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New Year Goal: Shed Some Pounds for Better Sleep + 5 Recipes to Try

According to the Food Research & Action Center[1], almost 32% of American adults are overweight, with a further 39.6% meeting the criteria for obesity[2]. Many people know that being overweight often results in diverse health risks[3], but fewer individuals appreciate the links between extra weight and sleep issues[4].

Connections Between Weight and Sleep

Quality sleep — or a lack thereof — and weight are closely intertwined, with each influencing the other. Being overweight can impact sleep quality and increase the risk of insomnia[5], while poor sleep can lead to weight gain[6], creating a vicious cycle that can be tough to break.

Additionally, excess weight is a significant cause of sleep apnea[7], a common sleep disorder that's believed to affect almost 40 million Americans[8]. Being overweight can also exacerbate the symptoms[9] associated with sleep apnea. As well as causing tiredness and irritability, disordered sleep has many potentially harmful effects[10] on physical and mental health. Furthermore, lack of sleep can impact interpersonal relationships[11].

Benefits of Losing Weight

Losing weight, even a modest amount, has many health benefits[12], including reducing cancer and diabetes risks, lowering high blood pressure and easing pressure on the joints. When it comes to mental health, maintaining a healthy weight can enhance self-esteem and lower depression. It can also improve sleep quality and reduce sleep apnea[13], along with reducing the risk of associated health issues.

Weight Loss Tips

Many people make resolutions and set goals at the start of a new year. For those who struggle with sleep issues or carry extra weight, creating — and following! — a manageable weight-loss plan could be something to strive for in the year ahead.

Healthy eating, exercise and stress management are the keys to sustainable weight loss[14]. Individuals should look at the bigger picture and make realistic lifestyle changes for weight loss and improved health instead of focusing on quick fixes.

The best fitness and exercise routines for losing weight[15] vary from person to person. Essentially, individuals should aim to start with moderate exercise they enjoy a couple of times a week, gradually increasing the frequency and intensity.

Meditation, reading, crafting and baking are stress-busting activities[16] that people can try at home to help with weight management. Individuals who suffer from chronic stress[17] should seek medical advice on how to manage their condition best. It's also vital to get enough quality sleep[18] each night, too, and sleep therapy[19] users shouldn't skip treatments.

When it comes to healthy eating, calories and portion control are crucial. Individuals must also be sure to eat a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs[20].

Five Top Recipes for Weight Loss

We've gathered our five favorite recipes for anyone trying to lose weight. Packed with goodness and flavor, most are quick and easy to prepare.

  1. Turkey koftas[21]: Enjoy seasonal flavors for longer with these hearty and healthy turkey koftas, bursting with mouthwatering flavors. Preparation and cooking take just 40 minutes, and the koftas pair well with a basic salad or boiled vegetables.
  2. Spiced chicken, spinach & sweet potato stew[22]: A hearty winter warmer that's perfect for chilly evenings, this tasty stew is a super-easy-to-make one-pot dish. Along with protein and three portions of vegetables, it's also packed with fiber[23].
  3. Edamame lettuce wrap burgers with peanut sauce[23]: Skip the takeout and enjoy a taste of Asia with these healthy homemade burgers wrapped in crunchy lettuce. The veggie-friendly burgers are ready in just 30 minutes.
  4. Pork and asparagus sheet-pan dinner[24]: With around 486 calories per serving, this tasty recipe is a handy go-to on busy evenings. And, because everything cooks on the same sheet, there's minimal dishwashing to tackle after dining.
  5. Slow cooker spicy black-eyed peas[25]: This protein-packed vegetarian dish pulls no punches when it comes to spicy appeal. And it's a terrific option for busy households — simply toss all the ingredients in a slow cooker and get on with something else while you wait.

Start the new year as you mean to continue, with achievable goals for better health, sleep and quality of life, and use these recipes to add excitement to mealtimes.


  1. Food Research & Action Center – Obesity in the U.S.
  2. World Health Organization - Obesity
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity
  4. WebMD – The Link Between Obesity and Sleep Problems
  5. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – What Is Insomnia?
  6. Thorax - The complex relationship between weight and sleep apnoea
  7. MedlinePlus – Sleep Apnea
  8. National Council on Aging – Sleep Apnea Statistics and Facts You Should Know
  9. National Library of Medicine – Interactions Between Obesity and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  10. Verywell Health – The Health Effects of Sleep Apnea
  11. SoClean – Is Sleep Deprivation Affecting Your Relationships?
  12. WebMD - What a 5% Weight Loss Can Do for Your Health
  13. Harvard Health Publishing – Losing weight and belly fat improves sleep
  14. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Losing Weight
  15. Health - The Best Exercise Types to Help You Lose Weight, According to Experts
  16. The American Institute of Stress - 15 Stress-Reducing Activities You Can Do at Home, According to Experts
  17. American Psychological Association - Stress won't go away? Maybe you are suffering from chronic stress
  18. SoClean – How Much Sleep Do You Need?
  19. SoClean - Our Top Hacks for Improving Your Sleep Therapy Experience
  20. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  21. Better Health – Turkey koftas recipe
  22. BBC Good Food - Spiced chicken, spinach & sweet potato stew
  23. MedicalNewsToday – Why do we need dietary fiber?
  24. EatingWell - Edamame lettuce wrap burgers with peanut sauce
  25. Taste of Home - Pork and asparagus sheet-pan dinner
  26. All Recipes – Slow cooker spicy black-eyed peas