Trying to shed a few pounds and feeling frustrated by the lack of progress? Forget about the kitchen for now. And shift your focus to the bedroom instead.
Because, believe it or not, successful weight loss often starts with sleep.
Study after study has confirmed it. When we’re overtired, we make poor choices.
We overeat. We reach for sugary and carb-filled comfort foods. And we turn into couch potatoes, too tired to move.
But it’s not your fault.
In fact, you can blame it on your hormones.
Hormones are sabotaging your weight loss efforts
Ghrelin is the hormone that tells your brain it’s time to eat. And when you’re tired, your body makes more of it.
In other words, being sleep deprived literally makes your brain want to eat more!
Leptin, on the other hand, sends the signal that it’s time to stop eating. But when you’ve short changed yourself on sleep, your body cuts back on its leptin production.
Which means when you don’t get enough sleep, you’re sabotaging your own weight loss efforts.
3 foods that help you lose weight while you sleep
Now at this point we could tell you that to jumpstart your weight loss you simply need to get more sleep.
But let’s face it, for many folks there’s nothing simple about it.
And if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep you’re not alone.
According to the American Sleep Association, at least 30 percent of us are battling short term insomnia. And another 10 percent of us have a chronic problem.
But don’t turn to dangerous sleeping pills to get some shuteye and shed those extra pounds. Turn back to your kitchen instead, and focus on sleep-supporting foods.
Following are three common foods that could help you lose weight while you sleep.
1. Fatty fish:
We’ve explained before how the omega-3s in wild-caught fatty fish such as halibut, mackerel and salmon can help curb hunger pains to help you lose weight. But it turns out these heart-healthy fish may be able to help you get some shuteye too.
Melatonin is one of the most important sleep hormones in your body. Your levels of melatonin naturally rise in the evening and peak overnight, to help you get and stay asleep.
But as we age, our bodies make less of the hormone. And that can prevent you from getting the shuteye you need to shed those unwanted pounds.
Eating more omega-3 fatty fish encourages your body to release more melatonin. Plus it can help stabilize the fluctuations that keep you awake, so you can lose weight while you sleep.
Walnuts are high in magnesium a mineral which experts say can help you get a better night sleep. Your nervous system depends on the nutrient’s muscle calming effects to help you drift off to sleep and stay that way. In fact, magnesium helps trigger hibernation in animals.
In one study, researchers found that getting enough of this important mineral helped folks with insomnia sleep significantly better. Experts say magnesium can help stabilize your melatonin levels simply by giving your body time to make more of the hormone.
Which means eating more walnuts—and other magnesium rich foods such as black beans, spinach and bananas—could essentially help you lose weight while you sleep.
Did your mother insist on making you a glass of warm milk when you couldn’t sleep? Turns out, she was onto something. According to experts, the calcium you find in foods like milk could help you get a better night sleep.
But you might want to pair your milk with a square of dark chocolate or a banana. Or swap it for a cup of plain Greek yogurt instead. Because researchers say, calcium works even better when combined with magnesium.
The pair helps relax your muscles and nerves so you can drift off to sleep. And keeps the aches and pains at bay so you can stay that way.
Plus, as an added benefit, a study out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham found that folks who had diets high in calcium lost more belly fat that their low-calcium counterparts.
If you’ve been losing the battle of the bulge, move the fight to the bedroom. Get the sleep you need and see your efforts, and the pounds, melt away as you lose weight while you sleep.
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