These are the principles behind our approach to health, wellness, and nutrition — and the principles behind our products and services.
- Calories and Macronutrients. The core of healthy dieting comes down to two things: 1) managing total calorie intake and 2) getting those calories from the right places. Calories come from what are known as macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates); some diets are heavy on carbohydrates, some are heavy on protein, others in fat. What kind of diet are you eating now? Its effect? It's important to note that genetic predisposition or pre-existing medical conditions could impact macronutrient metabolism (some people are better at metabolizing carbs than others); however, generally speaking, diets high in carbohydrates (particularly processed sugars) are heavily associated with weight gain. This does not mean you should never have foods high in carbs — we're after healthy dieting here and cold-turkey approaches rarely work. The key is in moderation and treating yourself for a job well done, but we'll get to this later. For now, understand that healthy dieting requires wisely choosing which macronutrients should make up the bulk of your diet.
- Feedback Loop. Is there anything you love to eat? Chocolates? Burgers? Pizza? What would happen if we told you to never eat these foods again? Goodbye diet. Goodbye better health. We'll never tell you to never have a food you love — we only recommend that you earn it. Eat healthy for one day, give yourself a treat. Once you hit that benchmark, try pushing your limits and eating healthy for two days, then give yourself a treat. And so on. Build a positive feedback loop where you reward yourself for good performance. The goal: gradually reduce cravings for unhealthy foods. Chances are, stick with this simple system long enough and you'll get there.
- Moderation. In all things, indulgences or not. Hippocrates, considered the Father of Modern Medicine, famously proclaimed that "Dose determines poison." The amount of anything you consume determines its toxicity to your system: too much of a good thing has the potential to become a bad thing. Be mindful of how much you consume. Don't eat until you're too full to breathe. Be mindful of quantity when preparing a meal or try to build a habit of "saving for later" when you either make or order too much of something. Quantity of food or drink can be, depending on circumstance, considered to be as or even more important than the quality of foods consumed in dieting, assuming you're following a mostly healthy diet.
- Intermittent Fasting. This is a term that puts a little structure around the "Moderation" argument. Eat during a specified and timed window, and fast for the rest. You'll get hungry, but this is good. The scientific literature on this expansive — and it also assumed that overconsumption is one of the primary drivers of the metabolic disease (diabetes, obesity, etc..) epidemic in our country. The effects of timed fasting are far and wide, but beyond the scope of this report. We encourage you to learn more. For our purposes, we'd like you learn that nothing worthwhile ever came cheap. Getting healthy is a battle. Feeling hungry once in a while is a price that you'll have to pay to get there. But, there is a spectrum here, too. There are a variety of intermittent fasts, with the 16:8 (8 hour feed window with 16 hour fast) or the 14:10 (10 hour feeding window with 14 hour fast), among others. We recommend benchmarking yourself against what you do now — do you have your first meal of the day at 8AM and last at 6PM? That's a 14:10 fast. If you currently do this, maybe try a 16:8 fast? Similarly, if you currently eat before going to bed, not much of a fast. Try a 14:10 fast and monitor changes. We encourage you to be mindful of pre-existing medical conditions here (hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is a risk), so be ready for approriate action if the situation calls for it.
- Consistency in Variation. Here's a well-kept secret: it's unlikely that you'll nail the perfect daily diet. Instead, try incorporating variety into your meals. This doesn't mean have something new every day. More reasonably, this means that you should develop a menu of dishes for each meal that complement one another, that are healthy, and that you like. And cycle between them. For example, some good breakfast options could include: 1) yogurt with almond butter and fresh fruit, 2)avocado toast, 3) scrambled eggs with fresh fruit. Different foods, different nutrient profiles, even different sources of the same nutrient. Just as important, you won't get bored of eating the same thing every day. This is the variety piece. Once you've determined which types of foods you like, try to build a routine and stick to it. Day 1, dish A. Day 2, dish B. Rinse and repeat. Try to stick to your routine for as long as it works, and modify as needed if it doesn't. First, you'll be consuming a complete and healthy diet. Second, you'll minimize urges for the types of foods likely to steer you wrong.
- Whole System Approach. Finally, it's not all about food and nutrition. Nothing in physiology lives in isolation. It's about making sure your system is in sync — this means paying attention to physical activity, sleep quality and quantity, spirituality, personal life, and nutrition. If one of these dimensions becomes imbalanced, the system will try to compensate by overworking — and wearing down — another. Living a healthy lifestyle requires you to be mindful of all of the facets of life important to you — and to take care of them. A healthy sleep schedule would give you more energy to devote to exercise, which would motivate better eating habits, which would give you more confidence in your personal life, as a high-level example. Neglect one, others will falter. Tend to them.