Diet and exercise – major components of weight loss. So you’re exercising regularly and incorporating a well-balanced diet, but why aren’t you losing weight? You step on the scale every week and haven’t noticed a slight change – or maybe you aren’t seeing the result you might have wanted to. Patience is key, but did you know stress and bad sleeping patterns could also be major causes of why you aren’t seeing the results you’d like?
Research has shown that sleep and stress are both linked to your weight loss success. In fact, a study in the International Journal of Obesity found that those with high levels of stress and bad sleeping patterns were less likely to achieve their weight loss goal.
The study observed 472 obese adults (with BMIs between 30 and 50) over age 30; 83% of the participants were women and a quarter were senior citizens over 65. The subjects were required to participate in a weight loss program that included weekly group counseling, keeping a food diary, exercising at least 3 hours a week, consuming 500 less calories than what they were used to, and sticking to a well-balanced nutritional diet.
Over the course of the study, 60% of participants lost at least 10 lbs. As expected, researchers found that factors like exercise, keeping a food diary, and attending counseling sessions, all resulted to successful weight loss.
Throughout the study researchers observed participants’ stress levels, sleep quality, and depression. Researchers also found that participants who reported sleeping less than 6 hours, or more than 8 hours, per night at the start of the study were less likely to meet 10 lbs weight loss goal, compared with people who slept 6-8 hours.
In fact, according to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 32.5 percent of adults in the U.S get less than 7 hour of sleep each night and this can lead to sleep deficit that may result to physical and mental health issues – and vice versa. According to the National Sleep Foundation – feeling stressed can increase our physiological and psychological arousal in ways that are incompatible with the state your body needs to be in to feel relaxed and to be able to sleep.
So what does this all mean? Basically you need to lower your levels of stress to get better sleep or if you don’t get enough sleep this could result in mental health problems, such as stress. Overall quality sleep and lowering your stress level are vital to your weight loss journey.
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