The legacy health and fitness industry wants you to believe that managing calories and exercise are the only two factors for getting healthy and staying healthy. That one-size-fits-all approach is both narrow-minded and negligent. If you want to finally get a body and life you love (and keep your results), there are six important pillars you need to focus on.
When people find out what I do for a living they start grilling me with questions.
“So…what’s your take on the carb debate?”
“I got XYZ brand of protein powder and I’m taking it after every workout. Is that a good brand?”
“I don’t know why I’m not successful. I’ve cut calories down to 1200 per day and I’m exercising 6 days a week. I don’t eat a lot of fat. I should be on a magazine cover by now! Do you know what’s wrong with me?”
Let me be real with you for a second. None of that shit matters.
In fact, the more you obsess over minutiae like protein powders, the number of calories you need, the perfect macronutrient ratio, and all this other nonsense, the less you’ll focus on the things that matter.
So, what does matter? What will finally get you to success?
Below are my six pillars of achieving phenomenal physical and mental health. These are the pillars that Total Body Reboot is based on. They’re the pillars I personally live by.
If you implement these six pillars you’re going to find more success than you’ve ever had. And you’ll likely to maintain that success forever because these are sound, practical principles.
Pillar #1: Eat Real Food.
70% or more of the calories consumed in our generation come from foods that attack the gut, drive up inflammation, impair the immune system, dysregulate hormones, and eventually cause disease.
The solution is to redefine what real food is so you can eat the delicious, wholesome food your body was designed to eat while avoiding the industrialized foods that break your body.
There’s no obsession required with this philosophy. You can stop tracking food and weighing yourself. You can stop counting calories and you can ditch the spreadsheets. You can also ditch the magic potions, special supplements from far away lands, and fancy powders.
When you change what you’re putting in your mouth—in combination with the other five pillars—the “how much?” and “when?” questions take care of themselves.
It’s not magic. It’s how your body naturally works when you stop hammering it with industrial foods.
Pillar #2: Nurture Your Gut.
Let me blow your mind for a second.
There are 100 trillion microbes in the human gut with over 1000 different species represented. In terms of complexity of function, the gut is second only to the human brain.
Not only is your gut the first line of defense for your entire body, it’s where 95% or more of your serotonin is produced.
You wouldn’t consciously damage your brain, would you? Then why bring so much harm to your second brain – your gut?
The majority of adults are suffering from a range of ailments related to poor gut health and don’t know it: digestive distress, reflux, low energy, mood instability, sleep problems, diarrhea/constipation, slow metabolism or trouble losing weight, anxiety or other mental/emotional stability issues, and frequent illness.
Healing the gut can heal a variety of nagging issues and is a key component to long-term wellness.
You’ve probably been unaware of how important your gut is up to this point. And maybe you’ve been unaware of the damage industrial foods do to your body.
Well, now you know. If you want to look great and feel great, it’s time to start treating your gut better.
Pillar #3: Balance Your Hormones.
Hormones control every major function of your body including hunger, activity level, mental function, and metabolism.
Sounds important, right?
When you eat industrial food products like wheat, sugar, and seed oils, you screw up your hormones.
When you get poor quality sleep or neglect sleep all together, you screw up your hormones.
When you live a stressful life, you screw up your hormones.
Blood sugar hormones, hunger and satiety hormones, circadian hormones, and steroid hormones are all thrown out of balance with poor food and lifestyle choices.
This makes life miserable in the short-term. Your energy sucks, your body becomes inflamed and overweight, and you don’t feel good.
Continue that lifestyle for decades and you’ll end up with permanent damage and progressive disease.
For most people, out-of-balance hormones are not something that need to be addressed medically. Always start with food and lifestyle. Commit to the Six Pillars and you’ll establish natural hormone balance.
Pillar #4: Move Your Body.
One of the biggest evolutionary mismatches we face as a society is the movement mismatch. Our bodies are built to move – they need to move in order to function properly.
Yet, we live in a world where almost all movement is done for us. We have trains, plains, and automobiles. We have Segways and electric skateboards. Elevators and escalators.
We also don’t play much anymore. Movement is either forced or forgotten. A chore to be avoided.
The result is that we are the first generation facing an epidemic of pathological sedentism.
The antidote to this – and one of the pillars of looking great and feeling great for the rest of your life – is intentional, intrinsically motivated movement.
The health and fitness industry wants to sell you crazy fitness products, expensive gym memberships, and high-powered trainers.
Our culture encourages you to have a poor relationship with exercise, always peddling a “no pain, no gain” philosophy.
This makes you think that the only way to win the fitness battle is to “suck it up” and will your way to success.
Wrong. This is completely antithetical to the psychology of human behavior. The solution is much simpler than that – intentional, intrinsically motivated movement.
Pillar #5: Master Your Inner-Psychology
Decent trainers and coaches will tell you that getting a body you love is 70% diet and 30% exercise.
Great trainers and coaches will tell you that getting a body you love is 70% diet and 30% everything else (including things like sleep, rest, digestion, etc.)
And yet, they’re all still missing the big picture.
Diet, exercise, sleep, gut health, hormones – none of that stuff matters if the human being in question doesn’t consistently do what they know they’re supposed to do.
Knowing what to eat doesn’t mean you’ll make the right choice day after day.
Knowing how to exercise doesn’t mean you’ll get off the couch or make the time.
Knowing about hormones and gut health and sleep doesn’t mean your lifestyle choices will respect the importance of those things.
That’s why I said that getting a body and life you love is 20% mechanics and 80% psychology.
The mechanics (knowing what to do) are important, but psychology is the critical piece. Looking great and feeling great for the rest of your life isn’t an information or logic problem. It’s a heart, soul, and psychology problem.
Human behavior – especially in a world with many evolutionary mismatches – is ruled not by logic but emotion.
And emotion is ruled by things like toxic beliefs, negative self-talk, adverse childhood experiences, core human cravings, symbolic substitutes, addiction, internal personas, and stress.
The more disorder there is in your life and your head, the more disorder there will be in your eating and lifestyle habits.
The more suppressed or undeveloped your emotional metabolism is, the more susceptible you’ll be to stress, eating triggers, and medicating foods.
This is why I declared the Health and Fitness Industry Dead and stepped up to fill this gap.
It’s easy to feed you diet food and supplements, exercise equipment and programs, and calorie tracking booklets. And it’s easy for you to invest in those things because far-fetched promises sound great when you are thirsty for success.
The best thing you can do is ignore all that.
Commit to mastering your inner-psychology instead. It’s the only thing that will propel you fast enough to finally break free from the gravity of the failure triggers that have been plaguing you for years.
Pillar #6: Embrace Your Individuality
The days of one-size-fits-all advice are over. No two people are the same and wellness recommendations shouldn’t pretend they are.
The legacy fitness and dieting industry are notorious for believing that you’re nothing but a mouth with limbs. “Eat this, in this amount, and move these things like this.”
For programs/coaches/trainers to be relevant moving forward they must ditch the “rules and guidelines” approach and start using a “tools and practices” approach.
As a consumer, you must wholly reject the “rules and guidelines” style products, the quick fixes and magic pills, and the outlandish empty promises.
All advice needs to be individualized based on the biopsychosocial factors that are unique to you. This is why our programs operate as frameworks instead of like traditional programs.
We apply our framework to your body and life and your response to that framework gives us feedback that we use to make adjustments specific to your individual needs. From there, it’s just a step by step process of dialing in your personal wellness code.
Once your code is complete, you have a legitimate strategy that will serve you for the rest of your life.
Of course, this “whole person” approach accounts for every aspect of you. It’s not just food and exercise, it’s every biopsychosocial factor.
Why? Because that’s what’s required for real success (unless you buy the story that you’re just a “mouth with limbs”).
Reaching your goals and staying there is about respecting that you’re a unique, whole person. And if you decide you want help getting from point A to point B, you must find someone who respects that.
How to Follow Through With Making Lifestyle Changes
We’re glad you found us – likely through Google, social media, or our podcast. We publish articles like this in the hopes that men and women around the world who are struggling with their body and health will find us.
What you have to understand, though, is that reading articles – while helpful – is no substitute for having a sound action plan, guidance, and support.
Trying to figure out all this stuff on your own is a proven recipe for failure. So is investing in crash dieting plans and other mainstream quick fixes. Those programs will get you short-term success, but fail you in the long run.
What you need is an authentic, practical, sustainable program focused on the core pillars of human health combined with a support system to guide you and hold you accountable.
This is why we built our online academy with powerful programs like Total Body Reboot and Decode Your Cravings. These are the programs that serious men and women follow when they want to end the years of failure and frustration they’ve experienced and finally achieve success without obsession, perfectionism, or the misery of dieting.
If you’re ready to finally get a body and life you love by fully applying the Six Pillars, get started today.
Kevin Geary is the founder of RebootedBody.com and a respected expert on cravings, eating psychology, and long-term habit change. He’s helped tens of thousands of men and women in over 35 countries around the world through his online academy and now offers all of his signature programs through a “pay what you want” model.