Lack of sleep can affect every aspect of your being, from concentration, mood and even your weight. Sleep plays a huge part in every area of our lives. By missing out on much needed shut eye, you are risking your health and happiness. Cravings We have all been there, when feeling tired and lethargic, we crave food. Unfortunately, it's not the celery sticks which we end up reaching for; it's generally high sugar foods such as sweets and chocolate. We are craving sugar for that much needed energy lift, and also, biscuits are so much easier than preparing a tuna jacket potato with salad, whilst trying to rock your young one. However, as with everything, those energy levels which go up, will come crashing down, leaving us needing more of the same. This results in a vicious circle of too much sugar, empty calories, and a serious lack of nutrients for new mums, hindering weight loss.
You are probably sick of hearing about your messed up hormones and how everything you are is affected by them. However, hormones ghrelin and leptin are responsible for controlling your hunger pangs. Leptin, is a hormone produced in your fat cells, which stops you feeling hungry. Ghrelin, on the other hand makes you feel hungry, and also controls metabolism. Therefore, these hormones need to be controlled for you to be able to lose weight. Research suggests that if you are getting less than six hours sleep per night, ghrelin production is triggered and leptin production, reduced. In short, this means if you're not sleeping much, you are going to feel more hungry.
Lack of sleep often creates a serious lack of willpower or energy required to exercise. Also, sleep deprivation decreases protein synthesis, reducing muscle mass, meaning it is harder for your body to burn fat. It is important to remain as active as possible without risking injury, as well as trying to follow a healthy diet of sorts, for your mood and sanity as much as your waistline.
However, stress can also mess with our hormones, affecting weight loss and hunger. It is important not to put too much pressure on yourself, so find an exercise you enjoy, postnatal fitness classes where you can enjoy joint baby weight loss goals. Try not to stress unnecessarily; and when you can, prioritise sleep. It will make weight loss much more enjoyable and achievable.