Simple Surprising Science
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Jonathan: Welcome to Living the Smarter Science of Slim, where we provide a scientifically proven lifestyle for long-term health and fast lost by eating more and exercising less, but smarter.
Carrie: Eat smarter, exercise smarter, live better – I am so ready for that.
Jonathan: Hey, this is Jonathan Bailor here with Ms. Carrie Brown. Carrie, how are you today?
Carrie: I am doing great, Jonathan.
Jonathan: Well to get us started, Carrie, I figured there’s nothing better than to start with the man who started it all and that is Hippocrates, the father of western medicine. One of my favorite quotes from him – he thought the obese – my quote now: “Eat only once a day and walk naked as long as possible.”
Carrie: Please tell me that we’ve moved on from that because I am not into eating once a day or walking around naked.
Jonathan: Well I’ll agree with you, Carrie, at least on that first part. Although, I’ve heard stories that would disagree with the latter. Carrie has no comment. I will neither confirm nor deny Jonathan’s harassments. But the good news is Dr.Freedman from Rockefeller University agrees with you. And he says, “Progress within the area of fat loss will require that we move beyond this two-thousand year old prescription, and instead, develop strategies that are based on twenty-first century science.
Carrie: Well thank goodness for that. So, let’s hear some of this science.
Jonathan: Some of this science – well, five key things that we’re going to talk about here – first, studies have shown that certain foods cripple our ability to burn fat regardless of how little of them we eat. We’ll see that it’s not really about eating less. It’s about eating the right kinds of foods.
Carrie: So, I get to eat more?
Jonathan: You get to eat more, smarter.
Jonathan: And we’ll get to see how actually – not only can we eat more and not gain fat, but eating more is key to burning fat. Think of it as fueling a metabolic fire that we need to light.
Carrie: I could do with a metabolic fire in my body right now.
Jonathan: In fact, what may even be more exciting is that – researchers have proven that we get all of the benefits of traditional exercise, like cycling or walking, in about a tenth of the time, if we just do it smarter.
Carrie: Really? So I can exercise once a week for fifteen minutes and call it good?
Jonathan: You can. There is a “catch” in that: it’s not fifteen minutes of the type of exercise you’re use to. It’s exercising smarter. But yes, it does not take a lot of time.
Carrie: Now I want to hear about that.
Jonathan: And in fact, what’s really exciting – and we’ll get into this science in more detail later in podcasts – is how doctors have actually shown that the type of hormonal changes this exercise causes literally immunizes us against fat, meaning it causes a lasting change, that protects us way beyond the time we’re actually exercising.
Carrie: Okay, I really want to know about that, because if there’s a way that I can lose weight, while I’m logging or sleeping, I want to know about it.
Jonathan: Well it’s not, as you know Carrie, so much about losing weight, as it is burning fat, because when we focus on the losing weight, sometimes that can steer us in the wrong direction.
Jonathan: So the other thing – the key thing is fixing the underlying metabolic condition that causes us to store excess body fat in the first place.
Carrie: That sounds great to me.
Jonathan: Fundamentally, you may be wondering, “This all sounds great. Why haven’t we heard about it before?”
Carrie: I have to tell you, it does sound a little unbelievable. When I think about – not to give my age away – but the last twenty years. You go the grocery store. You see the magazines. They’ve got “how to lose ten pounds in two weeks” or “how to get thin and stay there forever” and so forth. And you see all these things, but they don’t actually work. So I must admit: I’m a bit jaded to the whole. It’s too good to be true, I guess.
Jonathan: Well the good news, Carrie, is that it can definitely be too good to be true when it’s more of the same. If it’s just a new technique we use to eat less and a new technique we use to exercise more, you’d be right to be suspicious of that, because we’ve been told to do that since the 1970s. And look where it got us.
Carrie: Well, I’ve tried it, and it never got me anywhere.
Jonathan: The good news here is that we are proposing – and the science shows that if we take a dramatically A-typical approach: eat more, and exercise less, but do that smarter. Well that’s been proven to generate an A-typical result, which kind of makes a lot of sense. Do something different to get something different.
Carrie: So you’ve got a body of work that has actually been scientifically studies, and people have actually got to what you’re talking about?
Jonathan: Absolutely, Carrie. The Smarter Science of Slim is really the distillation of over eleven-hundred international research studies – about ten-thousand pages of research. And just to capture how exciting this research is, let me talk about one study on this smarter vs. harder approach, as I like to refer to it, done at Skidmore College. Is that alright?
Carrie: That’ll be great.
Jonathan: Alright. At Skidmore University, or excuse me, Skidmore College, basic study, but very interesting: two groups of people – one of them exercised more, specifically eighteen hours more, and they ate less, but they ate less of a traditional diet – the very high carbohydrate, low protein, low fat type. Are you with me so far? Two groups – one ate less and exercised more. The study lasted twelve weeks, and it had thirty-four women, twenty-nine men, between the ages of twenty and sixty.
Carrie: So that was a great range.
Jonathan: Yes, a great range. At the end of twelve weeks, here was the result of the study: the smarter group – again, they exercised for eighteen hours less and they ate more, but they did it using the most rigorous science out there to do it smarter – they lost more than twice as much body fat.
Jonathan: And then wait, it gets better. They developed some compact, calorie-hungry muscle tissue while the harder group burnt up their lean muscle tissue, which is the last thing we want to do, if we want to keep fat off our body long-term.
Carrie: I must admit: hearing you say that, after being bombarded like we have been, for the last however long, forty years, with “eat less and exercise more” as the way to do it, it sound impossible what you just said.
Jonathan: It actually gets better, not to sound too infomercially. The smarter group actually lost one-hundred percent more body fat and then improved their cholesterol levels by more than twice as much.
Carrie: That’s incredible.
Jonathan: The reason again – it words because this technique is a fundamentally different mindset. It’s not focused on calories in and calories out, which we all know fails. It’s about changing our core biology and basically, restoring our body’s natural ability to keep us healthy and fit.
Carrie: Can we really do that?
Jonathan: We can absolutely do it. And in fact, we all know people that do it already. We all know people that eat whatever they want, don’t exercise, and stay slim and healthy.
Carrie: It’s easier for me to believe that people who have always been like that can keep going. But what about the people, including me, who have moved past that? I use to be naturally skinny when I was younger but around about my mid-thirties, that ability to eat what I wanted and stay skinny suddenly left me. And so now I’ve gone to the other side.
Jonathan: The dark side?
Carrie: The dark side. And you know, I’m not huge, but I’m heavier than I’d like to be, and I’ve got wobbly bits that I don’t really care for. If you’re like me, on the other side – can you get me back to my skinny self?
Jonathan: What I hear you asking, Carrie, is can we use science? And can we use food and exercise to basically make your body work like it did 10, 20, 30 years ago.
Carrie: That’s exactly my question, only said much more eloquently than I did.
Jonathan: What the research shows it – our body fundamentally regulates our body composition – just like it does our breath, your heartbeat, all that kind of stuff. We’ll get into this much more in later podcasts, but that range is dictated by two things: our genetics and our hormones. We can’t change our genetics but we can change our hormones and if we do this – if we improve the quality of the food we eat and the quality of the exercise we get, we can change our hormonal balance and basically make it work, like it did in the past – just turn the clock back.
Carrie: Then I want to hear what you have to say. If that’s possible, then I’m in.
Jonathan: Well again, it’s not a question of possibility. Science has show that, which is so exciting, the challenge, or the thing that gets me really excited, is that we can finally have access to this proven science. It took me, heck, 10 years to dig through this academic research because sadly, we don’t get our information from the actual experts out there. We get it from, frankly, the people who profit off of our struggles with weight loss and health. It’s about something that we can do practically and something we can do permanently. Realistically, Carrie, let’s think about the traditional approach – eat less, exercise more. That’s about as unsustainable as it gets.
Carrie: So tell me, Jonathan, what in the world – because you look like a modern day Adonis, it’s true – what in the world made you, who has never been on the dark side, want to give off 10 years of your life to do all this research? What drove you to that? Given that you’ve never been overweight or had the problems that an awful lot of people have. What happened?
Jonathan: Well, I’ll answer that in two parts if that’s alright, Carrie. It’s a great question. Fundamentally, as you’ve mentioned, I’ve never been on the dark side. My struggle was always being too skinny. Which I know, probably a lot of listens are like, “Well I’ll take that any day of the week and twice on Sunday.” But what really made a big mental difference for me, was I was one of those people who were naturally skinny. And when I was naturally skinny, I would eat. I wouldn’t necessarily exercise as much as other people, but I’d stay skinny. So I kept asking myself, “Why is it, again, that certain people can just stay skinny, and other people have such a hard time with it, regardless of their eating and exercise habits?” The core of the Smarter Science of Slim is to try to uncover what is it biologically that enables naturally thin people to be naturally thin, and how do people that aren’t so fortunate make their biology work more like that.
Carrie: Yeah, because you know, I use to be one of those naturally thin people. Until, as I say, I was early mid-thirties, somewhere around there, I was just naturally thin, and then one day I woke up and I wasn’t naturally thin. What I was eating, my lifestyle, hadn’t changed. There had to be something that had made me go from being naturally skinny to naturally not-so-skinny.
Jonathan: It had nothing to with the quantity of food you were eating or the quantity of exercise you were getting. Because that all stayed the same, right?
Carrie: Right. Exactly, right.
Jonathan: It was an internal change. Your body change. Your biology changed. And Carrie, fundamentally, that’s why eating less and exercising more doesn’t work. It’s not the quantity of the food you were eating and the quantity of the exercise you were getting that was influencing that change. It was your hormones. And your hormones are influenced by the quality of the food you eat and the quality of the exercise you get.
Carrie: Okay. So back to your story, you were tired of being too skinny.
Jonathan: The thing that really set me over the edge was I’ve always been interested in, in fact, as early as high school, I became a personal trainer. And immediately, when I started working with people who weren’t as fortunate as me, I began to see how impractical eating less and exercising more was in the long-term. You know, they’d come and they’d work with me. I’m their trainer here, at Bally Total Fitness in Columbus, Ohio, and while we worked together – while I was there telling them to starve themselves and to exercise for upwards of two hours a day, because again, that’s what I was taught – that’s what everyone was taught – they’d get results, but then they would go about living their normal lives, and inevitably gained all the weight back and then some. It broke their heart and it broke my heart. And I was at fault. I was telling them to do something that’s just not sustainable. So I set out. Really, the only place I had left to look was again, because I had exhausted all traditional forms of health and fitness education, went to the actual experts, dug into the geeky academic data, and sought to find a more practical and permanent approach.
Carrie: And so, that took you 10 years?
Jonathan: It took me 10 years of, to in part, to the fact that I didn’t pause my entire life while I was doing it. I probably could have done it faster, but life goes on, and that’s something we’ll talk a lot about, Carrie. I know you’re passionate about that. Life has to be able to go on while we’re doing this. We see these models and people. If you have six hours a day and if you’re on a television show – that’s all you do – you can eat less and exercise more.
Carrie: I could be really gorgeous if someone paid me $100,000 to get out of bed in the morning.
Jonathan: But for the rest of us, for the other 95% – because eat less, exercise more has been proven in studies to fail for all but about 6.4% of people – for the other 95% of us, we can’t be forced to be hungry. It’s not going to work. We can’t be forced to spend 1 or 2 hours a day away from our more important things in our lives. We have to just use science to make smarter food choices, to make smarter exercise choices, and to restore our body’s natural ability to be healthy. So how do we do that?
Carrie: I have no idea but I’m hoping you’re going to tell me.
Jonathan: The first thing we have to do, Carrie, is we have to re-program our minds. Because we’ve been so brainwashed with this approach that doesn’t work – eat less, exercise more. And the evidence is all around us. We have to breakdown why that’s wrong and what’s right in its place.
Carrie: You’re right. But I’m just sitting here, thinking, “I think that’s going to be really difficult.” Because we have been so brainwashed with the “eat less, exercise more”. It’s everywhere you go. It’s on every newsstand. It’s on box of so-called “health food.” We’re just bombarded with it from everything. They have the same mantra. I think it’s going to be really difficult to break that.
Jonathan: Most people that live the Smarter Science of Slim find that the most challenging part has nothing to do with what they’re eating. It has nothing to do with their exercising. It has to do with the mental aspect and just giving it a shot and letting go of the dogma that has been so engrained. But again, we know it doesn’t work. We know it’s what we’ve all been told for the past 40 years. And the increases of cardiovascular disease and heart disease have both doubled. The incident of diabetes has gone up by 300%. The incident of overweight and obesity has gone up 75%. All around us, we have the evidence that we need a new mental model. And the good news is science shows it. We just have to provide a lot of evidence because we have so much baggage we have to undo in our minds.
Carrie: It’s funny you should mention diabetes. When I first moved over to the states from England, I was staggered at the number of people here who have diabetes. In England, it’s very rare that you meet someone with diabetes. And when you do, it’s like, “Gosh, that’s terrible.” It’s really – it’s a terrible disease. You just never meet anyone – every once in a while. And then I moved here, and it was like everyone I knew had diabetes. It’s amazing how even since I’ve been here, over the past 11 years, the increase in the amount of people with diabetes has just risen and risen and risen. And truly, to me, it seems like everybody has it these days. It’s almost like, because so many people have it, it’s now almost considered to be normal – not a terrible disease. But it is.
Jonathan: It absolutely is. And again, Carrie, it’s so indicative of a systemic problem we have. And that’s just, “Well we can take insulin.” Well, no. Diabetes indicates a fundamental breakage of our metabolic system. And we can heal it. We can cure it. We don’t have to just treat the symptoms with medication. We can cure it by improving the quality of our diet and the quality of our exercise. Again, where that starts is by rebooting our mind. Three big myths we’ll cover, Carrie. The first is: calories in, calories out – which has been absolutely, positively disproven by studies, time and time and time again. I know you have some personal experience with this not working out, Carrie.
Carrie: It doesn’t work. It’s kind of like the definition of insanity, watching all of this. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. But we’ve been doing that for 40 years. And we’re still doing it because the story on the street is “eat less and exercise more”. Or what you eat verses what you expend in calories is how you control your body weight. I know that doesn’t work because I tried it.
Jonathan: The thing that’s get tough is, our body – it’s not that calories are irrelevant or that these things don’t matter. It’s that when our body is functioning properly, when we get out of our body’s way, when we unclog our metabolism, it will automatically balance calories in, calories out for us – just like it regulates our breath and our heartbeat and our blinking. Imagine if we had to consciously regulate breathes in verses breaths out.
Carrie: Well I want magically regulating weight.
Jonathan: It’s not magic. I know it sounds like magic. But again, Carrie, remember when you were naturally thin. We all know there’s millions of people in the world who already show this is possible. Again, the question is not , “Can our bodies automatically regulate us around a slim set point?” Millions of people have already proven that. The question is how do we get our bodies to behave more like that. The second myth will cover – again, we always hear this: “A calorie is a calorie is a calorie.” This is one that I’m going to get fired up about because it is so scientifically unsound.
Carrie: You get fired up about everything.
Jonathan: I do, but I get even more fired up about this one. We all intuitively know it. If you eat 200 calories of spinach and lean protein, we all know that’s going to do something different than if you drink 200 calories of a sugary soda.
Carrie: So why are we still clinging on to the insanity of the past 40 years, knowing that deep down it doesn’t work?
Jonathan: We haven’t been given an alternative. And that’s what gets me so excited about what I call the Smarter Science of Slim. We will go through point by point by point what we’ve all been taught. We will show, using science – we will prove it wrong. We’ll bring a bunch of data to show that and we’ll replace it with an alternative. For example, about calories in, calories out. Our body can automatically regulate that. It’s called the set point. We’ll cover it in detail. We’ll review full factors that prove that. And then the third myth: calories are all that matter. That’s not the case. Hormones matter a heck of a lot.
Carrie: You know, I fired my doctor because he didn’t give me any other option.
Jonathan: He didn’t give you any other option?
Carrie: Well the only option he gave me didn’t work. When I lived his option, and I went back, and it hadn’t worked, he gave me the same option.
Jonathan: What did he tell you to do?
Carrie: For 3 months – actually, for about 4 years, I’d suddenly become this non-naturally skinny person. I don’t understand how that happened, but anyway, I did.
Jonathan: Well you will when get done here.
Carrie: For 3 or 4 years, I realized that nothing I did seemed to be making any difference at all. Then I went hardcore on my cycle for 7 hours every day and I ate next to nothing, for 3 months. And nothing happened. I don’t enjoy pain and being hungry. I went to the doctor and said, “There’s something going on. I’ve cycled. I’ve eaten nothing. Nothing’s happened.” He said, “Carrie, it’s thermodynamics – calories in versus calories out. You just need to eat less and exercise more.”
Jonathan: That’s it, right?
Carrie: I said, “But I just told you: I did that.” He said, “Okay, this is what you need to do. For the next 10 days, just drink Slim Fast and keep doing your exercise. So that’s 480 calories a day. And do the same amount of exercise. I promise you, in 10 days, you’ll lose 10 pounds, and you’ll feel like you’ve regained control of your own body.” So I went away and I did exactly what he told me. I went back 10 days later. What do you think happened?
Jonathan: I’m guessing you were disappointed.
Carrie: Nothing happened.
Jonathan: Nothing happened? Wow.
Carrie: Absolutely nothing happened. So I said, “Do some testing. Because clearly, my cat can see that eating less and exercising more didn’t work.” And my doctor said, “It’s thermodynamics, Carrie. It’s calories in verse calories out. You are at fault here. You must be doing something wrong.” The only option he gave me was the option he gave me before, which I just proved didn’t work. There were no other options that he had for me. So I fired him.
Jonathan: If a doctor writes you a prescription and it does nothing, traditionally, you would hope that they would reevaluate that recommendation. But sadly, even physicians – let’s put blame where blame is due – sadly, physicians are not trying to harm us. They’re not doing anything wrong. But what they learned in medical school 30 years ago has been disproven. Not everyone has that information. So we need to educate everyone, including our own physicians and take this into our hands, really, just get into the solution. And that’s eating more, but eating the right types of foods so we can control our hormones and heal our body fundamentally and metabolically, and enable it to keep us healthy and fit in the long-term. Because even that premise of “drink 500 calories of Slim Fast a day” – did your physician expect you to do that for the rest of your life?
Carrie: No, he just said that if I do that for 10 days every 6 months that life would be good.
Jonathan: So he would have you go up and then down, up and then down. Yoyo dieting has been shown to destroy our health. We’ll get into that more later.
Carrie: It didn’t even work in the first place. There was no “yoyo” going on there.
Jonathan: It was just the “yo”. Well Carrie, you’re never going to be hungry using the Smarter Science of Slim because hunger is not healthy. Hunger is counterproductive. Hunger is stress. Hunger is your body starving. And what does your body want to do when it’s starving? It actually wants to hold onto fat because otherwise it dies. And it wants to slow down. Those are two things we really want to avoid. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to eat more, smarter. And actually Carrie, the second part of the solution and the science is we’re going to exercise less, but smarter.
Carrie: I am so up for exercising less because I don’t have a love/hate relationship with my bike. I have a hate/hate relationship with my bike.
Jonathan: There’s no love there.
Carrie: There is no love there.
Jonathan: There will be no love lost. The good news is you don’t have to throw your bike away. We will use it. It’s not that exercise is bad, it’s that there’s been a specific type of exercise, which is high quality. Because it is so high quality, we don’t need a lot of it. We can’t do a lot of it because we’ll be so sore. But you can still use your bike. You can still do all your favorite exercises – it’s just doing it in a new way, which is pretty exciting.
Carrie: Jonathan, I don’t have a favorite exercise. It doesn’t work, so I don’t want to do it unless you’re telling me that there really is another option to eating less and exercising more. If there really is another option that my doctor didn’t know about, then I’ll give it my best shot.
Jonathan: There absolutely is, Carrie. Dr.Wooley from the University of Cincinnati puts this great. He says, “The failure of heavy people – to achieve a goal they seem to want. And to want, almost above all else, must now be admitted for what it is: a failure not of those people, but of the methods of treatment that are used.”
Carrie: Alright. I’m ready.
Jonathan: Well I’ve got to get you a little bit more excited. I’ve got to use my quotes. The second quote is from Dr. Stunkard over at the University of Pennsylvania, who speaks to the medical profession in general, says, “How may the medical profession regain its proper role in the treatment of obesity? We can begin by looking at the situation as it exists and not as we would like it to be. If we do not feel obliged to excuse our failures, we may be able to investigate them.” Let’s do that here, Carrie. Let’s investigate the proven science. Let’s simplify it. Let’s talk about how we can live it every day and let’s eat smarter, exercise smarter, and live better.
Carrie: That’s the best idea I’ve heard in a long time.
Jonathan: Starting next week, folks, we’ll dig into the science. We’ll keep it simple and Carrie will ensure that it’s sexy, because that’s what Carrie does. She makes things sexy. What we’ll do folks – we’ll get into your fat metabolism. What’s this mysterious thing that automatically regulates your weight? We’ll it’s not mysterious. It’s been broken down by scientists and we’ll dig into that simple science next podcast. Carrie, what do you have to say for yourself?
Carrie: This sounds too good to be true and I want to find out if it is.
Jonathan: Well we’ve tried eating less and exercising more and it hasn’t worked. So a proven alternative, that is fundamentally atypical and promising an atypical result, hopefully makes a bit of sense. I look forward to talking more about it with you, Carrie. Signing off, Jonathan Bailor, Carrie Brown – living the Smarter Science of Slim.