In the first part of this little blog series Graeme Marsh, one of the few personal trainers who has spent over a decade working with desk bound workers in the City of London, talked about a few general recommendations for health and nutrition when working with the general population. It seemed only natural to expand this into the actual training aspect; what we do in the gym with our clients and why:
First up, to avoid attracting the barbed quills of keyboard-based trainers out there, we should qualify a few things about our typical clients. They are usually over 30, or more commonly over 40 and have more interest in their general health than they do achieving ‘X’ % body fat or ‘Y’ Kg Bench Press. Most of our clients, but not all, do very little ‘training’ on their own, but often enjoy recreational activity. These girls and guys are also really smart, and can smell the kind of bullshit the fitness industry likes to peddle from a mile off, so we keep it simple, direct, and straightforward. Our clients are the definition of the time poor professional, so the training and the advice we give is designed to work with their lives, not against it.
As with the previous post, I haven’t bothered to find references to back everything up. So-called ‘bro-science’ is very out of vogue these days and if you aren’t referencing ten papers per statement you now risk being ostracised for being ‘non-scientific’. I’m all for sports science, I even got an MSc in it 7 years ago, but as usual the pendulum has swung the other way and we are forgetting that training people in the real world is a long way from studying university students in a lab. I spent a lot of time when I was younger writing from a position where my academics outweighed my experience, but with over a decade in the city training clients now I feel confident that a combination of the two is a good place to come from. Besides, you won’t find many studies on how to train a 45 year old banker, so you’ll just have to trust me on some of this. However, that said, I’m reasonably confident most of these conclusions are borne out in what evidence there is.
- Most people do way more than they need to (particularly when starting out) and often way more than they should do when it comes to work sets. This is a double edged sword, not only does it seriously hinder recovery, it is inefficient, tiring, and usually done at the expense of other less-trendy fitness qualities (such as flexibility or endurance)
- There is too much focus on how much weight is lifted and not enough on how it is done. Unless you’re competing in a strength-based event, the actual number on the weights is merely a tool to measure progression. Effective muscle recruitment demands an attention to technique often missing in the average gym member.
- Much like nutrition, exercise is a lifelong habit, therefore long-term compliance to, and confidence in, your methods is of importance.
- It’s really fine to stretch people first. Really, it is. They aren’t about to leap up and try for a 1RM snatch or 30m sprint so if people have restricted range of movement in the hips and shoulders don’t expose their joints to risk by loading poor movements. I’ve been doing it for ages without seeing any negative effects, to the contrary I’ve seen good improvements in clients movements and self-reported feelings of improvement and progress through making flexibility a focus in those that need it. Combined with an appropriate warm up this way seems more effective at building better movements. Once these movements are well established, less work is needed to maintain them.
- The Tabata protocol is misunderstood, overused, and under delivers. If they aren’t on a wattbike hitting 170% of Vo2 max, then it isn’t ‘Tabata’ -Swings and Planks don’t cut it. Conventional interval training, adjusted to target the desired energy system, is though far more time efficient than steady state training both for fitness and body composition. This doesn’t mean that we should discourage people from doing any exercise that they actually enjoy and feel the benefits from. A bit of lower intensity CV work or recreational sport should be encouraged and most people are more likely to do this anyway.
- I prioritise high intensity weight training with female clients, but I do so because it is the thing they are least likely to do on their own due to the atmosphere in most weight rooms around the city.
- The fitter and stronger the client, the better the tolerance of both intensity and volume (and greater the need for adequate recovery when working at higher levels). You’d think this common sense but you still see people with a 4 week training history being pushed to max rep deadlifts……that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen
- Train their arms directly. I know, I know, chins train the arms – if you can do them for sets with good form. Most people can’t – so, if you want to get stronger and better looking guns start close grip pressing and barbell curling. How curls ever got relegated in favour of ‘functional’ training I’ll never know.
- Speed of movement is a really effective training variable when followed, but some people just don’t have the attention span. Slow and Fast works for them. Pick your battles.
- Timing rest periods is a fundamental of any competent trainer or trainee. If you aren’t timing your rest periods then you may as well use random weights and reps for every set too.
- Single Leg and Single Arm stuff can be great, but it doubles workout time and therefore reduces workout efficiency by 50%. I tend to use it sparingly and generally when people are starting out. So-called ‘unstable surface’ training is pointless and ineffective.
- Making someone ‘really sore’ should not be used as a reference for the quality of the training session (same goes for making someone throw up).
- The Good Morning has to be one of the most underrated exercises out there for people who spend ages at desks and on planes.
- Unless competing in a strength contest, your primary goal with resistance training is to recruit muscle effectively. Too often the movement and the load are given priority over the muscles used to achieve it. This is training for injury not injury prevention.
- It’s better to use exercises with short learning curves. You can often achieve the same results but with less time spent mastering technique than using more complex movements.
- Sure, full squats and deadlifts are great, but new clients have a whole training life ahead of them so don’t feel like they have to be doing those movements from week 1, especially as most people who’ve spent 20 years at a desk will lack the muscle recruitment and movement patterns to perform them in a way that doesn’t make my teeth hurt when watching. Set an effective foundation from the start so when they start with the big movements they can experience success long-term.
- Continually working to failure week-in, week-out is probably the fastest way to stall someone’s training. Time spent mastering reps at a level close to but below technical failure (or as Ian King coined the term, their ‘Technical Limit’) builds confidence and volume at higher loads. Cluster training is brilliant for this as is Progressive Wave Loading.
- Periodisation in it’s purest form is great for Olympians but a sledgehammer to crack a walnut for average city folks. Life itself provides a ton of natural variation. Have a basic idea of what qualities you want to focus on but be prepared to moderate/increase/reduce dependent on nutrition/rest/stress/mood.
- As far as periodisation goes, we will sometimes focus on one quality more than another, but rarely at the total expense of another. Generalised training outcomes (lose weight, tone up etc) don’t require overly specific means.
- Measures of health tend to mean more to us than measures of ‘gym fitness’ ie: body fat %, strength in certain lifts, or overall muscular size.
- When people say their ‘core is weak’ they really mean ‘my back is weak and my glutes need to start working for me’. I barely do any ‘abdominal’ work with people, but we do a ton of back strengthening, particularly before we start squatting or deadlifting heavy. See earlier point on the Good Morning.
- Most guys aren’t as obsessed about ‘getting big’ as the fitness industry itself is.
- If someone struggles to even get to sessions on time due to work and life commitments, don’t bother trying to get them taking supplements – it’s a waste of your time and their money.
- Yoga movements make brilliant warm ups, they’ve now become known as ‘dynamic warm ups’ in an American rebrand.
- Every now and then mix it up and reverse ‘conventional’ exercise order, it creates a stimulus for adaptation and prevents imbalances in training developing.
- High volume workouts tend to leave people too wiped out to go back to their desk, let alone come back and train two days later. Use volume sparingly as it will create a ‘recovery hole’ quicker than other programme variables. Doing large amounts of sets in one line of movement also requires balance with others and this can be difficult to achieve on 2-3 x week schedules. It doesn’t mean I never use it, but right place, right time is key.
- City workers tend to work late, sleep late and poorly, drink regularly, and have high stress loads, but by some sort of Darwinian career choice they seem to thrive on this far better than most. Experiment to find the right balance of volume and intensity for each client. Women tend to tolerate greater volumes but this may be because they generally tend to spend less time training near their max. Performance can ebb and flow, tweak routines accordingly, sacrifice volume before anything else (both in terms of resistance training and interval/energy system work).
- You don’t get to work in a highly paid city job where you can hire an expensive personal trainer twice a week without knowing a thing or two about determination, dedication, and motivation. But, they may not find exercising as fun or interesting as a PT does. It is the trainers job to bridge the gap and find a way to keep the client well-informed, accountable and motivated. Results are a good place to start, as is accurate empathy, honesty, and integrity. The ‘best’ way may not always be what the textbooks, training courses, or even people like me on the internet tell you it is. Find your own path.
Most of this is common sense but quite a bit of it seems to go in the opposite direction to what is currently popular within the fitness industry and media, so that’s about it before this turns into more of an essay than a blog post. . As the Philosopher John Locke said “I will not deny, but possibly it might be reduced to a narrower Compass than it is; and that some Parts of it might be contracted: The way it has been writ in, by Catches, and many long Intervals of Interruption, being apt to cause some Repetitions. But to confess the Truth, I am now too lazy, or too busy to make it shorter.”
You can read the first instalment of this series here: http://www.foundryfit.co.uk/blog/healthdreamsvsreality/
January 2013 – East London’s newest women’s rugby club has received financial sponsorship from The Royal Bank of Scotland as it looks to capitalise on increased interest in the sport from the local community.
The club, East London Women’s Rugby Club (EL WRFC), is based a stone’s throw from the Olympic Park in West Ham and was started in 2012. Run by Dave Thomas, chairman of The East London Woman’s Rugby Football Club, and Fiona Pocock, England international rugby star and now coach of the new women’s team, it shares its ground with its male counterpart, East London Rugby Club. The club has long been connected with promoting equality in sport and giving back to the community and was the base of the world’s first openly gay and bisexual friendly rugby team – The Kings Cross Steelers.
Interest in women’s rugby has gained momentum in recent years – thanks in no small part to the success of Pocock’s England team – and is one of the fastest growing participation sports in the country. The RFU, governing body of rugby union in England, says that more than 13,500 women and girls now play ruby regularly – an 87% increase since 20041. With woman’s rugby confirmed as an Olympic event for 2016, EL WRFC is hoping to help grow the game’s popularity among young women in the heart of London. With 25 members already on the books of the club, the money from RBS will be utilised to purchase new equipment and help promote the side as well as raise awareness of the game among the local community.
Fiona Pocock, head coach of EL WRFC, said “I obviously love the game of rugby and am privileged to play for my country. It’s a fantastic sport for a number of reasons. It helps with your health, your self-belief and your self-discipline as well as much, much more. I jumped at the chance to work with Dave and coach the girls here. It is something I’ve always wanted to do, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the funding from RBS. The main focus for us right now is to grow the club’s numbers, to give the chance to women from all walks of life, from right here in West Ham, to those working in The City. We feel it is important to make rugby accessible for as many women as we can. Local universities have already provided a number of new joiners and with the help from RBS and the local council, I’m proud to see the club and the game continuing to grow.”
Dave Thomas, director of health and fitness business The Foundry and a trustee of the rugby charity School of Hard Knocks, a social inclusion scheme that uses the game of rugby to teach participants crucial life lessons and core values, has seen first-hand how sport can help a community, he commented; “Having played rugby all my life, I’ve been part of many teams throughout the UK, and with my previous work with School of Hard Knocks, have seen how much good the game can do for a community. As soon as this opportunity arose, I got in touch with Fiona and with the financial help from RBS we began this journey to help women play a sport we believe is not just fun to play but teaches you valuable skills that can be utilised in everyday life. We are absolutely delighted that RBS have chosen to support our ambitions – without them none of it would be possible.”
The RBS involvement was spearheaded by Neil Rudge, Managing Director, London Client Coverage who said; “Rugby has always been a sport associated with the bank, given our sponsorship of the 6-nations, but we are always looking for ways to help local communities and rugby clubs are a fantastic way of doing so. The team at EL WRFC are the sort of passionate individuals who we love to work with. They share our goal of giving back to local people who may not have the opportunities available to others. Not only is the club situated in the centre of Olympic territory, but being so close to the City – a place where open sporting fields are so difficult to come across – it is a fantastic place for people from diverse walks of life to come together and participate in a healthy atmosphere. We are absolutely thrilled to be helping the women’s game in the area, to be working with the club and with Fiona, and we are excited about the club and the sport in general continuing to grow.”
Notes to editors:
- Stats taken from official website of the RFU http://cms.rfu.com/takingpart/choose_play/womenandgirls
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Dieting dominates the popular media and it seems like every month the glossy magazines find another celebrity diet fad to report on. From Maple syrup to cabbage soup these are mostly ridiculous, unhealthy, impractical, and almost impossible for anyone with a normal life to follow.
Still, people do try, and they hop from diet to diet like a gym room newbie will hop from training plan to training pan in the hope of finding that magic solution. Most people end up depressed, with digestive and metabolic issues, and often worse than they were when they started out. However, in August, the BBC’s Horizon programme covered an approach to weight loss that is regaining popularity, and not without good reason. The presenter, Dr Michael Mosley, who seemed in a rather poor state of health for a doctor at the outset, put himself forward as a human guinea pig to trial intermittent fasting (IF) with some remarkable results.
What Makes A Successful Diet?
Quality Over Quantity?
What’s The Role Of Psychology?
So How Does Intermittent Fasting Differ?
More Importantly, What Does The Research Say?
The results of this review support the use of exercise as a weight loss intervention, particularly when combined with dietary change. Exercise is associated with improved cardiovascular disease risk factors even if no weight is lost.
The study’s authors go on to discuss some interesting theories and findings. One finding in particular was that those Non-compensators (those who tended not to increase energy intake in response to energy expenditure) tended to be heavier and fatter at the outset compared to the compensators (those who lost less weight than expected and tended to increase energy intake). One theory being that when exercise threatens lean mass (as it does in those only carrying a few extra pounds…) it drives the need to increase energy intake more than in those with an abundance of excess calories in body fat.
While this notion is an appealing explanation I am not sure it is only the mechanism behind this, although it does make intuitive sense. We do also know that in some people there is a tendency to ‘reward’ exercise by being less active throughout the rest of the day, which can reduce potential weight loss results. This reward mentality does seem prevalent and is a strong driver for the argument that psychology is a prime factor in obesity. Studies looking at eating behaviour, such as those by Jane Ogden at Surrey University have shown how certain environments and situations can influence eating, often unrelated to our actual hunger. Simply eating in front of the television has been demonstrated to increase overeating irrespective of actual reported hunger levels.
Only 19% of interventionist studies report an increase in energy intake after exercise; 65% show no change and 16% show a decrease in appetite. Of the correlational studies, approximately half show no relationship between energy expenditure and intake. These data indicate a rather loose coupling between energy expenditure and intake. A common sense view is that exercise is futile as a form of weight control because the energy deficit drives a compensatory increase in food intake. However, evidence shows that this is not generally true.
In the first part of this series of articles, we took a look at the real extent of the obesity crisis and its worrying implications on the healthcare system. Even as I sat discussing this in my favourite Shoreditch eatery the other night it boggled my brain at the complexity and difficulty in finding a starting point for dealing with it. If nothing else you should hopefully have realised that the expanding waistlines of the UK population are not going to be fixed by any facile advice, no matter how well intended, to ‘eat less’ or ‘take more exercise’. You should also have realised that the standard (they might not like you to think they are standard, but they really are) mantras of the fitness industry probably aren’t going to do a whole lot of good either, again despite their generally good intentions.
If you had the time or the inclination to read the Foresight report you’ll also now have an appreciation of how this topic is at best vastly oversimplified, or at its worst how aspects of it are ignored. So many factors (Foresight identified 108 of them) can contribute to obesity in any given population and can often be entirely different across nations.
One of the paradoxes that we can see globally with obesity is its relationship to income. In developed countries like the UK and the US, obesity still remains highest in the lower socio-economic groups. However, in developing countries such as Brazil obesity is seen to rise as people can start to afford to increase food consumption, particularly of sugary, fatty, processed foods. This is particularly prevalent in kids as shown below, but it isn’t exclusive to them. As Brazil’s GDP increased the poorest women went from being the thinnest to the fattest in just 20 years. The speed of that transition is frightening. This has definite implications for strategies to try and prevent the increase of obesity, which I’ll expand on later.
Even the researching of these issues across populations is difficult. Meaningful numbers requires the use of large self-reporting surveys and it is widely acknowledged that people have a habit of overstating things like activity habits while understating nutritional ones. However, in one European country it does seem they are having some success in at least slowing the seemingly inevitable increase in obesity. If you read my first piece thoroughly then you may have noticed that while every country started moving inexorably upwards in the early 90‘s, Finland didn’t and their success with the North Karelia Project, which was actually aimed at reducing heart disease, shows that there is some hope. So, the question now is how we actually go about dealing with it.
What can we do about junk food?
McDonalds largest restaurant in the world was recently built on the site of the 2012 Olympics, right here in London and the signature golden arches of this global food giant have become a common feature on every high street in the UK. The spread of McDonalds into developing markets may well signal the beginning of a shift in those countries own obesity levels as the convenience, speed, and marketing of fast food becomes within economic reach of the poorer parts of the population.
There is even a ‘Big Mac’ index that can correlate the amount of labour hours required to be able to buy a Big Mac with the levels of obesity in that country. The less work required, the fatter the population. It is an indictment on the brand that only a few years ago attempted to introduce ‘healthier’ options onto its menu and whose latest ‘healthy’ addition is somehow classified as one of your ‘five a day’, despite the fact that a 500ml cup contains almost 50g of sugar. Needless to say, as the convenience food becomes even cheaper and even more convenient, less and less people are eating at home. The concept of a family meal now all too often revolves around a trip to the nearest fast food outlet.
Of course, it isn’t just McDonalds who are producing low-cost, high-margin, energy dense, nutrient poor, food for the population. As global demand for food has grown and consumer competition increased, the giant corporates behind food production and retail have striven to increase margins on their foodstuffs, robbing them of nutrients, driving intensive and non-sustainable agriculture practices, and indulging in all manor of nefarious practices. From loss-leading on known-products to blocking food labelling, the interests of these organisations currently sits at odds with the nations health. The brilliant journalist Felicity Lawrence has written about this in her excellent book Not On The Label; I’d urge you to read it.
The question is though, what can we actually do about it? Well, various options have been raised from increasing taxation on ‘junk’ food to restricting marketing and advertising. The latter is a major challenge, given that the food industry spends a voluminous amount on the marketing and brand positioning of their product. The recent Olympic games was a great example with some even suggesting that the games couldn’t run without the support of McDonalds and Coca Cola (both who contributed around £64m), Cadbury (good for £20m) and Heineken (another £10m) to name but a few.
Compared to the government budget on public food education, who in 2004 spent a grand sum of £7m, it is no wonder that the message of the fast food providers is taking precedent. However, this marketing is insidious and in places many of you may not even know exist. Take for example this website http://www.happymeal.com/en_US/index.html#/Games a blatant advertising site (you can tell by the trite warning to ‘kids’ in the top left corner) that is capturing children at an early age to identify with the fast food brand. This site for the nutritional powerhouse that is Reeses Puffs (http://www.reesespuffs.com) is even worse. Hit Mixer and get audibly assaulted with an incessant rap of ‘Reeses puffs, Reeses puffs..’ all set to a hip hop beat….catchy isn’t it? One area the government could target is junk food marketing aimed at children, yet they remain reluctant to do so.
The government did step up in 2009 launching the Change4Life campaign with a budget of £75m (still only 10% of what the food industry spent in 2004 marketing their products) only to pull the plug on it just a year later, rejecting the notion that children needed education and that instead it was the over-40’s men that was a better target. Originally slated to run through to the 2012 Olympics, the Change4Life campaign only made it a year. It is clear that the politicians prefer to see obesity as a social problem and not a government one that can be solved through legislation or regulation. Even the use of a watershed time for junk food advertising is an unpopular strategy with OFCOM highlighting the lost revenues to the broadcaster from imposing such restrictions.
There is little doubt though that the marketing and advertising of these junk food products to kids is at the heart of our obesity problem. Alvin F. Poussaint, MD of Harvard Medical School gives us a stark warning:
“Egregious advertising to children using toys to lure them to McDonald’s for low-nutrient, high-calorie Happy Meals is damaging to the well-being of children and their families. No doubt, it is one major contributing factor in the current obesity epidemic in the United States.”
Introducing taxes and regulations is one of the first arguments from the health and fitness industry but it is a solution fraught with problems and fundamentally it sits uneasily with me. San Francisco tried it, introducing a city-wide ban on giving away toys with Happy Meals. It attracted criticism from the libertarians who dislike this type of ‘nanny-state’ legislation (even the Mayor declared his desire to veto it) and McDonalds sidestepped it easily anyway, charging a token 10 cents for the toy in the price, an amount they then gave to charity. Clever.
Legislating how we buy our food is though a thorny area and I feel that top-down population wide legislative measures are likely to be as unpopular amongst the public as they would be with the food companies themselves. Handing over responsibility for choice in how we eat seems a radical and rather fascist solution and not one I am comfortable with. That said, some regulation over how such nutritionally poor food is marketed and advertised would seem a good step, still allowing free choice, but with limits on how it can be advertised, to children in particular. Obesity is ingrained into our culture, as are the fast food shops on every high street in the UK. If we are to truly reverse the current growing trend of obesity then we need to work out how we can encourage people to make better choices themselves, starting with our educational system.
Organisations like the School Food Trust http://www.schoolfoodtrust.org are trying to make inroads and in pockets of the UK there is certainly some green shoots, but against the might of the food industry it will be a tough task without some stronger support from the government.
Junk food will not disappear from the UK high street anytime soon; it will likely always be popular and some will always exercise their right to eat at these establishments. We have to tackle it from the bottom up, increasing customer awareness of the true ‘health value’ of something with clear disclosure on nutrient and calorie levels, improving food education so that young people can see what goes into these foods and learn how to cook properly, and we must work on offering alternatives that are as easily accessible and affordable, as the low-cost availability of junk food is one of it’s most alluring features.
Consumers do have the power to change it, simply by not eating there; however without the compelling desire not to, combined with the marketing efforts of these major corporations it is a big ask. More money needs to be spent countering the powerful marketing methods these companies use both through popular media avenues as well as front-line healthcare practices.
The report itself is captivating reading, for example the fact that of the €38 billion (yes, billion) that is directed through the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy the biggest amount, in relation to market value, is awarded to the tobacco industry. If that doesn’t worry you then let’s look at one of the report’s positive recommendations: that school sports fields be preserved and made accessible for communities. This idea was clearly rejected by that annoyingly smug-faced Michael Gove who has driven the recent sell-off of them across the UK, despite coalition ‘promises’ to the opposite. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/aug/17/michael-gove-school-playing-fields).
However, before I get stuck into this blog post, which admittedly could go on a bit, here is a direct link to the report so you can read it for yourself.
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to listen to two of the UK’s leading experts in tackling obesity: Professor David Haslam and Professor Jane Ogden, both who presented very differing viewpoints on the whole calamitous issue. Dr Haslam is a GP and Chair of the National Obesity Forum, while Dr Ogden heads up Health Psychology at the University of Surrey.
It got me thinking that it is worth revisiting this topic with at least the hope of providing some kind of dim light at the end of what is looking to be a very deep, dark, and long tunnel.
Granted, you may well be thinking, why should I care? But you should because the financial impact of this alone was described by Prof. Haslam as a ‘ticking time bomb’ that will take up an estimated 17% of the NHS budget in 20 years time (http://www.diabetes.org.uk/About_us/News_Landing_Page/NHS-spending-on-diabetes-to-reach-169-billion-by-2035/).
Obesity is a one-way ticket to serious illness and disease and yet still we are a country in denial about the true extent of the problem. Short-term politics will never address long-term problems that can only be addressed through policies that will surely lead to the rapid ejection of any incumbent government. This is before we even get into whose responsibility it really is to deal with this. Should we even be relying on the government to tell us how and what we should be eating? I’m not so sure, but more on that later.
The fact is that despite all the wisdom and good intentions of the fitness industry, we are getting fatter. The UK is now the fattest country in Europe, with obesity growing here at a rate that will see UK females fatter than American males by the year 2030. Despite this the fitness industry and sadly most the trainers out there writing their sage wisdom on the topic fail to really understand this problem, what is causing it, and how we can deal with it. In fact, all too often those writing on ‘health and fitness’ seem to be creating more problems than they are solving in their ignorance.
The arguments, articles, books, movies, and musings over the drivers behind these rises though are plentiful and far too many to discuss in this post. They range from the most popular: over-consumption of foods (in particular refined carbohydrates), decreases in physical activity, and economic issues to those less discussed: environmental chemicals that can play havoc with our hormones, poorer sleep habits, and pharmaceutical obesogens. Gary Taubes recent book Diet Delusion did a commendable job in making the argument for refined carbohydrates as being the primary cause of the current obesity epidemic, although I can’t help but feel that it is as much effect as it is cause and that the drivers for this are what we need to understand if we are to effectively deal with it.
As part of the Foresight Report, an interactive map of 108 factors was created (of which only 16 are directly related to food consumption), which attempted to do exactly that. If nothing else, this map shows the total complexity of the problem. Check it out in an interactive format here http://www.shiftn.com/obesity/Full-Map.html.
Still with me? If you are then you will probably by now be realising that the advice we give to relatively lean athletes or exercisers looking to enter contests or sporting events is not the same advice we should be prescribing en masse to the overweight and obese population. Simply telling these folks to ‘eat green vegetables and lean meat’, ‘cut out the carbs’ or ‘have a high protein breakfast’ is not going to work. Atkins was giving that advice decades ago in what has become the world’s highest selling diet book and thousands more since have written books on it (including myself).
Just about every diet strategy has been tried, from low-carb to low-fat, points, blood types, food rotation, carb curfews, cabbage soup, maple syrup, and many many more. Still the obesity line climbs on the charts and graphs.
So what can we do? In the next part of this little series I’ll attempt to provide some solutions, along with the complex ethical and moral challenges each of those presents.