Friday, 18 July 2008

Ask an Expert

There are few scientific references on this site. My output is opinion. I base it on personal experience and experimentation. This in turn is driven by reading of wider research dedicated to nutrition and fitness.

I try not to make any outlandish claims and simply try to blog with honesty. If you want to get all sciency then go to Cochrane or PubMed and you will find plenty of research dedicated to the paleo philosophy - and its benefits on a nutritional and athletic basis. There are additional blogs and websites run by those with a scientific background which will distill the science in to a simpler form.

There are also many papers and hundreds of sites run by equally qualified doctors and scientists that follow the traditional/government approved advice on exercise and nutrition.

With so many conflicting views, who should you believe? This is where I suggest you experiment for yourself!

One thing to keep in mind is the physique of the person giving the advice - particularly if it is dietary.

Smoke and Mirrors

I have seen several dietitians who are themselves obese. All of them were firmly in the 'low fat, complex carb' camp. But nutritional advice from fat dietitian makes me think that their advice either does not work, or is such that it simply cannot be followed in the short, medium or long term.

You might say that for example, advice to give up smoking from a doctor who himself smokes, is good advice regardless. This is indeed true. But a smoking doctor is not telling you HOW to smoke. Telling someone HOW to do something suggests a skill in that activity. You cannot have a skill in an activity by NOT doing it. This is an important distinction.

There are several diet advisors on TV. One in particular has an incredibly bad physique. Sure she is thin (the apparent goal of so many people today), but I suspect she has a lot of visceral fat. Her body composition looks very poor. There is a distinct lack of muscle mass and no tone. Don't get me wrong, she promises in her books and programs to make you thin and that is indeed what she does. But, if you gain thinness at the expense of muscle mass, this does not constitute much of an improvement in your health - and particularly your metabolic health.

Find an Expert

To some point, all diets will work in terms of getting your body to burn fat. Whether they are healthful is another matter. The paleo philosophy is different in that it constitutes a lifestyle change that is intended to guide you in the long term. Form follows function - your body will get fitter, leaner and stronger in response to this change. The philosophy is simple and the results are of a quality I have not found on any other program.

Once you are behind the philosophy, you have obtained the value from it and can work out the rest for yourself. Better than that, you do not need science and references to implement or progress. A simple annual health check at the doctors, general happiness and athletic prowess are the only measures you need.

I am going to put up a picture of myself at some point. I want a record of how my physique has adapted to my own implementation of this paleo philosophy. Readers will be able to see that not only can I 'live' my advice, but also the physical results it produces.

Science sits behind the curve, in terms of both research and proof. An absence of proof is not a proof of absence.

Finally, when you think you have found an expert, consider this;

I may lack scientific credentials, but I promise you that the number of HGs who have read the science is precisely zero - and they ARE the experts.

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