Most people feel like they are living proactively in regards to their health by following the popular diets, exercise sports, and supplements of the day, but often times, from a Functional Medicine lens, they are just hurting themselves and their future bodies even more.
Yet, since most people don't follow the instructions on how to do this whole "health" thing the right way, we figured preaching what NOT to do could help.
I even wrote an entire book on how to sabotage your health efforts:
What should one focus on when trying to destroy their hormones?...
...and ensure that their fat loss, energy, and sexual appetite all come to a screaming halt?
Follow along and let's learn together.
1. Avoid fats altogether in your diet.
People are so scared to eat an egg yolk or even ground beef, that they completely burn themselves out on chicken breast and salmon filets.
By the time they actually realize that grass fed organic meat could actually boost their hormone health (especially for a male's testosterone) they are looking to trash meat altogether from their diet and jump aboard the Vegan bandwagon (which is no bueno for testosterone either, by the way, fellas.)
Don't fear good fats such as avocados, avocado oil, fish oil, sardines, olives, MCT oil, coconut oil, algae oil, or even grass fed saturated fats (as long as you don't have an APOE4 variant nor familial hypercholesterolemia... ask me below if you are confused)
2. Cut calories for extremely long periods of time. Months or even years.
By the looks of it, most people seem to think that eating less and less will somehow get them Greek God Bod's, although their direct results and feedback show quite the opposite. If you want to destroy your hormones and body fat composition, make sure to keep eating less and exercising more.
If you want to actually move the needle in a healthier direction, make sure you are recovering from your workouts, and you are eating enough protein, carbs and fats to suit your body's needs and your exercise demands.
3. While we are at it, avoid carbs too. Even if you are training super intensely.
Great segue, here. More people seem to think that they can get off of the couch and just start fueling their CrossFdit and marathon training with butter and coconut oil.
"Because Muscle and Fitness and the Kardashian's told me to..."
If you want to really squeeze your adrenals dry of cortisol and DHEA, then by all means continue pounding the pavement and sucking on bacon strips.
But if you want to actually encourage fat loss from your abs and hips, you may want to balance out your exercise intensity, duration, and recovery with adequate carbs and timing them appropriately with training times and intensity.
4. When you do eat carbs, make sure to have them as far away from your training as possible.
Just eating the right amount of carbs is not enough.
If you want to take naps at your desk and not pay attention to anything during the daylight hours that is worthwhile, then continue eating loads of carbs for breakfast, since cereal and pancakes soaked in orange juice or milk, appears to be helping...no body.
But, if you want to ensure that your muscles have enough glycogen for the next workout and you trigger enough insulin to stop muscle breakdown and encourage muscle repair, then start having your carbs AFTER your hard workouts and preferably in the evenings to help with sleep and decreasing evening cortisol.
5. Don't ever Fast. Just consume food from the moment you wake up until you go to bed.
This one is so simple, it is scary.
People read about how "fasting is great" one day then hear that "fasting is stressful and bad" the next and get super confused.
Yet, the reality is super simple once you remove the "science" behind it and simply pay attention to real world human response to it... which I have... with hundreds of clients:
If you have been eating breakfast for years, then fasting may benefit you. If you have been fasting for months or even years and feel like you are plateauing with your sleep, hormones, or training, then adding breakfast back to the mix could be extremely beneficial for your progress.
6. Do long bouts of cardio.
Again, if you want to look like an emaciated marathoner or triathlete, then go ahead and continue slogging away on the treadmill, trainer, or pavement. Initially, most of these people see good results because they have gone from doing NO EXERCISE, to doing some form of it.
Or, since they have been skinny and endurance-able their entire lives, they have grown addicted to the cardio and their genes and bodies allow for them to be pretty good at it.
Yet, for the majority of folks, forcing your body to cover long distances of ground, for longer and longer periods of time, doesn't encourage it to burn fat or build muscle. It actually drives the opposite.
Your body wants to get from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. Which means that it will look to burn fewer calories while you are running the same pace, tomorrow.
And all that cardio will continue to drive up cortisol as well. Which loves to store fat (since it drives large amounts of unnecessary glucose from your liver) and it loves to catabolize muscle as well (because who needs swollen biceps or a firm booty when you are telling your body that it needs to offload unnecessary weight in order to make you more efficient at yogging...?)
Science for the win! 🙌
7. Don't ever lift heavy weights or do High Intensity intervals.
Ah, yes. Last but not least.
Continuing to do the same thing yet hoping for different results...
The American Dream.
But, when it comes to health, not very effective.
Lifting weights or at least your body weight, can have some pretty profound effects on your hormones and body fat/muscle ratios.
It also helps tremendously with blood sugar metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
Walking, however... does not.
It is great for cardiovascular health if you have been sitting at a desk or on the couch all day, but to expect walking to give you a bikini body or a chiseled physique is sort of silly.
So, there you have it. If you want to continue:
- Dragging yourself out of bed each morning with no energy
- Wondering why your bikini body hasn't shown up yet
- Having no energy to workout at the end of the day
- Or fighting ridiculous carb cravings late at night
Then follow the seven rules above and you will be well on your way.
But, if you want to follow a tried and true method for achieving your health goals and separating Health Fact from Fiction, then click below and join our monthly Forum and Library so you don't have to Google your way to health, any longer.