For the last month I have been reading a book called, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong In A Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz. Before starting the book, I prided myself on knowing a good deal of information about fats and their benefits versus the so called negatives. Yes, they are calorie dense and the calories can add up quickly if you don't manage your portions, especially if you overdo it on the oils and butters. Nevertheless, fats are essential for life and the building blocks for every cell in the human diet. The key to maintaining a healthy life is by choosing the right fats and being aware of how many calories you consume. You could eat the healthiest diet in the world, but if you consume too many calories you will gain weight.Read More
In last weeks post I wrote about a study that showed sleep restriction (4 hours a night) promoted weight gain. In the study, the authors hypothesized that the weight gain was due to increased ghrelin levels and late-night eating (1). This study triggered my Alice In Wonderland and sent me down a research rabbit hole. Let’s face it, we are fighting an uphill battle in the obesity fight. As humans we are wired to eat and a lack of sleep is only making that worse. Recent research has shown a correlation between a lack of sleep with increased consumption of sugary, caffeinated beverages (2). In the study, Short and sweet: Associations between self-reported sleep duration and sugar-sweetened beverage consumption among adults in the United States, they analyzed data from 18,799 adults who self reported sleep durations and completed two 24 hour dietary recalls. Out of the 18,799 adults, 13% slept five hours or less. The group of people who slept five hours or less had a 21% increased in sugary caffeinated beverages. Granted, the lack of sleep could have been a contributor to the increased consumption of caffeinated beverages. And usually most caffeinated beverages contain sugar so that could account for the increased intake. But I don't think that is the reason why. I believe a lack of sleep is rewiring our brain causing us to crave sugary foods and there are studies to back this claim.Read More
In my experience as a trainer I have come to realize that losing weight and getting in shape is very challenging for the everyday person. Especially in America where work comes first and sleep second. We are encouraged to burn the midnight oil and told that that sleep is for the weak. Unfortunately, this couldn’t further from the truth. Lack of sleep is making people weak and fat. .The latest statistics from stateofobesity.org state that 38% of adults are obese and of that percentage, 8% are extremely obese. To put this perspective, 1 in 3 adults are obese. Yes, exercise and diet play a huge role, but they aren’t the only things that matter. After all, sleep determines what we eat and how we perform in the gym. However, we have forgotten how influential sleep can be. But don’t worry, by the end of this post you will know the importance of sleep and how it influences your hunger.Read More
Have you ever wondered why you fall asleep at night ?
Current science isn’t really sure what makes us fall asleep, but there are some theories that have been proposed in recent years.
For today's blog post, we will focus on one of those theories. The theory is based off the idea that the byproduct of energy makes us fall asleep. To me, this makes perfect sense because I tend to sleep much better on the days when I exercise versus the days I don't. But why does this happen? How does exercise impact our sleep? To understand this mechanism we must take a couple steps back and discuss how the body makes energy. In order for your body to move and work properly the body creates an energy molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). We all remember learning about this molecule called ATP right? The best way to understand how this molecule works is to think of it as a currency. For example, when you go on a walk or have a meeting you are using ATP to move and talk to your co-workers. It is responsible for everything, and without it your body and mind would be useless. But like most things in life, there is a cost to pay and ATP is no different.Read More
In the last two weeks I have covered two benefits of time restricted eating that will help you reduce your hunger. The two benefits are reduced decision fatigue and calorie consumption. In part one of this three part series (click here), I wrote about the importance of limiting the amount of decisions you make and how it affects your will power. Time restricted eating reduces the amount of decisions you have to make by having one golden rule: eat for either 8,9,10,11 or 12 hours and fast for the remainder hours. This golden rule of time restriction allows you to have more freedom in your meal choices. You don’t have to weigh your food or count calories, all you have to do is adhere to the eating and fasting window five day a week. Which means you can get crazy on the weekend and have a social life! Well, we can’t get too crazy and stuff our faces until we can’t walk, but we can enjoy a treat here and there. In fact, having a social life and community is imperative if you wish to live a long, healthy life. Let’s face it, we are social creatures and we need human interactions. If we don’t have a sense of community or relationships, we tend to fill that void with food but we'll save that topic for another week.Read More