The first thing I want to talk about – this is building off some great conversations that have been taking place in the coaching and support group recently. You saw mail was sent out. I am participating in a sleep summit with one of my good friends, Dr. Michael Bruce, who is a wonderful gentleman. An actually interesting factoid, I spent a bunch of time together with him recently because we know sleep is a super important part of a SANE lifestyle, and an interesting tidbit, Dr. Bruce has actually been on the Dr. Oz show 32 times. I’ve never heard of anyone except Dr. Oz who has been on his show that frequently.
During that summit, of which I was a participant, there was some conversation. This came up in the support group and I want to talk about it in detail here, about eating complex carbohydrates before bed to keep blood sugar levels stable at night. I know this has also been mentioned by Dr. Allen Christianson, who was on the SANE show a while ago. I wanted to give a SANE insight into this because sleep is super important, and if we have M.D.s and Ph.D.s who are telling us to eat complex carbohydrates, or specifically, it looks like 80% carbohydrate, 20% protein, with a good level of fiber, what do we do with that from a SANE perspective?
The very specific question is, some sleep experts have said, eat complex carbohydrate at night, something with 80% carbohydrate, which almost anything with 80% carbohydrate that is classified as a complex carbohydrate is going to be a starch or a starchy root tuber. But what do we do with that in a SANE lifestyle? First and foremost, this is a perfect topic for us to cover here because there is a lot of nuance. It’s not a simple answer. It’s a very goal-oriented answer.
Let me be more specific there. Let’s take a step back. With everything we talk about here, I want to make sure we talk specifically, but I also want to make sure that, as you know, SANE is a long-term thing. It’s more than just eat this, not that. It’s more than food lists, it’s more than meal plans. It’s about teaching you the last 40 years of metabolic research because it has just not been shared with you. It’s the difference, fundamentally, between giving someone a fish, and teaching them to fish because there is no food list, there is no list of quick tips that any of us could ever memorize that is long enough to address all the unique situations we find ourselves in.
We have to understand, at a basic level, and then we can go deeper, the biological laws or principles that drive our bodies. Just like in order to drive a car we have to understand the basic laws of the road. We don’t have to be a NASCAR driver. We don’t have to drive black taxis in London because that’s super complicated, but we do need to know the laws of the road at a basic level, we need to know how cars work at a basic level, otherwise we’ll never get to where we want to go and we’ll get into wrecks.
The same thing applies with health and fitness. That is why, in these calls, and throughout your SANE program and your SANE coaches, we’re always going to try to go the extra mile to really to teach you the underlying science, because at the end of the day, that’s the secret. The reason that all this eat less, exercise more, quick tip, seven-day stuff has not only not worked, but in the vast majority of cases, left us worse off over the past 40 years, is because it is just not compatible with basic biology, and it’s not compatible with our lives, so when we understand biology we can protect ourselves from all that confusing and conflicting information.
That’s why I really want to empower you with more than sound bites, right? We’re done with sound bites, we want to get into the actual science so that we’re empowered for the long-term, right? So let’s dig into it when it comes to the sleep thing.
The first thing is to take a SANE mindset approach to this question, and that is, this was presented in the context of how to get better sleep – how to sleep better. Remember, your goal is so specific. If your goal is to get a good night’s sleep, that’s a great goal, but please keep in mind that getting the good night’s sleep is a different goal from burning fat, for example. They’re totally different things. Sleeping well and burning fat, while they may be related, are different goals. The reason I say that is that helps us to prioritize, and also tease apart seemingly conflicting information.
Let me give you one additional example. So often, health and fitness are spoken of as if they are the same thing, but they’re not, at all. Health and fitness are very, very different. For example, we might consider someone who is an anabolically or drug-enhanced athlete – the Olympics are going on so there is always talk about drug-enhancement when the Olympics are going on. An athlete who is taking illegal drugs in an effort to perform very well has extremely high fitness levels. They are taking illegal substances, and those illegal substances are actually helping them to reach their goal of fitness, but they’re horrible for your health.
Why am I making this point? Fitness and health – they seem like they’re the same thing, but they’re not at all. There are things you can do to increase your fitness, AKA, take illegal performance-enhancing substances that actually harm your health, so that’s why we have to be very specific and very precise, because health and fitness are not the same thing. Sometimes they go together, but they’re not the same thing.
Similarly, getting a good night’s sleep and setting your body up to burn fat are related, they often go together. Getting a good night’s sleep can help you burn fat, and when you are burning fat you will sleep better. For example, almost 80% of sleep apnea cases can be, in large part, resolved by being at a healthy long-term sustainable level of body fat. But the individualized goal of, “I want to fall asleep right now, and I want to burn fat long-term” are very different goals.
Once we know that, any confusion here goes away, or changes. What I mean by that is, it is entirely possible, and it actually makes sense, that eating a bunch of carbohydrates, complex or not, before you go to bed, will help you sleep. Why? I think we’ve all experienced that if we eat a very carb-heavy meal any time of day, what happens? It takes us up – boom! It brings us down, and we get very sleepy and lethargic. This is the whole five-hour energy paradox where the average American eats a starch and sugar-heavy breakfast – it takes them up, and then they crash down. They eat a starch and sugar-heavy lunch – it take them up, helps them crash back down.
There is no question, there is no debate, that starchy carbohydrates can help you sleep. In fact, we’ve probably all experienced them helping us sleep at two o’clock in the afternoon, which is not a good thing. Again, why am I saying this? Please keep in mind that there are things which we can definitely do that will help us to get a good night’s sleep, but they may not help to heal our metabolism, so that distinction is extremely important. The sleep is important, but for example, there is a lot of prescription medication you can take that, without question, will help you sleep. But it has other effects, too.
So we really have to get clear on our goals. I have no doubt in my mind that eating starchy, or even sugary carbs will help you sleep, because we’ve all had them help us sleep in the middle of the day when we don’t want to sleep. The question, though, is – is the long-term benefit worth it, and is the long-term benefit in accordance with your goals where you’re trying to prioritize your goals? So, if you are eating, for example, a lower fat, higher carbohydrate style of SANity, this could be very compatible with your lifestyle. Now, if you’re eating a higher-fat, lower-carb form of SANity, going in and sticking in a starchy carb right before you go to bed, again, it will help you sleep, but it will not help your fat loss goals. So sometimes we just have to prioritize, we have to say which is more important to us in the moment.
If you’re part of the Ignite program, I would guess that one of your primary goals is metabolic healing and long-term fat loss. The idea that you need to eat starchy carbs before you go to bed in order to keep your blood sugar levels stable – they will keep your blood sugar levels stable if you’re a sugar burner. What do I mean by a sugar burner? Blood sugar is only one source of energy in our body. Backing up a little bit, we have two primary sources of fuel.
Just a quick pause, if you’re new and this is like, holy moly, Jonathan is covering a lot of a stuff and he’s talking really fast, it’s totally okay, remember, these are getting recorded. The point of these calls is to go deep and to get advanced. If it doesn’t make sense right now, I promise it will make sense as you go through the step-by-step program and learn more. Please don’t feel bad if this is deep, that’s the point of these calls to go deep. We’ve got a bunch of other step-by-step earlier stuff, more starter stuff, in that step-by-step program.
Backing up, your body has two primary energy sources. It can run on sugar – blood sugar, glucose, we’ve all heard about those things – but we also know that our body can run on fat. We can burn off body fat. In fact, that is our body’s preferred source of energy. Why do I say preferred source of energy? Because when we have too much energy our body stores it as body fat.
So maintaining consistent blood sugar levels – there is an assumption if you are trained in the old – I don’t want to say old, because the science was actually correct prior to World War II, and we rediscovered it recently, but if you are eating a predominantly sugar-based diet, which the average American is, then your body is burning sugar as its primary fuel source. And since your body can’t store sugar – of course there is a little bit stored in your muscle tissue, but your body doesn’t store sugar like it stores fat, for example – if your body is burning primarily sugar, the only way it can do that and keep it constant is if you are constantly feeding it sugar.
Why? Because if your blood sugar levels get low, your body can’t get it from anywhere else other than through your mouth, because there is no other sugar available. This is why, as we move toward a more inSANE sugar and starch-based diet, we have people feeling the need to eat every two hours because their body is burning up sugar, there is no stored sugar, their body has lost the ability to burn fat. So the only way that they can keep their energy levels up, the energy that they are used to burning, which is sugar, or blood sugar, is by continuing to eat sugar.
What if we could dodge that whole thing? What if we could keep our energy levels constant, and what if we were not so dependent on blood sugar to fuel ourselves? Well, that would be awesome, and that’s actually what we’re going to do when we go SANE, we’re going to become what is called fat-adapted, meaning that our body is going to switch from using sugar as its preferred fuel source, to using fat as its preferred fuel source.
Think about it a little bit like unleaded fuel and diesel. Imagine your car had the ability to burn both and it could toggle between them based on what was available and what it was used to. It’s a little bit like how your body works. So, as you go SANE and as you drop your sugar and starch intake and you replace that with nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein and whole food fats, you’re not only going to be getting the majority of your calories from healthy whole food fats, but those nutrient-dense proteins and nonstarchy vegetables are going to heal your brain, your gut and your hormones at a fundamental level that will restore your body’s ability to burn body fat.
This is what we mean when we talk about reversing insulin resistance, for example. Why does this matter? Embedded in the question of, you should eat starchy carbs before you go to bed because they help you sleep because they keep your blood sugar level stable – why do we need to have stable blood sugar levels only through eating starchy carbs when our energy source does not have to be primarily starch/sugar, our energy source could be stored body fat. And wouldn’t it be magical, and wouldn’t it be wonderful, if when our body needed additional fuel, it didn’t need us to eat a bunch of sugar or starch four hour beforehand, but rather, it could just say, “Hey, there’s some extra energy sitting down here on my hips. Why don’t I burn that off?”
That’s what we want, and that’s what happens when you become fat-adapted. You can keep your energy levels, you can keep all that constant all throughout the day, all throughout the night, without having to constantly add fuel into your body, because as we talked about in previous calls, remember, if we’re struggling with overweight, what that means is we have a bunch of energy stored as body fat already on our body. So the real question is, why is our brain continuing to tell us to take in more energy when we already have so much energy in our body?
The reason for that is because we’re experiencing a level of neurological inflammation, hormonal dysregulation, and dysbiosis within our gut bacteria, and our digestive system in general, which has broken down our body’s natural ability to say, “Hey, I don’t have enough energy flowing through my bloodstream right now, so let’s go ahead and supplement with this stored body fat.”
Holy moly, that was a lot of information, but you can see a couple of really important things. The first is that, again, summarizing, without question, eating starch and sugar is going to help you fall asleep. We’ve all experienced that. And it hasn’t been a positive thing. So certainly, if you want to just put yourself into a food coma, eating a bunch of starch and sugar will help you to do that. Can you eat starchy carbohydrates while going SANE?
If you’re on a SANE version of a higher-carbohydrate, low-fat version of SANity, which is not the way SANE works out of the box, it’s not my recommendation. But if you are doing that, this is compatible with that, but I would even back up a level and say, “Look, we don’t need to keep our blood sugar level stable through eating starchy carbohydrates because our body will keep our energy levels consistent all the time, 24/7/365, without us having to worry about that, ever, consciously, if we heal the underlying neurological, gastrointestinal and endocrinological dysregulation that leads to overweight and diabetes in the first place, and that’s what SANE eating does.
Hopefully that helps. There was one other point in there, which is, remember, when you hear these things in the media, or outside of the SANE Ignite program, one of the biggest challenges is that they don’t necessarily make the goal explicit and that is so important because, for example, sugar is a perfect example. This is going to seem a little bit silly, but if your goal is to continue running a marathon, once you’re at mile 15, the best thing you could do is to eat pure glucose, pure blood sugar. Sugar comes in different forms – sucrose, lactose, galactose. Glucose is the form of sugar when it is metabolized in your body, it’s going around in your bloodstream, so if you’re on mile 15 of the marathon and you have nine more to go, eating straight glucose is a good idea for the goal of finishing the marathon, but if our goal is to not get diabetes, or to reverse diabetes, eating pure glucose will not get us toward that goal, so we have to be super goal-specific with everything we say. And then the question just becomes us taking a step back and prioritizing our goals. Cool?
Hopefully that is helpful and also a couple of things that are embedded in that question, and if you have follow-up questions, please do post them up. The concept of a complex carbohydrate, and this is covered in detail in your step-by-step program, but I want to really highlight this here, there was a lot of focus on the term complex carbohydrate versus simple carbohydrate five, ten, 15 years ago. It is less emphasized now, but there are still remnants of it. The reason it is less emphasized now is because the distinction between complex and simple carbohydrates is truly inconsequential when it comes to your long-term health.
The reason for that is a complex carbohydrate is, from a biochemistry perspective, means a bunch of sugars that are connected together. That just means that when a complex carbohydrate enters your stomach, it’s not entering your stomach yet as sugar. It’s long chains of sugar. But as soon as it leaves your stomach, what your stomach is doing is breaking apart those chains of sugar. This is why they say it gets into your bloodstream slower. Yes, it gets into your blood stream slower because if you just eat pure sugar – this is your stomach, this is a sugar molecule, sugar molecule goes into the stomach and then goes right out.
If you’ve got long chains of sugar molecules, the reason they get into your bloodstream slower is because they hit your stomach, your stomach separates them out – guess what we have? Individualized sugar molecules. Then they go into your bloodstream. The point is, if you take, as marketing would lead you to believe, that bowl of milk and that Special K cereal, and you add a little bit of sugar on top, when that leaves your stomach there is no difference between that cereal and the sugar you put on top. None. Zero. You could have a bowl of sugar with a little bit of cereal on top, or you could have a bowl of cereal with a little bit of sugar on top and for all long-term health intents and purposes, when it is leaving your stomach it is going to have a very, very similar metabolic impact.
So that is one of the reasons why we want to be very careful around starches, and even sometimes starchy vegetables. It is not that they’re poison, at all. But we’re here because we want to optimize our health, and in many cases we need to heal. We need to heal those fundamental neurological, digestive and hormonal issues I talk about. And sugar, in any form, whether it is like this, or it’s like this until it hits your stomach and then goes like that, is not helping us.
I’m not saying that a marathon runner should never eat sugar. I’m not saying that if an active, thin child who is 13 years old and going through puberty – no, no, no, that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about us. We’re talking about metabolic healing. We’re talking about what’s optimal. So please, if you’ve been trapped in the old mythology around complex versus simple carbohydrates, please understand that yes, there is a difference, but the difference is so minor when it comes to your long-term health.
And last, but not least, please, please protect yourself. One of the reasons that we work so hard to make the Ignite program so comprehensive – you can click on the search button in the upper righthand corner, you can search literally millions of words of content and hours and hours of video, and your SANE-certified coaches are available 24/7/365 – anything that isn’t covered there is because one of the number one challenges that I think we face, and I’ve heard people face over the past ten years, is confusing and conflicting information.
So what we’ve tried to do in the SANE program is, we have one goal, that is, long-term metabolic healing and happiness and efficacy in life, and we want to give you the tools to do that consistently. So if at all possible be very selective on other sources of information, not because they’re not good, but because they might be good at different goals. Does that distinction make sense? I really hope it does because if you’re diabetic, and you go on insulin therapy, that’s really good in the sense that it will prevent you from dying. Otherwise you’ll die.
But insulin also will make you gain fat, no question about it. There have been studies done where they take individuals in a controlled setting, feed them the exact same number of calories, feed them the exact same types of food, and they start injecting them with insulin. And because insulin essentially tells your body to store fat, these individuals, by changing nothing else, end up gaining fat. So is insulin good? Well, you die without it. You have to have it. If you’re diabetic you need to take it or you can die. But if your goal is fat loss, then the role of insulin becomes very, very different.
So let’s prioritize our goals. If you’re type 2 diabetic, let’s say, the goal of not dying today is a more important goal than losing 1% more body fat today. The goal of fat loss is lower than that, so you’re going to continue to take your insulin to manage your diabetes, but you’re going to then do everything else that you can within your power to be SANE – eat your nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats – to lower your endogenous – endogenous means created in the body – exogenous – when you inject insulin, that’s exogenous insulin. But when your pancreas releases insulin, that’s endogenous insulin, so that your ability to regulate insulin endogenously is restored.
So what will happen – what has happened – hundreds, if not thousands of times even this year within the Ignite program, is that as your doctor starts to see the results of eating SANEly, the amount of exogenous insulin you will have to take will go down and down and down, and then the goal of staying alive today may eventually – for example, if your doctor says, “Hey, you don’t need to be on insulin therapy anymore,” now you can stay alive today without having to do something which might conflict with your long-term fat loss goals.
It’s so important to really get laser-focused on those goals and where you get your information, please, just keep in mind, what is the goal of this? If I’m reading the back of a cereal box, what is the goal of the information on the back of the cereal box? A little bit different.
And if I’m going to get treatment for – maybe you had a crisis happen in your family, something devastating, and it’s really got you down, and you’re having a hard time even functioning day-to-day because of this crisis. Your goal, your number one goal, without question, has got to be to address that psychological situation. And what you might need to do, after seeing a medical professional, they might provide you with some pharmacological assistance to temporarily help you overcome this hurdle.
Now, SSRIs, without question, slow the rate of fat loss. But again, we’ve got to look at prioritization. If we’re sad, depressed, anxious, and we need to get control of that, that’s goal number one, and then we prioritize our goals below that. That also explains why you will very rarely ever hear me say, this diet is better than that diet, or this thing is wrong or bad, because it’s frequently a question of goals. The paleo diet is great if your goal is to eat like our ancestors ate. But if your goal is, for example, to reverse diabetes, that’s a different goal. Eating like our ancestors atr, and reversing diabetes aren’t the same thing.
Hopefully that helps, and please write down the key take-aways from this week’s call. First, identify your key goals. One of the reasons I love being part of the SANE family is, for example, I think some of those goals are going to be to rock your other roles that have nothing immediately to do with seeing your abs. For example, maybe being a great spouse, or being a great parent, or uncle, or aunt, or friend, or rocking your profession – those goals are really important, too.
For some people, for example, if you were running for president, which I kind of wish you were based on the other choices that are available to us right now (laughs), but if you were running for president, up until the election, your goal of winning the presidency might take precedence, temporarily, over some other goals. So not only do you want to identify your key goals, but I want you to prioritize them, and I also want you to give yourself permission – that prioritization does not have to be permanent.
You could say, “Hey, right now there is this thing going on. For the next two months it’s just going to be crazy, for the next two months I am consciously deciding to prioritize this big project at work. Or let’s say as a family, we’re moving. So for the next two months, my number one priority is to make this move as seamless as possible for my family. And for the next two months I’m going to forgive myself and I’m going to be understanding of myself if my SANity, from an eating and exercise perspective, isn’t where I want it to be. Because I know that this is temporary.
So, you identify your goals first, you prioritize your goals second, and then you look at it with a time filter. And this is actually going to transition well into the next big topic I wanted to talk about because it was question that was written in. It has to do with 30-day challenges and things along those lines. Identify the goals, prioritize the goals, and then figure out if that is time-based, because so often I think we can get – at least I do, I get hung up on making a decision, because it’s not permanent. For two weeks you can say, I’m going to try to get my sleep on lock. I have just been sleeping terribly, so for the next two weeks I’m going to laser focus on getting my sleep to go better.
I’ll tell you a personal story. Earlier this year there was some stuff going on and I was having a really hard time sleeping. So I consciously said, I started to get to a point, and you may have gotten to this point at some point in your life, where laying in bed, what should be like time to go to bed, you’re relaxing, might feel like, “Oh, my gosh. I have to go to bed. I have to fall asleep. I have another task. I have the task of falling asleep.” I don’t know if you’ve ever felt that way, you can virtually raise your hand if you have, or just vote in the chat box if you have.
I said to myself, “Jonathan, you need to get a week of great sleep under your belt because once you do that, if you have seven continuous nights of great sleep, on the eighth night, I figure that when I lay down in bed I just say, oh well, the past seven days have been great so the eighth day will be great, as well. And then once that becomes a habit, that becomes a new normal, I say all right, less focus on my sleep now, got that taken care of, now I’m going to focus on something else.
So again, last time, and then I’ll move on to the next thing and take some questions. Identify the goals, prioritize the goals, relate the goals to time, because they don’t have to stay that way always. And over the top of all of that, whenever you get new information, ask yourself the key question. What is the goal of the person who is giving me the information, or even the goal of the information, in general? Those are actually two different things. The goal of the person who is giving me the information, and the goal or the objective of the information, itself.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions about the sleep distinction, the goals distinction, because the next thing that I want to talk about, and then I’m going to get into some of the shorter questions that were sent in, but I love to go deep here, because it’s such a unique opportunity for us to go deep into some otherwise challenging topics.
This has to do with one of the things I just talked about which is time-boxing our goals, and something that we see is very, very common in the eating and exercise world, is time-boxed challenges. Saying, let’s do a 30-day challenge, or let’s do a seven-day cleanse, or let’s do a 21-day detox – putting very specific timelines on something. This, like most things, I think, and the science shows, is not intrinsically good or bad. For example, with a 30-day challenge, or with a detox, for instance, if the goal of the 30-day challenge is for you to say, “Normally, I would put my eating habits fourth on my priority list, just because that’s something I don’t really want to think about.”
Now, if your goal is, “For the next 30 days I’m going to put them as number one on my priority list because my goal in doing that is to put it so high on my priority list that I get a bunch of successes under my belt, I start to form habits, I start to retrain my brain, for example, how sensitive I am to sugar,” I say, “I’m going to eat absolutely no sugar for 30 days, with an explicit 30-day goal, because on day 31, I know, based on what I learned in the Ignite program, based on what Jonathan has talked about, that will help my taste buds to reset.”
So my goal, the reason I’ve said 30 days, is not because I’m going to stop being SANE after 30 days, but rather, I am going to consciously take SANE up to the highest priority level. And oh my goodness, it all kind of comes together, because people will sometimes say, “Oh, my goodness, if I’m going SANE, what do I do in certain social situations? Can I never eat birthday cake? Or what about the holidays? Can my kids not go trick-or-treating now?”
Let’s talk about someone who is in the 30-day mindset. If we’re in that 30-day goal mindset you might say, and it might be a lot easier to say, “For 30 days I’m not going to eat any cake, I’m not going to do this during Christmas or Hanukkah, or anything around the holiday season because I’m going to eat some sugar then, but I’m going to take 30 days and I’m just going to go super-SANE, extremely SANE, for 30 days, and then on day 31 I’m not just going to go pound an entire sheet cake. But at that point you will have made so much progress that I wonder, and actually the science shows, that your desire to eat an entire sheet cake will be gone, and if you do, it will make you feel terrible and you will say, “Well, that was a bad idea, I don’t want to do it again.”
That would be an example of taking a 30-day mindset with the goal of, “I am going to use this so that I feel empowered to just rock it for 30 days so that some of my SANity will be so ingrained, literally, that I will retrain my taste buds, a lot of things in my brain will change, my habits will change, so that on day 31 I’m not going to be inSANE, I can just not think about it as much and it will be automatic so that eating SANEly could still stay a high priority.” But because it’s easier for you at that point, you don’t need to think about it as much. So while it is still a high priority, you can travel, you can do all these other sorts of things, and you will still be able to be SANE. That would be an awesome goal, or approach, to a 30-day challenge.
However, if a 30-day challenge was approached like it normally is, or how it is advocated in these cleanse programs and these 21-day things – here’s a concrete example. There are these diets on the internet where you eat literally 800 or fewer calories per day for 21 days, and then you just stop on day 22. You do something for a period of time because it’s impossible to do it for a longer period of time, but that is such a bad idea. As obviously as good of an idea as the previous example was, like, “Yeah, for 30 days we’re just going to go at it, we’re going to do it for 30 days really intensely so that on day 31 we’ve formed habits and we can just keep it up, but it’s going to be way easier.” If you wanted to get better at playing Chopsticks on the piano and you played Chopsticks every day for 30 days, on day 31 you would probably just play Chopsticks and it would take no effort, so it’s not like the benefit of those 30 days goes way.
But if you’re going on these starvation crazy cleanse diets which are not sustainable, with the promise that the marketers say that you’re going to lose 21 pounds in 21 days, yes, sure, you will, but if it just then stops on day 22, oh my goodness, it’s counter-productive for all the reasons and all the science explained in your step-by-step program because it’s going to compromise your metabolism, it’s going to burn off muscle tissue. It’s starvation. It’s not sustainable.
So if the goal of the 30-day challenge is to do something inSANE – let’s use the word inSANE as a synonym for crazy or gimmicky – if the goal is to do this whacky thing for 30 days because it’s so ridiculous that there is no way you could keep it up for the rest of your life, that’s the kind of 30-day thing to run the other direction from. However, if you’re like, “Hey, I’m just going to take a very SANE approach, really make sure I’m eating my nonstarchy vegetables, nutrient-dense protein, whole food fats, be more committed to it than I think I will be long-term for 30 days because I think that if I do that I will form the habits, and the tastes, and the biology that will actually make it easier to do it long-term, then that is a totally different thing.
And here’s the beauty about SANE eating versus starvation dieting. There is no world in which starving yourself for 30 days makes day 31 easier to starve yourself. The longer you starve yourself, as I’m sure we’ve all experienced, the harder it becomes. We go on this crazy calorie-cutting diet, 1200 calories a day, and on day one we’re like, “Woo, yeah, I lost two pounds! On day two, it’s like, “Woo, yeah, I lost two pounds!” Day three, it’s like, “Oh, I only lost one pound.” Day four, it’s like, “Oh, I didn’t lose anything, and I’m cold, and I’m tired.” Day five, “Oh, I still didn’t lose anything, I can’t sleep and I’m depressed, and I can’t think, and I’m crabby all the time.” Day six, “All right, second week, I’m done.”
That is not good and that is what starvation dieting does, whereas SANE is the opposite. If you go super SANE for 30 days, on day 31 it’s going to be radically easier because your tastes have changed, your biology will fundamentally change from what it was on day one. So, it’s easier on day 31, not harder on day 31, and that’s why SANE, fundamentally, focusing on eating more healing food rather than just less of everything, is the key to long-term success because if you do it, it gets easier over time, not harder. If a 30-day challenge helps you to do that, that’s cools, but please, the goal of the 30 days is not, I urge you, to say that.
Put it this way. It’s not about those 30 days. This is the mindset that I would encourage you to have. Oh my goodness, actually, this is really important. Thank you so much for asking this question, this is an absolutely key distinction. Most 30-day challenges, if you think about it, the goal is those 30 days. It’s about those 30 days. There is no talk about what happens the 30 days after that. So in a typical seven pounds in seven days, 21 pounds in 20 days, 30-day miracle cleanse, it’s about that event.
The SANE approach, if you want to do seven days of super SANity, or 14 days, or 60 days, or 90 days, the reason you’re doing that is about afterwards. The reason you would go super SANE for 30 days is not because it’s about those 30 days, it would be because you believe, and the science supports, that if you go super SANE for 30 days, the next 30 years will be easier.
Do you see how critical of a distinction that is? It is the distinction between a short-term focus, “It’s all about the next 30 days!” What about day 31? What about the next 30 years? Versus, “I am so concerned about the next 30 years and rocking my mission and loving myself and loving my life and having energy and just being able to manifest all of the beauty in all senses of the word that is inside me for the next 30 or more years, that for the next 30 days I am going to just laser focus on this.”
Do you see how big of a difference that is? It’s the difference between short-term and long-term, and ultimately, that’s the difference between disappointment and long-term success at the end of the day. I hope that is really helpful because it’s helpful for me. I’ve got some stuff I’m working on right now, personally, where I’ve been having a little bit more of a short-term mindset, but being able to say, “I’m going to focus in the short-term because I want to make the long-term great,” is a really powerful mindset shift. And I hope that’s helpful.
Let’s check out some other questions that have come in. There is a question here from Donald. Thank you so much, Donald, for your question. “Can you explain the difference in benefits between ghee and butter?” The first thing I want to mention, Donald, is that neither of them are SANE. What I mean by that is not that they’re deadly and toxic and should be avoided, but unlike, for instance, a ketogenic diet, or even – it’s hard to say paleo, because paleo means, literally, 15 different things to 15 different people, but I know Mark Sisson personally, I know Chris Kresser personally, I know Sarah Ballantyne personally, I know all the paleo people personally, and every single one of them has a different definition of what paleo is. So it’s kind of hard to say what paleo actually is anymore. But I digress.
Ghee and butter are considered other fats in the same framework, which means they should be used in the context of helping you to eat more vegetables, for example. So while some other diets with other goals will say, “Just put butter in your coffee, or just put ghee on everything,” there are no benefits to ghee and butter that are not found in whole foods. This applies to ghee and butter, this applies to oils in general. Coconut oil is a fantastic oil. Olive oil is a fantastic oil. But you know what’s even better? Coconut and olives, because they’re a whole food.
Ghee is just a further processed butter. It’s a clear butter. Honestly, they’re both fine to use when cooking, and you would only use them in a SANE framework to the amount you would need simply to lubricate the pan, the amount you need to help you eat more vegetables. For instance, if eating raw broccoli is absolutely repugnant to you, it’s totally fine, and if sautéing the broccoli or cooking the broccoli and adding some butter to it – and you wouldn’t just add four tablespoons of butter, you would say, what is the least amount of butter I need to make this delicious? That’s great.
Vegetables, in some ways, can be thought of as a wonderful delivery mechanism for other fats, so, cooking kale with bacon, butter, ghee, coconut oil, things like that. But we would never, ever, in a SANE lifestyle just eat a tablespoon of coconut oil, which if you read a coconut oil container, back to our earlier conversation of what is the goal? The goal of someone who sells coconut oil is probably to get you to eat more coconut oil. So, if the coconut oil container says to eat a tablespoon of coconut, just plain, that might not be in your best interest, at least in the research that I’ve read. However, using ghee or butter, coconut oil, olive oil, in the context of whole food to make that SANE whole food delicious, I think is great.
I wouldn’t worry too much about the differences and benefits between ghee and butter. I would recommend using whichever one you like the taste of the most and using as little of it as possible, not because fat is bad for you – it’s not – but because there are SANEr sources of fat. Again, olives and coconut. You eat unsweetened shredded coconut all day, holy moly, and you will get so many more metabolic benefits and health benefits than you would if you ate coconut oil because everything that is good about coconut oil, plus a whole lot more, in the whole coconut. Hopefully that is helpful. Please let me know if you have any follow-up questions.
Toby asks, does the 10 plus servings of nonstarchy vegetables negate the need for the occasional carb-ups we see in ketogenic diets? Toby, the carb-ups we see in ketogenic diets – there is not a huge amount of science supporting whether or not those are needed. If you’re exercising rigorously, carbing up can certainly be very, very useful, if you’re doing explosive athletics. SANE out of the box, the 10 plus servings of nonstarchy vegetables – to be very clear, SANE out of the box, and this actually relates to what we just talked about with butter and ghee, is not a ketogenic diet. It is not a low-carbohydrate diet. A low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet is defined by consuming total carbs, often, depending on who you ask. Sometimes it’s net carbs, sometimes it’s total carbs. The only difference is net carbs don’t count fiber. Fifty or fewer grams, and on certain more strict regimens like Phase I of Adkins, you’re looking at 20 fewer grams of net carbs per day, which 10 plus servings of nonstarchy vegetables can easily exceed that.
So SANE out of the box, for most people, pure super SANity is not low-carb, it is going to give you usually between 50-100 grams of total carbohydrate. So there is no need to carb up, ever, on a SANE lifestyle, if your goal is fat loss. If your goal is fat loss and metabolic healing, there is never, ever a need, when going SANE out of the box – for example, a low-carb diet would say, eat a bunch of butter. You have to eat a bunch of butter because you’re not eating any carbohydrates from anything else, ever.
There is super high-carb, there is super low-carb, and like most things in life, the long-term answer might be somewhere in the middle. That’s what the research shows and that’s what SANE does. So you’re exactly right, there is never a need to carb up artificially on a SANE lifestyle if your goal is long-term fat loss and health. Does that make sense? Please let me know if you have additional follow-up questions on that one.
Some questions that were emailed in, and I don’t mean physically mailed in. These calls, as I mentioned earlier, are recorded, so if you ever can’t make them, in the invitations you will always see a link where you can vote on times and you can send in questions beforehand, so please, if you can’t make a call, it’s all good, you can still ask your questions, just send them in via email in the link in the email that I send you to invite you to the session. I’m going to go through some of those here.
An individual wrote in and asked a question on the group coaching call from last month about smoothies and about drinking smoothies versus eating the vegetables, and they just wanted to clarify their position and just again. What is the difference between chewing vegetables versus drinking smoothies, cost benefit, and so forth?. I want to be really, really clear, because this individual is spot on. Whenever possible, us chewing our own food is a great idea. A blender is essentially a chewing machine. That’s what it does. It chews up the food for you so that you don’t have to sit there with a fork while you’re driving and try to eat two pounds worth of vegetables – probably not a good idea for you, anyone in the car, or anyone on the road.
But if you pre-chew it in a blender, which I know sounds delicious, you just drink it and you’ve got your vegetables. So there is definitely a lot of advantages to actually going through the process of chewing. There are a lot of advantages to that. Keep in mind that we’re always looking to do what works for us, so for people who travel a lot, smoothies are a saving grace. If possible try not to only drink smoothies for your nonstarchy vegetables. Chewing food is good, so please, whenever possible, do, definitely, actually, physically eat vegetables.
The act of chewing is helpful in terms of satiety, it also helps with digestion, it can also help to avoid any possible bloating or gas simply because it forces you to eat more slowly. You could theoretically drink a pound of vegetables very quickly, whereas physically eating them would take much longer, and the act of taking longer will help with digestion, and if you ever experience any sort of bloating or gas or any sort of digestive discomfort when eating your vegetables or protein, it’s likely because you are eating them too fast, or too many at once. So just slow down a little bit and maybe break them out across the day.
So, definitely a really good question there, and a really good distinction – we don’t want to avoid chewing, we just want to make sure – again, what are our goals? Chewing our food is important – very important. Getting 10 plus servings of nonstarchy vegetables per day is above it, from a long-term health perspective. So what we would so is, we would say, chewing is important, so I’m going to try to chew as many vegetables as I can, but if that doesn’t get me to 10, then I know I’ve got to do my smoothies, because this is a higher goal. I’m identifying my goals and I’m prioritizing my goals. Tying it back – oh yeah.
What, specifically, would you recommend as an optimal SANE program for a 70-year old female with metabolic syndrome who has about 50 pounds to lose? I would specifically recommend that you deeply immerse yourself in the step-by-step program within Ignite because I am almost certain that if you’ve spent 70 years on this earth, that this is the first time that you have attempted to take back control of your health. And I would also recommend that in addition to digging into the step-by-step program and committing to doing one lesson per day, that you commit to posting in the SANE coaching and support group once per day – questions, contributions, building up those social connections.
And I promise you – I know the answer that one would expect is, tell me specifically what to eat. I promise you that that is not the way you will get to long-term health and happiness. If it were, every single, do exactly this plan, that all of us have bought in the past would have worked, and we wouldn’t be on this call right now because to eat exactly this at exactly this time with this food list and this specific meal plan, if that worked, it would have already worked.
It doesn’t work for the same reason that we can’t memorize every possible combination of numbers. When we learn algebra we learn the underlying rules and principles, and when we learn the underlying rules and principles, we personally, no matter where we are, no matter who we’re with, no matter how old we are, no matter young we are, no matter how tired we are, no matter how much energy we have, no matter what pre-existing medical conditions we have, if we understand algebra, if we understand the baseline technical aspects, we can add any combination of numbers in any context for the rest of our lives, versus saying, someone give me a list of the combination of every possible series of numbers, which I know sounds crazy, but what about every possible combination of foods?
What if in the morning, or in the afternoon, or in the evening? Or what if I’m pre-diabetic or not pre-diabetic? Or what if I’m a man versus if I’m a woman? Or what if I don’t like the taste of chicken and that’s what’s in my meal plan? I promise you, the reason that this will work for you long-term, forever, is because we are not going to do you the disservice of just giving you a one size fits all. For example, and this is really important. This is so important. Honestly, for the individual who asked this question, it could save her life, and it could save yours.
The question was, what, specifically, would you recommend as an optimal SANE program for a 70-year-old female with metabolic syndrome and about 50 pounds to lose? The only person in the world who can recommend an optimal program for a 70-year-old female with metabolic syndrome and about 50 pounds to lose is nobody, because just knowing that your 70 years old, just knowing that you have metabolic syndrome, and just knowing that you have 50 pounds to lose, no one outside of you understands enough about you, about your tastes, about your preferences, about your life situation, do design the perfect lifestyle program for you in all contexts.
But, places like the SANE Ignite family, people like your SANE-certified coaches, other members of this community, can teach you, and it doesn’t take a long time. Give it an hour a day, five days per week. We spend four years getting a bachelor’s degree in college, and I don’t know how much money and how much time, and I don’t know how much benefit that gives a lot of people. I know a lot of people who are $100,000 in debt, and can’t get a job, but spent a whole lot of time and money on it. Give it an hour a day, five days per week, to learn the underlying principles. It’s going to fun, we’re going to support you every step of the way.
And this is the key. Think about it. If we could wave a magic wand, and if you could know the underlying nutrition and exercise information that is contained within your Ignite program, would you agree that you could then design the perfect eating and exercise routine for yourself, forever, in any context, ever? I think you would agree. If you would agree with that, think about how empowering that is.
If your goal, just this year – what if it had nothing to do with weight loss? What if it was, I want to educate myself, and I want to develop deep relationships within a supportive community so that after this year I am empowered to make every subsequent year of my life, the best year of my life? How crazy empowering is that? And how different is that from all the nonsense we’ve been told? We’ve been raised in a culture that says, “Just go to the next miracle guru who will tell us exactly what we need to do to make a million dollars. Go to this seminar, they’ll teach you how to make a million dollars. Now go to this seminar, they’ll teach you how to make a million dollars.”
Here’s a secret. If any human being could teach another human being how to make a million dollars, then every single person they ever taught that to would be a millionaire and that is never the case – ever, ever, ever. If there was a step-by-step program that could make every human being a millionaire, guess what? Every human being would be a millionaire because that wouldn’t be a secret for long. It would be shared really, really quickly. Penicillin isn’t a secret. Penicillin works. And when something works, the word gets out. It’s not a secret.
So what would I specifically recommend? I would specifically recommend that you give yourself permission to free yourself from looking to a guru to tell you exactly what to do, and rather, to understand how beautifully brilliant you are, and that if you give yourself the time – how much time and money have you spent on quick-fix programs that haven’t worked? What if you gave yourself just six months to deeply educate and empower yourself? How much of a difference could that make for the next six or sixty years of your life? Holy moly.
So what specifically, on the record, would Jonathan Bailor personally recommend for someone who is a 70-year-old female with metabolic syndrome and about 50 pounds to lose? I would specifically recommend treating yourself to understanding the misinformation that has been given to you for the past 40 years, and the correct information that will help you to live your absolute best life for the next 40 years. I cannot stress that any more heavily and I hope that comes across the way I intend it to, because honestly, it will save your life. I promise you, it can save your life. That was deep. Holy moly. I’m talking about saving people’s lives here. I’ve got to calm down.
Next question. Is grass-fed food created equally? Wal-Mart sells really cheap $5 a pound. I want to really metabolically heal myself. Could it be that I’m eating too much conventional meat? The difference between grass-fed meat and conventionally-fed meat is very important. Here’s why it is important. Cows are supposed to eat grass, crazy as that sounds, cows eat grass, that’s what they’re supposed to do. Now, you can feed cows corn and other nonsense, but it actually kills them, and it makes them very fat. Unfortunately, the same thing happens to people when you feed them a lot of corn, it makes them very fat and kills them, and that is unfortunately what we’re experiencing in America and in most of the Western world.
However, when you feed cows nonstarchy vegetables, AKA grass, they’re very healthy and lean. So the meat found in a grass-fed cow is just fundamentally different than the meat in a cow who is fed nonsense. If you are eating conventional meat it is critical that you eat lean cuts of conventional meat. The reason for this is that when you eat corn-fed beef there are hormones and toxins and all sorts of other stuff that is stored in the fat, and those cows are just much fatter and less healthy. Eating unhealthy animals is not good for our health. However, a lot of the things that make it unhealthy are stored in the fat. A lot of those toxins, hormones and chemicals are stored in the fat.
So if you’re eating conventional meat, not the end of the world, by any means, it’s just that you need to focus on getting very lean cuts of meat. So if you’re buying ground beef, for example, you want the leanest. I think it’s 93% lean, but that’s not even enough, you need to go 93% lean, you cook it, you brown it, you take a bunch of paper towels or something else, and you smash it down. You say, “93% lean, it’s super lean.” Yeah, when you soak half a roll of paper towels up with all that toxic corn-fed fat, you’ll see – not that lean. So you might even want to do ground turkey instead, ground conventional turkey, again, if we’re going ground meats, we need to go as lean as possible because some the things that make conventional meat a challenge are found in the fat.
Similarly, you won’t often hear people say, “Make sure you eat lean cuts of grass-fed beef.” The reason for that is, grass-fed beef is just lean. Cows that eat vegetables are very lean, so grass-fed beef, by definition, is lean, and the fat that you do find in grass-fed beef is a much different type of fat, compositionally. For example, there is a higher level of omega 3, therapeutic fats, in grass-fed beef than in corn-fed beef. You don’t have to eat grass-fed beef. Grass-fed is better for you and grass-fed beef is intrinsically very lean because the cows are very healthy and they are fed vegetables versus corn-fed cows which are very unhealthy because they are fed starch. If you do eat conventional beef and conventional meat, which I do, just eat it the leanest way possible.
The next question that was written in has to do with Ezekiel bread. Any form of bread that is based in wheat or any kind of starch I’m not a huge fan of. There are so many nonstarch-based flours that we can enjoy nowadays. There is almond flour, there is coconut flour. Of course, there are forms of wheat that are better than other forms of wheat. Biblical Einkorn wheat is radically better for you than current genetically modified wheat, but the harder a bread that is wheat-based tries to be healthy, that should just set off alarm bells in your brain. It is like a person who has sunglasses on and all these gold chains, like, “Woo, look how cool I am!” The harder someone tries to look cool, oftentimes, the less cool they are.
So if this bread is like, “Look, it’s made with 12 grains!” If all 12 of those grains aren’t good for you, it doesn’t matter. “Six different forms of sugar are used in this cereal!” I’m not a fan of Ezekiel bread. I would strongly recommend that if you’re going to eat any form of bread, just make your own, or there are places online that sell bread that is made with coconut flour, almond flour, or other nonwheat or starch-based sources. They are delicious and actually way more filling and way better for your hormones. Extremely, extremely important.
Sally posted a question here live. “Thank you for that info. I’m 71 and have 100 pounds to lose. I’m going on a 30-day challenge of education of the steps, Calorie Myth and other info, plus SANE info.” Sally, I am so happy to hear that, because really, that is the difference. I think you saw this in the welcome tour as soon as you joined the Ignite family. Please write this down. I stake my reputation, I stake the entire SANE business on the following statement, because it backs everything we do. You will be happy and healthy and slim, if that’s one of your goals, to the extent that you take a long-term education first-based approach versus a short-term gimmick-based approach. One more time. You will be happy, healthy and slim to the extent that you give yourself permission to take a long-term, evidence-based education approach versus a short-term quick-fix, gimmick-based approach. So thank you, Sally. That’s awesome.
Next question. “Is there a place we could order wheat from somewhere for kids and we could get the nice biblical middle-eastern wheat?” A little bit of context here. Some people say, “Jonathan, I’ve heard you say, just eat like Grandma ate and you’ll be so much healthier. Well, my grandmother baked bread, and bread has existed for hundreds of years, so if you’re saying, just do what we did before the obesity epidemic and we won’t have an obesity epidemic, then what’s the deal with bread? Jonathan, are you contradicting yourself?” This is an excellent question.
Two very important distinctions. One is, the bread that even our grandmothers ate – totally different, literally a different species – literally a different species of wheat than what we’re eating today. The wheat we’re eating today is called Dwarf Mutant wheat and it has 42 chromosomes. To put that in perspective, the wheat that is referred to in the Bible is called Einkorn wheat and it has 13 chromosomes. That’s how different it is. Totally different things.
So the first important thing to know is the bread that Grandma ate is not the bread that is sold at grocery stores. That’s the first thing to understand. Very important. So thank you for asking this question. The second really important thing to understand is that there is a huge difference between if we eat a certain way from birth, throughout our life, that way of eating can – let me phrase this differently. Someone who eats Biblical Einkorn wheat and a super-SANE lifestyle from the day they are born until the day they turn 100 will be wonderfully healthy. That is a very different situation than to say, a seven-year-old child who is eating a lot of sugar, processed modern foods, and Einkorn wheat – it’s just not the same thing.
It’s also very different if we have a 65-year-old diabetic person – a 65-year-old diabetic person didn’t exist in biblical times. I’m not saying people didn’t live until they were 65 – people did. But type 2 diabetes was almost unheard of, even a 100 years ago. The recorded rate of type 2, which is the type that we can avoid, the recorded rate of type 2 diabetes just 100 years ago was one in every 4000 people. Today, one in four of us are diabetic or pre-diabetic. So the way we need to eat to reverse health problems is very different than the way we would need to eat if we ate that way, and were super healthy, for our entire life. Does that makes sense?
Think about it like, if you have the flu – the analogy I talked about a lot last week – if you have the flu, what you need to do to get better, to heal yourself, is more than you need to do to just not get the flu. The act of healing requires more than the act of maintaining. So Einkorn – where can I get biblical wheat? I think they sell it online. I think if you just search for Einkorn wheat, for example, you could buy it online, you could buy bread made of Einkorn wheat.
I strongly, though, especially for the kids – holy moly – just make the bread with almond flour. It’s so much more nutritionally dense, it’s so much more hormonally helpful. And if you need energy, there is no easier way to get energy, there is no more cost-effective, healthy way to get energy, than whole food fats like nuts and seeds. This is why I never recommend – don’t just eat nuts by themselves, because you can eat 1000 calories of macadamia nuts like that. So, if you ever just need to get energy into your kids use nut flours, nut butters, nuts – again raw nuts, remember, not cooked nuts, but raw nuts – a great way to go. Hopefully, that is helpful.
There is a question here, and also a little bonus I had – I want to do something special this week for this live coaching session because of the technical problems we had on the last one, and it’s been a rocky week in the support group, and please, jump into the coaching and support group, it is so important. Think about a common mindset I know a lot of people have because of all the people that I have had the great blessing to work with over the past decade, is the thought, “What’s different this time? I’ve tried so many different things. What’s different?”
I promise you – we talk about a lot of differences, but another one of the key differences – strong, SANE, social bonds, is so important. Trying to make a huge change in your life alone – this is science – the more people you involve who are supportive, in any lifestyle change you’re trying to make, there is a direct relationship. The stronger your social support, the more likely you are to be successful over time with anything – playing the piano, becoming a better bridge player, whatever.
Social support – good social support, not nonsense, unsupport from certain family members which I know some of us definitely have to deal with – is really important. So make sure you’re getting that social support and your coaching and support group – holy moly – you’re not going to find a more loving, caring and SANE place than that. So if you’re not in there, please pop in there, just please say, “Hey.” After the call tonight let us know what you liked about the call, what we could do better, what you want us to cover next time, all that kind of good stuff.
A question was written in here, what are the most common mistakes people make when they are stuck on a plateau and not losing weight? The number one mistake people make is to think that weight loss is linear. It is not. So much of life isn’t linear. We want to think that it’s linear. For example, I go to work, I get a paycheck every two weeks, the paycheck is the same, I get 3% raises every year, it’s linear, it’s predictable. I go to school, there is first grade, second grade, it’s linear, it’s predictable. But not everything in life is linear and predictable. I drive, I don’t get in a car accident today, I drive, I don’t get in a car accident tomorrow. That means nothing about your likelihood of getting in a car accident the third day. That’s not a linear thing. That’s not the way life works.
Weight loss is not linear. If you’re trying to reverse diabetes, you won’t see your A1C levels drops by a certain amount every day that same amount. That’s not how it works – ever, ever, ever. So if your expectation is that is how it works, it should be a linear, smooth progression, you’re going to get disappointed because you’re going to say, I’m at a plateau. But you might not be at a plateau. What you might be at is, your body is not going linearly.
A great example of this is my brother. We sometimes talk about this as the delayed waterfall effect. My brother, when we first started this a while ago, went SANE. My brother is 10 years older than I am. He was going through some things, he put on some weight. He was SANE for two months. He said, “Jonathan, I’ve got to tell you, buddy, nothing’s happening, pal. I don’t know what’s going on.” Two weeks later he calls me on the phone. He said, “Jonathan, I lost seven pounds last week.” He changed nothing. And he started losing fat so rapidly that his girlfriend told him to stop because she didn’t like the way he looked anymore because he went from something like 215 down to 190 without changing anything in three weeks and he was falling below 190 and she said, “You’re too skinny. Stop.”
How is that possible? The way that is possible is, think about it again like the flu, or like any other disease state, because again, we’re talking about a disease state in our brain, our hormones and our digestive system. You have a fever. You don’t often see that fever go down just a little bit, a little bit more, a little bit more, every two minutes the fever decreases. Eventually your body reaches a certain threshold and boom! You start feeling better. The same thing with the healing of a bone, or healing of anything else. It’s not linear. What you might be perceiving as a plateau is just your body needing a little bit of extra time to overcome that next hurdle.
So please, first understand that weight loss biology, in general, is not linear. The number one mistake people make is thinking they’re on a plateau when they’re actually not, and if they would just stay the course, and not stress themselves out, because here’s another challenge people have when they think they’re on a plateau. They think they’re on a plateau, so they get stressed, and because they get stressed, their sleep suffers, their cortisol levels rise. That causes them to have the hormonal dysregulation we’re trying to reverse, so their belief that they’re at a plateau actually causes metabolic changes which prevent them from losing fat.
It’s called paradoxical intention, or ironic cognitive process, are the technical terms for this. It’s when you try to fall asleep – try to fall asleep, try to fall asleep – the harder you try to fall asleep, the less likely you are to fall asleep. So if you believe that weight loss should be linear, and if you believe that you’re at a plateau, and you stress about it, it will actually cause you to be on a plateau. Whereas if you take a long-term mindset, that can be really helpful.
Now, you might be at a plateau. The key things to do are just to look at, not only where can I improve my SANity in terms of, am I at my double-digit servings of nonstarchy vegetables? Am I eating the protein recommendations? Am I getting the whole food fats in? Look at how many whole food fats you’re eating. Depending on how much fat you have to lose, it’s easy to overdo it on whole food fats, sometimes, so you want to look at that.
But more importantly, there are a couple of other areas that are super important – stress, sleep, social support, exercise, physical movement, medications. There is not much you can do about medications because if you need to be on medication, you need to be on medication. Period. But if you are am 8 out of 10 with your SANE eating, but a 2 out of 10 with your sleep, it may be way better to get your sleep up to 5 out of 10 than it would be to try to get your SANE eating from an 8 to 9. Just make sure you’re looking at it holistically.
Another big thing is cravings. I know there is all this talk of cheat days. That is nonsense. Is it okay to cheat? If you love the way you’re eating, and if it’s something you’re doing, the concept of cheating is reinforcing that this is something crazy and unnatural, that is so unbearable that you have to cheat on it, I would love for our relationship with food to be like our relationship with a loving partner or spouse. Is it okay to cheat on your spouse? Well, no, and hopefully you would never want to cheat on your spouse, because if that relationship is solid, there would never be a desire to cheat on it.
If our relationship with food is SANE and solid and loving and abundant, then there is no need for cheat days. But we do sometimes get these cravings and the best thing I can recommend there is to have SANE solutions – holy moly, that’s the name of the company. Look how that worked out there, just boom! Name drop, right there – SANE solutions for cravings. Cravings for chocolate, of course, all the SANE desserts you can make on the website are wonderful. Salty treats, pickles, olives, things along those lines. There are whole sections of the step-by-step program that talk about different ways to address cravings.
Of course, we do have super foods which are specifically designed to help with cravings. For example, the cravings-killer bar is designed with specific amino acids and specific substances which target specific areas in your brain that help to get rid of cravings. Also, crunchy cravings – I know salty/crunch, is sometimes the hardest thing to address while going SANE. We’ve been working on this for a really, really long time, and it’s not publicly available yet, but the special thing that I want to do for everyone here, and again, you don’t ever have to buy any kind of SANE food or any kind of SANE anything to be SANE. The reason we provide these things is because nobody else does, and we want to provide you with an option if it’s something you’re interested in.
Something that I enjoy every single day is our SANE cravings-killer bake-and-crisps. They are a wonderful whole food which is not publicly available yet because we’re working on a bunch of different stuff involving them. But I want to provide you with early access to them, as well as a 10% off coupon should you want to try them, just for being here today, the coupon is only good this week. These are the number one thing I use when I’m craving something salty. I’m going to try to post this here. That’s the page you can go to check these out, and then here’s the code you can use if you want to check them out and try them.
Leann, interestingly enough, says the bar doesn’t taste very good. Leann, that’s a great topic to bring up. The bar – we can talk about this more later, but oftentimes, the craving – I get we’ve all had the experience where we crave something, we eat something that is what’s called hyperpalatable, and it makes the craving worse. It’s like giving an alcoholic a little bit of alcohol. So the cravings-killer bars – we’re actually working on another version of them called the starter version, which is going to have a different taste. The less sensitive to sugar we are – for example, there are people who don’t like dark chocolate, at all. If you’ve ever had dark, dark chocolate – 85% cacao chocolate – some people think it tastes terrible, some people think it tastes delicious. It’s significantly less sweet than milk chocolate. It is an acquired taste.
Whether or not something tastes good or bad is really a function of our taste buds, and so I definitely know that the cravings-killer bar is not loved by everyone, and some of that has to do with the fact that our taste buds have desensitized to sweetness. So because of that, we are going to be releasing what is called the starter cravings-killer bar, which is going to be more appropriate as people are just getting started, but I promise you, when your taste buds readjust – you can talk about this in the support group, the SANE-certified coaches and other members of the community – things like broccoli that taste terrible, when your taste changes, start to taste good. Think about beer and wine. The first time almost anyone drinks beer they think it tastes horrible and bitter. The beer market is doing just fine. So sometimes we have to get used to certain tastes.
I’ve kind of gone off track a little bit, but one of the mistakes that people make when they’re on plateaus is, they have cravings, and they might indulge those cravings in things that actually make those cravings worse. Eating one Pringle, for me at least, and the science supports, doesn’t make me crave Pringles less, it makes me crave Pringles more. So when we have a craving for chocolate, we have peer reviewed research that shows the ingredients found in your cravings-killer bars, while they don’t taste like a Snickers bar because they’re not supposed to, will help, over time, make those cravings go away, through specific amino acids and through specific pathways in your brain.
Again, that’s a huge conversation about goals that we’re out of time for, but we should talk about that in the next session, because it’s so interesting. Is the goal of this to be delicious immediately, or is the goal of this to make my craving go away? We might say, “Well, doesn’t is have to be delicious in order to make my craving go away?” Well, what if it didn’t? What if it didn’t have to be delicious, but still made my craving go away? And what if, as time went on, it actually did become delicious and my cravings went away? That’s a whole other topic for a whole other day. But hopefully everyone was able to access those links, and please do check those out if you want. I think they’re delicious. I like them. They’re not publicly available. You can get 10% off, you can subscribe and save, it’s all good.
But hey, I really appreciate everyone’s questions this week because we went into some deep stuff this week, and I think we have some really concrete action items to take away. And I want to close just highlighting how proud I am. We’re talking about mindset, we’re talking about goals, we’re talking about educating ourselves. We’re talking about a long-term mindset. We’ve been together on this call for 92 minutes. Depending on where you are in the world, it’s evening, it’s morning, this is an example of your commitment to the long-term. I didn’t tell you, “Hey, tomorrow I want you to do this at 8:00 a.m. and I want you to do this at 3:00 p.m.” No, no, no. We went deep, we educated ourselves, we empowered ourselves. We treated ourselves like adults. We didn’t treat ourselves like children.
When people come at you and they say, “Do exactly this, at exactly this time,” at the end of the day, they’re treating you like a child, and you deserve better than that. You are a brilliant, intelligent adult who has done an amazing amount of amazing things in your life. So thank you for giving me and all your SANE-certified coaches the opportunity to celebrate that and to help you continue that legacy of awesomeness by really understanding these things, and taking them into the real world with a long-term SANE approach.
Holy moly. Thank you, this has been a rockin’ session and, again, this is going to post to the website in the next 72 hours. We will be back next week. Thank you again, so much, and jump into the SANE support group, if not tonight, tomorrow. Let us know how it went, let us know how you’re doing, and thank you again. Have a great night, okay? See you later.