In part four, we discuss the importance of getting excess fat off your body. I’ll walk you through practical and effective methods for reducing excess fat, explain why ALL diets are gimmicks toward the ultimate goal of simply eating less food, and talk about the wonderful freedom and the benefits that come from not obsessing over having perfect meals all the time.
I also spend some time sharing a bit about my next book, which is all about the C&C diet. C&C stands for carnivore-ish and chocolate, and this book describes my arduous journey to get back to my racing weight of 26 years ago, and I also give tips for easy ways to simplify your diet and remove decision fatigue and temptation.
I think you’ll enjoy how this episode simplifies the process of losing weight into a few, highly effective steps, such as cutting out hyper palatable processed foods to optimize hunger and satiety hormones, making sure you eat to satiety (this could entail high protein meals and definitively ditching junk food), and of course, considering the big lifestyle factors: sleep, rest, movement, and high intensity exercise.
I also bring up some compelling points from two doctors, Dr. Robert Lustig and Dr. McGuff, that will illuminate some interesting truths about weight loss that don’t get discussed nearly enough: 1) Dr. Lustig says it is impossible to overeat wholesome foods because of the extreme satiety they offer and 2) Dr. McGuff’s point about how adding muscle means you get metabolic efficiency in return (meaning, you’ll burn more calories). Perhaps this is the only way to increase metabolic rate—just ask B.Rad guest Dr. Herman Pontzer, author of Burn, who also contends that you can’t calorie burn your way to fat loss.
We also discuss the importance of fitness, especially of doing fitness correctly, meaning incorporating frequent movement throughout your day so you’re sitting less, doing micro workouts and other exercise, and of course, sprinting. Finally, we touch on the crucial lifestyle factors: sleep and relaxation, minimizing artificial light and digital stimulation after dark so you can align your sleep habits with your circadian rhythm. As you’ll learn during this show, the goal is to have dark, mellow evenings and natural, energetic mornings, as well as setting the goal of getting enough down time. Yes, this is considered a health practice! Take time to just relax, take a nap, walk the dog, or start the day with down time. The brain can only focus for 20 minute stints before it needs to take a break, otherwise you’ll feel yourself start to zone out.
Enjoy the show and thanks for listening!
Brad reviews the things he covered in the three previous Lifestyle Tips podcasts. [01:21]
Getting that excess fat off your body is a prominent goal. Two thirds of the American population is now categorized as overweight or obese. [03:28]
Maintaining lean muscle mass is the best catalyst to naturally and gracefully reducing excess body fat. [05:45]
Guess what? The first step is to eat less food. [09:00]
The Protein Lever Theory contends that our body, our brains will do whatever it takes to get enough protein every day. [12:48]
The first step is to get rid of the hyper palatable processed foods and allow your natural hunger and satiety signals to come to the forefront. [13:47]
Today’s hectic, stressful lifestyle and excessive exercise patterns exacerbate carbohydrate dependency. [14:53]
Be cautioned that when you are trying to cut back food, do it right. [16:06]
Emphasize foods that offer good satiety. We can’t calorie burn our way to fat reduction. [17:55]
Avoid long periods of stillness. Learn to exercise in spurts to complete muscular failure. [19:02]
There is nothing more challenging than running fast and jumping off the ground. [26:24]
You are going to have a hard time optimizing your diet if your sleep is compromised. [28:38]
Our central nervous system needs some down time after a day of digital stimulation. [36:02]
Have a healthy morning routine rather than reaching for that mobile device. [40:01]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- The Overfat Pandemic
- Dr. Layne Norton
- The Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga
- Carnivore Scores Chart
- Brad’s Morning Routine
- Weight Training is a Waste of Time
- The Sleep Revolution
- Lights out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival
- Podcast with Matt Maruca
- Two Meals a Day
- Keto for Life
- Article by Dr. Phil Maffetone, the guru of aerobic training and fat-adapted lifestyle
- Dr. Cate Shanahan and I discuss the evils of vegetable oils
- Tim O’Donnell heart attack
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Hey, listeners, time for part four of lifestyle changes to minimize disease, risk factors. I hope you enjoyed the first three shows. The first one we talked about biomarkers. So getting the proper blood tests and learning to interpret some of those results, especially as they might transcend the boiler plate that you get, when you go and do an annual medical checkup with a complete blood count. I talked about some particulars like, like the H B A1C reading, the high Sensitive C reactive protein reading some advanced testing for things like fasting insulin, vitamin D, striving for perhaps a higher number than is widely considered to be normal. And then pinpointing, especially when it comes to cardiovascular disease, risk factors that all important triglycerides to HDL ratio. So things that the leading ancestral and progressive health experts are talking about more so than maybe you’ll find in traditional medical checkups and blood panels.
Then we talked about he importance of healthy testosterone status in males. Some further enlightenment about the popular blood values, like free T serum, T sex hormone, binding globulin, and some of the conventional notions that might be important to reconsider and look at a bigger picture for full education and awareness of your healthy testosterone status. We also talked about a bunch of subjective factors of health, energy, and vitality, how you feel in the morning what your conditions relating to inflammatory and autoimmune flares that could be related to diet that might warrant some dietary experimentation. Then we got into diet with part three and that simple straightforward approach of the biggest objective is to ditch the big three toxic modern foods that we talk about so much that would be refined industrial seed oils and refined sugars and grain products and minimizing that chronically excessive insulin production.
That seems to be the single most concerning dietary problem in modern life in the developed world chronically excessive insulin production, and then insulin resistance driven by not just chowin’ too much sugar, but also the consumption of these industrial seed oils that render your fat metabolism dysfunctional. And then of course, turning over to making the best choices in the ancestral food categories, meat, fish, fowl, eggs, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and of course, dark chocolate and other modern allowances for healthy foods. We covered all that in the first three shows, and now it’s time to hit some exciting additional categories here. And number four would be fat. Indeed, getting that excess fat off your body. It is such a prominent goal. It is so commonplace today that we see these disturbing statistics that over two thirds of the American population is now categorized in the overweight or obese category. And have that two thirds, uh, somewhere around one third of them are in the truly obese category with extreme metabolic problems.
So most people who are listening to the show are striving to lead a healthy, active lifestyle who care about their healthcare, about their food choices are, you know, harboring an interest to look better and maybe get the last 5, 10, 15, or 20 pounds off the body. But interestingly, as we trend away from the obese category the discussion becomes widely encompassing. When you consider how Dr. Phil Maffetone contends in his book, The Overfat Pandemic that I think it’s 91% of the global population can be classified as overfat. And that includes a lot of folks who look fine, look great, but perhaps have some excess accumulation of visceral fat around the abdomen. Uh, some people call it skinny fat, where the person is of a healthy body weight, but the body composition a lack of lean muscle mass and an excess of body fat, especially visceral fat.
And so it seems like almost all of us have some room for improvement in this category, especially when it comes to getting rid of the visceral fat, which has so many adverse metabolic consequences and releasing inflammatory cytokines into the bloodstream, prompting disease patterns and throwing off your healthy hormone status so that if you have a little bit of spare tire, it begets the accumulation of a bigger spare tire, because it will hamper your testosterone status. That’ll come compromise your ability to maintain lean muscle mass, and you’ll start to drift or slip down that slippery slope into a bigger and bigger spare tire over the decades. So getting that excess body fat off your body, no matter what. Dr. Layne Norton, this is a body builder expert guy, who’s a PhD, very smart guy. He’s been around on some pro podcast. You maybe have heard of him on YouTube with viral videos and so forth.
He’s a pretty excitable and sometimes controversial guy. But some of the things he says are spot on, and I especially like to look to the body building community for all the crazy stuff they do, and all the health compromising practices that they engage in. To dehydrate and get up there on stage and have their veins popping once in a while. They do know quite a bit about getting the body fit, getting the muscles bigger and stronger, and especially shedding excess body fat. And he says that Dr. Layne Norton says, if you can increase muscle mass and reduce body fat, this is the most amazingly huge, fantastic improvement representation of improvement in your lifestyle, your health and your disease risk factors. And I don’t think anyone could dispute that as someone who walks in the door after you, haven’t seen ’em for a year and they have more muscle and less fat, they are doing something right. Of course you can get problems with the extreme and the females who already have a visible six pack, but want a more visible six pack and they go and screw up their thyroid and their adrenals from over exercising and a starvation or a nutrient deficient diet. We’re rather talking about the 99.6% of people who would experience a health improvement from adding muscle and reducing fat.
Dr. Doug, McGuff also asserts on this topic that if you are able to add muscle mass, you will get these wonderful metabolic efficiencies. You’ll be burning more calories during the day. Perhaps this is the only way to increase your metabolic rate. If you listen to my shows with Dr. Herman Pontzer author of Burn, who contends that we burn around the same number of calories every day, whether or not we exercise and we can debate the particulars of that. I did so on my wrap up show and on my second show with him. But if we take this big picture insight, it that our daily calorie burning is directly associated with the amount of lean muscle mass we have. You can see that adding muscle mass will be an excellent catalyst to naturally and gracefully reduce excess body fat. But what is the key, how to get rid of this excess body fat?
Well, it now appears this breakthrough news flash that you’re going to have to eat less food. Dr. Pontzer some of his statements kind of controversial when he says basically all diets are gimmick, but he’s literally speaking the truth because the goal of the ketogenic diet or the vegan vegetarian diet, or any kind of calorie restriction diet, a fasting protocol, a compressed eating window, the carnivore diet, whatever it is, the end goal is to prompt a natural and healthy reduction in calorie consumption. If we’re talking about the goal of reducing excess body fat. That’s why my next book proposal on the table, anyone who wants to bid on it right now, I might call it the C and C diet. And that stands for carnivore-ish and chocolate. I think that was the winning factor in my arduous journey to get back to my racing weight of 26 years ago when I was a professional triathlete, noticing that I’d added a little bit of excess body fat without paying attention.
I did a whole show on that and some follow up commentary. You can go listen to The Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga. But by kind of restricting my food choices, simplifying my dietary practices, removing that decision fatigue when you have an open season and an open clock to eat whatever you want whatever you want. I think that’s highly effective for us here in this era of nonstop indulgence and instant gratification. So by buying into the theories that the carnivore diet advocates were advocating that these are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. So you should emphasize those in your diet. If you are striving to maximize the nutrient density of your diet in the name of health and the name of peak performance and recovery. And that’s how the carnivore scores food rankings chart came to be Kate Cretsinger and I ranking the most nutrient dense foods on earth.
So if you’re emphasizing those, you’re getting tremendous satiety. You’re getting the nutrient value you need. And you’re, I guess optimizing your caloric intake because everything you eat represents a delivery of a lot of health and nutrition, as opposed to consuming those empty calories that give you an immediate sense of pleasure, instant gratification but minimal or lack of nutritional value. And then of course mess up the appetite hormones and the satiety hormones, such that you are compelled to more and more in a vane attempt, a frustrating attempt to get the nutrition you need. I’ve been taking great interest recently in people talking about the Protein Lever Theory. And the thinking here is that with protein being the preeminent survival macronutrient, that’s the primary focus of our diet because we need protein to survive.
And we will very quickly come to our demise, if we don’t get sufficient dietary protein. We also need essential fatty acids in the diet like you get from omega three high omega3 fish. And so those are pretty much the survival foods that we need when you really strip it down and go back into the ancestral example of our starving ancestors. And so the craving, the intense craving and brain wiring for sufficient protein is our strongest drive, one of our strongest survival drives that there is. It’s stronger than our drive for reproduction because when we start to get nutrient deficient, we lose our reproductive drive, right? So we have a really strong drive for sleep, and we have a strong drive for calories, particularly protein.
And so the Protein Lever Theory contends that our body, our brains will do whatever it takes to get enough protein every day or in general. And so if you are sitting down to pints of ice cream and potato chips, which have very minimal protein, you’re going to want more and more pints and more and more potato chips because your brain is saying continue to eat. We need that protein, no matter what. And on the contrary, if you have these high protein meals and protein is a centerpiece of the diet, oh my goodness, you’re gonna get extremely high satiety. That’s obvious to all of us who can know what it feels like to eat a high protein meal. And it’s also validated by research that protein has a higher satiety factor than even fat. Okay. So if you, you sit down to a breakfast of eggs, it’s very difficult to stuff your face to the point where you feel uncomfortable, cuz you ate too many eggs or you ate too much steak because of the high satiety factor of protein.
But of course we can all reference that happening very easily when it comes to the trigger foods or the hyper palatable foods, as they’re known, such as sweetened beverages, uh, processed carbohydrates and the strategic and expert combination of sugar and fat together which makes for the modern hyper palatable food in any type reward or indulgent food, you can think of. Typically combined sugar and fat together as you can think of quickly off the top of your head. You know, ice cream cheesecake, processed foods, like all the candy bars, things like that. And those kind of hijack the appetite, the reward pathways in the brain and have indeed addictive properties to these hyper palatable foods. So if we’re trying to drop excess body fat, number one is you gotta cut out those hyper palatable processed foods and allow your natural hunger and satiety signals to come to the forefront and actually start working like they’re intended to be.
And that would allow you to go for number two, which is eat to satiety. If that means a high protein pattern that’s gonna be wonderful. That’s gonna move the needle over to helping you avoid those processed junk foods because you’re getting these nutritious, delicious high protein meals emphasizing the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. And then finally the lifestyle factors that support and contribute to your ability to choose the most nutrient dense foods and eat to satiety rather than reach for quick energy carbohydrates or hyper palatable foods, because you’re in an overly stressful lifestyle pattern. And we’ve talked a lot about how this hectic high energy pace where you’re going, going, going all day, goes directly hand in hand with a carbohydrate dependency existence. And so stress is fueled by sugar and relaxed stres-balanced lifestyle workouts that are in the appropriate heart rate that are fat burning emphasis, will help you kind of regulate your dietary intake and get off that carbohydrate dependency train. In contrast, overly stressful exercise patterns lead directly to sugar cravings and overeating.
Okay. So eating more nutritious foods, consuming fewer calories, getting rid of those hyper palatable foods. But we also have to recognize here on this topic that you don’t want to eat too much less food. You don’t wanna do crazy stuff and go into suffer mode because when you do so, your body will engage these very powerful compensatory mechanisms against starvation. So, starting to systematically reduce calories, let’s say on a regimented plan on a daily basis where you’re gonna knock off 500 or a thousand calories from your normal intake, your body will start to turn down your thyroid function, turn down your sex hormones. You’ll feel lazy and tired. You’ll conserve energy every which way. And that is going to be a real struggle and a battle that even if you experience short term success, as we see on, uh, television shows like The Biggest Loser, the long term repercussion is a bounce back effect where you’re now working with a slower metabolism.
You can’t stand it anymore. You start to eat back at your normal rate and pattern, and, guess what you’re gonna be carrying around extra body fat for the ordeal. And stats on The Biggest Loser participants they’ve now published studies and it’s been made known to the public. The disgraceful state of people, years and years later still have symptoms of stress-based damage to their metabolic function from participating in the show. Almost everyone has gained all the weight back that they lost, then some. And, that’s just a bad deal to go the suffering path to dropping excess body fat. So I think what it comes out to be is this under the radar strategy where you’re not aggressive and obsessed with the goal, but instead you’re just turning away from the hyper palatable nutrient deficient foods.
And you’re emphasizing these foods that provide great satiety. You’re enjoying them. They’re delicious. And you’re backing into this state of regulating your caloric intake rather than overeating when you’ve corrected these these errors in your diet. And then of course in your lifestyle choices. So, with fitness, we know that we can’t calorie burn our way to fat reduction. There’s all kinds of research that doesn’t work. But I think the, the topic is more are nuanced than just a throwaway one liner of that nature. And it’s believed that when you’re leading this healthy fit lifestyle and you’re exercising regularly, it has some powerful effects on regulating your appetite, regulating your caloric intake, not so much the extra calories that you burn because you went to the gym that morning. That’s been pretty strongly refuted but more so, uh, the development of lean muscle mass and the regulation of appetite.
And so the big picture items to hit on the fitness side are to increase general everyday movement. And this is known to enhance fat metabolism. So again, that big goal of trying to drift away from carbohydrate dependency and excess caloric intake that ensues, we want to get good at fat burning. And that means getting up and taking a break and avoiding prolonged periods of stillness. And when you’re doing your cardio, if you’re inclined wanna to make absolutely sure that you’re emphasizing workouts that are predominantly or entirely in the aerobic heart rate zones at, or below your maximum aerobic heart rate, which is 180 minus your age in beats per minute, and meeting this daily movement objective, taking free breaks, doing the structured workouts, trying to find ways to walk around more. I’m also a huge proponent of embarking upon a deliberate morning routine every morning.
So the first thing you do every day is score a few points toward your daily movement objectives. And I have whole show about that, and we’re coming out with an online course pretty soon. You’re gonna absolutely love it. I’m gonna take you step by step through every single exercise. Talk about all the benefits, talk about how to get started conservatively and gracefully and build your commitment over time. You’re gonna absolutely love it. It’s gonna be awesome. So I’m saying move around more, establishing a morning routine. Conducting micro workouts will also contribute toward your daily movement objectives, as well as give you that fitness stimulation where you’re improving your attributes like strength and power, because you bust out these brief interludes from a busy day and from stillness where you’re doing something explosive and getting the blood flowing again, getting the fat metabolism kicked into gear after prolonged periods of stillness.
But I just did a Q and A show. And one of the listeners made a really important point that if you’re not highly fat adapted to this stuff that I’m touting as great idea, like, Hey, I throw the garbage away and I do a set of deadlifts if you’re not highly adapted to those kind of exercises, or even something as simple as jumping up on the pullup bar and doing a single set, we want to kind of have a warmup into these microworks and making them fitness level appropriate, and also aligning with just how long have you been sitting on your ass and having your hip flexors hamstrings glutes and lower legs, all stiff and accumulating inflammatory factors. So if that’s your, if your micro workout is coming off a lengthy four hour zoom meeting, um, then it’s just gonna be maybe walking a few flights of stairs slowly.
And after you warmed up, maybe you can sprint one fight of stairs as I, I talk about as a great micro workout. So let’s put that into a proper context and be sensible with our micro workouts. So also on that list of just increasing daily movement, all told, we’re talking about more frequent walking, uh, taking breaks from desk, establishing a morning routine, doing micro workouts, and then those formal cardiovascular sessions where the heart rate is carefully regulated. Then the next objective is to hit it hard. And I believe that a huge swath of the fitness population is greatly deficient here. So we have tons of people making their way to the gym, doing a great thing for their healthy lifestyle to get on that StairMaster and, and climb the stairs while they’re watching TV or taking an exercise class on the spinning bikes or going out there and jogging or brisk walking around the neighborhood.
But the body requires regular, intense resistance loads, very brief explosive efforts in order to maintain muscle mass throughout life, which is probably the preeminent longevity factor that you really have tremendous control over. Yeah, cleaning up your diet, getting enough, sleep, all that. But if you can maintain an optimal level of functional muscle mass throughout life, you are going to skate through a lot of the things that are taking people down and accelerating aging rather than having the ability to age gracefully and enjoy that key attribute of health span. The great thing is when you’re talking about adding, brief high intensity exercise into your mix, that it takes very very little time. It’s absolutely do. And within reach of anyone, even the most busy, hectic harried person can set aside a minute here, or five minutes here, or 10 minutes here to do a properly constructed and not too stressful brief, explosive high intensity training session.
I’ve had guests on the show like Dr. Ted Naiman, Dr. Doug, McGuff Dr. John Jaquish touting these extremely brief, but very difficult and challenging workouts to build more muscle strength, increase muscle mass, if you’re inclined or just strengthen your muscles if you’re not inclined to get bigger, but these are single set exercises to failure that you perform not very often. Dr. McGuff workout is once a week. Ted Naman says you can do a single set to failure and do ’em throughout the day. So you sprinkle in, you do a set of pull ups in the morning. At lunchtime, you sprint once up a hill in your neighborhood. And at nighttime, you do a single set of pushups to failure. And look at him on Instagram. He’s jacked, it’s working for him. Same with McGuff same with Dr. John Jaquish,
inventor of the X three bar, where he has this simple 10 minute workout at home. He wants you to go every day for 10 minutes on that thing. And, oh my gosh. I feel like that protocol, even though it’s so simple and ridiculously short in duration, is almost too much. So I don’t do it at that level. I do it less frequently due to the degree of difficulty, but when you put your body under that extreme resistance load, even once in a while, even once a week for a 12 minute workout, like Dr. McGuff recommends, you will experience steady increases in muscular strength and all these wonderful metabolic benefits, including the prompting of reducing excess body fat. Oh boy, not too hard, but again, you gotta be, committed. You gotta be focused. You gotta understand the process, and we’re not talking about a Patsy cake work out here where you do a few reps and then you move to the next machine and you move to the next machine.
And you really haven’t. What you’re trying to do is Dr. Jaquish explains really nicely in his book,Weight Training is a Waste of Time. And so is cardio. We’re talking about when you challenge the muscle to maximum output on a single set to failure, it actually be becomes emptied to glycogen really quickly. And it’s not because you’ve burned all the glycogen in that muscle through just a 60 second set. It’s because the body responds to this extreme demand by dumping more glucose into the bloodstream than is needed to perform the exercise. And so you’re, you’re doing a glycogen to pleading effort because it’s so difficult and it’s only taking a very short time, but this is what has those excellent metabolic benefits, because then your body responds by making a stronger muscle, building more muscle mass, and again, regulating your appetite and your caloric intake.
You’re dumping sugar into the bloodstream. And you’re living off that for the next few hours, rather than walking around the office because you’re bored, tired. You’ve been sitting too long and the candy bowl at the front desk looks really tempting. Isn’t that interesting? Okay. So doing some hard stuff and then sprinting, I have a particular fond spot in my heart for sprinting and jumping. We should put those both in the same category because they have the most profound genetic signaling for fat reduction for increasing bone density, for improving connective tissue resilience, and also for developing your resistance to fatigue at all lower levels of exercise intensity. There are simply nothing more challenging, more explosive than running as fast as you can, or jumping into the air off the ground. And so this is the ultimate hormetic stressor. It’s the ultimate primal workout, right?
This is how, uh, we adapted through these brief intense life or death run for your life or chase down dinner, or you’re gonna starve. And the impact, the weight-bearing load of actual sprinting on flat ground, or jumping off the ground and, and landing back on the ground. That’s where a lot of the benefits come from. Of course, you can start slow and do low or no impact sprints on the bicycle or in the water or rowing machine or cardio machines, but you wanna work toward the eventual ability to put your body under that impact trauma that occurs when you’re even running upstairs in the a stadium or in the building, that’s less impact than running on flat ground, but you wanna progress to that point where you’re stimulating the genetic signaling for increased bone density and for dramatic fat reduction. So there’s the, the last piece as I talk about fitness, we’re talking about increasing general everyday movement.
We’re talking about putting your body under resistance load on a regular basis, even with short duration workouts, where you’re doing a single set to complete muscular failure. And we’re talking about bringing in this critical human competency of being good at sprinting and or jumping.
Okay. Then we move on to the last section of the final part of this lengthy process of correcting our disease risk factors. And it’s gonna be in the lifestyle category, and we’re gonna title this section, sleep, relaxation, downtime, balancing our life, minimizing the stress factors of hectic, high-stress modern life. There’s so much talk about sleep, and it truly is the number one health priority with all other objectives flowing downstream from getting adequate sleep, right? You’re gonna have a very hard time optimizing your diet if your sleep is compromised, because you’re gonna be, guess what?
Yes, craving quick energy carbo hydrates to stay functional because your central nervous system and all the repair processes that occur at night have not been optimized. So start with sleep. And all it is is prioritizing and making some commitments and resisting the temptation for digital stimulation late into the evening hours. So that is the number one way that modern humans screw up their sleep habits is the introduction of excess artificial light and digital stimulation after dark. And of course we deserve to relax. We endure to deserve to consume digital entertainment in the evening. And if we’re trying to triage here, let’s distinguish the idea from sitting on the couch, relaxing with your blue light blocking lenses on of course from rawoptics.com. Go see my great selection that my man, Matt Maruka, recent podcast guest offers there with the highest quality lenses.
So you’re wearing your blue light blocking lenses to minimize the harmful impacts of screen light or overhead in indoor lighting. And you’re relaxing and consuming a show in a passive state that is less stimulatory and therefore less compromising to transition to sleep than would be, for example, working, answering emails, playing video games, doing those things that require you to be more proactive and think harder. So we wanna prioritize the final hours of the evening toward relaxing digital entertainment. If necessary, flip the lid had closed or turned the power off button and finished doing emailing and proper work things early, early, early in the evening. Make a special note: note to self when it gets dark to what I call, celebrate the sunset. So at least acknowledge that the sun has just set and realize that for the past two and a half million years of human evolution, our ancestors, their entire lifestyle and their circadian rhythm was directly calibrated directly associated with the rising and setting of the sun in their environment until Thomas Edison came along.
And then, Mr. Netflix and then Steve Jobs and all the digital era came into being where we were able to make it dark whenever we want. And that’s the circumstances that we exist in today. It sure beats having to light candles and have everything going into hibernation mode as soon as the sunset, but we want to minimize the harmful effects of having the freedom to artificially lengthen our days, as long as possible. Does that make sense? And if you can prioritize that final hour before bed and somehow turn off the digital entertainment and go and take the dog for a final stroll around the block and get some fresh air and get some cold air, because that really helps facilitate the transition into sleepiness and the melatonin flooding your bloodstream and making you sleepy and tired and feeling like going to bed and falling asleep.
So whatever you can do in that final hour, maybe that’s switching over to quiet reading. Ariana Huffington with her great book, The Sleep Revolution, talks about developing this beautiful and deliberate ritual, where you go and you take a bath and maybe you’re reading a book or listening to music in the bath, and then you get out and you put on pajamas and you get in bed, and you’re telling your brain by doing this repeating ritual every evening, that is time for sleep. And that helps a lot, especially for are people who complain that they don’t fall asleep or stay asleep. Well, we wanna make a nice deliberate transition into a dark mellow relaxing, quiet evening. If you can’t do it, if you refuse to do it, we’re talking about setting yourself up for problems. Excess artificial light, and digital stimulation after dark suppresses the release of melatonin.
We know that to be the sleepiness hormone, but it also has all kinds of other restorative and repair effects on the body. Very powerful hormone instead, guess what happens? You elevate stress hormones like cortisol because you’re forcing your body away from circadian rhythm and it to stay awake with this exciting digital entertainment. Going hand in hand with that spike in cortisol in the evening is an increase in sugar craving. So we often find ourselves pairing, staying up late, consuming digital entertainment with departures, from our best laid plans to eat in a healthy manner. And so the hand in hand of spiking stress hormones increase sugar cravings. And then because you’re eating after dark, that also compromises our digestive circadian rhythm, which is also strongly calibrated to the overall circadian rhythm.
Essentially, and this is from the great work of Dr. Satchin Panda at the Salk Institute, UC San Diego, Dr. And essentially, and this is from the great work of Dr. Samer Hattar, the Chief of Light and Circadian Rhythm at the National Institutes of Mental Health. Talking about the destructive effects of, uh, eating after dark, and then keeping the, the lights on too long and engaging in too much digital stimulation. I have this great book that I reference often called Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival. And they talk about the seasonal for variation in your sleep requirements. So in the winter, we are designed to sleep more hours because the days are shorter and in the summer, we can get away with less sleep and be naturally more active alert and energetic even into the evening hours because the sun is still up. This variation occurs with more severity the further we are from the equator. So the folks in Hawaii, not much big difference, not much big a deal between their winter lifestyle habits and summer lifestyle habits.
But Matt Maruka, my recent podcast guest, one of the world’s leading experts on artificial light, blue light, metabolic health. He is spending the winter in Norway and talking about that’s affected his lifestyle and the ways that he can mitigate the potentially harmful effects of having those super short days in the winter. Another important thing he can do is to, besides wearing the blue light blocking lenses, you can minimize the harmful effects of the light emanating from your screen by installing these cool programs that are now very prevalent and popular. I have one called Iris Tech and that’s a paid program for, I don’t know, 15 bucks or something. It has all these different choices for the type of light, um, adaptation you can make, uh, after it gets dark. There’s another one called Lux F period, L U X.
And you can install that on your screen. And as soon as the sun sets in your environment, the color temperature of your screen will automatically change to be more mellow and more in alignment with the minimal outdoor light at the time. And all the smartphones now have a, it’s called night shift or night mode, depending on if you’re iOS or Android. And you can be sure to set that to activate when the sun sets. So sleep, sleep, sleep super important. That’s great. But we also have to add into this category, the general up obligation for more downtime, because for the first time in our lives, ever in the history of humanity, we have the potential with a mobile device to be constantly entertained and stimulated, no matter where we are, what we’re doing. We can reach for the phone and dive into the digital world and get that brain working and get the stress hormone flowing and get the dopamine flooding the brain, because we get that constant barrage of novel stimulation from working on our text messages or streaming through social media feeds.
So downtime would be powering off and getting away from the devices, perhaps engaging with nature, which has some wonder full restorative effects. We talk about that in recent books, like Two Meals a Day, and Keto for Life, where if you’re out there just gazing at landscape, especially large bodies of water or mountain scape, or, you know, interesting natural features. It’s called fascination theory by the Kaplans doctors couple at university of Michigan that have popularized this research and we need this kind of downtime for our central nervous system to relax and just gaze at scenery. And this has tremendous restorative effects in comparison to interacting with the screen for hours and hours and hours a day. And the stats are pretty disturbing, especially talking about young people who, again, for the first time in the history of humanity are now interacting with a screen for 6.8 hours a day, or whatever the disturbing stats are.
Yeah, it’s really rough. So this downtime, I know it’s tough to schedule in more things to your busy day. And a lot of us are playing catch up mode where we feel obligated to go back onto the device or the screen and, uh, return the communication that we’ve fallen behind on. So you really have to make a concerted effort to ditch your connection to the grid and get outside with your dog. Go down for a nap, a proper nap where all the ways to reach you are temporarily disengaged. And you can just lay there. I talked to a lot of people, as you know, I’m a professional napper. I love it. It’s been built into habit over the past decades, especially when I was back as an athlete and needed that nap desperately every day for up to two hours to recover from the, the hard training.
But even now like a 20 minute nap is usually all I need. Sometimes it’s 30, sometimes it’s 40, but mostly a 20 minute nap will leave me incredibly refreshed and energized for the rest of the afternoon. And in peak performance mode, rather than drag ass mode, where you start to lose your productivity and lose your focus and get more apt to become distracted by YouTube high jump videos or whatever it is for you that, tends to distract you. So finding ways to build in downtime to your busy day. Note that the brain can only focus intently on a peak cognitive task for 20 minutes before it requires a break anyway. So we need to build in all kinds of these little breaks, and that might mean a one or two minute break after a 20 minute binge through your email inbox or through a creative output, like creating a proposal or writing something where you’re really focused. Take a break, come back refreshed and do that throughout the day.
And you’ll be more focused and more productive rather than grinding away for hours and hours. And I should mention one more thing on this list, and that would be to establish that morning routine that I talk about so much and more fun coming and more guidance 2022 when we launch the course. But if you can do that first thing in the morning, as opposed to follow the pack and be part of that disturbing statistic, that 84% of Americans reach for their mobile device. First thing in the morning, and over half of that number are reaching for the device while they’re still in bed. So the mobile devices within reach their bed. That’s how we start our day every single day. And we immediately switch over from this peaceful, mindful state where we’re first thing in the morning, waking up, we feel refreshed. All of a sudden we have transitioned into that reactive, high stress, high dopamine instant gratification state that happens when we look at social media, look at text messages, look at novel stimulation coming from the mobile device.
So if you can instead discipline yourself to do something to advocate for your own health and wellbeing, by launching into a morning movement routine as your first act upon awaken, it will set the tone for the rest of the day to be more focused, disciplined, to be sure that you’re getting your breaks and it will set the tone for your entire life. It has all those other peripheral benefits like elevating your fitness platform if you’re interested in fitness. And so my routine is, you know, strongly weighed into muscle strengthening, mobility flexibility. But if your morning routine is to get up, get outta bed and leash up the dog, and immediately depart for a walk around the block that will have a fabulous, positive impact on your focus, on your discipline and all kinds of other benefits that flowing downstream. And it’ll set you into that proper mindset where you’re in that high level, thinking strategic reasoning planning mode, maybe you’ll come up with some great ideas for how to spend your day as you’re walking your dog around the block and enjoying nature. Much, much better than reaching for the device.
Okay. My friends, thank you for hanging in to the end of epic four part series on minimizing your disease risk factors with healthy lifestyle choices. I recap the first three at the star of this show. And on this, we started off talking about getting rid of excess body fat by eating less food. How? By cutting out the hyper palatable foods and emphasizing the nutrient dense foods. So go to Brad kearns.com right now, and download that free Carnivore Scores Food Rankings Chart. Tape it on your fridge. Start thinking about it. Optimizing the nutrient density of your diet. And you may just find that you are dropping excess body fat, efficiently, effortlessly, without any struggling and suffering and all the stuff that you can do to screw yourself up. Then we talked about fitness and we put it into three different categories, increasing all forms of general, everyday movement, putting your body under resistance load on a regular basis with very difficult single set to failure exercises to prompt those profound fitness adaptations quickly with very short duration workouts.
We talked about sprinting and jumping as being the ultimate genetic expression for fat reduction for bone density and for being a strong, resilient human in all areas. And then we transitioned into the lifestyle discussion, where we talked about sleep being of primary importance, minimizing artificial light, and digital stimulation after dark, and then building in some downtime and getting going with that routine first thing in the morning. Thank you so much for listening. Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Love to get your feedback, and I’d love for you to share this show with others. Leaving a review would be fantastic. Sending a quick text message and giving your highlights and asking someone to listen. That would be super, super fun. Thanks so much for listening. I appreciate you all.
Thank you for listening to this. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please. Email podcast@Bradventures.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows. Subscribe to our email list at bradkearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bi-monthly 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 a five or five star review with apple podcasts or wherever else, you listen to the shows that would be super, incredibly awesome. It helps raise the profile of the B.rad podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called Overcast allows you to actually record a sound bite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and remember B.rad.