“scientific” diets vs imitating those who have what you want

Lyle Mcdonald (left), dieting book millionaire.  Greg Plitt (right) eats like a natural bodybuilder.
Lyle Mcdonald (left), dieting book millionaire. Greg Plitt (right) eats like a natural bodybuilder.

There are a lot of famous diets out there, typically diets with names.  You have the “Atkins” diet, the “South Beach” diet, the “cyclical ketogenic” diet, and the “anabolic” diet.  Note that they all have names.  Also note that the writer or founder of the diets, are all wealthy, off of the diet.

It is also important to note, that there have been champion athletes, Mr. Olympias, and shredded models since a time before many of these diets existed.  So what is the significance of a diet having a name?….

I mean, I have a basic diet template I use for most white male clients, and I have a basic diet template that I use for most black female clients….  but they don’t have names… (the reason ethnicity is mentioned is that ethnicity has an affect on the prevalence of food allergies.  For example:  Vast majority of asians are lactose intolerant.  This not only means they get gastrointestinal symptoms from dairy, it also means dairy makes them fat [due to cortisol production from the physical stress].  Likewise, most caucasians are gluten intolerant, not to the point of having full blown celiacs disease, but deffinitely to the point where grain based carbohydrates cause them to gain more weight than fruit or yams.).

A diet will only have been given a name if someone is trying to profit off the sale of that diet.  Not every diet with a name is completely worthless.  Wesley Silveira’s (RIP) “Metabolic Rebound Diet” is very effective, but it is also not entirely new information.  It is very similar to what drug free physique athletes have been doing for quite a while now.  My point is, typically when a diet has a name, it is because someone is trying to make money off of it.  Usually, the name has been copyrighted.  Usually, there is a book to buy, maybe even protein bars at the grocery store, with that name on it.  In life, you always have to be more suspicious of those trying to make a profit off of you.

The thought process, that led me to begin writing this article dates back to a couple years ago.  I read an article by Dave Tate (famous powerlifter with Westside Barbell, former[or current?] world record holder in bench press as well as other lifts.  Dave has also dieted into complete shreddedness and competed in bodybuilding.)  I’m not going to do research and quote him exactly, but Dave said (in his old age) something along the lines of “If you want to be successful in fitness, find someone who has what you want, and copy the hell out of everything they do.”

When I stopped reading overly advanced scientific stuff, including diets with names, that dealt with terms such as “ketosis” (a scientific term that is essentially irrelevant when it comes to dieting), I started to acheive much better results.

What I did instead, is I started to research what high level drug free (because I was drug free) competitive athletes ate, and I started to research what fitness models ate.  What did I notice?  The diets varied a little bit, but for the most part, everybody was doing 98% of the same routines, the same diets, and the same supplementation.  The differences, from person to person,  were from adjustments to their own metabolism and genetics, but the basic template was the same.

Atkins, who does not have an impressive physique, was selling a diet (with a name and “scientific” evidence to back it up), and making millions.  However, the guys who were making tens or hundreds of thousands off of looking good were all eating the same way.  Unfortunately, the fitness models and bodybuilders could not sell their diets in a book, and this was because their diets lacked novelty.

My point being, what has worked in the past, still works.  Stop looking for new “discoveries” in dieting, and start finding out how the people eat, who get paid to look good.  You will find not a lot has changed in the last 50 years.  For every real scientific discovery in dietetics (example: fairly recently the existence of antinutrients was a big discovery), there will be thousands of fake discoveries, and gimmicks, trying to sell you things.  Ronnie Coleman doesn’t eat much different than Arnold Scharzanegger.  In fact, it’s almost identical.

Supplements and drugs, however, are a different ballgame… And discoveries that are game changers are constantly being made, but that’s a completely different topic, for a different article.

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