Bob Harper is the trainer and fitness expert best known for his butt-kicking, fat-burning workouts on The Biggest Loser. His new book, The Skinny Rules, distills his healthy eating knowledge into 20 straightforward principles. Here he explains why you should go to bed hungry. —BBL Editor
With “Rule #18: Go to Bed Hungry,” you can get a jump on weight loss tonight. Your body will respond. Denied fuel for more than five hours, your body will start burning its own fat and sugar. That means that if your dinner was at 8 p.m., you’ll be burning fat by 1 a.m. Eat earlier, start burning fat earlier. Either way, you’ll wake up wanting breakfast, which is a good thing: You should eat a proper breakfast instead of grabbing a high-carb bagel or muffin on your way to work! (What’s a proper breakfast? I have some fantastic options in the book).
The absence of carbs in your bloodstream will also let your body produce the hormones it needs for better sleep. And with good sleep comes other benefits—muscle repair, brain-chemical balancing and increased energy during the day. You might almost say that sleep is nature’s ultimate spa treatment. It’s no accident that the connection between sleep and obesity is one of the hottest scientific enterprises going. There are a lot of ways you could comply with this rule: Don’t eat three hours before going to bed. Don’t eat after eight. Don’t eat anything after dinner. You decide. But make the effort and enjoy the weight-loss rewards!