"Ben, I heard that low fat diets are fuelling the obesity epidemic. What do you think?"
Grab a coffee, get comfortable and let me explain why that is bullshit. Answered with 50% science, 49% sarcasm and 1% pizza delivery.
It is all 'calories in versus calories out', stupid.
Unfortunately with the rise of flexible dieting and the growing prevalence of people meticulously weighing what they eat, I think we lose sight of where the general population is at.
People in fitness groups on social media often quote caloric calculators and TDEE formulas like they are gospel and may occasionally forget that a large chunk of the population has no fucking idea what they are even talking about....
If your idea of weight loss advice is limited to putting someone's stats into a calculator and telling them how many calories to eat, your success probably won't be far reaching.
When discussing weight loss diets keep in mind that;
- Most people have no idea what TDEE even stands for
- Most people don't want to weigh all of their food
- Your interest in being precise might not tally up with theirs
The moral of the story is, you can only offer advice as advanced as the person listening can comprehend. Sometimes keeping it simple is more valuable than trying to be perfect.
A new study found greater growth in the biceps when people focused on internal cues vs external cues.
Subjects who were told to "squeeze the muscle" gained 12.4% in elbow flexor thickness over an 8 week period follow a standing barbell curl.
Subjects who were told to "get the weight up" gained just 6.9%....
When using this technique on leg extensions, results on the quadriceps were not statistically significant between groups.
Conclusion; focusing on internal cues may help increase muscular hypertrophy but this may depend on the muscle group and exercise being performed.
Reference; Differential effects of attentional focus strategiesduring long-term resistance training
How to make loads of money in 2018;
- Pick a popular form of junk food
- Marginally improve the nutritional value
- Market it as "guilt free"...
- Charge three times the price
- Rinse, repeat
- Buy exotic sports car
You are smart. You have plugged your stats into a macro calculator and know how many calories to eat.
... but you aren't losing weight. What is the problem? Is your metabolism broken?
People who are obese are frequently painted as being lazy and gluttonous.
They just need to eat less and move more. Simple.
Whilst I think eating less and moving more ultimately is sound advice, I don't wish for such simple suggestions to overlook the complexity of the topic. For the purposes of opening up discussion, I would like to offer some food for thought (pardon the pun)....
Cancer Research UK have been accused of fat shaming.
Let me be clear, I absolutely do not encourage fat shaming.
I am concerned that discussing negative complications of being overweight is sometimes being painted with a "fat shaming" brush....
As obesity rates continue to climb, I hope educating people on potential risks associated with being obese aren't seen as a taboo subject.
What are your thoughts?
A review paper discussing how much protein you can use for muscle building purposes has been published.
These are the very simplified cliff notes with some rounding on the body weights.
As always, use guidelines as your starting point and adjust as necessary....
A couple of months ago I bought a new hoover (or vacuum, depending on where you are in the world).
The previous one was big and cumbersome so it was kept in a cupboard. The sexy new one is lightweight, cordless and clips on the wall in the kitchen. You can take it off the clip, hoover something up and put it back in a few seconds flat.
Ever since I bought this hoover, I probably clean five times as much as I did previously....
Why? It is in plain view and requires a lot less effort to use.
This is an example of how your environment can help dictate your behaviours.
Nothing has changed about me. The only thing that has changed is how easy it is for me to clean up.
Why am I talking to you about my hoover? I hear you ask.
This is an example that if something takes more effort you are less likely to do it.
- You are more likely to binge on cookies when you keep a stash in the cupboard than if you have to leave your house to buy some.
- If you keep sweets on your office desk, you are more likely to pick on them throughout the day than if you had to get up and walk to fetch them from a cupboard.
- If you pick a gym that is close to your house, you may be less likely to skip your workout than if it requires a long drive.
- Likewise, if your favourite fast food establishment is on your route home, you can guarantee you are more likely to go in there than if it requires a special journey.
- When you had a long day at work, you will often pick the quickest thing to eat regardless of what it is. Fuck making that healthy 60 minute recipe you wanted to try, you have a pizza that will be ready in 15 minutes flat with no effort required.
The moral of the story is, humans will quite often gravitate towards the easy option.
If all of your healthy meal ideas are labour intensive and all of the convenient food you have in your house is junk food, good luck sticking to that.
Your environment can significantly impact your choices, whether you realise it or not.
Do yourself a solid and stack the odds in your favour.
Simple example meal plan for 1500 calories;
Lunch: Chicken salad
Dinner: Fish and potatoes
Simple example meal plan for 2500 calories;
Lunch: Chicken salad
Dinner: Fish and potatoes
This is just to demonstrate how useless verbal food diaries are when quantities aren't involved.
"I don't know why I am not losing weight. I eat really healthily". That's cool and all but how big are your portions? A chicken salad can be super low calorie or very high calorie depending on the portion size and what additions and dressings are being used.
Healthy food won't make you lose weight if you are ingesting too many calories.
If your diet is great quality but you aren't getting the results you expect, you need to pay more attention to quantity as well.
A friend of mine gave me some "protein chocolate".
From what I can gather, it has slightly more protein than a regular chocolate bar and swaps some sugar for sugar alcohols.
So, if you would like a chocolate bar that doesn't taste as good as regular chocolate but is just as calorific, costs three times as much and makes you feel like you are going to shit yourself, I strongly recommend them.