How Better Sleep Helps Your Waistline

Diet and exercise have their place| but one secret weapon in your weight-loss arsenal takes a lot less effort: getting enough sleep. Here’s how catching those Z’s helps shrink your waistline.

    It helps you eat less: Sleep affects levels of the hunger-regulating hormone leptin| which helps your body realize it’s full| and ghrelin| which stimulates appetite. Not getting adequate sleep lowers levels of leptin while raising levels of ghrelin| which can cause overeating when you’re sleep-deprived. A recent study found that women who didn’t sleep enough ate an average of 300 more calories than those who got adequate sleep.It reduces belly fat: Anxiety and stress are two major contributors to belly fat; getting enough sleep is one way to beat both.It may suppress fat genes: A recent study found that women who slept seven to nine hours a night weighed less than those who were sleep-deprived; researchers believe that those who slept fewer than seven hours a night (or| interestingly| more than nine) were more affected by any genetic predispositions to be overweight or obese.It gives you energy: If you’ve gotten a good night’s rest| then you’re more likely to have the energy to tackle your workout for the day. And| since exercise helps you sleep| revamping your sleeping habits can be the start of a beneficial cycle.

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