SIX WAYS SLEEP DEPRIVATION CAN LEAD TO WEIGHT GAIN

Most people know they should cut calories and exercise more to trim down, but there’s now significant scientific evidence that another critical component to maintaining your natural normal weight  is avoiding sleep deprivation, sleep scientists say.

“There is no doubt that insufficient sleep promotes hunger and appetite, which can cause excessive food intake resulting in weight gain,” says Eve Van Cauter, director of the Sleep, Metabolism and Health . She has spent 15 years studying the topic.

Here are six specific ways sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain.

  1. When you are running on low energy, you automatically go for a bag of potato chips or other comfort foods.
  2. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin.
  3. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.
  4. The more sleep-deprived you are, the higher your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases your appetite.
  5. When you’re sleep deprived, the mitochondria in your cells that digest fuel start to shut down.
  6. Your body goes into survival mode. Sleeplessness can fool your body into thinking you’re in danger. Your metabolism slows because your body is trying to maintain its resources, and it also wants more fuel.

How Is the Gut Connected to the Brain?

Did you know your gut is intricately connected to your brain? The brain needs a lot of nutrients to do its job. Not just food nutrients, but minerals and raw materials needed to help metabolic processed. If you do not have these nutrients in your diet, or your gut is too inflamed to absorb them well, you will have shortages in the brain.

Another huge aspect of the gut – brain connection is how bugs (microbes) manipulate the brain. The impact of gut microflora on brain function has again been confirmed by UCLA researchers who, in a proof-of-concept study, found that probiotics (beneficial bacteria) indeed altered the brain function in the participants.

The human body contains trillions of microbes, collectively called the microbiome. In just one person’s body, they are estimated to weigh two to six pounds — up to twice the weight of the average human brain.

Most reside in the gut and intestines, where they can help us to digest food, synthesize vitamins, and fight off infection. But their influence seems to reach the brain in a powerful way.

The benefit of a healthy gut is illustrated most effectively during early development. Research has indicated just how sensitive a fetus is to any changes in a mother’s microbiotic makeup, so much so that it can alter the way a baby’s brain develops. If a baby is born via cesarean section, it misses an opportunity to ingest the mother’s bacteria as it travels down the vaginal canal. Studies show that those born via c-section have to work to regain the same diversity in their microbiome as those born vaginally. Throughout our lives, our microbiome continues to be a vulnerable entity, and as we are exposed to stress, toxins, chemicals, certain diets, and even exercise, our microbiome fluctuates for better or worse.

The most empowering aspect to the gut-brain connection is the understanding that many of our daily lifestyle choices play a role in mediating our overall wellness. This whole-body approach to healthcare and wellness continues to show its value in our longevity, well-being, and quality of life: that both physical and mental health go hand-in-hand.

The Scariest Part of Halloween is the Sugar

The Scariest Part of Halloween is the sugar. The amount of candy consumed on Halloween may seem downright spooky, especially if you’re a dentist, nutritionist or health-conscious parent. Almost every child in the USA will have candy on Halloween, and about half of the adults will eat some. That compares to 24% of all adults and kids who have candy on a typical day.

The small snack sizes might seem harmless, but they are loaded with sugar! Take a look at the numbers below!

  • Almond Joy, Snack Size – 80 calories, 8 g sugar
  • Butterfinger, Fun Size – 100 calories, 10 g sugar
  • Gummie Bears (Haribo) – 8 pieces, around 65 calories, 21 g sugar, and make sure to brush teeth well after gummy bears.
  • Heath Bar, Snack Size – 76 calories, and 9 g sugar
  • Hershey Kisses – Average 25 calories and 2 – 3 g sugar each kiss
  • Hershey’s Miniature Bars – Average  42 calories and 4 g sugar each bar
  • Jolly Rancher – For the kids who like candy with pucker power, a serving of three Jolly Ranchers is only 70 calories, 0 g of fat and 11 g of sugar.
  • Kit Kat, Fun size – 60 calories and 6 g sugar
  • Peanut M & Ms – Speaking of chocolate morsels, a fun size pouch comes in at 93 calories, but the kiddos are getting some protein here. The serving has 5 g of fat and 9 g of sugar.
  • Pop Rocks vs. Almond Joy – A package of Pop Rocks has just 25 calories compared to 80 calories for a mini-Almond Joy or Mounds.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Snack Size – 110 calories, 11 g sugar per peanut butter cup
  • Skittles, Fun Size – 60 calories, 11 g sugar
  • Smarties – 1 roll, 25 calories, 6 g sugar
  • Snickers, Fun Size – 80 calories, 4 g of fat and 8 g of sugar
  • Sour Patch Kids, Mini Bag – 50 calories, 10 g sugar
  • Starburst, Fun Size – 2 candies, 40 calories, 6 g sugar
  • Three Musketeers Minis – The fun size bar has less calories and fat than many other chocolate bars, just 64 calories, 2 g of fat and 11 g of sugar.
  • Tootsie Pops & Charms Blow Pops – The treat has lasting value—if you don’t bite into it, that is. The pops have 60 calories, 0 g of fat, but 10 – 13 g of sugar.
  • Tootsie Roll Midgee – This chocolaty treat comes in at 23 calories. At 3 g of fat and 20 g of sugar, six Tootsie Roll Midgees have a few less calories than 8 Starbursts.
  • Twix Minis –1 bar, 50 calories, 5 g sugar
  • Twizzlers (Strawberry Twists) – 2 pieces, 50 calories and 6 g sugar

Source – UCSF Childrens Hospital of Oakland