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If You Can Not Measure Something, You Can Not Improve It.

I recently had lunch with an old friend and wanted to share a portion of our conversation which illustrates the critical importance of the underlying, Core 4 philosophy: 

Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.

At some point during our lunch, my friend informed me that she was taking a high-priced, network marketing supplement that had received hundreds of testimonials. Intrigued by the "rave reviews," she decided to give the product a try.

When I asked about her results, she admitted that she "really hadn't noticed much" for the $450.00 she had spent in the past three months. Still, she was "sticking with it" because of all the positive reviews she had read. Then she asked for some advice--how much longer should she continue to take it? I told her that the absence of noticeable benefits shouldn't necessarily be a reason to stop; improving cellular health with nutritional supplements can take time. For me, it was the lack of accountability or measurability that was a far greater concern...
I asked her if the company offered any suggestions on how she could subjectively measure her physiological improvements after taking their product.  It did not.  But she was confident that the product worked; there were, after all, several studies published on the company's website. I told her that while studies are nice, they really only offer a general indication that any given product might be beneficial.  From a physiological standpoint, no two people are exactly alike. So a "one-size-fits-all" approach to taking supplements simply doesn't work. 

Take into consideration that a strongly-positive study might show 60% of a test sample benefiting from product use. But a full 40% of the test group did not!  What group would you be in? Without having the ability to assess your individual results, there is no way to know.

After our lunch, I did some of my own research on my friend's "wonder" supplement. I called the company to discuss their studies and asked if they had any plans to provide their customers with any assessment tools. 
After three e-mails, several calls to the company's customer service department, and two calls to their medical/science director, I never received a response. So I assume that they do not.

If I were to invest $150.00 in taking a supplement each month, I would need some evidence that its improving some facet of my cellular health. A almost-endless variety of assessment tools make it easy to an almost-infinite list of health, wellness, and fitness markers including: 

Blood Pressure
Pulse Rate
Nitric Oxide Status
Heart Rate Variabilty
Depth of Sleep
Brain Wave Patterns
Wattage/Power Output 
Cellular Energy Production
Hormone Levels

As a nutritionally-oriented physician, I have helped hundreds of people improve their personal health, appearance, and physical performance. The majority of my clients have been taking nutritional supplements regularly for years. Yet very few of them have gotten the results they had hoped for.  There are many reasons for this. But the most important one is that they do not have a measurable system for assessing the efficacy of the products they take. They rely on testimonials, slick marketing, or blind faith. And this almost always leads them astray.

If you think about it, there is a parallel between the way most people use supplements and the process of driving a car around aimlessly. The goal is to go somewhere, but there are no directions and no way to determine when--or if--you've arrived.  

Here's a case in point:

A female runner recently came to me with the goal of improving her performance times. Since she had been a vegetarian for a few years, she wisely decided that she should obtain baseline measurements of her critical nutrient factors prior to beginning a supplement program. As we frequently find with vegetarians, her assessment results indicated that she was low in vitamin D, omega 3 fats, iron, essential amino acids, and magnesium.

She decided to go on the Core 4 Nutrition program but wanted to opt out of the (great-tasting) omega 3 fish oil component in order to use three different types of vegan, omega 3 oils, which were far more costly. 

The good news:  After four months on all but one of the synergistic Core 4 Nutrition formulas, she was feeling much better. Her energy, performance, and recovery had significantly improved. She was also excited that she didn't get sick twice when her friends and family all came down with the flu.

The bad news: While her vitamin D and iron levels were optimal after 6 months on the program, her omega 3 level was minimally improved. She had spent over $300.00 on the vegan oils without a good end result. Without taking a measurement, she would have continued to take the oils, waste her money, and fail to fully achieve her health and fitness goals. She recently purchased her first bottle of Just Peachy fish oil (and loves it). 

The bottom line?  Good intentions don’t guarantee good results.  And you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

Core 4 Nutrition is a scientific, step-by-step system that combines the use of FOUR FOUNDATIONAL AND EFFECTIVE NUTRIENTS with the ACCOMPANYING, AT-HOME ASSESSMENTS that will not only prove they work, but allow you to MEASURE AND MONTIOR your restorative results.  

Find out how you can get started on the Core 4 program here:

For those interested in learning more using measurements to set goals, I highly recommend this article by Todd Smith