CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — One of the largest facts to keep in mind when it comes to weight loss is sleep.
Most people know in order to lose weight, you cut calories and exercise but one factor that is often overlooked is how sleep impacts weight gain.
"When you don't have enough sleep, what ends up happening is that hormones are released in their body that increases hunger and through that they end up gaining weight," says Ramon Aguilar, president of Torr Sleep Center and a respiratory therapist.
Those hormones that tell the brain it's hungry are called leptin. And the longer someone is awake, the more they increase and their body craves food.
People who are sleep deprived consume on average 300 more calories more than the body needs and than when they are well rested.
That's because the metabolic rate slows down and is burning less calories.
And although it varies between different people, experts recommend between seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
And the extra hours of sleep should be in addition to a healthy diet and exercise.