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This Week In Review: First Edition.

I chose this as Selfie Of The Week due to looking marginally
less like a psychopath than usual.
I haven't updated this blog in way too long. Not entirely because of laziness but because I've been posting a full essay most days on my facebook page plus whatever other social media type interactions.

I've decided I'm going to start using it to do a "week in review" post with links to any particularly good articles that people should know about, as well as my own highlights in social media content for the week.

New On My Official Blog This Week:

The "official blog" being the one on my personal training business website. Apparently that was an important issue that required clarification the last time I referred to it as such. This week I published a new entry entitled "Your Coach Only Thinks He (Or She) Is Doing IIFYM".

To summarise; "IIFYM" is supposed to be about determining an intelligent estimate of what your optimal sports nutrition targets might be in order to fuel, perform, recover, and adapt to training, and the equation to work this out is not "whatever you're eating now minus 500 calories" or anything similar.

What You Might Have Missed On My Facebook Page This Week:

Like I said earlier, I've been in the habit of writing an essay sized post on facebook most days. This strong worded rant in response to the preposterous garbage headline on the right of proved quite popular.

File under: I am gonna fkn lose it, man.

What You Might Have Missed Elsewhere On Facebook This Week:

Drama ensured on the That Sugar Film page when I took exception to a post of theirs warning people about "all that sugar" in, of all things, sultanas.

If nothing else, I will give the admin credit for allowing me to have my say and not deleting the comments or banning me from further participation the way various other pages are known for.

Raising awareness of the importance of limiting added sugars is great, and calling out products that are marketed as being "healthy" despite being high in added sugar is fair enough too I guess. However, putting the idea into people's heads that anything at all containing sugars natural or otherwise is something to be concerned with and avoided is an entirely different matter.

The commenter in the screen shot above was in the minority who was able (or prepared) to see where I was coming from. To the majority, having a dissenting opinion based on professional experience, and supporting it with solid reasoning and logic is just "trolling".

Exposed Frauds & Scammers Of The Week:

Food Babe & Mark Hyman.
Let's stop treating either of these as honest or credible sources of information, shall we?

More Great Articles I Recommend You Check Out If You Haven't Already:

"It is important to emphasize that none of these food beliefs are science based. After 50 years of research there is no evidence for any health benefit to eating organic. After 20 years of research there is no evidence of any health risk to any currently available GMO foods."
"I’m not denying the physics here. If you take in fewer calories, you’ll lose weight. But if you explicitly try to reduce calories, you’re likely to do the exact opposite. Almost everyone who tries to diet goes through that battle of the bulge. Diets cause the psychological struggle that causes weight gain."
"While men and women are both guilty of opting for bootcamp after bootcamp in hopes of building quality muscle and sizzling away their love handles, I’ve observed that this phenomenon is especially prevalent amongst women. High reps! No rest! Keep your heart rate up the whole workout or else you’re wasting your time! It’s all about the calorie burn! 
These are just a few statements regurgitated by well-meaning but woefully misinformed health enthusiasts."
While men and women are both guilty of opting for bootcamp after bootcamp in hopes of building quality muscle and sizzling away their love handles, I’ve observed that this phenomenon is especially prevalent amongst women. High reps! No rest! Keep your heart rate up the whole workout or else you’re wasting your time! It’s all about the calorie burn! These are just a few statements regurgitated by well-meaning but woefully misinformed health enthusiasts. - See more at: http://www.soheefit.com/longer-rest/#sthash.KJAuf0W6.dpuf
While men and women are both guilty of opting for bootcamp after bootcamp in hopes of building quality muscle and sizzling away their love handles, I’ve observed that this phenomenon is especially prevalent amongst women. High reps! No rest! Keep your heart rate up the whole workout or else you’re wasting your time! It’s all about the calorie burn! These are just a few statements regurgitated by well-meaning but woefully misinformed health enthusiasts. - See more at: http://www.soheefit.com/longer-rest/#sthash.KJAuf0W6.dpuf
While men and women are both guilty of opting for bootcamp after bootcamp in hopes of building quality muscle and sizzling away their love handles, I’ve observed that this phenomenon is especially prevalent amongst women. High reps! No rest! Keep your heart rate up the whole workout or else you’re wasting your time! It’s all about the calorie burn! These are just a few statements regurgitated by well-meaning but woefully misinformed health enthusiasts. - See more at: http://www.soheefit.com/longer-rest/#sthash.KJAuf0W6.dpuf
While men and women are both guilty of opting for bootcamp after bootcamp in hopes of building quality muscle and sizzling away their love handles, I’ve observed that this phenomenon is especially prevalent amongst women. High reps! No rest! Keep your heart rate up the whole workout or else you’re wasting your time! It’s all about the calorie burn! These are just a few statements regurgitated by well-meaning but woefully misinformed health enthusiasts. - See more at: http://www.soheefit.com/longer-rest/#sthash.KJAuf0W6.dpuf
While men and women are both guilty of opting for bootcamp after bootcamp in hopes of building quality muscle and sizzling away their love handles, I’ve observed that this phenomenon is especially prevalent amongst women. High reps! No rest! Keep your heart rate up the whole workout or else you’re wasting your time! It’s all about the calorie burn! These are just a few statements regurgitated by well-meaning but woefully misinformed health enthusiasts. - See more at: http://www.soheefit.com/longer-rest/#sthash.KJAuf0W6.dpuf
While men and women are both guilty of opting for bootcamp after bootcamp in hopes of building quality muscle and sizzling away their love handles, I’ve observed that this phenomenon is especially prevalent amongst women. High reps! No rest! Keep your heart rate up the whole workout or else you’re wasting your time! It’s all about the calorie burn! These are just a few statements regurgitated by well-meaning but woefully misinformed health enthusiasts. - See more at: http://www.soheefit.com/longer-rest/#sthash.KJAuf0W6.dpuf"

Blocked By Pete Facebook Page:

Gang just as a heads up if you were not already aware; I'm no longer on the admin team of the Blocked By Pete facebook page and I'll tell you why. When we started the page, the issue was with marketers of fad diets using elitism, guilt and fear mongering in a manner that was tantamount to the promotion of orthorexia and contributing to the increasing numbers of people developing or relapsing into eating disorder.

As bad as that was, several of the pages participants have been "blocked by" have progressed from merely promoting orthorexic ideas about healthy eating, to actually attempting to supplant the medical profession by giving unqualified advice on how to treat chronic illness and potentially terminal disease. Just look how casually Christine Cronau doles out half baked pseudoscience with a "can't make it any worse!" attitude in the attached screen shot.

Calling this stuff out is important, and best left to the qualified medical professionals who remain as admins of our page. As for me, I need to get back to my mission which is addressing the spread of eating disorders via horrible advice from the fitness and weight loss industries.
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Your coach only *thinks* he or she is doing IIFYM.

Well, maybe not your coach. Hopefully your coach is great. Maybe I’m your coach or someone I’m friends with is.

There are a few good ones out there, but for the most part I see a lot of people appointing themselves coaches and entirely butchering the concept of IIFYM.

The difference between how I do things with my Flexible Fueling strategy vs how most people seem to do things with what they think is an “If It Fits Your Macros” strategy is as follows:

Most people are calculating a DEFICIT and working to that, while I am interested in calculating a target for best performance and condition.

When people are focused on calculating a deficit, the question is “a deficit from what?” and also for that matter “a deficit of how much?”.
Often it’s a deficit from “however much you’re currently getting, on average”. So, you track your intake for a few days, work out how many calories it is, average it out… there’s your “maintenance”. Subtract some amount (it might be 500 cals for example) and there’s your new target to be in deficit.

Bullshit.

If you’re not working to any targets to begin with, your current intake is just some random amount. Subtracting an arbitrary number from this random amount and assuming the result will in some way resemble an appropriate (forget “optimal”) target for performance, recovery and adaptation to training is … :\ … I was going to say “overly optimistic” but it is actually just flat out illogical.

That’s not IIFYM, it is just calorie counting and calorie restriction based on the conditioned assumption that you’re eating too much to begin with and the entirely illogical premise that you can best build a lean, strong and healthy body by depriving it of the energy and resources that it requires. It’s still just an attempt to starve weight off although people feel like they’re being more scientific because they’ve done some poorly applied mathematics first.
The thing with calorie counting and restriction is that… like we discussed in my popular rant on facebook yesterday, you’re just training your body to run on less fuel and still somehow get through training and get through your day.

Regardless though, if it is not restricting to a dangerous level you may still see results BUT the reality is that most people (myself included) don’t really have it in them to dial in strict adherence indefinitely. At best people will be motivated to dial it in hard and tight for a few a months… individual mileage will vary but let’s say 12 weeks is a reasonable amount of time before someone will either start to become a little complacent even if they’ve had good results or say “this is bullshit and I quit” if they have not had good results.

Now this won’t be half as bad as compared to someone who has done some of the more common very low calories + restricted food choices “clean eating” type nonsense but STILL… if you’ve trained your body to get by on an inadequate level of fueling, when you get complacent and drift back towards less structured eating habits it’s likely to be a greater energy intake than you’re used to getting, and I don’t have to tell you what happens to that energy that you’ve trained your body not to require.

Rather than that, consider this.

Twelve weeks building up towards higher, optimal, maximum usable energy and macronutrient targets to facilitate best performance at training, best recovery from training, and promotion of lean mass at the expense of fat stores as an adaptation to training.

Now, for the people who want to clutch at straws and try to pull me up on semantics; YES, obviously “the most you can put to use” is less than an amount at which you would not draw on fat stores due to energy intake being beyond your requirements. So indeed we are still “in deficit” but there is very real difference in the results of calculating our energy and macro targets intelligently with a focus on “how much we can put to good use for best results” vs “how far into deficit”.

You require a certain amount of energy just to be alive, to run your organs and regenerate skin cells and all manner of functions you’re not even really aware that you’re doing. Then you require a certain amount to get through your day able to tolerate… I mean, to interact with others and perform your job at work or at study. We burn a certain amount at training although the real value of training is not the energy that we expend but in how we adapt, and we require a certain amount further to all these other requirements to facilitate this recovery and adaptation to training.

Being at a strategic deficit can be advantageous as we will tap further into fat
stores to make up for the shortfall in energy provision vs energy requirements.
However, being too far into deficit simply means not providing the necessary resources to do all of those good things we talked about in the paragraph above, and running yourself into the ground while actually hampering fat loss at the expense of lean mass. The opposite of what you are actually trying to achieve.

So let’s wind this up.

Let’s say similarly to what we discussed earlier, 12 weeks of building up towards optimal, maximum useable, sports nutrition targets for best performance, recovery and adaptation to training. During that 12 weeks the challenge will be in eating enough to meet your requirements even when you’re not feeling hungry. Beyond that 12 weeks, depending on the individual you might find some people decide “this is bloody great and I can keep this up as long as feel like it and keep driving towards better and better performance and results”, which is great.

Other people are likely to think “that was great but I think I have a pretty good handle on this now and can just make good choices to eat when I’m hungry, confident that I’ll be getting it close enough most of the time” aka “intuitive eating” and that is also great.

My observation of that latter option is that intuitive eating after a period of working towards maximal targets will come in at a slight deficit due to no longer doing the “eat even if you’re not hungry” part. What happens when we’re at a slight, strategic deficit? As discussed a couple of paragraphs earlier, we tap even further into fat stores to make up the balance.
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