Poor sleep can derail your post-diet weight maintenance plans

Research presented this Wednesday (4) during the European Congress on Obesity, in the Netherlands, provides more evidence on the importance of sleep in maintaining weight loss.

A group of scientists at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark have shown that not getting enough sleep impairs attempts to maintain weight after a diet.

They analyzed 195 obese adults who were on an 800 kcal/day diet for eight weeks. By the end, they had lost, on average, 12% of their weight.

Subsequently, they were randomly divided into four groups that would have different strategies for weight maintenance over a period of one year.

The first group would receive a daily injection of placebo (a substance with no effect on the body); the second would take a daily injection of 3 mg of liraglutide (a drug used to treat obesity); the third group would do four physical exercise sessions per week; and the fourth would have a combination of liraglutide with physical activities.

During one year of the study, participants performed self-assessments of sleep duration and quality. The researchers analyzed the results based on average sleep duration (below or above 6 hours per night) or quality, according to a previously defined index.

Although all participants who lost weight initially reported an improvement in sleep quality, only those who practiced physical exercise managed to maintain it.

The weight of those who slept poorly was also not maintained, according to the study. Those who slept less than six hours a night had an increase in BMI of 1.3 kg/m compared to those who slept more than that.

“The fact that sleep health is so strongly related to maintaining weight loss is important as many of us do not get the recommended amount of sleep needed for optimal health and functioning,” said Professor Signe S. Torekov, a of the authors of the work.

She even suggests that more research is needed in the future to show the real impacts of sleep quality on weight loss.

About Jenni Smith

She's our PC girl, so anything is up to her. She is also responsible for the videos of Play Crazy Game, as well as giving a leg in the news.

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