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Ep. #1140: Layne Norton on Exposing Fitness Pseudoscience and Misinformation


Mike: Hey there, I am Mike Matthews, and this is Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today for a new episode on fitness misinformation, which is everywhere these days. And a big reason for that is, is social media. Thanks to social media being what it is, thanks to its perverse incentives, it’s easier now than Probably ever before, at least in the last 10 or 11 years that I’ve been in the fitness racket, I think it’s easier now to fall victim to fitness information than at any point in the last decade or so.

Fad diets, fad exercise programs, fad supplements. It can be hard to tell what’s legit and what is just clever marketing. Simply relying on credentials, for example, is not enough. There are many very credentialed people, much more credentialed than I am, who are complete frauds, complete quacks, just in it for the fame.

And the money, and the status, and so forth. Simply going by results is not enough. Before and after pictures, before and after stories, are the before and afters real? Well, if you have a good reason to believe they’re real, that is better than not having a good reason to believe that they’re real. But, what about the survivorship bias?

What about all of the people who failed to achieve their fitness goals with this person’s methods, with this diet, with this exercise, with these supplements? You’re only being shown the people who did succeed with them. And then in the cases where people did succeed with a certain diet or exercise program or supplement stack or whatever, you have to wonder why they succeeded.

Was it for the reasons given that are used to sell the diet, exercise program, or supplement stack, for example? If somebody starts eating the carnivore diet, if they eat the carnivore way, and they lose a bunch of weight, was it because they started eating nothing but meat and butter and eggs? Or was it because they dramatically reduced their calorie intake, whether they realized it or not?

And if they did succeed because their calories dramatically fell, Spoiler alert, it is always because of an energy deficit, it is always because of a calorie deficit that we lose body fat, at least to a meaningful degree. If that’s why, then of course you have to wonder, well, could they have gotten the same results, or better results, or maybe had a better experience of it?

With a totally different diet that provided the same amount of calories like an omnivorous diet. With fruits and vegetables and whole grains and seeds and legumes. And maybe some diet soda as well. Ooh, maybe some, some sugar every day. And so anyway, you get my point. It all can be very confusing, especially when you are dealing with slick marketers.

And in this episode, you are going to be hearing from Lane Norton on this topic on how you can become a more informed consumer of fitness information, how you can better spot pseudoscience and marketing trickery and make more optimal evidence based decisions for your health and fitness. And in case you are not familiar with Lane, he is not only an accomplished scientist with a PhD in nutritional sciences.

He’s also a professional bodybuilder and a champion powerlifter who has spent many, many years combating misinformation and educating people on true evidence based health and fitness practices. Lane. It’s nice to see you again.

Layne: Thanks, Mike. Glad to be back on. It’s good to see you again.

Mike: Yeah, I think, uh, the last time I might, I don’t remember if I didn’t have video going, I think I might have recorded our last interview in, uh, in a, in a sauna in my mechanical, in my basement of my house in Virginia, because my kids are making so much noise that I had to get away somewhere.

Layne: The joy is a record for them.

Mike: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. Uh, but, uh, yeah, no, I appreciate you taking the time to come back and talk with me and talk with the listeners about how appeals to science are, are widely abused in our space. And, uh, used to sell people on all kinds of BS, ranging from fad diets to exercise routines and techniques to supplements and on and on.

And this is obviously something that you are, are regularly harping on and exposing frauds for. And so I thought you’d be the perfect guest for it. And to start us off, I thought it would, it would be helpful to get your response to. What I think happens, just in my random discussions I’ve had with, with people over the years, uh, where, okay, so, so you are a layman and you’re not a, you’re not a stupid person, maybe, maybe you’re ignorant to some degree, like we all were when we were first getting into this and you’re looking for some advice, you have a problem or you have some fitness goal you want to achieve, you’re looking for some advice, you’re on social media.

Which is where a lot of people go to try to get advice, and maybe I would include YouTube in that. And you find somebody who seems to know what they’re talking about, they’re well spoken, maybe they have some credentials, and they are making appeals to science, they’re explaining things in a way that makes sense to you, that you can understand.

And so you can either try to vet these claims and you’re not really even sure how to go about that, or you can just take them at face value, try them out and see what happens. And so that, that is what some people, and I would say maybe even many people, That’s kind of the position that they’re in and they figure, well, what’s the harm?

I, you know, I don’t know if all this keto talk and weight loss and it sounds, it makes sense to me. It sounds science y. I’m just going to give it a go. And then next time it’s the supplement, uh, it’s the keto supplement or it’s the NMN supplement or, and next time it’s The Mike Menser style of training versus the opposite versus, uh, maybe a high volume low intensity and on and on and on.

What are your thoughts just about that phenomenon that, that kind of confused layman who doesn’t know, is it worth the effort to even try to vet this stuff? Or is it easier to just give it a go?

Layne: So there’s a lot to unpack there, and I’ve really done a lot of thinking about this sort of thing. And I think the first thing to keep in mind is that.

We all have our own personal biases and belief systems that we have come to have developed over the course of time. And, Whether we realize it or not, when we are intaking information, when, when something aligns with our personal experience and our personal, uh, kind of fits into that personal belief system or personal bias, our level of skepticism is very, very low.

If something is kind of contrary to our personal belief system, our personal bias, our level of skepticism is ridiculously high. And so what happens is we end up filtering things for what just kind of confirms what we wish to believe to be true. And this is very problematic for multiple different reasons.

Uh, one, because just what you said, like I tell people all the time, it’s like you just asked some basic questions and just had like a baseline level of skepticism for everything. I think I got very fortunate, I mean I would never tell people, I covered this area, I would never tell people that I don’t have my own personal biases, because of course I do, I’m a human being, like there’s no, there, anybody who says they don’t have bias is probably more pious than most people.

Mike: Because they’re just not aware of it, which is the worst place to be.

Layne: Right. And so, you know, but when, when, when I like a great example is this, um, this new protein paper, I’m sure you’ve heard about like the hundred grams of protein and, um, and how, you know, the, the clones around, you know, going into my analysis of that paper, like right away on the video, I said, listen, like, this is actually contrary to some of the data that I found.

Or seems to be contrary to some of the data I found and contrary to kind of like my personal bias towards protein distribution. So like, okay, I have a bias towards it, but here I’m being upfront and admitting that, right? That’s the first problem is we’re filtering things based on our own personal bias, and most of us don’t even realize we’re doing that.

The second problem is that. Like, Mike, if you and I are talking, if we’re talking about a subject, pretty soon, if, if one of us is more knowledgeable on the subject than the other, it’ll become clear to half of us who is more knowledgeable on that subject pretty quickly, right? We’re really bad at doing Is when two people are more knowledgeable than us on a subject and they disagree us determining who is more knowledgeable of the two.

We are very, very bad and ill equipped to do that. Another aspect of that is the credentialing. Like you said, people, I did a story series on this a while back where I’m like, listen, you just, you can’t switch your brain off ever. You can’t. And I think there’s a lot of people that are just like, well, I’m just wondering, man, like what kind of credentials to look for.

So I know who I can trust. And the reality is. Like, there are graded, there’s graded increasing levels, like, for example, if I see somebody just talking garbage online and they have no credentials, they have no whatever, it’s just something I strongly disagree with, I go, okay, well, They’re, you know, they don’t have any background in this.

Like they’re, they’re an idiot. Then you get like, okay, well, somebody is a personal trainer. Okay. Well, there’s, you know, you have to, depending on the specific certification you have to go through, you know, there is some required for that. Then it’s okay. Well, this person is a chiropractor or a naturopath.

Okay. Well, there’s a little more that goes into that, even though you could argue that a lot of it isn’t really relevant to what the claims are being made. Also. A lot of times naturopaths and chiropractors will just list DR without, you know, actually saying what they’re in, uh, which is why I don’t put Dr.

Lane Norton with no PhD on the back of it. I always put, like, I usually just put Lane Norton PhD in nutritional sciences so people know, uh, and then going up to physician, right? Like, okay, well, this person’s a doctor, we can trust them. Well, uh, no, not necessarily. I mean, do, if somebody is a physician, that means that they have gone through, you know, quite a bit of school.

It means that, you know, they’ve had to learn some information, at least memorize some information. But you know, a lot of times they’re speaking well outside of their area of expertise. And I think one of the things people don’t really realize is knowledge across disciplines doesn’t necessarily transfer.

In fact, quite often it doesn’t transfer. All you need to do is go and look up Nuremberg prize syndrome. Anybody can do this. Don’t look up Nuremberg prize syndrome, and you will find a laundry list. Of Nobel Prize winning scientists, some of the most brilliant minds in the world, who believed in absolute buffoonery in other areas of science.

Like, we’re talking helium crystals, eugenics, like the whole deal. And, and so, area of expertise matters, okay? So, for example, for nutrition, a lot of doctors have very, very little training on nutrition. Very little training. But then, even if you got a PhD, okay? What specific area is their PhD in? Somebody says, well, this is a a world renowned physicist.

Like, great, that’s physics. Like, we’re talking about a different subject. Like, I, I would hope that this person could apply some of their critical thinking and data interpretation to other areas of science, but I’ve just seen too many times that it just doesn’t cross, it just doesn’t cross across. And especially nutrition is very tricky because, you know, if, if I, I understand people, like I’m always like a little, I have when people ask what I do if I’m like out of the social event or something and I don’t know people because I’m like, if I tell them I have a PhD in nutrition, I’m probably either going to get blitz with questions or people are going to tell me what they already, you know, their opinion, and a lot of times I just have to kind of adopt the bobblehead if I don’t feel like being in the debate for two hours, you know.

Mike: Or if you want to put yourself in a, in a situation where you have to basically tell them everything that they believe is wrong.

Layne: Which they don’t want to hear. So.

Mike: My, my version of that is, uh, just, I, I usually just say I, I do health and fitness stuff. But I just, I just kind of leave it at that. Like, you know, I have some books and some things and that’s it. Anyway, let’s move on for this exact reason because I don’t want to get into an hour of Q& A or Or debate about things, like, I’m just, I’m just trying to sit here and have pleasant, uh, chit chat, okay?

Layne: Right. So, if I say, well, I’m a PhD in physics and my, you know, I work on string theory. I mean, they might ask me a few questions, but I doubt we’re going to have a debate about string theory. You know what I mean? But if I say I’m, you know, PhD in nutritional sciences, uh, we’re probably going to talk about food because everyone eats.

So everyone has formed some opinion of food based on their own personal experience, uh, whether they realize it or not. But then we even growing up to people, people say, okay, were you saying like, you know, PhD in this particular area, you can’t even necessarily trust that. Now I will tell you like, okay, if I see a PhD in my specific field, who’s making a claim that I don’t necessarily agree with, I’m going to give them a lot more leeway than I am some random Joe, right?

Like I’m going to really hear them out and see, okay, where are they coming from with this? Am I missing something? Like I am going to dig a little bit deeper before I’m like, okay, this person’s an idiot. Right. But I think one thing to keep in mind is people who are very, I hear one of the, one of the kind of themes I hear a lot as well.

This person’s so smart. They wouldn’t believe in. And I’m like, of course they would. Like, in fact, people who are smart are not less prone to cognitive dissonance. They’re actually more prone to it for that exact reason. Because they will justify to themselves based on their own intelligence that, well, I wouldn’t believe in bullshit.

Of course you would. You, you, you still have stupid monkey brain back there somewhere. That’s trying to keep you alive. And this stuff becomes, I think that kind of goes into the very tribal nature of a lot of this stuff, right? Where it’s, I would say like a person, if I sit down and speak to a person, one on one, usually that doesn’t devolve into mudslinging or, you know, craziness, but people in groups, the collective IQ just drops.

So much. I don’t know how to fix that. I think it’s a really innate human behavior. And I think it’s a survival mechanism. That’s a leftover remnant from eons ago, where you, we really, it really was like, okay, our tribe versus that tribe. And I mean, even the demonization, I was watching a, uh, a world war II, but you see like the dehumanization of both sides, but you also understand Why they kind of had to do it because if you’re in a war and you’re thinking that person across from me is another human being with a family and feelings, and they’re just doing what they think is right, like the mental toll that is going to take on you to cure those people very like who can recover from that, right?

You have to believe that that’s it. That’s not, that’s the lowest form of humanity, if not inhuman, right? And that’s why they would, um, Call the them by derogatory names and they would. You know, talk about, you know, them as a collective day, you know.

Mike: And create, create a lot of propaganda about how evil they are and all of the evil things that they’re doing.

And both sides were doing evil things, but you have to invent and exaggerate and it needs to take on mythic proportions like this is evil personified.

Layne: Right? And which is why, like now you see, I mean, not to go too far to the, to the other side, but. There’s so much, uh, PTSD around this stuff because there’s so much information available.

I think most people know, like, if they go to war, even if they feel like what they’re doing is justified, that, like, if you kill someone, you’re killing another human being. And they may are probably not evil. They probably think they’re doing the right thing as well. So, you know, all about to say, I think a lot of this is a survival mechanism remnant left over to just become very tribal about stuff.

And you see it with low carb. You see it with plant based. You see it with fasting. Like all these groups just get into it with each other. You know, and the other thing I want to point out is again, like credentialing again, it should just increase our confidence, but you can’t turn your brain off. You really have to listen to the claim and I’ll, I’ll, I’ll get into who to trust, but I’ll never forget something.

A friend of mine said who was a 12 year Navy SEAL sniper veteran. And this guy is, uh, Jocko has actually talked about this guy in his podcast as a, Basically one of the baddest dudes he ever knew. Um, it’s funny too, because if you met him, he’s just, he’s like super laid back, like some kind of like California surfer dude, but he was talking about this story and he was referring to another Navy SEAL and he’s like, yeah, that’s that shit bag, you know, X, Y, Z.

And I was like, What do you, what do you mean? He’s like, Oh, dude was lazy. He’s, he sucked. And I’m like, wait, how did he get in the seals? And I’ll never forget what he said. He’s like, dude, some turds just won’t flush. And I’ll never forget that. But like, I’ll tell people like, cause well, this person’s got a PhD.

Well, this person’s a physician. Well, I’m like, well, somebody had to be last in their class. I don’t know. You know, that’s not always the case. Cause there, again, there are really, really smart people. So what I tell people is like, try to focus less on what the person is saying and more on how they are conveying their message.

And what I mean by that is. You know, real experts, typically, if you ask them a question, may ask you several questions back to get appropriate context to things, they are going to add layers of nuance. It’s probably not going to be a black and white answer. They rarely are going to say best, worst, never, always.

superlatives like that. And a lot of times they’re going to give you the devil’s advocate argument. They’re going to say, you know, this thing, but then there’s this thing over here. I think that’s very important. I really, I, I try to do that with my content in terms of, okay, maybe I’ll debunk something, but I still might go, well, if you did this, you might’ve seen results and this is why, you know, because I think it’s important to just like give both sides of it.

One of my favorite quotes is, you know, there are no solutions. There are only trade offs. And I think things to look for people who add nuance. Who, you know, do a devil’s advocate argument who they’re not a hammer and everything’s a nail, like, you know, like I tell people, like, do you really believe there’s one diet that’s best for everything?

Like, I think, you know, we know what overall healthy lifestyle looks like. And that is, you know, um, there’s a few different iterations of that. But it’s, you know, all similar stuff. But a great example of this, I was looking at a paper on, uh, Parkinson’s disease, right? Do you know what one of the most powerful, um, lifestyle factors to reduce your risk of Parkinson’s is?

Smoking and drinking alcohol. Reduce the risk of Parkinson’s by like 40%. But should we smoke and drink alcohol? No, because we know like overall, Those things are, but like, maybe there’s something to that with that disease specifically. So I hold open the idea that like the best diet for cardiovascular disease might not be the best diet for cognition and cognitive impairment or Parkinson’s.

I also hold open that they may not be the best diet for cancer prevention or specific types of cancer. And I think that, you know, when you look at some of these tribes, you know, whether it’s low carb plant based, like you look at some of these documentaries, like, um, what the health or. You know, it’s, this is the solution for literally everything.

If you look across just any problem in the history of mankind, very rarely is there like one solution for like a whole series of problems. So I, I really try to get people to approach it from, from that perspective, but unfortunately, like that sort of information does not spread as quickly as the very viral, quick content.

I tell people like it’s, it’s tough because what you’re looking for is you’re actually looking for people who sound kind of unsure. Like that, that is the great kind of juxtaposition is a real experts will end up sounding unsure. And we’ll also tell you when, like, they’re out, like I was, um, uh, somebody who’s interviewing me the other day, we got talking about like pain management, whatever, and like, I’ve done a lot of reading on this, uh, for my own personal stuff, but first thing I said, I was like, listen, I’m not a pain expert.

Here’s my understanding of things, you know, like that sort of thing. So I’m like, immediately I’m saying like, Hey, I’m not an expert on this. But I’ll, I’ll talk about it cause I feel relatively comfortable talking about it. But then there’ll be other things where people ask me stuff and I go, nah, it’s not, I literally have no idea, you know, and, um, I just think that’s really tough for people to navigate the, the complications of social media.

And then as far as like, you were saying, like, do they vet this information themselves? It’s like, how, right? So for example, a lot of things I’ll get is, well, I read this book and it had a lot of citations. I’m like, okay, did you, did you look up the citations? Well, but, but like, who’s got time for that, right?

Like we’re all really busy people. And, um, I’ll tell people like, you know, on our website, what we have, like literally we make it as easy as possible. When I write a blog post. Or a big kind of like breakdown of stuff. All our citations are clickable. You can just one click boom and you can go to the citation.

Right. So we, we leave it out there for everybody.

Mike: I I’ve done the same since the beginning link to the claim. So, and if anybody wants to, to spot check me, there it is.

Layne: Yeah. And, and. Um, we know that less than 1 percent of readers will click a single citation. And, um, just to kind of wrap a bone on this, you know, it is like citing something like this is where like people put on the veil of science without being science based.

Like it’s actually like the most unscience based thing. Cause I’ll, I read some of these citations, and I’m like, you don’t even read the abstract. You looked at the, I’ll never forget, like somebody posted, um, this study showed that intermittent fasting was better than regular dieting. So in the title is intermittent dieting.

Um, I forget the exact title, but it was the Matador study on diet breaks from 2019. So they called it intermittent dieting. So this person just took the headline, didn’t bother to read that this was not intermittent fasting. They were referring to like using diet breaks as intermittent dieting, but then they’re like, there it out, there it goes out to a hundred thousand people.

Right. So I did a post actually yesterday as the recording of this video, uh, yesterday did a video where I was like, I was actually, it started as a joke between myself and my friend, uh, Dr. Joseph Zundel, who’s a cancer biologist. We were joking around and I had said, you know, I bet I could, I bet I could like use the influencer template of science based to get people to believe that eating shit was healthy.

Mike: Absolutely. There are, can’t you already get your shit turned into pills that you then swallow?

Layne: Probably. So I, um, I was like, you know, I’m actually going to try this. So I looked up, you know, what are some of the components of fecal matter? And one of the most prevalent components of, in terms of volatile fatty acids is butyrate.

Well, butyrate has been shown in human studies to improve insulin sensitivity. Um, it’s been shown to reduce, uh, reduce body fat to improve body composition. To improve metabolic health. And so I’m like, I’m giving all these citations about why you should eat your, you know, your own poop. And I get to the end, I’m like, okay, here’s what I didn’t tell you.

The human study I cited was in human cells. It wasn’t in humans, like actual people. Most of the studies were in rats. And the amount of poop that you would need to consume to get these benefits is about 50 to a hundred pounds a day. Okay. So, but you can literally, you can do that argument to. Like fear monger, like either prop up a food as a super food or fear monger.

Any food, like I can literally take any food and find an ingredient in it or a a chemical compound. You can see in animal studies or in vitro studies or high dose studies of that isolated compound. Causing negative health effects, but food isn’t like one compound. It’s thousands of compounds. And so I’m like, you know, a lot of this stuff is, you know, kind of the model is find this specific compound to scare people with, then throw in some personal, throw in some anecdote from people.

And then maybe you can even find like some correlation data to support whatever it is you want to say. And you completely omit the actual studies to look directly at the thing you’re talking about. So, uh, a great example of this, and I, I pick on him a lot. Um, at least he’s agreed to debate me, which is, I, I give him props for that is Paul Saldino. Talking about why broccoli is bullshit. And his, his reasoning was.

Mike: Is that going to be in the debate? Why, why vegetables are, uh,

Layne: we agreed to debate on C doors, but I would like to debate vegetables as well, but he, you know, his, well, you know, broccoli contains isocyanathanates and isocyanathanates can bind to iodine.

And that means there’s less iodine for your thyroid. It’s going to, you know, cause you to, you know, impair your thyroid. That’s going to lower your metabolic rate and cause weight gain. Um, And I’m like, okay, so if this, then this, if this, then this, if this, then this, when I was a young biochemist, I used to do this all the time.

And then I read enough studies where they actually measure the thing we’re worried about. And it doesn’t matter because what you realize is the human body is extremely redundant and knows how to find homeostasis in most cases. And so what I’ll always say is like, Hey, it’s fine to theorize this stuff.

But like, what if we actually have studies that directly look at this, right? So we have studies that directly look at. Cruciferous vegetable intake and thyroid function and show no effect. And what about weight gain or metabolic rate? You know what they’re basically doing, what they do is it’s like, um, you know, I’m sure you’re like a financially savvy guy.

So when it like a lot of, you know, what we invest in is like mutual funds and whatnot, right? Like, so you’re, you’re, you’re basically being diversified by. By proxy, right? Uh, because a mutual fund is a bunch of little individual stocks all wrapped up into one fund that you can purchase. So if I went to you and was like, Mike, oh man, don’t, don’t purchase this mutual fund.

Look at these two stocks that are down by 50% this year, but I completely don’t tell you that the overall mutual fund is up 20%. Um, what do you care about more? Do you care about the couple of stocks that are down, or do you care about the fact that it’s chilling? It overall, you care about the fact that it’s killing it overall.

And so I realized I just had a very long-winded explanation to your first question, but. Um, but it’s just, you know, I feel bad for people, honestly, like, who don’t have a background in this and who don’t have the wherewithal to read research. It’s a, it’s a very tough, uh, landscape to navigate.

Mike: And just to, to follow up on the, uh, some, some of these things that you mentioned.

That are these red flags that is the formula just just I want to I want to point it up which is it’s often using mechanistic research it’s using animal research it’s using in vitro research to create a hypothesis nothing wrong with that so far but then it’s not presenting it as a hypothesis that has either yet to be explored further or has already been explored and research.

Disprove it and and so this point that and this is something that you are often from the videos I’ve seen telling people which I think is a good message is let’s look at human trials with healthy people and let’s see What happened? I want to follow up and ask about seed oils just because it’s, it’s such a controversial topic and it’s a good example of exactly this that you’re explaining, but okay, that’s great.

We have some animal research. We have some mechanistic data. We have some in vitro data that suggests maybe this thing is true. But is it true? Well, let’s look to human trials, well designed, well executed, with healthy people, and let’s see, does it pan out or not? And as you said, and, and I think Seattle is a great example, and then I’ll, I’ll give the mic back to you.

If in the end, in those human trials, if we’re not seeing this hypothesis manifest, it’s time to move on. It’s just time to move on.

Layne: You know, I say this all the time. I’m like, Hey, like these studies are difficult to find, you know, like, so there’s one of two possibilities here. Either this person making this claim.

Is completely unaware of these studies, or they are aware of them and they’re just purposely avoiding them because it doesn’t fit their narrative, you know?

Mike: And, and it also, maybe it’s making them money. Cause let’s, let’s remember that, that most people are just mostly motivated by money. That’s, that’s the baseline.

You might say I’m cynical. I stand by that as just a, an unfortunate reality of human nature. And so. If someone’s entire brand, it’s, there’s maybe an identity factor, but there’s a brand there that makes a lot of money. If it is entirely dependent upon this ideological view, they’re never going to change it.

They never will, no matter how much, how much data they’re given or facts, it will not matter.

Layne: We agree. Uh, I might just shift the emphasis of where I agree, which I, money absolutely matters, and you mentioned it like, but I think actually identity matters more, and the reason I’ll say that is you have people who get crazy , passionate about like politics who make 0 from politics, right?

Um, because they don’t get identity out of it. Um, and this is the same thing with nutrition. Like there’s a reason, like, uh, you know, I was kind of one of the, I, hopefully I don’t feel arrogant saying this, but like popularized, like the concept of flexible dieting, you don’t see flexible dieting anywhere in my bio.

Like, that’s not the first thing I want people to, like, I don’t want to tie myself to that, you know? Okay. Like I’m not a macro coach. I’m not a, like, I don’t want to make that my identity because then one, I’m creating an echo chamber and two, I’m a hammer and everything’s a nail. You know, and I, I got this way for a little while when I first started doing it.

I’m like, Oh, you know, cause flexible dieting for me, you know, I grew up in the era where it was eat clean, you know, here’s these 12 foods that you stick to for bodybuilding. And, you know, I found that I would stick to that for one, two weeks and then I would You know, blow out on pizza or ice cream or whatever it was.

And like, it was really hampering my progress. It was like mentally very like, just, you know, felt like crap. And I finally was like, well, you know, what if I just. Had like some of this stuff, but just tracked it and moderated it. And it got me compliant. It felt easy because I could still have the foods I wanted.

And I actually, honestly, I ended up being less junk food, uh, doing it that way compared to like, just trying to like force myself into like really, really restrictive diet. Um, so it was easy for me and I just assumed, Oh, it’ll be easy for everybody. And then come to find out like, no, not everybody’s like me.

Like I have a different psychological makeup than a lot of people that, that clicked for me. But it’s not necessarily going to click for other people. Some people tracking is like very, like very, very restrictive feeling. Uh, and they do better with something like intermittent fasting or like low carb or low fat or whatever it is.

Right. Um, and I’ve, I’ve really come to the, the place of like, listen, I’ll tell you what I do. You know, I don’t have a problem with anybody who wants to do anything for them. Like I really like do what you want, but just don’t assume that that’s going to be what works for everybody. Cause that’s not how, not.

And people don’t hear that they think it’s like a physiology difference. It’s not really a physiology difference. It’s just whatever trips that compliance algorithm for nutrition, right?

Mike: And it also helps if you understand why it works. If you’re going to go on the the keto diet and to not misunderstand why thereafter, maybe you have some success losing weight.

Layne: Yeah, and like there is some great evidence based ketogenic people. There’s some great evidence based intermittent fasting people, you know, like Uh, Don D’Agostino is a great evidence based keto person. Like, you know, Don will be the first to tell you, uh, calories matter. He likes, you know, keto for like a few different therapeutic benefits and whatnot, and just enjoys that way of eating, but he’s never going to be like, yeah, vegetables are bad for you and don’t do the, like, you know, like he understands like why it’s working, you know?

And same thing with, I said, there’s some good intermittent fasting people. I can’t think of anybody right off the top of my head, but I’m sure they exist. Riley. Who are like, Hey, like, this just, you know, this felt easy for me, um, by restricting my food window, I didn’t feel deprived and like it works for me, you know, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But like when I, I think what happens is people find something that works for them or felt easy for them. They make the improper conclusion that this will be the same for everybody. And then they also want to feel righteous. They want to feel like what they’re doing is the best thing possible. And so then they go, you know, to Google or whatever.

Why is the real carb diet the best diet? Well, it increases fat oxidation. It does XYZ, right?

Mike: Now, now you have BARD. It just gives you the quick summary. You’re like, all right, cool. Got it.

Layne: This is confirmation bias, right? Like you can, you can do this.

Mike: The AI, the AI said it. I mean, come on.

Layne: Right, right. By the way, it finds out like the way you frame the question to AI very drastically influences the answer.

Mike: And the data that it’s trained on is actually what it’s spitting back to you. It’s not, it’s not tapping into, uh, the, the consciousness of the universe that, that knows everything.

Layne: Right. So, you know, I think like confirmation bias is a real thing. And then on the other side of that, you have selection bias, which like I experienced that, which is people would come to me.

Who weren’t, they’d heard the spiel about flexible dieting. They were already sold on it, right? Or they’d already been trying it. It had been working for them. And so they come to me telling me how great it is, right? Well, if somebody, for the most part, people who weren’t having success with it, they weren’t coming to me for coaching or they weren’t coming to me telling me like that they didn’t have success with it.

And you see this with the echo chambers of keto, fasting, carnivore. Of, of plant based, you know, except they go a step further where they create this community. That’s very like, they’re showing all the things that people are having success with, but if you’re not having success with it, you’re doing it wrong.

You’re cheating. And these people kind of get bullied, you know, if they’re not having, if they’re not having the same results. And so what happens is people go, well, look at all these, you know, people who are having great results. And it’s like, yeah, but you’re not seeing the people who are having great results because they don’t want to say anything.

You know, like they’re afraid of saying something.

Mike: Survivorship bias. I mean, you’re, you’re seeing all the survivors and all the people who got shot down their planes, you don’t get to see those ones.

Layne: This is kind of a great, uh, example. Like there was a, I forget who had the quote, uh, but it was, uh, he was a coach for Olympic athletes, Olympic track and field athletes, I believe.

And he actually called out, he said, you know, I’m gonna butcher the quote, so I apologize, and I can’t remember who said it, so I’m also gonna apologize for that. But, the essence of the quote was, he hated that all these coaches were like, Well, look at all my star athletes. And he’s like, what bad coaching does is ensures that the only people who survive it are the genetic elites.

And so if you just, you know, I saw this with coaching in, in, in physique sports, you know, like the biggest teams were the, by far the worst coaches. And we’ll just put people on these horrific diets and exercise programs. But then they would go, we’re looking at these 50 amazing clients. And it’s like, yeah, but you had 5, 000 that went through that.

And most of them like ended up parking, you know, but sure. These 50, like these 50, the genetic elites, they’re going to get results no matter what they did. It wasn’t because you had some magical formula, you know? And so I think. You know, people have really hard time separating that. And quite frankly, personal anecdote is much stronger than data because it pulls on our emotions as well.

That’s a, that’s another big component to it. And you can even bring in like the, the other emotional side of it, which is the, the, all these groups, they all use like the brood conspiracy. Like they don’t want you to know about this and they are trying to make you sick. And I’m like, Guys, listen, I’m not a fan of the government.

Like, I think government could screw up a wet dream, but I, I really have a, I don’t think they’re, like, purposefully trying to make us sick. I, like, the government’s just made up of people, you know, they’re, Dumb idiots like the rest of us in many ways. They have their own personal biases and agendas. And I think that much like many of us, they have a difficult time identifying the right answer from the wrong answer and experts from charlatans.

Like that is, as long as the one thing that’s like when people. You know, two years ago when I was kind of talking about all this bad coaching in the fitness industry, people were coming in like, we do it to government to regulate this. And I was like, Oh, be careful what you’re, which for like, because now you’re trusting that they know who an expert is and like, I don’t trust that they’re going to be able to figure that out because I mean, like I’m a PhD in nutrition.

What if they, what if they tomorrow go, well, if you’re not already, you can’t give any nutrition advice. Well, I’m not already, but I feel like very qualified to give nutrition advice. So.

Mike: Especially when nutrition advice could be, Uh, hey, uh, you might wanna like, Eat some, some lean protein, And some vegetables, and some fruit, and seeds, And legumes, and grains, like, Technically that’s nutrition advice.

Layne: Well, and like, honestly, like, again, I, I, I, when I get the chance to pick on the government, I like doing it, because I’m not a big fan, but, um, you know, this whole, well, they told us to eat the food guide pyramid, that’s what made everybody sick, I’m like, talk about cherry picking, okay, so the food guide pyramid said, uh, minimize added oranges and sugars, lots of fruits and vegetables, Like what people get focused on is the, you know, 6 to 11 servings a day of cereal grains, um, and starches, right?

And, uh, you know that, well, you know, meat and dairy were kind of in the middle. And they also said exercise. They also said, uh, control your calories and your portion sizes. So you’re all blaming the government because people literally listened to one aspect of that, which was.

Mike: They looked at all of it and they saw pasta, like, that, that looks good.

Heh heh heh heh. I’m doing, I’m doing that.

Layne: By the way, they weren’t eating pasta with like, just dried whole wheat pasta, like dumping oil on it and stuff. Like, come on guys, like, you know, it’s all like the food guide pyramid made us sick. It’s like, no, we made us sick. Because we didn’t, like, this is just, I think these, the government conspiracy stuff, or the food industry conspiracy stuff, Feels nice to people’s egos because it allows us to abdicate our own personal responsibility for what’s happened, right?

Because, well, there isn’t your fault. It’s these evil food companies. Listen, do I think food companies lobbied to get with it? Of course they did. Like that’s, you know, that’s the system that’s set up.

Mike: I posted on X just, um, I think yesterday, the day before a study that looked into this and it was like 95 percent of the people involved in creating these governmental nutritional guidelines had conflicts of interest.

So it’s not just not to say that they were all full of shit, but it’s just something to be aware of that regulatory capture is a real thing and this comes back to money. Many, many people are for sale. There is, there is an amount of money, especially. If they are, uh, facing financial pressures or problems, then, then there, there is a number that can, uh, can get them to look the other way or say something that they don’t really believe in, or they know is not exactly true and so forth.

Layne: Yeah. I mean, I, and, but I think like what I go back to is like, okay, if people actually had followed like the thermal food guide pyramid government recommendations. Patience. We wouldn’t be in this situation because they wouldn’t be eating too many calories, they’d be exercising more than

Mike: Just start there, controlling calories.

If that was the only advice and people actually did it, we would be in a much better place if it was literally just eat whatever you want, just control your calories. Here’s how you do that. Is that optimal? No, but can we just do that? We would, we would not have many of the health care problems that we have.

Layne: Big rocks. Like I say, we’re worried about picking up the big rocks before you worry about picking up the pebbles, you know? No. And I, I think that, you know, unfortunately. You know, I thought a lot about this, like, why is this whole idea of calories in calories out so unpalatable to people? It’s because you are innately aware that there is personal responsibility tied to that.

Mike: It’s, it’s the thing that you least want to hear. I mean, I think to paraphrase, Carl Jung had said something like this, that the solutions To the biggest problems in your life are going to be in the places that you least want to look again, paraphrasing probably the exact right. But, but that concept I think is true.

Layne: Yeah. I mean, I, I, one of the things I, I, when we talk about like the obesity crisis, I used to be very much on the side of like, if you’re obese, um, it’s because you’re lazy and all this kind of stuff. And, uh, very like, I think young, naive sort of black and white thinking lane was there. And then the more I worked with people, the more I realized, like, this isn’t like, it’s not like every single meal they’re sitting down making the conscious decision, like, Oh, I know that this food is bad for me.

I’m eating it anyway, because I want it. No, it’s, this stuff is so tied up in with, you know, your upbringing, your environment, your behaviors. So much of what we do is on autopilot, you know? And so I don’t think obesity is necessarily. The fault of the individual, but regardless of whose fault it is, it is going to be the responsibility of the individual to make different choices.

And I think, you know, I know he’s not popular right now, but Will Smith had a great quote, which was, you know, people try to tie fault and responsibility together. Whoever’s fault it is, we want them to fix it. The reality is the only person who can fix our problems is us, uh, as individuals. And, you know, when you talk to, whenever I’ve talked to people who were, you know, really overweight or obese who lost a lot of weight, you know, Ethan Suplee comes to mind, or people who were like addicts, um, you know, my brother was, it was an addict for a while.

I’ll never forget what he actually said. Cause I asked him, like, he went to jail for a while. Like, I was like, what was your rock bottom? Was that, was that it? And he said, no, I just woke up one day and I just realized I lose everything. I get a job and I lose it. I get a relationship and I lose it. I get, you know, some money and I lose it.

He’s like, I just got sick and tired of losing. And you almost without fail with people who make major changes in their life, you hear some version of that. Like they just say, I just got so fed up and sick about it. That I just, you know, I decided that they’re like no more. And I think, unfortunately, a lot of the rhetoric of, you know, it’s, it’s not your fault.

It’s the evil food industry. It’s the government. It softens that enough that we, we don’t have to look as inward as we might as to our role in what we can do. Because the reality is, like, you can’t rule or control the government other than your one vote that you can cast. You’re not going to control the food industry.

Well, what can you control? You can control you, and that’s about it, right? And even the food company stuff, I’m like, guys, okay, if I run a food company, it is a for profit venture. I have to make money. I have to make money for my shareholders. I have to make money for So I can feed my, so I can have my employees and all that kind of stuff.

So if I tell, I’m telling you if people tomorrow still have like, we’re not buying potato chips and we’re not buying this, we’re not buying that. And we’re going to buy everything. Guess, guess what would happen? Food companies would trip over themselves to provide healthy food options to give to you. It’s the same reason that all you see on the news is bad news.

People are like, why don’t they show positive news? Because people don’t watch it. If people, again, they stood up tomorrow and they were like, you know what? We’re not having this whole, like, fear mongering news stuff. Like, we’re not gonna watch it unless they put out some positive stories, too. The news stations would have to change because they would go broke.

Well, they’re already going broke, but that’s another story.

Mike: And that would be, that would be true. Even if there were some ulterior motive, if there were some agenda to want to sow fear, which, which you can make a, I think, a strong argument that that’s part of the issue. But, but if there’s no demand for it, eventually It all comes to a head.

Layne: A great example of this is sports teams in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Racism was still very much a real thing. And I’m sure still very much a real thing for some owners or management people. You know, it gets to the point, you know, in the 50s and 60s, like, okay, you’re not willing to have Black players and Latino players on your teams?

Good luck being competitive, right? And sir, what had to happen was Well Guess what people are caring more about than, uh, their own personal biases and stuff? Money. About making money, right? So, like, it’s not like these food companies sat down like, Ah, how do we, how do we make people fat? How do we make them sick?

No, they were like, How do we get people to buy more of our stuff? And it was by making food tastier and more palatable. So, You know, it, it, it’s, I, they’re just trying to sell me all their stuff, quite frankly.

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Layne: You talked to me about scene duals earlier, and I do want to cover that real quickly. So, this is a very popular thing right now, and very, um, Man, you want to talk about people who get very passionate about something.

Mike: And I think it’s a great example of everything you’ve been discussing. That’s why I wanted to come back to it in particular.

Layne: Looking at a lot of comments on this video from this. Um, you know, so the, the, the narrative around seed oils is, well, look at the increase in oil consumption. Seed oils are basically polyunsaturated fats, uh, plant based oils. Look at the increase in, in the consumption and look at the increase in rate of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Look at these in vitro studies, these animal studies. Look at how this stuff is made. It’s made the same way as motor oil. And I go, and I kind of look at it and I go, I don’t care about any of that. Okay, let’s look at the randomized control trials, where they give this stuff to people. If what you’re saying is true, if this is going to increase inflammation, it’s going to give people heart attacks, it’s going to make them obese.

We should see this in the human studies and in overfeeding studies, you do see some of this, like you, if you add real on top of a diet, people will get fatter and sicker because they’re having energy toxicity. But the real question is like, if we compare apples to apples, we have to do what’s called substitution studies.

We have to substitute it because if people are eating more of one thing, we have to feed them less of another. To see if it, is it just, is it that particular food component or is it they’re just eating too much and that’s making them sick. And so if you look at across the board, uh, inflammation. Risk of cardiovascular disease.

You look at metabolic health, uh, liver fat. If you substitute polyunsaturated fats in place of saturated fat, you either have neutral or positive effects on all of those in the human randomized control trials. Now, again, like, uh, Paul Saldino did like a rebuttal.

Mike: Which is, which is that that’s blasphemous, that statement, according to some people.

Layne: Right, right, right. And then they’ll go, Look at this and I go, Oh, that’s epidemiology. It’s not, you can’t draw conclusions from that. And then they’ll go, Whoa, look at how it’s made. I’m like, I don’t care. Don’t care. Literally don’t care how it’s made. My question, I don’t care if it’s, if it, if it comes out of the elephant’s butt, you know, I just don’t care.

Like, the question is, does it have negative or positive consequences on health? You know, Paul Saldino, he, he sent a study. He’s like, well, look at this showing, you know, substitution of seed oils for saturated fat increased lipid peroxidation. I’m like, okay, all right, maybe, what do we see in the downstream effects?

Like what is the actual outcome effect on metabolic health? Uh, obesity and these other either nutrient positive.

Mike: Again, that’s a good example of focusing on a mechanistic detail and then drawing conclusions from that without following up on those conclusions.

Layne: So a great, a great way to look at it is everything you eat likely has positive and negative mechanistic effects and biochemical effects.

The question is not whether or not they have some negative effects or positive effects. The question is, what is the overall summation of those in terms of the outcomes? I mean, I can do the opposite thing, right, like we kind of did this earlier with eating poop. Like, let’s take a food that everybody would consider bad for you.

McDonald’s french fries. Well, McDonald’s french fries contain TVHQ. And TVHQ is an antioxidant that’s actually been shown to improve body composition, extend lifespan, and, uh, reduce the incidence of cancer.

Mike: There’s, there’s, there’s a clip. See? Lane says eat, eat as much McDonald’s french fries as you can actually stomach.

Layne: So I can make that argument, but the problem is I’m overlooking the huge amount of data showing that people who eat more french fries are more metabolically unhealthy because they overconsume calories and whatnot. You can literally use this template to make any argument you want. And so the question is, if we’re looking at the direct evidence, the direct evidence just doesn’t support that.

Now, I don’t want to say seed oils are innocuous, because they are the largest source of added calories in the last, like, 50 years. So, you know, most people aren’t going, well, you know, I added like, you know, two tablespoons of oil on my salad. So I’m going to not have peanut butter, or I’m going to not have that candy bar, or I’m going to, you know, not have that steak.

No, they’re just adding it on top of their normal dietary intake. And so, yeah, that is a problem.

Mike: And, and for the average person, uh, a high seed oil or refined oil diet just means a diet full of highly processed foods. That’s really what it means. They’re not eating, they’re not eating salads.

Layne: That’s also correct.

That’s the other thing I’m like, okay. It really seems like it’s like people are just adding too much olive oil, or sorry, not olive oil, but canola oil. No, they’re eating like a bunch of, you know, Refined garbage that has this stuff in it, you know, but also has a bunch of other stuff as well, and highly calorically dense and hyperpalatable.

And so I just, I think people have a real, real hard time holding two seemingly opposing ideas in both hands simultaneously, which is foods can have positive and negative effects. Saturated fat. Right. Let’s take saturated fat, you know, saturated fat. There is some evidence that can raise testosterone.

That’s great. That’s a benefit. But then there’s also some other, there’s some negatives like raises the risk, raises LDL. You know, um, at a one to one ratio, people talk about fructose on its effects on liver fat in a straight up head to head match of an overfeeding study of fructose or saturated fat where they accrued calories.

Uh, overfeeding saturated fat increased liver fat 70 percent more than fructose did. And by the way, fructose overfeeding liver fat in most studies shows no, like, no difference to glucose overfeeding. So, you know, again, it’s, it’s one of those things of, we need to, I think mechanisms are sexy and it’s important that we understand mechanisms so that when we see an outcome, we can have an understanding of why we are seeing that outcome.

That’s important. I don’t like when I see outcome data, like you see this with a lot of like supplement data, like some of these supplements, like, well, we gave it to people and they got stronger and more muscle. And I’m like, but how, like, you know, like how, like what, uh, yeah. I’m like, sorry, if there was outcome data, but no proposed mechanism, then I kind of get a little bit, you know, sketched out by it, we can’t just rely on mechanistic data, especially.

When there’s always mechanisms that act in opposition, we have to look at the outcome data. I mean, one more great example of this is aspirin. People don’t realize aspirin is an anti, we know aspirin is an anticoagulant. We know that. Like, it’s one of the reasons we tell people take a baby aspirin, like if they have, if they, you know, are prone to heart disease, that sort of thing.

But aspirin has actually some pro coagulating effects. We know that as well, like it activates some procoagulation mechanisms. If we look at the overall effect, it’s an anticoagulant. So again, we have to understand that it can be, both things can be true for various foods, and we need to understand that overall healthy lifestyle and diet is not just one thing.

It is a group of things that mostly boil down to. Don’t eat too much overall, eat mostly unprocessed foods, mostly because they’re just higher in fiber, more satiating, and it’s hard to overeat them. Um, and whatever that looks like, you see pretty well across the board, whether it’s plant based or whether it’s Mediterranean.

Or whether it’s even like, you know, an animal based diet where they’re still getting, you know, like a, or like a low carb diet that’s still like relatively low in saturated fat and gets enough, you know, vegetables in like all those can still be healthy, very similar like levels of outcomes. So I think people just have a really, really, really hard time dealing with like that level of nuance.

Mike: In the, in, um, the, the case of seed oils, one, one final question on that.

So you have this, this. Human evidence, controlled trials, and here are the, here are the results. What’s the response to that? You have this debate coming up. I’m assuming you’re going to be relying heavily on trials like those. What is the counter argument? Even, what’s the best counter argument? Even if it’s not a great one, but how does that discussion go from that to, yeah, but you still shouldn’t eat seed oils.

Layne: A lot of times there’s kind of, um, the natural ones are like appealing to conspiracy theory or like almost always what happens is, well, we’ve got to check to see who funded those studies. And.

Mike: Yeah, or, or maybe finding a little deficiency, like, yeah, sure. I mean, not that, that, that the study is not perfect.

The authors, even they even acknowledge that there are some disadvantages that they, you know, to, to this research or whatever, but taking that and saying, Oh, there you can throw it all away now.

Layne: Yeah, so that’s, that’s the next step is they’ll try to like kind of just say, well, you know, we can’t trust any science because some studies have been shown to be fabricated and whatnot, like, no, we’re not, we’re not doing that because you came into this citing study, so we’re not doing that.

So either here, here’s the deal. Either we’re including all studies, unless you have some that have been specifically retracted, or we’re not including any whatsoever. And we’re relying on anecdote, which I can find just as many anecdotes to an opposite style diet. As what you are saying. So like where do we go from here?

And then they usually will try to like shift the goalpost. And an example of this is they all acknowledge they’ll, they’ll cite some randomized controlled trials, but it’ll be like we’re saturated. Like let’s say saturated fat we’re saturated fat was not any worse than polyunsaturated fats we’re, polyunsaturated fats we’re better than saturated fats.

I’m like, ah, see. It’s not, you know, I’m like, no, but, but, no, no, no, that’s not what you said, that, like, you’re moving the goalposts to, these things are bad, to now, because I said, like, neutral or positive, I didn’t just say positive, right? So, usually there’s all the goalposts shifting, and, and once you’ve, like, painted them into kind of that, like, logical box, that’s where the whole, This, this happened, um, recently with not seed oils, but um, uh, my video about broccoli and like my response video to Paul Soto’s videos saying, broccoli is, is bullshit.

Um, he came back and said, well, here are, so the first thing he said was, well, in my short form content, and like, okay, here we go. Here come the excuses about why, like, there wasn’t enough nuance. I don’t think we really need human randomized control trials because in my, you know, my clinical experience, I’ve seen XYZ and like all these comments on Instagram are popping up.

Right. And I’m like, well, first off, I didn’t know Instagram comments were a clinic, but okay. Uh, second off the, again, we talk about selection bias, right. Or like confirmation bias, like, okay. So eliminating broccoli for some people, their GI feels better. There’s probably a very easy explanation for that, which is, Uh, they have IBS symptoms or, um, they overproduce gas in response to FODMAP sensitivities or like that.

And so our carnivore diet is basically an elimination diet, right? Where, uh, a lot of people acutely their symptoms will resolve and they feel better. That doesn’t mean that like those things are BS any more than it means that like somebody has a food allergy to a certain thing. That that thing is BS for everyone.

And then we got to the end and it was saying, Well, you know, I’ve always said, like, if you’re thriving on what you’re doing, You know, keep doing it. I’m like, no, but that’s not what you said. Oh, that’s not what you said. What you said was, This is going to do this. It’s going to lead to this. It’s going to cause you to gain weight.

And this is why it’s bullshit. That’s what you said. Okay, you can blame it on the algorithm being 90 seconds or whatever it is, Or Reutals being 90 seconds. But like, Then just do a better job or do a series, you know, that’s kind of how the thing shifts around where it’s, it’s, you know, it kind of goes from the kind of oscillate between conspiracy or trying to discredit the research or, you know, um, and even in that same video, he said, we don’t need human randomized control, but then he started the study in pigs and I’m like, okay, so we said we are citing research or we aren’t citing research, like, which, which, which, where are we going with this?

You know? Yeah. So I think, um, it’s just, it’s really hard, I think that level of intellectual dishonesty is really hard to deal with because there’s no winning.

Mike: You’re dealing with malevolence, not incompetence. And I think that that trite saying should actually be probably switched around is, never assume incompetence where malevolence will do.

Layne: You know, I mean, I think I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I do think a lot of this is just, it’s not even malevolence. I think people are so strongly tied to those beliefs that they just, they’re not, they, they literally, because their identity is tied up in this, they cannot accept that information.

And that’s why it has to go eventually to, Well, let’s just discredit also, like when I bring this up, like usually people will be like, well, we can just discard, disregard whatever science says, because they gave us the vaccine or they like, you know, they’re all like balls down to that, you know, like just

Mike: Or, or many other controversies, which are perfectly valid.

And I mean, I, I, I acknowledge that. I think that Blindly accepting science with it with capital S doesn’t exactly make sense either. I think you’ve said many times you can’t just turn your brain off, but that doesn’t mean that that science is bullshit.

Layne: Right? But I think the the the issue becomes when we throw the baby out with the bathwater, right?

Like our studies. Perfect. No, are some studies very biased and constructed to try to portray a certain outcome? Yes Are some studies straight up fabricated? Yes. Does that mean we throw the whole thing out? No. And that’s why replication is the mother of all science. And that’s why, you know, I’ve said like, um, you know, uh, a great example is, you know, I, I kinda list supplements in my, my tier one, tier two, tier three, you know, like I have, you know, the Mount Everest of supplements is kinda like creatine, whey protein, caffeine, you know, like those, that’s the, that’s the Mount Am or not Mount Everest, but the, the now Rushmore, right?

Uh, then you go into tier two. I’ve got stuff like Rola, Rosea, uh, you know, ashwagandha, you know. And people say, why, why is it not tier one? And I’m like, I just want to see more data. Okay. The data is really promising right now, but what I want to see is. Over a longer period of time across more laboratories and more, you know, over, uh, different locations, right?

Because what happens is when you get repeatable results over the course of time, you just become much more confident in something. Whereas like single studies now, I mean, like it depends like the journal, the lab, you know, the, the protein study that did come out, I gave a lot of, you I really looked at it hard because that’s a really good lab, you know, I know it’s a good lab, they publish really good data, but, you know, some, like, it was, if it’s published in the, you know, Romanian Journal of Toxicology or something like that, and, you know, it’s, it stands in isolation, okay, wake me up when they have 10, you know, and it’s been done over the course of years in various different labs.

And so that’s where I kind of come back to with this stuff. It’s, it’s like, okay, you’re making X claim, right? C doles are bad. Okay. The data doesn’t really back up what you’re saying. Then you want to say, well, all the data is bought and paid for whatever it is. Okay, but what about the data on your side of things?

Like, you know, like it’s kind of like these people tend to be pro saturated fat. I’m like, you don’t think the meat industry lobbies for research to be pro saturated fat? Because you’re kidding yourself if that’s true. Because, like, I mean, and this is somebody, I tell people, I’m like, I never did I think I’d be in this position, because my research was sponsored by the National Dairy Council.

The Ag Nutrition Center and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Like, if anybody has a bias towards animal protein, it’s me, you know? Never did I think I’d be defending the virtues of plants and, and, uh, oils, but here we are. And so again, it’s, it’s one of those things where, you know, I tell people, if your only criticism of the study is the funding source, it says more about your bias than it does the researchers, because almost with few exceptions, like over the course of 20 years of reading this stuff, if a study has a result where I go, man, that’s really weird and seems to stand alone with very rare exceptions, I can go into the methodology, the design.

The subjects, how they’re conducted the analysis, what they measured. And I can tell, I can go, ah. That’s why they found that and usually what I’ll come back with saying is like, Hey, their data is fine for the way they constructed it. Like it makes sense their conclusions based on that data, I think are way too strong, or in some cases just outright wrong based on their own data set.

Right. But the problem is it’s just too easy to kind of like, well, that was funded by this so we can just dismiss it. And I’ll tell people like, yes, money is a motivator, but. You know, when people kind of, you know, notice that like in, in pop culture, scientists are so like, demonized. Like, every movie starts with a scientist who fucked up and screwed us all over, right?

Like, every action or sci fi movie, it’s always some scientist who is out to make profit or pushed it a little bit too hard, you know? And what I’ll tell people, like, you know, just kind of the extreme example is people that like think we have a cure for cancer, right? That we’re like hiding and suppressing.

I mean, and what I’ll say is like, I’m like, okay, so first off, cancer is not one disease. It’s a, it’s a name for a group of diseases, uh, with, uh, various different causes. Um, but you know, in the end result in uncontrolled cell growth, but okay. You think there’s a. Like, uh, you think there’s, we’re hiding it?

Sure. Okay. Do you think that, like, literally every scientist is a piece of shit? Because that’s pretty much what would have to happen. Right, because you don’t think that there’s scientists that like, well, people can be bought. Sure. But like, like my friend Joe Zundel, he got into cancer research because his mom died of cancer.

Uh, you think there was any amount of money you could pay him to suppress a cure for cancer? Like, no, like money is a strong motivator, but it’s not the only motivator. And again, that’s what, like, are some scientists for sale? Are some, yes, yes. But that is why we look at the overall body of literature, Sure.

Across the course of time to come to a scientific consensus. And I did want to touch on one last thing because it brings me to this a conversation I had the other day. I think COVID really drastically reduced our, our people’s confidence in the scientific community.

Mike: I mean, that, that, that’s a fact there, there’s, there’s, you can just look to many, many, many surveys that have been conducted over the last couple of years.

Layne: And I, and I, and as this was happening, I knew this was going to happen. I saw the train wreck occurring because, and I said this like right at the beginning of this, I said, we’re going to be able to look back in 20 years and go, Oh, we should have done this. You know, like, we’ll, we’ll be able to Monday morning, clear back it very easily.

But the problem is the scientific consensus takes decades to come to, to really understand a problem and how to, to deal with it. We didn’t have decades, like people were demanding an answer ASAP. Right. And so like, I mean, I get it. Like people ask me, I’m like, I’m glad I’m not in charge. You know, it’s like, I’m not in charge.

And, um, you know, so what happened is they got a real side seat to the scientific method unfolding in real time, which is we have this theory, we have an opposing theory. We’re giving our data, we’re giving our data, which over time we’re seeing, we’re now having a little bit more clear picture of things.

And what probably should have been done, but we were trying to build the ship while we were trying to sail it at the same time, that was the issue we’re trying to build the plane while we’re trying to fly it, you know, and it just was never, it was, there was no scenario in which it was going to go well, like there just wasn’t, you know, I mean, at times, like there were times during the thing where, you know, I would say, Hey, listen, well, like I remember when the first lockdowns came, I was like, you know, We don’t really know much about this thing.

We know almost nothing about it. We don’t have widespread testing. I understood why they did lockdowns. After four weeks, when we had widespread testing, and then especially once the vaccine was wildly available, I’m like, why are we still doing this? This doesn’t make sense.

Mike: Even, even before the vaccine was available, uh, there was enough data.

Cause I remember explicitly I was in Virginia at the time. There was enough data available. To know who was truly at risk and who was not. I remember talking about it on my podcast and explaining this was maybe six months into it, explaining why I, at that point, I personally was not concerned for my health anymore, because if I looked at the cohort that I was a part of, um, and I even went through some actuarial data, like, let me, let me, let me put this into perspective, how minuscule.

The risk is of me ever having to even go to the hospital from COVID. And one of the conclusions looking at actuarial data was that driving my car on the highway for 30 to 45 minutes per day was a riskier endeavor than, than the risk posed by COVID. And so, and even, even that type of explanation got some people riled up and it was just ad hominem and emotion.

They couldn’t, I never got any kind of coherent, rational response, but.

Layne: Became very political. And you mentioned something that I think most people don’t have a fundamental understanding of, which is risk, right? Could you find healthy people that died from COVID? Yes, you can. They were the exception, not the rule.

And I, when I talk about the vaccine, people ask me and I’m like, listen, I wish I could tell you that, like, it was, it was bad that negative, but like the research data says that if you took it, um, especially if you were in a higher risk population, That, um, it was going to drastically reduce your risk of being hospitalized.

Now, if you’d had COVID in the past six, six to 12 months, do I think you needed it? No, you’d had it. You have those antibodies. Right.

Mike: Well, remember at, at, there was a time when saying that could have, could have gotten you banned off of social media.

Layne: Right. And so that, yeah, that, that’s, that was a very Machiavellian sort of, well, we want people to get vaccinated.

We don’t even know this is true. We’re not going to let them say it because we’re afraid less people will get vaccinated. That will make the overall population more unhealthy. Right? So that’s kind of how it was justified. But again, risk, like, okay, people hear that. They’re like, no, but look at all these people who died after they had the jab or, you know, who got myocarditis.

I’m like, listen, yeah, some people took the vaccine and got really, really sick. Okay. Then if you look at the dingo on balance, if you hadn’t had COVID, And especially for the high risk population, but even if you were, the research suggested that you were at a lower risk of getting, you know, those side effects from the vaccine by far than you were from the actual virus itself.

And so, you know, I told people, like, yeah, I, like, I got vaccinated the first round. Um, I didn’t get a booster or anything like that because after that I’d, I’d been exposed, had the antibodies and then I’d been around, like, now it’s, You know, now COVID is going to be like the flu, but, you know, the problem is people, so the comparison would be, again, I’m going to use my brother as an example.

My brother was in a car accident, uh, in 2005 and he was not wearing a seatbelt. If he’d been wearing a seatbelt, he would have died. Um, the, he was in the backseat of a, of an SUV. And the floorboard, after this wreck, the floorboard was touching the roof, like he would have been crushed to death. He got thrown from the car and he was seriously injured, but he survived.

With that anecdote, should I tell people, like, don’t wear your seatbelt? No, because the data like even though there are exceptions and even though airbags kill some people if you’re playing the numbers you’re gonna wear your seatbelt and have an airbag because Everything is a risk analysis. There is nothing that is black and white always will happen I mean.

Mike: There are risks associated with getting out of bed every morning I mean.

Layne: Exactly like a great example of smoking.

Everybody knows somebody who smoked like every day and lived till 80, 85. Okay. What does that mean that we should tell people, Hey, you can go smoke. No, it’s a very risky behavior, but it doesn’t one high risk. Doesn’t mean it’s going to always happen and low risk. Doesn’t mean it’s going to never happen.

And so I think if people could understand just a little bit more clearly how risk works. There would not quite be as much politicization of this and, uh, but I think, you know, people just, you know, they take the most extreme version of the argument and then they argue against that. And then it becomes this like round and around where we can’t really have an open, honest conversation about it.

And it goes for both sides. Like, you know, there was the, there was the kind of the left wing side saying, well, the vaccine has absolutely no side effects and everybody needs to be double vaxxed. The Mask up and all this kind of stuff. And then you have the, the other extreme side of it, which is, you know, um, if you take the jab, you’re going to get sick and die and you know, you’re, you’re a puppet for the government and all this kind of stuff.

And it’s like, you know, those, that’s just so there’s no, um, it’s just, it’s just not helpful.

Mike: And I know that, uh, we’re, we’re coming up on, on time. And so I wanted to, uh, come back to one thing that you said, and then we can, we can wrap up. And that is just if we, if we think about people listening who they’ve, they’ve learned a lot and they’re going to go out and try to, to be better informed or try to be a harder to mislead.

And, uh, this point of, of identity, you’ve mentioned this several times, and I do think it’s a big part of it for at least I can speak. Personally, and I’m curious to hear your thoughts, something that I’ve, I’ve always tried, well, for a long time, at least I’ve, I’ve tried to inculcate the mindset of is, is trying to get at the truth, maintaining that as whatever, however, that might impact my identity, I think is a, is a safer, um, concept to latch on to rather than if we’re going to keep it in, in health and fitness, or, I mean, even politics rather than just, Quote unquote, identifying as a right wing guy or a center guy or a left wing guy, but in, in health and fitness identifying saying as a seed oil, uh, demonizer, or as a saturated fat enjoyer, or some, some of these other, uh, brands that, You know, it’s these constellation of lifestyle things that then is, is sold as an identity.

And that, that’s been helpful to me just in, in mitigating the, some of these biases that you mentioned, confirmation, disconfirmation, which I’d recommend that people go and learn about even, even just understanding concepts of common logical fallacies and biases can help you at least be aware of them.

And maybe if you have. If you’re willing to, to look at yourself to, to see, Oh, I do, I do kind of do that. Maybe I should be better with that. But, but again, for me, it’s been, it’s been helpful to just regularly remind myself that what I want to do is get at the truth and don’t try to get closer to the truth.

And I’m willing to go wherever that takes me and if that means that I have to abandon previous ideas or beliefs or maybe even parts of my identity, that can be painful psychologically. Uh, but I think the reward of getting closer to the truth and, and, and that can, that can come with many, many benefits.

It’s worth the pain. What are your thoughts on that?

Layne: Yeah, I think, um, being right and the truth are often incongruent, you know, like you have to be willing to be wrong. About stuff. And a lot of people will say to me, Oh, you never admit, or you’re, you’re like, you know, you’re like the worst without like, not really.

Like, if you look at my history, I’ve changed my mind on quite a few things. Now, to be fair, the things I’ve changed my mind on, I didn’t have super strong beliefs about most of them, but you know, I do tell people, I’m like, listen, I usually don’t plant my flag super strong. So when I do, you actually should probably pay attention.

You know? Because it takes a lot to convince me of something. I’m a very skeptical person by nature when it comes to, like, research and science. And, um, to what you said, like, just having some basic background and logic, like, just go look up logical fallacies, and very quickly you realize how many people, most people use all the time.

Like, it’s a loner bliss course.

Mike: And that can help you with vetting. Uh, if you understand these things, you’ll start to see it quite a bit, especially on social media with the, with the, the short form content and, um, that is, that’s there to game the algorithms.

Layne: Absolutely. So I tell people when I got very lucky, cause I had a great PhD advisor who in a very kind way was able to crush a lot of the things I believed.

And then remind me that that is okay, because we are looking for the truth. And, I tell people, I like being right, not gonna pretend like I don’t, I’ll do cartwheels in my living room if I’m right about something, but, I care the most about getting the right answer, because, if I’m already right about everything, then I’m already maxed out, there’s nothing that I can improve on, one of the things I’ll tell people is like, hey listen, I’m a competitive athlete, like, like, and I don’t wanna like, die young, And I, I don’t want to, like, perform suboptimally, like, like, I’ll change, like, again, the coolest part of my PhD was based on my own research, I changed the way I ate.

Not, like, a huge, in a huge way, but just, like, suddenly, and so, like, being wrong is actually kind of beautiful because you get to improve. If you’re already right about everything, then guess what? This is as good as it gets.

Mike: And, and I would say if, if you’re already right about everything, you’d better be getting all of the results that you could ever want.

If there’s a mismatch, you might not be right about everything.

Layne: Well, that’s, you know, I don’t like ad homonyms, but they open it up when, you know, like, um, I saw, like, all the, a lot of these low carb guys who come at me, and they’re like, You know, they don’t want to they’ll kind of do the the progression we talked about which is eventually trying to dismiss research and going To anecdote and all that kind of stuff and then I go.

Okay. Well, why am I leaner than you?

Mike: Yeah, if we’re if we’re if we’re throwing out, uh, a rational discourse then let’s let’s just have some fun.

Layne: I mean you’re opening this door, right? You’re opening this door. Like why am I bigger and stronger than you and better looking? Just No, it’s, you know, that, and again, people will, like, I did that on Twitter one day, and put up a picture of me from my bodybuilding days, and I’m like, listen, I have been leaner doing the stuff I talk about than you have ever been in your entire life, and ever will be.

Explain. Right? People got real mad at me, they’re like, you’re doing the exact same, I’m like, yes, that’s the point. Like, that is the point. I am doing the exact same, but, and my point is. Anecdote is not reliable because of all the things that you guys are so astutely pointing out now that it’s going against your bias, you know?

It’s very tough because I think most people care more about being right than they care about getting the right answer.

Mike: That’s not, that’s, I think that’s just hardwired into all of us. And all we can do is, is, is try to grapple with it and try to not let it run and ruin our lives.

Layne: And I, I think, you know, like my experience in grad school again was really great in that I learned to be okay with being wrong, and it didn’t feel like a personal attack on, on my own, like, character.

And, um, I think most people ask questions not to get, not for the actual answer, I think they ask questions to have people affirm what they already believe to be true. You know, like this, this applies to me too, because like, even though I’m so rigorous with science, like I’ve had a lot of stuff popping up in personal relationships and then working through therapy and stuff with me.

That I’m like, damn, I did, I, I’m doing, I did so much of the stuff that I rail against over here in science, but for whatever reason couldn’t apply it over here, you know, in these personal relationships. The argument just goes to show you that, like, those sorts of skills don’t always translate across disciplines.

Mike: Especially with more emotionally charged relationships or situations.

Layne: Right, but I’m hearing people make some of this stuff with nutrition and they get very emotionally charged, you know, so yeah That’s that’s adding a layer of empathy that I didn’t have before But again, it’s it’s kind of you really you have to always keep in mind that you are a human being who is flawed and that But one of the things I’ll tell people when they like, well, science is this.

I’m like, no, science is perfect. Science is perfect. Science is what is. It’s human beings who screw it up. Okay. Because we are flawed. Science is not.

Mike: And just to point that up, it’s the, the scientific method. I mean, maybe perfect is, is an extra, is a, is a superlative term that eventually it gets to the answer, but it’s a, it’s minimally, it’s a, it’s a very high functioning way of getting at truth.

Layne: Perfect is probably the wrong word, but it is the best thing, it is the

Mike: Yeah, the best method that we currently have for

Layne: how we currently understand for finding truth.

Mike: Well, we could, uh, we could probably go on and on, uh, we were already, we’re already over an hour, but it was a, it was a great discussion. Is there anything else before we wrap up that is, uh, still flicking around in your head that you want to, you want to let everybody know or any, any last thoughts before we, um, get to where people can find you and your work and anything in particular you want them to know about?

Layne: I think we covered a lot of it. I, I, again, I would just say like a few phrases to keep in mind would be there are no solutions, only trade offs.

Mike: Now follow that up. At, at what cost? Right? Whenever, whenever a solution is.

Layne: Where’s your, where’s your hard evidence? These are Thomas Sowell phrases. Where’s your hard evidence?

At what cost? What’s the trade off?

Mike: And that, where’s your hard evidence, that actually reminds me, I wanted to follow up with you on, not to drag this on, but that also is a, Uh, is a, is a simple step that many people don’t take when they are getting advice from somebody who maybe has altitude above them because of credentials or authority, or it’s just asking that question, whether it’s you can actually ask it, you know, one to one, or if you’re consuming content, uh, somewhere, but, but asking Okay.

According to what evidence, what evidence do you have for that? And, and often just asking that question, especially if you can ask it to a person, you quickly realize, Oh, they don’t, that doesn’t make any sense. I would that really, really that that’s it. That’s the evidence.

Layne: Exactly. And then I, I think the other two phrases would be, uh, extraordinary, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

And, uh, that which can be. A surgeon without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. And those two would be a hitching’s razor. And I think, um, those are important things to keep in mind as well.

Mike: Yeah, great tips. And I’ll, I’ll, uh, throw one more in there and then we’ll wrap up. If, uh, you’re speaking with somebody who purports to be an expert on something and they have a lot of claims.

If they can’t give you any counter arguments to their claims, they don’t know what they’re talking about. And just giving any counter arguments, in my opinion, isn’t enough. If they can’t give you the best counter arguments, and explain to you why they’re not convinced by those counter arguments, You should be very skeptical about anything they say.

Layne: Exactly. That is very well put.

Mike: Well, uh, again, great discussion. And let’s wrap up quickly with where people can find you and your work. Anything in particular you want them to know about?

Layne: Yeah, so, um, you know, I’m BioLane on pretty much all social media. And, uh, my website’s BioLane. com. I have a nutrition coaching app called Carbon Diet Coach.

Um, that’s, you know, Basically, um, does nutrition coaching in your pocket for 10 bucks a month. And I also have nutritional coaching team with team Biolane. So people need more one on one support. I’ve got my, my research review, which I think a lot of people listening to this might be interested in because that’s, you know, like we, every month we take studies and kind of break them down in a way that’s easy to understand and palatable.

And that’s called reps. Which is research explained with practical summaries, uh, that’s on my website. And then I also have, um, some court. I have a course called physique coaching Academy with Dr. Bill Campbell. Our goal was to create like a university level education on the science of coaching people to build muscle and lose fat.

And, uh, it’s an excellent course. We’ve had really great feedback from students and, uh, it’s something I’m very, very proud of. So.

Mike: That’s great. I didn’t know that you guys did it.

Layne: Yeah, no, it’s, it’s, it’s excellent. Uh, we just launched it last year and we’ve had our first cohort of students graduate and, um, the feedback has been really, really great.

Mike: Awesome. Well, thanks again, I really appreciate you taking the time and going a bit over time for us.

Layne: No problem. Thanks for having me on Mike.

Mike: Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful. And if you did subscribe to the show, because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.

And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have. Uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, Mike at muscle for life. com muscle F O R life. com and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.

I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode and I hope to hear from you soon.





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