subtitle: Your Hormones Are Out of Whack
It’s not only teenagers that have to deal with hormones these days. As a whole (society) we have managed to mess up our hormonal systems with poor lifestyles.
So much for evolution.
Our ever “advancing” lives have created an environment in which to be “normal” is to be sedentary, stressed, overweight, and likely suffering from some form of degenerative ailment.
I’m not a pessimist, however, because the bright side is that most of what plagues us these days is avoidable. Our choices day in and day out are making us either miserable or happy. Obesity, depression, and many diseases we see as common today we brought upon ourselves.
To quote Metallica, “Sad, but true.”
I could go on and on regarding exercise, recovery, stress reduction…and these are very important parts of a healthy lifestyle. But today I’ll focus on diet. Not a fad diet or any crazy “get ripped quick” scheme. Everyday stuff, since life happens – everyday.
Merriam Webster’s first two definitions of “diet” are;
- food and drink regularly provided or consumed
- habitual nourishment
I like that – habitual nourishment. That should be our mindset when it comes to food and fueling our bodies.
While we’re looking up words, let’s continue.
- having the nature of a habit
- doing, practicing, or acting in some manner by force of habit
- resorted to on a regular basis
I can’t help but think of Og Mandino with regards to habits impacting our lives. He wrote, “Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure.”
Powerful stuff. What habits do you have and where are they leading you?
Nourishment was simply defined as food, or nutriment. Nutriment had quite the definition as it relates to our discussion today.
- something that nourishes or promotes growth, provides energy, repairs body tissues, and maintains life
Drastically cutting calories and living off of rice cakes and celery may maintain life (for a while) but certainly doesn’t promote growth, provide energy, or repair body tissue. Likewise with any other fad diet: quite often short term success is immediately followed by failure (and packing on the weight again).
Just Eat Real Food
All that to segue to the meat and potatoes (pun intended) of today’s discussion.
I recently wrote about reading a book titled The Dark Side of Fat Loss by Sean Croxton. If nutrition and (real) health interest you, I recommend picking up a copy here.
A catchphrase, if you will, that Croxton uses with clients and readers alike, is JERF. Standing for just eat real food, they are four powerful words that, when applied, can change your life for the better. The issues with obesity and diseases touched on earlier may often be reversed (or prevented) by eating real food. Our out of whack hormones got that way in great part to crappy diets of processed garbage and refined sugar.
Convenience is killing you. McDonalds and their friendly rivals are terribly wealthy at the expense of your health. I won’t stand on a soapbox and say I never eat fast food and will never step foot in a restaurant again…but my trips through the drive-thru are few and far between.
Real foods come from the ground. They come from animals that were raised on the ground. The healthier our food, the healthier we are. It is definitely a chain or circle of life. Paul Chek says healthy people eat healthy animals that eat healthy plants that grow in healthy soil. An environmentalist I am not, but a pursuer of totally awesome health and fitness I am! I don’t train like a mad man to get average results. And what food I consume on a consistent basis will either bring me success or failure (remember the words of Og?).
You get that eating real foods is vital to health, but what foods and how much? There is no one perfect diet for everyone. The ratios change from one person to the next, from one body type to the next, from one region to the next. The constant is eating real food.
If you can’t quickly trace your food back to its original state, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
If you find more than, say, three to five “ingredients” on a package, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
If it is packaged with bright labels touting it as “low fat”, “low calorie”, “fortified”, “enriched”, etc., you probably shouldn’t be eating it.
Real foods often don’t come in packages. They don’t have as long of a shelf life (because they “lack” preservatives). You usually find them around the outside aisles of the supermarket (think produce, meat counter, and dairy/eggs). Real foods are found at farmers markets and in your own gardens.
When you consistently JERF, you feel better, have more energy, tend to lose excess fat without as much struggle, and naturally balance out your hormones. These may take a little time, but we’re so messed up nothing is going to change overnight. Stick with it. You can do it, and you will do it.
To dig deeper into what hormones are at play and how they are specifically altered through diet, check out DSFL. Not only will Sean drop truth bombs galore, but he’ll provide education and motivation that will help you get on the track to better health.
If you don’t read his book, no problem. Here are some pointers to help you nourish yourself to better health:
- Eat foods that aren’t highly processed or refined. Fresh is best.
- Drink water. Avoid beverages with sugar. Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
- Eat slowly, chewing your food thoroughly.
- Turn off the TV and log off Facebook. Many people eat “mindlessly” and are totally unaware of how much they’re actually consuming.
- Find what works for you. Five to six small meals may help control blood sugar, but some may find two larger meals more satisfying. Just do you. (As long as you’re JERF’ing)
- Stop snacking at night and go to bed. Sleep is super powerful at restoring the body to optimum function and our chronic lack of it isn’t helping any of the aforementioned ailments. “Early to bed, early to rise…”
- Have fun. Play games. Enjoy time with family and friends. Stress comes from so many different directions, but it all usually ends up around the midsection. Let it go and with it, elevated cortisol and excess belly fat.
You may only live once, but you’ve only got one body. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
Train hard. Train smart. And JERF.
P.S. Don’t use the phrase “YOLO”. Dumb people say that to justify the dumb stuff they do. “JERF” is a way more practical phrase:)