Sleep and Weight Loss: What Nutritionists and Registered Dietitians Recommend

By: Gabrielle Deveaux, Registered Dietitian (RD)

There are various lifestyle factors that can contribute to the success of a weight loss plan. This week, Mint Nutrition Clinic discusses the relationship between sleep and weight. Read what our nutritionists and registered dietitians think about this topic below. 

Health Canada recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. However, statistics show that most of us are not well-rested. How can this slow weight loss?

The main concern of sleep deprivation has to do with the regulation of hormones in our bodies. It causes an increase in ghrelin, the hormone that increases appetite, and a decrease in leptin (released from fat cells), which helps us feel satisfied after eating. Both of these changes encourage us to eat more calories, which can potentially impact our weight loss goals.

Lack of sleep can also decrease energy levels, leading to less physical activity or decreased motivation to prepare home-cooked meals. Mental fatigue can further impact our ability to make healthy dietary decisions.

 At our clinic, we recommend various strategies for getting a good night’s sleep as part of an effective weight loss plan. This includes:

  • Less caffeine. Try having it earlier in the day instead of in the evening
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid heavy meals before bed. Have an earlier dinner or choose a lighter evening snack, like fruit with nuts

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References

Health Canada. (2019). Are Canadian adults getting enough sleep? Retrieved from the Government of Canada website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/canadian-adults-getting-enough-sleep-infographic.html

 

Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T., & Mignot, E. (2004). Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS medicine1(3), e62. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0010062