Reducing stress and getting the right amount of sleep will help you lose weight.  That's the bottom line of a study done in Portland, Oregon.  Researchers from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research say diet and exercise are still key;  but if even you exercise and diet you may not lose weight if your stress is high and sleep erratic.

  • We found that people who got more than six but less than eight hours of sleep, and who reported the lowest levels of stress, had the most success in a weight-loss program," said study author Dr. Charles Elder.

Elder speculates if you are sleeping less or more than recommended and if your stress levels are high, you will not be able to focus on making behavioral changes.

These factors may also have a biological impact, he added.

"If you want to lose weight, things that will help you include reducing stress and getting the right amount of sleep," Elder said.

The story is published in  the March 29 online edition of the International Journal of Obesity.