Five-Phase Performance Continuum

Dr. Shawn Talbott (Ph.D., CNS, LDN, FACSM, FACN, FAIS) has gone from triathlon struggler to gut-brain guru! With a Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry, he's on a mission to boost everyday human performance through the power of natural solutions and the gut-brain axis.

Best Future YouHarnessing Your Body’s Biochemistry to Achieve Balance in Body, Mind, and Spirit

My 13th book, Best Future You, is out!

Over the next several weeks, I’ll be posting excerpts from the book and blogging frequently about the main concept in the book – which is the idea of harnessing your body’s internal cellular biochemistry to achieve true balance in body, mind, and spirit – and in doing so, help you to become your “Best Future You” in terms of how you look, how you feel, and how you perform on every level.

Chapter 8 – Perform Your Best

When many people hear the word “performance” they often think about athletes and athletic performance. This connotation is just one of the many ways to properly think about performance. Another definition of performance is simply, “the execution of an action” – while another is “the fulfillment of a promise” – and it is each of these that I think more accurately captures my meaning when I educate people about how reducing cellular stress can improve their performance.

While it’s true that athletes can certainly be among the group of people who want to achieve their highest level of mental and physical performance through optimized cellular stress balance, I also think that everyone should want to achieve their own highest level of performance, no matter what level that may be. For example, you might consider a high level of performance to be one in which you get through a stressful day with enough energy to play with your kids. Another level of performance might be having enough “get up and go” to get up and walk the dog. Yet another level of performance might include starting your own business, or taking up a new hobby, or volunteering in your church or community. These are all examples of how reduced cellular stress can improve performance – and lives – in so many ways that are far outside of the limited thinking around “just” athletic performance (which still might be important for many readers).

I like to think about performance in five stepwise phases that move along a continuum from performance of the mind (mental); to the gut and immune system (which need to perform well in tandem to keep us healthy); to improved metabolic performance (which enhances fat loss, especially belly fat); to improved general fitness (especially the improvement of muscle mass or lean body mass); and finally to the stereotypical “athletic” performance where you’re striving for personal achievement toward a specific goal (competing against yourself or others). The sections that follow will delve into each of these five phases of the performance continuum.

Five-Phase Performance Continuum

  • Phase 1 – Mental Performance (brain ergogenics)
  • Phase 2 – Gut Health (including immune system function)
  • Phase 3 – Body Fat (especially belly fat)
  • Phase 4 – Fitness (especially lean body mass)
  • Phase 5 – Personal Achievement (Best Future You)

Thanks for reading – be sure to tune in for the next installment about “Phase 1 – Mental Performance (brain ergogenics)”

Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN
Nutritional Biochemist and Author
801-915-1170 (mobile)


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The Secret of Vigor – How to Overcome Burnout, Restore Biochemical Balance, and Reclaim Your Natural Energy
Killer at Large – Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat – an award-winning documentary film exploring the causes and solutions underlying the American obesity epidemic
The Cortisol Connection – Why Stress Makes You Fat and Ruins Your Health (Hunter House)
The Cortisol Connection Diet – The Breakthrough Program to Control Stress and Lose Weight (Hunter House)
Cortisol Control and the Beauty Connection – The All-Natural Inside-Out Approach to Reversing Wrinkles, Preventing Acne, And Improving Skin Tone (Hunter House)
Natural Solutions for Pain-Free Living – Lasting Relief for Flexible Joints, Strong Bones and Ache-Free Muscles (Chronicle Publishers – Currant Books)
The Immune Miracle – The All-Natural Approach for Better Health, Increased Energy and Improved Mood (GLH Nutrition, 2012)
A Guide to Understanding Dietary Supplements – an Outstanding Academic Text of 2004 (Haworth Press)
About the Author

Exercise physiologist (MS, UMass Amherst) and Nutritional Biochemist (PhD, Rutgers) who studies how lifestyle influences our biochemistry, psychology and behavior - which kind of makes me a "Psycho-Nutritionist"?!?!

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