Ep.34 – 5 Proven Benefits of SANEity


Carrie: Hi everyone, this is Carrie Brown and Jonathan Bailor.

Jonathan: We are living the Smarter Science of Slim.

Carrie: We are indeed and we are having a lot fun doing it.

Jonathan: We are having a lot of fun doing it and actually this week, Carrie, we are going to do depending on how much we have, two very different things. We are going to start the podcast up with a quick summary of the science and digging into some studies of the five key benefits of eating more smarter or going SANE and then if we have time, we are going to start going through some very commonly asked questions. We are going to go a bit from science to very practical depending on how we have time.

Carrie: Awesome.

Jonathan: Sound good?

Carrie: Yes.

Jonathan: Basically, there are five key benefits we are going to get from transitioning to a SANE lifestyle. We have reviewed these, but let’s quickly break it down one through five. The first is we are going to heal our hormones, unclog as we have called it. Second benefit is we are going to practically and permanently burn body fat. The third benefit is we are going to reduce our risk of cancer and cardiovascular problems in general. Fourth benefit is we are going to have less cravings, we are going to overeat less frequently basically never and we are not going to be hungry. The fifth benefit is we are going to increase our body’s need to burn fat all day, everyday and we are just going to provide a few sampling of studies for each one of those to really get us excited.

Carrie: I am excited anyway.

Jonathan: That will make you even more excited. So, let’s just jump into the first…

Carrie: Oh dear! Is the world ready for that?

Jonathan: Yes, that’s a good point. So, let’s jump into the first benefit which is all about hormonal healing or unclogging and let’s start with two quotes here. The first is from Dr. Lashiker from the University of Illinois who tells us that “A weight-loss diet with moderate carbohydrate and moderate protein results in more favorable changes in body composition and insulinemic response or unclogging compared to a high-carbohydrate, low-protein diet, suggesting an additional benefit beyond weight management to include augmented risk reduction for metabolic disease.” Translation: Moderate protein, moderate fat, moderate carbohydrate, SANE lifestyle not only is more effective at burning body fat, but it is also much more promising to reduce health issues long term, so that’s good.

Carrie: We love that.

Jonathan: We love that and let’s talk about Dr. Frassetto at the University of California, San Francisco, who tells us that “Even short-term consumption of a SANEr lifestyle improves blood pressure and glucose tolerance, decreases insulin secretion, increased insulin sensitivity and improves our lipid profiles or things like our triglyceride, cholesterol, etc., clear our clogs.” So, that’s all good.

Carrie: Awesome.

Jonathan: All good stuff and finally let’s do one more quote and this is from one of my favorite researchers, Dr. Layman over at the University of Illinois who tells that “Evidence of compelling that reduction in total dietary carbohydrate to less than 40 percent of total energy is the most effective way to improve glycemic regulations,” AKA to unclog AKA to avoid diabetes, prediabetes all of that kind of stuff.

Carrie: The awesomeness just keeps on coming.

Jonathan: It is cool too because as we talked about we just mentioned bumping up our protein intake, bumping up our fat intake, reducing our intake of starches and sweets and of course if we chose to go a little bit lower carb, that’s fine too. Let’s do a quick definition here for folks that may not be familiar. When we say low carb, SANE lifestyle isn’t low carb. A low carb diet generally has 50 or fewer grams of carbohydrate, definitely not over 100, like that’s people who actually do low carb, if you come to them and say, I eat 100 g of carbohydrate a day, they are going you, you are not doing low carb. A low carb diet can be a very SANE diet absolutely.

Those individuals are just going to chose higher fat sources of protein, but a SANE lifestyle out of the box is just not a low carb diet, not because low carb is bad but just because I want to provide as much flexibility for as many people as possible. So, out of the box generally when you go SANE, you are going to consume between 75 and 125 g of carbohydrate. The heavier you are or the more you have struggled with your weight, the more I would recommend and the research recommends that you will have success if you bump your fat up a little bit more, your dietary fat intake and reduce your dietary carbohydrate intake a bit. So, do a little bit more nuts and a little bit less low sugar fruit for example.

Carrie: Got it.

Jonathan: So, the more you struggle with your weight, the more you want to skew towards low carb SANE, the less you struggle with your weight or once your weight stabilizes, if you want to reintroduce some more fruits for example that would be alright.

Carrie: Okay.

Jonathan: First benefit, all was about healing our hormones; second benefit has to do with practical and permanent body fat burning, which is key, Carrie, because we have all had experiences with impractical approaches, right? Like it is great for us to drink lemon juice and cayenne pepper water for seven days, but that’s not practical what happens on day eight and it is certainly not permanent.

Carrie: It’s also not pleasant.

Jonathan: It’s not practical nor permanent nor pleasant.

Carrie: It’s all about how things taste for me.

Jonathan: Absolutely, so let’s talk about some science, some supporting science for our approach here. Dr. Arciero over at Skidmore College tells us that a balanced carbohydrate and protein diet results in greater improvement in body composition than a program comprised of a traditional diet regimen commonly recommended for weight loss, pretty simple and then doctor, Carrie, how do I say that, that looks somewhat hard to say.

Carrie: Dr. Westerterp-Plantenga at Maastricht University.

Jonathan: There it is Maastricht, I remember you saying something from Maastricht earlier and then…

Carrie: You don’t learn, do you?

Jonathan: I don’t. This professor tells us that “Additional protein consumption results in a significantly lower body weight regain after weight loss” and that’s so critical because I think most of us have lost weight, the issue is keeping it off generally.

Carrie: Keeping it off without starving ourselves and cycling for hundreds of miles.

Jonathan: Exactly, and any time anyone tells you that they have something programmed pill, powder, whatever that enables you to practically and permanently burn body fat, your first question to them should be where is the peer reviewed academic third party study that validates what you just said and nobody, at least 99.9 percent of the people out there peddling stuff on TV and infomercials will be able to provide that to you, however…

Carrie: You are such a geek, that’s why we love you.

Jonathan: Well you know what, it’s funny we call me a geek, but if a doctor were to prescribe you a pill and that doctor didn’t have any scientific studies proving that it was effective and wouldn’t harm you, we wouldn’t take that pill.

Carrie: People do it all the time.

Jonathan: Not from a prescription, not from pharmaceutical perspective. You get this FDA, those regulation, but when it when it comes to stuffs we buy over the counter, you can just put whatever your freaking celebrity you want on the label.

Carrie: It is all good.

Jonathan: Placebos, put some sugar pills in there, anyway I defend my geekness because…

Carrie: We love your geekness Jonathan, we love it.

Jonathan: Thank you. I am the ruler of my geekdom.

Carrie: Yes.

Jonathan: Embrace.

Carrie: That’s why we keep you.

Jonathan: Can I get into the studies now, I think I have your permission. Study the first sounds super geeky. In the journal of nutrition in 2003, there was a study where women; Carrie is a woman, thought I would just add that there, so Carrie you can empathize with this study, where women were put into two groups, let’s call them the inSANE group and the SANE group. So, the inSANE group followed the government’s guidelines, so a low protein, low fat, high carbohydrate diet. The SANE group ate a more balanced ratio of protein, carbohydrate, and fat from more natural foods. Carrie, both groups ate the same quantity of calories per day. So, they ate the exact same quantity of calories, so we all know they all had the exact same results, right?

Carrie: Exactly, they must have done, because it all about maths.

Jonathan: It all about math, it has nothing to do with biology.

Carrie: [crosstalk 08:52] the table.

Jonathan: Almost hit the table, Carrie is getting excited. Here is what actually happened. After 10 weeks, the SANE group lost 75 percent more body fat than the inSANE group. Study number two, International Journal of Obesity published a study in 2004 in which people were put into two groups, both groups were allowed to eat as many calories as they wanted to. There was no restriction on the number of calories they could eat. The only thing that varied between the groups was the SANEity of their diets. The study lasted for one year, so it is as long study, which is cool and again keep in mind that everyone in the study could eat as much as they wanted, the only thing that was controlled was the quality of their calories. After six months, Carrie, the more SANE group lost nearly 80 percent more fat. After 12 months, the SANEr group had lost 50 percent more body fat and Carrie, get this, shrunk their bellies by 367 percent more.

Carrie: That’s amazing, I have said this a number of times, increasing the protein equals bye-bye muffin top.

Jonathan: For you, yes and for me it was increasing the vegetables, means hello veins in areas that I didn’t think I could ever see veins before, but anyway.

Carrie: Plus as I just said, my waist is now two inches smaller to a year ago and just eating SANE.

Jonathan: It’s glorious. Study the third in 2009, we are getting more and more recent, that’s actually not going to continue, but 2009 in the journal of Cardiovascular Diabetology, I am probably butchering that, my apologies, reported that researchers found a SANE lifestyle burnt body fat 35 percent more effectively than exactly the same number of calories from less SANE sources. The key here is though that the researchers also noted that a SANEr lifestyle was quoting more “beneficial with respect to cardiovascular risk factors”. The researchers went on to conclude since mean energy intake and energy expenditure did not differ between the two groups AKA calories in and calories out were the same statistically, the differences in weight reduction, belly fat loss, and blood pressure are most likely due to differences in macro-nutrient relations AKA calorie quality, AKA we do not need to count calories, we simply need to eat SANEly and the body will take care of the rest for us, which is glorious.

Carrie: It is indeed very, very glorious.

Jonathan: What’s even more glorious, Carrie, is it is so easy, like the thing that is sexy and that sells books is weight loss, we all know that like we all can talk about health and we obviously on some level we appreciate health, but I think that moves units is weight loss, however, because of that like truly anytime you are about to start anything, hopefully you don’t even do this because you just go SANE and you are fine for the rest of your life. If it talks about losing weight and does not talk about what that’s going to do to your health, run dear listeners, run in the opposite direction because who cares if you lose 10 pounds only to lose 10 years of your life.

Carrie: …and to put 15 pounds on.

Jonathan: …and to put 15 pounds back on.

Carrie: Six months down the road.

Jonathan: But what we are talking about here is hopefully you are hearing in all of these studies, we are getting the one-two punch. We are healing our metabolism and that is causing a reduction in body fat, may not be body weight because we are going to gain muscle so that we look toned and firm and awesome and not like we just left the concentration camp, at the same time we are going to heal our body globally and be healthier and that’s the one-two punch we need.

Carrie: Yes.

Jonathan: I love it. Study the fourth, second to last and this is actually one of my favorite studies because it’s just an awesome four-way comparison here Carrie, so stick with me because I think you are going to really like this study Carrie. 2007 is the time, the place “The Journal of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism” took people and divided them into four groups and again all of the groups ate the exact same number of calories, so for all of the people there listening who have been told again just count calories, just count calories, throw that out of the window along with your scale, it’s just false. What varied between these four groups was the quality or the SANEity of their diet as well as how much they exercise, so we are going to bring exercise into the mix here, it’s going to kind of blow your mind a little bit Carrie.

Group number one, they went SANE and they exercised, specifically they ate a SANE diet and they exercised three times per week. Group two, almost SANE and no exercise. They ate an almost SANE diet, but just zero exercise. Group three, you can see we are getting sort of progressively less desirable. Group three was inSANE but they exercised. So, they ate a traditional government recommended starch heavy diet, but they exercised three times per week. So, this is actually what the government would have us do, just continue eating that diet, but exercise more. The last group ate inSANEly and didn’t exercise. Here are the results in terms of how many pounds they lost in 12 weeks. The inSANE group who didn’t…

Carrie: Their calories were all the same, that they were somewhat restricted?

Jonathan: No, no, no, the quantity of calories eaten was the exact same across all four groups. It was just the quality of those calories and the quantity of exercise. In the group which ate again the same amount of calories but an inSANE diet, so low quality and did no exercise, this is going to sound kind of silly, but they lost 4.6 pounds, which we may be like how in the hell did they lose weight? Well almost always in any study, there is a placebo effect takes place where the people are being observed, they naturally change tendencies and things like that, so those people lost 4.6 pounds. On the other end of the spectrum, the people who went SANE and exercised, they did lose the most weight. They lost 14 pounds, but now here is what’s crazy, Carrie, we have got two groups left. We have got the group who didn’t exercise at all and just went almost SANE, like they didn’t even go completely SANE, they just took steps in that direction and we have the group that was inSANE but exercised three times per week. Carrie, the group that didn’t exercise at all but just took steps towards SANEity, they lost 10.1 pounds in 12 weeks whereas the inSANE group that exercised three times per week, only lost 8.8 pounds.

Carrie: I love, love, love that study.

Jonathan: The quality of calories trumped the quantity of exercise.

Carrie: Do you have any idea how happy that makes me?

Jonathan: How happy, well you don’t like exercising neither do I, so it makes me happy too. Pretty happy.

Carrie: Love that, love, love, love.

Jonathan: Excellent. Just to drive this home, let’s actually quote the researchers who performed this study quoting now, talking about, “A SANE diet was superior to a low fat high carbohydrate diet either alone or when combined with an aerobic/resistance training program in promoting weight loss.” Let me say that again. “A SANE diet was superior to a low fat high carbohydrate diet,” AKA what we are all told to do, “either alone or when combined with an aerobic/resistance training program in promoting weight loss.” That diet is so ineffective that even if you add exercise to it, just taking steps towards SANEity will beat it in a clinical study. Boom.

Carrie: If that doesn’t give you all hope, lovely people, I don’t know what will.

Jonathan: One more and this one has to do more with permanent fat loss. This has to do with a study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism in 2006 where researchers followed up with people a year and a half after a weight loss study. So, 18 months later, the people in the SANEr group still weighed 15 pounds less even though they had stopped eating the SANE diet from the study, which is pretty cool.

Carrie: That is very cool.

Jonathan: So, that is benefit the second, practical and permanent fat loss backed by studies which is something that his sadly lacking in the weight loss and health arena.

Carrie: Love.

Jonathan: Love. The other thing keep in mind folks is with the studies we are talking about here, these are not observational studies, these are not studies where we just look at a population and draw correlations. Again, remember those kind of studies don’t prove anything at all. The type of studies we are talking about, we take like one group, compare them to another group in a semi or completely controlled environment, those are the studies that are really, really promising. Alright, third benefit Carrie, less risk of cancer and cardiovascular problems, which is obviously something we all want to avoid, let’s start with two quotes from Harvard University. The first comes from Dr. Willett who tells us that “One of the more surprising findings from nutritional research over the past decade is that people who regularly eat nuts are less likely to have heart attacks or die from heart disease than those who rarely eat them.”

Carrie: Well, that means I am going to live forever because I have been making all these scones and biscuits and all these other yummy bake good stuff and one iteration is never enough, I have to perfect it, so I have been eating like 20 pounds of almonds per weekend.

Jonathan: Yes, let’s get to the point where it is not that quantity is completely irrelevant because if we just pound back cups of melted butter, that’s probably not going to be the best thing for us, so even…

Carrie: You see what I am doing for you lovely people, this is how much I love you. I will eat 20 pounds of almonds in a weekend if it gives you something yummy to eat.

Jonathan: Absolutely, we talk about all quality not quantity and this is actually a great point, this is not, what we are not saying is calories don’t count, of course calories count. Let’s go back to our clog sink analogy. If you have a properly functioning sink and you take swimming pool worth of water and you just dump it in the sink all at once, like the sink is going to overflow and you are going to have problems. The point is no one actually does that. So, do calories count? Of course they count. Does that mean we need to count calories? Absolutely not. Because unless we are intentionally trying to make an army of baked SANE goods, it is impossible in the normal life to overeat SANE foods.

Carrie: Do not do this at home.

Jonathan: Do not do this at home.

Carrie: Let me do this.

Jonathan: Carrie is taking a tasty bullet for all of us.

Carrie: I am.

Jonathan: Next quote from Harvard, this comes from Dr. Albert who tells us “These prospective data suggest that consumption of seafood at least once per week may reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death in men,” which is great because seafood is a super important component of a SANE lifestyle and we all know that eating more non-starchy vegetables has been associated with drops in the risk of nearly all diseases. Eating more low sugar fruits and nuts contributes to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, eating more seafood and chicken drops our risk of heart disease and cancer. The list goes on and on as we would expect eating higher quality food leads to higher quality health. That is not very controversial.

Carrie: It isn’t, but what have we been told for the last 40 years?

Jonathan: Again, we have just been told, eat less food, which is that’s a bit like saying “Oh you are getting lung cancer, just breathe less.” It is, right? You don’t get lung cancer just because you are breathing too much.

Carrie: It is also this notion that low fat is healthy and the high sugar doesn’t matter. You get my point?

Jonathan: It’s true Carrie. I will say this again and I hope it doesn’t come across as me overtly plugging my next book because it is not coming out for a really long time, but it is not coming out till 2014, but it’s called the Calorie Myth and this is fundamentally what I have learned over the past however many months I have been since the publication of the Smarter Science of Slim is that this really all boils down to one fundamental issue Carrie, you just touched on it; you either think about calories or you don’t, and if you think in terms of calories, you are going to be frustrated because the body doesn’t work, the body, you need to think about food, you need to think about just food and if you think about food, everything becomes simpler. You think about calories, eating becomes like a freaking algebra class and it becomes frustrating and it becomes counterproductive.

Carrie: It doesn’t work.

Jonathan: It doesn’t work.

Carrie: For me, the big thing is it doesn’t work, why do something that doesn’t work?

Jonathan: But if you are doctor and that talk show you are watching and the other podcast you are listening to is sitting there saying just count calories, just count calories, and here is the challenge Carrie, and then they bring on their special guest who did count calories and did have success, but that doesn’t actually mean it is effective, it just means that one person was able to endure the terrible experience and to be clear, right, you can lose weight by chopping off one of your legs, it doesn’t mean it’s desirable, it doesn’t mean it’s something you want to do. You can lose weight by picking up a cocaine habit, you will lose weight. You shouldn’t do it though, right? We’ve got to look at this more holistically and more scientifically, what do you think Carrie?

Carrie: That’s why we have you because you provide more scientific [crosstalk 22:45] than ever knew we wanted before.

Jonathan: Benefit the fourth, less cravings, less overeating and less hunger, which is great.

Carrie: Yes, yes, yes.

Jonathan: Yes, so Dr. Halton over at Harvard University tells us that in a study he conducted comparing a lower protein group to a higher protein group remarks “The difference in intake was striking with the lower protein group consuming 621 more calories.” Now again remember calories count, we just don’t need to count calories, Dr. Halton’s quote is so important because when we eat a low protein, low fat diet, the only way we can feel satisfied is by overeating because these foods are not satisfying, so we will unintentionally over-consume calories. In this study specifically the people who ate less protein just without trying, again they just said “Hey people, eat diet A or diet B until you are full,” where diet A had more protein, diet B had less protein. Diet B, those people had to eat 621 more calories to feel as full as the people who ate 621 fewer calories on diet A.

Carrie: I want to tell you, I made this new smoothie on the weekend and it was as much as I could do to drink half of it and as you know I am not a small eater, I have a huge appetite.

Jonathan: Oh, absolutely, I love it.

Carrie: I can eat a lot, but this smoothie I was like not even half way through and I am like, I can’t drink anymore of this thing and so it went in the fridge and I ate it later, but it is amazing to me.

Jonathan: It’s not a Jonathan-Carrie’s crazy philosophy on weight and health. This turned like the thing if you wanted to go on PubMed or any other internet database system, the way researchers refer to this is ‘spontaneous reduction in energy intake’. What they mean spontaneous like people aren’t trying. Another way to think about it is eating high quality foods, foods high in water, fiber, and protein, nutrient dense protein, non-starchy vegetables, things like that, they are essentially the most effective appetite suppressant in the world, but it’s kind of ironic because the way you will avoid overeating is by eating more of those types of foods because they are not calorically dense, they are incredibly nutrient dense and they are incredibly satisfying, just kind of an ironic setup, but the way you avoid overeating is by intentionally eating more of those foods, it is proven. It’s not an opinion, like that has been proven. The last benefit Carrie, ever since the increased need to burn body fat all day everyday…

Carrie: I like that idea.

Jonathan: …which is all good, let’s start with a quote from Dr. Layman again, one of my favorites from University of Illinois who tells us “Higher protein diets increase loss of body weight and body fat and attenuate or slow the loss of lean tissue when compared with commonly recommended high carbohydrate low fat low protein diets.” For example Carrie, consider a study done at the American University of Beirut, there was a SANE group and a group that adhere to a more government dietary guidelines type diet, after a month the SANE group lost six pounds more than the insane group, but get this Carrie, they still needed to burn 250 calories more per day than the heavier inSANE group.

Let me unpack that for a second because we talked about a couple of things in earlier podcasts where if we starve ourselves, our body slows down and that’s not good, however, what we saw in this study which is actually incredibly encouraging is this SANE group, they lost six pounds more than a different group of people who are more inSANE, but they still needed to burn more calories than the group that lost less weight. So, they are losing more weight. In a traditional world, more weight loss means more starvation means your body slows down, which means you are more likely to gain weight moving forward. In this study, the people who lost the most weight doing that via a SANE diet still needed to burn more calories than people who lost less weight.

Carrie: Okay, so your body is now more effective at burning calories.

Jonathan: Exactly, so you are losing weight without the side effects of starvation, which is beautiful.

Carrie: That is a beautiful thing.

Jonathan: It’s beautiful, I love it. Carrie, actually I don’t want to disappoint our listeners, but I think we are going to have to get into some of the FAQ stuff next week because we just packed this podcast full of science.

Carrie: I going to have to reel you in.

Jonathan: We should get little T-shirts made “Reel In,” I don’t know if you ever watched the Chappelle’s Show back in the day, but there is like this “wrap it up skit,” like wrap it up, you just tell people “wrap it up.” It would be like “reel it in.”

Carrie: Reel it in.

Jonathan: “Reel It In” that’s Carrie’s new phrase. Well folks, we are going to reel it in here the Smarter Science of Slim. Thank you for joining us. We will be back with you next week. Remember to eat smarter, exercise smarter, and live better.

This week:
– Studies showing how SANEity heals our hormones, enables us to burn body fat practically and permanently, reduces our risk of cancer and cardiovascular problems, eliminates cravings, overeating, and hunger, and an increased need to burn fat all day, every day.
– How to think about SANEity relative to low-carb diets
– How low-carb SANEity has been shown to be more effective the more we’ve struggles with our weight
– Five studies showing how high-quality SANE calories cause something completely different to happen in our body from a fat loss and health perspective than low-quality inSANE studies
– How it’s irrelevant to lose ten pounds if you are also losing ten years of your life
– How SANE eating without exercise will lead to more fat loss than inSANE eating with traditional exercise
– How Carrie is taking a tasty bullet for all of us
– How the best way to avoid overeating is to eat more SANE foods