Monday, January 2, 2012

The Dream Diet - Lose Weight While You Sleep (For Real)

While making New Year resolutions, most of us will include losing weight, but here's why counting sheep may be the answer.  Exercise and eating may not be contributing to the battle of the bulge as much as your sleep habits are ... Plus we all know you can't eat when your sleeping.

Lots of models use crazy blood type, liquid and all sorts of fad diets to slim down, but some just make sleep a priority! Heidi Klum told People Magazine that she clocks 10 hours a night, pretty much going to sleep when the children do. And actress Penelope Cruz claims that she sleeps 12 hours a day to help maintain her flawless figure.

Many models I know get plenty of sleep, drink lots of water, choose healthy low calorie foods, and do some sort of exercise every day. Two other things I notice about my model friends is that they often eat the very same thing for breakfast - Every. Single. Day. This eliminates the choices and chances of making unhealthy decisions. After not waking up from a good 8-10 hours of sleep your body is programmed to eat whatever it finds first so making it a no-brainer is a good idea! Finally, the kitchen closes after dinner. No mindless snacking out of boredom or temptation! 


Science has shown that sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on hormones that control appetite, cravings and the metabolism of fat. New research in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that overweight adults lost 55% less fat when they got 5.5 hours of sleep per night, compared with when they slept for 8.5 hours a night. In 2011, Australian researchers found that teens and adolescents were more likely to be slimmer if they went to bed earlier than those who stayed up late. Many of us think that if we are staying up late and working hard we are burning more calories, but a study from the Mayo Clinic confirmed this was not true and that sleep-deprived participants consumed an average of 549 calories more than their usual intake when staying up late, but burned no more calories than their well-rested peers.

Sleepless nights will also cause the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, to rise which increases cravings for high-carb, high calorie "comfort foods." And during deep-sleep the brain secretes a growth hormone which helps the body convert fat to fuel. Without enough deep sleep, fat accumulates, especially around the belly.

There are also 2 hormones, ghrelin and leptin, that help to control appetite that can become imbalanced with lack of sleep. Ghrelin, stimulates your appetite whereas Leptin sends a signal to the brain that you are full. When you don't get enough rest, levels of leptin drop, making you hungry, while ghrelin levels rise to stimulate your appetite. No wonder after you don't sleep well you don't feel full or satisfied all day! Prolonged sleep deprivation sets you up to overeat and therefore gain weight. The average American gets 6 hours of sleep or less so if you're in this group it's time to get some more Zzzzzzs! And here's how.

Find the time! That's why you made weight loss a priority for the year on your Resolution List! Go to bed an hour earlier and sleep in an hour later. Remember the quality of your sleep counts too so here are some Sleep Hygiene Tips to incorporate:

  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine, sugar and alcohol.
  • No late night eating.
  • Log out  - no television or computer before bed. The images stimulate the brain and make it harder to fall asleep.
  • Eliminate all light and noise.
  • Use your bedroom for sleep and sex only.
  • Keep a regular bedtime.
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothing to sleep in.
  • Turn the temperature down, slightly cooler.
  • Make a relaxing routine - warm bath, meditation, deep-breathing exercises.

For the brainiac girls that want to understand this concept mathematically, determine your basal metabolic rate with this BMR CALCULATOR - the number of calories your body burns doing nothing, at rest and while you sleep. An average woman's body burns about 1500 calories a day doing nothing, roughly 62 an hour. Sleeping 2 more hours equals 124 calories, about the same as a half hour brisk walk. Plus you wake up without bags under your eyes and avoid eating while you sleep! SCORE!

The findings show that if you are on a diet and workout plan, having enough ZZZzzzz's is important! Not only will more sleep help you lose weight, it repairs muscles, skin and boosts immunity! To find out more tips to what models do to look their best in front of the camera download my new book for only $7.99 on Kindle, Nook or iTunes. Paperback also available on, Face This: Real advice from real models, photographers and makeup artist on how to become Picture Perfect!  


  1. so that explains why i eat healthy and exercise but still can't loose weight......

  2. in my case i saw i put on weight if i sleep,if i dont sleep my skin looks dull and unhealthy.
    is day time sleep is good for health,everytime i feel sleepy wht may be the weight stuck?
    wht may be the cause please help me out.

  3. I love Selena Gomez figure so "SelenaGomezDiet" I would be really interested to hear about what it is! I would LOVE to have a body like hers! :) I'd love if you would be able to share it. Thanks

  4. This is really interesting and experience seems to bear it out.

    But on one point - am I missing something? Maybe the study about sleep and weight mentioned some supporting evidence which isn't cited here? You write that an average woman's body burns about 1500 calories a day doing nothing, or about 62 calories an hour. You also say that those who stay up late (meaning get less sleep, not just a shifted sleep schedule) do not burn any more calories than their well-rested peers. But you do not say that they burn FEWER calories, you just say they are more likely to consume more. Presumably when they are up and about they still burn the base 62 calories an hour, but simply no more than that from being awake and active as people usually would. However you go on to say that if you get 2 more hours of sleep a night, you'll burn 124 more calories (62x2, above and beyond the 1500 BMR) - the same as a half-hour walk. But how? If you could somehow sleep 26 hours a day, that would make sense. But it doesn't jive with the rest of what is presented here. All I can see from the information you've given here is that if you sleep more you'll burn those 62 calories per hour and not be tempted to consume more. There's nothing that says you'll double your BMR in those two hours. That would only be true if, when you get less sleep, your metabolic rate goes down to zero, and by sleeping, goes back up to 62 calories per hour, which isn't the case.

    1. In response, I didn't say you'd burn 125 MORE or double your BMR. Sometimes a girl needs the sleep without the guilt!! Basic diet science ... eat less, move more, and be good to your body!

  5. What if you have fibromyalgia which never allows you to sleep properly?

  6. i dont know whether it is tue or not....:p but i will try;)

  7. hi im 14 and i weight 12 stone i want to be bacically anorextic as a model but i cant help but just eat

    1. Well first of all, how tall are you? I am around the same age but I'm 5 feet tall and 7 stone. Height is a big factor when it comes to how much you should weigh.

  8. my name is savannah im on my freinds account :)

  9. im 5 7 but i weight 8 stone. İ really look fat what should i do? İ also sleep alot and exercise but i dont have a thigh gap?

  10. Hi Shelley,
    This is really nice post. I am trying to cut more 5 pounds. Your post really help

  11. when i sleep 12 hours i feel lose weight and wake up without appetite

  12. my experience i sleep more and workout 4 time on the 15 days i losed 10 kilogram. sorry for my bad english


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