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Jacked-o-Lantern Challenge with Coach Jack

It’s Harvest season, and while October is the first of many months when we crave comforting soups and festive drinks, the Stronger U Community is ready to help you stay focused and moving during the Halloween season. Beginning on October 10th, the Stronger U Community will be transformed into a frighteningly good time with a 3-week Jacked-o-Lantern challenge! This movement-based challenge, fearlessly led by Coach Jack Purdom, will have you moving, laughing, and getting stronger during the month of October.

About the Challenge

This challenge is broken up into four different categories that focus on strength, cardio, movement, and a little extra community fun. You will be able to download a challenge calendar and then will work to complete the exercises provided by Coach Jack. These exercises will not require any extra equipment (but if you need a little extra weight, you could pick up a pumpkin at your local patch).

Each Saturday, Coach Jack will be live for a Wicked Weekend Workout. Come ready to sweat as Coach Jack will coach you through the movements and help you start your Saturday strong. Also, we’ve heard some rumors that there may be some costumes.

This challenge will last until Halloween, so don’t delay! Find out more in the Stronger U Community!

About Coach Jack

Jack Purdom has been a Stronger U coach for 3.5 years and has run my fitness and mindset coaching company Fifth Element Fitness since 2016. He lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with my wife Grace (who works for another SU favorite, Peloton). You will find him hanging out with his family when he’s not coaching, dominating on the pickleball court, or reading sci-fi/fantasy.Interesting jobs he’s held in this industry before now include: trainer at a $10/mo gym, managing corporate fitness centers of big-time companies (Kraft, McDonald’s, etc), and early on, a protein bar startup with some college friends called…Brotein Bars. 🤦🏻‍♂️ He’s a big fan of injecting some fun and humor into these very serious goals, so let’s get to work (but not take ourselves too seriously).

Let’s Get Stronger Together

October is about to be scary fun with Coach Jack and the Jacked-o-Lantern Challenge. Are you ready to join in? This challenge will be available to the Stronger U Community beginning on October 10th. To participate:

  • Make sure you’re a member of the Stronger U Community
  • Download your Jacked-o-Lantern Challenge (available on October 10th) in the Stronger U Community
  • Participate in Coach Jack’s Wicked Weekend (virtual) Workouts each Saturday morning.
  • Encourage other’s by posting your pictures in the community using #Jackedolantern.

Come for the Results, Stay for the Coaches

In 2015, when I started Stronger U as a side gig with just a few clients, my goal was (and still is) to help as many people as possible with their nutrition. In those early days, I never could have foreseen the profound impact it would have on tens of thousands of people worldwide.  Over seven years, Stronger U has grown to support more than 55,000 members in losing weight, reaching body composition goals, and building a better relationship with food. That’s over 55,000 lives positively impacted through new knowledge and small sustainable lifestyle changes.  

This level of reach was made possible thanks to the efforts of our dedicated Stronger U Coaches. They’re truly the backbone of our program and why we’ve gotten to where we are. Our coaches provide members with the personalized accountability, support, and guidance they need to apply our science-backed nutrition approach. They’re invested in each member’s wellbeing beyond what’s on their plate and take the time to get to know them personally. 

As part of our coach Appreciation this week, we asked members to share how their coach has made a difference in their life and what makes their relationship special. Wow, did we receive an outpouring of messages (some of which you’re about to read) emphasizing how our coaches serve as even more than nutrition experts. They’re also friends, teachers, cheerleaders, and self-doubt crushers that give our members the confidence and tools to achieve and maintain the results they’re after. As it turns out, you’re their biggest fans, too.  

Stronger U Coaches… 

… support members through all stages of their life. 

“I remember thinking, of all the coaches, what are the odds I would be paired with someone who understands what I’m experiencing? I had shared something personal, and Tanner “saw” my insecurities, vulnerabilities, the pieces and parts of life you typically want to hide from everyone. He shared his story, too: He stayed where others walk away. I felt less alone. I had found someone I could lean on and learn from. I’ve worked with Tanner off & on since 2018 and he’s coached me with kindness through returning to school, a pandemic, divorce, three moves, and most recently my first 14er mountain climb! Grateful for SU & Coach Tanner.” – Charity, Stronger U member 

Karen has been with me through a transformational season of my life. Through working with her I’ve lost almost ~30 lbs, reignited my love of running again, and trained for the NYC marathon. She has held me accountable in a way that gives grace for life’s ups and downs. I’m so lucky to have her!” – Liana, Stronger U member 

… build meaningful relationships. 

“My relationship with Noelle is special because she is my coach, my friend, my spin buddy all in one. I can reach out to Noelle anytime of the day or night and she gets back to me as soon as possible and brings me up. She truly is my hero. The tools I built through Stronger U under her guidance have led me to feel the best I have ever felt.” – Jenna, Stronger U member 

“Jodi is so positive no matter what kind of week I have had. I feel like she is more than just a coach. She is a friend too. I started my journey after my husband passed away and she has helped with all of my crazy moods and excuses. I’m at 20 lb loss and have never been able to lose this much and feel good about myself. She is the BEST.” – Jill, Stronger U member 

… go above and beyond.  

“Joe is the BEST. He has helped me so much since I started working with him earlier this year. He has helped me figure out how to get more steps in each day, how to become one with having a little treat every day so I don’t go insane, and has even helped me prep when I have a dinner out (he even perused a few online menus of the places I was going to help me find the best macro-friendly option.)” – Katie, Stronger U member 

… are professional mindset shifters. 

 “Terri has modeled acceptance and self love. She will not contribute to my beating up on myself about food, the scale, or getting stuck in perfectionism. She shares what she’s learned. We both know this is an inside job. This is not a diet for me. I’m in it for a life-long change.”   – Brigid, Stronger U member 

“[Eva] has an uncanny ability to make me feel like no matter where I’m at in my journey, that’s where I’m supposed to be. She brings me a sense of peace even when I feel like I’m failing. She gives me constant resources to pull from. Eva is a grounding presence in my life and I’m so lucky to call her Coach!”  - Shelly, Stronger U member 

“Wow, I can’t even put into words how much Noelle has helped me. She started out as my local spin instructor. Then, the more I went, the more positivity filtered into my life. She always has the right words to say to motivate me to do more for ME, not anyone else. This girl bleeds self-love and positivity, even when she doesn’t feel it herself. She continues to encourage me to keep going, especially on dark days I may or may not tell her about, she is there. When I reach out, she always has the perfect response of what I need.” – Angela, Stronger U member 

… guide members towards real results. 

 “Working with Dean, I lost 40 pounds, when my goal was to only lose 12. He got me going in the right direction and kept me going long after I wanted to give up. We’re now keeping it off in maintenance, and it has never felt like much or a chore.” – Andrew, Stronger U member 

“Since I started working with Therese in Jan 2022, I have lost 17 lbs. Therese has given me tough love when I needed it and encourages me when I slip into old patterns. I have also learned macro counting does not have to take all day or too much effort and how taking the time each day to check in with my coach is also a time for me to check in with myself.” – Kelly, Stronger U member 

“Jeannie has given me the skills and knowledge to look at food as fuel and fun. I’ve had negative experiences with “dieting” while trying to lose weight. I became so frustrated with myself and food. But my coach taught me to look at this whole process very differently. Ultimately changing how I view eating and living a healthy lifestyle. Since joining Stronger U, not only have I lost the weight I was seeking to lose, I sleep better, my workouts are better, my chronic migraines have significantly decreased, and I feel like I have so much more energy throughout the day. Most importantly I am much happier in my skin.” – Elizabeth, Stronger U member 

While these are just a few of the many notes we received, they further prove why Stronger U Coaches are a pillar of our program and how deeply invested they are in each and every member’s success. I’m so proud of their passion and dedication to delivering an unmatched experience and strong foundation members can take with them for life.  

If you’re not already a member of Stronger U, I’d like to personally invite you to give us a try. It won’t be like any program you’ve done before, which makes all the difference. Join now 

I look forward to officially welcoming you into our community.  

Mike Doehla 

Stronger U Founder 

Road Trip Tips from a Stronger U Coach

Crank up the radio and roll the windows down, it’s summer, which means Stronger U members are hitting the open road on road trips, camping excursions, and so much more. Stronger U coach Katie Leahy, RD, is dishing her common member tips for making this year’s road trip the best one yet, with gas station and packing tips, how to handle the road, and much more!

Pack Your Car for Success

The perfect road trip has a couple of non-negotiable essentials: good music and food (of course!). And while there’s nothing quite like the open road and an open bag of something crunchy to munch the miles away, when we’re working with a Stronger U coach, sometimes those salty snacks can hurt our progress! When prepping for your upcoming road trip, consider what foods you can pre-pack to keep you awake, satisfied, and focused on your goals while you’re away. Just like your car cannot drive on an empty tank of gas, neither can you. By keeping food smart for a road trip means a little prep/planning ahead of time and a better idea of what to look for as you need to stop along the way.

I love to recommend a handful of non-food must-haves for any car trip, including:

  • Refillable coffee mugs and water bottles;
  • a garbage bag or designated trash;
  • portable cooler or lunchbox on ice or reusable icepacks;
  • disposable utensils;
  • napkins/wet ones, and;
  • hand sanitizer.

Rest Easy at the Rest Stop

Beware of gas station fat traps including store made chicken or tuna salad (>20g fat per 2 oz.), donuts, cookies, large bags/containers of nuts or seeds, chips, peanut butter filled pretzels, candy bars, flavored coffee drinks, as we know for all of these choices a little goes a long way calorically and it’s hard to keep track of portion when your eyes are on the road and hand is reaching for snacks.

For shopping at the gas station, survey your options first (plus a quick lap will help you get a little extra movement in too). Not all gas stops are created equal, so take a look at the inventory. Highlight where the protein sources are: deli meat, low fat string cheese, cottage cheese, boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, protein shakes (I found 2 familiar kinds at one of the stops), jerky, and tuna chunk light in a pouch. These are the things I prefer to grab on the go, as food safety is always in the back of my mind. Basic rules, keep cold food cold and hot food hot. Note the two hour rule- any hot or cold food purchased should be eaten within two hours to reduce risk of getting sick. If you’re unsure if your cooler can keep food to temp, many stops offer pre-packed versions of the above that you can grab around the time you’re ready to eat it.

When fresh fruit is not available at your stop, look for no sugar added applesauce pouches, fruit cups packed in their own juices, small portions of dried fruit for great options while racking up the miles. Craving more roadtrip snacks? Check out our recent blog post for 8 Healthy Roadtrip Snacks.

Reflect on Your Return

Having a game plan ahead always makes things feel doable, and leaves us feeling more confident, which is why this is the perfect time to utilize your coach to not only prep but recoup from a road trip.  Let your coach know a least a week in advance when you can to create a tentative plan with time to chat about type and length of trip, perceived challenges, strategies, form a shopping list and/or what to look for before you hit the road based on your current individual goals. Many times that added heads up can go a long way with creating a plan that is both realistic and relevant to you and the particular trip.

I always ask members to let me know when they return. We reflect on what went well, what they felt confident with, biggest challenges and also take a minute to compare themselves this trip vs previous trips, while exploring things/strategies they would repeat and adjust for next time. Sometimes work vs family road trip look differently, so a member may have a completely different strategy needed going in.

Here at Stronger U, we want you to have confidence in your next road trip and feel good about your food plan. Road trips are easier when a Stronger U Coach is in your passenger seat, so get your co-pilot today (don’t worry, you can still choose the music). Safe travels, happy intentional snacking and turn that music up!

Year in Revi-U: Big Moves for Stronger Growth

When I launched Stronger U in April of 2015, I wanted to reverse engineer the dieting process, figure out why people fail with diets and try to fix those things.

What started out as my side gig of taking on 7-8 clients at my friend’s local CrossFit, quickly grew to 70-80 through word of mouth. I eventually quit my fulltime job, brought on the first few coaches, and Stronger U continued to grow like crazy.

By 2021 we had helped 50,000 members globally in improving their relationship with food and building better awareness of their eating habits. Yet, just like reaching our health goals requires stepping out of our comfort zone, I realized that to continue building Stronger U to be the best nutrition company in the world, it was going to require big moves.

In June of 2021, Stronger U joined Self Esteem Brands – the parent company of Anytime Fitness, Bar Method, Basecamp Fitness and Wax in the City – whose mission is to improve the self-esteem of the world.

This synergistic opportunity has given Stronger U the resources to continue to grow, support more people in their nutrition journey, provide better educational tools and products, and elevate our member experience to be the best in the industry.

Our team has been hard at work making big goals happen for U. Here’s a few highlights from the past year:

 

More Experienced Coaches

  • We’ve welcomed new faces, bringing our total number of Stronger U Coaches to 60. Made up of Registered Dietitians and Certified Nutrition Coaches led by our Director of Nutrition Education, Jessica Bachman, PhD, RDN.

 

Internal Team Growth

  • Our small-but-mighty internal Stronger U team has grown 43% through the addition of 10 newly created full-time roles filled by incredibly talented individuals; with more slated to join in the coming months!

 

New Lifestyle Program

  • We launched our Lifestyle Program designed to support experienced members with continuing to maintain goals or achieve new ones.

 

Podcast Relaunch

  • We re-launched the Stronger U Radio podcast with an incredible line-up of doctors, industry experts and coaches covering everything from sleep and stress to daily habits, alcohol, fitness and more.

 

First Member Photo & Video Shoot

  • We hosted our first-ever member photo and video shoot in Woodbury, Minnesota at the Self Esteem Brands Headquarters in March 2022.

 

Upcoming App Enhancements

  • Our team has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring our members some very exciting updates to our Daily Nutrition Assistant app in the coming months.

 

More Expansive Nutrition Education

  • Several of our internal team members traveled across the United States attending the Anytime Fitness Vitals conferences, providing hundreds of franchise owners with education on how Stronger U can benefit the overall health and wellbeing of their members.

 

Advocacy for Health and Fitness

  • Stronger U, President Adam Zeitsiff headed to Washington D.C. in May to rally congressional support for the fitness industry, improving accessibility to fitness and physical activity for all Americans.

 

An Even BETTER Community Experience

  • Our Facebook community is the happiest place on the internet, and this year it got even better because we got to connect with all of you more through live chats with me and our awesome coaches, #heycoach discussions and cool giveaways. Plus, we’ve had a chance to connect offline, too at regional coach meet-ups across the country.

 

The last year has been one heck of a ride. I could not be prouder of all we’ve accomplished and the many exciting things that are in the works. Stay tuned!

Why Your Low-Carb Diet Might be Sabotaging Your Success

As you amazing SU’ers already know, carbohydrates are our body’s main source of energy. Carbohydrates fuel our body with glucose which is converted to energy used to support our brain, kidneys, heart muscles, and central nervous system.

How many forms can one diet take? As many that will sell. The Atkins diet, the keto diet, the bullet proof diet are just a few of many diets that likely come to mind when you hear low carb. Wow, carbs seem pretty important, so why do we hear so much on the urgency to restrict them? Why do carbs get such a bad reputation?

Mostly because not all carbohydrates are created equal, as some offer more nutritionally than others. And our diets, in general, are relatively unbalanced. It is my opinion that the pioneers of low carb were a quick study to the US diet, that it contains too many low quality carbs. A recent study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed that Americans are consuming 42 percent of their daily calories from refined carbohydrates. While only 9 percent in high quality carbohydrates such as fruit and whole grains. Please read that again. Naturally then, when the low carb diet swoops in, it instantly reduces that 42 percent of daily calories from refine carbs down to 10%. I am no math genius but that alone creates an instant weight loss for almost anyone. Carbs are easy to target because we know them, we love them, and they make up a large part of our diet.

I do believe a low carb diet has a time and a place. I work with individuals with varying medical diagnosis, nutritional needs in which greatly benefit from both short term and long term low carbohydrate diets. The study of low-carb diets has centered on weight loss in obese and overweight people but frequent usage includes type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, seizure disorders and within the athletic population as an alternative fuel for performance and health.

What is a low carb diet?

  1. A very low carb diet: 21g to 70g per day (Atkins & Keto classify as this)
  2. A moderately low carbohydrate diet: 30 to <40% of kcal as carbohydrate per day. Example, 1500 kcal diet, low carb range would be 112-146g

What it does:

A low-carb diet causes the body to burn stored fat for energy, which targets fat loss. Very low-carbohydrate diets minimize available glucose, the body’s primary and main source of fuel, causing ketone bodies to then become the major source of fuel. Low carb diets focus our attention on getting most calories from fat/protein instead. When carb intake is limited to 20 to 50g per day, Ketosis can occur. As we also know, increasing protein intake can help us stay full for longer, keeping hunger at bay which is a benefit when slashing carbs so dramatically.

Low-Carb Diets aren’t a Cure-All

While low-carb diets are popular in the diet world, there are many things to be aware of about why this style of eating isn’t healthy or sustainable. Here are a handful of the red flags that I notice when researching low-carb diet options:

Universally evidence based

The research is inconsistent. There is no concrete evidence that very low-carb intake always produces metabolic ketoacidosis. Many people following very low carb diets on their own are not actually in ketosis and may not know because they are not checking. Just like anything nutrition related, diet recommendations should not be a one-size-fits-all. Twenty to 50 g of carbs might be too restrictive for some people, but 75 to 90 g may be doable for others and still provide excellent results.

100% Effective or Safe

There’s very little evidence to show that this type of eating is effective or safe long term for anything other than epilepsy. Very low carbohydrate diets can have higher rates of side effects, including constipation, headaches, bad breath, fatigue to name a few while the diet is being followed.

Healthier

A low carb diet’s requirements can lead to missing out on many healthy foods, micronutrients and nutritive value. The high fat content of these diets has potential to lead to consuming an unhealthy amount of saturated fat. When nutrient dense foods are limited and saturated fats are increased, long-term heart health could be compromised. Many individuals are following these diets without regard to food choices. Very low carb diets have been associated with inadequate vitamin/mineral intake, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin C. We especially need these nutrients to promote healthy bones.
It is also suggested that when nutrient density is reduced, changes in the gut microbiome can occur. We know good gut health can support a healthy immune system and more.

Sustainable

While some can follow low carb for life, most simply cannot. As we know, when we stop what we’ve been doing, or discontinue behaviors that helped us achieve initial weight loss, it will come right back on. This goes the same for a very low carb diet. Our environment today with eating out, traveling, portions, can make sticking to a very low carb diet extremely challenging to follow long term.

Education

Very low carb diets do not teach us how to eat. Most diets that restrict or omit a food group prevent us from learning and practicing what a balanced way of eating should look like. It teaches many from the get go that carbs are bad and we can do without them. Which has a tendency to promote an all or nothing mentality.

For everyone

Very low-carb or keto diets are not recommended for certain people with:

  • lipid metabolism disorders
    • recent heart attack or stroke
    • women who are pregnant or breast-feeding;
    • kidney or liver disease
    • alcohol or substance abuse
    • eating disorders
    • type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes with beta-cell dysfunction/failure; and
    • people with diabetes who take SGLT2 inhibitors (eg, empagliflozin and canagliflozin), because of increased risk of diabetic ketoacidosis

What next?!  

For those who are interested and motivated to follow a very low carb diet, you will have improved sustainability and outcomes by teaming up with a skilled nutrition coach and/or registered dietitian. It is helpful to have a skilled professional by your side walking you through short-term side effects of transitioning into nutritional ketosis, with meal planning, maintaining balance, gut health, reduce gastrointestinal symptoms, and meet vitamin and mineral needs. There are so many factors that go into appropriate management including adequate hydration, carbohydrate threshold, quality of fat sources, maintaining good digestion, promoting gut health, and helping individuals assess if a very low carb diet is right for them.

Action item: I challenge you to get curious this month and see where the majority of your daily carbohydrate intake is coming from. Is it mostly complex carbs or refined carbs?

References

Trends in Dietary Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat Intake and Diet Quality Among US Adults, 1999-2016. JAMA. 2019;322(12):1178-1187. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.13771

Oh R, Gilani B, Uppaluri KR. Low Carbohydrate Diet. [Updated 2021 Jul 12]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-.  Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537084/

Gordon, B.What is the Ketogenic Diet?, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2019 May. Available from: https://www.eatright.org/health/wellness/fad-diets/what-is-the-ketogenic-diet

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines.

Go to:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537084/

MYTHS- https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a19951161/low-carb-diet-myths/

Go to:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537084/

MYTHS- https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a19951161/low-carb-diet-myths/

Dieting Red Flags: Are You Signing Up for the Latest Diet Craze?

Diet trends appeal to most people based on the idea their method of creating a calorie deficit is the easiest to follow, tastiest, or least amount of work to get the results you want. That’s what gets the most attention because change is hard. People, at their core, want to be as comfortable as possible as much as possible.   

A diet can still be healthy and unsustainable. The length of a weight loss program should be progressively shorter the more drastic the calorie deficit. Aggressive calorie restriction can be done safely for up to 12 weeks, but should be followed by up to 6 weeks of a maintenance phase. These types of diets generally do not teach habits and strategies you can use for the rest of your life. Once these diets finish, there are no skills to fall back on. The ideal program will teach people sustainable healthy eating habits and skills that last a lifetime. 

For weight loss to happen, there must be a strategy to eat fewer calories than we burn consistently. That’s it. There are infinite ways to create this calorie deficit. The most effective way to lose weight and keep it off is by changing your daily behaviors to support weight loss over time. 

Good thing you’ve found Stronger U. 

CHOICES ABOUND 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by choice with so many different diets and trends out there. In the past few years, I’ve witnessed increasingly rigid and extreme diets gain popularity with the proliferation of false and misleading nutrition information, largely due to how and where people get their dieting information. Facts take six times longer to spread than misinformation, while misinformation gets shared 70% more than facts on Twitter. When enough people like, share, or retweet something, the information reaches a point where it doesn’t seem to matter if what’s being shared is accurate.  

The most infamous example of misinformation spreading and becoming ubiquitous is the nutrition trend that women need a 1,200-calorie diet to lose weight. This was first published in the 1918 book Diet and Health: With Key to the Calories, written by Dr. Lulu Hunt. Science now has proven there is no one-size-fits-all diet approach. Everybody is different and each body has different needs every day based on a person’s goals, movement, exercise, stress, sleep, activity, and other variables.  

People spent $254.9 billion worldwide on the diet industry in 2021 and are projected to spend $377.3 billion by 2026. Given how large and profitable the diet industry is, we will continue to see new nutrition trends and the multiple red flags that accompany them. 

Recent trending diets share a few common traits. They try to sound as appealing as possible in how they go about restricting calorie intake. Keto lets you put butter on bacon. Intermittent fasting lets you eat as much as you want in a small window of time each day. The carnivore diet says to only eat meat. Some diets appeal more to a person’s altruism and values than anything else. The point is that there is a diet out there for everyone.   

SEARCHING FOR RED FLAGS 

 We know that eating undercooked or raw meat puts our body at risk for harm from bacteria and parasites. Cooking meat kills bacteria and parasites, making it safer to eat. A bodybuilding barbarian eating raw organ meats shirtless has over a million followers on Instagram. Can you trust his message to eat raw organ meat? The short answer? No. The long answer? Nooo.  

There are specific things to look for that will help you better understand diet trends. Some are more obvious than others. 

Please keep in mind that I’m not placing these in any particular order of importance.   

🚩 #1: False Claims 

Claiming outlandish results gets the most traction and the most attention, especially if they’re also claiming to provide weight loss fast and easily. The reality is fastest recommended weight loss rate is 0.5 – 1% of body weight per week. Sure, weight can be lost at a faster rate, but there are significant health concerns if done for prolonged time. 

🚩#2: Buzz words 

Hack, superfood, detox, all-natural, chemical-free, clean eating, “good” and “bad” foods, processed, proprietary, and boost are examples of utterly useless buzz words when describing food and food products. It’s all marketing. These words are being used in ways that are either unsupported by legitimate research or are flat out false. My favorite example is when something is said to be chemical-free. Everything you can see, breathe, touch, or ingest is made of chemicals. Literally all matter in the universe is made of chemicals. Unless you’re having a literal ‘nothing burger’, you’re having chemicals. 

🚩#3: Novelty 

People are drawn to new things, especially if it is trending. Whether it’s a new diet strategy, new piece of technology, a gadget, or mindset, people are willing to try out something new even if there is no evidence that it will work for them. New technology in the fitness world is notoriously inaccurate. Your smart watch exercise trackers, heart rate reader, oxygen saturation measurements, and sleep trackers all started out as fairly inaccurate and have slowly gotten better with more data collection over the years. The technology is still very far behind medical-grade equipment. New doesn’t mean better. 

🚩#4: Emotional appeal 

Emotional appeals are a marketing strategy made to get people to feel a certain way in an effort to get the person to buy their product or services. Some nutrition trends will find your pain points and jab their finger right in. They might even throw a little salt in your old wounds. If an emotional appeal is making you feel bad about yourself or the choices you’ve made, that’s a red flag. You can’t hate yourself into making positive changes. It’s one thing to address issues that you’ve had in the past in an effort to help you learn and grow as a person. Punching down is another thing. 

🚩#5: Incomplete science 

Incomplete science is possibly the most dangerous red flag. Charlatans often use incomplete science to sell their products using buzz words. They’ll say a few big science-y sounding words and talk fast enough with conviction that people believe them to be genuine experts. What you’ll see these people do, without fail, is sell you the idea that you have a problem then quickly sell you the solution to that made up problem.  

🚩#6: Rigid rules 

Rigid rules are far too common with diet and nutrition trends. These rules are traditionally based on avoidance instead of abundance. Avoidance is generally considered a maladaptive behavior that results in more fear and anxiety. Trying to avoid something makes things worse. You may have heard some avoidance-based food rules before: 

  • No grains 
  • No fruit 
  • No dairy 
  • No carbs, ever 
  • No sugar 
  • No joy 

Someone operating under the false assumption that carbs are bad for you will look for a weight loss diet that limits carbs as much as possible. The problem isn’t that carbs are bad, because no food is good or bad. The problem is energy balance: too many calories being eaten compared to how many get burned.  

At Stronger U, no food is off limits. Learning how eating the right amounts of each macronutrient helps with optimal body function and ultimately build a healthier relationship with food. 

What Can You Do?   

All diets work by creating a consistent calorie deficit. Whether it’s shrinking the time frame you eat in a day, reducing a macronutrient like carbohydrate to almost nothing, restricting food choices, or slowing down the speed you eat, all of these strategies address energy balance. They all work from different angles but work in the same way. 

KEY QUESTIONS 

Does the trend attempt to solve a problem I have been struggling with lately? 

How does it make me feel? 

Does this help address my health goals in a safe way at the root cause? 

Is it creating and then solving a problem that doesn’t exist? 

Is this sustainable for me? 

Will this nutritional trend make me healthier a year from now? 

Does this help me become the person I want to be? 

 

Research Links:  

https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/5393446/global-weight-loss-products-and-services-market 

https://news.mit.edu/2018/study-twitter-false-news-travels-faster-true-stories-0308 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8305097/ 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7055753/ 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5879019/ 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6194095/  

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/11/7/e052446.abstract  

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0277953607002894  

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11938-019-00248-z  

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.2190/AG.73.3.d  

https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2744433  

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1477513119304115  

https://academic.oup.com/her/article/23/4/648/589794?login=true  

  

 

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