Same Questions, Different Answers
Have you heard the story about Albert Einstein giving his physics class a final exam? One of the students noticed something odd. The questions on that exam were precisely the same as those on the final physics exam the year before.
The student stood up and asked, “Dr. Einstein, aren’t these the same questions as last year’s final exam?”
Dr. Einstein replied, “Yes, but the answers are different this year.” So many discoveries and breakthroughs had been made that the passage of just one year changed what the answers should be.
Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that this story is true. But most people know Einstein made so many breakthroughs in physics that it feels like it should be true.
Today, it could be true.
Advances are happening so rapidly that what might have been considered correct yesterday is no longer valid today. Fundamental beliefs have been put through tests and trials that overturned decades of accepted wisdom. Here are three examples from the last 20 years.
If you drank a diet soda in 2009, the statistics showed you were more likely to be overweight or obese than someone who drank water. It didn’t make sense. Diet soda and water are both zero-calorie drinks, so what was happening to diet-beverage drinkers?
Our stomachs have taste buds. When we drink a diet soda, our stomachs detect “sweet” and prepare for the sugary calories. Unfortunately, diet soda has none. Our bodies crash after about 30 minutes because the “sweet calories” they were expecting never appeared. That makes us feel more hungry and tired than when we first drank the diet soda.
To deal with the hunger and crashing, diet soda drinkers eat more calories, totally defeating why many drink diet soda. There were many theories about why diet-soda drinkers gained weight, but it wasn’t until those taste buds were discovered in our stomachs that researchers figured it out.
The question is the same, “What’s the relationship between diet soda and weight gain?” But the answer is different, “The taste buds in our stomachs.”
A cardio workout in the 1990s involved tracking your heart rate and getting into the “fat burning zone.” You were instructed to maintain that pace three times a week for an hour. It’s known as steady-state cardio.
Then researchers noticed a different type of cardio was getting better results. Interval training; also known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT). That’s where you run or move for short bursts at a very fast pace, mixed in with very slow periods where you recover.
Studies looked at: Patients recovering from heart failure, overweight children trying to reduce their cardiovascular risk factors, reversing the risks of metabolic syndrome, increasing insulin sensitivity (for diabetics), people with hypertension, patients recovering from coronary artery bypass surgery, athletes trying to improve their endurance capacity and people over the age of 65 trying to get back in shape.
In every case, high-intensity interval training was at least twice as effective at burning fat while increasing cardio function and building muscle. Most people got better results in about half the time.
The question is the same, “What can I do to improve cardiovascular health?” But the answer is different, “High-Intensity Interval Training, in place of steady-state cardio.”
In the year 2000, most people believed you should take a multivitamin daily. As our diets got worse, the best thing we could do was take pills to make things right. Vitamin companies stepped up with unique formulations for people in every walk of life, from infants to the elderly. It was logical, easy and wrong.
Studies involving tens of thousands of people over many years exposed the problems. Multivitamins often reduce the benefits of an exercise program. People who take over-the-counter supplements INCREASE their risk of cancer when the vitamins are higher than the recommended daily allowance. People who take antioxidant supplements, beta carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin E die sooner than people who take a placebo. Taking a multivitamin increases the risk of death versus someone who takes no supplements at all.
The question is the same, “Are multivitamins good for me?” But the answer is different, “For most people, NO.”
What hasn’t changed at WeBeFit, is how we analyze all that information. We use several different processes to critically evaluate the data and figure out the way things fit together. We ask many of the same questions, year after year, to see if the answers have changed. Then we share our findings, even if that means replacing what we did in the past.
Click Here to learn how YOU can become a critical thinker. Common fallacies, how to evaluate evidence, ways to determine who’s credible, who has bias and how to overcome preconceived notions.
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