I’ll be honest – I love my sleep. A good eight hours a night keeps me going and anything less takes its toll. As well making me feel good, getting a good night’s sleep may apparently be helping me lose fat too.
What The Diet Study Involved…
That’s right, according to one of the latest research studies, if you cut back on or skip vital sleeping time you’re less likely to lose weight. Researchers from Chicago University put volunteers who were overweight but healthy on a strict diet of 1,450 calories a day. For the first two weeks, they were allowed to sleep for up to 8.5 hours. For the second two weeks they were only allowed to have up to 5.5 hours of sleep.
On average, the volunteers ended up sleeping about seven hours and 24 minutes during the first half of the study and five hours 14 minutes in the second half.
What The Diet Study Found…
The team found that when the volunteers had adequate amounts of sleep they lost more fat – almost half of the 6.6lb (3kg) lost was fat.
However, when their sleep was reduced, the amount of fat lost dropped down to a fifth. The rest of the weight lost in both cases was muscle. Apparently, when you lose sleep, your body produces a hormone called ghrelin, which may stimulate hunger pangs and encourage you to eat more.
What This Means….
There’s been a lot of information in the past about the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, but now there’s another reason to add to that list. A good sleep will help you function well, keep you alert, stop your concentration from waning and could help you lose vital fat if you’re on a diet.
Fat is the most important thing to lose – you don’t really want to be losing muscle. It all sounds interesting to me and if there’s a dietary effect of getting plenty of sleep, then I’m happy to try it out (no, I didn’t really need much persuading on that one!). How much sleep do you typically get?