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Category Archives for "solo show"

May 31, 2021

Working out with your partner

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Many of us miss the opportunity to have more accountability and build a stronger relationship just by working out together. Today we discuss working out with your partner.

Transcript

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Let's Say Hello

Rachel Discussion

Interview

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Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rachel.

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Thank you!

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April 19, 2021

The art of prioritizing yourself

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One of the hardest things to get past on our health and fitness journey is realizing that we have to prioritize ourselves so we can be who we need to be for the people we care about. On this episode, we discuss ways to know when your priorities are out of whack and what you can do about it.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:01:31.880] – Allan
Raz, how are things?

[00:01:34.070] – Rachel
Good. Allan, how are you today?

[00:01:37.140] – Allan
I'm doing all right. I had had a really, really good weekend with just a little bit of not such good thing. I lost my phone again.

[00:01:44.850] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.

[00:01:45.710] – Allan
We'll talk about that in more detail later. But yeah, same scenario shorts out to Bluff coming back in the golf cart lost but not the same outcome, though. The phone survived with no damage. And a nice taxi driver that we actually know here on the island found it. And so we were able to retrieve my phone, but not without a little bit of frustration. And we'll get into that in more detail in a minute.

[00:02:13.040] – Rachel
Sure. Well, I'm glad it has a good outcome. That's a good ending, then.

[00:02:16.910] – Allan
Yeah. How are things up there? Way up there in Michigan?

[00:02:20.900] – Rachel
Good. Things are good up here. On Friday, I got my vaccine. I got the Johnson and Johnson one and done covid vaccine. So I took the weekend just to relax, make sure I didn't have any adverse reactions to it, which I didn't. Just a little fatigue and I'm feeling pretty good. So I'm pretty excited. Some of my family has been vaccinated. The other family members are getting the other vaccines where you need two of them, but we're just that much closer to having a little bit more normalcy. So looking forward to that.

[00:02:55.250] – Allan
Yeah, they're not they have vaccinations here. They don't have as many as they planned to have. And they didn't order enough to vaccinate the whole country. So I'm not going to take a vaccination from Panama. One, there's there's citizens there are a lot older and a lot worse health than me that need it. And then, it's Panama. And so, you know, I'm not going to I'm not going to get it here, even though I could sign up and eventually being 55 would come up on the list.

[00:03:27.380] – Allan
I'm going to wait. My my wife and I are planning to come back to the States in September. And so we'll get tested before we get on an airplane. Don't worry. That's a requirement. Now for us to go to the States, we're going to have to have a test before we leave. So we'll get tested here and then we'll head back to the states and I think September time frame and then go ahead and get it there. We'll be in the States for at least three weeks. So if we have to get to the two stage one, we'll get one when we first get there. And then we'll get a second shot right before we leave.

[00:03:57.620] – Rachel
That would be great. That would be fantastic.

[00:04:00.860] – Allan
All right. So let's go ahead and get into this show, which is about mindset, which is yours and my favorite topic when we're talking about health and fitness. So here we go.

Are you prioritizing yourself?

Today, I want to get into a mindset. Topic that is actually probably one of the most important obstacles that many people face when they're looking to get healthy and fit, and it's not something that goes away without a little bit of work.

And so the question comes up is, are you prioritizing yourself?

Are you probably prioritizing your health and fitness? And it's it sounds like a simple thing, but it's actually a very deep, deep emotional mental adjustment to to have that kind of mindset where you are prioritizing yourself. So I want to dive into it a little bit. But before we go too far, we can start with something as simple as a little quiz. And so there's only three questions to this quiz.

So don't think we're going to be on here for a long time. It's not but three questions. And I want you to rate yourself from a one, which is this is completely untrue to a six – this describes me perfectly. OK, so again, one is the low end of the scale is completely untrue. Up to six, this is a good description of you. How how you actually feel, how you think.

OK, the first one is: I put others wishes before my own or else I feel guilty.

The second one is: I give more to other people than I get back in return.

And then the final one is: I'm so busy doing for the people whom I care about, that I have little time for myself.

All right, now add up those scores and think to yourself about what that number means, and I'll tell you what it means if that number. Is higher than, say, five or six, you might have a problem. You're not prioritizing yourself and what you're basically doing is self-sacrificing. You're taking others and saying they're so much more important than me that I can't do the things for myself that are necessary for me to be healthy and fit.

And I'm not going to jump into the whole airplane put your mask on thing. But this is a concept that unless you break through this effort of prioritizing yourself, if you are a self-sacrificer or you're really going to struggle to get healthy and fit and stay healthy and fit because it's never going to be the priority you need it to be.

A lot of people love those simple rules of the 80-20, and I try to tell people 80-20 is perfect when you're in maintenance mode. 80 at 20 is great. You can stay healthy and be healthy. The problem is for most of us, we're not already healthy. We're not at the weight we want to be at. We're not as strong as we need to be. And as a result, we need to put in more than 80%. If you don't prioritize yourself, that's just not going to happen.

So the first thing we have to look at when we are having this conversation is to actually think about the inner voice that we have, that voice that that tells you how you feel about something that's happening. So an event happens, maybe your alarm doesn't go off and you're late for work. You're going to be late for work. What does your inner voice tell you about that event? And that inner voice is the story, it's the story of our lives from an internal perspective. It often doesn't actually reflect reality.

And I want to take you through and this week, or at least for the next few days, I want you to think about some of the words that that inner voice is using, some of the things that you probably think. And the best way to kind of break that down for me is this phraseology called “absolute words.” And so I want you to pay attention to that inner voice over the course of the next day or two and maybe a little longer and see how often you use words like have to, need, must, ought to, should.

If you find yourself using those words a lot, those are absolute words. That means that your inner voice is feeding you something and saying this is an absolute necessity. You have to do it this way. And if that's the case, then you're not going to change. You're not. Whatever you think you have to do, you will do whatever you think you should do, you will probably do. Whatever you need to do, whatever someone else needs or you think is needed. And then obviously the word must if you must do something, it's something you've got to do and therefore you do it.

If you're not using those absolute words for your own health and fitness, then you're likely using them for other things. And if you are, that's a clear indication that you're not prioritizing your wellbeing. It's just not happening because these other haves, musts, ought tos, and shoulds are getting in your way.

So what's an easy solution for us with regards to these absolute words?

Well, one, when you catch yourself doing this, using those words and it's not toward you, it's not something that you are doing for you. Like I can say, I have to work out today. Obviously, that's not a bad phrase. It is an absolute. The absolute is about me taking care of myself. But if I say I've got to get the food for the kids, I must take them to the ball practice. I must do this and then I must make sure I get this report done at work. If I have all these other musts in my life, it'll be very hard for me to make sure that I go through it. So if I catch myself using one of these absolute words.

Again, there have to, need, must, ought, and should.

If you find yourself using those words with relation to someone else or something else besides your health and fitness, you need to stop and take a step back. And reevaluate if that is an absolute. In many cases, it's not. The world is not going to end if you don't do something that you had to do, that you should have done, that you ought to do, the world might not end. And so taking a moment to take that half step back and evaluate that statement that you just your inner voice just told you that is getting in the way of you being healthy and fit.

It's time to rephrase that and going through the practice of where your is telling you, you know, you must be home by 6:30pm so you don't have time to work out. Well, do you have to be home by 6:30pm. Just ask yourself that question. What happens if I'm not there? Then dinner's not ready at 7:00pm. Dinner's ready at what, maybe 7:30pm? Maybe your spouse can assist you by making dinner tonight. Maybe you go ahead and you order from a food company that delivers healthy choices and you order food in for the family.

So in many cases, when you catch yourself using an absolute word that is not geared towards you being healthy and fit when you really, truly need and want to prioritize yourself in your health and fitness, you've got to change the script. You've got to stop evaluate whether it's true. And I'll tell you, in most cases it's not true.

You're not going to get fired for being five minutes late for work. You're just not. Now, you might if you're constantly late. But for most people out there, a lot of the absolute words we have in our head are actually not true. They're stories that we're telling ourselves. They're stories that we're living to. And as a result, we're not getting the health and fitness that we deserve.

So I just used the word there, and I'm actually getting to a point in my life where I really kind of love words and those kind of things that they mean and what they bring up and how we relate to them. And so I'm using the word deserve.

And I can say with absolute clarity, you deserve self-care. You deserve to be able to take care of yourself. You deserve to be healthy and fit. So what does self-care actually look like?

Well, first and foremost, it includes self-love. I've asked many of my clients if they love themselves enough to do this for themselves. And it was funny because one of the first clients I ever had, her name was Sandy. She said she wasn't sure. Now, the problem came up and Sandy didn't follow through with everything we were doing, despite seeing good results at first. And I break it down to that point, she did not have the self-love necessary to make a change, to do the hard thing.

And so self-love is that expression where you care about yourself as much as you care about anyone else. It doesn't mean that you don't love other people as much because love is not this finite thing that we have that if I give this to this person, I don't have any left for me. That's not how love works. Love is infinite. And so you should be exploring yourself and understanding that if you don't start from my point of self-love, the commitment's never going to be there and you're not going to see the results. So if you find yourself having these kind of conversations where you're not liking yourself and that inner voice is actually a butthole. You need to work on your self-love. You need to actually sit down and start talking yourself through why you're worthy, why you deserve this, why you would love yourself. And I'm 100 percent sure you're going to come up with a ton of great reasons why you should love yourself and then you should love yourself.

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The next thing that comes in is you need to be frank and honest and you need to be frank and honest with not just other people. You need to be frank and honest with yourself. If the inner voice is, like I said, being a butthole, be honest about it. Understand, I have kind of a crappy self-image right now. What are the things I can do to improve that self-image? What are the things I can do to make that inner voice nicer?

Eliminating some of those absolute words is a good first step for that, but you've got to have this inner honesty. You've got to be honest with yourself and understand what's going on. And then, yes, you have to be frank and honest with the people around you. If you're going to do something for yourself, it often means that there's things that you would have been doing for someone else that you're now not able to do. They're going to live. They're going to be fine. But change in your life often means change in others.

I talked in my book, The Wellness Roadmap, about understanding the baggage that you have when you're traveling and how that can affect your path. Now, what I didn't say in there, but it should have been implied is you still need to have a vehicle. You still need to be moving forward. Your pace might be a little different, but you still have to be frank and honest with the people around you that the changes you're making are important to you and should be important to them, because in 99.9% of the cases out there, your why is them? You want to be healthy and you want to be fit for your kids, you and you and your grandkids. And you want to be there for your spouse and you don't want to be an obligation later in life to them because you want to be able to take care of yourself and you want that opportunity to be the person you're supposed to be.

And they should want that for you, too. So being honest and frank with them as far as what you need to be successful, is going to go a long way towards not having them resenting you for going to the gym every day or resenting you because you're not baking as often as you used to bake. Those types of things. So being frank and honest with yourself and others is a very important step towards self-care.

The next is consistency and frequency. You can't do something once and say, OK, that's my self-care for the month. It just doesn't quite work like that. Yes, going and getting a mani-pedi for some people are getting a massage is a great luxury for many and doing it once a month might be plenty. It would be for me. But to actually do what's necessary for you to be healthy and fit, it needs to become a part of a lifestyle that is frequent enough that it will elicit change. So if you're going to say lift weights, you can't lift weights once and say, well, gee, I don't understand why I'm not muscular. I don't understand why I didn't put on much muscle or because you didn't do it enough. Okay? So there has to be a frequency to it that is enough to stimulate a change in your body, to stimulate change in you.

And then the consistency part just means that doing something over and over and over is where you're going to get your real results. I had that conversation with Dr. Pontzer not long ago, and we talked about how you're not going to be able to lose a ton of weight really, really quickly without your body reacting to it at some level. And, so that reaction, which your body is going to do to change up your metabolism, that's going to happen. It's going to happen for all of us. Our bodies were made to do that so we can survive. But the consistency of doing the little things over and over and over, over time is where you kind of make this.

I was having a conversation with my clients the other day. And one of the things I said to them was the Grand Canyon was not built by something major coming through there and digging it out. It was that slow trickle of a small river over many, many years, millions of years, that made the Grand Canyon what it is today. And so you need that little trickle. You need that consistency to see monumental changes in your health and fitness.

So if you have a long journey to take before you're healthy and fit, you need the patience. But you also need that consistency. You have to keep showing up and you have to do it enough where your body recognizes the stimulus and reacts.

And then the final bit on the self-care, what it looks like. It's about an investment. If you're not willing to invest some time, effort, and money into yourself, you're not likely to see the results that you really want to have. Now, the biggest investment is going to be time and effort. You're going to have to make change and you're going to have to spend some time doing this. It's not just going to happen. As I mentioned before, we have a frequency and we have a consistency that has to happen. For that to happen, you have to invest time and effort towards making these things happen.

And then the money part can be a little bit of money. It can be as little as you're investing in some good quality shoes, or it can be as big as saying I'm going to build a home gym and I'm going to spend thousands of dollars to do that. For most people, the investment is somewhere in the middle of that. A small gym membership isn't all that expensive and it's hiring a trainer. When you look at the results that you get often isn't that expensive. If it's going to get you down the road faster.

My wife is working on building up a bed and breakfast, and the guy that was working it was him and his son. And he said, I've got these two other guys to come in and help. And she's like, sure. And the whole thing was by investing a little bit more each week, she's going to get the job done faster. So now she's got four people working instead of two. So the work's getting done faster. And that's what you have to think about with regards to where money can play a role in helping you with this whole thing.

So to kind of wrap this all up, if you did that quiz, that self-sacrificing quiz and you scored, twelve, if you scored thirteen or if you scored eighteen, then you have a self-sacrificing problem. And if you find that your inner voice is not your best friend, you've got a priority problem. Those are two internal things that you really have to get a grasp on.

And a couple of the ways that you can easily see this happening beyond just doing the quiz I talked about is to look for how often you're using those absolute words. They are using absolute words to define what you're supposed to do for someone else and not for yourself, something that would pull you away from doing something for yourself. Those are those trigger words. Those are the things that will tell you where you need to address your time and effort and you need to go and take that step back and analyze what that actually means. Is it actually true in most cases you're going to find it's not.

And then finally, self-care takes an investment. You have to love yourself. You've got to be open and honest with yourself. You've got to be consistent. You've got to put in a frequency of things happening so you can see change. And that typically takes an investment of time, effort and/or money.

So I hope you took something valuable from this lesson. If you did, I'd love to talk to you about it in more detail on the Facebook group. You can go to https://40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group, and we can have a great conversation there about your inner voice, about whether you are prioritizing yourself so you can get the health and fitness you deserve.


Post Show/Recap

[00:24:26.720] – Allan
Rachel, welcome back.

[00:24:28.460] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Yep, mindset is one of my favorite topics of discussion. That was a really good episode you laid out for us.

[00:24:37.700] – Allan
Thank you. The interesting thing was that I recorded this episode last week and then this week and I lost my phone. And I have to say, there are no perfect people. And I think a lot of things you'll see on social media and Facebook will have you believing that there's something wrong with you and there's something right with everybody else. And particularly as we get into the health and fitness field, I'll just tell you, we're not perfect either. None of us are. And, I'm sitting there really, really angry with myself and the language that was in my head, was not kind. It was not kind at all.

[00:25:22.550] – Allan
Losing my phone the same way twice in really less than three months time. And this is not a cheap phone. This is a 1300 – $1300 phone. Really had me upset. So I'm walking the through the jungle right back to where the howler monkeys were, where I took the video and then that's why it fell out of my pocket was I didn't seal it in my pocket properly, went right back to those howler monkeys and they were just looking at me like I was the monkey.

[00:25:54.500] – Allan
So I just realized, OK, you know, as I walk, I've got to forgive myself. I slipped up. I made a mistake. I got to forgive myself. I've got to think about, Okay, you're letting this happen. This is a theme: going to Bluff, riding in a golf cart, wearing swimming trunks. Losing your phone is now a theme.

[00:26:16.370] – Allan
I have to think about that. I have to make sure I have a plan to make that not happen again. But that has to start with self-love. That has to start with the forgiveness of it. So just be aware that you're never completely on the other side of this, prioritizing yourself and finding self-love and doing those things. It's always a work in progess. You always have to manage that relationship and be aware when it's slipping up, when you're arguing with yourself.

[00:26:44.380] – Rachel
That's so true. Absolutely. And that was a very frustrating time for you, I'm sure. But it's good that you take a minute to assess the situation, kind of troubleshoot problem solve. And hopefully the next time you go find some howler monkeys to take pictures of, you won't you'll be better secure with your phone.

[00:27:03.860] – Allan
Yeah, well there was a lot of things I got on the front end and, and even then once it happened because I wasn't of sound mind, I guess the best way for me to say I was, I was very frustrated, very angry.

[00:27:14.930] – Rachel
Sure.

[00:27:15.380] – Allan
Myself. And it was, I was all that went inside. I wasn't thinking. So there were things that I could have done that would have made my search maybe easier. I found my phone on the Find My iPhone kind of thing. So I knew about where it was. And I just wanted to get there as fast as I could. And so as a result, I didn't think about, well, why not put find my phone on Tammy's phone? So while we're driving, if it starts moving around, we might see that. It didn't cross my mind till we were driving. And the interesting thing about an Apple account, when you try to log into it from another device, is it always wants to send you a code. Now it's going to send that code to one of your Apple devices. I happen to use a Mac, so if I had been sitting at my desk, I could have got her logged in to find my phone there. But because we were already halfway to where we were going, I couldn't actually use Find My iPhone on her phone. I could log into my apple account, but then it wanted to send me that code and I'm like, well, if I had my phone with me, I wouldn't need this code.

[00:28:20.840] – Allan
So I was not real happy with Apple either. Someone just has an iPhone. I don't even know what they do. But I guess they don't find their phone from another device. Anyway, that was my day. Or at least it was it wasn't my day. It was a part of my day.

[00:28:37.940] – Rachel
And that's just how it happens, though. And when life hands you these weird situations, it's easy to get flustered and all of your common sense and all of your reasoning and logic sometimes just goes right out the window until you can just take a minute and breathe and solve your own problem.

[00:28:55.100] – Rachel
Yeah, mindset is a tricky thing. And I guess when I was listening to what you were saying about having an inner voice and being able to prioritize your own health and fitness, it brought me back to the days when I was overweight. And not a lot of my friends knew me back then. But after I had two kids, I had a little bit of extra weight. And it's hard as a mom, for many moms, or moms with the small kids that you can't just leave the house, you can't just leave your kids unattended to go for a walk or run or do something.

[00:29:30.110] – Rachel
And so when I was at that point in my life, I would put the kids to bed at night. My husband was home and so I would go for a run around the neighborhood. I also had workout videos, VHS, aging myself here, but I had workout videos. And so when the kids would lay down for a nap, I would put in a 30-minute workout video and workout in the basement. And so was it an ideal situation? No, but that was the best that I could do at that time to put my health as a priority.

[00:30:02.900] – Rachel
And I did have weight to lose. I did have some things that I need to take care of so that I could be a healthier, happier person for my kids. So you just find these weird ways of getting around these situations that life just throws at you?

[00:30:17.990] – Allan
Yeah, I like to tell my clients quite often that life doesn't get in the way, life is the way.

[00:30:24.710] – Rachel
It is.

[00:30:25.550] – Allan
You're not going to get around it. You can't sit there and say, I'm going to wait to do this until I'm not as busy, or oh I screwed up. That will never happen again. I'm like, well, how often does that happen? Every time?

[00:30:39.830] – Allan
And so the point of this is, one, there's not another day. Every day you put off doing the right thing for yourself is lost forever and you're not going to get that time back. If you're looking at it and you're thinking, Okay, I need to prioritize myself but my kids and that's valid. You can't just leave a two-year-old and four-year0old alone in a house and go for a run around the neighborhood.

[00:31:09.770] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:31:10.760] – Allan
Even if you can still see your house from there, some people would call that irresponsible. So you've got to come up with another solution. Now, what does that take? Well, it could mean that you hire a babysitter when you go train. And I know not everybody can afford to do that, but that's an investment. Maybe it's that until your kids are old enough to somewhat be autonomous and be left alone, you invest in a treadmill. So you're like, okay, I've got a two-year-old, a four-year-old. I buy a treadmill. And for about the next ten years, I'm running on the treadmill when my significant other is not here to take care of the kids. And that's your investment in yourself. And so you've got to be willing to make that investment.

[00:31:52.730]
It's time, it's effort, it's money. And it can look like a lot of different things. But it's got to be a solution that you find because you have self-love, because you have to solve this problem. You can't just ignore it and say, oh, I'll wait till my kids are 12 and 14 before I start. Because it won't get easier.

[00:32:13.340] – Rachel
No, it doesn't. And you really have to remember, I know you didn't want to use the analogy of putting the air on when you're going down on an airplane, you put the air on you before you help the people next to you. But that's exactly it. You can't pour from an empty cup. You need to be full and happy and strong yourself, and you need to be healthy. And the more healthy and happy you are, the better person you are for those around you, your family and your friends and your coworkers and everybody else. And it's just so important. You are so important. And you really do need to put yourself first as best as you can.

[00:32:51.890] – Rachel
And often it's striking a balance. Sure, you've got family responsibilities, work responsibilities and all sorts of things, but you are so important to so many people and you should take yourself make yourself the best priority you can.

[00:33:04.400] – Allan
Yeah, it's you know, and it goes it goes even deeper than the being there for them while they're kids. I mean, we're in this I guess the term they use the sandwich generation and the concept is that many of us will be taking care of children at the same time we're taking care of our parents.

[00:33:21.860] – Rachel
Right.

[00:33:23.480] – Allan
Because people are having children later in life, they're putting it off and they're having them later in life. And as a result, they're beginning to have to take care of parents at the same time that they're still taking care of their kids. Now, I can tell you that only one of our boys has a daughter and she's older. It's from a prior relationship. So it's not his. But he's been in the kid's life since she was 10 months old or something like that. So she's dad and he's adopted her and all that.

[00:33:52.970] – Allan
But our other kids are already in their late 20s, early 30s, and they're not even thinking about kids in many cases. So, yeah, I'm going to probably be in my sixties before our daughters really start deciding that they're going to start afamily. And if that's the case, I don't want to be the 80-year old that she's just sending kids off to college. And now I've got to take care of dad.

[00:34:21.320] – Allan
You know, that's. That's not who I want to be, and so this self care is not just this selfish thing, it's really thinking about holistically who you are as a person and where you fit in to this whole scheme of a family and realizing that the healthier and stronger you keep yourself, the less of a burden you are on anybody in, the more you are able to help.

[00:34:45.880]
And so I can just imagine my daughters , look, hey, I'm fine. I'm 80 years old. Send my granddaughter down here to Bocas for six weeks. Come on down, bring her down and maybe we take her back up. But yeah, she can come down. I've got to be able to run on that deep sand and Bluff Beach. And I've got to be able to do the things that she wants to do and keep up with her. To be that individual that can be that caregiver without requiring caregiving myself is really the way I kind of like to couch this. You know, I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. It's a funny way, I like to say it, but what it really means is I want to be able to run in deep sand with my granddaughter when I'm 80.

[00:35:36.940] – Rachel
Yeah. For sure.

[00:35:38.230] – Allan
That kind of thing. So, as we get into this, just realize that you have to love yourself. You have to do this every day you give away and don't do it is a day lost and you really need to turn this around. It's really about getting aware of that story in your head and trying to make it a different ending.

[00:36:02.410] – Rachel
Yeah, that sounds great in it. And if anyone listening has any questions or doesn't know where to start, reach out to Allen's Facebook page or email or anything, we would love to guide you and how to make these choices or how to figure out how you can make fitness a priority in your life. We'd love to help you with that.

[00:36:21.160] – Allan
You can go to https://40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group and join the awesome Facebook group that we have out there. There are weekly challenges and we're always having discussions about things that are going on in the health and fitness world. And there's a lot of fun, too. It's not just this and that. I post the pictures of the of the beach there and I believe I put even some pictures of the monkeys that kind of made a monkey out of me. I wouldn't have had those videos if I had found my phone. Those videos are alive and well and you can go out on a group and actually see them right now if you'd like.

[00:36:58.870] – Allan
So anything else you want to go over, Rachel, before you know that?

[00:37:02.680] – Rachel
That was great. Thanks so much.

[00:37:04.510] – Allan
All right. You take care and we'll talk next week.

[00:37:06.760] – Rachel
Yep. Take care.

Patreons

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

– Anne Lynch– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Deb Scarlett– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

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March 8, 2021

Why simple can be a bad long-term strategy for weight loss after 40

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It is human nature to like simplicity. It's easy to wrap our heads around and typically quick to get started. But simple can be a disastrous approach to weight loss after 40 because our bodies are anything but simple, especially as we age. On this episode I discuss why you may want to put a little more forethought and research into your weight loss plan if simple hasn't helped you lose weight and keep it off in the recent past.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:00:47.640] – Allan
Hey Raz! How are you doing?

[00:00:49.650] – Rachel
Great Allan. How are you today?

[00:00:51.480] – Allan
I'm doing all right. It's a busy week. I've got three interviews, which means three books. We're going to talk about today is a solo episode, which I basically put as much time into one of those as I would if it were a book. But there's a lot of reading going on. And the funny thing was they did a power outage on the island yesterday, which is why we had to delay our recording. We were going to do this recording yesterday and they just decided, okay, we need to do some work on the electric grid. So from about 10:00 this at 10:00 to five o'clock, they're going to cut out our power. It actually ended up being something like 10:30 to 7:15.

[00:01:28.650] – Allan
But I was in the process of trying to read this book, and it's on the computer because I don't get hard copies here. And I used my computer until the battery said 3%, 1%, then gone. I had it on my phone. So I had emailed it to me and I had it on my iPhone. And so that iPhone I just paid for. I read half of his book on an iPhone, and I was exhausted, I was like, this is hard. I don't want to read books on phones anymore.

[00:01:58.470] – Rachel
It's too small. Man, you'll need better glasses if you do that.

[00:02:03.470] – Allan
I did it. Yeah, but I needed to get the book read and I didn't have really have another option. But I and it was a fascinating book. So I'm really, really interested in that interview for sure, because he's he's a pretty fascinating guy with a lot of, a lot of good information. So that's going to be a great podcast with Dr. Pontzer coming up soon, a few weeks. I had to read his book, most of his book. I read it on my phone because I ran out of juice on my computer, but.

[00:02:30.640] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.

[00:02:31.810] – Allan
Yesterday was an interesting day. And I had read a book today and I'm going to do interviews. So this is just a very busy week for me.

[00:02:40.630] – Allan
Wow. It sure sounds like it.

[00:02:42.730] – Allan
How about yourself?

[00:02:44.140] – Rachel
Great. Not quite as busy as you are now. We are out of the polar vortex now and I don't know if you can see, but we've got beautiful blue skies here in Michigan. It's nice and sunny and we're in the thirty degrees. So I might even have to break out some shorts now.

[00:03:00.950] – Allan
We're in the thirty degrees… Celsius, but…

[00:03:05.410] – Rachel
A little different.

[00:03:07.100] – Allan
A little different. I'm wearing a tank top and shorts and yeah.

[00:03:11.350] – Rachel
Yeah, I'm happy to see the sun.

[00:03:15.070] – Allan
All right. Well are you ready to get into today's episode.

[00:03:17.770] – Rachel
You bet. Let's do this.

Weight Loss Over 40

Today's discussion is going to be about why simple can be a bad long term strategy for weight loss. Let's face it, everybody likes simple rules. We like simple because simple, something we can wrap your mind around. And if it works, if that rule of thumb, if that simple thing is correct, it works. And that's beautiful. You know, the keep it super simple, KISS model, if you will. There's other versions of that, obviously, but I'll just I'll go with that clean one. And for a lot of people, that's actually what we want. We want the simplest solution to solve a problem. So why would I think or say that it's not a good long-term strategy for weight loss?

Well, before I get into that, I want to kind of take you back to 1999 when the movie came out called The Matrix. And this is one of my personal favorite movies I particularly like the first one that of them in the series were really, really good. But in this particular movie, Morpheus offers Neo, who was played by Keanu Reeves, two choices. And so he has his two hands out there. You can take the red pill or you can take the blue pill.

And Neo had to make that choice. But it seems for a lot of people in wanting simple we're doing the same thing with weight loss and the two operate offers are either Calories In Calories Out (CICO) or energy balance or your low carb/keto. And for most of the people that are on one side of the fence or another, they're in this tribe. It's this or that, and they're almost oblivious to the other side of the conversation. And as a result, no one's really having good conversations about what we should be doing for weight loss.

Today, I want to tell you and show you how this, this or that choice is an illusion that's actually part of the problem why so many people suffer and struggle to lose weight.

So the first reason I want to kind of get into is is kind of the most obvious one. Nutrition is not a simple thing. If it were really that simple, we would all just eat Twinkies and take multivitamins and we would be fine and obviously that's not the case because food is information.

What we eat, when we eat, how we eat and how much we eat are all bits and pieces of information that we're giving our body for our body to then do something with. Okay? And the body's this wonderful mechanism that can take us through hard times. It can make us thrive during good times, and the body adapts to everything that we do to it, including our food. So I want you to stop thinking about food as something that you just enjoy eating or something that's providing you with calories or anything like that.

Food is information.

And when you kind of wrap your mind around that, you can understand how food is just like a matrix. And the only way we're going to understand what works for us is to go ahead and peel back the layers of that matrix. And the way I like to visualize this is that there are three layers to this matrix.

Now, the first layer is very, very simple. It's like grade school math. The second layer is a little bit more complicated. So we'll say that's like high school algebra, maybe some geometry mixed in there. And then the final layer is extremely complex. In fact, the math is so difficult that in some cases we as human beings, science and everything have not really solved that puzzle, have not cracked that code. So let's take a moment to talk about these three layers and how they all affect your ability to lose weight.

So the first is the Calories In Calories Out model. This is a very simple model because it assumes what goes in has to come out. And so it's trying to play off of the law of thermodynamics. And in particular, that was Newton's laws, but it was the law of conservation of energy. So the expectation is if you put energy into a system, then the energy will have to come out or be stored, can't be lost anywhere. Now, that all makes sense and it's actually true. But there's just a couple problems with the Calories In Calories Out model being a pure thermodynamics play. And that's because the human body is not a closed system. See, the way they like to measure calories is in a closed system.

So they will literally burn something in a container and there's nothing else in that container but that thing. And that's where they figure out how many calories an item could produce based on burning it. Likewise, when they're looking at human performance, they're measuring the carbon dioxide output of a human being, doing some work. And that's where they're coming up with some estimates on how many calories the individual burned. Now, when you're in a closed system, that's very easy to measure. But unfortunately, we don't live in closed systems. We don't live in closed environments.

So pretty much everything we do related to calories is done on a formula and an estimate. And there are some big, big problems with those estimates, for example. They would assume if there was an Olympic athlete that weighed the same as I do, that we would both burn the same amount of energy, traveling the same distance. And that's just not true. I'm going to be much less efficient at my movement than an Olympic athlete. Therefore, the Olympic athlete is going to burn fewer bits of energy to accomplish the same task.

That's how they become elite performers. They're able to perform better. They're able to use utilize energy more effectively, more efficiently than someone normally would. If I were trying to outswim Michael Phelps, I'm going to flail and my legs and arms are not going to cooperate as well. He's going to glide through the water with almost no effort or at least looks like it's almost no effort. So you can't compare me to Michael Phelps from a calorie burning model.

Yet everything we have out there tells me if you spend an hour running, you're going to burn X number of calories. And again, these are all estimates. So they just don't really know at that point in time how many calories you might be burning. It's an estimate. Same with food. You know, if you're not measuring to the nth degree the volume of each and every ingredient in a recipe and then making sure that you're eating that specifically portion to portion, then you're going to potentially be off.

What does that mean? Well, if you're off just 16 calories on a meal and you're overeating by 16 calories every meal, you could be gaining as much as 10 pounds in a year. And so it's these finite what we think of as perfect formulas that are leading us astray quite often.

The other thing that's not quite right with calories in, calories out is a lot of people start to get hungry and then they get hangry. If you're eating predominantly a higher carb meal, which is what you inevitably end up doing in a Calories In Calories Out, pure model, because they look at fat and they say fat is nine calories per gram and a carb is four calories per gram. So if we substitute fat grams for carbs grams, we're going to reduce our total calorie input. And that is true.

The problem is we get hungry. Carbs burn through our system faster. They need to go somewhere faster. And as the result, it makes it very difficult for someone to stay at a calorie restriction and not have some hunger issues. And we're going to get into that in a little bit more detail when I talk about the next layer, because that hunger and all the stuff that's going on in our body, how fast we're burning energy, all those things is really dictated by the next two layers.

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So the second layer of this is going to be a little bit more complex because it's not just the simple math of which you studied in grade school. There's a little bit more to it. And that's macros. The macronutrients that your body needs to perform. Now, our brain and our body are made up of protein and fat. Now carbs such as just standard sugar or potato or a carrot or an apple or even some lettuce or broccoli are are all made up of carbs and some protein. But our body really only uses the carbs for energy, the protein and the fat is utilized for building materials.

So one of the things about macros that's really, really important to wrap your mind around is that like body temperature, which stays in a very tight range and blood pH which stays in the very tight range, our blood sugar level stays at a very tight range, or at least it's supposed to if we're living optimally. So when you start looking at blood sugar, just a simple little tip here is that a human body has less than a teaspoon of total sugar in our blood system at any given point in time when we eat something that has carbs in it and maybe even a little bit, if we eat something with protein, we're going to get an input of insulin.

The pancreas will put some insulin in there because it's going to say we don't need this much sugar in the blood. It's dangerous for our kidneys, it's dangerous for our brain. Let's regulate this. Let's keep it in this tight little range that we need to keep our blood sugar in to be healthy. If you're fairly active and maybe you did a good workout today, then the insulin can take that and put it in the muscles and the liver in the form of glycogen. So that it can refresh, basically restore the glycogen that was in the muscles and in the liver that we use during a hard workout.

Now, for most of us, though, we didn't do a hard workout necessarily. And we eat that sugar or we eat that carb and the body has only one other option, and that's to store it as fat. So we start accumulating fat because we have more blood sugar than our body needs and it stores it. If we're active, then those energy burn. And as I said, the first model is not wrong. We are burning those calories.

The problem is we get this little surge and we store a little. So little surge, little store, little surge, little store. And most of the people that preach the Calories In Calories Out model will also tell you you should eat six small meals per day so you're never super hungry. So they recognize that you're digesting that food really quickly. You're putting it to use in your body really quickly and you're going to be hungry, really quickly. And so they encourage you to eat more frequently. Well, again, that's a little surge and a little burn. A little surge, little burn.

You're never really giving your body the opportunity to go back to look at fat storage. Now, if you're slightly below your actual calorie usage, then, yes, there's the potential that you could actually use some of that body fat for energy.

But because you're eating all the time, there's not a lot of opportunity for that. And if you let yourself get hungry, you're very likely over eating those small meals or they're bigger meals than they should be. And now you're not in your calorie deficit.

Over time, what happens is we have this fat cells that are good at storing this energy, but even the fat cells themselves get a little overburdened. Ad a way you can kind of visualize this as imagine that every day that you're putting out garbage by your house and the that the trucks, the garbage trucks are coming by and they're picking up garbage. But that garbage, they don't really have anywhere to put it, sort of putting it in the garbage trucks that are driving around with garbage trucks. The garbage trucks get full and then the garbage trucks don't want to pick up any more garbage because they're full. So what are they doing? They're just they're driving around, but they're not picking up the trash. And so the trash collects. Now, blood sugar is that trash.

And so the pancreas says we need more of we need more of these these trucks. And so it starts trying to make more insulin. It tries to get more moving and force the fat cells to take on more, which they can do. They don't like it, but they do it. And that's when we start really having metabolic problems. And because the pancreas is working so hard to create all this excess insulin six times per day, boop, boop, boop, boop, it can get tired and it can fail.

And so we end up with these situations of insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction because we keep feeding ourselves carbs and we're overeating. And a lot of that overeating actually comes from the fact that when we eat the standard American diet, it tends to not be low fat. And it also tends to not be low carb. It tends to be high carb, high fat and low in protein. And that's just a recipe for disaster, because there's too many calories and there's too many carbs, and our body is going to readily want to and need to store that sugar as fat.

Let's take a little bit of a step back now that we're into this, the second realm, because this is something even though it's a little bit complex, it's something that's fairly easy for us to wrap our minds around, because most of us know what protein, fat and carbs really are. They know where they come from. But the problem is most of us are not eating it from the right sources. We're not eating whole food. We're getting our food from a bag, box, can, or jar.

It has additives. It has added sugar. So it'll taste better and it'll have these like little labels all over them. “Healthy.” “Good for your heart.” All this stuff. Lies, lies, lies. They just are, okay? You need real food. That's what your body needs. That's when we talk about information. If you're putting processed foods in your body, it's getting garbled information and it's going to make poor choices for you.

It's going to store it. Now, one of the things, as I mentioned earlier, with the Calories In Calories Out model was that they they kind of turned on fat and they called fat the corporate culprit of why we're fat, why we have heart attacks and everything else is going on in our bodies. I've even seen people say that they believe diabetes is caused by excess fat in the diet. Again, not true, but I hear it. And so there's all this fat phobia and there has been for decades.

And it's not going to go away any time soon for most people. But I want you to think of it in these terms because everybody's afraid if I start eating more fat and more protein than my cholesterol is going to go up. So I hear the cholesterol conversation. Now, I'm not a doctor, so I'm not going to tell you what you should do relative to managing your cholesterol levels. I'm just going to say it in these simple terms.

Just because there are firemen and firewomen at a fire does not mean they are the cause of the fire. And just because there are more firemen and firewomen at a bigger fire doesn't mean, again, that the firemen are firewomen started that fire. There is no cause and effect. That one exists in a location at a given time. They're not causing you know, the firemen are not causing the fire.

If you follow the cholesterol model, that's what you believe, because my cholesterol is high. That's why I have clogged arteries, when the reality of it is it's that excess sugar, it's the insulin. It's all the stuff that's going on there that's creating the environment where cholesterol now has actually cake and do its thing to protect your blood vessels from leaking and then doing its job. Yes, you are now calcifying those in your in your arteries, and that is what's leading to heart disease and stroke.

And so if you can get past your fat phobia, then you're going to be able to make it into this next level.

And the third and final level is hormones. Now, if you're just a Calories In Calories Out model kind of person, then you may not think hormones have anything to do with fat. And it's not true. We know men can lose weight easier than women because we have testosterone. We know that a woman going through menopause begins to store fat differently because of estrogen and testosterone.

So if your hormones change and that's going to change where you store fat, it only makes reasonable sense that hormones do have a place in the fat storage system. And we've already talked about insulin, so we know that one. Now we're talking about the sex hormones, but thyroid, cortisol, glucagon, leptin and ghrelin, which are your hunger and satiety, all these different hormones are basically in a system of messaging that's happening in our body. And the food that goes in is information is then translated into our hormones.

So how do we manage the hormone system so that we're optimizing our opportunity to lose body fat and lose weight? Well, the first thing is, yes, you can go to your doctor and pretty much for thyroid, testosterone and estrogen, they can supplement. They can give you some. And that would definitely help alleviate if you're low. If your low T, if you've gone through menopause and you want to put some estrogen in there, that may make you feel a lot better. And then the same thing with thyroid. If your thyroid is under producing or converting, then your doctor might prescribe some thyroid again just to help you optimize where you need to be with those hormones.

But for most of the hormones that relate to what we're doing, trying to lose weight, there really isn't. A doctor way, there isn't a pill or a shot or something like that or a patch or something stuck under the skin that we can use to fix that problem, we have we have to manage it through lifestyle. And there are four core areas of lifestyle that are really important for managing your hormone system.

We've talked a bit about food, and if you're eating whole food and you're focused on food quality and you're eating a balanced diet, getting all the minerals and vitamins and things that you need.

And by the way, a lot of our hormones are made out of cholesterol. So, again, it's not necessarily a bad thing to have cholesterol. It's not evil. It's not terrible. But I'll let you manage that.

Anyway. Managing your nutrition, it should be the first step for weight loss. And so if you're eating a good balanced meal, you're getting some good proteins with each meal. There's some fat in there and a minimal amount of carbohydrates predominantly so that you can get your fiber and some vitamins and minerals.

Then you're signaling. The information you're putting in your body is that we have access to good food and we we don't need this extra body fat. It's okay to let go of it. And we're not going to be hungry all the time.

And we're not going to be eating six meals a day because we just don't need that food as a result of not needing that food. We are not eating as many calories. See the magic. So start with your nutrition and get that balanced and get that working for you.

The next is sleep. Most of the hormones in the human body, particularly with weight loss, are somewhat influenced by our circadian rhythm. If we're not getting a good night's sleep and we're not going to sleep early enough and we're setting alarms and we're waking up all frazzled, we're basically with that lack of sleep signaling to our body that we're in a stressful situation, something's bad, and we're not giving our body the opportunity to do the things it needs to do to optimize its own hormones. So after nutrition, the next thing I would focus on is improving quality of your sleep.

And then the next one is stress management. Now, when we're stressed, our body releases cortisol and sometimes it doesn't even have to be like seeing a bear or anything like that. Just in the morning, your cortisol levels are going to rise so that it's telling your body it's time to get up and start moving around. So cortisol has a very important purpose. But in our current day, we're all overstressed. We're all over sensitized. We're on the computer at night. We're watching shows, the news, everything that's going on in the world. So we end up in this kind of fight or flight mode almost all the time.

And if we're not managing that cortisol, cortisol has this really interesting relationship with your other hormones, particularly insulin. And it tells the body, don't burn excess energy, cut back on your energy. We're going to use this adrenaline and other stuff to get stuff done. But you focus on conservation because we need to survive. And if you're constantly in that state, you're going to probably be storing fat and it's really hard to lose fat. And you're also likely going to be breaking down muscle because cortisol is catabolic.

OK, next, I want to get into kind of some of the things that happen when we're not managing our stress. And a lot of times it just comes down to fatigue. We're just constantly dealing with information and we're trying to make the right decisions. And decisions are kind of finite. If we start doing too much, there's a fatigue. And as a result, we might make poor choices. We might decide I've had a tough day at work. I'm going to skip my workout. Or even worse, I had a tough day at work, I think I'm going to drink a bottle or two of wine and maybe someone takes up smoking again to manage their stress. So you see that this whole cycle of not managing your stress can lead you down a very dark path. That is, again, in each of those cases, communicating to your body. All is not good and we need to fight and we need to flight. And all those things are happening inside your body as expressed by your hormones. And then your actions.

And so the final one is movement, and this one, I saved it for last, but I don't want you to think that this is the most important thing, because the reality of it is you have to start with nutrition and then focus on your sleep and then focus on your stress. And movement is something that you blend into your life as you go.

It's great to start. Most people will start a weight loss program and they'll say, I'm going to eat very few calories and I'm going to bust my butt to try to lose this weight. The problem is you can't out exercise a bad diet. So, you know, you started out doing really, really well. You got hungry and then you you chewed into the Girl Scout cookies. And I mean, a whole pack of those is gone. And you you didn't do it and now it's time to exercise. You're not going to burn that box of Girl Scout cookies as fast as you hate them, you just can't. So you can't exercise, you can't out sleep, you can't out stress manage a bad diet. You got to get that right first.

So with the movement, this is something we want to talk about, kind of as a pretext to all the other stuff where we're trying to communicate to our hormones that it's okay to lose the weight. It's okay to use that energy for the right reasons. So as you do the exercises, recognize the type of exercise, how frequently you do it, how intensely you do it are communications to your body. So if you're lifting heavy weights, you're communicating to your body that you need more muscle, you need more strength, you need more bone density.

As such, your body actually starts producing a little bit more testosterone to aid in making those things happen. Again, exercise like just about everything else is lifestyle related, is going to be a communication strategy for your body, for you to tell your body that you want it to get stronger, you want it to go ahead and shed some of that body fat, get that growth hormone going. And that just kind of speeds the whole process up.

And then, don't don't feel like you've got to sit down and start this this massive exercise program straight away. Sometimes the simplest is easiest. And I know I started this by saying simple is not the best weight loss strategy, but sometimes with movement, I can tell you simple is actually the best. Go for a walk, go do something you enjoy, ride a bike, go hiking, do some things outside that you enjoy. And then as you get yourself more comfortable with movement as being a part of your every day, then you can start factoring in resistance, training, balance, mobility, all those different things. So you're building the body you want through the communication that came from the exercise that you did.

To sort of kind of roll this all together: Calories In, Calories Out is not wrong. The low-carb approach is not wrong. But the problem with only thinking you have those two choices is that you don't get the whole picture. They're all right at some level. But you've got to look at all of them and you've got to look at it from the perspective of this is all sitting on that complex model of hormones that even to this day, the best scientists in the world struggle to wrap their mind around how to optimize and make all those things work the way they're supposed to work. Because the human body is not simple. It is one of the most complex pieces of equipment you will ever have the ability to operate.

And we're doing it with these hormones. We're doing it with the information we feed our body and the time and day and how much and what macros they are. All of that matters. All of that's a part of it. I don't want to leave you thinking that this is just something that's outside the realm of your capacity to understand, because it's not. Any incremental improvement that you do is going to be good. Your body is going to respond. If you're not eating much whole food right now, most of your food is coming from a bag, box , jar, or can, start to change that. Go to a Farmer's Market this weekend and pick up some vegetables and meat, go to the butcher and find out ways that you can get meat at a cheaper discount, because sometimes they write off, they write down some of their higher priced, grass fed cow beef and some of their pasture chickens because they didn't sell at all. And you might have an opportunity to pick up on some of that at a discount look for a local co-op where they're selling things that are typically much cheaper because they're trying to make whole foods more accessible.

Start a process of looking for ways to improve your nutrition. And that's going to be the key to managing the hormones, looking at your macros, then looking at your calories, and then you've taken all of that math and all those layers and you've put together a formula that works for you. So, no, simple is not always the best alternative for long term weight loss, but once you know your rules, very likely those will be your rules for a long, long time.

And so learning how to eat, learning how to sleep better, learning how to reduce stress and manage stress and learning how to move should all be things that you look at each day to improve your health and fitness.


Post Show/Recap

[00:33:44.430] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:33:45.840] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Well, that's a lot of information you set out, and it sure makes sense. I can tell you that weight loss is nothing at all that simple. It's totally complex. And it gets worse with age, I think.

[00:33:58.200] – Allan
Yeah. It's hard for me to be having some conversations with people because they'll be tribal and they'll be like, oh, no, it's just it's this. It's this one rule and loose weight. You have to be in a calorie deficit. And the short answer is, yeah, you do. But what you think is a calorie deficit isn't necessarily calorie deficit. Then they say, well, no, you just calculate a formula and everybody follows the formula.

[00:34:27.840] – Allan
And I was like, okay, then everybody passes the test. There's a bell curve, there's a range. And some people are outside that range. And there's something's going on in your body that might be different than someone else. And so there's age is related to it. Size is related to it. Rather, you're going through an infection or not could have something to do with it. So everything that's going on in your body takes energy to do.

[00:34:51.450] – Allan
That's true. But your body will shut off the function if it doesn't need it, if it needs the energy to do something like feed your brain, keep you alive, it will do that and it will sacrifice reproductive system. It will sacrifice your spleen, all of that. It will just do it. And that's where people get lost. But no, it's not that simple. If everybody were the same, if it were perfectly the same, then yes. And those formulas that were calculated, the calculations are estimate. And if you're off by just a couple hundred here, there things aren't working the way that you think they should.

[00:35:32.070] – Allan
But and you can look at it, you go on my fitness pal and say I'm eating this much and you can weigh every bit of that. Every single morsel goes in your mouth. You can weigh every bit of it. Put that in there and you can go through and say, and here I am on the elliptical. Mr Elliptical said I just burned 750 calories in an hour. Put that into the formula and then I'd say, OK, in six weeks you should weigh fifteen pounds less.

[00:35:53.700] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:35:54.780] – Allan
It's not a straight line. Why is it not a straight line. It should be. If I eat the same foods every day, did the same exercise every day, why would it be that one day I weigh less or more than another day. And so it's not just calories in. That's a part of it. It's true. But it is not everything.

[00:36:11.340] – Allan
The other side of it is then how we eat and what we eat is defining how hungry you are. And so where I said you could measure every morsel of food and you would know roughly how much you were eating. But most of us don't do that. Most of us say I had an Apple medium.

[00:36:30.420] – Rachel
Exactly.

[00:36:30.970] – Allan
When the actual apple they have is large. And they'll say, oh, I had a serving of almonds when in fact, they actually had two servings of almonds.

[00:36:39.670] – Rachel
Oh, yeah.

[00:36:40.650] – Allan
You know, I had a tablespoon of peanut butter when the way they scooped it out, they now actually have three tablespoons of peanut butter. And they forgot about the bag of popcorn that they ate at night.

[00:36:52.620] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:36:54.400] – Allan
I didn't log that. Darn. I don't understand why the formula is not working. And so what you how you feed yourself, whether you're hungry or not. And in many cases, if you start exercising, you're going to be hungrier. And they've done study after study and I've seen different numbers, but even nutritionists, people who should know exactly what they're putting in their mouths, underestimate how much they ate. And in some cases, that can be 29% or more. The numbers I've seen. So if you're off by about 30 percent of what you thought you ate, meaning you're underreporting that.

[00:37:32.940] – Allan
And then I can tell you on some cardiovascular machines, they're overstating it because I can tell you is extremely difficult to burn 750 calories in an hour. And so there was no way I was burning that many calories per hour. Just this wasn't happening. But the machine said it, so I should take it. And I say, okay, well, this is a Precore. And then I go get on this other one. And I work just as hard for an hour. And I don't like that machine because it only says 600. I like the one that says 750.

[00:38:03.981] – Rachel
For sure. I would to!

[00:38:07.980] – Allan
One hundred fifty difference. And when we're talking about six hundred that's twenty five percent. So if I'm off on one side I'm off on the other side of my formula it doesn't make any sense. So I want make sure I'm eating foods that fill me up or make sure I'm getting the nutrition my body needs. And so I have to look at my macros just to know, okay am I getting good quality food?

[00:38:28.920] – Allan
That can be fiber. So you are eating plant-based. That's fiber, it's protein, it's some fat. And those are all going to make you feel satiated because we know simple carbs and starches and processed grains in particular are going to make us hungry all the time faster.

[00:38:46.620] – Rachel
For sure.

[00:38:47.010] – Allan
And so if we're hungry all the time, we're eating more. We just are. We have to. Aand so you have to look at how your macros are affecting your hunger and satiation and and getting you the food you need.

[00:38:59.070] – Allan
And then the final bit of it is hormones. And you talked a little bit about aging. When we got into this. A woman's body, particularly between 45 and 65, is going through some huge hormonal shifts. Lower thyroid is is a huge thing. So if your thyroid hormones going down, that manages your metabolism. So that's going down. If you're losing muscle mass, your metabolism is going down. And because your estrogen and sex hormones are going down as well, you're storing fat in different locations and you may be storing more fat than you would have stored otherwise, or at least you're seeing it because you're storing it in places that you didn't have it before.

[00:39:45.710] – Allan
And if you're storing fat in general, it may be that not that you're you're moving that fat from one location to another, but you just actually storing more fat now and now. You still have that fat where you had it and now you have more where you didn't have it. Unfortunately, that's the thing.

[00:40:02.150] – Allan
So it is a lot more complex than just one model than just one thing. Now those simple rules can be good things to try to test.

[00:40:13.970] – Rachel
Yeah, for sure.

[00:40:15.380] – Allan
If I go on a low-carb diet, does it make it easier for me to restrict calories? And in doing so, am I doing the other things necessary to manage my hormones? So I'm keeping my stress level low. I'm getting good quality sleep. I'm getting some good movement and so my body understands I still want to be alive. Because I'm moving. I'm not laying here like I'm ready for a coffin and I'm not sitting here like I'm ready for a coffin and I'm moving like I actually want to stay alive and I need to be able to move. Then your body responds with hormones following a good circadian rhythm, a good cycle, and you improve your opportunity to shed that fat. But it's not something that just click happens and a lot of people will start and they'll start losing weight. And that feels good, particularly your low carb. You start flushing some water and four or five pounds down. I've got this under control. And then it's one pound and then it's half a pound and then it's half a pound and people get impatient.

[00:41:16.370] – Rachel
Oh, yeah.

[00:41:17.120] – Allan
And then they're going, oh, I, I want it to go faster. So now I'm going to go do this intense, start doing these intense workouts and now they're adrenals are all over the place and their cortisol is high and they're not recovering and maybe they're not sleeping as well because their legs hurt. They're cramping. They just don't feel good. I don't understand why am I not losing weight? It's like, well, to take a step back, you got to look how my managing my overall health.

[00:41:45.830] – Rachel
Yeah, that's a good point. I mean, it's a real big picture of you. If and I've been through this myself, I lose some weight gain some I've moved several times. Every time I move, I seem to gain a few pounds because my activity is off, my nutrition is off. There's these life situations. My kids in college, you know, we all go through these big life changes where things just get wonky and then you just need to get back into the rhythm of things.

[00:42:14.240] – Rachel
And like you had mentioned before, too, I've done the same thing. You know, back in my thirties, I used My Fitness Pal and I would measure I would get the weight scale out and look at what is an eight ounce piece of chicken or four ounces of cheese or whatever. And I'm always surprised I can't seem to remember what four ounces of cheese looks like. And I've got to go back and remeasure things. But that's a really common pitfall of eating more than what you're thinking you're eating. And there is a lot to it. And it is worth taking a step back and reevaluating everything that you're trying to do to lose weight.

[00:42:51.110] – Allan
And then, we are talking about weight loss here, but the other side of it is you've got to live your life.

[00:42:57.140] – Rachel
True.

[00:43:00.080] – Allan
If you're so obsessed with the weight loss that you're not enjoying yourself. So you're saying, I've got to weigh everything I put in my mouth or I've got to look at what the nutrition is on it, on my fitness pal before I can decide if I can have it. And then I'm trying to figure out how to have some cocktails with my friends that just kind of fit my macros or I'm going to a restaurant and I really can't even figure out what to eat there because, I don't even know what's in 90 percent of it. And I don't want to be the person at the table that spends fifteen minutes grilling the waiter on what's in my food. You didn't think to call ahead, but you didn't want to say what you want to do is go out, have a nice meal with your friends, have a couple drinks and call it a night and then you'll pick up tomorrow. And so, weight loss is important, but having a good quality of life now is as well.

[00:43:55.280] – Allan
So at least have the patience with yourself to live life now, but slowly start incorporating habits and changes to your activity level, to your sleep, to your stress that are going to support you going forward.

[00:44:12.710] – Rachel
Yeah, so true. It's all these different things and it's not worth obsessing about any particular thing. Just to your best, keep as best of balance as you can and make those little tiny incremental steps. I always say baby steps are the best way to reach your goals.

[00:44:29.140] – Allan
Yeah, give it a shot, try something, let it go for a while, see if it's sustainable, if it's working, keep it. If not, chuck it, just chuck it and start something else. Say, I did the my fitness pollen count the calories, and it worked for me for three weeks and it stopped working. Let's try something else. It was working so you don't necessarily chuck. But the question in is why, why am I not getting the results I expect to have? And you've got to look at those other layers and see what is it about these other layers that I might not be doing. Well, it's like, oh, I forgot to lug my popcorn every night.

[00:45:04.290] – Rachel
Yeah.

[00:45:05.800] – Allan
Maybe that was it. Maybe just having that extra popcorn was what did it. I still want my popcorn. So can I make that fit my lifestyle or not. And you've got to make those choices. But yeah, I think so many people get wrapped up in it's a simple rule. It should work, it works for everybody else. And the reality is it doesn't. Sixty-seven percent of people would not be overweight if it were as simple as calories in, calories out.

[00:45:31.390] – Rachel
That's right. Yep, that's absolutely right.

[00:45:34.150] – Allan
But calories in calories is right. It's just not the whole answer.

[00:45:38.920] – Rachel
Not the only thing out there is a lot of nuances to talk about.

[00:45:44.050] – Allan
And I've got some really great guests coming on in the next few weeks and we're going to get in a little bit deeper into some of these topics. So I'm really excited about that.

[00:45:52.480] – Rachel
Sweet. That sounds great.

[00:45:54.970] – Allan
Well, Rachel, you have an outstanding week and I'll talk to you next week.

[00:45:58.840] – Rachel
Thanks. Take care.

Patreons

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Another episode you may enjoy

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December 21, 2020

Lose weight over 40

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On this episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss the top approaches to lose weight after 40.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:01:53.710] – Allan
Ras, how's are things going?

[00:01:56.080] – Ras
Great. How are you today, Allan?

[00:01:57.940] – Allan
I'm doing all right. We're up in Boquete. My wife had the surgery, a successful surgery this week, and she needs a week or so to recover. So this week we're up in Boquete and it's up in the mountains. So we're going from, you know, temperatures in the 80s to temperatures in the 60s, early 70s. And so, yeah, it's for me, cold.

[00:02:22.060] – Ras
That does sound chilly.

[00:02:25.300] – Allan
I'm wearing a sweatshirt. I'd never thought, you know, again. I knew if I came to Boquete I'd need a sweatshirt. So that's why I have a sweatshirt.

[00:02:33.430] – Ras
Good thing. Oh, my goodness.

[00:02:37.630] – Allan
Like, OK, I can put up with this for five days and then we've got to go back to the the comfort of 70s, 80s.

[00:02:46.180] – Ras
That sounds wonderful. Right now we're in the 40s today, just getting out of the 30s and we don't have a whole ton of snow up here quite yet. But it's coming. I think this weekend is when we're going to get our first snowfall, a real snowfall.

[00:02:59.270] – Allan
OK, well, I know we talked last week and you said that was something you wanted.

[00:03:03.100] – Ras
Yep.

[00:03:03.460] – Allan
Get the snow. So at least it'd be pretty.

[00:03:05.500] – Ras
Yes. And it's going to be cold. It might as well snow and look nice. Yep, that's for sure.

[00:03:10.990] – Allan
There you go. OK, well we're going to talk about weight loss today and why don't we just go ahead and get into that discussion.

[00:03:18.940] – Ras
Sure.

Weight Loss After 40

As a personal trainer, the number one question I get from clients and potential clients is why is weight loss so hard and weight gain so easy now that I'm over 40? Most people believe it has to do with their metabolic rate. And while most of us will put on extra pounds as we get into midlife, this isn't a natural decline related to aging. Muscle mass is going down, which all of the things being even should mean that we're losing weight after 40.

However, we're obviously putting on body fat faster than we're losing that muscle mass, and that's why our weight is going up. Weight loss after 40 is complicated by several factors. In this episode, I'm going to talk about all of them and some of the things that you can do to address each one so you can shed those unwanted pounds. I call them the five pillars of weight loss after 40.

Why Lose Weight?

But before we get into the how to of weight loss, I want to cover a few reasons why losing those excess pounds is important. Why you want to lose weight after 40? Excess body fat is bad for your liver and heart health. If you carry those extra pounds as abdominal fat, you have what we call visceral fat. This increases your risk of health issues such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, heart disease, type two diabetes and insulin resistance. Excess body weight is also bad for your joints, too often people stop exercising because their joints hurt, which causes even more weight gain. It's a vicious cycle.

It's hard to increase your activity level when you're in pain and actually maybe even causing more damage to that joint. So losing those excess pounds is going to be important to make sure that you're not damaging joints that would otherwise be very useful to you in the future.

Being overweight causes other issues like sleep apnea, increased estrogen levels, and increase in stress hormones. All of these make weight loss that much harder. So it's time to turn the script and get back on track.

The Five Pillars of Weight Loss After 40

How to lose weight after 40 to reach and maintain a healthy weight for you. First, we have to understand the five pillars to healthy weight loss, they are hormones, nutrition, sleep, stress management and movement and each of them is important in their own way to helping you lose weight after 40.

Hormones

Hormones, there are over twenty-seven key hormones that affect your ability to lose weight, but for the purposes of this discussion, I'm going to stick to seven that I'll group into three buckets. There are the sex hormones. And we're going to primarily talk about estrogen and testosterone. There are hunger hormones which include leptin and ghrelin, and there are energy management, fat storage hormones which include insulin, glucagon and cortisol.

Your estrogen and testosterone levels affect your body composition and how fat is distributed on your body. Because men have more testosterone, it's easier for them to lose weight and maintain muscle mass. I know it's not fair, but it is what it is. And we have to work with what we have. So women, it is going to be a little bit more difficult for you to lose weight. But that doesn't mean it's impossible. It just means we have to work a little bit smarter.

Men are going to have an easier way of it. So if you're trying to lose weight and your husband's trying to lose weight, then your husband's going to have an easier time of it. And so if you're the guy and your wife is trying to lose weight, realize you're going to be able to lose weight faster than her. It's the testosterone that's predominantly responsible for making that happen.

Leptin and ghrelin are these signaling hormones that tell your body when you're hungry and when you're full, unfortunately, the way the standard American diet is set up and the way we tend to eat, you know, always busy at our desk, in our car on the run, really interrupts this communication.

Leptin and ghrelin need time to communicate with the body to let it know what's going on. And many times we're not giving it the time to do so. Insulin has been called the queen of weight loss hormones and for good reason with glucagon, it helps maintain your blood sugar level.

If you're pounding your body with unhealthy snacks and meals. Like fried foods, chips, ice cream, you get the picture and you're not clearing out your glycogen stores in your muscles and liver, more on that later. With aerobic exercise and resistance training, insulin has no choice but to store the excess sugar as body fat.

Cortisol is a stress hormone when you're stressed out, cortisol rises, having elevated cortisol levels causes you to have a slower metabolism and store fat in your abdominal area, visceral fat. Both of these are really, really bad. So we can see how the hormones affect our ability to either lose weight or gain weight. What do we do about it? The best thing we can do for our sex hormones is to monitor our hormone levels, eat healthy and get regular exercise.

We can deal with our hunger signaling if we improve the quality of our food, if we take smaller bites and we eat slower. This gives your brain time to process those hunger cues. It's important to get comfortable with being a little bit hungry from time to time. If you really want to lose weight, you need to be able to manage that, that ability to just say, OK, I can be a little hungry. Maybe drink a little bit of water, take a little bit of time between those meals, you don't have to be eating all the time.

The whole old mantra of “eat every three hours” is what's part of the problem. You shouldn't have to eat every three hours. If you get good at managing your energy levels and eating good high-quality foods, your body will be just fine without that extra fuel.

And we can manage our energy management fat storage hormones through some simple lifestyle changes that are within the other four pillars of health. So we're going to talk about those and how you can use the other four pillars, which you have a lot of control over going forward.

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He covers practical topics like how to train for a 5K, how to walk your way to fitness, and how to make the most of your recovery days. And he'll share tips for applying mindfulness to your workouts, using exercise to sleep better and creating a top notch home gym. Rather you want to begin an exercise routine and don't know where to start, or you're looking to shake things up. Brock's tips will help you reach your fitness goals and create a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Listen to new episodes of the Get Fit Guy every Tuesday. Just search for get fit guy wherever you listen to podcasts.

Nutrition

So the next one is nutrition, why do we eat? First and foremost, we eat to stay alive. Food provides energy and building blocks that our body needs. But if that's all it was, we could take those nutrition pills that they had in the science fiction books and shows. You know, just take a pill, we got the vitamins, we got the nutrition and we're good, right? No, we also eat for enjoyment and for social connections.

So as we do these things and we eat for the social connection enjoyment, we build a relationship with food. Now, having a relationship with food is not the bad thing, but it can be. If you're emotionally eating because you're stressed, because you're upset, because you're lonely. That emotional eating is really one of the main reasons why people overeat.

Regardless of how you choose to eat, and I mean that rather you go with the high fat, the low carb, the high carb, the low fat vegan paleo Mediterranean. You can lose weight after 40 with a few simple tactics.

The first step. And the one almost every single person skips is to track what you eat in a food diary. I know it's difficult, I know it's cumbersome, I know it's not fun, but it's something that you need to do. Now, one way you can do this and make it very, very simple. With an app or notebook, put down what you ate and how many servings you had. That's it. It's pretty simple. You're not counting calories, not doing anything.

Is this how many servings did you have of what? This teaches you a key lesson on portion size and control. And now, again, I didn't say track your calories, track the grams of protein, fat, carbs. That's because those aren't what make healthy diet healthy. In general, healthy foods are what we know they are.

OK, olive oil is better for us than margarine, we know fruit is better than refined carbs. We know that alcoholic calorie drinks, I mean, drinks are just calories without much nutritional benefit. So rather than worry about the the you know, the calories and the grams of this or that, just start trying to make better food choices.

And if you're logging these things, you're going to see I had two bags of chips yesterday. I had ice cream every night last week. Those will be easy things to start knocking off, particularly if you're understanding why you're eating what you're eating, which is what you can do with a food journal. So now once you know how much you're eating, and in some cases, like I said, the why, you begin to make better choices. Now, once you start doing that over time, that now becomes who you are.

That becomes more of a lifestyle, a healthy lifestyle. Because in the end, if you don't make what you're doing sustainable, you'll stay on that weight gain yo yo dieting and you're going to basically experience what you have so far. So the core of the nutrition piece is do a food diary, track portions, track what you ate, and then you can go back and assess why you ate, what you ate, and make better choices. That's going to go a long way.

Now as you get down the road on this, maybe you do need to look at some of those other factors like calories and grams and carbs and things like that when you plateau. But initially, all you need to do is make healthier choices and know what you're putting in your mouth every day so you can make the best decisions going forward.

Sleep

The second pillar is sleep, lack of sleep is kind of like this badge of honor, just stop it, OK? It's not doing any good. You're not winning anybody's hearts and minds by not sleeping. You need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Everybody is a little different, but all of us need between seven and nine hours of sleep.

Yes, you can get by with less. Yes, some people will sleep more, but in general, everybody needs seven to nine hours. A night of good restful sleep comes from letting your body go through all of the natural sleep patterns. That's deep sleep, very deep sleep, REM sleep and light sleep. Now you hear some people talk about a fifth, another deep, a very, very deep sleep. But generally I just break it into the four. That's a little old school, but deep sleep, very deep sleep, rem sleep and light sleep.

Now, when you're dealing with sleep now, obviously for a lot of people, there are things that are outside of their control like, you know, hot flashes and night sweats or sleep apnea. But many of the things that mess up our sleep are self-inflicted. And I see this all the time. Avoid blue light. We know that. We know that watching TV, watching on a computer, being on our phone late at night is not helping our sleep. Cut out alcohol consumption prior to bedtime so that, you know, in the general sense, those are the two things that really disrupt our sleep the most and they're easy to fix.

OK, now, I'm not going to dive deep into the sleep discussion. I will link in this show notes for this episode. You can a 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/465 and I'll have links to other episodes that I've done on sleep. Obviously with 465 episodes and sleep being such an important component of health. We've covered this a few times.

Additional Podcast Episodes on Sleep

Stress Management

The next pillar of healthy weight loss over 40 is stress management and this was a big one for me. Excess stress and my inability to manage it was one of the major contributors to my weight management issues. Not only did stress cause me to make for poor food choices, it put me in a chronic high cortisol mode, which meant my fat distribution made me look horrible and put me at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease. So I would I would use breathing exercises, meditation and weight training. You know, there's nothing like throwing around some heavy weights to help manage stress.

But even this wasn't enough. And I made a pretty big, drastic choice and I opted out of the rat race. I dropped out of corporate when I got laid off and I just didn't go back. Now, I know that's not possible for most people, you know, but for us, our kids were on their own. You know, they're out of, past college. Tammy was on board with this. So I made a self-love based decision to choose myself over money. And security.

Now, three years later, I'm more sure than ever that I made the right decision, so stress management is a key thing and there are things you can do to manage stress in the moment. But the best tactic I have found by far is to just jettison it. So if you've got bad relationships, as hard as it is jettison it. If you've got a bad job, change jobs if it can help but jettison it.

That's the easiest and best solution, not maybe the easiest. I take that back, but you get the idea. Now again stress management is kind of a deep topic. We've talked about this a few times on the podcast, so I'm going to link to some stress management episodes in the show. Notes you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/465. And I'll have some stress management links there. We've done quite a few shows on that as I was going through my stressful years.

Movement

The next pillar, a final pillar of weight loss after 40 is movement. Now you might have thought, OK, I'm his personal trainer. Why is movement last? And no, I didn't save the best for last. Only a small percentage of people listen to the end of this podcast. So if you're still with me, I do want to thank you. You have a very special place in my heart. So one, you know, most people are going to get the big thing, which is the understanding hormones and the nutrition. Beyond that, then sleep and stress management and then finally this this movement thing.

Now, I'm going to tell you straight out that there are four absolutes when it comes to exercise, training or movement, whatever you want to call it. I know a lot of people get put off by the term exercise or training or movement. You know, it is what it is. We have to train. We have to do something for our bodies. Now that the must, the very you must…You must strength train. You must do strength training to ensure you avoid that muscle loss we talked about earlier.

And osteoporosis strengthening the loss you're going to loss of bone density. Strength and bone density are critical for maintaining independence as we age. Strength training is a non-negotiable. You must be strength training period. You should do some form of aerobic activity for your cardiovascular health and endurance and stamina. In order to keep up and keep doing the things you love to do, you have to maintain the stamina required to do it.

If you want to keep up with your grandkids at the zoo or keep running or keep swimming or playing tennis or all the other things that you like to enjoy doing. You have to start training yourself a little bit harder, you have to push a little bit harder than just doing the thing to maintain that stamina to be able to do it on a regular basis. OK, so have some training in mind that pushes you cardiovascular so that you have the stamina, endurance to do the things you love. And then movement is life. If you're not moving your body, then you're slowly letting your body go.

OK, so walk, dance, play, make movement a part of who you are. It's not just about burning calories. It will burn calories. It will improve your sleep, it will help you manage stress and it will also help improve your hormone balance. So it does a lot for us, but it's really about how our body was designed. It was designed to move OK.

And then I guess the fourth absolute in this whole list thing is you have to enjoy what you're doing, but you don't always have to do just what you enjoy. And I know that's kind of sounds backwards, but, you know, if you start strength training and you start seeing yourself get stronger, you're going to start enjoying strength training.

I know that sounds weird, but you will if you don't enjoy running initially or walking at a pace and getting yourself winded, eventually you will. I promise that those are just natural things. Our bodies love to move. And so initially you may have to push yourself to do some things you don't enjoy.

For example, if I want to be in the aerobic capacity, the stamina to be able to play sand volleyball, I'm going to have to work on my cardiovascular. I'm going to have to do some things to keep my legs strong and keep them with the stamina they need to keep up with what I would want to do.

I'm going to have to do some training, which might not be exactly the thing I love doing, like running sprints in the sand. But I'm doing that so that I can enjoy more volleyball. I can play longer, I can have more fun. So make make movement, not just your life, make it fun, but do the things that allow you to keep making it fun.

If you allow yourself to go down, it's much harder to climb back up. And if you get yourself up, it's much easier to stay there. So do some training every day. It doesn't have to be hard training, but have a program so you can define fitness on your own terms now.

Everybody wants to blame our sedentary lifestyles for this obesity crisis we're going through right now, unfortunately, move more and eat less doesn't work. So I want you to look back at these five pillars of weight loss after 40, that's hormones, nutrition, sleep, stress management and movement. The cool thing of this is we have control over all five of them. We just have to apply patience, persistence and progression.

Now, I'm here for you, if you need any help with this, you want to learn a little bit more, you can email me at allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com or you can book a discovery call at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/discovery.

It's a no sale call, it's a 15-minute call. We get on, we start talking about what your goals are and we address each of these five pillars of health and how you can modify your lifestyle to make sure that you're losing weight after 40.


Post Show/Recap

[00:23:36.090] – Allan
Welcome back Ras.

[00:23:36.570] – Ras
Hey Allan. Well, you sure had the $64,000 question, why is weight loss so hard and weight gain so easy?

[00:23:45.810] – Allan
Yeah, you know, as I as I went through preparing to do that, when I actually wrote it out, almost like a blog post, because it just, there was, I didn't want to miss anything. Because I think a lot of times we have this conversation and it's not that people hear what they want to hear, but it's just, you know, you really have to, in my mind, lay it out in a way where they OK, you're going to have to trip over these things before you're going to get to the thing you think matters most.

[00:24:14.370] – Allan
Like what exercise do I do to make my abs show? And I'm like, I don't know. I just don't know, because there isn't an exercise that's going to make that happen. It's, there's five pillars and all those have to be just about perfect, just about right or weight loss is going to be quite difficult.

[00:24:35.460] – Ras
Yeah, well, it's so true. And, you know, having being over 40, I'm closing in on 50 myself and it is a little bit harder at this age to keep the weight off or lose weight. And, you know, of course, I look back in my 20s thinking I never had to diet. I never had to run or do anything, really. But after having kids and as the years tick by, it does become a little easier to put it on and a lot harder to take it off.

[00:25:05.100] – Allan
Yeah, I you know, I had the six pack when I was in my 20s. You know, walking around, it was just the natural way I was. I was naturally thin and put on muscle well, and and did very well. You know, I was in the military, in the infantry, so we moved a bit. And so for me, it was not really a problem. Weight gain was not a problem. In fact, I spent most of my younger years trying to gain weight unsuccessfully.

[00:25:30.360] – Allan
But then once I kind of got past my 30s, you know, the metabolism and everything, just everything seems to start slowing down. And, you know, we can we can try to blame it on metabolism, and that's maybe a part of it. But it's not the whole picture. So, you know, the calories in and calories out is not wrong. It's just I think what a lot of people don't recognize about that model is that that makes sense in a closed system. By a closed system, I mean, in a box.

[00:25:57.570] – Allan
So if you burn something in a box, it has a certain volume, it's going to burn. It's going to create a certain amount of energy. That's going to be a certain number of calories. Calories are measure of energy. Now, when we sit down to eat. A serving is not a serving, is not a serving, unless you're measuring down to the microgram exactly how much of each and every ingredient you put into your mouth and, you know, you go into the store and even when you see the calories marked on the back of a box, there's a tolerance there.

[00:26:28.570] – Allan
That serving size could be 10, 20 percent more or 10, 20 percent less. They have a tolerance. And when you go into a restaurant, that tolerance can be even more. The person serving you that day or whoever is putting that stuff on your plate, they may have just been a little bit happy with the forks, with the spoons, and they might have given you a little bit more potatoes and a little bit more gravy. And the biscuit today might just be a little bit fluffier and bigger than it was last time you ate there.

[00:26:58.240] – Allan
So the amount you're putting in changes and then as it comes to exercise, you know, you step on that machine and then that machine or your watch or whatever is telling you, oh, you burned 3000 calories today and that can be off by 50 percent.

[00:27:16.210] – Ras
Mm hmm. Yeah. All this technology we have at our hands, it's not a perfect scenario. Not perfect science.

[00:27:23.320] – Allan
Yeah. And they're estimates, so they're good to understand, I did this. But I can tell you that in an hour of exercise when I was in my 20s, I could easily burn a thousand calories, you know. But at that point I'm running six-minute miles and, you know, I'm pushing myself really, really hard with all the extra muscle and all the extra things that are moving around. If I were to go to try to exercise, to go the same distance, I would go when I was in my 20s. I'm literally having to go twice as long.

[00:28:00.790] – Ras
Mm hmm.

[00:28:01.690] – Allan
And nobody has time for that. You're not going to do two or three workouts in a day just to have the calorie burn necessary. And it really doesn't make any sense to do so because it's like, why are you burning more calories for the sake of eating more?

[00:28:16.090] – Ras
Mm hmm true.

[00:28:16.690] – Allan
And you can get by with fewer calories. So if you if you get your hormones in line. And the reason I really wanted to put that first in this conversation is if you over if you don't pay attention to that, you sit there and say, oh, I'm normal, I'm just going to be normal. You don't understand that you don't have as much testosterone. So weight loss becomes harder even for men. You have less testosterone. Weight loss is harder.

[00:28:42.880] – Ras
Mm hmm.

[00:28:44.800] – Allan
Why is that? Well, it's because the biochemical things that happen with testosterone are more inclusive to for you to add muscle. And they naturally allow you to have more growth hormone, which naturally makes you lose body fat. Those are just natural progression of how the human body human physiology works. If we don't. If we don't have to move a lot and foods abundant, we're going to gain weight. We're not lifting heavy things, doing a lot, our bodies can naturally settle down for a period of time. But when things get hairy and we're running out of food, things have to happen in our body where now we're burning more energy.

[00:29:22.930] – Allan
I mean, we're able to survive and get that done. We will get more food. We're able to do the things that are necessary, those are just survival traits that now don't necessarily serve us all the time. Particularly if we're looking at trying to stay lean and I hate to say this guy's and somewhat gal's, is that fat is not this dorment thing we carry. It's not just a package that's attached to our body.

[00:29:45.040] – Allan
It actually does signaling. It tells our body to create more estrogen, which is just the exact opposite. Now, it also has the capacity to release hormones that tell our body to stop eating. But if we're not eating right, then our body doesn't get that signal. So it's complex. But the cool thing is that if you understand your hormones, you'll have the patience and persistence to keep working through this, understanding it's harder now. But then the other four that we talked about, you know, sleep, stress, movement and nutrition and probably nutrition, really kind of the top one there. Those are the four pillars we have complete almost complete control over.

[00:30:28.570] – Ras
Mm hmm. Oh, yeah, for sure. Especially movement. And that's really and if you think it's an evolution of sorts of your age, you know, thinking in your 20s, you were busy and working and going out with friends and doing other athletic pursuits, and then you settle in, you have kids things kind of slow down a little and then work takes over and you're probably doing even less than you were before. And so it's kind of hard to get out of a rut sometimes.

[00:30:57.370] – Ras
You know, you've got your nine to five work schedule, you've got kid responsibilities, not a ton of time for yourself and maybe a little bit more sedentary than you really should be. So it's I think it's important for people, especially our age who are over 40, to find new ways to introduce more movement throughout the day, especially if you have a desk job.

[00:31:19.770] – Allan
Yeah, well, the movement is definitely going to help, but it's not the end all be all. You know, they tell you you can't out exercise a bad diet and take it further. You can't out exercise bad sleep. You can't out exercise stress. If you're trying to push yourself in, you know, in exercise and you're already in a high stress environment.

[00:31:39.790] – Allan
Guess what? Exercise is a stressor. In so many cases, even though it feels good to get up there just like me, I throw weights around, you know, I do a couple of breathing exercises in the elevator, walk over to the gym, throw heavy things around, feels good. But recognizing I wasn't getting the I wasn't getting the muscle gains that I should have probably been getting from the amount of work that I was doing.

[00:32:07.400] – Allan
I wasn't necessarily getting super, super stronger the way that I could have been getting because the stress hormones. Cortisol is catabolic, causes a breakdown of muscle. When you're in when you're in a fight or flight mode, your body doesn't think, oh, well, let's add muscle. You know, muscle is energy intensive. It could slow us down.

[00:32:31.990] – Allan
You know, faster runners, particularly distance runners, don't want a ton of muscle. A shorter distance runner. Sure, they have the muscle because they are going to do a short little sprint and then they're done. But anyone that needs to get away from the bear because they're under stress doesn't need to be carrying a lot of extra body weight. So when they're in those chronic, when you're in that chronic stress environment, you're not going to put on muscle the way that you want to and you're not going to take off body fat.

[00:33:00.550] – Ras
True.

[00:33:00.550] – Allan
You're the way that you want to and how it's where it's proportioned on your body. It's also not in your best interest, but your body. Cortisol doesn't care. Cortisol just wants to keep you alive. So those hormones are important to at least understand when things aren't going well. It at least helps you understand that those other four pillars are there to manage them, understand your hormones, and then manage those other four.

[00:33:27.190] – Allan
And in many cases, what's really, really cool is, as I said, those four pillars, if you're doing nutrition right, you're doing the stress management, you're sleeping well and you're moving consistently. If you're doing all those things, you're helping your body normalize those very hormones, all of them, you know. So doing those things right, those those lifestyle things have a curative effect on your hormone system.

[00:33:54.710] – Ras
Like you had said earlier, that there's no one exercise, there's no one special meal. There's no quick fix to any of these things. But I guess paying attention to each of these five pillars that you had mentioned, like it's a it's a big picture thing. You just need to do, move the needle a little bit with each of these five elements and see where it gets you.

[00:34:17.170] – Allan
Absolutely. All right. Well, anything else that we need to go into this week, Rachel?

[00:34:22.150] – Ras
No, this is a really great podcast. I hope hope to see a lot of downloads off of this one.

[00:34:27.340] – Allan
Yeah, I hope so, too.

[00:34:28.570] – Ras
It'd be very valuable.

[00:34:30.140] – Allan
OK, all right.

[00:34:31.810] – Allan
Well, with nothing else to do, I will talk to you next week.

[00:34:36.040] – Ras
You bet take care.

[00:34:37.240] – Allan
You too.

Patreons

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

– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Margaret Bakalian
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Another episode you may enjoy

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November 9, 2020

How to Get Strong After 40

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

On this episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to get strong after 40.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:13.530] – Allan
Ras, how are you doing?

[00:02:15.000] – Ras
Good, how are you, Allan?

[00:02:16.860] – Allan
Busy, busy, busy. You know, doing the the traveling as we're recording this, I'm traveling a good bit to visit family and friends. And so it's go, go, go, go, go. And then getting our stuff together and getting it moved out and realizing how hard it is to let go of some things.

[00:02:32.760] – Allan
You know, we're taking far too much stuff down. But as this episode's going live I'm probably in North Carolina and I'll be heading home in about a week or so, so provide again, I can get a negative covid test 48 hours before the flight. So there'll be a little bit of push to get everything done and get get back on an airplane and get back down there. But looking forward to a good Thanksgiving week. That's coming up in about a week or so. So we'll get it done.

[00:03:02.130] – Ras
That sounds great. Glad you could get up here and make the rounds visiting family and friends and whatnot.

[00:03:08.190] – Allan
So what are you up to?

[00:03:09.900] – Ras
Well, we just got a new puppy. So,

[00:03:12.600] – Allan
Oh boy!

[00:03:13.440] – Ras
I am puppy training. Yep. And she's small black lab. And Mike wanted a puppy for duck hunting. But since she seems to be my shadow like my other pup, Stella, I suspect she'll be a good running partner in another year or so. So it's a real treat. She's a real treat.

[00:03:32.460] – Allan
So she can chase you or she can chase ducks.

[00:03:34.980] – Ras
Yes, exactly. Either way, we'll both be happy.

[00:03:37.800] – Allan
Yeah. There you go. All right. So the episode we're going to talk about today is about strength. So let's go ahead and listen.

Show

Hello and welcome to another solo episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast. Today, we're talking about a topic that is actually my favorite topic, How to Get Strong After 40. Now, I wrote a blog post about this a few days ago and I asked some questions on Facebook. So I may use a lot of that material here just as kind of a based as we have this conversation.

I really did want to take the time to dive in a little bit deeper into some of the topics that I just didn't feel like I got deep enough on on the blog post. So go check out that blog post on the website.

But, you know, most people who come to want wanting to get healthy and fit are typically starting with weight loss as a goal. And, you know, the basic number out there is lose the weight, then gain the muscle.

It sounds good. And in fact, it actually works a little bit because when you focus on one thing, it's obviously easier. But if you're over 40, that's not a good strategy at all. You know, people don't want to lift weights because they're afraid that they're going to get big. They're afraid they're going to stop their weight loss. And the reality of it is the exact opposite. The size of muscle relative to fat is is just tremendous.

If you've ever seen a picture, a meme on Facebook, you know, the fat is seven, eight times bigger pound for pound than muscle. So you're not going to get really, really big, you know, and the other side of it is, you know, people look at bodybuilders and think that's what strength training does. And the reality of it is entirely different. Bodybuilders don't train for strength. They train for muscle mass. So they train very differently.

They eat very differently and they're trained a lot more. Strength training doesn't have to be a profession. You can get a lot done in a little bit of time. And the other thing when you're looking at a bodybuilder is to recognize that many of them, even if they're generally natural, are still using some performance enhancing drugs to get to the size that they're at. They're training a lot harder and to be able to do that. Many of them are using steroids, peptides and SARMs to get those gains.

And so you can't look at a bodybuilder and think that's what you're going to get out of strength training. The other side is most of those folks are putting on that muscle in their 20s and through their 30s.

If you're over 40, you're not going to have the capacity to put on that much muscle, but you can get stronger. And another thing, you know, as we're getting into thinking about weight loss, because, you know, if you're coming at this, still wanting to lose weight, but you're believing you need to do some strength training, which is great is yes, your scale might change a little bit when you first get started, because a damaged muscle, which is part of what we're doing when we're doing the work, we're straining and stressing the muscle.

That effort on the muscle causes metabolic waste and that metabolic waste has to be flushed out. So whenever you do injure part of your body or you lift weights, yes, sometimes muscle will go in, water will go into the muscle. But recognize that weight is water weight and not not in any way your actual weight. And then once you're training regularly, you know, you won't even notice that, it's going to be kind of built into the formula.

So don't let weight loss be the reason that you're not doing strength training. It is really hard to get strong after 40. And you're going to have to do some work and you need to do that. The reason strength training is so critical, particularly after 40, is this thing called sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is an aspect of muscle that over the course of each year we lose about one percent of our muscle. And after the age of 65, that loss accelerates.

If you're not strength training, you are definitely losing muscle and you're definitely losing strength. And in fact, in many cases, you're probably also losing bone density due to osteopenia. So strength training is going to help you maintain and maybe even gain some muscle.

But this is really about strength training. So to get strong after 40, you're going to do some training. If you don't do the training, you're going to get weak and weak and weak. And what that leads to is the potential loss of independence.

If you've ever tried to open a jar and struggled to open it, that's a loss of independence. You either had to do without what was in that jar or ask somebody else for help. Now, that's going to reverberate through your entire life as you don't have the strength to accomplish things like getting up from a toilet. You're definitely losing your independence on that one. So strength training is important and it's so important as we get older because we want to be able to continue to do the things we're doing and so few people do and they lose their independence and they don't want that to happen to you.

If you want to get strong after 40, you got to follow a few protocols. Your body's not going to be as forgiving as it was when you were in your 20s and 30s. You're going to have to be a little bit more careful and you're going to have to be a little bit smarter. So the very first thing to consider when you're getting ready to do any kind of lifting is to make sure that you warm up first.

I remember having a an instructor when I was in college that was, you know, the physiology and exercise class. And he he just really didn't believe warm ups were important and prove it to us. One day he was you know, he's in his 60s. He just started jumping up and down on his chair from the ground to the chair and back and forth. And then he was breathing heavy after a couple of minutes of that. And he said, see, I'm warm.

I didn't have to warm up before I did that. But I advise you to warm up. A cold muscle has much more likelihood of getting pulled or broken. And then the other problem is that your ligaments and tendons don't necessarily get good blood flow. So a good warm up is going to go a long way towards helping you prevent injury and just have better performance when you're lifting.

You'll want to make sure when you're lifting that your body is in a good position to move and do the right things. And that means that you have to have good mobility for those of us that have had office jobs for much of our lives with a lot of sitting, or if you're driving, you're sitting. If you don't spend a lot of time moving around, you've probably lost some of the mobility. Now, there are a few different ways that you can improve your mobility to include stretching and other things. I want to go briefly through a few things with regard to that.

Dynamic stretching is the most advisable kind of stretching when you're going to be doing strength training. Dynamic stretching is where you basically move through a range of motion. You start very slow and then as the muscle warms up, you're able to move a little bit faster, a little bit faster, and you kind of build up some some opportunity to work the full range of motion and get that muscle warmed up and going. OK, that gets good blood flow to the muscle, to the ligaments, to the tendons, and everything's good to go.

If you have a movement problem, you know, perfect example. Most people have very tight calves. You probably need to do some static stretching for those muscles. Static stretching is basically where you put the muscle into a stretched position. So it's at one range of the full range of motion. And you basically put a little bit of pressure on it such that that muscle is forced to lengthen.

That lengthening is important because if a muscle can't properly lengthen, it's going to affect the kinetic chain. For every muscle that you move contracts to move the weight, you have other muscles that are basically required to lengthen to allow you to move through that range of motion. And if some of those muscles are tight, they're going to keep you from completing the movement in a good form. And we're going to talk about that in a minute too. So make sure that you have a good pattern of movement.

If anything's inhibiting you from doing that, you want to stretch that muscle now, you don't stretch all the muscles because of a muscle is already loose. It doesn't need stretching. Dynamic stretching will be enough because you'll get blood flow to it and it'll be ready to go. You only want to statically stretch the muscles that are inhibiting your movement or keeping you from having a good range of motion because static stretching will reduce your strength.

If you do static stretching on a muscle that you intend to work, you're going to lose performance. And then, of course, if you're not doing as much weight on an exercise, you're not building as much strength, so if you want to get strong after 40. Don't statically stretch the muscles that you want to work.

There are a couple different ways, other ways that you can improve your overall mobility if static stretching and dynamic stretching don't quite get you there. One of those is Self Myofascial Release or SMR. You may have heard this called rolling or smashing.

I don't like the term rolling because I think people do it wrong. You know, the object of self myofascial release is not to roll something over the muscle that stimulates the muscle. What you want to do is find those spots on the muscle that are tight and pressed into them. So smashing is probably a better depiction of what you want to do is press into that for about 30 to 60 seconds and then you'll feel the muscle release. This is a natural protective mechanism of a muscle.

If it were to get too tight, it doesn't want to break. So it has an automatic release and you want to kind of make that happen. And self myofascial release is a way to do that. If you've ever had a joint injury or something that's preventing you from moving, flossing is a way that you might be able to go about releasing that. And so, like, you know, if you sit a lot, you may have some hip issues where you're not getting your your upper leg, where it fits into the socket on your pelvis.

You might not be getting a full range of motion there and I mean a full mobility there. And if that's what's holding you up, flossing could be something. But self myofascial release and flossing are not for everybody. And if you're going to get into it, I would work with a professional coach to make sure that you get good advice and good guidance on how to do that properly because you can enjoy yourself if you're not flossing regularly, not flossing properly.

I've said it before, but I'm reiterate this, and this is very important. One of the most important rules here, and that's always use good form. If you don't know what good form is, find out. Don't just put weight on yourself. If you're not able to do the exercise properly, good form is going to be full range of motion. There's very few exercises when you're training for strength that you're going to do in a partial range.

You want to make sure you're doing a full range of motion and you also want to make sure that you have control of the weight. There's a lot of people like to throw a lot of weight around and they're not actually building strength. They're building something else, building power. So I want to switch this a little bit, when we're talking about lifting, we have three actual movement patterns that a muscle will do while while we're lifting.

The first is isometric. And that's basically where the force that we're applying to the weight is equal to the weight so the weight doesn't move. OK, so you can think of something in terms of like doing a plank where once you're holding a position, you're holding your core in a position and it's the gravity fighting against you, but you're holding it there. So you're applying just as much force as the gravity is in that instance to hold that pose. OK, that's an isometric movement.

A concentric movement is when you're moving a weight against the gravity. So you're moving a resistance against itself. So an example of that would be when I am curling my arm up. So if I'm bringing my fist up towards my shoulder. I'm curling. I'm having a concentric contraction in my bicep muscle. If you were doing a push up, when you're pushing your body away from the floor, your chest and triceps are doing a concentric movement to move you against that gravity.

An eccentric movement is when your body is still generally resisting gravity, but you're letting gravity kind of have its way of lowering. So if you in the top position of a push up and you slowly lowered yourself to the ground, or if you're in a top position of a bicep curl and you slowly let the weight go back down to the ground, that concentric movement is usually a power movement.

That's not exactly where you're building the most strength. It's the eccentric portion of the movement where you're building the most strength. So having control of the weight and not just dropping it after you get it moved up is really, really important. If you want to get strong after 40, that's where you're really building the strength is in that control of the eccentric portion of the movement.

OK, the final bit is that you should be trying to make sure that you maintain core endurance throughout the lift. Many of the lifts that you'll do will require you to have your core braced. And only way you can really properly do that is if you do have good core muscle endurance.

You build muscle endurance by holding positions for a period of time. And you want to think of your core, not just as your rectus dominates the muscles in the front, but the whole part of your body, the core of your body, so that's the back, the sides and the front. You want to think of it like a can.

If you thought a can of soda and you want to add a cinderblock and put it on top of that can, if the cans full, it can pretty much hold that cinder block, even if the cinder block is a little off whack. If you empty the can of fluid and you put it there, now it's a little bit more cumbersome. You could still set that cinder block on top. You have to be a little bit more careful.

And if it's a little bit off, it could crush the can. And if the can has a dividend in it anywhere and you try to put a cinder block on there, it's going to crush the can. So if you think of your core in that way, you want to have a good solid core and that requires some training of your core. So core work should be a regular part. And it's not just doing a function of hyper extensions and sit ups and things like that. You want to focus more on maintaining endurance.

So the endurance comes from those isometric moves we talked about. So, you know, doing bird dogs and doing planks and, you know, some other types of exercises that you hold a position that's helping you build that core endurance. And many of the exercises that you're doing, as I said, require that core endurance. So you're building you're building some of that there, too. So but core training should be a part of your strength training to help you maintain good form.

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Next, I want to shift to talking about nutrition. The first thing that you want to make sure, because everything, every function in our body requires water and electrolytes to function properly. You want to make sure you're properly hydrated. So drinking plenty of water, you know, all day, not just during your workout or not just before your workout, but making sure you stay good and hydrated is going to help your muscles perform better. And when you talk about hydration, again, it's not always just about the water.

If you have issues with electrolytes, if you're sweating a lot and or if you're breathing a lot and even, you know, some dry, cold days can cause you to dehydrate a little bit. So making sure you stay hydrated requires you to make sure you're getting your potassium, magnesium, sodium and zinc. And it also requires you to make sure that you're getting plenty of POW plain old water. Don't overfeed.

If you came at this to lose weight and now you want to get strong, a lot of people have the tendency to think they need to overeat. You know, they'll tell you you need a calorie surplus to build muscle. And that's not actually completely true. Yes, if you have a calorie surplus, you'll put on more muscle faster for sure. But we're not worried if we're trying to get strong about actually putting on a whole lot more muscle.

What we just do is we want to build muscle to make it stronger. So you don't necessarily want to overfeed and you can still be at a slight calorie deficit and gain some muscle strength and gain some muscle mass. Even to do that, though, you've got to make sure that you are feeding the muscle. So you will if you're if you're lifting and particularly lifting heavy and you're lifting often, you're going to make sure that you're getting enough protein.

And as a general guideline, I typically try to target about a half a gram of protein per pound of body weight. So me sitting at about 200 pounds. That means I'm going to want about 100 grams of protein every day to make sure that I'm giving my muscles what they need to to build. On days that I train heavier, I'll probably add a little bit more protein on the days that I'm not training, I may eat a little bit less, but in general, I'm trying to average about 100 grams per day, half a gram per pound.

Next, I want to talk about rest and recovery. In between each lift you need to take a short break. Short break. These rest breaks in between each set is when your body basically is rebuilding the energy store inside the muscle. It's called APT. And the body can regenerate some APT in a very short period of time so that you're able to do a heavier lift the next time. So let's say you're doing three sets.

First starting out. You might find that a minute is a long enough rest period for you to be able to go back and do the same weight almost as many times as you did the first time, and then maybe the third time a little bit less than you did the first and second. But you generally want to make sure that you're still lifting in your desired rep range and staging your rest to allow that to happen is really, really important. So one minute works for most people.

If you're lifting heavier or you're going a little bit more intense with stuff, you might want to go to two and a half minutes, but you seldom need to go more than three. And I say that because you don't want to cool down. And if you're just sitting on your phone for five minutes, you probably want to do a little bit of warm up again before you get back into it. So, you know, a good one to two and a half minute break in between each lift.

Try to be consistent with it so you can at least monitor how the rest is working for you. And then you can, you know, ratchet up, ratchet it down as you go. But you want to give yourself at least a minute to allow your body to rebuild its energy stores. And then we're going to talk about recovery. OK, so recovery is the time between workouts. I don't know how many times I've been in the gym and seen, you know, the same person come into the gym, do the same workout every single day.

The thing is, they're not building any strength. They haven't allowed their body to recover. They haven't allowed the muscles to rebuild. The way muscles, muscle and strength works is you do the stimulus, which is the lifting. After you do the stimulus, you make sure you've got the food. So we're getting plenty of protein and we're staying hydrated.

And then we give our body 48 to 72 hours to rebuild that muscle. The stimulus tells the muscle that it needs to be able to do something. And so its response is going to be to make itself stronger. And that's how this whole thing works. And it works whether you're in your 20s all the way up to your 80s and past. If you want to get strong after 40, you need to lift and you need to rest. And that recovery time is really, really important.

A lot of folks, when they first start out, can do a full body. If you think about it in those terms, that just means if you work out on a Monday, you come back in on Thursday, you come back in on Sunday, you come back in on Wednesday. So you're getting two to two and a half workouts per week, and that's plenty of stimulus, particularly in the beginning, to give your muscles what it needs to know, that it needs to grow.

If you find that you want to do more volume because you're getting conditioned, you can do more volume, but you're probably going to have to break up your workouts in what we call splits. And we'll talk a little bit more about exercise selection and things like that and later on. But just kind of give you an idea of how a structure would work.

You need to make sure you're giving your body at least 48 hours to recover and pay attention to it, because some people do recover a little faster. Some some muscles recover a little slower. My upper body recovers much faster than my lower body so it can take on more volume than my lower than my lower body can. But sometimes I need the whole 72 hours for my lower body.And I take that into account based on how hard I'm training.

OK, the next thing I want to talk about is consistency. You can't lift once a month and get strong after 40. It just, that just doesn't work that way. Consistency takes three things. It takes patience. You know, as you go to the gym each day, you're going to have days that are great and you're going to have days that are actually not so great. This can be because of a myriad of things.

It might be your immune system might be dealing with a virus. You might just be a little bit lower energy that day for one reason or another, because your thyroid, because you didn't sleep well, a lot of different things could be going on. You may not have fully recovered, but and so your workouts aren't quite as good. So you're going to have this this thing happening where it's not necessarily a linear thing.

If you have the persistence, which is the second “P” here, you keep showing up and you keep doing it. And what happens over time is you do see a trend to get stronger. And at first it's actually pretty cool because your brain is learning the exercises. It's learning how to fire more and more muscles to muscle fibers to make that movement happen.

A lot of people early on see really good strength improvement and then that kind of seems to plateau. So you have to have the patience and then the persistence to keep pushing on. And that's where the other one comes in, the other “P”, progression.

Progression is about getting stronger. It's about putting more on. You want to do that in a smart way. I call it gentle nudges. So you shouldn't ever increase the weight from one workout to the other more than, say, 10% or so. And sometimes that's hard. I know if you're dealing with dumbbells and it's a 15 dumbbell and now you're ready to move to the next weight and the next weight is a 20, I get it.

That's, that's a lot more than 10%. And so sometimes you're going to be stuck with what you have, but in a general sense to get a really good progression and a strength workout, you want to just try to move up no more than 10%. So a couple of pounds on an exercise is a progression. And when you can get those the full sets in and the reps in and use good form, that's when you want to progress.

I've talked about people coming into the gym. They do the same workout every time they set the weights on the same thing, every time they're not getting stronger because, one they're not stimulating their muscles, because they're not progressing, they're not adding weight to that workout. And then, of course, they're not recovering. But they didn't do the work to need to recover. So they just they're coming in and they're doing a workout, which is great.

I'm glad you're there. I'm glad you're moving. Movement is important, but you're not getting stronger and you're not building strength. So that's what we want to do. We don't want to just stay where we are. We want to get a little bit stronger. We want to add a little bit more muscle mass, because if Sarcopenia kicks in, it's going to start reducing that muscle mass. And as it does, the more muscle you have and start with, the better you're going to be when you start going against that even heavier. So patience, persistence and progression lead to consistency and consistency leads to results.

Now, the next thing I want to talk about in this lineup is exercise selection, and this is really, really important because so many people love to come in and do work that makes them feel good. And that's awesome, but again, it's not going to help you really get stronger. If you see a lot of people coming to the gym and they just blast their arms with these isolation movements. And that's fine. Isolation exercises where you're really just working one muscle and that's fine. If you want to have bigger biceps, you have bigger triceps. That's great to work those muscles, but it's not really helping you get a lot stronger because they're not muscles that you're going to be doing.

What was the heaviest thing that you lift up to your mouth from a low point. And then reality is you're going to find that you're just not using your biceps that much to lift a lot of weight. Now you are using your back and you are using your chest and you are using your legs. So focusing on compound movements now, compound movements are movements that move multiple muscles.

A push up is requiring you to move your chest and your triceps. So it's working multiple muscles. A squat is requiring you to use your quadriceps and your glutes. And deadlift is causing you to use your your glutes and your back and your hamstrings.

So compound movements are going to be your bread and butter for strength exercises. And so as you're doing this exercise selection, a good starting point for most beginners. If you look at most beginner workouts, they're going to involve a squat. There probably can involve a lunge or a deadlift. They're going to involve a push up or a bench press, and they're going to involve a pulling movement like a row or pull up. And then finally, they're going to involve some form of overhead press.

That's a basic five exercise compound movement workout. Three sets of ten start very low in weight. And, you know, as you get good form and you feel good about it, you can begin to do that progression. But all of those are compound movements. Now, if you find that you know your triceps are what's keeping you from being stronger when you do your base workout, maybe you want to add some tricep work in there just to strengthen them a little bit more, because you don't want anyone body part being the laggard that's keeping you from optimizing the strength in other muscles.

So you may do some of that. You may split this up and start doing more of that. And then the final point I want to talk about as far as exercise selection is a term called periodization. When you do the same thing over time, initially, yes, your brain connects with the muscles. It learns how to use more muscle fibers to affect the movement. And your strength gains are pretty good. After that now we're really into the muscle building.

Now we're into the, you know, really focusing on the muscle becoming stronger, not just the neuromuscular connection being firmer. We're actually now strengthening the muscle at many points in time that can stall. That can feel like it's just not going anywhere, and you might feel like you've plateaued. That's where periodization can help. You can set up periodization in any kind of schedule you want. I'm a big fan of either four weeks or eight weeks.

I found that, you know, after about four weeks strength training, you know, that's where they start to see kind of that flattening out by eight weeks. Most people are flattened out. And so if you change up the exercises, in many cases, you're going to spurring more connections for your brain to your muscle fibers and you're building additional strength in those muscles.

So about once every eight weeks, you're probably going to want to change up your program to incorporate different exercises that basically accomplish some of the same tasks. So an example would be, let's say you started out with a back squat where the bars on your back and you're doing that for eight weeks. You may want to switch up and for the next eight weeks do a front squat.

This changes the dynamic of the movement. You're at a slightly different angle. And what I found is for a lot of people, once they learn the front squat, get really good at the front, squat, their back squat naturally gets stronger because they have better core positioning and they feel better under the bar. But understanding these progressions and understanding periodization is really, really important. If you want to continue to see progress and get stronger after 40. The final thing I want to talk about is about getting help.

Weightlifting is it may feel like a very solo sport because it's just you against the weight, but in reality, it should not be a solo sport. The first thing I want to preach here is safety. You do not want to be under a weight that you can't control or that you can't lift if that way it's going to come down on you. So exercise is like the squat and the bench press and in some cases, maybe even the overhead press are things that you just want to be very, very careful with.

Having someone there, or at the very least having a safety rack is really important. I'm going to put a link in the show notes of this podcast where you can go in and see video that I've done about safety rack and how you can use a safety rack for safety. I used one, I basically did three exercises as part what we talked about the squat, the bench press and the overhead press.

On each of those exercises, I use the safety rack to provide safety so that if I couldn't complete the lift, I could get out from under the bar without it, you know, being on top of me. So having someone there to spot you is is really, really important if you don't have access to a safety rack.

In most gyms, when you're working out, if you need a spot, ask for a spot. And people will love to come over and help you as long as it's not something that's, you know, too long, too much. But just, you know, tap a guy and say, hey, do you mind spotting me?

And most people in gyms are going to be more than happy to come over there and help you get that lift done safely. Or you can hire a personal trainer. Now, I want to take just a moment to step away from, you know, working with a personal trainer to say there are personal trainers and there are coaches. And it's kind of important to understand who you're hiring if you're going to hire one or the other.

A personal trainer is really good about meeting you in the gym at a certain time, giving you a workout, making sure that you're getting good periodization, good exercise selection, again, which was very, very important, that they're timing your rest, they're counting your reps and they're there to spot you on your lifts. And, you know, in some cases, yes, that's even nice that they're there to help you load and unload machines or weights. But personal trainers, really that I mean, they're in the gym giving you, and most personal trainers are not going to be attentive to you or really care too much about what you're doing outside of the hour, two hour, three hours per week that you spend with them.

A coach, on the other hand, is someone who is going to want to spend more time with you. They're going to want to know what you're doing for the rest of the week. They're going to talk to you about nutrition. They're going to talk to you about rests. They're going to talk to you about sleep. They're going to talk to you about a lot of things to make sure that you're doing things outside the gym that will benefit what you're doing in the gym.

And then again, the coach, if they're there with you, is counting reps. They're looking at your form. They're giving you cues. So a coach is more than a personal trainer. It's truly a coach that's there to help you win. And so, you know, if you're looking for a coach, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/programs-guides-challenges. I have a few different ways that you can work with me.

And I'm a coach. I'm not a personal trainer anymore. We focus on a lot more than just here's your workout, here's your thing. Most of what I do is custom for you. So if you come in to work out, there will be some space workouts. But in a general sense, we're going to talk. And if we decide you need to make some changes in your nutrition, your sleep, your rest, your stress or your lifting or the things you're doing outside of lifting, then, you know, we make those changes.

Now, I did get a few questions on Facebook. One of them related to training as a runner and runners are really interesting because a lot of runners don't really want to weight train. And I get it, because if having the best time is what's really important to you, you have to think about your strength versus mass, OK, or power versus mass.

So if you actually are lifting and gaining weight, gaining pounds of muscle, which can happen, what you might find is that that actually slows your time. So you don't necessarily want to get bigger and put on muscle mass if you're a runner. But lifting can be a good adjunct to your running and areas where I see that most runners can benefit from strength training is in the core work and the lateral work.

So exercises that are not just going and then most runners need to do more upper body training. They don't you know, they don't get any work on their arms while they're running. And as a result, they don't see, they basically don't have enough muscle mass up there to have the things we're talking about to build strength. But you can work and build strength and be a runner, too. It just takes training again, a little bit smarter. If you're doing long runs, obviously, you don't want to do a leg day before a long run, so you have to time your rest and recovery better.

Those are some basic aspects there, you know, as far as someone just getting started out. I'd really encourage you to to consider hiring a personal trainer or coach, because if they can show you how to do the exercise properly, you're going to use good form. You're not going to injure yourself. And by all means, if you do ever find yourself that you have an injury, don't don't try to power through it all pain, no gain is actually doesn't work that way.

If you hurt yourself, you're out of the game and you're not going to get stronger. So if you're over 40, I strongly encourage you and you haven't lifted before. I strongly encourage you to get a coach. Someone will teach you how to do the exercises properly. Someone will pay attention to your movement patterns and make sure that you're doing the right things in the gym and away from the gym to get strong after 40 and optimize your results in time.

You know, if you spent hours in a gym each week, you want to make sure you're getting a benefit for that time. If you're eating extra protein and you're, you know, working on your sleep and your health, all those different things, you want to make sure you're getting your results.

And so you don't want to be injured. You want to make sure you're doing it right, and you want to make sure there's someone there to kind of push you and hold you accountable. So hiring a good coach is really, really important if you want to get the optimal results.


Post Show/Recap

Post show with Rachel.

Patreons

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

– Anne Lynch– Debbie Ralston– Margaret Bakalian
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

Less...

How to use seasonal ketosis in an ancestral-based healthy lifestyle

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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.

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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.

Transcript

[00:02:48.920] – Allan
Ras, how are you doing.

[00:02:50.130] – Ras
Great Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:52.570] – Allan
A little frustrated. The Panamanian government reneged on giving us our Saturdays back. So now it's the last time I thought I was going to get a Saturday off. And it appears that they decided that Bocas del Toro doesn't. And part of it is, you know, at least at this point, they're thinking in terms of states or provinces as we are. And we just happen to be associated with Bocas del Toro province, which includes the mainland. And so they are having some major outbreaks in on the mainland. But last we heard, there was less than twelve cases here on the island.

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
Wow, it's so sorry to hear that. That's awful.

[00:03:41.850] – Allan
Well, it is what it is. It's just, you know, this, too, will pass.

[00:03:45.990] – Ras
Yep.

[00:03:46.410] – Allan
It just means I'm going to get more miles in during my five days I can walk then.

[00:03:50.690] – Ras
That's true.

[00:03:51.390] – Allan
Than I normally would.

[00:03:52.880] – Ras
That's true.

[00:03:53.630] – Allan
So how's your week been.

[00:03:55.340] – Ras
Good. Good. Got a good run in this morning. Our weather's cooling off a little bit so running was great this morning and I've got a run club tonight so I'll be getting a few more miles with some friends tonight too. So that'll be fun.

[00:04:09.030] – Allan
Cool. Yeah. All right. So let's go ahead and get into today's episode. I'm going to be talking about seasonal ketosis, and it's a term that, I coined the phrase and I talked about a little bit in my book, and I recognized that I've mentioned it a few times on a few podcasts and I briefly describe it. But I wanted to go into a little bit more detail because I was talking to somebody about ketosis and they're like, oh, I could never eat like that year round.

[00:04:36.420] – Allan
You know, every once in a while I want some cake or bread or something like that. And so I said, well, you can have your cake and eat it too, with some stipulations. So let's go ahead and get into that episode.

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
You know, I'm either all on or all off. So if I took a weekly cheat day, you know, or carb up day, I just don't know what that day after that might be like. And I might just go ahead and have a second cheat day. So when I start my famine season, you know, in my ketogenic diet, I start dropping weight relatively quickly and then I'll get to my set point and I'm good, you know.

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
All right, Ras welcome back.

[00:34:15.510] Ras
This is great. A lot of good stuff in the episode.

[00:34:19.320] Allan
Yeah, you know, most people that will talk about ketosis, they talk about in terms of it being a permanent lifestyle. And it can be. But I think it's it's kind of easy for people to get roped into measurements or things and not necessarily doing it for the right reason. I knew that I was going to roll up on football season and want to go tailgating. You know, since I finished my Tough Mudder, I was like having a beer and I was out of ketosis that afternoon, that evening.

[00:34:50.880] Allan
So, you know, just for my life style perspective, it just didn't make sense. They're going to be periods of time that I was not. But I found a manageable way that I could spend some of the year in ketosis and get the benefits that I wanted to get, but at the same time, spent some time doing some things that I enjoy.

[00:35:11.220] Ras
That sounds great, I'm glad that you found this new way to work keto into your normal lifestyle. That sounds like it's flexible enough to work with the way that you like to live.

[00:35:23.000] Allan
It does. You know, of course, you know, this year I had a little bit of difficulty getting out of the beast mode just with everything that was going on. I did put on a good bit more weight than I normally would have. But I've dropped almost all of that now and I'm back down to near a low for the last five years, I've been running at about two hundred and seven pounds.

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
Yeah. That's what I wanted to ask you about that. As you watch the scale go up and down, how does that impact mostly how you feel? Because to me a few extra pounds can feel kind of yucky and sluggish for me. But for you, how does that feel when you're in the fisting mode versus the famine mode?

[00:36:31.660] Allan
Yeah, well, first off, I'm but I'm about five foot 11, so I can I think I can carry 200 pounds pretty well and I can carry up to two fifteen I would say. I don't actually worry about the scale as much. I mean occasionally I'll step on it during my fisting mode just to kind of see where I am. I can usually just guess by looking at how my pants fit.

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
Yes, totally different rules for covid.

[00:37:58.930] Allan
And so, you know, if you're someone that's really stuck on the scale and you just know there's this weight, your magical weight you're supposed to wear, your head tells you, this is my no, you're not going to like this. You know, the interesting thing is, like, you know, like I said, I'll put on ten, fifteen pounds in a swing. So from my feasting to that, I will put on up to fifteen pounds.

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
That's true. Sadly, sadly true.

[00:39:13.260] Allan
As much as they'll try to tell you it's okay. It's really good. No, it's not actually really good for you at all. That's fake science. Someone wanted that to be true. They made the hypothesis and then they just said, well, it doesn't kill you, so it's got to be good for you.

[00:39:27.730] Ras
Great. Great science.

[00:39:29.450] Allan
Yeah. So, you know, don't if you're someone who's going to freak out about the scale, if you're someone who has issues with your eating, this is not that kind of thing. You know, find one way that works and stick with that would be my recommendation for that. If you really worried about the scale, stay in ketosis.

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
That's a good point.

[00:40:31.030] Allan
You know, even the people that do cyclical, where they're taking one day off per week, I said that that would actually drive me bonkers because I would feel like I was making all this progress dropping, like I said, seven pounds in a week, only to pick four of them back up. Yeah, it would be like that's all I'm doing is flushing water. I'm not really losing any weight.

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
Yeah, it's a good point. I think that the cyclical, you know, one day a week where you can have a cheat day or cheat meal or whatever, it's a slippery slope because food can be a trigger. And if you have that one serving of chips, that might become the bag of chips and then it might be one more serving the next day, in the next day. And it is a slippery slope. And if you're not confident in your ability to put it away and get back to it, then that can be dangerous.

[00:41:52.180] Allan
Yeah. And, you know, one of the things that I would like to mention is that, you know, we're starting to get anecdotal evidence and maybe some studies where we're looking at performance of someone who's in complete ketosis versus someone who uses carbs as a fuel along with ketones versus someone who's just a sugar burner. And, you know, I'm not going to say one fueling mechanism is best for everybody, but I would put this out there for anyone that is trying to do in terms sport, the heavier you are, the more weight you have to carry for the miles that you're traveling, the more wear and tear you have on your body.

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
Yeah. And I think as an endurance athlete, that's what kind of attracted me to keto in the first place, was I needed to lose a few extra pounds that I was carrying around. Every time we've moved and and we've moved several times as a family, we set up the house. We have projects I can't get in the runs. I gained a few pounds and so I looked to keto for just something different, a way to just get those pounds off. And it actually worked for me.

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
Yeah, I as over the years I found I can get into keto pretty easy. I don't really do the of flu thing anymore since I go in and out, you know, each year I don't really have a kid, I feel a little less energetic for a day or two, but the switch over for me is pretty quick. So that's one of the things I like about doing it the way I do it. But that said, not everybody would you might not have the same experience that I had.

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.

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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
That's awesome. You must be very metabolically flexible then to be able to go on and off and in and out of ketosis. And your body doesn't give you the pain that a lot of people get with people it doesn't know, you know.

[00:49:38.780] Allan
I'm very fortunate. I know a lot of people are not like that. They struggle to get into ketosis. And once they're there, like, I love this, I'm never going back. And, you know, that's cool. But, you know, you eat something bad like you said, you don't maybe you don't even know it has sugar in it or as many carbs in it as it does. And you eat it and you fall out of ketosis.

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
Yeah, that sounds about right. That's what I've experienced as well.



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How to turn each and every slip-up into success

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Due to recent events, I found myself in a very bad place. COVID-19 had drastically changed my everyday life, pulling out of my seasonal ketosis, decimating my exercise plan, and triggering me into several unhealthy eating habits. In fact, all of my healthy habits seemed to fall by the wayside. It was a major lifestyle change for the worse.

I knew I needed to change something. I went back to the simple things that had turned things around for me years ago. It started with a recommitment and positive self-talk. If I didn't want the fat bastard to come back (he was bearing down on me), I had to do what all successful people do. I had to pull myself up to my feet and do the simple things that were within my control.

I'm going to get a little raw during this discussion. Think of like a support group talk where I'm admitting my weaknesses, sharing my mental process, and showing you the small steps I took in a bit of a case study/success story. I hope to give you some tools to use that will give you a better chance of recovery, should you slip as I did.

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This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is brought to you by Usual Wines, available in convenient single serve bottles. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/wine and use the coupon code fitness for $8 off.

Transcript

Hello and welcome to Episode 450 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast. Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness. I'm really glad you're here and I hope that you're someone that's actually gone back and checked out the other 449 episodes we've done, which include over 275 interviews. It's kind of crazy how many people I've talked to over the years about health and fitness. And today I want to talk about something that's really, really important to me because it's a personal experience.

It's something that happened to me recently. And I'm talking to a lot of people and it's happening to them, too. And I want to give you the tools to get past this. And so I'm going to call this episode, “How to Turn Each and Every Slip Up Into Success.” And yes, even the best of us, the best personal trainers, the best fitness people out there. Every once while we make a mistake, every once in a while we slip, it just happens.

We're human and you're human, too. And so a lot's been going on in the world. And I want to kind of talk about my perspective of going through all of this with COVID, with the racial strife in the United States and obviously an upcoming election. Things are really, really crazy in the United States. And it's really hard to be on social media and do those types of things, because, quite frankly, it's just it's scary and it's frightening and it's hurtful and, you know, just all these emotions that are coming out.

I want to talk about this a little bit and give you some of my perspectives. And then after that, I want to give you some tools, some tools to help you the next time you slip. This is a process that I developed to work with my clients because like myself, many of them were struggling. And as I was finding my way out of the dark, I laid some bread crumbs to help them along the way as well. And it's been beneficial to everybody that I've talked to using this method. So I want to share it with you now.

COVID-19 hit the United States in January. I think the first case was registered up in the State of Washington around January 20th. And since then, it grew and grew and grew and obviously has grown into something much bigger, but not quite as big as they projected. So that's the good news. But the reality of it is COVID affected just about every single human being on this earth.

It's changed the way we live. It's changed the way we do almost everything we do and it's changed what we can and can't do. I'm in Panama and I can tell you Panama did not treat COVID like a joke at all. In fact, once they started getting cases in Panama and they were concerned about the medical system being able to keep up, they shut us down. And when I say shut us down, I mean, they shut down all the businesses, every single one of them, except grocery stores and pharmacies.

There was nothing else, just the pharmacy. You could go to the ATM if you needed some money and the pharmacy. And that was it. And they shut us down to a point where I was allotted two hours, two days a week to go do my shopping and that was only for necessities. I wasn't to be out there walking around, getting exercise. I was out there to shop. And so this was my Tuesday morning and Thursday morning from 7:30 – 9:30am were the only times I was allowed outside of my apartment.

Women were allotted 3 days a week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday again, all these times were based on your personal ID card. So your passport depending on whether you were a citizen or resident. Since I'm a resident, I went with my passport. So my time was set. If I was caught outside, they would you know, sometimes they're checking your ID if you're outside of those times or you're somewhere where there's obviously not a grocery store or pharmacy they would arrest you, take you in, and they were doing that for a lot of people.

They really locked us down and that went on for nearly six weeks. So they did slowly start kind of opening things up. And as I'm recording this, you know, sort of the last week of September, I mean, August I'm sorry, you know, they still we still are locked down on weekends. And that means from 7:00 pm on Friday afternoon and evening until 5:00 am Monday morning, we're not to be out and about.

So the police are patrolling. If they catch you out, they'll arrest you. We're required to wear masks. So the whole argument that a lot of people are having about masks or not to mask. They'll arrest you. So you wear a mask. So that's been Panama. We're still on a curfew, so I can't go out at night. So from 7pm to 5am, you can't be out. That's every day.

We're still in this general lockdown. We're trying to slow the spread of the disease in the hopes that a vaccine will come. And that's been my life. You know, my gym's closed down. I was locked in my apartment for four months or more, unable to go out more than a couple hours, twice a week. And quite frankly, I melted down. You know, it was a hugely stressful situation, just reading what was going on.

Even though I could focus a little bit on my clients and I could focus a little bit on my business, I wasn't able to really put my all into that because I was just really struggling with this huge trigger event in my life that scared the crap out of me when I first heard about it. And as a result, I did what most people do. I spent all my days reading articles.

And in fact, you know, because I'm a data geek. I'm an information geek. I was reading every single article I could get my hands on in my search criteria. I just basically would say COVID-19 coronavirus, but not anything that mentions President Trump. And so I removed all of that political garble that was going on because it removed all of, you know, the opinion and stuff that was out there. And it gave me the medical information, the studies, the things that were actually going on in the medical community. The discussions they were having, the treatments and the, you know, the discussions of how they were going to do you know, virus, I mean a vaccine.

I was reading up on this every single day. And the reality of that has hit me that it just really, it pushed me further down. It kept me depressed. It kept me just addled. I didn't have a solution in my own head how I was going to handle this and what it was going to mean to me, to my wife, to my family. You know, our parents are up there in ages. They're all in their 70s. And quite frankly, they're not in the condition to handle something like this.

It was just really, really devastating for me to be sitting here in Panama and think about the things I couldn't do. And even if I had gone up to the United States to be around family, I really wouldn't have been any help to them to protect them. It just would have been the same. So we decided to stay in Panama and we're stuck in our houses and our apartment.

As a result of the stress and everything that was going on, I kind of slipped. So my slip and it involved alcohol. It involved almost no movement. I did bring some equipment from the gym over to my apartment and it sat and gathered dust in the corner. The whole time, I didn't really even have any desire to work out, which was really, really strange for me. But the impact of what was going on in the world, the stress that I was feeling and just feeling incapable of doing anything about it really, really bothered me.

So the no movement, the alcohol, the eating crazy stuff, you know, here and there, the cumulative impact was huge and it was weight gain. You know, the COVID 15 is a real thing. I did my part. I gained my fifteen pounds and I felt terrible about it. But it was, you know, it was just a reaction to what was going on in my life. And it was a major slip for me health-wise. It was not something that I wanted. It was not something that I planned. Sometimes I do plan to gain some weight and enjoy myself and go have a couple of weeks of, you know, fun and crazy at an all-inclusive resort or at a football game or just on some vacation. But this was not that social media.

It was just driving me batty and, you know, as I was going through it. And then, of course, the violence and stuff that was starting to happen in the United States particularly, and all of that coming through, it was just huge. Now, with that, I did slowly start to come out of it and think about what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

So in a sense, this was very much a wake up call for me. I was sitting around thinking, you know. Why am I so bothered by this and what is really driving my behavior? What's the lesson out of all of this? And the reality of it was a few things. One is, you know, I'm watching videos of kind of crazy violent stuff happening. And I'm you know, I'm watching a woman or a man and they're in their 50s around my age and they're getting beat up and they're not able to defend themselves, are not able to help themselves.

And I'm watching people die, not necessarily watching them die, but hearing about the deaths and realizing that they're dying. Not necessarily because they got COVID because a lot of people were getting COVID and just moving on with their lives, recovering and moving on. But there are people just that couldn't recover and they couldn't recover because they just basically weren't taking care of themselves. So, you know, the first realization that came out of this was that COVID-19 is not the Spanish flu.

You know, that we want to compare it to the last pandemic. But the reality is this is apples and oranges. We know how germs pass now. They didn't know as much back then when Spanish flu was going on. And really the only reason that we're having to deal with COVID as much as we are, because in a real sense, it wouldn't be much worse than a flu if we were all healthy. But that's the point. Our health is crap in the United States.

You know, two-thirds of people are overweight, one third are obese, pre-diabetes, diabetes is just rampant. Heart disease is the number one killer. And, you know, as I'm recording this, I was thinking, you know, people aren't taking care of themselves. And right now and like I said, as I'm recording this, you know, there have been 180,000 deaths in the United States, which is tragic. But what we don't think about is there's 480,000 tobacco-related deaths every year.

So if you count the 7 months that COVID's been around as of this point in the United States, it's killed 180,000 and 280,000 have died of tobacco-related illness. Now, I know there's an overlap there. And so what COVID is actually doing, rather, we want to admit it to ourselves or not, is it's just accelerating our death.

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This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Fastic before we had refrigeration, processing and bulk transportation, we just didn't have access to food like we do today because we're opportunistic eaters. Most of us consistently eat more than we should. And our bodies don't know how to signal to us that we've had enough. I practice intermittent fasting regularly, and it's a strategy many of my clients use to get control of food and as a happy side effect, lose weight. Fastic is an app you can download on an Apple or Android smartphone. It's a pretty snazzy app with a lot of tools to help you do intermittent fasting, right. It not only lets you track your fasting, but water consumption, steps and a lot of other things.

You can also connect with a fasting buddy to help keep you even more accountable. If you have an iPhone, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic. For an android, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic. If you're interested in learning more about intermittent fasting, or just need some help getting started. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic for an iPhone. For an android, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic.

Now, we talked about aging last week and a little heads up the next couple episodes are also about aging because as I was going through my moments, I was just thinking, you know, we're aging and we need to be healthy. And so how do I teach people how to age better? How do I teach them to be healthy longer? Because we don't want to go out that way. And, you know, so, you know, we have to take responsibility for our own health.

You know, I had to take responsibility for my health and my fitness. So, you know, when I see some 50-year-old guy getting pummeled or some 50-year-old woman getting pummeled, I have to think in terms of if I were in the United States walking around and got into that situation, am I the victim that they're going to be looking to mess with or am I someone who basically looks like I can take care of myself because I'm in good health and I'm reasonably fit.

It's not that you have to look like Mike Tyson to survive in this world, but the reality is they're much less likely to victimize you, to bully you, to attack you if it looks like you might be able to hurt them back. And so I don't want to throw this out there and really upset a lot of people, but, hey, if this is you, get a little upset, you know, that's OK. This was my wake up call.

If I'm going to take care of my loved ones, I've got to be there for them. I've got to be able to do the things that are necessary, you know, and it goes beyond being able to help my wife out of a wheelchair 30 years from now. It goes to the fact that if someone sees me walking with my wife, they just see me as someone to just pass on because they don't want to attack me.

If a COVID virus or something like that, something similar to this comes again, like I am generally now, I want to be healthy. I want my vitamin D to be where it's supposed to be. I want my B vitamins and zinc. I want all those things in my food so that I'm already healthy. In fact, I stepped up my supplementation because I was locked in an apartment. I've got vitamin D, I've got zinc, you know, like it's almost like a medicine cabinet kind of thing, which I normally wouldn't do, but I just didn't want to take chances.

Being locked in an apartment, limited access to the food. I mean, I have access to food, but it's the same food. So just making sure that the varieties there I've started supplementing. And so I was able to kind of turn this around and I turned it around and I started thinking, you know what I'm doing? All I'm doing is the basic thing that successful people do. The way you get success in this world is you learn from your failures and you do that by doing three things, and that's what I want to share with you.

This is my three-step plan for recovery when you slip. So pay particular attention to this one.

OK, so the first thing is to forgive yourself. And this is the most important thing if you don't really forgive yourself and I mean really like self-love deep. I made a mistake. I screwed up. I shouldn't have sat there and drank myself silly and ate myself silly and sat on my couch reading about COVID virus, things that really weren't going to impact my life or improve my life.

And I did those things for six solid weeks. I can't do that again, but I need to recognize that there were triggers, there were things that made me do that that were out of my control, and I didn't take the moment to stop myself and stay in control. So that's on me. But I have to forgive myself. So I accept responsibility and I forgive. And from that forgive. Now you're ready to move to the second step.

The second step is what did you take away from that moment? What was the learning experience of that moment? So for me, it's when I hit a really stressful period of time, I need to move. I need to move one way or another. Rather, they lock me in an apartment where they really lock me in a room or they lock me in a bathroom. I need to move and I'm going to move next time. If something like this happens and they lock us down, I'm still going to move. I'm going to keep moving as long as I possibly can because that's really helped me.

Since I got out of this, I've been walking regularly. I've been lifting regularly when they started letting me out to do other things besides shop. So I've been doing those things. And it's meant a world of difference, having that movement in my life, doing the meditations, doing the things that are going to relieve the stress, that will keep me from the actions that are detrimental to me. So I learned a lot out of this about myself.

You know, your trainer is not perfect. I'm human and I have to accept that and I have to act on that when something bad is happening, I have to recognize the symptoms and I've got to do something about it. So I've I've changed up a few things in my morning rituals. I've gone through some training. I've done some extra work on myself, mentally, physically. And that's helped me a whole lot. Moved way past where I was.

Now the third. And again, I'm not going to say this is the most important because really the forgiving is. But if you don't act on what you're supposed to do, you set that plan. You're like, OK, I'm going to meditate every morning. I'm going to go for long walks. I'm going to commune with nature. I'm going to get as much vitamin D as I can possibly get by supplementing and getting out in the sun. I'm going to do these actions to protect myself, to make myself stronger, to make sure that I'm the person my loved ones deserve. Then that's the action and that's when you have to do it. Now, what I did as a part of my action was, you know, I stepped up and said, you know, I'm going to go ahead and launch and do a round of what I call eight weeks to WOW.

And unfortunately, as you're hearing this, we've closed out on the third round, which might actually be the last time I do this in 2020. But I went through eight weeks to WOW with the first group that went through and we were all seeing great success, which was really up-lifting. And I, basically going through that program, lost 12 pounds. And then I went through my Strong, Lean Over 40 program, which, you know, I sell it as a program which is a strongly energetic program and then basically lifting part, which would be the coaching part.

And I've been doing that now for about three or four weeks. And I'm down below my pre COVID weight. So the fifteen pounds that I gained, I've lost more than that since May 1st. And I did that because I went through that three-step recovery plan. You know, the three-step plan is to forgive, to learn and plan and then act. OK, so you've got to do those three steps before you're going to get past this, because if you don't forgive, you won't recover.

If you don't set a plan, learn something and set a plan, then you won't step in the right direction. And if you don't actually act, then you're not stepping at all. So it takes all three of these in that order for you to be successful at recovering from a slip. So if you want to go from slip to success, you take those three steps. Now, I'm going to offer you a free gift.

If you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/slip. I'm going to have a little cheat sheet. I call it the slip to success cheat sheet and it's going to kind of walk you through those three steps and give you a little bit of insight into each one and how to apply it in your life. So go ahead and go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/slip and you can download the plan, the cheat sheet and it'll be like I said, it will kind of walk you through.

So if you're finding yourself right now sitting there saying I'm a victim of the COVID 15, you're not a victim, stop being a victim, take action, forgive yourself, set a plan and take action. And this little gift, this little cheat sheet is going to help you get on that track. So you are not a victim. We are not victims. We are in control of our future. We write our own next chapter. Our next chapter hasn't happened.

Now, we have an option right now to take out the pen that we've been writing our life with, and we get to write a new story starting today, so if you're ready to do that, to get this cheat sheet and then reach out to me and let me know what I can do to help you be successful in your journey forward. So I appreciate you being on the podcast today.

The next couple of episodes are going to be about aging. They're really good conversations. I was in kind of an aging mindset as I was going through the last month. And this is what came out of it. We ended up with a theme like that. But, you know, the world is not always positive and it's really, really hard for us to keep moving forward when things just seem to be falling.

You know, at some point, Sharknado is probably going to happen in 2020 because, you know, it's been that kind of year. We kind of laugh about, you know, we're going. But there are two hurricanes coming into the Gulf of Mexico as I'm recording this. So, yeah, it's just a really, really strange year with a lot of stressors in front of us. And having a plan is going to help. Now, the core of all of this, and I want you to start this today, is I need you to start using positive self taught and using positive thinking, have a positive outlook.

I know it's hard, but you're currently healthy. You're currently in good shape, at least more in better shape than being on the other side of the grass. You're listening to this. So just recognize that you do have control in rewriting your future and you can start today. So make that conscious decision to start and then recommit.

Go back to your why and your vision. As we talked about in the Wellness GPS, if you have those two things, they're always going to be that rock, that foundation that keeps you solid and on your feet ready to move forward. OK, so when you take that recommit, you get into it, boom, I'm in. And then you go through and you go through that three-step plan. You're going to make this happen for yourself. I have no doubt whatsoever.



Patreons

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

– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Barbara Costello– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander
– Bill Gioftsidis– Leigh Tanner– Wendy Selman
– Debbie Ralston– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

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