You Might be Fat Because You Don’t Sleep Enough

Does Lack of Sleep Make You Fat?

Insomnia Makes Your FatDoes skipping a few hours with the Sandman make you gain weight? Yes, it probably does. It seems counter-intuitive. After all, if you’re awake, you could engage in activities that actually burn more calories than simply dreaming about doing things. However, that’s not really the way your body works. If you don’t let your body sleep enough, you’re going to experience some unpleasant effects, and one of them is weight gain and associated problems. Learn more about how a lack of sleep can make you fat.

How Sleep Deprivation Makes People Fat

It’s NOT Just Late-Night Snacks

The first explanation for how a lack of sleep can make you gain weight might be the obvious one. Who hasn’t woken up in the middle of the night and figured a late-night snack is just the ticket to help calm down? If you’re hungry or craving certain kinds of food, maybe you should eat something light.

Some good examples might include a serving of fruit or low-fat protein. In some cases, you might just be thirsty and need a couple of swallows of water. Be wary of drinking too much because that’s likely to cause you to wake up again for an urgent visit to the restroom. The problem is that once you get out of bed and start wandering around your house, the harder time you will probably have getting back to sleep quickly.

The Real Problem: Lack of Sleep Messes Up Your Hormones

You can find plenty of credible studies that find sleep deprivation and disturbances promote weight gain. Conversely, healthier diets and weight loss have even been founded to improve sleep. It’s a win-win situation if you can get your sleep and your healthy lifestyle to work together. With that said, it’s not always easy.

The lack of sleep changes your hormones. Men’s Health pointed out that this may work differently in men and women as well. In a sleep study of both men and women:

  • A hormone that stimulates appetite increased in the men.
  • A hormone that signals brains that people are full or satiated decreased in woman.
  • Either way, enjoy too little sleep for days caused cravings that were just about impossible to ignore.

You Might Not Feel Hungry; But You’re Eating More

You might not even consciously feel hungry, but you’re probably eating more when you lack sleep. In the study reported upon above, the people in the study didn’t say they felt hungry. However, they ate an average of 300 more calories a day. Over time, that 300 calories will add up and start packing on pounds.

That’s why it’s so difficult for people to understand that sleep deprivation is making them gain weight. They don’t feel hungry, but somehow, they’re still getting a message to eat more.

How to Cure the Sleep Deprivation Fat-Gaining Blues

Obviously, your first step is to figure out how you can get enough sleep. Most people need at least seven or eight hours a night. If you skimp once in awhile, you probably won’t suffer many ill effect, but the study found changes after only FOUR days of sleeping less than they should. If you can’t get to sleep, you might even visit your doctor to ask for some help.

If you’ve got to snack at night, stock the fridge with healthy snacks. A handful of grapes or nuts might be good suggestions. An entire pie is not such a great idea. You get the idea. Also, the researchers suggested some moderate exercise because activity can burn calories and may help you get to sleep faster.

 

 

Demystifying Food Cravings: What Cravings Actually Mean

 What Do Food Cravings Really Mean?

What Do Food Cravings Mean? Earlier, Cravings Cured covered how your gut can actually send you food cravings because you’re starving yourself of certain essential nutrients. You may not interpret these cravings in the healthiest or most efficient way because you speak English, your gut speaks another language, and your brain’s translation program isn’t perfect.

Of course, no two people are exactly alike. Still, it’s possible to offer some tips that can help you listen to your cravings, satisfy your appetite, and start enjoying better health. To help demystify food cravings, it might help to look into the meanings of the most common food cravings.

Demystifying Common Food Cravings

Get started with these common food cravings and their possible meanings:

Curing Chocolate Cravings

Some people crave chocolate so much that they almost consider it an addiction. Certainly, you can satisfy a chocolate craving by adding unsweetened cocoa powder to many dishes, plant milk, and of course, coffee. Another tip is to buy a dark chocolate bar, break off a square or two, and then melt it in the microwave over a couple of handfuls of nuts.

Some deficiencies that can cause chocolate cravings include magnesium, some B vitamins, chromium, and essential fatty acids. It’s worth noting that chocolate also helps boost serotonin, so your craving could be emotional. If you’ve got the blues, you can find healthy ways to indulge in a bit of chocolate and spend some time relieving your stress in other ways.

Curbing Carbohydrate Cravings

If you’ve already looked around Cravings Cured, you know that we don’t think carbohydrates are the devil. Your craving for empty carbs and calories may simply stem from not eating enough healthy carbs, particularly those with plenty of gut-feeding fiber.You’re probably having trouble keeping your blood sugar in check, and the right diet can help minor issues with this.

These are some tips to help satisfy your carb craving while staying fit:

  • Discover whole and sprouted grains, tofu, lentils, starchy vegetables, and other sources of healthy carbs and fiber again.
  • You may lack magnesium and chromium, which also help balance blood sugar.
  • Make sure you’re hydrated and have had enough sleep.

Fried Food Cravings 

The most intuitively obvious reason for craving fried food is a lack of healthy fat. You might start by eating a portion or two of nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, fatty fish, or olive oil. If you want to fry food, try using a little bit of spray oil in the oven or a saute pan instead of several inches of deep-fry oil.

Red Meat Obsessions

People actually don’t tend to crave read meat as much as they crave carbs. That might suggest something about the importance of healthy carbs over dripping hunks of red meat. In any case, cravings for red meat are likely to stem from a need for health fat, iron, or certain B vitamins. Dark-green vegetables, legumes, and adding a bit of nutritional yeast to other dishes can help with this.

Salt

You need to consume some salt to stay healthy, so if you’ve been carefully avoiding salt, make sure you consume some every day. Otherwise, you may have a problem with an electrolyte imbalance because of a lack of B vitamins or even stress. Coconut water helps balance electrolytes. Otherwise, food with healthy fat and B vitamins, like nuts, seeds, and legumes.

Nutritional yeast also has a cheesy, salty flavor that most people like, and you can add it to vegetables and other dishes as a condiment.

What if Food Won’t Satisfy Your Food Cravings

If you eat an ample amount of healthy food, it’s likely you’re having trouble balancing your blood sugar because you don’t stay hydrated, need more sleep, or are struggling with stress or other emotional issues. In some cases, you may suffer from other medical conditions, so it’s not terrible advice to tell you to get a checkup if you suffer cravings frequently and simple dietary changes don’t offer any solutions. A doctor can test your blood sugar and other markers.