Buzzwords annoy the crap out of me, so today I’m going to Myth Bust a few buzzwords so I can have a good rant, get this out of my system and in the process, help you hang on to your mind and your money!
BuzzWords: Mental Gateways to Stupidity
Let’s start by framing the situation: Today’s online environment is literally “Death by a Thousand Cuts” for your mind, and buzzwords play a much larger role in disempowering us than we realize.
Buzzwords are mental gateways to stupidity because they conveniently make us think we understand something. They roll off our tongues like secret code to confer an all-encompassing intelligence and understanding of the subject matter at hand, so we open our wallet or click the ‘buy’ button to part with our hard earned money in exactly the way the purveyors of these buzzwords want.
This is by design and preys upon our addiction to convenience. Instead of doing the hard work of researching, thinking, and applying our hard-won knowledge, buzzwords create an illusion of omnipotence to ‘bio-hack’ our way to health. And, yes, I intentionally used the word ‘hack’ to make my point...
What is, in fact, happening is we are, once again, being “Sold, Told and Controlled’. This is the underlying marketing narrative, and it's ubiquitous today. In giving you the convenience of a buzzword, which only gives you the illusion of understanding, you forfeit the ability to think, reason and decide what is truly best for you.
A Grain of Truth
Now that I have established how insidious these words are, we need to realize how pervasively embedded they are in our vernacular. Terms like ‘hack’, ‘keto’, ‘paleo’, ‘plant-based’, ‘grass-fed’, ‘GMO’, ‘Amino Acids’, ‘Heart Healthy’, ‘non-GMO’, ‘antioxidant’, ‘nootropic’, ‘organic’, ‘pesticide-free’, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah… all constantly blipping on our psyche’s radar screen to create a minor chronic stressor and distract us from our true goal of optimal health and performance.
And what’s more, these buzzwords most often contain a ‘grain’ of truth to anchor the marketing hyperbole upon.
The Truth about Antioxidants
Take the word Antioxidants for example. Why would I get worked up about seeing ‘Antioxidant’ pasted on the front of food and beverage containers, ads, internet nutrition articles and almost everywhere I turn? Simple. It’s called BIOLOGY! Oxidation is a critical process of life! When we breathe, when the oxygen we take into our lunges gets distributed throughout our body to the cells to produce ATP, we are oxidizing. This is clear and basic physiology.
However, the seed of truth is about controlling oxidative stress from Reactive Oxygen Species also known as ROS, a much more complicated topic. Simply adding or having some compound that is shown in the lab to suppress ROS and calling it an ‘Antioxidant’ does not an antioxidant make. . . and you know what? One of the most powerful tools for limiting and preventing oxidative stress is this:
Fasting. Stopping the consumption of all these ‘antioxidant’ foods and supplements is way better at minimizing ROS. Another option is optimizing fat metabolism - the metabolism of your onboard body fat. No food or supplement comes close. But of course, fasting and burning body fat are free, so there is no profit in that!
Why 'Bio-Hacking' Makes No Sense
‘Bio-Hacking’ or ‘Hacking’ is another annoying term that has pervaded the health, wellness and performance sphere made super famous by the likes of Dave Asprey, Ben Greenfield and other Gurus who either have a background in technology or grew up with it.
I’ve never been able to wrap my head around the buzzword ‘hack’ because you simply do not ‘hack’ a biological system the way you do a line of code… As a Biologist, educated at UC Davis, this term is a non-sequitur and potentially dangerously misleading, not to mention all these ‘hacks’ lead to a lot of stress.
Don't You Believe in 'Science'?
And then there’s ‘Science’. Where do I start with how this word is getting abused? Right now more than ever we need ‘science’ but right now more than ever ‘science’ has been dumbed down to a buzzword belief system instead of facts, data, context, understanding and only then application. I saw it today on social media. Someone getting a shot and posting, “I believe in science.”
I know this is all well intended, but believing in ‘science’ is not science. As any really good scientist will tell you, science is more about questions than answers and, by default, there are so many more unknowns than knowns. When we turn it into a belief system over rigorous testing of a hypothesis leading to an application it is no longer ‘science’.
And don’t get me started on the terms ‘keto’ or ‘paleo’ or ‘primal’ etc. Probably 8-10 years ago over lunch, Steve Phinney and I mutually predicted things would go off the rails in the Low Carb communities and this has certainly been the case.
Then there is the term ‘nootropic’. I don’t even know how to pronounce this buzzword properly, yet the mere mention of it increases one’s IQ by 10 points and another 10 points if you use the super special branded MCT Oil… or does it?
So, while these terms are oxymorons, as such, they are effectively turning the average consumer into a moron being ‘Sold, Told and Controlled’.
Guide, Not Guru
This scene from the movie Idiocracy is eerily on point to make my point. In fact, I can identify with the main character, Corporal Joe Bauers. Like trying to suggest the Brawndo is killing the plants, I spent 15 years telling athletes all the carbohydrates and sugars they were using were destroying their performance and their health. The cognitive dissonance on overuse of carbohydrates was real then and, surprisingly, still is now when it comes to performance athletics.
This is why I don’t use buzzwords. This is why my content videos go longer, sometimes a lot longer, than the 3 minute rule. YOU, the individual, deserve so much more than buzzwords and 3 minutes of video, and this is why I look at the underlying physiology & metabolism, as well as the variables to develop solutions, that are applicable and sustainable in the context of the individual and the real world. I know I get deep in the weeds and lose people with my content, the people who fall for the buzzwords and simple answers for the complexities of life, but I haven’t lost you and that’s what matters.
This is why I am your Guide, not your Guru. My Team and I don’t take the complexities of biology, physiology and metabolism and make them simple because you can’t. We make the complex doable and sustainable in the context of YOUR life by offering you the guidance you need to summit your personal mountain to peak performance and health while providing the metabolic freedom so you can live life to the fullest!