Fog Horn Alert Volume 1

If you want to lose fat, don’t eat carbs.

If you want to lose fat, don’t eat fat.

If you want to lose fat, eat nothing but protein.

The topic of fat loss is an emotional one to say the least, and in general, people are always looking for that secret. You know, that one rule that if they just follow for the rest of their lives they will achieve bodily nirvana.

Boo-sheet!

We live in a world of black or white, right or wrong, Team Edward or Team Jacob, when the fact is that more often than not the answer always lies somewhere in the middle.

In order to debunk this myth, we first have to put our commonsense hats on, which oddly enough happen to look like this:

Take a look around your immediate circle of friends and ask yourself this question – have any of them lost weight successfully by not adhering to this rule? If the answer is yes, then you’ve done your duty in shutting down the perpetuation of a fib that will just not die. If the answer is no, then look outside of your circle and eventually you will find a yes.

Can not eating after 6pm (or whatever arbitrary time is used) help some people lose weight? Of course it can. If someone told me that I could only eat between the hours of 3pm and 4pm, you’d be a foolish mortal to bet money that I wouldn’t lose any weight. With that said, if I wanted to hustle you out of some cash, I’d just stuff my face with calorically dense foods such as pop (read: soda to you east coast folks), fast food, and the infamous Cinnabon.

Do you see what I did there? Clever wasn’t it? In both instances I didn’t eat after some arbitrary time, but in one scenario, if this eating pattern continued over a longer period of time, I would lose weight, while in the other I would gain weight. One pattern leads to a happy camper while another leads to a person being confused as to why they aren’t losing weight despite following this one rule.

Arf? How does that happen? Whats the dealio, Rog Law?

If you manage to eat more calories than are necessary to maintain your current bodyweight over a period of time, no matter the time of day or how you break down that intake, then your body weight will increase; do the opposite and your body weight will decrease. Fretting about what time of day you’re eating your food when you don’t even have any inkling of how many calories you are consuming relative to your goal is akin to worrying about the volume of your radio as you’re driving off a cliff, or being terrified of farting in your room because you don’t want to cause a tornado in Texas.

Whatever your goal is, be it fat loss, muscle gain or simply the maintenance of your current body weight, caloric intake is the most important factor in reaching these goals, and if anyone tells you otherwise then they’re probably trying to abracadabra some money out of your bank account. Aside from calories, everything else is details (important details, but details nonetheless). So the next time someone tries to drop some old school dogma on your head, dodge that bullcrap like The Matrix and give them a righteous uppercut for their troubles.

What has been the most whacked out myth that you’ve encountered in your fitness travels? Have you been guilty of perpetuating one yourself? Don’t worry if you have, because I think we’ve all been there. I’ll even be kicking things off by sharing my most embarrassing one. See you in the comments section!

Photo Credit: Kim Beckmann, MTV Music

Never Miss A Post Again…

Sign up for one of the best fitness newsletters, ever. I'll send you nothing but practical and actionable content.

Comments

  1. says

    Prepare your mind for some whackness. A few years ago, I remember telling someone to stop eating fruit because the fructose in it was making them fat. Yeah. I was a dumb ass.

    • says

      heh, I think we’ve all been there at one point or another… no worries. It’s where you’re going Roger son!

    • says

      Thanks Cass =)
      I’m surprised some unscrupulous entrepreneur hasn’t come out with a “don’t eat before such and such time” diet book yet…or maybe they have and I’ve been too lazy to look.

  2. Ben Stockton says

    Roger,

    Perhaps one of the most pervasive “modern” myths is that if you want to be as big and lean as possible, I’m talking on a scale that would make any top amateur bodybuilder proud, that you need to use liquid nutrition around training. While certain type of endurance athletes and someone engaging in two-a-day sessions for a time may hav a need for certain types of liquid peri-training nutrition, since when did high-quality whole foods suddenly become second class citizens? In fact, I’d rather use whole foods in these instances, as most people concerning themselves with this detail usually would be better served going with nutrient dense options versus frittering away most (if not all) of their daily carb intake on nutritionally void things like glucose and maltodextrin. I’d much rather have my carbs come with a host of other great stuff, and I suspect that my body would, too, when maximum hypertrophy with minimal fat gain is a priority.

    Note: I would consider a high-quality whey-casein blend to be an exception to my avoiding liquid nutrition “rule,” but I would still combine it with better carb choices instead of opting for straight-up glucose or a glucose/maltodextrin mix. I still don’t feel that they whey or whey-casein blend is necessary, but there are some nice beenfits to be had that separate these from the “empty” carbs in most training drinks. But I’d still be just as confident opting for well-timed solid meals bookending my session provided the protein and overall calories are sufficient for my approximate daily targets.

    Note 2: One of my recent favorites for post-training is quinoa mixed with a bit of coconut milk, cinnamon, and honey blended with a vanilla-flavored when-casein blend. Some may rap me and say that my carb choices are not all that superior, if at all, to the glucose/maltodextrin blend I just bashed, but it sure is tastier! ANd I still make liberal use of berries before and/or after training when I want taste, carbs, and a nice nutrient and anti-oxidant punch.

    • says

      Ben,

      I’d like to take a moment and award you for having the longest, most in-depth comment ever on my site. Thanks for taking the time to read and for jumping into the discussion!

      You hit the nail right on the head with this comment. Regardless of their goals, you will find a lot of people focused more on the fringe and esoteric nonsense – the superhydroplex pumptroid 2062 liquid supplements and whatnot before even taking the time to see if their nutrition is dialed in.

      More often than not, they’re looking for supplements, untested and unproven ones at that, to replace the role of food. Huh? You’re right, when the hell did food become second class? I guess a steak just isn’t sexy enough anymore.

      I love your post-workout mix there and might have to gave that one a try myself. Poo poo to those who say dissect your carb choices. If you aren’t training to glycogen depletion or doing super hardcore 2x a day sessions, carb sources for recovery aren’t nearly as the amount of carbs in the first place.

  3. Ben Stockton says

    Roger,

    I also wanted to add the following comment………….

    While the internet has been a blessing in pulling the mask off various myths out in the “real world,” it’s also created a fear of making mistakes among many out there. When we’re blissfully ignorant, we will often try anything without thinking twice about its efficacy based upon existing evidence (are only mistake at that time is often not scrutinizing whether said interventions are, in fact, working. But then as we become more aware, this often causes us to freeze up out of fear that some guru will expose us as using inferior methods (either in relative or absolute terms). Here’s where we all need to learn to check our pride (easier said than done) and embrace the mantra, “Start on down the line and over time refine!” The mistake is rarely the initial act, but rather it is allowing fear and shame to prevent us from adjusting our methods when we encounter new evidence that turns our world on its head. In fact, I am starting to embrace it when people tell me that I may be wrong or misguided, as that means a learning opportunity is not too far off in the distance.

    All that said, I do wish I had a more cocksure attitude like certain people who develop such a belief in what they peddle that not even a warehouse full of M80′s could shake their confidence in themselves. I don’t envy them for hanging on until the bitter end but more for a willingness to be unflappable in the face of crticisim. If only I could somehow harness that power and blend it with the more “enlightened” attitude that I espoused earlier.

    • says

      Yes, yes and more yes. We might as well make a yes sammich over here and have a good ‘ol time!

      I remember when I told that person that they should stop eating fruit and experienced that same level of confidence. I shot that statement out of my mouth like a civil war cannon, like they were the truest words ever spoken – mainly because I was ignorant, and at that point unaware of my ignorance. Now that I’m more educated, I’ve realized that while at times it can be, things are almost never as cut and dry as we often make them out to be.

      Be careful of the man who has completely made up his mind.

      Mike Boyle is one of my favorite strength coaches to follow because he is always changing his mind on something, which means he hasn’t stop learning, questioning, thinking. He isn’t sitting on his butt cheeks and simply relying on the successes of yesterday without experimenting on how he can continue to make things better.

      These are all great thoughts here, Ben. Thanks a lot for stopping by and sharing them.

  4. Eric says

    You know I don’t think I would have gotten to this point, of moderation (what JC recently wrote about it) without going through all those myths. Eat ever 3 hours, eat “clean” foods, separate carbs and fat, etc… in some weird way I learned to be disciplined going through all of that.

    Moderation would have been very difficult for me to achieve if I did not have the mental fortitude to say “stop” after a certain amount. I used to pig out on that stuff but now I can eat it in moderation and still be successful in my fitness ventures.

    I know I wouldn’t have been able to moderately eat some of the things I do now if I had started that way from the start. I used to crave food, it controlled me. Now I eat it when I choose and in the amounts it my choosing.

    So this little journey of mine helped me be where I am now.

    • says

      I agree one hundred and fitty precent with that statement. You definitely learn to appreciate how simple things really are once you make it through to the other side after swimming through all of the crap.

      Being so “spartan” when you don’t have to be has tons of benefits after you realize that fact.

      I was probably one of the worst offenders…good lord I was a foolish mortal back in the day! I have an entire post coming up on this subject, so be on the lookout. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. says

    Sorry, but I can’t get past how Commonsense did that movie with Queen Latifah. So. corny…. oh, and Bo-sheet? That is my new favorite word for today.

    • says

      Wooooweeeee! You saw that movie? I cut The Queen off after Set It Off because I wanted to remember her before the downward spiral that all musicians turned actors experience.

  6. says

    Roger I love your articles and thank god I don’t have to bring out my whipping stick since you and I think a like and not like these so called gurus who are mucking things up.

    Later Bro…

    JC not to be confused with Jc

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>