The one and only Herman Pontzer, author of the transformative and life-changing book Burn, is back to share more fascinating knowledge in another hard-hitting show about energy expenditure.
I was so blown away by the content of our conversation from the first show that I had to have him back and detail these insights about the constrained model of energy expenditure that blows the lid off the foundational premise of the fitness industry and also the diet/weight loss industry. This episode will open your eyes to the real reasons that make exercise so beneficial for your body, especially when it comes to how it both prevents and mitigates chronic inflammation. I manage to ask Herman a question he has never been asked before, and he explains why he tries to make sure most of his active time is spent outside and why maintaining meaningful connections with friends and family is an important part of any health routine.
Herman also illuminates how our individual levels of energy expenditure affect how our bodies react to different stimuli by using the example of how public speaking prompts the body to go into fight or flight mode. As he explains, everyone’s heart rate rises while public speaking (no matter how calm and cool you feel about it), and that reaction costs your body energy. However, the amount of energy that it takes your body to “go back to normal” post public speaking is directly affected by exercise. If you regularly work out, you will experience a different reaction compared to someone who does not; your response will be “blunted,” meaning adrenaline and cortisol levels will not rise as much as someone who is inactive. So while you will recover back to baseline faster, an inactive person will experience both a bigger bust of cortisol and adrenaline, as well as take longer to return back to a normal baseline. This goes back to the great point he made during his last episode, when he said that you exercise for everything you don’t see, because regular activity gives your body so many more benefits than just an aesthetic one.
The average daily caloric expenditure in the human does not change regardless of our activity level. [01:43]
We are burning energy at about 20% more per day than chimpanzees and Bonobos which are our closest relatives. [09:14]
The variation in brain caloric expenditure is minimal. Most of your organs are burning calories at rest. [13:19]
So, we burn calories at rest, what happens when we exercise? [15:41]
Chronic inflammation is your immune system run amuck. [21:13]
In studying the Hadza, do you see explosive activity? [23:49]
The reason we, as an advanced society, do all these competitive things is not trying to improve the human ability, it’s just for fun and self-satisfaction. [28:02]
With Herman’s research in mind, what is the best way to longevity? You can’t ignore the genetics, but you can create a lifestyle that will help you live to the fullest. [29:27]
Your body is going to make you balance out the exercise with the rest period. [37:31]
Fat really doesn’t burn many calories. [42:44]
The insulin-based view of obesity doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. [45:52]
If you are hungry all the time, your diet is not working. There is no one size fits all. [50:53]
To beat the obesity epidemic, start with the kids. It is hard to change when you are older. [53:48]
If you are unhappy and miserable with what you are doing, it is not going to work. You need to find what works for you. [56:22]
- “The Hadza don’t run from predators. Predators run from them.”
- “Chronic inflammation is your system run amok. It is your immune system on, all the time, when it doesn’t have to be.”
- “People think if you burn more calories, you ought to be less fat. But we’re also more fat, because we got parked at a high metabolic rate.”
- “We burn energy at 30% more per day than chimpanzees and bonobos.”
- “The data wins. “
- “People thought that if you have obesity, you must have a slow metabolic rate. But obese people actually burn more calories than slim people.”
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Brad (1m 44s): Oh, listeners, hold your hats. Part two. Because we are back with a vengeance, like a movie sequel. It is the one and only Dr. Herman Pontzer author of the transformative book called BURN about energy expenditure in the human and his mind blowing insights cannot leave my brain. I’m I never sleep. Fitfully I always sleep like a rock, but when I wake up in the morning, let’s say I’m a tormented, inspired, captivated and continuing to obsess upon these topics that I learned in his book. So we had a wonderful initial, full length interview talking through the book concepts, but then I just blasted this poor guy. Brad (2m 27s): Who’s trying to get work done in the highest levels of academia. Here comes this random podcast host and pushing them up against the wall. And I’m like, dude, we gotta, we gotta get through this. And so we are going to dig deeper into this fascinating insight of the constrained model of energy expenditure. That is that the average daily caloric expenditure of the human is constrained or does not change much regardless of our activity level. Yes, indeed. This blows the lid off the foundational premise of the fitness industry, not to mention the diet and weight loss industry. Brad (3m 7s): So please pay attention and listen carefully. This is one of the world’s leaders. His area of expertise is calorie burning energy expenditure, not just in humans and in other apes. And that’s kind of the starting point for the discussion where we have to envision ourselves here as homo-sapiens and the ins and outs of what we do all day, especially with brain function, kidney, heart, liver, the digestive system, working behind the scenes, regardless of whether you exercise or not. And then when we do work out and we get into that fitness lifestyle, boy, it’s not delivering the direct application to result that we think it is. And it’s just so fascinating to realize the true reasons that exercise is so beneficial and important, especially relating to how it prevents or mitigates chronic inflammation, which is believed to be the root cause of all disease. Brad (4m 1s): But this is a hard hitting show. Those the, the leaders in academia have to go toe to toe and stand behind their work. Even if it conflicts with the widely held beliefs, especially us in the diet, weight loss, ancestral health scene have all embraced this model of carbohydrate consumption, driving excess insulin production, driving obesity. And Herman was polite enough to say that these concepts are plausible, but it does not affect body composition, weight loss in the direct way that we’ve long assumed. And yes, indeed, this flies in the face of that ideas that were promoted by a big time leaders in this field, like Gary Taubes and Dr. Brad (4m 46s): Jason Fung. So you get to think for yourself, here’s an alternative point of view. And boy, it’s backed by a lot of research so much so that I’m titling this show, quoting Herman from the first minute of the show where he said, yep, the data always wins. Please enjoy Dr. Herman Pontzer, a true leader in paradigm shifter and his long research of the Hadza in Tanzania, along with the calorie expenditure by modern living humans all over the world for years and years, fun stuff. Here we go, Herman, Herman (5m 21s): Hey, Brad, how are you doing? Brad (5m 22s): I’m doing fine, except for, we’ve been talking about you nonstop. I’m into it with Sisson and my other confidants. And it’s it’s our, our minds are getting blown Herman (5m 36s): Cool. Brad (5m 37s): You’re, you’re messing with the entire fit, the foundation of the fitness industry and the gimmicky diet industry with your re with your life’s work and validated research. Herman (5m 46s): Good. I don’t mind. That’s fine. Brad (5m 49s): Yeah. I mean, you got to swing hard, I guess in academia to you, you gotta, you know, you gotta being legit and you come and do a presentation and maybe, maybe the other person at the conference has a different point of view. And it’s like, come on now, this is, this is, this is high stakes, Herman (6m 5s): I guess so, man. You know, what I love about doing science is that the data wins, you know. So we get to, we get to show, you know, that that’s what the peer reviewed literature is all about as boring as it is. And nobody ever goes, you know, too much into it unless you’re in the field, but that’s kind of where, you know, that’s where the rubber hits the road, man. Brad (6m 26s): You just titled the podcast, by the way. We, we, we started recording. We don’t need, we don’t, we don’t need any small talk with this guy and the data wins. So yeah, that reminds me. So you’re, you’re in the field. Is that kind of rare? Like, is it one out of 10 people who are actually heading out into the, into the wild lands of the planet to do their research and then there’s other people that are in ivory towers looking at your research, not to criticize it, but I’m saying your role is a certain, you have a certain contribution to science and to the academic community that you exist in or other people have a disparate role and a whole different scene? Herman (7m 6s): Yeah. I mean, I think the, the, the ecosystem kind of gets divvied up by people who do more sort of lab or bench work and people who do more field work, you know, like out in the, you know, out in the field. We try to be both, which I think is a, is a strength of, of my research group. But yeah, I certainly in the nutrition world, you know, there’s plenty of people who have much larger budgets and much bigger groups to go and measure, you know, the particulars of any dietary intervention or any exercise intervention. Right. And they can do these for 16 months and they’ve got enormous labs full of people and postdocs and everybody. And, and they do that very, very well. And I’ve certainly, you know, integrated those insights and those data and everything, but, but they’re not going to go out and live with a Hadza for a few months. Herman (7m 50s): So I guess that’s what I bring to the table. Brad (7m 52s): Oh man. Okay. So the listeners are going to be strongly encouraged to listen to our previous show about your wonderful book BURN, but what’s happened in the aftermath as I’ve been bombarding you with emails. Hopefully you thoughtful enough that you actually answered and agreed to come back on, but you know, this, this insight, we need to take a deep breath here and realize the ramifications of it as, as applied to the, the conventional model of the fitness industry and, and the diet industry. And so if we have this constrained amount of calorie burning and there’s a great graph, did you make that graph the constrained model versus the additive model? Herman (8m 34s): All the stuff in that book is all the grass and everything are mine. Yeah. Brad (8m 38s): So we have this idea of that, that calorie burning is constrained. And I think to help me understand one of the insights that really hits home is when you compare it to the gorilla. And so, you know, we’re, homo-sapiens, we have different lifestyles. Some people ride the subway and sit in front of a screen and ride the subway back and watch Netflix. But we’re all on the same species thereby we’re, you know, we’re, we’re constrained first and foremost as humans. And, and then, then we’re going to talk about, you know, lifestyle and diet and exercise. Herman (9m 14s): Yeah, that’s right. I mean, every, every species has its own like trajectory through time and space, you know, and, and we’ve ended up where we are. We have higher metabolic rates and other apes do so the other apes are, they, you know, chimps, Bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans. Orangutans are actually hypo metabolic there. They have low metabolic rates. They burn about half the calories we do for the same body size and activity level. We’re higher than chimpanzees and Bonobos. But, you know, it’s interesting, we’re that we’re the highest metabolic rate aid, which means if you control for body size body composition lifestyle, all of it, we’re burning energy at about 20% more per day than chimpanzees and Bonobos, which are the closest, our closest relatives. And yet, even though we have these high metabolic rates, we’re also the fattest apes because, you know, paired with that high metabolic rate, right. Herman (10m 1s): Has been selection for a bit of a reserve gas tank. Right. Cause you know, you can’t, again, the, the, what was really fun for me, I loved it. I can talk about this forever, but the evolutionary biology of metabolism is that, you know, you are kind of parked at this place where, you know, evolutionarily, you’ve been able to get that much energy in and he makes the use of all of it out. And maybe that’s an activity or maybe it’s an reproduction. Ultimately evolution cares about reproduction. Wherever you get parked that’s kind of where it’s hard to move from that, you know, lifestyle doesn’t have a big effect on where you are relative to that, where you get parked by evolution. And we often think like, well, if you, if you burn more calories than you ought to be less fat, but actually we’re also more fat because we got parked in a high place, we’re parked at a high metabolic rate. Herman (10m 42s): So we need that extra gas tank to kind of help us, you know, get through any lean times. Brad (10m 49s): Is it possible that in 150,000 years of our sorry-ass modern lifestyle we’re going to evolve to or something? Herman (10m 57s): I think that’s possible now, the way that it’s going to happen is not going to make anybody happy because the way the evolution happens is the people who don’t fit as well are sick and don’t have kids, you know. They’re unhealthy and for whatever reason or not successful or in terms of reproduction and they don’t have kids. And so, or their kids don’t do well, that’s the other thing that can happen. So, you know, this is not going to be, it won’t be a happy story of, of, of evolution. It never is. Brad (11m 27s): Well, actually, if we’ve mitigated a lot of that, we can still tee up a sickly 18 year old to reproduce. So maybe, maybe we don’t have that potential to evolve ever again. Cause we’re, we’re so smart that we, we neutralized evolutionary forces, selection, pressures. Herman (11m 45s): Yeah. You could, you could spin it different ways. I can tell you that. It’s, it’s unlikely that we, first of all, kind of any sort of, you know, governmental planning for who should reproduce that, we, we know that that’s a terrible idea. We know that that’s, that’s ugly and eugenics and it gets really bad, really fast. So sort of trying to make them happen will be really dangerous, but even letting it happen or hoping medicine kind of takes care of it takes smooths out the edges of it. I don’t know. I think it’s a tough ride. I think the better idea is to try to pull the, you know, what we know keeps us healthy. Cause it’s how we kind of evolved to be healthy. Keep those prints, get those principles back into our lives. I think that’s a faster way to get there. Brad (12m 25s): Kind of reverse it. We’re on, we’re on a bell curve. We want to go back to our human roots, Herman (12m 30s): something like that. Yeah. Okay. Brad (12m 32s): So back to this calorie idea and, and isolating as homo-sapiens is helpful. And then when we’re looking at the, the, the constraint daily energy burning. First we throw in the brain, which burns what 20% of our total daily calories, 20% of our resting calories. Anyhow. Herman (12m 55s): Yeah. I guess it depends on to think about exactly the number there, but yeah, it’s about 20% of resting, I think, cause it’s 300 calories a day and you burn about 1500 calories at rest. So about 50, about 20% of resting calories are for your brain, which means every fifth breath you take is the occupancy of your brain. Brad (13m 14s): Sting could rename a song every fifth breath use. Herman (13m 18s): Yeah. I love it. Brad (13m 19s): Now. I think you mentioned this already, but the variation in brain caloric expenditure is minimal whether you’re sitting on the beach staring at the, at the flat scenery or in gross in an eight hour exam for your, for your doctorate level studies. Herman (13m 38s): Yeah. As far as we know, thinking as hard as you can think that’s a change that doesn’t move the dial very much. Maybe, maybe about four calories an hour, I think is the best four kilocalories now. Or I should say is the best measure so far. Brad (13m 51s): So if you have a good knife, you cut the M and M in half. Right. Because it isn’t the M and M your go-to reference point for, Herman (13m 57s): I love it because everybody’s had M and M’s, you know, so, Oh, okay. Brad (14m 4s): One M and M. Okay. That, that, that puts the bowl. That’s been, been demo to shame on the, on the desk, in our busy day in the office. Okay. Herman (14m 16s): That’s right. That’s right now, Brad (14m 18s): What about the other organs in a resting state? There’s, there’s some good research to certify that, well, I mean, the muscles are burning energy during exercise, but they’re burning a huge amount of our, our, our daily calorie pie at rest to, Herman (14m 38s): Ah, yeah. A fair amount, just because there’s so much of them pound for pound. Your muscles are not as quiet as fat, definitely, but not quite as expensive as other organs. So your big costly organs are your brain. Like we said, which basically runs a 5k every day, right? 300 calories a day. Your liver, which is about the same, actually your liver does about that much work. Your intestinal, your gut, your GI tract, particularly after you’ve eaten all those, you know, the, the, the, the cells of your GI tract are busy getting the enzymes, you know, cutting up all that stuff and getting it transported, actively transported through the intestinal wall. Herman (15m 17s): Kidneys are really active your heart, your heart’s a muscle so it doesn’t special, you know, compared to other muscles, but it’s contracting all the time rhythmically. Right. So it ends up, it adds up to a lot of energy. So, yeah. So those are the big ones, liver, heart, brain, and kidneys, and GI tract. Muscles at rest. Yep. Brad (15m 41s): Nice. So we’re, we’re, we’re, we’re filling in this pie, whether we exercised or not, which I think is the takeaway. I want the listeners to really embrace. And then if we, as distinguished from our next door neighbor, go out there and actually do run a 5k. Maybe you can walk us through what happens to that, that big number at the end of the, at the end of the calculation. Herman (16m 7s): Yeah. So the way that people usually think about energy expenditure is we do the math like you and I have been doing, we add up all our organ costs, and then we have the energy costs. We notice a run a mile or run a 5k. We add that to it. And we think, okay, we just add all those up and it’s like a grocery bill at the end of the day. Those are our kilocalories per day. And that’s how any online calculator for your energy expenditure works for example. But we know it’s more complicated than that because actually the numbers that we’re talking about with things like your liver and, and, and actually whole systems that we haven’t talked about, like your immune system, your stress reactivity system, reproductive system, other aspects of your body, they follow a really strong circadian rhythm and they respond to stresses throughout the day. Herman (16m 56s): And so what you think of as sort of your organs’ energy expenditure or your organ systems, energy expenditure, you know, we can, we can give these numbers like 300 calories a day for your brain or 200 calories a day for your liver, but that’s, that’s the kind of at baseline. Now your brain doesn’t go up and down pretty much. That’s true. But the rest of your organ systems do, and particularly, you know, your, you have a circadian rhythm to everything, right? Testosterone levels starts off high in the morning by evening as much lower for example. Right. Okay. So what happens is if you take that 5k run and especially if you start doing that repeatedly, so your body gets used to that level of, of workload, it will adjust if it seems to be happening. Herman (17m 39s): And it seems to adjust the other expenditure and other other systems to make room for that a higher level of running, right? So, so day to day, you might go up and down, right? Because if you run a marathon tomorrow, but you didn’t today, then you’ll burn more calories tomorrow than you did today. Fine. So it’s not like your body is making these adjustments on the fly. Second-by-second, that’s not happening, but the overall circadian rhythm and background energy expenditure that your body’s used to doing, as well as stress reactivity, for example, your reaction to stressful as stimulate. Those do get modulated by physical activity. If I’m more physically active, my circadian rhythm kind of gets damped down to make room for that activity. Herman (18m 20s): My stress reactivity to stressful stimuli gets damped down. My cortisol levels go up less, Afrin goes up less. My adrenaline gets less. And all of those things seem to be saving energy so that, you know, in my, in my a sedentary person or the person who’s running that 5k every couple of days end up having the same total energy expenditure per day. I might’ve gone through that a little bit too fast or too much, but that’s the idea, Brad (18m 45s): Right? So the, the person running around the office in a hectic frenzied state that didn’t do the 6:00 AM spinning class, and then the, the chill person, the athletic person in the office, who’s just, just breezing down the hall to get another pack of post-it notes and then breathing back to their desk. It’s they’re, they’re the, the, the, the frenzy person is catching up to the spinning class that they blew off because they slept in. Herman (19m 14s): Yeah. I mean, that’s one way to think about it, the other way to think about it. As you know, you’ve got two people in the boardroom, right? And they both get up to give, to say what they have to, they to give their report, you know, and that’s, that’s a great example of what we’d call a tree or social stress test. Public speaking always gets people’s heart rate up. And even if you feel really cool about it and calm about it, your body still does a little bit of that fight and flight response. This has been measured. Everything, lots of studies, heart rate goes up because your adrenaline’s going up, cortisol levels go up, right? Both of those reactions cost you energy. Now there’s two people in the boardroom, one who exercises all the time. Herman (19m 54s): One who is much more sedentary. The person who exercises all the time, her response is going to be blunted. Cortisol levels, not going to go up so much, but level’s not going to go up so much. And they’re both going to recover back to baseline faster. The person who gave that report and doesn’t exercise all the time is going to feel a bigger burst. It’s going to experience a bigger person, photos, all a bigger burst of adrenaline. And it’s going to take longer for them to come back down to baseline because their body isn’t used to spending energy on activity. And so isn’t sort of making that room damping down those reactions compared to the person who is exercising all the time and their body has damped those reactions down, Brad (20m 30s): I guess that would be on the list of benefits to getting regular exercise apps, assuming it’s conducted properly. Cause I don’t want to be that guy that I have been that over-trained to the extreme and everything’s damped down to where I don’t feel like my famous was I lived Six tenths of a mile from the mailbox for awhile. And I drove there every single day because I was too tired from my 84 mile bike ride to pedal another 0.6. Oh. And then back is 1.2. You know, it was just ridiculous. But yeah. Yeah. So if, if it properly conducted exercise program is in place. There you’re a more chill person and you don’t abuse the stress response. Herman (21m 14s): Same thing. And the same thing for the immune system, right? That person who is, you know, regularly exercises. So their body has adjusted to that level of exercise regularly in their life. Their background inflammation level is going to be lower too. Okay. And what’s your immune chronic inflammation is your immune system run amuck. It’s your immune system on all the time. Right? When it doesn’t have to be. So like we all, we all want a fire department, right? We all want to be able to call 911 and the fire department comes in and saves our home. We don’t want the fire department to be parked in our driveway every morning, spraying down the house for no reason, right? That’s background inflammation. Herman (21m 55s): That’s that chronic inflammation. That is your, is the fire department never goes home. The person who is exercising regularly, they don’t have that problem, that inflammation at a high level all the time. The person in the boardroom in this scenario that, that doesn’t exercise is really sedentary. Their inflammation levels are going to be higher. And we know this, we’ve known this for a long time. And I think what the constraint energy idea says is this is why this is your body managing how it spends its energy. And so it kind of gives a coherent framework to all these individual observations that we’ve seen over the years of doing research on people who exercise versus don’t the benefits of exercise. A constrained energy model kind of helps put those all together into a coherent, Oh, this is why this is how so we know there’s all these different triggers for chronic inflammation, adverse lifestyle practices. Herman (22m 45s): But I’m not clear that is it. Is it also lack of exercise can promote chronic inflammation? Yeah. Yeah. So we know that people who exercise a lot to have lower and not overexercise people who exercise regularly and, and responsibly, I guess yeah, have lower levels of inflammation than people who don’t also all other things equal. Other people’s labs are showing this. My lab is in the middle of an analysis, showing this, looking at the enhanced data set in the west. This is, this is a well-known thing. The inflammation is one of the lower inflammation is one of the big benefits of exercise. And there’s other things you can do too, that will help you, you know, minimize inflammation. Herman (23m 30s): But exercise is a big one, right? Brad (23m 32s): I mean, on the checklist, we have get enough sleep, eat the right foods, get rid of the junk foods. Don’t overexercise and now adding to the list don’t, don’t under exercise. Don’t sit around all day. Herman (23m 44s): Right, right. Don’t believe yourself, you know, don’t don’t smile Brad (23m 49s): So is that just due to the genetic disconnect when you compare, contrast the Hadza who are always on the move and doing all these wonderful things for their body, versus we’re not really designed to sit in a chair for eight hours? Herman (24m 1s): Yeah. I think that’s one of the reasons that the Hadzas are so darn healthy, you know, no heart disease, no diabetes. And it’s it’s because, you know, they don’t have these cardio-metabolic risk factors, the way that they’re, they’re getting their exercise every day. It doesn’t hurt that they’re outside all the time. You know, I think we can also focus on the fact that they’ve got family connections, friendship, connections, that they have their whole lives are not, you know, they don’t have the kind of social psychosocial stresses that we have as much. They have their own set of stresses, but they’re not the kind of, you know, the ones that we face so much loneliness, disconnection, inequality that we have in the States, for example. Brad (24m 39s): So we, we hear all about the importance of that cardio, the low level cardio moving around, getting up from your desk, moving. Do you see the Hadza doing any explosive activity for any reason? I can’t imagine there’d be an artificial reason, like a sprint race on the fourth of the fourth week of the, the sunny rainy month. But is there any need, you know, we’re, we’re romanticizing the, the, the primal paleo thing where we had to run away from the saber tooth tiger. And so sprinting is really great for the human to, to build up those muscles and burst the adaptive hormones. But down in, down in Africa, what have those guys got going? Herman (25m 19s): So, you know, the Hadzas that don’t run from predators. The predators run from them. The Hadza can kick a pride of lions off of the kill. You know, we’ve been in camps where they’ve done that. So there are kind of the top predators there. Now of course, you know, a single guy or woman out there can get surprised or whatever by a predator. Sure. That can happen. And in those rare cases, maybe once in a lifetime, I’m sure then they would run. Brad (25m 48s): Of course they would, they they’d probably get eaten too. They’re not going to miss a good chance of that. So I wonder where this romanticizing came from, that humans should be out there, you know, doing these, these amazing CrossFit accomplishments in the name of health. I mean, not to, you know, I’m, I’m obsessed with high jumping cause it improves my life and I love it. And I feel like it’s delaying the aging process, but it may be not honoring my ancestors. Like we, like we think. Herman (26m 19s): Yeah. I mean, I don’t know that there’s, they do stuff that requires real strength as well. You know, men climb up into trees to get wild honey are chopping up tree limbs. I mean, that’s hard work. They’re not like power lifting kind of work, but it’s, it’s hard as body weight kind of stuff. Digging for tubers in rocky ground. That’s hard work. But explosive kind of not, I don’t see it with them, you know, and it’s not just Hadza. I should say that I have got good colleagues who work with groups in South America. We have another project going on right now in Northern Kenya with a group called the DASHA. The DASHA which are pastoralists group. You know, I I’m I’m my friend and colleague network is full of people who work with small-scale societies all over the globe. Herman (27m 3s): And the running from the tiger thing doesn’t really come up, you know, cause humans are kind of become the dominant player on the landscape kind of immediately upon becoming part of that landscape, you know, we’re we’re so, so yeah, I don’t know where that I would just chalk that up to the list of many romanticized things about the past that, that turned out not to really be true. Brad (27m 26s): Right. So if we drafted the, the best primitive living hunter gatherer and, and took them into the high school varsity track meet, they they’d get crushed at anything from a hundred to a mile probably. Herman (27m 39s): Yeah, I guess. I don’t know. I mean, I think they would also wonder what the hell we’re bothering to do, but you know, the, you get good at what you train at, you know, and nobody would be able to beat them in archery or, you know, the, the tasks that they do. Nobody could not walk them, but yeah. Unless if you don’t train for that stuff, of course, you’re not going to be very good at it. Brad (28m 3s): Yeah. So I guess we’re just, we’re just having fun and kind of advancing the sophisticated, just like someone who’s painting a painting is there’s no, there’s no need for that in a, in a way, but same with the extreme fitness endeavors, it’s just kind of advanced life and the ability to do something that’s rewarding in certain ways. Herman (28m 26s): Oh, totally. Yeah. I mean, I love rock climbing and mountaineering for example. There are very good reasons not to do those things. For example, you know, gravity. Gravity is a great reason not to go rock climbing, but I love it. You know, and, and I’ve given that some thought like, why do I love this thing? That clearly was not, it’s not adaptive in any obvious way, but you know, one of the side effects of having these big crazy brains is this life of the mind and this feeling that life is more than just the pragmatic day-to-day stuff. And it’s, you know, and that we all live for that kind of experience that gets us feeling alive and gets us connected. And if, if that is running, you know, intervals down the track, then awesome. Herman (29m 10s): Go do it. You know? And if that’s, you know, doing Ironman, then do it, you know. Listen to your body. If you’re feeling off then okay, then maybe back off. But like, those are all great things. Just like, like you say, painting a picture or playing the piano. I mean, yeah. Brad (29m 27s): Okay. So now, now let me put you on the spot. All of the future of the human race is all in your hands and it’s a longevity contest. So you’re going to have to leave your academic career. We’re going to pay you a million trillion dollars also, but you need to get to the world record finished line. What would you, what would you put into place? Would you become the, the CrossFit games regional champion, or would you just walk more and whatever else would be thrown in there, would you sleep 14 hours a day instead of eight or from your research? And just a, just a fun question here. No pressure, no pressure, man. Herman (30m 8s): Yeah. Yeah. And if I wait, if I lived the longest, is that the deal? Brad (30m 11s): Well, the future of humanity is, you know, depending on you getting to, let’s say 110, because now you can put all the resources you need. You can enlist any experts on your team. And here we go. Herman (30m 27s): Well, I’ve never been asked that question before, so you win a prize for that. Congratulations. The here’s, here’s my answer, I guess, on the spot I am on the spot. I think I model the Hadza in a way. But I don’t cause play as a hunter gatherer. Right. I get to keep my clothes and my, my climate controlled house, but here’s what I, what I put into my life that I’m probably not doing enough of right now. I make sure that I’m active every day. And then I’m active for like a couple hours every day, at least maybe more. And I do as much of that as I can outside. I try to make sure that I’m connected to friends and family in a way that’s meaningful. Herman (31m 9s): Right. So I don’t get isolated and sad cause I will not be good for me either. And I eat foods that I buy in the produce and the meats section of my supermarket, you know, I stay away from anything processed, especially. I mean, I would probably still eat pasta and bread, but I stay away from anything that comes in a packet with a ready-made sauce. You know what I mean? And any of the snacks stuff and I, and I, I grimace and cutout beer and the occasional sugary beverage to gosh, popping open a beer after . Brad (31m 47s): Yeah. Our Workday. Cause you’d go back from eight hours to three hours. Herman (31m 51s): That’s right. Well maybe I keep the occasional beer. Can I do that? We’ll see. And then, and then I start getting myself genotyped intensively to figure out how I can bring in all the good, the good genes, because we know that that longevity is also quite heritable. Right? So your likelihood of, of living to a hundred is like five times or 10 times higher. If you have a relative, who’s lived to a hundred. Really. Yeah. That’s, that’s absolutely true. And then you just, Brad (32m 21s): And what’s that if you, if you stop on that one for a second yeah. And you have, you know, maybe not the best genes for longevity, but you, but you turn your lifestyle practices in a different direction than all of your ancestors who succumb to white flour and sugar that came in the industrial age. Couldn’t you transcend that? Or is there something in the genes that’s that that’s beyond lifestyle practices. So, Herman (32m 50s): Okay. Let’s unpack this a little bit. Let’s talk about when we think about nature versus nurture for any trait. Okay. Nobody would be surprised to learn that ha however tall your parents grew with the height of your parents is pretty predictive of your height, right? Also nobody would be surprised to learn that your nutritional environment growing up also affects your height, right? And whether or not you got sick as a kid and other, other social stress can even stunt kids’ growth. And so we understand height really well and kind of intuitively as this interaction between our genes and our environments. Herman (33m 30s): And we know that we kind of can’t pull them, no kid grows up without an environment. And so you kind of can’t pull those things apart super easily for any one individual. But we know that they’re both at play all the time. If I want a kid to grow to his full height potential, then I can feed them super well and make sure he doesn’t get sick and I can do all the right things. But I still can’t make somebody whose parents were both five foot, zero seven feet tall. That’s really unlikely. Right. And, and, and vice versa. I can’t make a really tall person is inherently going to be tall, to hard to, for me to make that person is very short. I, for all the evidence points to the longevity, being the same kind of thing that we do have variability in the genetics that, that seem to dictate how long we last. Herman (34m 17s): We’re all, you know, in the same way that humans are all sort of between five and six and a half feet tall, more or less. Right. I see like a broad range in us, but we’re, nobody’s as tall as a giraffe. And nobody’s as small as a mouse, right? But there’s a human range of heights. There’s a human range of age fans that we can hope to get to. If we stay healthy, nobody’s gonna live to be 200, as far as we can tell. Nobody, you know, people don’t tend to fall apart at 30, right. We tend to fall apart in the older ages, but we call older ages. And so I think that there’s, you know, we, we can and should do everything we can to improve our environments. But if to ignore a genetic background would be like ignoring the genetics of hype. Herman (34m 58s): Of course, some people are going to be taller than others. Right. I don’t know. So that’s how I would answer that question. And I don’t know that we know enough about the genetics of it yet to do anything about it. Right? It’s one thing to say, it’s heritable. It runs in families. We can find these genes that seem to be related. It’s another thing to say, now I’m going to manipulate that gene and fix it. That’s a harder, that’s a much harder thing to do. Brad (35m 19s): Oh. So you’d go in for some appointments to see if they could manipulate your genes. But so far your best it’s, it’s not too, it’s not too troubling. You’re going to get outside and be active for a couple of hours a day. You’re going to be connected with friends and family. So you probably not even get to move from your, your existing house and your, your Saturday soccer game schedule. And you’re going to eat clean, you know, wholesome foods from the grocery store. What else, what else we have on this list? Herman (35m 44s): That’s it, man. Then we give it a rock. Brad (35m 48s): Right? And then a form, the intention that everyone’s counting on you. And so you’re going to come through for us. Herman (35m 54s): That’s right. I said, what are you speaking into existence? I’m going to live to be 110. Brad (35m 58s): Right? I’m I’m, you know, firmly believed that’s a big part of it. And I I’m, my goal is 123 because the current record is 122 you can come on. And so it’s easy as one, two, three. Just, just believe it for, you know, maybe I’ll have a party when I’m 61 and a half. Right. That’s my, that’s my midlife point there for there. Yeah. Okay. So Herman’s got it dialed people. It’s, it’s easy. We can all, we can all sign up for the plan. Now we can all go to 110, whatever. Herman (36m 29s): Sure, sure. Let’s do it. Brad (36m 30s): Wait, let’s see. How much does that cost outside act or activity in the sun? So far nothing there. Family and friends might have to pop for some plane tickets. If, if your kids go off to college someday. And then the meat and produce, there you go. There’s ButcherBox discounts right now for listening to the show. I mean, this is, this is easy. Herman (36m 53s): Yeah. Yeah. Brad (36m 55s): Okay. So this is my, like coming back at you with a tough question from the audience at the conference. You know, here’s, the athlete. Athlete goes and trains harder and gets leaner and, and kicks butt and meets goals. And how does that layer into this constraint model of calorie burning when there’s there seems to be this anecdotal evidence that if I can up my mileage from 150 to 300 on the bike, my quads are going to be bursting out of my legs. There’s veins everywhere and I got a six pack. Herman (37m 31s): Yeah, yeah, totally. So a couple of things there. One is, if you, of course, if you do resistance exercise or even a lot of hard in dirt exercise, like cycling, your muscles are going to respond and hypertrophied, you’re going to grow muscle mass. Sure. That’s fine. And when you’re on a block, you know, when you’re in your training mode and maybe you’ve had a bit of a rest season and now you’re going to hit it and you’re just going to crush it for awhile and your body hasn’t made that adjustment yet. Or maybe you’re even above where your body could possibly adjust. Cause you can, you can push it up above that ceiling for awhile. You’ll come back out eventually, but you can push it up there for a while. That’s what the tour de France does that to you, for example. Brad (38m 8s): Right. So they’re above the ceiling for a while. They’re burning there. I mean, they, they test them, they’re burning 7,000 calories a day or whatever they’re burning. That’s insane. But then what happens when they, when they come back down? Herman (38m 20s): Yeah. You have to, you’re going to your, body’s going to make you balance that out with a rest period and either that’s because you’ll take a rest period because you’re being smart or Brad (38m 28s): one will be taken for you. Yes. People one will be taken for you. I’m very familiar with that concept. Herman (38m 35s): Yeah. Yeah. I was talking a guy in the UK who is a sports scientist for a couple of cycling teams that have raced in the race, the tour de France written a race, the, the series, the tour and the zero and the welcome. And those, you know, he says those guys, they, they can raise one. You probably know this as well, if you’re a at all fan, but those guys can really push and really race one race. And then the rest of it, the whole of the season, they are not, you know, they’re not going to be competitive. They’re not gonna even really try to be competitive. You know, there’ll be part of the crew and there’ll be, you know, they’ll, they’ll help the other guys out. Right. But you can’t do that to your body and max out for a month and then even take the month off that they have and then do it again. Herman (39m 18s): It just doesn’t work that way. And you have to have, you know, they have a whole off season too, from like October through what is it March. Maybe people, people listening probably know better than I do. And I don’t know how much of that is, is just purely off and how much of that is just low level. But you have to have that because your body, you know, if you think about averaging this out over the course of the year, the energy expenditure has to stay kind of near that ceiling that everybody’s behind underneath, because we’re all humans. That is, that is the kind of the ceiling, you know, Brad (39m 47s): So we can maybe better understand this with expanding the timeline a bit outside of a day and every single day this is happening. But maybe it’s if we look at our week or month, and that’s the part where I think we can all relate when you go out there and have a big eight hour hike to the top of the mountain, the next day is usually featuring a lot of couch time. Herman (40m 11s): Yeah, that’s right. Or if you push it for a week, then you take, you know, you’re going to your, your body will find that that balance, you know, it used to be this whole expression growing up. I grew up in rural Pennsylvania and a lot of like DIY construction and that kind of stuff. And people would always say, when they’re putting in plumbing systems that you know, or, or irrigation systems or anything like that, that water always finds its own level, right. That you kind of water will always even itself out across a big complex system. And, and I think energy expenditure kind of ends up being that way too. It takes a while to adjust, but your body will find its own level. Brad (40m 44s): And it’s possible that the increased devotion to fitness and quote unquote calorie burning at the, at the workout has a beneficial effect on your calorie consumption. In other words, the six pack is coming out because the training is also affecting my dietary habits? Herman (41m 3s): Yeah. I mean, that’s, that’s a guess it would be case by case. But yeah, I, I think that when people are doing, you know, what, I’m going to really focus on my fitness and you know, for this month, usually that includes thinking about your diet too, for most of us, I think. And so, you know, if your body’s, again, if you think about what your body’s used to and what it has adjusted to, if your body is used to being sedentary and you start exercising, it’s gonna take a while for your body to adjust. But then that becomes the new normal. And you adjust at some point you’re up too high to be able to adjust anymore. That’s true. Like there’s tour de France is not something that you can adjust to and do forever and ever, and ever you can’t. But you know, that person who is exercising all the time and then they push it for that month to prepare for the tour de France or whatever it is. Herman (41m 50s): Yeah. Their body is kind of going to try to adjust to that. Maybe there’ll be up above where they can adjust to, in which case they will have to take a rest period and come back down to that level that, that your body’s able to adjust to. But yeah, I think, I think that’s how you have to think about the longer timeframe. I think that’s right. Brad (42m 5s): Could that include eating more calories in conjunction with training more and everything’s adjusting upward for a temporary period of time I guess ? They’re not getting fat and you’re not dropping a bunch of weight, but you’re, you’re eating a ton. I brought up my son in our, in my email exchange, cause like, okay, look, this guy wakes up in the morning and all he does is eat. And then it finishes the meal and then does a workout and then starts the next meal. And there’s a lot of muscle mass that he’s trying to support too. So maybe that’s a two-part question. Like the difference between someone who weighs 200 pounds, solid muscle working out a lot versus someone who’s sitting on 200 pounds. Herman (42m 44s): Sure, sure. Well, I mean every 200 pounds of muscle, I’m sorry. Every, every kilogram of muscle, a fat free mass, I should say that includes organ mass, but every kilogram of fat free mass is 40 kilocalories a day more or less of just track it that way. So when you, when you build 10 pounds of muscle, that’s five kilos, let’s say, then I would already expect that your energy expenditure just by your fat free mass going up is going to go up. What five kilos at 40 kilocalories was 200 calories a day, right? So you can squeeze a snack in there if you’ve gained five kilos and muscle as Brad (43m 21s): A small snack, a handful of m&ms. So the constrained model is constrained by body weight. Herman (43m 29s): Yeah. It’s a fat free mass adjusted kind of way of thinking about things. Brad (43m 33s): Oh, what about the fat? Herman (43m 36s): So fat you can, you can throw fat in there too. And it doesn’t really change the model. Fat doesn’t really burn many calories. So fat. Yeah. Fat fats, a tiny player. I mean, it’s not nothing. And it, it creates, it makes hormones, it makes it leptin and adiponectin and that kind of thing. So it’s not, it’s not like just dead weight, but in terms of calories per day, it really doesn’t burn much. Brad (43m 56s): Oh, so the 700 pound people that are on the TV show and in, in serious metabolic and health distress, are they consuming a massive amount of calories to support that 700 pounds or something? Herman (44m 10s): Yeah. In fact, you know, people who obese people with obesity, you know, it will not only have a lot of fat, but also carry a lot of muscle just to be able to stand up a while. Yeah. So that’s actually one of the big breakthrough observations in the 1980s. You know, the data wins. They, people were measuring energy expenditures in women with obesity and women without this is the first study to study to do this and to test that what people had long thought to be the case, which is that if you have obesity, it’s because you have a slow metabolic rate. Right. And that seems to be so intuitive and seems like it had to be true. Herman (44m 49s): And they measure it. Nope, not true women. You know, if you, so body size big people with more body people for cells burn more calories, that’s not a surprise, right. An elephant burns more calories every day than a mouse has to be true. Okay. So that happens within people too. If we look at a bunch of, if we took a big sample of people from tiny to big. The big people burn more calories than the small people. I mean, of course. Right. And so we have to always sort of look at these things on a kind of a, as a, as a function of how big you are, you have to correct for body size. So the obese folks who actually work, of course, they’re bigger, we’re actually burning more calories than the slim people, but they’re all on this. Herman (45m 30s): They’re all on the same level when you consider the effect of body size, right. Brad (45m 36s): With a slight adjustment for body composition. So there’s a <inaudible> Herman (45m 42s): And the body size specifically, we’re saying fat free mass. So for fat, for a lean mass forgiven lean mass, they’re burning the same number of calories. Brad (45m 51s): That’s that’s another deep breath section here. Hmm. I mean the, the, the, the obese person is, is messed up and their metabolic function is messed up. We’ve long understood. This reminds me of your answer on the email. You’re the insulin based view of obesity doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Can you talk more about that? Oh yeah. Herman (46m 12s): Your carbohydrate insulin model for obesity. This is a really beautiful idea. You know, we have this expression in, I think probably all fields of science do the same thing, but certainly as I was getting trained, you know, it’s a beautiful idea slammed by an ugly fact. And I don’t know, who’s, I don’t know who first said that. And it’s this idea that when you eat a meal and particularly when you eat a high carbohydrate meal and specifically a high, simple carbohydrate meal that your insulin spikes, right. Your body’s response to that is a big boost of insulin that you’re using your blood, your insulin levels go way up. Herman (46m 55s): And that, that much is definitely true. We can watch that happen in a lab easy. And then the next part is, is the mechanism that we think is important, which is that that insulin takes the, you know, the, the blood glucose out of your blood. And in fact, as well as, as the fatty acids that are in your blood and parks them into your fat cells, that’s what insulin does is it, it is a anabolic hormone in the sense that it’s taking molecules out of your blood and parking them away and building fat cells. And so then I’m simplifying here. But, but the idea then is that now your brain is sensing. Herman (47m 34s): Blood is really low on blood glucose and fats because you’re in that insulin spike was packed them all away. So now you don’t have them in your circulating anymore. And even though you’ve eaten this big meal, your brain senses that you have low fuel, you know, that the gas tank is empty. And so when your brain says a gas tank is empty, you get hungrier. You get tireder, right. Maybe, or you at least have a lower metabolic rate, lots of that perceived starvation. And that that’s, of course, that becomes an ugly cycle because now you’re hungry again. You eat again. Now try it. So the idea is that that, that insulin response, the carbohydrate insulin response is responsible for obesity because that’s how that’s kind of a runaway snowball towards obesity is, is this carbs insulin flow. Herman (48m 28s): It’s all plausible. It’s all very possible set of things that could be true. And about 10 years ago, people were really excited about it. You know, I remember the hottest stuff came out and Gary Taubes emailed me about this good calories, bad calories. And yes, read the book. And I got excited about it too. I thought, Oh, this is makes a lot of sense. I have to say, I was always, I didn’t quite understand how you could square that with the sort of carbohydrate- rich foods and meals and diets that, that people like the Hadza to eat. But anyway, that’s okay. Putting that aside for a moment, it seemed very plausible that it could work. And, and of course, there’s so many stories. Herman (49m 9s): People not just stories when people’s real lived experiences, are I cut carbs out of my diet and I did great. I lost so much weight and I’m so much healthier now. And everybody’s so happy. I’m happy. It happens for me. Okay. But now, now we get to the boring part, which is let’s actually test to see if that mechanism really works the way that we think it does. And so we can and do control diet studies, where we feed people all low fat diet or feed people low carbohydrate, right? And when you do that in a controlled way, it doesn’t work that it doesn’t work the way the carbohydrate insulin model predicts. You don’t get the same insulin response to the low carb versus low fat diets that you eat. Herman (49m 51s): You don’t get the same fat, no changes in fat, you know, presented in your body that you’d expect there. There doesn’t seem to be any magic to a low carb diet. Other than the fact that if you cut carbs out of your diet, it’s one way to reduce how many calories you eat, right. Brad (50m 13s): Same with cutting fat out. You’re saying, Herman (50m 17s): yeah, right. So we can assign people to a low carb diet. We’re going to send people to a low fat diet. And this has been done in, in lots of studies now. And it’s been, you know, the response is this is similar. You know, you get people who lose weight on either diet. And, you know, the diet that you liked that works best for you. That feels the best for you will that well, that that’s, that’s up to you, that’s up to you and how you’re wired and what your environment is like. But it’s, you know, there’s no magic to a low carb diet and the carbohydrate insulin model, specifically as a mechanism, every time it’s been tested, as far as I’m aware, it’s kind of come up pretty short. Brad (50m 54s): Well, I guess, backing into it. If you’re hungry all the time, then your diet’s not working well for you. So in that sense, if you’re pumping a lot of insulin into your bloodstream, we know that to be unhealthy, that doesn’t seem to be disputed, but it’s, it’s sorta like you got a back end to this story rather than get hit head first with this, this, this model as it’s called. Herman (51m 17s): Yeah. You know, and there’s different ways to stay full and, you know, protein and fat make your body feel full for a lot of people that works great. And so, you know, so if I have a low carb diet and my diet is full of healthy proteins and healthy fats, Hey, I look, I feel full on less. And, you know, and, and I’ve made the decision humans. We have these big, wonderful brains that, you know, we have rules that we tell ourselves. And if the rule is, I can’t eat anything on that side of the menu, gosh, I just made it a whole lot easier to make sure I don’t overeat. Brad (51m 47s): Right. I know now I’m on the 16 eight plan. So there goes 16 hours of the day because my rule says, I can’t eat. I’m going to probably eat fewer calories. Not necessarily though, because if I’m, if I’m in the binge mode, because now I finally get to eat, we’re going to just, we have to answer to Herman at the end of the day, it’s going to be tough for us. Herman (52m 5s): Yeah. The, the rules are, you know, what rules work for? You are going to be a combination of, you know, how your reward system in your brain responds to sugars versus fats or whatever. And you know, some people really love the structure of hard and fast rules. I love that. This is what I know. This is what I eat. This is me. I do this works great for them. Other people kind of chafe at that and don’t do as well. And I think that, you know, this, this gets into the psychology of diet and this is not my specialty. I’m an anthropologist so I studied a lot of human diversity in different, but not in a kind of prescriptive way. So what I can tell you as an observer of people across cultures, is that people do different things differently. And there is usually not any one size fits all thing. Herman (52m 47s): Now, what size works for you? Well, talk, talk to a dietician or give it a try yourself. Brad (52m 54s): So if we go into extreme diet mode, cause we got to get that 10 pounds off before the, the bridesmaid gig. Good luck. What happens there? Herman (53m 5s): Well, if you go too far too fast, right? Then again, we’re evolved organisms, our bodies, don’t like to lose weight and you will, especially if you’re, when you’re feeling like you’re starving, your body goes into starvation mode, cranks, your metabolic rate down, right? Those same kind of tools that your body, your body can use to adjust different organ systems and different metabolic systems. It can just turn them all down. And now you’re in trouble right now, your metabolic rates in your brain, fewer calories than you were before. And you know, maybe you really were good about cutting a couple hundred calories of your diet out every day, but your body goes, yeah, well, you’re also burning a couple hundred calories less now, unbeknownst to you, cause I’m turning it down and you know, and then gosh, now I’m not losing any weight anymore. Herman (53m 48s): So it’s really hard to do, I think. Well, you said if I had, you know, cards on the table, the, the zillion dollar bet, how would I live forever? And that’s a good question. I, to 110, what I thought you were going to say his cards on the table, how do you fix the obesity epidemic? And the answer I think is you start with kids because I think that once you get to be 40 and 50 and 60 years old, it’s awfully hard to all the data says you can change and you should try if you’re at an unhealthy place in your, in your, in your life. But it’s hard. It’s just harder. You know, things get less flexible, less dynamic when you’re older, even your behaviors get less flexible. Herman (54m 30s): Right. And so I think you got to start with kids because I think if you end up, you know, if you’re, if you have a really serious health issue, weight issue, when you’re in your fifties, it’s harder to fix than if you can address that kid when he’s 10 and fix it there. Brad (54m 44s): Yeah. I guess if we’re extremely out of line, which in many cases we are with this ridiculous excess appetite and eating the highly palatable foods until we’re stuffed and have to undo our belt belt buckle, we can certainly make all these corrections. And then I guess maybe some just like the athlete, maybe some recalibration will occur where you drop 10 pounds of fat successfully. And then when you want to go from 10 to 15, that’s when you’re saying these mechanisms are going to kick in and make it really tough. Herman (55m 14s): Yeah. I, I, you know, the, there’s a really nice set of papers out recently by Kevin Hall and, and some other folks who’ve worked on weight loss for a long time, looking at the physio, it’s called The Physiology of the Weight Loss State, which doesn’t, you know, not, not eye catching maybe, but it’s it’s, it was a fun conference I was at back in the, before times when you could travel for conferences and you know, just how your body does recalibrate to a weight loss state and what we do about that and kind of move forward from that. I think that’s going to be the next challenge, right? We’ve we’ve worked a lot on how do you lose 10% of your body weight if you need to do that. Now the next horizon, I think for a lot of this is how do we keep it off and or how do we get to the next, the next 5% or, you know, that kind of thing. Herman (56m 0s): So the long-term stuff I think is going to be harder and harder to, well, not harder and harder necessarily, but it is going to be what’s next. And just by nature of the fact that you’re talking about long-term change, it’s going to be harder to investigate, cause you’re going to need long-term studies to do it. And so hopefully there’s energy and funding and an interest in that kind of stuff. Cause I do think that is the next, the next phase. Brad (56m 22s): What about like a, a fast one day a week where you’re not going to go into survival mode and that’s going to be your you’re going to try to drop some excess calories and then eat normally the other six days or some type of, or alternatively and under the radar approach where you consume 50, fewer calories than you burn. Even though we have no way of knowing that. It seems like that could be a path to fat reduction that would not fly in the face of your research and all that people Herman (56m 53s): Yeah, I have had good, good luck with intermittent fasting or different kinds of fasting approaches. And yeah, absolutely. If that works for you, there’s no reason it wouldn’t the, if you go too fast and too much, you’re going to have that response that, that reaction, that metabolic reaction. But if you can do it in a way that your body doesn’t freak out, yeah, you’ll be okay. Brad (57m 13s): Or I suppose, going too fast too soon, obviously would have that reaction. But I would imagine also eating 200 calories less per day for the next five years, you would probably compensate and burn fewer calories. Herman (57m 32s): Yeah. Eventually the other thing is too, if you lose the weight, if you lose fat, you expect to see too much of a change in, in, in expenditure. Cause that’s pretty quiet. But if you’re losing, if any muscle goes along with that, then you know, now your, your energy expenditure requirements go down too. It’s tough. It’s tough. Brad (57m 50s): That’s not going to sell a lot of quick fix weight loss programs, man. You could call it. It’s tough. Herman (57m 57s): That’s why I didn’t write one. It’s tough. Brad (58m 0s): It’s tough. Good luck. Here we go. But, but finding the diet that works, I mean that your, your tagline find a diet that keeps you satisfied that you enjoy and it keeps, you keeps you, you know, well fed, but it’s not an excessive amount of calories is a big winner there. Herman (58m 17s): I think so. And I’m, I’m a big believer in human diversity as a, I think it’s a strength on all levels of diversity of behavioral and physical and mental diversity. I think it’s all good stuff. And we should, why would we want to ignore that? Why wouldn’t we want to embrace that when it comes to diet and everything too, you know, diversity is good and it’s going to, something’s going to work better for some people than others. And I’m also a big believer that, you know, there’s a drive to be, we have a drive to be happy and a drive to be content, and we should honor that. And if you’re doing things that make you just unhappy every day miserable because of what you’re eating or what you’re trying to do at the gym, I mean, you’re going to have a hard time keeping it up. Herman (59m 1s): And why should you, you know, find things that you enjoy doing? I think that there is a lot out there as soon as we open up our mind and go, Oh, I don’t have to eat this particular way. I need to follow these principles. Well, now that seems pretty doable. I could find a way that will work within these principles. I don’t have to exercise this way. I just need to get moving. I can find a way that gets me moving that I like. Right. I think I hope that that opens doors for people. And as a way to kind of, if you have been frustrated, it is a way to kind of get back into it, Brad (59m 32s): Right. And that would include like maybe not centering your life around meals because you’re getting more healthy. You’re moving more. You’re, you’re getting good at it at burning fat. You’re not pumping insulin into your, your blood all day and night. And then you don’t have you forget about it. And you’re so busy. You, you, you work through lunch with no nothing to, you know, nothing to show for it negatively. Yeah, man, that was a great followup show. I’m I’m getting clear now. And I think that tour de France example hits home where sure, of course you can get into your bridesmaid dress and then, you know, we, we gotta be reasonable and, and have those have those longterm sights too. Brad (1h 0m 15s): Yeah. Yep. That’s right. Okay. People go by the book BURN. It’s going to blow your mind. It’s a great work. I appreciate you so much, Herman. Thanks for joining us again and good luck with everything you’re doing. Keep it up. Herman (1h 0m 28s): Thanks. Brad is really fun to talk. Brad (1h 0m 29s): Anytime. Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support please. Email email@example.com with feedback, suggestions and questions for the QA shows, subscribe to our email list of Brad kearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email list. And if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with Apple podcasts or wherever else, you listen to the shows that would be super, incredibly awesome. Brad (1h 1m 15s): It helps raise the profile of the be read podcast and attract new listeners. 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