T Nation

Food Confusion?


i was just wondering about something . this thing confuses alot of people. mostly fat people, myself included 4 months ago.

the thing is what to eat.

we've all seen many people who are on "DIETS" which are laughable, but is it really their fault?

think about it, a person who has no knowledge on nutrition would get confused by the debates on macro nutrients.

on side says don't eat fat, "it'll give you heart disease and kill ya". people following this side end up eating low-fat chips ahoy cookies(low fat, good to eat!)

another side says don't eat carbs, "we're not meant to eat them, they cause heart disease" people following this side end up eating no grains, fruits and vegetables(obviously there are exceptions).

yet another side(stupid doctors) say don't eat that much protein, "it'll make you're kidney's implode!" people following this side usually don't end up too good!

no protein?, no carbs?, no fat?, what are people supposed to eat!

this confuses fat people because they don't know what to eat. go on a high carb, low fat diet; they're ridiculed.
go on a low carb, high fat diet; people start worrying about you're health(my mom thinks olive oil can kill me, no joke!)

go on a high protein diet, you're general physician will tell you it's not healthy.

i had this experience 5 months ago. many obese people are genuinely confused on nutrition. if they read articles, they'll get more confused. mayo clinic articles says saturated fat will kill ya. read another article by an Atkins guy, you'll think carbs will kill ya.

let's not forget about this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/1586574.stm

so what do you think, are nutrition experts confusing us with contradictory messages
(this is not an attack on nutrition experts!)


Stop listening to all the "experts," don't follow any nutritional recommendations given by the mainstream media, educate yourself, and do the best you can while realizing that what is thought to be the best is subject to change as we learn more about how the human body responds to various foods.

It's really not that hard if you educate yourself enough to be able to be able to see through the nonsense.


Imo most nutritional guidance by the media is ass backwards. ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS - ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS: that means without these your body will not function properly. I have yet to see an essential carb. Don't get me wrong. Fruits, veges have tons of nutrients that people tend to lack. Grains are another topic all together and won't go there.

So, tell people to do some research and don't listen to those who make a living off of fat people.


In my opinion the problems are the extremes people think they have to go to. In the long run a balanced diet is the way to go. What one should consider balance will however depend on the individual.

The exact ratio of macro nutrients needed depends on a mixture of genetics and level of activity. A top athlete will not do well on a low carb diet, but my 66 year old father would probably benefit greatly from dropping most of the carbs he loves so much. Still, he too will need veggies and fruits to get his anti-oxidants and minerals. Find a balance that works for you. If you're losing fat while feeling good you probably hit the spot. Remember that no macronutrient is evil. It's just a matter of getting the right dosage. Good luck!


Avoiding processed foods and focusing on lean meats, whole grains, dairy, and fresh fruits and vegetables would solve the "diet" problem for 99% of the people who are struggling with weight control. Macronutriet ratios are not nearly as important as quality of the food consumed.


We have a winner.
Eating well is not rocket science.


They could try using some common sense. Following a healthy diet, especially if you're not trying to get into shredded physical condition, is really about using a modicum of brain power. The best general rule I've come across is: "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food." That said, your great-grandmother was probably familiar with cookies and cake, but ask yourself if she would have been likely to eat them three times a day?

Again, this is a lack of common sense. OK, so your knowledge is 25 years out of date, so you buy the crap about how the small amount of saturated fat in steak will kill you. But ask yourself, do you SERIOUSLY think those low-fat chips ahoy cookies are BETTER for you? People have been eating steaks since there have been people. Low-fat chips ahoy have been around for what, 15 years? Read the ingredients on the box... do those 25 or so substances SOUND like a healthier alternative to 100% beef? People need to stop kidding themselves!

Again, these people are idiots. If they want to go this route, they should make at least a small attempt to educate themselves about it. Where does it say not to eat any vegetables or even to cut out fruit entirely? I think the Atkins Diet has people doing that for an "induction phase" that's supposed to last less than one month, period. If you permanently cut out veggies and fruit, you're just an idiot who is looking for an excuse not to eat those foods because you remember not liking them as a kid.

The no grains thing is debatable, but again it comes to down to common sense and tradition. Your great-grandma would have told you to eat your veggies because they're good for you. She probably also would have told you to not fill up too much on bread because you won't have room in your stomach for the meat and veggies that make up the rest of the meal. Eat like her and you won't be striding on stage at the Olympia but you also won't be asking for a seat belt extender on an airplane, either.

This one pisses me off to no end. Do you know where doctors get that information? It's from people with end stage renal failure. Since their kidneys are nearly gone, they have a hard time processing protein. Eat too much protein and it pushes their kidneys permanently over the edge. Logically, how this would apply to people with healthy kidneys makes so sense at all. It's literally the same as looking at people with a compound leg fractures, noticing that walking makes their injury worse, and then counseling everyone to avoid walking because it will cause leg fractures!

Like that poster says - common sense is so rare it's a superpower. What I do when some fat schlub tells ME that the way I eat is unhealthy is to simply smile at him/her and nod my head. If you don't argue, they will shut up quicker. Then you just keep doing what you're doing.

The experts may be confusing things in many instances, but I think many obese people just use that as an excuse to give up and eat that third piece of cake. Blaming the contradictory messages is a fucking copout, in other words. Regardless of how much the "experts" contradict each other, not ONE of them will tell you that the solution to obesity is to sit on the couch watching reruns and pounding Doritos and Chips Ahoy. I believe some people are genetically predisposed to carry some extra fat. But to be really obese, you have to WORK at it, just like you have to really work at it to be really ripped even if you are genetically gifted. The difference is they're opposites. To become and remain obese, you have to be DEDICATED to eating whatever you want, when you want it. You must be willing to completely ignore calories, fat, sugar, protein, processed chemicals, or even whether you already feel full or not. Don't feel like finishing that family-size bag of pretzels? Come on, you can do it! Just 20 more and you can kill the bag! And you not only have to hate formal exercise or participating in any kind of sport, you also have to be DEDICATED to moving your body as little as you possibly can get away with. This means parking your car as close as possible to buildings, taking the elevator even if you're going up one floor, using a motorized cart at the supermarket whenever you can, etc. Watch the Pixar movie WALL-e, it did a great job of satirizing the obese lifestyle.