The promise of losing weight in your sleep may sound like a claim right out of a dubious infomercial. But the truth is that your body does burn calories during slumber, and taking the right steps can increase that burn significantly.
Can you up your sleeping metabolism enough to get thin without other lifestyle changes? Probably not. But with a healthy diet and regular exercise, these tips may be just what you need to help you win the battle of the bulge.Sleep Soundly
It sounds counter-intuitive, but you actually burn more calories during sleep than while lying in bed awake because your brain is highly active during the REM stages. Plus, during REM sleep your internal temperature spikes, which means your body is working harder to produce heat.
As evidence, one Brazilian study found that men lost more than three times as much weight over eight hours of sleep than eight hours of lying awake.
Build Your Muscles
The most sure-fire way to burn more calories around the clock is to pump up your muscles with strength-training exercises. You can go for handheld weights or use weight machines at the gym, or work out the no-cost way by doing push-ups, squats, bicycle maneuvers and other calisthenic exercises.
Although it may take a while to build up enough muscle to make a significant difference in overnight calorie burning, over time you can increase your metabolism by as much as 15 percent, according to the CDC. Plus, you’ll burn more calories during exercise, as well as several hours afterward.Turn Off the Heater
Some scientists link home heaters to obesity, claiming the simple act of turning down your thermostat may cause several pounds to melt away effortlessly over time. That’s because your body must work to create extra heat in cooler climates to maintain a normal body temperature.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
While most people know they should avoid sodas and milkshakes, many people don’t realize that even drinks advertised to boost athletic performance or improve health can be loaded with unwanted ingredients. Sports drinks, coffee beverages and flavored waters tend to be very high in calories, artificial colorings and added sugar. Even juice, which is often promoted as a healthy beverage, can lead to weight gain if you consume too much. Focus on hydrating with water to minimize the number of calories you drink throughout the day.