Ryan Baxter

It’s my pleasure to introduce a very interesting conversation with Primal Health Coach Ryan Baxter.

Ryan is an ordinary guy living a pretty normal life with an everyday job as a software engineer, with two kids, a wife, and a busy family life, but he’s also a fitness enthusiast who works frequently with everyday clients, giving him a lot of street knowledge to share in this episode. We talk about some of these big picture concerns that have been my obsession lately on the show regarding the Energy Balance insights from Jay Feldman and the role of diet in peak performance, recovery, and fat reduction. 

Ryan is a self-described data nerd—he even has a metabolic cart in his house (a scientific device that tells you the ratio of carbs to fat you are burning during exercise). We talk about one very interesting thing he has been doing over the last year which has been to consume more daily calories, to the tune of 700 additional calories per day for an entire year. Guess what? His body composition was exactly the same—optimal and under 10% body fat. This opens up the dialogue to call into question or to look at a bigger perspective of the so-called constrained model of energy expenditure. We talk through these insights and how they might apply to, for example, the information Dr. Pontzer has shared on the show about the constrained model of energy expenditure. 

Emerging research suggests the constrained model is largely relevant to people in a caloric deficit, such as a hunter-gatherer striving to get enough calories a day to survive, versus those of us in the modern world who have caloric abundance. If you are able to access sufficient food to fuel your busy, energetic day, then the constrained model doesn’t apply as much as the not-so-familiar additive model. In the additive model, if you do consume more calories as Ryan described, you will find ways to become more energetic—and that is a good thing. This allows you to perform good workouts, build and maintain lean muscle mass, maintain excellent cognitive function all day, and turn up all those dials that I talk about to optimize your reproduction, repair, growth, and locomotion.  This show will be particularly relevant to those of us who practice extreme devotion to health and fitness and who are experimenting or have experimented with restrictive diets while also pursuing peak performance goals (both fitness and cognitive), as well for anyone wanting to live an energetic, happy, healthy, balanced lifestyle.


Can you consume vastly more calories and maintain body composition? [01:24]
When you burn a lot of energy, you slow down in other areas. [06:40]

Today’s elite athlete does six times the energy expenditure of the busiest hunter gatherer. [08:35]

The energy balance theory is controversial. Should we eat more carbs? Should we be fasting? [12:42]

When Ryan works with his clients, he has found they unintentionally have lost weight even when adding more foods to their diets. [21.23]   

The body starts shutting some stuff down if it has to steal energy from somewhere else. [28:35]

The constrained model implies that you are going to hit this calorie burning ceiling no matter what you do. [32:47]

The entry point is to eliminate processed foods. [37:18]

Fasting turns on stress hormones but there are occasions where it is done. [41:09]

Everyone should eat the widest range of food they possibly can, according to Ryan. [46:15]

Keep an eye on your blood work. Brad’s triglycerides were too low on his last test. [54:22]

Only one percent of American males are under 10% or below body fat. [01:09:06]



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Brad [00:01:24]. Hey listeners, it’s my pleasure to introduce a very interesting conversation with primal health coach, Ryan Baxter, and he is an ordinary guy living a normal life. He has a day job as a software engineer. He’s got two kids, a wife, a family life, uh, busy fitness enthusiast and works with everyday clients as well. So he has a lot of, uh, street knowledge to share with us. But we talk about some of these big picture concerns that have been my obsession lately on the show regarding the energy balance insights from Jay Feldman, the role of diet in peak performance, recovery and fat reduction. Ryan is a self-described data nerd. He has a metabolic cart in his house. It was on the screen in the background. And for those of you don’t know what that is. It’s a scientific device, very expensive where you can hook yourself up to a gas exchange mask and determine the ratio of fats to carbohydrate that you’re burning during exercise.

Brad (00:02:29):
So he can slap this puppy on, get some data point. He talks about having a carb binge and then getting on the next morning, getting on the metabolic cart and determining that he was still a fat burning beast. He didn’t get kicked out of the club just from his carbohydrate experiments. But one interesting thing that he’s done over the past year was make a concerted effort to consume more daily calories to the tune of 700 additional calories per day for an entire year. And his body composition was exactly the same optimal under 10% body fat, uh, via a repeat DXA scan. And this opens up the dialogue to call into question or to look at a bigger perspective of the so-called constrained model of energy expenditure, where the research suggests that we have an upper limit, a ceiling on our daily caloric expenditure, and we’re gonna find ways to economize if we burn a lot of energy during exercise.

Brad (00:03:30):
And so some of this stuff transcends that and we talk through these insights and how they might apply to, uh, for example, the information shared by Dr. Pontzer on our shows about the constrained model and there’s new research now showing that the constrained model is largely relevant to people in a caloric deficit. In other words, like a hunter gatherer, striving to get enough calories every day to survive versus those of us in the modern world who have caloric abundance. And so if you are able to access sufficient food to fuel your busy, energetic, athletic day, the constrained model doesn’t apply so much as the more familiar additive model whereby if you do consume more calories like Ryan describes, you will find ways to become more energetic. And that is a by and large a good thing because it allows you to go and do workouts to build and maintain lean muscle mass and have excellent cognitive function all day and turn up all those dials that I talk about to optimize your reproduction, repair, growth, and locomotion.

Brad (00:04:40):
So I think this show is particularly relevant to those of us with the extreme health and fitness devotion who are experimenting or have experimented with restrictive diets while also pursuing peak performance goals, both fitness and cognitive and all around energetic, happy, healthy, balanced lifestyle, how they can add up to be excessive and be counterproductive. So I mean, if that doesn’t get your attention that here’s some guy who’s tracked everything diligently and noting that he can consume vastly more calories and report back feeling better with the same body composition and also report similar positive benefits with his clients. So if that doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will, I think we’re gonna get some great insights here. As we continue with our quest to optimize our fitness endeavors, as well as our diet and how our diet can support these fitness endeavors, healthy, active lifestyle endeavors. Here we go with Ryan Baxter,

Brad (00:05:42):
Ryan Baxter. We have some stuff to talk about because we’ve been burning up the email exchanges. I’s great to have you back. And I’d love to hear how your coaching operation is going. And then the important points that we are gonna discuss are, I guess the role of macros in the lifestyle of a healthy fit athletic person. And then also, something that we’ve been both kind of troubled by is this open and shut case of the constrained model of energy expenditure and some ways that this might be nuanced that we might need to open up and figure out and a friend listeners I’m familiar with the constrained model. Um, I talked about that at length on my show with Dr. Pontzer and it’s, I think I would say it’s a widely validated, scientific concept that the body has compensation mechanisms.

Brad (00:06:40):
When you burn a lot of energy, you slow down in other areas and it’s not a great message for someone who’s out there running their 40 miles a week. And then thinking that their libido, hormonal function recovery things are going to be, uh, compromised because of all the energy you’re putting out to exercise. We want to be, feel strong and energetic and all that stuff. And now I got a smile on your face, man, he’s ready to pop. So, let’s check back in with Ryan, how you doing and then take it away.

Ryan (00:07:08):
Yeah, yeah. Heck Brad, thanks for, thanks for having me back on. Appreciate it. Yeah. Things have been busy since the last time we talked, I been, you know, like I said, continuing to coach and also, you know, that’s my part-time gig. And then I have my full-time software engineering gig and two kids and a wife and athletic aspirations. And yeah, so just been cruising along. This is the last time we talked, but, uh, all good stuff and doing good and, and happy to be back on chatting about all these cool stuff, this cool stuff.

Brad (00:07:38):
Well, here’s an example of a real person out there. You’re juggling a lot of different endeavors. All of them require energy, including we can’t forget the, the energy for cognitive function and, and, and concentrating and, and doing software engineering and then using your brain in a different manner when you’re engaged in coaching and, and family life. And I, it gives me an opportunity to make a, a quick jump over to, uh, this fascination of modeling the hunter gatherer ancestor in order to inform modern day healthy lifestyle practices. And our ancestors didn’t do this. Our ancestors never ate, uh, that much sugar, so neither should you. But nor did they sit in front of a screen and program software and then jump straight to you know, grueling by comparison grueling workouts that were never performed by our ancestors either.

Brad (00:08:35):
I love that quip from Dr. Tommy Wood citing actual research, where he said that today’s elite level athlete, especially in CrossFit or triathlon or whatever sport you want to Olympic sport, you wanna pick, they do six times the energy expenditure of the busiest hunter gatherer in history. And so, when we’re not really, in practicality modeling the lifestyle behaviors of our, of our hunter gatherer ancestors in any way, um, we might want to kind of, modify the, the template a little bit to respect people that are using their brain and their body and going, going, going with a lot of chronic stressors that didn’t exist. And you know, we have to, we have to figure out how to navigate that.

Ryan (00:09:20):
Yeah, for sure. I think it’s, you know, the, the modern day athlete is, is, is certainly different than the way our ancestors lived. Right. And I, I was, I was kind of thinking about this too, as well as re-listening to some of your podcasts with Jay and he’s talking about stressors and fasting, cold exposure. And so on I’m like, you know, all these things are things that our ancestors would’ve avoided at all costs, right? they would’ve avoided jumping into a cold pool. They would’ve avoided being extremely hot. They would have avoided not eating for a prolonged period of time, but some situations were kind of just forced upon them. Right. And, so we’re kind of like saying all these things are great, but yet they’re also, you know, because they, they were modeled after, you know, these, our ancestors got cold, they were hot they’re, they didn’t eat for a long time, but it wasn’t by choice.

Ryan (00:10:17):
It was just because it was cold outside. They didn’t have a lot of cold, you know, clothes, or it was really hot outside. They didn’t have air conditioning or, you know, they, they couldn’t find the food. And, you know, today we have a whole boatload of stressors in addition to that stuff. And then we voluntarily put ourselves in these weird situations, or like, yeah, we’re gonna just add some more stress on top of that. And certainly being, you know, the, the life I choose to live, with, you know, a full-time job, a part-time job, two kids, a wife, a family, and athletic goals, like, yeah, I have a lot of stress in my life, but I also, um, understand that I now , I understand that I have a lot of stress. And so I do my best to combat some of that stuff with, you know, some of the things like you and Jay talked about with like, making sure I’m eating enough food, not restricting any particular macronutrient, doing my meditation, you know, going on long walks, you know, being outside in the sun. So I do my best. It doesn’t work all the time. Sometimes I certainly suffer my, uh, you know, my fair share of stress like everyone does, but I also am very mindful that I’m, I’m not living it, you know, a perfect ancestral lifestyle. And that I probably, you know, I, I need to do a little bit more to, to inject a little bit more, you know, less stress or more relaxation to my life to, to deal with that stuff. So I’m very mindful of, of what I’m doing too.

Brad (00:11:46):
Yeah. I think we can all, uh, acknowledge that these chronic forms of stress, especially things that are negative, but even the chronic forms of, uh, stress that you enjoy are things that we want to minimize because they’re, you know, by and large unhealthy. And, uh, the cumulative effects of them can definitely be argued as unhealthy. I’m thinking of the extreme training endurance athlete who’s at a high level for years and decades. And then, uh, low and behold is that high risk of, uh, heart trouble, especially atrial fibrillation. And this is happening in the, the fittest, uh, humans of the planet, uh, in a, in a disturbing manner, disturbing frequency. Uh, but I think the, the, the question comes that, um, we’re doing our best to men minimize chronic stress, and because we’re extreme health and fitness enthusiasts, and we have peak performance goals and we’re, we’re focused and driven and motivated.

Brad (00:12:42):
We’re not talking to the laziest percentages, the population where the message would be get up off the couch, walk around the block, get your butt moving in life. That’s not the, that’s not the demographic here. And so we have people who are immersed in all manner of chronic stress. That’s very difficult to extricate from, and then are layering the cold plunge and the sauna and the high intensity workout and the fasting and the carb restriction, the time restricted feeding. And then we have the potential for the cumulative effects being, being too much and being overwhelming. And that brings us right to, you mentioned Jay a couple times. Those are my shows with Jay Feldman and his message about energy balance and especially the controversial parts of it, where he’s arguing that, um, we should be fueling primarily upon carbohydrates with fat as a backup energy source, which is kind of the opposite of the template ancestral message and the magical benefits of keto and all the things that people are aspiring to when they restrict dietary carbohydrates and restrict feeding times.

Ryan (00:13:50):
Yeah. And I think all these things are great. Like, I do my fair. I have a sauna, I get in a sauna. And I, I do, you know, take a cold shower. It’s not like a cold plunge, but I, I do a couple minutes of cold exposure every day, but I’m not going to any kind of extremes anymore, like it. And like I do these things, you know, as I, I, I like to say as life dictates, like, so I, I still occasionally fast, but I do it when my life dictates that I need to fast. Right. Um, because I’m gonna go on a plane ride for, you know, eight hours, whatever, it’s not really convenient for me to eat. There’s no good food in the airport. I’ll fast for that, you know, that day. And I have no problem doing it.

Ryan (00:14:35):
And surprisingly, you know, even though I eat boat load of carbs, you know, compared to the, you know, what the low carb keto world would would say, um, you know, I don’t, I’m not a carb addict. I can still tap into my fat burning. I can, can, you know, go for long periods of times without eating, despite eating a vast amount of food, not doing a lot of fasting whole time. And yeah, so I just kind of, I think it’s a balance approach. You have to learn where the right the right balance is with all the stuff. And I think we get, um, lost in that. We think that if, if we eat the banana, that all of a sudden we’re going to be, you know, pre-diabetic the next day. I think the hard charging athlete has nothing to worry about . And I think that they should probably be eating more food and, um, not doing so much, you know, caloric restriction or, um, carb restriction, et cetera. Right. And in all in the name of minimizing these stressors and also, you know, exercise performance and athletic goals and mental performance and all that stuff, too.

Brad (00:15:50):
Yeah. Well said an important point comes out of there. And one that was echoed by Sisson when I was talking with him and trying to sort out these, these insights that compel you to think critically and maybe reexamine some fixed and rigid beliefs. And the one that really slapped me in the face, the hardest from Jay Feldman, when I first heard him on the show on Ben Greenfield show, back in April of 22, he said, uh, fasting turns on stress, hormones, carb restriction, keto ,time-restricted feeding. These are mechanisms. These are stress mechanisms, and that is indeed the way that they work. That’s the nature of their effectiveness is turning on these stress response in the body. And that was alarming to me because I’m trying to minimize all manner of stress in my life and then prioritize it or, or redirect it to my high intensity sprinting and jumping workouts because they are stressful, but I enjoy them. And I want to, you know, maximize the intended benefits of these workouts by stressing the body and allowing it to recover. And so if I’m stacking too many stressors, such as doing these workouts in a fasted state, or especially fasting afterward, that’s when, historically I have the track record to, uh, to reference here that I’ve run into trouble. And I think you mentioned the same with a lot of your clients where you’re getting into the banana recommendation, uh, and, and kind of spinning their head.

Ryan (00:17:20):
Hmm. Yeah, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve worked through this, this process a number of times with several clients, especially athlete clients that are from the low carb, keto, primal, paleo, you know,, spectrum, um, where they come to me and they, they have complaints about performance or just mental clarity or their sleep’s dysregulated, et cetera. And I look at, you know, okay, you know, what are you you eating? Right. Cause this could be for a number of things. Right. But I always start with like the basics, you know, what are you eating? What’s your sleep like, what’s your, you know, what’s your stress. Like what, you know, what’s look at, you know, the foundation here and see how stable that is. And almost every time look at what they’re doing and they’re, they’re doing, you know, periods of fasting. They may not be eating till noon.

Ryan (00:18:10):
Then, you know, they’re not eating any carbohydrates, they’re eating 50 grams or 20 grams of carbohydrates. Um, they’re, you know, an everyday person, they have a job. They’re a parent, you know, they have all the stressors that we’ve been talking about of life. And then they’re also training whatever, half marathons, obstacle-course racing, you know, uh, triathletes, whatever it is. And I’m like, okay, well, you know, what, what if we try eating a little bit more food and eating a little bit more carbohydrates. Now I say this to myself. I don’t, I don’t say it to them. Right. I say, okay, well, let’s look at your diet a little bit and Hey, you know what, you know, because you’re only eating two meals a day. It’s really hard for you to get in the, the right amount of protein, you know, that you, that you should be eating.

Ryan (00:19:00):
So let’s start with, you know, can we, can we do like maybe something in the morning, like a little bit of protein in it shake or whatever, just something in the morning that, you know, you can get a little bit of more protein in and they start there and then, you know, eventually the top comes up. If you know, what do you think about carbohydrates? Right. Well, you know, you could probably eat a little bit more carbohydrates, you know, that meal we’re having in the morning, you know, that shake will maybe put a little bit of banana in it, or so the strawberries or fruits, you know, 20 grams of carbohydrates, nothing, nothing big. Oh, you sure that’s okay. You know, is, am I gonna, is my blood sugar gonna be all off? Is it gonna kick me outta fat burning? I’m like, it’ll be fine.

Ryan (00:19:37):
You know, just, let’s just see how it is. Couple weeks later you hear, Hey, Ryan, my sleep’s been really good lately. You know, I’ve been sleeping. Excellent. I’m like, oh yeah, yeah, my recovery’s really good too. You know, I feel kind of, you know, a lot, a lot better after my, after my gym workouts, I’m like, oh yeah. What do you think it is? I’m like, yeah, it’s maybe the protein in the carbohydrates. Oh, should we add more of that stuff? Yeah, let’s add some more and uh, you know, so it’s like this trickle effect of we’ll keep building upon that. And, um, slowly building up, you know, the amount of food and carbohydrates that they, they might be consuming and inevitably it just, their performance increases their, um, you know, their sleep gets better. Their stress goes down. They have a lot more energy.

Ryan (00:20:27):
They’re a lot more mental clarity. Um, and sometimes they actually lose weight. not, not intentionally. They, they start to lose. I had, I had a female client. She came to me, she was a half marathoner. I, I interviewed her, I posted the videos, um, there on my website and on my Instagram and stuff like that. We talked about this whole thing, but we’ve increased the amount of food. She increased the amount of carbohydrate. She was eating over the course of six months and she dropped like 10 pounds and PR to her half marathon. Right. And not intentionally, we didn’t try to do it at all. We remember trying to lose weight intentionally or anything like that. We just increased the amount of food she was eating and she lost weight. And then also PR her her half marathon. Right. I mean, I was, I was trying to get her to eat more than she could possibly eat. Um, and yeah, I mean, you, I see this all the time with, especially with athletic clients.

Brad (00:21:23):
So not uncommon that someone is on a devoted path to eating more nutritious food. I think we should always qualify that, that anyone who’s going to increase their intake of junk food or food that has a metabolic inhibitors like Mike Fae says on the energy balance podcast, uh, that’s a no go and there’s, there’s no justification even for an athlete. Who’s burning calories like crazy all day because they have recovery needs. They wanna manage that, production of free radicals. And the, the stuff that happens when you eat junk food is not aligned with performance in any way, but consuming more calories and then losing 10 pounds and PRing in the half marathon. Can we discuss what’s going on there and how is that possible so that we can once and for all, uh, get out of this flawed mindset. That’s lingering about calories in calories out.

Ryan (00:22:16):
Yeah. And it, another thing I’ll bring up just my own and equals one experiment of myself. Over the past year, I’ve made even more conscious effort to eat even more food, more carbohydrates. I’ve increased the amount of food that I’ve eating by 700 calories.

Brad (00:22:36):
Oh. So you’ve been tracking it in everything.

Ryan (00:22:37):
I track it all. Yeah. I’m this huge data nerd. I you’ll where this is going. I’m a huge data nerd. So tracking food is, is something I do frequently. I know it’s not for everyone, but I, I do it. And over the past year, I’ve increased the amount of calorie in an effort to put on a bunch of lean mass. I’m trying to put on some lean mass here over the past year. And, um, I had a DXA scan a year ago. I was sub 10% body fat, like 9.6% body fat, whatever. I went back just on Friday. It’s been a year since I lost DXA scan eating 700 calories more and still the same exact body, 5%. I any fat? So you

Brad (00:23:21):
You’re in

Ryan (00:23:23):
Man. Didn’t yeah. I didn’t increase the amount of lean mass I was at, which I was hoping for, but I didn’t put any fat either. Right. I didn’t put any fat. My blood work looks spectacular. I don’t have, you know, high blood sugar. I don’t have prediabetes insulin looks great, all this stuff, you know? Um, and I think what’s happening is when we take people who are very active and they’re trying, they have, you know, they’re, they’re very active. They have, uh, um, you know, uh, both mentally and physically, you know, they have a lot of demands on their body and all of a sudden you start feeding the body, the right food, it starts burning it, it starts using it. It starts, you know, you know, uping, hor hormones that maybe have been downregulated, cuz you aren’t eating enough or you’re fasting too long or too much stress or whatever.

Ryan (00:24:13):
Right. Um, and you get more energy to do more. Right. They, they might work harder in their workouts. They might lift more weight. They might, you know, kick up the intensity on, on their workouts. Right. And I think you just, your body just starts to compensate by increasing the amount of energy that you have, cuz there’s a lot of food around now and now we’re gonna start doing stuff, you know, that we weren’t able to do before. And it doesn’t just go right to body fat. Like, you know, the bananas that you eat or the strawberries or potatoes or white rice or whatever, you’re, you know, you’re incorporating your diet, just, doesn’t just magically turn into body fat because it’s a carbohydrate. Right. Um, your body takes that and does something with it and you feel better like your sleep increases like , you know, all these things happen. Right. And you can imagine, like I had some more carbohydrates, my sleep increase. So I’m able to perform better and do more work and you know, et cetera. Right. Um, both mentally and physically. Right. Um, so I think it’s just the body taking all that stuff and just like, thank you. Like it’s, it’s it is paying you back. Right. And, and, and showing you what it’s capable of, uh, when we start to, to add more food there.

Brad (00:25:21):
Um, well we know that quote from Pontzer: reproduction, repair ,growth and locomotion are a zero sum game. If you, uh, borrow a lot from one, for example, locomotion, which all forms of exercise fall into right. Locomotion moving, right. People. So if you are training really hard and you’re, uh, constraining your caloric intake by virtue of following a plan or, or fasting, uh, eating a couple meals, whatever the structure is, where you’re, um, trying to, uh, minimize your caloric intake or you’re trying to optimize it, but you’re going to be compelled to turn down those other dials. And that’s the sort of the stuff under the radar that we can’t really discern where, um, you know, libido drops a little bit, it’s not anything earth shattering. That’s gonna send you off to a physician to talk about, but it’s just down and smoldering a little lower, same with your immune function.

Brad (00:26:22):
So you’re gonna get, uh, minor illnesses or gonna things are gonna linger a little bit longer and then repair, um, the, the recovery from the exercise. Um, you know, it’s, it’s hard to, it’s like Paul Saladino says, he’s trying to take people from level seven to level nine. And we don’t even know whether we’re at level seven or whether we’re at level three. You know, there’s always something that we can aspire to to be better. And I definitely fall into this category where, uh, a lot of people look at me and say, wow, you have so much energy. And you’re, you’re in great shape. And I’m like, well, you know, I don’t think so because I have a hard time recovering and I wish I could perform better, uh, and have less muscle soreness and less fatigue and less this and less that. So, um, the, the variable of increasing your intake of nutritious foods, I think is relevant to a lot of people who want to turn all those dials up all the way.

Brad (00:27:14):
And I’m thinking of the interesting research about caloric expenditure, where some people are naturally more fidgety. So they’re tapping their leg all day long at their desk, which increases daily caloric expenditure by a shocking amount. I think it was like 600 extra calories per day, just from tapping and fidgeting. But in, in many cases, um, we’ve, we’ve completely ignored these parameters. And instead we look at the machine that we’re peddling on and it says you burned 642 calories. Congratulations. And then you can go to the menu at Jamba Juice and, uh, realize that the medium smoothie has 642 calories. And we’re still stuck in that mindset, even though we know better. I think it’s lingering in the back of our minds, especially as fitness enthusiast who are trying to be, uh, a little bit structured and strategic with our caloric intake. Um, we’re not making that extra effort that might possibly benefit us. Like you’re relating with a year long data intensive experiment. I’m glad you’re doing it. Cuz I’m, I’m, I’m too lazy, but I’ve been on my own experiment now at the seven week mark to consume a lot of additional daily calories and see how it’s affecting me and my body fat is exactly the same, so, um, there goes the, the iron clad constrained model.

Ryan (00:28:35):
Yeah. Yeah. And I, I think there, there is something here where I think I, I do agree and, and this is not anything new, like Pontzer is saying, you know, the body will start shutting some stuff down if it has to steal energy from somewhere else. Right. Um, you know, like this is, this has been a well known fact in, in the body building realm for a long time. Right? Like, look, I, I think I’ve heard Eric Helm’s, to say this a number of times, like when he gets super lean for his body building shows like he, he can feel his eyes he’s blinking, slow down. Like talking about like, just moving, like, it just, it’s hard to like blink your eyes when he’s like ready to get on stage, you know? And these people are like down like 3% body fat, you know, they’re, they’re, they’re really pushing the limits here and for sure, you know, things, you know, fidgeting goes down, but now we’re talking about like hormones going down and, and yeah, they have no desire to, to have, you know, any, their libidos gone, you know, everything and their body’s sending all the signals.

Ryan (00:29:42):
It possibly can for them to, to eat more food. Right. Um, and that for sure happens, right. I mean, when you start, the body’s gonna start stealing energy. If you’re not putting enough in the tank, it is gonna shut down the immune system. It’s gonna shut down your sex hormones, your thyroid. And, you know, I got to that point, like when I was hardcore keto, hardcore, you know, intermittent fasting, fasted workouts, you know, and then doing crazy obstacle course racing at the same time, I felt like absolute garbage. I was, I just felt crappy. And I wanted to eat all the food I possibly could all the time, you know, but I just thought that was what I had to do for health. Right. That’s that, that was, that was the path towards health. Right. Um, and, um, it did the opposite. Right. Um, and so what I don’t agree with is like, what we’re saying here is that when you start to give the body the energy, it needs that there is some fictional cap on the amount of energy that you can expend at that point.

Ryan (00:30:43):
Right. Um, clearly my body figured out how to burn the additional calories that I was eating over the past year. And I didn’t magically put on a bunch of body fat or, you know, whatnot. Right. Um, it, it burnt it, right. So I, I don’t think there’s this constrained model. And I think some of Pontzer’s latest research that has recently come out shows that that constrained model only comes into play when you’re not feeding the body when you are in an energy restricted state. Um, yeah. That, that cap comes into play because the body’s like, I can’t, there’s nothing else to give. You’re not giving me enough food. I can’t burn anymore. What are you gonna do? And so I think applying that research from the Hadza which is a hunter gatherer talk tribe, they’re probably in an energy restricted state because they have to physically gather and hunt all their food build their shelter.

Ryan (00:31:39):
Like they don’t, they’re not, you know, they’re not the average Western here. And then taking that to apply to an obese, you know, mostly obese, overweight, unhealthy Western society that is in a call surplus most of the time, obviously. Um, but also eating a bunch of garbage food, um, and telling them that, uh, you know, if, once you get to this magical threshold here, like, you know, it’s pointless to move anymore. I still think they should be moving as much as possible, right. They’re probably not even close to getting to that, that threshold anyways, the average person, right? They’re not even like they can just go out for a walk and they’ll, you know, they’re not even close. But telling them that, you know, is this magic threshold that they’re gonna get to. And all of a sudden the energy’s gonna go nowhere and, you know, doing anymore is, is useless. I think kind of sends the wrong message. I’d rather, you know, you move as much as you possibly can. um, I, I don’t think that movement’s an issue for the average person who’s unhealthy, but, uh, yeah, for the healthy athlete, you know, just more food, you know, is, is gonna do with the body. Good. I think for, for the average person,

Brad (00:32:47):
Let’s back up a little bit and discuss this constrained model further, for those who didn’t listen to the, the prior shows on the topic, uh, but it implies that, um, you’re gonna hit this calorie burning ceiling, no matter what you do. So if you go and do a vigorous workout and burn those 637 calories during your morning pedaling session, your body’s going to kick into an assortment of compensations to keep your calorie to calorie burning total the same at the end of the day. And some of those compensations are, uh, just moving more slowly, being a little more lazy, uh, and sluggish to protect against what’s perceived to be, it’s kind of a survival response, right? We can’t just go and go and go and, and burn all these calories. And then if we don’t eat them, you know, we’re gonna die.

Brad (00:33:40):
So we’re gonna, we’re gonna slow ourselves down because we’re burning calories during vigorous workouts. And that’s the constrained model, the additive model, which was previously believe. I mean, the additive model is what the fitness industry is based on where they’re giving you your smart watch or your smart exercise machine proudly reporting, how many calories you’ve burned and then, uh, making a correlation or trying to make a correlation in the consumer’s mind that this is the rate at which I’m going to drop excess body fat. So all, all the, the research is I think in agreement here that, um, that whole idea is nonsense. But the additive model, uh, is relevant in so many ways. And that’s what we were talking about, back and forth where, you know, I too had a problem with this open and shut, uh, idea that, uh, we’re gonna hit our calorie burning ceiling because I’ve had so much, uh, life experience to note that, for example, when I increase my training from level five to level seven, I, uh, drop excess body fat and I get leaner. And, that that’s, you know, something that’s, everyone could nod their head that are, uh, fitness enthusiast. So what’s going on there. And then in your case, making a devoted effort to eat more calories for an entire year and not adding excess body fat also transcends the constrained model and puts you into the additive model category on your side was, was eating and on, on another side is more exercise.

Ryan (00:35:14):
And I think, you know, you think about the person who’s also, you know, been super frustrated. They’re in this energy restricted state and they’re adding more exercise and they’re not seeing the scale go down. Right. And that maybe they’re running into that little bit, that, that constrained model, right. They’re sitting there like, you know, I, I don’t want to, I I’m trying to eat less food and I’m trying to add more exercise and nothing’s going on. Like my body, composition’s not changing, et cetera. You know, they might be hitting this constrained model, but, you know, Pontzer himself has come up with research shows once you get to maintenance or above, the constrained model starts to go away. All of a sudden the ad of model starts to take, take effect, right. And they do see you burn more calories as you increase your exercise.

Ryan (00:36:02):
So that person who’s trying to maybe lose a bit of body fat and why I, you know, like I brought up the example of my client before she’s eating more food, but yet lost more weight, um, is I think that you bring someone up to maintenance and also in the body starts to that exercise, caloric burn starts to, to effect. And now they’re gonna start to, to dip into caloric deficit again and drop some of that, that weight again. Right. Um, so yeah, I think, you know, for that person that might be frustrated or like, oh, I’m, I’m doing, you know, I’m, I’m eating my keto diet and I’m, I’m certainly in my caloric deficit, they’re, they’re like me tracking their food and blah, blah, blah. And, and, um, you know, they’re, they’re trying to add more exercise and they’re not seeing anything happen, no results. Um, you know, it might help to just, like I said, eat more, eat a little bit more food. It’s not gonna hurt. Um, and, uh, and, and see what happens then, right? I mean, you’re, you probably, you know, you might see a scale actually do what you’re trying to do, um, by eating more food. So, um, you know, I think that that constrained model exists, it’s just, it’s just not universally applied and across the, the board to everyone in all scenarios.

Brad (00:37:18):
Well, it seems like the entry point here is to eliminate the processed foods that don’t do you any favors to your metabolic and hormonal function. I think that’s the big message from a lot of, uh, energy balance podcast too, is that when we are consuming these foods that interfere with our own energy production, then we get into a tail spin where our appetites dysregulated we’re hungry for more food because we suck at burning our own body fat. And then we’re going to, going, especially for the quick energy, uh, quick energy processed foods that give us that boost because our, our brain’s, uh, feeling tired, feeling hungry, thinking that we’re starving, even though we’re carrying around a lot of excess body fat. So, uh, before anyone has the ambition to drop excess body fat, um, first you gotta get healthy. And the first checkpoint would be to ditch all those nutrient deficient processed foods, especially the refined industrial seed oils, which are now finally getting the attention as the, the single worst enemy in the diet.

Brad (00:38:28):
Uh, they interfere with your ability to burn stored body fat. And so, uh, when you can’t burn body fat, you’re going to be turning toward a lot of times processed foods to just make it through the day before you crash and burn. And when you’re not burning energy well, um, you don’t have the energy to go out there and exercise more and, reap the benefits of eating more nutritious foods. And there’s probably a lot of people somewhere in the, uh, in the gray zone here where they’re consuming, by and large, a mindful diet that has some nutritious foods, but they’re still allowing, uh, some of this stuff to leak into the picture. Um, the, the, um, uh, the metabolic inhibitors, like the seed oils, which are in so many processed foods, they’re in so many restaurant meals. So even an extremely clean eater, who’s diligent and disciplined, but likes to go and get takeout or go to a fine dining a couple nights a week is going to be loading up on these seed oils. And when those things linger into the picture, and you’re not good at metabolizing fuel nor stored energy, um, you’re not going to you, you’re not going to hit your goals.

Ryan (00:39:37):
Yeah. I think, you know, getting the, the, the big rocks in line first are, are critical before we even worry about any of this other stuff. Um, cause like you said, if your body’s not able to utilize the fuel that you are giving it or giving you’re putting in crappy fuel to utilize, um, where, you know, it’s a, it’s a non-starter right. So, um, you know, switching to a more ancestral based diet, whatever that looks like for you, whatever makes you feel good, you know, whether it’s more plants or less plants or more animal meats or more fish or whatever, like it, for me, I, I, I don’t really care about that. I just want you to feel good eating the way you’re eating. Um, but yeah, you know, eliminating as many processed foods, et cetera, um, that you, you know, that you possibly can outta your diet, um, you know, and it can be a process like the, it’s not, it’s not gonna be an overnight thing.

Ryan (00:40:33):
You know, you have to, it’s a habit change thing. It’s a lifestyle thing, you know, so these things take a lot of time to change, but addressing that type of stuff, addressing things like any kinda sleep issues, addressing gut health, you know, if you have some type of blood sugar issue addressing that stuff, like, you know, making sure that the, the big rocks are in play here so that you can then utilize the food that you’re putting into your body to, to do, to make your body do the things that you want to do is step number one, for sure like that’s that’s needs to be done.

Brad (00:41:09):
You mentioned a while back that you, uh, occasionally will fast, for example, on a day of jet travel when the, uh, the stress hormones are high and the, the digestive opportunity is inhibited by the, the inherent stress of, uh, traveling on a jet plane, uh, and other occasions. And I think this goes back to some of the comments that mark had, where you wanna develop this attribute of metabolic flexibility, where you can handle just about anything gracefully. And that includes, perhaps a, uh, a carbohydrate slam, uh, that came as a celebratory event or, or for whatever reason. And it also happens to include, uh, being able to fast or, you know, eat an, a ketogenic pattern for, uh, you know, as a reset exercise. Uh, like we talk about in the book where you’re going into this 21 day reset to kind of fine tune your metabolic function, if you’ve fallen off track and consuming too many processed foods, process carbohydrates, especially.

Brad (00:42:10):
Uh, so that makes sense because, uh, what Mark went on to explain is that, um, when I say, Hey, what about this, uh, this assertion that fasting turns on stress hormones, of course, that’s, um, it’s not an opinion. It’s true. And so, to respond to that, um, the idea is that, um, if you’re really good at fasting, it doesn’t turn on stress hormones to any negative extent. And it’s no, it’s not much stress for someone who’s highly metabolically flexible to go and perform a high intensity workout and fast afterward, and perhaps get these, um, uh, so-called hormetic benefits from the burst of adaptive hormones into the bloodstream. And then you’re fasting. So they’re lingering a bit longer. And then finally you do, um, uh, refuel yourself and ensure that you’re gonna recover for the next day. Ben Greenfield talks about this a lot, where he is getting what he calls the best of both worlds, because he banks a lot of hours fasted. He’ll do intense workouts when he is fasted.

Brad (00:43:13):
And then he’ll have these family celebratory evenings where they’re making all kinds of concoctions, and they’re consuming a lot of food, including a lot of carbohydrates, which helps him, you know, restock glycogen for the next day’s efforts and minimize the overall stress impact of all the things that we mentioned, the workout, the fasting period, uh, and so forth. And so I think that that feast or famine concept, of course, is highly ancestrally aligned and probably makes sense and has been working for a lot of people, especially that idea of like pairing your carbohydrates with your energy output. Liver King calls it, earning his carbs, and you’ll see his crazy videos on Instagram, where he is eating mass quantities of whatever it is, and including a lot of carbs after he’s done the crazy barbarian workout. So, um, that, that certainly makes sense. But as I finish this, uh, this diatribe here, we also have to compare and contrast with the stuff that Jay Feldman is saying, where, look, we’re still talking about the cumulative effect of an assortment of different stressors. And in many cases, these stressors having kind of the same pathway of starving the cells of energy, uh, in the idea of getting a fitness benefit or a health benefit like mitochondrial biogenesis.

Ryan (00:44:35):
Hmm. Yeah. And as you were speaking there about like my example of fasting if I’m on a plane or whatever. I think you can look at it as a balancing the stress spectrum, right. Because when I’m, when I have those days, yeah. I have this added stress of extended period of time without food, but I’m also not working out. I’m not moving. I’m pretty relaxed, probably watching a movie on a plane. Like my life is conversely on the whole, the aesthetic load of all the stressors in my life is actually kinda low. Like I added a little bit more stress there. That’s something I wouldn’t normally do. But for the most part everything’s kinda low. I might take a nap on the plane, you know, but I’ve never take a nap. I have two kids.

Ryan (00:45:21):
I don’t take a nap. Um, you know, so like you, you’re kind of balancing the total stress load to, to be on that side. And I think also your point about metabolic flexibility is, you know, this is another one of my favorite topics. I love to talk about this. I think that, um, lots of times people lose sight of like, like when, when you and Mark wrote the, The Keto Reset, like the whole goal. If you look at, if you read that book, uh, somewhere in there, Mark states, the goal of the keto reset has become metabolically flexible. It’s not to be keto for your entire life. It’s to go out and enjoy the piece of cake when it’s your birthday and the next day be no worse off for it. Like you’re not on a carb binge. You’re not, you know, you’re just right back to whatever your normal eating pattern is.

Ryan (00:46:15):
Whether you’re in ketosis or not, doesn’t really matter. You’ve improved your health, you’ve improved your resiliency. And this is just the average day person, right? Like the goal is to be able to eat carbohydrates and not be any worse off for it, right. It shouldn’t be a piece of cake every day, right. We’re talking about, you know, whole food carbohydrates for the most part, but you should be able to eat those things and not be any worse off for it. It’s not to be fasting keto, you know, super restrictive all the time. It’s to give you more flex flexibility in your diet to expand your, the amount of food that you’re eating. And I think people lose sight of that all the time. Um, and I think everyone’s goal should be to eat the widest range of food that they possibly can. Um, and I think metabolic flexibility gets you to that, that point.

Ryan (00:47:07):
Um, yeah. And I also think that the athletes don’t realize how much their exercise, uh, gives them that Metabolic flexibility that they, they, they can, the, the carbohydrates that they eat are being utilized even like, you know, we talk about like, oh, you eat carbohydrates and insulin goes up and that’s, you know, a problem itself. And I have an issue with that bottle as well, but like when you’re in exercising and you’re physically exerting your muscles, the carbohydrates that eat doesn’t even require insulin to get into your muscles afterwards, like your insulin doesn’t even go up, you know, , your bit of all flexibility is even more. And the more muscle mass you have, the bigger sync for carbohydrates you have, right? So you’re an athlete. You have a lot, you know, you’re lean, you have a good amount of muscle in your body.

Ryan (00:47:55):
Like that is the biggest store of carbohydrates in your body. And you should be able to consume nutritious whole food carbohydrates because simply because you’re active, plus you have all that muscle. Right. Um, so I, I prefer gaining metabolic flexibility over at, uh, by, by increasing activity and building muscle mass, as opposed to trying to get there via restriction, you know, carbohydrate restriction, fasting and all that stuff, because that restriction model leads people to a mindset. That’s like, you know, they can’t have these foods. And when you start to go down that, that, that path and people, you know, they have, they eventually want the food and that’s where the binge comes in. And then they quote unquote, fall off the wagon and blah, blah, blah. So this restriction mindset is a commute issue. A lot of times for people, whereas the abundance mindset where I have the muscle mass I’ve, I’ve worked out today, I can, you know, eat my, earn my carbs or whatever. Um, I can eat that food and not be any worse off for it is a much better mindset to be in as like just a human in, in the modern food environment.

Brad (00:49:04):
Yeah, well said. I mean, that’s going to promote longevity, um, perhaps in a superior, not perhaps, I will assert that, uh, being a more active fit person carrying around functional muscle mass is going to have a longer, uh, more superior health span to someone who’s, uh, tweaking around with diet, their whole life being minimally active, uh, but still getting a, an oppressive level of metabolic flexibility by, uh, staying in keto for years and years, or doing a lot of fasting and going to the seven day fasting retreats and all the things that, uh, extreme enthusiasts are doing. They’re certainly getting to that point, but I’m referencing back, uh, 30 plus years ago when I was an extremely hard training triathlete and consuming massive amounts of fuel every single day, including massive amounts of carbohydrates, including processed carbohydrates, cuz that’s what we had to do to get through the hours.

Brad (00:49:58):
But I still had metabolic flexibility. And I remember Johnny G my training partner challenging me one time, uh, to ride a hundred miles on no fuel. So we, we had water and we easily did it. And of course probably ate a lot of food for the rest of that day. Uh, but it showed that I had these attributes that we talk about accessing through extreme carbohydrate restriction and dietary obsession today. There’s different, and alternative pathways there that might arguably, uh, be, you know, the secret to kind of getting out of these ruts that a lot of people are reporting, including your clients and, and yourself and myself.

Ryan (00:50:35):
Yeah. And two points there. So you bring up two very good things. Just made me think about this. And I think you and Jay touched on this point as well, but if you’re trying to goose the metabolic flexibility, uh, you know, uh, situation by restricting carbohydrates, if that that works to some degree, but only to a point, because at some point, your body’s going to say, well, this person’s not eating carbohydrates anymore. I, I don’t really need to deal with them. And you’re making yourself less metabolically flexible because the next time you have carbohydrates, it’s gonna be like, well, I don’t know what to do with these things. , you know, you’re gonna see this, you’re gonna get this, uh, physiological insulin resistance type of situation where it’s like, I don’t handle carbohydrates really well. You know, my blood sugar goes up when I have a strawberry, that type of thing.

Ryan (00:51:21):
And it’s because your body’s really smart. It’s like, you know, these, these there’s enzymes and stuff involved and in, and processing the carbohydrates and hits your blood shirt in your blood and all that other stuff. And if it’s, if the, if that stuff’s no longer needed, because you’re not, you haven’t had a, a, a carbohydrate in six months, it’s not gonna produce those enzymes anymore. It’s like, eh, I don’t really need this anymore. I’m gonna, you know, turn this, this thing off. And now all of a sudden, you start to, you have a carbohydrate and you’re like, oh my God, you have that, that crash. Right. Um, or you see your blood sugar go way outta line. They’re like, ah, I can’t handle a carbohydrates. Well, maybe you can, but you just haven’t eaten a carbohydrate in six months. And so now you’re like less metabolically, flexible, flexible.

Ryan (00:52:03):
If you were than if you were just having a more mixed diet. Um, so’s, that’s one thing I, I wanted to bring up on the metabolic flexibility point. And the other thing that I think people get afraid of too, is like, oh, you know, especially the athletes in the low carb space are like, oh, I wanna, I want to burn fat. I wanna burn fat. I wanna burn fat. You know, it’s, it’s the best fuel for, for my athletic performance. Yes. I, I think that you should be able to burn fat, you know, at, at, at certain heart rate ranges, et cetera. But when it’s time to put the pedal to the metal, there’s no doubt that carbohydrates are to the superior fuel. And if your body can’t tap into that, when you’re trying to go hard, that’s a problem. Right. Um, and it also, you do not lose the ability to burn fat.

Ryan (00:52:52):
Once you start eating carbohydrates like that just, it doesn’t happen. Like it, it is not like it’s on and off switch. Right. Um, I have behind me, my messy desk behind me, I have a metabolic cart metabolic cart. I’ve strapped that thing to my face and gotten on the rower and done a whole bunch of tests, uncomfortable VO, two max tests, et cetera. And I watched my fat burning and my carbohydrate burning, et cetera. And I’ve done RMR tests, et cetera. I’ve consumed close to 400 grams of carbohydrate night before woken up the next, not in over the day before woke up the next morning, did an RMR test, measured the amount of fat and carbs. I was burning first thing in the morning, fasted then burning between 70 to 80% fat, right? Like that’s a sign of a metabolically flexible person. Right.

Ryan (00:53:40):
And it’s because I utilize those carbohydrates fine. I have physically active metabolically, flexible, et cetera. Like if you’re an athlete and you’re, you’re pushing the limit, you know, like you should not have a problem. Um, the fat burning is not gonna shut off overnight because you had some carbohydrates night before. Like it’s, it’s, it’s still there. I it’s still go for fast. It runs in the morning if I want to for multiple hours. Right. It’s, it’s still there. It’s still there when you need it. Um, and I think like the elite athletes prove that, right? I mean, yeah,

Ryan (00:54:13):
They eat, like you said, like you like yourself, like you, you can, when one called for that, that fat burning ability is still there. And that’s a sign of a healthy metabolism.

Brad (00:54:23):
I’m so glad it’s proven by the data nerd. Irrefutably when you’re, you’re strapping up to the carb, people. And if that science is, is going over your head, that’s fine. Just, just take his word for it that, um, you, you know, you, you can take a take, take some variability here and then, uh, in, in a certain category of, of person. Um, and I’m becoming convinced that, um, that includes includes myself. Um, I, I probably don’t need to mess with any hormetic stressors in the category of diet because I’m already pushing myself hard enough with my workouts. And for example, I’m looking at my recent blood work, triglycerides were 27. Um, that’s in the healthy range of under a hundred.

Ryan (00:55:07):
Too low.

Brad (00:55:08):
Yeah. But some people would argue, maybe you have an opinion on that, uh, that it’s too low. Chris Kelly told me that from nourish, balance, thrive. He goes, that’s too low. And so, yeah, arguably, um, I’m gonna be perhaps considering consuming more sugar to bump up my triglycerides. I’m not talking about a lot of people here, but it’s an illustrative example of someone who I’m trying to optimize. And my triglycerides are ridiculously low rather than just heart healthy.

Ryan (00:55:34):
Yeah. I, the, as much as people think that, you know, lower is better, I think like if you look at your standard blood panel and it looks like the range is like for triglycerides is like zero to whatever a hundred is a healthy range. Like zero is not good , you know, and I’m gonna, I’m gonna channel my inner, uh, you know, Chris Kelly and Dr. Tommy Wood and say, yeah, that that’s probably a sure sign that you need to eat more food cause yeah. It’s I think, I think I’ve heard Tommy say, I, I can’t remember off the top of my head. I, I think it’s like 50 milligrams per deciliter or lower or in that range, I think, uh, then that’s kind of like, you know, it kind of looks like you probably want to eat a little bit more food, um, uh, in that range. So 27 is like super low. Yeah.

Brad (00:56:24):
Uh, and just for reference, like we’re often told, the goal is getting under one 50 for heart disease, risk factor, um, management, Dr. Ron Sinha and others are asserting that really, you wanna strive to be under a hundred, rather than 150, that’s a little bit too much leeway. Um, and then you want to, uh, compare that ratio of triglycerides to HDL as what’s now being, asserted as the single best tracking, um, single best numbers to track for heart disease, risk factor, or lack of one, and striving to get that ratio somewhere near one to one is ideal. In other words, triglycerides and HDL are similar. And, um, uh, the there’s an urgent need on the other side to get under 3.5 to one, uh, otherwise you’re in that high risk factor. So that implies that your, your Trigs are over one 50.

Brad (00:57:21):
And if your HDLs under 40, that’s known as a risk factor for metabolic syndrome as well. How do you raise HDL? Through exercise and through eating more saturated fat? So, yeah. Um, if, if I’m way below one to one, cuz my HDLs up there 60 or 70 or something. Um, yeah it’s I got the, I got the okay to go and do further dietary experimentation, but I think a lot of people are stuck in this middle ground and I was one of them just like you wrote me, you were one of them too, where, um, look, I don’t want to, I don’t want to gain excess body fat. Uh, I have a, I have a podcast episode where I talk about my obligation to drop excess body fat, cuz I allowed things to get outta hand and I, you know, I, I wasn’t at my competitive weight anymore. And so I had to kick into gear, these tools like, uh, fasting and carb restriction and all manner of, of tricks and, and strategies to, to get that fat off my body. Um, but I think then, um, then we gotta go for performance optimization and not fool around with anything. That’s gonna turn down one of those dials.

Ryan (00:58:28):
Yeah. I think is, is definitely a balance like there there’s there’s this U-shaped curve in almost everything, right? Like too little, not so good, like too much, very bad. Right. And it applies to HDL applies to our waistlines . It applies to your body fat percentage, et cetera. Right. Um, it’s also interesting. I think, you know, to look at certainly track this stuff, right? Like, uh, like this is why I like to track these things because I love the data to see, you know, to tie what I’m doing, what I’m, what I’m doing in the gym, what I’m doing with my diet and, and how it’s changing my blood markers and my metabolic flexibility and you know, my blood sugar and stuff. I wore CGM for a few months. And again, like, yeah, it’s an eye opening experience cuz I strapped that CGM to me and I could not, I, I tried my hardest to make my blood sugar like go high and it, it would not happen.

Ryan (00:59:25):
Like literally, you know, I don’t, I don’t advocate doing this, but my, my good buddy, Dr. Mike 10 Nelson, he’s my coach. And he is like, Hey, you know, just try this for me. We’re not gonna do it all the time. But you know, try this for me. He’s like eat two pop tarts, just like eat two pop tarts and see what happens. I was like, all right, the worst possible scenario I could possibly be in sitting on the couch at night in front of the TV, not doing anything, I eat the two pop tarts and the thing didn’t even go over 110. And I was like,

Brad (00:59:56):
oh my God. ,

Ryan (00:59:58):
You know, like, so, but you know, without that data or like knowing that you might thinking like that’s the worst scenario ever, but maybe not right. I mean, I’m not saying that you should eat pop tars all the time, not well, but like it shows that you have the capability to consume maybe a banana every once in a while and not be any worse off for. Right. Um, so yeah, there’s a, there’s this U-shaped curve to everything. And I think, you know, when you start to fiddle with these things and increase your diet and, and, and you know, to see the triglycerides go up or your testosterone grow up or your thyroid go up or whatever, right. Whatever that marker is something to track the progress in the right direction, um, is a good thing to have. Right. It gives you confidence that you’re, you’re going in the right direction and things.

Brad (01:00:44):
Yeah. I noticed the same thing with a few separate two week bursts with the CGM. Right. That’s how long the sensor lasts. So, um, for those of you interested in trying it out, um, you, you put it on your arm and it stays there for two weeks, day in night with a little patch over it to protect it and they have all your data points and the same thing for me, like I, I finally, um, kind of got bored using it because nothing would, would budge my, my blood glucose I didn’t try the two Poptarts thing, but oh yeah. Yeah. One thing that, um, was, uh, illuminating that Jay Feldman said was that if you do report these experiences of feeling crashed out after consuming carbs, there’s some really compelling, uh, reasons for it. One of ’em was unmasking your reliance on stress hormones.

Brad (01:01:36):
And so I’ve had times where, you know, I’ve fasted for an impressively long time. And finally at one or 2:00 PM, I slam the big meal and I kind of crash and burn afterward. And I’m like, wow, I guess, uh, you know, I had too many carbs or whatever my, my first impulse was. But in fact it could be, um, that finally I’m getting the fuel. I need, especially as an athlete who burned a lot of calories and now is getting into this, uh, situation where I’m turning down the dials, then I get the nutrition I need. And there, therefore I can, um, you know, turn off that fight or flight mechanism that was getting me through my busy, productive morning. And that one is highly disturbing to me because again, I do not want to go and tap into stress hormones to an excess.

Brad (01:02:19):
This is back to, uh, the conversation I had with Sisson and I’m arguing my point strongly. And he says, absolutely, that’s true. Uh, by the way, it’s no trouble for me. Mark’s talking now to fast until 1:00 PM every single day, because his body is highly trained to be a closed loop system, including putting up some impressive numbers at the gym. And so I think there’s some individuality here and there’s some trainability to this as well. Yeah. Um, but I’m thinking of now this Ironman guy Blummenfelt from Norway, he’s most sensational athlete, uh, Olympic gold medalist just shattered the world record at the Ironman distance. And he’s going so fast for the duration of the Ironman he’s doing in seven hours, 20 minutes, uh, that he’s up there in the carb burning zone because he is running a 02:30 marathon off a bike ride where he is going 27 or 28 miles an hour. And so, you know, we have this fascination with becoming a fat adapted endurance athlete, so we can go and go and go all day. And here’s a guy going all day. Who’s not only fat adapted, but he’s absolutely carbohydrated adapted and probably slamming a lot of carbs during these performances. Sure. Otherwise, I don’t know how he could do it.

Ryan (01:03:30):
Yeah. Yeah. And I, I, I listened to your, um, your podcast. I can’t remember her name, um, the Food of God’s podcast.

Brad (01:03:38):
Yeah. Lindsay Berra. Yeah.

Ryan (01:03:39):
Yeah. And, you know, she was saying, you know, how, how these, the, these elite athletes, they they’re have a more balanced approach, their diet, they’re not, they’re not, you know, either keto or fasting or blah, blah. There was one hockey player. I think she said that that was kind of into the intermittent fasting. For the most part. Everyone had a very balanced whole foods type of diet and yeah. But they’re, they’re eating carbohydrates like that. They are. And it’s probably a large amount of them. It’s probably more than the average person needs to eat because, you know, et cetera, they’re, they’re doing what you’re saying. They’re doing UN unrealistic human feats. Like these are professional athletes here. Um, but, um, yeah, it’s, it’s when you get to that echelon of like, you’re at the top of your game, like there, you know, unless you’re, you know, an ultra endurance, like we see Zach Bitter and he gets brought up a lot. And like when you’re at that end of the spectrum, you know, it probably is more beneficial to like to be very much fat dependent and not eat a lot of carbs and to go out and run a hundred miles. But even he eats carbohydrates. Like we know he does, like he said it before, you know, when he gets into those hard training blocks or in the races race time, you know, he does eat carbohydrates.

Brad (01:04:50):
Oh, it’s not. Yeah. He had his,

Ryan (01:04:52):
It’s not, not a lot, but he does.

Brad (01:04:53):
He published his diary of everything he consumed during his first a hundred mile world record, uh, years ago, he’s beat it, um, in recent years. But, um, you can go read on his blog and it was like half a Mountain Dew, two Oreos, some licorice, an energy bar, a sandwich, you know, it’s like, whatever’s just thrown at his face. And then he is off running, six minute and 46 pace for a hundred miles. But yeah, those extreme endurance performances are gonna be prioritizing fat metabolism. But I think most people out there, especially, you know, your clientele, someone running a half marathon, you’re burning a lot of, you’re burning a lot of carbs when you’re running at whatever pace, you know, you, you’re competitive at, um, it’s, it’s not this, uh, all day, you know, seven day hike through the Appalachians where, um, that’s a different athletic event than what most people are doing.

Ryan (01:05:46):
Yeah, for sure. And I, and I think, and if, if you want to go out there and run a very easy pace and take your time and do the marathon and in five hours and blah, blah, blah, and you wanna do it fasted and low carb or whatever fine. But like lots of my clients are, they’re like, I have a time goal. I want to beat this. You know, I wanna run this pace and to get for them, you know, they’re, they’re not an elite athlete, but for them to run that pace, maybe it’s a, maybe it is a four hour marathon or whatever, right. Or a two hour, half marathon, wherever it’s, we’re not talking elite level paces. But for them, that is a hard effort, right. That is, that is requiring carbohydrates. Their body is burning through carbohydrates. And so they need to fuel that activity for them. And that requires carbohydrates, right. That pace for

Brad (01:06:35):
Well, so does their brain, I mean, yeah, your busy day in the office, you you’re, you’re the most ravenous organ in the body burning 20% of all our energy in the brain, which relies exclusively on glucose, unless you, uh, transition it over to, to keytones. It also burns a little bit of lactate, but we have an incredible need for carbohydrates all day long when we’re sitting at our desk.

Ryan (01:06:56):
Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, I, I’ve never felt as exhausted as I have sometimes after I get done, like giving a presentation or something like that, that’s super mentally intensive, you know, um, you know, stressful situation. Like I’ve never felt as exhausted as I, as I’ve, I’ve felt after that. Like very few physically, you know, physical times maybe when I’ve gone, like, you know, did my, my ultra, I, I, I felt a little bit more tired after that, but other than that, like, you know, sometimes your mental performance is just as far as your physical performance and for sure you’re using carbohydrates and, and burning through, um, you know, stuff like that. And, um, you know, I, how many people get done with a tough day of work, it just wanna binge on whatever. Right. Mm. And probably because they haven’t fueled their body properly throughout the day.

Ryan (01:07:45):
You know, I can’t tell you, the number of clients are like, oh, you know, I have no problem fasting. I’m not hungry all day long, but as soon as I start making dinner well now, while the snacks start coming out of the, the cabinets and I’m grabbing, I’m taking a spoon full of this and I’m eating that. And I’ve, they’ve probably eaten like several hundreds of calories of snacks before they even got into their dinner. And, um, I think that’s just a lot of time of just like restrict, restrict, restrict all day long. And then finally you get to a point where your, your brain is like, okay, I’m done working and now, oh, I’m I just realized I’m super hungry. I haven’t eaten all day. You know, let me grab everything sight, you know? Um, so a lot of the times I’m encouraging my clients, especially the athletes to be like, let’s stop, take a, take a break during your day in your work day, you know, just do what you’re doing.

Ryan (01:08:31):
Finish it, go eat, like, eat a meal. Like I don’t even care if you’re hungry. Like, you know, if you can get something down, let’s, let’s eat something here. Um, just so you don’t get to that point at the end of the day, after your long work day after your workout, blah, blah, blah. And you haven’t eaten anything. And now you’re just your brain finally realizes I have now no energy, please feed me. And now you’re then the, the Ben and Jerry’s is coming out the, the freezer. Right. And that eating the foods that we don’t want that have that bad energy , you know, um, it’s not gonna make you feel good. So, yeah, that’s, that’s definitely a thing as well.

Brad (01:09:06):
Geez. I think we we’ve made some progress here today, Ryan, thank you so much for taking the time and especially throwing in those real life examples of the data nerd on the metabolic cart, showing us for a year of additional caloric intake to the tune of 700 calories a day, and still looking lean and mean under that under that 10% body fat. Did you hear John Jaquish’s comments on that? On, on Instagram, he was saying how, um, it’s like only one percent of, uh, American males are, are under the, the one percentile is, is 10% or below in body fat.

Ryan (01:09:41):
Oh, I didn’t know

Brad (01:09:42):
That. And he was saying like, that is pretty pathetic. So whatever we’re doing in the fitness scene, and he, he’s talking about, you know, hard training dudes who are really trying hard to get their, uh, get their supplements, lined up, get their diet, but only 1% of us are under 10% body fat because we gotta look, you know, gotta look at different training methods and different dietary strategies cuz something’s not working.

Ryan (01:10:04):
Yeah. I will also say that I have managed to add, uh, I’ve I’ve done these DXA scan for five consecutive years. Every year. I’ve managed to add more bone mineral density, uh, to my body. I’ve increased that every year. Um, and I have, it was UN I had unmeasurable visceral fat this time, uh, zero visceral fat on my body. Um, according to the DXA scan, I’m sure there’s probably some there that just can’t detect it, but it’s that, it’s that low that came back with zero visceral fat. So yeah, I, I eat a bunch of carbohydrates and a lot of food and have zero visceral fat and managed. Maybe that’s where all the calories went to, to increasing my bone mass, which I’ll take from a longevity longevity perspective. I’ll meet that when I’m, you know, 80 years old.

Brad (01:10:47):
incredible. How can we connect further with you and, uh, look for that video of the, the client that lost 10 pounds from eating more food and so forth.

Ryan (01:10:57):
Yeah, absolutely. The, the best place to go is my website. RJB health.coach. It’s not.com it’s dot coach. Um, from there you can check out all my blog posts, including the blog posts with the client, um, there, that, that, that the have the, the marathon, the half marathon. And, and it was, I was mentioning earlier, um, as well as right at the top of my page, there’s a link to, uh, sign up for my newsletter. Um, so click that and can your email address, and then I only send, I don’t spam you with advertisements or anything like that. Purely just content, you know, blog, posts, videos, stuff like that, that everyone should find useful and actionable, um, that they can incorporate into their life. Uh, if you are on social media, you can check out, check me out at, uh, RJB health coaching on Instagram and, and Facebook. Um, and if you wanna follow all my personal stuff, like my lists and training and stuff like that, you can find me at Ryan, Jason Baxter on Instagram.

Brad (01:11:57):
Wow. High tech man, way to connect. Thank you for listening to everybody. Thank you, Ryan Baxter, da da. Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please. Email podcast, Brad ventures.com with feedback, suggestions and questions for the Q and A shows. Subscribe to our email list@bradkearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email list. And if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with apple podcasts or wherever else, you listen to the shows that would be super, incredibly awesome. It helps raise the profile of the B.rad podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called overcast allows you to actually record a sound bite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and remember B.rad.




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