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Quick wins

If I have learnt one thing from my experiences of using the Seven Practices to focus on wellbeing it is that my journey was personal to me. As much as I listen to the experts and seek advice it is only when I take the time to check in with my feelings and ascertain if I actually feel better that I can understand how something is impacting my wellbeing.

From this perspective it can be argued that quick wins simply do not exist. It is improbable that every recommendation made by one individual, which would be based on their unique experiences, could ever apply directly to somebody else as well.

However, every now and again I come across a framework that makes so much sense that it transcends the challenge of experimenting with wellbeing by simply laying out the path to wellness.

That is what I found when I came across Peter Attia’s framework for eating well. His expert guidance goes a step further than suggesting what food to eat and looks at when we eat and how much we eat as well. In this framework, health and wellbeing occur as a result of the interplay between those three areas – showing that you can support health without just restricting your choice of food.

I have been able to manage my Crohn’s disease by experimenting with frameworks and ideas just like this.

How it fits together

The three different elements of this framework are:

Time restriction (TR):
A key element of supporting health through your food practice is the consideration of when you eat. Fasting allows the gut to rest, freeing up the brain for other tasks and responsibilities. It also allows our gut biome to take a break; encouraging a healthier digestion. You can fast daily (also known as intermittent fasting) by restricting your eating to an 8 hour window, giving the body 14-16 hours of recovery each day. E.g. eat only between 12.00 and 20.00.

Quantity consumed restriction (CR):
The volume of food you eat will have a direct impact on your overall health. Wellbeing is found in the balanced approach and any overindulgence of food can be a significant barrier to living a long and healthy life. Over indulgence of food is not well documented among Centennials!

Diet restriction (DR):
Your choice of food plays a major part too, but no more an important role than either of the other two parts of this framework. Allowing unhealthy foods is almost as important as restricting them. It is all about balance as we said earlier.

Peter Attia’s framework, taken from his Instagram

The real magic of this framework is found when you look at how the three elements interplay with each other. TR, CR and DR are all given equal value and the framework challenges you to pull a certain number of restrictions each day instead.

Everyday you pull at least one restriction, 3-4 days a week you pull two restrictions and 1-2 days a week you pull all three restrictions. It really is as simple as that. Not one mention of specific foods, just guidance and a clear framework for you to apply to your own life.

Monday and Tuesday:

– Fasting (TR)

– Food choice (DR)

– Portion size (CR)

Wednesday and Thursday:

– Fasting (TR)

– Portion size (CR)

– Naughty snacks

Friday and Saturday:

– Food choice (DR)

– Portion size (CR)

– Eat whenever you like

Sunday:

– Fasting (TR)

– Naughty snacks

– Go back for seconds

You can still eat everything you wanted to eat before; as long as you know that on a day you want to eat that massive portion of cake you would also need to fast. And you can still eat whenever you want to eat as long as you know that on those days you must also watch what you eat and how much of it you eat. You can use this framework to manage your food practice in an organised and stress-free way, empowering your health without cutting anything out your diet.

How can you apply this framework to your life today?

Link to Peter Attia’s video where he explains this framework: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B37oAhCAhLr/?igshid=x453tzf3hzy5

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