This week we have the pleasure of hearing from Tim Caulfield. In his own words:
“Timothy Caulfield is a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health as well as research director of the Health Law and Science Policy Group at the University of Alberta. In recent years he has led and collaborated on a number of research projects having to do with the social challenges associated with genomic technologies, stem cell research, and the application of ethics in health sciences. He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He has also been involved with a number of national and international policy and research ethics committees, including Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee, Genome Canada’s Science Advisory Committee, and the Federal Panel on Research Ethics.
Caulfield is a frequent speaker at academic and public gatherings. He contributes often to popular media. He lives and works out vigorously and often in Edmonton.”
The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort
Jonathan: Hey, everyone, Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus Smarter Science of Slim Podcast. Folks, I’ve got to tell you, I am a little worried about this introduction because I am afraid I am going to babble, but I have to because I am excited.
The first thing I am going to say is when I was reading the book written by today’s guest, I was on an airplane. I swear that the people behind me, next to me and in front of me thought I had Tourette’s, because every five minutes I would be like, “Yes, that’s so… mmm, yes!” I was just so happy with what I was reading and just the sentiment of the book and the approach taken. We have a guest who I’m very excited to bring to you. He is an author and academic scholar; he is the Chair of Health and Law Policy of Canadian Research Center.
He is the Health Senior Scholar at the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research. He’s a Professor of Faculty in Law at the School of Public Health there. He is a Research Director for the Health Law and Science Policy Group. He’s won all sorts of academic awards, and you can tell that in his book The Cure for Everything that today’s guest, Timothy Caulfield, really takes a step back from the hype and the gimmicks and just says, What does the data say? When you just look at the data, you are pretty surprised with what you find. So you know he has a near-and-dear place to my heart. Timothy, welcome the show.
Timothy: Thank you. Thanks for that great introduction. Wow.
Jonathan: That was little long. I’m like, Oh, my god, that was a long introduction. I just had to say it, Timothy, because when I was reading your book, even before you get into your actual research, the thing that inspired you to write this book, I thought was so great. Can you talk about that a little bit?
Timothy: For sure. My whole life, I have been a fitness geek, so I have always been into exercise and had sort of a personal interest in the topic. In addition to that, sort of my day job, in my professional job, I really view it as sort of aggregating what the evidence says. I go to all these science meetings and I read all this literature. And I kind of view my job as, What does the literature say and how is that relevant to policy? I thought if I could have married the two, it would be a very interesting book.
To be honest with you, at first it wasn’t going to be a book aimed at the general public. But the more I got into it, the more I thought, This is something that might be good for the general public. As you know, I tried to have a lot of fun with it involving myself and my family.
The other aspect to the book, it really is a love letter to the science, as you know. I wanted to look at… this is something that we do a lot of research on. I wanted to look at how all the forces in society twist what we hear about health and fitness. That was also a very important element that I wanted to be a constant theme throughout the book. All those things came together and The Cure for Everything was the result.
Jonathan: Tim, you have something on your Amazon page, which… literally, everyone go as you are listening to this, go to Amazon.com and type in Cure for Everything and check out Tim’s book because it’s fabulous. You write… I just wanted get this printed on a t-shirt. “Science is everywhere but what passes through most people’s field of vision is often wrong, hyped or twisted by an ideological or commercial agenda. Without good scientific data, bad decisions are made.” How close are we to getting the science to the surface and starting to combat what is turning into not only a health but a financial crisis with this bad information?
Timothy: Well, as you probably know, it’s sort of a good and bad news story right now. The good news is I think that people have more access to good health information than ever before. You can go to the Cochrane Collaboration website and get this great synthesis of data, of science on health. There are all these other emerging websites that are independent, academic, that try to synthesize the science and present it in an objective manner.
I think that’s fantastic news. I can remember not that long ago where it was difficult to find that kind of stuff. You had the library, or it was even difficult to pull it off the web. Now, everyone has access to that. That’s fantastic news. The bad news, of course, is there also is a whole bunch of crap on the internet. It’s often difficult to kind of figure out which is which. That’s part of the bad news. If you believe something, let’s say you believe in homeopathy, or if you believe in detoxing and cleanses, you can find pseudoscientific websites that look legit that will back that up. That’s kind of a bad news story.
The other one, and you touched on it in that quote there, is I think more than ever before, scientists are under pressure to commercialize their work. Increasingly, science is viewed as an important part of our economy. Academic research is an important part of our economy. That’s all great, but it also makes it more difficult to find data that isn’t kind of tainted by that commercial spin.
There’s lots of research out there that tells the commercial interests that, Hey, look, I know we’ve got to partner with industry to make a lot of things happen. But there is lots of evidence that says that partnerships with industry and industry involvement does skew the data. We just have to be cognizant of that as we look at the literature as it emerges.
Jonathan: Timothy, the thing that you call out in your book, which is true but we continue to struggle to accept, is that there are no quick fixes. It is something that’s going to take sustained effort. What you also notice is that some of the ways we’ve been told to sustain effort, for example, exercising for hours and hours and hours to lose weight, is not necessary. In fact, the data suggests that it’s not really a quick fix but there are much more effective approaches we can take. How do we bridge the gap between those two worlds?
Timothy: I know that you are very interested in this yourself, Jonathan. There are all these myths about things that you can do to lose weight. Of course, it’s a massive industry so you’ve got to keep coming up with a new myth to market some kind of new product or approach. The exercise thing is fascinating, because the data tells us – and I think it’s becoming pretty consistent – that you can’t lose weight through exercise alone. Of course, that almost always how exercise is marketed or presented to the public. It’s an important way to lose weight. Yes, there is data that exercise is important to weight maintenance; and whether that’s a correlation finding or actual causative finding, I think is unclear.
I think what we need to do is just strip all this away. This is part of the core of the book, strip all of it away. What are the things, the simple things, that we need to do to stay healthy? It’s funny when I told a lot of people about my book when I was writing it, they were saying, Oh, it sounds so depressing; you are saying nothing works. On the contrary, I kind of think it’s liberating because it kind of says ignore all that hype, ignore all those kinds of gimmicks, and just focus on what we know does work. It’s not necessarily easy but it does work.
Jonathan: It’s not necessarily easy, but it is simple. Even in your book, you say there are five simple, scientifically-sound steps. That is that distinction we try to drive home here at the Smarter Science of Slim, is that when you actually do look at the science, it’s simple. It’s incredibly simple. It may not be easy, but it is incredibly simple.
I so agree with you that the… when we have an information asymmetry, you are pretty much done for. Unless you can go to medical school or unless you can go learn that information, you are pretty much done for. If it’s simple, if it’s not an information barrier, it’s just an execution barrier, the power is really in your hands, isn’t it?
Timothy: I think you are right. I think that… and I have no data to back this up so I’m being a hypocrite here. I am going to speculate. I kind of think that the market and all the industries that want to sell this kind of stuff benefit from that kind of noise, the confusion out there. Because it makes it easier for them to say, Okay, this is the simple answer, or, This is the simple answer, when, of course, they are just gimmicks.
There have been a couple of great studies, one done here in Canada by Arya Sharma, who is a colleague right here at the U of A, and there was another one done in the U.S. These are big, huge surveys that asked the public how confused they are about health and fitness. No surprise, like over 90% of everyone said, Look, I am totally confused; I have no idea what I should be eating, I have no idea how I should be exercising.
That is astounding when you think about how often those simple messages have been around. It’s astounding when people are still confused. Again, I expect that part of that is because the market benefits from that confusion.
Jonathan: Tim, I have a definitely pretty high level of empathy for the confusion because I think everyone understands that they need to do something different. The challenge is you’ve got the government and major industry just saying, Take whatever you are eating, just eat less of it, and go jog. And you have other people saying, Oh, well, no, jogging is terrible for you and actually, you can eat more if you just eat these other things.
It definitely does seem like there is a paradigm shift that needs to take place, which is this approach of, Do you just take the exercise routine you are currently doing and do more of it and take the diet you are currently eating and just eat less of it? Or should you try to eat different foods and do different forms of exercise? Until we can agree on that, I think the confusion will remain. What do you think?
Timothy: Yes. Actually, I’m curious about your opinion on this. I actually think that a lot of the debate that we see – and let’s be honest, there is debate in the academic literature about a lot of things, ongoing debates about the value of different food groups and et cetera. But I think a lot of those debates are really at the margins, they are at the fringe.
At the core, we still know what you are supposed to do. We still know that… I always joke when I give talks on this. Look, if we can get the population, if we can get North America to eat 50% fruits and vegetables, just do that, and know how many calories they are supposed to eat in a day, if we just did those two things, it would be sea change. It would be a radical sea change.
There’s other things that need to happen, but if we just did that which is at the core, that would be fantastic, and got people doing a little bit of real exercise on a regular basis. Those things would just be radical changes. Then we could worry about how much carbohydrates you’re supposed to be eating versus protein and what specific kind of exercise you should be doing. As you know, I am a big fan of intervals and weight training. But we can debate whether that’s the optimum way to do it. If we just had those kind of basic changes and then not worry about the details until we have made that kind of, on a population level, made significant change at the core, I think we would be way better off.
Jonathan: I definitely agree with you that most of the disagreement is on that fringe. Another way to state what you just said is these edible products. Again, we all know on some level that this packaged nonfood is poisonous. That is very non-ambiguous in the scientific literature. But most of us don’t get our information from the scientific literature. Where did I learn about the food-guide pyramid? I learned about the food-guide pyramid… well, one, the food-guide pyramid is put out by a government agency and, two, it’s on the back of cereal boxes.
Of course cereal boxes are going to tell me that sugars and starches fit at the base of my pyramid. Maybe that’s also the source of the confusion, is if you are looking at the scientific literature, the 80%, maybe even the 90% is extremely clear and is agreed upon. But if you look up on the commercial realm, well, that’s like what you said; there is so much money to be made on confusing people. In fact, if they are not confused, you lose billions of dollars.
Timothy: That’s right. And look at the industries that have emerged, the organic food industry. Yes, there is some debate about the pesticide thing. But if you are not eating enough fruits and vegetables, you shouldn’t be worrying about the organic food. The GMO debate, another interesting one.
What I found fascinating, Jonathan, recently I was doing some work on the whole gluten-wheat thing. When you wade into the… I got on the internet and I started researching this. It was incredibly difficult to find a clear, independent assessment of that debate. I think I did distill the data eventually. Here I am, kind of an expert on gathering this information and still I struggled to get sort of good, independent sources of information on that debate, which as you know has become a big part of the diet discussion right now in North America.
Jonathan: Tim, it certainly is a challenge to get clear information, but the clear information does exist in the scientific community. Have you had success… you mentioned, for example, a few quick steps folks could take. I do something similar when I speak with people and they are asking me these questions about organic, non-organic, this, that, blah to blah. My recommendation to them is until you can have 21 days where you eat a plethora of non-starchy vegetables – and my recommendation is a bit over the top, I say 10-plus servings of non-starchy vegetables per day; and until you can avoid added sweeteners for that same period of time; until you can do those two things for 21 days straight, I would highly recommend not worrying about anything else. Because until you can get those two things right, they are just distractions. Are we wired to crave distractions? Because it seems like it’s so easy and almost enjoyable to pick out these little things and focus on them rather than focusing on these core big things.
Timothy: That’s an interesting question. There has been some… and you’re probably aware of this recent data about how much change we should invite people to do. I think the old conventional wisdom was don’t tell people to do too much at once. You don’t say, Okay, change your diet, start exercising, and of course you’ve got to quit smoking, drink in moderation.
Tell them to fix a couple of things first, and then move on to more details. There’s a recent study that I saw that suggests, Look, if you give people the whole plate, say, Look, you’ve got to do all these things, there are not that many, really. If you do these four or five things and then maybe start with one, over the long term, people will make those changes. Of course, it’s difficult. You have to have constant support.
Creating meaningful behavior change, as you know, Jonathan, is very, very difficult. I actually think that’s where a lot of the future research needs to be focused, on how can we make meaningful, sustainable behavior change. It’s absolutely clear, we know this from probably a century of research and anecdotal reports, that these gimmicks don’t work. They come and they go. You know, eat protein diets, all these things, they come and they go. We know that. People never sustain it, they always drift back to their old habits. I think that our future research, a lot of the concentration should be on how do we create meaningful behavior change.
Jonathan: I am so encouraged, Timothy. When I see people, when we talk about doing research…. because research from other arenas and researchers from other arenas cross-pollinating seems so important. Let me give you one example. You talked about the distinction between telling people to make these small changes versus telling people to make massive changes. If you look at an area that has successfully caused people to make massive change; in the dietary arena, if you look at, for example, veganism or vegetarianism, I don’t know for sure, but it is my experience that when someone becomes a vegan or a vegetarian, they don’t do that gradually.
They don’t gradually eliminate meat from their diet. They have an experience and they say, I am not going to eat meat anymore, almost like it is – and this is another arena that’s fascinating – religion. I don’t know if most people gradually convert to a religion. It seems like there is a moment in which their identity says, I am this now. But I don’t know. There also seems to be evidence for just take one step every day and you gradually change. What’s your thought on that seeming paradox?
Timothy: I think a lot of it goes to motivation and why people are doing it. Again, I’m curious what you think on this, Jonathan. A lot of the research says that, particularly for people under 40, people exercise and they diet for one primary reason, and that’s aesthetics. They want to look good.
So if that’s the goal, you are doomed to failure. You should be doing these things because it’s healthy. Of course, the ironic thing is if you do it over a sustained period of time, the aesthetic change occurs, too. But if you are doing it short term for aesthetic change, you are going to fail.
Again, I don’t have a lot of data on this, and there is some research – in fact, a researcher here at the University of Alberta has looked at this – that the reason people stop is because they don’t see the aesthetic change. I wonder if we could somehow change the mindset – and this is a big challenge – to why people are adopting these lifestyle changes, whether it’s for health, for energy level, for just how they feel, perhaps that will allow that kind of larger change to occur more quickly. Again, speculating, and perhaps an interesting area for future research.
Jonathan: I completely agree, Timothy. There seems to be so much debate about the what, the what we should be doing, when that’s actually pretty clear in the science. The why, that is the interesting one, right? Because if the why, the motivation, is this flaccid make-number-on-scale change, it’s not noble. I’m going to get a little esoteric here. I think, I believe – and I don’t have data to support this – but I believe that most people are motivated to make a difference or to do something of meaning to have meaning in one’s life. These aesthetic, external things, that’s not meaningful. That’s why we are not really dialed into it.
Look at, for example, a vegetarian or a vegan. They are not doing that because they want to look better. They are doing it because they feel a moral commitment to eating that way. And because of that, it’s not hard for them. In fact, they celebrate the fact that they are not going to eat that delicious steak which you or I might look at and be like, Oh my god! How can you derive pleasure from not eating this thing when I derive so much pleasure from eating it?
So if we can start to think about why. I get so crazed when I learn about what the food industry is doing and the corruption there. Because if we want to get passionate about something, having big organizations manipulate you through marketing, much like they did to smoking, that seems like something we could all rally around and say, If a giant industrial complex had tinkered with it in an effort to change the way our brain perceives food, yeah, let’s not do that anymore.
Timothy: Very interesting concepts, right, this whole idea. I’m actually involved in a Ph.D. committee for a student that is looking up why people become vegetarians or vegans. It goes at exactly what you’re saying, Jonathan. And they do it for ideological reasons. They make this massive lifestyle change that is often very difficult to make in a family setting or perhaps in a work setting. It takes real effort, more effort than what you or I are suggesting, right, with just eating a more healthy light diet.
But still they still make that change. Whether it is sustained or not is, perhaps, beside the point; they make the big change for reasons other than sexy abs. It’s a very interesting idea. I also find that I do sympathize with the public around this whole sexy-ab issue. I’m an incredibly vain individual. I can understand that. We’re bombarded with the images constantly of why we should be working out, and this is going to be the results, this whole myth of body sculpting and the myth of toning and all of those kinds of things.
That industry benefits greatly because if you fail, it’s not their fault. It’s your fault. It’s almost like the perfect industry to be in, because you can make these promises and show these anecdotal examples of success, show these testimonials from celebrities. They’ve all succeeded on this plan, but if you fail, it’s your fault. I do sympathize with the general public because that messaging is so powerful, it’s everywhere, and it’s been around for a really long time.
Jonathan: I am encouraged, Timothy, because I know you spend quite a bit of time just perusing around on the internet. There does seem to be counterculture. Every time this is popular, then not-this becomes popular five years later. The Just Eat Food movement – I’m curious what you see in Canada, but in the States, at least on the coasts – seems to really be gaining some momentum where it’s like, Just eat food. If you just do that, you’re 80% of the way there.
Timothy: I agree with you. It is gaining momentum, I think, in Canada, this idea of just keeping it simple. I’m optimistic. Of course, on the other side of it, you look at the stats around obesity, et cetera, there are some success stories here and there, there are a few success stories emerging. But you look at the stats on obesity and you look at the stats on what people are eating, and the stats on – you know this, too – the stats of exercising, just grim, right? It’s just incredible how people don’t work out. I also think that’s going to require a shift in thinking. It ties into, perhaps, what we were talking about before.
If people are exercising for the purposes of aesthetics, perhaps it’s viewed as an indulgence and something that shouldn’t be high on the priority list. If it is viewed as something that is absolutely essential to who you are in your health and the health of your family, perhaps it will move up the priority chain.
I’m like you, I’m sure. Our whole family makes exercise an absolute priority. We even tell that to our kids around homework; we try to put it at the same level. It’s just a priority and something that should be part of your lifestyle. It’s tough to do, we’re all so busy, but I think that’s how it has to be framed.
Jonathan: It’s certainly a difficult message to communicate in the sense, Timothy, that I’ve… because you do this well in your book where you say, on one hand, exercise is horribly ineffective, and then you say exercise is absolutely critical. The reason is you’re saying that it’s horribly ineffective at these aesthetic goals, but it’s absolutely critical to health.
Timothy: That’s right.
Jonathan: Those are different things, and that’s very important to note. In fact, the good news, though, is the fact that you can be aesthetically beautiful and horribly unhealthy, but it’s difficult to be very healthy and not aesthetically beautiful.
Timothy: I think that over the long term, that’s the reality. The thing is it’s got to be a lifestyle. There are no quick fixes. It has to be a lifestyle. The other thing I am really encouraged about, Jonathan, is more and more fitness research is coming out, good fitness research. A lot of the data… I don’t know if you noticed this trend, too. A lot of the data in the early days was very small studies, the end was really small. Now we’re starting to see bigger studies on fitness. And without exception, without exception, the benefits just keep accruing.
There are more and more benefits associated with physical activity. The other thing that I’m a big fan of – and maybe there’s a little bit of controversy in the literature about this – is doing exercise with a degree of intensity. There’s this whole moderation push. You know, if you just get out there and work out. I can understand why people push that or policymakers push that; they just want to get people moving at some degree. I do think we need to have a little bit of vigorous exercise in our life. That’s a message that is often lost, too, I think out there in the public sphere.
Jonathan: Not only is it lost, it might get conflated with the idea that intense exercise has to be dangerous or extreme exercise. Because there’s certainly no shortage of infomercials talking about this extreme, crazy workout you can do in your living room. But if you’re anyone other than a 22-year-old CrossFitter, the idea of doing something like that, I mean, you will hurt yourself. Also, there’s that conflation between crazy exercise and just exercise with a bit more safe intensity.
Timothy: Absolutely. I always say, Look, the great thing about intensity is that it’s relative. If you were just getting started working out, intensity might be walking one block at an easy pace and then walking the next block really hard. That might be your intensity. It can be fun, too. It doesn’t have to be – you just pointed out how it can be this miserable experience where it’s like you’re at some kind of boot camp or something. It can be fun, right? I love it, obviously.
That’s the other interesting thing is, a colleague of mine always points this out, you know, Hey, Tim, not everyone likes working out. There’s a lot of variation between how the public views exercise. I think people need to find something they love, they enjoy, and just embrace it and make it part of their lifestyle.
Jonathan: Timothy, while we’re talking about exercise, I had to mention this to you just on a personal level. Because again, I am just a personal fan of your book. Folks, again, the name of the book is The Cure for Everything, subtitled, Untangling Twisted Messages About Health, Fitness and Happiness. Wonderful book, check it out. I’m including – hopefully you don’t mind – two quotes from your book in my upcoming book. I wanted to share them, because these are two quotes that just… they ring up so much truth, and they made me smile so big. I knew my listenership would appreciate them. Do you mind if I share them?
Timothy: No, no. Please go ahead. I love it.
Jonathan: Okay. The first one is you’re actually quoting a woman, Kim… is it Raine?
Timothy: Yes, Kim Raine, a good friend of mine.
Jonathan: Yes. So she says, “I’ve run 18 marathons and put one pound on for each one. Eighteen marathons and 18 pounds heavier. It’s so maddening.” Can you talk about that a little bit?
Timothy: What a great story. Kim, she’s a good marathoner. She’s a 3:30 marathoner. She’s like the real deal. Yeah, so she was talking… that is all about, you know, it’s very difficult to lose weight through exercise alone. She lives life large, right? And she found that she would just eat more when she was working out. I can say that I know Kim is looking trim and fit; she looks fantastic. But it’s a really good example of how it’s difficult to lose weight through exercise alone. It’s particularly difficult, the data tells us, for women.
Again, there’s some little bit of squishiness in the research data on this, but in general, the data tells us that exercise just makes you hungry and there’s all this compensation behavior that occurs. In addition to that, you have all this marketing pressure saying, Look, if you exercise, you have earned the right to drink a Coke; you have earned the right to drink some other kind of sugary beverage. And in addition to that, you have all those largely unnecessary sports drinks. The example I use in my book, I think, is you play a game of tennis, and you eat a banana and half a sports drink, there is absolutely no caloric benefit to that.
Jonathan: Along those lines, Timothy, the second quote is… I’m so glad you gave that anecdote because the quote I want to share here is right along those lines. This is my absolute favorite. It’s, here we go, folks; words of wisdom from Timothy Caulfield: “When you hear someone say, ‘I work out so I can eat what I want,’ you should know that he is deluded unless, A, he is training his heart as a Tour de France cyclist but doesn’t care about his weight; or B, ‘Eat what I want’ means the unbridled consumption of broccoli, celery, water and air.”
Timothy: Well, isn’t it true, though? I mean, you know it is, Jonathan, right? Well, the funny thing is your listeners should know that I experienced this. I was training like a maniac. I had the opportunity to train with… I’m a track cyclist, and I had the opportunity to train with a gold medalist Olympian the year she won her gold medal. I had this fantastic coach. And I didn’t pay attention to my diet, and I’d put on, I’m going to say, 12 pounds during that year. I thought it was pure muscle. Nope. It was almost nothing but fat.
As you know from the book, I have the body scans to prove it. And so a really good example of how you can just slip down, fall down that slope with thinking you can eat whatever the heck you want. Particularly, as you get older, it becomes problematic. I’ve got a teenage son; it just kills me how much he can eat, he’s thin as a rail. So as you get older, it becomes more and more problematic.
Jonathan: It is so insidious, Timothy. You know this data, I know this data, and I’ve got to tell you, the other week, for example, I had a very stressful week. I only go to the gym to do formal exercise once a week because I do like very, very high-intensity resistance training and I just can’t do it more than once a week. That week I was just very stressed, so I wanted to engage in some exercise purely from a stress- relief perspective.
I wanted to go to the gym just to do some light weights, just to get my blood flowing. And even myself, for the next three days, I had this little voice in my brain which was like, Oh, well, you exercised twice as much this week, so you – I swear to God, like even after knowing all of this, at some level subconsciously I was like, What? How, if I think this, dear God.
Timothy: I do it. You know, I do it all the time. I go for a bike ride and I think I can have more meat at dinner or have a bowl of ice cream. There’s lots of evidence to show that people just don’t understand how little exercise really burns and how many calories there are in food. So lots of data out there. One of the studies I love, and there’s been other studies to back this up since I wrote the book, is the degree to which people underestimate the amount of food and the amount of calories in food. They underestimate it by a 100%.
Even experts underestimate it by 40 to 60%. So if you go to a restaurant and you see a meal and you think it’s 400 calories, think to yourself it’s 800 calories. It’s just incredible how we have these kind of cognitive biases that are built in. They are so difficult not to succumb to.
Jonathan: It’s even worse, Timothy, because not only is it nearly impossible to exercise so much that it has an effect calorically, but what many, many, the vast majority of us don’t yet comprehend is, let’s say we do successfully burn 200 marginal calories. And then we reward ourselves with 150 calories of processed edible things. Even if we are in quote/unquote a calorie deficit, the hormonal and neurological chaos that those chemicals just did to our body, it’s like we haven’t even talked about that yet, the insulin spikes, the potential hypothalamic inflammation from these processed seed oils, that’s just left out of the equation completely. That certainly doesn’t seem to help.
Timothy: As you say, that’s just whole ‘nuther area that sort of adds on top of this. The other myth that drives me nuts – and I don’t know if you heard this a lot, Jonathan – there’s been a little bit in the media about this one, is that the muscle burns so much, right? You know, you go to the gym and you put on all these muscles. And that’s just a complete myth. I think in the book I talked about if you put on 10 pounds of pure muscle, which is really hard to do unless you’re a teenage boy or on steroids, really hard to do. That’s like an Oreo a day extra. It’s not a lot. So all these myths, people just have to ignore all the hype, just focus on the basics, make it a lifestyle, and you’re going to be fine.
Jonathan: Even with that muscle thing, Tim, it gets back to our earlier questions of the more muscle you have – having more muscle is great for your health, for other reasons, not for necessarily the calories that it burns. It’s good, but just not for the reasons we’re told.
Timothy: That’s absolutely right. In fact, I think that our emphasis on resistance training is almost inverted. Who goes to the gym? Young males, men. I think women are increasingly lifting weight, and that’s another change I’ve noticed really over the last five, six, seven years, women are increasingly getting involved in resistance training. And that’s great, because it’s not young men that need to work out, it’s women, it’s people like me moving up in the demographic scale there. Those are the people that should be working out.
There’s a great study, I believe it was out of Sweden, that showed that having good muscle mass later in life is one of the strongest indicators of a high quality of life. There’s a great message. Be strong, have that muscle mass so you can live a happy, fulfilled life for a long time.
Jonathan: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, Tim, in closing, what’s next for you? Are you going to have round two in this arena? Is your passion continuing? What’s next?
Timothy: Oh, yeah. I’m working on a new book right now. I can’t tell you too much, got to keep it a little bit secret, right? It touches on a lot of the same topics. It’s really going to be, I hope, I hope, right, it’s going to be fun. I’ve got an interesting hook to it. So yeah, stay tuned.
Jonathan: I love it. Well, folks, while you’re waiting for book number two, which if it’s anything like book number one will be fabulous, do check out book number one. It’s called The Cure for Everything. The author’s name and our guest today is Timothy Caulfield. Timothy, thank you again for joining us, and thank you for the great work; I appreciate it both personally and professionally, sir.
Timothy: Thanks so much, Jonathan. I really enjoyed this.
Jonathan: Listeners, I hope you enjoyed today’s conversation as much as I did. Please remember, this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better. Talk with you soon.
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