There Is No Magic Pill

Posted: June 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Health and wellness is an all encompassing concept.  It has come to my attention that people will pay attention to one or two aspects, but not the whole picture.  This is a popular example: “I exercise for 60-90 minutes 6-7 days per week, eat paleo, but can’t lose belly fat.”  In some cases people have even gained weight in this scenario.  Yes, believe it or not you can literally run yourself into a bigger pants size.  So what can people in this position do?

For one, cut back on the exercise.  Exercise is a stressor and too much of it can cause issues.  We need the right amount of stress to force adaptation to come back stronger.  Too much or too little of the stress and we can run into some issues.  Next, make sure you really are eating paleo.  I have seen people eating paleo pancakes every morning that tell me they eat paleo.  Stick to the meats, fish eggs, and veggies.  Limit fruit intake to 1-2 servings per day and use the safe starches to fuel workout recovery and get plenty of healthy fats.  I am a fan of removing nuts for 30 days because they can be addicting and they are a common gut irritant.  Used as a condiment after the 30 days would be where I stand there.

On top of all that WE MUST HANDLE OUR STRESS!  People tell me all of the time that they are not stressed.  However, if you do not actively participate in some form of stress management it is negatively affecting you.  We encounter stress chronically on a day to day basis.  Deep breathing can be a wonderful tool.  Practicing diaphragmatic breathing can help correct improper breathing patterns as well as lower heart rate.  This not only can help alleviate stress, but also increase performance in sport!

Quality sleep is critical.  If you are not getting at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep in a completely blacked out room, you are not sleeping well.  Waking up during the night is a sign that circadian rhythm is not functioning properly.  A disruption in circadian rhythm will make it nearly impossible to lose weight and help alleviate any symptoms (http://edrv.endojournals.org/content/31/1/1.full)

Vitamin D is also critical.  Low vitamin D levels in men correlate with low testosterone (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21154195)  Get outside and get some sunlight.  This can be stress relieving as well.  Bring along your Ipod and listen to some calming music.

It is also important to develop relationships with friends.  Having social support is another big piece of health.  This is why there are “support groups”  You need to find friends that are your support group.  There is actually an increased risk of death in persons with low quantity or low quality social relationships (http://www.math.utah.edu/~lzhang/teaching/1070spring2012/Daily%20Updates/examples/feb1/Social%20Relationships%20and%20Health.pdf). 

There is a lot of areas that need to be addressed for us to be totally healthy.  Take a step back and look at the areas in which you can improve upon.  Then develop a plan and check back in a few weeks and see how much better you feel.  I bet you will be surprised at how much improvement can come from something as small as concentrated breathing.

 

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