Can You Lose Weight With The ‘Overnight Diet,’ Just By Sleeping?

Kim LaCapria - Author

Aug. 23 2017, Updated 1:05 a.m. ET

It seems nearly everyone wants to lose weight, at least intermittently, and the “Overnight Diet” makes some interesting claims about how to do so … in a nutshell, sleeping is a massive strategy for the plan when it comes to shedding pounds.

But can you lose weight with the Overnight Diet simply by sleeping? It sounds a bit too good to be true, and, if there is any evidence that snoozing has an edge over Zumba, we’d like you to sign us up please … however, experts are mixed on whether the plan actually lives up to its claims of rapid, seemingly effortless weight loss.

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Caroline Apovian, M.D. is the Overnight Diet’s creator — and her credentials in the realm of how to lose weight are fairly solid. Apovian is the director of nutrition and weight management at Boston Medical Center, and she explains how the start of the diet is designed to kick off some super-efficient metabolic processes:

“That first night, you go to sleep, you sleep your eight hours, you are down two pounds … If you continue to get enough sleep every night, you won’t get those hunger pangs. The hunger pangs come from lack of sleep, which induces the hunger hormone to get secreted from your gut.”

Apovian’s statement indeed seems to jive with some recent research into the matter suggesting that, if you are deprived of sleep, it becomes intensely difficult to lose weight — and it can even lead to weight gain.

But is the Overnight Diet the answer to the sleepy guy or gal’s prayers? It sounds like it, if the claims are accurate. Apovian says that on her plan, “you can lose up to two pounds overnight … then for the six days, you can lose up to nine pounds in one week after the first week.”

Some other experts disagree. Keith Ayoob of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York says, surprisingly, that the two pounds in one night claim indeed is plausible — but not as a true measure of fat reduction:

“It won’t be fat. It’ll be mostly water. Because there’s no how, no way you’re going to lose two pounds of body fat overnight … In order to lose two pounds of body fat overnight you’d have to burn up about six or seven thousand calories and there’s just no way to do that by sleeping.”

Ayoob adds:

“You know, you’ve got to actually expend that or cut back on your intake. And it takes longer than overnight to do that.”

As the Overnight Diet is fairly new, the jury’s still out … but it seems that contrasted with pricey gym memberships and meal plans, trying to lose weight and gain zzzs is possibly worth a shot — even if you don’t drop a trouser or dress size, at least you’ll be well rested.


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