Low Carb Diet? Sleep Problems?
It’s no secret that going low carb is a good way to get lean. For those who have caught onto the trend of cutting out carbs, I’m sure you get some quick and visible results.
However, there is a fine line between having a low carb diet that helps with your fitness /fat loss goals and a diet that is too low in carbs.
This mistake can be crucial and even cause the reversal of your fitness / fat loss efforts by driving your hunger hormones, stress hormones and sleepy hormones out of whack.
When that happens, there is a limited amount of willpower that you can use to hold back the hunger, the cravings, the breakdown of your body and mental fogginess. If you’re looking for long term and sustainable results that lasts more than a few months, then you need to change this.
How low can you go?
How low carb you can go depends greatly on your body type and lifestyle. Each of our bodies is made different so just flat out cutting all carbs doesn’t work for everyone.
Some of us need a little more than others for our bodies to function well and if we aren’t helping our bodies do that, then you won’t be as fit as you can be or you won’t cut the fat you are trying to lose.
The amount of carbs you eat in a day should give you good energy, should be helping you sleep well, should be keeping your hunger and cravings in check!
If you’re constantly tired, suffering from insomnia, have uncontrollable hunger and cravings then it may be time to adjust your diet.
Does pushing through work?
“I’ll just sacrifice my sleep so I can keep getting leaner”
BIG BIG MISTAKE.
Do you know what happens when your body is sleep deprived?
Hunger hormones are out of control, telling your body it needs energy and quickly. Your magnificent brain also knows that a candy bar will give it the fastest energy so it makes you look for sugar!
Next thing you know, you are on a low carb diet and failing badly!
You’re just drowning in guilt too because no matter how hard you try, you can’t stop. You blame yourself for the lack of discipline and the failure you are and then maybe even eat a tub of ice cream after.
The only time “pushing through” would work is if you are transitioning into a ketogenic diet, where your body adjusts to a high fat and very low carb diet.
If not, “pushing through” and sacrificing sleep does not work! Sleep is when you grow, repair, restore and without it you won’t get leaner.
The delicate relationship between diet and sleep…
I’m not saying that you cannot do a low carb diet, just that your body needs a little assistance with getting there and your low carb diet may look different from someone else’s.
If your sleep is being affected because of your shift to low carbs, you may need to increase the amount of carbs you eat for now and cut them down at a slower rate. Sometimes, changing the type of carbs helps too.
Yes, this may slow your fat loss results, but it will be much better in the long run and helps remove the issue of sleepless nights. Lack of sleep won’t help you workout and eat better anyways, so work with your body, not against it.
Another way to go about it is to move your carbs to dinner.
WHAT?! Carbs at night?
I know… soooooo against bodybuilding protocol. However, if you’re not getting to bed, then something’s gotta give and any great athlete is not going to let you sacrifice sleep.
Moving most of our carbs to dinner helps trigger the hormonal process to make us sleepy. If we sleep well and get our circadian rhythm back, we will be in a much better place mentally and physically.
You cannot achieve effective fitness / fat loss without effective sleep. These two are interdependent and it’s a nonnegotiable.
I’ve put together a free #SleepSimply Cheat Sheet that describes 5 different scenarios that I encounter with clients who have problems with sleep and I have organised the solutions that I prioritise for each scenario to make it real simple.
Check it out, it’s easy to use and you may find out that what you’ve been trying to do is the complete opposite of what you need for YOUR specific sleep issue.