You called our HGH clinic and told us about your symptoms that are commonly associated with a growth hormone deficiency, and we sent you locally to get blood work done in your city and state. The results showed your IGF-1 levels were low; we prescribed you Sermorelin or HGH injections.
You started to feel great, but now you want to know what the most critical factor is for losing weight? For the past few decades, the question has been, "What's more important for weight loss: exercise or healthy eating?"
The one-sentence answer is that there are other factors you need to think about, and we will discuss them in detail.
Eating Healthy is Not Enough While Using Growth Hormone Injections
We have slashed calories, fat, and carbs, and spent a small fortune on gym memberships (that most haven't used past January). The result of these efforts?
We have gained, not lost, weight. What went wrong? We thought that eating healthy foods was the most critical factor, when in fact, exercising on a daily basis is just as equally important, if not more important than eating healthy.
Apparently eating healthy is a no-brainer, but many people think this is all they have to do when they are using HGH. Make exercise a daily part of your life when you are using growth hormone shots and go out of your way to keep that commitment.
Sleep Deprivation: Symptom of Growth Hormone Deficiency
Before going on Growth Hormone therapy, we all noticed that increasingly we were sleep-deprived, because our jobs, life, and responsibilities were demanding more and more from us. As we age, we find our sleeping patterns go awry. Our patients who undergo Sermorelin injections on an evening basis reported back that they slept like babies.
We raised your IGF-1 levels to 250 ng/dL, and you found you were waking up feeling refreshed. Now, the first thing you need to do to start losing weight is getting more sleep -- at least 8 hours.
While the National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults ages 18 to 64 get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, 30 percent of American adults clock six or fewer hours, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And those who sleep less than five to six hours a night are up to 45 percent more likely to be obese, says Alexandra Sowa, a clinical instructor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
"More than one-third of Americans are overweight, and a similar number is sleep-deprived. Both can be considered to be significant health problems, approaching epidemic proportions."
So maybe that answers the question. Perhaps it's the sleep that's the most essential part of the weight-loss equation. But ultimately getting enough hours of sleep is just one factor in the equation.
Start your weight loss program by getting 8 hours of sleep. If you are using Sermorelin injections, studies have indicated that a peak release of HGH occurs between the 7th and 8th hours of sleep.
This does not mean that all three healthy habits aren't critical to helping you hit your ideal weight, and cutting your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But sleep seems to be unique in its ability to make or break the other two.
What it Comes Down to is This
You can probably get pretty decent sleep even if you're shoveling down barely edible swill, and remaining stuck on your recliner or couch. However, you can't expect to work out with mega-intensity or eat clean if you're skimping on zzzs.
Why? Not only does poor sleep drain your body of energy, but it also affects energy balance and function in every tissue of your body, says neurologist Phyllis C. Zee, director of the sleep disorders center at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.
For starters, sleep deprivation upsets your body's levels of hunger-regulating hormones, thus making binging a biological inevitability, not a matter of willpower, says registered dietitian Kelly Pritchett, assistant professor of nutrition and exercise science at Central Washington University.
Specifically, it can reduce your body's levels of leptin, "the satiety hormone," and increase ghrelin, "the hunger hormone." That's one reason why, in a Mayo Clinic study when men and women cut 80 minutes from their regular sleep schedule, they ate an extra 549 calories the next day.
Worse, those calories aren't coming from healthy choices like fresh fruits and vegetables, either.
Previous research from the University of California-Berkeley used brain scans to find that sleep deprivation impairs activity in the brain's frontal lobe, which is in charge of complex decision-making, and unfortunately increases activity in the brain's reward center, the one that lights up in response to sugar, salt, and fat.
"When you are sleep deprived, your brain is more likely to want high-energy foods for fuel," Dr. Zee adds. "It shouldn't be a big surprise. When you are up at 2 or 3 in the morning, you aren't thinking about salads." And even if you do somehow manage to stick to your healthy-eating habits while running on too little sleep, your weight-loss progress will still suffer.
In one University of Chicago-led study, when dieters got 8.5 hours of sleep a night over the course of two weeks, half of the weight they lost was from fat. However, when they only got 5.5 hours of sleep a night, their rate of fat loss dropped by 55 percent... even though they were following the same diet.
Again, the connection comes down to hormones. Research published this year in the journal Diabetologia shows that just four days of sleep deprivation reduces the body's insulin sensitivity, which increases the risk for fat storage.
The study additionally found that sleep deprivation reduces the body's levels of growth hormone, which contributes to not only your fat-burning potential but also your ability to recover from exercise. Meanwhile, Dr. Zee's research, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, suggests that getting enough sleep may affect your ability to work out more than working out affects your sleep quality.
Think about that long and hard. "Sleep is completely underrated. People believe that they can do with a little bit less, and many even believe that it's okay to get by on a few hours of sleep," Dr. Zee says. "They feel tired, but they think that's the worst of it. In reality, the consequences of poor sleep are much greater."
Make the most of your growth hormone injections protocol, sleep for 8 hours, spread out your eating to 6 small meals per day, and exercise every single day, even if it's only for 20 hard minutes.
Washing dishes doesn't count as exercise! Go for an intense power walk, lift weights, ride your bike, do situps, pushups, yoga, do whatever you can even if you are trapped in your home during the winter months!
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Welcoming You To Our Clinic, Professor Tom Henderson.
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