Struggling with your weight? You may need this….

need rest Most of us realize, though may not put into practice, the benefits of uninterrupted sleep.  Yet did you know that sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain?  The article is entitled “Sleep deprivation may lead to weight gain.”  It is dated November 27, 2012.


This is a tale of two hormones to be exact; ghrelin and leptin.  Ghrelin is the hormone which signals hunger.  Leptin is the one which tells you that you are full.  To keep it straight, I have nicknamed them: “greedy ghrelin and laid back leptin.”  If you are not getting your “great 8” your body can become confused.  A confusion which favors “greedy ghrelin.”  Translation?  Larger appetite–which can translate to a larger you.

The article goes on to state that even if you are restricting calories, if you sleep less than six hours, you sabotage your fat burn.  Since muscle is built around rest, this makes sense.  Lean muscle mass is now sacrificed in favor of fat.

It further stands to reason that the longer you are awake, there’s more opportunity to eat.  Example?

Ever heard of the “Freshman Fifteen?”  It’s that fifteen pounds (or so) that awaits many HS students, welcoming them to collegiate life.  Late nights spent studying or otherwise, is often blamed for the dreaded weight gain.

In the battle of the bulge, there is little quarter given, or fair fight.  For most (including the most avid athlete) it is mostly uphill with little downhill, and hardly any coast.  Well, this may be that rare coast.  Yes, fitting more sleep into hectic schedules can be next to impossible.  This I know from personal experience.  Unfortunately, I also know how it affected my appetite.

From late night (seemed like all night) care plan preparations, to early clinicals, to the constant testing and review, obtaining a nursing degree in two years leaves little time for rest.  Once finished, you must sit for boards.  If you fail, two years of hell– I mean study is down the drain.  Next comes your first job as a registered nurse.  Rarely if ever, do you have the opportunity to work a day shift.  An evening or night shift, is more likely where you will begin.  Add to this skipped lunches/breaks (I often worked without one, as many nurses do), and you find your body retaliates.  Sometimes in weight loss, often in weight gain.  For me it was the latter.

Making yourself a priority is not on most of our “to do” lists.  As a caregiver, wife, mother, late night studier, and personal trainer, I get it.  Two certifications and a higher degree in nursing later, I really got it.  Unfortunately by then, twenty pounds had gotten to me.

Starting a new career in personal training helped; after all, you have to walk the walk if you’re going to talk the talk.  However I have found, no one can help you understand self-worth.  Other’s experiences can be a guide.  But it still is a path–pitfall, downfall, slick, slippery and all, you must tread yourself.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

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