Today my goal is simple and hopefully a quick one… That is to break down, in my opinion from what I’ve watched throughout the nutrition industry over the last couple years, what the Top 3 Most Over-Rated Fad’s are in the Diet/Nutrition world.
Once again, this is my opinion on these topics…
So I don’t mean to offend anyone or get into a scientific debate over the fat oxidation rate that occurs with adding grass-fed butter in your coffee…
Speaking of coffee filled with butter, let’s get onto number one!
1.) Bullet Proof Coffee
-First thing I will say about Bullet Proof Coffee, is that it does actually taste pretty damn good but I think that’s obvious… It has grass-fed butter in it!
Here’s the issue with bulletproof coffee, it’s filled with a ton of calories. Most of the time when people make bulletproof coffee they add MCT oil AND Grass Fed Butter…
The recipe for it is – 2 tbsp. of Grass Fed Butter (22g of fat) and 2 tbsp. of MCT Oil (28 grams of fat).
This is a total of 50 grams of fat and almost 500 calories inside your morning coffee! Now I understand that these are both quality fat sources and they can be beneficial for fat loss and better performance, in fact I consume both of them on a regular basis. But that is a for sure overload to be consuming all at once, especially within a liquid beverage.
So lets give the benefit of the doubt and say someone is watching it more closely, they make a “Diet Bulletproof Coffee” and use half the amount.
Well that is still 25g of fat just in your coffee, which is usually accompanied by your breakfast!
My point here is simple, the absolute biggest factor when trying to lose fat/weight or burn calories is your daily and weekly calories in vs. calories out.
And at the end of the day, whether it is clean sources of fat or not, you’re going to go over your calories when drinking Bulletproof Coffee on a regular basis.
Now I get their debates with it, if you don’t know it all here are their reasons for consuming it…
It has disease-preventing properties, helps regulate cholesterol, helps brain function and energy production in general, and it has been said that having a higher fat diet or consuming more fats first thing in the morning allows your body to oxidize fat cells better – in turn your body will continue to oxidize more fat (in other words your body will burn fat more efficiently).
Now, this is all true to an extent. The benefits may be true, although it is hard to say that your body will burn more fat by consuming this because it will learn to oxidize fat better. Adding quality fat sources into your diet will in fact allow your body to absorb and oxidize them more efficiently, but as the saying goes… “More is not better”.
If your body consumes 50g of fat for breakfast, in a coffee drink, it better start oxidizing a bit faster!
Again I will say, more is not always better and this is one of those situations. Having a balanced diet and exercising frequently will be more than enough for your body to burn fat and build lean muscle properly.
For one last statement, I’ll use an example of multiple clients I had come to me who were currently hooked on bulletproof coffee.
My goal with them was to follow some basic habits and follow a well-balanced diet, the habits I followed for them can be found here.
I simply removed the bulletproof coffee in one of the clients and that allowed her to break her plateau. What was their issue? Too many calories. They drank this coffee with their breakfast, which were 3 eggs with veggies and half an avocado… Great nutrients, just way too much fat and calories.
The next client, I had them remove the MCT oil and lessen the butter to 1tbsp instead of two. Then I told them to add more carbs in their diet because they believed in ketogenic diets being the most favorable for fat loss.
Truth was, he was getting too many calories from the wrong sources. He needed some extra carbs to boost his training and he needed to drop just a bit of calories to create a deficit. But he didn’t get full from his coffee so it was hard for him to understand he was getting too much calories, as that is usually associated with too much food being eaten.
Both have had outstanding results since.
2.) Ketogenic Diets
Before opening the second can of worms for the day, I will say that I’ve witnessed many people get success with this. But we need to define what their success is compared to what ideal success is for you personally.
For me, I want to be strong and lift some heavy shit. After I lift that heavy shit, I want to build some bad ass looking muscle.
The only way I can do that is if I have energy to perform at a very high level in the gym and I produce well balancing hormones.
Without carbohydrates, I cannot do any of this.
Now that doesn’t mean you should be on a low-fat diet either because without fat your hormones will be out of balance as well.
And don’t forget that you cannot build quality muscle without getting ample amounts of protein each day either.
Are you getting my drift yet…?
There is no magic macronutrient. There is no, “One macro to rule them all!”
We as humans need all the macronutrients and it is pretty obvious as to why. They all serve different purposes in the body, the all are filled with different vitamins and minerals, and we need all of them if we want to function as a whole unit in the right way.
That being said, I do not believe in Ketogenic diets because it is not well-balanced. It has no carbs at all.
In my mind and from what I have researched, it just isn’t smart to never consume glucose and fructose through whole natural sources like plant-based starches and fruits.
Most of the arguments for Keto diets are that fat is a great brain fuel source, if you tap into Ketosis then you will utilize fat as a fuel source more efficiently, and in the end you’ll be burning off more body fat via stored glycogen (carbs).
Again, they have logic and truths to their arguments.
Fat is a great brain fuel, probably the most reliable for strictly brain energy. I’m in no way arguing this fact, but again… More is not always better. This just proves you need a balanced fat source in your diet to optimize brain function. But you can also benefit from carbs in this situation as well.
Second reasoning for Keto has some truth to it as well, getting into Ketosis will allow you to utilize fat as your primary fuel source more effectively.
Here are the issues I have with Keto Diets…
Carbs fuel better performance, better performance will lead to more calories burned and more muscle tissue built. Having more muscle tissue on your body will lead to more daily caloric burning, simply because your body uses more calories just to support muscle tissue.
And if we’re looking at the key factor in losing weight, which is calories in vs. calories out, we just need to make sure we stay in a deficit.
So add some carbs for better performance and take away a just enough fat so that you remain in the calorie deficit, then you’ll be in a well-balanced and highly fat burning diet.
Having balance is the key, because our hormones will be much better off with some carbs as well and that is a fact. But as I said, they need fat just as much so I would never recommend going below 20-25% of your calories in fat.
So many hormonal issues can be linked to too low of carbohydrate dieting, such as problems regulating the Thyroid, Cortisol, Testosterone, Growth Hormone, Metabolism, Adrenal Glands, and the list goes on…
But again, some of these will be suffering imbalances without fat as well.
BALANCE IS KEY.
But my biggest reason for not agreeing with Keto diets is completely about social events and enjoying your life.
Being on a Keto diet means you constantly have to consume extremely low levels of, if any, carbs daily. But what social event have you ever been to that the treats and drinks were all high fat?
Exactly, it’s always carbs and I firmly believe that a diet is NOT meant to rule your life and we need to enjoy ourselves as well.
As I’m writing this article… Realizing it may be more controversial than I thought!
But as I mentioned before, just my opinions and what I see that is wrong with these “fads” within the diet industry. My biggest belief within this all is simply to balance your diet, enjoy yourself 10% of the time while eating whole foods that compliment your goals 90% of the time, and not restricting anything out of your diet unless it causes issues with your body personally.
This directly relates to this next fad, which is The Paleo Diet.
This one doesn’t get me as fired up as the others because there are some great benefits and points to the claims made in and about this diet.
But the reason I don’t agree with it is simple and exactly what I stated above, it restricts many foods without great reasoning.
The main claims here are simple and we all know them, “If a caveman couldn’t eat it, then you can’t eat it”. This turns into a simple diet of plant-based foods and meats. So you’re essentially eating veggies, fruits, potatoes, meats, and nuts. Most of the foods they cut out (dairy, grains, etc.) have been called inflammatory… But that depends on the person.
The issues I have with this are simple.
First of all, just because a caveman couldn’t eat it doesn’t mean I can’t eat it. The science states many different claims but essentially the assume we as humans weren’t meant or created to be digesting and absorbing foods like rice, bread, and dairy and therefore it must not be beneficial for us.
But the truth is, humans are a very complex system and we have adapted over time.
On top of that, there are so many benefits, vitamins, and minerals in those foods that the caveman apparently couldn’t eat.
Now, if you’re lactose intolerant you obviously shouldn’t eat dairy. But if dairy sits well with you, you have no digestive issues with it, and you enjoy eating it… You should damn well be able to eat it!
That goes for everything they say not too eat, if it sits well I believe it is ok and if it doesn’t then I believe you shouldn’t eat it. But everybody is different and will tolerate things differently.
The second is some recent studies that proves people before the Paleolithic Era were eating foods containing grains…
Now I must say before closing out, my goal isn’t to shit on Paleo.
In fact they have nailed down something very smart, which is getting people to consume way less processed foods and also have essentially tricked people into eating fewer calories. So I definitely agree with that and do not believe eating paleo is unhealthy by any means, I just believe we should be allowed to get variety and for most of us we can benefit from the nutrients delivered through some of those foods they restrict.
I’ve put clients on Paleo Diets because they’ve had digestive or gut health issues and hormonal issues. Paleo Diets allow me to rule out specific food groups for causing this; it’s a great way to figure out what is going on. Cut everything out that could be inflammatory in our body and then slowly add them back in, one by one, and see what is causing the issue. I’ve written about it in the past, you can check it out here.
I also want to say, if you love bulletproof coffee…. DRINK IT! I’d suggest cutting it down and fitting it into your lifestyle using the 90/10 rule.
Same goes for Low Carb Dieting, if that works for you and you don’t want to gain muscle at all… Then you have the freedom to do so and I respect that, I would simply suggest keeping a check on hormonal balance and if your body does well with it then I think that is absolutely awesome for you!
Nothing is absolutely wrong and nothing is absolutely right… We’re all different and require different things.
Sometimes it can just be hard to figure out exactly what it is that YOU need for nutrition and training, if you’re feeling that way you’re probably in need of a coach who can specifically lay it out for you and hold you accountable of getting to the result.
Most of us are in that situation, CLICK HERE and check out exactly how I will do that for you.