How is your diet?

Most Americans see themselves as either too fat or too skinny, with the great majority thinking they could lose a few kilograms (or pounds).  The typical response to this malady is to go on a “diet” to lose weight.  The typical American diet is a short-term fix that rarely addresses the long-term issues that led to the overweight condition in the first place.

Let’s talk a little more about the word Diet before we move on to the point of today’s post.

Diet can be both a noun and a verb.  When you actively undertake activities to lose weight or manage weight that is the verb form.  The noun form is the process itself, and this can consist of many factors.

Diets are not just about what we eat from a food context.

We each have a learning diet, or we should think of our lives in that sense.

If you had to look at the value of what you are learning, would your learning diet be more like “fast food” or “health food”?  I am going to guess that you would say fast food, and in that you are not alone.

It does not take long when you click through the channels of most television sets to see that there is little on the tube to intellectually stimulate the mind.  Reality TV is a lot like those French fries many of us eat (I do not touch them).  They may give some short term enjoyment, but there is little long term value and consistent ingestion of this type of “food” can lead to long term problems.

What should your learning diet include?  Let’s take a look at the “major food groups” as I see them:

  • Complex carbs-this would be material that provides some long term fuel, but is also not too difficulty to digest.  Magazines can satisfy this learning need, and I would encourage you to digest magazines or other periodicals such as the Wall Street Journal, The Economist or other business focused journals.
  • Simple carbs-these are more like the sugars we get in every day life-too much of this will rot your teeth or your brain.  Most television is like the simple carb and most reading materials are the same way.  I try to stay clear of too much of this garbage, but I get sucked in every once in a while (John Grisham is a simple carb I sometimes enjoy)
  • High Fiber-Many of you would prefer to stay away from the high fiber area.  Fiber can sometimes be easy to ingest, but the back end consequences can sometimes be painful or discomforting.  The Classics can sometimes be like a high fiber diet, but the classics are more of a cross between high fiber and protein (stay tuned).  We all need a dose of fiber and the longer we wait to use it, the more painful it becomes. 
  • Proteins-just as a food protein provides essential nutrients to the body, learning protein does the same.  Learning proteins can be like the complex carbs we talked about earlier, but I also see proteins being more industry specific versus the general business focus of most complex carbs. 

There you have it.  Your learning diet needs to more closely resemble your food diet.  Most of us get too much “sugar” and not enough protein in our diets.  A dose of fiber keeps things moving along, but too much fiber can be painful unless you have built up a tolerance for this in your diet.

Think about what you read and watch just like you were ingesting it like food.

What long term benefit will your learning diet provide?

Are you intellectually obese or are you fit?

We will be back talk more about this.

For now, put down that sugary snack and find a good complex carb or protein to get your brain back on track.