Sleep and Fat Loss

Sleep and fat loss efforts

We all know that weight loss comes down to being in a calorie deficit. However, sometimes it can be more of a struggle depending on what your body is going through.

I am sure some of you have experienced this firsthand, when you have had an awful night of sleep and all you can think about is food! You want to eat all the carbs and junk food around because some how less sleep has meant you just cannot be satisfied? Or possibly you body knows where energy comes from (CARBS!) and so you turn into a carb monster eating everything nearby and choosing to curl up on the couch rather than be productive.

One explanation for this is that when you don’t sleep enough your leptin levels drop.

Your leptin levels control satiety so you will feel unsatisfied in every meal, this could mean meals get bigger and bigger. On top of that, with poor sleep Ghrelin levels rise and this hormone makes you hungry! It really isn’t just in
your mind, your body tries to find a way to cope with little sleep. These hormones can also reduce energy expenditure as well and so there is a triple whammy working against your efforts.

Having one hormone making you hungrier, and another that makes you less satisfied is a recipe for disaster if you are currently dieting. Recent studies conducted showed up to 55% less fat loss when sleep is poor! There is proof that even though you may lose weight it isn’t coming from fat stores.

This is what the hormones do to you, but what about your mind?

Well you wake up late and groggy, chose to grab a huge coffee on the run and possibly make poor food choices for quick energy or because you are running late. Then you also decide to skip gym because who has the energy for that when running on little sleep right? Hormones aside, do you need to rest or do you need to ignore your own excuses?

My one piece of advice is to take control of your sleeping habits.

What can you do tonight to make sure you have a real and proper recovery evening? Especially since we know the correlation between sleep and fat loss. I see so many people who praise the fact that they stay up so late yet struggle in the morning, that doesn’t sound great to me! And yes, some of this does come down to genetics (there is something called the CLOCK gene) however I have seen, and it is possible, so many clients overcome this gene purely through habit. Here are a few options for you:

Get into bed earlier.

Purely getting into sleep mode at a more decent hour will start creating the habit within your body clock. I promise you can do it!

Put away all phones and laptops

Do this at least an hour before so that you aren’t staying in stimulated mode. Remove those terrible blue light devices and notice how sleep seems so much more inviting.


Keep home lights a little dim if possible

and create the same ambiance a restaurant creates when they want to kick you out!

Read before sleep

It makes your eyes heavy and helps you nod off in no time. I do mean read an actual book as well, not something off technology! So unfortunately our blog doesn’t count 😉

There’s no doubt we need to get sufficient sleep to balance hormones, for overall health and fat loss. What changes can you make from today to make sure your sleep and fat loss efforts are on track?


Good luck and sweet dreams lovelies




Isilda Da Costa is a personal trainer and women’s fitness specialist who, if she isn’t at the gym training, is busy researching the most up to date information for growing those muscles. She has combined her love of everything healthy by being a health coach in her own health shop in Swaziland. Follow along on @izzy.healthandfitness

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