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The Sleep Diet: Another fad?

Posted Feb 09 2009 2:17pm
by Brett Blumenthal

Every time a new ‘diet’ comes out, I’m always amazed at how the media touts the newest of the new as being easier than the last fad diet.  When I hear about some of these ‘diets’ on the Morning Shows I watch while I workout, I often end up having a very passionate and somewhat angry reaction.  Why?  Because they often mislead the consumer into thinking there is some ‘trick’ to being healthy.  I’m going to let you in on a secret: There is no trick.  Nope.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but if there is a ‘trick’ then it probably is a sham.

So this week, the fad diet of choice is the Sleep Diet.  Yay… we can now lead consumers to believe that they can sleep away their weight problems!  It doesn’t get much easier than that!  Or does it?

Look, sleep is extremely important to your health and well-being for a variety of reasons. It strengthens and supports the immune system, it boosts cognitive function, it helps ensure strong memory function, and it keeps hormones in check and enables us to look our best and most youthful.  When we don’t get enough sleep, it can be detrimental, especially if this occurs over a long, extended time. Some of these detriments may include high blood pressure and heart-rhythm irregularities, depression, and yes, metabolic changes that can lead to weight gain and diabetes. All of that said, sleeping isn’t the only answer to weight loss prayers.  And to create a lot of hype around it seems senseless.

The reality is, many factors are important to maintaining a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle.  Sleep is definitely one of them, but so is a healthy diet and good nutrition, and regular activity or even more importantly, a consistent fitness regimen.  Sleep isn’t the end all and be all to being healthy.  Lastly, remember that every individual is unique.  Your body responds to different factors differently.  So the most important thing you can do is stay tuned into your body, what it needs and how it responds.

Are there any ‘hyped up fad’ diets you dislike?  What do you think about the idea of making sleep sound like a diet?

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