– Is slim really simple?
– What can I do to shed those pesky last few pounds?
The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort
Jonathan: Hey, everyone. Jonathan Bailor back with another bonus, bonus Smarter Science of Slim podcast. You’re going to start seeing that every couple weeks we’re going to bring the wonderful Dr. Cathy Britell from the Smarter Science of Slim support group into the studio and she’s going to bring some us some questions from the wonderful support group as well as some of her insights. We’re going to have some fun and remember that me and Carrie are always going to keep coming at you and we’re also going to keep having our regular bonus podcast where I’m joined by a special guest over the phone. Just in enjoy these in addition to all of the existing SANEity and eccentric goodness. Chat with you soon
Carrie: Hey everyone, this is Carrie Brown and I am joined by the lovely, Dr. Cathy Britell.
Cathy: Hello Carrie.
Carrie: And Mr. Jonathan Bailor.
Jonathan: Someday, I just had a flash in my mind that actually made me smile. Folks, I am a lucky man. Let me tell you why I am a lucky man. I am here in studio with two amazing ladies. When I leave the studio and I go home to another amazing lady, it is just like, you know who….
Cathy: He is surrounded by amazing, beautiful women, isn’t he lucky?
Jonathan: Here is why it made me smile is hearing that intro in the podcast, hearing that intro…ladies pay attention! Hearing that intro to the podcast I thought to myself “Self someday, maybe you will be on vacation or maybe something will happen and you might not be able to record a podcast, I am just thinking about myself, you know what, who needs me when you have got Carrie and Dr. Cathy.” I am out or here, you guys are on the podcast. It’s glorious, you are so good.
Carrie: Oh stop.
Cathy: The wonderful Tom Levine asks a question here about dietary fat. It is pretty simple, he says, “How much fat can I eat, an abundance, like protein and non-starchy vegetables, can I simply cut out the bad fat and replace it with good fat and I then am good to go, but you say don’t eat too many nuts.” Chris adds, “If I’m to eat one-third of calories as fat, does that mean I have to count calories and why are you always talking about going easy on the nuts?”
Jonathan: Let’s unpack that a little bit, a couple of things. Here is a bonus preview of the new Calorie Myth book, the whole 33:33:33 has been eliminated from that book because I think while it is helpful for some, it is distraction for many, and I think this might be an example of that. The point here is not to sit down with a calculator and calculate your macronutrient percentages. It is the same that there is a diversity of SANE foods that will work for the diversity of the people that exist on this planet.
There are a lot of people who could eat a very high fat SANE diet that would then be proportionally low in carbohydrate and moderate in protein that would do very well. There are a lot of people that could eat a higher carbohydrate, lower fat moderate protein SANE diet that would also do very well. The key, key thing is to ensure, four things are true about any way of eating.
One, we must have sufficient vitamins and minerals. They are essential, if we do not have adequate levels of them, we get sick. That’s the definition of an essential vitamin and mineral. Without question, the single best source of vitamins and minerals per calorie are non-starchy vegetables. That’s why non-starchy vegetables are such a key component of SANE lifestyle. The second thing we must have, we must have proteins. They are such things as essential amino acids we all know this if we don’t eat proper protein, we get sick. The third thing we have to have are essential fats, such thing as essential fatty acids, if we don’t eat them, we get sick. Fat also makes up a huge component of just our cellular structure. It also required for proper neurological function, you got to have it or you can’t absorb certain vitamins, you must eat fat.
The fourth thing is that we do not have an abundance of glucose. Glucose is a non-essential nutrient. Your body can produce it from other things. We talked about gluconeogenesis in the Smarter Science of Slim. We must have vitamins and minerals, we must have essential amino acids, we must have essential fats, and we must not overeat glucose. Overeating glucose is I would argue the cause of the current obesity and diabetes epidemic, part of the cause. There is other cause as well. So, when we talk about what’s this, that and the other thing, there is no absolute recommendation with the exception of those three things which just to repeat; sufficient vitamins and minerals, sufficient proteins, sufficient fat and not excessive glucose.
There are very different histories, profiles, goals for people all around the world because of that, there will be various compilations of food that fit the parameters I just outlined that will work for various people. The one thing that I would say universally true is the more fat you eat, the less carbohydrate you eat and the more carbohydrate you eat, the less fat you should eat. Protein is not a source of energy for all intensive purposes. It can be, but think of protein as a structural component in your body. Therefore, you need to get your energy from one of two places, carbohydrate or fat. If it is a high quality source, they can both be good, but frankly getting your bulk of your calories from fruits and vegetables is nearly impossible because those are very calorically sparse foods.
That leaves us with fat, that means for most of us, the vast majority of our calories or the majority of our calories will come from fat if we are going really SANE, but this is the nuance here, Cathy and Carrie as if we are not going really SANE, like if we do eat some starch occasionally, if we do eat some sugar occasionally. We will accidentally get a large percentage of our calories from glucose and from carbohydrate because it is so easy to eat and so non-satisfying.
The original Smarter Science of Slim book 33:33:33 recommendation is basically saying “I don’t think it is necessary to demonize any macronutrient, it is necessary to demonize inSANE foods and as long as you are eating SANE foods and as long as you are seeing good results and as long as you are happy and as long as you can continue for the rest of your life, I would encourage you to keep it up and to not get bugged down in numbers of any kind.
Cathy: Wow, what an answer.
Jonathan: Oh my gosh. I am drooling a little bit now. I need to drink some water. If you don’t mind Cathy, a few things I just want to add here real quick is just the phrasing of the question is wonderful and thank you so much Tom and Chris, this is wonderful. I appreciate you bringing it up, how much fat can I eat? Like phrase this how much fat can I eat? Remember we are going and I think this is actually pretty clear in the texts of all our podcasts, we are going out of our way. We are saying you have to eat 10 plus servings of non-starchy vegetables per day. We are saying you have to eat three to six 30 g servings of protein per day.
We are saying you have to eat essential fats, essential fats being primarily those you find in fish and in fibrous plants. How much fat can I eat? If you are marathon runner and you are burning 6000 calories per day, you can eat, frankly I would say, you should eat 6000 plus calories of fat per day because you need to fuel your marathon running. If you are someone who is trying to burn fat off your body going out of your way to put more fat on your body when you are already full would of course be foolish, there is no need to do that. How much fat can I eat? What’s your goals, like Cathy said how are you doing and regardless of the quantity, make sure the quality is there, right? Because that’s the key thing is when you are eating fat, you are getting it from quality sources.
Cathy: That’s right and to address the other question that Chris asks why are you always talking about going easy on the nuts?
Jonathan: Most people do not eat just nuts. What I mean by that is, if you go to the store and you buy raw almonds that is very different and I am guilty of this myself, it is not really guilty, but if you go to Costco and you buy the Wasabi Ginger Blue Diamond, freaking glorious, they are like oh my gosh.
Cathy: They are good.
Jonathan: They are so good and they are roasted in inSANE oil and they have all these other things on them. So, if you eat raw nuts, that’s a totally different story than if you eat these even salted, even salting and roasting the nuts, most people are like these are plain, they are just salted, false. A nut that is plain one, it has not been roasted. It is not roasted, it is raw. That’s actually how we know peanuts aren’t nuts, they are legumes. You can’t eat peanuts raw because they are legumes. You can eat almonds raw, you can eat walnuts, macadamias, cashews, you can eat all those raw.
If you are eating them raw, unsalted, you pretty much do what you would like, as long as you are getting your non-starchy vegetables and your protein because you will naturally most of the time not overeat them, but it just very rare for people to eat nuts that way, so since we are always talking about in terms of practicality, busy people when you reach those shelf for nuts, you probably not reaching for raw nuts, you are probably reaching for roasted, salted plus-plus nuts. Roasted, salted plus-plus nuts can be little dicey. That’s the same thing with fat or with anything really is we want to make sure we are not crowding out essentials. Essentials we talk about like it is essential to eat omega-3 fats. That is essential.
Of course omega-6 fats are essential as well, but it is very difficult to not enough the omega-6 fats, they are in basically everything with some exemptions. But let’s say we were to say my source of healthy fats is nuts, that’s actually not the optimal source for fats. Optimal sources for fats are going to be things like seafood, to be things like avocado, things like cocoa, things like coconut, things like flaxseed, things like chia. Nuts are a good source of fat especially when compared to let’s say margarine, but they should not be the cornerstone of our fat intake, that cornerstone should be the lists I just mentioned.
Cathy: This topic was brought up by Luis George, whom I love dearly and we love you. His question, he has been on this program for quite some time and actually been working out for lots and lots of years. He has been a sports coach, but he feels that he weighs about 20 pounds more than he thinks he should, has pretty much ruin out of ways to add to the gym…strong fellow…and the question is, is slim really simple?
Jonathan: It’s a lot there Cathy, I want to save this “Is slim really simple” to the end, but the whole last 20 pounds. So, if you haven’t seen this already, there is a blog post that came out a long time ago, right when the Smarter Science of Slim first came out, I was fortunate enough to do a television piece with a wonderful Emmy award-winning new anchor here in Seattle by the name of Jean Enersen and I have mentioned, she was like, ‘oh my gosh, you have so much food in your refrigerator, how big is your family. I said just me and my small wife,’ and people gave me a hard time, small wife, but my wife is compact. She is not a large person, although she weighs 140 pounds, most people think she weighs 105, she doesn’t, she has got a lot of muscle on her body, muscle is heavy.
The point I am making here is that I wrote a blog post in response to that which is we are overweight, fortunately overweight is irrelevant and on that blog, you haven’t see earlier there is a wonderful segment of best day of my life which was the wedding to my best friend and my wife and both of us, my wife is significantly overweight according to her BMI and I am obese according to those charts and graphs, I would encourage you to watch the video and tell me if you think we look overweight and obese respectively. My point is if you live a smarter eccentric lifestyle, you are going to have more muscle on you body than those charts and graphs assume, therefore throw the charts and graphs away, they are irrelevant to a SANE lifestyle and just to be very, very clear here I often caveat things with non-absolute statements because very little in life is absolute.
To be clear, for overweight to be a relevant term, we have to define over-relative to what. I am overweight, who defined “what correct weight is?” If you have to look at the research and you look at data, mortality data, in fact slightly overweight individuals have lowered incidence of all caused mortality than underweight individuals.
Cathy: That’s true.
Jonathan: There is this idea that is; one, what is the definition of overweight? Two, whatever it has been established by some now obsolete arcane committee which has been shown to be disproven by science, isn’t a relevant measure for any intensive purposes and it is not. If you want to measure, use your waist measurement, it is so, so simple and it is so much more relevant, like truly if folks are going to say like “I have 20 more pounds to lose or not” that is just really not a relevant measure, please buy a measuring tape, please measure your waist circumference and please also understand the economic principle diminishing marginal returns.
Let’s say you do have 20 surplus pounds of fat on your body, the last 20 surplus pounds of fat you have on your body will be exponentially more difficult to burn than the previous 20 pounds you burned and the previous 20 pounds upon that and the previous 20 pounds upon that, right? This is a silly extreme example, but if a body builder or a physique athlete, when you see these people in magazines, they have 5% body fat, 4%body fat, what they have to do to go from an 8% body fat to 7% body fat, like one percentage of body fat is ludicrous and often can involve pharmaceuticals and can often involve all kinds of crazy things that neither you nor I nor anyone in this studio would ever want to do.
Just remember that the further or long you go, one, make sure you are using relevant measurements and two, understand that to progress along the fat loss scale, you will have to progress along the effort scale. I am going to keep going, sorry. I don’t know what’s going on, I think I have caffeinated myself, I did. Let’s say you want to become good at math, as you get smarter and smarter, the class is getting harder and harder, you have to put more in to get the same level of result out. If you want to build your mind, your classes get harder and harder and some people just say “I don’t need a second PhD” or whatever. You just say “I am good at where I’m at.”
The same thing applies to your physique and the same thing applies like a golf swing, if you want to go from being a terrible golfer to an average golfer that’s much easier than going from an average golfer to the next step up. So, you can just keep in mind, it is not that you are not supposed to lose the 20 pounds, it is that one, it might be an irrelevant measure, and two it would be ludicrous given your family, your job, your career aspirations and the more noble reasons you are put on this Earth to put the amount of time and effort in that would required to drop that last 20 pounds.
Jonathan: You like that?
Cathy: I like that a lot.
Jonathan: Cathy brought in some homemade SANE ice-cream and I think that’s what has done this to me.
Carrie: It’s that Xylitol.
Jonathan: Carrie thinks it is powered by Xylitol. Actually funny quick anecdotes. On the little car of cruise as you know, Xylitol consumed in excess can cause a little gastrointestinal distress and they had a funny little skit they put on… and it was essentially powered by Xylitol at the end. It was quite funny, but anyway hopefully, that was helpful.
Cathy: Wonderful. Laurie had wrote a post that I have had kind of summed it up and I really need to read this.
Jonathan: Give it to us.
Cathy: Okay. “I think what gets people upset about slim is simple, as they don’t realize that simple and easy are of the same thing. What has worked for Jonathan might not work for me. I think what is important is understanding the science behind what he is promoting and tweaking it in a way that will work for you, plus I think Luis George, many have been right about the way some people are holding on to very high expectations for themselves, maybe it is just because I never had a body remotely close to a fitness model and I don’t think I ever will, but I hate to see people that in every risk factor, healthy, fit and strong, being disappointed in themselves because of an extra 10 to 20 pounds. Which could be all muscle or because there are couple of percentage points higher in body fat they may want to be. If that’s your situation, you have already succeeded.” Isn’t that eloquent?
Jonathan: I think that is absolutely eloquent and I was jotting some notes down while you were reading that because a bunch of really great points which I will just put into some Jonathan terms if that’s helpful.
Cathy: Yes, please.
Jonathan: When we say slim is simple, we are not saying six packs are simple, that is a big difference there. Slim meaning the eversion of overweight or obesity is very, very different from having six-pack abs. Having six-pack abs for the vast, vast majority of people is completely unnatural which to achieve anything unnatural in life becomes very complex. However, avoiding disease and avoiding obesity and diabetes is natural and as evidenced by every generation of humans that have ever lived except those that have been alive for the past 50 years, keeping a population where less than 5% are obese or overweight and where at most 1 in every 4000 have diabetes is a fact. That is how every single human civilization up until the most recent generation in westernized world has lived. To me that suggest that by definition that state of human existence is simple, it has to be simple. It is what everybody did; it is what the body innately desires.
It becomes complicated when we do two things. One, when we start perceiving things that are unnatural as natural. Six-pack abs are unnatural, it is not natural. It is not easy to do unnatural things. The other thing is when we live in an artificial world, for example, if we live in a world that says everything in moderation, like Coke in moderation, when it says candy bars in moderations, when it says that these things which are best compared to drugs in moderation. No slim will not be simple in that world because just it is you are bastardizing the system that is so perfect that once it has lost that perfection, it is very, very complicated to give it back that which you used to have.
So my point here is that is maintaining a state of health simple, is avoiding overweight simple? Let me put it like this, I don’t know how every single with the exception of a few percent of people, who from the dawn of time reach those goals did so if it were so complex. The question is why has it become complex? If we think it is complex, why? Why do we think it is complex, and I very firmly believe this and it is the difference between simple and easy, but it can’t be complex; if avoiding overweight and avoiding disease was complicated, we would have died out as a species long, long ago. And species which are much less intelligent from us than us would also not be able to do it because it was too darn complicated. We are smarter than monkeys and monkeys don’t have nearly the incidence of overweight and diabetes as we do. So, the issue was not that it is too complex; the issue is that it is very hard in our modern world to embrace the simplicity which lies at the heart of health. My two cents.
Jonathan: Cathy the other thing that is hardly there is there is a big difference between simple and easy, Carrie has written extensively about this on her blog and it is very, very, very true, right? Taking up of 300 pound off the ground is simple, grab it and lift, but it is not easy and we are not saying it is easy; it is not easy, especially in today’s world. The best analogy I can give is avoiding lung cancer is simple. It is unequivocally simple, don’t smoke, you will not get lung cancer except in very rare cases.
Cathy: Stopping smoking once you have been doing it for 20 years is not easy to do.
Jonathan: Exactly and/or if you are alive, when the entire country smoked and the government said smoking was good for you and big business said smoking was good for you. It was really hard even if you didn’t smoke to avoid lung cancer because everyone else smoked and you had second-hand smoke. In our culture, we have second-hand inSANEity, we have second-hand starch, we have second-hand sweeteners. You go to work, someone brings in cupcakes and you say no whatever it looks like, you are like what you think you are better than me. So, it is hard in our culture.
Carrie: To implement the simplicity of the lifestyle.
Carrie: It is hard to implement, sometimes it is hard to implement.
Jonathan: I personally think it is easier to implement than calorie counting for example, which I think is much easier to implement to just simply say don’t eat edible products and eat food. I personally think that is much easier than counting calories, however, it is not as easy as just eating anything, but may be that’s not even true because having diabetes sure is a pain in the butt and that’s not easy and being overweight, ask anyone who is significantly overweight how easy it is to be significantly overweight. Ask someone who is in high school, how fun it is to be picked on and bullied, ask someone who is may be mistreated by their spouse. Being overweight and being diabetic is not easy nor simple. So, if you want to get these debates about easy versus simple, I can tell you being healthy, eating natural foods, and loving yourself is the simplest and easy of the options available for now.
The other reason I think knowing that it is simple is important is because if we think it is complicated then there is, for example if it is just a matter of us, like we have the information, now is on us to implement it, that’s a much different world to live in than actually ‘you know what this is so complicated’ like if it is complicated. If complexity is the issue, you are disempowering because you are missing key information that you need to be successful whereas once you embrace it, it is simple, once you embrace that it is not because you are lacking the information because we have established that with science all that is left is you putting in the effort and it is on you and the responsibility is on you and you can do it, but if you think it is complex, you are going to be looking at the next infomercial. You are going to be looking at the next pill, you are going to be looking at the next charlatan who can take that such complicated problem and in the sense solve it for you.
But once you realized it is simple, you can naturally avoid those people because you know it is simple and you know it is just about eating so much good stuff as Cathy said that you are too full for the bad stuff, moving your body and getting a little eccentric. The other thing keep in mind folks is what we are talking about here is not so much a program as it is just like it is facts, right? Like if you overeat, the definition of overeating is eating at a level at which your body stores fats. Of course, by definition if you overeat you are going to gain fat, but what is not the thing that is key to keep in mind is that we have to eat something and to say that eating foods that are less satisfying or more aggressive or less nutritious or are more efficient is simply ludicrous.
Of course the foods you want to eat or the foods that are the most satisfying, the least aggressive, the most nutritious, and the least efficient, now identifying the proper composition for yourself and applying that in the modern lifestyle that might be difficult, but the simplicity and the science supporting that which we should eat, I personally think is empowering, I will be done now.
Carrie: You said that three times now.
Jonathan: It is official now, we’re out of time.
Cathy: I think it is time to say goodbye to our wonderful guests for this week.
Jonathan: I love it. Well, folks thank you so much as always for the great question. Thanks for getting me fired up and Carrie and Cathy what are your closing comments.
Cathy: We sure love you support group.
Carrie: Keep going because it gets easier.
Jonathan: It is easier and easier. It is simple all throughout. I am going to say all the time, eat smarter, exercise smarter, and live better. Talk with you soon.
Carrie: See you.
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