People who get more sleep have reduced ghrelin and increased leptin levels, which helps to control their appetites throughout the day. That was the finding of research conducted at the University of Wisconsin. Another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that overweight people, on average, got 16 minutes less sleep per day than people of regular weight. Although that might not sound like a big difference, those minutes—like your belly fat—accumulate over time.
Sip a cup of tea.
Wind down with a cup of rooibos tea, and burn belly fat while you do it! Naturally decaffeinated, rooibos tea is made from the leaves of the “red bush” plant, grown exclusively in South Africa. What makes rooibos tea particularly good for your belly is a unique and powerful flavonoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage, making rooibos one of the best fat-burning foods.
Load up on tryptophan.
Don’t count sheep, eat lamb! (Or better yet, a bit of turkey.) Tryptophan, an amino acid found in most meats, has demonstrated powerful sleep-inducing effects. A study among insomniacs found that just 1/4 gram—about what you’ll find in a skinless chicken drumstick or three ounces of lean turkey meat—was enough to significantly increase hours of deep sleep. And that can translate into an easy slim-down. Researchers from the University of Colorado found that dieters consumed 6 percent fewer calories when they got enough sleep. For someone on a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s 120 calories per day, which could amount to nearly a one-pound weight loss in a month! The National Sleep Foundation suggests seven to eight hours of sleep for most adults.