The key to a long, healthy life is understanding what’s going on inside one’s body and taking actions as a result. As the saying goes, “We can only improve what we can measure.”
There is a lot of advice on what one should eat and when, and what effects it will have on one’s health. Without factual information on the state of affairs of one’s body, these suggestions are at best harmless shots in the dark, and at worst dangerous. Imagine if one were to buy the top 5 diet plan recommendation books and cut out all the food they may say is “the problem.” You would most likely find it very difficult to eat anything at all. These recommendations may be acceptable for some set of the population, but how do you know they are right for you? Maybe they are, perhaps they aren’t, and you are left to experiment on yourself to see what you may feel works best, without any measurable indicators to show what is happening.
That process is not the best way to go about things. But it is more or less what most other people and I have been doing because it is all we knew was available to us. InsideTracker changes this. InsideTracker is an app-based platform that combines the results of a straightforward blood test, DNA testing, and information from everyday wearables like a Fitbit. I am so enthusiastic about this platform. It takes an astonishing amount of data, gives me precise recommendations, and makes it specific to me and my situation. Ninety percent of our health outcomes are based on very specific behaviors on our part, what we are eating and our activities. The difficulty for us consumers is discerning what to do out of the ocean of information that comes our way. This is exactly what InsideTracker does: it tells me what to do and when to get that ninety percent done correctly.
InsideTracker Personalized Health Action Plan
The InsideTracker platform is based on 43 blood markers, and they have investigated hundreds. Their recommendations are based on a whopping 1.68 million data points of total blood markers tested.
When Dr. Gil Blander, an expert in longevity and biometric data, founded the company in 2009, he thought to himself: We can do better to optimize people’s health. Working alongside some of the world leaders in aging research, such as MIT biologist Dr. Leonard Guarente and Harvard geneticist Dr. David Sinclair, the idea for an automated, algorithm-based personalized nutrition and lifestyle platform was born. Since then, as the science has continued to advance, InsideTracker’s analysis and recommendations have only become more refined and targeted.
Using the InsideTracker platform, I now have biometrics information in blood markers, activity tracker, and DNA testing. This data is then seen through the lens of my personal goals, with the result being highly personalized recommendations for me to take on daily. Contrast that with my very well-meaning and highly competent doctor, who will say, for example, “Your LDL is a bit high; we should keep an eye on that.” Great, but what I want is an action plan of what to do before I get to the level of needing medication.
Choose Your Goal
Here is a tour of what the InsideTracker platform does.
My own goal at the moment is to regain the strength I have lost over the last year due to not having access to a gym. Other options on the platform are gut health, fat loss, endurance, metabolism, inner age, injury prevention/recovery, stress, sleep, immunity, cognition, energy, and heart health. Once I have my strength back to where I am satisfied, I will probably switch goals to optimizing my inner age. The platform easily accommodates a switch.
How does this work? I was given a range of recommendations that cover foods, supplements, activity and lifestyle. Each one is ranked with a score that measures its impact.
Daily Check-In: Small Changes Have a Big Impact
There were 14 recommendations in my plan, of which I chose to act on 12. One of the attributes of the platform that I most appreciate is the daily check-in. It helps me remember that small changes made over time can have a big impact, but that I need to be consistent with them. By doing so, I watch my wellness score gradually increase.
Some of the changes that were recommended to me based on my current health and my goals were:
Incorporate probiotic foods (Yogurt in the morning; sauerkraut, kimchi, or pickles with dinner)
Increase cardio intensity to 5x week
Take alpha-lipoic acid supplements
Take a psyllium supplement
Take a creatine supplement
Get 7-8 hours of sleep
Incorporate more olive oil
Take a garlic supplement
Eat more high-fiber fruits (Usually an apple)
Eat more oatmeal (Something I have not done in decades)
Eat a meal before and after my workouts (This has been a game-changer)
Rest muscles properly between sets
Each one of these suggestions is accompanied by explanations, including how much of a relative impact it could have. Since my main issue was my 115 LDL, which is on the high side of the scale, many of these were targeting my LDL with the intention of lowering it.
I have been carefully measuring both my weight and my strength since I started with InsideTracker. My weight is holding steady at 167 pounds, but my strength is much improved. I have been able to steadily up the weights at the gym and now, at 62 years old, I can do 80 pushups straight through. Ok, that is a bit of a brag, but it is for real. I can feel my body is getting back to where it was through getting the optimal amount of exercise, sleep, nutrients, and fuel. The before and after gym meals, something that I never did before, make a huge difference. That and many of the other recommendations would not have occurred to me without InsideTracker.
There is so much noise out there around health and nutrition, and so much of it is confusing and contradictory. The result is often a sense of powerlessness and paralysis. What should I really be doing for myself? InsideTracker removed this confusion, answering my questions around what precisely I should be doing. With this level of information, we can move forward confidently with actions that are exactly right for each of us.
David is the founder and face of AGEIST. He is an expert on, and a passionate champion of the emerging global over-50 lifestyle. A dynamic speaker, he is available for panels, keynotes and informational talks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.
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