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November 2016

Increase your physical energy. Get SaNE! Nutrition (2 of 3)

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Part 2 of 3: Nutrition

The second most important thing you can do for physical energy is to feed your body the right nutrients. I am not a nutritionist or doctor, but I have researched and applied these concepts to feel healthier, be more energized, to lose 50 pounds and to beat diabetes. A recent study found 70% – 90% of cancers are caused by lifestyle – diet, smoking, alcohol and weight. This highlights how important it is to feed and treat your body right. It can be difficult to eat the right foods that provide your needed nutrients. One of the simplest things you can do to overcome nutritional deficiencies is to take vitamins. There are many good resources out there on nutrition, but here is what I take on a daily basis and why:

  • General: Multivitamin, Vitamin C
  • Joints: SAM-E (also helps with mood)
  • Brain Health: Omega 3 and Ginko Biloba – Omega 3 is linked to the reduction, of all causes of death, by 20% (Study links omega-3s to reduced mortality)
  • Heart Health: CoQ10
  • Blood Sugar: Cinnamon
  • Liver Health: Milk thistle and coffee
  • Anti-Aging / Anti-Cancer: Reservatol and Tumeric
  • Energy: Ginseng
  • Calmness: L-Thenine (the good part of green tea)

As scientists begin to understand the chemical computers that run our bodies (by decoding DNA), I am sure we will find many other wonderful things that are good for us. There are already things we can learn from the longest-lived humans. Blue Zones are the five regions in the world that have the highest concentration of centurions and are largely free of diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, cancer and diabetes (Eating to Break 100: Longevity Diet Tips From the Blue Zones). What can we learn from them? Besides behaviors like involvement in healthy social circles, de-stressing and being family focused, they eat differently. The Blue Zones Solution, written by Dan Buettner, found the world’s longest lived people practice the following eating habits:

  • Stop eating when you are 80% full, to avoid weight gain.
  • Eat the smallest meal of the day in the late afternoon or evening.
  • Eat a mostly plant based diet.
  • Beans are a staple.
  • Meat is an occasional food (5 times a month).
  • Drink alcohol moderately and regularly, i.e. 1 to 2 glasses a day. You have to like this recommendation!!
  • Eat nuts as a snack.

Understanding how energy works in our bodies is key (How our bodies turn food into energy). Our bodies convert the carbohydrates in the food we eat into glucose that goes into the blood stream and is delivered to the cells of our body. When we have extra glucose in the blood stream, the pancreas creates insulin that tells cells to store the energy for later. When people are diabetic, either insulin production slows or cells become insulin resistant. This leaves unneeded glucose in the blood stream, which the body tries to eject through the kidneys. When that doesn’t work, the excess glucose starts to damage the body. The complications of diabetes are severe, including blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, high blood pressure, stroke and even loss of limbs (due to loss of blood flow).

The film Fed Up documents the obesity and diabetic epidemic in the U.S. and their causes. American foods contain a lot of high glycemic sweeteners, like sugar and corn syrup. Nutrition labels don’t have a recommended daily consumption amount for sugar. This is unfortunate, because food manufacturers load processed foods with sugar and salt. In 2018, nutrition labels will begin to list percentages for sugar (FDA redesigned food labels feature bigger type, new sugar info). Diet drinks with artificial sweeteners are not much better. Diet drinks actually have been shown to increase weight gain and confuse the body’s system that regulates glucose.

So what is the best way to avoid diabetes? Doctors are questioning whether adding insulin is the best way to treat diabetes, because it makes your body store more energy, which increases weight and insulin resistance. Doctors are now recommending weight loss surgery, instead of drugs, to treat type 2 diabetes (Why Doctors for Diabetics Now Recommend Surgery Instead of Drugs). You can avoid all of this by simply eating differently. Reduce foods that convert into glucose quickly and, instead, eat low glycemic foods. The glycemic index is a measure of how fast different foods turn into glucose in your blood stream. Foods like sugar, white flour, white rice and potatoes all have high glycemic indexes. An index of 100 is equivalent to consuming glucose directly. The other thing to look at is the glycemic load of foods – i.e. how much energy is in the food you are eating. Watermelon, for instance, is high glycemic (72), but has a low glycemic load (5% carbohydrates by weight). Google has made it easy to look up the glycemic index of any food. The goal is to try to keep a constant level of energy and avoid spikes that cause insulin production to kick in.

One thing I have learned from years of dieting, and finally getting to a weight I want, is that dieting doesn’t work. Eating healthy isn’t a treatment that you do for 3 months. It is key to change your eating habits and reframe how you eat in order to feel healthy. When you notice you feel physically bad after every meal, you are probably not feeding your body correctly. Adding things you like and that are good for you is the trick. The goal is to add so many good things that you eventually crowd out the bad things. Making a bunch of small sustainable changes is what will really improve your health. Here are some of the things that worked for me.

  • Cut out high glycemic index foods
  • Don’t drink your calories
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables
  • Avoid pre-packaged food
  • Snacks – nuts, apples, reduced fat string cheese, triple zero yogurt
  • Default Breakfast – unsweetened oatmeal with blueberries
  • Use smaller plates to eat less and tall thin glasses to drink less
  • Take time to enjoy your meals
  • Plenty of protein for muscle growth
  • Always have a cup with ice water on hand

Nutrition doesn’t have to be difficult or self-denying. Make many small changes and they will add up to big results. You will feel better and be more energized.

Written by Guy Bieber

Inspire  Be Inspired  Create Amazing Experiences 

When you need The Guy: @theguybieber [email protected] [email protected]

Preorder Potential today at: https://www.thepotentialbook.com/preorder/

Increase your physical energy. Get SaNE! Exercise (3 of 3)

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Part 3 of 3: Exercise

We have talked about Sleep and Nutrition. In this segment, we will discuss exercise.

The main purpose for exercise is not weight loss; exercise is for body maintenance. Maintaining heart health / brain health (aerobic), maintaining strength (anaerobic exercise, that is weight lifting), and maintaining flexibility. You can get a complete workout in under 1 hour a day. Here is how.

For flexibility training, it is about stretching your arms, back, legs, and core. By far, the least impact flexibility system is the Precor Stretch Trainer. Precor has directions for eight individual exercises on the machine. The best part is, you don’t even have to get on the ground to stretch. I find that during stretching (which takes under 10 minutes) is a great time to focus on your breathing and meditate. This becomes easier as you make stretching a habit.

Aerobic exercise does wonders for your brain and mood. You create new neurons through aerobic exercise (Exercise makes you grow new brain cells). I prefer elliptical exercise, because I can easily watch an educational video while doing it. There are lots of good sources of content out there in audio books, YouTube, TED Talks, etc. I don’t even think of it as cardio time anymore; it is learning time. Exercise can be simply moving; taking a walk in nature has significant mood boosting and emotion clearing benefits (Here’s a really easy way to improve your mood and your health). I typically do 30 minutes of cardio a day.

For strength training, alternating between muscle groups and giving those groups time to recover is essential. Building muscle requires tearing it down and letting it heal. Building muscle takes plenty of water, protein, and time. I use the Body for Life method and do strength training every other workout, alternating three muscle groups: chest + arms (biceps, triceps, shoulders), legs (calves, quads, hamstrings, glutes), back + abdominal. 4 sets of 10 repetitions for each type of exercise is typical. Basically, you can exercise one of these muscle groups in under 20 minutes. If you are interested in muscle growth, add protein (30G a day) and do a simple 5 count as you lift / lower the weight (The Four Hour Body).

So that’s it. You can get a complete workout aerobic, anaerobic, and flexibility in an hour or less a day. You will feel healthier and can even multitask to learn something new. Happy exercising!!

Written by Guy Bieber

Inspire  Be Inspired  Create Amazing Experiences 

When you need The Guy: @theguybieber [email protected] [email protected]

Preorder Potential today at: https://www.thepotentialbook.com/preorder/

Increase your physical energy. Get SaNE! Sleep (1 of 3)

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Part 1 of 3: Sleep

Unfortunately, only about 50% of U.S. consumers are somewhat engaged in their health and healthcare (U.S. Consumer Are Still Not Engaged With Their Health). Physical health has big impacts on mental and emotional health. Healthier people are more creative and productive (Food, Sleep, Exercise: Why you seriously need all 3 to be successful). We break down Physical Energy into three parts, we call SaNE:

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise

Small changes in behavior in these three areas can dramatically improve your health and productivity. Let us dig into each area to see how we can hack our behavior to feel better and have more physical energy.

Sleep

In the US, the Center of Disease Control (CDC) estimates 1/3 of Americans (83M) don’t get enough sleep. That is a big mistake. Sleep is the number one thing you can do to improve your physical energy and increase your productivity. The National Center for Health Research states, “Recent studies have found that lack of adequate sleep is related to weight gain, sexual problems, reduced concentration, mental health problems, cancerous tumors and even Alzheimer’s disease.” Sleep is essential for your brain. The brain clears toxins out of your brain when you sleep (Jeff lliff: One more reason to get a good night’s sleep). Multiple studies show how getting enough sleep improves mood and performance; sleepy driving has been shown to be as bad as intoxicated driving. A recent study found that people who had 6 hours a day of sleep for two weeks performed as badly as people deprived of sleep for 48 hours, even though they thought they were performing well. During sleep, your memories during the day go into long-term memory (How the brain consolidates memory during deep sleep). Not only is it important for creating new memories, but also for strengthening existing memories. So, if you spend time reading and learning, get a good night’s sleep to lock in that goodness.

So, how much sleep is enough sleep? Sleep cycles run around 1.5 hours (Can big data help you get a good night’s sleep?). A sleep cycle is when we go through multiple stages of sleep, including REM sleep. Studies show between 7 and 8 hours of sleep are ideal (7.5 hours is 5 sleep cycles). When we wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, we feel groggy. Though sleeping pills give the appearance of sound sleep, they have been shown to disrupt sleep cycles and you lose many benefits of sleep. About 1 in 4 Americans have sleep disordered breathing, which can also disrupt sleep cycles. Sleep apnea causes you to stop breathing and wakes you up continually out of sleep cycles. If you snore loudly, snore regularly, or wakeup with headaches feeling unrested, you should get checked. Drinking alcohol late at night has also been shown to disrupt sleep cycles.

Here are a couple of tricks for getting a good night’s sleep. While adrenaline wakes the body up, melatonin helps the body sleep. Taking melatonin an hour before bedtime can help you sleep better. Avoid blue light at night because it impedes your body’s natural melatonin generation. Most computers and phones have a night-time mode that reduces blue light emission. Keep your sleeping space dark. Soft music on a timer can also help. If you get a short night’s sleep (it happens), naps help. A quick fix if you feel tired during the day or emotionally stressed, a 20-minute nap can clear that tired feeling and bad emotional state. It is enough time to relax, but not too much to make you groggy.

Sleep is the number one thing that will help your performance. Make sleep a priority in your life. There is nothing like starting the day feeling rested to start your day right.

Written by Guy Bieber

Inspire  Be Inspired  Create Amazing Experiences 

When you need The Guy: @theguybieber [email protected] b[email protected]

Preorder Potential today at: https://www.thepotentialbook.com/preorder/

Want to progress faster? Get feedback!

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Want to progress faster? Get feedback!

Feedback is essential to making progress on your goals. We talked about how important immediate feedback was for the high-performance state of flow. It is nearly impossible to improve without feedback. It’s like learning to play an instrument without hearing the sound it makes. There are countless examples of the power of feedback. Studies have found that people who weigh themselves regularly lose more weight (New advice for weight loss: Get on the scale every day). Gartner found that companies that are data driven, getting feedback about their products continually from users, have 2x the market capitalization of their non-data driven counterparts. The concepts of lean startup are driven by a build-measure-learn feedback loop. Lean startup allows startups to test market fit quickly and adjust continually. Another example of feedback is in real-time systems. The reason an autopilot works on a car or a plane is that its sense and control loop runs fast enough to maneuver the vehicle.

One of the most important things in collecting feedback is deciding what metrics are important. The key is finding metrics that are actionable. If you do nothing different, then why collect the data? Said another way, if you don’t know what to do with the data, don’t collect it. I find it best to have rules for my metrics, like “if this happens, then do that.” If you can’t think of a rule, then you are probably not collecting the right thing.

Another important skill for getting feedback is seeking it from others. That can be your customers, your mentors, or anybody. A very common customer metric is the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which measures how likely your customers would recommend a product to others. Research has found that NPS is the best indicator of growth trend. Tools like Survey Monkey make it easy to create online surveys. Richard Branson is famous for seeking feedback and advice from his employees. He simply says, “I am not sure; what do you think?” That empowers his employees to engage and make a difference. The fastest way to end candid feedback is to argue or discredit the feedback. When you request and get feedback, there are only three acceptable responses:

  • Tell me more.
  • Please give me another example.
  • Thank you.

So, design feedback loops for your goals and always be gracious to those generous enough to give you their feedback.