If you're not losing weight despite your diet, you should read this study

Sleeping well and long every night could add value to the weight loss diet and help us lose weight faster

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In successfully pursuing a weight loss diet, a good night's sleep could make a difference in helping us lose weight faster. In fact, new research conducted by the University of Chicago shows that sleeping an extra hour each night would naturally lead people to consume about 270 fewer calories over the course of the next day and, therefore, to lose weight. It might seem like a small thing, but it results in consistent weight loss at the end of the year, achieved practically without realizing it.

The study involved 80 adult participants, with an average age of about thirty and with a body mass index (IBM) between 25 and 30: all participants shared the fact that they slept a few hours a night (about six hours and a half). After a first phase of the study dedicated to monitoring the sleep habits of the participants, the researchers provided half of them with advice on good sleep, which led them to improve their habits in bed.

The results showed that the people who received the counseling improved the quality of their sleep and learned to sleep even more - about an hour and 12 minutes more per night on average. This led them, of course, to go to bed earlier and also to take in fewer calories without effort or sacrifice. It is important to remember that, at the start of the study, none of the participants were interested in weight loss programs or were following a diet.

Obviously this is a pilot study and among other things too short (lasted only a few weeks) to really understand the relationship between sleep and weight loss: further research will be needed in the long term and in combination with different lifestyles to understand whether to really sleep can help the slimming process. In any case, the results obtained have the important characteristic of being the result of an experiment conducted on people who have kept their eating habits unchanged and who have continued to sleep in their own bed (without suffering any kind of influence).

Furthermore, the newly released study follows in the wake of another study, conducted a few years ago, which showed that people who sleep a few hours a night (about four or five) eat more calories over the course of the next day: this is because sleep deprivation increases levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin in the blood and reduces the levels of hunger suppressant hormone leptin.

In general, the less you sleep, the more cravings you have for food - especially salty, sweet or high-fat (junk food) foods. So, if we are trying to lose weight, depriving ourselves of sleep or getting little sleep is not a good idea.

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Fonte: JAMA Internal Medicine

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