Have you considered taking your dog out with you on your run? In The Ultimate Guide to Running With Your Dog, Bryan Barrera tells you how. Bryan joined us on 40+ Fitness to discuss some of the finer points of running with your dog.
Let's Say Hello
[00:01:26.870] – Allan Hey, Raz. How are things going?
[00:01:28.970] – Rachel Good. Allan, how are you today?
[00:01:31.190] – Allan I'm doing okay. It's been a busy week, but not nearly as busy as your week. You've got some pretty exciting news.
[00:01:38.340] – Rachel Yeah. I just got my RRCA running coach certification. So now I am officially a running coach and I'm pretty excited about it.
[00:01:48.320] – Allan Congratulations!
[00:01:49.400] – Rachel Thank you. Thank you so much.
[00:01:51.080] – Allan That's pretty cool.
[00:01:52.170] – Rachel It is. It was a great class. I learned a lot and of course I knew a lot because I've been running for 20 years. But it was really a good class and very informative. And so now I feel very ready to be able to coach somebody.
[00:02:06.710] – Allan Perfect. All right. Well, let's get into our conversation today, which is also about your favorite topic running.
[00:02:13.790] – Rachel Yay, okay!
[00:02:38.210] – Allan Bryan, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:02:40.880] – Bryan Thank you. How are you, Allan?
[00:02:42.410] – Allan I'm doing great. I just finished reading your book, The Ultimate Guide to Running with Your Dog: Tips and Techniques for Understanding Your Canine's Fitness and Running Temperament. And I got this book. I sought this book. When I saw it, I was like, okay, there we go. One is I know that I need to start building up my own cardiovascular fitness. I love going into the gym and lifting heavy weights.
[00:03:07.760] – Allan My dog can't do that with me. He can hang out and watch. But I love lifting weights. I need to do some more cardio and I have this new dog I'm going to talk about. We're going to talk about him a little bit. But he has all this energy. He's he's just about a year old. And so I'm like, I need to go do something with him. I need to keep him busy because he's a chewer and he's a little destructive. And so there's some behavior, things I want to deal with.
[00:03:36.230] – Allan But just also the energy. He's obviously a fit dog but needs to be active. And so I would give him that opportunity, but rather than me, go out and do my runs and then come back and do something active with him. I just thought it would make sense if we could do it together. So when I saw your book on running with your dog, I was like, yeah, this is this is something I want to get into
[00:03:56.570] – Bryan Awesome man! I think you found the right spot then. I think that's a that's an interesting thing. We've run dogs for people who are marathons and it is a different kind of running so that you've already sort of made that observation that it is going to be a little bit different because there is a preference to kind of go want to run on your own and for whatever reason, people like to run, whether it's to check out, to listen to a podcast or listen to music and get ampped. Whatever that is, it is different because it is about the relationship between you and the dog on top of being healthy and physically fit.
[00:04:26.020] – Allan Yeah. I kind of brushed on the topic of reasons that you want to run with your dog. Could you dove into that a little bit more? I mean, dogs need structure and they need something and running can be a part of that. Can you give us kind of the lay of the land? What what benefits is our dog going to get from a running regime with us?
[00:04:48.100] – Bryan Of course. There are a number of reasons that people kind of contact us or contact us to run their dogs. And they usually fall into two categories. It's the physical side. They're overweight. Maybe they just had an injury. They're recovering from something like that or sort of the mental side. And that's why you see it manifest as anxiety, destructive tendencies, hyperactivity. Those are the two basic camps that it kind of falls between.
[00:05:14.920] – Bryan But, I think going out and going for a run is a solution for a lot of dogs, but I'm very clear to say that it is not the solution for everyone. So there is a bit of understanding who you are as a runner, what your goals are as a runner, and if that links up and fits with what your dog's capacity for that is and really checking your ego. I know you talked about lifting a lot of weight. There are days when, you know, you can push it just like runners and dogs are just like humans. There are days you have good days running, you have bad days running. And being able to be self-aware, identify those things is going to put you in the best position to do that successfully long term.
[00:05:53.620] – Allan OK, so when we I mean, I kind of get, because it's it's kind of a mantra in the fitness environment. By burning some energy, you're burning some calories and, you know, for managing the calories we're giving our dog and we're running our dog a little bit. You know, they're staying healthy. They're they're maintaining the appropriate weight. And we can talk to our veterinarian about what our actual foods should be and how often and how much they should eat.
[00:06:19.650] – Allan But on the behavioral side, can we dove a little deeper there? Because in the book I was like, you know, this this solves a lot of problems. People will get a puppy and it's cute and then it's destructive. And then it's doing other things that we don't necessarily want it to do. And you can train the dog. Obviously, with enough work and effort, you can train a dog. But running is going to do some things that make that whole effort much better.
[00:06:46.050] – Bryan Yeah, I think it helps to step back a little bit and think about sort of what was the purpose for dogs when they originally kind of became companions for people. Right. Originally they were useful on farms or doing work. They had jobs and that was sort of the they earned their keep. Right? And it wasn't just like what it's become over the last sort of like 50 years where we just kind of take care of them and love them. And it's our job to provide the things for them.
[00:07:12.180] – Bryan Like people didn't have maybe the funds there were, I think in the book somewhere I wrote as well about. And if I didn't, I meant to. Dogs like leisure dogs that were for sort of the the upper class people and people that had dogs that were sort of middle class. They needed them to do work. You couldn't just afford to feed a dog. They needed to go out there and help you round up cattle. And they needed to help running out with the what the firefighters or they had jobs and slowly over time, that's kind of gone away.
[00:07:45.330] – Bryan But that instinct and that desire to work, it's still within them. So what we've noticed is when they do go for a structured run and might say that unleashed with you intentionally for 30 or 60 Minutes, and you can go further than that. But that's sort of for the purposes of the conversation, within the context of what our company does 30 to 60 Minutes, we can see a change in them sort of on the run and you can see the anxiety or whatever is manifesting that that they are not getting they're not getting enough exercise, they're not getting whatever it is you can see it on the run switch in them from, okay, we're out here having fun.
[00:08:25.140] – Bryan I'm zooming across left and right, trying to sniff every tree, trying to bark at everything. And they get so laser focused on the run because that is their work to them. And I think it's calling to that like internal like bygone era of what they used to do. So it's really phenomenal to see when you can get into a groove with your dog and then just like how effortless they can really bang out those miles once they have sort of gotten trained up.
[00:08:49.590] – Allan Yeah. It's funny, in the book, you talked about how dalmatians were used to basically run in front of the firemen so people knew they were coming in and clear out of the way. You know, every picture I've ever seen of a dalmatian, they're sitting in a fire truck. So, yeah, they kind of lost their job somewhere along the way. And now we need to give them some structure, some function, and then that kind of just becomes their their job. And they begin to identify as though this is this is my duty. This is my thing. I do. And that gives them that purpose. And therefore they can burn off the energy. Feeling productive.
[00:09:27.100] – Bryan Right.
[00:09:29.310] – Allan Now there are some breeds that you don't want to run. And there are also some times when you might not want to run a dog or any dog or even or maybe just some breeds. Can you kind of get into a bit of which dogs should not run? And then again, if there's times and weather and things like that that where we don't want them to run, that we understand that as well.
[00:09:52.830] – Bryan Yes. And there are three general groups that have sort of broken it down to and they're all with their own qualifiers. I think to set the tone off the top, I would say all dogs can run. It's just a matter of how us finding out how we can do that safely and for how long and how fast. Right?
[00:10:10.380] – Bryan So the first group that is sort of a full stop under twelve months. Which is actually very sort of a tricky conversation to have, because that puppy energy is real, man, and they got the dogs want to get after they start they're super cute in the beginning and then they get a little destructive and then they just need to amp up to go. And the idea is like, well, I'll just take the dog out. We'll get them tired. Like running seems to be able to do that. But the letting them out to go and run around a dog park and taking them out and throwing the ball is a very different activity and running style than going out on a sustained run for 30 minutes, where you're pounding the pavement. It's that repetitive activity. And that's because for the pups especially, their growth plates is still growing, their muscle is still being packed on, their ligaments are being stretched out in their joints are actually really susceptible to being misshapen if you do that kind of impactful running.
[00:11:04.340] – Bryan So if you take your dog out on a run one time for a couple miles, not going to do any harm. But if you're going to do that, if it's a part of your lifestyle, that's when things become problematic. So, Bryan, the person says, yeah, you can take your dog out and take them on a short little trot around the block and just introduce it. I think that's more than fine and healthy. But to do the kind of running that Bryan, the business owner does, that's a bad fit and we will not do that.
[00:11:27.860] – Bryan The second group are dogs that are called braciaphalic. The best way to picture that is smoshed noses. Most of those dogs are like pugs and bulldogs and things like that. And those people sort of like self select out. They're not really looking to run their own dogs. They just kind of tell, like this dog doesn't want to run. And any time I do, it looks like he's just like had it because of that snorting and chortling and all that sounds.
[00:11:52.370] – Bryan But the one we have conversations about are boxers. And I know we talked about this a little bit. Boxers are incredible athletes, physical specimens. They are super athletic, but they also have the smushed noses. And I think, again, this is where I answer sort of in two ways back to the original point where it does determining how fast and how far boxers have a need to have such specific attention paid to them while you're running that it's not good for us as a company to run them.
[00:12:24.350] – Bryan So our decision has been it's not the best fit for us. And it's not that they're not a good fit for us is that we're not a good fit for them. Actually, we can't get them. Give them the individualized attention, because everything that we do is on leash here in Washington, DC. Those are just the laws. And we do pack-style running just as a function of business. So going out for a run with your boxer is more than fine.
[00:12:50.330] – Bryan I think what you need to look at are the extremities are going to be sort of a little tighter. So you're not going to get above, you know, sort of that eighty, eighty five degrees. Like you want to make sure that the temperature is like sort of perfect. You want to be in that like 40 degree to like 70-75 degree range. And then you're also going to be making sure that you are paying attention to the non-verbal cues, because everything that we're doing with these guys is nonverbal.
[00:13:13.940] – Bryan You want to make sure that you're watching their tongue. The tongue is the first indicator. If they are in control of that thing, you're fine. Keep going. When there even if it's out of the mouth and it's darting back and forth, the moment you see it sort of lagging and out to the side and you can tell they're just trying to move that tongue out of the way so that they can bring air in. That's when you have to slow down, start the walk and maybe call it a run.
[00:13:35.420] – Bryan And that can come a lot sooner because that's the function, the mechanism by which they don't call themselves. So what we can do, what we can't do on the on the business side of things, we can't sacrifice the run for the other dogs. And because it's not fair to them to cut their run short because one of the others can't keep up. And it's not that physically boxers can't keep up, it's that we just can't take them out solo. So I think Buster a fantastic run and I think that's one that I get questions for a lot.
[00:14:04.370] – Bryan And then the last one or the geriatric dogs. And that one is actually really interesting to see because there are some dogs that have come to us in the eight and nine year old range that a lot of families are like I think is kind of had a shot. He's got a gimp, he's got a limp or whatever, and there's some that have been active their entire lives and have started running with us when they were six or something. And they're still running with us until they're twelve, thirteen years old and obviously slowed down a little bit. Or maybe you don't go quite as often, but they can still do it. And it's sort of like how we are as humans. If you spent a lifetime taking care of yourself, eating well, resting, building your body so that it is strong as you age, you're only going to be able to continue doing those things in some capacity, right?
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[00:16:26.490] – Allan Basically, if I have a dog and I have two, and so the first one I'll talk about is, is Angel. OK, so Angel is a German shepherd. She's about nine years old. We got her as a rescue. And when we first got her, she already had some problems with her knees. So we went through knee surgeries with her. She also has a spinal problem in the bottom of her spine. So some nerve damage there. So she's got some issues. And I wouldn't see her running for some of those reasons, plus like I said, she's nine years old. So not something that I feel like… Obviously I could walk her more spend more time on the beach with her. She won't chase the ball to save her life. She just looks at you like why you throw that, know what you're doing. But another dog gets a ball and suddenly she wants to take the ball from the other dog so she can play. She can have some fun.
[00:17:18.030] – Allan And we just recently got a another rescue. Didn't really intend to have another dog, but he needed a home and so he has a home and he's about a year old. Best we can tell. He's probably a mix of a maybe a boxer and a pit bull. So it's not a complete smashed nose of a boxer, but it's kind of in the middle of that build of a good, strong, muscular dog right at about a year old. And he just has more energy than the sun. And I know I've got to do something with him. He will chew things up. I've already lost a pair of water shoes and my wife has lost some things. So we need to give him some deal. So he's short hair, but we live in Panama. So, you know, warning runs would probably put us in that 70 degree weather.
[00:18:11.700] – Bryan Yeah.
[00:18:12.170] – Allan But obviously, I couldn't stay out too long with him because that would start to warm up. And I just have to be very careful and watch him. So I appreciate that. So all that kind of makes sense to me now as we went through this.
[00:18:22.400] – Allan Now, the other thing I liked in the book was, one you give you, give a lot of practical advice. So, you know, you're going to want to kit up, you're going to have the right leash. You're going to want to have some supplies and things brought with you, water for you or for the dog, different things. And then just the skill of running with the dog, which is a whole new thing for me to learn, which I love. But the core thing I got in the book and I was like, OK, so now I want to do this run. You even include guidelines. Over the next six weeks, let's let's get your dog ready to go from, as you said, doggy couch to 5K. And in looking at the program, it kind of fits almost exactly how I would train someone, albeit I think the dog will accelerate through this a little bit faster than than we might. Could you talk about your your prep that it's like a six-week program to kind of get your dog into running shape?
[00:19:18.620] – Bryan Of course. And I think you nailed it. You nailed it on the head there. It is sort of based on what we have done as runners and getting to 5K for us to definitely what I modeled it after. And I've found that a lot of the things work into and you are also right that dogs pick this up so much quicker and they can bounce back a lot quicker than you. So I think it's so deliberate. I thought it was better to write it sort of in this way where it's maybe a little long for most sort of as to not discourage those that weren't seeing the results of like a four-week program.
[00:19:52.400] – Bryan Right? So I thought people can look at their dog and modify it and sort of scale it up if they needed to, because they're going to have those sort of next steps. If they're saying, like, actually, my dog is sort of chewing up this two-minute walk four-minute run in week three, like Tic Tacs, I think we can sort of maybe bump it up a little bit quicker. So that's kind of why I modeled it after, like a six-week thing, which is like, OK, that's a reasonable amount of time that you're going to commit to doing this. But if you need to, you can always bump it up a little bit quicker because you're going to have that written there. Whereas if I had written it over like a four-week, you know, maybe somebody said, well, what do I do in between here? This is a big jump. My dog is not ready, but it seems like perfectly capable of doing what's here. So I think that's why I ended up doing it sort of that extended out.
[00:20:36.950] – Bryan Was there anything specific about sort of the plan? I'd be happy to flush that out for you?
[00:20:41.750] – Allan Well, what I thought was really good about it was you committed a given amount of time to each workout, so spent 30 minutes. You go out with your dog. It's a walk, run, walk kind of program, which is very common in the couch to 5K. It's what Jeff Galloway did his one of his major programs for running. And so as I was because I was kind of looking through it, I was like, OK, this is a little bit more ambitious than I think a person would want.
[00:21:11.120] – Allan But that's actually part of maybe the coolness of all this is knowing that your dog has that resilience, you could do your own 5K for a human. And do the half-hour and then that becomes your structured half-hour now, once you get your fitness up to a point with your dogs, the dogs can be able to keep up with you. The dog is going to be able to recover as fast, if not faster than we do, especially those of us over 40.
[00:21:36.320] – Allan So I just thought it was a really good program in the book to be able to go through and say, OK, here's some structure. If I'm just not quite sure. But then you did touch on something. I think that's also equally important. Pay attention. Your dog's going to be giving you some nonverbal cues that we're going too fast. Or it might be telling you, hey, ratcheted up, dude, we've got miles to cover.
[00:22:00.560] – Bryan Yeah. Something you brought up there. Why I did it in time increments as opposed to mileage. I know there's a few others out there and there's no shortage of basic information about sort of things like this as well. Why I did it for a duration as opposed to a mileage is when like us, if we can institute routines and sort of make things follow up, plan for them, they're only going to benefit from that because they know, hey, we're going to be out here for this amount of time every other day or three times a week or whatever it is that you decide is the best start for you guys. Right?
[00:22:35.780] – Bryan And I think instituting that commitment to the routine is also going to help them mentally prepare for what they're about to go do. So I think it twofold. If you go out and we're just going to do it for a mile and the dog is not going to actually make it a mile, well, that's bad news and you're going to feel like fighter. So it's almost like hacking your systems inside of you internally that can help you stay committed to the plan.
[00:23:00.380] – Allan Yeah, well, because if I told Buster, hey, we're going to run for a mile and we're going to walk for a mile, the buster is not going to have any idea what I'm talking about. But if I go out there with Buster and I'm walking for, you know, for my two minutes and Buster's cool with that, then I'm like, OK, Buster, let's go. And then we run for two minutes. Then he knows that's what we've done and we make that cycle. So for that whole week, that's my three runs. He gets comfortable.
[00:23:24.450] – Bryan Exactly.
[00:23:24.950] – Allan And then it's like, OK, we walk for two minutes now, we're going to run for three. He figures out, OK, we went for three. Now if I had a big fast dog, maybe and I'm a big fast runner. If I was, maybe I'm covering, you know, a mile or more, you know, in that in that time that I'm running, maybe I'm not maybe I have a smaller dog or slower dog or the dog that needs a little bit more patience and pace. And so we're not quite putting in the miles the way you would think. But a good 30-minute workout three times a week is going to be beneficial to you and obviously now beneficial to your dog.
[00:24:03.470] – Bryan Exactly.
[00:24:05.500] – Allan Bryan, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?
[00:24:13.480] – Bryan Well, one's self-awareness, listening to your body. Finding out what like a long-term ache and pain is. Sometimes we're not always feeling our best when we get out there. And I get that. And listening to something barking at you continuously, go get it looked at. There's no sense in sort of beating yourself down and making it a longer-term problem.
[00:24:32.680] – Bryan Second is getting rest. I think that's one of those ones that everybody kind of says, it's sort of like when people talk about eating and gains are made in that in the gym. Right? For your stomach or in the kitchen for your stomach. Right Everybody wants those abs.
[00:24:45.790] – Bryan And then especially given what we do, drinking plenty of water, staying hydrated for both you and the pup, honestly.
[00:24:52.090] – Bryan So drinking water, getting rest, having the self-awareness to just listen to your body, I think are the best thing you can do for your health.
[00:24:58.330] – Allan All right. Well, Bryan, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, The Ultimate Guide to Running with your Dog or DC Dog Runner, your dog running company, where would you like for me to send them
[00:25:12.430] – Bryan They can find the book. It's on Amazon. It's at Target, it's Barnes Noble. I think it'll be in a number of pet stores as well. And then dcdogrunner.com is a great resource. I'm always happy to just have conversations with people about dog running. If you like pictures of very cute dogs on runs, DC Dog Runner, I guess it's DC_dog_ runner on Instagram, actually. So any of those places are great and just connecting with people is something that I enjoy doing. So any questions? I've answered many questions in the comment sections or indirect messages. I'm always happy to sort of give my opinion. I talk about being a generalist and I haven't run with your dog necessarily. But I can definitely give you all the tips and techniques for understanding your canine fitness and running temperament.
[00:25:59.920] – Allan The book is definitely a really good resource. It's something that I'm going to pay attention to as I start trying to put together a program for Buster and myself. So thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:26:12.820] – Bryan Of course. Thank you for having me on.
[00:26:19.240] – Allan Welcome back, Raz.
[00:26:20.440] – Rachel Hey, Allan, what a fun conversation you had, and that sounds like a really good book.
[00:26:25.780] – Allan It is a good book. He talks about some of the tools and things that you would have and he talks about just how to get your dog, get to know your dog so you can run with your dog. And just some of the things that we discussed before and after the conversation there, he I still don't feel confident that I can run with my dog.
[00:26:48.040] – Rachel Oh, no.
[00:26:48.940] – Allan It's not the book's fault is is this the dog's fault? He has no understanding of most anything. And while I know he's trainable. It's just. I know he's going to cut in front of me. I know he's going to see a cat or a bird and want to take off. And so I would just say if you're and you've got some experience with this, but if you're going to start running with your dog, it's a slow process. And I know he puts a kind of a couch to 5K for doggies version in there. That's if you're already a pretty strong runner.
[00:27:26.120] – Allan You've got good balance, everything's optimal and you have a good place to train your dog. Around here, I really wouldn't have anything that I would feel confident other than running up and down the beach would be about the only place I would feel safe. And then it would be a trial and error of trying different leashes and just doing different things to a point where I would feel comfortable that he wasn't going to take me for a spill.
[00:27:52.310] – Rachel Right. And that actually probably would be a good place to start training him. And I do have a little bit of experience. When I first got my dog, Stella, she was about a year old. She was a rescue and she was picked up as a stray, which means she had no manners, no commands, no behaviors, and certainly no experience on a leash. So when I hooked her up to at leash for the first couple of times, she pulled like a fish on a line. It was awful, a lot like fishing. She would be in front of me a couple of feet and zigzagging all over the road, smelling it things, looking at things. And then she would come to an abrupt stop. And I did a couple of Supermans over her with getting a little bit of road rash. She tripped me a few times and that's when I started to do some research.
[00:28:40.130] We put her on a gentle leader collar, which I really recommend for new time, dogs that need to get used to walking and running on a leash because that puts all of the control on you. Their neck muscles are really weak and a gentle leader goes around their nose and above the upper part of their head, like behind their ears and their neck muscles are really weak. So if you want to start change direction, stop any commands, they'll feel it. They'll feel it really quickly. You'll have a lot of command that way. And we use that with Stella. We went on a lot of walks and it took a lot of practice and a lot of commands and they're learning how to walk on a leash and the command for walking and Stella knows the command for run. So she knows a different way to behave when we have her on a leash.
[00:29:36.140] – Allan Yeah, that that took considerable patience. This was not a I'm going to go out and start running with my dog tomorrow. This is we're going to go out and we're going to we're going to do a little bit of running here and I'm going to teach that and a good tip on that leash because I've I've got one of those retractable, which is something you definitely recommends you don't have if you're trying to run with a dog.
[00:29:57.110] – Allan He will see something and forget that he has this leash on and just take off and a dead run. And unfortunately, when he gets two to three steps in, he's already full speed and I'm not going to let go of the leash. So he does a 360 and then looks back at me like what just happened? And I'm like, still on the leash, dude.
[00:30:21.980] – Rachel Yeah. And that takes total practice. And I and I retractable leashes can be really dangerous for you and the dog because it's easy to lose grip of that plastic handle. So now with Stella, I have her walking on my left. That way I'm facing traffic and I'm on the road and she's on my left side. So she would be and the inside of the shoulder that way she can't dart in front of a car or into traffic, which she wouldn't. But because I've trained her. But I'm on the side facing the traffic. And so I have her directly on my left. I want her head where my knee is. That way she won't dart in front of me and trip me like she has in the past. And that way I have a tighter rein. On her leash is a shorter leash and I have a little bit more control over it as well. So they can't dart out in front of you. And like you said, the leash goes the full length and then they get a rude awakening and you have your arm ripped out of your shoulder.
[00:31:23.960] – Rachel So if you have a shorter leash on your left, that would be one thing to try. Although I know a lot of dogs out there who can run ahead of a runner and they'll stay ahead of a runner without stopping and without pulling. But it just depends on the personality of the dog and their relationship with the owner.
[00:31:42.350] Yeah, no, Buster, I'm going to say we're not into the best of terms right now. He's not been the best dog. Likes to tear up Tammy's plants and she gets angry and unhappy wife, unhappy life. So. Yeah I definitely know, I need to get him out there and get some exercise. It might just be and this is another thing that Bryan talked about, which sometimes just running your dog is quite literally what everybody else does, and it's just playing fetch and let the dog get out and just free run and play fetch with it, because that's the temperament of the dog and how that dog's going to get healthy, stay healthy and be active.
[00:32:27.700] – Allan And what I found with dogs is if you start running down the beach on your own, the dog's going to run along with you. So, if you can and make sure you're obeying any kind of leash laws and things like that. But basically giving that dog the freedom to kind of play with you, if you will, might be a better choice for me than trying to be a road racer with him right now, because he's just too rambunctious. And I wouldn't feel comfortable looking out for taxis, looking out for him and all of that. So, yeah.
[00:33:01.240] – Allan It's a good book if you're interested in learning how to run with your dog or learning if your dog is the right kind of dog to be run because not all dogs are. It's a really good book for basically knowing your dog well enough to know if he or she could be a runner. And if they are, it gives you kind of some guidelines on equipment and things like that. So you can do it safely. But as always, anything you're going to do running wise or otherwise outdoors is know your environment, be safe, bring water for the dog. You got to carry your water and maybe the dog needs to carry some water and figure that out.
[00:33:44.500] – Allan Just as you're going to do this like any new thing, go slow, have patience and now patience for two, because it's not just you, but you also have to have patience that the dog is going to get where you need them to be so that you can have safe and productive runs.
[00:33:59.920] – Rachel Yeah, that sounds great. Sounds like a great book. Very helpful tips in there.
[00:34:04.150] – Allan All right. Well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.
[00:34:07.210] – Rachel Sounds great. Take care.
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Energy is health in action. In The Energy Paradox, Dr. Steven Gundry shows us how to optimize our energy so we can live healthy vibrant lives.
Let's Say Hello
[00:02:05.170] – Allan Hello and thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness Podcast. This has been quite the interesting week. According to my cable company, we had solar flares which put the Internet as being rather spotty over the course of Monday and Tuesday. And as a result, Rachel and I were not able to record the intro or the discussion for this episode, which is a shame. However, next week you will have both Rachel and I on the podcast as we talk about running again.
[00:02:36.580] – Allan So I hope you will join us again next week on episode 480. But we do have an interview with Dr. Gundry, and I know you're going to enjoy this episode. And unfortunately, again, no discussion afterwards. But if you have any questions, why don't you join us on the Facebook group? You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. Rachel and I are both there, and we would love to interact with you more about this episode.
[00:03:57.730] – Allan Dr. Gundry, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:04:00.550] – Dr. Gundry Allan, thanks so much for having me on.
[00:04:02.650] – Allan So your book, The Energy Paradox and a lot of your books have the term paradox. I like that word, too. What to do when you get up and go has got up and gone. And when I first read that, I couldn't help but think back to a cartoon when I was a kid and they had that little cowboy dude, but there was a cheese commercial. So we're not talking about cheese today.
[00:04:27.850] – Dr. Gundry We can if you want to.
[00:04:29.690] – Allan No, we're talking a lot deeper than that. We're talking about what's going on with our nutrition and our energy and things that we can do to improve our well-being and our health. And a lot of that's going to start with managing our gut, managing how we actually get energy into our body and how we keep energy production in our body. So it is really fascinating. And I really wish that you had written the summary on the Krebs cycle for my personal training certification and the fitness nutrition one that I did because I read yours and I was like, okay, why couldn't they just say this?
[00:05:08.590] – Allan It was just so well done that I was like, OK, this is for anyone that wants to understand how nutrition works in the body, how energy production works in the body. Get this book. Because this is an education. And it's very well-written and very easy to understand. I get into this stuff, I geek out. But this was not a geeky book. This was a practical. This is how it works. This is why it works this way. And this is what you can do to fix it. So I really appreciate that.
[00:05:38.680] – Dr. Gundry Well, thanks. There is a lot of geeky stuff in it, but supposedly I'm pretty good at taking geeky things and making it useful and practical.
[00:05:47.690] – Allan Well, even the Krebs cycle, like I said. Now I want to start this out because like everything in our lives, it seems more and more we're finding that our gut is the center of the universe. We like to think we live in our brain. But I think more and more we're finding that's not actually where our center of mass is. And it's definitely not where the center of a lot of things that are going on in our body starts.
[00:06:12.850] – Allan So when we talk about the gut, I think a lot of people know kids forget health. I look at the prebiotics and probiotics. And then you brought up a new term postbiotics. Can you actually just talk about all three so we can kind of have an understanding of how those all interact and what they mean to our overall health?
[00:06:31.630] – Dr. Gundry Sure. I think by now most people understand or at least have heard the term probiotics. An easy way to explain them are they are the friendly bacteria that we need in our gut. And I call them gut buddies. But and many people associate probiotics with, say, eating yogurt. Let's just use that as an example. Then there are prebiotics and these essentially are fibers. They are nondigestible fibers. We can't eat them or break them down that our probiotics, our gut buddies want to eat. And one of the things I've told all my patients you have that you could take all the probiotics in the world, but if you don't give them prebiotics, their food, they're not going to grow.
[00:07:24.190] – Dr. Gundry And I have an office in Palm Springs and I use the example. I suppose I sold you grass seed here in Palm Springs when you came back a month later and said you sold me bad grass seed. It didn't grow. And I said, well, what do you do next? So I took it, throw it, threw it out in the yard with sand in my yard. And I said, Well, did you water it? No. Did you fertilize it? No. Well, of course it didn't grow. And it's the same way with probiotics. You've got to give them the things they like to eat.
[00:07:55.270] – Dr. Gundry Now, the reason you want to do that is twofold. Number one, the more you give them the eat, the more they basically keep for themselves and grow little gut buddies.
[00:08:07.540] – Dr. Gundry But more importantly, the science now of postbiotics is probably one of the most exciting fields in medicine and health. So postbiotics are what I basically call are the bugs farts. They eat the prebiotics and then they make compounds, most of which are gases and some small short-chain fatty acids like butyrate that are a communication system between our gut microbiome, between our good guys and our brain cells, our mitochondria in all of our cells. And there is actually a what's called trans-kingdome language that's spoken between probably our most important organ there is our gut microbiome and all of our energy producing organelles, the mitochondria.
[00:09:05.620] – Dr. Gundry And it's so important that many people think that this discovery and it's ongoing is is as important as breaking the Enigma code in World War Two. And for those of history buffs, the Germans' code was nearly impossible to break and we couldn't figure out what was going on. The Germans could go anywhere and no one would know what how they were doing it. So breaking that code, breaking that language, changed the war and breaking this code, finding that there is a language that the microbiome talks to our cells is startling.
[00:09:43.880] – Allan Yeah, I mean, it would make sense that there's some way that our body is relating to that microbiome because when it's ill. We're ill. And so if it's doing well, it needs a way to tell us that. And so by creating those short chain fatty acids and creating certain compounds, we know, or our body knows that intrinsically that it's eating well, that we're feeding at the fiber that it needs, that there's enough of the good stuff there and not it not much of the bad bugs that are in there.
[00:10:18.310] – Allan And obviously, the bad bugs are putting off different compounds and chemicals and causing all kinds of disrepair. And our body doesn't like disrepair. It likes to get inflamed and deal with that problem. And so by making sure that we're feeding our probiotics prebiotics, they're going to communicate the right messaging through our system. And so our mitochondria knows, okay, we can fire on all cylinders, we can make more of us, and we're going to be in good shape because everything's good, we're eating well and we're doing the things we're supposed to do to keep that system healthy.
[00:10:56.110] – Dr. Gundry Yeah, that's exactly right. Hippocrates said it 2500 years ago, all disease begins in the gut and it's like, holy cow. He didn't have all these fancy blood tests that I have to look at leaky gut. How do you know all this? But he did. And he was right.
[00:11:15.280] – Allan Yeah, well, and I think we all intrinsically know it too, because we go through about, we did this in college and it's like you're studying for your finals and you're eating nothing but pizza for a week and you felt like crap and you thought maybe, okay, it's just because I'm not sleeping and I'm not sleeping and all that. But much kind of you kind of knew intrinsically that that that bingeing on pizza for a week was not really what your body needed.
[00:11:43.900] – Dr. Gundry Not a good idea.
[00:11:45.250] It keep you alive. It was cheap and they delivered. And at that time that was about all they delivered. So that's what you did. And now we know that with good nutrition, we don't have brain fog. We have plenty of energy. And a lot of the other problems that we see, the chronic diseases, they go away. I've always found, people will come and I know this due to their come to your office, say, what can I do for this problem? And a lot of times what I've found is it's what can you stop doing versus what can you do.
[00:12:18.820] – Dr. Gundry Oh, that's exactly right.
[00:12:20.110] – Allan And so in the book you discuss seven energy disruptors. And I just thought that people could put that on the refrigerator and get rid of those seven things, their life would be a thousandfold better. Could you go through those seven energy disruptors?
[00:12:37.840] – Dr. Gundry Yeah. The number one energy disruptor is the widespread use of antibiotics, either by ourselves or the antibiotics that we give to most of the animals that we raise to eat and broad spectrum antibiotics. Actually, we're we're a wonder drug. In the 1970s, I remember when they came out, I was in medical school and they were a lifesaver because we didn't have to figure out what bacteria we were trying to kill. We could just shotgun these broad spectrum antibiotics and kill everything. And wow, that's great!
[00:13:17.620] – Dr. Gundry Unfortunately, we didn't know that these things were killing the entire gut microbiome as well. It was like dropping napalm on a tropical rainforest and that goes on. Still, antibiotics are just so widespread, doctors give them out like candy. When anyone has a sore throat or a runny nose, which is a virus in most cases, which antibiotics won't work on.
[00:13:43.390] – Dr. Gundry And about 50 years ago, it was discovered that low-dose antibiotics given to animals like pigs and chickens and cows would make them grow fatter and faster. And, wow, great! Now, no one bothered to think that those antibiotics would remain in the flesh of those animals. And so when we eat any factory-raised or chicken or pig, for instance, or even farmed fish, we are getting a dose of antibiotics that again kills off our microbiome. And once we decimate our microbiome, watch out, everything falls apart, quite frankly.
[00:14:24.280] – Dr. Gundry The second thing is glyphosate. The active ingredient in Roundup and several other of the new herbicides. Glyphosate was patented as an antibiotic, which ought to give us pause. It was not patented as a weed killer and it will kill bacteria. And we have been told that, don't worry, glyphosate works with what's called the shikimate pathway and humans don't have a shikimate pathway. And so you're safe, but our bacteria have the shikimate pathway, and so glyphosate disrupts our microbiome.
[00:15:04.440] – Dr. Gundry Number two, it's now been shown that glyphosate will actively cause leaky gut, regardless of whether it destroys the microbiome. Third, glyphosate interferes with receptors for thyroid hormones and interferes with vitamin D production, and it also interferes with adrenal gland function.
[00:15:25.260] – Dr. Gundry So glyphosate used to be used on GMO crops. That's how it was devised. But in the past 10 years, it's now mainly used as a desiccant on conventional crops to make them easier to harvest. Desiccant just means kill them and dry it out. So it's used on all of our corn, all of our wheat, all of our oats, all of our soybeans, all of our canola. A lot of our flax seeds now have it. And so people are looking for non-GMO, but that's actually deceptive because it's now used on mostly non-GMO food.
[00:16:04.770] – Dr. Gundry So it's fed to our animals. They then bring glyphosate to us. It's fed us in almost all of our products. It's in all of our wheat products. It's even in a lot of California wines. It's everywhere. So it is really an antibiotic against the Earth, in my opinion.
[00:16:25.140] – Dr. Gundry Third environment, the same subject, environmental chemicals and the chemicals that we use primarily in plastics. BPA, the most famous of these endocrine disruptors, is supposedly banned, but it's replacement's like BSA looks to be the same problem.
[00:16:46.170] – Dr. Gundry There are phthalates in most of our plastic wraps, and I've written about this before, but it's getting even scarier. We now know that exposure to phthalates, like in our carpet, like in our clothing, actually disrupts our sexual hormones so much that we now see our sperm counts, for instance, are down 50 percent over what they were 10 years ago in men and women who consume a lot of chicken during pregnancy actually give birth to boys who have shorter penises than women who don't eat a lot of chicken. That chicken is full of phthalates. So scary stuff indeed.
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[00:19:07.500] – Dr. Gundry Overused pharmaceuticals is number four, and this runs the gamut from NSAIDs like Advil, Aleve or ibuprofen. These are like swallowing hand grenades. They actually cause giant gaping holes in the lining of our gut. And pharmaceutical companies knew this when they were first made in the 1970s. That's why they were prescription only. And you could only get a prescription for these things for two weeks because it was known how dangerous they were. Now, of course, they're the largest over-the-counter medication there is.
[00:19:43.950] – Dr. Gundry The second really troublemaker are the antacid drugs, which are what are called proton pump inhibitors, Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix. These are the second widely prescribed drugs. And now over the counter, these were miraculous when they first came out. And I remember when they did prevented ulcers. And I used to operate on ulcers as a surgeon, but they work by inhibiting proton pumps.
[00:20:16.320] – Dr. Gundry And here's the amazing finding. They not only work to stop gastric acid production, but our mitochondria work, generate energy by pumping protons. That's what happens. And so if you're swallowing a proton pump inhibitor, a blocker of proton pumps, your mitochondria in your heart don't work, your mitochondria and your brain won't work. And that's why now there's very strong evidence that use of these drugs actually really set you up for congestive heart failure and dementia. And there's a warning on the label saying, please do not use these for more than two weeks. And that's why the warnings there. But nobody listens.
[00:21:02.400] – Dr. Gundry Also, these things allow bacterial overgrowth of bad bugs in your gut because acid in your stomach is actually one of the ways that we regulate what bugs get into us.
[00:21:15.150] – Dr. Gundry Number five, probably my most controversial saying is fructose. And the book goes into how fructose, which is half of table sugar, it's high fructose corn syrup. It's in fruit. Fructose actually is one of the best ways to stop mitochondrial function, to prevent energy from being made. And in my first book, years and years ago, I said give fruit the boot, in general. Have fruit in moderation only in season and use low fructose fruit. And that's particularly the berries and kiwi or and passion fruit and pomegranates. Those are the low fructose fruits. The highest fructose fruits are apples, mangoes and grapes. And I know you're in Panama, so stay away from those mangoes.
[00:22:12.960] – Allan I actually do.
[00:22:15.600] – Dr. Gundry Now, number six is junk white or blue light special. And we're not all going to Kmart. We are bombarded with blue light throughout our day and night. They're in our lighting there, in our computer screens there in our smartphones. And blue light is actually designed to activate our hunger hormones and activate staying awake. And it was actually to make us go eat when sunlight was long in the summer. Now we're bombarded with this. It sets us up to look for sugary junk food and it sets us up to not sleep.
[00:22:59.610] – Dr. Gundry And one of the key foundations of the energy paradox is sleep is actually when we do our repair work on our mitochondria, it's like the reason we do repair work on roads in the middle of the night is because there's not much traffic in the middle of the night. And it's the same way we have to have downtime for our mitochondria. And that happens during sleep. And we're one of the most sleep-deprived nations in the world now, a lot of it because of blue light.
[00:23:31.470] – Dr. Gundry So I really recommend people make sure that all of their screens have a blue switch when nighttime that lowers the light. Werar blue-blocking glasses once you go indoors and now we even use them for working on computers. There are several good companies that I recommend that I have no relationship to.
[00:23:54.840] – Dr. Gundry Finally, EMFs, electromagnetic frequencies. These are everywhere now. I never used to think that this was a major issue until I started finding patients who clearly were sensitive to even low levels of these radio frequency waves and these were intelligent people, let's just put it that way. They weren't crazy in talking to space aliens. And interestingly enough, when they had people who specialize in this, look at when… For instance, one woman was having migraines almost constantly when they found when she was having migraines, it was actually when a naval vessel off the coast of Santa Barbara was transmitting signals and she actually had to move from Santa Barbara to get away from this.
[00:24:47.950] – Dr. Gundry We had another woman. Here's the wildest story in this. Her husband was given a automatic defibrillator to shock his heart if he had an abnormal rhythm and the defibrillator was always sending off signals, communicating to a particular hospital, what was going on with him the minute he got his defibrillator, she found she couldn't sleep. And everybody said, it's all in your head, don't be ridiculous. So I said, well, look, you know, we have ways of turning off this transmission on the defibrillator and we do it all the time in surgery. And I said, well, just go back to your cardiologist, have them turn it off and report back. The minute that thing was turned off. She started sleeping again. So we have canary's who are very sensitive to this.
[00:25:42.730] – Dr. Gundry So those are the seven deadly energy disruptors.
[00:25:47.380] – Allan Yeah. And some of those are a little easier for us to avoid. Some are not. But where you have control, take control. This is really important. And it's easier to get rid of something than it typically is to add something.
[00:26:02.380] – Allan But your program, the Energy Paradox Program, it's like a six-week kind of staged program. And I'm always going to say the foods are where we want to start with this. So in the book, you make it really easy because you have five dos and four don'ts as it goes to food. As a part of the Energy Paradox program. Could you take us through that real quick?
[00:26:24.320] – Dr. Gundry Sure. The first thing you do is add prebiotic fiber to your diet, and this is actually pretty doggone easy to do. You can add tubers, say yams and sweet potatoes, rutabagas, radishes. Asparagus is a great source of prebiotic fiber. The chicory family, radicchio, Belgian endive, chicory itself. You can even buy inulin powder, which is basically flavorless. It has a little bit of sweetness and you can grind up flax seed, a great source of prebiotic fiber as well as psyllium husk. Another great source. So that's number one.
[00:27:01.570] – Dr. Gundry You want to have foods that actually enable your gut buddies to make post biotics and some of the best post biotic generating foods are the allium family. So onions and garlic and shallots, leeks. Cruciferous vegetables, actually, which are sulfur containing foods, are really important for making one of the most important postbiotics, which is hydrogen sulfide, which is the rotten egg smell. And rather than being a poisonous gas that we once thought, it's actually essential for mitochondrial energy production.
[00:27:39.850] – Dr. Gundry The next thing is you want to have resistant starches. And by that name, these are starches. These are chains of sugar molecules that are resistant to our digesting them. And so more of these starches arrive lower into the intestines where our gut bodies are waiting for them to eat, a trick that I think is just so useful for everyone. So you could take, for instance, like a sweet potato and you can make it more resistant than it already is to digestion by baking it or cooking it and then cooling it and then reheating it. In the process of cooling is when these starches actually are made more resistant. In fact, the most resistant starch has been found is the purple sweet potato. The purple sweet potato, if you cook it and cool it, it'll have about 50% of its entire sugar load would be resistant starch when you're done with it. So it's the thing that kept the Okinawans alive and thriving. One of the blue zones
[00:28:49.630] – Dr. Gundry Eat fruit in very little moderation and eat low fructose fruit. And in general, you don't give fruit the boot whenever you can.
[00:28:59.320] – Dr. Gundry And then get melatonin and phospholipid-containing foods. It turns out the melatonin is not just a sleep hormone. It is actually the most important antioxidant for your mitochondria there. Is it so important the mitochondria will even manufacture melatonin for themselves? But there's a lot of cool high melatonin foods that most people aren't aware of. Pistachios are number one, they have more melatonin than any other food, mushrooms are right behind that. Even coffee has melatonin. One of the surprising research that I discovered was that red wine and olive oil, which everybody knows has some great polyphenol properties, also are great sources of melatonin. And it may be that the French paradox and the Mediterranean diet is actually because of the melatonin in these foods and wine rather than resveratrol, for instance, or olive oil.
[00:30:02.090] – Dr. Gundry So those are the big five.
[00:30:05.090] – Dr. Gundry The big four of don'ts is, first of all, leave the lectins. I guess I got famous by telling people to avoid lectin-containing foods. Briefly lectins are plant proteins that are one of the best ways to cause leaky gut ever devised. And they're present in whole grains. They're present in non-pressure, cooked beans and legumes. Their present, peanuts and cashews, they're present in the nightshade family like tomatoes and regular potatoes and bell peppers, for instance. So leave the lecterns.
[00:30:43.090] – Dr. Gundry Number 7, stop the sugar already. I mean, we are just overloaded with sugar and it's incredibly well hidden. As I show in the book, whenever you're looking at a label on a package, do not look where it says sugar because that's a lie. The labeling laws were changed to hide the sugar. Read total carbohydrates minus the fiber, and then that will actually tell you the amount of sugar in that product. And when you start doing that, it will scare you to death. And just a fun fact. There's four grams of carbohydrates in a teaspoon of sugar. So take that total carbohydrates, divide it by four and you'll see how many teaspoons of sugar you're actually eating. And it's actually shocking.
[00:31:36.900] – Dr. Gundry So I like to use protein early in people's diets because protein is very energy sucking in terms of you lose about 30 percent of all the calories and protein in the process of digestion. But these ultra high protein diets and I'm talking about the Carnivore diet, which is just Adkins reinvented. I mean, come on. These actually starve your gut buddies for the fiber that they need. And so many of the popular keto diets are doing exactly the same thing. All this high fat and no fiber is a disaster waiting to happen because you literally starve the guys that are really going to keep you in great health.
[00:32:25.550] – Dr. Gundry And finally, don't eat Frankenfoods with Frankenfats. Even though trans fats are legally banned in the United States, there was a loophole. They don't have to be declared in institutional food stuffs. So if you're running a restaurant, if you're having a school lunch program, you don't have to list trans fats on the label. They're legal. Plus, the second legal loophole is if you have less than a half a gram of trans fat per serving, you don't have to put it on the label.
[00:33:04.280] – Dr. Gundry And this is how trans fats are still sneaking into us. And finally, frankenfood, about 70% of a typical American diet is now ultra-processed food. And we've broken down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into quickly absorbed molecules that hit our mitochondria simultaneously, like rush hour in L.A. and our mitochondria grind to a stop in terms of making energy. And it's one of the big reasons everybody's so tired right now.
[00:33:39.890] – Allan Yeah, and I love how you how you put that in the book. The the Lucy and Ethel at at the food conveyor belt worth the watch on YouTube. It's hilarious. But yeah, if our body is used to producing energy a certain way and then we're not feeding it that way, we're setting it up to fail, just like Lucy and Ethel.
[00:34:03.250] – Dr. Gundry Watch there the Lucy show, the famous candy wrapping scene.
[00:34:08.600] – Allan Yeah, it's hilarious. I remember that well, because I was a kid and it was hilarious. And it's even funny today. But, like I said in the book, you made all of this really simple. And there's just so much. And I think just what we covered here so far in the podcast, I think it's pretty easy for folks to see. Wow, I got to go back and listen to this again, because it's just so much information for us to improve our health and energy.
[00:34:36.340] – Allan I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:34:45.520] – Dr. Gundry So one of the things that I really talk about in the program is, first of all, it's what I tell you not to eat. That's far more important than what I tell you to eat. And like you mentioned before, getting rid of a lot of the foods that we take for granted is healthy is one of the most important things you can do.
[00:35:07.090] – Dr. Gundry The second thing is the more I can convince you to limit your eating window from the time you started eating in the morning to the time you stop eating in the evening, the more I can compress that to about six hours. In the book, we have a six-week program to get you down to six or seven hours. We don't have to jump in with both feet. We're going to go one hour at a time.
[00:35:36.370] – Dr. Gundry But the evidence is so strikingly overwhelming in animal studies, in rhesus monkey studies, in human studies that the more we can compress our eating window, the more energy we're actually going to have. And the longer our health-span, the longer we are healthy and the longer our lifespan is. And it's really exciting that we have that much power over our fate just by changing the eating window, what I call cronoconsumption in the book.
[00:36:13.990] – Dr. Gundry The third thing is people are obsessed with the fact that they got to walk about 10000 steps every day or they have to have an hour of exercise every day. First of all, the 10000 step idea was actually made up. It was fabricated by a Japanese pedometer company that wanted to sell pedometers. There's actually no basis in in fact. In the book I propose energy snacking, and particularly in covid, everybody, I realize you have a gym, but most of us can't get to the gym anymore, at least now.
[00:36:57.450] So we need to have periods of short little time, frames of one minute walking up and down the stairs can actually improve your energy and cut your appetite compared to like 10 minutes of taking a walk. You can do a plank while watching television for a minute. And if you can't hold a plank, put your knees down and start there. There's so many ways jumping jacks. One of the things that anybody can do, and I really urge this while you're brushing your teeth, do deep knee bends, do squats and you got two minutes a day, you're not doing anything else. Just up and down. And it's these are little snacks of exercise that you can do. So those are three easily obtained things.
[00:37:47.460] – Allan I love those. I love those a lot.
[00:37:50.430] – Allan So, Dr. Gundry, if someone wanted to learn more about you, more about the book, The Energy Paradox and the things you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:37:59.250] – Dr. Gundry Well, so you can come to. We've got several websites: drgundry.com, gundrymd.com is my supplements and food site, you can find my podcast at the Dr. Gundry Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. I've got two YouTube channels. You can find me on Instagram. And boy, if I don't show up on your computer, I'm doing something wrong.
[00:38:25.260] – Allan All right, well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/479 and I'll be sure to have all those links there.
[00:38:32.010] – Allan Dr. Gundry, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:38:35.460] – Dr. Gundry Allan, thanks so much. And keep doing the good work that you're doing.
[00:38:39.360] – Allan You too.
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
[00:02:09.900] – Allan Raz, how are you?
[00:02:11.220] – Rachel Great. Allan, how are you today?
[00:02:13.290] – Allan I'm doing ok, I'm doing okay. I went out for a good long walk this morning and I think my electrolytes are a little low so I'm going to have to start working on that and make sure that I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. And so I think in a few minutes here, when we get off this call, I'm going to fix myself some of that Ucan Hydrate, their electrolyte product. And I might do a little Facebook video, a little video of that so people can see what it is.
[00:02:48.480] – Allan I forget the flavor I have in my pocket right now, but yeah, I think I'm going to do that because I just feel like my electrolytes are low. So my energy might be a little low today. And I apologize if that's the case. But…
[00:03:00.510] – Rachel Nice. I like Ucan. It's a really tasty product. Is that too sugary sweets and flavor. And it sits well in my stomach too.
[00:03:09.630] – Allan Well it actually has no sugar in it. That's the other side of their hydrate product. And even their other products. It's a super starch. The energy. It's a super starch. So it doesn't spike the blood sugar. And it's not a lot of calories either. That's side of it. You know, the standard you can powder was like eighty calories. But it's enough that it kind of feels like it is, you feel that energy going into a workout and then with the electrolytes, it's just a good tasting flavor.
[00:03:39.090] – Allan I love the lemon lime. I think I've got a different flavor here today. But anyway, it's. Yeah. So it's real good. It just gives me what I need. Really easy. Just put it in my little shaker bottle. Go and nice. There we go.
[00:03:52.650] – Rachel That sounds awesome.
[00:03:54.270] – Allan All right. Are you ready to get into today's episode?
[00:03:57.420] – Rachel Yes, that sounds great.
[00:04:40.140] – Allan Dr. Pontzer, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:04:43.080] – Dr. Pontzer Thanks for having me.
[00:04:45.330] – Allan I was reading your book and I looked over at my wife and she was sitting on a couch and I said, “I love reading books by anthropologists.”
[00:04:57.180] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah.
[00:05:00.230] – Allan Even if you didn't tell some of the stories about lions and fires and all the other things that are in this book. So I'm not going to let the dog out of the bag right now. You guys need to get this book to read those stories. But if you even if you didn't have those Indiana Jones moments, if you will, this was just a fascinating book.
[00:05:22.630] – Dr. Pontzer Thank you so much. It was really fun to write.
[00:05:24.880] – Allan I read a lot of books. I just got into this and I'm like, OK, OK, OK. And now I get why he says that. OK. And I'm like, wow, I didn't know that. And holy crap!
[00:05:42.530] – Dr. Pontzer That's great. That's really great.
[00:05:44.410] – Allan When you said blows the lid off of how we really burn calories because the little book rack is actually going to talk about is called Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off of How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight and Stay Healthy. And you did. You blew my lid off anyway.
[00:05:59.680] – Dr. Pontzer Cool. Thanks, man. Thank you.
[00:06:01.540] – Allan OK, so let's dive into this because I, I will go on to My Fitness Pal and I'll go in there and key in I'm 55 years old and I'm five foot 11 almost and I weigh about two hundred and five pounds and I'd like to weigh 190. And so it'll spit back a bunch of numbers at me and say, OK, you need to eat twenty-one hundred calories per day in these proportions. And then I go in, I do my thing and I'm like I got on an elliptical machine and elliptical machine I like because it says 750 calories per hour versus the one that said six hundred calories per hour.
[00:06:39.610] – Dr. Pontzer That's right.
[00:06:40.160] – Allan And then I eat what I eat and I put it in the app. I'm like, OK, yeah, I had this, I had that. And I have one serving of nuts. I had one serving of that. And then it tells me in six weeks you'll reach your goal, because you're eating this way.
[00:06:57.310] – Allan And somehow every day it's like chasing the end of a rainbow. It's just. It's on the next horizon, it's on the next horizon. Can we talk a little bit about these things like the Basal metabolic rate, BMR, our activity level, and why that math? What's going on there when we're trying to figure out our expenditures, trying to figure out how we can burn calories to lose weight, why that's not quite working out for us.
[00:07:26.170] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah. Gosh, where to start. So, you know, I think it boils down to the way that we think about our metabolism. Right? So the way we've been taught to think about our metabolism, it's nobody's fault unless you're in this line of work, in which case it is your fault, I suppose. My line of work, I should say. But we've been taught to think about our bodies like simple engines engineered and built to be a rational and easy to understand.
[00:07:53.200] – Dr. Pontzer And you can rev your engine higher with exercise and burn off more fuel. And, you know, that kind of really simplistic I like to call like an armchair engineer's version of how your body ought to work. Yeah, but by that logic, by those assumptions then everything you just said is totally sensible, totally within its own logic. Totally true. And you can't fault the internal logic of it because it's the story that's been told for decades.
[00:08:18.280] – Dr. Pontzer And so, of course it kind of holds together. The problem is that our bodies aren't engineered. Right. They're evolved. And your metabolic engine is not some simple thing that you can just you can step on the accelerator or step on the brakes. You don't have a lot of control over it, actually. Instead, your metabolism hasn't been evolved to help you fit into your bathing suit better.
[00:08:45.010] – Dr. Pontzer It's been evolved to make sure that you survive and reproduce. And so, your body is doing your metabolism is doing all the sort of sleight of hand behind the scenes that you're completely unaware of. Right? From how well you can take how you track the food you eat to how well you can get a handle on the energy you burn off. And so all of those complications that are mostly unseen to you because your metabolism isn't really about just diet and exercise, about everything makes the story that you told just totally fall apart.
[00:09:16.570] – Dr. Pontzer And I think that's that's the experience that people had. Like you say, oh, I'm going to do this. I'm going to expect these results and gosh, why isn't it happening? And it is because the the the way you thought it was going to work to begin with was not accurate.
[00:09:32.290] – Allan So there was this like really smart guy called Isaac Newton that wrote these laws and to the day they stand. And so there's the law of conservation of energy. And so the thoughts are whatever you put into the system has to come out of the system where it stays in the system. And then I guess to some extent, my math anyway was then, of course, you've got Einstein saying energy equals mass. So if you're putting extra energy in your body, then it becomes mass at some level until it becomes energy again.
[00:10:07.660] – Allan So, it's not that we're broken. Yeah, and I think the way you kind of put it in the book and you got into this concept of constrained daily energy expenditure.
[00:10:20.940] – Dr. Pontzer Right.
[00:10:22.010] – Allan And that's really what's holding us up. Right? Because we are burning the energy or at least we feel like we are because, the machine said seven hundred fifty. But even if I say, OK, then I'll just I'll go with the lower number. Six hundred. Yeah. Which again might not be the right number, but it's a number I burn that I did that I got on there and I pushed myself. I know I had to burn calories to do it because I couldn't do it without burning calories. Where's the math going. Wonky.
[00:10:50.810] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah, right. So what you're describing is the way that people even in the field of metabolism have been thinking about this for over half a century. And it's based on this idea that the all the the tasks you do every day we can to add them all up together. And that's going to give us like your bill at the end of a shopping trip, going to give us the total calories that you burn that day. But what it doesn't tell you, right, because it's completely missing from that equation is the fact that the more exercise you do, your body's response to that and goes, oh, OK, so we've got we spent this much on exercise or it's not really a day to day kind of adjustments, more like over weeks or months, kind of just, oh, I'm going I've changed my lifestyle now.
[00:11:33.200] – Dr. Pontzer I'm exercising this much now I'm spending this much energy on activity. I'm going to spend less on all the other tasks. So most of what your body does every day, even if you're an active person, is not exercise. Most of what your body does every day is immune function and brain function and reproductive function and digestion and all these sort of unseen tasks. And so you reduce those a little bit and you basically make room for the six hundred calories you just spent on on your elliptical.
[00:12:01.010] – Dr. Pontzer And so it doesn't actually bump up the total number of calories you spend every day instead of your body's working to keep the total calorie you spend every day within a narrow range, kind of like in the same way that, you know, your body keeps body temperature within a narrow range. If you go out on a cold day, you don't know. You're not a reptile. You don't drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. No, your body works hard to keep you warm.
[00:12:22.700] – Dr. Pontzer And if you just keep it right at ninety-eight point six or thirty-seven degrees Celsius, whatever you prefer, your blood sugar levels are kind of the same way. They can fluctuate up and down. But they're kept in a narrow range, unless you're unless you have diabetes. And so, you know, that that kind of homeostatic we call it maintenance of your daily energy expenditure within an area. And that's one of the really kind of exciting things that's come out of the work over the last ten or so years I've been doing and some other folks as well.
[00:12:52.970] – Allan Yeah, we used to measure calories when we wanted to kind of do it scientifically. You either had to be in a room where they could they pretty much could measure all your breathing or at least some level have an apparatus on your face. So you're breathing into it so that they can measure the cardio, the carbon dioxide. And that's another little tidbit you had in the book that I actually knew beforehand. But when we lose fat, we're losing most of it through our breath.
[00:13:20.810] – Dr. Pontzer from carbon that you ate. You lose, you lose it all through your breath. Mostly breathing it out as carbon dioxide.
[00:13:26.000] – Allan But they've updated the science. And that's where you were a big part of actually executing that in some really remarkable situations of how we actually burn, how our actual metabolism works. Can you talk a little bit about this? Got double you call it double,
[00:13:41.600] – Dr. Pontzer Doubly labeled water.
[00:13:42.770] – Allan Doubly labeled water. Okay it sounds like Evian almost got a challenger.
[00:13:47.830] – Dr. Pontzer I wish it was as cheap as Evian. That's actually super expensive. But yes, as you said, I'm an anthropologist. I'm trained in the field of human evolution and how our bodies evolved. And, of course, know humans have been evolving for two million years since before we Homo Sapiens as hunter-gatherers. And so from my perspective, if you want to really understand how the body works and you want to understand how humans are in a lifestyle that's similar to the ones that we used to live, of course, we don't have a time machine, but you want to find a culture that hold on to those some of those same traditions.
[00:14:20.240] – Dr. Pontzer Right? And so we wanted to go and look at energy metabolism in a hunting and gathering population. This is back about 2007 or 2008 that we were putting this together first. And we were sure that we were going to find exactly what, you know, what you were saying before, that if they're more active, they're going to burn more calories. And we just we're trying to document how much more. But nobody had at that point.
[00:14:43.370] – Dr. Pontzer Nobody had ever measured total energy expenditures, total daily energy expenditures in a hunter-gatherer group. For exactly the reason you described. You have to have somebody typically have somebody in a laboratory to do that. But what the study labeled water measurement, you can use this really cool isotope tracking technique. Some of the hydrogen to replace the deuterium. Some of the oxygen is replaced with this isotope called Oxygen 18. And you can use those to sort of trace your body's flow of water through your body, as well as the production of carbon dioxide that you breathe out because some of the oxygen that flow through your body actually come in as water and leave as the Os in the CO2 that you breathe, that we actually track that over about a week or 10 days of time. So it's a really cool technique. It's been around for a couple of decades, but it's expensive. There aren't many labs that do it. And nobody had ever done it for hunter gatherer group before.
[00:15:34.070] – Dr. Pontzer So we were so excited when my colleague Dave Raichlen and Brian Wood and I went to northern Tanzania to do this with the Hadza community there. And they're a modern community like any other group on Earth right now. But they are hunter-gatherers. And so they cut a whole lot of these old traditions that are way to to sort of see what that lifestyle is like, how it affects our bodies.
[00:15:54.260] – Dr. Pontzer And, you know, we know they're super active and they get about five times our physical activity every day than a typical American or typical European or anybody in an industrialized, urbanized setting. And we were so sure that we were going to see really high energy expenditures with them, with this doubly labeled water technique. We just kind of wanted to document how much higher it was. And in fact, when we got the samples home without them analyzed, it turns out that even though there's really, really physically active, they're burning the same number of calories every day as folks in the US and Europe and other industrialized countries.
[00:16:27.590] – Dr. Pontzer So that was a total totally mind-blowing to me and has sort of shaped my research over the last 10 years trying to ollow that weird finding and find out. Actually, it's not so weird that you see other places. Do we see it throughout and just try to understand what that means and how your body can possibly adapt to lifestyle like that and to keep energy expenditure the same.
[00:16:51.200] – Allan I would tell you as a personal trainer, I would say 99.9% percent of my colleagues love the calories in calories out model because we sell exercise. You know, for the most part, someone says, I want to lose weight, I'll exercise you. And so it's an easy sell because they believe they need to exercise more to lose weight, but the body is going to adjust because of it.
[00:17:11.450] – Dr. Pontzer Mm hmm.
[00:17:11.960] – Allan And so you've actually proven that scientifically now that that's what happens to our immune function, maybe down regulates our reproductive system down, regulates maybe even the size of some of our organs go down as a result. That's not something necessarily measurable in weight, but it kind of is what it is. Our body adapts to what it needs to eat to stay alive, just to be here tomorrow when when food is scarce or when you're overworking, it needs to be able to keep you moving long enough to get that next kudzu or next to antelope or whatever. Or chase off some lions so you can have what they just killed.
[00:17:53.660] – Allan So you brought up a term in the book that I thought was really important because the other side of the argument, I'll get a lot of people, doctors and nutritionists and everything and and I've seen it work. I was I mean, at some level is they'll say, we could be a carnivore, we could be a vegetarian, we could be a vegan, we could be whatever. And people will tribalize on those on those terms, on those ways of eating.
[00:18:17.990] – Allan What you found with the Hadza is that they are effectively operating opportunistic omnivores. They're going to eat what they're able to get because, you know, it's not like they go open up a fridge and say, we got some zebra in here. I think I'll cook that up tonight.
[00:18:37.670] – Allan It might be it's going to be easier for us to go get some honey today and we're going to eat a meal of honey. Which anyone who's keto would say, oh my God, you're going to die. You're going to have diabetes. They don't have diabetes. They don't have heart disease
[00:18:53.170] – Dr. Pontzer They're incredibly healthy. I mean, wonderful models of health. You wake up in the morning and you get you're out there getting food out of the wild landscape. They don't have any, I should say. They don't have any crops, any machines, any domesticated animals or plants. So any way to store their food or electricity. Right. So they're off every morning to get plants or animals to eat. And, you know, women rack up like twelve thousand steps a day. Men get like nineteen thousand steps a day. It's an incredible amount of physical activity. But yeah, the diet is sort of what they are not, they are not tribal in their diet. The way that sort of you know, it's become fashionable to be here in the industrialized world where you have this, you're spoiled for choice, you know, and you have the opportunity to be tribal if you like to. They don't have that opportunity. There was ever is available.
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[00:21:21.780] – Allan And so it's like then and they're not walking nineteen thousand steps just to get to the 7-Eleven, right? They got to do something. When they get there, they climb a tree or they got to dig up some roots. They eat a lot of tubulars. They eat honey. They eat animals that they kill or that they can scavenge off of other people and other kills. So it's just kind of fascinating that they eat what's there and they still stay relatively healthy because, I imagine zebras are red meat. It's a leaner meat than a cow. Yeah. Because they don't fatten zebras up for any particular reason.
[00:21:57.180] – Dr. Pontzer Right. The Hadza diet is great because you get to make everybody upset when you talk about their diet. They're not vegans for sure. They love to eat meat and they eat it when they can get it. And they like fat for that matter. They can eat it, but they eat a ton of plants, too, and eat sugar. Right. We've done the analysis. The sugar is that, honey. It's just water and sugar, like it is like when you buy it at the store here. So it's a real mix and it changes day to day and it changes month to month.
[00:22:26.310] – Dr. Pontzer And there they are. Not the exception that we look in the ethnographic record at other hunter-gatherer groups, too, that most of them, of course, sadly now are in villages, that kind of stuff. But we have the historical records of what these people were eating. And it's no surprise it's just like cuisine around the world is diverse today. Cuisine around the world is diverse for these traditional folks as well. You know, paleo folks love to point out Arctic populations, the Inuit and yeah, that's right. If you live up where no plants grow. That's right. You make a living without eating any plants. And if you live in places that are warm and temperate and have lots of plants to grow and honey, you eat that, so everybody can you can cherry pick anything if you want to say, oh, this is my model of a paleo diet and just tell me, well, that's fine. You do that.
[00:23:16.020] – Dr. Pontzer I can find you a group that eats all plants, you know, and that's what they do. And they're all equally healthy. So the idea that they're sort of just one paleo diet or one natural diet just drives me crazy. As an anthropologist, one of the things I love about studying people all over the globe is this sort of the yin and yang, the sweet and salty of the differences and the similarities. Right?
[00:23:40.200] – Dr. Pontzer We're all the same. We're all humans, we have all the same motivations going on. And yet the way that we meet all those needs is so different and the cultures are so different. So to have to kind of rewrite some history of us that says, oh, it was only one way or only this way or it just doesn't, just such a disservice to how cool humans are, I think. And how diverse we are.
[00:24:00.720] – Allan Yeah. But we wouldn't have survived if we didn't have that capacity at some level.
[00:24:06.300] – Dr. Pontzer Absolutely!
[00:24:06.810] – Allan To go for periods of time without food and not die. To not have a blood sugar crash and go into a coma because we went two days without actually being able to find food. We have to be able to go without food for a period of time and still function. Yeah. And we have to be able to go ahead. And when it's time and we find the food, we eat what we got, we eat what's there. So if you're climbing up a tree and your lunch is made, it's just honey and honeycombs.
[00:24:33.930] – Allan I mean, that's that's your lunch. You know, it took a lot of work. It took time. It took effort and a lot of calories getting there. And then you're there and then you enjoy the honey and. Yeah, then I guess you take some home so, you can trade or do something with it, but and someone's going to come home. And that's another thing I really kind of liked about their culture. One of the reasons they're probably so healthy is just their attitude and the social bonds they have with their kinfolk and the people around them in their tribe. And so they're just there and they're they're taking care of themselves or taking care of each other. And they recognize where they are in the world, at least from the perspective of if they don't help each other, they're screwed.
[00:25:18.870] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah, sharing that community ethos is so strong. And, you know, and it's one of those things that make us uniquely human. Right? I mean, no other species. You can't find any other species where half of the animals get one kind of food and half the same animals get another kind of food and they come together at the end of the day and share it doesn't happen. Doesn't exist at all. So hunting and gathering, which was what now that is the human strategy for millions of years, is so interesting and so key.
[00:25:46.500] – Dr. Pontzer And it at its core is that we're going to be these socially connected people. Right. I think that's what's so hard about Covid. For example, konbit is just such a killer because it says you can't be a social as you'd like to be in it just now. It's really hard.
[00:26:00.660] – Allan And I've said this many, many times. I wish, I wish, I wish. And I know it's a scientific term that came up with and they're using it. But socially distancing was not what we need to do. We need to physically distance.
[00:26:13.170] – Dr. Pontzer Yes. Yeah. And a really good point.
[00:26:15.420] – Allan And so I know, but I actually went back and I saw where they had started. Using the term social distancing as a strategy many, many decades ago, this is not new. I mean, it's been in the books. That term has been in the books for a long, long, long, long, long before anyone thought of Facebook or anything like that. But we don't need to socially distance. We need to physically distance when it's appropriate and hopefully now with the things that are going on, we're going to move past all that. But we've got to keep our immune system healthy and we've got to do the other things that are necessary for us to thrive as humans. One of the things that's going to come up is like, OK, if my personal trainer making me exercise these do this stupid HIIT workout or the stupid, he's going to say, OK, I need you to do I want you to do 30 minutes of cardio, four days a week.
[00:27:06.310] – Allan There's other benefits to that. And we can get into that for sure. But if it won't help me do what I want to do, which 90 percent of the people approaching a personal trainer, the first thing on their head is I want to lose weight, or at least I want to lose body fat, don't necessarily want to lose weight, but I call it weight because that's what everybody calls it and that's what the scale calls it. And that's the easiest measurement tool I have available to me, the most cost effective tool I have. So we'll just say I want to lose weight. Why should I still do exercise?
[00:27:36.370] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah. So all those adjustments your body makes to exercise, to take, to spend less energy on everything else, to keep your energy expenditure the same. Turns out that those changes are we think and this is really this is kind of bleeding edge science right now. I don't think we're working on right now to know exactly how this all works out. But it seems like those changes that down regulation of other stuff is the one of the big reasons exercise is so good for you.
[00:28:03.830] – Dr. Pontzer And so it helps actually put together a bunch of phenomena that people have noticed over the years and it kind of knits it all together. So we know, for example, that if you exercise a lot, people who exercise a lot tend to have lower levels of inflammation. But what is inflammation? Inflammation is your innate immune response to an attack, to a pathogen or to a cut or something like that. And you need some of it.
[00:28:25.480] – Dr. Pontzer You need some immune response or you'll do very well. But too much is too much. Right. You want to you want the fire department to come when you call them, but you don't want it at your house all the time. So that's what inflammation, chronic inflammation is like. Stress reactivity. You need some stress reactivity to be normal and healthy. You don't want to have big surges of cortisol and adrenaline every time you know something happens.
[00:28:52.720] – Dr. Pontzer Reproductive hormones. Yes. You want to have met a healthy level. Nobody wants any kind of dysfunction, of course. But it turns out that the levels that we typically have of testosterone and estrogen in places like the US and Europe in industrialized societies are much, much higher than they are in groups like the Hadza that are physically active. And by the way, they had to have just a fine time having getting pregnant, having families. That isn't an issue. So we're not talking about where you supposed to where there are issues. We're talking about just having it at a healthy level.
[00:29:24.880] – Dr. Pontzer All of those individual phenomena have been noticed before. And what I think the constraint energy expenditure does nicely is say, oh, OK, this is the framework. Right. It's an energy framework because I'm spending more on activity, on exercise, because I'm doing the HIIT workout, I'm getting stronger. My heart's getting stronger. That's all great. I don't maybe see the number on the bathroom scale change very much. But what I also don't notice. But what is really good for me is all the other amazing stuff is doing for me because of that adjustment. Right. So this isn't a don't bother exercise in story. This is a here's why you have to keep exercise story even if you're not getting the weight change you wish you had.
[00:30:02.080] – Allan Yeah. And I think that's just really, really hard for people to wrap their head around is, I want this thing and yet those other things sound great, but I think
[00:30:14.230] – Dr. Pontzer It sounds great. But I'd really like to look.
[00:30:16.330] – Allan I'd like to look better in my casket. Again, it's just one of those things of saying this. And the other thing I found is really interesting is the people who exercise are healthier.
[00:30:32.800] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah.
[00:30:33.760] – Allan Not necessarily that they've lost the weight, but it's sort of that kind of that backwards to the energy model is they never really had a need to store extra energy anyway. And so when we get on the other side of that, then this is kind of one of my takeaways. And I may be reading a little bit too much into it, but is if it if it took me three decades or even two decades to put on that extra 30 pounds.
[00:31:01.150] – Allan And I try to say, OK, I'm just going to just kind to bless that elliptical every day of the week. And I'm going to you know, I want to keep seeing those 750s just plop, plop, plop. And initially it works. You know, I'm eating better and I'm seeing some some things or at least I'm eating less. But then I get three weeks and I'm hungry. And I'm like, OK, so now I'm hungry and I'm fighting hunger and hunger, it wins. So that's always it always wins that argument.
[00:31:31.360] – Allan So for the folks that are fighting that struggle, to me, it seems the solution that you've kind of based on what you are finding, we really need to ratchet up the patients with our body.
[00:31:43.390] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah. Yeah.
[00:31:44.620] – Allan To let it do the things it needs to do. And if we're eating natural things like because they're not calling a Pizza Hut now at ten o'clock at night and saying, you know, deliver two pizzas there, they're eating real food.
[00:32:00.430] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah, that's right. I mean, you know, the stuff that gets us into trouble and this is some really cool work by a guy named Kevin Hall and other groups have worked on this, in the lab, when you can control people are eating and really watch what they're doing. What are the foods that get you into trouble? It's it doesn't seem like there's any particular nutrient that's the villain, okay, eating too many carbs.
[00:32:20.080] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah, sure. Too many of anything's bad. Too much fat is also bad. So what we did eat too much. Well it seems to lead people to eat too much is when they eat these really ultra-processed over-engineered foods. Right? That are literally built in the laboratory, in focus group tested to make sure that you eat too much. Right. That's how they make their money. And actually, that's a pretty cynical take on it. I'm not trying to vilify food industry, for that matter.
[00:32:44.950] – Allan We should now. It's more than the model. They're blatantly telling you this now. I mean, I remember a Super Bowl commercial. And it was a Pringles commercial, which is just processed potato flour. I mean, it's just… Anyway, so they had one that was pizza flavor, OK? And then the guy says he had another one.
[00:33:05.440] – Allan His friend had chicken. Yeah. So they put the chicken one on the pizza one and they ate both of them at the same time. And the chicken pizza and barbecue had barbecue and they put all three of them. And so they've gone beyond the you can't eat just one, bet you can just one to eat three, stack them up, find multiple flavors that you like paired together or triple together. They're not even hiding. They're not even hiding them.
[00:33:34.270] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah. And I mean it is delicious but it gets into trouble because you know what we're finding is that, that and I should say we, I mean we literally there this is people who are looking specifically at diet. But your brain does an amazing job regulating how many calories come in and how many calories go out, even if you're gaining a couple of pounds a year, which is the kind of that is the American obesity epidemic is a couple of pounds a year.
[00:34:03.700] – Dr. Pontzer Even if you're doing that, you're still matching your brain is still matching (think about this) intake to expenditure to within like point zero five percent. I mean, an incredibly amazing amount of precision there. So then how does it get even a little bit off track, because that's what obesity is. Your brain's going a little bit out of whack matching intake and expenditure. And, you know, it looks like it's these ultra-processed foods that completely blow up your reward system. Right? And your brain is like, oh my God, this is amazing. They don't have fiber. They don't have protein because that's expensive. So they just are full of sugars and fats, oils usually. And and so they don't have any of the of the indicators that your brain usually uses to tell you that your full like fiber and protein, they reward you like crazy. And so you want to bring in more. And so guess what?
[00:34:56.860] – Dr. Pontzer Your brain is just a little bit just a little small error all the time, more and more and more. If you're eating that. Those are the big killers. And what I love about this is one of the best pieces of evidence that that's what's going on here, is that if you look at the hundreds of genes that have been associated with high BMI, with obesity, nearly every one of them is active in your brain. Right?
[00:35:22.060] – Dr. Pontzer So it isn't your your fat cells that are out of whack or your liver cells that are out of whack or your stomach. It's your brain cells that are not out of whack. They're poorly, they're a poor fit to this weird modern food environment we've made, so that's the crux right there. Like you're saying, how do you lose the weight? Well, if you just crash diet, your body's going to respond.
[00:35:44.270] – Dr. Pontzer If you hit the gym like crazy, your body response, you basically had to take these foods, engineered them back out of your life. And that's pretty much how you have to do it.
[00:35:52.400] – Allan And then have the patience to let that play out. Because, again, like you said, that fractional difference is your brain and your body start to recollect and say, hey, I got way too much me here. This is actually not good for me to keep going. I need to get rid of some of this. Your brain will originally eventually turn on and say, okay we're getting what we need, we're full, and in your body will then respond. But it's going to be that gradual, have patience with the process.
[00:36:22.820] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah. And some folks are going to find know the trick is, can you find a diet that you're eating healthily, you're getting all your micronutrients, your weight is either where you want it to be or go in the direction you want it to be. And you feel full because you say hunger is always going to win. So if you're feeling hungry, it's not going to work. And so, it's not a diet book. I don't feel to get the impression this is the next diet to eat.
[00:36:48.200] – Dr. Pontzer You know, that's not the idea here. The idea is what are the principles? How does your body work? What's the owner's manual look like? So you can take charge of this thing? And, the principles seem to be if you eat more fiber, eat more protein, you know, those are ways to feel full on less. And some people are going to find that in a Carnivore diet where a lot of the protein is what saves you. Some are going to find that a plant based diet where the fibers let's say you you know, I mean, there's lots of ways to do it.
[00:37:11.570] – Allan Yeah, well, I think it could be a diet book. So go to Africa, make your own make your own bow and arrow. Make your own stick. They've got roots and tubulars. And and then. Yeah. Walk nineteen hundred steps per day to go kill. I don't know a giraffe.
[00:37:29.080] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah. Right, right.
[00:37:31.310] – Allan That'll do.
[00:37:33.250] – Dr. Pontzer Yeah. Or cook your food with no seasoning. That's another thing. Right? I mean have they got a little bit of salt. That's it. You know they don't really they're food sadly their food is not delicious. I kind of wish it were. Honey is delicious. The honey. How much honey can you eat my lord. You know. Anyway.
[00:37:51.470] – Allan Oh perfect. So Dr. Pontzer, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well.
[00:38:02.810] – Dr. Pontzer That's a great question. I would say get outside because if you're outside, you're probably moving. You're probably breathing clean air. It lifts your mood. So get outside, stay connected. Because I think that's the social aspect of this. The social connections are really important and then don't trade diet for exercise or vice versa. Those are two different tools or two different jobs. And so you got to kind of do both. So I got a squeeze in for I did.
[00:38:30.800] – Allan That's perfect.
[00:38:32.150] – Dr. Pontzer That's what I'd say.
[00:38:33.200] – Allan OK, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Burn, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:38:39.920] – Dr. Pontzer Well, the book is a good place to start. You could also check out what we're doing in the sponsor lab here at Duke. Look us up on the Duke website, or if you want to find out more about the Hadza and for that matter, if you want to help the Hadza, because one of the things that we really try to do with our work is to give back is check out the Hadzafund.org, you can find out more about their culture, more about our work and ways you can donate and help give back if you like.
[00:39:08.120] – Allan You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/478 and I'll be sure to have those links there. Dr. Pontzer, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:39:17.660] – Dr. Pontzer It was so much fun. Thanks a lot.
[00:39:24.330] – Allan Welcome back, Raz.
[00:39:26.160] – Rachel Hey, Allan, what a fascinating interview. I have to say that this whole theory about calorie expenditure kind of blew my mind a little bit.
[00:39:36.330] – Allan Yeah. I just love anthropologist's. I just do. The ones that go out there, the Indiana Jones kind, because he had some really cool stories and in the book about his adventures, particularly in Africa with the Hadza tribe. But he just saw some things there that, you know, you wouldn't you wouldn't see anywhere else and you would experience someone else. And so just to really cool experiences.
[00:40:02.220] – Allan And then, yeah, when he sat down with them, they went in with the hypothesis and he did real science, which is crazy, real science, where you have a hypothesis. And when your hypothesis is wrong, they acknowledge it and say, hey, we were wrong, this is what's actually going on. So, yeah, the hypothesis was that these guys were burning thousands and thousands and thousands of calories every day. And as a result, that's why they were so freaking skinny. But the reality of it was, no, no, they're not. Their body is is finding equilibrium at a lower overall BMI. I mean, I'm starting at BMI, but basal metabolic rate BMR.
[00:40:48.630] – Allan And so basically what happens is that your body slows down other functions, eliminate some of it needs to for periods of time. And so, we've seen this someone who starved for a long period of time, they start losing muscle mass. But you see it, if a female athlete, particularly one who does endurance running, gets her body fat too low, keeps her energy levels too low, she stops menstruating.
[00:41:15.180] – Rachel Yeah.
[00:41:16.200] – Allan And one of the fascinating things that he talked about in the book was that the size of a person's spleen will go down. So you're quite literally using energy from your spleen and that's your immune system. And so therefore, you're not your immune system isn't functioning as well as it should. So your reproductive system can slow down and stop your your immune system can slow down and stop. And all because it wants to keep your brain alive, your heart alive, your liver alive, and you alive. And so it's a requirement. It's necessary if you can't get enough calories. No matter how hard you need to work, your body is going to find balance.
[00:41:58.030] – Rachel Yeah, that is incredible. It's amazing to think that a hunter-gatherer tribe like the Hadza that he studied and people here in the United States even have similar caloric expenditure where you can only go so far. You can like he said, you can't crash diet and you can't hit the gym hard enough. I mean, there's a point where it doesn't make sense.
[00:42:22.510] – Allan Yeah, but but one of the core points to take away from that is not so much just what our bodies are doing, but to understand that the calories that we're burning are not for the right reason our immune systems are overactive. Our systems are over. We have many systems that are overactive because of how we treat our bodies, what we put in them, and so, we are burning a lot and we were burning more calories, but we're burning it being sedentary.
[00:42:54.900] – Allan So it's not that we're exercising to have those extra calories burned. That's not where his average is coming from. It's just coming from the fact that our body is going to burn about the same, whether it's doing it for the right reasons or the wrong reasons.
[00:43:10.260] – Rachel It's just an incredible experiment.
[00:43:12.930] – Allan And so for me, the core takeaway and, we've talked about this a lot lately is that you. Yes. You can't lose weight relatively quickly. If you go on on a diet, the diet's probably going to work for a period of time and then it might not. And when it doesn't, then there's the frustration. Usually there's the retaliation. So, oh, that didn't work. Well, I'm go ahead and just have that bottle of wine I didn't have last weekend because my diet stopped working.
[00:43:42.630] – Allan And then there's the other part of this is just the dealing with hunger. And we just we don't deal with hunger very well because food's just everywhere. And, you know, I think one of the core things for me, and you see it you see in the commercials is they have the Snickers commercial where, you know, someone's starting to get what they call hangry. And as a result, they're kind of angry and hungry and it all comes together.
[00:44:12.250] – Allan And what's the solution? The solution is to throw sugar at it, throw throw a Snickers bar at it, and that's going to solve your your hangry problem. But, that's not how this works. And as a result, I think one of the core takeaways for me was that if we really want to do weight loss responsibly, we've got to look at weight loss as a slow, long process and so slowly whittling away by eating whole foods, nutritious food, being hungry sometimes and maybe not eating as often as we do, those are all going to be strategies that will help us lose the weight we want to lose.
[00:44:53.130] – Allan But it's going to take time. You just have to be patient. If you if you want to lose weight, you can't out exercise a bad diet. And it's really also not in your best interest to under eat what your body requires.
[00:45:06.780] – Rachel Absolutely. There's a point where you need a fuel for…
[00:45:11.340] – Allan All right. Well, it looks like Rachel has some connectivity problems today, so she's dropped off. But I'll talk to you next week, Rachel.
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[00:00:48.630] – Allan Hey Raz! How are things going?
[00:00:50.850] – Rachel Good. How are you today, Allan?
[00:00:52.980] – Allan I'm doing OK. You know, it's been some busy times. The 12-week program is going on, and I'm just loving that. I just I draw so much energy from those guys. I can't tell you enough how much fun it is to just be working with people and then, the gym open. And it's been a slow growth. But, I was sitting there on Sunday and just thinking about the month (we record a couple of weeks in advance) and accounting stuff. This was not a bad month.
[00:01:34.050] – Rachel Oh, good.
[00:01:35.370] – Allan In February we reopened on the first. This was not a bad month. Tt's not a great month because we don't have the tourists, so the drop-ins were about one-seventh of what we would normally see for drop-in revenue. But the the membership was strong. And we've got a lot of new members and faces that we didn't have last year before we closed. So I feel pretty good about where the gym's going and how that's growing. And I was thinking it kind of a blessing for this slow growth because it happened and it was still generally a good month. And it wasn't overwhelming at the gym. I think that was kind of the cool thing.
[00:02:18.450] – Allan But, like everything else, we've got to be careful with Covid as we start getting bigger. I had one night I was working a shift and we had seven people and they were all in the free weight section. And so it was just a little crowded back there. And I was like, okay I can't let anybody else on this side of the building. If someone wants to go and do some some of the cardio equipment or on the other side than they're more than welcome to go in there. If someone comes in and they want to lift weights, I'm going to make them sit on the bench and wait. Just to make sure we didn't get things too crowded in there.
[00:02:50.520] – Allan We don't really have a capacity limit. But I kind of learned that we kind of do have a capacity, just everybody being two meters apart.
[00:02:58.560] – Rachel Right.
[00:02:58.950] – Allan We just have to be responsible about that. So, if you are going to the gym now, the gyms have reopened. Just be cognizant of the two meters. Wipe down your machines before and after you use them and just use good hygiene around this. And for the most part, you're probably going to be successful at not getting it.
[00:03:18.690] – Rachel So for sure. Absolutely. That's great. Good to hear that.
[00:03:22.380] – Allan How are things up north?
[00:03:24.120] – Rachel Good. We actually had a break in the weather, which was nice. And over the weekend I had a little win myself. I actually surprised myself. I did a 10K, which is not a huge thing for me, but I was challenged in the month of February to set, in FKT, a Fastest Known Time within this community I participate with online. And so I chose my normal 10K route to do my time. My FKT and my prior time for this route has been about an hour, four minutes and hour, six minutes or so, and we've had snow. So that kind of is a difficult thing to get through. But we had this break in the weather and the sidewalks are clear.
[00:04:10.200] – Rachel So I set out to do my 10k and I thought, okay, I don't know if I can do this, but I'm going to pretend it's a race day. And I set out and I ran smoothly and the downhills. I ran relaxed on the uphills. And when I got home and turned off my watch, I had a fifty-eight minute forty-seven second 10k. So I actually beatmy proposed time of a su-hour 10k. So it was a win.
[00:04:38.550] – Allan Awesome!
[00:04:38.850] – Rachel Thank you. I was really surprised. So it was a good day.
[00:04:44.010] – Allan Awesome. That, that has to feel really, really good.
[00:04:47.100] – Rachel It does. I've been really focused on training for my fifty miler that's coming up this summer and so that means a lot of slow miles. So I'm not used to running fast. So again, that's another reason why it was kind of a surprise for me.
[00:05:01.350] – Allan And, you know, sometimes that's kind of the way these things work is you're not expecting it and you just have a really good run.
[00:05:08.790] – Rachel It was.
[00:05:09.000] – Allan But you've got to be out there running to have a really good run.
[00:05:12.000] – Rachel That's right. You got to do it.
[00:05:14.040] – Allan Good on you.
[00:05:14.370] – Rachel Thank you.
[00:05:15.450] – Allan Not letting the Michigan weather keep you indoors.
[00:05:18.330] – Rachel That's right.
[00:05:19.540] – Allan So you're trained and that's. And then show. So good job.
[00:05:22.910] – Rachel Thank you.
[00:05:23.570] – Allan All right, are you guys ready to talk to Brad?
[00:05:25.790] – Rachel Yes, let's do this.
[00:06:21.080] – Allan Brad, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:06:23.700] – Brad Allan, I'm so happy to be here. And I have to say that was one of the best warm chats of any podcast. We are on fire right now. The listeners have no idea what's coming. So brace yourselves, everyone. If you're listening at 1.7 speed like me, turn it down to 1.0 because we're going to hit this stuff hard, man.
[00:06:43.010] – Allan Yeah, we I guess Brad and I kind of have a lot in common with the kind of people that we like to talk to. And so with his podcast and my podcast where we're talking, it's maybe even talking to some of the same people. We just we just realize we're both going to be talking to the same guy. And it's a pretty fascinating book. So stay tuned to this podcast for a while. Go check out Brad's podcast, because we're going to be bringing on Dr. Pontzer. It's going to be an awesome conversation, but this is also going to be a tremendous conversation.
[00:07:12.380] – Allan Brad, you and Mark wrote the book Two Meals a Day: The Simple, Sustainable Strategy to Lose Fat, Reverse Aging and Break Free From Diet Frustration Forever. And I have to say, I had followed a OMAD, I've known about OMAD for a while and I've known about time-restricted eating. And so you guys are approaching this from a perspective of being told we have to have six meals a day to lose weight is fundamentally flawed.
[00:07:42.140] – Allan We should give our body time to not eat, to not feed. And two meals a day is one of those sustainable ways. When I look at OMAD, I don't think I could do, OMAD because I don't think I could eat enough calories in one meal. But looking at two meals a day and thinking of it as an eating window, whether it's six hours or eight hours, I quite easily could have a moderate-sized meal and then a big meal, get all the nutrition I need and do that and allow my body 16 to 18 hours to kind of do all the other cool stuff that the human body can do for itself.
[00:08:22.460] – Brad Yeah, well said. I think we've been programmed since we were kids to be dependent on dietary carbohydrates as our primary source of energy. And anyone can reference this. If you've ever felt terrible after skipping a single meal and then you have the afternoon blues and you're tired and cranky and you finally go and binge on way too much junk food when you get your hands on something and when you go to the supermarket and go shopping. So the idea here is that we want to continue to honor this evolutionary model of how humans are meant to operate.
[00:09:00.560] – Brad And we're meant to have stored body fat as our primary source of energy. And that's why we store so much of it and are so good at storing it. And this is going back for millions of years where the human never had regular meals until recent times, recent generations. And so by sitting down to these regular meals like clockwork, we've transitioned away from being fat burners to being carbohydrate dependent.
[00:09:27.350] – Brad And it's really easy to reprogram the genes. It doesn't take that long. Your body's ready and willing to become better and more competent at burning body fat and being able to skip meals. And I think most listeners who are into this health awareness know all this and can nod their heads. And they've heard that fasting is great and intermittent fasting is the latest buzzword. It just passed keto on the Google search terms as the the most popular diet search term. But here's the thing, we take the trouble to go in the book and say, look, you can't just jump into this and expect all these wonderful benefits if you don't engage in fasting properly.
[00:10:06.350] – Brad And so if you try to go and skip breakfast because you read this book two meals a day and it says, hey, I'll only eat two meals a day, it's way better than eating three, you're going to have what we might call a stress hormone bath, because if you're dependent on carbs for your energy source. And then all of a sudden you restrict them because you heard about the keto diet or you want to skip meals and lose weight in this ill-advised manner, what's going to happen is you're going to get your glucose, your sugar, no matter what, because that's what you're used to burning.
[00:10:36.740] – Brad And so you'll do it through this stress response that we call gluconogenesis, which is converting lean muscle mass into glucose to fuel that ravenous brain that needs to burn glucose primarily throughout the day. And so the approach here is to transition in a smooth and comfortable manner. So there's no more struggling or suffering or all these deprivation, mindset, and physical symptoms that we associate with dieting, because that is the failed approach that we can all agree is it doesn't work.
[00:11:10.820] – Brad And so now we have an agreeable, doable, and sustainable strategy that's not painful. It's just about making good choices and understanding what the body's meant to burn as a preference.
[00:11:25.520] – Allan Yeah. As humans, we love simple. Everybody loves a simple rule. If this then that. We like the ability to wrap your mind around things that are simple. What a lot of us don't understand is that the human body is extremely complex. And that our body developed strategies to accomplish things outside of norms. So there would be a normal way, things would be. Normally I would like to be able to walk around and there's a fruit tree. I grab some fruit and I eat it. Oh, and there's a little woodland creature. And I bash it in the head. Now I've got some meat or I go catch some fish and I eat some fish and that's my day. I'm moving about a good bit of maybe probably walking around a little bit of a fast action because that critter is not going to just stand there and the fish is definitely not going to just hang out and say, here, grab me.
[00:12:23.580] – Allan So there's a lot of work involved in getting my food. We don't have that today. So, where we had these simple ways of things were working for us. We've developed other ways. And so what I'm kind of getting at is you bring up a concept in the book that I think it's really important for people to understand is that we have metabolic flexibility. Our bodies develop this capacity to look at fuel in different ways, depending on what our circumstances are and when we're feeding ourselves carbohydrates all the time. It's basically energy in and then what a little bit of energy we can put out is great, but the rest of it's becoming excess body fat. And we're maybe not even tapping into that body fat because we never really gave our body an opportunity to even consider that because we fed more carbohydrates before that ever happened. Can you talk a little bit about metabolic flexibility and how that closed-loop system actually helps us maintain a really good, just basic health?
[00:13:30.840] – Brad Yeah, thanks. So what I described at the outset is really metabolic inflexibility, where you are dependent upon these regular doses of carbohydrate and other food as your energy source. So metabolic flexibility implies that you can really take or leave a meal at a certain time because body fat is always there and able to be burned for energy and keeping your focus and your mood and your appetite all stabilized throughout the day.
[00:14:01.440] – Brad And people who are a little bit familiar with the ketogenic diet, the goal there is to restrict carbs to the extent that your body starts making this alternative internal fuel source called ketones, the liver makes ketones as a byproduct of fat metabolism when carbohydrate intake is really low and liver glycogen is really low. So you're prompted to make this wonderful fuel source that burns more cleanly than glucose and your brain preferentially burns ketones. So you're in this kind of heightened state of alertness and you feel great and you have less inflammation and you get all these benefits from the ketogenic diet.
[00:14:37.020] – Brad It takes a lot of structure to do so because once you start consuming a little bit of carbs, you stop making ketones. But just as you teed this up, we have so many different ways that we can burn energy and sustain ourselves and even function at peak levels without having these super-duper, nutrient bomber drink juices that you need to drink in the morning to get your antioxidants. The body manufactures antioxidants internally, and the internal antioxidant response is possibly more powerful than anything you can consume in a bowl or in a smoothie.
[00:15:13.800] – Brad So just by fasting, we get all these health benefits. We have a great anti-inflammatory response. The immune system works better. Our cellular repair processes work better when we're not eating because we can devote the energy to these other things. That's why animals fast when they're sick and humans should, too. So, this metabolic flexibility concept goes to not only getting good at burning body fat, but also if it's time for your child's 12th birthday at Chuck E. Cheese and you decide to throw down some breadsticks and a hot fudge sundae afterward, that your body can process that load of unhealthy junk food and you'll live to see another day and you'll wake up the next day and let's say engage in a fasting period to get back to your baseline of fat burning so that you can handle not only dietary imperfections, but also be skipping meals. So that's the flexibility part of the equation there.
[00:16:11.520] – Allan We're not recommending Chuck E. Cheese, but by all means,
[00:16:14.670] – Brad This show is not sponsored by Chuck E. Cheese.
[00:16:17.040] – Allan Not at all. I understand you go there with your kid. It's there. It smells what it smells like.
[00:16:25.740] – Allan One of the things you get into the book that I think is really important, and this is where I'll be having a conversation with the new client and they'll be like, okay, I want to lose some weight. And this is kind of my go-to (I haven't looked at it from this direction). I always just talk about eat whole food, just whole food, and that solves 99.9% of the problems. In fact, whether I'm talking to a vegan or a carnivore or anybody in between, the one thing they all agree with is eat whole food. You know, they may disagree on whether it needs to be all plant-based or needs to be all animal-based. But in the end, that's what they're after.
[00:17:06.480] – Allan In the book you looked at from another perspective, you called them the three big toxic modern foods. Could you talk a little bit about those?
[00:17:13.500] – Brad Yeah, you just remind me now that there is something we all agree on, because for years before the emergence of this carnivore movement, which I'm really fascinated by and have seen some amazing healing stories from people eliminating plant toxins. But previously we all agreed that the wonderful, colorful fruits and vegetables are the basis of a healthy diet, even if you're a vegan, even if you're a paleo person. And now even that's called into dispute. So it's like, oh, yeah, we still agree that whole foods are better than processed foods.
[00:17:42.990] – Brad I guess unless you're pitching your energy bar or your powders and potions and things like that. But yeah, good point. So whole food would be a great starting point. And then I forgot your question now.
[00:17:57.120] – Allan Oh, it was the three toxic modern foods.
[00:17:59.820] – Brad Yeah, the three toxic modern foods. I think it is a great place to start because a lot of the research now is revealing that the magical, wondrous benefits of the various diets are mostly what the person is eliminating rather than the amazing transformational powers of going on a vegan plant-based diet.
[00:18:21.930] – Brad In fact, we pretty much trying to be polite and not cross into the boundaries of the faction building and all that. It's a high-risk diet because you're eliminating a whole bunch of nutrient-dense foods. Same with carnivore. People have all kinds of criticism for that, saying that it's unbalanced and you're going to drop dead of colon cancer and a heart attack.
[00:18:46.050] – Brad All those challenges aside for a moment, if you just get rid of junk food, you're probably going to experience an incredible health transformation. And that's where a lot of these leaders of whatever it is that they're touting can kind of attribute this amazing success stories. Is that any transition away from the standard American diet, which Dr. Loren Cordain cites research that 71% of the calories that we consume today in the traditional diet are completely absent from our evolutionary experience.
[00:19:22.260] – Brad So they're processed modern foods that are nutrient deficient and calorie-dense things like grains, things like sugars, and refined industrial seed oils. So those are the big three right there. And I probably should put it up at number one, the refined industrial seed oils, because those are sometimes overlooked. People all know that sugar is overconsumed. And we got to cut back on our sugar. The paleo ancestral movement knows that we call refined grains sort of in the same category as sugar because they're quickly converted to glucose as soon as you ingest them. They don't have many nutritional benefits whatsoever. And so we have grains, sugars, and the industrial seed oils, which are the bottled manufactured oils like canola, corn, soybeans, sunflower, safflower, etc. and then the prevalence of these oils in processed foods of all kinds, frozen, packaged. You can look on the box of anything that's pretty much of a manufactured product and you'll see these oils included in there, even salad dressings, condiments, things that seem innocent. The oils are thrown in left and right.
[00:20:31.800] – Brad And then, unfortunately, almost all restaurant food starting from junky, fast food, of course, where you're getting your fries in your burger and what have you or getting stopping at the gas station and getting some quick fare off the shelf. But even at medium to fine restaurants, they are most likely cooking these wonderful meals. You're paying a good money for the entree in the refined industrial seed oils. A lot of people call them vegetable oils.
[00:20:58.740] – Brad That's a challenge because when you're out there, you can't go back in the kitchen and see. But you can ask and inquire, can you please cook my omelet and butter or something besides vegetable oil? And if you don't succeed there, you might want to find a different restaurant because this stuff is the most toxic thing that's in the food supply. As soon as we consume them, we experience an immediate disturbance in healthy cellular function, especially in the cardiovascular system.
[00:21:24.030] – Brad So the big problem here, too, is that the ingestion or the inclusion of these oils in the diet renders your fat burning capabilities dysfunctional because the the agents are integrated into healthy fat cells. And so they become difficult to burn because you have this chemically altered component into your body.
[00:21:46.050] – Brad If you have trouble burning stored body fat, guess what's going to happen when you try to cut back on dietary carbohydrates? It's going to be difficult, if not impossible, because you're going to be dragging ass in the afternoon and you're going to need some quick energy because you're not kicking into fat burning.
[00:22:03.450] – Brad And that's, I think, where a lot of people have suffered and failed with devoted dietary restriction. I mean, we interact with these people for the past decade where you we'll be putting on a live event or retreat. And I see people coming up to Mark Sisson with tears in their eyes saying, Mark, I got your book three years ago. I've done everything you've said to the letter and I can't succeed. And I feel terrible. And a lot of it's because of the chemical ingestion that's throwing off your your metabolism.
[00:22:30.630] – Brad And then you don't have this wonderous gateway to the fat-burning lifestyle where you can fast you can enjoy meals, you can get up from the table, you feel alert and energized and all these wonderful things. So the seed oils would be the number one thing to really scrutinize and get rid of immediately. And then with the grains and the sugars, we know that these agents have addictive properties. The great work of Gary Taubes, Dr William Davis, best selling book, Wheat Belly, talking about the addictive properties of the gliadin and protein in modern-day wheat and gluten.
[00:23:04.950] – Brad And so this stuff is also nasty because when you try (and I'm making air quotes here on the video), when you try to cut back on sugar, you have a very difficult time. So what we advocate is, look, take a few weeks. Twenty-one days would be a great benchmark to have a complete restriction of grains, sugars, and industrial coils from your diet.
[00:23:26.520] – Brad And that will help you up regulate. The fat burning gene, so that you can manufacture energy internally and feel okay without slamming down meals and snacks all day long, and so this kind of devoted, cold turkey approach seems to be the way to go because these foods are so addictive.
[00:23:49.280] – Brad Now, is that going to be difficult? Yeah, it's going to be tough for many people. But a lot of times we hear people saying, stick it out, hang in there. Yeah. The keto or the low carb flu is really tough and you feel terrible. But don't worry. Three weeks from now, you'll feel okay. And I strongly reject that ideal, because if people are struggling and suffering with a dietary transformation, something is flawed with the approach. And so instead, if you agree to ditch these big three toxic modern foods, what you can then do is transition over to beautiful, delicious, lavish meals that sustain you and nourish you.
[00:24:29.340] – Brad In my own personal example, 13 years ago, when I switched over to a primal ancestral style eating, I traded in this giant bowl of cereal that I'd had every single day of my life. I used to be an endurance athlete. I was burning many, many calories every day. So I'd have this giant horse trough bowl of cereal with five different kinds, of course, all the healthy kinds of cereals. But I'd have nonfat yogurt on there and sliced bananas and berries and a ton of calories.
[00:24:56.210] – Brad So I traded that for a gigantic omelet that I made every morning. And I would use five or six eggs and saute the vegetables and have sliced avocado and salsa and cheese and bacon. And it was incredibly delicious and it sustained me for many hours, but it wasn't giving me that carbohydrate bomb. But that made my transition smooth and easy and enjoyable rather than, let's say, trading in that cereal bowl for a fasting period of four hours. I honestly couldn't have couldn't have done it.
[00:25:25.010] – Brad And that was a healthy person without metabolic damage that a lot of people are bringing to the table. So if you can replace the processed food with nutrient-dense foods, it's in most cases you're going to feel great. There's not going to be any suffering involved and you'll be looking forward to your next nutritious meal and then build that momentum to where at a certain point in a natural and graceful manner, you'll probably be able to skip. Like I was finally able to skip that omelet every single morning because six months later I felt great and I wasn't super hungry as soon as I woke up.
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[00:27:37.590] – Allan Yeah, I think the kind of the worst part of this is the food that's good for us doesn't have a marketing department, but the food that's bad for us does. And so you're going to see things on labels like heart-healthy, like you would with cereal. And then, of course, you're going to see this salad dressing you just bought… Not Mark's brand, Mark's brand is avocado oil. It's good stuff. But other brands, you'll see that they'll say they've got olive oil or they've got that.
[00:28:04.620] – Allan You'll look at the actual label. And they do have that in there, but they've also got the seed oils in there. So it's in there. It's insidious. It's in everything. So the challenge becomes now I'm asking someone to go into their kitchen and throw all that stuff out. And for, I would say the vast majority of people in the United States, particularly, you're asking them to pretty much throw out their entire pantry, clean out their entire fridge, and in many cases go through their freezer and go through all of that stuff and that you start to realize how much… It's like 71% of our total calories is coming from this stuff.
[00:28:48.720] – Allan So when the kitchen purge to me is one of the probably you know, as I talk to people, that's one of their most intimidating events. How does someone wrap their mind around I'm throwing away all this food?
[00:29:02.520] – Brad Yeah, I like how you framed that.
[00:29:03.240] – Allan And I can do the food in air quotes.
[00:29:07.080] – Brad Yeah. Michael Pollan calls it, quote, edible food like substances rather than food. This processed 71% junk. But I like how you frame that question because maybe we should do it backwards. So, first we go shopping to the natural foods supermarket and we get the sustainably raised eggs and meat and seafood and then whatever fresh produce you like or things that are on the approved list. And so you have that like, let's say waiting in the wings in your in the back of your car, and then you go throw everything away into the garbage can in a five minute binge of of cleaning out that house.
[00:29:43.530] – Brad But yeah, I can see that we're locked into routines and have difficulty with big change. But I think the restocking of the pantry with nutritious foods and maybe browsing the 40 recipes in the back of our book. And if you just flip through it and in a minute's time you'll see, wow, this stuff looks great. It's delicious. It's varied. And so there's so much you can do. And there's so many cookbooks now that are honoring the low carb or the ancestral approach.
[00:30:13.260] – Brad And so there's no shortage of ideas. And for Gourmet's, that's great. They can go and look at the thirty-one ingredients and prepare a recipe that takes two hours. But for busy people or a lot of times, I encounter like my male peers aren't so gourmet in many cases. We wrote a couple of cookbooks called Keto Cooking for Cool Dudes and Carnivore Cooking for Cool Dudes, and we purposely made it not precise. You just throw in a little bit of this little bit of that, put some sardines in the skillet, crack a couple egg yolks, mix it up and you know, you can get these superfood meals without much time or energy or scrutiny.
[00:30:53.370] – Brad And so that's the big one, is nourishing yourself with wonderful, delicious foods and doing it immediately so that there's not this lull where you don't know what to eat. You're fidgeting around and then you kind of reach for a really bad choice because your body's commanding you to consume calories. And that's no joke. I mean, a lot of people are starting out with a lot of discipline, motivation, willpower. And then it cracks because as we talked about offline, the human brain and the hypothalamus when it's hungry, there's nothing that can I mean, you're going to be pushing people out of the way to get something to sustain you.
[00:31:31.020] – Brad So we have to do this in a strategic manner. And setting up those good meal habits is the big one, like I discussed with my omelet or whatever you want to put as the example.
[00:31:40.930] – Allan And I think that's one of the keys. You know, when we talk about two meals a day or time-restricted eating, this is not like you immediately just jump in and say, okay, I had dinner tonight at seven o'clock and I'm not going to eat again until two o'clock tomorrow. That's typically not how this works. There's a transition period to doing time-restricted eating. And I like one of the things that you guys use used an acronym called WHEN which is When Hunger Ensues Naturally.
[00:32:12.090] – Allan So it's kind of listening to your brain because invariably your brain's right. If it's telling you you're hungry, you're actually probably hungry. And if we try to not listen to it, then it's just too easy to fall back on old habits. And there's McDonald's. I'm driving by my windows down on a beautiful day. And I could smell it. If you're not answering yourself when you have control, now, you're in a situation where you probably don't.
[00:32:42.310] – Allan And so how does someone go through? Because I know you guys have a plan in the book. You also have the recipes, which thanks for mentioning that, by the way, because I did want to make sure those are in there, too. How does someone go about approaching getting to two meals a day?
[00:32:58.510] – Brad Yeah, good question. And I think when it's a really easy strategy to get your mind around and it's not intimidating or fearful. So when hunger ensues, naturally, we have to make sure that we really are talking about hunger.
[00:33:13.360] – Brad And I think what we have today is boredom, prolonged periods of stillness with our lifestyles, especially working on the screen. And a lot of these things can mess up our metabolic function to the extent that we think we're hungry. But we might just benefit from going out and running two flights of stairs and returning to that default fat burning state that requires a little bit of movement throughout the day. There's research showing that if you sit still for as little as 20 minutes, you will experience a noticeable decrease in glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.
[00:33:52.090] – Brad So in other words, you stop burning fat really well and you start to lose a little bit of cognitive function. The oxygen delivery, the blood circulation, everything kind of goes down because the body does not like to sit still for long periods of time. And so when you feel that decline in energy, we associate that with hunger perhaps. And then we go get an energy bar out of the drawer and we get a little boost for however long and then another drop and we go on this roller coaster all day long.
[00:34:22.390] – Brad I'm kind of jumping without answering the question fully, but we do have to include those lifestyle elements into this picture. It's not just about your food choices, because if you're sitting there all day long in a chair not trying out this wonderful stand-up desk craze or thinking that you're too busy to take a one or two-minute break every 20 or 30 minutes, you're going to have real trouble adhering to a dietary transformation, especially getting rid of those carbohydrate foods that provide quick energy.
[00:34:56.590] – Brad So back to trying to answer that question and integrating this concept of when hunger ensues, naturally, this implies that whatever fasting periods you're going to engage in, you're going to feel comfortable. You're going to have stable cognitive and even physical function in the absence of that meal. And that includes perhaps a workout some days where you can wake up in the morning, go through, even if it's a light workout, like a cardiovascular session at fat-burning heart rates, you want to feel good and strong .And that you're not needing, desperately needing calories to complete a 20 or 30-minute workout, maybe an hour workout or maybe a 20-minute high intensity workout where, of course, you have the energy stored in your body to complete it. But we have to kind of play it out in a natural and comfortable way.
[00:35:49.900] – Brad Once you clean up the diet and get rid of those three toxic modern foods, we don't want to talk about anything. You can drop off this podcast right now or you can close the book at page seventy-one or whatever if you're unwilling or you haven't accomplished that goal. Because that's the gateway to a fat burning lifestyle. So once those foods are out of the picture, you're making good choices and you're having these nutrient-dense meals, then you can kind of tiptoe in this direction to say, okay how about if I wake up and wait around until hunger ensues naturally?
[00:36:26.920] – Brad And that will be kind of a checkpoint as you do this exercise and see how long you can comfortably last before your meal, which is the exact opposite of the cavalier approach that you just mentioned, to say, okay tomorrow I'm going to suck it up and I'm going to wait till 2:00 p.m. and that's going to be a 16 hour or an 18 hour.
[00:36:47.230] – Brad We want everything. We want you to kind of back into everything. So if you are keeping a food journal and you like that accountability, you write down when you eat after the fact because that's when you were hungry and you decided to eat, as opposed to saying, I have to make it till a certain time, otherwise I'm going to drop off the A-list on my plan here. So simple, sustainable, like we say, and doing it at the right time when you really feel you're ready.
[00:37:15.940] – Brad And so let's say you wake up and at eight thirty in the morning your stomach is growling. And the reason your stomach is growling is because the prominent hunger hormone ghrelin is making it growling. So growling is an actual it's not just fun and games, it's an actual biological response, triggering hunger. And a lot of times the circadian rhythm is a strong influencer of this. So if you start skipping breakfast as part of this lifestyle transformation, you may experience these spikes in hunger in the morning because your body's used to eating at a certain time of day.
[00:37:52.120] – Brad Maybe it's 2:00 in the afternoon when you always have your energy bar and soda break in the break room. And so you might experience hunger spikes, even though it's more circadian than that you're actually out of energy and you need food. So we have to learn to be more nuanced and more intuitive and see what our body is capable of. And you'll probably find that you're way more metabolically flexible than you even dreamed of, even right now. And then after three weeks of dietary restriction, getting rid of the junk. Oh, man. It's going to open up an amazing world of possibilities.
[00:38:25.370] – Brad You and I know about these extreme enthusiasts where people will go on five-day fasts every quarter and twenty-four hour fasts once a week. And it seems like unimaginable to the average person. But when you get down to it, we're all pretty good at this stuff. We're all humans. If you have the ability to be patient and, you know, keep those junk foods out of the diet, you can really awaken some good fat-burning potential.
[00:38:56.420] – Allan Yeah, there was this time and I've told this story on the podcast a couple of times, but I was I had some property and I went out there to do some work and just got up in the morning. I wasn't hungry. So I eat when I'm hungry. I don't even think about it unless I'm hungry. Then I'll eat for the most part. I might have a meal in the evening because only because I know if I don't, then I'm going to want to eat much later. And from a timing it doesn't make sense. But for everything else in my life, I'll just eat when I'm hungry. So I went through and I went out to my property and I finished the work. So I drive my tractor back onto the trailer and I'm going to leave the property and my truck got stuck. So I call AAA to come pull me out when he comes out there about an hour later, you know, which is what they've kind of promised. He was on time.
[00:39:41.290] – Allan He went to pull me out and his truck broke. So, he had to call for a part. And so I just went ahead and grabbed. The reason I had this property was I had some fishing ponds. I'll just go do some fishing catch and release stuff. So I'm out there fishing. And it took him like four hours to get his truck fixed. He finally gets me out and then I'm driving back and I'm thinking to myself, it's six o'clock already. And I had a pretty tough morning work doing the work I was doing. It was not easy work. And I wasn't even thinking about food.
[00:40:15.020] – Allan Before I got into what I'm doing with keto and fasting and just paying attention to the food I'm putting in my mouth versus eating what is there, I would have been chewing off my arm. But I had that flexibility we were talking about, I had the freedom that provides to basically say, I know when I'm actually hungry and I know what I'm not.
[00:40:41.900] – Allan And it's it for a lot of people, it's kind of an interesting feeling because they think they're always hungry and then they actually feel full when they eat because they're eating, like you said, the highly-nutritious, high-quality foods. And they know what it feels like to actually be hungry because they let themselves actually get hungry before they eat again.
[00:41:04.910] – Brad Right. And it's it is a wonderful feeling to experience hunger and then go satisfy that hunger with a great meal. And a lot of us are hugely disconnected from that because we just sit down because it's lunchtime and we're going to go have a business lunch. And then when we get home, of course, we're going to honor the the the dinner time and the family gathering. And all that stuff's great. And when we wake up in the morning, of course, we got to get some food before we rush off to our busy day.
[00:41:34.610] – Brad But to rethink this and kind of open up the floodgates to a different alternative lifestyle and different choices like that. And then to realize that missing a meal is a positive checkmark in the direction of metabolic flexibility. So we can kind of relax, especially I know a lot of health-conscious people, they're trying to cover their nutritional bases every day and make sure that they eat enough protein and make sure that they get their superfood, antioxidant smoothies and all this stuff.
[00:42:04.730] – Brad So to kind of recalibrate that a bit and realize that fasting is probably the biggest thing you can do for an immediate health boost, it beats any superfood ever known to mankind. And so skipping a meal is no big deal. It's a positive step in the direction of health. And then you can kind of turn eating into one of the great pleasures of life as it's intended to be, rather than another stop at the gas station, as if you were a race car and just need to refuel all day long, which is basically the story for most people that it's just fuel and calories, a lot of times empty calories, but you need them otherwise you're going to feel like crap at three p.m. at work and you're not going to get all your work done before five.
[00:42:54.050] – Allan Yeah, we leave a second breakfast away. We don't need a second breakfast. You might not even need the first one.
[00:43:00.320] – Allan There was another concept in the book that I thought was really important that I wanted to bring up because a lot of people, we're busy, we've got a lot going on in our lives and we're looking at the clock and we're thinking, you know, I wanted to get out of here and go get my workout in, but I just don't have that hour.
[00:43:16.940] – Allan I need to stay in the office for another half hour to get some work done. And then, yeah, I got to go pick up the kids and we got to go do this. And my life is just this out of control kind of thing. But you have this concept. We talk about micro workouts. And I think so many people are stuck on the I have to work out for thirty minutes every day or an hour every day, or I might as well not do it. Can you kind of talk about micro workouts and how we can make those are part of a healthy lifestyle.
[00:43:46.160] – Brad Yeah. Thanks, Allan. This is I got a big smile on my face because this is, I think, one of the greatest breakthroughs that we've seen in fitness in this century. I know the century's young. We got a lot ahead of us.
[00:44:00.710] – Brad But really, the fitness industry as a whole has been stuck. It's been mired in this no pain, no gain, struggle and suffer mentality. And most of the programing is based on this idea that if we crush you hard enough, you can high-five your workout partner at the end. We can put you on the commercial and you'll order this expensive indoor bicycle or join the gym or continue with the package with your trainer who's urging you for more reps. And so for the people that are really into fitness, it works fine.
[00:44:33.510] – Brad I used to be a professional triathlete, I trained all day long for a decade of my life and I loved it and I traveled around the world and I mixed with other athletes who also loved riding our bicycles one hundred miles through the mountains. And that was all fun and games and great stuff for us. But so many people have been marginalized by the traditional approach to fitness. And you walk in the gym, you know, 63% of people are intimidated when they look over to the free weight room. And another 27% are intimidated when they look in the window at the bootcamp class where the lady is screaming and urging you for more and more jumping up and down. And you're like, wow, I'm not even in shape enough to conceive of doing something like that to my body.
[00:45:13.880] – Brad It's true. It's catering to the fitness extremist already. So for the average person who just as you described, is busy, might not be a fitness freak, maybe they didn't feel like an athlete when they were a kid and they're just on the outside looking in. This concept of micro workouts can appeal to everyone who wants to be healthier, not necessarily a fitness freak. Just have that baseline level of physical competency to get through life with more enjoyment and less risk of injury, especially as we get older. Falling is the number one cause of injury and death in Americans over age 65. Falling. Not, pick something else. I mean, come on falling? You're kidding me?
[00:46:05.680] – Brad But that's what happens when we go into steady and prolonged demise. And so the micro workout conveys this idea that in a minute's time or two minutes' time, you can do a miniature little burst of explosive physical effort wherever you are. You don't need a lot of implements or contraptions you can do right now in your work cubicle drop for a set of 20 deep squats or however deep you can take them.
[00:46:32.590] – Brad And even if you're a fit person, when you get to 17, 18, 19, your legs are going to feel it. So in one minute's time, you can get a nice miniature little workout and the benefits are tremendous. One of them is it breaks up these prolonged periods of stillness that are so harmful to our metabolic and cognitive function. So even a minute's bursts of running up a couple of flights of stairs, like I said before, or doing a set of deep squats.
[00:46:57.970] – Brad I have a rule. I have a pull up bar over my closet door and it's like a supply closet. So every time I go in there to get a another Post-it pad or whatever it is, I do a set of pull-ups that might happen once a day. Big deal. It's not going to mess up my big workout that's planned for tomorrow. Maybe I'm recovering from something and I don't want to push myself too hard today, but a single set of pull-ups is nothing to write home about.
[00:47:25.750] – Brad I don't have to write it in my fitness workout log or anything, but if you talk to me 365 days from now and I say, yeah, this is my daily pattern and oh by the way, when I throw the garbage out, I have to go through the side yard and sitting there in the side yard is a hexagonal deadlift bar with a moderate amount of weight on it. Nothing to write home about again to the muscle heads. But let's say there's two hundred pounds on that bar. And my rule is every time I throw the garbage away, I do at least one set of deadlifts and then I go about my busy day. Maybe sometimes I'll get into it. I have some free time and I might do three or four sets and make it something that's a little bit more significant.
[00:48:05.740] – Brad But this very low bar to jump over, to enter the world of a fit, healthy, active person is what we need to progress within the overall approach to fitness. And I think the micro workouts are so fun. It can be something that you enjoy. If you have core competency, or technique, you do something as simple as possible, like doing a squat or running up your flight of stairs, walking back down, running up again.
[00:48:32.200] – Brad And of course, we're so busy we can't devote any more than that. That's fine right now. But as it becomes part of a daily habit and you start sprinkling these things in over time, the amazing thing happens is that, I call it like flying under the radar, but building your fitness, but without that huge risk of breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury that occurs when you immerse yourself into the mainstream approach to fitness.
[00:49:00.550] – Brad That's the person that signs up for the personal trainer package on January 1st. And by April Fool's Day, their shoulders aching and they're going to go get an MRI and they've finished their package and they're burnt out and they're fried and they don't like it anymore because it was too physically grueling. So this is a way to kind of tiptoe to even really fit. Just from sprinkling in these little sessions that don't bother you, so they're arguably safer and less downside risk than a devoted fitness regimen. And furthermore, the emerging science in exercise, physiology and general health study is that the obligation to just move more in daily life is ranking above adherence to a devoted fitness regimen for all manner of health and disease protection.
[00:49:52.140] – Brad Because we're so still and sedentary that even the fitness freaks, there's this idea called the compensation theory of exercise. So it's a scientifically validated phenomenon where they've studied people that do adhere to a devoted fitness regimen. So let's say that's that neighbor of yours that rolls out of there before it gets light to go to their spin class every morning at six a.m. and they're really, really into it. But then they go on the subway, they commute, they sit at a desk all day, they come home and they binge on digital programming. So they're still in sedentary for hours and hours every day.
[00:50:35.760] They showed that this population of devoted fitness enthusiasts who are otherwise sedentary had the same level of metabolic disease risk factors as people who didn't exercise. And you can think, look, even extreme fitness person who's training an hour every single day, that's seven hours a week. There's one hundred and sixty eight hours in a week. So if those other 100 plus hours, of course, we need to sleep.
[00:51:00.660] So we got to take a third of that and be still. But if you're engaging in all these sedentary lifestyle patterns, the exercise is not going to help you. And instead we just have to move more. Mark Sisson coined this term JFW it stands for just effing walk and that would be the centerpiece of a more active lifestyle. And you can get more health and even fitness benefit from walking more versus going and punching your gym ticket even more and pushing yourself really hard once in a while or an hour a day.
[00:51:34.620] – Allan What I like about those is that it's something you can fit around your normal workday. So you're sitting at your desk and you want to get up to go to the restroom or go get some water or something. And so you just sit there and say, I'm a pop out 5, 10 squats, bodyweight squats. And the other cool thing about him is because these are these are things that you're adding to your day. You can really put a little bit of forethought, forethought to them and say, I want these to be functional exercises, not just something like a spin class where I know I'm burning calories, but quite frankly, you're saying squats, fundamental movement. You talked about deadlifts with the hex bar, fundamental movement to build strength in your legs, strengthen your core. You know, all of these things that even pull ups, there's some function to being able to climb going upstairs.
[00:52:26.820] – Allan All of those are functional movements that you're building into your day that might otherwise not include any workout at all. So I just like how that can be a part of every day. You can just have those triggers. You can be doing squats while you're brushing your teeth, so there's so many opportunities for you to to do these types of things in your day and not having to think that you have to dedicate an hour or it's wasted. I just like that concept.
[00:52:56.370] – Brad Yeah, I was just talking to someone the other day about this and they're expressing a bit of interest. How do I throw this in? I spend a lot of time at night watching my TV shows, he said. I said, well, make a rule then. If you're going to binge watch, at least in between every episode drop for a set of twenty pushups or squats or whatever. Put some rules in place because I think, hey, I listen to a lot of podcasts. I fill my mind with these great ideas. Do I execute on every single one of them? No, I don't, because I'm just too busy or whatever my excuse is.
[00:53:27.690] – Brad So in this case, what worked for me really well, Allan was I wanted to kind of raise the fitness platform from which I launched my formal workouts because I've been a long-time fan of sprinting. I'm obsessed with high jumping. Now I compete in the old man's Masters high jump track and field.
[00:53:46.800] – Allan Now, 55 to 59 is not old man. I refuse to accept that.
[00:53:50.630] – Brad I'm slotted in that division, whatever you want to call it, man. So I go out and do these awesome workouts, let's say once a week and they're pretty tough. And when I get to the track I'm all pumped up and I'm competitive and I feel great. But of course I learn over the next 36 to 48 hours and I kind of pushed it too hard there. And my calves are screaming and I'm in pain now and I'm really tired. And so what was happening was I wasn't approximating that big challenge very frequently because I couldn't I had to rest and recover and the go hit it once a week again.
[00:54:23.860] – Brad And so what I designed was this morning, routine of flexibility, mobility, core strengthening, just a fun little thing that's predicated to help me with the muscle strength and mobility I need for sprinting and jumping, I'd say. But I threw this in and decided to do it every single morning. Again, not that strenuous, but it chips away at my fitness without interrupting my busy day. I'm on a streak now of over four years, where I have not missed a single day of this wonderful morning flexibility, mobility, strengthening routine. And it started out as something really modest because I wanted to have that low bar to jump over to tell myself I'm going to commit to doing this. I'm not going to miss a day. And again, it's not too much trouble. I'm not dripping in sweat at the end, but to have it as part of my lifestyle, where I don't even have to think about it now and I get through this, it used to be a 12-minute routine and now it's a minimum of thirty five minutes.
[00:55:25.390] – Brad I know that's not doable for many people, but whatever you have to commit to. So if you can say, hey, I'm going to give the first five minutes of my day and I'm going to do the yoga sun salutation sequence, you can see that on YouTube. It's the foundation of a yoga class where you stretch and then you compress and then you sweep and you do these movements. But if you can say that you do that every single day, we'll count that in this micro workout category and then everything else flows from there because now you've built into place this rule that this is now part of your lifestyle. It's not negotiable. It's going to become a habit.
[00:55:59.500] – Brad And then you'll set yourself up for more success doing these little these little tidbits that we described about, you know, lifting the deadlift bar when you go through the garbage can. So I want to make sure the listener can take away something that's so simple that they might even scoff at how easy it is to implement this new commitment of five minutes a day or let's say you put a sticky note on your computer or your office door and say 40 squats before you leave the office every day. And if it's 4:57 p.m. and you're clocking out at five, I don't know if it's a home office or you're leaving whatever and you haven't done it, then you've got to do 40 right there. No big deal.
[00:56:40.090] – Brad But if you do 10, you know, on the on the 90 minute break, you set your little timer, then it's nothing. And so we have to put rules in place because it's easy to let these things slide. And if the goal is really modest, boy, that's when I think we can build that momentum. And that's what's happened in my life with my morning routine.
[00:57:02.080] – Allan Brad, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:57:09.850] – Brad Whoo! Number one is to implement that morning routine and make it five minutes. Don't even go beyond that until you get into a good groove. So that one I'm really strong. It's been a life-changing thing for me, especially because I'm not a template, regimented guy. I answer to myself, I work for myself, I work from home. And so I can do whatever I want every day. But this thing is really anchored my day. And the fact that I can do that and tell the public about it, I believe it helps me become a more focused and disciplined person in every other way for the rest of my day and all the distractions that I face. So the morning routine, number one.
[00:57:54.970] – Brad Number two is ditch those big three toxic modern foods, do it for twenty-one days. And what you'll discover is you'll habituate away from this nibbling on sugar and grain-based, high-calorie snacks. Your body will actually feel better, even though you're giving up what you think are these precious things that you can't do without and that you deserve so much. After working that hard day, of course you deserve a pint of processed ice cream with chemicals in there. Even hippie trippy Ben and Jerry's products have vegetable industrial seed oils and some of the flavors. I couldn't believe it when I saw it on the side of the box. So ditch the big three.
[00:58:36.460] – Brad And then you asked for three, right?
[00:58:38.080] – Allan Yes.
[00:58:39.130] – Brad Number three is don't take on too much, so just do the first two.
[00:58:43.890] – Allan Oh, I like that. All right, Brad if someone wanted to learn more about you and Mark Sisson and your book, Two Meals a Day, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:58:53.650] Oh, thanks. We have this cool landing page called TwoMealsaDayBook.com, and you can get, it's called preorder bonus items. But even as the book has been released just before the show came out, you can still get our cool preorder bonuses. There's an audio summary, a recipe PDF, and a discount coupon to go shopping for healthy condiments at Primal Kitchen. And then if you go over and visit BradKerns.com, you will be regaled by wild and crazy videos like my morning routine, you can learn what I do and watch me break the world record and speed golf, don't worry if you only have a minute and thirty-eight seconds, that's all it took for me to play the fastest hole of golf ever played.
[00:59:33.240] – Brad And I'm trying to promote all these healthy lifestyle practices that we live and breathe every day. But I also think it's important to put in a vote for having fun and having a lighthearted approach. So you'll see me kind of being silly. Same without my BRad podcast. I like to inject that sense of humor and not taking ourselves too seriously as we try to improve our lives and optimize in so many different ways.
[00:59:58.050] – Allan You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/477 and I'll be sure to have all the links there. Brad, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[01:00:08.010] – Brad Thank you, Allan. Great show. Keep up the good work.
[01:00:10.710] – Allan Thank you.
[01:00:16.090] – Allan Welcome back, Raz.
[01:00:17.830] – Rachel Oh, Allan, what a neat conversation, Brad seems like a really energetic guy.
[01:00:22.990] – Allan He is a very energetic guy. And for those of you that don't know what speed golf is, that I went right over your head. But basically, speed golf is a sport where you hit the golf ball off the tee and then you run to the ball and they basically add your strokes to your time of the run. And so the secret is to run it really, really quickly, to quickly hit the ball again, but be generally accurate because you don't want to be running all over the golf course and then get the ball in the hole. And he managed on a par five basically to get a par four, a birdie. And he did it in just over a minute and a half. I don't know that I could even just run from the tee to the hole in that amount of time. But I just know when I played golf the walking, because I'd be on one side and then I'd be on the other side, then I'd overshoot the hole and then I'd be over here and then I'd be over there. By the time I got through the hole of golf, I'd already walked the whole golf course.
[01:01:23.800] – Allan And so so that probably not the sport for me. I'm not a sprinter. I'll be the slow go. But yeah, basically that's that's one of the sports he participates in now. And he's a hoot. It's fun to watch people do crazy stuff like that. But just yo actually meet someone who's got the world record at it. It's kind of awesome.
[01:01:48.490] – Rachel That is a riot. What a funny sport. I just love it.
[01:01:53.350] – Allan We got into a couple of important things. I mean, obviously with the two meals a day concept is something that I feel a little bit more confident I could do rather than the one meal a day. And it's only because I don't know that I could eat enough calories at one sitting comfortably and to make sure that I'm still getting all the nutrition. The second meal would… I'm going to have to do that so effectively when I eat, I intuitively end up eating two, sometimes I have three meals in my eight hour, six hour window, but easily two meals would work out very well for me.
[01:02:29.920] – Rachel Sure. Yeah. It seems a lot more doable and easy to plan out too. I like that concept.
[01:02:36.370] – Allan And then we got into the toxic food stuff. And yes, we've talked about sugar on this podcast. Actually, I think maybe even my second episode, episode number two was about sugar. We know what sugar is doing to us. We know for the most part what bread is usually doing to almost all of us. And then the seed oils is an area where I probably don't talk about enough. And in the worst part of it is, the labeling on foods, all the seed oils are going to have heart-healthy on their label, because they're not saturated fat and unfortunately they're still horrible, horrible food for you to be putting in your body.
[01:03:24.950] – Allan But they managed to get to a point where they're marketing, the healthy thing, it just breaks my heart. Eat healthy canola oil. And I'm like, no.
[01:03:38.840] – Rachel It is really confusing. And that was hard for me too when I started keto, because you think of an oil that's derived from a plant or a seed, I mean, that sounds perfectly healthy. What could possibly be wrong? And then when you add the label on to it that says that it's heart-healthy, what could be wrong? The government said that it's healthy. So how do you weed that out? It's taken a long time to unlearn some of these habits.
[01:04:06.160] – Allan Yeah. It does it just that that kind of stuff just drives me nuts. If you want to eat heart healthy, you're going to eat a lot of grains. You're going to eat a lot of those seed oils. And then the worst part of it is if you're going to try to go low fat otherwise and what are they going to do? They're going to put sugar in the food to make it palatable. So you're getting the trifecta of the bad toxic foods, just trying to follow the guidelines that our government is so kind to put out there for us.
[01:04:38.540] – Rachel It's so crazy. Now, what kind of oils do you like to use when you're cooking? We've we found good success with coconut oil. It's easy and it cooks well. And it's got a good flavor.
[01:04:50.090] – Allan I use I use avocado oil. Some I like to use I like to use coconut oil, particularly like if I'm going to make something that's more of an Asian style restaurant. So like, let's say I'm going to stir fry some chicken and some vegetables and then I want maybe I'm going to try to make it into more of an Oriental flavor or I'm going to put some coconut and curry. I'll use the coconut oil in that. If I'm going to make something that's going to be more of like a meat sauce or something like that, I'll use I'll just use the hamburger and I don't drain it.
[01:05:22.940] – Rachel Right.
[01:05:23.600] – Allan Those recipes are like drain the oil.
[01:05:25.584] – Rachel No.
[01:05:27.680] – Allan Throw away half your food.
[01:05:30.110] – Rachel Yeah. Don't don't replace that with more oil. That's good stuff.
[01:05:33.350] – Allan We're going to throw away half the egg because we don't want to eat the yolk. We're going to throw away the fat because we don't want fat. And I'm like, no, put that in there. It's delicious. It's what makes hamburger taste good. When you take all that oil out, it tastes like dirt. So I'll do that. And then, like, if I'm going to use like an olive oil, I'll use it as a dressing. Or I will sometimes, like if I've cooked a sauce once I'm done cooking the sauce and now it's just kind of warm, heat it ready to go. I'll slather in some olive oil at that point to give us a little bit more umph.
[01:06:09.780] – Allan And then I, I love cooking with butter. I love cooking with butter. I'll get the Kerry Gold or good quality butter. We've got two or three brands down here that are grass fed cows from Panama and I assume they speak Spanish. They make butter and that's it's a good butter. I'll cook eggs with that.
[01:06:34.250] – Allan Sometimes when we're going to have bacon and I cook the bacon in the pan, I might use the grease, some of the grease and bacon and just cook it with that. I'm not afraid of saturated fat because what I have found is saturated fat makes my HDL go up. And the ratio of total cholesterol, the HDL improves when I'm eating saturated fat. If I take out the saturated fat, my HDL plummets, my LDL goes down maybe a little bit, but not enough to matter as far as the doctors are concerned. And my HDL is still relatively high. So my ratio of high total to HDL is terrible. So, I want to have the best markers I can have. I'm not worried about the total because I could eliminate all of my HDL and still be over the number. And even when I did statins, my cholesterol was still over 250.
[01:07:42.320] – Allan And I can't get any lower. So, it is what it is. I just accept that so. I'll use I'll use saturated fat, you know, I eat fish regularly, so I'm getting some omega three oils from the fish.
[01:08:02.270] – Rachel Good.
[01:08:02.660] Sometimes I will take krill oil. If I'm not getting enough fish, I'll go ahead and take some krill. Well, and get some more in there. Most of what I'm eating are grass-fed beef. So there's some good fats as far as I'm concerned. Good fats in there because it's grass-fed, grass-finished. So that saturated fat is actually not bad for me. Eggs and pastured eggs. That fat I don't think is bad for me. And then cooking wise avocado oil, olive oil once it's already cooked because I'm not going to cook with olive oil and then just plain old butter.
[01:08:36.560] – Rachel That sounds great. That's about what we use in the at our house as well. The coconut oil, avocado, occasionally olive, but not often. And of course we also have butter. And I also have a little can of ghee, which I use that on occasion as well. So that was that sounds good. Yeah. The other thing Brad mentioned, which I have to say I kind of geeked out about, was micro workouts. I really liked his idea of well, he mentioned doing a minute here, a minute there, push ups or squats and and lifts and whatnot.
[01:09:09.110] – Rachel I tell all my friends that if you're struggling with motivation, you're not feeling it. Do half a workout or go out for one mile. You don't have to spend two hours at the gym. If you just take five or ten minutes and get a little fresh air, do something that gets your heart rate up. I mean, that's enough to move for that day.
[01:09:28.010] – Allan Yeah, there used to be this kind of mantra that you needed to have your heart rate up in the cardio zone for at least twenty-four minutes. And apparently there was a study, but the doctors, now they've done the science and they're kind of like now you're going to get the same benefit doing five 5-minute workouts, as you would, doing a 24 or 25 minute workout. So just anything that's going to get your heart rate up for just even five minutes is going to be beneficial.
[01:10:02.440] – Allan And actually, one of the other things I really like about microworkouts is that there's something that you can spread movement throughout the day. If you go to work and you think I'm going to sit at the desk for a solid four hours, then I'm going to have lunch and then I'll sit at the desk for another five hours and not move during that period of time other than an occasional toilet break or get some coffee. You're sitting still and, you know, whereas if you when you got up to get that coffee, just did some jumping jacks or, you know, some bodyweight squats or a couple of push-ups and then move around, your energy level is going to go up and you might find you don't actually need that coffee,
[01:10:50.410] – Rachel Right? Yeah. Just get your blood pumping, get a little fresh air. And that might be enough to energize you for the rest of the afternoon.
[01:10:58.300] – Allan And there's another part of the micro workout theme that I like. So sometimes we wake up in the morning and we're lik I really don't feel like running. I don't feel like it. Then we put we force ourselves to do it. But I got to do it. I got to have my streak intact. That got to do it. And we get out there. And this very unfortunate thing happens is that our bodies were actually fatigued.
[01:11:21.710] – Allan We had not recovered properly from our workouts and because maybe because we weren't feeling right, maybe because we weren't sleeping right, maybe because just doing too much, too soon. We're not recovered. And because we didn't listen to our body, we're doing more harm than good. So, looking at it from a micro workout, you get there and say, I really don't want to do this, but then you say, I'll do it for five minutes.
[01:11:47.780] – Rachel Yes.
[01:11:48.650] – Allan And if after that five minutes you're not feeling it, stop. Please stop. Your body was talking to you and you were ignoring it or trying to override it with reason. Please do this when the body really did need recovery time so that if you get out there for five minutes, you've got the benefit of that five minutes and you're not overtraining. And then a lot of people, you just start it like I started my route and I ran out two minutes and I agree that I'm going to turn my back two minutes or sometimes you just realize I want to keep running. I don't actually want to stop now and you get your full workout in because that's what you needed to do.
[01:12:32.630] – Allan So microworkouts kind of have two functions. One is that you're breaking up the work into smaller portions, which sometimes makes it easier to fit into a busy day.
[01:12:41.060] – Rachel Right.
[01:12:41.600] – Allan And then the other thing is micro workouts can kind of be that strategy to get you started. I'm at least going to do five minutes and then if I'm done, I'm done. And you can listen to your body, as you put it, through the paces. And I just know when I ran a lot, I hated the first two or three minutes of running. I hate it. You start going and it's like man, this sucks. Then something clicks on when your body warms up and then it feels good.
[01:13:15.140] – Rachel That's true. Some of us like to say the first mile is a liar and that you feel that this isn't right. I got to shake out the cobwebs. I'm not feeling it today. But then once you get that first mile under your belt, sometimes the to the second and third or however long you're out there, they just fly right by. So, yeah, for sometimes the first miles is a liar. Sometimes it's the first five minutes of a workout that's a liar.
[01:13:38.960] – Rachel But yeah, if you could just do something it's better than nothing. And like Brad mentioned if you're sitting there watching TV at night, do some pushups during the commercials and then do some sit-ups during the next commercial. I mean, just these little movements throughout the day, it's always better than nothing at all.
[01:13:57.350] – Allan Absolutely. And with the commercials the way they are today, I mean, the 30-minute program has eight minutes of commercials.
[01:14:05.810] – Rachel Just about, yes. Pretty much.
[01:14:08.840] – Allan You don't have to watch too much TV and you've got an hour of workouts done yet. Half an hour anyway, watching a couple hours of TV. You got half an hour right there, just watching two hours of TV. So if it's a popular program, because when they first start out, they don't. And I see this because I watch stuff on Netflix and I'll see a show the first year it came out. And, they have basically five to six minutes of commercials.
[01:14:38.390] – Allan And then by the time they get to their fifth or sixth season, that's it's up to over eight minutes of commercials now because I'm flipping through these this shows, I'm like, how could I just watch five shows on Netflix and an hour and all those damn commercials that I'm not having to watch.
[01:14:55.130] – Rachel Right? For sure.
[01:14:56.750] – Allan Netflix is a little different as far as if you're going to be doing them because they don't have the advertisements, the commercials. But, okay, you know, you watch half the show or watch the show and then do the work before you start that next episode.
[01:15:13.760] – Rachel That's right.
[01:15:17.810] – Allan Alright, Rachel, anything else you want to go over before we cut out?
[01:15:20.390] – Rachel No, that was great. Great conversation.
[01:15:22.700] – Allan All right. Well, let's we'll talk next week.
[01:15:24.800] – Rachel You bet. Take care.
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After documenting her year in The Wellness Project, Phoebe Lapine was still struggling with her health. He found she had small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Her efforts to understand and address this illness brings us SIBO Made Simple.
Let's Say Hello
[00:00:48.220] – Allan Raz, how are you doing this week?
[00:00:49.780] – Rachel Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:00:51.550] – Allan I'm doing pretty good. Outdoors, sitting on the patio at Lula's, my wife's bed and breakfast. And I've been kind of sweating because it's been some warm couple of days up here.
[00:01:03.370] – Rachel Nice.
[00:01:04.510] – Allan Yeah. Not so much in Michigan.
[00:01:06.790] – Rachel No, no. We've got frigid cold temperatures again and we just got another five or seven inches of snow last night. So we'll be digging ourselves out today, that's for sure.
[00:01:16.870] – Allan Yeah. And that this particular one obviously is taking a big dip south because I'm having grown up in the southeast. Most of my friends that I grew up with, they're dealing with snow and ice there and they're not equipped for it. What would be a normal Tuesday in Michigan is kind of devastating in Mississippi.
[00:01:37.780] – Rachel It is.
[00:01:38.530] – Allan Yeah. So there's there's some struggles there. And I just say, if the weather outside is that bad, if you can stay home, stay home, because it's you don't need to be on the roads and particularly if you're just not comfortable or you don't have the equipment necessary to be on those roads because the most of the tires that you're going to have in the southeast are not they're not built for snow. They're built for rain and they're built for warm weather. And so you get them on the snow and they're ice skates.
[00:02:07.780] – Rachel Yeah, it's a dangerous. It's a dangerous situation. Even up here in Michigan where we do have the equipment and the trucks and everybody's prepared, we all know usually how to drive in the winter. These frigid temperatures we're having makes such that the the salt does not work effectively. So even this morning, the trucks were able to clear all the snow off the highways, but they couldn't lay down the salt because it wouldn't have done anything. So we need to wait for the blue skies and the sun to come out, maybe get a little bit of melt before they can put the salt down. It's still a really tricky situation up here. So, yeah, the best advice is to stay home, if you can.
[00:02:45.640] – Allan The problem with the Southeast is that it it's not that cold. So you get you get right in that kind of that scary middle space where you've got snow and then you've got sleet and then you've got ice and then you've got snow and…
[00:03:00.370] – Rachel It's a disaster. It is just a disaster.
[00:03:04.060] – Allan And the general reminder, bridges do ice before roads do so…
[00:03:09.040] – Rachel Yes, that is true.
[00:03:10.840] All right. So, yeah, I've been in charge of Lula's this week. My wife is in David doing some shopping for the bathroom fixtures and sinks and stuff like that that she's going to need to redo the six bathrooms up here. And then we're going to do an owner suite and a bathroom downstairs. And so there's just there's a lot of construction that's going to be going on for the next several weeks. She's in David trying to get that stuff together. And she put me in charge. And I'm not doing all that well.
[00:03:40.210] – Allan I forgot to feed the workers today.
[00:03:42.700] – Rachel Oh, no!
[00:03:44.310] – Allan That's one of the things you're in keto and intermittent fasting. You don't even think about food. I woke up. I wasn't thinking about food. I'm doing my thing and and I'm like, okay, well, I got to go get the microphone because I left that at the gym and I wanted to be back here. And then I was walking back, I bought some groceries for dinner. And I said I probably forgot lunchtime. I don't even know what time it is. And then of course, here I am for a recording. I was a few minutes late because, I had no clue what time it was and I wasn't hungry. I'm not hungry. So, yeah, unfortunately I didn't feed the workers today. And when my wife hears this, she's not gonna be happy with me, but I am going to feed them tomorrow. I promise.
[00:04:22.180] – Rachel Oh good. Good thing.
[00:04:26.140] – Allan All right. So are you ready to go have a conversation with Phoebe?
[00:04:29.320] – Rachel Yes. Let's do this.
[00:04:55.570] – Allan Phoebe, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:04:58.370] – Phoebe Hi, thanks for having me.
[00:05:00.460] – Allan I should say welcome back to 40+ Fitness because I had you on earlier back in 2017 when you had the book, The Wellness Project.
[00:05:11.290] – Phoebe Yes.
[00:05:11.650] – Allan And I have to admit, I stole a little bit from you. I like the word wellness. I liked it a lot. I liked your approach. And then so when I wrote my book that I actually published at the end of 2017, no 2018, I called it The Wellness Roadmap.
[00:05:32.440] – Phoebe Amazing
[00:05:32.980] – Allan It was kind of a lot. What you did was, okay, how did I get here, how did I do these things to make myself well. Now you did that in your book The Wellness Project, and I think you stole a project from Gretchen Rubin.
[00:05:48.200] – Phoebe Yeah. We're all stealing from each other.
[00:05:48.800] – Allan Yes, there we go. But we're all learning each other. And I think that's the other thing is I was able to bring some things that you had learned on your journey and I had learned on my journey and say, okay, let's let's put those together, because that's going to help people. And that's why you do the podcast. That's why I have you on again so we can talk about your book, SIBO Made Simple.
[00:06:09.380] – Allan Now, let me be honest with you. I started reading and maybe… I'm lucky. I'll just readily admit I'm really, really lucky in that I don't have bowel issues almost ever. Almost never, ever. I live in Panama. My wife has already gotten a parasite here and had to take medicine. Touch wood, knock wood, whatever you do, nothing like that's happened to me. So as I go into these topics, it's not something that I have personal experience with. So to me, SIBO and SIFO and Candida and all these things are a little bit like a Rubik's Cube.
[00:06:48.560] – Phoebe Hmm. Yes, definitely.
[00:06:50.660] – Allan Because it's not a one symptom, one cure. It's multiple symptoms and maybe multiple issues all happening at the same time. As you start adding the layers and I didn't realize until just recently they have a four sided Rubik's Cube. I just bought one. It arrived today.
[00:07:10.280] – Phoebe Four sided?
[00:07:15.770] – Allan They're all sided. But it's the one we had back in the day was a three by three. And then I found out they have the two by twos and have four by four. So I bought them just so I could play around with them. And as I got into your book, you basically wrote the algorithm to help us solve SIBO.
[00:07:36.620] – Phoebe It's a really good analogy. I'm going to have to steal that right back from you because, yeah, as you said, I tried to create a roadmap as much as possible. But it's not a linear journey. It's more like a really expansive map with lots of twists and turns and forks in the road. And I think it's important for you to be able to see the entire landscape because sometimes you have to go back to Go and start over again.
[00:08:05.000] – Allan You were in it. I mean, I think that was the thing of the book and the thing about your other book, The Wellness Project, is that you experienced this and you were down in the trenches. So this is not you just saying, hey, this is something that also affects people. You were in it. Can you tell us a little bit about your story?
[00:08:28.250] – Phoebe Yeah, I always seem to write the book that I wish existed when I was going through something. So, yeah, as you mentioned, like I started to experience symptoms right after I had supposedly learned everything there was to know about gut health by doing research for my last book. And it was so funny because I really was confused. I was doing all the things that the microbiome specialists had told me to do.
[00:08:51.980] – Phoebe And I interviewed some incredible people. And pretty much everyone's advice was the same. Eat a lot of fermented foods and insulin-rich vegetables and fiber, fiber and more fiber. So I was crushing legumes and drinking a lot of Bucca and kafia and whatnot. And I started to realize I was feeling miserable after every meal. So I went harder on all of those things and then felt more miserable.
[00:09:15.470] – Phoebe And eventually that got me back in the door of my doctor. And the diagnosis I received was SIBO, which is something I had heard of in passing but didn't truly understand. And honestly and this isn't just like making a silver lining out of a bad situation, but learning about SIBO was like such an aha moment, such an essential part two to my wellness project, my wellness story.
[00:09:41.510] – Phoebe And some of the other diets that I kind of heard of along the way, like the low FODMAP diet began to make sense. So I'll just tell those of you who don't know the actual definition of SIBO, it stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth. And it's thought that at least 60 percent of all IBS cases are actually being caused by SIBO. But it's not necessarily like a disease in and of itself, kind of similar to IBS.
[00:10:06.920] – Phoebe It's a sign that something has gone wrong in the body, that the mechanics of our digestive system has gone off the rails. And I find that part really fascinating because also in my research and kind of just in the wellness world, I feel like, quote unquote, gut health, like the word gut just gets thrown around a lot and we kind of forget that it's the entire digestive system. So when people are talking about good gut bacteria, I didn't really realize that. It's not like, well, there's, of course, different types of bacteria in the entire digestive system, but the majority of it is supposed to be in the large intestine, not the gut as a whole. And the small intestine is really not supposed to have much bacteria at all because that's where you absorb your nutrients. So if they're bacteria present who have the same taste as you do, in large part, they're going to start competing for your nutrients. And when they eat your food, in particular, different types of carbohydrates, they release gas.
[00:11:05.540] – Phoebe And when that gas is super far up your digestive tract, it's not as close to an exit ramp. And so it's going to try and get out any way possible. Burping was a really strange symptom that I had that I kind of didn't even realize would have been associated with anything. But once I got diagnosed with SIBO and like read the list of symptoms, I was like, oh, my God, the burping. Because, again, that gas is just trying to get out. But for those who have IBS symptoms, the SIBOy IBS is really high up. Like you feel that bloating like underneath your ribs. It's not like for the ladies out there what you would feel like if you just were getting your period. And it's also something that happens very frequently.
[00:11:48.780] – Phoebe So pretty much so long as there are some sort of carb on your plate and that includes vegetables, fruit and vegetables as well, you're going to feel probably some sort of symptom because the symptoms are directly related to the food.
[00:12:03.650] – Phoebe So it's a tricky nut to crack because you're trying to eradicate bacteria from one area without doing too much damage to the large intestine. And that's kind of the tricky. The tricky walk you need to do with SIBO. And it's something that I know gives people a lot of confusion. But at the end of the day, I think it comes down to the fact that these bacteria are wreaking such havoc. They're causing so much inflammation because they're in the area of the gut that doesn't have a whole lot of protective… It doesn't have a whole lot of protection. You have a really thick mucus lining and the large intestine, which separates your immune system from the bacteria and in the small intestine since it's not designed for bacteria, you don't have that.
[00:12:47.540] – Phoebe So your immune system gets involved. Once that happens in the fog of war, you can damage the tight junctions of your intestines that leads to leaky gut and then that leads to food sensitivities. And there's a huge overlap with autoimmunity and SIBO for that reason. It's like kind of a chicken or the egg. And yeah, I think it's like one of the reasons well, the gut is kind of at the at the heart of so many different conditions, but in particular with SIBO, there's just a very long list of things that could be at play.
[00:13:18.630] – Allan Yeah, I think, one of the kind of aha moments of this is actually understanding that the digestive track, each segment of it. I guess the best way I can say it, your mouth, your stomach, your small intestine, large intestine, each one of those has a particular purpose. And the large intestine is is there to break down fiber and do its thing. But if you end up with the bacteria too far up, meaning it's into the small intestine, the small intestine isn't designed for that.
[00:13:47.640] – Allan And as a result, it kind of made sense because it was like, leaky gut, you end up with these these gaps. I'm kind of thinking how how would that actually work? How it's kind of actually, you think of it as a mesh, but that's fine. You think of there's a mucus layer and that's fine. But then when you actually said, okay, you're getting gas and the gas is expanding, something that wasn't designed to expand, it was just existing, designed to pass this stuff through, pull out the nutrients that can because it's churning.
[00:14:18.960] – Allan So it's pulling out the nutrients as it goes over. It was 17 feet. So it goes across this distance. And during that time, it's pulling out all the nutrients and there's a very specialized process. But if it's swelling up because there's excess gas in there, then I can now I can kind of understand how it would force things out, and of course, the gas is trying to escape, but at the same time…
[00:14:47.100] – Phoebe Yeah, often it just gets trapped.
[00:14:49.680] – Allan All the stuff in there is also getting forced to go somewhere to some extent because it's in that same space. It's trying to occupy that same space, which is getting more and more compressed. And you you feel like you're eating well. You feel like you're doing everything you're supposed to do, but you're getting sicker and sicker.
[00:15:07.180] – Phoebe Yeah. and I think that's another really difficult thing and why I think learning about SIBO and having some sort of awareness is so important because, we're all like grabbing for straws and there are definitely going to be certain experts or influencer or whatever you want to call that people follow and they will reach towards whatever the piece of advice is. But we're all so different and anything that can help can also hurt. And SIBO is a prime example of that.
[00:15:33.040] – Phoebe So the low FODMAP diet, which is something I had heard about kind of while I was doing research for my first book, is basically the opposite of what the gut sensis were telling me to do. And at the time I didn't understand. I'm like, why would this help people with IBS and the low FODMAP diet is very data-backed for reducing IBS symptoms. And I kind of knew deep down that I had to be because their guts were so damaged in the first place that they couldn't even handle some of those, quote unquote, good gut foods. Or perhaps they're missing bacterial species that helped to break them down. Could be all of the above and or SIBO.
[00:16:09.570] – Phoebe But SIBO really appealed to my common sense because it makes perfect sense that bacteria, good or bad, if they're eating their favorite foods but they're in the wrong place, are going to cause you a lot of symptoms.
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[00:18:03.100] – Allan Now, one of the things, like I said, where you kind of added an extra row to my Rubik's Cube was that a lot of people will go through. And IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and it's somewhat of a nebulous thing. That just means you you have diarrhea or you have constipation or you have gas or just any kind of digestive problem.
[00:18:27.730] – Allan Then you throw in some other things that often accompany this same issue and diagnosing it and then beyond diagnosing it, actually knowing how to treat it. Because, like you said, we we want to be able to remove what we need to remove without doing complete damage to the entire rest of our system. So you talked about topics like SIFO, which is more of a fungal thing like candida. You talked about estrogen dominance and kind of some things about the thyroid that often come hand in hand, almost like you said, amigos. But I would say Co-villians.
[00:19:11.280] – Phoebe Yeah.
[00:19:15.550] – Allan They're basically the criminal mastermind group that gets together to go against the Superfriends. Can you kind of talk about a few of those that, for lack of a better word, are related issues that you'll find with SIBO?
[00:19:28.330] – Phoebe Yeah. So SIFO, that one is easy. So that's just the same acronym. But instead of bacteria you've got fungus overgrowing, which Candida falls into that category. And it's because the mechanics again, when the mechanics go off the rails, you have a chance for anything to overgrow. So I can give you a little bit of an overview of of what the main reasons why someone who gets SIBO might have as contributing factors.
[00:19:55.120] – Phoebe So kind of the first category is any sort of structural impediments. A lot of people have had any sort of abdominal surgery, even if it's laparoscopic, you kind of have this internal scar tissue that you may not know about that kind of restricts or changes the movement.
[00:20:13.060] – Allan And that even includes a hysterectomy, right?
[00:20:14.770] – Phoebe Yeah, yeah. And like not to scare you, but if you have some sort of tumor like that, it's going to change the structure of the abdomen and endometriosis is a big one for women. It causes the endometrial lining to occur outside of the uterus, and that can mean a lot of growth that are bearing down on the intestines. It also can mean a lot of laparoscopic surgeries. So, check check both boxes there.
[00:20:38.890] – Phoebe The second big category has to do with something called the migrating motor complex. Again, something that I never heard of when I just did my basic gut research prior. But this is the street sweeper wave that moves food through your small intestine. So it's not like the same as peristalsis. It's kind of described as cleaning up the dishes after a meal. So it just helps literally to kind of like conveyor belt food through. And so when that breaks down and it can for so many different reasons, then that's, of course, going to equate to an overgrowth very easily.
[00:21:16.330] – Phoebe The third category, I would say, is just various ways that bacteria aren't killed. So someone with an immune deficiency, someone with low stomach acid, someone with out a gallbladder, anyone who's not producing enough enzymes or bile, that's of course, all those ingredients were designed by your body to neutralize unwanted bacteria because bacteria is coming into our body through our nose and mouth every single day. It's just part of the way of life. So, again, like included in those ingredients could be yeast or fungus. And our body is naturally going to have a certain level of bacteria and fungus, but not in the small intestines per say, because we're meant to have a lot of bile and acid in there and we're meant to have this street sweeper wave moving things through
[00:22:11.320] – Phoebe The second category, I think of the overlapping conditions that you mentioned would kind of fall under hormones. Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's, which is what I wrote about in my last book, The Wellness Project, I didn't even realize, really goes hand in hand with SIBO. And it's because you need a healthy gut in order to have your inactive thyroid hormone T4 converted into T3, which is the active thyroid hormone. But on the flipside, you need the T3 hormone in order to have a healthy gut so it can become this real vicious cycle, as many things with SIBO can.
[00:22:51.520] – Phoebe So that's one. And then estrogen dominance you mentioned again comes down to hormones. So our liver is such an important player in the digestive process if your liver is not functioning up to snuff, you're going to not be carrying out your estrogen in the way you should, and then that could create estrogen dominance. And you also could have estrogen dominance because of all the hormones in dairy products and the animals we eat and the personal care products we put on our body. There are just so many ways that that can happen.
[00:23:23.390] – Phoebe And then guess what? Estrogen dominance can also prevent you from converting your thyroid hormones properly. So all of these things, again, do feed into one another. And another funny one with the Hashimoto's and estrogen dominance connection is that if you're not pooping and stuff which can happen is a very common symptom of Hashimoto's, because if you're not if you don't have enough T3 in circulation, the migrating motor complex doesn't work as well. So again, you're going to have a motility issue. You tend to not be able to absorb your B12 as much, which also leads to brain fog. So, yeah, again, you're not pooping enough, then you're going to have estrogen dominant because you're not getting rid of your excess hormones.
[00:24:16.910] – Phoebe Oh, gosh, that's a lot to keep track of.
[00:24:19.880] – Allan It is. And that's why I think this book is valuable, because if you're going through this, you have this is a reference. Now, one of the things you got into in the book that I thought was really important because, prior to this, again, I knew there was IBS. We've talked about the low FODMAP diet on the podcast before. But if you can segment this and start to understand exactly what's going on in your body, then you're going to have the right treatment protocol to get things done well, rather than just have to do a full on. Let's just cut everything out, do this huge elimination diet and all of that. You can basically refine how you're approaching things and deal with them the right way, is the testing. And so if you go through and say, okay, I'm going to do the testing, you can get some information about what might be going on. But even that is a little bit of a complexity.
[00:25:13.340] – Phoebe Yeah.
[00:25:13.850] – Allan Can you talk a little bit about the testing?
[00:25:16.190] – Phoebe Sure. So, I get people who write me and are saying I got a stool test and it says I have SIBO. And I just have to politely say, there is no stool test that can tell you if you have SIBO that's really just covering the large intestine. So the main testing for determining SIBO is a breath test and it makes you feel a little bit like a mad scientist when you do it. Essentially the trick is you have to kind of prep your system similar to an endoscopies, a colonoscopy, not as intense, not as crazy, but by modifying your diet for 24 hours before only doing white rice and lean meats, you're trying to make sure that there's nothing left in the canal that could cross react, then fasting for 24 hours, then the morning of you drink a sugar solution. And there are a few different types that they use in these tests.
[00:26:08.720] – Phoebe But essentially you drink this sugar solution and then you breathe into a tube every 15 to 20 minutes, different tests of different intervals, and they measure the levels of gases in your breath. And if they find hydrogen or methane and they're essentially tracking it in those intervals to see how far the sugar solution has made it down your intestinal track. Because once you reach the third hour and it in theory has reached the large intestine, you should see a spike in those gases.
[00:26:37.880] – Phoebe The only reason why you would be seeing these gases in your breath is because of bacteria eating your food. There's no other reason. So if you see within the first hour or two some sort of spike with hydrogen or methane, that could mean an overgrowth. And it is a little bit of the Wild West, different labs and different countries, all and different doctors all have different criteria for what levels constitute a SIBO diagnosis. But at the very least, like a lot of studies have compiled, all the data can see that a positive breath test does correlate to having someone experience some relief after treatment.
[00:27:16.670] – Phoebe So whether you want to call it SIBO or not, there's something wrong that in your digestive system. The treatments for SIBO seem to work. And one of the reasons why that is, is there are different treatments for different types of bugs that are overgrowing. So it's important to kind of see if you're hydrogen dominant or methane dominant or a third type, which now they just introduced a test to test all three at once, which is hydrogen sulfide, dominant.
[00:27:42.410] – Phoebe So it's it's a very complicated and imprecise science, but that's the best we got right now.
[00:27:50.030] – Allan Well, and that is what we have. And you've put a lot of that in the book. So, again, as a reference, I think anyone that's suffering from IBS or SIBO would want to kind of go through this. Now, we don't really have time on a podcast. Like this to go through all the treatment, things that you should consider and all that, but you you hit like really quickly in the book The 10 Treatment Rules of Thumb. Could you kind of just walk us through those real quick? Because I think this is this will give someone an idea of what's involved in actually going through a treatment protocol.
[00:28:21.790] – Phoebe Yeah, I wish I could remember them. I should, like, open the book and have my cheat sheet in front of me. But essentially, there are three buckets. There are different types of antimicrobials. One is a conventional antibiotic and there are a few different types. And the kind of main one for hydrogen SIBO is not as harmful to the large intestines as some conventional ones. It's really designed specifically for SIBO and does a great job and just eradicating the Zebo and not affecting the balance in large intestines. Then there is some herbal options. So just natural combinations, compound formulas of herbal antimicrobials and some antifungals in there as well.
[00:29:04.510] – Phoebe And some doctors prefer to just use like singular herbs when targeting. Unfortunately, those have a little bit more of a wide, broad range, broad spectrum reach. So people who think, oh, I want to go the natural route, it's not necessarily better or worse. I personally want the natural route because I'm one of those people. I'm like, I want to do the natural thing. But they're not innocuous. A really powerful plant medicine. So something to keep in mind.
[00:29:30.280] – Phoebe And then there is this one category called the Elemental Diet, which is not a diet at all. It is, in fact, a medical solution. That is, all of your nutrients boil down to their most elemental form so that they absorb immediately upon reaching the small intestine so they don't make it through far enough for your bacteria to ever feast on them and the treatment plan is to do it for two weeks, which is a long time to just be drinking your food. But it appeals to some people.
[00:30:01.720] – Phoebe With the the varied options in your toolkit, you can really look at what are your lifestyle priorities? Do you want to do you want to get this thing done quickly? Do you want something that's the least expensive? Because budget is your main concern. Do you not want do you want to have a social life and not have to drink your nutrients every single day and actually go out to dinner with your friends? These are all things to keep to keep in mind.
[00:30:24.820] – Phoebe But I think the most important part of treatment, and I'm sure this was in my commandments, which I wrote a long time ago, so I can't remember off the cuff. It really comes down to you can get rid of the bacteria, you can do all these kill protocols. But that's only the first leg of the labyrinth because, again, it's SIBO is just a sign that there's something that's not right. So if it's your migrating motor complex, if it's that you have low stomach acid, if it's that you have some sort of structural issue, you kind of need to uncover those root causes if you don't want SIBO to recur, because that's why it's a chronic condition, is when people don't take the time to uncover those root causes and some of them you cannot fix. But if you know about them, if you're able to keep them in mind, there are lifestyle ways to try and protect yourself as much as possible.
[00:31:17.530] – Allan Sometimes minimizing the damage is the best way to do. Now, you mentioned something, and I think it's really important because most of us actually do want to have a life, and when things get back to normal, we're going to want to go on dates with our spouse, meet a friend for lunch or something like that. We're going to get back to doing that one of these days. If I've got this stomach issue, now I've got a fear, a deep seated fear that I really can't be out in public eating like that or I really don't know how to approach it because I don't know what to eat at a restaurant. You talked about in the book. Can you talk a little bit about how do I plan for and actually go out and eat.
[00:32:05.480] – Phoebe Yeah. So first of all, I'll put the the whole concept of diet in the context of treatment and where it fits in. And it is kind of one of the questions I get asked the most because people are quite confused about it because again, low FODMAP map really, really data back for reducing IBS symptoms does necessarily cure SIBO or help kill the bacteria. Most doctors say on its own, no.
[00:32:27.710] – Phoebe So there are plenty of people who will go through a SIBO treatment and won't make a single change to their diet and they end up fine. That's not most people because again, there's usually a big overlap of other issues, especially autoimmune issues that happen with SIBO.
[00:32:43.310] – Phoebe So the low FODMAP diet is kind of twofold. A, you're trying to get rid of some of the things that are making your body most reactive, making the bacteria most reactive so that you can quiet your immune system and start to heal your gut. Then there's kind of the second camp of thinking, OK, well, I'm starving the bacteria by taking away their favorite foods. I think that's probably less true. And again, why it's not like a treatment in and of itself.
[00:33:12.020] – Phoebe So a lot of people will recommend you do the kill protocol, the quote unquote kill protocol first and then layer on a low FODMAP diet to just help with symptoms. Some people say you can just do it and have it be imperfect. So making sure you're kind of like feeding the bacteria every now and then so that the antibiotics and antimicrobials actually work properly. There's different thinking on it, period. But I will say a lot of people do end up layering in the diet because it makes them feel better. And it's the one thing that you have to control to feel better immediately, because that doesn't always happen with the medication. They're hard core medications, even the herbs. And you may sometimes feel worse when you first go on that because there's a lot of killing involved and that comes with its own toxins and side effects.
[00:34:00.830] – Phoebe So a lot of people end up on these SIBO diets and they end up not having much of a social life because they can't eat out, because one of the biggest categories of ingredients to remove on a low fat diet or a SIBO diet is garlic and onion, which is in 99% everything.
[00:34:17.390] – Allan The delicious things.
[00:34:20.222] – Phoebe Yeah. It's actually really easy, as you'll see in the book, to create gorgeous, delicious food at home without those things. But restaurants have not gotten that memo. There's usually some of it in everything.
[00:34:32.450] – Phoebe But, yeah, I think it comes down to just mindset. And I know a lot of people with Sebo who just have such food fear because, food is associated with symptoms. My biggest piece of advice is if you stray from this diet, if you have symptoms, it's not going to necessarily make SIBO come back. It's not going to set you back beyond the cycle of your digestive system. So you may feel crappy for a day or two, but after that, you're going to be fine. It's not causing any permanent damage. So there is some leeway there for you to go out and have fun. And, if there's a little bit of garlic in your food, it might make you feel bloated and miserable, but you have to just kind of let that go and accept that as a consequence and as a proper tradeoff for having time with your friends and family.
[00:35:21.710] – Phoebe It's harder for vegetarians, I would say, to eat out. But there is usually a scenario at most restaurants, especially like French and Italian, which do have a lot of garlic and onion. But you can usually call ahead. And there's usually a way to have like a piece of protein that's grilled or or seared plain and a side of salad or wilted spinach. I think having done this for a while, if you explain your medical predicament in the off hours before you arrive, then there's usually something that can be done for you that doesn't have to be a spectacle at the table.
[00:35:55.010] – Allan Yeah, having worked in the restaurant business, I can tell you, if you're calling it six o'clock for seven o'clock dinner, they're busy. And so the little girl's going to answer the phone on the at the front of the house and she's going to go back there and say, you really want me to tell the chef this? And it's not going to make it to the chef.
[00:36:12.800] – Phoebe No.
[00:36:13.310] – Allan Whereas if you call at two o'clock in the afternoon when she's basically cutting lemons and wrapping silverware. She'll be able to go back there and the chef is at that point starting the prep and everything, and maybe you talk to the sous chef, maybe talk to the chef. But, yeah, just saying, I've got I've got an issue with garlic and onions. Could I have prepared without them or what would you recommend off your menu? In many cases, they might even have something on their menu that they can just recommend straight away.
[00:36:41.390] – Allan Or you can ask them to modify a few things, get your protein, get the vegetables and that are appropriate for you and charge on. And this is with any way of eating.
[00:36:51.150] – Phoebe Yeah.
[00:36:52.100] – Allan You're the customer that you're the patron coming into that restaurant. So take ownership, make the phone call, get the menu out and have the conversation with them and you should be able to figure it out.
[00:37:08.010] – Phoebe Yeah, I have a friend who has lupus and really can't have any salt. Otherwise, she'll potentially have kidney failure. And that's, again, very hard to do at a restaurant because a lot of the meats are preseasoned and marinated, a lot of even vegetables that are blanched in a pot of salted water in advance, like it can be a real minefield. And she has a very cute laminated card with a note from her mother. That's like it's just like, please don't kill me. And she just asked the waitstaff to take it back into the kitchen. She has places by her house where she knows the staff and the chef and they know what to do with her. She can call in advance. But in last minute scenarios, she has to go back with the card. And people always find something for her. It's maybe sad. It's not ideal, but like they always find a way. So, yes, if you can appeal to someone's conscience or sense of wanting to feed you, that's great.
[00:38:09.060] – Allan Well, that's why they get into that business. That's what they want. So, yeah, you're just asking them to do it in a more responsible way for you. And that's good.
[00:38:19.070] – Allan Phoebe, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:38:27.800] – Phoebe Oh man. So many. So forgive me if I said some of these the last time around because I'm so grateful that I did my wellness project before the CIBO experience, because it really did teach me a lot. And I already had a pretty robust toolkit in terms of the lifestyle stuff that helped me on my way with SIBO. But I would say, number one, set yourself up for success at home so you can find more freedom out in the world, assuming we'll all be more out in the world at some point.
[00:38:58.790] – Phoebe But maybe this past year has been a blessing in disguise for a lot of people setting themselves up in that way at home. So I think kind of one time swaps for me, just like switching everything over to natural's in terms of cleaners, personal care products, et cetera, was huge. And I never have to think about it again.
[00:39:15.680] – Phoebe And the three meals a day that I eat where I have to think about putting a filter on my tap, never have to think about getting chemicals out of my water again. I just know that those things are lowering my toxic burden every single day without me having to lend any sort of mindspace to it.
[00:39:36.800] – Phoebe Then I would say number two is more specific to SIBO is that how you eat is much more important than what you eat. I know the information circulating out there is always around what you're eating, but again, thinking about kind of the mechanics of your digestive system, how you eat it truly is much more important.
[00:39:57.800] – Phoebe So that migrating motor complex, it only kicks into gear during a fasting state of 90 minutes or more. So that means it doesn't matter what you're eating, but if you're snacking all the time, if you're grabbing for a couple almonds and even if it's not prepackaged, like but certainly prepacked is the so that it doesn't matter, like your you're stopping that function from kicking into gear and that's going to prevent food from moving through your system in the way it was meant to.
[00:40:25.250] – Phoebe And then number three, I would just say, like, do not forget about the the mind gut connection and the power of mindset in general. I do think if we stress too much about what we're eating, it doesn't matter how much kale or what have you is on your plate. You're not going to be healthy and you could be creating symptoms without even knowing it. I know that happens to a lot of SIBO people on the other side of treatment.
[00:40:50.540] – Phoebe And when they're starting to reintroduce, there's just so much fear around it that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So for that reason, I'd say like if you have IBS, if you have a lot of gut issues, don't just look into all these protocols, but maybe also look into a modality that's not talked about as much like hypnotherapy for IBS, just as effective as the low FODMAP diet for reducing symptoms. And I would say probably has more of a holistic impact on your overall condition.
[00:41:20.640] – Allan Thank you, Phoebe. If someone wanted to learn more about you or about the book, SIBO Made Simple, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:41:28.530] – Phoebe You can send them to SIBOmadesimple.com for everything about the book and to get some of the bonuses, which will still be available after launch. And for recipes, you can go to feedmephoebe.com and really just to keep up with my my usual happenings, the best place to go is Instagram, which is just my name at Phoebe Lapine.
[00:41:51.540] – Allan Cool. So you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/475 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Phoebe, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:42:01.980] – Phoebe Thank you.
[00:42:08.070] – Allan Welcome back, Raz.
[00:42:09.690] – Rachel Hey, Allan. Wow! I don't know that SIBO is very simple. It sounds like a very complicated situation.
[00:42:16.410] – Allan It is. I compared it to a Rubik's Cube. And that's kind of one of those puzzles that I've never really ever wrap my mind completely around. There is an algorithm to it that they tell you, get this side worked and then you can just start doing these things. And over time, you're going to end up with with a solved puzzle. I'm not going to say that this is that simple, but Phoebe did do a pretty good job of putting together an algorithm for you, for lack of a better word, approach, a program to kind of help you deal with this, because it isn't simple.
[00:42:51.700] – Allan It's just not a simple thing. And it's never necessarily even one thing. Sometimes you've got two or three things all coming in together. And that complexity means that most of the time you go to your doctor and you're going to hear, oh, you have IBS.
[00:43:07.050] – Rachel Mm hmm.
[00:43:07.710] – Allan Are they going to know what's causing the IBS. Not necessarily. So you have this syndrome that they really haven't defined what's wrong with you. And they can try they'll try different things. But in many cases, it's just going to make things worse. So Phoebe did do a really good job of making it as simple as it can be. So if you're dealing with this, I mean, just something I've never really had to deal with. I've got a steel tank for a stomach that can pretty much I'm going to be fine.
[00:43:36.630] – Rachel Lucky you!
[00:43:38.300] – Allan The only thing I've ever eaten that I that I probably had to stress with was was durian fruit in Malaysia. And the problem I had was. One, it smells horrible, too. It doesn't taste that good. They like it and the Japanese like it. But and then three, it made me extremely gassy. And I had it the day before I got on an airplane for the States. So yeah, 15 hours on an airplane after eating durian fruit. I was not a very popular person.
[00:44:08.910] – Rachel That's so aweful.
[00:44:11.700] – Allan Otherwise I can pretty much eat anything. And I do well. I don't have a lot of stomach distress, but I recognize the impact it has on people's lives. If you're having to wait for a movement in the morning before you feel comfortable and confident to leave the house, that's that's not a good scene. That's not how you want to live. And so making sure that you're doing the right lifestyle things to to manage your health and manage your gut microbiome, because there are no real short, simple answers.
[00:44:45.930] – Rachel Yeah. It's a good thing she wrote this book because SIBO is such an unusual situation. And the thing with IBS is that it has a broad range of of symptoms and it's hard to sometimes put your finger on. And like you mentioned, it's hard to get diagnosed properly. So to have this kind of handbook to highlight some of the key points, to watch for or to or even the treatments to try seems like a really beneficial thing for such a unique disease or problem.
[00:45:15.750] – Allan And to your to your point there, I mean, yeah, when constipation and diarrhea are both symptoms of the same thing.
[00:45:22.110] – Rachel Oh my gosh. It happens all the time and it could be just something you ate or it could be the signs of a bigger looming problem. It's hard to figure out.
[00:45:33.390] – Allan Yeah, but if it's something you're dealing with on a day to day basis, you've got to actually put the time in and get that fixed because that's that's pulling away from the quality of your life. And, I say this at the end of every show, you know what? What are the things that you would do to be healthy and fit and happy? Those are all in my wellness formula. You have to have all three. And if you're dealing with stomach distress and other symptoms of SIBO, it's worth taking the time to work through some of these protocols and try to get that under control.
[00:46:05.730] – Allan And one of the cool things about the human body and particularly our digestive track is it heals itself. So if you take the time to do those things, you might not ever have to deal with this again. Once you've solved the problem, unlike a lot of other chronic illnesses, you have to keep treating it. You have to keep dealing with it. But SIBO is one of those things that once you kind of get that bacteria out of your small intestine, once you get the maybe even the fungi, because, again, the SIFO, once you get that stuff done and out of your system, if you're eating right and you're doing the right lifestyle things, it's probably not going to come back. And that's that's a very positive message to kind of take out of this is, if irritable bowel syndrome syndrome is something that you deal with on a regular basis, there is a solution. And Phoebe has done a really good job of mapping that out, taking care of herself. This is something she personally went through. And then she's done the research a lot of really good research with that to put forward solutions for you.
[00:47:10.950] – Rachel That's really wonderful. It's nice to have that ray of sunshine knowing that it's treatable and you may not ever have to deal with it once you know how to treat it and maybe watch the foods to avoid are the the way of eating that you should avoid.
[00:47:27.820] – Allan I finished up the pre launch of my 12 week program and man, I cannot tell you how proud I am of the 12 people that went through this program.
[00:47:38.640] Yay, they worked… they're working so hard because they're still in it. It's 12 week program. Some of them started all the way back in early December, the last days of December, even before New Year's Eve. So they they didn't wait for New Year's resolutions. They jumped on it. And then I've got others that have just come in recently. So they're just kind of getting started. But it's like having a family now.
[00:48:00.260] I mean, we're really, really cool to have people that are all going through a common mission, try to get healthy and fit to try to lose some weight. And they're doing it and they're doing it. And it's not always a straight line and then gathers struggles just like any other thing that's worth having. But they're putting the work in and it's just so rewarding to watch people succeed at something that they've struggled with. One of the clients in there, she said before we got on there, she says, is it can you even lose weight when you're over 50?
[00:48:30.740] – Rachel Oh, wow.
[00:48:31.640] – Allan She had this limiting belief that you couldn't lose weight after the age of 50, particularly if you're a woman, that she was just destined to stay overweight.
[00:48:42.260] – Rachel Wow.
[00:48:43.610] – Allan She's learning so much about her body and learning so much about how she can get healthy and as a really cool side effect of being healthy, losing weight. It's just it's just really exciting to see that change in people. So I'm loving what I'm doing right now.
[00:48:58.760] – Rachel That is so exciting. What are some of the commonalities you're seeing? Are you seeing people moving more or making some really neat swaps with their diet? What are you seeing with your change with your group?
[00:49:09.880] – Allan It's a little bit of all of it, because as as as we look at making changes like this that are not just a diet, so you go in and say, Okay, here, I'm going to go on, I'm going to go on a diet and then I'm going to do that. So I lose the five pounds or the 15 pounds that we're trying to lose here. And then you say, okay, I'll just I'll go back to eating what I ate before because I lost the weight. And guess what happens? The weight comes back and it comes back with a vengeance. And people like I don't understand, I diet and then again, all back. Well, you didn't stay eating a way that was sustainable for your body. So what we're trying to do here is we're trying to look at. Moving more, you've got a trainer that's giving you workouts and holding you accountable, then you have the guidance and support and accountability that you need just to remain active. So that's there.
[00:49:57.350] – Allan And then with the food and everything else is sort of like, Okay, what's sustainable for me. What's the right thing for me? And so I have have 12 people. All of them are eating their own way. They're all unique in what they're doing, the exercises they're doing because they're building a sustainable lifestyle that works for them.
[00:50:19.970] So there are some commonalities. Yes. If you were used to eating a certain food and you're like, I really want pizza, just an aside, so pizza. Pizza's one of those dangerous foods in general because it's high carb and high fat, okay, and that's that's just like you're just telling your body that you don't like it. I just don't get me wrong. I love this too. But it's high fat and it's high carb. And so it's way too many calories for the nutritional value that you're getting from a pizza to be worth it. And so some people, it's just like, okay, they ordered pizza and I scraped the topping off and didn't eat the bread. Is that a good thing? I said yes, better. And then I shared a recipe for what they call the fat head pizza crust, which is just basically cheese and almond flour. And basically you make a crust with that and then you put your toppings on. So is it the healthiest thing or the best nutrition thing in the world? And the answer's no, but it's not high fat, high carb anymore. It's high fat. And what you'll find with the with the fat head type pizza is you just can't eat six slices of this stuff.
[00:51:37.704] – Rachel Gosh no!
[00:51:40.740] – Allan You're going to eat one or two slices and say, oh, my goodness, I am I am full. And you're six hours later, you're still going to be full. Ao that's one of the advantages of of things like that when you're when you're you're looking at the not just the calories in, calories out because it is a thing. But we're going to I'm going to talk about that in an upcoming podcast. But there's also the what you're eating and are you getting the nutrition you need. And there's the hormone piece. And so all of those are layers on something that's a very complex thing that everybody want a simple rule.
[00:52:15.200] – Allan Tell me what to eat. Tell me what's naughty. And it's it's never really that simple, because if I told someone they could never have pizza again every single day of their lives, they're going to be craving pizza because I said they couldn't have it. So not saying you can't have it just under. And what it is, I have a plan and then manage to that.
[00:52:38.310] – Allan If you slip up, it's like, okay, you went out with friends and you had a piece of pizza. You're not going to die.
[00:52:46.360] – Rachel No.
[00:52:47.590] – Allan But now you put the carbs in your system, you put the high fat in your system, and you feel a little bloated, you feel a little bad the next day because you did it. And if you did it for the right reasons, then that's great. But if you didn't, then lesson learned. Let's move on.
[00:53:05.030] – Allan There's not one common lesson. And I think that's why at times I've used cookie cutter stuff and it generally works for most people. But some of those things are just not sustainable because they're cookie cutter.
[00:53:19.000] – Rachel Right.
[00:53:19.630] – Allan They're not designed for you. And so everything I'm doing with this program is completely custom. And so I'm talking to each and every person, what do you like to eat? What do you do? I've got a vegetarian in there. Other people that were like, you mean I get to eat meat and I'm like, you get to eat meat, you should be eating meat if you like meat, it's got tons of great nutrition in it. You don't have to ignore or throw out an entire food group. And no, I don't consider carbs a food group. I consider vegetables a food group. I consider meat a food group. And so I'm not saying you can't have carbs, you can have some carbs, but you want to get it from sources that are actually food.
[00:54:02.180] – Rachel Yes.
[00:54:02.800] – Allan And pizza dough is not actually food.
[00:54:07.290] – Rachel No nutrients in that that's for sure.
[00:54:09.910] – Allan Well, they might they might enrich the the flour with with some B vitamin, niacin. But at best that's that said it's enriched flour but it's flour and it's going to be blood sugar and it's going to be insulin and then it's going to be fat.
[00:54:25.900] – Rachel Yeah.
[00:54:26.800] – Allan Because you're eating the high fat on top of that, the calories are higher and boom, it's like, OK, we've got all this stuff, let's just start storing it because I got nothing. I got nothing to do with this. And so it just stores it as fat. And so, that's the unfortunate reality of things, is you don't have to say no, but you might have to substitute or if you're going to do it, at least understanding what it's going to mean in your overall approach to health and wellness.
[00:54:55.990] – Rachel That sounds awesome. Well, I'm really excited for all your people who get these customized training programs and and tips and and all this support from you. I'm really excited to see that success. That's wonderful.
[00:55:08.120] – Allan Yeah, they're having… I'm having a ball. They don't know exactly. But at the same time, I'm saying, well, what do you what are you missing? What's not there that you want there? And for the most part, they're not really missing much.
[00:55:25.600] – Rachel No, but it's a big habit change, though when you're used to eating something or moving in a certain way, sometimes it's really hard to make those big changes. But once they try it, it leads to other things. When you are starting to eat well, you can move better. And when you're starting to move better, you want to eat better. So it's like a snowball. Once it gets rolling, it gets better. So that's exciting.
[00:55:53.110] – Allan Anything else you want to go over, Rachel, before we call it a day?
[00:55:56.140] – Rachel No, today was a good one, but thank you.
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In her book, The Energy Equation, Dr. Sarah Myhill shows us why finding the right energy balance is critical for a long, healthy life.
Let's Say Hello
[00:01:57.390] – Allan Raz, how's your week going?
[00:02:00.390] – Rachel Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:02:02.460] – Allan I'm doing all right. In the 80s during the day and 70s at night. My wife and I are starting to try to do our transition, move over to the bed and breakfast she bought. Our rent runs out at the end of March for the apartment. So she pretty much wants to be moved over there. And here you can't really leave a property unattended overnight. People will break in and steal things. So we have to stay there. I go by the apartment every once while just to see it's still there. But because I'm paying rent. But yeah. So we're doing kind of a move right now.
[00:02:41.340] – Allan And then of course, I did get the gym open February 1st. Trying to run the gym and slow grow and we've got people coming in. But it's nice to have, you know, that back going again. So it's it's good times. How about you?
[00:02:56.640] – Rachel Sounds exciting. Well, we're the exact opposite of you right now. We have some Arctic air coming in, so we're in the single digits and sometimes those have a negative in front of them as well. So I am avoiding the outside while we are in those single digits and spending some time in my gym. So I just did a spin bike for about an hour this morning and doing some drills and just trying to keep warm as best I can.
[00:03:27.250] – Allan I'm going to tell you this. This morning I think it got down to… it might have got down all the way to 70.
[00:03:35.460] – Rachel Oh, gosh, I would love right now.
[00:03:38.550] – Allan Yes, I would say it was like probably for the folks that are doing Celsius, about 22 degrees Celsius. And I was cold. I was like, I'm going to have to put a sweatshirt on.
[00:03:53.700] – Rachel Oh, my gosh, I need three layers of clothing. If I even go outside to get the mail.
[00:03:59.710] – Allan You'll lose toes.
[00:04:01.220] – Rachel Right? Yeah.
[00:04:03.560] – Allan But I did see on Facebook that I guess Holland or New Holland, I forget the city name.
[00:04:09.710] – Rachel Holland
[00:04:10.940] – Allan Holland has heated sidewalks, so that's cool. So tell us a little bit about that.
[00:04:17.180] – Rachel I don't know a ton about it, but I believe that there's a wastewater treatment plant downtown or a plant of some sort where they need to recirculate their water. And when it comes out all nice and hot, it needs to go somewhere. So why not underneath the sidewalks of the downtown? So this heated water goes through all these coils underneath these beautiful brick sidewalks. They've got about almost five miles at this point of sidewalks that are heated for this treatment plant's hot water.
[00:04:47.300] – Rachel And it's amazing because it can melt snow at such a rate. So even when it's snowing full blown snow like we get in Michigan, it is able to keep up with certain inches per hour, a couple of inches per hour of snow, which is quite a bit. So when we got there the other day to run the heated sidewalks, there was dry brick pavement to run and no slipping and sliding, not even slush. And it is a stark contrast because the roads are totally full of snow. We actually got probably about seven inches of snow over the weekend. So it's amazing to see these perfectly dry sidewalks in stark contrast to the snowy roads. It was it's pretty amazing.
[00:05:30.770] – Allan So when are you going to make Michael do that with your running path?
[00:05:33.800] – Rachel We are so close. That'll be that'll be our summer projects. Maybe because there there's houses that have these sidewalks that go along the side of their house so they literally don't have to shovel that portion of their sidewalk, which I'm telling you would just be heaven. It's pretty amazing.
[00:05:53.330] – Allan Shoveling is good exercise, too.
[00:05:55.340] – Rachel It is. It is a good workout for sure.
[00:05:59.300] – Allan All right. So today we have on Dr. Sarah Myhill and she did the PK Cookbook, which is a Paleo Keto cookbook. And today we're going to talk about her book, The Energy Equation. So are you ready to get into that?
[00:06:14.590] – Rachel Let's go.
[00:06:38.180] – Allan Dr. Myhill. Welcome back to 40+ Fitness.
[00:06:41.150] – Dr. Myhill Thank you for inviting me, Allan. You're always a very good questioner.
[00:06:45.470] – Allan Well, good. Now, the last time we had you on, we were talking about thePK Cookbook, which was the paleo ketogenic cookbook. Very good cookbook, by the way. Very good approach towards nutrition. And now your new book is The Energy Equation: From the Naked Ape to the Knackered Ape. And you did in the book, you explain that knackered for you americans out there just means tired or exhausted.
[00:07:13.370] – Allan When I have a conversation with someone when they want to go in and get into personal training, I'll be like, Okay, what's what's going on? And of course, there's the weight gain and there's the other things that they're they're worried about. But I hear fatigue in just about every single one of those conversations.
[00:07:36.920] – Dr. Myhill Yeah. Fatigue is the commonest symptom that presents in Western medicine and the worst treated.
[00:07:44.240] – Allan I agree, because in many cases we we don't know what we don't know. You get you get tired and most people will say, that's and that's just getting old. You know, you're just getting old. You got to slow down.
[00:08:00.540] – Dr. Myhill Yeah, but age doesn't cause anything. Age is not a mechanism. Age is a clinical picture. Age doesn't cause. You say we have to ask what is it about age that causes fatigue? And I think that age is great. You blame for fatigue when there are other eminently treatable aspects.
[00:08:20.660] – Allan Right. Now, we're not talking about the, I didn't get enough sleep last night, I sleep well every other night, so I'm just a little tired or I went out and did a four hour walk or run, and now I'm really knackered. So we're talking about the chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalitis. Kind of these deep-rooted conditions that we could be going through.
[00:08:51.040] – Dr. Myhill Well, that's one part of the spectrum. Now, I learned so much about treating the symptoms of fatigue through my work with patients with ME and chronic fatigue syndrome. But what I find is that exactly the same principles applied to people who are otherwise well will improve their energy levels and improve their level of functioning. And even more importantly, when you apply these techniques to athletes, you improve their level of functioning as well.
[00:09:21.160] – Dr. Myhill So the techniques we're going to talk about today are common to everybody. It doesn't matter if you've got chronic fatigue syndrome. If you're old, if you're young, if you're well, if you're a top athlete, we can all improve our energy mechanisms. Well, attention to these details.
[00:09:34.370] – Allan And I think the deeper concept here is kind of hit me in the gut a little bit was that if you feel like you're suffering from fatigue, the root causes of it are kind of the same metabolic problems that we have that cause cancers, coronaries, diabetes, dementia, just everything that we equate to getting old.
[00:09:58.460] – Dr. Myhill Absolutely. Absolutely, 100 percent. And not only do you improve how you feel now, but by putting in place these interventions, you greatly protect yourself from the risk of those nasty diseases that you describe. And that's why it's so important. We should all do it now. Don't wait for something nasty to happen. Really grasp the nettle now.
[00:10:21.190] – Allan Now you use the title, The Energy Equation. And I love that because it's a conversation that comes up all the time when we're talking about weight loss. It's energy in energy out and calories, in calories out. I try to explain to people that it's not that thermodynamics doesn't work in the human body. It does. But we've got it backwards, I think. We have it backwards. The trying to burn out the calories and do more and get more done. And just the modern lifestyles we have and the approaches we have towards energy. It's kind of backwards, isn't it?
[00:10:57.790] – Dr. Myhill Yes. What we know for absolutely for sure is that part that you describe, i.e. it's calories in and calories out. There's no relationship to effective weight loss because if you reduce the calories that you are eating, then the body thinks, oh, we're in starvation. Right. There's a famine and it shuts down energy burning and it's the body shuts down energy buring that makes you fatigued, it makes the foggy brain. You can't think clearly. It makes you depressed, it makes you anxious. Everything slows down. And that is no fun at all. The body just balances up energy burning or calories burnt to the calories consumed. So there's much more effective ways of losing weight which we can come onto, which do not involve calorie restriction.
[00:11:46.410] – Allan I think one of the keys here as I was getting into it and you quoted someone I can't remember the exact quote, because it was in English, but it was kind of an older English. And it was old called currency. The basic premise was that the opposite of fatigue is effectively having a slight energy surplus where we have just a little more energy than we need to function well. And then that extra energy gives us the energy to decide, hey, I feel good. I think I'll go for a run or a bike ride or hike or something. Talk a little bit about how we should view the energy in part of this equation.
[00:12:30.500] – Dr. Myhill OK, well, the point is we all have a certain bucket of energy that we can spend in the day. Now, if we spend more energy than we have available to us, then we die because we haven't got the energy for the heart to work, for the brain to work, for the gut to work, then the body will simply die. Now, the brain of the body cannot therefore permit you to spend more energy than you have available to you.
[00:12:57.470] – Dr. Myhill And so what it does is it gives you symptoms that which warn you that your energy is starting to empty. And in the book, The Energy Equation in detail, those symptoms, the symptoms we all know about fatigue, no stamina, short of breath, foggy brain, can't think clearly. And then the brain gives the symptoms that stop the spending energy, like depression, like anxiety. The symptoms are very important. They guide us. They tell us about the energy gap.
[00:13:25.130] – Dr. Myhill But if you've got plenty of energy, if you've got an abundance of energy, for all the reasons we can talk about, then then you have the ability to spend it and then you can yes, you can get training and not pay for it the next day. Yes, get physically fit. Yes. You can take on mental projects, new businesses, new horizons, new hobbies, because you have the mental energy to deal with that.
[00:13:47.930] – Dr. Myhill So what that means is there's two sides of the energy equation. First of all, I have to advise you how to make your energy bucket as large as is possible. You've got plenty of energy spend in a day, and then we have to look at how the body is spending energy and may be wasting energy. Because the gap between the two gives us the energy to have a life with and spending energy mentally and physically is having fun. It's called living life, though the techniques they make, as I call it, the holes in the empty bucket smaller and would improve the mechanisms by which we generate energy. So we have plenty to go at.
[00:14:28.350] – Dr. Myhill I think of energy is money and without money we can't live. And if you've got an abundance of money, you can have a lot of fun and have a jolly good time. If you're wasting money, then you haven't got the money to spend on the things you like doing. It's exactly the same with energy.
[00:14:45.250] – Allan Now, you mentioned something that is really, really important is the kind of the leakage, the holes in the bucket, if you will. Most people when you start talking about energy, they're thinking in terms of, oh, I need to exercise to burn energy. And that is one way that we would use some of the energy that's available to us. But it's actually a very small percentage of what we would actually use in a day. Can you talk about some of the energy outs and why it's critical for us to make sure that we have an abundance of energy coming in to be able to handle these functions?
[00:15:18.970] – Dr. Myhill Well, an astonishing statistic in my mind, is that about two-thirds of all the energy that the body generates just goes to staying alive. That's called basal metabolism and keeping warm the heart beating efficiently as a pump, the brain working efficiently. I mean, at rest, although the brain weighs just two percent of body weight, it consumes 20 percent of all the energy that the body generates. So the brain is using an enormous amount.
[00:15:47.980] – Dr. Myhill But the organ that uses the most energy of all is the liver. And the liver at rest uses twenty-seven percent of all the energy that the body generates. And the reason for that is the liver has to deal with what comes from the gut. The liver is there to mop up the toxic products that come from the gut. And although we think food is good for us and of course it's essential for life, food is actually a potentially toxic soup. And if you eat poor-quality food, you will end up with a fermenting gut. And when you've got a fermenting gut, you will be fermenting those sugars and carbohydrates to alcohol, to the lactate, to hydrogen sulfide. You will be producing lots of bacteria and fungi with bacterial endotoxin and fungal mycotoxins. And that all gets absorbed and it goes in via the portal vein to the liver. And the liver has to deal with that toxic soup. And that requires a lot of raw materials and a lot of energy. So the liver is the most energy-consuming part of the body.
[00:16:55.600] – Dr. Myhill So what that tells us is simply by improving our diet and you mentioned the Paleo-Ketogenic diet. Simply by getting onto a low carbohydrate paleo ketogenic diet, you greatly reduce the work that the liver has to do. And if the liver is not using energy, then it's there for you to use. And so many people, just by doing the diet, turn round to me and say within a couple, three weeks, my energy back I've suddenly got my spark again. I feel 20 years younger. I now know this is how I should be. So the diet is absolutely central to energy delivery mechanisms for that one simple reason. It just reduces the work we have to spend on the liver for just basal metabolism.
[00:17:40.600] – Allan And to take that one level deeper, there'll be there's things that will come out on the market, raise your metabolism so you can lose weight. And every time I see one of those, I just cringe because that's the exact opposite of what we should be trying to do. Our metabolism is going to be what it's going to be. We can improve it just with the quality of our food and some exercise and other basic functional things we can just do for ourselves. But people will try to take these stimulants basically and they're like bashing a big hole in their bucket.
[00:18:20.640] – Dr. Myhill I call it flogging a dead horse. That's the saying we have in this country. Yes, you can beat them. They'll do a bit more work. But it's counterproductive in the long term. The supplements that stimulate metabolism does not work. And the most important thing is the first one. We have to improve energy delivery mechanisms. And then, as I call it, look how we are wasting energy. And the gap between the two gives us energy to spend on having a jolly life.
[00:18:48.910] – Dr. Myhill So the energy equation is all about making that gap as wide as possible.
[00:18:53.850] – Allan And there's study after study that the lower your metabolism, the longer you live. And that's all part of making it a lot easier to balance this equation. If you're basically doing the right things for your body and your body is optimized. The mitochondria are firing and they're doing what they're supposed to do. You're turning the ATP around and everything's just kind of working for you. The energy just blows out because you stored all this body fat and now your body can say, hey, we don't need this anymore.
[00:19:29.250] – Allan The liver can get busy because it's got all the energy it needs. And it's like, Okay, now we can do the cleaning up that we need to do as we get rid of this body fat. And it just really kind of is this self-fulfilling prophecy that's backwards in our head. It's not about getting your metabolism to work faster. It's about optimizing your health. So you have an optimized metabolism.
[00:19:52.380] – Dr. Myhill It's all about efficiency. And the other thing to remember that is so important is we spend energy even during sleep, and it's during sleep that the immune system heals and repairs. So, you can't work, you can't generate energy, you can't do physical exercise. You can't do brain exercise without generating, creating some damage in the body and with good quality sleep and energy and of course, raw materials, the immune system then heals and repairs.
[00:20:20.100] – Dr. Myhill So this diet and these infections stop you degenerating and ending a degenerative disease is now a major cause of morbidity in people as they get older. So it's just good all round. You can't go wrong with these regimes.
[00:20:37.380] – Allan Now, since we're talking about optimizing and efficiency and trying to keep our basically say keep our energy out in balance with our energy and and all that, why is it still important to exercise? Because that's burning energy. Why would we still want to exercise?
[00:20:52.440] – Dr. Myhill Well, first of all, we are functional animals. And primitive man, if he didn't exercise, if he couldn't use his body, then he would simply die from starvation. So we have had millions of years where for optimum health, optimal function, we have to use our bodies. One example of this is if you send astronauts up into space where there's no gravity, moving around, it's very easy. They don't need to use their muscles. They get roaring osteoporosis and they get terrible muscle wastage. And you see also, if you don't use it, you lose it.
[00:21:29.880] – Dr. Myhill And to be well, we have to have good structure. We have to have strong bones, strong connective tissue. And to maintain that, we need a certain amount of energy and of course, our exercise techniques, which will optimize that so we can do that most efficiently. But the primary thing is to say make the energy bucket as large as possible. And the analogy that I give to my patients is the car analogy. And I like that analogy because I get it in my patients, get it out of your car to go, there are four important players. You've got to have the right fuel in the tank. And we talk about that in the book. It's got to be low carbohydrate because modern that's are far too high in carbs. And we get addicted to them when we crave them and they ferment. And that makes us fatty. So the priority is low carbohydrate.
[00:22:22.440] – Dr. Myhill And then we have to have, as I call it, the mitochondrial engine and all mammal cells, in fact, all cells in nature pretty much that you look at, except yeast. So plant cells, three cells, mammal cells, insect cells, they are all powered by mitochondria. It's like we have an engine that is common to all to all cells. And every living cell will be powered by those mitochondria. And I think those are the engines because they take fuel from the bloodstream which should be ketones. That is the preferred fuel for mitochondria, not sugars. Ketones in the bloodstream, which they burn in the presence of oxygen to generate the energy molecule ATP.
[00:23:04.880] – Dr. Myhill So there are some supplements which are very commonly deficient, and as you may not know, I've now published three papers about mitochondria functioning patients with fatigue syndromes. And the bottom line is the more fatigued you are, the worse your mitochondria function and vice versa.
[00:23:24.090] – Dr. Myhill And there are very common rate limiting step. It's like there are common reasons why your car engine might fail. It might fail because I'm learning about all things, but the spark plugs don't work. The fuel filter is blocked and the timing isn't correct. It's the same with mitochondria. Common things are common. And the the five deficiencies, the time and time again which make mitochondria go slow. Coenzyme Q10, Acetyl Carnitine, Vitamin B3, magnesium, and D Ribose. Those five supplements come up time and time again. I reckon takes about a full month of those supplements and your mitochondria function has a very good chance of improving. That works reliably well.
[00:24:11.320] – Dr. Myhill Then we have to ask you about mitochondria blocks by something so you could have a first-class engine, but if you throw some sand into it, it's going to lock the engine up in unpredictable ways. It might block the fuel supply, might block the air filters or whatever. And we live in a toxic, polluted world so we can go slow because we have been poisoned by something. I have to say probably the number one cause of poisoning products of the upper fermenting gut.
[00:24:44.050] – Dr. Myhill If you're eating a diet which is high in sugars and carbohydrates, then there's a great risk that you start to ferment. And what you ferment those sugars and carbohydrates to alcohol, D Lactate, and other compounds. Bacterial endotoxin is produced. Fungal mycotoxins is produced. And all those things poison the mitochondria. So again, your diet is so important in this respect.
[00:25:06.730] – Dr. Myhill But I learned so much of my stuff from seeing veterans of the Gulf War who have been poisoned by organophosphates, SSIs and organophosphates inhibit oxidative phosphorylation of this vast biochemical reasons. I saw firemen with 9/11 syndrome who had been poisoned. I see people with sick building syndrome who had been poisoned and their mitochondria are going slow. So the detox regimes are often very helpful to improve mitochondria function in those people.
[00:25:38.470] – Dr. Myhill And then for your car to go, you've got to have a thyroid accelerator pedal. And that's how baselines and set how fast mitochondria can go. And then you need the adrenal gearbox, and that allows us to gear up the stress. If you know when I get to work, then that's stressful. I have to gear up my energy production so I can be an effective doctor. But I can't do that 24 hours a day. I can run in overdrive for some hours a day. But in the evening I have to get back down to the second gear, first gear. Put my feet up, do a crossword, read a book, watching telly or whatever, and that ability to gear up and down and match energy delivery to energy demands very closely is an essential part of using energy efficiently.
[00:26:26.530] – Dr. Myhill I mean, one example of this, is if you had a patient with an abnormal state of the thyroid gland, when their accelerator pedal is stuck at one hundred miles an hour, they burn loads of energy, OK, they might feel wonderful for a short time because they have this apparent excess of energy. But the weight drops off them, the heart goes too fast and eventually they end up with pathology.
[00:26:52.590] – Dr. Myhill So balancing that all up of those four big players together, of course, with sleep and exercises, as you mentioned before, of how we saw energy delivery mechanism, and there's no reason why your energy bucket can't be as full as you get older as it was when you were younger.
[00:27:12.480] – Allan One of the things I think that's important when we're talking about exercise, one of the benefits is most if you do exercise the right way, you're not overstressed and you're able to recover. One of the cool things about our body is that it adds mitochondria.
[00:27:27.480] – Dr. Myhill Absolutely.
[00:27:28.440] – Allan And more my mitochondria means more engines. So you're going from a, you know, eight horsepower vehicle to a 12 horsepower vehicle. And that's kind of one of the cool things about exercise, is that it helps us be more efficient and actually have more energy output for those times when we need it.
[00:27:48.180] – Dr. Myhill And a very good test, a very good clinical test that anybody can do, which determines how many mitochondria they've got. Is that pulse rate at rest? And we all know that the top athletes, as they get fitter, their pulse rate gets slower and slower and slower a rest. And that's because they pack their heart with mitochondria. So when the heart beats, it's a very powerful beat. And Steve Redgrave, for example, who was our Olympic athlete who won four gold medals at rowing when he was in full training, his heart rate at rest was about 40 beats per minute because his heart was so big and beating so powerfully that he can maintain circulation with just 40 beats per minute.
[00:28:34.040] Now, this is a feature of my patients with chronic fatigue syndrome that they don't have the numbers or the mitochondria, and they don't work well. And their resting pulse is often quite high, 85, 90, maybe 95 beats per minute. And that is a measure of how powerful the heart is and therefore how many mitochondria it has and how effectively they are working. The resting pulse is a very good clinical clue for anybody who's listening in to this.
[00:29:04.430] – Allan And we improve that by increasing our cardiovascular fitness through those types of exercises cardio and by doing weightlifting, getting more mitrocondria going.
[00:29:17.990] – Dr. Myhill Absolutely. And what stimulates more mitochondria is lactic acid burn (i.e. we have to push our muscles so much that we switch into anaerobic metabolism). And that, of course, is that that makes your muscles painful. It makes them ache. Is the old story no pain, no gain, because it's lactic acid that stimulates more mitochondria. So if you want to get your muscles bigger, you have to do anaerobic exercise. If you want to have more efficiently, then more aerobic exercise.
[00:29:48.470] – Dr. Myhill But if you think about the long distance runners who run great distances, they don't have big muscles. They've trained the muscles to be, they're light, they're swift on their feet, but their mitochondria working very efficiently. But by contrast, those sprinters, the weightlifters with the big muscles, they have to have a lot of mitochondria and the heart is about twenty-five percent by weight. Mitochondria and muscles also about 20 percent by weight mitochondria. So the engines form a large part of our muscle bulk.
[00:30:20.510] – Allan And so for most of us, the performance that we're looking for in our day-to-day lives, a little bit of both goes a long way.
[00:30:26.840] – Dr. Myhill Exactly. And so my view is we should all be doing a bit of anaerobic and a bit of aerobic exercise every day. And that should be part of your daily routine. And once you know, you're doing a little bit of exercise, it doesn't have to be drastic. It becomes a pleasurable part of your day. And guess what? We all have a deep biological need for a view, and that's called being out in nature, being out of the countryside. And we all know that just getting out there, getting outside and having a view whether it's the local park or the lake, seaside or whatever, is very good for it makes us feel good mentally and physically.
[00:31:02.180] – Allan And we get some sunshine, which is also very good for us and our energy equation.
[00:31:07.800] – Dr. Myhill Indeed.
[00:31:07.800] – Allan Now, one of the things that our body does to protect us is it will take pollutants. It'll take things that are not supposed to be there in it. It likes to try to get them out of us or it likes to put them away where they won't bother us for a while. And so in the book, you talked about persistent organic pollutants, POPs. So I want to kinda get into that because I think, you know, one of the things I tell my clients is that if they if they start losing weight, they might feel a little bad at first because they basically have created a toxic environment inside their body while their liver now is struggling to catch up. So can you talk a little bit about what POPs are and how we should manage those?
[00:31:50.120] – Dr. Myhill Absolutely. I learned so much about this because especially when I was treating those poison patients I mentioned earlier, I used to do a lot of fat biopsies. That's a very easy test to do. And it means we could measure the POPs, which in fat directly. And the fascinating thing was I never had a normal result. Everybody that I did a fat biopsy on were carrying POPs. So these days, I rarely do that test on my patients because I know what the results are going to be.
[00:32:21.710] – Dr. Myhill And even those who've done as many detox regimes as they as is possible, they still have a certain amount there. And that reflects the fact that we live in a toxic world. And however hard you try, you can never get rid of every last persistent organic pollutant. And they are pesticide residues. They are fire retardants, that is in all furnishings. Benzene compounds, that the solvents that we get from printed newspaper or from cleaning chemicals or from air pollution.
[00:32:55.010] – Dr. Myhill So we are all carrying these POPs. And my view is we all should do the best we possibly can to reduce the load. As you rightly point out, the body in the short term tries to get these POPs out of the way by dumping them into fat. Now when I do a biopsy, the result of that comes back in milligrams per kilogram, if I do, a blood test result comes back in micrograms per kilogram, that's a thousand-fold difference.
[00:33:24.550] So the concentration of POPs in fat is a thousand times higher than that in the bloodstream. And what that means is that if you lose a kilogram of fat, you're going to be mobilizing milligrams of Persistent Organic Pollutants into the bloodstream. And that gives you an acute poisoning and you can feel dreadful. And believe you me, some of my patients do. Now, one way to help mitigate this is to do some sort of heating regime.
[00:33:52.390] Now, I don't think it matters what heating regime we use because I've put my patients through all sorts. But it might be a hot bath, maybe Epsom salts in the bath. It might be sunbathing. If you're fit enough to exercise, then do exercise. Saunaing, which might be a Turkish bath or dry sauna, but get warm. And the point is that mobilizes the POPs in the subcutaneous fat onto the lipid layer on the surface of the skin. And then you shower off and the point of washing off, washing off that lipid takes the POPs with them.
[00:34:27.850] – Dr. Myhill And from years, some years of experience and doing test by a rough rule of thumb is about 50 of those regimes will halve your total body load and the levels come down exponentially. So at least once a week, we should all be doing some sort of heating regime. Now, if you've got the energy to game having a run and having a shower after perfect. You haven't got the energy and you've got sunshine, sunbathing is wonderful. If you haven't got the sunshine, then hot bath, a sauna or a infrared sauna works just as well.
[00:35:03.820] – Dr. Myhill And my view is that is now something that we should all be doing as a routine to try to keep our toxic load down. And of course, in addition to that, the very best to avoid these chemicals. As I said, you just can't avoid all of them. We're all exposed. But you just have to do your best. Start as clean as you possibly can, keep your environment as clean as you possibly.
[00:35:26.290] – Allan Yeah. The liver is just kind of a cool organ, because it's what it's doing is making its job as easy as it possibly can by storing this in the fat. So just recognize that it's not cheating you in any way. It's just basically trying to help you have the best energy balance. And so it's doing the easiest, quickest way for it to offload a lot of these chemicals which were everywhere. So, we can't avoid them, but they're there. So our liver's doing what it's supposed to do. But the opposite side is on the other side. We're mobilizing this. So it's something for us to be aware of if we go through weight loss, that we may have some other symptoms, some issues that we need to just buff through.
[00:36:09.670] – Allan And it's like my doctor says, if you want to be healthy, sweat every day, you know, just find a way to sweat every day and you'll be doing a good on your body.
[00:36:20.140] – Dr. Myhill One small thing I would just warn that is when you sweat. Sweat is blood, but minus the white cells and the red cells and the proteins. So if it's in the plasma, a lot of it comes off in the sweat. So what that means is when you sweat, you lose electrolytes. Now, that's not just sodium and potassium. That's also magnesium, copper, chromium, selenium, boron, it's the whole shebang.
[00:36:48.370] – Dr. Myhill And so if you do do a lot of sweating regimes, you must ensure that you really hydrate properly with electrolytes and all the minerals. Now, I have a preparation that I made up called Sunshine Salt, which unfortunately can't get to America. But if you are doing a lot of exercise, that's really important, you rehydrate and don't forget magnesium.
[00:37:08.110] – Dr. Myhill Now, I'll just tell you a little story about this. We have a competition in this country, the Great Northern Run, which is the half marathon, I think it's 2008 or thereabouts. Ten thousand runners ran it and it was a particularly hot day. And they were sweating a lot, and during the course, that race four runners dropped dead. When it came to post-mortem, it all looked normal. They were told that this is sudden adult death syndrome. Well, that's no diagnosis at all, it's the clinical picture. But I'm quite sure that they died of acute magnesium deficiency. Why? You need calcium for the muscles of the heart to contract and you need magnesium for the muscles of the heart to relax.
[00:37:57.350] – Dr. Myhill And when you are running a lot in that very hot weather, you are losing buckets of magnesium. And I'm quite sure they induced an acute magnesium deficiency. The heart contracted consistently with calcium and there wasn't the magnesium to allow diastolic function for it to relax. And their hearts just stopped. And that's what happened in all four cases, they were running along, just fine and then suddenly they went down and there was no other detectable pathology, hadn't had a stroke and had a heart attack. You know, I'm not quite sure that was magnesium deficiency.
[00:38:30.140] – Allan And we're talking about the ketogenic diet. And as in nature of a ketogenic diet, we also flushed some extra fluid. So we're not carrying as much. And so when we flush that fluid, we flush some electrolytes. So, yes, most people that are trying a ketogenic style diet need to look at their electrolytes very carefully and where necessary, make sure that you're supplementing potassium and sodium are the easy ones because you get the cramps and you kind of know something's going on there. But, it goes to magnesium and copper and the rest of them, if you're not getting what your body needs, the symptom of the thing you might deal with might be a lot more drastic than you want it to be. So pay attention to your electrolytes and your fluids if you're going to do ketogenic.
[00:39:16.910] – Allan And, yes, if you're out exercising in extreme heat or even the extreme cold will often help cause dehydration at some level. So staying hydrated is critical.
[00:39:28.010] – Allan Now, one of the things you got into, you called your interventions, and there's three levels of it so BAC. You called it groundhog. And one of the reasons I just I just love that, is that I was actually born on Groundhog's Day. She's talking groundhogs! All right. Now, I'm into this book now.
[00:39:51.470] – Dr. Myhill Can you talk about these interventions when each one makes the most sense and just general overview?
[00:39:58.580] – Dr. Myhill OK, well, the point is when a patient comes to see me, then they're not even on the starting block that they are that they're way behind the starting block. And there are some interventions we have to do just to get even just to get us on an evolutionary correct regime. This is where primitive man was. And these are the regimes we should all be doing all the time if we live in a Western society. And because clinically, I keep coming back to talking about these things over and over and over again. I call the groundhog because just like film, where our hero comes back to that, they want again and tries to relive the day in it all over again. It's the same principle. And Groundhog Basic is the starting point to treat all Western disease. It's the Paleo-ketogenic diet, it's a basic package supplements, its discipline about sleep, exercise, detoxing and so on. It's just what we should all be doing to maintain the status quo. And that's a Groundhog Basic now, but of course, life doesn't continue and on stressful, easy way, sooner or later we will pick up an infection.
[00:41:13.010] – Dr. Myhill Now, I wrote a book or two or three years ago called The Infection Game, and in my research in that book, I realized that all chronic pathology has an infectious driver. Dementia is often associated with herpes viruses, for example. All cancers have an infectious associate. The one that most people know about is Helicobacter pylori in the stomach bug drive, stomach cancer and other tumors. Epstein Bar virus drives many hematological malignancies. So I realize that getting an acute infection, we need to deal with it very effectively, very quickly, get rid of it in order that it doesn't get into the body, remain there and drive chronic pathology.
[00:41:56.750] – Dr. Myhill So with the next regime that everybody has to be aware of is Groundhog Acute. What do you do in the event of an acute infection? And of course, this is very pertinent now because these regimes are extremely effective in getting rid of Covid-19. And if you got the Groundhog Basic in place and then at the first sign of getting Covid-19, you take vitamin C to bowel tolerance, you will survive it perfectly well without any problems or complications whatsoever. So vitamin C to bowel tolerance is probably the most important form of Groundhog Acute.
[00:42:31.100] – Dr. Myhill Because people don't come to me well, they don't come to me saying, oh, and how can I live to 100? They come to me sick or elderly and they know they're not functioning to their full extent. And so as chronic disease comes in, whatever that chronic disease may be, and I see cancer patients, patients with advance heart disease, I see patients with early dementia, we have to put in even more regimes over and above Groundhog Acute in order to deal with those chronic pathologies.
[00:43:02.010] – Dr. Myhill You have to do all Groundhog Basic regimes, but in spades. We have to do them harder. We have to be more disciplined about the diet, maybe take a few more seconds, maybe do some more detoxing, maybe pay more attention to the adrenals and the thyroid. And so Groundhog Chronic is probably what we should all be doing as we get older. And we should certainly be putting us in place if any pathology strikes, whether that's diabetes, heart disease, cancer or whatever.
[00:43:29.260] – Allan Well, I do agree. As we went through these interventions. I was like, yeah, these are lifestyles that are not insane. They're not crazy. I can't do this for a long period of time. And granted, you might come in chronic and you do some work and you get yourself to a point where you say, OK, now I can go down to the basic level and I feel pretty good. An occasional issue comes up and you're like, OK, I've got a flu or a cold. And it's like, so I'm going to bump up my vitamin C and feel a little bit better, but a little bit more energy in the tank. Give my body what it needs to fight this illness.
[00:44:04.660] – Dr. Myhill That's correct. Our bodies are changing all the time. Our environment is changing all the time. From the seasons, with age, with the infections. So there is no one regime you have to do and that's it for life. And we have thoughts clear. We have to think about what's happening the bottom line is, if you've got plenty of physical and mental energy and emotional energy, then there's not a lot wrong. The best guide to health is symptoms, how you feel, what you can achieve, what you can do. And fatigue is as almost become the norm because Western people eat these very high carbohydrate diet.
[00:44:44.110] – Dr. Myhill And at the beginning of the book, I detail all the symptoms that I commonly hear from my patients, which tell me that the energy balance is beginning to narrow. Either the energy bucket is getting smaller or they are wasting energy on basal metabolism, chronic infection, allergy, autoimmunity or whatever, and the gap gives us the symptoms.
[00:45:10.210] – Dr. Myhill And just one little aside here, very often the first thing people do when their energy gap starts now is the use addiction to mask the symptoms. That is very dangerous medicine, because as I mentioned before, if you spend more energy than you have available to you, you die. And I some sometimes you hear on the radio about some young person who's gone to a disco dance and taken ecstasy and alcohol and and dance all night and go mad and probably felt wonderful. And then they drop dead and you never hear about the mechanism of death. But my guess is that those drugs have a narrowed and masked that symptom that says you've got to stop, you've got to rest, must be so much that they've overspent and they haven't got the energy for the heart to work and bang down they go.
[00:46:03.670] – Allan That's that's deep stuff, because I think I think people see it. If you've if you've ever seen an animal at the end die, you see the energy leave. I mean, quite literally, you're sitting there and one minute it's got energy and the next it doesn't. And, you know, we had to put down our Chihuahua Joe Joe last year. And I was you know, that was one of the things we had to deal with was, you know, he was suffering and it was time. It;s just like one moment there's energy and then the next there's not. And so energy is extremely important to the way we feel. And as you said in the book, energy is life.
[00:46:44.410] – Dr. Myhill Yes. Energy is life. And I now see the whole of life from the energy perspective, I mean, even human relationships. And if you have a human reaction, if both parties are putting the same amount of energy into that relationship, it works incredibly well. But if you get a major disparity and there's not a lot of love between them to maybe the smooth that over. You get one person is constantly putting energy in and the other is constantly taking, then that will result in discord. And then I see that in so many human relations.
[00:47:20.410] – Allan Dr. Myhill, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:47:29.530] – Dr. Myhill Well, the one biggest and most important is the diet, because food causes fatigue in so many different ways. Food, if you have a lot of refined junk food and carbohydrates is just toxic, just directly poisons the body. As we've described, sugars and carbohydrates are not good fuel for the mitochondria. And putting it into the body is like, I mean, I've got an old car out there that runs on diesel and if I put petrol in the tank, it'll chunder on for a bit. But it doesn't like it will eventually pack up and start working on.
[00:48:05.170] – Dr. Myhill The third point is allergy. We're now seeing epidemics of allergy. And allergy means you're reacting allergic to foods and that means the immune system is activated with inflammation. And if the immune system is active with inflammation, that is taking energy because the immune system demands a lot of energy and worse than that it's causing symptoms as well. Migraine, irritable bowel, arthritis or whatever. So it's diet, diet, diet.
[00:48:32.650] – Dr. Myhill And that really is the starting point. And the problem with giving people a list of these three things is they will cherry pick the easy things. They'll say, oh, that she said she said supplements and she said take some adrenal support. The supplement needs support. That sounds easy. I'll do that. And they don't bother with the diet. So the diet is the most difficult thing, but it's also the most important thing. When you've got that in place, everything else falls into place.
[00:49:04.930] – Dr. Myhill And it's not a difficult diet, it's very doable. I do it all the time and so do my patients. And and without that, the other interventions downstream simply don't work. And if you have a Formula One engine in pole position, but if you put the wrong fuel in the tank, it's not going to make the first lap. So the diet is critical.
[00:49:28.040] – Allan All right, thank you. Dr. Myhill, If someone wanted to learn more about you or the book The Energy Equation: From Naked Ape to Knackered Ape, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:49:38.780] – Dr. Myhill Well, I have my website where all my information is available free for nothing. My books are available there. But these days, what is very popular is I do Zoom Workshops because the basic work up to treating absolutely everything is the same. I can treat 20 people at a time and they have proved very popular. And we and so I have 20 people that I start to 9:30am in the morning. I finish at 4:00pm in the afternoon. Anytime, anybody can just wave at me. I don't understand this. What do you mean what can I eat? And I stop and talk from that and I feel I can do 20 people at a time because the basic work of the Groundhog Regimes are now so standard. And sometimes you just need a little bit of enthusiasm from somebody like you, from somebody like me, to really be a wake up call and make people think, you know what, I'm going to do that.
[00:50:36.580] – Dr. Myhill And these people do love these interactive regimes, because if I say something that they don't get or they don't believe, they can challenge me straight away and I can come back with what I think is a good and a coherent response. But all the answers are in the books. But say some people that there are videos of me online on YouTube. If you Google, Life the Basic Manual, there are various vignettes of me doing video stuff. Or join a workshop and we can have some fun there.
[00:51:07.500] – Allan OK, the address for that website is?
[00:51:10.760] – Dr. Myhill Just drmyhill.co.uk. If you put Myhill in, my website had lots of hits that usually comes up fairly, fairly high up.
[00:51:19.010] – Allan OK, well I'll have this in the show notes so you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/474 and I'll have the link there. Dr. Myhill, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:51:30.910] – Dr. Myhill Allan, my absolute pleasure. You ask all the right questions and that makes my life very easy.
[00:51:35.620] – Allan Thank you.
[00:51:41.100] – Allan Raz, welcome back.
[00:51:42.960] – Rachel Hey, Allan. Wow, what an amazing interview. I mean, who isn't fatigued at this age of our lives?
[00:51:51.000] – Allan Yeah, sometimes you don't even know what you don't even know because you're so in it, that you don't even have a concept that you are fatigued. It's like people just expect, Okay, I'm a little older, I'm going to be tired. That's going to be a normal state and it doesn't have to be a normal state all the time. Some people are dealing with issues and just don't know it because that's their normal.
[00:52:19.280] – Allan They wake up that way. They're that way every day. You notice things when there's a drastic change from what you're doing. But and I've said this before and someone said it's kind of morbid and you shouldn't say that. But anyway, I've got to say it again. Is this the boiling the frog? You know, if you try to toss a frog into boiling water, it'll hop right back out. It'll it'll get out of there pretty quick because the water's hot and it senses that it's hot. It's a drastic difference from not hot. And then but if you put the frog in regular water and you slowly bring it to a boil, the frog doesn't recognize that the water is beginning to get too hot and you'll actually boil the frog. I don't condone boiling frogs. So don't try boiling frogs. I've never done this. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it doesn't work that way. But that's what I've been told.
[00:53:08.130] – Allan Anyway, if we don't have something to compare and contrast to, then we really don't know what's what. And for a lot of people, when they do try ketosis, obviously. They'll go through potentially a keto flu or I call it carb withdrawals, where they're struggling, there's their energy levels are dropping dramatically and they feel really, really bad, almost like flu-like symptoms. And then their body starts using ketones and they feel great. And that's an awesome feeling when you get into ketosis. And for that little bit of time, you're feeling great. The thing is then great becomes your normal and then great is normal. So people kind of feel like maybe they've lost a little bit of that. But now you're still feeling great.
[00:53:57.130] – Allan The whole fatigue side in the whole thing is just realize that if you're not having drastic swings, you might not recognize which side of the fence you're on. So trying some nutritional therapies, different things can be a way to at least recognize when things are working well, when they're not. But if you know that you're struggling with fatigue, then this might be an approach that would be advantageous to you to help you get past that. It's always worth trying something just to see how your body responds. See how you feel.
[00:54:34.670] – Allan And if you're going to do those types of things, I always encourage folks to do a journal because sometimes we kind of just forget what something felt like because it was then and we might not think it was this drastic change as it was. But if you sit down and write down symptoms, you're going through and then you go through a protocol like this or an elimination diet or something like that, at least at that point you've got some baseline to go back and read and say, oh, I forgot I was only sleeping three hours a night. Now I'm sleeping through the night. That's new. But you might not have thought about sleep because that wasn't why you were changing or doing your intervention.
[00:55:12.560] – Rachel That is interesting. Sleep is one of the one of those things that we just put in the back of our head, not even thinking that it's something that we could change. You know, when I came to keto, I did it for the very reason you just said I was feeling not right. I was not feeling energetic. I was definitely getting fatigued. And I have struggled with fatigue, usually iron deficiencies. So about three years ago, I thought, well, I'll do the same experiment. We'll try keto. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But I did have the exact same thing you just mentioned. I went through the keto flu and then once I got my energy back, once I switched over to burning fat for fuel and I felt like a million bucks. And t really worked really well for me. And it is an experiment worth trying for sure.
[00:56:03.380] – Allan Yeah. Now, I, I fell into ketosis the first time kind of on accident, and I've told this story before, but I was worried about my health. I wanted I was at this point I kind of reached that stage of commitment. And so I went to a doctor and I said, OK, look,I've got to fix me. I'm broken. I'm just broken. And I've been broken for a long time.
[00:56:28.220] – Allan And everything I've tried hasn't worked. So I'm going to ask for help. And, you know, sometimes it's just that, you know, hiring someone, bringing someone else in to get other perspectives, to get some guidance, to get some support and maybe even some accountability. Those are valuable things. And so I invested in a doctor and he had a nutritionist on board. So I met with him and he talked about exercise and other things. And he was built. He was muscular and 10 years older, 15 years older than me, and I'm like, okay, I got to listen to this guy. Anyway, I get in with a nutritionist and she's like, do you know what Paleo is? And I was like, No, not really. And she said, Okay, it's this. I'm like, oh, so food.
[00:57:14.610] – Allan Yeah. Actually eat things that were actually meant to be food, which is plants and animals and eggs and seeds. And that's pretty much it. And you know, that was the answer. That was, that was actually the answer. And so I started eating paleo and just my basic eating habits. I like meat. And once I was off of bread and pasta and rice and at that point even beans, potatoes, I felt great. And I just, you know, for one reason or another, kept kind of pushing more meat in because I was lifting and I wanted the protein.
[00:57:51.270] – Allan And, you know, you just end up eating more protein. And when you eat protein and your full and there's not as much room for other carbs. So the carbs went down and then suddenly I noticed my energy level is like through the roof and I'm feeling really good and my breath kind of smells funny. And so I started doing some research and that's when I found out about ketosis. And so I'm at this point, you know, looking up podcasts and looking up articles to just figure out what the heck's going on. And, you know, that's when I started learning what ketosis was in the first place. So it wasn't someone telling me you should try the keto diet. It was just a happy accident.
[00:58:33.540] – Allan And to kind of give you an idea of what that can mean and realized, I wasn't just changing what I ate. I was working on my sleep. I was working on my stress, and I was exercising like a beast, lifting weights, making sure I had plenty of protein, doing some cardio work, working grip strength, because I had in my heart I was going to do a Tough Mudder with my daughter. And I put the money up and I signed up for it. I had like nine months or eight months to prepare for it.
[00:59:03.690] – Allan And so I was training for that. It kind of became an obsession at that point that I was going to be ready for that race. Just on paleo, I lost about 25 pounds. Going from roughly, I'd say December or starting December and then getting into late December and then getting into by March, when I did a warrior dash with some friends and my daughter, I had lost about 25 pounds.
[00:59:34.560] – Allan And but it wasn't really showing. I couldn't really see it. I couldn't see that I'd lost that weight. I still in my mind looked huge. And then I ended up in ketosis and I dropped another 40. Wow. And because I was lifting weights I then also I mean that was all fat. So I lost 65 pounds or 66 pounds of fat and I gained 11 pounds of muscle. And I know that because the doctor I went to, he did a DEXAscan when he saw me the first time.
[01:00:02.910] – Allan And then I went back to his office 11 months later after I finished the Tough Mudder and I had lost that weight, I'd gone from 37% body fat down to 19%.
[01:00:14.400] – Rachel Wow.
[01:00:15.210] – Allan So the PK Diet can be really, really effective for weight loss. But as we learned in this interview, it has a lot of other benefits. We talked about fatigue. But, you know, even the other issues, cancers, heart disease, diabetes, maybe even some forms of dementia. So there's a lot of benefits to this way of eating. And so I encourage anyone who's suffering and struggling. And you haven't tried Keto the paleo-keto is, in my mind, kind of an optimal diet for most people for periods of time. You don't have to stay in ketosis, but just recognize that you probably still want to generally eat paleo all the time or at least eat whole foods. You know, it wasn't alive at some point, crawling around or growing on the ground. You probably don't want to eat it.
[01:01:13.710] – Rachel Right. Yeah. And that's worth mentioning, too, that we are talking about whole foods, real foods, plants and animals. People harp on the diet for the bacon part of it, but and people have a hard time giving up breads. But sugar is also the other enemy that it is worth giving up for sure. You don't need to bring that back.
[01:01:37.170] – Allan Yeah, and that's true. I mean, you know, only sugars I would condone if I'm going to condone sugars at all is if you like fruit, have some fruit. But I do know my body well enough to know that I can't really tolerate tropical fruits very well. My blood sugar is going to spike and that's not going to be in my best interest over time for my blood sugar to spike when I'm eating fruit, so I eat very limited tropical fruits, so I may occasionally have a banana, I might occasionally have a little bit of mango like this breakfast bar. And there's some mango I might have a little bit and maybe a little bit of pineapple here and there. But for the most part, if I'm going to have fruit, it's going to be berries, apples, pears. That's going to be the bulk of it. And, you know, it works for me. I can still have my pears and apples and berries and still be in ketosis.
[01:02:34.270] – Rachel Well, for sure. I mean, unless there's something you're intolerant to or even allergic to, there's nothing wrong with having and enjoying a fruit or something every now and then, as long as it agrees with you, it's not something you have to totally eliminate forever.
[01:02:49.340] – Allan Yeah, and that's kind of one of the core things, is be willing to experiment, try something see how it works. Something as simple as having a blood glucose meter and having a piece of fruit, having a piece of mango or having a bit of apple or a bit of berries and just seeing what it actually does. I've been periods of time where I was checking my ketones all the time. I was using a breath meter so it was not that expensive. I paid for the meter. But I could see if I ate some fruit in particular tropical fruit, my ketones went away and went away for about as long as I figure it took my body to burn that extra sugar off. And then once it was done, you know, I was able to get back into ketosis.
[01:03:39.800] – Allan Just realize that it's worth experimenting with different things. Don't poo poo things. Everybody likes to say keto is a fad diet. It's only a fad diet that's been around since, like the 1800s because it's just had different names over time. But there's texts that go all the way back to the early 1800s where they're talking about if you want to lose some pounds, cut your carbs. It's, it's been an idea that's been out there for centuries. And so for people to poo poo it and say it's just another fad and it's just like Atkins, just like South Beach, those are just names for branding to brand something that people wanted to sell something and make some money with an idea that's been around for a long, long time.
[01:04:28.360] – Allan And our ancestors knew that if you're eating carbs, you're going to be putting on weight, which, you know, if you're living in caveman times, not a bad plan, you know, to be putting on a little bit of body fat. Because as you if you listen to the episode I had with Dr. Fedewa and Dr. Esco, I mean, that was the cycle. You you have access to fruit and those things you put on a little bit of weight that's going to help keep you warm in the winter. That's going to give you some excess energy when food os a little bit scarce. Then in the winter there's no fruit. So now you're hunting animals and getting fat and protein and now you're burning through some of those carbs you ate during the Summer and Spring.
[01:05:09.010] – Allan And that's a good thing. That's how our body was designed. We weren't designed for having ready access to food all the time. We weren't developed around the process that we would have so much food available. And then the carbs, just you walk in the grocery store, your great grandparents walked into one of our grocery stores right now. They would not recognize 99% of what's in there as actual food.
[01:05:35.260] – Rachel Right.
[01:05:35.920] – Allan They would walk around the outside and say, Okay, this is the grocery store. What do they sell in there? Well, they sell in the middle because they wouldn't they wouldn't know most of that. He said, oh, well, these are these are cheese puffs.
[01:05:48.910] – Rachel So weird.
[01:05:53.290] – Allan These are good. Yeah, but they're not food. They're foodstuff that started with stuff that was in food and then it went horribly, horribly wrong. And yeah, if you want to eat some of that stuff, is it going to kill you overall? Probably not. But if that's the core of what you're subsisting on and trying to live like a teenager college kid on pizza and cheese puffs and Dr. Pepper or soda or whatever. No, you're not going to you're not going to live long. You're not you're making choices that are not going to serve you and it won't take you long to figure it out. Spend spend a month eating that way and just you see it. It's called the Covid 15.
[01:06:33.280] – Allan you've got to you've got to try something to know if it's going to work and you've got to try something to know what it's going to do if it's not going to work.
[01:06:40.150] – Rachel Right. And the other half of that equation, of course, I am the runner. And so you need to move. You need to exercise. And when you eat foods like that, you don't feel so good when you exercise, it doesn't give you the energy that you need, no matter how much sugar or energy drinks you can shove down. It's not going to feel good. Your body's going to feel tired later anyway. And all of the work that you're doing in the gym or running around like I do, it's going to backfire altogether.
[01:07:09.370] – Rachel I'm pretty particular about what I like to eat because I know how my body responds to food. I've mentioned in the past that my body likes red meat better than white meat. I could eat steaks all day long and chicken meat just does not do it for me. And I can tell and my runs. You'll get to feeling better when you clean up the diet a little bit better.
[01:07:31.450] – Allan Absolutely. All right. Raz, I guess I'll Isee you next week.
[01:07:36.580] You bet. Sounds great. Take care.
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If you struggle with failed diets and exercise programs, it might be all in your head. In his book, Mind of Weight, Dr. Ian K. Smith shares with us some great tips, tactics, and strategies to ensure we approach our health and fitness with the right mindset.
Let's Say Hello
[00:00:54.050] – Allan Raz. How are you doing?
[00:00:56.270] – Rachel Great, Allan. How are you today?
[00:00:58.160] – Allan I'm doing really well. We record these intros a couple weeks before. So I can say as of February 1st, the gym is open. So I am running the gym now. I've got employees, they're coming in and doing the heavy lifting. I'm here for moral support and just to make sure that we comply with MINSA requirements. MINSA's our health department. So I'm just making sure that we're doing everything the right way.
[00:01:26.510] – Allan I've got my little video monitors up here on the wall, like I'm sitting here doing my work and I look over. I'm like, OK, they're a little too close. I've got to tell my staff, do not let that happen again. But…
[00:01:36.140] – Rachel Excellent, very good!
[00:01:37.700] – Allan Right now everything's good. And a lot of people are excited about the gym opening. I am too. So good times for me.
[00:01:44.840] – Rachel That's great.
[00:01:45.590] – Allan How are things up there in the frozen tundra of Michigan?
[00:01:49.010] – Rachel Still chilly and snowy, but things are good. And similarly, Mike has to start traveling again for his work. So that's that's good for him that he can move around a little bit. I think he was getting a little bit of cabin fever. But the bad news is that means I have to start cooking again. Waa waa waa.
[00:02:09.420] – Allan Awe. You could do what I did for lunch today. Basically to have food here at the gym because this I wanted to be here the whole shift and I had some things to do during the middle of the shifts. So I boiled a dozen eggs and bought three cans of tuna. And that's that's my meals. So, not flashy, but it gets the job done. And I can do that for here and there. And it's not like I'm really missing out on I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. Just keeping it simple.
[00:02:36.440] – Rachel That's good. I printed out some new recipes that I would like to try. And so I've got my meals lined up for the week for dinners anyway. It's just going to be me. The kids are back to school.
[00:02:48.800] – Allan You know, you could tell Mike he needs to spend his Saturday bulk cooking for the family.
[00:02:54.500] – Rachel Yes! That would be awesome.
[00:02:57.440] – Allan You put them in single/family serving things. You put them in the freezer. You put them in the fridge. Done.
[00:03:03.620] – Rachel Yeah.
[00:03:04.280] – Allan You could.
[00:03:05.870] – Rachel I could. But in order to to get back at it, I do need to start cooking again, too. I used to cook. I haven't in a long time and I can get back into it and make some healthy meals for myself.
[00:03:19.280] – Allan OK, well if you need some new recipes, that's kind of one of the things I've been doing for my online clients. They wanted recipes for like if you're going to eat, I want to eat well. And so, yeah, part of what I do now for my clients online for my 12-week program is I literally about three times a week give them a recipe that I really enjoy. So it's a good mix of dinners, lunches, breakfasts, snacks, things like that. So I'm kind of building, for lack of a better word, a recipe pack. They're not my recipes. I'm borrowing them from online, but I'm just sharing links and PDF print out so it goes back to the source. But yeah, there's a lot out there, but I'll share some of my favorites with you.
[00:03:59.900] – Rachel That would be great. Thank you so much.
[00:04:03.110] – Allan Cool. Let's go ahead and talk to Dr. Smith.
[00:04:46.950] – Allan Dr. Smith, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:04:49.940] – Dr. Smith Thank you so much for having me. I'm glad to be with you.
[00:04:52.320] – Allan The book is Mind Over Weight: Curb Cravings, Find Motivation, and Hit Your Number in Seven Simple Steps. And what I like about this book is that it actually if it gets in front of this, because most people will start with the action plans, the movement, the what they're eating, they just they start throwing things against the wall and then they get frustrated when, a month down the line they're not where they thought they would be. And usually that comes down to mindset.
[00:05:22.700] – Allan If you really got down to it, it's the mind that's going to make this happen. We've got to get the right mindset. We got to get a brain set first and then act. So it's sort of the, you know, ready shoot aim is what most of us do. And it doesn't work very well when you're talking about weight loss.
[00:05:37.970] – Dr. Smith Yeah, it's interesting. People's natural tendency is to want to start with the plan, with the trainer, with the gym membership, with the workouts and really all starts above the neck. I mean, you know, the starting point, the ground zero for weight loss and for many things in life in general is really about getting your mind in the right place. And one of the best things that I think about this book is how small it is.
[00:06:05.450] – Dr. Smith It's seven small chapters. The size is physically small and the read is very quick. However, the information is very dense. I wrote the book the way I would like to receive information about a specific topic. And this book is all about the mental aspect of weight loss or weight management. I think that a lot of people have been effective and are effective at losing weight and maintaining weight, but they would be a lot more effective if they had sharpened their mental acuity as it relates to weight loss and having a better understanding of what I call the weight loss landscape, because it's not always just about what am I going to eat, what exercise do I need to do and what results do I see on a scale it's about where everything fits in your life and it's about your environment.
[00:07:06.980] – Dr. Smith And that's why I say, you know, I believe people should take a landscape view rather than just a portrait view. You think about when you print out in landscape versus portrait. So with Mind Over Weight, the idea is that; let's talk about the things that have nothing to do with food and exercise first. And one of those things, of course, is trying to unlock your motivation. All of us have motivation somewhere. The question is, can we access it?
[00:07:40.000] – Dr. Smith And everyone can't necessarily access their motivation. So I start with chapter one right away, which is basically, you know, let's unlock your motivation and understand what it is, where it comes from and how you have to own it. I think that's very important.
[00:07:55.830] – Allan And as you said in the book, there was a statistic you shared that said by today, which just goes live as February 15th, 80% of the people who had a New Year's resolution for weight loss have already fallen off and they're not going to accomplish that weight loss goal, at least not based on this set of resolutions that they made. But there are ways that we can stay motivated. And in the book, you talk about several ways for us to do that. Can you go through a few of those and let us know why those are important to stay motivated?
[00:08:28.600] – Dr. Smith We look at motivators, so you break motivation down into what actually motivates you. And the idea behind motivation basically is something that drives you to want to do something to complete, to begin and complete an action, to pursue a goal, to complete a task. And so when you look at different types of motivation, there's two basic types. There's internal or intrinsic motivation and there's external or extrinsic motivation. So you have internal motivators and you have external motivations.
[00:09:03.280] – Dr. Smith An internal motivator is you are doing something or you're motivated to do something because you are happy or excited or desirous of whatever it is you're trying to accomplish for internal reasons, for the reason of doing it itself. So, you know, you read about maps and study maps because you love the study of geography and you love understanding the relationships between countries and bodies of water. So you're not doing it to pass a test. You're doing it because you want that information, that knowledge excites you, the process excites you.
[00:09:50.800] – Dr. Smith Whereas someone who is studying a particular topic simply because they want to do well on a test or an exam, they are externally motivated because they want to get the results on the exam, someone who wants to lose weight because they want to look good in a bikini on an island on vacation. And they want people to acknowledge that they look good and say nice things to them. That is external motivation, whereas an internal motivator, in that case, would be, I want to lose weight because I want to make sure that I feel good, that I don't feel winded walking up steps, that I want to be happy and live a long life without being ravaged by disease. That's more of an internal motivator rather than having an external kind of validation.
[00:10:48.470] – Dr. Smith So in the book, I go through different types of internal and external motivators. I talk about extrinsic like fame, praise, grades, money, awards, social acceptance. Those things typically tend to be extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivators, fun, pleasure, gratifications, gratification, feeling of worthiness, of accomplishment, a sense of purpose. And, so it's not that extrinsic motivators are better than internal or vice versa. It's the combination of the two that's important. Having both of them. They work in a complementary fashion.
[00:11:25.180] – Dr. Smith For example, I just had a boiler replaced in my house. I have two boilers in my house and the technician was explaining to me how it works. It's a two-stage system. The first boiler, which is stage one, tries to heat the house. And if it's too cold outside and the boiler can't keep the house warm enough because the temperatures outside are so cold, it's not being able to do due to the job by itself, the second boiler will kick in. That's stage two. That's the second stage. And so then the second boiler kicks in and together they're able to keep the house warm against the chill outside. Same thing with motivation. If your internal motivator is not really able to keep the fire lit under you and keep you going, then that external motivator can kick in and together they can keep you motivated and on the path of what you're trying to accomplish. And that is why you need both internal and external motivators.
[00:12:23.080] – Allan Yeah, I agree with that. If you if you go in this, which is to I'm going to hire, train and go and you don't really have a plan and you just sort of say, Okay, I think this is what I want as far as the end game, but you don't have things that are going to make you feel good while you're doing it. So there's little achievable little milestones as you go to say, OK, you know, being happy when you lose two pounds, even though you want to lose 20, that's that start that's that thing that's going inside you feel good about.
[00:12:53.890] – Allan But then also having friends that you're working out with or a trainer or something like that, I have to show up because they're at the gym waiting for me or they're at the track waiting for me. Those are the internal and the external versions that are going to keep you motivated because you have both.
[00:13:13.330] – Dr. Smith Yes, 100 percent. And I want to switch to goal setting because that's also part of proper goal setting. I think that another area where people could improve on. It could be very helpful if they get it right is how to set goals. And people don't talk about proper goal setting and goals are very, very important. And how you set the goals is extremely important. A lot of people, unfortunately, will set unrealistic goals and because the goals are unrealistic and they're unable to reach those goals, they actually think that they are failing when in reality they are succeeding, but they'll throw away whatever plan they're on or they'll totally give up because in their mind, the way they framed their goals, it's a failure. But it's really had the goal been more proper and more appropriate, they would actually realize that they're actually succeeding. And so setting the right goals is extremely important before you begin any weight loss journey.
[00:14:23.530] – Allan Having come from a business background. We set goals all the time in business. And so I was very familiar with SMART goals and I've even talked about that a couple of times on the podcast. But you have a different twist in the book. You call them VERY SMART goals. So this is a longer acronym. I'll take off the back in the smart and specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and and time bound or time restricted. The VERY, though, is the part of that acronym that I'm not I was not familiar with before I read your book. Could you take a few minutes to go through that?
[00:14:55.570] – Dr. Smith Sure. You probably aren't familiar with it because I created it.
[00:14:58.520] – Allan Okay, yeah. Maybe that's why I had never heard of it.
[00:15:01.820] – Dr. Smith I created it. I didn't. It's not somewhere else because I've never seen it before. But and it's not that it's ingenious or anything.
[00:15:08.080] – Dr. Smith So VERY, V E R Y of the VERY SMART as far as setting goals V is for varied. What people have to understand is that they have to make sure that your goals when it comes to weight loss, are not just focused on one aspect of it. Just don't focus on the scale, have a goal that talks about physical. How far can you walk in a certain period of time? What size clothes can you fit? Have a goal. I want to get from a size ten to a size eight. So when you make your goals, just don't make them homogenous, make them varied, you know, different aspects of weight loss or there are symbolic of weight loss.
[00:15:53.770] – Dr. Smith The E is effective. There's no point in setting goals if what you are reaching does not provide some type of purposeful and meaningful change. If some of the weighs 300 pounds says that my ultimate goal is to lose ten pounds, I'll be happy with that. That's it. Well, it's great that you set a goal. It's great when you hit your goal. But a 300 pound person who just loses ten pounds, that is not going to be a meaningful change for that person as far as how they look or what their disease risk profile is. So that's not an effective goal. So that's the E for effective for VERY.
[00:16:39.760] – Dr. Smith The next one is R and R is being responsible. Make goals that will challenge you, that will make you stretch, but make goals that are responsible goals. Don't have a goal where you want to lose 30 pounds in 30 days and you only weigh one hundred and fifty pounds and your five foot four. And in order to hit that goal, you have to do something very extreme and potentially unsafe to try to hit that goal. That's an irresponsible goal. So make sure that your goals are responsible.
[00:17:17.080] – Dr. Smith And lastly, the Y is yours. People have to set goals that they own, not what others say you should do, not what others expect you to do. You have to own that goal. You have to believe in the goal. You have to trust in the goal, and you have to want the goal. So the goal must be yours.
[00:17:38.980] – Allan And I like that. I like that a lot. One of the one of the things I would propose is if if one of the reasons that you're wanting to lose the weight is that you went to your doctor and your blood sugar is too high and he's about to start putting you on medication or worse yet, maybe some insulin. And you really don't want to go down that rabbit hole because a lot of people don't come out the other end the right way, then having a varied goal.
[00:18:03.520] So it's like, yes, I want to lose 40 pounds and I want to lower my blood sugar by three points, you know, take take my A1C from a 10 to an eight, you know, in that same period of time you'll still be diabetic, but you're moving in the right direction. And it's another goal that maybe you didn't lose five pounds this week or maybe you don't lose any weight this week. But because of the efforts you did, your blood sugar is coming down. And that's that's a win. And I think we don't give ourselves those opportunities to have wins. We focus on one number and that makes it quite difficult.
[00:18:44.040] – Allan Dr. Smith, now one of the areas I think that's really, really difficult for people is that they feel hungry. And for many people, they believe they're hungry all the time. And it's not a true hunger. What they're actually doing is they're craving you know, they want those Doritos. They want the salty. They want that chocolate or they want that doughnut or they're driving by a McDonald's and they smell what they smell and like, oh, I'm getting that drive in line and pick something up. Those are cravings. They're different from hunger. Can you explain the difference and then what a good strategy is for us to beat cravings?
[00:19:21.720] – Dr. Smith So let me put it to you in two different ways; hunger is your body saying it needs nourishment? It's not specific, it needs food, it needs energy. I'm hungry. A craving is specific. A craving says that I want a double layer chocolate cake. I want a piece of fried dough with powdered sugar on top. That's a craving.
[00:19:55.390] – Dr. Smith And it's very important to distinguish between the two. Cravings are generated through the reward-pleasure system, the loop in the front brain. And it's all about dopamine. You know, when we enjoy something, our body releases this chemical neurotransmitter called dopamine and dopamine travels forward into the brain and it lets us know this was a satisfying experience and it creates a memory. When I bit into that chocolate cake and released all of that dopamine, it created a memory in my system that I really enjoyed it. And if I do it again, I'm probably going to enjoy it again.
[00:20:44.740] – Dr. Smith And what happens with a craving is once you've set this pathway up. Whenever you see, or hear about, or smell, however you're triggered by that chocolate cake again, your body releases that dopamine and that dopamine then becomes a seeking behavior. So you now want to seek that particular thing that made you feel really happy and really good and satiated you, you want to seek that. And so it drives you to get it.
[00:21:22.760] – Dr. Smith It's like drug addiction. It's it's a similar concept of drug addiction. Doing a particular drug gives you a certain feeling of satisfaction. And when you are around that drug again or you think about that drug, then you now have this chemical urge to want to participate in the indulgence or the use of that particular drug. That's what cravings are. Cravings, however, unlike hunger, are short-termed, and they can go away, so if you can outlast your craving and everyone can do it, but one thing to do is to distract yourself while you have a craving because you can outlast it.
[00:22:07.270] – Dr. Smith And most research shows about 15 to 20 minutes a craving will typically go away. It doesn't mean it won't come back, but it will typically go away. And so if for 15 or 20 minutes you can do something that takes your mind off the craving or remove yourself from the environmental stimulus that's creating the craving, then you may be able to succeed.
[00:22:29.170] – Dr. Smith Look at it this way. When you get into the car, let's say your oil is low in your car and the light comes on in your car when that oil light comes on. That is your car saying, I need oil. And no matter what you do, no matter how many times you turn that car on or off, that oil light is going to come back on and stay on until you put oil in the car and the car is fed. That's hunger. A craving is when you get into the car and the car says to you, it prompts you on your dashboard and says, do you want to connect your phone to Bluetooth? And if you don't push a yes or no, let's say you do nothing to it. You just let it sit there and you keep driving. Eventually that prompt goes away. It goes away. It no longer stays in the home because you didn't respond in a certain period of time. That's what a craving is.
[00:23:25.870] – Allan And so one of the one of the things that you want to do is you want to look at what are those triggers for why you're doing the things you're doing. Some of them will be really, really clear. Like if you you're going to the state fair and you know you're going to smell it. You're going to smell that fried dough with with the powdered sugar, you know where that booth is or where all those booths are. Because you smell it every time you go by them, you're going to have that constant trigger. You just are. Now, I'm not saying don't go to the fair, but recognize what that is for what it is. Go get in a line and get on a ride. Go lose your money trying to knock the pins off of the table or whatever you're going to do. But try to do some things to distract yourself because you know those triggers are there.
[00:24:08.560] – Allan If it's something like a McDonald's, then it's more of a I need to find a different route to work. So I don't drive by that McDonald's every afternoon on my way home because I know if it's a nice day and I've got my windows rolled down, I'm going to smell that when I pull up to that intersection because I always catch that light. I don't want to make that right turn.
[00:24:28.210] – Dr. Smith And in the book in the book, I give you I give you several other kind of strategies, eating more protein, reducing stress, how to increase your hydration. You know, I won't delve into it. It's in the book. But there are other strategies other than outlasting some. Some people say I can't outlast a craving. I'll give you some other strategies that can actually help you in the book.
[00:24:46.810] – Allan Yes, you do. Now, the last thing I want to get into is food addiction. You know, I'm I'm not a doctor. You are. So when we get to the point where I have a client that I believe has food addiction, that's beyond the scope of my practice for sure. But how can someone recognize when this is not just a small problem with overeating, but is an actual addiction? How would they know? What are the symptoms? And then if they're going to look for a solution, what are the things they should be looking for in that solution to know that they're not just hiring a quack?
[00:25:20.860] – Dr. Smith Yeah, it's interesting. You know, food addiction and emotional eating really sometimes overlap. And emotional eating basically is you are eating food not for sustenance, not because you need the nourishment, but you're eating a particular food stuff because you want to address some type of emotional concern or emotional feelings you have. You're angry, you're happy, you're sad, whatever it is. But people who are addicted to food, here are some common ways to tell.
[00:25:53.230] – Dr. Smith And it's not always black and white, by the way. It can be very complex to be able to ascertain or discern one's addiction. But if you're someone, for example, who simply can't stop yourself from eating when you know that you're already full, I mean, you know that you're full. You you're not really hungry. But there is more food left on the stove and you still have to go eat it. You know, you're satiated, but you still have to go eat it.
[00:26:24.970] – Dr. Smith Another sign of addiction is when you find yourself constantly wanting to center your activities around food. You want to meet up with a friend, you want to do it at a restaurant, you want to celebrate, you do it with food. When food is such a constant in your life and most of your activities or a large number of your activities are centered around food, then it is likely you may have an addiction to food.
[00:26:58.750] – Dr. Smith Also, people who are addicted to food. They may have a food, a particular food addiction, like I work with someone on Celebrity Fit Club when we were doing the show and one of the singers had an addiction to pizza and she just couldn't stop once she ate one slice of pizza. She had to have four or five or six. She really just couldn't stop. And just like alcoholism and the addiction to alcohol, you know, an alcoholic, for example, can stay away from alcohol for years. And the minute they have that first drink, they can't stop and cut themselves off at that one drink, they got to have more and similar properties occur with people who are addicted to food.
[00:27:48.270] – Allan Yeah, again, it's it's it's sad that this is a thing because, you know, like with like you said, with alcohol, it's pretty simple to say I'm not going to I'm not going to go places where there's alcohol and I'm not going to take that first drink. But food, we can't necessarily always avoid food. We still we've got to try to find those triggers. And if you have a food that's making you and you said this in the book, making you feel guilty, you really need to explore that because that's that's a sign that something's going on. If you're hiding your food, if you're guilty about what you're doing, that's that's a big red flag that something's going on.
[00:28:25.860] – Dr. Smith That's right. That's exactly right.
[00:28:28.530] – Allan Dr. Smith, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?
[00:28:37.080] – Dr. Smith I think the first strategy for me and everyone obviously has three different things, probably. But for me, it's identifying passion. I think it's important for people in life to really identify something that really revs their engine and they're passionate about. And it could be all kinds of things. It could be music, could be art, it could be writing, it could be food preparation, whatever it is, identify what you're passionate about and really work and curate an environment where you can pursue your passion. I think that's extremely important. It gives you a sense of purpose. It gives you a sense of being meaningful.
[00:29:21.780] – Dr. Smith The second thing is the physicality of life. Human beings are meant to be physical, and when we are not physical, then our engine, our body breaks down. I never forget a mechanic once told me, he said a Porsche and other sports cars are damaged when they sit in the garage and are not driven. And I thought, no, you're preserving it. He said, absolutely not. He said, when you don't drive a sports car the way sports cars are built, then you end up causing the sports car to deteriorate, the gaskets dry out, the seals start to leak. All these different mechanical things start happening because the car is not being driven like it's supposed to be and supposed to be used. So I think being physical and that's a broad array of activities depending on who you are, but being physical and some type of regular consistent manner is extremely important.
[00:30:22.980] – Dr. Smith The third thing I would say is stress. There is a mountain of research that talks about the impact, both physical and psychological, that stress can play in our lives. It can affect our immune system. It can, in fact, affect our cardiovascular system. And obviously it can affect us from a psychological standpoint. And I think people need to take more time to really absorb life and where they are and to enjoy the moment and to prioritize their life so that they are not allowing themselves to be stressed by things that at the end of the day really aren't that important.
[00:31:07.770] – Dr. Smith I think that's what the pandemic hopefully has taught a lot of people, that things that you thought were so important before now that you've been forced to do without and to realign, you realize not so bad after all. I actually didn't need that thousand dollar handbag or those three hundred dollar pair of sneakers. I didn't really need that stuff. Like I was Okay without it. And I survived. And I lived and I wasn't even thinking about those things. So I think that people reducing their stress and being able to streamline their lives and increasing the presence of things that they find or that are more valuable to their existence, I think is important to overall wellness.
[00:31:52.290] – Allan Dr. Smith, if someone wanted to learn more about you and the book Mind Over Weight, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:31:59.400] – Dr. Smith My Instagram is at Dr. Ian Smith. Spell the doctor out. I announcement my Twitter is Dr. Ian Smith and my website Doctoriansmith.com, spell it all out
[00:32:10.440] – Allan Perfect. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/473 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Dr. Smith, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:32:21.060] – Dr. Smith It was very nice talking to you and I hope you have a great 2021.
[00:32:24.540] – Allan You too.
[00:32:31.000] – Allan Welcome back, Rachel.
[00:32:32.470] – Rachel Hey, Allan, with another great interview.
[00:32:34.870] – Allan Yeah, I'm really, really proud of myself to get through that entire interview. And Dr. Smith. Dr. Smith. And not just breaking out, laughing because of Lost in Space, but…
[00:32:43.660] – Rachel Oh, for sure.
[00:32:45.010] – Allan He looks nothing like the Dr. Smith that were in the TV show or the movie. But it was just Dr. Smith. OK, well, yeah, but cool.
[00:32:54.970] – Rachel The interview is great, you know, as a new personal trainer and just somebody who loves fitness in general when it comes to losing weight, I always gravitate to movement. I always think getting up and moving is a great way to burn off some calories. And in talking with you and listening to your podcast, you take more of a stance with food. You know, the kitchen is where weight loss happens. But actually, Dr. Smith gave us one more thing to think about. And that's where our mind is.
[00:33:22.310] – Allan Yeah. If you haven't fixed your relationship with food, it's very hard to make a different way of eating a lifestyle. If you're saying, OK, now's a good time for me to change the way I'm eating, everything's looking good. It's you know, it's I made it past the football I cared about. And so the season's over. I can go ahead and do what I want, you know, do what I want to do.
[00:33:46.180] – Allan If I didn't have a good relationship with food, then as soon as something came up, something terrible happened or something great happened, I would end up reverting back to my old ways of eating my old ways of everything. So any change that you want to have in your life, any change, regardless, it's going to take you getting your head there first.
[00:34:07.990] – Allan And one of the one of the things I like to share with that is this concept of a Be-Do-Have. I'll talk to my clients about this all the time. But when I learned this is like this was this is a great little easy tool to think about. OK, so if you want to have something, don't start with what you want to have. Start with what it's like to be that person. Okay? So if I say I want to be a runner, well, then I have to I mean, I want to have a running. I want to be able to go out and run. Then I want to just be like a runner. What a runners do. They joined a running club, they buy new sneakers, they get out and actually run. And then you do. And that's the point is like now you consider yourself a runner. And so now you do, you run. So the Be-Do-Have is like just acting like you are that person doing the things that they do and then doing it and then you'll have what they have.
[00:35:06.820] – Allan So if you're excited about going maybe see a family member finish a 5K or a 10K or something longer, maybe even a marathon, you know, like, gee, I wish I could run a marathon. Well, what a marathoners do. I mean, how are they? Well, they tend to be a little bit thinner only because they don't want to carry a whole lot. I was and I was 195 pounds. They called me a Clydesdale. I looked like a linebacker against everybody else that I was running with.
[00:35:34.960] – Allan You just consider yourself a runner. So I was running stores, buying running shoes and running shorts and then I was out on the weekends doing my long runs or, you know, in the gym, doing my four hour marathon training workouts. And then I had it. I got out there and I ran my first marathon and then another one and then another one because I had become a marathoner. Until I ran the ultra. And I said, okay, I'm done, I'm going home, I'm tired.
[00:36:04.870] – Rachel What a powerful mindset. What a powerful change and perspective.
[00:36:09.520] – Allan Yeah. So you got to get your head right first. If you want a lifestyle change to stick, otherwise you're going to fall back on those bad habits because the crutches that are things that carry and we talked about that at Abby Langer, you know, it's really important for you to get your head right. And then the thing we talked about with Dr. Smith that I thought was really important was kind of a new way of thinking about goals.
[00:36:31.450] – Rachel Yes, of course, he he mentioned the very smart goals and very was a new acronym I had not heard of either.
[00:36:39.070] – Allan Well, he made it up. So..
[00:36:40.150] – Rachel That's pretty cool.
[00:36:40.900] – Allan Yeah, that's what happend. Okay, good. That's why I didn't know this before. Yeah. So do you want to go over very with them again.
[00:36:48.310] – Rachel Yeah. So V stands for varied as and having different types of metrics to monitor. E is very effective, R is very responsible and Y is for yours. But varied, the V is really what caught my attention.
[00:37:02.680] – Allan Yeah. And I'll say this, we talked to I mean I guess it was a week or so ago we talked about the, the different health measures. And so that's kind of the thing is if you're looking at your A1C and you're looking at how fast you can walk a mile and you're looking at how many times per week you're able to exercise and what you're keeping your macros are. Your calories that depending on how you want to approach your nutrition, then those are different goals. And so one of them, when things move, moving here and nothing's moving there, if you're tracking those different things, it's a little easier.
[00:37:41.990] But I wanted to circle back around because we didn't really talk about SMART in the podcast. And so some people might not have heard of SMART goals. But a smart goal is basically specific, meaning you want to do a specific thing. So it's something that's tangible. The next is measurable. So you have to be able to measure it or you don't know that you're doing it. It has to be attainable. So if you set a goal saying I want to be an NFL football player, well, I would say if your listeners podcast probably not going to be able to attain that goal, you might want something a little bit more in line of what's possible to you. And then relevant meaning, OK, it applies to you, you know, so something that would be relevant would be, I want to eat better so I can improve my health and lose weight. Okay, so that's relevant. And then timely. So timely would be how often by when those types of things.
[00:38:42.050] – Allan Now a lot of people will set a goal and they'll say, I want to lose 30 pounds in the next six months. And and it ticks all those general boxes. Is it specific, 30 pounds? Sure. It's measurable because you could step on the scale each day. It's attainable. I think someone who really puts their mind to it could lose 30 pounds in six months. It's relevant to them because if the doctors told them, lower your weight so you can lower your A1C and maybe get off the high blood pressure medicine, all those different things. And then it's timely. So you've set your six month goal. The problem with that is that that's something you also don't have control over.
[00:39:23.750] – Allan So I'd love to be able to figure out another way to put another A in there, and that would be for action oriented. So instead of saying you want to lose 30 pounds, what are the actions that are necessary for you to be the person that weighs thirty pounds less? And you would think okay, well, a person who weighs thirty pounds less is more active. OK, so define that. OK, I want to exercise five times per week or six times per week. Okay? And you can be a little bit more specific to say I want to lift weights twice a week, I want to do mobility work twice a week and I want to do some cardiovascular work twice a week.
[00:40:05.690] – Allan And that's that's your goals. Did you do your cardiovascular work twice this week? Yes or no. And it's within a week's time. So there you go. You know that's what you're supposed to have done. You could even take it out to a month and say, OK, I want nine strength training sessions per month. I want nine cardio sessions per month, and I want nine mobility's sessions. Now, don't wait until the last week.
[00:40:30.050] – Rachel To get it all in a once?
[00:40:30.750] – Allan And I try to do 18 workouts in seven days. You want to be careful with that and you do want it from a timeliness perspective to be something relatively soon. So not five years from now, I want to be six inches taller, you know, something that you can actually accomplish and something that's action oriented. So I know I need to work out or I know that I need to eat healthier and I'm going to define that in my terms of eating keto, someone else might say I need more vegetables. So I want to make sure that I have at least two to three servings of vegetables every day.
[00:41:08.690] – Allan And that's initially that's attainable. And then they're like, Okay, that's pretty good. Now maybe I want to cut back on my starches and my pastas and my breads and just to lower my calories. And I'm not going to measure calories, but I'm just going to say I'm only going to have something white potato, starch, pasta or bread. I'm only going to have that twice a week.
[00:41:33.140] – Rachel Sure.
[00:41:33.650] – Allan One serving twice a week. And so that cuts down significantly maybe on what you were eating and now you're eating more vegetables. And if you listen to Abby Langer, you're putting more protein on your plate. And so now your whole macros and calories set is very, very different than the way you were eating before. But it's attainable. You've taken those bridge gaps and you say, okay, this is my goal.
[00:41:57.050] – Allan Make it something you actually control and you'll be much more effective. I guess maybe that would slide into his effective thing, but an effective goal because you could do all of these things and your hormones are out of whack and you're like, I don't understand it. I'm eating 1200 calories a day. I'm drinking eight glasses of water and I'm walking 10,000 steps every day and the scales not moving. That's not in your control.
[00:42:22.850] – Rachel Right.
[00:42:23.420] – Allan But the walking was in your control. The water was in your control. And eating more healthy, all those things were in your control. You were doing the right things, so just stick with it. I'm right now, I'm starting my famine season. And so, you know, my first day of this is okay, how do I how do I control this? OK, well, I've got to keep my carbs low. I've got to watch my electrolytes. And so to go to the gym, I basically boiled a dozen eggs. I got my tuna and my Himalayan sea salt.
[00:42:58.390] – Rachel Oh, there you go.
[00:42:59.950] – Allan And so, it's just what is what's in my control. Those are those are actions. Have the food I need to set myself up and and then just charge on.
[00:43:09.640] – Rachel I think that's great. Yeah. Being actionable and having the intention to be actionable is you're right. It's something that should be added to our goal setting for sure. And maybe even working with a trainer, Allan, because you have a lot of information and your podcast and there's a lot of articles out there and some people may not really think about all these little details.
[00:43:31.450] – Allan Yeah, I would love to say that I was a provider of information outside of the podcast or whatever I do to an extent. A client will ask me a question about a certain thing and I'll give him or her my opinion on it. That happens all the time. But there's not a lack of information out there. The Internet is just chock full of stuff. Now, it could get very confusing because there's there's all this contrast out there. If someone believes that, someone's doing that. I go on you know, I go on to my fitness pal to check in on things and it's still the same conversation. Just just cut your calories. Just cut your calories.
[00:44:10.970] – Allan And I'm like, okay, but they've done that, you know, they've done that. And it's not working for them. So you can't just say just cut your calories.
[00:44:17.860] – Rachel Right.
[00:44:18.760] – Allan It's almost a slap in the face for some people that have cut their calories to keep saying that when it's not working for them. So. You know, with with my 12-week program, the things that we're really focused on first and foremost is mindset, you know, and then and then beyond that, it's just those kind of simple, subtle change things that are in your control.
[00:44:41.190] – Allan We can control this. So where do you want to set your line? Where do you want to start this this journey? And then we put that in place. And so it's all custom to them. And then it's like, okay, how much movement can you do? What equipment do you have in your house? Rachel, here, you've got a great little home set up and I just opened up the gym, so I've got a nice little set up. Not everybody has that.
[00:45:05.220] – Allan Sometimes they have resistance bands, sometimes they have the human body, sometimes they're traveling, sometimes they're home, sometimes… So we all have our own little circumstances. And so, you know, what I'm there to do is basically just help them first, get the mindset and then get the lifestyle.
[00:45:23.040] – Rachel Yep, that sounds great. Just move that needle.
[00:45:25.710] – Allan And you're doing similar stuff with your running. You're saying, OK, if you're a runner and you know, you want to stay healthy and you know, you want to do your virtual 5K, 10K or 50 miler in the upcoming months, you've got to train your running. That's that's for certain. And there's a myriads of information out there about running. So you can find a program and you can follow a program. It's free on the Internet, but you still got to get your mindset right. And you've got to get that balance. So you have a program that helps runners maintain their strength and that's going help them stay healthy. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?
[00:46:07.500] – Rachel On my website strong-soles.com I have a runners' workout that you could download for free. It's bodyweight movements so you don't need any equipment. It goes through all the different planes of motions. It's all the main muscle groups that runners need to keep strong. And it's a great overall body, short activity that you could do a couple of times a week, which is a great place to get started.
[00:46:30.300] – Allan Yeah. So if you're a runner or you want to be a runner and you want to do it the right way, go check out Rachel site. And someone who wants to lose some some fat, you know, and feel better and get a little bit more fit. You should message me or email me email@example.com and I'll give you some information. I'm going to be closing up the pre-launch on this pretty soon here because I've gotten… I'm getting close to my number of the cap number people. I didn't want to run too many people through the pre-launch because I wanted to make sure I had all of it in place. And the results have been just off the charts.
[00:47:07.560] – Rachel Wonderful!
[00:47:07.580] – Allan I am so excited! In an average of just a little over two weeks, seven of us so far have lost a cumulative 42 pounds.
[00:47:17.280] – Rachel Oh, my gosh, that's incredible.
[00:47:20.340] – Allan Yeah. So I've got some I've got some outliers. I got some guys that are really doing well and I've got some people that are, they're pulling in behind, but everybody's everybody's losing weight. They're feeling good. And, you know, they're just pretty excited about it. They're moving more. They're eating better. And it's just a really good, positive vibe in the group. So I'm really, really excited about what's going on here. And then again, I'll close it and then I'll do the actual kind of the launch thing sometime in March, either the first or the middle of March. But if you're interested in this, don't don't delay. Go ahead. Get on that. Email me and I'll get in.
[00:47:56.520] – Rachel Excellent!
[00:47:57.240] – Allan All right. So, Rachel, anything else you want to talk about before we say goodbye?
[00:48:01.380] – Rachel Nope. That was a great interview, Allan, thanks so much.
[00:48:04.020] – Allan Thank you. I'll talk to you next week.
[00:48:05.898] – Rachel Bye now.
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