Sleep apnea, in which you actually stop breathing during sleep, is linked with being overweight or obese. “Sleep apnea is caused, in part, when extra tissue accumulates around the upper airway, which can change its shape and make the throat more likely to collapse during sleep,” says sleep expert Richard Shane, PhD, creator of the Sleep Easily method. In one study, 88 percent of people who lost 33 or more pounds were effectively cured. According to Harvard Medical School, losing just 10 percent of your body weight can drastically reduce sleep apnea symptoms—and in some cases, weight loss can even cure the condition. Don’t miss these other signs your weight gain means your health is in trouble.
“Anytime you’re stressed, you probably go for food,” Dr. Seltzer says. (Have we met?!) That’s because cortisol, the stress hormone, stokes your appetite for sugary, fatty foods. No wonder it’s associated with higher body weight, according to a 2007 Obesity study that quantified chronic stress exposure by looking at cortisol concentrations in more than 2,000 adults’ hair.
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