[Article updated on 19/09/2023]
Many of us wonder how to lose weight without exercising. Know that sleeping allows you to achieve your goals. Of course, it is not a question of sleeping “any way”, but very specific methods must be followed for it to work. If you also dream of losing weight overnight, I advise you to read this article.
Before reading on
I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.
The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.
How many calories can you lose while sleeping?
It’s difficult to accurately measure how many calories we burn when we sleep. Indeed, it depends on each person, their metabolism and their physical state and their lifestyle. However, according to the SleepFoundation, an individual burns an average of 50 calories per hour of sleep. This is the energy needed for vital functions such as blood circulation, respiration, regulation of body temperature and others. The brain, even during sleep, consumes nearly 20% of these calories to ensure a minimum of function. Basically, if a person sleeps 8 hours each night, they would lose 400 calories during their sleep. As a reminder, you would need to burn nearly 9,000 calories to eliminate one kilogram of fat.
How the process works
The question of weight loss during sleep has long been debated by scientists. Numerous studies have been carried out to prove whether it is really possible to lose weight overnight or not. A first observation was made by the researchers: “heavy sleepers” were less prone to being overweight than people who lacked sleep. By carrying out different experiments, the correlation was explained thanks to hormones.
In people suffering from a lack of sleep, three main hormones are secreted abnormally, including leptin, ghrelin and cortisol. Leptin is the satiety hormone, ghrelin is the one that signals you that you are hungry and cortisol is the stress hormone, regulating the synthesis of glucose and allowing the release of energy when necessary. Due to lack of sleep, leptin levels drop, making you lose the notion of satiety. On the other hand, ghrelin secretion increases, stimulating the appetite.
Finally, dysregulation of cortisol secretion leads to disruption of glucose synthesis, causing increased storage in the body as fat. Stress also leads the body to want to eat fatty and sugary foods to increase pleasure hormones, including dopamine and serotonin. By analogy, quality sleep increases leptin levels and lowers the secretion of ghrelin and cortisol, hence stimulating weight loss to allow you to slim down while sleeping.
How does diet stimulate weight loss while sleeping?
Sleeping alone is not enough to promote weight loss while you sleep. Indeed, you will have to take into account an important point which is your diet. Find out everything you need to know about your meals, timings and foods to reach your goals.
Avoid varying meal times
Constantly changing the times you eat disrupts your body. In order to harmonize your body and promote weight loss during sleep, make sure to eat your meals at set times. Most importantly, eat dinner about 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. You will have taken the time to digest, which will allow you to have a significant nighttime fasting window.
Adopt a Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet helps improve the quality of sleep by limiting the risk of insomnia. This is a diet based on fresh vegetables and fruits, poultry, fish, cereals, seeds and fermented dairy products. It is known to promote the synthesis of melatonin and serotonin, which allows you to sleep better. The Mediterranean diet can also be adopted to lose weight and refine your thighs.
Choose a breakfast rich in protein
By consuming between 15 to 20 g of protein at breakfast, your body will be able to synchronize your biological clock more easily, which will allow you to sleep more easily in the evening. You also feel a feeling of fullness, which will prevent you from snacking between meals. Eggs, cheese, ham and nuts are particularly recommended.
Consume chocolate and nuts as an afternoon snack
As a late afternoon snack, opt for foods rich in quality carbohydrates like chocolate or fresh fruit. Combine them with oilseeds rich in magnesium containing tryptophan, an amino acid promoting the secretion of serotonin. Carbohydrates stimulate the assimilation of tryptophan, boosting the production of serotonin. This hormone helps you relax and get to sleep better.
Eat light at dinner
Avoid foods high in protein at dinner. Indeed, certain amino acids they contain may interfere with falling asleep. Likewise, stop consuming foods high in fat. They are difficult to digest, which increases digestion time. It is therefore advisable to eat light at dinner. Favor vegetables, whole grains or legumes which will promote the secretion of serotonin and melatonin.
Limit coffee consumption
Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the sleep cycle. In fact, it increases sleep latency as well as light sleep phases. This reduces the duration of deep sleep, the most important phase for the body. Stop drinking coffee after 3 p.m. and limit your intake to a maximum of 3 cups per day.
Example of an adequate diet to lose weight overnight
I will now present to you a suitable diet model if you are looking to lose weight overnight. This is a 14-day eating plan.
- Lunch: grated carrots with vinaigrette, 120 g of fillet of saithe with tomato coulis accompanied by spinach, natural yogurt;
- Dinner: 150 to 200 g of wild rice accompanied by a leek fondue, an apple baked in the oven with cinnamon for dessert.
- Lunch: salad of lamb’s lettuce with walnuts and walnut oil, 120 g of grilled minced steak with green beans, 2 squares of dark chocolate with more than 75% cocoa;
- Dinner: 150 to 200 g of coral lentil dhal with carrots and onions, 3 figs for dessert.
- Lunch: beetroot vinaigrette, 120 g of pork tenderloin accompanied by celery puree, 30 g of almonds;
- Dinner: 150 to 200 g of quinoa with tomato coulis accompanied by sautéed zucchini, a poached pear for dessert.
- Lunch: red cabbage vinaigrette 120 g of grilled salmon steak, fennel, goat cheese;
- Dinner: A cauliflower soup and 150 to 200 g of semi-wholemeal pasta with pesto, an orange for dessert.
- Lunch: endive vinaigrette 120 g of turkey escalope with mushrooms, stewed Brussels sprouts, 2 squares of dark chocolate with more than 75% cocoa;
- Dinner: 150 to 200 g of gourmet cereal mixture accompanied by ratatouille and an apple for dessert.
- Lunch: asparagus tips with balsamic vinegar, 120 g of pan-fried mussels with shallots Vegetable julienne with light cream, sheep’s yogurt;
- Dinner: 2 buckwheat pancakes with cheese filling and vegetables of your choice (tomato, leek fondue, ratatouille…) accompanied by a green salad with grape vinaigrette.
- Lunch: crunchy black radish, 120 g of roast beef accompanied by sautéed broccoli, 2 squares of dark chocolate with more than 75% cocoa;
- Dinner: 150 to 200 g of bulgur accompanied by couscous vegetables, apple compote with vanilla for dessert.
- Lunch: grated white cabbage with vinaigrette, 120 g of roast cod with peas and carrots, 30 g of hazelnuts;
- Dinner: 2 fresh goat’s cheese and tomato bruschetta toasts with olive oil accompanied by an arugula salad and a pear for dessert.
- Lunch: an avocado vinaigrette, 120 g of veal escalope with cream accompanied by a pan of mushrooms, a bifidus yogurt;
- Dinner: 150 to 200 g of wholemeal spaghetti with crushed tomatoes, a banana for dessert.
- Lunch: a beetroot with vinaigrette, 120 g of sautéed tofu accompanied by wok-cooked Asian vegetables, 2 squares of dark chocolate with more than 75% cocoa;
- Dinner: as a starter, pumpkin soup, 150 to 200 g of broccoli risotto, 1⁄2 pomelo.
- Lunch: leeks with vinaigrette, 120 g of roast pork accompanied by butternut puree, foie gras;
- Dinner: cauliflower soup, 200 g of split peas, carrots and curried onions, an apple for dessert.
- Lunch: grated red cabbage with vinaigrette, 120 g of sardines in oil accompanied by sautéed zucchini, 30 g of almonds;
- Dinner: 150 to 200 g of quinoa accompanied by a pan of vegetables, grapes for dessert.
- Lunch: celery remoulade, 120 g of minced steak with green beans, natural yogurt;
- Dinner: 150 to 200 g of semolina with eggplant, a poached pear topped with 1 square of melted dark chocolate for dessert.
- Lunch: endives with walnuts and vinaigrette, 120 g of haddock fillet accompanied by a leek fondue, 2 squares of dark chocolate with more than 75% cocoa;
- Dinner: a homemade mixed vegetable soup, 150 to 200 g of lentils in coconut milk, mango for dessert.
Other tips to promote weight loss while sleeping
There are other additional tips and tricks you can follow to maximize your chances of losing weight overnight. Here are a few.
Sleep in total darkness
Total darkness stimulates the secretion of melatonin. This hormone helps you fall asleep easily and helps you burn those extra pounds while you sleep. Turn off any source of light in your bedroom as best as possible and install thick curtains to limit outside light.
Refresh your bedroom
A cooler bedroom allows you to burn more calories during the night. By setting your thermostat to 19°C, you eliminate 7% more calories. Indeed, the body makes additional efforts to maintain the internal temperature at 37°C, stimulating the combustion of energy and allowing you to slim down while sleeping.
Avoid screens before bed
Television, computer and telephone screens have a bad influence on your sleep. Indeed, the blue light emitted disrupts the production of melatonin and disrupts metabolism. It is advisable to stop looking at a screen for at least an hour before going to bed and reduce the time spent in front of your screens in the evening.
Hydrate yourself properly
Hydrate regularly by spreading your daily quota from morning to evening. Avoid drinking a large amount of water before going to bed. You may get up several times during the night to go to the bathroom. As a reminder, it is recommended to drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water per day for normal activities. If you play sports, the needs may increase.