Why "How Do You Feel?" Is the Only Health Question That Matters
The Big Thought in This Little Post: In a world of conflicting health advice, asking how something makes you feel is the only health question that matters.
The world of nutrition and exercise can get pretty confusing with ever-conflicting advice; it seems the only thing that health experts can agree on is that they don't agree:
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; your brain needs fuel and you should aim to eat within 60-minutes of waking...
Actually, skip breakfast and intermittent fast; leverage your parasympathetic nervous system by not eating so you can really focus...
You should do cardio if you want to lose weight, how else are you going to burn fat...?
You definitely should not do cardio if you want to lose weight; it will only stimulate your appetite and prolonged cardio will cause you to lose muscle mass...
You have to eat before exercising, otherwise you won't have the energy to workout ...
Wait, no, you should never eat before a workout, otherwise you'll only burn the food you ate and not the fat on your body...
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How is ANYONE supposed to make sense of ANYTHING?!
How are YOU supposed to know what health advice to listen to?
As it so often is, simplicity is the key here.
With regards to any piece of health advice you hear, always ask "How will that make me feel?"
"Do I feel better when I eat breakfast or when I don't eat breakfast?"
"Does cardio make me feel good, happy, and energized, or does it cause me to feel tired and/or bored?"
"Does eating before a workout help me power through or does it give me heartburn?"
Because how YOU FEEL is the only question that matters.
No matter what the medical experts say, you are the only one who can ever know what does and doesn't feel good in YOUR body.
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Science is both incredibly useful and frustratingly overconfident; you need to learn to trust your own results.
Meaning that every bit of advice you hear always needs to be tested within your own context.
If the advice succeeds, fantastic!
If it fails, then regardless of what leading health experts say, this thing is not for you.
In our Western society, we're taught to ignore ourselves in favour of listening to the 'experts.'
We go outward for health advice because we've been told that others know better than we do what's best for us.
But what if we turned inward?
What if you learned to trust your body to give you the information you needed?
What if you put aside the questions about what you should or shouldn’t be eating, or how you should or shouldn't be moving, and just asked yourself how any particular thing makes you feel?
What if you made the decisions about how to move and what to put in your body based on how they made you feel, and ignored everything (and everyone) else?
What if you became the expert on YOU?
EXAMPLE: You choose not to eat before a workout because you tend to feel nauseous when you do. That is an inward health decision; it's based on what you know to be true for you instead of 'expert advice.'
When you re-frame health advice within your own context, it makes decisions about what you should or shouldn’t be eating, or how you should or shouldn't be moving VERY EASY.
At the same time, don't be afraid to try new things. Because maybe you don't know yet how something will make you feel.
So give it a try.
But if it doesn't make you feel good, then regardless of what the experts are saying, this thing is not for you.
Let it go.
Making decisions about what health advice you should listen to becomes incredibly easy when you ask "How will that make me feel?"
Because you are the expert on YOU.
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