Apr 25 2016

Vicious cycle


Do you eat more when you are sleep deprived?

You know those days when you haven’t slept well and you would give anything for a nap, but it just isn’t possible. You may find yourself  trying to boost your your energy with food, and if you are like me, you probably aren’t choosing fruit and vegetables. Sleep deprivation does effect our brain’s ability to function.

Sleep deprivation reduces our decision making ability and increases activation in the pleasure seeking areas of our brains. Being tired decreases our higher order brain functions, those areas that help make complex decisions, ones that help us make choices.

Sleep research has proven that being tired increases the chances of eating high fat, high calorie food and reduces the chances that health, or even taste, matter much when it comes to eating when sleepy.


Now, new research from the University of Adelaide shows that eating high fat diets increases daytime drowsiness and reduces the likelihood of getting a good nights sleep. Researchers found a direct relationship between fat intake and daytime sleepiness as well as sleep apnea.

Poor sleep makes us feel less energetic during the day, which leads to increased cravings for sugar and fat, which leads to less sleep. It’s a vicious cycle, but it could work both ways. Get a good night’s sleep for better food choices and make better food choices for better sleep.

Change your mind, change your health,



Jan 18 2016

Can’t sleep? Maybe it’s your diet.


Can’t sleep? Maybe it is your diet.

Eating foods high in saturated fats, sugar and low in fiber results in less restful and restorative sleep.


A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that what you eat has an effect on the quality of your sleep. Researcher Marie-Pierre St-Onge, PhD, stated

“Our main finding was that diet quality influenced sleep quality. It was most surprising that a single day of greater fat intake and lower fiber could influence sleep parameters.”

Sleep is critical for health and in the prevention of chronic disease. When people ate foods with higher fiber content they fell asleep sooner and spent a longer time in deep sleep.


A downward spiral?

Other research has found that when people sleep less than 7 hours they spent more time eating and drinking. Researcher Gabriel S. Tajeu, DrPH states that

“The association between short sleep and obesity risk is well-established and short sleep is associated with more time spent in secondary eating and, in particular, secondary drinking. This potentially suggests a pathway from short sleep to increased caloric intake in the form of beverages and distracted eating and thus potential increased obesity risk.”

Restorative sleep is critical for good health and one way to improve the quality of your sleep it to eat high fiber, low fat, low sugar foods before going to bed, like Noodles with Tofu and Broccoli

Change your mind, change your health,


Jun 3 2015

Exercise rhythm

Treadmill Mouse

We all are under the influence of our circadian rhythms, our body cycles that regulate hunger, fatigue, and other bodily functions. We now know that we also have an exercise rhythm. With all the new fitness trackers researchers have been able to establish that people fall into regular periods of movement and rest that change as we age, but may not be due to aging.

Harvard Medical school professor Dr. Scheer, wanted to know if the inactivity was due to aging or something else. His research team concluded that exercise affects movement patterns more than age does. He studied mice, but the results can be applied to you too. By letting young and old mice run at will, as much as they want, the researchers found that mice had clear circadian movement rhythms. They showed more movement, even when not running, during the day and more resting patterns during the night. When they removed the running wheels the young and the old mice had disrupted movement patterns that were very similar regardless of their age. Bring back the running wheel and young and old mice exercised more, moved more during the day and slept better at night.

Activity cycles are affected by how much exercise we do during the day, not by age.  Those who do more exercise, move more during the day and move less during the night. Regular exercise makes us more able to know when we should be moving and when we should resting.

Change your mind, change your health,


Mar 9 2015



Welcome to daylight savings. Daylight savings makes me cranky, I hate that I’m back to exercising in the dark, that it is light when I am trying to go to bed. Maybe you don’t mind it, but are you getting enough sleep?

Most of us are in a state of chronic sleep deprivation and that is bad for our health. It is especially detrimental if you are trying to lose weight. Recent research has shown that sleep loss results in a insulin resistant state in healthy young adults. So, you might be thinking what does that have to do with me? Well, that study was on healthy young men after only three nights of sleep disturbances.

What did they find?

Insufficient sleep — a highly prevalent condition in modern society — may disrupt fat metabolism and reduce the ability of insulin to regulate blood sugars. It suggests that something as simple as getting enough sleep could help counteract the current epidemics of diabetes and obesity.


Wikipedia Sleep Infographic

Sleep restriction increased insulin resistance for up to five hours after waking up which researchers say resembled what doctors see in early stages of diabetes, in these otherwise healthy young adults.

I know that when I don’t get a good night’s sleep it is harder to eat right, concentrate or exercise the next day. 


Huffington Post Infographic on Sleep

What if you just can’t sleep? Try meditating. Meditation improves sleep quality researchers found in the first study on sleep and meditation

Participants practiced mindful sitting meditation, mindful eating, mindful walking, and mindful movement. They learned to cultivate their natural capacity for attention, awareness, stillness, and empathy while improving their ability to get a good night’s rest.

Change your mind, change your health,




Feb 16 2015

Get some rest.

2015-01-30 11.44.21

Taco is a great sleeper


When you don’t get enough sleep do you feel like you eat more? Sleep is critical for weight management and now we know that getting more rest has an effect on your ability to burn fat. Not getting enough sleep is something that millions of people experience everyday, we are chronically sleep deprived. Sleep is important for overall health and researchers now have found that chronic sleep deprivation increases oxidative stress and changes how fats are metabolized in the body.

Researchers believe that sleep helps restore and repair cells allowing for proper functioning of cells.  It only took 5 days of sleep restriction in people to see a change in how cells breakdown fat in the blood. Showing that sleep deprivation changes metabolism especially when it comes to fat.

While more research will need to be done to find out exactly what happens, anyone who has been sleep deprived has probably experienced the changes in their metabolism. Making it harder to lose weight when you don’t get enough sleep.

Change your mind, change your health,



Mar 6 2013

A good night’s sleep

Can’t sleep? Maybe you should try getting more exercise. More than 75% of people who exercise moderately to vigorously report having good, quality sleep patterns. If you are inactive even adding a 10 minute walk everyday can improve your sleep quality. Vigorous exercisers are the least likely to report having sleep problems and rarely report waking during the night with an inability to get back to sleep or difficulty falling asleep, sleep problems commonly associated with insomnia.

However, the real problem is that people who experience sleep disturbances have a harder time exercising. 57% of people surveyed reported that their activity level decreased after a night of poor sleep. Not exercising leads to a vicious cycle of not sleeping and decreased exercise. Another reason to exercise regardless of tiredness, is that non-exercisers have a 44% greater risk of experiencing sleep apnea.

Sitting may have an effect on your ability to sleep too. People who sit for 8 hours a day are less likely to report having a good night’s sleep. Standing at your desk or taking short breaks seems to have a positive effect on sleep.

Not convinced that moving improves sleep? Weight loss, something that is often a consequence of exercise, also improves sleep quality. Weight Loss and Sleep Study author Dr. Stewart at John’s Hopkins University says “good sleep quality is important in general for good physical and mental health, as well as for a healthy cardiovascular system. Depending on the cause, chronic sleep disruptions increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and irregular heartbeats. Obesity increases the risk of sleep problems.”

What does this mean for you?

1. Exercise regularly to improve sleep quality.

2. Take regular breaks throughout the day to stay active.

3. If you have a sleepless night, do a little exercise.

4. Practice good sleep habits.

5. Exercise helps with weight loss and with sleep, do a little everyday.

Change your mind, change your health,




Feb 25 2013

Get Some Rest

After a single restless night’s sleep you are more likely to eat more calories and choose higher calorie foods. One night of sleeplessness affects the region of the brain that controls your desire to eat.  Study author Pleunie Hogenkamp, explains: “After a night of total sleep loss, these males (subjects) chose greater portion sizes of the energy-dense foods. Interestingly, they did so both before and after a breakfast, suggesting that sleep deprivation enhances food intake regardless of satiety. Bearing in mind that insufficient sleep is a growing problem in modern society, our results may explain why poor sleep habits can affect people’s risk to gain weight in the long run.

The study also showed that a single night of sleep loss slows your energy expenditure or calories burned the following day. So not only do you eat more, desire more food, feel hungrier, but also burn fewer calories.

What does this mean for you?

1. Practice good sleep habits.

2. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

3. Tired? Take a nap.

Change your mind, change your health,


Jan 7 2013

New Year’s Resolve

45% of us usually make resolutions and the #1 New Year’s resolution is to lose weight, but only 20% of people achieve and maintain weight loss success.

The following are the top five reasons why diets fail and what you can do about it for weight loss success in 2013.

1. Underestimating how many calories you are consuming.

  • Most people don’t know and don’t count all their calories.
  • Write down everything you eat including “tasting” and “bites of” food.
  • Pay attention to portion sizes.
  • Use measuring cups as serving spoons help you understand how much you are eating.
  • Look up nutrition information on your favourite restaurant meals and choose your meal before you go.

2. Overestimating the number of calories you have burned.

3. Poor meal timing.

  • Eat breakfast. Include fats, carbohydrates and protein.
  • Don’t wait until you are starving to eat.
  • Bring a snack (like an apple) to eat in the afternoon to keep you feeling satisfied and less likely to start eating as soon as you get home.
  • Sit down to eat, don’t graze.
  • Eat after a workout to keep your muscles fueled for the next day, for example: a bowl of cereal, a banana, whole grain bread and peanut butter.

4. Lack of sleep.

5. Making too many big changes. Making small easy changes can lead to long lasting healthier habits.

  • Keep counters clear of all foods but the healthy ones like fruit.
  • Never eat directly from a package – always portion food out onto a dish and sit down to eat.
  • Be mindful about your meals, eat without distraction.
  • Avoid going too long before eating.
  • Put down your utensils between bites to slow down your eating.

Happy New Year.

Change your mind, change your health,