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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 October 14, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

10 Simple Ways To Increase Metabolism Without Working Out

When it comes to increasing your metabolism, getting a good workout a couple of times a week is only one of many players. If you’re not a fan of lifting heavy stuff, then you’re only expending extra energy for that, say, one hour of that specific day. But what about the remaining 23 hours? How can you make sure you’re burning blubber all throughout the day? Here are 10 simple ways to increase your metabolism without working out.

1. Stand More

Many health practitioners claim that sitting is the new smoking. We sit in the office, we sit in the car, we sit when we get home. It’s not only terrible for your health and posture, but you require a lot less energy when seated. So, a good way to ignite the furnace a bit is to stand as much as possible through out the day. You work in an office? Put two boxes under your keyboard or laptop. There are many free solutions to making a standing desk—so you have no excuses. When you’ve gotten used to standing while working you will quickly find that it’s easier to stay engaged as well—you’re less inclined to drift away mentally. In fact, this post was written standing.

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2. Gamify Your Life

Toys such as the Fitbit or Nike Fuelband, or apps like Argus, can help you increase your metabolism by giving you an incentive to walk more. Argus, and other apps like it, use the accelerometer in your smartphone to measure your steps and let you know when you’ve hit your daily goal. Fitbit and the Nike Fuelband do the same, but have a host of other functions to make being healthy a tad more fun.

3. Eat Your Veggies

Fibrous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli increase your metabolism by putting your digestive system on overdrive. It just simply requires more energy to break down the tough fiber of these nutritional powerhouses. You’ll also start feeling like a rock star from the overload of vitamins and minerals from eating more vegetables.

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4. Eat Protein

This is one of those rules that’s not to be misunderstood. While it does boost your metabolism to eat more protein, it should be instead of other foods, not on top of other foods. If you’re stuffing your face with a chicken breast when you’re not hungry just to boost your metabolism, you’re doing it wrong. Of the three macro-nutrients—fats, carbs and protein—protein is the one that requires the most energy to break down. So, if you switch out some of those cheese sandwiches with a few hardboiled eggs you’re on the right path.

5. Drink Loads Of Cold Water

Drinking a few glasses of ice-cold water in the morning can boost your metabolism quite effectively. Your body expends energy on constantly staying in homeostasis when it comes to temperature, so if you chug a bunch of icy water you’re making your body expend more energy on keeping itself at the same temperature. Using temperature to expend more energy is called thermogenesis and it’s one of the most efficient ways of cranking up your calorie burning—more on this further down.

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6. Spice Up Your Meals

Spices like cayenne, chilli, ginger and turmeric ignite your metabolism and make your meals a bit more exciting. If you make it a habit to add a little bit of spice to each of your meals it can be a habit that turns you into a fat-burning furnace.

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    7. Drink Caffeine

    No, drinking loads of coffee is not bad for you. The sugar and heavy cream you could be inclined to chase it down with might be though. Caffeine helps mobilize—that is, get rid of—adipose tissue, or fat. It also helps athletic performance, and some individuals report it to have appetite-curbing effects. If you’re very sensitive to stimulants, try not to have caffeine too close to bedtime though, as it can mess with your sleep.

    8. Plan Your Meals Around Exercise

    I know the title of this post says “…Without Working Out” but this trick technically is more a nutritional trick than an exercise-related one. When you’ve exerted yourself and, hopefully, broken down some muscle fibers, your protein synthesis, or the rate at which you build muscle, increases. So, having heavy meals after a workout will make sure those calories get stored in the right places. This is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to get a heavy session in before the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

    9. Do Intermittent Fasting

    It’s long been said you should always eat a heavy breakfast as it kick starts your metabolic rate. There hasn’t been any study proving this though. There have only been behavioral studies correlating obesity with breakfast skippers, but it’s always been a case of confusing correlation with causation. It’s not the fact that you skip breakfast that makes you fat; it’s the poor food choices you make throughout the rest of your day. Studies have shown that fat burning increases the longer you get into a fast, obviously depending on the body fat level of the individual. In fact, in one study lowered metabolic rate did not occur until 60 hours into a fast. Intermittent fasting is very much one of the bigger wins when it comes to increasing your metabolism.

    10. Use Cold Exposure

    For some reason it’s been common knowledge for a while that sweating increases metabolic rate. Scientist have known for a while though that the opposite is actually true; exposing yourself to cold temperatures increase your calorie burn significantly. Just slight shifts in your home temperature can mean pounds lost or gained when you gather the numbers yearly. How else do you think swimmer Michael Phelps is able to eat 12,000 calories a day? Obviously, he swims hours each day, but it’s not just the exercise he gets from swimming that allows him to consume such quantities of food, it’s also the amount of energy the body has to expend to keep itself at its baseline temperature in the cold water. So, taking ice-cold showers, decreasing the temperature of your home, or swimming in cool pools will help you burn a lot more calories.

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