Nutrition and Supplements 101
Learning the fundamentals of proper nutrition is the secret to transforming your body.
With so much information available today on nutrition and supplementation how do you know who or what to believe?
Here are a few tips for ensuring you’re getting the best information possible:
Look at the Source
Just because you read a blog or an article does not mean the information it pertains is 100% accurate or even accurate at all. There are SO many platforms available for people to share information and while some are great, others are not as credible. Unfortunately, in the health and fitness world, a lot of the articles are also “sponsored” by companies wanting to promote their products or services and the content will be written reflect that. Am I saying all articles or all products you read about aren’t beneficial or do what they claim? Absolutely not. What I am saying is pay attention to who is behind the article. Is it a massive marketing company trying to get you to buy their latest product and/or service? Or is it a legitimate expert in their field who works with these types’ of clients and concerns and can give you the real deal on how and why these products or programs can truly benefit you AND your health and not just be some quick fix or way to make buck. Which leads to my next point..
Look at the Study
Just like articles and blogs can be biased, so, too, can research studies. Many times research studies can be misinterpreted as a result of inherent design flaws within the study itself. For example: Let’s say we have a study to find out if water is important for plants. The researchers put 12 plants into a room and decide they will water half of the plants and not to the other 6 to determine of water is beneficial to plants. A few weeks go by and all the plants die; therefore, the researchers immediately conclude water is not necessary or beneficial for plants to survive.. I mean, obviously if they gave all the plants water and none survived it’s not important, right? WRONG. This research study forgot to take into account another vital factor in photosynthesis: LIGHT. What wasn’t discussed is they had the plants placed In a dark room where they were only exposed to natural light or a few minutes at a time- not nearly enough to provide the plants with enough light to perform the chemical reactions in photosynthesis to produce energy for them to stay alive. So, naturally, the plants died; even with water. We all know water is critical for plants to stay alive but it was very easy for this research study to “prove” otherwise. This example shows that even peer reviewed research can sometimes be inaccurate. This is ESPECIALLLY important when it comes to research on nutrition and supplementation because there are so many factors which affect your metabolism which many studies do not take into account.
Look at the “Expert”
An expert is someone who has devoted hours and hours of study and training on a particular subject and in turn is able to apply this knowledge to help their self, their clients/patients/others improve their outcome in whatever given field. Does this person have to have a medical degree or masters in a specific major? Hell no! Some of THE most brilliant and successful people I have ever met- in all different fields- haven’t ever gone to college or maybe haven’t finished their degrees but instead they are self-taught and have spent years studying and applying in practical life these principles they are preaching. In fact, I think one of the biggest disservices you can do for your self is to rely solely on a suffix such as PHD or MD as your only source for information. Again, I am not saying that all medical doctors and doctorates are uneducated or bad. What I am pointing out is that MOST medical doctors only have one nutrition course in their entire career. Most Nutritionists are taught that the food pyramid is healthy and most personal trainers have absolutely no knowledge of nutrition other than a basic understanding of “clean” foods vs. conventional diets. In order to be a true expert on nutrition or supplementation you need to have studied these topics day in and day out for years and worked in a practical setting where you can apply these principles or philosophies and get a proven desired outcome.
Define Your Objective
In the health and fitness world there are thousands of different training and nutrition philosophies, beliefs, programs etc. THERE IS NOT ONE EXCACT WAY. The most important thing you need to understand when doing research is exactly what your goals and desired outcome are. Only then can you figure out where to the correct information to help you achieve your goals. What do I mean by this? Well, let me give you another example. Everyone says they want to “get in shape” .. but what exactly does that mean? For one person, this could mean to lose “weight “, to another it could mean to lose “fat” and to another it could mean to just get healthy and feel better. Another could mean to build more muscle. All four fall under the umbrella of getting in shape- but all four have completely different objectives and will need different workouts/nutritional guidelines/supplements to get to their end goals. So, if Mary wants to lose 10% body fat and starts following the latest “ weight loss” program she has read about online, she probably isn’t going to be happy with her results if she loses 25 pounds but is still skinny fat with a similar body fat percentage. Conversely, If Lisa wants to lose 25 pounds and follows one the latest fat loss programs and ends up losing 10% body fat but only 5 lbs she is most likely going to be upset and feel like a failure ( even though we know she is not!). So, make sure you are looking to an expert who specializes in exactly what your goals are.