Consider the source and motives when you look at others who eat “healthy”

This guy lost a lot of weight on The Biggest Loser

This guy lost a lot of weight on The Biggest Loser

I love Twitter. I won’t say I am addicted because I don’t always have it on my phone and am not constantly refreshing looking for new tweets, but I do check it two or three times a day. During baseball season that is much more as I love watching baseball and keeping up with what is happening around the Majors.

I have two handles on Twitter: one is @FailGym which I just opened for this blog and another is @TravisLay_BSB which I have had for much longer for my baseball blogging – which has tailed off significantly during the past few months. On my FailGym Twitter handle I follow only healthy individuals as I am looking for ways to get better. One of those is Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser fame.

I used to love The Biggest Loser and my wife and I used to watch it religiously. Then it got old and stale. I was sick of watching four or five minutes of commercials only for the show to come back on and replay the 30 seconds that was shown just before they went to commercial break! Or worse they would come back and have one of those segments during the show where all the contestants go to Subway or chew some gum as just another way of advertising after I had just watched five minutes of advertisements. Once DVRs became popular I realized we could easily watch a two hour show in about 40 minutes, at most.

Then there is all of the crying and whining and people getting all teary eyed when someone was voted off…after one week on the show. It just got to be too much and I stopped watching.

Then the stories started coming out about how a majority of the contestants gained some or all of the weight back after leaving the show and then I really started to realize how much of a falsehood that show is: it doesn’t prepare the contestants for real life at all. To get those dramatic weight losses they spend eight, nine, 10 hours in the gym everyday, have strict regulated diets and constant coaching. Once they go back home and lose all of that they plump right back up.

Then he gained it all back - and then some

Then he gained it all back – and then some

The show is a joke to me now.

With all of that being said I would love, LOVE to have Bob or Jillian work with me for a few months. Not marathon sessions in the gym but three or four times a week for one hour at a time. They are obviously a wealth of nutritional knowledge. Or are they? One thing is for sure: they could make me sweat.

Before I get to my point of this piece; who would you rather train with? I always was impartial to Jillian because I like when someone screams at me in the gym. I find that motivating. Bob was always the more caring trainer while Jillian was the screamer, the killer. Give me the killer. Although it seemed that Bob incorporated more fun into the workouts by adding yoga or cycle classes, etc, rather than just constant treadmills and weights. I would like that, too. Getting bored with your workout is death and that is one reason I really love CrossFit: it changes everyday.

So, to my point: you can’t trust everything you read when it comes to health and you have to consider the persons motivation. As mentioned above I follow Bob on Twitter and seemingly every morning (or at least three or four times a week) he tweets something about Quaker oatmeal for breakfast and starting the day healthy. Yesterday he tweeted this (@MyTrainerBob):

Start the week off right with a healthy breakfast! I’m having @Quaker oatmeal with a scoop of protein powder.

Maybe you don’t follow me that much or know that much about me, but recently I completed a Whole30 and have become a Paleo eater for the large part of my week. I avoid grains, dairy, legumes and sugar and eat mostly meat and veggies with some fruit and nuts. Sure, occasionally I have frozen yogurt or maybe sneak a cookie but for the most part I eat Paleo. I am by no means an expert on the subject but I have read enough over the past few months to know that gluten is bad and over processed grains stripped of any sort of redeeming nutritional content and leaving fancy sugar is really bad.

What is in Quaker oatmeal? I went to their website to find out. Something tells me there is a lot more in there than just oats. The first thing I read is under large lettering that says “Healthy Heart”:

Whole grains play an essential role in helping to promote your overall good health—providing a number of essential vitamins and nutrients. Eating the daily recommended three servings of whole grains may also help reduce your chances of developing several diseases such as heart disease when part of an overall healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Those are all straight lies. Notice words like “may” and you should quickly realize that this is a marketing ploy. An attempt to make the product sound healthy but they won’t make any hard fact statements or risk being sued for lying.

I don’t see them displaying their ingredients anywhere, they must be hiding that information…I select the “original” Quaker oatmeal as that probably has the least amount of crap in it. I can only imagine what the brown sugar variety has stuffed in it.

On the specific product page there is a tab for nutritional info and here is what Quaker oatmeal is made out of:


What is “calcium carbonate” or “guar gum” or “reduced iron”? Sounds like a lot more than just pure oats, doesn’t it?

I won’t get into all the facts about how gluten causes your body to fight with itself, how you can get plenty of carbs and fiber from vegetables and not have to intake all this fake food, but it is clear that even something as simple as Quaker oatmeal is more than just pure oats.

It’s obvious Bob Harper is paid my Quaker to tweet this every morning or at least a few times a week. I can’t hate Bob for doing so, he likes to get paid, who doesn’t? But it is a bit concerning considering many people look at him for all their health questions.

Before you blindly eat something because someone says it is good for you, do a little research and find out for yourself. Me? I like to stick to the idea that if food has a label then it isn’t food. That covers a lot of what I eat and if I do eat something with a label I want to know what each of those ingredients are. I don’t know what guar gum is and I surely don’t want to eat it.


More information:
For more information on gluten watch this: Gluten and Autoimmunity Explained in 20 Minutes
For more information on protein powder and why you don’t need it, read this: There are much better options
This guys story was almost me exactly before I went Paleo: That bread and yogurt is making you MORE hungry


2 comments on “Consider the source and motives when you look at others who eat “healthy”

  1. RunToInspire says:

    Team Jillian. Forever.
    And I’m with you, having just done a paleo challenge, I think it’s so weird that anyone would recommend eating carbs as part of a balance diet. ESPECIALLY carbs that are processed sugars or grains.

    • traviseses says:

      When you are paid by Subway and Quaker you got to recommend their products. For many people, me included, it is/was a shock to hear that wheat bread is not good for you. That low fat yogurt is not good for you. That you don’t need milk for calcium. But the more and more I read the more and more it makes sense.

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