Does Poor Sleep Make It Difficult to Lose Belly Fat?

Crunches, sit-ups, yoga, crash dieting – people try them all and even though notice the extra fat melting off from everywhere, the belly fat doesn’t budge! More than the gym, eating the right foods help shed extra pounds, but when it comes to belly fat, a few more kinks need to be ironed out, and following a proper sleep routine is one of them. In this article, we will discuss how poor sleep has a undeniable impact on belly fat and how you can improve sleep hygiene to get flat abs of your dreams.

Belly Fat Sleep

The Link Between Sleep Deprivation and Belly Fat:

A lot of studies have found a strong link between sleep deprivation and weight gain, most of it on and around the belly. We already know how sleeping for just a few hours can increase the appetite by a great degree the next day, a study says you can consume up to 300 calories extra than normal. Researchers have also found that people who get only 4 hours of shut-eye had a 9% increase in belly fat than people who managed to sleep soundly for 9 hours. Stress, insomnia, wrong choice of food close to bedtime (caffeine, sugary treats, spicy food for example), and protracted screen time (blue light disrupts circadian rhythm), lifestyle choices like watching movies late into the night all contribute to poor sleep habits. When the body gets less hours of sleep, it tends to redirect fat to the waist and visceral region. Also read: “Do Chia Seeds Reduce Belly Fat?”

Now, let’s see how sleep deprivation would douse your hopes of achieving a flat belly:

1. Increased Appetite: As mentioned above, most people who compromise on sleep, wake up with a ravenous appetite, and tend to indulge in frequent snacking and overeating.
2. Triggers Hormonal Imbalance: Lack of sleep triggers hormonal imbalances – shoots up stress hormone cortisol, and increases ghrelin (hunger hormone), and blunts out the function of leptin (satiety hormone). When these hormones do not function properly, weight gain and belly fat are common outcomes.
3. Increases Cravings For Junk Food: When you are tired from lack of enough sleep, you seek quick boost of energy that readily is provided by unhealthy food and sugary treats. A new study says that sleep deprivation can trigger junk food cravings at night and binge eating during the day. All these activities add up to significant calories, which then get stored as fat around the waist. Also read: “22 Unique Ways to Suppress Appetite to Lose Weight.”
4. Triggers Insulin Resistance: Insulin is a hormone that not only regulates blood sugar, it also facilitates storage of glucose as fat in the body. Lack of sleep can make the body insulin resistant (when body cells do not respond to the effort of insulin and do not take glucose from the blood readily), which means more and more insulin is pumped out from the pancreas to balance out blood sugar. But a higher range of insulin will encourage all the extra sugar to be stored as fat, mostly around the belly area. Insulin resistance can severely impair your weight loss goals, because extra glucose circulating in the blood, it will be stored as fat!

Summing up, the importance of good-quality sleep (around 7 to 9 hours) cannot be undermined if you are trying to shed body fat, especially belly fat. Creating a proper sleep hygiene – by avoiding blue light from gadgets 2 hours before bedtime, sleeping at a comfortable temperature, wearing comfortable clothing, and avoiding food that can interrupt with sleep (caffeine, spicy food for example) can help you sleep tight and burn belly fat in the process. Of course, you need to be in a good calorie-deficit diet (Rati Beauty diet for example) and exercise consistently (working out 4 to 5 days a week) to see faster results.

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