Today’s podcast is a book review: Eat Move Sleep, How small Choices Lead to Big Changes. By Tom Rath.
In this book Tom has aggregated a large quantity of knowledge into one location.
He does not do a deep dive on any particular subject.
To make this book useful you must trust what he says.
If you want to deep dive into any specific subject, the author includes hundreds of references.
I agree with the majority of the information, with minor differences on a couple details.
I found this book to be excellent for someone at the beginner to intermediate level.
You could be disappointed if you are an expert in nutrition and fitness.
His thesis is that all of your life choices count towards your overall health. The small choices add up over time.
The author divides the book into 30 chapters. Each chapter represents a day in which he wants you to take some action.
The book is a quick read and has a very high information density to it – minimizing any fluff.
Tom Rath has a rare genetic disorder called Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL). This mutation essentially shuts off a powerful tumor suppressor gene and leads to rampant cancerous growth throughout the body. He did research in order to increase his odds of living longer. As each year went by, he learned more about how he could eat, move, and sleep to improve his chances of living a long and healthy life.
Here are some highlights in no specific order that I got out of reading the book:
I will start with the biggest takeaway for me. I read a lot on fitness and nutrition so most of this content was a review for me. However the immediacy of the impacts of good and bad habits was surprising. The author states “After two hours of sitting, your good cholesterol drops by 20 percent”. This emphasized the urgency of mixing activity with being sedentary. He also states how 1 hour of rigorous exercise does not offset 9 hours of sitting all day at work. I underestimated how bad consecutive hours of sitting was.
The same goes for eating. It seems intuitive but I never thought about how the damage to your system from eating bad food is so immediate. When you eat, the food begins to absorb into your system immediately. It digest in only a few hours. Then it’s over. The damage caused by the bad food can be permanent, such as plaque buildup in arteries or spiking of insulin from sugary foods.
Try to be active all day. Treadmill desks and standing desks offer an alternative. I understand not all people can afford a treadmill desk or has access to these things. If that is the case, walk away from the desk and go for a walk or do some physical activity at least once an hour. If you need to look busy, take a clipboard, walk briskly, and look at your watch a lot. People will think you are late for a meeting. LOL. I keep a couple sets of dumbbells, a dip station, push-up grips, and other items in my office. They don’t take up a lot of room, and they allow me to get a set of push-ups in several times a day.
Use habits and organization to make exercising as convenient as possible.
Use measurements to track your progress. We can improve what we can measure.
The quality of what you eat is important.
Maximize your fruits and vegetables. Minimize your carbs/sugars.
I add that quantity still matters. A reduced calorie diet is very important.
Forget about fad diets. So many people fall into a trap thinking there are shortcuts. (Atkins, supplements, grapefruit)
Eat a well balanced diet of good quality food.
Be aware of where your food comes from and read the ingredients labels. Many healthy looking foods are not.
“Sugar is a toxin. It fuels diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and cancer.” Avoid all added sugar.
Use habits and organization to make eating healthy as convenient as possible.
Sleep is very important. It boosts immunity and mental/physical performance.
On average, the best performers slept 8 hours and 36 minutes. Get adequate sleep.
Skipping sleep impacts overall performance.
Snooze button sleep doesn’t count, it’s a waste of time.
If you are stressed, take a nap. Sleep it off.
At the end of each of the 30 chapters, there are 3 tips listed. Here are some highlights:
Ask yourself if the next food you put in your mouth is a net gain or a net loss. Repeat throughout the day.
Identify one way you can work without sitting, right now. Test it out tomorrow.
Pick one food or drink you sweeten regularly — artificially or with sugar — and consume it without the added
sweetener for a week.
Select one way to measure your daily movement. Use a pedometer, watch, GPS, smartphone, or manual
log to start tracking your activity today.
Replace chips, crackers, and snack bars with nuts, seeds, apples, celery, and carrots.
Wake up at the same general time every day of the week to keep your internal clock on track.
Start every meal with the most healthy item on your plate, and end with the least.
When you want a quick snack, take a handful and leave the bag or box behind.
Identify one person who will check in regularly and hold you accountable for staying active. This could be a
friend, coach, or personal trainer.
Know your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. If you don’t know these numbers, check them in the next
month. Then retest at least once per year.
Make small decisions quickly to get them out of the way. But when you need to make a big decision, always
sleep on it first.
Try a new micro-activity today, like taking the stairs or parking far away from the door.

Overall I find this book a great resource. I give it a high recommend.

Use the book as a reference. Put it in the bathroom and read it every time you go poop. This information is much more useful than reading what your friend posted on Facebook.