Monthly Archives: February 2016

Information Overload

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Information Overload!

“Eat this and not that……. Train this way and not that way!


Information: Knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance.    

So the way I understand the definition of “information” is, for us to gain more knowledge about a particular fact/condition. Concerning my present writing about nutrition and training, that would mean that all we have to do is go to a “reputable” source and there we would find all the necessary data regarding what and how we should eat, and how we ought to be training, etc. Unfortunately, that is not the case. There are hundreds of “reputable” websites out there telling us what to do. Which one is it?? Well, I believe that they all are trying to “sell” you, the consumer, their “magic” diet or training concept. People are getting bombarded with information about weight loss and training philosophy. Just stop for a minute and think for yourself. If any of those diets or training concepts would actually work, then we would not need that vast amount of information. We would need just ONE, the one that really works!

Obviously there is no “one fits all”’ concept, considering the number of obese and out of shape people out there. One would think it’s an easy question to answer: What should I eat? But far from that; figuring out what to eat is “ad infinitum”, complicated, and confusing. The reason is, because it’s inconsistent, contradictory and complex. There are approx. 55,000 diet books out there besides endless websites about “healthy eating”. A person who truly wants to live a healthy life does not know what is true or false. One day we are being told drink “tons” of water. After drowning ourselves in the matter, we are told, no, sorry not true anymore. Fat is bad, no, fat is good. Carbs make you fat, no, carbs can help you lose weight. Too much protein is bad, no, more protein will curb your hunger. And the same dilemma lies within the exercising. Train easy, no, train hard. Do HIIT, no, do volume training. CrossFit is good, no, it is bad. Do periodization training, no, do steady linear training. The list goes on and on and on to a point where a person simply feels like giving up.

So to whom can we turn for the “true” information? Doctors still don’t receive adequate nutritional training in medical school. The FDA (food and drug administration) and the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) are certainly not reliable sources for the fact of conflict of interest; they have their money invested in the food and drug corporations. Dietitians and nutritionists are being funded, paid and sponsored by the very same people, who are telling us to eat their junk. Unless you have a lot of money to hire a “professional”, not all of us are a celebrity, you start feeling pretty lost and hopeless. But I say, you don’t have to feel that way, nor do you have to give up on your goal to live a healthier and fuller life.

And now I will share with you how you can find your way out of the “Information Labyrinth.”

Start taking matters in your own hands and initiate to educate yourself about healthy nutrition and proper physical activities. Stop reading about how this “celebrity” lost 50 pounds in 3 months, or how that “fitness guru” is working out. First of all, it’s all about marketing. Secondly, it’s not real nor true, period. But what is much more important, is the simple fact that those people whoever it might be, is NOT YOU! You are an individual; you have a different life, a different bio chemical pathway/composition, and last but not least a distinct gene makeup. That means, what works for xyz does not necessarily have to work for you. Just one simple example. Your BMR (basic metabolic rate), (rate that your body burns calories for merely sustaining all the body’s systems), is certainly different than the BMR of another person. Why is that of importance for you? The BMR depends on gender, age, weight and height. At least one of these components varies from person to person. Hence, an individual who wants to start weight management must know their BMR. Why? Once we know how much energy (food) we need to survive, we can also calculate how many calories from food we need per day, depending on our lifestyle, what kind of work we do, and the amount of physical exercise. That means, the amount of calories that you need to reduce in order to lose weight is different for another person. There are many more factors why you must begin knowing yourself, via self-education. When you start to be physically active, it is the same criteria. What Mr. /Mrs. XXX is doing is not necessarily for you, for the fact that he/she probably has a totally different history of being physically active, or even simply a different goal. By now you are hopefully realizing that in order to succeed in your journey to a healthier and fuller lifestyle you ought to take matters in your own hands, if you are truly sincere.

Now I will give a “map” how to arrive at your destination. Notice, it’s “a map,” not “the map.” For the fact, that there are various paths to get where you want to be. Concerning Nutrition, which by the way will be 90% of the factor whether you succeed or not. Here are the recommendations.

First and foremost, you must not compare yourself to other people. You are a special individual. That means you ought to start educating yourself about your body. And also begin to discover yourself, again. In order to do that you have to think back to the time when it was easier for you to lose extra weight. And I’m not talking about the time when you were much younger, but go maybe 2 to 3 years back. How were your eating habits? Where was your activity level? What made you stop all those things that made you feel good about yourself, and made it easier to succeed in keeping your body in better shape? Then start learning about the human body in a general way, meaning that you don’t have to know the very details of human biochemistry, but e.g., macronutrients, calories, metabolism, hormones that are crucial for weight loss e.g. cortisol, the brain in correlation to weight loss, processed food and the lies of the food and weight loss industry, etc. Once you start gaining more knowledge about these factors, I guarantee you, you will want to know more about it. Which means you will begin learning more about yourself. And if you say to me: “but this is way too much work to do.” Then I will tell you that you are not serious about changing your lifestyle in the first place, period. What can be more important than one’s own health? Nothing! Another “tool” that you can use is, a common denominator. For example, you visited a few websites about a certain subject, let’s say “is sugar bad for us?” And 3 out of 5 reputable sites are confirming that sugar is bad for you, then there is a great chance that sugar is indeed bad for us. You should also look into buying some books. I don’t mean the kind of books that you need to graduate with a doctorate or PhD, but easy to understand, e.g. ‘Nutrition for Dummies,’ or ‘Fat Chance: Beating the Odds against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease, and ‘The China Study’. These are just a few of many good and easy to understand publications. And last but not least; use common sense. You don’t have to be a nutritionist to figure out, that processed food is bad for you. If you don’t know what categorizes processed food, find out. It’s not hard. One of the very disturbing facts is, that people have stopped thinking for themselves. They want to be told how to live their lives.

The same strategy applies in the matter of, as I like to call it, “physical activity.” You don’t need to become a member of those “high tech mega gyms.” Just commence moving your body. With probably the most primal motion, that is – walking. If you are completely out of shape, start walking slow and for a short duration. Then, exponentially increase your speed and distance. There are many great exercises that can be done at home. All you need is your own body. A good book to have for that is, ‘You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises.’ Another good one is ‘Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy.’ Both of these books are under $15. Stay away from so-called “experts,” who are just trying to sell you their “magic”’ exercise concept or equipment. Your body is the best tool to work with.

If you come to a point where you want a bit more than “merely” being healthy, and desire to get to the next “level,” in your fitness journey, then I would advise you to seek out an experienced personal trainer. I am putting a lot of emphasis on the term “experienced.” Because, all the certifications cannot make up for what a trainer who has been in numerous situations knows and more importantly, understands. As I always say, “certified does not mean qualified.”

If you begin to travel this exciting route, always have this quote in mind:

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

                                                                                                                           -Greg Anderson