Metabolically Peaking vs Cosmetically Peaking

Saturday, August 04, 2012

We all know the famous saying, "beauty is on the inside." but what few of us fail to recognize is that this holds true for health and nutrition and not just facial perfection.

I see this argument championed a lot:

If I physically look good then I MUST be Healthy on the inside.

Do you see the problems with this Fallacy? If not I will point them out:

The first logical error is that physical health/BMI, some how has a direct correlation on mortality rates and metabolism. You are essentially using a bias put forward by fitness marketers and diet gurus to define health. The data presented for this notion is contradicting as always and many studies suggest that low body weights are medically more harmful then higher ones.

"...people have this hypothesis in their head, and then any evidence which tends to correlate with the hypothesis gets empathized and remembered and all the evidence that doesn’t correlate just gets forgotten... I think what happens is that people get certain beliefs so deeply lodged in their head, for ideological and political and psychological and economic reasons, that they become literally incapable of considering that that idea might be false." - Paul Campos

"In the 1950s, the medical profession considered it to be unhealthy to be underweight. Underweight people were thought to be more vulnerable to physical illness and disease. A large, robust physique was associated with vitality and a strong immune system. This view was endorsed by the medical profession and products were available to help people gain a few extra pounds. For the past few decades, however, the opposite view has dominated. The medical profession associates overweight with ill health, and perhaps the most common advice given to patients is to lose some weight. However, a close inspection of the evidence shows that in the long run, weight loss actually does not make you healthier and, in fact, may be harmful to your health."

The Second Fallacy is that More is better. If having some muscle is good then being ridiculously ripped is even better. While muscle mass has been shown to have a metabolic advantages there is no evidence that having a 6 pack will protect you from chronic disease. The actual act of forcing your body to maintain a low body weight has been shown to have many negative health implications. The theory of maintaining a physique that is not meant for you because it is based on someone's ideas of fitness is a major source of mental stress and orthorexia. Plus who wants to spend a 1/8 of their life in a smelly gym with bros and fitness freaks while constantly monitoring their food intake.

The Third Fallacy has to do with lab tests. I have encountered many people with what looks like superior health in terms of how they look but the outside critique does not match what the inside is showing. High Cholesterol, Low Testosterone, elevated triglycerides, low Free T4 are all markers of failure to thrive by medical terms and this typically what appears on the charts of some of those people with these fit physiques over time.

Don't misconstrue my argument as if i'm saying that being fit is bad for you. There is a healthy medium and as humans it seems like we prefer to dismiss the middle road and only look for extremes answers to our practical problems. Just trying to keep everyone honest about health and nutrition

Please also view the following videos from Scott Abel on the subject, he has over 30 years experience in the fitness industry, he shares a great analysis on the difference between metabolism and physique.

Keep Sparking (whatever that means)

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