Statistics from the CDC show that over one-third of adults in the US are obese, while nearly 70% are overweight. Discussions about weight loss often focus on issues like calories or the best types of food choices. Are we eating too many calories, getting too much fat, too many carbs or not enough protein? What type of diet is best? Is it vegan, paleo? As critical as these considerations are, a holistic approach to weight loss also recognizes the importance of many lifestyle choices that can have a profound impact on success, including issues as varied as where you stash your snacks and how long you sleep.
Out of sight, out of mind?
Removing temptation from easy reach is surprisingly effective.
A study at the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab found that moving candy just a few feet away from a worker’s desk reduced consumption significantly. Researchers counted the number of candy kisses eaten by office workers when they sat in a bowl on the person’s desk. They then moved the bowl just six feet away. Results showed that moving the candy that short distance resulted in a 48% decrease in consumption. Even putting the candy in a desk drawer reduced consumption 25%. These outcomes suggest that visibility and convenience can be important variables influencing the quantity of food we eat.
You may have seen the research showing a connection between sleep and weight gain, but did you know that keeping a regular sleep schedule is also important?
A recent study of university women between the ages of 17 and 26 compared body composition and wake and sleep times. Results showed that a consistent sleep schedule, and especially a regular wake up time, corresponded to lower body fat. Women whose wake and sleep times varied more than 90 minutes had more body fat than did those who experienced variations less than 60 minutes. Other variables predicting more body fat included poor sleep quality and sleeping less than 6.5 or more than 8.5 hours per night.