The Paradox of Living a Healthy Lifestyle

When you made your 2016 goals, did you see yourself losing weight, getting healthier, and possibly even getting those coveted, ripped six-pack abs?

What about being alone on your journey?

It’s no surprise the vast majority of people abandon their health goals well before the six month mark; it can be a lonely road filled with many obstacles. Every time you plan your meals, or schedule a workout, there is a new t.v. show conveniently airing during your time reserved for the gym, or coworkers and colleagues wanting to dine out at some calorie-rich grub spot.

People want pleasure, even if it is quick lived and leads to pain. High sugar and high fat foods stimulate many of the same neurological regions and pathways as cocaine and heroine (1) , meaning a permanent change in diet is going to be very difficult for the masses. If you are trying to go through this change, it is very likely your friends, family, and acquaintances are not. The consequences to your efforts may be harsh. I have been through rejection and condemnation, and have witnessed many friends and even some family members become distant due to my diet. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. Healthy is not cool in many circles.

I am a believer in balance, and only go hardcore with my diet when I’m trying to obtain an extremely lean physique for a show, or just a test of discipline (rare), but even letting your guard down for a few meals can quickly turn into a loss of focus, leaving you with unhealthy bio-markers, some extra energy around your midline, and a feeling of shame. It sounds like a slippery-slope fallacy, but just be real with yourself when applying moderation to unhealthy food. Will you eat a handful of Doritos, or the entire bag? Eating over your caloric needs is so easy, and there’s always excuses. There are exceptions to almost every rule, but just remember before you go out to pizza and beer just to spend time with people, you may not be an exception.

This site is dedicated to technology’s role in health, and I am all for sensors and collecting data, but so many people just jump on the latest fad without thinking about the reality of their situation. The fitbit on the wrist is a good gesture, and it may even get people motivated, but many neglect to exercise their will power. If you are trying to get healthy, just stay on track with your diet and exercise and you will. The apps, sensors, and bio-marker tests are secondary to the necessities of health: a nutrient-rich, calorie smart diet, and plenty of good ‘ol exercise!


 

References:

(1) Schulte et al. 2015. Which Foods May Be Addictive? The Roles of Processing, Fat Content, and Glycemic Load. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4334652/