Fair warning: this post is less about education, fitness, and nutrition and more about ranting for the sake of ranting.
There are a great many people out there who make a lot of things up, assume without the research to back their assumption, use outdated research to make a point, or take half of the research and morph it to mean what they want it to mean. These people tend to be very vocal about their preachy misinformation, which gives way to tons of incorrect fitness and nutrition myths and messes.
Why is this so troublesome? Because people can get hurt. A video was recently brought to my attention of a guy who used a ketogenic diet to prepare for body building competitions. I have used ketogenic diets in the past to help clients lose weight, and they're also used to treat those with seizures and mental degeneration. Some people criticize keto diets on the basis that they cause ketoacidosis (except for some subgroups such as type 2 diabetics, this is just more misinformation).
Anyway, this guy has a huge following, so I thought I'd watch this video to see what he had to say about his version of a ketogenic diet. It was ridiculous. The first thing he did was wake up in the morning to take ephedra before his run. Now, ephedra has been banned in dietary products by the FDA since 2004 for having a cornucopia of side effects ranging from anxiety to seizures. Sure seems like something a fitness "professional" should be recommending.
This was two minutes into the video, and I was already about done. I decided to continue watching, because there's a good chance my clients have seen idiocy such as this flying around. This "professional's" second mistake was only consuming chicken, protein shakes, and water all day. If you've ever been one of my clients on a ketogenic diet (or any plan, for that matter), you know how much I stress vegetables. Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. A big reason is to be sure you're getting enough fiber and phytonutrients to carry out your basic needs, like pooping or converting macronutrients to energy. Really, basic stuff. The guy in the video also worked out heavily on such a low calorie and insufficient diet, increasing his oxidative load and making him more susceptible to disease, injury, and age-related problems.
Finally, this guy looked sick. He even made several comments in the video about feeling like crap. Again, my clients know that I want them to feel good. If you're miserable 80% of the time to gain the elusive six pack, you're doing it wrong.
Unfortunately, videos like this are not uncommon. All you have to do is Google search a health topic to find pages of contradicting information on it, with no peer-reviewed study in sight. (Come on, guys, I'm have my Master's in Functional Medicine and goals to get into Naturopathic Medicine. I'm supposed to be the crazy, out there, hippy freak.) I see it every day when questions are asked by my clients that clearly came from the imagination of a blogger nutrition coach with no clue what they were talking about. Don't get me wrong, I love these questions. It makes me happy to be sure my clients are getting accurate information. If I don't know, I'll find it. Do your due diligence when looking over health topics, and talk to someone who will do theirs. It's your health, invest in it