For this article I want to focus on something that I know when it comes to health is something I do. That thing is taking healthy living to the extreme to the point that it is unhealthy.
It seems like going to the extreme in healthy living wouldn’t have a negative affect. But being so extreme in my opinion can put lots of stress on you and your body.
I was listening to Robb Wolf’s podcast the other day and he was talking to Dr. Kurt Harris who was talking about the idiot factor and how you can do too much in a given direction. He was speaking about too much Omega-3’s in the diet and how people who chug fish oil are exercising idiot factor.
Well, this hit home with me because this is something that I have done and have also done with MCT oil.
I was sitting there thinking wow what a moron I am which as a result I am writing this blog post as a reflection on that.
Chasing optimal performance has possibly made me the most sub-optimal I have ever been. My lifestyle was always in the extreme whether it be with extreme low-carb dieting, extreme supplementation and extreme exercising with powerlifting, gymnastics, kettlebells and strongman.
Yes, I was extreme alright and my health has been in a decline which has essentially led me to re-evaluate what I was doing.
This has never been more evident then reading Paul Chek’s book “Eat, Move and Be Healthy.” Where Chek talks about metabolic typing and the need for different foods at different periods in your life. Maybe you need more carbs and maybe you need more protein.
This notion seems so completely obvious retrospectively, if you’re an athlete you would need to increase carbs as well as protein to maintain protein synthesis and to boost recovery.
Yet, idiotically I was trying to take a low carb approach to this extreme fitness and prop myself up with supplements.
Honestly, I do believe we are moving in the right direction when it comes to this ancestoral/paleo/primal diet movement. Without having to look at hard facts the concepts make complete sense. However, there are inherent flaws in the general diet and a lot of group think out there in this community.
For one there is this idea that we all evolved along the same paths eating the same foods. Lately, I’ve noticed a few outspoken voices in this community have been highlighting the fact that this is not the case.
I think about the wonderful articles that Chris Kresser has been publishing about cultures around the world and what they eat. Obviously, we have different genetics and are bodies process things better then others. Of course being that I am American I am a mutt and really aside from doing a 23 and me test to find out my genetic origins I have to rely on doing this experimentation on myself.
So experimenting is not bad and certainly eating carbs every day and at every meal may not be bad as well.
Obviously, there are some pretty outspoken people out there about all this stuff like staying in nutritional ketosis and etc. However, I am glad there are people like Matt Stone from 180degreehealth.com who are challenging ideas.
I may not always agree with Stone but he offers a refreshing take that just because something works for one doesn’t work for you.
So here is where my story picks up. I take things to the extreme and it is something I am trying to move away from. I get excited about cool and interesting supplements and get super into one part of the diet and neglect others.
There is a need to look for balance and to do what feels natural to you.
Sure there are some universal things that we may all be able to agree on like how Gluten is a no, no; and there is lots of evidence for this. But just because one carb is bad does that mean that me eating a little quinoia, rice and beans now again is bad.
The answer is it depends. It depends on my biology and or my given state of health at the time.
My health is very poor right now, at least in comparison to what it used to be so right now it is incredibly easy for me to want to go to extremes. I want extreme results so that I can go back to operating the way I’m used to operating.
Of course if I get back to that state will I exercise the balance I am struggling to find?
I can’t be entirely sure on this. I’d like to say I would exercise some wisdom but to be honest the moment I feel better I will probably try to go dead lift 400-pounds. Idiotic I know.