Updated: Dec 20, 2019
So what is the difference between people who are at the peak of their health and fitness and people who struggle to achieve and maintain results from changing their eating and exercise habits?
The answer is not rocket science. The things you need to do to improve and maintain good health is the same for everyone. The difference is successful people are better at constantly doing the things that are necessary, day after day, week after week and month after month.
The following are the 10 Golden Rules I believe, if followed on a consistent basis, will give anyone great health and fitness results.
Each golden rule is backed by scientific research and my personal experience of working with 100s of different clients over 20 years. The key to each golden rule is not the rule itself, but your ability to implement it.
Each golden rule is best implemented by having the right type and amount of support and willingness to achieve results. Without these two things, the harder you will find doing them.
For long-term results, these golden rules must become habits and not just something you do for a period of time, but for life.
100% compliance is not required in getting results from following these rules, but the further away you are from 100% compliance the less chance of achieving long-lasting results.
A good guide to compliance for example is:
50% compliance (over 6 months) could result in a 50/50 chance of achieving what you want, where 90% (over 6 months) could result in a 90/100 chance.
So here are the rules:
1. Perform A High-Intensity Workout Each Day
It has been shown in multiple studies that the benefits from high- intensity/low volume training can be as beneficial if not more beneficial than low-intensity/high volume training.
The main benefit is in the time it takes to perform high-intensity/low volume training, compared to low-intensity/high training.
For example, 20 minutes of high-intensity/low volume training delivers the same benefits of 60 minutes of low-intensity/ high volume training. It has also been found that people are more exercise compliant when less time is needed to exercise, increasing the level of adherence.
2. Prepare All Your Meals From Natural Sources
It has been proven many many times, that eating food from natural sources is good for our health. But what does natural really mean?
Natural food is food that can be hunted or gathered in the wild. Something that has been provided by nature and not created by man.
3. Spend Time Reducing Your Stress
Any time the body encounters stress it produces the hormone Cortisol to cope. Cortisol is catabolic in nature, which means it damages the body.
Cortisol is needed by the body to grow, but too much is detrimental.
The more cortisol you produce, the fewer growth hormones you produce. Growth hormones like testosterone and HGH are needed for the body to grow stronger and healthier.
4. Only Eat Carbohydrates From Fruit & Vegetables
The purpose of eating food is to supply the body with nutrients, vitamins and minerals required for it to perform to optimal levels.
Fruit and vegetables have been found to have high quantities of nutrients, vitamins and minerals compared to other types of carbohydrates.
It has been found that foods that lack high quantities of nutrients, vitamins and minerals cause the production of the hormone ghrelin.
Ghrelin is known as our hunger hormone and increases food consumption, and this can increase the chance of body fat storage.
5. Don't Consume Processed Sugar
The main role of sugar is to provide the body with glucose. Glucose helps with brain and muscle function, as well as dealing with a fight or flight situation (stress).
The type and amount of glucose and the speed it is used by the body determines if it is used for the functions above, or stored as body fat.
Natural foods have either low amounts of sugar per gram or are absorbed slowly, due to the digestive system having to break down the natural sugar to glucose.
Processed sugar can be consumed in high amounts and absorbed quickly due to it being a form of glucose from the start.
6. Don't Skip Any Main Meals
Eating nutrient-dense food on a regular basis helps maintain energy levels, improved moods, increased concentration levels and can help control food intake.
Even skipping one meal has been shown to drastically lower blood sugar levels and increase the hormone ghrelin. This can lead to an increased craving for foods high in sugar and causing a drastic increase in blood sugar.
7. Get Eight Hours Of Unbroken Sleep Per Night
During periods of deep sleep, the body produces growth hormones such as testosterone, melatonin and human growth hormone.
These hormones are designed to help repair the body from the stresses of the day and make it stronger to face the stresses of tomorrow.
Stress is required to improve our health and fitness, but repair is required to achieve positive benefits from stress. Otherwise, the body only experiences the detrimental effects of stress. Not ideal for prolonged good health.
8. Have One Hour Of Relaxation Per Day
Cortisol is the body's main stress hormone and is produced to help us deal with any stressful situation.
The body can experience stress through the following areas; mental, nutrition, physical, chemical, thermal and electromagnetic.
So you can see, that the production of cortisol can be constant throughout our normal day.
Overproduction of cortisol reduces the production of growth hormones, increasing the chances of poor health.
Having one hour per day of relaxation can help lower cortisol levels back to healthy levels.
Relaxation can range from meditation, listening to relaxing music or reading material that doesn't require a mental challenge.
9. Eat Most Of Your Food From Organic Sources
There has been much debate with regards to the benefits or not of organic food. To help decide if organic food is of benefit to us, we first must ask the question "What is organic food"?
The organic food that this rule refers to is food that can be found growing wild in nature. The more food is subjected to human involvement, the less organic it is.
For example, wild lettuce is more organic than farmed lettuce that is sprayed and handled by humans, but farmed lettuce is more organic than a cereal, due to cereal having to go through the process of being harvested as grain and then turned into the boxed cereal we are all used to.
The more natural the food, the higher it is in the nutrients, vitamins and minerals that the body requires for optimal health.
10. Drink Only Pure Water
Most people are aware that most of the human body is made up of water. Water is required for the body to stay hydrated and we die quicker when no water is present than food.
Maintaining adequate levels of hydration has been shown to improve energy levels, mental concentration, healthy digestive function, along with multiple health benefits.
When we consume fluids besides pure water, we lower the rate of hydration and increase the chance of dehydration.