6.2.16


We have an amazing amount of questions that came in before the session. So I am going to run through those. Also some great other topics to cover. The one other thing I did want to mention—What’s up Linda, Ann, Leanne—Judy is in Australia. Wonderful, Judy, you are relatively close to Raina, who I believe is in New Zealand, which—you are closer to each other than we are because I am in Seattle. It’s a big, big international SANE family here.

Real quick. These calls usually go—we do three types of things in them. One is we do some quick rapid fire questions. We kind of do less of these because I want to make these calls special. What I want to do in these calls are things that we can’t do anywhere else. For example, for topics that are so big and important that everyone has them and everyone needs help with them, we have created huge amounts of interactive, amazing, and simple content for you within the Ignite program. I want to do justice to those topics. These are things like emotional eating. Eating with your family when they don’t want to go as SANE as you. Eating on the go. Things like that. These are huge topics that are covered in detail in the program itself. I want to make sure we stick to the program for that and we treat these calls as a unique thing where we do stuff that is not already in the program. There are also some questions that are really awesome for your SANE certified coaches like Raina, Rebecca, Laurie and Wednesday in the SANE support group.

I am going to try and go into some more advanced stuff here. Some things just are unique to this call. If I am not able to get to your question please understand that it’s not because it’s not important, in fact, it’s probably because it’s so important that it’s covered in detail in the program or in the support group. We just want to make sure that these calls add unique value rather than being redundant with other aspects of the program. Hopefully that makes a little more sense and because of that these calls are going to be a little more advanced. If it seems like, that’s advanced, don’t worry this is going to be recorded so you can watch it again and it will be transcribed as well. So please keep that in mind with your questions. Don’t share anything in your questions that you wouldn’t want to get recorded or transcribed.

Of course, we have to give shout outs to our leaders, in terms of the wonderful SANE point system we have in the coaching and support groups. As I love to always say that if you are not in the SANE coaching and support group, please get a pen and write down right now your first action item. Immediately, after today’s call, or sometime very soon, please get in the SANE support and coaching group. It gets better and better every week. It’s an amazing and loving community and you’ve also got your SANE certified coaching Raina, Laurie, Rebecca and Wednesday, 24/7 love and support. It’s beautiful and it’s all gameified; meaning that you get bandages and points and there are leader boards. It’s so much fun! To celebrate I want to give some quick shout outs to Linda Bear, Josh Simon, Jennifer Rose, and Sally Deal who have been this week’s top contributors in the SANE support group. Thank you so much Linda, Josh, Jennifer, Lynette and Sally—and Kate, sorry, Kate Botzko. Oh my goodness, Kate, I almost left you off there. I apologize for that. All good stuff. Please do that. It’s an amazingly important aspect of the program.

We may or may not have talked about this before but I am not just saying that. There has actually been a deep amount of scientific research done that shows that social support is a hug determinate of your success of any lifestyle change. It doesn’t even have to be eating or exercise related. Anytime you try to make a lifestyle change and the more you share that experience with other people, the more likely are you to succeed. To understand how important it is–if you are putting forth huge efforts, in terms of what you’re eating and you’re putting forward pretty good effort in moving your body, and just 10 minutes per day in the support group, just that little addition. If you’re spending 0 minutes in the support group and you go from 0 to 10 minutes that is going to make a huge difference. Whereas, 10 more minutes on the cardio machine at the gym won’t make any difference. So make sure we’re using all the tools available to use: eating; exercising; also social support is so critical. It’s so, so critical and it may even be one of the pieces that you have been missing in the past if you have just tried to white knuckle it. That could be one of the pieces that have been missing. So, please, please do that.

Alright, so, yes—I lost my train of thought there for a second. I was saying earlier about the three things we can cover. I said that there is specific Q&A, which we will of course go over. There is some more detailed, let’s say medium Q&A. Great fit for this session. Then sometimes if I just go on a crazy rant. Somethings I just can’t control myself. Please feel free to stop me. Post some questions there. Post some follow up things. If I’m not making any sense please let me know because I do try to share some cutting edge stuff here. Anyway, with all that said let’s go ahead and get started. We are going to go for 90 minutes or until I pass out. I’m feeling good today so I don’t think we’re going to pass out before the 90 minute mark. Let’s get started here.

The first question—and again this is a question that was written in, so if you ever can’t make these calls feel free to write these in and you can watch the recording and still participate in that way. So this question is, I am eating about three servings of veggies at every meal—oh, real quick, if a question seems like it doesn’t apply to you please don’t tune out. I will make it apply to you because I try to take the specifics and make them general so we can learn how to fish rather than just be given fish. Because we want to do this for the rest of our lives so we have to understand the underlining principles—anyway, you will see what I mean. I am eating about three servings of veggies at every meal with a serving of protein, most of the time my servings of fat is included in my protein or my veggies. I am not hungry in between meals to eat snacks so I am wondering how I can become SANEr when I am not feeling that hungry? I am also wondering if it is okay to eat SANE pancakes/waffles two to three times per week with a green smoothie, or should I eat eggs instead to see faster results. I love this question because it’s got some specifics in there. We can also really generalize it.

What I am hearing in this question is an individual who is saying, Look, I don’t think I am actually eating the number of servings that I think I need to eat to maximize my SANEity. For example, they’re saying, I’ve been eating three servings of vegetables at each of my meals. I’m going to go ahead and assume that this individual is eating three meals per day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and then they’re getting their servings of protein, and their fat is usually coming in probably with butter on their vegetables or as part of the protein. Maybe they’re having some fatty fish like salmon, which is an optimal source of fats. So they might say to themselves, Oh my goodness, I am only eating nine servings of vegetables per day and I am only getting three servings of protein for the day and I am only getting three servings of whole-food fats per day. How could I possibly become SANEr since I can’t just eat more servings. Great questions.

One thing that is really important to keep in mind is that the serving guides for SANEity—the thing that is absolutely true, no matter what and without any qualification, is that we want to eat predominantly non-starchy vegetables, then nutrient dense protein, then whole-food fats, in that order. Now, if you are incredibly full and totally satisfied eating—I’m going to use numbers and the numbers are always in the pattern of vegetables, protein, and fats. So, if I say 9/3/3 that means 9 vegetables, 3 proteins, and 3 fats. If you are eating that and if you are totally full and satisfied you are succeeding. Please don’t feel that you need to overeat or eat till you’re uncomfortable to increase your SANEity. If you are feeling very full what you’re experiencing is what we will all experience as we begin to heal our body, which is what the research community calls a spontaneous reduction of caloric intake.

An example of this in the clinical research is that there have been studies done where you’ll take one group of individuals—this is what’s called a metabolic ward study, which means they control all variable. It’s not an observational study where they ask people questions over 40 years and people may or may not answer them correctly, and then they draw correlations. They take 30 people, put them in a metabolic ward and control everything. Then put 30 other people in a metabolic ward and control everything. Then monitor them for however long they can afford to keep people in a science hotel, for lack of better terms. What we see is that when the individuals are given a SANEr diet—so more nutrient-dense protein, more non-starchy vegetables, and more whole-food fats—they experience anywhere between a 400 and 1000 spontaneous reduction of caloric intake.

So these studies are what’s called ad libitum studies, meaning that individuals are allowed to eat as much as they want. They are not rationed food. What they would do is they would change the type of food. So again, one group would be less SANE type of food. Another group would be more SANE type of food, but the groups are allowed to eat as much as they want. Imagine you go to an all-inclusive resort or you go to a big buffet and one of the buffets has only SANE food. The other buffet has only inSANE foods. That’s kind of how the study is conducted. What is consistently shown in these studies is that as individuals go SANE—and this is what we would expect; right? The “S” in SANE stands for satiety, meaning that SANE calories fill us up faster and keep us fuller longer because of that we accidentally get full on—between 400 and 1000 fewer calories per day, which is amazing when you think about it. Right?

Think about how hard it is to take a toxic, standard American diet, which usually takes about 3000 calories to fill us up. Because if we’re eating, for example, Pringles and soda, there is a reason that you can drink 600 calories of soda and it actually makes you hungrier. Or you eat 300 calories of Pringles and they tell you, “Once you pop you can’t stop.” Right? Pringles is advertising that if you eat those calories it will make you hungrier. So if we eat unsatisfying calories, inSANE calories, we have to overeat to become satisfied because those calories are so unsatiating. They can also change the way our brain processes hunger signals, and the way our digestive system releases hunger hormones so that we don’t actually feel satiated, and even if our hormones are telling us that we should feel satiated our brain, specifically our ventromedial hypothalamus—SCIENCE! SCIENCE!—won’t be able to respond to those signals appropriately.

As we start to eat more satiating foods and as we start to heal our hormonal signals our digestive system and our brain’s ability to respond to those hormonal signals, for example, by reducing what’s call neurological inflammation, our brain will automatically count calories for us appropriately, which would mean if we have an individual, let’s say Mary, and Mary has 100 pounds of surplus fat on her body, and let’s say that 1 pound of fat contains 3500 calories, because that is the common amount that is thrown around and will work for the purposes of this example. Then Mary, 100 pounds of excess fat, 3500 calories per pound of fat has 350,000 calories already in her body. So, when you think it’s interesting to think about it from one level, why is Mary ever hungry. If Mary already has 350,000 units of energy, aka calories, in her body why is her brain saying, Mary eat because you don’t have enough energy.

It’s not because Mary doesn’t have enough will power. It has nothing to do with will power. Mary’s brain is giving her incorrect information. That incorrect information is caused by eating inSANE foods, which Mary has been told to do so it’s not Mary’s fault. The point is that if Mary then heals that neurological inflammation and eats higher satiety foods, what will happen is her brain will start regulating energy balance for her. Her hormones, for example, like leptin, will actually be heard by her brain and her brain will say, Hey, I’m full. I’m just not hungry, and I’m not tired, and I’m not crabby, and I’m not cold as a result. I’m full, eating anymore would make me feel uncomfortable. Then Mary accidentally eats a 1000 fewer calories per day. Here’s the big thing, Mary doesn’t have any micronutrient deficiencies. Because the calories that Mary is eating are super nutritious. That’s the “N” in SANE.

Mary also is not going to have her base metabolic rate plummet because she’s exercising eccentrically. She’s eating a lot of nutrient-dense protein, which is going to help protect her lean muscle tissue, and because of that Mary is feeling full and satisfied. Not hungry. Not deprived. Not tired, Not Cold. Not crabby. She is accidentally doing what would be nearly impossible to do otherwise, aka 1000 calories fewer per day happens accidentally. Then we’re saying, Jonathan, bring it back. Bring it Back! So, if Mary is doing that on 9/3/3, meaning 9 non-starchy vegetable, 3 proteins, and 3 fats, should Mary feel bad or feel that she could be doing more if she was eating 15/5/6. The answer is no. Mary, you are doing fine. Or whoever asked this question, you are doing great. What you might find is that as your body stops or reduces—think about it this way. The more fat that we have left to lose the more aggressively our body will supplement the food that passes through our lips with food that is already stored on our hips.

An individual that has 100 pounds to lose, their body is going to be—it has a lot more fuel already in it. Now, let’s say that that individual has gone SANE for two years and has lost that 100 pounds of excess fat. You might say, I’ve got two years that’s so long. It’s 100 pounds of fat to lose, we want to lose it forever, and we want to lose it in a healthy sustainable way that won’t set us up for long-term weight gain, which is what traditional quick-fix diets do. So a 100 pound fat loss—not weight loss—fat loss over two years, anything faster than that would be super, super dangerous. That’s a pound of pure fat per week on average, it’s not linear, of course, and then we’re going to keep it off forever. But at that point, Mary might not be satisfied at 9/3/3; and why? Well, it because her body can’t supplement 9/3/3 with additional calories that are already in her body. This is a really long answer. Vegetables, proteins, and fats in general, the more of those you eat in place of inSANE food the faster you will heal metabolically up to a point. Right?

We never, ever say, Eat 30 servings of vegetable because that would be too much. That would be diminishing marginal returns. Unfortunately, just do to the limitations of math we have to have general guidelines. Yes, the general guidelines. For example, say that in theory as a generalization that cannot take into account all the uniqueness of every person, in theory, 16/6/6 is SANEr than 9/3/3, but if 9/3/3 is working for you and makes you feel full and satisfied, it is entirely possible that that is the optimal level of SANEity for you given where you are. I can promise you that force feeding yourself will not increase your results. Simply because force feeding yourself will make you feel uncomfortable, and anything that is going to make you feel uncomfortable is going to increase the amount of will power you need to use. The amount of will power you need to use the higher it is to lower your chances of success, because this can’t be based on will power. Will power is a fixed resource and our will power, long term, has to be spent on things that are way more important than counting calories or anything like that. So, 9/3/3 would be fabulous.

Over time you might find that you naturally increase servings, but it might take some time. Then you say, How do I get results faster. Instead of force feeding yourself what you can do is focus on making sure those 9 servings of vegetables, 3 servings of protein, and 3 servings of fat are coming from optimally SANE sources. In the first course in the step-by-step program, I believe it’s called, “How To Use Your Tools”, or something along those lines. It’s like the very first lesson and the very first course. There is a 7 Days of SANE e-book, something along those lines, and it has the breakdown of the SANE food groups. Within each food groups there are normal non-starchy vegetables, for example, an optimal non-starchy vegetable. Regardless of how many servings you have of each food group you’re eating, you can always increase your SANEity by focusing on optimal choices rather than normal choices.

For example, while a conventional chicken breast is a fine nutrient-dense protein, it’s great, it will help you to get fantastic results if you were looking to supercharge your results, but for example, tuna fish is SANEr. It is a more nutrient-dense source of protein than a chicken breast because of the type of fat contained in it amongst other things. Just seafood, in general, is a more optimal sources of protein often times than most meats. For example, grass-feed beef would be optimal, whereas, conventional beef would be considered just normal. For vegetables it’s even more compelling. Something like kale is radically more nutrient dense than Iceberg lettuce. Iceberg lettuce is a non-starchy vegetable but it is basically water. It really does not have too much else in it. What you would do to increase your SANEity is to increase the proportion of optimal variance within the various food groups that you’re eating. Also, please don’t forget that our food is only one lever. It’s a hugely important lever, but it’s only one.

For example, if you were to say, Hey, I want to increase my results and I’m going to do that by focusing super hard on going from 9/3/3 to 12/3/3. At the same time, if you’re extremely stressed on a scale from 1-10 where 10 is the most stress and 0 is no stress at all and you’re at a 9 and you’re getting 4 hours of sleep per night. I promise you, that if you were to take your stress level from a 10 to a 6 and you were to take your 4 hours of sleep per night and increase them to 6, you would get radically better results. In terms of your mood, your appearance, your mental performance, your sexual health, your health in general, your fat loss, your waistline—everything—than you would from just slightly tweaking your eating. That’s so important. I think for so many of us we have to make sure we are looking at all the different levers at our deposal. We have eating as one. Exercise is one. Social support is another BIG one that is often neglected; completely. Like, at a scale from 1-10 where 10 is complete social support a lot of us are sometimes at a 0 or a 1 or maybe even negative. Not only do we not have social support but people in our lives are holding us back, it’s almost like we are negative there. You know?

We can’t make that perfect overnight, but the support group can certainly help. We got eating, we got exercise, we got social support, we have sleep, we have stress, we have—social support and meaningful relationship sort of go together—but we have that human emotional connection is supper important. We have all those levers, which are important to us. How much water are we drinking? There is another lever, this isn’t one that I would recommend you mess with at all. It’s one that your doctor might mess with after you go SANE for a while. Certain forms of medication differently have an impact on us. For example, certain medication that effect our hormones, such as birth control, insulin therapy, our eyes and other things along those lines, whether or not someone is smoking. Those are things you would want to dibble with, but the main point here is that if you’re looking to increase your SANEity please don’t make yourself feel like you have to eat more. If you want to mess with eating increase the quality of the servings you’re eating and then focus on the other factors. If that makes sense. If that doesn’t make sense please post a follow-up question. There very well may be some follow-up questions that I’ve already missed. Let me do a quick scan to see if there are any follow-up questions about this one. Cool! All good here.

This person is also wondering in their question. I am also wondering if it’s okay to eat SANE pancakes/waffles two to three times per week with a green smoothie or should I eat eggs instead to see faster results? The SANE pancakes and waffles, if you are making those with whole-food fats and you’re drinking a green smoothie—what we have to do is look at it in terms of your servings. If you’re not getting any nutrient-dense protein there, you definitely would need to get some nutrient-dense protein. Eggs are a whole-food fat so if all you ate were eggs that would not be SANE; at all, because it’s just whole-food fats. We want to eat complete SANE meals so non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein and whole-food fats in each meal. Big recommendation here is that it’s all good, and I know it’s just human nature to ask and to think like, Oh, if we were to take SANE pancakes and waffles plus a green smoothie and compare it to eggs; which should I eat? The answer we want is not the answer I’m about to give.

The answer I’m about to give, I promise you with my whole being, will help you more than the answer that you think you want. The truth is that whichever one you will enjoy more, whichever one that you can keep up with for the long term, whichever one will make you feel happier and can do forever verses this is a diet and I must follow these rules. That is the one that will make you more successful. You know what? It might not be one, it might be, Hey, I feel like eating my SANE pancakes today and I know I need to eat a complete SANE meal so I’m going to make sure I get some nutrient-dense protein and a green smoothie along with that and maybe tomorrow I feel like some eggs. That mindset—please understand the spirit of what I am about to say rather than the literal words. In some ways that you can continue to do whatever it is forever is more important than the specific thing you are doing. Moderate SANEity that you enjoy and can continue enjoyably forever within the context of a beautiful, fulling life will, of course, give you better, long-term results than perfect SANEity that makes you so crazy that in 12 week you’re like, Forget about this, it’s crazy making. Which is how most of these other diets work. Right? Eat exactly this. Follow these rules. Robot. That’s why they don’t work because we are not robots. Life is not robotic. We need to be flexible and adaptable.

To any of these questions. If your mind is asking you these questions, Should I do this? Will I do that? If? Then? This? The answer is always, which can you do consistently and enjoyably for the rest of your life. You know what? It might not be perfectly SANE right now, but you know what will happen? Once you do it consistently for 30 days the next step will be so much easier. So think about it in terms of exercise. If your goal is to be able to walk a mile. Let’s say you can barely walk a block right now without struggling. One approach would be to say that you know you need to walk a mile. So tomorrow you’re going to try to walk a mile. It’s going to be brutal and horrific, and you may not be able to do it, and then you’re going to get really discouraged, but you’re going to just grit your teeth and you’re going to keep trying to do it. Then after four days you’re going to say forget about it, and then you’re going to be depressed and sad, because you will feel like you put all this effort in and it’s just another thing that didn’t work for you. That’s one approach. That’s the approach that a lot of these mainstream, Biggest Loser type things tell us to do. That’s toxic and I’m so happy that you’ve made this inSANE nonsense.

Here is another mindset that we can have. The mindset is, how far can you walk today with a smile on my face. Then tomorrow you’re going to do that and a little bit more. That’s it. Then a little bit more. Then the day after that you’re going to do it a little bit more. Which one of those approaches, 30, 60, 90 days from now is going to yield better results? Think about that in terms of eating now. What can you do enjoyably now? Granted, that might not be where you want to be, but if you rock it and nail it consistently for a week, then the next week the next level is going to be a bit easier. Then the week after that the next is going to be a bit easier. So that consistent, gradual progress is the secret. That is the secret to, not only eating and exercise—to be clear I definitely need to take my own advice, but we are here for the long term. I don’t think any of us want to be in a worse position a year from today then we are now. By definition, none of us should be doing anything over the next 12 weeks that we couldn’t be doing consistently a year from today. Because if we can’t do it consistently we are just going to yo-yo.

That influences a lot of this stuff and on one level it makes it easier, but it also makes it harder because our brains are programed for that short term, but our life is lived on the long term. Right? It’s all about the long term. Of course it’s about the long term. So that gradual, what’s working for you, what is following the same template and then how can I become gradually SANEr over time, I think can be very helpful. That is an example of a medium to long answer to a simple question, but hopefully it is helpful.

Danielle posted a questions here—LIVE—just want to make sure I get to Danielle’s question. Can you review how you view ketogenic eating? Danielle, you can be SANE ketogenic. You can be SANE ketogenic. You can be SANE Kosher. You can be SANE Halal. You can be SANE vegan. You can SANE vegetarian. You can be SANE Paleo. You can actually be a SANE calorie counter if you wanted. You can say that I’m only going to eat 1200 calories of SANE food per day. SANE just helps you—as you can see, even from this call, that SANE is more than just eating. It’s about the quality of the food we put into our body; all based on science not on anyone’s philosophies or some guru’s theories. It’s about the quality of how we move our body rather than just the quantity. It’s also about the quality of our thoughts and of our emotions and how we approach eating and exercise. Some of this guidance that we have been given is just bogus thinking.

For example, let’s just say if—this is an example of SANE logic. I’m not saying whether this is good or bad, I’m just giving you an example of SANE thinking. If processed white flour is bad, if someone says that and then that person says that whole wheat flour is good. Whole wheat is this. Processed wheat is a subset. So if eating this subset is bad, if you eat this whole wheat you’re still eating everything that was in the subset. If white bread is bad then how does adding something to it—it’s like everything that’s bad is still there. If I were to drink a coke and you said, Jonathan, that’s inSANE, and I said, Hold on let me fix that and you saw me take a vitamin pill and drop it in the coke and say, Well now it’s got vitamins and minerals in it, you say, Jonathan, you are ridiculous. Because everything that is bad about the coke is still there. You just put a vitamin pill in it. If processed wheat is bad for us and then we add things to it, everything that is bad about processed wheat is still in the unprocessed wheat. That is an example of SANE thinking.

Danielle, ketogenic eating, if it’s SANE and ketogenic it can be extremely helpful. In fact, if you look at the clinical research it is quite clear that, in terms of speed of weight loss, ketogenic SANEity—you will get great results. The only downside is that it can be very hard for a lot of people. This is again, going to sound obvious, but the number one predictor—here it is. Here’s the secret. Write this down. The number one predictor of whether or not a lifestyle change will be successful—where success is always defined as we don’t stop, ever. Not in 12 weeks or when the end of The Biggest Loser season happens. It’s always about the long term. The number one predictor of success is, will you keep doing it. If ketogenic eating, aka eating fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day or sometimes even less, makes you feel great, and you love it, and it’s all good, and it’s SANE, beautiful. There is a lot of research saying that that is fine and is healthy and can actually help with neurological illness and all sorts of other good stuff.

However, if counting carbs to that level of rigor makes you feel like you’re counting calories but just differently. It makes you tired and you don’t like measuring on ketone strips in the toilet and whatever, whatever. Then I wouldn’t recommend it. But if it’s working for you and you do it SANEly. One of the biggest changes, for example, The New Atkins For A New You book verses the Atkins books from the 60s or 70s or whenever it first came out. Even in the most hardcore part of the Atkins diet they will say that green vegetables are required. That’s an important thing. Even the core researches and advocates around the Atkins diet are like, look the initial version of it wasn’t quite SANE enough so now we got to make it a little bit SANEr. We have to make sure we got the green vegetables in there. So yes, it’s fine. There is a lot of research to support it. For long term safety just make sure it’s SANE. Hopeful that is helpful.

Ann has a question. How does SANEity in the support group work? I have Level 3 but have 31 points. Ann it is based on—so you get points for when people like your posts, and when people reply to your posts and the number of posts you post. The number of people who put things like, Awesome. The actual level I don’t remember the numbers off the top of my head, but when you get to a certain number of points that corresponds to a certain level. I can tell you certainly that the levels are—it’s easier to go from Level 1 to Level 2 then it is to go from 2 to 3, then it is to go from 3 to 4, then it is to go from 4 to 5. If you see individuals who are at Level 4 or Level 5, those are people who are ROCKING IT. Not that other people aren’t rocking it, but these are individuals who—sorry, they are rocking it but more importantly they have done it consistently and persistently. They have been doing it for a long time. There is nothing you can do in one week that would get you to Level 4 in the support group. It’s something that’s going to take a little bit of time. Hopefully that helps.

I’ve seen a lot of data that says after yo-yo dieting the metabolism slows and you need few calories to maintain. Is there data proven that SANE eating will change that? That the amount of calories to maintain will return to normal. Fantastic questions. In fact, if you haven’t seen there is a recent New York Times article about how The Biggest Loser style of starvation and excessive exercise is horrifically damaging people’s metabolism, such that they require so few calories now, that yo-yo weight gain is nearly impossible to avoid unless they were to essentially go back to The Biggest Loser Ranch and starve themselves for the rest of their lives. In fact, if you have gone through your step-by-step program, or as you continue to go through your step-by-step program, you’ll see studies that were done in the 80s—that’s heartbreaking, it’s like the scientific community has known this stuff, literally for decades, it just hasn’t been shared with us.

There was a study done at Rockefeller University in the 1980s, in which they took individuals who weighed 335 pounds and starved them down to 220 pounds, which you might say, Wow, these people should go on The Biggest Loser. That’s an amazing before and after picture. That’s 115 pound weight loss. That’s amazing. But, unfortunately, what the researchers found in the 80s was that they took people who weighed 335 pounds and starved them down to 220, and then they brought in people who naturally weighed 135 pounds and they measured the base metabolic rates of everyone. So they measured the base metabolic rates of people who weighed 335 pounds pre starvation dieting, then they measured the base metabolic rates of those same people, but when they were weighing 220 pounds after starvation dieting. They also measured the base metabolic rate of people who weighed 135 pounds.

Now, real quick math. A 220 pound person, that’s a much larger person than a 135 pound individual. That’s almost 85 pounds more. But what the research showed was at the end of the study the individuals who starved themselves down to 220 needed 5 percent fewer calories per day than the 135 pound individuals who never started themselves. Now, think about that for a second. A 220 pound person—to physically move 220 pounds around takes a lot more energy than to move 135 pounds around. But because these 220 pound individuals starved themselves down from 335, when we say that their base metabolic rate was 5 percent lower than an individual who weighs a 135 pounds, that means that an individual weighing 220 pounds, just to not gain weight, would have to eat 5 percent fewer calories per day—assuming they’re eating the same types of calories—than someone who weighs 135 pounds. You can see why how we lose weight is so important.

While a 115 pounds from 315 to 220 weight loss is like, Wow, I won The Biggest Loser, or I participated in a study in 1994. If it means that you’re either going to be miserable, and cold, and tired, and hungry at 220 for the rest of your life, or that you’re going to eat a normal amount or at least an amount where you are not going to feel tired, and deprived, and crabby, and have no sex drive, and in a mental fog for the rest of your life; and if you do that you’re going to weigh 350 pounds two years from the time of the study, then that’s nonsense. It is subjectively better to never have lost 115 pounds if you’re just going to gain 130 back. Because yo-yo dieting is worse for you than nothing. Way worse for you than doing nothing. It is infinitely better for your health to stay at 335 pounds then it would be to go down to 220 and then back to 340, or even back to 335. Weight cycling is not good for us. That’s why I am so happy you’re here. I’m so happy you have given yourself the opportunity to make a gradual, consistent progress. To actually answer your question. Yes, there has been a huge amount of research done that shows that the how you lose weight can dramatically affect your likelihood of rebound weight gain because of the change in your hormonal levels, the change in your gut flora, the change in your lean muscle tissues.

Let me give you some concrete examples. If you were to go from 220 pound and you lose 50 pounds from starvation dieting there is a very good chance that 25 pounds could be muscle. Because your body has a shortage of calories. What does it need? It needs energy. What burns a lot of energy? Muscle. So, when your body needs more energy and it thinks it starving, what’s it going to burn off first? Tissue that’s using a lot of energy or tissue that’s using a little bit of energy? Tissue that’s using a lot of energy. It’s not going to burn off your essential organs, they use a heck of a lot of energy. Your brain is the number one user of energy in your body. Your liver burns 4 to 600 calories per day but it’s not going to burn off your brain or your liver; thankfully. But it will burn off your muscle tissue and it does burn off your muscle tissue. So, you go from 200 to 150, 25 pounds comes from muscle, let say another 5 pounds comes from water weight, and then 20 pounds comes from fat.

Gross oversimplification, to lose 30 pounds of muscle will absolutely destroy your base metabolic rate; completely. If you lost 30 pounds of muscle and 20 pounds of fat, unless you were to starve yourself for the rest of your life, all that 20 pounds of fat is going to come back easily. Because you lost 30 pounds of muscle. If we can minimize muscle loss than absolutely we’re also minimizing the likelihood of weight regain. But here is the catch. This is why I don’t like scales. Right? Let’s take that same example—and by the way, thank you for asking this questions. This is exactly what these calls are for. Because you can see this is not something we can cover anywhere else. I apologize if I don’t get to anymore questions. I hope you find this valuable, because this is the kind of stuff we can only cover here. Anyway, let’s take that same example, 200 pounds down to 150. Success in the short term. Fifty pound weight loss. I’m posting on my social media. I’m 50 pounds down! Woohoo!

Now, let’s say that person’s name is Tim. Tim goes from 200 to 150. Let’s say Tammy, Tim’s SANEr sister, goes from 200 to 180. Initially, all of our brains are like, Only 180. Poor Tammy. But let’s say that Tammy did that, that’s pure fat loss. She didn’t dehydrate herself, in fact, she is drinking more liquids because she is going SANE. She didn’t burn off any muscle tissue, in fact, she developed 10 pounds of lean muscle tissue. How? She is eating more nutrient-dense protein. She’s doing safe, slow eccentric resistance training. She is actually rebuilding lean, compact, sexy calories hungry, metabolic boosting lean muscle tissue. So, she has dropped 30 pounds of fat, gained 10 pounds of muscle. So the scale has only shown a 20 pound weight loss. First of all, her percent body fat change would be way more significant than Tim’s. Because Tim lost more muscle than fat and body fat percentage is the ratio of lean tissue to fat tissue. So if lean tissue and fat tissue both go done the ratio doesn’t really change and you’ll just look skinny fat. Whereas, Tammy went SANE and yes the scale says she only lost 20 pounds but she’s gain 10 pounds of muscle, lost 30 pounds of fat. So, in fact—there are other reason for this but this example I think answers the questions—Tammy’s base metabolic rate will be higher.

So Tammy’s lost 20 pounds total gained 10 pounds of muscle losing 30 pounds of fat. Her base metabolic rate is higher, not lower. How? She actually has more lean tissue on her body than she did before. You can see—the deck is so ridiculously stacked against us in The Biggest Loser, Weight Watchers calorie counting model. Even the method of measurement using a scale is reinforcing the type of dieting that will cause you to have a lower base metabolic rate that will cause you to weight rebound. Whereas, last week we talked about body fat percentage. You can’t fake body fat percentage change. You’re either losing body fat—if you’re losing water weight your body fat percentage doesn’t’ change. If you lose fat your body fat percentage has changed. If you gain muscle, which is great—it’s the least appreciated and biggest change maker in terms of our metabolism that we have and that’s why protein and resistance training is so important and getting enough rest, because we need to give our body a chance to heal and rebuild itself. That in and of itself will absolutely—not only prevent your base metabolic rate from falling but it will actually increase your base metabolic rate.

Let me give you another way that this works. Sorry, this is really important. We talk about “S”-Satiety, “A”-Aggression, “N”-Nutrition, “E”-Efficiency. The “E”, Efficiency talks about how many calories we burn just digesting food. For example, protein is very inefficiently processed by the body. It’s not an energy source. It’s a structural component. When you eat there is something called DIT or Dietary Induced Thermogenesis, meaning how many calories do you burn per day just taking the food that you eat and turning it into metabolizable energy by your body. Going SANE increased Dietary Induced Thermogenesis because it causes you to eat more nutrient-dense protein, which burns more calories just by the act of digesting.

If you have heard of a negative calorie food like celery. That’s true. It actually takes more calories to digest celery than celery contains. That doesn’t mean you’ll lose 100 pounds by eating more celery, because you have a set point and your body will balance it out automatically. But what I can tell you is that, Hey, eating protein is great because not only will it help you to develop calorie hungry, lean muscle tissue, which will prevent your base metabolic rate from falling, but in addition to your base metabolic rate there are other things that determine the number of calories you burn in a day. One, is Dietary Induced Thermogenesis. Dietary Induced Thermogenesis goes up with the more protein you eat. All sorts of way that we can avoid this starvation dieting nonsense. Hopefully that helps and I do have to get a drink of water here.

You can absolutely prevent the yo-yoing in three ways—more than three. Here is three ways. This is not an exhaustive list. Stop weighing yourself. Measure body fat percentage instead. Even more important than that; gradual. The faster you lose weight—here you go, this is 100 percent true. Write this in stone. The faster you lose weight, the more likely you are to gain it back. Because rapid weight lost is not safe and it’s not sustainable and it’s not solving the underlying problem. Anything that is done to rapidly lose weight is likely damaging the system itself and that will cause weigh rebound. Take this with the long term, patient, caring, gradual, self-loving mindset. Do that while throwing away your scale and instead measuring waist circumference or use skinfold caliper. Even better, just eating and exercising and sleeping and letting your body take care of itself. Just give it that time. The third thing to do is to make sure that you are not ignoring that of which can actually cause you to gain weight in the short term, which is the amount of protein you’re eating, and doing your eccentric resistance training. If you’re doing it right—please don’t sound bite this, I’m glad this is just between us because I can totally see this—what I’m about to say, if taken out of context sounds terrible. Okay.

Eccentric exercise will make you gain weight. Oh my goodness! But the weight it will make you gain is lean muscle tissue, which over the long term will help you to burn more fat. Remember, we want to change the ratio of fat to muscle. You can just burn fat. You can just increase muscle. But if you do them at the same time you get the best results, and the best health, and the best everything else. You want your self-confidence to skyrocket—here’s another example of why building lean muscle tissue is awesome. If you have ever walked up a flight of stairs while talking to someone and been out of breath and not able to continue the conversation, that is a terrible feeling. Right? You’re trying to talk to someone and you’re like, I’m sorry… Not a good feeling. You might think the only way to avoid that is to go become a marathon runner so that you can have better cardiovascular endurance. That’s one way. A SANEr way is, for example, let’s say that an individual weighs 200 pounds; just for a simplicity of math. When you walk up the stairs what are you doing? With every step you take one of your legs is lifting 200 pounds. Right? So, you walk up 10 steps, each leg has lifted 200 pounds 5 times. Now let’s say that you double your leg strength. Very easy to do. Especially if you never weight trained before. If you never weight trained before you might start out leg pressing 100 pounds and within a month you would probably be up to 200, or two months. As you’re getting started it’s amazing how quickly you can develop strength.

Now, let’s say your legs are twice as strong and you still weigh 200 pounds. Let’s say you lost 5 pounds of fat but gained 5 pounds of muscle. No weight loss. It’s okay! That’s not our goal. No weight loss but it’s okay because we know what our goal is. Our goal is body fat percentage long term—yada, yada, yada, still 200 pounds, still 10 steps. But now your legs are twice as strong. Just for simplicity of math, if your legs are twice as strong then each time they were lifting 200 pounds before you still weighed 200 pounds but to your stronger legs, that are twice as strong, to them it feels like it’s only 100 pounds each step you take. Because they’re twice as strong. The amount of weight they’re lifting hasn’t changed but their ability to lift weight has doubled. So wouldn’t it make sense that if it required half as much labor to climb up the same number of steps that you wouldn’t be out of breath?

You’ve done nothing, in terms of your VO2 max, which is an indicator of cardiovascular endurance but what you have done is you’ve enhanced your global metabolic conditioning. Meaning that your body’s overall ability to function. You’ve become stronger; right? Not like bodybuilder stronger but like, I’m a stronger person now. Challenges are going to come up and I’m going to take care of them. And, I’ve got a flight a stairs to walk up, but you know what? It’s twice as easy now so I am not out of breath. That amazing—I totally gone off track. Oh yes, doing that is going to help you base metabolic rate not to fall.

Are there any vitamin or minerals supplements that I can take or should take to help reset my body? How about chromium for blood sugar stability that many other nutritional experts seem to think that resistance starch is a good addition for gut health? Great question! There are two ways to answer this. Could chromium be good for blood sugar health? Maybe. Is Chromium something that you want to take for the rest of your life? If the answer is no, I don’t know if I would start taking it. Because whatever chromium does for you it will only keep doing it for you if you keep taking chromium. So, unless you want to take it for the rest of your life, I don’t know if I would start taking it. You might say, Well, Jonathan, by that logic what the heck can I do?

Here’s what you’re going to do. You ready? You’re going to eat delicious SANE food. You’re going to get great sleep. You’re going to develop deep loving relationships. You’re going to do work that you’re passionate about. You’re going to move your body safely and sustainably for the rest of your life. It sounds pretty good. When you think about it that way it becomes so my much simpler. Like, Yes. It’s absolutely true. Maybe chromium is good but it’s only as good as long as you take it. So unless you plan on taking it for the rest of your life I don’t know if I would start.

The other thing I think about is that it’s probably not free. If it was free I might take it. But unless you have—maybe you have an infinite amount of money. I don’t know but if you do that’s awesome. I don’t and I don’t know if everyone else on this call does. Let’s say chromium cost $10 a week to take. I promise, I promise that if you took that $10 and invested it in buy higher quality food, or paying for child care so you had time to cook in the kitchen, or something. There is a better way to use that $10 for your health. Resistant starch? Resistant starch is a great example of something that is—the question is not is something good. The questions is, is something better than all available alternatives? That might be worth writing down. That’s an example of a core SANE mindset. The question is not is this good? That’s what’s called the any benefit bias. It’s actually a psychological trait that human beings have, which is called the any benefit bias and we tend to think that if something is good we should do it.

The reason that’s a less than ideal way to think is because of the concept of opportunity cost. Which if you are not familiar with I will explain it really quick. Every time we make one decision we’re not making one decision. Right? Your decision to attend this call. That’s actually not the decision you made. The decision you made was should I attend this call and not do everything else that I can do with those 90 minutes. And, thank you for attending this call because you have prioritized this call above everything else you could be spending 90 minutes on. So, thank you. That’s why I’m happy you’re here because that’s a great honor. We have to look and use that logic for everything in our lives, which is not is this good but is this better than everything else I can be doing right now. Because people will always say that, Well, hey, is it a good idea to take chromium? Maybe. Is it a better idea to take chromium than to use that money—like, chromium cost money, is that money best spent on chromium? Right? Resistant starch.

We can only eat so much food. Fair. When we are eating one thing we are not eating everything else. If you choose to eat spinach you’re not just choosing to eat spinach. You’re choosing to eat spinach and not every other food on the planet. The question is not is spinach good. The question is right now is spinach better than anything else I can be eating. Is resistant starch better than non-resistant starch? Yes. Is resistant starch better for gut health than non-resistant starch? Yes. If you were to eat a starch would resistant starch be the most SANE starch type to eat? Absolutely. That’s why like legumes, which are very high in resistant starch. On the same spectrum it’s green to an orangish red. Legumes are in the middle. They’re a resistant starch. Whereas, wheat is way over on the red end. However, the question is not should I eat legumes. The question is, I only have so much room on my plate. If I put legumes on my plate what I’m I going to put less of on my plate? If I am going to put less mashed potatoes on my plate than absolutely put the legumes on your plate. But if I’m going to put the legumes on my plate instead of some vegetables, which is often what happens. Usually people don’t have a problem eating protein; it delicious. People don’t have a problem eating fat; it delicious. Vegetables are the tricky part and vegetable are the most important part. So what happens is that starch crowds out vegetables. So the question is always, is resistant starch better than other forms of start? Yes. Is a resistant starch better for you than everything else you could be eating? Not in the research I’ve seen. I can tell you objectively that when it comes to satiety, aggression, nutrition, and efficiency that non-starchy vegetables are going to be better for you than a resistant starch is. If that helps.

Okay, I have some questions coming in here live. Kelly. I already strength train in the weight room. Do you have any recommendations for the experience concentric weight lifters, in terms of how to approach an eccentric training schedule? Would you also recommend concentric training as well? Absolutely, Kelly, great question. It’s impossible to not train concentrically. Every exercise we do has an eccentric and a concentric portion. Also there is isometric. I got my arm extended right now, that’s concentric. Holding it is isometric. Extending it is eccentric. The only way you can do a bicep curl without doing concentric is if you somehow got your arm in this position and only did the eccentric. Any exercise, squads, pushups, dead lifts, bicep curls; everything. It always has an eccentric component. There is pure eccentric training. It’s kind of weird but—as a general rule of thumb, yeah, you want to do both eccentric and concentric components, you just want to focus on the eccentric component. Either in terms of duration, meaning you want to do the eccentric component slower than the concentric portion. Also for maximum metabolic healing you just don’t want the concentric contraction to limit you. Meaning if that you are really trying to fatigue you muscle fibers and cause the greatest hormonal response. If you’re doing pushups you are not going to be able to push up the concentric much sooner than you will not be able to let the weight down. That was a lot of double negatives there,
so I’m sorry if that was fairly confusing.

Here’s a better example. Usually sitting down is not the problem because that is eccentric. Standing up is concentric so that is harder. But what will happen when we are weight training is we will often stop when we reach, what’s called, concentric failure. But we still have a bunch more energy left in our muscle fibers if we were to train eccentrically. What you want to do is basically go slower on the eccentric portions. Maybe have some spotters help you. It’s not about the elimination of concentric, in fact, it’s actually borderline impossible to, so it’s all good. You just want to make sure that if you calculate tempo—here is an exaggerated example. Olympic lifting. It’s like, BOOM!, you explode up and then you drop the weights. So there is no eccentric contraction there, it’s just concentric. When you calculate the tempo of that it’s one second contractions, zero second hold or isometric and zero second eccentric. What I generally recommend for maximum result, in terms of metabolic healing, is a one to three second concentric action and then a five to ten second eccentric action. So it’s just a much slower eccentric action. Hope that helps. Rock and roll! You don’t have to up the concentrics you’re just focusing on the eccentrics.

Timing of meals? Not eating after X o’clock, meal frequency. Meal frequency is really easy. We talked about this a little bit last week. Here is the answer to meal frequency. Everyone agrees and it is unambiguously true that eating double digit servings of non-starchy vegetables is critical for long term health, staving off Alzheimer’s, staving off dementia, keeping your body alkaline, feeling great, nourishing yourselves in addition to losing weight. Right? So lots of non-starchy vegetables, double digit servings of non-starchy vegetables. Extremely important. If someone tells you that you should only eat once a day that means you have to eat 12 servings of vegetables in one sitting. That’s not possible. There are studies that show this meal frequency verses that meal frequency. The facts are that if you are a bodybuilder you need to eat frequently. If you need to eat a bunch of calories you have to eat frequently, because for example, if you take in 100 grams of protein in a single sitting that is going to cause chaos in your body, but if you spread it out over three it going to cause what’s called a positive nitrogen balance and it’s going to do all kinds of great stuff for you.

My strong recommendation is that there are two rules you should follow for meal frequency. The first is the general SANE template. Meaning double digit servings of non-starchy vegetables, at least three servings of protein per day, and anywhere from 1-6 servings of whole-food fats per day depending on how much fat you have to lose, in addition, what you can enjoy and do sustainably. With those two principles we can answer this question easily. If you need to eat three servings of protein per day and if the servings of protein need to be around between 20 or 30 grams of protein to trigger muscle protein synthesis and you only eat two meals per day; you can’t do that. Because you’re not getting three discreet servings of protein. If you need to eat 12 servings of vegetables per day and you only eat twice per day then you have to eat 6 servings of vegetables per sitting and that may give you terrible gas. That’s too many vegetables. That’s a lot of vegetables.

The rules are lots of non-starchy vegetables, about three to six servings of nutrient-dense protein per day, about one to six servings of whole-food fats per day in a way that you love doing. There are advantages and disadvantages to whether it’s three meals or six meals or if I want to intermittent fast every once in a while, but that is the minutiae that makes this stuff complicated and stressful and causes it to not work long term. So, if we could just keep it simple I find that to be really helpful.

The other part of this question, which is not eating after a certain time. That’s a great example of an opportunity for a SANE mindset shift. If a magazine says don’t eat after 6:00pm. What if you’re a nightshift worker? If you wake up at 6:00am is that the same as if you wake up at 10:00am. Right? Because if you wake up at 6:00am at 6:00pm you’ve been awake for 12 hours. If you wake up at 10:00am and it’s 6:00pm you’ve been awake for eight hours. Having this rule don’t eat after 6:00pm does not make any sense. Because 6:00pm—if you wake up at 3:00pm you’ve only been awake for three hours. You’ve got to eat something; right? Before we can even answer the question we need to rephrase it to be SANE. What the question may be intended to be is don’t eat three hours before you go to sleep. Now, that’s a great question. That applies to everybody. I don’t care if you go to bed at 2:00am or 7:00pm. The question should I eat less than three hours before I go to sleep. That’s a great way to phrase the question.

I know that might seem a little bit obvious. Is this good? Is this bad? Those types of questions really depend on the person, the circumstances, their goals and that’s why we’re here to teach that underlining philosophy and mindset so that we can have the SANE mindset and take the SANE approach. Anyway. Should you eat a certain number of hours before bedtime? There are people who aren’t hungry in the morning and are extremely hungry at night. There are people who are not hungry at night and extremely hungry in the morning. My wife and I are good examples. My wife is extremely hungry in the morning and she is not hungry at night. I’m the exact opposite. I’m not hungry in the morning and I’m very hungry at night. Now, I’m I wrong? I don’t think I’m wrong. I think my body just works differently than my wife’s body.

Again. The goal here—if you’re supper hungry at night and you’ve only eaten four servings of vegetables and one serving of protein and one serving of fat and to not eat anymore would make you feel hungry, tired, and terrible, because of some don’t eat after 6:00pm rule. Can you see how that is inSANE for so many reasons? It’s inSANE because it’s preventing you from eating the satiating, aggressive, nutritious and efficient food that will heal your body. It’s also inSANE because it’s going to make you feel miserable. It’s going to make you waste your will power. Eventually you’re going to say forget it and you’re just going to eat a pint of ice cream because you have no will power left. That’s what happens when we run out of will power. All of us; me included. If I’m spending my will power on nonsense I don’t have will power left over to spend on meaningful things.

What you should do is you should eat SANE foods in the approximate proportions we’ve talked about here, when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Believe me I have been doing this for 15 years. We can get into the likable. This study showed this. Well, this other study showed this. And this other study showed this. You know what? None of those studies have been published prior to the obesity epidemic and we didn’t have an obesity epidemic. So I promise you that there is not this secret that if you eat this many meals and you don’t eat them after this…BOOM! Then your set point just falls. That’s not how your body works. It’s not. It’s how people make a lot of money. It’s how magazines continue to have stuff to write about. If that was true than we would all know it. We’d all know the magic—if you eat four meals per day and the first is at 8:00am and the second is at 3:15pm and the third is at 7:17pm than you magically lose 17 pounds. It’s sounds ridiculous when we say it like that, but you pick up the magazine off the shelf and that’s basically what it’s saying. Here’s the magic formula!

Consistency + patience + gradual + SANEity + self love = long-term success. That’s the secret formula. All this other stuff that distracts from that formula is counterproductive. Hopefully that helps. Please eat SANE food when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. The next question here—I have not gotten to many questions. I’m sorry. If I didn’t get to your question I’m sorry. I’m trying. I will try my best to carry it over. Feel free to post it in the coaching and support group, because if you wait on me to answer your questions. You might have to wait for a while. Good thing we got the entire Ignite program and your wonderful SANE certified coaches.

There was a question that came in about hormonal shifts and not eating at night. I think I kind of already answered this. The bottom line, every week some new thing will come out that will say that you should do this or you shouldn’t do that. Please write this down. Even if there was definitive scientific proof that eating five meals per day and not eating three hours before you go to sleep—conclusive, proven in a million people over a hundred years consistently, that that yields 10 percent better results over time. That might be true. However, if eating according to that 10 percent—by the way that hasn’t been proven. The only thing that has been proven to the level I just described is non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, and whole-food fats in that order are better for you than toxic and addictive processed starches and sweets. Just like not smoking is better for you than smoking. Getting enough sleep is better for you than not getting enough sleep. But we often focus less on that than on meal frequency and time of meal eating.

Even if meal frequency was proven and even if how close to when you go to sleep was proven and it made it 10 percent better. It helped your weight loss 10 percent more-ish. Let’s say you said, Okay, man I really don’t like eating five times per day but I’ll do it. Or, Man, it’s really hard for me to not eat an hour before I go to bed. I promise you that after 30 days of white knuckling it through the five times per day—you will either stop doing that or be miserable. Or what you might find is that—remember that this is a fictional world. If you just said, Hey, sure that will increase my results 10 percent but I can’t do it and enjoy my life for the rest of my life. What I can do is eat four times per day or three times per day, Sometimes I have to travel for work and then there is only two times per day, but I’m not going to beat myself up about that. If I’m hungry an hour before I go to bed I’m just going to make sure I eat SANE food. You know what? I can do that for the rest of my life. Rock and roll!

I guarantee you if white knuckling it for as long as you can white knuckle it will give you 10 percent better results in the short term. Who cares? Not white knuckling it and enjoying your life while getting 10 percent—getting 10 percent better results for 30 days is not as good as getting 5 percent better results for 10 years. Right? It’s always about the long term. If you’re investing in a stock and a stock will give you a 16 percent rate of return for 16 weeks and then it gives you no return. Would you rather invest in that stock or a stock that’s going to give you 5 percent compound interest for the rest of your life consistently with no volatility? None, zero.

The question is, What can you do that’s within the SANE framework—this isn’t like, Go eat Cheetos if that’s what makes you happy, because that will kill you over time. There are things we know are bad for us and we should try to avoid those. But let’s even take the Cheetos example, let’s say—I think of Cheetos because my mom loves Cheetos. That’s like her favorite thing in the whole world. I know and I’ve seen my mom is a perfect case study. If my mom says, I know not eating Cheetos is the ideal. Not eating Cheetos is perfect. On the Cheetos SANEity spectrum, perfection is zero Cheetos. But if my mom tries to do that—so she’ll get 100 percent or zero Cheetos for two weeks and then she’ll say, I hate this and I’m going zero percent. So I’m going to eat all the Cheetos. Whereas she says, Hey, I’m going to eat fewer Cheetos gradually and over time. She doesn’t really crave Cheetos anymore. She took a gradual approach. What’s better? Not to eat any Cheetos for 30 days and then to eat Cheetos for the rest of your life or to gradually give yourself permission to ease back on the amount of Cheetos you’re eating accidentally because you’re eating so much SANE food.

Long term, gradual progress is always better than short term, temporary volatile perfection. Always. That answers all these questions. If there is two camps of thinking about anything and there is. There’s two camps of thinking about everything. Even the most seemingly self-evident thing. Some people think it’s true. Some people think it’s false. Right? There’s always two sides. What I would recommend is seeing what works for you and then if it’s working, meaning it’s making you happy, and it’s making you healthy, and you do your blood measurements, it’s helping your cholesterol, you feel good, you’re not moody, you don’t feel deprived. Keep doing that.

There was a study done. It was called the nurse’s health study. One of the biggest studies every conducted. I believe it costs something around 700 million dollars. Very expensive study. They showed there was a positive correlation between the amount of nuts you eat and weight loss. Nuts just great for your health. And they are, they’re very SANE. Let’s say that you have a child that has a nut allergy. But you read in this magazine nuts are good for you. You wouldn’t give your child nuts because you know your child has a nut allergy. An allergy is a great example of a genetic difference that can change what works for you and what doesn’t work for you. I am not yet aware of any genetic mutations that makes Cheetos better for us than non-starchy vegetables. Yet, maybe that will happen eventually. But that’s why we have to say that there’s two camps of thinking. Awesome! Let’s take a SANE approach and let try it. If it doesn’t work let’s try the other way and let’s refine it. Maybe we’re someplace in the middle. I don’t know. These conversations of right or wrong, and good or bad. There is no right answer for everybody. Just like there’s no what’s the best car. If your house is on fire a firetruck is certainly a more useful car than a minivan. But if you have to take a bunch of kids to the beach in that situation a minivan would be way more useful than a Ferrari.

There is no best car. There is a best car for this person in this circumstance who has these goals. The same thing applies to meal frequency, all this kind of stuff. There is no best meal frequency. If you’re a body builder your goals are totally different than if you were a 65 year old individual who is struggle from serve depression and diabetes. There is no right meal frequency. What we can do is find the right number of meals that make us feel great within a SANE framework and rock and roll with that. Hopefully that is helpful. Oh my goodness.

I hope I haven’t been too esoteric in this session. There hasn’t been too many questions that have come in but that’s either because I have been so confusing that no one can formulate questions, or you’re so wrapped with attention, or playing something else on your computer. Hopefully it’s the positive things, because we are at the end of our time here. I got to tell you, thank you so much for all these questions and I apologize that I didn’t get to all of them. I will try to carry some over. Of course, Raina, Wednesday, Laurie and Rebecca and the rest of your SANE community are here and they are happy to answer your questions 24/7/365.

I do want to thank you again for sharing. The decision to be here is not only the decision to be here but it’s the decision to be here and not be anywhere else. The decision to go SANE isn’t just a decision to go SANE, it’s the decision to be patient with yourself and loving with yourself and focus on food quality and exercise quality and sleep and stress and social support rather than to focus on all the other nonsense out there. That takes a lot of courage. The first 30 day take some will power but the good news is that the biggest difference between the SANE approach and every other approach is that any lifestyle change take some will power at the beginning. But the question is does it require more or less will power over time.

I hope you’re experiencing the longer you go SANE your taste buds change, you start to reacquire your taste for vegetables. You start to get more energy. You start to get involved in the community. Will power just goes away and you actually will start to experience what vegetarians experience. A vegetarian doesn’t eat a lot of foods that most of us would be like that would be super hard. I would have to use so much will power not to eat those foods. But a vegetarian isn’t like, Oh, bacon, I want to eat it. They don’t even want to eat it. It does not require a vegetarian to use any will power to avoid bacon, because their mind has changed such that it’s just not appealing to them. As you continue to go SANE I promise you, ask the other members in the support group who have been going SANE for a long time. It requires less and less will power over time because it is in line with science and correct principles. It will heal your body and because it gets easier over time your success just compounds over time and I’m so excited for you and I’m so grateful that you have chosen to share your time and your resources and your trust with me and the entire SANE family. Thank you so much. I cannot wait for our next call. I hope this has been as enjoyable for you as it has been for me. Again, If I didn’t get to your questions, I do apologize I will carry it over to the next session. Your SANE coaches are here for you. Until next time remember to stay SANE. Chat with you soon.

SANE Psychology

  • A significant amount of scientific research shows that social support is a huge determinate of your success of any lifestyle change. It doesn’t even have to be eating or exercise related. Anytime you try to make a lifestyle change and the more you share that experience with other people, the more likely are you to succeed.

 

  • I can promise you that force feeding yourself will not increase your results. Simply because force feeding yourself will make you feel uncomfortable, and anything that is going to make you feel uncomfortable is going to increase the amount of will power you need to use. The more will power you need to use, the lower your chances of success, because this can’t be based on will power. Will power is a fixed resource and our will power, long term, has to be spent on things that are way more important than counting calories or anything like that.

 

  • If you were to say, ‘I want to increase my results and I’m going to do that by focusing super hard on going from 9/3/3 to 12/3/3,’ (servings of vegetables). At the same time, if you’re extremely stressed on a scale from 1-10 where 10 is the most stress and 0 is no stress at all and you’re at a 9 and you’re getting 4 hours of sleep per night…I promise you, that if you were to take your stress level from a 10 to a 6 and you were to take your 4 hours of sleep per night and increase them to 6, you would get radically better results. In terms of your mood, your appearance, your mental performance, your sexual health, your health in general, your fat loss, your waistline—everything—than you would from just slightly tweaking your eating. That’s so important.

 

  • We have to make sure we are looking at all the different levers at our disposal. We have eating as one. Exercise is one. Social support is another BIG one that is often neglected; completely. Like, at a scale from 1-10 where 10 is complete social support a lot of us are sometimes at a 0 or a 1 or maybe even negative. Not only do we not have social support but if people in our lives are holding us back then it’s almost like we are negative there. We can’t make that perfect overnight, but the support group can certainly help. We got eating, we got exercise, we got social support, we have sleep, we have stress, we have—social support and meaningful relationship sort of go together—but we have that human emotional connection is super important. We have all those levers, which are important to us. How much water are we drinking? There is another lever that your doctor might change after you go SANE for a while. Certain forms of medication differently have an impact on us. For example, certain medication that affect our hormones, such as birth control, insulin therapy, our eyes, and other things along those lines. Also, whether or not someone is smoking. Those are things you would want to dibble with, but the main point here is that if you’re looking to increase your SANEity please don’t make yourself feel like you have to eat more. If you want to mess with eating increase the quality of the servings you’re eating and then focus on the other factors.

 

  • Moderate SANEity that you enjoy and can continue enjoyably forever within the context of a beautiful, fulling life will, of course, give you better, long-term results than perfect SANEity that makes you so crazy that in 12 week you’re like, ‘Forget about this, it’s crazy making.’ Which is how most of these other diets work, right? Eat exactly this. Follow these rules. Robot. That’s why they don’t work because we are not robots. Life is not robotic. We need to be flexible and adaptable.

 

  • Ask yourself, “How far can I walk today with a smile on my face?” Then tomorrow you’re going to do that and a little bit more. That’s it. Then a little bit more. Then the day after that you’re going to do it a little bit more. Which one of those approaches, 30, 60, 90 days from now is going to yield better results? Think about that in terms of eating now. What can you do enjoyably now? Granted, that might not be where you want to be, but if you rock it and nail it consistently for a week, then the next week the next level is going to be a bit easier. Then the week after that the next is going to be a bit easier. So that consistent, gradual progress is the secret. That is the secret to, not only eating and exercise—to be clear I definitely need to take my own advice, but we are here for the long term. I don’t think any of us want to be in a worse position a year from today then we are now. By definition, none of us should be doing anything over the next 12 weeks that we couldn’t be doing consistently a year from today. Because if we can’t do it consistently we are just going to yo-yo.

 

  • You can absolutely prevent the yo-yoing in three ways. This is not an exhaustive list. Stop weighing yourself. Measure body fat percentage instead. Even more important than that; gradual. The faster you lose weight, the more likely you are to gain it back. Because rapid weight lost is not safe and it’s not sustainable and it’s not solving the underlying problem. Anything that is done to rapidly lose weight is likely damaging the system itself and that will cause weight rebound. Take this with the long term, patient, caring, gradual, self-loving mindset. Do that while throwing away your scale and instead measuring waist circumference or use skinfold caliper. Even better, just eating and exercising and sleeping and letting your body take care of itself. Just give it that time. The third thing to do is to make sure that you are not ignoring that of which can actually cause you to gain weight in the short term, which is the amount of protein you’re eating, and doing your eccentric resistance training.

 

  • If you’re super hungry at night and you’ve only eaten four servings of vegetables and one serving of protein and one serving of fat and to not eat anymore would make you feel hungry, tired, and terrible, because of some don’t eat after 6:00pm rule. Can you see how that is inSANE for so many reasons? It’s inSANE because it’s preventing you from eating the satiating, aggressive, nutritious and efficient food that will heal your body. It’s also inSANE because it’s going to make you feel miserable. It’s going to make you waste your will power. Eventually you’re going to say forget it and you’re just going to eat a pint of ice cream because you have no will power left. That’s what happens when we run out of will power. All of us; me included. If I’m spending my will power on nonsense I don’t have will power left over to spend on meaningful things.

 

  • Consistency + patience + gradual + SANEity + self love = long-term success. That’s the secret formula. All this other stuff that distracts from that formula is counterproductive. Please eat SANE food when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full.

 

  • There is no right answer for everybody. Just like there’s no best car. If your house is on fire, a fire truck is certainly a more useful car than a minivan. But if you have to take a bunch of kids to the beach, a minivan would be way more useful than a Ferrari. There is no best car. There is a best car for this person in this circumstance who has these goals. The same thing applies to meal frequency, all this kind of stuff. There is no best meal frequency. If you’re a bodybuilder your goals are totally different than if you were a 65 year old individual who is struggle from severe depression and diabetes. There is no right meal frequency. What we can do is find the right number of meals that make us feel great within a SANE framework.

What to Eat

  • One thing that is really important to keep in mind is that the serving guides for SANEity—the thing that is absolutely true, no matter what and without any qualification, is that we want to eat predominantly non-starchy vegetables, then nutrient dense protein, then whole-food fats, in that order. Now, if you are incredibly full and totally satisfied eating—I’m going to use numbers and the numbers are always in the pattern of vegetables, protein, and fats. So, if I say 9/3/3 that means 9 vegetables, 3 proteins, and 3 fats. If you are eating that and if you are totally full and satisfied you are succeeding. Please don’t feel that you need to overeat or eat till you’re uncomfortable to increase your SANEity. If you are feeling very full what you’re experiencing is what we will all experience as we begin to heal our body, which is what the research community calls a spontaneous reduction of caloric intake.

 

  • Think about how hard it is to take a toxic, standard American diet, which usually takes about 3,000 calories, to fill us up. Because if we’re eating, for example, Pringles and soda, there is a reason that you can drink 600 calories of soda and it actually makes you hungrier. Or you eat 300 calories of Pringles and they tell you, “Once you pop you can’t stop.” Right? Pringles is advertising that if you eat those calories it will make you hungrier. So if we eat unsatisfying calories, inSANE calories, we have to overeat to become satisfied because those calories are so unsatiating. They can also change the way our brain processes hunger signals, and the way our digestive system releases hunger hormones so that we don’t actually feel satiated, and even if our hormones are telling us that we should feel satiated our brain, specifically our ventromedial hypothalamus—SCIENCE! SCIENCE!—won’t be able to respond to those signals appropriately.

 

  • The 7 Days of SANE e-book has a breakdown of the SANE food groups. Within each food groups there are normal non-starchy vegetables, for example, an optimal non-starchy vegetable. Regardless of how many servings you have of each food group you’re eating, you can always increase your SANEity by focusing on optimal choices rather than normal choices.

 

  • Could chromium be good for blood sugar health? Maybe. Is Chromium something that you want to take for the rest of your life? If the answer is no, I don’t know if I would start taking it. Because whatever chromium does for you it will only keep doing it for you if you keep taking chromium. So, unless you want to take it for the rest of your life, I don’t know if I would start taking it. You might say, Well, Jonathan, by that logic what should I do? Here’s what you’re going to do. You ready? You’re going to eat delicious SANE food. You’re going to get great sleep. You’re going to develop deep loving relationships. You’re going to do work that you’re passionate about. You’re going to move your body safely and sustainably for the rest of your life. It sounds pretty good. When you think about it that way it becomes so my much simpler. Like, Yes. It’s absolutely true. Maybe chromium is good but it’s only as good as long as you take it. So unless you plan on taking it for the rest of your life I don’t know if I would start.

 

  • My strong recommendation is that there are two rules you should follow for meal frequency. The first is the general SANE template. Meaning double digit servings of non-starchy vegetables, at least three servings of protein per day, and anywhere from 1-6 servings of whole-food fats per day depending on how much fat you have to lose, in addition, what you can enjoy and do sustainably. With those two principles we can answer this question easily. If you need to eat three servings of protein per day and if the servings of protein need to be around between 20 or 30 grams of protein to trigger muscle protein synthesis and you only eat two meals per day; you can’t do that. Because you’re not getting three discreet servings of protein. If you need to eat 12 servings of vegetables per day and you only eat twice per day then you have to eat 6 servings of vegetables per sitting and that may give you terrible gas. That’s too many vegetables. That’s a lot of vegetables. The rules are lots of non-starchy vegetables, about three to six servings of nutrient-dense protein per day, about one to six servings of whole-food fats per day in a way that you love doing. There are advantages and disadvantages to whether it’s three meals or six meals or if I want to intermittent fast every once in awhile, but that is the minutiae that makes this stuff complicated and stressful and causes it to not work long term. So, if we could just keep it simple I find that to be really helpful.

 

Exercise

  • Eccentric exercise will make you gain weight. Oh my goodness! But the weight it will make you gain is lean muscle tissue, which over the long term will help you to burn more fat. Remember, we want to change the ratio of fat to muscle. You can just burn fat. You can just increase muscle. But if you do them at the same time you get the best results, and the best health, and the best everything else.

 

  • What I generally recommend for maximum result, in terms of metabolic healing, is a one to three second concentric action and then a five to ten second eccentric action. So it’s just a much slower eccentric action. You don’t have to up the concentrics you’re just focusing on the eccentrics.