The 3 Day Rule

Ever wonder why you feel the way you do?

Think back to your last three days.

How’s your sleep, food, stress, exercise and connection been?

More often than not, you’ll find the answer in those questions.

We Are 3 Day Creatures

The body’s present state is a result of many variables and circumstances. Some are long term adaptations to elements like your history of rest, diet, movement and stress but on any given moment, you are a product of your last three days. This means that, although the body always has an eye on long term history and future, it is primarily concerned with it’s immediate circumstances and environment.

Ever sleep poorly one night only to feel not bad or even good the next day, only to be dragging like a sloth the next?

Ever been on a diet and have a cheat meal/day to see no change on the scale the next day, then think you’re a little more free, only to see 2-3 pounds more that next morning?

Ever try to kick bread/sugar/carbs and have a tough couple days of cravings, only to start settling in after that?

Ever workout a couple days in a row and feel great, only to be crippled that 3rd or 4th day? Or notice how taking a few days off can make that next workout seem like you’re starting over?

Ever notice how hungry you are for a couple days after fasting?

Ever eat a salty meal and feel bloated for a couple days?

Every take a much needed vacation and feel pretty good after resting for a few days?

Those are all reflections of how the body works in a three day zone. Many of it’s metabolic, hormonal, regenerative, energetic and mental/emotional processes are based off what it’s been through the last three days and what it is predicting for the next three days.

How can we use this to our advantage?

Simply by remembering it.

It takes three good days to get you on track. It takes three bad days to get you off track.

Start by addressing the five pillars of health: Food, Movement, Sleep, Connection, Enjoyment. These are all important long term (of course) but how you eat, move, rest, connect and enjoy in the short term really gives you control over your three day window and what direction your health is headed.

Prepare: If you have a big event coming up, be on point the 3 days before, not just the day before. Sleep is the one that comes to mind here. Very important to rest well for the couple nights before the big day.

Endure: If you’re beginning a change, know that it will take a couple days for the body to start making any adaptations to change. Diet is a big one here. It will likely be hard the first couple of days but after 3 it should start getting easier.

Recover: If you have a moment or even bad day, that doesn’t derail you, it’s a couple days in a row that do. Think exercise: not working out for a day or two means almost nothing, but once we start stringing together a few days in a row the body can get out of the exercise mode a bit.

The bottom line is that we are always a product of what we have done and what our body thinks we need to do. Long term history plays an important role in establishing your general GPS position, so to speak, but it’s the short term that gives your body the coordinates of where to head. Day 1 turns you in the direction you’re going. Day 2 is taking the first step. Day 3 is when you get moving. Since we can’t change where we are at any given moment it’s nice to know that all it takes is a few days to get traveling in the right direction.

It reminds me of one of my favorite concepts from an old Chinese Proverb…

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

You might not have shade today but in three days you can have the start to some nice shade a few years down the line.

Thanks for reading, have a great day!


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