Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tune Out and Turn In Early

Turn off your television set early tonight, and turn in early. Studies have shown that, for every 2 hours of TV you watch daily, the risk for obesity increases by 23 percent. Hitting the sack early can actually help you fight flab even more.

People who get 5 or fewer hours of sleep are 55 percent more likely to get obese than those who log eight hours per night. If you sleep less than 7 hours, weight gain may become a worry. We produce more of the appetite-promoting hormone ghrelin and less of the satiety-producing hormone leptin when we're low on sleep.

That is why, sleep deprivation may increase cravings for high-carb sweet foods, which can derail your diet. Furthermore, your body cannot burn late-night nibbles as efficiently as it does those you ingest while the sun is up. Declare "last call" latest by 2 hours before bed.

If you're so hungry you can't sleep, munch on 150-calorie bites that contain filling protein and fiber, such as low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers, sliced veggies, or nuts mixed with dried fruit. If not, sip tea, off the lights and bid farewell to the fridge until the next morning.