Category Archives for "guest/interview"

March 14, 2023

Improve your vein health now with Dr. Mason Mandy

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On episode 581 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, Dr. Mason Mandy and I discuss vein health and what you can do to improve it for better overall health.


Let's Say Hello

Rachel Discussion



Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rachel.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


March 7, 2023

How to live longer and better with Dr. Rand McClain

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In his book, Cheating Death, Dr. Rand McClain tells us how to live longer and better.


Coming Soon

Let's Say Hello

Rachel Discussion


Text – https://amzn.to/3IYt6LA

Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rachel.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


February 28, 2023

How to work smarter not harder with Dave Asprey

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Dave Asprey is the father of biohacking. He's made a career out of finding the easiest way to get healthy and fit. On episode 579 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss his book, Smarter Not Harder.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:45.300] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:02:48.610] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:50.780] – Allan

Well, we're right into the prime season for Bocas. Our season's kicking up, and so we got a lot of people coming in for that. And then we're going into a part of the year called Carnival. Many people in the United States will think of it as Mardi Gras. So you'll hear Mardi Gras on the fat Tuesday. It's a big, big, big holiday here in Panama. So it's massive. And I think this year is going to be another big one because we slowed it down with COVID. They basically canceled everything here for two years for COVID, and last year they had it. And this year, I think it's blown up a little bit because they're just pent up thing. So we're going to have carnival is rolling up in the middle of February. So this episode will probably already be live by the time that happens. But we're in a really busy season and being on a hospitality industry with Lula's is kicking. We're full most nights and training out and different guests. And so we've had some really good times, really good guests. And then, of course, I'm planning the retreat. So I'm going through that process of getting that all organized and be hosted at Lula's.

[00:03:59.600] – Allan

So if you're interested, go to 40plusfitness.com/retreat. And if there are any slots left, then you can go check it out. Got six slots for the VIP and the VIPs get to stay at Lula's. And then I have 24 slots open for the general attendees. And it's a real good opportunity. It's a fitness retreat. So the purpose of this is for you to do a little bit of movement and enjoy some of what is available here in Bocas. But beyond that is basically for you to build a plan that's specific for you, where you want to go with your fitness, what does it look like? And we're going to do all of that thought exercise. And then literally, you'll leave here with a program. You say, this is what my gym looks like. This is what I have available to me. This is what I'm willing to do. And so when you leave here, you basically have the next six months of your plan completely mapped out to take your fitness to the next level. And that's what the objective is for this is if you're tired of where you are right now and you're struggling with your fitness, this is going to be your opportunity to figure it out and have a plan and literally leave here and know that by the end of 2023, you're going to be as fit as you can possibly be.

[00:05:17.190] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds great.

[00:05:19.020] – Allan

So how are things up there?

[00:05:20.630] – Rachel

Good, really good. I just went for my annual physical this week. Donated some blood today to have the insides checked out. So my doctor says I'm doing well and healthy. So now we'll see what the blood work says when it comes back. Good.

[00:05:34.610] – Allan

I'm about to go through that myself. I've got a little bit done. It's a funny thing. You're trying to set an appointment. And February and March, of course, with February just having 28 days, it creates this dynamic of looking at dates and getting them wrong. We had a guest that actually did that. We were looking to check him in yesterday, and we messaged him. He finally gets on the email and finds it and says, Oh, this was supposed to be in March. Oops, I made a mistake. And so you're like, oh. But my physician did the same. Their office did the same thing. I set up the appointment. And I had originally said I want it the first week of March. They came back and said, We can do the 13th. I'm like, okay, cool. And I said, Just let me know what time. And then they sent me the message and had a lot of words and it's all in Spanish. And so I read it, but I didn't read it. Read it. And so I just saw, okay, 13th, Monday, 1 PM. I'm like, Cool. And I got to get up now. I'm more focused on I got to get some blood test done before I go because they want the results before I meet with the doctor.

[00:06:36.840] – Allan

And so they gave me some numbers. I'm looking for ways I can get that done. And then again, for us yesterday, the 13th, they send me the message and say, Okay, your appointment is this afternoon. I'm like, no. Then I go back and look at it and realize I didn't read their message clearly enough. And obviously they didn't read my message clearly enough when I said I needed it in March. Oh, my gosh. Yeah, we're going to try to get that all sorted out. They were like, Okay, no problem. Reset your appointment and we'll go forward. They didn't want to send it early. I don't know. It's weird. But they said, Wait, make sure it's more than five days. But sometime… So I'm just wait a week or two and book my appointment for March.

[00:07:18.890] – Rachel

Well, good. I'm glad you're going. Annual physicals are so important. And it's good to get this annual blood work, watch that baseline. And I'm glad you're going.

[00:07:27.260] – Allan

And the screening is important. I think that's one thing is if you're waiting for the symptoms, then you're waiting for illness. And so by doing the screenings, getting yourself out there, you're going to learn earlier, know better, and be in a better place. Appreciate that you went and get your checkup. I'm going to get some of mine done. In fact, I got to get out here in a minute and look for the type of doctor that does the poop shoot.

[00:07:53.090] – Rachel


[00:07:55.800] – Allan

Yeah, I'm going to go ahead and get that done. Only because, again, I'm traveling to David and I want to make the trip worth it because it's a boat and a bus and then hotel and all that. So it's like, okay, if I'm going to go there on the third, hopefully, I guess the 13th. And it's like, okay, then the next day go in and get this other one done.

[00:08:15.980] – Rachel

Perfect. Yeah.

[00:08:16.310] – Allan

So it's the whole, was my insurance covered? Although I've got this high level high deductible program here, I was like, does it cover it or not? And then, okay, what does that mean? Because I'm not going to hit the deductible with these tests. But yeah. So I'm going to be paying for it. I'm going to be paying for it. But at the same time, it's like go against the deductible. So if something happens and it's there. But at any rate, yeah, I'm in that mode too.

[00:08:42.370] – Rachel

Good. Glad to hear it.

[00:08:45.260] – Allan

All right. Are you ready to have this conversation with Dave Asprey?

[00:08:49.150] – Rachel



[00:09:46.930] – Allan

Dave, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:09:49.580] – Dave

I am so happy to be here for you, Allan.

[00:09:52.700] – Allan

Now, your book is called Smarter Not Harder: The Biohacker's Guide to Getting the Body and Mind You Want. And I got two things to say. First off is you under promise and over delivered because I think a lot of the things that are in this book are, yes, they're going to improve your body. And there are a lot of things in this book that are going to improve your mind. But there is so much in this book that if you take it serious and you pay attention, it's going to change your life.

[00:10:22.260] – Dave

It's not worth the time and it takes to write a book if it doesn't have that level of value. It's thousands of hours of work to put together a book like this and lots of late nights. And it's not a profitable thing to do to write a book like this. I'm CEO of multiple companies. I built a hundred million dollar company. And so I read these books and I'm like, man, if I write this, my crystallized knowledge from this is going to be so good for me. And when someone reads it, they're going to get at least 100 hours of time back. Then it's worth it. Otherwise, I have other stuff to do and I'm lazy. I don't want to do more work than is necessary.

[00:10:59.800] – Allan

And we all are. And we'll get into that in a minute. I think the other thing is, and I've said this before on this podcast, I've been doing this for seven years is I've had a little bit of a problem with the term biohacker. And it's only going back from the beginning of when I was trying to figure this stuff out, and people are just throwing these things out there, seeing if they stick. And so it was like, okay, consistency matters and understanding your body and how it responds to stimulus matters and recovery matters and sleep matters. And so there are things you can do, little things that can make that better. And so I've always understood, yes, we're going to have the tricks and tips that work for us, and then some that we just have to discard because they're not right for us. In the beginning, when I first started trying to figure this stuff out, though, there seemed to be more hacks in the biohacker space than there were the people who actually took the time to read the science, fundamentally understand it, and then apply it in a reasonable, measured way to make sure that the results were what they were.

[00:12:09.440] – Allan

And that's one of the things I can say that I appreciate about you is that you didn't just throw things against the wall and see if they stick. You figured out why something was working or not working for yourself, I think, at one point. And then this is probably so old, you're like, oh, that's not even a big number anymore. But you'd spent 300… I remember you saying on your podcast, I've spent over $300,000 figuring out what works for me.

[00:12:34.760] – Dave

That was just the very beginning when I started. That's what it took me to get back to baseline. Since then, it's probably around two million dollars I've spent on upgrading my biology and all the different ways I do it.

[00:12:44.640] – Allan

And that's what I'm saying.

[00:12:46.140] – Dave

I don't regret that.

[00:12:47.520] – Allan

You make these investments, but you don't just sit there and say, Well, I'm going to try this stem cell thing, or I'm going to try this CRISPR thing. And you literally do the research and say, Okay, what's the likelihood? What's this going to do? How's this going to work? And I think, again, that just changes. It changed me. It changed the way I think about biohacking. And I would say, from the perspective of reading this, particularly this book, I wouldn't even call this so much biohacking. It's a new thing, and it's scientific application of a principle. And so I think the backing of all this is that as I read this book, I'm like, These are more than biohacks in many cases. These are just really sensible, real things that you can do to improve your life. And some of them are not mainstream right now, but they will be.

[00:13:38.970] – Dave

They will be.

[00:13:40.080] – Allan

And things that weren't mainstream 15 years ago are. And there's not many people out there that haven't at least heard the term bulletproof coffee and the whole thing of putting fat in your coffee and how Keto can help power your brain better.

[00:13:55.310] – Allan

So the things that were they were cutting edge then, they're now mainstream. Things that are in this book. Some of them are on that edge, but they're going to be mainstream because you've done your homework. And that's one of the things I appreciate about this book.

[00:14:09.480] – Dave

Beautiful. Thank you. I do have a track record of in my books writing about stuff that when you know how stuff works with a good model, you can predict how things ought to work. And then you can say, I'm going to try what ought to work. And if it does work, then you can propose the theory, you can show the hack and say this ought to work for you, but there's no guarantee. Give it a try because the risk is low and the reward is high. And that's how I structure my books. And I say, well, let's assume this is real. What's an example you could do at home? What's an example that you could do that you'll spend a little bit of money on? And what's an example that a crazy billionaires is doing right now that takes advantage of this new idea in the world? And there were two new big ideas that made smarter, not harder, worth writing about, or I guess maybe it's even three. But one of the most important is what I call slope of the curve biology, which is not a sexy name. As a marketing guy, I probably could have done better.

[00:15:05.950] – Dave

I was going to call it the spike, but they didn't like that.

[00:15:10.260] – Dave

So what it is is the idea that your body is an automated part. I call it the meat operating system in the book. The thing that's running your body when you're not looking, all the little stuff you wouldn't pay attention to anyway. Well, it doesn't respond to the volume of work you do. It responds to the rate that you increase the work and very importantly, the rate that you return back to baseline. So if you wanted to make your body change quickly, you would do something that takes it right to the edge almost instantly and then meditate right away and have a sudden spike. And when that happens, the body gets a signal that's something like this. A tiger almost caught me, but now I'm safe. Since I have enough nutrients, I have enough energy, and I'm not stressed right now, let me just upgrade my capabilities in case that happens again. But because we believe without any evidence that doing a bigger volume of work is going to make us somehow stronger, we do the sprint and then we run at half of our capacity for 30 minutes. And the stupid body goes, Oh, man, the tiger almost caught me. got us, but it's still hunting us because we keep running.

[00:16:18.470] – Dave

Therefore, why would I ever adapt? I need to put all my resources into making sure that I run some more. And we think, What doesn't kill me makes me stronger. The reality is that sending a brief signal into your body and then allowing the body to respond by adapting makes you stronger. And it's a lot less work than the what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger vibe.

[00:16:41.060] – Allan

Yeah. And that's, I think, one of the cores that runs this book, the curve, yes. And I was a physics major at one point, so definitely understand the curve being the way we think about most things in science.

[00:16:53.250] – Dave

It's the derivative, not the integral of the math people of us.

[00:16:57.050] – Allan

Yeah. But you have this thing in the book and it's called the laziness principle. And I think when I started reading it, I'm like, Okay, well, yeah, but this is not a mental laziness where you're just saying, I really just don't want to work out. The reality is your body doesn't want to work out. Your body doesn't want to expend energy. Your body just basically wants you to do everything to get by just enough because that makes it very easy for it to hold, Homostasious and survive. And it's kept us alive all the times that we've been humans and even before is this principle of maintaining a lazy attitude towards everything.

[00:17:40.160] – Dave

In fact, if you look at that, a famine could come at any time, so why burn one more calorie than necessary? And that's why the body makes the couch look sexy and the gym look horrible. And everyone who says, Oh, I thought about being lazy. No, you didn't. Your body felt lazy and you made up a thought to match the feeling. You actually aren't lazy. Your meat is lazy. Your cognitive part of you, the conscious rational part of you, the human part of you, wants to work it out. In fact, it wants to want to work out. And then you feel guilt and shame because you don't automatically want to work out. How could I have this feeling that I don't want to work out? It's because your body is smart and it doesn't want you to start to death and it's trying to keep you alive. So you can use willpower to overcome the body's natural impulse, or you could use another trick, and that's what's behind the laziness principle. It's actually a motivational trick. And what it is is to understand what marketing companies have known for years. It's that your body cares more about saving than spending.

[00:18:39.180] – Dave

And that's why if you've ever had someone come back from a shopping trip and say, I saved $100 on a pair of shoes, honey. And they say, Yeah, but how much were they? Well, they were $200. Okay, so you spent $200. No, I saved $100. Why did the $100 feel more important than the $200? We know it wasn't, but we feel it is. That's why coupons work so effectively on people because savings feels bigger than spending. So what I teach you to do throughout Smart or Not Harders, hey, pick one of the five big goals people have in their health and then use one of the techniques based on slope of the curve biology that are in the book. And when you do that, here's how much time you're going to save. Instead of motivating yourself, I'm going to do five minutes of cardio, you go, I'm going to save 40 minutes of cardio. I will go out of my way to save 40 minutes of sweating with someone and spend excelling at me. But I won't go out of my way to spend five minutes doing cardio. Even though it's a lot less work, it's still work.

[00:19:35.790] – Dave

And I'm just not attracted to work. I'm just attracted to results with no cost. And so are you. And that's okay. In fact, that is the sacred part of being human. Do you think we ever would have invented airplanes if we weren't lazy? It was a lot of work to walk there. So first we figured out, let's ride a horse and let's make a train. Let's make a car. It's still not fast enough and we're still too lazy. Let's build airplanes. And pretty soon we'll probably teleport because we're lazy. That's how we work.

[00:20:02.390] – Allan

Yeah. One of the ways I like to think of it is you can wrap your mind around fear of missing out and just how that… What am I going to miss? And so you're more focused on that than the thing that's in front of you of what you could have. And so we'll drift back to that laziness to save the energy. But when it comes to missing something, we're going to turn on a little bit. And like you said, take the time off. This is why when we hear that hit training is valuable and it sounds cool, but we still have to do a little bit of work. We got to get up, like you said, we got to get up to that line. And it's a high line, so there's a lot of effort, but it's a short period of time. And so I think that's where the juxtaposition is, is to understand how this is going to be energy saving so that your body and you are in job. Because like you said, the cerebral part of my brain tells me, I okay, I should probably be working out longer than seven minutes.

[00:21:04.980] – Dave

It's funny because if you're doing standard high intensity interval training, I was a very early voice in that movement about 10 years ago. And it's just better than doing long cardio. But it still sucks. You got to get on the travel and go to the park and kick your ass for a whole minute. And then you're really hurting and then you slow down and then you do it again and it works better. But it takes 15, 20 minutes and you're cooked when you're done. It's not that pleasant. So imagine my surprise when the idea of Re Hit came out. And this is one of the things that says, oh, there's unique signals you can send it into your operating system in your body that cause it to adapt rapidly. They're literally what a computer hacker like me by training would do. Oh, look, there's an opening in the system. We can exploit that vulnerability. And what it turns out for the body is that even better performing in high intensity interval training is a five minute protocol that takes 20 seconds of hard work. And it works better than a 10 minute protocol with 40 seconds.

[00:22:11.040] – Dave

You actually get worse results if you do it longer. What the heck? And that's because it's getting exactly the right signal in and then having the peace and freedom and energy to make the change versus it's selling beyond the clothes. You ever have someone do that? Okay, I'll buy it. And they keep telling you how good it is until you finally just walk away because you're just had enough and you don't even buy it. Well, when we do high intensive interval training or even worse, we just hop on a cardio bike and do valleys, what we're doing is the body is like, I got the signal and you're like, you will listen again. And you just do it over and over and over. And finally the body is like, I'm too tired to change. Screw off, and then it won't do it. But I'm a good person. I sweat it all over myself. I can wring my shirt out. I worked hard. I should be rewarded for working hard. No, you get rewarded for getting a signal in and then making the body change. That's the smarter side. The harder side is just what you think works better.

[00:23:05.090] – Dave

The harder side is masochism, and it's guilt and shame taught by a culture of people shaming each other for naturally being lazy. Screw that noise. I am lazier than you, and that is why I have ideally five New York Times bestsellers and a giant podcast and all these companies because I didn't want to do any work. Each of these companies solves a problem for me and many other people. And the problems are all derived from I don't want to do that. It's too hard. Let's make it easier. It does not build soft humans. It builds very powerful humans when you solve problems. It also can build soft humans because if everything is easy and you never have to work hard on anything, you don't adapt and improve. My understanding of reality is that when humans have all their electricity working, they will choose to do hard things or painful things because it's worth it. And it's totally true. You can have a soft world. The invention and the things that I'm creating and that many people create, they make life easier so you can grow and evolve. It's also false to have an easy life so you never do anything. Those are different things.

[00:24:10.520] – Allan

Yeah. So our body wants us to be lazy, and that's about conserving energy. So again, we can survive during the famines and this and that. Now, you in the book share, like, this is this overriding line of how the whole book is structured, is the six steps of energy success. Could you walk through that a little bit to help us understand these stages? Because I looked at them as stages of do this first, because if you don't do this, you skip forward, your results aren't going to be quite as good as they would otherwise be. But can you walk us through some of those? Because I think that's really important.

[00:24:47.520] – Dave

You're going to have to give me a second. I don't have the book.

[00:24:52.160] – Allan

That's cool. I'll walk you through that. Okay. The first one is…

[00:24:54.440] – Dave

If you walk me through them, it's funny because there's a structure of the book that I have memorized, and that's a tool for educating about one of them, but that's not something I typically run through. So walk me through them and I'll explain each one for you. That's really helpful.

[00:25:05.440] – Allan

So the first one is about removing friction.

[00:25:08.160] – Dave

I thought that was going to be it. Yeah. All right. If you believe that suffering and struggling makes you stronger, you should drive around with the brakes and the accelerator on all the time because it's harder. And we're actually doing that all the time. So the easiest way to do things smarter, not harder is to say, What are the things I'm doing that are creating friction in my life and stop doing those? It's just a lot easier to do that than it is to give your car more horsepower to overcome the fact your brakes are on. And we don't think of it this way. Most people, especially performance oriented in a type A people like I've been, well, I'm just going to work out more. I'm going to do the hard thing. But that's not smart. But what's smart is look at for where you're causing slowness. And it could be you didn't put the right raw materials in there, or it could be that there are areas where you're leaking energy or using it in ways that don't make sense. And that's when you stop those. And magically, you can double your performance just from doing that.

[00:26:10.210] – Allan

Yeah. The second one was about loading up on raw materials. And I want to dive into this one because I think in my mind, this is where we get a lot of bad advice. But can you talk a little bit about raw materials?

[00:26:22.440] – Dave

I've written a best selling diet book that's helped people lose two million pounds. And I've written an antiaging book with some food in it. I've written a fasting book. So I feel like I always write something different about food, but I've written enough about food. So this isn't about food per se. It's about making sure that you have a couple of nutrients that are missing from the world of biohacking and that are affecting everyone. So what I'm looking for is what is the smallest thing you could do that affects the most systems in the body? And there's only two supplements that are the focus for this part of the book. They're foundational and they're not even sexy. One of them is minerals. Right now, the food we eat doesn't have minerals in it because we've been destroying our soil with glyphosate and with industrial agriculture. So the minerals just aren't there or they're not available for plants. And then you eat the plants, the plants themselves lock up their minerals. So even though the minerals are in the plant, you can't get the minerals. And that's actually one of the sources of friction in the book.

[00:27:22.240] – Dave

So if you can believe that you're eating foods that pull minerals out of your body and you're not getting minerals from the food, if you restore minerals in the body, you can make electricity better, you can fold proteins better, and every bio hack, every exercise, every thought works better when you have the raw materials there. So you need your macrominerals, a mineral supplement, and then you need trace minerals. And that's why my newest coffee brand, which is called Danger Coffee and dangercoffee.com, it's actually full of trace minerals that we add back in. So when you drink the coffee, you get trace minerals and electrolytes to bring minerals back into your cells. On top of that, most people by now who've listened to my content or yours or many others have heard that vitamin D3 is good for you. And it is. In fact, during the last three years of government insanity where they never once talked about the fact that it reduces your chances of getting respiratory infections from any source by 20%.

[00:28:17.930] – Dave

I guess they overlooked the 100 plus papers that said that, but they were pretty scared and doing other things. So anyway, we know it's good for us. But a lot of people don't know that it's good for us because it helps to drive calcium into cells. It does many other things as well. But it's partners, vitamin K2, which keeps the calcium in the cells so that you don't get calcified arteries, and vitamin A that escorts other minerals into the cells, and vitamin E that also even affects iodine levels. If you were you take your vitamin DAKE, which is what I call it in the book, DAKE, and your trace minerals in danger coffee, and your macrominerals from many of the available mineral supplements, that combination, it's not sexy, it's not a new tropic, it's not a sex enhancement formula, it's not a sleep formula, but it makes everything else you do work better. So this is the lowest common denominator missing from everybody two recommendations in the book. And I talk you through why that matters. And it matters because if your body isn't getting the raw materials it needs, it will feel anxious.

[00:29:21.500] – Dave

And when your meat operating system feels anxious, you feel anxious. So you have this sense of dread and impending doom. You're just like, Something's not right. I don't know what it is. It's probably my wife. No, it's not your wife. It's the fact that you have a hardware problem right now and it's trying to send a signal to you and it doesn't even know what it is because your body is incredibly stupid. It's just really fast. You are very smart. You're just very slow compared to your body.

[00:29:47.380] – Allan

Now, another area you went into here was to pick your target areas. We talked a little bit about that at the beginning and to track it. How does someone know what would be the low hanging fruit, maybe the first target areas they should should be considering someone over 40 who is overweight, maybe starting to really get interested in taking better care of themselves, how would they know the target area that would matter most for them?

[00:30:12.000] – Dave

Well, there are five big target areas. And the reason I know about the target areas is because I opened an upgrade labs, which is the first biohacking center on the planet. I created this idea that what if you came somewhere where all the tools that the crazy billionaires are using were available for you to use it? It's not a gym. But if you go there, you might not need to go to the gym and does a bunch of other stuff you can't do anywhere else. So after eight years of running this, it's now a franchise. You can go to ownandupgradelabs.com and you can open one in your city. So there's more than a dozen in the process of opening right now and more people are buying them every day all over North America. So I want this to be accessible. But in the meantime, if you go to daveasprey.com, I'm putting a quiz up. By the time the book launches, it'll be up there that will help you do this, or you read smarter, not harder, and I'll tell you how to intuit this, but it's better to use a quiz.

[00:31:03.600] – Dave

And what's going to happen is you're going to choose your number one and number two. And here's the list. You might want more muscle mass. This is really important. You lose muscle mass, you'll lose metabolism, and you're more likely to die. And in general, you need muscle mass. So that might be your top goal. Your next one might be cardiovascular function. You know what? I get winded going up the stairs. I don't like that. I can't play with my kids. That might be more important than putting on muscle. That means you can do both. You got to pick the order and pick the priority. And those two actually don't go well together. You're not going to run in a marathon and get swallowed at the same time. It's not how biology works. The third thing is you might say, I want my brain to work again. For me, that was my most important thing. I just want my brain to work. I'm so tired. I'm in my 20s. I weigh 300 pounds. I have chronic fatigue syndrome, my career is taking off and I feel as dumb as a post. And there were reasons for it.

[00:31:52.370] – Dave

So maybe your brain is a big thing. You don't normally go to the gym for your brain, but that might be your biggest goal. And if you go to upgrade labs, we'll do neurofeedback, we'll fix your brain if it's something that can be done that way. The next thing is you might say, I want my energy back, so I'm tired all the time, which is exactly the same as saying, I want to lose weight. It's actually the same techniques. If you're putting your electricity into storing fat, then you're not putting it into having energy. And then after that, some people are now saying, I want the ability to manage my stress better than I do. In fact, for the first time ever in history, in surveys, people are asking for the ability to manage anxiety more than to lose weight. For 35 years, the number one goal has been I want to lose weight, I want to lose weight, I want to lose weight. And now they're saying, I want to not feel all this stress. I want to not feel all this stress. And we know whose fault that is, Pfizer's. But there's all sorts of things that go into stress, lack of human connection, all that.

[00:32:49.570] – Dave

People don't know what it is, but they want resilience. And each of those five things, did you want your brain to work better or did you want to manage stress better? Which matters more? And people say, oh, well, I think it may be stress management matters better. Okay, how does that compare to muscle mass? Well, it turns out that a lot of people don't necessarily know what would be better, muscle mass versus stress resilience versus something else. So we use a statistical model with the quiz and then Upgrade Labs to help you figure out what's really at the top. And once you know you're number one and number two, you can choose the techniques that give you the most of what you want for both of those categories. And you'll get side benefits in all the other ones anyway. Anytime you improve one thing, you improve everything. But it's really amazing when you say, Wow, I'm going to consciously choose a biohacking technique that meets my number one and number two goal the most. And then when you do a five or a 10 minute thing that might be mildly difficult and it pays dividends in two different areas you care the most about, you'll just sit down and go, That was worth it.

[00:33:54.580] – Dave

And your operating system, your meat will not resist things that are worth it. It'll just resist things that aren't worth it. And right now, the spin class is not worth it. You go because you trick yourself with habit. You go because there's loud music and then there's someone shaming you into peddling faster and probably because you have some friends there. So you're getting a little bit of community but generally your body doesn't want to do that. And eventually you can get yourself hooked on endorphins from doing it. It's just not a way to get super healthy, but it might be really fun. If it's fun, you should keep doing it. If you're like me, and then it's your idea of suffering without a lot of results, I'll show you how to get six times better results in five minutes, three times a week than you're going to get from going every day to a cardio class. So let's stop doing cardio classes. Let's take all the time we were going to spend there and use it to meditate. Oh, except meditation is a waste of time because there's five ways, and it's harder to get the results of meditation in less time.

[00:34:51.120] – Dave

So you might as well, when you're doing that hour of meditation, instead of doing a meditation that's mildly effective, do a meditation that's strongly effective for your brain and combine it with breath work, which in studies works better. Who would have thought? I'm just saying your life and your time and your energy, they're so precious that because we've been programmed by society to believe that struggling and suffering is good, we do stuff that barely works and is really hard, and then we reward ourselves for that, and then we feel shame for doing stuff that works better but isn't hard. I'm done with that. I'm not ashamed to be lazy. I am lazy, and it's made me profoundly powerful, and it's let me change the world. And I don't want to spend one more ounce of energy on anything than it takes. And every time I waste energy on something I don't want to do, it's a crime against myself. That's how much I embrace laziness.

[00:35:46.200] – Allan

And what you just said there really wrapped around, really, the last few of these was you're sending signals to your body, whether you know it or not. And so that extra work you're doing is it's telling your body something's just not right versus doing it the way that your body would respond to and understand and then know. And if you're pushing yourself that hard, you're probably not recovering the way that your body needs you to. So you're not recovering like a boss because you just keep beating yourself up thinking that's how I'm going to get that nail in there. And so I'm the hammer. Everything is a nail. And then the final bit of this was to evaluate, personalize, and repeat. And I think if you go through this book and you do some of these things, particularly in the areas that matter most to you, you're going to move the needle. And as soon as you start moving that needle and you see it, it should encourage you to double down on that to figure out what's working, what's not, and really get to the value of your time and your energy and make the most of it.

[00:36:51.460] – Dave

You said it, and what I've learned from my own path in biohacking where I started out just by fixing my brain and fixing my body and then upgrading them is that when you do one thing successfully, it generates another slice of free energy. And if you invest that free energy back into yourself, any personal development, you can very quickly develop super powers. What a lot of us get stuck on, including me, when I went to the gym for 702 hours, 90 minutes a day, six days a week for 18 months, that was wasted time. And I did not lose any weight during that time. I got strong, but I still had a 46 inch waist. And if I'd have known what was in this book in that 702 hours, I could not only have lost the weight, got my energy back, fixed my brain, I probably could have learned massive amounts of meditation and trauma resolution and probably been a lot less of a jerk in my 20s. I could have done a lot. Instead, I struggled and I suffered and I lifted the heavy stuff and I sweated. But it wasn't the best path.

[00:38:00.740] – Dave

It was just the path that I found. And a lot of us are on a path that doesn't give us extra energy. That extra energy goes back into being you, and it goes back into improving you. When you do it, especially all of my works I read, and if I'd have just known this when I was 20, do you know what a monster you would be when you're 30 if you got into this when you were 20? And you just took the same amount of time you're spending now, but you applied it in a targeted way towards what you cared about. By the time you're 30, I have whatever career I want, I have whatever degrees I want because I have so much energy, I could pay attention all day long. I have the friendships I want because I had energy all the time. So much energy that I could actually notice when I was acting like a jerk and change my behavior. I have the relationships I want. All these things could happen. Or you could just do the hard stuff and barely make any progress. But that's okay. Have beer at the end of the day.

[00:38:51.380] – Dave

You get to pick. If I'd have just known, oh, my God, the time I wasted. I want it back.

[00:38:57.220] – Allan

Well, we can't actually get it back. But what we can do is make the most of what's in front of us. And that's what here. Now, there is one thing that is something that was behind us that I really think is coming to light for me a lot more. I think before I pooh poohed this as, okay, yeah, we all have hard times, we all have struggles. And someone bopped us in the head at some point in our life when we were younger. And it's been in the last few years, and it's probably got a lot to do with COVID and some of the things that happened there that I'm getting a better understanding of what trauma is doing to us and what we need to do for ourselves if we're really going to be… I think one of your books was actually called Superhuman. But if we're going to improve ourselves, this is something that we have to explore. Can you talk a little bit about trauma and how that can derail all of us?

[00:39:58.400] – Dave

Yeah. If you accept the part of the book that there's a third of a second gap between when something happens in reality and when our brain gets the first electrical signal that something's happening. It means someone else is in charge for a third of a second. What trauma does is it programs your operating system to be responsive and reactive to feelings or to things in the environment, even if they're not something that's a threat. What that means is when someone who looks like Little Johnny who beat you up in fifth grade, when they walk into the boardroom, you're going to feel a wave of unease and maybe even a fight or flight response that makes no rational sense unless you realize that your operating system is doing this to you because it thinks there's a threat before you could see the threat. You don't even see it for a third of a second, it's already identified a pattern and it's already put you in distress mode. That's the equivalent on your phone of having an alert pop up. Imagine if you didn't turn off all those annoying alerts and you pick up your phone and literally 500 alerts are going off where you're just trying to compose an email, you can get anything done.

[00:41:05.540] – Dave

Your operating system is full of useless, meaningless alerts set up by old traumas. Every time you process the trauma and release it fully, the alert stops and you're no longer triggered by that. And then that frees up a huge amount of additional energy. I had to do a lot of work on this, and that's the core process that I teach in the final chapter or second to last chapter in smarter, not harder, where I talk about spiritual hacking. And there is a structured process called the reset mode that is a part of my neuroscience facility. This is a facility where you go in to spend five days, really intense, hard days just to be super transparent. And that replaces at least 20 years of daily meditation practice. Your brain can do things that only very advanced meditators can do because we're using computers to show it to you. And what you're doing for part of that process is this reset mode that goes in, lets you selectively turn off reactive patterns that don't serve you because every reactive pattern sucks energy, actual electricity away, and it pulls you out of being present and focused in the way you want to focus on, and it makes you react to something.

[00:42:17.580] – Dave

Marketers are good at pushing these buttons and governments are exceptionally good at pushing these buttons. My desire, what I'm working on with all of the companies that I'm either owning or running or advising or investing in is that I'm working to make humans very dangerous because the most dangerous human is unprogrammable. They actually have the power. They have so much energy and so much awareness. They are going to do the right thing, and who knows what they might do? But they're free to do it. I believe from my studies of biology and psychology, we're actually wired to be nice to each other. A person who is at full power and aware of themselves will help the little old lady across the street and will stand up to injustice and will not be programmed by mass psychosis to force other people to do things they don't want to do because it's unkind to force people to do things. Whatever it is, if they don't want to do it, they don't have to do it. That's how the world works. Because if you can force someone else to do something, then they have the right to force you to do something, and none of us wants to live in that world.

[00:43:20.580] – Dave

So we all got programmed, at least most of us over the last couple of years, using these manipulative tactics. If we all had the amount of energy that we are capable of having, we all would have laughed and continued on with life. And I don't want that to happen again. I don't want to go through all the suffering that I went through because I was programmed by companies who told me that if I just worked out enough and ate a low fat, low calorie diet. Dude, I spent 702 hours struggling and suffering. I did not get the results. It took me that long to realize that I was chasing a fool's errand. I want people to be free. And the kind of peace that we can have on the planet, it's when everyone could do whatever they want. And everyone is dangerous because who knows what you might do. But that danger, when you choose to be peaceful, that's awesome. The peace that happens because you're so depleted of minerals, you're so tired, you're so programmed, you're so distracted, you just can't get up off the couch because you got nothing left. That's peace, but it's also hell.

[00:44:19.550] – Dave

So there are forces for whatever economic reasons or other reasons. They're trying to make that world where we all eat fake foods and really have no choice. I just don't think that world is going to happen. I'm not going to let it happen. And there's lots of people who are doing energetic practices to make our biology so powerful that you can't trick us. And you can't feed us garbage and tell us we feel good because we noticed when we don't feel good because we've actually felt good for once in our lives. I didn't have any of this before I was 30. It wasn't natural for me. So I'm working out as many people as possible, wake up and just say, you know what? You can believe that whatever thing works or whatever thing doesn't work. I don't care. I just want you to be in charge of you. And to do that, you have to have the power and the electricity. As soon as you're in charge of yourself, you're dangerous and I want to be your friend, whatever you believe.

[00:45:08.940] – Allan

And again, you finished out the book with this phrase or with this topic, you do you. And that's why I said when you under promised and over delivered with the title of this book, because, again, this is about you taking control of your life, you making decisions for yourself, making them in your own self best interest. But in your own words, could you go through a little bit about how you define you do you and what that means for you?

[00:45:38.900] – Dave

It's a lot of what I just talked about there. The reality is that we don't all have the same goals. If your goal is to be the fastest human on the planet, you're going to do something very different than someone whose goal is, you know what? I want to be an amazing provider for my family, and I want to come home with the end of every day, and I want to just be full of energy and calmness to play with my kids. By the way, that is a huge heroic act. It's really hard to do that. I'm a dad of two teenagers. The number of times that kids ask the same stupid question over and over, Chew with your mouth closed, Chew with your mouth closed, don't write your name on the wall. How many times can you say it before you just go crazy? Every parent has had that thought. I can tell just by the way you laughed, you've had kids, right? Okay, that's actually being in charge. That's you doing you. Because a lot of times you come home, you're just too tired and you're going to yell your kids. You're not glad you did it.

[00:46:31.420] – Dave

You didn't want to. You didn't choose to. But your operating system did because you didn't have the energy left. You do you means you get to pick your goals and you get to pick what's worth it for you. And the reality is that your decisions are about where am I in life right now, biologically and emotionally and spiritually and all that, and what's my goal? And you got to respect the fact that someone else might not be where you are and their goal may be somewhere over here. You do you, which means they can do them. And if you try to force someone else to do you, I hope that person is a really dangerous person and they stop you.

[00:47:05.700] – Allan

Well, I hope you're a really dangerous person and you don't even go there because you are focused on what's best for you. And you're listening to this podcast, so I'm pretty sure that you're more like that. And so this is your opportunity to go through, find some things that work, apply them in your life. Again, he's going to give you the tools to know where that is. And then just learn how your body is working and how the laziness principle and conserving energy and using energy where it's most valuable and not wasting it is really going to help you move the needle on this. So, Dave, I really appreciate this. I'm going to end this with one question I ask all my guests, and I actually got this from you because you were doing this with your podcast way back when. I don't know if you still do.

[00:47:56.470] – Allan

But this is my question is, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:48:07.980] – Dave

Three tactics or strategies to get and stay well. Number one, define what well means. You gave your definition. Use what's in smarter, not harder to figure out those five buckets. How much of each bucket is your recipe for wellness? If you don't know that, it's very hard to do the other part. After that, find a way to objectively measure wellness. And it can be something as simple as how good of a day was today? If you write that down every day and you plot it against what you eat, you might just thought, every day when I eat a fakeburger, it's actually not as good of a day. I wonder if they're correlated. Yeah, they are. But maybe you get heart rate variability on your sleep monitor. You can do all these different things, but pick something that you can track over time that doesn't take a lot of work to do. Maybe you get a continuous glucose monitor, and for a month you track what every meal does to spike or not spike your blood sugar. So then you realize, huh, I never knew that Oatmeal was actually junk food for peasants. Who would have thought?

[00:49:07.510] – Dave

And then you find that out and you stop eating it. Or before you eat it, you have a bunch of eggs. Fine. Those are things that matter, but you got to have the objective measure, understand your meat operating system, your body, it will lie to you. It will change your perception of reality to make it in charge. It will not let you see these things. But when you have measurement, it pokes a hole in that veil, and then you can see what's going on. And the third thing, if we're looking for wellness, I'm looking for a foundational behavior that's going to affect everything else. So I'm going to split that into two directions. One of them is take your trace minerals and your vitamin day because it affects everything. The other one would be learn how to sleep like a boss. And on that one, if you go to sleepwithdave.com, that is my free sleep training. It's also the best URL of my life. It's a free… I just teach you everything I know.

[00:50:01.060] – Allan

Does that really work for you? Does that?

[00:50:03.640] – Dave

Yeah. It's not my only page, that's different.

[00:50:08.750] – Dave

There you go. Those are the three.

[00:50:10.580] – Allan

Thank you for that. Dave, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about Smarter Not Harder, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:50:19.700] – Dave

Go to daveasprey.com, and that has everything there. And get the form of smarter, not harder that works best for you. As an author, I'm always honored when someone wants to listen to my voice. I've read the whole book for you. Or absorb it however you want to absorb it. But orders now, right as it's launching, helped a lot of other people find the book. And I'd be grateful if people just say, no, I'm going to read it at some point. I'll pick it up now and do Dave a favor.

[00:50:45.230] – Allan

Great. Well, Dave, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:50:49.980] – Dave

Allan, it's been a pleasure. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:51:00.000] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:51:02.780] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was a fun conversation. I love a good biohack. I love working smarter, not harder, but there's a time and a place for these types of little shortcut, these little tricks.

[00:51:13.600] – Allan

Yeah. It's important in the context of what Dave went through. So Dave was a very successful young man in the tech industry making good money, but realizing that what he was doing and noticing it, realizing it a lot earlier than I did, that this was not a workable solution for him. He needed to do some things to improve his health. And in doing his own, going on his own journey, found things that he needed to resolve in his life to open himself up to be a healthier, better person. And we're all going through that at some stage or another, we realized, oh, okay, this is not where I belong. I'm in the wrong neighborhood of health and fitness, and I got to get myself to a better place. And so he did a lot of those things. And then he wanted more. He wanted to tweak that and bump that up a bit. And so that's been his mission for a long, long time because I've been listening to him online for a long time.

[00:52:16.090] – Rachel


[00:52:16.460] – Allan

And when you say the term biohack, I get a little cringe for a moment, only because some of these things are unproven, just whack. I don't mean that a bad way, but there was a phase there where all these guys were talking about Ayahuasca. Okay, it's basically this thing that you drink. It's toxic, it's terrible. It basically puts you in a hallucinetic state. So they'll go there to these hot cabins and they'll sit out there and they'll drink this stuff and they're puking their guts out and they're having all these hallucinations. And the principle is that it's supposed to help you resolve trauma and untold things that are going on in your head. So people who've done it again, they get into all this other stuff. They're people who swear by it. Yeah, go do this and it's going to enlighten you. But you go and make sure you do it with a good shaman that knows what they're doing. I'm like, okay, because you're going to apparently go to some scary places in your head. Sounds a little out there. Right. And that's the thing is that the thing is some of this stuff is out there and not meant for you.

[00:53:33.260] – Allan

And so I would say when you look holistically at where you are today, are you already really fit, really healthy, and then just want to move up 1 % where 1 % actually matters? Or are you someone who's really struggling with your weight, really struggling with your fitness, not sleeping well, dealing with stressful things and just really not in optimal, not in a good place, not even in a good place, then these hacks, while they sound great, Oh, you mean I can get fit just working out three minutes a day? And the short answer is you can get more fit. But there's other things to consider, and that is, okay, if you can't walk up a flight of stairs today without getting winded, okay, spending three minutes on a vibrating platform is probably not where you need to spend your time.

[00:54:36.660] – Rachel

No. And probably, hit training wouldn't be so good for you either.

[00:54:40.340] – Allan

And hit training might not be the best thing for you. But you go talk to a doctor and the doctor says, Okay, look, there's nothing fundamentally broken. You should be able to exercise. Then the reality of it is going up the stairs, get you a little winded, walk back down and walk back up.

[00:54:58.040] – Rachel

That's exercise.

[00:54:59.110] – Allan

Yes. And so instead of going up the flight of stairs once, go up twice. Yes, you're going to be winded. Yes, it's going to suck. And it's going to take you twice as long to go up the stairs as it would have to just walk up the flight of stairs. But if you do that regularly, then going up the flight of stairs once is not going to be a problem for you because you've built a level of fitness that allows you to do that. As you work on lowering your body fat and your overall body weight probably goes down, you'll find your carrying less weight up those stairs. And as a result, you're able to go up the stairs easier. So you can build fitness with an investment of time, with an investment of effort.

[00:55:43.310] – Allan

And sometimes an investment of money. But the slow route is the easiest route a lot of the times. And so where Dave is talking about hacking this, this is at a point where he's already reasonably fit. And because he likes to do other things besides work out. He just doesn't enjoy working out, which I can respect. Most people don't actually like the idea of working out. And that's why there's a lot of people that don't is he wants to find a way to get the same results or stay where he is without putting in a whole lot of extra time. So finding a more efficient way to do something makes a ton of sense for him.

[00:56:28.980] – Allan

But if you're not even close to the fitness level you want, these little hacks are not going to move the needle for you very far. And as a result, you're not going to get the results that are promised here or you think are there because that's not how you get there initially. You got to do a little bit of the work first, get yourself to a base, and then you can start looking at these other ways to improve from there to optimize, if you will. And so I think that's where a lot of the breakdown for me is. It's like, no, there are really no shortcut, but there are ways later on that you can be more efficient with this. But you're not going to stretch for 30 seconds and then your mobility is fine for the rest of your life. You've got to get out there and move. You've got to teach your body full range of motion and be strong in all of those ranges. And that's just time.

[00:57:23.910] – Rachel

For sure. Yeah. The other part of what you discussed with him was the you do you concept. And I love that phrase because we are all so different. And so how we choose to move, what we choose to eat, what diet we follow, it's just so individual. And the reason why I enjoy these conversations with you, Allan, is because we have had, the two of us have very different backgrounds. You spend a lot more time with weights in the gym. I spend a lot more time just running out on the road. But we achieve our own personal goals or health and fitness needs in different ways. But we're basically pretty healthy versions of ourselves. That's why the you do you phrase is so brilliant because we are so different and we can achieve the same ends with just different means.

[00:58:18.920] – Allan

And that's why you'll see these workout videos and this or that. And they're saying, okay, this is how you get six pack abs. Do this workout. This is the workout I use. And then you're like, Well, dude, you were an Olympic athlete in your 20s. And then you've never lost it. You've never been where we were or where we are. And so I'm not saying any of this is wrong. Dave does his research, and that's what I appreciate about him. Some other folks are just a little out there and a little wack, but Dave does do his homework, and he tries this stuff, and he invests his money in it and time. And so where he is and what he wants to do with his life, he's at a different place than you are. I'm at a different place than you are. And Rachel's at a different place than you are. And so as you're looking at your journey of what you need to do, you just need to be realistic with where you are. And if you live in a town where he has one of his labs or one of the franchises has opened up of his lab, go out and have fun.

[00:59:33.350] – Allan

Go out and check it out. You can go if there's cryotherapy labs that they can put you in and say, okay, this is going to do this. They can put you in a hyperbolic oxygen tank. There's all these different little things you can do. And if they make you feel good, great.

[00:59:48.690] – Allan

But don't expect to go into one of these things and come out like Superman or superwoman. But it's not going to happen. That's something science fiction, and it's just not. But there are ways to be more efficient with this stuff to go through it. And if you don't enjoy it, then there are ways to be a lot more efficient with it. You don't need three hours. You can get great workouts in a shorter period of time. And so it's just a function of putting it together in the right way for you. I had to figure it out myself. I tried to do the Insanity workout. They looked great in the video. I wanted to look like that. And I didn't, couldn't.

[01:00:35.680] – Rachel

It's tough. I've not done it myself, but that's tough.

[01:00:39.420] – Rachel

But it's always to have options.

[01:00:40.680] – Allan

It is. And so you try something and try something different and you go through the process. But I would just say is when you start this stuff, I think it's really important for you to think about where your head is.

[01:00:57.780] – Allan

Because if you say, I don't like working out, I don't like exercising, then I would say then you don't really want this. You're thinking about fitness, but you don't really want fitness because what you're doing in the gym or out on the road is training. It's not a workout. When you actually have the right mindset for this stuff and you actually wrap your head around it, it's like, Oh, I'm training to be that really cool grandpa. I want to be the grandpa that can go do what the kids are doing and be out there running around with them and rolling around on the grass and doing that stuff because I'm not worried about it. I won't even think about it then. Because it'll be play, it'll be fun. I don't have to worry, I don't have a plan to get back up. It's just role play, do the thing, and I want to be that grandpa. I see it as training. And then the word training has a very different connotation. If you think through your brain of the good things that you've accomplished in your life. There was typically a state called training at the front of it, or you could have called it studying, but there was training, and the training improves you in a designated way.

[01:02:20.560] – Allan

And so if you say I want to be faster, then you can train for speed. If you want to be able to run further, then you can train for distance. You want both, then you affect your training plan to give you some of both. You can be stronger and you can put your training plan that's going to do that. And then you put these all together and you might say, well, okay, if I add them all up, be able to run longer, run faster, and be stronger. Wow, that's eight or nine hours a week. That's a lot. It's not. But if you think it's a lot, then you can say, Okay, what are ways for me to be more efficient with this in a way that's going to let me accomplish all that? And that's where when he talks about, he talked about reaching the peak and then allowing recovery, what he's talking about is true hit training. So you can build speed, a lot of speed with hit training because that's what you're doing. You're running as freaking fast as you can. You're moving as fast as you can. That's speed. So you can be training for speed, but the way you're training for speed is not just normal sprint stuff.

[01:03:27.780] – Allan

You're actually packaging it in a way where you're reaching your max and then you're recovering. And then you're running for max and then you're recovering. And so you're building speed and you're building some of your stamina, your V02 max, which is going to help you for your longer runs. So instead of doing longer runs all the time, you just change up your training a little bit. And you use one of these hacks, if you will, that is scientifically based and makes sense. And for a lot of people to be like, Okay, that worked for me. That really worked. And then there's just going to be other people that are like, I don't like getting my heart rate up to 100 % like that. I don't like being in that space, that pain space. And so don't. But try it if you want to tweak it. But the whole point is, if you're thinking speed and distance, you're not at a baseline of fitness. You've worked up to a point where you're actually trying to accomplish something special, not just being able to go up a flight of stairs. So there's a point there. And that's what I'm saying.

[01:04:33.360] – Allan

So you don't necessarily want to be doing hit training when you're trying to work on going up a flight of stairs. Just go up the stairs more often, and that's going to help you be able to go up the stairs better. If you want to be a little bit stronger, just start picking up heavier stuff and you'll get stronger. But you could do all this reasonably. And if you just want to go at this with short cuts because you don't like something.

[01:04:56.640] – Allan

Then just realize those short cuts probably aren't going to get you the results that you really want. And so the more you use your brain, your mindset, and say, I'm going to embrace this as training.

[01:05:10.920] – Allan

Therefore, I don't have to necessarily like it because I didn't like sitting there with the blind studying for the CPA exam, just answering all of these accounting questions in a book, a multiple choice book, and then checking my answers. I didn't enjoy that, but the outcome was important to me. So I trained, I studied. And if you can get your brain wrapped around that idea that sometimes you're going to do things you don't enjoy, sometimes you're going to do things that take more time than you would want to put. But if the outcome is worth it…

[01:05:46.640] – Rachel

Yeah, then the training is worth it.

[01:05:48.440] – Allan

Then the training is worth it. And I think being a great grandfather.

[01:05:53.000] – Allan

And by that, I mean a great grandfather and then eventually a great grandfather is important. I just that's something that's important to me is to be that guy that I don't want to be a spectator. I want to be a participant. And so as you think about what health and fitness means for you, then you see these elements here we talked about during this episode with Dave, and look at them, look at them holistically, look at them deep and objectively and say, where am I and what can I do? And then it's the you do you. I'm not going to tell you to meditate or do yoga or travel to Tibet. Find something, try it, try it long enough to see if it's working or not working, and then chuck it if it's not. I've tried meditating good for about a good five minutes.

[01:06:45.920] – Allan

And then I'm building lists in my head. List of stuff I should be doing besides sitting there meditating. I'm building those lists in my head. And so it's like, okay, I know that 5 to 10 minutes is a sweet spot if I'm going to sit down and do it. The other thing I know is I can't be in an office space where I have access to a phone or computer. I literally need to be somewhere where there is no technology around me.

[01:07:14.530] – Rachel


[01:07:15.540] – Allan

Right. So I am in it and I don't have anywhere else to be. Those are the things. So for me, I have walking meditations that I do when I get by myself on some of the beach places I talk about here in Bocas. And so when I get to those spaces and I'm walking and there's no one else around, I'm able to do the walking meditation. And so I turn off everything, turn off the text, turn off the ebooks, turn off everything, and literally just exist for a period of time, breathing and feeling and listening and all the different things. I'm able to do it there. But sitting here right now in my office, if I said, okay, after this comment, I'm doing meditation, I won't make five minutes because I'm thinking, crap, I got to post that podcast today. I got to do this. I got to do that, and I got the client call at this time. So my brain won't shut off that way right now, and I know that. Again, hacks can be great, but they've got to be used at the right time in the right way. So where you are to do you?

[01:08:16.140] – Allan

Those are all great things. So Dave's book is worth it if you're interested in looking at ways that are out there looking at the technologies and the things because he does a really good job of breaking it down, explaining why this stuff either works the way it works or should work the way that it's supposed to work. And you can get into that. But I would say that can't be your primary mode of operation because that's not going to move the needle enough to really matter.

[01:08:45.000] – Rachel

It's good to have tools. It's good to have options. It's good to have different things that you can try and experiment with. But yeah, you got to do the big stuff first.

[01:08:54.140] – Allan

I agree.

[01:08:55.560] – Rachel

Yeah. Awesome. Great conversation.

[01:08:57.820] – Allan

All right. Well, Ras, I will talk to you next week.

[01:09:00.720] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[01:09:02.100] – Allan

You too.

[01:09:02.860] – Rachel

Thank you.

[01:09:04.300] – Allan


[01:09:05.020] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


February 21, 2023

How to get results with the minimum | Joey Thurman

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On episode 578 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Joey Thurman and discuss his book, The Minumum Method: The Least You Can Do to Be a Stronger, Healthier, Happier You.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:51.960] – Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:02:53.060] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:54.900] – Allan

I'm doing well. I'm doing really well. How are things up there?

[00:02:58.380] – Rachel

Good. We're in the middle of the weird part of winter where it's taking a little long.

[00:03:04.420] – Allan

It's so.

[00:03:06.540] – Rachel

Yeah. It's just the weather changes. We had single digits last week. Today it's 40, which really does feel like a heat wave when you're comparing it to the single digits. We're going to get more snow this weekend. It's just a roller coaster up here, but I'm making it through, making plans.

[00:03:23.850] – Allan

Good. Yeah. I'm, I guess as this is going live, I think is the days the 21st of February. So I just launched pre-sale. So as you're recording this, I'm actually getting ready to launch presale. And so that's going to go to everybody that had joined the waiting list. When I say there's an interest list, there's an interest list. And if they buy all the slots, I'm sorry, you can log in right now and you might not be able to buy a slot. It might be gone. But I'm planning the retreat and I'm ready. I've got it all mapped out how I'm going to do what I'm going to do. And so, yeah, it's one of those things, it's the calm before the storm where I'm like, okay. And it's anything new, anything, because this is the first time I'm doing this. But it's like with anything new, you have these second thoughts, you have these moments where you're like, What if no one wants to come down here that week? I know, I know, I know. But again, we're going to talk a little bit about this later, but people will say they want something, and then when it comes time to do that thing, they just don't.

[00:04:38.640] – Allan

And it happens. And we say it happened every day. We train people for a living. That's what we do. And so people tell us, it's like, Well, I want to lose weight. I want to get fit. Okay, put that down and pick that up. The simple advice, put that down and pick that up. And they know that. They're like, Yeah, I should have been picking that up all along, and I shouldn't have been picking this up. And so it's like, just start making these gradual changes and good things will happen. But we're not there yet. We're not ready, willing, and able, and so we don't. And so that's one of those things. I'm at that moment of saying, Okay, I'm going to put this out there to the world and I know how good it is. I know what's going to happen. Are you on board? And that's where that thing is. When you offer something new, it's like, okay, is this going to happen? So I'm in that little right there and it's a little bit of second thought, but it's where I am mentally right now.

[00:05:41.780] – Rachel

Sure. Well, it sounds like a really fun retreat and a beautiful part of the country.

[00:05:46.560] – Allan

Well, the world. Yeah. Well, in our country, yeah. But the cool thing about Panama is there's just so much diversity for such a small country. You have mountains with the coffee and the chocolate you have here with some chocolate, but the beaches and the jungle, you have the big city of Panama. You have the whole Pacific Coast, which has its own flavor. And then you have some of the more shady parts of it like cologne and all that. But anyway, that's a whole another part of the world, part of this country. But the thing is, yes, I am in paradise and I want to share that with people. But it's also a fitness retreat. So the point being is you can come here and find the most efficient and effective way for you to get fit the way you need to be fit. Not the way a coach wants you to be fit, not what you see on TV or magazines. This is you defining fitness on your own terms and then building a plan and making it happen. So I'm pretty excited about what the content is going to be about and where we're going with it.

[00:06:56.380] – Allan

But I need you here, because I guess that's the answer. I need people here. So check it out and go to 40plusfitness.com/retreat. The interest list is probably already over, so that link will probably take you to the page where I described the program. And then you can decide if there are any seats for VIP, whether you want to do VIP or general. But yeah, it's going to be pretty massive. It's going to be pretty cool.

[00:07:23.940] – Rachel

Awesome. Sounds great.

[00:07:25.850] – Allan

All right. And while we were talking about efficiency and all the other stuff. It's probably a good time for us to talk to Joey Thurman, right?

[00:07:35.920] – Rachel

Sounds good.


[00:08:20.000] – Allan

Joey, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:23.040] – Joey

I am a fresh 40, my friend. So thanks for having me.

[00:08:25.990] – Allan

you were 39 when you wrote the book and the way these things work. You write the book and then seven, eight, nine, 10 months later, the book is coming out. So this has been out for a little while. And so you're just turning 40. And so this is probably some top of mind stuff as you look at some of the differences when someone walks into train with you and they're not 25 years old and they've done a lot of things wrong or they've done a lot or they've stopped doing things because we're all really busy and we've got careers and kids and parents and all those other things. When you talked about the minimum method, I think that's what really hit me because the name of the book is The Minimum Method: The Least You Can Do to Be a Stronger, Healthier, Happier You. And it's almost like you read my book where I'm talking about wellness, those are the elements. You got to have all three of those or you're not living a balanced life. And the people that think they've got to spend hours and hours in the gym or hours and hours doing other stuff to get their fitness and health and all put it all together.

[00:09:40.900] – Allan

You've basically given us a shortcut and say, hey, just cut to the chase. Do these few things first, and then do these few things next and then do these few things, and you're stronger and you're fitter and do these few things and you're sleeping better and do these few things, and now you're even sleeping better. And now you're a ninja at sleep. And you put that together in a structure where, hey, flip to the back of the chapter and you're kicking it, man. But if you want to know why, all that's in there, too. So I really like that.

[00:10:15.080] – Joey

Well, thank you. Yeah. I understand that most people don't read a book cover to cover. You should read it cover to cover if you get the book or when you get the book, let's say. But at the same time, some people don't want to read the whole chapter. They just want to flip to the end and see where's my buffet of protocols and behavior change. And there it is.

[00:10:31.070] – Allan

Now I'm going to encourage them not to do that with your book. I know you say it's fine, but there's some things you put in there that I don't think you just want to skip to the fitness section or the nutrition section and miss some of the really good stuff that you have here. And one of those that you go through is the health and fitness myths. And again, there's a lot of this stuff that's been out there for a long time, and it's ingrained. And I think understanding that not everything you've been brought up to believe is true is really important for you to wrap your mind around why these other things are actually working, why you don't necessarily have to do it a certain way, or maybe the way you've been thinking about this is wrong. Can you talk about those myths and what people should be aware of that isn't actually true?

[00:11:28.840] – Joey

Yeah. There's a lot of them, and I didn't have room to fit every single one because it would just be a book of the miss. Maybe that's like the next one, the book of the miss. But yeah. Number one, still, for some reason, females, I think all of a sudden they're going to pick up a weight that's not pink, and they're going to look like the incredible Hulk. That's just not going to happen. You don't have enough testosterone, you're not having enough supplementation or illegal supplementation, if you will, it's not going to happen. I tell people this all the time, do you ever see a bodybuilder lifting a five pound weight? Probably not. They're lifting a high amount of volume, a high amount of volume load, and there's a lot of intent in that specific movement. And then they're in the gym for a long time and they're eating, breathing, sleeping, just that trying to grow, grow, grow. And most people are not doing that. And speaking of going into the gym and another myth, you don't need to work out for an hour. Who said it needed to be an hour workout?

[00:12:27.600] – Joey

I don't know where this arbitrary number came from. And how a workout isn't effective if it's not an hour. Well, how many times do you see a guy at the gym do a bench press and go on Instagram, maybe look at Joey Thurman Fitt's account for Seamus Plugg? And spend 10, 15, 20 minutes on there and do another set. And they do three sets in an hour. So is that more efficient as far as longevity and health as opposed to somebody that's in there for 20 minutes does 10 sets of a full body workout? Probably not. If you're just trying to get strong, yes, do a set, wait three to five minutes and lift as heavy as you can and keep doing that. But then you need to be in the gym for an hour, hour and a half. But your amount of work and load during that time is going to be completely different. So you can do exercise stacking where you're working out 10 minutes one time. You're doing a 10 minute walk out afterwards. Maybe you have five minutes to do three sets of bicep curls, why not do that? So it's cumulative load throughout the week that matters the most.

[00:13:22.060] – Joey

Same body parts two days in a row. You could do that. It's fine. That whole myth came from body building folklore where they're doing 20 plus sets of chest in a day. Yeah, your chest needs to recover when you're doing that. But you could do legs. You could do three sets of legs one day. You do three sets of legs in the next day. It's going to be fine. Look at the professional athletes. They're doing the same body part. They're doing the same drills, the same movements every single day. They're okay. They're taking some recovery days and some off days. So that's going to be fine. The whole carbohydrates are bad thing. I don't know where that happened. That's crazy because carbs are fiber, fruits and vegetables. If I said, hey, fruit and vegetables is bad. Most people in the Western car, we're going to say, no, they're great for you. Okay, no, there's carbs. Wait, what? So it's just crazy. All of these things that people will think and they try to get too much caught in the weeds of all of these myths and these protocols and these things that they're supposed to do or their neighbor does or whatever.

[00:14:16.840] – Joey

And then I really think about the overall consistent picture. Yeah.

[00:14:19.610] – Allan

And I think a lot of that is, well, so you see a friend and the friend goes and works out or you see someone and you look at the magazine and you're like, Okay, so how did Jack Hughman or whatever that was going to play a role? Or Downey Jr. Played Iron Man. And I'm like, Dude, it's the same age as me, maybe even a little older. And how did he get so ripped? And I'm thinking, okay. And I was even at the time blogging, and I wrote, I'm not Iron Man as a blog because I'm like, I don't know how he biologically did that, but I just don't know that I could mentally push myself to be in the gym that much to potentially supplement in ways that were not healthy and to change my body that drastically in a very short period of time. Because he was also in a Sherlock Holmes movie. And you're like, Okay, that's insane. But he did it and he kept doing it. And now he doesn't do it as much. So if you look at Iron Man, they don't really show you a lot of ripped out of uniform pictures.

[00:15:38.180] – Allan

But it's this whole idea that we have to be something that we see on a magazine and that if, oh, heaven forbid, we lift more than 15 pounds, we're going to become the man in the magazine. And those things are just not fundamentally right because we're not juicing and we're not spending that effort of that amount of time. And we don't need to for the basic levels of strength and fitness that we're after.

[00:16:06.400] – Joey

Yeah. I mean. Tell you what? I tell you how they did that. I've been the guy that's been hired by Fox and HBO to get those actors to that point. And you're going to pay me 10, 15 million dollars or a million bucks per episode? Yeah, you bet your ass. I'm going to just focus on that. I want to train Terence Howard before season 3 of Empire. His character was in prison. So I said, We need to make it look like you've just been in prison doing prison workouts and getting big traps and arms. So I trained him twice a day, seven days a week for three months. I showed up with all of his supplements, everything. I told him exactly what to eat. And that's all he did was I showed up to his place twice a day. And he didn't have to worry about anything but sleep, eat, work it out, and I showed up and told them exactly what to do. So that's how you can do that. But for most people, that is not their life. So it is not achievable to look like that. I've written articles for mental health, for muscle and fitness, all that stuff, even that they're not necessarily doing exactly that in the articles.

[00:17:01.230] – Joey

They have to fit it in there. They've got the amount of words. They're not putting some different things in there. Maybe you're sending them to a TRT replacement doctor. There's all these different or whatever hormones you're on or peptides. And there's all these things that you can't possibly do because your life isn't supposed to fit into your training. Think about that. You're supposed to fit the training into your life. And that's where people get it wrong. And that's why I apologize in the beginning of this book, not only for the entire fitness and nutrition industry, but also for my younger self. Nobody has the same 24 hours in a day. Nobody. You got kids, grandkids, you say you were in the same generation where we've got these children, we're still taking care of them, but you're not taking care of parents or whatever, we've got all these obligations. So it is not feasible for you to look like anybody else except for yourself. So stop trying to look unless you're a twin or quadruple or whatever. Stop trying to compare yourself to anybody else because you can't look like me, I cannot look like you.

[00:18:04.650] – Joey

You can only get in the best shape as you can with the time allotted.

[00:18:09.780] – Allan

Yeah. And the other side of it, if you enjoy it, I honestly enjoy spending an hour in the gym. It's my meditation time. It's my zen time. Guess what? No one else is talking to me time. And so for me, it's actually a pretty cool thing to go in there and do the old school, do a set, wait for 60 seconds to two minutes, and then do another set, and then just work my way through, feel every movement. But I'm still doing a lot of the things that you talk about, like time under tension and those types of things are still protocols and things that I follow, but I'm not in a hurry, and that's because I enjoy what I'm doing. But not everybody has that time or enjoys doing the things that I enjoy doing. So I have to taper that and say, Okay, so for someone who's time strapped, there are minimum ways, minimum methods, things for them that they can do that will get them the results they want without spending that much time. Now, you went through and like most fitness guys, I think we all… If we're all honest with ourselves, we're pretty clear that we're a minor, a little minor thing in the health and fitness aspects of all this.

[00:19:30.400] – Allan

So you did a little pie chart. And for me, if I did a little pie chart, I'd be like, okay, I have to admit, I'm 10 % of the pie. You got to work on these other things first if you want health and fitness. And your big one was sleep. Can you talk a little bit about why you see sleep as the most important thing you need to take care of? And then some little things that we can do right off the bat as soon as we get off this podcast because you and I are recording this, it's already 6:30, and so I'm going to be going to bed in about two hours. So what are some things I can do to sleep a little better tonight?

[00:20:10.050] – Joey

Yeah. So consistent sleep is one. If you can't get as much 7 to 9 hours of sleep or 6 to 9, depending on whatever research you're looking at, consistent, same time bed, same time of week. If you're getting five hours sleep, that consistency will regulate your endocrine system. So your 24 hours clock, which regulates your end, which regulates your testosterone, your estrogen levels, your cortisol levels. Right there, just the consistent sleep. If you're like, I don't have enough time to get seven hours of sleep, great, get consistent sleep. What it really thinks about that. So that consistent sleep will regulate that, will have you crave less highly processed, palatable foods the next day, which are nutrient devoid. So that'll help right there. And actually your cortisol levels are going to be down. They naturally raise in the morning, it's called the cortisol awakening response. Don't worry about that. That's an okay thing. But you want that cortisol to be able to go back down. So they're turning off the overhead lights, staying away from the blue light, wearing blue light blocking glasses. Those are all great before bed. If you can do that, one of the best things you can do is maybe take a walk at night as the sun is going down, preferably outside and look at the horizon as the sun is going down.

[00:21:13.960] – Joey

That's going to trigger your melatonin production and your adenosine production, which also makes you tired to work in parallel. That'll help you get a little more tired and a little sleepy. You're staying away from caffeine probably after noon ish is going to be okay. Depending on how you metabolize the caffeine, that's going to be very beneficial. But also your day sets up your night. So getting sunlight as early as possible as you can when you wake up in the morning. If you wake up and it's still dark outside, people, they say this all the time, we're trying to get bright lights, whether it's studio lights, where I'm at or something like that. Get that light that will trigger that super charismatic nucleus in your brain to get you elevated and wake up and get your system, your endocrine system, everything wrapped and ready to go. Then that starts regulating your night. People often think about what to do at night, even you just have to ask the question. But we don't think about what we're doing during the day to set up our night. So focus on that. Get movement as early as possible if you can.

[00:22:09.010] – Joey

If you're somebody that works out at 8 PM and you're all jacked up, like when I used to play hockey late at night and then it will have been beer League, if you're all jacked up and you can't go to sleep, okay, maybe you shouldn't work out at night. But if you work out and it makes you tired and you sleep more, sound great. Maybe you save your carbs for night. Why? Because carbs are satiating. They have a dopamine response and they make you sleepy. How about you use that for the evening? There's all these different protocols in the book that you can do at a minimum. You just listen to them there and you can try that. Try one or two of these behaviors without trying to pop melatonin or something like that, because we want to change the behavior first and see what happens to our biology as opposed to trying to override it with these pills that were trying to pop.

[00:22:51.300] – Allan

The funny thing was your book, The Minimum Method, is available on audiobook that you read. I happened to be walking to work as I was listening to that part of the audiobook, and I had the sun in my eyes. And then you're like, try to get as much early morning sunlight as you can. Yeah. And I'm like, oh, my God, I guess I'm doing the right thing. But yeah, my office is to the east of where I live. So I'm always walking against that sunshine in the morning. And yeah, it definitely helps you wake up and start your day the right way because you just feel like, okay, I'm here, I'm awake, it's daytime, it's time for me to get my stuff doing. And I found that if I get a really good night's sleep and then I get that early morning sun like you're talking about that light, the blue sky and the light. I don't have that two o'clock lull that I used to have. When I wasn't sleeping consistently, as you mentioned, I wasn't getting always early morning light because I was getting up before the sun rose and I was staying up well after it was over and never even seeing most of that day, getting that light and just having that time to unwind in the evening.

[00:24:12.550] – Allan

All of those are just perfect. And so you walk someone through that protocol in the book and it might seem a little overwhelming because there's a lot of little things you can do. But I think that's one of the key things I really took away was it's little things. You're not asking us to go invest in a hyperbolic oxygenated bed or buy a new mattress. There's just little bitty things that if we do those are going to help us sleep a lot better.

[00:24:43.500] – Joey

Yeah. And by the way, when you're walking outside, don't wear sunglasses, at least for the first five or 10 minutes, because the sunglasses is going to block the delux rays that you're trying to get in your eyes.

[00:24:52.650] – Allan

Yeah. So now the next one, and this is actually my favorite one, is nutrition. So let's talk a little bit about if you want to optimize your nutrition, what are some little things we can do to make that happen?

[00:25:07.880] – Joey

Yeah. And I think with nutrition, we need to talk about sometimes is it optimizing your nutrition to feel better or to look better because those aren't one and the same often. Like, if you're having your standard American crap, highly processed diet and you start making better food choices, you're going to start looking better. But if you want to look completely back to the movie star analogy, we're doing some things that are leaving them a little bit electrified efficient. We're doing some water tapering and things like that. And they are cutting complete macronutrients at a certain point just so they look better, just that snapshot in time for camera before he puts on Iron Man suit. They're not that healthy then. They look like what we think is the epitome of health and isn't. So for most people with nutrition, I say one of the best things you can do is add about 10 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories that you're consuming, roughly. If you're having 2,000 calories a day, you want to have about 20 grams of fiber. Fiber is satiating. It helps you obviously go to the bathroom. It helps your gut microbiome, which 70 % of your immune system lives in there.

[00:26:10.680] – Joey

Fiber also feeds probiotics, which we take these expensive probiotics, but probiotics are less effective if you don't have fiber and prebiotics. So that is huge. Adding more whole foods or foods that have moved and lived and grown before. There was a study out of University of Michigan where people had the options of having just highly processed foods and still having those highly processed foods but adding more fruits and vegetables. And I believe they had clean cuts of meat, too. But just by adding the good whole foods, they ate 500 less calories overall without counting. Because why? They were fuller, they were more satiated, they had more micronutrients, which helps feed your body and make you feel better. So they just naturally had 500 less calories today. And we're doing the math here, 30 to 500 less calories per week. You're probably going to lose a pound ish. It doesn't necessarily work that equally as anybody has been asked, but you're going to probably a pound a week just from doing that. And that's tremendous from having these little things. So increasing the fiber, having some more greens. If you can't handle greens, have one of those greens powders.

[00:27:12.900] – Joey

I think those are actually getting much better than they used to do. So have a serving or two of fruit a day, three, four servings of greens. And if you're not having a ton of fiber now, don't go crazy with the fiber because that'll create some digestive distress. If you can add some like Sillium Husk or some fiber powder into your smoothies or drinks, that is still going to be beneficial for you. A lot of people are like, Oh, I read this study and this artificial sweetener is bad for my gut health. Well, dude, you're 300 pounds. So what's really bad for you is carrying that extra weight. So if it's a matter of you having artificial sweeteners and your diet soda and still moving more and cutting your calories and losing weight, what's going to matter more for your health right now is losing the weight. And then when we get down to losing those last few pounds, then maybe we start going with the whole gut health thing. Your gut health will get better from losing all the weight, too. So people just like they lose sight of the short term once for the long term goals. And you need to think about both of those.

[00:28:17.080] – Allan

Yeah, I really like that. And I think that's maybe one message that gets missed a lot is we're always thinking with regards to nutrition, what do I have to cut?

[00:28:29.460] – Allan

And you're approaching it from the perspective of, Okay, what can I add? And I've seen this hundreds and hundreds of times is you add something good, like you say, okay, I'm going to start eating fruit after my meals. And for one reason or another, we know why. But it satiates their sweet tooth. So they're not eating a dessert and they're not hitting the cupboard an hour or so later. They're like, Well, I already had my dessert. Those berries were actually really good and I enjoyed those. And I don't really feel like I need the cookies or crackers, or crisps, or whatever right now. I'm good. I feel good. And as a result, you're almost like you're with the good, you're pushing out the bad. Your body is getting what it needs. And I like also how you said that in the book is when we're giving our body the nutrition that it needs, it turns on the satiety hormones and turns off the hunger hormones for us. And if we don't and we keep eating the standard American diet, our body is always hungry because we're not giving it the nutrition it needs.

[00:29:41.440] – Joey

Yeah, you're creating a positive feedback loop. It's the same thing where if you have a good experience and you're like, God, that's good. And you stop and think about it, you got a dope in response to the positive feedback loop. Do you have something like you had a bad food or maybe you got food poisoning from something like, oh, that's not good. That's a diversion and then negative feedback loop. So you keep creating this positivity, but also think about it and stop and anchor that thought like, oh, I had that piece of fruit, normally have ice cream, whatever it is. Which is not saying that's necessarily a bad thing to have that every now and then. But if you can't control it, like me, I have one scoop of ice cream, I'm going to have a longing to have four or five more. And that's not good because I know I can't control myself once I have that. But for me now, my salad with some berries or apples and maybe a little bit of dressing that might have like three grams of sugar in it and some lemon, whatever, that is actually my dessert and I crave it and I feel so much better for doing so.

[00:30:32.070] – Joey

Because for years I was the low carb, the no fruit, oh my God, whatever, that stuff. And then once I started paying attention to my friends and world renowned experts, Allen Aragon is a good buddy of mine in nutrition research, got a quote on the back of the book. He's like, Dude, send me something like what to eat. And it was very simple. I'm like, Oh, my God. It's this simple? He's like, Yes, it's simple. And I'd like three cups of berries and whatever. I'm like, Wow, I feel amazing for doing this. And my body actually did start to look better because I was fueling it as opposed to literally I used to have lunch meat and carrots. That's all I would have. No greens, no fruits, nothing. And once I started incorporating that into my life, my life became much better. Yeah.

[00:31:11.640] – Allan

And I noticed you're saying berries and not Twinkies. Very different carbs.

[00:31:18.500] – Joey

But here's the thing. Look, if you want to have ice cream and you have to have it, add some berries on top of it. Think about that. So you're having some extra antioxidants in there. You're having those phytonutrients, you're having that fiber that maybe you wouldn't have. So maybe as opposed to the three scoops of ice cream, you have two scoops and a cup of berries. So you're still getting it and then slowly you're weaning it off but you're adding more good into it. Nobody thinks about that. I prefer you not to have the ice cream, sure. But like I said, if it's a matter of the two scoops or you go and have the four scoops and then the berries, you have the berries, you'd be fine. Just some nuts and seeds, something like that.

[00:31:56.420] – Allan

And you can get higher quality ice cream and pay a little bit more because you're only eating two thirds of the ice cream that you would have eaten otherwise.

[00:32:03.840] – Joey

There you go. You should host a podcast. Nice job.

[00:32:07.440] – Allan

All right. Now, I know, and that's why I'm avoiding this topic. I could probably sit here and talk to you about fitness for, I don't know, what, three days till one of us had to go to sleep. And I know how much you care about your sleep, so we would both be taking breaks. But there's so much to talk about with nutrition. And you do a really good job going through the book and talking about, again, the minimum amount of work necessary to get the results that you're after. But I think an area where a lot of people can get really confused is when you start getting into the area of stretching. And some of us, we remember PE sitting on our butt in the grass doing the little butterflies with our knees and doing those types of things. And then now we watch professional sports and we see them doing these dynamic bouncing around on the field. We're like, Well, they're not doing what I did when I played football. What's changed? Can you talk about stretching and some of the other things that we might want to do for flexibility and mobility?

[00:33:14.040] – Joey

Yeah. So stretching, people used to think, well, first it was like you had to stretch beforehand. Then there was a study that looked at where they held the stretch for 90 seconds to two minutes, and it limited force production. All of a sudden stretching beforehand wasn't good. People just get too caught up in the black and white. Stretching before can be amazing if you're stretching. So a muscle that is short and tight is often overactive and a muscle… There's some nuances to this, but a muscle that is long and lengthy and is often weak and underactive. So the perfect example might be like your Peck Meyer. So if you're touching the front part of your shoulder and go right down towards your back, that's your Peck Meyer, the smaller part that gets tight, pulls your shoulder forward. Then the opposing muscles in your back, your round voids, different parts of your lats, your lower traps, things like that, will become long and under active because your back is pulling forward. So if we think about stretching appropriately beforehand, so most people, I could generally say they have upper cross syndrome, which is their rounded forward or like text neck, whatever.

[00:34:14.820] – Joey

If you did a 30 second wall stretch, which you find a corner and you can stretch that, have your elbow slightly above your shoulder and lean into that and stretch that for about 30 seconds. And then you do some exercise for your back to activate the back, the long and under active muscles, that'll be night and day difference from you if you just did that at a minimum. But we don't want to stretch muscles that are loose. So people always go to stretching the hamstring. It's like they bend down, they stretch the hamstring because it feels good. Your hamstrings are likely tight, and I could say this with probably 95% relevance here. I'm a human movement specialist and corrective exercise specialist, so we look at different tightnesses. Your hamstrings are tight because your anterior chain in your hip fluxes are pulling them up, making them tight. So by stretching your hamstrings, feels good, but it also makes the anterior part of your hip fluxers tighter and able to pull more. So we need to think about that tightness and that stiffness. Where are you tight? Then we need to stretch that. For the hamstring, I'd say that's pretty much the one muscle that is deceiving a little bit for most people.

[00:35:26.250] – Joey

But your doctor's in her party where legs get really tight. Your hip flexes. Your quads are part of that. Those get really tight. Your peck minor gets really tight. People maybe stretch their lats. It's like if you go into a modified Down Dog or like yoga pose, that will stretch out your lats. That top part gets tight as well because that's overworked. 30 seconds to 60 seconds of stretching before your workout is going to be completely fine. You can hold it, which is your static stretch, where your dynamic stretch is moving through a movement where you're kicking your leg. You probably see athletes doing that. And then when you see them jumping around and kicking and swinging, they're doing that. And then a little bounding, which is getting the tissue warmed up. They're getting the tissue to fire and react and fire and react. So that's what they're doing, that they're warming up the tissue. So there's a number of different protocols you can go through for that. And then we get into self myofascial release or rolling, if you will. But basically, like, and percussion guns, those still have a time and place. But for most people, if you're going to do a protocol, I like them doing self myofascial release with a foam roller or a percussion gun before and then stretching if they have the time and then going into an activation technique.

[00:36:35.840] – Joey

A lot of people don't have that time. So what's that linchpin that we can add? If your chest is tight and you have only 30 seconds, stretch out the chest, lean into the wall, do a back activation technique like some rows, something like that, tier X rows, some banded pull apart, and then go into your workout. If you're doing a run, stretch out the hip flexors, maybe do some glue bridges, 15 or 20, and then go for the run. Get that going. At a minimum, that's actually going to turn on the muscle that are stabilizing and helping propel you forward. There's a lot of nuances into the stretching. If you can't stretch after your workout, amazing. Your body is warm, it's more pliable. That's when you hold those stretches 30, 60, 90 seconds or even longer. That will help that adaptive process help stretching permanently. Going through full range of motion when you're working out, that actually helps your flexibility. A full range bicep curl, a full range chest fly, a full range RDL without your lumbar spine taking over too much. So all of these things are stretching as you're under load, too. People get lost around that.

[00:37:40.950] – Allan

Yeah. Well, I would say, and I agree with you, I also went through corrective exercise and things like that. Just really initially for myself because I would watch a squat on YouTube and I'd be like, okay, I don't look anything like that. I look like I don't know. And so for me, what I found was, again, having an office job for over 20 years, yeah, my shoulders were a little bit collapsed. My neck was a little bit down. And so now my monitor is always up at eye level and I adjust my seat or I'm standing, I'm always making sure that's moving. But there are things I didn't do back then. So my calves is extremely tight and my hip flexors are tight and sometimes my glutes are under active. And so for me, it's a function of saying, okay, I want to make sure I'm moving well. So I also have injuries to my ankles when I played volleyball when I was younger. So my dorsal flexion on my ankles are not what they're supposed to be, which dorsiflexion is when you're bringing your toes up towards your shins. So having a problem with dorsiflexion, having tight calves, having tight hips, when I try to go into a squat movement, it's almost like my face wants to kiss the ground.

[00:39:01.920] – Allan

And so I'm leaning forward, which means that the bar that's on my shoulders, that load is leaning a lot more forward than it should, as does my head. Again, if I'm not stretching out my chest. So there's just this whole movement where I feel like I'm doing a squat, I'm almost like curling up on myself if I don't do this first. And so while it does take a little bit of time, it will take less time later if you go through what he's talking about here because you're going to go through and say, Okay, I know that I need to mobilize my calves. And if I mobilize my calves, then I'm going to have a better range of motion through the whole chain. My squats is going to be better. And as a result, I'm going to be able to do my squat through the full range of motion and feel good about it and strong. And then, yes, after it's over, I've got that good warm up. I'm able to take my calves now and say, Okay, let's go ahead and lengthen them. And I've done it before. You can actually put your knee, stand with your toe about two inches away from a wall and try to touch your knee to the wall.

[00:40:05.070] – Allan

You should be able to do that. That's a normal range of motion for your foot to do its dorsiflexion. And what I found is usually before I start doing the stretching or do the squats, I can't until I actually mobilize it well enough then I know once my knee can tap that wall that I'm close enough and I can do my squats. And then after the squats, I do some stretching and my knee can touch that wall. I'm now full range of motion in my ankles. So this is important because a lot of people hurt themselves by not having good movement patterns. And if you're not comfortable with this, I mean, there's a lot of great information. You have videos that people can go to to look at what you're talking about in this, which again is great. But this is an area of fitness. I think a lot of people skip over or forget, and as a result, you're setting yourself up. And it's not so much to stretch to avoid injury as the injury is going to happen if you're not doing things and you're putting load on a body that's not built to cover and hold that weight.

[00:41:08.880] – Joey

Yeah. And like this thing, I always say that things start from the ground up. So yes, if you got limited ankle mobility, maybe you don't have time to do some joint distraction or something like that. Or by the way, put your fist on the wall. It's an easier way. And then your knee should touch there. Or you can elevate it and you can do that and do some stretches and just move it in and out. Your Soleus often, which is like, think about right above your Achilles tendon, that often gets really tight. So stretching that 20, 30 seconds, just like on a step, that will help squat down, see, assess and then reassess all those things or even you could put some plates or a slant board underneath if you want to go right into it. That will help the towards you flex and help you move so much better. If you don't want to back squat, you can do a gobble squat if it's loaded in front of you that will turn on the left, so it'll stabilize you more when you're front loaded. Belt squat's amazing. I love belt squats because it reduces that arm, but you can load up a lot, so you're not loading your spine.

[00:42:03.380] – Joey

There's things that you can do. If you're like, I can't squat, it hurts me, it takes too much, and you're hurt every time, then fine, don't squat. Pick a different squat, pick a different motion. Do a unilateral motion, do a single leg, do a belt squat, whatever. It's going to be okay. Do a step up. Great for the glutes. All these things, just focus on that. If your movement looks funky, your movement is not going to look like anybody else's squat. You won't look like anybody's body. I've got a long tibia. My knees go way past my toes and my foot's still flat, which is completely safe. So think about your movement and does it look funny? Are you shifting to one side or the other? And to have that awareness first and awareness, sometimes it will fix it right then. Feel like I'm going down on my squat, I'm shifting to my right. If you're just aware of that and think about addressing it as you go down in that movement pattern, that might be enough right there because you just know that you're compensating. And then you can go down the road of thinking about what you need to do.

[00:42:53.340] – Joey

But you need to prepare, just like you prepare for a meeting, anything else, prepare your body for that workout. Take an extra two or three minutes, do that same thing. Take an extra two or three minutes after the workout. Do some recovery breathing or at bare minimum, just lay down your back and just breathe in and out through your nose. That'll calm you down and get your body ready and move into that parasympathetic state from sympathetic state. These little things, five minutes right there is all I said. Like two to three minutes beforehand, some stretches, some foam rolling, some percussion, whatever, some movement protocol, and then two or three minutes afterwards, and you could still get your 55 minute work out and you'd be fine.

[00:43:29.260] – Allan

And even a shorter one. But I'm just saying if you're looking at working out, stretching has a place. And we pooh pooh it a little bit more. And as we're over 40 and so many of us have developed these by having office jobs or repetitive motion things and just taking a little bit of time to do that maintenance before you take the road trip is going to save you a whole lot of pain.

[00:43:56.520] – Joey


[00:43:57.640] – Allan

Joey, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:44:07.240] – Joey

Yeah. A lot of this is mindset to me. So one, I touched on a little bit is your awareness. Awareness of your life, awareness where you're at awareness, what you can get done, awareness of your goals. So think about your life and your day and where you can fit in that movement, where you can fit in that training, where you can fit in your relationships. That's huge. Just having that thought process in that life cycle, I'd say, Go over it like it's a trailer, like your day is a trailer in a movie. What can I fit in? What can I do right here? That makes a lot of sense. Just having that awareness here, thinking about you and what you can get in and adding those positive behaviors. After that, I would say consistency. You need to be consistent in all these aspect of wellness, like sleep, nutrition, gut health, all this stuff. Consistency over intensity wins every single time. Once you have that consistency, maybe you add some intensity. But if you go at it really hard and you haven't worked out since high school football, 30 years, you try squatting the same way and doing whatever.

[00:45:07.200] – Joey

I used to be able to do this. Well, it's the same body, but you've got more mileage on it. You want to drive your car the same way that's 30 years old. You're not going to push it as hard. So you need to be aware of that. You're 40 plus right now. So let's think about that. Where can we add that? Maybe we touch a little bit of intensity here, but we don't go anywhere near where we're at. So you've got that awareness. Acl here is where we're going with this. You've got that awareness, you've got that consistency, and now you need to have the love. You need to have the self love for yourself to put yourself first every now and then. Take care of you and take care of your body and your health and your mental and physiology and psychology. They're one and the same. And taking care of that will take care of everybody else you love. So you have to be healthy to take care of those people. And sometimes in life, you're going to get less sleep. Sometimes in life, you're going to be more stressed. You're going to have more load on you.

[00:45:58.170] – Joey

It's going to happen. But be aware that's going to happen. Take some protocols, maybe do some breath work. There's a whole breath work chapter in there. Use that. That takes 10, 20 seconds. There's a few times that will just calm you down. Reassess. When you get up in the morning and there's something I call MVP, where it's your mindset, you visualize and you think about perspective. So if you got that in the middle of meditation and mindset in the morning, what are you going to call it? You visualize your day and then you have your perspective and where you were at. So ACL, which I didn't put in the book. I was just thinking about it today because you sent me the questions. It's good. Acl.

[00:46:34.800] – Joey

Awareness, consistency and have that love for yourself.

[00:46:41.380] – Allan

Awesome. Joey, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, The Minimum Method, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:46:48.670] – Joey

Easiest places. Amazon, you said audio, hardcover, Kindle, JoeyThurman.com. I've got a bunch of links on there. Joey Thurman Fit on all social channels and Joey Thurman Fitness on YouTube.

[00:47:01.980] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/578, and I'll be sure to have the links there. Joey, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:47:12.030] – Joey

Well, thank you, my friend. I'm 40 now, so I'm in the club.

[00:47:16.360] – Allan

Happy birthday. All right.

Post Show/Recap

[00:47:21.340] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:47:22.960] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. Minimum method. I've got a love hate feeling for the concept, but back when my kids were younger and I had a very busy schedule of work and kids and school and all the things, I can see how finding a way to do the minimum amount of work to move the needle would be an important priority, an important thing to do.

[00:47:47.800] – Allan

Yeah. We're going to have this theme for a couple of different weeks, this week and then next week I have Dave Asprey on, and he's a biohacker. So it's really about efficiency and getting results as quick and easy as you can. So we're going to talk a little bit about why that actually is not a bad thing. But at the same time, I want people to take the step back. It's like, are you really that busy?

[00:48:17.620] – Allan

Or is this really a question of priorities? And the reason I say that is I know there's a lot of people that will say, well, there's just no way I can get eight hours of good sleep every night because my work schedule and this and that and the other thing, there's just no way I could be in bed before 11 o'clock and I have to be up at six. So already that's seven hours. I don't have eight. And I think if they did a little time audit, I said, okay, so what time you get off work? They're like, Five. I'm like, What time do you get home? It's like, okay, 5:30 6:00 o'clock. I'm like, Okay. And then, of course, you're maybe cooking dinner and doing this and that. I said, What if everything was precooked? You did a batch cooking on the weekend. How much time would that save you on a weeknight? They're like, I don't know, half an hour, 45 minutes, maybe an hour. So you could have dinner ready in 15 minutes instead of an hour. Okay. And then what? Well, now we clean up the kitchen, we get it all together, and then we sit down, we watch Netflix for three hours.

[00:49:27.120] – Allan

And then I lay in the bed and I get ready to go to bed. And then I'm on Facebook and Twitter or Instagram or TikTok or whatever for another bit. And then I finally fall asleep about 11 o'clock. I'm like, okay, well, what I heard was Facebook is a higher priority than your sleep. And I heard that Netflix was a higher priority than your sleep. And I heard that investing 15 minutes, investing some time on the weekend to save yourself potentially hours over the course of the week was also not your priority. And so I see this often as not just a reality. Sometimes it is. Someone pulls a 16 hour day, you get home, you're tired. No, you didn't do the precooking because you thought you were going to get home at five and you're not. It's like I'm thinking, okay, what am I going to do for dinner tonight? And then yeah, you're picking up the phone or Grab hub or whatever is available to you and you're ordering what you can order. You're getting what you can get as quickly as you can get it. But set your priority, at least have it.

[00:50:45.320] – Allan

and then work your way toward it. And then when those things happen, that's when things like this, what Joey is talking about, become valuable. Because then you can sit there and say, well, I actually don't have an hour, or I am getting to bed later than I wanted to. And therefore, getting up at six and working out for an hour is just not going to be reasonable tomorrow. And it was for the right reasons. Kid broke their arm. I had to take them the emergency room, and I'm not getting in until 10 o'clock. That's different than sitting there watching Netflix for three hours and saying, I just don't have time. But you end up later and you're like, okay, it doesn't make sense for me to set my alarm for 6. What I'll do is set my alarm for 6:45. I'll get up, I'll do a quick little high intensity interval training session of like, maybe 5, 10 minutes, and I'll shower and I'll head to work, and I'll call that a win.

[00:51:48.330] – Rachel

Sure. That would be a great win.

[00:51:51.040] – Allan

And so I think there's just a lot of opportunities here that we leave on the table where we just say, I lose.

[00:51:57.520] – Allan

I lose, and we walk away from it when we could have a plan B and maybe even a plan C for how we're going to get this done. And then we would just do it. And it wouldn't be this big thing because it would just become a part of us. You and I, we'll get up, it's just no problem. It's three hours to go do a cardio session. Who has three hours? This guy. And why do I have three hours that I'll go do that? Because it's a priority. And it's a priority because it's not just the exercise. Yes, I could go out and do a hit training on the beach, go down. It's like three tenths of a mile. So just walk down five minutes, I'm on the beach. I could do sprints, and then I could do that little walk back to cool down. And so I'm out for a total of 15 minutes, done. And I got just as much cardiovascular fitness from that as I would get from my three hour walk. But in my three hour walk, I would have seen these beautiful beaches and the waves and the surfers.

[00:53:04.400] – Allan

And then I wouldn't have seen maybe the howler monkeys and the sloths and just leaf cutter ants and just things that you don't think are just super cool. You're like, I know they're tearing up something that is beautiful already, but it's just you're watching. I mean, this is just something interesting that you're not going to see and do anywhere else. But you can't do that in your house and you can't go do a 15 minute workout and then see that you're done. You go in and start doing your other stuff. So again, there's value. And I think if we just look at our time and say, okay, what's the value of the time? And yes, sometimes sitting down and watching Netflix is what you need to do. We're going to have Kelly and Juliet Starret on. And it's their day. They unwind with their kids watching shows, TV in the evening. And that's what they enjoy doing. But they're sitting on the floor and they're working mobility while they're doing it. So they've got their mobility implements, the cross ball and the roller. And they're literally sitting on the floor watching their show and they're working on their mobility while they're doing it.

[00:54:24.080] – Allan

It's that thing where it's not just one thing. You can stack this stuff. There's lots of ways to be more efficient. Yeah, find joy.

[00:54:34.680] – Rachel

Well, I guess you had said earlier, do a time audit and take a good look at your schedule, which I think that we feel so busy because we've got a lot going on in our lives. We're coming and going, kids and work and all the priorities of the house and whatnot. And it feels busy. But if you were to actually write down day to day, hour to hour, what you are doing, where could you squeeze in a workout? And maybe it's a short workout like what Joey Thurman has suggested, quick and easy, get it done because even something is better than nothing. Or when can you get a longer workout in? You were saying you enjoy these really long walks. I enjoy really long runs and being outside. I know our schedules are hectic, but where can you squeeze in that time, whether it's short or long? I don't know that we all have such a firm handle on what our schedules are more so than what we feel is going on. Like, oh, I know I have a busy day, all these appointments and all these deadlines and all these things. But what reality is going on?

[00:55:46.810] – Rachel

Just like you said, are you spending too much time on your socials, which I do? Or are you spending a lot of time at night unwinding? But again, with the people you'll have on pretty soon, that time in front of the TV with their family is a priority. That is important. But yeah, I like the thought of doing a time audit and looking at your schedule and seeing what do you really have time to do?

[00:56:13.300] – Allan

Yeah. Tammy was in this charity event thing, it was a fashion show thing. And so I knew I needed to be there.

[00:56:20.660] – Allan

I also needed to read this book for this interview. And I wanted to go for a good long walk. And so I had three things that were like, okay, these are things that are important to me that I want to get done. And rather than figure I'm stuck, well, I got to go to this event thing. So I'm just going to have to suck it up and just go. And then I'll try to catch up with reading later, and then I'll stay up later than I want to. And then I guess my walk isn't going to happen. I went online, I bought the audiobook book for this book so I could listen to it rather than try to read it. I set it on 145, which is usually what I do audiobooks at. And I planned and left about an hour early and walked the three and a half miles to the event location, got there in plenty of time, had gotten through, basically at that point, a whole hour of an audio, a little over an hour because I was listening at 1.45. So it's probably close to two hours of audio time that I'd gotten through this book.

[00:57:31.700] – Allan

And most audiobooks are anywhere from five to eight hours. You can get an idea, maybe probably even a quarter or more of this book in that time. And I got to walk the beach for the three and a half miles to get to the location. So I got all three done. It took a little creativity. It took a little thought. It took an investment.

[00:57:53.900] – Allan

But it was just one of those things of saying, I'm not going to shortchange my priorities. My priorities were, of course, my wife and being there for her. My priorities were doing the walk. And at the same time, I still had this obligation, responsibility, not priority, but I had this responsibility to get the book read so I'd be ready for the interview. And I figured out how to make them fit in the best way that was the most efficient.

[00:58:26.920] – Allan

And then the cool thing was I invested in the audiobook, so the next day I was able to get out and go for another long walk and listen to more of the audiobook and get the whole thing done while I was still doing other things versus having to sit and read, which I do a lot of times. I will just sit and read the book. But I'm always looking for, not that I got to get more done, but how do I get my priorities done.

[00:58:58.160] – Allan

And still do my obligations.

[00:59:03.790] – Rachel

That worked out very well.

[00:59:04.730] – Allan

Yeah. And that's the balance. And so, yes, there'll be times when I'll say, okay, it's better for me to do that short workout. It's better for me to just go ahead and get this done. But I'm not going to sacrifice a priority over an obligation. I'm going to figure out how to do both.

[00:59:25.060] – Rachel

Yeah, absolutely. That's the best part about listening to your interviews or podcasts like this is that I can do it while I'm sitting on the spin bike or on my treadmill because I'm not going anywhere. I don't have to look out for roots and cracks in the sidewalk, so I can listen as I work out at the same time. I absolutely love that. It's a great way to multitask.

[00:59:48.520] – Allan

Yeah. So don't get that I'm having these guests on for all these efficiency style people, bio hackers and this and that, to just say that that's what training really is. It can be whatever you need it to be. But it's just a function of if you think life is getting in the way, it always will. It always will. You've planted that seed to say, my life is too busy, therefore, I can't. And you're right. You're right. You won't. It's not that you can't, but you won't. So yeah, you can't. To me, it's about saying, okay, what are my priorities? What needs to get done? I have a little notebook here that in the morning I write down my gratitude. I write down, okay, what's my priority today? If I had to say that I only get one thing that I get to do or have to do, what's the one thing? And I write that in this book and it relates to my goals and what I'm trying to accomplish. It's one of those. And then I have my top actions. It's usually three to four items. And I say, okay, these are the three to four things that I do want to really need to get done my obligations, but my priority is always at top.

[01:01:03.080] – Allan

It's that first thing. It's like, this is the thing I've got to get done. And then at the end of the day, I recap and say, okay, what did I do to move the goal? What did I do to move towards my goal? Well, it's typically that I accomplished that priority thing. I set my priority, it relates to my goals. If I get that done, that's usually what moved the needle for my goals. And then I go through and do a reflections over what my day was like, what did I learn? And then I go in and just write some notes. Okay, what are things I could do better next time? And what are things that I did well that I want to keep doing. And I just collect those notes. And so that's my day in a journal that I do practically every day. And it's just one thing, but it's one of many. And you just get a structure to all this and you just start doing it. And then it's just the normal thing. I wake up, I plan my day, I put this together, and then I'm off. I'm like, okay, I know the one thing, I know the priority for today, and I'm going to focus on that priority till I get it done.

[01:02:15.500] – Allan

And then yeah, there's this other stuff I've got to do. I'm working on this certification, so I do need to spend probably about an hour and an hour and a half doing that. But I'm going to fit that in where it makes sense for it to be fit in. But the priorities are the priorities, and they are happening every day. And I got to get that done first. Or maybe not even first, but know that I have to block the time to make it happen.

[01:02:41.000] – Rachel

Oh, yeah, for sure. Well, just like Joey had said, and you both discussed that you need to fit training into your life. Just find a way to do it. And it sounds like you've got an effective method for yourself. So that sounds great.

[01:02:54.700] – Allan

And if you want to learn more about how to do this stuff, I encourage you to check out the Retreat. Go to 40plusfitness.com/retreat. And there you're going to find a link that will let you sign up or learn more about the retreat. And that's actually going to be part of what we do in our workshop is talk about, okay, what does fitness mean for you? And then how do you make it happen?

[01:03:22.840] – Rachel


[01:03:22.880] – Allan

Because we can write all the workouts in the world. I can give you the workouts and say, go do these workouts and you'll be the monster that you want to be. But what happens when this and that, and you're there and you're not there? How do you still move the needle forward? How do you make it happen? And sometimes that's efficiency. It's often planning. We're going to talk about how all of those affect your journey. So I encourage anyone that's struggling with this, listen to the podcast, read the book. But if you're really interested in putting it to practice, I encourage you to check out the retreat.

[01:04:01.770] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds great.

[01:04:03.660] – Allan

All right. Well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.

[01:04:06.260] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[01:04:07.630] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


February 14, 2023

Signals that make your body get and stay fat | Dr. Richard Johnson

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Do you ever get that feeling that your body just loves putting on fat and keeping you that way? You're not wrong. Dr. Richard Johnson has uncovered a signaling system in our bodies that do just that.  On episode 577 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss his book, Why Nature Wants Us Fat.


Let's Say Hello

[00:04:08.900] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are things?

[00:04:12.650] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:04:14.520] – Allan

I'm doing great. I'm doing great. You came on to the podcast all bundled up.

[00:04:19.190] – Rachel

I am. It's only 20 degrees up here today, and we're expecting it to dip down into the single digits pretty soon. It's about to get cold.

[00:04:29.130] – Allan

Don't know why you do it. You can go up there in the summer and come down here in the winter.

[00:04:36.540] – Rachel

Yeah, it's all tempting.

[00:04:37.820] – Allan

But anyway, let's just say it's not 20 degrees here, at least not 20 Fahrenheit, which is good. Things are going pretty good here. I'm pretty excited. I've been planning the retreat, so I've been spending some time really thinking about what we're going to do and how we're going to do it and how it's going to work. And so I've really gotten some of the baseline planning for the retreat together. So this will be out. And I'll just say, if you didn't already join the interest list, I hope that you didn't miss out because I offered this pre-sale to the interest list, and I'm going to give them first shot at the slots because it's limited. It's me at Lula's deck, and there's only a certain number of people we can fit on that deck and make it work. And there's only a certain number of rooms for the VIPs that are going to come in because there's a VIP level that stays at Lula's and gets included breakfast and a lot more time with me and extra workouts and extra time to do stuff.

[00:05:40.360] – Allan

So there's at least two levels, the basic and then the VIP. I've put that all together and planned that out. But if you don't get on the interest list, then you may miss your chance. And some of you may have already missed a chance. I'm not sure because we're recording this a few weeks out from when this will have already happened. The list will go live from a recording this a week, but by the time you hear this, it's already been out more than a week. So I would go out there and check out 40plusfitness.com/retreat. And by now it's not an interest list anymore. It's an actual page describing what's going on here in Bocas Del Toro in May 28 through June 2 with some activities the day before and some activities the day after that are just extras that I'm throwing in there. But it's going to be really cool. I'm going to enjoy that. But the planning is really exciting because I'm like, Okay, this is all the cool stuff we're going to do, and this is all the cool stuff we're going to talk about. So I'm excited about that.

[00:06:35.980] – Rachel

It sounds wonderful. Sounds like a really fun time in a beautiful location.

[00:06:40.320] – Allan

Oh, it is. It is. And the deck looking out over the water, it's just magical. So it's going to be a really cool time.

[00:06:47.690] – Rachel

Wonderful. Sounds great.

[00:06:49.560] – Allan

Well, how about you? The slight shivering and bumbling.

[00:06:53.460] – Rachel

Yeah, I actually ran a half marathon in the snow over the weekend, so I spent some extra time outside on the snowy, icy trails. And it was tough. I won't kid you, not every mile was magnificent, but it was actually a really good time to be out and about and enjoying the beautiful… It is beautiful. The snow is gorgeous. Cold but gorgeous. So it's a fun time.

[00:07:14.680] – Allan

I saw a picture of you in a Tshirt, maybe shorts, but I saw it out in the snow and I was like, I wouldn't even want that to be like a filter on my phone. It just looked so miserably cold. But you enjoy it.

[00:07:27.800] – Rachel

Yeah, you got to love it. Otherwise, the winners would be miserable. So got to learn to love it.

[00:07:33.760] – Allan

I learned to love it. Jesus. I can learn to love a lot of things. Cold is not one of them, but I get it. I get it. It's not mine, but good. Good. All right, are you ready to talk to Dr. Johnson?

[00:07:49.440] – Rachel



[00:08:41.000] – Allan

Dr. Johnson, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:43.950] – Dr. Johnson

Allan, it's great to be here.

[00:08:46.140] – Allan

There's this book called, Nature Wants Us to Be Fat. And to be honest with you, conversations I've had with clients, things I see online, my own experiences, it made me wonder if biology was just flawed for one reason or another, and there really wasn't a way to lose the weight and keep the weight off. You can just look at the obesity levels and the overweight levels within any country that's westernized at all. And it almost looks like, yes, there's somebody out there pulling strings that's just keeping us fat.

[00:09:22.180] – Dr. Johnson

Yeah, you just have to look around and you know that nature wants us to be fat when you just see how common it is. And the truth is that there really is these pressures from nature that I should say, genetic changes that we've taken on that make us predisposed to getting fat. It's the truth. Don't feel bad if you're getting fat because nature wants you to be that way.

[00:09:45.150] – Allan

Well, and the core of it is that there can be some competitive advantages for a species that can get fat. Can we talk a little bit about that? Because I think when you're going to get to the biology of this and understanding why our body gets fat and why nature wants us fat is there's actually some benefits to it, if you will.

[00:10:05.060] – Dr. Johnson

Well, most of us, when we think about being fat, we don't see any advantage at all.

[00:10:10.230] – Allan

I can't outrun the lion anymore.

[00:10:12.240] – Dr. Johnson

Exactly. You can't. You can't outrun that lion. And not only that, being fat increases our risk for diabetes and increases our risk for fatty liver, increases our risk for high blood pressure. I mean, it's pretty hard to give an argument that fat is good. But the reality is that in nature, there are a lot of animals that will purposely try to become fat to help them during periods when there's no food around. And so when is there no food around. Well, in this dead of winter, it can be very hard for animals to find food. And so animals will hibernate and try to sleep through the winter. And in order to survive by just sleeping for four months, they have to have fat, and they use that fat to generate calories, because when they burn fat, they basically are producing energy. Fat is stored energy. Not only do they produce energy, but when you break down fat, you produce water. So these hibernating bear will get its water and energy from the fat that it's got. And so it's really important for the bear to become fat before it hibernates. So they actually maintain their normal weight throughout the summer.

[00:11:32.250] – Dr. Johnson

Spring and summer, they can run. They can evade a tiger if there was one around or fight it. But anyway, the bear will, in the fall, beginning two or three months before it hibernates, suddenly it will activate some mechanism where it will just come hungry all the time and will forge for food and it will eat as much as it can eat. It will gain 10 pounds or more a day. That's when you get fat pretty quickly. That way it'll double its fat. It'll become insulin resistant. All the things that we think of is bad, and yet it uses that to help it survive, because when it's insulin resistant, it keeps its glucose levels up and the brain uses glucose for its main fuel. And so it will keep the glucose levels up in its blood even when it's hibernating because it's insulin resistant. And that keeps the brain fueled while it's sleeping through the winter. And so it turns out that fat can be a survival mechanism. And other animals use fat, like in the desert, fat can be a source of not just calories because there's not a lot of food in the desert, but it can produce water.

[00:12:49.330] – Dr. Johnson

And so the animal has a hump of fat, and it will use that when it needs water. And the whale wants to be fat because it doesn't drink seawater, doesn't like seawater. It doesn't like seawater. And so it's too salty. So it tries to get its fresh water from the food it eats, and about a third of the water gets from the fat. So fat has a purpose. Fat can be good. And you want to have fat if you are in a period where there's no food. Now, in humans, there's pretty good data that people who are fat survive famines better than people who are not. And you certainly can show that in animals, that if you fatten a laboratory rat and then do caloric restriction, severe caloric restriction, it can survive because it can break down the fat that it has. So there's all this stuff that suggests that fat can be good. And what happened was humans in our past, it turns out evolutionarily, that there were times in our past when we went through periods of severe food shortage. And there was one period millions of years ago, there were been at least two times.

[00:13:59.960] – Dr. Johnson

And we had mutations that occurred then that increased our risk to become fat. And at that time, those mutations helped us store fat so that we could survive. And they didn't really make us fat. They just helped us store fat more effectively. But in today's society, these mutations are actually helping drive obesity because we're eating foods that are really not quite fattening and having these mutations just adds on to it. And so we have this great predisposition for fat.

[00:14:31.840] – Allan

Well, yeah. And then the key of it is not only is it easier to get fat, it's also you basically lower your energy usage. And so it's this double whammy that I think many of us have experienced. It's like my metabolism is nothing, and I'm gaining weight and I'm hungry all the time. If you've ever felt that, you've probably tripped what you call the survival switch. Can you talk a little bit about what the survival switch is? Because I've never faced a famine unless it was self induced. And then even then, I could walk away from it anytime I wanted to.

[00:15:07.630] – Dr. Johnson

Well, so we were very interested in what was this trigger that made animals gain weight. And so we've been studying this, and I've been studying this for over 20 years, and we discovered this switch, and the switch is driven. So remember that it's all about energy, right? You want to have energy to be able to do the things you want. And when you store fat, you're actually storing energy, and so you can use it. But what makes you store the energy? So it turns out that normally when an animal eats anyone, anything you eat, you get calories from it, and the calories are used to make energy. And the easiest way to think about this is that there's two types of energy. There's the energy that's immediately available that we use to do everything we want. We call that ATP. And then there's the stored energy, which is the fat. And so if you eat too much food, the extra gets turned over into fat. And if you don't eat enough food, then the fat you have gets broken down to provide the energy. And so you got the usable energy and the stored energy.

[00:16:16.150] – Dr. Johnson

Now, in most foods, the goal is to maintain high energy levels in the cell. So most animals, when they eat food, they're using it to generate high ATP levels, and the left over goes to fat. But when you eat a particular food called fructose, which is a sugar, it's present in table sugar, it's present in high fructose cornstarch. When you eat fructose, it acts differently than the other foods. And what it does is it blocks the production of ATP by knocking down the activity in the mitochondria. The mitochondria are in our cells, and that's what's making most of our ATP. And fructose induces oxidative stress and raises a substance called uric acid. And that uric acid suppresses the ATP production by the mitochondria. So now instead of the calories going to make ATP, you're blocking that so the calories get shunted to make fat. So the calories, the energy balance has to maintain. So if you're eating energy from food and you can't make the ATP, it goes into the fat. And then fructose also tries to block the fat from being turned into energy into ATP. So it blocks the burning of fat. So the fat accumulates and your ATP levels stay low.

[00:17:42.150] – Dr. Johnson

And when your ATP levels stay low, you become hungry and you have a low metabolism, just like you say. So it's really easier to gain weight because your metabolism is low, you're hungry, and the food you're eating is preferentially going to fat. And so this is like a switch. So normally, we don't have that going on. Normally it's the usual thing to try to maintain high ATP. But when you activate this switch, you suddenly are shifting the energy you eat into fat and reducing your metabolism. And so you like that bear. And that's exactly what happens to the bear. It starts eating all these berries and fruits that have a lot of fructose in it. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that fruits are necessarily bad. Often, the kinds of fruits we eat are often tart, and they have all these good vitamins like vitamin C and all these things. And they have things called flavanols, and they help neutralize the fruit dose. And then we only eat one or two fruit at a time. So we're only getting small amounts of fructose, whereas the verily 10,000 varies in a 24 hours period.

[00:18:53.720] – Dr. Johnson

And so they're getting a big dose of fructose. And when the fruit ripens, it tends to go good stuff tends to go down and the sugar goes up. So when a fruit ripens and they like really ripe fruit, we like it a little more tart. We don't like it mushy normally. And so the fruit dose is the problem. You can get it from fruit. But for us, the take home message is that eating a few natural fruits is not going to do it. But if you make a smoothie and you put 10 fruit in one, you break it down and make this big juice. With the juicer, what's happened is you end up with a fair amount of fructose and it's like drinking a soft drink. And so you can activate the switch by drinking fruit juice or drinking a soft drink. So soft drinks are the number one way to do this, but you can do it with fruit if you want.

[00:19:48.850] – Allan

Now, one of the interesting things as I was reading through your book and you were talking about fructose, I was thinking back to earlier in the book when you were talking about Emperor Penguin and how they want to put on fat because they've got to go inland and lay an egg. The one when the girl lays the egg. And of course, then the which I think is awesome, the guy, because he can put on more weight, he's going to sit there and sit on that egg and protect that egg until it's time. And then she'll come back after she's feeding and be there to feed the baby and deal with all that, then he can go eat. So they're putting on weight for survival purposes.

[00:20:20.480] – Dr. Johnson

Yeah, they're not eating fruit. Aren't they?

[00:20:23.500] – Allan

They're not eating fruit. And so a lot of people say, Well, I cut out sugar and I lost some weight, but now I'm putting it back on and I'm hungry and I want that. I want that very, very badly. And hey, we're coming up on Girl Scout cookie time.

[00:20:38.050] – Allan

So they're catching me every time I go in and out.

[00:20:42.300] – Dr. Johnson

I love Girl Scout cookies. Those thin mince cookies too.

[00:20:46.680] – Dr. Johnson

But yeah, it's depressing when you study it.

[00:20:49.580] – Allan

How is fructose playing into that?

[00:20:52.080] – Dr. Johnson

So that was the big question we had too, Allan. The question was, sure, okay, sugar can do it. I give sugar to animals to get fat. It turns out it's from the fructose. If I block the fructose because I have ways to block fructose metabolism that I can do in animals, for example, I can create an animal that can't metabolize fructose, and they stay thin and they're immune to the effects of sugar. And so I can really show that fructose can trigger this. And it explains very well how the bear activating the switch. But what about the Emperor Penguin? There's no apple trees and there's no bananas down there. So how do they do it? Well, this was a big question for us. And one of the things that we discovered was that you get fructose from food, of course, like sugar and high fructose corn syrup. And that's probably the major source of fructose for most of us. But you can also make fructose. This was so depressing, Allan, because I didn't really think that the body really made a lot of fructose. But we started studying this and we found to our amazement that the body can make a lot of fructose.

[00:22:08.860] – Dr. Johnson

And there's now data in humans showing the same. But our work initially was in laboratory animals. And one of the biggest sources is from carbs and especially these things called high glycemic carbs like cereal and bread and rice and potatoes. And all the things that I thought when I was originally studying this, I go, Oh, the problem of carbs is fructose. That's the problem. If I just take fructose out of my foods, it should solve the problem. And I knew that French fries weren't good, and they don't have fructose. But I kept thinking that it was the fructose had to be the problem because it didn't seem to be anything else. But it had to be involved something else. And it turns out that it is still fructose but it's being produced in our body. And when you eat high glycemic carbs like bread, rice, a lot of people say, Well, what's bad is blood glucose goes up in your blood and that stimulates this hormone insulin, and then the insulin makes you fat. And there may be a little bit of truth to that for sure. But when we did our experiments, we found that if we gave carbs like bread or rice or glucose to animals, they do get fat.

[00:23:29.560] – Dr. Johnson

But if we blocked fructose, we could prevent them from getting fat, and their insulin levels were still high. So this made me realize that actually the main mechanism by which carbs are causing obesity is because when the glucose goes up in the blood, that triggers some of it to be turned, converted to fructose. So it's still important to have carbs that raise glucose. It's really important. And if you have a glucose monitor and you're monitoring your glucose and you want to keep it the normal range, that's a good move. But it isn't just because you're blocking insulin, you're actually blocking the conversion of glucose to fructose. So it's the same benefit. I actually love the glucose monitor and I try to avoid eating high glycemic carbs. Really try not to eat a lot of rice and bread and potatoes because even though they taste good. And try to keep it down because they can be converted to fructose, and that is a mechanism for activating this switch. If you give bread to a bear, I bet you he'll get fat, because he'll do the same thing that we do. They'll convert that over to fructose. But the Penguin is not eating bread either.

[00:24:51.660] – Dr. Johnson

It's not eating rice and potatoes. And so it turns out there's yet a third way to do that. There's actually four big ways. And the third way is it's eating… So it turns out that the mechanism involves raising uric acid. And there are times in the year where the Penguin will start eating quill and things like this, as well as a lot of fish that are high in uric acid. And particularly, there are certain seasons where the uric acid goes up in the fish. And it's not so much the uric acid, it's like the RNA. And there are these things called the booming of the frill. And that's when the frill suddenly increase in numbers. And that's associated with a huge increase in nucleic acid in the cricket, which I don't know if we should go on into that. But then the fish eat that, and basically every animal starts feeding it and they start using it to get fatter. And then the pig will eat those fish in the frill, and it would times with the increasing of fat. And we found that is another mechanism. So I had a friend who was in the shrimp business, and shrimp is one of those foods that can also contain a lot of this stuff that makes uric acid.

[00:26:15.820] – Dr. Johnson

And he was eating fried shrimp. And I was thinking, well, he's off carbs. He's not eating a lot of carbs, but he's still gaining weight. The guy gained a lot of weight and became overweight. And I think it was because he was eating a lot of this shrimp that triggered the switch. And then having the fat in the fry was the calories that he could put on the weight quickly that way. So there are different ways to do this. But the number one way is probably from carbs and sugar. And so that's why the low carb diet works so well. The Keto diet works so well because it's blocking you from eating a lot of high glycemic carbs and also sugar and fructose.

[00:26:59.760] – Allan

Now, there was one other way that you brought up in the book that I thought was really interesting, particularly when someone goes low carb, you tell them, okay, well, because you're low carb, you're going to flush some water. And as a result, we want you to have more electrolytes so you can hold on to some of that water. And so folks are starting to salt their food a little bit more and do a little bit more. But that could also be problematic, couldn't it?

[00:27:21.220] – Dr. Johnson

Yeah. So let's talk about that. So it turns out that animals, as we mentioned, they use fat as a source of water. And actually, when you go on a low carb diet and you start burning the fat that first week and you're burning the glycogen and stored carbohydrates, they release water. And so it's very common in the first week of a low carb diet to lose a lot of water because you're basically breaking it. When you break down the fat and the carbs stored, the stored carbs like the glycogen, you release water. And so you do lose a lot of water. And it's not uncommon to become a little dehydrated the first few weeks on a low carb diet. Drinking a lot of water is very beneficial for sure. And this is well known in the low carb field. But what is not so well known is that mild dehydration can be a stimulus for obesity. And when you an animal is in the desert, they are living in a low water state, and so they tend to be mildly dehydrated. And that actually helps them store fat. If they become severely dehydrated, they'll break down the fat.

[00:28:31.080] – Dr. Johnson

But if they're just mildly dehydrated, they will gain fat. And the way that works, it's interesting. When you get mildly dehydrated, the salt concentration in your blood goes up because you're losing water. So blood is basically a combination of water and salt. And if you lose a little water, the salt concentration goes up. And when that happens, it triggers the release of a hormone called Vesopressin. And this helps you hold onto water because it concentrates the urine. And that's why when you dehydrate, the urine, it gets dark yellow. And it's because this hormone is turned on. And we found that that hormone actually triggers basically this survival switch as well. And when the hormone goes up, it tries to stimulate fat storage and so forth. Now, if you get really dehydrated, it goes into emergency mode and starts breaking down the fat. But in the mild dehydration, it actually stores fat. I don't know if you saw this, but in the last few months, there's been a number of papers that have come out showing that mild dehydration is a real risk factor for obesity, diabetes, and even premature mortality, and dementia, and all these things.

[00:29:46.370] – Dr. Johnson

It's like being associated with a lot of chronic diseases. And there was a paper from the National Institute of Health that looked at your serum salt. So whenever you get a blood test, Allan, you can get a serum salt and sodium, and no one ever looks at it because it's usually in the normal range in the vast majority of people.

[00:30:06.070] – Allan

I do because I actually like it.

[00:30:07.430] – Dr. Johnson

Good for you, man.

[00:30:08.780] – Allan

Well, okay, but only because I had an incident, an event. I went, what do they call it?

[00:30:16.000] – Allan


[00:30:16.130] – Dr. Johnson


[00:30:17.360] – Allan

Yeah, basically too much water and not enough salt. And I flushed too much sodium out. And what I didn't know was I tend to be on the low end of the sodium. And so for me to lose sodium is not necessarily a good thing, and so I have to be careful with it. And yeah, my sodium dropped down to that level where I went into spasms and could have gone into a coma. But fortunately, I'm not.

[00:30:40.190] – Dr. Johnson

Oh, my gosh. Well, let's talk about that. Let's go into that a little bit.

[00:30:44.120] – Allan


[00:30:44.720] – Dr. Johnson

So it turns out you have this thing called sodium. And when you get your blood test, it's almost everyone has this measured. And the sodium is NA, that's the symbol. And when you look at the sodium, the normal range is like 135 to 145. And what these studies show is that if you're in the 142 to 145 range, which we call normal, you actually have an increased risk for all these terrible diseases. Now, interestingly, if your sodium goes low, it also increases your risk. So if your sodium goes under 135 to a low level, it can be associated with its own problems, a lot of problems. And the most feared one is what happens to marathon runners. So when you're running a marathon, if you get a little bit behind in your fluids, you can start holding on to water because this vasopressin hormone goes up because you get dehydrated. And sometimes the vasopressin level will go up really high and you can start holding on to the water. And instead, normally the way vasopressin works is it helps you hold onto water.

[00:31:58.890] – Dr. Johnson

But when the serum sodium comes back to normal, it turns off. Then it turns off and then you just pee out the water and everything's good. But when you're a marathon runner, occasionally the vasopressin doesn't turn off. And when it doesn't turn off, the water you can… The serum sodium can actually become low and you can get into trouble. And so most people that's not the case because they're not running marathons and they're not holding on to water. But in some people, it can. And like you do, it apparently did. If that happens, you have to be very careful not to drink a lot of water. You need to talk to your doctor, maybe eat more salt and drink less water. But in most people, it turns out that we're usually on a high salt diet. We're eating a lot of salt, just like we're eating a lot of sugar. And all this processed food is injected with salt and salt and French fries and salt and pretzels and salted peanuts, and we're eating all this salt. And so most of us are eating a lot of salt, and we tend to run our sodiums. A lot of people run their sodium a little bit on the high side, mimicking dehydration.

[00:33:12.480] – Dr. Johnson

And what we found was that if you put animals on salt, that over months and months, in the first couple of months, nothing happens. But after several months, they start to become obese. And it's because they're stimulating this vasopressin chronically, and their sodium is a little high. And so they're turning on this survival switch and gaining fat. And when we looked at people who are overweight, most of them are on high salt diets, and most of them have evidence that they're eating too much salt. So it fit that that could be another risk factor for obesity. And then we found that high salt diet predicts obesity, and high salt diet predicts fatty liver, and high salt diet predicts diabetes. And then we took animals and we gave them water, and we could reduce the obesity from sugar by increasing water intake. And what we're doing is we're increasing it to eight… In a human, it would be eight eight ounce cups a day. That's where you want to go. You want to have your urine volume, like two to three liters a day. Normally, it's like one to two liters. So we're looking at trying to increase things a little bit more.

[00:34:22.430] – Dr. Johnson

So everyone is drinking four or five cups of water a day on average. And we're saying let's go up to eight, maybe 10. I'm not telling you to drink liters and liters and liters and liters because if you do, you might get hyponic traviates, spasm, and have seizures.

[00:34:41.440] – Dr. Johnson

There was a case a few years ago in the Boston Marathon where a young lady dropped dead, she was drinking huge amounts of water while she was running and she wasn't getting rid of it because her vasopressin was still turned on.

[00:34:56.820] – Allan

So we've talked about a few things here which I think are really important. So basically, these four known mechanisms. There might actually even be more. You're not done yet. So we're talking about fructose, we're talking about simple carbs, we're talking about uric acid, and we're talking about salt and making sure we get adequate water. Those are some high level things that I think a lot of us when we go on a diet of some sort or another, or our doctors talking to us about our blood pressure, we do a bit of this. And as a result, for at least a period of time, we actually see the benefits. We lose some weight, we're feeling good in spry, and lo and behold, a few months go by and something happens and we lose it all. When I say lose it all, we actually gain it all and we gain it all back and sometimes more. What are some things that we can do about that? Because I'm a solutions guy. I'm a guy who wants to have a question roll things. So what do we do to get ourselves on track here and moving in the right direction?

[00:35:55.030] – Dr. Johnson

Yeah, let's talk about that. So the way this switch works is you generate fructose, and then the fructose works on the mitochondria to block the energy production. Over time, the way it does it is it generates uric acid, which attacks the mitochondria, causes what we call oxidative stress. And initially, that is, it damages the mitochondria, but it's temporary. So it knocks down the mitochondria a bit, and then the mitochondria recover. But if you're doing this continuously with the drinking soft drinks and all these other things every day. Over time, the mitochondria becomes damaged permanently. And when they start getting permanent damage, then it's harder for them to come back up to normal. And so what happens is it's harder to lose weight because your mitochondria are low, so you're living on a low energy state. And so you can die and lose weight, but it seems like anything you eat will cause you to gain weight again. And so the question is, how do you break that? And the answer turns out to be scientifically simple, but hard to do. So let's just talk about it. So the scientific solution is to quit damaging the mitochondria. So cut out or reduce foods that can damage the mitochondria.

[00:37:15.620] – Dr. Johnson

The main thing is to reduce sugar and reduce carbs. That's difficult. But then the second big thing is to try to stimulate those mitochondria to regenerate. And there are ways to do it. And what you're doing now, this whole thing about fitness, fitness is a fantastic way to stimulate mitochondrial growth. So even just endurance exercises can stimulate those mitochondria and working, doing a stationary bike or biking or walking fast. The classic teaching is you want to exercise to the point where you can still talk, but not easily. And if you can still talk to your friend while you're jogging or walking really fast, but it's hard, that's the perfect place to be. And you want to do that for 30, 40 minutes. And regular exercise with weights, that's good too. They definitely help. But that endurance exercise can stimulate those mitochondria to come back. Taking things like vitamin C, vitamin C helps the mitochondria recover. Taking 500 milligrams twice a day, that's a wonderful way to do it. And it also lowers your acid without you having to take a drug. Another great thing to do is dark chocolate contains these things called flavanols, and they contain one that's called Epicatecan and green tea is another.

[00:38:40.680] – Dr. Johnson

It contains a similar one called Epigallic, but these flavanols helps stimulate mitochondria growth. And there's over the counter things like carnotene and some of these things are really CoQ10 or whatever. And there's a lot of these things that are probably good for mitochondria. Vitamin. Vitamin B1, 100 milligrams a day can really help stimulate energy in cells. It's an antidote we use when people have low energy from alcohol in their cells and they can get… Because vitamin can be a magical drug, and it's a vitamin. So what the heck? Anyway, so there are these things to do to try to stimulate the energy factories. And so reducing sugar, drinking more water, cutting back on salt, and following your preachings, Allan, following your preachings. And all these things can help. But even so, it's very hard if your mitochondria are knocked down, it takes months to rebuild them. So you have to have faith. You have to just keep going.

[00:39:48.440] – Allan

And that's one of the cool things with your book. This isn't just stuff you're throwing out a bunch of science at the end. You do have the switch diet, which you talk about, and that can help you. And in a sense, just really start building the platform for getting better. And then once you start losing the weight and then making sure that you're now getting the exercise to help keep it off, those are great. And that's all in your program. That's all in your book. I'd encourage someone, if you're really struggling with this and you just feel like your biology is fighting against you, this is a big part of the answer why it's hard. And if it were easy, then everybody would be thin and healthy, but it's not. So this is a challenge. And I appreciate that you've given us an opportunity book to know not just what to do, because that's what most books do. This is why it will work for you and having the patience to stick with it.

[00:40:41.510] – Allan

Dr. Johnson, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:40:51.220] – Dr. Johnson

So you want me to give you three recommendations. The first one is avoid sugary beverages. They are the number one driver. If you drink a soft drink, you're getting a big load of sugar in a very short period of time. So avoid sugary beverages. That includes sugary teas and it includes power drinks and it includes fruit juices. That's number one. Number two, drink more water. People are just not drinking enough. If you have a slow sodium problem, talk to your doctor about it. But for the vast majority of the world, people are not drinking enough water. There's so much data, eight eight ounce cups a day. They used to think it was a myth. The data now is very clear and just do that. I think the third one is develop a program for yourself that involves exercising three to four times a week and reducing those foods that we know aren't good for you, like carbs and especially high glycemic carbs and sugar, salty foods. They can do it. And there are certain meats, processed red meats in particular, a lot of seafood, especially shellfish, like shrimp and crab, those are rich foods for a reason.

[00:42:13.740] – Dr. Johnson

We call them rich foods, and they have a lot of this uric acid capability. But if you're on a low carb diet, you're probably protected from these meats because the way you make fructose is you make it from glucose. And so it turns out that a lot of if you're not eating any carbs at all, it's hard to make a lot of fructose. So you can get away with eating these foods, like a lot of them you can get away with. But still be careful not to eat too much of these really rich liver shrimp. A lot of them are. But I am a big fan of low carb food and the low carb diet. So I do like high protein diets, but there's just certain foods that are high protein that may not be the healthiest. And then also reduce alcohol, especially beer. Beer is one of the easiest ways to put on extra weight. It's similar to sugar, actually. So maybe I gave you four things.

[00:43:11.000] – Allan

That's awesome. All right. Like I said, I love the book. There's just so much in it, and I'm a geek. So if you want to just get in and really get into the biology of this and the studies he did to get to some of this information that's now been covered by others and basically verified. These are things, and I don't think any of this is really a surprise, but understanding that there is a biological switch that makes this happen for a very good reason. We just are switching it for the wrong reasons. And we need.

[00:43:44.350] – Dr. Johnson

nature wants us to be fat.

[00:43:46.560] – Allan

Nature wants us to be fat.

[00:43:49.120] – Dr. Johnson

And so don't feel bad if you're fat. Nature wants us to be fat. But there are things we can do.

[00:43:54.270] – Allan

Dr. Johnson, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, Nature Wants Us to Be Fat, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:44:01.780] – Dr. Johnson

So I have a website, drrichardjohnson.com, and it's kept up to date with a lot of information. And then my book is available through any bookstore, Amazon, Books a million, it's very easy to find. I do have an Instagram, Dr. Richard J. Johnson, that I use for a fair amount. But I think my website is probably the best place to go.

[00:44:26.350] – Allan

Okay. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/577 and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Johnson, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:44:37.420] – Dr. Johnson

Thank you, Allan.

Post Show/Recap

[00:44:47.780] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:44:48.820] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I probably could have listened to you guys chat for a little bit longer about all these different triggers and the reasons why our bodies want to get fat and stay fat. It was actually really fascinating. But I'm going to tell you right now that fructose was not at the top of my list of things to be concerned about. Honestly, I was thinking 20 other things before that came up, but it was an interesting discussion.

[00:45:11.330] – Allan

Well, I think a lot of people lose sight of where fructose is. I think they think, oh, well, that's fruit. That's fruit. Fructose is fruit. And that's the only… No, table sugar is 50 50, glucose and fructose. That's table sugar. High fructose corn syrup, as the name implies, has more fructose than glucose. Fructose is sweetener than glucose. That's what makes it cheaper is they put it in the food. It's also shelf stable. There's a lot of other stuff. It's in almost everything that's processed. It's crazy. It's in ketchup. It's in your spaghetti sauce. It's anything that's in a box, bag, jar, or can you want to see. And two things to look at is you can look at the order. It happens in the ingredients list. You can look at the total amount of sugars because that's also going to be on the thing. But sugar can apply in multiple levels. So you may see high fructose corn syrup, and then you're going to see agave syrup, and then you're going to see nectar. You'll see these different words, and all they're saying is fructose. There's more fructose. And then, hey, here's a little more fructose to throw in there.

[00:46:28.460] – Allan

And that's all part of it. They'll tell you how much sugar is in it. They'll tell you, you're never really going to get that breakdown. Is this mostly glucose? Is it mostly fructose? And there's no need for you to memorize all this stuff. What I would say is if it's in a box, bag, jar or can pay attention. And then if you're looking at that label, how much of it is added sugars and how much of it is sugar, because that's really where the rubber hits the road. Now, there are other triggers that he brought up because he was mentioning the Emperor Penguin. And these guys are really cool because… Well, I didn't know, but again, I love reading this stuff because I learned things. But the Emperor Penguins, okay, so the males and the females will just go get themselves morbidly obese. And then right after they do that, the women go out and they lay the eggs. And then the boys, because they can put on more fat, they're bigger and they put on a lot more fat, they can sit out there on the egg for a lot longer than the female can.

[00:47:24.380] – Allan

So they go out there and sit on the egg and the female goes back to the Coast to eat and feed and then comes back and then the chicks are born and then she can regurgitate fish and stuff and feed the animal, feed the baby. But it's like, so they have to get morbidly obese so that they can survive. And if for one reason or another that the male didn't get fat enough, he has to leave the egg and go back to the Coast so he can feed because he can't feed out there. So it's a cycle that keeps them alive. But then you say, Okay, well, wait a minute, they are not eating fruit. This doesn't look like this is a great plan. Oh, wow. Here's this Emperor Penguin eating apples. It's like they don't even have hands, but they're eating apples. No, but that's why our bodies can create fructose. It can create those things. And so there's other triggers that are happening that are creating this environment in our body that says, get fat because something bad is about to happen. The famine is about to happen. The cold weather, the lack of food is going to happen and we need the excess or lack of water because we talked about how you look at a whale, there's no fresh water out in the ocean.

[00:48:37.780] – Allan

So the whale can't drink saltwater either. You think, okay, is a fish thirsty?

[00:48:47.760] – Rachel

What a concept.

[00:48:49.460] – Allan

Whales are thirsty and so they're not drinking enough water. They're not drinking water. And since they're not drinking water, well, because they can actually do ice and stuff like that, but they're not that much. So they're eating fish and all that. They're getting some water from that. But building fat in their fat stores then provide the same thing with camels. The hump in their back is not some water tank that they just fill up. It's fat. It's a series of fat that collects, and then they use that for water. So apparently, I guess when they're out of water, their little lumps are floppy. So again, it's this whole biological process where our body is triggering us to put on body fat to protect us from a coming winter or whatever. And unfortunately, we don't have those anymore. I mean, obviously, yeah, it's 20 degrees up there and it's 24 degrees down here. So we do have winters, but you're able to be in a house bundled up. You are not out in the elements nearly as more than most because you've got your running thing. But you don't need a whole bunch of body fat to survive the winter because you've got the manmade stuff that keeps you alive despite it.

[00:49:59.080] – Allan

So because we're not in that environment, because we're in a food abundant environment, we don't need those triggers. We don't need them, but we keep doing it. We keep triggering it and we don't understand. It's like, Well, I'm not. I look at the calories. I don't understand, or I'm always hungry. I don't know why I'm always hungry. And it's because you've triggered. And the trigger says, eat more. Just eat more.

[00:50:23.800] – Rachel

And hold on to it.

[00:50:25.190] – Allan

And hold on to that body fat. So it lowers your metabolism. It's not that you're not eating enough and that's lowering your metabolism. It's not that you're getting older and that's lowering your metabolism. Yes, our metabolism does start to slow down a little bit, but it's actually not that big until you're like 90. So a 90 year old's metabolism relative to a 40 year old's metabolism is lower, like maybe 20 % lower. But it's not this drastic number where you're like, when I was a kid, I could eat anything, and now I can't. It's not that drastic, but it does lower it when you got the trigger on because the process requires, the nature requires, the biology requires you to put on body fat. So it's doing both, lower the metabolism and increase your hunger. And that's what makes this so hard.

[00:51:17.460] – Rachel

But there's more to it. It's not just the fructose, it's all of the simple carbs, the high glycemic food items that we eat. And you also discuss uric acid and their level of hydration or dehydration has an impact as well.

[00:51:34.790] – Allan

Yeah. All of those are signals, I would say. I think anyone listen to this podcast that didn't know sugar was on that list, shocker, because he brought up, he was doing the research and it was like, Oh, wow. Everything's pointing to fructose. But then it didn't make sense what's going on with some animals that aren't eating fruit. How is that happening for them? And it was like, okay, there's something else going on. And he even talked to someone who was popular in the online space in podcasts and books around the low carb stuff. And he's like, the guy told him, he's like, I can't just cut out fructose. I have to cut out all carbs because otherwise, I don't lose weight at all. And so he was like, well, okay. At the time, they didn't jive with his model, his scientific model. But then he came back to realize it's like, what happens when we eat excess glucose? So it's high glycemic index foods. So bread, potatoes, rice, white rice. So anything that would come up as high in the glycemic index, or in some cases, glycemic load, if you're eating a mix of foods.

[00:52:46.320] – Allan

But if it's high in that glycemic index, then that's excess glucose. And your body will say, We can convert some of this to fructose.

[00:52:54.840] – Allan

And then it's going to trigger all those same things. And then if you're someone who's struggling with gout and you know your uric acid levels are high because this is another trigger high uric acid. And if you have gout, then you realize, okay, you know that it basically, because there's this excess uric acid, it turns into crystals. And so most people know and experience the arthritis that comes from having those crystals embedded in their joints and how painful that is. Here's what I got from the book. Those are also being embedded inside your arteries and inside your heart. And so if you're high in uric acid, if you've had episodes of gout, you're probably also having higher issues with cardiovascular problems. And so, again, another reason, even if you aren't overweight, but you do have uric acid issues and gout to keep those under control, which interestingly enough, fructose is one of the things that makes that happen as sometimes does red meat. So not that you have to avoid those things, but just knowing your status and how it's triggering. And then, yeah, it was the hydration.

[00:54:07.220] – Allan

And beyond just that of seeing that that could be your trigger, there's a lot of other reasons to stay hydrated. One is a lot of times we get hungry because we're dehydrated and we're actually thirsty, but we experience it as hunger because a lot of our water actually does come from the food. So you get a cucumber or watermelon or even most meats, there's a lot of water content in those things. And you see that, like, okay, if you dehydrate a stake to make jerky, the mass of it, the size of it, you're like, Well, where did the volume go? Well, the water. That much water was in that stake. So it gives you an idea of how much water, if you dehydrate something, how much smaller it is. But you can see how that's happening. So we eat those things for water. And so you need to make sure that you're drinking plenty of water so that you're not overly hungry, even though it's really thirst. And then the other side of it is when our liver is this really cool thing, it's smart. And I'm going to be talking to Dave Asprey in a few weeks.

[00:55:08.300] – Allan

And it's one of the things he puts out there is this laziness principle. And I think our liver is exactly like that. And what it is is that you're… And it sounds terrible, but it's actually how things work is everything's going to want to use as little power, as little effort, as little anything as it can to still get the job done. That's just smart. That's not dumb. And it's not things say lazy, but the reality is it's just smart. Our liver is the same way. And so we put all these chemicals in our liver based on what we're eating, drinking, smelling, and of course, what industry and everything else is putting in our environment. Thousands and thousands of chemicals and those get into our body and our liver is responsible for helping us deal with that. And if we're putting on body fat, our liver says, Well, I can just store this in this body fat. It's actually the easiest way for me to do this. So this person is eating plenty of fructose and all these chemicals because this and that. And I got to get rid of these, but I'm just over here building this fat for this person because they want me to.

[00:56:10.120] – Allan

And then it just says, Let's put those in there, too. So it just puts those toxins in the fat. And it's efficient because now I don't have to do anything about it. It's like you lift up the carpet and you sweep that dirt under there. Or you guys remember, clean up your room and you took everything and threw it in the closet and shut the door. I'm done. It's like, oh, wait, you're done. And it was just we covered it up and therefore, out of sight, out of mind, it's the same thing. But the problem then is when you do actually start losing the weight.

[00:56:41.100] – Allan

You're going to start what? Hitting that fat and processing it and using it for energy, which means it's going to get released. So you may notice you start a diet, you start losing a little bit of body fat, you got a headache. Not just Keto, but a lot of them, you start getting headaches. You're like, why am I so headic here? It's like you've released those chemicals into your system because you're now mobilizing that fat. So drinking plenty of water helps your kidneys, helps your liver, helps the whole process, lymph nodes, and everything else work better because you're not dehydrated. When you're dehydrated, then we got other things to worry about. We don't need to be worrying about lymph and getting rid of this stuff in the liver and all that. It's like, yeah, well, we'll keep them alive, but that's about it. And so that's the whole process is to make sure you're getting plenty to drink, you're eating whole foods. So if you need to, paying attention to the glycemic index of the food you're eating and potentially what it's doing for your uric acid levels.

[00:57:45.120] – Rachel

Perfect. Those are all great triggers to keep an eye on and to change. If you're stuck at a weight and you are trying to lose it, then these are the things you might want to look into.

[00:57:56.050] – Allan

If your body is constantly telling you you're hungry, even though you know you're eating enough and you're not losing the weight, in fact, you're putting it on and you're like, I'm not eating enough to get fat, but yet here we are, then that's something you want to pay attention to. It's not just calories in, calories out. Your body will make you eat more and it will make you stored as fat because it'll lower your metabolism and be pushing you to be hungry all the time. And that's a miserable way to be. So make sure you're giving yourself really good quality food where you can, dang off the high glycemic stuff and the added sugars and the fructose and all that and stay hydrated. And this is going to be a thousand fold easier for you. And so as Dr. Johnson says, nature wants us to be fat, but nature really wants us to be fat when we need to be fat.

[00:58:49.070] – Allan

And we don't need to be fat, so you can do something about it.

[00:58:54.920] – Rachel

That sounds great. Great interview.

[00:58:57.200] – Allan

I enjoyed it a lot. It was a really good book. You're interested in all of that. He did a lot of rat studies. And so he talks about his rats or the rats he has to get to be able to study how these different biological functions are happening of fructose and glucose and rats that can't process it, rats that don't like it, rats.

[00:59:19.900] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. It's like a nightmare.

[00:59:23.710] – Allan

Yeah. Well, can he genetically modify me to not like sugar? That'd be great.

[00:59:30.040] – Rachel

If only it was that easy.

[00:59:31.400] – Allan

If only it was that easy. But we're not there yet. And so from a health perspective, what you can do right now, he does give you an idea of what those triggers are. And then you can structure your own self-experiment and figure out what works best for you.

[00:59:47.000] – Rachel

That's awesome. Fascinating.

[00:59:48.320] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:59:51.720] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:59:52.820] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


January 31, 2023

Why you can’t lose weight over 40 with Gabrielle O’Hare

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

If you're over 40, you've probably seen how hard it is to lose weight. In her book, Why Women Over 40 Can't Lose Weight, Gabrielle O'Hare explains why this is so hard, and she gives us practical advice to change that.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:14.990] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you?

[00:03:16.540] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:18.270] – Allan

My head hurts.

[00:03:19.460] – Rachel

Oh, no, why is that?

[00:03:22.610] – Allan

Well, I had someone that was doing the audio processing for the show. They've done it forever, sort of forever? Really? Yeah, since the beginning. But they sold their business to another business. And so it was the same people.

[00:03:35.000] – Allan

Sort of supposed to be the same people.

[00:03:36.360] – Allan

I think it was the same workers that were doing the work. And then they come around and they roll around like, okay, we're going to have to raise your rate. And they raised it like 60%, so I've been paying that, but it's very expensive, all things considered, to do the editing on this podcast. And they did a great job, don't get me wrong, but it was just a lot of money. So I was like, okay, we had a problem. We had a communication problem. And so I was like, I get all these emails from other companies that want my business. Maybe it's worth me having a conversation. There was one company, and I liked the guy we got on the phone, and the guy is sharp, and he was aggressive and wanted to really want my business. So we had the conversation like, okay, I'll give this a shot. And maybe the first couple of episodes, they did well. They did really well on. They were faster, they were cheaper, and they were doing good. Okay, this is good. And then they'd make a mistake. And to be a simple thing like leaving out the author's bio, all the files are numbered.

[00:04:33.150] – Allan

So a kid would know, okay, you don't skip file four. You just don't skip it. You don't skip file five. Go from four to six. There's a file there, you put it in there, and then when you're proofing it, you're like, oh, there's no bio. He always has a bio. And then I had one where I had a midroll ad and they put it at the end of the interview. Well, that's not where it's supposed to be. That's not where I told them to put it. And so there was that. And then lately there's just been some quality issues, and you guys have probably heard those things. I'm not happy about it, but it is what it is, the low cost provider. And I'm getting, I guess, what I paid for. So anyway, I decided, okay, I'm not going to go back to the expensive one because it's just way too much money. And I'm like, okay. I've tried this with GarageBand, which was free on my Mac, and before on my computer, I had everything set and I could actually edit a podcast pretty well. I have not been able to match those settings on my new computer, which is not new anymore.

[00:05:31.940] – Allan

It's a year old. I can't get it to sound the same with my computer now. And I'm like, I don't know what the problem is, but I just couldn't use GarageBand, which wasn't cutting it for me on the new computer. And I'm not sure why, but it is what it is. So I said, okay, I'll buy the more expensive software and then I'll just try to do it myself. But it's called Adobe Audition and it has all the bells and whistles. You can do a lot with it, but it's much more complex. The Apple product, GarageBand is very intuitive, very easy to understand. I switched to that from Audible. Audible was a free software that I was using. Again, the quality wasn't as good. And then when I switched to GarageBand, it was really good. Then when I changed computers, I lost that and like, okay, got to just continue to outsource all of them and not doing any of them myself. Because sometimes I'll get behind and schedule and I'm like, okay, I don't have time to send this to them. That's four days. I don't have time. I need to do it myself.

[00:06:25.150] – Allan

And so everyone knew I was going to be doing one myself and I couldn't do it. So now I'm trying to learn Audible and it's old dog, new trick kind of stuff. I'm watching a YouTube video and then I'm trying to do it, and then I'm watching a YouTube video and trying to do it. So I only say that to say that the quality of my podcast, this podcast might be a little off, has been off. It's going to probably be off for a few more weeks to figure out the software and get my systems and processes going. But I'm going to work on it. And so, yeah, it's just one of those things where I got a lot going on already. But I need to learn this software and get this done because quite literally, it takes me not a whole lot of time. And considering what I was paying them to do, it, particularly the expensive company, it's worth my time to do it rather than hire that out. So it's just been one of those things where I've been sitting there this morning watching a YouTube video, doing a little bit editing, watching a YouTube video, doing a little bit of editing, stop and start, stop and start.

[00:07:21.520] – Allan

I'm figuring it out, so just give me a little bit of time. These will get better and better as I figure out what I'm doing wrong and that type of thing.

[00:07:28.900] – Rachel

My gosh. Well, good luck with that.

[00:07:32.830] – Allan

They say you need to be trying to learn new things all the time.

[00:07:35.570] – Rachel

That's true.

[00:07:36.310] – Allan

But yeah, it doesn't mean it's supposed to be fun, right?

[00:07:40.080] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. Well, good luck.

[00:07:41.910] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:07:43.060] – Rachel

Good. Over the weekends, I helped my brother kind of move a couple of boxes. He shipped a pod over an eight by eight by eight pod storage unit that we unloaded and put into a more permanent storage unit until he can finally make his move cross country. And I was really worried about it about lifting heavy boxes, heavy furniture, all the awkwardness of moving again. And I'm so happy to say that I feel great that I am not sore. My back doesn't hurt. And my parents did okay with it as well because they were helping with a couple of their friends. And it went a lot more smoothly than I had expected, actually. I don't know why. I expected to be in a lot more pain than I am.

[00:08:29.970] – Allan

It is even with the weight lifting that you do I do. It is a different movement pattern. And you do have to watch what you're doing, because you're lifting something that's awkward and not necessarily bars and dumbbells and kettlebells are all built to be lifted. They're ergonomic as much as they can be. But, yeah, when you try to lift a big box heavy, you have to be smart about it and do it the right way. You probably learned a lot from lifting, but beyond that, you were smart about what you want.

[00:09:02.380] – Rachel

We were all being very careful, and it was just in the forefront of my mind about lifting properly and just taking my time. And it went really well. So I'll be ready for his next shipment.

[00:09:15.090] – Allan

I got to find people like you.

[00:09:19.410] – Rachel

Yeah, I'll help move.

[00:09:22.530] – Allan

All right. Are you ready to talk about weight loss?

[00:09:25.360] – Rachel



[00:10:36.610] – Allan

Gabrielle, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:10:39.300] – Gabrielle

Hello. Thank you very much for having me here.

[00:10:41.260] – Allan

Now, the book is going to get any woman's attention if she's over 40 and wants to lose weight. And the name of the book is Why Women Over 40 Can't Lose Weight. Well, yes, but you also then give us a solution or at least some things that we can think about. Because the thing is, I read this and I'm a man, obviously, but I train a lot of women. I'm married to one. And so as I go through my life, I'm like, okay, this is real stuff, this is the real experience. I can be empathetic, but I can't experience it. And so I know that it's a struggle and yeah, you're watching your husband and the two of you start eating the same thing. Maybe he's eating more. Yeah, he's hitting the crisps and the cookies and all the other things and he manages to be able to lose the weight and you're not. That can be quite discouraging.

[00:11:32.170] – Gabrielle


[00:11:33.090] – Allan

And that discouragement I don't mean this in a different way, but once you're discouraged, it's almost like digging out kind of thing, isn't it?

[00:11:41.840] – Gabrielle

Absolutely. I think it can feel like a very lonely place to be. I think a lot of the fitness industry is a lot of the marketing materials focused on before and after photos and success stories and you can feel like you're the only person failing or the only person who can't do it. And one of the things that I've noticed about women and men may well find this, but my work primarily is with women who were in the late 40s. They sort of can be quite hard on themselves. They don't realize everyone's having the same problem as you tend to internalize things and blame yourself for being lazy, for having no motivation for, I don't know, just being late. Just assume it's their own fault and it's a personal failing or it's a character failing and they don't realize that so many other people share the same problems. So you just have this lonely battle where you're really giving yourself a hard time.

[00:12:32.620] – Allan

as women reach this particular age group. For some women it happens a little earlier than others. For some it's a little bit later and there's no rhyme or reason for it exactly. You can ask your mother when she started change and you might genetically kind of fall in the same line. But women can start towards menopause at any age that a menopause, but it's around this time. And so at this point your body is changing and that's going to put some obstacles, if you will, in your way that you need to be able to think through and work through. And it's also a time when it's kind of hard to work through because there's so much else going on in your life. In the book, you mentioned six reasons and I wrote in my notes, impossible to stick to a diet. But I think, fine, it's not impossible.

[00:13:21.300] – Allan

If you approach this the right way. But what are six reasons that women really struggle with their diet? Because I think once they hear this, they're going to realize that's me. She's talking about me.

[00:13:32.950] – Gabrielle

a big one, is self neglect. And that's not an intentional problem. Women aren't ignoring themselves, but what happens over the years. You have children, you get married, you advance on your career, your parents can get older. There can be so many things that are vying for your attention and women quite often want to be the givers and the carers they're very focused on. They want to do things for the people, people pleasers, they don't want to say no. And that can all start to over the years just become a really big list of priorities and big demands on the time. And women have it all these days. We run families, we manage relationships, we run children, we have successful careers. We've got to cut some corners somewhere because we haven't got time to fit everything in and it tends to be that we leave ourselves and our own needs to the end. And that's why I wanted to call that self neglect because we've become so focused. This is a gradual thing but we've become so focused on looking after others we put ourselves last. And it's not uncommon for women to get up, make the breakfast, grab something quick themselves, not have time to eat lunch properly, and find that they're just grabbing snacks and end up with Ravenous in the evening and they just are running on empty all the time.

[00:14:50.990] – Gabrielle

And that's just leading them to make not bad choices because you're just where you are, but you make choices that aren't great for your health and great for your weight because you're just having to grab what you can when you can. So self neglect is one of the main ones and that really just comes from the circumstance of having really busy lives and being more prioritized and focused on other people.

[00:15:11.400] – Gabrielle

Stress is a generic one that affects everybody really. Again it's a gradual build over time. Your lives get busier and menopause, some people may or may not realize this but menopause can make it harder for you to cope with a managed stress so you can become more stressed at this time of your life. Work can become quite stressful. Women get along discriminated against as they get older or really feel the pressure that they're not as young and as attractive as some of the counterparts. So there's a lot of things that can build up the levels of stress that you're experiencing. But we know that when you're stressed it increases your body fat and particularly the fat around the middle. It can affect your sleep, it can affect your food choices.

[00:15:51.320] – Gabrielle

If people eat to cope with stress, emotional eating. So there's a number of ways that stress can then affect your diet and therefore your weight loss. Menopause you touched on and there are hormonal changes that are taking place. One of them is that another source of estrogen for your body as your own, your overall stop producing it is fat cells. So if your body can start to lay down more fat because it can provide you with a weak source of estrogen that it needs. Estrogen isn't just for making babies or having periods, it has many, many other functions in your body. So you still need it beyond that time. Another bit more scientific, I'll try and simplify it, but another way that you can create estrogen in your body is by your adrenal glands. So your adrenal glands have got two functions. They can produce your stress hormones and they can also produce your estrogen or a source of estrogen for your body. But if you're stressed all the time, it defaults to the stress hormones, which is default position. So it's going to fall short on topping up your estrogen, which then can lead back onto that cycle to the fast accumulation, particularly around your waist.

[00:17:00.940] – Gabrielle

So that's really what's going on with menopause over time. This one's going to be familiar. We live in a society where we don't eat because we're hungry. We eat to cope with feeling lonely, to cope with anxiety, because we're upset because it's there. And those can become very invisible habits that we don't notice that of topping up our calorie supplies all day long. And then another one is sabotage. You mentioned at the beginning about the husband at home eating the crisps and the kids can want pizza, your mother in law can want to feed you her cake, your colleagues can put you under a lot of pressure to eat the things that they've brought in. And I found as a sort of trained more and more women, that people that had a huge impact on weight and sometimes it can be well meaning. Someone has brought something in for a birthday at work and they want you to partake in it. Or other times your friends and your families can deliberately sabotage you because they worry how you may see them. If you're losing weights or you're improving your health and they're not, it shows them up in a negative light.

[00:18:09.050] – Gabrielle

So that can be a tricky thing for people to deal with. And then the last one is the fact that we are so heavily targeted by the food industry, by advertising for retailers, for fast food outlets, for apps, for junk food. We just do not realize how bombarded we are by messages that are persuading us to fill our trolleys, our cupboards, with those sort of foods. And that has a big impact. I've seen some data that suggests that in some supermarkets, more than 90% of the food on the shelves is highly processed. And the more we're surrounded by, the more of it we eat. So there is a bigger issue going on there when you think about these six factors that are really going to give us lots of opportunity to eat the wrong things and eat more than we need.

[00:18:55.930] – Allan

Yeah, and I think it's easy to see where that multiple challenges in there. And I think the only one I'd say that men don't have to deal with is the menopause, but we also absolutely. And when you start putting fat, then you are creating extra estrogen, and that's what creates Moobs and everything else that men deal with as we age and why we need to be fit and healthy ourselves. You started out this whole because I want to shift, because this is not all bad news. There's good news in this book, okay, despite the title, there's good news. You can in fact, to lose weight, but you have to do, I think, this one thing first, particularly for a woman that finds herself being the caretaker, dying the food and doing the things and stressed out and overworked and maybe somewhere along the spectrum of going into menopause. And that is your mindset. Can you talk about the mindset that a woman needs, particularly a woman that I think both of us, but that a woman would need going into this? I'm going to call it a battle front for right now, but what kind of mindset does she need?

[00:20:02.740] – Gabrielle

I've talked about having a priority mindset, and it's a shift where you become your own priority. And I've used those words together because quite often you've got other priorities in your life, your family, your parents, your relationship, your career. You've got to turn that around. But you become your own priority, and that's really important. Until that truly happens, you aren't going to be able to make the changes that you need to create a healthier lifestyle, to lose weight, to get more energy, whatever it is, because you'll relate to this. Changing your diet, doing more exercise, improving your sleep, reducing stress, whatever it is that you need to do. It takes effort, it takes work. You're having to flip out of your normal routine and make changes, and that's hard. And unless you're really, truly committed to making yourself that priority and your health and your goals, it's not going to happen. And one of the things that just to try and help people understand what that really means because it can be easy to say, yes, that's my priority, well, then you don't follow through. And you've got to look, maybe listen to your language when you shouldn't have eaten that or I should work out tonight, but you're not doing it.

[00:21:12.580] – Gabrielle

And if you're using language like that, then that's a sign that you're not actually really prioritizing it. You just pay a lip service to the fact that that's something that you should do, but it's not high enough on your to do list right now for you to make consistent action and consistent changes. And we can all do this when we want to. I ask people to maybe think back to a time in their lives where they've made a really strong decision about something that you've really wanted. It could have been getting married or starting a family, buying a house, getting a promotion at work. Everyone will be able to relate to something that they didn't just decide I'd like to do that. You think, no, I am going to do that. And it becomes really certain and really absolute. You don't even have to think about it too much. You just make this decision and you cross the line and then you are going to make sure that happens. You're not going to let anything stand in your way until you've done that thing that you want to do. And that has to be the same to make these changes for your life.

[00:22:10.140] – Gabrielle

And if you have had a problem with losing weight because you can't stick to a diet, then you have to be committed to understanding what your blockers have been in the past and learning how to dismantle those and create the new habits that are going to last you a lifetime. And that's why you need that priority mindset. Because without that the kids will want something, your parents will want you to do something, your boss will want you to drop everything you'll have housework to do. And we can make ourselves busy because we don't want to address those things for ourselves or we can let other people steal our time from us. When you become a priority, you then start to be able to say no me first, you just hang on a minute, I'll get around to you later. And that's the difference.

[00:22:49.910] – Allan

Yeah. There's two really big things that I think roll into this that I think are important. Okay. One is that you're not asking them to do more, ask you to decide they are the priority and they're going to do this first and do that later.

[00:23:09.120] – Gabrielle


[00:23:09.770] – Allan

And the reality I think most of us sit there and say is, well okay, if I don't answer these emails this morning before I go into the office, is anybody going to die? No, absolutely not. Now does it make my little morning hours where I can sit there and have some tea and maybe biscuits and hang out and talk to the people at the washroom by the break room, now have more time to do that because I'm not answering emails. And maybe the answer is yes. But does that serve you better than getting this workout in or preparing your lunch so you have a healthy lunch available to you?

[00:23:47.160] – Gabrielle


[00:23:47.900] – Allan

Function of prioritizing and it's not about putting something new in, it's about pushing bad stuff out because it's not priority and it's not really serving you.

[00:23:57.690] – Gabrielle

That's absolutely right.

[00:23:59.340] – Allan

I think that's a big part of this priority mindset. And then another thing you said when you put yourself first I know sometimes that can feel kind of selfish. Who am I to put myself first? And you can go into the airline thing and put your mask on things, but that just goes in one here and out the other.

[00:24:17.760] – Allan

But the reality is this if you love someone and you needed to do something for them, like, needed to carry your spouse to the airport. And I know the traffic that heathrow is like, insane. So you can the airport by 05:00 in the morning. Where are you at 05:00 in the morning? You're at departures dropping off your significant other. If your kids really need to be somewhere, like go to school or do this and they need to be there at a certain time, we have no problem dropping everything to make that happen. So the question comes up is, why wouldn't we do that for ourselves? Why wouldn't we schedule a workout and say, this is like a meeting with my boss. I'm not going to diss my boss and skip it. I'm going to do the work because I'm my boss. My boss said, be here at this time, and I love myself enough to make that happen.

[00:25:10.020] – Gabrielle

It's absolutely key. And they are the conversations that you have to be having with yourself. And that's how you're going to have to be figuring out how to just move your time around so that you can fit yourself in and make that happen.

[00:25:22.710] – Allan

You have a dozen priorities and you're trying to juggle or as you said in the book, spin the plates. But the reality is you only have one priority, and that's the plate you're dealing with right now. So plate means that it's focusing on you getting healthy and fit, because guess what? Your kids are still going to need you 20 years from now. Yeah, that's it needs you 20 years from now. And if you're not taking care of yourself now, what kind of shape are you going to be in then to do it then? So there's just a lot in that of having that priority mindset. A prit one. You, this moment, eat the right king. Or in this moment, do the workout, get it done, because you know the payoff is worth it.

[00:26:08.020] – Gabrielle

Yeah. And it's just it's making it simple, isn't it? And keeping that focus. And I like the way you said that in this moment, just that one thing. We sometimes have so much baggage we wrangle with ourselves and we procrastinate. We can just make those decisions quite easy and then simplify it, do it, get on with the rest of your day, go back to the rest of your to do list.

[00:26:26.510] – Allan

Yeah. Good.

[00:26:27.470] – Allan

Now, you mentioned earlier processed food or ultra processed, I believe. If my great grandmother walked into a grocery store right now, where's the food? This is not a food market. This is something else. Why is processed food such a problem?

[00:26:44.600] – Gabrielle

Okay, well, there's a couple of reasons, and one of them is the fact that actually relative to natural and unprocessed food, it's got a lot less nutrition. So the processing methods that they use to create these foods strip out a lot of the nutrition. They often not always, but quite often ultra processed foods can be low in. Protein. So you've got something that's low in protein and low in nutrition. And what we're starting to understand that is your body doesn't just need calories, it also needs certain amounts of nutrients. And if you're not getting enough nutrients for your body, then it craves more. So I think we've lost a little bit of the connection with food and what it does because food is just the building blocks of our body. We're constantly regenerating our skin, our organs, our skeletons. There's thousands, millions of functions going on all the time. And we need food and the nutrients that we get from food to do all that. So that we're now starting to understand that as we get smaller amounts of smaller concentrations of nutrition in these ultraprocessed foods, which are relatively high in calories, our bodies are actually sending a signal, hey, we've not had enough.

[00:27:53.400] – Gabrielle

Eat more, eat more. So we're trying to eat more of these foods that are actually high in calories to try and get the nutrients because they're so scarce. So that's one of the theories of why we crave when we overeat these ultraprocessed foods. The other thing is that they are deliberately created their recipes to be really highly palatable and highly pleasurable. You can't deny that a slice of cheesecake or a donut or a fast food burger tastes amazing. We all recognize that the appeal of those things, they're designed to be very intense in terms of the flavor, and they give us like a big sort of pleasure hit in our brain. And that, again, makes us think, oh, that's amazing. I want more. I want a bigger portion. I want it tomorrow. So it does actually, though, these taste sensations are a lot higher and a lot more intense than natural foods are, and therefore we want more. The other thing as well is that with, you know, if your diet is heavy in auto processed foods, you're going to have a higher percentage of calories from carbohydrates. And that's the sort of food component that spikes your blood sugar.

[00:28:57.840] – Gabrielle

That in itself causes cravings as you spending more time in fat storage mode. So it's not just calories that influence whether you're overweight or not. It's actually the carbohydrates because of the effect that they have on your hormones. So you've got this whole thing going on where there's not enough nutrition recreating cravings. And it really is very difficult then to control the amount of calories that you eat. That's the problem. Your blood sugar becomes really unstable and you're just constantly craving more and more, and you're just locked in this overeating cycle.

[00:29:27.490] – Allan

Yeah, I see it all the time. It's funny because you'll have this group that will say, well, no, you've got to eat low carb and this and that. And then before too long, well, the food companies figured out, okay, we need keto friendly snacks, and it's still processed. It's still refined stuff. And maybe it doesn't have sugar, but maybe not as much, but doesn't have any protein either. So it's devoid of anything that calories useful. Got it. And then over here, they're like, no, you need to be vegan, but we're going to make vegan hamburgers and hot dogs and vegan and duly sausage. And you're like, okay. The food companies know that this is a marketing ploy, and they know they play with you. And I had a guy on a long time ago, but the book stands out because the cover was so special. It was called the Dorito effect. And literally, these food companies have food scientists that their sole job is to make you eat more. Yeah, they're like, how do we make this so hyperpalatable that nobody's going to want anything else but this? And they're going to actually eat it so fast, they won't actually taste it after the first bite.

[00:30:38.310] – Allan

And I know, I've been there. I've eaten a whole equal sleeve of Pringles. It's a potato chips, as we call in the United States, like, just fat. And it's like, what did I just do? And I hardly remember eating them. It does draw us in. And so the more you can rely on whole food. Okay. And the way I kind of say this is if it comes in a bag box jar or can be leery, you said in the book, look at the ingredients and see what's in this. There are some exceptions. They'll freeze berries. They'll freeze vegetables. They'll ban meat. So there are exceptions to this. But if it's stable and can sit on a shelf and you see the expiry date for this thing is three years away, you got to ask questions because most of the food that's around the exterior of a grocery store in the United States, and I think it's the same there

[00:31:28.880] – Gabrielle

very much the same in the UK.

[00:31:31.130] – Allan

And walk through, and it's kind of the same. As long as you stay to the outside, you're mostly under the whole food stuff. It doesn't sit long. It has to be refrigerated. That's why all refrigerators are on the outside of the store, because most of that stuff has to be refrigerated or will go bad pretty quickly.

[00:31:46.520] – Allan

Now, in the book, you went through two things. You went through weight loss by counting calories, which I think is exceptionally hard unless you're someone who like I came from an accounting background, so keeping data, doing data, I can do that. My first accounting, when I was keeping up with my own finances, I was like General Motors. And I actually enjoyed doing that because I'm an accountant. And when I first started trying to count calories, it was like, okay, exciting. I was at the scales and I'm measuring everything, but I just know that that's not sustainable and it's not the way that I think we were intended to eat generally, because great grandparents didn't even know what a calorie was and didn't have scale. And somehow or another they managed to not… Processed food may have had a little bit to do with that, but beyond that, if you want to lose weight without counting calories, what's a good approach for someone to take to do that?

[00:32:43.540] – Gabrielle

Okay, well, I think the first thing to do is really go back to eating natural, unprocessed food. That's the biggest thing. And protein is really important. We tend to undereat protein and particularly as we get older, and this goes for men and women, we do need to eat more protein. So there's again better understanding that the needs that older adults have, and I'm talking about people really in the sort of 50 plus need to eat more protein. And protein is really important anyway because it helps to stabilize your appetite. And if you're going from eating a diet mainly based on ultra processed foods, the first things that you want to do is try and keep yourself full and eliminate cravings. And the best way to do that is by having a diet that's got having meals that have protein at each one, plenty of veg, don't be frightened of fat. And the thing you do want to watch out for is having fewer empty carbs on your plates. So that's your bread, your pasta, your rice, your noodles, your potatoes, they're the things that have got no nutrition. They're the things that are going to spike your blood sugar.

[00:33:46.370] – Gabrielle

If you had a steak and a salad with olive oil and maybe a little bit of Parmesan cheese, you tell me that you're hungry after that meal because you're not going to be. Yeah, that's ticking. So many boxes, so packed with nutrition, slow to digest, that will keep you going for hours. So this is really where you want to start with. And then the second step is to really try and get that down to just eating three meals a day. So you want to be thinking that you leave maybe four or at 5 hours in between meals. And again, if the main meals that you have are filling and satisfying and you're enjoying them, you should find it fairly easy then to get to that four or 5 hours before your next meal. And by leaving yourself a gap, you're allowing your body to digest the last meal properly. You're giving yourself more chance to dip into your fat stores. If we're constantly snacking in and eating food all of the time, then it's like having your phone plugged into your charger. You're never digging into the battery. Our body fat is like an energy battery and we're just popping up and giving our body like a very easy to use energy store and never touching the fat.

[00:34:53.530] – Gabrielle

And that's what we want to get rid of. So if you can have good decent meals, leave for four to 5 hours between each one, then really you should be working towards eliminating snacks. And when I coach sort of coach clients. Just making those changes can be enough for them to start losing weight. That's all it takes. And sometimes they can't believe how easy it is. Sometimes the meals that they're already making are 80% nair. Usually it's just a bit more protein on your plate. Get rid of a few of those potatoes, and they can do it. For others, that's not enough and go down to that. But they want to lose weight, and it's not moving. So the next stage, the next level to go to if that's not working, is to just pay attention to your portion sizes. And you want to make sure or focus on maybe just dropping the fat slightly on whatever you're eating, making the pasta, the rice, the potato component smaller, or eliminating it altogether for a while and see how that works, and then packing it out with plenty of eggs so it's filling. And then the next level to go to if that's still not working, but it should be, is to start to pay attention to your appetite.

[00:36:02.890] – Gabrielle

And the golden rule is, when you're hungry, you start when you fall. And you mentioned before we didn't need to count calories once upon a time because we were more in tune with our natural appetites. We knew when we needed something, we knew when we'd had enough. And a lot of the ultra processed foods that we have as led us to really not being tuned into our natural hunger signals and our fullness signals. So there's a reeducation process that you get from eating post natural foods and giving yourself not snacking and giving yourself plenty of time in between, you're allowing your appetite to reset.

[00:36:37.000] – Allan

Yeah. And it's kind of one of the special things that I really like about the human body is that if we give it what it needs, it gives us what we need. Communicate good things through food, through movement, through reduced stress, through sleep. And our body realizes, hey, we're in a pretty good place. We're pretty safe.

[00:36:55.240] – Allan

I don't have to really be stressed all the time. I don't have buy or sell looking for food all the time because it's plentiful and I'm getting good nutrition. It kind of falls in line, your hormones somewhat more fall in line, and everything just gets easier.

[00:37:08.830] – Gabrielle


[00:37:09.690] – Allan

One of the things you said in the book, and I really can't leave this interview without kind of putting this in there, was you said that we should be paying more attention to how we feel and look than what we weigh. And I think that's just really a cool thing because too often we're like using the scale as this metric of worth when food and movement and all these other things that we're doing in our lives are really meant to just be energies and build ups and just part of putting together a platform for you to be better.

[00:37:40.630] – Gabrielle

Yeah, absolutely. I think there's a lovely opportunity for men and women at this age to really start to reconnect with themselves and how they feel. And when our kids are growing up, we can find that we've got a little bit more time to ourselves and we can sort of take this journey. And the conversations often start about with weight because that's what people are looking for. But once you start to make these changes, you realize that you've got more energy or you sleeping better or you're not bloated anymore. And once people latch onto these things, they suddenly realize they're not bothered about weight anymore because the game changer for anyone who's tired and struggling is more energy, not smaller waste. And once you start when she sort of maybe go on this weight loss journey doesn't even take long. That's the amazing thing. When you change your diet, you can have a benefit that day. You know, it started for me when I had to remember why. But for some reason I used to have a sandwich from my lunch every day and for some reason I didn't have it. I think the shop where I went was closed, so all I could buy was some cottage cheese and some nuts.

[00:38:41.310] – Gabrielle

And every day at work at 03:00, I could not keep my head off the desk. Just was fighting, falling asleep. And this one day I had cottage cheese and nuts for my lunch. I was wide awake all afternoon. And that's how quickly the effect of food can change how you feel. And that's when people start to recognize that they can't believe it. I had a client and her and her husband went, young kids. It was a big change for them to go and make all the food from scratch. And a couple of weeks in they decided to order a takeaway. And the next day they couldn't believe how awful they felt. They didn't have the energy to play with the kids. They just felt really below par and they hadn't put a weight in one night, but they felt awful. And there's things like that that the penny starts to drop and the sort of jigsaw puzzle pieces start to fit together and you say, I know, I don't want to feel like that anymore. I want to feel like this. Because when you feel great, when you've got good energy, when you get in good sleep, your mind gets in a better place and you want to go and live your life and do more things, you've got that capability to go and do things and you wait something that becomes less important to you because you're busy doing other things.

[00:39:50.640] – Allan

Gabrielle I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:39:58.930] – Gabrielle

First one, I think would be and I love that. I love the healthy, I love putting those things together. And I think if you align your health and fitness goals with your happiness goals, then that's the best way to start because they're all related. I think there's far too much focus on health and fitness. There's weight loss tools or all of our calories. The combination of getting fitter, eating better, gives you the energy, gives you the drive, gives you the confidence, then you start to feel happy. You can start to pursue the things that you're interested in. That's a really powerful way of connecting all of those things together. One of the other things that sort of links into that as well actually, is the idea of learning how to eliminate useless thoughts from your mind. And food and eating can take up far too much head space. We think about what we're going to eat next, we feel guilty about eating something else. We're trying to sort of resist a craving that can all add up to thinking about food 24/7. And once you start working on putting food in its rightful place, it's something there to give you energy to make you feel good.

[00:41:07.700] – Gabrielle

It can actually start to free up your mind. And that's quite something when suddenly you're not constantly thinking about food anymore or fighting hunger or cravings. There's an empty space, so you can have a lot more peace in your mind. One of my clients recently was saying, I don't understand it, I just want to clean the house. I've done loads of jobs and I'm just going through everything and sorting everything out. And that's because she didn't think about food. She was suddenly being able to use that attention, free up that space to think about other things. And that's one of the massive benefit of just changing that relationship with food. Gives you more mental, it gives you more capacity, gives you more head space. And my last one is you've got to learn to love and accept yourself as you are. Now, when we're always critical of ourselves, when we're always in a position where we're unhappy with how we look and always trying to change, then we just have this sort of it just puts a cloud over the whole of your life every day. You can be self conscious or you can be hiding your stomach or worrying what people are thinking about you.

[00:42:10.460] – Gabrielle

It just takes a lot of enjoyment, a lot of pleasure out of your life. And it can be quite hard for people to let go of that self hate because they feel if they accept themselves as they are, they're suddenly going to eat everything and go out of control. But really, when you start to be kind to yourself, to think about doing things to yourself that make you feel better, we go back to feel and being guided by how you feel you are actually then start to create more respect for yourself. You get that freedom in your mind and you start to be able to shift your attention onto doing things that you enjoy and becoming happier. So that's how that all links in.

[00:42:48.520] – Allan


[00:42:49.000] – Allan

Gabrielle, if someone wanted to learn more about you or learn more about the book, Why Women Can't Lose Weight, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:42:57.180] – Gabrielle

Well, the book is available on Amazon, so that's an easy one. If you just put the title into Amazon, you'll find that if you want to find more about me and my online products and my coaching, then I've got a website, which is gabrielleohare.com nice and simple.

[00:43:11.680] – Allan

All right, well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/575. And I'll be sure to have links there to the book and to your website. Gabrielle, thank you so much for being on 40+ Fitness.

[00:43:23.320] – Gabrielle

Thank you very much for having me. I've really enjoyed this today, Allan

Post Show/Recap

[00:43:35.510] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:43:36.960] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. What a great interview. My goodness. Why women over 40 can't lose weight. I mean, the headline right off the bat is very intriguing, but your discussion was very intriguing as well.

[00:43:48.350] – Allan

Yeah, I wish she had a subtitle of some sort, because it is an attention grabbing headline, but it leaves you in, I think, a negative thought space of, oh, well, yeah, okay. If that were a newspaper article, you'd be like, okay, what do I expect this newspaper article to tell me all the reasons why I'm failing at what I'm trying to do here? And she does that, don't get me wrong. She goes through that and lets you know that okay, that you're not alone. These are happening to women everywhere. There's case studies all the way through this of women. The six reasons she's got case studies of every single one of them, of women she's known or worked with or herself that have struggled with these things, because they're real. They're not imaginary. We're not making these things up in our head. They are real obstacles. They're in your way. The good news is she shifts in the book, which is why I think there should have been some form of subtitle. But that said, she didn't. But in the book, she did shift gears and go towards the way you overcome those objectives, those obstacles.

[00:44:54.470] – Rachel

Obstacles, yeah. Number one, though, self neglect. I mean, that was the biggest shining light, neon, fireworks reason that a lot of us who in our 40s struggle is self neglect. And the word neglect really hurts because no woman wants to neglect anybody, let alone themselves. But that's really a good word because we do prioritize everybody else over us. We've got kids that get on the bus in the morning and take care of in the evenings and dinners to cook and a house to clean, and not to mention our own 40 hours a week job. It is really hard to change that mindset of looking after everybody else and actually try and take a look at what we need to do for our own health and well being.

[00:45:37.640] – Allan

Yeah, but no, neglect is the right word.

[00:45:40.140] – Rachel

It is. As much as it hurts.

[00:45:42.680] – Allan

It's like, okay, the kids want Hot Pockets for dinner, and so you're having Hot Pockets for dinner.

[00:45:48.950] – Rachel


[00:45:49.420] – Allan

That's neglect. You know, that's not serving you. You've made the conscious decision to do it anyway. That's neglect. The definition of the word neglect is doing things to yourself or to anybody without regard to them and what their needs are. That's neglect.

[00:46:05.320] – Rachel

And I've done that. I have absolutely said to my kids, I am not cooking two different meals. And I've gone through that. But the fact of the matter is that I need to eat in a way that benefits my health and well being, and they need to eat in a way that they'll eat something before going to bed at night. So it is difficult, but it is important to look at all those obstacles and then decide how to navigate around them, to put yourself as a priority.

[00:46:32.690] – Allan

Well, even men struggle with some of these things. I mean, when we start talking about self neglect, for me, it was my career. It wasn't the kids, it was the career. And what I needed from a lifestyle to be successful at what I was doing was 16 17 18 hours days. You know, I was on six, seven days a week, 16 18 at one point 20 hours days, six days a week. And then I even came in on Sundays some days, sometimes just to catch up. As much as you think, how would you be behind? There was so much work to do. In fact, when I left and they hired the new guy, he worked for about three months, and then he quit because he said there's just no way he could keep up with that volume. But that was my career. That was my focus. In fact, as a result, I was neglecting everything else. I was neglecting my family, I was neglecting my health, neglecting my fitness, everything. And that's where I was. And it wasn't until I got a priority mindset, the way she phrases it. But it wasn't until I had that priority set my priority, and said, no, I have to be healthy and fit.

[00:47:38.340] – Allan

There's no other answer. And that's what I did.

[00:47:42.130] – Rachel

I think that a lot of women, too, need to get to that point where they make that decision. It was hard for me to make that decision. That, okay, what has to give? What do I need to do? What can I renegotiate with my husband? What can I do for the kids, but then take back some time for myself? How to make that decision, and then get creative about doing it, about finding a solution. And when the kids were young, I would wake them up from school, I would go do my workout, made sure they had breakfast and got on the bus. It's those weird moments of time, or when they were in babies, I would tuck them in bed at night. And then between 8:30 and 09:00, I met another lady in my subdivision for a run around the subdivision. So it's not the best time of the night to be working out, but I took the time when I could. And that's just how life goes. Your schedule changes. Negotiate with your husband for different chores or whatnot, maybe even work with your job to shift hours if you could, or take a working lunch break and go to the gym on your lunch break.

[00:48:44.230] – Rachel

I mean, it's just the point of you got to put yourself first and then figure out how to make that a priority, how to get in your workout, how to get in the good meals and things like that.

[00:48:53.480] – Allan

Yeah. And until you're doing it, you haven't prioritized yourself. So the thought of, well, I want this isn't enough. Your actions are your priority. I'm just going to put that out there. So if you're not doing it, don't say this is your priority. Don't say your health and fitness is your priority because you're not doing it. You do your priority. You do it. You just do. And so with the way you're talking about with kids and family and other obligations is like, you're doing that stuff, why are you doing that? It's because that's your priority. And I get it that there are times when that needs to be your priority. But if you haven't had the conversation with your significant other about the fact that you need a tag team partner, that you join this relationship to be partners, and that you need some help from them to get these things done, then you haven't prioritized yourself. Because I'll ask women, like, how does your husband get his workouts? And, well, he just goes and it's like, well, what does he do for selfcare? It's like, well, he likes to play golf and he'll go fishing.

[00:49:59.940] – Allan

I'm like, okay. So he just goes, yeah, he just goes, okay, priority. And that's only you haven't said anything, and so you can't expect mind reading and just say, so going to set a priority. Your actions have to follow through, or it really wasn't a priority. It was just a nice to have.

[00:50:16.570] – Rachel

Yeah. And it's just a matter of having that conversation with your husband or spouse or friends, your parents, anybody that could give you a hand so that you can keep up with things and take care of yourself.

[00:50:29.710] – Allan

And there are all kinds of strategies that you can take. Eat better, to move more, to do these other things that aren't going to blow you out of the water by adding tons and tons of hours onto your time. And I think that's where a lot of people get lost, is like, well, I don't like doing this. And I'm like, well, guess what? Yeah, I've had people that I don't like batch cooking. I'm like. Okay, then this isn't a priority for you. If eating out is something you have to do every night, or eating Hot Pockets from a microwave is what you have to do, then that's your priority. Your priority is not what you say it is. And so I don't mean that in a bad way, but I just really want you looking at your actions and looking for those disconnects over what you want and what you do. Because that's where the rubber hits the road, and that's where you're going to make changes. Because you aren't going to change until it's a priority. And it isn't a priority until you start doing it. We Talk About how we need motivation and all these Other things, but the gross reality of it is motivation is not something that comes.

[00:51:39.070] – Allan

Motivation is something that you earn. You do the action, you get the reward that Motivates you. There's other things you can do to Put in there coaching, social accountability, things like that, that can help get this all started. You got to do the do first, and then the motivation will build. You wait for the motivation, you're going to still be waiting there a year later?

[00:52:04.820] – Rachel

No. Yeah. Sometimes it's really hard. But I think that if you can really get creative, put your workouts on the calendar, and just be diligent with taking the time that you need to take care of yourself. I mean, it's just it's the mindset. You just need to make yourself just as big of a priority as everybody else in your life.

[00:52:23.390] – Allan

Absolutely. All right. Well, Ras, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:52:27.630] – Rachel

Awesome. Take care, Allan.

[00:52:29.110] – Allan

You Too. Thanks.

Music by Dave Gerhart


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


January 17, 2023

How to recognize bad health and nutrition science with Ivor Cummins

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

It is hard to do a good nutrition and health study. Add to that how many people conducting these studies have built-in biases, and we're left with a hodge-podge of bad science. Ivor Cummins (The Fat Emperor) is a professional complex problem solver. He's made it his mission to dive in and deconstruct much of this science to find the truth.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:50.080] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:02:52.050] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:54.200] – Coach Allan

Doing good. Little tired. I told you guys this a lot. We record this a few weeks in advance. A couple of weeks in advance. And so this is a holiday here, the New Year's holiday. And so we've made the decision this year to give our staff the time off. And I know I've talked about that, but it's quite a different thing when you know you've got 13 breakfast and you got three rooms to clean and this person wants to rent bikes and that person needs this and someone needs a ride there, and some people have to be picked up there. And then you have to wait for this couple to show up, and you don't know when they're here. And so it's just one of these move move move and then you finally get that opportunity to sit down and record

[00:03:42.980] – Coach Rachel

Oh, jeez. Oh, my goodness.

[00:03:49.300] – Coach Allan

And roll it through my head. It's like, okay, I got to get a bottle of water upstairs because they're about out there. And then got to make sure that all the laundry that needs to be done, the one ends we pulled off of the beds, and all that still gets done. I've got a laundry list of about a dozen things in my head right now that Call probably won't be able to nap immediately. There probably will be a nap somewhere today.

[00:04:15.280] – Coach Rachel

That sounds good. Good plan.

[00:04:17.750] – Coach Allan

Yeah. How are things up there?

[00:04:19.890] – Coach Rachel

Good. We made it through Christmas, made through New Year's. Now it's about getting back to schedule again. I miss having routines and schedules and just getting back to normal. My sleep is disrupted too, so I just feel wonky.

[00:04:34.680] – Coach Allan

And I saw this insane, insane picture of you standing in water in Mission.

[00:04:44.440] – Coach Rachel


[00:04:47.400] – Coach Rachel

On New Year's Day, our Fun Run Club organizes a polar plunge, and on the lake that we use, it had a pretty good base of ice. In fact, it was kind of a struggle to chop through to make a little hole for us to do our little polar plunge.

[00:05:06.560] – Coach Allan

That's everything nature, god, everything's saying, don't.

[00:05:12.400] – Coach Rachel

It's exhilarating. It really is. I look forward to it every year. I get really excited in December that this is coming up, and, yes, it is super cold, and there's a lot of screaming going on, but it is really a lot of fun, and I just feel like it's like washing off the bad luck of last year and getting myself ready and prepared for the upcoming year. It's kind of a great day, and it's a lot of fun.

[00:05:44.350] – Coach Allan

I have a completely different description of it.

[00:05:51.100] – Coach Rachel

Well, truth be told, I am no stranger to ice bath, and as an endurance runner, I am known to take an ice bath with lots of ice in the bathtub after a run. So I'm no stranger to any of it. I enjoy it. It is exhilarating. It is a challenge. But yeah. It's also a lot of fun.

[00:06:14.020] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And that's why when I say there's no one way to do any of this, there's no one way, and there's no way in that world. I might have considered it. But, oh, yeah, I'm not doing that up there. Having to peck through the ice to make it happen.

[00:06:36.380] – Coach Rachel

Yes, it was a fun time.

[00:06:38.400] – Coach Allan

Ready for the conversation with Ivor?

[00:06:41.670] – Coach Rachel



[00:07:21.240] – Coach Allan

Ivor, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:25.020] – Ivor

Thanks a lot, Allan. Great to be here.

[00:07:27.740] – Coach Allan

I'm hyper excited. I mean, I'm like a little fanboy right here now because I've heard you speak, and it's something else. If you can get out and listen to this guy, if you can get on his YouTube channel, you've got to go meet him, because Ivor is a no nonsense, data driven individual that he doesn't just take the headline. You go in and you drill and you learn a lot of interesting things. And I've learned a lot of interesting things by listening to you.

[00:08:02.120] – Ivor

Yeah. Well, thanks, Allan. It's my background, really, I was a complex problem solver and corporate for a couple of decades, leading teams, and it's always what I specialized in, so I don't dig into everything. Some things I judged are not of huge value to understand more deeply, but it's like breadth and depth, as we used to say. Breadth on capturing the full picture of any kind of topic or arena, and then depth where necessary, based on your skill and judgment, to go into depth where there's value.

[00:08:34.640] – Coach Allan

Well, like I said, your YouTube channel is pure gold. The depth and the breadth there is just fascinating. I got caught up in that rabbit hole the other day while I was prepping for this interview, and I just one video after the other. And so, the funny thing, I was watching one of your videos and you finished the video, and I was kind of peddling with something else. And you know how YouTube will take you on to the next video, just some other video, it wasn't yours. There was some newscast and they were talking about fusion energy and how someone might have cracked fusion energy. And now I'm hooked on they knew I wanted to see this, so they got me. But that's when it hit me. It's like, we know what fusion energy is. If you know enough about science and you've studied it a little bit, you know what that is. And there's a science, a hard science, between what that is, how you define something like fusion. Why is it that when we do science around food and health, it never quite gets to that same level of science? Why is science not science when it comes to food and health?

[00:09:52.300] – Ivor

Yes. Big question. Well, I think the theoretical science and physics and mathematics have stayed pretty poor, or pure, I should say. Not poor, pure. And they've stuck with the scientific method of create a hypothesis and then seek to destroy the hypothesis, ideally not just to support us, which are cognitive or belief bias and they've just stuck to science. And they've been allowed to really, because there's no mass market, particularly in kind of fusion and theoretical physics. So they were allowed to continue, as we did for hundreds of years, stick to the science. However, health and food are the two biggest markets on the planet, basically. So the processed food industry is enormous, as you well know, and we've got this ownership model over the last 30 years where a few corporations own the whole lot and that's just the way the world is. And then the health market, well, we've got big pharma and they have enormous funds and influence on medical training, doctors training, and funding studies and funding trials. So they bring all the money to direct the science. So I think that's a high level view. They've been co opted. And you know, with the FDA the revolving door, the head of the FDA becomes the head of some pharma group and vice versa.

[00:11:18.740] – Ivor

So basically industry capitalism has been very successful over particularly the last 40 or 50 years to essentially take over. Largely the science of both food, nutrition and health. Not exercise per se, but then there's a lot of kind of grifters and exercise as well. These are all big markets and that's essentially the bottom line. They are huge markets and there's no way they're going to be let just bumble along scientifically.

[00:11:51.040] – Coach Allan

So if I see a study and the headline reads that you should be eating beets five times a day, every day, and only beets.

[00:12:02.740] – Coach Allan

Other than that just sounded absurd to say it out loud. But how would I know, when I'm looking at a study that this isn't something that was just I'm not going to say made up, but that there was a cognitive bias or there were confounders, there was something wrong with the science or the way they're describing the output.

[00:12:22.300] – Ivor

Yeah, well, the first thing is always the funding. I mean the funding and the ideology. So many times you'll find a study that seems odd and is in conflict with what you would expect. It may go back to a particular strong ideology like veganism or a university associated with that or vegetarian leaning. Or there could be a climate aspect to the funding. Or of course, there could be food industry and pharmac and be in there. So it doesn't prove that the study is bad. But if your antennae go up at all, look to the authors, look them up online, find out are they a particular extreme diet of fysionadol and indeed where the funding is coming from. The other thing then are associational studies. If it says appears that or seems that, or tracks with or all these kinds of clues and they don't actually say this is a proven thing, it's often an associational study. So that's the basic correlation versus causation thing. So I give a quick example. We pretty much know because you can never know anything for 100% in science. But we know that the factory seed oils, the vegetable oils, the heart healthy oils, we know they're not a good idea compared to real food.

[00:13:44.180] – Ivor

However, for 40 or 50 years, the population has been screamed at to eat the vegetable oils and don't eat the natural saturated fats. So what's happened is, over 50 years, the health focused people who are focused on their health tend to listen to the advice from the scientists and the health officials, right. So they tend to eat more vegetable oils. But what happens then is you've got a healthy user bias. I. E. After 40 years, you can look at the data and you can see some better health outcomes in the populations that eat a little more vegetable oils. And it's not because they're healthy. It's because for 40 years, you've kind of ruined the pitch. You've ruined the experiment. Because the healthier people who are worried about their health, who have better outcomes, well, they tended to take more of the oils. So that's just an example of confounding, extreme confounding in an associational or epidemiological study. But there are many more. People who eat more saturated fat, and it is related. They tend to not care about advice. They are shown again and again to have more smoking, more overweight, more bad habits of various sorts, lack of exercise.

[00:15:06.570] – Ivor

So you see these signals. But the author of the study is only looking for one message. In this case, healthy vegetable oils are healthy. We were right all along. Honest.

[00:15:21.060] – Coach Allan

Yeah. The way I like to think about causing correlation is that if you go to a fire, there's a lot of firemen around. So maybe it's the firemen that are starting the fire. You know that's not the case. It's just because the way we address fires, there's always going to be firemen at a fire. And so you can't get rid of the firemen to think that that's what's going to get rid of the fire. And it sounds, again, kind of silly, this, when you say that kind of stuff out loud, but sometimes when you're reading the studies, that's exactly what they're saying. We see this thing here, therefore we know there's a problem. If we get rid of this thing we won't have the problem. It's not really the cause.

[00:16:01.440] – Coach Allan

So let's talk. You dived into it a little bit. You started talking about veganism, vegetarian, and animal based foods and saturated fat. You've talked to a lot of people. You've done a lot of research in this area yourself, digging, is animal based foods good for us or bad for us or in the middle somewhere? Maybe?

[00:16:27.640] – Ivor

Yeah, well, so whole, real natural foods that would be strongly associated with our evolution as a species, they are the best foods. They are the best diet. Unless you have weird compelling data to say otherwise, it makes sense and paleo anthropologists almost to a man or a woman. Dr. Michael Eads, a good friend of mine, often has said this, and it's true. They will all acknowledge that Homo sapiens evolved by the scavenging off animal carcasses. Now, we started off scavenging organ meats and even brain, et cetera, and we cracked open bones. The tools are all there in the record, every human tribe going back to daydot. And then we moved on to hunting. We became more and more successful as hunters. And the one ancestor of humans, Dr. Eads actually sent me this before that debate I did, and it was beautiful. And it was from one of his talks I'd missed. And it showed that around a million years ago, there were these striding, kind of hominids, two legged creatures that became us, and there were various branches, and they found one dead end branch. And there was no reason for it at first, that this branch had completely died off and the other branch had gone on to become humans.

[00:17:51.240] – Ivor

Most successful species on the planet, you could say. And that branch actually was one where it stayed vegetarian. So of course it didn't have access to the nutrient density of meats and organ meats. It didn't trade off its digestive large stomach size to enable a huge brain calorie drain like we did. It just stayed more like an ape with a big stomach and the brain nothing to write home about. So even there and in everything in the paleo anthropological research and fossil records, all says again and again, this is how we got here. So there's that. And then when you look at the mechanistic, you say, okay, what's the nutrient density of meats and fish and eggs? And boom, it's got massive nutrient density and much more bioavailability of key proteins than any plant food. Doesn't mean plant foods are no good. They carry minerals and vitamins and various proteins that you can convert. But the animal foods are clearly way ahead of the game. So without going into great detail, but I give an example b Twelve. You can have severe mental illness from being low on B12, and it only comes from animal foods.

[00:19:10.950] – Ivor

I mean, there's a giveaway, come on, and you could go on and on, but all these other components that are in animal foods and the fats match the fats of what our body makes our fat out of is mono and saturated fat. That's what human bodies make for safe storage of energy. And that's what we get from animal foods, very well matched fat balance to what we are made of. So there's all of that mechanistic stuff and nutrients and bioavailability, that's a no brainer. So now you've got the ancestral evolutionary, and it's basically almost like almost a proof in itself. It's hard to argue with. And then you've got what I just mentioned, including components and DHA, EPA, or another one that are almost you can't get anywhere else, right? So then you say, wow, with these foods we evolved on, they have vastly higher nutrient density and even contain nutrients that we actually need, or we get very ill. And you put that together and then at this stage you're kind of there, right. Obviously they're the healthful foods for those reasons. But the world for ideological reasons has spent definitely the last 40 years, particularly the last ten years, and bringing in climate as well as an argument, right, climate change.

[00:20:42.560] – Ivor

But going back to the Adventist Church and the huge industries they own, it goes back to the turn of the century. And Harvey Kellogg, who perceived masturbation as sinful and quite rightly, probably said if we feed them gruel instead of meat, they'll be less active. And he actually had a point there in a sense. So carnal knowledge and even the Bible, Carna has all these negative associations. For thousands of years, kings would tell the poor people meat is bad for you. That the top strata always indicated. The Bible said it. Vegetarian churches say it. All of these reasons that meat is bad are ideological, or even worse, they're a power play of sorts, a feudalism. That's all there is against meat. As an example, the big one WHO a few years ago came out with a study and said meat is now a grade two carcinogen and processed meat is a grade one, I think. The data in that, they said, we looked at a thousand studies and they kind of did, and none of them said that, but they used associational epidemiological data within them and maybe a mouse study to come to the conclusion that meats a carcinogen, which is de facto absurd.

[00:22:14.980] – Ivor

And that's the tip of the iceberg. There's 1000 studies now, all driven by ideology, whether climate, religious, or just general dietary ideologies.

[00:22:27.660] – Coach Allan

Yeah, the debate that you were talking about, that was with Dr. Gregor. I've had him on the show when he wrote his book How Not to Die. It's actually a good book. And he goes into science in the book, as he does with his normal video, I guess it's a videocast podcast thing, well produced, put together. But you're right, most of the studies that he covers are really one sided. And I've had conversations with vegans and I say, well, we've got to talk about B12. And they're like, well, yeah, you might have to supplement with B12, but carnivores have to supplement with statins.

[00:23:13.100] – Ivor

Welcome at a false equivalence.

[00:23:17.500] – Coach Allan

Yeah, but that's the conversation. And you touched on something that I really think is important because I have had vegans on the show. I've had carnivores on the show, I've had raw paleo. I've had a vegan that was keto. So I try to get a broad view of different people on the show so at least they can present their ideas in a fair location where I'm not going to beat them up for the way that they want to live. And that they think others should, but it's whole food. If I ask a vegan, why do you feel like your diet is the best? They're like, well, it's a whole food, plant based diet. And I'm like, okay. And I ask a carnivore, why do you feel like your diet is the best? It's basically a whole food, animal based diet. And so they always go back to the this is a whole food diet. And one of the reasons why that diet is bad is because they're eating all the processed crap.

[00:24:16.960] – Coach Allan

And it's true. And so you look at some of the studies, and you're like, well, if like the 7th Avenue you brought up, if they're following the doctrine of what their religion is, they would be vegan or vegetarian. But they go through the ranks and they say, okay, here's the people that aren't doing it, and here's the ones that are. And the ones that are doing it are healthier, but they don't factor in the well, they also aren't supposed to smoke, so the ones that are doing it also aren't smoking, but those guys are. And there are other risky behaviors. So they're all caused mortality is worse, but they never really pull that out. And I think that's what I really struggle with these studies, is when they go in with that cognitive bias or worse, financial bias, it just creates wonky science, and someone will refer to that study forevermore in their study. So it was like, we know cholesterol is bad, therefore. And then they do their study, and they draw a conclusion. And sometimes you're right, they do play with the words appears as if or kind of thing. But it just seems like it's really hard for people to know what to do to be healthy.

[00:25:35.630] – Coach Allan

And it's a shame that we can't depend on the governments to step up and do a little bit of house cleaning here.

[00:25:45.660] – Ivor

Yeah, the challenge is Allan so ideology, and again, I didn't say anything negative about them. And you can get along pretty well eating vegetables because you are giving up all the processed food, which is the real poison. My only angle was it's more optimum and better to get the nutrient density off the foods we primarily evolved on. But, I mean, Homo sapiens are very adaptable, and we were able to go long periods when there was very little gain, and we evolved to be able to handle quite a lot of plant food and a lack of animal foods for periods. But evolution didn't really plan for long, long periods, and especially didn't plan for vegan. Vegetarian, especially Ovo lacto evolution well prepared us for that. But vegan, like you say, you need B12. And Dr. Joel Kahn, a good friend of mine who's a hardcore vegan, he's in his 60s, looks great, and he's got a zero calcium scan in his 60s. But one reason is, for 20 years, he's been imploring vegans to take a whole range of supplements, and he acknowledges and puts the hand up and doesn't try and pretend that the vegan diet is a complete diet.

[00:27:02.300] – Ivor

He's interested for ideological reasons, and he admits its ideology by saying, vegan guys, don't let our side down. You need to take these supplements. And that's why he's so healthy. But the funny thing is, Allan, even these like Okinawa, everyone talks about Okinawan's plant based longevity. But the people who reached 100 in Okinawa, I think it was five out of five or six out of six in one study, all of them were non vegetarian. They were the cluster that really went the distance. And the other thing is, they went to Okinawa. And this is where all this stuff came from. In the early 50s, after World War Two, half the population on the islands had been were dead. I mean, Okinawa, there was horrific stuff that went on there, as we know. But before the war, pork was highly prized. In fact, it's in their literature, their culinary literature. Pork is at the center of Okinawan dishes. It's written in some old text. And after the war, they had no pigs, for obvious reasons. And within a few years, they went up from I think they were before there were 110 pigs per thousand people.

[00:28:20.140] – Ivor

It's pretty high density. And they went up to 150 per thousand people by the late 50s and early 60s. So they went back on track, a pork based diet. But you don't hear that. You hear just when they found them starving post war, with their whole infrastructure and their animals all dead, that's when they did the study. And that's the study here quoted.

[00:28:44.890] – Coach Allan

Yeah. That's the Ansel Keys seven country study, that there were 23 countries.

[00:28:52.180] – Ivor

And he picked from 22.

[00:28:54.330] – Coach Allan

Yeah. Okay.

[00:28:54.840] – Ivor

He picked like six from 22 the first time, the six country study, which was just toilet paper. And then he created the toilet paper pseudo experiment. 12,000 men, no women, seven countries, picked from around 20. And he knew in advance, it's like an engineer who's cheating, right, to get a raise. Ansel knew the countries that would give him the outcome. I mean, he's so stupid, but he wanted the outcome because Ansel himself was in the grip of ideology. He was nowhere within a thousand miles of a scientist. He was an ideological person who had a grasp of scientific kind of stuff, and he was hugely influential, and he was an extremely capable politician, too. He weaved his way in everywhere. And he destroyed the career of Yodkin in the UK, questioned his data, and he went after Yodkin hardcore and basically destroyed his career in the sense so that's the kind of man and so keyswell. So it's not surprising that the science he produced was junk science.

[00:30:06.360] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And unfortunately, we still see that stuff happening today with different things going on in the world. Pick a side. And then fight to the death seems to be the mode of operation for this. Now, you mentioned Dr. Kahn, and I've read some of his stuff, and you've had a lot of other notable heart health doctors on your show. If someone's in their 40s, 50s or older and wants to manage their heart health so that they can live a longer, happier life, what are the things that we could be doing to improve our overall heart health?

[00:30:50.940] – Ivor

Right. Okay, then. So we start at the top. And sometimes I and others get criticized that insulin, we say, is everything. It's like the one ring to rule them all. Now, we do emphasize insulin, but in a pareto, principle way, because it's the elephant in the room. It's the biggest factor, your insulin resistance in cardiac disease and Alzheimer's, type three diabetes, it's often referred to now, and even Parkinson's has been referred to by one or two specialists as potentially type four diabetes. And then we have type two, of course, which has massive impacts on shortening your life. So that's actual diabetes. And then we have type one diabetes and type zero diabetes. I used to jokingly refer to heart disease as type zero diabetes because as Professor Joe Kraft, who I interviewed in Chicago, who tested 15,000 people for a five hour insulin glucose test, he said, let me think, if I can just think of this quote those who die of coronary disease who do not have diabetes are simply undiagnosed. And he was inferring that nearly all cardiac disease and vascular disease is essentially type two diabetes, whether diagnosed or not. Now, I don't think he's correct on that, but the massive majority is, and a great example for people is the Euro Aspire study done in Europe in 2015.

[00:32:24.130] – Ivor

And you should see the pie chart. I featured it many times. And this team went out, a large team went across 24 countries of Europe think about it. Looked at heart disease victims or patients ages 18 to 80. So looked at all ages, not just old people who tend to get it. And they basically checked their blood glucose in detail. And they found out straight away, shockingly, that around a third of them were type two diabetic on their medical record. And they thought, whoa, they didn't expect to find a full third of them. But then they looked at their glucose and post glucose load glucose readings, and they realized another quarter were full blown, type two undiagnosed, but then another quarter were high risk for type two diabetes, they called it. But they were type two diabetic. They just didn't quite reach the very high bar to be full blown. So essentially three quarters, roughly, of all the heart disease patients across Europe, 24 countries ages 18 to 80 as a huge supergroup, three quarters were type two diabetic. I mean, come on. So Kraft was very close. And if you measured their insulin and this team did not. Sadly. But if they did a craft test, myself, Dr. Gerber and Professor Noakes, and everyone in our community reckons probably 85 plus percent would be essentially physiologically diabetic. So, heart disease, first thing you do is minimize your insulin resistance, get insulin sensitive.

[00:34:05.660] – Coach Allan

And that's through diet and exercise.

[00:34:09.740] – Ivor

Diet and exercise. Diet is enormous in insulin resistance. But funny things are sleep and stress. They've done studies that if people are stressed, their insulin goes way up. Deny people's sleep for a couple of weeks, their insulin resistance can double. Smoking massively pushes up your insulin. It's one of the mechanisms of damage. And if you give up smoking, your insulin resistance falls sharply, even pollution and, of course, lack of exercise. And we would say myself and Dr. Gerber or Dr. Ted Naman or Ben Buckagio, all the people in our network, stress training, pushing to failure with weights and body weight exercise, maybe 20 minutes, twice, three times a week. A lot more bang for the book than cardiometabolic exercise, running, but that has its place, too. So exercise, food. Food, the big thing is to take out satan's triad. That's what I call it. Sugar, refined carbs, refined grains, refined wheats. All these powdered carbohydrates and vegetable oils, seed oils, inflammatory, seriously problematic. Those three things together. Devil's triad. What are most calories in ultra processed food, which makes up 80% of the supermarket made up of they're made up of the devil's triad. You don't have to look far here to see the reason for chronic disease.

[00:35:40.860] – Ivor

UK British Medical Journal. A few years ago, over 60% of all UK calories consumed now come from ultra processed foods, which are mostly the devil's triad. I mean, everyone, most everyone, is pouring large calorie quantities of kind of poisonous foods into themselves. It'd be amazing if we didn't have a tsunami of chronic disease. It would be astonishing. Cut out the devil's triad, cut out ultra processed food. And whether you're vegetable leaning or you're a carnivore or omnivore, like we said earlier, you sit down if you cut out all the ultra processed foods and just eat real foods and maybe watch some supplementation as well. Magnesium is very low in modern foods. And there's some more. You do that, you're miles ahead of the game. Add in fasting and some stress training, doesn't have to be huge. You got this synergistic. You put yourself vastly ahead of the risk of the average person today.

[00:36:45.600] – Coach Allan

Yeah, thank you for that again. It's been such a struggle. You did mention something earlier that I wanted to circle back around. When you're talking about Dr. Kahn and his calcium score, could you talk a little bit about what a calcium score is and how we would go about getting one?

[00:37:05.620] – Ivor

Right, well, that's I spent many years massively pushing the calcium score, partly because my sponsor, one of Ireland's richest men, he got a huge score and he was slim, fit, running four times a week, 52 years old, and he got a score of 1000, which is enormous. And he had three nearly fully blocked arteries, the main ones. So he got such a shock, he explored and he found out what the calcium score was all about, because that's how he found out. They told him he was super healthy for years in executive medicals. Then he got one calcium scan. He found out he was destroyed inside, and then he personally found out, unsurprisingly, a few weeks later. Not the doctors. He found out he was type two diabetic because he got a blood glucose meter. And he began to hear from William Davis, MD. And others, checked his glucose, and it was five times normal after each meal. So that was David Bobbitt great work he's done. And he made the widow maker movie. And I'll give you the link to the 1 hour version on YouTube I put up. He spent $2 million to make this movie to tell people about the calcium scan.

[00:38:15.220] – Ivor

And the bottom line, Allan, is if you get a calcium scan, the score from that scan alone, single-handedly, is much more predictive of risk than all of the blood and the risk factors put together in framing him, framing him and in the algorithms. Essentially, that score is more accurate. Predicting your future, though you can change it, get a high score, you can fix the problem. That's key to note, but it's more predictive than all the risk factors put together put together. So if you get a score of zero in middle age, your chance of a heart attack or mortality is so low, they actually call it a warranty. Now, a warranty doesn't mean 0%, it means extremely low. You got a warrant. Fridge is a warranty very seldom fails. So you might have a half a percent chance or 1.2% of a heart event in the next ten years. But the guys with the high scores, like David Bobbitts, have up on 30% chance you could have 20 plus times the risk of heart attack, even though you got the same cholesterol as the guy beside you, because you have the disease. The calcium in the arteries is unequivocal.

[00:39:32.010] – Ivor

Calcium in your arteries is the direct proof and extent of vascular disease up till the day you get the scan. It's the scars and all your arteries where your body is trying to fix your arteries from atherosclerosis the problem that causes heart attacks. So it's amazing where you get it. If you go to IHDA.Ie. So it's Irish heart disease awareness dot ie. There's the scan centers there, and we, over a year or two, developed a map of America, UK and Ireland. Hard to get Europe where all the centers are, and their phone numbers. But in the US, you can get it from as low as $69 up to $200. Sometimes insurance covers it. In Europe, it's quite a bit more expensive, maybe $350 on average.

[00:40:24.420] – Coach Allan

So, yeah, if you have a family history of heart disease or, you know that there's a likelihood you're overweight, you're over 40, you've got the risk factors that's worth having that test done. So thank you for sharing that. If someone, I'm sorry, I jumped ahead.

[00:40:45.500] – Coach 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?

[00:40:56.800] – Ivor

Okay. And we probably touched on quite a few of them, I'd have to say. Number one, and it ain't easy. And I commiserate with people, and I cheat sometimes too shocking to hear it. It's Christmas now. Maybe a little, but I'm generally pretty good. Cut out the devil's triad enormously. And that does mean if you're going to get something in the supermarket, look in the back of it. Mayonnaise. 78% of it is rapeseed oil. It's vegetable oil. Imagine 80% of your mayonnaise. I checked. You can get these meals. You look in the back, you see added wheats. And you know, on the ingredients list, the things up the top of the ingredients list, at least in Europe, are the biggest components. Yeah. So you see open the first few, you see wheat, you see vegetable oils or any kind of vegetable oil. There's 50 names for them. That's bad. But you can get ready meals, convenience meals that are essentially a dinner in a foil tray. In Ireland, it's just got meat, potatoes, carrots, and maybe a little bit of sugar. So you can get convenience food, that's okay. But the lesson is always say, is this real food?

[00:42:12.090] – Ivor

Is it nutrient dense? Is it not processed with wheats, refined grains, vegetable oils and sugars? That's the biggest thing. I put diet first. The second biggest thing, I would say, of course, exercise is important, and I've gotten pretty sloppy over lockdown. When I began to do very little exercise, I was working seven days a week in the office. I got kind of involved in a lot of challenging work, should we say, but exercise, since I've brought it back, and it's only really working on DIY and kind of house improvement, but working hard at it when I do it, even that has brought me back into a much healthier and better sleeping mode. And I got an exercise bike as well. I'm going to start using so exercise, but as Ben Picaccio and Dr. Ted Naman and all of us say, just do the body weight exercises, press ups until failure, where you just can't do another one and your arms are screaming. Do two rounds of that, two rounds of set ups, two rounds of pull ups. Always go till the muscles can't do any more. There's no danger, there's no harm to your body, but it triggers more muscle growth, and that's a glucose sink.

[00:43:26.330] – Ivor

And that is just the healthiest thing you can get. Muscle growth is your age. So exercise, particularly those resistance training exercises, third thing, then I'd say I'm more and more focused on sleep. I have a Whoop device now and it keeps me honest. So every morning if I've had a good day, I go to bed on time, I don't have a few drinks. I get this great report in the morning from my Whoop, and it keeps me on track. If I do the bad thing, I get this nasty report and it's never wrong, so I find it guides me and the joy of getting a good sleep and then looking up your results. And indeed, you had good deep sleep, you had good REM, you had highly recovery prone sleep, and you got a high green recovery. I kind of run my life by this now, so I'd say sleep quality and managing stress, I know it's not easy. Stress is a killer. Raises your cortisol, raises your insulin, eats away at your body, even undermines your immune system. So if you can get sleep stress as the third thing sorted, and good food and good exercise will actually deliver the benefits in good sleep and reduce stress. So they're very much integrated together.

[00:44:44.520] – Coach Allan

Thank you. Well, Ivor, if someone wanted to learn more about you and the work that you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:44:52.280] – Coach Allan

All right, I'd say if you just Google or search my name, Ivor Cummins. You'll quickly hit my YouTube, which is where a lot of the stuff is, and also my Twitter. I'm quite active on Twitter, and since the shadow banning stopped recently with Musk, suddenly my followers are growing again. I was perceived as questioning medical science at times, sadly, but I'm back on track, so Twitter is a good place. Often share reports, have technical arguments, and they're the main ones. And my Pin tweet at the moment, actually, and I think I'll leave it there is linked to one of our latest conferences with 14 stunning speakers and the whole packages available there of the 14 talks and the Q and A's, which I moderated for every speaker. So that package is like, I don't know, 12 hours of pure gold. And if you watch that package, I think it's 29 books or something. I don't know. It's just astonishing what all of our best guys have come out with in their talks. It's amazing. And the Q and A are revelatory as well because we brought in people and they asked their questions, and myself and the speaker in each instance had that discussion. So all of that's in there.

[00:46:08.920] – Coach Allan

Awesome. Thank you for that. And thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:46:14.580] – Ivor

Delighted to be here, Allan. And yeah, look forward to being back again. Great stuff.

[00:46:19.640] – Coach Allan

Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:46:23.330] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:46:25.250] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was a really fun interview. I can see why you enjoy talking with Ivor. He's got a lot of wealth of information about all of the studies that get thrown around in our community, in our health and fitness community. So it's interesting to hear him analyze them and get to the real meat of some of those studies.

[00:46:44.890] – Coach Allan

Yeah, it was funny because like I said, I was at Keto Fest and I was finishing up my talk. And it's normal when you do a talk, there are people who are going to come up after and want to ask you questions and just say hello or shake your hand, that kind of thing. And so I'm shaking hands trying to answer questions and I'm like the best I can throw out one word answer so that I can go see. And he was due to start and I was like, okay, I want to get over there. I want to get over there. They shortened mine. I got squeezed that year. And so my talk was supposed to be an hour and they ran late on the one before because they were having issues. And so I was told when I walked up to the stage, I'm like, you're really only going to have about 35 minutes. Okay, I'll get it done. But that also meant that I didn't get done early and wasn't really able to do any Q and A. That was one of the things I ended up cutting out of that talk. So I had a lot of people walking up asking questions.

[00:47:48.590] – Coach Allan

But that's cool. I got there, he wasn't too far in, but he's got this slide and diagram and I'm like, okay. And then he's talking and I'm like, it's like drinking out of a fire hose and he's just throwing on the screen and it's just so cool. If you're geek out about some of this stuff, go find his YouTube channel and prepare to spend a few hours there because it's good stuff. He does his homework, he knows what's going on. And yeah, his talk with Dr. Gregor, it was kind of a TV debate. I don't think it was exactly fair. Ivor is going to come in prepared three times to Sunday. Gregor was Dr. Gregor. I respect it as well because he has his thought beliefs and his biases and his data and he goes at it. I don't think he expected a debate. I think he just expected, and he didn't probably expect that the news anchor was going to actually sort of be almost unbiased or at least acknowledged when Ivor brought up data. That of course, Gregor, you can explain that why that doesn't make any sense. He couldn't. I mean, Ivor was right, as he mostly is, but it was great to be able to just talk to him, pick his brain a little bit.

[00:49:13.660] – Coach Allan

I'm definitely going to get him on the show again because it's just oh, good, yeah. And the people he talks to, they respect him as well because they see him on the stage and realize, okay, this is a guy who gets it. And so they're on his YouTube and on his channel and have those conversations with him, and that's who he's traveling with when he's doing the speaking circuit. And so he's got all the connections, he knows all the people, and it's just great conversation.

[00:49:41.510] – Coach Rachel

That's awesome. That is awesome. And it's nice. It was interesting to hear you point out the biases that are often behind the studies. The reason why that's interesting to me is because we don't hear that we get the news clipping or the news story that says the study just says coffee is good for you, or Animal fat is bad for you, but you don't get the behind the scenes stuff that Ivor was able to talk about. And like the Ansel Key study, we've talked about that study in the past. It's just one example of a study with some cherry pick data. Then you've got lobbyists involved that are pushing different food groups or something. And so it's hard to know. Like you had said, there's a lack of science in food science.

[00:50:29.090] – Coach Allan

The problem is that one pretty much any time they've tried to do a food study the right way, they stop the food study in a lot of other studies. Because what happens is they have one group eat one way or do one thing and they have another group something an entirely different way, and one of them starts really having problems. And then they're like, well, we can't in good conscience with ethics continue this study. We're killing people.

[00:51:03.470] – Coach Rachel

That's not good.

[00:51:07.890] – Coach Allan

So what they end up doing is they say, okay, well, tell me, Rachel, how many times did you eat meat in the last month?

[00:51:16.690] – Coach Rachel


[00:51:17.350] – Coach Allan

And they're like, okay, how many times per week do you eat meat? And then I was like, So you eat red meat and processed meat? Yes. Okay, well, they didn't ask, did you eat meat? Do you eat processed meat?

[00:51:29.270] – Coach Allan

And so am I say, I don't really eat that much processed meat. Deli slices of ham and beef, but other than that, not a lot. And I don't eat a lot of bacon, even though I'm on the keto spectrum of eating most of the time. I'm not a big bacon person. Actually, I had half a slice of bacon this morning.

[00:51:50.620] – Coach Rachel

Wow. Yeah, that's willpower.

[00:51:55.790] – Coach Allan

Well, that was the only piece, and I didn't want to cook because we just made breakfast with 13 people, and I wasn't going to throw that out or feed that to the dog.

[00:52:06.960] – Coach Rachel


[00:52:08.690] – Coach Allan

But it's just that thing of, okay, if they have a bias, they can't help the structure of the science to work the way they want it to. And even if right, there's still a likelihood that the data might not be as conclusive as they'd like it to be, which is the worst for scientists to sit there and have a hypothesis and then do the study and have zero effect to basically say they can't find even a correlation. Prove causation, necessarily, but they couldn't even find a correlation either way or the other. And so, as they're looking at it from that statistical perspective, the study is basically worthless in their minds because they had a hypothesis and they can't prove or disprove that hypothesis. And that's normally how science works. They try to prove something, either it's going to happen or not happen based on what they did. You add blue water to yellow water and you get green. That's the hypothesis.

[00:53:16.090] – Coach Allan

And then it kind of depends, right. How much blue water did you pour in and how much yellow water did you pour in? Is it still green or is it blue? So there's even some judgment in there as far as how all that's going to work. And that's a simple thing. That's pretty simple. But when you're asking people what they ate, how much they ate, going back 20 years

[00:53:42.770] – Coach Allan

And then again, of course, if someone is really not eating well, they're probably also not doing other things so well, so they're probably not exercising as much. They might be doing other things like overusing alcohol, maybe using tobacco, maybe using other things. They may be have very stressful jobs. They might not sleep very well. And so it's really hard to pull all those confounders out there, because you're not going to find that one person that eats processed meat, but exercises every day, doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, sleeps well, has no stress, but eats processed meat to find out processed meat causes colorectal cancer. You're not going to find those people to do that.

[00:54:30.660] – Coach Rachel

Right. Well, it's almost impossible to set up a study like that. But you know what we have found in real life, Allan? You and I have both seen and heard stories where people pick up a vegetarian or vegan diet and suddenly they lose a lot of weight. Or in my world, some of us have done the keto diet and we've lost a lot of weight. But even then, it's not about choosing a diet, eating plant based, eating animal based. It's the fact that we're eating real foods, foods that were obviously grown on a vine or harvested somehow in nature or a farm, and it's not processed foods. And I think that's where people find the success. So right now it's January, it's the beginning of the year, we're changing our diets and everything. And so, sure, maybe some of us have a goal to eat better. And so we're going to say, well, we're going to eat these healthier food items, but we're getting rid of the processed food. And it's really that one thing that gives us the greatest benefit is switching from the processed foods, the cereals and granola bars and things that are in a jar or a bag, like you say, and choosing an apple or a salad or a chicken or something like that. You know what I mean? Real foods.

[00:55:54.640] – Coach Allan

Yeah. The basis of it is this, processed foods are made to be delicious, not made to be nutritious. They're calorie dense, nutritionally weak, whereas whole food tends to be nutritious. It tends to be nutritionally dense and calorie weak. And so you eat to satiety with whole food, you're not going to gain weight, and you'll probably lose weight if you're over. If you eat a processed food diet, you're very likely to continue to gain weight because you're just not getting the nutrition you need, and you're getting more calories than you need. And it's just the basic math of calories in, calories out. It's a pretty simple thing. But it goes down to the hormones, because once you tell your body this is real food, you're giving your body real food. Let's just be clear about that. There is no pie tree. There's no muffin tree. All of these Little Debbie cakes on the prairie, you just don't. So we're consuming those things, we're not getting nutrition. And so when they talk about the nutrition from plants, what we know is when a cow eats, he's grass fed, they have a better fat disposition than a cow who is not it's grain fed.

[00:57:27.130] – Coach Allan

The fats in the cow of a grass fed cow are healthier for us than for a grain fed cow. The grain fed cow will taste great. It's fattened up for just for that purpose. They'll get it perfect. It's a formula. That's what they do. Not that the cow is healthy, but they can make it taste great. That's what companies do. So you'll eat more, and they're able to price it at an affordable price because of the volume. So you know, it's this is what this is really about, is realizing that every guest that I've had on here, we talk about when we talk about nutrition. You, you've not heard a single one of them say that they think that the Twinkie diet or the McDonald's diet or the is okay, because now they'll acknowledge you can undereat with those diets, but you can't sustain that. So the person that loses the pounds with the Twinkie diet or what's his name, Penn Gillette, the comedian, magician guy, he did a potato diet, eat potatoes until he lost the weight, and he got sick of potatoes. He just stopped eating. That's what happened. The point being is that he just, dietitian said, just eat potatoes.

[00:58:47.320] – Coach Allan

You'll get sick of potatoes and you'll stop eating. And he did that until he lost the weight and he's off, which means he's probably also learned a couple of other things. But at the same time, what he could have done was just said, okay, I'm going to go back to eating whole food. And he probably would have the same results and been healthier for it. It's an investment, and it's an investment of time, getting to know where your food is coming from. I know no one likes to know how the sausage is made.

[00:59:17.550] – Coach Rachel


[00:59:18.140] – Coach Allan

But you start looking at industrial farming, and you start looking at where you go into the grocery store and you're picking up those eggs. You're picking up the chicken. And chickens don't have three pound breasts. They're not that big. We have Dolly Parton chickens now, and it's because the hormones and they've been bred a certain way. They're not healthy, happy animals. They can't walk. They can't do anything. They're bred and grown and nurtured to do a certain thing, and it's just not the right way. You want happy, healthy animals, and they make for happy, healthy humans. Whether you choose to be plant based or animal based or a mix, know where it's coming from. Just know what you're eating and start making better choices. It doesn't have to be a big thing. Just start making little better choices, and they add up. They add up fast.

[01:00:22.770] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, that's exactly what I say. Yes. Small steps. Make some choice.

[01:00:27.000] – Coach Allan

When you see that headline that tells you something, question, question. New study says,

[01:00:38.710] – Coach Rachel

beware of those words. And look carefully into it.

[01:00:42.440] – Coach Allan

Says this. You're listening to reading it, and you're like, well, that's the exact opposite of what they told me last year. That's exactly the opposite of what I've always known. And we can look at a lot of stuff that's happened in the last few years about food and other health science, and it's like they're telling you something, and it's like, wait, that's not how I was. We talked about this in biology, and this is not how it was taught. So what's different, and somehow or another, the doctors are the experts are trying to tell us this is different. It's not. They just wanted it to be different because they wanted us to do a certain thing. So they had a bias behind why they said what they said. They had a bias behind how they planned and did the study, and they got a result. They presented the result, and then the media ran with the headline. And so just be careful when you see a headline and they say, but this is science. Just be leery that some science is not science. And that's particularly true in the health and nutrition space. So need your sit there and say, oh, I need to start taking 10,000

[01:02:01.640] – Coach Allan

I use of vitamin D every day to help my immune system. And the short answer is, you might not. You might need some, but you won't know until you go get a blood test. So just because study said people who took vitamin D were less likely to suffer from this thing, that doesn't mean that that study was even done on you. But it could have been three high school kids that they gave vitamin D to, and guess what? None of them died in three years. So vitamin D helps you live longer. And that's the reality they're control case two of them got in an automobile accident and died so of the six people in this piece, all caused mortality. Two thirds of them died not taking vitamin D. And here in this one, all cause mortality all three of them are still alive. So vitamin D keeps you from getting in car crashes is the conclusion.

[01:03:04.150] – Coach Rachel

Oh, these studies.

[01:03:05.670] – Coach Allan

But that's sometimes how this is structured and how it's interpreted. They're going to use words that are confusing, like all cause mortality. Instead of actually saying heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, instead of really getting to it, they'll use the term all cause mortality. Right? There should have bright light on that. Okay, what does that mean and how did these people pass? And the data has it. They will get into the data. And that's what Ivor does. He digs into data and says, oh, they were dying of automobile accidents. So what you found was vitamin D keeps people from having automobile accidents. I'm not saying that vitamin D doesn't. I'm just saying that if you don't set the study up right and you don't interpret the data right, and you want to change the way the conclusion is worded to give you the result that you were looking for, they do it. They do it all the time based on who they're funded by, based on what their bias was, and you just have to be careful.

[01:04:14.090] – Coach Rachel

Well, I appreciate having people like Ivor looking into stuff like that.

[01:04:19.930] – Coach Allan

If you ever get a chance to go to a conference or catch up with his YouTube, it's well worth the time and money.

[01:04:27.330] – Coach Rachel


[01:04:28.120] – Coach Allan

All right, Ras, let's talk again next week.

[01:04:32.530] – Coach Rachel

All right. Take care.

[01:04:34.020] – Coach Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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