A Better Body with Uncommon Sense

A Better Body with Uncommon Sense

You’ve heard it all before.

It’s common sense.

Eat less. Exercise more.

Eat this, not that.

Do this exercise, not that one.

If you are surrounded with all of this seemingly excellent advice why do you fail to reap the benefits?

 

 

Because it’s not a matter of common sense.

In fact, it’s the opposite.

 

What you need is a lesson in UNcommon sense if you want a better body.

 

Are you growing suspicious of the current health and fitness advice? Clearly, something isn’t adding up if so many people are struggling despite all of the information, “health foods”, and fitness regimes.

I’ll tell you why.

Psychology.

We live in a demanding and busy world. Most of us are maxed out.

Do you think that adding one more to-do item to you list will help you?

Stop beating yourself up for failing to uphold the rules and standards you’ve been told to uphold.

Instead, question the rules and standards. How do you really know that they are correct? How do you know they are really a good fit for you?

 

Below I will give you 3 tips along with the psychological explanations to help you get a better body using Uncommon Sense techniques. If you apply these 3 tips you WILL see the results you are looking for.

 

“Common sense is not so common. ― Voltaire,” http://bit.ly/WoFRpe
yes

 

Drum roll…

 

  1. Stop trying to eat less
  2. Stop forcing yourself to exercise
  3. Relax

 

What?

Stick with me here. Let me share my reasoning with you. Then we’ll see how you feel about these suggestions.

 

1. Stop trying to eat less.

Instead, focus on ADDING QUALITY foods to each meal and ENJOYING your food thoroughly.

 

Look at each meal as an opportunity to take care of yourself. What foods truly nourish you and leave you feeling satiated and full of energy? Eat more of those.

 

Rather than worrying about all the things that you cannot have, focus on what you can eat to feel your best. By simply adding more quality foods you will naturally eat less junk because

(1) you aren’t focusing on being deprived, and

(2) When you eat truly nourishing foods you will feel much more satisfied.

 

Marc David, the founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating gives in-depth insights about the way pleasurable eating boosts metabolism in his blog post The Metabolic Power of Pleasure. If you want a body that is full of energy and vitality, naturally able to regulate appetite and hence body weight, then you need to practice eating with awareness and pleasure.

 

Dieting and restricting will always fail. Eventually.

Why?

Because it slows your metabolism, creates stress, and makes you feel bad. 

Humans have a very limited amount of willpower. Especially for doing things that feel bad.

Once our “willpower muscle” gets fatigued all bets are off. And it’s just a matter of time.  Livestrong posted a great article detailing why we fail when we try to restrict calorie intake. For a more in-depth exploration watch Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk, The Science of Willpower.

 

You know that dieting and restricting are not a long term solution. You don’t want to live in the cycle of restrict-gain weight-restrict again, over and over.

You know that restricting makes you miserable.

Why not try another way?

It’s worked for many others.

It will work for you.

 

“What you have to do is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it, that’s another matter.” http://bit.ly/WoFRpe

 

2. Stop forcing yourself to exercise. 

Instead, learn to PLAY and enjoy a generally active life.

Research has shown that the healthiest and longest living populations in the world share the common trait of NOT EXERCISING, at least not in the traditional sense. Don Buettner stated the following in his TED talk titled How to Live to be 100+,

And the first one, and I’m about to utter a heresy here, none of them exercise, at least the way we think of exercise. Instead, they set up their lives so that they are constantly nudged into physical activity. These 100-year-old Okinawan women are getting up and down off the ground, they sit on the floor, 30 or 40 times a day. Sardinians live in vertical houses, up and down the stairs. Every trip to the store, or to church or to a friend’s house occasions a walk. They don’t have any conveniences. There is not a button to push to do yard work or house work. If they want to mix up a cake, they’re doing it by hand. That’s physical activity. That burns calories just as much as going on the treadmill does. When they do intentional physical activity, it’s the things they enjoy. They tend to walk, the only proven way to stave off cognitive decline, and they all tend to have a garden. They know how to set up their life in the right way so they have the right outlook. 

 

Again, we can thank psychology for why we fail to carry out formal exercise programs. They become one more to-do item on our already too long lists. Eventually it will fall to the bottom of the list or drop off completely.

What results are feelings of guilt, shame, and frustration.

Or we will go to the opposite extreme and exercise compulsively and excessively with the hopes of achieving the ideal body.

 

Neither approach will work.

 

Want to be healthier? Fitter?

 

Listen to your body.  Learn to play!

 

 Check out Mark Sissons take on The Lost Art of Play: Reclaiming a Primal Tradition.

 

I encourage you to be brave and try this new approach.

 

You can always go back to the only ways right?

 

3. Relax. 

How in the heck can relaxing lead to a better body?

In 2007 WedMD posted an article titled Stress Unlocks Fat Cells, Ups Obesity where research revealed the mechanisms of how stress leads to increased body fat.

In addition to the physiological impact of stress on body fat gain, there are also psychological impacts.

When we expend all of our energy trying to manage stress we are left with weakened ability to make good nutritional decisions and we certainly don’t feel like exercising.

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Take an Uncommon Sense step towards a better body by choosing 2 ways to deeply relax.

Do your own research on ways to reduce cortisol levels and pick methods that most appeal to you.

Personally, I have found long walks in nature and reading to be extremely soothing.

 

 

What do you think? Easy as 1-2-3, right?

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Need some accountability? Let me know how you’re going to apply these 3 Uncommon Sense Tips to build your better body in the comments section below.

Tell me ONE FOOD you are going to focus on adding and ONE METHOD you will use to relax.

 

Share this with a friend and work together! And of course you can always email me with comments or ideas. I’d love to hear from you!

6 Comments

  1. Carolyn
    Jul 5, 2014

    Uncommon sense, indeed – having to eat more rather than less to lose weight…

    Now the latest trend says that low-fat actually does not help with weightloss. In fact, eating high fat, red meat and less carbs is good. Sounds like an upside down food pyramid.

    Did we really do it all wrong the last 40 years?

    • Crystal Stokes
      Jul 6, 2014

      Interesting point Carolyn. We must be cautious in applying the latest scientific findings to ourselves as science is constantly turning up new information, often disproving the earlier advice. At the end of the day isn’t really a matter of what words best for each individual. Thanks for mentioning the newest trend of adding fat back into our diets. I’m curious to see where this goes :)

  2. Susan
    Jul 12, 2014

    I wish listening to my body were that easy. As a kid this was a no-brainer; just natural and intuitive. Somewhere on the way of growing up, I lost that internal sense – and now I listen to society magazines. Wish I were a kid again…

    • Crystal Stokes
      Jul 13, 2014

      Hi Susan. I hear ya! It can be really difficult to reconnect with that intuitive sense. Remembering how you felt as a child is a great place to start. Maybe you can spend some time with those thoughts. Personally, I find that having quiet time to simply sit, breathe, and ask myself “what am I feeling and what do I need right now?” to be extremely helpful in reconnecting to the messages my body is sending. Being too busy crushes my connection to my body. Have you found anything that works for you, even in small ways?

  3. lucy
    Sep 11, 2014

    Hey, I love your blog already and ive only read one post! I wish listening to your body was easier than listening to your head. BTW I also love long nature walks especially with my dog-helps clear my head:)

    • Crystal Stokes
      Sep 11, 2014

      Awesome! What kind of dog do you have? I love animals :) Ya know, what’s really interesting is that when we were young we naturally had a stronger ability to listen to our bodies, rather than our heads. This leads me to believe that we can definitely get back to that more natural state of body-intelligence. For me, it has been helpful to learn techniques to quiet my mind down. My brain used to run soooo fast. Have you found anything that’s been helpful in taming your brain? Any good books? Techniques?

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