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Your Set Point Weight, Good Fats, Arthritis Relief and More!

JONATHAN: Welcome to the Smarter Science of Slim, the scientifically proven program where you eat more and exercise less to burn fat and boost health.

CARRIE: Eat smarter. Exercise smarter. Live better. I am so ready for that!

JONATHAN: Hey, everybody. Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown back with another Sane Show. So many Ss, so little time, so many questions from users and great questions, so I’m excited to continue our journey. And Carrie, give the listeners context on this cool exercise we did here.

CARRIE: Can I say hello first?

JONATHAN: No, you cannot. You cannot say hello. Just kidding.

CARRIE: Well, rats. Hello. Hello lovely, lovely people. It’s good to be back. The few shows we’re doing is around on our forum on Facebook at Community Forum. One of the moderators asked, if they had ten minutes with Jonathan, what would they ask him? So all of these questions are a result of that question being posed.


JONATHAN: Before we get into the next questions, I want to just give [?sp?]-props. We said forum moderator, so there’s this wonderful woman named Rebecca who, just out of the kindness of her heart, started up this community. Carrie’s in there, Becca’s in there. It’s wonderful. I just want to give [?sp?]-props.

I think when people do stuff like this, they just go out of their way to provide a forum in which people can get help. I mean heck yeah. That’s just awesome and I would encourage everybody, if you’re on this journey, start a blog. Start telling people about it. Get other people involved. Your sanity will become so much easier and sustainable the more you put yourself out there. Carrie can say this from experience being the cohost of this show. The more publicly you do this, the more likely you are to be successful.

CARRIE: That is true and I also want to say, Rebecca, that you are wonderful. And also Kyra does a fantastic job of keeping our Sane and E-centric Community happy.

JONATHAN: So yes, thank you, Kyra and just one other… Sorry, we mention this every week, but it’s just a friendly reminder. If you do have questions, of course you can post them in that community, but please, before you do, ask them to Google first. There are literally millions of questions — not questions, but millions of words of Q&A already available on the Internet. And if you type, “smarter science of slim” or “calorie myth” or “sane” and then your question into Google, you’ll probably get the answer. But moving on…

CARRIE: So our first response to the question “What would you say to Jonathan or what would you ask Jonathan if you had ten minutes?” comes from our friend Tom Fleming. And I’m just going to read this verbatim as Tom typed it. He says, “I don’t know if I’d ask anything at this point. I’m in the fourth week and I’m eating sane. I’m in the Calorie Myth Book almost daily for review and clarification.

“I’d have trouble keeping composed. I’d like to thank Jonathan for ten years of study and his willingness to share all of his confusions for less than twenty bucks on Amazon. I want to hug him and sing praises to heaven above. I HAVE HOPE!”

JONATHAN: Well, thank you very much, Tom. That absolutely warms my heart and I think it’s awesome also that you said, “I want to hug him,” because I think…I like hugging. I think hugging is important and I think… You know we used to watch Sesame Street when I was growing up, and Sesame Street we brought to you by letter. “Sesame Street today is brought to you by the Letter A.”

I want today’s show — and I want Sanity — to be brought to you by the word “Hug” because the calorie counting approach, what we’ve been fed, is the opposite of a hug. It’s shunning. Think about the reality television show that’s based upon it. It’s about torturing people. Really, it is. It’s about taking people who are suffering and torturing them, torturing them into submission. That’s not what we’re about here.

That’s not what we’re about on the show, in the book, in anything. We’re here to hug and basically say, “Look. Intrinsically we are good. Our bodies don’t want to be diseased; they don’t want to be obese. We’re not going to become overweight by default if we don’t consciously balance calories anymore than we will just get cancer if we don’t consciously balance carcinogenic substances in and out. That’s nonsense!

The most common cause of death used to be, in the modern era, “natural causes”, meaning people didn’t die of disease. They just went to sleep once, in old age, and peacefully didn’t wake up. So when you start to beat yourself up or think about deprivation or any of this stuff, man, hug yourself, go hug someone else, get someone to hug you and say “Look. This is about pursuing the positive. This is about eating so much of the good stuff that you’re not having room for the bad stuff and it’s not about this precision punishment whatever! So thank you, Tom. I really appreciate it and I send a hug back to you and all the wonderful people that are out there living this lifestyle.


So the next question comes from Rich [?sp?]-Butiggieri — I apologize if I’ve butchered your name. He said, “I would like to know the science behind why it isn’t working for me specifically, i. e. progress measured by tape measure and clothes becoming tighter. “The Calorie Myth has generic platitudes of “It takes more time for some” or “Hang in there.” Based on my damaged set point after yoyo dieting for decades, what does science say and why for extra effort or time to see even a single inch difference?”

JONATHAN: Rich, it’s hard for me to answer this without understanding where you’re at specifically, but one thing I would recommend is that what may be perceived as general platitudes or generic platitudes might be an admission that this is — that the body is complicated. For example, how many times have we heard stories where someone will go to see a physician, get diagnosed with a condition and the physician says, “You’ve got three months, you’ve got six months, you’ve got two days…” and those numbers very rarely hold. Right there. They’re more like approximations like “You’re fine,” or “You’re really in bad shape,” or “You’re in medium shape.”

There are literally an infinite number of factors that determine your health, your progress, where you’re at. Carrie just recently had been doing a bunch of stuff but she had dramatically reduced the amount of stress in her life, and that in and of itself made a huge, huge difference. So I would urge you… First of all, yes, the book has these generic recommendations and that’s because that’s the best we can do. And I would caution you, if maybe that makes you dissatisfied, so you go and you type in the Internet “how to lose 21 pounds in 21 days” and you find someone or something that gives you a very specific time frame, I would compare that to someone who says, “I have this guaranteed stock where, if you just give me $1000, I guarantee I can make you $20,000 in 20 days.”

If someone said that, you’d probably be like, “Yeah that seems a little odd. How can you possibly know that? That seems weird. There are more things involved. Making money isn’t that simple and linear. How can you guarantee things like that?” I would urge you — urge you, urge you, urge you — to look at your health similarly.

If people say things that are like, “Rich, without knowing anything about you” — aka you’re reading a book, that is, I don’t know you personally — “and you specifically are going to see these results in this amount of time,” run the other direction! Please run the other direction because the person is trying to scam you!

Hopefully the general guidelines found in the support group as well as in the Calorie Myth Book — which are minimize stress, maximize non starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense foods — are helpful. But in terms of without understanding exactly where you are, providing a specific time frame is something which I would not and cannot provide, I would caution you against listening to anyone who “could provide it”. Does that make sense, Carrie?

CARRIE: It does. It does. I wonder if that has answered Rich’s question in any way, but I think it’s impossible for you or anyone else to answer that without having his specific where he’s at now in order for you to give the prescription.

JONATHAN: Yeah. So to be very clear, if you want to test if a person is worth listening to, don’t tell them anything about yourself and then ask them what you should do to improve your life. If they just answer, that person does not know what they’re talking about. That doesn’t make any sense. If Rich isn’t eating any vegetables right now, well then I’d say the first thing Rich should do is probably to eat some more vegetables. If Rich is sleeping two hours a night, then I would say well Rich should probably sleep some more. Not only can I not provide specific guidance if I don’t have specific knowledge, but if someone does provide you with specific guidance without understanding your specific situation, I would be cautious.

What we can provide in a general format is general guidelines but the precise application of those is person by person, and fundamentally all we’re talking about here, Carrie, is self-evident things. Right? Eating more of the foods that provide you what essential for life and the least of foods that are addictive, even toxic, and moving your body and minimizing stress. Obviously, to the extent that you can do that, you will be healthier and to the extent that you are not able to do that you will be unhealthy.

If we want to get more specific, we’ve got to get more specific on both sides of the equation, aka not only in terms of what we’re recommending but also who, why, what, where, when and how the person who’s asking for the clarification needs. Does that make sense?


JONATHAN: All right. Well coming up next…

CARRIE: We have a question from Fiona [?sp?]-Tatchel-White and I know Fiona is in England. Yea England. English people and actually Australians, too, have this cute little habit of putting a kiss at the end of everything they say, ever, so that’s how I knew where you were from, Fiona.

Fiona says, “If you start eating sane and your weight and measurements go up but overall health seems improved, not overweight still, is it possible it’s helping one’s body find the set point higher than previously? Perhaps one body likes or needs to be a bit higher if it’s still healthy and not overweight. You cover set point coming down in overweight people, but how about us lower/normal weight folks?

JONATHAN: Interpret.

CARRIE: I think what Fiona is saying is maybe, for people who were normal, who think they’re at a normal weight, when they start eating sanely is it possible for your set point actually to be higher than where you’ve kept it up to this point?

JONATHAN: Sorry. This is probably the what is called the curse of knowledge. I’m looking at this at a much deeper, metabolic perspective, so two things. One, you can have a set point and deviate from it. So for example, a contestant on a reality television show who needs 2000 calories per day to remain weight-stable but is being forced to eat 1000 calories per day. Their set point is unchanged but they will lose body weight to some point and then it will just stop. They have not changed their set point.

What I’m saying if here is an individual has been a calorie counter their entire life, chances are they have a set point — they have a set point — and they have been forcibly staying away from it. Does that make sense? They have to go to the bathroom but they’re forcibly holding it in. Their set point is not changing except, if they go sane and they stop counting calories, they may start eating the appropriate amount of food as dictated by their brain, because your brain is the automatic regulator of calories in and calories out.

Because of that, your health goes up dramatically because instead of 1200 calories of anything, you’re eating let’s say 1600 calories of beautiful, sane food. You’re not overweight, you’ve never been overweight, you continue to not be overweight but your health is better, your energy’s better, your sex drive’s better, your eyes are shinier, your skin is clearer, your hair is more radiant. All of that would absolutely make sense, but it wasn’t because your set point went up. It happened because you stopped forcibly depriving yourself and fighting against your set point.

CARRIE: Got it.

JONATHAN: Does that make sense?

CARRIE: Yes. Yes. All right. Robin [?sp?]-Shreck. I know this Robin is a lady, so hi, Robin. Her question is, “Has Jonathan considered putting together a small Sane Conference?” Robin does event planning and has thought about how helpful it would be for people just starting out to go to a weekend conference not to just listen to different lectures about nutrition and exercise but also have cooking classes with Carrie, E-centric exercise class, a yoga class or some other restorative activities. Robin thinks it would be fun and give people a chance to practice the same lifestyle and have Q & A with experts on the spot.

JONATHAN: Robin, excellent question and it also gives me a great opportunity to get you a little bit of context which hopefully you and all the other amazing listeners will appreciate. Just so you know, we did not prescreen any of these questions. Neither Carrie nor I actually read through them prior to the shows, not because we are lazy but because we want to make this as real and as open a dialogue as possible, as evidenced by one of our earlier questions was less of a question and more of a like calling BS — or there was a nice one and then there was another one that was a little less nice. Anyway, Robin, thank you and hopefully, listeners, understand we’re trying to give you the truth on the spot, stream of consciousness and hopefully you like that. And if you don’t, well, sorry.

So Robin, yes. That is an absolutely brilliant, brilliant idea and I can tell you that we are working incredibly hard. We’ve actually been doing a lot of business development work because a lot of the feedback we’ve gotten is that people don’t need just more science. They don’t need more studies.

What they need is help applying this information. They need certified, Sane Coaches. They need apps that take the place of calorie counters to help them monitor the quality of food they’re eating. They need a step by step interactive program rather than putting a 300-page book in front of them. I can tell you that there is a lot of time, a lot of people and a lot of money being spent working on the next wave of Sanity.

Summer of this year, summer of 2014 you’re going to start to see some of that. It’s going to be amazing. A lot of people are pouring a lot of themselves into this stuff and hopefully in 2015 — sorry if this seems slow but you know we’re about quality over here so some of this stuff takes time — having these types of conferences and seminars taking place.

CARRIE: I’m excited. I love cooking in front of an audience. Okay. Laura Bishop said that she would ask Jonathan if he has researched alternative exercises that can be as effective for people with arthritis or physical limitations who can’t do the E-centric exercises in the book.

JONATHAN: I’m going to give a shout out to Dr. Katherine [?sp?]-Brutell. If you were in the previous Smarter Science of Slim Support Group, you know Dr. Kathy. She’s been helping us with some amazing business development stuff so she is less available currently to answer questions. The reason I mention this is she has spent decades in the physical therapy, rehabilitation arena and if anyone was watching our Creative Life Course that we did — which if you hadn’t I would recommend checking it out — Dr. Kathy actually demonstrated some variations of our exercises exactly for people with arthritis or physical limitations.

So yes, there are alternatives. Can I describe them right now on the podcast and do them justice? Sadly, no. I think potentially setting up some time with a physical therapist would be a good investment because once you learn these, you don’t need to keep going back to that person. They can help you and they also know then your unique circumstances.

We talked about how these shows are a chance for us to be open and honest with each other. Hopefully, like Laura’s amazing question here which has to do with people that have physical limitations and arthritis, for what it’s worth, if you ever have the opportunity to write a book or do something like that, there are people like Laura, brilliant people out there who have arthritis and physical limitations and there are other people out there who may weigh 400 pounds and literally can’t really do much, and then there might be a 22 year old Cross Fitter reading the book.

You can start to see how we always try to get you on the right path, but there’s only so much we can do in the mediums we have. So Laura, to answer your question as specifically as I can, yes there are alternative exercises that can be effective. One of the reasons that I focus on E-centrics is because E-centrics are some of the most customizable and sustainable and lowest impact exercises available to you.

For example contrast a wall e-centric squat at home — where you’re leaning against the wall, slowly squatting down — with some of these extreme at-home workout videos. Right? You can obviously see one is more towards someone who has arthritis or physical limitations than the other. That said, if you have any sort of specific condition, getting specific guidance from someone one on one is probably going to be your best bet.

CARRIE: Thank you, sir. All right. Our next question is from Jeanette [?sp?]-Schweck and she says, “My personal experience and that of many others is that fat is a majority factor in satiety. Where is the scientific evidence for not including fat and only including protein, water and fiber? If I do not put fat in my smoothie, I am starving in a short time no matter how much fiber is in the smoothie. With fat, I’m satiated. I’m really curious about why the scientific data says otherwise.”

JONATHAN: All right. Jeanette, excellent question. The way satiety is described in the book is calorie for calorie. Fat is absolutely a major player in satiety, but the way satiety is defined in the research community is they look at it calorie for calorie. For example, what is more satiating, 200 calories of fat, 200 calories of protein or 200 calories of carbohydrate? The research has shown quite clearly that, if you just compare macronutrient to macronutrient, protein is the most satiating. That doesn’t mean the other macronutrients aren’t satiating. It just means that protein has the greatest affect on satiety and then fiber and water are critical when it comes to the gastrointestinal stretch.

There are hormonal regulators of satiety, there are neurological regulators of satiety, and then there are just physical regulators of satiety whereas, for example if you were to eat 500 calories of olive oil and you were really, really hungry and all you did was take a couple table spoons of olive oil, that’s 500 calories but it wouldn’t do anything to your digestive organs in terms of stretching them, so chances are it wouldn’t necessarily satiate you. That said, you’re exactly right that if you just pound a giant Metamucil shake that has a bunch of water and a bunch of fiber, it’s going to stretch your organs out a lot but it’s not going to satisfy you over the long term.

So in the broadest sense possible, protein, water, fiber and fat all play a role in satiety. The research literature is looking at calorie for calorie satiety and that is why protein emerges as a leader; because when you compare so called isocaloric studies, a 1600 calories a day — you eat 1600 calories in a day — and it’s higher in protein, and then another person or another group of people eat 1600 calories but it’s lower in protein and therefore by definition higher in either carbohydrate or fat, protein always always comes out on top.

Of course with fat, please keep in mind that it also has to do with the other things you are eating. Fat can actually be the opposite of satisfying if you think about insane fats. For example, imagine eating just a potato, dry. Chances are that would taste a certain way. Now imagine frying that potato and then salting it, aka turning it into French fries. You’ll notice that not only the same amount of potato will actually satisfy you less, but you’ll actually be tempted to eat more because of the addition of fat and salt to that potato.

That is, again, thinking about fat, quality is extremely important. How we’re defining satiety scientifically is really important. It’s not that fat isn’t satisfying but it’s that fat is not universally satisfying. If you were to take a potato dry, it is actually more satisfying than if you fry the potato in which case you’re actually adding calories to it and adding fat to it.

So high quality fat? Critical. That’s why we include it in our lifestyle. But is it calorie for calorie any universally more satiating regardless of circumstance? No. Does that mean we shouldn’t eat it? No. Does it mean that what we say in the book is scientifically accurate? Yes. Does that make sense, Carrie?

CARRIE: Yes, as always. Good job, sir.

JONATHAN: Thank you very much. Well, Jeanette, that was a wonderful wrap up question. We’ve got to tie it up for this week but we will be, of course, back next week with more lovely reader, listener, and viewer questions. And remember this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better. We’ll chat with you soon.

CARRIE: See you.