Personal health should be so simple. Eat right, exercise, and be around people you love. Unfortunately, the abundance of available information out there, making any form of decision often feels like standing in the grocery aisle trying to pick the best pasta sauce; an endless amount of options an unnecessarily stressful situation.
What foods should I eat? What exercises should I be doing? Should I be working out every single day? How many hours of sleep do I need? Every google search yields thousands of answers, all with different “facts,” opinions, and supporting evidence. Meat is bad. Meat is good. Veganism is definitely the best option for me. Veganism is the devil. Lift weights 6 days a week. Lift weights twice a week.
What makes the abundance of information even more frustrating is that almost all of it is backed up by scientific research and studies. When a nutrition plan or exercise routine is backed by what seems like legitimate facts, you feel that following the advice would be beneficial to your health. This, of course, is not always the case as studies can be biased, misconstrued, or simply not applicable to your personal situation.
In order to get the find the best option for you, it is important to gather as much information as possible. Gaining perspectives from all sides and hearing input from various sources will help you make a stronger and more confident decision. At some point you have to bite the bullet and make a decision. This could lead to you diving in headfirst to a personal health decision that does very little for you, or even worse, is detrimental to your health. The opposite could also hold true and you could find exactly what you were looking for. Regardless of the results, you will have acquired data that will help you on your path to improved health.
When you finally buckle down and start experimenting with a new decision, pay attention to what works for you. It is not always the most efficient method nor is it easy, but by making an extra effort to pay attention to what works you can start to research and find answers that are tailored to your individual needs. This process sometimes involves finding what doesn’t work for you, which can be a frustrating experience. You put the effort in, commit to the 90 day reset, only to find out that you are no better off than you were 90 days earlier.
For example, let’s say that you strictly followed a ketogenic diet for 30 days in an attempt to both lean out and add muscle. After 30 days you lost significant weight and your strength gains were almost non-existent. Sounds like a loss, right? In regards to your short-term lean gains goals I would agree, but what did you learn through the experience?
Despite the physical losses you had great energy and mental clarity. You were able to observe that your body can run on a high-fat, low-carb diet but you were unable to reach your physical goals. This tips you off to the fact that your body requires additional carbohydrates to contribute to your strength gains. You now know that you need carbs, but not as many as you previously consumed on the Standard American Diet. You adjust your macronutrient ratios and end up finding the right range of carbohydrates to both take advantage of the mental improvements of the nutrition plan while fueling your gains.
This article is not anti-science, research, or first-hand experiences of others. It is pro-action in the form of doing your research and homework, establishing what you believe to be truth, and taking action. If you listened to everything everyone said and waited for the perfect time to take action, you wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning. The equation is simple: research, design a plan, take action, assess, adjust and repeat.
How do you sort through the facts? What sources have you had the most success with? Leave a comment below!