Friday, March 26, 2010

Mar. 26: How'd I Get To Be So Smart?

Well, I'm not that smart, really. Although I really like to dispense opinions and information, I'm really just regurgitating the information from other sources that I find reliable.  I just like to collect the information and sift through the misinformation.  I have some tips for finding your own information.

Find reliable sources.  That can be tough.  I don't think one person knows everything there is to know about dieting and fitness.  That being said, some sources are more reliable than others.  When you read information someone is providing, first, question that information.  Does it make sense to you?  Does it seem reasonable or far-fetched?  If it seems unrealistic, does the writer quote his or her sources? (I'm the worst for quoting sources, thus this post!) Has there been one small study on the topic or has there been a range of observations?  What is the writer's background, educationally, professionally and personally? At the end of this post, I'd like to post a few links to sources that I find reliable.

Question everything.  As you study, you learn.  If you read something that goes against everything you've learned, even if it comes from a trusted source, dig deeper.  Look into it.  No one is perfect, and the opinions of the writer always come into play when they provide information.

Find a good forum.  Not only can you receive support and friendship, but if you get 500 people together, think of all of the combined research and information-seeking that has been done.  However, you have to examine the information from the other posters carefully as well.  They are only human and are subject to the same restrictions that you and I have.  Their opinions also come into play with the information they provide.  Never be afraid to question their sources so that you can dig deeper yourself.

What works for others may not work for you.  This falls into the land of opinion again.  Some people like to eat 6 times a day.  It works well to keep their hunger at bay, so they never overeat.  Others like to have 3 larger meals a day because they feel more satisfied tucking into a big plate of food.  These are not facts, these are preferences.  A lot of people like to present their preferences as facts, but as an intelligent reader, you have to apply the things that work for you.

Here are some of my favorite resources:

Body Recomposition : Lyle McDonald is brilliant.  He is a bit acerbic but I've always found his information to be excellent.  He obtains his information from research papers and sums it up for his readers.  It is very scholarly, and sometimes I have to Google some of the terms, as I don't hold an advanced degree in Kinesiology, but I have never seen anything here I found unreliable.  This is my favorite source of information.

Stumptuous :  I find this site very motivating, and I really enjoy the writing style.  It is not extremely scientific but it's still a good read.  I don't always agree with 100% of the information provided here, but it's pretty good.

Alan Aragon's Blog :  This is another very reliable source.  Aragon is a bodybuilder and personal trainer and very well educated.  I'm definitely a fan.

Patrick Ward's Blog  Another very well-educated man.  Ward is also a personal trainer, specializing in sports performance.  You can learn a LOT from this blog.

Oxygen Magazine Forums :  I am almost hesitant to post forum links.  In a forum you have to REALLY pick and choose your information.  I've gotten great information here, and I've also gotten horrible information here.  Read critically.  Also, a lot of the posters on this board are VERY hardcore and passionate and can be rather......abrupt.  Proceed with caution.

Tosca Reno's Forum :  Although I don't follow the principles of clean eating to the letter, I've found this forum to be incredible in terms of support.  The site, as a whole, houses and amazing collection of women, many of whom have become personal friends throughout this journey.  Like any forum, read with a critical eye.  All of the information may not be correct and all of it may not apply to you.

There are a few other sites that I've just begun to read, but haven't yet formed a solid opinion on.  Look for an update to this post in a few weeks with more great sources.

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