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The Best Eating and Exercise Plan for You

The Best Eating and Exercise Plan for You

Recently I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people who disagree with me on what eating and exercise plan is best for them. The reason they disagree is often that they have done something that worked for them that is the complete opposite of what I’m saying. Now you might think that all this would break my spirit, make me crouch into the fetal position, and cry but it doesn’t. That’s because I also get a ton of comments and emails from people who are getting success by following my advice. How can this be? Well, there’s a simple explanation: “We’re all different.” What works well for some individuals may not work for others, and there are many factors that come into play here.

A common trap that all health enthusiasts (even professionals) can fall into is neglecting to mention that their advice may not apply to everyone. I’m a fan of a low carb and real food based diet. I don’t recommend calorie counting, and I am personally against low-fat, vegan, and meal replacement diets. I have a lot of evidence to support my point of view, but evidence isn’t everything, because there are many people who are doing these different things with incredible success.

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While I like a low carb diet, still we are all different and what works for one person may not work for the next. The fact is that most diet plans work if you follow them. That’s the real trick because most diet plans are very difficult to follow.

Low-carb is probably one of the easiest to follow because it reduces hunger which has been confirmed in randomized clinical trials. Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard in the public health and medical science community. However, for some individuals something vastly different might be optimal.

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Alternative Plans that work Extremely well for Some People

There are vegans who do pretty much the opposite of what I preach. I honestly think that this is not a sensible way of life, and that they must be careful to take the right supplements and read some books by vegan doctors, but there are many individuals who do incredibly well on vegan diets.

A lot of people have had success with calorie counting. Somehow they can consciously eat less and less food all the time and lose weight in the long term. These people often claim that this is the right approach for everyone which I wholeheartedly disagree with, but it works for them.

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Then there are meal replacement diets. There are many of these. It is something that I would never recommend, but there are many people who follow them and do great. I am not going to tell these people to stop doing what is working well for them.

If you find something that works for you, do it!  That’s my motto – or at least one of my mottos. I think everyone needs to find a way to eat healthy and exercise that fits with their lifestyle and cultural setting, and that is sustainable for them in the long term.

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Final Words

I think it’s important for anyone who is reading about health and nutrition online to put things into perspective. Ask yourself the following questions: “What kind of website is this?” “Does this apply to my situation?” “Is this suitable for my lifestyle?”

Everyone is unique. Our body types are different; we do varying amounts of exercise; we have different kinds of jobs; we are from different cultures. The best diet plan for you, is the one you can follow and which fits into your lifestyle.

Featured photo credit: shutterstock via image.shutterstock.com

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Jae Berman

Health Writer

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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