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Leaner and Healthier: Part Two – Stay on Track with Power Tools

 

Part Two: (Stay on track with “Power Tools”)

Tips from last week’s article: The Gatekeeper is the single most influential person who choreographs an entire family’s or individual’s health plan. The Gatekeeper removes temptations and sets the path. Established routines ensure success. Intermittent fasting, adequate hydration, and sleep all need to be routines.

This week we dive into New Year’s resolutions. Getting accurate, helpful information can be daunting. There are all kinds of gimmicks that pull your attention away from the basics. Let me distill a few BIG ideas for you.

Here’s what we know about making and keeping resolutions:

  1. Most New Year’s resolutions last less than two weeks.
  2. The two most common resolutions are losing weight and/or getting into better shape.

Good news! We can tackle the weight and fitness resolutions in parallel.

Weight Control

Let’s start with a few comments I hear every year around New Year’s.

“I want to lose weight this year.” “I have always struggled with a weight issue, but this year it’s going to be different.” “My weight has gotten more out of control, and I am determined this time to make a change.” Sound familiar? When I hear someone confide in me with these thought processes, I predict little to no chance that this person will make a lasting positive change. This saddens me because I know they could change with just a modest amount of helpful and accurate guidance.

Consider this: Your weight control is not really the “issue”; rather, weight control is a “result.” One of the most important underlying factors (and an easily correctable one) lies with the control wielded by the “Gatekeeper.” The Gatekeeper determines what (and to some extent when) you are eating. Excuses like bad Epigenetics or slow metabolism are flimsy at best. The chances of these being the root cause of the weight management problem are slim. And, healthy eating is not starving yourself. The proficient Gatekeeper can provide delicious and satiating food plans.

The Gatekeeper who establishes routines will lead the family to a path of healthier eating. Health and weight control are “Results” of how well the Gatekeeper operates. From last week’s blog: Don’t forget to set up the “My Smart Food Choices” list on your phone (not a “Grocery” list). This simple thing really does make a difference. Without this important step in place, you have usurped the Gatekeeper’s authority. Employing this simple reminder is a routine. Routines RULE!

Getting in shape

Hold on. Getting food choices and routines right is essential, but I might have another warning for you regarding those “get into shape” resolutions. The idea of “I will exercise more to get into great shape!” may be flawed thinking. My friend, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. You have stacked the odds further against yourself. The reality is you now have even less chance of success. You can make some form of exercise or movement a routine – not a chore. Simply bring a routine into your life that propels you to move. Set an alarm during the day to go for a walk or go up and down the stairs. Something. Anything. Routine.

If you eat healthy foods, you will not need to have insanely difficult workout routines every day that can wreck your body. And nutrition knowledge allows you to design an eating plan for a moderately active lifestyle or a crazy competitive lifestyle. These styles have very different nutritional requirements.

Who let the whiners out! If you ‘cry-baby’ your way out of exercising, you eliminate a key piece of the health puzzle. You must MOVE. Remember, a poor diet means you would need an insurmountable amount of exhausting exercise to put a dent in this situation!

These 5 “power tools” of your new plan are interdependent, and they’re game-changers!

1. Gatekeeper.    No guided path = No success

2. Mindfulness    No mind-body connection = No strength to persevere

3. Knowledge      No expertise = No smart choices

4. Exercise          No physical activity = No toning

5. Sleep               No rest = No recovery


A little more on mindfulness

Mindfulness is number two on the list above for a reason. I recommend that you give yourself at least 15 minutes every day of quiet time. You don’t have to sit in a corner and levitate. Clear thinking requires quiet time. No electronics around. Hard Stop! Walking three times a week for 20-30 minutes can be a great exercise AND mindfulness routine (as long as you aren’t staring at your phone or listening to music). Quiet time is paramount.

Mindfulness techniques can improve physical health. Good mindfulness routines can relieve stress, improve sleep, and improve blood pressure (to name a few). Awareness of the moment brings you clarity. Clarity allows perseverance.

Along with mind-body connection, be aware of “how” you make resolutions. Instead of resolving toward a ‘goal,’ ask yourself: What am I willing to give up? Make your resolution about removing damaging things and making room for elevating things. These removals could include certain foods or portions. It could be limiting TV or FB time. Write down your “Give Up” list. Refer to it when you need a nudge. Now, go make some fun, intelligent choices to incorporate into your life.

Recap

Weight management starts with the Gatekeeper’s skills in making “Smart Food Choices” and establishing routines.   Mindfulness techniques bring clarity to allow perseverance. Quality food choices and quality routines require knowledge. Do your research. Don’t forget about hydrating as part of nutrition. With a moderate, consistent exercise routine, you can receive lasting benefits. Bedtime routines providing 8 hours of quality sleep brings your entire ecosystem functions to optimal levels

Doing your own research

Most of the information you need is free and within one to two clicks of where you are sitting right now, reading this. I will continue to recommend the people who have proven themselves to be both experts in their fields and trustworthy. Investing your own valuable time to learn brings more assurance of success.

Caution: You will undoubtedly find a plethora of plans, supplements, and promotions out there. And, they’re all “the best,” “the greatest,” “the fastest,” the “easiest.” It is daunting to try and sort through all the rhetoric. I would raise a word of caution here because powerful corporations buy “experts” and advertising firms to build out fantastical stories for products and services purely for profits. They are well disguised.

As we continue this journey, I will recommend brilliant and thoughtful experts in all five “Power Tools” fields.  We’ll do more work on each of the tools.

Let’s end with a note on fasting. Here is a great article to get you started:

Accelerating Benefits of a Fast | Dr. Peter Attia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wG5jJO2f5I&t=115s

For those of you who make it to the end of this blog, you are rewarded with an extra golden nugget. Last week I recommended Max Lugavere’s book, Genius Foods. One of the big takeaways was about “Olive Oil.” This Superfood is loaded with polyphenols, which help clear the blood of toxins. Olive oil helps your body rebalance your cholesterol profile. Cholesterol has many different positive functions in the body, so it’s vital to ensure that you have a balanced cholesterol profile for excellent health. Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil to every meal and reap the benefits of monounsaturated fat in your diet. It is not recommended to cook with Olive Oil. For cooking, I recommend a good quality Avocado Oil. Lastly, when choosing your Olive Oil, buy domestic (California oils are usually good choices). As you try different brands, here’s a quick ‘taste test’ to find the highest quality Olive Oil. Taste a teaspoon of the oil. As it hits the back of your throat, it should have a peppery kick. If it doesn’t, then try another brand.

Once again, I hope you have gained some beneficial tips and tools. The greatest compliment you can bestow to Team Body Helix is to pass this forward and help us spread the word. We are here to help you maintain your workout routines with useable information and quality compression products. Move Through It!

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