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    Archive for the ‘leptin’ Category

    Survey Results: What Happens In The Bedroom…

    According to the latest Small Bites survey, eighty-three percent of respondents believe a lack of sleep affects their eating habits.

    They are certainly not imagining things!

    A fair number of research studies have found that sleep deprivation (usually defined as less than five hours of sleep a night) can affect hunger levels and, in some instances, even food choices.

    The majority of studies focus on two hormones — leptin and ghrelin.

    Leptin, a hormone produced by fat cells, decreases hunger levels.

    Ghrelin performs the opposite function. The higher your ghrelin levels, the hungrier you feel.

    When sleep deprivation occurs — particularly when it happens on a consistent basis — leptin production decreases and ghrelin product increases.

    End result? You are hungrier than normal.

    One mystery that has baffled researchers is why sleep deprivation is often linked to a stronger desire for starchy, sweet, high-carbohydrate foods.

    The answer appears to be found with orexins, neurotransmitters in the hypothalamus that have been linked to increased cravings.

    It is theorized that increased ghrelin production also raises levels of orexins.

    It should also be pointed out that sleep deprivation not only gets in the way of performing physical activity, but also makes routine tasks — like cooking a 15 minute meal — seem daunting.

    Lower physical activity and increase your intake of takeout or fast foods over a consistent amount of time and you can see how sleep and eating habits are closely linked.

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    In The News: Battling With Leptin

    The Wall Street Journal is reporting the findings of a recent Columbia University Medical Center brain scan study which found that “when humans (and rodents) lose 10% or more of their body weight, [a hormone known as] leptin falls rapidly and sets off a cascade of physiological changes that act to put weight back on. Skeletal muscles work more efficiently, thyroid and other hormones are reduced — all so the body burns 15% to 20% fewer calories, enough to put back 25 pounds or more a year.”

    This partially helps to explain why crash diets never work long-term. They are such a sudden shock to the body that our metabolism starts working against – rather than with – the weight loss.

    This also makes the case for long-term approaches to weight loss that implement behavior modification and a slow but steady overhaul of eating habits and dietary patterns.

    The important of physical activity is also front and center here, since all forms — and especially weight-bearing exercises — prevent basal metabolic rate from slowing down.

    As lead author Michael Rosenbaum states, “Anybody who has lost weight and kept it off will tell you that they have to keep battling. They have essentially reinvented themselves.”

    Thank you to Fred Tripp for forwarding me this article.

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