February 21, 2023

How to get results with the minimum | Joey Thurman

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


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:51.960] – Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:02:53.060] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:54.900] – Allan

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

[00:02:58.380] – Rachel

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

[00:03:04.420] – Allan

It's so.

[00:03:06.540] – Rachel

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

[00:03:23.850] – Allan

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

[00:04:38.640] – Allan

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

[00:05:41.780] – Rachel

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

[00:05:46.560] – Allan

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

[00:06:56.380] – Allan

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

[00:07:23.940] – Rachel

Awesome. Sounds great.

[00:07:25.850] – Allan

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

[00:07:35.920] – Rachel

Sounds good.


[00:08:20.000] – Allan

Joey, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:23.040] – Joey

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

[00:08:25.990] – Allan

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

[00:09:40.900] – Allan

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

[00:10:15.080] – Joey

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

[00:10:31.070] – Allan

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

[00:11:28.840] – Joey

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

[00:12:27.600] – Joey

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

[00:13:22.060] – Joey

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

[00:14:16.840] – Joey

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

[00:14:19.610] – Allan

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

[00:15:38.180] – Allan

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

[00:16:06.400] – Joey

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

[00:17:01.230] – Joey

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

[00:18:04.650] – Joey

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

[00:18:09.780] – Allan

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

[00:19:30.400] – Allan

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

[00:20:10.050] – Joey

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

[00:21:13.960] – Joey

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

[00:22:09.010] – Joey

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

[00:22:51.300] – Allan

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

[00:24:12.550] – Allan

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

[00:24:43.500] – Joey

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

[00:24:52.650] – Allan

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

[00:25:07.880] – Joey

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

[00:26:10.680] – Joey

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

[00:27:12.900] – Joey

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

[00:28:17.080] – Allan

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

[00:28:29.460] – Allan

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

[00:29:41.440] – Joey

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

[00:30:32.070] – Joey

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

[00:31:11.640] – Allan

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

[00:31:18.500] – Joey

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

[00:31:56.420] – Allan

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

[00:32:03.840] – Joey

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

[00:32:07.440] – Allan

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

[00:33:14.040] – Joey

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

[00:34:14.820] – Joey

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

[00:35:26.250] – Joey

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

[00:36:35.840] – Joey

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

[00:37:40.950] – Allan

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

[00:39:01.920] – Allan

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

[00:40:05.070] – Allan

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

[00:41:08.880] – Joey

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

[00:42:03.380] – Joey

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

[00:42:53.340] – Joey

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

[00:43:29.260] – Allan

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

[00:43:56.520] – Joey


[00:43:57.640] – Allan

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

[00:44:07.240] – Joey

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

[00:45:07.200] – Joey

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

[00:45:58.170] – Joey

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

[00:46:34.800] – Joey

Awareness, consistency and have that love for yourself.

[00:46:41.380] – Allan

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

[00:46:48.670] – Joey

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

[00:47:01.980] – Allan

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

[00:47:12.030] – Joey

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

[00:47:16.360] – Allan

Happy birthday. All right.

Post Show/Recap

[00:47:21.340] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:47:22.960] – Rachel

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

[00:47:47.800] – Allan

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

[00:48:17.620] – Allan

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

[00:49:27.120] – Allan

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

[00:50:45.320] – Allan

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

[00:51:48.330] – Rachel

Sure. That would be a great win.

[00:51:51.040] – Allan

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

[00:51:57.520] – Allan

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

[00:53:04.400] – Allan

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

[00:54:24.080] – Allan

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

[00:54:34.680] – Rachel

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

[00:55:46.810] – Rachel

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

[00:56:13.300] – Allan

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

[00:56:20.660] – Allan

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

[00:57:31.700] – Allan

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

[00:57:53.900] – Allan

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

[00:58:26.920] – Allan

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

[00:58:58.160] – Allan

And still do my obligations.

[00:59:03.790] – Rachel

That worked out very well.

[00:59:04.730] – Allan

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

[00:59:25.060] – Rachel

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

[00:59:48.520] – Allan

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

[01:01:03.080] – Allan

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

[01:02:15.500] – Allan

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

[01:02:41.000] – Rachel

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

[01:02:54.700] – Allan

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

[01:03:22.840] – Rachel


[01:03:22.880] – Allan

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

[01:04:01.770] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds great.

[01:04:03.660] – Allan

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

[01:04:06.260] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[01:04:07.630] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

Another episode you may enjoy


February 14, 2023

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

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


Let's Say Hello

[00:04:08.900] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are things?

[00:04:12.650] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:04:14.520] – Allan

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

[00:04:19.190] – Rachel

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

[00:04:29.130] – Allan

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

[00:04:36.540] – Rachel

Yeah, it's all tempting.

[00:04:37.820] – Allan

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

[00:05:40.360] – Allan

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

[00:06:35.980] – Rachel

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

[00:06:40.320] – Allan

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

[00:06:47.690] – Rachel

Wonderful. Sounds great.

[00:06:49.560] – Allan

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

[00:06:53.460] – Rachel

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

[00:07:14.680] – Allan

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

[00:07:27.800] – Rachel

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

[00:07:33.760] – Allan

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

[00:07:49.440] – Rachel



[00:08:41.000] – Allan

Dr. Johnson, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:08:43.950] – Dr. Johnson

Allan, it's great to be here.

[00:08:46.140] – Allan

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

[00:09:22.180] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:09:45.150] – Allan

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

[00:10:05.060] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:10:10.230] – Allan

I can't outrun the lion anymore.

[00:10:12.240] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:11:32.250] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:12:49.330] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:13:59.960] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:14:31.840] – Allan

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

[00:15:07.630] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:16:16.150] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:17:42.150] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:18:53.720] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:19:48.850] – Allan

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

[00:20:20.480] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:20:23.500] – Allan

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

[00:20:38.050] – Allan

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

[00:20:42.300] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:20:46.680] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:20:49.580] – Allan

How is fructose playing into that?

[00:20:52.080] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:22:08.860] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:23:29.560] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:24:51.660] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:26:15.820] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:26:59.760] – Allan

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

[00:27:21.220] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:28:31.080] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:29:46.370] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:30:06.070] – Allan

I do because I actually like it.

[00:30:07.430] – Dr. Johnson

Good for you, man.

[00:30:08.780] – Allan

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

[00:30:16.000] – Allan


[00:30:16.130] – Dr. Johnson


[00:30:17.360] – Allan

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

[00:30:40.190] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:30:44.120] – Allan


[00:30:44.720] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:31:58.890] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:33:12.480] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:34:22.430] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:34:41.440] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:34:56.820] – Allan

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

[00:35:55.030] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:37:15.620] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:38:40.680] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:39:48.440] – Allan

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

[00:40:41.510] – Allan

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

[00:40:51.220] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:42:13.740] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:43:11.000] – Allan

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

[00:43:44.350] – Dr. Johnson

nature wants us to be fat.

[00:43:46.560] – Allan

Nature wants us to be fat.

[00:43:49.120] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:43:54.270] – Allan

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

[00:44:01.780] – Dr. Johnson

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

[00:44:26.350] – Allan

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

[00:44:37.420] – Dr. Johnson

Thank you, Allan.

Post Show/Recap

[00:44:47.780] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:44:48.820] – Rachel

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

[00:45:11.330] – Allan

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

[00:46:28.460] – Allan

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

[00:47:24.380] – Allan

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

[00:48:37.780] – Allan

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

[00:48:47.760] – Rachel

What a concept.

[00:48:49.460] – Allan

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

[00:49:59.080] – Allan

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

[00:50:23.800] – Rachel

And hold on to it.

[00:50:25.190] – Allan

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

[00:51:17.460] – Rachel

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

[00:51:34.790] – Allan

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

[00:52:46.320] – Allan

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

[00:52:54.840] – Allan

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

[00:54:07.220] – Allan

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

[00:55:08.300] – Allan

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

[00:56:10.120] – Allan

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

[00:56:41.100] – Allan

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

[00:57:45.120] – Rachel

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

[00:57:56.050] – Allan

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

[00:58:49.070] – Allan

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

[00:58:54.920] – Rachel

That sounds great. Great interview.

[00:58:57.200] – Allan

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

[00:59:19.900] – Rachel

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

[00:59:23.710] – Allan

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

[00:59:30.040] – Rachel

If only it was that easy.

[00:59:31.400] – Allan

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

[00:59:47.000] – Rachel

That's awesome. Fascinating.

[00:59:48.320] – Allan

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

[00:59:51.720] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:59:52.820] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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Another episode you may enjoy


February 7, 2023

Are you capable of changing your health and fitness?

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Have you wired your brain in such a way that you'll be able to make the changes necessary to become healthy and fit? It seems like a simple question, but so many people want to throw strategies and tactics at the problem without fully recognizing what they need to do first to make those changes stick.


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:15.390] – Coach Allan

Hello, Ras.

[00:03:16.450] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:18.060] – Coach Allan

I'm doing well, I'm doing well. Staying busy. We're heading into busy season at Lula's. So that always comes with a good influx of guests coming in and guests going out. Like, we had three check ins today, so it's like this bring me in a whole new kindergarten class. Idiosyncrasies and things that those new guests like and do it. But yeah, and it was interesting. We had an event this weekend. When I say an event, it's kind of one of those things when you want to tell a story, it's a story about running a bed and breakfast.

[00:03:50.700] – Coach Allan

Well, there's this one girl that she stayed with us a couple of times. She'll come into town and she's usually only in for one night and then she well, another thing that this girl does that Tammy doesn't really like, I don't care, but she'll go pick up a guy and then she'll bring him up to a room and that's been kind of her thing. And I think she comes to Bocas so she can do just that and not, you know, whatever. It's her life, not my life. So again, you do you, I do me. That's my philosophy in life and everything.

[00:04:17.170] – Coach Allan

But apparently this guy got really drunk and was walking around the hall naked, and they're making a ton of noise. And it was bad enough that it was Chinese New Year here, and it's pretty much celebrated pretty big because there's a pretty large Chinese community within Panama and particularly within Bocas. So it's a holiday, and all you got to do is give Panamanians a reason to have a party and boom, it's off. So there was a party going on that night, saturday night, and that was going on. And then so that went on till about midnight, and they finished at midnight. I was like, I was kind of excited because, you know, I went to sleep. But I do wake up every once in a while throughout the night.

[00:04:54.200] – Coach Allan

I woke up and it was after midnight. I'm like, oh, they're not doing it? That's great because sometimes they'll go to 04:00 am and then you can hear them out there throwing up.

[00:05:02.530] – Coach Rachel


[00:05:03.400] – Coach Allan

You do you, I'll do me. That's. Again, not judging, but that's just normal. They stopped their party early, but apparently the guests upstairs and they were in the back, so I didn't really hear them much, but apparently they're making quite a bit of racket and all that.

[00:05:17.770] – Coach Allan

And again, then Tammy didn't sleep because the party and then, of course, all the racket and she hears everything. I don't hear anything if you come in my room and as soon as you wake me up, yeah, I'm going to kill you. But until then, I won't even know you're in there. But she heard it all. She was awake the whole night, so she was already kind of grumpy when she woke up because she needs her sleep too. And she woke up and started looking at the video and saw the video. This guy was walking down the hall naked, leaning against someone's door and all that. And then, so Tammy is livid.

[00:05:49.720] – Coach Allan

And I'm like, just go in the room. Just go in the room. Stay away. I'll manage the morning. Because you're going to take someone's head off.

[00:05:57.170] – Coach Rachel


[00:05:57.700] – Coach Allan

he'd already done it a couple of times to me. And I'm like, well, I'm used to it. I don't need my head. But anyway, she saw like now. So here this girl comes downstairs and she's probably 29 years old, you know, not young, not old. She's like right in kind of that age where you should know better, but it's her.

[00:06:12.230] – Coach Allan

And so I just pulled her aside and I said, look, last night I said, that's just not going to work here. And I went through the whole process. We have single women that will stay here. And I said, that would not make them feel safe. So we have families that are here. And I said, that definitely doesn't go with a family atmosphere we want to create here. And I said, our guests. You disturbed our guests. And I'm like, so that's just not going to work here.

[00:06:35.780] – Coach Allan

So she respected it. That was a mistake. And this thing happened. And that she's no longer welcome at Lula's. I think she's the second person, maybe. No, she's the third person I think we've had to ban in a year and a month. But it is what it is. Some people are out, they're not at home. The way they are going to act is different because it's not around people that they care about what they think. And so, yeah, it's kind of interesting but those are the stories. It's like you tell the story, so at some point down the line, yeah, it's going to be a book.

[00:07:05.960] – Coach Allan

All the crazy things that happen when you're running a bed and breakfast is naked guy in the hallway, the smoker who says he's not smoking but you literally see smoke coming out his window. All those kind of things.

[00:07:18.490] – Coach Rachel

Oh my gosh, what an adventure. Always an adventure.

[00:07:22.180] – Coach Allan

How has your week been?

[00:07:23.430] – Coach Rachel

Good. We were really busy this weekend. We are replacing the sink vanity in one of our bathrooms. And, you know, with a home project, nothing goes right.

[00:07:35.650] – Coach Allan

How many trips to Home Depot?

[00:07:37.830] – Coach Rachel

Several. Too many trips. They know me there. But we're getting it done. And it's something Mike and I can be pretty proud of. Once it's all finished, there's still this touch up and what not needs to get done. But we're really happy we were able to accomplish this. This is not in our wheelhouse of things to do, so it was a pretty proud accomplishment. And as I was mentioning to you earlier, I'm hauling salt, softener bags, 40 pound bags of salt up and down the stairs. We have a water cooler, so I've got those big five gallon jugs of water I'm hauling around the house. And I just took a second this weekend to realize how strong I feel right now, just being able to do these creative tasks, these heavy lifting. I'm just so proud of myself for being strong enough to be able to do these things. And your fit for task program that you've talked about in the past, it just was ringing in my head all weekend long, and I'm just so happy for it.

[00:08:31.300] – Coach Allan

Yeah, well, good for you. I'm glad you had it because there's a pride that comes in being independent, because you easily could have just said, hey, Mike, do you mind taking the water? Yes. And Mike would have done it. He's a cool guy and he's strong and he's fit and he's capable, but you were strong and fit and capable and just said, no, my water, too. I'm going to move it and do it. It's not that you have to move five gallon jugs of water at home, but all the time, all the time they do. We order probably about ten of those a week, so I'm carrying them around all the time and luggage. But again, it's just where I want to be. It's what I want to do. And it's that thing of I'm going to still want to do these things and be able to do these things 10, 15, 20 years from now, so I'm not dependent on other people to help me get things done. They bring the water, we put it on the porch, and if I weren't capable, it would sit out there, and if I couldn't find someone to help me, then it's going to sit out there overnight and someone's probably going to steal it.

[00:09:33.560] – Coach Allan

Oh, gosh. Rather than struggle with any pick them up and carry them and do it. And so it's one of the things I'm glad to hear that you were able to do that, and the pride and the strength and just the knowing that you're capable and you didn't injure yourself, and it was just done. And you didn't wake up the next morning saying, oh, my God, what did I do?

[00:09:55.090] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, right.

[00:09:57.790] – Coach Allan

Well, you may move in a way that you hadn't before, but at the same time, that's a good feeling because you know you're getting yourself stronger to be able to do that again, better next time.

[00:10:07.300] – Coach Rachel

Yeah. I'm so proud.

[00:10:09.490] – Coach Allan

You should be.

[00:10:10.420] – Coach Rachel


[00:10:10.760] – Coach Allan

Well, now the question is, Rachel, are you capable of changing your health and fitness?

[00:10:15.900] – Coach Rachel

Oh, you know it!

[00:10:17.000] – Coach Allan

All right, let's have that conversation.

Episode – Are You Capable of Changing Your Health and Fitness?

I want to tell you a little story. There was a kid, a fifth grader named Michael Pigford. He was the son of a military man living on a military base at Fort Meade, Maryland. He was a natural athlete, big and strong, even at that young of an age, and he was pretty darn good at karate, too. Now, Michael wanted to join the football team, and his friend, who lived in the same apartment building, decided he wanted to play, too.

His friend was around the same age, but he was much smaller and not nearly as strong an athletic as Michael. But he showed up at every practice, and whenever there was a drill, he and Michael did the drill together. Now, Michael was this gifted athlete, as I said, strong and big, and he made the team. His friend did not. The coach went over to the friend's family's house and explained to the parent that he just wasn't big enough, strong enough, fast enough, or skilled enough to be on the team.

Now, Michael went on to have a great football season, winning several of the awards because he was by far the best player on the team. His friend watched from the stands, and in the meantime, his friend joined the school band and found out he actually had a little bit of a talent for playing the trombone, although it wasn't his first love.

So we roll around to the next season. What do you think Michael's friend did? He really wanted to play football, but he was still smaller than the other kids, and he hadn't had practices or games to learn any of the skills. What would you do? Would you say or think, I just need to do this band thing because that's what I'm good at? Would you think or say, I'm just not genetically gifted as an athlete?

Now, let's talk about your health and fitness. Have you struggled to do certain things staying away from junk food, sleeping well, running yoga, or doing a fitness class where everyone else just seems to be a lot better than you? Or maybe you're so intimidated by health and fitness that you don't even try? I mean, there's that free weight section back there with all the guys in it, and you don't even want to walk back there.

Are you listening to an inner voice that's telling you you aren't enough? That coach who's telling the parents that the kid overheard, he wasn't enough, he wasn't big enough, he wasn't strong enough, he wasn't fast enough, he just wasn't good enough. Is your internal dialogue telling you that? If that's what you're hearing from your internal dialogue, you probably have what's called a fixed mindset. So what is a fixed mindset? A fixed mindset is the belief that while you may be good at some things, you suck at others. Having a fixed mindset can show up in many different ways. Seeing challenges is a problem to be avoided. Believing that you're either good at something or not. Valuing talent instead of effort, giving up in the face of obstacles, viewing critical feedback is something to ignore. Actually, it bothers you. It offends you when someone gives you feedback. So here's the rub if you have a fixed mindset about the things that you're trying to do for health and fitness, your chances of making it happen are very, very low. What you need is a growth mindset. So you may be asking, what is a growth mindset?

A growth mindset is the belief that anything, a capacity, an ability, a personality trait can be improved with sustained effort. Having a growth mindset helps you do a lot of things, including focus on the process, over the results, focus on the behaviors over the outcomes. You respond productively to feedback and actually enjoy it. That may be not enjoy it, but you want that feedback. You keep persevering when things are hard, when you have setbacks, and you learn from your failures and mistakes, maybe even eventually enjoy them. And you look at things realistically as a constant work in process. So in general, a growth mindset is going to help you deal with ups and downs of life. As you move towards your health and fitness goals, I think you can kind of see the difference. A fixed mindset is going to tell you, well, I'm not good at running, I'm not good at yoga, so I'm not going to do that. Someone tells you if you did this and you did that, you would do better. And you see that as a slight versus an opportunity. With a growth mindset, you like that feedback. That feedback is helpful.

If you fail at something, you just know that you haven't learned what you need to know or haven't developed what you need to have to be good at, what you want to be good at. So there are two different ways of looking at a problem and health and fitness can be a big problem that we're trying to overcome. And there's going to be a lot of ups and downs during this period of time. So I want to take you through a little exercise. This is probably going to require you to get a pen and a paper and maybe a highlighter, a highlighter if you have it. But this is going to take a little bit of time. So this is probably going to be a stop and start type of episode. If you draw driving, you can listen through. But I would say come back to this part because this is where you're actually going to figure out a little bit of this. Okay? So what I want you to do is get that paper and I want you to write in this journal and I want this to be free flow. So not something you're stopping and thinking about, not something you're editing.

Just write down what comes to your mind. And then at this point as you go through this, there's going to be three things I kind of want you to do. Okay? First, I want you to write down several things related to your health and fitness that you're not good at and why you're not good at that thing. Okay? So for me, one example is I'm not really good at yoga, and I'm not really good at yoga because I just really haven't emphasized mobility and flexibility in my training over the years. And so I'm not as mobile and I'm not as flexible as I should be. So that's my reason why. But I'm not good at it, and I know why I'm not good at it, but I want you to think about it in your own terms. Why are you not good at something that, you know, from a health and fitness perspective is important for you? Second, now I want you to write down several things related to health and fitness that you are good at and why you're good at that thing. Similarly, just there's going to be things you're good at and things you're not good at.

Okay? Now set that list down, and with a pen or the highlighter, I want you to underline or highlight the statements that are fact based. Okay? So if you wrote anything that's not a fact, I want you to skip it. But if it's a fact, like, my joints hurt or this happens or that happens, if it's a fact, I want you to highlight it or underline it. Okay, so take a few minutes. You might want to pause this episode here so you can take the time to go through each three of those steps. Okay, so you're going to list things that you're not good at and why you're not good at them. You're going to list things you're good at and why you're good at them. And then with the pin or highlighter, I want you to go back to that list and see how many things that came out of that free flow are true and how many are false. Okay, so highlight the things that are true or underline the things that are true. All right, so if you took that ten minutes to pause this. Good. Welcome back. Okay, now the statements that you made that are not fact based, so some of those statements are probably not highlighted or underlined.

They are self limiting beliefs, and that is a part of a fixed mindset. So these are typically opinions. They're typically exaggerated, sometimes grossly exaggerated. And what you'll probably find is some of those may have words like never, always, and can't, and those will stick out to you. Also look for the ones that point to flaws about who you are and what you lack, for example, genetics or willpower. So you may say, I struggle to not eat sweets because I'm lazy and I don't have any willpower. I struggle to do my workouts in the evening because I'd rather sit on the couch and watch Netflix. Now, wanting to sit on the couch and watch Netflix is probably the truth. It's probably a fact. But I think you can kind of see that's not really something that's true true. If you really want to do this thing. So I want you to kind of map out this process and think about the statements that you just freeflow wrote. How much of that is identifying a fixed mindset? How much of that is a self limiting belief? That's not actually true. So now you've started the process of doing the fixed mindset piece and the growth mindset.

Some of this list might actually have been growth mindset, where you're talking about, I have a rocking program, and I struggle to go as far as I want to, but I'm working on it there. Hear the difference, okay? Until you know your enemy in this health and fitness journey, you're not going to be able to defeat it. So when I talk about being capable of hitting your health and fitness goals, this is where the rubber hits the road, okay? As you look at the statements that aren't highlighted or underlined, if the state I want you to think about it in these terms. So there's like, three levels here, because these are all very important to how you can do this next step, okay? So if the statement is completely false, what I want you to do is take a moment, and I want you to write down an affirmation with the truth. Okay? So I'll give you an example. You may say, for example, I'm not disciplined. Okay? If you're disciplined in some aspects of your life, but maybe not this, that's a completely false statement. You are disciplined in certain aspects of your life.

So another way to write this as an affirmation is, I am disciplined in all aspects of my life that I make a priority. Okay? So that affirmation now is something I want you to keep with you. You wrote down that you are not disciplined, which was not true, because there are parts of your life that you care about that you are disciplined. If your child needs to take a bath every night, you're bathing your child. If you need to pick up your spouse from work every afternoon, you're picking up your spouse. So those things happen. There is some discipline in there. You just need to apply it here. This needs to be important to you. This needs to be a priority, as we talked about before. So that's the point is you need to show discipline in all aspects of your life that you make a priority. Now, when you're writing an affirmation, it's important to write it in the present tense. This is not I will be. This is I am disciplined in all aspects of my life. Okay? Now, some of the statements that you wrote might be partially true, okay? Remember when we did those never and always we may say, I always make excuses to skip my workouts.

Okay? Now, do you always skip your workouts? Do you always make excuses to skip your workouts? And the answer is no. I do some of my workouts, but I do make excuses for the workouts that I don't do. So I would rewrite that as a statement. Often look for excuses to not work out. But I know if I remind myself why I have to do it, I will. Okay, this takes your fixed mindset limiting belief statement of, I always make excuses to a, I often do this, but I know if I do this thing, I'll get better at this. If I remind myself why I have to do this, I will do this. I will get better. So see how you can take a partial statement and now turn it into a growth mindset statement. Okay, so that's a series of those. Now, the final set is this statement is really something you do struggle with. So this is actually you haven't made any progress, and now there's a statement, and here you are. But, you know, it's probably true, but it's just really a struggle. It's not something you can't do. So maybe there's some of even these true statements that you made that are things you're not good at.

You've made these statements and you could still look at them now and say, whoa, that's still kind of very limiting. It's true, but I know I can still do something. So if you said, when I'm trying to unwind from a stressful day, I need a couple of glasses of wine, and in your heart of hearts, you might know that that's true at some level, but you know it's not serving you, and you know that you can get past this. So you could say it's partially true, but at this point in time, from a life experience perspective, that's where you find yourself those stressful days. So instead of writing, I need a couple glasses of wine, I would write, I haven't been able to break my stressful wine day habit yet, but I'm working on it. Okay, even though we know this is a bigger challenge than we're maybe able to do right now, we can put forward a more positive, a more growth mindset approach to that statement. So you should be able to go through all of the things that you think you're not good at and look at it and say, is it completely false?

And if it is, you need to write an affirmation that you're past it. If it's partially true, then you have to do the thing that's necessary for you to make it false. And that means you're going to start working right? So you have to remind yourself why you're doing this, and that can help you maybe push past this thing that you're not good at. Partially true. And then the final bit is, yeah, there's some things that you might really struggle with, and they're on that list. And you look at them and you're like, okay, this is true. This is a real struggle, but I'm not in this just to let things happen in my life. I want this to happen. Am I capable of making it happen. Yes. And so because I'm capable of making it happen, I can acknowledge that it's been a challenge. I can acknowledge I haven't been able to overcome this yet, but I can put in my head the statement yet, but I'm working on it. Okay. And that's a very, very powerful growth mindset statement that you need in your head. Okay. So we've covered a lot today, and if you're really interested in learning more about all of this, this is really based on some work by a psychologist at Stanford.

Her name is Dr. Carol dwick. She's done some really great work. It's worth looking at some of her YouTube stuff. She's got some books out there, and she's keynote spoke everywhere. She's like the growth mindset person. She also talks a lot about resiliency and those types of things. But just to kind of summarize what we're talking about here, when I talk about being capable, I just have to be open and honest with you. If you have a fixed mindset, you're going to struggle. This is going to be a lifelong struggle until you can get yourself to a growth mindset, because changing from who we are to something else is growth. And if your mind doesn't go there and I know you've heard me say this many, many times, if your mind doesn't go there, nothing else will. So you've got to start putting together developing a growth mindset. And this is not an easy thing, but this is something you do need to get done if you want the change to happen. So things that are happening, like failure, you think of the word failure. That's an opportunity to learn. You need to show patience and perseverance.

When there's a setback. A setback is an opportunity. It's not a failure if you quit. Yeah. Then you go back to start and game over. But that's not what we're doing here, right? So work on building that. Understand that anything worth having is worth working for. So if you want this bad enough, you're going to have to work for it. And it's not just the physical parts of watching what you eat and moving more and doing those things. This is a mindset game. But I can tell you, if you do this mindset work, it will pay more dividends than anything else you can do, because it's going to keep you in the game and it's going to help you be successful.

Post Show/Recap

[00:26:37.070] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:26:38.440] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Alan. Capable is such a strong word, just like we talked about a minute ago. It's just we are absolutely more capable of doing things than we can even imagine.

[00:26:50.470] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And the unfortunate thing is this is anyone listening to this, anyone who's been there, done that, tried anything, you might have struggled first time, the second time, 100 times, but if it was important to you, you got it done. And I know everyone has a story of someone who. Told them, you're not enough. You're not good enough. You're not capable. You'll never be good at this. And what happens then? Is that programming? Because we let it become programming. We're like, oh, that person told me I couldn't, and they told me I couldn't right after I didn't. And therefore, they have more evidence of me being terrible at this, or not good enough, whatever the adjective or word you want to use to talk about it. But it's basically you've been told you're somebody, and you start to accept that as reality. And aside, was it from the Ford cars? His quote, and I'm going to butcher it. But if you think you can't, you're right. If you think you can, you're right. And that's really where this goes to, is where your brain takes you, you go, and where your brain tells you you can't go, you don't go.

[00:28:06.810] – Coach Rachel

Right? Yeah. You know, I shared the story a few times recently, actually, with a couple of my running friends. I was a gym flunky, PE class flunky. If I could have hid behind the Bleachers for gym class, I would have done that. Every sport that I tried, I would quit just because I had no talent. I couldn't get anywhere, wasn't picked for the team. After a while, it wears on you, and it's strange, but I just had no interest in anything athletic. And then look at me now, running ultra marathons and lifting heavy things and staying as active as I am in this life, at this part of my life. But it took a while to overcome that mindset. In fact, the other story I share a lot with my friends is when I first moved to Florida and met one of my really amazing running friends down there, we did a lot of five KS together, which is a huge feat for a lot of people. Absolutely. And then she said, well, let's do a ten K, and I thought she was crazy. And then we did a ten K. Then she said, well, let's do a half marathon.

[00:29:09.050] – Coach Rachel

I thought she was totally crazy. There's no way I could run for 13 miles. But we did. And same thing for the full marathon. I thought she was totally bonkers, even suggests we could do a marathon, but we trained for it and we did it. And it was probably that haunting of my PE flunky days. I can't.

[00:29:27.330] – Coach Allan

But you know, in your heart of hearts, you pull out that yearbook, you're going to see an overweight guy wearing those polyester blue shorts. You know, it may be, oh, my God, I let that guy live in my head.

[00:29:44.970] – Coach Rachel

That's it.

[00:29:45.740] – Coach Allan

That's just it.

[00:29:46.720] – Coach Rachel

Those thoughts get stuck in your head, and it takes a while to overcome that. But now I have such a strong mindset, and absolutely, the growth mindset is wholeheartedly strong in my brain that I feel like, well, now I can attempt anything if I so choose that's the difference is that I need to want it and then put the priority behind it to get it done.

[00:30:09.190] – Coach Allan

I'll openly admit I still have my hang ups. I still have places where I struggle with a closed mindset. One example is when I was younger, my endurance level was off the charts. It hadn't been a priority. And so from an endurance perspective, I can walk forever. I could literally walk forever. But when it comes to doing something that's going to put me into like a level three or level four cardiozone, so that I'm at that point where I wouldn't be able to comfortably have a conversation. So now I'm labored breathing while I'm moving. When I get to that point, I burn out pretty quickly. What that means though, is for me, because I've never been comfortable floating. I'm going to say not comfortable, but I've actually never floated. I see. And so when I get in the water, there's a natural feeling that I'm sinking and that if I'm not moving, I'm sinking. And so when I swim, I have to swim. And that puts me at that level four. And I can only do it so long, so far. And I can practice it, I can train for it, and I can do better with that.

[00:31:20.760] – Coach Allan

But it's just the other aspects of feeling comfortable, floating, stopping, moving, and actually just be in the water, which I know I should be capable of, but it doesn't just naturally seem to happen when I get in the water. I just start going down. There's been a couple of situations where I was in water and struggling to get to this point because I was running out of juice. My energy systems were not giving me what I needed to keep moving, and I would stop moving and I would sink. And then it's like, okay, I have to keep moving or I'm going to stay down here under the water and not come back up. And so it's good fear there, and there's a lot of things going on in my head, but I'm aware of that. I'm aware of okay, that's an area where I do struggle, but I'll say it in this way. I just really haven't gotten to a point where I'm comfortable in the water yet. Okay? And that's the key. This is not that you just say, well, yeah, I'm actually good at this, even though someone told me I wasn't. And I'm actually good at this when someone else told me I wasn't, or I thought I wasn't good at this, but I actually am.

[00:32:29.310] – Coach Allan

This is when you've find yourself at that hard point. It's where you've maybe you said, okay, I'm going to cut back on my carbohydrates and I'm going to do this. And then here you are on a Sunday night with a Haagen-Das bucket in your lap watching a movie. And you're like, this is hard. And it is.

[00:32:47.590] – Coach Rachel

It is.

[00:32:48.770] – Coach Allan

So it's not that it's hard. You just have to get to the point where you're comfortable trying and pushing through and doing hard things and realizing one slip does not make the battle. You have to keep fighting. And so you get to those points and that's what it is. And where the real value of all this will come in is when it's the really hard things. And you just keep your head positive in that. I may not have done it yet, but I will. I haven't done this yet. I haven't solved this yet. I am struggling to lift this weight, but I will. I've struggled to lose weight, but I will. And I know I'm on the right path. I just have to persevere.

[00:33:31.210] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, that's a perfect mindset.

[00:33:33.210] – Coach Allan

Capable, capable, capable.

[00:33:35.000] – Coach Rachel

You got to remember, and you are.

[00:33:36.900] – Coach Allan

That's what's important. Yeah. So my Google assistant heard me say that word, and here's the definition, if you wanted to know, because Google's got on here having the ability, fitness or quality necessary to do or achieve a specific thing. So, again, thank you, Google. It's just one of those concepts where we struggle with hard things. And particularly if at one point we were told we couldn't, and particularly if we couldn't and we were told we couldn't, then it's reinforced. But I told the story about a really good football player and his friend who was not a good football player. Well, I was that friend. He didn't figure that story out. Gee, we're going to figure this out, of course. But I was Michael's friend and Michael was the athlete. He was the karate dude. He was the athlete. He was £25 heavier than me. He was just a big dude, a strong dude and everything. He was a natural athlete, football player, all of it. And I was not. But by the time I was in high school, I was that athlete. I wasn't physically that big. I wasn't physically. So from an athletic perspective, I was never naturally athletic.

[00:34:49.850] – Coach Allan

All of it was that I wanted it bad enough and I just didn't listen. I was not really good at listening. And so when the coach said I wasn't good enough, in my head, it's like, well, yet it was like, no, I will play football. And the thing that bugged me more than anything else was that we went through all this pre season stuff. I was the guy who was paying attention to all the videos. I was the guy who literally, when we would get out there and do drills, I knew every position on the football field because it was like my best chance of making it is to be good or at least know what to do everywhere. So the coaches never had to tell me how to play a position. They just had to say, Alan, go play that position. Now, was I good at it? Absolutely not. I was literally less than £100. Playing on the 110 pound team. Michael had to try to cut weight before the season started because he was too heavy. He weighed over £115, so he had to lose a little bit of weight right before the season just to make the team.

[00:35:51.040] – Coach Allan

And then he bloomed up to two to 120. So, like, literally, yeah. This guy's £25 heavier than me or more, but he was my best friend, and so when it was carrying someone up the hill carrying Michael up the hill. When it carries them up the hill, it's Michael carrying me up the hill. And I was just a sandbag to that guy. But that's the whole point. You're going to have some natural talents, and you should enjoy them, use them, be motivated by them. But then if there's something you're struggling with, don't use that as an excuse to say, no, I just not good at that. I can't eat that way. I can't do that thing. My knees hurt when I run, so therefore I can't be a runner. Okay, well, maybe there's some things you could do to make the running less painful, less damaging. It could be shoes, it could be a running form, it could be different things. But you're capable. You just have to find the way. And maybe that's just it. Maybe your knees are just they're just completely freaking shot. But what else can you do? You can walk.

[00:36:51.250] – Coach Allan

You can walk. Okay. I can walk. I can walk forever, okay? That's my thing. I don't need to run from one side of the island to the next. I can walk. There.

[00:36:59.410] – Coach Rachel


[00:36:59.800] – Coach Allan

No one's chasing me. Okay, well, now I just had to be big and strong enough so that they are chasing me. I can kick their butt. They're no longer chasing me. So chase me, yeah, please. But, you know, it's just that whole thing of saying, yeah, I'm going to have some skills, I'm going to have some capabilities, and then I'm going to have some things I'm not as good at or not good at yet. And you just have to go at it and say, okay, what do I need to do to be able to do the things that I want to do? And I work in coach online, if you didn't know that. And what does that mean? It means that I have to know the technology behind the things that I do. Now, I could hire all of that out, but then what's happened is I'm dependent on the guy who built my website. I'm dependent on the guy who's running my checkout stuff on my software. I'm dependent on the guy who writes and puts the quizzes together for me, and I'm dependent on those people because I don't know how to do it myself.

[00:37:49.510] – Coach Allan

And I'm like, well, okay, this is hard. It's a new software. I've never used it. It's not working like anything else I've done before. I got to figure it out, because this is mine and this is important to me. And as I was talking about a couple of weeks ago, this is a priority.

[00:38:06.260] – Coach Rachel

There you go, that word.

[00:38:08.620] – Coach Allan

That's that word again. So if it's a priority, even if it's the hardest thing you've ever done in your life, you're going to get it done right. And if you're struggling, you just haven't figured it out yet.

[00:38:20.350] – Coach Rachel

And the struggle is not the problem. It's uncomfortable. It's not easy to figure out a new task. It's not easy to try a new task. But once you get there, it all will make sense. It all becomes easier as you go. It's something that you got to try. Practice makes perfect, as they say.

[00:38:36.970] – Coach Allan

And those are wins or things that they can never take away from you.

[00:38:39.940] – Coach Rachel


[00:38:41.350] – Coach Allan

In addition to Naked Guy and having to have that conversation, I started working on another quiz because I've had a couple of ideas and concepts coming up, and I'm like, I'm going to do another quiz. So I started working on this new quiz, and the software is a little non intuitive. There's some things that are intuitive about it, and then there's other things like, why is that image there? It's not there. And then I look at the page and it's there. I'm like, where is it? I don't know where it is. And so I'm trying to figure all that out. And I asked for help when I needed it, I reached out and I told their help desk, I'm like, I'm trying to do this one thing, and it's not working the way I thought it would. So I did this little thing and I thought that might fix it because it made sense that it would fix it. And they're kind of like, well, no, you actually have to do it this way. And then there was just a different path that I had not thought of. It was not that I was dumb.

[00:39:34.700] – Coach Allan

I'm instead of saying, oh, I don't know how to do this, I'll just hire it out. Because I could literally go on there and say, do you know someone who could build this for me? I don't want to do it. And they would do it. I think they charged like $500, but they would have done what I did. That literally just took me about an hour and a half before I walked in here to do this recording. Once I understood how to back it out and do it, I was like, oh, now I can do everything I want to do. And other than, like I said, an image being where it's just not there, I deleted that image. It's not there. It should be gone. It's not gone. What do I do? And it's like, well, okay, don't worry about it. Just take your time, try a few things, figure it out, get past this with a little coaching, because I had to ask the guy a big question, and then once he answered the big question, a lot of things just fell in place. So when I talk about capable, I'm not saying you don't ask for help.

[00:40:24.540] – Coach Rachel

Oh, sure.

[00:40:25.370] – Coach Allan

I'm just saying you've got to get out of your own way and realize that and realize you got to do the work, but you can, and you're capable of doing these things, and you just have to keep persevering and pushing. And I did make the team the next year.

[00:40:41.550] – Coach Rachel


[00:40:42.020] – Coach Allan

It wasn't very good. I didn't get a lot of playing time. But in practice, the coaches realized I knew every position on the field. I could be anywhere they wanted me to be for squib team, because I, quite frankly, knew every play, I knew every position, I knew where every player was supposed to be at every single second of every play. And I carried that all the way into high school. And when you can do that in high school and you know where everybody is supposed to be, you're a coach on the field.

[00:41:10.780] – Coach Rachel

Oh, neat.

[00:41:11.420] – Coach Allan

And you're able to basically get in there and be a leader at a very young age, because you just know what everybody is supposed to do. So you're in practice, and it's like, no, look, think about this and do that. And it's like, I get it. You're on the other side of the field. For me, you're the tackle, and I'm the guard. And I'm like but I'm second string right now because we're practicing you at defense. So let me give you a couple of tricks of the trade. This is why I'm able to block you, okay? And do this. And so was I ever coached on defense? No. But every time the coach was coaching defense, I was listening. And every time that something was happening, I was figuring it out. And so the coach knew it could put me in, in fact, in one football game, because we didn't have enough players to play both our varsity and junior varsity, some of us varsity players could play junior varsity positions as long as we were not in that position as a varsity player, okay? So that meant I was the punter for the junior varsity team.

[00:42:11.120] – Coach Rachel


[00:42:11.630] – Coach Allan

And I was third string punter for the varsity team. So it's like, okay, I'll just punt for the junior varsity, and I'll let the games. Sometimes I ran the flags, but a lot of times, I'll just be their punter. And we're sitting there one day, and we're in a game, and the quarterback gets hurt.

[00:42:24.470] – Coach Rachel

Oh, no.

[00:42:25.180] – Coach Allan

Coach looks on the sidelines. Misner, come on out here. So here I am in a football game about to play quarterback. Well, I was an offensive lineman, not a quarterback. But he knew I knew the place. He said, you know, crossback left, cross pick right. And I'm like, yeah, you know what? You're supposed to do. I'm like, yes, you turn the opposite direction, hand the ball. They're going through the tackle gap. Okay? And he's like, first one, I just want you to run up the middle. Just get comfortable taking a snap. Just run it up the middle. And I did that.

[00:42:52.340] – Coach Rachel


[00:42:52.970] – Coach Allan

And then I did the crossbuck left and the crossback right, and both of those plays got nowhere. And then I was back there punting again. But the whole point being is if you told me beforehand you're not good at a quarterback being a quarterback, I'd be like, well, right, I'm not even on the depth chart. But that day, he needed me, and I did it.

And was I good at it? No. But one of the things that taught me again, it was just one of those things of, oh, I realized when I was back there taking the snap for the punts and taking the snap for the football was, I have to think a lot faster in this position than I did as an offensive lineman. An offensive lineman. I had like my very first task was like, what's next? That's all I had to think about as an offensive lineman. But a quarterback had to actually think about three or four different things at the same time. He had to catch a ball that's being snapped back at him or under center, take the snap. He had to be aware of what was happening, one of them with the linebackers and the linemen, to make sure, again, no one's coming that gap, he can get the ball cleanly and get out of there.

[00:43:52.350] – Coach Allan

He had to know where his wide receivers were going to be at a given point in time, where his running backs would be at a given point in time. And he had to also not trip, gosh a lot. It is, but again, was I good at it then? No, but I kept practicing again when it was instead of me lining up as an offensive lineman against this first team defense, hey, can I play a little bit of quarterback? This will be fun. And I was the quarterback. Good luck to getting tackled. And so, yeah, it's just fun. But I made things fun. If it was hard, I just made it fun until I learned it. And that's, again, there's a lot of different ways to look at this, but you got to get to the first one of I'm just not good at it yet. I got to figure out a way to get it done, make it fun, make it a challenge, get help if you need it. There's just so many different ways that I could have taken this episode, and we have a little bit now, but as I was going through it, I'm like, first thing is, you have to believe yes.

[00:44:47.120] – Coach Allan

And then you just got to figure out the rest.

[00:44:49.600] – Coach Rachel

That's right. And it always works out somehow it does.

[00:44:52.860] – Coach Allan


[00:44:53.600] – Coach Rachel

I went from a gym flunkey to an ultra marathon or so. Crazy things can happen.

[00:44:58.530] – Coach Allan

Yeah. Yeah. And and heaven forbid, if they chased you with that ball after probably about the first three or 4 miles, they're going to stop.

[00:45:06.260] – Coach Rachel

Yes. You can't hold me on that field. Allen. Kind of a longer yeah.

[00:45:11.890] – Coach Allan

Most of them are not most of them are not going to catch you after you get those first three or 4 miles done. Because yeah. She's going to run 50 miles just to get away from us. I don't even understand. She does not want to get hit by this little red ball.

[00:45:24.010] – Coach Rachel

That's right.

[00:45:28.070] – Coach Allan

I don't think they played that sport anymore, but I don't know. I don't think so. I think it was deemed one of those it's too mean to play sports in school. But I don't know. If your parent if your parent and your kid plays dodgeball at school, let me know. But if you're a kid and it's like, yeah, that's ball. Barrett. Who would allow a sport like that? Who knows? It was fun. Even when you were not the best player out there, it was fun. And such as life. But all right, so talk again next week.

[00:45:58.000] – Coach Rachel

You bet. Take care.

[00:45:59.380] – Coach Allan

I'll talk to you then.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

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

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


January 31, 2023

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

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

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


Let's Say Hello

[00:03:14.990] – Allan

Hey, Ras, how are you?

[00:03:16.540] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:18.270] – Allan

My head hurts.

[00:03:19.460] – Rachel

Oh, no, why is that?

[00:03:22.610] – Allan

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

[00:03:35.000] – Allan

Sort of supposed to be the same people.

[00:03:36.360] – Allan

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

[00:04:33.150] – Allan

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

[00:05:31.940] – Allan

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

[00:06:25.150] – Allan

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

[00:07:21.520] – Allan

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

[00:07:28.900] – Rachel

My gosh. Well, good luck with that.

[00:07:32.830] – Allan

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

[00:07:35.570] – Rachel

That's true.

[00:07:36.310] – Allan

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

[00:07:40.080] – Rachel

Oh, my gosh. Well, good luck.

[00:07:41.910] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:07:43.060] – Rachel

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

[00:08:29.970] – Allan

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

[00:09:02.380] – Rachel

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

[00:09:15.090] – Allan

I got to find people like you.

[00:09:19.410] – Rachel

Yeah, I'll help move.

[00:09:22.530] – Allan

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

[00:09:25.360] – Rachel



[00:10:36.610] – Allan

Gabrielle, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:10:39.300] – Gabrielle

Hello. Thank you very much for having me here.

[00:10:41.260] – Allan

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

[00:11:32.170] – Gabrielle


[00:11:33.090] – Allan

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

[00:11:41.840] – Gabrielle

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

[00:12:32.620] – Allan

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

[00:13:21.300] – Allan

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

[00:13:32.950] – Gabrielle

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

[00:14:50.990] – Gabrielle

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

[00:15:11.400] – Gabrielle

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

[00:15:51.320] – Gabrielle

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

[00:17:00.940] – Gabrielle

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

[00:18:09.050] – Gabrielle

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

[00:18:55.930] – Allan

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

[00:20:02.740] – Gabrielle

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

[00:21:12.580] – Gabrielle

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

[00:22:10.140] – Gabrielle

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

[00:22:49.910] – Allan

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

[00:23:09.120] – Gabrielle


[00:23:09.770] – Allan

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

[00:23:47.160] – Gabrielle


[00:23:47.900] – Allan

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

[00:23:57.690] – Gabrielle

That's absolutely right.

[00:23:59.340] – Allan

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

[00:24:17.760] – Allan

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

[00:25:10.020] – Gabrielle

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

[00:25:22.710] – Allan

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

[00:26:08.020] – Gabrielle

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

[00:26:26.510] – Allan

Yeah. Good.

[00:26:27.470] – Allan

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

[00:26:44.600] – Gabrielle

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

[00:27:53.400] – Gabrielle

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

[00:28:57.840] – Gabrielle

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

[00:29:27.490] – Allan

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

[00:30:38.310] – Allan

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

[00:31:28.880] – Gabrielle

very much the same in the UK.

[00:31:31.130] – Allan

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

[00:31:46.520] – Allan

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

[00:32:43.540] – Gabrielle

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

[00:33:46.370] – Gabrielle

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

[00:34:53.530] – Gabrielle

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

[00:36:02.890] – Gabrielle

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

[00:36:37.000] – Allan

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

[00:36:55.240] – Allan

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

[00:37:08.830] – Gabrielle


[00:37:09.690] – Allan

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

[00:37:40.630] – Gabrielle

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

[00:38:41.310] – Gabrielle

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

[00:39:50.640] – Allan

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

[00:39:58.930] – Gabrielle

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

[00:41:07.700] – Gabrielle

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

[00:42:10.460] – Gabrielle

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

[00:42:48.520] – Allan


[00:42:49.000] – Allan

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

[00:42:57.180] – Gabrielle

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

[00:43:11.680] – Allan

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

[00:43:23.320] – Gabrielle

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

Post Show/Recap

[00:43:35.510] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:43:36.960] – Rachel

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

[00:43:48.350] – Allan

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

[00:44:54.470] – Rachel

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

[00:45:37.640] – Allan

Yeah, but no, neglect is the right word.

[00:45:40.140] – Rachel

It is. As much as it hurts.

[00:45:42.680] – Allan

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

[00:45:48.950] – Rachel


[00:45:49.420] – Allan

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

[00:46:05.320] – Rachel

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

[00:46:32.690] – Allan

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

[00:47:38.340] – Allan

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

[00:47:42.130] – Rachel

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

[00:48:44.230] – Rachel

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

[00:48:53.480] – Allan

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

[00:49:59.940] – Allan

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

[00:50:16.570] – Rachel

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

[00:50:29.710] – Allan

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

[00:51:39.070] – Allan

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

[00:52:04.820] – Rachel

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

[00:52:23.390] – Allan

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

[00:52:27.630] – Rachel

Awesome. Take care, Allan.

[00:52:29.110] – Allan

You Too. Thanks.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

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

Another episode you may enjoy


January 24, 2023

Are your feelings blocking you from losing weight

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Weight loss is hard. But are you making it harder by buying into the culture wars and other influences that aren't in your best interest? In this episode, we discuss how you may be letting feelings and emotions get in the way.


Let's Say Hello

00:03:16.520] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:03:17.750] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:03:19.680] – Coach Allan

I'm doing all right. Getting a little bit of a cold, but here's what it is.

[00:03:25.090] – Coach Rachel

Sure is the season, I guess.

[00:03:28.610] – Coach Allan

So it's just weird because I've had my head down doing stuff and really haven't interacted with a ton of people, so not really sure where this one came from, but I got a cold.

[00:03:40.950] – Coach Rachel

It happens. Well, hopefully you'll feel better soon.

[00:03:43.740] – Coach Allan

Yeah. So the only other thing that's going on for me is I was recently a guest on the Health Fix podcast with Dr. Janine Krause. You can listen to that if you want to. I've got a link to it. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/hfp. It's The Health Fix Podcast (HFP). So 40plusfitnesspodcast/hfp and that will take you to that podcast. It's actually a really good one. I like Dr. Krause and her approach to things I really like that. Kind of my goal as I go into this new year is I want to be on a few more podcasts. Just kind of spread the word, get out there. And so that was cool. It's interesting, always interesting to be on the other side of the mic.

[00:04:25.350] – Coach Rachel

Absolutely. That sounds like a lot of fun.

[00:04:28.470] – Coach Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:29.850] – Coach Rachel

Good. Still cold.

[00:04:34.390] – Coach Allan

Until about April.

[00:04:36.230] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, I know, a few more months of winter, but yeah, things are good. Just drawing out some races for the year, trying to decide where I want to be and when I want to be there. So still working on my resolutions for the year.

[00:04:49.340] – Coach Allan

Cool. Yeah, I've been working on my Spanish. That was kind of one of the big ones I wanted to do. And then I am trying to cut some weight, so I'm working my way back into Ketosis and going to try to cut some weight. And actually right now at the lightest weight I've weighed in over 20 years.

[00:05:06.980] – Coach Rachel


[00:05:07.840] – Coach Allan

Yeah, I'm down to my mid 30s weights and so I'm going to get a little bit lighter than this, but it's just I've realized I'm not carrying the 205 quite the way I did before. So I'd get down to the 205 and it'd be like I don't look like I did when I weighed 200 pounds 10 years ago. So I got to try to find that new set point for me where I feel like I've got the energy and look the way I want to look and feel the way I want to feel and can do the things I want to do.

[00:05:35.280] – Coach Rachel

Sure. Well, that's important. To feel good and to do the things you want to do, that's the important part.

[00:05:41.950] – Coach Allan

I wouldn't really call these resolutions. These are just their goals and I set them very specifically on how I'm going to what actions I need to do to make that happen and not just I want this. It's like, okay, right now I'm after a certain body look and not from necessarily a vanity perspective, it's just energy and what I'm carrying around and if you're carrying around a little bit extra body fat, then you try to get rid of it if you want to get rid of it. That's part of what we're going to talk about today, is getting rid of some of the unwanted body fat. So are you ready to jump into that?

[00:06:15.470] – Coach Rachel

Awesome. Sure.


Are your feelings blocking you from losing weight? 

Special note on this episode, this is not intended for people that are suffering with eating disorders, disease, or any other health condition. If you're dealing with one or more of those, I'd strongly recommend that you get medical help. This podcast is for information purposes only, but I did want to share this because I do think it's really important. And with that, I am going to put forward a little content warning here. Bear with me as I read this.

This is not one of my regular feel-good episodes. If this is your first time listening to the 40+ Fitness Podcast, I'd strongly encourage you to listen to some of the others first, just to get to know me. Then this episode will make a lot more sense. I don't intend to be mean or condescending, but in most cases, we are our own primary obstacle.

This episode is my version of tough love, if you will. If you have small children around while you're listening, there might be a few choice words that you don't want them to hear. So take that into account. All right, with that, let's dive in.

I'm going to start off with a basic principle here. Weight loss is a struggle. Weight loss is hard. If weight loss were easy, we wouldn't have the issues we have right now with rampant obesity and being overweight. And there's a lot of things going on in the world right now that, quite frankly, just have me really alarmed at the state of all this. And so I want to share some of that today. But before we jump into all that, I want to share a couple of statistics.

Okay, so there was a 2017 survey of 2000 Americans, and what they found was that the top three failed New Year's resolutions were diet or eating healthy – 54%; exercise more – 44%, and lose weight – 41%. They could choose more than one. So the total is going to add up to more to 100%. But you kind of get the idea for many, many Americans out there getting healthy, taking care of yourself, getting more fit. Those are top of mind, particularly as we go into the new year. As you're listening to this, we're nearly done with January, and so this next study is really kind of hit home.

Also, this survey was also done in 2017, and it was 1129 American adults. They found that only 9.2% of those resolvers successfully achieved their resolution the year before, and that over 42% fail on their resolutions every year. So you start looking at that and realizing that, okay, most people are going to fail their resolutions, and 42% of them failed them every single year. That's almost half. 23% of resolvers fail out the first week. Actually, 13% of them never even started, and 42% fail by the end of the first month, which, as I mentioned, was right about now.

So if you're already struggling or have quit your New Year's resolution to lose weight, guess what? You're statistically average. You're in the majority of people that do have health and fitness resolutions, and you're in the majority of people that fail at those resolutions within the first month. So just recognize that that's the state of the world. We all want to change in January. But sticking with it is hard, and it's because we've got a lot of headwind, okay? We have this one headwind. And I'm going to jump into this, and like I said, I'm probably going to upset a lot of people, but political correctness is not good for your health.

I'm just going to put that out there. Okay? Let me tell you a story. I was on Twitter, and this doctor posted that they had had a consult with their client patient. The patient came into their office and they were morbidly obese. And the doctor made one statement you need to lose weight. Now, this person was on meds. They had all kinds of health problems going on, and this has been going on for a while.

The doctors are telling us you need to lose weight.

Now, guess what happened? The client or customer, the patient stormed out of the office of this doctor and reported him. They reported him for recommending that they lose weight. So he was in trouble with the hospital and potentially the medical board for offending this patient.

This cultural war on weight loss has been going on for about ten to 15 years, at least as far as I've been paying attention. I've seen it getting worse and worse. You see the ads, okay, they show someone who's morbidly obese doing something relatively athletic looking, generally healthy and energetic, and that's okay, that's cool. They're doing sometimes they're doing yoga moves and things I couldn't physically do, but that doesn't mean they're healthy.

So what's happening here is there's this cultural push to normalize the condition of obesity to fight fat shaming, and they're doing it wrong.

Accepting a person, accepting just a general person has nothing to do with their physical condition. Telling someone that they need to lose weight, as the doctor did in his office, there's nothing wrong with that. That's not fat shaming. That's just the reality of health and fitness. This individual is going to suffer more and more if they don't accept responsibility for where they are.

Which leads me to ask you the question, are you accepting responsibility for where you are? If you want to lose weight, you have to accept responsibility for it. You can't ask others to accept you as you are, if they know you're unhealthy, if they want to help you, if they're trying to do the right thing by encouraging you to change. It's not fat shaming. It's just, quite frankly, them being responsible and caring about you. What you don't want is people just ignoring you, not paying attention to you, not caring about you. So this political correctness, things got to go away. Let me tell you a little bit about this because I think a lot of people think that, oh, no, it's fine.

You can be healthy and have extra body fat. Well, let me tell you what the science says in the British Medical Journal. The title of this article was BMI and All Cause Mortality systemic Review of Nonlinear Dose Response metaanalysis of 230 Cohort Studies with 3.74 million deaths among 30.3 million participants. This happened in 2015. So basically they went back and looked at all these different studies and they said, okay, is being obese problematic for lifespan? Okay, it was a question. Now, the cool thing about this particular cohort study was that they used the data that was available to correct for smoking and for other diseases that they may have had beforehand, because someone can be completely healthy, completely good with the BMI, but they only because they lost all the weight, because they had cancer. So they corrected for some of these confounders. And then what they found was, absolutely, if you're obese, you are shortening your life. Your all cause mortality goes up with age, it goes up with obesity. So you're shortening your life, you're shortening your healthspan. It just is what it is. So political correctness is the enemy of a healthy weight.

I'm just going to put that out there again. I want you to pay attention to that. We can't right size this and say we're going to accept it because that's what the culture wants us to do. So we can be nice to people. We're past that. If people want to be healthy, if they want to lose weight, they need to lose weight. I've even seen where they shamed people for wanting to lose weight. They're like, that's wrong to want to lose weight, because you're telling all the people who are overweight that they should too. That's not what they're saying. It's the fat shaming reversed. It's basically trying to get people to accept it as a reality, which it is a reality, but get people to say it's healthy. Get people to accept it and say, no, you can just stay this way and it's okay. And quite frankly, if you really care about yourself, about others, it's not actually okay. We need to do something. We need to get to health. We need to work on that. Okay, so I want to talk next about body image, because many of us have developed these body images, and it's easy to see why that would happen there's.

The magazine articles you see the sweat model and the skinny this and the skinny that. And that's what they're showcasing. They're showcasing the athletes. They're showcasing the others. And those are unrealistic for the vast majority of us. What we should be striving for is not to have the body of a supermodel or a professional athlete, but to have the body and have the health markers and have the health that we need. Which means, yeah, we're probably going to carry a lot more body fat in a relative sense than an athlete or a supermodel, but we're going to stay in a healthy range. So we want to get our body fat in a healthy range. And so a lot of this body image, we have this propensity to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, I don't look like the supermodel. I don't look like the athlete. And that can become very discouraging when you're trying to lose weight, when you're trying to get healthy, having that negative body image is not helping you. So it's time to push that away. It's time to say, okay, forget what I look like right now. I know what I'm going to look like when I get this done.

That's the right mindset. The right mindset is not where you're starting from. It's where you're going to end. And while your distance between those, the delta of that might be bigger than some, it's also smaller than others. So just realize you have your battle, fight your battle, make your change, cover your delta, and that's what you want to do. You want to focus and just keep closing that delta to get where you want to be. And that's what you have to do. The next thing that I see out there is this all or nothing kind of mindset. And it comes in a lot of different ways. There's this you just have to do the calories in, calories out. And if you just do that, you'd be fine. You're overeating, you cow. And again, that permeates out there. This is the way to do it. This is how I did it. So it has to work for you. This is math. This is physics. And the reality of it is no, there's other things in there. So there is no all or nothing. There is no right or wrong. There's just what's going to work for you.

Now you might be an all or nothing type person where going on a diet is restrictive and needs to be restrictive. A perfect example. I am not have a beer with a friend kind of person. I'm going to have beers with a friend kind of person. So if we're going out for beer, it's beer plural. Okay, I'm going to have a lot of beer. Probably that's just the way I'm wired once I start, okay, I do some of the same things with food. You get me to eating a food that's not good for me. It becomes a lot more difficult for me to turn that off and move on unless I completely turn it off. I don't do moderation. So understanding yourself and understanding that there's not just one right way there's the right way for you is really, really important. And so the advice that people like to throw out there, it could work or it might not. Only way you'll know, is to try it and to know yourself well enough to say, yes, I know this will work for me. If someone just told me to eat smaller portions of the food that I already eat when I got fat, that way won't work for me.

I'm not going to sit there and get one third or one quarter or one 8th of a serving of what I would normally have had for mashed potatoes and gravy. I'm just not going to do that. That's not how I'm wired. So knowing how you're wired, understanding that none of this advice is right and none of it is wrong, all diets succeed and all diets fail, and we just have to find the right way to eat that works for us long term and we can get there. Probably one of the areas where most people struggle the most with food is emotional eating and mindless eating. Okay? So there's a component of the brain that basically rewards us when we do things it likes. So eating sugar creates a dopamine response in the brain. The brain loves dopamine, just loves, loves, loves it and says, hey, that sugar was some pretty cool stuff. Could you get me some more of that? You've probably seen the meme of the episode where Chappelle has done some cocaine or something and he's asking for more of it. He's got that needy look on his face and even a little bit of the drug on his upper lip.

He got any more of that? That's what our brain is doing. It's literally like drugs. And so if you're doing emotional or mindless eating, those calories count, they do. And if you're doing it all the time, weight loss is not going to happen. You have to be mindful of what you put in your mouth. You just do. You can get away with an occasional, okay, I'm going to go have some popcorn while I'm watching a movie. And I probably won't be mindful of the popcorn, but you get the idea this is a regular thing. If mindless eating and emotional eating is a regular thing, you got to solve that problem, because if you don't, weight loss is just not going to happen. The next one thing I want to talk about is called self talk or the voice in your head. Now, I've told people the story several times. I'll kind of say it again, was when I finally kind of woke up to the fact that I was killing myself with food and alcohol. I caught myself, the fat bastard. And it's really because it defined everything about me. It defined that I was fat.

Yes, fat. I was fat. And it defined that I was not very nice to myself, and I was not very nice to others. And those were traits that I was not very happy with. But that's what my inner voice was telling me I was, and I was accepting. That who I was. So much like the negative body image thing, I had a negative overall image of myself. Everything was wrong. Only thing I felt like I had any control over whatsoever was my employment, my career. I was really good at that. But I seemed to suck at just about everything else. And what I understood, came to understand, was as long as I let that self talk happen, as long as I let the Fat Bastard live, I'm never going to be who I deserve to be. I'm never going to lose the weight, because the Fat Bastard is going to take me down eventually. That negative self talk, that voice in my head is eventually going to wear me down, and I'm going to break. And so a big part of my transformation was the mindset work necessary to push through and away from that self talk, to literally name it the Fat Bastard, and then to sit down and say, okay, I got to move away from him.

I've got to figure out a way to stop him from killing me. And it took years for me to figure out ways to do that, to build the tool set necessary to make that happen. But I had to. And I did. And I want you to, too. So if you find yourself talking yourself out of things so this happens a lot. Like if we slip up, so you have a bad day or bad something happens at work and you get home and you're like, you yell at the kids or the grandkids. You're just yelling at the kicking the dog. I don't know. You're upset, you're tired, you're cranky, you're stressed. And then you find yourself emotionally eating. And then you find yourself the next morning, like, really just angry at yourself now for what you just did to yourself last night. And since you screwed up your diet and it's Friday, you may as well just blow it out the weekend, right? No. Again, that's your self talk. That's that voice in your head sabotaging you. You need to say, no, I can go through a weekend eating well. I can go through a weekend just fine.

I screwed up last night. I forgive myself. I'm not going to do it anymore. I move on. You've got to work yourself past that. So just recognize that we are and can be our own worst enemy. We've got to deal with that enemy head on. Okay? The next area that I want to get into is lack of support. So many of us, we try to do this on our own. But we've got so much going on in our lives and really, we don't have a support system. We don't have people around us that really care or they don't seem to care. If you have teenage kids or kids in the house, well, there's always going to be snack food available. Kids are just not naturally wired to want to eat healthy unless they were brought up that way. So if we brought up our kids on snack foods, there's always going to want snack foods and they're always going to want them in the house available. And so you're probably going to have them rather than have them go nuts around you. So you're going to have these snacks in the house. You're going to have this and that.

When it comes to dinner, your family might not want to eat the way you're eating. And so you're going to kind of feel this total lack of support. And maybe none of your friends are really interested in weight loss. They talk about it, hey, let's do a resolution. We'll all hold each other accountable. And then by the second week, you're like, hey guys, how's everybody doing? Well, I'm done. I didn't even start the first day. I had a candy bar when I woke up that morning. So you kind of feel like your whole support system is just gone. And the reality of it is you just chose the wrong support or you may not even ask for support. Have you even sat down and asked your significant other or your kids to help you with your weight loss? Have you told them what your plan is and why you're doing this? Because more than likely, they're part of your why. And if you sit down and take the time to do that, you can build that support. You can get your family to pay attention to what they're doing. And it's a fairly simple thing for me.

Please don't leave your snack food out. Put it back in the pantry so I don't see it. That will help me a lot. It's a simple thing. You coach them, you get them to do it, they start doing it. When you get a support team around you, you support the heck out of them and you don't let them quit. You hold them accountable. It's like, no, Betty, we said we were doing this. We're doing this. You get back on the wagon right now. We're on this. Just because you had one candy bar, you're not done. You're not done. Get past yourself. Let's get this going. So build the support, because the lack of support is not their fault. It's yours. Okay? You got to build the support. You got to find the support. And if you can't get the support locally, so your family is just not going to do it and you don't have the way to push or make that happen, your friends are just really not going to get into it, and none of them are going to try to do the things you're doing. Then reach out. Find the support. Find groups.

We have a Facebook Group, 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group, wonderful group of people there, all trying to take care of themselves. We're all at different points in our journey. They're there. There are people out there to support you. There are other Facebook groups that have different flavors and different things they're doing. Some people post pictures of themselves because they find that very motivating to see others succeeding. That's not us. We're basically there to support you from an emotional perspective, from basic support of I'm here for you. If you're struggling, I understand. I struggle too. Here's what I'm trying to do. Here's what my year is going to be like. This is what I'm going to do. This is the challenge for the week. And we work with each other. We try to help each other. We hold each other somewhat accountable. So if you're looking for support, there's a group. If you're looking for deeper support, well, you have a coach right here. Rachel and I are on this show. We're here willing to help you, to support you. So if you have a lack of support, it's only because you haven't reached out. It's only because you haven't tried hard enough to have the support.

And then the final bit of this let me go over and over, and I'm hopeful. If you're still listening to this, some of this has resonated with you. I'm sure it has. Most of the things that are going on here were battles I had to fight myself, okay? Was it okay for me to be 20, 30, 40 pounds overweight? And I'm like, well, as long as I'm okay and healthy, yeah. But then I wasn't. And I had the negative body image. I had the all or nothing stuff. I had the emotional mindless eating, the self talk, and no support, bad relationships and toxic things in my life. And so I was in that spot. And the way I got past it was to know myself and so know thyself. I'm going to read a quote. This is by Sun Tzu who wrote The Art of War. You may have heard about this. I love this book. I read it every once in a while. It's just a very interesting read. This quote, it says, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

And here's what I know. We are the enemy. We are ourselves, and we are the enemy. There was no one else out there forcing you to eat. There's no one else out there making you fat. We did that to ourselves. We are the enemy. If you don't know yourself and you don't know the enemy, you will lose the battle. You've got to take the time to figure that out. So what I would encourage you to do is, if you haven't already, go take the Health Blocker Quiz. It's a really good way for you to start getting some insights into the way that you think and the way that you work. And if you can set things up based on what your needs are, based on who you are, knowing myself, it's going to go a long way. You can go to 40plusfitness.com/quiz again, that's 40plusfitness.com/quiz, and you can get to know more about yourself. And that's going to help you with a lot of this stuff. Okay, I'm going to throw out some terms. It won't mean a lot to you if you haven't taken the quiz, but windshields suffer with negative body image all the time windshields do. People who are copilots. The support is huge. If you don't have the support, you're just not going to get there. You need the support and you need to not be the caretaker of everybody else before you take care of yourself. That's what happens with a copilot. If you're an Atlas, you're probably more of an all or none thing. And you know that if you have something big in front of you, you can turn off the bad and focus on the good to get that thing done. If you're more of like maybe a tires or pedals type person, then the self talk and the emotional and mindless eating are probably going to be things that really eat at you. Because if you can't get the traction as the tires, or if you're not quite sure about what you're doing and you find yourself stopping and starting and stopping and starting, it's really hard because you just can't keep your foot on the gas. And so just recognize that throughout a lot of things there, if you haven't taken the quiz, that might not make as much sense to you. But I think what you can see is if you take the quiz, you're going to know a lot more about yourself and then you'll have the tools you need to win these battles.

Because each and every one of these battles is really, really important for weight loss. And so the way we feel about the world, about ourselves, about weight loss, all impact our ability to be successful. So I want you to start working on the mindset part of this. This is not a tactic and strategy type problem. Weight loss is a mindset problem. And if you don't solve that, you're not going to stick to the tactics, you're not going to stick to the strategies, and you're not going to get it done. So work on your mindset and lose that weight. 

Post Show/Recap

[00:30:10.100] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:30:13.190] – Coach Rachel

Hey, Allan. My goodness, you unloaded a lot of things in that discussion. I don't even know where to start, except for one of the things you said right off the bat is weight loss is a hard struggle. It's a long process. It's a hard process, and it's absolutely a struggle.

[00:30:29.020] – Coach Allan

Yeah, I guess where I kind of got into all this was back in the early 2000s, there was a lot of press, if you will. I'm not going to say not like media press, but just people pushing on the idea that the ideal of what we were seeing in magazines and things in TV and movies was not real, was not what was attainable by mere mortals, by normal people, if you will.

[00:30:54.300] – Coach Rachel

And you mean super thin athletes.

[00:30:59.970] – Coach Allan

You'd see someone at 4% body fat and they're running around on covers and magazines and things like that, and they're like, well, that's not normal. That's not healthy, and that's not ideal when you are trying to live your life and you're not able to do the things they do, which is absolutely true. But I kind of feel like the pendulum has swung so far from there that now they're quite literally saying, if you're not obese, there's something wrong with you.

[00:31:32.640] – Coach Rachel

That's an interesting conundrum right there.

[00:31:35.470] – Coach Allan

Well, it's out there. I'm seeing it almost now. Every day I see some kind of rant about people wanting to lose weight and how they're terrible people for wanting that just even wanting to lose weight makes you a bad person. And they use the standard words that they use for bad people. And so it's just kind of one of those things where if you let the press drive the way you feel about this stuff, then you accept victimhood, and a victim cannot be the hero.

[00:32:10.290] – Coach Rachel

That's true.

[00:32:11.130] – Coach Allan

So if we look at just even like the normal story, we go back to the basics of a story, okay? And the story is that there's a dragon, and the village sacrifices the verge in every year at this moon, full moon, to the dragon, it's King Kong and another story, but whatever monster you want to have out there. And so the premise was that we've got to sacrifice this virgin so that he doesn't burn the whole city, the whole town. And then it happens that the virgin is going to be burned. This boy happens to be in love with her, and so now he's going to fight the dragon, and everybody else is just status quo. It's like, well, it's a virgin. So what? They want to be victims. They're all victims. They're afraid of the dragon. And this appeases the dragon. So if you've got all this social media and all this other stuff telling you that you're wrong for wanting what you want and you give up, then you've chosen the victimhood. Or you can choose to be the hero in your own story, and you can slay your dragon. And so I didn't mean this so much to be a negative thing other than it just so frustrating to be inundated with it, because I don't even think I'm necessarily the target for what they're after.

[00:33:33.880] – Coach Allan

Because again, I don't care how skinny a supermodel is, I'm not going to look like her.

[00:33:40.550] – Coach Rachel


[00:33:42.790] – Coach Allan

And granted, yeah, I look at professional athletes and I'm like, okay, well, the dude does this all day, every day. Can hire a chef, can hire a trainer, can hire him. And basically, this is all they do. And I was like, I could quit my job and hire a chef and hire a trainer. I can look pretty darn good myself and be broke. I'd have to be independently wealthy or something or get paid for it, which they do. And that's kind of the whole principle. You see an actor and basically they've got enough money involved in this movie and all that. There's a budget for getting the hero to look a certain way and the trainers and everything that's going into that. And so these guys go in and they train like maniacs because they're going to get paid tens of millions of dollars to be in this movie. Anybody would do it. But we're not getting paid millions of dollars for the rest of us, right? And they're not necessarily doing it in the most healthful way either. So the base point is, if your goal is to be healthy, then you know, having excess body fat is not helping you, okay?

[00:34:53.230] – Coach Allan

And if you make the decision you want to do this, then you've got to get past this major sabotage that's happening through social media, through political correctness, through all of this stuff. And you just got to say, Enough of that. I'm living my life. I'm doing my thing, and you do your thing and don't fall for it, because if you're the victim, you can't be the hero.

[00:35:17.500] – Coach Rachel

That's right. I think that we all have our own stories. The only person we're really accountable to is ourselves. And so if we have a health condition that we need support from, we go to our doctor, we get the information, we can hire a trainer like you said, or figure it out online. We just need to take our own steps to be the healthiest that we could be. And I guess I just want to circle it all back to being healthy again, because looks, again, to me, are pretty irrelevant as well. I'm not interested in super skinny or super overweight. It's what's inside that really matters. We all have to pay attention to what the doctors are telling us about our own health, whether it's heart condition, respiratory problems, high cholesterol, stress. I mean, what's going on inside is the most important part. And if you were ready to take that step to improve your health, then you should be able to do it without the consequences of somebody raining on your parade.

[00:36:16.660] – Coach Allan

But I guess I just break it down to saying if someone came to me and said, hey, Alan, you probably need to lose some weight. I would take that as good advice. I would take that right now and say, yeah, I look at it and I say, you're probably right. I'm carrying more body fat than I probably should right now. And you're right. If a doctor told me that, I'd say, yes, doctor, you're right. Here's what I'm doing about it. If my wife told me about it and say, yes, honey, you're absolutely right. This is what I'm doing about it. If my best friend did it, I'd say, yeah, Frank, you're absolutely right. This is what I'm doing about it. If my personal trainer said it, I'd say, you're absolutely right. I'm busting my butt in the gym, aren't I? Yes. And this is what I'm doing about it. Nutritionally and quite literally, I would own my mission. I would own my body. I would own my own belief system in myself, and I would not be looking to others for validation of who I am. I know how hard I'm going to work. I know how hard I can work.

[00:37:24.100] – Coach Allan

I know what I'm capable of. And carrying an extra bit of body fat doesn't define me, but it's sort of the idea like we were talking earlier. So let's say you have a car, and it requires four tires, maybe a fifth if you want to have a spare. Well, okay, you got 15 tires, and ten of them are all strown around your yard. People are going to notice those extra ten tires stroke along your yard. So at the very least, pick them up and collect them somewhere. You leave them out there and people see it, they're likely may say something. So if you need to lose weight, if they say something, it's just, again, they're less likely to say it now than they were 1520 years ago, because there's more people like you than there are like them. If they're thin, 75% of people over the age of 40 are overweight or obese, it's 75%. So that's the majority of us. The majority of us are overweight. Okay? And so you're in the majority. You're more normal than anything else. But that doesn't mean that the pendulum needs to say that that's the new normal.

[00:38:34.230] – Coach Allan

When it's not healthy, it's not healthy. You have to do something about it. If it's shortening your life, you have to do something about it.

[00:38:42.120] – Coach Rachel

Well, that's what we do know. We do know that having the extra weight gives us a higher risk for other health problems, whether it's down the media or down the lines.

[00:38:53.370] – Coach Allan

That's right.

[00:38:55.210] – Coach Rachel

Cause mortality. That's right.

[00:38:58.490] – Coach Allan

You're going to die sooner. On average, you're going to die sooner because you're carrying the extra body fat.

[00:39:04.070] – Coach Rachel

Right. But you made a good point, too, that there's very few people that can look you in the eye and tell you you're overweight and you need to do something about it. And like I said, I can count on one hand the number of people who I'm willing to listen to, right?

[00:39:18.930] – Coach Allan

Even if it upsets you. Because again, those are the people that love you, right? Sometimes I've had people come on and say, well, you don't look like my personal trainer. And I'm like, okay, well, who is your personal trainer? And you start looking up who this guy is or Gal is, and you're like, oh. So this person was a professional athlete and basically Olympian and DA DA DA. And they never had a weight problem in their entire life. And I'm like, well, great. They've never had a weight problem. They've always had a six pack. They've always looked that way. And I'm like, and they're also not 57 years old, but that all said, if that's your trainer, that's great. Do I have to look like that trainer? No. Am I going to be that kind of influencer on social media where I'm showing you guys six pack ABS and running around Instagram like I'm something special? No. What I do is I coach for Health, I coach for Health, I coach for Wellness, I coach for Happiness. I want you to find the life balance where you know you're where you're supposed to be. And the messaging that I see out there is that we're never where we're supposed to be, and that's just not true.

[00:40:35.480] – Coach Allan

If we're in the mission and we're doing the thing, do the thing. Just do the thing. Be the hero. Victims are victims. They stay victims. And you are happy and healthy that way. And you feel good and you want to be the victim, and you're like, yeah, I'm just going to do it. I'm going to basically eat dessert every day for lunch, dinner, because you're a grown adult. You can do that. You can literally go to the store right now and buy every bit of it right now. Nobody will stop you. When you go through the Castro, she won't even acknowledge she'll just go out and sit in your car and eat the whole cake. You can do that. You can absolutely do that. I don't think that's what people want to do, though. They think they want something, but then there's this messaging that's out there, and I'm like, you just got to turn that off. You just got to say, okay, that's just not me. That's the message. Maybe someone needs to hear that and feel good. But that's not my message. My message to myself and to the people around me is you deserve to be healthy.

[00:41:37.490] – Coach Rachel


[00:41:37.980] – Coach Allan

You deserve to feel good in your own skin. You deserve to have energy and life and vitality and to live every moment like it's this wonderful thing. And that's what I want you to have. And so I just see this messaging, and I'm like, it's screwed up. It's just screwed up. And you got to stop. And you're not winning a battle by agreeing with it and being politically correct because they say, well, this is politically correct. You're being politically incorrect. You're fat shaming because you're trying to lose weight. If I'm shaming anybody, I'm shaming myself, but I'm not shaming you. It has nothing to do with you. And I think that's where the messaging just really upsets me. And I'm sorry that if I get a little bit frustrated with all this stuff, but the base reality of it is, sure, you deserve this. You deserve health and happiness, and the only way you're going to get there is to be your own hero and not the victim.

[00:42:38.620] – Coach Rachel

That sounds great, Ellen. I did want to make sure that we brought this back to health and that's the bottom line is that it's important that you do what it takes to take good care of your health so that you can live a long, happy, healthful life.

[00:42:52.630] – Coach Allan

Absolutely. All right, well, I probably lost all our listeners.

[00:42:58.970] – Coach Rachel

No, I think that was an interesting discussion, but yeah, that was good.

[00:43:04.170] – Coach Allan

But again, I didn't mean to upset anybody or frustrate anybody. It's in me to do it. I believe in you and I want you to believe in yourself. And that's really where this was coming from. And I'm sure I upset a couple of people. And if I did comment, tell me why I'm wrong. But right now I just feel like there's this pull and it's pulling in the wrong direction and there are saboteurs. It's just another version of saboteurs and it's something you got to fight.

[00:43:33.240] – Coach Rachel


[00:43:34.630] – Coach Allan

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

[00:43:37.530] – Coach Rachel

Take care, Allan.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

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

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


January 17, 2023

How to recognize bad health and nutrition science with Ivor Cummins

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


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:50.080] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:02:52.050] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:54.200] – Coach Allan

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

[00:03:42.980] – Coach Rachel

Oh, jeez. Oh, my goodness.

[00:03:49.300] – Coach Allan

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

[00:04:15.280] – Coach Rachel

That sounds good. Good plan.

[00:04:17.750] – Coach Allan

Yeah. How are things up there?

[00:04:19.890] – Coach Rachel

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

[00:04:34.680] – Coach Allan

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

[00:04:44.440] – Coach Rachel


[00:04:47.400] – Coach Rachel

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

[00:05:06.560] – Coach Allan

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

[00:05:12.400] – Coach Rachel

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

[00:05:44.350] – Coach Allan

I have a completely different description of it.

[00:05:51.100] – Coach Rachel

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

[00:06:14.020] – Coach Allan

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

[00:06:36.380] – Coach Rachel

Yes, it was a fun time.

[00:06:38.400] – Coach Allan

Ready for the conversation with Ivor?

[00:06:41.670] – Coach Rachel



[00:07:21.240] – Coach Allan

Ivor, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:25.020] – Ivor

Thanks a lot, Allan. Great to be here.

[00:07:27.740] – Coach Allan

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

[00:08:02.120] – Ivor

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

[00:08:34.640] – Coach Allan

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

[00:09:52.300] – Ivor

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

[00:11:18.740] – Ivor

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

[00:11:51.040] – Coach Allan

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

[00:12:02.740] – Coach Allan

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

[00:12:22.300] – Ivor

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

[00:13:44.180] – Ivor

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

[00:15:06.570] – Ivor

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

[00:15:21.060] – Coach Allan

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

[00:16:01.440] – Coach Allan

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

[00:16:27.640] – Ivor

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

[00:17:51.240] – Ivor

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

[00:19:10.950] – Ivor

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

[00:20:42.560] – Ivor

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

[00:22:14.980] – Ivor

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

[00:22:27.660] – Coach Allan

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

[00:23:13.100] – Ivor

Welcome at a false equivalence.

[00:23:17.500] – Coach Allan

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

[00:24:16.960] – Coach Allan

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

[00:25:35.630] – Coach Allan

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

[00:25:45.660] – Ivor

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

[00:27:02.300] – Ivor

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

[00:28:20.140] – Ivor

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

[00:28:44.890] – Coach Allan

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

[00:28:52.180] – Ivor

And he picked from 22.

[00:28:54.330] – Coach Allan

Yeah. Okay.

[00:28:54.840] – Ivor

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

[00:30:06.360] – Coach Allan

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

[00:30:50.940] – Ivor

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

[00:32:24.130] – Ivor

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

[00:34:05.660] – Coach Allan

And that's through diet and exercise.

[00:34:09.740] – Ivor

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

[00:35:40.860] – Ivor

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

[00:36:45.600] – Coach Allan

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

[00:37:05.620] – Ivor

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

[00:38:15.220] – Ivor

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

[00:39:32.010] – Ivor

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

[00:40:24.420] – Coach Allan

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

[00:40:45.500] – Coach Allan

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

[00:40:56.800] – Ivor

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

[00:42:12.090] – Ivor

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

[00:43:26.330] – Ivor

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

[00:44:44.520] – Coach Allan

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

[00:44:52.280] – Coach Allan

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

[00:46:08.920] – Coach Allan

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

[00:46:14.580] – Ivor

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

[00:46:19.640] – Coach Allan

Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:46:23.330] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:46:25.250] – Coach Rachel

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

[00:46:44.890] – Coach Allan

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

[00:47:48.590] – Coach Allan

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

[00:49:13.660] – Coach Allan

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

[00:49:41.510] – Coach Rachel

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

[00:50:29.090] – Coach Allan

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

[00:51:03.470] – Coach Rachel

That's not good.

[00:51:07.890] – Coach Allan

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

[00:51:16.690] – Coach Rachel


[00:51:17.350] – Coach Allan

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

[00:51:29.270] – Coach Allan

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

[00:51:50.620] – Coach Rachel

Wow. Yeah, that's willpower.

[00:51:55.790] – Coach Allan

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

[00:52:06.960] – Coach Rachel


[00:52:08.690] – Coach Allan

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

[00:53:16.090] – Coach Allan

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

[00:53:42.770] – Coach Allan

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

[00:54:30.660] – Coach Rachel

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

[00:55:54.640] – Coach Allan

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

[00:57:27.130] – Coach Allan

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

[00:58:47.320] – Coach Allan

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

[00:59:17.550] – Coach Rachel


[00:59:18.140] – Coach Allan

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

[01:00:22.770] – Coach Rachel

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

[01:00:27.000] – Coach Allan

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

[01:00:38.710] – Coach Rachel

beware of those words. And look carefully into it.

[01:00:42.440] – Coach Allan

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

[01:02:01.640] – Coach Allan

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

[01:03:04.150] – Coach Rachel

Oh, these studies.

[01:03:05.670] – Coach Allan

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

[01:04:14.090] – Coach Rachel

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

[01:04:19.930] – Coach Allan

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

[01:04:27.330] – Coach Rachel


[01:04:28.120] – Coach Allan

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

[01:04:32.530] – Coach Rachel

All right. Take care.

[01:04:34.020] – Coach Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
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Another episode you may enjoy


January 10, 2023

How to manage chronic pain and fibromyalgia with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Some chronic diseases are extremely hard to manage, mainly because the doctors don't have experience. On episode 572 of the 40+ Fitness, we meet with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum and discuss his book, From Fatigued to Fantastic!: A Clinically Proven Program to Regain Vibrant Health and Overcome Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:48.470] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:02:49.890] – Rachel

Hey, Allan, how are you today?

[00:02:51.740] – Allan

I'm doing all right.

[00:02:53.030] – Rachel


[00:02:53.540] – Allan

As we're recording this, we're getting ready for the new year, but Tammy has been gone. She managed to make it back home visiting four different countries in 24 hours. They didn't have a straight path back. So to get back, she took the hard route and she flew from Chicago to Dallas, Dallas to Cancun, Cancun to Bogota, Bogata to Panama City, and then Panama City to Bocas, and literally did most of that trip. It was about a 36 hours trip to get back here.

[00:03:27.490] – Rachel

That's like a nightmare for me. I hate flying. It's awful.

[00:03:30.830] – Allan

Yeah. And then she was bringing some of some stuff back and they confiscated a lot of the stuff she had. So she couldn't carry it, couldn't check it, couldn't have it. So she was hoping, but no, they didn't. And it wasn't that it could come into Panama. It's just it couldn't go into Mexico.

[00:03:49.270] – Allan

Yeah, they had different rules.

[00:03:50.510] – Allan

And so, yeah, she looked it up for Panama. We were okay. And then she wasn't okay for Mexico. And even though she was just connecting, that was not good enough for them. But anyway, so, yeah, it was tough work on her.

[00:04:02.300] – Allan

She's tired. I'm tired, but at least I've got a partner now. Someone spread some of the work with.

[00:04:11.070] – Rachel

Oh, good.

[00:04:11.890] – Allan

Break away and get over and record this.

[00:04:14.050] – Rachel

Oh, good.

[00:04:14.870] – Allan

How are things up there?

[00:04:16.260] – Rachel

Good. It's funny you mentioned being tired, because I'll be tired this afternoon. I got my allergy shots this morning, and I noticed that I'm high up in the build up phase. I'm almost to the end of that. By the afternoon, I'll be ready for a nap. It just sucks the life out of me. These shots are tough, but I'm hoping that it'll be good in the end that won't be as allergic to things.

[00:04:41.590] – Allan

Good. I hope that works out.

[00:04:43.320] – Rachel


[00:04:44.650] – Allan

All right. Well, are you ready to talk about fibromyalgia and chronic pain?

[00:04:48.730] – Rachel



[00:05:36.190] – Allan

Dr. Teitelbaum, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:39.040] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Allan, it's awesome to be with you and with your listeners and viewers today because we're seeing a human energy crisis of really unparalleled proportions, and people are just exhausted. They're exhausted, they're in pain, they have brain fog. All of that is optional. We're going to teach you simple ways to feel great.

[00:05:56.930] – Allan

Yeah. So the book we're talking about is called From Fatigue to Fantastic: A Clinically Proven Program to Regain Vibrant Health and Overcome Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. I don't know a lot about fibromyalgia, to be honest with you. I know my co-host's daughter has it, but that's as far as my knowledge base goes. But the Fatigue to Fantastic conversation really kind of piqued my interest, because in having all of these conversations with various doctors, it seems like all of the chronic diseases we face are getting worse over time. Higher and higher percentage of people are suffering from them, all of them. And fatigue seems to be one of the top symptoms that we all talk about. So it's almost like everybody is at some level fatigued and it's getting worse.

[00:06:46.300] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Well, 31% of adults have not just fatigued, but have disabling fatigue where that's severely interfering with their life. And in terms of how many people have the do, you know, have all the energy that they need? I mean, I basically have all the energy I need for what I need to do, which doesn't preclude resting when it's time to rest as well. It's not hard to optimize energy. The trick is to use good, healthy energy, not alone, short energy. We'll teach you how today.

[00:07:13.950] – Allan

Yeah, well, thank you for that. So the core of this, and one of the things that I did take out of your book, because when I heard chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, what I did know of fibromyalgia was just pain. Okay? So I knew that was a very painful disease and I guess before this is your fourth edition of the book. So we've learned a lot in the decades that this book has been around, but you've changed it also, which I think is awesome over time because as we learn new things, there's new things in the book. And you've made it more user friendly.

[00:07:46.720] – Dr. Teitelbaum

When it first came up in 1995, it was meant to be a pamphlet.

[00:07:53.110] – Allan

I'm going to say it's slightly larger than a pamphlet right now, but very well written and easy to read because I think that was kind of your mission for this fourth edition, was to make it where someone who's suffering can understand the content and can get value from it, even if they don't have a medical degree. Let's talk a little bit about that, how fatigue and pain fibromyalgia, how they're all interrelated. Because, again, I didn't tie that together as well as I think I should have in the past.

[00:08:27.170] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Well, here's the thing. We're looking at a human energy crisis coming because half of the vitamins, minerals are lost in food processing. All the calories are still there. We used to get 9 hours sleep a night on average, or down to 63, quarter the speed of modern life. It used to be wanted to send a letter to the west from one coast to the other, pony Express. If they survived, you get it there in six months and back. Now we get hit, email, you ping, and 10 seconds later, ping right back. And our news media seems to have this feeling that their job is to scare people to death and make them hate each other. All of these things are doing a.

[00:08:59.100] – Allan

you're doing a great job, by the way.

[00:09:00.370] – Dr. Teitelbaum

I think it's brilliant. They're all really nice people. They're all really good people. But if you believe what you're seeing, I love reading and I love books, but I like my fiction to be labeled fiction. So we'll teach us a nice Tai chi move without, if we get to that, how to get rid of the stress of watching the media. I like that. But the bottom line is that it's not just fatigue. It's not only brain fog, but the most common cause of pain in this country is from tight muscles. And when muscles don't have enough energy, they don't go loose and limp, they go tight. If you have a heavy workout, you don't come home and say, honey, my muscles are all loose and limp. They're tight. And it takes more energy to stretch a muscle than for it to contract. So low energy equals tight muscles equals pain. And as a physician, physicians are simply not trained at any reasonable level about pain in general and even less for muscle pain. We're taught about what we can give arthritis medicines for or do surgery.

[00:10:09.420] – Allan

Yeah, there's one of the things that has bothered me a bit is that we're really quick to want a quick pill. What's the pill, doc? It's this and pill or this and surgery. And the reality is the human body is a really special thing. And that if you give it what it needs, it can do a lot of healing on its own.

[00:10:36.090] – Dr. Teitelbaum

It's meant to handle most anything. They can get their own at it if you give it the tools that it needs to do so. But you have to understand, in medicine it's about the money. And I'll tell you, when you're talking to your doctor, they're not about the money, they're about taking care of you. But the people who are educating your doctor. It's basically medical education is slick advertising masquerading as science. So you know, when you have pain, this is not like an infection, it's not an outside invader. Pain is like the oil light on your body's dashboard saying that something needs attention. You can smash the oil light, you can cover it to the band aid, which is medical approach, doesn't work very well, or you can put oil in the car. So we'll talk about the different kinds of pain and what your body is saying that it needs as well. But pain is part of the human energy crisis that we're dealing with today.

[00:11:27.790] – Allan

So the tool that you give us in the book you call SHINE, that's sleep hormones and hypertension, infection and immunity, nutrition and exercise. Can you talk about how shine is a good tool for us to consider when we're dealing with pain and fatigue?

[00:11:44.840] – Dr. Teitelbaum

When you look at most of the things that build energy or that are draining energy, they fall under that overall thing of shine. And again, realizing how much sleep do you need? There's no one size fits all. Some people do take 5 hours a night. Personally, I like my 9 hours a night, take a weekend, sleep in, do that for a couple of days, see what leaves you feeling the best again. Normal average night sleep until light bulbs was 9 hours a night. So just get your sleep. You have trouble sleeping, there are numerous herbal mixes, revitalizing sleep formula, EP 120, sustained release, ten milligram melatonin, and autographic z thing going on. Getting sleep is easy. You just need to make the time for it by cutting out things you don't enjoy. The hormones. The blood tests are miserable for diagnosing, hormonal deficiencies. They miss the vast majority. Most doctors have no idea where the normal range comes from, and that's all they use. They just stay home.

[00:12:48.230] – Allan

That was something that surprised me, because there are different types of doctors now. There are doctors that want you to optimize your hormone levels, and there are doctors that will look at it and say, oh, well, for 57 year old man, you're right in range, so nothing to worry about, kiddo. But you don't feel like you're in range because that's a two standard you said there's a two standard deviation. So kind of tell us, why is it we're looking at this range and it's not necessarily right for us.

[00:13:19.710] – Dr. Teitelbaum

The normal range, and we're not talking to the med school, comes from what's called two standard deviations. You take 100 people, the 95 in the middle are defined as normal. So if I was sitting in the mall, 100 people walk by, I check the shoe sizes, and I'd get a normal range of size five to size 13. That would be the way that it's derived, income. An income of $8,100 a year is in the normal range. Poverty is $16,000. So that the test is in the normal range just means they're not in the lowest 2% of the population, which is insane. As a way to determine whether the person is optimal when they're having fluoride symptoms of low thyroid, low adrenal, low estrogen, low testosterone.

[00:14:02.150] – Allan

Okay, and so then the next one was hypotension.

[00:14:06.120] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So with the hormones and let me do one quick thing, a very common thing. Thyroid, tired, weight gain, cold tolerant. How to tell low adrenal if you get irritable when hungry, if you get angry, get Adrenal support, increase salt, cut sugar. Adrenal plex is a very nice supplement, much cheaper than marriage counselor or divorce lawyer. And it's easy to take care of the adrenals of a couple of liquorous tea each morning if you don't have high blood pressure. Can help that, especially post COVID now, but in general, what's more severe? Chronic fatigue to hypertension. If you tend to be a little lightheaded when you stand up, associated with fatigue and brain fog, you probably have orthostatic intolerance, blah, blah, blah, blah blah. Email me for the information sheet. There's two quick quizzes you can do at home. It'll tell you if you have it or not. And it's a low blood pressure. Orthostatic intolerance information sheet. It's just all laid out there. My email address is fatigue. F-A-T-I-G-U-E-D-O-C like doctor @gmail.com. And if you have chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia or long COVID, you can ask for that information sheet. If you have Pots, those of you who haven't know what it is. Those who don't, don't worry about it.

[00:15:19.480] – Allan

Okay? Infection and immunity.

[00:15:22.950] – Dr. Teitelbaum

The most common chronic infection overseen that most doctors don't even know exist is Candida overgrowth. And what you'll see there's no test for it. That's worth a nickel. There's plenty of tests, but then that I bother with. If you have chronic sinusitis, chronic nasal congestion, post nasal drip, or irritable bowel syndrome, gas bloating, diarrhea, constipation, those are symptoms of Candida over. 90% of chronic sinusitis that's not seasonal comes from immune reactivity to fungal elements. It's a Mayo Clinic Journal study ignored by medicine, and the book will talk about how to get rid of both the irritable bowel syndrome and how to get rid of the chronic sinusitis by getting rid of the candida. And not only those two symptoms, but then the energy goes up, the pain goes down, the cognition improves.

[00:16:13.040] – Allan

Okay, well, nutrition, you got me there. I agree 100%.

[00:16:22.650] – Allan

In a standard American diet, it ought to be criminal, but it's not. Just again, if someone is really low energy or in pain, what are some things they can do to tweak their nutrition to get themselves in better shape?

[00:16:36.770] – Dr. Teitelbaum

There's no one diet that's best for everybody. And there's times I've been vegetarian, and there's other times the work I'm doing that will be exhausted. For those vegetarian, I'm doing every work, I need a more meat based diet. So there's not what's the right diet. The question is what diet works for you? What leaves you feeling the best? Without being an energy loan shark kind of a thing. Sugar not good for you. Now, again, I'm not saying you can't have chocolate. Chocolate is a health food in moderation. Go for quality, not quantity. There are sugar free chocolates. Ernd is a very good one. These are both many other ones that taste really good. Most people, unless they have heart failure, want to increase salt. Salt, you don't eat cup of salt soup, but basically use the salt shaker and let your body tell you how much salt wants. This whole thing of salt restriction is a myth. Sorry, it's just not supported by the literature. If you have high blood pressure and you salt restrict from the most high salt diet you can tolerate to the low salt diet, you can tolerate it to lower blood pressure.

[00:17:45.660] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And white is about 1 in black is about three millimeter. The effect is negligible, increasing potassium and magnesium and vitamin D. That helps lower blood pressure. So again, equally, it leaves you feeling the best, use common sense. If the food has been stepped down and basically processed and processed. Usually if I make a shirt I'm in Hawaii, my Hawaii shirt. Each step of processing increases the value of the shirt. When you're looking at food processing, the more processed it is, the cheaper it is. Why? It's because they're loading it with junk. So if you can't recognize I used to lecture to third graders every year on nutrition. And the simple thing is, when you look at the ingredients, if you can't read it, don't eat it. If it looks like a chemical soup or if it has a lot of sugar, again, they look at grams of sugar, divide by four, that's how many teaspoons of sugar if you look at that. And this is 18 teaspoons. Just put that thing back on the shelf. Use common sense.

[00:18:49.130] – Allan

I go by a standard where I say if it's in a box, bag, jar, or can question it heavily. Real food actually doesn't have labels

[00:18:57.850] – Dr. Teitelbaum

actually and everything on the label is an advertisement, which is another way of saying it's a lie. They're just making it up. With the exception of the ingredients and what's in the little nutrition box, everything else is.

[00:19:11.950] – Allan

You got me there. Okay. Now, for a lot of people that are in pain and fatigued, and then you say exercise, they're just going to look at you and just kind of lower their shoulders and say, how. So let's talk about exercise.

[00:19:27.110] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Especially if the chronic fatigue syndrome or Fibromyalgia, where they get what's called post exertional malaise. They exercise in a bedroom for three days, and that's why it's exercise as able. So for those of you with day to day fatigue, just go for a walk. You're going to find if you're too tired to exercise to go for a brief walk, you got issues. And then do the nutritional stuff. There are simple things, I'll give you three simple supplements that we finished four studies in the last two years on post viral fatigue and fatigue in general. You can double your energy in 1 minute a day. With three supplements you can go for your walk. There's a vitamin powder called the Energy Revitalization system. There's a form of ginseng. The only one I would use is HRG 80 red ginseng, and there's called a smart energy system. Those three together in the research, again, more than doubled energy. So you can get the energy to go walking. But the key thing is, if you're going to do exercise, find something to enjoy. Sex is exercise. Going for shopping is exercise. Do something to enjoy usual power to get out of the house.

[00:20:39.710] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And then if you want to sit and play with the stage that you find in the field, just relax. Don't worry how much you do, just get out of the house.

[00:20:47.790] – Allan

Cool. Now, you said something in the book that I thought was really important because we're sort of becoming this sandwich generation where our kids have graduated. Actually, I have one that just got married, another one that's going to able be to get married in a few months. So we're kind of saying, okay, we're going to be an empty nesters. And before you'd be an empty Nester for a decade or two or so, before you had to worry about your parents. But because kids are getting married later and parents are living longer and so that whole gap in what's happening is we end up with parents. Now we're looking at we're finishing the first that generation. Now we got to turn our attention in many cases to taking care of our parents. There's going to be some needs there. And so a lot of us get this weight on our shoulder of we've got to save the world and we've got to take care of the world. And the way you put it on there is you call it shooting on yourself. I love that concept because it's like when you put that in your head, you're like, I really shouldn't be doing that.

[00:21:51.330] – Allan

But can you kind of talk about where we are with that and how we can set priorities in the right way that allows us to have the energy to do what's really important?

[00:22:01.990] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Well, you know how your mind goes through all of the things and the reasons why you should and the reason why you shouldn't. And while this is a final two, this is going to turn your brain off. I find tequila a good way to do that. But whatever your approach is to turn the brain off for a little bit, see how things feel, your brain is going to tell you it's a product of programming that you've had as a child. Virtually everything that comes out of your brain was put there by parents, church, synagogue, news media, teachers, basically everybody else programming you to do what they want you to do to make them happy. But it doesn't know who you are. Your brain really doesn't your feelings know what's authentic to you. It will take into account because authentically, most of us really care about people. We care about our parents, we care about our kids, we care about the neighbors. So you don't have to worry that just seeing how things feel and going with that to kind of set your direction is going to be selfish. And selfish is okay. It's called personally responsible.

[00:23:08.650] – Dr. Teitelbaum

See how things feel. If something feels good, to go with it. And if it doesn't feel good, say no. And then as a check and balance, don't hurt anybody and see how does that work out for you. I can shoot up heroin. It feels really good, but for a day it's going to feel like crap. So what feels good? How does that work out for you? Use that and you're going to say, well, who's going to take care of my parents? Well, if you burn yourself out, you're going to be useless to your parents. You take care of them to the degree that it feels good to do so. And otherwise you say no. In general, in life, whether you're in the Sanders generation or whether you're 30 or whether you're 80, there's nothing doesn't feel good to you. It's not authentic.

[00:23:54.330] – Allan

you had a tool in the book that I really liked where you said, get a piece of paper, turn it sideways, you know, landscape, basically draw three columns, and on the left column, list out all the things that you think you have to do now. And just so you're going to fill up that left side pretty quickly. And then you take those and you say, okay, which ones of these are really if I looked at it, if I didn't do this like you said, somebody's going to die basically. These are actually legitimately important things, and this is what I need to do about it. And then you write your little to do list and then said so on the left, then what are the things you could do or might do or not do about these other things? That in many cases you can just stop writing that list because you're going to realize that they're really not all that important you thought they were. And then you just do the things in that middle list. And when you finish those, then you can go back and look on that left column and see if there's anything in the right column and see if there's anything you really need to do next.

[00:24:52.530] – Allan

And it's your experience, what you've said is that the universe or God or whatever seems to have a way of taking care of those things.

[00:25:02.110] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Let me reframe that just a little bit to simplify for people and make a list of the things you do during the day. On one side, have the column be things that feel good, things that don't feel good. So the things that don't feel good, you can put on the left side. Things that feel good, you can put in the middle. And then if the things that don't feel good, put a little star by the things. You're going to be arrested or homeless if you don't do because you can sort of go later. So you have the list of things to do, things that feel good that you want to keep. You just withdraw your energy from things that don't feel good. Let them drift away. Here are the things that feel good. Then which thing do I want to do today? Which one or two things need to get done today? And you just put a little arrow into the far right column for those two. That's what you do because you have more than three things in your head. It just can be spun out and do nothing. You do the one or two things.

[00:25:52.160] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And what I do is I give it to the universe to do all those other things, but they call it god, universe, life, love, whatever you want to call it. And the funny thing is, those things in the universe column seem to get done a lot quicker than things and more effectively than the stuff in my column. Just an observation I've made. But if you just have the one or two things that need to be done that you're going to do today, then you can focus on that and get that done. But when you have the whole list for the rest of my life to do and it just can be spun out, it ain't going to work.

[00:26:21.370] – Allan

Yes, I like that focus because it gets you focused on, like you said, one or two things and it kind of gets you to just put that other stuff and say, okay, I've got it on the list so I'm not going to forget about it, but I'm not going to think about it right now.

[00:26:34.910] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And you can cut loose to things that don't feel good that you don't have to stay out of jail or in your home.

[00:26:41.260] – Allan

Yeah, that's kind of important. Okay, so another thing that kind of came up in the book that I thought was really interesting was that you identified several different types of pain and it didn't really occur to me that that was important until you started getting into what to do about those types of pain. And I was thinking, wow, we have this tendency to want to do the same thing for every pain. And it's kind of weird that we'll throw everything and that's not necessarily the best answer.

[00:27:23.550] – Dr. Teitelbaum

It's as if you have your car dashboard and you have all these different warning lights on the dashboard. You have the oil light, the overheating light, you got all these different things. And with the doctors who say, well, the warning light came on, they don't even bother to ask which one. Well, no problem, we're going to take a band aid and put it over that morning plate. So you don't see it solved. But we see, I mean, most people don't know and they're major Advertisers, so they're not going to hear it in any place where they Advertise. But the arthritis medications, which is the usual ibuprofen, naproxen, these kind of things, so we see both prescription over the counter associated with, by my looking at research about 50,000 excess US deaths a year. You've got a 35% less conservative increased risk and heart attack and stroke. This is two massive studies of about a million people in the British Medical Journal. This is not maybe. And then you're looking at 4000 to 16,000 excess bleeding ulcer deaths a year. That's 50,000 deaths that are preventable basically. By using that, their research shows that there are natural remedies such my favorite is a mix called Curamin. Not curcumin, but C-U-R-A-M-I-N. It's been a pain relief miracle for.

[00:28:46.070] – Allan

Right now that's actually sitting in my Amazon shopping cart. My wife has some knee pain, and we've been trying a few different things to avoid surgery and see how she can get through this, because one doctor tells her it's a torn meniscus, another doctor tells her it's tendinitis it's anybody's guess yeah.

[00:29:04.130] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So here's the thing. Do the Curamin. But if it's a tendonitis, there are double blind studies looking at the curcumin, the Curamin, and it was more effective than the ibuprofen mouth celebrex type medications. There's other research looking at topical comfrey if you're looking at a tendonitis and there was actually for knee pain, was the study. The topical comfrey it's available as a brand called Trauma Plant. Rub it over the affected area of the knee three times a day. Use them both together. Give it six weeks. Because it takes natural things tend to heal systems. It's like putting up a house where medicines tend to poison systems. You can tear down a house in one day. But bolding, it takes six weeks. Give it to six weeks and the effect can be quite traumatic. It can be taken with the medications. So for general pain, those are my go to. Curamin C-U-R-A-M-I-N. Then I may add topical comfort. And certainly we'll talk about the different kinds of pain and how to approach each one. But if I had to say a general thing for pain, start with the Curamin.

[00:30:16.440] – Allan

So let's go through a few of these.

[00:30:19.010] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So the number one most common type of pain and the one that doctors know virtually nothing about, we know about it as a concept, but most doctors have no idea how to do a muscle exam for pain. That's like trying to diagnose appendicitis and not knowing that there's a thing called an abdominal exam you can't do it. Doesn't work. Muscle pain comes from low energy. If you have widespread low energy in the body, then you're going to have widespread pain fibromyalgia. But if you have, say, just localized things, you have poor ergonomics by your computer and you don't have a wrist support, you don't have your elbows supported, and you're holding your hands up in the air while you're typing like this, it's going to hurt. Those muscles are going to have neck and shoulder pain. There's different structural things. If you have a localized pain, does your wife have an uneven hip height? Does she have is her foot torqued out to the side? Seeing somebody who knows how to look for gait, looking for different localized triggers with muscle pain or is a good place to begin. But if you give shine, if you do what I mentioned, the multivitamin with magnesium and B vitamins.

[00:31:30.160] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So the energy revitalization system, vitamin power, very good. And one drink replaces 50 pills. Now, I had one guy who used to live on the Chesapeake Bay, walking by the harbor one day, and this guy eyes me from across the street and he suddenly he starts weaving through traffic and he runs up to me and he says, you're not the title by Marinco. And I said, yeah. And he lifted me up in this big bear hug and I just like, we have not had a first date yet, please put me down. And he said, sorry, but I had horrible back pain. Most back pain is muscle pain no matter what the x rays show. Horrible. And I took the vitamin powder, I designed that most of the things I talk about, I have no financial tattoo, but I did design the vitamin powder to my foundation gets royalties for that. And he said my back pain went away and over that just giving the muscles the magnesium, the B vitamins and the things needed in multivitamin. So feed the muscles so that they can make energy and that will often help the muscle pain go away.

[00:32:33.550] – Allan

Another one I know that I think it's big is called it's inflammation. Can you talk a little bit about that one?

[00:32:38.610] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So we're looking at anything that ensemitis, which would be like arthritis and then there's appendicitis and everything else too is when the inflammatory system is out of balance. Inflammation is not bad. It's part of our natural system for maintaining health and treating injuries and things like that and preventing infections, invasion. It's when it's out of balance. Why? We've dropped our fish oil intake dramatically. The Omega sweets I'll use, I personally take vitamin multivitamin out of vector omega each day because one of those vector mega replaces eight fish oil pills. So it balances inflammation. Cutting down white flour, whole grains are okay. Grass fed meat is less inflammatory than grain fed meat. Sugar very inflammatory. So simple dietary changes can settle down inflammation quite a bit. But where the curamin? The mix of the curcumin boswellia DLPA and natokinase shines. It's just awesome is the curcumin and Boswellia, these are highly absorbed forms balance and settle down excess inflammation, but they put them in balance and instead of side effects, you get side benefits of ill curcumin associated with 70%, lower Alzheimer risk, for example, dramatically lower cancer risks. And there's now over 100 studies looking at it, usually using this form, the Highly absorbed curcumin for Cancer Prevention and Treatment.

[00:34:09.780] – Dr. Teitelbaum

It's just the thing about these natural things is like say side benefits instead of side effects and they're as more effective.

[00:34:17.590] – Allan

Now, one of the ones I know that's really hard for doctors to deal with is the neuropathic pain. Can you talk about that one?

[00:34:26.550] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Yes. So just like the low energy causes muscles to get locked in the shortened position, nerves have a pacemaker that fires and triggers the nerve signal. And when you don't have enough energy in the nerves that pacemaker, the pacemaker actually will automatically fire unless you kind of hold it in check. And it takes energy to do that. The energy in the nerve drops to a certain point and that nerve keeps firing and suddenly it starts to hurt again. So the general things we talked about for B vitamins, magnesium, things to feed the nerves, but then lipoic acid and acetyl L carnitine, both very helpful for nerve pain. So what they do is they settle and soothe the nerves, and lipoic acid helps to heal it's 200 milligrams three times a day or 300 twice a day. For lipoic acid, acetyl carnitine, they use it and studies for chemo induced nerve pain. For example, or number there, it's 1 gram twice a day. I know I'm grabbing off a lot of stuff. My phone app, there's a free phone app called Cures, C-U-R-E-S capital A-C. You look up each of these kind of pains and it will lay out.

[00:35:37.850] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Look up arthritis, look up muscle pain, look up nerve pain. It'll have the recipe and just short and sweet. Here's what you do, here's how you do it.

[00:35:46.030] – Allan

And the book has all of this as well, and you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/572. And we have a full set of show notes, though, that's literally a transcript of everything you're saying. So they can go out there and they'll have all of that spelled out for him. So don't worry. Don't be trying to jot all this stuff down and spell, because I started trying, I'm going to have to ask him how to spell it later. But you'll have it. And then the book has literally line per line. What he's saying right now is from the book, and it's in a very simple way to read. And then again, if you've really, really suffering and you're going through chronic pain or really bad fibromyalgia symptoms, he has his deep dive cure, which call it I forget it, Intensive Care. And so it takes that shine and it ramps it up tenfold or better to give you all the protocol in a very deep and meaningful way that you can follow step by step to make sure that you're doing everything you possibly can to do this in the right way. Now, Doctor, before we move away from the pain part, there's another one that I'm kind of familiar with.

[00:36:59.270] – Allan

When you start talking about back pain, I went back and said, well, every time I've talked to any doctor about pain in the back, they always talk about nerve compression. I said, well, a disc is slipped and it's compressing on a nerve, and you're saying that's not it. But there is nerve compression as a pain source. Can we talk about that a little bit?

[00:37:21.550] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Absolutely. So let me start with the back pain, because the majority of pain is coming from structural issues with weak muscles. And again, this is what the research has shown that was funny. There are some doctors who are troublemakers and they realize that every time they send somebody from X rays or MRIs, they all came back. Oh my God, horrible, this disease amazed person can walk. And so they took a bunch of people who are totally healthy and they sent them in and said back pain to the x rays. And then the MRIs, they came back with the same readings and then they put up all the films with a bunch of radiologists that they're good radiologists. They couldn't tell the people from pain, from the ones without pain, anybody can chance. We are an upgrade species. Walk on four legs, we walk on two. We're going to have normal wear and tear on our back and same on the hip joints and on the other joints. And what the research has shown, same with TMJ, where they did another study, the changes in the x ray do not correlate with the pain. They are not the source of the pain.

[00:38:21.920] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And you see all these journal things saying you don't operate out of pain unless there is a neurologic deficit that correlates with that line of pain in that one area. But people do. Why? Because and they're not bad people, they think they're doing the right thing. There are some people who have real disease and they need surgery and those are the ones who do well. You have a specific pain in the area, you see the defects specific to that. There's a neurologic deficit, the reflexes are gone there or hyperreflexic, you have that triad. Now you have this pain. But for all the other ones they're not. And doing the conservative management with some of the things we talked about, for example, nutritional support, Curamin, there's one called Curamin, low back pain, things like that will often heal it up. First doing the structural things, simple heel lift, if one hip is higher than the other, can make all the difference. So simple measures. But again, the x rays, they will scare you to death. But research shows you'll see people there's, oh my God, my hip. It's bone on bone. Yeah, so is that guy jogging down the street with no pain doesn't mean that that's the source of your pain, but it does mean you're likely to get recommended for something very expensive with a knife.

[00:39:49.940] – Dr. Teitelbaum

On the other hand, by very good doctors who mean well,

[00:39:54.100] – Allan

yeah, well, they go to school with all the good intentions and then they're taught this is what you see, this is what you do. If this, then that, if this, then that.

[00:40:03.590] – Dr. Teitelbaum

We're taught about where the money is.

[00:40:05.460] – Allan

Well, that's coming through the medical school because that's who's funding the medical schools.

[00:40:11.260] – Dr. Teitelbaum

But they're paying for education and our medical education. And this is paraphrasing from a past editor of New England Journal of Medicine, which is a Harvard journal, that most continuing medical education is simply slick advertising, mass grading of science.

[00:40:29.440] – Allan

And it's sad. So ask questions, advocate. That's why I like books like yours because they kind of give us some tools to advocate for ourselves, to do some things that are non invasive that are generally safe and say, okay, I'm going to try these particular supplements and see how they go. Give it the time necessary, and then you can consider the medications and potentially the surgeries.

[00:40:56.690] – Dr. Teitelbaum

I'm an MD. I'm not against medications. I'm not against surgery. I'm just against the way they're being used, which is based on profit rather than science insanity. When used based on the science insanity. These are amazing and incredibly wonderful tools.

[00:41:12.510] – Allan

Yeah, because I tore my rotator cuff, and I knew the instant I did it exactly what I did, I know how bad it was. I mean, I knew without a shadow of a doubt it was off the bone, felt the tore, knew exactly what it was. And so I didn't go to the doctor straight away because I had something else I wanted to do first. And I'm like, I can't tear it more than it's tore. And then I did go into him, and he's like, when did you do this? I said, about a month and a half ago. He's like, that must have hurt. And I listed, yeah, we got to talking about it. He was a good old fellow. He'd been doing this for forever. And he said, yeah, most people are going to do this, and most people are going to tear their shoulders. It's just going to happen. And then he said, So let's do this review. And then he did the X ray, and he said, I'm going to send him for an MRI. He said, A lot of times they push back, and once you do therapy, but you know, it's tore, I know it's tore, so maybe the insurance company will be cool and let us just do the MRI, does the MRI, and says, yeah, we both knew it was tore.

[00:42:05.290] – Allan

And so he says, I got to do surgery. I'm like, of course it's not going to reattach itself to the bone. That's medicine. That's science. It's just not going to happen. So if I thought taking a pain medication and doing physical therapy was something that was going to fix it, then by all means, I would have tried that long before I ever went into surgery. But I knew where I was, and I was like, okay, I can use common sense. I can have a reasonable conversation with a doctor. And if the doctor can't have that conversation, then I'll go have the conversation with a different doctor.

[00:42:40.050] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And endoscopic repair of a tear is a common sense kind of a thing. It's low. It's not hard on the body. You don't have a lot of complications where when you're going into doing disc reconstruction on the back, failed back surgery is nasty. But like I say, what I find is when surgery is done for the right reason, people usually do real well. And when it's done for the wrong reason, for some reason, they don't.

[00:43:08.350] – Allan

Okay, let's pivot to something a little bit more positive. We talked about a little bit earlier how special the body is, but in the book you kind of got into a concept of self and healing and how there's a little bit more to just resting or eating or exercise. There's an internal something that drives healing better.

[00:43:39.110] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Well, here's the thing. You just don't get in the way of it. Give your body what it needs and let it do its thing. So the body is amazing at healing things. Sometimes things get out of balance, like heart failure, where its mechanism for healing the problem actually makes it worse. But most often that's not. So if you're giving body what it needs nutritionally, again, the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder to me is the best multivitamin because it replaces 50 pills from one drink. Easy. You give it to stuff for inflammation. So you go ahead and curamin. Nice easy way to do that. Then you just tailor it to the lights. You stop doing things that hurt it. It's like the doctor, the joke man goes to doctor and if it's dark when I keep doing this, it hurts. Doctors don't do that. So use some common sense with it. Your body pain is your body's way of saying something needs attention. Or maybe it's saying don't do that. But also, it's a funny thing. A good amount of pain, especially back pain, is associated with depressed feelings. The body, the psyche is actually distracting you from an uncomfortable feeling with the pain.

[00:44:52.120] – Dr. Teitelbaum

And it's not a rational process, so it's not proportional. It's not like this is a little thing. So I have a little pain and this is a major trauma that I was raped as a child. Never big pain. It's not like that at all. It's an uncomfortable feeling. The body will create pains, distract it distract you. And simply going in and seeing how you feel. For the gals out there, it's easier. Although sometimes it gets more complex. For guys, it's like feelings, what do they sometimes you do that, go in, find that things are feeling no judgments are not broken. You don't have to fix them. All you have to do with the feelings is feel them. And then when you're done feeling them and you'll know you're done because they'll stop feeling good, be amazed how good it can feel to grieve or their anger. I mean, ask my wife, I love a good self righteousnessy fit. I get on my hands down on the whole thing. But when it stops feeling good, that feeling is done. Then let it go. Now, the book talks about how to feel the feelings, how to let go of the feelings, and you'll find that a lot of the pain will go and go.

[00:45:56.210] – Dr. Teitelbaum

You mean I've been suffering for 30 years because I was upset that little Johnny took my girlfriend or something when I was seven? There's sometimes nothing

[00:46:05.570] – Allan

well, they were something. They were something, they were traumatic, and they were important enough at the moment for your body to store that and decide it needed to react in some way and it's manifesting his pain.

[00:46:18.710] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Yeah, little johnny when we were seven, it was something.

[00:46:25.130] – Allan

She was gorgeous

[00:46:26.450] – Dr. Teitelbaum

she was amazing.

[00:46:29.630] – Dr. Teitelbaum

But at 40, maybe kind of over that. There's a lot of different things to the pain. So the book will talk about nutritionally and herbally and then when to use medications, which medications to use, when to consider surgery. Again, this stuff is not rocket science. It's basically science. How it's used is not science. It's Advertising.

[00:46:56.030] – Allan

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

[00:47:05.990] – Dr. Teitelbaum

So, number one, want to double your energy in 1 minute of the day? Take a piece of paper, write this one down, get the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder, get the Smart Energy System, which is a mix of Ribos and five herbs, and get HRG 80, HRG 80 red ginseng, and get the chewable tablets. And you take one drink a day, two capsules into one tablet, it'll take you less than a minute. It's not expensive. You do that each morning. And again, most people find that they as much as more than double their energy. And again, in the studies for the Smart Energy, the average increase in Stamina, I think was 70%. The HRG 80 red ginseng was like 60%. Now, there's not a study looking just at the vitamin powder to combine those data is what I do each day. And you'll find that nutritionally you're going to have an amazing amount of healthy energy and it's just easy. Then. Number two, equally important is to follow your bliss. You know how you have a GPS in your life? If you went to your car's GPS and said, take me where I want to go, it has no idea where you want to go.

[00:48:17.070] – Dr. Teitelbaum

If you go to your brain and say, take me where I want to go, it has no idea who you are. Your brain is the programming that everybody did to tell you how to make them happy. It has no idea who you are. Your feelings know who you are. Start to steer and plan your life by what feels good to you as long again, don't hurt other people and how does it work out for you. But follow your bliss, see what feels good. Step number three, go for walks. A little bit of exercise doesn't have to be left. And do it outside in the sunshine and pick something that's fun and do it to the friends who actually show up. And you do those things and your life is going to be fantastic.

[00:49:02.510] – Allan

Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, From Fatigue to Fantastic, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:49:10.910] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Well, vitality101.com has information especially for people with CFS and Fibromyalgia. For those who are interested in the supplements, the website is endfatigue.com and Amazon has book. So simple things. But again, for Day to Day, if you'd like to know, I wonder what Doctor T would say about this problem. You look up acne or acid or whatever it is, the free phone app cures a-c. We have over a million downloads for the app. It's like having my brain in your pocket. It's just a lot less messy and it's just short and sweet. It's just each topic, hypertension, arthritis, whatever it is, just look it up. And here's what's going on. Here's how you take care of it. Here the best supplements, here's the best, here's what you use medications, how I just laid out for you.

[00:50:05.490] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/572 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:50:14.330] – Dr. Teitelbaum

Allan, always a pleasure. Be well.

[00:50:16.200] – Allan

You too.

Post Show/Recap

[00:50:17.650] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:50:19.100] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. That was really a wonderful interview and another book that I got to add to my list that I need to buy, but very helpful information. Right off the bat, I'll tell you and the listeners that my daughter suffers from both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, which I often just simply call CFS. I have another loved one that also has fibro. So these are things that I'm pretty familiar with. And so as I was listening to you discuss these different points, I'm like, yup, that makes sense. Yes, we've experienced that. It's all good information.

[00:50:57.970] – Allan

Yeah, I wanted to have Dr. Teitelbaum on when I saw the topic of the book. I was like, okay, I want to talk about this because it's something we haven't really gotten into. And again, and I said it in the interview, so many diseases that are out there, that's what you're complaining about and that's what your symptom is. And they're like, okay, well, are you just not sleeping well?

[00:51:21.120] – Allan

Is it stress? Is it this? Is it that? And there's so much to rule out that I think it has to be a frustrating thing to go through because the diagnosis is just not going to be easy. And I can just see a situation where you walk into the doctor's office and they seem almost rude about it.

[00:51:41.390] – Allan

Fatigue, check. Okay, what else? You're like, Well, I'm in pain. Okay, check. What else? Because what they really just want is six minutes and a prescription. And that six minute includes in time to write the prescription. But you're not making it easy on them because you don't have any outward symptoms of anything major going on. They're looking at your thyroid, they're looking at some of these other things, and they're saying you're a perfectly healthy human being. And yet you say you're tired all the time.

[00:52:12.650] – Rachel

Yeah, that's exactly what we experienced. My daughter started having symptoms, probably she might have been close to 13, actually, when she started having some symptoms. And again, when you look at my daughter, she looks like now she's in her 20s, she looks like a young, healthy person. You would never imagine that she would have both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. And it was very difficult to diagnose, because when you think of your 13 year olds remember when you had 13 year olds?

[00:52:43.390] – Allan

Yeah, I'm just going to lay around and sleep all day

[00:52:45.800] – Rachel

lazy, moody. And so it is it's hard. And the thing with fibro and CFS and some of these other very similar diseases is there is no one blood test. And not only is there no one blood test, they first want to rule out things. So we spent ridiculous times in the doctor's office. It's not lime disease from a tick. It's not a thyroid problem. It's not a hormone problem. It's not a gluten IBS problem to get to all of these, it's not this, it's not that, still kind of leads us to it's just a rabbit hole of trying to get diagnosed. And you put together symptoms, and not all the symptoms make sense either. So it's this type of pain and this type of fatigue and all these different things. And the best advice that I have, someone who's dealing with some level of fatigue, is to get to know your doctor really well, go through the rabbit hole of test after test, diagnosis after not diagnosis, and see what you can get to. But when you talk about fatigue for, I guess, healthier people like you and I, we can pinpoint things like, you just had a whole week of craziness at your bed and breakfast.

[00:54:04.190] – Rachel

I just had a whole craziness of fatigue over the holidays, family parties, not sleeping in my bed, not eating the right foods. And so there's certain things that we can look at and say, this is why we're exhausted, and we know if we get some good sleep that we can recover from that. But if you're continuously struggling with fatigue, then there might be something else behind it. And the doctor has some really good things, really good advice. You got to look at your sleep. You got to look at your nutrition and stress and all these types of things. So it's a good place to start.

[00:54:41.440] – Allan

Yeah. He took the book it was originally a pamphlet that he wrote for doctors, because doctors didn't know how to diagnose this properly,

[00:54:49.560] – Rachel

and they still don't.

[00:54:50.730] – Allan

Okay, well, saying, get a copy of the book and send it to a doctor if you have questions. But he probably won't read it, or she won't read it because it's 400 pages.

[00:55:03.230] – Allan

But he originally started it as that, and then he worked his way up to really documenting and getting the evidence and looking at protocols. And then this one he wanted to make sure was good for the patient or someone who thinks they might be struggling with something like this because fatigue or pain is just a big part of their lives and their doctor hasn't been able to figure this stuff out yet. The protocols that he has in the book, a lot of them are just normal stuff that you should be doing for your general health and fitness anyway.

[00:55:36.560] – Rachel

That is true.

[00:55:38.350] – Allan

Eating right, getting exercise where you can, sleeping well, managing stress, all those things are things you should be doing. And he approaches it from a food first perspective, then supplements, and then, if necessary, he talks about medications. So it's pretty thorough book. It's up to date. It came out in 2021. So it's an up to date reference for you to get in there. And he makes it easy to follow, easy to know if that applies to you pretty early in the book because he writes those little subsection summaries at the beginning where he says, okay, this is the brain fog conversation that I could have with you, so you don't have to read all of this other stuff. You can read this and know at least, okay, is this the chapter I need to focus on now, or can I move on? So he makes it really easy. It's a good book.

[00:56:33.260] – Rachel

That sounds really great, especially how he broke it down for the people that are suffering. People with fibro and chronic fatigue syndrome do have a level of brain fog. This is partly a brain disease, and so it's hard to concentrate, it's hard to keep focused on tasks. It's important. So it sounds like a very helpful book.

[00:56:57.110] – Allan


[00:56:58.020] – Rachel


[00:56:58.780] – Allan

I'll talk to you next week then.

[00:57:00.280] – Rachel

Thanks for bringing on Allan. I appreciate it. Thank you.

[00:57:03.670] – Allan

You're welcome. Bye.

[00:57:05.450] – Rachel


Music by Dave Gerhart


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