Being healthy in 2019 is much like following the correct god back in the middle ages. Place your allegiance with one and be struck down by the other. And while you might not get publically lambasted for your penchant for red meat and white bread in 2019 (or, who knows, walk past the wrong cafe and you just might), there is an equivalent socio-cultural war raging with vegans on one side and low-carb carnivores on the other.
Enter: Graeme Tomlinson, an evidence-based nutrition coach (also known as The Fitness Chef) who has made a name for exposing the worst nutrition myths many people – but particularly the diet-conscious – still believe. In particular, he has set himself against the self-proclaimed ‘wellness gurus’ of the world and no-where better illustrates this than a graphic he recently posted to Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
It’s Monica & Peter’s anniversary. It’s been a successful period of companionship. To mark the occasion Peter books a table at a new pop up restaurant called ‘how to eat fitness industry style.’ They enter to an eery ambiance, a sea of empty tables, candles ebbing towards their struggling demise. To the left stands a man with his arms proudly placed behind his back. “Hello, my name is Bastardo, and I’m your vaiter this evening” “Please, sit.” He presents menus. “I vill be back in a jiff”. Bastardo walks through a set of double doors before returning immediately in a cloud of smoke… and a vampire coat. Monica and Peter’s eyes meet. Alarmed, they open their menu’s. Grilled bark branch with slug purée (carb free) Cardboard and fabric softener salad (protein free) Freshly regurgitated hairball with glass trimmings (sugar free) Today’s special: poached head The small print at the bottom reads: *Must eat something from this menu or face catastrophic fat gain* Bastardo returns. “Veylll, have vee decided yet?” Peter enquires, “Why are your options free from carbs, fat and protein? And why do we have to eat at all?” Bastardo replies, “vecause carbz spike insulinz and make you fayyyt. Vecause fayyyt makes you fayyyt. Vecause proteinz ruins your organziz and proteinz shakesez makes you fayyyt. Vecause sugarz feeds diseasez and makes you fayyyt. And vecause if you don’t eat you vill go into starvation mode vitch makes you fayyyt. And vecause if you don’t eat here I vill eat you alive.” Realising the peril of the situation, Peter confidently announces, “We’ll take 2 poached heads please”. Bastardo twiddles his fingers, “Excellent choice sir, I vill notify the chef.” Bastardo disappears through the double doors. Peter nods to Monica. They both stand up and head for the exit. Alas, locked. “Going somevere?”. They turn to see Bastardo holding a set of keys and a meat cleaver. Monica digs deep into her pockets to find a frutella. She throws it at Bastardo as a last gasp attempt to foil the satanic restuaranteer. Only for him to shatter into pieces. Freedom at last. The door is opened. Risotto and glazed donuts await. 🙂
While other nutrition coaches like Max Lugavere question Graeme’s calorie-based philosophy (they claim that, though Graeme may be scientifically correct, if you focus on eating whole foods then you won’t need to count calories anyway as you’ll be too full to eat too much), Graeme still makes a good point in that, realistically, you are never going to have the perfect diet, so you may as well enjoy your imperfections and keep track of them, rather than eating whole foods and binging on Oreos (for example) willy nilly.
Graeme also, in his satirical takedown of ‘how to eat fitness industry style,’ exposes the contradictory ‘no fat, no carbs, no meat, no sugar’ demands of the various modern diets. Of course, different diets limit different substances, and people with different levels of physical activity in their daily lives will have similarly different dietary needs (see below), but the point remains: as long as you count your calories, and eat what you know to be healthy (most of the time) you can forget the rest of the zealous mumbo jumbo.
View this post on Instagram
If you don’t eat carbs because you’re under the impression that doing so will result in more fat loss than a carb inclusive diet, you are mistaken. As low carb dietitians and doctors instruct you to toddle off to buy your allotted protein as fats, proudly walking out of the supermarket free from pleasurable carb rich foods, they do so from a place of ignorance towards scientific research. Or bat sh*t mental interpretations of it to fit their narrative (and their bank account). One is the claim that more weight can be lost on a low carb diet. Whilst this may be technically correct, this is merely initial reductions in water weight from reduced glycogen storage. That said, if a low carb diet introduced a calorie deficit, fat mass would also reduce. But not because of omission of carbs, because of a calorie deficit. High fat/low carb has risen to prominence over the last 20-30 years. This is essentially incessant consumption of fat and painfully low consumption of carbs. The illusion here being the promise of a superior ‘fat burning’ state called ketosis. But as fat is the only immediate energy source available, the fat burned here is simply dietary fats consumed by the wheelbarrow, not total body fat. The latter is defined by an energy deficit with any ratio of macronutrients. The most recent meta analysis by Hall & Guo in 2018 concluded that as long as calories and protein were equated, low carb or low fat diets were virtually the same regarding fat loss. In fact, results showed that low fat diets among subjects resulted in greater fat loss, though the difference was too negligible to be significant. This rigorously proves (for now) that those concerned about eating carb rich foods don’t need to be. The next time somebody tells you that you can’t eat carbs if you want to achieve your compositional goals, you have my permission to instruct them to climb into a bin loaded with butter, to fester there forevermore whilst you enjoy a mix of nutritious and delicious foods that can support your optimal diet. 🥖 - - #carbs #lowcarb #bread #losefat #weightlosstips #flexiblediet #nutritioncoach #keto #atkins #carbsaregood #caloriedeficit #dieting
The takeaway? Risotto and glazed doughnuts, of course. Oh, and if you are interested in more detailed breakdowns of the two trending diets of this era, we have left them down below.