A summary of the book EAT MOVE SLEEP Chapter 1 & 2.
FORGET FAD DIETS FOREVER
One problem is that being ‘on a diet’ is a temporary effort that assumes an endpoint. Many popular diets are destined to fail. Ask yourself, how many times have you attempted a ‘diet’ you read online or heard from a friend? How did it go?
Most of the time, it was a short term effect. The moment you ‘complete’ the diet plan, you’re most likely back to your old habits. Chances are, you’re at the same weight and condition when you started. If your goal is to lose weight in a short term basis, there are countless fad diets to temporary shed pounds, yet do not serve your long-term interest. Even if you do shed a few pounds in the short term, this works against your overall health.
Popular Fad Diets:
– Low-fat food are replaced with added carbohydrates, sugars and synthetic substitutes to replace the flavour from fatty foods. It other words, we basically replace fats with sugar.
– Low-Carb diets led people to consume greater amounts of animal products for protein, ignoring the detrimental impact animal fats have on our health.
– Vegetarian diets can be healthy but are less healthy if animal products are replaced by refined carbs and sweet foods.
THE QUALITY OF WHAT YOU EAT MATTERS FOR MORE THAN THE OVERALL QUANTITY
Havard research discovered that the TYPES of foods you consume influence your health more than your total caloric intake. In other words, although your total caloric intake is low but the choices of food you choose are mostly fried, refined carbs and plenty of sugar; does more harm than a higher caloric intake which contains healthier food such as grilled lean meat, plenty of vegetables and fruits.
Eating well does not need ot be difficult or complicated. Set your foods that are good for your near-term energy and long-term health. Making a commitment to just eating the right foods every day is a lot more easier than jumping from one diet to another. People often bounce from diet to diet because they grow impatient. the body take a long time to react to these dietary changes, about a year or more. Instead of worrying about losing 10 pounds, focus on better decisions the next time you eat.
MAKE INACTIVITY YOUR ENEMY
For centuries, our ancestors spent a large portion of time moving around on foot to hunt and surivive. This has changed dramatically over the past century. We now spend more time sitting down than sleeping in a day. The human body is not built for this, hence obesity and diabetes and other obesity related health issues.
Let’s do the math: You sit down for for a while to have breakfast after you wake up. Add another 30-60mins of commuting in a car or bus. When you arrive to work, you sit 8-10 hours on the office chair (walking 3 mins to the toilet does not mean you’re active). At the end of the day, you commute back home again followed by a sit down dinner with the family. Perhaps watch TV for an hour or two before going to bed.
You may have a few hours of activitiy tucked inside your day but if you look at it carefully, you can see how long periods of time when you are not in motion can add up.
SLEEP LONGER TO GET MORE DONE
One less hour of sleep does not equal an extra hour of acheivement or enjoyment. The exact opposite occurs instead. When you lose an hour of sleep, it decreases your well-being, productivity, health and ability to think properly. Yet, people continue to sacrifice sleep before all else.
Lack of sleep leads to poorer performance and lower work quality. Getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep a night is also the top risk factor of burnout on job. Prevent sleepiness from slowing you down.
– Identify the healthiest elements of diets you have tried and build them into your lifestyle for good
– Plan ahead to add activities to your daily routine every morning
– Sleep longer tonight to do more tomorrow
EVERY BITE IS A NET GAIN OR LOSS
Each bite you take is a small but important choice. If you make a decision that does more good than harm such as opting for water over soda, it is a net gain. When you pick a side of fries instead of vegetables, it is a net loss.
Here’s another example:
Coffee alone is a net gain for health. However, if you add cream and sugar, it becomes a net loss.
Green tea is a net gain. But most green teas sold at supermarket are filled with sugar and presevatives turning a healthy drink into a less healthy one.
You can modify many choices to for net gain. For example, adding a barbeque sauce on top of a perfectly grilled salmon turns a net gain into a net loss. Most barbeque sauces are made of sugar. In other words, the barbeque sauce are syrups for meat. You can modify the dish by adding herbs and spices on top of the salmon instead of the barbeque sauce.
There are few good and bad ingredients in most meals. No matter how hard you try, you will eat some foods that are not ideal. But do a little accounting in your head and ask yourself if what you’re going to eat is a net gain or loss based on what you know about all the ingredients.
STEP AWAY FROM YOUR CHAIR
Sitting more than 6 hours a day greatly increases your risk of an early death. Every hour you spend on your rear end – in a car, watching TV, attending a meeting or at your computer saps your energy and ruins your health. Sitting also makes you fat. Be more active. Take the stairs instead of the lift, stand during a meeting, stand and stretch as often as possible. Find out creative ways to add more activity into your day.
SLEEP MAKES OR BREAKS YOUR DAY
You’re simply a different person when you have insufficient sleep and it shows Your friends, colleagues, and loved ones can see it, even when you’re too sleep-less to realize your own condition. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can lead to a cascade of negative events. You acheive less at work, skip regular exercise and have poor interactions with your loved ones. Ask yourself is sacrificing sleep worth it? The opposite occurs instead when you get enough sleep which is a minimum of 6 hours of quality sleep a day. 7-8 hours is best.
– Start asking yourself if the next food you eat is a net gain or loss. Repeat throughout the day
– Eliminate an hour of chair time from your daily routine
– Gradually add sleep to your nightly schedule in 15 min increments. Continue until you feel fully rested each morning.
Stay tuned for a summary of Chapter 3-4 next week.