He continues by explaining the meaning of the term and and continues that "[w]e are on a constant search for the 'special, hidden knowledge'. The are looking for the secrets: the special diet, the new routine, the amazing new supplement or exercise. And on this search we become vulnerable to the gurus and to the marketing people."
After noting a number of ways many are enticed by the 'gurus' (they're good salesmen, it's easier than researching yourself, distrust of the mainstream, etc.), he asks, "What if it is all a lot simpler?"
Simplicity, Persistence, Habit
What if it is all actually a lot simpler. I think it is time to reject the search for the special knowledge and embrace the basics. A sensible diet. Exercise. Sleep. Social interaction. Stress management. Time outdoors.
Most of all though the need is for persistence. Just keep going.
For anyone really wanting to know the secret to good health - there it is, in the open, free.
It is as simple as that.
If you look up at my tag line, it's the same as the day I started this blog back in 2005 "Health = Lifestyle, Nutrition and Activity" - the trifecta for health and well-being; the mind-body-spirit connection so to speak, so often praised, yet it remains elusive for many.
I was going to write a post about long-term success - but really, it comes down to simplicity, persistence and habit.
Gosh, who knew I only really needed three words?
It is what it is.
It's why I wrote an entire series on what I believe are some of the long-term goals of the short-term Rules of Induction.
It's why, since launching this blog, my focus was and remains on nutrient-density, not absolute carbohydrate grams, percentages of calories, or even absolute calories; it's all in context.
It's why I believe calories, in context, do matter.
It's why I pay particular attention to protein and meeting essential amino acid requirements.
It's why I believe it's about making choices and forming good habits.
It's why I believe in tweaking and making observations along the way to formulate your own personal dietary approach for the long-term.
It's why don't think a very low-carb diet is the optimal diet for the entire population all of the time and why the evidence doesn't support that view except for some unique populations (ie. type 2 diabetes, apple-shaped PCO).
And it's why my radical view point remains (gasp) that if you fine tune your food choices, opting for nutrient-dense real foods, your carbohydrate intake may be lower than some or seemingly higher than others, but it will be unique to you and to your goals, health and activity levels.
My view may come from the fact I started low-carb before it was trendy, before it caught on, and before it made it to prime-time. In some ways I was sheltered from the quirkiness that we now see in the ever-evolving low-carb community, where once the biggest debate was how long to stay at 20g or less if one did Atkins, or whether the Atkins' model to restrict carbohydrate to 20g then increase them slowly was better than the Zone's 30:30:40 ratios from the start or Life Without Bread's 72g recommendation was ideal.
We're now a community with extremes going from one end to the other, from zero carb to eggfests; from 85% fat intake to serial finger pricking multiple times daily; from only grass-fed is worthy to the idea that grains are the devil; and from the idea that you won't gain weight if you keep carbs low enough to the belief that those who include 'safe starches' are just addicts needing validation.
All the while these extremes are couched with the individual assured that they need to find what works for them, but give it a try, you never know; and with often confusing contradictory advice given when one needs some help. Increase fat, decrease protein, increase carbs, decrease calories, take supplements, don't take iron, get your thyroid tested, low-carb doesn't affect thyroid, see your doctor, doctors are quacks who know nothing about nutrition, take fish oil, no take vitamin D, do reistance training, no do cardio, no don't exercise it'll make you hungrier - have you seen the gammut of contradictions out there when one asks the simple "why am I stalled?"
Why do we find it so difficult to suggest looking at the obvious first?
Now while I bet you are thinking I'm talking calories, I can say not this time; I'm talking about looking at whether one is meeting essential nutrient requirements; while you do that, you're going to have a good look at your calories, carboohydrate, protein and fat too, but the big question in my mind is are you malnourished or eating a nutritionally deficit low-carb diet - whether you're in a calorie deficit (at a good level or too low) or not is secondary.
Yet as a community, you'll find a hundred different things to answer why you're stalled, other than the obvious; the most likely answer will be whatever the flavor of the day favorite is because as a community we're still in search of the "special, hidden knowledge" rather than what common sense would suggest.
If as a community we agree that carbohydrate restriction is superior - then we must answer why; and "why" is not because 85% fat is sustainable and healthy, or shunning all plant foods is ideal - it's because a "well forumlated" carbohydrate restricted diet, when done properly, meets your essential nutrient requirements and does it better than traditional approaches. You cannot do that at the extremes, but you can when you take a reasonable look at the evidence and understand why micronutrients matter in the context of our physiology, which lays at the center of controlled-carb nutrition.
While gnosticism is alive and well in the low-carb community, the question I have is what do we do about it? Please feel free to comment and debate in the comments section!