It is human nature to like simplicity. It's easy to wrap our heads around and typically quick to get started. But simple can be a disastrous approach to weight loss after 40 because our bodies are anything but simple, especially as we age. On this episode I discuss why you may want to put a little more forethought and research into your weight loss plan if simple hasn't helped you lose weight and keep it off in the recent past.
Let's Say Hello[00:00:47.640] – Allan
Hey Raz! How are you doing? [00:00:49.650] – Rachel
Great Allan. How are you today? [00:00:51.480] – Allan
I'm doing all right. It's a busy week. I've got three interviews, which means three books. We're going to talk about today is a solo episode, which I basically put as much time into one of those as I would if it were a book. But there's a lot of reading going on. And the funny thing was they did a power outage on the island yesterday, which is why we had to delay our recording. We were going to do this recording yesterday and they just decided, okay, we need to do some work on the electric grid. So from about 10:00 this at 10:00 to five o'clock, they're going to cut out our power. It actually ended up being something like 10:30 to 7:15. [00:01:28.650] – Allan
But I was in the process of trying to read this book, and it's on the computer because I don't get hard copies here. And I used my computer until the battery said 3%, 1%, then gone. I had it on my phone. So I had emailed it to me and I had it on my iPhone. And so that iPhone I just paid for. I read half of his book on an iPhone, and I was exhausted, I was like, this is hard. I don't want to read books on phones anymore. [00:01:58.470] – Rachel
It's too small. Man, you'll need better glasses if you do that. [00:02:03.470] – Allan
I did it. Yeah, but I needed to get the book read and I didn't have really have another option. But I and it was a fascinating book. So I'm really, really interested in that interview for sure, because he's he's a pretty fascinating guy with a lot of, a lot of good information. So that's going to be a great podcast with Dr. Pontzer coming up soon, a few weeks. I had to read his book, most of his book. I read it on my phone because I ran out of juice on my computer, but. [00:02:30.640] – Rachel
Oh, my gosh. [00:02:31.810] – Allan
Yesterday was an interesting day. And I had read a book today and I'm going to do interviews. So this is just a very busy week for me. [00:02:40.630] – Allan
Wow. It sure sounds like it. [00:02:42.730] – Allan
How about yourself? [00:02:44.140] – Rachel
Great. Not quite as busy as you are now. We are out of the polar vortex now and I don't know if you can see, but we've got beautiful blue skies here in Michigan. It's nice and sunny and we're in the thirty degrees. So I might even have to break out some shorts now. [00:03:00.950] – Allan
We're in the thirty degrees… Celsius, but… [00:03:05.410] – Rachel
A little different. [00:03:07.100] – Allan
A little different. I'm wearing a tank top and shorts and yeah. [00:03:11.350] – Rachel
Yeah, I'm happy to see the sun. [00:03:15.070] – Allan
All right. Well are you ready to get into today's episode. [00:03:17.770] – Rachel
You bet. Let's do this.
Weight Loss Over 40
Today's discussion is going to be about why simple can be a bad long term strategy for weight loss. Let's face it, everybody likes simple rules. We like simple because simple, something we can wrap your mind around. And if it works, if that rule of thumb, if that simple thing is correct, it works. And that's beautiful. You know, the keep it super simple, KISS model, if you will. There's other versions of that, obviously, but I'll just I'll go with that clean one. And for a lot of people, that's actually what we want. We want the simplest solution to solve a problem. So why would I think or say that it's not a good long-term strategy for weight loss?
Well, before I get into that, I want to kind of take you back to 1999 when the movie came out called The Matrix. And this is one of my personal favorite movies I particularly like the first one that of them in the series were really, really good. But in this particular movie, Morpheus offers Neo, who was played by Keanu Reeves, two choices. And so he has his two hands out there. You can take the red pill or you can take the blue pill.
And Neo had to make that choice. But it seems for a lot of people in wanting simple we're doing the same thing with weight loss and the two operate offers are either Calories In Calories Out (CICO) or energy balance or your low carb/keto. And for most of the people that are on one side of the fence or another, they're in this tribe. It's this or that, and they're almost oblivious to the other side of the conversation. And as a result, no one's really having good conversations about what we should be doing for weight loss.
Today, I want to tell you and show you how this, this or that choice is an illusion that's actually part of the problem why so many people suffer and struggle to lose weight.
So the first reason I want to kind of get into is is kind of the most obvious one. Nutrition is not a simple thing. If it were really that simple, we would all just eat Twinkies and take multivitamins and we would be fine and obviously that's not the case because food is information.
What we eat, when we eat, how we eat and how much we eat are all bits and pieces of information that we're giving our body for our body to then do something with. Okay? And the body's this wonderful mechanism that can take us through hard times. It can make us thrive during good times, and the body adapts to everything that we do to it, including our food. So I want you to stop thinking about food as something that you just enjoy eating or something that's providing you with calories or anything like that.
Food is information.
And when you kind of wrap your mind around that, you can understand how food is just like a matrix. And the only way we're going to understand what works for us is to go ahead and peel back the layers of that matrix. And the way I like to visualize this is that there are three layers to this matrix.
Now, the first layer is very, very simple. It's like grade school math. The second layer is a little bit more complicated. So we'll say that's like high school algebra, maybe some geometry mixed in there. And then the final layer is extremely complex. In fact, the math is so difficult that in some cases we as human beings, science and everything have not really solved that puzzle, have not cracked that code. So let's take a moment to talk about these three layers and how they all affect your ability to lose weight.
So the first is the Calories In Calories Out model. This is a very simple model because it assumes what goes in has to come out. And so it's trying to play off of the law of thermodynamics. And in particular, that was Newton's laws, but it was the law of conservation of energy. So the expectation is if you put energy into a system, then the energy will have to come out or be stored, can't be lost anywhere. Now, that all makes sense and it's actually true. But there's just a couple problems with the Calories In Calories Out model being a pure thermodynamics play. And that's because the human body is not a closed system. See, the way they like to measure calories is in a closed system.
So they will literally burn something in a container and there's nothing else in that container but that thing. And that's where they figure out how many calories an item could produce based on burning it. Likewise, when they're looking at human performance, they're measuring the carbon dioxide output of a human being, doing some work. And that's where they're coming up with some estimates on how many calories the individual burned. Now, when you're in a closed system, that's very easy to measure. But unfortunately, we don't live in closed systems. We don't live in closed environments.
So pretty much everything we do related to calories is done on a formula and an estimate. And there are some big, big problems with those estimates, for example. They would assume if there was an Olympic athlete that weighed the same as I do, that we would both burn the same amount of energy, traveling the same distance. And that's just not true. I'm going to be much less efficient at my movement than an Olympic athlete. Therefore, the Olympic athlete is going to burn fewer bits of energy to accomplish the same task.
That's how they become elite performers. They're able to perform better. They're able to use utilize energy more effectively, more efficiently than someone normally would. If I were trying to outswim Michael Phelps, I'm going to flail and my legs and arms are not going to cooperate as well. He's going to glide through the water with almost no effort or at least looks like it's almost no effort. So you can't compare me to Michael Phelps from a calorie burning model.
Yet everything we have out there tells me if you spend an hour running, you're going to burn X number of calories. And again, these are all estimates. So they just don't really know at that point in time how many calories you might be burning. It's an estimate. Same with food. You know, if you're not measuring to the nth degree the volume of each and every ingredient in a recipe and then making sure that you're eating that specifically portion to portion, then you're going to potentially be off.
What does that mean? Well, if you're off just 16 calories on a meal and you're overeating by 16 calories every meal, you could be gaining as much as 10 pounds in a year. And so it's these finite what we think of as perfect formulas that are leading us astray quite often.
The other thing that's not quite right with calories in, calories out is a lot of people start to get hungry and then they get hangry. If you're eating predominantly a higher carb meal, which is what you inevitably end up doing in a Calories In Calories Out, pure model, because they look at fat and they say fat is nine calories per gram and a carb is four calories per gram. So if we substitute fat grams for carbs grams, we're going to reduce our total calorie input. And that is true.
The problem is we get hungry. Carbs burn through our system faster. They need to go somewhere faster. And as the result, it makes it very difficult for someone to stay at a calorie restriction and not have some hunger issues. And we're going to get into that in a little bit more detail when I talk about the next layer, because that hunger and all the stuff that's going on in our body, how fast we're burning energy, all those things is really dictated by the next two layers.
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So the second layer of this is going to be a little bit more complex because it's not just the simple math of which you studied in grade school. There's a little bit more to it. And that's macros. The macronutrients that your body needs to perform. Now, our brain and our body are made up of protein and fat. Now carbs such as just standard sugar or potato or a carrot or an apple or even some lettuce or broccoli are are all made up of carbs and some protein. But our body really only uses the carbs for energy, the protein and the fat is utilized for building materials.
So one of the things about macros that's really, really important to wrap your mind around is that like body temperature, which stays in a very tight range and blood pH which stays in the very tight range, our blood sugar level stays at a very tight range, or at least it's supposed to if we're living optimally. So when you start looking at blood sugar, just a simple little tip here is that a human body has less than a teaspoon of total sugar in our blood system at any given point in time when we eat something that has carbs in it and maybe even a little bit, if we eat something with protein, we're going to get an input of insulin.
The pancreas will put some insulin in there because it's going to say we don't need this much sugar in the blood. It's dangerous for our kidneys, it's dangerous for our brain. Let's regulate this. Let's keep it in this tight little range that we need to keep our blood sugar in to be healthy. If you're fairly active and maybe you did a good workout today, then the insulin can take that and put it in the muscles and the liver in the form of glycogen. So that it can refresh, basically restore the glycogen that was in the muscles and in the liver that we use during a hard workout.
Now, for most of us, though, we didn't do a hard workout necessarily. And we eat that sugar or we eat that carb and the body has only one other option, and that's to store it as fat. So we start accumulating fat because we have more blood sugar than our body needs and it stores it. If we're active, then those energy burn. And as I said, the first model is not wrong. We are burning those calories.
The problem is we get this little surge and we store a little. So little surge, little store, little surge, little store. And most of the people that preach the Calories In Calories Out model will also tell you you should eat six small meals per day so you're never super hungry. So they recognize that you're digesting that food really quickly. You're putting it to use in your body really quickly and you're going to be hungry, really quickly. And so they encourage you to eat more frequently. Well, again, that's a little surge and a little burn. A little surge, little burn.
You're never really giving your body the opportunity to go back to look at fat storage. Now, if you're slightly below your actual calorie usage, then, yes, there's the potential that you could actually use some of that body fat for energy.
But because you're eating all the time, there's not a lot of opportunity for that. And if you let yourself get hungry, you're very likely over eating those small meals or they're bigger meals than they should be. And now you're not in your calorie deficit.
Over time, what happens is we have this fat cells that are good at storing this energy, but even the fat cells themselves get a little overburdened. Ad a way you can kind of visualize this as imagine that every day that you're putting out garbage by your house and the that the trucks, the garbage trucks are coming by and they're picking up garbage. But that garbage, they don't really have anywhere to put it, sort of putting it in the garbage trucks that are driving around with garbage trucks. The garbage trucks get full and then the garbage trucks don't want to pick up any more garbage because they're full. So what are they doing? They're just they're driving around, but they're not picking up the trash. And so the trash collects. Now, blood sugar is that trash.
And so the pancreas says we need more of we need more of these these trucks. And so it starts trying to make more insulin. It tries to get more moving and force the fat cells to take on more, which they can do. They don't like it, but they do it. And that's when we start really having metabolic problems. And because the pancreas is working so hard to create all this excess insulin six times per day, boop, boop, boop, boop, it can get tired and it can fail.
And so we end up with these situations of insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction because we keep feeding ourselves carbs and we're overeating. And a lot of that overeating actually comes from the fact that when we eat the standard American diet, it tends to not be low fat. And it also tends to not be low carb. It tends to be high carb, high fat and low in protein. And that's just a recipe for disaster, because there's too many calories and there's too many carbs, and our body is going to readily want to and need to store that sugar as fat.
Let's take a little bit of a step back now that we're into this, the second realm, because this is something even though it's a little bit complex, it's something that's fairly easy for us to wrap our minds around, because most of us know what protein, fat and carbs really are. They know where they come from. But the problem is most of us are not eating it from the right sources. We're not eating whole food. We're getting our food from a bag, box, can, or jar.
It has additives. It has added sugar. So it'll taste better and it'll have these like little labels all over them. “Healthy.” “Good for your heart.” All this stuff. Lies, lies, lies. They just are, okay? You need real food. That's what your body needs. That's when we talk about information. If you're putting processed foods in your body, it's getting garbled information and it's going to make poor choices for you.
It's going to store it. Now, one of the things, as I mentioned earlier, with the Calories In Calories Out model was that they they kind of turned on fat and they called fat the corporate culprit of why we're fat, why we have heart attacks and everything else is going on in our bodies. I've even seen people say that they believe diabetes is caused by excess fat in the diet. Again, not true, but I hear it. And so there's all this fat phobia and there has been for decades.
And it's not going to go away any time soon for most people. But I want you to think of it in these terms because everybody's afraid if I start eating more fat and more protein than my cholesterol is going to go up. So I hear the cholesterol conversation. Now, I'm not a doctor, so I'm not going to tell you what you should do relative to managing your cholesterol levels. I'm just going to say it in these simple terms.
Just because there are firemen and firewomen at a fire does not mean they are the cause of the fire. And just because there are more firemen and firewomen at a bigger fire doesn't mean, again, that the firemen are firewomen started that fire. There is no cause and effect. That one exists in a location at a given time. They're not causing you know, the firemen are not causing the fire.
If you follow the cholesterol model, that's what you believe, because my cholesterol is high. That's why I have clogged arteries, when the reality of it is it's that excess sugar, it's the insulin. It's all the stuff that's going on there that's creating the environment where cholesterol now has actually cake and do its thing to protect your blood vessels from leaking and then doing its job. Yes, you are now calcifying those in your in your arteries, and that is what's leading to heart disease and stroke.
And so if you can get past your fat phobia, then you're going to be able to make it into this next level.
And the third and final level is hormones. Now, if you're just a Calories In Calories Out model kind of person, then you may not think hormones have anything to do with fat. And it's not true. We know men can lose weight easier than women because we have testosterone. We know that a woman going through menopause begins to store fat differently because of estrogen and testosterone.
So if your hormones change and that's going to change where you store fat, it only makes reasonable sense that hormones do have a place in the fat storage system. And we've already talked about insulin, so we know that one. Now we're talking about the sex hormones, but thyroid, cortisol, glucagon, leptin and ghrelin, which are your hunger and satiety, all these different hormones are basically in a system of messaging that's happening in our body. And the food that goes in is information is then translated into our hormones.
So how do we manage the hormone system so that we're optimizing our opportunity to lose body fat and lose weight? Well, the first thing is, yes, you can go to your doctor and pretty much for thyroid, testosterone and estrogen, they can supplement. They can give you some. And that would definitely help alleviate if you're low. If your low T, if you've gone through menopause and you want to put some estrogen in there, that may make you feel a lot better. And then the same thing with thyroid. If your thyroid is under producing or converting, then your doctor might prescribe some thyroid again just to help you optimize where you need to be with those hormones.
But for most of the hormones that relate to what we're doing, trying to lose weight, there really isn't. A doctor way, there isn't a pill or a shot or something like that or a patch or something stuck under the skin that we can use to fix that problem, we have we have to manage it through lifestyle. And there are four core areas of lifestyle that are really important for managing your hormone system.
We've talked a bit about food, and if you're eating whole food and you're focused on food quality and you're eating a balanced diet, getting all the minerals and vitamins and things that you need.
And by the way, a lot of our hormones are made out of cholesterol. So, again, it's not necessarily a bad thing to have cholesterol. It's not evil. It's not terrible. But I'll let you manage that.
Anyway. Managing your nutrition, it should be the first step for weight loss. And so if you're eating a good balanced meal, you're getting some good proteins with each meal. There's some fat in there and a minimal amount of carbohydrates predominantly so that you can get your fiber and some vitamins and minerals.
Then you're signaling. The information you're putting in your body is that we have access to good food and we we don't need this extra body fat. It's okay to let go of it. And we're not going to be hungry all the time.
And we're not going to be eating six meals a day because we just don't need that food as a result of not needing that food. We are not eating as many calories. See the magic. So start with your nutrition and get that balanced and get that working for you.
The next is sleep. Most of the hormones in the human body, particularly with weight loss, are somewhat influenced by our circadian rhythm. If we're not getting a good night's sleep and we're not going to sleep early enough and we're setting alarms and we're waking up all frazzled, we're basically with that lack of sleep signaling to our body that we're in a stressful situation, something's bad, and we're not giving our body the opportunity to do the things it needs to do to optimize its own hormones. So after nutrition, the next thing I would focus on is improving quality of your sleep.
And then the next one is stress management. Now, when we're stressed, our body releases cortisol and sometimes it doesn't even have to be like seeing a bear or anything like that. Just in the morning, your cortisol levels are going to rise so that it's telling your body it's time to get up and start moving around. So cortisol has a very important purpose. But in our current day, we're all overstressed. We're all over sensitized. We're on the computer at night. We're watching shows, the news, everything that's going on in the world. So we end up in this kind of fight or flight mode almost all the time.
And if we're not managing that cortisol, cortisol has this really interesting relationship with your other hormones, particularly insulin. And it tells the body, don't burn excess energy, cut back on your energy. We're going to use this adrenaline and other stuff to get stuff done. But you focus on conservation because we need to survive. And if you're constantly in that state, you're going to probably be storing fat and it's really hard to lose fat. And you're also likely going to be breaking down muscle because cortisol is catabolic.
OK, next, I want to get into kind of some of the things that happen when we're not managing our stress. And a lot of times it just comes down to fatigue. We're just constantly dealing with information and we're trying to make the right decisions. And decisions are kind of finite. If we start doing too much, there's a fatigue. And as a result, we might make poor choices. We might decide I've had a tough day at work. I'm going to skip my workout. Or even worse, I had a tough day at work, I think I'm going to drink a bottle or two of wine and maybe someone takes up smoking again to manage their stress. So you see that this whole cycle of not managing your stress can lead you down a very dark path. That is, again, in each of those cases, communicating to your body. All is not good and we need to fight and we need to flight. And all those things are happening inside your body as expressed by your hormones. And then your actions.
And so the final one is movement, and this one, I saved it for last, but I don't want you to think that this is the most important thing, because the reality of it is you have to start with nutrition and then focus on your sleep and then focus on your stress. And movement is something that you blend into your life as you go.
It's great to start. Most people will start a weight loss program and they'll say, I'm going to eat very few calories and I'm going to bust my butt to try to lose this weight. The problem is you can't out exercise a bad diet. So, you know, you started out doing really, really well. You got hungry and then you you chewed into the Girl Scout cookies. And I mean, a whole pack of those is gone. And you you didn't do it and now it's time to exercise. You're not going to burn that box of Girl Scout cookies as fast as you hate them, you just can't. So you can't exercise, you can't out sleep, you can't out stress manage a bad diet. You got to get that right first.
So with the movement, this is something we want to talk about, kind of as a pretext to all the other stuff where we're trying to communicate to our hormones that it's okay to lose the weight. It's okay to use that energy for the right reasons. So as you do the exercises, recognize the type of exercise, how frequently you do it, how intensely you do it are communications to your body. So if you're lifting heavy weights, you're communicating to your body that you need more muscle, you need more strength, you need more bone density.
As such, your body actually starts producing a little bit more testosterone to aid in making those things happen. Again, exercise like just about everything else is lifestyle related, is going to be a communication strategy for your body, for you to tell your body that you want it to get stronger, you want it to go ahead and shed some of that body fat, get that growth hormone going. And that just kind of speeds the whole process up.
And then, don't don't feel like you've got to sit down and start this this massive exercise program straight away. Sometimes the simplest is easiest. And I know I started this by saying simple is not the best weight loss strategy, but sometimes with movement, I can tell you simple is actually the best. Go for a walk, go do something you enjoy, ride a bike, go hiking, do some things outside that you enjoy. And then as you get yourself more comfortable with movement as being a part of your every day, then you can start factoring in resistance, training, balance, mobility, all those different things. So you're building the body you want through the communication that came from the exercise that you did.
To sort of kind of roll this all together: Calories In, Calories Out is not wrong. The low-carb approach is not wrong. But the problem with only thinking you have those two choices is that you don't get the whole picture. They're all right at some level. But you've got to look at all of them and you've got to look at it from the perspective of this is all sitting on that complex model of hormones that even to this day, the best scientists in the world struggle to wrap their mind around how to optimize and make all those things work the way they're supposed to work. Because the human body is not simple. It is one of the most complex pieces of equipment you will ever have the ability to operate.
And we're doing it with these hormones. We're doing it with the information we feed our body and the time and day and how much and what macros they are. All of that matters. All of that's a part of it. I don't want to leave you thinking that this is just something that's outside the realm of your capacity to understand, because it's not. Any incremental improvement that you do is going to be good. Your body is going to respond. If you're not eating much whole food right now, most of your food is coming from a bag, box , jar, or can, start to change that. Go to a Farmer's Market this weekend and pick up some vegetables and meat, go to the butcher and find out ways that you can get meat at a cheaper discount, because sometimes they write off, they write down some of their higher priced, grass fed cow beef and some of their pasture chickens because they didn't sell at all. And you might have an opportunity to pick up on some of that at a discount look for a local co-op where they're selling things that are typically much cheaper because they're trying to make whole foods more accessible.
Start a process of looking for ways to improve your nutrition. And that's going to be the key to managing the hormones, looking at your macros, then looking at your calories, and then you've taken all of that math and all those layers and you've put together a formula that works for you. So, no, simple is not always the best alternative for long term weight loss, but once you know your rules, very likely those will be your rules for a long, long time.
And so learning how to eat, learning how to sleep better, learning how to reduce stress and manage stress and learning how to move should all be things that you look at each day to improve your health and fitness.
[00:33:44.430] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz. [00:33:45.840] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Well, that's a lot of information you set out, and it sure makes sense. I can tell you that weight loss is nothing at all that simple. It's totally complex. And it gets worse with age, I think. [00:33:58.200] – Allan
Yeah. It's hard for me to be having some conversations with people because they'll be tribal and they'll be like, oh, no, it's just it's this. It's this one rule and loose weight. You have to be in a calorie deficit. And the short answer is, yeah, you do. But what you think is a calorie deficit isn't necessarily calorie deficit. Then they say, well, no, you just calculate a formula and everybody follows the formula. [00:34:27.840] – Allan
And I was like, okay, then everybody passes the test. There's a bell curve, there's a range. And some people are outside that range. And there's something's going on in your body that might be different than someone else. And so there's age is related to it. Size is related to it. Rather, you're going through an infection or not could have something to do with it. So everything that's going on in your body takes energy to do. [00:34:51.450] – Allan
That's true. But your body will shut off the function if it doesn't need it, if it needs the energy to do something like feed your brain, keep you alive, it will do that and it will sacrifice reproductive system. It will sacrifice your spleen, all of that. It will just do it. And that's where people get lost. But no, it's not that simple. If everybody were the same, if it were perfectly the same, then yes. And those formulas that were calculated, the calculations are estimate. And if you're off by just a couple hundred here, there things aren't working the way that you think they should. [00:35:32.070] – Allan
But and you can look at it, you go on my fitness pal and say I'm eating this much and you can weigh every bit of that. Every single morsel goes in your mouth. You can weigh every bit of it. Put that in there and you can go through and say, and here I am on the elliptical. Mr Elliptical said I just burned 750 calories in an hour. Put that into the formula and then I'd say, OK, in six weeks you should weigh fifteen pounds less. [00:35:53.700] – Rachel
Mm hmm. [00:35:54.780] – Allan
It's not a straight line. Why is it not a straight line. It should be. If I eat the same foods every day, did the same exercise every day, why would it be that one day I weigh less or more than another day. And so it's not just calories in. That's a part of it. It's true. But it is not everything. [00:36:11.340] – Allan
The other side of it is then how we eat and what we eat is defining how hungry you are. And so where I said you could measure every morsel of food and you would know roughly how much you were eating. But most of us don't do that. Most of us say I had an Apple medium. [00:36:30.420] – Rachel
Exactly. [00:36:30.970] – Allan
When the actual apple they have is large. And they'll say, oh, I had a serving of almonds when in fact, they actually had two servings of almonds. [00:36:39.670] – Rachel
Oh, yeah. [00:36:40.650] – Allan
You know, I had a tablespoon of peanut butter when the way they scooped it out, they now actually have three tablespoons of peanut butter. And they forgot about the bag of popcorn that they ate at night. [00:36:52.620] – Rachel
That's right. [00:36:54.400] – Allan
I didn't log that. Darn. I don't understand why the formula is not working. And so what you how you feed yourself, whether you're hungry or not. And in many cases, if you start exercising, you're going to be hungrier. And they've done study after study and I've seen different numbers, but even nutritionists, people who should know exactly what they're putting in their mouths, underestimate how much they ate. And in some cases, that can be 29% or more. The numbers I've seen. So if you're off by about 30 percent of what you thought you ate, meaning you're underreporting that. [00:37:32.940] – Allan
And then I can tell you on some cardiovascular machines, they're overstating it because I can tell you is extremely difficult to burn 750 calories in an hour. And so there was no way I was burning that many calories per hour. Just this wasn't happening. But the machine said it, so I should take it. And I say, okay, well, this is a Precore. And then I go get on this other one. And I work just as hard for an hour. And I don't like that machine because it only says 600. I like the one that says 750. [00:38:03.981] – Rachel
For sure. I would to! [00:38:07.980] – Allan
One hundred fifty difference. And when we're talking about six hundred that's twenty five percent. So if I'm off on one side I'm off on the other side of my formula it doesn't make any sense. So I want make sure I'm eating foods that fill me up or make sure I'm getting the nutrition my body needs. And so I have to look at my macros just to know, okay am I getting good quality food? [00:38:28.920] – Allan
That can be fiber. So you are eating plant-based. That's fiber, it's protein, it's some fat. And those are all going to make you feel satiated because we know simple carbs and starches and processed grains in particular are going to make us hungry all the time faster. [00:38:46.620] – Rachel
For sure. [00:38:47.010] – Allan
And so if we're hungry all the time, we're eating more. We just are. We have to. Aand so you have to look at how your macros are affecting your hunger and satiation and and getting you the food you need. [00:38:59.070] – Allan
And then the final bit of it is hormones. And you talked a little bit about aging. When we got into this. A woman's body, particularly between 45 and 65, is going through some huge hormonal shifts. Lower thyroid is is a huge thing. So if your thyroid hormones going down, that manages your metabolism. So that's going down. If you're losing muscle mass, your metabolism is going down. And because your estrogen and sex hormones are going down as well, you're storing fat in different locations and you may be storing more fat than you would have stored otherwise, or at least you're seeing it because you're storing it in places that you didn't have it before. [00:39:45.710] – Allan
And if you're storing fat in general, it may be that not that you're you're moving that fat from one location to another, but you just actually storing more fat now and now. You still have that fat where you had it and now you have more where you didn't have it. Unfortunately, that's the thing. [00:40:02.150] – Allan
So it is a lot more complex than just one model than just one thing. Now those simple rules can be good things to try to test. [00:40:13.970] – Rachel
Yeah, for sure. [00:40:15.380] – Allan
If I go on a low-carb diet, does it make it easier for me to restrict calories? And in doing so, am I doing the other things necessary to manage my hormones? So I'm keeping my stress level low. I'm getting good quality sleep. I'm getting some good movement and so my body understands I still want to be alive. Because I'm moving. I'm not laying here like I'm ready for a coffin and I'm not sitting here like I'm ready for a coffin and I'm moving like I actually want to stay alive and I need to be able to move. Then your body responds with hormones following a good circadian rhythm, a good cycle, and you improve your opportunity to shed that fat. But it's not something that just click happens and a lot of people will start and they'll start losing weight. And that feels good, particularly your low carb. You start flushing some water and four or five pounds down. I've got this under control. And then it's one pound and then it's half a pound and then it's half a pound and people get impatient. [00:41:16.370] – Rachel
Oh, yeah. [00:41:17.120] – Allan
And then they're going, oh, I, I want it to go faster. So now I'm going to go do this intense, start doing these intense workouts and now they're adrenals are all over the place and their cortisol is high and they're not recovering and maybe they're not sleeping as well because their legs hurt. They're cramping. They just don't feel good. I don't understand why am I not losing weight? It's like, well, to take a step back, you got to look how my managing my overall health. [00:41:45.830] – Rachel
Yeah, that's a good point. I mean, it's a real big picture of you. If and I've been through this myself, I lose some weight gain some I've moved several times. Every time I move, I seem to gain a few pounds because my activity is off, my nutrition is off. There's these life situations. My kids in college, you know, we all go through these big life changes where things just get wonky and then you just need to get back into the rhythm of things. [00:42:14.240] – Rachel
And like you had mentioned before, too, I've done the same thing. You know, back in my thirties, I used My Fitness Pal and I would measure I would get the weight scale out and look at what is an eight ounce piece of chicken or four ounces of cheese or whatever. And I'm always surprised I can't seem to remember what four ounces of cheese looks like. And I've got to go back and remeasure things. But that's a really common pitfall of eating more than what you're thinking you're eating. And there is a lot to it. And it is worth taking a step back and reevaluating everything that you're trying to do to lose weight. [00:42:51.110] – Allan
And then, we are talking about weight loss here, but the other side of it is you've got to live your life. [00:42:57.140] – Rachel
True. [00:43:00.080] – Allan
If you're so obsessed with the weight loss that you're not enjoying yourself. So you're saying, I've got to weigh everything I put in my mouth or I've got to look at what the nutrition is on it, on my fitness pal before I can decide if I can have it. And then I'm trying to figure out how to have some cocktails with my friends that just kind of fit my macros or I'm going to a restaurant and I really can't even figure out what to eat there because, I don't even know what's in 90 percent of it. And I don't want to be the person at the table that spends fifteen minutes grilling the waiter on what's in my food. You didn't think to call ahead, but you didn't want to say what you want to do is go out, have a nice meal with your friends, have a couple drinks and call it a night and then you'll pick up tomorrow. And so, weight loss is important, but having a good quality of life now is as well. [00:43:55.280] – Allan
So at least have the patience with yourself to live life now, but slowly start incorporating habits and changes to your activity level, to your sleep, to your stress that are going to support you going forward. [00:44:12.710] – Rachel
Yeah, so true. It's all these different things and it's not worth obsessing about any particular thing. Just to your best, keep as best of balance as you can and make those little tiny incremental steps. I always say baby steps are the best way to reach your goals. [00:44:29.140] – Allan
Yeah, give it a shot, try something, let it go for a while, see if it's sustainable, if it's working, keep it. If not, chuck it, just chuck it and start something else. Say, I did the my fitness pollen count the calories, and it worked for me for three weeks and it stopped working. Let's try something else. It was working so you don't necessarily chuck. But the question in is why, why am I not getting the results I expect to have? And you've got to look at those other layers and see what is it about these other layers that I might not be doing. Well, it's like, oh, I forgot to lug my popcorn every night. [00:45:04.290] – Rachel
Yeah. [00:45:05.800] – Allan
Maybe that was it. Maybe just having that extra popcorn was what did it. I still want my popcorn. So can I make that fit my lifestyle or not. And you've got to make those choices. But yeah, I think so many people get wrapped up in it's a simple rule. It should work, it works for everybody else. And the reality is it doesn't. Sixty-seven percent of people would not be overweight if it were as simple as calories in, calories out. [00:45:31.390] – Rachel
That's right. Yep, that's absolutely right. [00:45:34.150] – Allan
But calories in calories is right. It's just not the whole answer. [00:45:38.920] – Rachel
Not the only thing out there is a lot of nuances to talk about. [00:45:44.050] – Allan
And I've got some really great guests coming on in the next few weeks and we're going to get in a little bit deeper into some of these topics. So I'm really excited about that. [00:45:52.480] – Rachel
Sweet. That sounds great. [00:45:54.970] – Allan
Well, Rachel, you have an outstanding week and I'll talk to you next week. [00:45:58.840] – Rachel
Thanks. Take care.
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