Photo Credit: riebschlager on flickr.com

In this series, Surprising Ways to Slash 500 Calories, we discuss a variety of ways you can easily eliminate 500 calories from your daily routine resulting in an easy weight loss of one pound per week. You may not even think these food or beverage items “count”, but they do. Our job is to help you in your weight loss goals and even if you were to burn one less calorie day; it would add up over time.

In order to fully maximize the amount of calories our bodies can burn on a daily basis; we must maximize one of the most simple tasks known to man;  the art of sleeping. There is a reason doctors suggest eight hours of sleep each night, and that’s relevant here because of its’ affect on our overall metabolic rate (how many calories our body burns in a day).

Fact: People who get less than 6 hours of sleep eat up to 300-500 calories more a day than those who sleep at least 6 hours or more. The reason for this is a hunger hormone called Grehlin. Ghrelin is a 28 amino acid peptide and hormone that is produced mainly by P/D1 cells lining the fundus of the human stomach and epsilon of the pancreas that stimulates hunger. Essentially, it causes our body to crave more food during the time that we are awake dependent on several factors largely including sleep.

Getting appropriate amounts of sleep not only causes you to eat less, it ensures you’ll have the extra energy necessary to get killer workouts in on a daily basis. Let’s face it, tired people tend to excuse themselves from exercising and often slack on their eating habits too. Get to bed early, so when you wake up you’ll be ready to really GO!