4 min|Rhiannon Lockhart
Let Biohacking Be Your New Year GoalWellness, Health, Biohacking
It’s the time of year to start planning your New Year’s goals!Many people will be tempted to make goals like: start a ketogenic diet, go to the gym, start running, try a vegan diet, start intermittent fasting, etc. But have you thought about whether that’s what your body needs? Instead, let biohacking be your New Year goal.
Why biohacking?Biohacking, in its true state, is based around an individual approach to health, nutrition and lifestyle. An individual approach means ignoring the noise around you about what everyone else says is best and finding out what works for you. Hard, right? It doesn’t have to be.When we take an individualized approach to health, we see results. Why not take some extra time to find out what works for you rather than literally running yourself ragged to see it make no difference.
What is biohacking?Generally speaking, biohacking is just about testing. It can be done by yourself (i.e. noticing how you feel after a high-carb meal), with data-driven wearables (like a continuous glucose monitor) or through clinical testing (like bloodwork). (1) It was born out of Silicon Valley from those who were looking to perform their best both physically and mentally. Today, many people have similar goals: how to optimize their life.
Biohacking for fitness:It is common for many people to have a resolution to start working out come January first. That is great! Physical activity is essential for a healthy heart, better hormones, stress management, better sleep… the list goes on. However, choosing the right types of exercise is even more important.
Using DNA testing and DUTCH (hormone) testing, we can determine whether you are better off lifting weights, booking a yoga class or running marathons. Our DNA testing provides us insight into the type of exercise that is best suited for your genetics, while hormone testing can tell us whether you can tolerate high-intensity exercise at this time or need something more restorative to bring your body back to alignment. (2)
Biohacking for diet:Contrary to what the media says: a ketogenic/vegan/vegetarian/paleo diet is not fool-proof for all. If your goal is weight loss and inflammation reduction, it is best to see what diet suits you for more sustainable results. (3)
Again, utilizing genetic testing, we are able to see what types of foods and macronutrients your body can process best, which you should avoid (i.e. lactose or gluten) or how much of each you can tolerate. This also gives you a better understanding of which diet may be most suited to you long-term. For example, if you do not process fats well and need a high-protein diet, a ketogenic diet would not be ideal for you.
Looking at your gut health allows us to see if there are imbalances that need to be addressed before you can start feeling your best.
Biohacking for mental focus:A culmination of testing provided in the Integrative Biohacking Program will allow you to understand how your genetics, hormones and gut may be playing a role in your mental health. (4) This will allow you to alter your diet and lifestyle habits to optimize your productivity.
Biohacking for weight loss:Similar to mental focus, the culmination of testing available in the Integrative Biohacking Program helps us to choose which diet, fitness regime, lifestyle habits, and supplements may be best for you. (5)
Here's an example:Stacy has taken up running, intermittent fasting and a vegetarian diet for her new year resolution in an attempt to lose 10 pounds. She runs each day, starts her day with a black coffee and fasts until noon. Stacy breaks her fast with a salad, topped with chickpeas, sweet potatoes, dried cranberries, and then has a banana. Stacy hasn’t lost any weight in the 3 months she’s tried this, but now she’s extremely tired and always hungry.
When we look at Stacy’s testing, we actually see that she needs lots of protein, does better with weight lifting and she’s dealing with cortisol (a hormone) imbalance. None of what she had done before has been helpful! In fact, it’s actually gone against what her body naturally needs - protein, eating right when she wakes up, and avoiding high-intensity exercise. When we switch Stacy’s routine and add in some supplements, Stacy notices a big shift in her weight, energy and focus.
Can I biohack on my own?A no-cost approach to biohacking is possible, it just may take some time to find the results you want. If you choose to take a self-testing approach to biohacking, be sure to include detailed journaling regarding your energy, sleep, bowel movements, weight, athletic performance, physical injuries and anything else you want to measure.
What is the Integrative Biohacking Program?The Integrative Biohacking Program takes an individualized and functional approach to your health and wellness. Learn about it all here.
Rhiannon is the Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Integrative. She has a passion for making healthy eating easy, accessible and fun, loves getting outside, and enjoys spending time with her dog, Chloe!