How Instagram’s “Fitness Chef” Is Fighting Nutritional Pseudoscience – Yahoo Lifestyle UK

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="From Men’s Health” data-reactid=”19″>From Men’s Health

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Surprisingly for a personal trainer-cum-nutrition guru, Graeme Tomlinson’s Instagram page is devoid of superfood smoothie bowls or chiselled topless selfies. Posting as @thefitnesschef_, he feeds his 730k followers with something altogether less aesthetic: data. With a mission to demystify the science of weight loss, Tomlinson’s side-by-side food comparisons have proved hugely popular with an audience hungry for simple, straight answers. So much so that he has adapted them into a book: Eat What You Like &amp; Lose Weight for Life. But his opinions aren’t without a pinch of controversy…” data-reactid=”20″>Surprisingly for a personal trainer-cum-nutrition guru, Graeme Tomlinson’s Instagram page is devoid of superfood smoothie bowls or chiselled topless selfies. Posting as @thefitnesschef_, he feeds his 730k followers with something altogether less aesthetic: data. With a mission to demystify the science of weight loss, Tomlinson’s side-by-side food comparisons have proved hugely popular with an audience hungry for simple, straight answers. So much so that he has adapted them into a book: Eat What You Like & Lose Weight for Life. But his opinions aren’t without a pinch of controversy…

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="With countless nutritionists and trainers competing for likes and follows on social media, what has made your account stand out?” data-reactid=”21″>With countless nutritionists and trainers competing for likes and follows on social media, what has made your account stand out?

People are fed up with smoke and mirrors when it comes to nutrition, and they like that I am on their side. It seems that, as an influencer, you’re now expected to align yourself with a specific diet camp, such as low-carb or paleo. But I don’t align myself with any. I put a lot of time into my posts, and I think people appreciate their unbiased nature.

<h3 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="How can you be so certain that you’re unbiased?
” data-reactid=”23″>How can you be so certain that you’re unbiased?

The messages I post are unanimously proven. With regards to weight loss, it comes back to energy balance. It’s calories in, calories out. So, if someone was to lose weight on keto or fasting, it would always be done through a calorie deficit. I’m disproving how these diets claim to work, rather than saying that they don’t work at all.

Why is there so much bad information on social media? Do you think that once people have a platform, they simply feel pressured to adopt more attention-grabbing viewpoints?

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Yes, exactly that. I think these diet ideas often originate from one crap study, done under poor conditions – then they just snowball. Often, they’re spread by someone with an agenda. You have individuals claiming that certain foods are toxic, that dairy is toxic, and so on. Then they sell a plan that’s free from those foods. Some influencers get paid to promote these ideas, while others just do it because they feel pressured to stay relevant. But when people read a post about how, say, bread is harmful, they might start to avoid bread, or develop a fear of eating it. I worry that a lot of influencers care more about their own relevance than the message they’re putting out.” data-reactid=”26″>Yes, exactly that. I think these diet ideas often originate from one crap study, done under poor conditions – then they just snowball. Often, they’re spread by someone with an agenda. You have individuals claiming that certain foods are toxic, that dairy is toxic, and so on. Then they sell a plan that’s free from those foods. Some influencers get paid to promote these ideas, while others just do it because they feel pressured to stay relevant. But when people read a post about how, say, bread is harmful, they might start to avoid bread, or develop a fear of eating it. I worry that a lot of influencers care more about their own relevance than the message they’re putting out.

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<h3 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Are there any supposedly scientific diets that provoke particular ire?
” data-reactid=”31″>Are there any supposedly scientific diets that provoke particular ire?

That’s an easy one: keto. Or any assertion that lowering carbs results in weight loss, while eating them inherently causes weight gain. There’s no systematic review or meta-analysis to support that. Single studies can be unreliable, so analysis across many studies is the only way to find a trustworthy answer.

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The annoying thing about keto is the confusion between burning body fat and dietary fat. It’s claimed that we “burn more fat” in a state of ketosis. But given the high amounts of fat that are consumed on the keto diet, this is simply the burning of dietary fat. If someone enjoys ketosis, then they should continue. But if they are only doing it to lose body fat, they must appreciate that it’s useless without a calorie deficit – and that perhaps aiming fort hat deficit may be more pleasurable if it doesn’t rely on eliminating bread, pasta, rice and pizza.” data-reactid=”33″>The annoying thing about keto is the confusion between burning body fat and dietary fat. It’s claimed that we “burn more fat” in a state of ketosis. But given the high amounts of fat that are consumed on the keto diet, this is simply the burning of dietary fat. If someone enjoys ketosis, then they should continue. But if they are only doing it to lose body fat, they must appreciate that it’s useless without a calorie deficit – and that perhaps aiming fort hat deficit may be more pleasurable if it doesn’t rely on eliminating bread, pasta, rice and pizza.

Pizza is not your typical fat-loss food. But then again, your book title does begin with the words Eat What You Like…

I’m really comfortable with the message I promote in the title of the book. The key is education. I’m not willing to condemn sugar, carbs or any other food type, because there is no evidence that any one food is inherently damaging to humans. Today, sugar is labelled by many as the cause of obesity and disease, but the pertinent fact is that there is no strong evidence to support this claim.

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<h3 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="But is there really any harm in telling people to avoid junk food?
” data-reactid=”40″>But is there really any harm in telling people to avoid junk food?

Rather than viewing foods as good or bad, it’s more useful to be objective. Let people make decisions based on evidence, as well as their personal preferences. You don’t need to eliminate any foods if you don’t want to. If someone exercises regularly, eats plenty of whole foods and controls their calories, then having the odd pizza can support their goals. They might need to adjust their intake the following day, but flexibility is what makes a diet sustainable. To believe that you’ve “failed” is not logical.

<h3 class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Which of your posts has proved the most controversial?
” data-reactid=”46″>Which of your posts has proved the most controversial?

Definitely when I posted an infographic comparing avocado on toast with Nutella on toast. My aim was to point out that, for the portion sizes displayed, the avocado had more calories than the Nutella and so was less conducive to achieving a calorie deficit.

You insulted avocado toast? Surely that’s Instagram heresy?

Well, I recognised that the avocado option was more nutritious. But people couldn’t understand the simplicity of my message: fewer calories means more fat loss. It was a prime example of how diet culture has skewed our basic understanding of nutrition.

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