Is Walking or Running Better for Weight Loss?

So you want to lose weight, but you’re not sure if you should focus on walking or running? This post dives into which is more beneficial for anyone looking to lose weight and choose between walking and running.

I’ve been a runner for quite awhile. I started running when I was in high school and have periodically picked it up again to train for races or to just get the blood flowing every once in awhile.

However, I started focusing on getting lean and losing fat a year ago, and I had to choose between walking or running. In the past I would have chosen running, just because it feels harder and intuitively I think it burns more calories than walking.

This time I chose to focus on walking – specifically hitting at least 10,000 steps per day. 10,000 steps usually works out to be right around 5 miles for me. The time I spend walking feels almost like meditation, it’s calming and allows me to think through things and clear my mind of stress and anxiety.

The Difference Between Walking and Running

To understand which is better for losing weight, we’re going to look at the key differences between walking and running.

Walking and running are generally differentiated by how many feet are on the ground at a time. While walking at least one foot remains in contact with the ground at all times. While running, both feet will be off the ground at the same time.

Running burns more than twice as many calories per minute as walking. For a person who weighs 160 pounds, walking at a pace of 3.5 miles per hour for 30 minutes burns about 156 calories. Running at 6 mph for the same time burns about 356 calories.

Benefits of Walking

  • Walking is Beginner-Friendly: Regardless of where you’re at physically, you can typically start walking fairly easily. If you’re starting from totally sedentary, you can start with very small intervals of walking (i.e. walk to the mailbox and back). If you’re already somewhat active, adding a 30 minute walk to your daily routine is totally achievable.
  • Walking is Relatively Low Impact: If you have issues with any of your lower body joints, running may actually be painful. Walking on the other hand is low impact, and getting moving can actually help alleviate discomfort in your joints.
  • Walking Has a Lower Impact on Appetite: When you run, you are raising your heart rate quite a bit. Even though you’re burning more calories than walking, your appetite may also drastically increase which will cause you to eat more and slow your weight loss progress.

Benefits of Running

  • Running Burns More Calories Than Walking: If you’re limited on time, running is a more efficient way to burn calories than walking. Because your heart rate is more elevated, you burn more calories in a shorter amount of time.
  • Running Improves Cardio Fitness: Both walking and running can improve your cardiovascular fitness, but running is a much stronger stimulus for your body to adapt to and recover from. As a result, running does a better job of improving your fitness levels.

Benefits of Cardio Training

These are some of the benefits of cardio training, which can come in the form of walking, running, swimming, cycling, or any extended and repeated movement. These benefits can have a big impact on your quality of life, which is why this type of training is so important for everyone.

  • Improved Heart Health and Efficiency
  • Improved Lung Function
  • Lowered Resting Heart Rate
  • Lowered Risk of Disease; including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, some cancers, and stroke.
  • Better Strength, Stamina, and Fitness
  • More Active Immune System
  • Stronger Bones/Reduced Risk of Osteoporosis
  • Improved Mood

Finding a form of cardio training that works for you, and that you actually enjoy makes getting healthy much simpler. And as you increase your activity, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of your hard work.

Conclusion: Which is Better for Weight Loss?

In my opinion, walking is more effective because you can walk for a LONG TIME without getting exhausted and without spiking your appetite.

I’ve found that when I increase my weekly running miles, my appetite tends to follow. This results in me actually eating more, and often gaining weight.

Changing your lifestyle to include more walking can be an effective way to overhaul your life to be more healthy overall. If you find that you can walk to stores or restaurants within a mile of where you live, you may start dropping weight more quickly.

I find that if you want to sustain your increased activity levels, and not worry about injuries or overtraining, you should start with consistent walking – and just keep doing it until it stops providing benefits (which probably isn’t going to happen).

Read More: What are the 5 Pillars of Health?


FAQs

Do You Lose More Belly Fat Walking or Running?

While it can seem like running would lead to more fat loss, this isn’t necessarily the case. You’ll ultimately lose fat by consuming fewer calories than you expend over an extended period of time. You can’t target fat loss in specific areas by doing one exercise versus another.

One side note here is that belly fat can often be a result of hormonal imbalances or other issues. For example, if your sleep is terrible and your testosterone (for males) is very low, you’re much more likely to store excess body fat. So it’s important to make sure you’re living a healthy lifestyle in other areas besides just your walking or running routine.

How Long Should You Walk or Run To Lose Weight?

If your goal is to lose weight, the equation is really quite simple. Just burn more calories than you consume. You can easily track this by wearing a smart watch or fitness tracker, and tracking your food consumption with an app like My Fitness Pal.

You’ll find that the more your walk or run, the more calories you burn throughout the day. There is a diminishing effect though. You may find that the more you walk or run, the hungrier you get. This may make it more difficult to stay in a caloric deficit – and harder to lose weight.

Should You Choose A Long Walk Over a Short Run?

Choosing between a long walk or a short run should really be based upon your current abilities, your interests, and your time constraints. If you have a limited amount of time to burn a certain amount of calories, running can be a more efficient way to reach that goal.

However, longer walks can be easier on your joints, and can be easier to recover from so you can go on more walks again sooner.

Why Fitness Is Not (and Shouldn’t Be) a Juvenile Pursuit

I was at a friends house for a barbecue earlier this summer and we were discussing going to the gym. A couple of the guys there had gotten gym memberships at the same gym as me a few months prior, but had decided to cancel them.

Then they started talking about how it was a cesspool of testosterone filled high schoolers flexing in the mirror. Even if that is what they saw there, I get frustrated when that is people’s perception of what a gym looks like.

Their attitude made it seem like now that they were in their late twenties that they were almost too good, too mature to focus on a frivolous thing like fitness.

This is one issue that ignites my passion and love for fitness. And it makes me feel like I need to defend making physical fitness a priority.

Why Fitness Is a Valuable Pursuit

Exercise is a Low Cost Way to Improve Public Health Outcomes

The United States is rich financially, but unfortunately Americans are in a terrible place when it comes to their physical wellbeing. These statistics are a clear indicator of the lack of both health and fitness in the United States.

What if exercise was prescribed like a drug, and health insurance providers would cover physical training sessions for people to get acquainted with gyms? To me, this seems like a better option than pumping more money into pharmaceutical interventions.

People are often given choices by their doctor: either you need to lose 25 pounds and improve your health -or- you’ll need to be treated for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes with prescription drugs.

To me, going for a walk every day and improving your nutrition is a more economical option and frankly provides more benefits than simply masking the issue with a drug.

Regular Physical Activity Helps Increase Health Spans

Lifespan is the total number of years we live whereas healthspan is how many of those years we remain healthy and free from disease.

Read More: What are the 5 Pillars of Health?

Increasing health spans does much more to adding quality time to someone’s life than simply adding years to the end of someone’s life.

Common Misconceptions about Fitness

Myth: The Only People Who Workout Are Dumb

There is a misconception that the only people who workout and make fitness a priority are meathead gym rats.

And I can’t believe I have to say that, but that’s just not true. I’ve talked to some straight up geniuses at the gym. And they weren’t smart about which protein powder to use, they were smart about artificial intelligence, machine learning, philosophy, and medicine.

You Can Be Simultaneously Smart and Jacked

Myth: Going to the Gym Means Doing Back and Bis, Chest and Tris, and Leg Day

Going to the gym doesn’t have to look the same for you as it does for the competitive bodybuilder working out across from you. In fact, you don’t even have to touch weights to get in better shape and improve your health (although you probably should).

Fortunately the more time you spend around gyms, the more comfortable you become and the more you’re empowered to make the equipment and the space work for you.

People all work out differently, whether it’s based on habits, abilities, knowledge, or goals. There is no one size fits all solution. In fact, there is probably a workout style that you can fall in love with–no matter what it is you’re looking for.

How To Stop Drinking Coffee (without Nasty Headaches)

I LOVE COFFEE!

If you’ve spent any time with me at all, you probably know that I drink a lot of coffee and I really enjoy it. However, I’ve reached many points in my young life where I’ve overdone it.

Caffeine tolerance builds quickly (like within a few days), so it’s easy to find yourself drinking more and more coffee until your adrenal system feels broken.

Strategies for Cutting Out Caffeine

Substitute Decaf Coffee

I’ve found that the easiest way to cut out caffeine is not to quit drinking coffee entirely, but to substitute decaf coffee for your regular caffeinated brew. When I drink decaf in the mornings I realize that my coffee habit is not entirely based on my need for caffeine.

Decaf coffee allows you to feel like you’re still getting your delicious morning joe, while giving your body a break from caffeine.

Decaf coffee is widely available, whether you use a Keurig, drip brewer, espresso machine or instant coffee.

I like these Starbucks VIA instant coffee packets. You can carry them with you in case you need a coffee on the go, without having to choose whether to go decaf or regular.

Gradually Decrease Your Caffeine Consumption

You can minimize the withdrawal you experience by slowly decreasing your caffeine consumption over the course of a few weeks or months. In fact, the slower you decrease your intake, the less likely you are to experience withdrawal from caffeine.

  • Week 1: Start where you’re at. 4 cups of coffee per day for example.
  • Week 2: 3 cups of coffee per day
  • Week 3: 2 cups of coffee per day
  • Week 4: 1 cup of coffee per day
  • Week 5: 2 cups of decaf coffee per day
  • Week 6: 1 cup of decaf coffee per day

Boom! Hopefully after these 6 weeks you’ll have comfortably and effortlessly weaned yourself off of coffee.

Quit Caffeine Cold Turkey

Quitting cold turkey (whether its cigarettes or caffeine) is another way that works for some people. Rather than tapering your intake, you just stop drinking coffee altogether.

Quitting Caffeine Cold Turkey

This can be more effective because if you don’t drink coffee at all, you’re not giving yourself a chance to slip up and have a few more cups than you’re supposed to.

Find An Alternative Morning Drink

Companies are popping up all the time as more people look for alternatives to coffee or tea to perk them up in the morning. Rather than just switching for a lower caffeine version of coffee or tea, you can try these alternatives instead.

  • MUD\WTR: MUD\WTR® is a mushroom coffee alternative made with organic ingredients lauded by cultures young and old for their health and performance benefits. With a fraction of the caffeine found in coffee, you get vitality and immunity without the jitters and crash.
  • Four Sigmatic Chaga Elixir: This is a formula that combines 1500 mg Chaga extract with rose hips (for all the vitamin C), Eleuthero, and mint. You can use the elixir on its own, or add it into coffee, tea, or smoothies.
  • Apothékary Mind Over Matter: This triple mushroom blend naturally reduces anxiety, brain fog, and overall stress. Stay cognitively sharp all day everyday, and keep your Mind Over Matter. 
  • Rasa Original Adatogenic Coffee Alternative: Rasa is a delicious, healthy coffee substitute made from adaptogenic herbs. Enjoy the taste of the top-rated coffee alternative with natural, balanced energy. This herbal adaptogenic coffee is the perfect coffee replacement without caffeine or gluten.

Make Sure You’re Getting Enough Sleep

Often when I’m not feeling rested, I’ll rely on caffeine to jolt me awake and to keep me from feeling tired throughout the day.

One of the best ways to minimize your dependence on caffeine is to focus on getting enough quality sleep at night.

Try Changing Your Environment or Cut Out Caffeine on Vacation

A lot of people’s caffeine habit starts as an occasional coffee, and then makes its way into an every day habit. If you have a schedule of when you have your first coffee every day before work, you may need to break that schedule to cut out the caffeinated drink.

One strategy you can try is to go on vacation and cut out caffeine while traveling. Since you’re in a new place, you may have a totally different schedule and stopping for coffee may not even be an option.

Keep Track of How Cutting Out Caffeine Improves Your Life

You may be able to keep yourself on track while quitting if you document the positive aspects of cutting out caffeine. If you feel like you’re struggling, just keep a running list of all the benefits of quitting caffeine, and how it makes you feel better.

Let People Know That You’re Quitting Caffeine

Once you make a public declaration that you are taking a certain action, it can be easier to stay on track. People generally want to align with claims that they have made, so this psychological trick can help keep you on track.

Avoid High Carbohydrate Meals

While carbohydrates are a source of energy, eating carb-heavy meals can crash your energy levels while you digest the food. While you’re cutting back or quitting caffeine, one way to keep your energy levels high is to opt for high-protein meals. These will keep your energy levels from crashing after eating, and can provide sustained consistent energy levels for hours after eating.

What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking Coffee?

Caffeine withdrawal is real. If you’ve been consuming caffeinated drinks every day for decades, your body is bound to have a response when you suddenly cut it out overnight.

Is It Good To Stop Drinking Coffee?

Coffee has a long list of benefits, but the effects of long-term caffeine use may overshadow many of those benefits. If you’re like me, you may have gone through some periods in your life when you were very obviously drinking too much coffee, or relying too much on caffeine.

You may find that coffee is no longer perking you up, and you’re just drinking it because you’ll feel terrible without it. If this is the case, cutting out coffee for awhile can be helpful for allowing your caffeine tolerance to reset.

Short Term & Long Term Effects of Caffeine Use

  • Confusion due to overstimulation of the brain
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Muscle Aches
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fertility Issues
  • Increased Risk of Osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy Issues
  • Increased Urination
  • Anxiety
  • Jitters
  • Increased Blood Pressure

How Long Does It Take To Detox from Coffee?

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms vary from case to case, but typically you’ll stop having issues after about a week. If you stop your caffeine intake abruptly, you may feel withdrawal effects within 24 hours after stopping.

Reasons To Cut Out Caffeine

  • Caffeine can increase anxiety
  • Caffeine makes you jittery
  • Caffeine disrupts your sleep
  • Caffeine can cause digestive issues

Best Dating Books for Men

Dating is a weird thing. To some guys it comes naturally, and it becomes a part of these guys lifestyles. To others the process of dating is totally overwhelming, so these guys never even try.

I recently went through a break up and decided that I needed to make sure my dating skills were in a good place to put myself out there. So I started crushing books about dating and self-improvement, both on my Kindle and in audiobook format.

These books have completely opened my eyes to a lot of parts of dating/relationships that I was completely ignorant to. Even if you’re in a relationship, I think these books can still give you tools for effectively communicating with your partner and strengthening your relationship.

The Top Dating Books for Men in 2022

1. The Rational Male by Rollo Tomassi

The Rational Male is a rational and pragmatic approach to intergender dynamics and the social and psychological underpinnings of intergender relations. The book is the compiled, 10-year core writing of author/blogger Rollo Tomassi from TheRationalMale.com.

Rollo Tomassi is one of the leading voices in the globally growing, male-focused online consortium known as the “Manosphere”. Outlined are the concepts of positive masculinity, the feminine imperative, plate theory, operative social conventions, and the core psychological theory behind game awareness and “red pill” ideology. Tomassi explains and outlines the principles of intergender social dynamics and foundational reasoning behind them.

2. Models by Mark Manson

Models is the first book ever written on seduction as an emotional process rather than a logical one, a process of connecting with women rather than impressing them. It’s the most mature and honest guide on how a man can attract women without faking behavior, without lying and without emulating others. A game-changer. Inside, you’ll learn: 

  • The root behavior that causes all female attraction. 
  • Why typical dating advice and pick up theory is counter-productive in the long-run. 
  • How to overcome nervousness and anxiety around attractive women. 
  • How any man can make himself appear attractive with a little time and effort. 
  • The three keys to keeping conversations with women interesting and engaging. 
  • How to discover the beliefs and attitudes that are sabotaging your success with women. 
  • How to develop a genuine and joyful sense of humor.

3. No More Mr. Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life by Dr. Robert A. Glover

A Nice Guy, according to Dr. Robert Glover, a pioneering expert on the Nice Guy Syndrome, is a man who believes he is not okay just as he is. He is convinced that he must become what he thinks others want him to be liked, loved, and get his needs met. He also believes that he must hide anything about himself that might trigger a negative response in others.

The Nice Guy Syndrome typically begins in infancy and childhood when a young boy inaccurately internalizes emotional messages about himself and the world. It is fueled by toxic shame and anxiety. Rapid social change in the late 20th century and early 21st century has contributed to a worldwide explosion of men struggling to find happiness, love, and purpose.

The paradigm of the Nice Guy Syndrome is driven by three faulty covert contracts. Nice Guys believe:  

  • If I am good, then I will be liked and loved.
  • If I meet other people’s needs without them having to ask, then they will meet my needs without me having to ask.
  • If I do everything right, then I will have a smooth, problem-free life.

4. The Unplugged Alpha: The No Bullsh*t Guide to Winning with Women & Life by Richard Cooper

Men have been conditioned to be the quintessential “nice guy”. They’re trained to be overly humble, kind to a fault, and that just “being themselves” is enough to attract and keep the woman of their dreams. Men are told to believe that conventional masculinity is toxic and to put women ahead of their own interests, passions, and purpose.

This has led to an entire generation of men forming very unhealthy attachments to women that they, unfortunately, often make their sole focus of their lives.

The playbook to women and life has changed, but most men missed the memo.

Do you want to succeed and level up in every area of your life?

If so, then this book explains:

  • The importance of maximizing your looks, money, social status, and game.
  • Why it’s essential to get genuine burning desire from a woman who wants to date you.
  • The top 20 red flags that you must vet women for a long term relationship.
  • How to become one of the top 20% of men that women swipe right for on online dating.
  • Why smart men avoid marriage. And much more.

This book exposes the comforting lies you’ve been told throughout your life for what they really are, enabling you to become a truly authentic alpha who chases excellence and leads a successful passion-filled life.

5. Art of Seduction by Robert Greene

Robert Greene’s previous best seller, The 48 Laws of Power, distilled 3,000 years of scheming into a guide People praised as “beguiling… literate… fascinating” and Kirkus denounced as “an anti-Book of Virtues.” 

In Art of Seduction, Greene returns with a new instruction audiobook on the most subtle, elusive, and effective form of power because seduction isn’t really about sex. It’s about manipulating other people’s greatest weakness: their desire for pleasure. 

Synthesizing the work of thinkers including Freud, Diderot, Nietzsche, and Einstein, reporting the enticing strategies of characters throughout history, The Art of Seduction is a comprehensive guide to getting what we want any way we can.

6. The Dating Playbook for Men: A Proven 7 Step System to Go from Single to the Woman of Your Dreams by Andrew Ferebee

This is a straight to the point, no b.s. guide to dating the women you want and living the life you deserve.  

No games. No rah rah motivation. No weird seduction tactics. Just raw, actionable content designed to turn you into the strongest version of yourself and equip you with the mindsets and social skills required to level up your life, and achieve the romantic success for which you’ve always strived. 

Here is a taste of what you’ll learn: 

  • The 11 mental models you must adopt to transform yourself from the inside out and develop the skills you need to master your romantic life. 
  • Why 93% of the most common dating advice you hear is dead wrong, and the TRUTH about what women actually respond to.
  • A simple three-hour a week strategy to find, meet, attract, and date the women you most desire so you NEVER have to settle into a relationship out of scarcity again.
  • The EXACT conversational strategies that will help you capture any woman’s attention and spark instant attraction – even IF you’re not attractive, ripped, rich, or famous. 
  • Proven steps and tactics to escalate your interactions, create sexual tension, and build an abundant dating life where high quality women are chasing you. 
  • The number one mistake 97% of men make that leads to toxic relationships (and the exact steps you must take to avoid it). 
  • A proven 90-day game plan that will show you EXACTLY how to go from single, frustrated, and alone to dating an abundance of women or the ONE woman you’ve always desired.   

Enjoy the journey of a lifetime.

7. The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire by David Deida

In the decades since the initial publication of The Way of the Superior Man, society has changed significantly. Issues of gender and sexuality long confined to secrecy have become part of everyday conversation, and rigid ideas about our societal roles have begun to dissolve.

And yet, perhaps now more than at any time, men of all ages still “tussle with the challenges of women, work, and sexual desire.” In this unabridged audiobook of the classic guide to masculine spirituality, David Deida encourages men and women to lean into the conversation and offer their most valuable assets to the world – their authentic heart and depth of presence.

More relevant than ever, The Way of the Superior Man offers a view of a more conscious and embodied masculinity. “It is time to evolve beyond the macho jerk ideal, all spine and no heart”, writes Deida. “It is also time to evolve beyond the sensitive and caring wimp ideal, all heart and no spine.”

Including a new preface written in celebration of the book’s 20th anniversary, The Way of the Superior Man presents the next generation of with the opportunity to grapple with fear, cultivate trust in the moment, and put forth the best versions of themselves in an ever-changing world.

8. The Way of Men by Jack Donovan

What is masculinity? Ask 10 men, and you’ll get ten vague, conflicting answers. Unlike any book of its kind, The Way of Men offers a simple, straightforward answer – without getting bogged down in religion, morality, or politics. It’s a guide for understanding who men have been and the challenges men face today. 

The Way of Men captures the silent, stifling rage of men everywhere who find themselves at odds with the overregulated, overcivilized, politically correct modern world. If you’ve ever closed your eyes and wished for one day as a lion, this book is for you.

9. The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating by David M. Buss

If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question we must look into our evolutionary past, argues prominent psychologist David M. Buss. Based one of the largest studies of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than 10,000 people of all ages from 37 cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the first work to present a unified theory of human mating behavior.

Drawing on a wide range of examples of mating behavior – from lovebugs to elephant seals, from the Yanomamö tribe of Venezuela to online dating apps – Buss reveals what women want, what men want, and why their desires radically differ. Love has a central place in human sexual psychology, but conflict, competition, and manipulation also pervade human mating – something we must confront in order to control our own mating destiny.

Fully revised and updated to reflect the very latest scientific research on human mating, this classic work of evolutionary psychology explains the powerful forces that shape our most intimate desires.

10. Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel

When you love someone, how does it feel? And when you desire someone, how is it different? In Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel looks at the story of sex in committed couples. 

Modern romance promises it all – a lifetime of togetherness, intimacy and erotic desire. In reality, it’s hard to want what you already have. Our quest for secure love conflicts with our pursuit of passion. And often, the very thing that got us to into our relationships – lust – is the one thing that goes missing from them. 

Determined to reconcile the erotic and the domestic, Perel explains why democracy is a passion killer in the bedroom; argues for playfulness, distance and uncertainty; and shows what it takes to bring lust home. 

Smart, sexy and explosively original, Mating in Captivity is the monogamist’s essential bedtime listen.

11. Mate: Become the Man Women Want by Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller

The number-one best-selling pioneer of “fratire” and a leading evolutionary psychologist team up to create the dating book for guys. 

Whether they conducted their research in life or in the lab, experts Tucker Max and Dr. Geoffrey Miller have spent the last 20-plus years learning what women really want from their men, why they want it, and how men can deliver those qualities. 

The short answer: Become the best version of yourself possible, then show it off. It sounds simple, but it’s not. If it were, Tinder would just be the stuff you use to start a fire. Becoming your best self requires honesty, self-awareness, hard work, and a little help. 

Through their website and podcasts, Max and Miller have already helped over one million guys take their first steps toward Miss Right. They have collected all of their findings in Mate, an evidence-driven, seriously funny playbook that will teach you to become a more sexually attractive and romantically successful man, the right way: 

  • No “seduction techniques” 
  • No moralizing 
  • No bullshit 

Just honest, straightforward talk about the most ethical, effective way to pursue the win-win relationships you want with the women who are best for you. 

Much of what they’ve discovered will surprise you, some of it will not, but all of it is important and often misunderstood. So listen up, and stop being stupid!

What Are The 5 Pillars of Health?

There are a few articles out there that have mentioned the “pillars of health”, but they all vary in what those pillars actually are.

Each of these pillars represents an entire area of health that can be examined down to the most minute details. However, I’m going to focus on things from a high level to give you a good idea of where to start – if you’re interested in improving these areas in your own life.

My 5 Pillars of Health

My Five Pillars of Health are: Diet & Nutrition, Physical Fitness, Sleep & Recovery, Mental Health, and Community.

1. Diet & Nutrition

If you’re expending energy in your life (which if you’re alive, you are), you also need to consume energy in the form of food. The quality of fuel you put into your body is directly related to the output level you’re able to achieve.

Read More: How To Overhaul Your Lifestyle for Health

Looking at the sheer volume of food that we consume over our lifetimes helped put this in perspective for me. If you expose your body to toxic, processed shit constantly for 30 years – you’re bound to have worse health outcomes than if you consume REAL FOOD!

Tips for Improving Your Diet and Nutrition

  • Eat Real Food.
    • I think we all know what food should look like. In my mind I picture a plate with a piece of meat, some starch like potatoes or rice, and a serving of vegetables. However, due to convenience or habits a lot of people fall into a trap of eating highly-processed, calorie dense foods. The fact is, eating a plate with a healthy protein-rich portion of meat, combined with a high-volume, low calorie starch, and a large serving of vegetables will be much more filling than something that just spikes your blood sugar for 20 minutes (like fast food).
  • Make Small Improvements Over Time.
    • The best way to move towards a healthy diet that can last a lifetime is to make small adjustments along the way. Perhaps you cut out sugary drinks first, then fried food, and then fast food altogether. By making small changes, you give yourself a better chance of sustaining your changes than by cutting out all food you deem “unhealthy” at once.
  • Track What You Eat.
    • Tracking your food intake is valuable for a couple reasons: it lets you know how much you’re eating and it empowers you to make better choices based on your dietary needs. If weight loss is your goal, track your calories and figure out how many calories you can eat on a daily basis and still lose weight (Use this: Basal Metabolic Rate Calculator). If your goal is to gain muscle, eat about 1g of protein per pound of body weight per day, and eat in a SLIGHT caloric surplus.

2. Physical Fitness

Fitness is not being an elite athlete. Fitness is being able to complete your daily tasks without straining or getting out of breath. When you’re in shape, you’re empowered to do more with less stress.

Tips for Improving Your Physical Fitness

  • Walk More.
    • The best way to kick off a healthier lifestyle is to move more. If you increase your daily steps from 2,000 to 10,000 – you’ll burn more calories throughout the day. As long as your don’t increase your caloric intake, you’ll lose weight and improve your general health.
  • Lift Weights and Build Muscle for Longevity.
    • As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass and strength. Research from UCLA health suggests that the more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely. Muscle mass is often viewed as negative because having more muscle mass can lead to a higher body-mass index. However, additional muscle in old age protects us from injury like falls, and can even maintain higher metabolic rates despite aging.
  • Be Willing To Struggle Physically & Embrace Progressive Overload.
    • Fitness is achieved by stressing your body. So to get better at running, you’ll need to run. To get stronger, you’ll need to pick up heavy things. If you’re out of shape, working out will be difficult at first, but over time your body will adapt to the physical stress and you’ll be able to handle more and more.

3. Sleep & Recovery

If you’re living your life and moving around, you’re accumulating fatigue. Sleep plays an essential role in recovering from physical strain and for re-energizing your mind and body.

Tips for Improving Your Sleep and Recovery

  • Make Your Bedroom Dark, Cool and Comfortable.
    • It blows my mind when I hear about how some people sleep. I know a guy who falls asleep on the couch while watching TV, every night. And then gets up in the middle of the night and stumbles into his bedroom. It seems obvious that there is a more ideal sleep arrangement. When you make your room dark your body starts naturally producing melatonin, which helps make you sleepy. When it’s cool, your body also is primed for sleep. And if your bed is comfortable, you allow yourself to relax even more. All of these things work together to create a perfect environment for sleeping. If you can’t make these happen, start with buying a sleeping mask (I like this one).
  • Set Aside Time Before Bed To Wind Down and Turn Off Devices.
    • If you’re arguing on Twitter while staring at your glowing phone before bed, you’re going to be more stressed out which can make it harder to fall asleep. Dim the lights, relax your body, and turn off electronic distractions to give yourself a chance to wind down before going to bed.
  • Cut Out Caffeine Later In The Day.
    • Caffeine is a stimulant, and just because you feel like it has worn off…that may not be the case. The half life of caffeine is around 8 hours. This means if you drink a cup of coffee at 2pm, half of the caffeine in that coffee is still in your system at 10pm. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, you may want to keep a closer eye on your caffeine consumption.

4. Mental Health

This category of health is incredibly broad, but all of the other pillars in this list play a role in creating a healthy mindset and mental frameworks for living.

Tip for Improving Your Mental Health

  • Meditate.
    • I’m a newbie at meditating, but now that I’ve started I absolutely love it. Meditation does not have to be complicated. I just set a timer on my phone, lie down, close my eyes, and focus on my breath until the timer goes off. It helps be disconnect from my devices and bring myself into the present moment. Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now has had a big impact on me as far as understanding the importance of being as present as possible and living in THIS MOMENT.
  • Minimize Stress.
    • Stress is a part of everyone’s lives at some point. When you take a step back and look at what is stressing you out, you may realize that some of these things are either unnecessary or avoidable. Too much stress can make it impossible to be productive and present. If possible try outsourcing, or seeking alternatives to, things that cause stress in your life. A final tip is to move to a new environment that is free of the things that stress you out.
  • Declutter Your Life.
    • It is so easy to be absolutely bombarded with information from social media, news sites, and online media. With a smartphone in your hand this barrage can feel unavoidable. Simplifying your life, eliminating distractions, notifications, and excess information, can help keep you on the path of pursuing your goals and achieving big things. We all carry baggage with us, whether it’s physical stuff or negative thoughts and emotions. These can all stand in the way of achieving the life we want. LET THEM GO!
  • Read.
    • If you’re struggling with mental health, educating yourself and reading about others in your situation can be a great help in working through your issues. (I understand that some mental health issues may require medical treatment and other interventions.) When you know how others have handled their issues when in similar situations to you, it can make you feel less alone and more empowered to work through your issues to improve your mental health. Start Here: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

5. Community

Having connection within a community is crucial for living a fulfilled, happy life. My family has been an absolute rock for me since I was a child, and they haven’t strayed for my entire life.

All of my cousins on my mom’s side. My “Community”

You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with. This isn’t necessarily true, but who you spend time with definitely influences your lifestyle and health decisions.

Tips for Finding and Improving Your Community

  • Find Group Activities Around Things You Love.
    • One of the best ways to find people that you’ll connect with is to start with an activity. For example, I really love working out, and about two years ago I started going to a CrossFit gym. I was so pleasantly surprised to find a group of people who were passionate about the same things as me, and we could struggle together through the workouts every day.
  • Initiate Gatherings Of Friends and Family.
    • It can feel like your friends and family are all too busy to spend time with you. However, if you take initiative to invite your loved ones to events, dinners, and other gathering – you’ll find that they will make time to spend time with you. And when you organize the get together, you get to decide who comes, what you do, and where you go.
  • Be a Connector!
    • I’ve struggled with this when I was younger because it felt like I had my friends and I didn’t necessarily want to share them, or I felt like they wouldn’t get along. However, I’ve enriched my life by introducing my friends to others in my network. The guy who you think of as just your friend may be someone that another connection needs to meet to reach his or her individual goals or pursuits. When you introduce your friends to each other you actually strengthen your existing bonds and relationships.