It’s been an interesting few weeks here at Fat-Burning Man headquarters.
We’re doing a bunch of challenges, we have moved back to Texas and our internet is almost ready to go.
And since it’s a New Year, I’m going to sit down and do this solo episode because we’ve had a lot of great questions come in recently.
If you have a question for me or for my wife 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.
I’ll be tackling these here today, and also never fear, we’re not changing the format of the show or anything. We do have a lot of interviews coming up soon, including some with fan favorites, like Dr. William Davis and Jay Cardiello, as well as many more surprises.
But if you’re looking for a solid strategy to keep your habits steady, whether you’re working professional, busy mother or desk jockey, this is the show for you.
Today, I’m answering your questions about:
- Healthy movement and eating tips for desk jockeys
- How to last as an online creator for over 10+ years
- What to do when you’re struggling with sugar and not satisfied
- Strategy to keep your habits steady by indulging in a “free” meal
- What to do when you find a hidden source of MSG in a favorite food
- How to kick your soda habit with a fizzy beverage swap
- Thoughts on energy drinks and caffeine pills
- And tons more…
Alright, let’s get to the show. I hope you enjoy.
Healthy Movement and Eating Tips for Desk Jockeys
Okay, let’s start this episode off with some feedback that came in from the last episode with Alyson, as well as some tag along questions there.
Bradley says, “More Alyson.”
I agree, more Alyson all around. She’ll be joining us in more episodes soon, I promise.
And he also says:
“I would love to tips specifically for being a day time desk jockey who is also a serious trainer for martial arts and climbing and how to find a diet that balances those things…”
Well Brad, one thing that can really help more than most people realize is the simple act of walking, not just going out for a 30 or 60-minute walk, one of those big, big walks, it doesn’t have to be a giant commitment.
What actually helps even more when it comes to digestion, your blood sugar and all of that is going for little walks, little exercise’s spread throughout the day.
And so one of the things I like to do is keep a kettlebell or some sort of weight in my field of vision in the place where I’m hanging out.
I do the same thing with guitars and instruments to encourage myself to play piano and the rest of it.
When you can see the things that you want to use, it helps remind you a little bit that they’re there and that you should be engaging in that habit.
And it doesn’t have to take much, just a few pull-ups, a few push-ups, some air squats, a couple of swings of that kettlebell, especially around meal time can really help.
Or if you find yourself being a desk jockey stuck in front of the computer just kind of staring at that box blankly, then give yourself a little boost by getting your blood flowing.
You don’t even have to get to the point where you’re sweating and doing a full workout, just a little bit of activity—60 t0 90 seconds is all it takes to have a very favorable effect on your blood glucose for your next meal or whatever you just ate.'Just a little bit of activity—60 to 90 seconds is all it takes to have a very favorable effect on your blood glucose' - Abel James Click To Tweet
Or if you’re kind of stagnating, running out of energy, it will give you a boost.
That’s probably the time you want to exercise the least, but more and more as the years tick by, I see the value in having these little exercise snacks spread throughout the day.
So don’t feel like you need to commit to anything massive in order to get great results, just a few minutes of exercise spread throughout the day, most days of the week will do some giant favors for you.
And then, as far as being a desk jockey goes, the less energy you’re expending throughout the day, the less you probably need to eat and the less often you need to eat.
So intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool for those of us who sit at the desk for long periods of the day.
The way that I like to do it is just push out breakfast until around noon.
Instead of eating early, I like to eat later. And you don’t want to eat too close to bedtime.
But it’s amazing how satisfied you can feel, especially once you get used to it, putting most of your meals in between noon and dinner time, maybe a little bit of dessert after dinner is also nice, especially eating Wild. We’re big fans of feasting and homemade treats.
But intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool, as well as those exercise snacks spread throughout the day.
Once again, push, pull, sprint, walking, whatever you want, whatever makes your blood flow and keeps you happy. Try to do that as often as you can, but you don’t have to be exercising to the point of nausea every time where you’re just completely gassed out in order to get great results.
So keep that in mind, especially if you are someone who is used to that type of workout. Because once again, the more the years go on, the harder that becomes to maintain, and you definitely need to get your nutrients right in order to keep that going.
How To Last As An Online Creator for 10+ Years
Alright, here’s another one that came in. This was a YouTube comment, actually, that came in on the last episode with Alyson. Jake said:
“Great video. Been listening to Abel for shoot, 8 or 9 years now? You’re still keeping it real!”
Well, yes, speaking of years ticking by, we’ve been doing this for over 10 years, coming up on 11 and change, depending on how you do the math there.
But one interesting thing that I read recently is the average lifespan online for a creator or an influencer—which I’m not a big fan of that term, if you’ve read my book, Designer Babies, you definitely know that—but the average lifespan for an online creator is somewhere around 5 years or less.
Interestingly, that’s around the same amount of time that most small businesses last before they fail. So we’ve been able to maintain both of those things for now double the life expectancy of an online creator, and I think there are a few reasons for that.
Number one is that the topic of this show and of most of our work is health and longevity.
And if you burn yourself out or at least if you burn yourself out too hard or too often, you just can’t keep going.
Burnout is real.
I’ve experienced it a number of times and have some strategies to work through it, but for a lot of people, keeping up with the social media hamster wheel is just exhausting.
That’s totally real, especially if you live in the world of health.
Thankfully, it seems like that might be getting a little bit better.
But in order to keep going and keep pumping out content, it can be a soulless mindless exercise for a lot of people, if you don’t totally believe in what you’re doing, and if your advice isn’t that unique or it doesn’t work that well, then it’s hard to keep going.
So the people who last are the ones who really believe in it and the ones who commit to showing up day after day.
And easier said than done, I’ll be the first one to say that.
But I’m happy to hear you say that we’re still keeping it real. We do the best we possibly can, and we have a lot of exciting things to look forward to.
That’s another thing that keeps me going is you have to have that carrot, whatever it is, that goal in the future.
For us, it’s the mission of helping other people. And when we’re able to do that and hopefully break even or even eke out a little bit of a profit, we’re happy no matter where we’re living and what we’re up to.
If we can maintain that and keep that going, we’re really happy to be here with you.
And hopefully there’s going to be a lot more in-person events and hanging out, exchanging ideas with the rest of you in real life than there has been in the past 3 or so years, which have just flown by.
And it seems like those years, to some degree, have been stolen from a lot of us.
But I think there’s a lot to look forward to this year and the years to come, as well.
Thoughts on Fatty Coffee in the Morning
Alright, here’s one that came in from Steve. He says:
“Great episode! Really informational. I’ve been rediscovering you after kind of fading from disciplined eating since the pandemic. I have a couple questions – what are your thoughts on going back to buttered coffee with MCT oil most mornings? What are 1-2 of your best ideas for those of us in the corporate world who try to eat a healthy lunch at work and really only have access to a fridge and microwave? Thanks! 🙏
Let’s start with that first question about having fatty coffee most mornings.
It depends on your goals. If you’re looking to lose fat, if you’re carrying a little bit of extra weight and you want to improve your body composition, I like the old bodybuilder trick of having black coffee in the morning, doing some sort of light intensity cardio, like a very easy hike with the dog.
We just hiked through the green belt this morning for about 15 minutes or so, and I’ve been doing that for years.
I really enjoy that type of way of getting started with a day.
Some bodybuilders, the way that I heard about it was a lot of them would swear by drinking black coffee just to kind of get some energy up and get something into your system.
But that’s totally optional, too. It could be lemon water or tea, or whatever else.
But you want to be hydrated with water, and then I like a hot beverage as well to get going.
And then a lot of times it’ll just be a walk or you can hop on the exercise bike or something like that for just a nice easy workout early in the day.
But I like keeping my coffee black until about noon, then I’ll add in some heavy cream, typically.
MCT oil, I don’t know, I go back and forth on that.
I find that I have a low tolerance for it. Because if you have too much of it, your digestion can get a little bit ugly, or at least mine can. The stomach grumbling and you might be taking a few extra trips to the bathroom.
So I like to avoid that completely.
Some people do well with heavy cream. I think heavy whipping cream is pretty much as good as it gets for something tasty that you can add to coffee.
Sometimes it’ll be a little bit of half and half. I don’t have as much of the MCTs these days.
Butter can be a useful fat to carry around with you, especially if you’re traveling, because whipping cream isn’t the most convenient, you can’t always find it everywhere.
But if you don’t need it, or if you don’t have refrigeration and you want to have some sort of energy or fat to throw into your coffee or your tea, then butter can be really useful.
MCT is also useful in that way, where it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. Coconut oil, as well.
But if you don’t need the fat in your coffee, then I would encourage you just to make better tasting coffee that you can drink black, or a tea that you really like.
And it’s easy to get carried away with the caffeine and with the fat when you’re having butter plus MCT oil coffee or even when you’re putting whipping cream into your coffee.
Very quickly, your coffee can turn into something that’s 200 – 500 calories a piece. And it’s really easy to keep drinking it because it kind of tastes good when you’re chugging that down.
But truth be told, I’d rather eat a whole chocolate bar or an extra serving of fatty brisket or something else, that’s highly caloric that I’m not drinking.
Because when you drink your calories, they’re not as satiating as the ones that you’re chewing on and eating.
Your brain knows, and gets the signal of eating much more effectively when you’re actually chewing on something and swallowing it and going through that whole thing as opposed to just chugging 500 calories worth of straight fat.
So if you do like MCT oil and butter in your coffee, have a little bit, a tablespoon or two will keep things interesting, but it’s definitely not a must-have.
Ideas for Healthy Lunch Options at Work
And Steve’s next question was:
What are 1-2 of your best ideas for those of us in the corporate world who try to eat a healthy lunch at work and really only have access to a fridge and microwave?
Thanks, this is a really good question because truth be told, this is the situation of a lot of people, maybe even most people out there.
You don’t have a giant fridge and kitchen available to you throughout the working day or you might not have the time to clean up after a big cooking adventure and that whole thing.
So here are a few things that I found can really help.
Having a broth that’s available to you or some sort of soup or chili that’s shelf-stable. I really like Kettle & Fire broth and chili.
Paleovalley has some excellent options, as well, in terms of snacks. We really like those little meat sticks that you can eat—they’re kinda like Slim Jims, but much cleaner—they have different flavors. Sometimes we’ll even chop them up and put them on a frozen Cauliflower Pizza or something like that, that you could just throw in there.
We typically don’t use the microwave, but we do use a convection oven and a steam oven, a little toaster oven very, very often, especially when we’re out in the RV on the road.
And then thankfully, there are some other companies that have been making some pretty decent options for frozen food that you could throw into a microwave or a toaster oven in a pinch.
Real Good Foods is one of those companies. I know they have enchiladas, they have some Italian food options, they have a really nice Chicken Cordon Bleu, I think it was, and a few other things like that where it’s high-protein, tastes pretty good and you can just throw it in, heat it up and it’s basically a whole satiating meal that’s ready to go for you.
We also like Amy’s frozen foods. Not the plant-based ones, be careful of this—the plant-based Amy’s options look like the ones that have meat in them, and we’ve accidentally purchased tofu and dairy-free before.
It’s not the end of the world, we’ll still eat it. But we do prefer the higher protein meat and cheese-based options.
So look around and there are some good options for soups, frozen foods, jerky, as well as protein powders and protein bars.
Do you need to have them? Absolutely not.
They’re not a must, but they are super convenient.
And I certainly find that the more I have protein powder, protein bars, jerky snacks and things like that around, the more that they tend to save my butt.
When I’m really hungry, I need protein more than anything else, but I’m kind of craving something worse than that.
So another thing to keep in mind is that if you’re getting a nice healthy source of fat like fish oil, I find that when I take fish oil on a regular basis, I’m not quite as hungry as I otherwise would be.
And that’s another great snack, some people are totally turned off by this—eating canned sardines or canned oysters, but I love it, my wife loves it. It’s a great source of zinc and other nutrients and omegas, as well, and a pretty satiating snack for not that many calories and not that much money.
And of course, hard boiled eggs, soft boiled eggs, if you have a way to throw them into a small fridge or keep them cool for a few hours of the day, those are something that we always have around because eggs are very satiating, nice and nutrient-dense, and they won’t stop your heart like the media might tell you that they will.
Should Carbs Be Eaten with Fat?
Alright, here’s another question, this one’s from Mary. She says:
“I always believed that fat and carbs combo is damaging. But recently I came across some experts in the field of glucose metabolism promoting to eat carbs WITH fat to attenuate blood glucose excursion. I hope to hear how you reconcile these 2 conflicting opinions. Thanks!”
Thanks, Mary. This is an awesome question.
So let’s start with an example. Wearing my continuous blood glucose monitor, I found that the worst possible things that I could eat, at least on an empty stomach, were a handful of tortilla chips. And they were the clean kind—they were organic, they were gluten-free, they didn’t have grains in them either, but extremely high glycemic.
So on an empty stomach, without too much fat there and without too much liquid either, it’s a very dry food.
I found that can influence how quickly your blood glucose responds to these foods, whether it’s eating dry granola versus overnight oats that are wet in liquid—it’s like a completely different food.
So anyway, eating these dry chips, even though they have a little bit of fat, they were on the lower fat side, but those completely spiked my blood sugar and then crashed it immediately thereafter.
Another thing that did that was, we ordered some double cheeseburgers without the buns—this was on the road, we talked about this in the last episode—but with the cheeseburgers, they gave these fries to us for free. And it was just a small, little, like tiny McDonald’s size. We didn’t go to McDonald’s. It was a local place, but like the McDonald’s size, tiny fries type deal. And I ate them.
That was the first thing that I ate. I don’t usually do this, but I was kind of curious to see what would happen.
And of course, my blood sugar spiked to the moon and then crashed immediately thereafter. And I even got shaky.
I noticed how terrible it made me feel. And we did eat the cheeseburgers right after that.
So the fat, as far as that was concerned, didn’t seem to blunt the spike that much at all.
Now, when you are eating your carbs, if you want to add a little bit of fat in there, to blunt the spike, that has been effective for me and is effective for a lot of other people.
But once again, if you take it too far, then all of a sudden you’re eating donuts and doing it for the sake of health, because combining that simple carb with a whole bunch of fried fat is pretty much the worst thing that you could eat and will directly lead to fat storage.
So I would say the answer is tricky. It’s a little bit of both.
But when you do eat high-glycemic carbs, I would try to keep your fat down. Have a little bit of fat, but don’t have too much fat.
As far as macronutrients are concerned, on the days that you’re less active, those are the days to focus on protein and fat and very few carbs.
On the days that you are more active, whether it’s walking, running, strength training, some sort of exercise for fun or even sometimes stress, having more carbs and more protein and a little bit less fat can work really well because on the days that you are working out and you’ve used up some of your glycogen stores in your muscles and your liver, you want to replenish those with carbs.
Sometimes even simple carbs can really help if it’s been a hard workout.
And when you have simple carbs post-workout, I have found that it’s really amazing. You can have, let’s see, I had coconut water, a couple of slices of sourdough bread, a couple gluten-free cookies, and something like that after a run.
And my blood sugar barely even budged because I had just used up so much glycogen.
But when I’m doing those carb refeeds, typically, I’m keeping the fat to a minimum because that can make it a little bit harder when you have too much fat with these simple carbs, not only can it lead to fat storage, but also it doesn’t shuttle that glucose into your glycogen stores quite as effectively as if you’re keeping the fat a little bit lower on those days.
So I think it’s a matter of timing. It’s a matter of how much are you eating because you don’t want to be eating donut sandwiches and deep fried foods just because you want to get your carbs on.
There are more effective ways to do it, especially around training days.
But yes, it’s definitely a thing. Eating straight up simple carbs on an empty stomach without fat can spike your blood sugar.
But keep in mind, you can also eat a lot of fat, eat those simple carbs and that will also spike your blood sugar.
So be careful and make sure to account for your macros throughout the day and throughout the week.
And it’s more about weekly macros and how you partition those than it is even about each meal or each day.
So keep in mind that we all eat a lot of meals, whether we’re paying attention or writing it down or not.
And so, color outside the lines, sometimes you can get away with it, but you can’t get away with that all the time.
The thing that really adds up is the stuff that we do on a habitual basis day after day without even really noticing.
What To Do When You’re Struggling with Sugar and Not Satisfied
Okay, this next question from Arlena came in from the newsletter. She says:
Just sending a real quick reply here to say thank you. One struggle I have is sugar. I have those nasty cravings like so many others. This in connection with not feeling satisfied after eating a lot foods. I try to eat clean for the most part.
Alright Arlene, this is an interesting one because I’ve noticed, especially after tracking my blood glucose, that it’s not even about how much food I’ve eaten that day. My hunger isn’t about that, I should say.
So on the days that I’m eating a whole lot of food and eating a whole lot of carbs, I tend to be hungrier than on the days that I’m fasting pretty much all day, not really eating food.
And so hunger, to some degree, is independent of how much food you’re eating. It’s more dependent on what your blood glucose is up to.
So today, for example, because it’s been a really long day, I had a private coaching call this morning and then I had to get this whole studio thing set up. It’s approaching 5 o’clock and I haven’t had anything to eat today aside from a little bit of whipping cream in my Pu-erh tea here, and some supplements and fish oil like I talked about before.
And even though it’s approaching dinnertime, I’m really not that hungry today. I did a quick workout, so that didn’t make me very hungry either.
But on the weekends, I tend to have more fun. It’s not a “cheat” day, I don’t like that word. It’s more of a free day. You can use whatever word you want, but using the terminology can affect how you feel.
And having a free meal or a free day where you’re just having a bit more fun with your food can be useful. But I have noticed that on those days, I’m a lot more hungry.
So we went out to Thai food, got some Pad Thai, actually a couple times in the past week or two. And those foods can definitely spike my blood sugar. I suspect there’s a bit of MSG or some kind of MSG in there that’s kind of kicking off my appetite, as well.
And those are the things that will keep you eating and take away your satisfaction.
Now, you talk about sugar here, and I think that’s really important, too.
If you struggle with sugar and you’re not feeling satisfied, oddly enough, taking the sugar out or really trying to reduce it as much as you can, can help your cravings and help your hunger.
So the more sugar you eat, the hungrier you are. The less sugar you eat, the less likely you are to be hungry.
That’s mostly true unless you’re going out doing punishing workouts and really putting a lot of miles in, or something like that.
And then you do need, like I said before, to replenish those glycogen stores. You don’t need to, but it’s probably going to feel a lot better if you do. At least it feels better for me.
So oddly enough, in successfully setting up those habits to avoid sugar and making sure that you’re not succumbing to those cravings and eating it, that’s really going to keep your hunger down.
So to the extent that you can, like I always say, try to fill up on protein first.
And if you want to have a bit of fun with sugar and carbs, try to get a workout in that day and eat it around the time of that workout, if you possibly can.
Strategy to Keep Your Habits Steady by Indulging in a “Free” Meal
This next bit of feedback and question is from Janine who just placed #1 on the Leaderboard in our latest Wild Challenge. She says:
“Wow, I have never been #1 ever, in anything, lol….so thanks, this feels special.
I am really working hard at this and am pleased to be down about 8 pounds this week.
What has made the biggest difference for me is no chips every night before dinner, drinking 8 cups a water a day, doing 16/8 IF, (stop eating around 7pm, not eat until lunch the next day) and of course no fried potatoes.
However, I did have my own home fries on Saturday night for my free meal, where I made steak frites with a huge salad, so a lovely piece of flank steak, chimichurri, oven fried potatoes and salad, oh, and a glass of red wine. Saturday night now will feel like a special occasion every week 🙂 Woo hoo!!”
Janine, I think this is a really wonderful way to do it, and I think a good example for other people, as well.
You know the right things to do and then you go ahead and do them during the week, you can have a lot more fun on the weekends.
We tend to go for the more fun carbs and the ones that might even not exactly be Wild Diet friendly on the weekends.
That’s as well when we go out and tend to enjoy a bit of wine or I even like Guinness and scotch and whiskey. Not too much, not binging like back in the days of college or playing as a touring musician or whatever, when all the booze was free.
But as long as you are moderating your excursions to a degree, if that makes sense, with having a glass or 2 of red wine… okay, maybe 3, but not 6.
There’s a big difference between having a beer and having a 6-pack of beer.'There's a big difference between having a beer and having a 6-pack of beer.' - Abel James Click To Tweet
So, Janine, I think this is a great example that you’re down 8 pounds in the first week. This is for the 14-Day Clean Eating Challenge through our Wild Challenge app.
We have meal plans that kind of encourage you to eat clean that way, but then coloring outside the lines on the weekend is a great way to do it.
But usually, it’s interesting, we’ll do that sometimes on Friday, but usually Saturday is the day that we like to have fun like you, Janine.
And then on Sunday it’s nice to clean things up and typically I don’t drink and we’re trying to eat clean so that by Monday morning we’re ready to go and get back to those nice habits that we know will keep us happy and healthy and productive and useful and all the rest of it.
What To Do When You Find a Hidden Source of MSG in a Favorite Food
This next question came in and this is pretty interesting, it’s around the MSG thing. He says:
Dang, I never realized yeast extract was basically MSG. I just recently started drinking Bovril in the UK, it’s like a bouillon, as a nice winter hot drink, but it has yeast extract as an ingredient which I just thought was benign. Looks like I might have to rethink this then.
Well, yeah, if you’re looking at this as something where you’re drinking it every day or on a regular basis, I would encourage you to look for a cleaner broth.
And depending on where you are, which country you’re in, there are different ways to go about that. Some of them are in the refrigerated section.
The easiest way is to make broth at home.
If you have a chicken, a turkey or even ribs and some other bones from a meat-based meal that you’re eating, throw that into the crock pot or into a pot of water and make your own broth at home just like the old fashioned way.
And that can be really satisfying, very nutritious, and you’re going to know exactly what’s in it.
But if you are buying those pre-packaged broths and soups, make sure that they don’t have too much of the bad stuff in them.
It’s actually really difficult to find clean soups and broths. You’ll find yeast extract, MSG, and the dozens and dozens of other names for the same thing.
MSG, in case you don’t know, increases your appetite and makes food that’s not that good tasting taste better to you. But it’s really a trick and it hijacks your brain into being more hungry than it otherwise should be.
And we all tend to eat more junk food when MSG is in our systems. At least that’s been our experience with coaching, and in our own bodies in the past few years.
That said, MSG or some form of it is in almost every prepackaged food. With some exceptions, it’s in almost all takeout food, all restaurant food, even those fancy hotels where you might be spending a ridiculous amount of money on your meal, you’re still getting MSG in the sauce or in some form in most of the salty foods that you’re eating.
It can even be in some dessert based foods.
So yeah, if this is something that you’re eating or drinking on a regular basis, try to go for an option that doesn’t have MSG or yeast extract in it if you possibly can.
And really quick, here’s a list of some of the hiddens names for MSG or ingredients that almost always contain MSG to look out for on ingredient labels:
- Autolyzed yeast or autolyzed yeast protein
- Calcium Caseinate
- Calcium glutamate
- Glutamic acid
- Hydrolyzed corn
- Anything “hydrolyzed”
- Magnesium glutamate
- Monoammonium glutamate
- Monopotassium glutamate
- Monosodium Glutamate
- Natrium Glutamate
- Natural flavors (ask manufacturers their sources, to be safe)
- Sodium caseinate
- Soy isolate
- Soy Protein Isolate
- Soy sauce
- Textured protein
- Vegetable extract
- Yeast extract
- Yeast food
- Yeast Nutrient
How To Kick Your Soda Habit with a Fizzy Beverage Swap
Next question is from Christie. She says:
“I understand how to lose weight. I actually love to exercise and train, however, Coca-Cola is my drug of choice. It’s a losing battle for me.”
I don’t mean to laugh at that, Christie, it’s just that for so many people, soda is the most addictive thing in their diet and it’s really hard to kick out, whether it’s diet coke, whether it’s the corn syrup version, the sugar version or whatever, it’s difficult to kick.
I really like fizzy drinks and seltzers and colas and that sort of thing, but I have, over the years, switched from the sugar-based versions or the junky diet Coke versions, which have all sorts of junk in them and it’s kind of a moving target which junk you’re even talking about.
I haven’t looked at the ingredients for Coca-Cola in some time now, but usually there are better options, and a few that I like at least every once in a while are Zevia has some colas with or without caffeine.
Bubbly is another seltzer-like drink, Bubbly Bounce I think it’s called, where they have like 35 milligrams of caffeine in it, as well. Or you can go for the non-caffeinated versions.
But going for some substitute fizzy drink is probably going to be a better option than Coca-Cola.
Now, one Coke here and there probably isn’t the end of the world. But if you put a tooth into Coca-Cola overnight, it will dissolve, or at least that’s what the internet tells me. So it’s not doing yourself any favors from the inside out.
And we all know that soda is something that’s best avoided, but I have really enjoyed some of the Zevia and other kinds of diet-like cola substitutes that have all sorts of different flavors. Ginger ale, ginger beer, cola, root beer and a few others are some of our favorites.
But if you can’t kick it out completely and go cold turkey—because I know it’s one of your weaknesses—see if you can swap it out for something that’s kind of like Coca-Cola or taste a bit like it.
Oh, this is one that I found a couple years ago that I really like and it is going to be a lot less damaging than Coca-Cola.
LaCroix makes a cola flavored seltzer that doesn’t have any sugar or any junk ingredients really aside from the flavors in it. And the cola flavor is actually really quite nice and surprising.
It’s not exactly like Coca-Cola, but it does taste really good.
So if you can find LaCroix Cola, Sparkling Cola, or I think it’s called NiCola La Cola or something like that, then give that a try. It’s tastier than you’d expect and you can always find fun, bubbly, fizzy, interesting drinks that aren’t super high in sugar at some sort of health food store or a lot of grocery stores.
So I would encourage you next time you are picking out something like Coca-Cola, look for the other options.
There are an endless amount of them, try a few, some taste disgusting and they’ll be awful and you won’t drink them again. Others you might quite like and they could help you finally kick your Coca-Cola habit.
Thoughts on Energy Drinks and Caffeine Pills
This leads nicely into the next question from Joe. He says:
I’ve long had an addiction to 5-Hour Energies. I hate the taste of coffee and other energy drinks. What is your opinion on five hour energies or caffeine pills? Do either fit in a Wild diet or should I quit cold turkey? So excited I found your podcast a few months ago.
Well, Joe, caffeine is a hard thing to quit cold turkey.
Some people can do it. Might get some headaches, might feel low on energy. But caffeine is one of those things, especially if you’re drinking outside of tea or coffee and it’s more the energy drinks, the 5-Hour Energy type stuff or certainly the caffeine pills.
It’s easy to go overboard and keep abusing caffeine and it is something that’s quite addictive. So I would encourage you to turn it down a bit.
One thing that I tend to do is I stopped drinking caffeine in the afternoon, sometimes even at or around noon, certainly by 3:00 PM that’s my cutoff.
And I do like coffee, I do like tea, so I try to drink my caffeine usually in that form.
Sometimes I’ll have, like I said before, like Bubbly Bounce or some sort of no-sugar seltzer that has a little bit of caffeine in it.
But to be honest, caffeine, I don’t really feel a big jolt of energy or anything like that from it.
It’s more that I like coffee and tea and I like the ritual around it.
So if it actually is kind of an addiction that we’re talking about to 5-Hour Energies, or these energy drinks, especially anything you can buy in the convenience store or a gas station is pretty much built to be addictive. 5-Hour Energy is one of them.
I remember I developed a slight addiction to 5-Hour Energies when I was driving across the country in my veggie oil powered Mercedes from all those years back.
Those of you who have been with us for a long time might remember my vegetable oil powered Mercedes video that I did a long time ago.
We’re not really sure exactly what it does to our gut microbiome.
So if there is something that you could replace it with like I was talking about before, some of those seltzer drinks, if they have a little bit of caffeine in them that can help you dial down the amount that you’re ingesting over the course of the day without giving you horrible headaches and withdrawal symptoms.
And that’s probably best to avoid, especially if you’re trying to get your nutrition and diet in check.
Then completely going cold turkey on caffeine and experiencing headaches and some of the other things that come along with that that make you feel horrible might make you give up on the whole thing and just say, “Ah, what the heck? I’ll just go back to not caring.”
That’s not what you want.
So I would encourage you to try to keep your caffeine somewhere under 200, maybe 300 milligrams a day.
I’m not sure how much is in each 5-Hour Energy, but try to have one or less if you can, and eventually replace it with—if you don’t like coffee, you don’t like tea, then find another caffeinated drink that you enjoy.
I like yerba-maté and Pu-erh tea.
Green tea, I don’t so much like, and black tea, eh, not that good to me.
Chai tea, not the sugary kind that you get from Starbucks or whatever, but actual Chai tea I do quite like.
And then going back to the answer from earlier, just go and shop around in some health food store and try a bunch of different drinks and look for the ones with a little bit of caffeine in them to help you get off the 5-Hour Energies and see if that helps.
As far as energy drinks go, there’s one called Clean, that I believe is yerba-maté based. I think the taste of that one is quite good and the ingredients are relatively clean as well.
Guru has a low-sugar version and I find the taste of kind of interesting and nice and there are a few others that you might want to check out, as well.
But yeah, 5-Hour Energy not so good.
And then caffeine pills, that’s definitely something that you could get carried away with, as well.
I think a little bit if it’s helping you get off the 5-Hour Energies, then maybe a little bit is going to be ok. But caffeine pills aren’t something that I take.
In fact, many people, many companies send us supplements and send us caffeine pills and send us other things to try all the time. And I still have a bottle of unopened caffeine, maybe two bottles of unopened caffeine pills from like 4 or 5 years ago that I should just throw away that I haven’t taken just because it feels a little bit wrong, I don’t know why.
But the synthetic forms of nutritional supplements that have caffeine in them just feel a little weird to me. So for the most part, I think it’s best to avoid those.
Since we’re losing light and the batteries are starting to die, let’s go with this last one.
I’ll answer it quickly because I’m going to do a Wild Diet update eventually in a future episode. But let’s just tackle this one real quick from Todd. He says:
“I’m a long time fan now with some success, however, I stray from time to time. Do you still stand by your book The Wild Diet or is there an updated edition?”
Todd, it’s a really good question and I get it all the time.
I do stand by The Wild Diet and the principles that I wrote into it.
I tried to write The Wild Diet book such that if it were 10 years in the future, it would still be just as useful and hopefully just as correct as it was the day that it came out.
And oddly enough, we are almost 10 years past when I released that book and originally wrote it. Not quite 10 years, but we’re certainly getting close.
We do plan to have some updates to the Wild Diet and I’ll let you in on some of those in the future.
But for the most part, the principles of the Wild Diet remain the same and I still live it.
Now, in terms of changes, I would say I probably eat a little bit less of fresh veggies in the forms of salads.
But because it’s sometimes hard to get those, especially when you’re traveling, eating options that are not organic or that aren’t pasture-raised or that aren’t grass-fed sometimes in order to eat the most delicious fatty brisket we can that day or to eat some double cheeseburgers, to get our protein on what have you, we will make some sacrifices and eat something that’s not 100% grass-fed and grass-finished.
For the most part, we try to eat grass-fed on a regular basis, but I’m not as afraid of eating the somewhat imperfect meats, especially red meats like we were in days past.
And we don’t eat as much fish as we used to. Some of that is just because of where we live.
If you can’t get delicious fresh fish, then it’s not so much worth it, especially when you look at the prices of these foods.
Like fish is one that can be outrageously expensive when you look at how many calories you’re getting, especially when you compare it to red meat.
So I would say in terms of changes, I probably eat even more red meat now, a little bit fewer salads, fewer smoothies.
In terms of exercise, it’s very similar. Fasting is pretty similar.
I’m still doing a 16/8 or maybe a 20/4 type fast on most days.
So in terms of The Wild Diet book and what our work said years ago and how we still live today, things are pretty much the same with some minor differences here and there.
After doing some experiments with the continuous glucose monitor and with my Oura ring sleep tracking, exercise tracking, looking at my heart rate variability and things like that, I am much less likely to have too much to drink than I was before.
So moderating the amount of alcohol that I’m having and the amount of other things that might not be that healthy has become easier because I have the data and the statistics and the graphs to prove how bad it is for me.
So for example, drinking a heck of a lot of booze completely destroys my heart rate variability and raises my heart rate the next day too much.
It’s scary when you actually track some of these things and you see what alcohol can do to your system, what too much caffeine can do to your system and how it sacrifices your sleep.
So I would say that it’s a little bit easier to actually stick to what I wrote in The Wild Diet for eating clean and living clean on most days.
And on the free days and the times that we’re having a lot of fun, I would say it’s become a bit easier to rationalize moderating our behavior based upon what we’ve learned.
So I hope that helps, and I’m looking forward to doing a lot more of these episodes with Alyson, with you folks and your questions.
But keep in mind that we do have a lot of interviews coming up.
Before You Go
Thanks for joining us in the special question and answer episode.
Also never fear, we’re not changing the format of the show or anything, we do have a lot of interviews that I’ll be setting up in the next few weeks with some fan favorites including Dr. William Davis, author of “Wheat Belly,” “Super Gut” and much, much more.
Jay Cardiello who was a co-star on that ABC TV show from years back, you may remember. Jay has also been on this podcast before, great dude, he got in touch and let me know that he helped the star of the new Whitney Houston movie to lose 30 pounds for the role, so we’re going be talking about that as well as morning routines.
Even the survival expert Bear Grylls recently got in touch and we’re arranging for an interview. So we’ll be sure to get that in the books as well. That’ll be an interesting one. I know a lot of you enjoyed the past episode with Michael Hawke, who’s definitely one of our heroes.
And if you’d like to ask me a question, there are a few ways to get in touch.
The easiest one is probably just going to the home page on fatburningman.com and make sure that you’re signed up to the newsletter.
And just hit reply to the email that I send to you.
I’ll send you a Wild Quick Start Guide as well as a 7-day Wild Meal Plan, and Alyson’s world famous Choconut Cookies as a special thanks for signing up.
But most of the questions come in by people like you just hitting reply and asking me whatever is on their mind.
I do my best to help. And a lot of these, obviously, I answer off-air, but some of these I answer on air as well, especially some of the more interesting and fun ones.
The Wild Challenge is something we do a few times a year with mega giveaways and all sorts of fun things to be involved in, as well as community support.
You can check that out at fatburningman.com/app and use the coupon code WILD25 to save 25% off the price of entry.
And if you live in the United States and you’d like to directly support our work and keep this free show coming your way, please check us out at WildSuperfoods.com.
These are the supplements that we take every day, some of our absolute favorites, the best tasting ones out there.
Right now you cannot get Wild Superfoods in stores, on Amazon or anywhere else. Every purchase directly supports our work.
It’s a quick, easy way to support us, and I know that money is tight out there, so we put together a whole bunch of Subscribe & Save options as well as Bundles to help you save getting the best quality nutrients you possibly can.
So one more time, just visit us over at WildSuperfoods.com.
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Surprisingly, carbs, starches and sugars can affect people completely differently.
You may remember when I had Kara Collier on the podcast not too long ago, and for her, sweet potatoes sent her blood glucose rocketing to the moon.
But that didn’t happen to me when I did several experiments with sweet potatoes. It did happen with regular potatoes though.
So, if you’re interested in fine-tuning your diet and lifestyle, the Nutrisense program is a powerful tool to take your health to the next level.
And since you’re a Fat-Burning Man subscriber, right now you can save $30 off to try Nutrisense for yourself.
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Do you have a question? Drop it in the comments below. Or even better, sign-up for the newsletter and just respond to any of the emails I’ll send your way.
Once again, thank you so much for tuning in.
This is Abel James signing out and I hope you have a wonderful week. We’ll see you in the next episode.