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Many of us lose weight only to regain it again. Over and over we go through the yoyo, up and down. In Dr. Katrina Ubell's book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain-Based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss she shares how to get off that rollercoaster for good.
[00:03:56.310] – Allan
Dr. Ubell. Welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:03:59.010] – Dr. Ubell
Thank you so much. I'm so glad to be here.
[00:04:01.570] – Allan
So today we're going to talk about your book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time: Brain-based Solutions for Permanent Weight Loss, and I don't think there's anyone listening to this that ever tried to lose weight for the last time. They almost feel like we're always, in this cycle of trying to lose weight, gain the weight back, not really understand why we can't really lock these things in. What I like about your book is that it really does kind of address all of it. And what I mean by that is it clearly defines that this is a mindset problem first.
[00:04:37.300] – Dr. Ubell
[00:04:38.150] – Allan
And then after we deal with some of the mindset stuff, which I think is probably a lifelong journey, then you put together kind of a protocol that can help us make this easier, make this more automatic, and then we develop the right habits, and then we have a sustainable lifestyle, and then the weight comes off.
[00:04:58.200] – Dr. Ubell
And that's how we keep the weight off, too.
[00:05:00.160] – Allan
That's how we keep it off, too. Yeah, perfect. So it's a really good book for anyone who's wondered why they yoyo and wondered why, it just seems like there's somebody else in my head making me do things that I don't want to do. I tell myself I'm not going to eat the animal crackers.
[00:05:19.270] – Dr. Ubell
And then, lo and behold, I'm stuffing my face with them. Like, I don't understand what's happening.
[00:05:24.110] – Allan
Right. So let's talk about that from the over hunger and over desire perspective.
[00:05:30.630] – Dr. Ubell
Yes. So I think that the way I try to approach this is it's definitely a mindset based approach, and that's very important. I think that we really focus on food and how we eat and what we eat a bit too much, sometimes a lot too much. But there's also some basics in terms of just how our bodies function. Well, just like human physiology, that when we work with our bodies instead of against them, the whole process of doing this is so much more comfortable. So in my opinion, if you can get to a place where the way that you're eating while weight is coming off is supportive to you, you feel satiated, you feel energetic, your digestion is good, you're sleeping well, it's a lot easier from that place to then look at the emotional aspects. Right. The mindset issues, like all those other reasons why we're asking food to solve our problems for us, we can address that a lot better compared to when we're white knuckling it with our food. We're starving all the time. We're overeating, like a lot of drama around, like, I shouldn't have had that and I can't go to that thing because they're going to have this there and I won't be able to control myself and the distraction from doing the real work that we need to do.
[00:06:46.050] – Dr. Ubell
So many people will talk about how they just feel hunger all the time, or inappropriate hunger, or they feel like they can only go a couple of hours before they're hungry. Or a lot of people are actually very fearful of experiencing hunger. And I just want to mention that there definitely are people who come from a background of lack where maybe they did really go hungry as a child or as a younger adult. And there are some issues around that. There's a lot of emotional issues too. So I don't want to downplay that when I say hunger is okay, it's like, yeah, but as long as it's feeling tolerable and not like clobbering you over the head, like you feel like you're going to pass out and faint and that kind of thing. So the best way to address over hunger is to get our hormones to function the way they're supposed to function. Essentially, I think it was like hitting the reset button on our bodies. If humans have been around for 200,000 years, it's really just the last really even just a couple of hundred years that a lot of foods have been so available, but really only more like the last 30 to 40 years where these foods are everywhere and they're relatively inexpensive and it's getting harder and harder than not eat them.
[00:07:53.990] – Dr. Ubell
So you have to understand our bodies have not adapted. So when we're eating highly refined food, when we're eating a lot of foods that contain sugar and refined flour, it messes with the way your body functions. Of course, in the book I go into more detail about that, but because of the way our bodies respond to that, when we feel hunger, it feels much more like an emergency. It feels really extreme. It feels like your stomach is eating itself or your stomach's eating your spine. Or like people talk about being hungry, the combination of hungry and angry, it's like you're so mad about being hungry. All of that is like kind of funny. We laugh about it, but it's actually not normal to experience hunger in that way. And so when we take a break from regular flour and sugar consumption and I'm not saying you can't ever have it again, I'm just saying you're taking a break. It's like rebooting your phone or rebooting your computer. You're just like taking a minute to pause and let everything settle back down. So what you notice then is the hunger that you experience is much more gentle.
[00:08:57.690] – Dr. Ubell
I think of it as like when you have been eating all that stuff, like the hunger can feel like a wave crashing over you. Just, like, pummeling you. But when you've stopped eating it and everything is evened out, it feels like a little Caribbean wave lapping at your ankles. It's just a real subtle, soft little suggestion. Hey, you could eat or not, doesn't matter. It's okay. Because humans never had food so readily available. There were lots of times for the vast majority of human existence that humans were hungry and didn't eat, and they didn't collapse, they didn't faint. No, they had energy, and they went and found some food. They went and created whatever they needed to, whether it was hunting or gathering or whatever. So that's the first thing with over hunger. And it's one of those things where often we don't even recognize how extreme the hunger is until we're not feeling it anymore. And then we start going, wait a minute, this is, like, incredible. Who knew this was possible to not really be that hungry? Like, wow, it's really not that hard to not overeat when you're not that hungry. It makes it a lot easier.
[00:10:01.000] – Dr. Ubell
Like, my experience with dieting over decades was the opposite extreme hunger. Just feeling this incessant, constantlying hunger that was just very much a means to an end, so I could just try to get this weight off. So that's what we deal with with over hunger from an over desire standpoint. Over desire, to me, just means wanting food more than is appropriate for the amount of food that your body needs. So of course it makes sense, because food keeps us alive, that we would want to prioritize food, at least to a certain extent, and that our brains would do that. But what happens for those of us who have over desire, who are overeating? I always kind of think of it as like if you've ever sat in a meeting around a conference table and someone brought some treats and they're in the middle of the table and it's like cookies or something, cookie platter. And everyone's having the meeting, but you're having intrusive thoughts about the cookies, and is someone going to take one and are they going to pass it around? And like, what if no one takes one, but I really want one, and would it be weird if I grab one now?
[00:11:01.190] – Dr. Ubell
Is it weird if I'm the first one to take one? What if everybody leaves and no one's taking one? Like, maybe I should just sneak back and grab one. I don't know if you've experienced that, but just, like, literally..
[00:11:10.750] – Allan
Sitting in a conference room, they bring in lunch and they set it over there on the counter, and you can smell it and you can see it, and the lunch is right there and the dude's talking, and now like teachers, like, wah wah.
[00:11:20.920] – Dr. Ubell
you can't even pay attention.
[00:11:22.910] – Dr. Ubell
Yes, exactly 100%. So that's over desire. I remember looking at other people and like, they don't seem to care that there's cookies on this table. Why can I not think about anything else. That's because our brains have gotten confused in thinking like, this is essential for survival. It's extremely important, and you better eat it right now because bad things are going to happen if you don't essentially is what's happening there. And so that's a combination of the way our brains respond to eating more processed foods that contain more sugar and flour. Of course, taking a break from that really helps with over desire, too. But we also, most of us are not aware of how the weight, like our beliefs and our thoughts about food, how that creates over desire. So if you have thoughts or beliefs around certain foods, like your favorite things or your trigger foods, like, I can't control myself around that food. It's my favorite. If that's around me, forget it. I'm going to eat everything. If I see that there's no chance that I'm not going to eat that. And we think we're just conveying the news. Like, we're just like, hey, just letting you know what the facts are.
[00:12:27.900] – Dr. Ubell
But really what that is, is a story we're telling ourselves about our behavior around this food. We're telling ourselves we should think this way, feel this way around this food, and act this way around this food. And that actually creates a lot of excess desire. So we want to get to a place, I always call it peace and freedom around food. And what that means to me is you can be around all of those foods, all of your favorite foods, all of the things that are historically difficult for you to control yourself around. And it's not like you hate them or you think they're gross or anything like that. They're just not that important to you anymore. If you eat it, you know, it'll taste good and that's fine. Or you could also just as easily not eat it and you're totally fine as well. It's really a place of confidence and control and power, really. Right. Because you've taken the power back from the food, right? Like, from controlling you. We think the food has the power, then the food controls us. When the food is just this inert substance that happens to be digestible, it's just sitting there like it has no power over us.
[00:13:30.740] – Dr. Ubell
It's our thoughts about it, to have the power. So that's what we want to work on. We want to understand that, yes, there's certain ways that help our bodies to have more of an appropriate amount of desire for food, but also really looking at the contribution that our thoughts and beliefs have around food, because that makes a huge difference. I've done it myself on many I mean, just to give you an example, it's not actually in the book. This is actually after I lost my weight, I was finding myself eating peanut butter, like, spoonful out of the container, you know, and like, one spoonful, whatever. And then it was starting to get to be more and more. And I remember the day that I kept going back for another spoonful, and I looked in the container, and I was like, I think I've eaten literally a cup of peanut butter in the last however long, 30 minutes or something. And that felt like an absolute brick in my stomach. It did not feel good, yet I still was, like, wanting that emotional I wanted to feel different than how I was feeling. And so I was asking the peanut butter to do that, and I was realizing, like, I'm having intrusive thoughts about going back and having another scoop of peanut butter.
[00:14:34.210] – Dr. Ubell
So I have over desire for this, and so I had to do that at work to remove that excess desire. And now I have peanut butter in my pantry all the time. I have children. We have peanut butter. And I literally never think of it. I can have it if I want it. And also, most of the time I just don't care. I can eat it or not eat it. It doesn't matter to me. And that is that peace and freedom around food, whatever the food is, I'm going to be okay.
[00:14:59.160] – Allan
Let's talk a little bit about that because I think the peace and freedom aspect of this is kind of where we're breaking away from the cycle. And most of us, when we're gaining weight and we can't keep the weight off, we're in this cycle, we're emotionally bound to the food. We're over hungry, over desire, or both. And so there's this cycle, and to really to break through this cycle and use it for our own benefit, we've got to separate the fact that there's this reptilian brain that just thinks, feels, does over and over. So that's why we repeat these cycles, and they get ingrained and they're wired and they're in their habits. And to break that, to get to where we want to be with peace and freedom, with food, we've got to turn on the human part of the brain and kind of break through those things and create and rewire. Can you talk about the thinking cycle and how that all puts us either in a bad circle or a good circle?
[00:16:03.250] – Dr. Ubell
Yeah, the thinking cycle is something that comes from cognitive behavioral therapy. So if any listeners have ever participated in that, they might be familiar with us. It was created by Aaron Beck, who's a psychiatrist, but I'm not a therapist. But we can learn a lot from this for our purposes we can still utilize it. And really what it comes down to is that the way we think, our interpretation of whatever is happening in the world around us, our experience of life, those are our thoughts, and we get to choose what those thoughts are. If you've ever changed your mind about something, if you've ever decided to reframe a certain thing that happened to yourself, like, we know we can do this, we can decide to think differently. That doesn't mean we always have to or should, but it is available to us. If we want to do that, then the way that we think creates our feelings or emotions. I use those terms interchangeably. And that's really like the result of you thinking of thought, which is just two neurons in your brain having a synaptic connection, like a chemical connection. There's a whole chemical cascade that's triggered in our bodies.
[00:17:03.170] – Dr. Ubell
And that's our feeling. If you think about maybe the feeling of being really nervous, for me, nervous is always the easiest one. Like that butterfly feeling in your stomach. But maybe it's like anger or maybe it's even like your heart is going to split open from joy or love for somebody like that's all a result of the way that we're thinking. And then the way that we feel drives our actions. And that's like what we do, but it's also what we don't do. When we're talking about weight loss, often there's inaction, right? You're saying, why don't we do the things we know we should? And why do we do the things we know we shouldn't, right? It's all coming from the way we think and feel. And that's what's driving our actions, whether it's things that are supportive or not. So if you're thinking thoughts that create feelings that drive you to overeat or to eat more food than your body needs, or maybe a combination of foods that doesn't really serve your body, there's going to be a result to that and that result will probably be weight gain. Or it could be just stagnation plateau, just not losing, if that's what one of your goals is.
[00:18:04.050] – Dr. Ubell
And so what we do when we're typically dieting is we focus on the actions, right? Everybody is saying, hey, eat this way, don't eat that way, exercise this way, don't exercise that way. And here's the thing. If you do those things regularly, it will work for most people. I mean, I've done all kinds of things and I have lost weight, but I always gained it back again or I wasn't willing to continue doing it. Whatever it was, it just wasn't going to be something that was going to work out for me long term. So when we still have the old thoughts and feelings that drive the action of overeating, which creates weight gain, and we just try to take different actions, you know, we're white knuckling it through. We're forcing ourselves trying to use will power to take different actions. We can get some results for a while. But the problem is we still are thinking and feeling that old way that drives the action of overeating. And so we have to understand that better. So when it comes to the brain, I like to keep it super simple. I'm not a neurologist, and I don't think any of us need to be to understand what's happening in our brains.
[00:19:05.440] – Dr. Ubell
We need to recognize that there are two different parts involved in decision making. The first part, like you call it the primitive or the reptilian brain, I call it the primitive brain. I mean, it's an important part of our brain. It's really what helps keep us alive. It's not bad, it's just much less mature. And so I think of it as more like a toddler. Toddlers live in the moment, right? They're not thinking about next week. They don't even know what tomorrow is, right? But they're just like, what do I want to do right now that's going to be fun and make me feel good? And that part of us is like, I don't feel like doing that today, I don't feel like eating that. Let's order pizza. That's, that part of us that is just like forget what the plans are, I want to feel good right now. Then there's the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of our brain that makes us human, that separates us from the animals. It's not just about survival, it's really about thinking for the future. It's able to think about the past, it's able to plan. It's much more sophisticated.
[00:20:02.870] – Dr. Ubell
And I think of that part of the brain more as like the supervising mother of the toddler. And so that's what we want to be doing. We want to recognize there's nothing wrong with having that primitive brain. It has an important role but also it needs supervision. You can't just let toddlers run amok alone unsupervised in the house. Like bad things happen if you do that. So what we want to do is access that more wise part of our brain that is going to be keeping our overall best interests at heart. And we want to rely on that as much as we can. And one of the best ways I know to do that is to plan for the future. So like if you plan your food in advance, meaning like maybe the night before you go, OK, these are the things I'm going to eat. And it doesn't have to be involved just like the basics of what you're going to have. Then the next day, like when you've had a stressful morning and you're at work and you don't really feel like eating that lunch that you made, that's on plan for you.
[00:20:53.760] – Dr. Ubell
And supportive, it doesn't really matter if you feel like it or not, all you have to do is follow your plan. You know that the plan was made from that prefrontal cortex and there's not really anything up for discussion. There's no argument that needs to happen. There's no negotiations to kind of remind myself that not every meal has to be the very best thing you've ever eaten. It's okay if you don't really want to have that. And what I also want to say is that I'm a really big proponent that everything that you eat, make sure it tastes good to you. I spent so many years, forcing myself to eat all kinds of wacky, diet foods and weird recipes that I didn't even like. We're not doing that right. Let's actually eat food that is palatable to us, that we enjoy. So it's not a hardship to eat on plan. Like, maybe it would be fun to have the tortilla chips. That was always my thing. Like, the pharmaceutical reps would bring in these huge bags of tortilla chips, and I was just like, mindlessly eating them? I love them. It's like, yeah, those could be good.
[00:21:48.380] – Dr. Ubell
But you know what? I can also go to queued up. I can get those chips anytime I want to. So I don't need to eat them now because I didn't plan for them now, but later if I want to plan for them, I can because I'm thinking from that prefrontal cortex. So I think that's kind of a simplified version of how to think about it. But it also doesn't have to be so complicated. So much of weight loss, I feel like, has become so complicated and time consuming, and it just doesn't have to be.
[00:22:12.590] – Allan
I think the key here is we have to slow down a little bit. Too many times we find ourselves mindlessly doing something or just automatically doing something, and then that typically leads to shame or anger or frustration, which is not productive. So what we have to do is look at this process, and when we've done something that we didn't plan to do, break it down. Okay. What was I feeling? What was I thinking? What was going on? And then the next time we kind of find ourselves in that space, and maybe it's a point in time. You mentioned that you were doing your charts. Basically, you got into a cycle, and it was just that, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do that. And then that just happened, and you caught yourself. And so from that point, you basically slowed yourself down. You kind of put some space there. And I think that's really where the rubber hits the road here.
[00:23:09.680] – Dr. Ubell
Yeah, I think of it as like, there's like a potential space there's, like something that happens if something happens for you, and you get the idea, I want to go eat something, or what do we have to eat? Let me see what we have to eat, or whatever the thought is, right, I'm going to move my way toward the pantry or the freezer or whatever it is, wherever the food is. And so often we say, like, I don't know why I was just eating it, or before I knew what happened, I was eating it, or it was all gone. It's like we kind of almost go into a fog, but also when it is so habitual to do these things and to cope in our lives with food, there isn't a lot of thought happening there because it becomes like the brain is very efficient and this is just what we do. It just basically down regulates the whole decision making process so that you just don't have to think so hard about it. You don't have to think about how to brush your teeth every single time you do it. You just driving is another great example.
[00:24:08.070] – Dr. Ubell
So what we have to do, or what we're invited to do, really, because we don't have to do anything, but we're invited to do, is to recognize, hey, you know what? I'm going to build awareness around the fact that I want to eat this food, and before I eat it, I'm not telling myself I can't have it or I shouldn't have it. I'm just saying, hey, before I have it, can I take a moment to just check in with myself to figure out what's going on for me? And because we know our actions come after our emotions, and many of us are not aware of our emotional lives, we can maybe start with, how am I feeling? Like, what's going on? For me, another great question is what is the problem that I'm asking food to solve for me right now? Unless you're physically hungry, but, like, assuming you're not, because most of the time when we're doing this kind of behavior, we're not physically hungry. What is it? And it's not like we don't have to judge ourselves or put pressure on ourselves to figure it out. It's just coming from genuine curiosity and interest.
[00:25:00.660] – Dr. Ubell
We just want to understand better what it is that we're doing. If we just keep overeating and then try to shove it away, pretend like it doesn't exist, this detestable part of me that I just want to ignore and pretend like isn't there, then we just keep repeating the same cycle, which so many of us have had that experience, right? We're like then we start just thinking, something's wrong with me. It's not possible for me. I'm broken. I'm hopeless beyond any repair. All these things that are just, of course, not true. So if we can even just create a little space, I'm talking maybe 15 seconds, 30 seconds, maybe even if you don't know what the emotion is, maybe you can just ask yourself, like, okay, well, what was even just going on right now? Like, what am I thinking about right now? And it could be as simple as, like, you're just bored or restless or maybe a little lonely, or maybe you feel a little disconnected. A lot of us use food to create this feeling of connection, companionship. It's not bad. None of it's bad. It's just we want to understand it better.
[00:26:01.080] – Dr. Ubell
And once you have a little insight into that, and even if you don't, I mean, it's okay if you try the first couple of times and you don't figure it out, but you keep saying committed to that, then you can ask yourself, do I still want to eat that? And if you do, you can. Go ahead and do that, that's fine. But then maybe the next time you can get a little bit more insight. Maybe you can find that emotion in your body and understand. I always like it. It's like if you say, I just feel so lonely, kind of asking myself, like, how do I know I'm lonely? What does lonely really feel like in my body? We teach small children what the emotions are, and then we just know, like, I'm mad. How do you know? How do you know you're mad? It's an interesting thing, actually, I think, to just kind of explore, what does it feel like in my body? And then you can find it in your body, maybe spend a little time with it and just be there with it. You're not trying to change it. Keep breathing, just noticing.
[00:26:48.570] – Dr. Ubell
How would you describe it, writing the intensity maybe a little bit, and maybe you can do that for a minute before you decide to eat the food. Then next time, maybe you can go for two minutes, maybe you can go a little bit longer, and maybe over the course of time, you can build that up to staying with that emotion for four or five minutes. I always ask yourself at the end, do I still want to eat this? And what you find over the course of time is just by staying with that emotion, it actually goes away. It just solves for itself. And then you ask yourself, do I still want that food? And the answer is no. And then sometimes we're like, But I still could eat this, so I'm going to. And if you do that, that's okay. But over the course of time, when we build a relationship with ourselves, and we know that we're going to meet our own needs, I'm not going to let you starve. It's going to be okay, right? Because we have let ourselves starve, many of us, for many, you know, over the years. So it's important to reassure ourselves of that, and then we can just remind ourselves, you know, I can have that another time, but right now I don't really need it or want it, so I'm not going to eat when I don't need or want the food.
[00:27:47.200] – Dr. Ubell
And that's a way to honor myself. And if at another time I want it, okay, then I can address this again, but it sounds kind of almost like sort of simple or like, really, that's what you have to do. But I'm telling you, this is a game changer for people who have struggled with overeating, have gained and lost. yoyoed tried all the diets. Can't figure it out. I just want to say one more thing, that the way I sometimes think about dieting is like, when we're trying all the different diets, and it's like, okay, now I'm going to go plantbased, and, okay, now I'm going to go keto. Now I'm going to whatever do paleo or whatever it is, what we're doing. It's like having a wound on your body and then just changing the bandaid again and again, right? Like changing the dressing going like, okay, well, it's not healing. Maybe I need a different bandaid. Maybe I need a bandaid of this size or one that looks like this. But we're not actually healing the problem, right. And that's why we're so focused on food. Like, oh, we think it's the bandaid that's going to do it.
[00:28:41.500] – Dr. Ubell
When we do this work to really understand the emotional component, we heal the actual wound. You don't need a bandaid anymore. It's just not that important anymore. Food no longer has to serve that role for you anymore. That's peace and freedom around food, that's actually solving for the problem.
[00:29:01.090] – Allan
Now I want to say, new thing coming out. Two thirds of people in the United States are overweight. And so it's not like there's just a few people out there that have this issue. There's a lot of us that have struggled with our weight, and a lot more probably will. But the way our culture tends to go is it almost kind of I just want to say it, Jack knifes. It just completely does this knee jerk reaction to just about anything. And so a lot of people will say, OK, I want to lose weight. And now there's this new concept called fat shaming, which is the thing, I see it, I hear it, I know about it, it's real. But there are individuals that are so into this diet culture concept stuff, that they're like, well, if you want to lose weight, that's a form of fat shaming because you're saying you're not good enough. It's really a concept I can't actually wrap my mind around. But there probably are some people that have kind of felt like because I think a lot of us approach this and say, well, I need to change because I'm not a good person.
[00:30:07.150] – Allan
And it's wrong to think that you're a bad person because you're overweight. So I get a little bit of it.
[00:30:12.270] – Dr. Ubell
Having a weight problem does not make you a bad person. It was like totally separate. Who you are as a human being and the size of your body and your eating habits are two totally separate things, right?
[00:30:22.960] – Allan
And then so for you to want to lose weight does not mean that you're disrespecting who you are
[00:30:28.780] – Dr. Ubell
or disrespecting others. Some people feel offended if someone else they know loses weight. It's been a really interesting thing, and it's interesting that you've picked up on it, because I have too. Here's why I think it's especially problematic. Because if we're not allowed to say or express our desire to live in a smaller body, then we'll feel even more shame. We already feel shame about the struggle that we have. Then we'll feel even more shame and hide even more, like, don't tell anybody, but I actually do secretly want to lose weight. And the problem is you can't do that in secret because people will see it on your body, right? Even if you don't talk to anybody about it, they can still tell that your body has changed. Here's the way that I think with so many things, the pendulum swings, I think, yes, the messaging is so important. Like, your value does not lie in what your body looks like, right? Like, it really does not. But at the same time, we all have autonomy to decide what size body we would like to live in. Some of us just want to be more comfortable. Or for some people, they don't have health problems when they're weighing less than they do when they weigh more.
[00:31:45.560] – Dr. Ubell
And they just prefer that. Some people are like, my knees hurt more and I don't want my knees to hurt. Like, that has nothing to do with diet culture, right? Really what it comes down to is I think ultimately all of us have this tendency to think that we know how to live other people's lives better than they do. You know what I mean? So we're like, well, this is what's worked for me and this is the way I think about it. And you, everybody else should think about it the same way. And instead, we just have to focus on ourselves. What do we want? What do I want for myself? What do I prefer and why do I want that? And if I can create that for myself in a way that's supportive, in a way that's sustainable, I don't see what the problem is. But I will say that some people will say, well, by writing a diet book, like you're just saying that everybody needs to lose weight. And that is not what I'm saying. I do not think that thinner is always better or even necessarily ever better. I don't care what people weigh.
[00:32:40.910] – Dr. Ubell
It's literally not something that is a goal of mine or any kind of impact I'm desiring to make. But what I am desiring to do is to help people find peace and freedom around food. And when you do that, people who have been overeating and stop doing that will often find that some weight comes off just automatically. So I like to say, like, the title of my book is how to Lose Weight for the Last Time. But it has two meanings to me. The first meaning is, would you like to lose weight? Yes. I can help you do that. Here's some great steps. But the second meaning is like another way to lose weight for the last time is to just stop trying to lose weight. You can focus on strength, wellness, how energetic you are, how high quality is your sleep, what's your digestion like, what's it like to be you around food and maybe improve that, figuring out how to deal with your emotions and your emotional life in a way that doesn't use food or alcohol as a crutch. And then we just see what happens, right? You might lose some weight and that could be okay and maybe you won't, and that could be okay too.
[00:33:44.810] – Dr. Ubell
But I think part of the idea, particularly for women, is we've been sort of sold this societal kind of message that the way to be acceptable, the way to be valuable, the way to be okay and worthy is to be whatever the current ideal body shape, size is. So we start thinking, and I'm not saying men don't experience it, but I think for women it can be kind of more heavily ingrained. That the way for me to be OK? The way for me to like myself, for the way for me to have the life that I want to live is to lose weight. And that is a problem because when you lose weight, you will still be you just in a smaller body. And I've experienced that too, so many times. It's almost like I expected myself to have a brain transplant. I'm like, Well, I'm thin now, so I shouldn't ever have a problem anymore. Which makes no illogical sense, but it's like we still kind of hope that it's the case. So that's the kind of stuff that we need to dissolve. Like no, you need to work on your sense of self worth and your thoughts about yourself.
[00:34:43.470] – Dr. Ubell
That's a whole different situation that is closely tied to weight. But then you just lose weight because you want to, because you prefer to, not because you're trying to make up for some deficiency that you believe you have.
[00:34:58.080] – Allan
Now, in the book you have an eight part protocol. And I think this is where we take all that mindset work and some of the tools that you share in the book up to this point. And we put them in place and we put them in place in a way that's sustainable for the long term, which I think is kind of the critical aspect for this. When you build this protocol, this is not an eight week protocol or an eight month protocol. Can you do this for the rest of your life eight part protocol? Can you talk about the protocol and how it works?
[00:35:30.700] – Dr. Ubell
Right? Yeah. So it's really important to me to stress how important it is for everybody to have autonomy in how they do this. Like so often we think, well, I can't possibly be trusted to know how I should eat or what I should do because I'm the one who got myself into this predicament to begin with. So that's also the messaging. Like we're the problem, we are the weak ones, we're the ones who, whatever it is, undisciplined. We need someone else to whip us into shape, someone else to tell us what to do except then we end up rebelling against it or it doesn't work really for our schedule or our family. Or we don't think the food tastes good or whatever it is. So when we create the protocol for ourselves, it's individual to ourselves. Like my clients, none of them have the same plan because none of them have the same life. And so this is like the best news ever. When you create your own plan, there's nothing to rebel against. You only put food on it that tastes good to you, that you enjoy eating. If time pressure or needing to be efficient is a priority, you build that in.
[00:36:31.010] – Dr. Ubell
You make it so that it works for your specific life. And definitely we don't want to be doing any kind of things that are like a means to an end behavior. I'll do this now just to lose the weight and then I'll figure out in maintenance, like, you won't trust me because for decades I thought that and I never figured it out. You have to figure out a way to do it sustainably, where the plan that helps you to lose weight doesn't feel like a hardship. It's like you're more than happy to continue doing this for as long as you need to, and that is how you end up losing weight and keeping it off. Not to say that you don't ever change it. You might, but you're not doing it because you can't tolerate it anymore, right? You change it for other reasons. So I also just want to mention that everybody is different and some people really like to jump in and kind of do everything all at once, and other people want a little bit of a slower, gradual approach. And I just want to say that I think either way is fine.
[00:37:25.470] – Dr. Ubell
Like, if any of these eight parts don't resonate, they don't feel right to you. You don't want to do them right now, then don't do them right now, but you know that they're available to you. Some people like to do one thing, really establish that, then keep adding. Other people are more like jump into the deep end head first, and either way is completely fine. But I'm certainly not saying that you have to do all of these eight things to have success. I don't think that's true. But they are great tools to help.
[00:37:47.630] – Dr. Ubell
So the first is keeping a food journal. And I do this very simply. I actually asked my clients not to use any of the apps because unintentionally, you'll end up seeing like different macros and calorie counts and things, and that just messes with your head. So many of us are like trying to reform ourselves as calorie counters or points counters or whatever it was. We don't need any of that stuff. What you need is maybe the notes app on your phone or a piece of paper and a pencil, and all you're going to write down is what you ate.
[00:38:15.650] – Dr. Ubell
Like, literally what you ate. Like, for dinner last night, I had grilled salmon, roasted potatoes grilled asparagus. That's all you write down. This is not hard to do, it doesn't take long because we often hear food you're like, oh, it's the worst, right? No, we just write down what we ate. We don't have to worry so much about amounts unless it feels relevant to us. If we're like, well, I ate three hamburgers when I normally would eat one. Maybe that's relevant. That could be worthwhile to put down. And the point of this is not for it to be like the mean teacher who's taking the ruler against your knuckles, but instead for you to just build awareness. What do I actually eat? So many people will tell me like I eat so healthy, I don't overeat and they totally struggle with their weight. But it's like I eat so healthy except for all these other things that I eat. And it's like our brains are so slick we will literally forget that we eat them. We will literally forget. So we just want to have some evidence because we won't remember. But the other thing is we often think if things aren't working out very well, we can figure out what to change.
[00:39:19.100] – Dr. Ubell
Yes, but the other thing that's great about a food journal is when you are getting results, you know what gives you results, right? So if later you're stuck in a plateau or whatever is going on, you can refer back and go, hey, you know what, things were going great when I was eating these things. Maybe I should bring those back in again. So that's what a food journal is.
[00:39:36.930] – Dr. Ubell
Number two is taking a break from sugar and flour. And what I mean by that is just on a regular basis. So like your regular food that you're eating day in, day out isn't going to contain that. That does not mean that your food necessarily is low carb. It could be low carb if you like that if you feel good with that. I ate tons of carbs and I lost weight. So it's not low carb, it just means that you're not eating it in the form of added sugar or added flour. This is actually way simpler than you think. I always tell my clients, I never give them any recipes. I'm like, if you know what food you like to eat, a lot of it will naturally be devoid of flour and sugar.
[00:40:10.480] – Dr. Ubell
Just eat those things. It's really, really simple. It's like the more complicated the recipe, the more likely you're going to deal with that and the more processed the food. But the good news is that even if you don't cook, there's so many places now, like grocery stores and delis and stuff, where you can get all the things that you need pre-made and you can totally do fine without that. So it doesn't mean that you don't ever eat it again. It's just that it helps your body to function hormonally so much better. It helps you to release weight so much better. It makes you more insulin sensitive, which helps with weight loss. And then you can start to add it in gradually. And that's such a great opportunity for you to see how you do. Like, for me, I used to be obsessed with bread. Like, any bread that was near me was in trouble because it was going to get eaten. And then over the pandemic, my husband started baking sourdough bread like so many people did. He still does. So we're like two and a half years in now. I've been making this amazing from his own starter that he created bread.
[00:41:07.610] – Dr. Ubell
I cannot tell you the miracle it feels still, every week when I'm like, I could eat it or I could not eat it, it really doesn't matter. Do I eat flour and sugar? I do, but I don't feel controlled by it at all. I could take it or I could leave it. It really doesn't it's not an issue for me. So we want to practice that. We want to sometimes eat that food and go, whoa, my brain got lit up by that. The chatter's back. Okay, there's some work to do on that. What are my thoughts about that food? Let me figure out a way to peacefully coexist with that.
[00:41:36.360] – Dr. Ubell
The third one is eating at meals. And so I have a whole section of the book about the snack food industry and how really it was created to sell more food because they couldn't get us to eat more food at meal times. And really, physiologically, we do not need to eat snacks. We are not infants, we are not toddlers. Like, our bodies definitely can go four or five, 6 hours between meals. Absolutely. Lots of people will say, look, you need to keep the metabolism up and you need to do this and that, and the other thing.
[00:42:01.560] – Dr. Ubell
Again, I just go back to like, if you think that our ancestors were eating every 3 hours, small meals all the time, they definitely were not. And they were trim. They were at fighting weight for sure. So not to say that if you aren't physically hungry later, you can't eat, but what we want to do is make sure that our meals are satiating enough that we can make it. And so freeing to not have to think about eating so often. I got to prepare this other little meal for very busy people or people with unpredictable schedules. It's just not sustainable to have to do so much food prep. So if you decide I'm going to eat three meals a day and I'm not going to eat snacks, like, a lot of people start losing a lot of weight just with that. So that's amazing.
[00:42:42.800] – Dr. Ubell
Number four is creating the rules for your protocol. So that is deciding like, how often you're going to eat, about what times you're going to eat. Of course there can be flexibility and even day to day. Some people have a different protocol for the weekends or the weekdays, or if your weekdays shift.
[00:42:59.230] – Dr. Ubell
Maybe some days you work from home and some days you're in the office. You can change it up based on how you decide to do that. There's lots of flexibility there, but going like, well, so and so expert says I have to eat this way or that way, or don't eat after this time. Or I get home late from work, but then I'm super hungry. But they say you shouldn't eat after that time. I say toss all of that out. You just have to look like, is your body asking for food? Are you actually physically hungry? Then you should probably eat something and it's okay if it's a little bit later. We think that denying our needs is going to help us to lose weight. It's not. It just makes us overeat more. We get the opposite effect.
[00:43:34.540] – Dr. Ubell
Number five is intermittent fasting. This is not for everybody. This is just a suggestion for my clients who are busy doctors. It can be just one of the most amazing things that's possible because emergencies happen all of a sudden. You thought you were going to have lunch and now you have to work through it.
[00:43:51.930] – Dr. Ubell
Just things come up and it's so nice when your body is like, OK, cool, we're not eating that's fine. So intermittent fasting, just to be clear, is not an eating disorder in disguise. This is not like, oh, this is how we justify really undereating. That's not what it is. It's eating all of the food that you would typically eat over the day, but over a shorter eating window. And some people really, really love it. The point of that is to give you a longer fasting period because we already fast at night. Just to extend that a little bit. That helps us to be more insulin sensitive, keeps our insulin levels low, and especially for people who like eating larger meals, who just enjoy the feeling of feeling fuller, it can be really nice because when you do eat, you tend to eat a little bit more. Also, a lot of people don't like eating breakfast. It's just not their thing. Great, then you don't have to. It's not the most important meal of the day.
[00:44:40.790] – Dr. Ubell
All right. Number six is planning ahead. That's like what we were talking about, which is planning at least the night before what you're going to have the next day.
[00:44:49.150] – Dr. Ubell
And the great news is when you plan for your food for the next day and you just follow that plan, boom, your food journal is already filled out. So two for one here. So easy. You just follow what it was. And if you had to change something for some reason, then you can do that.
[00:45:01.800] – Dr. Ubell
And then number seven is including exceptions. And exceptions are just time when you're eating off of your plan, right? So that would typically be things that are maybe more flour, sugar containing, or maybe you're deciding not to have alcohol most of the time, but then as an exception, you want to have that. And so the point of that is we're not robots. We're going to want to have some of these foods, most of us, from time to time, and deciding how we want to do that. So I typically suggest when people are in the weight loss phase, that they can still be losing weight just fine on one a week, but it's up to everybody. I have other clients who are like, yeah, I feel like I want it cool. You don't have to do that at all, but it can be available to you.
[00:45:38.330] – Dr. Ubell
And then the 8th tgool is weighing yourself daily, which is something that a lot of people get pretty worked up about and they get mad. I just want to say that what we have to remember is this is all related to our thoughts, like your gravitational pull on the scale at any given moment in time, as read out by this glass and metal and electronics device that's on the floor, is not judging you. It is not telling you whether you are a good person or a bad person. It is not telling you whether it's a good day or a bad day. It's just a reflection of some facts about your body in that moment. So many of us have such complicated thoughts and beliefs around the scale. By weighing ourselves daily, we have the opportunity to unravel that. We have the opportunity to go, hey, you know what? I get to feel how I want to feel about myself no matter what the scale reads. And it also helps us, those of us I was like this too, who feel very entitled. Well, for two days or three days, I followed my plan just fine.
[00:46:35.080] – Dr. Ubell
I should for sure see a pound down on the scale. And when I don't see it on the scale, I go, this isn't working and I'm just going to eat whatever anyway. And what we learn when we weigh ourselves daily is that we're playing the long game here. You might not see results from what you ate today for a couple of weeks, like two or three weeks. What you're seeing today is a reflection of a whole lot of other things. Like last time you went to the bathroom, possible hormonal changes, hydration status, how salty your food has been. There's so many factors that play into that. And so when you pay daily, you can actually create a reasonable set of data points to follow the trend versus if you weigh yourself once a week or once a month, depending on when you catch yourself, you might be up because you ate sushi the day before and with all that soy sauce or something and you're like kind of bloated or whatever. So people then, if they don't weigh very frequently will sometimes get upset. They're like, I haven't weighed myself in a while. I've been following my plan, and look, I weighed myself again.
[00:47:30.770] – Dr. Ubell
I haven't lost or I haven't lost as much as I wanted to. Well, right, but we don't even know what the pattern has been. So I take from this, like, the way that as doctors, we treat as somebody's lab values. You don't necessarily especially when someone's, like, hospitalized, you're following the trend. You're not being very reactive to any individual data point. You're just looking at the pattern and seeing what's going on. And when you start noticing the trend going up and you know, you haven't been following your plan, okay, well, that's good data. It's just feedback. That's all we know. Okay. We have the opportunity to readjust maybe that isn't really working. So the weighing daily thing, I think, doesn't have to be necessarily forever, but it's definitely a good way to keep track of maintenance as well. Like, we don't have to gain ten or 20 lbs before we decide, oh, hey, weird, I'm gaining this weight back. We can catch it a little bit earlier. So those are the eight tools, and like I said, you can use all of them. You can use some of them. You can have tons of success no matter how you work it.
[00:48:27.030] – Dr. Ubell
It's more that you are consistent in doing that and that you're working with yourself instead of against yourself.
[00:48:33.070] – Allan
Yeah, and I would encourage people to try each of the eight. Don't just say, well, that's not for me, because I don't like the food journal, so that's not for me. Just try it. Give yourself three weeks, four weeks. See what you learn. And if it's not a helpful tool, then do away with it. Try some intermittent fasting a couple of times a week. See how it feels, see how you do. See if that helps. And if it's not working for you, then, yeah, toss it.
[00:48:56.980] – Dr. Ubell
Most of my clients end up liking being able to fast, but I have definitely had clients who have really tried with the fasting, and they just never feel good. And you know what great then the solution to that is you just eat. It's okay.
[00:49:06.750] – Dr. Ubell
Like, there's nothing bad you can't do. That it's. Okay.
[00:49:11.090] – Allan
Yes. Dr. Ubell. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:49:20.840] – Dr. Ubell
So my first one is you have to know how to manage your emotional life. You've got to learn how to even understand what your emotional life is. I grew up raised by German immigrants. I mean, emotions were not a thing. This is just not something I ever learned. And I was in my 40s when I actually started figuring out, like, what is an emotion? What do I actually feel like? I literally don't even know. So I think that's a huge piece of wellness because I think a lot of the areas where we struggle are as a result of us avoiding our emotions. We don't know what to do with them. We don't want to feel them. It feels scary, it feels unacceptable. Whatever it is, we just try to stuff them down and we use other behaviors and other kinds of crutches to keep us from experiencing them. So first of all, moving toward that, I'm not exaggerating when I say I hired a therapist to teach me how to feel. I literally did like to teach me how to cry. I feel like it is in there, but I can't get it to come out.
[00:50:19.910] – Dr. Ubell
That was the level of kind of repression I had been holding for emotions for so long. So I'm not saying somebody necessarily has to hire a therapist to do that, but just to point out if it's hard for you, it's okay. There's nothing wrong with you. That is a normal thing, particularly depending on what your upbringing and just what your life has been like. So I think that's the first part. I think the next part about really being happy is developing that positive relationship with yourself. What I mean by that is doing what you say you're going to do for yourself. What we usually do is we're totally accountable to everybody else in our lives. And if we tell them we're going to do something, we're for sure going to do it. But when it comes to ourselves, it's a bit hit or miss, right? Like. I might, I might not. And then we get mad at ourselves where we think that cracking the whips, so to speak, speaking internally to ourselves, harshly being mean to ourselves, that's somehow going to help us to do better. But it doesn't. It actually makes us want to eat more food.
[00:51:18.850] – Dr. Ubell
Because being with us, being me in my life feels miserable when that's the self talk and that's the inner narrative. So just to be able to enjoy life as you on this planet, it's really worthwhile to stop judging yourself, to offer yourself kindness and compassion. That doesn't necessarily mean letting yourself off the hook. That's what everybody's worried about. Then I'll just eat everything and I'll just lay on the couch and I'll never be productive. No, you won't. You'll actually feel safe enough to go out there and do things knowing that if you mess up, it's going to be okay because you won't abandon yourself, you won't beat yourself up. You won't be mean to yourself over it. Essentially offering yourself unconditional love. So I think those two are just absolutely huge. And then the other thing I would say is I just want to touch on exercise because we haven't talked about that too much. There's so much, especially in the weight loss world, about the types of exercise that will help you to lose weight the fastest and exercising with the purpose of trying to lose weight. And I think it's so much more important to connect to the idea that human bodies are meant to move.
[00:52:24.820] – Dr. Ubell
It actually feels good to move a human body, especially if you can find a way to move that you enjoy. Rather than telling yourself, I have to go on the elliptical for 30 minutes and you don't like the elliptical, like, what do you like to do? Maybe it's like playing tennis or getting out and playing golf, and you walk with your bag instead of taking the cart or getting out into nature or taking a dance class or just other things and not having that be, like, something that you're doing because you're trying to lose weight. Because we know that exercise does not actually help with weight loss. It does help with weight maintenance, but not with weight loss, but reconnecting to your body in that way. This is part of one of the benefits of being a human on this earth, being able to enjoy moving your body. So just keep at it until you find something that you enjoy. If you're already doing something, ask yourself, Do I like this? Why do I do this? If you do it because you feel great, it elevates your mood. You're just a happier person. You connect with your friends.
[00:53:24.530] – Dr. Ubell
Amazing. Keep doing it if you're like. I'm doing this because, like, out of fear or worry or feeling like, obligation, I would reconsider that because that's also something that we're not usually willing to do ongoing either. And then we're exercising in fits and spurts as well. So I think that can really change people's relationship with exercise.
[00:53:45.570] – Allan
If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, How to Lose Weight for the Last Time. Where would you like for me to send them?
[00:53:54.390] – Dr. Ubell
Yeah, well, the book is available anywhere you can buy books. So, Amazon, Barnes and Noble Independent Booksellers. Even internationally, it's available. There's also an audiobook version on Audible that I did narrate, and there's actually some audio extras on there as well. If they're listening to a podcast, they might like to listen to books as well. So those are all available. My website is katrinaubellmd.com. There's some free resources there. And then also within the book, I think with basically every single chapter almost, we have some additional resources to offer because, you know, what we do, what do we all do? We've all done this. Buy a book, and then it just sits. We don't read it, or we kind of flip through, or we just don't take action on it. So those resources will help you to take action on what you're learning in the book. So you actually start to apply this to your life. So those are available for free as well.
[00:54:46.280] – Allan
And there's a lot more to this book than what we were able to discuss today on your hunger scale. I wish I could have gotten to that, because I think that's brilliant and just the opportunity to really do the deep dive into the mindfulness and mindset stuff, you really got good on that. So thank you for that. And Dr. Ubell, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:55:07.010] – Dr. Ubell
Thank you so much for having me. It was so fun.
[00:55:17.330] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:55:18.960] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Wow, I could have listened to you guys for another hour, talk about that book, how to Lose Weight for the Last Time. Brain Based Solutions. It's right up our alley. I love the mindset start.
[00:55:31.620] – Allan
Yeah, it was so funny because as I was going through the book, I always have my talking points, and I send those over, and as I was going, I realized, okay, we're going long. If I ask everything I want to ask, then this is going to be a very long podcast. So I didn't even ask, like, I wanted to talk about her hunger scale, because this is a really interesting tool when you sit down to eat, and if you really focus on it, it's going to keep you very mindful of how you feel while you're eating. And the principle is this as you think about a scale from a negative ten to a positive ten, and so I forget which way the scale flipped, but basically, if you find yourself getting to, like, a negative four, meaning you're really hungry, starting to get hungry, started to feel hungry, you go ahead and eat. You don't skip meals unless you don't feel that hunger. So she does talk about intermittent fasting as a tool. But beyond that, she says eat before you get too hungry and then only eat to a point where you're at a four, not a ten.
[00:56:36.110] – Allan
And so there's a principle of eating, there's a Japanese statement for it called hara hachibu, which basically and I probably butchered that. So if you speak Japanese and I said it wrong, correct me, but I'm sorry. At any rate, it's just basically a principle of eating to you about 80% full. And I think most of us are aware of that. We don't want to get over stuffed. We don't want that bad feeling. So if you're eating to a point where you're almost full, as time passes, you'll notice that you feel that fullness and you ate just the right amount. If you eat to a point where you're just no longer hungry, by that point you've probably overeaten.
[00:57:16.640] – Rachel
Sure. It's really important to sit with that hunger feeling. As a kid, I was told I couldn't leave the table till I finished my meal. And it's a behavior that kind of sticks. I look at my plate and my kids plate when they were little, and I'm like, oh, can't let that food go to waste.
[00:57:31.740] – Allan
Yeah. And that's a true statement. And she brings that up in the book, is that that's a part of the whole conditioning as we grew up, is to eat a certain way and eat everything that's on our plate. And it's just really hard to break that. One thing you could do is just buy smaller dinner plates.
[00:57:50.990] – Rachel
[00:57:51.870] – Allan
And then just buying smaller dinner plates, you're going to have less food at the table. Also preparing your food in the kitchen on the plate, plating it and carrying it out rather than having a buffet sitting in front of you that you just keep eating on. But that self awareness, that thinking through of what you're doing, what you're feeling, your thoughts, and just kind of building that bridge and understanding. If you're doing something that you don't want to be doing, there's probably some thought process, some emotional process that's going on that you're feeling a certain way when you're doing it. And if you can break that down and then put that pause in there, give yourself some space, it'll help you choose your actions a little bit wiser.
[00:58:37.190] – Rachel
The other interesting thing she mentioned was her relationship with peanut butter a while back. And like many runners, yes, I do have a very strong relationship with peanut butter. And it is funny because it is a go to of mine. If I get stressed or anxious, I first like to go for a run. Two, I do like to pour myself a cup of coffee because when I drink my coffee, I make myself sit and ruminate. So I need to think about things when I have my coffee. But peanut butter, I do the same thing she does. I'll take a spoonful of peanut butter out of the jar. And a lot of the times it is an emotional it's not necessarily that I'm hungry or that I need peanut butter for any reason whatsoever. But it's interesting the relationships that we have with food that can be soothing for different reasons.
[00:59:23.310] – Allan
Yeah. And there's just so much in this book. So I'd encourage anyone who is having difficulty changing the way you eat and you're eating foods that are not on your diet, not on your plan, and you find that just kind of being a normal thing for you. This is a good book because she's got a lot of tools and a lot of things in there for you to do. A lot more deep diving into your relationship with food and improving it.
[00:59:48.800] – Rachel
The eight part protocol she has seems like a really helpful list of tools and things to think about. And we've talked about journaling in the past.
[00:59:58.340] – Allan
Yeah. And it doesn't have to be this crazy thing. Some of my clients, I'll be working with them, I'll just say, take a picture of your food, everything you're going to eat all day, just take pictures of it, post it into my app, and then we'll see. And that is often enough with them, just as soon as they sit down to eat something, taking a picture of it for them to kind of think through, okay, why do I have these Pringles sitting here? Why am I eating them? What's the feelings I'm having? Is there something going on with my body that I just need to be aware of? Am I really hungry or is there something else? One of the things she said in the book was that every one of us is an emotional eater. And it's true. I don't think anyone can deny you might at first say, oh, no, I'm not an emotional eater. But I can say, okay, well, if you go to a baseball game and you feel like you have to have a hot dog and a beer because you're at a baseball game, that's emotional leaning. If you've ever sat down with a bag of something and you're watching a sporting venue, watching a TV program, and you eat the whole thing, that's emotional eating.
[01:01:12.710] – Allan
If you're not fully aware and mindful of what you're eating, you're emotionally eating.
[01:01:18.940] – Speaker 4
For sure. The way we celebrate birthdays and all the things, there is a lot of emotion tied to that stuff.
[01:01:24.890] – Allan
Yeah. And so that's the big part of this. Is managing your hunger. But living in it and understanding that sometimes we are over hungry and sometimes there's over desire for foods and just recognizing those and then trying to build a protocol using these eight parts to go through and say. Okay. This is what I'm going to try these eight protocol steps. And maybe I implement them one at a time. Which is basically saying. This is how I'm going to eat. And once you get that plan together, sticking with it long enough to see that it's working, I think you can do a lot of good for a lot of people.
[01:02:03.430] – Rachel
Yeah, that was really great. Sounds like a really great book to have.
[01:02:06.990] – Allan
Yeah, it's a really good one.
[01:02:08.770] – Rachel
[01:02:09.480] – Allan
All right, well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.
[01:02:12.640] – Rachel
All right. Take care, Allan.
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– Ken McQuade||– Margaret Bakalian|
|– Debbie Ralston||– John Dachauer||– Melissa Ball|
|– Eliza Lamb||– Judy Murphy||– Tim Alexander|
|– Eric More||– Leigh Tanner|
Throughout my years as a personal trainer, I've talked to a lot of people over 40 who were trying (unsuccessfully) to lose weight. On episode 555 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss the 7 most common weight loss mistakes that people over 40 are making.
Today I want to share with you the seven weight loss mistakes that I see most people over 40 make. And these are really important because if you're making these mistakes, it's going to make weight loss much harder. So let's go through these seven weight loss mistakes and see if you're doing any of these. Okay?
The first one is cutting calories too much. A lot of people will drop their calories down to some drastic number in the hopes that they're going to lose the weight faster or begin losing weight again if they've stopped. And so I want you to think of body fat in the same terms that we would look at like our country's strategic reserves of oil.
OK? We keep those barrels of oil and gasoline. We keep that stuff in reserve because we know at some point we might need it. Okay? And what happens when you cut your calories too much is you're signaling to your body that you're going to war. And if your body believes that you're going to war, it's going to cling on to its energy reserves as much as possible, meaning it's going to hold on to that body fat. And so you actually are training your body to lower your metabolism and thereby not release that fat because it's afraid it's going to starve to death. And so while you're not really going into a starvation mode, that doesn't happen for many days. You are telling your body to function on less and your energy levels will go down whether you recognize it or not. When you work out, you're not working as hard, so it really cuts back on a lot of things and it keeps you from optimizing your health. So instead what I recommend is, yes, cut your calories a little. Your calories should never go below 1200. 1200 is the basics of what your body needs to survive.
Just with basic function, if you're down around the 1200 or below 1200, your body is going to struggle to function, right? It's going to turn certain things off and that's not a good thing. So if you just cut back your calories a little bit from what you would normally eat and then just move a little bit more than you normally move, you're going to create a slight deficit for a while. Your body will adjust. But you just rinse and repeat this. Instead of dropping down to say, 1500 calories, take a look at what you're eating today. And if you find that you're eating about 2000 calories, drop it down to 1800. And then just try to add a little bit of extra walking, a little extra movement into your day and see if that works for you. Give it a couple of weeks and see where it goes. But you have to make sure that you're not hungry because if you let yourself get hungry all the time, you're going to fall out of it. This is not going to work and it's not going to be sustainable in the long term. You're going to train your body to function on fewer calories and then you're not going to want to eat fewer calories because you're going to be hungry, and that's going to create a problem for weight loss.
The second mistake that I see people making is being a scale fanatic. Okay? Your worth is not determined by the number on that bathroom scale. It just isn't. That's not who you are. And the scale is measuring more than just body fat. So even if the weight is going down is not a good thing all the time. You could be losing muscle. If the weights going up, that could be a good thing, because now you're rehydrated instead of being dehydrated. So the scale is not you, and it's measuring more than body fat. And then the other things happen. You may step on the scale and weigh a pound more than you did yesterday. But I can tell you, I know you didn't eat enough food yesterday to gain a pound. That's 3500 calories. And you know you didn't eat 3500 calories. So if you let yourself believe that you're getting fatter, that's a huge mistake because it's not true. The other part of this truism stuff, when we're looking at this being a scale fanatic, is that it's never going to be a straight line. You're not going to consistently lose half a pound every day, each week.
It's just not going to happen. There's going to be spikes up and spikes down based on body water, hydration, and just things are sticking around in your system. Yeah, the poo is going through your system. If you didn't have your regular break, then maybe you have some of that in you. That's why you weigh slightly more or didn't lose weight. So it's not going to be a straight line. And so if you find when you step on the scale, that number is hurting your feelings, or that number is how you are now going to live your day, you really need to change your relationship with your scale. I don't recommend people weighing themselves every day if they feel they have an unhealthy relationship with the scale. I encourage you to weigh yourself about every four days, maybe once a week. Give it a little bit of time so you're seeing a trend over a few days and a week or four days, something like that, gives you enough time to make some course corrections. If you go through two weeks and what you're doing isn't working, then you might want to tweak it a little.
Not a lot, but a little. So don't be a scale fanatic. The scale is not the number you're interested in. It's body fat. And if you want to lose body fat and you want to measure that, start measuring your body in the places where you carry body fat. And that's when you're going to see that you are actually getting smaller. Might not show up on the scale, but then, you'll know.
The third weight loss mistake that I see a lot of people making is they become cardio bunnies. They're cardio and more cardio. It happens every year in January. You go into any fitness place and you're going to see all these newbies that just joined the gym and they're all on the cardio equipment and that's all they're going to do. And then they're just going to do more of that and more of that until they finally fall out. You've probably heard the statement that abs are built in the kitchen and that's the true fact. You're not going to lose weight just by doing cardio. I mean, I've seen people come to the gym and stick with it and they're there five days a week on the cardio equipment.
And over a year you don't see any change in them at all. They're literally the same size as they were a year ago and they're doing the cardio. So the cardio is not going to get you there. What you eat and how much you eat is what's going to move your weight. It's what's going to help you lose the weight and lose the body fat. So we want to eat whole food and we want to make sure that we're getting adequate nutrition and we're eating just enough to stay healthy and lose some weight. Okay, so cardio is a tool. If you want to have more stamina, cardio is a great tool for that and it can help you with your weight loss goals, but it is not the way to do it. And just doing ever more cardio is not the answer to weight loss.
Weight loss mistake number four is drinking your calories. Now this could be juices, smoothies, protein drinks, alcohol. We drink a lot of calories and some people don't even want to count those calories, but they can be quite significant. One of the problems that happens when you're drinking calories is one, a lot of the things that we drink are calorie dense and not nutritionally dense.
So alcohol is just empty calories. That's all it is. You might enjoy it, but it's not helping you lose weight. A lot of people will take these shakes as a way of losing weight and their meal replacement shakes, but again, they're not going to satiate you long enough for them to be effective over the long haul. And what's going to happen when you stop drinking those shakes? You're probably going to put the weight back on again, even if it did work for you. So avoid drinking your calories whenever you can. Eat whole food, chew it up. Make sure your body is going through the digestion process because there's an energy cost to digestion. And if we are drinking our calories, it's already digested practically just goes straight into our system. And you want to slow the process down so you feel full longer and your body burns energy, digesting the proteins and the fats and the fiber. You want that. You want that slow steady burn of calories over time and not just the big hit dose of boom here it is.
Number five, going it alone. Now there are people that can, there have been people that do but most don't.
Okay? Now that doesn't mean you're a bad person and it doesn't mean that you lack what you need willpower and motivation. But what you do is bring on a team. And when you have team members with you it makes your success better. It makes it easier. It makes it sustainable. It makes it a part of you. So having a workout buddy or a walking friend, hiring a coach, having these team members, having these partners and coaches they're all going to help you be more successful. They're going to help hold you accountable. And accountability is one of the most significant motivators out there. Some of us are self motivated and that's great. That intrinsic motivation is really good. But if you don't find yourself 100% intrinsically motivated to do your workouts every day, to do your movement every day, to do your eating the right way every time then you're going to struggle. But having an accountability partner is really really important and a lot of programs including my own are built on the structure of accountability. Okay? The other thing that going it alone means that sometimes you just don't know what the next step is.
I mean you know you're on a diet you're going to try this diet but how do you transition off of that way of eating after you've lost the weight and not getting it all back again? So having someone there to provide a little bit of guidance and support can also be very important on your journey. Otherwise you might find yourself chasing after all the snake oil salesmen that are trying to get you to do something else besides having a healthy diet. And that leads me to the next one.
Weight loss mistake number six is using the easy button. Okay? There are pills, there are shakes, all kinds of things out there that are sold to help you lose weight because it's a multi billion dollar industry to help you lose weight. The problem is that most of the time these things don't even work and many times they're quite dangerous. There was a drug on the market called Finfloramine. Okay? So they call it FinFan and basically FinFan was a drug and it was quite effective but it was also quite effective at destroying people's hearts and the heart valves in particular. And the sad part of this was that there have been supplement companies selling weight loss supplements and putting some of these banned substances in their products so they would be effective.
And so when you start trying to go down this road of trying this pill or trying that thing just buyer beware. They may not have your best interests at heart. They want to sell product and if they can give you a product that shows it's working but in the long term it's hurting you. They're going to sell a lot of product, they just are. Okay? So just realize that these guys are out there trying to sell you something. There is no easy button. There just is no easy button.
And then the 7th weight loss mistake is not getting your Mindset work done first. Too many people approach this with a strategies and tactics first model. They're going to go on this particular diet, they're going to exercise this many days per week on the treadmill. They got it all planned out, all these strategies and tactics. But then they stop. And why do they stop? They stop because they didn't get their mind right first. So you want to start your process by thinking about your why. Why do you want to lose this weight? If it's not important to you, not important enough, not emotionally important to you, then you're going to struggle.
You just are. So getting your why together, being very specific about why this is important to you, to get off your medications, to be healthier for your children and grandchildren, to not be in a nursing home when you get older. Those are all very compelling why's that I and some of my clients use every single day to make sure that we stay on track. Okay? The other thing that Mindset brings to the table is it helps you have the patience and for you to have the right pace in mind as you go forward. Because too many people want to lose the weight fast. And fast is not good when it comes to weight loss. It's not sustainable and it's not something that's going to stick long term. So having the mindset that this is going to take a while and I'm just going to keep chipping away at it and this is the pace I'm going to be able to go because I've got all of these other things going on in my life and I can't just diet and exercise all day long. The folks that are on the Biggest Loser program, that's all they do for the whole time they're in the camp.
They just work out and they don't eat much and that's how they lose that much weight. But most of them go home and they don't have that structure and they have to go back to work and you have to get back to normal lives and they gain the weight right back. So having the patience and going at the right pace makes it sustainable for the long term. Also, Mindset helps you deal with Pitfalls and Saboteurs. Now I talked a little bit about Saboteurs a few weeks ago and we can talk about some of the Pitfalls, but every one of us is going to have something happen or some struggle. Someone brings donuts to the office and God forbid I ate one of them. We're going to have those without the right mindset, a lot of people will go completely off the rails and say, hey, I blew it. I blew it with the doughnut, so I may as well go eat lunch with the group, and I may as well have a terrible dinner and some drinks tonight. They ruin the whole day instead of having one bad incident. So having the right mindset helps you maneuver and get where you need to be, even when you have a slip up.
And then the other thing Mindset gets you to do is it helps you keep the weight off because now you're thinking in terms of developing a healthy lifestyle, and you're not thinking about a temporary diet. You're not thinking about this as I'm going to diet because my daughter is getting married in November, and I want to weigh a certain weight and be a certain size by November. You're not thinking in those terms. You're thinking in terms of, okay, my daughter's getting married. Grandkids might be coming up within the next three to five years. I need to be fit to be the best grandfather I can be, right? I want to be able to spend time doing active things with them. And so that's my motivation. That's my why, that's my mindset. And that has to become a lifestyle and not a diet. I'm not going to diet for three to five years. I'm going to have a lifestyle for three to five years. It's going to help me ready, and that lifestyle is going to stick with me for the rest of my life. So the right mindset work done first is so important to this process. I put it number seven, but it's really in my mind, number one.
So to kind of summarize these a little bit, the seven weight loss mistakes most people over 40 make:
Now, in my opinion, and a lot of people believe this as well in this industry, a lot of them don't. They want to sell you something that's not going to help you. But I believe that a healthy lifestyle is what you should charge after, and that weight loss will end up being a side effect of doing the right things for your body. Movement, food, and stress are all information to your body. Your body is looking for information on how to operate for you. And if you're giving it the right food and you're moving the right ways and you're reducing your stress, the bad stress, your body is going to respond by making you healthier. And when it's healthier and it gets the information that this is going on good, you're getting a good communication in your body, then your body can sit there and say, you know, it's probably okay for us to get rid of this strategic reserve body fat that we have here, because we don't really seem to need it.
There's plenty of food. I'm satiated most of the time. We're moving, we're active, and we're getting enough. We're getting the nutrition our body needs. It's going to let go of that body fat. It will.
I want to finish with a quote by Michael Pollan. He wrote the book, In Defense of Food, and I think this kind of wraps up weight loss advice into seven words and one sentence. Three sentences, okay, but seven words. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Okay. So if you start putting the right food in your body and the right amount of food in your body, and you're moving and you're managing stress, the weight will come off. So don't fall for one of these seven mistakes. And if you are, it's time to make the change. So check us out. Come to 40plusfitness.com and see what's going on there. I have some challenges. I have my be fit for task program. Check it out at 40plusfitness.com/bfft.
[00:21:09.110] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, your seven weight loss mistakes are really perfect. I think I've made every single one of them at some point or another, and we might as well start with number one. Cutting calories too much. I know that I have done that.
[00:21:25.200] – Allan
Yeah. No one really knows how many calories your body needs, but we do know that there's a lower limit. We know there's just some point where your body is not getting the nutrition it needs to survive. Now, where is that line? Well, Ansel Keys did a study in 1944 called the starvation diet, or starvation. They want to study starvation. They wanted men to lose 25% of their body weight. And so they cut their calories down to 1570. And these men went nuts. They were doing self inflicted injuries. They couldn't let them leave. They kept them locked up in the University of Michigan stadium. If they left, they had to go with a buddy, and they do the buddy system to make sure that neither one of them cheated, and they needed them to lose 25% of their body weight. It was insane. These guys went insane. And that's at 1570.
[00:22:23.780] – Rachel
[00:22:24.830] – Allan
For a normal person. And the point being, though, is food today is very different. It's not just that you're not getting the energy that your body might need to function well. It's that you might not be getting the other nutrients that your body needs because you're just not eating enough food. And so, you know, yes, you can cut your calories down and lose the weight very fast. But the problem is other systems, other things start to shut down. And so people will talk about extended fast and things like that, and those can be done and managed. But almost every person that does an extended fast gains every one of those pounds back as soon as they stop the fast. So it's not an effective way to lose weight and keep weight off. The main point being is find the right level by experimenting. But don't just go on and say, well, this little formula says I should be eating this many calories. Therefore they didn't calculate that formula for you. They calculated the formula based on average people with normal functioning, this and that, wanting to lose weight. And there is no straight line to any of this.
[00:23:43.040] – Allan
There is no formula. Your body will burn more calories one day than it does the next and then more the day after. And there's no rhyme or reason exactly, other than hormones and the types of foods that you ate and when you ate them and your activity level, all those different things play into this. This is like trying to use plus and minus to deal with calculus. And there's a lot more operators out there in calculus than just plus and minus. So you can't just go at this and say, I'm just going to do the calories and calories out. It'll help you cut a little bit of body weight. It will, it'll work. It does work. The math makes sense in the short run. But if you're looking at making this sustainable and doing this over the long run, just cutting calories down to some very low number is not going to be sustainable. And unfortunately, as soon as you go back to eating the way that you ate, you're going to gain that weight back.
[00:24:43.470] – Rachel
Well, it's important to notice too. I mean, ages and ages ago when I used one of those food diaries, those online apps that you can use nowadays, I plugged in. I wanted to lose five or £10 and it set me at a 1200 calorie day for dieting. And at the time, I didn't know any different. Like I didn't know that 1200 calories was probably way too low. And I did my best to eat appropriately. But there's a lot of things wrong with this picture. It's just not enough calories. I was getting fatigued. I wasn't choosing the most nutrient dense foods. Number four is drinking your calories. Those diet shakes that you can drink are low calorie and they're supposed to be these meal replacement things, but those certainly aren't satiating. I mean, just a snowball of mistakes that happened and I really didn't get anywhere with it, to be honest.
[00:25:45.210] – Allan
And here's the point where I can empirically show you that the math doesn't work. Because that same company that puts out those same numbers who won't be named here, there's value to what they do, but it's not as valuable as a lot of people think is. They will tell you you had a great day. If you eat like this every day for the next six weeks, you will be down to your goal. Okay? But you notice as you weigh yourself, you're not losing that weight the same every day, or even every week, or even every month. There's declining results. And so what's happening is you're breaking the formula. And unfortunately, once you break that formula, what, are you going to recalculate the formula? Well, okay. Again. Now we're starting to get into calculus.
[00:26:43.230] – Rachel
[00:26:45.390] – Allan
If you just try to cut your calories and that's all you're going to do. I can just tell you overall, that doesn't work for 99% of the people. It might work for you, but that's only if you're going to be doing it very smart. Cut a little, move a little bit more. That might and can be sustainable. But you're not giving your body the nutrition it needs. You are destroying your health. You are not helping yourself.
[00:27:11.580] – Rachel
Well, I think that you just hit the nail on the head is that you can't just cut calories. You can't just say, I'll eat less of a salad, or less vegetables with dinner, or less this and that. You really need to focus on what less nutrient foods you can cut out of your diet. Drinking less calories and pops or teas or extravagant coffees. Can you swap out a cereal, sugar laden cereal, or donut at breakfast or maybe some eggs instead? You really need to focus on the nutritional part of it and what nutrients your body needs versus the fun to eat stuff. It's an easy place to cut.
[00:27:52.650] – Allan
Yeah. And sometimes it's not about eating less. It just isn't. It's about finding the right foods that your body needs so your body can actually feel cared for. If your body is in a mode where it feels like there's no food because realize your internal organs. Your body doesn't have eyes. When you stop feeding it food, the signal it gets is there's no food. That's the one signal, no food. She's not eating. There's no food. Okay. You stop moving. It's like, oh, we're in danger. We're hiding. All these signals are bad signals. Whereas if you're out and about doing things and you're eating good nutritious food, the signals are all clear. We don't need to hunker down. We don't need to hold on to this extra body fit. We just don't. We're storing it because we're afraid of what might happen. That's the body's control and protection. So you start teaching your body, we're in a good place. I'm not stressed, I'm sleeping good. I'm getting movement, and I'm eating well. Your body will say, oh, okay, well, maybe we don't need this body fat, and it starts to shed it. And if you keep feeding at those signals good.
[00:29:14.670] – Allan
The side effect is it will say, okay, we don't need to store this much body fat.
[00:29:19.330] – Rachel
Yeah, I like that. I like that approach. The weight loss is a side effect. If you take good care of your body, then your body will do what it needs to do and you'll be healthier and more fit for it.
[00:29:32.940] – Allan
And then in the end, is being skinny the answer is weighing lesser, because you could be skinny and unhealthy. You could be skinny and frail. You can be skinny and diseased, or you can be healthy and vibrant and likely still be able to get to a comfortable body fat percentage that way. And so I will always err on the side of the healthy, improving your wellness over what you weigh any given day, for sure.
[00:30:08.820] – Rachel
My goal is not to be skinny or to be focused on the number that's on that scale. My goal is to be healthy and fit and able to do the things that I want to do to live a happy life.
[00:30:21.400] – Allan
Yeah, but the problem is, if I had written the title, the Seven Health Mistakes People Make over 40, no one would have paid attention. But I put that word weight loss, and suddenly ding, ding, ding, everybody's clicking everybody's.
[00:30:34.910] – Rachel
That is so true. We've all been there, though. Like I said, I gained a lot of weight with both of my pregnancies, and I spent a lot of time trying to lose it. And like I said, I have made every single one of these seven weight loss mistakes in that attempt to lose that extra weight. So if we could steer people to realize that these are mistakes, that cutting calories drastically is not the answer, that doing tons of cardio is not the answer, and to please don't focus on your scale all the time, 24/7. That is definitely not the answer. Then we've probably cut some corners that people can focus on what they can do to lose a little weight, but primarily get healthier.
[00:31:17.740] – Allan
Yeah. I just came up with a million dollar product idea.
[00:31:21.770] – Rachel
[00:31:22.950] – Allan
Sneakers with scales in them.
[00:31:25.160] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh.
[00:31:28.850] – Allan
Bluetooth to your phone. Tell you what you weigh at any point in time in the day.
[00:31:32.410] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh. I don't want to know, Allan. I just don't want to know.
[00:31:38.270] – Allan
I just said that out loud on the podcast, so I'm sure it's going to show up on Indiegogo soon.
[00:31:42.900] – Rachel
[00:31:46.070] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I know you've got your hike to do. Tell Mike I said good luck to both of you. Thank you. I wish you well on that. I'm looking forward to in a few weeks when we get back together for this, having that conversation and understanding how your trip went, the good, the bad, and probably some funny interesting stories.
[00:32:07.320] – Rachel
I'm sure there will be.
[00:32:09.590] – Allan
And then, of course, I'll be driving around the United States and enjoying my time there with family. So even though you guys are listening to this on September 13th, Rachel and I will probably about that time, be talking to each other again for around the first time in a few weeks. So it's been great talking to you, Rachel, and then I'll talk to you in a few weeks. For everyone else, it'll seem like I'm talking to you next week. So be safe, enjoy yourself, and we'll talk then.
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– Eric More||– Leigh Tanner|
|– Debbie Ralston||– Ken McQuade||– Margaret Bakalian|
|– Eliza Lamb||– John Dachauer||– Melissa Ball|
|– Judy Murphy||– Tim Alexander|
On this episode, Coach Allan shares three of his favorite tactics to break a plateau or lose those last 5 – 10 lbs.
[00:02:31.450] – Allan
Hey, Ras. How are you?
[00:02:33.360] – Rachel
Good. How are you today, Allan?
[00:02:35.000] – Allan
I'm doing all right. I'm pretty excited. As we record this, I'm about to go on a two day staycation. My wife and I are going to go to this resort here. It's in Bocas del Toro, it's on a different island. No WiFi, no cell signal, no phones. Two days of being completely off the grid. And even though we take an annual trip and we did take a week off last year. Really? Since early September, I haven't had a break.
[00:03:07.550] – Rachel
[00:03:09.610] – Allan
Almost seven days a week every week since then. And so this is just kind of time for me to take a couple days, just a quick little mini vacation. It's on our anniversary, so that's a good thing to (worked out). So we're going to do that. And I'm pretty excited. We're packed up, ready to go, and later today, I get on a boat, and I'll come back 48 hours later, having been off the grid and unplugged for a full 48 hours.
[00:03:35.570] – Rachel
That sounds so wonderful. Well, happy anniversary. Early anniversary. But also, how wonderful to be off the grid for a little while. It sounds great.
[00:03:42.960] – Allan
Yeah. And so next week, I'll talk about what that feels like and what that's all about.
[00:03:47.400] – Rachel
[00:03:48.500] – Allan
No Twitter, no Facebook, no drama, no anything. So guys, don't blow up the world while I'm gone?
[00:03:56.410] – Rachel
We'll do our best
[00:03:57.650] – Allan
I'm sitting there looking on the horizon? All these mushroom clouds. I guess I missed it.
[00:04:01.420] – Rachel
Yeah, you missed something. Must have missed the headline. Well, I'm sure it sounds like a wonderful vacation. It's nice that you can finally get away after such a long time. My goodness.
[00:04:11.020] – Allan
All right. How are things up there?
[00:04:12.820] – Rachel
Good. We are also planning some vacations for the summer, but we've been a little bit sidelined. I told you earlier, but we haven't shared with listeners that my husband was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer. And I wanted to share that for a couple of different reasons.
[00:04:29.830] – Rachel
The first reason I want to share it is that it was an incidental finding, and it was a strange finding at that. We're both 50, so I feel like it's still a little young, although not unheard of to have cancer at this age. But he noticed some blood in his urine right before our marathon weekend back in April. And I mentioned that because it is unusual. I mean, you should definitely go to the doctor anytime you have blood in places that doesn't belong, even in your urine. And so when we got home from our marathon, he did go in and urine test blood work, and a CT scan revealed that he had a pretty significant size tumor in his right kidney.
[00:05:14.170] – Rachel
So the good news is that it seems to be contained. It hasn't metastasized, which is great. The type of cancer is the most common type of kidney cancer. Almost 50% of the people that get kidney cancer get this particular variation, and it does respond very well to treatment.
[00:05:31.370] – Rachel
He started chemo, and he's doing okay with the chemo right now. He's not having any ill effects so far. And then after a couple of weeks on this, he'll be starting an immunotherapy, which sounds super cool, but that will help to keep it from spreading. And he might be on this for a year after he has his kidney removed in order to teach the body to fight it should it come back. So it's definitely boosting his immune system. That's the whole purpose of it.
[00:06:00.630] – Rachel
So a couple of months, chemo, hopefully the tumor will shrink enough so that it's able to be removed through surgery. He'll lose his kidney, but that's okay. His other kidney is untouched and just as healthy and he will be just fine. So hopefully by the end of the year he'll be one kidney down and cancer down.
[00:06:20.100] – Allan
Yes, absolutely. You know, we're there, we're thinking and praying for him. So thank you.
[00:06:24.030] – Rachel
Yes, thank you. Thank you so much.
[00:06:26.510] – Allan
All right. Are you ready to get into weight loss?
[00:06:30.630] – Rachel
How to lose your spare tire with three simple Tactics I wanted to talk about this topic in particular, because a lot of times I will have people come to me and say, I'm doing this, I'm doing that, and I just can't lose this last 10 lbs or I've plateaued and I really don't know what else to do to get my fat loss going. So if you have just a little bit to lose and or you're kind of plateaued and looking for some things that will kind of boost your weight loss, this is the episode for you. I'm going to talk about three basic tactics that you can incorporate into your day to day that are going to help you be more successful at weight loss.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
The first one is high-intensity interval training, and I know that scares a lot of people, but this is really a simple and effective way to get a really good workout in in a short period of time and really boost your metabolism to make some things happen faster. Okay. Now, for a lot of people, they believe a HIIT training is 45 minutes to an hour and you'll have people bragging about their 45 minutes HIIT training.
And I'm here to tell you that, isn't it? It's a very specific thing, a certain thing that you need to do if you actually want to get the benefits of it. What most people are talking about, if they're going for more than 20 minutes, is called interval training and it is effective. It's not as effective as high-intensity interval training, so let's talk about the difference. Interval training is something that you can just keep doing. So there is a work phase and a rest phase, but you just keep going. You're not pushing at 100% during your work phase, so you have more juice in the can, if you will. You can keep going for longer and longer. And there's nothing wrong with interval training. It is quite effective. But HIIT training is very different in that with HIIT training, you're running really hard, you're moving really hard. So whatever movement patterns you're doing with HIIT training, they need to be really intense. That high intensity is the key, because if you're doing the high-intensity intervals, you're going to experience what's called excess post exercise consumption. EPOC and EPOC is the key for why this is effective for weight loss.
It raises your metabolism for a period of probably up to 12 hours after you do the work. And so it's basically requirement that you work as hard as you possibly can for a period of time usually no more than 30 seconds, and then you can have a rest phase, which can be anywhere up to four times the work phase. So usually when I'm programming for someone new and we're going to do some basic HIIT training, it's 20 seconds on and then 60 seconds off. That's a three times rest to work phase. So going through several rounds of that, the person is working really hard. The way I like to emphasize the work is I want you to think about carrying your baby through the forest and you see a bear and you have to run as hard as you can to get away from that bear or else you and the baby are done. If you're a little older, maybe it's your grandbaby, but you're moving as hard as you possibly can for that period of time, so be it. 20 seconds, 30 seconds, whatever your work phase is. And then you allow yourself to rest.
You've gotten away from the bear and you're able to recover. You won't recover all the way. So you go through your rest work, and if you find that you're not recovering enough to do another work, that program is over. That workout is over. When you first start this, you might only be able to do four or five rounds, and that's fine. That's a good workout. If you've gotten yourself up to a point where you're fatigued and exhausted and you're not recovering, you need to go ahead and stop. You've done enough. In no cases should you be doing more than ten rounds. If you're doing more than ten rounds or you're able to do a work phase that's longer than 30 seconds, you're not working at 100%. You're not pushing yourself hard enough for it to be HIIT training. It's all right. It's interval training. It's still something to do. But just realize that almost no one except potentially an elite athlete is going to be able to do true HIIT training for more than eight to ten rounds. It's just not going to happen. So for us, we want to basically try to target doing eight rounds, but we're not looking at the number of rounds as a measure of how good this workout is.
We're looking at how hard we can push ourselves and then recover as much as we can. The better performance you're going to see typically with his training is that you're recovering better as you go along. So if you're doing the work now and then you look at yourself six months later, you might find that your heart rate, if that's how you're going to measure your recovery, is dropping back down into a good zone for you to get started again quicker. And so you're seeing better recovery. You can do more work. And that's really where the benefit of it is. It affects you. It improves your cardiovascular fitness, your Vo two Max, as they say. And with that epoch, it's helping you burn calories. Well, after your workout now I'd be remiss to talk about high-intensity interval training without talking about Tabata. Tabata was developed by a doctor. Izumi Tabata. He's a scientist, and he was studying how high-intensity interval training can be used to improve cardiovascular fitness and particularly improved metabolism. And so he did some experiments, and he has come up with a process. It's a 20 seconds of work, ten-second rest. So again, this is not a multiple one.
This is the 50%. So 20 seconds as hard as you possibly can, 10 seconds rest. And for eight rounds, that's his structure. Now, in his structure in his workout, he has eight specific exercises, and these exercises are put together. All eight of them make a very robust, very hard full body workout. You have to be pretty athletic to be able to do most of these movements, and they're very metabolically challenging each and every one of them. So if you see someone who says they have a Tabata workout and it's not pulling those other exercises various extras or you're doing the same exercise over and over, what you have is an adaptation. When I'm programming for my clients, I'm very clear it's a Tabata style workout, which just means we're going with his formula of 20 seconds of work and then 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds. The last thing I want to say as far as HIIT training, because it is so intense, start out with just once per week. And I know it's inviting to try to do this every day or do this all the time. And that's too much. That's too much volume for most people.
At some point, you might be able to put in a second. And if your fitness level gets up to a point, you may actually be able to do high intensity interval training for three times a week. But if you're doing it right, which I mean 100% all you got, like there's no other rounds to do. Each one is your last one. You're working that hard. If you're working that hard to get away from the bear, then your recovery is going to be slow. It's going to take a little while. And that epoch that's happening. Your body's not recovering while that epoch is going on. It's still in a work phase well after your workout. So don't try to put too many of these in there. A little bit goes a long way. So make sure you do one. You get good at it. You keep doing maybe once a week. And again, if you look at it about it, it's four minutes. I mean, you got to warm up, and then you got four minutes of hard work. So these are easy to fit in, but it's not something you want to do every day.
So time it out. Pay attention to your recovery. See how much these high-intensity interval training affect your other workouts. You might notice your cardiovascular strength gets better, but it might also adversely affect the workout that you are planning to do the next day if you haven't fully recovered. So pay attention to your recovery. But this is a really good way to get your metabolism up and keep it up for an extended period of time. And if you're doing it regularly, once a week, you will see an increase in your overall calorie burn. And that's going to help you cut some of that fat.
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
The next topic I want to talk about is called NEAT. It's Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. Now, NEAT is a term that is kind of neat because it's not exercise. It's just a way for you to help your body burn a little bit more and stop being as sedentary. Now, if you've ever sat down on the floor, you may notice that it's difficult to just sit in one place unless you're on a pad. You just sit on the hard floor. You start squirming and moving around.
So if you can imagine, our ancestors, they didn't have comfy couches in their living room. They didn't sit in front of the computer all day. So there was constant some form of movement most of their day where there was just moving around, walking, doing things, tapping your feet. Any movement that your body is doing is going to require some energy. Now is it a lot of energy? No. But put together, if you work to do some things that increase your needs, you will actually start burning some calories. And a little difference of even 20 calories a day over a period of time can be quite significant. So what are some things Besides tapping your feet and dancing that we can do that are non exercise activities that would get us there? The first thing I would say is recognize how our lifestyles have become easy and convenient. We get in the car, we drive to the grocery store, we try to find the closest spot to the door. We may even wait for a car to pull out. To get to that closest space, we go to work in our car, we sit at our office, things are brought to us, delivered to us.
We live a very convenient life for the most part. So try to avoid easy. Try to avoid convenient. Park a little bit further away at the grocery store. Park a little bit further away in the employee parking lot. Don't ask for someone to bring something to you. Get up and go get it. Avoid convenient. Make life less convenient. So you're moving around a little bit more. Instead of someone saying, I'm going to the break room to get a coffee, do you want one? It's like, sure, I'll walk with you and you walk that type of thing. So avoid the easy, convenient stuff that's keeping you sedentary and make sure you're adding a little bit more movement. And then the final bit I'll say on this is create opportunities for me, like I said, sitting on the floor instead of sitting in a chair. By the nature of that, you can still watch your program or do what you were doing, but you're going to move around more because it requires it for comfort sake. It's really hard to sit on a hard floor for any period of time. And it's more work getting up than it would be from a chair or a couch.
So look for opportunities to make your life a little bit more uncomfortable and you'll be moving more. You'll be less sedentary. And that little bit over time is going to be significant. So that's the second one Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis look for opportunities to move.
Don't Drink Your Calories
The final one, and this is probably going to be the hardest one for most people is to not drink calories. When we drink our calories, they go into our system almost immediately. Most of the digestive process has already occurred, and as a result, they don't really fill us up. And there's a lot of calories. Eating an orange is better than drinking orange juice. For example, the orange is already processed and chewed and ready to go, and you're absorbing it, and you're losing a lot of the fiber from that orange. So eating the orange is better than drinking the juice. And that goes for everything. So try to avoid drinking your food, even if it's protein, even if it's something else. Even if you're putting whole fruits and vegetables in there, yes, there's some fiber. Yes, you're getting some of the nutrients, most of the nutrients in a smoothie.
But the reality of it is it's going to go through really quick. It's not going to keep you full, and as a result, you're going to get hungrier sooner. So eating whole food, it's better to eat a chicken breast than it is to do a protein shake. It's better to eat a fruit than it is to drink the juice. So milk, juice, and then the final one, alcohol. Alcohol contains calories. Even if you're going with the low sugar, drink the vodka with the club soda and a little bit of lime, which is not a bad choice for alcohol consumption. A little bit a good wine, a dry wine, not a bad choice. But you're drinking calories, and they're not nutrient-dense calories. So as a result, it's just additional calories. And if you're working really hard with HIIT training and you're doing the NEAT and you're working out and you're doing your thing, you're putting calories in that aren't adding value to you unless it is having a drink is not a problem. But if you're trying to cut that last bit and you found yourself plateauing, this is something to consider. Should you abstain or significantly reduce the amount of alcohol that you're drinking?
And then the final bit I'll talk about is shakes and smoothies. Anyone that trains with me knows that protein, protein, protein. We've got to make sure we're getting our protein. And if you're training hard, which you're doing the training, you're probably training pretty hard. Then you're going to need enough protein. And sometimes it's just really hard to get that from whole foods unless you have specific strategies to make that happen. For a lot of people, those strategies involve drinking protein shakes. Some people are in the habit in the mornings of having a smoothie so that they're getting their Greens and a lot of the nutrients that they need. It's quick and easy, that type of thing. We talked about convenience earlier. This is another situation where we might want to look to strategies that are a little less convenient. So I might have to say my snack is not going to be the. Nuts and seeds and things that I would normally eat.
I'm going to eat chicken breast for snack just to get the protein. I'm not going to drink a protein shake after my workout. I'm going to eat my protein. By doing that, you're causing your body to have to do the work. And here's one of the interesting things. Digestion uses energy. So if we are eating chicken breasts, there's a thermogenic effect to food that is going to happen. And as a result, that protein grams or the grams of protein that I'm eating aren't going to give me the full calorie load that they would if I drank, say, whey protein. So I'm getting the same nutrition, so to speak, at a fewer calories. So it's less calorie-dense. It's more nutrient-dense food. So all the way across the board, if you know you're drinking calories, look for ways to reduce that. So if you have cream in your coffee, try to reduce it, try to use less or try to avoid it if you can. Again, drinking calories, it's a zero sum game. You're not digesting that. So all those calories are just pure calories into your system. And even if there's some nutrition involved in them, they might be slowing down your weight loss.
So to kind of recap these, these are three of my favorite tactics and strategies for how I go about. If I want to cut or help someone cut some body fat or if they've plateaued, we're going to do high-intensity interval training that is as hard as you can go for the work period. Get your rest. Stop when you can't recover. Or if you're doing a Tabata, push yourself. Grind through those eight rounds. It's four minutes so you can do this. Make sure you're recovering. Make sure you're not trying to do this too often, and do exercises that you're comfortable you can do and go full speed. So work hard, rest, and then give yourself adequate recovery, knowing that you're going to have EPOC. And that's going to help you burn more calories than you would have otherwise. Next is NEAT. The near Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and this is just basically where we look for opportunities to be a little more active, to move our bodies a little bit more. We're not scheduling exercise, we're just saying I can move my arms more. I can tap my feet. I can dance while I'm brushing my teeth rather than just stand there.
I can park further away. I can make my life a little less convenient and burn more calories as a result. And then the final bit is don't drink your calories. If you want to lose weight and you want to really lean out, you want to avoid drinking calories because those calories are not being digested. You're losing the thermic effect of food if you were getting those nutrients from whole food. So try to avoid drinking calories. So those are my three top tips. If you have any questions, you should join us on our group. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group and we have a Facebook group there. I post challenges and other things over the course of the week and we can have discussions there. If I see something cool, I tend to put it out there. So I'd love for you to come join our group. 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. I'll see you there.
[00:24:12.710] – Allan
Hey, Rachel, how's it going?
[00:24:14.170] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Good. I love having these extra tips. We all get through our weight loss journey in different ways, but I'm sure everybody has had a plateau or has stagnated in some form and just needs some boost to get through it. And these are all great tips.
[00:24:32.350] – Allan
Yeah. A lot of people will set a weight loss goal and, you know, it's not a linear journey. It's never a linear journey. And particularly when you're at that last stages, most of us are going to plateau. We're going to have this set point. We're going to be like, I'm at this weight and I really want to be maybe 10 pounds lighter. And it doesn't seem like the things we're doing are working and it can get kind of frustrating. So I wanted to put out a few tips for folks that are in that position of things that they can do or not do that would help them kind of push that journey going, whether it's a plateau or just kind of that last five or ten pounds you're trying to cut.
[00:25:12.860] – Rachel
Yeah, right. All of them are great tips, but I've never tried HIIT training. And I suppose maybe it's because I'm a little bit intimidated about how intense that it could be. But after listening to you talk about it, I feel a little less intimidated.
[00:25:27.300] – Allan
Now, probably as a part of your running training, you've done a fartlek before.
[00:25:31.060] – Rachel
Yeah. Lots of speed drills.
[00:25:33.270] – Allan
Okay. So far is basically a speed drill where you run a little faster and then you run a little slower. It's an interval, interval training and it's good because it actually builds VO2 Max and allows you to run a little faster. This is a similar thing. Although the difference between standard interval training and HIIT training is that in a fire like you don't want to get gas. You want to run right at your threshold and hold at that threshold and slow down when you need to. Whereas with high-intensity interval training all the ropes are off, all the bets are off. We really want to push ourselves past that point. We want to actually gas ourselves in a sense and run as many as we can and still recover. And if you do that, you're boosting your metabolism like nothing else you could do. No long, slow anything is going to compare to what you can do with a HIIT session.
[00:26:27.170] – Rachel
Well when you mentioned that you're on for 20 seconds and off for 60 seconds, I didn't put two and two together until you just mentioned the fartlek training. Because one of the first things that I did in my marathon training and that I have my runners do as well is some 20 second strides. So it's kind of funny. It's the exact same thing. You go out full force for 20 seconds and take a minute or so to recover and then do it again. So that's funny that we do those things.
[00:26:56.520] – Allan
Yeah, there's some science behind it because we have different energy sources. Our body uses different energy sources. So when you first start movement you're on one energy source. Okay. It's basically the ATP that exists in your muscle at that point in time that's going to last you maybe 20 seconds. Okay. And then you start getting into anaerobic and you're using oxygen past that which is shortly after like 30 seconds. Then you're at this point where now you're going to have to slow down.
[00:27:30.210] – Allan
You're going to have to start being able to pull on the blood sugar and other things because you've burned all that ATP, you burned all that energy and you'll just feel yourself naturally just not be able to keep sprinting. That's why they tell you if you're going to get into a race, pace yourself. But in training it's the exact opposite. We want to actually reach that threshold. We want to get to a point and so we do multiple rounds of this and we have to then yes, allow enough time for recovery which for most people is going to be three times. Sometimes you want to go four times.
[00:28:02.840] – Allan
It seems like a long time. But I promise you if you go out there and push as hard as you can for 20 seconds, a minute does not feel like a minute.
[00:28:11.580] – Rachel
[00:28:11.960] – Allan
Any other time you experienced a minute. This is not an experienced minute. This is really quickly. And then particularly as you start getting towards the end of what you can do, when you're not recovering all the way, you'll want to sit longer, you won't want to do another round and that's your body talking to you and that's maybe a good time to quit. But really the easiest way to know whether you're recovering or not is to actually look at your heart rate and find out what that base level is for you.
[00:28:38.220] – Allan
The 220 formula can work for some people. It doesn't work for me because my heart rate will naturally go higher when I'm pushing and I can handle that. And when it comes down, it's going to stay at a higher base. So I'm not going to get down to like for a lot of people, you might get down to 120. I'm not going to get down to 120, but I'm also not going to stop at 175, which is what my age formula would say. It's probably stopped somewhere in the 170s.
[00:29:04.630] – Allan
My heart rate can get up to 190 on a good push. I can't stay there again because I'm out of ATP and everything else. So I HIIT that and then I watch my recovery. If I get down below 145, then I know I have it in me to do one more round. But it's a mental game and it's a push game and it does wonders.
[00:29:26.610] – Rachel
It does, I think in running, I think that was a big crux of how successful I was at my marathon, because I just felt really cardiovascularly strong for that. And I'm sure it was because of some of those speed drill type of activities. Yeah, HIIT training sounds like a great thing.
[00:29:44.000] – Allan
It can be. You can do it very easily. It's a body weight movement for the most part. Sprinting or something like body weight squats with jumps maybe, burpees. Just anything that's really going to get your body moving and moving most of your body, particularly your legs, which are some of the bigger muscles. But the more you're moving, the more energy you're expending. Sprinting is good.
[00:30:09.220] – Allan
I would encourage you not to do it on a treadmill, even though I said running is good only because treadmills have the safety devices in them to slow down slowly and speed up slowly. So it's not going to work for the change that you're going to want to have a full out and then fall off, or at least very slow to allow recovery. Treadmills don't work very well for that, but elliptical machines, stationary bicycles, versa climbers, those things can be very effective for HIIT training.
[00:30:39.070] – Rachel
[00:30:39.600] – Allan
You're pushing yourself. Now with the treadmill, you can do more, just basic interval, slow it down, speed it up, change the angle, but at the same time, it's not going to be HIIT and it's very hard to do it safely on the treadmill.
[00:30:54.670] – Rachel
Sure, that makes sense. And then the Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT). As we're talking right now, I'm standing and I'm kind of rocking back and forth because I can't stand still very much. I don't sit down very much either, but I do love all those tips about parking farther away and taking the stairs all the things that we hear all the time. Just introducing a few more of those types of energy uses throughout the day could add up over time.
[00:31:24.020] – Allan
It does. You could sit down and do the math and just say, what if I burned an extra ten calories each day?
[00:31:32.530] – Rachel
Sure doesn't sound like a lot, but.
[00:31:34.660] – Allan
It does not sound like a lot. But that's a whole pound in a year.
[00:31:38.810] – Rachel
[00:31:40.910] – Allan
And I can tell you, like, when I was doing the rower, I could burn an entire calorie in one pull if I pulled really hard. So it's not hard to burn an extra ten calories with a short walk, doing things that are a little bit more work than they have to be. And just even things like yard work, things that would make your job easier, like a wheelbarrow, you load it all in a wheelbarrow and go, well, no, just grab a clump and walk and then go back and get another clump. There's that extra walking around while you're doing yard work. Those things, they can add up. And like I said, just an additional ten calories that you're burning each day, it adds up to at least a whole pound of body fat in a year.
[00:32:29.910] – Rachel
That's fantastic. But there are three tips I have to say that number three is my favorite. And to not drink your calories. My goodness.
[00:32:38.610] – Allan
Yeah. A lot of people, they don't want to give up alcohol.
[00:32:42.190] – Rachel
[00:32:42.720] – Allan
They're looking for convenience. Again, convenience. So if I can get a protein shake, is that the easiest way for me to get my protein in? Absolutely. Get through workout, go over, put some whey protein or vegan protein or even beef or egg based protein into a shaker, shake it up and drink it. And you're getting your protein quickly. But the problem is it's just not going to help you if your goal is weight loss because you've thrown calories at yourself, that your body is going to digest really quickly because you've done most of the work for it and doesn't have to do the work. So we talk about NEAT. Chewing food is NEAT is the digestive process.
[00:33:27.580] – Allan
There's a thermal effect of food that's going through digestion. So eating a chicken breast is going to be so much better for you than taking a protein powder because your body has to digest that and pull it in and use it. It just takes time. So you stay full longer and your body is burning more energy to obtain that protein from what you just ate.
[00:33:50.360] – Rachel
Yeah. The other day I fixed myself a nice bowl of a keto friendly yogurt, and then I put on there some blueberries and raspberries. And then just because I like the taste of coconut, I put shredded coconut on top of it. And it was a delicious dessert for me the other night, especially now that we've got almost 80 degrees here in Michigan. But a lot of people would throw that in a smoothie and drink it down, which I'm sure would taste just as good in smoothie form. But I just got a lot more out of it. And it's full food, proper form, taking my time eating it, taking my time, chewing it. And the blender would have done all that work for me. Yeah, eating your food is a lot more enjoyable than drinking it.
[00:34:35.820] – Allan
And had I done a fourth tip, the slowing down would have been my fourth tip. So I'm glad you brought that up. Being more mindful of the food that you're eating and the nutrition that you're getting. Slowing down so you can feel the sensations of getting full. So you stop eating.
[00:34:58.970] – Allan
An experiment, that someone's doubting this. Try this. Make a smoothie in the morning. Go ahead and make a smoothie and get a bag of the spinach. You can put half of that bag in your smoothie, about two and a half ounces of spinach. It's good nutrition. You get it in there. You drink that 32 ounce smoothie really quickly, and then you're still going to be hungry an hour or two later. Sit down and try to eat a salad that has two and a half ounces of spinach. You put a nice dressing on it. You put other stuff in there.
[00:35:33.250] – Rachel
That's a lot
[00:35:34.730] – Allan
that's a lot. Big honking bowl of salad. And it's going to take you a long time to chew and eat that salad. And that's where this all comes from is the speed with which you put it in, the speed with which it leaves your stomach and the signals that your body is going to give you that it's no longer full.
[00:35:51.370] – Rachel
[00:35:52.610] – Allan
You still put in the same amount of calories, but because it didn't take as long to digest it, you're going to feel full sooner. So slowing down absolutely is how you feel when you're starting to get there and over and over. The advice, blue zones, everything else all the way through is if you feel you're starting to get full, stop, because you'll end up overeating, past almost every time.
[00:36:18.370] – Allan
So 80% is where a lot of people like to target it. If you feel like where you are eating is about 80%, give it a break. Don't throw your plate outright yet, but just give it a break. Slow down and just feel how you feel. And then if you start feeling full, then if you've gotten the nutrition your body needs, full stop. No reason to eat the rest of it.
[00:36:39.220] – Rachel
So funny, Allan, you and I both I'm sure we're raised as kids where you need to finish everything on your plate.
[00:36:44.640] – Allan
Everything on that plate, everything brought out to the table… leftovers? Who has leftovers?
[00:36:53.530] – Rachel
[00:36:55.410] – Allan
Now I'm famous here in our house for we'll fix dinner and I'll be halfway through with dinner. And then I'm like, okay, done. And I'll set my plate down. I'll go get up, get some foil or a bowl or something. And I'll put my food in the bowl.
[00:37:11.010] – Rachel
There you go.
[00:37:11.690] – Allan
And that's my lunch tomorrow and probably about a third of what my dinner would have been like ten years ago.
[00:37:19.420] – Rachel
Sure, it's funny. It's a hard habit to break, but it's definitely a good one. Save it for later.
[00:37:25.260] – Allan
Yeah. All right. Well, I'm going to go get on a boat and take my holiday here. Give Mike my best and I'll see you guys next week.
[00:37:35.700] – Rachel
Thanks. Take care, Allan. Have fun.
[00:37:37.670] – Rachel
[00:37:38.300] – Rachel
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As we age, our hormones make some drastic changes that can lead to some difficult symptoms. We all experience this, although women suffer the most with weight gain, sleep issues, and hot flashes. In her book, MenuPause, Dr. Anna Cabeca provides 5 unique eating plans to help you address these symptoms.
[00:03:27.790] – Allan
[00:03:29.230] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, how are you today?
[00:03:31.110] – Allan
I'm doing all right. How are things with you?
[00:03:33.360] – Rachel
Good. As we recorded this, we're leading up to my race day, which is this weekend. This is my final week of taper, so I'm just going to enjoy myself this week.
[00:03:43.580] – Allan
Good, good. And unlike a lot of people that would be in your position, you're not carving up. You're not really changing anything about your nutrition. And that's a different take than what you'll read elsewhere of what you do for a long race like this. But you know, your nutrition, you're set, you've done the training, so you're set. And you have a plan. You have an actual plan for approaching this race, which I think is outstanding.
[00:04:15.850] – Rachel
Yeah. My trainer only suggested that I not changed my eating habits this week, that I eat, get in enough calories. I may not be as hungry as I would be as I'm running tons of miles and doing tons of drills, but just to maintain my standard way of eating. And in the past, I would do something very similar, and I just prefer to play it safe this week. So no restaurant eating, no crazy spicy dinners, nothing that I think could even possibly upset my digestive system. I just want to keep it status quo as I lead into race day.
[00:04:56.590] – Allan
Yeah, it's funny. There was this article they were talking about how they opened up a Popeye's restaurant in UK, and nobody was complaining that the mild was too spicy.
[00:05:09.430] – Rachel
[00:05:10.500] – Allan
Good. Don't get me wrong. I love the spicy stuff. I love it, love it, love it. In fact, I had been to Lou this weekend, and I have the sauce in there so I can put it on my eggs. So I love spicy foods. But it was just they were complaining that Popeye's chicken was too spicy in the UK.
[00:05:31.270] – Rachel
[00:05:32.250] – Allan
Well, they might not make it over there, which is probably just the better because it's not the best food for you to be eating so good. You've got control. Yeah, well, things here are going pretty good. We're winding down to our big season for Bocas, so Lula's will start to probably wind down. We've been fully occupied pretty much for the whole time since we opened in November, which has been good. But it's just that point we're like, okay, go. Hopefully we're going to get a little bit more of an opportunity here to settle down. Tammy is planning a trip to Ireland, and then we're going to have our anniversary break, which will just be a kind of a staycation for us. So we're planning those things. Nothing huge. And then just being I am looking at launching my six week program again. I'm kind of going back and forth of whether I do it as a group thing, like where we literally have everybody come through together or whether I do it at their own pace over a six week period of time. So that's kind of where I am planning it. But I am planning on going live again.
[00:06:45.970] – Allan
I only take clients during certain periods of time, and that's really just to fit my lifestyle the way I want to. So if you are wanting to work with me, this is a good time to send me an email, allan@40PlusFitness, I'm sorry, coach@40PlusFitness. It's coach@40PlusFitness. And let's get you on the list. Let's make sure you're aware of what I'm going to be doing as I figured it out. But it is a six week program. The intention is to teach you what you need to know to lose weight, to get fit, to figure out where you need to be. And so it's an educational thing in addition to the direct coaching. So it's a very direct, intensive coaching for you about what you need, where you are with what you have to do, what you want and be who you need to be. So if you're interested in that, coach@40Plusfitness.com and we can start that conversation.
[00:07:41.830] – Rachel
[00:07:42.980] – Allan
All right. So are we ready to have another conversation with Dr. Cabeca?
[00:07:47.680] – Rachel
[00:08:23.660] – Allan
Dr. Anna, welcome back to 40+ Fitness.
[00:08:26.950] – Dr. Cabeca
It is great to be here with you, Allan. Thanks for having me.
[00:08:30.910] – Allan
Initially, you brought up the concept for me anyway. I mean, I talked to some other people, but in general, how there's pulls and pushes and there's a keto community and there's a plant-based community. And never, ever should we go between the two. You got to pick your tribe and you got to get on one side or the other. And then you come out with Keto-Green, which is basically saying, yes, you can have your meat and your vegetables, too, and you can do it in a way that promotes health. Your new book, MenuPause: Five Unique Eating Plans to Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau and Improve Your Mood, Sleep and Hot Flashes. Love the title.
[00:09:12.710] – Dr. Cabeca
[00:09:13.820] – Allan
But it takes a lot of the concepts from your previous two books, and it kind of lays it out in a way to say, okay, food is medicine, so let's use it that way.
[00:09:25.310] – Dr. Cabeca
Absolutely. And bringing in these different pauses in our life. And I say there's magic in the pause. Right, Allan? We really have to look at it that way, and especially when it comes to a hormonal shift, whether we're talking about menopause or andropause or whatever. But there is magic in the pause. There's a rewiring or reshifting. And where I was, I certainly had fun with the title Menu Pause. So I thought that was great. My editor came up with that title as we were looking for a new title, and I just love it. So I laugh every time I say it. And the five different eating plans to each pause, something different. And that came out of women in my online communities doing keto green and me now keto green since 2014, 2015, and how that's changed my life, especially with hormone balance and seeing the changes. But sometimes we had a roadblock. Why isn't it working for this person or why did it stop working? And so that had me really looking at, okay, well, what are some of the pauses that we have to make that we've had to make or adjust to break through some of the plateaus that we can hit?
[00:10:37.560] – Dr. Cabeca
Because when what we're doing stops working or we stop seeing those improved benefits, we start seeing continued improvements or some of the problem, we need to look a little bit deeper, change things up, bring some variety as a spice of life, right?
[00:10:54.840] – Allan
[00:10:56.150] – Allan
And there's a lot of good reasons for this book. But I want to say before the men tune out and I always say this in the preamble and I'll say it again to them is that this is first and foremost a weight loss book and a hormone shifting book, but not just for females. If a man uses these five eating plans as a way to structure their eating, they will lose weight too. So if you're in a relationship, not in a relationship, it doesn't matter. These eating plans will help you. And what you were saying about the pause is I think that's right. In Dr. Fung's book, The Obesity Code, one of the things he says is all diets work and all diets fail, and it's because our body will adjust to the way we're eating. So you start eating a certain way, a keto diet, and then something happens and your body just stops responding to it. You go vegan and your body's doing great, you're losing weight, and all of a sudden your body stops responding to it. So this ability to have these different eating plans, that structure pauses for various different things for various different reasons gives you a structure to say, okay, I'm going to go in, check this out, see if it serves me.
[00:12:05.420] – Allan
If it does, then I'll stick with it till it stops serving me. And if it doesn't serve me, I move on.
[00:12:11.690] – Dr. Cabeca
Absolutely. And we give it enough time to figure out every plan is designed to be safe. And we give enough time, the six days to just be the shortest, essentially amount of time to really get a benefit. And then also to see to be able to check in with yourself. How are you feeling now with this lifestyle, with this diet plan, it's always more than what we eat too. And I really established with my whole Keto Green approach, it's the keto green way, it's the lifestyle, it's the hormone oxytocin becoming more oxytocin rich in our lives. And that joy connection, that important physiologic effect of joy connection. Right. Pleasure and becoming more insulin sensitive. So when it comes to guys too, we'll see an improvement in their adrenal hormones, their testosterone, a decrease in blood pressure and sugar management and blood sugar as well in the short amount of times. And I expect it pretty much with every plan because again, there's a shift, there's a change up, except for maybe the carbohydrate up plan that I put in as plan number five.
[00:13:26.630] – Allan
Yeah. Now, I think a lot of women and maybe even men when they're going through some of these changes, obviously a woman's change is drastically different. So I'm going to try to compare what we guys go through, through what women go through. Not even close. So don't think it does, guys. I guess it feels bad, but not even close.
[00:13:46.820] – Dr. Cabeca
He's a wise man, right, ladies? He's a wise man.
[00:13:50.200] – Allan
But as they go through this, I think the knee jerk reaction today is what supplement do I need to take? What pill can I take? What surgery do I have to fix this problem? Why is food the better answer?
[00:14:10.910] – Dr. Cabeca
Definitely. Because how we nourish, our body is a whole framework for how we nourish other aspects of our lives. Right. And we have to give our body the fuel. We are designed to work with our environment, to interact and to respond to the energies of the food we eat. So beyond the micronutrient and macronutrient breakdown of what we're eating, there's a lot more to it than that. And I think when we set up, as we set up our eating plans, the key aspect is diversity. And I always tell clients, I interview a lot of people and selling when someone says, yeah, I eat a chicken salad every day for lunch, I just want that hand emoji to the top of your head. Like, I want that hand emoji because it is like, okay, we're eating the same thing every day, and that's just not good for you. I don't care how good of a health food you're eating. If you're eating the same thing every day, you can create a food sensitivity to it. So the importance of how we nourish our bodies, how we're going to do everything, and that sets the tone for hormonal balance.
[00:15:25.730] – Dr. Cabeca
Our behavior is affected by our physiology. So a balanced nourishing eating plan is key for willpower, brain power, love power, whatever it may be that we're working towards. So for physical and mental, wellbeing, how we nourish our body is key. And so having that as food, as medicine, it's absolutely true.
[00:15:53.510] – Allan
Yeah. Now the other aspect of this that I thought was really interesting and you brought science to bear. So this wasn't just you saying this is how you solve this problem or this is why this problem might be worse for you than someone else. I think we know is if you have a knee problem, you go to your doctor. Your doctor is going to say if you need to, you might want to lose some weight because the excess weight is causing knee pain. That's why part of the reason why you have the pain. So he encourages or she encourages you to go lose some weight. Why is weight loss part of a solution to the menopause symptoms that many women suffer with?
[00:16:30.390] – Dr. Cabeca
Yeah, because our fat is inflammatory and two of the things that cause worsening symptoms in menopause is inflammation and hormone imbalance, those two things. And fat is a contributor to both of those things. We naturally become more insulin resistant as we age, and that's why we can develop diabetes or prediabetes in menopause. And we've been doing really well up until then. And post menopause, that's because we're becoming more insulin resistant. And so type two diabetes becomes very prevalent in our age group, and that's got to stop. And that's why that's, again, why keto green eating is so critical for this. But fat holds inflammation and it creates basically cytokines storms within our body and inflammation creates increased hormonal imbalance. So what we see as people clear this up decrease inflammation through how we're nourishing the body, providing appropriate nutrients and not feeding it junk and sugar and inflammatory foods. We also see an improvement in hot flashes tremendous. Within two weeks, we can see 80% reduction in hot flashes through these lifestyle and nutritional changes. The other big thing I want to mention is, like, women will say, oh, I can't fast 13 hours. I'm hungry when I go to bed.
[00:17:58.480] – Dr. Cabeca
I'm hungry when I wake up. That's just how you've trained your body. Your body is not designed to be like that. And so let's retrain it into a healthier way that's actually going to serve you. And we know this really important factor. So built into the plan, I do at least 13 hours of intermittent fasting between dinner and breakfast, but you start where you're at. But the reason I do that is because research has shown in women with breast cancer that if you have at least twelve and a half hours between dinner and breakfast, you have a significantly reduced risk of recurrent breast cancer. So that should be number one health guideline, all the initials that you want, but really should be promoting that intermittent fasting is a key component of our lifestyle. And that improves insulin sensitivity and then improves really all of our symptoms and age related diseases that can occur. So the hot flashes, the mood swings, the night sweats, difficulty sleeping will improve with these shifts and how we're nourishing our body.
[00:19:02.530] – Allan
Yeah. And the same is true for men. If a man is obese, it's affecting their insulin sensitivity and therefore, it's affecting their hormones. And so it's creating a similar effect to us, we call it Andropause but it's basically a very similar approach, similar thing happening in our body. If we can reduce our fat stores, we're going to improve all of that and improve our health. And weight loss is often a side effect of better health. But basically what we're showing is the main symptom we see is when we step on that scale.
[00:19:38.540] – Dr. Cabeca
Yeah. And we want the weight loss, but we want in a way that we don't gain Yoyo dieted from my teens through my 20s and into my 30s. And I think that especially others, I went to high school and College in the 80s. So that's when the low carbohydrate craze was in place and we would do all these crazy things like Apple juice fasting and just nut stuff, like you're fasting on sugar. What the heck? If you're going to fast anyway, now we fast on bone broth a little bit better or just fast on water. But the key thing is and what we know is that calorie restriction decreases your metabolism more than fasting does. And that's a really important concept for people to understand. So you're not going to Yoyo diet back. And being of the, I would say of the warrior body type because there's an epigenetic component. We know this just from observing friends, family, colleagues, et cetera. Some of us are designed to be empowered to be very conservative with our nutrient use. I would say I could survive in the Sahara for six months without food or water, and I'd still be fine.
[00:20:47.780] – Dr. Cabeca
I'm thriving. And I see that among many of my clients, I say they have Pocahontas or Warrior, Viking heritage or Amazonian. Right. Because you're designed to be metabolically conservative, so you're at higher risk. However, you're designed to live through a famine, right? Live through deprivation cycle. But in America, we don't have that right. And so then we think, oh, I just have fat genes. I have obesity and diabetes on both sides of my family. And I want that mind shift to switch to say, no, you've got Warrior genes, you've got Survivor genes. You're amazing. You've got leadership genes. Let's use them. Part of what I really want to empower people to understand this epigenetic component. So it's kind of built in into my plans and into my program. And that's where that whole individual bio individuality comes in, like, what's right for you right now based on what you've been doing up till now and the state of life you're in, how your hormones are, are you burned out? Is your DHA estrogen, testosterone progesterone? Are you tanked in your hormone levels? Are you pretty resilient? And I think with this, with changing up and my goal with this, with cross training in the gym, cross training in your diet is to improve your resilience.
[00:22:11.080] – Dr. Cabeca
So you improve the diversity of your gut microbiome, and with that, you improve your immune system and you improve your overall longevity and quality of life.
[00:22:22.590] – Allan
Yeah. Now you have in the book five plans, and each of them starts out with kind of a six day approach. And I like the six day approach because it gives you that opportunity to check in with yourself to see how it's going. And I think anyone can agree you can do anything for six days if you put your mind to it. So it kind of gives them that finish line, even though it's not intended to truly be a finish line. But it's just give it six days, see if it works. And I like all of that. Obviously, if we've gotten ourselves obese, it's not going to fix itself in six days. So don't think that these are magic pills that are going to make everything great in six days. But each of them gives you a kind of a phase. A pause is the way you like to put it, gives you a pause on something so you can start to see the results and move forward. I want to go through each one of them because I think each of the one of them is really important, but I think it's important for them to know why would they use this plan and what is the plan entail?
[00:23:21.590] – Allan
So the first one and it has extreme in the title because it is kind of an extreme one, is the Keto Green Extreme. Can you talk about that one? Why we would want to use it?
[00:23:33.320] – Dr. Cabeca
Yeah, definitely. First want to say why six days? And six days if we consider that the gut gastrointestinal mucosal lininging of the intestines of our intestinal tract, GI tract regenerates in 72 hours. So that's three days. So incorporating two, three day cycle should be very healing and restorative to our GI tract, certainly in the cleanse. But even as we remove some of these inflammatory triggers or these pauses, as we take these pauses, it gives our body those two full 72 hours cycles to regenerate, respond, react. I think that's where some of this checking in, checking in with yourself can really be powerful. So with Ketogenic Extreme, because I definitely have clients who have had autoimmune diseases and have reactions to night shades. I mean, I was sitting at dinner with Dave Ashbury the other day and he sent his plate back twice because one time it had peppers and one time they had mushrooms in it. So anyway, some people are super sensitive to nitrates. Right. And so I removed that. It's really an autoimmune, kind of following some of the autoimmune protocol dietary changes with restriction of nightshades and peppers and some of those other inflammatory foods, if we're sensitive to that.
[00:25:02.410] – Dr. Cabeca
So checking in on that one is the number one reason to do that, especially if you have an autoimmune issue.
[00:25:08.970] – Allan
Okay. The next one is and you're using a word, well, there are two words that you use in two different ones, and I'm talking about each of those, but it's not exactly what it would mean to somebody else. Is the keto green plant based detox. Now, a lot of us will look at detoxes and thinking, oh, this is one of those where I'm going to take this supplement thing, and I'm going to be going to the bathroom for three days really bad and then not feel good. But this is a detox, but it's not a normal detox. Can you talk about this one and why we would want to use it?
[00:25:40.410] – Dr. Cabeca
Yeah. This is a grain free plant based plan. So it's more of a keto green plant based plan. So again, low in carbohydrates also. And I wanted to address my plant based eaters because my keto green 16th book, I did a 16 day omnipresent, a 16 day plant based plan. So I got a lot of feedback. Right. And then people who are omnivores did the 16 day plant based. And they loved it, too. So being able to again, do that periodically, and this is why I put it in for all of us to just detox from meat. And that's where that comes in. Detox from meat. And plus, one of the biggest problems that keto eaters and diet and diabetics and et cetera have is constipation. And the number one thing I want to clear from your system without, ideally, additional drug support vitamins, et cetera, is having regular bowel movements. So I put it after ketogenic stream. You can do them in any order. Certainly. But I did have a method to my madness, as usual. So putting it there because right now we've just reduced a lot of inflammation. But it's been pretty ketogenic. And I want to make sure your bowels are resuscitated to 72 hours of a low inflammatory diet.
[00:27:04.020] – Dr. Cabeca
But let's work on this to add in fiber support the gut microbiome. To add gut microbial diversity. We know the more plant diverse foods you have, the higher diversity in the gut, the better your immune system, the lower your risk of all inflammatory diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease. And that goes again for men and women and all the menopausal symptoms. So that's why I incorporated a six day plant based diet, because we all need to do it periodically.
[00:27:31.290] – Allan
Okay. And now we're going to go to the other extreme because you have this carbohydrate pause. Can you talk about that? Because this is going to get some attention. It's like, wait, are we plant based or are we meat eaters? So where are we here? Can you talk about that?
[00:27:45.620] – Dr. Cabeca
Like I said, variety is the spice of life. And this is one of the things that I definitely had tried carnivore being keto green for a while and wanting to switch thing up, tried carnivore. And again, same thing felt good for a little bit, but then started gaining weight. I was like, wait, what's going on? Actually connected with another perimenopausal woman in the carnivore community. And she had run across this issue, too, again with women. Again, we talked about this before we started recording. It's really awesome to have diversity. There are certain plants that work for a short time and not for the long time. And that's why disruption. We want to disrupt what we're doing. And it's so good for us. But the carnivore knows to tail. And I wanted to show people how a healthy way to eat carnivore number one. Also, again, after I've just increased the microbial diversity of the gut that was powering you up. You're taking a break from all plant foods pretty much in the carnivore plan in just a healthy way, very carbohydrate restrictive. And again, we're pausing plants in this cycle.
[00:28:59.670] – Allan
And I can say this, if you go through the carbohydrate pause, when you finish it, you're going to be in the deep cut ketosis, which is going to help with your sensitivity. Whichever direction you go after this is going to make that next plan that much better for you.
[00:29:18.870] – Dr. Cabeca
Yeah, exactly. Right.
[00:29:22.720] – Allan
Okay, now the fourth one. And again, this is using one of the words that I typically don't like to see in any kind of eating plan is the cleanse, because it usually involves buying some very expensive juices and spending a lot of money and not getting many calories and rebounding after. But yours isn't going to do that. It's called the keto green cleanse. Can you talk about that?
[00:29:45.580] – Dr. Cabeca
Yeah, absolutely. And actually ran my pre release permission from my publisher to run my selected group, my girlfriend doctor club, through the six day cleanse. And the reason for the cleanse, too, right, we're in high ketosis number one from our carnivore for going in this order. And then so we're not hungry. We are not hungry. We're chewing. We've had good protein. The other part of carbohydrate pause the carnivorous plan is to give us more protein. Women, we don't get enough protein. And protein is so important for our muscle. And muscle is magic and menopause. So then going into cleanse number one, you're not hungry. And now we really want to detox the liver and detox your gallbladder and really work to support your body so the cleanse, we did this six days. I start you with an oil, lemon juice, olive oil, lemon juice, shot in the morning. And believe me, I had objections. They're very intelligent group of women, but they're like, okay, you're recommending it. So by day three, they're like, I can't wait. Can I stay on this forever? Can I do this? I'm like, no, just six days. We have to change things up.
[00:30:56.630] – Dr. Cabeca
So this liver, gallbladder flesh and very much it is a cleanse. So it is smooth, smoothies. It is teas, it is alkaline broth or bone broth. And making sure ideally you're getting enough protein and healthy fats during this. But it is a cleanse. So you are continuing to give your GI tract rest. You will see glowing skin, glowing complexion. You will feel higher energy. You'll start checking things off on your to do list that have been on your to do list. And so it's cleansing off the things that are weighing you down, as well as really working on an internal system. So, yeah, I'm excited for that. And honestly, you're not hungry. You're doing great. You're very supportive advice from my girlfriend doctor club because some of them were used to extended intermittent fasting. They're like, just follow the plan, as Dr. Anna says it, and you're not going to get hungry. And that's really key.
[00:31:57.210] – Allan
And then the final one is and I think this is really kind of a critical piece of all of this is at some point you're going to fit a level of health and maybe a level of weight loss where you're like, okay, this is a weight I feel comfortable. And maybe it was a weight that you were when you were 29. Maybe it was a weight you were when you graduated high school. And now you could wear the same size jeans, you were wearing then. But you get to a point. And now it's like, okay, I don't want to Yoyo, I don't want to go back to where I was because it worked so hard to get to where I am. So the last plan you have is the carbohydrate modification plan. Can you talk about that and how that works?
[00:32:36.810] – Dr. Cabeca
Yeah, and I love it. And I just opened my book to one of the recipes in the Carb modif. My Texas Rodeo Skillet. Skillets are big in Texas and everything's bigger in Texas. That's where I'm living now in Dallas. And so this is a modification for some of the beautiful skillet breakfast. So this has sunny side up eggs, Sriracha sauce, avocados and sweet potatoes and bacon mixed in. I mean, it's just so yummy. I'm getting hungry thinking about this plan. But the reason is because being in the keto green community for so long, sometimes we've been so restricted that we need the additional carbs. And when some of my clients have added in a sweet potato in the evening, they're sleeping better. Right. And I think it's really important to understand that. And some of them will lose weight once they do that because they have been really conservative and adding in a carb, at least it's a beautiful thing to do. And I think once you get through the plans, it's the principles of the plant and how balancing the fats, but also for flavor, the salts and the citrus that just makes things so much better, addressing your full taste palate so that you're really looking forward to your meals and even better.
[00:33:58.990] – Dr. Cabeca
So these concepts that have been built into the recipes that are all outlined in the book have really been designed to balance and nourish and set. You enjoy them, too. So I think that a lot of times we'll do a carb up, we'll do a carb up day periodically. That's absolutely okay. And it can be very good for you unless it triggers eating disorder. Unless it triggers an eating disorder.
[00:34:30.650] – Allan
Yeah. And just as you mentioned, you mentioned the recipe. So I'll kind of jump into that. You believe in variety. You talked about that several times today. And so this cookbook is really built on a massive variety of different foods. And each plan has some foods that fit. And some of the foods some of the recipes you have actually fit multiple plans. And you put that in there. In fact, last night for dinner, my wife and I had your egg roll soup because I love egg rolls. And I walked by the Chinese we have one Chinese restaurant here on the island, and I walk by there all the time. And I'm like, I just love to go in there and order their egg rolls. And I was just like, no, I won't do it. That's not what I'm doing right now. But I was able to make your soup and it was delicious. And I actually had a second serving of it because it was that good. So these are really good recipes. They fit each plan. So it's not just that. Here's a plan and go figure it out. It's like, here's how this works.
[00:35:30.100] – Allan
Here's a plan. Here's some tips. Here are some recipes. And so you build out recipes to pretty much fill the six days. And you give guidelines if you want to do it yourself. So it's really kind of a cool way that you're not going to get bored because it's not like a lot of plans. You're eating the same foods every day. In this case, I think the most I saw you like, you Cook something one day, and then maybe the third day you have it again as a leftover for lunch or something like that. But it's not eat the same food every day all the way through. You work through these plans, and maybe other than the cleanse, you're doing fairly similar things through the cleanse. But for the others, there's great recipes that are going to keep you interested. And you even give them a shopping list, which I think is also pretty cool.
[00:36:18.670] – Dr. Cabeca
Thank you. You know, my mom raising kids, was making things early. Sometimes having leftovers is just a one less meal I have to Cook. Right. So that's always definitely an option in the plan, too. And maybe if there's adding something a little bit more interesting, too, but to create as much simplicity and shopping as possible. But it's six days. So I want this diversity. I want this experience. I want it to be an experience.
[00:36:48.970] – Allan
Yeah. It is. That's what I'm saying.
[00:36:51.980] – Allan
Mine, it's something I would order at a Chinese restaurant. I'm like, I want egg rolls. So it's like cabbage. And I did it with pork and went through the whole process of making it. And I think it took me less than an hour to make the soup. And that included prep. And I'm a slow prepper. So I didn't even get to watch a whole TV series. I was watching a TV show. I didn't get to watch the whole thing because I had the meal ready before I finished. So really good recipes. You should check that out.
[00:37:22.400] – Allan
Dr. Anna, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:37:31.510] – Dr. Cabeca
Thank you. Well, definitely get keto green. So incorporate the lifestyle, the nutrition into your lifestyle. That concept, that is by design, a number one way, certainly for me and for women going through menopause, and I think for so many, my kids are doing it. The second thing is make oxytocin the most powerful hormone in your body and so not stress. Really think, where do I see love today? Where am I loving, giving, grateful? What am I grateful for? Really focusing on that. How am I showing love to those I love? How am I receiving love? Sometimes that's even harder. So make oxytocin the most powerful hormone. And the third is just smile. Really smile, really genuinely feel good about yourself. And for women, oftentimes we have this, like I would say the negative, that nasty bitch on your shoulder talking down to you. So like, knock that nasty bitch off your shoulder and enjoy yourself. And that concept of truly, genuinely being happy in your own skin with whatever is in your life at this moment, it's a really powerful concept.
[00:38:43.750] – Allan
Well, thank you, Dr. Anna. If someone wanted to get in touch with you, learn more about MenuPause or your Girlfriend's Doctor club, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:38:54.220] – Dr. Cabeca
Definitely, just come to my website dranna.com. We have a MenuPause book page and some great bonuses to go along with the MenuPause book. So some trackers, some additional handouts and recipes and good things to support you in the videos, cooking videos, all this good stuff is there for you. So, dranna.com, and then join me on social media at the Girlfriend Doctor.
[00:39:19.120] – Allan
Awesome. You can go to fortyplusfitnesspodcast.com/533 and I'll be sure to have the link there. Dr. Anna, thank you so much for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.
[00:39:29.970] – Dr. Cabeca
Thank you for having me, Allan. I love what you're doing. Thank you.
[00:39:40.850] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:39:42.380] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. That was a fun interview with Doctor Anna Cabeca. Anytime I hear anything having to do with menopause, my ears peek up. So her book, MenuPause sounds like a really good book.
[00:39:55.130] – Allan
It is good. Obviously, I will not experience menopause, can't and won't. And so for me, it's really just about understanding what my wife, with my clients, with my friends, with my family, what they may experience as they're going. And I think there are periods of time when we really have to ratchet in our nutrition. For the most part, most of us can go through life and not really think about what we're eating. But there are particular periods in a woman's life where I think it becomes really important. Obviously, when you're trying to get pregnant and you are having a baby, there are times when your nutrition is tantamount to having a healthy baby, dealing with any kind of major illness or recovery. So cancer surgery, something like that. Nutrition is going to be really important to make sure that you're addressing your body's nutritional needs so that it can heal properly so that you have a good, strong immune system, really important. And then, of course, during menopause, when you're going through significant, significant hormone changes, and those changes, the perimenopause process, if you will, can take minutes where they're actually pulling out your ovaries and uterus, or it can take decades as you're going through those.
[00:41:24.750] – Allan
This is month to month, day to day, week to week. All of it changes in your hormones. And if you are just eating about doing your thing, you don't have information. What you have is a symptom. And you don't know if it was directly affected by what you're eating, what you're feeling, the movement or, yeah, you're just going through a huge hormone shift that you really couldn't deal with otherwise. Those are important. And within approach, you literally can sit down and look at a swath of time, the six day plans and say, okay, I'm going to do this thing over six days and see if my symptoms abate. And if they do now you have data, now you have information to say, hey, if I cut out this food, yes, my body screaming at me, eat more chocolate, but I don't eat more chocolate. Instead, I eat more vegetables, I eat more meat. I make sure that I'm eating whole food, and you feel better. You didn't need the chocolate. And I know that's hard to hear. Sometimes you need the chocolate. I understand. But sometimes your body is telling you something, and the answer is actually the exact opposite.
[00:42:54.060] – Rachel
That's so true. And what's interesting, how Anna put it, is that instead of turning to supplements or surgery or something, that a lot of doctors will suggest a pill for this or for that, it's turning to food. And food can actually really be true medicine for you. And I appreciate how she created these five different eating patterns or these five different types of eating for a six day window of time. Six days isn't that long. You can get through some sort of change, and you never know how you might feel afterwards. If it works for you, then it's a tool in your toolbox for all these different times in our lives when our hormones will fluctuate. Like I mentioned earlier, all of us have different symptoms as we approach menopause. Perimenopause is kind of tricky. That way our hormones can fluctuate day to day, week to week, month to month symptoms could be different from another. But by trying food as medicine, at least you have another tool in the toolbox that you can pick out later on.
[00:43:55.880] – Allan
Yeah. The only caution I put out there is if you're making a fairly drastic change. So let's just say you're eating the standard American diet today or something close to it, and you immediately say, okay, well, I'm going to go to the hardcore, intense low carb thing. Six days might not be enough time for you to fully adapt to that change. And so just recognizing that if you find that this food is affecting you and maybe even in a negative way, you may need to lean in instead of pulling back and saying it's not working. The six days is a great trial. And for a lot of people that don't have, say, insulin resistance or some other health issues going on, they're going to start seeing some potential positive change, weight loss and some other things will be happening during that period of time. But you might not feel really good. And there's a couple of reasons for it. One, yes, could be that you're going through the change into keto, and they call it keto flu. I prefer to call it carb withdrawals because your body used carbohydrates for fuel and now it doesn't have as many it's got to shift fuel systems.
[00:45:12.710] – Allan
That can be a little disruptive for most of us it is. But there's also other things. Our body stores toxins in our fat. So if you're starting to lose body fat, your body now has to deal with those toxins that it shuttled away earlier and didn't deal with. And if you're under a toxic load at home or at work or whatever, now you're adding more toxins to the mix. You might feel worse before you feel better. So just recognize six days is a good rule of thumb because as you said, you can do just about anything for six days.
[00:45:46.600] – Rachel
[00:45:47.630] – Allan
People can go without eating for six days and be fine. But that said, if you're feeling bad, you're making a change. If it's hard, just consider whether this is something you need to lean into or whether it is okay. You did your six days and it just didn't work. And let's say you tried that and it didn't work. That doesn't mean that tool is useless. If you needed to screw in a screw and the first thing you grabbed was a hammer, the hammer didn't work, but you get a screwdriver and it works. Later on, you got a nail. The hammer is going to be just fine. So just recognize that time and space and where you are now is different than where you will be later. So a tool today that's not useful can be a useful tool later. But there's really good eating plans in there. Really sound advice from Dr. Cabeca. And if hormones are an issue for you as you go through these changes, food will affect your hormone levels. What you think will affect your hormone levels, what you physically do will affect your hormone levels. All of that input, all of that information and it will affect how your body expresses hormones.
[00:47:06.550] – Allan
So while you can't fix this change because it is what it is, it's coming, you can reduce the impact of it with the right foods.
[00:47:16.740] – Rachel
Yeah, well, you both were discussing bio individuality and what is right for you right now is going to be different from what is right for you later. And that's just the way our hormones fluctuate. I think every woman understands and agrees with me that like I said, week to week, month to month, our hormones, our symptoms, the way we feel just changes so greatly. So what works for you today may not work tomorrow, but the point is that you get to try something new and it sounds like Dr. Cabeca offers several different meals that you get ways to try to eat in order to satisfy those changes. It's a great idea.
[00:47:56.510] – Allan
And if you're listening to this and the guys have tuned out, they can eat this way too.
[00:48:02.710] – Rachel
Oh, for sure.
[00:48:04.670] – Allan
These are healthy, good ways to eat. This is not like, oh, well, here's an estrogen pill. I'm going to give it to my husband too. No, it's not like that. This is food. This is really good. These are really good meal plans. They're very easy. She gives you the shopping list, the whole set. So it's really simple for you to kind of go in and say, okay, this is my meal plan for the week. It's the meal plan for my family for the week.
[00:48:25.090] – Rachel
I love that.
[00:48:26.110] – Allan
And so they're getting what they need to be healthy. You're getting what you need to heal and be healthy. Just recognize this is not a woman's eating plan this is an eating plan that anyone can do and be more healthy for doing it.
[00:48:42.500] – Rachel
That sounds great. Sounds like a great book.
[00:48:45.040] – Allan
Yeah, it is. All right, well, Rachel, we'll talk next week.
[00:48:48.120] – Rachel
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If you're trying to count calories as a way to lose weight, you'll want to hear why calories don't count and how to lose weight the right way with Dr. Giles Yeo.
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[00:03:46.920] – Allan
Hey, Ras. How are things going?
[00:03:49.030] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:03:50.980] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Sort of. I did the requisite face plant that you did earlier.
[00:03:56.930] – Rachel
[00:04:00.270] – Allan
Yeah. We were celebrating Thanksgiving, and then at night, I was like, okay, I've had a few glasses of wine, and I know I'm not going to want to get up at 6:00 in the morning and take these dogs out, so I'm going to take them out right before I go to bed, which means they might just let me sleep till seven. And I went to take them out and it was raining and it had been raining. And so I walked in this field, and it's sort of like someone jerking your hands when you're standing on an ice skate on ice.
[00:04:28.500] – Allan
And so my feet went completely out from under me when the dog decided he wanted to go in a direction, and I wasn't quite positioned for it. And when you have two leashes in your hand and you're falling, there's no breakage except the face. So I did a really good face plant, and Tammy was nice enough to patch me up with some bandage and stuff. So, yeah, just a kind of a face plant. There's no other way to say it, because it was just that, but I'm recovering.
[00:05:02.190] – Allan
It's fine. It's just some scrapes and scars and scrapes and stuff, and I'm probably going to have a nice little scar above my eyebrow for a little while, maybe for a long while, but it's just one of the kind of those things you say. Okay, I need to work on my balance. I need to work on my strength. I need to make sure that I'm not put in that position again as I get older. So it's just kind of one of those reminders of being aware of your environment, doing the right things so that we don't take those bills as often.
[00:05:36.170] – Allan
And if we do, our body has the resilience to get through it and protect us.
[00:05:41.460] – Rachel
Yes, absolutely. Just like you mentioned, I did the same thing a couple of weeks ago, and I'm recovering. I still have a tiny little bruise on my cheek, but it seems to be going away. But I was just mentioning with one of my running partners, like, I think this winter I'll be practicing my gait and learning how to lift my feet up a little bit better, making sure that I pay closer attention and do all those same things, too. Yes, it's a reminder and not a fun reminder to take care.
[00:06:13.830] – Allan
And actually, I kind of follows along with that method I put out there that slip to success, which is okay something happened in our cases, face plant and forgive yourself.
[00:06:26.380] – Allan
It happened. It happened. The circumstances were what they were. And then the second stage is learn from it and then apply it. And so you're going to be training your gait. I'm going to be working a lot more on balance and continue to work on strength. And then we'll hopefully not have to deal with another face plant.
[00:06:46.350] – Rachel
Absolutely. Fingers crossed. Absolutely.
[00:06:49.830] – Allan
All right. Well, you're ready to get into this discussion with Dr. Yeo?
[00:06:52.970] – Rachel
Sure. Let's do this.
[00:07:21.280] – Allan
Dr. Yeo, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:07:23.850] – Dr. Yeo
Thank you so much for having me, Allan.
[00:07:25.930] – Allan
Now the book you have very compelling title, I might add, Why Calories Don't Count: How We Got the Science of Weight Loss Wrong. And that's a very compelling title.
[00:07:37.350] – Dr. Yeo
Thank you. Some people might even call it controversial. I don't think it is. I don't think it's a controversial title.
[00:07:43.380] – Allan
I don't either, especially when you go through the book several times saying, I'm not saying Calories don't entirely count. They do. If you eat in excess of the energy output, you are going to gain weight. And if you eat less than the energy output, you are going to lose weight. It's just really on how we kind of put this all together. But you had one statement in a book that it was towards the end. But I have to see this out front because this was probably the best sentence I've read a long, long time and it said, Rather than wasting our lives obsessing about our weight and how we look, we should instead focus on our health. If you focus on your health, your weight will take care of itself.
[00:08:22.830] – Dr. Yeo
[00:08:24.390] – Allan
And I just love that. I'm going to use that over and over. I'm going to take that quote. And Dr. Yeo, and I'm going to post that everywhere because I think that's really the important thing of what we're after here. We take weight and we consider it some proxy for being healthy and fit and everything else is great in our lives. When it's usually just a side effect.
[00:08:47.910] – Dr. Yeo
It'S not only is it just a side effect, it's also, sadly, what we create to with beauty. And so people are going to say, Well, no, that's rubbish. I can lose a lot more weight. I don't look like how I look, but there's a difference between wanting to look like what you look in a mirror. Look, I want to look like Brad Pitt, but there are any number of reasons why I can't look like Brad Pitt. But if you actually get to the point where you're healthy, you can carry your kids.
[00:09:13.870] – Dr. Yeo
You can go up and down the stairs without getting out of breath. You can cycle to whatever you want to do and you can live your life and not feel that something is holding you back. So what if you're a little larger? I guess that's the point. Can you live your life? Can you do what you want to do and you need help for that rather than looks per se?
[00:09:30.770] – Allan
Absolutely. Now to start this off, you start off the book and you have a supposition here that talks about calories. And this is really kind of the principle of the book, and it's A does not equal B does not equal C, and I'll go through that. A is the number of calories actually in the food that does not equal the number of calories on the side of the pack, which does not equal the number of usable calories we finally get out of the food. So the trouble is this is if I'm going to look at the input, the calories that I'm eating and none of those numbers line up, then it's an impossible math for me to do, even if I have the information on the pack, even if I had a bomb called Kilometer in my house to burn everything I want to burn to figure it out, which I don't, and I'm not going to invest in one of those anyway.
[00:10:26.360] – Allan
But doesn't that create this complication to the calories in calories out model that we really can't overcome with math?
[00:10:34.560] – Dr. Yeo
I think so, at least not with the math that we're using right now. And I think that's the critical thing, as you said in the very beginning. Clearly, they count in some description to 200 calories of French fries is twice the portion of 100 calories of French fries. Clearly, obviously that's the case, but I guess so is 200 grams of French fries greater than twice the portion of 100 grams of French fries. And no one's out here trying to compare 200 grams of French fries to 200 grams of carrots.
[00:11:05.030] – Dr. Yeo
So I think there is this thing we got to get around where we need to be thinking about, sort of like the food we're eating. And while the calories have their use, I think they're complicating matters, because now you talk about people equating their weight to their health. People are equating the number of calories in a food to how good a food is. That is just not the case.
[00:11:30.270] – Allan
Because I can get a little packet of snacks and it's 100 calories, or I could eat 100 calories of chicken breasts.
[00:11:37.290] – Dr. Yeo
[00:11:38.110] – Allan
And it's a whole different dynamic. It's a whole different dynamic.
[00:11:40.680] – Dr. Yeo
It's absolutely different dynamic because of the amount of protein because chicken breast hasn't been processed, it's been cooked, it's been processed by being cooked. So I guess that equation, which I actually put out what it does mean is that the calories everywhere are wrong. That's the first piece of information that everyone gets out. But the issue is we eat food and we don't eat calories, and this is absolutely critically important. And our body has to work to differing degrees in order to pull the calories out after the food.
[00:12:15.730] – Dr. Yeo
And so when you actually eat something like a chicken breast, a piece of steak, a piece of fish. Ok. Like a whole food, you have to chew through it. It's either got a lot of protein or a lot of fiber depending on what you're eating. And so you have to kind of make your way through and your body takes time and takes energy. It takes energy to break down food. Whereas if you have something that's ultra processed, that's out of a pack and that has a shelf life of a million years.
[00:12:42.960] – Dr. Yeo
All right. It's been so ultra processed. And remember when I say ultra process, I'm not talking about fermenting. I'm not talking about the stuff you do in your kitchen. This is stuff that's done in a factory that we cannot replicate at home. Then, in effect, this procedure of auto processing is like an external stomach. So a lot of energy has already been in to the food and made the calories more available. So if you have 100 calories of chicken breast, as you said, versus 100 calories of an ultra processed foods, you will end up with a lot more calories from 100 calories of an ultra processed food.
[00:13:18.640] – Dr. Yeo
And naturally, an ultra processed food because of what's been happening to it has less protein and or less fiber, and it's higher in salt, sugar and fat. So this is the problem. Whereas if you have a chicken breast, you have a chicken breast, you can put salt on it if you wish. Pepper, soy sauce, whatever you want, you control what you add to it because you see the chicken breasts, you're doing something to it. Whereas when you get something out of a pack, we don't know what's in it.
[00:13:44.560] – Dr. Yeo
We just don't. And I think it's important to understand this fact.
[00:13:50.970] – Allan
Because in the key of what you just said there was we're eating food, we're not eating calories.
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.
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[00:15:40.310] – Allan
Our ancestors before they invented calories in the I guess the late 1800 started talking about them. They didn't have calorie counts on their food. They ate till they were satiated, and then they stopped eating. And then they went back to work.
[00:15:56.320] – Dr. Yeo
So the whole concept of the calorie actually was not originally invented. It eventually became to look at human food, but was originally put together for farmers because what farmers were interested in was how much would you feed a cow or your chicken or your sheep and get good quality meat or eggs or milk or what have you that's a product. And so you could see why the farmers really cared. They really would care the calorie content of the food, what was coming out the other side of the animal.
[00:16:29.390] – Dr. Yeo
And so they could say, Well, we're going to change the food. We're going to make better investments in the food. It was only laterally that people said we can do this to human food, too. And that is when it became weaponized. Suddenly the calorie became not something about agriculture and talking about the food supply, but suddenly becoming equated to human beings. And then we worry about our health. And there we go.
[00:16:53.490] – Allan
Yeah, and all of it seems to get weaponized. I think that's what's actually kind of scary here is they'll say, okay, calories are weaponized and then, okay, fat, because fat has more grams more calories per gram than the other two. Then we've got to demonize fat. And then it's like, Well, no fat helps a little bit. But now we've got a demonized cholesterol. It's not the fast cholesterol. And then we got to demonize sugar. And then we got to demonize salt. And that's all the stuff that actually makes the food palatable in the first place, but in the right proportion in the right way.
[00:17:28.610] – Allan
The key of it to me, and you talked about this in the book was, can I eat less actual calories and be satiated? And there are certain foods that do that. And there are other foods that don't. And the first one I want to bring up is protein. Why is protein so important for weight loss?
[00:17:50.990] – Dr. Yeo
Okay, there are two different reasons, two broad reasons why, clearly, they're going to be associated. Famously, a calorie of protein makes you feel fuller, more satiated than a calorie of fat than a calorie of carb in that order. All right. And there are two different reasons why. Sorry. Like I said, we need food and not calorie. Freudian slip. And there are two stages your body goes through to extract calories from food. The first stage is digestion, which we talk about chewing, autochemical digestion. And there is a golden rule here, really quite a good golden rule, which works not only for protein, but also for fiber, but the longer something takes to digest, the farther down your gut it will go.
[00:18:41.240] – Dr. Yeo
And the farther down it goes, different hormones are released and you feel fuller. Okay. And so protein just happens to take longer to digest. It's more complicated. It's just more difficult to take it apart and something else. And so it tends to travel further down the gut, different hormones are released and you feel fuller. So that's the first thing. Now, protein is broken down into amino acids, the building blocks within your gut. And then that gets transported across the gut wall into your blood. And amino acids and sugar and fatty acids are themselves, not energy.
[00:19:16.890] – Dr. Yeo
They're few still. So they then transported to your organs, your cells, wherever you need them. They're then metabolized. And this is the second part of how we actually get the energy, digestion and metabolism. What happens with the metabolism is it takes a lot of energy to metabolize protein. For every 100 calories of protein that you eat, this is unusual. You don't normally do this. I'm just using it as an example, so that we understand. But for every 100 calories of protein we eat, we only ever use, on average, 70 calories.
[00:19:57.470] – Dr. Yeo
So it takes 30% of the protein calories you eat to handle protein. So just out of the blocks, all the protein calorie counts everywhere are 30% out because they don't take into account the 30% of energy it takes to actually deal with protein. And so it's a mix of the fact that protein takes longer to digest and more energy to metabolize together. It makes protein more satiating for us. It makes us feel fuller, even though we need exactly the same number of calories of protein and fats or carbs.
[00:20:31.210] – Allan
Yeah. Now the satiation is the important part. The 30% doesn't mean you get to eat 30% more.
[00:20:39.570] – Dr. Yeo
That's not what I mean. That's the wrong message.
[00:20:42.750] – Allan
Yeah. So just realizing that, yes. If you're looking at your macros and you're saying, okay, this meal is giving me a certain amount of protein. I think you said optimal is probably about 16%. And then I'm getting good carbs. And we'll talk about the good carbs in a minute and some fat. Then each of those is going to digest at their own pace. And because the protein takes longer to digest and uses more energy in the digestion, it makes it easier for you to stay satiated longer, eat less and lose weight.
[00:21:16.170] – Dr. Yeo
Now, that is absolutely right. But there is one thing. So if you happen to be trying to build your muscle and this could be because you're older or it could be because you are actually lifting and trying to bulk up, then there is a case to be made for thinking about how much protein you're actually getting in terms of protein calories and whether or not you need to alter whether or not you need to alter that. Now, this is not the case for everything, but I think there is a case to be made for.
[00:21:43.540] – Dr. Yeo
Maybe I need to up my protein a little bit more if I'm trying to bulk up.
[00:21:47.420] – Allan
And as a trainer, I would tell you if you feel like you're losing muscle mass due to sarcopenia because you're older, yes, you probably need more protein. And if you decide you want to take on a resistance training program for the sake of building muscle, you definitely need more protein. But as a basic, getting by 16% is probably a good number to start with. And then just see how you recover from your workouts, whether you are building muscle, losing muscle and change it out from there. Now the next one,
[00:22:18.250] – Allan
And we talked about carbs because there's different types of carbs. And I think many of us get conflated and saying, Well, okay, this is obviously a healthy carb because it grew in the ground. It's a plant. But then, of course, we dice it up and Fry it or batter it and Fry it.
[00:22:33.520] – Dr. Yeo
[00:22:35.310] – Allan
Like in San Francisco, you talked about the baseball games, the garlic fries, where there's as much garlic as there are fries. We ruin good things all the time. But fiber and fiber, similar to protein, has a compelling path through our digestive tract that changes the way we digest it, which also metabolize it, which also again helps us with satiation.
[00:23:05.200] – Dr. Yeo
So yes, the first thing is it's quite clear we don't digest most fiber, so some fiber we're able to digest. We'll do that in a second. But the vast majority of fiber that's the stringy stuff we see in the pulp and Orange juice and celery. And what have you we don't digest. It comes out sweet corn, corn on the cob, it comes out the other side. And so as we were discussing with the protein, because the fiber, therefore slows down the digestion of everything it takes longer to digest, it makes you feel fuller.
[00:23:32.990] – Dr. Yeo
The other thing about fiber that is very useful is fiber tends to be found almost exclusively in plants, almost exclusively. The type of macros you'll find in a plant tends to be largely carbohydrates, and maybe a little bit of fat, depending on what kind of plant we're actually dealing with. And the crucial thing is the fiber slows down the extraction of the carbohydrates and therefore the absorption of the sugar. And so you'll have exactly. This is the equivalent of drinking Orange juice versus eating an Orange.
[00:24:06.290] – Dr. Yeo
Right. It's the same kind of comparison where you're getting exactly the same amount of sugar, exactly the same amount of sugar. But if you drink Orange juice, it just gets absorbed the moment it hits a small intestine, whereas the fiber takes time. And so you then have a different glucose profile. Blood sugar profile after you eat something with fiber versus not. And that plays a very big role in terms of not only satiation, but also the eventual feeling of hunger again later as well.
[00:24:36.040] – Allan
Yeah. We call that the roller coaster where basically blood sugar spikes up, insulin kicks in. It sucks that sugar sometimes sending it to the muscles and sometimes sending it to the liver. But most of the time storing it as fat. And then your sugar crashes. And now you want some more Orange juice.
[00:24:54.100] – Dr. Yeo
That's right. And the fiber, evens this whole thing out, even though you get exactly the same. And this is the thing. This is the thing you try and explain to someone says, look, I'm not saying the foods are different. I'm not saying that they are magic, and I'm not saying the different types of sugars, the actual rate and speed and kinetics. Shall we say it is everything. It's absolutely everything to how your body manages its energy.
[00:25:18.770] – Allan
Yeah. And then the fiber goes further because we're not going to be able to digest most of it into our system. So it's ending up all the way down in the large intestine and some magical things happened down there.
[00:25:30.340] – Dr. Yeo
Some magical things happened down there because fiber, as we know, keeps you regular. And that's a good thing we don't want to be storing in us unnecessarily, but more crucially or equally crucially rather. It is very important for your gut microbiome, for the bugs in your gut that actually live there, and it keeps them happy. It keeps them happy. And what do I mean by happy? It means it keeps a nice variety of bugs. That pretty much is what healthy means. When people say, What's a healthy gut microbiome, the bugs variety.
[00:26:03.330] – Dr. Yeo
You only end up with one mono, very few varieties that tends to be meaning that you eat a very boring and very uniform type of diet, which is not great for you. So variety is the spice of life, and fiber is the spice for these bugs. And it's very important for your overall health, for your gut health. For your immune system, there is hardly any body system because, look, if you have bad guts, you feel awful. You're not having a good day. So having healthy guts is important to your overall health.
[00:26:41.910] – Allan
Now, one of the fundamental problems with nutrition. And I wish we could fix this is that there are labels on processed food, and there's seldom labels on the foods that are high in protein and fiber. Because you're picking those up at a farmer's market. You're picking those up in a produce stand in a meat market, and they're not wrapped and packaged the way that's required, particularly in the United States, for them to be labeled. And so if you find yourself eating more processed food, sometimes, I don't think I'm not even sure we recognize how processed our foods are.
[00:27:17.140] – Allan
There's a scale you talk about. It's not your scale. It's a scale that's been out there for us called the Nova scales, Nova classifications. And there's four of them. Could you go through those four real quick? So we would have an understanding, because in my opinion. And again, I'm just a guy that eats and try to get choice to take care of myself is I'm always trying to eat in that number one category, most of my foods. And then if there's a two or three, it's a little bit or it's a way to flavor the one or two.
[00:27:47.650] – Allan
And then I try my best to stay away from the four as much as possible. But could you go through that scale of what that actually means?
[00:27:54.250] – Dr. Yeo
Okay. So this was actually come up from a Brazilian scientist. Oh, gosh, I'm going to have to remember his name. That's terrible. I'm going to forget it, but I'll come up with it in a second. Brazilian scientist actually came up with this Nova system of one to four relatively recently. Actually, we're probably only looking at something like 2011 to 2016 year. So what are the four Nova categories? And this is to talk about how processed the food is. So Nova one, these are what we would recognize fruit, what we recognize as whole food, a piece of steak, a chicken wing.
[00:28:29.510] – Dr. Yeo
All right. So these are just food, whole foods that we would actually go and buy from a market. And what have you now? Nova two are flavorings ingredients. Okay. So, for example, this could be ground black pepper because the pepper has been toasted. It could be oil. It could be, for example, olive oil. It could be purified salt. It could be sugar from sugar cane or otherwise. And these are there for Nova type two. Now, what happens when you mix Nova type one and two together?
[00:29:09.810] – Dr. Yeo
You get a Nova type three. So three are the processed foods that we recognize as processed, for example, bread. Because bread has gone through the process of you put yeast, some fermentation, it goes up, you do things you can drink, beer. Okay. Now beer has gone through the fermentation process. So those are Nova group three and other foods that you might Cook. So pickling. Okay. So Kimchi or Sauerkraut, that would be a Nova group three. So that is the vast majority of food. And actually Nova groups one to three are all pretty much fine, because together they form what we would call whole foods to just minimally processed foods.
[00:29:54.780] – Dr. Yeo
Then there's no group four. And the problem with Nova group four is that that is where in North America, in Europe, in the high income countries, we get more than 50% of our calories from. And these are pretty much every prepackaged foods that are out there that have gone through a process that we cannot replicate in a domestic kitchen or even a restaurant. When you go to a restaurant, you're not getting a proper restaurant, not a fast food restaurant. If you go to a proper restaurant where there's a chef and kitchen and cooking your food, those are never going to be Nova group four.
[00:30:29.590] – Dr. Yeo
Okay. Whereas if you actually have to go through a factory process, it's everything that is in there. And so that's a lot of things. Just to be clear, I'm not demonizing them per se. We eat too much of them. Ice cream is going to be nova group four, croissants are going to be Nova group Four. Pastries are going to be Nova group Four. So there are those, but they at least look something resembling sorts of Nova group four. But then you can go really extreme.
[00:31:01.050] – Dr. Yeo
Right. And you can get these cheaper Nuggets where, for example, the meat is not really meat. Meat is even a strong word.
[00:31:12.970] – Allan
I will never eat another chicken McNugget, as long as I live.
[00:31:18.250] – Dr. Yeo
I don't want to get sued by them, but it's true, but that's the way they actually make it. So those are the four Nova groups. What we've got to do. Why does the Nova group four exist? This is a question to ask. I think it's helped keep 7 billion people in the world alive. Okay. There was a reason why it came about because of the industrial processes. They have economies of scale to make. They typically have very long shelf lives and they're very easily movable, and they're very cheap calories.
[00:31:51.340] – Dr. Yeo
And so as a result, we can actually survive on food. Certainly in the UK, you can now get up to 900 calories in the old school for less than a pound, depending on where you're getting. And a pound is a dollar 20 or one dollar 30 something like that. Yeah, really cheap calories. The problem is the amount we're eating now, that's the first thing. And the second problem is that because it's cheap, the poorer among society, people in the lower socio economic classes end up eating the cheaper food.
[00:32:26.440] – Dr. Yeo
Why? Because that is what's available in their food that they happen to be living in, for example. And it is also what they happen to be able to afford. And so I think it's a double tragedy. It's a tragedy, in a sense, where it is bad for us to eat too much of it and actually the poorest amongst us who are already at risk of diseases and things anywhere also end up eating it the most. So I think there's a double tragedy that we need to try and fix.
[00:32:51.600] – Allan
Well, I think there's a third piece in there that the food companies are responsible for. They're hiring scientists to make the food hyper palatable to make it addictive. I'm going to be talking to someone in a week or so about food addiction and how we deal with that. But the reality is if you find yourself there's just this food, and I like to term it as kryptonite, like your Superman, it's going to kill you. But you can't stay away from it. You can't do anything about it.
[00:33:18.450] – Allan
They make these foods like Kryptonite, they're so delicious. Even they advertise it. You can't eat just one, stack your chips, eat three of them because different flavors, and you're going to eat a whole two of them. And that's more calories than you should have had for your dinner. And they're hyperpatable. They're going to basically become blood sugar as soon as they hit your system. I think that there's a third piece there.
[00:33:46.210] – Dr. Yeo
And it's an arms war, because what's interesting is obviously there is no Advertisement campaign for strawberries. Not that I know. Or the Advertisement, maybe sometimes the Orange juice company, but even that. But then the Advertisement campaigns that go out to support these foods are incredible. And it's weapons grade. We talk about weaponization. It's weapons grade. And so you're someone selling from the local farm because there is no way you can compete against that. Certainly when it comes to kids, I think a lot of it is adults.
[00:34:21.950] – Dr. Yeo
We are obviously impressionable, but it's the kids. It's the kids that they're looking at and watch the cartoons. And they buy the happy meals. And they do the thing.
[00:34:31.550] – Allan
And the Super Bowl, which is coming up, which Congratulations on San Francisco's win this week.
[00:34:37.190] – Dr. Yeo
[00:34:38.300] – Allan
Super bowl. They'll spend millions of dollars. And you think, how many bags of potato chips do they have to sell? But they obviously are because they've been doing these commercials forever. So it obviously sells more potato chips.
[00:34:56.850] – Dr. Yeo
Otherwise they won't do it right. These guys are mercenary. Of course they are. They're not going to be spending the money if they're not getting a return from this.
[00:35:04.870] – Allan
Yeah. So that's the other side of just recognizing that these ultra processed foods are food stuff. They're built to be hyperpatable. They're built to be addictive. And, yes, they are low cost. They're easy to transport. They're self stable for a long, long time. So there are benefits from a feeding the world perspective to having this technology. But I kind of think it's gone a little on the other direction. And that's part of why we're in the problems we're at. And if we can flip back and we can start thinking about this scale of how processes my food and the less processing for the most part, the better.
[00:35:43.540] – Allan
One, two, three and trying to weigh your food and think of your food in that order, the more I have in category one, the better category two is next and then three. And then occasionally, if you want that Mars bar, have a Mars bar, but recognize where you are and what you're doing and enjoy the heck out of it and then be done. Get back to protein and fiber and your weight loss goals.
[00:36:11.070] – Dr. Yeo
I mean, there is another which I do raise in the book and sort of middle ground because I do think we need somehow a society to reformulate our food system. I think somehow we've managed to in trying to keep 7 billion people alive. I do think we've broken significant elements of our food system. Okay. And we're not here to necessarily discuss that. So we need to fix that. But in the meantime, however, in the meantime, how do we try and be pragmatic? And so what I do say is yes, if we want a Mars bar, we can have a Mars bar, but can we make a better Mars bar?
[00:36:46.380] – Dr. Yeo
I think that's the question, right? Can we convince at least in the interim. So this is not the be all and end all. But can we get the companies to put in more nuts, more dates and figs to try and up the fiber and protein content of a chocolate bar or a frozen lasagna or something? And every time I say this, what's interesting is I'm not trying to countenance all of us moving to Nova four as. It's just not my point. But my point is, how do we help the people who through no fault of their own, are almost forced to live on Nova Four Foods?
[00:37:23.210] – Dr. Yeo
Can we get the companies to improve their Nova Four foods? And that's another thing I'm quite passionate about in trying to. And whenever a company, a food manufacturer, for example, speaks to me, okay. I never take money from food companies for the reason, so that I can go in and speak to the food companies and be honest with them. They can listen to me or not listen to me, but I can say, look, you guys can continue making your chocolate bars or lasagna, what have you but can you make it better?
[00:37:52.930] – Dr. Yeo
Can you up the protein? Can you up the fiber? Can you do that? Surely you can. Surely you can do it without really that much of a significant rise in cost.
[00:38:01.570] – Allan
I suppose they can, especially when you think about it. We have a tendency to think of protein as being meat coming from an animal. And we think of fiber as coming from a plant and more of this could be plant based, and you can get there. Fiber is easy. It's practically nothing from a density perspective and almost no flavor from a cost perspective.
[00:38:25.970] – Dr. Yeo
It doesn't cost anything, right?
[00:38:28.710] – Allan
Because they stripped it off of something else. It's sitting there. It's sitting there. It's ready so they can. I know they can. And hopefully they will. They'll see the problem and realize, okay, if I want my clients, my customers to live longer and eat more, I actually have to not kill them.
[00:38:45.660] – Dr. Yeo
Keep them alive. Don't kill your customer.
[00:38:52.170] – Allan
Dr. Yeo, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:39:00.240] – Dr. Yeo
Well, oh, my goodness. That's a very good question. Actually, I'm not going to start with nutrition. Obviously, nutrition is one of them. The first is moving and literally moving. Now the interesting thing. And this could be if you are able, going long distances running or cycling or pumping. It could be that. Or it could be going in your garden, walking your dog, mowing the lawn. They're doing something like that. And while moving per se. And maybe sometimes people don't notice. Moving per se is not a great way of losing weight per se, but it is fabulous for you.
[00:39:40.760] – Dr. Yeo
You will never, ever be able to replace the goodness of moving. And so we don't move enough. And so we got to move. So that's the first thing I would say, move. And then the second thing is really think about nutrition, not in an evangelical and puritanical fashion. You talk about it. You sound just from our conversation here. You have the right approach. Look, sometimes you want a Mars bar. Sometimes your kid has a birthday party, you want to have a slice of cake, but we have too much of that.
[00:40:08.770] – Dr. Yeo
So I think thinking about the nutrition and simply if you consider protein and fiber in the diet that you eating, even as a shorthand as a proxy. Obviously the other thing. But even if we consider protein and fiber and moving, I think those three things would actually get you a long way to getting healthier.
[00:40:31.530] – Allan
If someone wanted to learn more about you and your book, Why Calories Don't Count. Where would you like for me to send them?
[00:40:38.820] – Dr. Yeo
They can send all good bookshops. I know some people don't like Amazon, and I don't want to push people there, but all good bookshops should sell the book, Why Calories Don't Count. There's also one. And if you want to hear anything more, just me bibling on and interviewing various people. I also have a podcast called Dr. Giles Yeo, Choose the Fat and it's available at Apple and Spotify and all your favorite places.
[00:41:07.690] – Allan
Okay, well, this is Episode 516, so you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/516, and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Yeo, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:41:20.730] – Dr. Yeo
Allan, this has been a pleasure. Thanks so much for having me.
[00:41:27.970] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:41:30.030] – Rachel
Allan, oh, my gosh. I don't even know where to start. There's a lot we can talk about. But I do want to mention that back when I started my weight loss journey a long time ago, pre Internet days, counting calories was a nightmare. It was just something I never wanted to do, and it's just difficult. It's just a pain to do, especially before smartphones and apps that are so helpful today. But just like a lot of people who start their weight loss journey, that's the only thing I knew about at that time.
[00:42:00.700] – Allan
Yeah, I've been on my fitness pal and some of the others, and I've talked to different people over the years that are tracking and some of them, it's quite literally, like they're doing the accounting for General Electric. I mean, it's just crazy measure every calorie, calculate these numbers, and then you're looking at your weight and they're trying to evaluate and you're like, okay, well, maybe I was off by a pecan the other day. If you find that doing the calorie counting is stressing you out. You're doing it wrong.
[00:42:38.120] – Allan
Now, full disclosure or Disclaimer, or however you want to look at it. If you have a food addiction, if you have an eating disorder or you just find that the gamification of this actually is helping you stick with it, that's great. There are a lot of people that are like that, and that's cool that the whole world is made up of different people. So I'm not going to say there's one way fits all. That'll never be the case. But if you're stressing over the calories, oh, I can't eat this.
[00:43:09.220] – Allan
It has too many calories in it. It's chicken breasts.
[00:43:17.290] – Rachel
Well, that's a good point. I mean, think about what you're eating. I think one light bulb moment that I had many years ago when I did have my fitness pal was one of the foods I did like to eat after a half marathon. I used to go to McDonald's and get the Quarter Pounder meal because I craved the salt and the fat in that meal. And one day I realized that the calorie count for the Quarter Pounder with cheese meal was the equivalent of my total calorie intake for that day.
[00:43:49.700] – Rachel
And it was a big light bulb moment for me because obviously, I can't live on one meal per day, especially running half marathons. But that probably wasn't the most healthy choice that I could have picked for that time.
[00:44:05.750] – Allan
Yeah, one, I think if you read Doctor Yeo's book, you're not going to eat fast food ever again.
[00:44:18.170] – Allan
he actually taught you a lot of people don't want to know how they make the sausage. And I'll just say, you don't want to know how they make the burgers, and you don't want to know how they make the chicken McNuggets. So sue me, McDonald's if you have to. But I'm just going to say, okay, no. Just no.
[00:44:41.470] – Allan
It's okay to have those kinds of things if you start assessing about things and get granted if you have a food issue or things like that, then yeah, I'm going to have Dr. Susan on in a few weeks, probably right around the beginning of the year. And we're going to talk about that because she has these very strict rules in her life. And everybody she coaches very strict rules and those work. But she also has this resume process, which is when you go off kilter, you understand it, you learn from it, and you kind of get yourself back into your box.
[00:45:19.930] – Rachel
[00:45:21.950] – Allan
That approach works. Now most of us can't live in a calorie counting box. We have jobs, we have children, we have friends and family, and we have things that pop up. Like you said, I finished this run. I'm hungry.
[00:45:38.060] – Allan
What's there? McDonald's. Okay. Is it McDonald's or banana? And I'm sorry, but back in the day, McDonald's tastes better than the banana. You need the potassium. Okay, great. But I'm going to go for the burger, too, back in the day. But I think what we're trying to come out with this is number one. Look for the foods that serve you. And we talked with Dr. Yeo about how protein and fiber are going to be your friends in this pursuit. And if you're eating the foods that provide the best quality of that, then you're not necessarily eating a whole lot of meat to get your protein, because you can get that from a vegetable source, which is another thing he talks about in the book.
[00:46:28.330] – Allan
But you look at getting protein because it takes longer to digest and it's more energy burning as you do that. So you're getting less calories out of what appears to be a lot of calories, and it's going to keep you fuller longer. The other side is the fiber. And whether you want to go keto or you want to go as far as carnivore, he doesn't like those ways of eating. From the perspective, you're not getting the fiber. And so if you find that you try keto and you're just not pooping and taking a little bit of magnesium, which we're going to have Thomas DeLauer on the show in a week or so.
[00:47:03.090] – Allan
And we're going to talk about mineral deficiencies. So if you're having trouble at the loo, as Dr. Yeo would say, then you might want to try some magnesium. But if those things aren't working, what you're doing is not serving your body and you're not feeling good and healthy, then we're missing the point. The point is to try to get healthy. The weight loss is the side effect.
[00:47:26.110] – Rachel
I love that part when you and Dr. Yeo mentioned the weight losses, the side effect and also not obsessing. If counting calories becomes too much of an obsession, if it's distracting you, then it's really not the greatest tool in the toolbox. But also, I think focusing on the protein and the fiber and the healthy vegetables that'll give you the nutrients that you need to feel energetic throughout the day and satisfy whatever activities you do as well.
[00:47:56.510] – Allan
I couldn't even imagine sitting down at, like, a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and there being like, pumpkin pie there. And you're on my fitness pal trying to figure out how much is a slice to get the 100 grams and you're like, mom, do you have a scale so I can weigh this pumpkin pie? If you want some of the pumpkin pie, heat the pumpkin pie.
[00:48:22.560] – Rachel
Well, that's perfectly acceptable, especially during these holiday times when all these wonderful family traditional foods are coming out and you want to try your mom's recipe or your grandma's recipe or something important. I mean, there's so much meaning to that, and if you just enjoy it and have a taste of it and not overdo it, you're less likely to feel those after effects. Thanksgiving is my favorite meal. I tend to eat a little bit more than I normally do, and I feel the after effects later, so enjoy what you can and then get back to your normal eating and you'll feel much better in the days ahead.
[00:49:01.280] – Allan
Now, one of the cool things about Doctor Yeo's book is that when he gets into this, it is a lot of biochemistry, but he says it in a way that is actually follow able. Okay, he still has to use the words mitochondria, Krebs cycle or citric acid cycle and all the words because the words are the words. It's not like he can come up. But he comes up with a lot of ways to think about how that works and why things work the way they work. And then in the end, when he's explaining why protein is a better choice, why fiber is a better choice and those types of things, it clicks, you're like, oh, of course.
[00:49:45.750] – Allan
Why is it that you can eat sugar and your blood sugar shoots up and you can eat protein and it doesn't. Or you can eat sugar with fiber. And it doesn't like he was talking about the Orange juice and the Orange. And so he gives you all the background to understand. He didn't just make this up and say he doesn't want you drinking Orange juice. He's just trying to explain to you, if you're trying to lose weight, the Orange is the better deal.
[00:50:13.480] – Rachel
Sure, it makes total sense. That's so helpful, too. It's hard to imagine the glass of Orange juice being so much different than the actual Orange itself. But it does make sense when you discuss that in your interview.
[00:50:25.750] – Allan
It's not as convenient. And honestly to me, if you're trying to lose weight, drinking your calories is the worst way to do it, because again, if it's a liquid, your body is going to digest it very quickly. It's going to be out of your system and in your blood, and therefore it's not going to satiate you. It just won't. Whereas if you have to go through your system and you have to digest. Actually, physically digest that you're burning calories. Doing that digestion. If it's liquid, the digestion is over.
[00:50:55.060] – Allan
It's just flowing through and saying, okay, ha ladi da and then sugar. And it's in your system. So good. Pick me up in the morning, Orange juice and coffee. But then you're going to be hungry by 10:00am if you ate at seven because you didn't give your body that long term full feeling that it's going to get with the fiber and protein.
[00:51:20.130] – Rachel
It's important that we pay attention to how we feel after we eat these different foods. Because I think that once you find what you enjoy eating and you get a good feeling afterwards, you feel full. It's a better way to plan your meals, especially if you plan them around protein.
[00:51:39.830] – Allan
Yes. Absolutely. All right. Well, Rachel, I'll talk to you and I'll talk to everybody else next week.
[00:51:46.540] – Rachel
[00:51:47.450] – Allan
[00:51:48.320] – Rachel
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On episode 507 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we talk to Dr. Gary Foster about his book, The Shift: 7 Powerful Mindset Changes for Lasting Weight Loss.
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If you struggle with failed diets and exercise programs, it might be all in your head. In his book, Mind of Weight, Dr. Ian K. Smith shares with us some great tips, tactics, and strategies to ensure we approach our health and fitness with the right mindset.
The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:
|– Anne Lynch||– John Somsky||– Margaret Bakalian|
|– Deb Scarlett||– Judy Murphy||– Melissa Ball|
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