Diet. Low carb. Protein. Fat. Exercise: Was Rheo Blair Right or Wrong?

Rheo was famous for his astonishing before and after success stories. What about his failures?

Whenever one reads a book on diets, nutrition or health, the story is always of the author's great successes with his or her system. Rarely does the author share the cases that didn't succeed. And there can be reasons for this apart from the system itself such as patient compliance; did the patient/client follow through and stick to the diet/supplement regimen/exercise regimen, etc? If not, then one can't blame the doctor/nutritionist/author. But if the client DID follow the program religiously and still did not get the results anticipated, what or who gets the blame? We will get to that in a moment. First, let it not be said that I am just a cheerleader for Rheo Blair or his program. He and his program did forever change my life in a most positive and beneficial way. And I am writing this book and producing this blog as a way of saying thank you to him and honoring his life and work. But I will never suggest that his system was perfect or necessarily the best possible. For some people it was excellent. For others it was less effective. Of course you never hear about the less effective cases. So in the interest of integrity to my subject I think it necessary to bring this matter up. For it applies not only to Rheo but to any dietary system.

Consider some hypothetical examples: Well known diet guru Dr. I.M. Amazing writes a bestseller on weight loss. Gina Tubby reads it, follows it, loses 80lbs, looks great. Her best friend Ida Enormus follows the same diet, carefully and faithfully, and gains 5 lbs. This kind of thing happens all the time; you probably know of one or two good examples. Another doctor, a cancer specialist, writes a book on dietary approaches to cancer. Again, several successes, and a few with no results. Or diabetes, heart disease, or... fill in the blank ____.

The fact is there is no one, perfect, cure-all therapy that affects everyone in the same way. Some will succeed, some will not. (This is not to say however that one should ignore general principles such as eating nutrient dense foods as close to the way nature provides them as possible (as opposed to canned, processed, etc.) -- and stay away from sugar, preservatives, alcohol and cigarettes.) I did very well on the Blair program. I saw others do equally as well. Then again I saw a few who made far more modest improvements in their health such that one would not consider them a good example of a Blair before and after. Now they most certainly did improve. When one gets off junk food, sugar, fried foods, trans fats, fruit juice (yes, fruit juice), white flour, etc. and eats nutrient dense, un-denatured organic foods, takes high levels of supplements, gets an abundance of sleep, and goes through a specialized massage and hydrotherapy program to radically improve blood circulation, one can't help but improve. But their progress was not visually dramatic and they were, in some cases, disappointed. And again, we are talking here about those who put in a 100% effort but didn't get the results they anticipated. (I did see a few who put in less than 100% effort and fittingly got less than 100% results. That is another story.)

It all comes down to what foods and nutrients are best for an individual's body. And here we come to metabolic typing We will look more at this subject next time because there are two sides to the equation; one side is the food you eat, the other side is the food your body actually needs. I needed the food and nutrients I got in the Blair program. That is why I did so well. But that same program in your body may not work the same way. If you want to make changes to your body, you need to find out what your body actually needs. THEN you will get the results you want -- and be able to keep them.

So, was Rheo Blair right? Absolutely! For me, and others, he was right. Is his program right for you? I have no idea because I don't know anything about your unique body chemistry and what fuels it needs to run its best. I do believe his general principles were entirely correct: raw proteins, good fats, good supplements, no junk food, sleep, blood circulation. He was also correct that not everyone benefits equally from exercise -- indeed too much exercise can be detrimental, as it was for him early in his life. If the adrenals are weak, it is easy to overdo the exercise. Depending upon your body chemistry exercise can build you up or tear you down. Your body chemistry also dictates what you need to eat. As such, some people need less proteins and more (nutrient dense) carbohydrates than others. And it is with this last statement that Rheo may have taken issue for he really did believe that protein was the answer to man's physical ills -- as it was for his own ills and mine. The metabolic typing technology referenced earlier is an important leap forward in our understanding of body chemistry. I believe Rheo would have embraced it.

We will take this subject of eating what is right for your body chemistry further in the near future.

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Copyright © 2008 Charles Welling
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Information found on Rheo H. Blair: The Book is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment.