That’s one question everyone wants to know about, right? How do we build bodies that burn fat while we sleep? When a body burns fat during rest, our metabolism is functioning optimally.
Paul Salter is a Registered Dietitian and Weight Maintenance expert. For the past few years, he’s worked 1:1 with over 700 people, helping them to transform their lives while collectively losing thousands of pounds of body fat and building hundreds of pounds of muscle.
Salter’s experiences include working with a diverse population and variety of ages, cultures, sports, and goals. He’s served as a Sports Dietitian for IMG Academy, a world-renowned boarding school for elite youth athletes and home to numerous in-season and off-season collegiate, professional, and Olympic training programs. He’s also the former Nutrition Editor for Bodybuilding.com, the world’s largest online health and fitness store.
Salter currently serves as a Registered Dietitian and Sports Nutrition Consultant for Renaissance Periodization and as a part-time lecturer at Northern Arizona University. Additionally, he’s the founder of Paul Salter Coaching and TNT Nutrition University, which is home to premier online nutrition video courses.
In a nutshell, he knows a thing or two about metabolism and weight management. That makes him the perfect resource for telling us how to build a body that burns fat while you sleep. When a body burns fat during rest, we’re more likely to reach our goal weight. It’s important, however, to speak with your healthcare practitioner before making any changes to your routine, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or taking medication.
How to Build a Body that Burns Fat While You Sleep
The following was written by Paul Salter, MS, RD, LD, CSCS:
Imagine what it would be like to go to bed 10 pounds shy of your weight loss goal only to wake up a pound below it…
Unfortunately, in my countless years in the health and fitness industry I’ve never seen anything like that. However, I have identified two specific strategies that should be added to the arsenal of any person aspiring to lose weight because of the overnight fat-loss benefits they provide.
Choosing casein-rich protein sources daily and incorporating high-intensity interval training throughout the week have a direct impact on the number of calories you burn during the day and while you sleep. Learn how and why to include both strategies so that you can set yourself up for fat burning 24-7!
You work tirelessly during the day to manage your portions and exercise consistently in order to drive fat loss. Wouldn’t it be nice that if your hard work carried over during the night, too? Well, it turns out that choosing a specific type of protein and form of exercise may increase the number of calories you burn during the day and throughout the night, which may have an even greater impact on your fat-loss progress.
If you want to build a body that burns fat while you sleep, then these two tools are a must to your fat-loss tool kit!
Choose More Casein
Casein is a slow-digesting, milk-derived protein. Unlike it’s speedy counterpart, whey protein, when casein moves through the digestive tract, stomach acid interacts with it so that the casein molecules clump together in the stomach. This inevitably slows down digestion and ultimately ensures a steady drip-like release of amino acids the next several hours. It’s estimated that it takes casein five to seven hours before it’s completely emptied from the stomach.
This type of protein is advantageous to use before a prolonged period without food, such as before going to sleep, because the drip-like release of amino acids the next several hours helps to maintain an anabolic (muscle-building environment). In turn, muscle mass is better preserved, which helps to maintain an elevated rate of energy expenditure during the day (the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest).
But even more, eating casein protein regularly has a significant impact on the number of calories you burn during the day and while you sleep! According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, choosing casein more frequently may have a positive impact on your resting energy expenditure, which means the baseline number of calories you expend around the clock remains elevated throughout the day and night.
In this study, researchers split subjects into two groups and had them consume the same number of calories, but varying amounts of protein, per day: either 25 or 10 percent of total calories from protein. On two separate occasions, subjects stayed in a metabolic ward for 36 hours under constant supervision. The three days leading up to their date in the ward, the subjects ate either 25 or 10 percent of their calories from protein via a controlled diet, which included a variety of protein sources. Then, once in the ward, the lone protein source became casein protein, while the percent of protein remained the same.
In just 36 hours, researchers observed a significant increase in resting energy expenditure in both groups, but a greater increase in the group consuming 25 percent of their calories from (casein) protein.
The Take-Home Message: To reap the benefits of casein protein, I recommend you include it at least once during the day – preferably before you go to be. While you can purchase a casein protein powder supplement, you may be happy to know that all dairy protein is composed of 80 percent casein and 20 percent whey. Choosing dairy multiple times per day – think cheese, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and milk – is an easy and tasty way to boost your baseline calorie burn via way of more casein protein.
Incorporate More Interval Training
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be described as a form of cardiovascular exercise in which you complete a short bout of all-out – think 110% effort – exercise (typically 10 – 15 seconds) followed by a period of low-intensity movement for 5 – 10 times the duration of your interval. For instance, this may entail a 15-econd sprint on the stationary bike followed by 90 seconds of light cycling. This pattern is then repeated for a specific number of intervals.
Of course, you could also go on a jog or take a leisurely bike ride to complete your cardiovascular exercise, but that wouldn’t have nearly the same effect and nor would it impact your ability to ramp up fat loss overnight.
What makes HIIIT so unique compared to traditional, lower-intensity cardio is the fact that it literally increases the number of calories you burn for the next 24 hours compared to lower-intensity cardio. HIIT has a positive impact on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). After your workout, the amount of oxygen you consume remains elevated as the body tries to restore physiological and metabolic conditions to pre-exercise levels – doing so requires more oxygen, which also means energy (calorie) expenditure.
The greater the intensity of your workout, the more oxygen your body must consume during the recovery period; thus, HIIT has a significantly greater impact on EPOC compared to traditional lower-intensity cardio. This is significant because this elevation in EPOC can remain in place for up to 24 hours, meaning you’re burning more calories at rest – and while sleeping!
Take-Home Message: To reap the benefits of HIIT, I recommend you include some form of HIIT 2 – 4 times per week. It’s important to note, however, that this form of exercise is taxing and doing it too frequently will impair recovery and gym performance.
Thanks for the words of wisdom, Paul! Now that you know how to build a body that burns fat while you sleep, what’s on your plan for moving forward? Remember, when a body burns fat during rest, we’re more likely to reach our goal weight. When we ramp up our interval training, we can hit that goal even faster.
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