The best way to weight loss and keep it off is to make small, achievable changes to your lifestyle.
We get it. Squeezing in an extra workout class, batch-cooking healthy meals, the early morning cycle to work; following weight loss advice would be easier with more hours in the day.
But getting up an hour earlier, or going to bed an hour later, and letting your new regimen eat into sleep is self-sabotage.
It’s true that research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that low calorie dieters achieved the same amount of weight loss whether they slept for an average of 5.5 or 8.5 hours a night, but the devil is in the detail.
According to the scientists, skipping on sleep means most of the weight you’re losing comes from lean mass, not fat.
In other words, start burning the candle at both ends and it’ll be hard-earned muscle you’re torching through.
Just 25% of the weight lost by those getting less than six hours sleep came from fat, while those who were getting the recommended nightly amount lost twice as much.
And it gets worse for sleep dodgers. In this experiment, both groups were assigned exactly the same amount of food by the researchers.
But with no lab assistant on hand to rein in impulses, sleep deprived individuals eat twice as much fat and more than 300 extra calories the next day.
That’s because lack of sleep causes a spike in ghrelin – the hormone that makes you feel hungry – and a fall in leptin – the hormone that signals you feel full.
Not to mention the risk that, by spending three more hours awake, you’ll simply spend more time snacking.
Take our advice and sleep on it.
How To to Lose Weight All Day
6am: Drink two glasses of ice-cold water before breakfast. You’ll not only start burning more energy, you’ll shave a few extra calories as your body warms the liquid.
11am: Take your kid’s fidget-spinner to work. It might drive your colleague mad, but you can burn 350 calories extra per day with fidgeting like tapping your feet or doodling.
3pm: Chew sugar-free gum after lunch. Sure, you’ll have fresh breath, but you’ll also burn a few extra calories and be less tempted by the biscuit tray.
7pm: Eat more protein at dinner. Going all-in on the macronutrient with extra chicken or tofu increases the thermic effect of your meal, meaning you burn more calories as you digest it.
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