Q and A

Lights out for Weight Loss


When it comes to weight loss one of the first recommendations from physicians, trainers, and well meaning coworkers is generally, eat a lower fat diet.

The belief that eating a high fat diet leads to weight gain may not be an inaccurate one; especially if that diet is chock full of highly processed high fat foods. Telling you to sleep more might not even be on a list of the top 5 things they may recommend. However, a few nights of no sleep will actually lead to weight gain faster than ingesting a high fat diet will.

Researchers investigated the effects that 24 hours of light exposure had on circadian rhythms and metabolic function of mice.

Circadian rhythms serve as our internal clock. They regulate cell division, hormone function, and our metabolism. Disruption to these rhythms has been implicated in the development of many diseases especially diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Mice that were exposed to 24 hours of light had an increased energy intake during the ‘day’ and decreased energy expenditure during the ‘night’. Energy expenditure during the day was also decreased resulting in significantly decreased total energy expenditure.

Researchers found this to have a greater impact on the weight of the mice than did eating a high fat diet.

This does not mean that we shouldn’t aim for a lower fat, healthful diet. However, it does mean that we need to be aware of the impact our environment has on our health.

Members of mp-body.com can download a complete two-part audio report on this. For a more in depth look at how sleep can affect your health and your waistline be sure to check out Everything you want to know about sleep part one and part two.

Coomans C. Detrimental effects of constant light exposure and high-fat diet on circadian energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity. FASEBJ. Vol. 27 April 2013

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