High Carb dieters are like “Fat makes you Fat!”
Low carb dieters are like “Carbs are the enemy!”
Vegans are like “Protein is the antichrist!”
Freakin vegans always gotta take ridiculous to the next level.
So who is the enemy on the plate so we can shun them to the plates of the fat people?
I hate to break it to you but the enemy is not on your plate.
WHO’S THE REAL ENEMY?
There are hundreds of diets out there from Paleo, Atkin’s, IIFYM (If it fits your macros), carb cycling, the anabolic diet and on and on and on. There is a diet for any way you can imagine to make your life miserable.
For the last 40+ years the mainstream media has dictated the hot fad diets of the day. One researcher puts his/her spin on a study and there is a nationwide pandemic of people that are gluten intolerant. Another study comes out and milk is the closest thing to devils blood and you shouldn’t even look at a cow or you’d get fat.
People are even starting to come around to eating processed foods more frequently as long as they stay within a certain macro limit (IIFYM).
So how are we, as busy functioning members of society, supposed to navigate this crazy ass world of fad diets and the constant vilifying of certain macro nutrients while still enjoying our lives?
Before we do that, let’s find out who is the bad guy really is in our quest of our Aesthetic Physique.
SUSPECT #1: FAT
Back in the days of hippies, LSD and free love some people were doing research in between making whoopee all over the place. These researchers were looking into the correlation between saturated fat and LDL (cholesterol) in the blood.
Elevated levels of LDL in the blood can cause heart disease. What the researchers saw is a correlation between elevated LDL and saturated fat consumption. To them correlation meant causation. Unfortunately, like the Transformers, there is more than meets the eye with LDL.
LDL comes in two flavors, one being large, buoyant and inert and the other is small, sinks like a stone and is hell on wheels. The latter causes clogged arteries and eventual heart attacks. Saturated fat contributes to the good kind while sugar and refined starches increase the poop kind.
So when the 70’s rolled around red meat and saturated fat became the worst thing since Communism.
After that study was published, food companies began removing fat from their products to catch this low-fat diet wave. Removing the fat also removes some of the taste and if you remove taste people aren’t going to buy it.
Their solution? Fill the flavor void with sugar.
WHY YOU NEED FAT
Despite what your parents told you, fats are not the bad guys here. Granted trans fats are crap all around, other fats like saturated and unsaturated fats play an important role in keeping you a functioning human being.
- Energy – Fats are the main source of energy when you sitting in front of the TV or your computer.
- Transporting Vitamins – Some vitamins (A, D, E and K) need fat to be absorbed in the body.
- Hormones – Fats are the precursor to hormones, like testosterone.
- Nerves – Fats are the covering around your nerves. It works as the rubber covering on a wire you’d find in your house.
- Essential Fatty Acids – There are certain fatty acids required for cell function that cannot be made in the body and must be consumed.
SUSPECT #2: CARBS
Once companies started filling the fat void with sugar there was also another movement coming on board in the “all or nothing” 80’s.
Huge ass portions.
Rather than a 12oz coke, you were getting a 32oz Big Gulp. A trip to a restaurant before would give you a cup of rice. Now double the amount, if not triple that on the same plate. They spin it as more for your money.
Carbs aren’t as filling as fats so people were eating more on top of the huge portions to feel full.
So combining the added sugar to everything, low satiety of carbs and huge portions the obesity epidemic erupted to what we see today.
Around the early 2000’s a book written in the 70’s turned the world on its head again. That’s right, the Atkin’s diet.
The Atkin’s diet showed great results. People were losing 5-10lbs in the first week! Plus, you can eat bacon!
Is this a God send? Carbs must be the enemy, I mean I’m skinny now and I’m not eating carbs! Carbs suck!
This is another correlation being interpreted as causation. In 40+ years we have not gotten any smarter. We can create smart phones that are a million times more powerful than all of the Apollo missions but we can’t get the basic task of eating right.
WHY YOU NEED CARBS
Besides being the first string of energy for the body, here are a few other benefits of carbs.
Thyroid – Low carb decreases your thyroid’s ability to regulate just about every hormonal function in your body.
Cortisol – Low carb increases this stress hormone.
Testosterone – Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) starts the testosterone process and is released based on glucose levels in the body.
Cognitive Function – Glucose from carbs is what your brain runs on.
So if it’s not fat or carbs…. who’s the bad guy?
THE REAL GUILTY PARTY IS…
Carbs in excess will make you fat. Fat in excess will make you fat. But in moderation both are very good for you.
It’s a mind set that makes people overeat, the lack of will power that makes people choose sugar over veggies and it’s the habits that carry this eating over for years.
Food is so readily available now a days and we are constantly bombarded with commercials it’s hard to find what is right to eat. That’s why we need to be smarter than the average bear. Since you are reading Aesthetic Physiques, you already are.
Here’s what you should do.
THE AESTHETIC PHYSIQUES DIET (AKA THE AP DIET)
Since we are in a world that is obsessed with labels I figured I’d throw the site’s name into the mix. Because if we didn’t have labels we would be generally less interesting. Actual conversation I had:
Person: What diet are you on?
Me: I’m not on a diet, I just eat healthy.
Person: Oh. [General disinterested look in their face]
If the AP diet had been around then:
Person: What diet are you on?
Me: The AP diet.
Person: Oohhh. Tell me more!
See 40% more interesting.
The AP diet is just a label to get people interested in what you are doing. It’s basically just eating a balanced diet.
- Eat portions like this 3 times a day.
- Cheat on 10% of your weekly meals.
- One time a month go straight bananas for one meal.
This method will give you about 90% of the results you want. I know most of us are older and don’t care about abs anymore so why stress out over eating clean 100% of the time and taking all the fun out of life?
Keep your portions in check and enjoy that pasta or rice.
But that still leaves us with our mind we have to overcome.
HOW TO HACK YOUR MIND
Hacking your mind is easy in principle, a little tougher in execution. So I like to hack the ole noggin by first hacking my environment. It’s a lot easier than using Jedi mind tricks on yourself. I am currently using these hacks so I can get my abs back. I’m still a superficial child.
- Put snacks out of eye sight or throw them away – My house has the occasional junk food in it but we keep it out of eye sight in a cabinet behind other stuff.
- Ask yourself are you hungry or bored – I eat a lot when I’m bored. Before I go and grab a snack I’ll stop and ask myself if I’m actually hungry or I’m bored. 9/10 I’m bored.
- Take a portion to eat while watching TV not the whole bag – Pistachios are my night time TV snack. I’ll take a handful and put the rest of the bag back. If I brought the whole bag, I could easily add 900-1000 calories just watching TV.
- Ask yourself is what I’m going to eat help or hinder me – When the cravings hit, before I eat something less than healthy for me I stop and ask if this food will take me closer or further away from my ab goal. I’m lazy so adding more work isn’t something I’m about.
These 4 hacks along with prepping my meals on Sunday has helped me sail through the first 3 weeks of my diet without eating one cheat meal.
Don’t get caught up in the latest headlines. You have enough things to stress you out. Keep your diet simple, balanced and allow yourself to indulge once in a while.
If you know someone who could benefit from this article, please share it on Facebook or Twitter. 2 out of 3 people are obese today, let’s start a change.