Diet and exercise can do wonders, but without adequate sleep, you may be stressing out your body, creating more cortisol (the stress hormone). "Stress will pack on fat, especially around the belly," says Dr. Scott Schreiber, board certified in clinical nutrition and certified nutrition specialist. "When [your adrenal glands] are not functioning optimally, fat will accumulate." That's why it's amazing that one of the best ways to trim your tummy is simply by getting some quality zzz's.
Certified and conditioning specialist and Exercise.com head trainer, Tyler Spraul, explains, "Sometimes the biggest reason holding you back from losing fat is your body's inability to fully recover from all the stress (including good stress like workouts) in your life! Sleep time is when your body finally is able to recover and rebuild after being broken down all day. Your body can only handle a certain threshold of stress of any kind, whether it's coming from your job, children, a hectic schedule, relationship problems, etc. If you are not consistently getting the bare minimum of 6 hours of sleep each night, focusing on sleep could be the key to pushing through a fat loss plateau."