Episode 45. Carbs, Avoiding Macro Obsession, and Modeling Success
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We began by talking about questions Scott got about Andy when he and Andy went live on Facebook. A lot of the questions were about very, very specific things like macros, what brand of protein powder to buy — all things that are 1) more incidental and less fundamental than people think, and 2) although success leaves clues, the things people were asking about were going to be specific to Andy in any case.
Are you a 6’3 fitness model with the same genetic and athletic history as Andy? The same goals, or lifestyle? No? That’s okay. You should still model success and learn, but you have to focus on what will be applicable to you.
This episode was about those things, as well as dealing with some of the obsessions that come with focusing on things like macros instead of the bigger picture.
- Tom Platz, a bodybuilder known for having freaky huge legs, used to get asked all the time what he did for his legs. He said to Scott (and elsewhere) that a better question is what they should do for their legs, since Platz admitted he could basically walk up a hill and they would grow.
- It’s the day-to-day grind and sacrifices that people don’t get.
- It’s not a magic potion. It’s a lifestyle.
- In terms of sacrifices, the trick is that for Andy it’s not about “overcoming” this or that, but about adjusting and tweaking his lifestyle over the years so that at this point there are not “sacrifices.”
- It’s not, “Oh, well, when I think I’m going to cheat on my diet I do this [insert magic thing] instead.” It’s: “Uh… I don’t think of that now? Like, it doesn’t even come up…?”
- The goal is to make the things that will take you to your goals an invisible part of your day, like a fish in water who doesn’t even notice anymore that he’s surrounded by water. It’s just that fish’s world.
Being Obsessed with Macros
- Scott read out a letter from a woman who had previously dieted at 1,800 calories per day, but was not having problems with satiety, hunger, and cravings when eating 2,200 calories per day, and feeling (understandably) confused.
- Scott compared the metabolic compensation system to a tsunami, borrowing a joke from Amy Schumer.
- The key is that if you’re struggling now, it is often due to the diet from earlier. Yes, the one that “worked.” It set in motion all the stuff you’re dealing with now.
- It’s easy to think, “Ah, if only I could enjoy the benefits of that diet, but then overcome these after effects,” but the two go hand-in-hand (both mental and metabolic)
- Kevin pointed out that this kind of thing is getting worse, especially in the competition world, where people’s expectations are getting a bit more unreasonable — no, you can’t maintain a stage physique.
- Even Scott experienced a huge rebound after his first show. (The story is in his Cycle Diet book.)
- Mike related a story where he was at home visiting his parents, in the middle of a low-carb diet to “get ripped,” when he realized his food scale was out of batteries, and his parents didn’t have replacements for that kind. He slammed the scale down on the kitchen island while screaming out F***! His advice: just be real, realize it’s not a good place to be, and stay out of there.
- One of the hardest parts of climbing your way out of there is that so many people online will be promising you that, no, no, totally, it’s no big deal, you can just do this special post-diet diet and you’ll be able to maintain this unreasonable body image blah blah. No. You can’t. The human body isn’t built that way.
- Mike made a joke about carb cycling, but Kevin pointed out that refeeds and some form of cycling can help *to some degree*, and is certainly better than a linear downward slope.
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