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iVillage: Get a Bikini-Ready Body Without Diet and Exercise

Strive for More Shut-Eye

Skimping on shut-eye ups the odds you’ll have excess belly fat. “Research shows that not sleeping enough -- that’s at least seven hours a night -- inhibits the body’s ability to shed fat,” says Michael Breus, Ph.D., author of the book, The Sleep Doctors Diet Plan. The reason: “Sleep deprivation makes you crave sweet, high-carb foods, the types that have been shown to cause insulin surges that contribute directly to belly fat,” he explains. What’s more, several studies have shown that sleep deprivation negatively impacts the production of ghrelin, a hormone that helps control appetite, and leptin, a compound which influences appetite and fat production.

(Justin Horrocks/Getty Images)
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