In this episode, Dr. Ted Naiman simplifies all of your health and weight loss questions by offering a unique and powerful message that will help you drop excess body fat and optimize both your diet and exercise program.
Dr. Ted talks about his book, The P:E Diet, which suggests a simple solution for weight loss by cutting to the chase: look at the protein to energy ratio in your diet. As Dr. Ted reveals in this show, this is the secret to optimizing caloric intake, dropping excess body fat, and building and maintaining lean muscle mass. It’s quite simple: it’s all about satiety per calorie.
Dr. Ted has also gained invaluable experience through his work as a family practice physician, because he understands that the average person needs simple but effective (and easy to follow) solutions for weight loss and health goals: “My passion is really making diet and exercise as accessible to my patients as possible.”
Enjoy learning all about the P:E Diet, and if you want to follow Dr. Ted on Instagram, click here!
The protein to energy ratio is the secret to optimizing your caloric intake and dropping excess body fat. [01:32]
Humans, just like all animals, have a protein leverage phenomenon that we are mostly unaware of. [06:17]
The obesity epidemic has two parts to it: Protein dilution and the addictiveness of the high energy density carbs and fats together. [09:10]
You can either choose to exercise less and weigh a lot more, or weigh way less and exercise a lot more. [11:17]
It is almost impossible to eat too much protein. The real secret is satiety per calorie. [14:26]
How does a smoothie from Jamba Juice of 400 calories differ from a 400-calorie smoothie you make at home with high protein ingredients? [23:14]
There’s a time factor that can make you hungrier unless you have some protein with glucose. [26:14]
You want your carbs at the very end of the meal. Protein is the center of the diet. [28:10]
Pair your carb intake with high intensity workouts. Be careful how you shave down the carbs. [30:19]
Since the dawn of agriculture, we’ve been fattening up animals so the protein percentage is lower. [38:22]
What is the simple minimalist exercise strategy? [41:59]
If you are in good shape, fairly active but you want to take off some pounds, what is the best way to go? Focus on protein. [55:38]
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Brad (1m 33s): There’s Dr. Ted Naiman is here to simplify things for you. How does that sound? A simple, powerful message to help you drop excess body fat, optimize your diet and optimize your exercise program for the most time efficient, maximum results possible. And you’re going to love this unique message, which I think rises above and overarches many of the popular dietary practices that we have today. His book is called the PE Ratio to Diet. That stands for protein to energy ratio. And he believes that this is the secret to optimizing your caloric intake, to drop excess body fat, build or maintain lean muscle mass. Brad (2m 19s): It’s all about satiety per calorie. And protein, of course, is our number one dietary need for survival, the building blocks of life. And the problem with the modern diet is that there are a ton of foods that are low in protein, hyper palatable, heavily processed, and we eat so many of those possibly because deep down, we’re trying to satisfy our cravings, our survival cravings for protein. So he’s going to get into the concept of protein to energy ratio, and also pair that in the latter half of the show with a great exercise strategy which entails pushing yourself to absolute maximum failure in a very short duration effort, to get the most bang for your buck in a minimal amount of time, really intriguing proposition, where you can get a lot done, put your body under maximum resistance load, your cardiovascular system and or your muscles, incense lasting only seconds, total workout, duration, lasting only minutes. Brad (3m 23s): You can make incredible fitness progress. And of course, this goes hand in hand with your efforts to optimize your diet and drop excess body fat. And the cool thing about Dr. Ted is he is a very busy family practice physician in the Seattle area. So he walks his talk. He’s an extremely fit guy. You can follow him on social accounts to learn more, but he’s also dealing with everyday real people that want simple solutions, not too complex, not too controversial. And so his message is really well received. I think you’re going to enjoy this wonderful show with Dr. Ted Naiman co author of the PE Diet, along with former podcast guests, William Shewfelt. Both these guys extremely impressive fitness specimens. Brad (4m 4s): So you’d know they’re doing something right. And here we go with Dr. Ted. Dr. Ted Naiman. I’m so glad to catch up with you. You are, you’re living the dream, man. You’re the real deal. You’re, you’re, you’re healthy, you’re fit. And especially interesting is how you’re dealing with real people, rather than just philosophy and sitting back and you know, suggesting this or that you’ve had a ton of people coming through your office. So maybe you should just give us a little intro about your, your practice, and then we’ll get and get into the PE Ratio. We’re going to get into the, the proper way to pursue fitness goals for best results and all that great stuff. Ted (4m 44s): Awesome. Cool. Thanks a lot, man. Good to talk to you. Thanks for having me on. Yeah, I’m just, I’m a primary care doctor and I’m down in the trenches. I’m on the front line. I’ve been doing primary care for 20 years and I’m, I work for a, just a big multi-specialty group in Seattle, one of the bigger hospital based healthcare systems in Seattle and just do straight up primary care. But my, my passion is really just making diet and exercise as accessible to my patients as possible. You know what I mean? Just really lowering the bar to entry for people, getting on board with diet and exercise and how so I’m just super geeked out on the nutrition side, you know, and the exercise and that kind of thing. Brad (5m 33s): So this PE Ratio Diet that you wrote with William Shewfelt has this pretty exciting and incredibly simple concept. That seems to be the solution to the most frustrating challenge. I think in the, in the whole scene here, which is people trying to drop excess body fat and doing it through a sorted means that have proven to be, you know, widespread dismal failure. And now we can kind of proceed with a simple approach where the diet is no struggle to adhere to. So I’d love to just hit everybody with that, that basic concept out of the gate, and then they can get drawn in and realize, wow, they may be, maybe I could maybe, maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Ted (6m 18s): Gotcha. Okay. Well, this whole thing is based on a protein leverage, which is this, this thing that researchers or doctors, Robin Heimer and Simpson from Australia, these two professors, there are entomologists. Who’ve been studying nutrition and all sorts of animals, species for decades. And they, they realize that most animals on earth have this sort of protein target. And they’re basically going to eat it, eat and eat it until they get enough protein and only then will they stop eating. And this works in insects and it works in rats and mice, and it works in dogs and cats. It basically works in pretty much every animal you could name, including humans. Of course, we’re just animals. Brad (6m 59s): We’re just basically monkeys who talk more or less. So there’s this whole protein leverage phenomenon that most people are blissfully unaware of. Basically humans have an incredibly powerful protein satiety drive and you will eat and eat and eat until you get enough protein and only then will you stop eating? And you, you look at how many calories somebody eats and people who are overweight and eating way more calories and people who are really fit and active, successful, and eating way less calories who’s walking around thinner. They’re basically eating the same amount of protein. And the only question is how much non-protein energy carbs and fats did you have to eat to get to that protein? Ted (7m 46s): So the biggest driver of the whole obesity epidemic is protein dilution. We figured out how to refine all these carbs or find all these fats. We dumped them into the food supply, and now your food is so protein dilute that you basically have to overeat carbs and fats to get enough protein to just be alive. So like, you know, over the past 60 years of the obesity epidemic, protein dropped from, you know, maybe 14, 15% in America to down to 12 and a half percent. So in order to get the same absolute amount of protein, we all have to be way more carbs and fats. And, and we’ve got this obesity epidemic. It’s a, it’s a huge driver of caloric intake that everybody’s blissfully unaware of. Ted (8m 33s): Like people just don’t even understand how this works. It’s really powerful. Brad (8m 38s): So I’m familiar with the idea that if you are on this some type of crazy low protein diet, you’re going to feel like absolute shit. You’re going to become emaciated. You’re going to have strong cravings for protein, but we’re also familiar with cravings for rich high fat foods or for the simple carbs. And so tell us how all these cravings fall into place. It sounds like our number one craving is for protein because we’re going to die without it. And then I don’t know where the other ones fall into the picture here. Ted (9m 10s): Right? Okay. So the whole obesity epidemic really has basically two parts to it. The first part is protein dilution, right? You know, you need probably 200 grams of protein a day to not be hungry. But if you’re eating French fries, which are potatoes and oil at 6% protein, you have to massively overeat fat and carbs and French fries to get enough protein to not be hungry. So you got basic protein dilution because you’re just surrounded with low protein foods. That’s half of the obesity epidemic. The other half of the obesity epidemic is the hedonic delicious, tasty, addictive nature of high energy density, carbs and fats together. So if you take a high energy density carb and mix it with a high energy density, fat, that’s your donuts and your pizza and your candy bars and your cakes and your cookies and your pies and your muffins, your crackers and your bagels with cream cheese and your, you know, all of these foods don’t exist in nature. Ted (10m 6s): There’s nothing in nature that’s high energy density, carbs and fats together, except for breast milk and nuts like acorn, which is basically the plant equivalent of breast milk, more or less, if you think about it. So except for these foods for babies, breast milk and nuts, you don’t find high energy density carbs and fats together in nature. And when we make these foods, it’s incredibly addictive, it spikes to me and really high in your brain and you just crave it. t (10m 36s): You just want more of it. So you’ve got the obesity epidemic being pushed along by protein dilution, not a protein because of high energy density carbs and fats, sugar, refined oil that we dumped in food supply. And then you’ve got the obesity. I mean, being told along also by the hedonic nature of these high energy density, carbon fats together. So like you, you know, you eat a giant steak. You got enough protein, but go out for some ice cream, and you want to eat that. You’re going to eat that even if you’re already full. So you’ve got this push and pull, and in both cases, it’s high energy density or refined carbs and fats together. That’s driving the whole show. And that’s what we’re dealing with. Brad (11m 18s): I’ve had enough steak, but yes, I would like an additional scoop of ice cream. Thank you very much. I have room in my stomach for that always room for that. Wow. Where does activity fit into the picture? I know this is sort of an aside, but I’m, I’m fascinated with Dr. Pontzer’s new book and him zeroing in on the, the obesity epidemic being entirely related to how many calories we consume. And then this, this idea that we can burn them off has been strongly refuted by, by emerging science. Ted (11m 50s): Well, I mean, I think that Pontzer is, I love his, and I love his work, but he’s doing, it says a little bit of a disservice because the reality is you have a choice. You can either do a crap ton of activity and get 20,000 steps in a day and exercise a lot and burn it X number of calories, or you can barely move at all, but weigh way more. And so all your actions costs more energy and you basically just exist as a larger person, fatter and more higher mass. It takes more calories just to be alive and just to do the things that you do. And so you can either choose to exercise less and weigh a lot more, or weigh way less than exercise a lot more. Ted (12m 36s): And you’re going to burn the same amount of energy either way. So it’s kind of a lot of, you know, we’re kind of spinning Pontzer’s work to say, well, exercise doesn’t matter. Cause your energy expenditure is constrained either way, but you do actually have a choice being a way thinner and exercising a lot more and extending the same amount of energy as if you’re way fatter and exercise way less, same amount of energy. So I don’t know about you, but I think I’d rather weigh less and move more, you know, then just like be 500 pounds and like take a hundred steps a day or something like that and burn the same, that energy. So I’m pushing back a little bit on Pontzer’s theory, which basically makes it look like exercise doesn’t matter cause you’re constrained and it’s really not quite true. Ted (13m 26s): I would also add the, the constraints on energy only occur when you get up to a pretty high level of exercise and beyond that more is not better. So I think exercise is crucial just for health in general and it really does help people be a thinner. Brad (13m 45s): Yeah, I’d also, I believe there’s support for the idea that it helps you kind of back away from this addiction and over consumption of the hyper palatable foods, because you’re able to burn body fat, you’re alert, you’re energized. You’re not having to constantly look in your drawer for another snack at the two hour mark at your desk because you suck at burning fat because you don’t exercise don’t move enough. Don’t sleep enough. Ted (14m 9s): Absolutely right. Like cardio just literally makes you better at oxidizing fat and it makes you more in touch with hunger and fullness and people maintain weight loss better when they’re doing exercise. And so there’s a million reasons to exercise, even though we have this constrained energy model of sponsors. Brad (14m 27s): Okay, we’re going to talk about your unique approach and philosophy to exercise again, super simple. He’s a simple guy here. People would making it also before us, but before we, we got to spend a little more time on this, this protein to energy ratio and kind of the escape hatch to solve the battle of trying to restrict calories in the name of weight loss. So it sounds like that we need to prioritize protein in the diet for our health and nutritional benefit, but we’ve also heard recently some warnings about consuming too much protein could be unhealthy, could stimulate growth factors. So maybe you can sort us out there about what’s the optimal level of protein intake? Brad (15m 10s): What should we be concerned about or not concerned about? Ted (15m 14s): So we’ve basically proven with randomized controlled studies, even in humans, that protein leverage is real. We’ve proven that you will overeat calories if you’re eating low protein percentage foods. So this is a actually known proven fact. We’ve, we’ve documented this in all sorts of animals, species, including humans themselves. Then there’s this theory that high protein percentage diets in humans could somehow activate an aging pathway that makes you live less long. What we haven’t proven at all is that this phenomenon occurs in humans. Ted (15m 55s): Like we have not proven that eating more protein, your higher protein percentage affects longevity in humans. What we do know about humans is that literally the higher your fat mass, the higher your risk for everything bad, including all causes of mortality. So you can look at cancer, cardiovascular events, all causes of mortality with fat mass. And it’s basically a straight line up into the right. And so literally anything that allows you to eat your calories and have lower fat mass is typically protective and beneficial and higher protein percentage. Do that diets accomplishes that really, really well. Ted (16m 36s): So I am going to push back against the concept that high protein diets are going to kill you or shorten your lifespan. Since we really know it’s more about fat mass in calories and insulin resistance, all of which are basically from over consuming calories, which we see more with protein dilute diets. So the interesting thing about choosing higher protein percentage foods is you’re probably gonna eat about the same absolute amount of protein. You just eat way less carbs and fats coming along for the ride because you chose a higher protein percentage food to begin with. So the amount of absolute protein people are eating is not necessarily that much higher. Ted (17m 17s): They’re just done eating lower caloric intake when they’re choosing a higher protein percentage foods. Brad (17m 24s): I guess part of that could be the incredible satiety effect of protein. So you mentioned the steak and I don’t know about you, but you know, once you have two steaks, I’m capable of eating two at times, but I don’t think three or, you know, I have an omelet with four or five eggs or six, but not, you know, 12, unlike the story with the cheesecake or the popcorn. One of my episodes is titled Fatty Popcorn. Boy’s Saga because I ate so much popcorn. You know, it re-introduced into my diet and I loved it so much. I started making it every night. All of a sudden I found I’d added some body fat. So it’s super easy to do with those slippery slope foods, but apparently not so much with the incredibly rich and satiating high protein foods. Ted (18m 8s): Right? Yeah, absolutely. You eat enough steak and eggs and you’re pretty much not hungry for the rest of your life. I mean, those satiety is no joke. Brad (18m 17s): So there’s a little or no concern with someone heading in this direction and oops, getting too much protein every single day. to the extent that they’re, they’re going to have health concerns, is that what you’re saying? Ted (18m 33s): It’s almost impossible to eat too much protein. In 20 years of medical practice, I’ve never looked at a patient and say, wow, you’re eating too much protein. Like this that’s really not even a thing. I’m sure there’s some, there are some rare genetic defects where you have a difficulty with ammonia excretion, but like this is just freakishly rare. And your average person can’t eat too much protein and you just, your body won’t allow it. I mean, sit down with a couple of pounds of boneless chicken breasts and just try to over eat, try to eat too much protein and you really can’t do it. Brad (19m 13s): So we’ve heard these recommendations bantered about to get the 0.7 grams per pound of lean body mass. Some people are saying one pound per gram of lean mass or one pound per gram of total body mass. And they’re, they’re floating all over. Where do you stand if you, if you even do make a recommendation against body mass? Ted (19m 35s): Well, okay. So most of your actual protein experts look at the RDA is just an absolute bare below, which everyone’s going to have frank deficiencies and like your teeth fall out of your head and crap like that. So you really want to at least literally double the RDA and make that a bare minimum for most people, especially older persons who have anabolic resistance and actually need far more protein just to not have osteopenia or sarcopenia and all of these other conditions. So you want to at least double the RDA and then you have a lot of studies saying, well, you know, if you go over one gram per pound, you’re not going to build any additional muscle. Ted (20m 18s): You don’t really need that protein. But it’s, it’s not necessarily about the bare minimum you need. It’s more about satiety per calorie. I mean, the real secret to success here is satiety per calorie. If I give you a food that gives you a whole day’s worth of satiety, it’s got protein, it’s got minerals, it’s got fiber, it’s got all the micronutrients you need. And it just has one calorie, right? Like, like infinite satiety for calories, you’re going to achieve all your fat loss goals. You’re going to have a super low body fat fasting, insulin fasting, triglycerides, lipid ratios, inflamma, tory markers. Ted (21m 0s): Everything’s going to be brilliant, right? And that’s because you had high satiety per calorie. If I’m eating a food with horrifically low society per calorie, maybe I just have a 20,000 calorie shake. That’s a toxic slurry of corn oil and sugar or something. I dunno, high fructose corn syrup and corn oil together, or something with a straw. Then I am going to get, you know, almost no satiety for infinite amount of calories. I’m going to have the exact opposite thing. I’m just going to be constantly hungry, constantly eating. I’m going to gain a billion pounds. Every number you can measure is going to be horrible. It really comes down to satiety per calorie. And so it doesn’t really matter. What’s the bare minimum amount of protein you need. Ted (21m 40s): What’s the maximum you could possibly turn into muscle. It’s more about what level of protein percentage it’s going to allow you to have the highest satiety per calorie and lose the most body fat. Since 91% of humans on earth are over fat. That should be our number one concern, right? So it’s all about satiety for calorie, for me, and for some people pushing protein, even higher than a gram per pound is the way to go. If you look at most of your fitness competitors, who, whose job is basically getting as lean as possible, they’re usually eating, you know, 1.3, 1.5 grams per pound of lean body mass or ideal body weight or stage body weight. Brad (22m 24s): So you can push protein even higher all, even though you’re not really using that protein to build muscle for anabolism or I predict a few, you’re still getting a little bit higher satiety for calorie out of it. I mean, same thing with fiber. You don’t need fiber, nobody needs fiber, you know, but you’re going to definitely get satiety for calorie, really high satiety per calorie from it. So it’s a mistake not to push it a little bit higher, which is why all of your bodybuilders and bikini models out there are eating these insanely high fiber foods because they get a crap ton of satiety per calorie. Even though you don’t need fiber, there’s no RDA for fiber. Ted (23m 4s): You know, you’re not, you’re not going to really use a fiber to build muscle or whatever, but it’s still a lever you can pull. That’s giving you success. Brad (23m 15s): Yeah. I like how you’ve mentioned the word satiety 17.5 times already. And it’s so funny because you know, we get into our heads so much with this analytical approach to diet and we have these strategies and we’re following guidelines, but everything gets washed away in a giant tidal wave of honoring our hunger and satiety signals. So it feels like that’s where a lot of the battle is with people where they’re trying really hard to adhere to whatever plan they’ve been given. But they’re, you know, if, if they’re not sated, it’s going to be, it’s going to be big trouble to hang in there. I’m curious. Why is a nutrient dense, high protein food, more satiating than the corn oil and high-fructose corn syrup, a smoothie being that let’s say they’re each 400 calories where you’re making this smoothie at home. Brad (24m 7s): I’m just making my, my pastured egg yolks and raw frozen liver and protein powder and other stuff in there. Or I can go down to Jamba juice and get a 400 calories sugar bomb. So what’s going on that I feel better and more satiated with the, with the high protein foods? Ted (24m 26s): Oh right. Okay. So bunch of things are going on. First of all, humans have specific appetites for five things that we know of protein, fat, carbohydrate, and minerals, specifically sodium and calcium. So you’re, you’re actually, your brain is actually looking for these amino acids in your blood. You’re actually looking for all these things showing up and you’re not going to have satiety until you get them. They’re also all these incretins that are secreted by your small test. You know, after you eat a protein, you get all of these in GLP one and credence that basically say each of your brain. Ted (25m 6s): So you’re, so you’re looking for all of this stuff from your GI tract and showing up in your blood. That basically indicates that, Hey, I ate a bunch of stuff. I’m not that hungry. I’m doing okay. And you’re going to eat it until you get that. And so there’s a lot of factors there and things that help in volume to food. So you want a ton of weight and volume to, for the stretch receptors in the gastrointestinal tract. That’s why you want to eat the foods, have the lowest energy density and energy density is a huge, big deal. Protein is crucial. You absolutely have to have some fat for sure. So it’s protein, it’s fat, it’s weight in volume. Ted (25m 49s): It’s, you know, all of these micronutrients, especially minerals, especially the macro minerals, the minerals you need in big quantities, which is sodium and calcium. And so your, your body’s looking for all this stuff and your Jamba Juice doesn’t have any of that in there. Brad (26m 5s): I guess the glucose spike and insulin response, and then the corresponding hunger signals is also part of the deal here. If I’m, if I’m living on Jamba juice? Ted (26m 15s): Well actually, and to be fair to carbs. Carbs give you the very highest acute satiety, hyper acute society. You get a huge spike of satiety about, within about an hour of eating carbs. And then it goes like sharply negative three or four hours later. If you look at the ghrelin curve for carbs, carbs are the most satiating macro in the first hour. And then it just goes sharply and negative and you hit three or four hours later. And if you had a really high glycemic load and you literally get this glucose fall where your glucose dips lower than it was before, and you get this like hunger phenomenon about what happened downstream from carbohydrate, unless you had some protein or fat with it to kind of flatten things out, but your body’s looking for all these things. Ted (27m 6s): And the, when it comes to carbohydrate, timing is probably a factor. And we talk about that a lot in the book, but there’s this time factor to carbohydrates as well. Brad (27m 17s): What kind of time fact do you mean time of day? Ted (27m 20s): No. I mean more like a super high acute satiety, but downstream, you might even be hungrier than if you did need carbs at all. And you can kind of feel this. If for breakfast, you just have like dry toast and juice and wait three hours and see how you feel. You know what I mean? You get all, you’re just starving. You have to eat something else. So you might almost be hungrier than if you just fasted the whole time. Brad (27m 46s): Interesting. I’ve never heard that about the, the first hour carbs being the all-star the most satiating. And then, then you drop off the cliff. That’s, that’s pretty. And that’s why your average American is eating carbs. Basically, you know, every two hours for a 16 hour eating window, eight times a day, you’re just eating carbs, carbs, carbs per product, 300 grams, eight times a day, every two hours for a 16 hour window. Ted (28m 10s): That’s what most people are doing because they’re chasing this up and down and you kind of want to get off that rollercoaster a little bit and do a little bit more wind doing with carbs or a time and carbs, you know, post exercise or something like that. Are you also want carbs very last in your meal? You know, they did a bunch of studies in Japan, looking at meat, vegetables, and rice, and the order in which you eat that. And if you’re, if you’re eating the rice last, you actually are better off from an incretin point of view and a glycaemic point of view. And that’s why dessert is always last. You know, your, your grandmother was right. You eat dessert last, you, you actually want to do that. Ted (28m 52s): There are reasons physiologic reasons to do that. Brad (28m 57s): So what about the role of fats and carbs in the diet? If we’re emphasizing protein, we’re going for that protein to energy ratio, that the title of your book, I hope the listeners are super clear on, on what that means. And then of course, we’re not going to live on protein or we’ll get the rabid starvation effect that you can aside that if you, if you like, but then how do we now integrate a winning diet and maybe since I’m asking you a seven part question here, maybe answer according to, let’s say someone who’s trying to drop body fat versus someone who’s athletic has good blood markers and wants to perform and recover? Whew!, if they’re guys tech people here, he goes seven part answer. Ted (29m 40s): Got it. So step one is just fixing protein, right? Like, so protein is the most important you want to target protein. You have this protein, you have to achieve, you want to eat the protein first. So you’ll end up getting your protein satiety at a lower caloric intake. So it’s all about the protein. Every meal should be centered on our protein. Every snack should be centered on our protein, protein, breaking protein. In reality, it mostly just comes down to protein and then calories. So if you, you know, if you ate a 40% protein diet, and then you had 30, 30 carbs and fats versus 40 10 carbs and fats versus 20,20 or 20,40, I mean. Ted (30m 20s): It wouldn’t really be super crucial, which carb fat mixture you had within reason. But there are caveats to that. People doing tons of high intensity exercise, right? So you need maybe a hundred grams of carbs a day, but your liver has to manufacture at a protein if you’re eating no carbs at all. So maybe a hundred grams of carbs is a pretty good reasonable target for people who are doing no cardio at all, and no high intensity exercise. But when you do really, really high intensity exercise, you’re burning almost pure glucose. And so if you’re doing an hour of cardio, you probably want to throw another 50 grams in there. Ted (31m 2s): You probably want an extra 50 grams or so for every hour of really high intensity exercise that you’re doing. So someone who’s super active has, you know, earned these carbs and should probably be eating more, especially windowed around exercise, you know, right before maybe during re maybe right after. So high intensity exercise and more carbs kind of go together, hand in hand, carbohydrate is ergogenic and it helps people perform some of these high intensity. And so you kind of want to pair your extra carbohydrate intake with these sorts of high intensity exercise bouts. And then I I’m, I’m also not a huge fan of just zero carbohydrate diets because humans really, really do have an appetite for carbohydrate. Ted (31m 49s): And if you’re eating absolutely none, you’ll have this weird carb hunger that you just you’ll have to eat way more calories from fat. You kind of achieve the same society. So like, for example, let’s say you and I both ate steak and eggs, and we got a ton of protein, right? But now I’m gonna, you’re on a zero carb diet where you just literally eat no carbs at all. And you’re still kind of hungry. You’re going to eat, you know, three pounds of macadamia nuts trying to satiate this carb hunger. Whereas I’m going to eat like two apples and it’s going to be 45 grams of net carbs, who cares. Right. And I’m going to have way higher satiety per calorie at that point, because I have this slight carbohydrate hunger, and I’ve already hit my protein and mineral and fat requirements. Brad (32m 38s): So if you use carbs strategically like this, you know, like, like small amounts of carbohydrate to acknowledge this carbohydrate, hunger that you have daily, you’re going to achieve a higher satiety per calorie. You know what I mean? I’m not saying there’s plenty in all the, on fat, the same way. You need a certain amount of fat to have satiety. And you have absolute a requirement for central fatty acids, but after you go above a certain point, all of that fat is just passively stored in your fat cells. And it takes too long to gain there that it’s not really adding a ton of satiety. Ted (33m 19s): You know what I mean? But I just pour a refined fat, like butter oil, every peppy cream over, I’m not going to be passively, be stored in my fat I’m just passively over consuming count calories.You know what I mean? So you have this huge shaped curb for the scent of the year, and it’s going to be like, you know, a hundred grams of carbs plus 50 grams for every hour of high intensity exercise for your average person. Ted (34m 1s): And then on fat, you know, it’s going to be maybe anywhere from 30 to a hundred grams of fat based on how much activity you’re doing, but you got to find the sweet spot and it’s not zero for either one, for sure. Brad (34m 14s): Oh, that’s nice. You put it to the individual and personal preference. And I think there’s some psychological factors at play here too, where you want to have maximum enjoyment of your diet and minimal stress on adhering to something strict. So I’m curious if you’re maybe sitting back and smirking a little bit here and there, when you see all these fads and trends play out that, you know, have, have a, a certain benefit, but they, they might, you know, benefit from taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture here. Ted (34m 46s): Yeah, absolutely. Like, you know, your, just your diehard butter chugging keto people who are like, oh, I’m eating, you know, 20 grams of carbs a day. Cause I have a salad and one tomato, I’m going to get rid of the tomato. I’m going to get rid of this salad. I’m just gonna eat cubes of lard. Like, cause I’m going to shave my carbs from 20 down to the zero. And as you get farther and farther away from the center of the U you’re, the return on your investment is just horrifically bad and maybe, maybe even negative. So as you shave those carbs, lower, lower, lower, lower, you’re actually going to start going backwards. And we talk about that in the book, it’s a, a unit on Over-reliance where my only lever to pull is low carbs. Ted (35m 31s): So I’m just going to pull the low carb lever so hard. It just snaps off at the base. And now I just literally zero grams of carbs. And I’m trying to get more satiety by just eating nuts and dairy and butter and more fat, you know. It’s just not going to work. And people start literally going backwards at that point. And that’s, and that’s why it’s all about this U shaped curve and being like a little low carb, but maybe a little low fat as well. And you just pull every lever, moderately, like, you know, high protein, low carb, low fat cardio resistance. You’re trying to hit all of these moderately and be in the center that you use for every single one of them. Brad (36m 12s): Hmm. What is your dietary pattern look like? And perhaps paired with exercise, as you mentioned a couple of times, right? Ted (36m 20s): Right. So I basically eat a fairly high protein diet. It’s 30 to 40% by calories, Brad (36m 30s): Ted we’re talking like 13% or something that the, the standard American diet is now down at with proteins? Ted (36m 36s): Yeah. About 12 and a half maybe. Brad (36m 39s): Oh, Mercy! Okay. So you’re up at 40 that’s tripping. We want to triple our normal typical meal preparations and, and cultural mainstays. Ted (36m 51s): Well, and that’s like percentage of protein and the absolute amount of protein is maybe not that much higher. Like the average, you know, maybe an average American is eating 91 grams of protein. I’m eating, you know, 160 grams of protein. And so the absolute increase is not as big as the percentage increase, but right. I’m just not as hungry because I eat so much protein upfront. So yeah, I, you know, anywhere from 160 to 200 grams of protein a day. Fat grams is usually more like 70 grams of fat and carbs are about a hundred. Ted (37m 32s): More if I’m doing way more cardio, but those are some pretty typical macros for me. My, most of my proteins are lean beef. I just buy the, you know, the leanest stuff I can reasonably come across. My strategy is to mostly purchase just the leanest proteins I can get because it’s so trivially, easy to add carbs and add fat. You know what I mean? Any kind of side dish is going to add carbs. Any kind of cooking style is going to add oil or fat or butter or something. It’s like, you put cheese on something, you cook it in oil, you could get in butter or you make a sauce. You’re just adding carbs and fats. And by the time you’re done, if you didn’t start out with a super lean protein, you end up with something that’s fairly protein diluted to begin with. Ted (38m 23s): Plus since the dawn of agriculture, we’ve been intentionally fattening up animals, breeding fatter animals, over feeding these animals, we, for economic reasons, we want the fattest of the animals we can get. And so the protein percent is way lower. So, you know, you’ve got your, you, your wild salmon, that’s 70% protein. And then your farmed Atlantic salmon, that’s, you know, 35 or 40% protein. And so there’s a huge difference between your grass fed grass finished by ice. And that’s, you know, 93% protein. And then you’re just conventional ground beef. Ted (39m 2s): That’s maybe even your 70, 30 that’s, you know, a way lower because it added fat to it to make it cheaper or, you know, to make more money. So because of agricultural practices and economics, we already diluted the protein in every protein you’re buying. So you really kind of want to get something to leaner because you’re just going to add a carbon fat calories to it as you cook it, as you prepare it. And as you add things to it. So my diet is basically like the leanest ground beef I can reasonably get in the store, you know, poultry, fish, seafood, shellfish, anything that’s basically properly raised, reasonably lean animal product. Ted (39m 43s): And then lots of fruits and vegetables. It’s basically, I eat a ton of low sugar, fruit, berries, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, avocados, lots of, you know, salad type vegetables. And, and then if I need more carbs, you know, I just eat apples or citrus or potatoes or berries or something like that. But it’s basically all centered around some sort of high quality animal protein. That’s kind of the base to all my meals, all my snacks. Hmm. Brad (40m 14s): And do you, do you feel a usefulness for protein supplementation if, as a backup, I mean, you’re emphasizing the animal protein that the real deal, but is there a role in that for certain people? Ted (40m 28s): Yeah, absolutely. And so like, you know, humans are cocinavore0 se, which means we evolve to eat a processed and cooked food. Like our whole evolution. We’ve been just processing our food and cooking it in trying to extract the most nutrients out of it. You know, we, we invented stone tools to crack open skulls and long bone marrow and brands. We, we cook everything cause you can get more micronutrients and protein out of it. We take all of our plant foods and we fermented or chop at, or boil or sprouted or whatever we can do to up the nutrient density of the calorie yield, make it more nutritious. Ted (41m 12s): So our whole evolution we’ve basically evolved to eat these cooked and processed foods. And so I don’t have a problem using technology to feed myself. Humans have always used technology to feed ourselves. That’s our super power, right? We don’t have claws and fangs and teeth, and we’ve always used technology to hunt. It we’ve always used technology to create food. We’ve always used to use technology to prepare food. And so I do actually use, you know, I’ll use egg whites. I’ll use whey protein, all use a low-fat Greek yogurt. I’ll I’ll buy ultra sheltered milk. Anything I can do to make the protein percent higher, the nutrient density higher. Ted (41m 55s): I’m not afraid to do that if you know what I mean, Brad (41m 60s): and people, you can see the results. If you follow Dr. Ted on Instagram, this guy is walking his talk, your body fats down there in the single digits. I’m sure. And your, your athletic athletic commitment is really high. And I guess we should transition over to that cause I’m so fascinated by the comments that you’ve offered on, on other shows and, and cover in the book where this, this idea of going out there and doing a lot of moderate exercise is not going to get the results like when you push yourself to the maximum even briefly. So let’s, let’s get into the, the Dr. Ted exercise strategy. Ted (42m 38s): Right, right, right. So I, I’ve kind of, I got to admit my, my approach is to solve the equation for like minimum time investment and minimum money investment. And my whole, my whole theory is, okay, what’s the minimum effective dose. What’s the least amount of time and money I can spend and still get really good results. You know? And it’s all about the sort of 80 20 principle where, you know, like, you know, 20% of the work can never get to 80% of the results you want. So I’m all about minimalism and just using the very smallest doses of exercise to get the very biggest results. Ted (43m 20s): And for me, it’s all about intensity. So if you maximize intensity even really, really brief, you’re basically sending this message to your body that it’s not good enough the way it is and your body freaks out and actually responds to that. So like, you know, if I’m just, let’s say, I decide, okay, I’m going to do 10 pushups every hour, all day long. I do 10 pushups. So you template, I do 10 produce typically, you know, I’ve done a hundred pushups. I’ve gotten actually nothing out of that, right? Like I never really pushed myself. It was never really that hard. My body’s not going to change at all. I just get really efficient at pushups and my 10 pushups. Ted (44m 2s): I can burn one calorie and do 10. Now, if I just do one set of just extremely difficult pushups. I mean, I do like super perfect form. I make it as hard as possible. I just absolutely push myself to the maximum. I, I decide I’m going to do one more pushup, even though I feel like I’m going to die. And then I still do one more pushup. And then I push like halfway up and hold it. And I hold that for as long as I can. And I knew the slowest negative. I can. And like the whole time, I’m just like fighting for perfect form, maximum tension in my muscles for the maximum amount of time. I literally make this the hardest set of pushups I’ve ever done in my life. Ted (44m 44s): And then I collapsed on the ground. Well, that only took 40 seconds, but it sends this big message to my body, which is like, you almost died. Like you’re, you’re not strong enough. You’re gonna die. Next time you almost got crushed by a boulder. We don’t know what happened, but we know you almost died and you’re like a wordless sack of crap. And so you literally, over the next two days, build more muscle, get more mitochondria in those muscles. You actually make all of these adaptations cause your body gods, this major signal that holy crap, right. We almost died. So I try to use this approach with resistance exercise, you know, all the major movements, push, pull legs. Ted (45m 24s): I try to use this approach with cardio, you know, like brief, maximum intensity sprints and things like that. And you can actually get the very highest results for the very least amount of time when you’re really pushing the intensity. And so that’s the whole approach in the book. Brad (45m 42s): Now, how frequently would you do something like that? I mean, you mentioned the pushups set only took 40 seconds, but my experience, this stuff can be pretty tough to recover from even a very short workout. Ted (45m 54s): Right, right, right. So in the book we recommended trying to do at least a single set daily push, pull legs, cardio, at least one little thing daily. And that you could basically do a whole body workout and you know, 5, 5, 10 minutes. It’s very recoverable because the volume is so low, but we’re also like, okay, if it’s not convenient for you to work out on a day or you don’t feel good or you haven’t recovered, just skip it and work out the next day. And one of the beauties of aiming for daily is that if you just miss a day here or there it’s no problem at all. And so I really like daily or every other day, I find that for newer people, you might be more like every other day because it takes you longer to recover. Ted (46m 40s): And then people who have been working out a long time have no problem with single set daily. It’s very recoverable. So it’s more about like total weekly volume. Yeah. You’re doing such a little, you’re doing such a small amount that it’s okay to do a higher frequency because overall volumes really not that high. Brad (46m 60s): So you’re calling it single set daily where you’re choosing a particular workout. And that’s your, that’s your workout for the day? Ted (47m 8s): Well, no. So I like, I’m actually doing a full body single, Brad (47m 14s): so numerous workouts are Ted (47m 17s): pushing move all the way to failure every day, like pushups. I’ll do the pulling move to failure daily. Like pull-ups, I’ll do a leg move like a squat daily and then some sort of cardio, like a sprints jumps, squats, a rowing machine, just running up a hill or something like that. So it’s basically a brief to failure about each one of these basic movements every day. And you can, we have like a nano workout in the book. That’s maybe seven minutes. It’s just like pushups, pull ups, squats and squat jobs or something. And you’re pretty much in and out. And you know, just under 10 minutes. Brad (47m 57s): So you’re busting out of your door and sprinting up a hill and that that’s the end of it. You walk back and go into your pushups and then on with your busy day and Ted (48m 7s): Pretty much yeah. Yeah. We might even, I might even split these up. So like, I’ll do a set of pushups right now. Cause I have the time for it. And then hours later I’ll be in the playground and all of a sudden the pull on and I’ll do a set of pull-ups and then like, I’ll do the cardio part later when I’m walking the dog or something. So I like, I do, you know, three, four little micro nano workouts, interstitials spread out during the day. It doesn’t have to all be at once. Brad (48m 38s): I guess you’d perform better with, you know, the, the separate time. But I, I suppose you could also do things back to back to back and it takes seven minutes instead of three minutes. And it’s still in that same category of brief explosive genetic and hormonal signaling and the avoidance of the breakdown, burnout, fatigue, depletion that I feel like is the biggest, the biggest flaw in the fitness industry is pushing people too hard with workouts that are too long in duration. And they don’t get that maximum explosive effort because they’re too tired. Ted (49m 16s): It’s really, really, really all about the stimulus to fatigue ratio. Right. If I just do like one super hard set of pull-ups, that’s it. I just do the hardest set of pull-ups I’ve ever done in my life. I, it might take 60 seconds, but I got this massive stimulus from it. Massive pulling muscle stimulus. Cause I went so hard, but, but like the fatigue is almost nothing. Cause it’s like one minute, like anybody can recover from a one minute of exercise. So my stimulus to fatigue ratio was infinitely higher than someone who’s just doing an hour of CrossFit where the main goal was to just get tired, right? Brad (49m 58s): Like that’s the lowest stimulus to fatigue ratio. That’s like fatigue to stimulus ratio. Right. And like that’ll maximize your fatigue, but you never really maybe got the super laser-focused stimulus that you were looking for. So like, I I’m basically, this is like anti CrossFit. Not that I, nothing against CrossFit. I love CrossFit. I, you know, I’ve done some CrossFit. It’s totally cool. But the goal here is to get the very highest stimulus at the very loss fatigue. Right. It’s kind of, I’m, I’m reflecting on my Murph workout that I completed to celebrate my friend, Dave Kobrine’s and 60th birthday. Brad (50m 39s): And we all did it all his brothers and it was an absolute torture-fest for 46 minutes. Cause we did repeating sets of chin-ups push-ups squats, but you know, I’m still recovering four days later. So it’s kind of the opposite of, you know, heading over there and doing a single set of pull-ups and getting that, that stimulus. And I noticed like trying to get better at pull-ups that if I do just a single torturous set and then don’t hit the bar for a while after several days, that’s when I noticed the biggest fitness breakthroughs. And it’s kind of an interesting isolated examination of, you know, what’s my, what’s my pull-up personal best and how do I improve it? Brad (51m 21s): It’s from, you know, the staccato type of approach rather than doing like your first example of doing 10 pushups every hour I would like to offer to the listeners that, that certainly a shit ton better than being sedentary. So there’s so much to be said for jogging around your park at a slow pace or walking or whatever, or doing 10 pushups every hour. But I think we’re trying to zero in on, you know, getting that, that, that six pack body making athletic performance goals, you know, contributing to maximum longevity and protection against disease and decline. And I think that’s where you’re onto something magical here is that most people probably don’t even ever come close to experiencing that, you know, that, that maximum effort to failure feeling that complete exhaustion temporary. Ted (52m 12s): Yeah. Yeah. And I appreciate what you just said. Yeah. Like general movements. Awesome. Please be walking all day long. Hey, your 10,000 steps, all of these little low intensity movements are, are just absolutely crucial. So you want as much as you can, but someone who’s doing that is never getting this laser focused on ultimate stimulus to their muscles. So they get the maximum strength and hypertrophy. So you really want to be doing both. And then, you know, in fairness to CrossFit, that is really good for endurance. And so if you’re specifically training endurance, if you’re specifically looking for endurance, then that sort of CrossFit cardio metabolic training is great. And I don’t have anything against any of that. Ted (52m 54s): I’m just trying to solve the equation for the smallest time investment for the biggest return on your investment. Brad (53m 1s): Well, I think we have to break it down to, you know, there’s an enjoyment factor and I talked to Stevie Kobrine and one of the guys that finished the workout, he loves to run long distances. He doesn’t care whether it’s, you know, improving his health or slightly compromising at times, but you know, to go out there and run, or if you have an, a performance goal, like completing a marathon, you better be out there training and putting in miles, I used to be a triathlete and we had to spend a lot of our day out there doing cardio, but that was specifically for performance goal. And I think that’s a different category or, or the enjoyment and the performance goals, a different category than how can I optimize my, my, my fitness and my anti-aging. Brad (53m 43s): And clearly there’s a lot of risks with this endurance type steady state type exercise, which is easily fatiguing and exhausting. And I, I love CrossFit too. I love the philosophy, but every workout that I’ve done, I feel like I would have been better served to just bail after 30 minutes, get a fake cell phone call or, you know, grab my phone and pretend I’m urgently answering a text and saying, Hey guys, I got to go after, you know, doing the first set of movements. And then they’re asking you to do something else that’s supposed to be explosive, but the fatigue factor comes in and it kind of ruins the, the workout in, in many ways. Ted (54m 19s): Right? Yeah. I I’m right there with you. Yeah. I mean, I love it, but I think it’s more about endurance at a certain point and that you get some diminishing return on investment there. Brad (54m 31s): Well, also I’m sure you’re familiar with Dr. Doug McGuff book, Body by Science, where he makes a compelling argument with a lot of scientific reference that, that 40 second push-up set that you did where you’re holding the negative position, delivers a phenomenal cardiovascular training effect, probably superior to futsing around for an hour in the park, jogging at a slow pace. And I think that’s something that, you know, as a recent awakening for me, where, you know, getting up and walking is an awesome cardiovascular training session as is doing a very short duration sprint. And so you’re not missing that often isolated concept and fitness where I got to get my cardio in. Brad (55m 13s): I need to get a few hours of that and go lift weights and do this and do that to be a complete athlete. And it’s just kind of refuted pretty strongly now. Ted (55m 22s): Right? Yeah. I think you can pretty much always trade intensity for duration. Brad (55m 27s): And so I really just a straight up trade people. Yeah. I wish I could be home sooner. Okay. Speed the F up and get home sooner. Ted (55m 38s): Exactly. Brad (55m 38s): Okay. So putting that all together, it sounds like you have a pretty good solution for the, the overarching goal of dropping excess body fat for most people. So maybe we could do a little summary recap if I’m in your doctor’s office now saying, Hey, I feel great. I just want to get rid of this final 10 pounds. Ted (55m 56s): Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So step one is, you know, target protein, like every meal is about the protein, every snacks about the protein. You’re trying to hit this protein target for yourself first. So you don’t need to eat as many carbs and fats. You’re also avoiding the high energy density, refined carbs and fats together, which are these super addictive trigger foods, your donuts , your candy bars. So that’s the diet approach, right? And then on the exercise side, it’s just pushing away out of your comfort zone to hit the absolute maximum tension in all of your muscles and the absolute, maximum strain on your cardiovascular system. Even if it’s super brief, because you’re going to get the best adaptations that way and the highest return on your time investment. Ted (56m 41s): And it really just comes down to basically target the hell out of protein and then put maximum attention and all of your muscles on a regular basis. And it’s that simple, that’s a whole equation. Brad (56m 55s): How does that go over with your patients? I know the, the, the medical scene, you have limited interaction and, and the, the time visits, you know, all the talk about how, how little time doctors have with their patients. Maybe that’s how you got things so simple where we could hit the patient with that and send them on their way. But do you have an opportunity to influence those lifestyle choices with your, with your medical clientele? Ted (57m 21s): Yeah, absolutely not. To be honest, like the, my whole career I’ve been trying to streamline and refine my diet and exercise message because I only have 15 minutes and that’s a part of the reason I wrote the book is just to make my life at work easier. So I just give a free copy to all my patients. Anyone who’s interested in it I’m like here or read this because like I only got 15 minutes. So the book was really just basically a way to make my day job easier. You know what I’m saying? And it is for anyone who really gets it and really heads in that direction, even halfway it’s extremely successful. Ted (58m 5s): And once you get these principles down, it really changes your whole life. You just can’t look at food the same way ever again. You can’t look at diet approaches the same way ever again. You can’t look at exercise the same way over again. It is for many of my patients, it’s been a, a dramatic revelation. And, you know, it’s very, very common that we’re having people, you know, get off medications, literally cure their type two diabetes and just have these radical health transformations that in almost every circumstance is all about body recomposition, higher lean mass and lower fat mass. That’s pretty much what everyone’s looking for both from an aesthetic point of view or a performance point of view, or a health metric point of view. Ted (58m 51s): Like all of your favorite diabetes is really just about having not enough muscle in too much fat and you recopy get less out of more muscle and you basically cure type two diabetes or any other metabolic syndrome type problem, which is pretty much all of your chronic degenerative diseases. So super powerful, any way you look at it, right. Brad (59m 14s): And preserving that lean muscle mass is the key to anti-aging aging gracefully, avoiding the accidents and the decline that comes when we, when we, when we get weak and failed to put our muscles under load. Boy, our marching orders are clear. Dr. Ted, you killed it. I love it, man. So tell us about how to follow you. Connect. Order the book, all that fun stuff. Ted (59m 43s): Gotcha. All right. So I wrote this book, the PE Diet with William Shewfelt. you can buy it at thepediet.com or pretty much anywhere where books are sold online. And if you want to follow me, I’m on Twitter at Ted Naiman or Instagram at Ted Nam. And yeah, my practice is unfortunately closed to new patients and I’m way too busy. And it’s really, it’s just for local people in Seattle. I don’t do any kind of virtual counsels or anything, but check out the book. I hopefully people find that helpful. Brad (1h 0m 16s): Awesome. Thank you so much, Dr. Ted Naiman. A great show. Thanks listeners. 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