Everything Fat Loss
Before you understand the impact of this foundational disruption, let me provide some context… Y’all know I’ve been around the health and fitness block for many years. When I look back on all the time I’ve spent in this field, I can’t think of a more consistent leader than Ben Carpenter. While yes, he has over half a million followers on TikTok and almost 300 thousand followers on Instagram (no big deal), he’s also shared SO MUCH value with his community. Dating back to 2006, he’s consistently created content devoted to helping his audience… from videos debunking fad diets and fat loss to giving simplified, easy-to-understand information (all based on his extensive research). He really is the no bullshit leader in our industry.
So yeah, it’s safe to say I’ve been a “fangirl” for years. While it would be easy to assume I love his work because of the size of his community, his British accent, his abs, or his colorful vocabulary… it’s not really for any of those reasons (at least not at the core – I mean who doesn’t love a British accent?). But really, I became a fan of Ben and his work because of his clear motivation behind what he shared… to provide unbiased and easy to understand education to the masses and to make a shit ton of money. Kidding about that last part, his driving force is as pure as his accent is cool – he just wants to help people.
Which brings us to the topic of this blog!
For the past three years, Ben has been working on his now best selling book, EVERYTHING FAT LOSS; THE DEFINITIVE NO BULLSH*T GUIDE. And not even a WEEK after publishing it, Ben sat down with me for a 1:1 chat. I mean COME ON, could this guy get any nicer?
Our conversation was such a privilege to be a part of. We talked about his book, what inspired him to write it, and how he hopes it can help everyone who reads it regardless of where they’re coming from in their health and fitness journey. So this blog is going to be all about that conversation, including some of my favorite highlights!
Oh, and while we’re here – let’s address the elephant in the room before we go any further.
Yes you 100% should buy this book, no I am not affiliated, and yes, I am going to link it at the bottom of this blog.
There is a reason this is the FIRST BLOG I have ever recommended that you buy something… because this book is worth it. Seriously, trust me on this one – and if you’re still not convinced, you will be by the end of this blog (or if you prefer, at the end of the interview you can watch our chat). So let’s get into it!
From the very start of our conversation, it was clear to me that Ben Carpenter is exactly the kind of person I thought he was: one who genuinely gives a shit about helping other people. In an industry full of click-baity, shame-filled, weight loss schemes, Ben Carpenter is a breath of fresh air. I mean right out of the gate in our conversation we talked about why he went the route of creating a book when there are other (significantly more profitable) ways he could have shared the same material. And his response?
“I don’t think ‘what is the project that’s going to be most profitable?’ I just thought, ‘how can I serve people the best’?”
With this book, he hoped to create a resource that anyone could pick up and learn from. He shares research in a way that is understandable. He declutters the confusing and polarizing views on common health and fitness topics. It really is the no bullshit guide you need to figure out what’s right for YOU. Do you see why I’m a major fangirl yet??
But aren’t there a million other diet and fat loss books out there? What makes Ben’s so special?
Okay, okay, true. There are so many books out there on the topics of diet, fitness, fat loss, health, etcetera, etcetera. But the distinct difference between Ben’s book and others on the market? He’s NOT pitching a single concept or idea that everyone should follow. Unlike most books in the industry, he’s not trying to sell a product or diet that he claims is the key to finally losing weight for good. He’s simply trying to cut through the bullshit, share what the research actually says about fat loss, and help you find what works for your specific needs and circumstances.
“I wasn’t doing this to make the most profit in the shortest period of time, otherwise I wouldn’t have spent 3 years writing a print book… I just thought if I make a really good product, I think I could make a legacy product. And people will still buy it a year from now, two years from now, three years from now… because the content is that good and it stands on its own merit. It’s not necessarily about me, which is why my face isn’t plastered on the front. It was just supposed to be an amazing resource that would hopefully keep selling… I like the idea of launching a product that could kind of supersede me”.
So what makes Ben’s book different? At the core it’s this genuine, true, and humble approach that I think makes his book stand out among others in the field. Ben wanted to create something that was helpful, accurate, and just plain GOOD. And rather than use his own notoriety to sell his book (like he said, his picture isn’t even on the cover for crying out loud), he just focused on creating something helpful for everyone.
What motivated Ben to write this fat loss book?
While there were many factors that led to the creation of this book, as mentioned above, his driving force was to create something that was truly helpful. Multiple times throughout our conversation, he reiterates that it wasn’t meant to be about him. Rather, his book is meant to be a solution to a problem many people face; more specifically: trying to lose weight but struggling to do so.
“I’ve been complaining on social media about the shit show that the weight loss industry is… I’ve been ranting on social media about this for years (like over a decade) and I thought, ‘it’s not really doing enough, is it?’ Because while I’m ranting on social media, there are literal millionaires that have 10 plus diet books… and when I started writing my book, I actually went on their sales pages and they’re GROSS. They’re SO gross.”
Let’s be honest, we’ve all seen this kind of gross marketing he’s talking about…
The tan and sparkly bikini models that eat the same things every single day and say that if you do the same you’ll look just like them. The coach that pushes you to do more and more cardio while eating less and less calories. And perhaps the worst of them all are the people with a lot of money, a lot of influence, and a lot of information picking and choosing what to share with their audiences so they can make an extra buck. Those who are USING their influence in the industry for their own personal gain, regardless of whether the information they’re sharing is true, whole, or helpful. I mean I truly couldn’t have said it better than Ben…
“Lots of people feel like they’re struggling with their weight, and I feel like the diet industry’s answer is just to throw more aggressive diets at them…”these kinds of dietary approaches aren’t good from a mental health perspective.”
“Most people who feel like they’re struggling with their weight … They want to know why they’re struggling in the first place. They want to know why it’s hard for them to stop eating. They want to know why they’re bounding from diet to diet feeling like they’re trapped in that spiral.”
Are y’all starting to see why I’m literally not kidding about this book?
If you’ve been around me for any length of time you’ll know the one thing I will say forever and ever amen is that there is no perfect diet for everyone. What’s right for you might be completely different than what’s right for your next door neighbor… and that’s OKAY! Health and fitness isn’t one-size-fits-all, and yet many of our industry “experts” paint it as such. I admire that Ben continues to speak out against harmful fat loss approaches like this. He genuinely wants to help people find their unique root cause to why they’re struggling. And while we’re on this soapbox, here’s another killer quote:
“No one needs to be shoehorned into following the same diet approach, because the same diet I like is not the same diet you like, let alone every other person watching this video. So why are we selling branded diets where people are supposed to follow the same thing? It’s absurd to me.”
Most people catch themselves in the diet-bouncing cycle at some point in their health journey. But the reason each person may find themselves bouncing from diet to diet for fat loss is unique to them. So why in the world are so many “experts” trying to treat everyone the same way across the board? I know, it’s CRAZY. Thankfully, Ben’s first chapter is all about breaking down that BS and helping you understand your own context so you can make decisions that work for you.
As a reminder, it’s important to remember that ANY fat loss approach you choose can be taken too far…
Most of you know that I’m the poster child for taking a health and fitness tool WAY too far. But if you’re new here, the short of it is that I was obsessed with macro tracking when I first started, but it quickly got to a point that it controlled my life. I avoided social events, was so stressed out, and stopped ENJOYING my life. I felt like I had to do everything perfectly. (Check out my story here). As soon as I was just a little bit off, I’d go into full on fuck-it-mode. And just like my experience with macro tracking, every fat loss approach has the capacity to be taken too far. That’s why Ben and I talked about how this can play out differently for different people, but how oftentimes there’s a similar core problem that causes it: over restricting yourself.
“People can often find themselves restricting [food and calories] and then getting to the point where they feel like they’re over restricted and then went back to where they were before. And this is the kind of famous yo-yo dieting phenomenon.”
“Macro tracking, calorie counting, or calorie awareness, or food tracking, or however you want to call it has a lot of research studies showing that it can be potentially beneficial for weight loss…[but] it goes too far for many people… there are many people who get to the point where calorie tracking consumes them… their whole life falls to shit.”
Hi, former me here to say this is most definitely true. Like you know that trending T-Swift song, “Hi, I’m the problem, it’s me?” Yeah, pretty much sums up my initial relationship with macro tracking.
Let’s say it again… There is NO perfect diet! (You just have to find what works best for YOU and frankly, say fuck it to anyone trying to force you to do anything else).
“Part of the reason why I hate cookie cutter weight loss books in general, is because everyone is so different.”
Just to reiterate this point because it’s fundamental to everything in this book (and in my own beliefs and how I help my clients)… what works for you is what works for YOU. And it doesn’t matter if someone else says there is only one way to do things… you should be empowered to do what feels right for you and your unique lifestyle, goals, and situation.
What makes Ben so great at addressing anybody who might read this book?
One of the things that makes Ben so incredible at what he does is he always keeps in mind his past experiences working with a variety of people from all kinds of backgrounds. From a young age he started working at commercial gyms, and he saw a wide diversity of WHY people want to be healthy AND the unique problems they face that prevent them from accomplishing that.
“Working commercial gyms teaches you things hard core fitness culture doesn’t teach you. I think bodybuilding coaches, I feel like if they worked in regular gyms with regular people, they would have a stark wake up call for why typical fat loss advice is not universally applicable across populations.”
“Working with a really diverse range of people taught me a lot of things that I should have known earlier. There is a certain level of empathy that you learn when you work with a diverse range of clients.”
It’s unfortunately very common for people in the health and fitness world to create blanket statements that are ultimately harmful to many people because they don’t take into account each person’s unique situation. Not everyone can AFFORD the fancy, delivered-every-Friday meal plan that is the “only way to lose weight”. Many people don’t want to work out in a gym because they feel embarrassed to do so. Some people have dietary restrictions that make following fad diets extremely challenging for fat loss. We could go on and on with these examples, but the reality is that everyone is unique and so are their health needs. When considering this, Ben realized just how important it was that he created a resource that could speak to the individuals who might decide to pick up his book.
“I had to make sure the tone of the book conveyed that I am trying to help both (The bodybuilder versus the middle aged postmenopausal women who feels like they’ve spent their whole life dieting) people [who may pick up this book].”
Okay, but what’s the right diet for me?
It’s the million-dollar question again isn’t it? And trust me, I get it. It would be great if someone could just tell you what to do and then BOOM – you’re at your goal in less than 90 days. But that doesn’t exist. And finding what’s right for you is going to take some time, consideration, and giving yourself some freaking grace now and again. You may have to try several things before you find the one that really sticks for you. But, Ben is here to help make that process easier!
While he doesn’t tell you what to do, he does give you the information and research you need to make an informed decision for YOURSELF – and that’s all in chapter eight! In this chapter, he dives into many common diets, sharing research and a general summary of what kinds of people might enjoy each diet, so that you can take that information and do with it what you will!
“I think there’s a really important need for explaining research from both perspectives… That way, no one can be hit with new information and think, ‘that’s not what I heard’ and now they feel confused. So, I try to explain things from both sides if there are two sides, and then I simplify it at the end of each chapter.”
At the end of the day, Ben is here to shake things up.
He’s here to challenge the myths in fitness culture surrounding fat loss and to help people where they’re at. Health and fitness is NOT one size fits all, and he’s calling bullshit on industry trends that alienate people and make them feel less-than, and instead he’s offering a solution: a book that helps you make informed decisions for what works for YOU.
“Many people want to diet and many people want to lose weight, and I feel like whilst they’re shopping in the weight loss space, I think my book is the most important one to read.”
While I’m most certainly a fangirl, I truly believe everyone should read this book. But if you’re still not sure if Ben Carpenter is really worth his salt when it comes to everything he says, rest assured – he’s a trustworthy guy. To be sure, I asked him if he poured his milk or his cereal first (there is literally only one correct answer) and it turns out, he is NOT a serial killer. And I’d say that’s a pretty good start to trusting him 😉
And because you knew it was coming, here’s a link to purchase your copy of Ben Carpenter’s EVERYTHING FAT LOSS; THE DEFINITIVE NO BULLSH*T GUIDE. Seriously, this book is SO damn good.
If you’d like to catch our interview, you can catch it on YouTube!