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April 12, 2021

How to run with your dog – Bryan Barrera

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Have you considered taking your dog out with you on your run? In The Ultimate Guide to Running With Your Dog, Bryan Barrera tells you how. Bryan joined us on 40+ Fitness to discuss some of the finer points of running with your dog.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:01:26.870] – Allan
Hey, Raz. How are things going?

[00:01:28.970] – Rachel
Good. Allan, how are you today?

[00:01:31.190] – Allan
I'm doing okay. It's been a busy week, but not nearly as busy as your week. You've got some pretty exciting news.

[00:01:38.340] – Rachel
Yeah. I just got my RRCA running coach certification. So now I am officially a running coach and I'm pretty excited about it.

[00:01:48.320] – Allan
Congratulations!

[00:01:49.400] – Rachel
Thank you. Thank you so much.

[00:01:51.080] – Allan
That's pretty cool.

[00:01:52.170] – Rachel
It is. It was a great class. I learned a lot and of course I knew a lot because I've been running for 20 years. But it was really a good class and very informative. And so now I feel very ready to be able to coach somebody.

[00:02:06.710] – Allan
Perfect. All right. Well, let's get into our conversation today, which is also about your favorite topic running.

[00:02:13.790] – Rachel
Yay, okay!

Interview

[00:02:38.210] – Allan
Bryan, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:02:40.880] – Bryan
Thank you. How are you, Allan?

[00:02:42.410] – Allan
I'm doing great. I just finished reading your book, The Ultimate Guide to Running with Your Dog: Tips and Techniques for Understanding Your Canine's Fitness and Running Temperament. And I got this book. I sought this book. When I saw it, I was like, okay, there we go. One is I know that I need to start building up my own cardiovascular fitness. I love going into the gym and lifting heavy weights.

[00:03:07.760] – Allan
My dog can't do that with me. He can hang out and watch. But I love lifting weights. I need to do some more cardio and I have this new dog I'm going to talk about. We're going to talk about him a little bit. But he has all this energy. He's he's just about a year old. And so I'm like, I need to go do something with him. I need to keep him busy because he's a chewer and he's a little destructive. And so there's some behavior, things I want to deal with.

[00:03:36.230] – Allan
But just also the energy. He's obviously a fit dog but needs to be active. And so I would give him that opportunity, but rather than me, go out and do my runs and then come back and do something active with him. I just thought it would make sense if we could do it together. So when I saw your book on running with your dog, I was like, yeah, this is this is something I want to get into

[00:03:56.570] – Bryan
Awesome man! I think you found the right spot then. I think that's a that's an interesting thing. We've run dogs for people who are marathons and it is a different kind of running so that you've already sort of made that observation that it is going to be a little bit different because there is a preference to kind of go want to run on your own and for whatever reason, people like to run, whether it's to check out, to listen to a podcast or listen to music and get ampped. Whatever that is, it is different because it is about the relationship between you and the dog on top of being healthy and physically fit.

[00:04:26.020] – Allan
Yeah. I kind of brushed on the topic of reasons that you want to run with your dog. Could you dove into that a little bit more? I mean, dogs need structure and they need something and running can be a part of that. Can you give us kind of the lay of the land? What what benefits is our dog going to get from a running regime with us?

[00:04:48.100] – Bryan
Of course. There are a number of reasons that people kind of contact us or contact us to run their dogs. And they usually fall into two categories. It's the physical side. They're overweight. Maybe they just had an injury. They're recovering from something like that or sort of the mental side. And that's why you see it manifest as anxiety, destructive tendencies, hyperactivity. Those are the two basic camps that it kind of falls between.

[00:05:14.920] – Bryan
But, I think going out and going for a run is a solution for a lot of dogs, but I'm very clear to say that it is not the solution for everyone. So there is a bit of understanding who you are as a runner, what your goals are as a runner, and if that links up and fits with what your dog's capacity for that is and really checking your ego. I know you talked about lifting a lot of weight. There are days when, you know, you can push it just like runners and dogs are just like humans. There are days you have good days running, you have bad days running. And being able to be self-aware, identify those things is going to put you in the best position to do that successfully long term.

[00:05:53.620] – Allan
OK, so when we I mean, I kind of get, because it's it's kind of a mantra in the fitness environment. By burning some energy, you're burning some calories and, you know, for managing the calories we're giving our dog and we're running our dog a little bit. You know, they're staying healthy. They're they're maintaining the appropriate weight. And we can talk to our veterinarian about what our actual foods should be and how often and how much they should eat.

[00:06:19.650] – Allan
But on the behavioral side, can we dove a little deeper there? Because in the book I was like, you know, this this solves a lot of problems. People will get a puppy and it's cute and then it's destructive. And then it's doing other things that we don't necessarily want it to do. And you can train the dog. Obviously, with enough work and effort, you can train a dog. But running is going to do some things that make that whole effort much better.

[00:06:46.050] – Bryan
Yeah, I think it helps to step back a little bit and think about sort of what was the purpose for dogs when they originally kind of became companions for people. Right. Originally they were useful on farms or doing work. They had jobs and that was sort of the they earned their keep. Right? And it wasn't just like what it's become over the last sort of like 50 years where we just kind of take care of them and love them. And it's our job to provide the things for them.

[00:07:12.180] – Bryan
Like people didn't have maybe the funds there were, I think in the book somewhere I wrote as well about. And if I didn't, I meant to. Dogs like leisure dogs that were for sort of the the upper class people and people that had dogs that were sort of middle class. They needed them to do work. You couldn't just afford to feed a dog. They needed to go out there and help you round up cattle. And they needed to help running out with the what the firefighters or they had jobs and slowly over time, that's kind of gone away.

[00:07:45.330] – Bryan
But that instinct and that desire to work, it's still within them. So what we've noticed is when they do go for a structured run and might say that unleashed with you intentionally for 30 or 60 Minutes, and you can go further than that. But that's sort of for the purposes of the conversation, within the context of what our company does 30 to 60 Minutes, we can see a change in them sort of on the run and you can see the anxiety or whatever is manifesting that that they are not getting they're not getting enough exercise, they're not getting whatever it is you can see it on the run switch in them from, okay, we're out here having fun.

[00:08:25.140] – Bryan
I'm zooming across left and right, trying to sniff every tree, trying to bark at everything. And they get so laser focused on the run because that is their work to them. And I think it's calling to that like internal like bygone era of what they used to do. So it's really phenomenal to see when you can get into a groove with your dog and then just like how effortless they can really bang out those miles once they have sort of gotten trained up.

[00:08:49.590] – Allan
Yeah. It's funny, in the book, you talked about how dalmatians were used to basically run in front of the firemen so people knew they were coming in and clear out of the way. You know, every picture I've ever seen of a dalmatian, they're sitting in a fire truck. So, yeah, they kind of lost their job somewhere along the way. And now we need to give them some structure, some function, and then that kind of just becomes their their job. And they begin to identify as though this is this is my duty. This is my thing. I do. And that gives them that purpose. And therefore they can burn off the energy. Feeling productive.

[00:09:27.100] – Bryan
Right.

[00:09:29.310] – Allan
Now there are some breeds that you don't want to run. And there are also some times when you might not want to run a dog or any dog or even or maybe just some breeds. Can you kind of get into a bit of which dogs should not run? And then again, if there's times and weather and things like that that where we don't want them to run, that we understand that as well.

[00:09:52.830] – Bryan
Yes. And there are three general groups that have sort of broken it down to and they're all with their own qualifiers. I think to set the tone off the top, I would say all dogs can run. It's just a matter of how us finding out how we can do that safely and for how long and how fast. Right?

[00:10:10.380] – Bryan
So the first group that is sort of a full stop under twelve months. Which is actually very sort of a tricky conversation to have, because that puppy energy is real, man, and they got the dogs want to get after they start they're super cute in the beginning and then they get a little destructive and then they just need to amp up to go. And the idea is like, well, I'll just take the dog out. We'll get them tired. Like running seems to be able to do that. But the letting them out to go and run around a dog park and taking them out and throwing the ball is a very different activity and running style than going out on a sustained run for 30 minutes, where you're pounding the pavement. It's that repetitive activity. And that's because for the pups especially, their growth plates is still growing, their muscle is still being packed on, their ligaments are being stretched out in their joints are actually really susceptible to being misshapen if you do that kind of impactful running.

[00:11:04.340] – Bryan
So if you take your dog out on a run one time for a couple miles, not going to do any harm. But if you're going to do that, if it's a part of your lifestyle, that's when things become problematic. So, Bryan, the person says, yeah, you can take your dog out and take them on a short little trot around the block and just introduce it. I think that's more than fine and healthy. But to do the kind of running that Bryan, the business owner does, that's a bad fit and we will not do that.

[00:11:27.860] – Bryan
The second group are dogs that are called braciaphalic. The best way to picture that is smoshed noses. Most of those dogs are like pugs and bulldogs and things like that. And those people sort of like self select out. They're not really looking to run their own dogs. They just kind of tell, like this dog doesn't want to run. And any time I do, it looks like he's just like had it because of that snorting and chortling and all that sounds.

[00:11:52.370] – Bryan
But the one we have conversations about are boxers. And I know we talked about this a little bit. Boxers are incredible athletes, physical specimens. They are super athletic, but they also have the smushed noses. And I think, again, this is where I answer sort of in two ways back to the original point where it does determining how fast and how far boxers have a need to have such specific attention paid to them while you're running that it's not good for us as a company to run them.

[00:12:24.350] – Bryan
So our decision has been it's not the best fit for us. And it's not that they're not a good fit for us is that we're not a good fit for them. Actually, we can't get them. Give them the individualized attention, because everything that we do is on leash here in Washington, DC. Those are just the laws. And we do pack-style running just as a function of business. So going out for a run with your boxer is more than fine.

[00:12:50.330] – Bryan
I think what you need to look at are the extremities are going to be sort of a little tighter. So you're not going to get above, you know, sort of that eighty, eighty five degrees. Like you want to make sure that the temperature is like sort of perfect. You want to be in that like 40 degree to like 70-75 degree range. And then you're also going to be making sure that you are paying attention to the non-verbal cues, because everything that we're doing with these guys is nonverbal.

[00:13:13.940] – Bryan
You want to make sure that you're watching their tongue. The tongue is the first indicator. If they are in control of that thing, you're fine. Keep going. When there even if it's out of the mouth and it's darting back and forth, the moment you see it sort of lagging and out to the side and you can tell they're just trying to move that tongue out of the way so that they can bring air in. That's when you have to slow down, start the walk and maybe call it a run.

[00:13:35.420] – Bryan
And that can come a lot sooner because that's the function, the mechanism by which they don't call themselves. So what we can do, what we can't do on the on the business side of things, we can't sacrifice the run for the other dogs. And because it's not fair to them to cut their run short because one of the others can't keep up. And it's not that physically boxers can't keep up, it's that we just can't take them out solo. So I think Buster a fantastic run and I think that's one that I get questions for a lot.

[00:14:04.370] – Bryan
And then the last one or the geriatric dogs. And that one is actually really interesting to see because there are some dogs that have come to us in the eight and nine year old range that a lot of families are like I think is kind of had a shot. He's got a gimp, he's got a limp or whatever, and there's some that have been active their entire lives and have started running with us when they were six or something. And they're still running with us until they're twelve, thirteen years old and obviously slowed down a little bit. Or maybe you don't go quite as often, but they can still do it. And it's sort of like how we are as humans. If you spent a lifetime taking care of yourself, eating well, resting, building your body so that it is strong as you age, you're only going to be able to continue doing those things in some capacity, right?

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[00:16:26.490] – Allan
Basically, if I have a dog and I have two, and so the first one I'll talk about is, is Angel. OK, so Angel is a German shepherd. She's about nine years old. We got her as a rescue. And when we first got her, she already had some problems with her knees. So we went through knee surgeries with her. She also has a spinal problem in the bottom of her spine. So some nerve damage there. So she's got some issues. And I wouldn't see her running for some of those reasons, plus like I said, she's nine years old. So not something that I feel like… Obviously I could walk her more spend more time on the beach with her. She won't chase the ball to save her life. She just looks at you like why you throw that, know what you're doing. But another dog gets a ball and suddenly she wants to take the ball from the other dog so she can play. She can have some fun.

[00:17:18.030] – Allan
And we just recently got a another rescue. Didn't really intend to have another dog, but he needed a home and so he has a home and he's about a year old. Best we can tell. He's probably a mix of a maybe a boxer and a pit bull. So it's not a complete smashed nose of a boxer, but it's kind of in the middle of that build of a good, strong, muscular dog right at about a year old. And he just has more energy than the sun. And I know I've got to do something with him. He will chew things up. I've already lost a pair of water shoes and my wife has lost some things. So we need to give him some deal. So he's short hair, but we live in Panama. So, you know, warning runs would probably put us in that 70 degree weather.

[00:18:11.700] – Bryan
Yeah.

[00:18:12.170] – Allan
But obviously, I couldn't stay out too long with him because that would start to warm up. And I just have to be very careful and watch him. So I appreciate that. So all that kind of makes sense to me now as we went through this.

[00:18:22.400] – Allan
Now, the other thing I liked in the book was, one you give you, give a lot of practical advice. So, you know, you're going to want to kit up, you're going to have the right leash. You're going to want to have some supplies and things brought with you, water for you or for the dog, different things. And then just the skill of running with the dog, which is a whole new thing for me to learn, which I love. But the core thing I got in the book and I was like, OK, so now I want to do this run. You even include guidelines. Over the next six weeks, let's let's get your dog ready to go from, as you said, doggy couch to 5K. And in looking at the program, it kind of fits almost exactly how I would train someone, albeit I think the dog will accelerate through this a little bit faster than than we might. Could you talk about your your prep that it's like a six-week program to kind of get your dog into running shape?

[00:19:18.620] – Bryan
Of course. And I think you nailed it. You nailed it on the head there. It is sort of based on what we have done as runners and getting to 5K for us to definitely what I modeled it after. And I've found that a lot of the things work into and you are also right that dogs pick this up so much quicker and they can bounce back a lot quicker than you. So I think it's so deliberate. I thought it was better to write it sort of in this way where it's maybe a little long for most sort of as to not discourage those that weren't seeing the results of like a four-week program.

[00:19:52.400] – Bryan
Right? So I thought people can look at their dog and modify it and sort of scale it up if they needed to, because they're going to have those sort of next steps. If they're saying, like, actually, my dog is sort of chewing up this two-minute walk four-minute run in week three, like Tic Tacs, I think we can sort of maybe bump it up a little bit quicker. So that's kind of why I modeled it after, like a six-week thing, which is like, OK, that's a reasonable amount of time that you're going to commit to doing this. But if you need to, you can always bump it up a little bit quicker because you're going to have that written there. Whereas if I had written it over like a four-week, you know, maybe somebody said, well, what do I do in between here? This is a big jump. My dog is not ready, but it seems like perfectly capable of doing what's here. So I think that's why I ended up doing it sort of that extended out.

[00:20:36.950] – Bryan
Was there anything specific about sort of the plan? I'd be happy to flush that out for you?

[00:20:41.750] – Allan
Well, what I thought was really good about it was you committed a given amount of time to each workout, so spent 30 minutes. You go out with your dog. It's a walk, run, walk kind of program, which is very common in the couch to 5K. It's what Jeff Galloway did his one of his major programs for running. And so as I was because I was kind of looking through it, I was like, OK, this is a little bit more ambitious than I think a person would want.

[00:21:11.120] – Allan
But that's actually part of maybe the coolness of all this is knowing that your dog has that resilience, you could do your own 5K for a human. And do the half-hour and then that becomes your structured half-hour now, once you get your fitness up to a point with your dogs, the dogs can be able to keep up with you. The dog is going to be able to recover as fast, if not faster than we do, especially those of us over 40.

[00:21:36.320] – Allan
So I just thought it was a really good program in the book to be able to go through and say, OK, here's some structure. If I'm just not quite sure. But then you did touch on something. I think that's also equally important. Pay attention. Your dog's going to be giving you some nonverbal cues that we're going too fast. Or it might be telling you, hey, ratcheted up, dude, we've got miles to cover.

[00:22:00.560] – Bryan
Yeah. Something you brought up there. Why I did it in time increments as opposed to mileage. I know there's a few others out there and there's no shortage of basic information about sort of things like this as well. Why I did it for a duration as opposed to a mileage is when like us, if we can institute routines and sort of make things follow up, plan for them, they're only going to benefit from that because they know, hey, we're going to be out here for this amount of time every other day or three times a week or whatever it is that you decide is the best start for you guys. Right?

[00:22:35.780] – Bryan
And I think instituting that commitment to the routine is also going to help them mentally prepare for what they're about to go do. So I think it twofold. If you go out and we're just going to do it for a mile and the dog is not going to actually make it a mile, well, that's bad news and you're going to feel like fighter. So it's almost like hacking your systems inside of you internally that can help you stay committed to the plan.

[00:23:00.380] – Allan
Yeah, well, because if I told Buster, hey, we're going to run for a mile and we're going to walk for a mile, the buster is not going to have any idea what I'm talking about. But if I go out there with Buster and I'm walking for, you know, for my two minutes and Buster's cool with that, then I'm like, OK, Buster, let's go. And then we run for two minutes. Then he knows that's what we've done and we make that cycle. So for that whole week, that's my three runs. He gets comfortable.

[00:23:24.450] – Bryan
Exactly.

[00:23:24.950] – Allan
And then it's like, OK, we walk for two minutes now, we're going to run for three. He figures out, OK, we went for three. Now if I had a big fast dog, maybe and I'm a big fast runner. If I was, maybe I'm covering, you know, a mile or more, you know, in that in that time that I'm running, maybe I'm not maybe I have a smaller dog or slower dog or the dog that needs a little bit more patience and pace. And so we're not quite putting in the miles the way you would think. But a good 30-minute workout three times a week is going to be beneficial to you and obviously now beneficial to your dog.

[00:24:03.470] – Bryan
Exactly.

[00:24:05.500] – Allan
Bryan, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:24:13.480] – Bryan
Well, one's self-awareness, listening to your body. Finding out what like a long-term ache and pain is. Sometimes we're not always feeling our best when we get out there. And I get that. And listening to something barking at you continuously, go get it looked at. There's no sense in sort of beating yourself down and making it a longer-term problem.

[00:24:32.680] – Bryan
Second is getting rest. I think that's one of those ones that everybody kind of says, it's sort of like when people talk about eating and gains are made in that in the gym. Right? For your stomach or in the kitchen for your stomach. Right Everybody wants those abs.

[00:24:45.790] – Bryan
And then especially given what we do, drinking plenty of water, staying hydrated for both you and the pup, honestly.

[00:24:52.090] – Bryan
So drinking water, getting rest, having the self-awareness to just listen to your body, I think are the best thing you can do for your health.

[00:24:58.330] – Allan
All right. Well, Bryan, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, The Ultimate Guide to Running with your Dog or DC Dog Runner, your dog running company, where would you like for me to send them

[00:25:12.430] – Bryan
They can find the book. It's on Amazon. It's at Target, it's Barnes Noble. I think it'll be in a number of pet stores as well. And then dcdogrunner.com is a great resource. I'm always happy to just have conversations with people about dog running. If you like pictures of very cute dogs on runs, DC Dog Runner, I guess it's DC_dog_ runner on Instagram, actually. So any of those places are great and just connecting with people is something that I enjoy doing. So any questions? I've answered many questions in the comment sections or indirect messages. I'm always happy to sort of give my opinion. I talk about being a generalist and I haven't run with your dog necessarily. But I can definitely give you all the tips and techniques for understanding your canine fitness and running temperament.

[00:25:59.920] – Allan
The book is definitely a really good resource. It's something that I'm going to pay attention to as I start trying to put together a program for Buster and myself. So thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:26:12.820] – Bryan
Of course. Thank you for having me on.


Post Show/Recap

[00:26:19.240] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:26:20.440] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, what a fun conversation you had, and that sounds like a really good book.

[00:26:25.780] – Allan
It is a good book. He talks about some of the tools and things that you would have and he talks about just how to get your dog, get to know your dog so you can run with your dog. And just some of the things that we discussed before and after the conversation there, he I still don't feel confident that I can run with my dog.

[00:26:48.040] – Rachel
Oh, no.

[00:26:48.940] – Allan
It's not the book's fault is is this the dog's fault? He has no understanding of most anything. And while I know he's trainable. It's just. I know he's going to cut in front of me. I know he's going to see a cat or a bird and want to take off. And so I would just say if you're and you've got some experience with this, but if you're going to start running with your dog, it's a slow process. And I know he puts a kind of a couch to 5K for doggies version in there. That's if you're already a pretty strong runner.

[00:27:26.120] – Allan
You've got good balance, everything's optimal and you have a good place to train your dog. Around here, I really wouldn't have anything that I would feel confident other than running up and down the beach would be about the only place I would feel safe. And then it would be a trial and error of trying different leashes and just doing different things to a point where I would feel comfortable that he wasn't going to take me for a spill.

[00:27:52.310] – Rachel
Right. And that actually probably would be a good place to start training him. And I do have a little bit of experience. When I first got my dog, Stella, she was about a year old. She was a rescue and she was picked up as a stray, which means she had no manners, no commands, no behaviors, and certainly no experience on a leash. So when I hooked her up to at leash for the first couple of times, she pulled like a fish on a line. It was awful, a lot like fishing. She would be in front of me a couple of feet and zigzagging all over the road, smelling it things, looking at things. And then she would come to an abrupt stop. And I did a couple of Supermans over her with getting a little bit of road rash. She tripped me a few times and that's when I started to do some research.

[00:28:40.130]
We put her on a gentle leader collar, which I really recommend for new time, dogs that need to get used to walking and running on a leash because that puts all of the control on you. Their neck muscles are really weak and a gentle leader goes around their nose and above the upper part of their head, like behind their ears and their neck muscles are really weak. So if you want to start change direction, stop any commands, they'll feel it. They'll feel it really quickly. You'll have a lot of command that way. And we use that with Stella. We went on a lot of walks and it took a lot of practice and a lot of commands and they're learning how to walk on a leash and the command for walking and Stella knows the command for run. So she knows a different way to behave when we have her on a leash.

[00:29:36.140] – Allan
Yeah, that that took considerable patience. This was not a I'm going to go out and start running with my dog tomorrow. This is we're going to go out and we're going to we're going to do a little bit of running here and I'm going to teach that and a good tip on that leash because I've I've got one of those retractable, which is something you definitely recommends you don't have if you're trying to run with a dog.

[00:29:57.110] – Allan
He will see something and forget that he has this leash on and just take off and a dead run. And unfortunately, when he gets two to three steps in, he's already full speed and I'm not going to let go of the leash. So he does a 360 and then looks back at me like what just happened? And I'm like, still on the leash, dude.

[00:30:21.980] – Rachel
Yeah. And that takes total practice. And I and I retractable leashes can be really dangerous for you and the dog because it's easy to lose grip of that plastic handle. So now with Stella, I have her walking on my left. That way I'm facing traffic and I'm on the road and she's on my left side. So she would be and the inside of the shoulder that way she can't dart in front of a car or into traffic, which she wouldn't. But because I've trained her. But I'm on the side facing the traffic. And so I have her directly on my left. I want her head where my knee is. That way she won't dart in front of me and trip me like she has in the past. And that way I have a tighter rein. On her leash is a shorter leash and I have a little bit more control over it as well. So they can't dart out in front of you. And like you said, the leash goes the full length and then they get a rude awakening and you have your arm ripped out of your shoulder.

[00:31:23.960] – Rachel
So if you have a shorter leash on your left, that would be one thing to try. Although I know a lot of dogs out there who can run ahead of a runner and they'll stay ahead of a runner without stopping and without pulling. But it just depends on the personality of the dog and their relationship with the owner.

[00:31:42.350]
Yeah, no, Buster, I'm going to say we're not into the best of terms right now. He's not been the best dog. Likes to tear up Tammy's plants and she gets angry and unhappy wife, unhappy life. So. Yeah I definitely know, I need to get him out there and get some exercise. It might just be and this is another thing that Bryan talked about, which sometimes just running your dog is quite literally what everybody else does, and it's just playing fetch and let the dog get out and just free run and play fetch with it, because that's the temperament of the dog and how that dog's going to get healthy, stay healthy and be active.

[00:32:27.700] – Allan
And what I found with dogs is if you start running down the beach on your own, the dog's going to run along with you. So, if you can and make sure you're obeying any kind of leash laws and things like that. But basically giving that dog the freedom to kind of play with you, if you will, might be a better choice for me than trying to be a road racer with him right now, because he's just too rambunctious. And I wouldn't feel comfortable looking out for taxis, looking out for him and all of that. So, yeah.

[00:33:01.240] – Allan
It's a good book if you're interested in learning how to run with your dog or learning if your dog is the right kind of dog to be run because not all dogs are. It's a really good book for basically knowing your dog well enough to know if he or she could be a runner. And if they are, it gives you kind of some guidelines on equipment and things like that. So you can do it safely. But as always, anything you're going to do running wise or otherwise outdoors is know your environment, be safe, bring water for the dog. You got to carry your water and maybe the dog needs to carry some water and figure that out.

[00:33:44.500] – Allan
Just as you're going to do this like any new thing, go slow, have patience and now patience for two, because it's not just you, but you also have to have patience that the dog is going to get where you need them to be so that you can have safe and productive runs.

[00:33:59.920] – Rachel
Yeah, that sounds great. Sounds like a great book. Very helpful tips in there.

[00:34:04.150] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.

[00:34:07.210] – Rachel
Sounds great. Take care.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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April 5, 2021

Running longer distances after 40

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Most people who get into running start with a 5K as an initial goal. But then what? On this episode, Rachel and Allan discuss how to train for longer distances.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:03.700] – Allan
Hey, Raz, how are things going?

[00:02:05.890] – Rachel
Good, how are you today, Allan?

[00:02:08.800] – Allan
I'm doing great. We're not really going to have much of a preamble for this one because I want to get right into the meat of this. I'm going to have my favorite running coach on the show, Rachel Everett.

[00:02:21.070] – Rachel
Thank you. Thanks so much. Thanks for having me back.

Interview

[00:02:25.840] – Allan
So, yeah, to the last time you were on, we talked about training for running, just getting started running. And for most people, that's going to take the form of something like a couch to 5K type program, where they're just building up some basic endurance to be able to do a little over three miles, probably not in the overall training. They might not make it to three miles, but in a race, they would feel confident that they could keep going and complete the 5K, which is a 3.1 miles.

[00:02:55.390] – Allan
Today we're going to talk about running longer distances after 40, which is a different beast.

[00:03:03.550] – Rachel
A little bit.

[00:03:05.890] – Allan
A little bit. It's something that a lot of us do because we we we master the 5K at least, you know, we realize that we're not going to be able to run any faster than we are. So we forget PRs in the 5K and we start looking to longer distances as that next challenge that's going to keep us excited about running. So, you know, we'll talk about some of the basic distances when someone saying, OK, I've run the 5K, what's kind of the things that they could see coming up and training for that, they would be in a really good position to to reach out and do?

[00:03:45.040] – Rachel
Well after the 5K is the 10K and then the half marathon. And I lump those two together because they have very similar key points in training that we can talk about today.

[00:03:57.070] – Rachel
But before we get to the 10K, I want to celebrate the 5K, in that you've made it this far and you should celebrate your accomplishments because not very many people run 5Ks, but the 5K is actually a special kind of race in and of itself. It's a challenging distance. You can improve your time. You can find different races to support. You can do them all the time. You can do one or two a month or three or four a month if you're so inclined. So the 5K is really kind of like a perfect distance for running in that it will maintain your weight, it'll improve your health. And there's still a lot of joy that you can get out of the 5K for sure.

[00:04:38.530] – Rachel
But when you're ready to run longer distances after 40, the 10k I fully recommend is the next step.

[00:04:45.250] – Allan
Yeah, and the other thing that I think is really cool about the 5K is when you're in 10k or even marathon shape, the 5K can still be a fun run. It can be a part of the training. So, you take you do a 5K and you use that as your speed or you run. That is an interval set. So you're trying to run faster and then, trying to use that as that.

[00:05:08.350] – Allan
Or, when I ran my first marathon, it was the Blue Angels Marathon. The Sunday after that, they had a 5K over the bridge into Pensacola Beach. So since I was already in town, I didn't live in Pensacola at the time. I was like, I'll just stay over one more night. And instead of just getting up in the morning and driving, I will go ahead and get up and I will do a slow 5K as a way to get my muscles moving because I was pretty certain with the first one I was going to be I was hurting. And I kind of was.

[00:05:45.040] – Allan
But it was good to get out there and kind of do that that short distance. I mean, at the time, relative to a marathon, the shorter distance just do it casually. In fact, I was running along at one point this woman passed me, she was pushing a stroller. So, yeah, I wasn't in any hurry. And I did it. And then then I was good to go for my five-hour drive home.

[00:06:07.840] – Rachel
Oh, wow!

[00:06:09.610] – Allan
If I had just gotten in the car right after the marathon and tried to do that drive, I wouldn't have recovered as well. And we're going to talk a little bit about recovery later. But to me it was a good way to flush the legs, get some more blood going through what we call active rest. So you can take these 5Ks and make them really cool.

[00:06:32.740] – Allan
And the other thing that's really interesting about most 5Ks is there's usually a pretty cool charity associated with the 5K. A lot of the 10Ks is do too. And sometimes there's 5Ks and 10Ks in the same race or at least the same day. And sometimes there's even marathons, half-marathons, all kind of paired together. It's just a pick your distance kind of deal. And a lot of times they do have charities. But what you'll find with the 5Ks is that there's a lot more participants. And as a result, those can raise quite a bit of money for charity. They're typically not that much I mean, you pay something like I guess right now it's probably somewhere but 30 to 40 bucks in that range for most of the 5Ks.

[00:07:16.970] – Rachel
Yeah.

[00:07:17.240] – Allan
You get into some of the longer races because of the costs associated with the time distance that you're covering, they can get a little bit more expensive. Plus, for most people who are doing marathons, there's not five or six marathons going on a month in your general location. You're going to be traveling to many of these. So and that's also a big cool part of the whole half-marathon, 10K is to go someplace you've never been and make a weekend of it.

[00:07:42.080] – Rachel
Oh, absolutely. I do love to play in races around vacations or maybe vacations around races. Either way, it is nice to get out of town, that's for sure.

[00:07:51.320] – Allan
Or even work trips, because that for me that was a big part of it, me saying, okay, I happen to be working in Washington, D.C. when the Marine Corps marathon was going on. I also did I also did a 10K there. And so, yeah, I just happened to be there and I'm like, okay, I'm flying in already. I'll just fly in a day or two early and I'll just do this little race.

[00:08:13.870] – Rachel
Awesome. That's wonderful.

[00:08:16.040] – Allan
So yeah, there's lots of opportunities to do these, these runs. And so, Rachel, if someone is considering running longer distances after 40, what are some of the key things that they should consider?

[00:08:30.170] – Rachel
Well, right off the bat, I would suggest you talk to your spouse and your family and friends and share your goal to run a 10K or a half-marathon. Like I said, we're going to lump both these two distances together. And the reason why I say that is because you're going to be spending a little bit more time on training for this longer distance than you had done for the 5K. And what that means is there's going to be a slight disruption of the balance of responsibilities at home.

[00:08:57.800] – Rachel
You're going to have to balance your responsibilities at work and you may not have as much time to spend with your friends and social engagement. So you're going to be spending some time on training and that might kind of disrupt the balance of your normal daily life. So share your plans with your friends and family for sure. Yeah, I know.

[00:09:19.430] – Allan
When I started training, I basically had a membership at a gym. I couldn't run around D.C. because it was just all concrete. And I didn't feel good running on concrete ever. I never have. I've never liked running concrete, but so I just went to the gym and I'm like, okay, I'll do, you know. 20 minutes on the treadmill. They limit me to 20 minutes on the machine. So I go to machine and do 20 minutes and then I've moved to a different machine somewhere else and do something else. And so I was doing elliptical, I was doing stepper, I was doing all kinds of stuff and so up about 20 minutes at a time and I built up to a point where I was doing that for four hours and the only way I could really do that was to leave work at six o'clock. And so to be able to do that, I had to be at work at eight o'clock and work my ten hours and not take a lunch to get my training in.

[00:10:09.890] – Allan
And so I had to talk. I even had to talk to my boss because it impacted my work schedule if I wanted to get that training in. And so that's basically what I would do. I would do four hours for three days of the week and then Friday would Thursday be my day off. And then Friday would be another kind of medium speed day. And then Saturday and Sunday were my long runs. But I had to do my Sunday run early in the morning. My Saturday was kind of free. I could do it when I want to. But yeah, I had to have a conversation with my significant other at the time and say, hey, I'm going to be doing this run. And that means I'm not going to be at the house for potentially three or four hours on a Sunday.

[00:10:54.080] – Rachel
That's right. Yeah.

[00:10:55.550] – Allan
While I'm going and doing this thing and what's your schedule look like and just trying to make all that fit.

[00:11:00.650] – Rachel
Yes. And when you have kids and school and other outside responsibilities, it does get kind of tricky. That's why you want to have the buy-in of all the important people in your life.

[00:11:13.040] – Allan
Now, the second one you have on here is is pretty interesting because I think a lot of people think to run longer distances after 40, you just run more.

[00:11:23.120] – Rachel
Yes. And most runners like that. Most runners like to run more, but there's actually more to it. And when you're moving up to a 10K or a half-marathon, many of the training plans you'll find will include specific drills like speed drills, hill repeats. They will also include cross training. You don't want to spend all of your time running and and hurting all your joints and just damaging your body. You just need to give your running muscles a break every now and then. So that's why there's cross training built into plans as well as rest days.

[00:11:58.190] – Rachel
So a lot of training plans will have you bike or swim and a rest day is not necessarily sitting on the couch and binge watching TV all day, they might have to do some act of rest and that could be just taking your dogs for a walk or just getting around the house, doing chores around the house, yard work, whatever. As long as you're staying busy, you don't want to sit too long.

[00:12:19.930] – Allan
Yeah, I know. When I was doing my training, it was it was kind of one of those cross training things where I was like for a marathon distance. I needed to be able to move for four hours. That was kind of my target time was to finish the race within four hours. And that's how I trained. I trained to keep my body going. I recognized that there would be hills. And so you got to run some hills, although I was in Pensacola, so there actually weren't that many hills for my first one. Big Sur was an entirely different matter.

[00:12:54.220] – Allan
But, you know, you you know the course, particularly if you know the course, that you're going to be trying to run understanding, okay, there's a hill and this is you know, this is what people are doing. And so if you're talking to people that know the race, they'll be able to tell you, yeah, there's actually a section of it that's in sand and that's really, really hard to run in.

[00:13:16.840] – Allan
And you have to do that for a period of time that's going to really where your legs out if they're not stronger than you would think you would need to be to run on asphalt.

[00:13:25.880] – Rachel
Oh, so true. Yeah. If you do have a goal race in mind, if you've picked the place where you want to run your first 10K or first half-marathon, it is good to check out some of the race reports and see a description of the race to see if there's a lot of vertical gain. If if there is a trail or like you said, sand. I've run a couple of races in the sand. So if you know what to expect on race day, those are things that you can practice during your training to make sure that you get some extra hill repeats in there or practice on the trails in the parks around your home or something.

[00:13:58.780] – Rachel
So that type of specificity is important as you do get closer to race day and at the other cross training things are other ways that you can build up your muscle, strength and endurance as well as your cardiovascular system without beating up your legs by running day in and day out.

[00:14:16.870] – Allan
Absolutely. So now the third one you have here on our list is clothing. One I would say with clothing, I think we're actually going to talk about this a little bit later. But there's a there's a lot of options out there, some that are very bright and shiny, fluorescent so people can see, which is important. And while people will tell you and it's true, running can be the cheapest sport there is because you literally have all the equipment right there with you right now, you don't even have to buy shoes. You can run barefoot if you want. Most people will buy shoes. And I advise people to invest in at least one good pair of shoes to start with. But let's talk a little bit about what should people be considering with apparel, particularly when they're trying to run longer distances after 40?

[00:15:13.870] – Rachel
Well, I'm going to start with the shoes again, because the proper fitting shoes is probably the most important gear that you can possibly have. So take a look at the bottom of the running shoes that you've been wearing and see if you can see signs of wear and you'll see the lugs, the little knobs on the bottom of your shoe. They'll wear down in certain places. After some time, you'll feel the foam on the inside or the insole that you have in the shoe just doesn't feel quite as bouncy and cushiony as you had felt when you had first put them on.

[00:15:44.380] – Rachel
And that means the shoes have worn. There's kind of a rule of thumb. Your shoes can last anywhere between three and five hundred miles, which sounds like a lot to a new runner. But you'd be surprised if you're wearing them and walking the dog or walks in the park as well as during training. The shoes get beat up pretty fast and even the foam needs about 24 days to recover after you pound them down on a run. So shoes are so critical.

[00:16:11.710] – Rachel
I know that they are expensive because I buy a lot of them myself. But I can tell you too that they are a lot cheaper than visiting the doctor and rehabbing an injury because you stuck in the same shoes. So make sure you invest in the proper fitting shoes.

[00:16:26.980] – Allan
Yeah, I'm a pronator and so the outside of my feet, that part of my shoe will wear down when I'm running. I went to a running store when I was training for the marathon. I said, okay, I'm going to be doing some running and training for it. And this I was getting into it and the guy goes on, he says, okay, I want you to run down the street here and then run back to me.

[00:16:50.830] – Allan
And then he kind of sized me up and you said, okay, you're a pronator. And so he he kind of he said to measure my foot. You've got very wide toe set. So you to. I Toback's and you need something that's going to provide stability, and so he recommended a couple of different brands of shoes, I tried them on and found one that I liked that I didn't have to mortgage my house for.

[00:17:18.650] – Allan
And I think the other two things I would add with shoes is one. One is more expensive. Doesn't necessarily mean better.

[00:17:26.670] – Rachel
Right.

[00:17:27.330] – Allan
OK, that's one thing is, you know, just get just look for better and you can pretty much go online to the running magazines are running really good running sites and they'll review the shoes every year. So you can go in there and kind of get an idea because they'll tell you, this is an overpriced shoe. Don't pay $500 for this running shoe, $120 is probably about as much as you would have to spend to have a really good running shoe, maybe even less than that in some cases.

[00:17:55.410] – Allan
And the other thing is, I would say wear the shoes that you're going to run in to train it. Don't have a race pair and a training pair. Replace your shoes regularly, but have shoes that you break in and feel good with in training because the things you do in training will reflect how you do in the race as long as what you're doing in the race is the same thing you did in training.

[00:18:23.490] – Rachel
Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And don't pick out shoes by color. They're all kind of crazy colors these days. And that's okay because then people will see you.

[00:18:33.600] – Rachel
And similarly with their apparel, with your dry-fit shirts and shorts and socks and everything. This is where you're going to want to pay a little bit closer attention to what you're wearing. Now, when you were training in the 5K, you might have been running for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. And now as you're training for a 10K or half, that might extend into maybe 30 or 40 minutes at a time. And you might also even have a little bit of a walking warm-up and maybe walking cool down.

[00:19:06.810] – Rachel
So you're going to be spending a lot of time in these clothes. And what you're going to want to watch for would be chafing and blisters on your after your socks and your shoes. So with chafing a lot of the tags and the neck of your shirt or in the back of your shorts that can irritate the skin around your neck and on your back, the seams that go around your shoulders or around the bottoms of your shorts or even on your waistband, they can get irritating as well and really irritate your skin causing chafing, which hurts a lot. You don't want that.

[00:19:42.900] – Rachel
And you won't recognize that when you're training, when you're only running for maybe 20 minutes at a time, you may not notice. But when you're wearing that same shirt or that same pair of shorts for 30 or 40 minutes, you'll start to feel this friction, which is why you want to have clothes that fit well and that have that dry wicking quality so that when they do get wet, they can dry a little bit faster and not irritate your skin quite as much.

[00:20:08.310] – Allan
Yeah, I had all kinds of blister problems. And I can just I can you know, it took them longer distances and really I didn't have a solution that got a lot better stuff today than they had when I was running. But moleskin is your friend. So if you do find that you're doing some training and you get a hot spot on your foot, go out and invest in some moleskin that will save your skin and keep you from blistering.

[00:20:31.530] – Allan
So if your shoes giving you a hot spot, just be aware of that and you might have the wrong size shoes, as we mentioned before. So you might need to be fitted with another pair of shoes. But beyond that, moleskin can be your friend. If you just start noticing the hot spot and you notice it early enough, a little bit of moleskin can go a long way. And then the other thing I'd put out there, just as a general advice, don't wear a tutu.

[00:20:56.508] – Rachel
Tutu's are fun. Skirts are fun.

[00:20:59.640] – Allan
Skirts are probably fine. I don't know. I don't have any experience running. But we were doing a we were doing it but run it was a warrior dash. And the guys, we were kind of joking around about different things are going to wear. So we were going to wear these football jerseys. The girls wanted pink and they voted pink. And so they got pink. And then they also wanted us wearing tutus. So we were all wearing tutus. And I'll try to find a picture of that and put it in the show notes you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/480 and I'll see if I can have a picture of us in the tutus. But yes, chafing I didn't have I couldn't carry my arms high enough to not shave on the on the tutu. So I don't advise running with a tutu.

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[00:23:17.190] – Allan
So, Rachel, then you talk about we talked I talked a little bit about this, the optional gear, the other things that you would potentially want to have with you or be have on you to help you while you're going through and doing your runs.

[00:23:31.530] – Rachel
Yes. So when you're spending more time on the road, chances are you're going to be getting up early at the crack of dawn, maybe running later at night and reflective gear and lighted vests, any sorts of lights that you can put on your shoes, your visor, a vest. Those are all going to be really important, especially if you are spending any time on the roads or where there's traffic. There's no shortage of lights that you can get from any sort of running or a big box athletic store. That's super important.

[00:24:03.120] – Rachel
But the second thing is, is that, again, now that you're spending more time outside at all, different times of the year, you want to have clothes that are going to be weather appropriate and comfortable. You never know if it's going to rain on race day. So you want to make sure that you have the running the rain gear, that you want to have to keep you as comfortable as possible while you're running in the rain or in the snow like I do up here. Go through the apparel section of your local running store and ask for input from the salespeople for maybe what type of gear that you can get for these different types of scenarios.

[00:24:40.800] – Allan
One of the things that I think is really important, if you have any form of medical condition or things like that, make sure you have something on you that's going to tell someone that that's there. So like, if you're allergic to certain medications or just anything else that someone should know about you, if they find you. Just have that on you. So some ID so someone can contact someone. If they find you and they're taking you to the hospital, you're going to want that on you if you're not conscious and not that that's going to happen to you. But you're going on this run. You don't necessarily want to carry a bunch of stuff. So you're not running with your purse or maybe not running with your wallet, but you need some identification and maybe some taxi fare in case you just got a little too far out of and have to take a taxi back, but just kind of be situationally aware of what your needs are.

[00:25:38.070] – Allan
If you're doing an out and back run as you're trying training run, you do have to make that back. And so just kind of being aware of that and having with you what you need is going to make that a much safer run

[00:25:50.250] – Rachel
For sure. And when I when I personally run long, I actually do carry my driver's license and maybe a few dollars just in case I need to buy a water at the gas station or something. So I'll stick that in a Ziploc bag so that I don't sweat all over it and stick it in one of my pockets somewhere. Yeah, there's a lot of road ID type bracelets, medical bracelets. If you do have a serious allergy or something, have your stuff with you and as well as ID.

[00:26:18.900] – Rachel
The other part of the gear that you might consider too, is some sort of a hydration item. When you're running a 10K and definitely a half-marathon, you're going to be spending a lot of time on the road. And although races have aid stations, in training you're not going to find those same aid stations quite as handy. So there are handheld water bottles, which I have plenty. And there's and I also frequently wear a hydration vest where I have a bladder in a backpack for longer distances and more water. So it's a point where especially in the summer when you get dehydrated, you're going to want to have water or electrolytes with you. So this would be one other item that I think would be very handy.

[00:27:00.030] – Allan
Yeah, one of the things I used to do was I would set up my own aid stations before I did my run so I would drive the route that I was going to run, in particular, if it was going be an out and back or something like that. And I would set up my own laide stations and I'd have water sitting there, you know, at each just a little, you know, little bottle of water.

[00:27:19.770] – Allan
And so I guess I came up on a location. I have that bottle of water. I'd scrunch it up and stick it in my pocket to keep going and not leave the plastic behind. But, yeah, I created my own aid stations. And, that's why I actually encourage people, if you're going to do some training, training on a loop other than when you're trying to do, you know, maybe hills or repeats or something. But if you can try to find a lap, you know what you're doing shorter laps of. Let's say you wanted to go do a 5 mile training run. If those can be half mile or one mile laps, that's going to give you an opportunity to have that regular aid station right there where you started.

[00:27:59.610] – Rachel
Oh, absolutely. That would be ideal. That would be perfect.

[00:28:03.150] – Allan
So let's dove a little bit deeper into nutrition and hydration.

[00:28:08.070] – Rachel
This is a good topic, Allan, and I really think that we could spend probably a whole podcast talking about it, because, as you know, there are going to be carb-burners out there as well as the fat burners, which I am. I follow the keto-type of eating. Nutrition is still a really highly individualized situation that really you just have to experiment with and see what your body needs to run long distances or fast, as well as what you can tolerate, whether what your stomach will tolerate. Because as you're out there for longer, your stomach may not like the things that you've been eating and you might have a problem. So this is a big topic.

[00:28:55.190] – Rachel
Let's start with hydration, you're going to want definitely water and or electrolytes with you, especially in the summer. If you find that you're that you sweat a lot and you're a salty sweater and that that little white grip is left on your face or on your arms, you're sweating out a lot of salt.

[00:29:12.140] – Rachel
So in that case, you're going to want some electrolyte products, Nuun and Ucan are really great electrolyte products. Even Pedialyte is a proper electrolyte product. And you want to mix that up with water on occasion just so that your stomach doesn't feel like you just had the sugar bomb dropped on it. Although there's no not a lot of sugar in Nuun or Ucan, just the sweetness of it can irritate your stomach. So alternating that with water is very helpful.

[00:29:41.960] – Allan
Yeah. You know, I think that that was that was one of the big wake up calls for me is I was running my first marathon, I think it was in the spring. And then by the time I was running my third or fourth, we were getting into the winter months and. I was running this, and it was it was in Mississippi, it was a long flat course, but it was cold, really, really cold. And I actually got more dehydrated running that race in the cold than I did running the marathon in Pensacola in the spring.

[00:30:19.110] – Allan
And so, you know, it was warm and humid for that first one. And then for this other one, it was really cold. I wasn't expecting it. I occasionally ran by an aid station thinking, I'm not thirsty. But I realized after the run that I didn't hydrate properly. And so, you know, making sure that you're staying hydrated and in your training runs, there's no one there to look after you.

[00:30:45.230] – Allan
So you're responsible for you, making sure that you have what you need and what you do and what you do in your training, again, must be something that you consider doing in the race. So don't change up your fuel. Don't change up your hydration. Find something that works for you. That's why you're training so you can learn your body and learn what you're capable of. And then in the race, that's when you're going to try to push yourself. You want to be doing the same thing so that you have a base for what you're trying to accomplish.

[00:31:17.570] – Rachel
Yeah. And this is a good point to add. Again, maybe having a hand-held hydration water bottle of some sort is also a reminder for you to drink periodically. It's really interesting between heat and cold running, your body is just as thirsty on both occasions. However, in the summertime, it's obvious that you're you're sweating, you're feeling thirsty. The air is dry and it's almost as much of a habit as it is a physical need to drink in the summertime, whereas in the winter you don't feel quite as thirsty, just like you had experienced.

[00:31:52.370] – Rachel
But your body is thirsty. It's just not recognizing that the same kind of sensations as you feel in the summer. So it is important to drink whether you're on a hot day or a cold day. And if you had that handheld water bottle, that might have been a good reminder to sip at every mile or a couple of miles or something.

[00:32:12.830] – Allan
Absolutely. So, Rachel, number six on your list, I think, is maybe one of, if not the most important thing for people who are running longer distances after 40. That's recovery.

[00:32:26.900] – Rachel
Yes, more recovery. And then when you think you've done enough recovery, do some more recovery. This would be a good time to really prioritize foam rolling and stretching after your run. I mean, mark that on your calendar and make it an item on your calendar that you do foam rolling and stretching after your run. It's really important to loosen up those tight muscles, especially as you're adding more miles to your training program. And then if you add strength training, biking, swimming, and other activities or on a day that you did speed work or hill repeats, you want to do more foam rolling and stretching to loosen all those muscles that you just tightened on a run.

[00:33:08.690] – Rachel
And in addition to foam rolling and stretching, this might be a time to experiment with some compression gear, like there are calf sleeves and arm sleeves that can help promote circulation. There are socks that go all the way up to your knee that help promote circulation and ice baths and water baths are another recovery tool that you can experiment with.

[00:33:33.980] – Allan
A lot of times people will not listen to their body and they'll push and they'll push and they'll be like, well, this is what my plan is. And so they had a plan and the plan was, okay, it's Sunday, it's my long day. But they're not really recovered from what the work they've done that week. And they get out there on their long run. And the next thing they know, they're hurting in a way that they can't run anymore.

[00:34:05.420] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

[00:34:08.870] – Allan
Your body is incredible. It's capable of doing so many incredible things. But if you don't let it recover. The way it needs to that wear and tear, and that's one of the things that a lot of people struggle with running is it is a repetitive activity.

[00:34:28.490] – Allan
If you're doing it on concrete, I hated that because when I was heavier as a runner. So every impact on concrete for me was just huge. And I would run as litefoot as I could, but at one 195 pounds, there's a lot of hitting on my legs. And so I just had to be really, really careful to make sure that I wasn't overdoing it, or else I would have injured myself and potentially been out.

[00:34:58.640] – Rachel
Well, that's a good point. And, you know, we've been raised with the no pain, no gain mantra. If it's not hurting, it's not working. But this is the time to really put that aside, especially after 40 when we are getting into these longer distances, pain becomes a different kind of signal. And, you know, your body is adapting as you're doing more miles and cross training and doing all these different things.

[00:35:21.740] – Rachel
Your body is going to have the DOMS, the delayed onset muscle soreness that you often feel when you're doing a new activity. That's fine. A little bit of ache or soreness that's normal because you're doing all these new things, then pushing your body in a way you haven't done before. However, there's a really fine line where that becomes a pain and that is a signal to take a minute and reassess the situation. I have seen a lot of runners have a pain, which is very subjective, but it shows a stress fracture. And that stress fracture, if you don't listen to it, will become a real fracture and then you'll be spending a lot more time on the couch than you'd ever wanted to before.

[00:36:03.080] – Rachel
So there could be muscle tears, you could have tendon injuries, and it could be just inflammation. But you don't have an x-ray machine or an MRI. So this would be the point where you go to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis. And the sooner you get to the doctor, even if it's a minor pain, you'll get one, the reassurance that it's nothing more than DOMS or a muscle ache that you need a day or two off or you'll get the treatment for a more serious condition and you'll get treated faster so that you can get back on the road faster.

[00:36:33.470] – Rachel
So pain is a signal that something is wrong and you need to do something about it.

[00:36:38.060] – Allan
Yeah, there's another version of recovery I kind of want to get into, because for a lot of people, particularly when they start trying to run longer distances, they'll find that they get this little ache right under their ribs. I would typically get it right on my right side, right up under my ribs. We called it a stitch. And for me, there was a particular strategy as I was. It was because I didn't want to not finish the run. And that was not enough. I was in pain and I didn't like it, but it was not a kind of pain that I knew I should quit running. So if someone gets something like a stitch or something like that, what's what's the recovery method for them to to be able to still complete the run and get and not and know they're not hurting themselves.

[00:37:23.630] – Rachel
Sure. I've got inside stitches before. It's been a while, but I would I would stop and walk it off and do some deep breathing techniques, try and stretch out your abdomen, do some stretches, try and loosen up those muscles, practice some breathing, deep breathing to calm down a minute and then see how that responds. But what was your technique?

[00:37:45.530] – Allan
It was it was basically just slow down the core of it. What I knew was that my diaphragm was not aligned with the way I was running and so it's just creating kind of a for lack of a better word, a cramp in there because things were getting tight and I just needed to slow down and let my breathing resume. You've got to get past the ego. You know, we're over 40 now. I had way too much ego back then. It was always just to me, devastating that I'm like, I've got to slow down and let this go. But I just knew it was not something that was going to go away on its own. I needed to slow down and let my body recover and kind of get its mojo back for lack of a better word so that I could complete the run.

[00:38:36.080] – Rachel
That's absolutely perfect. And it's actually a bigger point there, Allan, because running longer distances after 40 means you do need to slow down your 5K pace will not be the same case that your pace that you run a 10K or a half-marathon. So pacing yourself slowing down is a good way to to run safely and injury free, especially over 40.

[00:39:00.590] – Allan
Yeah. One of the things I like about the longer distances is that they become a thousand times more social.

[00:39:09.740] – Rachel
Oh yeah.

[00:39:10.640] – Allan
You know when you run a 5K for some reason or another, most people that want to have a good time, they're just running all out. There's like no conversations in the first two-thirds of the pack of a 5K. The walkers in the backyard or they're having a blast.

[00:39:28.080] – Allan
But when you get into the longer distances, people kind of let go of the fact that we're racing something and it's more about completing the distance than it is about beating yourself or beating someone else. So it becomes a much more social thing as you start doing longer and longer distances. But you have one on here that I think's actually really, really cool, because a lot of times when we're trying to train running seems like a really lonely thing. And it's kind of hard to explain. It's like, no, you'll have more conversations on a marathon because you're running for four, maybe five, maybe six hours.

[00:40:07.020] – Allan
That's one of the most social days of your year because you're making all kinds of friends as people are running slower or faster, walking or whatever is going on in that race. But you you recommend that people join a run club?

[00:40:19.890] – Rachel
I do. And there are run clubs probably associated with the running shoe store. There could be just groups of people in your in your city or town that you live in. And the RRCA has a listing of run clubs. That's rrca.org, where you could look up different run clubs in your area. And the best thing about a run club is that you're going to find like-minded people trying to do the exact same thing you are. You're going to find other people trying to get faster at the 5K or maybe doing their first 10K or first half-marathon.

[00:40:53.850] – Rachel
And you will find people that are at your pace. And it would be so much fun to meet people at the run club nights or different days depending on your schedule. And running with people at a similar pace is really fun. It's entertaining is a great way to meet people.

[00:41:10.260] – Allan
And I think that you just touched on something that's really, really important is the longer runs are really are about pacing. To finish a longer runm you have to understand a pace and understand the pace, you have to practice the pace. So having someone else, maybe somebody who's even a little bit more experienced than you and you go into a run and you're like, okay, we're going to do an 11-minute mile for four miles.

[00:41:36.720] – Allan
And so having someone who understands how to to do that versus we're going to say sprint out and leave you there and then you'll see him at the finish line, you know, later, you know, having someone there. I think one of the coolest things is, you know, if you and Michael couldn't find a run club, you started what we did.

[00:41:58.950] – Rachel
Yeah, we did. Because everywhere that we have moved so far, there's always somebody who also likes to run. And so why not get together and run together and enjoy some conversation and the scenery at the same time while also getting fit. Run clubs are a great way to meet people and also push your speed because there's going to be somebody faster than you. There's also going to be somebody slower than you. But it'll be a good way to be pushed and see what other people can do.

[00:42:27.810] – Allan
Yeah, and it's actually really cool to have people that are fast or news. So when you do the race, they're there to cheer you when you finish.

[00:42:33.860] – Rachel
Yes, yes, yes.

[00:42:37.380] – Allan
That was what was so cool. And I ran with was Redbud. Yeah. You guys are Redbud. You were Pea Ridge in Florida. That was so cool. I ran with you guys on that one run and everybody finished before me I guess because so many people stand at the finish line yelling my name. That's so cool.

[00:43:00.510] – Rachel
Yeah. It's nice to have a bunch of people supporting what you're doing. It's just so encouraging and very motivating. Cool.

[00:43:07.710] – Allan
All right, Rachel, so now that someone's considering running longer distance after 40, can you kind of just go over a quick recap of the seven things that they should be paying attention to?

[00:43:18.330] – Rachel
Absolutely.

[00:43:19.350] – Rachel
First of all, share your plans with your friends and family and get their Buy-In and support because you're going to be spending a lot of time on the road. Make sure you find a training plan that works for you. There's a ton of training plans out there from the couch to 5K, which they have the 10K. Jeff Galloway, Hal Higdon, if you're having problems finding a training plan, hit me up. I could probably give you some advice on how to choose a training plan for your abilities.

[00:43:44.520]
Proper apparel shoes will always rein king. You need to have good shoes so that you can stay healthy and start to look at the shirts and shorts and other apparel that will keep you comfortable for these longer distances. As far as optional gear goes, reflective gear, lighted gear, weather-appropriate apparel as well as hydration items would be nice to have as soon as you can afford that or find a need for it.

[00:44:09.180]
And nutrition and hydration is very individualized. We could have a whole podcast that talks about this. The best thing you can do is experiment with the products, the food products and drink products that agree with your stomach and training days always try and training and don't forget to do recovery and then maybe some more recovery. Prioritize foam rolling and stretching, just like you do every other training session. Make sure you take your rest days when you're training plan says to take a rest day, but that's an act of rest, not a sitting on the couch all day kind of a day.

[00:44:43.520] – Rachel
And lastly, find a run club, get inspired and motivated by other people in your town and join other people in the same goals that you're trying to accomplish as well.

[00:44:55.220] – Allan
All right. Well, if you have a run that you want to do and you see it on the horizon, you want to start training for that, I'd strongly encourage you to reach out to Rachel. Rachel, your site is strong-soles.com. And you have a strength training course there that will help someone with their cross-training as they're trying to get to these longer distances.

[00:45:20.540] – Rachel
Yep. On the first page of my program on my website, strong-soles.com, scroll down to the runners' workout that'll be emailed to you directly. And if you have any other questions, there's a contact page on the website as well.

[00:45:35.550] – Allan
Awesome. So you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/480, and I'll be sure to have the links there. All right, Rachel, this was a great conversation. I hope you have a great week and we'll talk next week.

[00:45:49.790] – Rachel
Thanks, Allan. Thanks for having me on again. Take care.

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Another episode you may enjoy

Less...

March 29, 2021

How to solve the energy paradox with Dr. Steven Gundry

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

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

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

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

Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:17:32.330] – SPONSOR
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[00:17:36.950]
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I wouldn't touch a pre-workout, but Ucan superstarch checks off all the boxes to give me the energy I need without the downsides. I'm also a fan of their electrolyte powder, Ucan Hydrate, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ucan and use the code 40plus to save 20% on your entire order. Make Ucan superstarch your competitive advantage at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ucan.

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

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

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

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

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

[00:22:12.960] – Allan
I actually do.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:38:39.360] – Allan
You too.

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Another episode you may enjoy

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How we really burn calories and lose weight with Dr. Herman Pontzer

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We have always thought that the more active we are the more calories we burn each day. Dr. Pontzer has discovered that that is not the case. We discuss how we really burn calories and lose weight and more as we go through his book, Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight, and Stay Healthy.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

[00:02:09.900] – Allan
Raz, how are you?

[00:02:11.220] – Rachel
Great. Allan, how are you today?

[00:02:13.290] – Allan
I'm doing ok, I'm doing okay. I went out for a good long walk this morning and I think my electrolytes are a little low so I'm going to have to start working on that and make sure that I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. And so I think in a few minutes here, when we get off this call, I'm going to fix myself some of that Ucan Hydrate, their electrolyte product. And I might do a little Facebook video, a little video of that so people can see what it is.

[00:02:48.480] – Allan
I forget the flavor I have in my pocket right now, but yeah, I think I'm going to do that because I just feel like my electrolytes are low. So my energy might be a little low today. And I apologize if that's the case. But…

[00:03:00.510] – Rachel
Nice. I like Ucan. It's a really tasty product. Is that too sugary sweets and flavor. And it sits well in my stomach too.

[00:03:09.630] – Allan
Well it actually has no sugar in it. That's the other side of their hydrate product. And even their other products. It's a super starch. The energy. It's a super starch. So it doesn't spike the blood sugar. And it's not a lot of calories either. That's side of it. You know, the standard you can powder was like eighty calories. But it's enough that it kind of feels like it is, you feel that energy going into a workout and then with the electrolytes, it's just a good tasting flavor.

[00:03:39.090] – Allan
I love the lemon lime. I think I've got a different flavor here today. But anyway, it's. Yeah. So it's real good. It just gives me what I need. Really easy. Just put it in my little shaker bottle. Go and nice. There we go.

[00:03:52.650] – Rachel
That sounds awesome.

[00:03:54.270] – Allan
All right. Are you ready to get into today's episode?

[00:03:57.420] – Rachel
Yes, that sounds great.

Interview

[00:04:40.140] – Allan
Dr. Pontzer, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:43.080] – Dr. Pontzer
Thanks for having me.

[00:04:45.330] – Allan
I was reading your book and I looked over at my wife and she was sitting on a couch and I said, “I love reading books by anthropologists.”

[00:04:57.180] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah.

[00:05:00.230] – Allan
Even if you didn't tell some of the stories about lions and fires and all the other things that are in this book. So I'm not going to let the dog out of the bag right now. You guys need to get this book to read those stories. But if you even if you didn't have those Indiana Jones moments, if you will, this was just a fascinating book.

[00:05:22.630] – Dr. Pontzer
Thank you so much. It was really fun to write.

[00:05:24.880] – Allan
I read a lot of books. I just got into this and I'm like, OK, OK, OK. And now I get why he says that. OK. And I'm like, wow, I didn't know that. And holy crap!

[00:05:42.530] – Dr. Pontzer
That's great. That's really great.

[00:05:44.410] – Allan
When you said blows the lid off of how we really burn calories because the little book rack is actually going to talk about is called Burn: New Research Blows the Lid Off of How We Really Burn Calories, Lose Weight and Stay Healthy. And you did. You blew my lid off anyway.

[00:05:59.680] – Dr. Pontzer
Cool. Thanks, man. Thank you.

[00:06:01.540] – Allan
OK, so let's dive into this because I, I will go on to My Fitness Pal and I'll go in there and key in I'm 55 years old and I'm five foot 11 almost and I weigh about two hundred and five pounds and I'd like to weigh 190. And so it'll spit back a bunch of numbers at me and say, OK, you need to eat twenty-one hundred calories per day in these proportions. And then I go in, I do my thing and I'm like I got on an elliptical machine and elliptical machine I like because it says 750 calories per hour versus the one that said six hundred calories per hour.

[00:06:39.610] – Dr. Pontzer
That's right.

[00:06:40.160] – Allan
And then I eat what I eat and I put it in the app. I'm like, OK, yeah, I had this, I had that. And I have one serving of nuts. I had one serving of that. And then it tells me in six weeks you'll reach your goal, because you're eating this way.

[00:06:57.310] – Allan
And somehow every day it's like chasing the end of a rainbow. It's just. It's on the next horizon, it's on the next horizon. Can we talk a little bit about these things like the Basal metabolic rate, BMR, our activity level, and why that math? What's going on there when we're trying to figure out our expenditures, trying to figure out how we can burn calories to lose weight, why that's not quite working out for us.

[00:07:26.170] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah. Gosh, where to start. So, you know, I think it boils down to the way that we think about our metabolism. Right? So the way we've been taught to think about our metabolism, it's nobody's fault unless you're in this line of work, in which case it is your fault, I suppose. My line of work, I should say. But we've been taught to think about our bodies like simple engines engineered and built to be a rational and easy to understand.

[00:07:53.200] – Dr. Pontzer
And you can rev your engine higher with exercise and burn off more fuel. And, you know, that kind of really simplistic I like to call like an armchair engineer's version of how your body ought to work. Yeah, but by that logic, by those assumptions then everything you just said is totally sensible, totally within its own logic. Totally true. And you can't fault the internal logic of it because it's the story that's been told for decades.

[00:08:18.280] – Dr. Pontzer
And so, of course it kind of holds together. The problem is that our bodies aren't engineered. Right. They're evolved. And your metabolic engine is not some simple thing that you can just you can step on the accelerator or step on the brakes. You don't have a lot of control over it, actually. Instead, your metabolism hasn't been evolved to help you fit into your bathing suit better.

[00:08:45.010] – Dr. Pontzer
It's been evolved to make sure that you survive and reproduce. And so, your body is doing your metabolism is doing all the sort of sleight of hand behind the scenes that you're completely unaware of. Right? From how well you can take how you track the food you eat to how well you can get a handle on the energy you burn off. And so all of those complications that are mostly unseen to you because your metabolism isn't really about just diet and exercise, about everything makes the story that you told just totally fall apart.

[00:09:16.570] – Dr. Pontzer
And I think that's that's the experience that people had. Like you say, oh, I'm going to do this. I'm going to expect these results and gosh, why isn't it happening? And it is because the the the way you thought it was going to work to begin with was not accurate.

[00:09:32.290] – Allan
So there was this like really smart guy called Isaac Newton that wrote these laws and to the day they stand. And so there's the law of conservation of energy. And so the thoughts are whatever you put into the system has to come out of the system where it stays in the system. And then I guess to some extent, my math anyway was then, of course, you've got Einstein saying energy equals mass. So if you're putting extra energy in your body, then it becomes mass at some level until it becomes energy again.

[00:10:07.660] – Allan
So, it's not that we're broken. Yeah, and I think the way you kind of put it in the book and you got into this concept of constrained daily energy expenditure.

[00:10:20.940] – Dr. Pontzer
Right.

[00:10:22.010] – Allan
And that's really what's holding us up. Right? Because we are burning the energy or at least we feel like we are because, the machine said seven hundred fifty. But even if I say, OK, then I'll just I'll go with the lower number. Six hundred. Yeah. Which again might not be the right number, but it's a number I burn that I did that I got on there and I pushed myself. I know I had to burn calories to do it because I couldn't do it without burning calories. Where's the math going. Wonky.

[00:10:50.810] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah, right. So what you're describing is the way that people even in the field of metabolism have been thinking about this for over half a century. And it's based on this idea that the all the the tasks you do every day we can to add them all up together. And that's going to give us like your bill at the end of a shopping trip, going to give us the total calories that you burn that day. But what it doesn't tell you, right, because it's completely missing from that equation is the fact that the more exercise you do, your body's response to that and goes, oh, OK, so we've got we spent this much on exercise or it's not really a day to day kind of adjustments, more like over weeks or months, kind of just, oh, I'm going I've changed my lifestyle now.

[00:11:33.200] – Dr. Pontzer
I'm exercising this much now I'm spending this much energy on activity. I'm going to spend less on all the other tasks. So most of what your body does every day, even if you're an active person, is not exercise. Most of what your body does every day is immune function and brain function and reproductive function and digestion and all these sort of unseen tasks. And so you reduce those a little bit and you basically make room for the six hundred calories you just spent on on your elliptical.

[00:12:01.010] – Dr. Pontzer
And so it doesn't actually bump up the total number of calories you spend every day instead of your body's working to keep the total calorie you spend every day within a narrow range, kind of like in the same way that, you know, your body keeps body temperature within a narrow range. If you go out on a cold day, you don't know. You're not a reptile. You don't drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. No, your body works hard to keep you warm.

[00:12:22.700] – Dr. Pontzer
And if you just keep it right at ninety-eight point six or thirty-seven degrees Celsius, whatever you prefer, your blood sugar levels are kind of the same way. They can fluctuate up and down. But they're kept in a narrow range, unless you're unless you have diabetes. And so, you know, that that kind of homeostatic we call it maintenance of your daily energy expenditure within an area. And that's one of the really kind of exciting things that's come out of the work over the last ten or so years I've been doing and some other folks as well.

[00:12:52.970] – Allan
Yeah, we used to measure calories when we wanted to kind of do it scientifically. You either had to be in a room where they could they pretty much could measure all your breathing or at least some level have an apparatus on your face. So you're breathing into it so that they can measure the cardio, the carbon dioxide. And that's another little tidbit you had in the book that I actually knew beforehand. But when we lose fat, we're losing most of it through our breath.

[00:13:20.810] – Dr. Pontzer
from carbon that you ate. You lose, you lose it all through your breath. Mostly breathing it out as carbon dioxide.

[00:13:26.000] – Allan
But they've updated the science. And that's where you were a big part of actually executing that in some really remarkable situations of how we actually burn, how our actual metabolism works. Can you talk a little bit about this? Got double you call it double,

[00:13:41.600] – Dr. Pontzer
Doubly labeled water.

[00:13:42.770] – Allan
Doubly labeled water. Okay it sounds like Evian almost got a challenger.

[00:13:47.830] – Dr. Pontzer
I wish it was as cheap as Evian. That's actually super expensive. But yes, as you said, I'm an anthropologist. I'm trained in the field of human evolution and how our bodies evolved. And, of course, know humans have been evolving for two million years since before we Homo Sapiens as hunter-gatherers. And so from my perspective, if you want to really understand how the body works and you want to understand how humans are in a lifestyle that's similar to the ones that we used to live, of course, we don't have a time machine, but you want to find a culture that hold on to those some of those same traditions.

[00:14:20.240] – Dr. Pontzer
Right? And so we wanted to go and look at energy metabolism in a hunting and gathering population. This is back about 2007 or 2008 that we were putting this together first. And we were sure that we were going to find exactly what, you know, what you were saying before, that if they're more active, they're going to burn more calories. And we just we're trying to document how much more. But nobody had at that point.

[00:14:43.370] – Dr. Pontzer
Nobody had ever measured total energy expenditures, total daily energy expenditures in a hunter-gatherer group. For exactly the reason you described. You have to have somebody typically have somebody in a laboratory to do that. But what the study labeled water measurement, you can use this really cool isotope tracking technique. Some of the hydrogen to replace the deuterium. Some of the oxygen is replaced with this isotope called Oxygen 18. And you can use those to sort of trace your body's flow of water through your body, as well as the production of carbon dioxide that you breathe out because some of the oxygen that flow through your body actually come in as water and leave as the Os in the CO2 that you breathe, that we actually track that over about a week or 10 days of time. So it's a really cool technique. It's been around for a couple of decades, but it's expensive. There aren't many labs that do it. And nobody had ever done it for hunter gatherer group before.

[00:15:34.070] – Dr. Pontzer
So we were so excited when my colleague Dave Raichlen and Brian Wood and I went to northern Tanzania to do this with the Hadza community there. And they're a modern community like any other group on Earth right now. But they are hunter-gatherers. And so they cut a whole lot of these old traditions that are way to to sort of see what that lifestyle is like, how it affects our bodies.

[00:15:54.260] – Dr. Pontzer
And, you know, we know they're super active and they get about five times our physical activity every day than a typical American or typical European or anybody in an industrialized, urbanized setting. And we were so sure that we were going to see really high energy expenditures with them, with this doubly labeled water technique. We just kind of wanted to document how much higher it was. And in fact, when we got the samples home without them analyzed, it turns out that even though there's really, really physically active, they're burning the same number of calories every day as folks in the US and Europe and other industrialized countries.

[00:16:27.590] – Dr. Pontzer
So that was a total totally mind-blowing to me and has sort of shaped my research over the last 10 years trying to ollow that weird finding and find out. Actually, it's not so weird that you see other places. Do we see it throughout and just try to understand what that means and how your body can possibly adapt to lifestyle like that and to keep energy expenditure the same.

[00:16:51.200] – Allan
I would tell you as a personal trainer, I would say 99.9% percent of my colleagues love the calories in calories out model because we sell exercise. You know, for the most part, someone says, I want to lose weight, I'll exercise you. And so it's an easy sell because they believe they need to exercise more to lose weight, but the body is going to adjust because of it.

[00:17:11.450] – Dr. Pontzer
Mm hmm.

[00:17:11.960] – Allan
And so you've actually proven that scientifically now that that's what happens to our immune function, maybe down regulates our reproductive system down, regulates maybe even the size of some of our organs go down as a result. That's not something necessarily measurable in weight, but it kind of is what it is. Our body adapts to what it needs to eat to stay alive, just to be here tomorrow when when food is scarce or when you're overworking, it needs to be able to keep you moving long enough to get that next kudzu or next to antelope or whatever. Or chase off some lions so you can have what they just killed.

[00:17:53.660] – Allan
So you brought up a term in the book that I thought was really important because the other side of the argument, I'll get a lot of people, doctors and nutritionists and everything and and I've seen it work. I was I mean, at some level is they'll say, we could be a carnivore, we could be a vegetarian, we could be a vegan, we could be whatever. And people will tribalize on those on those terms, on those ways of eating.

[00:18:17.990] – Allan
What you found with the Hadza is that they are effectively operating opportunistic omnivores. They're going to eat what they're able to get because, you know, it's not like they go open up a fridge and say, we got some zebra in here. I think I'll cook that up tonight.

[00:18:37.670] – Allan
It might be it's going to be easier for us to go get some honey today and we're going to eat a meal of honey. Which anyone who's keto would say, oh my God, you're going to die. You're going to have diabetes. They don't have diabetes. They don't have heart disease

[00:18:53.170] – Dr. Pontzer
They're incredibly healthy. I mean, wonderful models of health. You wake up in the morning and you get you're out there getting food out of the wild landscape. They don't have any, I should say. They don't have any crops, any machines, any domesticated animals or plants. So any way to store their food or electricity. Right. So they're off every morning to get plants or animals to eat. And, you know, women rack up like twelve thousand steps a day. Men get like nineteen thousand steps a day. It's an incredible amount of physical activity. But yeah, the diet is sort of what they are not, they are not tribal in their diet. The way that sort of you know, it's become fashionable to be here in the industrialized world where you have this, you're spoiled for choice, you know, and you have the opportunity to be tribal if you like to. They don't have that opportunity. There was ever is available.

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[00:21:21.780] – Allan
And so it's like then and they're not walking nineteen thousand steps just to get to the 7-Eleven, right? They got to do something. When they get there, they climb a tree or they got to dig up some roots. They eat a lot of tubulars. They eat honey. They eat animals that they kill or that they can scavenge off of other people and other kills. So it's just kind of fascinating that they eat what's there and they still stay relatively healthy because, I imagine zebras are red meat. It's a leaner meat than a cow. Yeah. Because they don't fatten zebras up for any particular reason.

[00:21:57.180] – Dr. Pontzer
Right. The Hadza diet is great because you get to make everybody upset when you talk about their diet. They're not vegans for sure. They love to eat meat and they eat it when they can get it. And they like fat for that matter. They can eat it, but they eat a ton of plants, too, and eat sugar. Right. We've done the analysis. The sugar is that, honey. It's just water and sugar, like it is like when you buy it at the store here. So it's a real mix and it changes day to day and it changes month to month.

[00:22:26.310] – Dr. Pontzer
And there they are. Not the exception that we look in the ethnographic record at other hunter-gatherer groups, too, that most of them, of course, sadly now are in villages, that kind of stuff. But we have the historical records of what these people were eating. And it's no surprise it's just like cuisine around the world is diverse today. Cuisine around the world is diverse for these traditional folks as well. You know, paleo folks love to point out Arctic populations, the Inuit and yeah, that's right. If you live up where no plants grow. That's right. You make a living without eating any plants. And if you live in places that are warm and temperate and have lots of plants to grow and honey, you eat that, so everybody can you can cherry pick anything if you want to say, oh, this is my model of a paleo diet and just tell me, well, that's fine. You do that.

[00:23:16.020] – Dr. Pontzer
I can find you a group that eats all plants, you know, and that's what they do. And they're all equally healthy. So the idea that they're sort of just one paleo diet or one natural diet just drives me crazy. As an anthropologist, one of the things I love about studying people all over the globe is this sort of the yin and yang, the sweet and salty of the differences and the similarities. Right?

[00:23:40.200] – Dr. Pontzer
We're all the same. We're all humans, we have all the same motivations going on. And yet the way that we meet all those needs is so different and the cultures are so different. So to have to kind of rewrite some history of us that says, oh, it was only one way or only this way or it just doesn't, just such a disservice to how cool humans are, I think. And how diverse we are.

[00:24:00.720] – Allan
Yeah. But we wouldn't have survived if we didn't have that capacity at some level.

[00:24:06.300] – Dr. Pontzer
Absolutely!

[00:24:06.810] – Allan
To go for periods of time without food and not die. To not have a blood sugar crash and go into a coma because we went two days without actually being able to find food. We have to be able to go without food for a period of time and still function. Yeah. And we have to be able to go ahead. And when it's time and we find the food, we eat what we got, we eat what's there. So if you're climbing up a tree and your lunch is made, it's just honey and honeycombs.

[00:24:33.930] – Allan
I mean, that's that's your lunch. You know, it took a lot of work. It took time. It took effort and a lot of calories getting there. And then you're there and then you enjoy the honey and. Yeah, then I guess you take some home so, you can trade or do something with it, but and someone's going to come home. And that's another thing I really kind of liked about their culture. One of the reasons they're probably so healthy is just their attitude and the social bonds they have with their kinfolk and the people around them in their tribe. And so they're just there and they're they're taking care of themselves or taking care of each other. And they recognize where they are in the world, at least from the perspective of if they don't help each other, they're screwed.

[00:25:18.870] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah, sharing that community ethos is so strong. And, you know, and it's one of those things that make us uniquely human. Right? I mean, no other species. You can't find any other species where half of the animals get one kind of food and half the same animals get another kind of food and they come together at the end of the day and share it doesn't happen. Doesn't exist at all. So hunting and gathering, which was what now that is the human strategy for millions of years, is so interesting and so key.

[00:25:46.500] – Dr. Pontzer
And it at its core is that we're going to be these socially connected people. Right. I think that's what's so hard about Covid. For example, konbit is just such a killer because it says you can't be a social as you'd like to be in it just now. It's really hard.

[00:26:00.660] – Allan
And I've said this many, many times. I wish, I wish, I wish. And I know it's a scientific term that came up with and they're using it. But socially distancing was not what we need to do. We need to physically distance.

[00:26:13.170] – Dr. Pontzer
Yes. Yeah. And a really good point.

[00:26:15.420] – Allan
And so I know, but I actually went back and I saw where they had started. Using the term social distancing as a strategy many, many decades ago, this is not new. I mean, it's been in the books. That term has been in the books for a long, long, long, long, long before anyone thought of Facebook or anything like that. But we don't need to socially distance. We need to physically distance when it's appropriate and hopefully now with the things that are going on, we're going to move past all that. But we've got to keep our immune system healthy and we've got to do the other things that are necessary for us to thrive as humans. One of the things that's going to come up is like, OK, if my personal trainer making me exercise these do this stupid HIIT workout or the stupid, he's going to say, OK, I need you to do I want you to do 30 minutes of cardio, four days a week.

[00:27:06.310] – Allan
There's other benefits to that. And we can get into that for sure. But if it won't help me do what I want to do, which 90 percent of the people approaching a personal trainer, the first thing on their head is I want to lose weight, or at least I want to lose body fat, don't necessarily want to lose weight, but I call it weight because that's what everybody calls it and that's what the scale calls it. And that's the easiest measurement tool I have available to me, the most cost effective tool I have. So we'll just say I want to lose weight. Why should I still do exercise?

[00:27:36.370] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah. So all those adjustments your body makes to exercise, to take, to spend less energy on everything else, to keep your energy expenditure the same. Turns out that those changes are we think and this is really this is kind of bleeding edge science right now. I don't think we're working on right now to know exactly how this all works out. But it seems like those changes that down regulation of other stuff is the one of the big reasons exercise is so good for you.

[00:28:03.830] – Dr. Pontzer
And so it helps actually put together a bunch of phenomena that people have noticed over the years and it kind of knits it all together. So we know, for example, that if you exercise a lot, people who exercise a lot tend to have lower levels of inflammation. But what is inflammation? Inflammation is your innate immune response to an attack, to a pathogen or to a cut or something like that. And you need some of it.

[00:28:25.480] – Dr. Pontzer
You need some immune response or you'll do very well. But too much is too much. Right. You want to you want the fire department to come when you call them, but you don't want it at your house all the time. So that's what inflammation, chronic inflammation is like. Stress reactivity. You need some stress reactivity to be normal and healthy. You don't want to have big surges of cortisol and adrenaline every time you know something happens.

[00:28:52.720] – Dr. Pontzer
Reproductive hormones. Yes. You want to have met a healthy level. Nobody wants any kind of dysfunction, of course. But it turns out that the levels that we typically have of testosterone and estrogen in places like the US and Europe in industrialized societies are much, much higher than they are in groups like the Hadza that are physically active. And by the way, they had to have just a fine time having getting pregnant, having families. That isn't an issue. So we're not talking about where you supposed to where there are issues. We're talking about just having it at a healthy level.

[00:29:24.880] – Dr. Pontzer
All of those individual phenomena have been noticed before. And what I think the constraint energy expenditure does nicely is say, oh, OK, this is the framework. Right. It's an energy framework because I'm spending more on activity, on exercise, because I'm doing the HIIT workout, I'm getting stronger. My heart's getting stronger. That's all great. I don't maybe see the number on the bathroom scale change very much. But what I also don't notice. But what is really good for me is all the other amazing stuff is doing for me because of that adjustment. Right. So this isn't a don't bother exercise in story. This is a here's why you have to keep exercise story even if you're not getting the weight change you wish you had.

[00:30:02.080] – Allan
Yeah. And I think that's just really, really hard for people to wrap their head around is, I want this thing and yet those other things sound great, but I think

[00:30:14.230] – Dr. Pontzer
It sounds great. But I'd really like to look.

[00:30:16.330] – Allan
I'd like to look better in my casket. Again, it's just one of those things of saying this. And the other thing I found is really interesting is the people who exercise are healthier.

[00:30:32.800] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah.

[00:30:33.760] – Allan
Not necessarily that they've lost the weight, but it's sort of that kind of that backwards to the energy model is they never really had a need to store extra energy anyway. And so when we get on the other side of that, then this is kind of one of my takeaways. And I may be reading a little bit too much into it, but is if it if it took me three decades or even two decades to put on that extra 30 pounds.

[00:31:01.150] – Allan
And I try to say, OK, I'm just going to just kind to bless that elliptical every day of the week. And I'm going to you know, I want to keep seeing those 750s just plop, plop, plop. And initially it works. You know, I'm eating better and I'm seeing some some things or at least I'm eating less. But then I get three weeks and I'm hungry. And I'm like, OK, so now I'm hungry and I'm fighting hunger and hunger, it wins. So that's always it always wins that argument.

[00:31:31.360] – Allan
So for the folks that are fighting that struggle, to me, it seems the solution that you've kind of based on what you are finding, we really need to ratchet up the patients with our body.

[00:31:43.390] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah. Yeah.

[00:31:44.620] – Allan
To let it do the things it needs to do. And if we're eating natural things like because they're not calling a Pizza Hut now at ten o'clock at night and saying, you know, deliver two pizzas there, they're eating real food.

[00:32:00.430] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah, that's right. I mean, you know, the stuff that gets us into trouble and this is some really cool work by a guy named Kevin Hall and other groups have worked on this, in the lab, when you can control people are eating and really watch what they're doing. What are the foods that get you into trouble? It's it doesn't seem like there's any particular nutrient that's the villain, okay, eating too many carbs.

[00:32:20.080] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah, sure. Too many of anything's bad. Too much fat is also bad. So what we did eat too much. Well it seems to lead people to eat too much is when they eat these really ultra-processed over-engineered foods. Right? That are literally built in the laboratory, in focus group tested to make sure that you eat too much. Right. That's how they make their money. And actually, that's a pretty cynical take on it. I'm not trying to vilify food industry, for that matter.

[00:32:44.950] – Allan
We should now. It's more than the model. They're blatantly telling you this now. I mean, I remember a Super Bowl commercial. And it was a Pringles commercial, which is just processed potato flour. I mean, it's just… Anyway, so they had one that was pizza flavor, OK? And then the guy says he had another one.

[00:33:05.440] – Allan
His friend had chicken. Yeah. So they put the chicken one on the pizza one and they ate both of them at the same time. And the chicken pizza and barbecue had barbecue and they put all three of them. And so they've gone beyond the you can't eat just one, bet you can just one to eat three, stack them up, find multiple flavors that you like paired together or triple together. They're not even hiding. They're not even hiding them.

[00:33:34.270] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah. And I mean it is delicious but it gets into trouble because you know what we're finding is that, that and I should say we, I mean we literally there this is people who are looking specifically at diet. But your brain does an amazing job regulating how many calories come in and how many calories go out, even if you're gaining a couple of pounds a year, which is the kind of that is the American obesity epidemic is a couple of pounds a year.

[00:34:03.700] – Dr. Pontzer
Even if you're doing that, you're still matching your brain is still matching (think about this) intake to expenditure to within like point zero five percent. I mean, an incredibly amazing amount of precision there. So then how does it get even a little bit off track, because that's what obesity is. Your brain's going a little bit out of whack matching intake and expenditure. And, you know, it looks like it's these ultra-processed foods that completely blow up your reward system. Right? And your brain is like, oh my God, this is amazing. They don't have fiber. They don't have protein because that's expensive. So they just are full of sugars and fats, oils usually. And and so they don't have any of the of the indicators that your brain usually uses to tell you that your full like fiber and protein, they reward you like crazy. And so you want to bring in more. And so guess what?

[00:34:56.860] – Dr. Pontzer
Your brain is just a little bit just a little small error all the time, more and more and more. If you're eating that. Those are the big killers. And what I love about this is one of the best pieces of evidence that that's what's going on here, is that if you look at the hundreds of genes that have been associated with high BMI, with obesity, nearly every one of them is active in your brain. Right?

[00:35:22.060] – Dr. Pontzer
So it isn't your your fat cells that are out of whack or your liver cells that are out of whack or your stomach. It's your brain cells that are not out of whack. They're poorly, they're a poor fit to this weird modern food environment we've made, so that's the crux right there. Like you're saying, how do you lose the weight? Well, if you just crash diet, your body's going to respond.

[00:35:44.270] – Dr. Pontzer
If you hit the gym like crazy, your body response, you basically had to take these foods, engineered them back out of your life. And that's pretty much how you have to do it.

[00:35:52.400] – Allan
And then have the patience to let that play out. Because, again, like you said, that fractional difference is your brain and your body start to recollect and say, hey, I got way too much me here. This is actually not good for me to keep going. I need to get rid of some of this. Your brain will originally eventually turn on and say, okay we're getting what we need, we're full, and in your body will then respond. But it's going to be that gradual, have patience with the process.

[00:36:22.820] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah. And some folks are going to find know the trick is, can you find a diet that you're eating healthily, you're getting all your micronutrients, your weight is either where you want it to be or go in the direction you want it to be. And you feel full because you say hunger is always going to win. So if you're feeling hungry, it's not going to work. And so, it's not a diet book. I don't feel to get the impression this is the next diet to eat.

[00:36:48.200] – Dr. Pontzer
You know, that's not the idea here. The idea is what are the principles? How does your body work? What's the owner's manual look like? So you can take charge of this thing? And, the principles seem to be if you eat more fiber, eat more protein, you know, those are ways to feel full on less. And some people are going to find that in a Carnivore diet where a lot of the protein is what saves you. Some are going to find that a plant based diet where the fibers let's say you you know, I mean, there's lots of ways to do it.

[00:37:11.570] – Allan
Yeah, well, I think it could be a diet book. So go to Africa, make your own make your own bow and arrow. Make your own stick. They've got roots and tubulars. And and then. Yeah. Walk nineteen hundred steps per day to go kill. I don't know a giraffe.

[00:37:29.080] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah. Right, right.

[00:37:31.310] – Allan
That'll do.

[00:37:33.250] – Dr. Pontzer
Yeah. Or cook your food with no seasoning. That's another thing. Right? I mean have they got a little bit of salt. That's it. You know they don't really they're food sadly their food is not delicious. I kind of wish it were. Honey is delicious. The honey. How much honey can you eat my lord. You know. Anyway.

[00:37:51.470] – Allan
Oh perfect. So Dr. Pontzer, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well.

[00:38:02.810] – Dr. Pontzer
That's a great question. I would say get outside because if you're outside, you're probably moving. You're probably breathing clean air. It lifts your mood. So get outside, stay connected. Because I think that's the social aspect of this. The social connections are really important and then don't trade diet for exercise or vice versa. Those are two different tools or two different jobs. And so you got to kind of do both. So I got a squeeze in for I did.

[00:38:30.800] – Allan
That's perfect.

[00:38:32.150] – Dr. Pontzer
That's what I'd say.

[00:38:33.200] – Allan
OK, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Burn, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:38:39.920] – Dr. Pontzer
Well, the book is a good place to start. You could also check out what we're doing in the sponsor lab here at Duke. Look us up on the Duke website, or if you want to find out more about the Hadza and for that matter, if you want to help the Hadza, because one of the things that we really try to do with our work is to give back is check out the Hadzafund.org, you can find out more about their culture, more about our work and ways you can donate and help give back if you like.

[00:39:08.120] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/478 and I'll be sure to have those links there. Dr. Pontzer, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:39:17.660] – Dr. Pontzer
It was so much fun. Thanks a lot.


Post Show/Recap

[00:39:24.330] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:39:26.160] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, what a fascinating interview. I have to say that this whole theory about calorie expenditure kind of blew my mind a little bit.

[00:39:36.330] – Allan
Yeah. I just love anthropologist's. I just do. The ones that go out there, the Indiana Jones kind, because he had some really cool stories and in the book about his adventures, particularly in Africa with the Hadza tribe. But he just saw some things there that, you know, you wouldn't you wouldn't see anywhere else and you would experience someone else. And so just to really cool experiences.

[00:40:02.220] – Allan
And then, yeah, when he sat down with them, they went in with the hypothesis and he did real science, which is crazy, real science, where you have a hypothesis. And when your hypothesis is wrong, they acknowledge it and say, hey, we were wrong, this is what's actually going on. So, yeah, the hypothesis was that these guys were burning thousands and thousands and thousands of calories every day. And as a result, that's why they were so freaking skinny. But the reality of it was, no, no, they're not. Their body is is finding equilibrium at a lower overall BMI. I mean, I'm starting at BMI, but basal metabolic rate BMR.

[00:40:48.630] – Allan
And so basically what happens is that your body slows down other functions, eliminate some of it needs to for periods of time. And so, we've seen this someone who starved for a long period of time, they start losing muscle mass. But you see it, if a female athlete, particularly one who does endurance running, gets her body fat too low, keeps her energy levels too low, she stops menstruating.

[00:41:15.180] – Rachel
Yeah.

[00:41:16.200] – Allan
And one of the fascinating things that he talked about in the book was that the size of a person's spleen will go down. So you're quite literally using energy from your spleen and that's your immune system. And so therefore, you're not your immune system isn't functioning as well as it should. So your reproductive system can slow down and stop your your immune system can slow down and stop. And all because it wants to keep your brain alive, your heart alive, your liver alive, and you alive. And so it's a requirement. It's necessary if you can't get enough calories. No matter how hard you need to work, your body is going to find balance.

[00:41:58.030] – Rachel
Yeah, that is incredible. It's amazing to think that a hunter-gatherer tribe like the Hadza that he studied and people here in the United States even have similar caloric expenditure where you can only go so far. You can like he said, you can't crash diet and you can't hit the gym hard enough. I mean, there's a point where it doesn't make sense.

[00:42:22.510] – Allan
Yeah, but but one of the core points to take away from that is not so much just what our bodies are doing, but to understand that the calories that we're burning are not for the right reason our immune systems are overactive. Our systems are over. We have many systems that are overactive because of how we treat our bodies, what we put in them, and so, we are burning a lot and we were burning more calories, but we're burning it being sedentary.

[00:42:54.900] – Allan
So it's not that we're exercising to have those extra calories burned. That's not where his average is coming from. It's just coming from the fact that our body is going to burn about the same, whether it's doing it for the right reasons or the wrong reasons.

[00:43:10.260] – Rachel
It's just an incredible experiment.

[00:43:12.930] – Allan
And so for me, the core takeaway and, we've talked about this a lot lately is that you. Yes. You can't lose weight relatively quickly. If you go on on a diet, the diet's probably going to work for a period of time and then it might not. And when it doesn't, then there's the frustration. Usually there's the retaliation. So, oh, that didn't work. Well, I'm go ahead and just have that bottle of wine I didn't have last weekend because my diet stopped working.

[00:43:42.630] – Allan
And then there's the other part of this is just the dealing with hunger. And we just we don't deal with hunger very well because food's just everywhere. And, you know, I think one of the core things for me, and you see it you see in the commercials is they have the Snickers commercial where, you know, someone's starting to get what they call hangry. And as a result, they're kind of angry and hungry and it all comes together.

[00:44:12.250] – Allan
And what's the solution? The solution is to throw sugar at it, throw throw a Snickers bar at it, and that's going to solve your your hangry problem. But, that's not how this works. And as a result, I think one of the core takeaways for me was that if we really want to do weight loss responsibly, we've got to look at weight loss as a slow, long process and so slowly whittling away by eating whole foods, nutritious food, being hungry sometimes and maybe not eating as often as we do, those are all going to be strategies that will help us lose the weight we want to lose.

[00:44:53.130] – Allan
But it's going to take time. You just have to be patient. If you if you want to lose weight, you can't out exercise a bad diet. And it's really also not in your best interest to under eat what your body requires.

[00:45:06.780] – Rachel
Absolutely. There's a point where you need a fuel for…

[00:45:11.340] – Allan
All right. Well, it looks like Rachel has some connectivity problems today, so she's dropped off. But I'll talk to you next week, Rachel.

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Brad Kerns is the co-author with Mark Sisson of the book, Two Meals a Day: The Simple, Sustainable Strategy to Lose Fat, Reverse Aging, and Break Free from Diet Frustration Forever.

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

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

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

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

[00:01:34.050] – Rachel
Oh, good.

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

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

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

[00:02:58.560] – Rachel
Right.

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

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

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

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

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

[00:04:38.550] – Allan
Awesome!

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

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

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

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

[00:05:08.790] – Rachel
It was.

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

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

[00:05:14.040] – Allan
Good on you.

[00:05:14.370] – Rachel
Thank you.

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

[00:05:18.330] – Rachel
That's right.

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

[00:05:22.910] – Rachel
Thank you.

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

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

Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:58:38.080] – Allan
Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[01:00:10.710] – Allan
Thank you.


Post Show/Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[01:05:22.940] – Rachel
Right.

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

[01:05:25.584] – Rachel
No.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[01:08:02.270] – Rachel
Good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[01:11:47.780] – Rachel
Yes.

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

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

[01:12:41.060] – Rachel
Right.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[01:15:13.760] – Rachel
That's right.

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

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

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

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

Patreons

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

– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Margaret Bakalian
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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

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

– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Margaret Bakalian
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy

Less...

March 1, 2021

SIBO made simple with Phoebe Lapine

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

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

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

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

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

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

[00:01:03.370] – Rachel
Nice.

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

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

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

[00:01:37.780] – Rachel
It is.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:03:42.700] – Rachel
Oh, no!

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

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

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

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

Interview

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

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

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

[00:05:11.290] – Phoebe
Yes.

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

[00:05:32.440] – Phoebe
Amazing

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:07:10.280] – Phoebe
Four sided?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:19:11.280] – Phoebe
Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:25:13.340] – Phoebe
Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:36:12.800] – Phoebe
No.

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

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

[00:36:51.150] – Phoebe
Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:42:01.980] – Phoebe
Thank you.


Post Show/Recap

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

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

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

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

[00:43:07.050] – Rachel
Mm hmm.

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

[00:43:36.630] – Rachel
Lucky you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:48:30.740] – Rachel
Oh, wow.

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

[00:48:42.260] – Rachel
Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

[00:51:37.704] – Rachel
Gosh no!

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

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

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

[00:52:46.360] – Rachel
No.

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

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

[00:53:19.000] – Rachel
Right.

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

[00:54:02.180] – Rachel
Yes.

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

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

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

[00:54:25.900] – Rachel
Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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