Becoming slim in your sleep, wouldn’t that be a dream come true? Some biscuits with your afternoon tea, crisps and chocolate for a movie night and a nice cake on the weekend… keeping a balanced diet and staying in shape is not that easy in everyday life. There are temptations everywhere! And it takes a lot of determination to go to the gym after an exhausting day at work. What if you did not have to go there at all? Imagine all these extra pounds going away overnight. If you regularly weigh yourself, you have probably already noticed that the scale shows a lower number in the morning than it does in the evening. Can losing weight overnight be that simple? Are those rumours about “slim in your sleep” true or is it just a myth?
- What is happening with our body overnight?
- The “slim in your sleep” diet by Dr Pape
- It is all about the right ratio of nutrients
- Slim in your sleep: Is it all just a big marketing lie?
- Understanding how your body works
What is happening with our body overnight?
The loss of weight overnight is not magic, it can be explained easily. Most of the lost weight is just water, which can be up to 0,5 litres! Regardless of the number on the scale, our body feels different after waking up. Everything feels smoother, almost youthful, thanks to the regeneration of our metabolism. Our body needs rest in order to regenerate. That is why these processes are happening overnight. At night, the body does not have to divide its resources, so it can fully concentrate on the metabolic process. Fat is the number one source of energy. A calm, relaxing night is therefore essential to “repair” the body, to aid the metabolism and to support fat burning, lymph drainage and the tightening of the connective tissue. There are quite a lot of advantages coming with a good night’s sleep, right? Maybe we should talk about “beautiful in your sleep” instead of “slim in your sleep”? 😉
The “slim in your sleep” diet by Dr Pape
We might lose some weight overnight, but we quickly gain it again throughout the day. At the end of the day, the number will be higher again. However, Detlef Pape, who is regarded as the spiritual father of the “slim in your sleep” principle, thinks that losing weight during sleep is possible.
Although “slim in your sleep” sounds like it takes no effort at all, the concept actually requires combining certain food. The diet focuses on a special composition of nutrients and on the adaption to one’s natural biorhythm. The aim is to keep the insulin level low. Insulin prevents the body from burning fats, which is why the release of this substance should be kept as low as possible. Many will like the fact that this diet does not come with a strict ban of sweets, like most diets. So far so good, but what does this mean for my eating habits specifically?
It is all about the right ratio of nutrients
Insulin is produced when proteins and carbohydrates come together. Conversely, these nutrients need to be separated to counteract this process. A day following Dr Pape’s “slim in your sleep” diet could look like this: In the morning you should take in lots of carbohydrates like bread with some honey or jam. For lunch there are no restrictions, you can eat food which is rich in both protein and carbohydrates. In the evening you must go without carbohydrates. Instead you should eat lots of food which is rich in protein, like fish, lean meat, or quark.
While the food combining might work for some people, although even this takes lots of planning, there is another downside: You need to take a five-hour meal break between each of the meals. The idea is to allow the insulin levels to go down before they will go up again with the next meal. Snacking is strictly forbidden, you are only allowed to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Slim in your sleep: Is it all just a big marketing lie?
The idea of becoming “slim in your sleep” by Dr Pape sounds too good to be true. Is it really that easy to lose weight? Let us be honest, taking a five-hour break between each meal is unrealistic for most people. You would not only need to abstain from your afternoon coffee, but also from healthy snacks like almonds or fruits, which help you to get through a stressful day.
Pape’s findings are not really new. He just uses scientific findings and the knowledge that important processes can work properly at night, because nothing is disturbing them. So, do we really need a new diet-cookbook to join the collection?
Understanding how your body works
Diets which promise you everything but, in the end, only leave you with the yo-yo-effect, are not the ultimate way to lose weight. To actually become slim in your sleep, you need to understand your body and its processes. While sleeping, there are a lot of mechanisms working in our body. Sleeping enough can therefore help to lose weight. One and a half hour after falling asleep, the metabolism starts. The longer this sleep phase lasts, the more time our metabolism has to work. To fall asleep easily, rituals and relaxing activities help a lot, like reading or listening to music. Sleeping soundly improves the regeneration of our body.
Obviously, we cannot just sleep and stay in bed forever, hoping for the extra pounds to simply vanish. 😉 Everybody should integrate enough exercise into their daily lives to support a healthy lifestyle. It does not necessarily need to be a class at the gym. Just swap the elevator for the stairs or walk the last meters to your office instead of taking the car or the train. It might not seem much but will make a difference in the end. For the early bird and those who want to become one, morning workouts might be an option. You should also make sure that you do not eat right before going to bed. Instead of eating a greasy pizza, opt for a light dinner. This way your body is not busy digesting and can use its full energy to regenerate.
Becoming slim overnight cannot happen from one day to the next and will need some effort. If you listen to your body, do some exercise every day and make sure not to go to bed stressed, you will support a restorative sleep. This way you will get a little bit closer to your aim of becoming “slim in your sleep”. 😉