How to Burn Fat While You Sleep
In order to keep your involuntary nervous system functioning—pump blood, breathe, digest food, and all the other life-sustaining jobs it performs—your body needs to burn calories. Even while you sleep, your body is burning calories and fat. You’ve probably heard this before, but did you know that your body is burning calories and fat while you sleep? You can maximize your body’s natural fat-burning capacity while you sleep by making a few small alterations to your daily routine. To get the most out of your slumber, nutrition and health experts recommend following these simple guidelines on how to burn fat while you sleep.
1. Sip White Tea
The same plant that produces green tea, Camellia sinensis, also yields white tea. White tea contains antioxidants and other health benefits, including the ability to reduce body fat. White tea extract has been linked to preventing fat cells from forming and promoting the breakdown of fat. Molly Morgan, RD, recommends white tea in place of coffee in the morning.
2. Eat Your Carbs During the Day
Consume the majority of your calories, particularly carbohydrates, during the day and less in the early hours of the night. As a result, your blood insulin levels will be lower at night, allowing your body to burn fat for energy while you sleep.
3. Chug a Protein Shake at Night
Drink a protein shake in the evening when you’re feeling a bit peckish. Before you go to sleep, take a protein shake with whey protein, casein protein, or whey protein hydrochloride, according to several studies.
4. Nosh Sleep-Inducing Foods
Foods high in tryptophan, such as turkey, chicken, and eggs, can help you sleep better at night. This amino acid has the potential to aid in the process of unwinding and falling asleep. Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian, and certified diabetes educator, believes that protein consumption may help the body burn fat while it sleeps.
5. Make Your Room as Dark as Possible
Your health is at risk if you expose yourself to light before bedtime. Melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate sleep, blood pressure, body temperature, and cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, is released when you sleep in complete darkness. Over the course of a 10-year study, researchers found that women who slept in the presence of excessive light at night were 22% more likely to develop breast cancer (which can lead to weight gain).
Stop using electronics an hour before bed and keep your room as dark as possible while you sleep to help your body produce more “brown fat,” which is essential for metabolizing calories.
6. Hit Your H20 Quota
Palinski-Wade advises, “Remain hydrated!” “It has been shown that drinking eight cups of water a day increases metabolism. The added benefit of drinking ice-cold water is that it forces your body into burning more calories in order to warm it to body temperature, increasing your metabolic rate,” she says.
7. Go Nuts
Dr. Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, says that a handful of walnuts or almonds can boost your melatonin levels and help you sleep better. In addition, they’re good for the heart.
8. Spice Up Your Meals
Palinski-Wade recommends increasing your intake of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and other hot peppers to help with thermogenesis (fat burning). These foods contain capsaicin, which is known to have a thermogenic effect, helping you burn more calories and fat, she explains.
9. Prevent Weight Gain
For fat loss, “the key is not just to burn it or get rid of it,” says Robert Zembroski, a functional medicine doctor and clinical nutritionist. Preventing insulin spikes at night, which store excess calories as fat, is one of the quickest ways to lose weight and slim down. A piece of lean protein and a side salad or greens will keep insulin spikes at bay if you must eat late at night.
According to Zembroski, this causes fat cells to release fat for use as energy by increasing the amount of growth hormone released after you fall asleep.