I like trying new and different things. As a personal trainer and as a human being. Weird things can make you better in the gym and in the kitchen.
Here are 4 weird things you can do or use to improve your health.
1. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
One of the quickest ways you can improve your health is by ditching table salt. Regular old table salt has 2, and sometimes three compounds in it. Sodium and chloride and sometimes iodine. Himalayan Sea Salt has over 65 trace minerals which play a part in a variety of important functions in our body like sleep regulation, hydration and adrenal function.
Another benefit is that pink salt causes significant less bloating than table salt. It also tastes much better. You can find it at any grocery store.
2. MCT Oil in Coffee
Most people do not get enough healthy fat in their diet. We are programmed to believe that dietary fat equals body fat, and even sickness. This could not be farther from the truth. Modern studies show that sugar, not fat, is responsible for obesity and sickness.
Dietary fat is incredibly important, especially for men. Cholesterol is a precursor to testosterone, cholesterol can only be produced by eating healthy fats. The more fat you eat, the more testosterone your body will produce.
I always recommend that you prioritize whichever macronutrient is hardest for you to eat first thing in the morning. If it's hard for you to get enough protein, you need to eat more protein and breakfast or have a protein shake afterwards. If it's hard for you to eat enough fat you need to put some fats in your coffee. It is for this reason I am such a huge fan of MCT oils.
MCT Oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides) are a type of fat that requires minimal action from the liver to convert directly into energy. It is a quicker way to make caloric energy than carbohydates. A teaspoon contains about 10 grams of healthy fat- the same as about half an avocado.
The only thing you want to ensure is that your MCT Oil is sourced entirely from Coconut Oil- not palm oil.
3. Oil Pulling
Oral health is an important signifier of overall health. If you talk to someone with yellow teeth whose breath you can smell from North Dakota you can reasonably assume they aren’t very healthy. I’m sure you all brush your teeth, if you don’t please stop reading this and immediately contact your local psych ward. Oil pulling is another practice you can throw into your dental hygiene arsenal.
Instead of wasting money on whitening strips which jack up your teeth and taste like Elmer’s Glue you can simply swish some coconut oil around your mouth. The fats and vitamins in Coconut oil act as an antioxidant and cleanse the bacteria. There are very little formal studies on this, but anecdotal evidence shows that oil pulling for 10-20 minutes a day can whiten teeth, fight against cavities and help bad breath.
You can oil pull every morning during your shower, then rinse your mouth out with warm water. Use a spoonful of coconut oil.
I’m sure you were nodding along to the first 3 suggestions, thinking “no problem, I can do all of those.” Well, here is where I may lose you.
I am a gigantic proponent of fasting. I fast for 16 hours every day. Admittedly that sounds more intimidating than it actually is once you factor in sleeping.
Fasting is the act of not eating for a prolonged period of time. This has many benefits- in my opinion the most important is on your hormones. Every time you eat you are inducing stress on your body, which results in your body producing cortisol. Cortisol, as you may know, sends signals through your body that it needs to hold onto calories and convert them into fat. The less time you spend eating every day, the less cortisol your body produces.
Cortisol production also slows testosterone production. Testosterone and HGH production are highest in the morning, right after you wake up. They cease to produce at high levels as soon as you eat food. The longer you spend in a fasted state during the morning, the more testosterone and HGH you will produce.
There is also evidence that daily fasting can assist in autophagy. That means the body cleanses itself of old, broken cells and replaces them with new ones. In a sense, fasting is the only cleanse that really works. That’s right, your juice cleanse is a sham.
Fasting also helps in a practical sense. If you are trying to lose weight, and are on a restricted caloric diet it will be harder to overeat in an 8 hour window than it would be in a 16 hour window.
My “feeding window” is from 1 in the afternoon until 9 at night. Fasting in this way essentially boils down to not eating breakfast, and eating a big lunch and dinner. It’s not that hard once you try it.
As you can see, I’m a bit of a weird guy. I’ve never been afraid to try things that run against conventional wisdom. All of the advances we make as humans and as trainees come from being outside our comfort zone. That means in life and in the gym.
Try to add a few of these to your daily life. I guarantee you will feel better.
More importantly you'll learn how to keep these results for the rest of your life. Just ask any of my former or current clients.