Trendy diets and the Big, Bad Carbohydrate.
In the 1990s the mainstream media warned us to stay away from fat. “It’s so obvious: of course fat makes you fat–it’s FAT!” Low-fat foods flooded the marketplace, and people snatched those products up in droves. Guess what? People who ate low-fat diets but consumed more calories than they were burning still gained fat.
Then, in 2002, Robert Atkins published his best-selling book “Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution” (this was an update to his 1972 book, “Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution“). The low-carb craze was upon us. People everywhere started avoiding carbohydrates as if they were made of radioactive excrement. Food packages that once screamed, “Low fat!” were replaced with those that proudly proclaimed, “Low Carb!”
Thanks to the success of Atkins’ 2002 book, trendy low-carb diets began popping up like weeds after a spring rain. Always in search of the latest and greatest way to Not Be Fat, dieters everywhere flocked to the book stores, eager to snatch up these “miracle” diet books.
Of course there’s only room for a certain amount of trendy nonsense at once. Club firmly in-hand, “Paleo” muscled its way into pop culture, eager to become the Next Big Thing. It wasn’t long before housewives, presumably wearing bearskin, were dancing around crackling firepits, beating their collective chest right alongside the Crossfitters.
While the popularity of the Atkins Diet (and its myriad of clones) has certainly waned from the halcyon days of yore, the damage to the noble carbohydrate was done. Many people still recoil at the thought of consuming carbs–especially while dieting–and it’s just silly. Walking around in a low-carb fog is no way to exist: it’s unpleasant, it’s potentially unsafe and and it’s not necessary for losing fat.
I’ve lost almost 22 pounds since my 2014 cut started less than seven weeks ago. How I accomplished this is simple: I created a caloric deficit, consumed a healthy, balanced diet, lifted weights and performed lots of exercise.
Here are my macro Pie charts for February:
No shortage of carbs here. I did not obsess over hitting the “perfect” macronutrient ratios (hint: there’s no such thing); I simply listened to my body and gave it what it needed.
There’s no need to over-complicate fat loss. Please don’t waste your time and money on trendy diets and expensive supplements. Stick to the basics (we’ve got some excellent, easy to digest primers here on the JSF Forums) and, above all, stay focused and committed. Do those two things and I guarantee you’ll see amazing results, and will feel great.