Fitness hipsters need to stop thinking they can rewrite history

Yeah. This is about the bread, grains, carbs in general thing again.

Listen. There are dozens of ways you can get into shape, lose weight, or whatever your goal is. Different exercise programs, different nutrition strategies. As long as it’s a healthy approach that is actually going to do what it’s supposed to, I’m all for people taking which ever option is the most appealing and convenient to them.

Let’s get this straight though. Like I’ve already explained in the free weight loss program you should be studying already, diets work like this. Before the diet, you were eating an amount that caused you to gain weight. While on the diet, you consume a smaller amount of calories, which causes you lose weight. Depending on the diet, you may consume so few calories that you fuck up your metabolism and end up putting on even more weight than you started with… but that’s another post for another day.

So that’s how diets work and you can choose which ever one suits you (provided it is sensible and healthy) and I’m fine with it. BUT enough of the outlandish claims about why it works, why it’s the only approach that works and whatever else. Bottom line; it’s calories.

I talked about cutting out bread in a post on the main program already. It might not be a terrible idea. Let’s say you need to reduce your daily intake by a couple hundred calories. Let’s say you usually eat a chicken and salad roll for lunch, and you ditch the roll and just have chicken and salad instead. BOOM that’s close enough to 200 calories reduced, right there. It’s a pretty good start.

Why can’t people just explain it like that though? Instead of all this nonsense about people not being supposed to consume breads and grains for evolutionary reasons.

It’s like I said to someone last week; it’s not enough that everyone thinks they’re a nutritionist these days, now everyone’s a historian as well. 

More to the point, they think they know better than nutritionists, and they think they get to make up their own version of history as well. Let’s examine the actual facts.

When did people first start eating grains?

I wanted to find a reputable, unbiased source… so, nothing from the fitness hipster community for starters. How about National Geographic though?

People first began eating grains about 75,000 years ago in western Asia. These grains, including einkorn and emmer, were ancestors of today’s wheat. Einkorn and emmer grew wild near the banks of rivers. People harvested the grasses that grew naturally near their communities.

When did people start eating bread, though?

About 30,000 years apparently. Otzi the Iceman discovered in 1991 was found to have cultivated wheat (believed to be consumed as bread) in his stomach, and he lived about 5200 years ago. 3500 year old loaves of bread from Ancient Egypt are still on display in the British Museum.

Those are just a couple of examples and while 3500 or 5000 years is really a relatively small blip in the scale of human evolution. Even 30,000 years isn’t even a quarter of the amount of time homosapiens have been around. How long has obesity been a wide spread problem though? Maybe 10 or 20 years? How do people draw the conclusion that it’s all to do with eating bread and cereals, as if these are new inventions that only came about within the last few generations?

Think about the advancements in civilisation in the past 30,000 years, compared to the 170,000 years before then. The cultivation of grains was an important step in history that allowed for the advances that followed. It was certainly not a mistake or a bad move.

I’ll make a couple of concessions here for the sake of being balanced and objective. 

Admittedly, the ancient grains were from different plants and certainly were prepared differently from modern wheat products. Regardless, the fashionable opinion is that all grains are bad (legumes too) and there is no “healthier option” to multigrain bread. Is grain, is bad. Apparently.

All that being said though, intolerance to grains and gluten in particular DOES appear to be on the rise for unknown reasons, and I have a handful of clients who are off gluten and/or grains in general for medical reasons. Does that mean that everyone else should eschew them as well? Absolutely not.

People have eaten grains and bread for thousands of years. Widespread obesity has been an issue for few decades, at most. Can you produce a calorific deficit suitable for weight loss by eliminating bread from your diet? Absolutely. Why not just say that though, instead of this nonsense about carbs not being a necessary or beneficial macronutrient, or the consumption of grains being a recent development that was a bad idea.

I got told a while back that I was “not setting a good example for my clients” because I like toast or french toast most days. You know what example I’m trying to set? The one where you just use common sense instead of buying into every half baked fad that people start pushing.


Author: davehpt

I'm DaveHPT, Maybe you've heard of me? Musician, rock star and recording artist. Published author. Former security industry professional. Personal Trainer, Online Coach and the INNOVATOR in Sports Nutrition.

2 thoughts on “Fitness hipsters need to stop thinking they can rewrite history”

  1. This is a really good post Dave! Great argument. I agree about common sense….too many ‘new ideas’ coming out these days about nutrition. PS, I moved all connections with business friends to other social networks. Now I’m following your blog. Look forward to your posts!

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