Trainer Tip of the Week

This week’s tip is brought to you by Gunnar Peterson, a celebrity trainer famous for buffing up the likes of Bruce Willis, Hugh Jackman, J. Lo and Angelina Jolie.

According to Peterson, a great way to lose weight is to hit the sack. No. I’m not talking boxing. “Sleep, sleep, sleep!” Peterson suggests. “Sleep reduces cortisol levels (or at least helps keep them lower), allows muscles to repair and grow, keeps the hunger hormone (ghrelin) in check, and helps keep your energy up so that you don’t snack for energy. Plus, it’s hard to eat bad stuff when you’re asleep…”

I know. It sounds like a tip that should be paired with the cookie diet, but there’s actually some science behind it.

Doctors say both the hormones leptin and ghrelin can influence our appetite. And studies show the production of both may be influenced by the amount of sleep we get, according to WebMD.

"When you don't get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don't feel as satisfied after you eat. Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food," Michael Breus, PhD, director of The Sleep Disorders Centers of Southeastern Lung Care in Atlanta, told WebMD.

According to a Sanford study, participants who slept less than eight hours a night had lower levels of leptin and higher levels of ghrelin, as well as more body fat. Those who slept the least amount weighed the most.

So don’t feel so guilty if you overslept and missed that morning run*. You were just fighting fat with a few extra Zs.

*Like I did this morning

On a side note – I'd like to get some feedback on how I'm doing here. Are you enjoying Weigh In? Getting any good tips? Anything you think I could do better or add? Have you taken some of my advice and lost (or gained!) weight? Let me know!

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“Trainer Tip of the Week”