I have always struggled with my weight. The one thing that has been tough for me has been getting enough sleep.

I have been told a million times that by not getting enough sleep, I am really hurting my body and sabotaging my weight loss efforts. But, why? What does lack of sleep have to do with dieting?

Well, it turns out that it has a lot to do with it. I have noticed it first hand that when I don't get enough sleep I tend to make food choices that are not the best. I would find myself wanting sugary foods or carb filled foods.

Researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center have figured it. The short answer: Too little sleep gives you the munchies. The long answer: Sleep loss amplifies and extends blood levels of a chemical signal that enhances the joy of eating, particularly the guilty pleasures gained from sweet or salty, high-fat snack foods.

"When you get less than five hours of sleep, it will likely result in binge-eating the next day to the tune of an extra 300 calories. If you do this repeatedly, you will gain significant weight."

So, if you are serious about losing weight, make sure you are getting enough sleep.

[via: University of Chicago Medical Center]