How to be a fitness "guru"

Looks like anyone with a YouTube channel and a fad diet can now tell us how to eat, without negative consequences:

A Youtube diet 'guru' from Australia puts her ultra-slim body down to an extreme diet, which can see her eat nothing but bananas for an entire day.  

Known as 'Freelee the Banana Girl' she advocates an extreme, low processed, low-fat, high-carb raw vegan diet. 

It's a regime that recently came under fire when fellow Australian Loni Jane Anthony announced she had kept up the diet throughout her pregnancy, insisting that both she and her baby suffered no ill-effects.  

Consuming between 2000 and 5000 calories a day,  Freelee remains ‘raw until four’ - meaning she eats no cooked or heated food whatsoever until 4pm. 

She usually eats 'mono meals' consisting of a huge amount of a single fruit, such as two entire pinapples, five mangoes, two litres of orange juice, 1.4kg of apricots, or 20 bananas. 

After 4pm she will often eat a cooked meal, again, usually a single ingredient in large qualities, such as 3.5kgs of potato baked in the oven, or another meal of fruit. 
Having suffered from both anorexia and bulimia in the past, Freelee claims that adopting her low fat, high carbohydrate, raw, vegan diet saw her shed 40lb or 2st 12lb as well as clearing up her acne, chronic fatigue syndrome, low thyroid function and terrible digestion.


    Often receiving negative comments for being too thin, Freelee, who also writes about her diet on her website, has nonetheless gained 166,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel preaching the benefits of her lifestyle. 
    Now at this point, you are probably thinking that I'm going to rip on Freelee for following a diet that looks and sounds weird. Truth is, though, that I am actually pretty agnostic about what and how people eat; after all, my own approach to food would strike quite a lot of people as "weird". In my opinion, the best way to eat is one that satisfies all of the following criteria:

    1. Provides you with tasty food that doesn't take too long to prepare;
    2. Doesn't leave you feeling hungry within two or three hours;
    3. Is nutritionally complete;
    4. Proves to be sustainable for the rest of your life;
    5. Isn't boring

    The reason I eat along Paleo lines- though given that I eat quite a bit of fruit at least once a day, I'm far from being "strictly" Paleo- is because it satisfies ALL of these criteria. Eating fresh meat, vegetables, and fruit, while cutting down hard on processed sugars and foods, leaves you feeling better and happier and is something that you can do for the rest of your life, without problems.

    That said, if someone else has a different way of eating, I'm certainly not going to sit here and proclaim that mine is THE way to eat. My method works specifically for me. It will not work for someone who doesn't move, exercise, and play the way I do. The way I eat is certainly not the way a bodybuilder eats; it isn't even the way a dedicated powerlifter would eat.

    In reality, I eat pretty much whatever I want to; it just so happens that I want to eat foods high in fat, protein, and a bit of salt, which aren't overly sweet, and these foods include generous amounts of raw and cooked vegetables, meat, and fruit. And as it happens, this is exactly what the body generally likes to use for fuel.

    So, the problem I have with Freelee's approach is not that it sounds weird.

    The problem that I have with it is that there is no common-sense or scientific basis for it.

    I wish I could find Elgintensity's video ripping apart Freelee's diet and exercise regimen (and her abominable squat form), but it got taken down (See update below) when the CrossFit people got butthurt annoyed with all the nasty things he was (rightly) saying about them, and had YouTube shut down his video channel for what they (wrongly) called "copyright infringement". Fortunately, he was able to produce a new one recently, and, well, it provides better commentary on the subject than I can:


    So... if there is no scientific basis for it, and very little by way of reproducible evidence in favour of it, and little insight into what she does to burn off the calories she consumes, why then is this diet guru getting attention?

    Oh. Right.
    UPDATE: Well hey, look at what I found floating around on Elgintensity's new blog-


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