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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Late Nights A Cause of Weight Gain?

Interesting news on sleeping patterns and eating habits. If you're a night owl, someone who comes alive after 11:00 pm, and you're trying to lose weight, there's a new study on the cause of weight gain that might interest you.

A team of researchers from Northwestern University found that subjects who went to bed late took in about 248 added calories a day, and are more likely to eat unhealthy food than those who follow the "early to bed, early to rise" habit.

The study involved 51 adults, average age 30 years old. Twenty-three of the subjects were usually in bed by 3:45am and were up by 10:45am, while the other half turned in by 12:30am and were awake by 8:00am.

When it came to mealtimes, night owls ate breakfast at noon, lunch about 3:00pm and dinner just after 8:00pm, with a final meal at 10 o'clock at night. More traditional sleepers ate their meals at more accepted times - breakfast by 9:00am, lunch at one and dinner at 7, with a final snack by 8:30 at night. Participants recorded eating and sleeping patterns in logs, while also wearing a wrist actigraph to measure sleep/activity cycles.

The study found that night owls took in more calories, 248 added calories a day to be exact, while their diet had two times the amount of fast food, sugar laden soda, as well as only half the fruits and veggies as the diets of those with more traditional sleep patterns. What's worse for weight loss is that the extra calories were eaten later in the day. Not surprisingly, those who kept the later hours also had higher body mass indexes (BMIs) than did those who followed a more typical sleeping pattern.

Could it be that healthy alternatives just aren't available at all hours?

It is likely that those extra calories, and when they are eaten, have a significant impact on how much weight you carry. Over time, eating and sleeping patterns like this can put on as much as 2 pounds a month, according to experts.

The study authors point out that our circadian rhythms for sleep and metabolic rate are synched by nature with the daily movement of the earth. Our internal clocks are set to sleep when it gets dark and eat during daylight. When sleeping and eating aren't aligned with this internal rhythm, this brings alterations in appetite and speed of metabolism, and these encourage weight gain.

Eating 'bad' foods at the wrong time might also increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and gastrointestinal problems. If you're trying to lose weight, it makes sense to pay attention to your sleeping patterns... when you're eating and how much time you're allowing for being active during your day.

Having said this, if you're one of those unique souls who enjoys the quiet of the night... this study isn't suggesting you change your ways, instead it points up the need to be aware of taking in large numbers of calories at precisely the wrong time of day (or night). If it's midnight and you're just settling down to "lunch", you need to make some healthy food choices to avoid letting your late nights be a cause of weight gain.

FREE Bonus Secret Health Reports - For a limited time you can grab 5 FREE essential health reports from the Daily Health Bulletin. Click through now to discover more on how late nights or a general lack of sleep can be a cause of weight gain.

Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kirsten_Whittaker


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