When you want to lose weight and get back into shape it’s hugely helpful to think of training and nutrition as tools to get the job done, which is why picking the right tool for the right job is the secret to a successful body transformation, says New Body Plan creator Jon Lipsey
I didn’t even make it to 9am this morning before something jarred me off on your behalf.
It was an Apple News alert that popped up on my phone to warn me that “Intermittent Fasting could be bad for your health”.
It annoyed me because there’s a good chance you’ll have read another story recently shrieking about how Intermittent Fasting (where you have an extended period of the day where you don’t eat) is the perfect way to lose fat and it’s these mixed messages that really wind me up.
Apparently, the study from JAMA Internal Medicine said using the diet could lead to a loss of muscle mass and the risk of weight gain. Scary stuff, huh? Well, it is until you read this paragraph:
“While participants didn’t record their daily calorie intake, researchers estimated that both groups consumed roughly the same amount of daily calories throughout the study.”
Right. So they didn’t actually track how much the people in the study ate? Here’s why that’s a problem: if you don’t know how much someone is eating then you can’t properly assess the impact of their nutrition approach.
This highlights two significant things:
1: That it is hard to conduct scientific studies about nutrition and diets.
2: That it is almost impossible for the average person to know what to believe because, unless you’re going to delve into the academic archives, it’s going to be tricky to evaluate the merits of new research.
So what can you do? Here’s my advice.
Pick the right tool
Think of training and nutrition concepts as tools. Your job is to select the right tool for the right job. Let’s say that you need to hammer a nail into a wall but you’ve only got a screwdriver. If you use the screwdriver it won’t really work. Does that mean screwdrivers are useless? No, it just means that a screwdriver wasn’t the right tool for that particular job.
If you’re trying to add as much muscle mass as possible, is Intermittent Fasting the right tool for the job? Probably not. But if you’re trying to optimise your immune system and improve brain function then it may well be. At least, that’s what a 2015 study in the International Journal of Research Studies in Biosciences tells us.
Read the instructions
This is important because some tools are more difficult to operate than others. If your nutrition approach is that you’re going to “eat a wide variety of unprocessed food” that’s the tool equivalent of a hammer – it’s not that complicated to use.
If, on the other hand, you’re going to use Intermittent Fasting, that’s like using a jackhammer. In the wrong hands, you’re going to make a heck of a mess. The least you can do is read the instructions before you use it, so you have a decent grasp of what you’re doing. Or, better still, get an expert to show you the ropes.
I’m afraid that if you are in fact trying to get to grips with a jackhammer then I’m not your man. But if it’s a fat loss diet that you’re wrestling with then I might just know someone…