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Rest and Fat Loss


Does sleep affect your weight? Will getting sleep help you lose weight, and can lack of sleep make you gain weight? Read on to discover just how important rest and sleep are to your weight loss and health.

by Ed Scow, NSCA-CPT (aka The Fit Dad) - Fitness and Nutrition Expert to the true superheroes - busy Moms and Dads! and Author of Fat Loss To Go



I love sleep and you probably do too. The only problem is that most of us don’t get enough of it. The sleep experts recommend we get about 7-8 hours every night, yet most Americans get only 5-6. Not very smart and here’s why.  


A big misconception among many people who exercise is that your muscles actually get bigger and stronger during the workout.   Well, that’s not entirely true.   Your muscles don’t get bigger, stronger, or more efficient while you’re working out.   The workout is kind of the means to the end or the stimulus that your body needs to accomplish your goals. does sleep affect your weight


The actual gains you make come while your body is resting and recuperating. 


But why, you may ask?   Well I’m glad you asked such a splendid question.   When a muscle is forced to contract harder than usual (like during resistance training), the actual muscle cells get a little damaged.   They get torn actually.   This may lead to soreness in the day or two immediately following your workout. 


Your body will get rid of the chemicals that cause the soreness and then it will work to repair the damage caused during your workouts.    Some of this repair comes in the first couple hours immediately following your workout, but most of these repairs come while you are asleep.    


But your body doesn’t stop there. 


In an attempt to prevent future damage and soreness, your body will not only repair the damage, it will also build your muscles back just a little bit bigger and stronger than they were before.   This is what causes the actual gains in muscle size, strength, and efficiency, which ultimately leads to fat loss. 


If you don’t allow your body to rest, it can’t properly recover from the workouts you’ll do in this program.  If you don’t allow yourself to properly recover, that means you won’t see the results you’re after as rapidly.  So, if you want results as fast as possible, make sure you get plenty of rest and at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. 


If you miss a full night of sleep your workouts will suffer.   And your health, fitness, and weight loss goals will be that much harder to attain. 


Making sure you get enough sleep also helps out in other areas, aside from your workouts.   Getting enough sleep and rest are de-stressors.   It also strengthens the areas of your brain that help with memory and coordination.    


Getting enough sleep also helps strengthen the immune system.   Even if you miss as little as 2 hours per night over a week’s time, that will weaken your immune system and can cause inflammation, which can set you up for heart disease. 


Not getting enough sleep also impairs your body’s ability to process blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes.   It also raises the level of the stress hormone cortisol, which as I said in the last section can increase your likelihood of gaining belly fat. 


Convinced?   After all those reasons, it should be easy to see that sleep could be your missing link when trying to lose that extra layer of fat.


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The preceding article was written by Ed Scow, aka "The Fit Dad". To learn more about Ed's story, click here.

To watch a sample 10-minute workout video, click here.

To discover Ed's 'Top Fat Fighting Foods', click here to read an interesting article.

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