Sleep is the magic, little known ingredient that is essential to achieve most of the goals that you set for yourself, be they for losing weight, increasing athletic performance or building muscle.
Apart from being the primary pillar in allowing us to function at our best and manage day to day stress, you can leverage sleep to quietly and steadily work for you through the wee small hours.
Setting yourself up to allow your body to quietly and steadily burn away fat over several hours of natural fasting is an amazing, healthy and sustainable way to boost your weight loss achievements.
The secret does require a modicum of discipline but after a few times you'll find yourself naturally following a process that allows you to burn fat overnight.
Start by having a dinner (not too late) that is high in protein (but not too high, as 30-50gms is plenty) low in saturated fat, high is healthy fats (like olive or nut oils, but again not too high), low in carbs (you can even choose to eliminate starchy carbs from this meal altogether) but high in green vegetables and satisfying.
You can even afford to have a glass of red wine with it :)
Once finished, a dessert of a few pieces of dried fruit can be a nice way to finish off. What happens next is key.
You will more than likely notice that you may fancy something sweet as time passes if you're relaxing after dinner, but this is where the magical decision point occurs.
If you choose to go to bed at this point, you win. The idea is to go to bed satisfied with the dinner that you've had, not bloated at all but with a hankering for something sweet. If you go bed at this point, you will slow-burn through your protein overnight and your body will slowly but steadily start consuming its fat reserves.
When it comes to increasing athletic performance, the above still rings true but needs to consider that athletic performance is increased through stressing your system and then allowing it to recover and adapt to your training. The final snack can be augmented with some protein rich snacks to ensure that you use the sleep cycle to not only burn fat but build your musculo-skeletal system.
You still want to hit the sack feeling light.
Finally, when it comes to building muscle, the same rules apply as do to increasing athletic performance, however the dose of protein needs to be significantly higher and ideally contain even slower burning casein to ensure that, not only does additional fat not deposit around the body, but all the hard work put in on weight and resistance training is rewarded with muscle growth through the most important recovery period of the day.
Try it and see the change in your body each and every morning as you wake up sharper, keener and stronger!