This is the end of the world as we know it. This is the end of nature as we know it. This is the end of the environment as we know it. This is the end of life as we know it. This is the end of the universe as we know it. This is the end of everything as we know it.
It’s hard to believe, but the last time I went to the doctor, I was still fat. Yes—I’m still fat. I get the occasional lumps and bumps, but I’ve never been diagnosed with anything serious, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It’s hard to imagine that the last time I was noticeably fat was nearly two decades ago. If it wasn’t for my husband and our mutual friend, I probably wouldn’t even remember how I looked.
In a world where information is abundant and readily accessible, it’s been easy to accept the fact that a large percentage of it is mostly unreliable. Before we can trust a piece of information, we must be able to give it some weight—and that means having good reason to believe it. That’s what this blog is all about! I don’t care if you think I’m crazy—if you have proof that something I say is false, then by all means, post your evidence here. I’m more than willing to listen and discuss it with you.
The reality is that there are a lot of phony “experts” out there who provide diet, exercise, and supplement advise by day then drink Guinness and eat bread sticks at night. So, how do you know who to believe? Let’s face it…a it’s piece of cake. Obtain proof!
I’ve spent a lot of time on the road in the past few weeks. The routine consists of giving talks at nutrition and exercise conferences, interacting with researchers, hanging out with “fitness gurus,” and visiting with some of my athletes.
On these trips, I typically have a wonderful time. I get to travel to various places, meet friends and customers I don’t see every day, and learn new things.
However, the only thing I brought home from my latest round of travel was a chip on my shoulder.
For those of you who really know me, you’re undoubtedly aware that I’m a fairly decent person in general. Mostly courteous. Confrontational infrequently. I am an open-minded person. And very forgiving.
Those in my close circle know that I seldom, if ever, “call out” other nutrition and fitness professionals or create conflicts in this capacity. My mentality has been “live and let live” in many respects.
Today, though, I must deviate from my usual routine. Because, quite honestly, I’ve encountered more BS-talking fitness hypocrites in the past two months than Bruce Lee can swing a nunchaku at. And I’ve got to tell you something. Enough is enough!
Before I go any further, let me explain something. Some of these BS’ers seem to be really lovely people…and they are. They seem to be pleasant, straightforward, and genuine in their recommendations.
However, friendliness and sincerity aren’t the only factors to consider when seeking diet and exercise guidance. That’s not even close.
You might have the most pleasant trainer in the planet. But it’s a different story if the trainer injures you or costs you $100 an hour for no results. Screw sincerity at that moment.
Paleo, schmaleo, schmaleo, schmaleo, schmaleo
As you would expect, I have a chip on my shoulder as a consequence of one very specific “nutrition expert” who will remain unnamed for the sake of this essay. But, before I publicly slam this man, let me give you some context.
Paleo nutrition is the current “in” phrase for eating lean meats, veggies, and healthy fats, as many of you are aware. Eating like our paleolithic ancestors and all that jazz.
In fact, during the last several months, I’ve heard at least ten different experts discuss how the “paleo diet” should be followed. Now, I have no objections to the idea of a “paleo diet” in general – though any archeologist or anthropological will tell you that there was no one “paleo diet.”
Depending on where they lived and what tools they had at their disposal, various civilizations ate a broad variety of naturally accessible foods throughout our evolutionary past.
Aside from anthropology, I believe that the present idea of what is referred to as a “paleo diet” is very similar to how many people should eat. Indeed, it resembles what we propose in the System in many respects.
So, don’t get me wrong: I’m not a big fan of the so-called paleo diet.
However, you will see that I have a problem with…
Heal yourself, doctor.
I attended a lecture with an expert who is a major proponent of the “paleo diet” around a month ago. I gave a presentation about how to get the most out of your sports nutrition. He also took the stage to discuss his views on the paleo diet. That’s all right.
He recounted the origins of “paleo nutrition” and then went on to passionately preach the total avoidance of ALL grains, ALL dairy, and ALL legumes throughout his 2-hour presentation, which he gave to a group of nutrition neophytes — in other words, individuals we label Level 1 customers here at PN.
Our genome seems to be a few million years old. And, of course, we’re not supposed to consume ANY wheat, dairy, or legumes (by god, nature, or the boogeyman). Yes, even corn (on the cob), raw peanuts, and green beans are off bounds. Because, well, grains and legumes are grains and legumes, respectively.
To add to this, our expert above concludes his presentation with another another “fact.” His best dietary advise, it seems, is to consume mainly lean meat and vegetables in moderation.
Because we should also adhere to calorie-restricting guidelines. And that implies we’re only consuming around 70% of our daily maintenance requirements.
Now, as always, my philosophy is “live and let live.” So I’m not here to criticize this specific piece of advise. So I’ll just leave it at that… It’s not the same as what’s in the System.
But here’s something you won’t find in the PN System:
Mr. Militant A. Nutrition was eating hors d’oeuvres and drinking Guinness at a restaurant about an hour after the lecture ended. I observed as he ate approximately half a loaf of white bread in addition to his main meal about 2 hours later.
Meat and vegetables, ironically.
He wasn’t satisfied with his two or three grain-based Guinness drinks as the night continued. As a result, he placed another order. That night, he drank a total of six beers.
Guinness is a great tasting stout. Grains are used.
Please excuse my poor French. What a jerk, however.
This man spent the greater part of the day attempting to persuade novices – individuals who had more pressing concerns than corn on the cob and peanuts – that grains, dairy, and legumes should never be consumed. These are nutritional blights, after all.
After crucifying each of these food categories, he proceeded to beat the calorie limitation drum.
Then he spent the rest of the evening getting drunk and eating excessively. With a sprinkling of oats for good measure.
F- him, f- him, f- him, f- him, f And there’s the additional 20 pounds of body fat he’s carrying about on his frail frame.
Who are we consulting for advice?
A 20-pound overweight nutritional hypocrite. I’m not sure about you. But he isn’t the kind of person from whom I want to seek counsel. Indeed, I wish people like them would simply leave my profession alone.
Seriously. I don’t mind if someone doesn’t follow a rigorous diet. Not in the least.
Please don’t go on stage as a nutrition expert, preach some extremely restricted diet, tell us how very essential that diet is, and then violate every rule you presented on stage within two hours of leaving it.
It’s very sad. It’s also aggravating.
If you believe this person is an outlier or an extreme case, think again. Every year, I speak at approximately 12-15 conferences. And instead of being an exception, this person is more or less the norm!
When I’m on the road, I’m usually the lone man eating mixed nuts, venison jerky, cut up fruits and vegetables, and greens beverages.
Even at fitness and wellness events. Even the speaker’s lounge is a good place to be. It’s generally just me and my ziploc baggies, with a few noteworthy exceptions.
You must insist on evidence.
While this kind of stuff irritates me, I can’t fathom how it makes you feel, dear readers. Especially if you’re simply attempting to navigate the present labyrinth of contradictory dietary recommendations.
What is a person to do with all of these specialists and theories? That’s simple enough. For a change, demand evidence.
I understand that you aren’t accustomed to asking for it. But it’s the only way to tell whether someone really understands what they’re talking about. Or if they’re just a liar.
A master’s or doctorate degree is certainly desirable. A medical degree is as well. Even these qualifications, though, aren’t evidence. They are, in fact, useless if the credentialed do not:
- They should follow their own advice and eat healthily at home and on the road.
- They seem to live a healthy lifestyle, with a slender physique and enough muscular mass, as well as healthy skin, hair, and nails.
- Show you proof that they can and have assisted others in achieving exceptional outcomes, the kind of results you want.
I was fortunate enough to attend a lecture given by Alwyn Cosgrove a few years ago.
First, a little background about Alwyn. To begin with, he owns and operates a thriving semi-private training facility in Santa Clarita, California. He is, without a doubt, one of the world’s best body transformation experts today. Furthermore, he is a great presenter.
As I sat in the audience, listening to Alwyn’s lecture, I observed that anytime he spoke about a training or nutrition concept, he always backed it up with a few published studies. Then he provided a real-life example of someone who benefitted from his counsel.
In other words, he demonstrated evidence that his ideas were more than theories by showing a before and after image as well as case study data. To show that they worked on genuine individuals who paid him real money in exchange for real outcomes.
Pattie, one of Alwyn’s long-term fat reduction customers, dropped 155 pounds at Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California.
I walked over to Alwyn after the lecture, where he exhibited hundreds of before/after photo sets. I also questioned him, “How many before and after photo sets do you really have?” He responded, “Oh, hundreds.”
I later confirmed this allegation during a visit to Alwyn’s gym in California. The man has hundreds of photos of individuals making incredible improvement utilizing particular training techniques that he teaches in his seminars.
Maria, a fat loss customer from Cosgrove, dropped 32 pounds in 12 weeks at Results Fitness.
We’ve always been firm believers in this kind of evidence around here. In fact, we’ve been doing it for years. Every single one-on-one customer. Every participant in the PN Challenge. Every participant in the Lean Eating Coaching program.
We’ve requested that they keep track of their development. With pictures. As well as statistics on body composition.
Not only does this procedure keep the customer on track by reminding them that the camera will be released shortly and that they must be prepared. It also allows us at PN to demonstrate that we know what we’re talking about.
As previously stated, many so-called experts engage in the most egregious kind of dietary hypocrisy. Overweight and sickly people are walking about. Preaching about nutritional priorities that are incorrect. Then there’s the matter of not adhering to any of these so-called nutritional priorities.
It’s depressing… To be honest, it serves as incentive for us. We’re driven to ensure that we’re never categorized in that way.
It’s true that not everyone agrees with what I say when I give a presentation. They may or may not agree with all I say in the System. That’s OK with me. Especially because 90 percent of what competent nutrition experts teach is likely to be agreed upon.
But let’s be honest here. Isn’t the majority of nutrition debates just nitpicky nonsense? Seriously, who can disagree with the outcomes?
All year, I go about with an average body fat of 8% or less. And I’ll have you know that I confirmed this truth last weekend using a fantastic new ultrasonic body fat testing equipment.
I am a living example of what the System preaches. Anyone who has ever seen me speak at an event, worked out at my gym, or asked me home for dinner understands exactly what I mean. I’ll also reveal my shopping and restaurant receipts, as well as open my fridge and pantry to anybody who wants.
And, perhaps most significantly, I have reams of case studies demonstrating the effectiveness of the PN System. It also works wonderfully. Take a look at these before and after photo sets. The vast majority of them are from our Lean Eating Coaching For Men and Women programs.
Peg, a Lean Eating coaching participant, shed 26 pounds and 7% body fat over the 16-week online coaching course.
Kirk, a Lean Eating Coaching participant, shed 33 pounds and 7% body fat over the 16-week online coaching program.
Beth, a Lean Eating Coaching participant, shed 20 pounds and 8% body fat over the 16-week online coaching program.
James, a Lean Eating Coaching participant, shed 14 pounds and 6% body fat over the course of the 16-week online program.
Carrie, a Lean Eating Coaching participant, shed 20 pounds and 8% body fat over the 16-week online coaching program.
During the 2007 online challenge, Mark dropped 28 pounds.
Amanda, a PN coaching client, dropped 15 pounds and 10% body fat after using the PN System.
Billy dropped 85 pounds by following the System’s principals.
Hmmm… I’m curious whether it really works.
You know, I began this essay a little enraged. However, wow! Looking at these photos has a calming effect on me. At least a bit. Until I run across Mr. Militant Nutrition again.
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