- Ever struggled with food cravings and weight gain?
- Brand new research reveals a hidden THIRD factor in weight control
- Why it’s time to end this blame game
Have you ever failed at a diet?
Or have you put on weight for seemingly no reason?
It could be that you eat lots of fruit and veg… cut the carbs down… gone walking or swimming… all the things they tell you.
Yet you’re not losing weight at all.
Or it’s much more of a struggle than you think it should be.
Perhaps you simply can’t get rid of that urge to snack or get a second helping.
Well, one of the reasons could be this…
A hidden cause of weight gain you probably don’t know about
I’ve been reading about a newly revealed factor behind weight control that you might not have been told about before.
This is because it’s from brand new research published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition on the 2nd November.
“Hot off the press” as they say!
A PhD research leader at King’s College London claims to have discovered “a potential third factor, in addition to diet and exercise” that’s essential for weight control.
And that third factor is…
According to a systematic review, sleep deprivation drives you to consume more calories.
They’ve averaged it out as 385 kcal per day, which is roughly four and a half slices of bread.
That might not sound like much…
But if you’ve been on a diet before, you’ll know that consuming, say, five slices of toast on top of your intake will easily cancel out the effects of that diet.
That’s a couple of sandwiches worth of bread extra.
Dr Gerda Pot from King’s College says: ‘The main cause of obesity is an imbalance between calorie intake and expenditure and this study adds to accumulating evidence that sleep deprivation could contribute to this imbalance.”
So why is there a link?
Earlier research has suggested that when you don’t enough sleep an area of the brain that associates food with ‘reward’ becomes more activated.
In other words, you feel more of an urge to stock up on your body’s energy supplies the day after a bad night’s sleep. This might not be something you feel consciously, but manifests itself subconsciously as you reach inside your fridge, or keep looking in cupboards.
Another reason could be related to your body clock, something I wrote about in this post here.
When you don’t get enough sleep, there’s a shift in your metabolic clock that upsets your natural rhythms.
This can affect two hormones –
– Leptin – the one that makes you feel full
– Grehlin – the one that makes you feel hungry
It means your body starts sending you the wrong signals when you’ve eaten, so you feel hungry when you should feel satisfied.
There’s plenty of research to be done, but the further I read into this subject, the more it appears that the factors behind weight gain are more complex than we ever imagined.
This is a good thing, because until recently we’ve been in a never-ending Obesity Blame Game.
– The 1980s – we are told FAT is the cause, just cut out fat and you’ll be fine.
– The 1990s – it turns out that CARBOHYDRATES are the cause, stop eating them and you’ll be slim as you like
– The 2000s – suddenly it’s all about your GENES. If you have the fat gene then it’s not your fault and there’s little to be done, let’s all accept one another.
And now in 2016?
Well, it’s a little more complicated, but a lot more scientific.
Finally, we’re realising that weight gain and control is related to a whole number of things… the balance of your diet, the source of your food, your genetic makeup, your lifestyle, your mental health, your emotional history and the manipulation of food companies and advertisers.
It means there is no magic bullet solution,
Which is sad because it removes that hope of an easy fix, or a single thing to blame for our woes.
But at least we can start to be realistic.
Instead of looking to pin the blame, or going on diets that will never work in the long run, it’s time to think about our overall lifestyle and attitude.
Sleep is a good place to start….
The People’s Doctor’s Guide to Sleep
I know I’ve already written to you about sleep in the last month or two, but I think it’s important, because it’s one of those things that people don’t necessarily link to health problems, and yet it’s linked to
– early cognitive decline, poor concentration and memory (find out more here🙂
– a 58% increased risk of death from heart and lung conditions…
– a higher chance of diabetes, obesity, dementia and depression (find out more here🙂
Now we know that sleep problems could also be a contributing factor to food cravings and struggles to lose wright.
So if you want to know how to improve your sleep then I’d urge you to read my recent post, which details the advice of a top UK sleep expert and has loads of great tips you might not have heard elsewhere: Are you sleeping the wrong way?
This will get you started.
And as for the many other factors that make us eat too much well, I’m going to put together a series of emails that will help you work out a realistic plan, without starving yourself or cutting out food group.
However, I’ll do this after Christmas, because it’s been a tough year for the world and we need to have a bit of fun, right?
Until the weekend, then, stay healthy!