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Staying Up Late is Harmful to Your Weight Loss Efforts

Staying up late to try to get a lot done? You could be harming your weight loss efforts, a new study shows. Researchers at Northwestern University have studied the cumulative effects of lack of sleep on 52 adults.  More than half of those who participated in the study had normal sleep habits, defined by the study as the midpoint of sleep occurring before 5:30 a.m. The remainder of those in the study got less sleep and went to sleep later overall.

The study, published online in the journal Obesity, found that those who went to bed later ate more junk food, ate less fruit and vegetables and drank more full calorie soda. The late sleepers ate much less at their morning meal, and their calorie intake skyrocketed as the day went on. They consumed more calories overall at their evening meal than those participants who went to bed earlier.  The research didn’t prove the reason behind these choices, however. did the late sleepers eat more junk food because their choices were limited, or because of their preference?

In my own experience, staying up late has indeed lead to poor food choices, and often to eating more as well. Especially if I am working late, I will often use food to stay awake and keep my mind alert. It becomes a vicious cycle, one that could be stopped by just getting myself to bed earlier.


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A Good Night’s Sleep Key to Weight Loss

If you’re making an effort to lose weight, there are two things you usually think about: diet and exercise. Well, folks, add sleep to your list.

There have been past studies that point to the importance of adequate shut-eye for healthy weight management. Now, a new study adds to the mounting evidence that your sleep habits have a substantial impact on the quality of your weight.

In the latest study, which has been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 10 overweight men and women lived in a sleep lab for two separate two-week periods. During both stays, they followed the same calorie-restricted diet. However, one of the times they only got five and half hours of sleep as compare to eight and a half hours the other time.
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Eating More Fish May Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

salmonAdd yet another long-term health issue to the list of risks of being overweight. Previous studies have connected middle age obesity to dementia in late adulthood. Now, scientists may have found a link between Alzheimer’s and a hormone that helps control appetite. Leptin tells your body when you are satiated and reduces appetite. It is a hormone that is produced by fat cells. Research conducted during 12 years at the Boston University Medical Center found that those participants with the lowest levels of leptin had a 25% chance of developing Alzheimer’s, while those with the highest levels of leptin had only a 6% chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
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DNA Flaw May Explain Some Child Obesity

childhood obesityThere is more evidence that a certain amount of childhood obesity can be attributed to one’s genetic makeup. In fact, they may be missing certain segments of DNA. This is not to say that most kids who are unhealthy can blame Mother Nature – the research tied the phenomenon to severely obese kids.

British researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute examined the DNA of 300 children who became very fat, in the neighborhood of 220 pounds by age 10.

They looked for deletions or extra copies of DNA segments. What they found was evidence that several rare deletions may promote obesity, including one kind that the researchers found in less than one percent of about 1,200 severely obese children. But, it’s not about slowing metabolism, but increasing appetite.
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Lose weight while you sleep

Well, maybe not exactly, but more and more research shows that not getting adequate sleep each night is a risk factor for obesity. Lack of sleep has a negative effect on the hormone leptin, whose function is to control appetite. Sleep deprivation results in lower levels of the hormone circulating in our bodies. We register this biological happening by feeling like we are more hungry and thereby eating more. Additionally, low levels of leptin have been associated with obesity.

Even though it’s a badge of honor in our culture to say that we get by on 5 or 6 hours of sleep each night, this seeming feat is actually working against us. Perhaps getting adequate sleep, or about 8 hours of sleep each night, should help us start to lose weight.