Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Is More Sleep The Key To Weight Loss?

Can sleep really help you lose weight? Apparently it can. The results from this latest study into the effects of sleep on weight loss, have come up with similar results to several previous studies on the same subject.

A six month study of 472 obese men and women in the US, were asked to reduce their daily calorie intake by 500 while at the same time gradually increasing the amount of exercise they took. They were also were asked to eat a healthy, low-fat diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables. All participants were questioned about their computer and television time, as well as their sleeping habits and stress levels.

Once the study was over, researchers found that 60 percent of participants had lost at least 10 lbs. As expected, it was those who kept a food diary, exercised most and attended behavioural counselling sessions who lost the most weight. But they also found that those who slept between 6-8 hours each night and had the lowest stress levels, were the most likely to have lost at least 10lb.

According to Dr Charles Elder, of the Kaiser Permanent Center for Health Research, “This study suggests that when people are trying to lose weight, they should try to get the right amount of sleep and reduce their stress.”

That may be easier said than done. People who are highly stressed, often tend not to sleep so well. It’s a vicious circle. If you’re struggling to lose weight, and are stressed or don't sleep well, it might be worth tackling the stress and sleep issues at the same time, or even postphone the diet until you're sleeping better.

If you're interested in reading more on this study, this link takes you to the PDF.

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