If you’re looking to shed a few pounds or get back on track, this is the right place to be.
Especially if you like cheeseburgers.
On this very special Ask Me Anything episode, I’m joined by my wonderful and talented wife, Alyson.
If you have a question for me or for Alyson, the best way to get in touch, as always, is to sign up for our free newsletter, and then just reply to any of my emails.
Today, we’re answering your questions about:
- How to fine-tune your diet for health and longevity
- Why our go-to road trip food is a double bacon cheeseburger
- The value of plant foods versus animal foods
- Vegetarian protein options
- How to take a balanced approach to ketosis
- What to do when you’re exasperated
- And tons more…
I hope you enjoy. Let’s get to it.
Fine-Tuning Your Diet for Health and Longevity
Ok, let’s start with a question from Shelina. She asks:
I hope you and Alyson have enjoyed your break and have experienced lots of fun adventures over the past few months. I know I speak for many when I say that we have missed you!
So, over the past few months, my husband and I have been diving deeper into the area of true, overall health.
We have read Dr. Davis’s classic, “Wheat Belly” and are about to finish up Dr. Gundry’s “Plant Paradox.”
We have learned so much, and have really enjoyed them. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to how much our heads are spinning, though.
We very much value your work and look to your guidance as our primary compass. With that being said, just how far do we need to go?
Obviously true, deep health is our goal. We want to avoid disease and to live a long, healthy life. We are committed to that…but do we need to remove entire “plant” families?
Are squash truly fruit and do they cause us to store fat? Do we need to eliminate all night shades? Do we need to severely limit our protein consumption or do away with any animal protein in general?
Dr Gundry states that protein consumption is equally to blame for America’s obesity epidemic to that of sugar. I’m not doubting making some changes would help us feel amazing, but how much is too much? Or enough?
We try to follow The Wild Diet principles of focusing on real food, prioritizing veggies (especially green), limiting dairy and fruit to 1-2x a day, avoiding sugar, and choosing high quality meats.
There is still plenty of room for improvement, but we feel like we’re much better off than the standard American diet.
If you could help us make some sense of this and lessen some overwhelm, I would so greatly appreciate the help.
Thanks for the question, Shelina.
Let’s start with, “Do we need to remove entire plant families?”
I would say for most people, no, probably not.
Now, some people who have autoimmune issues or other issues with food sensitivities, intolerances, or even allergies, yes. There are certain foods that don’t work well for some people.
Then there are other foods that don’t really work well for anyone, and that would include modern wheat that’s been highly processed, junk foods, things like that.
But let’s tackle this one at a time.
Some questions, whether something is a fruit or not, is maybe, I don’t want to say it’s not an important question, but I try not to get too caught up in the different classifications of whether or not a tomato or a squash is technically a fruit or not.
It’s more about, how well does it work with your body and your lifestyle?
I’ll just answer quickly here because depending on who you listen to, Dr. Gundry is one of the more strict practitioners of eliminating certain food types and food groups, even limiting protein. A lot of his advice is very unique and interesting.
I really enjoyed talking to Dr. Gundry. At the same time, I don’t necessarily follow all of these things in my day-to-day life.
Let’s start with nightshades. When it comes to tomatoes, potatoes, and some other things that fall into that category, eggplant, I’m not a huge fan of eggplant, never really have been.
Tomatoes aren’t something that I typically eat on their own.
Due to recent experiments with my continuous glucose monitor, looking at my blood glucose, I’ve learned that potatoes, regular white potatoes, (not sweet potatoes) don’t work that well for me, even on exercise days.
They tend to spike and then crash my blood sugar.
I think there is a lot of truth to the people who talk about avoiding nightshades in order to reduce inflammation and just help your body work a little bit better.
Sometimes it’s interesting because your tastes can also point you in that direction anyway.
The foods that have come back on my food sensitivity test as being maybe problematic at certain points in my life are the ones that I do tend to avoid anyway in a lot of cases.
Now, squash is something that can be a little carb-heavy if you’re looking to reduce your body fat composition.
It can be something that’s best used sparingly or even avoided in some cases, but I enjoy the heck out of pumpkin.
I don’t eat a whole lot of squash, but pumpkin is one of my favorite things, especially around the holidays.
I think as long as you’re not completely overdoing it with the carb-y squashes and some of the nightshades as well, a little bit is probably ok.
But if you want to eliminate them for a while, it might just work out really well for you. You might notice that you sleep better, you’re not quite as inflamed, or you even have an easier time losing weight.
What do you think, Alyson?
Alyson: Well, yeah, and it’s really the combination of sugar and fat that causes fat storage.
If you’re worried about putting on weight and want to know if you can eat squash or not, then maybe just plain squash or maybe a little bit of olive oil is good.
But if you’re putting tons of butter and cheese and sour cream or putting a bunch of sugar on it, then it turns it into more of a dessert and might make you store fat and in moderation is ok.
But I love squash, especially in the fall and the winter.
Also, it’s nice to use as a substitute instead of noodles. Spaghetti squash has more carbs than a green vegetable, but it’s going to be way better than wheat noodles.
You can even spiralize certain squashes or zucchini and that works really well to replace noodles, too.
Abel: Yeah, so, squash can be a useful food.
But it’s not one that you need to try to squeeze in there if it doesn’t work naturally for you.
Then with nightshades in general, I would encourage anyone who wants to dabble with eliminating nightshades for a while, I encourage you to do so.
But if you have, like I said, just a little bit here and there, it’s not the end of the world.
But do avoid the fried potatoes for the most part.
Out of all of the foods I tested on the continuous glucose monitor, that was the worst for me. That and tortilla chips—just a small amount would spike my blood sugar. I even got jittery and felt it.
You did too, right?
So, we’re living on the road a lot right now and if we’re out of food and we need something, there are burger places everywhere.
A reliable source of calories is stopping for a burger and just not eating the bun or the sauce, just eating the burger.
But then they also come with fries, so we were dabbling into the fried potatoes a tad.
Abel: Just to see what it would be like.
Alyson: Just not good.
Abel: No. And fresh fried potatoes are delicious to pretty much everyone out there.
But I did not realize how even eating a small amount, moderating for sure, of these potatoes would completely torpedo my blood sugar for the rest of the day.
Not just for a little bit, but like the rest of the day it was wavy and unstable, which is very unusual for me.
I would imagine that that’s happening to pretty much everyone out there.
I don’t think I’m that unique that my body would react poorly to fried potatoes, especially in vegetable oil.
That’s one thing to keep in mind. If you’re talking about fries or any sort of fried squash, like when you go out to a restaurant and you get a soup even, a lot of times it’s not the squash in that soup, but the sugar that they add that really makes it damaging in some cases.
Don’t just think about the foods, but also like Alyson said—is it combined with a bunch of butter and cheese or sugar when it’s served to you?
Keep that in mind.
Then we kind of addressed the nightshade issue. Do you need to eliminate all of them?
No, not necessarily.
We got a lot of questions after the Dr. Gundry episode in particular because he is so strict.
I even experimented with getting rid of cashews completely for a while because I’m almost deathly allergic to poison ivy and being related to poison ivy, cashews don’t seem like the best option.
But the way that they’re served, processed, and they remove the outer hull that you’re really allergic to off before you eat it.
There are certain foods that may work better or worse for you. I did eliminate cashews for a while. I haven’t completely eliminated them now and it doesn’t seem to be hurting me that much.
You can never be completely perfect, but keep experimenting because sometimes foods that used to work well for you may not anymore.
Sometimes it’s aging or just the way our bodies change.
Sometimes you can develop intolerance, sensitivity, or even allergy to foods as the time goes by.
Suffice it to say that some foods are easier to digest and probably better for you than others, and nightshades would be in the not optimal category, but a little bit is probably fine.
It’s a really great question and I don’t think there is a perfect answer to that.
It’s going to be a little bit different for everyone and it depends on your goals.
If you’re looking to change your body composition and reduce the amount of fat that you have, or increase the amount of muscle that you have, protein is going to be where it’s at. That’s the best.
If you have aggressive stage four cancer, then loading up on anabolic protein and trying to bulk is not the best plan.
If you’re in your 70s or 80s or 90s, eating one gram per pound of body weight of protein is probably not going to work well.
But that’s the advice for a lot of younger bodybuilders and that sort of thing, so I can understand why it would be so confusing.
But typically protein is going to be the most useful macronutrient for getting your body composition under control.
If that’s your goal, then once you do get your body composition under control, the rest of the check boxes for your health things start to go in the right direction.
Your biomarkers start looking better. You’re not carrying around a whole bunch of extra weight and some of that fat is metabolically active.
If you can get that down by using protein, that’s probably a good option.
It’s also a little bit different for men versus women. Typically men need a little bit more protein.
Can you extend your lifespan by reducing protein?
I think some people can, but the worry there or the risk maybe is that if you reduce it too much, you have to eat something else. Are you going to eat carbs or are you going to eat fat?
If those carbs or fat make you gain fat on your body, which is also metabolically active, that’s no bueno when it comes to aging.
It’s all about finding that balance.
I can tell you that I do not limit protein except for when I’m fasting, obviously.
I think that’s an important thing to mention because I do aim to eat protein first and as the main macro for pretty much all of my meals, especially if I’m looking to lean down.
But I do believe that going without protein for a portion of the day or even one day a week or here and there is healthy and completely natural for the body.
Alyson, what do you think?
Alyson: Yeah, and I would also just add that protein is highly satiating.
You don’t want to feel hungry or crave sugar or be without fuel so that you just grab whatever is around you.
Protein makes you feel full, so eating it is kind of like setting yourself up for success later.
And fat is kind of similar, as well. But yeah, protein is awesome.
Also, your parents mentioned, and we’ve had several people write in and mention that as they hit menopause or older age, around their 60s, that their metabolism completely changes and they don’t want as much protein or food in general.
And so if you don’t feel like you’re as hungry or you don’t need as many calories, I would say if that’s the case, definitely honor that and don’t have as much.
But if you’re setting up a strategy for what’s going to make me feel good and have energy and not crave all the junk, protein is where it’s at.
We’ve gotten this at dozens and dozens of big and small towns all across the country for the past 6+ months, well for the past 10+ years really, but especially in the past 6 months.
Alyson: Because you can get a burger anywhere.
Abel: Yeah, and they’re not all great. We don’t go to McDonald’s and Taco Bell and stuff like that.
We avoid the lowest rung of fast food chains.
But we do go to little local diners and mom and pop shops.
When we find ourselves in the middle of nowhere somewhere needing some quick and satiating protein combined with fat, burgers and meats and proteins are a lot of times the thing that is going to keep me satiated for the rest of the day.
If I tried to do that by getting a smoothie at some smoothie shop, number one, I wouldn’t be able to find that in a tiny little town.
But number two, no, it wouldn’t fill me up. It would fill me up for a little bit. It would keep my stomach full and there’s fiber in there.
But what I really seem to crave—and my body composition and my age definitely enters into this—what I crave is protein and fat for the most part.
And if I go without veggies for too long, I do want them.
But the thing that I really miss once again is the protein for the most part.
And the last piece of that question, do you need to remove entire plant families?
No, probably not for most people.
But if you want to experiment with it and it works well for you, then do it and then keep doing it, if you find that it works really well.
There are certain foods that for some people just don’t agree with them.
Find what those are and then try to avoid them.
You can do that in so many different ways. Through testing or just doing a simple elimination diet for a few weeks. You’ll be able to tell.
Alyson: It seems like part of the conversation is, should I kick out all plant families or just certain ones?
And I guess this is more aimed towards the nightshades and the squash, but with the whole carnivore thing, they’re trying to kick out all plant families.
That is more extreme, and may not be that useful because food is medicine. And there’s so much medicinal value to herbs, spices and plants.
And there is considerable bulk and fiber, and especially fermented veggies are super good for your gut.
Abel: Yeah. And maybe it works well to eat just meat and water for some people. In fact, it seems like it works really well.
But I would suspect that these people have more on the severe end of problems with whatever foods they have avoided.
And a lot of times a diet or nutrition strategy works because of what you’re not eating more than what you’re eating.
So is meat useful and valuable? Yes.
Are plants useful and valuable? Absolutely. Medicinally, like you said, fermented and pickled veggies.
If I don’t eat something that’s like a sauerkraut or a yogurt or a vinegar based something with a whole bunch of meat, I don’t feel quite right.
And I understand that some people say that they do. But typically I like my burger without the bun, with a little bit of, you know, nightshade ketchup and a little bit of pickles that have been pickled and are nice and salty. Some mustard on there.
And of course, a little bit of cheese and hopefully some bacon, too. And that’s that’s about it.
And if I had that and that was the only thing I ate all day, I’d feel pretty good about it.
But I’d feel better if I had, you know, some sauerkraut, maybe a little bit of fermented something to help your digestion move along as well.
Alyson: Yeah. And I would just say that if your gut is broken and leaky and just like a mess, because you’ve been eating a lot of wheat products for years or industrial oils—there are a bunch of different things that can cause problems with our digestion and with our gut.
So to heal that, it can be beneficial to kick out the plant families for 30 days or, you know, an amount of time to let your gut heal.
But I wouldn’t do it forever. You can add it back in, in steps and see how that goes.
Abel: And be careful, too, of just hopping back and forth from the latest fad or the latest new thing.
Not that Dr. Gundry’s way is a fad, but there are so many different types of ways to do this. And a lot of them disagree with each other.
So as long as you’re experimenting and then, you know, putting what works into your bag of tricks and not giving up on the whole thing and moving to the next one, that’s all right.
But just make sure you’re learning throughout this process and you trust your own body to tell you what’s working and what’s not working more than the latest trend on Google or on social media or whatever else.
Don’t just be hopping from one thing to the next.
If you’re experimenting, really keep track and do it responsibly because your life is at stake. It’s super important.
And I’m so happy for all the experimentation we’ve done over the years.
Vegetarian Protein Options
Alright, the next question is from Deb. You want to read this one, too?
Alyson: Yes. She replied to an email that we sent where we gave everyone our Wild Holiday Feasts Meal Plan. Make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter because we send a lot of free stuff to you.
Abel: We’ve given away over 50,000 Kindle books at this point. That doesn’t include any of our other e-books or courses.
Yeah, sign up because we give away so much every year. But anyway, keep going.
Alyson: Alright, so Deb says:
I’ve been listening to your podcast for a few years and love your approach to healthy eating.
I am a 60 year old female vegetarian for 47 years. I do love your Collagen Cocoa, (covering my brain, don’t let it know its animal based), the thought of eating dead animals just grosses me out.
Abel: Ear muffs.
I followed keto a few years ago, lost 25 lbs and then menopause hit and I gained it all back.
I haven’t found the magic fat ratio again. I would like to do your Wild Challenge with your new emailed book, can you give me some ideas for vegetarian protein options?
I do eat eggs, I usually use whey protein powder and Quorn products.
Alyson: Thank you for writing in, Deb.
She’s vegetarian, and she eats eggs.
Abel: Yeah, you know, for people who haven’t been vegan or vegetarian, that can be a confusing terminology because typically just for those of you out there who don’t know, “vegan” or “plant-based” is the term that they typically use now means no animal foods, including honey, anything that comes from animal, no dairy, no eggs, no fish.
Whereas vegetarian sometimes means and often means it could include cheese, eggs, sometimes even fish or oysters and shrimp and things like that.
So usually vegetarian tends to mean no red meat or meat very sparingly. And so that’s totally cool.
We’re more on the vegetarian side of things, more meat-based than vegan for sure.
Alyson: We’re more carnivore than vegan.
Abel: Or more omnivore.
Alyson: It is kind of a sliding scale.
Abel: I have been vegan for a short period a long time ago and vegetarian as well.
Vegetarian worked better, but what works best is including red meat for sure.
So anyway, for some people, that’s not going to work as well.
And getting your protein in is, I think, the biggest reason that I was craving red meat when I was vegetarian.
So here are some other ways Alyson can read through. There are a whole bunch of different proteins that you can choose that might work well for you.
Alyson: Yeah, it’s great that she’s asking about protein options because that, like we were just talking about, is going to be one of the best ways to fill you up and make sure you don’t binge or have all these cravings later.
So we’ve just put together a list and I guess I’ll just start reading it off for vegetarian protein options to consider.
Black beans, kidney, pinto, garbanzo and other varieties of beans contain about 8 grams of protein per ½ cup, cooked.
Cheese is surprisingly rich in protein. It has about 5 – 7 grams of protein per slice of cheese.
Abel: That doesn’t mean you get a free-for-all with cheese though. Just a little dab will do. It’s easy to overeat for everyone. It’s delicious. But don’t forget it does have protein in it. It’s pretty useful.
Alyson: Yeah. Tempeh has about 31 grams of protein per cup. And if you’re going to eat soy, fermented and organic soy is going to be better for your gut.
Wild Rice even has some protein, about 7 grams per cooked cup.
Lentils have about 18 grams of protein per cup cooked.
Amaranth and Quinoa have about 8 – 9 grams of protein per cooked cup.
Even ancient grains like Einkorn wheat, teff and sorghum have some protein in there.
Chia seeds have about 5 grams of protein per ounce.
We love making chia seed pudding. You just stir chia seeds in water or coconut milk overnight, put a little honey and some nuts and berries over the top.
Abel: It congeals and coagulates.
Alyson: Congeals, yeah, and turns into a nice pudding.
Hemp seeds have about 9 grams of protein in three tablespoons.
Oats have about 5 grams of protein in a cup. (Overnight soaked oats are easier to digest.)
Nuts, seeds and nut butters have protein, about 5 – 7 grams in an ounce.
And then even some vegetables like broccoli, spinach, asparagus, artichokes, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts have about 4 – 5 grams of protein per cup.
Abel: Per cooked cup.
Alyson: Per cooked cup, yeah, that’s true.
Abel: That’s really important because sometimes you see these vegan or vegetarian things which say, like, kale is more protein dense than steak.
And it’s like, you really need to do some gymnastics to make that true and eat a ton of cooked kale.
With these greens, if you’re eating them raw, it’s almost impossible to fulfill your protein needs that way.
But they cook down very, very rapidly. So if you do eat cooked greens, that can be a decent source of protein for you.
But it would be a lot of work to try to get that much in raw.
Alyson: Yeah. And by comparison, how much protein is in a steak? It’s a lot.
Abel: Yes. Steak is packed with protein. (An 8-ounce steak has about 58 grams of protein)
And if you look at a protein powder, like our Collagen Cocoa, for example, in each scoop, there’s 21 grams of protein. So that’s like absolutely super concentrated protein.
Whey is another decent protein choice. If you’re looking for a protein supplement, some people don’t digest it that well and it can set off some inflammation in their bodies.
Alyson stays away from whey protein.
Sometimes I’ll have it. It doesn’t necessarily blend that well. It can taste pretty good, but it depends on how you use it.
I would prefer, especially if you’re vegetarian, hemp is typically a decent tasting and good option. I don’t like pea protein quite as well.
And there are a whole bunch of junk nasty proteins that are best avoided.
So if you do choose to use a protein powder, make sure that it is a clean source and that it’s not some garbage that they just slapped a label on from some other country for pennies on the dollar.
And it’s yeah, there are a lot of bad options out there. So make sure that you do your research and get a good one.
Alyson: Yeah. And Deb had mentioned that she uses whey.
So if she’s having trouble and would like to troubleshoot any issues, whey is a good one to kick out to see if it is causing inflammation or weight gain.
And if you’re looking for vegetarian protein powder, there’s egg white, hemp and pea protein are all decent options. Although pea protein, like Abel mentioned…
Abel: Your mileage may vary.
Alyson: Yeah, pea protein is one of those that you have to work really hard to make it taste good. Some of those products with pea protein are just not nice tasting.
How to Take a Balanced Approach to Ketosis
Alright, here’s the next question from Donna. This is a quick one. So I’ll read it. Donna says:
“Does the Wild Diet put someone in permanent ketosis, or is it more like Omnivore with periods of just eating more fat and less carbs in spurts?”
I would say, Donna, that it’s the latter.
The Wild Diet focuses on eating more fat and less carbs in spurts, cycling in and out.
When you’re talking about permanent ketosis, that means you can kind of never eat any appreciable carbs or sugar again, keeping it less than 20 grams of total carbs a day is what that necessitates for the most part.
But then your blood sugar can spike from other things outside of food.
You know, if you get really stressed out, if you read the news, if you get angry at something, if you exercise, your blood sugar can spike or crash for all sorts of different reasons.
So it begs the question, why are you after permanent ketosis, if that’s what you’re after?
And it can definitely serve some people.
But I think it serves most people better, just generally speaking, to look at it more as cycling the carbs in and out and keeping them generally low.
There’s a big difference between, from a lifestyle perspective, eating fewer than 20 grams of total carbs a day compared to 50 or 100 grams.
You can still kind of maintain some level of being normal in your life if you’re eating out or eating at a friend’s house or even just looking at general foods if you’re trying to keep it less than 100 or 75 grams a day, which I think is a much more realistic amount of carbs for most people to eat on a daily basis.
But if you want to go lower than that on some days, especially on the days that you’re not as active or you’re not working out, that’s where you’re going to find a lot of benefit from trying to keep your low activity days, lower carb, and then your higher activity days, especially if you do any sort of strength training or muscle building, then replenishing those muscles with glycogen, which comes from carbs and sugar for the most part.
And protein is going to be important, and bumping up your calories too, according to your activity is a great strategy.
And what most diets miss is the daily or even hourly kind of variability in what you’re up to and how you feel and what your goal should be.
Eating the same thing day in, day out. Yes, that can work, but you’re going to give up at some point because it’s so boring.
And the way that our bodies work, for male bodies and especially female bodies, it’s not the same every day.
Some days you’re going to be hungrier than others.
Some days you’re going to be able to get a nice long walk in there or a nice big workout.
And other days you’re going to wish you did, but you couldn’t and it didn’t work out. And so eating a little cleaner and fewer carbs on those days can work really well.
But if your goal is permanent, absolute ketosis, then you have to be a lot more strict about it.
And most people who are in our community and eat the wild way dip in and out of ketosis.
And that’s what I do through fasting mostly, sometimes through long runs or other things like that, or even extended bouts of not eating for 24 hours or longer.
But for the most part, a more balanced approach works well for people.
I mean, you don’t go super low-carb very often, do you?
Alyson: I tend to fast quite a bit, so I’m probably dipping into ketosis while I’m fasting. But when I do eat, I like to have some carbs.
Abel: Yeah, so keep that in mind.
When “keto” got super popular a few years ago, especially with all of these companies that have devices that measure how deeply you’re in ketosis, whether you’re peeing on a stick or measuring it through your breath, it kind of made this goal where people are competing to be more in ketosis than the next person.
And that’s not the goal that I’ve ever set for myself or would set for most people, unless you’re targeting specific medical conditions, in which case we can’t really speak to that, not being medical practitioners.
But the ketogenic diet and ketosis can be very therapeutic for some conditions, depending on what you’re after.
So if that is what you’re after, just make sure that you’re clear with yourself and your practitioners as well about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.
Starting the Journey to Better Health
Alright, Alyson, you want to read the next question?
Alyson: Yes. This one’s from Dudu:
Good morning from Cape Town.
Thank you for this information. I recently discovered your podcast and bought your book.
I am struggling with morbid obesity and poor health and am desperate to lose fat and reduce high systemic inflammation levels. However I also have an eating disorder so this is really challenging for me.
I need to transform the way I live my life and I am hoping this program can be part of my journey.
Abel: So one thing that happens with a lot of people who get started thinking that health and fitness is more fitness, is you can over exercise at the beginning, trying to get quick results and make yourself hungrier and then eat more and even gain weight sometimes because of that.
So, as you get started, I would encourage you to focus on your nutrition first and by getting your nutrition in line and making sure that you’re full, usually by filling up on protein, fats and carbs, kind of in that order, not being afraid of red meats or proteins in general.
If you fulfill those needs for your body and you fill it out as well with some fibrous, non starchy veggies to fill up your stomach and get some micronutrients in there, that’s going to take care of things over time.
It might take a couple of weeks, but over time, that’s going to help fill you up and kind of push out a lot of those cravings that come from habituating to hyper-processed food that just keeps you addicted, hijacks your brain and really it’s designed to be addictive food.
When you push that addictive food out and replace it with food that actually is going to fill you up and give your body some nutrients, you’ll find that the energy starts to come after a few weeks and there is a bit of a transition if you go from running on processed carbs to more proteins and fats.
But as long as you stick with it, you’ll see the weight start to come off.
A lot of that is water weight at the beginning as your body adjusts to being a little bit more low carb. Then you’ll see the fats start to come down.
When your energy feels good, then you can focus more on working out.
But as you get started, especially if you’re morbidly obese, a little bit of walking goes a long way.
For many years, health practitioners would say, you have to go out for a 60 minute walk or something like that.
People are like, “Oh my, I don’t even have 10 minutes for a walk. Give me a break.”
When you look at the research and when you look at what exercise actually does for our bodies, breaking up your exercise into tiny little exercise snacks throughout the day, it’s better to walk for 5 or 10 minutes three times a day than just doing one big 30 minute or 60 minute walk once a day and then being sedentary for the rest of it.
The reason that’s true is because when you’re active, especially around meal time, it can help improve the way that your blood sugar and body and insulin responds to the food and especially the carbs that you’re giving it.
So as long as you start slow and you focus on some of those being active, just a little bit active throughout the day, doing 10 air squats, no need to change and go to the weight room and take a shower and all this other stuff.
Just doing 10 push ups, 10 air squats or going for a five or 10 minute walk around your meal time can dramatically improve your metabolic health.
Alyson: Yeah, and then also for eating disorders, definitely check out some of the episodes here on FatBurningMan.com.
There’s one with Eliza Kingsford on food addiction, and I really like what she said about how a lot of people already have an understanding of what to eat and what’s healthy and what’s not healthy, but their issue is that they have to get under the hood, she says, and really look at their internal belief system.
And so asking yourself or just noticing your internal dialogue and then write it down, like what am I telling myself every day?
My sister is so good at this, analyzing her internal world and then reframing it or talking through those thoughts.
If you’re putting yourself down a bunch, replace it with a compliment because you’re beautiful, you deserve to feel good.
Just start building yourself up and that can really make you feel like, “Oh, I deserve to eat good food and to be taken care of and fed well.”
And that can be part of the process to changing the way you eat forever because it really needs to be sustainable.
So getting to that first level of the mental game, like “This is what I want, this is what I’m telling myself and I’m going to replace it with these things,” that can help.
So definitely listen to the interview with Eliza Kingsford.
There’s also a great interview with Dr. Vera Tarman, the author of “Food Junkies: Recovery from Food Addiction.”
Abel: Yeah, that’s definitely a good place to start.
Here are a few other ones, too, since you made such wonderful notes.
I just want to add that if you are morbidly obese, there is a way that’s going to work best for you.
Is it going to be the way that we do everything? Maybe, maybe not.
But this is one of the reasons that I’ve had this podcast and this show for so long interviewing a whole bunch of different people to see what worked for them.
Because I’ve had at least probably 12+ people on the show who have lost well over 100 pounds and kept it off using completely different methods.
You know, methods that might even be kind of antagonistic to each other if all of those methods were in the same room.
So if you’re looking to lean down from being morbidly obese to getting to a more ideal body composition for your health, there are so many different ways to get there.
I would encourage you to go to search here FatBurningMan.com, or wherever you listen to this podcast show, for Mike Gorman or Gormy. He dropped 300 pounds.
Jeff Beacher dropped over 200 pounds.
Bryant Manning shed over 150 pounds.
Tommie Whitaker shed over 100 pounds with the Wild Diet and no exercise. That one’s really interesting.
Tyler Christensen lost over 100 pounds.
Kurt Morgan shed 87 pounds in about three and a half months. That’s the one where we were on the ABC television show together.
Ben Azadi has shed 80 pounds and kept it off.
So these are all episodes that you can listen to on The Fat-Burning Man Show for free. Check those out.
What to do When You’re Exasperated
Alright, here’s the next question from Thomas. Thomas says
“There is too much information out there, I have lost 50 lbs and I am stuck. I’m looking for a system that I can sustain. I have experienced the benefits of weight loss and I stay motivated through consistent discipline. I’m just stuck (plateau) and exasperated but not beaten.
Persist Without Exception
Thomas, keep going.
Alyson: 50 pounds, that’s awesome!
Abel: Keep persisting. Yes, it takes a lot of discipline and a lot of persistence, especially if you have a goal like that.
Alyson, do you want to tackle this first?
Alyson: Yes. He says that there is too much information out there, which is something that we hear from a lot of people.
It’s information overlord… haha, or overload, rather.
Abel: We do have overlords of our information at this point. That’s why we’re not allowed on social media.
Alyson: Oh my goodness.
Abel: At least, not on Instagram at this point.
Alyson: So what do you do about information overload?
Abel: Kick out the worst information.
If you have information overload, get off the internet and get a book.
It doesn’t even matter which book it is. Just go and find a health book and read that instead of the internet because the internet is just a cesspool of misinformation, disinformation, shadow banning, and censorship at this point.
I’m getting on my soapbox now.
Old-fashioned diet books, most of them have something of value to offer, and the answer is much simpler than you probably think it is.
Once again, don’t try to go hopping from the latest fad to the next fad to the next strategy and the next gimmicky thing.
If you can commit to one thing for 30 days, even a couple of weeks, and try that out, you’ll probably have a lot more success that way.
If you do check your phone or the computer or social media earlier in the day, try to take a little fast from that too and push it out and see if you can read a good old fashioned book.
Once again, it doesn’t have to be my book.
It can be any health book out there, really, or especially people who we’ve had on this show.
Go ahead and get one of their books.
Read the first one-fifth of it on Kindle for free or whatever it is.
Commit and see if you can get more results that way because unfortunately, we don’t see a whole lot of progress, especially in the world of education and health on the internet right now.
It’s definitely regressed. It’s gone backwards in the past few years, and it’s harder to find good information.
Alyson: Yeah, and find a trusted source. I think that’s one of the real benefits of the Fat-Burning Man Show is that you interview all these people.
A lot of them are doctors or they’ve proven that they’ve lost a bunch of weight themselves, so they have techniques that can work. This is a good resource.
Abel: Yes, it’s a good jumping off point. That’s why we interview so many different types of people because it doesn’t have to be our way.
This is the way that works for us, but for other people, they’ve written books, they’ve lost hundreds of pounds, they have their own podcasts now and their own shows. Go listen to them.
We can’t vet everyone who’s been on this show 100%. We would like to. We do the best we can. But pretty much anyone who has showed up for an interview on our show, I would encourage you to go check out their work because there’s a whole lot of it out there.
Alyson: Yeah. And so Thomas is asking, he wants something he can sustain, and he’s kind of hit a plateau here.
He’s already lost 50 pounds, and this is actually quite common with some people in our community, the Fat-Burning Tribe, they’ll lose a lot of weight, maybe 50, 80 or 100 pounds, but as they do there are points of plateau where their weight loss stalls, even though they’re still doing the same principles.
And maybe their weight loss doesn’t pick up for like two or three months, but there’s a bunch of things that are happening in their body while that’s happening.
They’ll report that their gut feels better, they have less migraines, they’re feeling better, their energy is higher.
So maybe you lost 50 pounds, you hit a plateau, and if you’re still doing the things that helped you lose the weight, because you probably cleaned up your diet a bunch and you’re continuing to do those things, your body is probably healing in all sorts of ways.
So slow and steady wins the race. Keep with it. It’s ok to be the tortoise.
And it will be much more sustainable if you enjoy the food and it’s not punishment while you’re doing a diet or changing your lifestyle.
That’s really where you want to be, where you can keep doing it and it feels good. And then just allowing the weight to come off as your body is ready to let go of it.
Abel: Yeah, and then there are a few other things that you can try that may work for you and may apply to you or not, depending on how you set up your daily eating so far.
If you cut back on fruit and other sugars, I was really surprised as well by how much even a green apple, this was a good size green apple, but when I had the continuous glucose monitor on my arm and I was taking a good look at it, even just eating an apple on an empty stomach does make a pretty big difference to my blood sugar.
Alyson: It was a huge apple.
Abel: Yeah, it was a big apple, but it was a green one. It didn’t taste nauseatingly sweet like some of those sweeter apple varieties or tropical fruits.
It wasn’t like eating a whole bunch of pineapple or another papaya or tropical fruit that’s very, very sweet like a mango or anything like that.
It was just a simple green apple.
And if you’re looking to break through a plateau, that’s when it gets difficult because even some of the things that were working before don’t feel like they are anymore.
So if you can, tighten that up a little bit and get rid of the things that are preventing you from having a stable blood glucose level throughout the day, for the most part, it’s going to serve you to do so.
So some of the things that can kick it out of whack would be fruits. Even squash and tomatoes.
That’s where you might want to get more strict with things like, to loop back where we were at the beginning of this Ask Me Anything episode, that’s where you can really kick out entire food groups if you want to and experiment with that.
Alyson: Like dairy.
Abel: Yeah, dairy is one that stalls fat loss for a lot of people as much as I hate to say it because it’s so delicious and so convenient and so easy.
But if you can dial that down or eliminate that completely, that helps a lot of people.
Getting your fruits a little bit lower and replace them with non-starchy veggies or even a bit more protein and fat.
Fat, the calories add up really quickly with fat, so sometimes going a little bit lower fat, as crazy as that sounds, can help you reach that next level because you still keep the protein and then you have the fibrous non-starchy carbs from veggies and that sort of thing.
So you can be satiated by having those combinations of things and then just use fat a little more sparingly, then your body will start pulling from your own fat stores.
And so your body is still kind of “eating”—I’m using air quotes—eating the same amount of fat, but you’re not eating that in your food, it’s coming from your body.
So you can think of your macros as kind of like burning from your own body fat and account for that to some degree.
You’ll find out what the right balance of those things are.
And cutting down on nuts and seeds can really help.
But then there are lifestyle factors as well, like stress and sleep.
And if you’re talking about fat around the middle, there’s nothing worse than stress and lack of sleep. That’s when the fat around the mid-section appears and doesn’t really go away until you take care of it.
So make sure that you account for other lifestyle factors as well, like recovery, good sleep and that sort of thing.
Anything else to add to that one?
Alyson: I would just also say that one thing that can really be beneficial is just to write down your goal.
What do you want to weigh? And make it realistic, like maybe a few pounds a week or something like that and have that written down.
And then also progress photos are so helpful.
So if you just take a picture of yourself from the front and the side once a week or once a month while you’re changing your body composition, it’s so powerful to be able to look back and be like, “Whoa.”
Because you forget what you look like. So having that over time, you can really look back and see like, “Wow, I looked like this and now I look like this.”
Otherwise, you lose that and you’ll try to piece it together, and it’s not as a powerful.
It’s really motivating to see how it’s working.
And sometimes it’s not just movement on the scale. Sometimes it’s about the inflammation in your body calming down. Maybe you built quite a bit of muscle and you weigh the same, but your face is more cut and you notice all these improvements, things that show up in pictures.
Abel: And it can be really useful to be a little bit more accountable to what you’re eating on a daily basis.
One way you can do that is by just writing down everything that you ate.
Even for one day, this can be a very valuable practice or taking a picture on your phone or camera of everything you eat.
And if you eat ice cream at night or if you eat cake or if you eat that thing, take a picture of it and make the commitment to take a picture of it or to write it down every single thing.
When you do that, it kind of reframes it in your brain and it asks like, what am I doing again? What am I eating now? What are my goals? Is my goal to lose weight or is it to eat this cake right now at a weak moment?
And if you force yourself to have to write it down, what I do is I put it in my calendar a lot of the time, that way I can line it up with the other experiments I’m doing, whether it’s with a continuous glucose monitor or my ring or my fitness trackers.
And I can see what set it off and how I was feeling at various times.
You don’t have to necessarily write down the amount that you ate. You don’t have to go too far with it, but try to give yourself that accountability.
And you’d be surprised by how that can help you reframe your goals and stick to them a little bit more easily because there’s no accountability if you’re not keeping track.
You know, and you’re just like, “Well, I’ll eat when I’m hungry and if I want to have that extra slice of cake or that donut, I’m just going to go for it.”
But if you put that little step in between where you have to write it down or take a picture, that can make a big difference, which kind of leads into another tool that we have for this, which is the Wild Challenge and our app, which has meal plans, accountability, meditation timers.
It accounts for sleep by hooking into your other fitness trackers and so many other tools to help you reach your goals, whether they’re near term, medium term or long term. We can help you get there. There are different ways to do it.
We have different meal plans that are set up in the Wild Challenges and we cycle those in and out and change them from time to time.
But if you want to get results and ask us your questions and have a little bit more of an experience with the two of us and our team and our community of people who have been burning fat challenges all across the world in many, many countries for many years, then please join us in the next Wild Challenge.
Alyson: We’re doing one right now.
Alyson: And you should definitely join.
You can join in by going to FatBurningMan.com/app and save 25% off with the code WILD25
So, in the app, there’s a nutrition section and you can just go in there and add a note and put the specifics of what you ate throughout the day, or add a photo of your meals to keep track that way.
There’s a meditation timer, water tracker, fasting tracker and some really cool built-in trackers.
You can set customizable goals.
There’s still time to join this one, and we’ll leave it open till the end of the month for anyone who wants to jump in.
It’s super fun. When you enter anything into the tracking sections in the app—Nutrition, Sleep, Meditation, Movement and Condition—you get a point for each section that you input data for the day, and at the end of the week we tally it all up, and share the Weekly Leaderboard in the community.
People love it. It’s great for a little extra motivation because you get to see if you made the top 10 on the leaderboard. And we give a shout-out to all the runners up, as well.
And the other thing is we have a big giveaway.
Abel: Awesome giveaways.
Alyson: Yep. We’ll automatically enter you into our giveaway for adorable crocheted bacon and little fried egg plushies. They’re really cool.
Plus, the giveaways are packed with Wild Superfood supplements and autographed books, and we usually add in some bonus surprises when Abel and I are packing up the giveaway boxes for you folks.
Even if you’re international, while we can’t ship Wild Superfoods orders from the website overseas, we do ship giveaway packages internationally.
So, if you win the giveaway, we’ll ship it all the way across the world to wherever you live.
It’s super fun for us to do this with you all.
Abel: Yes. So if you would like to join us in the next Wild Challenge, then please visit FatBurningMan.com/app.
And as Alyson said, you can save 25% off with the code WILD25
Just enter that in the little promo code box, and you’ll get 25% off.
And our challenges are the best way to kind of interact with us at this point.
We really love when people find us who are brand new. But it’s amazing, I just read something today about someone who was a teenager when they found us, and now they’re like 30 years old and in a completely different boat from a metabolic perspective, a lifestyle perspective.
And over the many years we have so many cookbooks, we have so many video courses, books and things like that. But none of them have matched the level of interactivity and personalization of the challenges that we run now, where we can actually help you be accountable for what you’re eating and message with you back and forth. And it’s a really cool thing.
So if you haven’t checked out the Wild Challenge, then please one more time, it’s FatBurningMan.com/app. And you can meet us right there.
Alyson: Yeah. And I’ll just really quickly also add that when you signup, you get a downloadable meal plan with shopping lists and recipes, and the same meal plan is also in the app.
And if you go to the Download section in the app (and we’ll also email it to you), we have a bonus 30 day meal plan, which is less strict and has a little bit more wiggle room for treats. Whereas the app meal plan is a little bit more…
Abel: More targeted.
Alyson: Yes, and less treats and that sort of thing. So you have the option of either one.
And we also put together daily emails for you.
So along the way, you’ll get a daily tidbit from Abel about protein or various fat loss strategies, if you hit a plateau, what to do about sleep, that sort of thing.
And of course, you can unsubscribe if you don’t want them. But they’re super helpful.
And then also within the app, it’s set up to like send you notifications, which you can also easily turn off.
But if you don’t mind the notifications, they’re actually pretty fun where you get like a little reminder to track or to drink some herbal tea or to have a 5-second dance party or to get out and go for a quick walk, or get up and stretch throughout the day. And I think it’s really cute and fun.
Abel: Yeah. I mean, your notification told me to put on my own blue blocking glasses last night and I totally did it. So it’s working for us, too.
But anyway, we really appreciate all of you who have sent in your questions and all of you who have been listening as well.
And we look forward to seeing you in the next wild challenge.
Or if you just want to dip your toes in and sign up for the newsletter and ask a few questions that way, too. We really appreciate hearing from you.
So thanks so much for joining us in this Ask Us Anything episode. We look forward to seeing you in the next one.
Alyson: Yes. We love you guys.
Abel: Love you guys.
Before You Go
If you have a question for me or for Alyson, the best way to get in touch, as always, is to sign up for our free newsletter here on FatBurningMan.com.
When you sign up, you can just reply to one of my emails and I may even answer your question in an upcoming episode.
As a thanks for signing up, I’ll even send you a free Quick-Start Guide and 7-Day Wild Meal Plan just for joining us in the newsletter.
All you have to do one more time is go to the homepage and sign up for the newsletter right there. You’ll get a whole bunch of goodies and we’d be happy to answer your questions.
Are you unsure about exactly which foods work best for your body?
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What did you think of this AMA? How has your diet evolved over the years? Did you find anything that we talked about today helpful? Let us know by dropping a comment below!