We are going full Marty McFly this week with a brief dip into my nutrition history.
The goal here is simple: To help you avoid the same mistakes that I made, making your nutrition journey more of a success a lot sooner.
I’ll save a long and more eloquent description of calories for another time.
I didn’t really pay enough attention to how much calories mattered until a good while after my masters.
How crazy is that?
The role of energy intake and calories was not really discussed as a driver of changes in body weight, disease-risk etc. As a result, I fell for a lot of terrible information within closed internet circles.
In fact, during some of my more productive years of training, had I been more aware of the role that calories actually played, I may have made it as a decent level athlete (sob, tiny violin playing..)
In short, the amount of energy we consume from food drives many of the major health outcomes that are most prevalent in our world.
On a smaller personal level for each of us, being aware of how much energy we consume and how that can fluctuate massively day to day, would be a massive win.
(Aside. That’s why I’m so hell-bent on getting integrous nutrition information out to people).
If you don’t know who’s telling the truth, it’s easy to get lost in the ground swell of a popular ideas. Throughout my college years (and likely before), I fell for a few of the ‘bad science’ concepts that were and still are pretty pervasive.
'The singular root cause of obesity'
'As a beige carbohydrate, they spike insulin, make you store fat'
'You can quit sugar'
'Eat more fat to burn more fat'
'Dairy is unhealthy'
This is not a full list of the beliefs that contradict sound nutrition thinking but it’s a start.
My hope is to save everyone I work with, groups I talk to etc. all the time I wasted falling for what I mindlessly followed along with.
For the longest time as a teenager and into my early college years, I ate chicken, broccoli and rice/cous cous or sweet potato.
Yep, I was one of those people. I even once said ‘I don’t eat for taste, I eat for performance’.
How much of a bellend was I?
Now, I’m not picking at people who are dedicated but I had zero leeway with what I ate. This was all in the name of the progress that I definitely wasn’t making as well.
In professional sporting environments and those who make a living by performing at elite levels, a degree of ‘eating for performance’ is absolutely warranted. For a 19/20 year old who just uses the bench press and cable crossover, this is not the case.
The same goes for those who want to lose weight. They enter the process with a pre-conceived notion that it will be the most restrictive time of their lives. Falling off the wagon is MUCH more likely because of this unnecessary attitude.
For most people, the dietetic mantra of ‘all foods can fit’ is a message that needs to be heard. Each of us needs to know that a healthy pattern of eating IS COMPATIBLE with quality of life - health, social events and all.
This needs to be recognised and understood. Then the practise of it can follow.