Or, you can have great health.
You are in control.
Following these 12 Principles for Great Health will keep you health, fit, and lean for decades.
The first thing to understand about the body is that it is like most anything else — you get out of it what you put into it. If you treat your body poorly, it will treat you poorly, resulting in obesity, sickness, lethargy, aches, pains, et cetera . . .
That being said, there is a very simple formula for fat loss and fitness: use more energy than you put in. Or as I like to say “use it AND lose it”.
Use Your Muscles, Lose Your Fat
Since calories are energy, to lose “weight” you need to either eat less food, or move your body more. Note I emphasized “weight” because there is a difference between “weight” loss and “fat” loss. Weight loss is not specific on what type of weight from the body is lost; it could be bone, water, fat or muscle. I want to teach “Fat” loss, because I think that is what really matters to most people looking to lose weight for health and appearance.
Weight vs Fat
Fat loss is harder to measure and less precise than overall weight, and weight is more satisfying when someone begins a diet. However I want to caution against focusing on “weight” because if a person is really serious about health they will lose weight the right way and not just the quickest. Losing “weight” is not always healthy especially when lost too quickly, which usually isn’t permanent. It doesn’t make sense to sacrifice metabolism and health just for a few numbers on a scale.
Good Health Trumps All
I believe that health is the most important thing in life. When a person is overweight or they are experiencing any number of maladies, that is the body’s way of expressing that something is wrong. The body is out of balance. It’s my job to help people find what’s wrong and help them correct it. When the body is operating smoothly and efficiently it will achieve its ideal weight, proportion, and energy level.
Don’t Fall for Fad Diets
Most diets focus on “weight” loss and not on health or balance or fitness or lifestyle. But if a person loses muscle mass their metabolism is going to slow down. If the metabolism slows down, they will need to eat even less and so on and so on. The simple truth is, if a person wants to become fit they will eat smart and exercise. If they do this, muscles will grow and metabolism will increase, burning more calories than before – even at rest.
Since muscle weighs twice as much as fat, there may not be a great loss in weight on the scale. It may take some time to balance out, but it will happen and it will happen in the right way for the long run.
I developed these 12 principles for great health after years of education, experience, and experimentation. My goal ist will help a person lose fat most efficiently, build muscle, become fit and stay that way for the rest of their life – if willing.
My 12 Principles For Great Health
- Eat Deliberately. Put as much effort, or more, into eating as you would many other things in life. Like the saying says “You are what you eat.” What’s more important than your health? Is the temporary taste of a food for a few minutes worth a lifetime of discomfort and distress?
- Don’t eat within three hours before bedtime. This gives the body time to digest before it focuses on recovery. Sleep is when the body rebuilds, if it is spending a lot of energy digesting, it will not be able to rebuild as well. Plus, digesting a heavy meal will cause poor sleep.
- Do some physical activity after each meal. Mobilize those calories. Not strenuous, just enough to increase your blood flow, raise your heart rate and give the new calories a place to go. A short, leisurely walk is a good example (5 – 10 min is all it takes. Though more is fine).
- Eat less. This is probably the biggest reason why people are overweight; they eat too much. Figure out how many calories you need to feed your lean body mass (know your Basal Metabolic Rate) and add more according to your activity level – now, stick to that. Don’t go over. Don’t splurge. If you eat more you will store the excess as fat and if you eat too little you will sacrifice valuable muscle tissue due to conservation and energy needs, thereby slowing down your metabolism. Have a bowl of light soup before your meal or a glass of water to help you feel full sooner – with less calories ingested.
- Eat often. Eat your required caloric intake spread out over the whole day, i.e. eat 5 – 6 meals rather, “mini meals” instead of 3 big meals. I say “meal” because every time you eat it should be properly balanced with carbohydrates, proteins and fats (a ratio of total calories 40%, 30% and 30% respectively). Remember it’s better to eat your larger meals earlier in the day. Breakfast should be bigger than lunch, which should be bigger than dinner, etc. If you can’t make breakfast bigger than lunch, at least make dinner your smallest meal of the day.
- Eat for the future. Not for the past. This means, if you’re going to exercise in the next 2 to 4 hours, eat a larger, balanced meal (giving time to digest). But if you’re going to do something like sleep, eat a small meal or snack. Think of it this way, if you were going to drive your car to a neighboring city or town that was 300 miles away, would you fill up your gas tank before or after you got there?
- Avoid sugars. This causes a chain reaction beginning with raised blood sugar level, which causes insulin secretion, which causes fat storage of the sugars, which causes low blood sugar, which causes you to be hungry again, which causes you to eat more sugars and/or starches. And the cycle repeats.
- Eat fiber and complex carbohydrates. These take more energy to process. Fiber, having a lot of mass makes you feel full with less calories and you will feel satisfied for a longer peeriod of time. Plus, it’s a good tonic for your intestines. Complex carbohydrates absorb into the system slower than simple carbs giving you a more stable energy supply and a lower insulin spike. Carbohydrates are the main fuel for the body and brain.
- Eat enough protein. The average, non-athlete requires about .8 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body weight (1 pound = 2.2 kg. Or multiply your body weight in pounds by .45). The more active a person is the more protein they need. An endurance athlete needs about 1.2 grams of protein per kg of body weight and a heavy weight trainer would need 1 gram of protein per kg of body weight. Be sure to calculate using the person’s Lean Body Mass, not their total body weight.
- Drink lots of water. At least eight large glasses a day if you are inactive. When you exercise drink more, before, during and after. Your increased fiber, protein intake and muscles require it.
- Move your Body. The more you move your body the more calories you’ll burn. Try to be more active throughout the day. Activity is cumulative. For example, if you were to walk for ten minutes at a time, three times a day, that adds up to 30 minutes of walking. If you add a half hour of an aerobic workout to that, you will have 60 minutes of activity! Easy. Being active more often will help keep your metabolism higher throughout the day. It’s easy to sneak in exercise in short sessions. Try changing your habits a little bit: park your car at the far end of a parking lot, take the stairs, walk around the block before you go into a store, your office, etc. You get the picture. The more you move your body the more calories you’ll burn. Another easy technique is to gradually add a few minutes to your aerobic workout – 3 minutes today, 2 minutes tomorrow, now you’re up to 35 minutes.
- Weight train. Bigger muscles use more calories then smaller muscles, which will increase a person’s metabolism enabling them to burn excess body fat or eat more food. This does not mean that a person has to look like a big body builder. Body builders spend a great deal of their time and work very hard to get huge, unusually huge muscles. Many take steroids to achieve this effect. It does not happen by accident and it will not happen overnight – or even in a month’s time. Larger muscles will increase a person’s metabolism enabling them to burn excess body fat and eat more food.
The Body Wants To Be In Balance – Let It
If a person can weave these 12 tenets into their life they will find that any excess body fat will disappear and the body will seek a state of balance at it’s natural, ideal weight. The body wants to be in balance; it is sometimes thrown off by people and civilization but given the opportunity it will right itself. So give the body what it wants and needs and treat it with respect and it will treat you with respect and give you many, many years of faithful service.
You May Also Like
- Easy Ways To Sneak Exercise Into Your Day
- Why Do I Like To Eat Foods That Are Bad For Me
- Get Back On Track – a FREE Guide
Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, please share it with your friends.