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My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

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My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby stevo » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:57 pm

Hi Everyone,

I have personally had a very interesting journey learning about nutrition over the years. In the early 90's I studied full time at Uni and worked part time as a personal trainer. I knew that if I wanted my clients to get the best possible results I needed to learn about nutrition so I read everything in the university library on nutrition.

Then I would design nutritional plans for my clients (based on standard academic nutritional recommendations, which at the time was based on the Food Pyramid). However, in a very short period of time my clients would stop getting results. I couldn't work out why these nutritional plans (high-carb, low-fat) didn't work but nevertheless I decide to change them and make more like a bodybuilder's pre-contest diet (at the time I was heavily into bodybuilding). This is more of a moderate-carb, higher protein approach.

Amazing! They started getting results again! I started doing more research on nutrition and what I discovered was quite interesting. The Food Pyramid, which was promoted by nutritionists, dietitians, health organisations, etc. was actually designed by the United States Department of Agriculture! Of course, their products were on the base of the Food Pyramid (consume the most of these, 6-11 serves a day!). No wonder it didn't work!

A few years later I decided to go back to uni and study nutrition- I lasted a year! They had changed from the Food Pyramid to the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating but it still recommended the high-carb, low-fat approach with a disproportionately high amount of bread, pasta, rice, cerals, etc. They recommended about a third of your daily food intake to come from these foods.

When I approached one of my lecturers about this and about my experience I was directed to the enormous body of research backing up this approach to nutrition. I decided to examine these 'studies' in more detail. Interestingly, these studies were funded by big companies that had a vested interest in selling these types of products. I decided that I was wasting my time studying this course and dropped out. Nevertheless, nutrition is still a passion of mine and I spend a lot of time researching this area.

Here is my latest article. It covers some of the reasons behind why there is so much mis-information and confusion surrounding the very interesting area of nutrition. I hope you enjoy it and any comments or feedback about your own experiences with nutrition is welcomed.


The Nutrition Deception
By Stephen Smith

It seems like every time you turn on the TV, read the newspaper or listen to the radio, there is the ‘latest and greatest’ weight loss program, which promises to be just what you’ve been looking for; the ‘holy grail’ of weight loss that will have you dropping the unwanted kilos in a matter of days without effort or difficulty.

Before you start getting too excited about the prospect of following this program and losing all the weight you want, just take a moment to think about things logically.

• Why hasn’t any other program worked for you before?
This is usually because the principles they recommend aren’t sustainable lifestyle habits. When considering any weight-loss program or diet always think whether or not you will be able to follow the recommendations for the rest of your life.

• What makes this weight-loss program different from all the others?
Fundamental weight-loss principles haven’t changed over the years but the promoters of any weight-loss program need you to believe that the approach they use is completely new and is different from anything else you’ve ever done before.

More often than not, they tend to emphasise the minor (and often unimportant) differences between their program and other programs on the market. The bottom line is that the physiological laws that govern the human body haven’t changed over the years and as long as you follow these laws you can use them to easily achieve and then maintain your weight-loss goal.

• Why isn’t there just one diet that works for everyone?
You’ve probably heard people say that everyone’s body is different so there isn’t one approach that suits everyone. Well, in actual fact, as mentioned before fundamental physiological principles do not change. They work for everyone and they work 100% of the time.

Therefore, there is one diet that works! In the diet you can change the foods you eat to suit your individual tastes but the principles do not change.

• Why is it that all the so-called ‘nutrition experts’ can’t agree on what the best approach to nutrition is?
Generally most ‘experts’ who follow the fundamental nutritional principles will get results for their clients. For example, if you reduce someone’s food intake enough they will lose weight no matter what the macronutrient profile is.

The area where most ‘experts’ don’t agree are often the areas that aren’t as important as the fundamental principles. Also, they only tend to focus on studies that back up their existing beliefs without considering all the contradictory research.

The amount of information available on nutrition today is more than it has ever been before. More money is being spent on research and more studies in the area of nutrition are being performed than in any other time in history. Advancements in nutritional science are progressing faster every day.

So the questions remains, why are we seeing a gradual increase in the incidence of nutrition-related diseases, i.e. heart disease, cancer and diabetes just to name a few?

One reason is because we are continuing to fight an uphill battle against the food manufacturers whose sole aim is to make profits rather than provide good nutritional products for society.

Let’s face it, our bodies are designed to consume products directly from Mother Nature like fruits and vegetables. Ideally, the only processing that needs to be done before we eat it is washing and cooking.

Instead, the vast majority of food that we, as a society, eat has been processed, refined, had artificial colours, flavours and preservatives added to it, and is generally designed to satisfy our tastebuds rather than our bodies’ requirements.

Unfortunately, most of these processed foods do not optimise bodily functions and in fact, they actually impair them. What’s more, we’re led to believe that the processed food is good for us because it is so well packaged and marketed.

Just think for a moment of all the label claims made by products: lite, low fat, 97% fat free, cholesterol free, vitamin enriched, no added sugar and natural. These are terms used to convince us of the virtues of the food in question. Unfortunately, these marketing ploys are very successful.

Another reason why nutrition-related diseases are increasing despite the wealth of information available on nutrition is due to the nutrition ‘expert’s’ need to differentiate themselves from other ‘experts’. As mentioned previously, they do this by emphasising the minor details between nutritional approaches. This leaves people even more confused.

What makes the situation even worse are the massive food industries and government bodies that want to promote their products to an unaware public. For example, the food pyramid, designed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), emphasises the consumption of refined, grain-based carbohydrates!

Also, think of all the promotion being done by the meat and dairy industries. Not only do they heavily promote the virtues of their products but they also provide the funding to universities so then they have ‘research’ to support their products.

Most of the popular weight-loss programs available use some of the physiological laws or variations of them. However, the problems begin when people stop using the principles that got them results in the first place. When their old habits return, so does their previous physical condition.

If you want to maintain the results you achieve with your chosen weight-loss program then you need to be absolutely certain that the principles that you are going to use will be followed for the rest of your life! If you can’t be certain, then don’t use it!

Some of the most popular weight-loss programs here in Australia recommend people to replace their breakfast and lunch with shakes and then have whole foods for dinner. Now, of course you will lose weight by following this approach but is it a sustainable lifestyle habit? Of course not! So don’t do it! What do you think will happen when you go back to eating normally again? The weight will pile back on!

So what are the fundamental physiological principles/ laws that can help you lose all the weight you want and keep it off long term?

Here are the top 7:

1. Have 5 or 6 small meals a day.
2. Have protein with every meal.
3. Reduce your intake of high-density carbohydrates and increase your intake of low-density carbohydrates.
4. Eat mainly whole foods with the occasional protein shake as a snack only.
5. Eat 2 fruits and 5 vegetables every day.
6. Drink plenty of water.
7. Eat ‘normal’, ‘every day’ foods.

Stephen is the part-owner of Body Concepts and Focus On magazine. Stephen has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 18 years and has a science degree from UWA.
stevo
 
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Re: My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby Jisgone » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:39 pm

Thats a great article, do you have an example food plan you could show us?
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Re: My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby Czarina » Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:33 am

Those seven principles sound pretty sensible to me. I do those things already (most of the time!), Calorie King has put me on the right track in that regard. Stevo, what percentage would you consider a moderate amount of carbohydrates to be? I try and aim for 20-25% fat, 25-30% protein and 50% carbs.
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Re: My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby stevo » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:56 pm

Hi,

Here's the Nutritional Plan:

Maximum Weight-Loss Diet


BREAKFAST:

20g oats or 30g cereal (cereal must have less than 10g of sugar per 100g)
150mls of skim milk
2 teaspoons of LSA (linseeds, sunflower seeds, almonds)
1 teaspoon of psyllium husks

1 x multivitamin
1 x thermogenic capsule
2-3 fish oil capsules

OR

1 whole egg
1 slice of toast (multigrain or wholemeal)

1 x multivitamin
1 x thermogenic capsule
2-3 fish oil capsules


MID-MORNING:

1 scoop of protein powder
100mls of low-fat milk and 100-200mls of water

OR

1 small tin of flavoured tuna on
2 corn thins


LUNCH:

100g of chicken breast (sliced)
30 mls of low-fat sauce
15g rice (weight before cooking)
30g broccoli
50g carrots

1 x thermogenic capsule
1 x glucose disposal agent capsule

OR

100g of chicken breast (sliced)- add it to a salad containing the following:
• 2 cups of lettuce
• 4 rings of red onion
• ½ sliced Lebanese cucumber
• 2 pieces of sun-dried tomato (chopped up)
• 6 sliced cherry tomatoes
• 4 rings of capsicum
• 3 sliced olives
• ½ sliced mango
• 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds

1 x thermogenic capsule
1 x glucose disposal agent capsule


MID-AFTERNOON:

100mls of low-fat yoghurt with
2 heaped tablespoons of low-fat cottage cheese

OR

1 piece of fruit and
12 almonds


DINNER:

75g beef (prepared any way:
minced, strips for stirfry, single piece)
50g carrots
50g peas
50g broccoli
30 mls of sauce (any)

1 x glucose disposal agent capsule
2-3 fish oil capsules

OR

100g of salmon/ chicken/ turkey (prepared any way)
25 mls of low-fat mayonnaise
100g of sliced tomato
50g cucumber
100g capsicum
100g carrot
3 cups of lettuce
1 tablespoon of low-fat dressing

1 x glucose disposal agent capsule
2-3 fish oil capsules

OR

Spaghetti bolognaise made with:
75g of beef mince
20g pasta (weight before cooking)
30mls simmer sauce

1 x glucose disposal agent capsule
2-3 fish oil capsules
Stephen is the part-owner of Body Concepts and Focus On magazine. Stephen has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 18 years and has a science degree from UWA.
stevo
 
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Location: Perth, WA

Re: My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby stevo » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:59 pm

Hi Czarina,

I usually suggest the following macronutrient profile for my clients:

30-40% carbs
30-50% protein
20-30% fat

If I am working with a bodybuilder who is getting ready for a show then I would get as close as possible to the following macronutrient profile:

30% carbs
50% protein
20% fat

I have found this to be very effective at helping guys achieve low single-digit body fat percentages.

Cheers,

Steve.
Stephen is the part-owner of Body Concepts and Focus On magazine. Stephen has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 18 years and has a science degree from UWA.
stevo
 
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Location: Perth, WA

Re: My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby stevo » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:06 pm

Hi Dane,

LOL! Yes, I agree! MMM, I could do with a cold one right now in fact. Unfortunately it's not my 'Treat Day'!

I also agree with the stuff Paul Chek teaches; he is awesome, especially in the area of core conditioning for athletes. I highly recommend anyone checking out his website.

I will say though, I do see many personal trainers teaching their clients advanced core-conditioning exercises, which I believe are only suitable for athletes. Whilst core strengthening is definitely beneficial for weight-loss clients I think they can achieve a stronger core simply by doing standard resistance-training exercises. What do you think?

Regards,

Steve.
Stephen is the part-owner of Body Concepts and Focus On magazine. Stephen has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 18 years and has a science degree from UWA.
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Location: Perth, WA

Re: My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby MissSonia » Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:23 am

Stevo, thanks for posting that meal plan :)
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Re: My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby [email protected] » Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:26 pm

Steve,

The majority of my clients are above the 150kg mark, the heaviest in recent times being 230kg (27yrs). Sadly most cannot do any form of core exercise (if they fall over we have to pick them up).

Paul looses me though on the touchy feely stuff so I take from him what works for me and my business. It is a bit of trial and error with my clients to find what works best but it is simply stop eating rubbish and move more.

Have you read much of Tom Venuto? My girl raves on about him (she's a figure competitor).

As to core training, 60% of PT's know diddly squat about exercise prescription let alone anvanced core training. I run tactical fitness courses every 2nd month and we incorporate a lot of Functional Strength work. This builds core strength without it being an actual core exercise. As you know its horses for courses. I will send you a PM, I'm over your way (Perth??) for a month in May doing a live-in with a client. Might pick ya brain a bit more Lol

Dane
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Re: My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby [email protected] » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:01 pm

Steve,

Just to add on your meal plans, we cut all carbs from the last meal for our fat loss clients. We replenish in the morning with sweet-potatoe or oats.

Your bodybuilder diet plan is different. We prepared a girl for a comp two weeks ago and she won NPFC IFBB Australasia Figure and has been invited to the States to compete in the Arnold Classic. We do a few food diaries for competitors and the odd posing routine. There is more business in fat loss than bodybuilding so we concentrate in that area.

Dane
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Re: My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby stevo » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:21 pm

Hi Dane,

Congrats on your client mate! That is fantastic!

I think Tom Venuto is awesome! He really knows his stuff. His book, 'Burn the fat, feed the muscle' is virtually a weight-loss text book. It is a bit heavy for most weight loss clients but is great for fitness industry professionals.

I know why you would cut the carbs in the last meal. However, I tend to include a small amount for a few reasons:

1. They don't have to eat a different meal to the rest of the family.
2. So they don't have to change their current eating habits too dramatically.
3. It is more sustainable long term.

As you know, 20 grams of pasta is a pretty small amount compared to what most people would normally have so I understand what you're saying. In fact, here's an article I wrote on that topic in the last issue of Focus On:

Macronutrient Tapering
An effective way to lose weight, boost energy and improve health is to use ‘Macronutrient Tapering’. This means adjusting the portion sizes of carbohydrate and protein in your meals as the day progresses. For example, you may start the day with a substantial portion of carbohydrate and a small amount of protein and with each meal thereafter you slightly reduce the amount of carbohydrate you consume and slightly increase the amount of protein. This means that by dinner there is a far greater amount of protein in the meal compared to carbohydrate.

This nutritional strategy is beneficial for a number of reasons. Consuming slightly more carbohydrate earlier in the day provides the body with a good source of fuel for the physical and mental activities being performed during the day.

In the evening the body requires less fuel so a reduced portion of carbohydrate makes sense. If a large serve of carbohydrate is consumed in the evening then greater fat storage is likely to result. Plus, a high level of glucose in the blood stream during sleep has been shown to blunt growth hormone (GH) release. GH is the body’s most powerful lipolytic (fat burning) hormone as well as having tissue construction capabilities. Therefore, it is best to ensure it is as high as possible during sleep and the best way to do that is to reduce carbohydrate intake in the evening meal.

Protein provides the body with amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body. It is important to have a small portion in each of your 5 or 6 meals during the day. Since your body performs most of its tissue construction duties during sleep as well as the processes of repair, recuperation and recovery, a slightly larger portion of protein at dinner is beneficial. This means slightly less is required in the other meals of the day.

Plus, a high level of amino acids in the blood stream during sleep has been shown to boost GH release as well as other anabolic hormones in the body.

For best results, taper down your carbohydrate intake and taper up your protein intake as the day progresses.

Also, let me know when you are coming to Perth. Perhaps we catch up over a beer and 'talk shop' a bit more.

Cheers,

Steve.
Stephen is the part-owner of Body Concepts and Focus On magazine. Stephen has been involved in the health and fitness industry for over 18 years and has a science degree from UWA.
stevo
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:07 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: My Experience with Nutrition & The Nutrition Deception

Postby saff1010 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:49 am

Hi Steve
Your info is great thanks. I have a few questions if you dont mind.
Firstly, what are thermogenic capsules?

Secondly, I have already posted a thread relating to this issue, but after reading your threads, you might be able to help me.
I am a 38 year old woman who has 2 small children. Youngest 2 and a half.
I am 5"3" and currently weigh 60kg.
Prior to children I weighed 52-53kg and always found it easy to lose a few kg if i needed to.
My eating habits have always been pretty bad, my whole life. I never have eaten breakfast. I would snack on toast or something at about 10.30am and then just snack on little things throughout the day until dinner where I would eat large serves of high carb meals.

About 6 weeks ago, my husband and I started the censored diet. High protein, Low carb, eat 6 meals a day. I am finding it very difficult to shift the weight. My husband is losing weight well, but I have only lost about 2 kg and even then it fluctuates constantly. I am eating as the program suggests and going to gym 2-3 times a week. I dont know why i am having such difficulties. I read that when you have been eating like me for a long time, your metabolism needs time to heal, but I thought it would be a few weeks as thats what was told to me.It's been 6-7 weeks and nothing. Do you think their may be a medical reason for this or is there anything you can advise that may be of help.I am beginning to lose my incentive and motivation as I work hard but no results.
Thanks
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