Every now and then life gets in the way and we forget to take care of our bodies. In this article, Primal Living's Founder and father of 7, Steve Bennett, will be sharing 6 ways to help you reset your health & lifestyle for the better...
Five years ago, I found myself in a hole of frustration and fear. At the time, I was obese and just about to welcome my seventh son into the world. After months of researching the damaging affects of obesity, I decided to step back from my businesses and instead, spend my days researching how to truly be healthy again.
The more I researched, the more furious I became at the corporate world. In a world where we're told to consume low-fat diets, run five days a week to keep the weight off & eat every 3 hours to maintain a fast metabolism, it's no wonder why so many of us feel at a loss when it comes to weight loss.
When it came to my own weight loss journey, it wasn't that I hadn't tried, I had always exercised regularly and eaten what I was told should help me shift my weight, but for 25 years I had always lost the battle.
Since I discovered the truth (you can read more about that in my book, Fat and Furious), my stubborn belly fat has gone, as well as the associated health issues that came with it. I'm now living my healthiest life at the age of 55. Yes, really.
Of course, my personal health reset was a complete lifestyle change, but for those who have slipped up somewhere along the way, whether it be from working too hard & resting too little, eating all the wrong foods, or simply not getting enough sleep, here are my favourite things to do to help reset your health...
6 ways to reset your health & lifestyle
1. Reset your food choices
This for me, means a primal diet full of nourishing foods that nature intended for us. That means no sugar, no grains, no processed junk, no alcohol, just wholesome foods that help support the body like organic meat, plenty of vegetables and fruits, healthy fats and also herbs and spices.
If a diet like this sounds completely alien to you, or you feel somewhat lost when it comes to a complete diet change (although, I prefer to see it as a lifestyle change) then a programme like Health Reset can completely guide you throughout the process.
Health Reset is a 49-day guided programme with myself and leading health experts to help you transform your life for the better. Not only do I show you how to adapt to a primal diet, but I also show you how to adapt your lifestyle too, adding years to your life.
When I've fallen off the wagon (poor food choices, little sleep & extra stress), the first thing I focus on when I decide to reset my health is my food choices. Not just because I'm the one in control of what I eat, but also because food has a huge impact on our overall mood and wellbeing. Just a few days of eating better completely changes how I feel. I sleep better, I focus better, I perform better & I am better.
2. Reset your movement
It's a no brainer that moving our bodies makes us feel good. In fact, it's what we were designed to do as humans. If you think back to our ancestors, they survived by moving and physically hunting for their food. The same applies to us in some ways. As human, we perform better, both physically and mentally, when we move our bodies.
When it comes to exercise, we need to stop worrying about our chronological age and instead focus on our biological age. Our chronological age is just a number. I hate it when I hear someone claiming, “I’m too old to exercise”. To my mind the term ‘old’ should be permanently replaced with ‘older’. We’re never old, we’re only ever older. People in remote villages around the world, where they are living into their 120s, might have earned the right to claim they are old, but for the rest of us, we should just consider ourselves as older. Unless someone suffers from a physical disability, the vast majority of the following advice is applicable to everyone, regardless of age.
When it comes to exercise, I personally prefer MOMMS. ‘Max Out’ – ‘Move More’ – ‘Sprint’.
Max Out refers to our approach to weight training, where we use a specific type of routine that safely and efficiently pushes us to the max. We then focus on ‘moving more’ in our everyday life and eventually get to build a couple of extremely short ‘sprints’ into our weekly routine. These three separate areas of fitness build muscles and at the same time increase our flexibility and help us feel younger for longer.
The principle behind my MOMMS approach is to emulate what our primal ancestors did during daylight. It is about lifting heavy rocks (in our case weights), moving more and occasionally sprinting. It is not about laborious hours on a treadmill or exercise bike, nor is it about attending the latest craze in keep-fit classes. Caveman didn’t jog for hours on end, nor did he take part in endurance cycle events. After all, the wheel hadn’t been invented throughout most of human evolution!
That being said, the goal is to enjoy what you do. Once you do, moving your body (whether it's using the method above or simply increasing your steps daily) will not only become easy, but it'll be enjoyable too.
3. Reset your sleep
For someone who has run their own businesses for more than 30 years - burning the candle at both ends - researching how much sleep we require has had a profound effect on how I now live my life.
There will always be periods in everyone’s lives where - due to external factors such as work, having young children or even party season - getting a good night’s sleep becomes a low priority. While the odd day or two of not getting enough sleep shouldn’t cause any long-term health problems, sleep deprivation over a sustained period can be very harmful.
Believe it or not, sleep is one of the, if not the, most important elements of our health, which is why it's extremely important to consider the quality of your sleep in order to live a truly healthy life. Here's what happens when the body begins to perform on sufficient amount of sleep:
- Knowledge and memories from the day’s activities become scrambled
- The body struggles to regulate our body temperature, and becomes particularly inefficient at dealing with extreme cold or heat
- The body creates an excess of cortisol, and we become easily stressed. Have you noticed how short-tempered we become after a poor night’s sleep? It’s not our fault that we become irritable and ratty, it’s an excess of the hormone cortisol
- Our immune system begins to fail
- Insulin struggles to regulate blood sugar levels, and a lack of sleep over time can lead to type 2 diabetes
- Leptin and ghrelin hormones don’t function properly, leading to overeating
- Our body can lose control of its fight with inflammation
On average, adults are recommended 7-9 hours of sleep per night, with most aiming for 8. Of course, this can vary for different people, especially if you're more active. You can read more about the importance of sleep, how we sleep, why we sleep & how to get better sleep, in my book Fat & Furious.
4. Reset your stress levels
Stress-related diseases are one of the biggest killers in the Western world. From cancer to heart attacks, so many illnesses and early deaths can be attributed to it. While a little bit of stress, such as that from exercise, is good for us, prolonged exposure – whether it be conscious or subconscious – is really bad for our health.
In order to completely reset your health, your stress levels are certainly something to consider. Luckily, after years of research & practice, I'm quite fortunate to be able to control my stress levels, while also uncovering the truths behind what makes people truly happy:
- They don’t worry much and therefore aren’t stressed
- They have a close circle of friends or family and therefore a sense of belonging
- They challenge themselves frequently
- They have a purpose in life
- They have a high level of tolerance and can rationalise things
- They take everything and everyone less seriously
- They demonstrate gratitude and realise that comparison is the theft of happiness
Yoga, meditation, eating well, moving more, practising gratitude and surrounding yourself with the right people can help you take care of your stress levels. Of course, it's easier said than done, but try to take care of yourself daily to achieve optimal wellness. For example, going for a morning walk to exposure yourself to natural daylight (which helps support sleep) and practising gratitude can help maintain your stress levels.
5. Reset your mindset
Being healthy isn't just about what we eat & how much we move, it's also about what we think and how we act. Unhealthy thoughts can be detrimental to your health and happiness, and while it may seem impossible to old change habits and thought processes, you'd be surprised.
Recognising unhealthy thoughts is just the first step to changing your mindset. Self-help books, journaling and meditating can be great ways to help you work on yourself for the better, especially when it comes to resetting your mindset.
Growing up, I took great interest in self care books to help build me as a person. Not only have they helped me navigate the world of business, but they've also helped me navigate myself as person too. It's probably one of the reasons why I can control my stress levels quite easily.
6. Reset your lifestyle
Finally, resetting your lifestyle is all about putting the steps above together. Nourishing your body with the right foods, moving your body regularly, taking care of yourself daily & working on yourself internally are all the right steps to take in order to reset your health & lifestyle.
Yes, it sounds like a lot of work to do, but once you're on the right pathway with the help & support you need, anything is possible, especially with Health Reset.
About Health Reset
I designed Health Reset to help the hundreds and thousands of people who are struggling to lose weight & live healthy to finally achieve those goals and add years to their life.
With Health Reset, rather than fighting your hormones, we teach you how to partner with them, so that weight loss becomes virtually effortless. The Reset changes your relationship with food, so that you never feel you are giving anything up. Instead it changes the foods you desire and crave.
While Health Reset focuses on helping participants return to their desired healthy weight, this journey to wellness also provides many additional benefits. Here are some of the most frequent experienced healthy side effects:
Better sleep: there are two sessions dedicated to getting a better night sleep. Plus, much of the advice given throughout the course, contribute to a better night sleep.
Happiness: pleasure and happiness are not the same thing. Sadly few get to appreciate the difference. The course steers you along a path of discovery.
Reduced depression & anxiety: while there are no specific sections on depression and anxiety, many participants report a feeling of calmness and living in the now.
Better skin: as participants learn to identify nutrient rich food; the increase in vitamins and minerals helps improve skin.
Never again feel hungry: within just weeks of beginning the reset, participants are able to skip meals without ever feeling hungry.
More energy: as the taste buds of participants gradually change, their desires for energy rich healthy foods, lead to an increase in energy and vitality.
Reduced risk of chronic diseases: many diseases in the modern world are interrelated. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes type 2, Alzheimer’s and Obesity are all viewed by many leading doctors to be related to insulin resistance; which is the main is caused by food choices. This is the heart of your Health Reset programme.