The title of this blog post was to serve to purposes: one to grab your attention and two, there is a lot of truth to this statement, especially when it comes to the fitness industry. (There are a lot of snakes in this business, with their mind focused on ££££ only!)
This blog post is about myself learning the hard way and being brainwashed at times by so called “experts” in the fitness industry, as a result I have decided to bring down some of the information I have given out on this page, my website and my you tube channel. Due to some of this information being incorrect and not backed by scientific research (despite some of the biggest names in the industry preaching this trash!!)
I have created this post to help you, to not make the same mistakes I have done, to learn from them and to question everything that has been preached to you by the so called “fitness experts”. I am going to go through some of the points I have preached to you in the past and clear up the truth. As well as give you some signs to look out for when taking information from somebody.
Some may ask why I am doing this blog post. Will this undermine people’s opinion of me? Possibly. It is likely most of you would of not done your scientific research on some of the things I was suggesting which I will go through below, however I am not a politician and will not hold my ground on certain topics that have an overwhelming amount of research that suggest they are false (now I know these to be false, I didn’t at the time). I believe I am a person of honesty and integrity & if I believe I was wrong on certain topics in the past I will hold my hands up say I was wrong and continue to learn. At the age of just 20 I still have plenty of learning time to constantly improve, which I will always strive to do.
Let’s dive in to the key points I have made in the past which are incorrect:
• 1- “Eating Fats and carbohydrates in the same meal will mean fat storage.”
I made a video about this, which is correct. The hypothesis behind this theory (preached by many big names in the industry) was that by having carbohydrates, you will cause a secretion of insulin, insulin is a storage hormone & and therefore by having fats in the same meal, the insulin spike will mean those dietary fats will be stored as adipose tissue (body fat). The solution I gave was to separate your meals into two types. Protein&fat meals and carbohydrate & protein meals. Sounds very plausible, especially when being preached regularly in the fitness industry.
What is the truth?
The biggest problem with this is that there is an overlap of absorption of different nutrients from previous meals, so by trying to separate fats and carbohydrates from the same meal is ridiculous. The other issue is, it is not just carbohydrates that cause an insulin response, protein is very insulinogenic too. Here is an article by Alan Aragon who breaks down this topic in more detail:
• 2- “Where you store body fat on your body is a result of certain hormones, therefore we can use supplements/training techniques to reduce body fat on certain areas of the body”
This is preached by the great Charles Poliquin (not so great), those who work in the fitness industry should know who he is. Those who don’t. He has worked with many Olympic athletes, he currently has endless fitness certifications that he offers to fitness professionals, and he sells huge amount of supplements. He has been called a figure head in the past because until the 1990’s personal trainers didn’t exist, so we have him to thank for that.
With that in mind, the huge “Poliquin brand ” with a muscular physique despite his age with a huge amount of experience in the fitness industry, you would think he would be an excellent person to listen to right?? That’s what I thought and so do lots of other people.
Poliquin preaches a lot on the extremes with his protocols such as: his 30g of fish oil a day, the meat & nuts breakfast to set neurotransmitters for the day, one of the biggest claims he made was gaining 14.5lbs of muscle while simultaneously losing 3.5 lbs of fat in 5 days???? Here is an artical about is so called science based principles
Back to the point, Poliquin preaches that by taking various skin fold measurements, you can assess a hormonal profile of an individual with regards to where the person stores body fat.
To give you a quick example of what Poliquin preaches with regards to which hormones are causing body fat storage in certain areas of the body, I thought this would be a good time to quote Poliquin himself:
“Let’s say that after being tested, it’s discovered there is an excessive amount of fat on the lower thighs (again, relative to the other major fat sites). This indicates there is a problem with the estrogen levels. If the problem area is the triceps, the issue is with the androgen levels. If the problem area is the shoulder blades or hip, the problem is with insulin levels. The shoulder blade area has to do with the genetic ability to handle carbohydrates, while your supra-illiac skinfold is a direct reflection of your dietary intake. Therefore, if a client cheats on an assigned low carbohydrate diet, the skin folds will not lie.”
A great example of why this analysis is flawed is to look at Natural competitive bodybuilders, when they near competition with body fat levels less than 5% in most cases, there testosterone is at an all time low. A recent study that you can see the abstract herehttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23412685 the study looks at the huge drop in testosterone in male athletes as the competition draws in. At less than 5% body fat their triceps skinfold measurement is going to be at an all time low. However Poliquin preaches if skinfold measurements are low e.g. low body fat being stored on the triceps then testosterone is high? As you can see from above this is not always the case.
My friend Joseph Agu has written an excellent article on Poliquin’s biosignature: Read both part 1 & part 2
• 3- The final point which I have never written about or done a video on the topic but it is probably one of the biggest myths out there and I wanted to share this with you too. Which is the myth that “higher meal frequency means an increased metabolic rate”. You may here comments such as “you need to stoke the fire, by eating more frequently” this is absolute nonsense. I am going to stay away from the topic of maximising muscle protein synthesis because there are various opinions and differences in data regarding what is optimal.
With regards to metabolic rate however there are two factors that need to be considered, which I will talk about both. They are the Thermic effect of food and Basal metabolism.
Firstly in terms of basal metabolism, this is fundamentally based on your thyroid hormones. These hormones do not fluctuate throughout the day, they take weeks to fluctuate.
Secondly the thermic effect of food is based off total macro nutrient intake. Therefore a person consuming one meal a day vs someone consuming 10 meals a day will have the same thermic effect. The person eating 10 meals a day will spread out the thermic effect versus one large increase from the person eating 1 meal. The total thermic effect would be exactly the same. (Just to clarify, I am not recommending someone should only be consuming one meal per day, there are other factors to consider when trying to optimise body composition e.g. maximising muscle protein synthesis)
e.g. There has been recent research from Dr. Layne Norton & Stuart Philips showing that a moderate meal frequency ( 4meals approx.) is more beneficial than less meals a day or higher a meal frequency totals. Like a lot of the answers to these questions, the answer is often somewhere in the middle.
With regards to the very high meal frequency’s e.g. 6-10 meals a day which has been brainwashed into a lot of people by the supplement companies. Expensive marketing campaigns, usually magazine articles with a Drugged up IFBB pro bodybuilders on the advertisement claiming they eat 10 meals a day. The average gym goer will soon believe this is what they need to do to gain a good physique. I am yet to find a person who has time to eat 10 solid meals a day due to time constraints, so what should this person do? Next to this image is the latest meal replacement shake which requires no time to make. Another sale for the supplement companies!!!
I am not saying supplements cannot be useful, they can! Especially a whey protein supplement when trying to reach your daily protein goals for the day, it is often inconvenient and expensive to just consume from whole foods.
However the supplement companies are portraying the myth you need to eat every 2-3 hours!!
To conclude we have discussed areas where I have made mistakes in the past. How to learn from my mistakes to not make them yourselves. The goal for this post is to make yourselves more aware of the information you consume, is this information backed by science or are these people trying to sell me something??
Finally this leads nicely into a video I watched yesterday by Dr. Layne Norton, he has a PHD in nutrition and he is a pro natural body builder & power lifter. The video was on the topic of “extremism” in the fitness industry & often these extreme concepts, diets, equipment, supplements etc. often lead to extreme disappointment. Nutrition & Training is not black or white however there a lot of snakes out there trying to sell you something that is the next big thing!! Quite often the answer comes down to somewhere in the middle on a lot of these topics. I have tried a lot of protocols: intermittent fasting, paleo, gluten free, wheat free, double day training, training abdominals every day 3 times a day for a year (I know stupid), low carbohydrates, low fat and every time I come back to a balance of everything. The basics. Progressive weight training, a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats to suit my specific goals at the time.
This isn’t sexy I know. What about the magic tricks??? There aren’t any. WAKE UP!!!
Open your eyes!!!!
To finish I will leave you with a quote.
“When you take somebody’s quote out of context, which happens all the time, nobody’s ever going to go and do the research on their own and figure out that you got it wrong.”
-Thomas Frank. I think this quote applies a lot to the fitness industry.
Thanks again for the support.