I was at a martial arts seminar last Friday.  It was incredibly motivational and inspirational.  I got to hang out with some of the top professionals in my field who are also personal friends of mine.  It was great to recharge and refresh!

While there, a gentleman who I had never met, did a presentation on nutrition attempting to sell his services.  He boasted about having a Masters Degree in exercise physiology, 30+ years of martial arts experience and working with professional athletes and “knowing” nutrition “inside and out”. 

Wonderful. 

Then he argued, “If you were coming out of the concentration camps in Germany, you wouldn’t be fat.” 

Granted, this is a bit out of context (which I will fix in a sec) but what really struck me was that this was the SECOND time I had heard this argument.  The first was shocking enough because it came from an MD.  Yes a full fledged doctor.  The second time was last Friday. 
This picture is from the Truman library of two men in a concentration camp.  Apparently, both the nutritional guys were correct.  You wouldn’t be fat…  that is for sure. 
And what a conversation for prosperity right? 
Really? 
These guys to the left not only look thrilled but they also look to be in top physical shape and ready to run a mile, deadlift 225lbs, or do a 45 minute Thai Kickboxing class, no?
Are these guys spouting nutritional advice really serious? 
Now here was the context that the man on Friday was speaking in.  He was referring to the genetic argument.  Many people believe there is a “fat gene” and that they are built to store bodyfat. 

Then he argued that no one in the camps was fat. 

It was not only offensive but more than quite a stretch. 

I do believe that some people are more prone to store bodyfat than others.  I also believe that this tendency increases with age. 

Yet, studies have shown that obesity is more environmental than genetic or a combination of both.  The largest determinant of obesity right now is income level.  Why?  Because the poor are more likely to eat fast food and cheaper, less nutritious food since they can’t afford higher quality food.

That and some families simply make poor decisions and have a lot of “junky” food around.  These also include any type of frozen or highly processed meals, chips, pretzels, and so on. 

There is another problem…  we talked a few weeks ago about how there really isn’t an accurate form of measure right now to determine if you are overweight or obese.  So how do you know where you stand? 

Therefore, the fat argument falls in on itself. 

Here is what I think most people are interested in…  Performance

Most people want their body to perform at a high level.  (And yes most also want it to look FANTASTIC!)  But when you break it down, most people want to have a high level of energy, feel good (pain free), be comfortable with how they look all in order to go through their daily activities without energy crashes and lethargy. 

So here is a very bad model…  but it works (for me).

Over the last month, I have had to do a lot of manual labor.  Fixing things, moving VERY heavy things, squatting to pick things up, and so on… 

So heading into my day, I knew a couple of things.  First, I wouldn’t have my next meal for a long time and there was going to be A LOT of physical expenditure.  So, I needed a high calorie meal that also contained a high amount of fat so I stayed satiated until late in the afternoon. 

What was my meal?

Cheddar Omelet, Potatoes, Three Pancakes with butter and syrup, a large fruit smoothie, and hot tea.  Then I added a ton of caffeine to avoid the inevitable energy drop from all the sugar. 

Now this formula works for me.  I have had similar situations where I have used pizza for the same outcome. 

At the same time, it is an AWFUL long term option.  I ONLY do this when I am doing a lot of physical labor (usually about 8 hours at a time with little or no break) and I know I won’t be eating again for a long time. 

By the way, 8 hours of physical labor does not equal a 45 or 90 minute workout.  I DO NOT eat this way normally.

Why am I telling you this then?

Because I know my body and what works for it.  I know when I am abusing it (like in the example above) and when I am taking care of it. 

You want to know YOUR body.  The fact of the matter is that right now, where the science of nutrition is concerned, the more they learn, the more they are exposed to what they don’t know.  Meaning, when they figure out the answer to 1 question, 20 new questions pop up. 

Stop listening to idiots who say, “If you were in the concentration camps, you wouldn’t be fat.” and start learning about your own body and your own experience.  You are always your best teacher in that way. 

Train Hard!