I love real time live questions so I will prioritize those just a bit higher because we did get a bunch of questions written in before-hand but I will do my best to get to all of them. Please see this as a starting point; not an ending point. If I don’t get to your question, I will try to roll it over into the next session and of course, your SANE-certified coaches like Raina, who is in the house here today live, are available twenty-four/seven, three-sixty-five in your Coaching and Support Group.
Please, if you haven’t gone over there, go in there. It is the most wonderful supportive community you will ever, ever, ever find. Please hop in there. If you haven’t, just get into your Ignite Program, click on anything that says “Coaching” or Coaching Related, it’ll take you in there.
While we were talking about that, let us take a moment to celebrate the top contributors for the past couple of weeks in the support group. Of course, everyone’s been doing a wonderful job but, as you know, there’s a wonderful gamification and badge and awards system going on in there. I have some extra special celebrations that will be coming later this week but I did want to give special shout-outs to, of course as always, your SANE-certified coaches — Raina, Laura, Rebecca, and Wednesday -– and also to your fellow SANE family members.
I am so sorry because I am going to mispronounce the heck out of people’s names here and I really am sorry about that. Forgive me. Forgive me. Rhonda, Koi, Brisson has come on strong and is just crushing it so thank you so much, Rhonda. Linda Bayer -– holy moly, Linda is just doing a fantastic job. I’ve got a special message for Linda that’s going to be coming later but, Linda, thank you so much.
Josh Simon, woo. What’s up, Josh? You are doing an amazing job. Nancy Best, crushing it as always. Tiki Foi, and here it is, Stephanie Rislinger. How do you say your name? I’m so sorry. I just want to thank you so much. Megan Horton, thank you.
Thank you to everybody who has continued to make the SANE Coaching and Support Group such a wonderful place. There’s so much flaming and nonsense that goes on on the Internet. It’s so wonderful to have just a warm, welcoming, and SANE home like that. Thank you for everybody who’s participating. Please, hop in there. It is super, super important.
Of course, we can continue all of our conversations today in the support group and things even sometimes that are talked about in the support group, your SANE-certified coaches will bring to my attention and will cover them in these calls as well. All good stuff. Let’s get started.
If you are new to the calls, again, please feel free to chat. If you are not new to the calls, hopefully you’ll have as much fun on this one as you will have on the previous ones. You can always write in your questions beforehand but I have gotten special requests. I am going to prioritize questions that come in live because I like the liveness, if that’s cool.
We’ve got some deep stuff; we’ve got some quick stuff; and as always, we’re going to focus on things that are a little bit more complicated or a little bit more involved in these calls because there’s so much other SANE resources out there. We want to make these calls uniquely beneficial for you.
With that said, I’m going to knock out a few quick questions that came in first. Then there’s some deep cutting-edge stuff that has never been talked about before. You’re going to get a first look at it and it’s going to be awesome so I hope you like it.
First couple of questions -– there was a question that came in that all had to do with, if you are just not very hungry, what can you eat?
Thank you so much for asking this question because it allows me an opportunity to clarify something about a SANE lifestyle. The premise of SANE eating -– one of the reasons that it is so cool and so doable long term is that it does not require hunger because, as we know, we’re not going to win against hunger long term nor should we have to compete against hunger long term.
That premise -– the premise of “you need to be hungry to have a healthy weight” really doesn’t make sense when you think about it because hunger is your body saying, “Hey, I need fuel.” To say that you just need to fight through that for the rest of your life and if you’ve ever counted calories, which I’m sure you have because we all have because that’s what we’ve all been told to do prior to going SANE, the idea that you just need to be hungry for the rest of your life is one of the primary reasons why “eat less, exercise more” can’t work because telling a human being, “Just be hungry for the rest of your life” is a little bit like telling a person, “Hey, just sleep less or just breathe a little less frequently or just don’t go to the bathroom as much.” I mean, these are basic bodily functions.
So when you think about it, when you hop back a level, just the idea of, “Hey, we just need to be hungry for the rest of our lives in order to have a healthy weight” does not even make sense. Notice I use the term “healthy weight” because how could being hungry, which is the body telling you, “Hey, I need fuel. I am not fueled” -– how could that –? That’s your body sounding an alarm system. It’s your body saying, “Hey, I need something.” How could being in a constant state of need or lack be the key to health?
If you think about it, that’s almost oxymoronic. When we’re in a state of health, we should be hungry and then we should eat and then we should be full and completely satisfied and spend the minority of our time -– not the majority of our time -– hungry.
What SANE acknowledges is, first, let’s add some even more interesting information to the mix. When we talk about hunger in general –- and I promise I will answer the question, which is something along the lines of, “If you’re just not hungry, what can you eat?” I want to pop it out a level because this is the kind of deep SANE mindset thinking which I think is really the difference maker when it comes to long term success, which is what we’re after. Food lists, detailed meal plans, “eat this; not that” -– that stuff might seem really sexy in the short term but we all know it’s not the key to the long term.
If you want to drive on the road for the rest of your life, the only way to do that safely and sustainably is to understand the rules of the road so that you can adapt in any situation. You’ve got to understand traffic laws; you kind of have to understand how a car works otherwise you’re going to get into wrecks. The same thing works with eating and exercise. We’ve got to have that holistic view.
We’ve got to understand how our bodies work. We have to understand how we interact with the foods we eat, how they affect our hormones, how they affect our neurology, how they affect our gastroenterology because, if we don’t, then we’re just going to get into wrecks because we won’t know how to operate all the different circumstances that life puts in front of us.
That’s why I like to go big in these calls. That’s why there’s so much information in your Ignite Program because we’re doing this for life. Anyway, I will answer the question. Just to throw it into the mix, this concept of hunger has been programmed into our brain as a positive thing. I know, in working with hundreds of thousands of people over the past decade that, for a lot of us, actually feeling hungry is almost a sign of mobility. Like, “I’ve accomplished something. I fought through hunger.” That’s something we have to get out of our minds because hunger isn’t healthy; it’s the body indicating it’s in a state of lack.
Here’s the really interesting thing. If you’re taking notes, please write this down. If you’re not taking notes, please get something to take notes with because I think this is really going to help you. I know it really helped me when I discovered it. Hunger – hunger is the body saying, “I need something.” We can be hungry for a lot of different things but in this context, let’s say, we’re hungry for energy. The body’s saying, “I need energy. I need fuel.”
Now, here’s a really interesting thing to think about and this is what you might want to write down. Let’s say that a person has a hundred pounds of excess fat on their body. We all need some fat on our body. If we didn’t have a certain amount of fat on our body, we couldn’t function. Fat is critical to our cellular function; to our brains; to our hormones; so on and so forth. In the instance where someone has a hundred pounds of excess fat on their body, when you think about that, a pound of fat, give or take, contains about thirty-five hundred calories in it or thirty-five hundred units of energy. This person -– let’s call this person Tom.
Tom has a hundred pounds of excess energy stored in his body, which means, Tom has 350,000 calories’ worth of energy already inside his body –- 350,000 -– that’s a lot. Over a quarter of a million units of energy are already in his body. Guess what? Tom’s brain is still saying, “Tom, I’m hungry. I need to eat.” Think about that for a second.
Tom already has well over a quarter of a million calories in his body that have not been used as energy yet but his brain is still saying, “Tom, you need to take in more energy.” Think about that for a second. Really let that set in because when we eat food, if we eat more energy than we need, we do of course store that as fat unless there are certain metabolic conditions or we can burn that off or, for a diabetic or for a Type 1 diabetic, for example, who can’t absorb glucose, for example, will actually urinate that out. We can talk about that more later.
In a general state, if we consume more energy than we can burn off, and of course the question then becomes, “Why don’t we burn off excess energy?” -– we can cover that later too -– but we have energy in our body already so why does our brain tell us that we’re hungry for energy when we already have, in Tom’s case, over a quarter of a million units of energy in the body?
Part of that is because the body and the brain and our hormones -– just because we have fat stored doesn’t mean our body actually has the ability to burn it. This is a huge distinction. If you can see here, I don’t have a hair right here. It’s gone.
What does this have to do with what I’m talking about right now? You could imagine at least that, according to my self-esteem, I think that I need to have hair here. I used to have hair here but I don’t anymore so I have the need to have hair here, except my body and my scalp -– it’s lost the ability to grow hair so no matter how much I need to have hair, my body doesn’t have the ability to grow hair here anymore.
What the heck does that have to do with what I’m talking about? Well, in order for our body to do anything, we have to have the need to do it and also the ability. So let’s say that -– we’ll just go back to the Tom case. Tom has 350,000 units of energy or calories already in his body and Tom’s brain is telling him that he needs more energy. That’s what hunger is -– your brain saying you need more energy. It could also be saying you need more vitamins, minerals, essential nutrients, so on and so forth. Let’s simplify it for this example.
Tom’s brain is saying, “You need more energy.” Tom already has so much energy in his body. What’s going on there? Tom has lost the ability to burn fat readily. This is what a lot of us have experienced personally. If you’ve ever gone on a calorie-counting diet and you’ve shrunk the amount of calories that you’re taking in, if your body had the ability to burn fat, that should result in rapid fat loss.
But what a lot of us have experienced is it never results in the fat loss ever that calorie math would predict. Like, cut your calories by 500 per day and that adds up to 3,500 in a week, which means you lose a pound of fat per week. That never happens. What eventually happens is, no matter how hard we cut our calories, we get hungrier and hungrier and our weight loss -– and I say weight loss intentionally because most of it isn’t fat -– slows down more and more and more because our body doesn’t yet have the ability to burn fat. It doesn’t yet have the hormonal state and the neurological state and the gastrointestinal or digestive state to use that energy that’s already in our body. That’s really important.
That’s why sort of -– not sort of; that’s why totally — with SANE, we’re always talking about metabolic healing; metabolic healing; metabolic healing. Once you’re healed metabolically, once you restore your ability to burn fat, then when you eat SANEly, you will actually take in the appropriate number of calories and essential nutrients that you need relative to the calories that you already have stored in your body. Your body will start; your brain will start to automatically supplement the energy that passes through your lips with the energy that may already be stored on your hips.
You’ll be completely full and satisfied but you may not actually be consuming through your mouth, as many calories, because your body now has the ability to supplement whatever you take in through your mouth with what is already on your body. What’s crazy is the way we do that, the way we heal metabolically, is by eating more of the right kinds of foods. That’s why -– I am going to answer the question. Don’t worry, I’m going to get back to it. It’s a circuitous trail but I will get there.
Why do we talk so much about eating more non-starchy vegetables, more nutrient-dense protein, more wholefood fats? The key to that metabolic healing is, first and foremost, from a dietary perspective, non-starchy vegetables; secondarily, nutrient-dense protein; and then, thirdly -– I don’t think tertiarily is a word -– thirdly, wholefood fats. Really those first two non-starchy vegetables and nutrient-dense proteins are so important. Here’s why.
Here’s why those are so, so, so important. Wholefood fat is a very hormonally healthy source of energy. It also can provide some essential nutrients, like essential fatty acids. Here’s what’s really key. If we have excess fat on our body, our brain -– even if we had -– even if we’re in the Tom state where we have over a quarter of a million units of energy already in our body, that’s just energy. There’s other things that we need to live. We need essential vitamins, essential minerals, essential fatty acids, essential amino acids.
Guess what are the two primary food groups to get those things? Non-starchy vegetables and nutrient-dense protein. When we focus on more non-starchy vegetables and more nutrient-dense protein, no matter how much fat we have stored on our body, we don’t store vitamins like we store fat. If you eat three grams, which is a lot, of vitamin C -– don’t eat that much vitamin C -– but if you were to eat three grams of vitamin C today, your body doesn’t say, “Hey, I’m going to store this vitamin C for later in case I have a vitamin C shortage.”
It doesn’t do that. It does that with fat; it does that with calories in the form of fat – a.k.a triglyceride -– but it doesn’t do that with anything else. No matter what, if we’re trying to metabolically heal, if we’re trying to restore our body’s natural ability to burn fat, which is the key to long term fat loss, not short term weight loss -– we’re not here for short term weight loss. We’ve all lost weight in the short term. That’s not the problem. The problem is, it comes back because the things we do to lose weight in the short term are not healthy in the long term so we’ve got to focus on the long term fat loss.
Coming back -– we continue to eat an abundance of non-starchy vegetables and nutrient-dense protein because those -– our brain is always going to say, “You’re hungry. You’re hungry. You’re hungry.” Until your core metabolic needs are met. If you’re not eating enough vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids, your brain’s going to say, “I need these things. I need these to function. Look, I can’t produce. I cannot maintain the muscle tissue on your body. I’ll literally cannibalize them – the muscle tissue on your body -–“ if you’re not eating sufficient protein. That’s not good.
Your brain is going to tell you you’re hungry until you eat sufficient protein. If you’re not eating the right amount of essential fatty acids, your brain is going to start shutting down sex hormone production. That’s no good. Our sex hormones are what make us our respective genders. We don’t want those to drop so we have to eat that essential nutrition. That’s why, in the SANE lifestyle, we focus so much on more non-starchy vegetables; more nutrient-dense protein; and then enough wholefood fats to make sure that we feel full and satisfied long term.
That said, let’s get back to the initial question. “What do we do if we’re just not hungry? What do we eat?” Here’s the key thing. If you’re not hungry -– two important points. One, that’s awesome! Kind of, if you think about it, because, chances are, you may have struggled with hunger your whole life. You may have struggled for decades with constantly being hungry. Check it out. You’re not hungry now.
If you’re not hungry, what I need you to do is I do need you to make sure that you’re eating at least eight servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. I’d love if, no matter what, you could get double digits but I’m going to say minimum viable amount of non-starchy vegetables is eight servings per day. The minimal serving amount of protein is three servings per day.
Three servings of nutrient-dense protein is going to get you the level of fat you need for essential function so if you’re just not hungry, as long as you’re getting what I just described in the vegetable and protein intake, first of all, it’s amazing because you’re experiencing what’s called the spontaneous reduction of caloric intake which means that your body is getting all the essential nutrition it needs from the non-starchy vegetables and nutrient-dense protein you’re eating and then it’s healing from the inside out. It’s able to get its energy because vegetables are not very high in energy. Protein isn’t an energy source; it’s a structural component of your body. We can talk about the biology of that in a second, if you want.
When you’re eating vegetables and nutrient-dense protein, you’re really not eating energy; you’re eating pure essential nutrients, if that makes sense. Then your body is supplementing that with the energy or the calories that are already in your body so if you’re just not hungry and if you are eating that baseline level of non-starchy vegetables and nutrient-dense protein, it’s all good. Celebrate that because you are experiencing. That is what metabolic healing feels like because your body is supplementing what comes in -– the essential nutrition that comes in through your lips, what the stored calories that are already on your hips. So if you’re not hungry, that’s okay.
Now, you might be saying, “Well, Jonathan, in e-books, in the step-by-step program, in the app right on the homepage, it’s telling me that to achieve ultimate SANEity, I need to eat sixteen servings of non-starchy vegetables and like five servings of nutrient-dense protein and five servings of wholefood fat and I just can’t eat all that food.” You’re right. This is one thing I need your help with.
When it comes to a SANE lifestyle, the point is, we want to eat so many non-starchy vegetables, so many nutrient-dense protein, so many wholefood fats that we’re too full for everything else. All things being equal, the more vegetables you eat, the more you will super-saturate yourselves with nutrition. Really, getting that vegetable number up as high as you can is a good thing but you really don’t need to stuff yourself. I promise you that. You don’t need to stuff yourself.
The reason in the SANE framework that we describe the upper levels -– so if you look at the various SANE goals, just getting started has a lower level of vegetables, lower level of protein, and lower level of fats because it’s assumed that you might still be eating other inSANE foods. Then as you get SANEr and SANEr and SANEr, you’re eating more and more servings of the SANE foods and therefore are just too full for the inSANE foods.
There’s one other factor that is very person-specific. This is where I need your help. If you are at a healthy weight at any point in time, if you’re at a healthy weight at any point in time and your body no longer has excess fat to burn off, well, in that case, you could imagine -– imagine. Let’s go back to the Tom scenario. This is a long answer to a question but this is why we’re here. We’re here to get down into it so hopefully this is helpful. Remember, this is recorded and it will be transcribed so you could always watch it over and over and over again because I know it’s so much fun.
Imagine we’re in the Tom case. Tom has 350,000 calories to burn. You could imagine that Tom might be plenty full when he gets his nine servings of vegetables, he gets his three servings of nutrient-dense protein, maybe he eats a serving or two of wholefood fats. Tom’s body starts to heal. His brain says, “Hey, I’m full. You don’t need to eat anymore.”
Let’s say, Tom, hopefully, like all of us, stays SANE for the rest of his life because that’s what we want. We’re here to be healthy and SANE for the rest of our lives; not just the next two weeks. In that instance, Tom reaches his goal weight. Tom no longer has a hundred pounds of excess fat on his body. Tom is at the ideal healthy weight so he has zero pounds of excess fat on his body.
In that instance, think about it. The brain, up until that point, has said, “All right, Tom, you already have excess calories in your body. I’m going to burn those off and you’re not going to be hungry.” But as Tom approaches his goal weight, he will have less and less excess calories on his body already so what you might find is, as you’re just getting started with SANEity and you have a lot of calories in your body already, you will get fuller faster because you are already full of calories.
Actually, I never thought about it that way. That’s why I love these calls. They’re as helpful for me as hopefully they are for you. So you’ll get fuller faster as you’re getting started because you’re already full of calories but then, as time goes on –-
For example, someone who is at ultimate SANEity; someone who is at their ideal body weight, they’re not full of calories so the number of proteins, vegetables, and fats that they have to eat just to have enough nutrition is going to be higher because they can’t supplement any of that with what’s in their body.
The point here is, hopefully you’re seeing here that SANE is about a lot more than food lists and meal plans. It’s about teaching you these core distinctions that are so important because we’re bombarded. We’re bombarded every day, every minute of every day, with nonsense. Unless we have that foundation in science and SANEity, that nonsense is going to win out. We’ve got to have that foundation.
That is a lot of context to provide the answer to the question. If you’re just not hungry, as long as you’re eating the essential vegetable servings -– let’s say, like, eight minimum -– and the essential protein servings -– let’s say, three minimum, don’t feel bad. You’re experiencing metabolic healing. What you’ll notice is, over time, you will just need to eat more food because you’ll be running out of food already being in your body, if that makes sense.
Then you might say, “Well, Jonathan, I thought you were an engineer. Jonathan, your system is going to say that I need to be eating more foods.” Hey, it’s okay. Set your goal. Just set your goal on one of the “Just Getting Started with SANEity” and you’ll be fine. You’ll be totally fine. See those different levels of SANEity as not only where you want to be but maybe where you’re currently at.
If you are at ultimate SANEity -– like, if you’re really fit and you want to take it to the next level, Ultimate SANEity is where you need to be eating. If you’re just getting started, set your goal to Just Getting Started” because that might be plenty of SANE food to fill you up because as you start to experience that metabolic healing, you’re going to be full faster.
Whoo, that is a long explanation. Hopefully, that was helpful. I did see some questions come in while I was rambling there so let me see what we got here in terms of other questions that came in.
Gina is asking, “Exercise question -– I broke my ankle last week. Now what can I do as far as exercise?” Gina, I’m so sorry to hear about that. You can hopefully do -– I’m not sure how severe your ankle injury was. Still, hopefully, you can do all of your upper body eccentric exercises or any upper body exercise just with the focus on doing it slow and controlled where you’re not putting weight on your foot. Also, if you have access to a gym, you might be able to do isolation leg exercises that don’t actually put pressure on your ankle.
Two examples of that -– let’s pretend my fingers are my legs. There’s something called leg extensions where you go like this and if you’re going to do a conventional leg extension, you would just pop it up and drop it down; pop it up and drop it down. We know that we want to do an eccentric focus because that’s where we work our most muscle fibers.
Again, if you’re new or if you’re like, “What the heck is this guy talking about, eccentric?” Remember, these calls are intentionally advanced and they’re recorded so, don’t worry. Go through your step-by-step program. If something I say doesn’t make sense, it will, the further you get in your step-by-step program. Make sure you do your step-by-step program.
All right, so you’re going to take it up and then you’re going to lower it down nice and slow. You maybe even take it up with two legs and then lower it down with just one leg because you know you’re stronger eccentrically. Then you could actually flip over -– it’s hard to do with my hand. You flip over like this and you could do leg curls. The advanced eccentric way to do it so normal leg curls would be curl, curl, curl.
Resistance is sitting here by your toes. This is something you would need to be at a gym to do unfortunately. Traditionally, people would do it pop it up, drop it down; pop it up, drop it down. What we’re going to do with an eccentric focus is, you might curl it up with two legs and then slowly lower it with one. If you don’t know why that’s possible or if you don’t know why I am saying this or what I’m talking about -– again, step-by-step program. I think it’s SANE 201. In the SANE 200 course, we start talking about eccentric exercise. Hopefully, once you complete that, what I just said will make sense.
Focus, Gina, on doing your upper body. Do everything eccentrically and then hopefully you can find some lower body exercises that don’t put weight down on your ankle. Leg curls and leg extensions are some examples of that.
All right. Let me see. I think we had one more other live question come in. Roy -– “Can you explain brain inflammation?” Roy, absolutely. I think what you might be talking about is –- and if this is not what you’re talking about, please post a follow-up question –- when I talk about hormonal clogging or having an elevated set point, I usually break that down into three primary causal factors. There are more but to keep things simple, I focus on three. One is inflammation in your brain; another one is dysregulation of your digestive system; and the third is imbalances in your hormone levels.
We talk about brain inflammation. This is one that is the least well known in the mainstream. Actually, one of the easiest ones to demonstrate with what’s called an fMRI machine, or a functional or a resonance imaging machine, that we do on the brain which shows us various aspects of your brain to know what’s going on in your brain.
For example, if you look at someone who is chronically struggling with their weight, you will see inflammation in the portions of the brain, for example, that control appetite -– so your ventral, medial and lateral hypothalamus [inaudible 33:40] super science -– if you were to take, for example, someone who’s struggling with their weight and has their entire life and if they had a twin, let’s say, who wasn’t struggling with their weight and you scanned both of their brains, you’d actually see a difference in those respective areas of their brains.
What that inflammation causes is certain signals that your body sensed your brain which should automatically help you be hungry when you actually need food and to be full when you’re full and to have appropriate energy balance automatically. People talk about counting calories -– your brain will do that for you when it’s not inflamed and when everything else in your body is working appropriately.
For example -– I’ll give you a very concrete and specific example. Studies have shown that MSG which, if you’re not eating whole SANE foods, there’s a very good chance you’re eating a lot of it because it’s in just about all packaged and processed foods, which make up about sixty percent of the average American’s diet.
MSG, or monosodium glutamate or the artificial flavoring that -– there’s the taste called umami which is a meaty or savory taste, so if you think about sugar as a concentrated form of the taste sweet and then you think of sucralose as an artificial concentrated source of the taste sweet; MSG is a concentrated artificial source of the umami flavor. The umami flavor is concentrated in natural sources and that’s fine. For example, shiitake mushrooms and coconut are very, very high in the umami flavor and that’s why a curry sauce or eating coconut can be so satisfying.
Anyway, if you take rodents, because you can’t do this with people because it’s illegal, but if you were to take rodents -– not if you were — when they have done clinical studies where they take rodents and they dose them with high levels of MSG, what you will see is, in the rodent brain, there is a dosed pendant level of inflammation in the appetite centers of the brain; meaning that the more MSG they administered to rodents, the more inflammation those rodents experienced in the appetite centers of their brain, which makes the rodents chronically hungrier over time.
One way to think about what I just said is, in some ways, your long term baseline hunger levels or the amount of calories your brain thinks you need to eat goes up as the amount of MSG you eat goes up. Here’s what’s really amazing too. Food is medicine. MSG isn’t really a food. It isn’t a food. It’s not “not really” a food; it’s not a food at all because it’s artificial. The more MSG you eat, the more that inflammation goes up.
Here’s what’s amazing. Food is medicine. The more omega-3 fats you take in reduce neurological inflammation in a dose-dependent fashion. If you take those same rodents and dose them up with MSG, inflammation goes up, hunger goes up, independent of anything else. Give them omega-3 fats, inflammation goes down, hunger goes down. This is why seafood is such a critical part of the SANE lifestyle. There are fats which are not bad for you and then there are fats that are therapeutic for you and when we eat them in a therapeutic context, that’s even better.
Brain inflammation is your brain’s inability to respond to certain signals your body gives off which otherwise would help you to maintain an ideal weight without effort. Let me give you another example -– very concrete and scientific. Leptin is a hormone that exists in your body for many different reasons but one of the reasons it exists is it exists in direct proportion. Think about how -–
This is how amazing your body is. This is why I get so upset at the, “Just eat less, exercise more.” That’s like, if someone had a horribly traumatic emotional experience happen in their lives and they were suffering from depression and they went to go see a psychiatrist and the psychiatrist said, “Well, your problem is, you just need to frown less and smile more.” What??
If someone’s experienced a psychological trauma and they’re depressed, telling them to frown less and smile more is not addressing the underlying cause. That’s the same thing that’s happening when people tell us to just eat less and exercise more. They’re not addressing the underlying cause. The underlying cause, for example, could be neurological inflammation where leptin, which is secreted by your body in direct proportion to the amount of fat that you have –-
The reason that happens is, leptin — let’s say, it’s 20,000 years ago and food was a little scarce and then you stumbled upon a giant field of berries and antelopes and you ate a whole lot of antelope and berries. Your brain in that state may say, “Okay, I just took in 7,000 calories in a sitting so I am going to store some additional fat so I’m going to raise leptin levels.” Those leptin levels are going to go to your brain. Your brain is going to say, “Cool, I have some excess energy so I am going to suppress hunger. I have enough nutrition.”
Now, if you look today at people who are not eating food, who have been told to count calories and starve themselves and therefore have faced neurological inflammation, these individuals who have been struggling with their weight have been shown to have up to twenty-five times the level of leptin circulating in their blood stream as individuals who are not struggling with their weight. What does that even mean? How could that be happening?
That’s their body trying to tell their brain, “Hey, don’t be hungry.” “I’m Tom. I have 350,000 calories already down here, brain. Stop making me hungry.” That’s what leptin is shouting. “Brain, listen to me. I’m leptin. This is what I’m telling you.” The brain is saying, “I’m inflamed. I can’t hear you.”
You’ve heard of leptin resistance; insulin resistance. There are signals being secreted by the body but the brain or the various hormone receptors can’t hear them and therefore are clogged. When you’re clogged, the set point goes up. Hopefully, that answers your question.
We can certainly dig into that a lot more deeply and we do in the program but hopefully that helps. Great, great question.
Maureen asks, “Jonathan, what’s your opinion on intermittent fasting?” Maureen, my opinion is that you should do what works for you; however, every bit of research I have ever seen shows that what we do in the long term and what we can do enjoyably is what’s going to give us the best results. That’s two things -– enjoyably, long term.
Also, got to have lots of non-starchy vegetables. We’ve got to have lots of non-starchy vegetables and we’ve got to eat more nutrient-dense protein if we want to burn fat instead of muscle. We do not want to burn off our muscle tissue so we really need to focus on eating enough protein so that we’re not burning off our muscle tissue.
Let’s say, you have someone you really don’t like. The person has offended you for years. You could say to this person, “I curse you. I curse you to struggle with your weight for the rest of your life.” There’s two things that would happen when you curse that person. Their base metabolic rate would decline and the amount of muscle tissue on their body would shrink because this would just set that person up to just not need as many calories for the rest of their life.
For example, if you take someone; you burn off all their muscle -– not all; a lot of their muscle tissue; and you lower their base metabolic rate; and their body can get by on 800 calories per day; that means that that person is in an unfortunate situation where if they eat just a little more than 800 calories per day, they’re setting themselves up for weight gain.
We want to make sure we don’t lower our base metabolic rate; we don’t reduce the amount of muscle on our body and fat. We want to do the opposite. We want to increase our base metabolic rate and we want to develop compact calorie-hungry lean muscle tissue. That cannot happen unless we’re eating sufficient quantities and qualities of protein. The metabolic healing that I talked about earlier cannot happen unless we have enough essential vitamins and minerals and we’re getting those from our vegetables.
“Wow, what is Jonathan talking about here? I asked about intermittent fasting.” Here’s my thoughts on intermittent fasting. We’ve got to eat a lot of vegetables and we need to eat protein, at least three servings of about thirty grams of protein, three times per day. I personally find that to be hard to do if we fast intermittently.
If you only give yourself eight hours to eat, it’s a lot harder. You can’t space out your protein because you’re awake for longer than eight hours so, by definition, you’re not spacing out your protein evenly. Eating sixteen servings of vegetables in eight hours is a lot of vegetables in a short amount of time so you may have digestive issues.
Personally, intermittent fasting, I think, is a very advanced technique. I would not recommend doing anything with intermittent fasting until you’re very close to your goal because I would rather you focus on eating more of the right kinds of foods.
In some ways, intermittent fasting can be a euphemism for starvation dieting. I know a lot of people don’t mean it in that way but our goal is to eat more of the right kinds of foods and saying, “I’m not going to eat any foods for sixteen hours”; while there are some advanced health benefits to that, which we can talk about when you’re really close to your goal, I’d love for our mindset to be, “I want to flood the body with nutrition”, not “food is a risky thing so I’m just going to try to avoid it for sixteen hours.”
I personally just think intermittent fasting is getting back to the mindset that “food is the enemy and if we can not eat it for sixteen hours, that’s a good thing.” Food is the single most effective way to combat all major metabolic diseases on the planet. Food is the most powerful medicine ever. When you think about it that way, no, I don’t think you should intentionally avoid it for sixteen hours. Hopefully, that makes sense. Enjoy. Eat more, but smarter.
Roy has got a great follow-up question here. “For the brain inflammation, is MSG the only or primary source?” No, Roy. InSANE foods cause inflammation. One of the reasons they are inSANE is they cause problems in your brain. You’ve probably already heard about a lot of the things that wheat does to your brain; soy; there are things called endotoxins; sugar –- sugar causes all kinds of nonsense inflammation throughout your body and your brain as well; sweeteners; so there’s a lot going on.
The good news is that if you do follow the SANE framework -– non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, wholefood fats, and some low-fructose fruits –- in that order, you will automatically avoid all that other nonsense. That’s again like food lists, detail, precision. This can get so complicated so quickly when we go that path but when we stay SANE and we focus on getting the big things right and then as we have success, we can go deeper and deeper and deeper but we need to start with the big things first. That can be so helpful long term.
Just, so much SANEity that you’re too full for inSANE -– you will avoid inflaming the brain, which is very, very important.
Real quick, let me jump in here to some questions that were written in. An individual asks, “I used to be on a diet where I had to drink two protein shakes and two meals per day but since I started going SANE, I gained weight. Is it because my body is adjusting to the large amount of food I am eating? I do weigh -– it probably should say, “I don’t weigh myself anymore” -– but I notice that my clothes are getting tighter.”
I don’t know if this person’s strength training. If they are strength training, then there’s a very -– just let’s be very, very clear here. When you strength train, when you exercise eccentrically, you will develop calorie-hungry lean muscle tissue. That is one of the single greatest indicators of your long term health and reducing your risk of all-cause mortality.
All things being equal, the amount of lean muscle you have on your body is a direct negative correlation between your likelihood of dying. All-cause mortality — is the technical term for it -– is inversely related to the amount of muscle you have on your body. Interesting to note.
If you are going SANE fully and therefore also training eccentrically, you will build calorie-hungry compact lean muscle tissue. This will cause you to weigh more temporarily. The ironic thing is, that temporary five-pound gain which is all calorie-hungry lean muscle tissue -– and don’t worry, you’re not going to gain muscle until you become a bodybuilder. That’s extremely hard to do and it’s impossible to do if your hormone levels aren’t at a bodybuilder’s level of hormones.
A.k.a. if you were a female, the average female has about the same amount of testosterone in their body as a ten-year-old boy. You can imagine that no matter how hard a ten-year-old boy weightlifts, he’s not going to look like a big buff twenty-five-year-old football player because he’s only ten years old. He doesn’t have enough testosterone to look that way.
If you’re one of the amazing female members of the SANE family, you never have to worry about building too much muscle unless without trying, you have a lot of muscle. There’s about one percent of females who just have a lot of muscle naturally but that’s only about one percent.
You may experience a temporary weight gain as you build that calorie-hungry lean muscle tissue but it will more than pay for itself with fat loss coming off long term. Also, please do keep in mind that if you’re coming to a SANE long term lifestyle directly from being on an 800-calorie, starve-yourself-harder, Weight Watcher’s type of lifestyle, if you were just starving yourself –-
We know one of the most heartbreaking things about calorie counting and about those inSANE protocols is, they do burn off calorie-hungry lean muscle tissue; they do suppress our base metabolic rate; and they do tell us that if we ever stop starving ourselves, we will not only gain back all of the weight we lost as fat, with much of the weight we lost being of muscle tissue, but we may even gain more.
That’s going to happen but the great news is that you’re here now. The act of not starving -– it has nothing to do with going SANE; it has everything to do with not starving yourself anymore. Any time you stop starving yourself, you will gain back all the weight you lost and more. But if you stop starving yourself and simultaneously go SANE, what will happen is, okay, so you starved yourself and your weight artificially fell temporarily. So you started here -– let’s do up and down; this is easier.
You started here; you starved yourself down to here. You stopped starving yourself, which will happen because you can’t starve yourself long term; it’s terrible; it ruins your life; it makes your brain not work anymore and that’s no way to live -– no way to live at all. It’s horribly unhealthy. If you just stop starving yourself; that’s it. You’re back to eating a standard American diet, this happens. That’s called yo-yo dieting. You’re above where you started.
Here’s what happens. You go SANE. Over months, you’re going to drop your set point. You’re going to come down here. You’re going to be at your natural weight and you’re going to stay there. But if you go SANE right away -– so you’re starving yourself and you say, “I’m going to switch from starvation to SANE,” this is still going to happen. This still happens.
This happens, but while that’s happening, it’s going to happen slower. It’s not going to go as high; maybe it’ll stop here. Then once the metabolic healing kicks in -– so it’s going to take a second for your body to actually recover from the damage that was just done to it. It’s like, “I was damaged. I’m getting back on my feet. I’m getting back on my feet. I’m back on my feet. Now I can start taking steps forward.” Then it’s going to go down, down, down, down, down.
This weight gain has nothing to do with going SANE. It has everything to do with not starving yourself. Thank God you’re here going SANE because while it’s inevitable that when you stop starving yourself, you will gain weight; what is also inevitable is that if you increase the quality of what you’re eating and you get support in the SANE Support Group and Coaching Group and you follow your SANE Program and you exercise eccentrically, that you will experience metabolic healing. It’s just a metabolic fact.
You can’t not eat more nutrient-dense food and not get healthier. That is what happens. That’s the definition of nutrient-dense food. You can minimize that rebound and then reset your set point accordingly. Hopefully, that makes sense.
Let me get some water. You notice I’m drinking out of my SANE mug here. It’s delicious when it comes out of a SANE mug.
Sandra asks, “What’s an endotoxin?” Sandra, we’re going to post it up in the support group, if you don’t mind. Or just pop it into Google. It’s not a SANE term; it’s just a general term. Just because there are a bunch of questions. I don’t want to bore people too much. It’s a great question. Just pop endotoxin into Google and you can learn all about endotoxins. It’s not a SANE-specific term; it’s good old fun biology. Thank you so much for being dialed in; that’s fantastic.
Faye asks, “I can get more vegetables and definitely more fruit in me but I don’t always want to eat protein. Is it okay if I want to snack on vegetables or fruit alone?” You phrased this question perfectly, Faye, because you have allowed me to cover a very, very important topic. Very important.
Fruits and vegetables are not one food group. This is so important. Please write this down because your whole life, you’ve seen the little logos on foods that say, “Five a day. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Eat more fruits and vegetables.” You’ll notice it’s actually said in that order. It’s not, “Eat more vegetables and fruits”; it’s “Eat more fruits and vegetables.”
Here’s the problem. Fruits and vegetables are not at all the same thing, at all. At all. You could eat fifteen servings of spinach and still not have consumed as much sugar as you would consume in a single serving of grapes. Let me say that again; you might want to write that down. If you eat –-
I’m going to say it the other direction because this is what happens when you eat SANEly; you’re just crazy and you’re just -– if you eat a single serving of grapes, which in the SANE framework is classified as “other fruits”; it’s not a low-fructose fruit; it’s actually a high-fructose fruit. If you eat one serving of grapes, you will have consumed more sugar than you would consume if you ate fifteen servings of spinach. Hopefully, that example in and of itself explains why we cannot classify vegetables and fruits in the same food group at all.
Remember, non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, wholefood fats, low-fructose fruits -– in that order. Non-starchy vegetables are not only unlimited but I need you to eat double-digit servings of it. Low-fructose fruits are optional. Other fruits aren’t actually SANE so we actually don’t want to eat those other fruits like grapes, so on and so forth.
Vegetables -– you can eat whenever you want as much as you want always. More vegetables are better always, always, always. Please remember that vegetables and fruits are not the same. In fact, if you want to, one way to think about fruits is fruits are vegetables with ten times more sugar. Not all fruits -– lemon is a fruit. A whole lemon has one gram of sugar in it so you can eat all the lemons you want and they’re fantastic for you. Common fruits, like grapes for example, it’s like spinach dipped in sugar –- kind of -– except it doesn’t even have as much nutrition as spinach has in it so it can be a little bit of a one-two punch there. Hopefully, that helps.
All right, question here about snacks. “What are appropriate snacks other than SANE Bars? For example, celery, carrots, almonds. I travel and I’m looking for easy grab-n-go items to always have with me to stave off hunger.” Two important things to note about this question. The first is related to what we talked about earlier, which is, why are you hungry? There has been talk of snacking and we need to snack. We need to always snack. I would argue that being hungry –- we need to actually ask, “Why are you hungry?”
If it’s been three hours since you ate breakfast -– excuse me, ninety minutes since you ate breakfast and you were hungry, that indicates one of a couple of things. One is that your breakfast was not a complete SANE meal. This is not a criticism at all but if you ate non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, and wholefood fats for breakfast -– put it this way, you will be hungry in a day until you eat sufficient calories and essential nutrition to provide your body what it needs.
If you’re hungry, that either means that you haven’t done that -– so you haven’t eaten enough calories to meet your needs as well as your essential nutrition -– or you’re in the Tom state of neurological inflammation, gastrointestinal inflammation, and hormonal dysregulation. I would recommend that you eat complete SANE meals until you’re completely full and satisfied so you don’t need to snack. That’s a possibility because if you do that, what you’ll also experience is metabolic healing and then you won’t need to snack because your body will always be snacking on your stored fat as you heal your body.
I think the real key question that you need to ask is, why is this snacking happening? The snacking is happening because we’re not getting at least three SANE meals per day. A complete SANE meal is described as non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, and some wholefood fats. The question is not, “How can I snack?”; the question is, “How can I focus my energy on getting those complete SANE meals in?”
Now, if you get those complete SANE meals in, let’s say, you’re super active and you’re very fit or you’re a child or you’re feeding children and they need to eat a lot frequently, then, yes, absolutely. Of course, SANE Bars are wonderful snacks. I was traveling last week and I will be traveling next week and I was just living off of SANE Bars. It wasn’t my preferred thing to do. I’d much rather be eating wholefood but that’s all I had available to me.
Berries and citrus fruits can be great. Anything that’s designed for diabetics can be helpful –- like, diabetic-friendly snacks. Nuts, if eaten with vegetables, can be helpful. Don’t eat nuts just by themselves because it’s incredibly easy to overdo it on nuts. Things like pickles, olives, salty foods can be very, very helpful but not salty junk foods like pickles and olives.
You can make a SANE trail mix, for example, with cacao nibs -– that’s just pure cacao -– one of the healthiest things in the world — mixed with maybe some shredded coconut but you do want to make sure you get some protein in there. Low-sugar jerkies can be a good option. You can freeze green smoothies and take them frozen with you in an insulated bag -– all that kind of fun stuff.
There’s a bunch more ideas within the program itself. If you click on the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner and you type in the word “snacks”, your SANE concierge will provide a bunch of great options. Canned seafood is another great option. Carry around a little can opener with you in your glove box and some plastic silverware; you’re good to go. My point being, hopefully that helps you with some quick ideas. There’s a bunch more in the program and in your support group. Just click on the magnifying glass and type in “snacks” or post in the support group but really I think the most important thing for us to cover here in this call in this unique context is why there’s the need to snack.
Why, if we’re in the Tom state and we have over a quarter of a million calories already in our body, is our brain telling us we’re constantly hungry? Is our brain telling us we’re constantly hungry because maybe we need more non-starchy vegetables so that we can have that metabolic healing so that we can snack on the calories that are already in our body throughout the day? Hopefully, that’s helpful. If it’s not, I’m sorry. Hopefully, you can just do the magnifying glass on the site. Also, post in the coaching group. There’s a lot of great stuff about snacking on the site. Hopefully, that is helpful.
Gina says, “When are our SANE refrigerator stickers coming out?” Gina, that is a great question. I’m sorry. Please, as soon as this ends, email SANELivenow@gmail.com. That’s the dedicated customer support team so you’ve got your SANE-certified coaches in the Coaching and Support Group who are ninjas at eating and exercise questions. They are the best in the world. Then for things like, “Yo, where’s my magnet?” or “My password doesn’t work anymore”, SANELivenow@gmail.com. Tell them, “Jonathan said you need a magnet.” Give them your address and I will get that to you ASAP. Anyone else who’s listening to this or watching this, you can do the same thing and we’ll get that taken care of for you.
Faye asks, “Why does my body crave fruit so much?” Faye, possibly because it’s sugar and you may be still coming down from a sugar addiction. What you might be finding is that your body -– two things. Two things, sugar and water -– fruit is very, very, very high in water. It quenches your thirst. If you just spend a bunch of time outside and you bite into a juicy watermelon, for example, it will quench your thirst. The two things you might be experiencing are, one, sugar withdrawal. What can help with that is, instead of eating fruit, eat sweeter vegetables. Sweeter vegetables are, for example, sugar snap peas, baby carrots. Those are also rich in water so they can help quench your thirst.
When you’re craving something sweet, of course, we have the SANE sweet options like, 1,400 recipes on the site or you can try a Cravings Killer. Drink a lot of water and try sweeter vegetables. Another example would be -– what do they call the little tomatoes? Cherry tomatoes. They’re sweeter vegetables. Actually, tomatoes are a fruit, but whatever. Hopefully, that helps.
Also, something I love to do is I don’t drink water after -– I try not to drink water after 8 pm because I’m in bed by 10 pm. I wake up super early and so I don’t want to get up and go to the bathroom over and over again at night because sleeping, understood, is very important. Costco sells -– I love me some Costco -– an organic frozen vegetable blend which contains cauliflower, broccoli, yellow carrots and orange carrots. I love -– with almost every dinner I have, I make a big pot of those vegetables and I eat them because I just boil them up and they quench my thirst and the carrots have a bit of a sweet flavor there.
Also, as you become less sugar saturated so your taste buds will recalibrate so you’ll be able to taste – it’s like if someone’s never drank alcohol, it takes a lot less alcohol to make the effect happen. So if you’ve eaten a lot of sugar throughout your life, it takes more and more sugar to address that but as you detox from sugar, which you will as you go SANE, we’ll be able to taste sweet in almost everything.
For example, as you heal metabolically, this will happen. It’s going to take some time, depending on how long you’ve eaten sugar for but the day to celebrate -– or one of the days to celebrate -– is the day you eat a raw almond and it tastes sweet to you. Now, that might sound a little bit wacky but when you have your taste buds recalibrated, things like cabbage, things like broccoli, and things like a raw almond. They’re not going to taste like a Snickers bar -– they’re not going to taste sweet -– but you will be able to detect sweetness in them, which is amazing. It’s amazing. You could imagine how much easier it is to be SANE when you’re that sensitive to sweet. Drinking a can of Coca-Cola would be like biting into a freaking giant sugar block; it would be disgusting. You don’t even need to try to avoid those things because they don’t even taste good anymore.
All right, a couple of other questions here that were written in. We are at 6:02 so we’ve got twenty-eight minutes left. Holy moly, I’ve got to speed up here.
All right. Serving sizes and determining what food groups go into -– great questions came up in the Coaching and Support Group this week about serving sizes and food groups. Very important way to simplify this, if it helps -– first and foremost, serving sizes. The SANE framework -– all the research I have done does not change anything about serving sizes. If a bag of frozen broccoli says a serving size is six pieces. Cool, that’s a serving of non-starchy vegetables. Done.
What you’re learning in SANE, it’s changing a lot of stuff but one of the things it’s not changing is what a serving size is. If you’re like, I heard that, like, a chicken breast about the size of my hand is a serving of protein. Nutrient-dense protein -– done. Easy. You’re not learning anything new there.
You’ll also notice, for example, that if you turn over some of this packaged processed nonsense, like packaged cookies, a serving is a cookie. People don’t eat a cookie. Once you pop, you can’t stop. It’s not one cookie. So the serving size on labels are -– you can use those in the SANE framework. There’s not a new SANE list of serving sizes.
The only thing that’s different is when you talk about nutrient-dense protein, you just want to make sure that when we eat, if we’re eating protein, we do want to make sure we’re eating at least twenty-five -– ideally, thirty -– grams of protein in total. If you’re eating non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, and wholefood fats, it’s the combined amount of protein across all of those foods.
The reason for that -– we talk about this way more in the Program; we talked about it in the coaching call, like, two calls ago in detail -– is that triggers the production of new tissue on your body, which is very metabolically active and healthy. It’s called muscle protein synthesis. The point is that there’s no learning curve when it comes to serving sizes. Everything you know about serving sizes, assuming it’s true, which it is if you’re reading labels, is still accurate. The only thing that’s new from a SANE perspective is how they classify foods. For example, delineating wholefood fats from other fats -– that is a SANE thing. That is part of the SANE framework.
Delineating non-starchy vegetables from starchy vegetables -– a sweet potato is a starchy tuber. A lot of people would consider it to be a vegetable. It’s not a non-starchy vegetable. That’s new. So the food groups are new; serving sizes is not. You might be wondering what goes in each food group. That’s covered in detail in the program. Of course, non-starchy vegetables -– things you could eat raw; things generally that grow above ground but where people can sometimes get a little bit mixed up is when it comes to protein and fats.
What’s a protein? What’s a nutrient-dense protein? What’s a wholefood fat? The good news is that this is super, super, super easy. The way you determine whether or not something’s a nutrient-dense protein or a wholefood fat is -– well, there’s a short way and there’s a complete way. Here’s the complete way. If it’s fish, it’s a nutrient-dense protein because what actually makes something a nutrient-dense protein or a protein in general is that it gets more of its calories from protein than it does from fat or carbohydrate.
Simplifying, you can only get calories from three sources. They’re called macronutrients, proteins, carbohydrate and fat. Protein -– 4 calories per gram; carbohydrate -– 4 calories per gram; fat -– 9 calories per gram -– but that doesn’t really matter and the protein calories are treated differently. That’s called efficiency. That’s the E in SANE step-by-step program. We can’t cover everything in these calls. Lots of stuff but that’s why we’re here for the long term, baby. Oh yeah.
Three macronutrients -– for example, if a can of tuna gets eighty percent of its calories from protein, then we know that even if it gets all of its remaining calories from fat, that could still only be twenty percent of its calories, which means, by definition, it gets most of its calories from protein. It’s a nutrient-dense protein.
If a food contains over fifty percent of its calories from protein -– nutrient-dense protein. I’m simplifying. Nutrient-dense protein. If it contains more than fifty percent of its calories from fat and it’s a wholefood -– coconut oil is not a whole food; coconut is. Coconut contains more than fifty percent of its calories from fat. If more than fifty percent of its calories come from fat, by definition, that has to be the most dominant source of calories -– so it’s a wholefood fat.
Things like beans, for example, that get twenty percent of their calories from protein are not a good source of protein. I’m not saying they’re bad for you; I’m saying if a food gets eighty percent of its calories from carbohydrate and twenty percent of its calories from protein, to me, that sounds like a carbohydrate; not a protein -– from a math perspective. That’s just an example of how we’ve been so misinformed.
Eggs are a super, super SANE food. If you asked ten people on the street, “Are eggs a good source of protein?”, they will say yes. An egg is sixty-four percent fat. If you’re eating eggs, you’re eating a wholefood fat. Two eggs is a serving of wholefood fats. A serving of wholefood fats generally contains about 150 calories.
The way you calculate that is, if you’re looking at nutrition information, all you do is, you say, take the grams of protein, multiply it by four, and that will give you the total number of calories from protein. Hold on. Before we get into this math, please keep in mind that this is not about calorie counting.
Already my alarm bell went off in my brain because we’re headed down a slippery slope. We’re headed down a slippery slope of going back to calorie counting and saying that I need to precisely measure, I need to precisely monitor, I need to precisely track. I promise you, non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, wholefood fats -– in that order.
Here’s the general rules. Non-starchy vegetables -– got it. Easy. Done. Nutrient-dense protein -– very simple. If it’s seafood, it’s nutrient-dense protein. If it’s lean meat, it’s nutrient-dense protein. If it’s fat-free, no sugar added cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or kefir or low-sugar protein powders -– it’s nutrient-dense protein. That’s it. That’s the complete list of nutrient-dense protein basically. That’s it.
Everything else is -– like, if it’s an egg, if it’s nuts, if it’s coconut flour -– wholefood fats. It’s really, really quite simple there and we know what fruits are and we know what starches and sweets are so it’s really, really simple if we want to focus on that. If we start getting more detailed, I’m just having the alarm bell go off because I’m like, “Oh, man. It’s getting close to calorie counting.” It is getting close to calorie counting but if you want to do that, if you like to do that -– and it is simple to do -– all you do is, you say, for example, in -– I’m trying to think of a food off the top of my head.
An egg -– if you look at an egg and you look at the nutrition data of an egg and you say, “This egg -–“ this is wrong so I’m not going to use an egg. This made-up food -– the Jonathan Pear -– this is a made-up food -– the Jonathan pear, in one serving, has 100 calories. Within there, there are -– this is a really weird fruit because it’s high in fat -– maybe it’s like an avocado -– in one serving of Jonathan Pears, there is 100 calories and there are 10 grams of fat. Fat has nine calories per gram; protein and carbohydrate have four.
So you could just do one simple calculation. You could say, ten grams of fat times nine. You could that in your head; don’t even need a calculator but, again, it’s food; not math. If you want to do this, this is how you do it. You just take ten; you multiply it by nine; that tells you there are ninety calories from fat per serving. If there was ninety calories from fat per serving, there’s a hundred calories per serving. We know ninety divided by hundred -– ninety percent of the calories in a serving are coming from fat. If that’s a whole food, if a Jonathan Pear is a whole food, then it is a wholefood fat.
Servings are what you’ve always known them to be and whether or not it’s -– personally, non-starchy vegetables -– easy; done; you got that. Nutrient-dense protein -– I just listed off the six categories that include nutrient-dense protein. Everything else is a wholefood fat. Low-fructose fruits are obvious. Then you’ve got legumes, other fats, starches and sweets. That stuff becomes really simple.
Please, please, please, be careful. By definition, we know calorie counting doesn’t work. If it worked, we wouldn’t be here. We wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic. That’s what we’ve been told to do. We’ve been told food lists, precision, measure everything, count everything for sixty years and we’re fatter and sicker and sadder as a result. If we want different results, we have to take a different approach.
There’s a beautiful irony. There’s a beautiful irony. You’ve probably heard the old saying that Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Isn’t it miraculous that SANE, which is not a marketing term; that’s the abbreviation for the four factors that determine the quality of a calorie -– Satiety, Aggression, Nutrition, and Efficiency -– which you’ll learn way more about in your step-by-step program.
The inSANE approach is to do the same thing we’ve done that has failed us in the past. Not our fault; we’ve been given bad information -– calorie counting, eating less, exercising more, short term weight loss focus, weighing ourselves constantly. It is insane, according to Albert Einstein, to keep doing that and to expect to get a different result, which sort of makes sense.
I don’t know if you’ve ever seen “The Far Side” comic, “Midvale School for the Gifted”, but it’s a school for the gifted and there’s a door and the door says “Pull” and the person is sitting there leaning on it just trying to push it open. You have been pushed and pushed and pushed for decades to starve yourself and to count calories and to just shame yourself endlessly. Please, don’t push on that anymore.
It’s not about that. It’s about simplicity; it’s about sanity; it’s about social support; it’s about learning the science about going through the step-by-step program. Non-starchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, wholefood fats, low-sugar fruits in that order is -– please -– absolutely the key and The Seven Days to SANE book does describe what I talked about in terms of the math if you want to do it in a bit more detail.
Please, please, please, focus on the big things first. I think that’s really going to help you to do -– you want the different results. You want the long term fat loss, happiness, health, and energy; not short term weight loss and depression and feeling hungry and cold and starved. Please don’t do the same things you did in the past. Give your SANE-certified coaches; give the Ignite Program a chance to show you a different path so you can have that different result.
Holy moly, it’s getting hot in here. I turned off my air conditioner and it is super warm in here right now. I usually say we’re going to go for ninety minutes or until I pass out. We’re getting close to ninety minutes and we’re getting close to me passing out so let’s keep going here.
All right. There has been some questions -– Raina, there’s a question. I’m so sorry. We’re going to have to wait for the next session. I don’t think I’m going to get to it. Raina had an awesome question that she brought up that she asked me to cover and I said I would so I feel bad for not being able to get to it. It’s going to be a big topic for our next chat so definitely come to the next chat because it’s going to be awesome. There are some shorter questions that I think I can help with in the next sixteen minutes.
One of them has to do with when things go poorly. We feel like we had a bad week or we had a bad day or we feel like, “I’m just not feeling good about what’s going on. I feel like a failure.” We all have these times. Good Lord, I have my own issues. We all have our own issues. If it’s not food; if it’s not exercise; it’s something else. Don’t worry, we’re all in the same “I’m not good enough” boat. Maybe not all of us but at least I’m in the boat so maybe you’re in the boat with me. Who knows? There’s a boat and there’s people in it and I’m one of those people. Let’s just say that.
All right. One thing that’s helped me -– and one thing that’s very powerful in the psychological literature -– is how we measure success. I’m not talking about what you’ll see, again, in your step-by-step program. Please make sure you’re going through that. It’s so important. There’s an e-book called SANE Success -– very, very critical. There are talks about measuring, like, “How do you measure metabolic healing?” What you should do is, you should get blood work done.
We’re not measuring them on the scale; we’re measuring blood work. We’re measuring metabolic healing because when you heal on the inside, the outside will take care of itself. If you have a fever, you could just put ice cubes all over yourself and, on the surface, your fever will go down but there’s no healing taking place on the inside so you’ll probably get sicker over time.
Same thing happens — if you just target your weight, you’re going to starve yourself and you’re going to get heavier and sicker over time because you won’t be able to starve yourself forever. We always have to heal from the inside-out and the way you measure that is by measuring on the inside-out, which is done with your doctor via blood work.
It is impossible. It is impossible to go SANE, to get your blood work taken today; to go SANE for six months; to go back to your doctor and for your blood work to not show proven demonstrable statistically significant healing. It doesn’t happen in six days but nothing great in life happens in six days. We’re after lasting healing and that takes time and that’s how you measure it.
There’s another way to measure it and that is, if we’re feeling down, if we’re feeling like we did a bad job, if we’re feeling like a failure, there’s another measurement. That measurement is time. What I mean by that -– if you were to measure your success in intervals, the time interval -– this is going to be a little bit metaphysical but it’s so important. It’s so important for your lower case sanity -– neurological sanity -– which is critical to your long term uppercase SANEity.
If you were to measure success on second-by-second intervals -– it’s kind of a ridiculous example and I apologize if you can hear a beeping in the background; I’m not really sure what’s going on. If you were to measure success on second-by-second intervals, you could say, “Well, Jonathan, I can’t judge whether or not I’m succeeding or failing every second. That’s too short of an interval. Well, the last three seconds, I was successful but this three seconds, I’m not being successful.” That’s not relevant.
What we might do is we might say, “I had a bad day.” That’s a valid statement to make. I did have a bad day. For example, if it’s New Year’s Eve and we’re looking back on the quality of our years -– let’s fast forward.
Let’s say it’s New Year’s Eve 2016, about to be 2017. We look back on our year. Having a bad day on — July 19th was yesterday. Well, why am I saying yesterday? Today, July 20th -– let’s say that today was a bad day up until this call because hopefully this call has made it a good day for you. Today was a bad day. Having a bad day would not make it a bad year. It’s too small of an interval if you’re measuring your success on the time scale of a year.
Similarly, if you’re measuring your success on a scale of a day, which is what most of us do, we say, “I had a good day/bad day”; “I had a good week/bad week.” We talk about people who are sick. They have good days; they have bad days. That shows how important the time interval is because if we’re measuring on the course of a day saying, “I had a bad second”, one second doesn’t even make sense because we’re saying that’s not enough time. You cannot judge success or failure in one second unless of course you’re an Olympic sprinter but we’re not Olympic sprinters. If you are an Olympic sprinter, e-mail SANELivenow@gmail.com and you get a bonus magnet.
Anyway, it’s so important not only to say -– we’re already stepping off the scale because that does not determine if we’re a success or a failure. In the SANE framework, we’re after metabolic healing. Metabolic healing -– healing of any type. If you had cancer or if you had diabetes or you had heart disease or you had any other severe metabolic condition of which obesity is one -– obesity is categorized as a disease by the American Medical Association. It is a metabolic disease. Healing from disease is measured on six-month intervals. Please write that down.
Metabolic healing is measured on six-month intervals. What we’ve been taught to do in calorie-counting programs is to measure our success literally day by day. You weight yourself on Monday; you weigh yourself on Tuesday. Based on whether or not that goes up or down, you’ve either succeeded or failed, which, hey, that’s nonsense. If you’re a female, your weight will cycle monthly until you go through menopause. Bottom line. It’s totally not relevant.
It’s like measuring, “Is the stock market successful based on today? Is the stock market a good investment based on what happened today? Is the stock market successful or a failure based on what happened today? We would never say that because we know when we’re thinking about stocks, when we’re thinking about investments, it’s a longer timetable.
Now certainly, if it was a bad year, that would influence us. That is a meaningful measurement. The reason I’m highlighting this is because if you can give yourself permission -– this is so important. I promise you, this “eat vegetables and measure your success in six-month intervals” are equally important because you cannot judge your success with sanity or with anything else meaningful in life on a second-by-second, hour-by-hour, or day-by-day time scale. I promise you.
Healing — natural processes like growing a garden, learning how to play the piano, developing a loving relationship with another human being, raising an awesome child -– these real big meaningful things -– writing a book, having a beautiful wonderful family, having a meaningful career -– these things are measured on the shortest scale six months to a year. A year might even be more appropriate.
The reason that’s so important is, if you give yourself permission -– you don’t even judge -– you can’t judge. If you make an investment in the stock market, you cannot say that that was a good investment or a bad investment based on what happened today. Really think about that. You literally -– if you made an investment, you can’t say -– if you made an investment at 9 am this morning and 9 am tomorrow -– to be clear, let’s say, you plan on not doing anything with that investment for the next twenty or thirty years; it’s a long term investment.
What happened in twenty-four hours is completely irrelevant because, guess what? That can change totally the next twenty-four hours. And you know what? That investment could plummet for 364 days and then on the 365th day, it could skyrocket back up. Now, that’s not how your health works but the point is, measuring long term investments on a short term timescale is not helpful. It’s actively harmful when it comes to our health.
There is no such thing as a bad day when it comes to SANEity if you come back to SANEity and are strengthened because of it. If you come into the Coaching Group and you say, “Here’s what I’m struggling with but I’m going to use this as energy and motivation to do even better in the future.” I took one step backward but that’s going to motivate me to take three steps forward. I don’t care if you take ten steps backwards.
When you measure this on a six-month interval, if you take ten steps backwards or ten days backwards, you still have five months and twenty days. I promise that if you go through your step-by-step program, you come to these coaching calls, you are active in your Coaching and Support Group, and you give yourself permission to say, “I am going to gradually make small steps. I’m going to gradually become SANEr. I’m going to get my blood work done today or as close to today as I can and then I’m going to get it done in six months.” You cannot fail. It’s not possible.
It is not possible if you’ve worked the program and you give yourself permission to measure your success in a reasonable timeframe. I promise you, this monkey on your back that’s just telling you, “You’re failing; you’re failing; you’re failing,” look back to that monkey and I need to take my own advice sometimes and say, “Monkey, you’re making about as much sense as if I made an investment in the stock market twenty-four hours ago and was going to evaluate whether or not that was a success or a failure today.” You can’t.
You’re here. You’re going SANE. You’re making a long term investment. Any lifestyle change you make to improve your life is something that you have to do in an enjoyable way because you have to keep doing it. It doesn’t matter if it’s eating; it doesn’t matter if it’s exercise; it doesn’t matter if it’s speaking a foreign language. If you want to become good at a foreign language and then you stop speaking the foreign language, you lose the ability to speak the foreign language so it’s always about the long term.
Make gradual small investments and please, please give yourself time. Give yourself a reasonable timetable on which to measure your success because everything else is just a distraction. It’s not about what happened over the past six hours; it’s not about what happened over the past six days; it’s not about what happened last week; it’s about what’s going to happen over the next six months. There will be bumps but I promise you, five minutes a day, whatever, whatever you can do, if you do that as consistently as you can and you give it time -– time is the missing ingredient -– consistency and time is the missing ingredient.
Please give yourself that time because I would argue -– and the science supports, you are never a failure based on what happened today. Not possible because I promise you, and it’s a fact, there is nothing you can do when it comes to your eating or your exercise in twenty-four hours that makes you a failure.
Let’s be clear. There are things that could really damage you in twenty-four hours. Getting in a car accident takes one second and it can forever alter your life but that’s not how eating works. No matter how much you eat -– the average person eats about a million calories in the course of a year -– you cannot eat enough calories in a single day to throw off your whole year. It’s not possible.
Eating doesn’t work like traffic. You do something bad on the road, I guess someone could call you a failure at driving but in an instant, in a day, even in a week, you cannot be a failure at SANEity; you can’t. I’m telling you that right now. Please write it down. “Jonathan Bailor, the founder of this, says, “No matter what you did today and no matter what you did last week, you didn’t fail. You are not a failure. The concept of failing measured on a one-second, one-hour, or even one-week or one-month interval is not a relevant measure from a SANE perspective.” We are here for the rest of your life. Not a failure. Hopefully that makes sense.
I keep repeating myself because it means a lot to me because you mean a lot to me and I’m saying that genuinely because the only reason that I’m here and the only reason that Raina and Rebecca and Wednesday and Laurie and all the other amazing members of your SANE team are here is because you’re here. We are here for the long term.
You are here for the long term. You are doing something that other people, they don’t have the courage to do. They want the short term quick fix and unfortunately, that’s literally killing them and that’s why I am sweating profusely right now because their desire -– they’ve been shamed into feeling that unless they starve themselves, unless they weigh themselves every day, and unless they’re constantly cold and tired and hungry, that somehow they fail. That’s nonsense.
Again, last time. Then I’m going to stop saying it over and over again but I need you to hear this and I need you to understand it. There is nothing you can do today, tomorrow, or last week or next week that makes you a failure when it comes to SANEity. I promise you. If anyone, including yourself, makes you feel something different, I need you to go into the Coaching and Support Group and let us help you reverse that. Come to these calls and let us help you reverse that because it is not possible scientifically for you to fail at SANEity because of what you did in one day or one week.
Please, give yourself permission to start breaking free from that. I know it’s hard after decades of nonsense and inSANE programming in your brain but that’s what we’re here to do. We’re here to heal ourselves physically and psychologically for the rest of our lives so that we can live the best of our lives. Hopefully, that’s okay. I’m sorry that was repetitive but it really means a lot to me.
Whoo! All right, we’re at time. Holy moly, that was awesome. Thank you for the awesome questions and awesome session. I am going to be traveling. I’m actually going to go see my family. I haven’t seen my family for a really long time. I live in Seattle. They live in the Midwest so I’m going to finally get to see my mom and dad. My dad just turned seventy so I’m very excited to celebrate that with him.
There is not going to be a coaching call next week but we will pick them up the following week and, as you know, no matter what, we bolstered your account to have sixteen coaching sessions so even if there’s a week or two that are off, your Coaching and Support Group is always here for you 24/7. I’m coming back.
You have access to the recordings of all your calls. Please, see this call and these calls as just a starting point. Let’s continue them in the Coaching and Support Group. Let’s rock and roll. I will see you not next week but the following week. I thank you again. I wish you the SANEst of your week and SANEst next week possible. Thanks again. Chat soon.