I listened to a podcast recently that was all about one particular diet protocol, and what the science says about it's health benefits.
It was full of evidence-based information, backed by research, and it outlined concrete suggestions for how someone could optimize their health by following certain guidelines.
My first thought was to immediately start incorporating these things into my routine. As someone who is always interested in experimenting with health and wellness strategies and improving my long-term health, it sounded like a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t I give it a shot?
Well, turns out there a lot of reasons why I might not want to do this.
I realized that when it comes to things like nutrition, fitness, self-care, and our health and well-being, it’s important to keep the bigger picture in mind and the many factors that come into play – not just the specific health benefits of a one certain protocol.
You have to consider the tradeoffs.
Following a particular dietary plan may provide certain health benefits, but if it means you’re stressing about food and eating all the time, is it worth it?
Following a certain exercise regimen might help you reach your physical or aesthetic goals, but is it worth it if you’re counting every calorie burned or every step you take in a day?
Are the benefits of following a strict meal plan worth it if it means you’re eliminating your favorite foods, missing out on social events, or feeling lethargic and unfocused?
Is it worth it to follow a certain training pattern if it messes with your sleep and leaves you worn down?
There is no right or wrong answer to any of these scenarios – perhaps at some point in your life, training or eating a certain way works great, fits into your life, and helps you feel your best and meet your goals.
Or maybe for a period of time, the tradeoff is worth it, even if it’s not something you’d do forever.
(E.g.: maybe you train for a half-marathon to raise money for a good cause, even if the
training takes over your life for a while.)
But if you find that you’re practicing certain habits or strategies only because of the benefits – without considering whether or not it actually works for you on a deeper level – it may be worth reassessing your priorities and goals.
Especially when it comes to your health and wellness, the things you are doing to make yourself feel great shouldn’t come with a huge side of mental or physical stress and discomfort.
In the end, I realized that despite the potential upside of this particular dietary protocol, it simply wasn’t going to fit into my life right now.
It wouldn’t work well with my schedule and routine, and it would involve more thinking and stress than I wanted to take on.
Plus, I was pretty sure based off past experimentation that it was not going to make me feel or perform my best.
And for me, that wasn’t worth the tradeoff.
What are your tradeoffs when it comes to health and wellness? Have you ever found yourself doing something only for the benefits - without considering the cost?
If you’re feeling stuck in your routine or want to get started but don’t know where to begin, coaching can help! I can work with you to clarify your goals, simplify the process, and create action so you can go from where you are now to where you want to be. Send me a message or schedule your free consultation call today!