Is it really possible to lose weight overnight?
The stark reality is that most people who become overweight do so because they eat too many meals during the day.
And, the longer you are awake during the day, the more food and calories you are likely to consume.
A study that was carried out on people who usually ate over 14 hours a day to look at the impact if they reduced their food consumption to less than 11 hours a day and slept more than they would usually found that participants lost an average of 3.5% of their excess body weight just by going to sleep an extra few hours.
This shows that a few simple changes in your daily routine can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
In this article, we will cover some of the best proven advice to lose weight even while you sleep.
1. Eat Meat before you sleep
An amino acid called Tryptophan that is found in most meats has been shown to have powerful sleep-inducing effects.
A study found that people who consumed even just ¼ gram of Tryptophan was enough to “significantly increase stage 4 sleep”. And the longer you sleep the less time you have to eat, which should lead to lower calorie consumption and weight loss.
If you prefer something a little lighter then you could try nuts, fish, lentils, eggs as these all contain Tryptophan and can help bring on sleep.
Other alternatives also include avocado or nut butter which are both healthy fat sources and have soothing properties.
2. Drink Tea
Tea has also been proven to have soothing effects that help you relax and unwind.
If that wasn’t enough, teas contain antioxidants that have a number of health benefits including a reduced risk of heart diseases and strokes, stronger bones, better memory, and possibly even avoiding cancer.
Some of the best teas we recommend in particular before going to sleep are chamomile, peppermint, and lavender as they all have sedative qualities in various quantities.
3. Eat whole grains at lunch
Did you know the best time to eat your complex carbohydrates is at lunchtime, not at dinner?
This is because complex carbs contain Serotonin which is converted to melatonin in your stage 3 REM sleep, so the earlier you consume the Serotonin the more time it has to pass through your body before you sleep.
Also having your whole grains earlier in the day helps ensure you can convert enough serotonin to sleep better.
The recommended daily quantity of fiber is 20 grams which is about 2 pieces of whole grain bread or a cup of brown rice.
4. Avoid late night snacking
While we don’t advocate going to bed with your stomach grumbling, you also shouldn’t go to bed on a full stomach.
The closer you eat your last meal before you go to sleep, the more your body has to work during the night to digest it through your system and the more likely you’re going to feel discomfort waiting for it to digest.
Another reason to avoid late night eating is that the later you sleep the more tired you’ll feel the next day and this could have a knock-on effect as you’ll wake up more likely to reach out for calorie-rich foods/drinks to get you through that first part of the day.
So instead of eating an extra-large meal at dinner to compensate for a small lunch, we advise to have your 3 main meals of the day at equal portions and to eat your evening meal at least two hours before you go to bed.
As soon as you’re finished your evening meal, try to stay away from the kitchen and it could help you lose some extra pounds.
A study conducted on mice that followed a time-restricted feeding pattern without reducing their usual calorie intake showed that it helped prevent metabolic diseases.
5. Protein shakes
Drinking a protein shake before you go to sleep may help boost your metabolism according to a study carried out by Florida State University.
Researchers found that men who consumed an evening snack that contained 30g of protein had a higher metabolic rate when compared with those that consumed no protein.
Proteins are good for weight loss diets because they are more thermogenic than carbs or fat, so your body burns more calories when digesting them.
For those that may experience bloating with protein shakes, you can try vegan protein powder, which will give you the same fat-burning and muscle-building results without the discomfort.
Learning how to unwind and relax can have powerful consequences for your sleep, as you’re more likely to fall into a deep sleep sooner.
Techniques such as slow breathing, meditation, and stretching can all help you relax by releasing negative tension in your thoughts and body and set you up for a more peaceful night’s sleep.
For those more serious why not try Yoga? Yoga has a number of benefits, from increased flexibility and inner core strength to a calmer state of mind.
7. Cooling your room
An interesting study in the Diabetes Journal has suggested that turning on the air conditioner or turning off the heating to make your bedroom cooler in winter may help you shed some pounds while you sleep.
Colder temperatures boost the effectiveness of our stores of body fat by helping you burn through the fat stored in your stomach.
Participants in the study spent a few weeks sleeping in a bedroom with different temperatures, (81 degrees, 75 degrees, and 66 degrees).
The study found that after 4 weeks, those that slept at the coldest temperatures had lost the most body fat from the rest of the group.
8. Get some blackout shades
Exposure to light at night isn’t just an annoyance, potentially waking you up earlier than you’d like, it can also result in weight gain according to a recent study.
The study found that participants who slept in the darkest rooms were 21% less likely to be obese than those who slept in the lightest rooms.
Surely this is enough of an incentive to invest in some blackout shades so you keep the light out of your bedroom.
9. Keep your phone away
Not only does that last minute scrolling before you sleep make it harder to switch off and consequently sleep, the blue light that is emitted from the phone is harmful to your eyes as it restricts the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle.
If that wasn’t enough for you, research has shown that the more electronics we bring into the bedroom, the fatter we get, particularly among children.
A study found that students with access to one electronic device were 1.47 times likely to be overweight than students with no devices in the bedroom. This increases to 2.57 times for kids who had 3 devices.
10. Switch off the TV
An interesting, but shocking study recently found that for every 2 hours spent watching TV, the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and suffering an early death increased by at least 13%.
Scientists are still trying to understand why sitting down to watch TV is so bad for us, but one obvious explanation is that sitting down for prolonged periods means we’re less active, and we’re burning less energy. This can lead to surplus blood-sugar levels in the blood which can lead to diabetes and other weight-related issues in extreme cases.
11. Take a hot shower
Most people appear to prefer taking a shower as soon as they wake up, however, that may not necessarily be the best time…
Did you know a hot shower before you go to sleep is a great way to relieve tension and relax sore muscles? Moreover, the hot water can increase the oxytocin levels in your brain which can have a soothing effect.
Finally, the hot water gives your body temperature a warm sensation and helps relax your whole body. Surely this is the perfect way to fall into a deep sleep?
12. Avoid chocolate
No, we don’t mean avoid chocolate completely just avoid eating it late into the night.
Even dark chocolate which is typically the healthiest type of chocolate contains caffeine which can make it harder for your body to shut down and fall asleep.
So we recommend avoiding all chocolate before you go to sleep.
13. Invest in a comfortable pillow
Sleeping on a comfortable pillow can make the difference between a comfortable night’s sleep and an uncomfortable one.
Everyone has their own preferences so we’ll keep our advice general, make sure your pillow is comfortable for your head, and the type that will help you fall into a deep sleep as quickly as possible.
Nowadays many exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home, meaning you don’t have to feel obliged to join a gym from day 1.
If you haven’t got much space at home, you could try walking around a room one lunge at a time or doing some push-ups on your knees for 5 minutes.
In short, any exercise you can do that consumes some energy and works a sweat should help you sleep easier, burn some fat and lose weight in the process.
Stay up to date with the latest weight loss advice and tips by checking out some of our other articles.
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