To trim their waistlines, dieters often commit to demanding workout routines that push them to great limits. That said, more and more studies are showing that we can actually encourage greater weight loss by doing sedentary activities, such as eating, reading and sleeping.
It may sound too good to be true, but eating more can actually encourage weight loss; while eating less can actually promote fat accumulation.
“When we go without eating for long periods of time, we cause our body’s metabolisms to slow way down,” said health and fitness expert Paul A. Achoa. “When this occurs, our bodies go into starvation mode which causes them to hoard fat. Contrarily, when we eat several small meals about every two hours, our metabolisms speed up, causing us to burn more fat.”
Although eating more frequently can promote weight loss, Achoa warns against eating just anything.
“For best results, dieters should be eating foods which are high in protein and fiber,” he said. “Fiber is great, because it makes us feel full; it also limits fat production by preventing our insulin levels from spiking.”
Because reading is a sedentary activity which doesn’t burn many calories, few would regard it as a dieting aid; however, according to author RJ Lawrence, studies have shown that readers tend to have healthier weights.
“One recent study out of Duke Children’s Hospital found that young girls who read novels actually lost more weight when compared to girls who read nothing,” he said. “To reach their findings the researchers put over 80 overweight teenage girls in the same weight loss program. To see if reading might impact weight loss, they gave some of the girls fiction novels to read, while some read nothing. Ultimately, the readers lost more weight than the nonreaders, even though they all ate and exercised the same.”
Although this research seems to indicate that reading may promote healthy habits; it also suggests that certain books may be more effective than others. According to Lawrence, who sells his Kindle books at Amazon.com, the best novels to read appear to be those which feature characters that serve as strong role models.
“In the Duke Children’s Hospital study, all of the readers lost more weight than the nonreaders,” he said. “However, one particular novel called Lake Rescue appeared to promote the greatest amount of weight loss, probably because it was centered on a young woman who was struggling to lose weight.”
For years, health experts have known that poor sleep appears to spur weight gain; now, they’ve proven it can do it rapidly. A study out of the University of Colorado found that inadequate sleep has the power to promote significant weight gain within a short amount of time. To reach their findings, the research team split a group of overweight adults into two groups: one which slept nine hours each night and one which slept only 5 hours. For five days, all subjects ate the same amount of calories; however, in the end, the ones that slept only five hours gained an astonishing 2 pounds of extra weight each.