You Are What You Eat, Part 2
Friday, I shared an insightful and short podcast from The Consistency Project about the Netflix docuseries You Are What You Eat.
What to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and why we overeat have been explored since the very first diet book was published in 1863. That book, Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public by William Banting encouraged people to eat meat, greens, and fruit. He avoided root vegetables, potatoes, butter, milk, pork, salmon, sugar, and beer. He lost 35 pounds and decided that his anecdotal personal experience counted as evidence and thus the psuedoscience of diet and nutrition culture was born.
According to this article from Micheal Easter,
About 55 million Americans are on a diet plan, and 50% are trying to lose weight. Diet and weight loss books generated $580 million in sales in 2019.
WOW! That is a lot of folks who are wanting to make a change and a LOT of people and companies who are willing to sell them something, even if its silly bullshit, to help them lose weight.
What's even more interesting is that we are drawn to a particular diet, or eating plan, based on our confirmation bias. Easter summarizes it this way:
We often choose a diet based on our underlying beliefs about society. For example:
Your personal values, your beliefs, your family food culture, and your general life view will influence what you choose to put in your mouth, and this is the most important factor that will determine if your diet and nutrition choice will actually work. What works is what you can do for the long game. If you can't stay on your "X, Y, Z" elimination diet forever, it's not going to work.
Check out the entire article from Micheal Easter, "Wild Findings from an Analysis of 400 Diet Books" by clicking on the link below or reading it on Scribd.
You can read the entire article below.
The bottom line is that
“diets are all equally terrible for long-term weight loss,” Layne explained. But when the scientists stratified the participants by how closely they followed the diet’s instructions, they found that the most adherent people lost more fat. Regardless of the diet—every diet worked when the study participants followed it long-term.
The Myth of Moderation
Everything in moderation," is something I hear everyday and it makes me crazy. This ridiculous and illogical saying has gained traction in our culture of, "I deserve it," and today I'm calling bullshit on the myth of moderation.
The problem with "everything in moderation," is that it's a moving target. There is no objective, one size fits all, definitive Moderation. What we consider moderate today, while we're 15 days into our 75 (Not so) Hard, taking names, just crushed our workout, and doing our 75 push-ups a day, Thank-You-Very-Much is VASTLY different than what we consider moderate, just a few weeks ago, in that last week of December between Christmas and New Year's Eve. Right? Think about that for a moment. If there wasn't a huge cavernous span in our decision between what's moderate now versus January 30th, we wouldn't need to be doing, yet another, cleanse, or fast, or diet.
"Everything in moderation," is a LIE that we tell ourselves to justify a decision we know is not moving us toward our goal. It is the justification we use to allow ourselves to eat the thing, drink the drink, take the days off from the gym, and do whatever we want to do right now, "'Cause YOLO." This simple lie enables us to dodge discipline, avoid accountability, and trick ourselves out of temperance.
It is also used by other people to pressure us into a behavior that makes THEM feel better. Far too any times have I been pressured by friends, co-workers, and family to eat the cookies, cakes, pies, candy, etc., because it makes them feel better to see me do it. Why? Because my discipline makes people uncomfortable. Our actions and decisions often are a mirror for the people around us. So many times have I seen people wrestle with the consequences of their decisions once they see me stand-firm with mine.
Our culture resolutely accepts that moderation does not work for an alcoholic. Rarely do you see people pressuring sober folks into having "just one, because everything in moderation, yo." Why do we not afford this same consideration to people who don't want to eat sugar? Or grains? Or meat? Or anything else about which they have personally decided that abstinence is their moderation?
Everything in moderation is a myth because some things, even in moderation, will kill you. Everything in moderation is a myth because some things we need in more than moderate amounts, like 78% nitrogen and some in less than moderate amounts, like 21% oxygen. Everything in moderation is a myth because some things we want to achieve, i.e. our goals, require discipline. Everything in moderation is a myth that keeps us bound to the hell of our own status quo.
It's holiday party season! Holiday parties can be fun and totally stressful. I recently attended one, where every time someone asked me what I did, they declared that they could not do CrossFit once they learned I owned a CrossFit gym.
When I asked why, I heard a range of reasons from, "I need to get in shape first," to, "It's too dangerous and I don't want to get hurt," to "I'm not strong enough," to "I'm intimidated." Have your friends or family said these things to you? How do you respond?
Let's start with, "I need to get in shape first," or "I'm not strong enough." Why do people think this? CrossFit is DESIGNED to get you in shape and make you strong. I've never heard someone say they need to get in shape before they go to any other gym. True Spirit CrossFit is all about getting people in shape and making them stronger. We start everyone with 5 private training sessions (Foundations) so that we can assess their current fitness and teach them how to move with proper technique. Then we modify, scale, and adapt every single workout, every single class for every single person. In fact, with appropriate scaling, you will get in shape FASTER than if you tried to do everything as prescribed. The CrossFit progression of mechanics, consistency, intensity (which is what we follow) allows for a safe, injury free and effective way to get in shape.
How would you respond to, "It's too dangerous and I don't want to get hurt?" The most common reason people get hurt is because they try something they are not yet ready for. Which, of course, is why our coaches modify, scale, and adapt every single workout, every single class for every single person. Remember when you started and we taught you the Olympic lifts? For how many months did we have you go from the hang with light weight before we had you pull from the floor? This is why we require strict pull-ups before you do kipping ones. This is why you do 3 or 5 rep maxes before you ever try a heavy single. This is why you jump to shorter soft boxes. We are lucky enough to have had only a few injuries in our gym, and every single injured person admitted they were doing something different that what our coach advised them to do.
The other most common reason people believe they can't do CrossFit is because they are intimidated. I blame ESPN and YouTube for this. However, it's like people saying they can't play flag football because of the NFL. The videos and images people see of professional CrossFitters are nothing like the folks in our gym. In fact, the scaling we do is what makes the workouts achievable by everyone. Our goal is not to create an army of people who can do handstand push-ups, muscle-ups and snatch 200 pounds. Our goal is to help people build a powerful body, mind and spirit through fitness, fun, and friendship.
I learned my lesson at the last holiday party. Next time someone asks me what I do, I will respond with, "I help people find their power."
Share your responses in the comments. What do you say when you hear these reasons?
Myth: Winter Holiday Weight Gain is Inevitable
Thanksgiving starts the 6 weeks winter holiday eating season. You don't have to gain weight this year. Weight gain is OPTIONAL, and to opt out successfully you need a plan.
If you really want to avoid gaining weight this winter, you MUST have a plan. Failure to make a plan is planning to fail. Or, in this case, planning to gain.
What does a plan look like? It's includes knowing ahead of time how you will respond to predictable situations.
Do you know how you will politely say no when your mom offers you a third slice of pie?
Do you know how you will navigate your fourth holiday party of the weekend without consuming your 15th alcoholic drink in 2 days?
How will you eat the rest of the week after a weekend bender of egg nog and Christmas cookies?
How much water should you drink?
How much protein should you eat?
Lucky for us all, Working Against Gravity has published a holiday survival guide. You don't need to eat every single holiday cookie to enjoy the season, nor do you need to keep a bag of baby carrots hanging around your neck. You can have your fruit cake and eat it, too. The WAG guide will show you how.
The winter holidays are fun and stressful. This year why not create a plan that will help you navigate the churning seas of eggnog and pumpkin pie?
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