Truth About Fad Diets & Other Gimmicks
In a world that is so populated with supplements and trending diet routines that change yearly, what can we honestly believe in? How can we live a healthier lifestyle without breaking the bank? Hopefully, with this article, I will be able to help at least a few of you with that today.
In an industry that contributes over $122 billion, yes, BILLION per year to the U.S. economy, supplies over 750,000 jobs as well, plus adds roughly another $15 billion in business taxes-federal and state-which doesn't even include taxes on product sales, this is an industry that everyone is getting involved in. From the stay at home moms looking to supplement a few extra dollars a month to the top 1% income earners in the world looking to secure their fortunes. The truth is, our world is getting more and more sick and people are looking to take advantage of it. So, what is the truth about the food we eat, our meal routines, supplements and what the human body actually needs?
THE TRUTH: With every piece of "credible" research that is gathered that says red meat causes cancer, carbs will make you fat, our shakes help you lose weight, soy protein will turn you into a female, etc. There is just as much research that provides how this is absolutely false. Unfortunately, we live in a world that wants to sell first, ask questions and build a rapport later. The first questions you should ask yourself when watching these "Doctors" on TV, reading articles online or sitting down with a Coach that says that are credible in the world of nutrition and health..."What are they trying to sell me and do they follow their own advice?"
Several people have asked me for my opinion on the latest fad diets and/or gimmicks such as the ever popular Paleo and Whole 30 eating routines, should they eat vegan, which supplements they should invest in and which company makes the best weight management shakes....
Now, before I give my opinion on these subjects, I will remind all of you that I am NOT a licensed Dietician nor am I am Professional Doctor. I am a certified Personal Trainer and what I write is based on my own personal research and trials after roughly 8 years of being in the Wellness industry and helping hundreds of individuals improve their respected health-from working in the supplement sales industry, to being trained, mentored and working alongside licensed Nutritionists, Nobel Laureates in Medicine and colleagues with decades of health experience.
THE TRUTH: The easiest way that I can sum all these gimmicks up is exactly that...they are gimmicks to sell. Do I have a bitter taste in my mouth over fad diets, supplements and other products being sold to people-sometimes but not always. At the end of the day, the end goal is always to get people up and moving while fueling themselves with more nutrient dense meals and less simple sugars, processed components, artificial colors & sweeteners and artificial trans fats. But, we must never forget that these people selling this product are indeed trying to get our hard earned money and we must always do our own research first while asking ourselves if these people truly care about us as human beings or just care about what is in our wallets.
Two of the greatest nutrition coaches I've ever watched and learned from are Ben Bergeron (Built by Bergeron) and Jason Phillips (Jason Phillips Nutrition & Driven 6 Nutrition). These men shoot it to you straight without any of the flashiness that is so popular in today's society of self-help/motivational speakers. These men are consistently putting out free content through podcasts, webinars and other media simply because they care about people and want them to get the facts on nutrition. The facts on nutrition are truly this simple and should never be over-analyzed or complicated...
1. Eat Whole Nutritious Foods
2. Eat Less of It
3. Eat Mostly Plants
The hard and honest truth is there is no way, unless you grow it yourself, that you will receive 100% GMO free, Organic, unprocessed food items simply because the items take time to ship around the world to your respected grocery store or other food market. Plus, we must never forget that every individual macro and micronutrient plays a specific role in making our bodies and organs run effectively so eliminating carbs, fats, proteins, sugars, etc. will not help you get healthier in the long run. SHOCKER! We must learn how to manage them appropriately for our individual activity levels, health & performance goals, and genetic makeup. That is where a certified Personal Trainer and licensed Nutritionist comes into play. Your supplement provider should not be your go to Nutritionist. They may be able to provide you with meal suggestions and substitutes but I always recommend getting into contact with your physician to have blood work performed yearly to see your macronutrient sensitivities, micronutrient & mineral deficiencies. REMEMBER-until you know the root cause of your problem, why buy a supplement to fix a problem you may not even have? Wait until your doctor tells you what you are lacking, then spend the money on the appropriate vitamins and other supplements.
Final Thoughts: I know that I kept this topic very general, but that was the intention. To provide you with a few nuggets to process before committing to anything. I'm sure that this will be only the first in many blogs to come regarding nutrition, diets and supplements. But, the biggest things I want everyone to remember are these...
1. If you are consistently limiting your carbs and fats to extreme lows, you will initially see results but our bodies are very intelligent and will learn how to adapt to this trick if you do it again in an attempt to lose weight and it may result in less lean muscle tissue which will lower your metabolic rate which then will cause you to store more fat tissue and burn more muscle, it may also result in imbalances in hormone levels and adrenal gland health. Remember, carbs and fats are our friends, we just have to know how to balance them depending on our health goals and lifestyle routines.
2. Supplements are just that-to supplement something we are lacking. Before buying anything from a supplement salesperson or health food store, get the appropriate blood work done to reassure that you actually need the product. As for diet shakes, they serve a respected purpose and in my opinion, they are great for consistent travelers (for example) that cannot prep healthy meals for themselves and don't mind spending the extra cash for them. Are shakes essential for health? No, and research has shown in the last few years that our bodies absorb more overall nutrients from whole foods than it does blended shakes so day to day performance may increase when having a natural food lifestyle that consists of whole grains, fruits, lean meats and plenty of greens.
3. Every human body is different and everyone has a different genetic makeup so this theory that a fad diet like Paleo, Whole 30, etc. works for everyone is absolutely FALSE! Some people have sensitivity to certain macros, micros and minerals. Some will perform better on a higher healthy fat eating routine while others with digestion issues may be sensitive to certain protein quantities, just as an example. This is why it is ever so important to meet with your physician and nutritionist and get blood work done and not fall for gimmicks just trying to sell books, trainings, supplements and/or self-help videos just to name a few.
I hope everyone got at least a small something out of this and as always, if you are having trouble with your fitness or diet, please don't be afraid to reach out to me. I will do my best to answer whatever questions I may receive in a timely manner.
Taylor aka Taz
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