Here’s an interesting part on differences between women and men:
You can’t separate popular writing about health and diet from the enormous industry that already exists and is mostly geared toward women -– and that this industry is connected to the proliferation of images of tall, white, slender women. With your background, how do you contextualize yourself within the health and diet industry?
I, thankfully — probably in large part because I am a man — was not exposed to the diet world growing up. I ate a conventional midwestern diet. I didn’t have body or weight issues. And so when I first stuck my toe into the diet world I thought, “Holy cow, what is going on here? Everyone is saying contradictory things.” Many of the approaches seem wacky. “Only eat foods that begin with the letter A today.” Who thought this was a good idea?
I think women have been damaged more than men by the bad dietary advice that has been pushed over the past 20 or 30 years. Two things in particular: low fat and counting calories. Those have been very damaging. If you take a low-fat approach where you’re counting calories, you’re hungry all the time but still trying to use discipline to restrict how much you eat. In my mind that seems like a recipe for an eating disorder. You’re trying to exert control on what you’re eating, but you’re finding that your body isn’t allowing you to exert control easily.
I have female friends and relatives who have had various eating disorders and there are a ton of women who have come to Paleo because it’s like, “Okay, I’m not counting calories or weighing the food I eat. I’m not vilifying fat. I can be satiated.”
One of the nice things about Crossfit — and sometimes yoga — compared to how a lot of people work out today, is there are no mirrors. People aren’t focused on whether you have a perfect six-pack or a bit of fat on your sides. When you focus on functional movement or having fun, a goal besides better body image, you get good results and it’s a lot healthier.
There’s a stigma around the word “diet” for both men and women. For women the word is often associated with failure and lack of discipline. For men it’s like, “Men don’t go on diets!” It’s a macho thing. Neither group is really happy with the diet world.
You can read the full interview here.