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sleep to lose fat

Sleep More To Lose More Weight

Did you ever wonder why on those long overnight study sessions in college you always reached for the high energy sodas, coffee, only to follow with pizza and popcorn?  You thought it was for the caffeine, which may not be too far from the mark, but newer research is showing that your brain may need a recharge if you’re prone to staying awake longer than the old Duracells can handle.  That’s why staying up late all the time increasing the probability you will start packing away excessive amounts of goobers and fatty goodness.

Your Brain Gets Hungry Too

Just like your body your brain utilizes fuel in order to keep up with the million and trillions of nervous system processes it does every day.  In fact almost 20-30% of our daily metabolism is devoted towards providing fuel for the brain.  In a 2000kcal a day diet that’s about 420kcals of energy!  Pretty impressive when you think about it.

Now glucose is the primary fuel utilized by the brain, which becomes a bit of a problem on a low carb diet to lose weight.  However, it can run also on ketones manufactured in the liver as well as gluconeogenesis from fatty acid and protein metabolism.  Although both of these processes require additional calories to produce and are less efficient than simply having carbohydrates within the diet.

So to lose more weight having less overall carbs in the diet may make your brain a little foggy for a while, until those process turn on in the liver.  That’s the brain fog effect.  Eventually this process becomes easier in the body with a build-up of enzymes within the liver.

This makes it perfect for losing weight where the goal is to burn more overall calories!  In that case, less efficiency is better.

Sleep, What Good Is It?

What is most fascinating about the brain is the effect of sleep.  Now, we still don’t know all there is to know about sleep, except for the fact that it’s vitally important for us to function.  Physiologically we still don’t know exactly why we have to sleep, but researchers are now speculating that sleep is a recharging process for our brain.

One of the key triggers for sleep is build-up of the adenosine molecule which is a component of adenosine triphosphate or ATP in energy metabolism, you know that pesky little thing that helps us perform work, contract our muscles and all that jazz.  One of the fascinating things found by sleep is that we are driven to sleep when we lack high concentrations of this high energy molecule.  Sort of makes sense though, since when we’re sleep deprived we are also driven to eat.

So in order for us to function optimally, we have to shut down our brains in order for us to re-cooperate from a heavy day of mental lifting.  The current theory is that sleep is a process of restoration of these glial cells with glycogen (these manufacture and store glycogen for brain processes).

sleep for fat loss

Don’t end up like this guy!

Sleep More, Lose More
So when the level of ATP falls rapidly within the brain level of adenosine builds up triggering the release of potassium ions causing drowsiness and sleepiness.  You can see this factor for yourself in whenever you pull an all-nighter study session for a college exam.  You start off strong earlier on in the evening but then after a while you start to get really, really hungry leaving you craving carbohydrates; hence pizza and soda tends to be the typical food of choice for long college study sessions.

Do this too frequently and you’ll end up packing in some excess calories that will increase fat stores.  Your brain burns tons of calories, but you can’t out think fat gain!  Not unless you’re Einstein, that guy could burn 1000kcals just by thinking about it.

Avoid these long one nighters and late night party sessions to help curb your hunger and unnecessary fat gain.  Pick a descent hour to go asleep and try to hit it every night.  Shoot for a good eight hours of sleep to help recharge those brain cells to their fully charge state and exercise that brain hard.  Alright people, let’s get working out those brain cells.

-CPT SMASH

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