Debunking the Science on High Fat Diets…

This Outside Magazine article is a great way to illustrate something I’ve been trying to help people understand for a long time. We love to reference “The Science” to guide us.

This has made many an online rock star out of people with MD’s, PhD’s, MS’s and all sorts of alphabet soup behind their name. People look to “Peer-reviewed, double-blind placebo controlled crossover study’ science, and the credentialed ‘Experts’ to give us assurance we are on the right track. 

A Hard Truth About Science

Let’s face this truth: Science has become a dogmatic religion, especially when related directly to our health and especially when it comes to ‘Diet’. When you step back and look at the binary thinking about which diet is best and the ‘science’ to ‘prove’ it, you can see the similarity to the binary thinking going on in religion and politics. It does not have to be this way. 

When it is done well, a tremendous amount of insight comes from science and the pursuit of knowledge via the ‘Scientific Method’. The problem is, in our quest for simplified answers to the complexity and dynamism of our individual health & performance, this simplification, along with the Scientists and Gurus who perform and interpret the science, fall short of what YOU need to reach your goals in the real world.

The Limitations of Scientific Data

The reality is ‘The Science’ and it’s Interpreters have limitations when taken out of the confines of a controlled environment and cast into application in the real world. . . your real world of how to reach your health & performance potential. 

Now I’ve had a fair amount of success in applying the science in teaching athletes and coaches the principles of OFM to achieve their goals, so today I want to share a few thoughts on science like this article on High Fat Diets with the goal being to empower you. 

Here are key points:

1st: Scientific Studies are a tool. They are in controlled settings testing a hypothesis while controlling the other variables. They give us insight into a single aspect of the biological system being studied. You live in a multi-facetted, dynamic environment and can only control a small portion of the variables. Science is one piece of a complex and moving puzzle that makes up YOU!

2nd: Diets are another tool. The diet is only one key variable in a host of variables. Furthermore, there is no one static diet! As an athlete your diet will move around based upon your training, recovery and competition not to mention other variables. 

3rd: Why do these studies hyper focus on the Diet? I’ll tell you why. We are Human. Scientists and Gurus are human too. So why can’t they get over the hyper focus on studying a single diet?

a) Because as Humans our biology is hard-wired to focus on food precisely because it is crucial to survival. Even though we do not face starvation and food is at our fingertips, that primitive survival hard-wiring keeps us focusing on diet.

b)  We love to measure. Data is king in science…..’Show me the data’ . . . and data is how Humans quantify. Data is crucial to validating a hypothesis, keeping track of our progress and looking for trends but an over-reliance on data leaves us ‘chasing the numbers’ instead of using the data to support the experience or observation we are studying.

c) The love of measuring leads to C. That is we can measure external calories much better than trying to measure the burning of our own body fat. People struggle with the ‘voodoo’ of OFM because there is so little to measure in terms of external calories and the lack of data whether fat, carbs or protein does not fit the conventional paradigm.    


4th: Now that you have heard or read #’s 1,2,& 3  - The key thing to take home about the study and the interpretation of it by the article’s author is this: The study and the article’s author miss the point. . . that is right. They MISS the point!

The Missing Key: Optimal Fat Metabolism

The point is this; optimal fat metabolism, not diet, achieves optimal performance. By focusing on the tools of metabolism with a static diet instead of optimizing the metabolism of fat, the study limits the ability of the subjects to burn fat at the rates and intensities Nature has bestowed upon humans, through millions of years of evolution. 

The referenced study and it’s interpreter are leading the reader to their ‘expert’ interpretation of the ‘science’, while dismissing the ‘anecdotal’ evidence people like our Heroes are achieving in the real world of competition. This maintains the status quo that carbohydrates are King for performance level athletics. 

We Still Love Carbohydrates

And guess what? We agree that carbs have a place, a strategic place, as does a diet that is higher in fat and low in carbs. There is a time and place for dietary variations as there is a time and place for interval training and long duration cardio training. 

This begs the question; Are you a Lab Rat or a Warrior? 

More so, do YOUR results matter to you? 

OFM harnesses the science of evolutionary biology to guide us in applying modern science to get YOU results in the real world. Watch & Listen to just a few of the hundreds of people we have helped individualize their health and performance stories by optimizing their fat metabolism and get started today!            

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