#Do You Even Science


‘Views on diet are strongly held, often strength of opinion is inversely related to strength of scientific evidence’ – Anonymous 

Back in October I had the pleasure of attending the Mac Nutrition Mentorship. CPD is always at the forefront of my conscious when working as a High Performance Dietitian. I am always keen to learn and up skill from the best in nutrition science and this is one program that was at the top of my list.

Martin discussing low carb or high fat diet, what is the evidence?
Martin discussing low carb or high fat diet, what is the evidence?


Martin MacDonald is a Clinical Performance Nutritionist and perhaps one of the most knowledgeable and skilled nutritionists in the UK and beyond. I first met Martin back in 2009, we shared a weight lifting athlete when I worked at Sportscotland institute of sport and Martin was and continues to be the Performance Nutritionist for GB Weight-lifting.

The depth of Martin’s understanding of the science of nutrition and physiology is no short of incredible and he certainly puts in the time reading and learning the science to make sure he remains on top of his game. His work experience and reputation reflects his expertise and above all, Martin is one of the most approachable fellow nutrition professionals I know.

There is so much confusion at the moment in the world of nutrition, what with the current healthy eating guidelines being challenged (quite rightly so), add to this the ‘anecdotal diets’, strong opinions and down right false dietary advice being dished out from apparent ‘experts’, it is often a tough gig as an evidence based practitioner trying to advice on the true science. Martin is a strong advocate of making sure nutrition advice is scientific based and valid, separating the fact from the farcical and he is not afraid to challenge those who give out quackery.

I was keen to attend Martin’s mentorship program purely to refresh on the nutrition science, learn about the new science in nutrition, ask a list of questions from my experience in applied practice and just spend time with like minded attendees (it can be a lonely game running your own business). I was not disappointed and all of those boxes above and more were ticked. The mentorship reaffirmed that I was providing the latest advice, following the correct path along my own reading and understanding of the literature and helped identify where the gaps are, I still need to learn. It helped me refine my own working day to day practice and turned out to be a fun and enjoyable two days.

Listening with avid interest!
Listening with avid interest!

So who is the Mac Nutrition mentorship program for?

Nutrition is a rapid growing business and this very popular mentorship is designed for anyone in the health and fitness industry looking to understand the real nutrition science and be up skilled to improve their own working practices. Students, nutritionists, dietitians, GPs and fitness professionals are amongst the attendees.

The mentorship consisted of two days of presentations, interactive workshops with plenty of time built in for questions and discussions (with Martin around there is never enough time and always plenty to talk about). Topics covered ranged from learning to dissect the research, macronutrient metabolism, the science behind contemporary diets and supplements. All touching on the latest nutrition headlines, topics and evidence.

What surprised me the most about the mentorship is how generous Martin is both with his time, knowledge and resources. Providing a handbook and memory stick of nutrition tools, slides from the weekend and relevant research papers, along with giving advice on best practice and running your own business. It is clear one of Martin’s passions is quite literally giving away his knowledge to ensure the correct sound scientific nutrition advice is being given by nutrition practitioners.

Substrate utilisation - Going back to basics to discuss the latest evidence.
Substrate utilisation – Going back to basics to discuss the latest evidence.

I can not emphasise enough how important it is to know your Dietitian/Nutritionist trust their course and resource, they use the latest science with experience based information, not bias and pseudo. It takes many years to become an expert, get a reliable recommendation and do your homework on where they gained their ‘education’.

I would highly recommend the Mac Nutrition mentorship program to anyone within the nutrition and fitness industry who want to talk real nutrition.

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