The Fat/Carbohydrate Hypothesis…Myth, or Fact?

I just read Stephan Guyenet’s review of Gary Taubes’ hypothesis that excess carbohydrate (and especially “refined” carbohydrate”) causes obesity.

All I can say is, take the time to read Stephan’s post.

It’s the most well-thought-out, thorough writing on the subject that I’ve ever seen.

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Are words making you fat or lazy?

I’m not a huge fan of scapegoats, the blame-game, or not being responsible for your own life and behavior, but let’s face it, there are factors that are simply out of our control.

Or are they?

Some of them are. Genetics, anyone?

I love the old bodybuilding question – “I have small calves, how do I get them bigger? I’ve tried everything.”

I know people for whom this is literally true. And you know what, I’m not sure if there’s a solution out there for them. They’re just always going to have small calves. Sorry guys, your lineage just didn’t store a lot of meat on the lower leg bones. Oh well. But look on the bright side, that leaves more time to focus on developing other things in life.

Sometimes genetics can be a serious hurdle. But genes almost always require an environmental trigger that switches them on.

That is, if you have the “fat gene,” it just means you’re more likely to get fat than the person who doesn’t have it. But it doesn’t mean that you HAVE TO GET FAT.

Knowing your genetic tendencies can be a huge help to guide your action.

Got the fat gene? Stay the hell away from refined carbs of any sort forever. FOREVER.

And that’s the point – If we KNOW about the things that are influencing our behavior or development, we can ACT to use that knowledge to our advantage.

That is – there are a lot of things that ARE within our control…if we can recognize them and act on them.

The big one that hit me today, and that spurred me to write this post, is LANGUAGE.

We all have habitual patterns we live through. Most of us tend to put our clothes on in exactly the same way every day. We use the same hand to hold our toothbrush. We get into the car the same way, we do the same things, AND…

We talk about and listen to the same stuff almost all the time.

Within our relationships – at home, work, or play – we tend to use language the same way. We tend to use the same words all the time, in the same patterns.

Since “birds of a feather flock together” we can safely guess that our friends, families, and probably coworkers, do the same thing.

So what does that have to do with being fat?

Well, before we talk about fat, let’s give a more extreme example.

If you work in a gym, or you’re a personal trainer, your vocabulary is probably full of anatomy and physiology terms. You probably tend to speak in action-terms (DO this, DO that, PULL, PUSH, GO, etc.). Most of your friends are likely involved in health and fitness to some degree, so they have a similar way with words (or can at least understand your way).

This “action logic” spills over into your very being. Or maybe it’s vice versa…maybe your very being spills over into your language. It’s probably a little of both.

Now let’s imagine someone who has a weight problem. I can recall a particular family I knew that would always talk about how FAT they were. Their language was PASSIVE. “We’re so fat. We need to do xyz, BUT…” insert excuse.

Within that family, everyone pretty much used the same words to describe their condition, and their relationship to their condition.

Other people might even have a VICTIM language about being fat and lazy – as if their condition is being done to them.

Want to change your condition? Want to change your “shape” (or get “in shape”)? Want to “get fit?”

Check your language, and the language of the people you hang out with.

Since “the way you do anything is the way you do everything” – it probably needs to change as much as your “habits” or whatever else you’re focused on.

NOTE: I realized this is about the third or fourth post that hinges on MINDSET, so I’ve created a mindset category. If you want to see all of the posts about mindset or mindframes related to fitness, just click on the Mindset category on the right hand side of the page.

NOTE 2: It is not unhealthy to have extra body-fat!

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