It is May 25th 5 pm Pacific Daylight Time, I believe, and we are here group coaching. Fun times. Raina is in the house. Dropped her wonderful message in there. Thank you so much, Raina. You are awesome. I am here. Sandy, if you are new, please feel free to introduce yourself. If you are shy, please don’t feel bad about not introducing yourself. It’s all good. It’s all good. If you do want to participate, which is the whole point of these, please feel free to do that.
It is okay if you don’t want to and if you’re shy but if you do want to participate, which is awesome, you will notice there is a little chat box that says, ‘Write your message here’ in the lower right hand corner of your screen. Before you type anything else in there, because we’ve got Linda and Sharon and Deborah and Sandy and Zsa Zsa and Patty. They’re crushing it already, which is excellent. If you want to follow in their footsteps, go ahead, type a message down there like this, for example, “Hey. What’s up, Christina?” And if you don’t do anything else, it’s going to post just like that, like a little chat bubble, but you’ll also notice that you can click where the chat bubble is and you can change it to be like a question and answer thing. I’ll do one here and I’ll bet Raina is probably going to do one as well because she does that and she’s on top of stuff.
That is awesome because if you want to ask me a question, sometimes I can’t keep up with the chats so if you want to get my attention, please post it as a question and then it will be read, just like Raina did there, and I will answer it and we’ll talk and that’s what’s awesome about these sessions because what we can do in these sessions is cover things we cannot cover anywhere else. If something is covered in detail in the Ignite Program, I might not cover it here. In fact, actually I won’t cover it here because I can’t do it justice here.
There are some common topics that are so important that we want to make sure they are covered in detail with much, much content in the Ignite Program. Some examples of that are eating out, eating SANEly with your family, emotional eating, cravings. I mean, these are things that we all have to deal with so we have a huge amount of content ready for you in the Ignite Program. What I want to use these calls for is for us to have a dialogue, for us to interact about some really advanced and personal stuff that it is difficult to communicate any other way. It’s awesome. It’s a lot of fun.
We’ve got Ian in the house. We’ve got Leanne. We’ve got Jasmina, which might be pronounced Yasmina, depending on where in the world she is. Welcome, everybody. It’s going to be a great session today. We have a huge amount of people registered and I’m excited but we’re going to keep it intimate and fun like we always do.
Keep in mind, the only rule -– there’s only one rule here -– the only rule or the only limit to what we’re going to cover here today is we’re not going to do any medical advice. There’s not going to be any medical advice distributed over the Internet because that’s illegal. So if anyone ever tries to give you medical advice over the Internet, please run the other direction because that is not safe and that’s not what we’re going to do here so please keep that in mind.
We are going to have a lot of fun and we are going to record this. It is recorded so in case you ever miss any of these, you can check them out in the Stay Motivated section of your Ignite Program, which is down in the footer. They usually post about within seventy-two hours and we do do our best to get them transcribed so because of that, if you have anything that you wouldn’t want to be recorded, just don’t say it or mention it because we are recording.
What’s up, Kelly? How’s it going? With that, I want to do some shout-outs because this has been a great week for the coaching and support group which, if you haven’t been there yet, please go over there. Oh my goodness, it is awesome. We’ve got our SANE-certified expert coaches who are just rockstars -– Raina, Laurie, Rebecca. They are just -– and Wednesday -– excuse me, Goodness Wednesday -– I’m so sorry, they are just awesome.
Then I want to give shout-outs to our top contributing community members. Everyone’s doing a great job but really a big shout-out to Lynette Stork, Megan Williams, Kate Bosco, Penny and Mike, Stephanie Reslinger, whose name I always butcher -– I’m so sorry, Stephanie -– Linda Bayer, and Jennifer Rose. If you haven’t gone over there, please follow in the footsteps of these wonderful family members.
Postop, if you don’t know what’s due or you feel uncomfortable, just click the ‘How To Get Started’ or ‘Show Me How This Works’ big red button at the top. It’ll step you through exactly how to rock and roll in there and it’s a lot, a lot of fun.
So, what’s going on? All right, Donna’s posted the first question here. Just one more quick bit of thing -– quick bit of thing -– that is the official scientific term -– the quick bit of thing we need to cover next. One more quick thing is, there’s sort of three ways these calls generally go. They go from ninety minutes or until I pass out. We haven’t hit the latter one yet but I’m sure it’s going to happen as it gets warmer here because I have to turn the air conditioner off otherwise it’s too loud. So, ninety minutes or until I pass out.
There’s generally three things that we do. One is, I’ll try to do some rapid fire question and answer but not so much of that most of the time because if the questions are really easy to answer, sometimes -– actually most of the time, it’s going to be answered already in your Ignite Program or it’s easy to take care of in your support group so I want to make sure we cover stuff we can’t cover anywhere else. We’re also going to do questions that have been written in ahead of time which, if you ever can’t make these sessions, please just go ahead, fill out that little survey I send out beforehand, submit your questions.
These are recorded. That way, I can answer your questions and you can watch it back, which is awesome. Sometimes I might just go crazy and go really deep into something so, please, if I just start going on a twenty-minute tear, if it doesn’t make sense or if it’s not helpful or if you have follow-up questions, please post them because it’s all about interactivity and if you’re shy, that’s cool too. It’s all good to listen.
We have a lot of questions this week and I want to give a quick, quick, quick shout-out and thank you to everyone who submitted those. Please, just one quick reminder -– if you do have a question here live, please post it as a question otherwise I’m not going to see it. You just use your little chat box there down at the bottom and Raina, who’s one of our SANE coaches this year, will help you if you have any questions.
Donna actually posted the first live question here, I believe. Goodness sakes, oh no, Raina did a sample question. Donna, I want to give you a shout-out and see what we got here. “What do you think about vitamin supplementation for micronutrient sufficiency?” Donna, I think taking a high-quality multivitamin is a good idea. Is it required? No. My preference -– so I would do two things. What I do personally is I do take a high-quality multivitamin; however, I notice, like most people, that immediately after taking it, my urine is fluorescent. What that means is that my body is not able to absorb the vast majority of those synthetic nutrients.
Because of that, I really try to focus on -– and you can actually see this -– there’s two things that SANE does -– we provide education, like we’re doing here, and then we also provide super foods because we’re not huge supplement fans; we are huge fans of foods that are so nutrient-dense in the natural ratios that our bodies are optimized for that we want to take in those at a therapeutic dose.
Is a multivitamin a good idea? Yes, I would definitely think a multivitamin can work. My preference would be if -– so obviously we’re doing as much as we can with our non-starchy vegetables but, for example, there are foods that are more analogous almost to a vitamin pill because they’re so nutrient-dense that you just can’t find these at your grocery store.
Things like wheat grass, spirulina, beef liver -– which I know that sounds delicious but a lot of these — Acai berries -– some of these more exotic fruits -– my preference and as evidenced by what we do here at SANE in the SANE store is that you would be way better served getting therapeutic doses of nutrition from naturally concentrated sources such as our Garden In My Glass, for example, which is a combination of over twenty of the most nutrient-dense super foods in the planet. We just take the water out and powder it down for you and what you’ll notice is you’re going to get a large natural dose of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and your urine isn’t going to change color because those vitamins and minerals are going to be provided to you in natural ratios.
The other thing to keep in mind is, more vitamins and minerals isn’t necessarily better. This applies to exercise as well, which we’ll talk more about later. Think of vitamins and minerals and exercise and all that stuff like medicine or anything else. It’s not that more penicillin will heal you faster if you have a disease which is treated with penicillin; it’s that the right dose of penicillin is optimal. The same thing applies with vitamins and minerals. Is it possible to get perfect ratios of vitamins and minerals just eating what you can buy at your local grocery store? That can become quite a challenge based on soil depletion and pollution.
If you’ve read some of the research around, for example, if you look at the vitamin C content in an orange nowadays or a conventionally-farmed orange versus an orange found thirty years ago or that has been grown without pesticides or without depleted soil, just the amount of vitamins is very different. Again, a vitamin pill is a good insurance policy but please keep in mind that there’s a lot more that goes into optimum nutrition than just vitamins and minerals. In fact, the longer we go, the more we understand the things like phytochemicals and certain enzymes that help stimulate gut bacteria.
We are really, really just starting -– I mean, we understand a little bit about vitamins; we understand a little bit about minerals; but we are just starting to discover all of the mysteries that are found within whole foods.
Anyway, is my long esoteric answer to say, “Hey, multivitamin -– it’s a good idea but if what you’re really after isn’t so much like “I want to take a multivitamin” but rather, “Jonathan, is there a concentrated insurance policy that will help me make up for the inevitable suboptimalness of the modern food supply?” Yes, that is definitely my crazy translation of that question. Then my strong recommendation would be to enjoy concentrated super foods rather than a multivitamin that has synthetic vitamins and minerals in it that are also in, let’s say, inappropriate doses.
There’s also important things to keep in mind where, if you overdo it with certain vitamins and minerals, it becomes counterproductive; they can block the absorption of other vitamins and minerals so it gets really complicated really quickly unless you stick with the brilliance that we find in nature, which is take beautiful nutrient-dense SANE foods, get the most safe and concentrated sources of them, and enjoy those in green smoothies. That’s like the ultimate multivitamin, if that helps.
Hopefully that is helpful. Let me jump into some of the questions that were written in here really fast and we’ll sort of rotate back and forth, if that’s all right, because we’ve got some great questions written in.
One of the first questions I wanted to talk about is we actually have an awesome member of our family here in the coaching and support group and she’s asking us just some wonderful questions and talking about various goals and, “Hey, I want to get to a certain level of body fat percentage.” I wanted to really quickly -– I don’t know how familiar everyone is with -– first of all, you probably know by now, if you’ve gone through the program at all that well, weight is the metric that everyone loves to track.
As you hopefully know by now, weight is not the ‘be all, end all’ metric. In fact, it’s very easy to do dangerous things to lower your weight in the short term that will cause long term weight gain. If that sounds strange -– like, how could what I do to lose weight in the short term cause me to gain weight in the long term -– just think about your own history. If you’re like ninety-five percent of members of the Ignite family, chances are, you’ve done what you’ve been told in the past, which is you’ve restricted calories, potentially exercised very aggressively.
Let’s call this the biggest loser model of weight loss because it’s what we see on television and sometimes it’s encouraged in programs like Weight Watchers. That will cause short term weight loss but, as I’m sure you’re learning hopefully in your step-by-step program as you start to understand the science of SANE eating is that when you starve your body, you cause some very troublesome changes in your metabolism, in your base metabolic rate, in your ability to burn fat, in actually the way your brain perceives fullness versus hunger. It can also damage gut bacteria. It can damage your hormones.
One way to think about it is, while you’re doing it, as long as you can tolerate starving yourself, you will lose weight. But then if you ever just go back to eating a normal amount or if you ever say, “I’m tired of being crabby and hungry and feeling deprived all the time”, so if you go back to what you were doing, you will not only regain the weight you temporarily lost but you will gain more back.
What just happened in that example? Well, what just happened in that example is the very method you used to lose weight short term caused long term weight gain. The reason I’m even bringing that topic up is, tracking weight can potentially be a slippery slope. What is sometimes much more helpful to track is body fat percentage because there are dangerous things you can do to lower your body fat percentage too but it’s harder to do it unsafely because, for example, you could just dehydrate yourself; you can starve yourself to lose weight; but if you dehydrate yourself and starve yourself, you won’t change your body fat percentage.
In fact, your body fat percentage may go up because one of the things your body does when you starve yourself is it will burn off muscle tissue, often times before it turns off fat tissue. You might say, “That’s crazy. Why would your body do that?” Well, if your body believes it’s starving -– and I think we all know that muscle tissue burns more energy than fat tissue -– or if your body has a shortage of energy, what does it want to get rid of first? It wants to get rid of the muscle tissue first. So if you just starve yourself, yes, you might lose weight but you won’t lose body fat -– excuse me, your body fat percentage -– which is the ratio of lean tissue to fat tissue won’t change because even if you do lose some fat, you’ll lose some muscle as well.
Anyway, body fat percentage is really, really important so what I wanted to cover here is, What are some expectations around what are reasonable body fat percentage goals, what do various body fat percentages look like, and what does it take to get to those levels of body fat percentage?
I’m going to try to share my screen so I hope I don’t break anything. If the sound cuts out or if it looks like everything broke, please don’t hang up or disconnect because this should work. Stick with me here. Please don’t hang up and I’m going to see if I can share my screen. Just give me one moment here. This is truly interactive. Hopefully, I don’t have anything super secret here on my screen. All right, so let me go ahead sharing of my screen -– okay. Present to everybody -– okay. Hopefully, you can see a sort of SANE body fat percentage cheat sheet on your screen. If you can see this, please let me know. This is something we actually just created today so I’m sure it’s going to get shared in the support group.
It’s actually in your step-by-step program already so you can check this out afterwards but I want to talk about it briefly here so please, please let me know if you can see this. If you can, what I want to show – yes, got it. Everyone can see it. Awesome.
What I want to talk about here is, if possible, we’re going to stop focusing so much on weight loss. We’re going to focus a little bit more on body fat percentage. For that to even make sense -– and again, this is available in your step-by-step program right now, I believe. If you go to your step-by-step program and you click on the very first course, ‘Orientation’ or ‘How To Use Your Tools’, there’s something about, like, how to reach your goals. This is in that. It’s very, very, very, very important to keep in mind that SANE eating can lead to any level of body fat percentage except sort of morbid obesity when done properly. So if your goal is to go from forty percent body fat down to twenty percent body fat, SANE can do that for you.
If your goal is to go from forty percent body fat down to eleven percent body fat, SANE can do that but whether or not you’d ever want to do that or whether or not it’s reasonable to have that as a goal, I don’t want to ever say anyone’s goals are unreasonable but I think it’s really important for us to keep in mind what is not only realistic but healthy because there is a huge difference. Hopefully, for example, you can see down here, a male at three to four percent body fat and a female at around eleven or twelve percent body fat is -– these are individuals who temporarily do this to get onstage for a competition or for some sort of a photo shoot and even they don’t look like that except for about forty-eight hours because it requires doing some really dangerous things. It’s not a natural level of body fat percentage.
In fact, if you look at the research for females, the essential level of body fat percentage -– meaning that, core bodily functions will start to shut down if you dip below this or even sometimes in this range. When females start to get in the ballpark of ten to thirteen percent body fat -– for example, menstrual cycles will stop; all sorts of other bad things will happen –- and of course, for men, since men don’t have breasts and so on and so forth, they can have a lower level of fat but most people are surprised to see, especially females, that to be quite fit -– quite fit –- you’re looking at about twenty-four percent body fat.
For a man, you’re looking at about seventeen percent body fat. That expectation also varies by age because I think we can all agree that an extremely fit sixty-five-year-old should not look the same as an extremely fit twenty-five-year-old. If you’re seventy-five and see six pack abs, that’s probably not healthy. What we have here is, when you look at the research, a pretty clear breakdown of where we would want to shoot for, which is usually in the fit range and then how that varies according to your age.
Now, the thing that’s really cool about SANE eating and any lifestyle change is -– this might sound a little bit funny but the more fat you have on your body, the easier it is to lose. We experience what’s called diminishing marginal returns with fat loss and actually with weight loss in general. I’m actually going to stop sharing my screen now because hopefully everyone has seen this and it looks like Raina actually posted this already so you can possibly open it up in another browser tab. Let me stop sharing this here real quick.
Hopefully, my face is coming back up on your screen. If you don’t see my face, please let me know. What’s really important to understand here is, one, there’s a lot of hope because with most things in life, like I think one thing we can all probably wrap our heads around immediately is resistance training. Even if you’re not a super resistance trainer right now, if you’ve never lifted weights in your entire life, I bet you can imagine that the amount of strength you’ll gain right when you get started, like in that first month, you can make so much progress so quickly and then if you want to take it even further, your rate of results is going to get a little bit slower.
It doesn’t mean you can’t continue to improve but think about it like an Olympic athlete. Once an Olympic athlete is at an Olympic caliber, they’re looking at shaving hundredths of a second off of their mile time whereas someone who’s just getting started with running, for example, if they shaved a minute off of their running time, that’s totally possible.
The three things to understand -– one, tracking your body fat percentage is going to be way more helpful from a long term health and fitness perspective than tracking your weight because it’s very easy to do unhealthy things to lower your weight temporarily; it’s more difficult to harm yourself if your goal involves body fat percentage because things like strength training, things like eating protein, things like making sure you’re drinking enough fluids – these might not do you any favors in the immediate term when it comes to your weight; long term, they do great things for your weight but in the immediate term, they will help your body fat percentage. That’s the first thing to keep in mind.
The second thing to keep in mind is that the more fat you have to lose, in some ways, the better -– is one way to look at it because going, for example, a one percent change in body fat, if you’re starting at forty percent body fat and you want to go to thirty-nine percent, is astronomically easier and faster than going from, say, twenty percent body fat to nineteen percent body fat. No matter where you are, it’s important to focus on body fat percentage.
If you’re just getting started, I want you to be excited because you are going to see rapid decreases in your body fat percentage if you follow the same program and if you practice eccentric exercise. That’s going to help drop your body fat percentage while also increasing lean muscle tissue so that helps both aspects of the ratio because if you just lose fat or you just go muscle, that’s not going to help the ratio as much as if you do them both at the same time.
The other key point to keep in mind is that once you do get down to, say, for example, the fit level, which you saw on your screen, to get to the fitness professional level, you can do that with SANE eating. Anybody who looks like a fitness professional or a fitness model is almost certainly eating SANEly because it’s nearly impossible to do that without eating SANEly.
The other thing they’re doing is just being professionally cognizant of stuff that I -– so let’s put it this way. If your goal is to be a concert piano player, the amount of effort -– you can do it. Frankly, the types of techniques that you will learn to become a concert piano player are the same. It’s fundamentally the same behavior to become a concert pianist than it is to become just someone who can play the piano at parties and entertain people in a fun way. If you want to become a concert pianist, you are essentially going to have to prioritize all activities that involve piano playing above everything else for hours and hours and hours per day. It’s not like you’re really doing something different; it’s just that you’re doing more of the piano stuff at the exclusion of everything else. This is why Olympic athletes go to a camp and that’s all they do.
SANE eating done in a sustainable, enjoyable way; eccentric exercise done in a sustainable, enjoyable way will absolutely get everyone on this call and everyone in the Ignite Family to the Fit Level for your age.
Depending on your age, depending on how many times you’ve yo-yo dieted, depending on whether or not you’re taking things like insulin and SSRIs, depending on whether or not you’ve had children, depending on the levels of stress in your life, depending on how much sleep you’re getting -– that could take shorter or longer but it will absolutely get you there if you give your body enough time to heal.
To go from fit to fitness professional -– think about the name there. Fitness professional -– people who look that way are professionals. It’s what they do for their job. They’re meticulous about it. They’re not like, “Oh, I drank a green shake.” Not that there’s, “I love drinking green shakes,” but if you ask a fitness professional what they ate today, they’ll say, “Well, at 5:02 a.m., I ate this many ounces of chicken breast and I ate this many leaves of lettuce” and it’s all perfectly proportioned and they carry it with them in Ziploc baggies and when they go out to eat with friends, they bring their own food. I mean, it is their job.
You can achieve any level of fitness you want while eating SANEly. The question is just one of goals. I think for most of us in the Ignite family, our goal is long term nutritional serenity. What I mean by that is, we want to eat to live; not live to eat. Meaning that, if you really want to see veins in your abs, that’s awesome. You might need a professional fitness coach to help you get there because it’s really, really an ambitious goal. Just like if you wanted to be a world-class pianist. What SANE will do is, give you that template that we can all enjoy and that will give us a way to not prepare to get on stage for fifteen minutes but to enjoy a way of eating and exercise and a mindset around eating and exercise that we can keep up for the rest of our lives because we’ve all lost weight, we’ve all done thirty days of this, twenty-one days of that, twelve weeks of this but our life isn’t twenty-one days long; it’s not thirty days long; it’s not twelve weeks long.
What we’re after is long term health and happiness. SANE can absolutely get you there. The leaner you want to be, the more you’re going to move away from “Hey, this is like an enjoyable fun thing that I can do on autopilot for the rest of my life while I focus on maybe my family or something else.
The more you want to look like a fitness professional; the more it’s going to have to become like a job, which is all good, and you don’t have to do something different. I mean, the real reason I want to talk about this is, I sometimes think that people will have an impression that fitness professionals have some sort of secret. They don’t. I come from the bodybuilding world. I did natural bodybuilding for a while. There is no secret. There are illegal things but steroids aren’t a secret. Speed and various amphetamines aren’t a secret. Things like creatine for muscle building isn’t a secret. The secret to people who have ripped abs is the same secret as a concert pianist or a world class Olympic athlete. They spend all their waking energy on it; that’s the secret.
Hopefully, that’s helpful. I just think sometimes we see these images and you see these expectations and they make us feel in a way which is less than I think we deserve because I think most of us are here to -– put it this way. When our time has come; when our time has finished here on this earth and we’ve moved on, I’m not sure we want our friends and family sitting around saying, “Man, remember Sally’s abs. those were just the best abs I have ever seen.” I’m not sure if we choose to have a tombstone, we’d ever want it written on it, “Mary had toned arms. Here lies Mary with her toned arms.” Not that it’s bad to have toned arms. It’s great to have toned arms but what we want to propagate here in the SANE family is, just like you don’t have to really think about driving.
Driving’s a great example. You drive places unconsciously. You just do it. You get in the car. You don’t have to think about it too much. You can go about your life. Driving is really important. It’s really important that you know how to drive but it’s not something that you’re constantly, consciously occupying your mind with. There’s not a huge amount of willpower involved. It’s just second nature. SANE is all about giving you that second nature sense of empowerment so that you can focus your brilliant conscious energy on other stuff. Honestly, that’s the difference. The faster we want results, the lower we want our body fat percentage, the more conscious and meticulous effort it requires and the longer it takes. Nothing wrong with that and it’s not -– there is no secret. There is no other approach.
SANE eating is about more non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats, and low sugar fruits. I can promise you that there is no fitness competitor out there who is at ten percent body fat for a female who got that way by eating sugar and starch. She’s eating SANEly. That ripped-up guy at the gym -– he’s eating SANEly but he’s doing that at the exclusion of everything else; whereas you’re doing it so you can include even more things into your life. I hope that distinction makes sense. I hope it’s helpful. That was a little bit of an example of me going on my little rant but I hope it was helpful and let me pop back in here and see if any questions came in and then I’ll get back to some questions that were sent in.
Deborah has a question here. “I’m not very hungry in the morning after drinking my coffee. I also like to work out in the morning. Should I drink a protein shake before and then after my workout, wait to be hungrier to drink a smoothie or should I just drink my smoothie with the serving of protein before my workout?”
Goodness, Deborah. That’s a good question. Two different things -– one is, if you’re doing intense resistance training as recommended in the Ignite Program, enjoying a nutrient-dense protein within twenty minutes of exercise is extremely helpful. Independent of whether or not you’re hungry, it will radically help with reducing muscle soreness. It will radically help with developing the lean calorie-hungry muscle tissue that we’re really after to lower that body fat percentage. Think of it a little bit when you do -– it’s not all exercise. I mean, going for a walk is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about intense resistance training as described in the Ignite Program. Once you’ve done that –-
Forgive me if folks are already familiar with this but you’ve got your muscle fibers and when you exercise them eccentrically, like we’ve talked about, you’re essentially taking them and kind of doing this so they kind of look like this. That’s called hypertrophy. What happens is, your muscle fibers tear -– in a good way -– and then they come back together stronger and sometimes actually a little bit larger. Not in a big bulky ‘I look like a bulldog’ but in a more like ‘Hey, I’m toned and flabby and when I lift my arms up, they don’t move around’ kind of thing.
So by taking in that nutrient-dense protein, within twenty minutes of a heavy, intense eccentric workout, you’re going to give your body the raw material it needs really at that key sweet spot moment. Think of it like your muscle fibers are like a sponge; they’ve opened up and they’re ready to take that in so that is important.
Really anything else -– so if you’re just exercising eccentrically for the goal that we have here on the SANE Ignite Program of metabolic healing, you don’t need to force yourself to eat before. The only thing you need to do when it comes to working out is ensure you’re getting that nutrient-dense protein afterwards and then just make sure you’re getting your servings of non-starchy vegetables and nutrient-dense protein and whole food fats throughout the day as you normally would. Hopefully, that is helpful.
It does matter where you’re getting your protein source from in that case. For example, clean whey protein is an excellent source of post-workout protein because it’s so easily digested. It has what’s called the high biological availability; meaning that, your body can just take it and use it right away and use almost a hundred percent of it right away whereas things like peanuts or sometimes plant proteins have what’s called a lower biological availability so your body just can’t utilize them completely or quickly.
Next question here. Let me go into some of the ones that were written in. Again, follow-up questions -– please post them. Great questions here about Ancel Keys. I’m not sure how many people are familiar with the gentleman by the name of Ancel Keys but he is the individual who, in the 1950s and ‘60s, popularized the anti-fat hypothesis. Depending on if you were alive in that timeframe or not, you may actually recall he was on the cover of Time magazine. He’s the individual who proposed the relationship between eating, fat, and developing heart disease, cardiovascular disease.
He is also the individual who started the craze around “Cholesterol is bad and we should try to minimize our total cholesterol.” The thing that is troublesome or heartbreaking is, first, we now know definitively that that hypothesis is incorrect. We don’t have time to cover all that science here. It is covered in your Ignite Program. Over a billion dollars of research, government-sanctioned research, has been conducted in an effort to prove that eating fat causes heart disease and every single test that has ever examined it has refuted that hypothesis.
What Ancel Keys did, which is kind of interesting and would never be permitted in today’s world, is he conducted a study where he collected data from twenty-two countries. I’m actually going to share my screen again here because I wanted to share the actual data with you, which is cool. Let’s try this one more time here. Please, again, tell me -– I love the sort of screen sharing stuff. It’s like we’re together. It’s so much fun. All right, let me know here if you can see my screen. All right, I’m going to go ahead and assume you can because there’s a little bit of a delay here so please shout if you can’t.
What you’re going to see here on your screen -– the first chart here, Ancel Keys published a study where he collected data from twenty-two countries and he published a study where he said, “Hey, check out these six –“ Hopefully, already an alarm bell has gone off where, if you have data from twenty-two countries and you’re like, “Let me show you the results. Check out these six countries.” So he picked these six countries and then he plotted them on a graph and according to those six countries, you can see here that the higher your percent calories from fat, the greater your risk of heart disease.
But of course the question is, “Well, what about the other countries in the study?” Actually, other researchers, later in that same decade, took six other countries from the same data set and showed that when individuals ate a higher percentage of their calories from fat, their incidence of heart disease deaths actually dropped. If you actually look at all twenty-two studies in the original Ancel Keys data, there is no correlation -– none -– neither negative or positive –- from a statistically significant perspective in the relationship between percent of your calories from fat and heart disease.
It was an unfortunate misrepresentation of data and a selective representation of data, which is no fun. As you’re seeing now, it seems like every week, there’s a new article in the New York Times or Time magazine or a new book on the bookshelf that says fat is good for you and fat doesn’t kill you. It’s very true that we should be getting the balance of our calories. So the majority of our calories -– not the majority of the food we eat –- but the majority of our calories should be coming from whole food fats because when you think about the SANE eating framework, we’ve got non-starchy vegetables first in terms of volume, nutrient-dense protein, and then whole food fats.
Non-starchy vegetables really have no fat in them. Nutrient-dense proteins will have some fat in them. Whole food fats are predominantly fat. We are going to be getting most of our calories from whole food fats but it’s really important that, just like we say a calorie isn’t a calorie, fat isn’t fat. There are different forms of fat and we’re going to make sure we’re taking in optimal sources of fat.
Some of those optimal sources are what I would call therapeutic fats. For example, omega-3 fats that are found in seafood, that are found in plant forms and things like chia seeds and flaxseeds; also small amounts in walnuts. There’s also fats like mono-unsaturated fats. These are the fats that have made the Mediterranean diets so popular. They’re found in olive oil but olive oil is not a whole food. Everything that’s good about olive oil is also in olives. Plus, olives have a bunch of other good stuff because they’re a whole food.
So yes, I would say olives are a fantastic source of mono-unsaturated fats. Macadamia nuts are a fantastic source of mono-unsaturated fats. Then there are what’s called short chain fats, which are very difficult to find in the modern diet, but coconut is a fabulous source of those. Those are just some examples of therapeutic fats. Of course, there are fats that are terrible for us. These are processed trans fats. We never want to eat those at all.
That is a little bit of background on good old Ancel Keys. Let me just make sure that nothing technical happened here. Everyone’s seeing everything – okay, good. Please let me know if you’re seeing my face. My face should be coming back.
A quick follow-up which has to do with the China study, which was a book that was very, very popular a long time ago. The question was written in here and also the gentleman who wrote the China study -– T. Colin Campbell -– produced a movie called ‘Forks Over Knives’, which both of them report on some research that he personally did and then go on to recommend a vegan diet essentially. Two important points -– and I’m going to share some links here. One, the China study is not an actual study. It’s a book that’s written on something that I believe is called like the China Oxford Cornell Study. In some ways, the book -– not in some ways; this is just the data. The book the China Study reports some research from the actual research study but it doesn’t report all the research. In fact, it seems to only report research which supports a vegan lifestyle.
Now, I am not here to say that a vegan lifestyle is good or bad because a SANE vegan lifestyle is great; an inSANE vegan lifestyle will give you heart disease and diabetes; just like a SANE omnivorous lifestyle is good for you while an inSANE omnivorous lifestyle will give you heart disease and diabetes. What is important is getting the facts on the table and focusing on SANE versus inSANE versus just saying plants versus animals.
This is an area where I’d love for you to check it out in the Ignite Program and I’m actually going to share some links here because I had a wonderful opportunity to actually chat personally with the guy we’re talking about here, T. Colin Campbell. I’m going to post these links up here but if you go down into the Stay Motivated section of the Ignite Program, you can see these interviews.
Also if you open up your SANE concierge, which is just that question mark in the upper right-hand corner of the program, and type in China Study, you can see a bunch of — there was actually a discussion on Amazon.com. there is a bunch of fun stuff so there’s some really great information there if you ever hear anything about the China Study or the movie, ‘Forks Over Knives’, or things in terms of plant protein versus animal protein. There’s a bunch of great research there but hopefully that’s a good teaser for you here. Let me see if we’ve got any questions coming in.
All right, we’ve got a bunch of questions coming in here. I’ve got a bunch of questions coming in here that were written in so let me answer some of those real quick here. This is saying, “I’m using a Bowflex Max Trainer for my high-intensity interval exercise. Can it be used for eccentric exercise? It was expensive. I like it very much and I moved to it from an elliptical trainer when I realized my thirty-five days on an elliptical trainer was doing nothing for my weight or cardiovascular health.”
This is a great example of a question which is very specific but actually has a very general and universally applicable answer. Thank you very much for asking this, whomever asked it. Two very, very important points -– one is that, high-intensity interval training can be done on any form of machinery that allows you to increase resistance without increasing risk. What am I talking about? Let me give you an example of what not to do.
You can increase the intensity on a treadmill by making the treadmill go faster; but the faster you move on a treadmill, the faster you move on anything, the more likely you are to hurt yourself. The only way to increase intensity on a treadmill is to increase speed, which increases risk. We do not want to increase risk. The easiest way to a hundred percent sabotage your health is to get hurt. I know it sounds obvious but sometimes common sense isn’t common practice.
If running up stadium steps and holding a tire above your head -– like one of these big tires -– and then smacking them with a sledgehammer could be very fun; it is extremely intense; but I promise you that that intensity is coming at a cost and that cost may not be worth the benefit. Just like if you were to say, “Hey, is boxing a good form of exercise?” Boxing, yes, it will get your heart rate up. It will also cause you to take a bunch of punches in the face. I would recommend possibly finding a method of exercise that doesn’t require you to get punched in the face.
The only requirement then for ‘How can I do high-intensity smarter interval training?’ is ‘Can I use this thing to increase intensity without increasing risk?’ The way you increase intensity without increasing risk is by increasing resistance. You don’t increase speed; you increase resistance. For example, on a stationary bike, you can increase resistance as if you’re pedaling almost up a hill. If you’ve ever used a spin bike or even one of those electronic bikes, you can crank the resistance up. Your legs actually move slower because you’re like pushing and you’re winded after thirty seconds. It’s not because you just moved faster; it’s because you had to move more resistance. Because you’re not using increased speed or velocity, you haven’t increased risk.
For a Bowflex Max Trainer or for an elliptical trainer or for -– there are things called a Versaclimber -– for any type of cardio machine where you can increase resistance, that can absolutely be used for smarter high-intensity interval exercise. You’ll notice, for example, with the treadmill or just riding a bike outside, there is no deliberate and safe way to increase resistance. It doesn’t mean you should never run. It doesn’t mean sprinting is bad for you. It just means there’s a trade-off between risk and reward. I would so much rather minimize risk for you while maximizing reward. Yes, you can absolutely do that on a Bowflex Max Trainer or any other piece of cardiovascular equipment where you can increase your resistance without increasing risk; aka without increasing speed. Hopefully, that is helpful.
There’s another quick question here, which says, “I have been reading about and have been trying the apple cider vinegar-lemon juice-cinnamon-cayenne pepper-and-stevia drink recommended by so many. It seems to help me feel less hungry and I’m hoping it is doing some good for my metabolism and blood sugar. What is your opinion? Any concerns?”
There are definitely some wonderful ingredients in this concoction. Apple cider vinegar -– awesome for you. It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. It helps with reducing the acidity in your body. It’s great stuff. Lemon juice -– I would personally recommend just peel the lemon and blend it because if you look at most store-bought lemon juice, it can actually contain natural flavors or nitrates, which is no good, so I actually fell victim to that.
I was like, “I’m going to save time and not buy lemons and blend them; I’m actually going to buy lemon juice” and then I realized after about three months, I was like, “Oh my goodness, this lemon juice has nitrates in it.” But then I was like, “Oh yes, when I bought it at the grocery store, it wasn’t refrigerated so of course they have to put a bunch of preservatives” because if a fruit can sit on a shelf for eight months without refrigeration and not go bad — none of us are perfect, including myself.
Apple cider vinegar is great for you. Pureed lemons –- obviously peel them first -– would be great for you. Cinnamon -– absolutely fantastic. Cinnamon is a therapeutic spice. Cinnamon has been studied extensively. The one distinction I would make here is there’s a difference between using a sprinkle of cinnamon and using cinnamon in a bit of a therapeutic dose. What you’ll notice, for example, in some of our SANE smoothie recipes, is we recommend multiple teaspoons of cinnamon in a single smoothie. I know you might think that sounds crazy but you’ll get used to it and there is a difference between using cinnamon for flavor and using cinnamon as a nutritional therapeutic agent so you want to make sure that the dose is proper there. Yes, cinnamon’s great for you.
Cayenne pepper -– any form of hot food is great for you. It helps with appetite. It helps with metabolic rate. If you can tolerate spicy food, it’s a great idea. If you’re able to drink all of those things together with some stevia, that sounds like a very convenient way to take them in. One thing you might want to consider in addition to that is take all of those things and then add some green vegetables. Apple cider vinegar is good. Pureed lemon is good. Cinnamon is good. Cayenne pepper is good. Stevia is fine. Instead of maybe just mixing those up together, maybe toss them in your blender and throw some spinach in there or toss them in your blender and throw some Romaine lettuce in there. Now you have like a super smoothie, which I love, but you’ll get your non-starchy vegetables in there as well. As stated, that would do good things for your metabolism and your blood sugar. That is all good.
Kelly asks, “How do you know if you’re overtraining?” Kelly, the easiest way to tell if you’re over-training is -– well, it depends on how intense are you training. The point of ‘more exercise isn’t better’, we’ve already talked about that — just like more penicillin isn’t better. What we need is the appropriate dose. One gauge of whether or not you’re over-training -– and there’s obvious gauges like just getting depressed, getting sick -– things like that. “I don’t want to train. It’s so much.”
I mean, if you’re following the SANE eccentric exercise protocol, you’re doing eccentrics once a week and you’re doing potentially your smarter intervals once a week. You’re not going to be over-training. So if you do that plus other stuff, you’re definitely at risk for over-training. Please keep in mind that things like walking, yoga, Pilates, playing with your children, casually riding a bike -– these things that I refer to as restorative activities -– those will never lead to over-training. Those are a great idea, no matter what. We can do those in abundance.
One general rule of thumb to whether or not you’re over-training is if you do all form of exercise on Monday and then you try to do it again on Tuesday and you can’t do more, you’re over-training. The point of exercise is to make your body super adapt. Weight training, running, whatever it is -– if you’re training for a marathon, the goal is, you run one mile in one exercise period and then you run more than a mile in the next period. The reason you’re able to go more than a mile in the next exercise session is because your body made adaptations above and beyond what was needed during the first period.
We don’t endurance train. We don’t recommend endurance training in a SANE lifestyle. Eccentric exercise is maybe a better analogy for us. For example, if you were doing leg press and you did it with a hundred pounds, let’s say, for six repetitions and the next workout, you could not do six repetitions with a hundred pounds, you’re definitely over-training because your body hasn’t even gotten back to where it was before your first session. The other way you could still know you’re over-training is if, in that second session, because remember, we want to train eccentrically to what’s called ‘point of failure’. So eccentric exercise and resistance training is one of the few areas of life where failure is the goal. You’re only maximally succeeding with eccentric exercise and resistance training in general if you are failing. There’s a paradox for you.
What we mean by failing, and you’ll see this again in your step-by-step program, I believe, Course 201 or 102, is all about eccentric exercise. Then there’s a bunch more courses about it. The point of failure is ‘I can’t even lower this weight anymore’. Like, no matter how hard I try, it’s not doing what I want it to do. I’ve failed at doing more of this movement. That’s a good thing because that means you’ve taken your body to the point where it can’t do anymore. Then if you give it sufficient rest, it will come back stronger literally. So you’re over-training if, when you come back, you’re not stronger literally.
Session number one, you do six repetitions with a hundred pounds. In session number two, not only should you be able to do six repetitions with a hundred pounds but you should be able to do six repetitions with a hundred and five pounds or you should be able to do seven repetitions with a hundred pounds. It’s by doing those gradual improvements that we go from forty percent body fat to thirty-five percent body fat to thirty-three percent body fat because what you need to do to go from forty percent body fat to thirty-nine percent body fat is not the same as what you need to do to go from thirty percent body fat to twenty-nine percent body fat. Just like what you need to do to learn your multiplication tables isn’t the same as what you need to do to learn advanced calculus. As we want to get further and further and more advanced, we have to push ourselves more and more. We have to grow. We have to progress.
There you go. Sorry it took me so long to get to this soundbite. Here’s the soundbite. You’re over-training if you’re not progressing. Done. That’s the answer to your question right there. I should probably write that down. It’s a much shorter answer. You are over-training if you’re not progressing. Actually, thank you so much, Kelly, for asking this question. It’s a great question. Five bonus points for Kelly.
Over-training is generally thought of only in the context of exercise but we can think about it also in terms of our SANE eating and also our emotional progress because, if on Monday -– so here’s an example of over-training from a nutrition perspective because this is a new concept for me even. Kelly, you’re helping me here. If on Monday, we’re like, “All right, I’m going to do all this stuff. I’m going to eat three green smoothies. I am going to chop up all these vegetables. I’m going to use the SANE app. I’m going to do all these things.” Then on Tuesday, you wake up and you’re just saying like, “What? Not only am I not going to do more than that, but I can’t do that again.” In that context, we’ve over-trained nutritionally.
What we want to do is ease our way into it and gradually progress. Maybe instead of saying, “Hey, I really don’t eat any green vegetables now,” “I’m going to go tomorrow and eat twelve servings of green vegetables.” Then the day after that, I’m like, “I don’t want to eat any more vegetables.” You’ve over-trained nutritionally. What I’d rather you do and what you would have so much more success with is to gradually progress. So maybe this week, you say, “My goal is to go from zero servings of non-starchy vegetables to three.” By the time you work your way up to that over the course of a week, when the next week comes, you’re like, “Hey, three green vegetables — that’s easy. I’m going to go for four this week.” “That’s slow. Oh my gosh. Three weeks later, I’m only at five servings of green vegetables.”
Think about that. Give it twelve weeks -– that’s only three months -– and you’ve gradually progressed yourself up to nine servings of green vegetables and you’ve done it in a way where that’s easy now. Just like if you’re resistance training, you’ve started with six reps of a hundred pounds and you slowly progress up while not over-doing it. You’re doing six reps with two hundred pounds as if it were a hundred pounds. It’s easy for you. The same thing can apply with regulating our emotions; the same thing can apply with regulating our appetite -– trying to do too much too fast is super counterproductive.
That’s what over-training is. We can do that emotionally; we can also do that dietarily, if that’s a word. We want to gradually, gradually progress over time. That’s the key thing to avoid that over-training. Hopefully, that is helpful here.
Let me jump into some other questions that have been written in. This is a great one. I appreciate this being written in because everything is on limits so that nothing is off limits — there’s the right phrase -– during these calls. I’m going to actually read this verbatim because it’s awesome. It says, “Many of your recipes call for proprietary ingredients. I get that from a sales and marketing perspective but it would also be nice to know what the equivalent or most similar ingredient would be in a more generic term.”
First of all, I want to make it one hundred percent clear -– one hundred percent clear -– that there are no super foods in the SANE store that are required to go SANE. You can eat ten servings of non-starchy vegetables just by going to your grocery store -– easy-breezy. You can eat four to six servings of nutrient-dense protein just by going to the grocery store. Everything that you find in the same store is there for convenience or it’s there because I personally have never found a grocery store that sells [inaudible 1:00:45].
The only place that I or my family are able to get those foods is from the SANE Store so that’s why we make them available to you. Everything -– and if you ever find this to not be the case -– every single thing -– every single recipe, every single smoothie, recipe -– all of it is possible without giving me a dime. You’re not giving me a dime. You’re giving a bunch of other people a dime. The dime isn’t coming to me. The dime is going to fund the same mission and it’s all possible without any of that; those are just there as a convenience.
Hold me to that. Post in the support group if you don’t see that to be the case but every single thing we ever provide to you should never require any additional spend in the SANE store. However, what we find is that a lot of people are spending a bunch of money on protein bars that contain more sugar than protein and are as bad for you as candy bars so we say, “Hey, if you’re going to eat a protein bar, please eat a SANE Meal Bar instead because not only does it not have all that toxic sugar in it but it has, for example, grass-fed whey protein concentrate and prebiotic fiber. Unless you’re eating Jerusalem artichokes every day, it’s nearly impossible to eat enough prebiotic fiber to heal your gut so maybe that will be helpful.
Again, I appreciate you bringing my attention to this. If you see any examples where it is not possible to go SANE without buying something else, please post about that because I personally will ensure that’s taken care of. I apologize if that was ever the impression.
“Is there any thought of having some of those SANE Store foods kosher-certified?“ There is. It just hasn’t happened yet. I apologize for that.
“Whey is causing me gas. How can I take it without getting gas?” If the whey is causing you gas, you may be lactose intolerant. Whey is very low in lactose but lactose is what can potentially cause gas. My recommendation would be taking what can happen with protein powders in general is because they’re powdered, it’s very easy to take in a lot of protein very quickly. For example, you could take a serving of clean whey protein, mix it up with one of your favorite beverages, drink it almost instantly, and within thirty seconds, you’ve ingested the same amount of protein you would take in by eating a big chicken breast.
If you were to eat a giant chicken breast in thirty seconds, you’d probably have an upset stomach as well so it might not be the whey. What it might be is the speed with which you’re consuming it. The same thing applies to non-starchy vegetables. Protein and fiber -– if you consume protein and fiber rapidly, it can cause digestive upset. If you eat them in great quantities, they can cause digestive upset. You say, “Oh, hey, wait a minute. Jonathan, you said I got to eat lots of vegetables so does that mean I’m always going to have digestive upset?” Not at all if you space them out over the course of the day.
My general rule of thumb is, I would never recommend going above three or four servings of non-starchy vegetables in a sitting -– like a half-hour period -– otherwise you may have gas and bloating. If you have them spaced out throughout the day, like three or four meals that contain three or four servings of non-starchy vegetables, that should be fine. If you’re doing protein powders, whey, rice, hemp -– what’s the other one? Not soy -– I don’t like soy. Pea is one of my favorite vegetarian sources of protein. Just make sure you don’t pound them and that will help with the digestive upset as well.
All right, so let’s see what we got here with questions. Deborah -– “Is there an easy way to measure the body fat? I’m assuming it’s different from BMI?” Yes, it’s totally different from your body mass. Your body mass index is basically your -– weight is super limiting because you could say weight doesn’t even consider your height. So a six-foot-tall person at two hundred pounds is entirely different than a five-foot-tall person at two hundred pounds. But when you just look at weight, you would say, “Those two people are the same.” Well, that’s crazy, of course.
The big advance fifty years ago was, What if we don’t just look at weight but we also look at height? So, yes, that is absolutely a step in the right direction. In that case, body mass index is just weight held relative to height. Even that needs to be refined because you can have a two-hundred-pound, six-foot-tall person with a totally different BMI than a six-foot-tall, two-hundred-pound person based on their body fat percentage. This is, I think, the most compelling example of this is –-
CrossFit has become very, very popular and what we’re seeing now, which is awesome, is my favorite thing about CrossFit -– there’s some things I don’t like about CrossFit but one of my favorite things about CrossFit is it’s getting more women to do intense resistance training and it’s creating strong women. I mean, women who look fit. They don’t look like [growls] but they’re strong, they’re fit -– love it. Most people see a fit woman and they say -– here actually, I’m going to use an example that is near and dear to my heart -– my beautiful wife, Angela. She is 5’6” or 5” and she weighs -– most people, if they saw her, would think she weighs like 110. She does not weigh 110 pounds. I think she’s between 140 and 150.
The reason she’s between 140 and 150 is because she’s not skinny; she’s strong. She’s got lean muscle on her body and she is capable and confident and awesome. That muscle is compact so she looks small but the scale doesn’t say she’s small. We don’t even have a scale in my house. I don’t know how much she weighs exactly. I have no idea how much I weigh.
What your body fat percentage will tell you –- your body fat percentage is just hard to fake. Any man that has ten percent body fat, you’ll be able to see an outline of his abdominals. There’s no way to fake it. There’s no way to trick that. Your body fat percentage doesn’t lie or deceive you in any way. Body mass index does. We just talked about how it can. Weight certainly can.
The easiest way to measure body fat –- two ways. One that I prefer because it has less chance of causing neuroticism –- and that is my preferred way -– is to buy a pair of jeans –- something that doesn’t have an elastic waistband -– that you maybe can’t button right now but if you go SANE, gradually over time, because you know what? I’m going to be very honest with you. I don’t want SANE to cause you to be able to button those jeans and then a year later, you can’t button them anymore.
I would so much rather -– and correct me if you don’t think this is the right mindset -– I would rather it take you longer to button those jeans but for you to be able to button them comfortably for the rest of your life than for you to be like, “Seven days –- I can button those jeans” and then seven days later, “Oh man, not only can I not button these jeans anymore but I really can’t button them.”
Buy a pair of jeans and then just slowly monitor how much easier it gets to button them. Pretty soon, you’re going to have to buy another pair of jeans and another pair of jeans and another pair of jeans. The reason I like that is because you can get body fat calipers and you could do all this other stuff but there’s a huge –- if you get the electronic body fat sensors, it depends on menstrual cycle. If you’re sweating, it can make the electrodes get all messed up and then it’s like, “Oh my gosh, I gained three percent body fat” and you didn’t.
The machine has a plus or minus four percent margin of error so you could do one measurement one day, do another measurement five minutes later, and get a four percent different reading. That can make us all feel bad but in reality, the machine is broken. If you’re using your jeans, for example, you pretty much put your jeans on the same way every day and you button your jeans at the same position every day. Even a measuring tape is awesome. A measuring tape is another great way to do it but a measuring tape –- again, it could be hard to position the measuring tape consistently. It’s not hard to position jeans consistently. Wake up one day; you put your jeans on your head -– no. Jeans always go on the same way so that’s the easiest way.
Just to get a pair of non-elastic pants and to sort of track the pants over time and not focus so much on the numbers because the numbers can throw us off and can make us say, “Oh, I should be this.” Track the pants because that’s really all that matters. If you do want to get a little bit more hardcore and you understand that measurement error can come into play, please just be careful.
You can get what’s called just body fat calipers. They’re like little pinchers. You can get them on Amazon.com or at your local sporting goods store. They come with a little instruction book or you can watch a video on YouTube and essentially pick a part of your abdomen and then like on your tricep and on your thigh and you take measurements.
The key thing to keep in mind is to take the measurements no more than once a month — that’s extremely important -– and to take them on the same day of the month. Our female family members on the call will understand why because the way your body looks can vary a lot, independent of how you’re eating or how you’re exercising, based on where you are in the menstrual cyle -– so you want to make sure you’re measuring always on the same day of the month and the same time of day.
You don’t want to measure on the first of the month right after eating dinner one month and then measure on the fourteenth of the month when you haven’t eaten any dinner; you’re going to get skewed results. You’ve got to measure the same spots using body fat calipers at the same time of day at the same time of month no more than once a month, if that’s helpful. That would be a good way to do it, for sure.
All right, next question here -– “What are the keys you believe are essential to biohacking and therefore individualizing my own nutrition?” My first thing here is that I am one hundred percent anti-biohacking. That word makes me sad because the definition of a hack is a temporary, unsustainable, possibly dangerous and counterproductive fix. The term ‘hack’ comes from computer science and it’s like, “Oh, there’s a problem. We need to fix it temporarily. Let’s hack something together.”
None of us are here to temporarily fix something to only make it get worse over time. I would strongly encourage you to, if possible, with love and care, banish the word ‘hack’ from your mind and replace it with ‘healing’. It is so important. We are not here to hack our bodies; we’re here to heal our bodies. That’s my recommendation -– don’t biohack.
Biohacking is dangerous; it’s scary; it’s doing things that are completely unproven over the long term. There’s a wonderful book called ‘Antifragile’ where the author talks about iatrogenics, which is a little known term, but it is when an attempt to heal or hack causes immediate observable benefits but long term unobservable huge consequences.
What are we talking about here? Here’s an example –- the housing crisis in 2008. This hit me just as hard as everyone else. We’ve got a condo that we’re still under water on that serves as proof. I mean, it seems great in the short term. I can hack my mortgage. Check this out. Look at this hack awesome thing I can do. It seems great in the short term but it’s going against nature. It’s going against the natural order. I mean, if you want unnatural results in the short term, it might be fine. I mean, you want to lose fat really quickly and you want to gain muscle really quickly, steroids will do that. They’ll also harm you horribly.
I mean, cocaine will do that. Cigarette smoking has been shown to help with weight loss but it’s not good for you long term. To me, I would strongly encourage us to all focus on the long term because, from my own personal experience, I mean, back before I went SANE, back before this research, the story that led to all this research, I did some really stupid short term stuff when I was in my natural bodybuilding days when I was younger.
I mean, I’ve torn my pec, I’ve torn my knee three times, I’ve torn the labrum in this shoulder, I’ve taken -– if it’s legal, I’ve taken it back in the day. Never take anabolic steroids but everything but anabolic steroids that existed fifteen years ago has been in my body. Yes, they cause short term results. Yes, they caused long term problems. So I would just –- the older we get, the more we realize we don’t get that time back. So you blow your knee out, it’s never going to work the same again so it’s really important not to do anything in the short term that’s really going to compromise you in the long term because don’t cry over spilled milk -– absolutely -– but now we have to put the glass back together and we can glue it back together but now it’s got all these cracks and creases in it.
I’m sorry if that’s not a great answer or an answer that is sexy but it’s an answer that honestly can save your life because there’s no secret that there’s all kinds of – I’ve quoted this study a lot and I’m sorry if you’ve already heard this but there was a study done with Olympic athletes where they asked the Olympic athletes, “If you could take a pill that would guarantee you a gold medal but would guarantee you death in five years -– so take this pill. You are guaranteed to win a gold medal and you are guaranteed to die in five years -– would you take it?” Over eighty percent of Olympic athletes said they would. Now, we’re not here to say that’s the right decision or the wrong decision but we are here to say, for Olympic athletes, for those eighty percent, short term achievement was more important than long term health, happiness, and wellbeing.
If short term something is more important to you than long term everything, that’s cool. I don’t really have any recommendations to go along with that because that’s just not what SANE is about. I think there’s a lot of things you can do in the short term that don’t require hacking or taking unnatural things that can lead to stupendous results. Those involve super foods. Those involve eating mollusks, things like oysters, things like extremely nutrient-dense sources of protein -– oysters, clams, the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world -– think like really deep green leafy vegetables like kale, Swiss chard, arugula; only the most nutrient-dense and healthy whole food fats, mono-unsaturated fats, chia seeds, flaxseeds, eggs, olives, coconut – just really dialing in your SANE eating.
In the Seven Days To Eating Quick Start Guide, which is in the very first course in the very first lesson, I think it’s right in that step-by-step program, you’ll see there’s optimal SANE foods and normal SANE foods. Focusing on those optimal SANE foods and then -– you can be superhuman that way and without any side effects and it might take slightly longer but it will last infinitely longer. I think that can be super helpful and encouraging. Hopefully, that is helpful. I’m sorry it was not the exact answer that we were sort of looking for there.
Sorry, there’s questions coming in from stuff I said a while back. Julie – “Won’t treadmill incline increase intensity?” Yes, it absolutely will, Julie. Hopefully, I may have answered this question and I’m sorry I’m reading your question now late. It will increase in intensity but it will also increase risk possibly. Two things -– I mean, I see what you’re saying. Can’t I walk at three miles per hour at a fifteen percent incline?” Yes, you absolutely can.
If walking at fifteen percent incline at three miles per hour for thirty seconds means that on the thirty-first second, you couldn’t physically take another step, then that would be fine. I think the problem with the incline is it actually can’t increase resistance enough because remember, we want to do our smarter interval training. We’re doing thirty-second bursts followed by a couple of minutes of rest and the thirty-second burst is meant to be “I cannot do thirty-one seconds.” It’s hard to reach that point on a treadmill no matter how high you take the incline. You’re right. It doesn’t increase risk but I just don’t know if it increases intensity enough, if that makes sense.
Deborah -– “Can you exercise eccentrically on a Total Gym?” Deborah, you can exercise eccentrically anywhere and on anything. The focus of eccentric exercise is simply to do the lowering movement slower than the raising movement. Yes, eccentric exercise is not a new type of exercise; it’s a new way to perform your existing exercises, for sure, for sure.
Next question here -– this is a funny one -– “Can protein powder or powdered greens be included in this plan?” Yes. We actually provide the recommended forms of them, if you’re interested. You just go to Store.SANESolution.com.
“Where does almond milk and coconut milk fit into this plan?” These are some great questions for the support group. Your SANE coaches are super helpful with this stuff. Coconut milk is great. Almond milk can work. I prefer coconut milk. Yes, so the rest of the questions – any questions around which food group does this fit in? What serving sizes? These are definitely covered in your step-by-step program in great detail and your SANE coaches can absolutely help with that.
I want to make sure that you know how to get all of your questions answered all the time. If you look in the program and it’s not there, please let us know and we’ll get it in there because I don’t want you to have to wait for me to answer that for you to get your answer. I want to make sure that the program’s taking care of you. Please let me know if it’s not for those types of questions.
Exercising on an empty stomach -– any plans to make SANE food delivery service like Blue Apron?” We’d love to have a SANE food delivery service. Don’t have the ability to do that yet but, yes, that would be cool. It’s definitely something we’d love to do in the future. You can get certain SANE foods delivered today from the SANE Store but, yes, they’re not what you’d sit down and fill your plate with, for sure.
Exercising on an empty stomach –- it’s fine if that’s what works for you. It’s all good. If you’re going to do super intense CrossFit or run a marathon, you wouldn’t want to do that on an empty stomach but the type of exercise recommended within your Ignite Program – totally fine on an empty stomach.
Questions here about sugar cravings -– huge, very important topic. Because it’s so huge and very important, we have entire dedicated modules for it in your step-by-step program. Please check that out.
There is a question here about “I am brand new to SANE and I’ve been used to taking the super low-calorie, 1,000 calorie, zero added fat diet. I weigh myself every day and then how do I basically go down? How do I transition away from that into a SANE lifestyle?” The number one recommendation I would give you is to work the program. I mean, if you get a chance, go through the step-by-step program, watch the previous coaching calls that you have access to, click on the Stay Motivated section in the footer because this type of mindset change.
I forget, it was maybe two months ago, we had one of these calls and someone asked me a question I’d never been asked before, which is, “Jonathan, what has been the hardest thing for you to communicate in the SANE Program?” For me, it’s like, “Oh, I don’t know. It’s the mindset. It’s absolutely the mindset shift from moving from a mindset of starvation, deprivation, and willpower and short term –-“ That’s the biggest one. It’s like this sort of perfection, willpower, short term weight loss versus long term gradual healing and trusting the process.
But the cool thing is, yes, trust the process but also, at the end of the day, we’re talking about eating more foods that are more satisfying. We’re talking about eating foods that trigger a less damaging hormonal response in your body -– so, satisfying unaggressive -– that provide more essential nutrition -– that’s the N in SANE -– and are less efficiently stored as body fat. You can absolutely trust that, if you would like, but we can trust it in a way that we would trust that being honest and loving with your partner or spouse -– you don’t have to trust that that’s going to strengthen the relationship; of course, it’s going to strengthen the relationship.
Of course, more kindness in a relationship will strengthen the relationship. More nutrition in your body will strengthen your body. I guess where trust comes in is it’s not instant. We live in a world where like microwave and seven pounds in seven days -– I mean, it’s instant but, if any of that stuff worked, we wouldn’t have two-thirds of our country struggling with overweight; we wouldn’t have one out of four of us struggling with diabetes or prediabetes. I mean, we all know -– and we don’t really need to trust; we just know -– that if someone comes to you and says, “Hey, give me a thousand dollars and I’ll turn it into a million dollars overnight,” we’re like, “That sounds rough. That just sounds scary.” Or like, “Hey, come to this weekend seminar and I’ll take you from not knowing how to play the piano to becoming a concert pianist.” It just doesn’t work that way.
What does work -– eating foods that fill you up faster and keep you fuller longer -– yes. That works. It works from a common sense perspective and it’s been proven definitively in the science. Healing your hormones -– of course, that’s good. Of course, we want to heal our hormones. Of course, we want to take in more nutrition. Of course, if our goal is to burn body fat, we would like to eat foods that are less efficiently stored as body fat.
Please just go through the step-by-step program. Do the program. I mean, I know that sounds a little bit silly but do the step-by-step program. Right after we finish this call, log in and do step one of the first course. Then tomorrow, do step two. Just focus on one step per day. Watch the previous sessions of these group coaching calls and post, if at all possible, get in your coaching and support group every day because what we need to do, honestly — and this is probably the shorter answer for you here -– I really appreciate you asking this question –- is, just like with eating, we talk about taking in so much SANE food that you’re too full for inSANE food.
The easiest way to break free from an inSANE mindset to a SANE mindset, to free yourself from that starvation insanity, is to fill your mind with so much SANEity sanity that you just don’t have any room for that starvation, deprivation, willpower nonsense. The only way you could do that is by immersing yourself in the coaching and support group. Sometimes people come into the program and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, Jonathan, there’s so much here.” There’s so much here because I want to be here for you. I want you to be SANE for life. This isn’t the twelve-week SANE program; this is a life journey for the rest of your life for the best of your life. Give yourself that daily blessing; that daily opportunity to fill your mind with that SANEity and to crowd out all that inSANEity and just work the program. Hopefully, that’s helpful.
It’s a little more esoteric than you wanted but, next question – let me jump into the live questions here. I apologize. I’m not going to get to all the questions today but it’s all good. I’m going to carry them over into the next session. Please if you’re not in the coaching and support group, jump in there because Raina here is one of our amazing SANE-certified coaches and we’ve also got Laurie, Wednesday, and Rebecca -– just amazing individuals that could be of super help in your support group twenty-four-seven, three-sixty-five, but I am going to try to carry over as many questions as I can into the next session.
Sandy England –- “What would you suggest eating when at the ballpark? I go to the Nats games and see no vegetables and not much in the way of salads.” Sandy, again, I’ll tell you what I would do. What I would do, what I do do, is I bring my SANE Meal Bars, I got my cravings killers, and I would also possibly bring some raw nuts. You’ve got to be careful with the raw nuts because you could put a thousand calories of raw nuts in your pocket really easily.
My personal recommendation strongly would be that’s where your SANE Meal Bars and your SANE Cravings Killers are going to come into play and the good news is that they’re less expensive than anything you could buy at the ballpark and they’re filling. It is physically impossible to overeat SANE Meal Bars because they have twenty-one grams of protein in them and about eighteen grams of prebiotic fiber. Try to overeat them. It’s not going to happen; they’re so satisfying. That would be my definite recommendation. That is what I’d do personally as well.
Linda -– “My drive to eat sugary sweet foods isn’t after a meal but later in the evening. Any suggestions?” Linda, same thing for me. One thing that you might want to try is, I don’t know what else you’re eating but it might also just be that you’re hungriest in the evening. The reason a lot of us crave stuff in the evening is simply because willpower is a fixed resource and just like we get tired because of our energy is a fixed resource in the evening, our willpower also is a fixed resource so it wanes in the evening. Your drive to eat sugary and sweet foods will diminish over time as you go SANE so I’m going to be very transparent with you that it will require some willpower at the beginning.
The fundamental difference why a SANE lifestyle works long term and a starvation lifestyle doesn’t is starvation requires willpower and greater willpower over time. You can eat a thousand calories on day one with less willpower than on day two. On the seventh day of eating only a thousand calories, that is way harder than the first day. The seventh day of eating SANEly and if you need to crush your cravings, again, that’s why we created the Cravings Killers. They have amino acid in them called leucine which helps to target certain signals in your brain. It’s high in cocoa; it’s high in chia seeds; it’s high in fiber. These help to crush cravings. Your cravings for sugar and sweet in general will diminish over time.
It is going to take some willpower at the beginning but it will get easier over time. What can be helpful sometimes are things like baby carrots or sugar snap peas. They do have a sweet taste. You can eat them in high volumes. Taking just, not chocolate but cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is one of the SANEst foods in the world and it can often act on -– it releases a significant amount of dopamine in your brain and that is often what you’re craving –- that sensation. So there are all sorts of SANE recipes that call for SANE cocoa or just cocoa powder –- unDutched cocoa powder; not Dutched cocoa powder. Non-Dutched raw cocoa powder can be very helpful as well.
Oh my goodness. We are at six-thirty already. I want to thank everybody for these great questions. Man, this has been an awesome session. I mean, I know they’re always awesome. At least, I hope so. We’re always open to feedback. I’ve really, really enjoyed this session. It’s been a wonderful, wonderful one here. We’ve shared our screens; we’ve talked about all sorts of good things. As sort of a wrap-up, final call to action, please see this time here together as a starting point for a dialogue; not an ending point.
I know this sounds silly but the number one thing you can do to turbo-charge your results is just like, right now, please, if at all possible, five days a week minimum, if you have a calendar, just block off thirty minutes -– thirty minutes five days a week -– and spend a little bit of that time in the SANE coaching and support group. Spend a little bit of that time going through one step in your step-by-step program and then just hit Bookmark in your browser and pick up where you left off.
I know that it seems like it’s easy –- and it is easy -– but if you just do thirty minutes five days per week, any computer anywhere in the world, very relaxing and nice, do that for fifty weeks out of the year. You take two weeks off but you’re having a good time so you don’t even want to take those weeks off. Can you imagine? Consistency is the key. If you could do that, thirty minutes, five days per week, for fifty weeks out of the year, one year from today, you are going to be Superstar/Superwoman/Superman with so much SANE knowledge and inspiration.
Your metabolism is going to be totally transformed. Your mind is going to be totally transformed. Your hormones will be totally transformed. Your gut and digestive system will be totally transformed. Most importantly, and I already said this, your mind will be transformed. How you see eating and exercise and, most importantly, yourself will be transformed but you’ve just got to give your brain the raw material, give your body the raw material that it needs to heal itself for the rest of your life.
Hopefully, you can do that. Book those thirty-minute sessions. We’re going to have our next session next week. Thank you again. This has been the highlight of my week. Hopefully, it has been one of the highlights of your week. I look forward to chatting again soon. Thank you so much.
Links mentioned during the session: