Surprisingly Simple Trick to Losing Weight Revealed
My good friend Liz and I are very much alike. In fact, we often joke that we must have been separated at birth.
We tend to enjoy the same activities. We’ve never had a single argument over where to go for dinner on a “girl’s night out” for example, and more times than not we end up ordering identical meals when the waiter comes to take our orders.
But one place we have always differed is in the weight department.
Liz has never had a problem managing her weight. Yet keeping the extra pounds off is a constant battle for me, a battle that most of the time I, unfortunately, seem doomed to end up losing.
As you can imagine, I’ve often wondered why Liz…who eats just as much as I do…never seems to have the same struggle with weight. But now a recent study that takes a look at the sleeping and eating habits of 52 young and middle-age adults just might have given me at least part of the answer.
The study reveals a mind-blowingly-easy trick for taking control of your weight. Are you ready for this one?
Simply declare the kitchen off limits after 8 p.m. and then get to bed at a decent hour.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking: “Give me a break! Could beating the battle of the bulge really be THAT easy?”
Well, as strange as it might seem, according to a group of researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago the surprising answer could be yes.
The researchers outfitted study participants with a special wrist sensor that tracked their movements and sleep times for a week. In addition, the volunteers were asked to keep a strict food diary to track what they were eating and when.
It turns out that the night owls like me…those whose midpoint of sleep was after 5:30 a.m.…had higher body-mass-index scores (BMI). They also, naturally, tended to be late sleepers, which meant that their meal times were all delayed throughout the day.
Overall, the late sleepers logged less sleeping time than did their early bird counterparts (like Liz). And perhaps most revealingly, they ate fewer fruits and vegetables and consumed more calories after 8 p.m.
Surprisingly, however, the late eaters did not eat significantly more calories than the early birds did. So, it appears that it’s the combination of after-eight eating and less sleep that had a profound impact on their weight and their BMI.
Now, of course, there are no hard-and-fast rules here, but all things considered, turning in earlier and not eating after 8 p.m. don’t seem like huge sacrifices to make if they can help keep the extra pounds off once and for all.
Meanwhile I’ll be practicing my new mantra, “Eating late makes Alice gain weight.”
"Role of Sleep Timing in Caloric Intake and BMI," Obesity (2011), doi:10.1038/oby.2011.11
“Associations of sleep duration with obesity and serum lipid profile in children and adolescents,” Sleep Med., 2011 Jun 18
"Obesity and metabolic syndrome: Association with chronodisruption, sleep deprivation, and melatonin suppression," Ann Med. 2011 Jun 13. [Epub ahead of print]
About the author
An enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice has spent virtually her entire 17-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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