March 04, 2021 by fitnessbaddie
You don’t need a diet; you need an education. Two years later, I talk about what I learned from food, fitness, and science after using intermittent fasting.
[Read Time: 3 minutes]
Photo by Jose Camões Silva. Flickr Creative Commons. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
When I first found and started Leangains Intermittent Fasting, I was still looking for *the* diet. You know what I mean. The diet to end all diets. Instead, I found something better. I didn’t need another diet. What I really needed was an education.When I finally got an education in nutrition (through a combination of blogs, textbooks, physiology class, and lots of reading about research), I finally became free from “dieting.”
You can see the evolution of my education in my two previous posts on this blog here and here about my experiences with Leangains and intermittent fasting from November 2011 to now. This post is not to tell you anything about intermittent fasting, Leangains, or how to diet. If you are still confused, dogmatic, frustrated, or searching, then you are uneducated. Don’t be offended. You can change that.
Any diet could be a good or bad decision for you. Wouldn’t you prefer to know how to choose? I would like to thank Martin Berkhan for being the first diet blogger (that I came across) popularizing a diet method, while supporting all of his recommendations with research, a firm line of reasoning, and acknowledgment of any and all limitations in either research or anecdote/experience. He does it all without trying to sell me on his method/beliefs combined with a magical supplement or two.
In his words: “The hate of incompetence was what drove me in my crusade against the dietary dogma of the mid-2000s. The hate of incompetence is also what drove me to make this site and put countless hours into scientific research when everyone else seemed to care for easy answers and sheepish repetitions of mantras that proved to be untrue.” Basically, he was honest in saying what could be known, what the evidence supported, and what he surmised was a potentially optimal approach for particular goals based on the available evidence. He was driven to find the answers for his personal journey. So was I.
“Leangains drove the popularity of intermittent fasting, not the other way around. An ‘intermittent fasting diet’ is just an easy way to characterise an approach that includes several other distinct characteristics that make Leangains into what it is.
“Leangains is also an approach formed by the correct use of scientific research, based on context-specific human studies of acceptable validity, with the understanding that the practical application, and the outcome thereof, remains theoretical – e.g. we cannot say for certain how much of a difference intermittent fasting really does.
“In fact, I couldn’t care less about intermittent fasting if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s the superior decision for diet compliance.
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Here was someone popularizing a “diet” while not making reams of money and committing the same frauds as the other “diet experts.” In fact, he ended up pretty fucking pissed at the whole industry in general. I don’t blame him.
Through Martin Berkhan, I started to get an education. This is distinct from saying that I think that Leangains dieting is superior to other methods of dieting. His approach to inventing the Leangains method was superior to any other approach to explaining and promoting a diet method. Do we understand that distinction? Through him, I found others who have the same level of integrity and respect for science and who help navigate the scrambled mess of modern diet and fitness information.
The last thing you need is another diet. You need an education. You need a healthy dose of basic nutritional science (which does not need to be as complicated as all that, unless you plan to be a researcher or enter the field as an RD), and you need some lessons in critical thinking, logic, and how to evaluate and apply information and knowledge. Then, you need a plan of action to get you on your way.
Here are some resources for you with a diet/nutrition focus that will help you get started:
I’ll keep this list to blogs only, but many of these professionals have published books that are worth 20x the popular shit you buy in the bookstores. Many of them are also online coaches who would be worth the investment. This list is not comprehensive.
“It is not the fad diet books that are the greatest problems as I see it. It’s the sophisticated lie that masquerades under scientific pretensions, and comes clad in the very best of intentions.” – Martin Berkhan
You don’t need more diets; you need education. Fuck diets. To those asking about coaching, I will be offering online diet coaching again shortly, and I will be available for Skype consults as well in which you can pick my brain/chat/ask advice/ramble about whatever you like related to diet and training.