Our body is constantly burning calories to keep our involuntary nervous system functioning. Pumping blood, digesting food, breathing, and other life-sustaining tasks require calories.
While sleeping isn’t an effective way to lose weight or burn fat by any means. However, our body DOES burn calories and fat while we are asleep. We know… it’s hard to believe, but according to the Sleep Foundation, adults burn approximately 50 calories an hour while they sleep. The number of calories burned will vary between individuals based on various factors, including their metabolic rate.
That being said, with a few tweaks and additions to our daily habits, we can release the full potential of our body’s natural bedtime, fat-burning ability.
How To Improve Your Body’s Fat-Burning Ability
Consume Carbs During The Day
Consuming the bulk of our calories (specifically carbohydrates) during the daytime until the early evening is highly beneficial to burning fat. Consuming carbs in the evening causes us to go to bed with the hormone insulin in our blood. With less insulin in our blood, our body can metabolize fat into energy while we sleep.
Not just any tea, but specifically white tea. White tea is packed with antioxidants similar to green tea (derived from the same plant); it provides various health benefits and enhances fat loss. Studies have linked white tea extract to inhibiting cells from becoming fat and stimulating fat breakdown.
Nightly Protein Shake
Several studies how that consuming protein before bed helps build lean muscle and aids in the repair of cells and muscles. Eating before bed can lead to weight gain, but a protein shake will not.
We’ve likely all heard that we should be drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day to stay hydrated and for proper body function. Drinking cold water requires our body to use more calories to maintain our body temperature. In turn, that provides us with an extra metabolism boost.
Spice It Up
Spicing up your meals with cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, jalapeno peppers, and any other spicy pepper aids in thermogenesis (the fancy word for fat burning). Hot peppers containing capsaicin have a thermogenic effect on our body, helping it burn more fat and calories.
Keep Your Room Dark
Exposure to light before we go to bed has a negative impact on our health in various ways. A10 years study shows that women excessively exposed to light during bedtime were 22% more likely to develop breast cancer.
When we sleep in total darkness, our body releases the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep, body temperature, blood pressure, and cortisol (stress hormone). Magical melatonin also helps with the production of "brown fat", which is crucial for metabolizing calories.
That being said, dim the lights, close the curtains, and turn off any electronics an hour before going to sleep. Not only will we sleep well, but we’ll improve our body’s fat-burning ability.
Maybe we’ll sleep better knowing we’re burning calories. It’s almost like a nightly headstart on the next day’s fitness goals.