Reviewing Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity
As a mental health advocate who provides encouragement to t-hose with substance use disorder (SUD), I take time to read new books that discuss potential strategies to combat health problems and improve overall well-being. Personally, I’m a huge fan of Peter Attia, MD, who recently published a book titled Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity.
Dr. Attia is a physician who has practiced longevity medicine since he founded his clinic in 2014. I’ve worked with many clients over the years who were afraid that life was too short or that they’d missed too many opportunities due to their experiences with SUD. While Outlive isn’t about recovery or SUD, as it’s geared toward improving your general health and wellness, its takeaways can make a significant difference in how you move forward in your life. Outlive gives high-quality advice on how to live better, not just longer.
“Is Outlive worth reading?”
After giving it a read, I believe it is – and remarkably so. In fact, the book became a #1 New York Times Bestseller in 2023, which shows how influential it’s become.
What Are the Main Points of the Outlive Book?
The main emphasis of this book is to explain to ordinary readers that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives without relying on medicine or mainstream healthcare solutions. Dr. Attia explains that while there may be constant innovations in the medical field, it’s been extremely difficult to make progress in combating diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Type 2 diabetes, and more. Worse, when treatments are administered, they could interfere with your quality of life, even if they are effective. Rather than turn to the generally accepted solution without questioning it, Dr. Attia argues that everyone could benefit from a personalized strategy that they can begin now.
I’m intrigued by this approach and find it to be extremely applicable to most people. Of course, when I work with individuals struggling with SUD, we don’t focus on a single solution; everyone is unique and has their own physical and mental differences. We know SUD can’t be treated with a one-size-fits-all approach, and, according to Dr. Attia, neither can other health problems.
Other topics this book covers include:
- The effectiveness of exercise and why it’s essential for longevity
- The limitations of cholesterol tests
- Why nutritional biochemistry is more beneficial than dieting
- How to avoid focusing on physical health and longevity without considering your emotional health
This book by Dr. Attia covers a wide range of topics, and there’s more than enough information to keep readers like me interested and inspired.
Dr. Attia describes his longevity practices as “medicine 3.0.” This strategy involves using tactics to prevent certain diseases by maintaining proper health in four basic ways. By paying attention to food, sleep, exercise, and emotional health, you can live a longer and more rewarding life.
Although the first step is often the most difficult one to make, true change can be accessible if you are willing to put in the physical and mental work. This is another reason I recommend Outlive, as the messages described can apply to other facets of life, as well.
Diet and Nutrition
Food is a necessary part of life, and many individuals follow strict diet plans to meet their health goals. However, Dr. Attia has encouraged readers not to think too much about diet but rather about nutritional biochemistry. Diets can be tough to follow, and they can take a toll on your emotional health as well as your physical health.
For example, if you were to cheat on a strict diet, you may feel defeated. However, the goal of nutritional biochemistry is to reframe the idea of diet, transforming it into a question of “How can nutrition improve my metabolic health?”
“What does Peter Attia eat in a day?”
Surprisingly, Dr. Attia’s diet has changed multiple times over the years, as he had different health goals at various points in his life. As of 2023, Dr. Attia works on increasing muscle mass and reducing body mass, and he does this by eating the following:
- Eight eggs, along with toast and butter for breakfast
- Chicken salad, multiple vegetables, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar for lunch
- Protein shake, which includes 24 ounces of almond milk, frozen fruit, and 50 grams of protein
- Supplements such as magnesium and omega-3
- Any meal at dinnertime that he feels is necessary to achieve his goals
While he may have certain limitations on his diet, such as no sugary or junk foods, he also allows himself to have some freedom so long as he can meet his goals. Dr. Attia believes that creating your own personalized nutrition plan is the most effective solution to maintaining longevity.
Dr. Attia Discusses Exercise
I’ve previously discussed how exercise can be beneficial in many areas of life, including recovering from SUD. However, exercise is one of the most powerful tools for maintaining good health in all areas of your life, as well as increasing your lifespan. In addition, because exercise can improve your mood, you may feel more emotionally healthy the more you exercise.
Dr. Attia puts much emphasis on this point, and it’s arguably the most important point he makes in Outlive. He doesn’t go into too many details; instead, he keeps things concise and easy for anyone to understand. I found his views on exercise to be vital in improving longevity, and I think everyone can gain insight by reading his book.
Why I Respect Dr. Attia
One piece of information I read in Outlive reminds me why I respect Dr. Attia for his work, and that’s because he openly discusses his personal struggles with the very same things he discusses the most. It’s common for people to be insecure about their appearance or health when changing their lifestyle, and Dr. Attia is no exception. More specifically, chapter 17 discusses Dr. Attia’s personal recollection of events and emotions regarding longevity, mainly to describe why he does what he does.
I find this professional and remarkable, as many people hide their true feelings or emotions out of fear of being vulnerable. Instead, Dr. Attia explains that he also finds this difficult to work through, and making lifestyle changes to improve your wellness is never an easy task. As I mentioned previously, taking the first step and admitting you’d like to change can be daunting, yet necessary.
However, maintaining your good habits and keeping your health in check is just as crucial, yet we sometimes forget that this doesn’t always get easier. While certain aspects of the process may become simpler over time, the goals we’re working toward can become more challenging as we progress. As Dr. Attia has explained, this is completely okay.
Can You Summarize Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia?
Outlive is thought-provoking and full of interesting data, and it had my attention from the beginning.
There are several self-help books on the shelves that talk about improving your physical health so you can live longer, yet very few will go into depth about the emotional health aspect of it all. As someone who works in the mental health space, I believe emotional health is essential to how we navigate life. If we’re struggling emotionally or mentally, we may find it harder to make any progress in lengthening our lives. Dr. Attia covers all the scientific information we need to know while also keeping emotional health in mind.
Is Outlive Worth Reading?
Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Peter Attia, MD is a fantastic book that offers unique perspectives on longevity, and I highly recommend giving it a read. Whether you want a new perspective on medicine or are looking to make lifestyle changes that result in a longer and happier life, Outlive has everything you need. I’ve been a fan of Dr. Attia for a while, and I look forward to seeing what he does next.
To my readers, I believe Outlive may inspire you to take control of your overall health, whether it’s physical, mental, or both, and transform it into something you’re proud of. It may be daunting to consider making these changes, but it can also help you avoid chronic diseases that could shorten your life.
You can buy the book on Amazon here