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Get lots of sleep to lose fat, researchers say

Published on 05/10/2010
Those on a healthcare plan aimed at reducing fat levels should ensure they get plenty of sleep, according to new research.

A team from the University of Chicago has found that restricting sleep can vastly decrease a person's ability to lose fat.

Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, they studied ten people aged 35 to 49 who were overweight but otherwise healthy and placed them on a calorie-restricted diet over a four-week period.

For the first fortnight, they were allowed to sleep for up to 8.5 hours, and for the second two weeks for up to 5.5 hours.

It was found that, while they lost the same amount of weight, nearly half that weight was fat when the group was gaining adequate sleep, compared to just a fifth when their sleep levels were reduced, with the remainder mainly made up of muscle loss.

Plamen Penev, who led the study, said: "If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels.

"Cutting back on sleep, a behaviour that is ubiquitous in modern society, appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting. In our study it reduced fat loss by 55 per cent."

A study earlier this year found the average Briton sleeps for six hours a night.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

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