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Sleep and Weight Loss

woman on scale, holding doughnut.jpgThere are almost as many diets as calories in a doughnut. There’s the grapefruit diet, the cabbage diet, the Atkins diet, Nutrisystem , Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc. …just to name a few.

There is another diet that you may not have heard of. It isn’t new and it doesn’t cost a thing. This diet requires no extra work or denial (in fact you should give in to it as often as you can!) and it is scientifically proven.

Sound too good to be true? Wondering what diet it is? Read on.

The Sleep Diet

The Sleep Diet isn’t actually a diet but it plays a crucial role in the success of any weight loss program. In fact, Women’s Health Magazine says that if you were on the same diet as your friend – regardless of the diet – she would lose more weight than you if she was sleeping the recommended 7-9 hours and you weren’t.

It’s a Hormonal Thing

Research conducted at the University of Wisconsin found that people who get enough high-quality sleep have lower levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger and makes you crave junk food. The study also showed that people who get a good night’s sleep had higher levels of leptin, the hormone that regulates energy and keeps your appetite from spiking.

Jan 5 eating chocolateSo simply put, when you’re sleep deprived, you have too much of the hormone that tells you to eat, and not enough of the hormone that tells your body that you’re full.

And by “sleep deprived,” we’re not talking about existing on only five hours of sleep or less each night. A study found that losing as little as 30 minutes of sleep per day on weekdays can have long-term consequences for body weight.

The same study also found that lack of sleep can lead to long-term metabolic disruptions, which can cause or exacerbate Type 2 diabetes. If nothing less, lack of sleep can drastically slow your metabolism so you’ll burn calories at a slower rate.

Lack of Sleep Makes It Harder to Say No

In addition to messing with your ghrelin and leptin hormones, not getting enough sleep can affect certain brain receptors that control motivation and your brain’s reward system.

eating french fry.jpgResearchers found that if you’re sleep deprived, your cravings for certain foods gets stronger, and your ability to resist them may be impaired. So you are more likely to give in to temptation.

Treat Junk Sleep Like Junk Food

By now you should be convinced that sleep and weight loss go hand in hand. Unfortunately, too many people aren’t mindful of how much sleep they are getting each night. Sleep deserves the same attention as what you’re putting in your mouth.

Woman having coffee and doughnut in bed.jpgIf you want to drops some pounds, make sure you add the Sleep Diet to whatever diet you are trying. And keep in mind that long-term weight loss always boils down to moderation. An occasional doughnut or night on the town isn’t going to hurt you. Just make sure that you get back on track with your commitment to sleep well, eat well and exercise for a healthier you.

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