If you could go back in time 25 years and visit your younger self, what advice would you give?
1) Eat More Food. I suffered for many years before I finally unlocked this secret. I wish I’d known it years ago. When you go on a diet that’s too restrictive, you’re setting yourself up for binge eating down the road. It’s like charging your metabolic “credit card” debt to the max: a debt you will have to pay later with compounded interest. I know, because I have paid this debt many times over the years.
Worse, the restrictive diet causes you to burn muscle. If you’re over 40, you’re likely burning more muscle than fat; I’ve tested this with DEXA scans. So your diet actually is making you fatter. In other words, you become “skinny fat.” This causes many problems. For example, it lowers your basal metabolic rate. So that when you do start to overeat (which you will, because you have starved yourself), you will gain fat back even faster. You’ve also blown your insulin sensitivity, which means you are in the metabolic latrine. Yes, the truth is that your crash diets are making you fatter.
2) Exercise Less. Simply put, most people I see exercise too much. I even see people over 40 doing many hours of hard exercise per week. They are exercising like a pro athlete, even though it is not their occupation. Some even have personal trainers that push them too hard, in a sort of co-dependent exercise relationship.
It’s time to stop the madness. Here again, all that extra exercise is charging up your metabolic credit card. The stress on your body causes your adrenal glands to produce cortisol, which makes you burn muscle and retain fat. I was guilty of this for many years. I couldn’t understand why I exercised so much, and ate so little, but still got fatter every year!
Now, I’ve learned that the secret lies in a minimalistic approach. Laziness is the key. My patients do no more than 3 relaxed sessions of resistance exercise per week, plus some slow walking during the day. And you’ve seen their results.
3) Value yourself. Your body is your tool. It is the vehicle you use to serve yourself, your family, and your community. Treat your body like the temple it is, and spare no expense to make it as perfect as humanly possible. An investment in yourself is always a good investment.
There is no virtue in settling for less than you are worth, less than you deserve, less than your great destiny demands.