Stop reading "studies"- study yourself!
Obviously, not all studies are created equal. Some are conducted by some of the sharpest people in the world, attempting to cure cancer or fight depression. Others are absolute junk, conducted for no other reason than to promote a product or generate clickbait headlines.
The problems begin when we don't have an ability to discern one from the other; it's obvious sometimes but we usually scan through articles so quickly we don't dive deeper into who or what is behind the study. Yet the idea, the lukewarm conclusions, can stay in our heads.
Fill your head up with enough of these "I read somewhere" thoughts, and all sorts of possibilities and options with diet and fitness can be cut off. The scope of what you can get away with shrinks.
Not to mention the confusion of conflicting studies- with things like sodium, dairy, or grains, we can pull studies that support whatever opinion you have about them!
The only "study" that will help you is the one we can try and conduct on ourselves. It's difficult to do in a scientific sense, but making changes one at a time and closely monitoring the results are the ticket to you finding your goldilocks zone with fitness and lifestyle choices!
Most studies are opinions
There are few things everyone is in agreement on. The consensus we see with something like linking cigarettes with lung cancer is rare, despite what goofy headlines have to say. Every day we see new articles proclaiming a new food to be "bad" based on a study we don't examine.
Try and keep up with this stuff, and you'll eventually lose it or simply give up trying to navigate through an increasingly confusing paradigm of food consumption. Think about it this way- the following foods have at least one study linking them to various cancers- Veal, salt, pepper spice, flour, egg, bread, pork, butter, tomato, lemon, duck, onion, celery, carrot, parsley, mace, sherry, olive, mushroom, tripe, milk, cheese, coffee, bacon, sugar, lobster, potato, beef, lamb, mustard, nuts, wine, peas, corn, cinnamon, cayenne, orange, tea, rum, and raisin.
Clearly there re flaws in methodology or intentions that are confusing things. Clearly we lack fundamental understanding of things like cancer or even obesity and we're left to sift through mountains of useless data. If everything gives you cancer, if everything makes you fat, what's the point of listening to any of it? In my opinion, unless you're actually a scientist trying to figure this stuff out, there is absolutely no point.
Be your own "scientist"
A key point to remember is that even when there is an overwhelming consensus like with cigarettes and lung cancer, studies don't account for outliers. Jeanne Calment, the oldest person to have ever lived (122), smoked cigarettes from the time she was 21 until 117, when she couldn't see well enough anymore to safely continue. I am obviously not suggesting you pick up smoking, but it's important to keep these things in mind when trying to find what lifestyle choices work best for you- not the masses.
What works for most people may not work for you! When it comes to diet, exercise, or lifestyle choices, there's probably at least one area in which you're an outlier and the advice for the masses (which constantly changes anyways) is actually bad for you.
All we can do is to try to conduct our own little study on ourselves. It's not exactly scientific, but as discussed, we can't really rely on most of the "science" available to us anyways. Block out the noise and see what you can find out:
- Listen to your body. I know it sounds wishy washy, but just go by how you feel from certain foods, modes of exercise or lifestyle choices. At the end of the day it's all that matters, not calories or macros or whatever superhealthnewstoday.com or whatever said.
- Make changes one at a time. When we're out of shape or getting back on track in general it's tempting to start a new diet, program and quit stuff all at the same time. Change one food at a time, monitor. Tweak your workouts, monitor. It's the only way you have a chance to flesh out what certain things may or may not be doing for you.
- Be honest with results. Society can make us want to improve in the "right" way or with new and sexy diets, programs, etc. Take a big step back with any of this stuff and just examine whether or not you're actually feeling better. Sometimes placebo effect can make us think we're doing better because it looks and sounds cool while energy levels or mood is actually down.
It's always tough to do in life, but try and listen to the "headlines" coming from your own body, not the ones in the health section of Google news. There's so much information available, so many studies with opposing views right now that confusion and paralyzation by analyzation are the likely results. Be honest with yourself, don't be afraid to break the "rules" and you'll have a shot at finding out what your body and mind really want!
Get in gear with High Potential!
For no nonsense, results driven fitness and lifestyle coaching in Vancouver or online, get in touch with High Potential today!
Check out www.gethighpotential.com and book a free consultation.