True Weight Loss “Secret”

Studies show a link between obesity and lack of sleep. Now, I read just as many articles on losing weight as the next guy (or girl), and let’s face it—they tend to say the same things over and over. However, one article I read a few years ago was different. How? Well, for one it didn’t touch on the topics of calories or exercise. For another, it involved a holistic approach to health that actually can seriously impact an individual’s weight whether or not the person makes a concentrated effort to diet. It isn’t going to solve the epidemic of obesity—but it could make a difference that shows up on the scale.

Studies are showing a link between sleep and weight gain. People who don’t get enough sleep gain weight. People who do get enough sleep have an easier time regulating their caloric intake. There are physiological reasons behind this. There are two phases of sleep, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) during which an individual dreams and maintains a lighter level of sleep. The next level is non-REM sleep, which has four phases, the last two of which are deeper phases of sleep when the body releases regulatory and restorative hormones. Leptin and Grehlin are hormones that help the body control appetite and weight gain and loss. Leptin suppresses appetite, while Grehlin increases appetite and may prevent a person from losing weight.

When lack of sleep becomes a chronic problem, levels of Grehlin increases, causing greater appetite, and levels of Leptin decrease. As more and more studies indicate a link between these hormones and obesity, it seems more and more certain to scientists that sleep deprivation causes weight gain, or at the very least, worsens it.

So, if you want to lose a few pounds, and you are only sleeping five or six hours a night—as a first step, try making sure you get at least eight hours of sleep a night. It may not turn you into an underweight Barbie overnight—but it may jumpstart your efforts and benefit you in surprising ways. For those who have more serious challenges, consider contacting a professional center for medical weightless where you can learn additional, practical, life-changing tips and habits.

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