Weight loss is influenced by a number of factors. Sure, a healthy diet and exercise are essential to dropping the pounds, but without ample sleep, your metabolism takes a hit, making it extremely difficult to achieve your goals.
While many studies have been dedicated to investigating the role of sleep in weight loss, researchers are now looking at the effect of a weight loss diet on sleep quality.
The study was conducted by Wayne Campbell, professor of nutrition and science at Purdue University in Indiana. With his team of researchers, Campbell found that following a high-protein diet for several months can help obese and overweight adults engage in a more sound sleep.
For the first pilot study, the researchers had 14 overweight participants follow a high-protein diet based on pork, beef, soy, and legume products. The remaining 30 participants were placed on a diet with normal protein intake.
The participants were given three weeks to adapt to the diet and were then asked to undergo a questionnaire every month of the 16-week study.
After three and four months, those who had the highest intake of protein reported an improvement in sleep quality.
“We found that while consuming a lower calorie diet with a higher amount of protein, sleep quality improves for middle-age adults. This sleep quality is better compared to those who lost the same amount of weight while consuming a normal amount of protein,” Campbell added in a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“Short sleep duration and compromised sleep quality frequently lead to metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and premature death,” explains Jing Zhou, the study’s first author. “Given the high prevalence of sleep problems it’s important to know how changes to diet and lifestyle can help improve sleep.”
The findings could help high-protein diets once more regain their clout. This is also good news for Americans, who chow down on protein-rich burgers an average of 4.3 times per month. But if they’re on a high-protein and low-carb diet like Atkins, they might want to skip the bun!