After discussing the importance of getting healthy first before contemplating fat reduction goals, this show addresses the big issue of the day: how does a healthy, active, fit individual with ambitious performance optimize eating.
In particular, how closely do we need to align with “ancestral” health practices like fasting or keto in hectic, high stress modern life? I’ll talk about the concept of “redundant pathways,” where we obtain similar benefits like autophagy (natural internal cellular detoxification process) through the pathways of fasting or intense exercise.
We’ll also explain with expert support how fasting and restrictive diets are most beneficial to those with metabolic damage, and less beneficial and potentially risky (of overstressing the organism and prompting undesirable compensatory slowdowns of metabolic, hormonal, or immune function) to active, fit specimens—especially females.
Finally, we quote Primal Health Coach and former podcast guest Ryan Baxter as he provides details on the constrained model of energy expenditure, including new research suggesting the constrained model only applies when you exist in an energy deficit (like a hunter-gatherer), while the additive model (exercise more, burn more calories, get leaner) is more relevant when we have an energy surplus.
Restrictive diets work because of what they eliminate rather than the magical powers of engaging in a specific eating pattern. Get healthy first. [02:43]
Dr. Paul Saladino promotes roots, seeds, stems and leaves. Watch out for plant toxins. [04:53]
Restrictive diets benefit most those folks who have the most metabolic damage. [08:02]
Can we eat too much protein? [11:40]
Dr. Tommy Wood recommends that you eat as much nutritious food as possible, of course, along with moving frequently. [17:02]
Females respond differently to fasting, carb restriction, calorie restriction, and time-restricted feeding than males do. [22:56]
Lindsay Berra reports that there are almost no incidences of restrictive dieting among elite athletes. [26:09]
Whatever direction your food intakes takes, the bottom line is to keep moving and enjoy life. [30:53]
When in positive energy balance, when you have enough calories, the relationship between your energy expenditure and your physical activity is additive. [35:19]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- Mike Mutzel on fasting
- Ryan Baxter podcast
- Gabby Reece podcast
- My Foot is Too Big for the Glass Slipper
- The Paleo Thyroid Solution
- Lindsay Berra podcast
- The Paleo Diet Book
- Dr. Herman Pontzer Podcast (Energy Expenditure)
- “If you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein.” (Wolf)
- “Eat as much nutritious food as possible.” (Wood)
- “Reproduction, repair, growth, and locomotion are a zero-sum game.” (Pontzer)
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Okay. Let’s call this Dialing in Your Eating and Exercise Patterns for fat reduction for peak performance, with particular reflections and expert insights on this ongoing theme of energy balance. And calling into question some of the foundational principles of fasting, low carb, keto, and other restrictive diets. We’ve talked so much about this, and I really wanna do a show here to give you some marching orders and get you focused, but also hearing from, uh, a number of respected voices in the progressive health community. So we can help sort through some of these insights and perhaps work through some of the confusion when we’re talking about, uh, calling into question, these things that have long been assumed like fasting is so wonderful, your body works best in a fasted state. All these things are highly valid, all the wonderful benefits of the ketogenic diet and the amazing health transformations people have had pursuing restrictive diets and healing from things like leaky gut, but zooming back out for a bit to look at that big picture, especially for a healthy fit active person who harbors competitive goals, fitness goals, and those longevity goals that come from being a fit specimen with functional muscle mass and cardiovascular conditioning and all that.
So in part one, we talked about why restrictive diets are effective and it’s largely because of their restrictiveness, restricting you from free and undisciplined access to, uh, all manner of food all the time. Uh, but mainly the restrictive diets work because of what they eliminate rather than the magical powers of engaging in a plant-based eating pattern or a carnivore eating pattern or a ketogenic eating pattern. So when you kind of get focused in, build some momentum, some motivation and decide to embark upon a restrictive diet, you are by definition eliminating these, uh, very harmful, uh, hyper palatable, heavily processed foods that hamper internal energy production or energy burning. And when you are dosing yourself with toxins chemicals, things that harm the gut, things that promote inflammation, autoimmune, and oxidation and inflammation in the body, uh, you become a poor energy burning machine and therefore default to consumption of more processed foods that give you that quick burst of energy.
But then eventually, um, you know, you get into a fat storage pattern. We’ve often called this the carbohydrate insulin model of obesity. And now it’s widely regarded as a bigger picture than that, especially with the refined industrial seed oils, playing center stage, being the most offensive thing to eat when it comes to hampering your ability to burn, uh, stored energy and generate cellular energy. Okay. So the big takeaway from that last episode was to get healthy first before you contemplate fat reduction goals. And that is primarily initiated by getting rid of the processed foods, the refined industrial seed oils and the refined carbohydrates, sugars and grains. And then that new category that’s of great attention for many sensitive people is try an illumination period of the natural plant toxins, including the foods that are widely regarded to be the health center pieces of the modern diet.
So the categories that, uh, Dr. Paul Saladino promotes roots, seeds, stems, and leaves, these are likely to be offenders if you are sensitive. So your spinach and kale smoothie and your stir fry and your salad, and perhaps you’re handful of this nuts are that nuts, these could be causing problems, and that’s why we wanna make sure, uh, that we can tolerate certain foods that we can thrive with certain foods and nothing escapes scrutiny. And that’s a very important point I’d like to make, because I’ve spent so much time and energy communicating the boiler plate idea that the beautiful colorful produce of the planet should be is the recommended dietary centerpiece. We talked about in The Primal Blueprint and the older books that the plant life should be the bulk of your diet should take up the most room on the plate.
And then of course, the nutrient dense, uh, sustainably raised animal foods would have the most caloric density and the most nutrition. But now, uh, Dr. Saladino has made an excellent case to the idea that these, uh, beautiful green produce, uh, foods, uh, may not be necessary to consume and might even be harmful. But again, it’s highly personalized and individualized. So you want to test and retest and evaluate for yourself.But this idea was enough for me to make a lifelong, what I believe to be a lifelong shift toward an animal based diet acknowledging and confirming that these are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet by and large. And then when it comes to getting nutritious carbohydrates, I am favoring the least defensive, the ones that have the lowest levels of plant toxins, which would be like fruit, honey, the root vegetables, sweet potatoes, and squash, recent point made by Jay Feldman that you wanna peel the skins off because those have the most concentrated toxins, what little toxins there are in those root vegetables.
So good stuff I’m doing that. Of course don’t forget avocados, cucumbers, and, things that we don’t usually consider, uh, to be fruits. Those are fruits very easy to digest, very nutritious. I’m also putting, uh, personally in my category, dark chocolate because I seem to tolerate it well because I eat a ton of it. It tastes good. It’s a great indulgence, and it’s a great snack. Fermented foods would also be in this category because those, uh, make digestion much easier. So all the, uh, Kefir, kimchi ,kombucha, mesonato, all those pickles, sauerkraut, Tempe, uh, high probiotic, nourishing, healthy gut bacteria, and free from the concerns and objections with the offensive plant food categories. And of course I have the macadamia nut butter on the list as well. Uh, because again, I enjoy it. I tolerate it. It’s a very, uh, nutrient dense snack.
But that’s in the, uh, one of the categories that’s potentially offensive. And we know that because so many people report nut allergies. So there’s the quick overview of getting healthy first and emphasizing nutritious foods and avoiding those problematic, heavily processed modern foods.
And now it is time to go deep into numerous reflections on the energy balance concept as I consulted with numerous experts, as well as hearing from ordinary listeners of the show that made wonderful points. And so here’s the question is how do we dial in our eating and our exercise, of course, as well, if you are already healthy, active, athletic, have peak performance goals, and of course, might have a bit of body composition goals in there too, that you want to finish off, you know, get the final, the final touches done lose that last five pounds or last 10 pounds.
So, as I propose many times, um, with the awakening coming from my interviews with Jay Feldman and my reflections afterward, do we need to engage in fasting carbohydrate restriction, time, restricted eating and other, restrictive strategies to obtain these vaunted health benefits? Or do we have redundant pathways where we get the same benefits that we get from fasting when we are burning up cellular energy during a workout? And the answer is unequivocally. Yes. So these redundant pathways exist and you engage in autophogy during a workout just as you do during an extended fast. I’m gonna bring up Mike Mutzel shortly metabolic Mike, popular YouTuber and podcaster, uh, with various scientifically rigorous shows and presentations with great experts and a lot of his own, uh, teaching content. He just published a recent video on YouTube called why I’m not fasting and why I’m doing this instead.
And he goes into this same big picture of who needs to fast, who can stand to benefit most from fasting and who might want to second guess it. Excellent content. I wanna direct you to watch that video and reflect, but, uh, generally or quickly, those who stand to benefit the most from restrictive diets are those with the most metabolic damage. So the ketogenic diet on morbidly obese hospital patient is going to work wonders, uh, just as, as someone who’s gone from, uh, unrestricted unregulated eating habits, and is now going into a 16, eight, fasting pattern or a two meals a day pattern, uh, and so forth is going to report wonderful benefits. But we’re going, uh, on this show, especially focusing on the active athletic person and whether these redundant pathways can possibly turn into an overly stressful experience.
This was my slap in the face from the first interview I heard with Jay Feldman and Ben Greenfield when he said, fasting turns on stress, hormones, keto turns on stress hormones, low carb, restricted dieting time, restricted feeding. And this is indeed the mechanism by which they provide the benefits. Of course this is obvious, this is undisputed. but for me, I didn’t, I failed to appreciate the significance of that when I’m looking at all these other stress factors in my life. So we’re thinking intense workout, and we’re thinking fasting on the same category, the same scale, and then therefore, proceeding with caution if we’re doing a lot of that. So, with most of the benefits, uh, uh, conferred to the metabolically, damaged, inactive, and process food eating population, what about those of us who are diligently consuming, healthy, nutritious foods?
Okay. Robb Wolf weighs in very well on our interview where he said he’s no longer concerned at all with the previously communicated dangers of consuming excess protein. And I think this really started when the keto diet took on popularity. And it was learned that if you consume a lot of protein, remember you’re cutting your carbs back to 50 grams a day to be keto. But if you load up on protein, you also sort of inhibit the production of ketones in the liver. Um, especially when, uh, in some cases, if you’re really restricting carbs and consuming a lot of protein, you’re going to trigger glucose neogenesis, that’s the conversion of amino acids into glucose to provide for your energy needs. And so, therefore if you have enough glucose via glucose neogenesis, uh, you are going to, uh, not have the highest requirement for ketones.
And so people were saying, Hey, definitely cut your carbs and watch your protein, keep your protein low. And so then you’re going into this high fat diet. I was ridiculed as the bacon and butter diet because there were thumbs up for any kind of fat and stuff in your face with fat all day long. And then you’re in the keto club. And that was really disturbing to myself and Mark Sisson having put out one of the first and most comprehensive books. And now we’re seeing keto on all kinds of packaged, processed, junk food, essentially, but it didn’t have the it didn’t have the carbs, so you could put keto on it, or it had the net carbs taken down, uh, through inclusion of other, uh, questionable agents into the food. So, um, now Robb is no longer concerned with the dangers of consuming excess protein, and so many other people are echoing this message that our body can do pretty well.
And whenever you may have heard about boy, your kidneys are gonna get thrashed or your liver’s gonna be overloaded, with excreting all this extra nitrogen, um, these concerns are probably tied to, uh, studies on unfit population or other confounding variables that reduce the, uh, the significance of the message. Furthermore, protein has extremely high satiety factor. And so it’s very difficult to consume protein to excess, to where you’re getting yourself into a health challenge, right? Everyone, raise your hand and reference the number of times that you have eaten too many steaks or too many omelets or too many eggs like Cool Hand Luke in the movie, not really that relevant because after you eat a significant high protein meal, you’re not going to be wandering around an hour later, looking for more. another cut of salmon after you had a wonderful dinner, uh, in contrast, think of the nutrient deficient, hyper palatable, modern processed foods, the ice cream, the cheesecake, the potato chips, all the stuff that we nibble on and graze on, and then go reach for more and then some more after that, and then some more, and pretty soon we’ve eaten the whole bag or the whole tub.
And that’s because these things don’t provide that satiety that a truly nutrient dense food does. You’ve heard me talk about the protein lever theory, nicely communicated by Dr. Ted Naiman on our interview, where he contends and cite the research that we have this deep, intense biological drive to consume sufficient protein, on average, through day to day consumption. Not exactly every single day, but we are highly calibrated to go and get enough protein from our food to survive and to thrive. And so, uh, the protein lever theory contends that our appetite is going to be directly tied to the amount of protein we consume. And if we consume minimal protein, we are going to be driven and stimulated to consume more and more potato chips and ice cream and cheesecake. Those are some examples that have very low protein, uh, content, and we’re gonna keep eating those in a desperate and futile attempt to get our protein needs met.
So we’re these protein craving beasts every single day when we wake up. That’s why I’m so excited about, uh, releasing my new protein supplement, the B.rad grass-fed whey, protein isolate, super fuel, because when you give yourself a couple scoops of protein every day, you are going to promote satiety or going to promote healthy and highly regulated eating habits. And you’re also gonna help yourself recover and perform, uh, magnificent athletic feats, or moderate fitness feats, whatever you want to plug in there especially for, um, the advancing as you advance through the age groups, you become, uh, worse, less effective at assimilating protein from the diet. So you actually have elevated protein needs as you age. And we think of the, uh, the young bucks in the gym slamming their protein shakes and that’s the target market, but really the target market should be even the senior population who are going through life with losing and slipping a little bit with each passing decade, the ability to, uh, uh, digest and assimilate protein and maintain that lean muscle mass, which is the number one most important marker for aging gracefully.
So taking a supplement, you get the job done much more easily, particularly at times when you might not have a ravenous appetite for a four or five egg omelet. And, it’s, you know, these are like post exercise time periods when your body temperature’s elevated. And other times when you’re not super hungry to, to get your protein dialed in. So that’s where a supplement can really come in and be a valuable part of your overall dietary strategy. That’s based of course, in eating healthy, wholesome, nutritious foods. So I talked about Robb Wolf’s evolution of his thoughts and belief systems and recommendations his epic quote that I repeat so often. He said, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein. Dr. Tommy Wood, with great content on our past interviews. One of his epic lines was how he counsels his healthy, active clients to eat as much nutritious food as possible until they perhaps gain a pound of fat.
And then you can dial it back a little bit. But that’s your signal that you are optimally fueled. And there’s so many occasions of athletes and devoted fitness enthusiasts the most the most motivated and focused amongst us, uh, kind of slipping and screwing this up. I’m gonna talk about the elite runner, Elise Cranny, later in the content here, for a sobering story for all of us. It’s, it’s kind of counter to this diet mindset that we’ve all been programmed with, uh, especially the female population, uh, for our lifetime, right? We’re watching our calories, we’re watching our portion sizes. We don’t wanna be a slob. We feel embarrassed getting seconds or whatever the, the story that’s playing in your mind, you don’t want to, uh, gain weight on your cruise. You don’t want to gain weight, uh, during the fall, you don’t wanna gain weight during the spring, and there’s a constant regulator there, but if we’re talking about nutritious foods, if we’re talking about our protein requirements, as we age, you have to make a devoted effort to honor the, the brilliant advice from
Dr. Tommy Wood to eat as much nutritious food as you possibly can each day. And of course, I’m gonna say in tandem with being as active as you possibly can. And so this is all predicated on a big picture view rather than, um, the talking to the person who’s taking the subway, sitting in a cubicle all day, uh, sitting on the couch in the evening and not moving sufficiently in daily life. That person is likely not gonna have a ravenous appetite for extra calories. But what we wanna do is turn on these appetite sensors and these energy, uh, energy production, uh, aspects of the body so that we can lead a healthy, maximally, active maximally, nutritious life. I talked about Mike Mutzel’s YouTube. Ryan Baxter, my recent guest on the show with a very diligent and carefully measured experiment lasting for one year, he ate 600 additional nutritious calories each day.
So this wasn’t the Slurpee experiment or the donut bash. It was him increasing intake of nutritious foods. He did it for a year straight and weighed the same a year later with the same or very similar body composition. I think he might have improved his body composition slightly if, if I’m not mistaken. But anyway, what a profound example for all of us to reference since I’m certainly not about to measure my caloric intake for an entire year, every single day. So good on you and love the the scientifically minded among us out there. And I’m just gonna take this insight and really reflect on that. So if he is consuming 600 additional nutritious calories each day and not gaining any weight what’s going on,? And I don’t think he had a massive shift in his exercise, his caloric output either.
That was the whole point here was that, um, he’s, he’s doing everything the same and just throwing down some extra nutritious food. And I keep saying nutritious as a qualifier, because if you eat 600 calories of additional junk food every day, you’re going to add a lot of weight at the end of a year of that experiment. So what’s going on. What he’s doing is becoming more metabolically active and turning up all those important dials in his, in his overall human functioning. Remember the quote from Dr. Pontzer: reproduction, repair ,growth, and locomotion are a zero sum game. Borrow a lot from one, you’re gonna have to turn down the others, and if you are borrowing or toning down, one of those four dials via, uh, restricted caloric intake or, or suppressed caloric intake, you’re gonna turn down your reproductive fitness a bit.
You’re gonna turn down your ability to recover, to repair, to grow. And of course your locomotion is going to suffer if you’re not getting sufficient calories. Dr. Stacey Sims at Stanford, expert on hydration with particular interest and particular expertise in the female population and how they respond to exercise, nutrition, diet, and hydration. She makes an important point on a recent podcast with Gabby Reece who launched her podcast fairly recently. I urge you to go over there and listen to it. She’s one of my favorite guests I’ve ever had. She did such a great job promoting her appearance on the B.rad podcast that we experienced a huge spike in listenership after her show, because she pumped it out to her, uh, large social media following. So, a great woman, her book, what was the title? My Foot is Too Big for the Glass Slipper.
I enjoyed it so much. I think it’s more directed to the female reader, but, uh, she is just so thoughtful, so profound with, um, her reflections on life and relationships and happiness and athletics and fitness. But anyway, she was interviewing Dr. Stacy Sims and Dr. Sims said, look, females respond differently to fasting, carb restriction, calorie restriction, time restricted feeding than males, because females are wired for reproductive fitness. That is their primary biological drive. And when you start to mess with caloric intake or limit a certain macro like carbohydrates in the name of keto, the female is very likely to have an adverse response, especially an active athletic female. So you think about CrossFit enthusiast or the long distance runner who is preparing for a competitive event, also walking around with female biology, which is a genetically programmed for reproductive fitness and reproductive fitness is strongly associated with carrying sufficient amounts of body fat, right?
And then you’re devotedly trying to counter your genetics by going into the CrossFit workouts and the restrictive dieting, trying to get the six pack, and you’re gonna screw up all kinds of things. And there’s so many stories of, females experiencing, difficulties with thyroid with adrenal function, chronic fatigue, um, difficulty reducing excess body fat, even though they’re restricting calories. Elle Russ’s book, the Paleo Thyroid Solution gets deep into this story of, uh, you know, over exercising, overstressing, undereating, and the disaster that happens. Uh, meanwhile, uh, I think Dr. Sims mentioned this a bit where, in, especially in the short term, if a male embarks on fasting time, restricted feeding carb restriction in the short term, you’re gonna get a boost in testosterone as part of the stress response, because, this might be an oversimplification of ancestral health. Uh, but as I heard heard Gabby and Dr. Sims
talking about it, you know, we’re imagining like the male hunter gatherer who has to go hunt and continue to hike and track and try to bring down some game to feed the clan. They have to perform even in the absence of dietary calories. And that’s, that’s how the key tone production got wired into our genetics. It was a key survival mechanism throughout evolution to allow us to continue to go hard and to fuel that incredibly ravenous brain wanting 20% of all our daily calories, despite only weighing 2% of your total body weight, in my case, 2.5%. anyway, , all these functions are stress mechanisms and the male’s gonna respond favorably in the short term. And of course, especially if that male modern male has some extra body fat or some extra visceral fat and engages in fasting keto time, restricted feeding, and gets some of that excess fat off the body, that is gonna have a highly beneficial effect on male hormones.
Meanwhile, the female, and we get a lot of this from our, our live retreats are from emails where the couple decides to go keto to go low carb, to go into the fasting patterns and the male reports, great results, and the female’s frustrated, tired, exhausted. And, um, we just have to honor our, uh, biological drives and our genetic programming. And to realize that especially the healthy, active athletic female is at high risk of not succeeding with restrictive diets. A quick note here, inspired by my podcast with Lindsay Berra, the host of the food of the God’s podcast, tagline, how elite athletes eat and train for peak performance. She reports almost no incidences of restrictive dieting amongst the elite athlete population across a incredible variety of sports. She’s interviewed PGA tour golfers. She’s interviewed race drivers, Olympic athletes, the Olympic..Hep athlete, Sherry Hawkins. She’s interviewed Gwen Jordans and the Olympic gold medal female triathlete.
And so all these athletes have something in common, which is they eat a lot of food. They eat sufficiently. They’re not restricting any certain macronutrients, uh, despite what you may have seen on, uh, propaganda documentaries about this vegan population of high performers. That’s pretty suspect, there are few and far between if there are any, and those genetic freaks that are performing at the top level, uh, whether they’re MMA fighters or Olympic players or team sport superstars, they have a lot going for them. And if they happen to be thriving, it might be in spite of a restrictive diet, especially when it comes to a plant-based diet. That’s restricting many of the most nutritious foods on earth. So I’m gonna point to the elite athlete population in general, and notice that there are almost no occasions of them engaging in restricted eating.
And there are many occasions of them slamming all kinds of supplements, supplemental calories. And of course, I’m gonna also point my finger and say, boy, overall, quite a few elite athletes have a long way to go with cleaning up their diet, because we know that they still are indulging in all kinds of junk food, their real people, they might not be, you know, highly focused and refined on their dietary choices. And so I think in the coming years, especially as the importance and the money in sports continue to escalate, we’re gonna see better and better and cleaner and cleaner eating habits amongst the elite. But I am not holding my breath to see the day that a ketogenic athlete is out there, winning Olympic medals. That could be a long time coming, except in the extreme endurance events where it might confer performance advantage.
Zach Bitter talks about this a lot on his human performance outliers podcast, where if you can become extremely fat adapted and not need to take many calories on board, if you’re going for a really, really long time, that could be a good deal because it is tough to continue to fuel as you perform for 10 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, that kind of thing. But that’s an isolated example. And let’s take that takeaway is that the elite athletes are by and large fueling themselves. I hope they’ll clean up their diet. In the years ahead, I was watching a cool Adidas promo video where the two great Olympic sprinters Wayde van Niekerki from South Africa, the world record holder in the 400 meters with this amazing performance in Rio, setting the gold and breaking the world record from the outside lane in 43, 0 3, 1 of the greatest performances of all time by a human in any sport.
And then Noah Lyless, the recent world champion in the 200 meters were out there training and driving somewhere during the, the filming. And they stopped at a donut shop to slam some donuts. And I was like heartbroken to see like, Hey, we’re trying to get an inside, look at how these guys live their life and how they train. And here they are slamming some donuts, not a good look for all those young runners out there, but then as I reflect further, I’m going okay. So in this week where they slam the donut, I I’m gonna bet it was a special occasion. And then I’m also going to look at how many reps they did in the gym, throwing those heavy weights around, running the, the breakdown of, uh, two, four hundreds, four, three hundreds, eight, two hundreds, some sprints, some jumps, some stretch cord work.
And these guys are training all day long at the highest, highest level. And so that donut is going into a very, very hot furnace. And it’s certainly, uh, not one of the, um, major factors or concerns that’s inhibiting them from, uh, getting the gold and breaking world records, not so for that recreational enthusiast who goes and, uh, does a, a spin class stops and grabs a donut and then sits in an office for hours afterward. So, put that all in proper context. And so I’m talking through numerous people that have weighed in, or that I’ve solicited information from, uh, Robb Wolf, Tommy Wood, Mike Mutzel, Ryan Baxter, Dr. Stacy Sims with Gabby Reece, and then the young listener Dan Patterson, who I was inspired to do an entire show about his concept of eating more and moving more as the path to longevity and health span and thereby, developing a faster metabolism to promote greater health and longevity.
It was really interesting twist on, a lot of the commentary that we hear whereby if you restrict your calories, you’re going to live a longer life. And so a slower metabolism is going to work out for you better than a faster one, because a faster metabolism is accelerated cell division, which is a high cancer risk. And then of course we only have telomeres that are so long and the more your cell divides, it divides, it divides. It divides only a certain number of times, and then essentially the cell dies and the organism dies. And so we wanna stretch that out as the, how the top goes. But this is a very interesting counterpoint where, um, because we, uh, move so minimally today, um, we will be well served to get up and move around, more burn, more calories, consume more nutritious food and thereby, keeping that muscle mass and keeping that cardiovascular fitness and keeping that organ function going, for a very long, healthy, happy, active, enjoyable life.
And forget about, who’s gonna break the record someday. Like Ben Greenfield said, I don’t wanna live to be 170 years old if I’m walking around hunched over. And, um, you know, I don’t have any libido. I don’t have any energy, but I’m just drifting along through life because, uh, his calories are restricted or he’s engaging in whatever magic formula there is. But it is an interesting kind of reflection like who is the optimal, uh, long distance longevity superstar. Is it gonna be that Yogi who engages in prolonged fast and sits on a rock and meditates for two hours every day and, and two hours again in the afternoon, or is it gonna be those athletic types that you see, uh, the 75 year olds running in the track meets and carrying around big muscles and parading around the gym with their gray hair and their six pack.
I don’t know the answer to that, but I also wanna put in a plug for enjoying your life and being active in physical rather than just being a highly capable of eating your lentil soup with brown rice, and then sitting on a rock and then walking back and, uh, reading and, and going to bed on time. If that’s what turns you on, that’s great. but I’m out there, uh, with the, uh, the, the like-minded, uh, pursuing peak performance with passion throughout life. And so I would even trade, you know, going from, 110 to 120. I would, I would, uh, I would turn those 10 years in for better performances over the next several decades in my fifties, sixties and seventies, you know what I’m talking about? You know what I’m saying? Okay. Okay. So we have Robb Wolf’s wonderful quote, if you wanna live longer and lift more weights and eat more protein, and I might take the liberty of adding to that, uh, knowing that Robb would nod his head in agreement.
Um, so we’re gonna lift more weights. We’re gonna eat more protein. We’re also going to move more in general terms throughout the day, and throw that in there, along with the obligation of lifting weights. And we’re going to also, besides eating more protein, we’re gonna eat a necessary amount of nutritious carbs and healthy, nutritious natural fats. Okay. So there is a bit longer of an admonition to lift more weights, eat more protein, move more, and also get those other wonderful nutritious foods into your system.
Oh, okay. Wait back up a little bit. Wait a second, Brad, what about Dr. Pontzer’s constrained model of energy expenditure, where it’s asserted that we have a daily caloric expenditure ceiling regardless of what level we exercise at? Well, Ryan Baxter weighs in here, he who ate 600 calories per day, extra for a year to directly refute this constrained model theory.
He alerted me to recent research, uh, suggesting, proposing that the constrained model of energy expenditure is only applicable when the human is in an energy deficit. And so this research is largely inspired or, or performed on the Hadza, the one of the last remaining hunter gatherer populations in the world located in Tanzania. They’re very active, right by necessity. They’re moving around all day. The males walk an average of seven miles a day, the females three miles a day gathering and, and hunting and doing their thing. And so they do not have enough food in general, they’re basically hanging on by a thread. And so of course that type of human experience, is going to kick in an assortment of compensatory mechanisms to turn down those flames so that they can survive on whatever food that they get.
So if the constrained model is only applicable in energy deficit, uh, that doesn’t apply to most of the world because we have an energy surplus, we have plenty of food, and if we are able to, uh, access more nutritious foods, and when I say food, , let’s qualify that there, because the processed shit that a lot of us put down our throat to comprise a vast majority of the calories in the standard American diet. Remember that research widely touted from Dr. Loren Cordain one of the fore fathers of paleo author of the paleo diet book. Uh, he contends that 71% of the daily caloric intake in the standard American diet comes from foods that were entirely absent in the evolutionary experience, the processed oils, sugars and grains. So nutrient deficient, processed foods, not withstanding here. If we have a energy surplus, if we have plenty of sufficient food, we are going to become more active and we are going to turn up those dials, like reproduction, repair growth, and locomotion.
Um, I wanna read a quote from the conclusion of the study energy balance status seems to play an important role in the relationship between physical activity and total energy expenditure. When in a positive energy balance, the relationship between total energy expenditure and physical activity was consistent with an additive model. However, when energy balance was negative, total energy expenditure seems to be consistent with a constrained model. So consistent with an additive model means that your physical activity is X, right? You’re running 30 miles a week instead of sitting on your butt. And that means you’re going to expand more total energy. You’re going to burn more calories, just like we’ve always thought the additive model has always been assumed, especially in the exercise, fitness and diet community, where you go online, you see your handing a little calculator, or you go to the gym and you’re working on an exercise machine.
And it says, congratulations, you burned 478 calories. And then the user walks out with a smile on their face, thinking that, uh, they just lost, um, one fifth of a pound, right, where we’re thinking in this, uh, calories in calories out model, but there’s so many variables. And that’s what a lot of the content of the Jay Feldman interviews were all about where, um, we’re trying to turn up those dials and burn more energy, manufacture, energy more efficiently, and transcend this supposed constrained model. Now, um, there are a lot of factors that are relevant where, um, if you exercise too much, you’re going to turn down those other dials reliably so, and bring your caloric expenditure back down in the in the spirit of the constrained model. So back to the quote, I just wanted to explain the additive model versus the constrained model.
So when energy balance was negative, total energy expenditure seems to be consistent with the constrained model. So think about the active athletic female, doing CrossFit, trying to reveal that six pack and cutting calories, cutting calories. They are going to constrain their energy expenditure and keep that fat on their body, uh, due to the compensatory mechanisms of turning down, thyroid, turning down overall energy levels and all that kind of stuff. So back to the quote, these findings support physical activity for weight gain prevention by increasing total energy expenditure. That’s validating the mainstream notion of going out there and exercising, burning calories, however, the effective physical activity on total energy expenditure during periods of weight loss may be limited. So, right when you are successfully dropping excess body fat, when you’re in your mode and it’s been going on for two months and you’re weighing yourself and you’re dropping a pound here and a pound there, um, you’re in sort of a high stress, um, situation, right?
The body does not necessarily like to drop excess body fat. And so, you are going to engage in assorted compensations as a protective mechanism against wasting away and starving. That’s why weight loss has to be very carefully contemplated with this under the radar strategy that I’ll be talking about more in the months and years ahead, we’re trying to zero in on the magic formula for successful weight loss, healthy way. And it appears to be under the radar strategy is what’s going to be effective versus the extreme or the crash approaches with excessive exercise or excessive calorie restriction. That’s when we’re going to kick into the constrained model of energy expenditure. So this new research and this conclusion that when in positive energy balance, when you have enough calories, the relationship between your energy expenditure and your physical activity is additive, uh, is really intriguing to me because I’ve, uh, been struggling and, uh, disturbed by the notion that we operate under this constrained model, because there’s so much anecdotal evidence that the more you exercise, uh, the more calories you burn, uh, the leaner you’re gonna get.
We have the, the Tour de France cyclists proving this every year, the triathletes who are very lean and eat a ton of calories. And so that seems to transcend the constrained model. My second show with Dr. Pontzer was sort of in a, uh, devil’s advocate mode, where I was saying, what about this? What about that? And he had some, some good reflections to offer, but I think we can operate under the assumption that if you’re fueling yourself well and, increasing your energy expenditure, this is going to be a positive for things like reducing excess body fat. Now, uh, we are going to drift into another segment, which I’m going to save for a third show in a loosely tied together series. So, the first one, and this one here are lately associated. We’re still reflecting on this energy balance model and where the caloric intake fits in with the caloric expenditure appropriately.
And the next one’s gonna get a little controversial where we kind of take it departure from the foundational elements of ancestral health and a lot of the content in books, like The Keto Reset diet and Two Meals a Day. But I think you’re gonna find, um, some comfort at the end of this series when we, uh, put it all together and realize that we can, um, we can win at this game, uh, where we don’t have to struggle and suffer in the name of fat reduction or health or fitness or vitality. So let me end it there. Thank you for listening and, uh, stay tuned for more, to come on these important topics.
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