Health & Diet

Weight loss: Common practice can help cut nearly 300 calories a day – ‘game changer’

Rapid weight loss 'becoming much more accepted' says Mosley

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Cutting calories is very easy said and experts have found that in some ways, it’s easy to do, too. If you’re trying to lose weight, there’s something else that’s just as important as diet and exercise.

By upping the amount of sleep a person gets by just two hours, researchers found you could cut your calorie intake by up to 500 per day.

Dr Esra Tasali, an associate professor of medicine who directs the Sleep Research Centre at the University of Chicago, conducted a study where he found a group of young, overweight adults cut down their calories by an average of 270 calories a day.

The group typically slept less than six and a half hours a night and had to try and get about eight and a half hours a night for two weeks during the trial.

The results were counted by using an objective urine test to measure calories and were published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

They saw many of those who did extend their sleep to a healthier length decreased their calorie intake.

“This is almost like a game changer for weight loss or weight maintenance,” said Dr Tasali.

Looking towards the future, the researchers projected their findings.

They suggested that eating 270 fewer calories a day would translate to a loss of 26lb over three years, all by doing nothing more than getting additional sleep.

Dr Tasali added: “A small intervention you can do to yourself to increase or preserve your sleep duration so you are not sleep deprived can have a significant impact on healthy weight.”

There have been many other studies over the years that have found that sleep can help prevent increases in calorie intake and appetite.

But when a person is sleep deprived, an increased appetite and a higher daily calorie intake is more common.

Overeating can cause the stomach to expand beyond its normal size to adjust to the large amount of food.

The expanded stomach then pushes against other organs, sparking feelings of discomfort and can lead to feeling tired, sluggish or drowsy.

Some experts have branded it a “vicious circle”.

But a good night’s sleep paired with eating three solid, healthy meals a day has been found to improve satiety and reduce hunger cues.

Doing so could help a person wanting to shed the pounds eat fewer calories and stay on top of their nutritional needs without overeating or eating recklessly.

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