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Sleep Away a Bad Diet
Thu Aug 08 2019

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Wondering why you’re craving sugar so much when you’re tired? Feeling that afternoon slump?

A new study has found that sleeping a little longer each night could be the simple answer to cutting down on your intake of sugary food. Many adults are not getting enough sleep each night, leaving them fatigued and craving sugary boosts.

A systematic review looking into sleep duration and weight conclude that short sleep duration is strongly associated with concurrent and future obesity. The studies found that consistently missing the less than the optimal 7-8 hours sleep leads to an increased caloric intake. Hunger and appetite scores increase in groups with less than 10 hours sleep over a 2 night period, and cravings were for far more fatty and carbohydrate-rich foods.

Lack of sleep increases our ghrelin (hunger hormone) and reduces leptin levels (satiety hormone), suggesting that lack of sleep leads to a lowered ability to regulate our appetite. One particular study found that by extending sleep by an 1.5 hours, the participants ate 10g less free sugars, as well as less overall carbohydrates for the day.

Worried about your sugar and carbohydrate intake?

Step 1

Fuel your body with nourishing wholesome foods, high in protein and good fats to keep those hunger hormones at bay.

Step 2

Make sure you get 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night. That might mean turning off Netflix or switching off your phone.

Be Fit Food Solution

A Be Fit Food Protein Bircher would be the perfect start to your day, it’s low GI will give you lasting energy throughout the whole morning, then for that 3pm slump, try a P.Nutty protein ball, which is calorie controlled, high in protein, and guaranteed to hit that sweet spot!

Regular, consistent sleep, and a diet that loves you back are your two essential ingredients in looking after your health.

(Bianca Moleta, Accredited Practicing Dietitian)

1. Haya K Al Khatib  Wendy L Hall  Alice Creedon  Emily Ooi  Tala Masri  Laura McGowan  Scott V Harding Julia Darzi  Gerda K Pot , ”Sleep extension is a feasible lifestyle intervention in free-living adults who are habitually short sleepers: a potential strategy for decreasing intake of free sugars?” A randomized controlled pilot study . The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 107, Issue 1, 1 January 2018, Pages 43–53, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqx030

2. Patel SR, Hu FB. Short sleep duration and weight gain: a systematic review. Obesity (Silver
Spring). 2008; 16:643–653. [PubMed: 18239586

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