Everyone wants to be healthy; can we agree that seems like a fair assumption? No one wants to have heart disease, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or the numerous other ailments that come with being unhealthy. Moreover, no one wants to be physically dependent on another. Yet, year after year, obesity rates continue to climb; the number of obese children continues to climb; the prevalence of diabetes and heart disease continues to climb. Why is it so difficult?
Have you ever tried canceling your internet service with your provider? As any reasonable person would expect, you try going online, clicking a few buttons, and it’s over… or not. It turns out you have to actually call. Then you have to jump through all the hoops of them trying to convince you to stay. Many people simply give up. I have.
In today’s internet-dominated world, trying to be healthy is much the same way. You go on Google and ask, “What’s a good nutrition plan for me?” Or, “How do I start an exercise plan?” A million different answers come up. Similarly, you look on social media and see “health experts” – let’s be blunt, most simply look the part – touting X nutrition plan and Y exercise plan, while another is staunchly recommending an entirely different program. “The cacophony of advice around longevity is overwhelming.” – Dr. Peter Attia. It’s fricking hard. Sadly, too many people simply give up.
It should not be this difficult to be healthy. The simple truth is, it’s not. A strategy I learned in investing is building a strong information filter. In other words, learning to decipher the noise from the signal. What information is actually important to me and my objective, and what is horseshit? 90%, if not more, is the latter. Unfortunately, we have this sabotaging trait called confirmation bias. If we read something that adheres to our worldview, we are far more likely to believe it as fact versus something that goes against our inherent belief where we often dismiss it as nonsense. So, this information filter takes work and objectivity. Hard? No. But, like exercise, it takes reps and time. Valuable time that could be spent actually helping you towards your goal.
What if you could bypass the information filter entirely? What if you could save time and stress researching on Google and ignore social media experts? What if you could know exactly how your body was performing internally and what program was right for you? You can. Think of the fittest people: elite athletes. Their metabolic health – their body’s ability to take in energy and convert it to energy to perform at the highest level – is the best in the world. Yes, they do an insane amount of work to perform at an insane level. But what’s really important is their entire plan is completely laid out before them. How? Metabolic testing.
Metabolic testing is the process of taking two tests to learn the current state of your metabolic health: A Resting Metabolic Rate assessment and an Active Metabolic Rate assessment. Combined, these two tests take the guesswork out of creating your exercise and nutrition planning. They collectively assess vital health functions such as your metabolic rate, your body’s efficiency at burning fat as a fuel source (compared to carbohydrates), and the fitness level of your heart and lungs. Beyond those crucial metrics, it does something even more beneficial: the tests will tell you what your biological age is and what your precise heart rate zones are. When compared to your chronological age, your biological age gives you an idea of how well your body is performing and, potentially, how at-risk you are for metabolic dysfunction. Your precise heart rate zones – specifically your Zone 2 threshold (Z2T) – tell you multiple things:
Your Zone 2 threshold is also called your aerobic threshold. A higher Z2T, enables you to sustain exercise for longer periods of time and at higher intensities. Importantly, when you leave Zone 2, your body will also stop using fat as its primary fuel source, and convert to using carbohydrates instead.
You will also learn where your anaerobic threshold is, or Zone 4 threshold (Z4T). This is the point where exercise demands are so intense you will begin to rely on the much less efficient anaerobic form of metabolism. This often occurs if you are performing a sprint or an exercise to your maximum output, and can usually only be sustained for a few seconds.
Most importantly of all, learning your precise heart rate zones, in conjunction with your other metabolic functions, will allow for a quantified workout and nutrition program that is unique to you.
You still have to do the work. There is no substitute for work. But how much easier is it to build a Lego set when the instruction manual is sitting in front of you, compared to trying to build it by looking at the picture on the box? All that time researching can be time spent doing the work; all of the stress on your mind can be replaced with stress on your muscles. And what’s more fun than trying to get out of bed the next morning after a leg-day workout?