Category Archives for "keto"
It is hard to do a good nutrition and health study. Add to that how many people conducting these studies have built-in biases, and we're left with a hodge-podge of bad science. Ivor Cummins (The Fat Emperor) is a professional complex problem solver. He's made it his mission to dive in and deconstruct much of this science to find the truth.
[00:02:50.080] – Coach Allan
Hey, Ras. How are things?
[00:02:52.050] – Coach Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:02:54.200] – Coach Allan
Doing good. Little tired. I told you guys this a lot. We record this a few weeks in advance. A couple of weeks in advance. And so this is a holiday here, the New Year's holiday. And so we've made the decision this year to give our staff the time off. And I know I've talked about that, but it's quite a different thing when you know you've got 13 breakfast and you got three rooms to clean and this person wants to rent bikes and that person needs this and someone needs a ride there, and some people have to be picked up there. And then you have to wait for this couple to show up, and you don't know when they're here. And so it's just one of these move move move and then you finally get that opportunity to sit down and record
[00:03:42.980] – Coach Rachel
Oh, jeez. Oh, my goodness.
[00:03:49.300] – Coach Allan
And roll it through my head. It's like, okay, I got to get a bottle of water upstairs because they're about out there. And then got to make sure that all the laundry that needs to be done, the one ends we pulled off of the beds, and all that still gets done. I've got a laundry list of about a dozen things in my head right now that Call probably won't be able to nap immediately. There probably will be a nap somewhere today.
[00:04:15.280] – Coach Rachel
That sounds good. Good plan.
[00:04:17.750] – Coach Allan
Yeah. How are things up there?
[00:04:19.890] – Coach Rachel
Good. We made it through Christmas, made through New Year's. Now it's about getting back to schedule again. I miss having routines and schedules and just getting back to normal. My sleep is disrupted too, so I just feel wonky.
[00:04:34.680] – Coach Allan
And I saw this insane, insane picture of you standing in water in Mission.
[00:04:44.440] – Coach Rachel
[00:04:47.400] – Coach Rachel
On New Year's Day, our Fun Run Club organizes a polar plunge, and on the lake that we use, it had a pretty good base of ice. In fact, it was kind of a struggle to chop through to make a little hole for us to do our little polar plunge.
[00:05:06.560] – Coach Allan
That's everything nature, god, everything's saying, don't.
[00:05:12.400] – Coach Rachel
It's exhilarating. It really is. I look forward to it every year. I get really excited in December that this is coming up, and, yes, it is super cold, and there's a lot of screaming going on, but it is really a lot of fun, and I just feel like it's like washing off the bad luck of last year and getting myself ready and prepared for the upcoming year. It's kind of a great day, and it's a lot of fun.
[00:05:44.350] – Coach Allan
I have a completely different description of it.
[00:05:51.100] – Coach Rachel
Well, truth be told, I am no stranger to ice bath, and as an endurance runner, I am known to take an ice bath with lots of ice in the bathtub after a run. So I'm no stranger to any of it. I enjoy it. It is exhilarating. It is a challenge. But yeah. It's also a lot of fun.
[00:06:14.020] – Coach Allan
Yeah. And that's why when I say there's no one way to do any of this, there's no one way, and there's no way in that world. I might have considered it. But, oh, yeah, I'm not doing that up there. Having to peck through the ice to make it happen.
[00:06:36.380] – Coach Rachel
Yes, it was a fun time.
[00:06:38.400] – Coach Allan
Ready for the conversation with Ivor?
[00:06:41.670] – Coach Rachel
[00:07:21.240] – Coach Allan
Ivor, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:07:25.020] – Ivor
Thanks a lot, Allan. Great to be here.
[00:07:27.740] – Coach Allan
I'm hyper excited. I mean, I'm like a little fanboy right here now because I've heard you speak, and it's something else. If you can get out and listen to this guy, if you can get on his YouTube channel, you've got to go meet him, because Ivor is a no nonsense, data driven individual that he doesn't just take the headline. You go in and you drill and you learn a lot of interesting things. And I've learned a lot of interesting things by listening to you.
[00:08:02.120] – Ivor
Yeah. Well, thanks, Allan. It's my background, really, I was a complex problem solver and corporate for a couple of decades, leading teams, and it's always what I specialized in, so I don't dig into everything. Some things I judged are not of huge value to understand more deeply, but it's like breadth and depth, as we used to say. Breadth on capturing the full picture of any kind of topic or arena, and then depth where necessary, based on your skill and judgment, to go into depth where there's value.
[00:08:34.640] – Coach Allan
Well, like I said, your YouTube channel is pure gold. The depth and the breadth there is just fascinating. I got caught up in that rabbit hole the other day while I was prepping for this interview, and I just one video after the other. And so, the funny thing, I was watching one of your videos and you finished the video, and I was kind of peddling with something else. And you know how YouTube will take you on to the next video, just some other video, it wasn't yours. There was some newscast and they were talking about fusion energy and how someone might have cracked fusion energy. And now I'm hooked on they knew I wanted to see this, so they got me. But that's when it hit me. It's like, we know what fusion energy is. If you know enough about science and you've studied it a little bit, you know what that is. And there's a science, a hard science, between what that is, how you define something like fusion. Why is it that when we do science around food and health, it never quite gets to that same level of science? Why is science not science when it comes to food and health?
[00:09:52.300] – Ivor
Yes. Big question. Well, I think the theoretical science and physics and mathematics have stayed pretty poor, or pure, I should say. Not poor, pure. And they've stuck with the scientific method of create a hypothesis and then seek to destroy the hypothesis, ideally not just to support us, which are cognitive or belief bias and they've just stuck to science. And they've been allowed to really, because there's no mass market, particularly in kind of fusion and theoretical physics. So they were allowed to continue, as we did for hundreds of years, stick to the science. However, health and food are the two biggest markets on the planet, basically. So the processed food industry is enormous, as you well know, and we've got this ownership model over the last 30 years where a few corporations own the whole lot and that's just the way the world is. And then the health market, well, we've got big pharma and they have enormous funds and influence on medical training, doctors training, and funding studies and funding trials. So they bring all the money to direct the science. So I think that's a high level view. They've been co opted. And you know, with the FDA the revolving door, the head of the FDA becomes the head of some pharma group and vice versa.
[00:11:18.740] – Ivor
So basically industry capitalism has been very successful over particularly the last 40 or 50 years to essentially take over. Largely the science of both food, nutrition and health. Not exercise per se, but then there's a lot of kind of grifters and exercise as well. These are all big markets and that's essentially the bottom line. They are huge markets and there's no way they're going to be let just bumble along scientifically.
[00:11:51.040] – Coach Allan
So if I see a study and the headline reads that you should be eating beets five times a day, every day, and only beets.
[00:12:02.740] – Coach Allan
Other than that just sounded absurd to say it out loud. But how would I know, when I'm looking at a study that this isn't something that was just I'm not going to say made up, but that there was a cognitive bias or there were confounders, there was something wrong with the science or the way they're describing the output.
[00:12:22.300] – Ivor
Yeah, well, the first thing is always the funding. I mean the funding and the ideology. So many times you'll find a study that seems odd and is in conflict with what you would expect. It may go back to a particular strong ideology like veganism or a university associated with that or vegetarian leaning. Or there could be a climate aspect to the funding. Or of course, there could be food industry and pharmac and be in there. So it doesn't prove that the study is bad. But if your antennae go up at all, look to the authors, look them up online, find out are they a particular extreme diet of fysionadol and indeed where the funding is coming from. The other thing then are associational studies. If it says appears that or seems that, or tracks with or all these kinds of clues and they don't actually say this is a proven thing, it's often an associational study. So that's the basic correlation versus causation thing. So I give a quick example. We pretty much know because you can never know anything for 100% in science. But we know that the factory seed oils, the vegetable oils, the heart healthy oils, we know they're not a good idea compared to real food.
[00:13:44.180] – Ivor
However, for 40 or 50 years, the population has been screamed at to eat the vegetable oils and don't eat the natural saturated fats. So what's happened is, over 50 years, the health focused people who are focused on their health tend to listen to the advice from the scientists and the health officials, right. So they tend to eat more vegetable oils. But what happens then is you've got a healthy user bias. I. E. After 40 years, you can look at the data and you can see some better health outcomes in the populations that eat a little more vegetable oils. And it's not because they're healthy. It's because for 40 years, you've kind of ruined the pitch. You've ruined the experiment. Because the healthier people who are worried about their health, who have better outcomes, well, they tended to take more of the oils. So that's just an example of confounding, extreme confounding in an associational or epidemiological study. But there are many more. People who eat more saturated fat, and it is related. They tend to not care about advice. They are shown again and again to have more smoking, more overweight, more bad habits of various sorts, lack of exercise.
[00:15:06.570] – Ivor
So you see these signals. But the author of the study is only looking for one message. In this case, healthy vegetable oils are healthy. We were right all along. Honest.
[00:15:21.060] – Coach Allan
Yeah. The way I like to think about causing correlation is that if you go to a fire, there's a lot of firemen around. So maybe it's the firemen that are starting the fire. You know that's not the case. It's just because the way we address fires, there's always going to be firemen at a fire. And so you can't get rid of the firemen to think that that's what's going to get rid of the fire. And it sounds, again, kind of silly, this, when you say that kind of stuff out loud, but sometimes when you're reading the studies, that's exactly what they're saying. We see this thing here, therefore we know there's a problem. If we get rid of this thing we won't have the problem. It's not really the cause.
[00:16:01.440] – Coach Allan
So let's talk. You dived into it a little bit. You started talking about veganism, vegetarian, and animal based foods and saturated fat. You've talked to a lot of people. You've done a lot of research in this area yourself, digging, is animal based foods good for us or bad for us or in the middle somewhere? Maybe?
[00:16:27.640] – Ivor
Yeah, well, so whole, real natural foods that would be strongly associated with our evolution as a species, they are the best foods. They are the best diet. Unless you have weird compelling data to say otherwise, it makes sense and paleo anthropologists almost to a man or a woman. Dr. Michael Eads, a good friend of mine, often has said this, and it's true. They will all acknowledge that Homo sapiens evolved by the scavenging off animal carcasses. Now, we started off scavenging organ meats and even brain, et cetera, and we cracked open bones. The tools are all there in the record, every human tribe going back to daydot. And then we moved on to hunting. We became more and more successful as hunters. And the one ancestor of humans, Dr. Eads actually sent me this before that debate I did, and it was beautiful. And it was from one of his talks I'd missed. And it showed that around a million years ago, there were these striding, kind of hominids, two legged creatures that became us, and there were various branches, and they found one dead end branch. And there was no reason for it at first, that this branch had completely died off and the other branch had gone on to become humans.
[00:17:51.240] – Ivor
Most successful species on the planet, you could say. And that branch actually was one where it stayed vegetarian. So of course it didn't have access to the nutrient density of meats and organ meats. It didn't trade off its digestive large stomach size to enable a huge brain calorie drain like we did. It just stayed more like an ape with a big stomach and the brain nothing to write home about. So even there and in everything in the paleo anthropological research and fossil records, all says again and again, this is how we got here. So there's that. And then when you look at the mechanistic, you say, okay, what's the nutrient density of meats and fish and eggs? And boom, it's got massive nutrient density and much more bioavailability of key proteins than any plant food. Doesn't mean plant foods are no good. They carry minerals and vitamins and various proteins that you can convert. But the animal foods are clearly way ahead of the game. So without going into great detail, but I give an example b Twelve. You can have severe mental illness from being low on B12, and it only comes from animal foods.
[00:19:10.950] – Ivor
I mean, there's a giveaway, come on, and you could go on and on, but all these other components that are in animal foods and the fats match the fats of what our body makes our fat out of is mono and saturated fat. That's what human bodies make for safe storage of energy. And that's what we get from animal foods, very well matched fat balance to what we are made of. So there's all of that mechanistic stuff and nutrients and bioavailability, that's a no brainer. So now you've got the ancestral evolutionary, and it's basically almost like almost a proof in itself. It's hard to argue with. And then you've got what I just mentioned, including components and DHA, EPA, or another one that are almost you can't get anywhere else, right? So then you say, wow, with these foods we evolved on, they have vastly higher nutrient density and even contain nutrients that we actually need, or we get very ill. And you put that together and then at this stage you're kind of there, right. Obviously they're the healthful foods for those reasons. But the world for ideological reasons has spent definitely the last 40 years, particularly the last ten years, and bringing in climate as well as an argument, right, climate change.
[00:20:42.560] – Ivor
But going back to the Adventist Church and the huge industries they own, it goes back to the turn of the century. And Harvey Kellogg, who perceived masturbation as sinful and quite rightly, probably said if we feed them gruel instead of meat, they'll be less active. And he actually had a point there in a sense. So carnal knowledge and even the Bible, Carna has all these negative associations. For thousands of years, kings would tell the poor people meat is bad for you. That the top strata always indicated. The Bible said it. Vegetarian churches say it. All of these reasons that meat is bad are ideological, or even worse, they're a power play of sorts, a feudalism. That's all there is against meat. As an example, the big one WHO a few years ago came out with a study and said meat is now a grade two carcinogen and processed meat is a grade one, I think. The data in that, they said, we looked at a thousand studies and they kind of did, and none of them said that, but they used associational epidemiological data within them and maybe a mouse study to come to the conclusion that meats a carcinogen, which is de facto absurd.
[00:22:14.980] – Ivor
And that's the tip of the iceberg. There's 1000 studies now, all driven by ideology, whether climate, religious, or just general dietary ideologies.
[00:22:27.660] – Coach Allan
Yeah, the debate that you were talking about, that was with Dr. Gregor. I've had him on the show when he wrote his book How Not to Die. It's actually a good book. And he goes into science in the book, as he does with his normal video, I guess it's a videocast podcast thing, well produced, put together. But you're right, most of the studies that he covers are really one sided. And I've had conversations with vegans and I say, well, we've got to talk about B12. And they're like, well, yeah, you might have to supplement with B12, but carnivores have to supplement with statins.
[00:23:13.100] – Ivor
Welcome at a false equivalence.
[00:23:17.500] – Coach Allan
Yeah, but that's the conversation. And you touched on something that I really think is important because I have had vegans on the show. I've had carnivores on the show, I've had raw paleo. I've had a vegan that was keto. So I try to get a broad view of different people on the show so at least they can present their ideas in a fair location where I'm not going to beat them up for the way that they want to live. And that they think others should, but it's whole food. If I ask a vegan, why do you feel like your diet is the best? They're like, well, it's a whole food, plant based diet. And I'm like, okay. And I ask a carnivore, why do you feel like your diet is the best? It's basically a whole food, animal based diet. And so they always go back to the this is a whole food diet. And one of the reasons why that diet is bad is because they're eating all the processed crap.
[00:24:16.960] – Coach Allan
And it's true. And so you look at some of the studies, and you're like, well, if like the 7th Avenue you brought up, if they're following the doctrine of what their religion is, they would be vegan or vegetarian. But they go through the ranks and they say, okay, here's the people that aren't doing it, and here's the ones that are. And the ones that are doing it are healthier, but they don't factor in the well, they also aren't supposed to smoke, so the ones that are doing it also aren't smoking, but those guys are. And there are other risky behaviors. So they're all caused mortality is worse, but they never really pull that out. And I think that's what I really struggle with these studies, is when they go in with that cognitive bias or worse, financial bias, it just creates wonky science, and someone will refer to that study forevermore in their study. So it was like, we know cholesterol is bad, therefore. And then they do their study, and they draw a conclusion. And sometimes you're right, they do play with the words appears as if or kind of thing. But it just seems like it's really hard for people to know what to do to be healthy.
[00:25:35.630] – Coach Allan
And it's a shame that we can't depend on the governments to step up and do a little bit of house cleaning here.
[00:25:45.660] – Ivor
Yeah, the challenge is Allan so ideology, and again, I didn't say anything negative about them. And you can get along pretty well eating vegetables because you are giving up all the processed food, which is the real poison. My only angle was it's more optimum and better to get the nutrient density off the foods we primarily evolved on. But, I mean, Homo sapiens are very adaptable, and we were able to go long periods when there was very little gain, and we evolved to be able to handle quite a lot of plant food and a lack of animal foods for periods. But evolution didn't really plan for long, long periods, and especially didn't plan for vegan. Vegetarian, especially Ovo lacto evolution well prepared us for that. But vegan, like you say, you need B12. And Dr. Joel Kahn, a good friend of mine who's a hardcore vegan, he's in his 60s, looks great, and he's got a zero calcium scan in his 60s. But one reason is, for 20 years, he's been imploring vegans to take a whole range of supplements, and he acknowledges and puts the hand up and doesn't try and pretend that the vegan diet is a complete diet.
[00:27:02.300] – Ivor
He's interested for ideological reasons, and he admits its ideology by saying, vegan guys, don't let our side down. You need to take these supplements. And that's why he's so healthy. But the funny thing is, Allan, even these like Okinawa, everyone talks about Okinawan's plant based longevity. But the people who reached 100 in Okinawa, I think it was five out of five or six out of six in one study, all of them were non vegetarian. They were the cluster that really went the distance. And the other thing is, they went to Okinawa. And this is where all this stuff came from. In the early 50s, after World War Two, half the population on the islands had been were dead. I mean, Okinawa, there was horrific stuff that went on there, as we know. But before the war, pork was highly prized. In fact, it's in their literature, their culinary literature. Pork is at the center of Okinawan dishes. It's written in some old text. And after the war, they had no pigs, for obvious reasons. And within a few years, they went up from I think they were before there were 110 pigs per thousand people.
[00:28:20.140] – Ivor
It's pretty high density. And they went up to 150 per thousand people by the late 50s and early 60s. So they went back on track, a pork based diet. But you don't hear that. You hear just when they found them starving post war, with their whole infrastructure and their animals all dead, that's when they did the study. And that's the study here quoted.
[00:28:44.890] – Coach Allan
Yeah. That's the Ansel Keys seven country study, that there were 23 countries.
[00:28:52.180] – Ivor
And he picked from 22.
[00:28:54.330] – Coach Allan
[00:28:54.840] – Ivor
He picked like six from 22 the first time, the six country study, which was just toilet paper. And then he created the toilet paper pseudo experiment. 12,000 men, no women, seven countries, picked from around 20. And he knew in advance, it's like an engineer who's cheating, right, to get a raise. Ansel knew the countries that would give him the outcome. I mean, he's so stupid, but he wanted the outcome because Ansel himself was in the grip of ideology. He was nowhere within a thousand miles of a scientist. He was an ideological person who had a grasp of scientific kind of stuff, and he was hugely influential, and he was an extremely capable politician, too. He weaved his way in everywhere. And he destroyed the career of Yodkin in the UK, questioned his data, and he went after Yodkin hardcore and basically destroyed his career in the sense so that's the kind of man and so keyswell. So it's not surprising that the science he produced was junk science.
[00:30:06.360] – Coach Allan
Yeah. And unfortunately, we still see that stuff happening today with different things going on in the world. Pick a side. And then fight to the death seems to be the mode of operation for this. Now, you mentioned Dr. Kahn, and I've read some of his stuff, and you've had a lot of other notable heart health doctors on your show. If someone's in their 40s, 50s or older and wants to manage their heart health so that they can live a longer, happier life, what are the things that we could be doing to improve our overall heart health?
[00:30:50.940] – Ivor
Right. Okay, then. So we start at the top. And sometimes I and others get criticized that insulin, we say, is everything. It's like the one ring to rule them all. Now, we do emphasize insulin, but in a pareto, principle way, because it's the elephant in the room. It's the biggest factor, your insulin resistance in cardiac disease and Alzheimer's, type three diabetes, it's often referred to now, and even Parkinson's has been referred to by one or two specialists as potentially type four diabetes. And then we have type two, of course, which has massive impacts on shortening your life. So that's actual diabetes. And then we have type one diabetes and type zero diabetes. I used to jokingly refer to heart disease as type zero diabetes because as Professor Joe Kraft, who I interviewed in Chicago, who tested 15,000 people for a five hour insulin glucose test, he said, let me think, if I can just think of this quote those who die of coronary disease who do not have diabetes are simply undiagnosed. And he was inferring that nearly all cardiac disease and vascular disease is essentially type two diabetes, whether diagnosed or not. Now, I don't think he's correct on that, but the massive majority is, and a great example for people is the Euro Aspire study done in Europe in 2015.
[00:32:24.130] – Ivor
And you should see the pie chart. I featured it many times. And this team went out, a large team went across 24 countries of Europe think about it. Looked at heart disease victims or patients ages 18 to 80. So looked at all ages, not just old people who tend to get it. And they basically checked their blood glucose in detail. And they found out straight away, shockingly, that around a third of them were type two diabetic on their medical record. And they thought, whoa, they didn't expect to find a full third of them. But then they looked at their glucose and post glucose load glucose readings, and they realized another quarter were full blown, type two undiagnosed, but then another quarter were high risk for type two diabetes, they called it. But they were type two diabetic. They just didn't quite reach the very high bar to be full blown. So essentially three quarters, roughly, of all the heart disease patients across Europe, 24 countries ages 18 to 80 as a huge supergroup, three quarters were type two diabetic. I mean, come on. So Kraft was very close. And if you measured their insulin and this team did not. Sadly. But if they did a craft test, myself, Dr. Gerber and Professor Noakes, and everyone in our community reckons probably 85 plus percent would be essentially physiologically diabetic. So, heart disease, first thing you do is minimize your insulin resistance, get insulin sensitive.
[00:34:05.660] – Coach Allan
And that's through diet and exercise.
[00:34:09.740] – Ivor
Diet and exercise. Diet is enormous in insulin resistance. But funny things are sleep and stress. They've done studies that if people are stressed, their insulin goes way up. Deny people's sleep for a couple of weeks, their insulin resistance can double. Smoking massively pushes up your insulin. It's one of the mechanisms of damage. And if you give up smoking, your insulin resistance falls sharply, even pollution and, of course, lack of exercise. And we would say myself and Dr. Gerber or Dr. Ted Naman or Ben Buckagio, all the people in our network, stress training, pushing to failure with weights and body weight exercise, maybe 20 minutes, twice, three times a week. A lot more bang for the book than cardiometabolic exercise, running, but that has its place, too. So exercise, food. Food, the big thing is to take out satan's triad. That's what I call it. Sugar, refined carbs, refined grains, refined wheats. All these powdered carbohydrates and vegetable oils, seed oils, inflammatory, seriously problematic. Those three things together. Devil's triad. What are most calories in ultra processed food, which makes up 80% of the supermarket made up of they're made up of the devil's triad. You don't have to look far here to see the reason for chronic disease.
[00:35:40.860] – Ivor
UK British Medical Journal. A few years ago, over 60% of all UK calories consumed now come from ultra processed foods, which are mostly the devil's triad. I mean, everyone, most everyone, is pouring large calorie quantities of kind of poisonous foods into themselves. It'd be amazing if we didn't have a tsunami of chronic disease. It would be astonishing. Cut out the devil's triad, cut out ultra processed food. And whether you're vegetable leaning or you're a carnivore or omnivore, like we said earlier, you sit down if you cut out all the ultra processed foods and just eat real foods and maybe watch some supplementation as well. Magnesium is very low in modern foods. And there's some more. You do that, you're miles ahead of the game. Add in fasting and some stress training, doesn't have to be huge. You got this synergistic. You put yourself vastly ahead of the risk of the average person today.
[00:36:45.600] – Coach Allan
Yeah, thank you for that again. It's been such a struggle. You did mention something earlier that I wanted to circle back around. When you're talking about Dr. Kahn and his calcium score, could you talk a little bit about what a calcium score is and how we would go about getting one?
[00:37:05.620] – Ivor
Right, well, that's I spent many years massively pushing the calcium score, partly because my sponsor, one of Ireland's richest men, he got a huge score and he was slim, fit, running four times a week, 52 years old, and he got a score of 1000, which is enormous. And he had three nearly fully blocked arteries, the main ones. So he got such a shock, he explored and he found out what the calcium score was all about, because that's how he found out. They told him he was super healthy for years in executive medicals. Then he got one calcium scan. He found out he was destroyed inside, and then he personally found out, unsurprisingly, a few weeks later. Not the doctors. He found out he was type two diabetic because he got a blood glucose meter. And he began to hear from William Davis, MD. And others, checked his glucose, and it was five times normal after each meal. So that was David Bobbitt great work he's done. And he made the widow maker movie. And I'll give you the link to the 1 hour version on YouTube I put up. He spent $2 million to make this movie to tell people about the calcium scan.
[00:38:15.220] – Ivor
And the bottom line, Allan, is if you get a calcium scan, the score from that scan alone, single-handedly, is much more predictive of risk than all of the blood and the risk factors put together in framing him, framing him and in the algorithms. Essentially, that score is more accurate. Predicting your future, though you can change it, get a high score, you can fix the problem. That's key to note, but it's more predictive than all the risk factors put together put together. So if you get a score of zero in middle age, your chance of a heart attack or mortality is so low, they actually call it a warranty. Now, a warranty doesn't mean 0%, it means extremely low. You got a warrant. Fridge is a warranty very seldom fails. So you might have a half a percent chance or 1.2% of a heart event in the next ten years. But the guys with the high scores, like David Bobbitts, have up on 30% chance you could have 20 plus times the risk of heart attack, even though you got the same cholesterol as the guy beside you, because you have the disease. The calcium in the arteries is unequivocal.
[00:39:32.010] – Ivor
Calcium in your arteries is the direct proof and extent of vascular disease up till the day you get the scan. It's the scars and all your arteries where your body is trying to fix your arteries from atherosclerosis the problem that causes heart attacks. So it's amazing where you get it. If you go to IHDA.Ie. So it's Irish heart disease awareness dot ie. There's the scan centers there, and we, over a year or two, developed a map of America, UK and Ireland. Hard to get Europe where all the centers are, and their phone numbers. But in the US, you can get it from as low as $69 up to $200. Sometimes insurance covers it. In Europe, it's quite a bit more expensive, maybe $350 on average.
[00:40:24.420] – Coach Allan
So, yeah, if you have a family history of heart disease or, you know that there's a likelihood you're overweight, you're over 40, you've got the risk factors that's worth having that test done. So thank you for sharing that. If someone, I'm sorry, I jumped ahead.
[00:40:45.500] – Coach Allan
I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:40:56.800] – Ivor
Okay. And we probably touched on quite a few of them, I'd have to say. Number one, and it ain't easy. And I commiserate with people, and I cheat sometimes too shocking to hear it. It's Christmas now. Maybe a little, but I'm generally pretty good. Cut out the devil's triad enormously. And that does mean if you're going to get something in the supermarket, look in the back of it. Mayonnaise. 78% of it is rapeseed oil. It's vegetable oil. Imagine 80% of your mayonnaise. I checked. You can get these meals. You look in the back, you see added wheats. And you know, on the ingredients list, the things up the top of the ingredients list, at least in Europe, are the biggest components. Yeah. So you see open the first few, you see wheat, you see vegetable oils or any kind of vegetable oil. There's 50 names for them. That's bad. But you can get ready meals, convenience meals that are essentially a dinner in a foil tray. In Ireland, it's just got meat, potatoes, carrots, and maybe a little bit of sugar. So you can get convenience food, that's okay. But the lesson is always say, is this real food?
[00:42:12.090] – Ivor
Is it nutrient dense? Is it not processed with wheats, refined grains, vegetable oils and sugars? That's the biggest thing. I put diet first. The second biggest thing, I would say, of course, exercise is important, and I've gotten pretty sloppy over lockdown. When I began to do very little exercise, I was working seven days a week in the office. I got kind of involved in a lot of challenging work, should we say, but exercise, since I've brought it back, and it's only really working on DIY and kind of house improvement, but working hard at it when I do it, even that has brought me back into a much healthier and better sleeping mode. And I got an exercise bike as well. I'm going to start using so exercise, but as Ben Picaccio and Dr. Ted Naman and all of us say, just do the body weight exercises, press ups until failure, where you just can't do another one and your arms are screaming. Do two rounds of that, two rounds of set ups, two rounds of pull ups. Always go till the muscles can't do any more. There's no danger, there's no harm to your body, but it triggers more muscle growth, and that's a glucose sink.
[00:43:26.330] – Ivor
And that is just the healthiest thing you can get. Muscle growth is your age. So exercise, particularly those resistance training exercises, third thing, then I'd say I'm more and more focused on sleep. I have a Whoop device now and it keeps me honest. So every morning if I've had a good day, I go to bed on time, I don't have a few drinks. I get this great report in the morning from my Whoop, and it keeps me on track. If I do the bad thing, I get this nasty report and it's never wrong, so I find it guides me and the joy of getting a good sleep and then looking up your results. And indeed, you had good deep sleep, you had good REM, you had highly recovery prone sleep, and you got a high green recovery. I kind of run my life by this now, so I'd say sleep quality and managing stress, I know it's not easy. Stress is a killer. Raises your cortisol, raises your insulin, eats away at your body, even undermines your immune system. So if you can get sleep stress as the third thing sorted, and good food and good exercise will actually deliver the benefits in good sleep and reduce stress. So they're very much integrated together.
[00:44:44.520] – Coach Allan
Thank you. Well, Ivor, if someone wanted to learn more about you and the work that you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:44:52.280] – Coach Allan
All right, I'd say if you just Google or search my name, Ivor Cummins. You'll quickly hit my YouTube, which is where a lot of the stuff is, and also my Twitter. I'm quite active on Twitter, and since the shadow banning stopped recently with Musk, suddenly my followers are growing again. I was perceived as questioning medical science at times, sadly, but I'm back on track, so Twitter is a good place. Often share reports, have technical arguments, and they're the main ones. And my Pin tweet at the moment, actually, and I think I'll leave it there is linked to one of our latest conferences with 14 stunning speakers and the whole packages available there of the 14 talks and the Q and A's, which I moderated for every speaker. So that package is like, I don't know, 12 hours of pure gold. And if you watch that package, I think it's 29 books or something. I don't know. It's just astonishing what all of our best guys have come out with in their talks. It's amazing. And the Q and A are revelatory as well because we brought in people and they asked their questions, and myself and the speaker in each instance had that discussion. So all of that's in there.
[00:46:08.920] – Coach Allan
Awesome. Thank you for that. And thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:46:14.580] – Ivor
Delighted to be here, Allan. And yeah, look forward to being back again. Great stuff.
[00:46:19.640] – Coach Allan
[00:46:23.330] – Coach Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:46:25.250] – Coach Rachel
Hey, Allan. That was a really fun interview. I can see why you enjoy talking with Ivor. He's got a lot of wealth of information about all of the studies that get thrown around in our community, in our health and fitness community. So it's interesting to hear him analyze them and get to the real meat of some of those studies.
[00:46:44.890] – Coach Allan
Yeah, it was funny because like I said, I was at Keto Fest and I was finishing up my talk. And it's normal when you do a talk, there are people who are going to come up after and want to ask you questions and just say hello or shake your hand, that kind of thing. And so I'm shaking hands trying to answer questions and I'm like the best I can throw out one word answer so that I can go see. And he was due to start and I was like, okay, I want to get over there. I want to get over there. They shortened mine. I got squeezed that year. And so my talk was supposed to be an hour and they ran late on the one before because they were having issues. And so I was told when I walked up to the stage, I'm like, you're really only going to have about 35 minutes. Okay, I'll get it done. But that also meant that I didn't get done early and wasn't really able to do any Q and A. That was one of the things I ended up cutting out of that talk. So I had a lot of people walking up asking questions.
[00:47:48.590] – Coach Allan
But that's cool. I got there, he wasn't too far in, but he's got this slide and diagram and I'm like, okay. And then he's talking and I'm like, it's like drinking out of a fire hose and he's just throwing on the screen and it's just so cool. If you're geek out about some of this stuff, go find his YouTube channel and prepare to spend a few hours there because it's good stuff. He does his homework, he knows what's going on. And yeah, his talk with Dr. Gregor, it was kind of a TV debate. I don't think it was exactly fair. Ivor is going to come in prepared three times to Sunday. Gregor was Dr. Gregor. I respect it as well because he has his thought beliefs and his biases and his data and he goes at it. I don't think he expected a debate. I think he just expected, and he didn't probably expect that the news anchor was going to actually sort of be almost unbiased or at least acknowledged when Ivor brought up data. That of course, Gregor, you can explain that why that doesn't make any sense. He couldn't. I mean, Ivor was right, as he mostly is, but it was great to be able to just talk to him, pick his brain a little bit.
[00:49:13.660] – Coach Allan
I'm definitely going to get him on the show again because it's just oh, good, yeah. And the people he talks to, they respect him as well because they see him on the stage and realize, okay, this is a guy who gets it. And so they're on his YouTube and on his channel and have those conversations with him, and that's who he's traveling with when he's doing the speaking circuit. And so he's got all the connections, he knows all the people, and it's just great conversation.
[00:49:41.510] – Coach Rachel
That's awesome. That is awesome. And it's nice. It was interesting to hear you point out the biases that are often behind the studies. The reason why that's interesting to me is because we don't hear that we get the news clipping or the news story that says the study just says coffee is good for you, or Animal fat is bad for you, but you don't get the behind the scenes stuff that Ivor was able to talk about. And like the Ansel Key study, we've talked about that study in the past. It's just one example of a study with some cherry pick data. Then you've got lobbyists involved that are pushing different food groups or something. And so it's hard to know. Like you had said, there's a lack of science in food science.
[00:50:29.090] – Coach Allan
The problem is that one pretty much any time they've tried to do a food study the right way, they stop the food study in a lot of other studies. Because what happens is they have one group eat one way or do one thing and they have another group something an entirely different way, and one of them starts really having problems. And then they're like, well, we can't in good conscience with ethics continue this study. We're killing people.
[00:51:03.470] – Coach Rachel
That's not good.
[00:51:07.890] – Coach Allan
So what they end up doing is they say, okay, well, tell me, Rachel, how many times did you eat meat in the last month?
[00:51:16.690] – Coach Rachel
[00:51:17.350] – Coach Allan
And they're like, okay, how many times per week do you eat meat? And then I was like, So you eat red meat and processed meat? Yes. Okay, well, they didn't ask, did you eat meat? Do you eat processed meat?
[00:51:29.270] – Coach Allan
And so am I say, I don't really eat that much processed meat. Deli slices of ham and beef, but other than that, not a lot. And I don't eat a lot of bacon, even though I'm on the keto spectrum of eating most of the time. I'm not a big bacon person. Actually, I had half a slice of bacon this morning.
[00:51:50.620] – Coach Rachel
Wow. Yeah, that's willpower.
[00:51:55.790] – Coach Allan
Well, that was the only piece, and I didn't want to cook because we just made breakfast with 13 people, and I wasn't going to throw that out or feed that to the dog.
[00:52:06.960] – Coach Rachel
[00:52:08.690] – Coach Allan
But it's just that thing of, okay, if they have a bias, they can't help the structure of the science to work the way they want it to. And even if right, there's still a likelihood that the data might not be as conclusive as they'd like it to be, which is the worst for scientists to sit there and have a hypothesis and then do the study and have zero effect to basically say they can't find even a correlation. Prove causation, necessarily, but they couldn't even find a correlation either way or the other. And so, as they're looking at it from that statistical perspective, the study is basically worthless in their minds because they had a hypothesis and they can't prove or disprove that hypothesis. And that's normally how science works. They try to prove something, either it's going to happen or not happen based on what they did. You add blue water to yellow water and you get green. That's the hypothesis.
[00:53:16.090] – Coach Allan
And then it kind of depends, right. How much blue water did you pour in and how much yellow water did you pour in? Is it still green or is it blue? So there's even some judgment in there as far as how all that's going to work. And that's a simple thing. That's pretty simple. But when you're asking people what they ate, how much they ate, going back 20 years
[00:53:42.770] – Coach Allan
And then again, of course, if someone is really not eating well, they're probably also not doing other things so well, so they're probably not exercising as much. They might be doing other things like overusing alcohol, maybe using tobacco, maybe using other things. They may be have very stressful jobs. They might not sleep very well. And so it's really hard to pull all those confounders out there, because you're not going to find that one person that eats processed meat, but exercises every day, doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, sleeps well, has no stress, but eats processed meat to find out processed meat causes colorectal cancer. You're not going to find those people to do that.
[00:54:30.660] – Coach Rachel
Right. Well, it's almost impossible to set up a study like that. But you know what we have found in real life, Allan? You and I have both seen and heard stories where people pick up a vegetarian or vegan diet and suddenly they lose a lot of weight. Or in my world, some of us have done the keto diet and we've lost a lot of weight. But even then, it's not about choosing a diet, eating plant based, eating animal based. It's the fact that we're eating real foods, foods that were obviously grown on a vine or harvested somehow in nature or a farm, and it's not processed foods. And I think that's where people find the success. So right now it's January, it's the beginning of the year, we're changing our diets and everything. And so, sure, maybe some of us have a goal to eat better. And so we're going to say, well, we're going to eat these healthier food items, but we're getting rid of the processed food. And it's really that one thing that gives us the greatest benefit is switching from the processed foods, the cereals and granola bars and things that are in a jar or a bag, like you say, and choosing an apple or a salad or a chicken or something like that. You know what I mean? Real foods.
[00:55:54.640] – Coach Allan
Yeah. The basis of it is this, processed foods are made to be delicious, not made to be nutritious. They're calorie dense, nutritionally weak, whereas whole food tends to be nutritious. It tends to be nutritionally dense and calorie weak. And so you eat to satiety with whole food, you're not going to gain weight, and you'll probably lose weight if you're over. If you eat a processed food diet, you're very likely to continue to gain weight because you're just not getting the nutrition you need, and you're getting more calories than you need. And it's just the basic math of calories in, calories out. It's a pretty simple thing. But it goes down to the hormones, because once you tell your body this is real food, you're giving your body real food. Let's just be clear about that. There is no pie tree. There's no muffin tree. All of these Little Debbie cakes on the prairie, you just don't. So we're consuming those things, we're not getting nutrition. And so when they talk about the nutrition from plants, what we know is when a cow eats, he's grass fed, they have a better fat disposition than a cow who is not it's grain fed.
[00:57:27.130] – Coach Allan
The fats in the cow of a grass fed cow are healthier for us than for a grain fed cow. The grain fed cow will taste great. It's fattened up for just for that purpose. They'll get it perfect. It's a formula. That's what they do. Not that the cow is healthy, but they can make it taste great. That's what companies do. So you'll eat more, and they're able to price it at an affordable price because of the volume. So you know, it's this is what this is really about, is realizing that every guest that I've had on here, we talk about when we talk about nutrition. You, you've not heard a single one of them say that they think that the Twinkie diet or the McDonald's diet or the is okay, because now they'll acknowledge you can undereat with those diets, but you can't sustain that. So the person that loses the pounds with the Twinkie diet or what's his name, Penn Gillette, the comedian, magician guy, he did a potato diet, eat potatoes until he lost the weight, and he got sick of potatoes. He just stopped eating. That's what happened. The point being is that he just, dietitian said, just eat potatoes.
[00:58:47.320] – Coach Allan
You'll get sick of potatoes and you'll stop eating. And he did that until he lost the weight and he's off, which means he's probably also learned a couple of other things. But at the same time, what he could have done was just said, okay, I'm going to go back to eating whole food. And he probably would have the same results and been healthier for it. It's an investment, and it's an investment of time, getting to know where your food is coming from. I know no one likes to know how the sausage is made.
[00:59:17.550] – Coach Rachel
[00:59:18.140] – Coach Allan
But you start looking at industrial farming, and you start looking at where you go into the grocery store and you're picking up those eggs. You're picking up the chicken. And chickens don't have three pound breasts. They're not that big. We have Dolly Parton chickens now, and it's because the hormones and they've been bred a certain way. They're not healthy, happy animals. They can't walk. They can't do anything. They're bred and grown and nurtured to do a certain thing, and it's just not the right way. You want happy, healthy animals, and they make for happy, healthy humans. Whether you choose to be plant based or animal based or a mix, know where it's coming from. Just know what you're eating and start making better choices. It doesn't have to be a big thing. Just start making little better choices, and they add up. They add up fast.
[01:00:22.770] – Coach Rachel
Yeah, that's exactly what I say. Yes. Small steps. Make some choice.
[01:00:27.000] – Coach Allan
When you see that headline that tells you something, question, question. New study says,
[01:00:38.710] – Coach Rachel
beware of those words. And look carefully into it.
[01:00:42.440] – Coach Allan
Says this. You're listening to reading it, and you're like, well, that's the exact opposite of what they told me last year. That's exactly the opposite of what I've always known. And we can look at a lot of stuff that's happened in the last few years about food and other health science, and it's like they're telling you something, and it's like, wait, that's not how I was. We talked about this in biology, and this is not how it was taught. So what's different, and somehow or another, the doctors are the experts are trying to tell us this is different. It's not. They just wanted it to be different because they wanted us to do a certain thing. So they had a bias behind why they said what they said. They had a bias behind how they planned and did the study, and they got a result. They presented the result, and then the media ran with the headline. And so just be careful when you see a headline and they say, but this is science. Just be leery that some science is not science. And that's particularly true in the health and nutrition space. So need your sit there and say, oh, I need to start taking 10,000
[01:02:01.640] – Coach Allan
I use of vitamin D every day to help my immune system. And the short answer is, you might not. You might need some, but you won't know until you go get a blood test. So just because study said people who took vitamin D were less likely to suffer from this thing, that doesn't mean that that study was even done on you. But it could have been three high school kids that they gave vitamin D to, and guess what? None of them died in three years. So vitamin D helps you live longer. And that's the reality they're control case two of them got in an automobile accident and died so of the six people in this piece, all caused mortality. Two thirds of them died not taking vitamin D. And here in this one, all cause mortality all three of them are still alive. So vitamin D keeps you from getting in car crashes is the conclusion.
[01:03:04.150] – Coach Rachel
Oh, these studies.
[01:03:05.670] – Coach Allan
But that's sometimes how this is structured and how it's interpreted. They're going to use words that are confusing, like all cause mortality. Instead of actually saying heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's, instead of really getting to it, they'll use the term all cause mortality. Right? There should have bright light on that. Okay, what does that mean and how did these people pass? And the data has it. They will get into the data. And that's what Ivor does. He digs into data and says, oh, they were dying of automobile accidents. So what you found was vitamin D keeps people from having automobile accidents. I'm not saying that vitamin D doesn't. I'm just saying that if you don't set the study up right and you don't interpret the data right, and you want to change the way the conclusion is worded to give you the result that you were looking for, they do it. They do it all the time based on who they're funded by, based on what their bias was, and you just have to be careful.
[01:04:14.090] – Coach Rachel
Well, I appreciate having people like Ivor looking into stuff like that.
[01:04:19.930] – Coach Allan
If you ever get a chance to go to a conference or catch up with his YouTube, it's well worth the time and money.
[01:04:27.330] – Coach Rachel
[01:04:28.120] – Coach Allan
All right, Ras, let's talk again next week.
[01:04:32.530] – Coach Rachel
All right. Take care.
[01:04:34.020] – Coach Allan
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
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Tara Garrison breaks out of the tribalism of keto forever with her motto, Do Keto. Not Forever. On this episode, we discuss her book, Short-Term Keto.
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[00:04:14.130] – Allan
Hey, Ras, how are things?
[00:04:15.970] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?
[00:04:17.870] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Really interesting weekend.
[00:04:21.530] – Rachel
[00:04:24.330] – Allan
We had our Christmas parade here. So you're listening to this? It's just now past Christmas, but we're recording this a couple of weeks in advance, and we had the Christmas parade. And one of the things that kind of came about, and I was sort of side-swiped by this is my wife decided that I was going to wear a Santa suit and sit in the back of her golf cart and pass out candy and toys to the kids. And it was insane. Thousands of kids out there screaming “Santa! It's Santa!”
[00:04:59.130] – Allan
And then they're sitting on my lap and I'm taking pictures.
[00:05:02.910] – Rachel
How sweet. That's so cool.
[00:05:05.680] – Allan
It was just bizarre. I'll post a picture on the Facebook group. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group, and you'll see a picture of me sitting in the back of a golf cart as Santa.
[00:05:20.250] – Allan
And then the parade. We were told to get there at a certain time, and they weren't even ready to near ready to start that thing until about 2 hours later. And then we're on the parade for over an hour, and I was like, okay, I've got to go to the bathroom, so I hopped out and I'm running.
[00:05:34.500] – Allan
So you got to stand on running through the streets to get to the bathroom. And then I got to go run back and find where we are in this parade to get back on the golf cart. So some funny moments. And you walk into a place that everybody knows me. Except now I'm dressed like Santa. And as soon as I get close and they start to recognize me, I say, “Don't say a word. Don't.”
[00:05:55.170] – Rachel
That's so sweet. That's Wonderful.
[00:05:58.050] – Allan
So not something I expected, but I did the best Santa I could.
[00:06:03.190] – Rachel
That's awesome. What a fun weekend.
[00:06:05.610] – Allan
So how are things with you?
[00:06:07.320] – Rachel
Good. Really good. I'm pretty excited today. I just hired a trainer to help me get through a marathon. I've got a spring marathon already scheduled, and I've been thinking about it for a while, and I thought, you know, I do want to set a goal time for this full marathon, and I think a trainer is going to help me see my training in a whole new light. So I'm pretty excited to get started with her real soon.
[00:06:32.120] – Allan
Yeah. Is this one you've run before?
[00:06:34.350] – Rachel
No, it'll be a new marathon. It's actually one of the two runcations I've already scheduled for next year, and it's the St. Louis Marathon, and that will be in early April.
[00:06:45.270] – Allan
Ok. So based on what you know, of that course, is it similar to one you've run before?
[00:06:49.840] – Rachel
Actually, I don't have a profile yet. There's not a profile on their website that I found yet, but I'm asking around, so I'm hoping to get some insight. I hear it's hilly in that area, but I don't anticipate it being crazy hilly.
[00:07:06.400] – Allan
Yeah, but that's going to help set your expectations if you go into it. And this thing's, like Big Sur. You're like that was not what I was expecting. And then you get there. So you're not really that satisfied with your training and your time. But yeah, because if you're going to run hills, you need to do a little bit of training on hills, just know that you're getting the best you can out of your training. So I'll be interested to hear how this all goes about, because having a coach, that's what a lot of people don't recognize is how beneficial having someone there that knows the ropes, that knows what's going on to just kind of push you a little harder.
[00:07:44.250] – Allan
And yes, as a coach, at times, I hire coaches and you hire coaches, and that's what we do because we want to win. We want to do better, even if winning is just winning being better at ourselves.
[00:07:56.640] – Rachel
Sure. Sometimes it's nice to have another set of eyes on what I'm doing and how I'm progressing. It'll be interesting to see I'm sure she will push me harder than what I might push myself. And I'll have some solid accountability, too. So it should be really interesting to see how this plays out.
[00:08:15.890] – Allan
Good. And I'm pretty excited. I'm launching my new program in January, Win at Weight Loss, and you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/win and get on the waitlist for that. There are going to be limited slots because I can only handle so many clients. I don't pass my clients off to anybody else. I handle each and every one of them. This is a program, a six week program that basically teaches you everything you need to know for yourself, for your body.
[00:08:49.220] – Allan
This is not a cookie cutter, here's the four things I want you to do. I've done those before, but for most people, yeah, it works. But a lot of people, they need more. They need that next step because they plateau and they stop and it doesn't work. And so when things stop working, you need tools to get through that as well. So that's what this 6-week program win. It weight loss is. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/win. And you can get on the list. And then we'll have a conversation to see if this program is right for you.
[00:09:21.370] – Rachel
That sounds awesome. It'll be great. Good luck to everybody who signs up. Do it quick.
[00:09:26.730] – Allan
Please. Yeah. Because once I get to a number, I'm like that's all I can handle. I will have to turn that off. And then the waitlist won't be for January. It'll likely be for April. So just realize now I'm going to do these in classes or cohorts if you will. So we'll go through with a group of people, and then I'll be done. And then I'll maybe start another one. But they're going to be points of the year where I just take time off.
[00:09:49.020] – Allan
So if you miss this one, it's going to be probably two, three, four months before I do another one. And so you want to get into this one while the iron strike while the iron is hot, if you will.
[00:09:59.060] – Rachel
That's right. Do it.
[00:10:00.250] – Rachel
All right. Tara is a coach, and she was a Keto coach until she decided that maybe keto wasn't the right way for her to manage her health long-term? Are you ready to talk about Short-Term Keto with Tara Garrison?
[00:10:16.890] – Rachel
[00:11:12.750] – Allan
Tara, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:11:15.190] – Tara
Yeah. Thanks for having me excited to be here.
[00:11:17.470] – Allan
So we're going to talk about your book, Short-Term Keto: A Four Week Plan to Find Your Unique Carb Threshold. And what I like about this. And it's what I tell a lot of people because, like, oh, you do Keto, but you don't do it all the time. Why don't you do it all the time? All the other Keto guys, they want to do it all the time, and you say I'm going to do it.
[00:11:37.590] – Allan
I told you, who's going to bark?
[00:11:40.230] – Tara
He's like, on camera. It's my time to shine.
[00:11:44.310] – Allan
Yes, it's my time to shine. So sorry about that. But I'm going to leave that in.
[00:11:51.570] – Allan
But the principle of this is that I look at and similar to you, I think look at keto as a tool.
[00:11:58.830] – Tara
Yeah, absolutely. And a powerful one. Short-term keto. I don't know if I'm jumping ahead.
[00:12:06.580] – Allan
No. Yeah. Go ahead.
[00:12:08.610] – Tara
Short-term keto. I've had a program for many years now called Keto In and Out, right? That was a precursor to this book. And really what it was born out of was seeing what a powerful tool Keto is in our day and age pretty much. I'm not going to say everybody should do keto, because I definitely have times, I just told a woman yesterday I'm like, I don't really don't think you need to do keto. I already think you're metabolically flexible, you're thin, you're healthy, you're thriving. I don't see any for it.
[00:12:39.040] – Tara
But most of us, we literally get into our car. We, like, sit down in a seat while we're still in our house. Like our garage is still our house. We sit in a seat, we drive to the grocery store and we sit in a seat, come back and we have endless access to food. And guess what happens over time at that lifestyle very sedentary and overeating. We are not forced to be in a situation in which our bodies need to run off their own body fat for fuel.
[00:13:05.340] – Tara
But if we lived in the wild and this is where it kind of gets to what you're saying here about not always being if we lived in the wild, if we lived in nature, which unless things go real bad in the next few years here, which hopefully they don't. But most likely we're not ever going to be in that situation again. We're just living out in the woods and trying to hunt for food. But that is our natural state. That is what our bodies. That's what they evolved upon over many thousands of years was not always having endless access to food and having to move even when you don't really feel like it so that you can have food. And guess what happens as a result of that, our bodies would go into ketosis naturally.
[00:13:46.740] – Tara
So what does this mean? It means when you run out of enough incoming carbohydrate to support your bodily functions, your body will turn your own body fat. Or now it's dietary fat often because we have so much food available to us. But your body will turn fat into these things called ketones. And you will run off of those as your energy source. And so many cool things happen in our bodies. As a result of that, we drop inflammation. It's more easy for us to focus. Without food, we can go longer without food without feeling hangry and angry and shaky and hypoglycemic. And all of these things.
[00:14:21.450] – Tara
Gut healing benefits. It's really powerful for the body. Our brain gets a boost. They go through our blood brain barrier. We have more mental energy, and some people hypothesize that maybe that was to help us go hunt and find more food. You know, we want to be mentally clear. So we don't do this. Why would you do this? Why would you do this? Why would you, like sit there and be uncomfortably hungry and you have everything you could ever imagine sitting in your pantry just waiting for you to eat it.
[00:14:45.710] – Tara
We're just not going to because we don't have to. Here comes keto. This intervention in which all we do is intentionally remove most of the carbohydrates from our diet, and we get this adaptation in our body. To me, the point is the adaptation and going back to this living in nature analogy, like, if you're freaking starving and you're living out in nature and you come across whatever food, whether that's potatoes or berries or whatever or animal, you're just going to eat whatever you can. Right.
[00:15:18.040] – Tara
And so a lot of people get in the mentality of carbs are bad for you. And carbs make you fat. And it's like, no, it's just an abundance and over consumption of carbohydrates all the time in which your body never, ever gets to explore this other half of its capacity, which is ketosis that can become, quote, unquote bad for you over time, because now you are kind of dependent on glucose for energy and you get hangry and shaky and all of these things if you don't have it. So keto is a powerful tool that allows us to come in and get our metabolism to be doing what it was always meant to do in the first place.
[00:15:55.770] – Allan
I do something I call Seasonal Ketosis. And so it's basically I know there's seasons of the years when I'm going to want to eat certain things or drink certain things and do certain things, usually around the holidays and football season and that kind of thing. And so I was just like, okay, I can be in ketosis. And I feel great in ketosis. But I was like, I don't want to live my life this way 24/7. So I would cycle out, and then I would cycle back in.
[00:16:24.170] – Allan
And what I found was for me, it works very well. And then I've had other people that I've worked with, and they can't necessarily bring back the carbs because the way they process carbs and the way they eat carbs just doesn't work. Can we talk a little bit about this bio-individuality I've heard used. Why are some of us wired to be fine with keto most of the time? And then others were wired more with the threshold of being able to take in more carbs?
[00:16:57.030] – Tara
Yeah, that's a great question. Any good nutrition coach, I think they're first going to want to know, where are we starting? What's going on? What's the starting point? And so if you have let's say, for example, you have type II diabetes. I'm not recommending that you bring carbs back in. Actually, the research is kind of starting to shift over the years. We used to say this is not we're not healing type II diabetes with this, we're just managing it depending on how far progressive is. We're seeing that it might be possible, at least to be able to increase the carb threshold a little bit. But we're talking years of doing keto, right.
[00:17:36.500] – Tara
So if you have prediabetes type II diabetes, you're using keto to manage something like epilepsy or some sort of therapeutic approach. It might be a long-term thing for you. For women who are perimenopausal or post menopausal, they may have higher estrogens, and that doesn't mean that they have to just live with that and be like that forever. A lot of things can be changed and shifted. But I'm saying if that's where you're starting, you might need to be keto for a long time.
[00:18:06.730] – Tara
If you're very obese, I'm just blunt with it, the more obese you are, more likely, the better keto is going to work for you, because that means you likely are not metabolically flexible. Your body has a hard time going into its own fat source and using that for fuel without you becoming extremely uncomfortable and hungry and cravings and all those things. So you do something like keto, you might do it for years. There's so many different things that could be happening in the body to cause this.
[00:18:33.920] – Tara
There's even DNA. I do DNA work with my clients. There's even predispositions that certain people have to have less normal, like impaired glucose metabolism. Right. We look at people with Alzheimer's. If you have Alzheimer's in your family, you may be possibly have some genetic predispositions to not manage glucose as well. A lot of these things can be completely changed by lifestyle, right. But it takes time.
[00:19:01.830] – Tara
And then I've had clients where they're extremely fit. They're extremely active. Their blood sugar regulation is great. They have good muscle mass. They're already quote unquote fat adapted, meaning their body can run off fat just as well as carbs. They might not even need to do keto. Everyone doesn't need to do it. And then there are some people that actually really it's probably going to be a life changing intervention for them.
[00:19:26.060] – Tara
And so I would say that the biggest hitters are if you have high blood sugar, this is going to be a winner-winner chicken dinner for you. It's just for me, people who they feel like finally, because when you have blood sugar cravings for food and your body is saying you're going to die if you don't eat like something sugary right now because it doesn't know how to go into ketosis.
[00:19:50.190] – Tara
It's pretty much it that's going to be a life changing experience for you left in your satiation hormone goes up. That's life changing for people. I've had clients that are 400 pounds plus and just lost hundreds of pounds, it's life changing for them, so it really depends on where your starting point is and for the sake of time, I won't go too far into that, but we go into detail on that of reasons you might want to try to do keto and possibly do it longer term in my book.
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[00:22:02.790] – Allan
And then the other side of it because I work with clients too, and we'll go low carb with their eating and they feel really good. They're losing the weight 40 lbs, 50 lbs gone and they feel great. And they're like, this is incredible. And then they're like, but I want to introduce carbs, but I'm afraid.
[00:22:20.020] – Tara
[00:22:20.830] – Allan
So what are some signs? They're like, this works so well, but they're like, I know a holiday, I know a vacation is coming. We're going to Disney. We're doing this and it's like, can I? And I'm like, Well, you need permission first, right? I know you have some signs, okay. It's probably okay for you to start reintroducing carbs.
[00:22:41.410] – Tara
Yeah. I love this question. This is one of the main reasons I even started talking about this at the time in 2018, when I started sharing this message, kind of developed this little tagline of ‘Do Keto. Not Forever.'
[00:22:52.170] – Tara
That was very rebellious of me. Very. Because I was very involved in the leaders of the keto movement, where all my friends and colleagues and this was just like an abomination at that time. In 2018, keto was like, the end. All be all. If you are a smart person, you understand that ketones are better than glucose and like that was just the mentality.
[00:23:12.780] – Tara
And I had recently gotten off of keto, so I came into it very lean, very athletic. I just qualified for the Boston Marathon, was lifting weights. Did keto. I appreciated some of the benefits that I got in terms of mental clarity. I think I needed a little more fat, so just hormonally felt better. I could go longer between meals, which was super cool without feeling hungry. I really got tapped into physiological hunger versus blood sugar hunger. And that was cool. But for me personally, I lost muscle and gained body fat.
[00:23:43.980] – Tara
And at the time I was dating one of the leaders of the keto movement, so I know I was optimizing it. I'm a trainer and nutritionist myself, but my body just wasn't loving it from a body composition or athletic performance perspective. And I had just brought carbs back in and everything was going back up for me. And I still maintained those benefits that I had received during keto. I've been able to go between meals for a long time. And so here I was like talking to all these women at conferences and they're terrified of carbohydrates, right?
[00:24:11.000] – Tara
They're terrified. They've been taught these will make you fat. These will inflame you. Even people saying they're going to kill you. There's like a lot of fear. And the clients that I've worked with. Sometimes my clients come to me and they've lost over 100 lbs on keto already. And I'm like the carb savior or something because I teach the message. They're like, Girl, are you serious? Are you telling me I can really have carbohydrates again? Because I'm terrified. And what I like to tell people is like if you've experienced a big weight loss on keto, remember that you are not in the same body right now that you started with.
[00:24:41.510] – Tara
It's hard emotionally for us to get there sometimes, right? We still see ourselves as a 200, 300, 400 pound person, but you're not. You lost 200 lbs. You lost 100 lbs. Your body is different now. The physiological processes are different. So what I say is, look, check your blood sugar management when you wake up in the morning. If you're under 90 in the morning, even if you ate some carbs the day before, that's a really good sign that you've achieved better blood sugar management. If you're starting to just gain weight back, maybe you've turned into lazy keto and you're not actually in ketosis anymore and you're gaining weight back.
[00:25:15.820] – Tara
You're just not feeling as good. You're not getting the same results because once your blood sugar management is good, you're not going to get the same drastic result from keto that you did when your blood sugar was poor. If your sleep isn't good, if you feel like you're crying a lot like that could be low serotonin. If your gut health isn't good, you just chronically have watery stools or constipation. Those are all signs that maybe it's time to just explore bringing cars back in.
[00:25:39.580] – Tara
And I just want to say one thing real quick. And that is please remember that when you first bring carbs back in, your insulin response will not be as high. And we've seen that is a rat study. But for about two weeks after getting off keto and bringing carbs back in, you may have higher blood sugar spikes than you would after those two weeks are over. Once your body gets regulated on how much insulin to produce, I say that because so many people, they're like, I try to eat one carb and my blood sugar shot through the roof.
[00:26:07.280] – Tara
I'm like, I know that's because you've been keto for so long. I've had times when I was keto and I ate carbs, and I literally fell asleep like I was in a coma. And so it's that please remember that. And the types of carbohydrates you eat are super important as well, and make a tremendous difference.
[00:26:25.080] – Allan
Yeah. Because just like, we often have that problem, they call it keto flu. I call it carb withdrawals. When you go into ketosis about a two week period of time that your body is trying to figure out. Whoa, what is this way of eating? What's going on here? Why don't I have this? It works the other way when you're trying to go back in. It's like, okay, Whoa. I've got a sugar rush just having a little bit of ice cream or a cookie,
[00:26:50.980] – Tara
[00:26:51.490] – Allan
Whoa. Where did that come from? And then your body will adapt, and we get this metabolic flexibility, where our body is able to easier go back and forth. If you said, okay, I'm going to take the weekend off or take a month off, and I'm going to go and start reintroducing carbs, and then it's not really what you want. It's not really working out. You're not feeling it. Then you just do that transition back. And it's actually not hard. It's not as hard as it was the first time.
[00:27:18.520] – Tara
[00:27:19.070] – Speaker 1
If you get yourself into a really good state with how your insulin responses, how your pancreas is working. And like you said the other things, like Ghellin and Leptin, and just kind of making sure that you actually know what hunger is and just eating sugar for the sake of sugar.
[00:27:35.330] – Tara
I appreciate you saying that because I think you're the first person I've heard say that. I'm like, I feel like the lone wolf over here. Everyone's teaching, hey, when you go to keto, it sucks. And your gut is going to get all messed up because your enzyme regulation is off because you're not used to making that much lipase to break down fats and all these things. And it's okay. Just hang in there. But nobody's breaching that. I felt like. I've been like, I'm like, hey, also, when you bring carbs back in, some things have to get up regulated in the body to the amount of amylase you produce to break down carbohydrates in your gut, your ability to manage and process that much fiber.
[00:28:09.090] – Tara
And that's why I slowly reintroduce carbs in the book, because sometimes people are like, oh, I ate carbs, and I got really bloated. My body just hates them. I'm like, no, you're just not used to producing enough enzymes to break it down. It takes time. So I appreciate you sharing that message. It's also a transition out.
[00:28:26.760] – Allan
I actually put it in my book that I published in 2018. So in December of 2018, I had the same message that you don't have to be in keto forever. But you want to have a reason. You want to have a strategy as you go into these types of things. And so one of the most important strategies, I think, is people are looking at carbohydrates and trying to get past that fear or that phobia, which I guess carb phobia is now going to be a word if it's not, I just made it up.
[00:28:55.680] – Tara
I say it all the time.
[00:28:59.350] – Allan
Okay. Not all carbs are the same. Yeah, but we have this in our mindset. It's like I look on the label and that's mistake probably number one. But I'm looking on the label and the label says it's got this many carbs. And can you kind of go through and talk about how we can look at carbohydrates and how we can prioritize them as we begin to reintroduce?
[00:29:22.820] – Tara
Yeah. I love this question. And the reason this is one of the main reasons I wrote this book is because I noticed because I'm a keto specialist in my regular everyday life. Everyone feels the need to talk to me about keto, right? I'm sure you noticed the same. Right. And I get these people they're eating pizza and chips and whatever and fast food, and they'll say, oh, man, I know. I just got to go back to keto, and I'm like, wait a minute. That's not the only way to be healthy.
[00:29:49.390] – Tara
There's another place that's not junk food or keto that's, like, all in or all out thinking. I almost forget sometimes that when I'm telling people that it's okay to eat carbs, I don't like calling anything good or bad. It's just you're not going to get as optimal results when you're eating processed carbohydrates full of canola oil and processed white flour and sugars. And that's not going to be the same experience of what I'm talking about. And the way I like to prioritize it is non starchy vegetables.
[00:30:21.470] – Tara
So the things that we actually kind of consider vegetables, right? Broccoli asparagus cauliflower have at it, because sometimes even keto, you have to actually limit that. For some people who are really sensitive, it's like, oh, you can have carrots again. You can have any vegetable you want, and that brings us into starchy vegetables. Right. So that's kind of the next step is like potatoes, sweet potatoes. If your gut can tolerate it, it depends on the person. But some people manage beans really well. Some people have sensitivities and can't have those things.
[00:30:50.600] – Tara
But if your body processes the well, go for it. Start eating more things from nature. And then my next on my list is fruits, you know, and you could alternate that you could put fruit up there with starchy vegetables to start eating fruits again. See how your body does see how you tolerate them. There's so much fear around these foods, especially in the keto world. It's like, don't eat bananas. I just saw a share the other day and it was like, oatmeal is unhealthy. And I'm like, no for some people, maybe, but not for everyone.
[00:31:20.100] – Tara
So question some of these dogmatic beliefs that you've gotten and look at the actual research if you want to, it's not there. We're taking something that might be true for some people and trying to make it true for everyone. And so that's like, it's something to be mindful of in the nutrition world right now in our information age. And also, I am not opposed to whole grains like quinoa. And so granted, if you have leaky gut, you don't want to be eating these things, they're probably going to exacerbate it, right.
[00:31:48.180] – Tara
If you don't cook your foods like this might affect it. Right. But if you look at the actual research, there's so much in support of some of these whole grains, even oatmeal, helping with cholesterol, helping with LDL levels, helping be heart protective. And I have to go so against my programming and the keto world to say stuff like this because we've been taught for so long. Like grains are bad, like beans are horrible. Definitely don't eat those. Don't eat bananas. Those are fake foods. And I'm like, I've come to a place in my journey where I'm like, if nature is allowing it to be grown and you ask your body, how does my body actually feel when I eat these things?
[00:32:29.060] – Tara
When I eat quinoa, I feel like, amazing. My body loves quinoa as you bring these things back in, start to experiment. How do I feel? Especially after kind of that two week mark is gone. And I bet for most of you, at least it's been most of my clients experience after a phase of keto when everything's regulated in the body and they start bringing these things back in and let go of their beliefs that it's hurting them, they start to feel really good.
[00:32:51.280] – Allan
Yeah. And that's what I like with your plan is that basically it's not this. Okay, turn the switch. And now I go carb crazy. It's okay. We're going to go in and we're going to have some spinach and we're going to have some broccoli and we're going to have some cauliflower and we're going to slowly introduce these vegetables and see how our body responds.
[00:33:11.970] – Allan
It might be a little hard. At first, you might not be digesting. It the way your body needs to, and you might be gassy feel a little bloated, but give it a shot, give it a legitimate shot. And then once you kind of adapt and your body is performing well with that, you can go to the next step saying, okay, I want some sweet potato, and it's not like you eat one whole sweet potato. You have a little bit of sweet potato with dinner and see how you feel.
[00:33:34.890] – Tara
I like how your plan is kind of putting that together in a structure. So there's not a whole lot of questions of okay, do I go out for Thanksgiving dinner and that be my break, my keto thing. No, you're not going to feel well if you do that.
[00:33:49.940] – Tara
Right. And the intention is if you slam on your gut and to your blood sugar, because keto is a restrictive diet, it is. And so sometimes there's an emotional component of, oh, my gosh. I think why people get stuck in it, possibly because they're like, I like this restriction because I don't trust myself to be not, like, off the rails. Once I do eat carbs and I'm trying to show a different way of, like, honoring…
[00:34:17.640] – Tara
The way I like to put it is this imagine that you're still keto with healthy carbs as part of keto. If you kind of look at it like that instead of just like, I'm going to eat whatever the freak I want. Pizza time, soda time. That's not it. It's still eating whole foods from nature. And I'm really just trying to help people get the experience of what it can feel like when you eat carbs to support healthy functions of your body. But not so many carbs that you go into a diabetic coma being theoretical. But you know what I mean, because that deters people from understanding what it can feel like to live a balanced life again after a phase of keto.
[00:34:54.750] – Allan
Right. And once again going back to the metabolic flexibility, you might find that your carb threshold has gone up substantially. And so whereas before, when you were insulin resistant, when you were obese and when you were really struggling, 25 grams was all you could handle. And when you start looking at what, 25 grams of carbs equates to it's almost no carbs that you're eating. And then you say, okay, now I'm going to push this up. And maybe now you're eating 50, you might find yourself still in ketosis most of the day if you're doing any measurements at all.
[00:35:28.080] – Allan
Some people I've seen particularly very fit, very athletic, moving people when they're doing a lot of movement, they're doing a lot of work cleaning out their glycogen stores and doing those types of things. They can eat 100-150 and still maintain ketosis most of the day.
[00:35:45.410] – Tara
Yeah. Even Dominic Agastino shared this. I think on I believe it was on Dave Asprey's podcast or maybe Joe Rogan or something. But he was saying that he eats about 150 grams of carbs a day, and he called it more ketogenic than ketosis. And I think what he means by that is he's helping to support some probably most of you. If you're keto nerds, you've heard there's parts of your brain that really want glucose. There are certain parts of your body that do want glucose. So you're supporting those organs, you're supporting those things.
[00:36:13.160] – Tara
But you're still active enough. I mean, Dom, like, he deadlifts, like 500 lbs. It's dude strong. Right. So just like you're saying, he's using that glycogen and then intermittent fasting so that he's able to go back into ketosis easily. And I think that's become my lifestyle. I probably eat, I would say, between 100 and 200 grams of carbs. I crush it in the gym every morning. I am like, scary, almost beast mode. And that's why I can do stuff. And then I pair that with intermittent fasting.
[00:36:39.960] – Tara
It's such an easy lifestyle, and you don't have to not have any carbs, which for me, especially someone like me who's athletic. It really limits for me that kind of intensity in the gym. Right. And so it can become an easier flow of life if you're willing to add some activity into your routine as well. But the less active you are, probably the less carbs you need, I'd say across the board for human beings.
[00:37:08.430] – Allan
Yeah. And that kind of goes to the next thing. I really haven't seen anybody else that's spent a lot of time talking about this. But part of the reason that you do want to make sure you're eating those non starchy vegetables and sometimes some starchy vegetables and definitely fruits is your neurotransmitters. They're basic components. And if you're just going strict keto for a long period of time, you're probably going to have some issues with your GABA and your dopamine and serotonin and those types of things which are going to affect your sleep.
[00:37:42.900] – Allan
They're going to affect how you feel. And when your body gets stressed. Now we're talking about adrenaline and things like that. So can you talk a little bit about those neurotransmitters? Because this is a conversation that a lot of people aren't having about why carbs are actually an important component of what we eat. We got to do it right with regards to how we process. But you'll know, it because your brain will turn on when you get the formula right.
[00:38:12.410] – Tara
Right. And I love talking about this. And thank you for asking, because there's such a lack of awareness of how much nutrition impacts our mental health. And so often I see people go into these blame and shame cycles of what's wrong with me. I don't know what's wrong with me. And I'm like, actually, okay. So you had something traumatic happen and you're sleepdeprived and you're sad and you've been keto. And maybe you don't even know you have a genetic predisposition for low serotonin. And so your serotonin is in the crapper.
[00:38:40.610] – Tara
And you're feeling so just down. And guess what? Actually eating carbs is smart. Your body is probably telling you to go eat some carbs because it's like, we need to get serotonin up. So you're not so sad, friend. And then people are like, I don't know what's wrong with me. I just don't have any willpower. And I'm like, hold on on. Let's look into this. So let me give some basic information. I'd say the biggest impact that keto has on certain air transmitters would be dopamine, serotonin and GABA.
[00:39:08.020] – Tara
So when your keto, your dopamine will be higher. So when you eat a diet that's mostly fat and protein, you're going to favor dopamine production. That's because tyrosine the building block of dopamine and tryptophan the building block of serotonin, they compete to get across the blood brain barrier. So if you're eating more fats and proteins, the tyrosine is going to win. You're going to be more dopamine or making more dopamine. And then if you are eating more carbs and protein as the majority of your diet, you'll favor serotonin production.
[00:39:40.390] – Tara
So what does this mean? If you are somebody who has really low dopamine and you go, keto, you may all of a sudden start. You may have a life changing experience on your mood. You're like, all of a sudden I'm driven and I'm making my dreams come true, and I'm nice to everybody and confident and like, wow! That's where I think a lot of the zealots of keto come from these deeper biological processes they're having. They don't understand. They're like, all I know is, I got better. Things got better. Like, I felt a lot better.
[00:40:13.430] – Tara
But let's say somebody has they already have good dopamine levels, but they have low serotonin, and then they go keto, and they get higher dopamine. But they might like that a little bit, but didn't really need it that much. But they needed a little bit of serotonin that they were getting. And now all of a sudden, it's dropped. And they're in a place where they are sad and crying a lot and just feeling really emotional. And then they're likely to put more pressure on themselves.
[00:40:37.940] – Tara
Come on. Why can't you just do this thing? And it's like, you need to know that there could be a biochemistry aspect to this process for you. And so I always honor people. I'm like, Listen, if you don't feel better on keto, and you've been doing it for, like, a month and you just don't feel better. It's okay to honor that it's not the only way to be healthy. You can also eat a balanced diet and exercise and get many of similar benefits.
[00:41:02.850] – Tara
And then GABA, I really like to share about. So ketone bodies have been found to be GABAergic. So what's GABA? GABA is like, the breaks on our brain. So a lot of people who are overthinkers, they just can't stop, can't stop, can't stop, can't stop. They may like being in a ketogenic state because that overthinking is usually indicative of, well, it can also be maybe you need to meditate and work on some things like that. But glutamate is a neurotransmitter that causes it's excitatory. It's like go go in our minds. And if that conversion, it turns into GABA.
[00:41:39.470] – Tara
So if it doesn't turn into the breaks in the brain, we're just like chronically obsessing over these little things. And it makes people feel crazy. And so ketone bodies can help increase your GABA levels and help that to stop. So that can be really enjoyable experience for some people. But if you already have good GABA levels, you're not going to feel that you're not going to really need that. I like to go into this in the book of some different things you might be feeling and experiencing on keto and why.
[00:42:10.500] – Tara
And then the last one will be adrenaline. This is something that honestly concerns me. Dr Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney did a study on this because a lot of people were concerned that keto might just be this high on ketones, might actually just be high on adrenaline, which feels great and helps you lose weight in the beginning. But over time it increases cortisol and can actually cause you to gain weight and have health problems. And so they showed that as long as you have adequate salt intake on keto, that you can offset the overproduction of adrenaline on keto.
[00:42:41.910] – Tara
But if you don't, which I say is pretty like you don't know exactly what your sodium levels are and what your needs are that day. So I get concerned about people who may not have adequate salt levels on keto, and they're going into this high adrenaline state for years on end, and that can cause problems in the long run. So just something to be aware of. I share all the details of that in the book, but the impact of our how are you feeling?
[00:43:07.020] – Tara
Are you really feeling better? Are you feeling kind of crazy? Are you feeling kind of like manic and overly busy or uber-confident? Too confident, like you don't care about anybody anymore. Maybe your dopamine is through the roof. I just like to create awareness of these things so people don't have this shame and stigma of what's wrong with me, and they actually have some understanding behind it.
[00:43:26.560] – Allan
And I think this speaks to when we say food is information. Movement is information. This is how it happens. It's the neurotransmitters. It's the hormones. All those things have to balance out. All those things have to work for you. And if you're out of balance because the food you're taking in isn't serving you or your movement patterns aren't serving you, then you're giving yourself bad information and your body is responding the only way it can.
[00:43:55.880] – Tara
[00:43:56.810] – Allan
Doing these experiments getting out there and experiment of one. You know, you're the most important sample size there is. And just saying, I'm going to try this four-week plan and I'm going to find my carb-lite, keto and I'm going to get into keto. And then when I'm ready to come out, I'll follow this four week plan to reintroduce and really Journal and pay attention to your mood, pay attention to how your skin looks, how you feel, how your workouts. Like you said, if you start going beast mode in the gym, something good is happening.
[00:44:26.470] – Tara
Yeah. And sleep and digestion and all those things. I love that those are the questions I have as you go through that process. And ideally, it's a four-week plan. I'd love for you to make it like twelve weeks and do one week for a whole month. But be aware. And one of the cool things. And I'm sure you're aware of this with you all the time is you might not need as many carbohydrates after doing a phase of keto to give you that get up and go, which is kind of cool.
[00:44:54.440] – Tara
So you're exactly right. Please honor your body and what your body is asking for and give things time, though. One day you ate cupcakes yesterday. My body hates carbs. No. All right. Give yourself a little bit more time to experiment than that.
[00:45:09.900] – Allan
Tara, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be what are three strategies or tactics to get well?
[00:45:18.190] – Tara
Yes. Number one, sleep so big. I don't know how to say it, but you guys know you're worthy of sleep, right? Remember that. Nothing is more important than that. Everything in the body goes up when you have adequate sleep. And I think so many people are depressed and anxious because they literally just need sleep. And all those neurotransmitters I talked about the production all goes down if you don't have enough sleep, so biochemically, you're in a bad mood and that's hard to get out of. So sleep is, I'd say the core the key stone of wellness. It's the healer.
[00:45:50.950] – Tara
Next is having a consistent routine for success. Have a consistent routine. So it's not so hard all the time. Like, I got to get to the gym some time today. I got to figure out something healthy to eat at some point like that's very stressful. So you can eliminate this decision fatigue by having I have a morning routine. I have a consistent gym time with actual times on it. I have my clutch, go to meals and I have an evening routine. I have boundaries for myself. Right. And that is like it makes it so easy. Your body knows what to expect and you know what to expect, and then you just get in flow that gets you results.
[00:46:22.090] – Tara
And I'd say the last thing is showing up for yourself and having boundaries, saying no to things that you don't want to do, doing things that bring you joy, saying no to relationships that drag you down, spending time in relationships that nourish you. Like that. It's having happiness, like prioritizing kind of that inner child saying, I'm here for you and continuing to show up for yourself in a way that you need. I'd say between that having a flow of a fit, healthy lifestyle that you can stick with with ease, sleeping and nourishing your soul, it's good stuff.
[00:46:57.250] – Allan
Thank you for that. Tara, if someone wanted to learn more about the book, Short-Term Keto or the things you're doing, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:47:06.310] – Tara
You know what I would say? Go to my website, Taragarrison.com and you can click on the book link there because I am giving away my Top 100 Keto recipes for free with anybody who orders the books. So all the info for that is just right there. It's quick, easy, instant download because I want to make sure if you read the first chapter and you're like, wow, keto sounds really cool, and I actually want to try it and use Tara's recipes. I wanted to make sure people were supported on that. So my favorite Top 100 Keto recipes that I've used with clients and boot camps and all these things over the years are all condensed into that.
[00:47:35.460] – Tara
And then you can find links to Amazon and Barnes and Noble and all these websites where you can purchase the book.
[00:47:40.260] – Allan
Okay, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/518 and I'll be sure to have the links there. So, Tara, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:47:50.190] – Tara
Thanks so much for having me.
[00:47:56.270] – Allan
Hey, Ras, welcome back.
[00:47:57.990] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, what a great interview. There's a lot I'd like to talk about, but why don't we start with the idea of using keto as a short term fix?
[00:48:06.410] – Allan
Yeah, most of the people in the keto space love keto and then therefore, it's the only way to eat. And the short of it is. And anyone that's listening to this podcast more than a week knows that I don't buy into that. I'm not into the dogma of there's only one way for you to eat. There's an optimal way for you to eat where you are right now, and there are certain things you probably want to accomplish that eating the right way for that is going to serve you better.
[00:48:40.910] – Allan
I can tell you from my experience, keto is the best way for me to drop body fat. If I try to do it any other way, I tend to overeat. I don't feel satiated, and I don't enjoy myself enough to stick with it. And then there's just shortcuts. I can't say, okay, I'm going to lose weight and continue to consume beer or bread or those types of things because my body just puffs up. Now. I love beer. Don't get me wrong. And I really am kind of fond of bread, but they don't serve my body, particularly if I'm trying to lose weight.
[00:49:16.550] – Allan
And so if I'm looking to try to lose body fat, I have to go rather strict with keto, but I also have in the back of my mind. Yes, it's not permanent, but it could be if it needed to be. And so the flipping back and forth, which I do as a part of what I call seasonal ketosis is really just that thing to say. Okay, if it's a good time for me to start cutting body fat, which I'll tell you right now, it is. I'm looking for that Tough Mudder in August, so I would love to be 25 lbs less when I do that run because it's that much less weight I have to carry.
[00:49:52.940] – Allan
Now, the weight service me well right now. And if I want to lift heavy and do the things I'm doing, walk and lift heavy, I'm fine. It doesn't cause me any issues at all. But if I want to do something intense and long like the Tough Mudder, I'm going to need to do make some changes to me physically, which includes losing some body fat to perform the way I want to perform for that. So keto is a great way to improve your health. It's an elimination diet, so strictly you're eliminating whole food groups. Yeah, you are.
[00:50:26.990] – Allan
But same thing. If you're a vegan, same thing, you're vegetarian, same thing. If you're a carnivore, all those ways of eating, you're eliminating something. Even if you do the FODMAP diet, even if you do the Mediterranean diet, you're eliminating certain foods. And so elimination is what diets are. Almost none of them are just eat what you're normally eating and just eat less of it, because everybody knows that doesn't work, right? I'm starving all the time and I'm craving foods. So the eating less and moving more by itself doesn't work.
[00:51:00.990] – Allan
You've got to find a structure to how you're eating that helps you feel satiated. That lets you eat less and have the energy to move more. But you can't start with the eat less move more model. You have to think about the foods that are serving you and then go from there.
[00:51:20.030] – Rachel
Absolutely. I thought that was the greatest part about this being a short-term fix is that it's just one test, really. It's one experiment to see how your body responds when you take certain foods out of your diet and add other foods back into it and see how you feel in response. And it's pretty quick that you'll see some changes. But just like she said, you don't have to live on it forever. Once you reach maybe your body composition goal that you're trying to get through, or once you get through your Tough Mudder, maybe you can reassess your relationship with carbs.
[00:51:56.690] – Rachel
which brought me to the next point was that let's talk about carbs because carbs are not all created equal. And like I've mentioned in the past, if anybody says carbs, I instantly think of a giant baguette of bread or the pastries we eat at breakfast. I always default to bread, but that's not all the carbs. That's not it.
[00:52:17.280] – Allan
No, because carbs are going to range everywhere from the leafy greens that have almost no real usable carb. It's fiber and water. Mostly you look at celery, and everybody will say, Well, that's almost a negative in the calories, because there's so much fiber to digest that and get it to chew it, you're almost burning more calories than you are eating. That's not entirely true, but it is full of water. And so from that perspective, to say that celery is the equivalent of potatoes is the equivalent of bread is the equivalent of Twinkies. It's just not true.
[00:53:00.040] – Allan
There's a whole range of them and how your body utilizes them. That's so different. And we talked to Dr. Yeo a week or so ago, and the basic principle is that fiber is not going to be digested by you. It's going to get all the way down deep into your small intestine before bacteria are going to start hitting at it. And then it gets into your large intestine. And that's where they're going to start doing their breakdowns and stuff. So the fiber is going to go all the way through you, and you're not technically going to get any calorie load from it.
[00:53:33.060] – Allan
You're going to feel full or longer because it's not being taken up. Whereas bread and sugar and the Coca Cola and stuff that you want to drink, those things are hitting your bloodstream almost immediately. They've been almost completely digested in some cases again, if they're processed, they've been digested before you even put them in your mouth because of the processing. And so when it hits your digestive tract, they become sugar in your system. And then there's an insulin response. And there's all the other things that go along with that.
[00:54:06.390] – Allan
Different carbs are going to work differently for you. And there was an Israeli study a few years back, and they put the long-term monitors and continuous monitoring of blood glucose that you see people with typically with type II diabetes and type I diabetes. They wear this so they can constantly be monitoring their blood sugar. And they had this thing set up to basically just continually just check their glucose, check their glucose, check their glucose. And then they said, when you get ready to eat something, whatever you want to eat, a banana, a baguette, as you said or anything like that, a donut.
[00:54:46.410] – Allan
Then you go ahead and just log what you ate when you ate it, and they would say, okay, well, one person's blood sugar would just shoot up when they ate a banana, and someone else's wouldn't. And then there's the other aspects of this. If you eat a green banana, like, really green, like, hard to open. It doesn't peel, you basically cut it. That's almost entirely non-digestible starch. It's almost all fiber, and it's basically a prebiotic that's going to feed your intestinal flora, your microbes in your intestine, because you're not going to digest that as sugar.
[00:55:26.920] – Allan
Now, if you let it get ripe, and now it's a yellow or slightly browning, it's a high dose of sugar. It's changed. Same thing with a potato. If you eat a raw potato, it's almost all nondigestible-fiber. If you thecook it and eat it, it's now something that's going to boost up your blood sugar relatively quickly. If you then refrigerate it and eat it later, you've now turned it into a resistant starch. So that's all with the potato.
[00:56:01.780] – Allan
So there's a lot of variation there in the foods that we eat. And there's a lot of variation in individuals. And really, the only way, you'll know, if the food is serving you or not is trial and error. And that's what's great about keto is keto is that elimination diet that takes you off of all of that. And the other thing that at least it was great with keto was that it was all whole foods, because before the keto was really a big thing, they didn't have all the keto snacks and the keto fake recipe stuff. I still want my pizza. So make a keto pizza, which is fine. Except now you're introducing some processed foods, even with the almond flour and the coconut flour and eating a lot of cheese. So if you have a dairy problem, that's just another thing where it might not serve you to be doing this.
[00:56:57.830] – Allan
That stuff didn't exist early on in this whole drive to keto. And I approached it from a paleo perspective. And I'm like well, my ancestors would not have eaten keto pizza. And so it's just those kind of things of saying, think about food as nourishment for your body. And if the food isn't serving you towards the goals that you have for your health and fitness, then it's not the right food for you.
[00:57:27.050] – Allan
And that's kind of the message that Tara came into this was she was a fit young person trying to be competitive and athletic and get stronger and have a certain body fat percentage. And those things were really important to her. And keto was a tool that got her to a point. And then she's like, well, I'm not getting there. And I know I'm doing it right because I have the right resources there's just something about keto that's not working for me right now. And she transitioned off of keto.
[00:57:57.010] – Allan
And then she got to her body composition level. She got stronger. And that's Tara, that's perfect for her. And if you're struggling with something, consider trying keto and see how it goes. You don't have to think of it as, oh, well, once I go on it, then I'm locked in for the rest of my life but you might get there like you have Rachel and say, this does actually serve me very well. This way of eating serves me very well.
[00:58:24.920] – Allan
And if I want a beer after a race, I'll have a beer. That works perfect for you. And for Mike.
[00:58:33.830] – Rachel
Yes, it does. That's our Mo. Mike has an iron gut, so he's able to eat more non keto foods, and I'm able to eat. But that's just it is that we do enjoy certain foods when we feel like we can do that. So a beer every now and then. That's fine. I'm actually going to be experimenting with the sweet potatoes. You had mentioned this to me before about baking them and refrigerating them and baking them again to make them more insulin resistant. That's something I'll be experimenting with as I get ready for my marathon coming up.
[00:59:10.300] – Allan
And I've heard it done mostly with white potatoes. So you might want to do a little bit of reading on that. I'm not sure if it's the sweet potatoes that do that same way because they are slightly different. They're a little less starchy than the white potatoes. So I haven't looked into the sweet potatoes. But if you do that, then report back what you learn about it, because that would be very interesting.
[00:59:31.250] – Rachel
Well, you know, I'd like to choose foods that have a little bit more punch, nutrient wise. And I feel like a sweet potato might have a few extra nutrients that I could probably use in my diet, whereas a plain white potato may not. But I'll definitely try both experiments.
[00:59:46.120] – Allan
You might be surprised if you start really looking into what's in the potato. Besides the insulin response for standard potato, there's still some good nutrients in the potato, so give it a shot.
[00:59:57.940] – Rachel
Yeah, I'll check into that and let you know.
[00:59:59.990] – Allan
All right, Ras, I guess I'll talk to you again next week, then.
[01:00:03.060] – Rachel
Sure. Take care.
[01:00:04.350] – Allan
[01:00:05.220] – Rachel
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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.
Text[00:06:38.180] – Allan
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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.
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On this episode, Alyssa Sybertz, author of The OMAD Diet: Intermittent Fasting with One Meal a Day to Burn Fat and Lose Weight, helps us understand how the OMAD diet can be a part of your eating strategy to lose weight and get healthy.
Text[00:07:20.920] – Allan
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
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If you ask people who watch their carbohydrates how many you can eat, you'll get dozens of answers. Dr. Eric Westman and Amy Berger help you end your carb confusion.
Dr. Westman is an associate professor of medicine at Duke University. He is board-certified in obesity medicine and internal medicine and founded the Duke Keto Medicine Clinic in 2006 after eight years of clinical research regarding low carbohydrate ketogenic diets
Amy Berger is an Air Force veteran and certified nutrition specialist who specializes in helping people do keto without the crazy. She has a master's degree in human nutrition and writes about a wide range of health nutrition-related topics such as insulin, metabolism, weight loss, diabetes, thyroid function, and more.
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Over the past eight years, I've followed a ketogenic diet (low carb diet) for much of the year in a way of eating I call, Seasonal Ketosis. It is a part of my ancestral-based lifestyle to promote health, fitness, longevity, and joy. Seasonal Ketosis is a form of cyclic ketogenic diet based on seasons, where I'll have a season of feasting and a season of famine each year.
This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Let's Get Checked. Let's Get Checked makes it easy for anyone to get professional testing and consultation from the comfort of their home. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/LGC and use the code Allan20 to get 20% off.
So, you know, it's under control here. But we, you know, living under more stringent rules. So they didn't open our curfew and they didn't give us the Saturday back. So,[00:03:38.880] – Ras
Hello and thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness Podcast, I'm really glad to have you here today. Today's show is going to be a little different. I have talked about seasonal ketosis as the way that I eat a few times on this show and on some other podcasts, but I've never really broken down how it works and why it works and what it is, specifically for me and how it fits within my overall ancestral based lifestyle.
Now, when I started this effort to go from a fat bastard to healthy and fit. I was introduced to Paleo by a dietitian and she brought up the paleo diet, explained what it was, what I could eat, what I couldn't eat, and I loved it. So I stepped away from my high carb diet and started just eating meat, fish and vegetables. I'd never heard of the ketogenic diet or the keto diet, as it's often called, but because I was on such a low carb version of the paleo diet, it actually put me into ketosis.
So I had to figure out what ketosis was because something different was happening to me and, you know, my breath and other things you hear about. But the weight loss was dramatic. So I enjoyed a lot of benefits out of the ketogenic diet. My blood sugar got steady, I had higher energy, I had less brain fog and it felt great.
Now, over the past eight years, I've continued to follow the ketogenic diet for most of the year, and I call that seasonal ketosis. Now, most people that adopt the ketogenic diet, they do it full time and they start eating low carb and they stay low carb and they try to keep their body in ketosis all the time and they see the benefits.
They would ask, why would I ever go off the keto diet if I enjoy how I feel when I'm on it? And to answer that question, for me, it's really about balance. I enjoy beer, I enjoy wine, I enjoy fruit, I enjoy yeast rolls. And occasionally I want to have a hamburger with a bun. So I pick a specific part of the year where I would allow myself to go off of ketosis. Now, I mentioned a few shows back that I had not started my famine season on time and really kind of blew it for a while. But I am back into my famine season and I've lost 25 pounds plus and still going.
But that's, that's not all this is really about. So I use seasonal ketosis as a way to stay generally healthy, to keep my health in good check, to keep my weight in a healthy body composition range. It improves my fitness, longevity, and the joy I have in my life. So I've developed an ancestral based lifestyle. And I'm not going to get into the argument about what our ancestors would or would not have eaten. I'm not going to get into the argument of, you know, how long they lived and all that. I'll talk a little bit about that. But that science doesn't interest me. I know that there were no fruits available to my ancestors in the northern part of Europe. I know that they would not have been able to transport food all around the world, so I would not have been eating nutrients from different continents all at one time.
I would not always have access to vegetables and fruits and all this other gobbledygook. I just wouldn't there'd be periods of time when I wouldn't. So but before I really get into seasonal ketosis, I do want to talk about a few key things just so we're all on the same base. When I'm talking about ancestral living, there's a few just core tenets that I'm going to throw out there. One is understanding what ketosis is now. Ketosis is when your body is burning fat.
So that can either be the fat that you're eating or it can be body fat. And in doing so, you create ketone bodies. Now, these ketone bodies are something that your brain and your body can use as fuel. Most of the time people are running on glucose. OK, there's glucose in your blood, there's glucose, you know, in the form of glycogen, in your muscles and liver. And we use that for energy most of the time.
At least that's how it's been for at least the last probably six to seven years here in the United States now. And we've also got a lot fatter. Ketones, on the other hand, can do all of that fueling. And in many cases it's more efficient and it's cleaner. It doesn't cause as many problems for us. So our bodies actually perform better, operate better and are in better health when we're in ketosis. So that's just ketosis. Now, the ketogenic diet is also called keto or the keto Diet.
It is a low carb, high fat diet that forces your body to go into nutritional ketosis. Now you can induce ketosis with exogenous ketone bodies or MCT oil, which is a medium-chain triglyceride. But that's not what I'm after here. We want healthy food. We want a healthy diet of real food that puts us into ketosis naturally. And it's not that hard to do. You just got to get the macros right and push through. Now with me, seasonal ketosis is a cyclical ketogenic diet. Now, instead of doing just a week, I do my cycles running over months, OK.
And in fact, seasons. So I'll have a season where I'll go into famine and then I'm in a strict ketogenic diet at that point. I stay in ketosis almost the whole time and then I'll have some feasting seasons when, you know, I'll go ahead and allow myself to eat what I want. I don't have any no, no's. Now I do tend to continue to eat a little bit high fat, low carb at that time, but the rules are gone. I just eat what I feel compelled to eat and enjoy the food that I have.
Now, my approach to health, a healthy ancestral lifestyle really is about health and longevity, even though we may never actually answer that question how long our ancestors would have lived. What we do know is that child mortality was much higher. We know that they didn't have the medical Know-How of modern times and they had less access to food. And we didn't have access to what, you know, most of the experts would call healthy Whole Foods. I mean, we had what was there that was all that was there. So what we didn't how we did. That's all we had.
There were no McDonald's. There was none of that stuff. And we did a lot more physical activity every day. So whatever the evidence says, you know, if people weren't living as long, it was probably for different reasons. OK, now, during those times, there would be periods, particularly in the north, where we would have feast and famine. When we would spend part of the year eating a ketogenic diet and even some periods of fasting. We didn't have food preservation. So we would have to wake up in the morning and maybe not have any food around. So we would have to go get it. We could be traveling and walking for hours and not find that.
But what we would do is if you think about it from a seasonal perspective, we would have access to more food in the spring, through the fall. So there would be fruits, there'd be vegetables, there'd be things like that. And so we would probably put on some weight between spring and fall. We'd just be a normal thing. And it was good because body fat helps protect us from the cold, keep us warmer, and it also gives us food. I mean, when we don't have food, it provides us the energy we need.
Okay, now as we go into the winter, weight loss would be the norm as we started using that fat on our bodies to keep us alive. So if we didn't have access to food, our bodies adapted to stay alive, our bodies adapted to be able to continue to do what we needed to do. I also believe that we were opportunistic eaters and we didn't have a McDonald's or a Tim Hortons or whatever it is that you have on every corner.
We didn't drink sweetened beverages. We just had water. We ate whole foods. When we killed an animal, we ate it hoof to nose. As hunter gatherers, we ate well as we could and we fasted when we had to. So we were on the land. And I think that's one of the core tenets of this is that we knew what we should eat, what we shouldn't eat, and we got that through the tribal knowledge. So, you know, I think it's really important to understand that the things that we call food today are not food. You know, groceries, as they are today, are not as nutritious as what we had been. And we've got to fix that as a people. That's got to be a priority somewhere along the lines.
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Now, another big tenant I want to talk about is fitness. Now, we were not sedentary. You cannot survive as a hunter gatherer if you're going to sit and not do anything, you just don't. So we would have to be fit. We wouldn't be able to go to a gym for cardio and strength training, but we would have regular exposure to three primary movement modalities that were really, really important for us. We would do low intensity, steady-state or LISS, as I like to call it where we had to migrate.
So, you know, food's not always where we want it to be. And the animals were moving with migration patterns. We would have to move with them if we want to be successful hunters. So this would require sometimes days of us to walk and travel, hiking, basically, and we'd have to carry our stuff with us. So if we had shelter and coats and in different clothing and blankets and all the different things, we needed tools and weapons, we would be carrying those with us. So we would go on these long, low intensity, steady state movements.
Now occasionally we would have high-intensity interval training. And you could think of that in terms of if we were hunting or we were fending off other tribes, it would require us to have some power and some skill. So working with weapons, moving for short periods of time, quickly resting, moving again, that would be normal regular activity for us. So, yes, more movement. And then finally a strength in mobility when we killed a large animal or we stumbled across a berry patch, we would feast.
Now, that would also require, in some cases, for us to lift parts of the animal and carry it back to camp, or we'd have to squat down to pick the berries that we were going to be eating. So, again, more movement. And so you can see through this, just the lifestyle of a hunter gatherer is filled with tons and tons of movement. Now, we also would have work life balance. We would be putting in long commutes. We wouldn't be doing a lot of the things we do now.
But while we're working to survive, we would also understand that we needed to rest. We would understand that, you know, we would need flow. And what I mean by flow is, you know, flow is kind of fitting in with what's there. You know, we would know that there's ways to hunt. There's ways to to move. There's there's times that we need to go. And so we would start following a natural pattern of days, months, seasons.
You watch some of the shows where they depict people and they live by the moon, the moon and the seasons give them the information they need to survive. Now, if they faced a threat and then they had a stressor, which, you know, basically what a threat would do is the stress response. It would be acute, immediate, it'd be life or death. So they would have that cortisol hit. They'd have, you know, that adrenal hit and then it would be gone. It wouldn't be this long, drawn out months and months and months of things that we do to ourselves now.
So we would have a very low stress life in a general sense, as long as we were able to successfully hunt and move and do the things we needed to do. Our stress levels were much lower. We also did risk management. And that sounds kind of weird talking about our ancestors.
But the way you stay alive, the way longevity happens, is understanding the risks associated with your life is a primal living being. We weren't worried about calories, blood sugar, vitamin C, processed meat, dietary fiber, or if we had a healthy microbiome, those concepts weren't even in our head. But what we did was we followed a path that was set by our ancestors.
My ancestors would go and they'd say, we know we go this direction. This is the way we have to go this month at the moon. And then we would go, but we would have to also understand what we're facing. If another tribe moved in to the area, we might have to change the plan, but we would do it. We had risk management. We were paying attention. So the biggest risks to us at that time was infant mortality and tribal warfare.
And the only biohacking that we would have done was just making sure that we were aware of the risks and then figuring out ways to avoid them or deal with them. And then relationship would be very important to us. We worked and moved as a tribe. And in a tribe, it works to our benefit because it helps everyone's survival. We hunted in packs and were hard coded in our DNA to be socially engaged. So that relationship, that closeness is really, really important to the nature of ancestral living.
And then finally within ancestral living. I want to talk about curiosity. You know, we did tend to follow the same basic patterns, seasonal patterns, year in and year out. But we were constantly engaged with what was going on. In the world around us, because our survival depended on it. You know, we couldn't go in and ask Google or Facebook what the weather was going to be like or if we were going to have an early summer or a late winter or whatever.
There was no groundhog to do it for us either. We looked to our elders to advise us and then the tribe had to learn and adapt, and that's how we would survive hard times. Now, I recently started a blog to dive into these issues in more detail. But full disclosure, I'm a terrible blogger. I can brag about this being episode 455 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast. But you know, I've done several blogs over the years and I don't think I've ever gotten more than maybe 15 blog posts in any one blog I've ever started.
So they blog fade pretty quickly. You know, I hope that doesn't happen with this blog. But what I plan to do with that blog is explore a lot of these topics that I've talked about so far. So if you're interested in any of those, you might want to check out the blog. I'll do the best I can, but. What's probably gonna end up happening is I'll probably end up bringing some of those topics here to the podcast, so check out the blog as I get going on it. Probably not anything else on there now. But check it out. And that's where a lot of these topics are going to be discussed in more detail. And if you have any questions, feel free to join us on the Facebook group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/Group. And just ask I'm there. I mean, I'm there to participate and help you in any way I can. So if you're interested in this topic, I would like to carry on that conversation.
So for today's discussion and then I'll be gone already for quite a while. But I really want to dive into seasonal ketosis and share why I do it and the reasons that it may or may not be right for you. The first question I kind of have in my mind when I'm thinking about this is seasonal ketosis. The same thing is cyclical keto diet? You know, and technically it is it's you know, you're cycling in and out of keto. So it is a cyclical keto diet. However, when you talk to most people about this cyclical keto diet, it's a six days on, one day off, and they call that a refeed day. And I'm metabolically capable of doing that kind of keto diet, but I'm not a really good moderation type person.[00:22:02.340] – Allan
I like seeing two to five pounds come off in a week. What I wouldn't be a fan of is seeing like four pounds down, then two pounds up. And I'm pretty sure that's how the cyclical keto diet would work for me. And I don't really like that. It's progress, don't get me wrong, it's progress. But that's just not me. I'm happy knowing that I can have a few more carbs on my high activity days without going out of ketosis.
So if I'm going to have more carbs, I'm just going to work out a hell of a lot harder that week to make sure that I can keep myself in ketosis and have the carbs too. So if I want some fruit, I got to earn it from a from a carb, blood sugar, muscle and liver glycogen model. Now, there are some positives to the cyclical keto over full time keto. In many cases, athletic performance can be better and muscle growth is better.
I'm not a bodybuilder and I perform fine without the refits. I can I can do as much as I want to do. I need to do so again, cyclical keto is just not for me. But if you're someone who's looking for a way to do keto and then have that kind of that refeed that break, you might want to check that out. Now, why does seasonal ketosis make sense to me from an ancestral perspective?
And I've gone into some of this already. You know, I when I started this and I was learning about the paleo diet, I came across Mark Sissons primal blueprint. And now Mark laid out a very reasoned case for how our ancestors lived and ate. I used to character I think he named Duroc. So rather, you believe in human evolution, creationism or intelligent design, I don't think you can argue that we we're not doing things right now.
We've got to change something. The standard American diet is killing us. You know, back then we didn't eat refined grains and we didn't have junk food. You know, we were hunters and gatherers. We were, like I said, opportunistic eaters. And we ate the nutrition that our body required, essential amino acids and essential fats. They came from animals, primarily red meat and fish. That's where we got our food. Most of our food was going to come in that form.
And then based on the seasons, you know, we had short periods of the year where it was either cold or dry. We were in ketosis because there just might not be any vegetables or fruits available to us during periods of time. And then, of course, because, you know, food availability and everything, we would spend a good bit of time fasting or intermittent fasting or maybe some extended fasting, depending on the nature of what's going on in the world.
You know, if if we got a good, cold, hard freeze and all the animals are moving and there's no, you know, no vegetation at all, we got to go with the animals. We got to catch up to them. And then we got to do the hunting. So just recognize that our diet would have been very keto for much of the year. OK, now I started doing this for weight loss. That was my my core reason. And I was very much drawn to the primal paleo diet because it made intuitive sense.
Mark did a really good job, because it was maybe the first article I read, that you can't eat what you don't have access to. So you wouldn't eat processed foods at all, ever. OK, everything we would have eaten. Would have been whole food. It would have been locally and sustainably sourced and the human body was designed to be a hunter. I mean, there's no doubt whatsoever when you look at our features, look at what we can do. We were designed to be hunters, but when there are fruits and vegetables available, we're probably going to eat those. But we would not have eaten a high carbohydrate diet year-round. It's just impossible for any of our ancestors short of just some very small areas, you know, in the tropical zones where people would have eaten primarily carbohydrate diets that just wouldn't have anyone from northern Europe, anyone pretty much if you're from Northern Europe or Europe at all, your ancestors probably didn't eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
That's just that's just part of it. Now, you can look at the current chronic diseases, obesity, heart disease, stroke, type two diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. And the health problems are associated with our food. There's something seriously wrong. In our modern world, most people have insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. And it's it's so epidemic that it's just weird to me that this has become politicized. That, you know, we have the food companies telling our government what to tell us what to eat is kind of crazy. It's not animal products and saturated fat that are making us sick as much as those food companies want the government to tell us that it is. It's just not true. It's the fast food. It's the processed foods.
It's high, refined carbs and sugar. We're eating too much sugar. We're eating too many refined carbs. We're not eating whole food. So if the government was in our favor doing the things that it was supposed to do, they'd be focused on food quality. They would not be telling us to eat cereal and grains and refined carbs. They would be telling us to eat meat, fruits and vegetables, Whole Foods.
Now, I've interviewed experts across all spectrums of nutrition. I've had vegans on I've had carnivores on paleo, keto, everywhere in between. The interesting thing is, is every single one of them will tell you that their way of eating is the best because it is based on high quality whole food. And they'll be able to pull out the studies that show people eating their diet. Whole Foods are crushing it. They're doing great. But what's hard is that they ignore Whole Food studies that say the exact same thing about a different type of diet, because it doesn't fit their world view, it doesn't fit their paradigm.
They have a cognitive bias. So, I just really struggle when someone tells me that the quality of your vegetable matters, but the quality of your meat doesn't. It's just all meat is bad. Or and people say the same thing you know, the other way. Is the quality of the meat matters, but all vegetables are bad. You know, that doesn't make sense to me. Our bodies were designed to eat both. Quality is what matters.
That's why the paleo diet makes sense to me. I think everybody should be trying to eat more whole food. You know, the debates out about whether we would have eaten potatoes or, you know, and I don't think we would have eaten much dairy, to be honest with you, because we didn't have cows. You know, we didn't have goats.
We hunted them or something similar to them. But we didn't we didn't have any animal product like that. We weren't domesticating the animals, so we weren't doing dairy. Beans, you know, those are a little weird because yeah, there are some issues there where we have to be careful with them. But, you know, I like the primal experience of having a big, juicy steak. I just do. I love having a cup of blueberries or blackberries and the sweetness and the tartness and just, I love that.
I'm not going to give up either one of them, I'm just not. My diet is comprised of meat, fish, vegetables and some fruit. I did try the Carnivore diet for a few weeks and I started missing vegetables. I tried the vegetarian diet and then I adapted it into the pescaterian and diet to try to get my protein. And I couldn't do it. I gained weight because I was eating too many fruits and vegetables and grains, so I just started putting on weight. So there's not something that I enjoy. And, you know, when I when I do these did these little experiments, you know, I was typically doing them during my my feasting season. So, you know, was not a period of time when I had to worry about being in ketosis. I just did what I did.
I think it's important for you to understand that whole food is the answer. However, you choose to put that in a way of eating is really about you. But I will say this. If you're going to try seasonal ketosis, you do need to think about a few things. OK, one, I don't. Have any insulin resistance or diabetes or, you know, I don't have any of the the diseases or any of the issues that that people would would be suffering from, that they might be using this as a protocol. So if you have insulin resistance or diabetes, you know, or you're using the ketogenic diet for cancer, Alzheimer's disease, PCOS, or an autoimmune auto immune issue, I wouldn't necessarily cycle off of the ketogenic diet.
Those protocols are specific about staying in keto the whole time. And so that's not something where you would want to cycle out because you're just setting yourself up. If you're way above a healthy body composition and you want to use keto to lose weight, seasonal ketosis is also probably not something for you because your weight is going to fluctuate. I fluctuate 10 to 15 pounds each year as I go through these cycles. So that is, and then, of course, if you're prone to eating disorders, you know, you need to find a way of eating that you're comfortable with.
If it's sustainable for you, the cycling in and out is probably not in your best interest, you know, except for this slip up. I had recently did a covid-19 I've been able to manage my seasons stably for the last eight years. You know, going into my feasting season in late August, early September, and then coming out of it right after the Super Bowl or my birthday at the first week of February. That's my feasting season.
And then my fasting season or famine season, as I call it, will run the rest of the year. And as I said I might put on 10 to 15 pounds during the feasting season, but I ditch that weight pretty quickly and spend my famine season at my lower, lower range of my set point. Now, I love the metabolic flexibility that I have to be able to spend part of the time in ketosis and part of the time having a little bit more carbs.
When I say more carbs, I'm talking about beer and some simple carbs. You know, it's like I'll have a hotdog, I'll have a hamburger. Someone offers me a piece of pie at a tailgate, I'll eat it. So that's kind of that thing. You know, to me, the weight loss is relatively easy. Once I'm in ketosis, my body just naturally says, OK, you don't you don't need this. And some of what I'm flushing out from a weight perspective is water.
But a lot of it is body fat and it goes pretty quickly. And I'm pretty happy with that. Now, if you're interested in diving deeper into this topic, there's two ways that you can do this. I talked about the group earlier, you know, 40+ Fitness Podcast, dotcom focus group, or you can go to the Web site – 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/455. And there's a comment section under this post.
I put a post with the transcripts each week and that's why I tell you the full show notes are there. If you go there, there's a comment section, you can leave a comment there. I'm pretty passionate about the benefits that I get and the flexibility I get and the freedom I get with seasonal ketosis and my style of ancestral living. So I love talking about it. If you want to go into more detail with this, I encourage you to go check out one of those two places and let's continue the conversation there.[00:34:12.300] Allan
And I'm right about there right now. I think I'm going to push it down a little lower because my muscle mass is a little lower than it was five years ago. So I'm probably going to push my weight down below two hundred before I kind of level things out again. So I do see some fluctuations with my weight and I know that can be challenging for a lot of people.[00:36:11.350] Ras
I before we move down here to Panama, I found a pair of cargo shorts that I liked. So I bought like four or five different pair and different colors of the same cargo shorts. And so they all fit me the same way. And so I can just pretty much tell when I put those cargo shorts on how I'm doing and where I am. And as I mentioned, I eat relatively low carb during my feasting season. So I'm not crazy on carbs.
It's just I don't really worry about it. If, you know, if I'm out with folks, we want to have some beers. I don't think about it. You know, if someone offers me something that I wouldn't normally eat like a hamburger with a bun, I'm going to eat it. I'm not going to worry too much about it, but I do pay attention to my size. You know, if I didn't start noticing that I'm getting bigger, then I'll I'll tap it down a little bit.
I won't I won't go as crazy. Well, except during COVID. But…[00:37:54.320] Ras
You have to recognize that about about five or seven of that is water weight. And I flush that the first week I go back into ketosis. Right. You know, so I'll literally sit there and say, OK, I'm going to go in ketosis, you know, drop five to seven pounds in a week or two. And then it then it tapers down and I'll lose a few pounds a week and then one pound a week and then my body will get to that homeostasis, its happy weight and I just go by how I feel.
Now I've mentioned this before on another episode I was talking about this a little bit. I don't feel as good during the feasting season, you know, because the foods I'm eating or not is healthy. You know, the beer is not a health food.[00:39:11.260] Ras
But I also want to preface it. You know, I notice I do feel better in ketosis. It's just a better state for me to be in. But I'm not all that tight end up being that way all the time. You know, I'm okay to have a couple bad, you know, days where my energy level is not as high or, you know, I feel a little frumpy. I'm cool with that. It's the price I pay for the detour I took, and I just accept that.
If you're someone who's doing it as a protocol for cancer, for diabetes, insulin resistance, any other metabolic issue, then it's something you're probably going to want to stay on. It's not something that I want to cycle through.[00:40:31.030] Ras
And so I would struggle with that kind of cycle. Whereas if I'm off, I'm off. If I'm on, I'm on. And that's another thing about my personality, you know, and I talk about in the wellness chips, you've got to know yourself. You got to be self-aware. And it's one of the things I know is I don't have a dimmer switch, the light switch, maybe I'm on or I'm off.
And so it's just easier for me to say, okay, flip the switch and I just do it.[00:41:24.010] Ras
And if you're eating refined carbs specifically and sugar, you're going to have inflammation and that inflammation is going to cause problems in your joints. And so from a health perspective, I would I would be the one that would air on the side of using ketones for for energy.
If I were doing endurance athletics, an occasional carb up here and there before a race might help your performance. But, you know, I'm not sure how much additional glycogen your body is going to be able to carry for that particular event. And you're always going to want to practice what you're going to race. So you would be eating carbs as a regular probably thing each week to carb up for your long runs if you're following the standard training protocol. So you would still be eating a good bit of carbs as a part of that.
So I'm not saying one is better than the other from a performance perspective. I'm just thinking in terms of wear and tear on your body inflammation and you just weigh a little bit less, you know, in carrying less water. So, you know, yeah. All of that's going to probably, in the end, help your performance. But I don't they don't have enough evidence right now where I would say there's one superior fueling way.[00:43:55.510] Ras
The one or two times that I've actually ate something non kaido. It impacted me greatly. I was very sick so I can't really do too much cheating. I know I've got a limit. I probably can eat something that's bread or sugar, but not very much more than a bite of cake or something small because it will impact me. But as far as the endurance part of it, it has helped a lot in my running.
I'm not winning races or anything. I've never been fast either in the first place. But yeah, keto has been a real big help for me in the endurance field. But like we like you mentioned earlier and just a little while ago is that you really need to find what works for you as an individual and there's just a wide range of eating, I could give you a couple of names of some impressive vegan ultra runners. Scott Drake is probably one of the most famous vegan ultra runners.
And then to the exact opposite, Michael McKnight, just this summer or spring, actually ran a hundred miles and no calories, nothing, no food. One hundred miles. I want to say, he did it in 18 hours, if I remember right. But so he's he's definitely keto. But like you were mentioning, he is also carving up a little bit in the week leading up. So his body was fueled with carbs, but then he goes straight kitto so that his body is prepared with fat as well.
And I think that's probably how he survived it. But he's also a pretty famous keto ultra athlete.[00:46:05.330] Allan
So, you know, the what's that they say in the ad is the results you see might not be your results right into it. So I'm not going to say everybody would have as easy of a time going back and forth. I don't have any insulin resistance. I don't have any blood sugar issues. You know, my awarenesses always been fine. So for me to switch back and forth seems relatively easy, you know, but like I said, most of the year, I'm eating this way anyway.
The difference is just not paying attention to my carbs, are not being worried about the carbs. And so that's why it works. And the other side of it is I don't stress about rather on that point five or point to five as far as what my ketone levels are, as long as I'm in ketosis, I'm cool. But a lot of people are like, no, I want to see that. No, I want to be one point five or better.
And I bought a Keto Mojo not long ago to replace my other ketone meter that I lost. I guess I can't find it after I moved. I'll probably find it when I go get the rest of my stuff. But anyway, so I bought it and they introduced this new where they measure your glucose and you measure your ketones at the same time. And we do that. It gives you a different measure relative so ketones relative to glucose. And so it's an index that they've created.
And so again, it's just one of those. But again, it's that competitiveness of seeing a higher number that it seems to be pushing toward. And I'm not a big fan of that. You're either in ketosis or you're not. You're not. You know, you can say you're more in ketosis. I mean, there's just more ketones circulating in your blood. So I don't think you're in more ketosis. You just can't be more perfect.
You can't be more pregnant as you are. There are the days you might feel more pregnant than you did the day before. But you know that you're not in you know, you're not in more ketosis. You're in ketosis, you're not. And so it's for me, it's a good protocol. But I'm a little bit different in that I don't have a health issue. I do it to thin out, to lean out a bit, because if I did the feasting all year round, if I ate that way out of control, I would blow up, you know, so I know I can't do that and I have to be very cognizant of it.
I wasn't this year. I went and I stayed with it and just kind of proved my point of once I broke that that that barrier that I had my set point for my body, it said, oh, good, we'll just throw in a lot more weight. We don't have a problem with that. You gave us the fat cells years ago. We know how to use them. Just keep feeding us. And it did. So, you know, you got to turn that around.
And for me, it's when I said no dimmer switch just flipped the switch and let's go.[00:49:25.580] Ras
Now, people do that all the time and go right back into ketosis and never even know they were out of ketosis. So it's not this magical state. Where you're going to have to go through keto flu every time you go in and out, because people are going in and in some levels, most people are in a mild state of ketosis almost every morning they wake up because you've gone, you know, eight or 12 hours without eating. So your body is starting to produce ketones.
Now, is it using them efficiently as a fuel? No, because you're immediately going to put some more glucose in the system. You know, if you're very active, like you do your endurance sport and you're burning down some glycogen in your muscles and your liver. So when you do have additional carbs, some additional carbs, your body's going to use this insulin to restore that. So if you need it in the liver, if you need it in the muscles, then insulin is going to do its thing to do that.
If you didn't do any work and you're already topped up with glycogen, then it's only got one other choice and it's going to start making fat. So if that's something you're trying to avoid, you want a better body composition. I can't think of a better way to do it than keto.[00:51:09.910] Ras
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