The High Performance Journal

4 Minute Fridays: The Cheapest Way To Eliminate Low Back Pain, A Supplement To Improve Brain Power, The Danger Of Doing A Very Low Calorie Diet

4 minute fridays Jun 28, 2024

Read time: 3.8 minutes

Welcome to 4 Minute Fridays, my weekly newsletter where I reveal cutting-edge tips to help you get lean, boost energy, and live longer.

What's In Store For Today:

  • The cheapest way to eliminate low back pain
  • A supplement to improve brain power
  • The dangers of doing a very low-calorie diet

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Hey friend,

The other day, I was talking to a client who had set a goal earlier in the year to run a marathon.

When he stated the goal to me, I asked him why he chose that goal, and his answer was that he just thought it was cool to hit in his 40s.

Fast forward 5 months later and he decided to stop training for the marathon.

He realized that, while it was a nice goal, it didn't align with his life.

The amount of training that goes into running a marathon was a couple of hours a week, which he wasn't willing to do.

Plus, the training made him constantly tired, took time away from his family & business, and he didn't even like doing it.

This is a reminder that "event" goals (like running a marathon or entering a bodybuilding competition) are sometimes not worth it.

They're arbitrary at best, and unless you really love the sport, the time and effort necessary to achieve them are in direct competition with the important things in life (family, business, etc.).

This is not to discourage you from trying to achieve them if that's what you want to do.

This is to remind ourselves to pause and ask why we want what we want and to look at the 2nd consequence that would happen if we tried to achieve it.

Sometimes, the juice is not worth the squeeze.

That said...

Here Is Your 4 Minute Friday:

1. The Cheapest Way To Eliminate Low Back Pain

Alright, we all know back pain sucks. I've had to deal with it and it's one of the most debilitating things I ever had to go through.

But guess what? The solution is not hidden in some overpriced gadget or magic pill.

It's as simple as putting one foot in front of the other. Otherwise known as walking.

A new study found walking over 130min/week leads to:

  • 46% Decreased recurrence
  • 28% Reduced activity limitations
  • 43% Lowered care seeking

The authors stated,

“Our results suggest that this intervention could substantially reduce the personal and societal burden due to low back pain if widely implemented.”

Walking is literally one of the most underrated exercises on the planet.

First off, it doesn't cost a damn thing: no fancy gym membership or overpriced yoga classes.

Next, you can do it anytime and anywhere. I put a treadmill under my desk. Heck, you can even do laps around your living room if you want.

Finally, it boosts blood flow and releases a lubricant in your joints called synovial fluid. It is one of the best things you can do for your mental health.

So what are you waiting for? Put your shoes on and get to stepping.

2. A Supplement To Improve Brain Power

One of the worst parts of getting older is shrinkage.

No, I'm not talking about "that" shrinkage. I'm talking about our brains.

As we age, our brains lose volume, which leads to the dreaded cognitive decline.

But here’s the kicker – you can actually do something about it.

A recent study took a deep dive into this. They looked at 6,001 people, all cognitively sharp and aged between 40 to 73.

The focus? How much magnesium these folks were getting from their diet and how it affected their brain structure as they aged.

They found that boosting your magnesium intake might be the key to keeping your brain in top shape as you age.

Results showed that higher magnesium intake (550 mg/day) was enough to sustain brain volume, especially in gray matter and the hippocampus.

Foods high in magnesium:

  • Spinach (78g)
  • Beans: Black beans (60 mg)
  • Soy products: Soy milk (61 mg) or edamame (50 mg)
  • Protein: Peanut butter, smooth (49 mg)
  • Grains: Brown rice (42 mg)
  • Seafood: Salmon (26 mg)
  • Dairy products: Yogurt (42 mg) and milk (24–27 mg)
  • Fruits: Avocados (22 mg) and bananas (32 mg)

Personally, I take a magnesium supplement to ensure I meet my daily needs. Here's the one I take.

Ask Me Anything - My daily supplement routine

Question From Yani: Is it possible to over do being in a caloric deficit? Can too little calories ever be bad? I feel like my metabolism has slowed down significantly.

My answer: Thanks for the question Yani!

There are several dangers to having too low a caloric deficit, especially if you don't have that much weight to lose.

The first is that it most likely will lead to gaining the weight back just as fast as you lost it. Going super low calorie can increase hunger and appetite hormones causing you to gain weight through overcompensation.

The second is the effect it can have on your metabolism. Cutting calories too aggressively can damage muscle, one of your body's most metabolically active tissues.

Finally, is that it promotes the idea of fast results. You have to realize that the fastest way to gain weight is to try to lose it as quickly as possible.

Go at a moderate pace, which can be around 1% of total bodyweight loss per week.

Client Of The Week - Kyle, Entrepreneur


Kyle is an entrepreneur who wanted to lose his beer belly and get lean for the summer.

In 16 weeks, we dropped 33 lbs of fat and added 19 lbs of lean mass to his body while improving his energy levels!

Our strategy:

  • Started lifting weights so he could gain muscle while losing body fat.
  • We set up a meal plan that delivered automatic meals into his possession so he didn't have to think about what he ate.
  • For movement, we chose to employ walking 8-10k steps and this went a long way in decreasing stress and increasing energy.
  • Kept him accountable for the process while making small adjustments along the way.

Kyle is now back to his high school weight and loves his newfound energy.

Are you an entrepreneur who wants to drop the fat, gain muscle, and boost energy? Click this link to apply for our coaching program.

One Quote to Finish Your Week Strong

"The world belongs to those who can predict second-order effects.”
- Kunal Shah

What would happen if you carried on your current health habits for the next 5-10 years?

If you like what you see then carry on.

If you don't then it may be time for a change.

Have a great weekend!

- Dan


When you're ready, here are 3 ways I can help:

1. The Lean Body 90 System: When you’re ready to get in great shape, Lean Body 90 is the obvious choice. You can get in great shape and reach your fitness goals in just 90 minutes a week. Lose weight and build muscle even without hours in the gym or highly restrictive diets. Join 1000+ students here.

2. Are you an entrepreneur who wants to get lean, boost energy, and get in your best shape? Apply for private one-on-one coaching here.

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  1. Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of an individualised, progressive walking and education intervention for the prevention of low back pain recurrence in Australia (WalkBack): a randomised controlled trialPocovi, Natasha C et al.The Lancet, Volume 0, Issue 0
  2. Alateeq et al. Dietary magnesium intake is related to larger brain volumes and lower white matter lesions with notable sex differences. Eur J Nutr (2023). DOI: 10.1007/s00394-023-03123-x

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