“Breakfast is the important meal of the day,” according to decades-long conventional wisdom—however, this notion has been slammed in recent years along with the rise of the Ancestral health movement.

But now, breakfast is coming back in style for many reasons—especially for healthy, active folks looking to pursue peak performance and avoid disease and delay aging. Listen to this episode to learn about the benefits of eating breakfast, why the morning hours are the most opportune time to consume calories, why certain people should still consider partaking in fasting for health benefits, why skipping breakfast or eating low-carb can be too stressful for certain people, how to treat an “energy toxicity” problem, and much more!


Breakfast is making a comeback after being derided in the ancestral movement. [00:44]

What is important is understanding how to consume the right foods for your activities during the day. [02:03]

Consume fewer nutrient deficient calories because that is the main culprit causing metabolic function problems. [05:28]

If you simply eliminate processed foods, you can’t get fat. (Lustig) [06:39]

The idea that too many eggs will give you a heart attack has been disproven. [08:47]

For many years, Brad would skip breakfast.  Now he has done a complete about face. [09:37]

Fruit provides easy-to-digest calories, good all year around. [11:31]

A large number of genes associated with energy utilization are under circadian control. [15:21]

Break your fast in the morning emphasizing protein. A recent study showed that 78% of the people in the study who ate breakfast every day, lost weight and kept it off long-term. [19:58]

Weigh yourself every day.  [23:15]

It is easy to add excess body fat when eating non-nutritional processed foods. [26:24]

Brad’s motto is: perform, recover, perform, recover. Don’t forget keto is a stress mechanism. [30:24]

Brad talks about his recent fasting as a result of having COVID. [35:41]

Make a concerted effort to consume the most nutritious foods. [37:34]



We appreciate all feedback, and questions for Q&A shows, emailed to podcast@bradventures.com. If you have a moment, please share an episode you like with a quick text message, or leave a review on your podcast app. Thank you!

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B.Rad Podcast:

Brad (00:00):
Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three, world ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype, hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.

Brad (00:38):
The morning hours are the most opportune time to consume calories.

Brad (00:44):
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s what they say, that’s what they’ve always said. Recall the old conventional wisdom, decades old, along with the US government guidelines, food pyramid and food plate. And this notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day has been slammed in recent years, in the past 15 years with the rise of the ancestral health movement. And as the party line goes, uh, this notion that we need to wake up and immediately stuff our face with calories to get energy to go through the day is quite, disparate from the ancestral model where our ancestors, of course, had irregular feeding and they did just fine. And they engaged wonderful mechanisms like keto to continue carrying on with high energy and good focus. And so the ancestral message was really, you know, poking, uh, criticism at this carbohydrate paradigm, as they call it, where we are so metabolically unhealthy, that our main source of energy is outside calories, starting with that orange juice, cereal toast, and jelly toast in the morning.

Brad (02:03):
And so that was rightfully second guessed. And we realized the tremendous value of becoming metabolically flexible and metabolically healthy, such that we could function just fine fasting in the morning hours, and improving our body’s ability to burn stored body fat as the primary source of energy. So all that message is wonderful and sensible, and of course, a preferred alternative to existing in the carbohydrate paradigm. However, now it appears that breakfast is coming back in style for many reasons, especially among healthy, active folks looking to pursue peak performance and even avoid disease delay aging, primarily through the maintenance of all around physical fitness, especially maintaining functional muscle strength throughout life, which requires a tremendous emphasis on dietary protein, as well as doing the hard work with brief intense strength training sessions, sprinting and being active throughout the day. So we have this new notion you could call it eat more, move more, or you could call it, muscle centric medicine, the term coined by Dr. Gabrielle Lyon.

Brad (03:25):
And the idea is that fueling the body with nutritious calories is going to promote healthy, active lifestyle. And promote is different than <laugh>. It doesn’t equate with it, but you gotta get out there and exercise and do the workouts as well as fuel yourself. So I wanna do a show about rethinking this obsession with skipping breakfast as a gold star for metabolic flexibility, and instead reflect on the many ways in which the morning hours are the most opportune time to consume calories, because that’s when you are the most insulin sensitive. And in contrast, sometimes what happens if you are devotedly trying to adhere to a tight eating window or a 16 eight pattern, that would be 16 hours of fasting, an eight hours time window in which you consume your calories. Sometimes what happens is calories get back loaded into the evening.

Brad (04:24):
I’m sure we can all relate where we’re fasting, we’re fasting, we feel great, we feel great. We break for lunch finally, and then we carry on. And then at 8:00 PM we’re reaching for the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, or slamming a big bowl of popcorn because we were under fueled throughout the day. And we’re getting these hunger and satiety hormones dysregulated from an overly stressful approach to diet. This is particularly evident with the hard training crowd who also tries to pair that with carbohydrate restriction, eating window restriction. And you end up stressing the body tremendously to be able to perform the workout, perhaps in a fasted state and perhaps even fasting or having a meal that’s very low in carbohydrates after you’ve burned a bunch of carbohydrates during the workout. So this would be the discussion of how breakfast may be coming back into style for many people looking to lead healthy, active lifestyle.

Brad (05:28):
And that’s where we have kind of a fork in the road. Because if you are still operating with metabolic dysfunction, the energy toxicity model, as Dr. Layne Norton calls it, which is the overarching problem with modern society, where we consume and store too many calories and burn too few calories such that we have an energy toxicity problem, we have an overdose of calories coming in and not enough being burned. So if you’re in that state as evidenced by, for example, lifelong accumulation of excess body fat and adverse blood values that grow over time, now you’re drifting into the pre-diabetic category along with 100 million plus Americans. That is the mainstream path that we’re seeing. And so we first want to extricate from that by any means necessary, which is to become more active in daily life and consume fewer nutrient deficient calories, thereby turning on your metabolism to work as intended, as well as your hunger and satiety hormone.

Brad (06:39):
So I didn’t just say consume fewer calories, period, I said consume fewer nutrient deficient processed foods because this is the main culprit that is causing metabolic dysfunction, energy toxicity. I often reference the wonderful quote from my former podcast guest, Dr. Robert Lustig, when he said, if you simply eliminate processed foods, you can’t get fat. What are you sure said, Brad Kearns? He said, yes. I said, will you stake your reputation and your life’s work on it? He said, yes. And so he believes, he contends with a lot of research behind him that the obesity problem, the type two diabetes problem, the incidences of cancer and all the metabolic related diseases, which are among the top killers, are collectively, really causing so much demise, including heart disease driven by energy, toxicity, and poor dietary habits. He contends this is entirely due to nutrient deficient processed foods that our body does not know what to do with.

Brad (07:38):
And on the flip side, and I want you to consider this from your own perspective, it’s pretty darn difficult to get fat <laugh> on consuming nutrient dense, natural wholesome foods. Can you get fat eating too many steaks and too many eggs and too much fruit? Mark Smelly Bell contends, yes, I sure can. I can eat steaks till the cows come home and put on some excess body fat. But I think the important takeaway point here is that it’s really, really difficult to become metabolically unhealthy when you exclusively consume nutritious process, nutritious, natural foods. Why? Because when you consume a giant bowl of fruit, as I do every morning now with my recent experiment, or a delicious steak, or a hamburger or eggs or wild caught salmon, or all the wonderful plant foods that you might enjoy, it’s sending the proper signals to your appetite and satiety hormones such that it’s really, really difficult to eat too much broccoli and feel like crap or eat too many steaks or too many eggs.

Brad (08:47):
Andrew Zaragoza, the co-host of the Mark Bell Power Project, was talking to me, uh, during our, our interview about how he has 10 eggs for breakfast. Now, this is a high powered guy. He does juujitsu. He lifts weights. He’s very busy, he’s very fit, he’s very lean. But when he leaves the home for his busy day over at the gym, that is what fuels him. And a lot of people might scoff and say, wow, that’s crazy. That’s ridiculous. What about all that cholesterol? All this stuff has been strongly disproven. And if you’re stuck in that mindset that, that all those eggs are gonna give him a heart attack, you’re around 40 to 50 years behind the emerging research. So what he’s getting is a tremendous amount of protein as well as the healthful fats that are found and all the other micronutrients that are found, especially in the egg yolk, and that is fueling him for a busy, active, energetic day.

Brad (09:37):
Okay, so, for more details, I mentioned my bowl of fruit. You can look up my YouTube video about Brad’s New morning routine. Uh, of course, right on the heels of my morning exercise routine that I talk about frequently, I have been slamming a giant bowl of fresh fruit, followed by a super duper, nutrient dense high protein smoothie with healthful nutritious fats, as well as carbohydrates in the smoothie. But the centerpiece being three scoops of my B.rad Whey Protein Plus Creatine Super Fuel. So that is my start to the day just about every day, not every single day, but that represents a big shift from years prior to that. For years, I would generally skip breakfast because I wasn’t hungry, because I was metabolically flexible. I felt fine, I felt energetic alert. I could do my work, I could do my workout, and I would perhaps nibble on dark chocolate until around midday.

Brad (10:36):
And then I would go prepare my first centerpiece meal of the day. Mark Sisson and I wrote a great book called Two Meals a Day. Generally, putting up strategies such as that where you might be picking lunch and dinner. Some people might pick breakfast and dinner indeed. But the general notion that this necessity of sitting down, three meals a day on the clock is flawed and dated, because it possibly suggests, uh, metabolic dysfunction. But if you’re healthy and you’re energetic and you are burning a lot of calories, why, I contend that that natural nutritious calories that I consume in the morning is certainly not harmful to my metabolic health. And I will stand up and debate any expert that contends that my consuming fresh fruit and a nice protein smoothie is anything but helping nourish an active energetic lifestyle.

Brad (11:31):
So we have to kind of sort through the hype, the somewhat of misinformation and especially the sound bites and short takeaways that don’t offer the proper context and the full perspective whereby fasting is automatically given a gold star as a positive thing. And then caving in before your time window enters and you only lasted till 11:00 AM is somehow giving you some negative points and making you feel inferior to the people that can go out to forget about two meals a day OMD became popular in recent years. That’s one meal a day. And sure, that’s impressive that someone can go all day long without eating food. But as I’ve said a few times recently, on podcast episodes, we have to also reflect on what’s possible versus what is optimal in today’s hectic, high stress, modern lifestyle. So this obsession with ancestral health, where our ancestors didn’t eat any fruit all winter long because it wasn’t ripe, and they did just fine, they were in ketosis for months on end.

Brad (12:41):
And you can do that too, that’s fine. But is it optimal in today’s life where, for example, we have largely neutralized winter because there are cheap flights on Southwest Airlines over to Hawaii. So all of a sudden we’ve thrust ourselves out of a winter experience into a tropical experience. And for many other reasons too, we go into well lit, warm, or temperate gyms to slam workouts in the middle of winter rather than huddle up in a dark cave. So I contend that really the ancestral winter is non-existent these days, especially with artificial light indoors artificially lengthening in our days throughout the winter. We don’t have that hibernation type strategy that might’ve informed the lifestyles of our ancestors. So we can reject these notions. One of ’em on a sticky note on my wall for a long time was from Dr. David Perlmutter, well-respected author and expert.

Brad (13:40):
And he doesn’t want people to consume fruit during the winter because it’s against our ancestral example. And I put that right up with the Southwest Airlines Flash Sale, $80 flights one way from the West Coast to Hawaii. And that thereby negating any comparison to the ancestral example of not consuming fruit in the winter. Furthermore, the fruit is available all winter long at your grocery store. And we might contend that that is more optimal than being deprived of a nutritious, easy to digest calorie source such as fruit, during the winter because it’s not there. Now, as an aside, I’m in favor of eating locally, emphasizing the fresh seasonal fruit. So you might be consuming vastly less fruit in the winter than you do in the summer farmer’s market. We just got back from, uh, an incredibly large and bountiful farmer’s market where I got six flats of blackberries thinking I was being a ball hog.

Brad (14:39):
I didn’t wanna take ’em for everybody, but they were gone in like two and a half days ’cause they’re good. You reach for ’em, you reach for more, you reach for more. And that is what true summer is all about. I’m not gonna be doing that in the winter from the ones that are flown in from Chile because they’re inferior in many ways. But I think you get my point, and I want to continue on with a message that was shared with me, uh, by one of my favorite, uh, leaders in the ancestral game. That’s Dr. Tommy Wood. He’s a pediatric brain researcher at the University of Washington, former head of the Ancestral Physician Society. His shows that we did a few years ago. I would urge you to go back and listen to those ’cause they were so sensible and easy to understand.

Brad (15:21):
And big picture, even from a, a distinct expert who’s deep into the research and has tremendous scientific background. He simplifies everything to great takeaways. And, I received these insights a long time ago, and it took a while for me to actually, you know, embrace them fully, this idea of being fully fueled for hectic, high stress, modern life. But he also has some comments about the benefits or the importance of consuming calories in the morning. Quote, A large number of genes associated with energy utilization are under circadian control. And many peak earlier in the day. We know that eating later at night is associated with worse metabolic health and worse sleep, especially. Now I’m gonna interject, especially eating after dark, uh, because that really throws off the digestive circadian rhythm, which is closely aligned with circadian rhythm. That’s from the work of Dr. Panda.

Brad (16:18):
And so, back to Tommy’s quote, eating late at night, bad deal. There’s a general inhibitory effect of melatonin on glucose handling. Uh, even if your diet quality is good, I think avoiding food for three hours before bedtime is beneficial for those reasons. If you’re consuming a certain number of calories to support athletic performance, a reasonably wide feeding window like 10 to 12 hours perhaps with protein dispensed throughout the day, is going to be important most of the time for most athletes. And if you’re curtailing that window due to some strategy that you’re implementing, like a 16 eight pattern, if you’re curtailing that window in the evening because you want it finish eating three hours before bed, that means you’re gonna have to eat a lot of food in the morning. You get what he’s saying. That’s end quote. Sorry, I interjected a little bit that wasn’t there.

Brad (17:13):
But, what he’s saying is, we wanna stop eating three hours before bed. We want to get sufficient nutritious calories to fuel active, energetic, high performance lifestyle. So we are obligated to consume breakfast, and we’ve heard a lot of talk about the importance of getting a certain amount of protein each day. Uh, the leaders that I really appreciate, like Dr. Paul Saladino, Ben Greenfield, Thomas DeLauer, Mark Sisson, and many others are advocating to get perhaps higher than is long been recommended by template advice. And now you’re hearing a lot of people with the simple recommendation of consuming around a gram of protein per pound of total body weight. It used to be 0.7 grams per pound of lean body mass, so calculate your body fat, subtract that times it by oh 0.7. Yeah, yeah, that’s less than a gram per pound. How about this? Step on the scale.

Brad (18:09):
See how much you weigh? I weigh 1 65, so I can shoot for 165 grams of protein per day on average. That’s a lot easier than the calculations. And it’s very, very difficult to overshoot on protein because of the tremendously high say, tidy factor that you get from eating 10 eggs or two steaks or three scoops of B.rad Super Fuelin your smoothie. So I’m going for that gram per pound guideline. And if you are going for such a guideline and you’re eating on a 16 eight pattern, it’s impossible because you cannot stuff your face with huge doses of protein at a single setting. There’s some research sewing that it’s more difficult to assimilate and you can’t assimilate more than I’ve heard 60 grams at one meal. I’ve heard 40 grams at one meal. And so that means you’re gonna have to be, uh, having multiple protein feedings throughout the day as Dr. Tommy Wood,

Brad (19:04):
recommends. I had a I listened to the Great show on the Peter Attia Drive podcast from Dr. Don Lehman, highly regarded protein expert. He contends that the best times to consume protein are at the start of the day and at the end of the day. So at the end of your feeding window is not talking about 10 minutes before bed, but if we’re honoring Tommy’s guideline and many others’ guideline to stop eating a couple hours before bed, we wanna get a nice dose of protein in the evening as well as early in the morning. Why early in the morning for protein? Because you’ve been fasted overnight. And if you do not consume protein in the morning, you can very possibly go into catabolism to get your amino acids, your needs met for that active energetic day, especially if you’re going out in the morning and slamming a workout.

Brad (19:58):
So the recommendation to break your fast in the morning emphasizing protein is well respected from Dr. Lehman. And then he wants you to get another dose at the end of the day so that you can set yourself up for efficient overnight repair and replenishment. And during the show, Dr. Lehman was mentioning how we typically do pretty well getting a high protein meal for dinner. Cultural centerpiece is usually some animal protein in the evening. So we have our steak, we have our salmon, whatever we’re doing in the evening. But there in the morning, uh, is easy place to fall short, especially because the typical breakfast features are high carbohydrate foods, especially all the processed foods like the cereals and the pancakes and the muffins and all that kind of thing. So, maybe not, I’m not advocating here that you slam a big bowl of cereal with two slices of toast and a bunch of carbohydrate calories, but rather that protein becomes the central focus of the morning meal, as well as natural nutritious carbohydrates so that you can lead a healthy, active, energetic lifestyle and perform and recover in workouts as well.

Brad (21:13):
There are also some other plugs or rationale for consuming protein, and one is a meta study of thousands of weight loss studies. So a meta study is a study of many studies. They did not have their own lab people coming in and having cereal or eggs, but they sat down and evaluated tons of study conclusions. So whenever you hear the word meta study, you can perk your ears up because these conclusions are highly respected due to the fact that they take in so much data from so many different sources, different countries, and then try to draw some insights, like the meta study that I mentioned from UCLA about folks that do a sufficient amount of general daily activity as measured by their step count versus folks that are under 4,000 steps that’s kind of below the threshold to consider active.

Brad (22:06):
And they have smaller brains than the folks that are active and energetic and making that BDNF brain derived neurotropic factor from just being generally active, not to mention doing workouts and being physically fit. So if hundreds or perhaps thousands of studies, uh, offer up an insight like that, you wanna pay close attention to it rather than the one-off studies that we sometimes will see exposed to in the news media. And, it’s difficult to, uh, respect those fully because a small study that’s poorly designed can bring up some pretty crazy results, and then we take it and run with it with a PR campaign. So anyway, the meta study, uh, evaluating thousands of weight loss studies identified five success factors of people who lost weight and kept it off long term. 98% of them change their diet, 94% of them increased activity, 75% of them weighed themselves regularly and 78% of them eight breakfast every day.

Brad (23:15):
78% of people who lost weight and kept it off long-term ate breakfast every day. Okay? So take that ancestral health template message that you don’t really need breakfast. If you’re struggling with excess body fat and control of your appetite satiety hormones and thereby your eating behaviors, it might be worth front loading with natural nutritious foods, especially protein in the morning. And seeing how that goes, let’s talk 30 days later and see if your Ben and Jerry’s shopping list has diminished because you have fueled yourself and not dipped into stress hormones and those factors that can, uh, come back to bite you later in the day. Oh, speaking of weighing themselves regularly, we’ve often heard about staying away from the scale, not obsessing about the scale, not getting discouraged by stepping on the scale and not seeing a change when you thought one. Uh, but now here’s a, a counterpoint, and this was advanced really nicely by Dr.Ron Sinha,

Brad (24:20):
on the Meta Health podcast that he hosts. And also when he was a guest on my show, he says he recommends his patients weigh themselves every single day. And one of the benefits of looking at your weight fluctuation day by day is you will start to understand, observe a high and low range that your body weight fluctuates in. Perhaps it’s five pounds in many cases, maybe it’s three or four for a smaller person, maybe it’s six or seven for a bigger person. But if you weigh yourself every day for a month or two months, you’re gonna see a float that’s gonna be several pounds. And what Dr. Sinha notices when he’s at the lower end of his body weight is it’s a possible sign that he’s been pushing the envelope, perhaps overdoing it a bit, and is warranting a period of refeeding and, minimized exercise so that he can recover.

Brad (25:20):
And when he’s at the high end of his weight range that is a signal, that is an indication that he is fully glycogen fueled and thereby teeing himself up to go and perform, uh, some ambitious workouts where he might deplete glycogen over time a little bit and show a couple pounds lighter the next day and the next day. But we also, when we’re talking about weight fluctuation on the scale, it’s really important for people to realize that, um, one gram of carbohydrate binds with 3.8 grams or so of fluid water in the body. And so this glycogen retention and fluid retention is the main reason that you see these quick fluctuations in weight. So if you’re bummed when you come back from your cruise and it shows that you’ve gained 10 pounds, it could be that four or five or six of those pounds are from fluid retention and glycogen loading, and that you’ll easily drop those off after you engage in a pattern of three or four days of ambitious workouts and sensible eating rather than overeating.

Brad (26:24):
And so the idea of adding a single pound of body fat, it takes a lot of work. It’s pretty difficult to throw on one pound of fat. And that’s, I think, comforting to realize that it’s pretty difficult to spin outta control. It takes a long time and a lot of effort, focus and dedication to overeat to the extent that you’re adding body fat, except when we’re talking about nutrient deficient, processed foods that interfere with your body’s metabolism and your ability to burn fat, such as refined industrial seed oils. And the term endotoxin as Jay Feldman talks about at length on our podcast interviews, when you consume the Skittles or the foods with chemicals and, and dyes and fillers and additives and processed crap, the seed oils, the processed sugars,it causes your body to release this internal toxin.

Brad (27:18):
Lipopolysaccharide is the term we call it endotoxins. And when you’re in this inflamed state with the release of endotoxins poisons into your bloodstream, guess what? Your metabolism gets all screwed up. So it’s easy to add excess body fat and not burn it off successfully because you’re stuffing your face with processed food. So I really wanna point the emphasis on cleaning up your diet, getting rid of processed foods as the first order of business before you fool around with portion control and calorie counting and all these short-term strategies that might work. But looking at long-term, we just want to clean up the diet and we’ll be so far down the road to success that it’s not even funny. Okay, so I’m talking about skipping breakfast and potentially engaging in muscle cannibalism, potentially, experiencing a decline in metabolic rate as a defense mechanism or a survival mechanism for the body, perceiving lack of calories, and then being asked to go and exercise.

Brad (28:20):
And then we have to present, uh, what I’ll call Sisson caveat. Mark and I talked about this in detail on our most recent podcast interview and his term that he coined metabolic flexibility, which is now widely used to identify someone who’s metabolically healthy and is able to handle, for example, long periods of fasting, is also able to handle a hot fudge sundae and not pass out, right? Someone who’s able to burn a variety of fuel sources on demand throughout the day and for whatever activity or activity they’re not doing. So Sisson contends that when you become highly metabolically efficient, metabolically flexible, you can do just fine and you won’t go into these breakdown patterns just because you’re skipping breakfast. He’s the prime example of this because his longtime strategy has been a long fasting period, and then breaking his fast with a nutritious lunch around 1:00 PM, another dinner around 7:00 PM and then long periods of fasting.

Brad (29:23):
And overall, since I’ve hung out with this guy a lot, he does not consume that many calories in general. I have to sneak food into his house if I’m staying over. And he is just a closed loop system. We use that term in the book Two Meals a Day. The closed loop system can handle whatever it’s thrown at including, for example, a few days of not eating much and do just fine and perform the workouts and feel energetic and active and all that. So Sisson having done decades of hard work to fine tune his metabolism, especially through all the athletic training and the devoted adherence to a very difficult fitness regimen with sprinting, with strength training, with a lot of cardiovascular exercise, he can do just fine on minimal calories and long fasting periods. Now, back again to what’s possible and what’s optimal. Mark contends that this is optimal for him because he also has highly refined appetite.

Brad (30:24):
And so if he is needing some extra calories, he’s gonna go find them. He also knows how to enjoy his life and follow his edict, his his motto of living awesome. So he will have times on vacation where he’s unlocking from his tightly locked down Primal Blueprint style, paleolithic style diet and all that stuff is fine, and he can handle anything thrown at him, including a scoop of Gelato when on vacation in Italy. So it’s a really important counterpoint to reflect on that if you are in great shape, metabolically healthy, you have good blood work, you might not need to obsess with slamming a huge bowl of fruit and a big protein smoothie every morning for breakfast. But my vision now, my own motto is perform, recover, perform, recover. So I want almost all of my stress mechanisms to be devoted to my ambitious athletic goals, especially at the advanced age of 58.

Brad (31:28):
So I do not want to throw in more items onto my stress scoreboard, which I might be able to adapt to and do just fine, but it might not be optimal. That’s why, as I’ve said in recent times, I have drifted away from fasting. I have drifted away from keto or any form of carbohydrate restriction in favor of striving for maximum cellular energy status at all times, especially in and around workouts as I try to perform and recover. You get the difference here. So, the workouts are stressful anyway. I get a fitness adaptation from them. I think it’s the best allocation of my stress resources. It’s far better than allocating some stress resources to having an argument with my wife in the morning instead of going and doing a workout, as Jay Feldman points out humorously. But a very important point to take home for everybody is that everyone talks about the benefits of hormetic stressors and cold plunging and hot sauna-ing and sprint workouts and fasting and keto.

Brad (32:33):
He goes, no one says that having an argument with your girlfriend is a hormetic stressor, but it’s absolutely the same physiological response and the fight or flight hormones rushing into your bloodstream when you get into a personal conflict as it is when you jump into the cold water or go to the CrossFit workout. So it’s a very a memorable take home point, and that’s why I want to direct my stress resources to my ambitious athletic goals and not toward a diet that taps into stress mechanisms to deliver the intended benefits. And that’s what fasting and keto do. And again, I’m not taking back any of the wonderful words and information that Mark and I have dispensed in many books. So the benefits of keto are widely validated, but we must remember that keto is a stress response and making the ketones, the liver, making the ketones is in response to the body getting insufficient dietary glucose to fuel brain function or for muscles to perform work.

Brad (33:36):
And so we put, we manufacture this beautiful, elegant alternative fuel source, and ketones are anti-inflammatory. They burn more cleanly in the brain, and you get all these benefits. But we cannot forget that keto is a stress mechanism. And so, uh, it is best used in a strategic manner, especially for people who suffer from metabolic dysfunction and energy toxicity. I love how Thomas DeLauer, have verbalizes in great detail, the nuances at play here. And if you don’t know Thomas, go look at his viral YouTube channel with a few million subscribers, join the gang if you’ve been living under a rock. But he was a former fat guy. He weighed 300 pounds and he got down to, unbelievable Rip City where he became a magazine cover boy on many of the muscle magazines that you see in the grocery store. And now he’s dispensing great information on his YouTube channel, but he talks about how keto and, and fasting and all these strategies were lifesavers for him that helped him turn the corner from being a fat guy corporate salesman on the road to being a, a fitness expert.

Brad (34:45):
And so of course, they were beautiful strategies that, for example, promote dietary satiety as keto has been touted for, and so that you’re able to, you know, prompt the excess body fat dropping off the body for months and months at a time. Now as an extreme fitness hybrid athlete who’s performing incredible athletic feats of both endurance and strength in the gym, uThomas has repositioned his use of fasting and keto because he has such incredible metabolic energy demands. And if you wanna go look at his blood work, I’m sure it’s fantastic. Where we’re not at risk of high triglycerides are things that happen to people when they are existing in an energy toxicity state. So when you look at fasting, when you look at keto and you’re trying to live a healthy, active, energetic lifestyle, you see these as tools, occasional strategies.

Brad (35:41):
Speaking of using fasting as an occasional strategy. Right now, as I record this, I’m coming off eight days in a row of fasting for 22 hours a day. What, Brad? I thought you said you didn’t fast anymore. Yes, I got my second bout of the, uh, very popular global pandemic illness, C blank <laugh>, VIDI don’t wanna get bleeped out. You see people doing that all the time. I don’t know why. But anyway, it was a rough go for eight days. It, during that time, I believe strongly in the power of the fasted body to direct all necessary resources toward battling an illness. So I did not go out of my way to skip meals. I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t moving or doing any energy expenditure. So it was very easy and strategic for me to fast almost all day. I finally got around to eating, a dinner in the evening.

Brad (36:37):
Not much. But that was it until the next day. And the same pattern, I don’t know if it helped me heal any faster. It seemed like a long time to be down for the second time, with this annoying illness that, uh, is still, still lingering on. It’s not gone. Thank you very much. I, uh, I can, uh, explain that in detail, but that’s my strategic use of fasting right there. And I respect the people that will throw in a day a week of fasting to detox and cleanse and certainly has, uh, a lot of scientific validation that that can be a healthy strategy. But I personally am extremely enthusiastic about my recent experiment beginning back in May of 22. So now we’re looking at nearly a year and a half of deliberately going outta my way to consume a huge bowl of fruit and a huge protein smoothie every morning in the name of maximum cellular energy status.

Brad (37:34):
Okay, so where does that leave us? What kind of dietary pattern, just to close this show here, if we’re trying to emphasize protein, we are talking about an animal-based diet that is extremely nutrient dense, featuring the global food superstars of the planet, like red meat, like organ meat, like pastured eggs, like wild caught fish that fish from the SMASH family, that’s sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and herring, and all the other foods on my chart, which you can download for free@bradkerans.com. It’s called the Carnivore Scores Food Rankings Chart delineating in a tiered ranking system, the most nutrient dense foods on earth. And I put red meat and organ meat up there above things like pork and chicken because the conventionally raised chicken and pork fare far worse than red meat do on the grain-based diet. So of course, we wanna get grass fed, wild caught, pasture raised.

Brad (38:35):
There’s a big budget impact to choosing the very best meats. Arguably it’s extremely important and worth prioritizing, but you do the best you can and especially emphasize the foods that are the most nutrient dense. And guess what, you can do this on an extremely modest budget because organ meats are right up there at the top, and those are still incredibly inexpensive because there’s not consumer demand to go and get grass fed liver buy these tubs for a few bucks of the very best grass fed liver at the, uh, natural supermarket. And, um, you can eat that all day long without banging your budget. Same with pasture raise eggs, which is the most incredible return on investment for upgrading from conventional eggs. I know you can get a dozen eggs still for three or four bucks, and you can get the pasture raise eggs for six or seven or eight bucks, but the nutrient density is vastly superior.

Brad (39:30):
So make an effort to emphasize the most nutritious foods. Perhaps expand your eating window to represent as soon as you get up or soon after you wake up again. I do my slamming bowl of fruit and protein smoothie, uh, after my 40 minute morning exercise routine. So yes, I’m performing that in a fasted state, and I don’t think there’s any problem there because I’m going right into refeeding afterwards. And I’ve also sprinkled in new novel strategies such as having bags of dried fruit around and just nibbling on those whenever I feel like it during the day, instead of avoiding it as something that’s evil because again, I’m going for that maximum a activity, maximum cellular energy status, and trying to minimize my stress factors, which will kick in when you restrict your eating period and try to be active when you restrict carbohydrates, when you restrict total calories.

Brad (40:22):
So breakfast back in style. Thanks for watching listening. Love to hear your comments about this, especially user experience if you have engaged in dietary experimentation. And hey, if you agree with some of it or disagree with some of the stuff I said, go do an experimental period yourself and see how things come out. And then you can evaluate with more information, more data. I talk about my experiment starting in May of 22, so I have deliberately consumed quite a few additional calories each day, and I weigh the exact same. I’ve possibly improved my body composition in the past year and a half, and definitely improved my energy level and my fitness because I seem to be performing and recovering better when I’m fueling myself with sufficient amounts of nutritious foods and not worrying about eating windows or restriction of anything that’s in the natural nutrient dense category.

Brad (41:16):
Again, please go to brad kearns.com and download that free chart, the Carnivore Scores Food Rankings Chart. We’ve worked so hard on it and it’s got a lot of great information and guidelines, including all the foods in the plant category that I favor and recommend and will probably do right for you. You’ll pick and choose and find a diet that works for you. Do, do, do. Thank you so much for listening to the B.rad Podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email podcast@bradventures.com and visit brad kearns.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.




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