One of the drawbacks to being a personal trainer is that search engine algorithms think I want nothing but fitness-related content in my newsfeed. Seems I spend so much time researching exercise technique and nutrition studies that the internet assumes I’m an insecure Gym Douche. How else do you explain the endless stream of bio-hacking tips and shitty lifting advice that greets me every morning?
Normally I ignore these headlines, but yesterday one caught my attention: “Eddie Hall weight loss: Strongman cut one thing from diet to shed astounding five stone.” After finding out from Google that five stones equals 70 pounds (never change, Mother England), I clicked on the link figuring I’d learn of another giant jumping into the world of plant-based eating. Instead I was confronted with yet another example of health misinformation, this time from “one of Britain’s most famous and trusted news brands.”
What was this ONE THING the former World’s Strongest Man cut from his diet? WHAT IS THE ANSWER, THE THING WE ARE ALL LOOKING FOR?!
Why he cut carbs of course. Fuck you carbs! For too long you’ve been the reason Eddie Hall and so many others get winded walking up flights of stairs and now you’re getting your comeuppance.
Did I say carbs? I should have clarified — what I meant was “carbs”, or perhaps carbs (sic). Because you see, Eddie Hall didn’t lose all those stones by cutting carbs at all. If you scroll down to the bottom of the article, four paragraphs from the bottom, you’ll learn the secret to Eddie Hall’s weight loss success:
‘Speaking of what carbs should be cut, he said: “Crisps and chocolate. Now I tend to stick to the basics, potatoes, rice, pasta, stuff like that, good quality fruits.”’
So, Eddie Hall took the radical approach and eliminated POTATO CHIPS AND CHOCOLATE from his diet yet all credit goes to his low-carb diet of potatoes, rice, pasta and fruit…
For those who fell asleep during basic nutrition, potatoes, rice, pasta and fruit are all examples of foods high in carbohydrate. The reason Mr. Hall lost so much weight is because he stopped eating crap that’s filled with processed sugar and fat. There is no magic hack here, nothing newsworthy to report. This is simply another instance of desperate media outlets hunting for clicks with fake news.
What’s so frustrating is that I meet people every week who have lost all faith in their ability to parse nutrition information thanks to garbage stories like this one. Eggs are good, eggs are bad (very bad for some!); meat causes cancer, meat is fine as long as it’s not processed; carbs are the source of all of humankind’s woes, strongman Eddie Hall lost five stone by cutting out carbs and focusing instead on pasta and potatoes. The misinformation merry-go-round spins on and on and on.
If you’re among the many who are tired of being tossed around on this carousel, I have a solution that is guaranteed to deliver results: learn what food is, how nutrition works. Arm yourself with valid information — stuff that’s indisputable like the value of fibre and how your body uses carbs to fuel just about every function. Then, learn how to listen to your body and respond accordingly.
It’s not the sexiest advice, I know. It probably won’t get me a headline in a national paper but it will allow me to sleep easy knowing I’m not leading impressionable people astray.