A couple of weeks ago, I posted about my attempts to lose weight without avoiding chocolate because it had been discovered in a recent study that chocolate was actually good for you (see here). Well, I can now reveal, two weeks in, that I’m not doing that well! If anything, I have gained weight – and all I have been eating is rabbit food and chocolate.
OK, I may have slipped up a little over the Easter weekend with a couple of really good meals and some Belgian chocolate, but I didn’t think I had over done it. 😦
However, today I discovered it wasn’t entirely my fault. It seems that ones sleep pattern has an effect on ones weight. And amazingly, around 30% of the UK population has some sort of sleep disorder. A study revealed that most people need between six and nine hours of sleep a night, but being sleep deprived may make you eat more than usual. Researchers in the USA compared people allowed to sleep as much as they wanted with those who slept just two-thirds of their normal time. Being deprived of sleep was linked to eating more calories.
In the study, when people were sleep deprived, they ate an extra 549 calories per day – which is more than a Quarter Pounder With Cheese! Over a week’s time, that could add up to an extra pound of weight added to the body. Of course, that study was carried out on people losing one third of their normal sleep which meant getting between 4 and 6 hours a night. It would take me a couple of nights to get between 4 and 6 hours sleep! So does that mean I am taking on an extra 1098 calories per day?
Two Quarter Pounders With Cheese every day!
OK, here’s the science bit for those interested (as described by a man in a white coat):
“Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a lot to do with our nightly hormones. The two hormones that are key in this process are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin, Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin. More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain. Therefore, you are eating more, plus your metabolism is slower when you are sleep-deprived.”
No wonder I’m not shedding the pounds. In fact I think most of my extra weight is in the bags under my eyes! 😉
I guess two weeks is not enough time to say the current diet is not working, so I’d better continue with the chocolate covered vegetables for a while longer whilst looking for some way to get some sleep.
Maybe I could just stay in bed all day!