We have access to so much information and we can be bombarded with it.
In many cases, the reason behind the question is to help with weight loss.
Studies always have a particular focus, what does “x” do in “y” scenario while taking into account certain variables.
Depending on how the study is performed, they can be general or very detailed, they can have a small number of participants or a large number. The gold standard is a Randomized Control Trial or RTC and they are very expensive to run.
Funding can come from government agencies, or interested parties such as a producer or manufacturer.
When a study is performed by a manufacturer or interested party, there can be a conflict of interest. The study parameters can be set up in a specific way to show a particular outcome which is to the benefit of the parties funding the study.
Another very important point is, in many cases, a very small section of the study might be used or shared when promoting a product or outcome. A former roommate, who is an associate professor at the University of Manitoba, has a PhD in dietetics and has performed a number of studies, shared this frustration with me. There are many cases where a few sentences or paragraphs have been used. Unfortunately, the researchers have no control over what is shared when funding is received from producers and manufacturers. This undermines the hours of work and knowledge that goes into the study. It also shows that what is shared, is not necessarily in our best interest.
There are a large number of studies that use animals, especially mice. The logic is that we share around 98% of the same genetic makeup. In fact, there are mice that are fully genomically humanized mice. Thinking about that freaks me out!
Studies are a general predictor of outcomes and efficacies. That doesn’t mean a certain ingredient is right for you and will have the same result.
One thing about the human condition, we can be hopeful that “x” will help us achieve the outcome we are looking for. There are also a lot of good salespeople out there and many know how to talk to what we desire.
In my own health and wellness journey, I have done a number of things on my own based on articles and research. I have also invested a lot into working with specific people and on specialized testing to help me get to the root of what was affecting my health.
When I decided to compete in the bodybuilding competition, I hired a coach who has a record of training other bodybuilding competitors. I also hired a nutrition coach who was a former competitor and worked with people preparing for competition. I hired a posing coach who was a competitor. I saw my naturopath, massage therapist and fascia therapist on a regular basis. I could have researched and tried to do it all on my own, I doubt I would have achieved the same result, in fact, I know I wouldn’t have.
Another factor when making changes is accountability and someone to talk to when things go off track or when the results aren’t happening. Having someone to talk to when you’re having a challenging day can be priceless.
One factor I notice with most people, male or female, is the amount of protein they eat every day. I’m not talking about following a carnivore, keto or paleo diet, this is about consuming enough protein to support a person’s activity levels, overall body functions and maintaining muscle.
Muscle is constantly burning energy, even when we are at rest. Protein builds and maintains muscle.
I have reviewed a lot of food journals, hundreds, and the majority generally have higher levels of carbohydrates than necessary.
To be clear, carbohydrates are important as well as well as fats. In both cases, the right kind is the key.
Carbohydrates are an easy go-to when running short on time or when a person is really hungry.
Unfortunately, many times carbohydrates are coming from a box or package and are usually highly refined. Cheese and crackers, a protein bar, or the “healthy” grab-and-go treat might cut the hunger edge or the hangries but that snack is not doing a person any favours when working towards a health or weight loss goal.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA is based on what a healthy individual needs to maintain their health. It is based on an average and it is a recommendation people can follow, generally without harm to their health. It does not take into consideration any health issues or lifestyle.
There is a lot of confusion regarding how much protein, carbohydrate and fat to eat daily. The RDA provides a percentage and gram weight range for all 3.
The minimum RDA of protein for me is .8 grams per kilogram of weight. Based on my current weight, I should consume approximately 46 grams of protein per day which is about 7 ounces of chicken breast before it is cooked. The RDA for carbohydrates based on my age is 130 grams per day and the RDA for fat is 44-78 grams based on a 2000-calorie diet. Clear as mud right? These do not take into consideration my activity level or the type of activities, not to mention the confusion in figuring out what would be best for a specific person.
With lifting moderate weights three times a week plus the other activities I participate in, that level of protein is too low for me, I aim to consume at least twice that amount. I also adjust my carbohydrate levels depending on the activities I’ll be doing each day.
I have had great success with clients releasing weight when they increase their protein levels, consume whole or complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. My recommendations are based on a detailed intake form and spending time getting to know them and their lifestyle. It also takes planning on their part which is also part of my coaching. My clients are often surprised at the level of depth I go into when working with them.
After a number of weeks incorporating the changes, they notice a difference in energy levels, the quality of their sleep and overall wellbeing of their body and mental health.
Yes, there are people who will spend hours doing their own research and are disciplined enough to stick to their plan and have great success, that is a small portion of the population. Even coaches hire coaches to stay on track to achieve their goals.
Social media is a mixture of very general advice or what worked for that person, to influencers who get paid a lot of money to promote products and in most cases, they have used them once or don’t use them. There are also a lot of very well-educated and experienced practitioners and professionals providing very valuable advice. The issue lies in the fact that it is still general and is it advice that you should be following.
Some companies have huge marketing budgets, remember, the wellness industry is a $6 trillion industry.
When selecting a person to help you with your health and wellness goals, it is important to know whether they focus on a specific age group or gender. Do they focus on a specific area of health such as digestive health, menopause or fertility. What type of education do they have, is it an accredited institution, this is particularly important when it comes to unregulated practitioners. What level of support will they provide.
When it comes to improving overall health or weight loss, there is more than a meal plan that is required to help someone meet their goal. If it was easy, there would be far less people who are overweight or obese. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, in 2023, almost two in three adults and one in three children and youth are overweight or living with obesity1.
With all of the information we have access to, why is the number of people who are overweight, obese or struggling with health issues, getting higher? That may be a bit of a rhetorical question. I have some thoughts on why but they could be a bit controversial.
All of that to say, is there an easy way or certain ingredient to regain health or release weight, I’m the bearer of bad news, the killjoy, no there is not.
I am here to help, I offer a complimentary 30-minute consultation. You can select a time here.
Thank you for reading my words.