I saw this article being passed around on social media - http://physiqonomics.com/eating-too-much/ - "You’re Not losing Fat Because You’re Eating Too Damn Much. Even When You Don’t Think You Are. Let Me Show You". It's on the Physiqonomics blog which is owned by fitness trainer, Aadam Ali. He writes funny, long, science-laced, interesting articles about fat-loss and fitness (and has a coaching business). Another article he wrote is "The Best Fat Loss Article on the Motherfuckin' Internet" (http://physiqonomics.com/fat-loss/).
Aadam has nearly cornered the market on straight-talking, no bullshit advice on losing weight and being fit. He IS fit. And he's probably 85-90% right. But these two articles nagged at the back of my brain and I couldn't figure out why. For awhile. #dogwithabone
You see, Aadam is a calories-in-calories-out guy. You probably figured that out already. I like his you-need-to-take-responsibility-for-yourself attitude. He's funny! I love this: "I get gazillions of emails and questions from people asking me for the solution to their lack of motivation – well, fuck you. There is no solution." Totally true.
The bummer about his messaging is that it's atomistic. Overall health and appropriate weight are not the result of one thing, i.e. calorie counting. And 6-pack abs ≠ health. Skinny ≠ healthy. Sexy ≠ healthy. I do not know Aadam, but I do know he lives in the UK, where he won't be facing some of the health problems people in the US face. Like being silently overdosed on Atrazine (especially if you live in the Midwest). Atrazine is one of the most widely used herbacides in the US and Australia. It also seems to be able to cause weight gain, insulin resistance and mitochondrial malfunction without the help of excess calories (link below). In the study, all they did was add Atrazine to the water. The control group of rats and the Atrazine group ate exactly the same diet. The Atrazine rats got fat, the other rats did not. The Atrazine rats had insulin resistance, not due to excess calories, but due to the addition of ONE toxin in their diet.
Now, Aadam is 100% correct that we live in an obesigenic environment where there is an abundance of shitty calories and people often eat way more than they need of stuff humans were never intended to eat in the first place. And then many modern humans just don't move their bodies. Got it. #truth
But we have an environmental problem that is somewhat horrific in magnitude. And it is affecting our weight, and other health markers (like rates of cancer). The Atrazine study is about one chemical. However, about 100,000 man-made chemicals have been introduced into our environment (food, water, air) and almost none of them have any safety testing. ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND. 100,000. And we have no idea, really, what problems this massive exposure is doing to us.
So calories-in-calories-out is simple, straightforward (possibly controllable for many) and definitely helpful. But being atomistic, instead of holistic, helps reinforce our blindspots. We don't tend to look at things that are 'invisible' - like chemical, RF or stress exposure, which are undoubtedly powerful in shaping our overall picture of health.
So what does this have to do with the brain?
Well, keep in mind, everything has everything to do with the brain! There is no health issue that isn't connected to brain health.
Atrazine accumulates in the brain and triggers a host of problems. It activates the brain's immune response, which goes on overdrive. Atrazine also disrupts the process of ovulation (which starts in the brain) by impeding the release of important hormones. Now, keep in mind that Atrazine is ONE of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND possible chemicals that we humans have exposure to and you might, maybe, get a sense of the potential problem. What happens when Atrazine meets Glyphosate (RoundUp) in the brain (which is also very common), or aluminum (again, very common) - we do not know.
But we do know that brain injury and diseases are at epidemic levels. We do know that kids are not recovering from concussions very well and we do know that more people than ever are dying from brain injury. And the things we are ignoring might be playing a much bigger role than we imagine.
I recommend a book called The Metabolic Approach to Cancer (link below) because the authors use the concept of 'terrain' - the whole person, the whole environment, the big picture - to approach the treatment and (hopefully) avoidance of cancer. This approach is exactly what is needed for ALL health issues. It's the entire terrain, not one thing, that causes dis-ease. It's the whole picture and the sooner we dig into that, the sooner we'll have answers to the staggering problems like obesity, brain disease and cancer.