What’s The Best Way To Pursue Health?
I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not in perfect health. In fact, I’m not really that close to achieving my ideal figure (toned and about 170–180 pounds if you’re wondering) either.
But over the years I’ve had a journey of working on my health. From discoveries and research, I’ve tried various things. These days I’m at a point now where I know what needs to be done.
It’s a matter of implementing and committing. And that’s slowly happening.
But as this is happening to me, that’s not happening for many others. Not to mention there are people that are in my boat who are pursuing a healthier lifestyle or are maintaining that healthy lifestyle.
Health has become a major precedent in our lives now more than ever before. And news like the obesity rate in America is 39.6 percent according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey isn’t comforting.
But while people are panicking, many of us pursuers of better health can feel the pressure. Particularly those of us who are entrepreneurs.
Why The Pressure?
Part of this comes back to the whole “wake up at 5 am or you’ll never have a successful business” mentality. I’ve talked before that some people wear the 5 am wake up time like a badge of honour. They think they’re champions.
That this is what it takes to live like an entrepreneur. And if you’re against that, you’re not living or you’ll fail.
It’s these kinds of people, but also the fact that so many entrepreneurs have an exercise routine. It’s a popular item in “things you need to do to be successful” lists.
That’s not to say exercising is bad or that we shouldn’t have an exercise routine. Having one is incredibly important for the reasons above.
But wearing it like some badge of honour isn’t a good reason. FOMO (Fear of missing out) should not be the reason we exercise or try to eat healthier foods.
And yet I feel a lot of that is the case for some people. Not just with entrepreneurs.
We see the appeal in fad diets as quick solutions to our dietary problems.
We think shedding 20 pounds in a month is considered normal by human standards.
Or that the carnivore diet is the best fucking diet on the whole planet.
Carnivore diet? Seriously? Excuse me while I eat my daily serving of ice cubes.
This has to be the way to a healthier diet right?
Far from it.
But it all still feels like a show. That we’re all competing to have the best bodies around and that the diet, no matter how absurd it is, will give us the keys to victory.
It’s simply more pressure to the problem. And the fad diets aren’t really helping. Even the more practical ones like the blood type diet aren’t always ideal.
Relieve The Pressure
So how do we begin to remove these standards and start living a healthier lifestyle?
For myself, I’ve boiled it down to some key things that address a few of the issues above and then some.
While I have not made much progress in changing my figure much, it’s not like I did nothing. There were many things that I discovered during this journey. Particularly what can help us to remove this pressure.
There are more mental aspects to it than you can imagine. It’s not a matter of counting calories or having a diet that’ll shed pounds like it’s nothing.
A diet is something that’ll allow you to lose weight gradually. Typically a pound or two per week is considered normal for people.
Shedding three to five per week is uncommon. You might see those numbers due to water weight, especially when you shift your diet drastically, and only at the beginning. I noticed that when I experimented with Paleo about five years ago.
But what’s more important is the mental aspects. Fad diets get so much traction because you get results very quickly. They appeal to people’s general view of getting results quickly. Little do we know that we’re really screwing up our systems.
Now some fad diets aren’t all that bad. Take Vegan, Vegetarian or Paleo diets which do have round-about ways of getting all of your nutrients. There are other sources of carbs and protein outside of bread and meat.
On the other hand, some fad diets clearly lack those things — like the carnivore diet. And following those diets have some repercussions. One that comes to mind with the carnivore diet is the lack of vitamin C. If this lack goes on long enough, you may find yourself getting scurvy, a disease that comes when you have low vitamin C and what sailors contracted hundreds of years ago.
To change that pick a fad diet that makes sense. Vegan, Vegetarian, or the Paleo diet have some means of giving you all the nutrients you need. Those make sense.
But the other option is figuring out your own diet.
The Best Health Pathway
I believe the best health pathway is the one that we choose. Our bodies are all different and each diet and food works differently.
I’ve read articles on the blood type diet and how some people can’t follow it because they’re deathly allergic to foods that this research suggests they take.
One of my aunts has a health condition where she can’t eat certain foods, and yet the dietary advice from health officials is to eat those specific foods to help her recover.
I had a roommate who was so skinny that he’s underweight and his diet consists of highly processed foods. The last piece of advice a dietician gave him to help him gain weight was “eat a stick of butter.”
All of our bodies are different and maybe some of those fad diets work for some people. But why take that gamble? Either you’ll get those results and have a tough time maintaining it, or you’ll bounce back, gain more weight and screw up your body.
It’s not worth the risk especially since a lot of us have the potential to live longer.
Instead, tailor a diet and health routine that works for you. This is what I’ve been doing for the past year as I’ve discovered that I should be eating less bread and have a diet that’s somewhat palaeolithic.
The reason I know this is because I’ve been looking at myself and how my body reacts to food.
I also need to be moving more which is why I bike and walk to places. I also know getting to a gym would probably help me out a lot though that’s not in the cards at the moment.
But above all of this, I think it’s key to not worry so much about what other people are doing. At the end of the day, these fad diets are fuelled by us comparing ourselves to what the person is like immediately.
The thing is though, that we filter everything. So we can’t take everything at face value.
Particularly when it comes to health and “living your life.”
In the end, it’s unnecessary pressure and can lead to many of us screwing ourselves up.
Instead, listen to your body. Slow down your eating, buy smaller plates, and avoid buffets at all costs. And exercise on a regular basis at your own pace.
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon
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