9 Words, 90% of Your Health and Body Composition Goals…
-Eat real, unprocessed foods
-Exercise according to your goals
Whoomp! There it is.
That’s it. That’s what it all comes down to. The basis for everything health and body composition related.
“Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.” -Martin Henry Fischer
Here’s a little elaboration celebration…
These days, people are plagued with “paralysis by analysis.” There is an overwhelming amount of information out there. And instead of sticking to the basics and working consistently, people sit there and debate what the best methods are (without actually doing anything). Keep it simple, take action, and be consistent. It’s really a lot less complicated than everyone makes it out to be.
What do I mean by real, unprocessed foods?
Fruits, vegetables, animals, fish, plant, seeds, nuts…etc. Foods that, you know, naturally occur on Earth. Have you ever seen a pop-tart tree?
A “Paleo template” should, ideally, be the foundation of everyone’s eating habits. Notice I use the words “template” and “foundation”, because the last thing we need is to impose any more rigid rules/systems on ourselves.
Another way to look at it is if a food only has one ingredient (which is THAT food), it’s probably good for you.
In the word of the late, great Jack Lalane, “If man made it, don’t eat it.”
And with that being said, I think the 80/20 principle works well with what you eat. If you eat real food 80% of the time, you’ll be alright. No need to be fanatical and deprive yourself of ice cream for all eternity. Where’s the fun in that?
This should be a combination of low-intensity exercise (think walking), and short, high-intensity exercise (sprinting, resistance training…etc). Not those, long, drawn out jogging sessions. Why? Because that’s what’s most effective, and it’s how we’re meant to move. We evolved to walk all day, and occasionally sprint or lift something heavy (including our bodies). Mark Scisson summarizes this beautifully in this article.
The Final 10%: (Tailored to your specific goal)
The methods will obviously vary depending on what someone is trying to achieve. For the final 10%, you need more specific and advanced methods tailored to your specific goal(s). The final 10% for a 60 year-old trying to get off cholesterol meds will vary greatly from a 20 year old wanting to pack on muscle.
This is where all of those *insert superlative* dietary and training techniques come into play. Carb cycling, intermittent fasting, progressive overload, 5×5 lifting…etc. These will all help you achieve that final 10%, assuming you choose one that aligns with your goals.
More food for thought:
If you want to do something like get really lean (<8% bodyfat), or pack on 50lbs of muscle, it’s slightly unnatural. And this means you will have to do slightly unnatural things to get there. Remember that. You still need have that foundation of eating real, unprocessed foods and exercising according to your goals (not jogging, don’t be a hamster). And that final 10% is up to you.