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Category Archives for "health"

March 29, 2021

How to solve the energy paradox with Dr. Steven Gundry

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Energy is health in action. In The Energy Paradox, Dr. Steven Gundry shows us how to optimize our energy so we can live healthy vibrant lives.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:05.170] – Allan
Hello and thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness Podcast. This has been quite the interesting week. According to my cable company, we had solar flares which put the Internet as being rather spotty over the course of Monday and Tuesday. And as a result, Rachel and I were not able to record the intro or the discussion for this episode, which is a shame. However, next week you will have both Rachel and I on the podcast as we talk about running again.

[00:02:36.580] – Allan
So I hope you will join us again next week on episode 480. But we do have an interview with Dr. Gundry, and I know you're going to enjoy this episode. And unfortunately, again, no discussion afterwards. But if you have any questions, why don't you join us on the Facebook group? You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. Rachel and I are both there, and we would love to interact with you more about this episode.

Interview

[00:03:57.730] – Allan
Dr. Gundry, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:00.550] – Dr. Gundry
Allan, thanks so much for having me on.

[00:04:02.650] – Allan
So your book, The Energy Paradox and a lot of your books have the term paradox. I like that word, too. What to do when you get up and go has got up and gone. And when I first read that, I couldn't help but think back to a cartoon when I was a kid and they had that little cowboy dude, but there was a cheese commercial. So we're not talking about cheese today.

[00:04:27.850] – Dr. Gundry
We can if you want to.

[00:04:29.690] – Allan
No, we're talking a lot deeper than that. We're talking about what's going on with our nutrition and our energy and things that we can do to improve our well-being and our health. And a lot of that's going to start with managing our gut, managing how we actually get energy into our body and how we keep energy production in our body. So it is really fascinating. And I really wish that you had written the summary on the Krebs cycle for my personal training certification and the fitness nutrition one that I did because I read yours and I was like, okay, why couldn't they just say this?

[00:05:08.590] – Allan
It was just so well done that I was like, OK, this is for anyone that wants to understand how nutrition works in the body, how energy production works in the body. Get this book. Because this is an education. And it's very well-written and very easy to understand. I get into this stuff, I geek out. But this was not a geeky book. This was a practical. This is how it works. This is why it works this way. And this is what you can do to fix it. So I really appreciate that.

[00:05:38.680] – Dr. Gundry
Well, thanks. There is a lot of geeky stuff in it, but supposedly I'm pretty good at taking geeky things and making it useful and practical.

[00:05:47.690] – Allan
Well, even the Krebs cycle, like I said. Now I want to start this out because like everything in our lives, it seems more and more we're finding that our gut is the center of the universe. We like to think we live in our brain. But I think more and more we're finding that's not actually where our center of mass is. And it's definitely not where the center of a lot of things that are going on in our body starts.

[00:06:12.850] – Allan
So when we talk about the gut, I think a lot of people know kids forget health. I look at the prebiotics and probiotics. And then you brought up a new term postbiotics. Can you actually just talk about all three so we can kind of have an understanding of how those all interact and what they mean to our overall health?

[00:06:31.630] – Dr. Gundry
Sure. I think by now most people understand or at least have heard the term probiotics. An easy way to explain them are they are the friendly bacteria that we need in our gut. And I call them gut buddies. But and many people associate probiotics with, say, eating yogurt. Let's just use that as an example. Then there are prebiotics and these essentially are fibers. They are nondigestible fibers. We can't eat them or break them down that our probiotics, our gut buddies want to eat. And one of the things I've told all my patients you have that you could take all the probiotics in the world, but if you don't give them prebiotics, their food, they're not going to grow.

[00:07:24.190] – Dr. Gundry
And I have an office in Palm Springs and I use the example. I suppose I sold you grass seed here in Palm Springs when you came back a month later and said you sold me bad grass seed. It didn't grow. And I said, well, what do you do next? So I took it, throw it, threw it out in the yard with sand in my yard. And I said, Well, did you water it? No. Did you fertilize it? No. Well, of course it didn't grow. And it's the same way with probiotics. You've got to give them the things they like to eat.

[00:07:55.270] – Dr. Gundry
Now, the reason you want to do that is twofold. Number one, the more you give them the eat, the more they basically keep for themselves and grow little gut buddies.

[00:08:07.540] – Dr. Gundry
But more importantly, the science now of postbiotics is probably one of the most exciting fields in medicine and health. So postbiotics are what I basically call are the bugs farts. They eat the prebiotics and then they make compounds, most of which are gases and some small short-chain fatty acids like butyrate that are a communication system between our gut microbiome, between our good guys and our brain cells, our mitochondria in all of our cells. And there is actually a what's called trans-kingdome language that's spoken between probably our most important organ there is our gut microbiome and all of our energy producing organelles, the mitochondria.

[00:09:05.620] – Dr. Gundry
And it's so important that many people think that this discovery and it's ongoing is is as important as breaking the Enigma code in World War Two. And for those of history buffs, the Germans' code was nearly impossible to break and we couldn't figure out what was going on. The Germans could go anywhere and no one would know what how they were doing it. So breaking that code, breaking that language, changed the war and breaking this code, finding that there is a language that the microbiome talks to our cells is startling.

[00:09:43.880] – Allan
Yeah, I mean, it would make sense that there's some way that our body is relating to that microbiome because when it's ill. We're ill. And so if it's doing well, it needs a way to tell us that. And so by creating those short chain fatty acids and creating certain compounds, we know, or our body knows that intrinsically that it's eating well, that we're feeding at the fiber that it needs, that there's enough of the good stuff there and not it not much of the bad bugs that are in there.

[00:10:18.310] – Allan
And obviously, the bad bugs are putting off different compounds and chemicals and causing all kinds of disrepair. And our body doesn't like disrepair. It likes to get inflamed and deal with that problem. And so by making sure that we're feeding our probiotics prebiotics, they're going to communicate the right messaging through our system. And so our mitochondria knows, okay, we can fire on all cylinders, we can make more of us, and we're going to be in good shape because everything's good, we're eating well and we're doing the things we're supposed to do to keep that system healthy.

[00:10:56.110] – Dr. Gundry
Yeah, that's exactly right. Hippocrates said it 2500 years ago, all disease begins in the gut and it's like, holy cow. He didn't have all these fancy blood tests that I have to look at leaky gut. How do you know all this? But he did. And he was right.

[00:11:15.280] – Allan
Yeah, well, and I think we all intrinsically know it too, because we go through about, we did this in college and it's like you're studying for your finals and you're eating nothing but pizza for a week and you felt like crap and you thought maybe, okay, it's just because I'm not sleeping and I'm not sleeping and all that. But much kind of you kind of knew intrinsically that that that bingeing on pizza for a week was not really what your body needed.

[00:11:43.900] – Dr. Gundry
Not a good idea.

[00:11:45.250]
It keep you alive. It was cheap and they delivered. And at that time that was about all they delivered. So that's what you did. And now we know that with good nutrition, we don't have brain fog. We have plenty of energy. And a lot of the other problems that we see, the chronic diseases, they go away. I've always found, people will come and I know this due to their come to your office, say, what can I do for this problem? And a lot of times what I've found is it's what can you stop doing versus what can you do.

[00:12:18.820] – Dr. Gundry
Oh, that's exactly right.

[00:12:20.110] – Allan
And so in the book you discuss seven energy disruptors. And I just thought that people could put that on the refrigerator and get rid of those seven things, their life would be a thousandfold better. Could you go through those seven energy disruptors?

[00:12:37.840] – Dr. Gundry
Yeah. The number one energy disruptor is the widespread use of antibiotics, either by ourselves or the antibiotics that we give to most of the animals that we raise to eat and broad spectrum antibiotics. Actually, we're we're a wonder drug. In the 1970s, I remember when they came out, I was in medical school and they were a lifesaver because we didn't have to figure out what bacteria we were trying to kill. We could just shotgun these broad spectrum antibiotics and kill everything. And wow, that's great!

[00:13:17.620] – Dr. Gundry
Unfortunately, we didn't know that these things were killing the entire gut microbiome as well. It was like dropping napalm on a tropical rainforest and that goes on. Still, antibiotics are just so widespread, doctors give them out like candy. When anyone has a sore throat or a runny nose, which is a virus in most cases, which antibiotics won't work on.

[00:13:43.390] – Dr. Gundry
And about 50 years ago, it was discovered that low-dose antibiotics given to animals like pigs and chickens and cows would make them grow fatter and faster. And, wow, great! Now, no one bothered to think that those antibiotics would remain in the flesh of those animals. And so when we eat any factory-raised or chicken or pig, for instance, or even farmed fish, we are getting a dose of antibiotics that again kills off our microbiome. And once we decimate our microbiome, watch out, everything falls apart, quite frankly.

[00:14:24.280] – Dr. Gundry
The second thing is glyphosate. The active ingredient in Roundup and several other of the new herbicides. Glyphosate was patented as an antibiotic, which ought to give us pause. It was not patented as a weed killer and it will kill bacteria. And we have been told that, don't worry, glyphosate works with what's called the shikimate pathway and humans don't have a shikimate pathway. And so you're safe, but our bacteria have the shikimate pathway, and so glyphosate disrupts our microbiome.

[00:15:04.440] – Dr. Gundry
Number two, it's now been shown that glyphosate will actively cause leaky gut, regardless of whether it destroys the microbiome. Third, glyphosate interferes with receptors for thyroid hormones and interferes with vitamin D production, and it also interferes with adrenal gland function.

[00:15:25.260] – Dr. Gundry
So glyphosate used to be used on GMO crops. That's how it was devised. But in the past 10 years, it's now mainly used as a desiccant on conventional crops to make them easier to harvest. Desiccant just means kill them and dry it out. So it's used on all of our corn, all of our wheat, all of our oats, all of our soybeans, all of our canola. A lot of our flax seeds now have it. And so people are looking for non-GMO, but that's actually deceptive because it's now used on mostly non-GMO food.

[00:16:04.770] – Dr. Gundry
So it's fed to our animals. They then bring glyphosate to us. It's fed us in almost all of our products. It's in all of our wheat products. It's even in a lot of California wines. It's everywhere. So it is really an antibiotic against the Earth, in my opinion.

[00:16:25.140] – Dr. Gundry
Third environment, the same subject, environmental chemicals and the chemicals that we use primarily in plastics. BPA, the most famous of these endocrine disruptors, is supposedly banned, but it's replacement's like BSA looks to be the same problem.

[00:16:46.170] – Dr. Gundry
There are phthalates in most of our plastic wraps, and I've written about this before, but it's getting even scarier. We now know that exposure to phthalates, like in our carpet, like in our clothing, actually disrupts our sexual hormones so much that we now see our sperm counts, for instance, are down 50 percent over what they were 10 years ago in men and women who consume a lot of chicken during pregnancy actually give birth to boys who have shorter penises than women who don't eat a lot of chicken. That chicken is full of phthalates. So scary stuff indeed.

[00:17:32.330] – SPONSOR
This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Ucan.

[00:17:36.950]
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[00:19:07.500] – Dr. Gundry
Overused pharmaceuticals is number four, and this runs the gamut from NSAIDs like Advil, Aleve or ibuprofen. These are like swallowing hand grenades. They actually cause giant gaping holes in the lining of our gut. And pharmaceutical companies knew this when they were first made in the 1970s. That's why they were prescription only. And you could only get a prescription for these things for two weeks because it was known how dangerous they were. Now, of course, they're the largest over-the-counter medication there is.

[00:19:43.950] – Dr. Gundry
The second really troublemaker are the antacid drugs, which are what are called proton pump inhibitors, Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix. These are the second widely prescribed drugs. And now over the counter, these were miraculous when they first came out. And I remember when they did prevented ulcers. And I used to operate on ulcers as a surgeon, but they work by inhibiting proton pumps.

[00:20:16.320] – Dr. Gundry
And here's the amazing finding. They not only work to stop gastric acid production, but our mitochondria work, generate energy by pumping protons. That's what happens. And so if you're swallowing a proton pump inhibitor, a blocker of proton pumps, your mitochondria in your heart don't work, your mitochondria and your brain won't work. And that's why now there's very strong evidence that use of these drugs actually really set you up for congestive heart failure and dementia. And there's a warning on the label saying, please do not use these for more than two weeks. And that's why the warnings there. But nobody listens.

[00:21:02.400] – Dr. Gundry
Also, these things allow bacterial overgrowth of bad bugs in your gut because acid in your stomach is actually one of the ways that we regulate what bugs get into us.

[00:21:15.150] – Dr. Gundry
Number five, probably my most controversial saying is fructose. And the book goes into how fructose, which is half of table sugar, it's high fructose corn syrup. It's in fruit. Fructose actually is one of the best ways to stop mitochondrial function, to prevent energy from being made. And in my first book, years and years ago, I said give fruit the boot, in general. Have fruit in moderation only in season and use low fructose fruit. And that's particularly the berries and kiwi or and passion fruit and pomegranates. Those are the low fructose fruits. The highest fructose fruits are apples, mangoes and grapes. And I know you're in Panama, so stay away from those mangoes.

[00:22:12.960] – Allan
I actually do.

[00:22:15.600] – Dr. Gundry
Now, number six is junk white or blue light special. And we're not all going to Kmart. We are bombarded with blue light throughout our day and night. They're in our lighting there, in our computer screens there in our smartphones. And blue light is actually designed to activate our hunger hormones and activate staying awake. And it was actually to make us go eat when sunlight was long in the summer. Now we're bombarded with this. It sets us up to look for sugary junk food and it sets us up to not sleep.

[00:22:59.610] – Dr. Gundry
And one of the key foundations of the energy paradox is sleep is actually when we do our repair work on our mitochondria, it's like the reason we do repair work on roads in the middle of the night is because there's not much traffic in the middle of the night. And it's the same way we have to have downtime for our mitochondria. And that happens during sleep. And we're one of the most sleep-deprived nations in the world now, a lot of it because of blue light.

[00:23:31.470] – Dr. Gundry
So I really recommend people make sure that all of their screens have a blue switch when nighttime that lowers the light. Werar blue-blocking glasses once you go indoors and now we even use them for working on computers. There are several good companies that I recommend that I have no relationship to.

[00:23:54.840] – Dr. Gundry
Finally, EMFs, electromagnetic frequencies. These are everywhere now. I never used to think that this was a major issue until I started finding patients who clearly were sensitive to even low levels of these radio frequency waves and these were intelligent people, let's just put it that way. They weren't crazy in talking to space aliens. And interestingly enough, when they had people who specialize in this, look at when… For instance, one woman was having migraines almost constantly when they found when she was having migraines, it was actually when a naval vessel off the coast of Santa Barbara was transmitting signals and she actually had to move from Santa Barbara to get away from this.

[00:24:47.950] – Dr. Gundry
We had another woman. Here's the wildest story in this. Her husband was given a automatic defibrillator to shock his heart if he had an abnormal rhythm and the defibrillator was always sending off signals, communicating to a particular hospital, what was going on with him the minute he got his defibrillator, she found she couldn't sleep. And everybody said, it's all in your head, don't be ridiculous. So I said, well, look, you know, we have ways of turning off this transmission on the defibrillator and we do it all the time in surgery. And I said, well, just go back to your cardiologist, have them turn it off and report back. The minute that thing was turned off. She started sleeping again. So we have canary's who are very sensitive to this.

[00:25:42.730] – Dr. Gundry
So those are the seven deadly energy disruptors.

[00:25:47.380] – Allan
Yeah. And some of those are a little easier for us to avoid. Some are not. But where you have control, take control. This is really important. And it's easier to get rid of something than it typically is to add something.

[00:26:02.380] – Allan
But your program, the Energy Paradox Program, it's like a six-week kind of staged program. And I'm always going to say the foods are where we want to start with this. So in the book, you make it really easy because you have five dos and four don'ts as it goes to food. As a part of the Energy Paradox program. Could you take us through that real quick?

[00:26:24.320] – Dr. Gundry
Sure. The first thing you do is add prebiotic fiber to your diet, and this is actually pretty doggone easy to do. You can add tubers, say yams and sweet potatoes, rutabagas, radishes. Asparagus is a great source of prebiotic fiber. The chicory family, radicchio, Belgian endive, chicory itself. You can even buy inulin powder, which is basically flavorless. It has a little bit of sweetness and you can grind up flax seed, a great source of prebiotic fiber as well as psyllium husk. Another great source. So that's number one.

[00:27:01.570] – Dr. Gundry
You want to have foods that actually enable your gut buddies to make post biotics and some of the best post biotic generating foods are the allium family. So onions and garlic and shallots, leeks. Cruciferous vegetables, actually, which are sulfur containing foods, are really important for making one of the most important postbiotics, which is hydrogen sulfide, which is the rotten egg smell. And rather than being a poisonous gas that we once thought, it's actually essential for mitochondrial energy production.

[00:27:39.850] – Dr. Gundry
The next thing is you want to have resistant starches. And by that name, these are starches. These are chains of sugar molecules that are resistant to our digesting them. And so more of these starches arrive lower into the intestines where our gut bodies are waiting for them to eat, a trick that I think is just so useful for everyone. So you could take, for instance, like a sweet potato and you can make it more resistant than it already is to digestion by baking it or cooking it and then cooling it and then reheating it. In the process of cooling is when these starches actually are made more resistant. In fact, the most resistant starch has been found is the purple sweet potato. The purple sweet potato, if you cook it and cool it, it'll have about 50% of its entire sugar load would be resistant starch when you're done with it. So it's the thing that kept the Okinawans alive and thriving. One of the blue zones

[00:28:49.630] – Dr. Gundry
Eat fruit in very little moderation and eat low fructose fruit. And in general, you don't give fruit the boot whenever you can.

[00:28:59.320] – Dr. Gundry
And then get melatonin and phospholipid-containing foods. It turns out the melatonin is not just a sleep hormone. It is actually the most important antioxidant for your mitochondria there. Is it so important the mitochondria will even manufacture melatonin for themselves? But there's a lot of cool high melatonin foods that most people aren't aware of. Pistachios are number one, they have more melatonin than any other food, mushrooms are right behind that. Even coffee has melatonin. One of the surprising research that I discovered was that red wine and olive oil, which everybody knows has some great polyphenol properties, also are great sources of melatonin. And it may be that the French paradox and the Mediterranean diet is actually because of the melatonin in these foods and wine rather than resveratrol, for instance, or olive oil.

[00:30:02.090] – Dr. Gundry
So those are the big five.

[00:30:05.090] – Dr. Gundry
The big four of don'ts is, first of all, leave the lectins. I guess I got famous by telling people to avoid lectin-containing foods. Briefly lectins are plant proteins that are one of the best ways to cause leaky gut ever devised. And they're present in whole grains. They're present in non-pressure, cooked beans and legumes. Their present, peanuts and cashews, they're present in the nightshade family like tomatoes and regular potatoes and bell peppers, for instance. So leave the lecterns.

[00:30:43.090] – Dr. Gundry
Number 7, stop the sugar already. I mean, we are just overloaded with sugar and it's incredibly well hidden. As I show in the book, whenever you're looking at a label on a package, do not look where it says sugar because that's a lie. The labeling laws were changed to hide the sugar. Read total carbohydrates minus the fiber, and then that will actually tell you the amount of sugar in that product. And when you start doing that, it will scare you to death. And just a fun fact. There's four grams of carbohydrates in a teaspoon of sugar. So take that total carbohydrates, divide it by four and you'll see how many teaspoons of sugar you're actually eating. And it's actually shocking.

[00:31:36.900] – Dr. Gundry
So I like to use protein early in people's diets because protein is very energy sucking in terms of you lose about 30 percent of all the calories and protein in the process of digestion. But these ultra high protein diets and I'm talking about the Carnivore diet, which is just Adkins reinvented. I mean, come on. These actually starve your gut buddies for the fiber that they need. And so many of the popular keto diets are doing exactly the same thing. All this high fat and no fiber is a disaster waiting to happen because you literally starve the guys that are really going to keep you in great health.

[00:32:25.550] – Dr. Gundry
And finally, don't eat Frankenfoods with Frankenfats. Even though trans fats are legally banned in the United States, there was a loophole. They don't have to be declared in institutional food stuffs. So if you're running a restaurant, if you're having a school lunch program, you don't have to list trans fats on the label. They're legal. Plus, the second legal loophole is if you have less than a half a gram of trans fat per serving, you don't have to put it on the label.

[00:33:04.280] – Dr. Gundry
And this is how trans fats are still sneaking into us. And finally, frankenfood, about 70% of a typical American diet is now ultra-processed food. And we've broken down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into quickly absorbed molecules that hit our mitochondria simultaneously, like rush hour in L.A. and our mitochondria grind to a stop in terms of making energy. And it's one of the big reasons everybody's so tired right now.

[00:33:39.890] – Allan
Yeah, and I love how you how you put that in the book. The the Lucy and Ethel at at the food conveyor belt worth the watch on YouTube. It's hilarious. But yeah, if our body is used to producing energy a certain way and then we're not feeding it that way, we're setting it up to fail, just like Lucy and Ethel.

[00:34:03.250] – Dr. Gundry
Watch there the Lucy show, the famous candy wrapping scene.

[00:34:08.600] – Allan
Yeah, it's hilarious. I remember that well, because I was a kid and it was hilarious. And it's even funny today. But, like I said in the book, you made all of this really simple. And there's just so much. And I think just what we covered here so far in the podcast, I think it's pretty easy for folks to see. Wow, I got to go back and listen to this again, because it's just so much information for us to improve our health and energy.

[00:34:36.340] – Allan
I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:34:45.520] – Dr. Gundry
So one of the things that I really talk about in the program is, first of all, it's what I tell you not to eat. That's far more important than what I tell you to eat. And like you mentioned before, getting rid of a lot of the foods that we take for granted is healthy is one of the most important things you can do.

[00:35:07.090] – Dr. Gundry
The second thing is the more I can convince you to limit your eating window from the time you started eating in the morning to the time you stop eating in the evening, the more I can compress that to about six hours. In the book, we have a six-week program to get you down to six or seven hours. We don't have to jump in with both feet. We're going to go one hour at a time.

[00:35:36.370] – Dr. Gundry
But the evidence is so strikingly overwhelming in animal studies, in rhesus monkey studies, in human studies that the more we can compress our eating window, the more energy we're actually going to have. And the longer our health-span, the longer we are healthy and the longer our lifespan is. And it's really exciting that we have that much power over our fate just by changing the eating window, what I call cronoconsumption in the book.

[00:36:13.990] – Dr. Gundry
The third thing is people are obsessed with the fact that they got to walk about 10000 steps every day or they have to have an hour of exercise every day. First of all, the 10000 step idea was actually made up. It was fabricated by a Japanese pedometer company that wanted to sell pedometers. There's actually no basis in in fact. In the book I propose energy snacking, and particularly in covid, everybody, I realize you have a gym, but most of us can't get to the gym anymore, at least now.

[00:36:57.450]
So we need to have periods of short little time, frames of one minute walking up and down the stairs can actually improve your energy and cut your appetite compared to like 10 minutes of taking a walk. You can do a plank while watching television for a minute. And if you can't hold a plank, put your knees down and start there. There's so many ways jumping jacks. One of the things that anybody can do, and I really urge this while you're brushing your teeth, do deep knee bends, do squats and you got two minutes a day, you're not doing anything else. Just up and down. And it's these are little snacks of exercise that you can do. So those are three easily obtained things.

[00:37:47.460] – Allan
I love those. I love those a lot.

[00:37:50.430] – Allan
So, Dr. Gundry, if someone wanted to learn more about you, more about the book, The Energy Paradox and the things you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:37:59.250] – Dr. Gundry
Well, so you can come to. We've got several websites: drgundry.com, gundrymd.com is my supplements and food site, you can find my podcast at the Dr. Gundry Podcast wherever you get your podcasts. I've got two YouTube channels. You can find me on Instagram. And boy, if I don't show up on your computer, I'm doing something wrong.

[00:38:25.260] – Allan
All right, well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/479 and I'll be sure to have all those links there.

[00:38:32.010] – Allan
Dr. Gundry, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:38:35.460] – Dr. Gundry
Allan, thanks so much. And keep doing the good work that you're doing.

[00:38:39.360] – Allan
You too.

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Let's Say Hello

[00:00:48.630] – Allan
Hey Raz! How are things going?

[00:00:50.850] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?

[00:00:52.980] – Allan
I'm doing OK. You know, it's been some busy times. The 12-week program is going on, and I'm just loving that. I just I draw so much energy from those guys. I can't tell you enough how much fun it is to just be working with people and then, the gym open. And it's been a slow growth. But, I was sitting there on Sunday and just thinking about the month (we record a couple of weeks in advance) and accounting stuff. This was not a bad month.

[00:01:34.050] – Rachel
Oh, good.

[00:01:35.370] – Allan
In February we reopened on the first. This was not a bad month. Tt's not a great month because we don't have the tourists, so the drop-ins were about one-seventh of what we would normally see for drop-in revenue. But the the membership was strong. And we've got a lot of new members and faces that we didn't have last year before we closed. So I feel pretty good about where the gym's going and how that's growing. And I was thinking it kind of a blessing for this slow growth because it happened and it was still generally a good month. And it wasn't overwhelming at the gym. I think that was kind of the cool thing.

[00:02:18.450] – Allan
But, like everything else, we've got to be careful with Covid as we start getting bigger. I had one night I was working a shift and we had seven people and they were all in the free weight section. And so it was just a little crowded back there. And I was like, okay I can't let anybody else on this side of the building. If someone wants to go and do some some of the cardio equipment or on the other side than they're more than welcome to go in there. If someone comes in and they want to lift weights, I'm going to make them sit on the bench and wait. Just to make sure we didn't get things too crowded in there.

[00:02:50.520] – Allan
We don't really have a capacity limit. But I kind of learned that we kind of do have a capacity, just everybody being two meters apart.

[00:02:58.560] – Rachel
Right.

[00:02:58.950] – Allan
We just have to be responsible about that. So, if you are going to the gym now, the gyms have reopened. Just be cognizant of the two meters. Wipe down your machines before and after you use them and just use good hygiene around this. And for the most part, you're probably going to be successful at not getting it.

[00:03:18.690] – Rachel
So for sure. Absolutely. That's great. Good to hear that.

[00:03:22.380] – Allan
How are things up north?

[00:03:24.120] – Rachel
Good. We actually had a break in the weather, which was nice. And over the weekend I had a little win myself. I actually surprised myself. I did a 10K, which is not a huge thing for me, but I was challenged in the month of February to set, in FKT, a Fastest Known Time within this community I participate with online. And so I chose my normal 10K route to do my time. My FKT and my prior time for this route has been about an hour, four minutes and hour, six minutes or so, and we've had snow. So that kind of is a difficult thing to get through. But we had this break in the weather and the sidewalks are clear.

[00:04:10.200] – Rachel
So I set out to do my 10k and I thought, okay, I don't know if I can do this, but I'm going to pretend it's a race day. And I set out and I ran smoothly and the downhills. I ran relaxed on the uphills. And when I got home and turned off my watch, I had a fifty-eight minute forty-seven second 10k. So I actually beatmy proposed time of a su-hour 10k. So it was a win.

[00:04:38.550] – Allan
Awesome!

[00:04:38.850] – Rachel
Thank you. I was really surprised. So it was a good day.

[00:04:44.010] – Allan
Awesome. That, that has to feel really, really good.

[00:04:47.100] – Rachel
It does. I've been really focused on training for my fifty miler that's coming up this summer and so that means a lot of slow miles. So I'm not used to running fast. So again, that's another reason why it was kind of a surprise for me.

[00:05:01.350] – Allan
And, you know, sometimes that's kind of the way these things work is you're not expecting it and you just have a really good run.

[00:05:08.790] – Rachel
It was.

[00:05:09.000] – Allan
But you've got to be out there running to have a really good run.

[00:05:12.000] – Rachel
That's right. You got to do it.

[00:05:14.040] – Allan
Good on you.

[00:05:14.370] – Rachel
Thank you.

[00:05:15.450] – Allan
Not letting the Michigan weather keep you indoors.

[00:05:18.330] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:05:19.540] – Allan
So you're trained and that's. And then show. So good job.

[00:05:22.910] – Rachel
Thank you.

[00:05:23.570] – Allan
All right, are you guys ready to talk to Brad?

[00:05:25.790] – Rachel
Yes, let's do this.

Interview

[00:06:21.080] – Allan
Brad, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:23.700] – Brad
Allan, I'm so happy to be here. And I have to say that was one of the best warm chats of any podcast. We are on fire right now. The listeners have no idea what's coming. So brace yourselves, everyone. If you're listening at 1.7 speed like me, turn it down to 1.0 because we're going to hit this stuff hard, man.

[00:06:43.010] – Allan
Yeah, we I guess Brad and I kind of have a lot in common with the kind of people that we like to talk to. And so with his podcast and my podcast where we're talking, it's maybe even talking to some of the same people. We just we just realize we're both going to be talking to the same guy. And it's a pretty fascinating book. So stay tuned to this podcast for a while. Go check out Brad's podcast, because we're going to be bringing on Dr. Pontzer. It's going to be an awesome conversation, but this is also going to be a tremendous conversation.

[00:07:12.380] – Allan
Brad, you and Mark wrote the book Two Meals a Day: The Simple, Sustainable Strategy to Lose Fat, Reverse Aging and Break Free From Diet Frustration Forever. And I have to say, I had followed a OMAD, I've known about OMAD for a while and I've known about time-restricted eating. And so you guys are approaching this from a perspective of being told we have to have six meals a day to lose weight is fundamentally flawed.

[00:07:42.140] – Allan
We should give our body time to not eat, to not feed. And two meals a day is one of those sustainable ways. When I look at OMAD, I don't think I could do, OMAD because I don't think I could eat enough calories in one meal. But looking at two meals a day and thinking of it as an eating window, whether it's six hours or eight hours, I quite easily could have a moderate-sized meal and then a big meal, get all the nutrition I need and do that and allow my body 16 to 18 hours to kind of do all the other cool stuff that the human body can do for itself.

[00:08:22.460] – Brad
Yeah, well said. I think we've been programmed since we were kids to be dependent on dietary carbohydrates as our primary source of energy. And anyone can reference this. If you've ever felt terrible after skipping a single meal and then you have the afternoon blues and you're tired and cranky and you finally go and binge on way too much junk food when you get your hands on something and when you go to the supermarket and go shopping. So the idea here is that we want to continue to honor this evolutionary model of how humans are meant to operate.

[00:09:00.560] – Brad
And we're meant to have stored body fat as our primary source of energy. And that's why we store so much of it and are so good at storing it. And this is going back for millions of years where the human never had regular meals until recent times, recent generations. And so by sitting down to these regular meals like clockwork, we've transitioned away from being fat burners to being carbohydrate dependent.

[00:09:27.350] – Brad
And it's really easy to reprogram the genes. It doesn't take that long. Your body's ready and willing to become better and more competent at burning body fat and being able to skip meals. And I think most listeners who are into this health awareness know all this and can nod their heads. And they've heard that fasting is great and intermittent fasting is the latest buzzword. It just passed keto on the Google search terms as the the most popular diet search term. But here's the thing, we take the trouble to go in the book and say, look, you can't just jump into this and expect all these wonderful benefits if you don't engage in fasting properly.

[00:10:06.350] – Brad
And so if you try to go and skip breakfast because you read this book two meals a day and it says, hey, I'll only eat two meals a day, it's way better than eating three, you're going to have what we might call a stress hormone bath, because if you're dependent on carbs for your energy source. And then all of a sudden you restrict them because you heard about the keto diet or you want to skip meals and lose weight in this ill-advised manner, what's going to happen is you're going to get your glucose, your sugar, no matter what, because that's what you're used to burning.

[00:10:36.740] – Brad
And so you'll do it through this stress response that we call gluconogenesis, which is converting lean muscle mass into glucose to fuel that ravenous brain that needs to burn glucose primarily throughout the day. And so the approach here is to transition in a smooth and comfortable manner. So there's no more struggling or suffering or all these deprivation, mindset, and physical symptoms that we associate with dieting, because that is the failed approach that we can all agree is it doesn't work.

[00:11:10.820] – Brad
And so now we have an agreeable, doable, and sustainable strategy that's not painful. It's just about making good choices and understanding what the body's meant to burn as a preference.

[00:11:25.520] – Allan
Yeah. As humans, we love simple. Everybody loves a simple rule. If this then that. We like the ability to wrap your mind around things that are simple. What a lot of us don't understand is that the human body is extremely complex. And that our body developed strategies to accomplish things outside of norms. So there would be a normal way, things would be. Normally I would like to be able to walk around and there's a fruit tree. I grab some fruit and I eat it. Oh, and there's a little woodland creature. And I bash it in the head. Now I've got some meat or I go catch some fish and I eat some fish and that's my day. I'm moving about a good bit of maybe probably walking around a little bit of a fast action because that critter is not going to just stand there and the fish is definitely not going to just hang out and say, here, grab me.

[00:12:23.580] – Allan
So there's a lot of work involved in getting my food. We don't have that today. So, where we had these simple ways of things were working for us. We've developed other ways. And so what I'm kind of getting at is you bring up a concept in the book that I think it's really important for people to understand is that we have metabolic flexibility. Our bodies develop this capacity to look at fuel in different ways, depending on what our circumstances are and when we're feeding ourselves carbohydrates all the time. It's basically energy in and then what a little bit of energy we can put out is great, but the rest of it's becoming excess body fat. And we're maybe not even tapping into that body fat because we never really gave our body an opportunity to even consider that because we fed more carbohydrates before that ever happened. Can you talk a little bit about metabolic flexibility and how that closed-loop system actually helps us maintain a really good, just basic health?

[00:13:30.840] – Brad
Yeah, thanks. So what I described at the outset is really metabolic inflexibility, where you are dependent upon these regular doses of carbohydrate and other food as your energy source. So metabolic flexibility implies that you can really take or leave a meal at a certain time because body fat is always there and able to be burned for energy and keeping your focus and your mood and your appetite all stabilized throughout the day.

[00:14:01.440] – Brad
And people who are a little bit familiar with the ketogenic diet, the goal there is to restrict carbs to the extent that your body starts making this alternative internal fuel source called ketones, the liver makes ketones as a byproduct of fat metabolism when carbohydrate intake is really low and liver glycogen is really low. So you're prompted to make this wonderful fuel source that burns more cleanly than glucose and your brain preferentially burns ketones. So you're in this kind of heightened state of alertness and you feel great and you have less inflammation and you get all these benefits from the ketogenic diet.

[00:14:37.020] – Brad
It takes a lot of structure to do so because once you start consuming a little bit of carbs, you stop making ketones. But just as you teed this up, we have so many different ways that we can burn energy and sustain ourselves and even function at peak levels without having these super-duper, nutrient bomber drink juices that you need to drink in the morning to get your antioxidants. The body manufactures antioxidants internally, and the internal antioxidant response is possibly more powerful than anything you can consume in a bowl or in a smoothie.

[00:15:13.800] – Brad
So just by fasting, we get all these health benefits. We have a great anti-inflammatory response. The immune system works better. Our cellular repair processes work better when we're not eating because we can devote the energy to these other things. That's why animals fast when they're sick and humans should, too. So, this metabolic flexibility concept goes to not only getting good at burning body fat, but also if it's time for your child's 12th birthday at Chuck E. Cheese and you decide to throw down some breadsticks and a hot fudge sundae afterward, that your body can process that load of unhealthy junk food and you'll live to see another day and you'll wake up the next day and let's say engage in a fasting period to get back to your baseline of fat burning so that you can handle not only dietary imperfections, but also be skipping meals. So that's the flexibility part of the equation there.

[00:16:11.520] – Allan
We're not recommending Chuck E. Cheese, but by all means,

[00:16:14.670] – Brad
This show is not sponsored by Chuck E. Cheese.

[00:16:17.040] – Allan
Not at all. I understand you go there with your kid. It's there. It smells what it smells like.

[00:16:25.740] – Allan
One of the things you get into the book that I think is really important, and this is where I'll be having a conversation with the new client and they'll be like, okay, I want to lose some weight. And this is kind of my go-to (I haven't looked at it from this direction). I always just talk about eat whole food, just whole food, and that solves 99.9% of the problems. In fact, whether I'm talking to a vegan or a carnivore or anybody in between, the one thing they all agree with is eat whole food. You know, they may disagree on whether it needs to be all plant-based or needs to be all animal-based. But in the end, that's what they're after.

[00:17:06.480] – Allan
In the book you looked at from another perspective, you called them the three big toxic modern foods. Could you talk a little bit about those?

[00:17:13.500] – Brad
Yeah, you just remind me now that there is something we all agree on, because for years before the emergence of this carnivore movement, which I'm really fascinated by and have seen some amazing healing stories from people eliminating plant toxins. But previously we all agreed that the wonderful, colorful fruits and vegetables are the basis of a healthy diet, even if you're a vegan, even if you're a paleo person. And now even that's called into dispute. So it's like, oh, yeah, we still agree that whole foods are better than processed foods.

[00:17:42.990] – Brad
I guess unless you're pitching your energy bar or your powders and potions and things like that. But yeah, good point. So whole food would be a great starting point. And then I forgot your question now.

[00:17:57.120] – Allan
Oh, it was the three toxic modern foods.

[00:17:59.820] – Brad
Yeah, the three toxic modern foods. I think it is a great place to start because a lot of the research now is revealing that the magical, wondrous benefits of the various diets are mostly what the person is eliminating rather than the amazing transformational powers of going on a vegan plant-based diet.

[00:18:21.930] – Brad
In fact, we pretty much trying to be polite and not cross into the boundaries of the faction building and all that. It's a high-risk diet because you're eliminating a whole bunch of nutrient-dense foods. Same with carnivore. People have all kinds of criticism for that, saying that it's unbalanced and you're going to drop dead of colon cancer and a heart attack.

[00:18:46.050] – Brad
All those challenges aside for a moment, if you just get rid of junk food, you're probably going to experience an incredible health transformation. And that's where a lot of these leaders of whatever it is that they're touting can kind of attribute this amazing success stories. Is that any transition away from the standard American diet, which Dr. Loren Cordain cites research that 71% of the calories that we consume today in the traditional diet are completely absent from our evolutionary experience.

[00:19:22.260] – Brad
So they're processed modern foods that are nutrient deficient and calorie-dense things like grains, things like sugars, and refined industrial seed oils. So those are the big three right there. And I probably should put it up at number one, the refined industrial seed oils, because those are sometimes overlooked. People all know that sugar is overconsumed. And we got to cut back on our sugar. The paleo ancestral movement knows that we call refined grains sort of in the same category as sugar because they're quickly converted to glucose as soon as you ingest them. They don't have many nutritional benefits whatsoever. And so we have grains, sugars, and the industrial seed oils, which are the bottled manufactured oils like canola, corn, soybeans, sunflower, safflower, etc. and then the prevalence of these oils in processed foods of all kinds, frozen, packaged. You can look on the box of anything that's pretty much of a manufactured product and you'll see these oils included in there, even salad dressings, condiments, things that seem innocent. The oils are thrown in left and right.

[00:20:31.800] – Brad
And then, unfortunately, almost all restaurant food starting from junky, fast food, of course, where you're getting your fries in your burger and what have you or getting stopping at the gas station and getting some quick fare off the shelf. But even at medium to fine restaurants, they are most likely cooking these wonderful meals. You're paying a good money for the entree in the refined industrial seed oils. A lot of people call them vegetable oils.

[00:20:58.740] – Brad
That's a challenge because when you're out there, you can't go back in the kitchen and see. But you can ask and inquire, can you please cook my omelet and butter or something besides vegetable oil? And if you don't succeed there, you might want to find a different restaurant because this stuff is the most toxic thing that's in the food supply. As soon as we consume them, we experience an immediate disturbance in healthy cellular function, especially in the cardiovascular system.

[00:21:24.030] – Brad
So the big problem here, too, is that the ingestion or the inclusion of these oils in the diet renders your fat burning capabilities dysfunctional because the the agents are integrated into healthy fat cells. And so they become difficult to burn because you have this chemically altered component into your body.

[00:21:46.050] – Brad
If you have trouble burning stored body fat, guess what's going to happen when you try to cut back on dietary carbohydrates? It's going to be difficult, if not impossible, because you're going to be dragging ass in the afternoon and you're going to need some quick energy because you're not kicking into fat burning.

[00:22:03.450] – Brad
And that's, I think, where a lot of people have suffered and failed with devoted dietary restriction. I mean, we interact with these people for the past decade where you we'll be putting on a live event or retreat. And I see people coming up to Mark Sisson with tears in their eyes saying, Mark, I got your book three years ago. I've done everything you've said to the letter and I can't succeed. And I feel terrible. And a lot of it's because of the chemical ingestion that's throwing off your your metabolism.

[00:22:30.630] – Brad
And then you don't have this wonderous gateway to the fat-burning lifestyle where you can fast you can enjoy meals, you can get up from the table, you feel alert and energized and all these wonderful things. So the seed oils would be the number one thing to really scrutinize and get rid of immediately. And then with the grains and the sugars, we know that these agents have addictive properties. The great work of Gary Taubes, Dr William Davis, best selling book, Wheat Belly, talking about the addictive properties of the gliadin and protein in modern-day wheat and gluten.

[00:23:04.950] – Brad
And so this stuff is also nasty because when you try (and I'm making air quotes here on the video), when you try to cut back on sugar, you have a very difficult time. So what we advocate is, look, take a few weeks. Twenty-one days would be a great benchmark to have a complete restriction of grains, sugars, and industrial coils from your diet.

[00:23:26.520] – Brad
And that will help you up regulate. The fat burning gene, so that you can manufacture energy internally and feel okay without slamming down meals and snacks all day long, and so this kind of devoted, cold turkey approach seems to be the way to go because these foods are so addictive.

[00:23:49.280] – Brad
Now, is that going to be difficult? Yeah, it's going to be tough for many people. But a lot of times we hear people saying, stick it out, hang in there. Yeah. The keto or the low carb flu is really tough and you feel terrible. But don't worry. Three weeks from now, you'll feel okay. And I strongly reject that ideal, because if people are struggling and suffering with a dietary transformation, something is flawed with the approach. And so instead, if you agree to ditch these big three toxic modern foods, what you can then do is transition over to beautiful, delicious, lavish meals that sustain you and nourish you.

[00:24:29.340] – Brad
In my own personal example, 13 years ago, when I switched over to a primal ancestral style eating, I traded in this giant bowl of cereal that I'd had every single day of my life. I used to be an endurance athlete. I was burning many, many calories every day. So I'd have this giant horse trough bowl of cereal with five different kinds, of course, all the healthy kinds of cereals. But I'd have nonfat yogurt on there and sliced bananas and berries and a ton of calories.

[00:24:56.210] – Brad
So I traded that for a gigantic omelet that I made every morning. And I would use five or six eggs and saute the vegetables and have sliced avocado and salsa and cheese and bacon. And it was incredibly delicious and it sustained me for many hours, but it wasn't giving me that carbohydrate bomb. But that made my transition smooth and easy and enjoyable rather than, let's say, trading in that cereal bowl for a fasting period of four hours. I honestly couldn't have couldn't have done it.

[00:25:25.010] – Brad
And that was a healthy person without metabolic damage that a lot of people are bringing to the table. So if you can replace the processed food with nutrient-dense foods, it's in most cases you're going to feel great. There's not going to be any suffering involved and you'll be looking forward to your next nutritious meal and then build that momentum to where at a certain point in a natural and graceful manner, you'll probably be able to skip. Like I was finally able to skip that omelet every single morning because six months later I felt great and I wasn't super hungry as soon as I woke up.

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[00:27:37.590] – Allan
Yeah, I think the kind of the worst part of this is the food that's good for us doesn't have a marketing department, but the food that's bad for us does. And so you're going to see things on labels like heart-healthy, like you would with cereal. And then, of course, you're going to see this salad dressing you just bought… Not Mark's brand, Mark's brand is avocado oil. It's good stuff. But other brands, you'll see that they'll say they've got olive oil or they've got that.

[00:28:04.620] – Allan
You'll look at the actual label. And they do have that in there, but they've also got the seed oils in there. So it's in there. It's insidious. It's in everything. So the challenge becomes now I'm asking someone to go into their kitchen and throw all that stuff out. And for, I would say the vast majority of people in the United States, particularly, you're asking them to pretty much throw out their entire pantry, clean out their entire fridge, and in many cases go through their freezer and go through all of that stuff and that you start to realize how much… It's like 71% of our total calories is coming from this stuff.

[00:28:48.720] – Allan
So when the kitchen purge to me is one of the probably you know, as I talk to people, that's one of their most intimidating events. How does someone wrap their mind around I'm throwing away all this food?

[00:29:02.520] – Brad
Yeah, I like how you framed that.

[00:29:03.240] – Allan
And I can do the food in air quotes.

[00:29:07.080] – Brad
Yeah. Michael Pollan calls it, quote, edible food like substances rather than food. This processed 71% junk. But I like how you frame that question because maybe we should do it backwards. So, first we go shopping to the natural foods supermarket and we get the sustainably raised eggs and meat and seafood and then whatever fresh produce you like or things that are on the approved list. And so you have that like, let's say waiting in the wings in your in the back of your car, and then you go throw everything away into the garbage can in a five minute binge of of cleaning out that house.

[00:29:43.530] – Brad
But yeah, I can see that we're locked into routines and have difficulty with big change. But I think the restocking of the pantry with nutritious foods and maybe browsing the 40 recipes in the back of our book. And if you just flip through it and in a minute's time you'll see, wow, this stuff looks great. It's delicious. It's varied. And so there's so much you can do. And there's so many cookbooks now that are honoring the low carb or the ancestral approach.

[00:30:13.260] – Brad
And so there's no shortage of ideas. And for Gourmet's, that's great. They can go and look at the thirty-one ingredients and prepare a recipe that takes two hours. But for busy people or a lot of times, I encounter like my male peers aren't so gourmet in many cases. We wrote a couple of cookbooks called Keto Cooking for Cool Dudes and Carnivore Cooking for Cool Dudes, and we purposely made it not precise. You just throw in a little bit of this little bit of that, put some sardines in the skillet, crack a couple egg yolks, mix it up and you know, you can get these superfood meals without much time or energy or scrutiny.

[00:30:53.370] – Brad
And so that's the big one, is nourishing yourself with wonderful, delicious foods and doing it immediately so that there's not this lull where you don't know what to eat. You're fidgeting around and then you kind of reach for a really bad choice because your body's commanding you to consume calories. And that's no joke. I mean, a lot of people are starting out with a lot of discipline, motivation, willpower. And then it cracks because as we talked about offline, the human brain and the hypothalamus when it's hungry, there's nothing that can I mean, you're going to be pushing people out of the way to get something to sustain you.

[00:31:31.020] – Brad
So we have to do this in a strategic manner. And setting up those good meal habits is the big one, like I discussed with my omelet or whatever you want to put as the example.

[00:31:40.930] – Allan
And I think that's one of the keys. You know, when we talk about two meals a day or time-restricted eating, this is not like you immediately just jump in and say, okay, I had dinner tonight at seven o'clock and I'm not going to eat again until two o'clock tomorrow. That's typically not how this works. There's a transition period to doing time-restricted eating. And I like one of the things that you guys use used an acronym called WHEN which is When Hunger Ensues Naturally.

[00:32:12.090] – Allan
So it's kind of listening to your brain because invariably your brain's right. If it's telling you you're hungry, you're actually probably hungry. And if we try to not listen to it, then it's just too easy to fall back on old habits. And there's McDonald's. I'm driving by my windows down on a beautiful day. And I could smell it. If you're not answering yourself when you have control, now, you're in a situation where you probably don't.

[00:32:42.310] – Allan
And so how does someone go through? Because I know you guys have a plan in the book. You also have the recipes, which thanks for mentioning that, by the way, because I did want to make sure those are in there, too. How does someone go about approaching getting to two meals a day?

[00:32:58.510] – Brad
Yeah, good question. And I think when it's a really easy strategy to get your mind around and it's not intimidating or fearful. So when hunger ensues, naturally, we have to make sure that we really are talking about hunger.

[00:33:13.360] – Brad
And I think what we have today is boredom, prolonged periods of stillness with our lifestyles, especially working on the screen. And a lot of these things can mess up our metabolic function to the extent that we think we're hungry. But we might just benefit from going out and running two flights of stairs and returning to that default fat burning state that requires a little bit of movement throughout the day. There's research showing that if you sit still for as little as 20 minutes, you will experience a noticeable decrease in glucose tolerance and insulin resistance.

[00:33:52.090] – Brad
So in other words, you stop burning fat really well and you start to lose a little bit of cognitive function. The oxygen delivery, the blood circulation, everything kind of goes down because the body does not like to sit still for long periods of time. And so when you feel that decline in energy, we associate that with hunger perhaps. And then we go get an energy bar out of the drawer and we get a little boost for however long and then another drop and we go on this roller coaster all day long.

[00:34:22.390] – Brad
I'm kind of jumping without answering the question fully, but we do have to include those lifestyle elements into this picture. It's not just about your food choices, because if you're sitting there all day long in a chair not trying out this wonderful stand-up desk craze or thinking that you're too busy to take a one or two-minute break every 20 or 30 minutes, you're going to have real trouble adhering to a dietary transformation, especially getting rid of those carbohydrate foods that provide quick energy.

[00:34:56.590] – Brad
So back to trying to answer that question and integrating this concept of when hunger ensues, naturally, this implies that whatever fasting periods you're going to engage in, you're going to feel comfortable. You're going to have stable cognitive and even physical function in the absence of that meal. And that includes perhaps a workout some days where you can wake up in the morning, go through, even if it's a light workout, like a cardiovascular session at fat-burning heart rates, you want to feel good and strong .And that you're not needing, desperately needing calories to complete a 20 or 30-minute workout, maybe an hour workout or maybe a 20-minute high intensity workout where, of course, you have the energy stored in your body to complete it. But we have to kind of play it out in a natural and comfortable way.

[00:35:49.900] – Brad
Once you clean up the diet and get rid of those three toxic modern foods, we don't want to talk about anything. You can drop off this podcast right now or you can close the book at page seventy-one or whatever if you're unwilling or you haven't accomplished that goal. Because that's the gateway to a fat burning lifestyle. So once those foods are out of the picture, you're making good choices and you're having these nutrient-dense meals, then you can kind of tiptoe in this direction to say, okay how about if I wake up and wait around until hunger ensues naturally?

[00:36:26.920] – Brad
And that will be kind of a checkpoint as you do this exercise and see how long you can comfortably last before your meal, which is the exact opposite of the cavalier approach that you just mentioned, to say, okay tomorrow I'm going to suck it up and I'm going to wait till 2:00 p.m. and that's going to be a 16 hour or an 18 hour.

[00:36:47.230] – Brad
We want everything. We want you to kind of back into everything. So if you are keeping a food journal and you like that accountability, you write down when you eat after the fact because that's when you were hungry and you decided to eat, as opposed to saying, I have to make it till a certain time, otherwise I'm going to drop off the A-list on my plan here. So simple, sustainable, like we say, and doing it at the right time when you really feel you're ready.

[00:37:15.940] – Brad
And so let's say you wake up and at eight thirty in the morning your stomach is growling. And the reason your stomach is growling is because the prominent hunger hormone ghrelin is making it growling. So growling is an actual it's not just fun and games, it's an actual biological response, triggering hunger. And a lot of times the circadian rhythm is a strong influencer of this. So if you start skipping breakfast as part of this lifestyle transformation, you may experience these spikes in hunger in the morning because your body's used to eating at a certain time of day.

[00:37:52.120] – Brad
Maybe it's 2:00 in the afternoon when you always have your energy bar and soda break in the break room. And so you might experience hunger spikes, even though it's more circadian than that you're actually out of energy and you need food. So we have to learn to be more nuanced and more intuitive and see what our body is capable of. And you'll probably find that you're way more metabolically flexible than you even dreamed of, even right now. And then after three weeks of dietary restriction, getting rid of the junk. Oh, man. It's going to open up an amazing world of possibilities.

[00:38:25.370] – Brad
You and I know about these extreme enthusiasts where people will go on five-day fasts every quarter and twenty-four hour fasts once a week. And it seems like unimaginable to the average person. But when you get down to it, we're all pretty good at this stuff. We're all humans. If you have the ability to be patient and, you know, keep those junk foods out of the diet, you can really awaken some good fat-burning potential.

[00:38:56.420] – Allan
Yeah, there was this time and I've told this story on the podcast a couple of times, but I was I had some property and I went out there to do some work and just got up in the morning. I wasn't hungry. So I eat when I'm hungry. I don't even think about it unless I'm hungry. Then I'll eat for the most part. I might have a meal in the evening because only because I know if I don't, then I'm going to want to eat much later. And from a timing it doesn't make sense. But for everything else in my life, I'll just eat when I'm hungry. So I went through and I went out to my property and I finished the work. So I drive my tractor back onto the trailer and I'm going to leave the property and my truck got stuck. So I call AAA to come pull me out when he comes out there about an hour later, you know, which is what they've kind of promised. He was on time.

[00:39:41.290] – Allan
He went to pull me out and his truck broke. So, he had to call for a part. And so I just went ahead and grabbed. The reason I had this property was I had some fishing ponds. I'll just go do some fishing catch and release stuff. So I'm out there fishing. And it took him like four hours to get his truck fixed. He finally gets me out and then I'm driving back and I'm thinking to myself, it's six o'clock already. And I had a pretty tough morning work doing the work I was doing. It was not easy work. And I wasn't even thinking about food.

[00:40:15.020] – Allan
Before I got into what I'm doing with keto and fasting and just paying attention to the food I'm putting in my mouth versus eating what is there, I would have been chewing off my arm. But I had that flexibility we were talking about, I had the freedom that provides to basically say, I know when I'm actually hungry and I know what I'm not.

[00:40:41.900] – Allan
And it's it for a lot of people, it's kind of an interesting feeling because they think they're always hungry and then they actually feel full when they eat because they're eating, like you said, the highly-nutritious, high-quality foods. And they know what it feels like to actually be hungry because they let themselves actually get hungry before they eat again.

[00:41:04.910] – Brad
Right. And it's it is a wonderful feeling to experience hunger and then go satisfy that hunger with a great meal. And a lot of us are hugely disconnected from that because we just sit down because it's lunchtime and we're going to go have a business lunch. And then when we get home, of course, we're going to honor the the the dinner time and the family gathering. And all that stuff's great. And when we wake up in the morning, of course, we got to get some food before we rush off to our busy day.

[00:41:34.610] – Brad
But to rethink this and kind of open up the floodgates to a different alternative lifestyle and different choices like that. And then to realize that missing a meal is a positive checkmark in the direction of metabolic flexibility. So we can kind of relax, especially I know a lot of health-conscious people, they're trying to cover their nutritional bases every day and make sure that they eat enough protein and make sure that they get their superfood, antioxidant smoothies and all this stuff.

[00:42:04.730] – Brad
So to kind of recalibrate that a bit and realize that fasting is probably the biggest thing you can do for an immediate health boost, it beats any superfood ever known to mankind. And so skipping a meal is no big deal. It's a positive step in the direction of health. And then you can kind of turn eating into one of the great pleasures of life as it's intended to be, rather than another stop at the gas station, as if you were a race car and just need to refuel all day long, which is basically the story for most people that it's just fuel and calories, a lot of times empty calories, but you need them otherwise you're going to feel like crap at three p.m. at work and you're not going to get all your work done before five.

[00:42:54.050] – Allan
Yeah, we leave a second breakfast away. We don't need a second breakfast. You might not even need the first one.

[00:43:00.320] – Allan
There was another concept in the book that I thought was really important that I wanted to bring up because a lot of people, we're busy, we've got a lot going on in our lives and we're looking at the clock and we're thinking, you know, I wanted to get out of here and go get my workout in, but I just don't have that hour.

[00:43:16.940] – Allan
I need to stay in the office for another half hour to get some work done. And then, yeah, I got to go pick up the kids and we got to go do this. And my life is just this out of control kind of thing. But you have this concept. We talk about micro workouts. And I think so many people are stuck on the I have to work out for thirty minutes every day or an hour every day, or I might as well not do it. Can you kind of talk about micro workouts and how we can make those are part of a healthy lifestyle.

[00:43:46.160] – Brad
Yeah. Thanks, Allan. This is I got a big smile on my face because this is, I think, one of the greatest breakthroughs that we've seen in fitness in this century. I know the century's young. We got a lot ahead of us.

[00:44:00.710] – Brad
But really, the fitness industry as a whole has been stuck. It's been mired in this no pain, no gain, struggle and suffer mentality. And most of the programing is based on this idea that if we crush you hard enough, you can high-five your workout partner at the end. We can put you on the commercial and you'll order this expensive indoor bicycle or join the gym or continue with the package with your trainer who's urging you for more reps. And so for the people that are really into fitness, it works fine.

[00:44:33.510] – Brad
I used to be a professional triathlete, I trained all day long for a decade of my life and I loved it and I traveled around the world and I mixed with other athletes who also loved riding our bicycles one hundred miles through the mountains. And that was all fun and games and great stuff for us. But so many people have been marginalized by the traditional approach to fitness. And you walk in the gym, you know, 63% of people are intimidated when they look over to the free weight room. And another 27% are intimidated when they look in the window at the bootcamp class where the lady is screaming and urging you for more and more jumping up and down. And you're like, wow, I'm not even in shape enough to conceive of doing something like that to my body.

[00:45:13.880] – Brad
It's true. It's catering to the fitness extremist already. So for the average person who just as you described, is busy, might not be a fitness freak, maybe they didn't feel like an athlete when they were a kid and they're just on the outside looking in. This concept of micro workouts can appeal to everyone who wants to be healthier, not necessarily a fitness freak. Just have that baseline level of physical competency to get through life with more enjoyment and less risk of injury, especially as we get older. Falling is the number one cause of injury and death in Americans over age 65. Falling. Not, pick something else. I mean, come on falling? You're kidding me?

[00:46:05.680] – Brad
But that's what happens when we go into steady and prolonged demise. And so the micro workout conveys this idea that in a minute's time or two minutes' time, you can do a miniature little burst of explosive physical effort wherever you are. You don't need a lot of implements or contraptions you can do right now in your work cubicle drop for a set of 20 deep squats or however deep you can take them.

[00:46:32.590] – Brad
And even if you're a fit person, when you get to 17, 18, 19, your legs are going to feel it. So in one minute's time, you can get a nice miniature little workout and the benefits are tremendous. One of them is it breaks up these prolonged periods of stillness that are so harmful to our metabolic and cognitive function. So even a minute's bursts of running up a couple of flights of stairs, like I said before, or doing a set of deep squats.

[00:46:57.970] – Brad
I have a rule. I have a pull up bar over my closet door and it's like a supply closet. So every time I go in there to get a another Post-it pad or whatever it is, I do a set of pull-ups that might happen once a day. Big deal. It's not going to mess up my big workout that's planned for tomorrow. Maybe I'm recovering from something and I don't want to push myself too hard today, but a single set of pull-ups is nothing to write home about.

[00:47:25.750] – Brad
I don't have to write it in my fitness workout log or anything, but if you talk to me 365 days from now and I say, yeah, this is my daily pattern and oh by the way, when I throw the garbage out, I have to go through the side yard and sitting there in the side yard is a hexagonal deadlift bar with a moderate amount of weight on it. Nothing to write home about again to the muscle heads. But let's say there's two hundred pounds on that bar. And my rule is every time I throw the garbage away, I do at least one set of deadlifts and then I go about my busy day. Maybe sometimes I'll get into it. I have some free time and I might do three or four sets and make it something that's a little bit more significant.

[00:48:05.740] – Brad
But this very low bar to jump over, to enter the world of a fit, healthy, active person is what we need to progress within the overall approach to fitness. And I think the micro workouts are so fun. It can be something that you enjoy. If you have core competency, or technique, you do something as simple as possible, like doing a squat or running up your flight of stairs, walking back down, running up again.

[00:48:32.200] – Brad
And of course, we're so busy we can't devote any more than that. That's fine right now. But as it becomes part of a daily habit and you start sprinkling these things in over time, the amazing thing happens is that, I call it like flying under the radar, but building your fitness, but without that huge risk of breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury that occurs when you immerse yourself into the mainstream approach to fitness.

[00:49:00.550] – Brad
That's the person that signs up for the personal trainer package on January 1st. And by April Fool's Day, their shoulders aching and they're going to go get an MRI and they've finished their package and they're burnt out and they're fried and they don't like it anymore because it was too physically grueling. So this is a way to kind of tiptoe to even really fit. Just from sprinkling in these little sessions that don't bother you, so they're arguably safer and less downside risk than a devoted fitness regimen. And furthermore, the emerging science in exercise, physiology and general health study is that the obligation to just move more in daily life is ranking above adherence to a devoted fitness regimen for all manner of health and disease protection.

[00:49:52.140] – Brad
Because we're so still and sedentary that even the fitness freaks, there's this idea called the compensation theory of exercise. So it's a scientifically validated phenomenon where they've studied people that do adhere to a devoted fitness regimen. So let's say that's that neighbor of yours that rolls out of there before it gets light to go to their spin class every morning at six a.m. and they're really, really into it. But then they go on the subway, they commute, they sit at a desk all day, they come home and they binge on digital programming. So they're still in sedentary for hours and hours every day.

[00:50:35.760]
They showed that this population of devoted fitness enthusiasts who are otherwise sedentary had the same level of metabolic disease risk factors as people who didn't exercise. And you can think, look, even extreme fitness person who's training an hour every single day, that's seven hours a week. There's one hundred and sixty eight hours in a week. So if those other 100 plus hours, of course, we need to sleep.

[00:51:00.660]
So we got to take a third of that and be still. But if you're engaging in all these sedentary lifestyle patterns, the exercise is not going to help you. And instead we just have to move more. Mark Sisson coined this term JFW it stands for just effing walk and that would be the centerpiece of a more active lifestyle. And you can get more health and even fitness benefit from walking more versus going and punching your gym ticket even more and pushing yourself really hard once in a while or an hour a day.

[00:51:34.620] – Allan
What I like about those is that it's something you can fit around your normal workday. So you're sitting at your desk and you want to get up to go to the restroom or go get some water or something. And so you just sit there and say, I'm a pop out 5, 10 squats, bodyweight squats. And the other cool thing about him is because these are these are things that you're adding to your day. You can really put a little bit of forethought, forethought to them and say, I want these to be functional exercises, not just something like a spin class where I know I'm burning calories, but quite frankly, you're saying squats, fundamental movement. You talked about deadlifts with the hex bar, fundamental movement to build strength in your legs, strengthen your core. You know, all of these things that even pull ups, there's some function to being able to climb going upstairs.

[00:52:26.820] – Allan
All of those are functional movements that you're building into your day that might otherwise not include any workout at all. So I just like how that can be a part of every day. You can just have those triggers. You can be doing squats while you're brushing your teeth, so there's so many opportunities for you to to do these types of things in your day and not having to think that you have to dedicate an hour or it's wasted. I just like that concept.

[00:52:56.370] – Brad
Yeah, I was just talking to someone the other day about this and they're expressing a bit of interest. How do I throw this in? I spend a lot of time at night watching my TV shows, he said. I said, well, make a rule then. If you're going to binge watch, at least in between every episode drop for a set of twenty pushups or squats or whatever. Put some rules in place because I think, hey, I listen to a lot of podcasts. I fill my mind with these great ideas. Do I execute on every single one of them? No, I don't, because I'm just too busy or whatever my excuse is.

[00:53:27.690] – Brad
So in this case, what worked for me really well, Allan was I wanted to kind of raise the fitness platform from which I launched my formal workouts because I've been a long-time fan of sprinting. I'm obsessed with high jumping. Now I compete in the old man's Masters high jump track and field.

[00:53:46.800] – Allan
Now, 55 to 59 is not old man. I refuse to accept that.

[00:53:50.630] – Brad
I'm slotted in that division, whatever you want to call it, man. So I go out and do these awesome workouts, let's say once a week and they're pretty tough. And when I get to the track I'm all pumped up and I'm competitive and I feel great. But of course I learn over the next 36 to 48 hours and I kind of pushed it too hard there. And my calves are screaming and I'm in pain now and I'm really tired. And so what was happening was I wasn't approximating that big challenge very frequently because I couldn't I had to rest and recover and the go hit it once a week again.

[00:54:23.860] – Brad
And so what I designed was this morning, routine of flexibility, mobility, core strengthening, just a fun little thing that's predicated to help me with the muscle strength and mobility I need for sprinting and jumping, I'd say. But I threw this in and decided to do it every single morning. Again, not that strenuous, but it chips away at my fitness without interrupting my busy day. I'm on a streak now of over four years, where I have not missed a single day of this wonderful morning flexibility, mobility, strengthening routine. And it started out as something really modest because I wanted to have that low bar to jump over to tell myself I'm going to commit to doing this. I'm not going to miss a day. And again, it's not too much trouble. I'm not dripping in sweat at the end, but to have it as part of my lifestyle, where I don't even have to think about it now and I get through this, it used to be a 12-minute routine and now it's a minimum of thirty five minutes.

[00:55:25.390] – Brad
I know that's not doable for many people, but whatever you have to commit to. So if you can say, hey, I'm going to give the first five minutes of my day and I'm going to do the yoga sun salutation sequence, you can see that on YouTube. It's the foundation of a yoga class where you stretch and then you compress and then you sweep and you do these movements. But if you can say that you do that every single day, we'll count that in this micro workout category and then everything else flows from there because now you've built into place this rule that this is now part of your lifestyle. It's not negotiable. It's going to become a habit.

[00:55:59.500] – Brad
And then you'll set yourself up for more success doing these little these little tidbits that we described about, you know, lifting the deadlift bar when you go through the garbage can. So I want to make sure the listener can take away something that's so simple that they might even scoff at how easy it is to implement this new commitment of five minutes a day or let's say you put a sticky note on your computer or your office door and say 40 squats before you leave the office every day. And if it's 4:57 p.m. and you're clocking out at five, I don't know if it's a home office or you're leaving whatever and you haven't done it, then you've got to do 40 right there. No big deal.

[00:56:40.090] – Brad
But if you do 10, you know, on the on the 90 minute break, you set your little timer, then it's nothing. And so we have to put rules in place because it's easy to let these things slide. And if the goal is really modest, boy, that's when I think we can build that momentum. And that's what's happened in my life with my morning routine.

[00:57:02.080] – Allan
Brad, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:57:09.850] – Brad
Whoo! Number one is to implement that morning routine and make it five minutes. Don't even go beyond that until you get into a good groove. So that one I'm really strong. It's been a life-changing thing for me, especially because I'm not a template, regimented guy. I answer to myself, I work for myself, I work from home. And so I can do whatever I want every day. But this thing is really anchored my day. And the fact that I can do that and tell the public about it, I believe it helps me become a more focused and disciplined person in every other way for the rest of my day and all the distractions that I face. So the morning routine, number one.

[00:57:54.970] – Brad
Number two is ditch those big three toxic modern foods, do it for twenty-one days. And what you'll discover is you'll habituate away from this nibbling on sugar and grain-based, high-calorie snacks. Your body will actually feel better, even though you're giving up what you think are these precious things that you can't do without and that you deserve so much. After working that hard day, of course you deserve a pint of processed ice cream with chemicals in there. Even hippie trippy Ben and Jerry's products have vegetable industrial seed oils and some of the flavors. I couldn't believe it when I saw it on the side of the box. So ditch the big three.

[00:58:36.460] – Brad
And then you asked for three, right?

[00:58:38.080] – Allan
Yes.

[00:58:39.130] – Brad
Number three is don't take on too much, so just do the first two.

[00:58:43.890] – Allan
Oh, I like that. All right, Brad if someone wanted to learn more about you and Mark Sisson and your book, Two Meals a Day, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:58:53.650]
Oh, thanks. We have this cool landing page called TwoMealsaDayBook.com, and you can get, it's called preorder bonus items. But even as the book has been released just before the show came out, you can still get our cool preorder bonuses. There's an audio summary, a recipe PDF, and a discount coupon to go shopping for healthy condiments at Primal Kitchen. And then if you go over and visit BradKerns.com, you will be regaled by wild and crazy videos like my morning routine, you can learn what I do and watch me break the world record and speed golf, don't worry if you only have a minute and thirty-eight seconds, that's all it took for me to play the fastest hole of golf ever played.

[00:59:33.240] – Brad
And I'm trying to promote all these healthy lifestyle practices that we live and breathe every day. But I also think it's important to put in a vote for having fun and having a lighthearted approach. So you'll see me kind of being silly. Same without my BRad podcast. I like to inject that sense of humor and not taking ourselves too seriously as we try to improve our lives and optimize in so many different ways.

[00:59:58.050] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/477 and I'll be sure to have all the links there. Brad, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[01:00:08.010] – Brad
Thank you, Allan. Great show. Keep up the good work.

[01:00:10.710] – Allan
Thank you.


Post Show/Recap

[01:00:16.090] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[01:00:17.830] – Rachel
Oh, Allan, what a neat conversation, Brad seems like a really energetic guy.

[01:00:22.990] – Allan
He is a very energetic guy. And for those of you that don't know what speed golf is, that I went right over your head. But basically, speed golf is a sport where you hit the golf ball off the tee and then you run to the ball and they basically add your strokes to your time of the run. And so the secret is to run it really, really quickly, to quickly hit the ball again, but be generally accurate because you don't want to be running all over the golf course and then get the ball in the hole. And he managed on a par five basically to get a par four, a birdie. And he did it in just over a minute and a half. I don't know that I could even just run from the tee to the hole in that amount of time. But I just know when I played golf the walking, because I'd be on one side and then I'd be on the other side, then I'd overshoot the hole and then I'd be over here and then I'd be over there. By the time I got through the hole of golf, I'd already walked the whole golf course.

[01:01:23.800] – Allan
And so so that probably not the sport for me. I'm not a sprinter. I'll be the slow go. But yeah, basically that's that's one of the sports he participates in now. And he's a hoot. It's fun to watch people do crazy stuff like that. But just yo actually meet someone who's got the world record at it. It's kind of awesome.

[01:01:48.490] – Rachel
That is a riot. What a funny sport. I just love it.

[01:01:53.350] – Allan
We got into a couple of important things. I mean, obviously with the two meals a day concept is something that I feel a little bit more confident I could do rather than the one meal a day. And it's only because I don't know that I could eat enough calories at one sitting comfortably and to make sure that I'm still getting all the nutrition. The second meal would… I'm going to have to do that so effectively when I eat, I intuitively end up eating two, sometimes I have three meals in my eight hour, six hour window, but easily two meals would work out very well for me.

[01:02:29.920] – Rachel
Sure. Yeah. It seems a lot more doable and easy to plan out too. I like that concept.

[01:02:36.370] – Allan
And then we got into the toxic food stuff. And yes, we've talked about sugar on this podcast. Actually, I think maybe even my second episode, episode number two was about sugar. We know what sugar is doing to us. We know for the most part what bread is usually doing to almost all of us. And then the seed oils is an area where I probably don't talk about enough. And in the worst part of it is, the labeling on foods, all the seed oils are going to have heart-healthy on their label, because they're not saturated fat and unfortunately they're still horrible, horrible food for you to be putting in your body.

[01:03:24.950] – Allan
But they managed to get to a point where they're marketing, the healthy thing, it just breaks my heart. Eat healthy canola oil. And I'm like, no.

[01:03:38.840] – Rachel
It is really confusing. And that was hard for me too when I started keto, because you think of an oil that's derived from a plant or a seed, I mean, that sounds perfectly healthy. What could possibly be wrong? And then when you add the label on to it that says that it's heart-healthy, what could be wrong? The government said that it's healthy. So how do you weed that out? It's taken a long time to unlearn some of these habits.

[01:04:06.160] – Allan
Yeah. It does it just that that kind of stuff just drives me nuts. If you want to eat heart healthy, you're going to eat a lot of grains. You're going to eat a lot of those seed oils. And then the worst part of it is if you're going to try to go low fat otherwise and what are they going to do? They're going to put sugar in the food to make it palatable. So you're getting the trifecta of the bad toxic foods, just trying to follow the guidelines that our government is so kind to put out there for us.

[01:04:38.540] – Rachel
It's so crazy. Now, what kind of oils do you like to use when you're cooking? We've we found good success with coconut oil. It's easy and it cooks well. And it's got a good flavor.

[01:04:50.090] – Allan
I use I use avocado oil. Some I like to use I like to use coconut oil, particularly like if I'm going to make something that's more of an Asian style restaurant. So like, let's say I'm going to stir fry some chicken and some vegetables and then I want maybe I'm going to try to make it into more of an Oriental flavor or I'm going to put some coconut and curry. I'll use the coconut oil in that. If I'm going to make something that's going to be more of like a meat sauce or something like that, I'll use I'll just use the hamburger and I don't drain it.

[01:05:22.940] – Rachel
Right.

[01:05:23.600] – Allan
Those recipes are like drain the oil.

[01:05:25.584] – Rachel
No.

[01:05:27.680] – Allan
Throw away half your food.

[01:05:30.110] – Rachel
Yeah. Don't don't replace that with more oil. That's good stuff.

[01:05:33.350] – Allan
We're going to throw away half the egg because we don't want to eat the yolk. We're going to throw away the fat because we don't want fat. And I'm like, no, put that in there. It's delicious. It's what makes hamburger taste good. When you take all that oil out, it tastes like dirt. So I'll do that. And then, like, if I'm going to use like an olive oil, I'll use it as a dressing. Or I will sometimes, like if I've cooked a sauce once I'm done cooking the sauce and now it's just kind of warm, heat it ready to go. I'll slather in some olive oil at that point to give us a little bit more umph.

[01:06:09.780] – Allan
And then I, I love cooking with butter. I love cooking with butter. I'll get the Kerry Gold or good quality butter. We've got two or three brands down here that are grass fed cows from Panama and I assume they speak Spanish. They make butter and that's it's a good butter. I'll cook eggs with that.

[01:06:34.250] – Allan
Sometimes when we're going to have bacon and I cook the bacon in the pan, I might use the grease, some of the grease and bacon and just cook it with that. I'm not afraid of saturated fat because what I have found is saturated fat makes my HDL go up. And the ratio of total cholesterol, the HDL improves when I'm eating saturated fat. If I take out the saturated fat, my HDL plummets, my LDL goes down maybe a little bit, but not enough to matter as far as the doctors are concerned. And my HDL is still relatively high. So my ratio of high total to HDL is terrible. So, I want to have the best markers I can have. I'm not worried about the total because I could eliminate all of my HDL and still be over the number. And even when I did statins, my cholesterol was still over 250.

[01:07:42.320] – Allan
And I can't get any lower. So, it is what it is. I just accept that so. I'll use I'll use saturated fat, you know, I eat fish regularly, so I'm getting some omega three oils from the fish.

[01:08:02.270] – Rachel
Good.

[01:08:02.660]
Sometimes I will take krill oil. If I'm not getting enough fish, I'll go ahead and take some krill. Well, and get some more in there. Most of what I'm eating are grass-fed beef. So there's some good fats as far as I'm concerned. Good fats in there because it's grass-fed, grass-finished. So that saturated fat is actually not bad for me. Eggs and pastured eggs. That fat I don't think is bad for me. And then cooking wise avocado oil, olive oil once it's already cooked because I'm not going to cook with olive oil and then just plain old butter.

[01:08:36.560] – Rachel
That sounds great. That's about what we use in the at our house as well. The coconut oil, avocado, occasionally olive, but not often. And of course we also have butter. And I also have a little can of ghee, which I use that on occasion as well. So that was that sounds good. Yeah. The other thing Brad mentioned, which I have to say I kind of geeked out about, was micro workouts. I really liked his idea of well, he mentioned doing a minute here, a minute there, push ups or squats and and lifts and whatnot.

[01:09:09.110] – Rachel
I tell all my friends that if you're struggling with motivation, you're not feeling it. Do half a workout or go out for one mile. You don't have to spend two hours at the gym. If you just take five or ten minutes and get a little fresh air, do something that gets your heart rate up. I mean, that's enough to move for that day.

[01:09:28.010] – Allan
Yeah, there used to be this kind of mantra that you needed to have your heart rate up in the cardio zone for at least twenty-four minutes. And apparently there was a study, but the doctors, now they've done the science and they're kind of like now you're going to get the same benefit doing five 5-minute workouts, as you would, doing a 24 or 25 minute workout. So just anything that's going to get your heart rate up for just even five minutes is going to be beneficial.

[01:10:02.440] – Allan
And actually, one of the other things I really like about microworkouts is that there's something that you can spread movement throughout the day. If you go to work and you think I'm going to sit at the desk for a solid four hours, then I'm going to have lunch and then I'll sit at the desk for another five hours and not move during that period of time other than an occasional toilet break or get some coffee. You're sitting still and, you know, whereas if you when you got up to get that coffee, just did some jumping jacks or, you know, some bodyweight squats or a couple of push-ups and then move around, your energy level is going to go up and you might find you don't actually need that coffee,

[01:10:50.410] – Rachel
Right? Yeah. Just get your blood pumping, get a little fresh air. And that might be enough to energize you for the rest of the afternoon.

[01:10:58.300] – Allan
And there's another part of the micro workout theme that I like. So sometimes we wake up in the morning and we're lik I really don't feel like running. I don't feel like it. Then we put we force ourselves to do it. But I got to do it. I got to have my streak intact. That got to do it. And we get out there. And this very unfortunate thing happens is that our bodies were actually fatigued.

[01:11:21.710] – Allan
We had not recovered properly from our workouts and because maybe because we weren't feeling right, maybe because we weren't sleeping right, maybe because just doing too much, too soon. We're not recovered. And because we didn't listen to our body, we're doing more harm than good. So, looking at it from a micro workout, you get there and say, I really don't want to do this, but then you say, I'll do it for five minutes.

[01:11:47.780] – Rachel
Yes.

[01:11:48.650] – Allan
And if after that five minutes you're not feeling it, stop. Please stop. Your body was talking to you and you were ignoring it or trying to override it with reason. Please do this when the body really did need recovery time so that if you get out there for five minutes, you've got the benefit of that five minutes and you're not overtraining. And then a lot of people, you just start it like I started my route and I ran out two minutes and I agree that I'm going to turn my back two minutes or sometimes you just realize I want to keep running. I don't actually want to stop now and you get your full workout in because that's what you needed to do.

[01:12:32.630] – Allan
So microworkouts kind of have two functions. One is that you're breaking up the work into smaller portions, which sometimes makes it easier to fit into a busy day.

[01:12:41.060] – Rachel
Right.

[01:12:41.600] – Allan
And then the other thing is micro workouts can kind of be that strategy to get you started. I'm at least going to do five minutes and then if I'm done, I'm done. And you can listen to your body, as you put it, through the paces. And I just know when I ran a lot, I hated the first two or three minutes of running. I hate it. You start going and it's like man, this sucks. Then something clicks on when your body warms up and then it feels good.

[01:13:15.140] – Rachel
That's true. Some of us like to say the first mile is a liar and that you feel that this isn't right. I got to shake out the cobwebs. I'm not feeling it today. But then once you get that first mile under your belt, sometimes the to the second and third or however long you're out there, they just fly right by. So, yeah, for sometimes the first miles is a liar. Sometimes it's the first five minutes of a workout that's a liar.

[01:13:38.960] – Rachel
But yeah, if you could just do something it's better than nothing. And like Brad mentioned if you're sitting there watching TV at night, do some pushups during the commercials and then do some sit-ups during the next commercial. I mean, just these little movements throughout the day, it's always better than nothing at all.

[01:13:57.350] – Allan
Absolutely. And with the commercials the way they are today, I mean, the 30-minute program has eight minutes of commercials.

[01:14:05.810] – Rachel
Just about, yes. Pretty much.

[01:14:08.840] – Allan
You don't have to watch too much TV and you've got an hour of workouts done yet. Half an hour anyway, watching a couple hours of TV. You got half an hour right there, just watching two hours of TV. So if it's a popular program, because when they first start out, they don't. And I see this because I watch stuff on Netflix and I'll see a show the first year it came out. And, they have basically five to six minutes of commercials.

[01:14:38.390] – Allan
And then by the time they get to their fifth or sixth season, that's it's up to over eight minutes of commercials now because I'm flipping through these this shows, I'm like, how could I just watch five shows on Netflix and an hour and all those damn commercials that I'm not having to watch.

[01:14:55.130] – Rachel
Right? For sure.

[01:14:56.750] – Allan
Netflix is a little different as far as if you're going to be doing them because they don't have the advertisements, the commercials. But, okay, you know, you watch half the show or watch the show and then do the work before you start that next episode.

[01:15:13.760] – Rachel
That's right.

[01:15:17.810] – Allan
Alright, Rachel, anything else you want to go over before we cut out?

[01:15:20.390] – Rachel
No, that was great. Great conversation.

[01:15:22.700] – Allan
All right. Well, let's we'll talk next week.

[01:15:24.800] – Rachel
You bet. Take care.

Patreons

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Another episode you may enjoy

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March 1, 2021

SIBO made simple with Phoebe Lapine

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

After documenting her year in The Wellness Project, Phoebe Lapine was still struggling with her health. He found she had small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Her efforts to understand and address this illness brings us SIBO Made Simple.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:00:48.220] – Allan
Raz, how are you doing this week?

[00:00:49.780] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:00:51.550] – Allan
I'm doing pretty good. Outdoors, sitting on the patio at Lula's, my wife's bed and breakfast. And I've been kind of sweating because it's been some warm couple of days up here.

[00:01:03.370] – Rachel
Nice.

[00:01:04.510] – Allan
Yeah. Not so much in Michigan.

[00:01:06.790] – Rachel
No, no. We've got frigid cold temperatures again and we just got another five or seven inches of snow last night. So we'll be digging ourselves out today, that's for sure.

[00:01:16.870] – Allan
Yeah. And that this particular one obviously is taking a big dip south because I'm having grown up in the southeast. Most of my friends that I grew up with, they're dealing with snow and ice there and they're not equipped for it. What would be a normal Tuesday in Michigan is kind of devastating in Mississippi.

[00:01:37.780] – Rachel
It is.

[00:01:38.530] – Allan
Yeah. So there's there's some struggles there. And I just say, if the weather outside is that bad, if you can stay home, stay home, because it's you don't need to be on the roads and particularly if you're just not comfortable or you don't have the equipment necessary to be on those roads because the most of the tires that you're going to have in the southeast are not they're not built for snow. They're built for rain and they're built for warm weather. And so you get them on the snow and they're ice skates.

[00:02:07.780] – Rachel
Yeah, it's a dangerous. It's a dangerous situation. Even up here in Michigan where we do have the equipment and the trucks and everybody's prepared, we all know usually how to drive in the winter. These frigid temperatures we're having makes such that the the salt does not work effectively. So even this morning, the trucks were able to clear all the snow off the highways, but they couldn't lay down the salt because it wouldn't have done anything. So we need to wait for the blue skies and the sun to come out, maybe get a little bit of melt before they can put the salt down. It's still a really tricky situation up here. So, yeah, the best advice is to stay home, if you can.

[00:02:45.640] – Allan
The problem with the Southeast is that it it's not that cold. So you get you get right in that kind of that scary middle space where you've got snow and then you've got sleet and then you've got ice and then you've got snow and…

[00:03:00.370] – Rachel
It's a disaster. It is just a disaster.

[00:03:04.060] – Allan
And the general reminder, bridges do ice before roads do so…

[00:03:09.040] – Rachel
Yes, that is true.

[00:03:10.840]
All right. So, yeah, I've been in charge of Lula's this week. My wife is in David doing some shopping for the bathroom fixtures and sinks and stuff like that that she's going to need to redo the six bathrooms up here. And then we're going to do an owner suite and a bathroom downstairs. And so there's just there's a lot of construction that's going to be going on for the next several weeks. She's in David trying to get that stuff together. And she put me in charge. And I'm not doing all that well.

[00:03:40.210] – Allan
I forgot to feed the workers today.

[00:03:42.700] – Rachel
Oh, no!

[00:03:44.310] – Allan
That's one of the things you're in keto and intermittent fasting. You don't even think about food. I woke up. I wasn't thinking about food. I'm doing my thing and and I'm like, okay, well, I got to go get the microphone because I left that at the gym and I wanted to be back here. And then I was walking back, I bought some groceries for dinner. And I said I probably forgot lunchtime. I don't even know what time it is. And then of course, here I am for a recording. I was a few minutes late because, I had no clue what time it was and I wasn't hungry. I'm not hungry. So, yeah, unfortunately I didn't feed the workers today. And when my wife hears this, she's not gonna be happy with me, but I am going to feed them tomorrow. I promise.

[00:04:22.180] – Rachel
Oh good. Good thing.

[00:04:26.140] – Allan
All right. So are you ready to go have a conversation with Phoebe?

[00:04:29.320] – Rachel
Yes. Let's do this.

Interview

[00:04:55.570] – Allan
Phoebe, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:58.370] – Phoebe
Hi, thanks for having me.

[00:05:00.460] – Allan
I should say welcome back to 40+ Fitness because I had you on earlier back in 2017 when you had the book, The Wellness Project.

[00:05:11.290] – Phoebe
Yes.

[00:05:11.650] – Allan
And I have to admit, I stole a little bit from you. I like the word wellness. I liked it a lot. I liked your approach. And then so when I wrote my book that I actually published at the end of 2017, no 2018, I called it The Wellness Roadmap.

[00:05:32.440] – Phoebe
Amazing

[00:05:32.980] – Allan
It was kind of a lot. What you did was, okay, how did I get here, how did I do these things to make myself well. Now you did that in your book The Wellness Project, and I think you stole a project from Gretchen Rubin.

[00:05:48.200] – Phoebe
Yeah. We're all stealing from each other.

[00:05:48.800] – Allan
Yes, there we go. But we're all learning each other. And I think that's the other thing is I was able to bring some things that you had learned on your journey and I had learned on my journey and say, okay, let's let's put those together, because that's going to help people. And that's why you do the podcast. That's why I have you on again so we can talk about your book, SIBO Made Simple.

[00:06:09.380] – Allan
Now, let me be honest with you. I started reading and maybe… I'm lucky. I'll just readily admit I'm really, really lucky in that I don't have bowel issues almost ever. Almost never, ever. I live in Panama. My wife has already gotten a parasite here and had to take medicine. Touch wood, knock wood, whatever you do, nothing like that's happened to me. So as I go into these topics, it's not something that I have personal experience with. So to me, SIBO and SIFO and Candida and all these things are a little bit like a Rubik's Cube.

[00:06:48.560] – Phoebe
Hmm. Yes, definitely.

[00:06:50.660] – Allan
Because it's not a one symptom, one cure. It's multiple symptoms and maybe multiple issues all happening at the same time. As you start adding the layers and I didn't realize until just recently they have a four sided Rubik's Cube. I just bought one. It arrived today.

[00:07:10.280] – Phoebe
Four sided?

[00:07:15.770] – Allan
They're all sided. But it's the one we had back in the day was a three by three. And then I found out they have the two by twos and have four by four. So I bought them just so I could play around with them. And as I got into your book, you basically wrote the algorithm to help us solve SIBO.

[00:07:36.620] – Phoebe
It's a really good analogy. I'm going to have to steal that right back from you because, yeah, as you said, I tried to create a roadmap as much as possible. But it's not a linear journey. It's more like a really expansive map with lots of twists and turns and forks in the road. And I think it's important for you to be able to see the entire landscape because sometimes you have to go back to Go and start over again.

[00:08:05.000] – Allan
You were in it. I mean, I think that was the thing of the book and the thing about your other book, The Wellness Project, is that you experienced this and you were down in the trenches. So this is not you just saying, hey, this is something that also affects people. You were in it. Can you tell us a little bit about your story?

[00:08:28.250] – Phoebe
Yeah, I always seem to write the book that I wish existed when I was going through something. So, yeah, as you mentioned, like I started to experience symptoms right after I had supposedly learned everything there was to know about gut health by doing research for my last book. And it was so funny because I really was confused. I was doing all the things that the microbiome specialists had told me to do.

[00:08:51.980] – Phoebe
And I interviewed some incredible people. And pretty much everyone's advice was the same. Eat a lot of fermented foods and insulin-rich vegetables and fiber, fiber and more fiber. So I was crushing legumes and drinking a lot of Bucca and kafia and whatnot. And I started to realize I was feeling miserable after every meal. So I went harder on all of those things and then felt more miserable.

[00:09:15.470] – Phoebe
And eventually that got me back in the door of my doctor. And the diagnosis I received was SIBO, which is something I had heard of in passing but didn't truly understand. And honestly and this isn't just like making a silver lining out of a bad situation, but learning about SIBO was like such an aha moment, such an essential part two to my wellness project, my wellness story.

[00:09:41.510] – Phoebe
And some of the other diets that I kind of heard of along the way, like the low FODMAP diet began to make sense. So I'll just tell those of you who don't know the actual definition of SIBO, it stands for small intestine bacterial overgrowth. And it's thought that at least 60 percent of all IBS cases are actually being caused by SIBO. But it's not necessarily like a disease in and of itself, kind of similar to IBS.

[00:10:06.920] – Phoebe
It's a sign that something has gone wrong in the body, that the mechanics of our digestive system has gone off the rails. And I find that part really fascinating because also in my research and kind of just in the wellness world, I feel like, quote unquote, gut health, like the word gut just gets thrown around a lot and we kind of forget that it's the entire digestive system. So when people are talking about good gut bacteria, I didn't really realize that. It's not like, well, there's, of course, different types of bacteria in the entire digestive system, but the majority of it is supposed to be in the large intestine, not the gut as a whole. And the small intestine is really not supposed to have much bacteria at all because that's where you absorb your nutrients. So if they're bacteria present who have the same taste as you do, in large part, they're going to start competing for your nutrients. And when they eat your food, in particular, different types of carbohydrates, they release gas.

[00:11:05.540] – Phoebe
And when that gas is super far up your digestive tract, it's not as close to an exit ramp. And so it's going to try and get out any way possible. Burping was a really strange symptom that I had that I kind of didn't even realize would have been associated with anything. But once I got diagnosed with SIBO and like read the list of symptoms, I was like, oh, my God, the burping. Because, again, that gas is just trying to get out. But for those who have IBS symptoms, the SIBOy IBS is really high up. Like you feel that bloating like underneath your ribs. It's not like for the ladies out there what you would feel like if you just were getting your period. And it's also something that happens very frequently.

[00:11:48.780] – Phoebe
So pretty much so long as there are some sort of carb on your plate and that includes vegetables, fruit and vegetables as well, you're going to feel probably some sort of symptom because the symptoms are directly related to the food.

[00:12:03.650] – Phoebe
So it's a tricky nut to crack because you're trying to eradicate bacteria from one area without doing too much damage to the large intestine. And that's kind of the tricky. The tricky walk you need to do with SIBO. And it's something that I know gives people a lot of confusion. But at the end of the day, I think it comes down to the fact that these bacteria are wreaking such havoc. They're causing so much inflammation because they're in the area of the gut that doesn't have a whole lot of protective… It doesn't have a whole lot of protection. You have a really thick mucus lining and the large intestine, which separates your immune system from the bacteria and in the small intestine since it's not designed for bacteria, you don't have that.

[00:12:47.540] – Phoebe
So your immune system gets involved. Once that happens in the fog of war, you can damage the tight junctions of your intestines that leads to leaky gut and then that leads to food sensitivities. And there's a huge overlap with autoimmunity and SIBO for that reason. It's like kind of a chicken or the egg. And yeah, I think it's like one of the reasons well, the gut is kind of at the at the heart of so many different conditions, but in particular with SIBO, there's just a very long list of things that could be at play.

[00:13:18.630] – Allan
Yeah, I think, one of the kind of aha moments of this is actually understanding that the digestive track, each segment of it. I guess the best way I can say it, your mouth, your stomach, your small intestine, large intestine, each one of those has a particular purpose. And the large intestine is is there to break down fiber and do its thing. But if you end up with the bacteria too far up, meaning it's into the small intestine, the small intestine isn't designed for that.

[00:13:47.640] – Allan
And as a result, it kind of made sense because it was like, leaky gut, you end up with these these gaps. I'm kind of thinking how how would that actually work? How it's kind of actually, you think of it as a mesh, but that's fine. You think of there's a mucus layer and that's fine. But then when you actually said, okay, you're getting gas and the gas is expanding, something that wasn't designed to expand, it was just existing, designed to pass this stuff through, pull out the nutrients that can because it's churning.

[00:14:18.960] – Allan
So it's pulling out the nutrients as it goes over. It was 17 feet. So it goes across this distance. And during that time, it's pulling out all the nutrients and there's a very specialized process. But if it's swelling up because there's excess gas in there, then I can now I can kind of understand how it would force things out, and of course, the gas is trying to escape, but at the same time…

[00:14:47.100] – Phoebe
Yeah, often it just gets trapped.

[00:14:49.680] – Allan
All the stuff in there is also getting forced to go somewhere to some extent because it's in that same space. It's trying to occupy that same space, which is getting more and more compressed. And you you feel like you're eating well. You feel like you're doing everything you're supposed to do, but you're getting sicker and sicker.

[00:15:07.180] – Phoebe
Yeah. and I think that's another really difficult thing and why I think learning about SIBO and having some sort of awareness is so important because, we're all like grabbing for straws and there are definitely going to be certain experts or influencer or whatever you want to call that people follow and they will reach towards whatever the piece of advice is. But we're all so different and anything that can help can also hurt. And SIBO is a prime example of that.

[00:15:33.040] – Phoebe
So the low FODMAP diet, which is something I had heard about kind of while I was doing research for my first book, is basically the opposite of what the gut sensis were telling me to do. And at the time I didn't understand. I'm like, why would this help people with IBS and the low FODMAP diet is very data-backed for reducing IBS symptoms. And I kind of knew deep down that I had to be because their guts were so damaged in the first place that they couldn't even handle some of those, quote unquote, good gut foods. Or perhaps they're missing bacterial species that helped to break them down. Could be all of the above and or SIBO.

[00:16:09.570] – Phoebe
But SIBO really appealed to my common sense because it makes perfect sense that bacteria, good or bad, if they're eating their favorite foods but they're in the wrong place, are going to cause you a lot of symptoms.

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[00:18:03.100] – Allan
Now, one of the things, like I said, where you kind of added an extra row to my Rubik's Cube was that a lot of people will go through. And IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and it's somewhat of a nebulous thing. That just means you you have diarrhea or you have constipation or you have gas or just any kind of digestive problem.

[00:18:27.730] – Allan
Then you throw in some other things that often accompany this same issue and diagnosing it and then beyond diagnosing it, actually knowing how to treat it. Because, like you said, we we want to be able to remove what we need to remove without doing complete damage to the entire rest of our system. So you talked about topics like SIFO, which is more of a fungal thing like candida. You talked about estrogen dominance and kind of some things about the thyroid that often come hand in hand, almost like you said, amigos. But I would say Co-villians.

[00:19:11.280] – Phoebe
Yeah.

[00:19:15.550] – Allan
They're basically the criminal mastermind group that gets together to go against the Superfriends. Can you kind of talk about a few of those that, for lack of a better word, are related issues that you'll find with SIBO?

[00:19:28.330] – Phoebe
Yeah. So SIFO, that one is easy. So that's just the same acronym. But instead of bacteria you've got fungus overgrowing, which Candida falls into that category. And it's because the mechanics again, when the mechanics go off the rails, you have a chance for anything to overgrow. So I can give you a little bit of an overview of of what the main reasons why someone who gets SIBO might have as contributing factors.

[00:19:55.120] – Phoebe
So kind of the first category is any sort of structural impediments. A lot of people have had any sort of abdominal surgery, even if it's laparoscopic, you kind of have this internal scar tissue that you may not know about that kind of restricts or changes the movement.

[00:20:13.060] – Allan
And that even includes a hysterectomy, right?

[00:20:14.770] – Phoebe
Yeah, yeah. And like not to scare you, but if you have some sort of tumor like that, it's going to change the structure of the abdomen and endometriosis is a big one for women. It causes the endometrial lining to occur outside of the uterus, and that can mean a lot of growth that are bearing down on the intestines. It also can mean a lot of laparoscopic surgeries. So, check check both boxes there.

[00:20:38.890] – Phoebe
The second big category has to do with something called the migrating motor complex. Again, something that I never heard of when I just did my basic gut research prior. But this is the street sweeper wave that moves food through your small intestine. So it's not like the same as peristalsis. It's kind of described as cleaning up the dishes after a meal. So it just helps literally to kind of like conveyor belt food through. And so when that breaks down and it can for so many different reasons, then that's, of course, going to equate to an overgrowth very easily.

[00:21:16.330] – Phoebe
The third category, I would say, is just various ways that bacteria aren't killed. So someone with an immune deficiency, someone with low stomach acid, someone with out a gallbladder, anyone who's not producing enough enzymes or bile, that's of course, all those ingredients were designed by your body to neutralize unwanted bacteria because bacteria is coming into our body through our nose and mouth every single day. It's just part of the way of life. So, again, like included in those ingredients could be yeast or fungus. And our body is naturally going to have a certain level of bacteria and fungus, but not in the small intestines per say, because we're meant to have a lot of bile and acid in there and we're meant to have this street sweeper wave moving things through

[00:22:11.320] – Phoebe
The second category, I think of the overlapping conditions that you mentioned would kind of fall under hormones. Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's, which is what I wrote about in my last book, The Wellness Project, I didn't even realize, really goes hand in hand with SIBO. And it's because you need a healthy gut in order to have your inactive thyroid hormone T4 converted into T3, which is the active thyroid hormone. But on the flipside, you need the T3 hormone in order to have a healthy gut so it can become this real vicious cycle, as many things with SIBO can.

[00:22:51.520] – Phoebe
So that's one. And then estrogen dominance you mentioned again comes down to hormones. So our liver is such an important player in the digestive process if your liver is not functioning up to snuff, you're going to not be carrying out your estrogen in the way you should, and then that could create estrogen dominance. And you also could have estrogen dominance because of all the hormones in dairy products and the animals we eat and the personal care products we put on our body. There are just so many ways that that can happen.

[00:23:23.390] – Phoebe
And then guess what? Estrogen dominance can also prevent you from converting your thyroid hormones properly. So all of these things, again, do feed into one another. And another funny one with the Hashimoto's and estrogen dominance connection is that if you're not pooping and stuff which can happen is a very common symptom of Hashimoto's, because if you're not if you don't have enough T3 in circulation, the migrating motor complex doesn't work as well. So again, you're going to have a motility issue. You tend to not be able to absorb your B12 as much, which also leads to brain fog. So, yeah, again, you're not pooping enough, then you're going to have estrogen dominant because you're not getting rid of your excess hormones.

[00:24:16.910] – Phoebe
Oh, gosh, that's a lot to keep track of.

[00:24:19.880] – Allan
It is. And that's why I think this book is valuable, because if you're going through this, you have this is a reference. Now, one of the things you got into in the book that I thought was really important because, prior to this, again, I knew there was IBS. We've talked about the low FODMAP diet on the podcast before. But if you can segment this and start to understand exactly what's going on in your body, then you're going to have the right treatment protocol to get things done well, rather than just have to do a full on. Let's just cut everything out, do this huge elimination diet and all of that. You can basically refine how you're approaching things and deal with them the right way, is the testing. And so if you go through and say, okay, I'm going to do the testing, you can get some information about what might be going on. But even that is a little bit of a complexity.

[00:25:13.340] – Phoebe
Yeah.

[00:25:13.850] – Allan
Can you talk a little bit about the testing?

[00:25:16.190] – Phoebe
Sure. So, I get people who write me and are saying I got a stool test and it says I have SIBO. And I just have to politely say, there is no stool test that can tell you if you have SIBO that's really just covering the large intestine. So the main testing for determining SIBO is a breath test and it makes you feel a little bit like a mad scientist when you do it. Essentially the trick is you have to kind of prep your system similar to an endoscopies, a colonoscopy, not as intense, not as crazy, but by modifying your diet for 24 hours before only doing white rice and lean meats, you're trying to make sure that there's nothing left in the canal that could cross react, then fasting for 24 hours, then the morning of you drink a sugar solution. And there are a few different types that they use in these tests.

[00:26:08.720] – Phoebe
But essentially you drink this sugar solution and then you breathe into a tube every 15 to 20 minutes, different tests of different intervals, and they measure the levels of gases in your breath. And if they find hydrogen or methane and they're essentially tracking it in those intervals to see how far the sugar solution has made it down your intestinal track. Because once you reach the third hour and it in theory has reached the large intestine, you should see a spike in those gases.

[00:26:37.880] – Phoebe
The only reason why you would be seeing these gases in your breath is because of bacteria eating your food. There's no other reason. So if you see within the first hour or two some sort of spike with hydrogen or methane, that could mean an overgrowth. And it is a little bit of the Wild West, different labs and different countries, all and different doctors all have different criteria for what levels constitute a SIBO diagnosis. But at the very least, like a lot of studies have compiled, all the data can see that a positive breath test does correlate to having someone experience some relief after treatment.

[00:27:16.670] – Phoebe
So whether you want to call it SIBO or not, there's something wrong that in your digestive system. The treatments for SIBO seem to work. And one of the reasons why that is, is there are different treatments for different types of bugs that are overgrowing. So it's important to kind of see if you're hydrogen dominant or methane dominant or a third type, which now they just introduced a test to test all three at once, which is hydrogen sulfide, dominant.

[00:27:42.410] – Phoebe
So it's it's a very complicated and imprecise science, but that's the best we got right now.

[00:27:50.030] – Allan
Well, and that is what we have. And you've put a lot of that in the book. So, again, as a reference, I think anyone that's suffering from IBS or SIBO would want to kind of go through this. Now, we don't really have time on a podcast. Like this to go through all the treatment, things that you should consider and all that, but you you hit like really quickly in the book The 10 Treatment Rules of Thumb. Could you kind of just walk us through those real quick? Because I think this is this will give someone an idea of what's involved in actually going through a treatment protocol.

[00:28:21.790] – Phoebe
Yeah, I wish I could remember them. I should, like, open the book and have my cheat sheet in front of me. But essentially, there are three buckets. There are different types of antimicrobials. One is a conventional antibiotic and there are a few different types. And the kind of main one for hydrogen SIBO is not as harmful to the large intestines as some conventional ones. It's really designed specifically for SIBO and does a great job and just eradicating the Zebo and not affecting the balance in large intestines. Then there is some herbal options. So just natural combinations, compound formulas of herbal antimicrobials and some antifungals in there as well.

[00:29:04.510] – Phoebe
And some doctors prefer to just use like singular herbs when targeting. Unfortunately, those have a little bit more of a wide, broad range, broad spectrum reach. So people who think, oh, I want to go the natural route, it's not necessarily better or worse. I personally want the natural route because I'm one of those people. I'm like, I want to do the natural thing. But they're not innocuous. A really powerful plant medicine. So something to keep in mind.

[00:29:30.280] – Phoebe
And then there is this one category called the Elemental Diet, which is not a diet at all. It is, in fact, a medical solution. That is, all of your nutrients boil down to their most elemental form so that they absorb immediately upon reaching the small intestine so they don't make it through far enough for your bacteria to ever feast on them and the treatment plan is to do it for two weeks, which is a long time to just be drinking your food. But it appeals to some people.

[00:30:01.720] – Phoebe
With the the varied options in your toolkit, you can really look at what are your lifestyle priorities? Do you want to do you want to get this thing done quickly? Do you want something that's the least expensive? Because budget is your main concern. Do you not want do you want to have a social life and not have to drink your nutrients every single day and actually go out to dinner with your friends? These are all things to keep to keep in mind.

[00:30:24.820] – Phoebe
But I think the most important part of treatment, and I'm sure this was in my commandments, which I wrote a long time ago, so I can't remember off the cuff. It really comes down to you can get rid of the bacteria, you can do all these kill protocols. But that's only the first leg of the labyrinth because, again, it's SIBO is just a sign that there's something that's not right. So if it's your migrating motor complex, if it's that you have low stomach acid, if it's that you have some sort of structural issue, you kind of need to uncover those root causes if you don't want SIBO to recur, because that's why it's a chronic condition, is when people don't take the time to uncover those root causes and some of them you cannot fix. But if you know about them, if you're able to keep them in mind, there are lifestyle ways to try and protect yourself as much as possible.

[00:31:17.530] – Allan
Sometimes minimizing the damage is the best way to do. Now, you mentioned something, and I think it's really important because most of us actually do want to have a life, and when things get back to normal, we're going to want to go on dates with our spouse, meet a friend for lunch or something like that. We're going to get back to doing that one of these days. If I've got this stomach issue, now I've got a fear, a deep seated fear that I really can't be out in public eating like that or I really don't know how to approach it because I don't know what to eat at a restaurant. You talked about in the book. Can you talk a little bit about how do I plan for and actually go out and eat.

[00:32:05.480] – Phoebe
Yeah. So first of all, I'll put the the whole concept of diet in the context of treatment and where it fits in. And it is kind of one of the questions I get asked the most because people are quite confused about it because again, low FODMAP map really, really data back for reducing IBS symptoms does necessarily cure SIBO or help kill the bacteria. Most doctors say on its own, no.

[00:32:27.710] – Phoebe
So there are plenty of people who will go through a SIBO treatment and won't make a single change to their diet and they end up fine. That's not most people because again, there's usually a big overlap of other issues, especially autoimmune issues that happen with SIBO.

[00:32:43.310] – Phoebe
So the low FODMAP diet is kind of twofold. A, you're trying to get rid of some of the things that are making your body most reactive, making the bacteria most reactive so that you can quiet your immune system and start to heal your gut. Then there's kind of the second camp of thinking, OK, well, I'm starving the bacteria by taking away their favorite foods. I think that's probably less true. And again, why it's not like a treatment in and of itself.

[00:33:12.020] – Phoebe
So a lot of people will recommend you do the kill protocol, the quote unquote kill protocol first and then layer on a low FODMAP diet to just help with symptoms. Some people say you can just do it and have it be imperfect. So making sure you're kind of like feeding the bacteria every now and then so that the antibiotics and antimicrobials actually work properly. There's different thinking on it, period. But I will say a lot of people do end up layering in the diet because it makes them feel better. And it's the one thing that you have to control to feel better immediately, because that doesn't always happen with the medication. They're hard core medications, even the herbs. And you may sometimes feel worse when you first go on that because there's a lot of killing involved and that comes with its own toxins and side effects.

[00:34:00.830] – Phoebe
So a lot of people end up on these SIBO diets and they end up not having much of a social life because they can't eat out, because one of the biggest categories of ingredients to remove on a low fat diet or a SIBO diet is garlic and onion, which is in 99% everything.

[00:34:17.390] – Allan
The delicious things.

[00:34:20.222] – Phoebe
Yeah. It's actually really easy, as you'll see in the book, to create gorgeous, delicious food at home without those things. But restaurants have not gotten that memo. There's usually some of it in everything.

[00:34:32.450] – Phoebe
But, yeah, I think it comes down to just mindset. And I know a lot of people with Sebo who just have such food fear because, food is associated with symptoms. My biggest piece of advice is if you stray from this diet, if you have symptoms, it's not going to necessarily make SIBO come back. It's not going to set you back beyond the cycle of your digestive system. So you may feel crappy for a day or two, but after that, you're going to be fine. It's not causing any permanent damage. So there is some leeway there for you to go out and have fun. And, if there's a little bit of garlic in your food, it might make you feel bloated and miserable, but you have to just kind of let that go and accept that as a consequence and as a proper tradeoff for having time with your friends and family.

[00:35:21.710] – Phoebe
It's harder for vegetarians, I would say, to eat out. But there is usually a scenario at most restaurants, especially like French and Italian, which do have a lot of garlic and onion. But you can usually call ahead. And there's usually a way to have like a piece of protein that's grilled or or seared plain and a side of salad or wilted spinach. I think having done this for a while, if you explain your medical predicament in the off hours before you arrive, then there's usually something that can be done for you that doesn't have to be a spectacle at the table.

[00:35:55.010] – Allan
Yeah, having worked in the restaurant business, I can tell you, if you're calling it six o'clock for seven o'clock dinner, they're busy. And so the little girl's going to answer the phone on the at the front of the house and she's going to go back there and say, you really want me to tell the chef this? And it's not going to make it to the chef.

[00:36:12.800] – Phoebe
No.

[00:36:13.310] – Allan
Whereas if you call at two o'clock in the afternoon when she's basically cutting lemons and wrapping silverware. She'll be able to go back there and the chef is at that point starting the prep and everything, and maybe you talk to the sous chef, maybe talk to the chef. But, yeah, just saying, I've got I've got an issue with garlic and onions. Could I have prepared without them or what would you recommend off your menu? In many cases, they might even have something on their menu that they can just recommend straight away.

[00:36:41.390] – Allan
Or you can ask them to modify a few things, get your protein, get the vegetables and that are appropriate for you and charge on. And this is with any way of eating.

[00:36:51.150] – Phoebe
Yeah.

[00:36:52.100] – Allan
You're the customer that you're the patron coming into that restaurant. So take ownership, make the phone call, get the menu out and have the conversation with them and you should be able to figure it out.

[00:37:08.010] – Phoebe
Yeah, I have a friend who has lupus and really can't have any salt. Otherwise, she'll potentially have kidney failure. And that's, again, very hard to do at a restaurant because a lot of the meats are preseasoned and marinated, a lot of even vegetables that are blanched in a pot of salted water in advance, like it can be a real minefield. And she has a very cute laminated card with a note from her mother. That's like it's just like, please don't kill me. And she just asked the waitstaff to take it back into the kitchen. She has places by her house where she knows the staff and the chef and they know what to do with her. She can call in advance. But in last minute scenarios, she has to go back with the card. And people always find something for her. It's maybe sad. It's not ideal, but like they always find a way. So, yes, if you can appeal to someone's conscience or sense of wanting to feed you, that's great.

[00:38:09.060] – Allan
Well, that's why they get into that business. That's what they want. So, yeah, you're just asking them to do it in a more responsible way for you. And that's good.

[00:38:19.070] – Allan
Phoebe, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:38:27.800] – Phoebe
Oh man. So many. So forgive me if I said some of these the last time around because I'm so grateful that I did my wellness project before the CIBO experience, because it really did teach me a lot. And I already had a pretty robust toolkit in terms of the lifestyle stuff that helped me on my way with SIBO. But I would say, number one, set yourself up for success at home so you can find more freedom out in the world, assuming we'll all be more out in the world at some point.

[00:38:58.790] – Phoebe
But maybe this past year has been a blessing in disguise for a lot of people setting themselves up in that way at home. So I think kind of one time swaps for me, just like switching everything over to natural's in terms of cleaners, personal care products, et cetera, was huge. And I never have to think about it again.

[00:39:15.680] – Phoebe
And the three meals a day that I eat where I have to think about putting a filter on my tap, never have to think about getting chemicals out of my water again. I just know that those things are lowering my toxic burden every single day without me having to lend any sort of mindspace to it.

[00:39:36.800] – Phoebe
Then I would say number two is more specific to SIBO is that how you eat is much more important than what you eat. I know the information circulating out there is always around what you're eating, but again, thinking about kind of the mechanics of your digestive system, how you eat it truly is much more important.

[00:39:57.800] – Phoebe
So that migrating motor complex, it only kicks into gear during a fasting state of 90 minutes or more. So that means it doesn't matter what you're eating, but if you're snacking all the time, if you're grabbing for a couple almonds and even if it's not prepackaged, like but certainly prepacked is the so that it doesn't matter, like your you're stopping that function from kicking into gear and that's going to prevent food from moving through your system in the way it was meant to.

[00:40:25.250] – Phoebe
And then number three, I would just say, like, do not forget about the the mind gut connection and the power of mindset in general. I do think if we stress too much about what we're eating, it doesn't matter how much kale or what have you is on your plate. You're not going to be healthy and you could be creating symptoms without even knowing it. I know that happens to a lot of SIBO people on the other side of treatment.

[00:40:50.540] – Phoebe
And when they're starting to reintroduce, there's just so much fear around it that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So for that reason, I'd say like if you have IBS, if you have a lot of gut issues, don't just look into all these protocols, but maybe also look into a modality that's not talked about as much like hypnotherapy for IBS, just as effective as the low FODMAP diet for reducing symptoms. And I would say probably has more of a holistic impact on your overall condition.

[00:41:20.640] – Allan
Thank you, Phoebe. If someone wanted to learn more about you or about the book, SIBO Made Simple, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:41:28.530] – Phoebe
You can send them to SIBOmadesimple.com for everything about the book and to get some of the bonuses, which will still be available after launch. And for recipes, you can go to feedmephoebe.com and really just to keep up with my my usual happenings, the best place to go is Instagram, which is just my name at Phoebe Lapine.

[00:41:51.540] – Allan
Cool. So you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/475 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Phoebe, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:42:01.980] – Phoebe
Thank you.


Post Show/Recap

[00:42:08.070] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:42:09.690] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Wow! I don't know that SIBO is very simple. It sounds like a very complicated situation.

[00:42:16.410] – Allan
It is. I compared it to a Rubik's Cube. And that's kind of one of those puzzles that I've never really ever wrap my mind completely around. There is an algorithm to it that they tell you, get this side worked and then you can just start doing these things. And over time, you're going to end up with with a solved puzzle. I'm not going to say that this is that simple, but Phoebe did do a pretty good job of putting together an algorithm for you, for lack of a better word, approach, a program to kind of help you deal with this, because it isn't simple.

[00:42:51.700] – Allan
It's just not a simple thing. And it's never necessarily even one thing. Sometimes you've got two or three things all coming in together. And that complexity means that most of the time you go to your doctor and you're going to hear, oh, you have IBS.

[00:43:07.050] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:43:07.710] – Allan
Are they going to know what's causing the IBS. Not necessarily. So you have this syndrome that they really haven't defined what's wrong with you. And they can try they'll try different things. But in many cases, it's just going to make things worse. So Phoebe did do a really good job of making it as simple as it can be. So if you're dealing with this, I mean, just something I've never really had to deal with. I've got a steel tank for a stomach that can pretty much I'm going to be fine.

[00:43:36.630] – Rachel
Lucky you!

[00:43:38.300] – Allan
The only thing I've ever eaten that I that I probably had to stress with was was durian fruit in Malaysia. And the problem I had was. One, it smells horrible, too. It doesn't taste that good. They like it and the Japanese like it. But and then three, it made me extremely gassy. And I had it the day before I got on an airplane for the States. So yeah, 15 hours on an airplane after eating durian fruit. I was not a very popular person.

[00:44:08.910] – Rachel
That's so aweful.

[00:44:11.700] – Allan
Otherwise I can pretty much eat anything. And I do well. I don't have a lot of stomach distress, but I recognize the impact it has on people's lives. If you're having to wait for a movement in the morning before you feel comfortable and confident to leave the house, that's that's not a good scene. That's not how you want to live. And so making sure that you're doing the right lifestyle things to to manage your health and manage your gut microbiome, because there are no real short, simple answers.

[00:44:45.930] – Rachel
Yeah. It's a good thing she wrote this book because SIBO is such an unusual situation. And the thing with IBS is that it has a broad range of of symptoms and it's hard to sometimes put your finger on. And like you mentioned, it's hard to get diagnosed properly. So to have this kind of handbook to highlight some of the key points, to watch for or to or even the treatments to try seems like a really beneficial thing for such a unique disease or problem.

[00:45:15.750] – Allan
And to your to your point there, I mean, yeah, when constipation and diarrhea are both symptoms of the same thing.

[00:45:22.110] – Rachel
Oh my gosh. It happens all the time and it could be just something you ate or it could be the signs of a bigger looming problem. It's hard to figure out.

[00:45:33.390] – Allan
Yeah, but if it's something you're dealing with on a day to day basis, you've got to actually put the time in and get that fixed because that's that's pulling away from the quality of your life. And, I say this at the end of every show, you know what? What are the things that you would do to be healthy and fit and happy? Those are all in my wellness formula. You have to have all three. And if you're dealing with stomach distress and other symptoms of SIBO, it's worth taking the time to work through some of these protocols and try to get that under control.

[00:46:05.730] – Allan
And one of the cool things about the human body and particularly our digestive track is it heals itself. So if you take the time to do those things, you might not ever have to deal with this again. Once you've solved the problem, unlike a lot of other chronic illnesses, you have to keep treating it. You have to keep dealing with it. But SIBO is one of those things that once you kind of get that bacteria out of your small intestine, once you get the maybe even the fungi, because, again, the SIFO, once you get that stuff done and out of your system, if you're eating right and you're doing the right lifestyle things, it's probably not going to come back. And that's that's a very positive message to kind of take out of this is, if irritable bowel syndrome syndrome is something that you deal with on a regular basis, there is a solution. And Phoebe has done a really good job of mapping that out, taking care of herself. This is something she personally went through. And then she's done the research a lot of really good research with that to put forward solutions for you.

[00:47:10.950] – Rachel
That's really wonderful. It's nice to have that ray of sunshine knowing that it's treatable and you may not ever have to deal with it once you know how to treat it and maybe watch the foods to avoid are the the way of eating that you should avoid.

[00:47:27.820] – Allan
I finished up the pre launch of my 12 week program and man, I cannot tell you how proud I am of the 12 people that went through this program.

[00:47:38.640]
Yay, they worked… they're working so hard because they're still in it. It's 12 week program. Some of them started all the way back in early December, the last days of December, even before New Year's Eve. So they they didn't wait for New Year's resolutions. They jumped on it. And then I've got others that have just come in recently. So they're just kind of getting started. But it's like having a family now.

[00:48:00.260]
I mean, we're really, really cool to have people that are all going through a common mission, try to get healthy and fit to try to lose some weight. And they're doing it and they're doing it. And it's not always a straight line and then gathers struggles just like any other thing that's worth having. But they're putting the work in and it's just so rewarding to watch people succeed at something that they've struggled with. One of the clients in there, she said before we got on there, she says, is it can you even lose weight when you're over 50?

[00:48:30.740] – Rachel
Oh, wow.

[00:48:31.640] – Allan
She had this limiting belief that you couldn't lose weight after the age of 50, particularly if you're a woman, that she was just destined to stay overweight.

[00:48:42.260] – Rachel
Wow.

[00:48:43.610] – Allan
She's learning so much about her body and learning so much about how she can get healthy and as a really cool side effect of being healthy, losing weight. It's just it's just really exciting to see that change in people. So I'm loving what I'm doing right now.

[00:48:58.760] – Rachel
That is so exciting. What are some of the commonalities you're seeing? Are you seeing people moving more or making some really neat swaps with their diet? What are you seeing with your change with your group?

[00:49:09.880] – Allan
It's a little bit of all of it, because as as as we look at making changes like this that are not just a diet, so you go in and say, Okay, here, I'm going to go on, I'm going to go on a diet and then I'm going to do that. So I lose the five pounds or the 15 pounds that we're trying to lose here. And then you say, okay, I'll just I'll go back to eating what I ate before because I lost the weight. And guess what happens? The weight comes back and it comes back with a vengeance. And people like I don't understand, I diet and then again, all back. Well, you didn't stay eating a way that was sustainable for your body. So what we're trying to do here is we're trying to look at. Moving more, you've got a trainer that's giving you workouts and holding you accountable, then you have the guidance and support and accountability that you need just to remain active. So that's there.

[00:49:57.350] – Allan
And then with the food and everything else is sort of like, Okay, what's sustainable for me. What's the right thing for me? And so I have have 12 people. All of them are eating their own way. They're all unique in what they're doing, the exercises they're doing because they're building a sustainable lifestyle that works for them.

[00:50:19.970]
So there are some commonalities. Yes. If you were used to eating a certain food and you're like, I really want pizza, just an aside, so pizza. Pizza's one of those dangerous foods in general because it's high carb and high fat, okay, and that's that's just like you're just telling your body that you don't like it. I just don't get me wrong. I love this too. But it's high fat and it's high carb. And so it's way too many calories for the nutritional value that you're getting from a pizza to be worth it. And so some people, it's just like, okay, they ordered pizza and I scraped the topping off and didn't eat the bread. Is that a good thing? I said yes, better. And then I shared a recipe for what they call the fat head pizza crust, which is just basically cheese and almond flour. And basically you make a crust with that and then you put your toppings on. So is it the healthiest thing or the best nutrition thing in the world? And the answer's no, but it's not high fat, high carb anymore. It's high fat. And what you'll find with the with the fat head type pizza is you just can't eat six slices of this stuff.

[00:51:37.704] – Rachel
Gosh no!

[00:51:40.740] – Allan
You're going to eat one or two slices and say, oh, my goodness, I am I am full. And you're six hours later, you're still going to be full. Ao that's one of the advantages of of things like that when you're when you're you're looking at the not just the calories in, calories out because it is a thing. But we're going to I'm going to talk about that in an upcoming podcast. But there's also the what you're eating and are you getting the nutrition you need. And there's the hormone piece. And so all of those are layers on something that's a very complex thing that everybody want a simple rule.

[00:52:15.200] – Allan
Tell me what to eat. Tell me what's naughty. And it's it's never really that simple, because if I told someone they could never have pizza again every single day of their lives, they're going to be craving pizza because I said they couldn't have it. So not saying you can't have it just under. And what it is, I have a plan and then manage to that.

[00:52:38.310] – Allan
If you slip up, it's like, okay, you went out with friends and you had a piece of pizza. You're not going to die.

[00:52:46.360] – Rachel
No.

[00:52:47.590] – Allan
But now you put the carbs in your system, you put the high fat in your system, and you feel a little bloated, you feel a little bad the next day because you did it. And if you did it for the right reasons, then that's great. But if you didn't, then lesson learned. Let's move on.

[00:53:05.030] – Allan
There's not one common lesson. And I think that's why at times I've used cookie cutter stuff and it generally works for most people. But some of those things are just not sustainable because they're cookie cutter.

[00:53:19.000] – Rachel
Right.

[00:53:19.630] – Allan
They're not designed for you. And so everything I'm doing with this program is completely custom. And so I'm talking to each and every person, what do you like to eat? What do you do? I've got a vegetarian in there. Other people that were like, you mean I get to eat meat and I'm like, you get to eat meat, you should be eating meat if you like meat, it's got tons of great nutrition in it. You don't have to ignore or throw out an entire food group. And no, I don't consider carbs a food group. I consider vegetables a food group. I consider meat a food group. And so I'm not saying you can't have carbs, you can have some carbs, but you want to get it from sources that are actually food.

[00:54:02.180] – Rachel
Yes.

[00:54:02.800] – Allan
And pizza dough is not actually food.

[00:54:07.290] – Rachel
No nutrients in that that's for sure.

[00:54:09.910] – Allan
Well, they might they might enrich the the flour with with some B vitamin, niacin. But at best that's that said it's enriched flour but it's flour and it's going to be blood sugar and it's going to be insulin and then it's going to be fat.

[00:54:25.900] – Rachel
Yeah.

[00:54:26.800] – Allan
Because you're eating the high fat on top of that, the calories are higher and boom, it's like, OK, we've got all this stuff, let's just start storing it because I got nothing. I got nothing to do with this. And so it just stores it as fat. And so, that's the unfortunate reality of things, is you don't have to say no, but you might have to substitute or if you're going to do it, at least understanding what it's going to mean in your overall approach to health and wellness.

[00:54:55.990] – Rachel
That sounds awesome. Well, I'm really excited for all your people who get these customized training programs and and tips and and all this support from you. I'm really excited to see that success. That's wonderful.

[00:55:08.120] – Allan
Yeah, they're having… I'm having a ball. They don't know exactly. But at the same time, I'm saying, well, what do you what are you missing? What's not there that you want there? And for the most part, they're not really missing much.

[00:55:25.600] – Rachel
No, but it's a big habit change, though when you're used to eating something or moving in a certain way, sometimes it's really hard to make those big changes. But once they try it, it leads to other things. When you are starting to eat well, you can move better. And when you're starting to move better, you want to eat better. So it's like a snowball. Once it gets rolling, it gets better. So that's exciting.

[00:55:53.110] – Allan
Anything else you want to go over, Rachel, before we call it a day?

[00:55:56.140] – Rachel
No, today was a good one, but thank you.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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How to solve your energy equation with Dr. Sarah Myhill

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In her book, The Energy Equation, Dr. Sarah Myhill shows us why finding the right energy balance is critical for a long, healthy life.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:01:57.390] – Allan
Raz, how's your week going?

[00:02:00.390] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:02.460] – Allan
I'm doing all right. In the 80s during the day and 70s at night. My wife and I are starting to try to do our transition, move over to the bed and breakfast she bought. Our rent runs out at the end of March for the apartment. So she pretty much wants to be moved over there. And here you can't really leave a property unattended overnight. People will break in and steal things. So we have to stay there. I go by the apartment every once while just to see it's still there. But because I'm paying rent. But yeah. So we're doing kind of a move right now.

[00:02:41.340] – Allan
And then of course, I did get the gym open February 1st. Trying to run the gym and slow grow and we've got people coming in. But it's nice to have, you know, that back going again. So it's it's good times. How about you?

[00:02:56.640] – Rachel
Sounds exciting. Well, we're the exact opposite of you right now. We have some Arctic air coming in, so we're in the single digits and sometimes those have a negative in front of them as well. So I am avoiding the outside while we are in those single digits and spending some time in my gym. So I just did a spin bike for about an hour this morning and doing some drills and just trying to keep warm as best I can.

[00:03:27.250] – Allan
I'm going to tell you this. This morning I think it got down to… it might have got down all the way to 70.

[00:03:35.460] – Rachel
Oh, gosh, I would love right now.

[00:03:38.550] – Allan
Yes, I would say it was like probably for the folks that are doing Celsius, about 22 degrees Celsius. And I was cold. I was like, I'm going to have to put a sweatshirt on.

[00:03:53.700] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh, I need three layers of clothing. If I even go outside to get the mail.

[00:03:59.710] – Allan
You'll lose toes.

[00:04:01.220] – Rachel
Right? Yeah.

[00:04:03.560] – Allan
But I did see on Facebook that I guess Holland or New Holland, I forget the city name.

[00:04:09.710] – Rachel
Holland

[00:04:10.940] – Allan
Holland has heated sidewalks, so that's cool. So tell us a little bit about that.

[00:04:17.180] – Rachel
I don't know a ton about it, but I believe that there's a wastewater treatment plant downtown or a plant of some sort where they need to recirculate their water. And when it comes out all nice and hot, it needs to go somewhere. So why not underneath the sidewalks of the downtown? So this heated water goes through all these coils underneath these beautiful brick sidewalks. They've got about almost five miles at this point of sidewalks that are heated for this treatment plant's hot water.

[00:04:47.300] – Rachel
And it's amazing because it can melt snow at such a rate. So even when it's snowing full blown snow like we get in Michigan, it is able to keep up with certain inches per hour, a couple of inches per hour of snow, which is quite a bit. So when we got there the other day to run the heated sidewalks, there was dry brick pavement to run and no slipping and sliding, not even slush. And it is a stark contrast because the roads are totally full of snow. We actually got probably about seven inches of snow over the weekend. So it's amazing to see these perfectly dry sidewalks in stark contrast to the snowy roads. It was it's pretty amazing.

[00:05:30.770] – Allan
So when are you going to make Michael do that with your running path?

[00:05:33.800] – Rachel
We are so close. That'll be that'll be our summer projects. Maybe because there there's houses that have these sidewalks that go along the side of their house so they literally don't have to shovel that portion of their sidewalk, which I'm telling you would just be heaven. It's pretty amazing.

[00:05:53.330] – Allan
Shoveling is good exercise, too.

[00:05:55.340] – Rachel
It is. It is a good workout for sure.

[00:05:59.300] – Allan
All right. So today we have on Dr. Sarah Myhill and she did the PK Cookbook, which is a Paleo Keto cookbook. And today we're going to talk about her book, The Energy Equation. So are you ready to get into that?

[00:06:14.590] – Rachel
Let's go.

Interview

Text

[00:06:38.180] – Allan
Dr. Myhill. Welcome back to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:41.150] – Dr. Myhill
Thank you for inviting me, Allan. You're always a very good questioner.

[00:06:45.470] – Allan
Well, good. Now, the last time we had you on, we were talking about the PK Cookbook, which was the paleo ketogenic cookbook. Very good cookbook, by the way. Very good approach towards nutrition. And now your new book is The Energy Equation: From the Naked Ape to the Knackered Ape. And you did in the book, you explain that knackered for you americans out there just means tired or exhausted.

[00:07:13.370] – Allan
When I have a conversation with someone when they want to go in and get into personal training, I'll be like, Okay, what's what's going on? And of course, there's the weight gain and there's the other things that they're they're worried about. But I hear fatigue in just about every single one of those conversations.

[00:07:36.920] – Dr. Myhill
Yeah. Fatigue is the commonest symptom that presents in Western medicine and the worst treated.

[00:07:44.240] – Allan
I agree, because in many cases we we don't know what we don't know. You get you get tired and most people will say, that's and that's just getting old. You know, you're just getting old. You got to slow down.

[00:08:00.540] – Dr. Myhill
Yeah, but age doesn't cause anything. Age is not a mechanism. Age is a clinical picture. Age doesn't cause. You say we have to ask what is it about age that causes fatigue? And I think that age is great. You blame for fatigue when there are other eminently treatable aspects.

[00:08:20.660] – Allan
Right. Now, we're not talking about the, I didn't get enough sleep last night, I sleep well every other night, so I'm just a little tired or I went out and did a four hour walk or run, and now I'm really knackered. So we're talking about the chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalitis. Kind of these deep-rooted conditions that we could be going through.

[00:08:51.040] – Dr. Myhill
Well, that's one part of the spectrum. Now, I learned so much about treating the symptoms of fatigue through my work with patients with ME and chronic fatigue syndrome. But what I find is that exactly the same principles applied to people who are otherwise well will improve their energy levels and improve their level of functioning. And even more importantly, when you apply these techniques to athletes, you improve their level of functioning as well.

[00:09:21.160] – Dr. Myhill
So the techniques we're going to talk about today are common to everybody. It doesn't matter if you've got chronic fatigue syndrome. If you're old, if you're young, if you're well, if you're a top athlete, we can all improve our energy mechanisms. Well, attention to these details.

[00:09:34.370] – Allan
And I think the deeper concept here is kind of hit me in the gut a little bit was that if you feel like you're suffering from fatigue, the root causes of it are kind of the same metabolic problems that we have that cause cancers, coronaries, diabetes, dementia, just everything that we equate to getting old.

[00:09:58.460] – Dr. Myhill
Absolutely. Absolutely, 100 percent. And not only do you improve how you feel now, but by putting in place these interventions, you greatly protect yourself from the risk of those nasty diseases that you describe. And that's why it's so important. We should all do it now. Don't wait for something nasty to happen. Really grasp the nettle now.

[00:10:21.190] – Allan
Now you use the title, The Energy Equation. And I love that because it's a conversation that comes up all the time when we're talking about weight loss. It's energy in energy out and calories, in calories out. I try to explain to people that it's not that thermodynamics doesn't work in the human body. It does. But we've got it backwards, I think. We have it backwards. The trying to burn out the calories and do more and get more done. And just the modern lifestyles we have and the approaches we have towards energy. It's kind of backwards, isn't it?

[00:10:57.790] – Dr. Myhill
Yes. What we know for absolutely for sure is that part that you describe, i.e. it's calories in and calories out. There's no relationship to effective weight loss because if you reduce the calories that you are eating, then the body thinks, oh, we're in starvation. Right. There's a famine and it shuts down energy burning and it's the body shuts down energy buring that makes you fatigued, it makes the foggy brain. You can't think clearly. It makes you depressed, it makes you anxious. Everything slows down. And that is no fun at all. The body just balances up energy burning or calories burnt to the calories consumed. So there's much more effective ways of losing weight which we can come onto, which do not involve calorie restriction.

[00:11:46.410] – Allan
I think one of the keys here as I was getting into it and you quoted someone I can't remember the exact quote, because it was in English, but it was kind of an older English. And it was old called currency. The basic premise was that the opposite of fatigue is effectively having a slight energy surplus where we have just a little more energy than we need to function well. And then that extra energy gives us the energy to decide, hey, I feel good. I think I'll go for a run or a bike ride or hike or something. Talk a little bit about how we should view the energy in part of this equation.

[00:12:30.500] – Dr. Myhill
OK, well, the point is we all have a certain bucket of energy that we can spend in the day. Now, if we spend more energy than we have available to us, then we die because we haven't got the energy for the heart to work, for the brain to work, for the gut to work, then the body will simply die. Now, the brain of the body cannot therefore permit you to spend more energy than you have available to you.

[00:12:57.470] – Dr. Myhill
And so what it does is it gives you symptoms that which warn you that your energy is starting to empty. And in the book, The Energy Equation in detail, those symptoms, the symptoms we all know about fatigue, no stamina, short of breath, foggy brain, can't think clearly. And then the brain gives the symptoms that stop the spending energy, like depression, like anxiety. The symptoms are very important. They guide us. They tell us about the energy gap.

[00:13:25.130] – Dr. Myhill
But if you've got plenty of energy, if you've got an abundance of energy, for all the reasons we can talk about, then then you have the ability to spend it and then you can yes, you can get training and not pay for it the next day. Yes, get physically fit. Yes. You can take on mental projects, new businesses, new horizons, new hobbies, because you have the mental energy to deal with that.

[00:13:47.930] – Dr. Myhill
So what that means is there's two sides of the energy equation. First of all, I have to advise you how to make your energy bucket as large as is possible. You've got plenty of energy spend in a day, and then we have to look at how the body is spending energy and may be wasting energy. Because the gap between the two gives us the energy to have a life with and spending energy mentally and physically is having fun. It's called living life, though the techniques they make, as I call it, the holes in the empty bucket smaller and would improve the mechanisms by which we generate energy. So we have plenty to go at.

[00:14:28.350] – Dr. Myhill
I think of energy is money and without money we can't live. And if you've got an abundance of money, you can have a lot of fun and have a jolly good time. If you're wasting money, then you haven't got the money to spend on the things you like doing. It's exactly the same with energy.

[00:14:45.250] – Allan
Now, you mentioned something that is really, really important is the kind of the leakage, the holes in the bucket, if you will. Most people when you start talking about energy, they're thinking in terms of, oh, I need to exercise to burn energy. And that is one way that we would use some of the energy that's available to us. But it's actually a very small percentage of what we would actually use in a day. Can you talk about some of the energy outs and why it's critical for us to make sure that we have an abundance of energy coming in to be able to handle these functions?

[00:15:18.970] – Dr. Myhill
Well, an astonishing statistic in my mind, is that about two-thirds of all the energy that the body generates just goes to staying alive. That's called basal metabolism and keeping warm the heart beating efficiently as a pump, the brain working efficiently. I mean, at rest, although the brain weighs just two percent of body weight, it consumes 20 percent of all the energy that the body generates. So the brain is using an enormous amount.

[00:15:47.980] – Dr. Myhill
But the organ that uses the most energy of all is the liver. And the liver at rest uses twenty-seven percent of all the energy that the body generates. And the reason for that is the liver has to deal with what comes from the gut. The liver is there to mop up the toxic products that come from the gut. And although we think food is good for us and of course it's essential for life, food is actually a potentially toxic soup. And if you eat poor-quality food, you will end up with a fermenting gut. And when you've got a fermenting gut, you will be fermenting those sugars and carbohydrates to alcohol, to the lactate, to hydrogen sulfide. You will be producing lots of bacteria and fungi with bacterial endotoxin and fungal mycotoxins. And that all gets absorbed and it goes in via the portal vein to the liver. And the liver has to deal with that toxic soup. And that requires a lot of raw materials and a lot of energy. So the liver is the most energy-consuming part of the body.

[00:16:55.600] – Dr. Myhill
So what that tells us is simply by improving our diet and you mentioned the Paleo-Ketogenic diet. Simply by getting onto a low carbohydrate paleo ketogenic diet, you greatly reduce the work that the liver has to do. And if the liver is not using energy, then it's there for you to use. And so many people, just by doing the diet, turn round to me and say within a couple, three weeks, my energy back I've suddenly got my spark again. I feel 20 years younger. I now know this is how I should be. So the diet is absolutely central to energy delivery mechanisms for that one simple reason. It just reduces the work we have to spend on the liver for just basal metabolism.

[00:17:40.600] – Allan
And to take that one level deeper, there'll be there's things that will come out on the market, raise your metabolism so you can lose weight. And every time I see one of those, I just cringe because that's the exact opposite of what we should be trying to do. Our metabolism is going to be what it's going to be. We can improve it just with the quality of our food and some exercise and other basic functional things we can just do for ourselves. But people will try to take these stimulants basically and they're like bashing a big hole in their bucket.

[00:18:20.640] – Dr. Myhill
I call it flogging a dead horse. That's the saying we have in this country. Yes, you can beat them. They'll do a bit more work. But it's counterproductive in the long term. The supplements that stimulate metabolism does not work. And the most important thing is the first one. We have to improve energy delivery mechanisms. And then, as I call it, look how we are wasting energy. And the gap between the two gives us energy to spend on having a jolly life.

[00:18:48.910] – Dr. Myhill
So the energy equation is all about making that gap as wide as possible.

[00:18:53.850] – Allan
And there's study after study that the lower your metabolism, the longer you live. And that's all part of making it a lot easier to balance this equation. If you're basically doing the right things for your body and your body is optimized. The mitochondria are firing and they're doing what they're supposed to do. You're turning the ATP around and everything's just kind of working for you. The energy just blows out because you stored all this body fat and now your body can say, hey, we don't need this anymore.

[00:19:29.250] – Allan
The liver can get busy because it's got all the energy it needs. And it's like, Okay, now we can do the cleaning up that we need to do as we get rid of this body fat. And it just really kind of is this self-fulfilling prophecy that's backwards in our head. It's not about getting your metabolism to work faster. It's about optimizing your health. So you have an optimized metabolism.

[00:19:52.380] – Dr. Myhill
It's all about efficiency. And the other thing to remember that is so important is we spend energy even during sleep, and it's during sleep that the immune system heals and repairs. So, you can't work, you can't generate energy, you can't do physical exercise. You can't do brain exercise without generating, creating some damage in the body and with good quality sleep and energy and of course, raw materials, the immune system then heals and repairs.

[00:20:20.100] – Dr. Myhill
So this diet and these infections stop you degenerating and ending a degenerative disease is now a major cause of morbidity in people as they get older. So it's just good all round. You can't go wrong with these regimes.

[00:20:37.380] – Allan
Now, since we're talking about optimizing and efficiency and trying to keep our basically say keep our energy out in balance with our energy and and all that, why is it still important to exercise? Because that's burning energy. Why would we still want to exercise?

[00:20:52.440] – Dr. Myhill
Well, first of all, we are functional animals. And primitive man, if he didn't exercise, if he couldn't use his body, then he would simply die from starvation. So we have had millions of years where for optimum health, optimal function, we have to use our bodies. One example of this is if you send astronauts up into space where there's no gravity, moving around, it's very easy. They don't need to use their muscles. They get roaring osteoporosis and they get terrible muscle wastage. And you see also, if you don't use it, you lose it.

[00:21:29.880] – Dr. Myhill
And to be well, we have to have good structure. We have to have strong bones, strong connective tissue. And to maintain that, we need a certain amount of energy and of course, our exercise techniques, which will optimize that so we can do that most efficiently. But the primary thing is to say make the energy bucket as large as possible. And the analogy that I give to my patients is the car analogy. And I like that analogy because I get it in my patients, get it out of your car to go, there are four important players. You've got to have the right fuel in the tank. And we talk about that in the book. It's got to be low carbohydrate because modern that's are far too high in carbs. And we get addicted to them when we crave them and they ferment. And that makes us fatty. So the priority is low carbohydrate.

[00:22:22.440] – Dr. Myhill
And then we have to have, as I call it, the mitochondrial engine and all mammal cells, in fact, all cells in nature pretty much that you look at, except yeast. So plant cells, three cells, mammal cells, insect cells, they are all powered by mitochondria. It's like we have an engine that is common to all to all cells. And every living cell will be powered by those mitochondria. And I think those are the engines because they take fuel from the bloodstream which should be ketones. That is the preferred fuel for mitochondria, not sugars. Ketones in the bloodstream, which they burn in the presence of oxygen to generate the energy molecule ATP.

[00:23:04.880] – Dr. Myhill
So there are some supplements which are very commonly deficient, and as you may not know, I've now published three papers about mitochondria functioning patients with fatigue syndromes. And the bottom line is the more fatigued you are, the worse your mitochondria function and vice versa.

[00:23:24.090] – Dr. Myhill
And there are very common rate limiting step. It's like there are common reasons why your car engine might fail. It might fail because I'm learning about all things, but the spark plugs don't work. The fuel filter is blocked and the timing isn't correct. It's the same with mitochondria. Common things are common. And the the five deficiencies, the time and time again which make mitochondria go slow. Coenzyme Q10, Acetyl Carnitine, Vitamin B3, magnesium, and D Ribose. Those five supplements come up time and time again. I reckon takes about a full month of those supplements and your mitochondria function has a very good chance of improving. That works reliably well.

[00:24:11.320] – Dr. Myhill
Then we have to ask you about mitochondria blocks by something so you could have a first-class engine, but if you throw some sand into it, it's going to lock the engine up in unpredictable ways. It might block the fuel supply, might block the air filters or whatever. And we live in a toxic, polluted world so we can go slow because we have been poisoned by something. I have to say probably the number one cause of poisoning products of the upper fermenting gut.

[00:24:44.050] – Dr. Myhill
If you're eating a diet which is high in sugars and carbohydrates, then there's a great risk that you start to ferment. And what you ferment those sugars and carbohydrates to alcohol, D Lactate, and other compounds. Bacterial endotoxin is produced. Fungal mycotoxins is produced. And all those things poison the mitochondria. So again, your diet is so important in this respect.

[00:25:06.730] – Dr. Myhill
But I learned so much of my stuff from seeing veterans of the Gulf War who have been poisoned by organophosphates, SSIs and organophosphates inhibit oxidative phosphorylation of this vast biochemical reasons. I saw firemen with 9/11 syndrome who had been poisoned. I see people with sick building syndrome who had been poisoned and their mitochondria are going slow. So the detox regimes are often very helpful to improve mitochondria function in those people.

[00:25:38.470] – Dr. Myhill
And then for your car to go, you've got to have a thyroid accelerator pedal. And that's how baselines and set how fast mitochondria can go. And then you need the adrenal gearbox, and that allows us to gear up the stress. If you know when I get to work, then that's stressful. I have to gear up my energy production so I can be an effective doctor. But I can't do that 24 hours a day. I can run in overdrive for some hours a day. But in the evening I have to get back down to the second gear, first gear. Put my feet up, do a crossword, read a book, watching telly or whatever, and that ability to gear up and down and match energy delivery to energy demands very closely is an essential part of using energy efficiently.

[00:26:26.530] – Dr. Myhill
I mean, one example of this, is if you had a patient with an abnormal state of the thyroid gland, when their accelerator pedal is stuck at one hundred miles an hour, they burn loads of energy, OK, they might feel wonderful for a short time because they have this apparent excess of energy. But the weight drops off them, the heart goes too fast and eventually they end up with pathology.

[00:26:52.590] – Dr. Myhill
So balancing that all up of those four big players together, of course, with sleep and exercises, as you mentioned before, of how we saw energy delivery mechanism, and there's no reason why your energy bucket can't be as full as you get older as it was when you were younger.

[00:27:12.480] – Allan
One of the things I think that's important when we're talking about exercise, one of the benefits is most if you do exercise the right way, you're not overstressed and you're able to recover. One of the cool things about our body is that it adds mitochondria.

[00:27:27.480] – Dr. Myhill
Absolutely.

[00:27:28.440] – Allan
And more my mitochondria means more engines. So you're going from a, you know, eight horsepower vehicle to a 12 horsepower vehicle. And that's kind of one of the cool things about exercise, is that it helps us be more efficient and actually have more energy output for those times when we need it.

[00:27:48.180] – Dr. Myhill
And a very good test, a very good clinical test that anybody can do, which determines how many mitochondria they've got. Is that pulse rate at rest? And we all know that the top athletes, as they get fitter, their pulse rate gets slower and slower and slower a rest. And that's because they pack their heart with mitochondria. So when the heart beats, it's a very powerful beat. And Steve Redgrave, for example, who was our Olympic athlete who won four gold medals at rowing when he was in full training, his heart rate at rest was about 40 beats per minute because his heart was so big and beating so powerfully that he can maintain circulation with just 40 beats per minute.

[00:28:34.040]
Now, this is a feature of my patients with chronic fatigue syndrome that they don't have the numbers or the mitochondria, and they don't work well. And their resting pulse is often quite high, 85, 90, maybe 95 beats per minute. And that is a measure of how powerful the heart is and therefore how many mitochondria it has and how effectively they are working. The resting pulse is a very good clinical clue for anybody who's listening in to this.

[00:29:04.430] – Allan
And we improve that by increasing our cardiovascular fitness through those types of exercises cardio and by doing weightlifting, getting more mitrocondria going.

[00:29:17.990] – Dr. Myhill
Absolutely. And what stimulates more mitochondria is lactic acid burn (i.e. we have to push our muscles so much that we switch into anaerobic metabolism). And that, of course, is that that makes your muscles painful. It makes them ache. Is the old story no pain, no gain, because it's lactic acid that stimulates more mitochondria. So if you want to get your muscles bigger, you have to do anaerobic exercise. If you want to have more efficiently, then more aerobic exercise.

[00:29:48.470] – Dr. Myhill
But if you think about the long distance runners who run great distances, they don't have big muscles. They've trained the muscles to be, they're light, they're swift on their feet, but their mitochondria working very efficiently. But by contrast, those sprinters, the weightlifters with the big muscles, they have to have a lot of mitochondria and the heart is about twenty-five percent by weight. Mitochondria and muscles also about 20 percent by weight mitochondria. So the engines form a large part of our muscle bulk.

[00:30:20.510] – Allan
And so for most of us, the performance that we're looking for in our day-to-day lives, a little bit of both goes a long way.

[00:30:26.840] – Dr. Myhill
Exactly. And so my view is we should all be doing a bit of anaerobic and a bit of aerobic exercise every day. And that should be part of your daily routine. And once you know, you're doing a little bit of exercise, it doesn't have to be drastic. It becomes a pleasurable part of your day. And guess what? We all have a deep biological need for a view, and that's called being out in nature, being out of the countryside. And we all know that just getting out there, getting outside and having a view whether it's the local park or the lake, seaside or whatever, is very good for it makes us feel good mentally and physically.

[00:31:02.180] – Allan
And we get some sunshine, which is also very good for us and our energy equation.

[00:31:07.800] – Dr. Myhill
Indeed.

[00:31:07.800] – Allan
Now, one of the things that our body does to protect us is it will take pollutants. It'll take things that are not supposed to be there in it. It likes to try to get them out of us or it likes to put them away where they won't bother us for a while. And so in the book, you talked about persistent organic pollutants, POPs. So I want to kinda get into that because I think, you know, one of the things I tell my clients is that if they if they start losing weight, they might feel a little bad at first because they basically have created a toxic environment inside their body while their liver now is struggling to catch up. So can you talk a little bit about what POPs are and how we should manage those?

[00:31:50.120] – Dr. Myhill
Absolutely. I learned so much about this because especially when I was treating those poison patients I mentioned earlier, I used to do a lot of fat biopsies. That's a very easy test to do. And it means we could measure the POPs, which in fat directly. And the fascinating thing was I never had a normal result. Everybody that I did a fat biopsy on were carrying POPs. So these days, I rarely do that test on my patients because I know what the results are going to be.

[00:32:21.710] – Dr. Myhill
And even those who've done as many detox regimes as they as is possible, they still have a certain amount there. And that reflects the fact that we live in a toxic world. And however hard you try, you can never get rid of every last persistent organic pollutant. And they are pesticide residues. They are fire retardants, that is in all furnishings. Benzene compounds, that the solvents that we get from printed newspaper or from cleaning chemicals or from air pollution.

[00:32:55.010] – Dr. Myhill
So we are all carrying these POPs. And my view is we all should do the best we possibly can to reduce the load. As you rightly point out, the body in the short term tries to get these POPs out of the way by dumping them into fat. Now when I do a biopsy, the result of that comes back in milligrams per kilogram, if I do, a blood test result comes back in micrograms per kilogram, that's a thousand-fold difference.

[00:33:24.550]
So the concentration of POPs in fat is a thousand times higher than that in the bloodstream. And what that means is that if you lose a kilogram of fat, you're going to be mobilizing milligrams of Persistent Organic Pollutants into the bloodstream. And that gives you an acute poisoning and you can feel dreadful. And believe you me, some of my patients do. Now, one way to help mitigate this is to do some sort of heating regime.

[00:33:52.390]
Now, I don't think it matters what heating regime we use because I've put my patients through all sorts. But it might be a hot bath, maybe Epsom salts in the bath. It might be sunbathing. If you're fit enough to exercise, then do exercise. Saunaing, which might be a Turkish bath or dry sauna, but get warm. And the point is that mobilizes the POPs in the subcutaneous fat onto the lipid layer on the surface of the skin. And then you shower off and the point of washing off, washing off that lipid takes the POPs with them.

[00:34:27.850] – Dr. Myhill
And from years, some years of experience and doing test by a rough rule of thumb is about 50 of those regimes will halve your total body load and the levels come down exponentially. So at least once a week, we should all be doing some sort of heating regime. Now, if you've got the energy to game having a run and having a shower after perfect. You haven't got the energy and you've got sunshine, sunbathing is wonderful. If you haven't got the sunshine, then hot bath, a sauna or a infrared sauna works just as well.

[00:35:03.820] – Dr. Myhill
And my view is that is now something that we should all be doing as a routine to try to keep our toxic load down. And of course, in addition to that, the very best to avoid these chemicals. As I said, you just can't avoid all of them. We're all exposed. But you just have to do your best. Start as clean as you possibly can, keep your environment as clean as you possibly.

[00:35:26.290] – Allan
Yeah. The liver is just kind of a cool organ, because it's what it's doing is making its job as easy as it possibly can by storing this in the fat. So just recognize that it's not cheating you in any way. It's just basically trying to help you have the best energy balance. And so it's doing the easiest, quickest way for it to offload a lot of these chemicals which were everywhere. So, we can't avoid them, but they're there. So our liver's doing what it's supposed to do. But the opposite side is on the other side. We're mobilizing this. So it's something for us to be aware of if we go through weight loss, that we may have some other symptoms, some issues that we need to just buff through.

[00:36:09.670] – Allan
And it's like my doctor says, if you want to be healthy, sweat every day, you know, just find a way to sweat every day and you'll be doing a good on your body.

[00:36:20.140] – Dr. Myhill
One small thing I would just warn that is when you sweat. Sweat is blood, but minus the white cells and the red cells and the proteins. So if it's in the plasma, a lot of it comes off in the sweat. So what that means is when you sweat, you lose electrolytes. Now, that's not just sodium and potassium. That's also magnesium, copper, chromium, selenium, boron, it's the whole shebang.

[00:36:48.370] – Dr. Myhill
And so if you do do a lot of sweating regimes, you must ensure that you really hydrate properly with electrolytes and all the minerals. Now, I have a preparation that I made up called Sunshine Salt, which unfortunately can't get to America. But if you are doing a lot of exercise, that's really important, you rehydrate and don't forget magnesium.

[00:37:08.110] – Dr. Myhill
Now, I'll just tell you a little story about this. We have a competition in this country, the Great Northern Run, which is the half marathon, I think it's 2008 or thereabouts. Ten thousand runners ran it and it was a particularly hot day. And they were sweating a lot, and during the course, that race four runners dropped dead. When it came to post-mortem, it all looked normal. They were told that this is sudden adult death syndrome. Well, that's no diagnosis at all, it's the clinical picture. But I'm quite sure that they died of acute magnesium deficiency. Why? You need calcium for the muscles of the heart to contract and you need magnesium for the muscles of the heart to relax.

[00:37:57.350] – Dr. Myhill
And when you are running a lot in that very hot weather, you are losing buckets of magnesium. And I'm quite sure they induced an acute magnesium deficiency. The heart contracted consistently with calcium and there wasn't the magnesium to allow diastolic function for it to relax. And their hearts just stopped. And that's what happened in all four cases, they were running along, just fine and then suddenly they went down and there was no other detectable pathology, hadn't had a stroke and had a heart attack. You know, I'm not quite sure that was magnesium deficiency.

[00:38:30.140] – Allan
And we're talking about the ketogenic diet. And as in nature of a ketogenic diet, we also flushed some extra fluid. So we're not carrying as much. And so when we flush that fluid, we flush some electrolytes. So, yes, most people that are trying a ketogenic style diet need to look at their electrolytes very carefully and where necessary, make sure that you're supplementing potassium and sodium are the easy ones because you get the cramps and you kind of know something's going on there. But, it goes to magnesium and copper and the rest of them, if you're not getting what your body needs, the symptom of the thing you might deal with might be a lot more drastic than you want it to be. So pay attention to your electrolytes and your fluids if you're going to do ketogenic.

[00:39:16.910] – Allan
And, yes, if you're out exercising in extreme heat or even the extreme cold will often help cause dehydration at some level. So staying hydrated is critical.

[00:39:28.010] – Allan
Now, one of the things you got into, you called your interventions, and there's three levels of it so BAC. You called it groundhog. And one of the reasons I just I just love that, is that I was actually born on Groundhog's Day. She's talking groundhogs! All right. Now, I'm into this book now.

[00:39:51.470] – Dr. Myhill
Can you talk about these interventions when each one makes the most sense and just general overview?

[00:39:58.580] – Dr. Myhill
OK, well, the point is when a patient comes to see me, then they're not even on the starting block that they are that they're way behind the starting block. And there are some interventions we have to do just to get even just to get us on an evolutionary correct regime. This is where primitive man was. And these are the regimes we should all be doing all the time if we live in a Western society. And because clinically, I keep coming back to talking about these things over and over and over again. I call the groundhog because just like film, where our hero comes back to that, they want again and tries to relive the day in it all over again. It's the same principle. And Groundhog Basic is the starting point to treat all Western disease. It's the Paleo-ketogenic diet, it's a basic package supplements, its discipline about sleep, exercise, detoxing and so on. It's just what we should all be doing to maintain the status quo. And that's a Groundhog Basic now, but of course, life doesn't continue and on stressful, easy way, sooner or later we will pick up an infection.

[00:41:13.010] – Dr. Myhill
Now, I wrote a book or two or three years ago called The Infection Game, and in my research in that book, I realized that all chronic pathology has an infectious driver. Dementia is often associated with herpes viruses, for example. All cancers have an infectious associate. The one that most people know about is Helicobacter pylori in the stomach bug drive, stomach cancer and other tumors. Epstein Bar virus drives many hematological malignancies. So I realize that getting an acute infection, we need to deal with it very effectively, very quickly, get rid of it in order that it doesn't get into the body, remain there and drive chronic pathology.

[00:41:56.750] – Dr. Myhill
So with the next regime that everybody has to be aware of is Groundhog Acute. What do you do in the event of an acute infection? And of course, this is very pertinent now because these regimes are extremely effective in getting rid of Covid-19. And if you got the Groundhog Basic in place and then at the first sign of getting Covid-19, you take vitamin C to bowel tolerance, you will survive it perfectly well without any problems or complications whatsoever. So vitamin C to bowel tolerance is probably the most important form of Groundhog Acute.

[00:42:31.100] – Dr. Myhill
Because people don't come to me well, they don't come to me saying, oh, and how can I live to 100? They come to me sick or elderly and they know they're not functioning to their full extent. And so as chronic disease comes in, whatever that chronic disease may be, and I see cancer patients, patients with advance heart disease, I see patients with early dementia, we have to put in even more regimes over and above Groundhog Acute in order to deal with those chronic pathologies.

[00:43:02.010] – Dr. Myhill
You have to do all Groundhog Basic regimes, but in spades. We have to do them harder. We have to be more disciplined about the diet, maybe take a few more seconds, maybe do some more detoxing, maybe pay more attention to the adrenals and the thyroid. And so Groundhog Chronic is probably what we should all be doing as we get older. And we should certainly be putting us in place if any pathology strikes, whether that's diabetes, heart disease, cancer or whatever.

[00:43:29.260] – Allan
Well, I do agree. As we went through these interventions. I was like, yeah, these are lifestyles that are not insane. They're not crazy. I can't do this for a long period of time. And granted, you might come in chronic and you do some work and you get yourself to a point where you say, OK, now I can go down to the basic level and I feel pretty good. An occasional issue comes up and you're like, OK, I've got a flu or a cold. And it's like, so I'm going to bump up my vitamin C and feel a little bit better, but a little bit more energy in the tank. Give my body what it needs to fight this illness.

[00:44:04.660] – Dr. Myhill
That's correct. Our bodies are changing all the time. Our environment is changing all the time. From the seasons, with age, with the infections. So there is no one regime you have to do and that's it for life. And we have thoughts clear. We have to think about what's happening the bottom line is, if you've got plenty of physical and mental energy and emotional energy, then there's not a lot wrong. The best guide to health is symptoms, how you feel, what you can achieve, what you can do. And fatigue is as almost become the norm because Western people eat these very high carbohydrate diet.

[00:44:44.110] – Dr. Myhill
And at the beginning of the book, I detail all the symptoms that I commonly hear from my patients, which tell me that the energy balance is beginning to narrow. Either the energy bucket is getting smaller or they are wasting energy on basal metabolism, chronic infection, allergy, autoimmunity or whatever, and the gap gives us the symptoms.

[00:45:10.210] – Dr. Myhill
And just one little aside here, very often the first thing people do when their energy gap starts now is the use addiction to mask the symptoms. That is very dangerous medicine, because as I mentioned before, if you spend more energy than you have available to you, you die. And I some sometimes you hear on the radio about some young person who's gone to a disco dance and taken ecstasy and alcohol and and dance all night and go mad and probably felt wonderful. And then they drop dead and you never hear about the mechanism of death. But my guess is that those drugs have a narrowed and masked that symptom that says you've got to stop, you've got to rest, must be so much that they've overspent and they haven't got the energy for the heart to work and bang down they go.

[00:46:03.670] – Allan
That's that's deep stuff, because I think I think people see it. If you've if you've ever seen an animal at the end die, you see the energy leave. I mean, quite literally, you're sitting there and one minute it's got energy and the next it doesn't. And, you know, we had to put down our Chihuahua Joe Joe last year. And I was you know, that was one of the things we had to deal with was, you know, he was suffering and it was time. It;s just like one moment there's energy and then the next there's not. And so energy is extremely important to the way we feel. And as you said in the book, energy is life.

[00:46:44.410] – Dr. Myhill
Yes. Energy is life. And I now see the whole of life from the energy perspective, I mean, even human relationships. And if you have a human reaction, if both parties are putting the same amount of energy into that relationship, it works incredibly well. But if you get a major disparity and there's not a lot of love between them to maybe the smooth that over. You get one person is constantly putting energy in and the other is constantly taking, then that will result in discord. And then I see that in so many human relations.

[00:47:20.410] – Allan
Dr. Myhill, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:47:29.530] – Dr. Myhill
Well, the one biggest and most important is the diet, because food causes fatigue in so many different ways. Food, if you have a lot of refined junk food and carbohydrates is just toxic, just directly poisons the body. As we've described, sugars and carbohydrates are not good fuel for the mitochondria. And putting it into the body is like, I mean, I've got an old car out there that runs on diesel and if I put petrol in the tank, it'll chunder on for a bit. But it doesn't like it will eventually pack up and start working on.

[00:48:05.170] – Dr. Myhill
The third point is allergy. We're now seeing epidemics of allergy. And allergy means you're reacting allergic to foods and that means the immune system is activated with inflammation. And if the immune system is active with inflammation, that is taking energy because the immune system demands a lot of energy and worse than that it's causing symptoms as well. Migraine, irritable bowel, arthritis or whatever. So it's diet, diet, diet.

[00:48:32.650] – Dr. Myhill
And that really is the starting point. And the problem with giving people a list of these three things is they will cherry pick the easy things. They'll say, oh, that she said she said supplements and she said take some adrenal support. The supplement needs support. That sounds easy. I'll do that. And they don't bother with the diet. So the diet is the most difficult thing, but it's also the most important thing. When you've got that in place, everything else falls into place.

[00:49:04.930] – Dr. Myhill
And it's not a difficult diet, it's very doable. I do it all the time and so do my patients. And and without that, the other interventions downstream simply don't work. And if you have a Formula One engine in pole position, but if you put the wrong fuel in the tank, it's not going to make the first lap. So the diet is critical.

[00:49:28.040] – Allan
All right, thank you. Dr. Myhill, If someone wanted to learn more about you or the book The Energy Equation: From Naked Ape to Knackered Ape, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:49:38.780] – Dr. Myhill
Well, I have my website where all my information is available free for nothing. My books are available there. But these days, what is very popular is I do Zoom Workshops because the basic work up to treating absolutely everything is the same. I can treat 20 people at a time and they have proved very popular. And we and so I have 20 people that I start to 9:30am in the morning. I finish at 4:00pm in the afternoon. Anytime, anybody can just wave at me. I don't understand this. What do you mean what can I eat? And I stop and talk from that and I feel I can do 20 people at a time because the basic work of the Groundhog Regimes are now so standard. And sometimes you just need a little bit of enthusiasm from somebody like you, from somebody like me, to really be a wake up call and make people think, you know what, I'm going to do that.

[00:50:36.580] – Dr. Myhill
And these people do love these interactive regimes, because if I say something that they don't get or they don't believe, they can challenge me straight away and I can come back with what I think is a good and a coherent response. But all the answers are in the books. But say some people that there are videos of me online on YouTube. If you Google, Life the Basic Manual, there are various vignettes of me doing video stuff. Or join a workshop and we can have some fun there.

[00:51:07.500] – Allan
OK, the address for that website is?

[00:51:10.760] – Dr. Myhill
Just drmyhill.co.uk. If you put Myhill in, my website had lots of hits that usually comes up fairly, fairly high up.

[00:51:19.010] – Allan
OK, well I'll have this in the show notes so you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/474 and I'll have the link there. Dr. Myhill, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:51:30.910] – Dr. Myhill
Allan, my absolute pleasure. You ask all the right questions and that makes my life very easy.

[00:51:35.620] – Allan
Thank you.


Post Show/Recap

[00:51:41.100] – Allan
Raz, welcome back.

[00:51:42.960] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Wow, what an amazing interview. I mean, who isn't fatigued at this age of our lives?

[00:51:51.000] – Allan
Yeah, sometimes you don't even know what you don't even know because you're so in it, that you don't even have a concept that you are fatigued. It's like people just expect, Okay, I'm a little older, I'm going to be tired. That's going to be a normal state and it doesn't have to be a normal state all the time. Some people are dealing with issues and just don't know it because that's their normal.

[00:52:19.280] – Allan
They wake up that way. They're that way every day. You notice things when there's a drastic change from what you're doing. But and I've said this before and someone said it's kind of morbid and you shouldn't say that. But anyway, I've got to say it again. Is this the boiling the frog? You know, if you try to toss a frog into boiling water, it'll hop right back out. It'll it'll get out of there pretty quick because the water's hot and it senses that it's hot. It's a drastic difference from not hot. And then but if you put the frog in regular water and you slowly bring it to a boil, the frog doesn't recognize that the water is beginning to get too hot and you'll actually boil the frog. I don't condone boiling frogs. So don't try boiling frogs. I've never done this. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it doesn't work that way. But that's what I've been told.

[00:53:08.130] – Allan
Anyway, if we don't have something to compare and contrast to, then we really don't know what's what. And for a lot of people, when they do try ketosis, obviously. They'll go through potentially a keto flu or I call it carb withdrawals, where they're struggling, there's their energy levels are dropping dramatically and they feel really, really bad, almost like flu-like symptoms. And then their body starts using ketones and they feel great. And that's an awesome feeling when you get into ketosis. And for that little bit of time, you're feeling great. The thing is then great becomes your normal and then great is normal. So people kind of feel like maybe they've lost a little bit of that. But now you're still feeling great.

[00:53:57.130] – Allan
The whole fatigue side in the whole thing is just realize that if you're not having drastic swings, you might not recognize which side of the fence you're on. So trying some nutritional therapies, different things can be a way to at least recognize when things are working well, when they're not. But if you know that you're struggling with fatigue, then this might be an approach that would be advantageous to you to help you get past that. It's always worth trying something just to see how your body responds. See how you feel.

[00:54:34.670] – Allan
And if you're going to do those types of things, I always encourage folks to do a journal because sometimes we kind of just forget what something felt like because it was then and we might not think it was this drastic change as it was. But if you sit down and write down symptoms, you're going through and then you go through a protocol like this or an elimination diet or something like that, at least at that point you've got some baseline to go back and read and say, oh, I forgot I was only sleeping three hours a night. Now I'm sleeping through the night. That's new. But you might not have thought about sleep because that wasn't why you were changing or doing your intervention.

[00:55:12.560] – Rachel
That is interesting. Sleep is one of the one of those things that we just put in the back of our head, not even thinking that it's something that we could change. You know, when I came to keto, I did it for the very reason you just said I was feeling not right. I was not feeling energetic. I was definitely getting fatigued. And I have struggled with fatigue, usually iron deficiencies. So about three years ago, I thought, well, I'll do the same experiment. We'll try keto. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But I did have the exact same thing you just mentioned. I went through the keto flu and then once I got my energy back, once I switched over to burning fat for fuel and I felt like a million bucks. And t really worked really well for me. And it is an experiment worth trying for sure.

[00:56:03.380] – Allan
Yeah. Now, I, I fell into ketosis the first time kind of on accident, and I've told this story before, but I was worried about my health. I wanted I was at this point I kind of reached that stage of commitment. And so I went to a doctor and I said, OK, look,I've got to fix me. I'm broken. I'm just broken. And I've been broken for a long time.

[00:56:28.220] – Allan
And everything I've tried hasn't worked. So I'm going to ask for help. And, you know, sometimes it's just that, you know, hiring someone, bringing someone else in to get other perspectives, to get some guidance, to get some support and maybe even some accountability. Those are valuable things. And so I invested in a doctor and he had a nutritionist on board. So I met with him and he talked about exercise and other things. And he was built. He was muscular and 10 years older, 15 years older than me, and I'm like, okay, I got to listen to this guy. Anyway, I get in with a nutritionist and she's like, do you know what Paleo is? And I was like, No, not really. And she said, Okay, it's this. I'm like, oh, so food.

[00:57:14.610] – Allan
Yeah. Actually eat things that were actually meant to be food, which is plants and animals and eggs and seeds. And that's pretty much it. And you know, that was the answer. That was, that was actually the answer. And so I started eating paleo and just my basic eating habits. I like meat. And once I was off of bread and pasta and rice and at that point even beans, potatoes, I felt great. And I just, you know, for one reason or another, kept kind of pushing more meat in because I was lifting and I wanted the protein.

[00:57:51.270] – Allan
And, you know, you just end up eating more protein. And when you eat protein and your full and there's not as much room for other carbs. So the carbs went down and then suddenly I noticed my energy level is like through the roof and I'm feeling really good and my breath kind of smells funny. And so I started doing some research and that's when I found out about ketosis. And so I'm at this point, you know, looking up podcasts and looking up articles to just figure out what the heck's going on. And, you know, that's when I started learning what ketosis was in the first place. So it wasn't someone telling me you should try the keto diet. It was just a happy accident.

[00:58:33.540] – Allan
And to kind of give you an idea of what that can mean and realized, I wasn't just changing what I ate. I was working on my sleep. I was working on my stress, and I was exercising like a beast, lifting weights, making sure I had plenty of protein, doing some cardio work, working grip strength, because I had in my heart I was going to do a Tough Mudder with my daughter. And I put the money up and I signed up for it. I had like nine months or eight months to prepare for it.

[00:59:03.690] – Allan
And so I was training for that. It kind of became an obsession at that point that I was going to be ready for that race. Just on paleo, I lost about 25 pounds. Going from roughly, I'd say December or starting December and then getting into late December and then getting into by March, when I did a warrior dash with some friends and my daughter, I had lost about 25 pounds.

[00:59:34.560] – Allan
And but it wasn't really showing. I couldn't really see it. I couldn't see that I'd lost that weight. I still in my mind looked huge. And then I ended up in ketosis and I dropped another 40. Wow. And because I was lifting weights I then also I mean that was all fat. So I lost 65 pounds or 66 pounds of fat and I gained 11 pounds of muscle. And I know that because the doctor I went to, he did a DEXAscan when he saw me the first time.

[01:00:02.910] – Allan
And then I went back to his office 11 months later after I finished the Tough Mudder and I had lost that weight, I'd gone from 37% body fat down to 19%.

[01:00:14.400] – Rachel
Wow.

[01:00:15.210] – Allan
So the PK Diet can be really, really effective for weight loss. But as we learned in this interview, it has a lot of other benefits. We talked about fatigue. But, you know, even the other issues, cancers, heart disease, diabetes, maybe even some forms of dementia. So there's a lot of benefits to this way of eating. And so I encourage anyone who's suffering and struggling. And you haven't tried Keto the paleo-keto is, in my mind, kind of an optimal diet for most people for periods of time. You don't have to stay in ketosis, but just recognize that you probably still want to generally eat paleo all the time or at least eat whole foods. You know, it wasn't alive at some point, crawling around or growing on the ground. You probably don't want to eat it.

[01:01:13.710] – Rachel
Right. Yeah. And that's worth mentioning, too, that we are talking about whole foods, real foods, plants and animals. People harp on the diet for the bacon part of it, but and people have a hard time giving up breads. But sugar is also the other enemy that it is worth giving up for sure. You don't need to bring that back.

[01:01:37.170] – Allan
Yeah, and that's true. I mean, you know, only sugars I would condone if I'm going to condone sugars at all is if you like fruit, have some fruit. But I do know my body well enough to know that I can't really tolerate tropical fruits very well. My blood sugar is going to spike and that's not going to be in my best interest over time for my blood sugar to spike when I'm eating fruit, so I eat very limited tropical fruits, so I may occasionally have a banana, I might occasionally have a little bit of mango like this breakfast bar. And there's some mango I might have a little bit and maybe a little bit of pineapple here and there. But for the most part, if I'm going to have fruit, it's going to be berries, apples, pears. That's going to be the bulk of it. And, you know, it works for me. I can still have my pears and apples and berries and still be in ketosis.

[01:02:34.270] – Rachel
Well, for sure. I mean, unless there's something you're intolerant to or even allergic to, there's nothing wrong with having and enjoying a fruit or something every now and then, as long as it agrees with you, it's not something you have to totally eliminate forever.

[01:02:49.340] – Allan
Yeah, and that's kind of one of the core things, is be willing to experiment, try something see how it works. Something as simple as having a blood glucose meter and having a piece of fruit, having a piece of mango or having a bit of apple or a bit of berries and just seeing what it actually does. I've been periods of time where I was checking my ketones all the time. I was using a breath meter so it was not that expensive. I paid for the meter. But I could see if I ate some fruit in particular tropical fruit, my ketones went away and went away for about as long as I figure it took my body to burn that extra sugar off. And then once it was done, you know, I was able to get back into ketosis.

[01:03:39.800] – Allan
Just realize that it's worth experimenting with different things. Don't poo poo things. Everybody likes to say keto is a fad diet. It's only a fad diet that's been around since, like the 1800s because it's just had different names over time. But there's texts that go all the way back to the early 1800s where they're talking about if you want to lose some pounds, cut your carbs. It's, it's been an idea that's been out there for centuries. And so for people to poo poo it and say it's just another fad and it's just like Atkins, just like South Beach, those are just names for branding to brand something that people wanted to sell something and make some money with an idea that's been around for a long, long time.

[01:04:28.360] – Allan
And our ancestors knew that if you're eating carbs, you're going to be putting on weight, which, you know, if you're living in caveman times, not a bad plan, you know, to be putting on a little bit of body fat. Because as you if you listen to the episode I had with Dr. Fedewa and Dr. Esco, I mean, that was the cycle. You you have access to fruit and those things you put on a little bit of weight that's going to help keep you warm in the winter. That's going to give you some excess energy when food os a little bit scarce. Then in the winter there's no fruit. So now you're hunting animals and getting fat and protein and now you're burning through some of those carbs you ate during the Summer and Spring.

[01:05:09.010] – Allan
And that's a good thing. That's how our body was designed. We weren't designed for having ready access to food all the time. We weren't developed around the process that we would have so much food available. And then the carbs, just you walk in the grocery store, your great grandparents walked into one of our grocery stores right now. They would not recognize 99% of what's in there as actual food.

[01:05:35.260] – Rachel
Right.

[01:05:35.920] – Allan
They would walk around the outside and say, Okay, this is the grocery store. What do they sell in there? Well, they sell in the middle because they wouldn't they wouldn't know most of that. He said, oh, well, these are these are cheese puffs.

[01:05:48.910] – Rachel
So weird.

[01:05:53.290] – Allan
These are good. Yeah, but they're not food. They're foodstuff that started with stuff that was in food and then it went horribly, horribly wrong. And yeah, if you want to eat some of that stuff, is it going to kill you overall? Probably not. But if that's the core of what you're subsisting on and trying to live like a teenager college kid on pizza and cheese puffs and Dr. Pepper or soda or whatever. No, you're not going to you're not going to live long. You're not you're making choices that are not going to serve you and it won't take you long to figure it out. Spend spend a month eating that way and just you see it. It's called the Covid 15.

[01:06:33.280] – Allan
you've got to you've got to try something to know if it's going to work and you've got to try something to know what it's going to do if it's not going to work.

[01:06:40.150] – Rachel
Right. And the other half of that equation, of course, I am the runner. And so you need to move. You need to exercise. And when you eat foods like that, you don't feel so good when you exercise, it doesn't give you the energy that you need, no matter how much sugar or energy drinks you can shove down. It's not going to feel good. Your body's going to feel tired later anyway. And all of the work that you're doing in the gym or running around like I do, it's going to backfire altogether.

[01:07:09.370] – Rachel
I'm pretty particular about what I like to eat because I know how my body responds to food. I've mentioned in the past that my body likes red meat better than white meat. I could eat steaks all day long and chicken meat just does not do it for me. And I can tell and my runs. You'll get to feeling better when you clean up the diet a little bit better.

[01:07:31.450] – Allan
Absolutely. All right. Raz, I guess I'll Isee you next week.

[01:07:36.580]
You bet. Sounds great. Take care.

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Another episode you may enjoy

Less...

Reduce body fat for better performance with Dr. Fedewa and Dr. Esco

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In your effort to lose weight over 40, it is a good idea to capture more data than just your weight (easy). But up until now, getting an accurate fix on body fat percentage was either expensive and time-consuming, or inaccurate. Today we meet Dr. Mike Fedewa and Dr. Mike Esco to discuss body fat, body fat measurement, and their new app, Made Health.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

00:01:34.740] – Allan
Raz, how are you doing this week?

[00:01:36.960] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:39.150] – Allan
I'm tired.

[00:01:42.510] – Rachel
OK

[00:01:44.020] – Allan
It's a busy week. We're on the verge of opening the gym. We have a health inspection coming on Thursday. So we went there today to meet with them at the hospital. And they gave us some general guidance of things they would expect to see when they get here. So I had to have a pest control guy come out and I've got to make a few phone calls, make sure everything's in order, print a bunch of signs so everybody knows two meters, wear your mask, clean your equipment, please.

[00:02:15.600] – Rachel
Yes.

[00:02:17.080] – Allan
And my employees have their rules. And so they'll know exactly what to do and they'll be checklists. And so it changes pretty much everything on how we used to run a gym. We've got to kind of rewrite and redo the entire way everything works. So I've been on that since first thing this morning. And then it's all kind of problematic from perspective of over this weekend. I lost my phone.

[00:02:44.400] – Rachel
Oh, boy.

[00:02:45.510] – Allan
We were out having dinner with some friends and on the way back and I knew I was wearing swim trunks. And so I knew that that pocket was a little loose. And so if you think you can drop your phone riding in a golf cart in the jungle, you will.

[00:03:03.822] – Rachel
Oh no!

[00:03:04.470] – Allan
And then other cars and trucks will run over it and then we'll get a heavy rain because it's Panama.

[00:03:10.500] – Rachel
Right?

[00:03:10.990] – Allan
So you get the phone back two days later and it's toast.

[00:03:16.200] – Rachel
What a pain.

[00:03:18.180] – Allan
There's no way to really buy an iPhone here on the island. And I'm kind of Apple-centric with my skill sets these days. And I really don't want to learn anything new as far as equipment. So I'll have to wait a few days before someone can bring me an iPhone from the city.

[00:03:34.680] – Rachel
Wow. My goodness, that's such a hassle.

[00:03:39.180] – Allan
Yeah. So, things that could have just done on, we use WhatsApp down here, so could have gotten on WhatsApp and take care like five or six different things like, OK, now I've got to get on my wife's phone and try to make this phone call and then try to use her WhatsApp and message someone. It's been an interesting week, but we're hopeful. Thursday will get here, we'll have an opportunity to get that inspection. I intend to pass the inspection. I really only have one thing that's outside my control. And I'm hopeful that I can get the people that are responsible for that to play nice for at least a day.

[00:04:17.360] – Rachel
Oh, goodness.

[00:04:18.890] – Allan
And then we'll see what'll happen.

[00:04:21.110] – Rachel
Good. My fingers are crossed for you. And I'm sure all your clients are anxious to get back to the gym.

[00:04:27.110] – Allan
Tammy and I get asked and my employees get asked every single day, when are you open? When are you opening? When you opening? February 1st is my my go live day. That's the date I have in my heart that I want to reopen this because we closed March 14th of last year. I don't quite want to go the whole year but…

[00:04:48.660] – Rachel
Yeah. Well, fingers crossed everything goes smoothly.

[00:04:52.670] – Allan
Yeah. We're close. We're really, really close.

[00:04:55.220] – Rachel
Oh good.

[00:04:56.330] – Allan
How are things up there.

[00:04:57.920] – Rachel
Snowy. Snowy and cold.

[00:05:01.920] – Allan
Is that part of the song, “And the weather outside is frightful.”?

[00:05:07.580] – Rachel
Yes, it is! But it is pretty. I figure if it's going to be cold it might as well be snow and make it look all pretty. So, it's good getting still getting my runs and, and the treadmill when it's icy and sketchy but outside on the trails when I can so it's still good.

[00:05:25.670] – Allan
Good.

[00:05:26.600] – Rachel
Yeah.

[00:05:27.470] – Allan
All right. We're going to have an interesting conversation, I'll admit straight up. Yeah. We talk about iPhones and losing iPhones and realizing actually how much I use them because I didn't actually think I used them that much because the iPhone will send you a message each week to tell you your usage. And my daily usage on my phone is typically less than an hour. And I do most of the things I need to do for my work and everything else on a computer. I do very little on it on a phone. But that one hour is important stuff.

[00:06:03.320] – Rachel
Yeah, for sure.

[00:06:04.910] – Allan
And so I'll admit, I love getting a new gadget, a new iPhone app, and I'll play with it for a little period of time and then I kind of get bored with stuff like that. But this one is one that I could see myself using for myself. I could see myself using it with my clients because it's going to give us data that is a better health marker than we would get by stepping on the scale. I am a fan of data and this phone app will help collect that data. So, I think you're going to like this conversation.

[00:06:36.410] – Rachel
All right.

Interview

[00:06:53.880] – Allan
Dr. Fedewa, Dr. Esco, welcome to 40 +Fitness.

[00:06:57.540] – Dr. Fedewa
Thank you for having us. We're excited to be here.

[00:06:59.910] – Dr. Esco
Appreciate the opportunity.

[00:07:01.380] – Allan
Now, you reached out to me and you have an app. And I'm a big fan of tools that give us information, tools that help us be successful. There's a lot of fitness apps out there, there's a lot of health apps out there and some of them are really, really good and some of them are not so good. But I looked around at your app and did a lot of deep diving into how the app worked, what you guys are doing, some of the research that you've done. And I really like the Made Health and Fitness App and what it's able to do for people that are looking to lose body fat and get healthy.

[00:07:37.530] – Dr. Fedewa
Thanks. We like it, too. We've been in the tech world, I guess, for about a year and a half through development and beta testing in our launch in October. So it's been a wild ride and I think we're a little bit different than some of the other app companies. We really want to deliver a tool that has research grade accuracy. And I think that that puts us in a unique position where we're we're very concerned that the numbers that are coming from the app and from our system are as accurate or comparable to what you would get in a clinic or in a lab. So that's where we want to be. So that means a lot to us. Thank you.

[00:08:12.960] – Allan
Most of the time I'm sitting there and a client will either come into my gym here in Bocas or they'll contact me online. And the thing that will come up will be, I want to lose weight. And I'm like, OK, how much weight do you think you want to lose and why do you want to lose it? And we go we start getting into those types of things. And I really wish we had never used weight as a measurement because what they what they want is they want to be a particular size.

[00:08:44.780] – Allan
That's what they really want. They want to fit into a particular size dress or jeans. And I tell them, if you weighed seven hundred pounds, which would you really care, if you were in a size two and they say, no. I saw this meme the other day that said, you know, if you were two hundred pounds on Earth and you went to Mars, you'd weigh seventy-six pounds. So, you don't have a weight problem. You've got a planet problem.

[00:09:10.590] – Dr. Fedewa
Right there. You got to move.

[00:09:14.940] – Allan
Now, there's a very particular reason why human beings have body fat. Can we kind of go through some of the things that actually are good about body fat?

[00:09:24.480] – Dr. Fedewa
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if you if you want to go all the way back to caveman to prehistoric days and in body fat as a very essential function. It's a storage site for extra calories. And so that is good. It's always good to have extra calories around when you don't know when your next meal is coming from. So where during times where food is readily available and we we can eat to our fullness and store some extra calories maybe during times when the next meal is inconsistent or you don't know where it's coming from, you have that extra reserve of calories that you can fall back on so that you don't starve and you don't die. Tthat's that's a really good function of fat.

[00:10:03.270] – Dr. Fedewa
The other really good function of fat, if you think from an evolutionary perspective is temperature regulation. That's really good, right? I mean, now we have houses and homes that are climate controlled and you have clothes that can keep us warm. And probably most of us hang out somewhere between sixty five and seventy five degreescin the house or in the car. And so, if we didn't have that luxury, we would need that extra layer of insulation to help keep us warm.

[00:10:28.170] – Dr. Fedewa
And so those are two really, really good, very essential functions to survival and it provides extra padding around all of our vital organs. That's really good. Fat adipose tissue physiologically has a number of functions that actually you create a ton of hormones and different cells signaling on a molecular level that have very important purposes physiologically. So fat is not just an inert, inactive storage site for extra calories. It actually does have a physiological purpose to keep us alive and keep us functioning the way we should.

[00:11:02.420] – Dr. Esco
Suffice it to say that without that, we wouldn't be here, we wouldn't be able to sustain life, multiple important physiological purposes for fat.

[00:11:12.410]
Now, as you mentioned, Dr. Fedewa, a lot of times we're in an environment where we're climate controlled. We have an abundant access to food. So I don't have to go hunting or I don't have to wait because I know where this goes live, it's February 8th. And I would dare say if you walked outside in most of North America, you're not going to find fruit or vegetables just lying around. Most of what's going to be around is animals and maybe some roots, if you can dig them off the ground, not frozen, which is not in Alabama at this point, probably.

[00:11:49.610] – Allan
But you still you're not going to find much veg out there today and you're going to have to go hunt for it. And sometimes that means traveling a long distance, having the energy to do that and then having the energy to actually take down a beast and then carry it back to wherever we're hanging out that night. But today, some day, we don't have those things. So we don't need to build up a huge amount of extra fuel and warmth and all of those types of things.

[00:12:15.350] – Allan
So from your perspective, what would be a good level of body fat and does that change based on how old we are, how active we are, or just other functions like how long we want to live?

[00:12:29.390] – Dr. Esco
The recommendations for what would be healthy body fat percentage anywhere within the range of 8 to mid 20% in men and upper teens, low 20s to mid 30s for women. But really and truly, what really good body fat or healthy body fat or appropriate body fat percentage would be is dependent upon the individual, right? We work with a lot of athletes and obviously when we think of athletes, athletes are typically lean and have a low percent body fat.

[00:13:05.360] – Dr. Esco
But even in the realm of athletics, the range of body fat is really should be to support optimal performance, because this drive for thinness that we've created in our society is really not the best approach, because too little body fat percentage can have a numerous negative consequences as too much body fat percentage. So there is a range and that range would really depend on where a person is, what their lifestyle is, how old they are. Yes, we tend to gain body fat as we age, but some of that increase is necessary.

[00:13:47.660] – Dr. Esco
That increase can actually be a good thing if it's too much. That's that's obviously not ideal because too much body fat is obviously linked to obesity related disorders like heart disease and some forms of cancer. But there's body fat. But what's really more important than that is fat free mass. Right? So a part of fat free mass is skeletal muscle and bone density. And those things can decrease as well with aging.

[00:14:15.590] – Dr. Esco
There's an age associated decrease in muscle mass and strength, and that's labeled as sarcopenia. And that's not ideal. Exercise is important for preventing that or decreasing the effects of it. Then there's osteoporosis. Those things are actually linked also to low body weight and also low body fat percentage. Physical activity obviously is going to impact the body composition of an individual and it will help to keep fat to fat free mass ratio at an appropriate healthy level.

[00:15:01.490] – Dr. Fedewa
So what if I just rocked your world? Check the check this out. What have we said that it's not actually body fat that's the issue. It's actually your fat free mass or your muscle mass. So when we say your body fat percentage is too high, what we're saying is that for for the amount of weight that you have, the percentage of that body weight that is fat is relatively too much or is relatively higher than probably what we would want. When we kind of put that in real terms, your body fat percentage will never be zero. The percentage of you that's fat will never be zero. You'll always have some. It will never be one hundred. And so most of us probably stick somewhere around the teens to 20s and 30s, maybe into the 40s or 50s, 50 percent fat.

[00:15:46.280] – Dr. Fedewa
But I think what Dr. Esco is kind of getting at is that the fat free mass is really important. Some people would argue in our field that if you compare collegiate elite level athletes, especially in women, the body fat level, the body fat amounts that they have in pounds or kilograms might not be different than non athletes. The biggest difference is the fat free mass is the muscle mass. And so that makes the percentage of their weight that is fat relatively lower. But the total amount of fat that they have might not be that might not actually be that different.

[00:16:19.250] – Dr. Fedewa
So if we shifted the perspective and said rather than focus on you losing fat because it'll never go down to zero percent fat, what if we just focused on building up that fat free mass and and preserving the bone health like Dr. Esco talked about and preserving or maintaining or increasing the muscle mass, which would, again, drive down the percentage of you that's adipose tissue or body fat. And so that's kind of a cool perspective that I think gets lost a lot of times we just focus on losing weight and losing fat. It's like this primary marker in health.

[00:16:53.400] – Dr. Esco
To add to that, another important point is. Performance, how body composition relates to performance. Let me give you an example, the largest individual that I've ever evaluated, body composition on weight. Six hundred and fifty pounds. So it's very large, 50 percent of his body was fat. So three hundred twenty five pounds of fat.

[00:17:15.060] – Dr. Esco
But he also had three hundred twenty five pounds of fat free mass as well. But it could not do one push up. So is that muscle quality aspect is very important, but on the other hand, the leanest individual. Way less than 10 percent, but barely over 100 pounds, right? So very little body fat percentage, but as a consequence of an unhealthy body composition, very little fat free mass, also muscle quality was very low.

[00:17:44.110] – Allan
Yeah, you answered one question that comes up so many times when I'm on the Facebook forums, or should I try to lose the weight first and then start exercising to gain muscle? And my answer is, well, if you're over 35, no! Absolutely not! Because you're missing an opportunity. And every year that you don't do something, sarcopenia is biting you in the butt. So start lifting straight away. And that again kind of takes them into that. Well, what if I gain weight, which you may if you're lifting weights and you're somewhat restricting what you're eating to a point where your body is trying to shed body fat, you could be doing both and either remain the same weight or maybe a little more.

[00:18:30.340] – Allan
But that ratio that you're talking about of lean mass to body fat is moving in the direction you want to you want to move, which is why, again, this Made Health and Fitness App is actually really cool because it's going to give us some of that data, particularly if we use it consistently and look for trends.

[00:18:48.130] – Allan
Now, one of the other things that comes up a lot and what happens if a woman goes into menopause, her hormones shift and then she starts shifting where she's storing body fat men almost always start to store the body fat on their belly before they gain it elsewhere. But people have genetic differences and it goes to different places for different reasons. Why is it important where we store fat and what that means for our health or performance?

[00:19:15.910] – Dr. Fedewa
We have to two primary distribution patterns so people usually store extra weight or extra fat in two regions. One of them is the Android region. And this pattern is usually more common in men. And we think of this as the apple shape. So if you store a lot of extra body fat around your midsection, around your belly of beer belly would kind of be what we just kind of jokingly call it. But we store more extra fat around the midsection that carries a little bit higher risk for high blood pressure than having more of a pear shaped distribution pattern. If we store relatively more body fat kind of in that area, it doesn't carry the same, some people would argue it doesn't carry the same increased risk that fat stores around our midsection does. So that's actually one of the cool things about the app, is that because we're marketing regionally where people store more adipose tissue or more body fat, we can tell when somebody is storing more of that fat around the midsection, which could potentially put them at a higher risk of certain diseases.

[00:20:14.890] – Dr. Fedewa
And we can tell if somebody's storing more of that body fat kind of around their their lower body, their legs, hips, and thighs. And to your point that you kind of just mentioned about losing weight or losing losing fat and whether I should exercise to lose the weight first or add the muscle, we jokingly said the other day that we would we would almost hope people start exercising as part of the New Year's resolution and not see any weight change. Like exercise lifting weights. And I hope, honestly, that you don't lose any weight because that would tell us know we're possibly adding more muscle, which you could track and we're possibly losing more relatively more fat, but independent of any weight or composition changes. Eating a healthy diet and exercising and being physically active and physically active carries so many health benefits outside of those composition changes.

[00:21:10.030] – Allan
Being that I'm 5′ 11″ and then my little brother, one of my brothers is 5′ 4″, it's not a cool thing when the two of us weigh the same. And so the term there is not so much just the weight, it's it's the BMI. So the BMI is a term that's basically meant to adjust for the height of the individual. But even with that, I could tell you that with my muscle mass, relative to what I'm supposed to weigh at 5′ 11″, I'm not a 170 pounds. I'm closer to about 205. But, you know, my BMI is as a function of that puts me right in the right into the obese category. And I stay there all year round. And because I keep muscle mass and I don't lose the body fat, I kind of look at BMI as is valuable, but not also valuable, that it would be the only thing that I would look at because it's a number, it's a piece of data. And quite frankly, it's not the best piece of data. Like you said, knowing what our body fat percentage is, knowing what our lean mass is, that those are better. There are a lot of tools out on the market, some better than others. Could you talk about the various ways that someone can get their numbers and the pros and cons of each?

[00:22:31.360] – Dr. Esco
Yeah, sure. Within body fat, like how to how to measure body fat percentage and all of that's important. Body fat is just a component of body composition. So body composition is the relative proportion of fat and fat free mass that make up one's body weight. So the body weight kind of gets a bad rap. We don't want to focus too much on the scale, but it is important. It's an important value. And you're right, if someone shorter than you typically if there's the same weight, well, that may not be ideal for the other person, because BMI is the most popular body composition assessment tool. It's one of the simplest before before our app. I think our app is even simpler. But what that is, is just a ratio of height to weight. So it gives us an idea of ideal weight to one's height. So BMI is used to classify obesity by major organizations like World Health Organization.

[00:23:40.300] – Dr. Esco
And typically obesity is considered with a BMI of 30 or greater. But what BMI does not do, it does not evaluate body fat percentage. So the BMI of 30 does not equate to 30 percent body fat like a lot of people may think. It's actually the units are kilograms of body weight over height in meters squared. So even though a BMI may be 30 or greater, doesn't necessarily mean that person has high body fat percentage. So if we have somebody that we assess BMI on and they're sedentary and their BMI is greater than 30, typically that person is highly likely that they're also obese.

[00:24:20.180] – Dr. Esco
However, if we take BMI of our competitive football team, you know, and the running back and running backs or whatnot, the athletes typically have higher BMI. That technically would be considered obese, but they're quite lean because they have a lot of muscle mass that makes their body their body weight greater. So to get more accurate, we would measure body fat percentage and fat free mass. We would actually evaluate those body composition parameters.

[00:24:49.220] – Dr. Esco
And the only way to do that is with techniques that we have available in our lab, which is typically like imaging DEXA. DEXA is a considered a gold standard as an X-ray device that will measure and scan the body and measure body fat percentage and muscle mass. It's the gold standard for measuring bone mineral density as well. There's underwater weighing technique where a person gets in a tank of water and how much water they displace is related to their body fat percentage. And those techniques are typically found in the laboratory and they're accurate and sophisticated. They're very expensive to have the equipment and they requires a technician to know how to use those and deliver those as well. So they're not easily accessible.

[00:25:38.300] – Dr. Esco
There are field methods like the pinch-an-inch. It's the skinful technique, which is a very popular technique to measure body fat in the fitness community. The problem with that is it requires a period of time to be trained to know how to do that appropriately. And there's not good agreement across technicians as well. There's the bioimpedance technique, which is there are many different bioimpedance devices. There's the old handheld, hand-to-hand by devices, and then there's the fancier scales that we can see in some retail stores where the foot to foot and then there's more sophisticated bioimpedance devices and is typically have a range of error that can get really accurate the more expensive and sophisticated they are, but usually the more common ones are not very accurate.

[00:26:28.280] – Dr. Esco
And then there's, of course, our tool that we that we have recently created that measures body fat percentage and body composition from a single the picture.

[00:26:39.440] – Dr. Fedewa
I'll actually follow up to just to say that I think it's a very valuable tool We measure body mass index on every research participant that comes in. It's just an it's a measure. It's a tool. It's a marker that we can use to identify people who may be at risk for additional obesity related, unfavorable health consequences. I don't think for population trends that it should just be completely thrown out. We've seen in the States, we've seen about a 25 to 30 pound increase in the average body weight since 1960. We've seen about a half a kilogram per meter squared increase in BMI at the population level since the 70s and 80s. And so, if you look back over the past 60 or some odd years, we are getting heavier. And I think that that data are so valuable to track population trends, to show us that as a as a global society worldwide, we're not going in a very favorable direction. And there are certain groups that are maybe disproportionately affected by obesity and a lot of the health related consequences.

[00:27:47.430] – Dr. Fedewa
So I don't think that it should just be completely thrown out. But to your point, measuring the individual progress and finding the differences between two people, that may be the same height and the same weight, but different genders, same height, same weight, but different races, same height, same weight, but different ages. I think BMI to measure and account for those individual differences, I think misses that.

[00:28:11.600] – Dr. Fedewa
And so I think our technique and the app, I think the individual just deserves better. I think that there's a more accurate way now with the advances in technology to measure and track changes in composition rather than relying solely on weight on a scale, because I think some of the improvements that we see are just missed.

[00:28:31.620] – Allan
Yeah. Next week, I'm going to have Dr. Ian Smith on to talk about his book, Mind Over Weight. And he has a pretty neat spin on goal setting. And one of the things that he talks about with goal setting is to focus on more than. One goal, you know, you may want weight to be one of your goals, you may want to be able to fit in a certain pair of jeans or a certain dress, and that's all good.

[00:28:58.360] – Allan
But I actually think knowing your body composition is another core measurement that would be really good for you to track if getting lighter, if losing some body fat is what you're after and making sure you're maintaining your muscle mass. There are a lot of tools out there. The Dexascan is going to run you at least $100, maybe $150, depending on where you go. There are little places popping up here and there where you can go pay for a plan and they'll do a Dexascan once a quarter, once every six months, whatever, whatever you choose.

[00:29:29.440] – Allan
And you can see that trend in the water. I've never actually done the water test, the submersion test before. And I can tell you, having worked with calipers and trying to do the seven skinful locations and do it the same every time and get the same result is it's not fun. Bioimpedance does have this huge error rate, depending on how hydrated you are or the time of day that you're doing it. So what I like about your tool is it's in my hand because it's on my phone and it adds just one more tool in there for me to have some data quickly and easily, as quickly and easily as is taking a picture of myself.

[00:30:14.620] – Allan
Now, someone's going to take a picture of me because it can't just be a selfie with the duck lips and all of that. But there's a certain way I have to pose. And so someone's going have to take the picture. I'm have to dress a certain way. But can you tell me a little bit about how the Made Health and Fitness App is used and what it does for us?

[00:30:34.900] – Dr. Fedewa
Yeah, absolutely. You you actually can take a selfie. It's just a different type of selfie. So the image is scanned and we analyze total body composition. So the image itself down the app, you set up your profile. We're going to ask you some basic information about your height and your weight and your your age and race and gender that allows us to create a measure of body composition that's tailored directly to you, that can account for the small kind of age related changes in composition that we usually see.

[00:31:07.780] – Dr. Fedewa
The small differences between different race and ethnic groups, small differences between men and women. It kind of allows us to create a really accurate number that's tailored specifically to you based on your image. Once your profile is set up, the image can be scanned and analyzed in about 15 or 20 seconds. We have a few checks when a person is taking a scan just to make sure that it has the best quality and the most accurate results.

[00:31:29.920] – Dr. Fedewa
So the image has to be from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. If part of you is missing or cut off is the image is being scanned for the landmarks that we need. Some of them could potentially be missing. And so the numbers will get will be a little bit inaccurate. Feet together, arms out. A lot of the landmarks that we're scanning for on the image are on the trunk. And so some of them we need we need to pinpoint the narrowest part of your waist and the widest point of your hips. So potentially, if your arms are too close to your midsection, we might miss those landmarks and accidentally misclassify. Snugly fitting athletic clothing like a like an Under Armour shirt or compression shirt. If you feel comfortable in sports bra going shirtless, that's completely fine. Leggings, yoga pants, compression shorts, boxer briefs, those are completely fine. Also, what we really need to, again, since we want to find the most accurate kind of picture of you that shows your true body shape, anything with baggy clothing that might kind of misrepresent what your true figure looks like would potentially introduce some error.

[00:32:29.710] – Dr. Fedewa
Other than that, I mean, the image scanning itself is pretty straightforward. We I usually take my phone honestly and set it up on a coffee table and pop it up against a coffee cup and making sure that every image and every scan that I take is at the same height. It's in the same room. It's with the same lighting. If you don't have access to a research lab like most of us don't at home, you can you can just kind of use whatever you have around the house to take the image.

[00:32:55.300] – Dr. Fedewa
I set my phone for a ten second timer and take a selfie that way. So I have a record of the image saved on my phone. Once it's uploaded to the app, it takes about 10 to 15 seconds to scan and analyze and you get your results instantly. From there you can send them to a trainer. If you're working remotely, you can export them to an email or to a text message. The image goes completely away so it's not stored in the app. We don't keep the images in a database. We wanted to do that for privacy and confidentiality reasons. So you don't need to worry about any images of you in your underwear getting out on the Internet, they go completely away. The only place that they would ever exist would be on your own personal phone if you saved it to your camera roll or to your device. The only thing that we see in the database are your numbers.

[00:33:41.170] – Dr. Fedewa
We use that again, one of the reasons why we ask your age and your race, we want the app to be used to create the biggest database of normative values that has ever been created. And so we want somebody who's 45, female, and Hispanic. We want to have the most accurate, normed data to show them to say here, this is what you should be or this is what somebody your age. This is kind of where most of the people in the population are. This is kind of healthier. This is kind of not so healthy. This is where most people who look and act and behave just like you, that have all the same characteristics. And I think all of those data because we're not limited to the issues with transportation or cost or scheduling and access to the different techniques, I think that we definitely are positioned to do that. I think we can make a big difference on shaping and reshaping some of our norms and expectations of what healthy actually is. And then I'll actually let Esco jump in a little bit more and talk about kind of the functions of the app and how it works.

[00:34:44.680] – Dr. Esco
Yeah. So, like Dr. Fedewa said, it's the simplest device on the market now for measuring body composition. All this requires just a picture of a person standing, which is which is easy to do. We don't have to worry about being trained to do skin forward or trained to use a DECA or anything else. And a person can do it right in the privacy of their own home. And there's a lot of barriers associated with going into a fitness center or related facility and having your body composition measured and having to let a fit professional in on how much you weigh. And all very personal number as well. With this there's no need to even worry about any of that person can do it right themselves and again in their home.

[00:35:37.090] – Dr. Esco
But it's also very accurate. Dr. Fedewa and I, this is our area, we've been doing research and body composition for years. We have PhDs in physiology and this is what we decided to focus our career on is body composition and in discovering techniques that are accurate and user-friendly and this what we've we've created.

[00:35:57.940] – Dr. Esco
We've shown that it's in near perfect agreement with underwater weighing and DEXA and those other laboratory measures that we talked about. So even if somebody were to go and have routine Dexascans, they can still use our device for more routine or weekly or frequent scans for body composition. So they don't have to wait months and years down the road to see if there's actual changes in body composition. They can make decisions earlier by using our app, in addition to some of those more sophisticated measures is if they choose to do so. It's the most user-friendly technique and of the field of tools that are out there, it's one of the more accurate methods.

[00:36:47.420] – Dr. Fedewa
We wanted to have something to, Esco mentioned tracking trends. We wanted to have something that you can use on your phone that you had access to all the time, that you can do it for less than a cup of coffee. And so when every every time that you would normally weigh in to track progress, we would we say, hey, man, why don't you take a picture also, right? So you can put some context around those changes that are happening on the scale.

[00:37:09.770] – Dr. Fedewa
Over the holidays, we were as a group of of the co-founders, jokingly tracking all of our changes in composition. And we were seeing ups and downs and swings in body weight. We would be up five pounds one day. We would be down six pounds the next day. And most of that is just due to water weight. It's just a fluid retention. Alcohol, really salty foods, different types of foods will cause you to hold more water weight or less water weight. Menstrual cycle for female users. We have changes in body weight. Most of that is is fluid. And so the cool thing about the app is that with a single picture, if you weigh yourself, you say, oh, my gosh, I'm six pounds heavier than I was yesterday, what the heck is going on?

[00:37:50.710] – Dr. Fedewa
You can take a picture and do a scan and see that about ninety five percent of that is fluid. It's fat free mass. And so that puts context around the changes in the scale that you're seeing. You can go, oh man, I gained six pounds, but that's OK, because most of it is fluid. And we can account for some of those ups and downs from day to day when we're looking at the big trends over time where if you're just relying on two measurements with a DEXA every six months, those small changes and those small improvements, a lot of times are overlooked.

[00:38:19.870] – Dr. Fedewa
You can be up or down on a given day and scan with the DEXA and maybe not show any progress. But we can show this really small changes over time to get a better idea of what's working, maybe and maybe what's not. If you're working with a trainer.

[00:38:32.350] – Allan
Information is powerful. Data is powerful, especially if you act on it.

[00:38:38.569] – Dr. Fedewa
It is.

[00:38:39.730] – Dr. Esco
Especially from a distance, too. So for a professional like yourself, Allan, working with clients that live in different parts of the world. This device is useful for tracking changes and the clients that you're working with. We wanted it to be for individual use, but also for professionals like yourself, practitioners, as well as in the lab and research.

[00:39:03.330] – Dr. Fedewa
Yeah, we wanted it to be, we never wanted to replace the trainer. We don't want to replace the practitioner with the app. So we were very specific with the way that it was designed. So we don't give any dietary recommendations in the app. We don't provide any exercise programming or prescriptions within the app. We want this to be a tool like you mentioned and like you'll talk about next week on the program is that, the more data you have, the more accurately you can track progress.

[00:39:27.810] – Dr. Fedewa
And sometimes from week to week, you may not see any progress if you're just focusing on one specific metric. So what what can we look at if we're if we're not seeing weight loss? Did we see changes in fat free mass or do we see changes in fat mass? It may be did we see changes in Android or glenoid fat? Do we see an improvement there if our total body fat percentage didn't change? Did we did we hit our water goal that we had our steps goal that we had our sleep goal?

[00:39:51.060] – Dr. Fedewa
I mean, you guys is the practitioners and the experts who are kind of out there doing this in the field. The more information that you can get your hands on to coach and train and kind of guide your clients through through their fitness journey, I think the better. And so we we just want to be one of the assessment tools for you to kind of track your progress and your users and then your clients. And so I think we want to let the coaching be done by the coaches. We want to let the training be done by the trainers. And we just want to be there to kind of help.

[00:40:20.070] – Allan
Dr. Esco. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:40:28.980] – Dr. Esco
Well, one is to be intentional, living a healthy lifestyle, right? Eating an appropriate diet. You know, staying active and exercising. Working towards staying positive, all those things require work, they're not just given to somebody you all right? So it takes it takes work to establish those habits and the person has to be intentional making that happen.

[00:40:54.570] – Dr. Esco
You mention making goals. So the second point is to make goals very important, to have something to strive for, but not being so focused on on one specific goal related to like body composition. It's very important to have an appropriate goal for what's healthy in terms of fat, fat free mass and healthy body weight. But more but more important than that is his overall performance. Have another fitness related goals running a 5K or or having some sort of other fitness related feat. Those things are very important. So we have something that we can strive for.

[00:41:32.400] – Dr. Esco
And then and then the third thing I think is the most important of all is to be patient, especially in the world of body composition, where the scale is so easily accessible and our app is very accessible. We're tempted to make frequent assessments. We want to see changes immediately, which doesn't really work that way. We have to be patient. If we're doing the right things, we're eating appropriately. We're being physically active. The goals will be achieved, but it's going to take some time.

[00:42:02.610] – Allan
Thank you. Dr. Fedewa, I'll ask you the same question. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:42:13.140] – Dr. Fedewa
Well, yeah, I think those are the more advice that you can get and the better. Probably the most important one that Esco didn't mention and I guess as the team had put this in number four is to remember that you probably will fail and you will see setbacks. And it's okay to have those, especially if you are focusing on on starting a new exercise program or changing the way that you're eating or focusing on losing weight. There will be huge improvements and there will also be some some pretty big setbacks. And so to remember that it's a long journey if you focus on losing fat, it didn't all happen and come on overnight. So it won't disappear overnight either. There will be ups and downs and twists and turns and to just be patient. So remember that it's okay to have setbacks and you just get up the next day and and start all of them and knock it out.

[00:43:04.560] – Dr. Fedewa
I think the second most important thing that I used on my own journey was to think like a healthy person and act like a healthy person. I don't think starvation or completely cutting out food groups is is healthy. I don't think exercising seven hours a day is necessarily healthy. But if you you start asking yourself, is it okay to eat a cookie? Yes. It's OK to eat a cookie. A healthy person to eat a cookie. A cookie is fine. Probably not OK to eat an entire box of cookies. Cool. Right. Is it okay to have a beer or a glass of wine every now and then? Yeah, absolutely. Is it OK to have ten? No, probably not. A healthy person may not do that. And so I think that that allows you a little bit of flexibility and a little bit of wiggle room because healthy people are not perfect people. They just tend to make healthier decisions more often than not. And so I think that flexibility helps. And I think tracking is is one of the most important things that you can do. And we've seen with some of our research participants just just the act of tracking the number of steps per day that you take is enough to increase your physical activity level by about 10 percent just because you're monitoring it and you're constantly aware of the same thing with calories or or sugar or water intake. It's about a ten percent change. Just if you're watching it and you're thinking about it and you're tracking it, it's enough to restrict energy intake or calorie intake or increase your water intake. And it's about a 10 percent swing. So, if you're not tracking, you can't see change. So get a baseline, measure, monitor and then kind of see what happens over time. And the more data that you collect, the better you can gauge your progress and figure out what's working for you.

[00:44:44.490] – Allan
Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about the Made Health and Fitness App or the things you guys are doing over there at the University of Alabama, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:44:55.530] – Dr. Esco
Our website for the app is mymadeapp.com. And then to find us in the Google Play and Apple app stores search the phrase “made health and fitness.” So in terms of our work with the University of Alabama, we would encourage anyone to check our personal websites out by searching our names, either Michael Esco or Michael Fedewa, the University of Alabama. And we work in the Department of Kinesiology.

[00:45:28.580] – Dr. Fedewa
We have all of our research papers are up on our on our faculty websites. We have links to our research papers on social media for the app. You guys want to check those out? It's Made Health and Fitness on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter, too. As more research comes out of the lab, as we have conference abstracts and presentations and new research papers are published and presented, we will post those. We also have links to all that research within the app. There's a button says, see the science behind the app. We want to we want the users to be completely confident that the numbers that they're getting are research grade. And so we want to get the research data out there. We want to get the accuracy out there so people can be confident with how they're tracking and what they're measuring.

[00:46:08.600] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/472, and I'll be sure to have those links there. So, Dr. Esco, Dr. Fedewa, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:46:19.580] – Dr. Esco
Thank you.

[00:46:20.720] – Dr. Fedewa
Thanks for having us. I can't wait to come back.

[00:46:22.550] – Dr. Esco
Absolutely.


Post Show/Recap

[00:46:28.000] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:46:29.260] – Rachel
Hey, hold on one second while I download this app real quick.

[00:46:32.140] – Allan
The app's called Made Health App. And,there's a lot of benefits to this to this thing. I am a big fan of data, and I'm not I'm not a huge fan of apps, as I mentioned earlier. But data is a big thing. And the thing that they've come up with, they've got two studies that that I read and both of them showed improvements in performance when people lose body fat.

[00:46:55.570] – Allan
Now they're talking about athletes in college, female athletes in particular. But but still, the women lost somebody fat and they performed better. They had more power and they had more stamina. So if you're a runner or someone who wants to play better tennis, this is something if you lose a little bit of body fat, even if you don't have much to lose, there can be some performance improvement. And then, of course, for the vast majority of us that do want to just get rid of some body fat, this is a good way to track that you're being successful. And it's a lot cheaper than almost all of the other alternatives out there because it's free.

[00:47:38.050] – Rachel
Yeah, absolutely. And and there's other metrics. I mean, it sounds like they capture a lot of data in their app.

[00:47:44.660] – Allan
They do. I mean, you know, what they're doing basically is you're supposed to stand and allow them to take you take a full frontal picture. They call it the anatomically correct, although they don't have their thumbs pointing in the right direction. But that doesn't matter. I'm just the personal trainer. They just determine like, that's not well, Okay, but whatever. They just basically want your arm slightly away from your body. So it's not messing with measurements.

[00:48:11.830] – Allan
And then they're just looking at those those measurements as far as how wide we are going from top to bottom. And then the other data that they have is your height, your age and your ethnicity. And that gives them an opportunity then to put that all into an algorithm and calculate a number. And based on the data that they show, they're really close to the water water submersion test. So you know the bipod uses air. There's a water dunking, a version that basically looks at your body mass. And it's how much water you offset in both of those are reasonably good, particularly if you're looking at trends.

[00:48:48.790] – Allan
The lesser good ones are the caliper tests, which, you know, if you go into a personal trainer, a lot of them will do that to try to measure your some body fat. But those are subject to human error. Very subject to human error. And they're hard to do without a ton and ton of practice. And then there's the the bio impedance, like the scales or the handhelds, and they tend to flaw significantly. If you're dehydrated or the next day you are hydrated. That can swing things crazy. And if you're heavier than they think you should be, again, they they they error on the side of saying it's body fat because most people that are using them are trying to get rid of body fat. So, all these things are good. If you're looking at general trends, they get better. The gold standard is the Dexascan, because the Dexa scan is going to measure bone density. It's going to measure water. It's going to measure muscle mass. It's going to measure fat. It doesn't back into a calculation, you know. So it's not a calculation. It's it's literally it's basically calculus or cutting little swipes through you just then looking at the density and various parts of your body to give you an idea. And while it Dexascan can tell you exactly how much body fat you have in each part of your body, this is just going to give you a general idea of where you carry most of your body fat.

[00:50:10.930] – Rachel
That's helpful. That's very helpful information.

[00:50:13.420] – Allan
It is. It's good for trendss. Now, I'm not a fan of weight, but I know that everybody's going to be stepping on the scale because it's it's a cost effective way to know that at least if you're losing body fat, you're probably losing weight. So it gives you an indication that what you're doing is working, but it also also measures other things like water, muscle, bone, brain, you know, things like that that you kind of need and you don't want to just get rid of because, you know, the brain weighs a kilogram and a half, you know, just want to get rid of that just to weight less.

[00:50:51.550] – Rachel
Yes,

[00:50:52.270] – Allan
There's my five pounds. So this app measures. But I actually did a little guide years ago, but I'll rerelease that. If you go to the show notes, I'll have a link. And it's called the 7 Health and Fitness Measures That Matter. Basically, there's just other things that if you're really concerned and doing for your health, you should also be paying attention to this data.

[00:51:17.710] – Allan
Okay, and I don't think I actually put body fat on that guide. And the only reason I probably didn't put body fat on there is because there is a cost up, kind of a more a bigger cost. Go down to a you know, get a Dexascan or maybe go to a university where they would have one of those submersion tanks or a pod pod which uses air. So, you know, there are these other ways that you can do it.

[00:51:41.530]
This is going to be a cheap and easy way for you to measure an approximation, your body fat where you're carrying it. And then, these other health and fitness measures that I'll put in this guide are just kind of other things for you to consider as you're monitoring your health and fitness, because one of the things that I found is, you know, maybe you have a week where your body weight didn't go down. But your A1C did or your blood sugar, your fasting blood sugar. In the morning, you wake up and it's finally below a 100. That kind of thing matters a lot more than a pound less on the scale. And so these are these are the kind of things that I think you really should be focused on as you're going through this. And, yes, you can also do weight because it's just easy.

[00:52:29.410] – Allan
But if you want that guide, just go to the show notes, 40plusfitnesspodcasts.com/472. And I'll be sure to have that link there. The Made Health App is free. It's supposed to be free. When I actually did the interview, it wasn't quite free back then, but it's supposed to be free now. And they're concerned about privacy. So they're very clear with you up front. They're not going to keep the pictures that you're taking to to do this measurement. They're going to take the data from the picture that they need. They're going to wipe the picture and they never even hits their database. And then they're just going to get the data and you're going to get the results.

[00:53:07.510] – Rachel
That sounds awesome.

[00:53:09.790] – Allan
I think the only other thing that I'll put out there is your probably reading a lot in the press lately because things come around and go around and we'll go through a cycle of fat shaming. People say, okay, you can't fat shame it's okay to be the size that you are. And I adamantly agree with that. There's no reason to feel shame for where you are. You can't recover if you don't forgive yourself. So everything that's good in your life, if you're going to move away from something bad, you have to forgive yourself for being in that situation so you can look hopeful into the future. And so I agree fat shaming is a problem, but the articles that are coming out now are scientific-based and they're clear if you're carrying extra body fat, it's not healthy.

[00:53:56.380] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:53:57.490] – Allan
There is no healthy fat. There is no fit fat. If you're carrying extra body weight, it's not good for your health. And, in a lot of cases, it's also not good for you in general because it's you know, it's wearing on your joints. A lot of times that extra weight is also at a cost of inflammation.

[00:54:16.240] – Rachel
Yes.

[00:54:16.720] – Allan
So there's other things going on in your body physically beyond just your heart health and your risk of stroke and risk of diabetes and those types of things. So if you are dealing with excess body fat, this is the tool, this Made Health App is a tool. You should check it out.

[00:54:36.640] – Rachel
That sounds great. Yeah, I as a former weight obsessed, or scale obsessed person, I like that there's other metrics to follow. The scale is not the most important measurement of health. And just like you said, and I'm sure in your guidebook that you'll share, I go to the doctor, I have my blood drawn cholesterol, A1C, there's a lot going on inside that doesn't reflect necessarily what my outside looks like. So there's a lot of other indicators of health.

[00:55:07.030] – Allan
Yes. Yes there are.

[00:55:08.200] – Rachel
That are much more important.

[00:55:10.000] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, it's been a good week. I hope to talk to you next week.

[00:55:14.540] – Rachel
Yes, take care.

[00:55:16.000] – Allan
You, too.

[00:55:16.990] – Rachel
Thanks.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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January 18, 2021

The case for keto with Gary Taubes

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Few people put in the amount of research journalist Gary Taubes does when he's writing a book. In his new book, The Case for Keto, Gary really dives deep into the nutrition science to walk us point-by-point through determining if the ketogenic diet is the right way to eat.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:01:48.020] – Allan
Raz, how are things going?

[00:01:50.540] – Rachel
Good, how are you today, Allan?

[00:01:52.340] – Allan
I'm doing okay. Working on getting the gym open. We got some space next door, so we've been able to spread the equipment out a little bit more, which should help when we go to the health department. And my goal is before the end of this month to have the gym open and now it's just some final cleanups and put together and things like that to get it all ready. And then I've got a crew scheduled to come in and help me do some deep cleaning. So we're going to get everything set up. And I had to pull everything apart and clean it all up and then put it all back in.

[00:02:24.830] – Rachel
Wow.

[00:02:25.940]
Yeah, it's a lot of work. I've done it a few times myself over the years. And one of the things that I've come to understand is that you can't go 11 months without significant training. You know, I'm doing some training, but it's not like I was before. My strength has dropped. I'm not as strong. So I actually had to hire some people to help me move a piece of equipment today.

[00:02:49.940] – Rachel
Oh, boy.

[00:02:52.160] – Allan
I moved it all over the gym before, but it is really, really heavy. It probably weighs about 400 pounds. So it's not a light piece of equipment. But I used to be able to just drag it all over the gym. Not a problem that wasn't happening for me today. I gave it a tug. It moved about four inches. And I'm like, okay, I really have to move this about 20 feet. So, little four inch increments. That was a lot of polling. So I went out and I asked a couple of local guys that work at the water taxi across the street, and I said, you guys wanna help me out? And I said, I think I will need about two of you. And two of them came in. One of them came in and he's like, he was going to get underneath and lift it up. And I'm like, it's kind of heavy. He says “I'm really strong.” I said, “I am, too.”

[00:03:33.470] – Allan
And he went to make the tug and it didn't move at all. And his friends laughed at him. And then they went and got another guy in there to help us as three guys and myself. We got it. We got it moved.

[00:03:41.930] – Rachel
Oh, how wonderful. Gosh, how crazy!

[00:03:47.420] – Allan
It is. But it was fun. It was fun. And I'm getting things in. It's lining up. And so I'm hopeful we can get the health department here in Bocas to see it as a good place for people to be and exercise. We'll have a clean up plan, have everything going. So a lot of moving and shaking there. And then, of course, started kind of launching a twelve-week program for my for my online trainee's and, you know, for people over 40.

[00:04:13.070] – Allan
And it's. Yeah. That's going really well. I'm super excited about the folks that are coming in. They're energized. You know, our private Facebook group is there where we're checking and everybody's everybody's getting really excited and doing some things here. So, you know, and even just the first couple check ins of folks coming through, I'm like, wow, you guys are just you're just flooringme. I've got some awesome people in there and it just everyday seems to be getting better and better.

[00:04:39.410] – Rachel
Isn't that exciting? I love to see when people get excited about trying something new, a new training program or something and really taking the reins on what they want out of their health and fitness. I love that.

[00:04:51.950] – Allan
Yeah, well, of course. Me too. That's why I'm doing this.

[00:04:54.800] – Rachel
For sure.

[00:04:56.070] – Allan
So what have you been up to?

[00:04:58.130] – Rachel
Actually, something similar myself. I love resolutions. I love making plans at the beginning of the year. I, I love the idea of settling in on a goal and I have some big running goals for myself this year. But in order to reach those goals, I know I need to branch out and do some other things besides running. So I've been putting together a body weight routine that I call the runner's workout. I'm putting the final touches on it and I hope to have it ready to share pretty soon.

[00:05:30.170] – Rachel
Cool. I'm looking forward to seeing that's going to be really good. That's really good. All right. So today our guest is Gary Taubes. And Gary, Gary is one of my favorite people because he thinks like a journalist, but he also understands health really, really well. And so he gets into these concepts of keto. So the book is called The Case for Keto. And I've had him on before The Case Against Sugar. And he sold me on that one for sure, because now, you know, I'm as against sugar as ever.

[00:06:06.200] – Allan
But his book The Case for Keto is really, really good. I was really excited to have him on the podcast again. So I guess let's go ahead and have that conversation with Gary.

Interview

[00:06:36.920] – Allan
Gary, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:39.860] – Gary
Thank you for having me.

[00:06:42.080] – Allan
This is the second time you've been on the show. We had you on for The Case Against Sugar, which was episode 224, that was 245 episodes ago, and I still recommend people go read the book The Case Against Sugar. It's as relevant, if not more relevant today than it was then in 2017. And the book we're going to talk about today is called The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science of Low-Carb High-Fat Eating.

[00:07:11.570] – Allan
And the thing I like, Gary, about the way that you approach these topics is that you put together a case which is what you're doing, and you're thinking in terms of how do I build up a body of evidence that really proves this. And it's not just you're going to go across and say, well, everybody knows and then stop and just use that as your anchor. You have no anchors. But the fact that you've done more research then probably anyone else in the field of nutrition, which is actually kind of sad considering you're a journalist and not a scientist, but you've done you've done more work in the nutrition field to understand why we think the way we do, why we do the things we do and why things work the way they do inside our bodies than maybe any any other human being on Earth. And it's just fascinating to read your stuff.

[00:08:07.470] – Gary
Thank you. You know, it's funny, as a journalist, you just keep asking questions until, well, I would like to say until there are no questions to be asked, but basically eventually you will reach a point of diminishing returns where your mathematicians are saying you're asymptotically approaching the endpoint. And yeah, I when I started this 20, almost 25 years ago, I had no biases. I was believe what we all believed about a low fat diet and then red meat being deadly.

[00:08:49.180] – Gary
And and then I but I was an investigative journalist with a science background. So I stumbled into this field. I wanted to know what the truth was. I just kept asking questions. I also hate writing. So research is a great procrastination tool as long as you keep doing research, you don't actually have to sit down and do the hard work of synthesizing it, making it reasonable.

[00:09:12.730] – Allan
Well, you did. And thank you for that, because you went through an entire history. And that's another thing. I mean, as we're talking about why we are where we are. We have to kind of understand some of the history, it's not if we try to put that anchor point in, this is the ultimate truth and we don't go back and at least understand where that truth came from and question that truth, which you as a journalist do, then there's a lot of things that can go wrong.

[00:09:48.320] – Allan
In a way, I kind of think about this is in terms of geometry. You know, you work as a kid, you work in the geometry problem and they make you show you work. And so you sit down, you prove that first thing and then therefore you can prove the second thing and therefore you can prove the third thing. And you have to do all three of those in that order or it doesn't work. And a lot of the science we have right now skipped through the first two proofs and now we're at the third proof.

[00:10:16.010] – Allan
This book doesn't do that. Why are we where we are? And what happened? What went wrong?

[00:10:22.460] – Gary
So this is what's happened to me. So my obsession has always been good science and bad science, more so than nutrition. It's just, the themes and bad science play out so well in nutrition and so continuously and obesity and diabetes research also. But one of the things that fascinated me is I grew up in the physics world and in physics. You learn the science, the history attached. Right. In part because as the history as you move forward in time, the science gets more complicated to start with, like Newton's laws. And you learn about Newton and you learn about the laws. And every law has a name attached to it. Every discovery has someone's name attached or whether it's, the variables, the units being teslas and gauses and ohms are people's names to learn who did the work, what they did, what they saw, what the alternative hypotheses were. You get to Einstein's theory of relativity. It's only when you get to quantum physics in the twentieth century that we tend to start using the name, leaving the names behind.

[00:11:28.250] – Gary
But any student of physics knows who did the work and what they did and what experiments were done to test it and what those experiments on. And I don't know, in medicine, you don't do that. The textbooks don't talk about the history. There's too much to learn. There's too much you have to digest in order to the theory goes to diagnose and treat patients. So maybe the ideas don't have time to learn it.

[00:11:52.830] – Gary
So as a journalist, when I got into this, I wanted to learn the evidence-based first behind the idea that salt causes high blood pressure. And that led me to the evidence behind dietary fat and heart disease, and that led me to the obesity story. So as a journalist, you start going back in time because we've accepted certain facts, dogma or consensus. So you go back in time to find out when they were still up for grabs, when there was still a controversy and no consensus formed over what we believe and see what the evidence was and what forged the controversy? Was it compelling evidence or was it political or sociological forces? And in nutrition, obesity was always the latter.

[00:12:44.460] – Gary
Go all the way back to the early 20th century for obesity and again, when we think of the obesity research community today, we think of hundreds, thousands of research around the world studying animals. Back then, obesity research constituted oh, I don't know, a dozen positions around the world, the German and Austrian clinicians with their schools of thinking and they had institutes with research physician, researcher in them. And these dozen people would write articles about obesity every few years.And in those articles, they might speculate as to what the cause was.

[00:13:21.910] – Gary
And there were two ideas of what the cause of obesity was. One is people eat too much: The gluttony idea. Sloth wasn't that much of an explanation back then, but you had Falstaff. A big, heavy set guy with a zest for living, sitting in a bar and he's got a leg of lamb with one hand and the tankard of ale in the other. And the reason he's fat is good. He's a glutton. And that was sort of the general thinking.

[00:13:49.950] – Gary
And then the other hypothesis was that obesity is a hormonal disorder that some people just put on weight no matter how little they eat. Okay? So some of us are predisposed to get fat, others aren't. The Germans and Austrians tend to embrace this hormonal predisposition idea, even though they didn't know how hormones regulated fat accumulation.

[00:14:13.110] – Gary
And in 1930, an American researcher named Lewis Newberg comes along the University of Michigan and he claims for the first time ever to have actually tested these two hypotheses experimentally. No one has ever done that before. And he claimed that the overrating hypothesis won, based on basically what he did, is he put some lean people on a semi-starvation diet and some obese people on a semi-starvation diet. And he said they kind of lost weight equally. It didn't matter whether they were obese. Therefore, the obese people didn't have some hormonal predisposition to make them trap fat. And nobody had ever done this so Newberg and the United States particularly has kind of embraced as getting it right.

[00:14:59.860] – Gary
And it fit preconceptions, right? Because lean physicians, because if you're lean it's easy to think fat people get fat because they too much. The Europeans, the Germans and Austrians kind of made fun of this energy balance idea, didn't explain anything. So if you want to explain like for instance, whether or not someone's obese or not, but why men and women fat differently, men put on fat above the waist, women tend to put on fat below the waist. So clearly hormones are involved, like why are there certain areas in our bodies we accumulate fat and other areas we don't? Why? There are things like lipomas, fatty tumors. All of these are independent of energy balance.

[00:15:44.500] – Gary
And you want a theory of obesity should be a theory of fat accumulation. So all of that is argued out in a few papers that go back and forth, the Austrian clinical investigator named Julius Bauer, the one of the leading figures in the field of endocrinology, says the energy balance thing is nonsense. The overeating hypothesis doesn't tell you anything. Newberg responds that the hormonal hypothesis doesn't tell you anything. World War II comes along. The European, German, Austrian schools evaporate. And post-World War Two, Newberg's overeating energy balance hypothesis is just embrace this fact.

[00:16:31.430] – Gary
Clearly fat people overeat and then for whatever reason, people start invoking the laws of thermodynamics as somehow relevant to this. And by the 1960s, you've got obesity research dominated by psychologists and psychiatrists who are trying to get fat people eat less.

[00:16:53.640] – Gary
And at the same time, you've got beginning in the 1930s, through the mid 1960s, a series of metabolism researchers, physiologists, PHds mostly rather than MDs to actually work out in the lab what regulates fat accumulation and the role different hormones play in regulating fat accumulation. And by the mid 1960s, it's clear that insulin dominates fat storage. The hormone insulin, it orchestrates partitioning in the body. When we burn fuels versus when we store them, use them for repair and regeneration. But it's the hormone that puts fat tissue and keeps it there. And so by the mid 1960s, you should have a hypothesis that obesity is a hormonal regulatory disorder, just like the Germans and Austrians had always said, where insulin dominates the length of diet.

[00:17:50.040] – Gary
And so all of this was just ignored, just ignored, because the obesity community has decided that fat people eat too much. Even when you look at the research in the field, they're not trying to explain fat accumulation. If you look at, for instance, the discovery of leptin, which is seen as a satiety hormone. The researchers are trying to explain appetite and hunger and why fat people might eat too much rather than why fat people might accumulate too much fat, which is an entirely different question.

[00:18:26.130] – Gary
So the latter is answered pretty much by elevated insulin and keep it elevated as it is in insulin resistance, and you're going to accumulate too much fat. But that's not even what we've been studying. And then the dietary implications, of course, are a disaster for 80 years, 90 years. Physicians tell their patients to eat less and exercise more because they think they're eating too much. And that's why they're getting fat.

[00:18:56.850] – Allan
When I was in high school, I thought I was going to be an NFL football player and offensive lineman, thought I was going to be this big, huge dude. I stopped growing in the 10th grade and couldn't put on any weight. I could eat and eat and eat and eat and in fact, really strongly believe that it was those eating habits that I developed when I was a teenager that set me up for having metabolic problems later because it was the type of food I was drinking a lot of milk, like a gallon of milk a day. I was eating loaves of bread because those were the things that put some weight on me. And so when I was younger, I was one of those folks that you would call just naturally lean. He can eat anything and everything and stay naturally.

[00:19:45.480]
That changed drastically after I turned 30, which again, is about the same time that certain hormones like testosterone. I was obviously I was working in corporate so my cortisol levels. I wasn't the carefree teenager anymore. My cortisol levels were obviously a lot higher. So I moved into that category in the book that you call fat and easily. And I think people who see this and they know this intrinsically. I'll have male clients and female clients and the male clients, if they really start working on the right things and do the things that are improving their overall health, they bounce back and they start losing weight a lot faster than females do. So a woman moves into menopause. And because her hormones change the structure of how and where she stores fat changes. So to sit there and completely poo poo hormones as having any involvement in this. I don't quite get it.

[00:20:49.010] – Gary
And this is what's so fascinating. On one hand, I mean, it's an interesting dynamic where. So Newberg did this. Because he had to answer questions after he said, as always, eating too much obesity always caused by eating too much. And so people said, what about menopause? You know, if you look at and I did and even into the literature on animal literature in the 1920s, you can find and endocrinologies saying, well, you know, animals get when you remove the ovaries and a female animal, that animal got fatter. And so clearly what we're doing is removing it's not secreting estrogen anymore and estrogen inhibiting fat accumulation.

[00:21:26.100] – Gary
And I think it was in the case against sugar. I had a reference from 1927 making that point. And I mean endocrinology as the term has barely even been coined by that time. They're still calling glands ductless glands and the researchers studying animals know that female animals will get fat or if you remove their ovaries. But still what's happening in humans in Newberg's says, well it's got nothing to do with hormones, even in women going through menopause.

[00:21:56.790] – Gary
They're saying what happens is they their kids are grown, they're out there, they're bored with their husbands. I'm an incredibly sexist discussions going on and they don't really care how they look anymore. And they're playing bridge with their lady friends all day long and eating bonbons. So it's still overeating. And they said, well, what about children of obese parents? Because he, you know, Julius Bauer had done some of the first research showing that, you know, we had 500 obese patients and 400 of them had at least one obese parent. I forget the exact number. So clearly it's genetic. And why wouldn't you expect it to be genetics? No, it's not genetic. And, you know, children with obesity learn to overeat from their parents with obesity. The groaning board, they called it, they just put too much food out on the table and they don't learn to control their appetites.

[00:22:50.010] – Gary
So they had an argument that everything. Nothing could be hormonal, and when Bauer attacks Newberg and you see this today with bloggers and everywhere and politicians, rather than ease off the argument a little, Newberg hardened it. Nothing can be hormonal because of anything, could be hormonal. Perhaps it could all be hormonal.

[00:23:17.630] – Gary
And then the idea of hormones were easily accepted as an excuse when that's what fat people was trying to understand. The AtMe movement or even the Black Lives Matter movement, because as a older white male, I'm being told that I can fundamentally cannot understand their perspective. And they're right. Okay, they're just right. I can't. And then it struck me that what we've got is lean people who are giving us diet advice, right?

[00:23:47.140] – Gary
The idea is if it's eating too much, the difference between if you take two 18-year-olds, say. A good example, my brother and I, when we graduated from high school, he was two years older. But his senior year, he played football. He was six feet tall and 190 pounds, six foot five and 190. And I was six foot two and 190 or 195. We both played football. We were both pretty good. He never got over 195 pounds and I went up to 240.

[00:24:17.450] – Gary
He couldn't. And he had more than I did. We would both accept that the difference was the idea the reason I went to 240 is I ate too much. And the reason he never went over 195 is he didn't, even though he ate far more than I did. So you've got these lean people giving this advice and they don't know what it means. They don't understand what it's like to slowly get fatter year in and year out no matter what you do. Right?

[00:24:48.680] – Gary
So we've all been through this. You restrict what you eat, you give up sweets, you do your calorie counting and no matter what you do and this is why I use that phrase fat and easily. It's like 1950s diet book terminology, but some of us fatten easily. And if you're not one of us, you can't understand what that's like. And you can't just say, well, you got to eat less, dude, or get out and run around the track, because that doesn't stop our bodies from wanting to fatten easily.

[00:25:21.610] – Gary
And we have to understand why our bodies are doing that. You're lucky your body doesn't do that. Just like somebody who wants to play basketball is lucky if they grow to six foot eight rather than six feet tall. And we know that's hormonal.

[00:25:35.960] – Allan
Yeah.

[00:25:36.380] – Gary
Right?

[00:25:38.480] – Allan
Because they too much.

[00:25:39.890] – Gary
Not because they eat more than the six foot guy. And it's funny. That's what the first guy, a German, Gustaf von Burgmann, who sort of wrote up this hormonal idea and made fun of this eating balance/energy balance idea said you know, a growing child is hungry all the time. That's not why it's growing. And you would never tell the child, look, if you would just eat less, you won't get so tall because we know they're not related.

[00:26:12.260] – Gary
And yet they turn this into obesity. They're growing outward instead of upward. And suddenly you flip all the causality in telling them to eat less is somehow a solution. And it's just not.

[00:26:24.770] – Allan
You said something in the book that just kind of resonated with me, probably something I should just actually just have posted somewhere for people to read whenever we're talking, particularly when they're dealing with hunger, is that you indicated in the book hunger is a response, not a cause.

[00:26:45.380] – Gary
Right. If you look at any biological system other than obesity, hunger is a response to a calorie deficit. Basically, you burn more calories, you're growing. You're going to be hungry because your body needs is building is in positive energy balance. It's building bones and muscles and connective tissue. And it needs the energy to do that and it needs the resources to create that that new growth and the response is you're hungrier than you are if your body isn't growing.

[00:27:18.170] – Gary
The examples I used and why we get fat. My second book was, you know, an elephant eats more than an armadillo because it's and it eats and several orders of magnitude more food because it's several orders of magnitude bigger. We never have a system where the amount consumed drives the growth of the system. It's always the growth process that determines the amount consumed. And what's fascinating is in nutrition. So remember, we've got these lean people. Newburg, by the way, was pencil thin. We've got them saying, look, fat people get fat because they eat too much, so they should eat less. And if they eat less, they'll lose the weight and everything will be fine, but we actually had an experiment to look at what happens when lean people eat less. And that was his famous experiment, Ancel Keyes, who in the early 1940s was a relatively young, ambitious nutrition researcher at the University of Minnesota.

[00:28:20.830] – Gary
This was before his dietary fat work. And he did an experiment, a famous experiment on starvation. And he published two books, two volumes of the biology of human semi-starvation. And this was a it was a semi-starvation experiment. So we got thirty two or thirty four conscientious objectors. And the idea was to understand the physical and psychological consequences of semi-starvation because when we won the war in Europe, the assumption was we would be confronted with famine conditions and particularly Eastern Europe, and we would have to know how to treat these people. We'd have to understand medically what they're going through.

[00:29:08.200] – Gary
So the diet that Keyes fed these conscientious objectors was similar to what they expected they would see in Eastern Europe. So it's tubulars like potatoes and turnips and little green vegetables and some very lean, small portions of meat. So it's a low-fat, low calories, about 1600 calories a day, even though it's referred to as a semi-starvation diet. That's what men are told to eat if they want to lose weight at the rate of a pound or two a week. So 1600 calories a day of a low fat, mostly plant diet, a very healthy diet by today's standards and the obvious consequence of this diet, not surprisingly, if you feed someone a semi-starvation diet, they get exceedingly hungry because they're only eating half the calories that they need.

[00:30:07.150]
They thought about food constantly. They obsessed about food. They wrote about food in their diaries. Tf they had gum, they chew gum constantly. They dreamt about food at night. They weren't allowed out of the lab to walk around town without a buddy system because they couldn't be trusted not to cheat if they were allowed out of the confined area where the study was going on. Several of the subjects suffered what Keyes and his colleagues called, I think they call it semi-starvation neurosis or psychosis, they had mental breakdowns. One of them tried to mutilate himself, actually successfully cut off several fingers with an axe, claiming that an accident so he could get out of the study.

[00:30:57.540] – Gary
The assumption is a lean person can tell a person who suffers from obesity to eat less and maybe 1600 calories a day, and that person won't be able to just lose weight, that's all. The fat tissue will get about the excess calories and they'll be fine. But the reality is, we know that if a lean person were to eat 1600 calories a day, they'd be starving and unable to sustain it.

[00:31:21.810] – Gary
By the way, the other thing that happened at the end of this trial, they lost 15 pounds in the first three months and then weight loss slowed down and sort of ground to a halt. So eventually their weight loss was not all that meaningful. They didn't have a lot of extra fat to lose. Then they start refeeding them. Okay, so now you're feeding semi-starved individuals and they're voraciously hungry and they had to slow down the feeding so they wouldn't get sick, but they still could eat like 10000 calories a day and they ended up all putting on more fat than they lost, which Keyes and company called post-starvation obesity.

[00:32:05.100] – Gary
The comment in the book, because we've all been there, right? We've all tried to starve ourselves, lose the weight, and then eventually you end up with binge behavior because you can't sustain it and you end up fatter than you started. All of this had been documented in lean people, and yet that's still the advice. And then lean people, conceivably the most famous nutrition experiment in history. And yet the lean people who tell us to eat less don't pay attention to that, because if they did, they would have to figure out something else to tell us.

[00:32:38.730] – Allan
When I was in the army, in the infantry, and so we're training and the way they would work is they had these meals ready to eat, MREs. That they would give us. And each one was 1000 calories and we were allotted three of them in a day. So, you know, I'm a young, healthy male, too, you know, 20 years old, 21, 22, and they're giving me three thousand calories a day and I'm losing a pound a day, so if I went out for two weeks, I'd lose 14 pounds and I didn't really have that much extra body fat to lose at that point in time, because I was at the time, I was about 185 pounds, maybe one 195 relatively lean.

[00:33:22.830] – Allan
But I would lose a pound a day if I was out and I was doing everything I could to find calories. So there were people who liked coffee at the time. I wasn't interested in coffee. I would trade my coffees for their cocoas. I would say, are you eating your creamer and your sugar? And if they weren't going to use their creamer and sugar, I would barter for that and I would take those to make little sugar cookies.

[00:33:47.880] – Allan
And so I was learning all of these little tricks on how I could get more food. And in fact, we were going in an exercise and this other group came in and our job was just to disrupt them. And when they came in and drop their packs off, we ran them off with their packs. When we came back through, we realized they had food in their packs, so we stole all their food.

[00:34:11.070] – Gary
This is a funny thing because you were lean, right? It's not funny. It's tragic because you were lean. Nobody judged you.

[00:34:19.170] – Allan
Yeah.

[00:34:19.830] – Gary
As though you are a glutton or a sloth or you lacked willpower or anything like that. You were just hungry and you were doing what you needed to do to get the food you wanted. But had you been overweight or obese and someone had seen you stealing that food, they blame your lack of willpower for being overweight or obese. I had a conversation with excuse me, the nutritionist at NYU recently through email has been arguing for decades that it's all about calories and she told me that her father had been obese and he definitely had a voracious appetite. And I said, but look I've eaten dinner with her over the years. I once took her out to a wonderful, amazing Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village to thank her for being a source for one of my very first article on dietary fat. And I said, you've seen me eat right. I am twice your size. I eat more than twice the amount of food you eat and I will leave the table hungry. But you don't judge it because I'm not obese, right?

[00:35:33.390] – Gary
The reason they twice as much as you do is because I'm twice as big as you are. It's that simple. And if my body was trying to get bigger still by putting on fat, I'd be hungrier still. And she may have actually gotten that. Again, in this world, people very common phenomena, when you can when you try to get people to shift paradigms literally from this energy balance, thinking and gluttony and sloth to hormonal regulatory thinking and insulin and carbohydrates. You can get them to shift momentarily, but inevitably they snap back to the way they always believed.

[00:36:15.860] – Allan
There's a little bit of data there and, when you're when you get into a study where they'll do a well, they'll do a low-carb versus a high-carb switch but typically when they do that, they're really not going low-carb. They're they're going more of a moderate-carb kind of thing. And what they typically will show is for the first six weeks or so, these individuals that are on a low-carb diet lose more weight, but then they'll say six months later everything's pretty much even.

[00:36:47.420] – Allan
And I'm like, well, most of them weren't trained. That's how they were supposed to keep eating. So they went back to their old way of eating. And basically all you did was really. Yeah. Gave them a short term thing. And then you didn't pay attention to the fact that if they'd continue doing that thing for six months, it probably would have made quite a bit of difference.

[00:37:07.940] – Gary
The nutrition community has all kinds of excuses for why they can do bad experiments. So when they do those experiments, they don't test, for instance, whether a ketogenic diet leads to more weight loss than a low-fat or mostly plant diet. When the diets are sustained, they test the intervention. So they say, well, we've told people eat a low-fat diet and we told people to eat the ketogenic diet. And we gave them, you know, Atkins' book and Ornish's book or something like that. And then, you know, we just had them come in. We wanted to they they won't write it up like this. So they'll assume that they'll write it up as other people stayed on the diets. And then if you criticize and say, well, clearly from the data that people and stay on the diet and they say, then we know the diet to unsustainable. I co-founded a not for profit to try and improve the quality of nutrition science. We did some interesting experiments, but we did not succeed at improving the quality of nutrition science.

[00:38:18.690] – Allan
I guess the point I'm trying to get to is we're responsible for ourselves. And if we really want to get to the bottom of rather than most of us, I think we're listening to this and thinking we need to lose some weight. We probably fatten easily. We're probably not naturally lean. So we need to do something different than what is there, something different than what we've done? And if you've been concerned about the keto diet, just try and experiment.

[00:38:47.460] – Allan
And the experiment is to work with your hormones, looking at your carbs and your protein and your fat. And so, Gary, if someone was going to sit down and say, okay, I'm going to do an experiment, the subject is one. So my N=q and I'm going to do this experiment, how should they structure their experiment?

[00:39:06.720] – Gary
OK, so and this is why I wrote the book, by the way, among other things. So people know that they can do this. It's not going to kill them. Twenty years ago, you would have when I first did this as an experiment, I kept waiting for my heart attack. And then they have to understand how to do a right. Like any experiment, you have to get the methodology correct. So what we're doing with a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. So remember, we broach this idea, the hormone insulin regulates fat accumulation. Insulin goes up, we store fat, insulin comes down, you start to mobilize and oxidize it. What's often not discussed is when insulin comes down, there's a threshold effect. So when I interviewed the researchers who studied fat metabolism, a phrase they often used was that fat cells are exquisitely sensitive to insulin. So if you're secreting even a little bit of insulin, your fat cells are detecting that. And that insulin is inhibiting what's called lipolisis, which is mobilization of fat from the fat cells.

[00:40:11.090] – Gary
So when you want to do if you're overweight or obese, you want to get fat out of your fat cell. So the fat cells, lipolisize fat, it's stored so it can come out and then you want to burn it for fuel. And what to do that you have to minimize your insulin levels, probably.

[00:40:29.310] – Gary
So ketogenic diet minimizes insulin. That's what it does. And it does that by replacing the carbohydrates, you consume all the carbohydrate rich foods. So everything other than green leafy vegetables and so on. It's a high-fat diet. So you're not eating grains, sweets, starches, legumes, because they're all carb, relatively carb rich. You're eating green leafy vegetables, eggs, meat, fish, fowl, butter. Animal sources of fat. In practice, it's actually very easy to do, it sounds complicated, but breakfast, if you eat breakfast and most of us in this world are many of us are now doing the intermittent fasting as well as our time-restricted eating. We just don't eat breakfast anymore. But if you do, instead of your usual carbs sources, toast, cereal, juice, skim milk, fruit, you're eating eggs and bacon.

[00:41:34.680] – Gary
It's the hardest thing to get over is the belief that eggs and bacon are going to kill you or eggs and sausage or kippers and sour cream, trout, leftover food from dinner. And then your lunches. I don't know. I lived in New York when I first came to L.A. when I first did this as an experiment. And I was a writer and I was unmarrieds. You tend to eat out every meal and inexpensive restaurants. And so I'd go out and instead of getting half a roast chicken with French fries and broccoli, I would order that roast chicken, say, hold the fries, give me a double or broccoli or, you know, hold the fries or the baked potato, give me an extra order of salad. And so you end up eating more green leafy vegetables than you ever did. Some vitamin deficiencies are not an issue.

[00:42:28.450] – Gary
Same for dinner. Dinner was instead of steak and potatoes and broccoli, it was steak and broccoli. You're just not eating the starches, the grains and the sugar, basically. and most people who do this and do it right. So the idea I remember is also so insulin dominates fat accumulation, carbohydrates dominate insulin regulation. So the simplest way to think of this is carbohydrates are fattening. That's what our parents generation grew up believing anyway. And so if carbohydrates are fattening and you don't eat them. Because at any time and what you eat them, they will work to make you fat or and if you try to prevent yourself from getting fat, it just make you hungry.

[00:43:21.640] – Gary
So you abstain from carbs. You replace it with fatty sources of food. You don't worry about the fat content as long as it's coming from sort of naturally occurring foods and people get healthier, they just they do. In the book, I describe this sort of cognitive dissonance between two conflicting definitions of a healthy diet. One is what we're told to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean meat in moderation.

[00:43:57.610] – Gary
And the other is what actually makes people like you and me healthier, which is green, leafy vegetables and meat, fish and pound dairy and eggs.

[00:44:09.370] – Allan
Yeah, it was interesting because someone posted on my Facebook group. They were looking they were struggling with keto. They had some struggles with keto diet and they wanted a balanced diet. And then, of course, there was another person that responded. Isn't that an oxymoron? And I had to respond and say, absolutely not. I mean, I probably eat. I would say ounce for ounce more vegetables because they're leafy green than I do eat meat when it's all said and done.

[00:44:40.390] – Allan
And yeah, there's some fat in there to make it actually taste delicious. But, you know, is just because everybody wants to nitpick and, you know, they're like, oh, it's the bacon diet. I'm like, well, they have a little bit of bacon. It's condiment. It's it's an aside, you know, it's like that's not their main protein. We're not all sitting around running around eating pounds and pounds of bacon. Now, yes, there are some people that are doing that, but in a general sense, you can have a balanced, fully nutritious diet. You have to have the understandings of what your body needs with regards to vitamins, minerals and particularly electrolytes. If we're going to go into ketosis because we're going to flush some water and just understanding those basic things is just a function of knowing how your body responds to food and eating appropriately.

[00:45:30.880] – Gary
And that's it. It's unlearning a lot of the simplistic crap we were taught. And then basing thinking about your diet in terms of human physiology instead of some, you know, like we're thermodynamic experiments. My favorite part, so part of what I did in this book, I interviewed over 120 odd physicians who had converted to this way of thinking. I estimate there are tens of thousands now worldwide at least to do this, but who now eat this way themselves and prescribe it to their patients. And by interviewing all these physicians, I could understand the challenges to them and to their patients and how they overcame those challenges. And at the end of the book, I give advice based on and ways to both think about this and do this, so that the eating a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic regime is something they can do for a lifetime.

[00:46:31.800] – Gary
But my I think my favorite chapter is. I start with the quote from a woman named Doctor named Carrie Doulos, who's a spine surgeon in Ohio. And Carrie comes from a family with a history of obesity and says without understanding her diet, she'd be 300 pounds. She's also a type one, has type one diabetes now, and she's a vegan. And she used to be a ketogenic diet. And she does so because she can tolerate animal products. So she would have she always had some ethical issues with them and she grew up ethically opposed to eating them. But she would do it if her body tolerated.

[00:47:13.260] – Gary
It just doesn't seem to do it. And she said it's it's not a religion. It's just about the way I feel, about how I feel. And to me, ultimately, that's kind of what we're doing here. And I play Carrie Doulos off against Georgia Edes, who's a psychologist, psychiatrist in western Massachusetts whose body doesn't seem to tolerate plant foods. And so Georgia is now a carnivore. All she eats exclusively is meat. And that's what makes her feel healthy and able to achieve a healthy weight. And as long as you know that you don't have any vitamin and mineral deficiencies and that you know your lipids are not insane, whatever that means is.

[00:47:58.220] – Gary
Of self-experiments until you found dumping crap food on us. And so we didn't really have to think about what we ate anymore. So you could give your kids sugary crap for breakfast and they'll eat it because it's full of sugar. And then you can give them take them to McDonald's or fast food restaurants and buy them a Coca-Cola and get them crap for lunch. And they'll eat that because the food industry did such a good job of making it palatable and the same for dinner and nobody had to think about it anymore. But there are people who think about it all the time or that the vegetarians and vegans have to think deeply about what they're eating and daily about making a healthy diet.

[00:48:38.210] – Gary
And anyone who is a foodie does it naturally and there's nothing more important to us. That's the fascinating thing. It's at least tied for being the single most important thing we can do in our lives, which is eat healthy. And it just requires some thought and practice to do it right? Nobody gets good at anything with that practice. The longer you do it, the easier it becomes. And meanwhile, we've been getting these messages from the nutrition community, don't even think about doing it. If you abstain from a if you don't eat the entire food group, that's an eating disorder. If it's unsustainable, don't try it anyway. Nobody can eat this way.

[00:49:20.600]
Even though it'll make you healthier, we're not going to tell you to do it because we don't believe you'll sustain it. I mean, sort of insane logic from the nutrition community. Whereas what they should be saying is being healthy takes work, you know, and so eat a diet that's designed physiologically to make you healthy, which this is, and then work at it so it gets easier. And now, of course, the food industry has settled. And so there are sort of you know, you can go on Amazon and buy a gazillion, you know, keto-friendly snacks and drink and God knows what they're doing for us.

[00:49:59.270] – Gary
But there they are. I was confronted yesterday with keto macaroons, I was always a big macaroon fan, I said I'm staring at the Amazon and blowing up the nutrition profile so I could see it going, wait a minute, wait a minute. They say it's keto-friendly. It's still like 14 grams of carbs.

[00:50:21.330] – Allan
You could probably tolerate two, maybe three of those.

[00:50:27.660] – Gary
You know, I mean, I could probably be very happy eating them, but I'm also very happy without eating them.

[00:50:32.740] – Allan
Yeah. Yeah.

[00:50:34.050] – Gary
And so ultimately, I passed.

[00:50:37.200] – Allan
Good for you, Gary. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:50:47.340] – Gary
OK, well, I'm a big fan of telling people what not to eat, okay? I know other people don't like negative messages, but don't eat sugar, starches, and grains.

[00:50:58.860] – Gary
Wear a mask.

[00:51:01.410] – Gary
And, you know, I don't know if I got a third. I'm a writer. We're tortured. Right. So telling people how to be happy, I feel like I'm not sure I'm certified to do that. But, get outside.

[00:51:17.340] – Gary
And one of the things that we used to be so part of the logic of the nutrition world is do you tell people to exercise? Because if you exercise, maybe they'll burn off calories. And I think of this as like a greyhound, the greyhounds of the world figuring if they can just get the bastard hounds to run around the track enough, they could turn the basset hounds into greyhounds. And what they end up doing is torturing the basset hound. And you end up with emaciated, starving, exhausted basset hounds.

[00:51:43.980] – Gary
But if you can make those basset hounds healthy with the right diet, if that diet sort of reregulates their fat metabolism such that they're mobilizing fat from their fat tissue and burning it rather than storing it to excess, they'll have energy. And if they have energy, they want to exercise and they want to burn that energy off, which lean people do naturally. And then they'll want to go for walks and go for hikes and go to the gym and all those great things and get outside because of the energy to do it.

[00:52:15.850] – Gary
And so you don't exercise or get physically active to lose weight, if you fix your fat accumulation problem, you will want to be physically active. So do the former and then enjoy the latter.

[00:52:32.350] – Allan
Excellent. Gary, if someone wanted to learn more about you and or the book The Case for Keto, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:52:41.080] – Gary
OK, my website is garytaubes.com. I don't keep up with blogging, but it's there. Twitter is @garytaubes. The book is available. If you have an independent bookstore in your neighborhood that's still open, please buy it there. If not, Amazon will deliver.

[00:53:00.460] – Allan
Absolutely. Well, Gary, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:53:04.750] – Gary
Allan, thank you for having me.


Post Show/Recap

[00:53:11.150] – Allan
Rachel, welcome back.

[00:53:13.010] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, wow, that was a really fascinating interview. There's so much to talk about.

[00:53:17.990] – Allan
Yeah, like I said, I really like Gary and I like his approach in his books predominantly because he doesn't take anything as fact. At first, you know, it's not like he's going to follow and say, okay here's here's our belief system. So I'm going to rest all of my argument on that thing. And a lot of people will do that. They'll say you don't need to do keto because it'll raise your cholesterol.

[00:53:41.630] – Allan
Some people get on keto and it lowers their cholesterol. Keto definitely lowers the triglycerides. It does a lot of other things that are really, really good for you. But it's not for everybody as Gary mentioned in the podcast. But, you know, if you're thinking about going to your doctor and you're thinking about doing keto or you're doing keto and you go to your doctor, your doctor says, oh, my God, get off that, you're going to die.

[00:54:03.410] – Allan
just realize that doctors are not infallible. And I don't mean for you to completely question your doctor, but realize at one point doctors were recommending cigarettes. You had advertisements, nine out of 10 doctors prefer a particular brand of cigarette.

[00:54:19.700] – Allan
Now, they didn't know they were not told in medical school that the tobacco was bad for them. And in fact, the tobacco companies went out of their way to make sure that that information was not available to your doctor. So doctors were recommending cigarettes. Now they're recommending different things. But some of our doctors went to medical school 15, 20, 25, 30 years ago. And a lot of them are still relying on the same things they were taught then, or they're relying on the things that they get at their conferences.

[00:54:52.370] – Allan
They have to do their continuing education. I don't know what they call it. You know, we call it CEUs use in a personal training space. We used to call it CPE when I was an accountant. But they have to get they have to go back and get education. Now, these educations are typically conferences and these conferences are typically sponsored and run by drug companies. So most of the science, most of the things they're hearing are not food can make you healthy. It's you need this medicine to be healthy and we don't have a deficiency of medicine. We have a problem with our food and Gary does an excellent job of kind of walking us through step by step, the Case for Keto. And so if your doctor is saying maybe you shouldn't be on that on that diet, highlight his objections, highlight them in your book, take the book to your doctor and have him read that section. You know, you need to do some stuff.

[00:55:49.620] – Allan
I remember when I was going through my first divorce. It sounds terrible, doesn't it. I was going through the process of the settlement and everything that happens. And, you know, she was going to get half of my 401k. And so it happened at that point in time to be reading a lot of things about divorce and about, 401ks and all that other stuff. And it said, you need this document called a QDRO, it's qualified something, something, something. Basically, it's where you're redeeming your 401k, but you're not taking the cash. So you do the form. And that way for your taxes, you don't have to pay taxes on the money you withdrew. Otherwise you do. And then the story was about a doctor who took a million dollars out of his 401k and basically had to pay five hundred thousand dollars in taxes because he didn't do this one document. So I went to my attorney and I said, well, have you drawn up a QDRO?

[00:56:46.200] – Allan
And he's like, What's that? So I showed him my research and I went to another law firm, a friend at another law firm, and requested a boilerplate for one and gave it to my attorney and he charged me my hourly rate for his time to read my research and do the form, which I thought was really, really not cool. But at least I saved myself a ton in taxes because I was aware of the situation. And I was a part of my own legal team.

[00:57:17.340] – Allan
I didn't just depend on the opinions and requirements that are put forward by my attorney. I made sure I understood the process as well as I could. So that I could be a part of the team and you really kind of have to do the same thing with your medical, because doctors are not infallible. They're human beings just like us. They're very intelligent human beings and they're fairly diligent because they did go through medical school. But at the same time, they're not doing the research specific to you every single day. You have to do that research.

[00:57:51.340] – Rachel
That's right. And you need to take your own reins of your own nutritional choices. And it's good to ask questions. It's good to question the doctor and help them or they can help you better once they know what you're trying to find out. But yeah nutritional guidance has changed so much. But the problem is that it hasn't been reflected in our country for anyway, in our guidelines, the food pyramid, as as we knew it growing up, was like that for probably 15 years and know that there were changes in the food pyramid. If it wasn't, last year was the year before, and it had been literally ten years in between. Any additional changes to what we know and it's only one dietary example to live by and it's not the right dietary example for everybody.

[00:58:42.610] – Allan
Yeah, well, one of the things is realized, that's a very politicized environment, Nina Teicholz wrote, The Big Fat Surpise, I believe, is the book she wrote. And she's been an activist on this thing the whole time. And the reality of it is when they get the people together in the room, the scientists, they're supposed to go through these studies. They sit down and they look at all the studies and then they start throwing some of them out as irrelevant or not valid. And all of the high-fat, low-carb diets, every single one of them was excluded from the study. And so, she's part of an organization that's out there trying to fight this, but they're moving forward with nutrition guidance.

[00:59:27.700] – Allan
And, basically probably for a generally healthy person that doesn't need that doesn't have metabolic problems, is not obese or overweight, those guidelines might work just fine. But for a lot of us that are I guess what I was with was is easily fat, I think was one of the terms I heard recently in an interview that that interview is coming up, guys, but easily fattened us easily fat and people. We can't eat that way. We can't feel that way. And unfortunately, that's not going to be a part of the guidelines. I was talking to a nutritionist out of Canada and she'll be on the show soon. And it was kind of the same thing. We were talking about the nutrition guidelines. She says, yeah, Canada has changed their guidelines. They don't have all of the grains and all that stuff anymore. They've lowered that down and they've got it a little bit more balance.

[01:00:16.450] – Allan
And I said United States is still charging forward with 11 servings of grain. She's like she's like, that's insane. And like, it's politics. And so, again, your doctor doing the best he can with his standard of care and his education. So just recognize you have to be a part of these decisions. You know, if you know that you need to go in for surgery and they're going to put a magic marker mark on the leg they're supposed to operate on, you check that mark.

[01:00:46.700] – Rachel
Yes.

[01:00:47.470] – Allan
Don't just assume that they marked the right leg, you know, and when it was maybe it was supposed to be the left leg. Make sure that they marked the right leg. Make sure that the information your doctors giving you now, you do need your doctor to be involved. And here's one of the core reasons. If you're on metformin, some other blood sugar lowering medication or you're on insulin, your medication is very likely going to change if you change what you eat.

[01:01:14.860] – Rachel
That's true.

[01:01:16.150] – Allan
So a significant change in your diet is something you do need to talk to your doctor about. Like I said, he or she may object on the grounds that they don't believe that's a healthy, sustainable way of eating. But if you went in there and said, I'm going to go vegan or vegetarian. They'll be like okay, that's great. And it's like and keto.

[01:01:41.950] – Rachel
Silence.

[01:01:42.230] – Allan
Yeah, crickets, but it's possible. And we've had we've had them on, too. So, you know, I think I think the key of this is of this whole thing is if you really want some support, when you're talking to family members, you want some support when you're talking to doctors. The only thing that I wish Gary was a doctor, he's a journalist, but he did take the time to get to the root cause he did go take the time to put together the history, to put together the case. And so to me, this book is is like gold. If you're trying to explain to someone why you're doing what you're doing.

[01:02:20.590] – Rachel
I think it's worth reading and experimenting. After listening to your podcast for a couple of years, you talked about keto for quite a bit, and I wasn't ready to accept that keto was a healthy diet to follow or lifestyle to follow. I had a hard time unlearning all of the things that I knew for a fact that that was bad for you. I mean, really, I had to really come off of all of those things that I had just tooken for a true science.

[01:02:50.410] – Rachel
But so much has changed. And and but I knew that if I didn't do something different, that I wasn't going to get where I wanted to be. And so I just like Gary had mentioned, like, I just did an experiment and I I told Mike,my husband I said, okay,I'm going to try this and see how it works. If it doesn't work, I'll try something else. But two years, almost three years later, I'm still basically following the keto lifestyle because it is working for me. Everybody needs to try that. Something different.

[01:03:23.140] – Allan
Yes. If what you're doing is not working, you've got to do something different if you expect a different outcome.

[01:03:29.630] – Rachel
Yep. And I know some people can be vegan or vegetarian. I know, like Gary had mentioned, he's got a friend who is a vegan, keto, and another friend who's Carnivore. It really is such an individual thing. And I respect anybody who can be vegan just as much as I respect anybody that can be keto. The fact is, is that they found something that works with the way that their body works and that's exciting.

[01:03:55.720]
So in the show notes, I'm going to make a point to I've had a carnivore on me, I've had a vegan keto on and I've had Dr. Will Cole on where he was pretty much somewhere in the lines between vegan and pescatarian. And so I'm going to link to those. So those are ways of eating that you're wanting to do. And then you're also want to consider trying keto or at least a low-carb version of those diets. I'll put the links in there for you to check those out, because there's a lot of good information in those episodes to just kind of give you an idea of what's possible.

[01:04:32.290] – Rachel
Perfect, I think that be so helpful.

[01:04:35.230] – Allan
All right, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[01:04:37.840] – Rachel
Great. Take care.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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January 11, 2021

How to live a longer, healthier life: Cathy Richards

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

In her new book, Boom, Cathy Richards shows us how to live a longer, healthier life.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:01:40.880] – Allan
Raz, how are you doing?

[00:01:43.100] – Rachel
Great, Allan. How are you today?

[00:01:46.070] – Allan
I'm doing all right. You know, we're recording this a little bit before Christmas, but this episode we're talking about won't go live until January 11th. And that's by design. So you and I can take some time off during the holidays and not have to worry about getting podcasts put together and out the door. So that's where we're at today. I have a very busy week because in that effort to try to get ahead, I requested and accepted a lot of different interview requests and different people, and they all said, yes.

[00:02:19.040] – Rachel
Wow, that's great news!

[00:02:20.840] – Allan
It's great news, except I have four interviews to do this week. So it's four books I got to read and prepare for. Well, actually, one's not a book, one's an app, but there's a topic behind it that I need to do a little bit of research and understanding so I can speak appropriately and at the right level because it's to researchers out of Alabama that discuss fat loss and performance. And so, yeah, I've got to prepare for that in next three books I have to have read. So soon as I get off this call, I'm back to reading again.

[00:02:52.430] – Rachel
That sounds nice. It sounds very relaxing, too.

[00:02:55.070] – Allan
Yeah. And they're health and fitness books, which like I said, I'd probably pay to read myself. So I get paid to do something I do enjoy. But when the clocks on and I've got to get to books read in the next twenty-four hours.

[00:03:08.990] – Rachel
Oh, I hope you read fast.

[00:03:12.620] – Allan
I do. I can typically get through a standard sized book. So most health and fitness books are about 240 pages on average. I can get through one of those in about six hours.

[00:03:23.900] – Rachel
Nice.

[00:03:24.680] – Allan
The one, one of them I'm reading today I think is 180, so I should get through that a little bit faster. And then the other one, I'm not sure, I haven't checked the link on that one, but so I'm looking at it probably having a good 14 hours of reading to do before tomorrow, so.

[00:03:38.180] – Rachel
Oh my God.

[00:03:41.030] – Allan
It's like a job!

[00:03:42.550] – Rachel
It is. My goodness. I was going to say it'd be a relaxing way to spend this time, but will not all at once.

[00:03:50.960] – Allan
Yeah, but it'll be good. They're going to be good talks. I'm really excited to to meet these authors because they're topics that are really, really important to me. So it'll be good. You're going to like these guys.

[00:04:01.670] – Rachel
Fantastic.

[00:04:02.660] – Allan
All right. Today we're going to talk to Cathy Richards. Yeah, really interesting woman. Really got her stuff together. And her book is called Boom. And it's actually a really cool book because she spells out a lot of the kind of just the basics of what we want to be doing to improve our overall fitness. So I guess I'll go ahead and introduce Cathy.

Interview

[00:05:36.890] – Allan
Cathy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:39.470] – Cathy
Yeah, hey there, Allan. Great to be here.

[00:05:41.750] – Allan
Now, you picked up on a word that I find myself using all the time when I'm talking my clients. They'll tell me something that's gone on really, really well, and I can't help but say, boom, there you go.

[00:05:54.860]
That's right, boom.

[00:05:56.120] – Allan
So the name of the book is Boom: 6 Steps to a Longer, Healthier Life. And, you know, I really like that title because, again, it just kind of explains breaking away, doing something different. What you hear when a plane goes through the speed of sound, there's the boom, you know, of that breaking the sound barrier. And so I just like that word and I like the way you approach this book.

[00:06:21.350] – Cathy
Thank you. Well, boom can have so many meetings. And so when I think of boom, it's like a wake up call, something that rocks your world, something that you can't ignore that we have this urgency to attend to. And then I also love it when you have people say sometimes “Boom, done!” like it's just a foregone conclusion. It's just going to happen. And so there's so many meanings of boom and they're all about taking action.

[00:06:46.010] – Allan
Yeah. And I think that's the point. You know, I talked about I was talking about celebrating when it's done, but when you know, what you're going to do is going to happen, you can start that celebration as soon as you take on the challenge provided that you have the right mindset.

[00:07:02.960] – Cathy
Mm hmm.

[00:07:03.590] – Allan
And I think, unfortunately, many of us and if something I still struggle with from time to time is just find myself falling back on unhealthy mindsets. Could you talk about that a little bit? What they are some of the major ones that we deal with and some of the things we can do to fix it.

[00:07:19.610] – Cathy
It's so important. So, if my book is about six steps to a longer, healthier life, step one is mindset. Everything begins with our mindset and we have a lot working against us, with the media and with pop culture. And so we a lot of times fall into these things about all or none. We think that if we're not going to change and exercise clothes and go to a gym for a whole hour, we might as well not bother when the truth is that there are significant benefits from even modest investments of time.

[00:07:53.180] – Cathy
It doesn't have to be all or none. And if you never considered yourself someone who loved big workouts, it's not an option. You can definitely do something smaller and less overwhelming to you, and we have the mindset.

[00:08:07.680] – Cathy
You mentioned a quick fix. It's so tempting to believe that something can happen overnight. But what works? Is it quick? It's not glamorous. It's not even new. It's just the consistency. So being able to stay positive and being able to focus on what you can do and keeping up with it, the consistency, that's where it's all that.

[00:08:31.550] – Allan
I think so many people will go into this. Like you said, there's the all or none. So if I can't put in an hour, I may as well not even go, or the “Well, I've been doing this for three days. Why isn't the scale moving?”

[00:08:47.300] – Allan
But then there's also people that, you know, of course you've you've tried and you tried and you tried. But now now you're felt with you filled with this kind of pessimism. Maybe I'm just meant to be this way and it doesn't matter what I do.

[00:09:02.510] – Cathy
That's right. We think, well, it's just genes or a lot of times we feel like, oh, it's just because I turned 40 or just because I turned 50, that we think that it's age related. And most of the changes, a lot of the changes that we like to blame on age are really due to not the physiological aging process itself, but the gradual inactivity. They typically comes with aging. So when we tell ourselves we can't do something, when we tell ourselves, oh, it's too late for me, I'm too old, it's too late, or when we are, we get so down on ourselves from all these failed attempts, you know, what are you going to drown your sorrows in when you when you fall off the wagon the eleventh time? It's certainly not going to be a salad.

[00:09:39.710] – Allan
Yeah, That's one of the core things. I think a lot of people will approach this and say, this is the way it is. This is who I'm supposed to be or this is how I'm supposed to age. One of my favorite quotes is we don't we don't stop playing because we got older. We got older because we stopped playing. And a lot of that is because to change is hard.

[00:10:02.690] – Allan
You know, we like these comfortable little bubbles. We build ourselves. And as we get a little older, that bubble actually gets a little smaller as we're not pushing the boundaries of that bubble. We're trying to push our comfort zone. We're not trying to do a little bit of that. It tightens up on us.

[00:10:20.210] – Cathy
Absolutely. And one of the things that I observed and actually when I decided to write my book, it was after I spent eight years as a director of wellness for a senior living community where the average age of 85. So I was around over fourteen hundred 85 year olds day in and day out for eight years and working in corporate wellness first and then going to senior wellness. I wanted to bring messages back to those of us in just our 40s and 50s that if you ask yourself what type of 85 year old do I want to be?

[00:10:50.660] – Cathy
Because you're working on it right now, it's these habits right now that are going to determine it's all these decades because whatever age you are now, chances are you are saying to yourself, how did I get this old, you know, and then you're going to say the same thing five years from now and five more years or so years just go on by. Might as well start thinking about that direction now.

[00:11:12.200] – Allan
Yeah, I joke a lot and I'll tell people, when I was younger I wanted to be able to do a Tough Mudder and now my program and the things I think about is I want to be able to wipe my own, but when I'm 105.

[00:11:24.740] – Cathy
Absolutely. And you don't know that's a potential problem until you start getting into that working with older adults or until your own parents have started to get to that need where you're realizing, oh, my gosh, that is the kind of independence and dignity I want to have.

[00:11:39.620] – Allan
Yeah. And so someone will come in and they'll say, hey, you know, I want to lose some weight. I want to lose twenty pounds, thirty pounds, seventy pounds, whatever it is. Typically when they're talking to a personal trainer like myself or like you, they're saying, hey, I want to lose some weight. And I'm like, that's cool.

[00:11:54.380] – Allan
But I say, who do you want to be? Who you want to be five, 10, 15 years now? And they look at me like, OK, I said, no, really, how do you want to feel? You know, how what kind of energy do you want to have when you wake up in the morning? When you walk around, you know, do you want to be on a walk or do you want to be the person that's, you know, bounced around the silver sneakers?

[00:12:13.610] – Allan
So in your book, you get into some of the key areas of fitness that I think are really around that story of who do you want to be? Could you talk about those key areas of fitness and then just some general things that we need to consider as we look at each of those and why those would be important to us as we get a little older every day?

[00:12:31.220] – Cathy
Yeah, well, the core areas of fitness that you want to address, one of the primary ones is strength training. And I talk about that first because most people always assume cardiovascular exercise is going to go first and we need cardiovascular exercise for heart health and for overall energy level and endurance. And so that's really important. But strength training tends to be something that I love to highlight because less people are familiar with it. And it has so many benefits as.

[00:13:00.500] – Cathy
Because the average person loses 50 percent of their strength between the ages of 20 and 80, and you know that this is starting to affect you when you notice in yourself or in older adults that you know who has a difficult time getting out of a chair without using their hands to push off. So, if we really want to maintain that independence, if we really want to age as healthily as possible? It's leg strength and overall physical strength that is one of the most important things that that we want to impact.

[00:13:29.180] – Allan
Yeah, you know that one of the things that kind of drives me nuts about gyms, but I understand it now from a from a traffic flow perspective is as you walk into almost every gym, the first thing you see are the cardiovascular machines. Yeah. And then 75 percent of the people fall off right there, you know, because that's as far as they're going to go in. And then the next is a set of machines. So then you're going to have about another 20 percent fall off right there.

[00:13:57.800] – Allan
And then you get back to the free weights where, you know, you got that last five percent. So you actually owning a gym. Now, I understand that that flow and why it works that way, because it just makes it easier for cleaning, for management, for all of it. But just, you know, it just works better for everybody. But we've got to get people deeper in the gym.

[00:14:17.060] – Cathy
We do. Or, you know, even just home routines. And one of the sweet spots that I like to focus on is when people want to do a strength training routine that they can do in their homes with something like dumbbells, exercise bands and a ball. And for a very little investment, you don't have the commute time. And it's it's a modest investment of time. And once again, you can get great benefits because if you don't see yourself as someone who's ever going to go to a gym, if you don't want to go to a gym, that you can do strength training at home and get great benefits from it.

[00:14:51.270] – Allan
Another thing that's really easy to do at home is the cardiovascular. And I always approach cardiovascular saying, yeah, it's good to do most people, when they get into it, enjoy it because it can start at their level, whether it's walking, running, biking or skiing or whatever you turn it into.

[00:15:09.860] – Allan
But I really approach cardiovascular training from the perspective of you need the stamina to keep up with your granddaughter when you take them to the zoo. You know, they're both monkeys to the lions. And you you want to be able to keep up with them. You don't want to be sitting on a bench waiting for the family to finish their zoo trip. So what are some things that we can do at home for cardiovascular strength?

[00:15:29.960] – Cathy
Yeah, and the good news is, is that it can start and end at your own front door with walking. As you mentioned, you don't have to have any pieces of cardiovascular equipment. You can just you can just do walking. But you can also if you do want to invest in a piece of cardiovascular equipment, then again, you have that convenience. It's right there. You can elliptical machine or a stationary bike or you can take an outdoor bike. Well, first of all, you can ride outside or you can get one of those little trainers where you prop it up on something inside and ride it inside. And then, of course, you know, it's really popular now. And I have a lot of clients that I work out with Zoom, who I take them through circuit workouts where you might take four to six exercises that are cardiovascular in nature.

[00:16:13.580] – Cathy
You know, whether it's, you know, whatever level the person is at, it could be something high intensity, like a jump squat or it could be something lower intensity, which is just kind of like a march. But if you string a bunch of them together and you go through each move 30 seconds at a time, you can get your own little cardio circuit going indoors.

[00:16:31.790] – Allan
Now now one of the one of the areas I think gets skipped a lot and it really depends on the individual, because what I found is individuals who are already flexible, love flexibility training, people who are already strong like strength training. But flexibility and balance training, I think are the most ignored fitness areas that I see. And it's really hard because you get a client in and they're like, you know, they they can't move through a full range of motion or you're asking them to do a movement and their balance isn't there. And I have to admit myself at it, almost 55 years old, my balance needs to be a lot better. I don't want to fall, so that needs to be an area of training. But it's just an area where I think it's very easy for people to say, I'm not going to do that, whereas it's also really, really easy to do in the comfort of your own home.

[00:17:24.200] – Cathy
It is. And you're right that the balance and flexibility tend to get short changed. And I sometimes think it's because they don't impact our appearance.

[00:17:34.950] – Allan
This is this is true.

[00:17:38.030] – Cathy
So when we're at weight loss or Tonegawa, then people are all about that. But as we age, I have seen my clients more and more appreciating the benefits of flexibility and the benefits of balance training as we age. Because you're right, we want to be able to go through a range of motion comfortably. We want to be able to reach the high shelf. We want to be able to squat down and reach the low shelf we want to be able to not get injured and so flexibility training. One of the ways that I've had a lot of my clients get more into flexible training, in fact, I have one client who used see mostly strength training, and now she wants to do a full 30 minutes of yoga based stretching before we even get into her strength training. And then she loves it so much, because when you think about yoga, which a lot of us like, I was never into yoga when I was a younger fitness person, that was like what I thought, you know, people who were different than me did, you know?

[00:18:29.770] – Cathy
But they call when you say a yoga pose that puts in your mindset, hey, I'm going to hold this position for a while. And so when we just talk about stretching, a lot of times we rush through it and we get out of position after just a few seconds. So taking that mindset of getting into a position that causes a mild stretch, not pain, and just holding it there. And so going through a short circuit of stretches doesn't have to take a lot of time. And it's going to make us feel so much better. And again, I'm 54 years old. I definitely didn't appreciate the stretching 10 years ago, as I do now. And I didn't incorporate it as much as I do now. So definitely as we age, you're just going to feel better and better if you incorporate more stretching.

[00:19:12.770] – Allan
I think where it comes into play for me was when I started looking at my strength training and somewhat plateauing, because I'm I'm a big proponent of form. If I'm not going to do the right, I'm not going to do it at all. I'm never going to put load if we can't go through the full range of motion. And I started noticing in my own squats that I wasn't able to get to depth. And as I started putting it on, I wasn't there and I was like, OK, so what's going on? And so I started paying more attention to my movement and realized, oh, I'm not dorsiflexing my foot well enough. And that's throwing off my whole kinetic chain. And so I know I'm using a lot of big words here, but the basic gist is I can't bring my toes up towards my shins well. So when I try to do the squat, my butt ends up not where it's supposed to be and my knees end up where they're not supposed to be. And as a result of my body trying to balance, I lean way forward.

[00:20:07.300] – Allan
That's not comfortable when you have a lot of weight on your back. So and you know, and sometimes it's not even about the amount of weight that you're lifting. It's just the fact that now you've done something, you have something going on. And if you don't deal with that inflexibility, then you risk injury. And so I think, one of the things with flexibility you mentioned that is, is this is this is injury prevention and it feels good.

[00:20:30.700] – Cathy
Yeah. And and you mentioned when you mentioned dorsiflexion, I don't think that we're going to pop up in conversation very often. But but what happens as we age if you look at older adults or maybe in their up in their up to their 70s or 80s who are having difficulty walking and might shuffle when they walk, it's sometimes it's because they are unable to have that dorsiflexion to do a heel strike and then roll through the ball of their foot.

[00:20:54.820] – Cathy
So they're just flat footing, moving their feet, shuffling because they don't have that ankle flexibility. So it comes little by little. So the more we can do that now, do those ankle circles include more mobility and range of motion exercises and all your major joints is going to help you. It's going to really bode well for your mobility as we age.

[00:21:18.820] – Allan
Then the final bit of it is balance, because while you said, you know, we care about how we look. Well, falling down in the grocery store, we lost our balance. We don't not glamorous.

[00:21:29.620] – Cathy
Not a good look.

[00:21:33.640] – Allan
I want to jump forward a little bit in our plan because we were going to talk about fall prevention. But, you know, there's a there's a one in three chance if you're over the age of 65, there's a one in three chance that you're going to be laying on the ground sometime this year because you fell.

[00:21:48.220] – Allan
Now, strength training is is great because it helps with that. And it also makes sure that you you've got the capacity to hit the ground and not collapse, break because you've got some strength there that's going to support you, some muscle mass that's going to help you. And then, of course, some flexibility. So, you know, if you can move through the full range of motion, you're not stretching or hurting anything. But we can actually do specific training for balance. And I think a lot of people just overlook that.

[00:22:15.430] – Cathy
We absolutely can. And the starting point for improving your balance, I'm glad you mentioned about strength training, because the number one factor in balance and preventing falls is leg strength. So if you don't have the quad strength to stabilize your walking, that's increases your risk of falling. So even if someone's not going to do balance specific exercises, if they just just double down on strength training for the quads, you're going to do yourself a great service for preventing falls and then for specific balance training, even just picking up a couple of the exercises, like a tandem stand and then building up to changing your position to more and more like you're standing on a tightrope, even just a little test you can do for yourself is can you stand on one foot without holding on to something? And if so, how long? You know, and that's something you can practice while you're cooking. You can you can do that any time.

[00:23:12.000] – Allan
It's one of the things I tell people standing on one foot is one good one. Another one I like is when you're in the kitchen working instead of pivoting to to walk to a different direction, walk sideways, do a shuffle from side to side. You know, you want to go down to the counter, you know, you can put your hand out to make sure you're not going to hurt yourself if you were to slip a little bit. But just going up and down the counter side to side, because we just in a normal course of our day to day, aren't prepared for that side to side movement.

[00:23:41.130] – Allan
And that's actually where a lot of the falls that become really dangerous are because we fall sideways and we land on the hip. And so anything you can do to just improve your performance and I don't mean that an athletic perspective, but just performance of your your day to day is going to go a long way.

[00:23:59.340] – Cathy
Yeah. And just kind of knowing what the other risk factors are most false happen at night when you're getting up to go to the bathroom, etc.. A lot of falls happen because, you know, someone might not have their glasses on. They might you know, it's dark, there's stuff in the way. So whatever we can do to make sure that our home is set up in a way that reduces our risk and thinking about footwear, thinking about if we have medications that could be contributing to dizziness.

[00:24:26.640] – Cathy
There's a lot of things to look at. But it's so important because the statistics, as you mentioned, Allan, are that falls are a biggie after the age of 60.

[00:24:37.590] – Allan
And even before then to be honest with you. Like I said, I know I need to be working on my balancers. There's this one step outside of our apartment and it's wooden and it's set at like a 30 degree angle. So it's supposed to be a handicap ramp, but no. It's too slippery. My wife has falling there and I've fallen there. You just kind of walk across it because it's part of the sidewalk. And if you just step on it, it's just a little bit wet. Your feet are going. So having that strength, having that capacity to be able to hit the ground because, if you've been doing the strength training, you've also been improving your your bone density.

[00:25:14.130] – Allan
And so you you don't break those are really, really important strength training, resistance training or weightlifting. People hate some of those words and are okay with others. But they're all generally the same thing. Require someone to have a little bit more knowledge than just walk in there. There's a machine. Just go at it to your done. Can you talk a little bit about strength training, how we would how we would set it up if someone was going to come in and say, OK, I want to do a strength training program, what are the things that they would want to know to just know what they're doing when they're doing their program?

[00:25:49.740] – Cathy
The first thing you want to know about strength training is when you talk about how much weight you're going to lift people walking and they're and also which which exercise you see a sea of machines like. Which exercises, which machines do I do. Which combination of machines. And so the first step is to know you've got a list of major muscle groups. Right. And you want to hit each major muscle groups.

[00:26:12.240] – Cathy
So you want to have a balanced routine. So that's that's step number one is knowing that. OK, let's start off with one exercise for the chest, one for the back, one for the shoulders, so that you're not heavy duty hitting one muscle group a ton with all these machines and something else is getting completely ignored. So you want a well-balanced routine as far as hitting each major muscle group. And then the next thing that most people make the mistake with is selecting a weight that is either too heavy or too light for when you learn in proper form is so important.

[00:26:44.910] – Cathy
But then you should if you try to do an exercise and you can't do it correctly. And it's just that you automatically know that's a red flag. It's too heavy. If you can't keep your form and then knowing the the the term or the kind of range of twelve repetitions is kind of the hallmark for general conditioning for when you should reach your fatigue point. So let's picture you're picking up a set of dumbbells and you're going to do a set of bicep curls because that's an exercise most people are familiar with. Now, I'm going to speak from a woman's point of view that women and we women are marketed with pastel pink one and two and three pound dumbbells.

[00:27:24.370] – Allan
I have to admit that that's what I've got in my gym. I've got a chrome set, too.

[00:27:30.600] – Cathy
Well, most women I know even better when we're getting older don't need to be using one pound dumbbells to do bicep curls unless you are really have significant strength issues or are recovering from an injury. So you could do a million of them at one pound. So you need to find the weight that causes fatigue right around twelve. So if you can't get to twelve, the dumbbells too heavy. If you get past twelve, you blow right past your weight past and you forgot how long. 12 was the way it's too late, so you need to kind of experiment and find that so so again, most women, not even threes, are too late for most women for bicep curls. So you need to experiment find with that right weight is for you to get to fatigue right around 12 when you need to do that for every exercise.

[00:28:16.210] – Allan
That's what they'll they will they'll sell you the when you buy the dumbbells, sets those smaller dumbbells, sets up pretty much anything under 15 pounds is likely going to be rubber coated and probably have a pastel color to it. After you get there, then they're thinking, OK, these are the weights. And unfortunately I don't mean this is a bad way, but these are the weights the guys are going to use so they can be a little bit more metal or, you know, they might be rubber coated, but they'll be black. So, yeah, just realize that strength comes not from doing the same thing over and over again. It comes from pushing yourself to that fatigue level.

[00:28:53.650] – Cathy
Yeah. And a lot of people as we age were worried about getting injured. So you don't want to use a way that's too heavy and then and thereby risking injuring yourself. But if you're doing a weight that's way too light, you're not going to get results because the muscles are responding to overload. And that's how they grow, is by responding to a weight that is is challenging. So finding that happy medium where it's heavy enough to cause the muscles to grow, but not so heavy that your form goes all crazy and you risk hurting yourself.

[00:29:28.930] – Cathy
That's why getting advice, having support, you know, with my personal training clients, I have a lot of Zoom personal training clients who just schedule a handful of sessions up front to learn the proper form to to make sure they doing things correctly and make sure they have somebody observing them, observing the form to find the right weights and then just check in with them periodically versus having someone who's going to be with them for their workouts every single time.

[00:29:53.140] – Allan
and sometimes, you know, maybe you're limited a little bit with the amount of weights you can afford to have at home. Some dumbbells and things about once you start getting up to 20 and 30 and 40 pounds of dumbbells, those dumbbells are going for about a dollar a pounds. It can start you can start adding up. So, you know, sometimes the way you get to your limit is not necessarily through more weight. It's by adding additional sets.

[00:30:18.400] – Cathy
Yes. Yeah. And so a starter program would be perhaps usually like one set per muscle group. Right. But then if you add sets two sets per muscle group or three sets per muscle group is a way to add intensity and build strength more quickly. And you might or you might have two sets for the same muscle group, but there are different exercises. So maybe for your chest you have one set of chest press and one set of dumbbells flies. And so that's two sets for your chest, slightly hitting the chest muscles a slightly different way.

[00:30:49.120] – Cathy
So variety is good, but it's not essential. And I guess sometimes I don't hear very many fitness professionals saying that because variety is better. But a lot of the clients who I work with, were not going to do anything at all. And so I always tell them if you do a strength training routine that you never change ever, that's still better than not doing what at all?

[00:31:14.500] – Allan
Particularly a lot of folks, as I mentioned, the distance they'll go inside of a gym when they first get there's a lot of people will make it to the circuit training area, which is a series of machines. And the the goal basically is to go through all of these machines are there's usually seven to ten of them depending on how the circuit set up. And that will give you a full body workout. It's actually really well designed for someone who doesn't know a whole lot. And the machines make it easy to do the work without the concern that you're really going to hurt yourself as long as you just don't drop the weight on yourself and you are still not changing your body position while you're in the chair.

[00:31:51.730] – Allan
But it's the same thing they get on the machine. They do the same weight, the same number sets, the same number of circuits that it's the same workout every day and I mean every day. Let's talk a little bit about rest. Rest between exercises are sets and in rest between sets.

[00:32:10.150] – Cathy
Yeah, well, first, actually, I thought you're going to talk about rest between days because since strength training, the whole purpose of strength training is to microscopically shred your muscles, that you're not going to get stronger if you are strength training the same muscle groups two days in a row. So that's why you hear about taking a day off in between. And a lot of strength training routines are like Monday, Wednesday, Friday. You know that you're skipping a day in between.

[00:32:33.010] – Cathy
If someone is doing strength training two days in a row, it's because they're doing different muscle groups on those days. So that's the recovery time in between your actual sessions. And then when you are in your actual workout, you want to have that rest interval between your sets so that the muscles can get your energy back to really have that second set strong. So usually you want to have between one and three minutes between those exercises, depending on how heavy it is, I mean, if you're doing a lighter weight for 12 to 15 reps, you're going to need less rest time, maybe just a minute. But if someone is really trying to build strength and so they're actually doing less than 12 reps or maybe just an eight rep person, they're doing a heavy weight for only eight repetitions. They're going to find themselves needing a little longer rest interval before they hit that next set.

[00:33:23.530] – Allan
In the book, you get into what you call the Boom Fitness Framework. And I think this is a really good framework for for anybody because it's it's four levels. And even within the four levels, you scale down and you scale up. So really, there's eight levels. When you when you break this all down, there's eight ways that we can approach this that's going to work for anybody.

[00:33:44.950] – Cathy
Yes.

[00:33:45.670] – Allan
Do you mind going through the four the four levels and then kind of the scaling up and down and how that looks?

[00:33:51.850] – Cathy
Yeah, the reason why I created this framework is because I wanted to offer options that when you read the book and you look at where you stand and what your motivation level is, how much time you have, that you can pick one as your starter level and then you can decide when you have more time and more interest, you can go up a little bit. And when you have less time and less interest, you can go down a little bit.

[00:34:14.350] – Cathy
But the goal is to never be completely off the scale. Like that's how we keep fitness going forever is by having our options to do a little more or a little less. So the first way that I have it separated out is with two tracks. And this is actually based on the subtitle of my book, which is never too early, never too late. So we have the Never Too Early Track, which has a little more challenging exercises for people who are maybe already a little bit fit, don't have any health or mobility challenges necessarily or past injuries and there want something a little more challenging and they're able to get on and off the floor.

[00:34:52.030] – Cathy
And then I have the track called Never Too Late, which has more gentle exercises that are more seated, chair-based exercises, not some of his not necessarily comfortable with getting on and off the floor, somebody who who has mobility issues, who want something a little more gentle so you can automatically pick one of those two tracks. And then once you're on the track level, one is called Just Move. And this is like someone who really doesn't want something official and just knows they need to doing a little something.

[00:35:21.340] – Cathy
And then you go up to level one is just a small time commitment level to a little more and level three a little more. So whether you're doing and each of them has a little bit of cardio, a little bit of stretching and a little bit of strength or a medium amount of cardio and stretching and strength. And so I really want readers to have an honest little discussion with themselves. You know what's realistic for me? How much time I really willing to commit?

[00:35:49.180] – Cathy
And when you get more excited and want to have a bigger commitment, you can go up a level on that for that week or that month or that phase of your life. And then when you want to do a little less, you can go down a level. And so, you know, how to adjust that to me is the key to lifelong fitness is knowing that you don't have to always stay with the same amount of exercise you can go up or you can go down based on your needs and your interest level as it changes.

[00:36:13.240] – Allan
And as your fitness level changes. You may have thought about starting over here in my never too late category, but then I start feeling good. My energy levels higher, I'm stronger, I've got more mobility and I've got this pep in my step. So I'm going to start walking a little bit further. And now, lo and behold, your your exercise level is now putting you at the never too early stage.

[00:36:36.460] – Cathy
Absolutely. I have clients who are in their 70s and 80s who are doing the never too early exercises, OK? And then I do have clients who are in their forties who are doing the never too late because maybe they did have mobility issues or a significant amount of weight to lose where they're not comfortable with some of the higher intensity exercises. So it's not necessarily age related. And you can you can go from one track to the other either way, based on your changing how your fitness level changes over time.

[00:37:06.250] – Allan
Cathy, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be one of the three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:37:14.020] – Cathy
What we talked about, the first one right up front, which is mindset is king it truly, truly is. So when I like to say what you focus on grows. So if you're focusing on the negative, that's what's going to grow in your life. If you're focusing on the positive, focusing on what you can do versus what you can't do, you're going to be able to find a way. You're going to get creative and you're going to get that consistency because the habit, the consistency is where the magic happens.

[00:37:41.080]
So if you're down on yourself and you're telling yourself I just can't do this. I'm too old, it's too late. I've never been athletic. Exercise is just for those those jock type people, then you're really doing yourself a disservice because exercise, I call it in Boom. That exercise is the magic pill, like it has more benefits in more areas of our life than any other single thing we can do, and we really can't afford not to We can't afford not to find what is going to fit in for us. Perfect.

[00:38:12.360] – Allan
Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, Boom: Six Steps to a Longer and Healthier Life. Where would you like for me to send them?

[00:38:22.050] – Cathy
They can come visit me at cathyrichards.net and Cathy is with a C. And then cathyrichards.net/boom is were you can find out about the book. But I have got some great new programs coming in 2021. I have some free master classes to really focus on, How am I going to make 2021 my year? How am I going to fit this in and what am I going to do with the top strategies for getting fitness in my life forever.

[00:38:48.900] – Cathy
And so I've got those master classes coming up starting tomorrow. I have got one on January 12th, 7:00 p.m. Eastern. There's one on the 13th and there's one the following week on the 19th. I would love your listeners to hop on over to cathyrichards.net/2021 to find out about those. And then there's cathyrichards/free for lots of other free stuff. So I've got a lot to offer. I'd love to connect with your with your listeners. See how we can help them out.

[00:39:19.530] – Allan
Great. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/468 and I'll be sure to have all those links there. Cathy, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:39:30.720] – Cathy
You're welcome. It's great to be here.


Post Show/Recap

[00:39:37.150] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.

[00:39:38.770] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Well, boom! That was quite an interview for sure.

[00:39:44.140] – Allan
Yeah, if you're a client of mine and you had a good news thing to tell me. Yeah. You're probably going to hear that word come out of my mouth. So I like that word. And the book was really good too one of the key takeaways I got from it is and I think a lot of us forget this is as we're going into this new year, there's an expectation of change, expectation of improvement. And it doesn't happen fast for most of us. You'll see someone who's spectacularly successful doing what they want to do, dropping weight, getting stronger, doing their thing. But for most of us, it's really a practice of patience, persistence and consistency to get things done and just having a general understanding of where we are today. If you are not a runner and you buy some running shoes and decide you're going to go out and start running, don't be surprised if after about four or five minutes your legs are screaming at you, you've got a stitch in your side and you're breathing hard and you're tired and you want to quit, you know, you are where you are.

[00:40:58.870] – Allan
The best way to measure that as a as a point is just that waypoint, that starting point of understanding that this is who I am, this is where I am. And then the next time you go to run, which shouldn't be three months from now to give yourself a day or two, but then get back out there and just you'll feel, it'll get a little bit better and a little bit better. And it's as I put it in my book, the gentle nudging that's going to get you there safely. And just recognize where you are and who you want to be.

[00:41:31.210] – Rachel
Mm hmm. For sure. And Kathy mentioned that we tend to have this all or nothing attitude that, like you mentioned, if you're going to start running, you should be qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Or if you're going to start cycling, you should be ready to join the Tour de France. But it's not necessary. And it's certainly not at all a good way to get started on any sort of regimen at all.

[00:41:56.620] – Allan
And so if you're starting something, you know, whether it's cardiovascular strength, flexibility or balance, just recognize what is is. Okay? We can't we can't reverse the past. We can't. And we shouldn't punish ourselves over the past. It's over. Forgive yourself. It's over you changing. And the only way you can change is to implement new habits and just start doing it. But don't feel discouraged if you don't have the strength to do a body weight squat without assistance. Don't get discouraged. If when you go out there and you walk to your car, you get winded. And that's why you're always trying to find that closest spot to the to the front door of the grocery store park a few steps back, take a few more steps. That slow progression is going to get you there if you stick with it.

[00:42:48.880] – Rachel
Oh, for sure. She had mentioned that she mentioned a term gradual inactivity, and I love that word gradual because we should be doing or working our way towards gradual activity, just like you said, just do a little bit extra every day and you'll get to where you want to be eventually.

[00:43:07.540] – Allan
I had a I had a client and she told me, you know, I get winded walking to my car in the morning. So it's right outside our house from walking from the front door to the car. She would get winded and I said, okay, here's here's your homework for this week. Each day when you walk to your car, I want you to do one lap around the car before you get in. And so she did that. And we got on the phone about three days later and I said, how did that go? And she said, it was tough. But she said by the third day, I actually did the lap and I was feeling a little bit better about I said, okay, for the next three days you do two laps around the car. And, you know, we went through that and then she emailed me and said how to go. And she said it went pretty well. I can do the two laps. I said, okay, and make it three. And about it, I said, every three days, just add another lap.

[00:43:57.130] – Allan
And within a few weeks it wasn't about the walking to the car, walking laps. She was walking the neighborhood, and it's just is this one of those things of saying to yourself, OK, I'm going to do a little just a little bit more, just a little bit more. I know where I am and it's okay. True fitness for any individual is going to come from that slight push outside your comfort zone. You do the same thing every day, you can't expect better results. It just doesn't work like that. You can't hop on an elliptical or a stationary bicycle. And peddle the same peddling or do walking on a treadmill, the same walk every day and expect to see improvements in your health, all you're really doing is slowing the decline because all wellness really is, is just trying to be the best person you can be.

[00:44:52.120] – Allan
Cathy talked about, you know, what an 85 year old her would be like. And, you know, I've always said, you know, as a 105 five year old, I want to be able to wipe my own butt. To wipe my own butt I need the leg strength to be able to stand up off the toilet, wipe my own butt I need the the ability to twist my body and reach back where I need to reach back to. I need the flexibility to do that. I need the balance so that I don't have to have a rail in there to keep from falling over when I stand up anddo the things I have to do. So to do all that work. I need to train and, you know, my training right now to be the best butt wiper, no, obviously not. But what I do know is that the training I'm doing are going to make me proficient at being the human being. I want to be five, 10, 20, even here 50 years later.

[00:45:46.980] – Rachel
I love that. And the name of one of the tracks she had for her fitness is never too early, but never too late. I love that because it is never too late to try something new or to be better at something that you can do. Just moving that needle can make a big difference.

[00:46:04.350] – Allan
Yeah, and she had the four levels. So again, it's it's where you are if you're just getting started, just move, just move a little bit more. It's an extra lap around the car. It's using the stairs, it's parking a little bit further away from the door to the grocery store. It's walking during your your break, you get a 15 minute break at at work instead use five to seven of it to go to the bathroom and then you just walk around for the next seven minutes, you know, you're back at your desk. Fifteen minutes, you feel fresher, you feel more awake and you're probably more productive at work. And that's going to translate into your relationships or performance at work is going to translate into a lot of things. So just taking that time to figure out where you are and start.

[00:46:56.480] – Rachel
That's perfect, just perfect.

[00:46:58.850] – Allan
All right. Rachel I'll see you next week.

[00:47:01.220] – Rachel
All right, take care.

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