Will I ever get rid of this baby weight?    The other day I saw a news report saying that new moms who want to lose their pregnancy weight need to sleep more.  This is a joke, right?  With a three-month-old and a full-time job, I can’t sleep more than five hours a night!  What else can I try?

It is possible to shed the baby weight without extra sleep.  The trick is to jump-start the body’s production of the appetite-regulating hormone leptin.  Sleep deprivation hinders leptin production—internal levels fall by 19 to 26 percent after less than a week of impaired sleep.  This switches the brain into false “starvation mode,” which increases appetite.  To offset this effect, aim to consume three daily servings of whole grains such as brown rice and bread with at least 3 grams of fiber per slice.  Their complex carbs are proven to rev production of leptin.  Also helpful: Up your daily intake of magnesium to 400 mg, which improves cells’ ability to process the hormone.  Rich sources of the mineral include sunflower seeds (225 mg per 1/2 cup) and spinach (240 mg per cup, raw).

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