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Tag Archives for " ketosis "

January 18, 2021

The case for keto with Gary Taubes

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

Transcript

Let's Say Hello

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

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

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

[00:02:24.830] – Rachel
Wow.

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

[00:02:49.940] – Rachel
Oh, boy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:04:54.800] – Rachel
For sure.

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

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

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

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

Interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:25:35.960] – Allan
Yeah.

[00:25:36.380] – Gary
Right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:34:19.170] – Allan
Yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[00:50:32.740] – Allan
Yeah. Yeah.

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

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

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

[00:50:58.860] – Gary
Wear a mask.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Post Show/Recap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[01:00:46.700] – Rachel
Yes.

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

[01:01:14.860] – Rachel
That's true.

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

[01:01:41.950] – Rachel
Silence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Another episode you may enjoy

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How to use keto for optimal wellness and longevity – Lori Shemek

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In her book The Ketogenic Key: Unlock the Secrets to Lose Weight, Slow Aging, Stop Inflammation, and Prevent Disease, Lori Shemek shows us how to use the ketogenic diet for optimal wellness. Most of the health issues we deal with today are caused by poor nutrition choices. With all of the health and fitness information available, it can get really confusing. Lori helps us understand how to make keto an everyday lifestyle that gives us better health.

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Reel Paper. Reel paper sells toilet paper made from 100% bamboo, which grows faster, requires less water, creates more oxygen, a.k.a. less greenhouse gases, and doesn't require replanting after harvesting. Yes, sustainable toilet paper is available for you now, conveniently shipped for free to your home. We must begin treating the earth better and you can do it by going to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/tp and get 25% off with the discount code. 40plus.

[00:02:55.110] – Allan
Rachel, how are you doing?

[00:02:57.160] – Rachael
Great, how are you, Allan?

[00:02:58.430] – Allan
I'm doing really good. How's your week been?

[00:03:01.710] – Rachael
Good. Had a good week, got in a couple of good runs. One was in total rain, but it was awesome. Yeah.

[00:03:09.360] – Allan
Good. Good. Yeah. I actually on Monday put in 13 miles walking. So it was a little over three and a half hours of walking.

[00:03:21.470] – Rachael
Wow.

[00:03:21.750] – Allan
I loved it. Almost got hit by a truck. A friend of mine was coming around the corner. You know, I think he was going a little too fast and I was wiping the sweat off my forehead because I was somewhere around mile 11 and I was just a little tired. I wasn't quite paying attention and I had my headphones on and just about, smack. But, you know, other than the initial cortisol hit that I got, that gave me a little bit more energy to finish that about walk. It was a really good walk.

[00:03:49.800] – Rachel
Good, Glad you're OK.

[00:03:51.840] – Allan
All right. So let's go ahead introduce today's guest. Our guest today is a doctor in psychology with a certification as a nutritional consultant and a life coach. She's written several books, including the book we're going to talk about today, the Ketogenic Key. And she's been featured on TV, on the Doctors, on various radio shows, speaking and helping clients, companies, and others optimize their health, reversed inflammation, and create weight loss success. With no further ado. Here's Dr. Lori Shemek.

Transcript

[00:04:22.230] – Allan
Dr. Lori, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:25.080] – Dr. Shemek
Hey, Allan, thank you so much for having me. You know, it's an honor.

[00:04:29.160] – Allan
Well, I'm really excited to talk to you because it's actually been a while since we we talked. I was on your podcast, I think it was about three, three years ago. Maybe. I don't know.

[00:04:41.290] – Dr. Shemek
Wow, a lot has changed in three years, hasn't it?

[00:04:43.770] – Allan
It absolutely has. A whole different world.

[00:04:46.830] – Allan
Now, your book is called The Ketogenic Key, Unlock the Secrets to Lose Weight, Slow Aging, Stop Inflammation, and Prevent Disease.

[00:04:56.730] – Dr. Shemek
Right.

[00:04:57.420] – Allan
That's a pretty big key.

[00:04:59.380] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, it is. And, you know, it's it's actually ketosis, which promotes all of those wonderful benefits. And so, like you and I were discussing earlier, I should have named the book The Ketosis Key, because it is the driving factor in all of these wonderful things like weight loss, you know, slower aging, longevity, inflammation, reduction, et cetera, et cetera. So, yeah, it's it's definitely the key ketosis. So it's not just the ketogenic diet either. It's the ketogenic diet. It's intermittent fasting, it's exogenous ketones or supplementation and exercise. And the great thing is you can do them separately or together. And if you do even two of them together, it's very powerful.

[00:05:48.420] – Allan
Yeah, I guess I'd sit there and say I do what I call seasonal ketosis. And so I'll spend a year in ketosis, which I am right now, and then I'll spend a good part of the year out of ketosis because I like tailgating and drinking beer and eating crap food and just watch a football game and then, you know, the first Thanksgiving and Christmas come around and my birthday's in February and so that's my feasting season.

[00:06:16.650] – Dr. Shemek
Clean up month.

[00:06:17.200] – Allan
Just let it go.

[00:06:18.020] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah.

[00:06:18.250] – Allan
Just let it go. And then after after my birthday in February, then I'll say, OK, now I'm going to hit by my fasting season. So my famine season like ancestors would have had when it was colder weather and there wasn't access to any vegetation to eat. And so now they're having to eat more fatty foods to get the sustenance and they're going into ketosis. In many cases they're fasting because you can't keep meat without a refrigerator and other means so they had to eat what they kill pretty quickly.

[00:06:54.440] – Allan
But they'd wake up in the morning some mornings and there would not be any food there. So they'd get up and they go, you know, do their hunts and they find their food and then they have maybe a pretty nice lunch, then a really good dinner. And so they're in a natural, you know, intermittent fasting mode. And I found every time I get into ketosis, I just naturally fall into intermittent fasting it's just a natural thing.

[00:07:19.770] – Dr. Shemek
Right. And that's what's so beneficial about all of these is that, you know, you do enter a state of ketosis and it's even more powerful if you do intermittent fasting, in fact. So if you can tag on intermittent fasting to any of the other options that we list in the book, then you're even, it's even more powerful. So it's all out there, all powerful in and of themselves, which is a really wonderful way to look at your health.

[00:07:50.460] – Dr. Shemek
But when you combine, like I was saying earlier, just even two of them, you're doing incredible, power stuff.

[00:07:59.850] – Allan
I'm doing three of your four right now, ‘m eating really low carb. And so that's putting me into nutritional ketosis. And I measured it the other day. I'm also doing exercise. So I do these long haul walks almost every morning that I can. I'll walk for two, three hours and then, you know, that puts me a little deeper into ketosis and I'll do that fasted. So, you know, waking up in the morning.

[00:08:24.760] – Dr. Shemek
Oh, perfect.

[00:08:25.430] – Allan
My last dinner was at seven o'clock, six thirty seven o'clock. We tend to eat a little early and then, you know, so it's then I got at least two, two and a half hours before I go to bed. So I go to bed then.

[00:08:37.320] – Dr. Shemek
Thats even better.

[00:08:38.370] – Allan
I wake up in the morning. I wait until, you know, about eight o'clock and that's when it's a little warmer than I think most people want to walk, but I don't care. I'll Honey badger that and do a good long walk. And so by the time I get…

[00:08:52.740] – Dr. Shemek
Well that's a good…The heat is a good hormetic stressor as well. So another powerful factor.

[00:09:01.900] – Allan
Well, there was definitely some heat today, but so so, you know, here I am. I guess I'm sitting here at 12:30 as we're recording this. And I haven't eaten a thing today. I had some I had some coffee in the morning, but nothing in it. Just black coffee and did my long walk. And I'm going to do this and do a couple other things. And I'll probably be about two o'clock and I'll go ahead and have my first meal of the day.

[00:09:25.540] – Allan
So I'm putting all three of them together, which really works well for me. I had a kind of a setback and I'm going to I talked about this in an episode a couple of weeks ago about, you know, I think everybody talks about the covid 15. And I was a victim of it, too, you know, just being locked in our house because it was we were not allowed to go out at all. And so being locked in the house, I just really tapped my motivation and I was down. So I wasn't moving. I wasn't eating well. And, you know, I was taking in a little bit more alcohol than I should have and so I put on…

[00:10:01.510] – Dr. Shemek
You're not alone.

[00:10:02.530] – Allan
Yeah, I know.

[00:10:03.490] – Dr. Shemek
It's rampant right now. Yeah. And it's better in the States. It's better. You know, I think the world at large is getting a little bit better with covid, but yeah, it's, it's, it's rougher in some areas. But nonetheless many people have paid the price in one way or another with this horrible virus. So. Yeah, and it's and that's the, well the irony of the thing is that in order to get through it in a healthful way, we want to be you know, we want our immune to be stronger.

[00:10:39.070] – Dr. Shemek
And we do have that innate immunity. But with the, I guess, emotional eating and the lack of exercise, it puts us down a notch in terms of our immune strength. So, yeah, it's it's a tough road.

[00:10:53.320] – Allan
Yeah. So enter into the picture nutritional ketosis. And I'm happy to say that I started so really eating low carb in May, May 1st and since May 1st, I have lost all of that and more. So now I'm into my…

[00:11:09.940] – Dr. Shemek
Wow!

[00:11:10.600] – Allan
Because I kind of pushed off. I didn't do my famine season when I had planned to because of everything that was going on with, you know, issues and, you know, all that and then getting locked in. I was like, so that just didn't happen the way it would have normally happened for me when I got around to February. So I stepped up and said, OK, here I am in May, I need to start now. And I started and I've been generally in and out of ketosis for the last couple of months. And then this this last Monday or so I said, OK, that's it, I'm going deep. And that's when I started, you know, putting together those three.

[00:11:45.940] – Allan
But one of the things I wanted to get into, because I know the benefit of nutritional ketosis, because I can I can drop twenty pounds in three months really easy when I'm in ketosis. So the weight loss is that's a no brainer. That's going to happen for all of us. If we if we have the fat to lose, we will lose it. But I tried exogenous ketones when they first started coming out. They were nasty.

[00:12:15.360] – Dr. Shemek
Yes, I know. Right. Oh, I've heard some names you don't want to hear.

[00:12:20.930] – Allan
Oh yeah, I was like…

[00:12:20.960] – Dr. Shemek
It's like, oh thank God I've never had to try it and the delicious ones. Right.

[00:12:27.940] – Allan
OK, yeah well so I tried one, I tried them when I first, started coming out and I was like, oh my God. And I said, well I need to do this. I want to try. It's an experiment. You know, I'm on the podcast and I want to be able to talk about them. And, you know, I was thinking, OK, that really, the concern I had was if you go into if you start doing a ketogenic diet and your body's not used to using ketones, then you're peeing them out. And that's why we're able to measure them with the urine stick.

[00:12:57.500] – Allan
So my concern was if I just throw exogenous ketones on my body as a sugar burner, aren't I going to do the same thing? So I was really concerned about whether I was, I had spent,because they were expensive also.

[00:13:10.620] – Dr. Shemek
Right.

[00:13:11.610] – Allan
So I spent a lot of money on something that was really nasty. And I didn't, you know, other than saying maybe it would help me transition to keto or if I were doing a long distance endurance sport, then exogenous ketones would seem to make sense. But in the book, you put forward a case that it's even better than that, that there's a lot of use cases for them. Can you can you talk about that?

[00:13:35.860] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah. You know, and that's the thing when you use supplemental ketones, it really does put you into a state of ketosis within 30 minutes. That's the advantage. The problem is, is it doesn't stick around as long as if you were to be, say, on a ketogenic diet. Right. And so this is really one of the wonderful things about ketones in terms of a beta-hydroxybutyrate BHB, as it's referred to often. This ketone is powerful and that it can really mitigate all sorts of inflammatory conditions and other areas in terms of optimizing your health.

[00:14:14.230] – Dr. Shemek
So what we want to do is we want to up level our, you know, our physical fitness, our ability to to utilize these ketones. And when you become metabolically flexible and even if you're not, you're still utilizing them. Right. Your body really loves ketones. And it's just that it's just not equipped at that moment to say when you're, you first embark on a ketogenic diet to use them. And so, you know, the reason that people are feeling so good and wonderful and athletes do so well on it is because you're up leveling, you're boosting your mitochondrial health, your cellular health.

[00:14:59.680] – Dr. Shemek
There's more ATP going on. There's less glucose machinations, if you will, within the cell, which produces a whole lot of oxidation ROS. And that means it's similar to like a a car, an electric car which burns clean versus gasoline powered car, which burns dirty exhaust. Right. That's what happens when you burn glucose. But when you burn ketones for fuel, you have a better form of energy, a more therapeutic, if you will, form of energy that really optimizes every part of your health, including brain health.

[00:15:39.770] – Allan
So, yeah, so I guess as I look at exogenous ketones, I still go back to I think, you know, they're good, if you're when you're first trying to get in to ketosis, they're probably a pretty good thing to help you through the keto flu a little bit.

[00:15:53.190] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, it will.

[00:15:54.470] – Allan
Making sure you're getting your electrolytes and plenty of water.

[00:15:58.790] – Dr. Shemek
Your potassium, right. Magnesium.

[00:16:01.310] – Allan
So I have the I have the the supplements and all that to try to make sure that particular as I go into this, losing my water, I'm going to be cool. I also, like I said, if you're an endurance athlete, there's some I think there's a lot of benefit to having them because at some level.

[00:16:17.010] – Dr. Shemek
Oh, yeah Allan.

[00:16:17.610] – Allan
And as a long distance thing.

[00:16:19.730] – Dr. Shemek
But you have to be careful because you know and now if it's if it's a for example, it's a high energy sport, one that, you know, say high intensity interval training or something. You have to be careful in terms of, you know, hitting that wall, if you will. But if it's an endurance sport, you're really good to go. Part of the reason is the steady state of energy that we have when we're using the supplemental ketones.

[00:16:47.690] – Dr. Shemek
We don't have that spike in blood sugar. So it keeps our glucose stable. And I'm not sure if you're aware that the Tour de France, the team there was one team that used exogenous ketones and they did, it was an incredible win using these ketones. And so that was in 2018. And then in 2019, a large number of these teams were using them. So there's still the competitive factor. But nonetheless, that first 28 go round, that team won simply with the exogenous ketones.

[00:17:26.510] – Allan
And that's what I'm saying, you know, when I when I was when I was training heavy, I was trying to get ready for a Spartan. I had hired a coach. And, you know, I go in there and the cool thing was, you know, of course he's a fitness geek and I'm a fitness geek and I'm going to be working out and he's training me and is like, you don't really need, he says you don't really need a trainer, and I'm I like absolutely need a trainer.

[00:17:46.040] – Allan
And he says, well, you know you know more about this stuff than I do. And I said, well, so. Give me a program. Let's talk about the programming. Let's talk about what's going on. And so, you know, he's trying to…

[00:17:55.690] – Dr. Shemek
Let me tweak it for you.

[00:17:57.320] – Allan
Well, I did very little tweaking. I actually did his program. It was built it was built a little bit more towards the being a 20 year old than I would normally have done. But it was still cool. And but we were talking about me being in ketosis and he was like, well, why are you doing that? You need the carbs to be able to get through the workout. I'm like, I can get through the workout just fine. I said, you know, I'm going to probably, and I did, when I, if I do a heavy deadlift session because I'm not relying on APT for energy, I huff and puff, I get exhausted because it's, you know, that exertion that I go through and a good set of ten on the deadlift is going to take me past thirty seconds.

[00:18:36.590] – Allan
And so that is a struggle. Even exogenous ketones would not push me past that struggle.

[00:18:42.710] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah.

[00:18:43.060] – Allan
With the weight lifting, the way I was doing it, very heavy and I because it was very heavy, very slow. So you know, I understood that being in ketosis kind of put me at a disadvantage for that. But I could still push through every set. And I got really, really strong anyway because I also didn't have to deal with inflammation or any other things that were going on.

[00:19:02.870] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, and that's exactly true. You know, it's it really is. The bottom line is that Ketones really offer the average athlete, right, a lot of benefit. And like, you know, you just mentioned the inflammation, which we can get into in a little while if you want. It just but it gives you these these exogenous ketones, give you more energy, it mental clarity, focus, and we make our own. If you're on the ketogenic diet, we have endogenous ketones, meaning they come from within. Right. And so when you combine the two, it's really amazing what the amount of energy you have.

[00:19:42.630] – Dr. Shemek
But I would venture to say that even though even if you were taking ketones with your power lifting, it helps you in some way because they really do help create more ATP within the mitochondria.

[00:19:55.010] – Allan
Yeah, you know, and I would say if it was helping me with anything, it was the fact that my my total workout time was an hour and while it might had been in sprints. You know, dead lift and go, dead lift and go, you know, and then I'm breathing heavy. When I got into the lighter lifts later, I still had the energy and those were less like that. And so, yeah, I absolutely agree that it helped.

[00:20:17.780] – Allan
But I actually think probably the best benefit and we'll get like I said, I do want to get into it is inflammation. Because every time we talk about a chronic disease, heart disease, cancer, you know, diabetes, you just, you know, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, you just keep going on and on and. They take you back to the beginning, in the beginning is chronic inflammation, and you called it silent inflammation and I actually like that because it's scarier.

[00:20:52.880] – Dr. Shemek
It is, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:20:54.620] – Allan
What what causes silent inflammation and how does the ketogenic diet help us address it?

[00:21:01.160] – Dr. Shemek
So we have, I'll just start off by talking about the two different types of inflammation. And the first type is called acute inflammation. And it's not so cute because it hurts. It's uncomfortable. It's that sprang, black and blue swollen ankle. It's that cut on the finger. It's that terrible sunburn or awful head cold. Right? So that is acute inflammation. We need it in order to heal. Without it, we're sitting ducks. Really. So let's take that cut on the finger.

[00:21:31.910] – Dr. Shemek
When you cut your finger, an enormous amount of inflammatory molecules are released. And soldiers, if you will, rush to the site to repair the wound. They repair the wound, the wound heals, the soldiers go away, the inflammation goes away and all is well. So that's acute inflammation. And, yes, we need it, even though it seems unreasonable because it doesn't feel good. But but we need it.

[00:21:56.970] – Dr. Shemek
So then the next type of inflammation is silent or chronic inflammation. And the name silent really suggests danger, doesn't it, because we don't know it's there until the symptoms start to occur. And so 75 percent of all Americans are walking around with silent inflammation and don't even know it. It is really such a sad situation, really, but it is the core underlying cause of most illness, disease, faster aging and weight gain. And you can look at silent inflammation is like having a sore on the inside of your body that never heals unless you intervene.

[00:22:38.540] – Dr. Shemek
And unlike acute inflammation, which emits just a trickle of inflammatory molecules, silent inflammation emits just acute inflammation emits an enormous amount. Silent inflammation emits just a trickle. Okay. And so you would think, well, this is better, right? And it isn't because it goes on 24/7 every single day, unbeknownst to you, where acute inflammation goes away. Once you're healed, it's gone. But sometimes the immune system goes, it becomes haywire. And this is what causes this over abundance, this overstimulation of the inflammatory pathways. And why it's called chronic inflammation is because it never goes away.

[00:23:31.830] – Allan
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[00:24:06.750] – Allan
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[00:24:33.330] – Allan
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[00:24:56.390] – Allan
Now, whenever you bring up the ketogenic diet around someone that really hasn't heard about it or they've heard about it, but they've heard it's deadly, it's going to kill you, you shouldn't be doing that because that's the worst way to eat, because it doesn't buy into the fat is bad mantra. But the reality of it is that when we eat a ketogenic diet, it actually can help improve the ratios and the things that we should be most concerned about when we're talking about fat and cholesterol. Can you get into that?

[00:25:31.250] – Dr. Shemek
Yes. And I'd also like to address the inflammation factor that at the ketogenic diet reduces inflammation in the body. It actually reverses inflammation. And that's because we are we are signaling NFR2, that is the master regulator of antioxidants signalling within the body. Right? And the ketogenic diet prevents the NLRP3 inflammasome from doing its dirty work within the cell. So it's just a very, very important way to eat. And a lot of people have misunderstood its benefits.

[00:26:16.250] – Dr. Shemek
They hear the word ketosis and they think it's keto-acidosis, which is a very harmful effect that happens to people who have diabetes and go into a state of ketoacidosis. So it's much different. But yes. So the the fat and the cholesterol, all of that has really been misunderstood. In fact, the ketogenic diet improves HDL and triglycerides. And this, you know, this is due, the improved HDL is due to a reduction in triglycerides that are created within the liver, which is a really good thing.

[00:26:59.930] – Dr. Shemek
You want a low triglyceride level for heart health. Right? Triglycerides really, really alert you to inflammation in your body. And if it's high, then you know that you need to do something different. And so they're an indication of your heart health as well. And there's the HDL triglyceride ratio that you can do to if it's one or under, you're good to go. If it's higher than than one, you need to do some work.

[00:27:34.850] – Dr. Shemek
But there's also an increase in LDL, which happens to some people on the ketogenic diet. And it's but generally it's not the LPa form which is or can be the most harmful. So it's the big fluffy cholesterol that's roaming around versus the little ones, the little dense lipoproteins. So that that is part of the the reason that the ketogenic diet is so great for your heart health. And, you know, there's also the misunderstanding about people think the ketogenic diet is a high protein diet when in fact it's a moderate protein diet. And, you know, they're afraid of of eating eggs. They're afraid of saturated fat. And it's really sad because we've, you know, really, you found out that there was a researcher's, his name was Ancel Keys, and he did a seven country study and cherry picked the data.

[00:28:36.770] – Dr. Shemek
Right. So blamed everything on saturated fat versus what really is causing the heart conditions. Heart disease with people we now know is the overconsumption of carbohydrates, especially refined sugar. And you know me, Allan, I really recommend people stop eating sugar. Eliminate it from your diet. And so it's the sugar, the process, simple carbohydrates, but it is not the saturated fat. In fact, there was a study I don't know if you recall, it was called a pure study.

[00:29:12.770] – Dr. Shemek
It was published in The Lancet in 2017 and it studied over 135,000 people across 18 different countries. And it turned out that those who ate the least saturated fat had the highest amount of heart disease and mortality. And those who ate the most saturated fat, of course, then had the lowest rates of stroke and heart disease.

[00:29:37.370] – Dr. Shemek
So right there, you know, you see it's a large study and you see the the correlation or the the amount of health with saturated fat. And so eggs were demonized and still are demonized, saturated fat is still demonized, but I think they're starting to come into their own. People are starting to understand and even reputable high ranking health experts in cardiology are saying, yep, you know, saturated fat is necessary for heart health, in fact. And and we do know that every time you take a bite of an inflammatory food, sugar, refined flours, etc, processed junk foods, crackers, cakes, cookies that you are eating, creating inflammation.

[00:30:30.720] – Dr. Shemek
And that's unfortunately sad because what's happening is up from a cellular level, you are harming the mitochondria within the cell. The more mitochondria you have, the healthier they are, the healthier you are in every way. And so you see people who are older and frail. They have very little mitochondria going on, OK, they're not really healthy mitochondria. And so if you're tired all the time, that's a sign that maybe you need to start boosting your mitochondrial health, your cellular health.

[00:31:08.130] – Allan
Yeah, unfortunately, the signal of fatigue is go eat some more sugar.

[00:31:14.950] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, exactly.

[00:31:15.160] – Allan
So they actually get the opposite message out of that. Oh, if I, if I have some sugar I'll feel better, you know, and they yeah. They get the dopamine and they feel good but it's not really helping. And you know, I'm, I'm a perfect example of you know, when I check my cholesterol and triglycerides is when I'm in ketosis my HDL triglyceride ratio is off the charts. Good, even though my total cholesterol is high. So I'm one of those responders that, yes, my LDL goes up, but it only goes up about 30 points.

[00:31:50.950]
But my triglycerides can can I can get them down to 50. But if I'm you know, when I'm in my low feasting mode and I'm drinking beer and eating what I want to eat, they'll usually pop up to 150, maybe even 200 if I'm not careful. And I can actually get my HDL higher than my triglycerides when I'm eating a strict ketogenic diet. So it really can help you improve your lipid profile if you're if your doctor doesn't lose their mind about what the total number and the the LDL number is, because that that seems to be their focus more so than than triglycerides and the HDL.

[00:32:33.190] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, it's true and you know, and a lot of people panic when, you know, I have family members calling me up and saying, Lori, my LDL is really high, it's 250 and they want to put me on statins. And, you know, it's that's it's really important for the patient to look at the numbers, the breakdown of the type of cholesterol. And that has been a big myth as well. So we're learning so much about heart health and what what produces a healthy heart. And so if you take anything away from this show, it should be that, you know that saturated fat is not going to hurt you. Now, if you are in, if you're 10% of the population who has a genetic condition that doesn't clear cholesterol from the body and cannot, then that's another issue.

[00:33:29.590] – Dr. Shemek
But that's 10 percent. So it's really important to make sure you're not you will you will know when you get your blood test if you are or not, it will be sky high. I mean, it won't be your typical high number. But again, if you take anything away from this show, make sure that you stop eating sugar, eliminate added sugars from your diet and refined junk foods that we spoke about earlier, because that is the key to optimal health in many cases.

[00:34:00.860] – Allan
One of the areas that, and I'm going to admit I'm confused when it comes to ketosis, because there's two there's two concepts, OK, so on one hand, a lot of people are looking at ketosis as a potential protocol to help with cancer treatment. They're not saying it can cure cancer or perhaps even prevent cancer, but particularly the cancers that rely on glucose. If you're keeping your overall blood sugar, you know, in control and you're doing ketosis, that will slow the growth of the cancer.

[00:34:37.130] – Allan
And then I go on the other side of the conversation and I say, OK, an individual that's trying to perform long distance athletic performance. Is this still going to be burning glucose and glycogen, so like where I went on a trip, you know, went on a run or a walk and I'm you know, I'm a 1000 calories in now, the human body can carry about 2000 calories.

[00:35:02.360] – Allan
But for my body to keep going, maybe even further, which people do you know they go hundreds of miles, it's crazy, but they do. And that but their body and they do it while they're in ketosis. So there's something happening there where our body is taking what it gets out of fat and it's turning it into blood sugar. And ketones, because we still kind of need both, your blood sugar is not going to zero is staying fairly stable, so we are producing some glycogen from somewhere, some glucose from somewhere, because at some point it burns out, it would burn out the muscles.

[00:35:40.230] – Allan
And so Ketones are producing the APT, but I guess I'm losing it as is if our if our body can produce with, say, zero carb, our body could still produce and keep our blood sugar stable. So when we're breaking down fat, we create the glysol, I guess its a black hole and we produce the ketone. So I guess I'm trying I'm having a hard time balancing those two things out to say that, yes, you're going to have enough sugar in your blood and in your muscles and in your liver for the athletic performance. But then it's also going to slow the growth of cancer because you're going to have less sugar. You understand what I'm saying?

[00:36:22.680] – Dr. Shemek
I do. I understand exactly what you're saying. And so what happens a lot of times is that the body is able we always have some glucose in storage in the liver. We always have it, you know, for those emergency situations and also to, the body can break down muscle for glucose as needed if it wants it. Right? So that's that. And then in terms of the the you know, the cancer and the sugar, you know, one theory is that cancer feeds on the sugar that you eat and a high fat diet, like the ketogenic diet starves as tumors.

[00:37:01.720] – Dr. Shemek
OK, and but one thing is for sure that you are with ketones in the mix, you are definitely balancing you're creating cellular homeostasis. Right? You're balancing your blood sugar. The insulin is low. And but yet you still have the the ability to make glucose within the body and it stores, glycogen within the liver and can be can be used for any type of situation necessary. Does that help?

[00:37:34.380] – Allan
Yeah, it does. I guess the question is it sounds bad whenever you say burn muscle for energy. I always thought that the ketogenic diet was muscle sparing. Well, so this, it has the ability to do it, whether no matter, you know, whether you're on a ketogenic diet or not, so it's called Gluconeogenesis and the body is able to utilize glucose by breaking down muscle, if that makes sense.

[00:38:04.600] – Allan
Yeah. OK.

[00:38:05.380] – Dr. Shemek
So, yeah no matter what.

[00:38:06.850] – Allan
If I chose to do these long distance things, I'm going to probably sacrifice some muscle along the way.

[00:38:16.180] – Dr. Shemek
Gluconeogenesis occurs.

[00:38:17.260] – Allan
And when I get past that point where, you know, I've used up my liver and muscle glycogen and my brain's going to still want a steady supply of blood sugar, at some level, it's not going to let you.

[00:38:31.390] – Dr. Shemek
And if you're fat adapted your metabolic metabolically flexible, then you can do either, OK. You can use your body can utilize glycogen, it can utilize fat for fuel, your own fat stores for fuel, dietary fat. So that's what, you know, we didn't mention. But that's what ketosis is, is your body takes dietary fat and your own fat stores breaks them down in the liver and it produces ketones. And one main ketone that I mentioned early on is called beta hydroxybutyrate BHB that produces all the magic, if you will, of the ketogenic diet. So, yeah.

[00:39:17.050] – Allan
Those are those are the ketones you're going to measure in your blood. So they're the ones that we used.

[00:39:22.330] – Dr. Shemek
Right.

[00:39:22.390] – Allan
We're breathing out, you know, in our breath, you can you can measure those out of the breath and then of course. And I forget the other one, but there's urine strips that pick up that that third one, I'm forgetting, I'm drawing a blank on the name of the third. But, you know, so that's how we're measuring those. And yeah, the one what's in the blood is what gets you. So.

[00:39:42.030] – Dr. Shemek
That's right. The BHB is the most important one. Yeah.

[00:39:47.560] – Dr. Shemek
Now, you talked about intermittent fasting, and as I said earlier, I, you know, just I just fall into these things. I did paleo and because I was eating relatively low carb, I didn't realize that I fell into ketosis the first time and realized what was happening. It was wonderful because in Paleo I lost 25 pounds and then in keto, I lost another 35.

[00:40:09.290] – Dr. Shemek
Wow.

[00:40:10.020] – Allan
So it was, you know, so boom. Yeah, it's just awesome. Over 11 months, you know, I knew something was going on. My breath was stinking and I was losing a lot of weight. And I was like, this is interesting. So I found out what ketosis was. That's how I actually discovered ketosis. And then, you know, I just naturally started getting into intermittent fasting because I wake up in the morning and I forget to eat because my body was using my body fat to keep me going.

[00:40:37.450] – Dr. Shemek
And you were satiated.

[00:40:39.310] – Allan
Oh, completely. Completely. And I tell the story, I, I got up one morning and I went out to my property to do some work. I had this, had some acreage in Florida and I had some ponds on it. So I went out there to clear and do some work and I worked out there pretty, pretty hard clearing the land work with, you know, what a sling blade is to cut down weeds and grass and such. I was using the sling blade and going for a few hours.

[00:41:02.250] – Dr. Shemek
Wow.

[00:41:02.680] – Allan
I said, OK, I'm going to go ahead. I did have a tractor out there to mow it down after I beat it down. And so then I get on the tractor and I cut a few things down. Then I take the tractor back up on my trailer and I still came to haul this thing home to my actual house. And I say I'm going to haul this out of here and my truck got stuck in my front yard of my property.

[00:41:23.000] – Allan
And I was like, this is ridiculous. I can't get out. So I had to call AAA. Well, AAA shows up and they the truck breaks while they're trying to pull me out. And so it was four hours later when they got the part, got everything fixed and got me out of the mud. So there's like I'm rolling on about six o'clock and I'm realizing I haven't eaten in 24 hours.

[00:41:44.680] – Dr. Shemek
Oh my goodness.

[00:41:45.760] – Allan
I didn't even think about it. You know, while he was out at his truck, I went fishing and I just sat there.

[00:41:51.070] – Dr. Shemek
Isn't that amazing? That's a really great example.

[00:41:52.790] – Allan
Yeah, I didn't catch anything but.

[00:41:53.530] – Dr. Shemek
A lot of people mean a lot of people are afraid not to eat. And that's that's it's really a it's a headset, it's a mindset, if you will. Because, you know, we've all not eaten. Intermittent fasting is simply not eating for a period of time. However long you want that time to be is is just fine. But the problem is most Americans are eating 24/7. We eat breakfast. We have snacks sometimes all the time.

[00:42:24.190] – Dr. Shemek
We have lunch, snacks, dinner, snacks, dessert until we go to bed. Right. That's not the way the human body was designed to evolve. The human body was designed on intermittent fasting, actually. So during those periods of time when you're not eating is when all the magic happens because this gives the body time to do the things, the cellular clean up, if you will, that it normally can't do while it's processing your food. It's the digestive process takes up a lot of energy, most of the energy outside of brain function in the body.

[00:43:01.480] – Dr. Shemek
And so when we don't eat this, this allows ourselves to go into cleanup mode. And it's called autophagy, and that's cellular housekeeping, essentially. It breaks down things, it's autophagy really mean self-heating, meaning that it can, you know, get rid of dying cells, it can remodel cellular parts. It can just really improve mitochondrial health, which we talked about before. And for those of you that don't know what mitochondria are or don't remember, they're little tiny organelles in the cells of our body that are crucial and vital not only to keep us alive, but to keep us healthy as well.

[00:43:45.670] – Dr. Shemek
So as we age these little organelles, these mitochondria, they begin to falter. They begin to lose their robustness, their health, and we lose a number of them. This just happens naturally as we age, right? Unless we intervene and do something about it. Well, intermittent fasting does this. The healthier you are, the better mitochondrial health you have. An intermittent fasting does is the ketogenic diet does this. Exogenous ketones, supplemental ketones do this. And exercise does this very effectively as well.

[00:44:21.900] – Dr. Shemek
So those are the four options you have and that I talk about in my book, the Ketogenic Key to get into ketosis, and that's what you want. So intermittent fasting is an easy way because if you don't like the ketogenic diet and you don't like to go very low carb, which, by the way, is 50 grams or less, 25 grams or less for even deeper ketosis, you don't have to. You can do intermittent fasting and then eat your your carbs later. OK, so that's what is so wonderful about intermittent fasting. Why I'm such a big fan of it.

[00:44:57.160] – Allan
Yeah. Now one of the things I did have a question about is because I was interviewing someone else and he mentioned fasting and autophagy and we got into it and his his opinion, I guess I haven't really seen any science on it is that intermittent fasting wasn't long enough to actually create autophagy that you had to really kind of be fasting two or more days before you'd really start to see those benefits. But so does intermittent fasting really get us that far?

[00:45:30.910] – Dr. Shemek
Intermittent fasting does. And so you're you are, you go into some autophagy while you sleep for eight hours. There's some. You do if you if you desire to fast for you know, you extend your breakfast, say by two hours, you're still you're going to incorporate more of it. But the sweet spot is really about 16 to 18 hours is when autophagy kicks in. But he's talking about deep autophagy. When you get into deep autophagy, this literally resets your metabolism.

[00:46:04.990] – Dr. Shemek
It resets your cellular health. So if you fast for 24 hours or longer, then you're really doing a great benefit for your body. But I don't recommend doing it more, you know, 48 hours or more, very often, once a month, maybe at the most, because you don't want to stress your body too much. It is a hormedic stressor, as it's referred to. And so you, you know, having a daily 12 hour, 16 hour fast is just fine. And then once in a while, doing the longer fasting.

[00:46:42.970] – Allan
Yeah. You know, I'm a big fan of intermittent fasting, but I always, always tell people if you're wanting to do something more extended, you need to you need to be talking to a doctor, particularly if you're on meds.

[00:46:53.680] – Dr. Shemek
Agree completely!

[00:46:53.720] – Allan
And if you're going to try the ketogenic diet and you're on metformin to control your blood sugar. You're on insulin. You know, this is going to help with your metabolic syndrome and your insulin resistance. But at the same time, you have to let your doctor know this is going on because this is going to change your blood sugar.

[00:47:13.950] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah.

[00:47:14.860] – Allan
Your medications are going to they're going to have to change and you have to be able to adjust to that. So when you're going to do something like this, the health benefits are huge. And when you're cutting inflammation down, when you're getting your blood sugar under control, you know, a lot of my clients, I'll get them down to start to start lowering their sugars. Let's just cut the sugar down. Nothing crazy. Just a little bit here, a little bit there.

[00:47:38.160] – Allan
And they're you know, they're watching their their overall blood sugar go down. They're like, oh, I need to call my doctor and get my metformin dose changed. And then, sure enough, they get on the doctor's like, what are you doing? I just changing what I'm eating, keep doing it, you know, because it's working.

[00:47:53.740] – Dr. Shemek
And that's part of intermittent fasting as you are, you're creating ketones. And it really is a superior fuel compared to glucose. And once you start using this fuel and your body becomes used to eating and using glucose and using your own fat or creating ketones, you will markedly you will feel the difference big time. So many people were relying on the toxic Western diet, which again is is highly processed with refined food, which is really an inflammatory diet. The keto diet focuses on eating very few grams of carbohydrates and eating more healthy fat. Right? And some protein.

[00:48:40.470] – Dr. Shemek
And intermittent fasting, which keeps, by the way, keeps insulin low and glucose low. But intermittent fasting flattens insulin and flattens glucose. And again, when there are no digestive processes essentially going on that the cells have to worry about, then the cellular inflammation begins to heal. It begins, the tissues begin to heal. You, you know, you have there's something called cell danger response that happens to people. If this inflammation becomes overwhelming to the body and the brain senses it. The mitochondria senses it, the cells around the in the body sense it.

[00:49:25.950] – Dr. Shemek
So when the brain gets the message that you've turned off this type of inflammation, the cell danger response or CDR, then things heal within the body. So it's really a wonderful tool to actually heal yourself.

[00:49:44.340] – Allan
Dr. Lori, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:49:54.150] – Dr. Shemek
Just three. OK.

[00:49:58.550] – Allan
Just give them something until they get the book, OK?

[00:50:00.860] – Dr. Shemek
OK. So I think it's crucial to keep inflammation low, as we've been talking about throughout. And we do this by being very proactive and mindful of every single choice we have the opportunity to make. Right. And I underscore the word opportunity. So I would say living in antiinflammatory lifestyle, whether it's with the ketogenic diet or a Mediterranean type diet, will boost your health span and your life span, which in and of itself generates a really a better quality of life for you.

[00:50:36.680] – Dr. Shemek
And so I think that is, you know, when you are living without excess inflammation, we want a little bit because we want to be protected. Right. We want ourselves to be on guard. But we we don't want it to be an excess, which, as I mentioned earlier, 75 percent of our population is walking around with. And so it affects your mindset, your mental well-being, your fitness, your ability to move and and function freely and easily, and your health span, your immune system is all up regulated.

[00:51:10.010] – Dr. Shemek
So it's a really I think it's really important. So you want to remove excess carb intake, you want to use nutrients as well for to target specific situations, such as increasing mitochondrial density, like the supplement P2Q with your doctor's approval and you want to keep inflammation low. So exercise is another is another option, which is one of the most underutilized ways to increase mitochondrial health and uses as an antidepressant even. My two cents.

[00:51:49.410] – Allan
Thank you, Dr. Lori.

[00:51:50.730] – Dr. Shemek
You're very welcome.

[00:51:50.820] – Allan
If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, the Ketogenic Key, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:51:58.830] – Dr. Shemek
I would love for your listeners to go to Amazon. On Amazon, you'll find all my books there, including this last one called the Ketogenic Key, and I think you'll find it a wonderful tool to help optimize your health and life as well.

[00:52:15.890] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/453, and I'll be sure to have the links to the books there. Dr. Lori, thank you for being a part of 40+ fitness.

[00:52:25.900] – Dr. Shemek
Thank you so much. Really. It's been fun.

[00:52:32.110] – Allan
All right, Rachel, now you're one of the neat people that does endurance running and you do keto, that used to not be a thing. We used to carb up the night before, you know, how much pasta can you shove in your mouth. You get up in the morning and you make sure you're still eating carbs and you carry carbs with you in these little packets. Or when it first came out it was these bars that were really hard to chew when your mouth was dry.

[00:53:02.950] – Rachael
So true.

[00:53:03.910] – Allan
But you're able to do endurance work and not have to worry so much with fuel.

[00:53:11.590] – Rachael
That's true. I've been keto for about two years now, a little over two years now, and it's helped my endurance quite a bit. I can tell you I could probably run 15 miles, fasted, well just on a cup of coffee. I drink coffee every morning no matter what, but I think the longest I've gone without needing any fuel has been 15 miles. But I don't do that on a regular basis. On a long run day I will eat something before I go out. But that's been one of the huge benefits of keto is not relying on a constant sugar load throughout a long day.

[00:53:51.930] – Allan
Yeah. And, you know, we talked about exogenous ketones and other things that you can use. So there are some strategies that you can put into it. But and I think I've said this before, if you're if you're going to try a strategy for a race, do it on your long runs practices, practice.

[00:54:08.550] – Rachael
That's right. Absolutely.

[00:54:09.930] – Allan
Make sure your body is going to react the way you want to. Yeah, I'm good to go for a good long time with without fuel. That fasted walk I did on Monday. I mean, the 13 mile walk on Monday. I did it completely fasted.

[00:54:23.800] – Rachael
Wow.

[00:54:25.270] – Allan
You know, when I came home, I took a nap because I was, you know, roughly I was going from about eight o'clock in the morning until close to noon by the time I stopped sweating and got a shower. And then I just went ahead and took a little nap about an hour or so, got a good sleep cycle in, and then, boom, I'm bouncing up, ready to eat and feeling like I earned it.

[00:54:47.140] – Rachael
Fantastic. Isn't that incredible?

[00:54:49.720] – Allan
Yeah.

[00:54:49.900] – Rachael
That is something.

[00:54:51.250] – Allan
And so, you know, I had I had kind of fallen off of the the wagon, I guess, as you will. I Normally do, a seasonal ketosis. And I'm just going to have an episode on that coming up in a couple of weeks. A few weeks, a couple of weeks, I guess. And, you know, I will normally go into a famine mode for this time of year around February. So I would have started around February. But with the pandemic and the stress and everything that was going on around that time, you know, like closing my gym and hoping I'd get to reopen it, just not knowing a lot of things, I didn't I kept feasting and put on the covid 15, you know.

[00:55:29.410] – Allan
So now we're going into the period of time when I would normally go into a feasting season, but I'm not ready to do that right now. I have lost all the weight and some. I'm back down to my fighting weight, what I normally run at during my my famine season. But I want to I want to push it a little bit further. And so I'm actually not going to to do what I normally do. I'm actually going to try to go through this next period and stay in ketosis.

[00:55:57.070] – Allan
And it'll be a challenge and probably a podcast episode about how to travel in keto, because I'm going to be traveling back to the States. It looks like they're going to be opening things up here to let us travel home and back, but they keep changing the rules so we won't really know till we get on the plane what we're supposed to do and hope that we did it right. But, yeah, I mean, I try to do the holiday season in the United States traveling around and try to make sure I stay in ketosis that time.

[00:56:26.050] – Allan
So food choices will be a tough selection, you know, just because there's a lot of foods that come out in the fall that we just really, really tend to enjoy and want. And many times they don't really fit our eating style.

[00:56:42.150] – Rachael
That's right. And it's hard to eat out unless you know the menu really well. It would be a good experiment. And looking forward to hearing what you experience with that.

[00:56:51.640] – Allan
Well, like everything it comes down to being prepared, you know, plan, plan, plan and plan some more. Have strategies. You know, if there's a food that you just love and it's the fall food and, you know, you're just going to want some of it, you have a strategy for it. So, you know, I'm going to make sure I carry some food with me. You know, when I go into a restaurant, there'll be a certain way that I'll order.

[00:57:16.680] – Allan
Sticking to the protein and, you know, vegetables that aren't coated in sugar, you know, and then and then with my mom, you know, it's like we do a meal. It's like I'll just go ahead and do some of the cooking. So I'll make a keto cranberry sauce because I love cranberry sauce and I'll do the chicken. I mean, the turkey and make sure it's a little bit more fatty cut the way I cook it. So it's going to be a little bit more fat added to it, which will make it juicy and delicious. And then you were saying, you know, we're getting into, I guess, the pumpkin spice season. I'm not I'm not that kind of person. I'm a black drinker. I just trained myself that way as when I was getting off of the diet sodas. But you found a recipe that you're pretty eager to give a shot.

[00:58:06.060] – Rachael
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the pumpkin spice, but I do love cinnamon and nutmeg. And this fall season, when the weather gets crisp, I actually do like to add a dash of cinnamon to my coffee, but I will be making some keto snickerdoodle muffins later on this afternoon. I found this recipe from Kirbie's Cravings and I've tried it several times and even my non-keto family members enjoy it as well. So it's a really nice fall treat.

[00:58:35.280] – Allan
Well, good. Well, we'll have a link in the show notes so you can find that. Just scan to the back of the show notes section and we will be sure to make sure that a link to that recipe is there.

[00:58:46.290] – Rachael
Absolutely. Yep.

[00:58:47.650] – Allan
Cool. All right. So Dr. Lori is a really cool person. I've known her for a while. I was actually on her podcast years ago. And, you know, so glad to see her out and writing this book because it was I think it was an awesome book. And I really enjoyed the conversation with her because I think, you know. We don't equate keto with much in the athletic field, we think of it in terms of, oh, I want to lose weight or oh, I've got diabetes and therefore I need to cut my sugar and then keto gets the bad rap, you know? And it's partially I think it's partially deserved because the initial people that were pushing keto kept talking about bacon.

[00:59:31.450] – Rachael
Yes.

[00:59:32.400] – Allan
You know, and I'm like, it's not the bacon diet. Stop the bacon. You know, it's not the bacon. Bacon's fine, it's a condiment. It's something you have with your eggs. Eggs is the main entree. And then the bacon just happens to be something you have on the side. Don't fill your plate up with bacon and then have a couple, a little bit of egg. It's that's not the way this is supposed to work. That's wrong. But, you know, I think people are upset with, you know, they don't know because they've been told for decades to stay away from the saturated fat that it's going to kill you. But the science is coming out now is un-refutable. It's the sugar that's killing it.

[01:00:09.700] – Rachael
Yes. And that was part of your discussion with Lori that I really enjoyed, was that it's not the bacon and egg diet, but that's getting into ketosis involves a little bit of diet and exercise, some intermittent fasting and the Exogenous ketones. So it's not just the bacon diet and there's a lot more to it and it has a lot of benefits.

[01:00:36.130] – Allan
Yeah. And I'd say if you're looking at it as a protocol. So first we're talking about diabetes or we're talking about Alzheimer's or epilepsy and those types of things then I do think there's a good place for the endogenous ketones. But just like I'll say with supplements, just like I'll say with medications, same thing with this. That's not food. You know, it's not what your body needs. We don't have a ketone deficiency because our body is going to make the ketones and eventually our body is going to learn how to use the ketones.

[01:01:09.760] – Allan
So if you're giving it more ketones than you use and you need, you're just going to pee them out. So, yes, you can spend thirty dollars to get the high end ketone little drinks that you can get on Amazon. They're little over thirty dollars for a two or three ounce bottle. You can get the ones that clear the salts that aren't quite as high octane and you can pay seven or eight bucks for about a two or three ounce thing of that, and they make them delicious.

[01:01:37.510] – Allan
So that tastes great. Now, they were horrible, horrible in the beginning, but they taste better now. You don't have a deficiency now if you're in an extreme endurance athlete. So you're looking at saying, OK, I need to make sure that I have fuel for this marathon or this ultra. And you're concerned that, you know, yeah, your body's not going to be able to burn enough body fat because maybe you just don't feel like you have that much body fat to burn. Then there's a place for them and you can factor that in.

[01:02:06.950] – Allan
But just recognize that you're investing in your performance and you need to know that they're working for you and then you're not just wasting your money. So I know there's people who are huge fans of them. It was interesting that Dr. Lori was a fan because she's not selling them, you know.

[01:02:26.910] – Rachael
Yes.

[01:02:27.260] – Allan
The fans, most of the big touting fans are the ones that are actually making them and they'll tell you how wonderful they are. But that's that's anything. Any supplement, anything. But the guy making it loves it.

[01:02:40.000] – Rachael
Yeah. For you. But there's a time and a place and as an endurance athlete myself, you know, if I have a rest day, my nutritional needs are going to be far different from when I'm on my long run day. So if I'm running 20 or 30 miles, I need way more nutrition and fuel as well as hydration that I would maybe on a rest day or just a day at the gym or something. So, yeah, there's a time and a place for all these different things.

[01:03:08.910] – Allan
Yeah. And I again, I look at exogenous ketones and I can't help but kind of lump them in with the term biohacking, you know, how do we hack this, how do we had that. And the human body was not meant to be hacked. It was it was meant to be treated well, nurtured and babied and given what it actually needs on a regular basis. When you're doing that, you've made up 95 percent of you being optimal.

[01:03:34.790] – Allan
And then these other little things you can do, you know, be at Infra-Red, be it taking glutathione or exigence ketones or any of those things. They're a little incremental steps past that now. Yes. If you're trying to take a minute off your marathon time. Yeah. Something like that might help, but you've got to be doing that other 95 percent first.

[01:03:56.420] – Rachael
For sure, yeah, we got to put the work in, get the muscles ready. Yeah, there's a lot to it than just what you're going to eat or drink that day.

[01:04:03.550] – Allan
Yeah it's not like I'm just going to go and take some endogenous ketones and run a marathon, you know. It's just not going to happen. I can definitely walk a half right now, but I could probably jog or run a half if I put my mind to it. But

[01:04:17.680] – Rachael
I'm sure.

[01:04:18.620] – Allan
But you know, I'm not going to just sit there and start taking a supplement or taking something like this and becoming a super athlete.

[01:04:25.590] – Rachael
Right.

[01:04:26.120] – Allan
But, you know, just the cool thing about keto and it's just something to pay attention to is the science is coming out and there's more and more of it that you can use ketosis as a protocol to cut down the inflammation. And I think that's the core of it. What is getting us sick is the food and the things we're doing to our body. It's creating inflammation.

[01:04:49.350] – Rachael
Absolutely.

[01:04:50.810] – Allan
The more we can heal our body by getting the proper rest, stress management, diet, exercise, the more we can get ourselves in balance in pretty much those four areas. And then relationships and family and everything else just, you know, get all of that balanced out and working for you and you're going to make up that 95 percent.

[01:05:09.920] – Allan
And then at that point, you can make some decisions if you want to do the tweaking and and twisting of knobs and just, you know, play mad scientist with your body. And then that's when it makes sense.

[01:05:20.480] – Rachael
Yeah, absolutely. I was resistant to try the ketogenic diet initially, but about three years ago I had a pretty bad ankle injury and I had a tendonosis. I had this inflamed tendon, and I was researching everything I could do to get my ankle back in the shape and the more I read about the ketogenic diet and reducing that inflammation, I thought, well, what's the what's the harm? I give it a try and see how it goes. And two years later, I'm still doing it and feeling better.

[01:05:56.600] – Allan
Yeah. And you know, the core reason I do seasonal ketosis is the reason a lot of people don't do ketosis at all. Those of them say, oh, it's unsustainable. You know, I like beer. You know, and if I have a beer or two beers, I'm going to fall out of ketosis. And if I'm doing that, you know, a few times a week as I'm, you know, going to football games and watching football, because, you know, of course, there's a football game on Sunday, there's a football game on Monday, there's a football game on Thursday, then there's another one on Friday, then there's one on Saturday.

[01:06:29.510] – Allan
And let's start the week all over again. I'm going to have a few beers during the season. Well, I guess I'm not this season, but normally I would. And then we roll right on into Thanksgiving or, you know, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the parties in between New Year's Eve. And then my birthday is right around the same week as the Super Bowl. So we just roll and, you know, roll into that part of the year.

[01:06:54.770] Allan
That's just too much for me to sit there and constantly tell myself, no, no, it's it just feels restricted. And that's the reason a lot of people fail at diets as diets are restrictive. But if you have a program like ketosis and you know how you're going to manage it and when you're in it and you're not completely tied in the fact that you're ketones, have to measure one measure, one point five every time you do it, then it becomes a really good, easy, sustainable way to eat and you get this huge amount of freedom.

[01:07:25.290] Allan
Because like you said, you go on a long training run, you don't have to carry three pack packets of Guu with you.

[01:07:31.440]
That's right. You can just go do the run, you know, have a little bit before and just go do the run. And when you get done, all you have to really worry about on the run was hydration.

[01:07:41.440]
Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely.

[01:07:42.440]
They don't have to do all this extra stuff, you know, stop at a fast-food restaurant along the way just to get it right.

[01:07:51.270] Rachel
It does give me a lot of freedom, but it's also for me, it's still an easy way of eating. And and you mentioned Thanksgiving. It's it's my favorite eating day of the year. I love everything having to do with Thanksgiving. And my parents and my husband, they're always they're fantastic cooks. But we have had Thanksgiving the last two years and it's been just as delicious as as any other Thanksgiving meal I've ever had. So, I mean, it's totally possible to still eat the foods you love, just making them a little bit more healthier than normal.

[01:08:27.390] Allan
Cool. Well, I'm going to I'm going to challenge you. OK, we're coming up. You know, this is we're going into this this fall season and we're coming up on the Thanksgiving season soon. So why don't we do an episode where we where we're at the end of an episode where we do keto recipes, we drop a couple Thanksgiving keto recipes on folks so they'll have some things they can fall back on.

[01:08:50.740] Rachel
Absolutely. That would. Great.

[01:08:52.740] Allan
So that's my challenge. Get your favorite Keto recipe together for Thanksgiving or one or two of them. And then once we get into October, November, we'll start sharing some of those recipes.

[01:09:53.820] Rachel
Sounds great. I'm on it.

[01:09:06.300] Allan
Well, let's just say goodbye and we'll talk next week.

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Jimmy and Christine Moore – Keto with real food

 

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In Real Food Keto, Jimmy and Christine Moore provide an in-depth look at nutrition and how you can get the most out of the ketogenic diet.

Allan (1:47): Christine, Jimmy, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Christine Moore (1:55): Thank you.

Jimmy Moore (1:55): Hey, hey, man. What’s up?

Allan (1:58): Jimmy, you are the guest that I’ve had on the most. For pretty much every book that you’ve written, I’ve had this opportunity to have wonderful conversations with you. I truly appreciate and honor what you’ve done to educate people. And I’m really glad that you’ve now brought on Christine with her education and what she’s doing. This was an excellent book, it’s called Real Food Keto. And I love the title, which we’ll get into in a minute.

Jimmy Moore (2:26): Thank you. When we’re 90, I’m going to be, “This is my 67th book, Allan. We’re going to talk about it today.”

Allan (2:36): I am working on my own book, so I’m doing a lot of reading into how to market a book and all the different things you’re supposed to do. And I’m reading out there, some authors are putting out a book a month, and I’m thinking, “Oh my God.”

Jimmy Moore (2:47): That’s crazy.

Allan (2:49): But they’re managing to make money, because they constantly have this flow. Someone reads their first book and they’re hooked, so now they’re buying every book. Insatiable appetite’s for fiction – it works really, really well. Non-fiction – I think you’ve got to do a little bit more research and work to put out something really, really good.

Jimmy Moore (3:07): Yeah, I think it would be overwhelming as non-fiction. I don’t think the product would be very good if you put out a book a month. I know a lot of stuff. I don’t think I could do a book a month. I thought I was doing well with a book a year, Christine.

Allan (3:22): Having gone through the process now myself, it’s quite… I never really got it when people said when they were done they were just exhausted. But I get it, because it is such a draining experience.

Jimmy Moore (3:33): Allan gets it too.

Christine Moore (3:35): Yeah, I’m sure.

Allan (3:36): I think that’s the cool thing though. This is not a flimsy little pamphlet or manual. You did some really deep research for this book and it goes deep, deep, deep into nutrition, I think further than any other keto book I’ve read has done. It’s very deep, but you explain things in a really cool way. So, it’s deep but good. You know what I mean?

Jimmy Moore (4:01): Yeah, thanks for that. And that was one of the things when Christine was going through the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner program – I was like, “Wow, why don’t I know this stuff? This is really relevant information for a keto dieter that’s not out there in the mainstream.” So when I approached my publisher about collaborating on this book with Christine, they were like, “Absolutely.” And now it is our publisher’s favorite keto book, which is saying a lot because they do all the big keto books.

Allan (4:30): They do. I’ve talked to them. I’ve been talking to Victory Belt for quite some time. The books that are coming out in keto are really center and front of the market. So, really enjoy working with them to get wonderful guests like you.

Jimmy Moore (4:47): Thank you.

Christine Moore (4:48): And they do such a good job with the books; they’re beautiful. When we received our author copy of Real Food Keto, we were flipping through it, and just the time that the design team put into the charts and the graphs and everything – it’s so easy to understand and it flows so well. So, great job, Victory Belt design team, for putting together such a good book.

Allan (5:11): It is, all the way across. The content and the quality of the book are, bar none, great. I want to turn the conversation about the book a little bit, because this is something I’ve really been struggling with over the course of the last couple of years as I’ve done these different interviews. I’m approaching 200 interviews, so I think I’m picking up a few things here. It’s the fact that we have to use the term “real food”, because if our grandmothers, our great grandmothers walked into a grocery store today, they wouldn’t even know what it was, they wouldn’t call most of what’s in their food. What is real food and why is it so hard for people to understand what real food is?

Jimmy Moore (5:50): Allan, you and I are blood brothers, because this is the exact reason I wanted this book to get out there, because I was noticing the trend in the keto world was that people weren’t putting an emphasis on real food. It’s disgusting that we have to put a qualifier in front of the word food. They used to just call it food, but we have to qualify it these days because there’s a whole lot of food like disease agents out there, that’s not real food, that we have to call it real food. That was the heart of what we wanted to do. What would you say would be the definition of real food, Chris?

Christine Moore (6:24): Really anything that doesn’t have a label on it that has ingredients on it that you can’t pronounce. I mean things that you grow in your garden. We have 26 backyard chickens that lay us wonderful free-range eggs every day. So, things that aren’t chemically processed, that are natural.

Jimmy Moore (6:47): It doesn’t get realer than that, Allan.

Allan (6:50): But it’s getting harder and harder I think to find real food, because I walk in the grocery store and probably 100 years ago, someone on keto could eat an apple and the amount of sweetness from an apple wouldn’t take them out of ketosis. Today they’re so sweet. They’ve been bred to be something else, so the nutrition’s not there. I think you even said something about an orange – that everybody equates an orange to vitamin C.

Jimmy Moore (7:20): Yeah. And bananas to potassium.

Christine Moore (7:24): Here’s the thing. Back 100 years ago, what was the prevalence of obesity? People weren’t as metabolically damaged as they are today. For a lot of people today, eating an apple will kick them out of ketosis, not only because of its extra sweetness, but just because a lot of us are metabolically damaged through poor diet choices early in life. That’s why when I look at a client, if they can handle a sweet potato here and there, then I will recommend that. Most of those people tend to be athletes or more active, but for the majority of my clients, they can’t have even what would be considered real food. A sweet potato is real food, but not all of us can handle that.

Jimmy Moore (8:11): To your point, you’re right, the food has changed. And because the food has changed, so have our metabolisms. My last book we talked about the prevalence of insulin resistance, and it’s higher than people think it is. Upwards of 70% of the population are walking around with some level of insulin resistance, where their bodies aren’t responding to carbohydrates anymore in the same way, which is why restricting them is the answer.

Allan (8:41): I completely agree. I always encourage folks to just go down to their farmers market. There you’re going to meet the guy who’s raising the chickens when you get the eggs, you’re going to meet the lady who runs the farm where they picked that produce that morning. This is not industrial, fertilizers and all this stuff, and that’s why the tomatoes aren’t as pretty or as firm or able to take things, because they’re just the way tomatoes are supposed to be.

Jimmy Moore (9:10): I love ugly produce.

Christine Moore (9:12): I do too.

Jimmy Moore (9:13): It’s got character. We grew a bunch of different kinds of vegetables in our garden this year. The heirloom tomatoes grow off the charts. They’re amazing.

Allan (9:24): That’s why I think, get to know your food and what real food is, and then start putting more and more of that into your diet, and you’re going to feel better.

Christine Moore (9:34): I agree.

Allan (9:36): I was really interested when we started talking about gallbladder as I got into this stuff. My mother was not feeling well and her health was starting to fail her and I was like, “Mom, I think you should check out this low-carb, high-fat diet.” And she’s like, “They took out my gallbladder so I can’t eat that way.” But you’ve done something, because you’re keto, you’re low-carb, and you don’t have a gallbladder. Let’s talk about the process for how you managed that transition. I know what keto flu is for me, but for you it must have been an entirely different experience.

Christine Moore (10:17): Yeah. I had my gallbladder taken out in 2006. Usually gallbladder problems happen because you do a low-fat diet, you’re not consuming enough fat, so the bile becomes thick, sludgy and there’s no movement of the bile. That’s what causes the stones and the sludge to form in the gallbladder, and that’s what happened with me. So after I had my gallbladder taken out, what I had to do was at first stick with butter, coconut oil, things like that, because they don’t require the bile to break them down. When I see my clients, I tell them that I want to have them have a healthy mix of fats. We need that to have a healthy immune system, and for other reasons. What I tell my clients is 60% monounsaturated fats, 30% saturated fats and 10% polyunsaturated fats. When I had my gallbladder taken out, I had to stick with mostly the butter and coconut oil, which are your saturated fats. But I did include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated in small amounts. Over time my liver learned how much bile to produce, so I could add more and more of those things. Once I graduated from the NTP program, while going through it, I learned the importance of digestive enzymes and even HCl supplementation. So that’s what I do now as well – I take digestive enzymes and bile salts to aid in the digestion of those fats, because it can be difficult. It took me about a year before I was able to get my fat to where I like to have it in my diet.

Jimmy Moore (12:03): And now she eats more than I do.

Allan (12:06): And you had all that detailed in the book, at least as far as saying you knew you needed the stomach acid problem. But you had ulcers, so you had to heal the whole ulcers first. I think a lot of times people get ahead of themselves and they want to solve the problem, but they’ve got to look at the whole underlying structure of what got us here and maybe even the order with which we find those little healthy steps. I really liked that you shared that part of your story. It wasn’t just an “A to B” step. You had to go through a lot of incremental steps to get to a point where you could fix your health.

Jimmy Moore (12:42): And Allan, what happens too often is people start keto and then they experience some of these digestive health problems and they go, “Man, that keto thing sucks”, not realizing they had an underlying issue that needed to be resolved for keto to work well. So, hopefully this book helps clear up some of those misconceptions about keto not working. Maybe keto worked fine; it was just that they didn’t fix their digestion first.

Christine Moore (13:09): One thing that I like to tell my clients too is, when we’re making changes, specifically in the keto diet, often times they will experience these things, but these are reactions that your body’s going to have. It’s perfectly normal for some of these things to happen. You just have to get past those things. Like Jimmy said, a lot of times there are underlying conditions, and most of the time it’s a digestive disorder that needs to be addressed before they can properly absorb and digest these fats that they’re eating.

Allan (13:42): Okay. And like I said, you had all this in the book. It’s really cool I think to use this book as the start of your research, to understand your digestion, understand how you can go about getting into keto if you have issues like this. So, really, really cool. I loved all of that.

Christine Moore (14:00): Thank you.

Allan (14:01): Now, one of the things you had in the book, and as I went through it, I was like, “I want to print this out and post this on my wall” – it was the 17 ways to optimize your diet and lifestyle right now. Would you mind going through those?

Christine Moore (14:15): I’ll go through some, because I think there’s quite a few here. One of them is to eat seasonally. We don’t think about eating our food in season. I’m a big strawberry lover, and those strawberries are not usually available in the wintertime; they naturally grow in warmer time. So, eat your food seasonally. Our bodies were not meant to have certain foods year round. So, that’s a big one. And then we like to tell people to purchase their food from local sources. So, support your local farmers. That will help get the word out about real food and it supports these people that are growing real food. So many micronutrients are in these real whole foods, and we need to be eating more of this to get our bodies to be more healthy, get the nutrients that it needs. Include some raw veggies in your diet. Now, if you have digestive issues, this may be a problem because raw vegetables can be a little bit harder on the digestive system. If you do have digestive issues, then what I suggest you do is cook your vegetables in a slow cooker, so that way it’s not as hard on the digestive system. But once you heal your digestive system, try to incorporate some raw vegetables in your diet.

Jimmy Moore (15:45): By the way, we made this list of 17 things, Allan, because we know some people’s personality is, “I don’t want to get through the whole book before I figure out what I have to do, so give me some things I can start working on now, and then maybe I’ll learn about why I’m doing those things later.”

Christine Moore (16:01): Yep. So, another one, if you have it available in your state like we do – we live in South Carolina, so we’re very fortunate to have access to raw dairy. Raw dairy is much easier on the system. There’s a lot of misinformation about raw dairy out there, saying that you might get sick from it, but in actuality raw dairy is the best for you. I have heard from other people that their blood sugars don’t respond the same way to raw dairy as it does to the dairy that’s been pasteurized.

Jimmy Moore (16:35): Mine was flatline. It’s thicker than heavy whipping cream, raw dairy. It’s pretty amazing. Have you ever had raw dairy?

Allan (16:42): I have, yeah. We’ve gone to the farmers market. Of course they half market it for dogs. I’m like, “Yeah, absolutely. I’m going to give this to the dog. No.”

Christine Moore (16:58): Oh, goodness. You want to hear a few more?

Allan (17:01): Yeah, please.

Christine Moore (17:03): Okay. So, another thing that we like to recommend is, switch from manmade salt to sea salt. This salt that you get with the little girl with the umbrella on the packaging – that isn’t salt. Sorry. Because there’s an iodine deficiency running rampant, that’s why a lot of people get this salt. But what I tell people to do is get the kelp drops that you can put in your water and supplement with iodine that way, or to eat more sea vegetables. We like to use the sea salt instead, especially if you can find the different color ones because each one of those salts has a different preponderance of a certain mineral in it that gives it its color. These sea salts are really rich in micronutrients. Fermented foods is another big thing. For most people probably fermented food seems very intimidating, and that’s why when we teamed up with Maria Emmerich, we wanted her to include a couple of recipes on how to make fermented foods in this book, because it can be really easy and you only need a small amount with each meal to help improve your gut health. If you have gut health issues, I would recommend starting out very slowly, because this can increase some of the symptoms that you have, like bloating and extra gas, things like that. If you know you have digestive issues, then start out slow with these things. These things are not just involving food, so we like to implement exercise into our routine. We have a very good friend, Darryl Edwards, who does the Primal Play movement and he basically teaches you to get outside and play like you did when you were a kid.

Jimmy Moore (18:56): Have you ever interviewed him, Allan?

Allan (18:58): I have not, but he’s now on my list.

Jimmy Moore (19:01): Okay. Let me know how I can help connect you, because he is an amazing guy. Amazing interview.

Christine Moore (19:06): Yes. He doesn’t like the word “exercise”.

Jimmy Moore (19:09): He’s British, so he sounds cool.

Allan (19:14): I actually don’t like the word “exercise” either. I’m a personal trainer. I tell people exercise sounds like when we were kids and we had to get underneath our desks because there was a nuclear attack. “Get under your desks! Nuclear attack!” I’m like, “This is pointless. I’ve seen videos of what this does to buildings, and we’re not going to be safe under our desks.”

Christine Moore (19:34): Right, exactly.

Jimmy Moore (19:36): I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that felt that way.

Allan (19:41): That’s what exercise sounds like to me. Whereas if I say “training”, then at least at that point it has some purpose. You want to keep your strength, your agility, your speed, your endurance, all those different things. That’s the purpose. I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I’m 105. I’m going to have to do some training if I want that to happen. To me it’s more purpose-driven training, rather than calling it “exercise” or a “workout”.

Christine Moore (20:10): Right. And the moment that it becomes not fun, then you need to switch things up.

Allan (20:15): Yes, absolutely.

Christine Moore (20:20): I guess one other one would be sleep; making sure you get adequate sleep. We kind of give tips in there – wearing blue blockers and taking melatonin or magnesium to help you sleep. Keep the temperature of your room colder, because that tends to be better for you. As I said, these tips deal more than just with diet. It’s lifestyle things as well.

Allan (20:44): That’s what I really liked about it. This is a book about food, real food, but you went a little bit further and giving someone an overall basis of how to live a more healthy life and deal with your health issues. Before I let you go though, I define “wellness” as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Christine Moore (21:11): I can let Jimmy give you a couple too, but one of them I think is to take your health back into your own hands. We rely too much on doctors to tell us how to be healthy. Jimmy and I have experienced this in our own lives, where I was having symptoms of thyroid issues, so I went to my doctor and I asked him to run a full panel. He didn’t see the need with a full panel, so Jimmy and I did that on our own and we found out that my reverse T4 was off and my antibodies were elevated. These things wouldn’t have been found out had they just run the typical panel that they do – TSH, T3 and T4. So, one big one for me is taking your health back into your own hands. Do you have one that you think?

Jimmy Moore (22:01): That’s my favorite one, the one you took. I call that being an empowered patient. I think one thing that’s been impressed on me more and more, Allan, in the last few years, watching the way our culture has shifted over to this ugliness, the contentiousness that’s out there, be it in the nutrition world, even politics, wherever you are in your facets of life – people are unkind to each other, and that bleeds over into being unkind to themselves. I’m becoming more and more convinced that this stress that’s coming on from all of that contentiousness is having a negative effect on people’s lives. So, my tip would be to start loving yourself and to start being overly kind to your fellow neighbors. I find that when I do this and I make a conscious effort – and trust me, it is so hard, especially online where people are being really, really ugly towards each other – it’s really hard to take the higher road, but in the end your stress level will come down and you’ll be healthier as a result.

Christine Moore (23:05): And I guess one final one would kind of go along with what you said, Jimmy, is be kind to yourself. Because of this ugliness that is on social media nowadays, people are so quick to say if you’re not eating grass-fed, grass-finished beef, or free-range eggs, or organic this, organic that, then you’re doing keto wrong and you’re a failure. No. We understand, and this is one thing that we stress big time in Real Food Keto – do the best you can in the situation that you’re in. If you cannot afford grass-fed, grass-finished beef – no sweat. Just do best you can and try not to listen to these people online that are being ugly, because they just don’t have a sense of reality. They’re not in the real world. We understand that life happens. Jimmy and I use keto products out there, but we read the label and make sure that they are up to standard, like these DropAnFBomb nut butter packets. It’s great for traveling. And Paleovalley beef sticks; Pili Nuts. They come in a package, but it’s still real food at its core. So, just do your research and be kind to yourself.

Allan (24:21): Excellent. I declared myself a diet agnostic, and what I mean by that is that I’m going to let everybody eat the way they feel like they need to eat, and I’ll tell you my experiences and we’ll have conversations like this, which is wonderful. But the one thing that I’ve noticed from all sides of this battle, that people are throwing all this stuff around, like, “That’s wrong. This is wrong.” Every single one of them comes down to one core fact – just eat real food. It doesn’t matter if you go keto or you decide to go the entire different direction and go completely vegetarian or vegan, or actually combine both of them, which is something that’s happening. Dr. Will Cole wrote his book Ketotarian, and I’ve had him on. And it’s that same thing – just eat real food. What you’ve done here with Real Food Keto is give us this great resource to learn about the food, learn what it’s doing in our bodies, and make better choices and decisions for ourselves. So, thank you so much for that, Christine and Jimmy.

Christine Moore (25:27): Thank you.

Jimmy Moore (25:28): Dude, you are in my head, because I have hammered this message over the past few years, that we have more in common – Paleo, Primal, locavore, vegan, vegetarian, and keto – we all have more in common than we have disagreement. And yet, who argues the most about which diet is better. Meanwhile, all of these sad diet eaters just sit back and go, “Yeah, I’m going to eat my popcorn watching the show, you guys. This is not interesting to me at all.” I think if we coalesced around the real food message and brought people in, it would be so much more attractive. Then we could make people more healthy in the end.

Allan (26:06): Absolutely. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, they wanted to learn more about what you’re doing over there, where would you guys want me to send them?

Christine Moore (26:15): I have a website – RebootingYourNutrition.com. You can send me a message there and I’ll write back to you. And Jimmy has lots of places.

Jimmy Moore (26:26): We have a website for the book – RealFoodKeto.com, where we’re going to update various interviews we’re doing, like this one. And a book tour that we hope to do in early 2019. And of course I’m at LivinLaVidaLowCarb.com, or you could Google Jimmy Moore. The first three pages is all my stuff.

Allan (26:44): They can also go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/351, and I’ll be sure to have all of those links there. Christine, Jimmy, again, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Christine Moore (26:56): Thank you for having us.

Jimmy Moore (26:58): Thanks, Allan. I’ll see you at the next book.

Allan (27:00): Absolutely.

Now, wasn’t that great? I really enjoy having conversations with Jimmy. He’s extremely knowledgeable, and his wife, Christine, is just off the charts with this stuff, her education with the Nutritional Therapy Association. Really, she knows her stuff. And this is a really, really deep book; really cool book. It is a keto book, but you’ll learn so much about nutrition in this book. It’s like a college class in and of itself. So, really well done book, and I hope you’ll check it out.

If you enjoyed today’s show, would you do me a big favor? Would you become a patron of the show through our Patreon page? Basically works like this: you pledge whatever – $1, $2, $4, whatever. I’ve got other tiers up there where I’m offering little perks. So you get something for being a part of this thing; it’s not just a, “Thank you for your money, see you later” thing. There are some perks to this thing that I really want you to check out. If you’ll go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon, and just pledge what you can – a dollar, a couple of dollars. I put $4 as a base level because that works out to a dollar or less per show. And I hope you do think that the value of this show is there. The money I’m getting off this is not going to make me rich. Obviously, you can see it’s not a huge amount of money anyway. It’s enough money to help me pay the people that help me do this show. I do pay an audio processor a monthly fee, I pay for the transcripts to be done, and that’s on a per hour basis. I pay for hosting of both the media files and the website. I pay for email services and a lot of other things. A lot of what’s built around this is all a part of the funding of this show, and it adds up. It really isn’t as cheap as I thought it was when I was going to get into this. But I love doing it, I’m going to keep doing it, but I really would like to have you as a part of the team to support the show and help it keep getting better and better. Again, that’s 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Patreon. Thank you.

 

 

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October 4, 2018

Keto for vegetarians and vegans with Dr Will Cole

In his book, Ketotarian, Dr. Will Cole gives us a guide on keto for vegetarians and vegans. Many people believe that keto and vegetarians and vegans are two different paradigms, but Dr. Cole shows us that we can have the best of both worlds.

Allan (1:05): Dr. Cole, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Dr. Cole (1:10): Thanks so much for having me.

Allan (1:11): The book is called Ketotarian: The (Mostly) Plant-Based Plan to Burn Fat, Boost Your Energy, Crush Your Cravings, and Calm Inflammation. And just to start out with, I have to thank you profusely for writing this book. If I see another “bacon, bacon, bacon” conversation about keto, if I had hair I would pull it out. It’s one of those things. Yes, we want high fat, but that doesn’t mean that you just do away with the fact that our body needs the nutrition from the food, and not just the fat. So, I really did appreciate your approach to, one, how you explain the process of this working, and two, you actually put it together for folks with recipes and everything else.

Dr. Cole (2:01): Thank you so much, I really appreciate that. And that’s honestly one of the main reasons why I wrote Ketotarian, was to bring something new to the conversation. Like you said, the “bacon” conversation has been done. We don’t need another conventional ketogenic cookbook or health book out there. So I think something fresh, a plant-based, ketogenic conversation has been started.

Allan (2:26): Yes, and that’s why more and more of my clients are asking about this, like, “I really don’t want to eat a lot of meat and I’m trying to stay more vegetarian or more vegan.” There’s been this conversation that’s swelled up from behind me on this. I eat a lot of plants, but it’s within the realms of knowing my macros and knowing what my body can tolerate. Could you take a few moments to explain what ketotarian actually means and how someone would consider doing something like this?

Dr. Cole (3:00): Sure. Ketotarian is a book that we’re talking about. It’s my plant-based ketogenic book. Half of the book is science and health tips and functional medicine sort of perspective, which is where I come from, and ethos of why we’re doing this. And the heart of wellness that I think has to be at the foundation for sustainable wellness is really having self-respect. Self-care is a form of self-respect, and eating healthy foods and taking care of yourself is a form of self-respect. It’s a different conversation that’s being started for a ketogenic book, but I think seeing patients I realized for someone to sustainably be successful for any way that they’re eating, it has to be coming from a place of self- respect, presence, and loving your body enough to nourish it with good foods. So that’s really the cornerstone of Ketotarian in the first half of the book, plus all the health benefits of ketosis and the health benefits of being plant-based, and all the science and research. It’s heavily referenced, as far as the scientific literature is concerned.

And then the second half of the book is recipes, meal plans, all this practical stuff and pretty pictures. There’s over 81 different vegan, keto, vegetarian-keto and pescatarian-keto, or what I call in the book Ketotarian – another play on words – plant-based, but with wild caught fish and shellfish. So people can eat one way, they can just be vegan-keto, or they can eat a mixture of vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian options. And it’s this 8-week, plant-based keto experience for people to shift their body from being a sugar burner to a fat burner, get the anti-inflammatory benefits of ketosis. That’s what they’re doing in ketotarian. So it’s a play on words. I had somebody point out to me, I kind of created a celebrity couple name out of the title of my book. So, like Brangelina, this is ketotarian. It’s this amalgamation of the best of both worlds of being plant-based and keto.

Allan (5:15): The interesting thing is, I have a lot of keto authors on here, and I have a lot of vegetarian and vegan authors on here. It’s because I don’t want to be prescriptive about what someone’s going to eat. I need them to be comfortable that this fits their lifestyle, this fits them as a person. I’ve even said that to people, that when I talk to someone who’s on the keto side, who’s really successful at it – has gotten rid of their inflammation, is healthy, or I talked to someone on the vegan side who’s healthy, they’re always talking about whole food. They’re not talking about packaged things. Some of them do go a little under the bacon side on the keto, but that all said, I think it created this “us versus them” that really didn’t have to exist.

Dr. Cole (6:02): Absolutely. It’s a very strange thing, but I think tribalism is really deep in America right now on many different levels. And I think that this is just one sort of weird aspect of tribalism where it’s completely unnecessary. The dogmatic sides of both camps is just unnecessary, because we actually have way more in common than we don’t. I think Ketotarian illuminated the fact that there are so many commonalities there. And ketogenic, that way of eating, really can be any modality of eating. It could be pescatarian, it could be vegetarian, it could be vegan, it could be more Mediterranean with the fish too. There are so many ways to do it. And then obviously we have the carnivore diet that’s coming up, which is a form of ketosis, a higher protein ketogenic approach. So you have really all these different forms of ketosis, therefore it doesn’t have to be this “us versus them”. It’s just a way of using food to our advantage, to put our body into this anti-inflammatory, fat-burning state.

Allan (7:12): One of the cool things that you brought up in the book is, this is really about being aware and mindful of the food that you are eating. So this is not just happenstance. Obviously, yes, if you eat a predominantly meat-based diet that’s not lean meats, you’re probably going to go into ketosis at some level. If you’re eating a high fat diet with bacon and all the other stuff that’s coming out of boxes that are marked “keto-friendly”, you’re going to go into ketosis. It takes a little bit more, I think, mindfulness and a more sound approach to food when you’re trying to do it from the vegan or vegetarian aspects. And you had this term you used in here called “ketotarianisms”. Could you take a minute to go through those? I think this really highlights what I’m after here, about how you start getting a lot more mindful about your food, you start focusing more on the quality, and you end up a lot healthier for it.

Dr. Cole (8:10): Yeah. So ketotarianisms are the basic tenants of this way of living and eating. It is basically when you are having a healthy fat, add a green, not-starchy vegetable, and then conversely, when you have a non-starchy vegetable, eat a healthy fat. And then eat when you’re hungry, eat until you’re satiated. These are some of the ketotarianisms that people can live. These are basic principles that really are common sense when you read them, if someone wants to keep it simple. In Ketotarian, I wanted to show all the biohacker, science stuff where people can lean into, or they want to take their wellness to the next level, but I realized there are going to be a lot of people that are reading Ketotarian that are new to this, that feel overwhelmed or, “Where do I start?” I think things like the ketotarianisms or the “keeping it simple” options in the book are really a good segue for people to lean into it and still get the benefits of these healthy, real foods without feeling like they have to go zero to 60 and understand all the science to get started. It’s really not necessary at all.

Allan (9:29): I had a client and he was telling me it’s blueberry season and he can’t help himself every time he goes to the farmer’s market. He wants to eat low carb. And our ancestors, when berries were abundant, they ate the berries. There’s nutrients in the berries that your body needs. Enjoy the berries while they’re in season, because you’re only going to get them for a few more weeks, and you’re not going to have the berries. I think a lot of us get tied up in the “We have to eat this way” or “We have to eat that way.” And there’s so much what I would call “biodiversity” of how each of us handles carbs, our insulin resistance, those types of things. One of the things that you had in the book that is a little different than the guidance I see from a lot of the keto space is that instead of focusing on total carbs, which the 20 grams of total carbs is the earmark out there – you’re going to go into ketosis if that’s what you’re eating. But you focus more on net carbs, which allows us effectively to eat a lot more high fiber vegetables. Could you talk about the net carbs? Having net carbs someone could probably get away with and still get into ketosis or get the benefits of the low carb eating. And then compare and contrast that with total carbs.

Dr. Cole (10:45): Sure. So, total carbs are the sum of all fiber, sugar and sugar alcohols and everything. Net carbs is subtracting fiber and sugar alcohols, if there are sugar alcohols in wherever you’re eating. But basically the fiber, the soluble fiber and the insoluble fiber, we’re subtracting in ketotarian, and many other ketogenic resources you’ll find in books and online too. But Ketotarian definitely does talk about how when we’re working on and focusing on real non-starchy vegetables and real plant foods, that’s when you use net carbs. You do not use net carbs whenever you’re eating junk food and boxed foods and you’re just trying to make yourself feel better by having carbs. At that point it’s not in its whole food form, it’s not in alignment fully with nature, and you can manipulate numbers, I think, for the sake of dieting that isn’t going to produce the same results as if you ate an avocado with tons of fiber, or any other vegetable with lots of fiber when it’s in this whole food form. That’s what we’re talking about when we’re considering net carbs.

So, in the book for all the recipes, I give the net carbs because it is basically subtracting all the fiber. What I allow for, or what I recommend I should say, in Ketotarian, is the first week or so – and sometimes people should do longer than a week – they should do about 25 grams of net carbs throughout the day. So every day their max should be 25 grams of net carbs or less. From there they can find their carbs sweet spot during these eight weeks of being in ketosis from this plant-based approach. Now, the max allowance in ketotarian is 55 grams of net carbs a day. I just wanted something basically average to allow people to have lots of vegetables in, but I know as a functional medicine practitioner that there’s biological variability. I realize that there are some people that will do better with a little bit less, there are some people that can get away with a little bit more. I have some people in ketosis up to 100 grams of net carbs from non-starchy vegetables, because they’re insulin sensitive, they don’t have a lot of inflammation, and they’re fine there. They’re fasting and they can get away with this. But most, I think 55 grams. Why I put it in the book is because it’s the middle of the road for most people to get the benefits here. They can implement it into intermittent fasting and time-restricted feeding, and we talk about that in the book. They can still get all these cool benefits while not restricting their plant foods.

Allan (13:33): The great thing about this is, so many of us, when we first start getting into ketosis or thinking about ketosis think we can’t have fruit. A lot of your recipes do actually have fruit in them. So this is an area where we are, because we’re going to go for the high fiber type of fruits. We are going to be able to eat more fruit with this. When I think about the number of how much food you can eat of non-starchy vegetables with that many grams of carbs – that’s pretty substantial. This is going to be the bulk of your food. This is going to be your entree, and not a meat entree. This is going to be your main source of energy and food, less so the proteins that we would normally have in a steak or something like that.

Dr. Cole (14:26): Exactly. It’s plant-centric. I think that people can pick their level of where they want to go with this. I’m not saying everyone has to be a vegan-ketogenic eater, but definitely when we bring the vegetarian options like the eggs or the ghee, or the pescatarian options with the fish or the shellfish – it’s still plant-centric. These are just different food medicines to bring into this clean, keto way of eating.

Allan (14:54): And that’s what I really liked about it – it said, “Here are the nutritional aspects of how you’re going to eat. These are the net carbs you can get.” And then beyond that, it went through and said, “If you want to make it a little easier to do this, then here’s the option for you to do the vegetarian versus the vegan, and here’s an add-on if you want to include some fish or shellfish. It’s going to have these particular benefits.” So, it’s something that somebody can really look at their way of eating and be thinking about, “How do I make this work for me?” It’s not just this fixed go. And your recipes also break that down, where there are some recipes that will have fish, some that will have eggs, and others that are completely vegan.

Dr. Cole (15:36): Yeah. And I think to your point, with your client with the berries, that’s something that I really wanted to have, this grace and lightness to food. We shouldn’t be stressing about and obsessing about our food and making food this arduous, negative thing. I wanted to recalibrate the conversation, especially in the keto world, which I think can be a little bit too obsessive with foods, and shaming, and orthorexic in a way. What I wanted to say is, “Let’s do this for eight weeks. Let’s shift the body into ketosis. Let’s get the benefits of ketosis.” But from there, like you said, seasonal ketotarian is mentioned in the book, because during the summer if you want to have more fruits and more natural carbs into your life, you normally buy seasonal fruits – then do that. Some people love that and enjoy that, but during the colder months they’re more in ketosis naturally and eating more of this primal way of cycling ketosis approach throughout the year. And some people do that cyclic approach throughout the week, where they’re doing two to three days higher carbs, the other days in ketosis. Again, this is all in the context of real foods. This, I think, needs to be talked about more in the ketogenic world, because so many of them are very dogmatic in the sense of, if you leave ketosis, you’re somehow doing your body an injustice, and that’s not the point of the ketogenic diet and it’s basically all or nothing. I don’t think it’s all or nothing. If you really say “all or nothing”, you obviously haven’t talked to patients or clients and seen biological variability, because you’ll be proven wrong all day long, hanging your hat on one way of doing anything when it comes to food.

Allan (17:28): They would have to kick me out of the Keto Club, because I do the seasonal ketosis. And that’s because there are certain times of the year where I know it’s going to be easier for me to maintain the low carb and just get a little bit tighter on things. And then there are going to be times when we’re in football season and we’re going to come up on New Year and things like that, and I’m going to want to have a beer. My brother owns a brewery, so I’m going to want to have a beer here and there. But I pick my times, I pick my battles, and I’ll go out of ketosis for a period of time. It’s something that’s natural to me, it’s something that feels good. And I don’t have any kind of metabolic problems, so it’s very easy for me to shift fuel sources, depending on how I approach food.

Dr. Cole (18:11): That’s great. That’s the goal of this eight weeks – to build that metabolic flexibility. And you’re right, not everybody has that. Some people with insulin resistance or diabetes or inflammatory problems can’t get away with that. But the goal is to build as much metabolic flexibility as your body allows you to.

Allan (18:31): Yeah. That’s the other aspect of it – some of us are going to go right into ketosis, not have a big problem with it. Others are going to suffer a little bit more, or some really are going to struggle to get into ketosis because their metabolism is a little bit racked and needs some repair. In the book, you share some tips for individuals that are struggling to get into ketosis. Would you mind sharing some of those tips?

Dr. Cole (19:00): I’m just thinking off the top of my head what’s in the book, but one is, if you’re eating a certain level of real food, net carbs or eating plant foods – I would try lowering the amount of carbs as your body adjusts. The state of ketosis – this metabolic, fat-burning, anti-inflammatory, brain-fueled state that we’re talking about here – is through carb restriction. So it’s not necessarily eating tons and tons of healthy fats, even though healthy fats can increase ketones too. But it’s really the carb restriction primarily that will do it. And then secondarily, it’s what do you fill in from that carb restriction? So, lowering your carbs more. If you’re higher net carbs, maybe lower it below 25 for a time as your body gets more fat-adapted that way.

Another tip to get in ketosis if you’re not in ketosis, is to help your body out with getting the benefits of ketosis and raising blood ketone levels with exogenous ketones. You can use MCT oil or different exogenous ketones in drinks or supplements, or you can increase the amount of circulating ketones in the body to get the benefits of it – basically get your boost of energy, help with brain function, etcetera. So if someone’s making that, they’re in this sort of metabolic purgatory where they’re not becoming a fat burner overnight. It may be they’re going through insulin resistance or other health problems, whether they’re slow to make that transition. You can kind of help your body along with some exogenous ketones as you’re making that metabolic transition.

And then some maybe lesser known ideas to help your body get into ketosis is to deal with stress levels and look at sleep, because cortisol fluctuations when someone’s in stress – that can impact the blood sugar, blood pressure, and ketone production. And looking at sleep levels, sleep optimization, which is another thing to consider. Those are some things that are maybe less commonly thought of when you’re talking about, “I’m going to go keto and get the benefits of going keto. I’m going to lose weight”, or whatever it is. You have to look at stress levels; these are important.

Another thing to consider is intermittent fasting. If someone’s not intermittent fasting, which will produce increased ketone levels as somebody is intermittent fasting, they should consider that. That’s another way to produce more ketones, get the benefits of ketosis, but it’s also the effect of ketosis. As someone becomes more and more fat-adapted, it’s a natural result of that. You’re just less hungry, your blood sugar’s more stable, you’re less irritable and hangry. So you just randomly will intermittent-fast, not because you’re trying to or you’re thinking about it, but because, “I’m eating when I’m hungry, and if I’m not hungry, I’m not going to eat.” If that involves not eating breakfast or having a lighter meal at a certain part of the day, these variations of intermittent fasting can happen too. So these are some ideas if someone’s having a difficulty, but we have other ones mentioned in the book too.

Allan (22:21): One of my favorites – obviously I’m a personal trainer, so I’m going to like the “movement” one. It’s interesting though – a lot of people will advise people starting into ketosis to actually avoid exercising. And I’ve always had the opposite opinion. While you might not want to exercise at the same intensity, the stress and the cortisol, there is some value to movement and exercise when you’re trying to get into ketosis.

Dr. Cole (22:47): Absolutely. That’s a great one. I think that movement and staying active should be a part of it. It shouldn’t just be food. I think movement is an important part of wellness. Like you said, you may adjust what you’re doing physical activity-wise, but you shouldn’t stop it.

Allan (23:06): Outstanding. Now, if someone wanted to get in touch with you to learn more about the book, where would you like for me to send them?

Dr. Cole (23:15): Everything’s at DrWillCole.com. There are links to the books, but it’s on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and in independent bookstores too. But everything’s there. I’m seeing patients throughout the week, and we have primarily a virtual clinic where we do webcam consultations for people. So they can get a free health evaluation on DrWillCole.com too.

Allan (23:41): Cool. This is episode 340, so you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/340, and I’ll have the links there to Dr. Cole’s site and to the book on Amazon. Dr. Cole, thank you so much for being a part of the 40+ Fitness podcast.

Dr. Cole (23:59): Thanks so much for having me.

Allan (24:06): If you enjoyed today’s episode, would you please take just one moment and leave us a rating and review on the application that you’re listening to this podcast right now? I’d really appreciate it, and it does help other people find the podcast because it tells the people that are hosting these podcast episodes out there on their apps that you’re interested and they know that other people like you might be interested. So please do that. If you can’t figure out how to do that on your app, you can email me directly and I’ll try to figure it out for you. Or you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Review, and that’ll take you to the iTunes where you can launch that and leave a review there. I really appreciate the ratings and reviews. It does help the podcast, it helps me, so thank you very much for that.

Also, I’d really like to continue this conversation a little bit further, so if you haven’t already, why don’t you go ahead and join our Facebook group? You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group, and that’ll take you to our Facebook group where you can request entry. It’s a really cool group of people, like-minded, all in our 40s, all trying to get healthy and fit. I’d really love to have you out there and have you a part of that conversation. So, go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group.

October 5th, here in Pensacola Beach. If you’re anywhere close, you should come down for this. I’m going to be teaching a cooking class on how to cook for Thanksgiving and remain keto. Also, we’re going to have talks from Carl Franklin of 2 Keto Dudes, and myself. It’s going to be a great time to meet other people in the area that are passionate about keto or want to learn more about keto. So, wherever you stand on that spectrum of either being keto and loving it or wanting to know more about keto, this is going to be a great opportunity for you to connect with people and learn a lot more about it. So I’d encourage you to go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Ketofest, and that’ll take you to the Eventbrite page. There’s a low fee, $15, to attend. That’s really just to offset some of the cost of food. I really want to help you learn about keto, I really want to make sure I get a good event out there, so I didn’t charge a lot for this. I want to make sure it’s accessible to most folks. If you’re anywhere in the area near Pensacola Beach, I’d encourage you to come down for it. It’s October 5th and it’s going to run from 4:00 until 9:00, and of course, maybe a little later than that. You don’t have to be here for the whole thing. It’s really just about learning about keto, learning how to cook keto, and tasting some of the delicious food, because dinner is included. So, go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Ketofest, and that will take you to the signup page for our little Keto Minifest. And again, Carl Franklin will be here, so it’s a great opportunity to meet him in person.

And then finally, I am still working on the book, and I do need your help. I need your help to be a part of the launch team. If you can go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com, you’ll see a little form there where you can sign up to be on the launch team. The launch team is going to get a lot of extra goodies that are not going out with the book. They’re going to get some previews, they’re going to get some bonus materials that you’re not going to get if you wait for the book to come out. I know you want to learn about the book, I know you want to be a part of it, so please go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com. Thank you.

Another episode you may enjoy

Keto Cure with Dr. Adam Nally

Managing ketogenic diet mistakes with Eric Stein

Our guest today has authored many books, including the one we’re going to talk about today, Ketogenic Catastrophe. He found a passion helping others after he cured his own IBS, gum disease and insomnia using the Paleo Diet and ketogenic eating. Really cool guy; I know you’re going to enjoy this interview.

Allan (1:08): Eric, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Eric (1:12): Thanks for having me on. Great to be here.

Allan (1:14): The title, Ketogenic Catastrophe, I really could take that one of two different ways. One is disaster pants kind of style. What you were going after was, what are some of the mistakes that we make when we’re trying to get into ketosis and why do most people fail doing this? Then the other would be, are people having bad experiences with keto? The truth of the matter is keto is not for everybody, but it is a tremendous tool for weight loss, and what I’ve found, for dietary freedom.

I got into ketosis on accident. For those that aren’t fully familiar with what ketosis is, it’s basically where your body starts learning how to burn fat rather than sugar for energy. And because you’re eating predominantly a higher fat diet and not many carbs, your body just gets more comfortable with that and using ketones as a fueling system. I stumbled on it because I was doing Paleo. My version of Paleo was eating more of the healthy fats, so I was eating a lot of avocado, fish and beef. As a result of filling up on the fat, wasn’t eating a lot of anything else. Most of the vegetables I was eating were wholefood, fibrous vegetables like asparagus, broccoli and spinach. So I wasn’t getting a lot of carbs. And then I noticed that my breath was a little sour, more so than not. And I noticed that my body was burning a lot of body fat all of a sudden. I had plateaued – in Paleo dropped about 15 pounds, and then keto took off about, I’d say 45 pounds in just a few weeks. So I fell into it. I figured out what it was. I’m like, “What’s going on with my body? Why am I suddenly losing all of this fat and why am I smelling this way?” Then I got into it and I was like, “Okay, that’s what that is and that’s why that’s happening.”

It’s become more of a seasonal lifestyle for me now, because I’ve lost most of the weight that I wanted to ever lose. I got my body where I wanted to for what I wanted, and then I’m good. But in the book you’re actually talking about the mistakes that keep people from doing this, and I think that’s really important. I was reading a study, and it was a Harvard doctor that had done this study, and they found that the high fat, low carb diet helped people lose more weight than the people who ate the low fat, high carb diet. But in the end his conclusion was, it’s so hard to eat this high fat diet that we’re just going to keep prescribing the low fat diet. My hands hit my head and I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” But it’s not simple; there are some mistakes people make. And that’s what your book is getting into is, what are those mistakes that most people make that would keep them from being successful with this? And what are the tips and tricks and things that we can do to get past them?

Eric (4:12): Yeah, that’s basically what I’ve covered. I had a lot of stumbling when I first started with this whole keto diet thing. This was basically my attempt to share with whoever wants to read it, all of the mistakes that I went through. I think it was Warren Buffett who said, “You can learn from your own mistakes, but you don’t have to. You can learn from other people’s mistakes.” So, my goal with this whole thing was to just share everything that I personally went through in hopes that it will help others become more enlightened about the whole keto thing and just get through it, because it can be difficult. Like you said, it’s not the easiest thing to start. But what people should definitely take from this whole thing is that after you do it for a while, after you get comfortable with it, it becomes much easier too. You can do it seasonally, like you do as well, where you don’t have to do it all the time. So this was my attempt to really help people feel better in the long run.

Allan (5:14): I think that’s the thing. I don’t have any kind of resistance, insulin resistance, any metabolic problems. So for me, keto is just a way to have clarity, to feel better, to have freedom from food, because I can go a day without eating and I don’t panic because my blood sugar’s going to crash or something. So, keto is very comfortable for me, but I don’t do it all year round because there are periods of time when I want to drink beer and go tailgating and enjoy my life and the things that I’m going to do. I’m going to go to Thanksgiving with my mother, I’m going to go do New Year’s Eve with my wife. So, since I know I’m going to have that period of time, I just plan around it and say, “That’s my time to go off keto. I’m not going to feel as good. I’m going to have as much fun as I can and I’m going to make good selections.” So, I do drink the higher quality beers. But beyond all that, when it’s time to go back into my season of famine, so to speak, I get into it. I think a lot folks think it’s a lifestyle, yes. Once you get into it, then you have to stay in it, and that’s not entirely true for everybody. That’s why I think this book is particularly poignant because if you go in and out of ketosis on a regular basis, you’re going to deal with these things. The first one is what you call the “biggest mistake”, and I agree with you. Do you mind talking about what you think the biggest mistake is that most people will make when they’re trying to get into ketosis?

Eric (6:38): Sure. The biggest mistake by far – it’s very simple – it’s just giving up. If you can imagine training for a marathon, let’s say. You do all this prep work, and you get up to the race day, you’re feeling great. You start the marathon, you get through the first mile, 7th mile, 12th mile. You’re getting through it and all of a sudden you get to mile 25, right before the finish line, and you just give up. That’s what a lot of people do, is they get so close to the finish line, building this metabolic flexibility, this ability to burn fat instead of sugar, and right before they get there they just say, “You know what? I’m done.” To put it back to the marathon runner – it’s not like the marathon runner couldn’t finish. No, he just decided, “Well, I’m just not going to finish the race today.” So many people run into that because it’s difficult to get going in the beginning. It’s difficult because your body needs to produce the enzymes and all the wiring that’s required to burn fat for fuel. There’s an adjustment period, but once you get good at it, it becomes much, much easier, and over the long run obviously works out a lot better.

The biggest mistake that people make is they just can’t sack up and get through the first little part. And to give most people more credit here – a lot of keto diet books and a lot of keto diet advice is not the greatest advice out there. They tell people, “Cut your carbs down to 20 grams of carbs, even if you’re eating buckets of sugar each day, and then just do keto.” And you’re going to run into huge problems if you just make an abrupt switch like that. So, to give credit to everybody that’s tried and failed before – maybe you got some bad advice too. But absolutely the biggest mistake is just not pushing through and getting to the other side, because once you get to the other side, then it becomes much easier, even if you have those cheat days, like you say, go have a couple of beers. Once you get back on the train, it’s not nearly as hard to get going again, if that makes sense.

Allan (8:53): It does. I think the difference and the way I look at it is, when you’re talking about the marathon – the runner knows that there’s only 1.2 miles left to go in this race. They’re at mile 25 and there’s only a 1.2 to complete the race. Unfortunately with ketosis you don’t have that mile marker to tell you that it’s that close. I think that’s where that “quit” comes in. I remember I was in the army and I was going through air assault school. And at the end of air assault school you do this 25-mile run. And you’re carrying your M16 and you’re in boots and you do this 25-mile run. Each of the units has people in there, so my unit was there and they were cheering us all on. I was a front runner. I knew there was one guy in front of me, I just didn’t know how far he was in front of me. So I asked one of the guys, “How far is he ahead of me? Just tell me.” And they said, “Oh, he’s too far. You’re never going to catch him.” And I come around the corner and realize that I’ve got maybe half a mile to go and he’s only a hundred yards ahead of me. But by that time I had shut my mind down to the possibility that I could do this, and therefore I ended up coming in second.

I only say that because it’s probably closer than you think it is. Once you get into this and you’re starting to really have that struggle, look for the things that are going to motivate you to keep going. You talk in the book about measurement, and I do think that’s important. The urine strips are really good when you first get started, because they’re going to allow you to see the ketones are starting to build up in there. And they’re color coded so you can see it happening. Since your body doesn’t know how to use the ketones effectively, you’re peeing them out. Eventually the urine sticks won’t be any good for you because your body’s using those ketones and now you’re going to have to be looking to your blood and your breath to understand if you’re in ketosis. But for the most part you are, and you can feel it and you know it. I agree with you – as people are going, just push to the next step. Just take that next step. Keep at it just a little bit longer and you’ll get there. It’s a dip, and once you get past that dip, you’re going to enjoy what you’ve done.

Eric (11:04): Sure. And you can always test and tweak things all along the way too. You don’t have to stick yourself into a rigid structure. Now, if something’s not working for you, you can always pivot and try something new – maybe increase your exercise a little or decrease your exercise a little if you’re working too hard. You can always play with the different approaches and find out what works for you. But keep pushing forward, absolutely.

Allan (11:31): I think that’s another important thing. You’ve got this as mistake number 8 in the book, and it’s bio individuality. You talked about how the basic advice is 20 grams of carbs, and then they kind of stop there. I know from experience working with clients that if you get down to 20 and you stay at 20, you will get into ketosis, but there are some people that can go as high as maybe even 100 grams of carbs, because they’re athletic and they’re doing things. And there are other people that can get to 50. You’re going to have a carb threshold in there and it’s going to be individual to you. You’re going to have nutritional needs that are based on your environment and everything else. Can you talk a little bit about bio individuality and how you’ve seen it work for or against people who are trying to get into ketosis?

Eric (12:23): Sure. That phrase actually was originally coined by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. They’re the folks that came up with that. Basically at a high level, it just means we’re all different. Some people can eat a vegan diet, and they feel great and it seems to work really well for them. Some people, like myself, feel awful. I’ve tried to do the vegan thing and it doesn’t work for me at all. I had no energy. It just was not something that really worked for me. And we’ve always got to think about where we came from. What has our family’s bloodline been eating for the past 10 generations? That’s going to play a role in how we metabolize things, what we’re used to eating, what our genetics are used to. So, everybody is so different, and this is especially true for the carbohydrate threshold. I’ve talked to people who could not get into ketosis until they got down to that 20 grams of carbohydrate. Now me personally, I was more along the lines of, I could get back into ketosis after eating 80 to 100 grams of carbs for dinner one night, and then the next day around lunchtime be back into a ketogenic state. All the books that I was reading about this, they said, “That’s impossible. It’s going to take you days. You have to do this, you have to do that.” And really, it’s just about finding where you fit, where you feel best and what works for you. And the mistake that people make is having this mindset that everybody’s the same. It’s like this cookie cutter thing, and it’s definitely not true.

Actually there’s a great story. One of my roommates from many years ago, he and I lived together, and this is right around the time when I was trying to clean up my diet and try to lose the weight that I had been gaining. And living with him, I watched him every day just eat fast food. And it was constant drinking sodas, drinking beers all the time and doing whatever he wanted, and he stayed lean. I had no idea. Here I was, even trying to eat healthier at the time, but I was still gaining and gaining and gaining, and I just watched him not gaining a pound. It was very frustrating and really killed a lot of my motivation because it’s like, “Why me? Why can’t I be like him?” At the end of the day, bio individuality means that none of us are going to be the same. Individual results may vary. That phrase is so perfect for many different things in life, but especially people who are trying the ketogenetic diet. You’ve got to really look at yourself and what you’re going through, because everybody’s going to be different. Somebody might lose 30 pounds in a month doing the keto diet and you may sit there and lose a pound and a half. But it could be just because your body is working on fixing other things first, or whatever reason genetically that you’re going to be slower to lose the weight. We have a lot of similarities, but at the base level we have a lot of differences as well.

Allan (15:48): Part of it is genetics, part of it is your hormone mix. I know a lot of people are coming at this metabolically damaged. I was reading another book that actually said the Baby Boomers, which I’m just short of – I’m an X Gen – but 50% of Baby Boomers have some form of metabolic syndrome. I’m just trying to wrap my mind around that.

Eric (16:12): That’s a big number.

Allan (16:13): It’s a huge number. So, we’re approaching this because we want to get healthy. Like you said, your roommate may have had no problem whatsoever. You might run into him today and it may have caught up with him.

Eric (16:29): It did.

Allan (16:32): Okay. It’s not a happy story, but it’s a story. I think the core of this is, there’s that individual that smoked cigarettes from the time they were 14 years old and they’re 104 and they still smoke. And then there’s the individual who got lung cancer in their 40s after smoking only 20 years. So we’re all going to have our own individual path. I think the good thing about knowing that is if you can stop comparing yourself to others and just recognize that what you’re doing is positive for yourself, you’re going to have a lot better mindset going into this whole thing.

Eric (17:08): Yeah, you nailed it right there. The comparison to others is a very difficult thing. It’s something I struggled with tremendously when I first started out on this journey. You definitely want to be sure to remember that what you’re doing is for yourself, and you’re going to be different than everybody else. There are probably people that are going to react the same, but just keep in mind what you’re doing it for.

Allan (17:36): Another big area where mindset comes to play is what you call mistake number 5, “The Social Trap”. I know when I first started this and realized I was eating this way and wanted to keep eating this way, my wife thought I was out of my mind. She was like, “There’s no way.” She’d seen me try other things, and when she saw me try this she said, “I understood the Paleo thing. I do not understand this. I can’t do that.” But she has since turned around. I took her to Ketofest and she met some people and she listened to a few talks. She now knows about keto and for the most part will eat keto most of the time. But that’s not always the case; some people are going to look at you like you’re insane. How do I deal with that going into this? Like you said in the book, I go to order my burger and I say, “Just wrap mine in lettuce. I don’t want the bread.” And you see that look in their eyes.

Eric (18:37): The looks come to you. It can depend on the group of people you’re with as well. Me personally, I had some ruthless friends. We would kind of joke with each other and make fun of each other, but then it can be difficult when you continue to do this thing, you pass up on the beer. I remember sitting at a table at a restaurant and doing the lettuce-wrapped burger and just getting that, “What are you doing? Why are you doing that?” What that elicits in a lot of people, and I know this because it happened to me, is almost a fear to do it. The next time you hang out with everybody, you want to just be like everybody else. You don’t want to be out of the crowd. As humans, we want to be a part of the group. It feels safe. We want to be like everybody else.

So, to have that situation where you’re walking into a wedding or something or you’re going out with your friends and maybe you go to an Italian restaurant and the bread bowl comes around somewhere, and you’re put in that precarious situation where you have to make your decision now. The bread’s coming to you, and you have to make the choice and the people are looking at you. The mistake that people make is falling victim to that social pressure, because it’s, again, going back to being worried about what other people are thinking of you. It’s a very real mistake that most books that are written about the keto diet just kind of glaze over. But it’s such an important piece of this, because we are social creatures, we thrive on being social. I personally love being social. But it was a difficult transition to get over that fear of what other people are thinking of you. It can be one of the most difficult things. It can be actually the one thing that will stop you.

Maybe you have a group of friends, there’s like six of you and everybody’s overweight, let’s just say. All of a sudden you guys are going out to dinner and you start passing on the bread bowl. People are going to look at you funny and they might not even want you to do that, because it’s like, “Hey, where do you think you’re going? We’re all in this together”, that kind of thing. The social aspect of it is such a huge piece. I recommend that people, before they go somewhere like dinner or a party, and you know the temptation is going to be there but you’re not ready to start doing the cheat days yet – visualize it. Walk yourself through the scenario. Imagine yourself passing as the bread bowl comes to you. And then you’re going to have a lot higher chance of success, because you’ve already got the mental rep. You’ve already done it once in your head: “No, thank you”, so it’s going to be easier when game time comes around. The social aspect of it is such a huge piece, especially if you’re an extrovert, you like to go out, you have a lot of friends. People can be judgy. It’s very powerful to know going into this why you’re doing it, the reasons you’re doing it for yourself, and to understand that it’s okay for other people to have opinions. It’s okay for other people to think what you’re doing is crazy. Some people even say it’s dangerous, if you can believe that. So just remember why you’re doing it, and when the time comes and you have that social pressure, to be prepared for it is going to make you more successful.

Allan (22:18): You just hit on something I want to emphasize here – this is your “why”, this is why you’re doing this, and you need to keep that top of mind as you go into this. Yes, the bread bowl comes around and you just pass the bread without taking a piece and someone comments on it. Fairly simple – you can say, “I just got my A1C in and it’s high. I’m prediabetic, and I need to change how I eat.” And when they recognize this is not about you being thinner and more attractive than them, this is actually something you’re doing for your health, it does change the conversation. You can tell them, “I can’t have the simple carbs anymore. I can’t have the beer anymore, because my A1C is too high and I need to get it down. I don’t want to use medication to do that.”

Eric (23:07): Just to touch on one thing that came to my mind – a lot of people, once they’ve done keto and lost weight, want to continue to do it. You can still run into situations where you’re not prediabetic, you don’t need to lose any weight. It becomes easier to say, “I just feel better. I feel better not doing this. I feel better passing on the bread bowl.” Down the road when you don’t have those things to lean on, like, “I need to weight” or “I’m not feeling well. I’m sick for some reason”… There are other aspects of the social trap that can come up, but like you said, keep in the front of your mind why you’re doing it.

Allan (23:56): I call that the “crabs in the bucket”. If you’ve ever seen crabs, none of the crabs can get out of the bucket because the other crabs are pulling the crab down to get on top of it. So the crabs can’t get out of the bucket. Just realize that’s what’s going on. If people keep harassing you about what your choices are, you know what’s working for you. You know why you’re doing this. At that point just stop participating in the food conversation with them, because they’re not looking out for your best interests. I know that’s easier to say than to do, but you have to have this mindset, as I said, going into this to say, “This is what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.”

Now, the other thing that I wanted to get into – you mentioned this earlier and this was one you called mistake number 17. So much advice out there tells people, particularly during the adaptation period, to not exercise. And I don’t entirely agree with this. We talk about bio individuality. I think some people can continue to do their workouts. I know I did and didn’t have a problem in the world. Maybe I’m unique, and that’s great. But I believe people can still get the benefits of exercise during that period of time. They don’t have to forgo it. Your thoughts?

Eric (25:08): I think it probably goes back to that bio individuality thing. I was reading Mark Sisson’s book, The Keto Reset Diet, and I was listening to one of his podcasts. He was talking about how he recommends people not exercise during the adaptation period, because for some it can be difficult. If you’ve been consuming a lot of sugar and you’re metabolically damaged, the process of adaptation can be difficult. He recommends that you just rest through it, which there’s validity there. I think everybody needs to take a look and see how they’re feeling. I personally think it’s a huge mistake to not exercise while you’re doing the keto thing, because having personally gone through it, exercise is so much more enjoyable when you’re doing keto. I have more strength and more energy than I know what to do with when I’m in that keto state. That being said, if you’re just looking at this for, “I just need to lose some weight”, you don’t have to exercise. But I think it’s a huge mistake to not add on this component of it to get your blood flowing. Even if it’s the most basic exercise, like power walking or going up and down some stairs, doing some body weight stuff, push-ups, sit-ups, cleaning your house vigorously. We think of exercise as it has to be in a gym, but there are so many different ways to get your heart pumping, get your body moving. It’s just going to only compound the results that you get.

So, you can do the keto thing and not exercise, but again, I think it’s a big mistake to not do that. And when you realize it too, when you actually get into that keto state – you’re burning ketones for energy – you’ll have this incredible outpouring of motivation too. You will want to go exercise, and you’ll have more energy. I know it sounds funny. People think that if they exercise, they’re going to be tired and have less energy, and it’s actually the opposite. You exercise and you will have more energy – kind of that, “You don’t use it, you lose it” thing. Along with that I’ve noticed that the more you exercise, the greater the mental clarity that you’ll get as well. I’m not sure exactly the mechanics behind why, but I’ve noticed that I’ve become much more mentally clear. It’s almost like you’ve been wearing a pair of prescription glasses your whole life that weren’t even supposed to be yours, like they were the wrong prescription. You suddenly take them off and the world just looks clear. Or you get in your car in the morning and the window’s fogged up, and you turn the defroster on. That’s what happens as you keep going through this. And exercise I think is just a tool to accelerate these benefits and really compound them for everybody.

Allan (28:20): I agree with you. I don’t think there’s a reason to forgo exercise, unless you’re metabolically damaged and you know that this could be a problem for you. Then take it easy and don’t stress yourself. But the reality of life is our muscles and our liver hold roughly about 90 minutes to two hours of moderate intensity work. So when folks are running marathons, they bonk it at mile 18 because that’s about the time that the glycogen that’s in their muscles and their liver starts to run out. You have that in your muscles and your liver all the time. That glycogen’s there all the time to fire off for energy. So, doing moderate intensity work, lifting weights, doing bodyweight work, walking, maybe even some jogging – that’s going to use that glycogen. Now, you are still taking in some carbs. We’re not complete carnivores, zero carb here. You are taking in some carbs and your body has the capacity to take some of the protein you eat and some of the fat and actually turn it into glycogen that you can then use to restore what you need for your muscles and your liver. Your body’s going to still do that. I just think what you force your body to do if you do keep your activity at a good steady pace is you actually force the adaptation a little bit faster. That’s my opinion. Again, I don’t have any scientific proof that that’s the case, but I do know when I have clients cut their sugar back and I have them walk in a fasted state, they lose weight faster. That’s happening in their bodies because it’s forcing them to use more of the glucose that they are eating. It’s forcing them to use the glycogen in their muscles, they’ve got to restore that, so that process just starts working for them.

On the mental clarity note, I don’t know if you’ve read the book Spark, but this was an excellent book that talked about exercise and cognitive health. They found that just having the kids do a PE class in the morning before school helps their grades immensely. Their test scores went up, they had more clarity in class, they were more focused in class. So, there is an exercise–neurological connection that you’re going to get clarity from exercising and yes, you’re going to get mental clarity from powering your brain on ketones. So I think there can be a multiplicative effect there if you’re doing both.

Eric (30:47): Yeah, absolutely. That makes perfect sense. That’s very interesting to hear about the kids. I’m just seeing my path and how my mental state has changed over the years now. I think that would be brilliant to make sure that kids did PE before school and didn’t get rice crispy cereal before school.

Allan (31:14): That’d be a lot better.

Eric (31:17): I look back on my upbringing. That’s what I had.

Allan (31:21): It was the standard American diet, what our government was telling us to eat. That goes to this whole thing, that ketogenic diet is not new. It’s been around for a long time, but it’s just starting to get to a point where people are recognizing they can get great health benefits from it, they can get weight loss from it. And the people that are on it become evangelists for it. It’s a growing trend as a way of eating. It’s not that it’s better than being a vegan or a vegetarian or anything else; it’s just a way of eating. It can benefit you, but it’s not for everybody, as I said earlier. I think if you’re wanting to lose some weight or you’re concerned about your metabolic numbers – your A1C is high, you’re prediabetic – there have been some great results using this. And again, most people that get onto it just feel great.

Eric (32:14): Absolutely.

Allan (32:16): The book is called Ketogenic Catastrophe. Eric, if someone wanted to get in touch with you, learn more about the book, learn what you’re doing, because you and your wife are doing a lot of great stuff over there – where would you like for me to send them?

Eric (32:29): My wife and I run a blog called AncestralJunkie.com, and that’s where we’ll be posting some articles. We’ve been a bit inactive lately. We have our son now and things have been a bit hectic, but we’re back on AncestralJunkie.com. And then you can find my other books – I’ve written a few others – on Amazon. If you search for Ketogenic Catastrophe, my name will pop up and there’s a couple of other things. If you go to the blog, you can get a free meal plan, a free grocery guide and some other goodies for just visiting. And we have a nice little newsletter that goes out. Today’s Friday, so Friday we send out a weekly newsletter where we’ll give you our top five articles and neat products that helped us or quotes that were motivating us, that kind of stuff. So you can get us at AncestralJunkie.com or on Amazon, is where my other books are located.

Allan (33:27): Okay. This is going to be episode 337, so you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/337 and I’ll be sure to have links to all of those available there. So again, Eric, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Eric (33:43): Thank you, Allan. I really appreciate you having me on, and thank you so much for what you’re doing for the health community and just the world at large here. You’re really making a difference, so thank you for that.

Allan (33:52) Thank you.


Thank you for being a part of the 40+ Fitness podcast. I’m really glad you’re here. I hope you enjoyed the conversation we had with Eric. Anyone that’s trying to use the ketogenic lifestyle as a way of eating often finds that they make mistakes, and Eric’s put together a really good book to talk you through how to manage those mistakes. So do check that out – Ketogenic Catastrophe. I have a link to that in the show notes, if you’re interested. And if you enjoyed today’s show, I really would appreciate if you would go to the “Review” section on your app, or go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Review, which will take you to the iTunes page. Leave a review for the podcast. I really read each and every one of these reviews. The ratings and reviews help us get noticed out there. So really, really important – please do take the time to give us a review; takes you a few minutes, and it can mean the world to someone finding the podcast and finding health. So, 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Review. Thank you for that.

A little bit on a personal note, I’ve kind of indicated over the course of the last few episodes that my wife and I are traveling around looking for potential retirement / downscaled life. It looks like we’re going to settle on Panama. That’s not set in stone at this point and it might not be a permanent move, but we are looking to potentially within the next six months sell our house and move out of the country, which will be a very different lifestyle. It’s a change that I’m doing because it will reduce risk from stress and will keep me kind of a in a lower keel, slow things down. I’m really looking forward to something like that. In looking at my health and fitness, that’s the one area where I can get the most bang for the buck. That’s my big rock. If you get into The Wellness Roadmap book once I get that issued, you’re going to learn a lot about how to identify those big rocks. For me, stress is the next big rock that I need to deal with.

I wanted to mention that I am setting up a mini Ketofest. I know I talked about going to Ketofest in July and doing a talk there. I’m going to do that talk again here at my home in Pensacola Beach, and that’s going to be on October 5th. Right now we’re looking at probably having it between 4:00 and 8:00 PM on October 5th. There will be food provided, there’s a small charge to cover off some of the costs of that food. Carl Franklin from 2 Keto Dudes is coming down here and he’ll also be giving a talk, and you’ll be able to meet him here at the mini Ketofest in Pensacola Beach. So do check that out – you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Ketofest. There you’ll find a link to the Eventbrite page. We can only handle a certain number of people. I do have a nice size house, but we still are going to have to limit the number of people that come so everybody can enjoy the food and the talks. So, you do want to go ahead and make sure you get yourself on that list. Go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Ketofest.

Now on the book, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it, but it’s gone very, very well so far. I’m getting some blurbs back from folks which basically are just reviews. They’ve seen the book and they felt compelled to help me market the book by writing some really cool, really nice things. And I’m humbled by that. It’s really coming together. The next week I should get the proofs back from the editor and at that point I’ll be able to sit down and batten down and spend some quality time on the book to get that final finish in there. But we’re getting really close to having everything locked down and ready to go, so I’m pretty excited about that. If you want to be a little bit more in the know, get a little bit more detail on how the book is going, you can go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com. You can join the list and become a part of our launch team. That launch team is my go-to group, they’re the folks that I’m going to share the most information about the book. I’ll tell you a little bit about it on the podcast, occasionally I’ll mention it in the groups, but really if you want to be in the know about the book, when it’s coming live, discounts, bonuses, all kinds of stuff that I’m going to be putting out there – you need to join the launch team. So go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com and join the launch team today. Thank you.

Another episode you may enjoy

Keto Cure with Dr. Adam Nally

 

Guy gone keto with Thom King

Our guest today is the founder and CEO of Steviva Brands – one of the largest importers, manufacturers and distributors of natural sweeteners. He is a self-described biohacker, and he’s made his life work trying to figure out ways to get people off of sugar. Today we’re going to talk about his book, Guy Gone Keto, and his journey from finding himself a busy executive who was not taking care of himself to being as healthy as he can be. I know you’re going to enjoy this conversation, so with no further ado, here’s Thom King.

Allan (1:15):  Thom, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Thom King (1:21): Thanks, Allan. I appreciate you having me on your show. It’s truly an honor. So thank you.

Allan (1:28): So, the book today we’re going to talk about is Guy Gone Keto, and I really enjoyed the book from the perspective of your story and how it really did in a sense parallel mine, although I think you fast-tracked a lot better than I did in getting from the decision point to actually making things happen. Mine took nearly eight years; yours took slightly over a year. But we both were sitting in what I would call a very miserable state and we were frustrated with that, and we made a decision that we were going to change that. I happened to be in Puerto Vallarta when I did mine; you happened to be in Las Vegas. Would you mind sharing your story about that and how that frustration then led to your change?

Thom King (2:19): It was definitely frustration, but I think that the biggest part was just being disappointed in myself and feeling like I had poor integrity. I run a food ingredient company and we cater to ketogenic products and sports nutrition, and I was exceptionally unhealthy. My blood pressure was 199 over 99 and I was 35 pounds heavier than I am now. I was drinking a bottle of wine every night and eating bread and cookies and all sorts of garbage. I think I bottomed out when I was in Las Vegas. I was there for a trade show. I went to dinner with a client and way overate, had a couple of glasses of wine, came back to the room. The room that I stayed in smelt like stale booze and regret. And I found myself waking up the next morning, not feeling really great and looking in the mirror and seeing really how fat I was and how disgusted I was with myself. And at that point, I think that the pain of being out of integrity and the pain of my sloth and overweightness exceeded the pleasure that I was deriving from drinking too much wine and eating too many sweets and carbohydrates. So at that point I just told myself, “This is the end. I’m going to be making a major shift in my lifestyle.” That’s when I got on board with leading a ketogenic lifestyle from that point forward.

Allan (4:10): Okay. And I like the way that you approach that. It’s a unique way to approach it, where you’re talking about the pain of failure is greater than the value you’re getting from the activities you’re doing. I’ll be honest with everyone here – when I go to a tailgate, I drink the beer and I hang out. I typically try to get a higher quality beer, but I drink the beer nonetheless and know that I’m not going to feel so great. But the social interaction in those events – I actually do feel they are valuable enough to me at this point in my life that I don’t want to forego those. So I go through what I call my “feasting period”, where I back away from keto a little bit. I’m really interested in your thought patterns around using pain as a leverage tool to get something going, to basically make you change something in your life.

Thom King (5:11): For me, pain is the great teacher. I don’t avoid pain. I probably seek it out more than I avoid it. I think that human beings are driven by two things. I think they’re driven by the avoidance of pain and they are driven by seeking pleasure. If you’re seeking pleasure and the pleasure that you’re seeking is drinking too much, eating too much, whatever habit you’ve got – if you’re able to really attach pain to that, like when you take a look at, “Is eating this donut going to be painful or is it going to be enjoyable?” It’ll be enjoyable for that first few minutes, but if you really are mindful and present in what you’re doing, you can take a good look at what eating the donut really means. It’s going to raise your blood sugar level, it’s going to contribute to metabolic disease. It’s also going to lead to lower self-esteem, because are you going to really feel good about yourself after you eat the donut? If you start associating so much pain with something that you’re deriving pleasure from, once the pain exceeds the pleasure, you’ll be able to break that habit.

Allan (6:41): I liked your example of a donut, because I don’t have the same draw to a donut, and I know the reward is not worth the pain. For me the time with family and friends, and the socializing aspects of all of it, and not being that guy that’s not having the beer – to me is a little different. But I get that, particularly if you’re in a bad state and if you’re looking to improve yourself. It’s a very stoic kind of approach to thinking about how to solve that problem.

Thom King (7:12): Yeah, and I do derive a lot of that from stoicism. One of my daily practices is to read from The Daily Stoic, and I do leverage that quite a bit. So, being able to find answers in pain and in situations that are challenging – that’s part of my routine.

Allan (7:39): I have a copy of that book sitting on my desk right here, along with your book. Now, in the book Guy Gone Keto, you have your first steps. I really liked your approach to this. I really liked how you lay this out, that these are the things that need to be going through your mind, this is what you need to be doing to get this whole process going. In the case of the book, we’re talking about getting ourselves into ketosis, but I think this really applies to anytime you want to address a health or fitness issue.

Thom King (8:14): Definitely. Anything that you do want to achieve – it’s being able to set the goal. I think it is creating the intention and really being able to outline the outcome you’re looking for. And then on top of that, using a lot of data collection so you can see where you started and where you’re going. If you can see progress and you’re starting to see yourself getting closer to the outcome that you’re looking for, those are the best first steps that you can take.

Allan (8:52): There was another thing you had in here that I liked, and this is really something that’s hard for people to wrap their minds around when they want to lose weight. They want that 35 pounds or 55 pounds gone tomorrow. And I can say from my start to finish of when I really got committed and started doing the right things, it started with the Paleo, found myself naturally in ketosis, started reading on what ketosis is and then really bear down on that. But this was not something that just happened in a day or a week, or even a month. It took me nearly 11 months to really drop that kind of weight. So it was a slow progression – a few plateaus, but just a slow progression. I like how in the book you explain to us why going slow is important.

Thom King (9:43): I think that if people are looking to lose weight fast, that’s more of a diet situation. I also think that’s pretty unhealthy, because I think that if you adopt a diet, you’re going to get yo-yo weight. So you’re going to be on the diet, you’re going to lose the weight, then you’re going to go off the diet, you’re going to gain the weight back, and maybe a little bit more. So that’s the big difference. There’s a difference between diet and adopting a particular lifestyle. I think that if you adopt the particular lifestyle, it becomes more about the process than the outcome. You can definitely define the outcome – say, “I want to lose 35 pounds”, but the process is what you do every day to get there. And I would say don’t be in a hurry, don’t lose the weight too fast. Lose it a pound at a time, because if you lose a whole bunch of weight really fast, you’re going to be dealing with other issues like loose, saggy skin, and also it’s very taxing on your liver. So take your time and immerse yourself in the process, and then naturally the outcome will manifest itself.

Allan (11:06): Cool. Now, I do want to get into a little bit of discussion about ketosis. One of the things that you also had in your first steps was to avoid the high glycemic foods, because those are definitely not going to allow us to be in ketosis, but they’re also the items that are going to spike our blood sugar and get us to a point where we’re not able to lose weight or keep ourselves from potentially gaining weight.

Thom King (11:38): The shift from getting into ketosis is your body actually shifting from burning glucose as a form of energy to burning fat as a source of energy. So the ketogenic lifestyle or ketogenic diet basically is 70% fat, 20% proteins, and 10% vegetables. And these vegetables are going to be green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Basically if it grows underground, meaning a potato or a carrot or something like that, those are going to tend to be more on the high-glycemic end. So you’ve got this pretty big option of food that you can eat.

Allan (12:26): Yeah. When we start talking about these types of macros, it’s easy to think that you’re in that macro range, but if you’re really not paying attention to what you’re eating, you can easily slide one way or the other and not get the benefits that you’re after. This leads me to the next area I want to talk about, which is journaling. I’ve had clients that were on the calls or with me and they’re saying, “Allan, I just don’t understand it. I’m eating really, really well and I don’t understand why I’m not losing the weight. I’m doing the exercises, I’m eating well. Everything is going great.” I’m like, “Get yourself a notebook and start a journal.”

Thom King (13:12): 100%. That’s the data collection part of your journey. Definitely go out, buy yourself a journal and start doing data collection. Do data collection on how much you weigh, what your ketones are, what your blood sugar level is. This is a process, and the more data collection you do and the more you journal, the more you’re going to find the areas where you can make improvements. If you’re writing down everything that you ate in a day and you think, “I’m eating 2,000 calories a day. I’m probably burning 2,200 calories a day, so I’m at a 200-calorie deficit” – that might not be true at all, because particularly when you’re eating keto, a lot of the stuff that you’re eating is going to be high fat, and when it’s high fat, it means it’s high calories. So, you might have some almonds in the palm of your hand – it might be 5 to 10 almonds – you’re looking at about 200 calories there. So when you start writing these things down and understanding where the holes are, you can really plug the dike.

Allan (14:24): One almond is basically 16 calories, so if you’re off by one almond, that could be potentially 10 pounds of weight gain in a year. It’s not that you have to be exact, because calories are not really ever exact, or their estimates anyway, but you go three weeks and track what you’ve eaten, the volumes you’ve eaten, and you really pay attention to those numbers – you’re going to get to a point where you understand 2,000 calories is maybe a little too much, or maybe you need 2,500 because you’re losing weight a little too fast. So, taking the time to write those things down, and even to go further than just the data collection is, how do you feel when you wake up? What’s your energy level throughout the day? Do you find yourself needing to take a nap at 2:00 in the afternoon? How much coffee are you drinking now? Are you getting your electrolytes? Are you getting enough salt and enough water? There’s so much that a journal will allow you to collect and understand about yourself, to include your mood and your stress. I press it on with my clients all the time, that I do think a journal is a great tool for anyone that’s looking to make a change or at least understand why they are where they are.

Thom King (15:39): Absolutely. I don’t just use my journal for tracking macros and my behavior, but I also use my journal to set the stage for my day. I do write down what are the things that I’m most grateful for today, and what am I going to do today to make this day great and excellent? And then I just end it with an affirmation of, “With every breath I take in, I attract and create abundance and health and wellness in my life. And with each exhale I lovingly release any and all self-limiting beliefs that no longer serve me.” Combining that with breathing exercises, I found that journaling is something that I must do every day.

Allan (16:32): Yes, and I’m doing it. I wish I were better at doing it all the time, but that’s one of those practices that I really struggle with. But when I’m doing it, I feel so much better organized, I feel so much more complete and like I have everything together with my relationships, my food, my sleep, with all of it. So I do think it’s a great practice to understand what’s going on, to have a path forward and to be always affecting change. So if you’re someone that’s in the continuous improvement model with your life, a journal is a must have.

Thom King (17:14): Absolutely. It’s a daily event for me.

Allan (17:19): We talked a little bit about calories, and for a lot of folks, they’ll say, “They’re telling me I’ve got to cut the sugars and I’ve got to cut calories.” But as we call it down in the South – they love their Coke, which down here “Coke” just means any soda. So you come down here and you want to order a soft drink, you just ask for a Coke, and then they’ll ask you what flavor. You have to repeat yourself and say, “Coke, just a regular Coke.” And you’ll wonder why you had to repeat yourself – because “Coke” is just our word for soda, or a soft drink, or pop or whatever you want to call it. So they’ll say, “That’s one of the easy cuts. Immediately I’m going to give up my pop, my soda, my Coke, and I’m going to move over to this diet soda, because the diet soda has zero calories. So it’s the perfect drink because it tastes almost like the regular thing. And once I get used to it it’ll be fine. And it has no calories.” So they go into this mindset of, “This is the diet drink. This is what I need.” And they’ll say “diet” or “light” – “This is what I need to drink.” Can you tell us why that’s not necessarily the best path to health?

Thom King (18:30): I do a lot of experiments on myself. I would consider myself a bit of a biohacker. So, I was drinking a lot of Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, thinking that it’s going to help me maintain good blood sugar levels, it’ll keep me in ketosis. But what I found is that if I was drinking diet soda at night, when I wake up the next morning, my blood sugar level would be elevated, and I was having a hard time getting myself into deep nutritional ketosis. So, I just conducted a little bit of an experiment and I also talked to a couple of PhDs about what’s potentially going on with diet soda. I’ve tested blood sugar before, blood sugar after, same with ketones. And I found that diet soda that contains aspartame or sucralose, which is Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi – that those will actually elevate my blood sugar levels and they will slightly decrease the amount of ketone bodies. And when I talked to a couple of doctors about it, what came up for them is that your body doesn’t recognize these manmade chemicals. It recognizes that it’s sweet, but it doesn’t recognize them because we don’t have the receptors for them. With Stevia or monk fruit, with natural high intensity sweeteners, our body recognizes it because we’ve got the receptors to recognize it, so it says, “This is Stevia, or this is monk fruit. This tastes sweet, but it’s not impacting blood sugar levels at all. This is how we’ll metabolize it.” But with aspartame and sucralose, your brain doesn’t recognize it. We don’t have receptors for it, which means that your body is basically going to function like you just had sugar, and the only benefit that you could get from chemically-sweetened soft drinks is the calorie abatement, but you’re still going to get a rise in your blood sugar level and you’re still going to get your ketone levels to drop, because your body doesn’t know what it is.

Allan (20:46): So, even though it’s not sugar and even though it’s zero calorie, it’s doing a sugar-like thing to you. Or maybe not exactly like sugar, but it’s changing your metabolism by causing your insulin and sugar responses to kind of go out of whack.

Thom King (21:05): Absolutely. And I’ve done this experiment several times. Occasionally, I’ll indulge myself with a Diet Coke – I love Diet Coke – but I do so with the knowledge that it is going to probably take me out of ketosis and it is probably going to raise my blood sugar levels a little bit. The fact that it doesn’t have any calories is a plus, but when you’re leading a ketogenic lifestyle, the goal is to keep yourself above, say, 0.6 to 1.5 millimoles of ketone bodies. So, there’s going to be a cost to it. But there are plenty of good replacements out there, like Zevia. Zevia is a soft drink that’s made with Stevia and it’s actually really good. If I’m going to indulge with a diet soft drink, I will certainly go with something that’s naturally sweetened over something that’s artificially sweetened.

Allan (22:09): When I moved away from Diet Coke, I was definitely an addict. Getting away from it was painful. So it’s not easy, but I did replace that with the green teas and coffee and things like that. There are now some products that are Stevia-based that are really good, if you want to continue the Cola route. There’s also tea and coffee, or good old water.

Thom King (22:37): When you’re on a ketogenic diet, drinking plenty of water is really important. You want to keep your body definitely hydrated, so your kidneys aren’t working overtime.

Allan (22:50): That is a big, big thing that a lot of folks struggle with ketosis. They get what they think is hunger, and the reality of it is either they’re not getting enough water or they’re not getting enough electrolytes. Once they figure that out for themselves, they’re so much better off and they have so much more energy.

Thom King (23:10): Absolutely, and that is key. I do keep little packets of electrolytes, and I have an app on my phone that reminds me to drink water every hour.

Allan (23:20): And then there is your journal, so full circle.

Thom King (23:24): It’s true. I hold myself accountable.

Allan (23:27): Good deal. Thom, if someone wanted to get to know you, get to know more about Guy Gone Keto and all the other things you’re doing, because you’ve got a lot going on – where would you like for me to send them?

Thom King (23:43): You can find me on any and all socials under Guy Gone Keto. You could also find me personally on all of the socials, and that’s Thom King PDX, as in Portland. My personal website is ThomKing.com. And my company is Steviva Brands, and you can go to Steviva.com. Yeah, any of the socials, and feel free to reach out, direct message me. I’m available to answer anybody’s questions.

Allan (24:25): I will have all of those links and all those social media outputs available in the show notes. You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/328 and find all of those links there. Thom, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Thom King (24:41): Allan, it was an absolute pleasure. It was an honor to be on your podcast.

Allan (24:47): Thank you.


I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Thom. I know I did. The similarities in some of our storylines and the things that we went through were very, very interesting. And it’s also interesting that both of us found keto as a way to address our issues. It turns out July for me is becoming this month of book editing. It’s not fun; I don’t really enjoy the process of doing the editing of something that I wrote or said. And as I go through it, it’s a struggle, but I’m seeing the book come to life and that’s really, really exciting. I’m calling the book The Wellness Roadmap. I’m going to start putting together a page for that real soon. It’ll probably be at WellnessRoadmap.net. If you go out there right now, you probably won’t find too much, but I am putting that together and it’s just really exciting to see a book come together. We’re working through cover art and we’re talking about layout, and we’re, of course, dealing with pages and pages of text.

But it got me to thinking, there are certain things that are true in life. If you want something, it’s not always a direct path. You can’t necessarily be a better human, can’t do the things you always want to do just by doing them. I like playing volleyball, but I know that I’m not going to be as good a volleyball player if I don’t put in the time to do other things – some of the things that we don’t like, like sweating or lifting weights or when the weather doesn’t let us get outside, doing our runs on a treadmill. There are going to be those times when there are things that we don’t enjoy, that we should still do to improve our health.

One of the caveats out there, “What’s the best exercise?”, and the answer that’s typically given is, “The one you’ll do.” I completely, wholeheartedly agree with that. When we were looking at cover art, there was one with the couple being relatively athletic on the page, I said that people might not like that. They might not like that you have to do workouts to get the things you want. And you don’t “have to”, but if you want optimal health, if you want true wellness, then sometimes you are going to probably have to do a few things that you don’t enjoy. I want you to think about those things from the perspective of why you’re trying to get where you’re trying to get, and it does make those things just a little more tolerable. So, do the things you don’t want to do when it’s getting you to a place where you want to be – that’s the short story of all that. So, I’m going to be spending a lot of time editing a book, even though it’s not the funnest thing for me. I am very excited about what it’s going to do when I’m done.

Also, this week I’m getting on a plane to New London, Connecticut. Actually flying into Boston, and I think it’s about a 2.5-hour drive from there. Then I’m going to go to New London, Connecticut – 20th to the 22nd I’ll be there. If you’re in the area, you can email me at allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com, and I’ll be glad to catch a coffee or a drink with you. Let’s have a good time, let’s get to know each other. I really like talking to people that have heard the podcast and get your advice on some things that I can do better as a podcaster and as a coach.

And I’ll talk about coaching. I mentioned this last week – I’m looking for clients, I want to help you do this. If you’re looking for a coach, you think you might get some value from a coach – let’s talk about it. I know a lot of this is you go online, you see a forum, you see a page. I’m not a pressure salesman. I’m not going to say, “Do this or else.” I see a lot of that. I see a lot of, “Lose 20 pounds in three weeks and…” And that’s great – you can lose 20 pounds in three weeks. It’s completely possible. It’s not healthy and it’s not going to make you well. It’s going to make you thinner, but it’s not necessarily going to make you well.

I, as a coach, try to empower my clients. I try to teach my clients and I help my clients, and as a result they get well. And that’s what I want for you. So if you’re on the fence, you think this is something that might be good for you, you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com – I’ve got some information there. I can tell you about all the programs I have if you want to know. You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Talk, and that’s going to take you to a calendar link, where you can actually book a 15-minute block of time and we can just talk. We can talk through whatever issues you’re dealing with, whatever your health concerns are, whatever your fitness goals are. We can talk through what they are and make a decision if coaching is right for you. It’s not right for everybody, but I can tell you having someone there to keep you accountable, someone there coaching you, teaching you, empowering you to take your fitness journey, your health journey, your wellness journey to the next level – I think there’s a lot of value there that you might be missing out on. So I’d encourage you to go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Talk and learn more today. Thank you. Next time on the 40+ Fitness podcast, we meet Dr. Joel Kahn and discuss his book, The Plant-Based Solution. Until then, have a happy and healthy week.

 

Another episode you may enjoy

Easy keto with Carolyn Ketchum


 

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