I’m on a rant today, but it’s my hope this will challenge and empower you to think and make the right decisions for YOU!
“The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions.” This trite old saying applies today more than ever. We are being bombarded with dietary and nutritional advice - and it is pretty conflicting ranging from from plant based vegans on one end of the spectrum and the emerging carnivore/keto movement at the other. So don’t think you are the only one ‘dazed & confused’.
I’ve concluded there is neither a vast right wing conspiracy nor a whacko environmentalist movement driving all this noise but that most of the people involved genuinely believe what they are advocating is in your best interest. . . it’s all well intended.
Well Intended Advice
Whether it’s your doctor recommending you a statin drug because your cholesterol is a bit high, the online alternative-health Guru offering their ‘clean’ and unique line of supplements and/or super-foods, or your daughter returning from her first semester at college bound and determined to save you and the planet by going plant-based everyone genuinely means good and no harm. But, as we can clearly see from the long-term unintended consequences of the US Dietary Guidelines set in the 1980’s and cholesterol/heart disease hypothesis resulting in over $35 billion dollar global sales of statin drugs which are now showing to do more harm than good, these good intentions can lead to some really bad outcomes.
Here is a recent example I encountered; my neighbor and friend, a regular middle-age guy five years younger than I who is not an athlete per se but physically active in his profession recently had a heart attack and quadruple by-pass surgery. He’s going to be all-right but I learned in visiting him a few days ago that in the years leading up to his heart attack his physician was treating his ever-increasing blood pressure and cholesterol scores simply by increasing his blood pressure medication and Lipitor!
Do I think or believe his doc was out to kill him? Absolutely not, quite the opposite! His physician was offering him the ‘standard of care’ the best medicine has to offer from his/her point of view as a medical professional! It probably never crossed his/her mind that the increasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels were signs their well-intentioned advice wasn’t working . . . see what I mean?
So, the question is “How do you navigate all the diet, nutrition and health advice out there to optimize your physiology for health and performance?”
There are a couple of things to consider:
- Realize all the information out there is well-intended. Certainly people who are offering you a good or service or posting advertising on their blog are in it to make money but I’ve concluded whether these people are in it to get filthy rich or simply make a living they sincerely believe what they are saying/offering is well-intended. Knowing this allows you to be more objective in assessing whether their advice is right for you.
- Understand we need to step back from our deeply embedded belief systems to see their perspective as to why they are putting the information out. “Seek first to understand,” Stephen Covey’s 5th Habit is the mantra here.
- Are they actually the originator of the information or are they part of the “copy & paste, instant online Guru” culture? While the quality of the information, products and services may be outstanding it may be out of context for your needs and/or way over-priced because of the hyperbole of the content. . .
- So many over-priced foods and supplements are being sold via ‘well-intended’ advice which actually triggers fear and resulting in stress around what you are putting in your mouth and your finances because you just spent a fortune at Whole Paycheck.
- You are not simple - you are an individual and complex, so there is no one formula out there that is going to be optimal for you. Most structured diet and exercise programs out there do help and you will see benefits but the question you have to ask yourself is, “Do I want an off the shelf program or do you want an optimal one?” YOU want optimal. Demand it from yourself and don’t settle for less.
- Investing the resources and taking the time to develop a doable dietary/nutritional lifestyle which seamlessly integrates with all other aspects of your life creates a sustainable approach you eventually don’t have to think about. As I say, ‘If it’s not doable in the context of YOUR life, you’re not going to do it long-term.” It doesn’t have to be perfect, it has to by YOURS!
The need for structure and guidance
You are not simple. There is no simple formula to get you to your peak health and performance.
Today’s article/rant was not meant to answer the questions for you but to get you to take a different mindset into your health and performance. Here are some take-aways . . .
- Stop reacting to all the ‘well-intended’ information.
- Start to assess and think about it in the context of your life.
- Seek out people who really and truly know their stuff. There are a few of us out there.
- Get out of your comfort zone by seeking out the pioneers & innovators, considering what they are saying, why and where they are coming from. In other words, get ahead of the curve. You may not be ready to apply it yourself but you will know in due time whether they truly are pioneering innovation or well-intended but mis-guided information. You can’t change or solve a problem by thinking and doing things the same way.
- Listen less to the marketing hype and make educated decisions which work for YOU, your needs and budget. It doesn’t have to be expensive to be great for you and the value to your health and performance will be priceless.
- Learn the basic concepts, understand the ‘Why’ for them, how they apply to you, and listen to your body so you ‘intuitively’ make the best decisions for you as an athlete and as a healthy individual.
Your next steps
Stop and think about it first. Here are my thoughts on 3 simple constants I’ve seen in the course of almost 20 years pioneering fat-adapted performance.
Start listening to your physiology, here are some blog articles that will help you understand Fat Adaptation (hint: it’s NOT Keto or Paleo) and why you should consider it for performance athletics and robust health.
- What is Fat Adaptation
- Fat Adaptation is not about macros and calories
- The missing piece to get you Beyond Keto – Strategic Carbs
If you can ‘Drink the Kool-Aid’ of OFM’s perspective on fat adaptation which focuses on optimizing access to YOUR own body fat for fuel have a look at how Vespa can give you a taste of what performance fat adaptation is really like. Experience being ‘bonk proof’, steady energy flow, no GI issues, retention of mental focus & coordination and a recovery that you won’t believe until you experience it without making any changes in your diet!
you even if you are not a Fat Adapted athlete, here are some articles to help with that:
- The Emerging Data Behind Vespa’s Results-based Performances
- Why use Vespa? (hint: because it really works. It just works differently than the conventional model. Think, ‘Catalyst NOT Calories’)
- Vespa FAQ’s