I recently read the incredible book Eat Move Sleep (Tom Rath, 2013). I would highly recommend this book to you. The premise for the book is “how small choices lead to big changes.” When you make better choices in the moment, it benefits your overall health and well-being. While you can’t change your family history, you can change your family future by making better choices today.
The bottom line is that eating right is not enough; exercise alone is insufficient; and sleeping well, in isolation, is not adequate. When you focus all your energy on just one of these pursuits, it often comes at the expense of another. It is essential to think about all three elements together.
For the purpose of posting in this blog, I’ll separate my favorite content from the book into the three categories. I’ll update weekly, so please check back!
Eat: Every single bite is a net gain or loss.
- Forget diets; short term gains will get lost in long term.
- Study Carbohydrates vs. Proteins; try to achieve better than 5:1 – many snacks are 10:1 or worse.
- Sugar is a drug; the more you consume, the more you want. Consuming sugar early in the day sets you up for a day-long craving. Avoid “added sugars” when possible. Ideally, look for products containing less than 10g of sugar. Pick one food/drink that you would normally add sweetener, and for one week, try eating/drinking without adding the sweetener.
- Refined Carbohydrates are another addictive drug (in this case, “refined” does not mean better!) We get enough carbs from fruits, vegetables, and protein. Do everything you can to replace refined carbohydrates with vegetables when you prepare or order a meal. Try to find natural snacks like nuts, carrots, apples, celery, kale chips, or seeds.
- Don’t let your stomach get too empty; it could easily turn into overeating.
- Don’t eat too fast; aim for 20 minutes, which is a good, general guideline.
- Protein can be found in much better sources than just meat: Fruits & Vegetables, Nuts, Seafood
- Bread is a lot worse than we think.
- High fat foods decrease your energy and your mood later in the day. Eating poorly will make a bad day even worse. Consider your relationships with others when choosing what to eat.
- When given a choice, pick the form of food closest to how it was originally grown. Example; dried fruits or juices have 10 times the sugar of the original whole fruit.
- Most advertising is deceptive. The more claims a product makes, the more you should be skeptical and ask the right questions.
- Buy “use it or lose it” foods. Foods that do not last for years on a shelf are usually healthier.
- When eating a big meal, start with the healthiest food first. Doing so will ensure you get the most out of the healthiest options, and possibly leave unhealthy options left-over. Some studies suggest that drinking a glass of water before a meal actually results in weight loss.
- Your greatest health risks are individual to you (that’s why doctors ask so much about your family history.) Do some research; find out what foods you could eat to decrease your greatest risk.
- Every bite and drink counts. You don’t get healthier by simply trying to eat better in general. You improve your health on a bite-by-bite basis.