Intermittent Fasting and Eat Stop Eat Creator Brad Pilon Talks Sports Nutrition Supplements
Brad Pilon “Before and After”
I hinted in the past that I would have an insider come and tell us point blank what goes on the supplement industry and here we go!
What you will learn
- Do we need tons of supplements?
- Are there any that work?
- If you are using an Intermittent Fasting approach (like Eat Stop Eat), do you need supplements?
- Can I poke him to go off on a rant?
Let’s get right to it as we have Brad Pilon of Eat Stop Eat here today at Extreme Human Performance, so take it away Brad.
1) Give us a bit of background as you worked in the supplement industry.
Brad Pilon: I started in 2000 as a research analyst and by 2006 I was managing Clinical Research & Development. To be honest, it was probably in those 6 years that I learned the most about health, fitness, physiology and nutrition. We had access to so many unique sources of information. One day I would be talking anabolic signally pathways with leading researchers, the next day I’m talking protein with Mr. Olympia. It allowed for a wide scope of experience. Also, because our research was spread throughout the world, I was also able to view health and nutrition with a more worldly view, realizing that facts we assume to be true in North America are not nearly as widely accepted in academic circles in Germany or China.
I wouldn’t say it was a bad break up when I left, but more of a strained relationship. Looking back at it, I have nothing but respect for what the supplement industry has accomplished as an industry. Sure, I don’t agree with a lot of their claims or marketing tactics, but if you study it as an industry you realize that the “winning formula” hasn’t really changed since the late 1800’s. It’s the EXACT same marketing, the exact same sales pitch. It has worked for hundreds of years and it will continue to work for 100 more. So you really can’t expect it to change much.
2) Perhaps we can use the “winning formula” powers for good. I heard a rumor from our buddy Craig Ballantyne that you are now the cover boy for some new supplements. What gives?
Brad Pilon: Ugh. Yeah. A while back I did a blog post showing how you can ‘fake’ before and after pictures. Basically I was trying to help people avoid being duped by BnA’s (editor’s note, that is industry geek speak for Before and Afters), by showing how much of a difference a tan, a shave, a pump and some oil can make in a picture. I guess I faked the picture a little to well because it was stolen by the Acai berry people and now is being used on fake websites all over the net. I get about 3 or 4 emails EVERYDAY form people finding my pictures (which sadly means that at least 3 or 4 people are reading Acai berry ads every day). When you think about it, it is VERY ironic. After all – They are using pictures that were openly faked to promote their products. Tells you something about these people’s integrity. I’ve contacted them, but they won’t stop using the pics. As annoying as it is, it is a bit flattering that they thought my pics were worth stealing.
3) Wow, that is crazy! I am a very white Minnesota guy, so I am going to get a tan right now! ha! Are their any supplements that you use or recommend?
Brad Pilon: I don’t really use any. I would recommend vitamin D for children living in Northern climates, and possibly EPA and DHA for children, but other than that I don’t often recommend supplements. I like creatine, and think it has an decent effect of increasing lean mass weight in first-time users, but even with creatine, after continued use the results simply aren’t there. Bottom line for me is that from a Dollar Cost versus Effect point of view, I’ve never found anything worth taking on a consistent basis for people who are otherwise healthy.
4) I would agree that fish oils and Vit D are both great. Are their sports nutrition supplements that can or should be used with the Eat Stop Eat approach or are they not needed at all?
Brad Pilon:: When I first started experimenting with fasting I tried taking Glutamine, Branched Chain Amino Acids, Essential Amino Acids, 10 grams of Leucine, Leucine + Phenylalanine, anything I could get my hands on. I took these all while ‘fasting’. I took them in divided doses, all in one big dose, any way I could possibly think of. In the end, I have no idea why I bothered. I knew I wasn’t losing muscle, I wasn’t losing strength, and none of these things made any difference when I wasn’t fasting, so I have no idea why I thought they would when I was fasting. In the end, I think it was just a process of me letting go of a lot of my old bodybuilding beliefs.
5) Yes, the “broscience force” out there is still strong. Any last parting words or rants?
Brad Pilon: There is lots to rant about, but that’s never really been my style, so I think I’d like to ’sound off’ on a little bit of on-line etiquette. Now, before I start, let me say that I am well aware that I am JUST as guilty of this as anyone else. So here is my rant – the use of scare quotes or irony quotes. You know, like referring to people as ‘experts’ or ‘gurus’, implying that these people are the farthest thing from actually being an expert or a guru.
People are doing this all the time now, using it as a form of passive aggressive mud-slinging. And, even though I’m opposed to much of what goes on in the on-line world of health and fitness, I think a lot of this mud-slinging is unneeded.
For instance, to me using ‘expert’ would be an appropriate way to define someone with an mail-order PhD trying to pass themselves off as the next nobel prize winner in health and fitness. Similarly, I think a ‘guru’ is someone who has ‘discovered’ a unique training style that only she and her disciples can fully understand. I once saw a blog post from a trainer saying that they know that research scientists say you can’t grow past your genetic potential, but that this trainer and found a way to cheat your genetics. Then said that maybe research scientists should spend more time in the gym and less time reading fancy books. To me, this would be a ‘guru’.
But for everyone else I think the term “fitness personality” is more fitting and much more honest. Most people on-line of people with a love of health and fitness who are trying to make a name for themselves, which on it’s own is perfectly fine.
When an on-line personal trainer says that they recently heard that blueberries can help you burn fat, it would be unfair to then call them a misinformed nutrition ‘expert’, because quite frankly, most of the time these people never claim to be experts. And, if we are turning to personal trainers for scientific explanations of human metabolism, then the fault is ours not theirs. After all, education is specific. Ask me how fasting causes you to lose body fat and I can ramble for hours. Ask me how an alternator in a car works and my eyes will glaze over.
So bottom line, anyone who is talking about fitness or nutrition on line is a fitness personality, but not necessarily an ‘expert’ or a ‘guru’, so calling someone an ‘expert’ or ‘guru’ just because you disagree with something they said is typically just a form of on-line mudslinging that really doesn’t do anyone any favors (we’d all be much better off if we just clearly explained why we disagreed with their opinion).
As I said, I’m just as guilty as anyone, but moving forward, it’s not something I’m going to do anymore, and I encourage everyone else to only use these terms when truly justified.
Thanks Brad, I would agree with the online mud-slinging as I try hard to stay away from it, but I do admit to going off on a rant on occasion. I do try hard to make my rants based on evidence and not just yell “you suck” as that is not helpful and nobody learns a darn thing from that interaction.
Thanks again to Brad Pilon of Eat Stop Eat for stopping by and taking the time to answer some questions.
As I have stated before in the this post that I do like his approach for fat loss. While it took me almost 2 years to come around, I think it is a valid option and worth checking out. You can read more information about it and a full hour long interview here below at
You can pick it up below
Eat Stop Eat click HERE
I love comments as they make me feel all warm and fuzzy. What do you think of this? Agree? Disagree? Do you want to see more interviews? Post a comment and let me know!
Mike T Nelson
You can get Eat Stop Eat by clicking HERE
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