Photo: Scott McLeod
A new study from the University of Chicago and the University of Wisconsin-Madison reports that one of the main reasons Americans are overweight is sleep deprivation. A lack of enough sleep causes the body to hold onto fat in a biological effort to slow us down.According to a story found on Natural News, sleep deprivation plays a large role in weight gain. In the study, 10 overweight participants were separated into two groups. One group slept for 5.5 hours each night, while the other group slept for 8.5 hours each night. The study was conducted over the course of 14 days.
According to the article:
Variables such as caloric intake and activity level were taken into consideration, and both groups were assigned the same caloric intake and activity regimens. The results were surprising, with both groups losing the same amount of weight. The difference, however, was that the group who slept for longer lost more fat and less muscle than the group who only slept for 5.5 hours each night.
So under all the same variables those that slept three hours longer lost more fat. But if the variables weren't the same, meaning that dieters were told to make a food diary over the 14 days and were told to include the same exercise, I contend that the results would be even more dramatic. This is because when we're over stimulated and don't get enough rest we crave heavy, fatty foods to slow us down.
So even if your intentions are good and you're trying to eat for your health by choosing nutrient dense, local whole foods, your busy schedule could be sabotaging your weight loss. In a society, where we so often sacrifice our own well being to get in one more hour of work, in the end we could be paying dearly.
Bottom line--maybe skipping the workout for that extra hour of sleep once a week is just what the doctor ordered.