How Are Nutrition and Politics Similar?

Hi everyone. This is a speech I performed at my local Toastmaster’s club. I talk about the parallels between nutrition and politics, specifically how we discuss them. I offer solutions at the end to mitigate the frustration and divide we see in these two areas. It’s not a perfect speech, and I will be refining it over time, but I think it has some useful information, so I hope you enjoy!

It’s Time To Re-Frame Nutrition In Medicine

This was an article I wrote for one of my nutrition classes, but I think it’s appropriate for my blog as well. I’m very passionate about applying nutrition in a medical setting. We know it can be beneficial for certain medical conditions and it may save a lot of money for the patient as well. Who doesn’t want to keep some extra dough?? This article is a bit more science-y than my typical posts, so I tried my best to touch it up for y’all so it’s easier to read and understand. If you have any questions on something, contact me and I’d be happy to clear up any confusion.

Re-framing Nutrition In Medicine

Western medicine has been the go-to approach for treating illness and health conditions. The process is the patient sees a physician; they explain the symptoms they are experiencing. Then, the doctor then runs a series of tests to determine the proper diagnosis. Once the illness is discovered, the patient is likely prescribed pharmaceuticals (drugs) to improve their conditions and get them better. This is an effective process as drug companies would not be so profitable if their products did not work. Prescription drugs are effective for treating the conditions that they were created for; however, this often comes with a few consequences.

First, the cost of the drug itself can vary. Some are inexpensive whereas others may break the bank and insurance may not fully cover the cost, leaving the patient to pay out of pocket, causing additional financial stress for them.

Second, drugs may have side effects that could make the patient even sicker than they were before beginning the treatment. In that case, they may need to take even more drugs to treat those side effects, and the cycle-and financial stress-could perpetuate.

Finally, drugs don’t encourage habits. This is a problem often overlooked. If left alone to improve their conditions without proper education, the patient may bounce back if they don’t understand how to stay healthy. Habits allow for that long-term improvement in health, as the patient becomes more independent in caring for their self.

Nutrition is one solution that should be explored in greater detail to avoid the excessive costs of western medicine and the side effects of drugs. This article IS NOT saying traditional medicine does not work or that we’re making people worse off. That is not my belief at all. I have no doubt in my mind that western medicine is effective. However, I think we have been under-utilizing our Registered Dietitians for treatment of medical conditions that are preventable with nutrition and lifestyle changes. I’m not one of those tinfoil hat wearing people that think doctors want us to get sicker so we have to pay them more. That’s absurd and please don’t fall into that conspiracy-theory trap.

To date, much of the research on Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) has been conducted on diabetic patients, but the findings are promising.

In particular, one study found not only significant improvements in diabetic health markers, but some of the patients were also on an oral agent and still saw improved conditions1. This implies that nutrition may be just as effective as some drugs at treating Type 2 diabetes and possibly other preventable conditions like hypertension or obesity. In this study published by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 247 participants were randomly assigned (random assignment allows for greater accuracy in the results) to two MNT groups that differed on the degree of care provided by the RD while there was an additional comparison group of 63 individuals who received no MNT1. All the participants were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.

At 6 months, both MNT groups had experienced statistically significant improvements in HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose1. When results in scientific research are statistically significant, it means that there is a strong likelihood that we know a certain treatment has a direct effect on something else, and it wasn’t just by chance we got a certain result. Also, HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose are markers for tracking diabetics’ ability to control the spikes in blood sugar. As they improve, patients’ ability to manage their blood sugar improves. The comparison group saw no changes.

Often, Registered Dietitians and other nutrition professionals take a back seat to the physician and other primary care providers, boxing nutrition services into “complementary” or “alternative” medicine. With this comes a connotation that RDs aren’t as competent or capable of treating certain illnesses than typical health care providers.

It’s time to refrain nutrition care and dietitians into the same box that medical doctors are in. For conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, Medical Nutrition Therapy has been shown frequently to be effective. In addition, cost savings may occur as well due to elimination or reduction of pharmaceutical bills.

While there are not as many studies available that demonstrate the effectiveness of nutrition as medicine for other conditions like heart disease and obesity, it can be implied that MNT would be effective for these conditions because they fall under the same category as Type 2 Diabetes: preventative and highly influenced by lifestyle factors.

Just as lifestyle behaviors can lead to these conditions, so too can they lead away from them. It’s important to understand the value that nutrition has in healthcare and medicine. Patients and healthcare professionals alike should educate themselves on the advantages of a healthy eating pattern (diet). This way, success for you, the patient, can be lifelong, and free of dependence on a pill for life.

References:

  1. Franz MJ, Monk A, Barry B, et al. Effectiveness of Medical Nutrition Therapy Provided by Dietitians in the Management of Non–Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 1995;95(9):1009-1017. doi:10.1016/s0002-8223(95)00276-6.

3 Types Of Misinformation + How To Protect Yourself From The BS Part 2

Welcome back! I’m glad you’re interested in checkin’ yourself before you wreck yourself! Let’s jump right into it. A lot of what I discuss here is mostly just personal experience and observations, so it may be a bit more informal than usual. LET’S DO THIS.

If you don’t have the time to read the full article, summary points are at the bottom of the page

Protecting Yourself From The Interweb Snake Oil Salesman

Too Good To Be True?

My personal favorite screening process to do when I come across something questionable is this: Ask yourself if the claim you’re seeing is too good to be true. “Lose 20 pounds in a week, eh? This seems too good to be true.” If an analysis like that goes through your head, It’s very likely that the claim/product doesn’t work and the company or person is just trying to make money to no benefit for you.

 

“All-or-nothing-ers”

Next up is the “All-or-nothing-ers”. What I mean by this is if someone tells you that a certain Thing A delivers Result B 100% of the time or that Result B ALWAYS happens, run away. Almost nothing in any field of science (nutrition and exercise included) is absolute. Even that previous statement wasn’t absolute! This means that there is always an exception to the rules in science.

For example, when someone says “All sugar is bad and sugar will make you fat rah rah rah!”. That’s a statement that falsely encompasses all foods containing sugar as “bad”, whatever that means. If someone can say that an entire nutrient is harmful, they better have some damn good evidence to support it. HINT: They won’t because they don’t know what they’re talking about.

To summarize, words like “always, never, it’s proven that.., believe, every time”. Anything that boxes your choices down to “this or that” is likely a red flag. There’s over 7 billion people on the planet, I can’t think of anything that can be narrowed down to just two options that would categorize everyone in the world properly.

The mark of a credible (and sometimes frustrating) source are key phrases like “may, could, potentially, theory, likely, etc.”. The difference here lies in the degree of certainty in each word. The only thing we can be certain of is our uncertainty! Feel free to use that quote. I said frustrating because we just want a precise answer, but credible, no BS people know that that usually isn’t the case, unfortunately.

If you are unsure of the source, claim, whatever it may be, ask the person pushing the product or idea why this thing is effective. Ask them to provide evidence in the form of peer-reviewed research, the creme-de-la creme of credibility!

Now, not all credible things or people are supported with science 100% of the time. There’s that exception again! It’s your job to make an informed decision on who and what to trust. One thing you could to is to look at past clients or users of a product/service and ask them if they liked it and found it effective. If you’re still unsure, that’s probably a sign from your intuition that it isn’t the right choice for you.

Fear not! That doesn’t mean you should stop your fitness journey! This information should arm you with knowledge to help me wage war on the internet gurus and BS people of the world. That’s what I feel like I’m here to do.

Anyway, back to the goodness.

My Way Or The Highway

This person is closely related to the “all-or-nothing-er” in that they believe the “schools” of nutrition and/or exercise they ascribe to are the only righteous way to train/eat. If you go against them, you are wrong and stupid.

If a person is very close-minded about other ideas and viewpoints, especially when presented evidence that goes against their ideas, run away from them.

Fear Mongering

This one makes me sick. This is where people prey on the lack of knowledge of someone and make them feel like they need a certain product or service in order to be healthy, lose weight, not get cancer, whatever it may be. It’s very sad because not everyone has the time to study nutrition, so it’s up to those who do to provide the correct information. Rather, these assholes exploit that lack of information for financial gain.

If someone is trying to scare you into buying/doing something, it’s likely BS and they just want money.

Cookie Cutter BS

Next on this list of BS-I apologize in advance if this web page smells whenever you open it because of all the BS-is cookie cutter programs! It’s very easy to be a fitness/nutrition coach nowadays, just look good and people will ask how you got there! Often, the person doesn’t actually know, so they just hand out programs based on “what worked for me” or they just put together some quick list of exercises or foods and want $200.

Don’t fall for the trap. If they’re an online coach and it seems like they always have spots open, that likely means that people are dropping them and/or they’re taking on WAY more people than they can adequately coach, lowering the quality of the service.

Proprietary Blends

Another red flag is what is known as a proprietary blend. Typically, you will find this term on supplement labels. A proprietary blend is a special chemical formula that a supplement company will use to create products.

The problem with these blends is that the company can put whatever quantity of ingredient they want without making it clear the amount per serving. For example, a pre-workout may contain caffeine, a common ingredient in this supplement that stimulates and increases focus in many people. If the product is a proprietary blend, they can put either 500mg or 5mg of caffeine. You’ll feel 500mg while the 5mg likely won’t affect you at all. But, they don’t have to tell you how much is contained per serving because of the “proprietary blend”.

My advice? Just don’t buy products that hide behind this label.

To summarize

  • Ask yourself if the product/claim is too good to be true. It often is
  • Proprietary blends for supplements usually mask a gimmick disguised as an exclusive formula.
  • “Always, never, it’s proven that.., believe, every time” BAD
  • “May, could, potentially, theory, likely” GOOD
  • Close-minded people don’t deserve your attention in the fitness world jut as much as they don’t in the political world.
  • Cookie cutter programs and constant open coaching spots are a big red flag for low quality

Did I miss anything? Have you come across misinformation-read:bullshit-in a different form? Share it here and help me fight the crap!

References

¹ Celiac Disease Facts and Figures-University of Chicage Medicine

 

 

3 Types Of Misinformation + How To Protect Yourself From The BS Part 1

(See meme above)

Alright. Now that you had a formal introduction, let’s get down to it.

There’s so much misinformation (formally called quackery) out on the internet, TV (*cough* Dr. Oz *cough*), you can’t escape it! However, that doesn’t mean you have to become a victim of it either. According to the American Dietetic Association, there are 3 major types of misinformation-read: bullshit-out on the interwebz and other places.

  • Food Fads
  • Health Fraud
  • Misdirected claims¹

Keep in mind, there may be only 3 overarching types, but these problems take many different forms. So today, we’re going to define these three types of misinformation-read: bullshit-and discuss some of the ways you can protect yourself from falling victim to the snake oil salesman.

Food Fad

“Food fads involve unreasonable or exaggerated beliefs that eating (or not eating) specific foods, nutrient supplements, or combinations of certain foods may cure disease, convey special health benefits, or offer quick weight loss”¹

That’s taken straight from The ADA’s position stand on misinformation-read:bullshit. Here’s my definition: “Food fads derive from a zealot who believes that their way is the only way to eat, live, etc., and you’re wrong and an idiot if you think or do differently.” You see this a lot in politics too on either side, unfortunately. Food fads are perpetuated because a group of people for whatever reason think the whole world needs to do what they do or they’re going to get cancer, toxins, whatever. You mostly see food fads in the guise of diets (keto, vegan, paleo, etc.).

Let me get one thing straight: I don’t have a problem-nor do I care how you eat-with any of these diets. As I discussed in a previous article, diets of many types have all been shown to be effective. That includes fad diets. Often, the basis of the diet isn’t bad. Take paleo for example: more whole, unprocessed foods like nuts, seeds, meats, vegetables, etc. Doesn’t that sound like what the government has been telling us for years? It’s because this diet CAN be healthy and sustainable. BUT the problem arises when a cult-like following of pompous assholes tries to push their ideals on other people (sound like politics yet?).

Bottom line: Food fads can take many forms, but the basis of each is that there is a magical food, diet, supplement, workout routine, etc. that will give you all of these health benefits that sound amazing (“melt away body fat!” comes to mind).

One note: Sometimes, people fall victim to, or create, a food fad because they truly believe it works. Maybe it did work for them! But, that’s not strong enough evidence to say everyone should do it. If this occurs, be sure to kindly help the person understand that their way isn’t the cure-all for everything and to allow people to eat/live however they want to live.

Health Fraud

Health fraud and food fads often overlap, because often, the person pushing the food fad has a financial gain to make from the person buying their supplement, meal plan, food guide, etc¹.

Here’s an example: What the Health. There are many a “credible sources” in that documentary who stand to benefit financially from more people going vegan because they sell vegan meal guides, recipe books, and other vegan-related products. Especially with that documentary, a lot of the information presented is either just straight up wrong or misleading and an example of cherry-picking information (more on that later, don’t let me forget).

The documentary frames veganism as the panacea to all ailments. But it’s not true. Vegan diets are fine if you enjoy it, but they don’t cure cancer.

Health frauds know their product-diet, supplement, what have you-either doesn’t work at all, or hasn’t been shown to work with scientific and peer-reviewed data¹; but they market it as though it does work and produces AMAZING results that normal food, your doctor, or other supplements can’t replicate. SO I HAVE TO GET IT, RIGHT??? No, silly reader, you don’t.

Misdirected Claims

These are annoying. A good example of this is slapping the “A gluten-free food” sticker on a bag of pre-cooked broccoli. WELL NO SHIT IT’S GLUTEN-FREE STUPID IT’S A VEGETABLE. Misdirected claims aim to mislead the consumer into thinking their product is healthy or produces some type of health benefit when really it’s just a cousin of health fraud¹.

Going back to my broccoli example, of course broccoli is gluten-free, however, what they don’t mention is that that broccoli was cooked with a ton of butter and salt for taste. Well now you get broccoli, which normally has a very small amount of protein and carbs, that has a bunch of fat and sodium. The “healthiness” of the broccoli has been negated by the high sodium and ton of saturated fat. FYI: Butter and salt can be a healthy component to a diet in moderation. I’m not demonizing butter. But thank God it’s gluten-free right?? Now I can enjoy my hypertensive broccoli knowing there’s no gluten in it!

To reiterate: Misdrected claims do exactly that: they direct your attention to the wrong idea or something unimportant.

“How do I know what’s BS and what’s not?”

Fear not, dear reader, all of this and more will be explained next week. I’m giving you some homework. As you scroll through your social media or webpages, try to identify misinformation-read: bullshit-in your everyday feeds. You’ll be surprised on what you find.

Next week, we’ll go over how to identify BS and stay safe from all the misinformation-read: bullshit. Thanks for reading!

References

¹”Position of the American Dietetic Association: Food and Nutrition Misinformation

 

A High Protein Diet Isn’t Going To Kill You (And Media Irresponsibility)

Sadly, the woman in the photo has passed away. She was a competitive bodybuilder and mother who was training for another show. Given her lifestyle, she has to consume a high protein diet in order to build muscle appropriately; however, she has a rare genetic condition known as Urea Cycle Disorder that was ultimately the cause of her death. Now, the media is placing the blame on protein and supplements which is absolutely wrong. First, let’s explore what the disorder is. To understand it, however, we need to visit protein metabolism.

Protein Is Not The Enemy

Proteins consist of multiple components, one being a group that contains ammonia. Ammonia is toxic to the human body, so the amine/amino group is stripped off the protein and converted into urea via the urea cycle and transported from the bloodstream to urine. The urea is not toxic and is later removed from the body by urine (urea, urine, notice a pattern yet?). In a normal human with no genetic defects, this is a perfectly efficient process that we need not worry about.

Urea Cycle Disorder complicates this process by reducing the efficiency of enzymes that help with the conversion from toxic ammonia to urea. Due to this complication, ammonia accumulates in the blood and eventually finds its way to the brain which can cause coma and death¹.

WHAT I JUST MENTIONED IS THE CAUSE OF THIS WOMAN’S DEATH. Protein is not to blame here. Had she not had that genetic defect, she would be perfectly fine and lived normally on high protein. The cause of her death is a genetic mutation that occurred in her body. IF YOU’RE A NORMAL HUMAN BEING WHO DOESN’T HAVE UREA CYCLE DISORDER, PROTEIN WILL MOST LIKELY NOT KILL YOU IN HIGH DOSES. I can’t think of another condition or physiological reason that excess protein would kill you. Kidney failure is no longer associated with high protein diets also.

Media Irresponsibility

Like most things, news outlets and media have sensationalized this story with headlines such as “Australian bodybuilder with rare disorder dies eating high-protein diet” or “Mom’s death blamed on bodybuilding supplements ahead of competition”. I’m shaking my head wanting to angrily throw things because this is just blatantly wrong. Protein shakes, which are what Meegan was taking, are perfectly safe to consume for the majority of individuals. Whey and casein may not be good for lactose intolerant people, but it’s not going to kill you.

Now these headlines are circulating, leading people to believe that protein or supplements are going to kill them, which is just so wrong. It really is. Can you tell I’m tired of sensationalism? High protein diets have again and again shown that they’re healthy and safe for improving body composition, weight loss, muscle gain, and do not impact your kidneys negatively.

There has been an enormous amount of research on protein supplements promoting their safety. These products have been on the market for decades. If they were truly unsafe and killing people left and right, the FDA would have banned them by now or placed regualtions.

Key Takeaways

HIGH PROTEIN ISN’T GOING TO KILL YOU AND NEITHER ARE SUPPLEMENTS. Please do not fall into this pitfall (hah). If you need further evidence that protein is good for you, read my other posts about protein and high protein diets.

Lastly, this is an example of media irresponsibility. If you read more into the story than just the headline, you would see that protein is not the cause and you should not be worried. So I ask you to be a good citizen and research more about a subject beyond just the headline because the headline has to be eye-catching at the risk of often being misleading.

One last time for good measure:

Meegan passed because of her genetic disorder. Not from protein or supplements.

If you’re still not convinced or just want to rant with me, comment below.

Finally, rest in peace to Meegan Hefford.

References

¹http://www.nucdf.org/ucd.htm

Kick The Semester (Or Fall Season) Off With Good Habits

It’s upon us…SCHOOL. It’s back and approaching eerily quickly. Or, if you’re not in school, the Fall season is approaching, and that means the holidays (and a thinner wallet). During this time, it’s very easy to get caught up in life’s happenings and put your own personal health off to the side; however, this may generate its own problems which may dip into other areas of your life. This week, I don’t have a super scientific article for you, but something that I feel is overlooked: habits.

Often, people see lack of motivation or willpower as the reason someone can’t stick to a diet plan or exercise program or some other thing that they said they would do ad ended up not doing. I believe that we, as humans, can’t rely on willpower all the time. We need to internalize actions and behaviors as habits if we truly want to do something long-term. Here’s an example: (hopefully), you’re brushing your teeth every day. Typically, this happens at the same time without question every single day because it’s just something that you do. It’s as natural to you as waking up! This is a habit. It’s a behavior so deeply embedded in you that you put no conscious thought or effort into brushing your teeth. So how do you make habits out of other things? Here are a few practical strategies which you can use to internalize behaviors and create habits out of them.

*Disclaimer* A lot of the information I’m going to share with you, I obtained from Sohee Lee, specifically her talk at the ISSN conference I attended in June. She’s a fantastic figure in the fitness world that strongly believes in habits for success (Soheefit.com).

 Okay, here we go!

Optimize Your Surroundings

The first strategy is to change your immediate environment. We will use the example of wanting to lose weight, but think about how you could alter your surroundings to support a good habit. One simple thing you can do to increase chances of weight loss is to remove trigger foods in your home. Trigger foods are anything that may cause an episode of binging or something you have trouble controlling the intake of when you eat it.

Another example of changing the environment would be to put foods that you may overeat on in the back of the fridge, making it harder to access them and reducing the incentive to get them. I can remember the study that did this, but I remember seeing a study that tested this by placing soda in the back of the fridge and water in front of it. Before, it was the other way around with soda in the front. When they switched, workers were more likely to take a bottle of water over a soda. Crazy right?? Small things like that can have a great effect!

Intention Statement

Create a statement that helps you stay on track with your desired habit in the form of “if…then”. For example: “If I get more sleep, then I will be more productive during the day”. Repeat this to yourself over and over so you clearly understand the benefit of the attempt to form this certain habit. It will be hard to make a behavior change, but an “if…then” statement helps you stay focused and reinforce the reason behind the behavior.

Write Down Your Why

This is similar to the intention statement, but this is more so a reflection on why you want this behavior to happen. Maybe you want to sleep more so you have more energy throughout the day to work, exercise, play with your children or spend time with your friends without being drowsy. These are all great reasons that should be written down and reflected on often until you don’t feel the need to because the behavior is now a habit!

Flexibility

There will be times that you mess up. It’s inevitable in any situation in life that’s worth pursuing. You set out to create a habit because it was important to you; so it’s also important to understand that while the process of creating this habit is going on, you may mess up and go against what the behavior is, for example, overeating when you’re trying to lose weight or improve your diet with more nutrient-dense foods.

This is okay! It’s completely fine. The important part of this situation is you realizing that you’re human and that you can continue shaping the habit and making positive change. One step back can lead to many more steps forward.

There was a TED talk I watched about habits; I’ll link it here. One interesting takeaway I obtained from it was this: When you perform a negative behavior or even a negative habit, take the time to reflect on your current feelings about it. Do you feel good about yourself when you do it? No, right? Remember that. Remember how that feels and understand that you don’t want to feel that way again, so work to make a change!

I hope these tips and TED talk help you to make positive changes in your life. It’s never too late to make a change for the better! Share this with someone who could use some help making good changes in their lives! Enjoy the video and thanks for reading.

The 2017 ISSN Conference (Upcoming Blogs!)

HOLY COW!

This year, I had the opportunity to attend the 2017 International Society of Sports Nutrition Conference in Phoenix. The leading minds in the fields of sports nutrition and exercise science came together to share their research, observations, and best practices for athletic performance, building muscle, and weight loss, among other topics. I was like a sponge, attending as many of the lectures as I could and frantically typing as much as I could into a Google Doc. I also met a few of my favorite researchers and figures in these fields (see below). I am confident that some of them will make an appearance on the podcast. Super excited!

I came out with 7 pages of notes that I am really looking forward to share with all of you. Some of the lectures were tough to follow as I’m still learning myself, but I’m going to post about as much as I can while making sure you get some good information out of it that you can use in your own life. So get excited! Here is the list of topics that I’m going to be covering that were inspired by attending the conference:

  • Different diets and how to utilize them effectively to reach your goals.
  • What should I use to track my weight loss and fitness progress?
  • Want to build muscle? Caloric surplus is the answer.
  • Which diet works?
  • Most diets are effective
  • How much protein should I consume as an athlete? All of it.
  • Focus on a long-term approach to dieting rather than the short-term for success and health
  • Losing weight isn’t the problem in the US
  • Rep Ranges…What’s the best approach?

I am very excited to roll out these posts and information for everyone to learn and get better. Be on the lookout for more posts and podcasts from The Agora and check out some of the amazing people I met at the conference below!

 

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Rant: There’s No Such Thing As “Toning”

This is a rant. Be ready.

 

Today’s rant is brought to you by the letter “T” for toning. My frustration for this arises from the process of “toning”. It’s incorrect and will not lead to your desired body composition goals. Typically, toning consists of lots and lots of cardio and if there is any lifting, it’s with weights that are waaaaaaaaayyyy too light to elicit any effect.

Let’s be clear:

When people say “tone”, it usually means something like reducing body fat and seeing muscle definition like abs. I understand that’s not everyone’s goal, but that’s been my experience with “toners”.

The process of hours and hours of cardio is wrong if you want to achieve the goal listed above. I see plenty of people on treadmills and ellipticals that don’t need to be on this equipment. A lot of people are already at or around the weight and body fat percent necessary to see the body composition effects if they had more muscle mass. That’s where we err. Pick things up and put them down more often than you do now and, over time, you’ll see amazing changes. You’ll see those abs, or that separation between your bicep and tricep, or whatever else it is you’re searching for.

Here’s a personal example. A few years ago, I was upset that my quads weren’t showing that separation between the muscles (I know, first world problems). My body fat was around 10-12%. At that range, you would see this separation that I’m mentioning if you had the muscle mass. Alas, it wasn’t there :(. However, I kept training, changed up my routine, and lo and behold, the separation began to show after about a year or so! Now, my body fat is slightly higher than before, yet the separation is still there simply because I have more muscle mass now! Woohoo!

The issue is the muscle is literally too small in size to be seen through the skin. As you lower your body fat and/or increase the size of your muscles through lifting weights, you’ll be able to see the muscle more. Of course, I recommend the lifting over the body fat reduction-if you’re already at a healthy body fat %-because you’ll be stronger, more resilient, and able to eat more food. Muscles require a lot of energy to function and work during exercise and daily activity. That’s why bodybuilders are downing thousands and thousands of calories a day and why I can eat 4000+ calories a day and stay decently lean :). In no way, shape, or form, am I looking like a bodybuilder though. Let’s make that distinction clear lolz.

So what should I do since cardio won’t help me reach my goals?

SLOW DOWN. First of all, let me say that cardio ABSOLUTELY has its place in fitness. It has been shown to be beneficial for heart health and improving numerous health markers¹. So please don’t think I’m demonizing cardio. But, I think a lot of people are misunderstanding the goals they have and how to attain them.

So, to answer the question, lovely reader, go lift! Lift (smart) and heavy! Learn how to design an exercise program centered around building strength and muscle! Do not be afraid of muscle and gaining it! It takes a very very very very very long time and hours of intense, focused training to look like a bodybuilder, powerlifter, etc. You’re not going to look at a barbell and put on 50lbs of muscle. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. 6411568.jpg

My takeaway:

Stray away from “toning” and the cardio machines for a bit. They won’t go anywhere. They’re bolted to the floor and heavy as hell. Good luck getting them to go somewhere. Venture over to the free weights area or squat rack. I promise and speak from personal experience when I say that the huge guy or girl are usually very nice and will give advice and suggestions if you ask for it. Because we all started somewhere and are just trying to get better however we can. One way of getting better is trying new things like lifting!

Leave a comment if you need help getting started and we’ll chat about it!

References

¹http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/107/1/e2

 

What Am I Getting Myself Into With Your Blog?

First off, I’ll ask you to go look at my About Me page to get to know me better and what I’m about so you don’t think I’m some sketchy person on the corner of the internet; Then come back here!

Here’s the scenario, hang with me here:

You’re at a restaurant with some of your family, and Aunt Carol or Uncle Alfred orders the gluten-free fried rice and refuses to get a glass of water. You ask them why they chose a gluten-free option since they never had a history of Celiac or gluten sensitivity and why they didn’t want a glass of water.

He/she responds by saying, “I read an article from an expert that said gluten is bad for you and makes you fat. I didn’t get water because they put fluoride in the water. I don’t want to drink chemicals.”

What do you do?

  1. Tell them the evidence shows gluten does not cause weight gain or discomfort in people who don’t have Celiac or a sensitivity to it.
  2. Tell them that LITERALLY EVERYTHING IS A CHEMICAL and that fluoride in water is meant to improve dental health and is in such a small amount, it won’t affect your health negatively anyway.
  3.  Throw something at them!
  4. All of the above.
  5. Both #1 and #2

While I think #4 is appropriate, #5 is probably what you should go with, unless Aunt Carol/Uncle Alfred has been pissing you off a lot lately.

This example was meant to give you an idea of the frustration I receive almost daily. There’s so much misinformation out on the internet, it’s terrifying. Everyone is searching for the truth and right answers to their questions about nutrition and exercise. It can be very tempting to get caught up in what some internet guru is saying because they are offering “This one simple trick” or some other BS to help you lose weight or get shredded in 6 days for $50/minute.

I’m here to tell you that many of these bloggers, youtubers, and instagram models have no idea what the hell they’re talking about. They have no scientific basis to what they say. I’m not claiming that there isn’t something to say about having experience, there definitely is. But those people with experience will also have lots of knowledge anyway and plenty of testimonies to justify their lack of schooling.

There are many others that think since they have abs or a huge butt, they are qualified to coach people or give them nutrition advice. THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

This blog is meant to give you the scientific basis on an array of topics in the realms of nutrition, exercise, and whatever else I think you should know. Here, I will be dispelling plenty of myths about these areas because there are a whole bunch of them and providing an easy-to-understand platform for people to acquire their own knowledge. My goal with this blog is to mitigate misinformation by giving the facts necessary for readers to make informed decisions and identify bullshit on the internet and in life.

If you are tired of listening to gurus and getting nowhere with your goals, are sick of Aunt Carol/Uncle Alfred’s shit and want to give them the ol’ Scientific Smackdown™, or just want to learn more about nutrition and exercise, then look no further. It’s my mission to give you the right information. Go to my Learn page for the juicy (educational) articles and the occasional rant. Let’s learn together.