I’ve been talking to today’s guest, Bryan Gryn (host of the Get Lean, Eat Clean podcast) a lot recently about my experiment with eating more food and de-emphasizing things like fasting and low-carb models, as Bryan is a firm follower of the 2 Meals A Day strategy.
During this show, I challenge him on eating more as we get into this topic and try to make sense of some potentially confusing, seemingly disparate points of view about fasting and calories. Bryan shares why it all comes down to knowing your baseline, so you can make choices about your life and routines based on the essential goals of getting optimal sleep, controlling stress, and everything else you need to do to live a generally healthy lifestyle. We get into fun topics like cold exposure and how to do it correctly, how to handle the assortment of different stressors present in modern life—both chronic and destructive, as well as the appropriate stressors (although we must remember these are all forms of stress—even restrictive diets). We also talk about how to fast and when not to fast, dive into the concept of redundant pathways, the benefits that come from the strategic application of restrictive diets, as well as how to do these diets the right way.
This simulcast brings great discussions on the pros and cons of restrictive diets. [00:53]
Having compliance and long-term sustainability with self-experimentation is what really works. [06:41]
It is important to be more thorough with getting your bloodwork, especially when you are testing out new dietary regimens to see how they affect you. [09:43]
It is difficult to get your Vitamin D needs met just through diet. Sun exposure is important. [13:21]
We have to be careful in our already stressful lives when we add restrictive diets to our lives. [14:09]
Breathwork can really help diminish your stress. [17:38]
Which is colder: Lake Tahoe or chest freezer? You want the whole practice of cold exposure to be appropriately brief. [19:57]
Brad wonders if the success of some of these diets could be largely driven by what you eliminate rather than the magic of the new “regimen.” [23:44]
Protein foods are highly satiating so you aren’t usually looking to snack. [31:20]
The key is to stay away from refined industrial seed oils and refined carbohydrates. [38:42]
Can you overdo it with restricting and fasting? [43:02]
At all times your liver is working hard to make sure your glucose is balanced. [51:10]
Brad has been experimenting on his carnivore-ish diet by adding carbs such as fruit. [55:02]
Having a spare tire, losing muscle mass….those are the baseline for aging. [57:27]
When you feel alert, energized, focused, and not hungry from not eating, this is due to turning on the stress mechanisms that are allowing you to feel that way without energy. [01:01:57]
If you get rid of the processed foods, you are not going to get fat. (Lustig) [01:10:04]
Today’s elite level athletes perform six times as much physical energy expenditure than the busiest hunger gatherer. [01:25:32]
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Hey listeners, it’s time for a simulcast show with Brian Gyrn, host of the Get Lean Eat Clean podcasts. So this show publishes on both channels. Brian is doing some fine work over there with interesting guests, and he also has been a longtime personal trainer in the Chicago land area. I don’t know why they call it that. I always hear that though. Chicago people what’s up. You probably know why. Anyway, he has some good work with clients, some practical experience, and always open to testing, refining experimenting. And we’ve been talking a lot offline about my recent fascination with energy balance and my experiment to consume more food. And deemphasize things like fasting and low carb models. And so Brian’s had great success with his clients and himself with fasting. He’s a, a firm follower of the two meals a day program. Thank you very much.
I co-authored a book by that name. And then I challenged him during the show like, Hey man, why aren’t you eating more than that? You’re working out hard. He does some very impressive workouts that he posts on Instagram with the X three bar and has some creative challenges that you can do in a home fitness environment. So check out that content. But we get into it and we sort things out, try to make sense of some of the, uh, potentially confusing or disparate points of view and some really good takeaways here, uh, and involving the strategic application of these restrictive diets. Doing things right. Brian’s big on quantification and he wants you to get some base points, some starting points. So maybe you’re gonna go get a DEXA scan or get a CGM and look at your glucose, look at your body composition right down what you eat.
So you have a sense of your protein intake. Brian did so himself, and even though he’s an expert, he found that he was possibly consuming insufficient protein, partly due to only eating two meals a day and having elevated protein needs due to his high intensity workouts. So we’re gonna talk about all those metabolic concerns, touch on many other topics, including the emergence of wonderful, personalized health optimization, medical tracking options as offered by companies such as Marek Health, my new partner, and this is such an awesome breakthrough from having to navigate through the traditional medical system, when you wanna track yourself for performance and disease risk and overall health. And so now you can form a concierge relationship with experts who will consult with you one-on-one interview you and figure out what blood panels you might want to test for order up the test for yourself, and then go over the results with you.
So you can consider a strategic supplementation and perhaps even prescription medication, if necessary. So I’ve been doing this myself backdoor backwards, right? I go and, uh, order my own blood tests and then send the email results to various people who have expertise in this or that, and now to formalize and have it open to everyone is so cool. So, we talk a bit about Marek Health at the outset, and then we get into fun topics like cold exposure and how to do it correctly, and how to manage the assortment of different stressors in modern life, both chronic and, uh, destructive as well as the appropriate stressors, but recognizing that they’re all, uh, forms of stress, including restrictive diets. So we cover all that, um, how to fast whether or not to fast, uh, that kind of thing. I finally get into some details about my, uh, recent experiment, which is now at three months and counting to consume more overall calories, especially carbohydrates, especially in the morning and how that’s going for me. Uh, we talk about this concept of redundant pathways, where, uh, by doing disparate activities, you can prompt the same hormonal cellular health adaptation response. Uh, some obvious examples being, doing something like fasting, uh, or doing an intense workout, the same, uh, cellular response, Autophy apoptosis, mitochondrial, biogenesis, all that great stuff. So I think you’re gonna love the show and have some practical tips to take away, enjoy Brian Gyrn and I on the co-hosted B rad podcast episode and Get Lean; Eat Clean podcast episode.
All right, welcome in. We’re doing a dual podcast with my good friend, Brad Kearns and Brian Gryn with the Get Lean; Eat Clean podcast and the B.rad podcast combined. I couldn’t think of a name to combine both of them. So
Be radically clean, lean everything else, but it is great to catch up cuz we talk a lot offline and we we’re sorting out all the information that we’re hit with constantly, cuz we live and breath this stuff. Unlike most people who have all kinds of other obligations in life and we’re trying to make sense of it. And I think one thing that, um, we’re doing a good job with our shows is to bring that practical aspect to it, not get too sciencey, right. And neither of us are standing here saying, oh my research. And my laboratory shows that this and that is a, a better protocol. Um, so I think that’s important because so many people, especially my friends that, you know, are not immersed in health and fitness. They can’t be bothered with all these nuances and details and especially the controversy and the disagreement and which fasting window is better and all that stuff. I think we always have to start the conversation with that sensibility to say, Hey, have you, have you cleaned up your diet yet? Are you, are you eating clean or not?
Yes. I think it’s easy to get caught up in, in the nuances, especially for me and you, because we’re listening to this stuff or reading about it every day for individuals who don’t, I think like you said, they just wanna know what to do. how it affects them and that’s, that’s it. So, um, I think one thing I like about your podcast and I am a avid listener is the, how practical, you know, your practical applications of what you hear from your guests and how it can work for the, your listeners and how you’ve sort of adapted through the years and, um, added your, your 2 cents, whether that works for other people. That’s great. If not, that’s no big deal either, but I think that one thing that both of us both agree upon is what works for, for like having compliance and long term sustainability, I think is the most important thing because we can bring like a scientist who specializes in, you know, he’s been studying protein for, I just had Dr. Don Layman on, I haven’t published it yet, but you know, he’s been studying protein for 30 years and, and he has all this take about it, but you know, I think it comes down to just a really self experimentation. I just keep coming back to that.
Hmm. So you are also speaking for results with your clients and, um, listeners and you know, community. So, um, that self experimentation, yeah, that really resonates because I think as we progress further and further with the knowledge and information, and now everything’s easily accessible and we try to make these sweeping conclusions that we used to traffic in, in the old days, cuz we kind of had to, you know, you had to make a food pyramid if you’re with the us government, like how do we tell people to eat? Here’s what everyone should eat. Of course that stuff is nonsense. But now when we’re highly refined, we still might have this error of trying to make sweeping conclusions for everybody and witness the popularity of things like the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, all these things that I’ve now been second guessing recently on my show, and I know we’re gonna hit some of those talking points and get your input on that. But how can you argue with that? I mean, you’re gonna have the next thousand podcasts. I don’t think anyone would second guess the idea that you should self experiment.
Yeah. I think that the one thing that, that holds people back from and holds myself back sometimes for trying things on myself is patience. I think if we’re so used to doing something like I know we talked about maybe about a month back about, you know, fasting and low carb and how, you know, I’ve been doing that for so long and I’m like, okay, you know what, maybe I’ll, I’ll try implementing some type of adding more carbs in, you know, healthy whole food carbs back into the diet and cutting back fasting a little bit. Um, and I found myself and I, and I have done a little bit of that, but I, I think the one thing that holds me back from doing the self experimentation is being patient in adding in those things and seeing how, you know, the outcomes that can come from that.
So by patient you mean, uh, seeing the experiment out for an appropriate amount of time?
Yeah. So yeah. What do you thinks a good time period to bring in a new test?
Well, I think, and you mentioned it in your last podcast, you talked about like an elimination diet, the ultimate elimination diet, which would be like just full on carnivore for like 30 days. I think 30 days would be a good window of time. I don’t know about you. I know you’ve been implementing some new, like to eating principles into your routine and, and I know you’re gonna report back. Um, what do you think about a month of trying something and, and then seeing how that affects, you know, your blood work, you know, your energy, et cetera.
Yeah. I mean, there’s good research showing that in a few weeks you can get out of pre-diabetic risk factor zone. Yeah. Um, so just modifying the diet for a brief period of time and you go in and, and do new blood work. And unfortunately, um, we’re used to like the annual checkup and the doctor draws blood and runs a CBC and that’s it. And I’ve navigated in the traditional medical system here with my wife’s wonderful healthcare and wonderful comprehensive coverage. But you know, you gotta fight tooth and nail just to add on like I’m, you know, she’s about to come in for a blood work. I say, add, add fasting endzone on there, add vitamin D add high sensitivity, Creactive protein. And they’re like, why, why does she need that? I’m like, because they’re super important and they’re the best markers for inflammation, metabolic health, whatever, whatever. And you’re going back and forth and like, same for me. I’m like, can you add testosterone, free testosterone and sex hormone binding Gomen to my annual, what for? Are you low testosterone? I’m like, well, I don’t know. I wanna test it, come on, people throw it in there. It’s super important. But, um, so
This is you asking your physician to write up a for blood work.
-Yeah. And what’s so great is now we have these resources at our disposal. Um, I just got involved with Marek Health, me laboratories, and they have incredible concierge consulting program where they will recommend, uh, which labs to do, evaluate the results with you. Uh, and then if you need some, uh, further like medical, uh, consultation or perhaps prescription mm everything’s. Encompassed here where you’re, you’re bypassing all the nonsense in the mainstream medical, uh, protocol, especially when your mainstream physician is looking at the normal ranges that have been established on the sorryist, unfit, sick population in the history of humanity Americans today are the fattest sickest population that’s ever walked on the face of the earth with. Um, I believe it’s over two thirds now, like 67% are in the high risk metabolic category classified as overweight or obese and then half of them.
So that’s a third of all. Americans are in the obese category where their extra body fat is directly compromising their health immediately. So when I’m looking at the ranges, like for testosterone, for example, if I’m not in the 95 percentile, I feel like there’s a problem. And I I’ve said this on one of the shows before, when I was reporting my blood results. I’m like, you know, while I’m patting myself on the back so hard, I have to remember that when we’re looking at these percentiles and I’m in the 95th percentile, I’m competing against a bunch of pathetic softies that represent average citizens. And so when you have a concierge where there’s a health sports, performance minded, individual, looking after you, they can sort out the difference between what is quote unquote normal. I have a great book that I resource a lot called the vitamin D Solution, by Dr. Michael F. Holick
And he’s one of the world’s leading experts on vitamin D health. He contends that he wants to see people up in the 60 nanogram per milliliter zone, 60, 70 numbers like that, where if you come back with your blood tests and it says 30, you just made it into the normal range, but that could put you that’s, that’s very concerning for a vitamin D advocate that your vitamin D is desperately low. And most people suffer from vitamin D deficiency because we don’t get enough sun exposure. And it’s very difficult to get your vitamin D needs met by diet, even if you’re chowing a lot of the oily, cold water fish and the other that’s really the only high vitamin D foods is the omega-3 fish and everything else is pales in comparison to a single sunbathing session on a warm summer day.
Yeah, it’s interesting you bring up Marek Health and I actually ordered a report and an analysis for myself and my wife last week. And this is obviously not covered under insurance. This is, you know, just over the counter, you’re paying for this, but, but I’m curious. Yeah, I’ll report back and let you know how that goes, but I think that’s a sort of a good place to start because with all the talk about, you know, you know, what to eat when to eat or, or, you know, you know, I don’t know when to exercise so on and so forth. I think you gotta just have a baseline, like, you know, you talk about, I know you talked with Jay about all these stressors and, you know, is it too much, are these redundant pathways? Is it, you know, you’re doing, you’re stacking all these different things.
And I would imagine that most people aren’t stacking all these things in, in one’s like maybe you and me did it. You know, you’re not there are they fasting cold exposure, warm therapy or warm, warm, you know, sauna, fasting, maybe people are doing that. Um, but I would say majority of the population is not, but maybe before, even that you should go get a good comprehensive blood panel taken, using Marek health, or obviously there’s other companies as well, but, um, where you can, you know, test your cortisol and fasting insulin and vitamin D and you know, so on and so forth. And, you know, you know, all your layer lipid panel and, and, and your free T3 and free T4 and testosterone. And, and then like we talked about take a month and make that change that you think might be optimal for you and come back and retest and see if it’s really making a difference.
Well, you opened up some really good talking threads there. And, uh, you’re speaking of Jay Feldman Energy Balance Podcast and he promotes this bioenergetic model of health where he wants you to be fully fueled, uh, and have the cells fully energized at all times to minimize the stress of your metabolic and overall human function. And he contends, and it’s an excellent point that there’s not too many people these days who are minimally stressed or insufficiently stressed, because we have this chronic type of stress that is endemic to modern life, where we’re engaging with the screen. Too frequently, we’re ruminating we’re suffering from depression, anxiety, things related to the pandemic and things related to just dealing with relationships, jobs, traffic, consumerism, you know, all these kind of things are hitting us.
And then, uh, many people are in that active, highly motivated category where they’re layering on other distinct stressors, like high intensity exercise, stretching the orange band with the X three bar jumping in the cold water, doing that crazy stuff. But even the basic person is under a lot of stress. And so to contemplate these other stressors like intermittent fasting or, or ketogenic macronutrients where you’re cutting carbs extremely, um, that has to be done properly and thoughtfully. And I think there is a risk that we haven’t acknowledged sufficiently that these these restrictive diets can be yet another form of stress compounded onto the many other stressors in daily life.
Yeah, no, and I, I, I listen to your, your interviews with him and, and obviously he’s a bright guy whose done a ton of research. So I there’s a lot of validity behind it. I’m, I’m curious, you know, when it comes to these stressors, you know, I just had this, and he’s, you’d be a great guy to get on your podcast. Avi Greenberg, he’s a breath work coach. He worked under Wim Hof’s his method for a while. He sort of has his own way of doing it. Um, there’s and many ways of doing breath work. I’ve actually worked with him. I did a session with him last night, uh, for an hour. Yeah, we do it over zoom. I’ve done it for the last three weeks. My wife and I were doing it. She, she couldn’t do it last night, so it’s just me and him.
And I am telling you, this is an hour of, you know, this is probably 50 minutes of breath work. And, and most people are like, gosh, how do you do that for 50 minutes? It goes by, you don’t even know you’re pretty much almost falling asleep. And you wanna just talk about a transformation in that 50 minutes, of just almost euphoric, but also feeling like, okay, like you can, I can fall asleep. In the, you know, in the snap of a finger and so I guess where I’m going to, this is I’m, I, I like these stressors and Avi and I talked about in the podcast because I think I like ’em for, for most people, obviously, like you said, if you’re, if you what’s, if daily overstressed lifestyle that you have and you feel like you don’t wanna stack, that’s fine.
But like for someone who has their, you know, their stuff in order, and they’re doing breath work and doing other things to counteract, maybe fasting or cold therapy, I think as long as you can find a balance, I think, I think they can be beneficial. And, and, and when you do cold therapy, let’s just use that as example, going in the cold for, I know you do it, Brad, you learn how to utilize your breath. You learn how to deal with those moments where maybe you’re not comfortable. And I think, you know, that resiliency can be, can be applied to when you’re driving in the car and someone cuts you off, and now you have to focus on your breath and, and it, it gets you out of that fight or flight mode that normally you would be under if you didn’t do those, those things that, that prepared you for it.
Yeah. I think what we’re looking at today is too much of the chronic stressors and then a gross insufficiency in the appropriately brief fight or flight stressors that make us more strong, resilient, focused, energized, and so forth. And so, Liver King, the Instagram sensation now, my buddy Brian Johnson that I work together with at Ancestral Supplements, he makes a huge point of saying modern humans have gone soft. We’re lazy. We’re, we’re in temperature controlled environments all the time. And so we gotta reawaken our ancestral spirit and do these crazy workouts and jump in the cold water and so on and so forth, get away from EMFs and all the chronic stressors. And, um, that’s a really important point to distinguish between where are you overstressed in, in the chronic categories, and then where have you gone soft and where can you kind of reawaken some of that fighting spirit? And cold exposure is the best example because I’ll go in lake Tahoe or in my chest freezer in Sacramento for the chest freezers, you know, one to three minutes Lake Tahoe in the winters, one to two minutes, probably when it’s at its lowest 42 degree Fahrenheit. My chest, freezer’s 38 degree Fahrenheit, but it’s way more difficult to go cold immersion into a big body of water where the water’s moving or you’re moving through the water than it is to sit in a confined space where you immediately start warming up the water.
Little interesting side note there.
You’re saying, it’s, you’re saying it’s more difficult in the, just going in a freezer than going in. Yeah.
Like, no, no, no. It’s more difficult going in the lake. Okay. Like, I really, I have sat in the chest freezer for six minutes to set a record at 38 degrees. Not that I’m recommending that. And I don’t do that myself. I do much less, but you know, I’m trying to push my outer limits and explore the, the practice of cold thermogenesis and report back for everybody. And so that’s my longest in there. And interestingly, in 42 degree in lake Tahoe in one to two minutes, I’m experiencing the time to get out, right? My brain says, okay, man, you’re getting cold, get the heck outta here. And the difference is that moving water, um, is much colder than when you sit and basically form a film around your body of warmth because you’re emanating 98.6 degree body heat into the water. And so, as Dr. Huberman recommends too, when you’re sitting in a confined space, like a tub, you want to constantly move your limbs and bob around the whole time, and it’s much colder that way. And you get a much more, you know, authentic experience. Yeah. So you’re so, you know, we used to,
I would think you’d be more, yeah, I’m sorry to interrupt you. I would think you’d be, it’d be easier in a lake only because you’re like, aren’t you like sort of swimming and treading water and moving as opposed to just sitting in a, you know, cuz I have a cold plunge in my house and you know, you’re just sitting there not creating any movement or body heat from that. So
Yeah, go, go to Lake Michigan, man, try it out and compare times. But it’s really interesting. The effect of warming the water around you is profound when the, when the, the space is confined. And so as soon as you do so much is like wiggle your legs around, you immediately get a sensation that’s much colder and less comfortable. So if you’re in a small space move around frequently and then, you know, imagine like being in a rushing river where the current is coming down and snow melt and it’s in the forties, that would be the most, you know, the most severe because the water’s hitting you aggressively, and so all told all this, this whole practice of cold exposure, you want this stressor to be appropriately brief. So it doesn’t wear you down and contribute to your hectic stressful day.
And that’s the part where we’re, you know, generally deficient in now when it comes to fasting or keto or these wonderful, restrictive diets that have delivered so many results to so many people. I’m rethinking a lot of the a lot of the, the, the boiler plate talk. Um, one thing that comes to mind is that the success of these diets could be largely driven by what you eliminate rather than the magic of cutting your carbs to 50 grams a day, or the magic of not eating until 12 noon or eating in a compressed time window. Um, Dr. Peter Attia, who does not make proclamations without a lot of science and a lot of thought he’s, he reveals that the benefits of time restricted feeding for fat reduction are entirely due to a consequence caloric restriction, rather than any magic of tightening up your eating window and the work of Dr.
Panda where this time restricted feeding became popular. He found that rats in the laboratory, did better metabolically. They lost more weight, um, when they were limiting their feeding times versus rats that were allowed to eat all day long, even though they had the same calories. And so that’s everyone, he extrapolated that to saying, Hey, if you can tighten up your eating window, you’re gonna lose weight. And it’s just simply not playing out with humans. And so it’s not to discount the benefits and the power of, for example, establishing rules and guidelines, like a time restricted eating window, or, you know, cutting your carbs to go keto. But these are just, I guess you could call them gimmicks. If you wanted to be impolite, they’re just mechanisms to achieve a result that’s better than this unfettered access to indulgent foods that we experience in modern life. But if that’s the only reason or the main reason that they’re working, then it’s like, wait a second. Um, you know, how can I look at this picture a little differently? Um, you know, get, put the magic wand away and say, what is, you know, what is the optimal strategy here to have the most energy be the most active maintain muscle mass throughout life? And yes, I wanna drop some excess body fat and then we’re sort of looking down different pathways and different possibilities.
Yeah. And I think it, it goes back to, like I said before, maybe tracking. Cuz I started doing this. I never really like tracked my macros, counting calories per se. But perhaps if you haven’t, it’s time to do that, just to see where you’re at, because one thing I noticed and, Brad, I don’t know about you, but, um, are you tracking your protein intake? Are you, you know, are you seeing, you know, your macro count and because I know you’ve made some adjustments over the last month or so? And cause I think, you know, you can talk, we can talk to her blue in the face about all this stuff. Like for me, I’ve probably been low carb for so, so long, I don’t even think about it. Um, and, but I don’t think, you know, where, you know, you don’t know anything until you’re actually tracking what you’re doing.
Well, I’ll answer the question and I’ll also say that the me act of tracking all of a sudden puts you into from the average category to badass because just by bringing more awareness into your dietary habits or, you know, we tell athletes, exercisers, keep a fitness log and write down what you do. And so all of a sudden you’re more aligned with a structured, measured approach quantifiable. And so you’re, you’re doing yourself a huge benefit just by getting out a piece of paper and writing down what you eat for a week and reflecting on it or, you know, seeking the advice of an expert or what have you. I’ve done so much tracking with Mark Sisson for our books over the years that I’m like, I’m over it. I don’t do a lot of tracking. I don’t do any anymore.
I have a general notion, but we’ve done so many macronutrient, reports and charts in the books. It’s like at a certain point you want to graduate and just, um, enjoy your life and try to optimize. But I will say, um, you know, my experiments three months into it, we’ll talk about it shortly. But Ryan Baxter, who’s a primal health coach on the east coast. He is an engineer by trade. He is very, very methodically, tracked his cowork intake, uh, on spreadsheet for a number of years. And he performed an experiment, uh, over a year ago. Now he has a year of data where his experiment was to consume an additional 600 calories per day from his previous records, going back years. And so he wanted to see what would happen. Would he get fat? Of course he’s gonna get fat, right? That’s what all the science says, you’re eating six hour more calories a day and doing similar workout regimen, trying to keep the variables tight.
Right? So a year later he weighed the same, same body composition. So we wonder what’s going on there? And what’s going on. There is he was, and these are, uh, a hundred percent 99% nutritious calories, right? So if you go and consume an extra slurpy every day for a month, you’re gonna get fat. And we’ll talk about the difference between processed foods and nutritious foods. So he’s having 600 additional calories, nutritious calories, every day, weighing the same a year later, what happened over that year, guess what? He was more active. He got better performance, faster recovery turned up these other very important dials like reproductive libido, right? Immune function probably didn’t get sick or, you know, have some of those fallouts that, uh, extreme exercises can experience when they’re not eating enough. And so that’s a really wonderful experiment to reference because it was so tight and iron clad. And so you gotta wonder, wow. I mean, um, yeah, that that’s mind blowing really.
That’s interesting. And I’m sure he’s not the only person that this has happened to obviously, but, I think, think it goes back to like, you know, you, you, back in the day tracked and now you don’t wanna, but I think for the average individual, I think it’d be good, um, to go onto there’s so many apps, right? My fitness Pal or chronometer, and just at least if anything, track for a couple weeks and see, you know, cuz it can be an eye opening experience. I will say for me, who, who I, you know, for a while and for, I don’t know, probably the last few years it’s been two meals, but I noticed that I was just probably undereating a bit and not getting enough protein. Even though I added an animal meats, um, where I wasn’t eating animal meats for a while there, I was like a pescatarian. This was like three years ago, two, three years ago. But anyways, you know, I’m 170 pounds. So let’s say I aim for 150 to 170, 70 grams of protein. I was probably, gosh, I could look at it now. Like even, you know, I was probably averaging a hundred grams a day,
You know, I could be, I could be like a Ryan Baxter, I bet. And probably hike up my calorie count by 600 for a year. And, and probably my weight would stay the same and yeah. You know, maybe I would have better markers, but yeah, again, I won’t know until I’m actually next week, so maybe we can do a, a rebroadcast, uh, down or, or a new broadcast down the line, um, and see where I’m at after my blood work, you know, six months later let’s say, um, but I’m gonna get blood work done. And I, and I got it actually through, uh, had that, ordered it through health. Um, cuz I heard about them through Saladino, so
Well interesting there, um, protein has a tremendous, what do they call it? A metabolic cost where it’s up to about 25% of the protein calories that you ingest are devoted to digesting and assimilating the protein you just ate. So if you have like envisioned four eggs, one of those eggs is used just to process the other three eggs. And so the argument for having a high protein or higher protein diet to promote fat reduction is really strong and really successful because the protein foods are highly satiating, right? When you have steak and eggs and salmon, you’re not, uh, wandering or how around the house looking for a snack later mm-hmm . And so you feel comfortable, it’s sustainable. And if you consume additional protein calories, they’re not going to contribute to adding body fat because they’re not used for that.
They’re used for basic metabolic function and muscle repair, protein synthesis, all this great stuff. And so that’s kind of, um, a free pass for people who have trouble adhering to, uh, whatever restrictive diet they’re following as you, you hit that protein hard. Now. So many people have backed off from the early commentary that be careful of eating too much protein, it’ll stress your livers and kidney, and it’ll be converted into sugar via gluco neogenesis. And, we even written some of those wrote some of that stuff in books from years past. And now that whole story has been refuted where, um, gluco neogenesis is a demand-driven process. That means it’s only gonna happen if you desperately need glucose glucogenesis is the conversion of, uh, amino acids, either lean muscle mass or ingested protein into glucose for energy needs. So when you’re starving, when you’re doing keto, you’re gonna kickstart this mechanism.
But people were afraid that if they had too many steaks, it would be converted into sugar and then stored as fat. And that’s just not how not, how the body works. So that’s kind of, um, if you’re starting and envisioning an optimal diet it always starts with protein. That’s the survival food, right? Um, Rob Wolf’s epic quote, one of the favorites, one liners I’ve ever heard on hundreds of podcast episodes. He says, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein. And there’s a lot behind that. But it’s basically talking about maintaining that functional lean muscle mass throughout life as the number one key to longevity.
Well, the question is, can you get enough protein in two meals?
Um, yeah, I hear people talking about that a lot. And I also hear people talking about how you can only process 30 grams at a time or something like that. And I’m not sure what to think of that, but, um, it is a good question to say, how do I get, especially someone who’s active like you and is looking for that one gram per pound. That’s a simple takeaway for, for all listeners that a lot of experts are pointing out now is, and that’s much higher than you’ve heard of the USRDA or these these recommendations that you can find online. Like if you type in right something into Google, like protein needs so those protein requirements, daily requirements are first survival. So you don’t die. So you don’t lose your hair and waste away. That’s a whole lot different than what’s optimal.
And the experts like Dr. Paul Saladino, uh, carnivore leader, and many others are saying, you know, go for a gram per pound, it’s a gram per pound of your ideal body weight. It’s not gram per pound of lean mass or 0.7 gram per pound of lean mass was what the keto boiler plate has been for a long time. Because again, keto people were worried that too much protein would kick you outta ketosis. And so all this stuff is kind of old news. I would say it’s flawed and dated in many ways. And if you can, uh, make sure that you maximize protein, that’s when you’re gonna be functioning at your best and avoiding some of these weird symptoms, like, uh, cold hands and feet, or, um, you know, difficulty recovering from workouts. Um, Chris Cresser talks a lot about when you’re protein deficient, guess what’s gonna happen.
A you’re gonna feel like shit, and B you’re gonna have intense cravings for high protein foods. Cause that’s just how the body works. Females report those weird cravings happening during pregnancy. And it’s not, uh, you really have to, uh, mess yourself up to get into prolonged protein deficiency. But again, in your case like, Hey, Brian feels fine. He does his awesome workouts. We can see ’em on Instagram. He looks like a fit guy, but what’s optimal could be bumping up from whatever you were getting 100 to 120 up to 170 or even more.
Yeah, I think for me, if I, if in order to get, let’s just say 170 grams, I would need to do that through probably, you know, through three meals. Which I’ve experimented a little bit with there. I haven’t probably done it long enough to, you know, definitely it helps. I had a conversation with Robert Sykes, uh, a few
He’s a keto expert has been maintaining high, high, muscular physique for a long time. Uh, yeah, he’s a
Keto natural body builder, you know, and he’s got a company keto bricks and he’s like, well, he’s like, if you need to up your calories and protein and fat, and you know, he’s like try the keto bricks. And I I’ve, I’ve had the keto bricks on and off for years. And I ordered more and it is, that is an easy, you know, an easy way of getting it. And if, if you know, so I’ve been experimenting with that a little bit, cause that’s a thousand grams, that’s a thousand grams of protein. I mean, excuse me, a thousand calories. And I think there’s about 33 grams of protein per brick. So that’s an option, but one of the th one of the takeaways I took from inter interviewing the protein expert, Don layman was he’s like, protein’s important, but what, what also is really important is the amino acids and leucine, he talked about leucine three grams per meal was one of the notes I got from that. And certain, you know, obviously fish meat, eggs, whey um, has a high amount of leucine. Um, I’m sure you’re maybe familiar with that cuz you have a protein, uh, whey protein coming out.
Yeah. The, the whey protein supplement is a great way to ensure that you’re getting your protein needs met every day. Do you need to take a supplement? Of course not. And whole foods are always gonna outran, you know, even my precious organ supplements, they’re easy, they’re convenient. I take ’em every day and it helps fill in the gaps when I’m not slaving over the stove, cooking up heart, kidney and liver every single day, which I probably should be in. I’m trying to up my liver game in terms of, I put the chunks of frozen liver into that protein smoothie. So it’s kind of a, it’s a high protein, high, fat, high carbohydrate smoothie that gives me everything I need. And I’m now doing it, uh, first thing in the morning. But I think before we, before we move on to that, um, mm-hmm, , there’s another point about these tools, these restrictive diets and the benefits you get. I said that largely from what you eliminate. And I think the main thing that we need to get away from, but, and it means necessary. I know what
You’re gonna say
Is the, uh, the processed food.
And that is the key. Before we start talking about anything else about how many meals a day we’re choosing or what our macros are or what, what, what’s the next diet that we’re gonna pursue? Um, if there’s, if there’s any strategy that’ll help you stay away from the refined industrial seed oils, the refined carbohydrates. That’s the, that’s the gateway to dreaming of better health and better body composition. And if that’s not happening and you’re doing a half-ass job, then we might as well not talk about anything else.
I agree. I agree. Although you’ll have some people who are all about calories say, well, as long as you just restrict calories, a certain amount, then you’ll be better off no matter where those calories are coming from, you
Know, that Twinkie diet guy have you heard of that? Mm-hmm, some, some scientist, um, decided to test this theory. And so he calculated, you know, how many calories, uh, he burns every day and then went on this Twinkie diet and lost 20 pounds in short order because he only ate whatever a thousand calories of Twinkie and was burning 2000 a day or whatever. And we also know from television shows like The Biggest Loser that all these different strategies will be effective, but then we are very likely to experience a rebound effect. And one of the rebound effects of starvation diets or nutrient deficient diets is these intense cravings that last for weeks, months, or years, and the data on The Biggest Loser participants, virtually every one of ’em, six years later, still revealed signs of metabolic damage from the ordeal that they went through that only lasted six weeks or whatever. They were torched for six years because they were trained so hard and struggled and suffered so much and restricted calories. And they became eating machines afterward and almost all of them gained all that weight back. And we’re talking about a lot of weight with the participants on that show. Um, so that’s a pretty tragic consequence of doing it the wrong way.
Yeah. I mean, you have these two camps, you have the carb and we don’t have to get into all this. And I want to hear about your new routine, but you have the carb, insulin argument, you know, these high glycemic, high sugar foods or verse that are causing you to get fat verse the, um, almost like this energy balance of calories and calories out. And I think they’ll always be going against each other. There’s a lot of smart people on both sides of it. yeah. And that’s why I think it comes down to knowing your baseline, what you’ve been doing, what your markers are, how’s your sleep and, and things like that. And optimizing your, your life and your routines around getting optimal sleep and controlling stress. And, you know, if you like to eat high carb, even if you know, that’s fine and if it works for you and you feel energy, and if it’s, if, and you feel like you have, you know, good, you know, good testosterone and things like that, libido, then go for it. But if you’ve been doing low carb for a while, and I think, I think it, I don’t know, what’s your opinion. I mean, you went from low carb into now, you’re having a fruit, you know, in extravaganza in the morning where you’re, you know, yeah. Eating, I don’t know how much, how, what would you say? How many, how much fruit are you having in the morning?
Well, let’s go back to the historical, you know, the transition into ancestral eating. In 2008 when I started working on The Primal Blueprint with Mark Sisson. So prior to that, I was eating kind of a very healthy quote, unquote healthy grain-based diet, where I was emphasizing the best cereals, you know, not the sugar pops and the pink and yellow stuff, but, you know, granolas and, and natural products and whole wheat bread and, uh, the best of, uh, whatever. But it was a lot of carbohydrate intake and, um, quite different than going primal and ditching all grains and processed sugars. Uh, so that’s low carb because we’re comparing it to the disastrously high consumption of processed carbohydrates in the standard Western diet. So whenever we use those terms, I think it’s, it’s good to like couch it now that I probably still ate a sufficient amount of carbs all the way through.
I did that very brief, extreme keto experiment because we were writing and researching the first book, The Keto Reset Diet. And luckily we talked about a 21 day keto reset in the book rather than pitch keto as this lifelong strategy to just ditch all carbs for the rest of your life and feel better. Mm-hmm . But that part, I think gets problematic if you’re healthy, active, athletic, energetic. And so we know that the best benefits come from restrictive diets with people who have metabolic dysfunction, metabolic damage, and they are desperately needing a solution and a resource to become more metabolically flexible. But if you’re already showing signs of health and vitality, then a big question comes is, do you need to? I mean, you, you’re gonna have to convince me now why you’re only eating two meals a day, even though I coauthored the book Two Meals a Day, you can see it in the background on the video here. There it is. But maybe, um, in, in your particular personal case, that’s how we started the show with that experimentation, maybe you would try two meals and perish the thought some snacks or a giant protein smoothie in the morning. Like I’m eating and I will talk about my food experiment, but, um, I just wanna get your thoughts on that. And if, if things are swimming around where you’re reflecting more about why do you need fasting periods if you’re slamming that orange band
. Yeah, well, I mean, I, like, I, I obviously got into fasting because I had a client who was, who, who was looking for solutions. She was pre-diabetic. And so it had me go down that rabbit hole of fasting. So I’ve been doing fasting on and off for, I don’t know, seven years now give or take. But it’s a good question. If you’re metabolically healthy, you’re, you’re putting up a decent amount of weight in the weight room, and maybe you’re doing kickboxing and, and, uh, some sprints and things like that. Can you overdo it, you know, with restricting, you know, and not eating? I think you can, um, like for me, like you mentioned, and when I started tracking, I realized I probably am not consuming enough. Um, what is the ideal calorie intake for myself? I really don’t even know what that is.
I know there’s people who like to say that, oh, it should be this amount or this amount, but everyone, you know, everyone’s a little bit different, right? Like there’s a 2,500 calories. It’s a 3000 again, I think it comes down to measuring for a couple weeks, at least on an app, or even on a piece of paper, just writing it out and just seeing where you’re at with as far as calories protein. And I never used to be like this, but I do think it’s good to do at least for like two weeks, right. It’s not that fun tracking this stuff, but it can be an eye-opening experience. And I think it was a little bit for me. And after talking with you, I am trying to maybe have my times of feasting and increase my window a little bit more, which could be two and a half to three meals now.
And we’ll see how I feel on that. I’ve, you know, I open up my window today at 10:00 AM. Normally I didn’t open up my window until 2:00 PM. And so I’m opening up my window earlier, and then I’m working out a couple hours later and then adding in maybe a meal meal and a half after that, and I’ve been tracking it pretty diligently. I need to get a little bit better with that, but at least having an idea of how much protein I’m taking in. Um, and it I’m, I’ll be curious to see, I mean, I, I have to take the blood work just to see, not that I have to do that. I think a lot of times it’s just a feel, right. You sort of know, I’m curious to see how you’re feeling with your, you know, you know, fruit, fruit extravaganza that you’re having, but I am trying to consume a little bit more fruit, um, and seeing, and, and hitting up those carbs a little bit more to see how it affects my workouts, my daily energy and, you know, um, yeah, so,
Yeah. You mentioned that term redundant pathways in passing a while back. And I heard that term from Dr. Casey Means of levels health, highly respected physician. And she’s doing the continuous glucose monitor operation there. But the, the term means that you can get similar health benefits or fitness benefits, whatever, um, from doing different things. And so fasting and intense exercise are working on redundant pathways to give you these amazing cellular and health boosting benefits. There’s Brian showing his continuous school ghost monitor. I’m, I’m actually scanning just doing his thing, scanning the beeper. Yeah. so when you fast, some of the health benefits come because you’re starving your cells of energy, thereby prompting these wonderful processes, like Autophagy, that’s the natural internal cellular detoxification process that occurs when the cells need to work more efficiently because they’re not getting fueled constantly.
Um, mitochondrial biogenesis is the making of new or improved mitochondria to process energy more efficiently. So these processes are prompted when you challenge the cells by starving them from a nonstop drip IV of glucose and whatever, uh, when you do a sprint workout or you do, uh, a challenging X three bar workout, where you’re working variable resistance to total muscular failure in a short time, the same thing is happening. Ay, mitochondrial biogenesis, enhanced fat metabolism, enhanced immune function, all these great things. And so, uh, Mike Mutzel had a video recently, he’s the host of high intensity health, very respected sort of a, a journalist interviewer researcher and athlete himself. And one of his videos is like why I stop fasting? And what I’m doing instead, I think is the rough title But he made one quip where he said, look, you can fast for 24 hours and get all this cellular renewal benefits, or you can slam it in the gym for an hour.
Which one do you wanna do work hard for 24, or just go bust out a workout and be in that same, um, you know, a positive adaptive state afterward. So that’s an interesting point. And that brings up the that’s. Why I asked you the question of, if you are indeed, starving yourselves of energy on a regular basis and draining those glycogen tanks on a regular basis to become insulin sensitive. Um, you’re, you’re working, working those same pathways fasting. Now , now we gotta raise our hands. Are you slamming in the gym like Brian pulling those straps, or have you been missing some of your workouts and not moving enough throughout the day, then fasting keto, carb restriction, time, restricted feeding, all these things are gonna be important tools to get the job done. Our mutual friend, Melanie Avalon. Melanie Avalon biohacking podcast, she admittedly is not a huge fitness freak.
She does the muscle stimulation. It’s a very expensive. It’s called M sculpt. Yeah. M sculpt where yeah, she, they put electrodes on your body and it’s like doing a thousand bicep curls where you just sit there and let the machine do the work. Very interesting bio. I’ve done that before. For one time, I’ve done it once, but she’s on one meal a day and loves it and feels great and all that’s wonderful. But she’s also not draining her glycogen tanks from extreme 6:00 AM, uh, spin class. And so that is her redundant pathway is to wait until evening to eat her first bite of food. And that’s fine. And Dr. Saladino makes the important point when we’re talking about plant hormesis. In other words, getting these antioxidant benefits from consuming the kale smoothie or the salad or the vegetables, um, the same exact thing happens when you jump in the cold tub, you get an anti-inflammatory, you get an antioxidant boost, you get all these redundant pathways happening, and Paul’s argument is, um, there’s no side effects to jumping in the cold tub and getting out where there’s a ton of potential adverse side effects from consuming plant toxins.
Hmm. I’ll tell you the interesting thing I’ve noticed, but this continues glucose monitor on me. And I, I, I probably don’t, I don’t think you need to have it on for more than like a month. I mean, well, let’s just say this, the sensors last two weeks, but you only really need it. I think you do a two weeks to a month of data gathering, at least for me, because I eat about the same things. But now that I’m implementing a little bit more, I’m curious, cuz I do have a fairly, and I don’t know, I, I have a fairly high fasting blood glucose. You would think for someone and this could be going back to maybe, you know, maybe too much fasting, you know, and you know
Yeah. Explain that. Why that would come out high if you’re fasting and exercising and all that
Gluconeogenesis. Right. Gluco.
Yeah. I mean, you’re going to, you’re gonna make whatever glucose you need and amazingly miraculously, so the optimal amount of glucose in the bloodstream is five grams, total glucose. So at all times your liver is working hard to make sure your glucose is balanced. If it goes outta balance, you’re diabetic, you’re gonna, you know, collapse on the ground and um, go into a hypoglycemic coma or whatever, you know, so we’re very, very sensitive and we need this optimal glucose balance. I think we have seven liters of blood. And so in that giant pool of blood and through circling through the body, there’s only five grams of glucose. And so if you’re full on hardcore keto, Robert Sykes, whatever, hasn’t had a carb in years, uh, and working out hard. Yeah. You’re gonna be making your own glucose elegantly to put it right there in that you know, that, that tight zone that represents good health, hopefully it’s between 80 and one 20 or whatever people are saying is okay.
And that’s about where mine is. So I guess I’m, I’m not like that concerned with it. But it’s interesting when I do the cold plunge, what it does to my blood glucose. Have you noticed that, have you done that? No. Yeah. So yesterday I went in there for just a couple minutes at 6:30, my blood glucose went from 103 to 1 73
In, in the, uh, while you were in the tub you spiked. Yeah. Yeah.
Now could this be a mismeasurement? Maybe? I don’t know. I mean, it is a stressful event obviously, but I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m somewhat adept., You know, I’ve done it. I do it not every day. I maybe do it every few days or every other day. Anyways, I’m I, I just find that interesting and it goes right back to yeah. You know, to my that’s
That’s a classic fight or flight response. Mm-hmm, just like getting in the starting blocks for the a hundred meters. All those people are probably spiking glucose up to one 70 for a minute or two or three or whatever. Yeah. Very interesting.
Yeah. So yeah, it goes to your point a little bit that your body doesn’t know whether it’s getting in the cold plunge or, or you’re getting into an, an argument or you’re, you know, you got cut off your blood glucose is probably gonna spike from those incidences. And if it’s happening chronically, that’s an issue like for me, I’m not worried about it cuz I, I know what I did and it went right back to normal.
Right. And that’s the goal after eating, as well or with the, um, technology that Nutri and levels health is putting out the two main providers of continuous glucose monitor for home use. Um, they wanna see a nice, healthy average, right? Mm-hmm um, they wanna see a tight variability, so, uh, it’s gonna spike after meal desirably so. We want that insulin to come into the bloodstream too, and help you perform and recover and all that. But then we wanna see it drop out down within two hours and then we wanna see an overall favorable standard deviation. That’s right. Why it’s right there on the app face, where they wanna see overall, are you doing a good job controlling your blood glucose over the course of the day?
And I’m curious with your experimentation with adding in your carbs. fruit, how is that affecting you? Do you feel Okay?
Yeah. So finally, we’re gonna, we’re gonna talk about my, another major transition and another challenge to, uh, being open-minded, kind of rethinking and being flexible with, uh, potentially developing fixed and rigid beliefs and all that great stuff. And so the most recent one was, um, getting acquainted with this guy, Jay Feldman energy balance podcast, and then subsequently realizing that a lot of people are kind of talking in the same realm where we’re being, mindful of stacking stressors inappropriately and rethinking the need to fast or restrict carbohydrates, therefore active and athletic and energetic. So he makes a really great compelling case on the energy balance podcast, about this idea that you wanna perhaps, uh, fuel yourself optimally at all times, and minimize the stress coming from your, your nutrition and instead, you know, be fully equipped to perform and recover and live and thrive because you are eating in an optimal manner for what he’ll call energy balance or, you know, bio energetic function.
And so I said, you know what? This makes a lot of sense. He was on Ben Greenfield show and Ben hit him hard with interrogation and he passed with flying colors along with his sidekick Mike Fave, who appears on a lot of the shows and they reference science constantly. And so, um, I’d say it’s probably a controversial, a lot of things you might say on there are controversial or counter to the foundational principles of ancestral health and how wonderful fasting is and how keto has all these amazing benefits, but you can reconcile everything. It’s not this either. Or, and for me it was like, um, yeah, making sure that I’m optimally fueled and making sure that all these dials are turned up to maximum because I wanna lead a long, healthy, active, energetic life and, and prioritizing the development and maintenance of lean muscle mass throughout life as the number one factor to age gracefully. Lane Norton, the bodybuilder guy who is famous for say saying a crazy stuff that people object to or pay attention to.
He says, look, if you’re walking around packing a lot of muscle and you’re lean, you are automatically demonstrating that you are metabolically fit and protective of the typical disease risk factors. Where if you see somebody, uh, our age walking around with a spare tire, you’re like, dude, take a look at that spare tire. That’s going to determine your destiny fighting that spare tire battle because obviously the spare tire represents metabolic dysfunction. The accumulation of visceral fat around the abdomen, uh, suggests an inflammatory state and your, your secreting, these inflammatory cytokine chemicals into the bloodstream, messing up your metabolism, messing up, particularly your sex hormone function. And so you’re going to have a slippery accelerated slope downhill if you have a spare tire. But if you’re walking around jacked that person, unless they’re extreme over training and messing up their heart, like a lot of triathletes and endurance, ultra endurance people, that person has got like a, a flying color free pass.
And so I’m not saying you have to get, you know, the six pack and be busting through your tight shirt and turning heads, but just keeping that functional muscle mass rather than declining into sarcopenia, which is extremely common. I shouldn’t even say common. It’s just the baseline for aging. Modern citizens is sarcopenia. That’s the age related loss of muscle mass. So we become more stooped over a little softer, our legs get skinnier, and they start walking around on pegs when you’re out on the golf course in the summertime, looking at the, the seniors teeing off. And, um, everyone’s lost their muscle mass over time. And that corresponds with adverse metabolic health and poor organ function because the organ function is tied in directly to the health of your muscle mass. Right? If you’re, if you’re working your, your biceps work in your legs, that means that your heart, your lungs, your liver, everything’s working to support whatever you’re doing on the exercise realm.
You never, you never got into, uh,
Yeah. So there, I’ve just paused to be, to be polite to the post,
But no, while you’re, this is a dual host, you know, we’re both hosting, um, I mean, make a lot of great points and okay, so like you, like you mentioned your priority, right? So I think it depends on the goal of the in individual, right? You’re, you’re prioritizing maintaining or muscle mass as you age, and having just running optimally and you you’ve, you, you know, after your interviews with Jay and things like that, you decided to add in, and I’m assuming now you’re having pretty much three meals a day. Um, are you having your big shake and then you’re having right. Like,
Yeah. So, um, you know, prioritizing the maintenance of lean muscle mass and my, my argument there and, and lane Norton’s quip, this is, this should be everyone’s goal because if you don’t do that, you’re going to land in the stats. The number one risk factor for, um, for can, I guess, death and decline can, I guess in Americans over age 65 is falling and the related consequences, falling,
Hip fractures. Falling,
Right? You break your hip, you’re hospitalized, you get pneumonia, you die, you never come back to your, your thriving and falling of course, lack of balance, lack of muscle mass, all that. So we should all have this, uh, compelling goal to, to remain physically fit throughout life. And so, um, you might encapsulate this theory into this eat more, move, more diet or lifestyle.
Maybe we should come out with a book.
Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s pretty, it’s pretty clever, because how are we gonna, yeah, how are we gonna get more active? How are we gonna get more fit? How are we gonna do these workouts that we, we dream of, but maybe they’re too hard right now, or, or whatever, you know, how you gonna get better. You’re gonna need to nourish yourself and have the energy to go in there and perform and recover. And so if I just turned my attention to that for a moment, what I decided to do with this experiment was like, Hey, instead of, you know, my typical pattern would be to wake up. I work out in the morning, maybe a pretty intense workout, or maybe just my 40 minute morning routine, but I’m active as soon as I get up mm-hmm . And then I would kind of drift through the morning, typically, and around midday, I would start and have this lavish meal and then have another great dinner.
And I eat a lot of dark chocolate. So I’d probably nibble on that in the morning hours, but I wouldn’t, you know, go outta my way to prepare a bunch of food. And I felt fine. I’m alert, I’m energetic, I’m focused. But as Jay makes the important point there, when you feel alert, energized, focused, and not hungry from not eating, this is due to turning on the stress mechanisms that are allowing you to feel that way without energy. So you are kicking into gear, uh, stress hormones, such as cortisol, adrenaline, and glucagon, and they are liberating fuel from storage. So you’re burning your body fat. You might be making keytones if you’re doing this to the extreme devotion and everything feels great, but we must not forget that these are stress mechanisms in the body. Just like the stress mechanisms that you call upon to get through the challenging workout.
So, by Jay’s argument, if I instead wake up and fuel myself with a huge bowl of fresh fruit and a giant protein smoothie, that has a lot of calories in there when I’m listing the ingredients and I’m putting in wonderful whey protein creatine, uh, probably a couple dozen organ pills, several chunks of frozen raw liver and big loads of frozen, frozen assorted fruit. So again, high carb, high protein and nutritious fat in there as well. So I have a lot of calories in the morning. I would probably say that’s probably adding up to a thousand calories or something that’s significant. And I’ve been on that experiment for three months now. Wow. Counting and then eating regularly, uh, the other times. So I’ll probably have a significant lunch most every day, the significant dinner, and then going outta my way in the evenings, making a concerted effort to get up and consume more calories when otherwise I would probably be watching my, you know, watching my behavior because
Wait, are you talking about after dinner?
Yeah. Yeah. So bowls of fruit, more dark chocolate. Wow. Um, more liberal, uh, enjoyment of the popcorn that I talk about a lot on my podcast, which I reference as my weakness. That’s not one of the nutritious foods, but once in a while, or maybe more than once in a while that comes into the mix. But mainly the focus is on nutritious carbohydrates, such as fresh fruit, the most easy to digest in the most nutrient dense foods. And so that is a radical departure from kind of the boiler plate that we’ve been talking about, where vegetables and, um, you know, things like nuts and seeds and all these things are, are fresh and recommended, but they also land in that category of potentially objectionable due to their due to their natural plant toxin levels.
So you’ve been doing this for three months,
Three months weigh the same, same body weight, same body composition. I’m still vain as they say, oh, excuse me, I can still see my veins or both whatever.
Yeah. You’re not vain. You’re not VA.
And, am I reporting any magical, amazing peak performance breakthroughs? No, I’m very careful not to, you know, to blather on, uh, on a, on a public recording here. But I feel like I’m on the right path. And it’s also interesting to note for any naysayers that I weigh the same, despite showering every single morning, rather than, um, skimping and taking a square of dark chocolate instead.
So you’ve probably in over the three months, increased your calories by over a thousand.
You know, I’d probably say it’s more like Ryan Baxter’s experiment where it turns out to be 600 additional calories a day. I would, I would be comfortable with a number like that.
And your carb count has gone up quite a bit.
Yeah, for sure. Right.
I mean, if you’re having fruit, you’re having that fruit smoothie in the morning and then you’re having fruit after dinner?
Oh, sure. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, Saladino is a big fan of raw honey. And so I will go and hammer some raw honey if I feel like it. And, more sweet potatoes, uh, more okay. Just, yeah, more, more devotion to a broad based nutrient dense diet is still, I’d call it animal based, right. With extensive carbohydrates and possibly earning those carbs as Liver King likes to say. And I kind of like that concept where if you’re sitting in working long hours at your desk and you’re saying, oh, Brad Kern says eat a bunch of fruit in the morning and at night. And I haven’t done shit all day and I haven’t even, you know, so much has hustled up a staircase instead of walk slowly. This is not what we’re talking about here. So I think the energy optimization experiment goes hand in hand with being as active as possible or as active as you desire.
I, I I’m correcting myself cuz Melanie corrected me when I said, you know, you wanna be as active as possible, right? She’s like, well, you know, I have my desired level of activity and I don’t wish to live my life, uh, being a fitness freak or someone who’s, you know, obsessed with, they have to burn this many calories every day. So I get that. I totally respect that. I love being active. You know, I don’t mind taking my dog for a walk as many times a day as she’ll hang with me. And of course I need to get my workouts in and I love to take my breaks and I love my morning routine, et cetera.
Have you felt diff, like you said, you don’t, you’re reporting back, nothing crazy. You, you say you weigh about the same. I don’t know if you did any body composition things, uh, before and after so far. It’s, I mean, it’s been three months, which, you know, that’s a decent amount of time, but like it’s
Enough time to get fat. Right.
It’s enough time to get fat for sure. Yeah.
What’s his name?
I don’t think you’re ever gonna get fat. I can remember that. I mean,
Drew Manning, Fit to Fat to Fit. He was gonna take six months and try to gain, um, 60 pounds for his experiment. His ver very well chronicled experiment. If you haven’t heard of that, I had a show with him. You can look him up. Um, yeah. And it took him like, it took him like 63 days, he got fat so fast. It, it blew his mind.
Well, he also ate, you know, right. Standard American diet refined, you know, he’s not eating whole foods like you were, so, yeah. Yeah. So, um, but did, what about like? What about like energy and like, cuz like, you know, you’re so used to in the mornings, not having much, maybe having a little chocolate and moving on with your day, did, was there a shift, did you find that, having that, that big shake in the morning, a little bit of an adjustment and how you felt energy wise?
Uh, no. I felt, I, I felt great while doing it immediately and I also felt pretty good before the experiment begun and I was, uh, sucking on dark chocolate in the morning hours. And I think the, um, the, the insight here is that your body will do a pretty good job if you’re a healthy specimen in regulating energy mood appetite, whether you eat or not, that shows that you have metabolic flexibility. But my thinking here is that I wanna direct all of my stress hormones and all of my stress tolerance to my workout, performance and recovery, not to mention my stressful life where UPS lost our shipment again and I’m screaming at the person because they lost also my claim for my shipment. You know what I mean? Like, yeah, we have enough stress that we have to deal with every day.
And mine particularly relates to you know, still being athletic at age 57, which I also count as a huge stress factor. If I’m looking at a scoreboard, I should probably write 57 on the top. And then on number two, I should write likes to high jump and sprint like a, like a high school idiot while being 57. And then number three is, uh, whatever it is like. You know, if you’re, if you’re on a ketogenic diet and you’re a girl and you do CrossFit, we’re gonna have a sit down conversation like, okay, listen, sweetie. You’re already lean, you’re metabolically healthy. You’re slamming yourself in the gym. Maybe you’re going to that workout too many times per week. And you’re counting your macros and limiting your carbs. I’m counting a lot of stress factors on one hand and I don’t see a lot of appropriate replenishment refueling.
And so that was, that was my thinking was here’s this old athlete trying to be good and I’m gonna, I’m gonna start hitting the fruit in the protein smoothie. And I think what I’ve made, I conclude to be a lifelong shift in that direction. Because again, like you said, I’m eating healthy, nutritious foods. It’s I’m not gonna get fat. Dr. Robert Lustig, one of the greatest, uh, researchers and anti sugar crusaders on the planet, mega bestselling author, his most recent book Metabolical I interviewed him and he said, look, you’re not gonna get fat. You’re not gonna get, metabolic disease. If you eat exclusively wholesome natural foods, it’s impossible. The brain will not let you, the appetite centers, the CCK and your stomach, the ghrelin. Everything is gonna be optimized and leptin signaling. If you get rid of processed foods, you can’t get fat. Now that’s a pretty mind blowing and strong assertion.
And I was like, are you sure, dude, that Mark Bell disagreed with me on the power project podcast. He goes, are you kidding? I can eat enough steak and eggs to get fat in, in no time. So I guess outside of the extreme examples, the point is well taken that, of course, after you eat a certain amount of fruit, like I can eat a pineapple Brian, but I can’t eat two pineapples in the morning. Right. My stomach is already, you know, it’s blowing up with water and fiber and uh, processing, you know, so it’s a wonderful strategy to emphasize those natural, nutritious, easy to digest foods, gain that satiety, feel great all day long and not have to traffic in potentially stressful activities.
Yeah, no, I mean, I think for someone like yourself and even for myself, this is, this is like a nice maybe balance or self experimentation to check out and see how, how you feel and how it works. And for you, obviously for three months going through it it’s work, it’s it, you know, you’re feeling great. And I think what, what what’s most important is, you know, long term sustainability and compliance on, on whatever you’re doing. Um, and for someone else and maybe majority of the people, I don’t know, not necessarily even listening to this podcast cuz I’m sure a lot of the people listen to this podcast have a lot of things in line, but people who don’t have those things in line and they’re not that active and um, you know, they’d be needing, you know, a lot of processed foods then maybe they should, um, maybe they have to find one of these dials, whether it’s fasting or, or something else to sort of dial into before they go this route. You know what I’m saying before they go this?
Sure. Yeah. And I think about that all the time, cuz we’re trying to crack this code. You know, if we, if we could crack the code on how do you lose excess body fat? Um, we’d have a lot of nickels for every nickel that we receive from cracking the code. Uh, Jay has an interesting kind of, uh, counterpoint to that. Mm-hmm that even if you wanna lose excess body fat, you are obligated to nourish yourself appropriately with all the macros so that your cellular energy production is optimal. Mm-hmm and thereby you can get the energy that you need to get active enough to burn excess body fat and change the, um, hormonal and the genetic signaling. And I think what, what we can step aside, we, we have to step aside from science for a moment because I’ve been an athlete for a long time, as have you.
And I will tell you, um, to quote Mark Sisson quote, nothing cuts you up like sprinting end quote. And I believe that there are things that transcend the laboratory analysis where if you can turn in some brief explosive activities, you are gonna send profound, uh, messages. Uh, genetic switches are gonna turn on and hormones are gonna flow that will prompt you to reduce excess body fat. So whatever you can do to get out there and do the eight minute workout on the Carol bike that I love to do that involve some all out sprints or do my sprint workouts and things that I, the progressions that I put on, uh, on YouTube, if you can get out there and be that kind of athletic type person, again at all fitness levels, you, you can sprint on a bike if you’re not competent yet to sprint on the ground and then work your way up to sprinting upstairs or, you know, low impact, medium impact.
But if you can do that, you’re gonna send the right signals to your body to drop excess body fat outside of, I don’t care what anyone tells me or any scientist saying that there’s limits and there’s constraints it’s gonna happen for you. Um, we always joke, you know, have you ever seen a fat sprinter? And the answer is no. At any level, even like even, you know, high school, college, elite, international, I saw the sprints run the world championships. Um, they’re, they’re universally extreme, you know, fit physical specimens cuz they work their body that hard. And so if you can get to that point and how do you get to that point? Hey, maybe it’s just eating as many nutritious foods as you can. Dr. Tommy Wood has told me this for several years and I’m appreciating it more and more and more.
He said, you know what? I tell my healthy athletic clients, I say, eat as much nutritious food as you possibly can, until you gain a pound of fat and then dial it back a little bit. And that’s when you discovered your optimal. And so I could stick that to you right now. If you’re only eating two meals a day and your protein was a little bit under what if you went to the extreme and went overboard on everything and went for four meals a day or whatever, and maybe you’re doing some extra workouts or who knows what’s gonna happen, or maybe your body’s just adjusting and compensating and some dials are turning a little bit more up than they already are. That’s what I’m looking for is going from level seven to level nine. And I don’t even know if I’m at level seven. I might be at level five. I don’t know.
Yeah, well maybe I’ll do this cuz I’ve just been dabbling a little bit in it. And um, you know, maybe I’ll do a Dexus scan. I have blood work next week, you know, so I’ll see my body fat percentage and things like that. I haven’t done it in probably six months or so maybe a little bit. I did it like four months ago, and blood work start, um, tracking consumption and you know, maybe do like a three month experiment of consuming. I’ll tell you one thing. I will have to force myself , you know what I’m saying? Cuz like, even like my wife, I try to force her to eat a little bit more and it feels like she’s under consuming. But I think when you get used to that, I’m sure there’s a lot of people that are, that are listening that have been doing low carb and you know, having these high satiating meals, you’re just not hungry, you know, and you almost have to force yourself, like I have to like force myself to eat that keto brick um, yeah. And or that fruit. Yeah. Yeah.
That’s interesting. I, I wonder what you think about that. Cuz one thing that I’ve experienced from this experiment is that now I get hungry.
And you’re craving it,
Get hungry. And I can’t last and a couple days went by in recent, recent weeks where I didn’t really get much to eat until 2:00 PM cuz we were traveling we’re on the road, we’re driving to Oregon. And boy, I was conking out like, Hey, you better pull over. I need some food, me more. This is um, you know, I’m feeling goofy. Interesting. And that, that never happened in the previous decade because I was so fat adapted and so alert and energized and keto and uh, of course I’m making ketones. That must be what’s happening and that’s all fine and dandy. Uh, but again, when you call upon the stress response to keep your energy, mood, appetite, stable, um, I’m, I’m strongly, uh, of the opinion that it’s possible to overdo it. Here’s another amazing one liner that really resonated with me that Jay Feldman said about people, uh, pushing back and saying, you know, the reason I’m low carb is because, uh, I’m pretty sensitive.
And when I have a, a, a meal that’s tie in carbohydrates, I, I crash and burn right away. I feel bad. And he said, um, there’s four possible reasons. One of ’em which the one that slapped me in the face was this is unmasking your reliance upon stress hormones. Oh shit!. That’s definitely, uh, I, I can ring late. And so you’re going, going, you feel fine, you’re working hard. Maybe it’s a stressful work day where you’re really cranking and your brain is going and then you break and have a sweet potato and then you can’t get rallying after lunch. And if that’s unmasking my reliance upon stress hormones, then guess what? I wanna rewind the clock a little bit. And I wanna make sure that I have enough fruit in the morning and protein smoothie and get fully nourished so that I don’t have to drain my gas tank and then crash and burn. And I think we can definitely relate to that when we’re doing indulgent foods like, oh, you’ve had a busy, stressful day. You’re finally relaxing on the couch. You grab the Ben and Jerry’s, you hit that pretty hard. You’re halfway or two thirds of the way done. And then you crash and burn after consuming that, um, that’s, you know, from the processed food, but it’s also maybe just, you know, the bottoming out of running on fumes the whole day.
Yeah, no, I mean, it’s, these are all interesting, um, levers, I, I would say mm-hmm that you can sort of play on and I think, you know what you’re doing and what maybe I’ll give a try, uh, for a few months and see and see where it lands me and I’m not totally opposed to it. And I think also too, um, and I’m, you know, I’m curious if maybe you’ll just mess around, you know, you’ve been doing it for three months. Do you ever say to yourself, God, you know, maybe I’ll just take a day off and just fast.
Well, that’s funny cuz I do without prompting, like I’m talking about on the road trip, right? And so, um, I am reflecting like, am I now more fragile? And because I’m feeling goofy at 2:00 PM where before I, I didn’t care and it’s possibly, um, it’s possibly a good sign that I’m turning on my hunger signals to that extent, even though many people would say, no, that’s a bad sign. That’s showing you’re, you’re losing your metabolic flexibility or what have you. But I think if you can turn those signals up, uh, again, because I’m in the 57 year old age group and I’m trying for peak athletic performance, I wanna turn everything up and keep those dials up for as long as possible so that I can live a long, healthy, active, energetic life. In contrast, let me think of my father who made it to 97.
He had a wonderful run through life. Anyone can celebrate living that long in exceptional health for almost the entire time. But in his final days when he was slowing down and, and sleeping, instead of walking around, he wasn’t very hungry. Everything was turned down and people can last like that for a long time. So maybe the last year of his life, we had to force him to eat and make five different meals and see which one he would go for. But that represents kind of a slowing of metabolic function, which is associated with disease and decline. Of course. So if I have an appetite like a horse and it’s getting bigger, now I’m gonna put a thumbs up there and I’m gonna reference first. I talk about my dad. Now I’ll talk about my son who literally eats or works out all day long.
He wakes up, he eats the drinks, a giant smoothie goes and uh, eats a giant breakfast, does a workout, a little workout of something eats, again, goes to the gym in the afternoon, gets some takeout, comes home, the takeout’s finished and then he makes a meal. I mean, it’s unbelievable. And guess what? He doesn’t have diabetes. He’s put on 35 pounds of muscle since high school and four years natty style. Okay. Like for the real deal, he just loaded his body up with muscle due to his extreme workout regimen and massive dietary habits. And he’s a good eater. He is a culinary interest. And so he eats good food and it’s an eyeopening thing to see cuz it’s like, do you do anything but eat? He just eats all day long. And the takeaway is it’s, it’s working for him. And of course he’s in that age group and that phase of life where he might not be able to sustain that the rest of his life. But if we can take, you know, honor a bit of that example and then compare and contrast with someone in their final days who isn’t hungry and is picking at and biting at the food. I don’t wanna be that guy until my number’s up. And so if fasting in the morning while trying to exercise, uh, and recover from that sprint workout is pushing me in the wrong direction rather than the direction of my son. Who’s put on his 35 pounds of muscle in four years. I’m gonna wanna be the muscle man.
Yeah. Lots of great points. I think, I think, um, there’s this concept of like over dieting? I think I talked about it with Robert Sykes where you’re actually, you know, over consuming go through periods of time where you’re over consuming and then periods of time where maybe, um, oh
Yeah, you’re talking about, um, reverse dieting.
Yeah. Reverse diet. Yeah. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
That’s, that’s really interesting. Mike Mutzel has the whole video. I was watching some of that. I think he was talking to Robert Sykes maybe. Yeah. Um, but the, the, tell us the goal there of doing that.
I think the goal of and I’m not like no expert in this cause I’ve actually never done it on myself, but is, is, is almost like what you’re doing, where you’re, you’re, you’re giving these signals to your body that there’s abundance and then there’s, there’s enough and your body will sort of turn up all the levers and be, and, and not go into like this, you know, flight or flight. There’s these stress responses like you talked about. So I think it’s maybe the same idea that you’re talking about is this, um, reverse dieting. But I think going through periods of that, and then maybe going through periods of, of, you know, like for example, what you’re doing, like three months of what you’re doing and then maybe taking a day or two and just saying, Hey, you know what, because I know looking ancestrally, like I know like Jay, you know, I’ve seen articles on it where he talks about, well, yeah, we can look at our ancestors and say they did this day to that doesn’t always mean that we should be doing it. And I do
Excellent point. Yeah.
You know? Yeah. The whole fasting’s beneficial because it’s sort of our evolutionary history and mm-hmm um, you know, but if you look at like, let’s just say, I know this like the Hazda though. Right. And I, and there’s, you know, like I know Saladino and a few others have gone and visited them and, and the question was proposed, well, what, what’s their day like? And I think a big part of their day is being outside, being in nature, having community, not having a lot of stressors, but also too, they go periods and, and all these, all of them have like, you know, whatever, 7, 8, 9% body fat and look great. , you know, they, I think they don’t have these outside stressors and they don’t worry about that first meal. They almost just they’re, they’re roaming and they’re going, and, and they have these hunting times and these times where they just lay low.
Um, and these days where they’re, there’s over abundance of foods, when they have a, where they, where they, they have, they, you know, they hunt down a, a wild animal and that lasts them for maybe a day or two, but then they go a little bit without it. So, you know, again, we can talk, so we’re blue in the face. I think the, I think it just depends on what the history of that individual has done in the past, what their goals are. And, um, and trying to balance, you know, um, times of over abundance, but then maybe times of, you know, where you sort of give it a break.
Well, that’s, that’s great. And, um, that’s a really important reflection is how deeply do we wanna, uh, link ourselves to the ancestral example? And you pointed out some ways that we can honor them and other ways where we can go, you know what those dudes are struggling right now, the Hazda are getting encroached by society. And now they’re, uh, relegated to hunting baboons instead of big, giant, uh, wonderful beasts that are running the planes, cuz they’ve been restricted mm-hmm . And so, um, they’re not thriving in a manner that the winner of last weekend’s CrossFit games is thriving. And in fact, Tommy Wood, uh, cites research saying that today’s elite level athlete like a CrossFit games person or an iron man person, or that the track athletes that I saw competing in the world championships, they perform six times as much physical energy expenditure than the busiest hunter gatherer that has ever lived.
And so even the roughest times of the old days, where these guys were dealing with harsh winners and having to go build shelters or continue to hunt and track the animal, even when they were struggling. No comparison to Matthew Frazier’s YouTube workout, where he’s throwing around weight and then putting it down and running a six minute mile with a 15 pound weight vest and coming back and throwing around more weight. So, how, you know, how do we wanna optimize modern life, going beyond what’s possible and explore what is optimal. Maybe that’s a nice closing to the show. It’s like, let’s not, let’s not, um, you know, let’s not settle for what’s possible for a human let’s pursue what’s optimal.
Yeah. I think that that’s a good way. I mean, we could talk for another two hours. I would just say that, I think for anybody listening that it’s good to start and know where you’re at and where you wanna go mm-hmm , you know, and, um, you know, we could look at all different examples of what works for one person. There’s a fruitarian. I remember listening to, uh, you know, how all he does eat fruit and there’s other people who do it the other way. And all they do is eat and meat and they’re thriving. So yeah, I guess I think it’s important to just know where you’re at and that could be blood work. That could be a DXA that, that could be tracking your macros for a couple weeks and, and then seeing where you want to go. And I think, um, with that being said, I think it’s important to find a coach and find someone that’ll help guide you on, on your journey of health, because it’s your journey. It’s no one else’s so,
Oh, love it, man. Another, another memorable quote for, for Brian’s Instagram,
Put that on the board.
Yeah. So you can, uh, connect with me listeners bradkerns.com, listen to the B.rad podcast. And Brian, tell us where we can link up with you
Get Lean; Eat Clean. Brian Gryn.com. Um, yeah, I got a book coming out in September, so I’m excited about that, so,
Oh, okay. We we’ll get, uh, we’ll reconnect. We’ll check how your experiment went. Yeah. And, uh, learn all about your book. Thanks everybody for listening. What a show.
Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it, Brad.
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