question gets right to the heart of why I have this site,
and speaks volumes about how the fitness business is full
of wannabe trainers who are quick to sell quackery. Sometimes
I edit down questions for ease of reading; I've left this
one alone as all of it is of relevance.
heard you being interviewed
on the radio today and I wanted to call in with some questions,
but I couldn't get home in time...thank God for the internet.
I recently started a fitness regime called P90X by Tony Horton
-- I'm not sure if you're familiar with it or not -- and I
had some questions regarding diet.
program comes with a fairly comprehensive meal plan that's
broken down into three phases: fat loss, energy boost, endurance
maximizer. Initially I was quite relieved to have my meals
broken down for me, but after hearing you on the show today
and after reading the articles on your website...I'm not so
sure. In a nutshell, the meal plan starts with high protein,
low carb (9:1 serving ratio) and works its way down to a more
even mix (4:5 protein to carb serving ratio). Is this healthy?
I've noticed that since I started the meal plan, I've had
to urinate like a pregnant woman. Also, I'm wondering if the
2400-3000 calories/day is enough? I'm a 25 year old male,
5'10, 180 pounds, and I work on construction, although some
days are more rigorous than others. I find myself constantly
hungry...especially in the evenings.
I'd really like to thank you for replying to the email form...I
wasn't honestly expecting an answer and if so, some sort of
form letter encouraging me to buy your products. After reading
through most of your website, I must say that I am quite impressed
with your approach. It is so true that the ethics involved
in the fitness industry are dubious at best, criminal at worst,
and as a non-expert, it's extremely frustrating not knowing
what path to take.
I mentioned above, I work in the construction industry and
am fairly active outside work with various sports etc. My
strength is fine, but what I've noticed over the past year
is that my weight keeps gradually increasing. I came to the
conclusion that this must be inextricably linked with my diet.
I've always been the type to be able to eat whatever I want
and not worry about it, however, this obviously has to change.
started this 90 day program to give myself a jumpstart back
on the right track, but the question is...what to do when
it's over? I can't honestly imagine myself eating the food
I've been eating the past few days for the rest of my life...I
don't think life would be worth living hahaha...and I'd really
like to educate myself and invest the proper time and money
into understanding what I need to be doing to maintain a healthy
fitness level. I have so many specific questions, but I don't
want to take advantage of your generosity as I know personal
trainer's time is quite valuable. What would you suggest I
do get on the track of long-term, overall fitness and proper
nutrition? Is a personal trainer worth the money?
Thanks again for your time,
don't support the kind of dietary recommendations you're asking
about. A 9:1 ratio of protein to carb makes no sense to me,
but I guess the promoters of this would say I don't know what
they know. Whatever. There are no "phases" of a
dietary program for fat loss or energy, as is typically described
by fad diet programs. To lose fat, consume fewer calories
than expended. When you've lost enough fat, move to a caloric
balance of calories in/ calories out. Learn about choosing
nutrient dense foods to get your daily requirements of vitamins
can say that in 21 years of developing high performance athletes
the dietary practice with greatest outcome is.. wait for it..
healthy eating. In general the ratio is 60 - 65% carbs, 15
- 20% protein, and about 25% fat.
the common con:
of the population is overweight. Most of the population fails
to lose body fat and keep it off.
manipulate these circumstances and try to sell the idea that
since most people fail to lose fat, that such circumstances
are proof that fat loss is complicated and requires a special
formula that others don't know about. Of course this "special
secret" is available to you for a price. The special
secret is made to look scientific and complicated with formulas
and pseudo science explanations.
truth is the reason most people fail to lose fat and get fit
is because they don't adopt a permanent change in lifestyle,
at the root of which is how food and exercise is valued.
attempts at losing fat and getting fit are superficial at
most, and have no long term concept applied. Many people don't
like to hear this so they ignore the truth and continue to
justify their unhealthy habits.
are correct that your fat gain is due to eating too much.
There is the slim chance (very, very slim) that you have developed
a disorder that effects metabolism resulting in excess fat
gain, but I wouldn't suggest you start believing this is the
case. Only a physician can determine this.
is no such thing as a "jump start". This is denial
and irrational thinking in its finest form (sorry :). It does
look like you might be able to get passed this as you did
mention that you are interested in educating your self about
healthy living and making it a long term commitment- if you
can keep that type of thinking going, you are likely to succeed.
of your statements that concerns me though, is that you mention
that "I can't honestly imagine myself eating the food
I've been eating the past few days for the rest of my life...I
don't think life would be worth living hahaha". This
is appropriate for addressing the restricted diet you are
on, but be careful about thinking in the same way about eliminating
things like 10oz steaks, going back for 3rds at the big dinner
or buffet, or eating desert after eating a 1000 calorie meal,
or whatever your overeating habits may entail. What I mean
by this is avoid saying to yourself, "I'll make some
changes, but I'm not giving up my 10 oz steak, because life
wouldn't be worth living without it HAHAHA." This is
using humor to enable denial. Exactly how does overeating
that causes obesity make life worth living? People who feel
a sense of reward from overeating and also feel a sense of
being deprived if they don't overeat will never be successful
with permanent fat loss unless overeating is devalued and
eating healthy is perceived as a reward.
here to learn about how many calories per day you need
and learn how to get all your vitamins and minerals through
trainers are a dime a dozen and most don't really know what
they are doing. They may have memorized specific phrases that
are used to motivate or make it sound like they know their
stuff, but most trainers are entirely unimpressive, whether
they are certified or not. The trouble is trainers have been
Guru - ized. Couple this with the fact that most of the population
allows themselves to be confounded by how to exercise and
eat effectively, and you have the perfect formula for pushing
trainers up on pedestals; a mass of people who believe diet
and exercise success requires access to special secrets, and
personal trainers are perceived as the holders of these special
secrets and are special people themselves because they are
can find very qualified trainers that are genuinely concerned
with your health and providing evidence based ethically applied
advice, but unless you get lucky early, expect to find perhaps
one out of every 100 or 200 hundred trainers to be cutting
edge using heart rate monitors to the full potential (download
exercise data to computer), and fewer using lactate analyzers.
About one out of every 20 trainers will be better than the
more common cookie cutter crowd. Trainers will balk at this
statement, but this is what I have found. The density of quality
trainers will be different in different cities.
studies show that people working with trainers and coaches
get better results than those who go at it alone.
influence of direct supervision of resistance training on
strength performance. Mazzetti SA, Kraemer WJ, Volek JS,
Duncan ND, Ratamess NA, Gómez AL, Newton RU, Häkkinen
K, Fleck SJ. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Jun;32(6):1175-84
of direct supervision of a strength coach on measures of
muscular strength and power in young rugby league players.
Coutts AJ, Murphy AJ, Dascombe BJ. J Strength Cond Res.
these studies show that trainer supervised groups made greater
gains than those doing the same program without a trainer.
you can find a good trainer it will be worth the money, just
like any qualified consultant is. A good trainer will know
about the pitfalls that are before you and help you either
bypass them or get through them more effectively than you
could on your own. If you're an analytical type who feels
comfortable going through the studying and trial and error
involved in learning new skills, and if you have the ability
to understand your emotions and motivations, then a trainer
might not be as much benefit to you as it would to others.
- Cris LaBossiere