Have you ever bought a “one size fits all” item and realized that one size doesn’t really fit all? Yep, me too! It can be really frustrating!
How is it that we assume health and fitness are the same?
January tends to be the month that many people want to improve their health. Maybe lose some weight? Weight loss can be a great goal if the end goal is to be healthier and not just see the scale move down. The scale is not always an accurate depiction of our overall health.
A little about me before I jump in. I’m a health and nutrition nerd. I don’t have a degree in it or a certification. But over the years, I’ve taken nutrition courses at Stanford, John Hopkins and a few other universities, read many health/nutrition related books and listened to 100’s of podcasts by wellness, medical and nutrition experts in their areas of expertise.
I even saved up money to do a more extensive functional nutrition certification. But honestly, so many of the programs I researched ascribe to a one size fits all approach. And one thing I have learned from all the rabbit holes this nutrition nerd has gone down is that ….
there is no one size fits all when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.
How much have we heard the word “science” used lately as if using the word with whatever we say makes that thing the definitive authority? When actually science is very layered in applicability and complexity especially with implementation variables and individual histories.
Because of this, I am a strong believer that you must take control of your own learning and explore many different angles to health, implement things that seem sound to you and find out what ultimately works for you.
Plus, whatever you do has to be somewhat practical with the season and life you are living. I didn’t say easy though – choosing healthy habits is not always easy! But it does get easier the longer we do it.
One example, calories in / calories out / calorie deficit may work at the basest of theories for weight loss. But that theory doesn’t automatically create a healthy person, and it doesn’t always work if there are hormonal issues going on or excess stress or in certain ages of individuals or a variety of other reasons.
So yes, “science” may “say” calories in/calories out/calorie deficit works for weight loss but that doesn’t mean it will work for you. Nor does it mean it is the only thing you should consider when wanting to be healthier.
Whether you are exploring tracking your calories, macros, carbs, limiting foods that cause you digestive issues, whatever it is, it is so important to understand the whole picture – your whole picture. Listen to respected opinions.
Nowadays, everyone online is the expert for this program or that one, and they may be able to help you. But I just want to encourage you to explore beyond that one person and include many voices in your healthy journey.
I see so many people sucked up into one way of thinking and so discouraged by the lack of progress. Or seeing someone else’s results and assuming the same thing will get them the same results! I experienced that in my own life when I was eating healthy and still didn’t feel my best.
In the process, I kept exploring, and I keep exploring. Because as we age, there is always more to learn about being the healthiest person I can be.
I thought I’d share with you some of the health experts I include in my learning. The main way I connect with these individuals is through their social media or podcast, but I have read books from most of them as well.
I not only appreciate their own wisdom in the area of healthy living, but I also appreciate the variety of guests on their podcasts with sometimes differing “science.”
Shawn Stevenson – Science geek meets athlete turned into integrative health practitioner – The Model Health Show
Dr. Mark Hyman – Functional medicine doctor internationally known – The Doctor’s Farmacy
Max Lugavere – Health journalist focused on brain health. I found his research when my dad was diagnosed with dementia. – The Genius Life
Dr Josh Axe – Athlete meets chiropractor and supplement/chinese herbal expert – Dr Josh Axe Podcast (Ancient Nutrition Products)
Autumn Bates – Masters in Nutrition – Autumn Elle Nutrition
Kelly LeVeque – Medical background turned clinical nutritionist – Be Well By Kelly
Mark Sisson – Extreme endurance athlete turned paleo guru – The Primal Blueprint (Primal Foods Products)
Dr. Rangan Chatterjee – Medical doctor focused on 360 degree approach to health – Feel Better Live More
Dr. Anthony Gustin – Functional and sports performance practitioner with focus on keto lifestyle and athletic performance – The Natural State (Perfect Keto products)
I think I captured most of my current go to health experts above but if I missed any, I will edit this list as I go!
Maybe you have some health gurus in your line up. I’d love to hear who they are and why you love them!
Happy learning to you!
P.S. Shawn Stevenson often talks about confirmation bias. We look for or latch onto information that confirms our own bias. This has forced me at times to really look beyond what I want to hear/read.
A few years ago, for me, this meant being willing to reevaluate my own preconceived negative feelings about the paleo and then later keto lifestyles. It took over 2 years, but after really listening and researching, I became open to something new in my life to try that has worked really well.
So if you are frustrated, don’t give up. Keep exploring. Just make sure it’s with people you respect and who have some experience to back it up.