Defence Against the Dark Arts

Written by Sam Kirk

Edited by Charlotte Crouch – BeOnline Editor




There is only one thing you need to defend against the dark arts.

A #weaponsgradebrain
And maybe a good wand…

The goal of this short piece is to fill your mind with the solid principles to protect you against the myriad of dark wizards trying to swindle you out of that hard earned cash in the promise of a quick fix to a problem they have conveniently created. You know the ones? Those wizards pushing the latest juice diet fad, and all kinds of quick fix detoxes and diets.

Make no mistake, these wizards are trained so well in the dark arts of persuasion and deception that it often only takes one fell swish of their wands to have people queueing up for their miracle potions. They are deceptive, they are persuasive, they are many. But they are also vulnerable.


You, fearless warrior, are the weapon of choice.


Myself and countless other good people are fighting the good fight with (and as) fitness professionals and/or scientists. We can disprove, discredit and dispel these wizards and their potions. Including their overly zealous incantations and fables. But the only way we win this admittedly colourful and explosive war is if you, dear friend, starve them of their most vital potion ingredient – people.

No, this is not a call for mass genocide. This is a call for you to live, learn, embody, and then pass on, the following principles.


Principles Of The Body

1. Your body is amazing – on a daily basis 1000’s of tiny reactions occur to maintain homeostasis (balance). If it didn’t your body would be inhabitable for your brain.

Such a delicate process with balance at the forefront means that nothing is inherently bad and the poison is in the dose, not the product. Too much water can kill you but so can too little. This applies to literally everything that exists, even broccoli.


2. All exercises, foods, workouts, groups, environments, training modalities, equipment and people are tools. You are the job. Match the tools to the job.

There are times when a hammer will only do damage, much like a burpee.




3. There is no single diet that will work for everyone. However, ALL diets must impose a caloric deficit over time to lose weight and ALL diets must maintain a caloric surplus over time to build and maintain new tissue.


Build the one that works for you.


4. Similarly to diet, there is no single training method that will for everyone. However, ALL training methods must achieve a minimal essential strain or overload to stimulate an adaptation.


It doesn’t matter where you’re at now, training is about one thing – getting better than you were before, consistently.


 5. Hydration isn’t just water. It’s electrolytes too. Electrolytes produce an electrically conducting solution when dissolved in water. Which is kind of important, because we are partly/largely an electrically governed system.







Fun science aside, some people say drink more, some people say drink less. As always with people, balance wins. All you need to do is check your urine and adapt your drinking as necessary

6. There is simply no better method of recovery, recuperation and processing than a good nights sleep. Naps included.


man in bed eyes opened suffering insomnia and sleep disorder


Black out your room, leave your electrics in a far away land and if you get the opportunity, sleep until you want to wake up, not until you have to. Aim for at least 4 full uninterrupted sleep cycles if you can. Exercise and good nutrition helps.

7. Despite their many promises and conveniences, supplements are not needed unless you are medically defined as deficient. They may or may not give you that last 5% percent. They may or may not optimise what you’re currently doing. But it won’t mean anything if your sleep, nutrition and exercise is leaving you performing at 30% of your best. And it certainly won’t mean anything if supplements are replacing healthy habit development. The dark arts are nestled deep in this industry. Proceed with caution.

8. Sometimes being with a group or doing something that helps another person is all you need.


Mindset principles

1. There is beauty in everything.

There is technique to absolutely everything.

Technique can be learned.

Thus everything can be mastered.

The beautiful circle repeats.

Learn to see the technique.

Vast in what we can do, genius lay within us all, experience being the method that reveals it.


2. There are two goddesses in your heart, the goddess of wisdom and the goddess of wealth.

Everyone thinks they should get wealth first then wisdom will follow.

They are concerned with chasing money.

They have it backwards.

Give your heart to the goddess of wisdom with all your love and attention.

The goddess of wealth will get jealous and follow you.

In short, ask nothing of your fitness, sport or activities and get more from it than you ever imagined.


3. It’s normal to have negative and unproductive thoughts, you really don’t have to listen to them so they will starve and wilt away.

An old Cherokee told his grandson,


“My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside of us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.”


The boy thought about it, and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”


The old man quietly replied, “the one you feed.”


4.  Food is not healthy or unhealthy inherently, it is nutritious or not.

We, as people, are healthy or unhealthy.

It is the nutritious or not food choices we consistently make over time that make us, as people, healthy or unhealthy.


Principles Of Thought

 1. Everything that is the scientific method, from conducting to critiquing to straight up BS detecting.




2. Bayesian thinking/Grayscale thinking



Despite the incredibly beautiful and mind boggling maths behind this theory you can use the logic in your everyday lives.


You make up your mind, creating a belief.

New information/evidence comes your way.

You assess this information and add it to your current knowledge base or reject it.

You adapt your current belief.

Repeat when new information/evidence comes in.


The key point is that you never wholeheartedly accept something as 100% known because nothing is ever simply black and white. It is, as always with people, somewhere in the middle or one of the 50 shades of grey. Grayscale thinking.

See the world this way and explore how different and more interesting things become.


3. So long as the environment remains obesogenic, the problem of obesity will remain.

We can no longer rely on our instinct to regulate body fat – we must now rely on our intellect.


Without you, it simply can’t be done.


Its time to pick a side.

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