Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Perfect Diet Bottom-Line: The Perfect Lifestyle

So, yeah! Actually the perfect diet is a lifestyle, cause if you read the previous parts, you should know by now that everything you feel, everything you do and everything you eat is connected with each other. You can't just only start a new workout, for example, and do it with stress or eat crap and hope to see results. You have to buy the hall package.

The Perfect Lifestyle

As the word "Lifestyle" says very well, you have to change the style of our life and make a lifetime commitment. Like marriage. Of course, you can divorce, but then why did you get married in the first place if you don't stick to the vowels?
The Perfect Lifestyle is the one that you stick to for your entire life, that defines your needs and that makes you happy.
You have to start with the right mentality. You have to love your body and have to realize that you don't have a second body in your closet in order to change it when the first one is destroyed.
You have only one body and if you treat it with love and respect, it will treat you back the same way.

Love and respect your body

Another important aspect is that you have to see food as constructive material for your body, not as gustatory pleasure. You have to see exercise not as a stressful activity or an obligation, but as a way to relax and recover yourself and you have to see both of them as the key to your happiness.

Enough with the parenting, right? I believe so...let's start with The Perfect Lifestyle. Let's see again the hormone chart so it would be easier for you to understand the logic of the lifestyle:
CortisolLong-term stressMetabolic process inhibition
Fast aging
Protein burn
GH and IGF suppression
Vitamin B
Good sleep
InsulinGlucose in bloodBlood sugar level stabilisation
Fat storage
Fat storage burn blocker
Low blood sugar levels
Testosteron suppression
Cortisol secretion
Intense Exercise
GhrelinEmpty stomachHunger
GH and IGF secretion
After meals
Body fat
Appetite, Food intake and Body Weight regulationInsulin
Fat storage inhibition
Energy consumption and management
Carbohydrate burn
High carbohydrate intake
Fat storage burnInsulin
GH and IGFSleep
Intense exercise
Arginine(Good Quality Protein)
Vitamin B-Complex
Tissue development
Fat storage burn
Leptin release
Ghrelin suppression
Slow digestion
EpinephrineShort-term stressInsulin and Ghrelin supression
Fat storage and glucose burn
Fast nutrient absorption
Relaxing moments
TestosteroneGood Quality Protein
GH and IGF
Unsaturated fats
Tissue development
Muscle and bone growth and strength

1. Good Quality Sleep

Good quality sleep

In my opinion, sleep is the most important part for a healthy life. During sleep every cell from your body recovers. It doesn't matter if it is the muscle cell, bone cell, brain cell and so on, it recovers only during sleep.
As you can see, sleep promotes GH and IGF production (plus, Testosterone) and makes you more resistant to cortisol which is crucial for the body.
In order to have good quality sleep, you need to keep in mind the following things:
  • go to bed and wake up every day at the same hours;
  • sleep for at least 7 hours every night;
  • eat a low-carb easy meal 2 hours before you go to bed;
  • make a yoga routine before bed;
  • listen to relaxing meditation music;
  • avoid blue lights (phone, tablet, PC, etc.) and read something instead;
  • include magnesium, potassium and Complex-B Vitamins in your diet;
  • move outside during the day.
Read also: How to have a perfect sleep.

Meditation and relaxation

2. Consistent and delicious breakfast

Vitamins and minerals

During sleep, all your body functions were on stand-by and now they need to activate. Also, in the morning your cortisol levels are at highest levels because waking up is something stressful for the body. So, you need a big energy intake, but not any kind of energy.
You need energy from all the nutrients: Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats, even from micro-nutrients, such as Vitamins and Minerals.
If you skip breakfast, you will put your body to self-cannibalism.
Now there are large varieties of breakfast ideas; the choice is yours! Only make sure that it contains all the nutrients, especially complex carbohydrates, and protein, and that you serve it in the first hour after you wake up, in order to avoid excess cortisol production and protein breakdown. Also, make sure that is your favorite meal and that it motivates you to wake up in the morning just to eat it.
For example, I have the same breakfast every day: Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake.

 Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake
Read also: Why breakfast is important

3. Eat regularly

You know the "eat at every 3 hours" rule. Well, know why. Eating at the same intervals of time you will teach your body (Adiponectin, GH and IGF) how to manage it's energy supplies, so that it will know when to store energy and when not. As a result, despite the fact that you will be in shape, you will feel energized continuously and have a fast metabolism.
Another secret is to eat small portion meals and eating at every 3 hours will help you with that. Why is that useful? Because you will be in a constant ghrelin and leptin production.
Eating small meals will never make you feel full, so you will be in a continuous hunger state, which means that you will always produce ghrelin.
Ghrelin, as you can see, promotes GH and IGF production which, also, promote Testosterone production.
Also, eating at every 3 hours will determine you to have 5-6 meals a day, which means that after every meal you will produce leptin which, again, it's good and 5-6 meals involve 5-6 digestion processes. Every digestion requires energy consumption, so again, you will burn more calories.
Another thing to keep in mind is that every meal has to be in a descending caloric order. Breakfast has to be the most consistent meal and dinner the least.
But if you respect these 3 parts, sleep, breakfast and eating at every 3 hours, it will be inevitable for you to eat descending meals. You'll see!
Oh, for the record, leptin is a slow releasing hormone (approx. 20 minutes), so you'd better learn to eat slowly.

4. Make a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Routine

Morning workout

Now you know why HIIT is so popular. The science behind is right here, hormonal trigger.
As you can see the chart, GH and IGF, responsible for Testosterone production and for the body tissue development, are triggered only by Intense exercise.
Also, you have to keep in mind this important fact:
Every workout has to be intense, but for a short period of time.
So, create a workout with short frequent breaks between sets. Why is this important? Because a training program involves stress for the body. Short-term stress triggers Epinephrine and Norepinephrine, which is good, but long-term stress triggers cortisol, which is bad cause, again, you make put your body in a self-cannibalism state.
Forget about those long cardio sessions! They are useless and they'll make you burn protein from tissues, glucose from blood and will promote cortisol production.
If you want to do cardiovascular training, just walk instead. Walking for 30-60 minutes in nature is the best cardio session. It makes you refresh and relax (cortisol suppression) and also helps you burn fat, cause energy from fat is burned only after 30 minutes of aerobic (in presence of oxygen) exercise.
Long story short:
  • create a personalized HIIT routine that fits to your program and performance and try to schedule it in the morning, after breakfast if you can;
  • take 30-60-second breaks after every set, which should t last more than 1 minute;
  • have no more than 6 sessions per week;
  • make a session last for aprox. 60 minutes;
  • combine it with long relaxing nature walks during the day, which should be daily.
Read also: How to get the best of your workout

5. Reduce sugar intake

56 Sugar Synonyms

Sugar is the worst enemy. Sugar, as you can see, determines high insulin release and that is bad, cause insulin causes good hormone suppression, fat storage and fat burn blocking. You can see the chart the sugar and insuline inhibits GH, IGF, Glucagon, Leptin, Adiponectin, CCK.

6. Increase protein, unsaturated fats and fiber intake

These 2 nutrients are the best, cause they determine the most (good) hormone production (see the chart) and you will be in a continuously tissue development (GH, IGF, Testosterone) and energy burning state (Glucagon, Adiponectin).
Fiber, along protein and fats, determine CCK production which slows digestion and promotes leptin production.

7. Cook and prepare your food by yourself

Cooking and food preparation

Learn to cook! It will bring you only benefits. Preparing and cooking food by yourself will make it easier for you to know your intakes, cause you'll know all the recipe ingredients. Also, you will have fun, trust me on this one.
Cooking is the best hobby you could have.
Also, it will make you stop eating from fast-foods.
If you are already a cook and want to make a change, here are some healthy baking hacks:

Healthy cooking hacks

8. Buy organic food

Food label lesson

So, you have to prepare and cook the food by yourself, but you have to put whole organic ingredients. That means that you have to buy the least refined and processed crap. If you read the labels, you will see that they are bombed with sugar. Plus other synthetic crap.
Avoid packaged, canned food or at least check the labels. Make sure that their closest to their primary state (unprocessed).

9. Pay attention to your body type

It is important to pay attention to your body type, cause every type has an "issue":
  • Ectomorphs have problems with Stress management and Calcium absorption. They should include in their meals high good quality protein, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D and complex-B, and unsaturated fats. Also, they should practice relaxing outdoor activities.
  • Mezomorphs have problem with Cholesterol and Toxins. They should have a low-fat diet, should avoid sodium and have a high fiber diet.
  • Endomorphs have problem with energy and metabolism management. They should have a low-carb diet and should focus on unsaturated fats and protein.

Magnesium importance

10. Drink water frequently

You are 70% water, remember that. Every single body function (digestion, recovery, enzyme secretion, hormone production, nutrient transportation etc.) needs water in order to be accomplished. Read my article about Why dehydration is bad for your body.

11. Avoid alcohol and smoking

Want to destroy your body, then drink alcohol and start smoking. In order to visualize the effects of smoking and alcohol on the body, here are some charts, to keep things simple:

Smoking effects
Smoking effects
Alcohol effects

12. Track your progress and set goals

At the beginning, you have to track your progress in order to realise which style and strategy you should approach in order to fit your goals and needs. That means that you will have to keep track of your activities and intake. You will also have to burn at least the same amount of energy as your intake and that's that.
An important thing to keep in mind is this:
Your body adapts to everything you put it threw
If it is a workout, if it is a daily meal routine it doesn't matter. Your body will eventually adapt and you will no longer see results. You always have to set new goals and to push yourself harder.
Besides this, setting new goals will motivate you to keep going and won't make everything appear boring.

13. Keep calm and enjoy the ride!

Enjoy life

If you want it to work you have to enjoy every part of it and to do it with passion.
Stop thinking about short-term satisfaction and focus on long-term satisfaction. Learn to smile and to be happy with yourself cause this is for your own good!
Also, you have to be pacient and not rush in to things. Focus on the next step, and the next one, and the next one...

Besides all of this...

Ok, now, I know that it is hard for you to make a change and this is indeed a big change and commitment, but try to remember every moment you said to yourself "Boy...wish I've started a month/year ago..." or "Boy...wish I didn't eat that donut". I know, I've been there. Maybe now it's easy for me to write, but it was hard for me too a the beggining.
I made a routine from everything and, now, if a day passes without respecting my daily routines and habits I feel bad and disappointed.
Stop saying I will start tomorrow or next week or next month. Start right now! Time passes, life passes and your health passes as you age, so it is best to start when your young and as soon as possible.
Every single day I look in the mirror and I see what I wished 10 years ago I say "Thank you, God, for this body!";
Every day I have a good sleep and wake up energized and healthy I say "Thank you, God, for this morning!";
Every time I eat my breakfast I say "Thank you, God, for this delicious breakfast!";
Every time I manage to do my morning training I say "Thank you, God, for giving me the power to do my training!";
Every time I walk in nature and have remarkable views and fresh air and beautiful natural sounds I say "Thank you, God, for these gifts you have given me!";
Whenever I accomplish a goal and succeed I say "Thank you, God!".
I appreciate everything and that gives me power, purpose, and motivation. Try it and feel it!

So now you know how your body works and why so many trainers and nutritionist recommend HIIT, quality sleep, eating at every 3 hours, fat burning foods, zero calorie foods etc. EVERYTHING IS GENERATED BY HORMONE PRODUCTION. You can also see that everything is connected: if you have a stressful day, if you skip a meal, if you don't sleep well at night, if you have a glass of wine, if you laugh, if you cry, if you workout, if you eat a bag of chips ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED AND ACTS AS A DOMINO.
Hope you've enjoyed the series of the perfect diet and hope that, by now, you know what's best for your body, mind and spirit, and especially FOR YOU!

If you missed an episode from the perfect lifestyle, here are the other posts:
The Perfect Diet Part I: Introduction
The Perfect Diet Part II: Energy and Hormones
The Perfect Diet Part III: Metabolism boosting hormones
The Perfect Diet Part IV: Body Types

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