Sleep matters! Losing sleep starts a cascade of unfortunate events in our body systems and one of the most significant byproducts is weight-gain.

Lack of sleep causes increased production of the stress hormone cortisol. The less sleep you’ve had, the higher your cortisol levels, and cortisol triggers hunger pangs. When you feel stressed out and hungry, you are naturally less likely to choose healthy foods.

Serotonin is a brain chemical that is responsible for regulating mood, appetite, digestion, sleep and other body functions. It is kind of like a “happy” hormone. When you are stressed, your body produces serotonin to help alleviate this stress. Unfortunately, the fastest way to produce this hormone is to eat high-carb, high-fat foods. Therefore you are driven to want comfort foods when you’re stressed.

While there are other chemicals in the body that may cause weight gain when you are sleep deprived, cortisol and serotonin are the two most prominent. Getting the right amount of rest will help keep these hormones in check and contribute to your overall health as well as aid your efforts to lose weight.

4 Tips to getting a good night’s sleep

  1. Avoid bright lights at night. Expose yourself to bright light during the day (natural light is best) and dim light at night.
  2. Avoid laptops, tablets, cellphones and television before bed. The light from these device’s screens activates the brain.
  3. Mellow down your activities. Give your brain and body time to shift to sleep mode.
  4. Try herbs that foster sleep like lavender and chamomile – these come in tea, soaps, candles and oils.

Potato for weight loss?

Yes! The potato is wonderful in zapping belly fat – baked potato that is! Potatoes are filling so you’ll be full longer. They are also rich in potassium which helps with bloating and balancing sodium levels.

The potato is wonderful when watching your weight if you cook it right, so bake it, don’t fry it!