Knowing When to Cycle Off Foods, Supplements and Exercise
Posted Mar 22 2010 5:11pm
One of the things we just love to do is come up with a plan of what, when and how we’re going to eat and exercise, and then get high on the hope that we’ll actually to stick with it for the rest of our lives. When the inevitable day of reckoning arrives (and it always does) we come down hard, beating ourselves up for not having enough will power to live up to our goals. We’re slotted a “failure”. But if we could simply realize that the body knows exactly what to do to get well, and learn to ride the waves, we’d find ourselves on the path of least resistance toward optimal health.
Just as we get sick of doing the same things day in and day out, cells, too, get tired of being pounded with the same foods, the same nutrients and the same exercise routines again and again. In other words, they need a break.
This is because cells build up what’s called “resistance”. Each cell has receptors for all the different elements that make our bodies run smoothly (hormones, nutrients, neuro-peptides, brain-chemicals, amino acids, etc). Receptor cites can get clogged or laden with too much of these “good things”, and eventually, the cell will shut off to them or down-regulate them, as if to say, “talk to the hand.”
So herein lies the problem of strict diet plans, weight loss diets or fad diets: the body will love it for a while, but eventually will say, “enough”, and will want something more, less or just plain different.
Same goes with exercise. The body will let you know how much it loves it by increasing muscle mass, shedding weight and revitalizing your energy. But just as soon as it has had enough, it will build up resistance. In turn, muscle mass will stabilize, weight will plateau, and you won’t feel as good after a workout.
I noticed this on my Yoga90 Challenge: I got really into one style of yoga and my body loved it so much it practically sucked it up like a milkshake. Then out of the blue, I stopped improving. I was feeling weak and tired in class, and emotionally, I just didn’t want to go. At some point I had to stop and listen. What I heard was that my body wanted something different for a while to satisfy its needs; in this case, less strengthening and more energizing. So I switched styles for a while, and my body was once again invigorated.
So the cells shift and change, and as they do, they need a fresh, new supply of different foods, supplements and exercise to make them work optimally. Sometimes they just need a break altogether. Once you give them a break for a while, they again are able to accept the nutrients and vital energy that was once being resisted.
If we can’t go with this natural ebb and flow, we end up in a love/hate relationship with our bodies, where we try to force-feed it with a diet and lifestyle that we think is going to make us lose weight, give us energy or help us look young forever. Sometimes what our bodies really need is contrary to these beliefs.
When to cycle off and on certain foods, supplements and exercise routines will hopefully become an intuitive thing by simply noticing subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) communication from your body. You may have what I call a feeling-sense of “no”, or “I don’t want it” in your body. Learn what “yes” and “no” feels like in your own body, and then probe further, asking: “Is there anything I want in replace of this?” Think of all other options; your body will hopefully give nods in the right direction. “Yes” usually feels like an expansive, open feeling (of course, strong, uncontrollable food cravings are not what I mean as a “yes signal”).
From a nutritional perspective, metabolism is key in determining which foods, supplements and exercise is right for YOUR body at any given time in your life. These will change as your metabolism changes, so nothing is ever fixed and firm.
The best approach I know of that best adheres to the metabolic rhythms and the natural wisdom of the body is Metabolic Typing® . When we feed the body with exactly what it needs metabolically each day, we can’t help feeling stronger, healthier, happier and easier. Period. We no longer feel the need to force-feed the body like a slave, but instead offer it what it needs on a deep metabolic and cellular level. Food cravings also diminish and we can learn to read the more subtle intuitive cues that our bodies reveal to us.
To watch my videos on Metabolic Typing® and register for my Body by Body Metabolic Typing Program, click here.
Now I’d like to hear from YOU:
Can you remember a time when you “force-fed” your body foods, supplements or a workout that it really didn’t want?
How did your body feel doing it? How did you feel afterward?
What does “yes” and “no” feel like in YOUR body?
What are some other ways you could use this kind of body-based intuition?