In the world of health and fitness there is a lot of debate and seemingly oppositional viewpoints. However, the following seems to be above and beyond argument regardless of whether you are vegetarian or carnivorous, pro-aerobics or anti-aerobics:
- Replacing the “worst” food with food that is “less bad” is not a useful change. Although this small change from one industrialized food to another may facilitate some immediate weight loss or health improvement, it is not lasting and it does not promote someone to make fundamental shifts and live in a way compatible with optimal health. (this is the classic replacement of white bread with “whole wheat” bread, or the switching from one packaged food to another)
- Acknowledging that a “healthy” life is important means very little to someone’s health. It is the practicing of a “healthy” life that has a meaningful impact on one’s health. The fundamental belief in being “healthy” is only worthwhile if you put in the work, live it out and experience it on a daily basis.
- Fitness is not health. Fitness is fitness. You cannot exercise away unhealthy habits. High levels of fitness are not necessarily indicative of good health. Although an individual with optimal heath surely has good fitness.
- Supplementing is not necessarily a “healthy habit”. In my personal and professional experience I have observed that supplementation is not always beneficial and may even promote living in a way that is not compatible with optimal health. A specific course-of-action with high quality products in the context of an overall “healthy” lifestyle is necessary for someone maximize the benefits of their supplementation.
- Living in a way that is “healthier” than your family, friends and associates does not necessarily mean that you are living a “healthy” life. It only shows that you likely take more responsibility for your own health than they do for theirs.
- It makes no sense to address only one aspect of your life at a time when attempting to improve your health. If you are eating better in order to improve your health then you should ideally also make improvements in how you sleep, how you view yourself and the world, and how you handle stress at the same time. Life is not an experiment, we do not need to isolate variables in order to observe how they impact us.
- A “healthy” diet cannot be designed with foods made from wheat, vegetable oil and added sugar. A “healthy” diet cannot be designed with packaged foods as a centerpiece. Some people living a “healthy” life can get away with eating these foods on occasion, but any diet formulated with foods that have wheat, vegetable oil and added sugar is not capable of promoting health.
- Cleansing, detoxifying and juice-fasting and all other similar practices are not essential for living in a “healthy” manner. They tend to be the product of “all or nothing” thinking. It is best for someone to live a life where their toxic intake (no wheat, no vegetable oil, no added sugar, very little industrialized food, etc.) is low and their activity level is high (exercise, yoga, etc.), among other things. In time, with regularly eating nutritious food and regularly sweating from intense exercise an individual will likely do more “detoxifying” than they would have done with some “detox” practice. Additionally, this person will have made lasting shifts, instilled “healthy habits” and promoted a better mindset in regards to living “healthfully” by eating better and exercising with a proper structure.
Well, that is clearly not an extensive list, but it is a start. Do you have any thoughts, considerations or advice? If so, please leave a comment. Otherwise, thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Love you all.
I have one thought. While I agree with just about everything, I personally believe that a lot of people should take lifestyle changes one at a time. It’s much harder to create good habits than bad, and if someone is trying to change too many of those bad habits at once they’re more likely to fail earlier on and give up. One permanent change is a more productive step in long-term health than a temporary attempt at changing 5 things at once.
I agree with you humanm….! But in some cases an immediate response,and lifestyle change is an absolute necessity, like when a person is diagnosed with a fatal sickness like cancer. Then a quick change can save a life. My wife was stage 4 lung cancer and an immediate change to an extreme alkaline lifestyle of eating and exercise saved her life and helped rid her of cancer. It would be easier for many to start living and eating healthy. In steps, but they must understand, you never can return to the lifestyle that cost you your health in the first place (the reason no diets work)
Food heals! I also know that for sure ;+)
Sam, must agree with all you present here; all very good points and really not as difficult as people seem to think it is. It’s all in your perspective and how important you own life is to you. Often it takes a serious illness for people to wake up; we as a society are too used to convenience foods and don’t think serious illness will strike. I’ve been eating healthfully for a long while, and have changed and improved things over the years. I know first hand that food is what cures and most importantly, prevents!!
Sam, nice blog. I do have a quibble about the seemingly all-or-nothing points (#1 and #6). I think some people do better making smaller changes than drastic ones. BJ Fogg’s work on tiny habits seems to support this.
Absolute truth, particularly this:
“Fitness is not health. Fitness is fitness. You cannot exercise away unhealthy habits. High levels of fitness are not necessarily indicative of good health. Although an individual with optimal heath surely has good fitness.”