T Nation

Defeating dietary displacement?

Am I the only one who found this article borderline ridiculous?

It attacks the experts who debate new topics. But why? These experts target a certain audience and they reach that audience. Should we attack T-mag for deciding whether casein is better than whey? Or what about the whole rigmarole about soy being unhealthy? Maybe now everyone will go eat candy because they read soy was unhealthy on T-mag.

Or maybe T-mag has turned all those potential exercisers away from physical activity because it recommends too many conflicting routines. Since people now think training to failure is bad, they won’t train at all.

Frankly, I don’t have a clue in hell what that article is trying to achieve. At the very least it’s hypocritical.

What do you guys think?

I think it was more about hey let’s make sure everyone is getting in their daily protein requirements first before we start arguing over which types of proteins are the best. People sometimes make things more difficult for themselves instead of keeping it simple.

But who is disagreeing with that?

Which of the experts aren’t saying that?

I don’t think the thing was even close to ridicluous.

I have seen and personally experienced exactly what is described in the article.

To many experts with to many opinions which leads to complete lack of action on my part or on the parts of people I know.

Basically there is a torrent of information over minutiae. You end up with a situation where you can’t see the forest(get enough protein, drink enough water, 5 serving of vegetables) cause all the damn trees(water from glass containers, fresh organic vegetables only) are in the way.

Trust me, it can be easy to be confused.

Try going low carb without any fruits or veggies.

Most painful five hours of my life.

i thought the underlying message in the article was indeed a good one…

Berardi seems to have a theme to recent articles. His point seems to be that information overload leads to doing nothing. I don’t believe this describes many members of T Nation.

The other theme I notice with his recent articles is to take care of the basics. The basics really are important. If your diet isn’t dialed in, you are just wasting time.

Really,it reminds me of an old article in the archives. It’s your diet (stupid!)

I hadn’t read it yet until I saw this post. I didn’t find anything even a little bit rediculous or confusing about it. Some of the bickering is what is borderline rediculous.

I’ve seen some of this same stupid shit. People who will grab a coke because they don’t have any bottled water. The water from the drinking fountain is just too gross.

I’ve read posts on here and other boards from people who don’t eat fruit cause it’s high in fructose, and they read that too much fructose might be bad. Same with chicken. Hell, I don’t know if the grilled breast at BK is free range or not. No sense risking it, so I’ll just go with the Whopper instead.

I thought it was a great article and agree with it 100%.

Zulu said…

“Or maybe T-mag has turned all those potential exercisers away from physical activity because it recommends too many conflicting routines…”

It’s always been my impression that T-mag has printed many differing training and nutrition protocols and philosophies to 1) promote a multi-faceted thoughtful readership and 2) not be a bunch of myopic sycophants to one coach or diet guru.

The message is fine.

But he’s the same guy argueing about whether whey is better than casein.

Or better yet, he goes on and on about unsubstantiated food combinations. To have the audacity to attack other people for debating important issues [how healthy fruit is, for example] is down right hypocritical.

If we just wants the basics to get out he should stop posting articles.

JB may propose some unsubstantiated stuff but he has a good point nonetheless. I don’t know how many people I’ve heard and read debating about the relative health of eating tuna or other fish because it might have traces of detectable mercury. The same thing goes for organic fruits and veggies. Any impact, if any, is going to be much less than if you skimped on that particular food type so you could be “safer”.

Oh, and the bottled water. I’ve never been so astounded by a smoke job as the purveyors of bottled water have pulled on the ignorant public. Tests of most bottled water show as much or more junk in it as the municipal water of most cities right out of the tap yet people pay more money for water than gasoline. What’s that Coca Cola brand? Aquafina or something…look at the price of that shit compared to a coke of the same size. Then read the ingredients on the coke, number one is filtered water. Skip the sugar and color and jack up the price…makes good sense to me, NOT! Yet people buy it anyway.

Someone clued me into this post so I figured Id come respond because I feel it’s critically important that people understand the point of my recent articles.

If you go to my site and read the LP column “Tearing Down The House”, I discuss the idea that I’ve spent alot of time in the past focussing on the details (as many do). Frankly - detail stuff is FUN for us science-types and some top flight athletes need this stuff to succeed.

Unfortunately though, many newcomers lock into these detail oriented articles first rather than the basic ones first and this is where the problem lies.

Before they MASTER (i.e. put it into practice for long periods of time) the essentials and then move to the detail oriented stuff, they get bogged down in the details and quit or flounder around.

In that article on my site I claim personal responsibility for my part in the confusion and offer that article, my DVD, and the last few articles at T-mag as recompense.

However, let me be clear. In no way do I think these articles are at odds with my past writing. Rather, there’s a chronology at work here for newcomers. They need basic habits repeated over and over again. They need to achieve success at these things.

Then, once they’re advanced (which few - even here at T-mag - ever become), they need to move on to advanced details.

I admit, I did my chronology backwards (details first, basics later). But if people read my stuff now, they’ll see Im trying to put things into their grander perspective by giving the information a “place” in my body of work - discussing it’s relative importance as below…

In my article here, The Seven Habits,

"So what about calories, or macronutrient ratios, or any number of other things that I?ve covered in other articles? The short answer is that if you aren?t already practicing the above-mentioned habits, and by practicing them I mean putting them to use over 90% of the time (i.e., no more than 4 meals out of an average 42 meals per week violate any of those rules), everything else is pretty pointless.

Moreover, many people can achieve the health and the body composition they desire using the 7 habits alone. No kidding! In fact, with some of my clients I spend the first few months just supervising their adherence to these 7 rules?an effective but costly way to learn them.

Of course, if you have specific needs, or if you?ve reached the 90% threshold, you may need a bit more individualization beyond the 7 habits. If so, give me a shout at jb@johnberardi.com, or search around on this site.

Many of these little tricks can be found in my many articles published right here at T-mag. But before looking for them, before assuming you?re ready for individualization; make sure you?ve truly mastered the 7 habits. Then, while keeping the 7 habits as the consistent foundation, tweak away."

In the end, the point of this week’s article is that certain proteins ARE better, certain fruits ARE better, certain meats ARE better. But North America hasnt reached the point where they need to know this. Now they need to realize that they need to eat fruit and protein - consistently. AND ONLY THEN should they worry about the details.

So experts should not be bickering, as they do - all the time - on forums (clears throat), on tv, at universities, about the subtlties between plans. They should be highlighting similarities that lead to success. As I say in this week’s article

“Throughout your lifetime, you?ll be inundated with new experts, new nutritional plans, and new “revolutionary systems.” Rather than letting these new ideas be a source of frustration and confusion, do your best to get past the marginalia, to get past the differences between all the new programs, and try to discover for yourself the basic principles all the successful programs seem to be built upon.”

If that didn’t come across clearly, I apologize.

I’ve run into exactly what JB describes with many clients over the years. They want to debate minute details of training or diet when they haven’t paid enough attention to the basics.

They waste time endlessly talking about the fine points when the have never even applied the basic principles. They continually want to jump to the latest fad diet or training program, yet they haven’t even begun to master a single program of any kind.

I’m sure JB gets inundated with newbies arguing every detail of his programs when they haven’t applied a damn thing yet.

I thought it was one of the best articles written by Berardi. I don’t see what’s confusing or bad about it.

I very much see what you’re saying, and I agree.

But you are also one of the ‘experts’, John. And you probably do debate the minutia of certain things on forums or through other mediums.

What do you expect all the experts to say? To re-list the basics and be done with it? They’re obviously trying to make a living and target a certain audience. Take Mercola for example. He goes on and on about certain vegetables and fruits not being suitable for optimal health. This might confuse the average american on the SAD. But that may not be his target audience.

Obviously, many people lose sight of the greater good when they discuss relatively unimportant details, but I still think criticizing them for it sets a dangerous precedent. We already have plenty of people going around saying “who cares, this is unimportant” in threads.