Still, it's not clear if getting more sleep actually helps people lose weight. However, studies are now being conducted to answer that question. In one study, researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases will look at whether obese people who usually sleep less than 6.5 hours a night see changes in their weight if they increase their sleep by an hour per night. [Best Fitness Trackers]
If you’re logging just a few hours of sleep a night, you may actually find yourself gaining weight. Researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center found that subjects who slept just four hours had a harder time processing carbs. "When you're exhausted, your body lacks the energy to do its normal day-to-day functions, which includes burning calories efficiently," says Talbott.
Finding the ideal amount of protein to eat can be tricky. The Institute of Medicine says the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)—how much you need to avoid deficiency—of protein for adults should be 0.8 g/kg body weight. To calculate it, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2, then multiply by 0.8. But when you're trying to lose weight, your protein needs may change. Some research suggests doubling lean protein intake to help assist weight loss and prevent muscle mass loss. Cederquist recommends: "For a woman of average height (which in the United States is 5'4") I recommend 110–120 grams of protein per day," or about 4 ounces at each meal. "This is the equivalent of a small chicken breast—not an enormous burger or steak!" Before doubling up on protein, talk to a registered dietitian to make sure it's safe for you.
Miller and his colleagues reviewed 25 years' worth of weight loss research and found that, during a typical 15-week weight loss program, people lost, on average, 23 lbs. (10.4 kg) by only dieting and 24 lbs. (10.9 kg) by dieting and exercising, they reported in 1997. That difference may seem small, but after one year, the people who only dieted kept off 14 lbs. (6.4 kg), on average, whereas those who dieted and exercised kept off 19 lbs. (8.6 kg). [2016 Best Heart Rate Monitor Watches]