“You’re kidding me. It’s called FCUK?”
I was standing in the checkout line of a well-known pharmacy that, by the time I got there, had stretched past the cologne and perfumes. French Connection United Kingdom was just one of the crazy examples I saw of what I like to call conventional stupidity.
Most of the products I was standing next to were named after celebrities. Instinct by David Beckham, Curious by Britany Spears, Fame by Lady Gaga, Killer Queen by Katie Perry, Incredible Things by Taylor Swift – are we out of our minds? Why do we need celebrities to help us choose a fragrance?
The final straw for me was Victoria Bitter the scent – do I really want to smell like beer? Worse, would men actually buy this product because they like the beer? I don’t get it.
Even so, in my own industry, this has become the main way people select a healthy living program for themselves. Unbelievably, in the last twelve months, the most searched phrase on Google was ‘Adele diet’.
A famous singer who is not a dietitian, a doctor, a chef, or a personal trainer is apparently the most trusted person in weight loss. I say again, conventional stupidity.
Maybe you’ve recently joined a gym or have been going for some time. Do you notice that when you take a class, be it Full Body Fusion, Circuit Training, HIIT, Water Aerobics, Cycling, Bootcamp, Zumba – the list is endless – that the same people appear month in, month out?
Even if you don’t go to a class, the people around you create an environment that entices you to stay. There will always be someone fitter, stronger, and lighter than you, and the gyms count on this. That’s how they keep you in the endless loop of doing what you think is expected of you and not seeing results. It’s time to stop.
If what you’re doing is not working for your fitness, health, and life, then maybe you’re doing things wrong. You have to ask yourself:
Let’s change things up
The aerobic system plays a vital and primary role in all physical activity.
For example, between 95 and 99% of the energy used for endurance sports, including in competitions, is derived from the aerobic system. This is true for events lasting more than a few minutes and for races from the mile to the marathon and beyond.
In addition to the traditional endurance events such as running, biking, and swimming, aerobic-based sports also include tennis, golf, basketball, and many others. So why do we constantly have the desire to work harder? Because it makes sense – even if it’s totally wrong.
Just ask yourself, what are your results?
Are you working like a dog day in, and day out and still not losing weight? If so, then the first thing to do is focus on your nutrition, not exercise.
Let’s talk about food
Don’t believe what the fitness and sports industry tells you about nutrition. Highly motivated fitness enthusiasts have great difficulty rejecting an obsessive, chronic approach to workouts, a carbohydrate-burning/carbohydrate-loading pattern, and a calories-in, calories-out mindset about weight loss.
Fat was the preferred fuel for humans throughout evolution, with most energy coming from either stored fat or ingested fat.
Today, we have overridden our genetic preference for fat by consuming a diet high in carbohydrates.
Modern grain-based, high-carb diets stimulate excess insulin production, leading to a host of health problems, often characterized as metabolic syndrome. High-carb meals create a blood-sugar insulin burnout roller coaster.
Each individual is unique, and although one individual may be able to utilize carbohydrates effectively, another may not. Listen to your body – think about how your body reacts to what you feed it. Choose your carbohydrates wisely; select whole, unprocessed carbs with fiber instead of refined carbs.
If you’re going to eat carbohydrates, make sure that you’re using them for fuel and that they’re from real food, not processed foods (pasta, bread, pancakes, oats, etc.).
Otherwise, they will be stored as fat, particularly if you’re insulin-resistant. Avoid wheat at all costs, as this causes damage to all individuals.
Grains are merely a cheap source of calories that are easily converted into glucose.
They have minimal nutritional value, stimulate excess insulin production, and contain “anti-nutrients” that compromise digestive and immune function, promote systemic inflammation, and inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Not all dairy is healthy.
For many people, dairy is inherently problematic, mostly owing to the presence of lactose (a milk sugar that’s difficult for many adults to digest) and casein (a protein that can be allergenic to many).
Adele’s diet focuses on incorporating low-calorie foods and green juices in specific combinations.
Users report significant weight loss because the regimen is incredibly restrictive and limits users’ calorie intake to 1,000 calories at the beginning and 1,500 calories on the last day.
This vastly reduced caloric intake is the main issue that health experts have with the diet.
Moreover, because it’s so restrictive, it’s not a practical long-term weight loss solution. In other words, if Adele starts eating a more typical 2,000-calorie-per-day diet again, she could easily gain back all the weight she just lost.
For the record, no credible trainer or health coach would agree to their client eating only 1,000 calories a day.
However, the most important thing to remember here is that your health is too important to decide on a weight loss program in the same way you would select a perfume: by celebrity endorsement.
In my experience, many actual doctors operate on incorrect advice, so trusting a singer with your life is just lunacy.
A few days before Christmas 2014, I dropped all of the carbs I loved so much and focused on real foods and healthy fats. I had my blood lipid tests done to see what would change after my six-month experiment. The advice I received from my GP was not to do it because according to him, my cholesterol was too high. He was wrong.
My results after six months surprised even me.
Not only had I finally lost that stubborn tummy roll, but I could go for a 15km run and not feel hungry for two or three hours afterward! I had so much energy, and my mental state was stable during the day.
Five years on and this approach has been sustainable for me and my family.
It has changed our health, the way our kids eat, and the way we think about life. Plus, my body composition is better – in fact, it’s the best it has been in my whole life. I am stronger, faster, fitter, and most importantly, healthier.
Andre Obradovic is an ICF Leadership PPC Level Coach, A Primal Health Coach, a Certified Low Carb Healthy Fat Coach, & a Certified Personal Trainer. Andre is also a Founding member of the Dr. Phil Maffetone MAF certified Coach. He is an Ambassador for the Noakes Foundation, and a regular subject matter expert lecturer for the Nutrition Network (a part of the Noakes Foundation) Andre has completed 16 x 70.3 Ironmans and in 2017 he competed in the 70.3 Ironman World Championships. He has completed 18 Marathons and over 30 Half Marathons. Andre currently focuses his athletic competition on Track and Field with the occasional Marathon.