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Diet Fallacy #7: "It's OK to eat everything, but in moderation."

July 19, 2005 09:07 AM

"To Be Really Healthy? Be Extreme. If You Want To Be A Loser, Be Moderate?" says iconoclastic diet guru, Ori Hofmekler, author of bestselling The Warrior Diet

The Top Ten Diet Fallacies ?
Separating the Facts from the Fantasy

The term "being moderate" typically refers to being subtle, average and to being the opposite of extreme. "Moderation" is currently a buzzword for those wishing to pursue a balanced lifestyle.

Many health experts use the "moderation-mantra" to convey a simple message. Everything is allowed in moderation.

The Result: Millions of people who fail to manage their weight or sustain health are asking themselves "What went wrong"!

As you're about to see, the notion that it is ok to eat everything in moderation is wrong and in particular misleading for athletes and bodybuilders.

Why the Best Diet Is an Extreme Diet

Moderation does not go hand in hand with scoring and achieving. Real life superiority requires extreme outcomes.

The greatest figures in history, including Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Beethoven, Mozart, Albert Einstein and George Patton were all extreme personalities.

All classical training methods from the days of the Roman Army to the modern military, are based on one master principle:

Adaptation to extreme conditions.

Ancient warriors were aware that moderate training would not be sufficient to force adaptation and thus would most likely fail to prepare soldiers to react swiftly and resist stress in real life extreme conditions.

The human body is designed to adapt to environmental changes as well as to physical and nutritional changes. The more intense the change (stimulant) the more likely it will trigger genes that force the body to adapt and better survive. (See fallacies 4-6).

Our survival (thrifty) genes' most important activities are those that induce improvement in fuel utilization.

Why "Moderation" Can Be A One-Way Ticket to Ill-Health and Poor Performance

The capacity to generate energy from dietary fat or carb is critically important for our survival. Studies at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) revealed that the human body functions better on food combinations than on a single food source.

Researchers believe that humans have adapted to changes in food availability due to the necessity to survive periods of famine, and seasonal or climatic changes.

In other words, our body responds better to extreme feeding cycles that somewhat mimic the cycle of famine and feast (under eating and overeating), rotating between fat fuel and carb fuel.

As with physical exercise, such feeding cycles force the body to survive on either fat or carb fuel and thus improve the utilization of both.

When It Comes to Junk Food, Just Say NO

The idea that everything is ok in moderation typically refers to "bad stuff" (i.e. junk food or alcohol) Is this true, though?

Not really.

What we may mentally perceive as a "moderate" serving of Betty Crocker or Aunt Jemima, does not translate into "moderate" as our bodies experience it.

Recent studies at the University of Wollongong, Bandoro, Australia, reveal that even small (Moderate) changes in the macronutrient content of the diet affect skeletal muscle performance. Small dietary changes in fat intake exerted a major influence on muscle cell membrane fatty acid composition.

For instance, an imbalanced, high-fat diet due to consumption of a large amount of N-6 and a moderate amount of hydrogenated fats (abundant in junk protein bars and candy bars), can lead to several deficiencies in muscle N-3 fatty acids. Such deficiency is often associated with chronic inflammation, impaired recuperation and muscle wasting.

Moderation simply doesn't apply to real life sports nutrition. An athlete who wishes to excel cannot afford to "take prisoners". Eating even small amounts of junk before exercise may adversity affect post-exercise cortisol levels (see fallacy #2). Insulin sensitivity is necessary for the maximum anabolic impact of meals.

Note that even a single bout of sugar binging can decrease insulin sensitivity, compromising the body's ability to recuperate and build tissues.

In conclusion: Do not fall into the trap of seductive words like "moderation". Exercise intensely, apply proper recovery meals, and keep your diet clean. Even moderate amounts of junk food can adversely affect your capacity to exercise, recuperate and excel.
Ori Hofmekler is the author of The Warrior Diet and Maximum Muscle, Minimum Fat, published by Dragon Door Publication. For more information on the Warrior Diet Fat Loss Program and Controlled Fatigue Training (CFT), workshops and certification seminars log onto or call 818-992-1994 (866)WAR-DIET. For personal and group training in L.A. call 818-992-1962.