Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about macros, carb intake, and confusing and contradictory health trends anymore? This episode will show you the clear pathway to doing so, while also offering tips for fine-tuning and optimizing your lifestyle in the face of new and emerging trends.
You’ll hear about the true cost of dietary obsessions and the danger of hyper-palatable, addictive foods, and I talk about the benefits I have personally experienced from consciously making the choice to stop overly scrutinizing every aspect of my diet. I also bring up the issue of dining out, since we know mostly all restaurants use canola/soy/corn oils to cook with (not to mention, sauces and salad dressings made with olive-oil “blends”, plus tons of sugar!). Is eating restaurant food ever really worth it, and if so, what foods do I make the exception for? We then move onto a discussion about the importance of aiming for digital minimalism and giving yourself enough time for down-time and self-reflection. You’ll hear about Gregg Greck’s book about Naikan, the Japanese art of self-reflection, which is a structured method for intensely meditating on our lives, our interconnections, and our missteps. You’ll hear about Gregg’s theory that while we are in production mode and zone out mode, the missing piece is putting ourselves in self-reflection mode. Finally, I talk about Monotasking by Thatcher Wine, which suggests we focus on spending substantial time reading, listening, and generally creating mono tasks we can do on purpose, as well as the benefits behind this practice.
It is a new year. How is the best way to make progress towards your goals? [01:21]
Ideas for diet and healthy living do not have to be rigid but the emphasis needs to be on eliminating processed foods. [03:42]
It is virtually impossible to increase body fat if you eat natural foods that contribute to satiety. [06:42]
The hyper palatable addictive foods disrupt the lectin processing which is responsible for feeling full and cause us to overeat. [08:51]
Find a diet that’s psychologically pleasing and does not result in the consumption of excess calories. [15:25]
Every diet is a gimmick, and by and large, they work. [19:20]
The intuitive approach is where you don’t have to lock into any regimented magical process. [21:17]
Reproduction, repair, growth, and locomotion are a zero-sum game for the human. [22:30]
Be wary of the admonitions about eating too much protein. The research that talks about eating too much protein and shortening your lifespan is probably looking at inactive people. [26:40]
By itself, the body doesn’t ever make extra of anything. We have built in satiety factors that keep us optimized. [33:01]
Learn to improve our focus, our self-reflection in our downtime. Learn to live with the digital age we live in. [35:51]
Learn to be an intense listener in a conversation with another human. [42:39]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- Carnivore Scores Rood Ranking
- Brad’s Podcast with Dr. Lustig
- Wired to Eat
- The Hungry Brain
- Wheat Belly
- Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga
- Butcher Box
- Dr. Herman Pontzer Podcast (Energy Expenditure)
- Twinkie Diet
- Hara Hachi Bun Me
- Weight Lifting is a Waste of Time
- mTor and IGF-1
Dr. Art De Vany
- My Morning Routine
- Brad Kearns Jogging 2.0
- Naikan: Gratitude, Grace, and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection by Gregg Grech
- The 12 Monotasks by Thatcher Wine
- “Reproduction, repair, growth, and locomotion are a zero-sum game for the human.” (Kelly)
- “If you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein.” (Wolf)
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- Primal Blueprint 21-Day Primal Reset: Online multimedia Mastery Course to get healthy and drop fat the right way
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Greetings listeners. I like 2022. How about you? How’s it going? Have you set your new year’s resolutions and put ’em on paper and going after it? Hmm, I’ve heard several recent commentators recommending against making new year’s resolutions for various recent and, and instead emphasizing taking some time to reflect back on, for example, how the previous year went and looking at some blind spots areas where you’re falling short things that didn’t work out quite like the hope to, instead of once again, perhaps setting yourself up failure and disappointment with all these big dreams and goals. A lot of times we stumble and struggle because our approach is flawed and destined for struggle rather than success. So I kind of like that idea since I’ve faced quite a few new years myself and my life and was at different times more or less enthused about writing out the goals and getting all pumped up and excited to welcome in the new year and attach it to peak performance aspirations.
But, uh, it takes so much more than a big blast of fresh air or hot air at the start of the year to execute. So I’ll sprinkle in some of these exciting new ideas that are interesting to me about how to progress toward your goals and dreams. So I guess the, the essence of the show here is to look here in the new year at some emerging trends, some revisions to conventional popular thinking in the progressive health world. And I really like how we can maintain that open mind and be willing to revise, adapt, look at new information and tweak our approach a little bit to pursue continued success, happiness, personal growth. And so I’ve come up with let’s see, eight different categories that we can talk about here, starting with diet and, oh my gosh, never a dull moment.
There’s always a war going on somewhere on the globe relating to the, the best way to choose your foods for health sustainability of the planet, dropping excess body fat, all that great stuff. And I think one trend that’s emerging thankfully is a little bit toning down of the obsessions and the hair splitting scrutiny of everything that goes into your mouth and the fine tuning and the optimizing. And pretty soon a factor of fatigue comes in. We know about the prevalent condition of orthorexia. That’s an unnatural, unhealthy fixation on eating in the most correct manner and how that causes for a more stressful lifestyle when you’re, that worked up about everything that you choose. And so it seems a lot of wonderful leaders are, uh, projecting this message of relaxing, toning things down in a little bit.
And that’s not to say lessening your dietary standards. It’s absolutely a different concept here, but I think generally the psychic energy that’s going out to the intense scrutiny of every single aspect is now getting replaced with maybe a more embraceable and sustainable message of basically cutting out those processed foods with great discipline, enjoying your life and having meal times be a centerpiece of that pursuit of healthy, happy life. Remember the exchange that Mark Sisson had on the Joe Rogan should where he said, you know, I never put anything into my mouth that I don’t absolutely enjoy. And Joe Rogan was talking about his super duper green smoothie that he has every morning and he says, it tastes disgusting, but it’s super healthy. So I drink it down and Mark’s like, not me. Everything I put in my mouth, I absolutely enjoy.
So if we can bring enjoying life to the centerpiece and Hey, if you’re happen to have an indulgence that’s, uh, not highly ranked on the nutrient density chart, the carnivore scores, food ranking chart, which you can download, um, the homepage of Brad kearns.com, where we rank the most nutrient dense foods on the earth by category. And you can tape that onto your refrigerator and strive to emphasize those foods in your meal planning. But anyway, when you go off and enjoy yourself, it’s an extremely well chosen exquisitely prepared treat that you enjoy every single bite. That’s a huge difference from running down to the convenience store and grabbing a pint of Ben and Jerry’s at 10:00 PM versus going to the homemade handmade ice cream on the streets of Seattle when you’re there on vacation. Okay. So the big trend here trend number one is toning down on these diet obsessions and the quest for perfection or the over analytical approach.
Instead looking at that number one, category, number one, high priority triage item of ditching processed foods, with reference my show with the eminent Dr. Robert Lustig author of the book Metabolical and, and many other best selling books, widely regarded as, uh, the world’s leading anti sugar crusader with a lot of research, his life’s work in this area. And on my show, he said, if you can simply ditch the nutrient deficient processed foods, which comprised the majority of the, of calories in the standard American diet, if you can simply eliminate those foods, he contends that it’s virtually impossible to increase body fat over time, because the natural foods that you consume will contribute to satiety. And you’ll, you won’t have a tendency to overeat head down that spiral downward of becoming metabolically damaged and, uh, adding fat, uh, year after year over the course of your life.
You know, that disturbing statistic that, uh, the average American gains 1.5 pounds of fat each year from ages 25 to age 55. And that comes in the form of adding two pounds of excess body fat and losing a half pound of lean muscle mass due to inactivity and so forth. So if we want to steer away from that disastrous accelerated decline into old age, of course, we want to manage our body composition, probably the best way to determine whether you’re maintaining your health status besides getting blood work, or in addition to getting blood work is keeping tabs on your body composition, not just your weight on the scale, as I just mentioned, but pursuing the incredibly important goal of maintaining a healthy level of functional lean mass muscle, and then not adding that excess body fat year after year. And so number one objective here is to eliminate processed foods.
Number two would probably be to get out there and perform some high intensity exercise. It’s now appearing that the incredible genetic prompting of being active and pushing it hard once in a while can make a great contribution to your body composition. Okay. And so when we’re talking about processed foods, we’re really focusing on these what they call hyper palatable addictive foods. And Dr. Lustig’s book goes into great detail here. Robb Wolf’s great book Wired to Eat. Stephan J. Guyenet’s book, The Hungry Brain, and many other books are zeroing in on this concept that when we consume these processed foods, oh boy, are they delicious when they enter our mouth and have that intense taste sensation, but they screw up all kinds of very delicate genetically wired mechanisms that we have for hunger, satiety and so forth.
For one example, the disruption in lectin signaling that occurs with the consumption of processed foods. And lectin is this very prominent hormone that is responsible for satiety fat storage and making the human fit for reproduction, which is our number one genetic drive. And so when we disrupt lectin signaling, we have a tendency to overeat because we’re not getting that strong message that we’re full. And we are well adapted to for reproduction, energy, vitality and so forth. And that comes from these chemically altered foods that are so prominent today. And when you’re leptin signaling is disrupted, you’re gonna be locked into this pattern of fat storage and overconsuming calories. So if you’re fond of your morning breakfast scone and your evening scoops of ice cream, and you have a tendency to indulge over the holidays on the cookies and crackers and chips and cakes, and all the stuff that we associate with these cultural traditions what’s going to happen is you’re going to be more apt to continue to consume these and to want to consume these on a long term basis.
And so this is where we’re, we’re talking about relaxing from this, uh, intense obsession with correct and healthy eating, but there has to be a really disciplined process to eliminate these foods from the diet because of their addictive properties. Wheat Belly, another book I’ll mention that talks about the addictive properties of wheat and how it’s sprinkled into all manner of modern processed foods. So the easy way to do it is to emphasize the most wholesome and natural foods, especially the nutrient dense foods, where if you sit down and have a delicious omelet or have your favorite steak and vegetables for dinner, you are going to have a beautiful sensation of satiety that does not compare when you’re snacking on potato chips throughout the afternoon. All right. And personally, I’m embracing this trend here and I’ve possibly due to fatigue from years and years of being deep into this and having this be my life’s work, I’m no longer really concerned about my macronutrient ratios or my caloric intake.
I don’t really mind if I’m dipping into a popcorn binge here and there. I have my fatty popcorn boy saga show archived for all eternity on the podcast channel, if you want to hear what happens when you go overboard. But right now done the hard work to attain my ideal body composition as I detailed at the other show. And so, I think I’m just backing off on the importance of scrutinizing all aspects of my diet. That includes, that includes things like monitoring my blood glucose. I had some wonderful stints with the continuous glucose monitor. And then after a while, I realized that there wasn’t much drama there, right? The curve was pretty awesome. The standard deviation was very low. In other words, I was always in a tight range with my blood sugar, even after meals.
And that was because my meals are full of nutrient dense foods and devoid of the nutrient deficient process foods. So I’m kind of on track here. And my main concern with my diet is to enhance, maximize the nutrient density. And that’s really driven by the interest in peak performance, athletic performance recovery, all that great stuff. The desire to maintain in a healthy body composition rather than, uh, tiptoe over into those slippery slopes that can happen when things like ice cream and excess popcorn habit is lingering around. Right? And that’s the slippery slope we’re talking about is just ditching those processed foods and then allowing yourself to enjoy your meals and make your choices based on a personal preference within the categories of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Okay. So just to reiterate again, that means a extremely low tolerance for anything that could be considered junk food.
I just won’t eat anything. That’s not you know, an exquisite indulgence or is extremely healthy and I’ll take any opportunity that I need to fast and skip a meal if I’m not presented with incredibly healthy options. And I have trended toward, I think thanks to quarantine, also toward eating the vast majority of my meals at home. It’s because I can pretty much kick butt on almost every restaurant when it comes to preparing a cleanly sourced food and nutrient dense meal. So the only time I’m really have a desire to dine out is when we’re talking about unique foods that I’m not necessarily gonna be able to replicate at home. That would be Thai. That would be Japanese. Maybe the Mexican Carnecerias where they’re serving a lot of organ meats. And boy is that fun to go out and get some great food like that. But I’m not too excited to order a $32 steak when I can make my Butcher Box steak at home and have confident that it’s the highest quality sourced grass fed beef, and I can eat as much as I want.
And it’s great. So, focus on a diet of maximum nutrient density. I strongly urge you to download our chart that we work so hard on called the Carnivore Scores Food Rankings Chart. It’s a really nice visual to see that pastured eggs and the grass fed beef. And, of course the organ meats, if you can have those find a way to sprinkle those into your diet. I’m doing great with my morning smoothie because I have a nice appropriate serving of organ meats every single day. And, I don’t have to worry about cooking them. I’m putting all kinds of other things into the smoothie in the interest of nutrient density and it’s enjoyable. It tastes good. And I got that extra protein in the diet and that’s real working really well for me. I’ll talk more about that shortly.
Back to Dr. Herman Pontzer and the shows I did with him and his commentary on diet. He said the secret here is to find a diet that’s psychologically pleasing and does not result in the consumption of excess calories. And that transitions us right into number two, and the emerging concepts about reducing excess body fat. It seems like we are kind of going full circle here and back to the admission that it kind of is all about the calories that you consume versus the calories that you burn. And I think when we got in the height of the keto craze days, there was some notion that we could kind of fool that bottom line insight that it’s about calories, and it’s about eating less food to drop excess body fat. People that took it to the extreme on the bacon and butter trend are walking around all day throwing fat down with little keto approved snacks that you find in a bag now at a big box store, a health food store, and thinking that they could somehow drop excess body fat as long as they kept their carbohydrate count down in the keto guidelines of 50 grams per day or less.
And realizing that you can only eat your way into body fat stall by consuming all your fat calories from fat, rather than burning it off your body, which is the intended goal for most people who are immersed into ketogenic diet plan. Layne Norton, kind of a controversial opinionated guy that you can hear on numerous podcasts. He’s a PhD, he’s a smart guy. He knows what he’s doing. He’s a competitive body builder, and you gotta give a nod to the body building community because they know how to cut up and get ripped. So, a lot of people take a second look. Maybe they’re not as impressed as they, as they might be with the incredible shredded muscles and all the ridiculous stuff that they do. Let’s put that aside for a moment where they’re dehydrating themselves and getting that extreme look when they go up on stage. But in general, the body builder, who’s gone so deep in, you know, to the edge of human performance in this area.
They know how to get fat off their body. So we can take some insights from that scene and apply them in a reasonable manner rather than if you’re not interested in the ridiculousness and the extreme nature of bodybuilders, they do know how to get that fat off the body. Now they are typically taking so much fat off the body that they’re immersed into a world of psychological pain and suffering from denying themselves every day. And it’s highly unsustainable. And we know that there’s a lot of rebound effect where they go in their contest, they take their pictures, and then they put on an extra 10 or 20 pounds. So if you can relate in any way, maybe you’ve been down that road where you went too extreme, you pushed yourself too hard and you have that rebound and those compensatory effects.
that’s probably something that’s undesirable to just about everybody. I don’t know who would want to yo-yo that bad, but to kind of take the inspiration of, you know, tightening up your caloric intake in order to look better, feel better and reach that goal. That’s been lingering there in a frustrating manner, and hasn’t been able to be achieved. It’s that simple and back to Pontzer and is commentary about every diet is essentially a gimmick and by and large, they work, because they have some form of restriction involved. Boy, you can kind of plug that in, in any way you want. If you wanna set the rule that you’re not gonna consume any calories till 12 noon, you’re gonna eat in that 16-8 pattern realize that it’s not the logistics there, it’s just the spirit of your approach.
That’s going to work same with ketogenic diet, where you’re cutting out carbs and limiting them to 50 grams a day. That will work very effectively, probably more effectively than anything that we’ve seen, because it’ll also regulate your blood glucose and insulin better than some other diet. However, it’s not anything magic. And, I think it was on Pontzer’s show where he mentioned the Twinkyie diet. You can probably, we’ll find a link in the show notes, but some scientific mind guy went on this Twinkie diet where all he ate was Twinkies and sure enough, he lost a substantial amount of excess body fat because he consumed fewer Twinkie calories than he burned. Not that that’s recommended, but taking that insight and remembering that we can kind of be a little more customized and sustainable with our approach to dropping excess body fat and having a diet of maximum enjoyment and maximum nutrient density.
And I’m really in favor of the intuitive approach where you don’t have to lock into any regimented magical process, but instead just set the intention that is time to clean up your diet make better choices, um, cut back on the extra caloric intake, do something else instead, you know, stay more active, whatever it is. And, that includes what’s effective for me is to experience hunger once in a while. So you enhance your appreciation of nutrient dense, enjoyable, delicious meals. So that could be skipping meals. That could be just not over consuming, being more mindful and intentional. When you sit down to a meal, maybe have the TV off, maybe you’re not even reading the newspaper or listening, you’re just enjoying conversation and enjoying the food and taking your bites more slowly, perhaps honoring the Japanese tradition of hara hachi bun me. Hara hachi bun me, which translates to finishing eating when you’re 80% full, rather than 100% full.
So all those things will work really effectively. And I wanna add my personal insight here because we heard Dr. Pontzer talk about how human calorie burning is constrained and his great work with the Hatza essentially suggesting that we burn around the same number of calories per day, regardless of whether we exercise or not. So we wanna put the focus on caloric intake more so than this long time obsession with burning calories in the interest of fat reduction. We know that that has a lot of difficulties and challenges with it because our body engages in compensatory strategies to balance out caloric expenditure if we happen to burn a ton of calories in a fervent workout pattern. I think it was Chris Kelly on my show, uttered the quote that reproduction, repair, growth, and locomotion are a zero-sum game for the human.
In other words, locomotion, that would be the term for exercise or working hard all day out there in a manual labor job, whatever it is. So if you’re doing a lot of locomotion or you’re doing excess locomotion, too much exercise, you’re going to tone down those other critical human functions, reproduction, repair, and growth. So you’re gonna have, uh, you’re gonna feel lazier throughout the day. If you’re over exercising, your immune system is gonna be suppressed. And in the extreme examples such as the, uh, very low body fat elite female athletes, they experience Amenorrhea, the cessation of menstruation because their body is not no longer fit for reproduction because of their extreme exercise patterns. So, that means that you don’t have to obsess on workout caloric expenditure rather be more balanced and more mindful with your dietary habits. And that is kind of the latest, greatest thinking about fat reduction.
I do wanna put in my personal insight that high intensity exercise does make a huge difference in your goals of reducing excess body fat. I’m not sure how this would stand up to scientific scrutiny. I hit Dr. Pontzer with some of this stuff in our interview but there’s so much anecdotal evidence that if you become competent at high impact, especially high impact sprinting, jumping, and really pushing your body to the limit one in a while with these super challenging exercises. John Jaquish talks about that a lot in his book, Weight Training is a Waste of Time how the X three bar can bring your muscles to complete, failure and very rapid glycogen depletion in the muscle. You are sending profound genetic signals to drop excess by body fat with all of the things, uh, put aside for a moment in terms of your, let’s say, total daily caloric expenditure.
So we have compensatory mechanisms where if we overexercise, we’re gonna tone down our calorie burning. And then we have this other dimension where if you are an active, explosive human putting out wonderful energy during these workouts, you are going to have some prompts in place to drop excess body fat. And the experts are not sure whether these extreme workouts help to regulate your appetite. I don’t think that’s true. I think I will tend to eat more calories on the days that I’ve conducted a high intensity sprinting or jumping workout. But if you just wanna isolate on the genetic signaling for adapting to workout stimulus, when you are running sprints, especially high impact sprints on flat ground, the penalty for carrying excess body fat is so severe that your body’s going to adapt to that workout stimulus by reducing excess body fat to make you more fit for future endeavors, jumping into the air sprinting and so forth.
Okay. So that is number two, reducing excess body fat. Number one was toning down the diet obsessions. And then, relatedly in the diet category is backing off of this these admonitions that fasting is absolutely essential for health carb restriction is essential for health and protein restriction is essential for health. And we’ve heard a lot about the dangers of consuming excess protein in recent years. And the commentary goes somewhat like this. They talk about a chronic, chronically excessive protein intake will overstimulate these growth pathways known as mTor and IGF-1. These are hormones that trigger accelerated cell division, which is how you get bigger muscles, for example. And excess insulin being a sort of having an anabolic effect on the body to build muscle and so forth.
And so, the thinking is if you’re constantly locked into these growth patterns, you will experience accelerated cell division and possibly unregulated cell division, which is the essence of how cancer gets started, right cells that divide inappropriately and become cancerous and accelerated cell vision. Like you would see in someone who’s a bodybuilder trying to get bigger and bigger, bigger muscles, or the kid who’s trying to make the high school football team and put on weight and eating calories and working out all day long. These are kind of the opposite of the essence of longevity, which is enhanced cellular repair and prolonging the lifespan of the cells. The cells can only divide a certain number of times, a finite number of times, and then they die. And that’s why we talk about telomere length as this marker of longevity, the telomeres get shorter and shorter and shorter over your lifetime.
And then pretty soon when the pretty soon when the cells can’t divide anymore. That’s when you go into demise. Okay. So this unregulated cell division is undesirable in general over your lifespan, except those distinct times of life where you are desiring cell growth and accelerated cell division. So that would be during infancy and adolescence, right? You want to grow to your full size, you’re not worried about restricting calories or any of that nonsense. Same with the athlete looking to increase muscle mass or pregnant nursing mother. Who’s trying to provide for the baby’s needs. It’s not a great time to go on a diet and go on extended fasting periods. Okay. So we take this insight and run with it and it gets misinterpreted and we put a blanket statement over something in inappropriate manner.
So we definitely don’t want to be locked into accelerated cell division patterns over the course of our life. But we do want to be healthy and strong and vital throughout life, and ask a lot of our bodies so that we don’t go into demise cause by sedentary patterns, loss of muscle mass loss of energy, loss of performance. So what we’re really looking at here is a feast or famine pattern that’s been talked about so long. Dr. Art De Vany, I think was credited with first uttering that concept many years ago. And there’s times when you definitely don’t mind consuming appropriate calories, stimulating those growth pathways, mTor IGF-1, because that’s how your muscles recover from stress and grow strong and stay strong. But of course, overdoing it is a whole different story. And I think the research that’s talking about having too much protein and shortening your lifespan accordingly is probably looking at people who are inactive and eat three meals a day, never bother to challenge their energy systems, energy expenditure.
And then of course, all kinds, the bad things happen when you consume too many carbohydrates, especially and overburden the insulin system probably concerning plenty of protein and never having those cycles where you’ve burned up a lot of energy. You need to recover, you need to consume fuel. You’re just kind of an overfed, an active human, and you’re gonna get cancer and you’re gonna be a statistic. So let’s take everything in the proper perspective and realize that feast or famine is the most desirable way to go through life. That’s our genetic experience. That’s what our genes expect, right? That’s how human evolution occurred is we had to suffer and endure through these cycles. We had to work hard with no promise of calories at the end of the rainbow and then adjust accordingly. And then when we did bring down the wooly mammoth, we ate like kings for six week straight.
And then we faced a long, difficult winter where we were tapping into all these wonderful mechanisms that are talked about out so glowingly like extended fasting, restricting carbs, and making ketones and having the wonderful anti-inflammatory and cognitive benefits of being in ketosis. But everything is in a nice fluid, big picture perspective here. So we don’t wanna pull insights out of the hat in the wrong context and gets scared of making a devoted effort to consume sufficient protein. And perhaps going into that goal of consuming extra protein for a variety of reasons. One of ’em is we become less efficient at protein synthesis as we age. Another one is if we are leading a healthy, active fit lifestyle, we want to definitely ensure that we can optimize protein synthesis in order to recover from the wonderful activities that we’re putting our body through.
That’s why I’m so excited about my protein supplement, Super Fuel that I’m coming out with shortly. You’re gonna hear all about that. But I’ve been doing this morning protein smoothie, and it’s kind of the centerpiece of my diet. It ensures that I get this incredible nutrient density, especially when I’m throwing in the organ meats and the creatine and the other things in one shot. I’m throwing all my pills in there too, cuz I’m not that good at pill popping. I kind of get lazy. I see them sitting on my shelf. But when you can throw 24 capsules into the blender and then just drink it down, it’s pretty automatic. So there’s all kinds of reasons to be excited about putting protein at the centerpiece of your diet and not buying into this distorted concept that you’re risking your life by having a protein centric diet.
We’ve been told some strange things like excess protein converts into glucose. And so then you’re gonna get at fat for eating too much protein, right? Cuz the glucose will then be converted into fat. This has been corrected most notably by Dr. Cate Shanahan who asserts that guess what? The body doesn’t ever make extra of anything. This goes against basic human physiology and the laws of nature. So, if you need glucose, you will engage in glucose neogenesis to convert either lean muscle mass or ingested protein into glucose for immediate energy needs as part of the fight or flight response. If you don’t need extra glucose, there is no way your body is ever going to make extra glucose for no reason. If you jam it down your throat with your Starbucks drink, that’s a different story. Now your body has to deal with excess glucose.
That’s been ingested. But our beautiful, delicate internal mechanisms will ensure that we make just the amount of keytones that we need. That’s why when you first go into ketogenic diet, you’re gonna have these super high readings in your urine strips or even in your blood. And then you’re gonna regulate when your body starts to learn exactly amount, the amount of ketones that you need and doesn’t have to go excreting a ton of it and everything’s gonna optimize naturally. And that also goes for when you consume, let’s say you were to try to consume excess protein, guess what’s gonna happen. First of all, you’re gonna optimize all your protein synthesis pathways, and then, you’re gonna be really full. And so it’s gonna be really, really difficult to overdo it. Raise your hand if you’ve ever had that sensation of consuming too many steaks for dinner or Oh Gee, I feel terrible.
I had too many eggs for breakfast. We have those built in satiety factors that kind of keep us optimized when it comes to protein consumption. Yeah. The body will also excrete excess protein. We have heard that this can be stressful to the kidneys and I’ve heard really smart guys like Robb Wolf say there’s absolutely little or no research, to say that this is accurate. It’s just one of those things that’s been floated out there and you might have heard about. And closing this section up, speaking of Robb Wolf, his epic quote that he uttered on my podcast. If you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein end quote. Love that. And that brings us to the fourth item on the list, and this will close part one. Part two. We’re gonna get into the exercise trends. Focus on that. But I’ll throw in this emerging trend and that is, um, digital regulation, digital minimalism, improving our focus, taking downtime and, and engaging in self-reflection.
All these things that we’ve forgotten about as we’ve been swept up in the early years of the digital age, right? We’re forced to make a massive adjustment on how we’ve lived our lives. For those of us in the relevant age groups, we can have some good reference points of the decades before mobile technology , the decades before the internet and how life was so different and how we’d sit down with a book and spend an afternoon reading a book. And I can’t remember the last time I did that. I feel like it’s, that there’s a void because of the tornado of the digital experience and the nonstop digital stimulation. And so now that we are arriving to live a life of balance and, and grace and stress management, we’re forced to kind of stare in the mirror and say, gee, is my mobile device, running my life?
Are there some safeguards and strategies I can put into place to make sure at the device is working for me rather than working me over? Right? I’ve heard some interesting folks recently on podcasts. One of ’em is the author, Gregg Krech. He wrote a book called Naikan. That’s a Japanese word, sounds like the camera, but it’s spelled N A I K A N. The book is called Naikan: attitude, grace, and the Japanese art of self-reflection. And Naikan is a structured method for meditating about our lives, our interconnections, and our missteps, and Krech contends that interestingly throughout the day were either in this production mode, this work mode where we’re accomplishing things, or we’re in the zone out mode when we’re tired and have accomplished a bunch of things throughout the day. Then we sit down and engage in passive entertainment.
We’re watching our shows on streaming media and what’s missing is that number three, which would be, described, he describes as self-reflection mode, right? The daydreaming, the lost art of just, sitting on the front porch. And nope, you’re not producing, you’re not, you’re not cranking through your to-do list, nor are you passively engaging in digital and entertainment. You’re just reflecting. And he makes a strong recommendation to spend more time in that self-reflection mode. That’s when insights come into play, or, you know, you develop a healthy, fresh perspective about where you’re headed in your life and, uh, the meaning of all the things that you’re doing as you jam jam jam through your busy day. And of course, when we’re engaged with a mobile device and in that zone out that entertainment, passive entertainment mode, that’s not happening either because our attention is grabbed by the exciting program.
And you have every right to unwind after a busy day. But if we’re looking at a wall on-off switch, this is not how the human is built. We have of more facets to that. So we can have a three way switch, right? And put in a vote here for, um, self-reflection. And I think what’s happening today is we have an urgent need to create opportunities where we can succeed here, create situations where we are deliberately disengaged from mobile technology, uh, hyper connectivity, hyper stimulation. That’s why I’m so fond of my morning routine. I talk about the meditative aspects of going through the motions, and counting all the sequences that I perform. But I also have to admit, being honest here that, it’s difficult to motivate it every single day. So sometimes I put in the earbuds and I’ll listen to a podcast or an audio book and that’ll make it a little more enjoyable or easier to go and complete my, my sequences.
But I notice that I’m always striving for balance here. So maybe the next day, or maybe part of the routine is just that mindful experience where I’m, I’m sitting there without any outside stimulation and just counting my leg exercises. But I am leaking a little bit there and that’s okay too. I get a lot of pleasure and enjoyment, and I have a lot of ambition to listen to a lot of podcasts, but we’re kind of trying to strive for balance at all times. And I think getting out into nature is a wonderful way to kind of enforce a disconnection right, for situations where we’re just, having to be alone with our thoughts or what have you. Another book called Monotasking or no, it’s called the Twelve Monotasks, written by Thatcher Wine.
He gave some great comments, also that this is a lost art that we have to reclaim. So we have to become good at monotasking by picking things like reading a book is a great example of a monotask because you’re not gonna be able to watch a TV program and read a book and so you’re kind of devoted to the page and you’re in that world that used to be so familiar to us before the digital age. And that’s a great way to kind of build your monotasking muscle. Same with listening is on the list. Isn’t that cool and, boy, half listening, we’re getting really good at that skill these days where there’s a device in your hand, you’re glancing at your text message while someone’s talking too long or telling a story and our attention span, I believe, Thatcher Wine wine on his podcast that there’s some research showing that our average attention span is like eight seconds or something ridiculous like that.
And then we start to lose it a little bit. So, if you can actually be an intent listener in a conversation with another human that is also building your monotasking muscles, and so creating these situations where you purposefully monotask, is a way to kind of regain what we are losing with, uh, digital stimulation driving, I believe is another example that he referenced, or I just thought of, because driving’s an opportunity to, for me anyway, it’s like, listen to podcasts, make phone calls.. I’m not gonna sit and look out the window and keep my car straight in the lane. It’s too easy. Come on. There’s, time to be more productive. But if you wanna take, you know, 20 minutes of your hour drive and just sit there in self reflection, it might be a really good time because,
As Dr. Bruce Lipton said on his show, driving’s an automatic behavior. it’s a subconscious behavior. Okay. How does that sound? Give it a shot and start with something that’s simple, easy and doable. You don’t have to you know, put your phone down the entire day and walk around frustrated and bored. But if you’re, you know, if you’re up for it, why don’t you take five or 10 minutes and walk around the block, leash up the dog. Don’t bring any devices and just kind of soak in the surroundings and come back and feel refreshed and energized. It is especially good idea in between taking breaks between challenging cognitive tasks, because you will come back refreshed and energized. And we know from brain research that you are physically and mentally incapable of sitting down at a screen and being in peak cognitive mode for eight hours straight over the course of the day that the brain can really only intensely concentrate for about 20 minutes before it requires a brief break.
And if you’ve been going strong for an hour, Dr. Andrew Huberman. Huberman Lab podcast talks about these 90 minute blocks that he strives for. And he strives to bank two of those per day, where he is in incredibly intense peak cognitive performance mode with no distractions. And if he can do that twice a day. That’s pretty much the maximum capability of a very highly productive person. And so if you think about it that way, and you set a goal of going into this deep cognitive performance mode for 90 minutes, then get up, walk around the block, go do a workout, do something where you’re disengaged from, you know, this intense concentration and this high hyper connectivity. And then you return refreshed and energized. Okay. We have a nice little package there of emerging themes, trends, revisions progressions, and, just to summarize, the first one was the diet obsessions and the hair splitting scrutiny were kind of, uh, zooming out now and thinking about it in turn of just cutting out junk food.
Second is dropping excess body fat. Putting down a lot of the gimmickry and the games and realizing that it’s back to the simplicity of eating fewer calories and getting that excess fat off your body once and for all. And number three, is backing off from these dire warnings that carbs are universally bad, uh, because the keto craze is all about cutting back on carbs, that consuming too much protein is going to shorten your lifespan and give you cancer. And even about the need to be devoted, to fasting intermittent fasting, they call it, as the exalted path to health. And that can work for many people, especially those with metabolic damage or trying to turn things around and, uh, drop excess body fat, get out of the risk category. But it’s counterbalanced, in one sentence by Rob Wolf saying if you wanna live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein.
And there’s a really good vote here for this feast or famine strategy where you have an intuitive approach, you’re not worried, you’re not overly stressed about consuming calories when you want them. You make sure you’re active. You’re make sure you’re giving some brief high intensity output on a regular basis, and going with the flow focusing on nutrient dense meals. And, finally we shifted gears away from diet and talking about this need, this desperate need to take control over the digital world that the hyperconnectivity, the mobile device and create a life that’s in good balance where you’re throwing in not only this incredible productivity that we’re capable of these days. And of course we’re allowed to have our entertainment consumption. But that door number three of self-reflection time and taking some time with your own thoughts and learning, reclaiming the lost art of monotasking. Thank you so much for listening. What do you think? Be part of the conversation, send us an email at email@example.com. Love to hear from you. And I always appreciate you spreading the word about the show about our sponsors. Get people connected, send them over to my website, tell ’em to register for the email. They’ll get a bunch of free eBooks on fun and interesting topics, and we can carry on with our quest to live a healthy, happy lengthy, balanced life. Thank you so much for listening.