February 14, 2020
Trying to lose weight? Don’t overthink it. Your body will do all of the work for you!
Think about this. Bring to mind someone with a similar build and body composition to you.
If we compared your diet, then they’re probably going to be pretty different in terms of many of the major factors:
Types of food (meat vs plants)
Macronutrient ratios (protein, fat, carbohydrate, alcohol)
Micronutrients (vitamins & minerals)
Nutrient timing (when you eat)
Note that food is just the beginning. What about genetics? What about sleep?
However, somehow, you’re both still able to function as humans.
Think about that for a moment.
The body is built in such a way that, whatever you feed it, it has this amazing ability to maintain homeostasis, keep you respiring, perspiring, aspiring, performing advanced cognition and, carrying out all major bodily functions, despite you both using totally different fuel sources.
The body contains feedback loops upon feedback loops upon feedback loops, all the way down to the lowest levels of your cells. There’s constant debate about how almost all of the major systems work. Take this very fundamental example of insulin resistance from Dr Fung for example, the cause of diabetes, which is also explained very well in this podcast.
Hence, when trying to optimise health, it’s just impossible to key in on one simple pathway that’s going to massively change your life.
Sure, you can monitor your body using all kinds of metrics from blood tests, stool samples and urinalysis (…to name a few), but these are costly and require a physician to analyse them. This is way out of reach for most people.
The body knows what’s good for it. If you provide the right inputs while not providing the wrong ones, it will assimilate them in the way it deems best. You’ve probably heard of all the different types of inputs before.
A completely non-exhaustive list:
Hot + Cold
and so on…
I’m sure you’ve heard it a thousand times but let's say it here again:
Consistency is literally the number one predictor of who’s going to succeed or fail when trying to reach your health goals.
You are not what you did yesterday, but you are an average of what you did over the last year and beyond.
Therefore, not only must you provide the right inputs on a regular basis over an extended period of time but, you must also avoid giving the wrong ones over an extended period of time.
Repetition and consistency.
Now, think of that same person with the same build as you. Thinking in terms of the aforementioned inputs, let’s say that you continue to live your different lives and eat your different diets as before but we modify a few things. Who is going to be looking the bell of the ball in exactly a year’s time?
|Sleep||+1 hour per night||-1 hour per night|
|Diet||-10 % whole foods||+10% whole foods|
|Exercise||+1 strength training session per week||No change|
|Evening Activities||Baking bread & cooking||Watching Netflix|
You’re probably going to end up better off.
However, it’s not a guarantee. Genetics might state that your friend is going to become more resistant to metabolic stressors later in life than you. Hence, you must keep up with your weekly strength training session while they binge Netflix and balance biscuits on their flat belly.
But life ain’t fair.
Everyone is different. So let’s totally scrap the last section and just think about you.
Comparison is the thief of joy and there’s no bigger kleptomaniac than the person who constantly compares themself to others. Some people have been fortunate to have been slim their entire lives. Some people don’t have a crazy appetite. Some people don’t like sweet food. Some people are genetically gifted and while they are modelling for transformation photos while you ask what they ate for dinner, they’d tell you “A KitKat, a packet of Walkers and a tea with so many sugars that the spoon stands up”.
While there’s an unknown genetic factor in determining the probability that you’re going to be better off than your mate of a similar build, there isn’t any variance in comparing yourself to yourself across two dimensions. One where you improve a few things over an extended period and one where you do not.
In that instance, it is a guarantee.
So I hope you see that it’s not rocket science. You don’t need to second guess what the body needs to be successful. If you speak to a nutritionist, they’ll tell you that diet is the most important thing. If you speak to Matthew Walker, he’d tell you that sleep is the most important thing. If you spoke to a personal trainer, they’d tell you that exercise is the most important thing.
The fact is that they are all inputs and they all matter.
The body, being a system of systems, means that your nutrition affects your sleep which affects your exercise which affects your waistline which affects your confidence which affects your mental state which affects your sleep which further affects your sleep which affects your hormonal balance which affects your sex-life which affects your hormonal balance which affects your exercise which affects your mood which affects your waistline…
You get it.
“Everything Affects Everything” is our mantra at WildLife. In the next posts, you’ll find easy steps for how you can manipulate each of the inputs. Especially ones that have stood the test of time and that you can find out in the wild.
That’s what we teach at WildLife.