A couple years ago I gradually started gaining weight and feeling tired constantly. At first I didn’t think too much of it and figured it was just an unfortunate consequence of working a full time desk job and raising a family.
Over time the feeling I needed to change something grew stronger and after overhearing colleagues discuss a type of low-carb diet they were following I became intrigued whether this could work for me as well and decided to give it a go.
In addition I started working out more regularly and also took a stab at all sorts of other dietary plans through reading books and watching YouTube videos. All while I kept three goals in mind:
- Boost energy levels
- Better performance in workouts
- Lose belly fat
This experience has taught me about the importance of macronutrients, ways to increase muscle mass and to lose fat. The information I derived through these channels has been very helpful in my journey to achieve the goals I have set for myself.
During this time I have also picked up on some patterns in the diet and lifestyle industry. With the introduction of influencers on Instagram and YouTube there is giant rise in content available on this subject and a direct incentive to create more.
Generally speaking every method starts with giving you an outline of what you need to do to accomplish your goals. After the general introduction you’re likely to see some results. The simple explanation for this that you’re more conscious of what you’re consuming. Whether it’s a sustainable method to achieve your goals is a completely different subject.
It’s likely that as you move past the introducing phase you’re being steered away from your original goal and learn about all these additional health benefits that supposedly come from following the program as well.
This is where you get sucked into the longevity fallacy. Influencers will pull out studies left, right, and center that support their case in one way or the other all whilst you’re being distracted from your original goal. By adding longevity benefits into the mix they’re essentially buying more time to keep you engaged with their product and sell more of it.
The issue that I have with this is that many providers of dietary and lifestyle plans are playing a guilt trip on you by pushing hard on all these ‘additional benefits’ which are arbitrary at best and often impossible to predict based on diet and lifestyle alone.
Of course there is a case to be made for focusing on long term health. But if you’re let’s say, trying to reverse type 2 diabetes you’re bound to see some noticeable results in the medium term as well. This will be long enough to determine whether a diet or lifestyle is beneficial for you.
Learning the basics should be enough to figure out whether a certain diet suits your lifestyle. Accept that you can always do things differently but don’t let it sidetrack you from the original goal you have set for yourself.
To conclude this bit of a rant, my point is that you should take the longevity benefits with a grain of salt. Find something that will give you noticeable benefits and that you can sustain. Don’t worry about every little detail, it’s unlikely to make a big difference and will only cost you more. That’s at least my opinion.