Ironically, I was exploring another diet dimension myself at the time—raw foods. I was eating tons of fruit, nuts, and other cool, uncooked delicacies. Although I felt fine in sunny California, when I went to snowy, cold Manhattan to appear opposite Kathleen Turner and Jason Biggs in The Graduate on Broadway, it was another story. After a few days of work, my body felt cold and my energy was low, but I was determined to stick to my raw regimen. Between rehearsals, I would go out into the winter weather to hunt down wheatgrass juice, pineapples, and mangoes. I found them—it was New York, after all—but I wasn’t feeling all that good. My brain didn’t want to know, but my body was giving me signals that I was out of balance.
A commonly overlooked obstacle to eating better (and losing weight) is sleep. While sleep needs vary, according to the National Sleep Foundation, adults require seven to nine hours a night. Unfortunately, two-thirds of people report experiencing sleep problems at least a few nights a week, with women more prone to sleep problems than men. A review study that looked at 36 studies on sleep and weight gain found short sleep duration was independently linked to weight gain. Studies show the fewer minutes you spend asleep, the more likely you are to feel hungrier and make poor food choices the next day. Make sure you’re getting enough Zzzzs to reap the rewards of your weight loss efforts.