You know, earlier last week I happened to be in Waterstones, which if you’re not sure is a book store in the UK. I was meandering around the health and fitness section of the store which was conveniently located next to the self help section where there was a young couple going through books on weight loss. The gentleman looked trully uninterested in any of the books and I was minding my own business until I heard the biggest bunch of baloney… “See!” The young lady exclaimed, “This book says, In order to lose weight you should eat 900 calories a day”!
I couldn’t take it any more. My Bullshit radar just hit red alert and I had to share my two pennies worth.
“With all due respect ma’am, I wouldn’t believe everything written in a book about diet. 900 calories is way below most people’s resting metabolic rate and it would be very dangerous to follow this course..” I then went on to explain how the metabolism worked and why muscle was important to weight loss and how 900 calories would only support muscle loss.
I’m pretty sure it all fell on deaf ears however, I felt safe in the knowledge that I had at least done my good deed. After this couple waltzed off, I looked through this book. It was called “10 lbs in 10 days”. The title of the book itself made me cringe as it is widely accepted that 3-4 lbs of weight loss per week is safe with an upper limit if 6-8lbs maximum.
I wondered, why were people even allowed to write these kind of books but it did remind me of how much contradictory advice, bull crap and marketing hype surrounds the whole health and fitness industry which is a real shame because it is one of the biggest problems with the industry as a whole and makes it a lot more confusing and harder for people to know what to do and what is right.
It’s therefore important to build up your own bullshit radar when it comes to health and fitness and you don’t need to be biologist or personal trainer to get started. Just knowing simple things and having an awareness of how the body works is enough
Here are a few tips on building a good BS radar:
– Read magazines and books. there is tonnes of knowledge out there for you to learn from
– Don’t believe everything you read in magazines and books. A slight caveat on the above tip but bear in mind, just because something is printed in a book or magazine doesn’t make it true. Remember, magazines get the bulk of their income from advertisers selling supplements so they have to make sure they’re keeping them sweet…
– Which follows on to the next tip, QUESTION EVERYTHING. There’s no harm in questioning and asking why or how. It’s the best way to learn. If you read or hear something, even from me, feel free to question and do a bit of research based on scientific fact.
– If it works for you great, Do what works for you. If you read or hear something contradictory to what works for you then you have three choices. Ignore it and carry on, try it and see what happens or accept it as gospel. The third is probably the most stupid one but you’d be amazed at how many people do this.
– Find a reputable source and listen to people who have a high level of credibility. People who refer to actual science and not just gym based “Bro science”
– Hire a coach. A GOOD coach’s job is to help you avoid the BS as well as help you learn and answer questions. Of course, you can always feel free to ask me any questions you may have
So there you have it, a few tips for building your own fitness BS radar!