Personal trainers — indeed most fitness professionals — align themselves with particular supplements, a diet, or a lifestyle at some point. Most of us believe in the one we choose and promote because we’ve seen it work for us and our clients.
There are many options, many companies offering quality plans and ingredients. I’ve been approached by nearly a dozen. I’ve never aligned myself.
As a trainer, I’ve supported what works for my clients, and that varies. For some that’s a meal-planning program with supplements. For others, that’s meal-replacement shakes. For me, it’s a lifestyle focusing on nutrient dense whole foods, functional exercise, sleep, and play. For me, success was and is found within the Paleo lifestyle.
I’ve referred and linked on this blog to my favorite Paleo guru, Mark Sisson, and his website Mark’s Daily Apple. He examines the evidence, links to the science, and allows the variety of taste and experience to inform his program. His version of paleo is called “primal.” And he’s created a certification program that covers all the bases:
- Yes, You Really Can Reprogram Your Genes: Genes are more than fixed heritable traits; they direct cellular function at all times. You signal genes to switch on or off based on your food choices, workouts, sleeping habits, etc.
- The Clues to Optimal Gene Expression are Found in Evolution: Our genes expect us to be lean, fit and healthy by modeling the diet, exercise and lifestyle behaviors of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
- Your Body Prefers Burning Fat to Carbohydrate: A carbohydrate-based diet creates a dependency on external sources of energy from regular meals. Ditching grains and sugars will moderate insulin production and enable efficient burning of stored body fat.
- 80 Percent of Your Body Composition Success is Determined by How You Eat: Losing fat is not about portion control or strenuous exercise. Your average daily intake of carbohydrates and consequent insulin production is the deciding factor in losing weight and keeping it off.
- Grains are Totally Unnecessary: The centerpiece of the Standard American Diet (SAD) offers minimal nutritional value, promote fat storage by raising insulin, and contain anti-nutrients that destroy health. Grains—even vaunted whole grains—are just “cheap, beige glop that quickly convert to sugar.”
- Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Are Not Your Enemy…: The Conventional Wisdom story about heart disease is only validated when you produce excessive insulin from a SAD diet. Cholesterol is one of the body’s most vital molecules. Saturated fat is our preferred fuel. The true heart disease risk factors—oxidation and inflammation—are driven strongly by polyunsaturated fats, simple sugars, excess insulin production and stress.
- Exercise is Ineffective for Weight Management: Exercise offers numerous health benefits, but calories burned are offset by increases in appetite. Insulin defines your physique more than your workout log. Focus on the benefits of comfortably paced everyday movement and aerobic workouts, and avoid chronic workout patterns.
- Maximum Fitness Gains Can Be Made In Minimal Time With High-Intensity Training: Regular brief, intense strength training sessions and occasional all-out sprints promote optimal gene expression and broad athletic competency. You enjoy more benefits in a fraction of the time spent doing the chronic exercise advocated by Conventional Wisdom.
I’ll complete this certification in the next few months. My interest is to fill in any holes that may still exist in my knowledge of ancestral health and also access to continuing education.
I support other diet and lifestyle choices that I don’t choose for myself. But if you’re interested in the ancestral health and the Paleo lifestyle, hit me up for information and training.