Could you lose weight for Christmas by sleeping more?

With just four more Mondays till Christmas 2015, you may feel like the ship has sailed when it comes to starting that Little Black Dress diet plan or wailing on your pecs.

But did you know that you can shed pounds not in the gym, on the track or in the pool, but somewhere much more fun altogether… in the bedroom.

No matter how many lunges you thrust through, star-jumps you leap for or pavements you pound, if you are not also getting regular good-quality sleep, you can kiss those bigger weight-loss goals goodbye.

In fact, New York Times bestseller Zero Belly Diet found poor sleep could undermine weight loss by up to 55 percent! But do not fear. It’s not quite time to put on your ‘Bah Humbug’ hat and inhale a tin of Quality Street just yet…

Here’s five expert sleep hacks from that’ll get your weight-loss plan back on track in time for turkey and tinsel.

  1. Boffins have identified an amino acid found in most meats called Tryptophan, which has serious sleep-inducing properties. A skinless chicken drumstick or three ounces of lean turkey meat is enough to significantly increase hours of deep sleep. The University of Colorado researchers found that dieters who get enough sleep consume around six percent less calories every day, which (based on a 2,000 calorie consumption) is around a 120 calorie saving or a one pound loss per month.
  2. The Cell Metabolism Journal found that eating what you want but only for a set numbers of hours per day leads to greater weight-loss than eating a healthy, controlled diet round the clock. Set breakfast and dinner times over an eight-hour timeframe and stick to them to stay lean or to lose weight.
  3. Turn the central heating lower and remove a blanket or two to trigger your stores of brown fat into ‘burning mode’. When the temperature drops, your brown fat works harder to burn through belly fat to keep you warm while you sleep. The Diabetes journal found that people who slept at 66 degrees for four weeks almost doubled their reserves of belly fat-busting brown fat.
  4. Introduce a ‘blackout policy’ in your bedroom. The American Journal of Epidemiology reported on a new study which found that those who slept in dark rooms were 21 percent less likely to be obese than those sleeping in the lighter rooms.
  5. Lead with your nose. While some scents send us into a feeding frenzy, others kill our appetites. A study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that sniffing peppermint every two hours can lead to an average weight loss of five pounds a month! Banana, green apple and vanilla had similar effects. Invest in a minty candle and burn it before heading to bed, or add a few drops of peppermint oil to your pillow.

Got any sleep-related weight loss tips you’d love to share? Please post them in the comments section below.

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