Summary of The Better Man Project by Bill Phillips

I was walking around in the library looking for Man 2.0 and found this on the same shelf – the tag line is 2,476 tips and techniques, that will flatten your belly, sharpen your mind, and keep you healthy and happy for life. This is, in short, a very comprehensive compilation of tips and techniques from Men’s Health magazine compiled into a book. Here are things that I took away from this book:

  • I found the chapter on Life Snatchers and Age Accelerators to be quite interesting – there’s a table that talks about the top seven man killers by age group. For instance, if you are 30 – 34, then accidents, suicides, murder, heart disease, cancer, HIV and then diabetes, in that order, are the top seven killers for that age group. As you get older, heart disease and cancer become the major killers and then its chronic lung diseases, chronic liver diseases, diabetes, stroke and then accidents.
  • On eating: top five tips include eating more foods from the produce aisle (or in other words, try to eat more plants), eat some protein at every meal (this doesn’t have to be meat), replace processed grains with whole grains (e.g., buy whole grain bread and cereal), break up with sugar and drink more water. There’s a nice list of 70 powerfoods to eat – a lot of the foods have been covered in a number of articles but there are things like purslane or dandelion greens that I have not seen before which was interesting to me. The usual powerfoods such as spinach, kale, onions, garlic, eggplant, beets, berries, legumes, nuts and seeds are covered.
  • On fitness: keep on moving, walking more and sitting less will improve your health, stretch and strengthen your hamstrings and glutes (the book also recommends doing a standing hamstring stretch and hip raises to help with this), lift heavy things after you reach 30 (because your muscles start to atrophy at that point) and treat your body like a temple.
  • One of the things that I learned was about lifting too slowly – explosive lifting leads to fast gains because it activates fast-twitch muscle fibres – this is something that I’ll have to try because I definitely lift weights somewhat slowly
  • On sleep: sleep at the same time every night, use your bed for only two things – sleep and sex, turn out all of the lights, don’t stress, and keep your bedroom cool.
  • On keeping your brain healthy: meditate, be social, learn new things, exercise and manage your stress appropriately (don’t eat junk food, drink or gamble when you are feeling stressed)

Hope you had a great Christmas break and a very Happy New Year!

Wang

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