I suppose it IS actually a good thing that “clean eating” is the latest fad in weight loss. I mean, it’s hard to argue AGAINST the idea of eating more fresh, nutritious, whole foods and less junk food.
I’ll tell you now… I jumped on to one of these networking groups for a bit of a lurk the other night, and it’s like… I stopped participating a while back because at the time it seemed like these groups supposedly for Personal Trainers had all been hijacked by network marketing people in disguise. I mean, on a PT group you’d expect to be discussing training strategies and some business stuff too, but all I was seeing was marketing people trying to find contacts to resell stuff. It’s funny how many of these guys (and girls) who brand themselves as “Fitness Industry Leaders” don’t seem to have half the interest in training that they do in selling Search Engine Optimisation, supplements and “get 5000 likes on your facebook page” type stuff.
So anyway I went back for a lurk to see if I was missing anything, and now it seems like every trainer is pushing their own “clean eating” plan, and apparently that’s the latest thing you need to be offering to get clients. Like I say, it’s hard to argue against clean eating but I get a bit of an uneasy feeling about it all. I mean, healthy eating is always a good idea… but here’s what bothers me.
1. Personal Trainers are nutritionists now?
I’m looking into studying for a qualification in nutrition and dietetics soon, but until then… I can give you a very accurate prediction of how many calories should result in maintaining your goal weight, I can recommend a ratio of macronutrients to get the best results from training, and I can tell you “lots of fruit and veggies for your vitamins and minerals”, but that’s where I draw the line.
I’m seeing all these trainers making some VERY specific claims about their “clean eating” plans and I have to wonder how qualified they are to make such a promise?
This is a big deal to me. Orthorexia is like any other eating disorder, it’s BAD. What I see a lot of is trainers pushing these clean eating plans and anything not on the plan is “bad” and will ruin your progress. Look at the video I posted yesterday, actual highly qualified nutrition specialists will agree that it is ok to include some foods purely for enjoyment, but we have trainers pushing the idea that certain foods are off limits. Anything from breads, to cereals, legumes, or any processed foods… I’ve been told “as soon as you touch them it’s all over” on more than one occasion. Too much fruit as well, even carrots and lettuce should be limited, according to some of these total fkn idiots.
We’re not talking about contest preparation for elite level figure athletes here. Just for the average person to get into great shape and be happy and not too stressed about it, we need to be promoting a moderate approach, not orthorexia.
3. Are people getting enough calories on these plans?
Who knows. Cutting out any carbohydrate or calorie dense foods can leave people too far into deficit, and FINALLY the studies are coming out showing that this is to the detriment of good health and long life.
But still, it’s better than the alternative.
Like I said at the start of the article, we should be encouraging healthy eating with more fresh fruits and vegetables and whole foods. Just not to the point of orthorexia.
That’s a middle ground, moderate approach like what I do. I still see a lot of the opposite as well though, with trainers hawking some magical pill that is supposed to make you lose weight no matter how unhealthy your diet is. I’m resisting the urge to call out one guy in particular who is doing the “no change in diet, you don’t even have to train hard – just buy our supplement” spiel. What a scumbag.
TRAINERS: Get ethical and stop propagating misinformation.
PUNTERS: Here’s the actual truth;
- To manage your weight, you need to get the right amount of calories. Not too much, not too little.
- More of these calories from nutritious, fresh, unprocessed, natural foods is a great idea for your health, but your won’t fall apart or spontaneously combust at the first sniff of some “unclean” foods.
- If you want to actually look like you’re in shape as well as just get lighter, you’re going to need to put in a decent effort in training. Up to an hour, five days a week is probably ideal.
- If you’re not taking care of 1 and 3, there is no supplement, pill, powder or steroid that will make up for it!