I welcome the fourth appearance of Dr. Ron Sinha, host of a fantastic and unique new podcast called Meta Health!
This episode covers a variety of topics related to healthy living, especially as we spend some time discussing Dr. Ron’s exciting and very informative new venture, Meta Health. If you haven’t heard his podcast, I highly recommend checking it out, as it gives you a fantastic scientific foundation—almost like a free college education! You’ll learn how fat burning works in the body, how muscle burning works, and how mitochondria functions in the body too. And because Dr. Ron is so passionate about all areas of health, the way that mental health affects our physical health is another major focus of his work.
In this episode, you’ll learn why Dr. Ron cautions us to be wary of scientific studies and he explains how observational studies actually work. You’ll also hear about Dr. Ron’s experience with the Wim Hof breathing method, learn about how people can overdose on adrenaline stimulating activities (like cold exposure and HIIT workouts) and the consequences of doing so, and much more!
Dr. Sinha talks about how fat burning works in the body and how muscle building works. [01:39]The more deeply individuals learn about how their body works, it causes transformations. [09:08]
Turning 50, one can notice the changes in memory and distractability. [12:11]
Ron’s podcasts help the listener remember the material through storytelling. He is careful about the message he is sending. [18:18]
Are we taking fasting too far? [19:35]
Some traditional medical doctors still frown on some of the newer information that we put out. [23:20]
Studies that simply ask for people to track what they eat are not very conclusive. [27:29]
When they studied some seniors in Italy, they found that the animal protein intake was inversely associated with mortality. [29:56]
The use of the continuous glucose monitors is a game changer. [33:04]
Are there blindsides we need to think about with the red meat diet? [35:28]
What’s happening to your muscle mass? [38:13]
There is a defeatist mentality in our culture. [44:31]
Overdoing exercise, fasting, cold exposure, diet restrictions, etc. can all be harmful. [46:06]
With cold exposure, you are only trying to get a shiver response. [51:43]
Folks working from home have a wonderful advantage because they can do microworkouts all day long! [53:10]
Identify different ways to get rest, such as something creative, or walking the dog. [56:21]
Many people don’t realize that that high adrenaline driving workout is actually making caloric restriction and fasting really difficult. [58:16]
What is prompting those hypoglycemic episodes in a seemingly healthy person? [01:04:28]
What causes the urge to urinate in the middle of the night? [01:06:36]
- Brad Kearns.com
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- Metahealth Podcast
- Cultural Health Solutions.com
- Podcast with Rip Esselstyne
- Podcast with Dr. Robert Lustig
- Wim Hof
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Brad [00:01:39] Hi listeners, what a pleasure it is to welcome back to the show. Dr. Ron. Sinha. This is technically his fourth appearance on the show. We had a talk a long time ago about mindset and medicine. We did a breather show where I kept the tape recorder going. And then we talked about how to beat the COVIDcity pandemic a little bit ago and now we’re were on for a wide ranging and very interesting show about all manner of healthy living and especially highlighting his wonderful new venture, which is the Metahealth podcast hosted by Dr. Ron Sinha. Go look it up and binge on a few great episodes. He spends a lot of time preparing a very smooth and informative lecture style. So he’s not interviewing guests just yet, but he’s laying a wonderful foundation of science and giving you a great way to understand some of these complex scientific topics about metabolism and health by a storytelling strategy where he draws analogies and helps you picture what’s going on inside your body when you can easily get lost in the, the science and the tech.
So if you listen to a few episodes of the Metahealth podcast, it’s like getting a free college education. You’re absolutely gonna love it. And his topics range from learning how fat burning works in the body, learning how muscle building works in the body, how important it is to maintain muscle mass throughout life. So he’s one of the guys with a loud voice saying that this is possibly the number one way to promote longevity fitness and an enjoyable, happy, healthy, active life. He also is really strong on bringing in the mental health aspects as a fundamental component of overall health and also how mental health affects physical health. So his articles at his wonderful blog, Cultural Health Solutions.com about rumination are definitely worth reading and they’re really unforgettable the way this modern lifestyle affliction of rumination, envy topics like that stacking right up with a deep scientific discussion about hydro, how mitochondria work in the body.
You’re only gonna get that on the Metahealth podcast with Dr. Ron Sinha. So today, uh, when we finished the recording, I had this insight that what we did was we gave a lot of real life application to the scientific principles that were mentioned. And so I think with all this knowledge and information hitting us, we also can’t forget the importance of the practical application of all things and how to develop the motivation, the focus. And so I think you’re gonna enjoy this conversational podcast with a lot of good takeaways. One of ’em is the importance of being wary of scientific studies and the headlines that we read every day and we’re bombarded with the takeaways and the sound by, and the insights taken outta context. We suffer from health experts promoting their way as the ultimate and criticizing and having a lot of infighting going on.
So one thing he mentions is that the observational study on diet, which is, uh, how most studies are organized, observational being asking people to fill out a questionnaire of how they typically eat and draw major conclusions from that. One of them that he took to task was this, uh, widespread, uh, belief and widespread commentary that red meat can cause cancer. And those who eat more red meat have a higher risk of cancer. And he points out correctly that in the presence of a highly processed high insulin producing diet, yes, red meat, another saturated fat are gonna do bad things, so will eating too much protein. And we have these warnings about excess protein that are now being considered to be overblown by a lot of experts, including Dr. Ron. And he mentioned one study in particular in Italy, where they tracked a very healthy population, eating that Mediterranean diet and saw the opposite conclusion that the more animal protein they ate, which is the highest bio available, the easiest to assimilate the healthier they get.
Oh my gosh. So you’re gonna, you’re gonna love that. It’s gonna help you process a lot of this scientific reference that you get hit with. Uh, I was also particularly interested to discuss the topic of how it’s possible to overdose on adrenaline stimulating activities. So these hormetic stressors that are so highly touted as being wonderful. Cold exposure, high intensity interval training, hitting it hard with the tough workouts. Ron talked about how he got so into the Wim Hof breathing techniques that that was another source of stress. You know, it prompts that wonderful adrenaline response where you feel pumped up and feel great. But if you start stacking these together, which I’ve talked about too on previous shows, oh boy, it can really get outta hand and lead to exhaustion and burnout. And Dr. Ron working in Silicon Valley works with a lot of type A folks who thinks more is better.
I will raise my hand here. And I offered up how my cold exposure, uh, got more and more ambitious and it kind of got outta hand where the stress a bit too much. And so we can kind of tone things down, mix and match, throw in these tools rather than get obsessed with putting up big numbers fasting for too long. We spent a lot of time talking about the dangers of fasting to excess and how it can be counterproductive, especially when you start to lose muscle mass, because you’re getting undernourished. We talked about the benefits of using a continuous glucose monitor,.and we also talked the best way to track long term health and longevity status, which is the combination of the metrics, the blood work and the doctor’s examinations as well as athletic performance metrics.
And we highlighted the famous test from the Cooper Institute and Texas A and M the one mile run and tracking that as a profound longevity predictor along with many other things. So if you have something that you love doing and you keep trying it and you go back and put up new numbers, over the years, that’ll be a great way to track how things are working for you. That was a long intro, but I want this to be a fast moving show and give you properly prepared for all the information that’s coming at you from Dr. Ron Sinha. Here we go. Host of the new Metahealth podcast. Dr. Ron Sinha. Welcome back. I am so glad to connect with you, and now we have some big matters to talk about how are you?
I’m doing great, man. It’s so good to be back connecting with you.
So recent exciting news from your corner is the launch of the Metahealth podcast. One of my favorite, it’s incredible.
Oh, that’s so kind of you, man. Hey, listen, you were one of the people that had, had been, been encouraging me to do this for a long time and I kept resisting, but I finally gave in and it’s been a blast. It’s more worked like you warned me about, but it has been super rewarding. So, so thanks for that nudge. You’ve always been a coach to me in the past. And so thanks for getting me to get over the hump.
Yeah. I take partial credit and whatever, whatever time that you, you do it is the right time. But I love the unique format. So maybe you’re best to describe what’s interesting and unusual about the way you dispense the information on the, on the Metahealth podcast.
Yeah. You know what, I think one thing we both share in common is we’re passionate educators. That’s what I do in my clinic. That’s what I do in my programs. And I find that the more deeply individuals learn about how their body works, the science of how it works, it causes transformations. It’s like they look at food and exercise and everything differently. And what I realized is, you know, one thing I told myself, Brad, is if I’m gonna do this podcast, I want it to be different. And I want it to tap a little bit of my creative yearning to do something that’s not purely scientific. So I know the best way I learn and believe it or not, I’m actually not, I don’t have a natural scientific left brain. I’m actually better at like writing and drawing and being more creative. And I was thinking that how can I really teach science to people in a way where they can actually retain the information, cuz there’s so much confusing and science out there.
And that’s really where I decided that I would take my favorite concepts, like insulin resistance, general concepts around metabolism. But I’m gonna apply a lot of storytelling to it and use a lot of visual imagery. So concepts will really stick in their head. And so far, you know, I’ve launched a few months ago, it’s been rewarding cuz I’ve got people from lay people that don’t know anything about science to people that are MD PhDs and scientists that are listening to and saying, you know what? I finally understand how this works and I can actually retain it as well too. So that process has been super rewarding. It does take me a lot of time to sort of think through each episode because I’m trying to be as creative as possible, but it’s much more rewarding than me just putting out tons and tons of content that doesn’t really have that creative spin to it. So yeah, it’s been fun. I I’ve loved the feedback so far and I’m gonna keep it going as long as I can.
Yeah. I gotta say, when you flip on that mic and it’s just Dr. Ron talking for 34 minutes, it it’s incredibly difficult. It’s way harder than bringing a guest on and saying, tell us about your book. And then they go to town. So you, you can definitely tell the preparation and especially the simplifying or the you know, the, the, the storytelling aspect of the science and the, the acronyms, you’re the king of the acronyms man. We gotta, we gotta give you credit there. Thank you. I think it’s really helpful. And I’ve noticed like, writing about this stuff for a long time and dating back to when I was first getting, going with Mark Sisson and talking about you know the VLDLS, the LDL and the HDL and, and the boat carrying the molecules.
I got, uh, I got astute enough to be able to write it and explain it in writing without F fully understanding it myself. And I feel like there’s stages of understanding and learning where you’re gonna, you’re gonna bust out some analogies. You’re gonna talk about the, the bus full of molecules versus the whole bunch of small cars on the highway, and you can grasp it. And then five minutes later, you’re like, what the heck was he just saying it? So, um, the effort is you know, appreciated because to have things stick, I think is a whole nother level versus just nodding your head and in class and going, I get it right now, but I might not be able to explain it tomorrow.
Hey, listen, I turned to 50 and I’m getting empathetic to the fact that things are just not sticking. Like they used to, let’s say decade or two ago. And my audience obviously is all of all ages. So I think a lot of them that told me they used to remember this stuff when they were physician or a scientist, it’s really nice to be able to relearn it and have them retain it. So, yeah, fun stuff.
Okay. I wanna pin you down on that one, cuz I’m curious, like, you know, we’re getting older and these different things happen. I know physically and athletically, I have a whole different set of parameters I have to ascribe to in terms of recovery is the main thing that I see where I have just as impressive of a workout. I, I did 30 years ago, but I’m gonna be talking about it six days later where, you know, my son and his prime will do, let’s say a similar workout. And then the next morning he wakes up and um, you know, it it’s over and he is on to the next workout. But as far as cognitively you know, I feel like you’ve done a lot of writing in your life. Like I, and I feel like I’m a better writer. Um, I’m crisper and more, you know, a better flow, but I don’t have anywhere near the staying power to be cranking away for six hours straight. So I think that’s, that’s one trade off that I noticed. But overall, when you say you just turn 50 and you’re not, you’re not as sharp. What do you, what do you really see there? If anything?
Yeah. I mean, I think the memories to big part of it, because I feel like I was able to get through volumes of information and listen to things and it would just stick much better. And part of this might also be an element of distractability because, um, you know, there’s just so many
Things we forgot about that.
Right. And you know, when we’re younger, despite, you know, being distractable to some degree, our brain is developed in a way that it can actually grab and hold onto information and, um, store that more effectively then as we get older. So I’ve had to be more methodical about the way I consume and actually create information or do writing because even though like maybe my teenagers, you know, I see sometimes they can do a lot. They can have the text dinging on the side while they’re doing other things. And I wouldn’t say that’s optimal at all, but for me it’s like an absolute brainer. Literally it’s like my brain will not be able to focus on my next podcast or writing without me, absolutely protecting that time. I, I remembered when the kids were younger. I could still, like, I wrote the book when I had twins and the twins were nice and young and I was still able to sort of sort of pump content out.
But now for like these podcast episode is it’s almost a meditative process where I’ve got to really protect myself. And I think those of us that are listening that are trying to do something, whether it’s starting up a business, you know, doing your own blog, whatever, I think we have to acknowledge that, you know, I’m not saying everyone’s in the same boat. Maybe there are 50, 60, 70 plus year olds that can do deep work while they’re being distracted a little bit for, but most of us, I think we really, really need that protective time and just treat it like a meditation and, and you feel so much better. I think the quality of work I put out is much better now than it was before. Cuz I’m much more disciplined about that.
Oh my gosh. That’s great. And I agree. And um, yeah, it may be a generate thing where we had half of our lives to have much easier time focusing cuz there wasn’t much going on besides your medical school textbook, Cheers coming on Thursday night at 8:00 PM. You can’t miss that, but otherwise you’re not flipping channels and you know, the great outdoors to go exercise that wasn’t this constant overload of entertainment, possibilities. But I also think, yeah, we, we have to, we have to watch that in modern times now because it’s, it’s highly destructive all this hyperconnectivity and distractability, and I’m really sensitive to it as well. I can’t have any music or sound going on in the background or it drives me nuts when I’m trying to work. So I’m, I’m trying to not get good at multitasking. I know you’ve written about this topic too, and um, it’s, it’s a battle, but it’s worth, it’s worth fighting in that sense. Cal Newport talks about the advantage you can get in, in the competitive setting of the career track by, by getting good at deep work where everyone else is, of course they’re answering all their texts and emails all day long, but you’re the one that created the12 page PowerPoint proposal. That’s gonna blow everybody away, you know?
Totally, totally. And, you know, it, it’s interesting cuz for those of you that are sort of in this media space or trying to do blogs, podcasts, et cetera, if you talk to a traditional marketer, they really talk about volume of content, right? It’s like put out a post every single day, you know, just put up top 10 and you know, I kind of got sucked into that for a little bit. Brad I’m like, God, I’m not putting out enough. And it was just very superficial scratchy stuff that didn’t feel very meaningful to me. And same with the podcast. I’m like, I’m just not gonna put pressure on myself to just put out one or two episodes a week or like people are putting out sometimes episodes daily. And I got caught up in that cuz I thought volume was everything. But, but the minute I gave myself the space to say, you know what, when my brain’s ready, I’m gonna do it.
But when I do it, I’m gonna go deep. And as a result of that, I think when people find it, you know, again, I don’t have millions and millions of uploads downloads, whatever, but when people find it, they’re like, this is really different than what I’ve heard before. And to me that’s really rewarding. You know, we’ll see how it works in terms of its growth and spread. But, but I think all of us want to get a unique voice out there and you’re not gonna find that voice if it’s just superficial, podcast volume every single day. Right. It just, um, it, it gets diluted out then.
Oh my gosh. Yeah. I agree. You’re the, um, unique voice is the, the thoughtful and one that takes it into depth. I love it. That’s a great, it’s a great niche to try to claim rather than the volume guy. And also, I gotta say, the Metahealth podcast is, one of the only where you’re gonna look at shows with the diverse topics like mitochondrial health and the science, and then, envy, the topic of, you know, the emotions and the, the personal side of physical health. Rumination is one of your favorite topics. And I love your blog articles about that on cultural health solutions. But these things tie directly into physical health. And I know we talked about this at length on a previous a show, but maybe we could just drift there a bit as far as the, um, diversity of your content and why you’re covering these, these, uh, these, these left field topics seeming
Yeah. Let’s dig in and I can weave in some silly storytelling whenever appropriate. So,
The other thing that’s, uh, amusing that I, I never quite thought about was when you talk about this concept of the success bias that comes from listening to your followers. So you, you gotta tell me about that there. And, your quip of keeping your shirt on, I think is precious in this context,
Right? No, I think this is really key. I mean, again, after I sort of did that podcast in that post, you know, I’m definitely not against people taking their shirts off on Instagram and flexing those apps that are well deserved. But, but you know, often when you look at your data and the feedback that you’re getting from your followers, it can sort of shape you into something that you authentically are not. And I found sometimes that was happening sometimes I’m like, wow. So this post got a lot of, you know, likes and comments. So maybe I should put out more of that, but what I realized that, you know, what that happened on a day where I was feeling a certain way, and that was my authentic self, but I just don’t wanna morph into that as well. And the thing is those of us in, in the help and wellness space, we have to understand that as much as our is always positive, sometimes we are putting out messages that can go through different filters.
You know, we’re taking responsibility for a very large audience. So again, if I’m flexing my abs, that’s great. Maybe that’s gonna inspire a certain amount of population and make me feel good, but it’s also gonna create some shame in other people. And they’re gonna think that unless they get a six pack, a ripping six pack, they may not have the key to longevity, happiness and all of that. So, you know, I, I think, again, I’m not dissing on people that aren’t necessarily doing that, but I think we have to be aware of the fact that people with their different filters can take information the wrong way. You know, one of the podcast episodes, probably my most listened to one is basically have we taken fasting too far? And, you know, fasting obviously is the most popular health trend right now in the world.
And, as much as it has been a game changer for my patients when done properly, I have clearly seen so many people develop borderline to full-blown eating disorders. I’m seeing my patients that are getting older in age that are losing significant amount of muscle mass, because they’re actually tracking that yet. They are so addicted to the convenience and the idea of just eating less food within a tight window, which can have its benefits when done properly. We don’t realize that when people are kind of bragging about their fasting hours and literally it’s become a macho thing like using timers and saying, Hey, oh, well, you only did 24 hours. You know, I did a three day fast the other week, you know, um, and again, if you’re wired to be competitive or to do a lot of self shaming, you can use fasting in a very dangerous way. That’s gonna actually have adverse effects on your health. So I know I moved into that without you asking me, but that just popped into my head as I was thinking about the, this topic.
Yeah. That’s huge. I, I definitely wanna go into that further, especially when you talked about your own, uh, overdosing on the adrenaline stimulating activities. And I definitely relate to that and I absolutely experienced that happening to me. But before I was gonna ask you, um, oh yeah. With the you, the success bias, also anyone who’s touting a particular strategy, uh, and you know, let’s say you put up your, your best selling book on the plant based eating. You’re gonna hear from thousands of people who purchased the book and did it and succeeded, but not the people who didn’t purchase the book cuz they thought it was bullshit or who us the book and tried it and, and struggled and suffered. And so you’re gonna be creating this funnel for your own approach where it’s just absolute and, and same with fitness where, you know there’s one guy on Instagram, Joel Seman, who’s talking about, you’d never take any movement past 90 degree joint thing.
Yep. And then you have knees over toes, Ben Pattrick, who I’m really fond of. And I, I love his exercises and he’s saying essentially the opposite. And then, you know, those two get together and talk and Joel Seman says, well, some of my stuff’s taken outta context and so this and so that, and you get really confused as a everyday consumer trying to do the right thing. And so I think, you know, we gotta step back and realize like that the people with this tremendous success rate is because of whatever you wanna call it, attrition or attracting the people who are already adapted I’m I’m rambling. But one thing I wanna say is like even in the endurance sports community, I’m now looking back after decades realizing that this is a self-selecting community of people who are adapted naturally to excel and succeed and protect their health when they’re running marathons and ultra marathons and everyone else drops off and it can be tremendously unhealthy for a large number of people. And then the people that do it, Hey, it’s great. But they’re like, they’re the freaks, you know?
Yeah, no, it’s, it’s so important. It’s interesting to, so I find on social media, it’s kind of different than leaving reviews on Yelp for your doctor or restaurant where there’s more of a negative
That’s like those are the ones that are steamed up. They’re gonna write a review totally
Totally different. They could steamed up and put the negative, but, but on social media, cuz it’s supposed to be a feel good atmosphere, the ones that are feeling good, tend to post in comment. And the other ones probably just do an eye roll and just move on to the next post. So, so I think this is really important because I’m so glad, uh, and you mentioned success bias and I, I didn’t dig as deeply as, as you just did, but, um, it is, it’s a real key thing we have to be aware of because we’re spending so much time on TikTok and Instagram and all these platforms and, and really as much as, you know, politics has become an extreme topic nowadays, health and fitnesses as well too. And a lot of us are being brainwashed into certain camps and we’re not really seeing the other side of what’s possible.
So as a physician, you have that tremendous position of response with your patients and then as well as a public figure, doing the podcast and communicating, how do you navigate these rough roads in terms of looking over your own shoulder or being, you know, uh, reasonable with your, uh, the information you dispense?
Well, you know, back when, you know, we worked together on my book in initially and at that time, really what I was proposing about carbohydrates and insulin was still pretty controversial. Was especially controversial back then. It’s still a little bit controversial, but it’s been more mainstream now. And I did know, I did understand the fact that some of my physician colleagues in a traditional healthcare setting might sort of not take to this information very lightly. But I think I sort of overestimated that I was actually, when my colleagues started seeing their patients have incredible results for making very simple lifestyle changes, they sort of bought into it at that point. So I think the way we have to approach it is with the very open mind. And I have to say that there are physicians in the movement on this side of the camp or the other are so dogmatic and they’re pushing it so hard that they’re losing some of that, um, ability to sort of bring in more colleagues that would support them.
So as much as people could read my book or look at my early work as being anti plant based, you know, over half my patient population, because I see a culturally diverse population, a lot of Asian Indians they’re vegetarian, you know. And even when I pitched this book to Mark, you know, Mark Sisson, you know, I, I thought that, wow, is he gonna really adopt a book? That’s really, the audience demographic is a large percentage of vegetarian Indians in particular, but Mark got it from the beginning, just like you got it that no, we’ve got to really get the information out in a way that it can get universally consumed and tailor it to everybody’s individual circumstance. And that’s what we, as healthcare practitioners have to do. We really can’t be extremists on one side of the camp or the other. We’ve gotta find very creative ways to bring people into the center. And there is a center when it comes to health and wellness. I mean, if you bring, and I think you’ve had people from the plant-based side come in and you’ve talked to them, I think you’ve talked Rip before. Right. Rip Esselstyne. And
Yeah, we had a great long conversation talking about what what’s amazing is all the common ground. And I appreciate how we’re all kind of, it seems like we’re settling into a message that, you know, getting rid of the processed foods is step number one. And then it’s not worth talking about step number two, Dr. Robert Lustig. I had him on my podcast. He did a great job saying, look, you know, the real enemy is big food and pushing these big gulps and vitamin waters and all this nonsense, uh, onto the population contending that it’s healthy. And then we’re sitting here wasting energy. The plant-based people that are having their kale salads are arguing with the carnivore people having steak and eggs. And it’s like, come on now, you know, all of us are, uh, you know, exceeding the, the presidential fitness standard, uh, by, by large amounts, if we’re cutting out processed foods and the rest of it’s nuance and honoring your own personal biology, I think is gonna be the emerging field of figuring out, Hey, yeah, carnivore style works better for me. And vegetarian works better for you, but neither of us are eating Snicker bars and Big Gulps. Oops. I just lost two podcast sponsors. But you know, that’s where we should us, or we should all always head, especially when we’re talking about bringing in the average enthusiast who doesn’t have all day to obsess about these things.
Yep. Hey, I wanna give you a specific example, cuz we’ve had this conversation around this before. So I wanna give a little piece of evidence and this is something I brought up in episode 15 in my podcast where there’s a study called the ? Study. And I wanna just bring this up, cuz I think this helped to clarify the issue of why we get sort of aligned to a certain camp. And then we sort of hand pick out evidence from the literature to focus on, you know, meat-based diets versus plant-based diets. And first of all, let me give you a little bit of background. As many of you might know when it comes to nutrition studies, baseline nutrition studies are really one of the poorest life forms of research out there because they’re predominantly based on food frequency questionnaires recall. So Brad, what did you have for lunch a week ago?
What, you know, so you’re literally just writing down the information about the foods you’re consuming and then researchers will look at that information and make some conclusions based on what you’ve recorded. And so, you know, for example, when you’re looking at, let’s say a diet that’s heavy in animal meat. What we don’t always get is the background story of the fact that these are individuals that are eating processed meats. They’re having sodas, French fries, sugar sweets, other things, but they focus on that animal meat intake. You know, in many studies they do try to filter out some of that noise, but there’s so much noise that you can’t even interpret what the conclusion is. And the reason from a mechanistic standpoint of why this is important is because anytime you have a background of chronic hyperinsulinemic, and just to remind the audience. So, you know, insulin is basically the hormone that shuttles nutrients into our different cells, muscle cells, and we need insulin. But when insulin stays elevated, it can is obesity, heart disease, diabetes, because we have too much of insulin circulating the bloodstream.
Now most of us, unfortunately of the modern world, has some level of chronic hyperemia. And when you have excess insulin in the body, any nutrient you put in excess inside your body, for example, like protein, for example, saturated fat, all of a sudden those nutrients become potentially toxic cuz you’re in that chronic hyperinsulinemic state. So for example, if you’re hyperinsulinemic from eating too many cards and too much sugar, and then all of a sudden you decide that you’re going on a let’s say a keto type diet, clearly you’re gonna be clearing out some of that carbs. But what I find in my clinic is people are still pretty hyperinsulinemic cleared all of it out. Now on top of that, now all of a sudden they’re adding a lot of saturated fat to the diet and then that combination is not gonna be advantageous.
So this InCHIANTI study. So I’ve always sort of said that, gosh, I wish we can take populations of individuals in these studies that are actually adhering to just basic core lifestyle principles. They’re not exposed to the modern processed garbage. And then look at what the impact on their health is. We still don’t have a large scale study. That’s kind of like that. But let me tell really quickly about the InCHIANTI study cuz this one’s interesting. Cuz what they did was they took a thousands seniors, 65 and over in Tuscany, Italy, and they followed them for 20 years and they measured their dietary intake using these food frequency, questionnaires and long story short. What they found at the end of that period was that animal protein intake was actually inversely associated with mortality, AKA death. Okay. So they found that these seniors who are consuming more animal protein, they actually lived longer.
You know, quite frankly, that’s what they found. And so this is important to me because you’re taking a population in Tuscany that’s they’re seniors. So this means that their core lifestyle values and principles are really more antiinflammatory, Mediterranean style they’re are not basically being exposed to toxic chronic hyperinsulinemia and then them eating extra animal protein, if anything actually improved longevity. Now the interesting thing is they looked at the plant-based camp and this is where some people’s blood pressure’s gonna go up a little bit, but I wanna explain here, they found that the plant-based camp that was consuming more plant-based or that is having more plant into, there was actually no protective effect found, but when you dig deeper, they define the plant intake as mostly cereal grains. And that’s not fair. That’s an unfair characterization of a plant-based diet because we know that often these refined cereal grains can cause a bit of hyperglycemia and chronic hyperinsulinemia
So this is a perfect example of when you take out that noise of hyperinsulinemia, you can see the effects that health enhancing effects of something like animal protein or healthy sources of saturated fat. I think in this study, if you look closer, I think plant-based diet got kind of demonized a bit because there were focused on cereal grains and they actually call that out in the study, but that just gives you a nuance. So anytime you guys read eat nutrition headlines, I want you to dig into how was that study done? Are we looking at a general population or was this truly a population where there was optimal background with not this hyperinsulinemia, which is just such a great confound in all these studies? So I know, uh, I took some time going into that, but I think this is just a key point that we need to understand.
Yeah, it’s super important because we get so deluded by the media and the headlines and even the experts touting the confirmation bias of the studies that support them and, and trashing the, um, the other stuff. Maybe it’s better to do a little self experimentation along with blood work and um, seeing how you perform with a a 30 day plant restriction experiment, which has been so successful for the, uh, the carnivore folks that had plant reactivity or whatever it is. Maybe, maybe eating less food for 30 days and seeing how much better you feel and how much better your blood numbers look
Totally. And, you know, on top of that the use of the continuous glucose monitors has been a game changer in my practice, just getting people to strap the sensor on and really see what the impacts with these foods is doing. And I’ve actually had the opportunity to now through my healthcare system to we scale that out. So now really I’m equipping, um, companies and employees in small pilots right now with glucose sensors. And we are teaching them how to use this tool effectively to make personalized individual decisions around their health. And this is where we find that for some individuals oatmeal in the morning has absolutely no adverse impact on their health. Their glucose is not going up, which means they’re not chronically hyperemic, fantastic. Others are finding from that sort of food that their glucose is going way up and they’ve gotta do some things to really improve their insulin sensitivity.
And that, that, that I think is gonna be a game changer is we have more of these sorts of sensors on the market and I’m not actually fan of wearing sensors, you know, year round, every single day. Like my good friend, Peter Attia. I actually use it like as an intervention for maybe a couple of months to get me on track and learn some things about the different foods I’m consuming. But then once you develop that intuition and you know, what’s good for you, you take the sensor off and you live your life. But I think, you know, these sensors are a game changer and I’m trying to get more doctors to understand how to use these and prescribe these because right now, again, in a traditional healthcare system, glucose sensors are only used in severe diabetics who are on insulin and need to be monitored, um, often. So, so I think this is gonna be a big, um, change in terms of the area of personalizing your nutrition to your own body type.
Yeah. It’s great that they’d come into immediate public access where you can sign up right now, um, uh, with Nutrisense or levels health. I’ve had experts from both of those operations on the podcast and talked about at length and had some fun experimenting with my own. And I realized after I think three trips through the, the two week life of the sensor, not much was bumping it or, or causing any trouble. And that’s when I realized, okay, just like you described, I’ve done enough self-analysis now I can go on and live my life and realize that perhaps my exercise routine or the absence of processed foods is protecting me from anything that you could consider adverse from the day that I decide to binge on popcorn night instead of go about my Merry way and stop eating a after dark and, and all those great things that we’re recommending.
And so that was, you know, that was an eye opener for me that if you, if you cover a lot of the bases, you’re, you’re gonna do pretty well. And I think it, that same category goes for that same insight goes for, um, the extreme disparity between, for example, my podcast guest, Rip Esselstyne and the way that I eat with the, with the ancestral model, um, he’s out there breaking world records and master swimming. I’m doing my best in master track and field. But he’s a picture of health and it works for him. And he probably has some, uh, genetic adaptability to a plant-based diet that’s highly restrictive where it might screw up some other people. But I guess maybe I should ask, like, are there any blind sides we need to think about in, uh, outside of, let’s say a great string of results with a CGM and an improvement in blood work due to dietary modification. And we have our reports from, let’s say the past six months or the past three years, are there any secret things that could come back to, to haunt us later? Cuz a lot of people, you know, will say, oh Brad, you’re eating so much red meat. You might it be sorry 30 years down the line. And it seems to me like flaw and dated information that they’re they’re spewing.
Yep. Yeah. And coming back, we can knock off the red meat first and again, that that’s really gonna be that background context of chronic hyperinsulinemia. So, so as long as the sourcing of the meat is good and the background of chronic hyperinsulinemia is gone, I don’t see any evidence where we’d be concerned about that, but blind spots is really important to pay attention to. And I have to say that the blind spots would come in the form. There’s two that I’m thinking of the top of my head and one of them is, um, nutrient deficiencies. So micronutrient deficiencies. So if we’re just, um, for example, fasting, or if we’re eating a little bit of a diet that can be restrictive in certain ways that we’re not aware of. And I’ll give you an example, even some of my patients that have made great changes when I do a bit of an intake around the types of plants, for example, that they’re consuming often, they’re just doing bag greens, cuz they’re so darn easy, right?
They just buy greens from the grocery store and they’re using that and maybe getting one other color are in their diet and nothing else or, you know, because of the convenience they’re just fixated on three or four different types of different foods or they’re just sticking to muscle meats and not eating other parts of the animal that can provide so many great nutrients. So I think those are things that you’re not gonna get from a standard blood test. They’re not easy to really measure that. So we wanna really diversify that diet. And I think you’ve done a trauma end job of really exposing that through a lot of your work about the potential, you know, benefits you can get from eating different parts of animals and really diversifying that diet. But that’s something we really want to pay attention to because you can’t get that from a, a regular blood test.
The other part is what I brought up before is most people still don’t have a good sense of what’s happening to their muscle mass. So basically as they’re doing these diets and they’re aiming for the number on the scale to go down, they’re not aware that they are losing significant months of muscle mass, maybe in their legs or other parts of their body. And we know that muscle mass is correlated with longevity. So for any of you out there that is doing fasting or some sort of diet that’s restrictive, to me like exercise is important, but exercise is actually especially an important audit to make sure that, you know, I’m doing this diet, but wow, doing like lunges is much more difficult now or you know, squats, I’m not making any progress despite the fact that I’m resistance straining. So with my patients, when they bring in their spreadsheets again, I practice in Silicon valley.
So people will literally bring in Excel spreadsheets of the last 20 years of data and I’m, and they’re like micromanaging every nuance spread of their LGL, what happened to the A1C? And I’m like, you know, more power to you. Great. Data’s fantastic. But I literally said that I want you to add a couple of columns here and these are super important. One column I want you to add what is sort of your internal audit of muscle strength? Is it how many squats you can do with your internal auditive balance? I wanna see sort of how that’s progressing. So add that column. The second column is aerobic endurance. We can do all these things, but there’s no simple blood test. That’s gonna tell me that Brad’s aerobic endurance is actually improving. So if I’ve got a patient that does a neighborhood two mile walk, I wanna know how fast you can do that.
Walk or light jog as long as you’re mostly breathing lightly through your mouth or staying within our MAF heart rate. If we’re focused on that. And I wanna see your times by the time I see you next time are your times actually improving? Cuz we can do a lot of this stuff and game our numbers to look good, but we might be losing muscle mass and strength, which is really so key for longevity and quality of life because we’re still fixated in front of a computer. And now in our zoom world, people are becoming more decondition you’re not gonna measure that through a blood test. So we need a quantitative way to assess those factors, which are at least as important, if not more important for longevity and quality of life. So, so, I think those are the blind spots that I’d probably highlight and prioritize the most.
Oh my gosh. I love that. And it reminds me of that, um, that large study from Cooper Institute and Texas A and M where they measured, um, one’s time in the mile run at age 50, speaking of age 50, Dr. Ron, congratulations. Okay. Now it’s time to go out out there with the stopwatch cuz they, um, they argued that the predictability for longevity and the chances of living healthily till age 80 was super strongly correlated with one’s time in the mile. More so than any of the, um, other markers like blood pressure and, and blood work. And so, I believe superior category was males breaking eight minutes for the mile females breaking nine minutes. And then if you were slower than 12 minute male, 13 minute female, you were in the high risk category. And this is again, um, it’s an all out effort, you know, one time going four laps and you know, eight minutes is pretty fast.
Nine minutes is pretty fast. My sister was really cuz on her 50th birthday, we took her to the track and she ran like a 09:15. And I said, you know what? Um, you can hike the, uh, the Inca trail in Peru. I think you’re gonna get a, a full score there. But there’s also whether tests, um, you know, for pushup competency or squat competency, if, if that’s more of your athletic interest, but something as a marker that you go and repeat and you know, hope to, to maintain competency over time. My mom’s doing OsteoStrong, the fitness,
yeah, I’ve heard of it.
predicated on maintaining muscle density and lean bone mass, I mean lean muscle mass and bone density and they, you know, they go in once a week and measure your output and see if you’re getting stronger or weaker. And the program has, you know, been really successful for appealing to seniors, cuz the exercises are really safe and you’re static and you’re supporting your weight. Uh, but there’s so many ways that you can, you can track aging in a, in a straightforward manner right in your face. I love that. So pairing that with blood work, of course, cuz I, I feel concerned for the, the athletic freaks that have, you know, adverse blood values and they ignore them because they just finished an ultra marathon. So what could possibly be wrong?
Oh, that’s true. Yeah. You’re right. So, so the, the other side of it, we see a lot too where people are solely fixated on their fitness numbers, right? It’s strength, it’s this, but all of a sudden I see their blood work. It tells a different story. You know, sometimes I’ll check that C reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation. And then many of my patients that are over training that inflammation marker can come back quite high because they’re are just really tapping out their mitochondrial horsepower and their engine. They’re creating a lot of oxidative byproducts that doesn’t always show up in the lab. So I wouldn’t say that, you know, if you’re doing a lot of training, if your CRP test is normal, that you’re out of the woods. Definitely not. Cuz there’s still a lot of, um, free radicals that can be generated that we just can’t easily measure in the lab, but I wanna come back.
I’m so glad you bought up the Cooper study, because I think that’s the one that really crystallizes exactly what you said in terms of endurance. Will trump any deviations in LDL blood pressure in all those metrics in so many ways, although we wanna maintain those numbers, but also for a lot of my patients that no matter what I do, they’re never gonna run a mile. They’re not even gonna go to a track. Like you said, it’s sort of just find something you enjoy and that could be you hiking, a certain trail nearby. That could be you playing a tennis match. Like everybody has an intuitive sense of how out of breath do I get, if I play tennis for 20 minutes or you know, you you’re like the master speed golfer. Right. So speed golf is something a lot of my patients aren’t aware of and actually brought up that concept.
So I can’t believe that Ron and you
Aware of the greatest sport.
Yeah, I know. How could that even happen? But I actually got a couple of my patients to do that. Like when they go out in the evening and the sun’s down and the course is empty, I’m like, you know what, don’t fix it on your golf game. Just try to see how long it takes you to finish nine holes. And not surprisingly, you know, this first hand, many of them find that their scores are better than they always were before because they’re not overthinking their golf swing. They’re trying to actually beat their time, which is kind of an interesting way to think about golf. So I think there’s so many creative opportunities to create that baseline metric that you can improve upon. And then that’s gonna bring enjoyment in long term sustainability, then hitting a track if that’s not your thing.
Yeah. Good, good point. I also noticed that there seems to be a, um, a defeatist mentality in our culture where we’re just really overly accepting of this decline that we all must agree. That’s accelerated from what we’re truly capable of as humans, but so many people are content to be on the sidelines just because of their age or maybe because of, you know, they notice a little attrition in their performance. And so they, they hang it up forever rather than recalibrating their goals and finding something that’s age appropriate. And we definitely need age appropriate challenges that are, that are safe and interesting and fun, but it, it seems worthwhile for everyone to set their sights on something. And, oh my gosh, my dad had the most graceful decline into a nice long life of 97 years. But he was going from, you know, walking 18 holes to, uh, going in a cart for 18 holes to playing nine holes, uh, walking around on the half mile loop at the park every day, to walking half of that loop, to walking to the picnic bench and sitting down and waiting for, uh, the others to finish their walk.
But at least he got up and, and got out every day and, you know, everything was a bit of a challenge, uh, at an appropriate and graceful pace all the way till, you know, he’s walking, uh, back and forth slaps across the backyard instead of a half mile loop around the park. But we gotta, we gotta do something and not throw in the towel and, and tell stories and watch the super bowl on TV.
So back to that thing, we mentioned a while back about your own experience with overdosing on all the fun stuff. And you mentioned the, the breathing, the cold exposure, the high intensity interval training workouts, the fasting, the intermittent fasting. And when you stack those all up and I’ve talked about this on my show before, so my listeners might be familiar. It’s like, those are a lot of stress factors stacked together. I usually throw my age in cuz I’m trying to do these high intensity workouts in the, in the 50 plus age group. But I noticed on, on numerous occasions over my, over my journey that seemingly there was too much stress there and I had to rethink some of these fantastic, wonderful peak performance strategies for boosting, um, health.
Yep. I mean, I’ve definitely been okay if we think about all these different modalities from exercise to breathwork to cold exposure, all the wonderful tools that are out there. I kind of think of each of these interventions as being a pill, you know, a healthy form of a drug. And one of the concepts we think of out with drugs is obviously having an efficacious effective dose where you’re gonna get the best results versus a toxic dose that’s gonna cause side effects. So the way when we actually manage patients with medications, a patient that need medications for say their blood pressure is we will often put them on a dual pill, like a pill that’s got more than one ingredient. And the importance of doing that is because you’re minimizing the toxicity or side effects of just putting somebody on too much of one particular chemical.
And we have to take that same sort of view when it comes to, to these interventions that we use. So when I went through my type A process of trying to optimize all these different lifestyle pills, I started doing Wim Hof you know, which I actually loved, but I sort of got obsessed with it. So for those of you that, that aren’t familiar with the Wim Hof. It’s a combination of cold exposure and doing breath holding type exercises. So I was doing that. I was doing a lot of high intensity, um, exercise. I was doing some weight lifting on top of that. And there was a period of time when I was doing that, where I was like, oh my God, I’m feeling super human. Like some of my one rep maxes are the best they’ve ever been. And there was adrenaline flooding through my system, like continuously, which felt great.
And as all us know adrenaline is a very addictive substance. But then as I started paying attention, after a few months to my sleep, how I actually looked in the mirror, I was getting really gone. I mean, I felt like I’d aged. Uh, but I was still so hooked on the sensation that I didn’t even acknowledge what was happening. But then at a certain point I just stopped because I was like, you know what? I’m actually not feeling very happy. Yes. I might be getting great results on my one rep max, for some of the exercises I’m doing, but just intuitive. I felt like I was just overdoing it. So when I started peeling back those different interventions, I started regaining my health. Again, my energy was better. My sleep got better and I realized that I was overdosing on a poly pill. It was literally all these things together in very high doses.
And I was doing the opposite of, we do what we do in the pharmaceutical industry where you start off with smaller doses of combining these. So now I’ve really evolved to using cold exposure very strategically. I still do some breath holding here and there, but just other types of light breath work. But when you can combine a couple of these different strategies together, you’re gonna get amazing results from it. But you’re not gonna be dying because you’re not surging your system with adrenaline to the point where you’re gonna end up having a burnout effect from this together. And for every individual, they’ve just got experiment with different modalities. And typically my patients start off and they haven’t tried any of these things. I do kind of have them do light versions of a little bit, like get used to a little bit of cold exposure. Maybe try a little bit of breath work. You know, don’t start full swing with fasting as well, too. Start that in more of a light way. Cuz again, I have a lot of type A’s where if I don’t set boundaries, they might try to do all this stuff at maximal dosages. So I think really combining these in an optimal way is gonna be very critical.
Oh sure. More is better. Come on. I remember just enjoying my chest freezer plunges so much and thinking that well as I build my resilience and my focus and my adaptability, I can continue to, to go longer and longer. And I got up to six minutes if I was timing myself, trying to show off or four to five minutes routinely in the water that was somewhere between 36 and 40 degrees. I kept it chilled at that level and I felt fine and it was no trouble. But then I think over time and I remember had a few distinct occasions where, you know, I’d do my morning cold exposure, I’d do a sprint workout. And then later that same afternoon I crashed and burned and had a weird sensation of feeling tired and achy and having to go down and take a nap.
And it happened on a few occasions where I finally realized, you know, what, maybe that is too much to throw the sprint and the cold exposure and, and pack ’em together, not to mention if one is, uh, fasting or experimenting with the ketogenic diet, which I was doing when we were working on the book. And you know, the, the takeaway from that is like, uh, these diets, I know you have a whole episode about it, so you’ll probably jump in here, but maybe those diets have more benefit to offer for someone who has that metabolic damage and that constantly glycogen and high insulin production versus me. I’m already going out to the track and depleting all my glycogen. And so if I’m, if I’m restricting my carbs as well, uh, again, it can work for a lot of people, but you’re, you’re putting up a lot of stress factors onto the scoreboard.
Totally. I’m so glad you were open and honest about the impact of that. Cuz I gotta say going back to a success bias when I saw you in that ice cold water, I’m like, I’m a loser man. How could I not have I done? I thought I was doing something wrong. I’m like, I need to cold adapt more. Maybe I should like sleep overnight and you know, in a meat freezer or something adapt myself, but it’s good to, it’s good to hear that even you have your, um, um, limits in terms of how much you can endure some of these things. And I think for the listeners out there, just realize it again. If, if we’re let let’s focus on cold exposure for a second, cuz this is one thing that I I’ve seen, some of my patients get into trouble with, but really all you’re trying to do with cold exposure is you’re just trying to induce a shiver response.
So when you’re in the shower and you turn the water cold, you just want to get yourself to shiver 45 or 60 seconds. Great. And then don’t fight the shiver. Like let yourself shiver step outta the shower. Then you can come back in. But in the beginning for somebody who’s never done this before, even doing a couple of rounds of that is gonna already cause bio chemical changes for you to actually start unlocking a little bit of that extra stored fat. And just to, in a little bit of science here, there is a hormone inside our fat cells, an enzyme switch, sorry, called hormone sensitive lipase or HSL. And anytime we activate our sympathetic nerve system through cold exposure or exercise, we turn on that switch and that allows those extra fat cells inside our fat cells to actually get released into the bloodstream.
And you don’t have to bombard the system to turn that switch on. You just want to add just enough of a stress activator to really turn that switch on. So that can be just very short doses of cold exposure in the shower. It can be micro workouts, which you’re the master of. And I love doing mic. You know, I call it microdosing on exercise, just doing a little bit of that fidgeting and microdosing is enough to turn on those circuits and turn on that HSL the hormone sensitive life base and you can get some fat flow just from doing that. Um, and this is something I’m really teaching to my folks that are working from home because a lot of them are all or nothing. They’re either they’re sitting in front of the computer for back to back zooms for eight hours and then we’ll go do a workout on the evening or maybe a we’ll start off in the morning.
But I tell ’em, you’ve just missed out on 14 hours of meeting time where you could have been moving your legs, you know, doing these micro workouts, you know, a squat lunges, whatever, you know, now that we’re at home. My gosh since times, you know, meeting gets canceled, you’ve got your shower right here. I couldn’t shower work before like turn the water on cold and jump in for 10 minutes before your next meeting. And you feel like a new person. So we have incredible opportunities in our own home environment to really just flip the switch on HSL in low doses, because what happens is in the morning, if you do a super high intensity, cold exposure as workout, you might feel great, but often you will find that you might kind of crash like overdose and caffeine early in the morning by the afternoon.
And I look at my day as literally like a game that’s built with like two or three quarters throughout the day. So in my morning period, this is one what I wanna accomplish. And I just wanna make sure I don’t burn out before that’s over. You know, I might take a slight break. Maybe that’s gonna be my cold shower. Maybe it’s gonna be some deep rest or maybe it’s just walking the dog. Then I come in for quarter two and now this is what I’m gonna do there. So most of my patients the whole day, they’re like, if this is a game they’re like in the game with no rest periods, Steph Curry playing all four quarters with no rest periods at all. And then they’re trash by the end of the day and now they’re, overactivated exhausted. They might have sleep well. But having that opportunity to really break up the day into quarters is a huge game changer. It’s helped me so much. It’s helped a lot of my patients. It didn’t even know that was a possibility that they can do.
So what are you doing between quarters to kind of ebb and flow the, the intensity of the fight or flight stimulation and the stress hormones?
Yep. So a few of those things are gonna be either breath work. Okay. So, and if I can’t get outside for whatever reason, cuz I have a short interval, I am doing some deep diaphragmatic breathing or some other sorts of breath techniques to sort of get me reentered again. I can always take my laptop if I need to outside for the next meeting. But in between I might go walk the dog. I might do a couple of right up and down the street to do some very short sprints or I just do fast walking for 10 or 15 minutes, just enough activity to really get things moving there too. So that’s another tactic, but you know, there’s endless things and obviously with the amount of body work that I do sometimes I’m, you know, doing different sorts of leg exercises, balance exercises, you know, I think both of us have really gotten in the knees over toes, so there’s specific things that I’m doing as part of the knees over toes program to really kind of enhance, um, my knee strength and leg strength as well to hamstrings as well.
So there’s a whole menu of things that you can basically create through those windows of time. And then the other one really is something that many of us don’t do, which is our creative pursuit. So I, I have a guitar in my office as well too. I don’t get to play the guitar very often, but sometimes I have 15 or 20 minutes, I’ll play some chords or work on my scales. I might do that outside. Or I might think of something creative or a call, a friend or somebody haven’t connected with in a while. It’s really easy to sort of ditch those things, but those are other forms of rests that our brain needs so we can recover in times. So just identifying different opportunities for that sort of brain rest is really key.
And then when you’re talking about the micro workouts and the cold shower in the afternoon, when your energy’s in a low all, so you’re, you’re, you’re triggering an appropriately brief fight or fight stimulation. And then I guess generally does the body kind of recalibrate with a parasympathetic response to kind of make you chill and relax after your micro workout in the ensuing hours or after your cold shower?
That’s exactly you’re right, because if the dose is short enough and it’s not too intense, um, then that’s exactly what happens is your parasympathetic recovery will be quicker. Whereas a lot of times you’re doing so something super high intensity, you will get still a parasympathetic relaxation response, but often that is proportional to how intense your actual initial exercise trigger was. So often you’ll find that if you did a super high intensity workout, the crash after that is, you know, pretty significant also, but with these small workouts or lower dose type activities, what you find is it’s almost, you know, imperceptible, like you get a nice little nudge from that workout or that mini micro workout that you just did, but then you’re nice. And even after that, and that’s really key because the other thing that’s really key for us to understand is when we do these adrenaline driving type workouts and exposures is it can actually have a significant impact on our hunger.
So often we end up craving a lot more calories and high energy foods, which usually come in the forms of carbs and sugars. And many of my patients, they don’t realize that that high adrenaline driving workout is actually making caloric restriction and fasting really difficult. And people are often binging into the late afternoon and evening. So be aware that sometimes it is that sort of workout that can actually trigger that. Whereas when we’re microdosing and do these lower intensity movements throughout the day, usually you’re just leaking out enough free fatty acid from your fat cells to help deflate those fat cells. But it’s also enough to keep the body satiated and the brain satiated. So it doesn’t feel like it needs to overfill,
Oh my gosh, that’s a huge one right there because there’s so much frustration involved with dropping excess body fat. And I talk, I did a whole episode on my podcast called the Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga, which is when I had to drop love the 10 pounds of excess body fat that somehow creeped on that. I didn’t represent the number on my driver’s license for the first time in my adult life. I’m like what’s going on here, but I’ll tell you on the days when I would do, um, a really difficult prolonged high jump training session probably too long, cuz I get so excited out there. Oh my gosh, the food intake is so increased that those are not the days where I’m making big progress on my body composition goals. I think they help overall and they help with, uh, the genetic signaling to stay lean and, and maintain lean muscle mass. But when you tiptoe over that line of sensibility with the choice of workout, I think you pay the price with excess caloric intake and increase laziness in the, in the hours that follow as well.
Totally. Oh yeah. I’m so glad you brought that up. And for those of you faster out there really be aware of that since I see a lot of these individuals in my clinic, many of them can easily or effortlessly do their 16 or 18 hour fast, but they end up just going to town during that eating window. And they just, you know, they really go nuts during that. And you know, there’s data to show that that’s probably still better than them obviously eating junk foods throughout the day. But sometimes the intensity that hunger urge is so, it’s so outta control and people feel like just cuz they fasted 16 hours, their body’s justified to do that. It’s a big problem. So, so that’s the other thing is many of my individuals and these are blind spots. They’re eating the wrong types of inflammatory foods during that window.
And then, like I said, because they’re not getting adequate exercise, they’re also losing muscle mass on top of that. So really silently in the background, even though they’re losing weight, they’re eating inflammatory foods. You know, they’re not eating the right types of foods while they are eating during their eating window. They’re gently starting to lose a little bit of muscle mass. Their metabolism’s starting to slow down a little bit. And then when they rebound on a vacation or they decide fast for a few weeks, they end up gaining a lot of body fat they’re in worse shape than they were before this unsustainable fast. So be aware of those patterns.
Yeah. Listeners go, uh, hit that episode on Metahealth podcasts about taking fasting, uh, outta control to, to your detriment where you detailed a lot of those things. But I love the observation of the indiscriminate food choices because you’re celebrating because you’re so badass cuz you only eat one meal a day. And so it’s like, yeah, lay it on me. Let me have seven courses. And you’re right. It’s if, if you’re doing it within reason, it’s still that feast or famine cycle I think is a really great a strategy and insight that um, if we can bank a lot of hours fast and then we can enjoy rich indulgent meals, even to the extent Ben Greenfield talks about this, of like having his cake and eating it too. Meaning he banks a lot of hours in the ketogenic stadium performs fast workouts.
And then in the evenings he’s hanging out with his kids and they’re making all these concoctions in the kitchen in and he might hit a, a whole bunch of carbohydrate grams in, in one sitting. But that not only ensures that he recovers from his workouts earlier in the day for the next day, but it’s done at, at, at one dose and like we see on the continuous glucose monitors, it’s okay. Those guys do a good job communicating this idea that it’s okay to see your blood glucose spike after a meal. That’s what your body’s supposed to do. You just wanna see it return to baseline rather than snacking and reaching for the candy bowl at the front desk you know, throughout the day at the office,
Hey, uh, you just remind me of something else too. When we talk about blind spots, one blind spot, Brad, that we see on lab tests is we often get very fixated on that hemoglobin A1C number. And that basically is your composite score for your average sugars for the last two to three months. And one thing I’m finding that when people get A1Cs done and they’re quote normal to on the low side and they pat themselves on the back that, Hey, my A1C is 5.1 5.2. And they’re like, great. But sometimes what I’ve found, especially my patients who are complaining all about about a lot of fatigue is when you put these sensors on people are not aware of the significant glucose fluctuations that they have. A lot of ’em are getting hypoglycemic, low blood sugar during the night or of the second half of the afternoon.
And I’m finding people that are doing fasting in the pattern that we talked about, where they’re fasting. And then they’re all of a sudden high glycemic during their eating window, even though their average sugar is fine. When you look at the tracing in the curve of how their glucose goes up and down, that’s not healthy at all. And the thing is you have so many glucose lows that is bringing their average A1C composite score to a normal level. But studies showed that these swings in glucose, they can create tremendous adrenal stress. It causes an increase in calomine and stress hormones in the body cuz our body likes to be stable. Our brain likes to see, obviously you’re gonna get normal glucose fluctuations, but when those are exaggerated, our brain does not like that. And that can cost fatigue, fogginess. Some of the cognitive decline that we talked about earlier, I’ve seen that in my case too. I wish I’d worn a CGM when I did my overdosing on Wim Hof and all those things. I’m sure I would’ve had definite nighttime hypoglycemic excursions, but be aware that for many of us hard drivers, we are getting a lot of hypo episodes and that’s where are being very consistent with your eating, making sure, like you said that you’re getting adequate starches to fuel. Some of your workouts are gonna be really important.
So what is prompting those hypoglycemic episodes in a seemingly healthy person? Why can’t we keep it stable at 84 to a hundred or, or whatever, if we’re dropping the low, the, the threshold, not, uh, already recognizing the, um, the dangers of having hyperglycemic episodes and running at a, at a high battery power with your, your baseline number too high, but what’s going on on the other end?
Yeah. So, so there’s a couple things. So one is the C word is, is cortisol for most of my patients. And I’ve actually seen that during more high stress periods when my sleep is disrupted and I’m just having a lot of baseline work and life stress. Even if my diet is pretty sound, I end up seeing more glucose fluctuations. I don’t get many highs, but I’m very susceptible to develop more lows. And I see that in my patients as well. The other thing, too, is when you think about the insulin roller coaster, right? Because some people if they are doing a lot of fasting and then all of a sudden they have something a little bit higher glycemic, their sugar may not go up as much, but the insulin response to that is sort of exaggerated sometimes. So then the glucose drops down.
We see the same thing with high intensity exercise. It’s almost the same effect as eating a high glycemic food where initially you get this surge glucose, but then afterwards, if we’re not fueling appropriately or if our glycogen stores were low before that high intensity exercise, we end up seeing a crash in that too. Now people that are really well fat adapted their body is more resilient to these fluctuations in workout intensity. Their glycemic variability is less mean. Their sugar’s more stable. But other people, again, sleep deprived, high stress. Body’s not completely fat adapted. We can often see these things happen. And you know, many of my patients that have sleep issues, they don’t realize that around two, three in the morning, their glucose is actually tanking, you know, compared to what their glucose was at bed time. And that’s causing a lot of adrenal stress and they all of a sudden pop up outta bed. You know, they go to the bathroom, they can’t fall back asleep. There’s a lot of reasons why people get up at three in the morning. I’m not saying this is the only one, but sometimes that glucose variability during the night can be a factor that we sometimes UN uncover when people wear these sensors during the nighttime.
Before I let you go, doctor, a question on that topic. , Is it true that adrenal stress will inappropriately stimulate the kidneys to make you think you have to get up and pee at three in the morning?
Yeah, that can, that can absolutely be a response. Absolutely. Yeah. So, so, you know, we you know, a, a layman’s term for this, we kind of call this a hyperactive or irritable bladder, but people that definitely are in that stress state that can cause you to get up. The other thing too. And it’s more of a complex mechanism is many of us have very mild sleep, disordered breathing, anybody that’s not breathing sufficiently during the nighttime. So this can be full blown sleep apnea, which a lot of people are end up getting is becoming an epidemic where you’re not getting adequate oxygen to the lungs while you’re sleeping. So AP means you’re stopping breathing, but even those of it that might have blocked nasal passages or something else that was really interfering with our breathing during the night that can actually send a signal through our heart, to our kidneys to actually release more urine, to actually get rid of some of that extra fluid.
So individuals that actually correctly apnea or might be able to do things to improve their breathing during the nighttime. Often they find that that they’re not getting up during the nighttime. So actually if you go to my blog, there’s actually an ebook on sleep that I have on there’s a free ebook. I interviewed one of the world’s foremost, individuals who’s done so much work in this area and there’s resources on three AM wakings. And I talk about sort of the impact of breathing. That’s been something that I didn’t know about before, Brad, and I’m uncovering a lot of people with sleep disordered breathing issues when they fix that often, you know, mouth taping is another popular trend. I talk about in that ebook as well too, sometimes getting up in the night just goes away. Once we improve oxygenation during sleep,
Oh, love it. I’ve had great success putting the nasal strips on as needed. I don’t wanna become dependent on but if I’m traveling or in a new environment, sometimes your nose get stuffed up in a hotel or whatever. And, um, keeping that nose breathing going by, uh, by any necessary, it seems like a great strategy. We know that’s so much better than opening the mouth.
Okay. So we got a free ebook over there at culturalhealthsolutions.com, a fantastic website with awesome blog articles that I believe you actually wrote if I’m not mistaken.
Yes. All of ’em written by me. Yeah,
Absolutely. And of course the podcast. So tell us how we can connect with you in every way and, uh, follow your work.
Totally. Yeah. The cultural health solutions.com is the, the best website. So I write pretty actively on there. There’s several eBooks. If people have been accessing there and then the Metahealth podcast, you’ll see the link to that directly on the website. Or if you go to iTunes, your favorite podcast platform, just look up Metahealth podcast with my name on it. And, um, yeah. Tell me what you think. I hope it benefits you a lot.
Oh, you’re gonna love it, listener and go leave a review. It really helps. This is a relatively new show. It’s skyrocketing to the top of the rankings deservedly. So, so I’m so glad to connect with you again, Dr. Ron Sinha. Thanks for listening everybody.
Thank you. Pleasure
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