Three Ways to Feel Better Instantly

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Ok almost** instantly.

But what does feeling better even mean? There are a zillion ways to define feeling better, but we’re going to focus on feeling physically better.

So let’s say that feeling physically better means moving more fluidly, being relatively free of pain and discomfort, and having the energy to do things like walk around or do some spur-of-the-moment athletic thing.

Of course working out, sleeping for at least 7-9 hours, and destressing regularly will all help you in your quest to feel better physically, but for now let’s focus on a few things that you can do on a daily basis that will make you feel better (almost) instantly.

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Everyday Fitness Standards

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Folks love standards, mostly because we love to compare ourselves to other people and see where we lie on the continuum. It validates us. It gives our ego this little tiny boost that makes us feel good for a minute.

And usually, I’d write a post telling you to forget about standards. Forget what other people are doing. Get off of Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Stop watching other people live life and giving yourself massive FOMO while you sit on your couch with re-runs of The Office in the background.

But I think standards can be helpful now and then. They give us metrics to compare ourselves to ourselves, to see how we’re doing. We can pit our strengths against our weaknesses and uncover the areas of our health & fitness that we need to work on.

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Why is America so overweight?

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First, I’ll tell you why not. It’s not gluten. It’s not fat or carbs or sugar. No, it’s not animal products. Or dairy. Or because there aren’t enough gyms. It’s not because you don’t workout enough. 

So then, by this logic, none of the following are going to help: more diets, more diet foods, more gyms, more obstacle course races and 5ks, or more trainers crafting clever blog posts about making sensible lifestyle choices.

There are three main reasons why America is so overweight and they all stem from the fact that we’ve spent hundreds of years attempting to create the most luxurious, convenient, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezey lifestyle of any human beings in history, ever. 

I mean, it makes sense, why would we make food less accessible if we don’t have to? Why use manual labor when we have machines that can do twice the work in half the time?

We live in this age of technology and information. But unfortunately, half of the information on the internet is outright wrong and we’ve forgotten that human beings are actually just gorillas that can drive to Starbucks and order a latte.

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Meal Frequency & Health

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With intermittent fasting on the rise once again, the question of meal frequency is rearing it’s myth-covered head.

How often should I be eating?

How many meals should I eat each day?

Won’t more meals speed up my metabolism?

Should I be eating breakfast?

Is it bad to eat before bed?

Shouldn’t I consume at least 20 grams of protein every two hours?

Is it ok to go more than 2-3 hours without food?

First off, yes. Your body, as a rule of thumb, can go about two weeks without food. So, yes, it’s okay to go hungry for a few hours.

Meal frequency is a hot topic in the fitness & nutrition industry right now. And along with it comes meal timing, so we’ll cover both today.

After reading through this article, you’ll have the knowledge and tools to design your own meal schedule, allowing you to work efficiently, train intensely, sleep better, and live an awesome life in general.

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The Problem with Food Acceptance

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I’m calling it the Food Acceptance Movement. If you search for the hashtag on Instagram, you won’t find much, so I’ll explain it here. The Food Acceptance Movement is this new-fangled (look at me – 27 going on 87) idea that there are no bad foods, only bad habits.

The last few years or so have been comprised of fitness experts all over the interweb showcasing themselves chowing down on Pop-Tarts & ice cream, giant beers & wine. Sometimes, it’s a ploy to sell some online book about IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). Other times, it’s just meant to push readers a little more toward moderation instead of deprivation.

But lately, I’ve seen quite a few of these same fitness experts backing down from these posts, opting instead for posts that exhibit their true nutrition habits.

Even I’m guilty of it. I’m sure our own members could quote me as saying, “There are no bad foods, only bad habits.” Probably verbatim.

But it’s way more complicated than that.

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How Much Does Health Cost?

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With health insurance premiums on a steady incline (up about nine-fold since 1960), American families are spending more than they ever have on healthcare.

As we stand right in the middle of open enrollment for 2018, the average unsubsidized individual is paying north of $300 per month for health insurance. Families are paying around $1,000. But that doesn’t include their respective $4,000 and $8,000 deductibles. And while these numbers might make you cringe, these numbers don’t tell the whole story.

Most folks don’t ever reach their deductible. Many people and families are subsidized. So while it’s not uncommon to pay these prices, not everyone does.

Plus, the younger you are, the less preventable many of the costs become. Most 20-somethings aren’t spending their deductibles on cholesterol medications.

But the picture becomes quite clear when we examine the statistics of Medicare.

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Eat Like An Adult

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A few years ago, I came up with the acronym DEER. I even wrote a short pdf about it. It stands for “Drink more water, eat more protein, eat more vegetables, and replace crap.” See, when I’m coaching nutrition, I generally start by asking somebody to drink more water. It’s fairly simple and a relatively “win-able” task that helps set somebody up on the right path.

Protein always came next. Protein assists in recovery from workouts, requires more energy to digest, and usually keeps us satiated longer. The third thing was always vegetables. Vegetables are usually the hardest thing to add to a diet. Our Western diet doesn’t include many vegetables (save for the lettuce, tomato, and red onion on our cheeseburgers) and it can be tough to find a “spot” for them in our meals and snacks. So this is where people usually get hung up.

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