Monday, January 20, 2020

The game changers: The new food war

Credit to training ground guru

Can't we all just get along?

I was in the UK again recently and so surprised by the 'in your face' Vegetarian and Vegan campaigns there were, even KFC had a new veggie menu campaign!   Then, I've got friends jumping on the band wagon for 'Veganuary', like that's going to make a difference to you eating like a fat f**cker over Christmas! "But everyone's doing it".  Tut!

Q: How can you tell someone's a vegan?
A: They'll tell ya!

So who's right?

As many topics health and fitness, the whole 'veggie vs carnivore' debate has come around again, thanks the latest documentary on Netflix, The Game Changers.

There is no simple right or wrong.  To me it's all a matter of understanding your 'why'.  If you're going Veggie or Vegan just to lose weight, well then that's just daft, because you don't have to do that, just to lose weight.  

If you're looking to improve your health and digestive system again you don't have to go 'V/V' to do that either.  

If you're looking to contribute to reducing your carbon footprint on the planet, well there's other ways you can do that too.  

Is it because you love animals, then that's fair enough, but again you can still eat ethically, from good quality sources and as locally as possible.   

So what's your reason?  

Personal trainers working with V/V's

Generally speaking, Personal Trainers don't like working with Vegetarians or Vegans and will do our best to pass them off to the newest trainer.  The success rate for fat loss with V/V's is pretty low, as is the adherence too.  Maybe that's just the mindset of the coach and the lack of interest comes off?  I've personally worked with V/Vs and have surprisingly had great results.  Though that's mostly because we've cut out the crap foods and increased their protein intake (nothing new there).

Dieting is mentally exhausting 

Concentrating so hard on some kind of deprivation, like 'hardcore' dieting, is mentally fatiguing and there's a lot of social experiments that prove this. This is why 'blow out-binges', affairs and cheating for exams happen, it's know as 'ego depletion'.

Let's use this scenario as an example;   You're on a strict caveman weight loss plan.  You go to a house party, you're offered free drinks all night and there's a buffet of your favourite foods including, all of your fondest deserts, (like what your grandmother used to whip up). Now with all that temptation, you resist because you're on this strict plan and YOU-MUST stick to the plan.  That burns mental energy.

You get home later, but you're feeling peckish (but actually fatigued and drained, from say 'no').  You head to the fridge and you go rummaging around, picking at bits of left overs.  But you can't seem to stop.  You open every cupboard, still picking at more snacks as you go, justifying it to yourself because 'I didn't eat at the party'.  Now you've gone well over your calories for the day and now you're about to go to bed on a full stomach.  Sound familiar?

The 90/10 rule

90% good 10% bad.  As simple as that.  Eat well 90% of the time and then you have 10% slack to eat 'bad'  (though don't have to eat bad, just because you can).  That needs to relative to what you're doing currently though and you must be honest with  yourself.  So that could be 90/10 per day or 90/10 per week, or even 90/10 per month.  That way, you're never going without and it gives you something to look forward to.                     
 'Being vegetarian is a big missed-steak'

In my opinion 

In this particular article I don't want to 'preach' one side or the other, as eating meat and not eating meat have benefits.  There are plenty of research articles, bloggers and influencers that say their way is the right way based on science and personal case studies.

What you tend to find (particularly in the fitness industry), is when someone of influence latches onto something, 'their' way becomes 'the' way'.  Even in science there is bias.  If the researcher's initial hypothesis predicts and negative or positive outcome to their theory, then by-joe they'll find evidence to support that hypothesis.

It's confusing for fitness professionals who are on top of their game in this field, so it's got to be a nightmare for the laymen, desperately wanting to improve their health.

So what do you need to do?  K.I.S.S.  Keep It Simple Stupid!

I want to live longer.  I want to be fit and stronger and I want to enjoy my life was much as possible.  A big part of my life is eating, I love it!  I love the social aspects of it.  I love fish & chips, chocolate, cookies and I love drinking beer and getting smashed.   So I have to find relative balance to fit with my goals and my values.

Environment:  I don't own a car.  I catch the train to work and walk where necessary.  I don't drop litter.  I take showers rather than baths. I recycle.  I'm conscious about using plastic bags.  I can control this stuff and that's my contribution to the environment (until one day when I have enough money to have a massive impact on cleaning the ocean, a big passion of mine).

Longevity:  I exercise regularly, I eat relatively well (as in, the best quality I'm willing pay for).  I  get out in the sun for at least 15 minutess per day.  I take multivitamins and fish oil.  I journal, goal set and am constantly reading and learning new stuff to improve my business, my well being and mindset.

Animal welfare:  The most control I have over this one, is not be a dick to animals.  I eat as ethically as I can,  even if it's free range eggs.  I've even adopted animals in the past.

Weightloss and performance:  I sit at round 9% body.  I work from 0600-2100 most week days and I train at least x1 per day, up to twice per day.  I eat meat because I want to maintain muscle mass and because I like the sensation of chewing, it's part of the experience of eating for me.

Socially:  If  you have an extreme 'dieter' round for dinner, you already know they're going to be awkward and it's going to be chore. C'mon, no one likes having a V/V round for dinner or going for dinner with a V/V either (unless you are V/V).  But the same goes for a 100% carnivore too.  (I was recently at a BBQ with one, literally 1kg of red meat and x10 eggs per day-a different blog).   BOOOOR-ING!  Now from the other side, imagine everything you have to sacrifice, friends gatherings, family engagements, events and parties.  Are you really going to be as relaxed and really enjoy yourself 100%?

So thats how I find peace with eating meat, based my values and my beliefs, my circumstances and my lifestyle and not based on some hyped-up documentary on Netflix, or because it's trendy at the moment.

If you'd like to read an annihilating review of the Game Changers documentary, I'd really recommend this blog from Layne Norton, it certainly breaks down the biases portrayed by producers.

Ultimately guys, do what's right for you and if you need any help working out healthy habits to tie in with goals and lifestyle, feel free to get in touch.

Keep it real folks.


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