The Mobile Phone Diet
By Neil Perkins
As I have evolved as a coach, I understand in far greater detail the relationship between quality rest, stress factors and nutrition to support training. The three things form a triangle and are interlinked.
- Not having enough quality rest (sleep) will elevate your cortisol (stress hormone) and will likely result in poor food choices.
- If your stressed you are more likely to have disrupted sleep (rest) and make poor food choices – let’s face it, no-one eats a bag of sprouts when they’re stressed.
- If you eat shit you’ll find you’ll have less energy, become irritable (stress) and wont sleep.
People join a gym and are willing to do ‘whatever it takes’ to get in shape. They need to understand this and the importance of rest, stress and nutrition and control this. Your ‘hard work’ in the gym can be undone and even counter-productive if your rest, stress and energy are not optimal. There is a term ‘Quality Rest’.
As a nation, we are in common two things – sleep deprived and dehydrated.
Most of us fail to even be in our beds for the recommended 8 hours per night, if we’re lucky we sleep for 6 ½ hours per night and how much quality sleep do we get?
Studies have shown that being exposed to the blue-and-white light given off by phones, laptops, and other electronic gadgets at night prevents our brains from releasing melatonin, a hormone that tells our bodies it’s nighttime.
That means it takes us longer to fall asleep, and when we do it is of poor quality. And many years of delaying sleep, researchers think, can mess with our internal body clocks.
Some experts suggest not using our devices for roughly an hour before bed could help us fall asleep faster and sleep deeper.
There is no surprise that many coaches are putting their athletes on ‘the mobile phone diet’. They are banning their athletes from mobile phone an hour before bed. Some coaches in the corporate sector are now changing work/ lifestyle habits of their corporate clients. They ensure that clients only check their phones or laptops a maximum of 3 times per day. The theory is that they work on the task in hand before prioritising and juggling a volume of tasks and communications coming in – it’s easy to become ‘busy doing nothing’ and by not been inundated with incoming emails they will reduce the pressure on them and reduce their cortisol (Stress).
Changes in lifestyle might be ‘what it takes’ to get your summer body and achieving your goals. The mobile phone diet and restricting it’s use to 3 times per day might be a good idea for your overall cortisol levels? Not viewing it or any screen for an hour before bed certainly will improve the quality of your rest. Here are three things that are likely to happen if you give up your mobile phone and viewing a screen for an hour before you go to bed.
1. You’ll get withdrawn and realise you’re a mobile phone addict.
2. You’ll become more social and interact with people at home more.
3. You’ll sleep better, deeper and longer. This will reduce your cortisol and you’ll consequently make better nutrition choices.
Are you willing to do ‘whatever it takes’ to get into shape? You may have restricted calories, wheat or carbohydrates, why don’t you restrict your screen time?