep, late-night snacking increased, and they were more likely to choose high-carb snacks. In another study done at the University of Chicago, sleep-deprived participants chose snacks with twice as much fat as those who slept at least 8 hours. 

When you stick to a consistent, quality sleep schedule, not only will your body perform better, but so will your mind! Your mind and your body will thank you for fueling them both with a good night of sleep, and will even reward you with some weight loss! 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 
Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started!

7 Healthy Habits for Weight Loss

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Losing weight is no easy task. It can take a toll on both your mind and body. It is important to adopt as many healthy habits as you can while on your weight loss journey. Here are 7 healthy habits for weight loss from the Aspen Clinic of Louisiana to help keep your mind and body happy and healthy! 

Positive Attitude

Positive thoughts are vital when it comes to losing weight, as they increase our motivation and energy levels, which will ultimately act as a catalyst for achieving our weight loss goals! 

Don’t Skip Breakfast

It’s a tale as old as time- breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Starting the day off with a nutritious breakfast will help keep you on track to make healthy choices for the rest of the day. People who eat breakfast tend to be more mindful of their diets, and have more energy! 

Drink Water When You Wake Up

Water fires up your metabolism, keeps you hydrated, helps your body flush out toxins, gives your brain fuel, and may even help curb some hunger cravings! 

Make Lunch Your Biggest Meal

Not only will a big lunch suppress some hunger, but it can also help decrease an afternoon slump! Don’t break your healthy stride just because you get a couple of cravings before dinner. Keep yourself on track with a substantial lunch. 

Don’t Eat Too Close To Bedtime

Eating before bed can cause the body’s metabolism to slow. The body slows down its functions at night to prepare for sleep, but consuming foods, especially those high in carbs, can make it harder to digest and result in weight gain.

Move Everyday

It is no secret that exercise and weight loss go hand-in-hand. Moving around every day, even if only for 15 minutes, will be incredibly beneficial to your weight loss journey!

Prioritize Sleep

Sleep is like nutrition for the brain. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours each night, and according to WebMD, too little sleep triggers a cortisol spike. This stress hormone signals your body to conserve energy to fuel your waking hours. Translation: You’re more apt to hang on to fat. Your mind and your body will thank you for fueling them both with a good night of sleep, and will even reward you with some weight loss! 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 
Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started!

3 Ways To Drink More Water

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According to Healthline, drinking water increases the number of calories you burn, which is known as resting energy expenditure. It may sound simple, but there are people out there who find it hard to constantly be drinking water! The Aspen Clinic of Louisiana is here to offer 3 tips to help with drinking more water! 

Drink A Glass Of Water Before Every Meal

Drink one glass of water 30 minutes before a meal to help digestion. Remember not to drink too soon before or after a meal as the water will dilute the digestive juices. Drink water an hour after the meal to allow the body to absorb the nutrients.

Invest in a Water Bottle

Not only will you be more inclined to reach for your water bottle more often because it just feels more predictive to have one, you will also be able to track your progress! Water bottles these days can come with time stamps on them, reminding you to make it to the next line before the time runs out. Have fun with it. Make it a game or a race between you and a friend!

The Aspen Clinic has a water bottle for sale if you are looking for a new one! 

Infuse Your Water

Adding lemon, mint, or other fruits like strawberries to your water can make the drinking process more enjoyable! If you are drinking something that tastes good, you’ll be more inclined to go in for another sip! Drinking water doesn’t have to be boring or mundane. Put your own spin on it and find what works for you! 

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass.

Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started!

How to Stay Healthy While Working From Home

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Since the Coronavirus Pandemic has forced most of the country to work from home, it seems eating and snacking throughout the day is at an all-time high. Don’t blame yourself, it’s an unconscious habit, and most people who are not lucky enough to have a home office work from their kitchen tables where there is easy access to food. Here are some tips from the Aspen Clinic of Louisiana to help you stay on top of your health while working from home! 

5 Ways to Stay Fit

Get Up Once An Hour: Try to set reminders to get up and move your body at least once an hour if possible. Even if you just talk a walk to the bathroom, it’s great to keep your body moving! 

Stock The Kitchen With Healthy Snacks and Meals: IF you’re going to be in the kitchen, remove all sources of temptation and keep fruits, vegetables, and low calorie foods on hand if you get hungry throughout the day!

Constantly Drink Water: Keep water with you at your workspace at all times. Many studies support the theory that drinking water is beneficial for weight loss. Also, hydration is key for many factors that play a role in weight loss, including digestion and muscle function.

Active Team Meetings: Suggest active meetings to your team. It’s a great way to bond and create some team comradery, and will get everyone’s blood pumping! Follow along to a workout video, or get creative and have fun with it! 

Create a Soothing Environment: According to Entrepreneur, staying home means you have free rein over your surroundings, so make your work area soothing and keep your stress level under control. If you love scented candles, place them around your desk. If a beautiful view helps you stay calm, set up your desk in front of a window or within eyesight of artwork you enjoy.

Join The Aspen Clinic – We Have 9 Locations in Louisiana

The Aspen Clinic program is based on lifestyle changes, not temporary dieting. In summary, our program is designed to increase your metabolism and help you develop a new set of eating and activity habits. We will individualize your program according to your daily caloric needs to ensure that you are losing fat and avoiding the loss of lean muscle mass. 

Visit any of our Aspen Clinic locations across Louisiana, Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Harvey, Houma, Lafayette, Metairie, Prairieville, and Slidell, or schedule an appointment today to get started! 


You can also visit our online store, we carry all the weight loss essentials including water bottles, vitamins / supplements, protein powders, and more!

Schedule Appointment 

Stress vs. Your Health

For most of us, stress is a part of our everyday life. Stress at home, stress at work, stress about our weight – it’s everywhere and no one is immune to the stressors that life has to offer. The problem is that when trying to lose weight, stress plays a bigger role than we think. And while most come and go without so much as a thought, they often have a lasting impact on our waistlines, due to biological and mental reasons.

The Biological Impact of Stress on Weight and Diet

Typically, most of us think of stress as nothing more than a feeling, one that is completely independent of our body’s internal functions, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We actually have a very physical response to stress that undoubtedly affects our body weight.

For example, when you’re under a great deal of stress, your body iniates a “fight or flight” response and releases higher amounts of the hormone cortisol. Based on research, we know that cortisol is responsible for many healthy bodily functions, such as keeping your blood pressure stable. However, it can also contribute to non-healthy bodily functions. Perhaps the most notable one is its effect on your weight.

This can turn your overeating into a habit. Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods. So instead of a salad or a handful of almonds, you’re more likely to reach for cookies or mac and cheese. That’s why they’re called “comfort foods.” By constantly releasing cortisol, your body will begin to view eating, or these foods, as a source of solace and a means of temporarily eliminating stressFatty and sugary foods are usually the big culprits, because lots of us have such a strong love for them. The bottom line?

More stress = more cortisol = higher appetite for junk food = more belly fat.

Another thing that happens when stressed is the increase of the hormone that controls satiety, ghrelin, which causes you to feel more hungry and leads to overeating.

It boosts your appetite while increasing the likelihood that your body will store food as fat—primarily in your midsection, which is the worst place for it.

The Mental Impact of Stress on Weight and Diet

There are mental impacts of stress on your waistline as well, because feeling anxious and tense all the time contributes to emotional eating. If you struggle with this yourself, then you already know how powerful negative emotions can be when it comes to craving foods that bring you comfort.

Those who feel stress, or are involved in stressful environment, on a regular basis are known to experience anxiety, depression, lack of motivation or focus, irritability, anger, and have problems sleeping.

And because stress happens on a daily basis, choosing to cope by using food will certainly impact your body weight, and your health overall. In fact, a number of diseases and health conditions are often prompted by eating too much too often.

Stress vs. Your Health

Stress may be one of the nation’s new health serial killers based on the effect it has on nearly every part of your body.

Medically proven, stress contributes to:

Heart Disease, Strokes, High Blood Pressure, Colitis, Irritability, Rheumatism, Depression, Migraines, Diabetes, Athersclerosis, Insomnia, Fatigue, Sex Problems, Skin Diseases, Allergies, Overeating, Asthma, Kidney Disorders, Ulcers, and THE LIST GOES ON…

Therefore, not only is stress keeping you from achieving your weight loss goals, but also keeping you from being as healthy all-around as you should be.

How to De-Stress Your Life

So, reappraisal – changing how you think about stress â€“ is the big one, but there are other actions to take that can positively change your response to stress.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Say to yourself: “Look, traffic is unpleasant, but who cares?” Is it really worth being the guy who flips out because someone dared into his lane, every honk bringing him closer to stress-induced heart attack? We’ve all seen that guy, we’ve all been that guy, and it’s no way to live. If you get the urge to honk or speed up when someone puts their blinker on to come into your lane, don’t do it. Stay your hand. Acknowledge the desire, know that these urges are the result of a lizard brain prone to exaggerated responses in a modern world, and tell yourself that you’re better than that. You’ll go about your life with the preternatural calm of a zen master (well, maybe not quite that calm), deftly maneuvering through the thickest and nastiest of traffic and smiling all the while. In the words of a different type of zen master, â€śLet it be.”

In a “stressful” situation, get as weirdly analytical as you need to dismantle it.

Ask yourself questions like “Is [the stressor] going to negatively impact my life enough to justify this physiological response?” or â€śHow will sweaty palms and an elevated heart rate improve my ability to pay my car bill?” You’ll often find that answering them honestly and logically removes the stress.

Don’t let important things hang over you.

Remember that mounting personal debt is not just an abstract stressor to be discarded or ignored or meditated away. You owe money; take steps to start paying down your debt methodically, however minimal the payment might be. You have a deadline; meet it. You’ve got a neglected spouse; wine and dine them. Some problems are real and deserve your attention. Reappraisal won’t beat everything.

Don’t ever say any permutation of “I’m so stressed,” even if you are.

What’s the point? Whose cause does it serve? By reaffirming your stress level in a negative manner, you give it life and power over you. You’re literally telling yourself to be stressed out. It’s silly, so stop feeling sorry for yourself.

Give to others.

Volunteer somewhere, help the old lady across the street (or whatever the modern corollary for that is), pitch in to help friends move houses, offer to show your mom how to properly lift heavy things, walk that old dog his elderly owner is unable to walk, make dinner for your sick buddy, and so on. A recent study found that stress only increased mortality risk in those who had not “provided tangible assistance to friends or family members.” People who helped their friends and family could endure stress without incurring a mortality risk.

Fake It

And for those who think they can’t do this, that they’d never be able to truly convince themselves that stress wasn’t hurting them: faking it can work. Folks in the stress reappraisal studies had spent their lives hearing how stress could kill, just like all of you, and they were able to change how they responded to stress. See, the human brain is powerful. We have the unique ability to psyche ourselves out and think ourselves into a depressive, unhealthy pit, a terrible cycle of bad thoughts begetting bad thoughts begetting poor health. But it goes both ways. We can also trick ourselves into feeling better. We can tell ourselves that we don’t care about it, that the traffic doesn’t bother us – even if it kind of does – and that the stress we do experience isn’t harmful to our health, and not only will we eventually start to believe it, it will become true.

The ultimate message is that there is no “true you” underlying everything, waiting to call your bluff. Rather, we are what we think, say, and do. We have the power to shape our response to this sometimes but not necessarily stressful thing called life.

The real beauty of this approach is it’s easy. Thinking a thought takes almost zero effort. It expends very few calories. You can do it from the comfort of your bed. All you need is to know it can and it very well will work.

Stress will kill you.

But only if you let it.

So don’t.

What-Triggers-your-Stress-after-Weight-Loss-Surgery

Sources: 
 http://myrealfoodfamily.com/effects-stress-weight/#O5w7WwRyhOfZXcbR.99

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/rethinking-stress-it-could-save-your-life/

Snooze to Lose ZzZzZ

Looking for a quick, easy way to lose weight (or at least prevent gain)?

scaleandsleep-300x203

Get some sleep.

Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Studies have shown that adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

Turns out, we might not actually we losing when we snooze.


Reasons Why You Need a Good Night’s Sleep:


Sleep Controls Your Diet

The debate about the best way to achieve a healthy weight always revolves around eating and movement. If you want to look better, the most common suggestion is “eat less and move more.” But it’s not that simple, or even accurate. Sometimes you want to eat less and move more, but it seems impossible to do so. And there might be a good reason: Between living your life, working, and exercising, you’re forgetting to sleep enough. Or maybe, more importantly, you don’t realize that sleep is the key to being rewarded for your diet and fitness efforts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 35 percent of people are sleep deprived. And when you consider that the statistic for obesity is nearly identical, it’s easy to connect the dots and discover that the connection is not a coincidence.

92c2bdb4dfe9675a0a6ac6a8121e9556Not sleeping enough—less than seven hours of sleep per night—can reduce and undo the benefits of dieting, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In the study, dieters were put on different sleep schedules. When their bodies received adequate rest, half of the weight they lost was from fat. However when they cut back on sleep, the amount of fat lost was cut in half—even though they were on the same diet. What’s more, they felt significantly hungrier, were less satisfied after meals, and lacked energy to exercise. Overall, those on a sleep-deprived diet experienced a 55 percent reduction in fat loss compared to their well-rested counterparts.

Poor Sleep Changes Your Fat Cells

Think about the last time you had a bad night of sleep. How did you feel when you woke up? Exhausted. Dazed. Confused. Maybe even a little grumpy? It’s not just your brain and body that feel that way—your fat cells do too. When your body is sleep deprived, it suffers from â€śmetabolic grogginess.” Within just four days of sleep deprivation, your body’s ability to properly use insulin (the master storage hormone) becomes completely disrupted. In fact, insulin sensitivity dropped by more than 30 percent.

Here’s why that’s bad: When your insulin is functioning well, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your blood stream and prevent storage. When you become more insulin resistant, fats (lipids) circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin. Eventually this excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places, such as tissues like your liver. And this is exacfdhtly how you become fat and suffer from diseases like diabetes.

Lack of Rest Makes You Crave Food

Many people believe that hunger is related to willpower and learning to control the call of your stomach, but that’s incorrect.

Hunger is controlled by two hormones: leptin and ghrelin.

Leptin is a hormone that is produced in your fat cells. The less leptin you produce, the more your stomach feels empty. The more ghrelin you produce, the more you stimulate hunger while also reducing the amount of calories you burn (your metabolism) and increasing the amount fat you store. In other words, you need to control leptin and ghrelin to successfully lose weight, but sleep deprivation makes that nearly impossible.

Sleep loss creates an internal battle that makes it nearly impossible to lose weight. When you don’t sleep enough, your cortisol levels rise. This is the stress hormone that is frequently associated with fat gain.

Lack of sleep also pushes you in the direction of the foods you know you shouldn’t eat. Turns out, sleep deprivation is a little like being drunk. You just don’t have the mental clarity to make good complex decisions, specifically with regards to the foods you eat—or foods you want to avoid. This isn’t helped by the fact that when you’re overtired, you also have increased activity in the amygdala, the reward region of your brain. This is why sleep deprivation destroys all diets; think of the amygdala as mind control—it makes you crave high-calorie foods.

And if all that wasn’t enough,  sleep deprivation makes you select greater portion sizes of all foods, further increasing the likelihood of weight gain.

Sleep Sabotages Gym Time

Unfortunately the disastrous impact spreads beyond diet and into your workouts. No matter what your fitness goals are, having some muscle on your body is important. Muscle is the enemy of fat—it helps you burn fat and stay young. But sleep (or lack thereof) is the enemy of muscle because sleep debt decreases protein synthesis (your body’s ability to make muscle), causes muscle loss, and can lead to a higher incidence of injuries.

Just as important, lack of sleep makes it harder for your body to recover from exercise by slowing down the production of growth hormone—your natural source of anti-aging and fat burning that also facilitates recovery.

If you’re someone who doesn’t particularly enjoy exercise, not prioritizing sleep will make something you don’t particularly enjoy almost unbearable. When you’re suffering from slept debt, everything you do feels more challenging, specifically your workouts.

The Secret: Prioritize Sleep

The connection between sleep and weight gain is hard to ignore.  And with all of the connections to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, and cognitive failure, the need to sleep goes far beyond just looking better and seeing results from your diet and exercise efforts.

Aim for: 7-9 hours of sleep every night

While there’s no hard number that applies to all people, a good rule of thumb is to receive between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, and to make sure that one poor night of sleep isn’t followed up with a few more. It might not seem like much, but it could make all the difference and mean more than any other health decision you make.

1375-20130529-SnoozeLose

 

Sources:

http://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/why-sleep-no-1-most-important-thing-better-body