The High Performance Journal

4 Minute Fridays: The Mental Trick To Improving Your Sleep, The Best Nutrient For Fat Loss, And Every Desk Needs This In the Winter

4 minute fridays Dec 01, 2023

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I was talking with a psychologist the other day and I asked him what he does when a client feels anxious.

Here's what he said... Before working on the emotion he gets them to stand up and do air squats to failure. He acts as a trainer and gets them to do a few more reps than they thought they had in them. When they're done they've miraculously gained control of their minds and this creates an environment where they can effectively work on their issues. That convo reminded me of something my mentor always tells me,

"You must exhaust the body to tame the mind" So the next time you feel a strong emotion avoid the food or drink. Go get some exercise instead. Your brain and body will thank you for it.

That being said...

Here is your 4 Minute Friday:

1. The Mental Trick To Improving Your Sleep Quality

One of the habits I'm bringing into 2024 is the evening journal. It's where I'll post my thoughts, wins, lessons, and priorities for the next day.

One of the things I will be journaling about is gratitude. Here's one reason why...

The University of Manchester did a study on 400 adults of all ages. They completed a questionnaire on gratitude, sleep, and pre-sleep thoughts.

What they found was that those who practiced gratitude correlated with fewer negative thoughts at bedtime and this was associated with being able to get to sleep faster for longer periods.

They concluded that having a gratitude practice predicted better subjective sleep quality and improved daytime performance.

For myself at the end of each night, I will write out 3 things I'm grateful for and why I'm grateful for them.

Will let you know what happens to my sleep once it's done.

2. Every Desk Needs This In The Winter

It's called a Light Therapy Lamp.

The winter is cold, harsh, and lacks a significant amount of sunlight.

Humans are solar-powered. We need light to help our bodies function properly.

Light controls our circadian rhythms, hormones, and, to a large degree, our mood. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that usually occurs each year during fall and winter due to lack of sunlight and staying indoors.

Light Therapy Lamps mimic outdoor light. This type of light may cause a chemical change in your brain, which lifts your mood & eases other symptoms of SAD.

Read this before buying a Therapy Lamp:

  • You want ones made specifically for SAD
  • The recommended intensity of brightness is 10,000 lux.
  • Choose light boxes that filter out most UV light to protect your eyes
  • You want it small enough to fit on your desk

To start I'd turn it on for an hour at a time to see how you adapt to it. If you don't intend to be outside in the winter get this to supplement your light exposure.

Here's the lamp I use that I got from Amazon.

3. The Best Nutrient For Fat Loss

There is a room called a whole-body calorimetry unit. It's like a big metal chamber that measures energy expenditure.

Researchers thought it would be a great idea to gather up 43 healthy men and women between 18 and 35 and lock them in that room for 32 hours (twice).

Participants were divided into 2 groups:

Group 1: Normal protein diet (the control) - This group ate 3 meals and 2 snacks on the first day, slept in the room, and had breakfast the next day. All meals were whole food and consumed 2100 calories and 83 grams of protein.

Group 2: High protein diet - This group ate the same calories and meals as the first group. The difference was this group ate 211 grams of protein. These meals consisted of soy protein powder and olive oil blended into low-fat milk. Yuck.

Both groups walked for 40 minutes a day and then sat around. After a few weeks, they switched places and did it again.

Here's what they found:

  1. The high protein diet resulted in a larger calorie burn.
  2. The high protein group burned 80 more calories a day compared to the control group.
  3. The high protein group burned 17 more calories while sleeping.
  4. Based on the 24 hour respiratory exchange ratio, the high protein group burned more fat throughout the day.

Protein is the most important macronutrient on the planet. It's both anabolic and thermogenic, which means it helps you build muscle and burn fat.

For optimal results, we get our clients to aim for .8 grams per pound of bodyweight.

Not all protein sources were created equal though. Click here for a list of some of the best ones on the planet.

Client Of The Week - Ashley, Entrepreneur


Ashely is an entrepreneur who wants to lose weight, boost energy, and feel confident in her body again.

Her biggest struggle was her eating habits & keeping up with her kids while running her business.

She wanted a plan that fit her busy lifestyle and helped her get back into her little black dress.

In 6 months she's dropped 47 pounds, doubled her energy levels, and feels more confident in her body than ever.

If you're an entrepreneur who wants to be confident in your body and increase energy in a way that fits your busy life click here for a strategy call. 


One Quote to Finish Your Week Strong

"Give your mind and heart the destination and your internal success mechanism will find the way to get you there"
- My friend Cory Muscara's dad from his speech on his wedding day

Your mind is an internal success mechanism. You give it the objective and it finds a way to achieve it.

The first step is to get clear about what you want. Write that out and you'll be surprised at what you accomplish.

- Dan


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