Posts Tagged ‘robb wolf’

Paleo Diet Challenges & Solutions I from Chris Kresser


Consider this scenario: your sister, close friend or colleague at work has been raving about the Paleo diet. They lost tons of weight and felt better than they had in years, and it’s all they could talk about. You were skeptical at first, but heck, you saw the changes they experienced with your own eyes and eventually you got curious. So you went out and bought The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf and started doing some research on the Paleo diet online. The more you learned about it, and the more success stories you heard, the more excited you got.

Then you heard about a 30-day Paleo diet challenge coming up at your local CrossFit gym, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get started. You signed up, envisioning a slimmer, healthier and more energetic version of yourself. It all seemed so promising.

But things didn’t quite turn out how you thought they would. After about a week on the program, you got constipated and the gas and bloating issue you already had coming into the program got worse, not better. Or, your sugar cravings were so intense you could hardly fight them off, and by the time the afternoon rolled around you were exhausted. Or maybe you not only didn’t lose weight, you actually gained a couple of pounds.

Does this sound familiar?


Sleep and Decision Making

If you enrolled in a sleep study where you had to go for 1-3 days with no sleep (24-72 hours of total sleep deprivation or consecutive hours awake), you would find that your ability to think clearly, solve problems, and make good decisions would be impaired. You wouldn’t be able to concentrate for very long, you would be more impulsive, you would be more susceptible to mood swings, and you would perform poorly on memory tests. Additionally, performance would progressively become worse the longer and longer you were awake. If you rated how sleepy you felt during this time of sleep deprivation, your rating of how sleepy you felt would match your cognitive impairments. This makes intuitive sense.

Now, if you enrolled in a separate sleep study where instead of getting no sleep per day, you would be allowed to sleep every day but only for five hours per night for 7-14 days in a row (roughly the same number of hours of sleep deprivation, but spread over 7-14 days), you might be surprised to find that over time, your performance on the same cognitive tests would be as equally impaired as it was during the total sleep deprivation study. In other words, at the 10th day of partial sleep restriction, you’d be as cognitively impaired as you were after 2 or 3 days of total sleep deprivation! Together, these studies demonstrate that the effects of sleep loss on thinking abilities are cumulative – the impairments build over time when you don’t get the sleep you need on a day-to-day basis.1-4

There is a very important difference between these two studies which may help explain why chronic sleep loss is rampant in our society. Unlike the first study where sleepiness and cognitive performance tracked together (i.e. the longer you were awake the worse you performed and the sleepier you felt), in the second study there may be a mismatch between your performance and your own subjective sensation of sleepiness. You wouldn’t feel as sleepy as you should, relative to your cognitive performance. In other words, at day 10 of study two you wouldn’t feel very sleepy but your memory would be poor, you would be more impulsive, you would be more likely to take risks, your thinking speed would be slow, you would have trouble concentrating, and you may have a more negative outlook.



Mobility WOD


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