Health Magazine

Are You Listening To Your Body? You Might Be Surprised At What It’s Telling You

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg

Water = HealthI used to be awful at paying attention.  In college I would sleep through half my classes, probably because I was working 60 hours a week but that’s another story.  When I drive, I tend to zone and not pay attention to the road in front of me or the cars around me (or the screaming of my passengers as I almost hit things).  However, one thing I do pay attention to is my health.  I like noticing what’s going on with my body and then trying to figure out why those things are happening.  It helps me solve problems and improve my health in ways I never imagined.

As an aside, this kind of critical thinking is important in every part of life.  If you want to know why things are happening, pay attention to when they happen and then figure out what happened before, what happened after and what happened during.  Do this enough and you’ll notice patterns that will help you avoid and mitigate problems or take advantage of opportunities.  For example, with enough critical thinking and pattern recognition, you too can figure out everything from when the next recession is due to ways in to increase your sex drive.  Trust me, it’s all a numbers game and you just need to pay attention to the numbers.  However, that aside, let’s get back to the topic of listening to bodies, mine specifically.

Since I’ve changed my diet somewhat over the past few months, I’ve been focusing on what’s going on with my body a bit more than usual.  What I’ve seen ranges from the expected but enlightening to the pleasantly surprising.

Clear Evidence of Water Retention

Yes, you women in the crowd can probably skip past this section but for us men, water retention is this weird thing that only happens to women when they’re pregnant or having their period.  We feign understanding and nod along but honestly we have no clue what you’re talking about.  Now that I’m trying to stick to the 4 Hour Body diet, I’m discovering the truth of water retention.  Sunday morning, after my Saturday cheat day binge eating madness, I wake up and it’s almost impossible for me to take off my wedding band.  My body has retained so much liquid trying to digest the enormous amount of food I ate the day before that my fingers have swollen a whole ring size.  My weight is also much higher than could be accounted for simply from food, which is again due to the extra liquid sloshing around my body.  As Sunday rolls through, a lot of this liquid disappears and my body shrinks in both size and weight.

  • Drinking a large diet coke before a movie when you’re on the 4 Hour Body diet is not recommended.  Your body will not retain any of the liquid since it doesn’t really need it which means you’ll run to the bathroom two or three times making you miss parts of the movie where the Swedish hacker girl stops the serial killer and annoying the hell out of your wife.  Not that this has happened to me or anything…
  • You know all those time you started a diet and saw a lot of weightloss early on and then it stopped?  You know all those people who told you this was just water weight loss and it didn’t mean anything but you ignored them?  Yes, they were right.  It’s amazing how much extra water your body stores up when you’re always running on a full stomach.

Amazing Energy Levels

You know how you felt after eating that giant meal during Thanksgiving?  (for those you reading this from outside the United States; the majority of Americans consume way too much turkey and mashed potatoes on thanksgiving and then spend the rest of the day passed out on the couch in what we like to call a “food coma”).  Well, that feeling occurs after almost every meal when you really start paying attention to it.  Sure, it’s not as bad as when you ate 5lbs of mom’s turkey and stuffing, but it’s definitely there.  That feeling seems to be connected to both quantity of food and type of food.

When I started cutting out sugars from my diet, I also cut a lot of calories overall.  You can see an explanation for that in my previous discussions of the 4 Hour Body diet.  The end result has been incredibly higher and more consistent energy levels.  I no longer falls asleep in afternoon work meetings, I no longer find myself dosing off at my desk after lunch and (ladies pay attention here if your guy isn’t very “perky” lately) I no longer pass out on the couch after dinner.

  • Sugar and caffeine highs are now way more noticeable.  Yes, I have cheated on my diet a few times (sue me!) and the effect was incredible.  My energy level spiked so high my friends thought I was on drugs.  30 minutes to an hour later I crashed right into a nap and a headache.  Lesson learned, no more cheating!
  • I’m finding that I no longer need as much sleep as I did.  I’ve been a big proponent of 8 hours a day or more but this new, much higher energy level seems to be saying something else.  6 hours of sleep?  No problem!  We’ll see how long that lasts though.

Other Effects

  • No matter what you were before, alcohol will now have a quick and stronger impact on you.  Again, there’s nothing in your stomach to stop or soak up that shot of tequila.  That means the whole thing goes right into your blood stream very quickly.  For my bachelor party I drank half a bottle of vodka and then started in on the tequila because I still wasn’t drunk.  Last week I had one drink and I had to cut it off there because I no longer felt confident enough to drive.  Seriously, it’s an incredible difference.
  • Different foods have different impact on my level of hunger post meal.  I did a little experiment with Chipotle burrito bowls.  I kept all other ingrediants the same and simply changed the type of meat.  I tried vegetarian (stir fried onions and peppers), chicken, carnitas (pork), steak and barbacoa (spicy, marinated beef) and the beef won in terms of making me feel full.  The interesting thing is that there’s virtually no difference in calories.  In fact, the barbacoa is slightly less calories than the other meats with the vegetarian option being about 100 calories less than all of them.  Still, the steak option kept me feeling full for hours (for 100 extra calories) whereas I felt hungry about 1 hour after the vegetarian option.  Note that the chicken option, which has about the same amount of protein as the steak, fell somewhere in the middle.  It kept me full for about two to three hours after the meal but not for the four or five hours that the steak option did.  My guess is the higher fat content of the beef made my body feel much better.


Most of these factoids are not shocking revelations.  However, they’re interesting to me since I’m always looking to hack the way my body works.  I want higher energy and more hours during the day and this seems to be an ideal way to get it.  Assuming these results hold up, I can get two to three more usable hours per day and perform better overall.

I highly recommend that all of you start listening to your bodies.  The fact is, there’s an incredible amount of communication that you’re not paying attention to.  Once you start listening, you’ll start cooperating with your body instead of fighting it and the results will be far better.

Oh, one more thing.  Current weight?  216lbs.  That’s 21lbs lost since I came back from my honeymoon in September.  Not too shabby


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