Does lack of sleep cause weight gain?

Not enough sleep causes our bodies store fat

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have discovered that just a few days of sleep deprivation can make us feel less full after eating.

After spending a week getting plenty of sleep at home, 15 healthy men in their 20s checked into the sleep lab for the ten-night study. For five of those nights the men spent no more than five hours in bed each night.

The researchers gave participants a standardized high-fat dinner – a bowl of chili mac – after four nights of sleep restriction.

Most participants felt less satisfied after eating the same rich meal while sleep deprived than when they had eaten it well-rested.

A bowl of mac and cheese only feels filling and satisfying if you are well rested

If you are tired and sleep-deprived, you’ll want a second helping

Lack of sleep also changes the way our bodies metabolize the fats from our food

Researchers also found that men who were sleep deprived tended to store the fat from their evening meal. But when the person was well rested, less fat was stored from their food.

The experimenters had a simulated work week – five nights of only 5 hours of sleep. And a whole weekend of 10 hours sleep per night, to catch up on the lost shut-eye.

But even after the weekend rest, the volunteers biological reaction to food did not revert back to what it was before the experiment.

After the first night of good sleep they ate a bowl of chili mac and cheese. Although participants’ metabolic handling of fat from their food was slightly better after one night of recovery sleep, they didn’t recover to the baseline healthy level.


In other news : It’s not what you eat but when you eat, that makes a difference

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The experiment shows that the effects of lack of sleep continue, even when we have got back into a good sleep pattern. But the researchers did not find how many nights of good sleep, it takes, to get back to a healthy reaction to high fat food.

It might take several, continuous nights, of good sleep for our bodies to return to what they were before the sleep deprivation period.

Or maybe, or bodies never recover from a period of poor sleep. The experiment ended after 10 days, so the researchers don’t have those answers.

But one thing is clear; for those of us who want to reduce the fat on our bodies, we need to get to bed and get some quality shut-eye. Sweet dreams!


Source: https://www.jlr.org/content/60/11/1935

Photos: Feet in bed at Pexels.com | Baked mac and cheese by Ronmar Lacamiento at Pexels.com


 

It’s not just WHAT you eat but also WHEN you eat

What you eat and when you eat it make a difference

A recent study by Vanderbilt University, USA shows that it’s not just how many calories you eat, but WHEN you eat them that will determine how well you burn those calories.

We have all heard that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”.

It turns out, this is more important than we imagined, for weight management!

Your daily biological clock and sleep regulate how the food you eat is metabolized.

Your body either burns stored fats or burns carbohydrates, and that choice depends on the time of day or night.

Your body’s circadian rhythm has programmed your body to burn fat when you sleep, so when you skip breakfast and then snack at night you delay burning the fat.


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The experiments showed that a late-evening snack flipped a switch on fat/carbohydrate preference.

The late-evening snack session resulted in less fat burned when compared to the breakfast session.

Essentially, calories eaten at breakfast are used as fuel throughout the day.

Calories eaten later in the evening replenish the body’s fat stores.

If you want to avoid replenishing those fat stores – if you want those fat stores to be burned up as you sleep – avoid eating in the evening.

The longer your fast between your last evening meal and your first meal the next day – your break fast – the more of that stored fat is used up.


Calories consumed at breakfast time are burned as fuel throughout the day.

Breakfast - the most important meal of the day

Calories consumed in the evening are stored as fat.

Eating later in the day, means those calories are probably stored as fat

This study has important implications for eating habits, suggesting that a daily, and extended, fast between the evening meal and breakfast will optimize fat loss.


Source: https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000622

Photos: Loaded breakfast table by Pixabay | Woman with red wine by Elina Sazonova | Breakfast bowl and spoon by Burst


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