Today, I want to share with you 20 things we recommend for a healthy life of exuberance, health, and longevity.
20 Ways to Live Well
1. Eat a Real Food diet.
Food is fuel and necessary to live, but for most of us in modern society, it is a struggle centered around over-consumption.
Real Food makes this a much easier ordeal. The fact is, if you are getting the bulk of your calories from restaurants or out of ready-to-eat packages, you are going to struggle with your health.
2. Get tons of sleep.
In a past life as a gym owner, I remember clients would look at me sideways when I told them they must sleep 8 hours a night. As if that was a crazy idea.
If you are one of these sleep-deprived zombies, I challenge you to get 8 hours a night for at least a week. Then make it a habit. It'll change your life.
3. Practice Intermittent Fasting (IF).
Our ancestors used to live in the harsh wild without access to modern food preservation or refrigeration.
This means they would often go without eating.
The "3 meals a day" idea is a modern invention and has no basis in science or health.
My favorite method is an 18/6 fasting to feeding window.
4. Eat slowly and chew your food.
I used to inhale food like a whale gobbling up plankton. This is not good for weight management—eating fast increases fat gain and leads you to overeat.
Eating slow enables important triggers for weight loss:
1. You reduce the insulin spike by slowing the release of food entering your bloodstream.
2. You eat less. Eating slow makes you feel full faster and avoid taking in extra calories.
5. Cook your food at home.
Restaurant food is universally bad.
Restaurants use cheap salt, sugar, sauces, thickeners, stabilizers, and all kinds of other unnatural crap to reduce costs, stay profitable, and keep the food highly addictive.
When the average restaurant margin is well under 5%, you better believe they are doing everything they can to cut corners and save money.
6. Don't drink calories.
Drinking calories elicits a large insulin response. Our ancestors didn't have access to smoothies, shakes, and other fast-digesting liquid meals.
This doesn't mean you can't have these things, it just means you should be cognizant of the effects and drink slowly if you are drinking your calories.
Do everything you can to avoid sugar-filled drinks of empty calories.
7. Go completely gluten-free.
Clean out your pantry of anything that contains wheat or gluten. Removing gluten from your diet can have profound effects on your gut health which can translate into other health benefits you might not expect.
For those with autoimmune issues, this can save lives.
8. Don't snack.
Snacking is the bane of weight loss... and it promotes fat gain. A double whammy of something you probably want to avoid.
One of the main reasons Intermittent fasting is beneficial is because it regulates your hormone levels and it balances your body between the fasted and fed states. Your body is made to burn fat when in the ‘fasted’ state and made to store calories when in the ‘fed’ state.
Every time you put calories in your mouth you are entering the ‘fed’ state and thus shutting off your body's ability to burn fat by introducing glucose and insulin into your bloodstream. Next time you grab that bag of almonds thinking it’s a healthy snack, think again—you are actually doing your body a disservice.
Eat meals. Avoid snacking.
9. Take high quality fish oil with every meal.
Fish oil contains omega-3’s that help to balance out the omega-6’s that are prevalent throughout our modern diets (especially processed foods). Correcting this balance provides a major benefit to the body, especially weight loss.
10. Take Vitamin D or get sunlight every day.
This could be the missing link in your health program. Vitamin D is a necessary hormone in the human body. It is involved in too many processes in your body to neglect. Take a Vitamin D soft-gel and aim to get 20 minutes of sunlight every day without exception.
11. Reduce stress.
Do everything you can to reduce stress.
When you get angry, stressed, or freak-out about something, it is like taking a bite out of a candy bar since stress releases cortisol and insulin into your bloodstream just like taking a bite of your favorite candy bar.
As we discussed earlier, the extra release of insulin halts fat-loss and promotes fat-gain (and cortisol can screw things up as well).
Take a chill pill and BREATHE.
12. Practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the act of focusing on a single object or task and turning off the rest of the noise (thoughts, worry, stress) going through your head. This will help in lowering cortisol and insulin levels.
Our hormones get all out of whack as a result of our mind tormenting us with worry, stress, anger, resentment, jealousy, and all kinds of other stuff we shouldn't be worrying about.
Techniques for being mindful include: Counting your breath (breath meditation), sitting in a quiet place with the goal of emptying the mind (meditation), going outdoors, and focusing on the sights and sounds, and tuning out the rest (a form of mediation).
Recommended books: The Power of Now Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind
13. Eliminate sugar.
It’s the absolute worst thing you can eat (though seed and vegetable oils are high up on the list as well).
Remember that fat doesn't make you fat. Sugar, seed oils, and processed grains are what make you fat.
14. Eat high-quality fat.
Fatty fish, grass-fed beef, lamb, bison, coconut oil, olive oil (I prefer it unheated), Kerrygold butter, avocado oil, macadamia oil, ghee, lard (make your own), tallow (make your own).
15. Eat high-quality animal products and seafood.
Keywords include grass-fed, free-range, pastured, organic, all-natural, hormone-free, humanely raised, family farms, local.
16. Perform resistance training (~3 times a week).
You probably already know why this is beneficial. Just do it.
17. Perform high-intensity conditioning (~3 times a week).
Think intervals; short, fast, and hard. Avoid long-distance and moderate-paced training as the bulk of your training (it's useful only sometimes).
18. Walk everywhere.
Take the stairs, park at the end of the parking lot, walk the long way. Our ancestors walked an average of 13 miles a day while most of us walk about two and a half. Sad.
19. Play sports.
Great for overall health, mental relief, muscle building, mobility, social development, etc. We have been playing games since the dawn of man.
20. Get outdoors as much as possible.
Getting outdoors has been proven over and over again to be good for health and longevity.
Well, there you have it, the top 20 ways to live a healthy life. Please take action with one or more points here. Your body will thank you!