Tired? Not Losing Weight? There’s a reason why!

By: Christina DeCastris-Beaudin, Energy Balance

I sit here writing this blog feeling sleep deprived.  I was up most of the night last night with children moving in and out of my bed all night. I’m sure many of you can relate. How many of you get 6-8 hours of solid, uninterrupted sleep each night?  If you have kids, guaranteed you are all a little sleep derived. More and more studies are now stating that sleep is just as important for achieving weight loss as is exercise.  In fact, a recent study suggested that getting just 30 fewer minutes of sleep than you should per weekday can increase your risk of obesity and diabetes.

Two kids hanging on a bar while the trainer leans over them in her studio in Barrie

Kids are one of the reasons why moms are sleep deprived, and it has an impact on weight loss.

Let me help you to understand why sleep is so related to the inability to lose weight.  When you are sleep deprived, the body begins to shoot out more Cortisol to keep your body going.  When you have excess cortisol in your body, you are always in fat storage mode. A simple test to see if you have excess Cortisol is to monitor your food cravings. If you are continuously craving high sugar foods throughout the day, or waking up in the middle of the night hungry, you are most likely producing excess cortisol.  If your cortisol is elevated throughout the day your blood sugar levels will also increase. Thus, leaving you craving high sugar foods like cookies and doughnuts to keep you going.

Sleep deprivation also increases your Ghrelin, which is the brains trigger to tell you when you are hungry.  If you are always hungry, this could be why. Leptin is also effected when you don’t get enough sleep. Leptin is a hormone that interacts with areas of the brain that controls hunger and tells the body when it is full.  Put these two together and you have a recipe for WEIGHT GAIN not WEIGHT LOSS.

So how do we combat this when our sleep is compromised because of young children and life? 

Here are my tips:

  1. BE PREPARED: Bring awareness to the fact that you are tired and that is why you are craving high sugar foods.  Make sure to have healthy choices with you throughout the day so that you won’t make poor food choices.
  2. GET YOUR WORKOUT IN!!!!  Working out reduces Cortisol levels and helps to bring hormones back into balance. Take it from me……….I’ve been sleep deprived for over 6 years now!  

If I kept unhealthy food around and didn’t exercise, I would most likely be 30 pounds heavier and feeling even more tired.

Here are some foods you that  could be impacting your sleep:

Coffee and text about the foods that keep you awake: coffee, granola, ice cream

And the foods you should be eating to help you catch some ZZZ’s:

Person sleeping with list of foods that help you sleep: oatmeal, etc.

Here’s to staying motherhood and staying fit!

Christina, TKL's Trainer, based in Barrie, leaning on an exercise ball

Christina shares her insights on the relationship between lack of sleep and weight loss



Christina is the owner and operator of Energy Balance and the founder of the #Transformin12 workout program. She trains Sarah and Apryl twice a week and has coached them on living a healthier lifestyle.


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