Have you ever looked at two different diets that have wildly different methodologies, yet purport the same benefits?
Have you ever looked at two different methods of working out that have wildly different methodologies, yet purport the same benefits?
Have you ever looked at the 1000 different ways to be happy in life, and been confused by what is what and why?
Welcome to the world of complexity – where entire industries thrive on confusing the general public. It’s in this place that clarity is the foe, and convolusion is the solution to keeping us all scratching our heads.
We have billion dollar industries in fitness, nutrition, supplements, and well-being that thrive on entropy, the increasing nature of chaos. And our minds and wallets are the ones footing the bill.
Even though these are all some of my favorite topics to study (along with religion), I always default to simplifying the complex in my personal life. I can read about diets, workouts, meditation, and mindsets all day long, but ultimately I always land on simple solutions.
Over the next few days I am going to be writing about the simple solutions to these complex topics that I use in my own life. Beginning with…
Is it a real food? This is the first place to start. You can throw all theory about macronutrients and micronutrients out the window if you aren’t first starting with real food. We’ve spent tens of thousands of years eating food that grows, walks, or flies. We’ve spent 100 years eating food that doesn’t. Our bodies know what to do with the former, not the latter.
Do I feel better or worse after eating it? Paying attention to your own body can tell you more than any diet or blog post can. Different people respond to different foods in very different ways. Our bodies have built-in response mechanisms to food, including how our gut feels, how our skin feels, and how our energy levels respond. Similar to the first point, our bodies have spent tens of thousands of years providing us with these innate feedback mechanisms to food. We just have to pay attention to them.
Feast & Famine Somewhere along the way, the marketing departments of Big Food realized they can make us eat more by making us believe we need to be eating all the time. We’ve been taught that if we don’t eat breakfast our brains will dissolve to mush. And if we don’t eat every few hours our metabolism will plummet. It’s all garbage pushed to make us eat more.
Just 200 years ago we didn’t have access to an unending supply of food. And for all of history prior to that, most of us depended to some degree on growing and hunting our own food. This inherently means that we’re pretty dang good at both feast and famine. But today we’ve doubled down on feast, without recognizing it’s equal and opposite famine. We should fast when we need to or want to. Skip a meal now and then. Did you overindulge on burgers and beer last night? Skip a meal or two. Your body will know what to do and you will survive, possibly even off-setting the feast you had prior. Ask yourself if you’re actually hungry or if you just think you should be eating.
Tune in to the next 3 posts where I’ll talk about fitness, habits, and mindset.