Interview: Jonathan Bailor of ‘The Smarter Science of Slim,’ part two

Here’s part two of the interview I conducted with Jonathan Bailor, author of The Smarter Science of Slim.

Fat Head: Based on your definitions of SANE and inSANE foods, what are the three worst foods you see people typically consume?

Jonathan:
1. Any beverage with a high concentration of sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (e.g., regular soda)
2. Foods full of processed starch combined with sugar (e.g., cakes, pies, snack cakes, doughnuts, etc.)
3. Foods that are fundamentally sugar or processed starch (e.g., candy, white bread, etc.)

Fat Head: You also state that the quality of food affects our need and ability to burn fat.  I know it’s a complex topic, but as briefly and simply as you can explain it, how does higher-quality food enable us to burn fat more efficiently?

Jonathan: The need to burn fat (distinct from the need to slow down and to burn muscle) means our body has an abundance of nutrition and a shortage of calories. When there’s an abundance of nutrition and a shortage of calories, the body wants to burn fat to fuel itself instead of slowing down and burning muscle.

The ability to burn fat means metabolizing fat for fuel is “easy” given our hormone levels. For example, if we have the hormone insulin circulating in our bloodstream, it is not “easy” for our body to burn fat for fuel. No matter how much we need to burn fat at that point in time, insulin has removed our ability to do so effectively.

High-quality food provides an abundance of nutrition and satisfies us so effectively that we avoid overeating. Additionally, high-quality food creates a hormonal environment that makes it much easier for us to burn fat for fuel. More nutrition plus less overeating and healed hormones enables our body to burn fat rather than slowing down and burning muscle.

Fat Head: The USDA recommends eating nutrient-dense food, but advises against eating red meat.  Isn’t red meat nutrient-dense?

Jonathan: If we divide the nutrition provided in a serving of lean red meat by the calories provided in a serving, we see that lean red meat is nutrient-dense.

Fat Head: Are whole grains nutrient-dense?  Do you ever eat them?

Jonathan: Dividing nutrition per serving by calories per serving, we see that whole grains are less nutrient-dense than non-starchy vegetables, seafood, lean meats, low-fat or fat-free plain Greek yogurt, low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese, citrus fruits, and berries, as well as most nuts and seeds. Therefore, we would be better off eating so much of the aforementioned nutrient-dense foods that we’re too full for less nutrient-dense whole grains. For example, when we’re out to eat, we could easily tell our server, “Please hold the starch and double the vegetables.”

I personally do not eat any whole grains because they do not further my health and fitness goals.

Fat Head: I’ve seen quite a few guidelines on how much protein a person should eat, and they’re all over the place.  According to one expert, I only need about 50 grams of protein per day.  The Protein Power guidelines put me at around 130 grams per day.  According to both you and Tim Ferriss, I should be consuming closer to 200 grams per day.  That’s a lot of protein.  What would be the advantage for me of consuming that much?

Jonathan: Lean sources of protein are very satisfying, positively impact our hormonal balance, are nutrient dense, and are relatively difficult for the body to convert into body fat. Also, we have to eat something, so focusing on protein-rich foods is a great way to satisfy ourselves while ensuring both the need and the ability to burn fat. Put differently, if you didn’t get about a third of your calories from protein, you’d be getting them from foods that are less likely to ensure you have both the need and the ability to burn fat.

Fat Head: You suggest consuming at least 30 grams of protein soon after waking.  I’ve been doing the opposite lately, limiting my meals to lunch and dinner as a form of intermittent fasting, which I presume you’d advise against.  Why should I eat a protein-rich breakfast in the morning if I’m not actually hungry?

Jonathan: Studies show that consuming protein every three to four hours boosts the metabolism (need to burn fat) and creates a hormonal environment more optimized for fat burning (ability to burn fat). I, too, am not hungry when I wake up. As a solution, I’ve found mixing whey protein powder with a big glass of water is a great way to boost the metabolism and help hormones even when hunger isn’t present. I also mix two tablespoons of wheat grass powder into my protein shake to sneak a few servings of non-starchy vegetables in.

Fat Head: How do you feel about intermittent fasting in general?  Do you believe the positive hormonal changes promised by advocates of intermittent fasting do indeed occur?

Jonathan: The research behind The Smarter Science of Slim shows that anytime the body has insufficient nutrition (distinct from insufficient calories), the metabolism slows down (bad), the body burns at least as much muscle as fat (bad), and a hormonal environment is created that will cause fat gain in the long term (bad). However, my research suggests that as long as the body is provided with an abundance of nutrition (including protein and essential fatty acids) insufficient calories could provide a positive result.

Fat Head: The diet you recommend is around one-third protein, one-third carbohydrates from fruits and non-starchy vegetables, and one-third fat.  I haven’t tried to calculate macronutrient percentages lately, but I’m pretty sure my diet is more than 50% fat and probably no more than 15% – 20% carbohydrates.  Is there something wrong with that ratio?   Can you explain why less fat and more carbohydrate would help me lose weight more weight?

Jonathan: As long as you are eating at least ten servings of non-starchy vegetables a day while getting about a third of your daily calories from protein, the rest of your diet could consist of natural fats—ideally, mostly from plants and seafood—without compromising long term health or weight. In other words, studies show that to optimize long-term fat loss and health, we must eat at least ten servings of non-starchy vegetables and approximately a gram of protein per pound of body weight per day (there are exceptions for very heavy individuals). After that, as long as it’s full of water, fiber, and protein, we are good to eat it.

Fat Head: You urge your readers to get their carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits, and I totally agree with that.  But frankly, I’d find it difficult to consume a third of my calories in the form of, say, green vegetables while simultaneously limiting my fat intake.  For example, I checked the nutrition label on a box of spinach and found that it provides about 90 calories in the form of carbohydrates.  I’ll happily eat that box of spinach, but only if I add at least two tablespoons of butter to the mix, which means I’m already consuming twice as many fat calories as carbohydrate calories, and that’s before I even put any meat on my plate.  So, with that preamble out of the way, here’s the question:  if you’re going to get a third of your calories from non-starchy carbohydrates, how do you make all those piles of vegetables palatable?

Jonathan: Without a doubt, a SANE cookbook is needed, and one is coming this year.

In the meantime, sautéing non-starchy vegetables with a teaspoon of olive oil and various seasonings can make it easy and delicious to consume 3-4 servings of non-starchy vegetables in a sitting. Do this with lunch and dinner, and someone can eat 6-8 servings of non-starchy vegetable with less than a tablespoon of olive oil. Add some non-starchy vegetables to an omelet or scrambled eggs for breakfast and put some sugar snap peas (delicious raw) in a bag to snack on, and it’s relatively easy and tasty to take in more than 12 servings of non-starchy vegetables without consuming over 12 servings of added fat. And that’s what someone would do to achieve excellent health and fitness. If someone’s goals are more moderate, the non-starchy vegetable intake becomes even easier.

Note: The research underlying The Smarter Science of Slim shows that naturally occurring fats found in foods that are rich in water, fiber, and protein are fantastic for fat loss and health. It does, however, recommend we add as little fat to food as possible, as pure fat isn’t rich in water, fiber, or protein.

Fat Head: You cite research in your book to convince readers that despite what we’ve all been told, saturated fat and cholesterol don’t cause heart disease.  But you also recommend consuming egg whites and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.  While producing Fat Head, I was focused mostly on restricting carbohydrates, but I’ve become more of a whole-foods guy in the past couple of years.  Since eggs are a whole food, why should we consume eggs whites instead of whole eggs?  Why consume consume fat-free dairy products instead of full-fat dairy products?

Jonathan: Whole eggs are healthy sources of fats since the majority of eggs’ calories come from fat versus from protein or carbohydrate. I recommend mixing egg whites with whole eggs to even out the ratio of protein and fat. If someone gets sufficient lean protein from other sources and takes in all the non-starchy vegetables necessary to optimize heath and weight, then whole eggs are fine. More simply, if someone eats eggs as a source of fat, whole eggs are fine. If someone eats eggs as a source of protein, he needs to mix egg whites with whole eggs to ensure he is actually eating mostly protein.

The point with the low-fat or fat-free plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese is similar. If someone eats Greek yogurt and cottage cheese as sources of fat, then the full fat variants are fine. However, if someone uses these foods as sources of protein, she needs to make sure the majority of the associated calories are from protein. Note: Eating reduced fat/low-fat anything is only desirable if the fat is not replaced with sugar. Low-fat food that is chock full of sugar is terrible for health and fat loss.

To be really clear, it’s not about fearing fat. Rather, it’s about maximizing our intake of foods rich in water, fiber, and protein. We should enjoy fat freely, just after focusing first on water, fiber, and protein.

Fat Head: I’ve heard from dozens of readers who lost a lot of weight by cutting sugar and starch, but are now stuck at 20 or 30 pounds heavier than they’d prefer.  What, if anything, can people who reach a plateau do to lower their set-points even more?  What do you tell people who can’t seem to drop that last 20 pounds?

Jonathan: Exercise less—but smarter—as recommended by The Smarter Science of Slim. This type of exercise is specifically designed to work our muscles in a unique manner to trigger a magnitude of “fat-burning hormones” unparalleled via nearly any other exercise technique.

Fat Head: You wrote quite a bit about how hormones drive weight gain in your book.  Once women reach menopause, their bodies undergo hormonal changes that encourage accumulating more body fat.  Is there anything they can do to avoid this hormonally-driven weight gain?

Jonathan: Yes. Eat more and exercise less, but smarter. More specifically, eat so many non-starchy vegetables and so much lean protein that you are too full for starches and sweets. Then exercise your muscles so deeply that it is impossible for you to exercise that way again for about a week.

Fat Head: A couple of other authors who wrote about lowering the body’s set-point claim that we need to engage in aerobic-type exercise for an hour per day.  Do you believe aerobic exercise can lower the body’s set point?  If not, why not?

Jonathan: I did not find any studies that showed aerobic exercise to meaningfully impact the hormones which influence the set-point. Therefore, I do not see how aerobic-type exercise could meaningfully impact the set-point.

Fat Head: You recommend brief, high-intensity exercise instead of jogging or walking on a treadmill.  Why do you believe this kind of exercise is better for weight loss?

Jonathan: What I believe is based on the work of countless brilliant doctors, academicians and researchers all over the world. As I said earlier, biology isn’t a matter of opinion. Consequently, every piece of advice I give is grounded in the research, which has proven that high-force exercise works a specific type of muscle fiber (Type 2b) that triggers a uniquely helpful hormonal response. Think about triggering this hormonal response like trying to move a heavy piece of furniture. You can gently poke at the furniture for one, ten, or even 100 hours, but no quantity of low-force movements will cause you to move the furniture, i.e., the result you want.  Fewer but higher-force movements are how you get the result we want.

Fat Head: There’s a lot of buzz these days about paleo diets and paleo exercise.  I’m sure you’re familiar with the terms, so what do you think of the paleo/primal lifestyle?  Is it healthy?

Jonathan: The eating philosophy I advocate is similar to a paleo type diet, but there are three differences. My understanding of paleo diets is that no/very little legumes or dairy are permitted and fatty meats are encouraged. (My apologies if I am mistaken.) My research shows there are high-quality legumes and a few high-quality dairy products, and that these high-quality foods are both healthy and helpful for fat loss. It also shows that the best sources of fat are plants—nuts and seeds—and seafood. Therefore, if you are looking for the highest quality protein combined with the highest quality fat and given the choice between a fatty cut of meat and a lean cut of meat plus a handful or two of nuts, The Smarter Science of Slim recommends the latter.

Fat Head: How would what you recommend differ from the advice people receive from paleo/primal advocates like Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf?

Jonathan: It’s going to be more similar than it is going to be different. I mentioned the three dietary differences above.

When it comes to exercise, I agree with Mr. Sisson and Mr. Wolf on the “less but higher-quality” angle. However, my research takes this concept one step further and provides a specific type of exercise that can be done at home without any equipment and ensures the highest-quality exercise possible while minimizing impact on joints and ligaments. To my knowledge, the specific type of exercise recommended by The Smarter Science of Slim is not part of the paleo/primal regime…although I suspect Mr. Sisson and Mr. Wolf would not be opposed to it, as they are both scientifically minded individuals.

Fat Head: You don’t have recipes or meal plans in The Smarter Science of Slim, so explain what a typical day’s meals look like for you or someone following your recommendations.

Jonathan: Recipes and meal plans are coming. In the meantime, SANE meals are going to be similar to paleo meals but focus on getting fat from plants and seafood rather than fatty meats and can include high-protein, low-sugar, and low-fat dairy as well as legumes. At the end of the day, it’s about each individual’s tastes and goals because The Smarter Science of Slim is not a set of ridged laws, but a body of knowledge that enables people to most effectively accomplish their particular health and fitness aspirations.

Thank you, Jonathan.

 

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130 thoughts on “Interview: Jonathan Bailor of ‘The Smarter Science of Slim,’ part two

  1. Dan

    Great interview.

    However, in response to “I’ve heard from dozens of readers who lost a lot of weight by cutting sugar and starch, but are now stuck at 20 or 30 pounds heavier than they’d prefer”:

    I encountered something similar problem to this in the past and I found that I was suffering from Euthyroid Sick Syndrome. Very low-carb diets are great for your liver and help to recalibrate your insulin levels to assist in future weight maintenance. Unfortunately, the thyroid, which regulates your metabolism, isn’t as receptive to it. I’m following Jaminet’s line of thinking here where ketogenic diets are great for therapeutic purposes, but not for long term weight maintenance. It is possible for your body to become glucose deficient, and it manifests itself in ESS.

    After spending three months on a VLC diet, I increased my carb consumption to around 80-100 grams a day (coming from sweet potatoes and berries) and this has helped me go much further in my weight loss. My saturated fat and protein intake went down, but only by a matter of offset created by the increase in carbs. I continue to avoid wheat, sugar, and seed oils.

    80-100 carbs per day is pretty reasonable. I don’t think most of us need to live on zero-carb diets (I don’t), but 100 grams may be too much for people with diabetes, depending on the source.

    Reply
  2. Zachary Worthy

    Eh still not buying the part about eating egg white’s and low-fat yogurt. I understand that it’s not about fearing fat and about maximizing protein, but if that’s the case, why not just eat foods high in protein in the first place? There’s simply no reason to eat an egg without the yolk, even and especially if you aren’t fearing fat in the first place.

    I’m doing a little experiment right now, upping my protein intake and reducing the fat intake a little. As part of that, I’ve been mixing two whole eggs with some egg whites. I’ll see if it makes a difference.

    Reply
  3. Ralph, Cleethorpes

    Great interview! I’m not convinced about the favouring nuts’ and seeds’ fat to animal fat though (cream=yum).

    Also, don’t lactose containing dairy foods promote excess insulin responses?

    Someone (can’t remember who) gave a presentation at AHS showing that dairy products raise insulin beyond what the carb count would predict.

    Reply
  4. Stephen Love

    Jonathan said: “The eating philosophy I advocate is similar to a paleo type diet, but there are three differences. My understanding of paleo diets is that no/very little legumes or dairy are permitted and fatty meats are encouraged. (My apologies if I am mistaken.) My research shows there are high-quality legumes and a few high-quality dairy products, and that these high-quality foods are both healthy and helpful for fat loss.”

    I suggest he/readers should consider the latest Prof Cordain has to say on dairy products and legumes in ‘The Paleo Answer’. Whatever their positives it seems they have a whole lot of serious negatives.

    I am increasingly convinced the question, ‘what did paleolithic humans eat/not eat?” is a good guiding principle. Dairy and legumes were not on the menu.

    SL

    Reply
  5. Jennifer Snow

    I experimented with a high-protein, medium-fat, super-low-carb for a week or two and found it had really good effects. Think I’m going to try going back on that for a while. I was a little dubious because the guy who recommended it said to eat bacon for protein, but bacon is really not a good source of protein. Chicken breasts are, however.

    Our local Meijer is gradually turning itself into some kind of crazy health-food store. Every time I go there I find something that’s fantastic for my dietary changes that they didn’t have 2 weeks ago. It’s nice to have somewhere so convenient to shop for really great food.

    That’s the experiment I’m conducting on myself; more protein, less fat (but still nothing like a low-fat diet). I’m not interested in trying to get 33% of my calories from non-starchy vegetables. That’s piles and piles of them.

    Reply
  6. Dan

    Great interview.

    However, in response to “I’ve heard from dozens of readers who lost a lot of weight by cutting sugar and starch, but are now stuck at 20 or 30 pounds heavier than they’d prefer”:

    I encountered something similar problem to this in the past and I found that I was suffering from Euthyroid Sick Syndrome. Very low-carb diets are great for your liver and help to recalibrate your insulin levels to assist in future weight maintenance. Unfortunately, the thyroid, which regulates your metabolism, isn’t as receptive to it. I’m following Jaminet’s line of thinking here where ketogenic diets are great for therapeutic purposes, but not for long term weight maintenance. It is possible for your body to become glucose deficient, and it manifests itself in ESS.

    After spending three months on a VLC diet, I increased my carb consumption to around 80-100 grams a day (coming from sweet potatoes and berries) and this has helped me go much further in my weight loss. My saturated fat and protein intake went down, but only by a matter of offset created by the increase in carbs. I continue to avoid wheat, sugar, and seed oils.

    80-100 carbs per day is pretty reasonable. I don’t think most of us need to live on zero-carb diets (I don’t), but 100 grams may be too much for people with diabetes, depending on the source.

    Reply
  7. Zachary Worthy

    Eh still not buying the part about eating egg white’s and low-fat yogurt. I understand that it’s not about fearing fat and about maximizing protein, but if that’s the case, why not just eat foods high in protein in the first place? There’s simply no reason to eat an egg without the yolk, even and especially if you aren’t fearing fat in the first place.

    I’m doing a little experiment right now, upping my protein intake and reducing the fat intake a little. As part of that, I’ve been mixing two whole eggs with some egg whites. I’ll see if it makes a difference.

    Reply
  8. Mike

    Where did this kid get his misinformation? 10 servings of veg a day? not! Focus on plant fats? Not! Our hunter/gatherer ancestors, were proven, scientifically, To be high level carnivores,by analyzing the collagen in ancient bones,and can tell from where, the protein that made it came from.With great accuracy,they can tell whether the protein came from land,sea,plant or animal. Eating every 3 hours is also B.S.

    Reply
  9. Gilana

    If Part 2 had actually come as Part 1 I never would have read Part 2. Jonathan hasn’t sold me, despite his best effort (and he is definitely a salesman, as in, “Cookbook coming soon, stay tuned!” He has not made me want to purchase that cookbook).

    He’s trying to couch it in different terms, but he is advocating nothing new, except perhaps his exercise recommendations, which I’m open to. He’s laid out here an American’s idea of the “ideal Mediterranean” diet: small amounts of olive oil, vegetables, seafood, low-fat dairy. (And I don’t even know what he means by “at least ten servings of non-starchy vegetables.” For me, a 10 ounce box of spinach is a serving. Or is it that he wants me to count on the USDA’s determination of what makes up a serving? Half a cup? Sorry. He doesn’t legitimize his argument by carping on “servings”.)

    Finally, he can deny it all he likes, and he comes across as an amicable fellow, but the man is afraid of fat. He tries to dodge it, but it’s obvious. Perhaps he is trying to appeal to all comers, and so is toeing the line for his own preservation. Or maybe he really believes that fat from plant sources is superior to fat from animal sources. Either way, I’m not a fan of hedging one’s bet.

    Reply
  10. Ralph, Cleethorpes

    Great interview! I’m not convinced about the favouring nuts’ and seeds’ fat to animal fat though (cream=yum).

    Also, don’t lactose containing dairy foods promote excess insulin responses?

    Someone (can’t remember who) gave a presentation at AHS showing that dairy products raise insulin beyond what the carb count would predict.

    Reply
  11. NM

    He suggests he is not fat-phobic but appears mightily afraid of any fat that isn’t mainstream PC: fish and nuts, fine. Meat fat, not so much.

    I think Peter from Hyperlipid could run rings around this guy, frankly.

    Reply
  12. Stephen Love

    Jonathan said: “The eating philosophy I advocate is similar to a paleo type diet, but there are three differences. My understanding of paleo diets is that no/very little legumes or dairy are permitted and fatty meats are encouraged. (My apologies if I am mistaken.) My research shows there are high-quality legumes and a few high-quality dairy products, and that these high-quality foods are both healthy and helpful for fat loss.”

    I suggest he/readers should consider the latest Prof Cordain has to say on dairy products and legumes in ‘The Paleo Answer’. Whatever their positives it seems they have a whole lot of serious negatives.

    I am increasingly convinced the question, ‘what did paleolithic humans eat/not eat?” is a good guiding principle. Dairy and legumes were not on the menu.

    SL

    Reply
  13. Jennifer Snow

    I experimented with a high-protein, medium-fat, super-low-carb for a week or two and found it had really good effects. Think I’m going to try going back on that for a while. I was a little dubious because the guy who recommended it said to eat bacon for protein, but bacon is really not a good source of protein. Chicken breasts are, however.

    Our local Meijer is gradually turning itself into some kind of crazy health-food store. Every time I go there I find something that’s fantastic for my dietary changes that they didn’t have 2 weeks ago. It’s nice to have somewhere so convenient to shop for really great food.

    That’s the experiment I’m conducting on myself; more protein, less fat (but still nothing like a low-fat diet). I’m not interested in trying to get 33% of my calories from non-starchy vegetables. That’s piles and piles of them.

    Reply
  14. Marilyn

    Thank you for these interviews, Tom. Interesting.

    I dunno. . . lean meat and fish, low fat or nonfat yogurt and cottage cheese, sautéeing food in a mere teaspoon of oil, bushels of non starchy vegetables full of water and fiber. . . . I’m afraid I’ve been there, done that too many times already. 🙂

    I’m getting good results by avoiding sugar and starches and letting my appetite guide me from there. I am experimenting with upping the protein and lowering the fat a bit.

    Reply
  15. Mike

    Where did this kid get his misinformation? 10 servings of veg a day? not! Focus on plant fats? Not! Our hunter/gatherer ancestors, were proven, scientifically, To be high level carnivores,by analyzing the collagen in ancient bones,and can tell from where, the protein that made it came from.With great accuracy,they can tell whether the protein came from land,sea,plant or animal. Eating every 3 hours is also B.S.

    Reply
  16. Gilana

    If Part 2 had actually come as Part 1 I never would have read Part 2. Jonathan hasn’t sold me, despite his best effort (and he is definitely a salesman, as in, “Cookbook coming soon, stay tuned!” He has not made me want to purchase that cookbook).

    He’s trying to couch it in different terms, but he is advocating nothing new, except perhaps his exercise recommendations, which I’m open to. He’s laid out here an American’s idea of the “ideal Mediterranean” diet: small amounts of olive oil, vegetables, seafood, low-fat dairy. (And I don’t even know what he means by “at least ten servings of non-starchy vegetables.” For me, a 10 ounce box of spinach is a serving. Or is it that he wants me to count on the USDA’s determination of what makes up a serving? Half a cup? Sorry. He doesn’t legitimize his argument by carping on “servings”.)

    Finally, he can deny it all he likes, and he comes across as an amicable fellow, but the man is afraid of fat. He tries to dodge it, but it’s obvious. Perhaps he is trying to appeal to all comers, and so is toeing the line for his own preservation. Or maybe he really believes that fat from plant sources is superior to fat from animal sources. Either way, I’m not a fan of hedging one’s bet.

    Reply
  17. NM

    He suggests he is not fat-phobic but appears mightily afraid of any fat that isn’t mainstream PC: fish and nuts, fine. Meat fat, not so much.

    I think Peter from Hyperlipid could run rings around this guy, frankly.

    Reply
  18. mezzo

    Whatever studies may or may not “prove” (and I tend to be more and more wary of studies” I still believe that “eating when you are hungry and not eating when you are not hungry” is a good principle to live by if you have a metabolism that’s not too cranked. Why not trust the signals your body sends?

    Reply
  19. Marilyn

    Thank you for these interviews, Tom. Interesting.

    I dunno. . . lean meat and fish, low fat or nonfat yogurt and cottage cheese, sautéeing food in a mere teaspoon of oil, bushels of non starchy vegetables full of water and fiber. . . . I’m afraid I’ve been there, done that too many times already. 🙂

    I’m getting good results by avoiding sugar and starches and letting my appetite guide me from there. I am experimenting with upping the protein and lowering the fat a bit.

    Reply
  20. palo

    Jonathan said: “When it comes to exercise, I agree with Mr. Sisson and Mr. Wolf on the “less but higher-quality” angle. However, my research takes this concept one step further and provides a specific type of exercise that can be done at home without any equipment and ensures the highest-quality exercise possible while minimizing impact on joints and ligaments. ”

    What is this fabulous mysterious exercise?

    It’s very slow negative resistance. Lift a heavy weight with both legs, for example, then lower it with one leg, slowly, resisting the whole way down.

    Reply
  21. Pierre

    Great interview!

    I broke my plateau of over 6 months with intermittent fasting. Was holding at 205 from 240 and at least trace ketogenic the entire time. Tried intermittent fasting and immediately within 2 weeks dropped 7 pounds. My method is one meal a day at night…

    I found that some intermittent fasting shaved off a few extra pounds as well. I’m currently experimenting with a big load of protein in the morning, as Bailor recommends.

    Reply
  22. mezzo

    Whatever studies may or may not “prove” (and I tend to be more and more wary of studies” I still believe that “eating when you are hungry and not eating when you are not hungry” is a good principle to live by if you have a metabolism that’s not too cranked. Why not trust the signals your body sends?

    Reply
  23. AndreaLynnette

    This was a really interesting interview. I think he presents his case well, too. But I’ve been doing very well on a high-fat diet with a super-low carb count. As soon as I raise my carb level, I get in trouble. I’m really dubious of any plan that tells me I need carbs.
    Also, just out of curiosity, much is ten servings of veg? Does he have a predefined serving, or is it the standard serving (2 cups for leafy greens, 1 cup for pretty much everything else)?

    I start gaining weight if I put starchy carbs in my diet, but I’ve never tried a higher carb content all from non-starchy vegetables. I don’t think I can eat that many of them.

    Reply
  24. LCNana

    Tom, thanks a lot for this. It’s got me thinking about tweaking what I eat, and it will also send me “down cellar” for my weights. More lean, and many more salads are in my future, as well as some heavy lifting twice a week. I’ll report back come spring!!

    I’ve done the negative-resistance workout twice now. I certainly feel it the next day.

    Reply
  25. mrfreddy

    I’m one of those who need to lose that last 15 or so.

    The “Art and Science of Low Carb Diets” authors tell me to eat more fat, this guy says to eat less fat, the food reward crowd says to eat your fat separately and without any flavoring….

    what to do, what to do….

    That’s why I’m a fan of n=1 experiments. I’m upping my protein intake and reducing my fat intake a bit to see if it makes any difference in my body composition. I won’t be getting 33% of my carbs from vegetables, however, because I have no desire to eat several cups of vegetables per day with little or no fat on them.

    Reply
  26. darMA

    After seeing you, Dr. Eades and Denise Minger pick apart the conclusions of so many “peer-reviewed studies”, I’m kind of leary of somebody who states the majority of his ideas/recommendations come from studies. I’m kind of surprised you didn’t ask him if he ran any of those studies he looked at past someone like you or Dr. Eades, who can see if they actually hold up under closer scrutiny.

    As for the 11 servings of veggies, I weigh 120-125 pounds, I would never be able to fit in any fat or protein at all if I ate that many veggies a day and I doubt I’d be able to exercise at all if I was stuffed all day. Yes, I realize his book is about weight loss but still, 11 servings is what he is saying is healthy for everybody.

    I understand his reasons for that suggestion, but I don’t have any desire to consume 11 servings of vegetables per day with little or no fat on them.

    As for picking apart studies, all you can do is look them up and see if they were conducted according to scientific principles.

    Reply
  27. Firebird

    If you are not getting enough carbs, the body will automatically convert protein to glucose, or as my friend likes to call it, time release carb loading. Still, I’d rather get my carbs from a chicken thigh than a banana.

    BTW, I do intermittent fasting all the time. I call it “not eating between meals”. 😉

    Reply
  28. mrfreddy

    “That’s why I’m a fan of n=1 experiments.”

    Me too. I’ve had some success with the food reward ideas, but so far I haven’t managed to stick with it more than a couple of weeks. It could be that the food reward thing has merit, or it could just be that eliminating dairy and added fat are doing the trick. I’m going to play around with those variables in my diet and see what happens.

    I’m secretly hoping it’s the dairy and added fat-I can live without those. Eating bland food all the time isn’t exactly how I want to live the rest of my life haha.

    Since I’ve done well with foods I actually like, going for a bland diet is out of the question for me.

    Reply
  29. palo

    Now that I discovered Johnathan recommends very slow negative resistance done at home without any equipment, I assume he means negative only bodyweight exercises (i.e. push ups, pull ups, squats).

    Questions:

    1. Will these exercises lower one’s body fat thermostat.

    2. How many times per week.

    3. Aren’t these similar to Hahn’s Slowburn and Dr. McGuff’s Body by Science?

    The exercises are similar, but with an emphasis on negative resistance. He says if you work to the point of full muscle exhaustion, you should wait a week before doing it again. For a second workout, you’d do hard sprints or “sprints” on an exercycle.

    Reply
  30. Jennifer Snow

    @Firebird I do that kind of intermittent fasting, too. I’m too lazy to cook 3 meals a day, and if I eat enough fat/protein one is PLENTY to keep me feeling satisfied (not stuffed, just not hungry) until the same time or later the next day. The only time I eat more than once a day is when my housemate is around and wants to be fed–he won’t stop drinking soda so he’s hungry ALL THE TIME.

    I don’t like eating out much any more because the portions of the stuff I can actually eat (meat and veggies mostly) are TINY. They’d be happy to give me five pounds of french fried potatoes, but a nice two pound steak? Forget it. Some places I’m lucky if I can find a cut that’s ONE pound.

    One of the best restaurants I’ve found (and this is going to sound insane) is, get this, Steak and Shake. Why? Because they don’t give me any grief when I order 4-6 burgers sans bun sans fries, and they’re quite inexpensive. That, and they’re happy to slather butter all over stuff, and it’s REAL butter (at least here). Almost everywhere else I go, the “butter” is a hydrogenated oil/butter blend. Ugh.

    Reply
  31. palo

    Jonathan said: “When it comes to exercise, I agree with Mr. Sisson and Mr. Wolf on the “less but higher-quality” angle. However, my research takes this concept one step further and provides a specific type of exercise that can be done at home without any equipment and ensures the highest-quality exercise possible while minimizing impact on joints and ligaments. ”

    What is this fabulous mysterious exercise?

    It’s very slow negative resistance. Lift a heavy weight with both legs, for example, then lower it with one leg, slowly, resisting the whole way down.

    Reply
  32. Pierre

    Great interview!

    I broke my plateau of over 6 months with intermittent fasting. Was holding at 205 from 240 and at least trace ketogenic the entire time. Tried intermittent fasting and immediately within 2 weeks dropped 7 pounds. My method is one meal a day at night…

    I found that some intermittent fasting shaved off a few extra pounds as well. I’m currently experimenting with a big load of protein in the morning, as Bailor recommends.

    Reply
  33. AndreaLynnette

    This was a really interesting interview. I think he presents his case well, too. But I’ve been doing very well on a high-fat diet with a super-low carb count. As soon as I raise my carb level, I get in trouble. I’m really dubious of any plan that tells me I need carbs.
    Also, just out of curiosity, much is ten servings of veg? Does he have a predefined serving, or is it the standard serving (2 cups for leafy greens, 1 cup for pretty much everything else)?

    I start gaining weight if I put starchy carbs in my diet, but I’ve never tried a higher carb content all from non-starchy vegetables. I don’t think I can eat that many of them.

    Reply
  34. nonegiven

    I think a serving of non starchey veg is one cup raw or half a cup cooked, Atkins said to have 2 cups of salad or one cup cooked veg per _meal_ for induction, that is 2 servings of either.
    I think 150 g of carb would be bad for my already screwed up metabolism and I know low fat is and 33% is not that much higher than the 30% that the ADA recommends, which is low fat. I think I’ll stick with extra yolks instead of extra whites. I only eat low fat yogurt because it’s all they have here, I get full fat when I go out of town. I eat butter and use cream, I eat the chicken skin and don’t trim off the fatty parts of meat.
    Dr Bernstein says for diabetics to set your carb amount and protein amount and add enough fat to make it satisfying, vary the protein until you find the amount that maintains your weight. To gain, eat more protein, to lose eat less. I don’t think I’ve eaten as low as 30g of carb though, maybe I should.

    Reply
  35. LCNana

    Tom, thanks a lot for this. It’s got me thinking about tweaking what I eat, and it will also send me “down cellar” for my weights. More lean, and many more salads are in my future, as well as some heavy lifting twice a week. I’ll report back come spring!!

    I’ve done the negative-resistance workout twice now. I certainly feel it the next day.

    Reply
  36. Robinowitz

    Hmm, not particularly compelled to buy this book based on his emphasis on lean meats and getting fat from plant sources. The only plant I can think of that we get any decent quantity of fat is the olive… or am I mistaken? Leafy greens and low starch veggies don’t contain much fat and are pretty much unpalatable to me (and most people I’ve met) without added fat. Also, I’ve read in several different books that many of the nutrients in veggies are fat soluble, so should be consumed with some source of natural fat. AND eating veggies cooked in natural fat means I’ll actually eat them and feel satisfied. I prefer butter, bacon grease, and coconut oil. Does he even mention coconut oil as a good vegetable fat, or does he consider it ‘too saturated’? I know it’s got a better fatty acid profile than the much-touted olive oil. Like olive oil for salad dressing, but that’s about it. Not the best fat for cooking, in my opinion.

    Unfortunately, it seems to me the author is still trying to keep with the more mainstream recommendations than come up with anything truly groundbreaking. Thanks for the interview, Tom! You asked all the questions in the second part I was wondering about from the first part:)

    He doesn’t fear saturated fat as a heart-disease risk, but says quality vegetable fats such as olive oil may help with insulin resistance.

    Reply
  37. Galina L.

    I noticed a while ago, that I feel sub-optimal after eating any big meal, sort of mild version of a carb coma, especially after IF. Dr.Bernstein’s “Chinese food effect” comes into my mind as an explanation. Basically nothing what that guy said about nutrition rings my bell, especially eating when not hungry.
    Thank you, Tom, for your plan to experiment with his suggestions.

    Reply
  38. mrfreddy

    I’m one of those who need to lose that last 15 or so.

    The “Art and Science of Low Carb Diets” authors tell me to eat more fat, this guy says to eat less fat, the food reward crowd says to eat your fat separately and without any flavoring….

    what to do, what to do….

    That’s why I’m a fan of n=1 experiments. I’m upping my protein intake and reducing my fat intake a bit to see if it makes any difference in my body composition. I won’t be getting 33% of my carbs from vegetables, however, because I have no desire to eat several cups of vegetables per day with little or no fat on them.

    Reply
  39. darMA

    After seeing you, Dr. Eades and Denise Minger pick apart the conclusions of so many “peer-reviewed studies”, I’m kind of leary of somebody who states the majority of his ideas/recommendations come from studies. I’m kind of surprised you didn’t ask him if he ran any of those studies he looked at past someone like you or Dr. Eades, who can see if they actually hold up under closer scrutiny.

    As for the 11 servings of veggies, I weigh 120-125 pounds, I would never be able to fit in any fat or protein at all if I ate that many veggies a day and I doubt I’d be able to exercise at all if I was stuffed all day. Yes, I realize his book is about weight loss but still, 11 servings is what he is saying is healthy for everybody.

    I understand his reasons for that suggestion, but I don’t have any desire to consume 11 servings of vegetables per day with little or no fat on them.

    As for picking apart studies, all you can do is look them up and see if they were conducted according to scientific principles.

    Reply
  40. Firebird

    If you are not getting enough carbs, the body will automatically convert protein to glucose, or as my friend likes to call it, time release carb loading. Still, I’d rather get my carbs from a chicken thigh than a banana.

    BTW, I do intermittent fasting all the time. I call it “not eating between meals”. 😉

    Reply
  41. mrfreddy

    “That’s why I’m a fan of n=1 experiments.”

    Me too. I’ve had some success with the food reward ideas, but so far I haven’t managed to stick with it more than a couple of weeks. It could be that the food reward thing has merit, or it could just be that eliminating dairy and added fat are doing the trick. I’m going to play around with those variables in my diet and see what happens.

    I’m secretly hoping it’s the dairy and added fat-I can live without those. Eating bland food all the time isn’t exactly how I want to live the rest of my life haha.

    Since I’ve done well with foods I actually like, going for a bland diet is out of the question for me.

    Reply
  42. palo

    Now that I discovered Johnathan recommends very slow negative resistance done at home without any equipment, I assume he means negative only bodyweight exercises (i.e. push ups, pull ups, squats).

    Questions:

    1. Will these exercises lower one’s body fat thermostat.

    2. How many times per week.

    3. Aren’t these similar to Hahn’s Slowburn and Dr. McGuff’s Body by Science?

    The exercises are similar, but with an emphasis on negative resistance. He says if you work to the point of full muscle exhaustion, you should wait a week before doing it again. For a second workout, you’d do hard sprints or “sprints” on an exercycle.

    Reply
  43. Dianne

    As a post-menopausal woman, I found that I had to drastically up my fat intake, otherwise I was hungry ALL the time. I could still overeat healthy foods otherwise:-( God bless butter! And egg whites? Bleeh! I think there’s a reason there’s a yoke in there.

    Reply
  44. Jennifer Snow

    @Firebird I do that kind of intermittent fasting, too. I’m too lazy to cook 3 meals a day, and if I eat enough fat/protein one is PLENTY to keep me feeling satisfied (not stuffed, just not hungry) until the same time or later the next day. The only time I eat more than once a day is when my housemate is around and wants to be fed–he won’t stop drinking soda so he’s hungry ALL THE TIME.

    I don’t like eating out much any more because the portions of the stuff I can actually eat (meat and veggies mostly) are TINY. They’d be happy to give me five pounds of french fried potatoes, but a nice two pound steak? Forget it. Some places I’m lucky if I can find a cut that’s ONE pound.

    One of the best restaurants I’ve found (and this is going to sound insane) is, get this, Steak and Shake. Why? Because they don’t give me any grief when I order 4-6 burgers sans bun sans fries, and they’re quite inexpensive. That, and they’re happy to slather butter all over stuff, and it’s REAL butter (at least here). Almost everywhere else I go, the “butter” is a hydrogenated oil/butter blend. Ugh.

    Reply
  45. Jan

    I’m sorry, but by advocating that we get the majority of our fat from plant and seafood sources (keeping in mind that not everyone has access to quality, sustainably raised/caught seafood) he’s advocating that the majority of the fats we consume be in the form of inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids. And fill up on lean meats and non-starchy vegetables so we won’t “be hungry” for starches or sweets? That’s like Dr. Oz telling us it’s okay to eat servings of pretzels or chocolate the size of your fist as long as you wash the taste of it out of your mouth right afterwards with water so you won’t crave it later.

    The guy smacks of quack to me. Sorry, but he does.

    Reply
  46. Alex

    @ mrfreddy

    Try calorie counting. A few years ago, I used fitday.com and shed those last few pounds, going from 183 down to 170. I floated between 170 and 172 for a couple years before my weight started creeping up again. Believe it or not, a low-ish carb paleo diet doesn’t magically prevent weight gain when one starts eating more food. I hit 177 a few weeks ago and decided it was time to count calories again. I eat at home and weigh all my food to the gram. I shoot for around 2000 calories per day (averaged out over a week, eating more on some days and less on others), and after two weeks I’m down to 174.

    This idea that calories don’t matter is nonsense. Sure, some foods affect the metabolism differently than others, but when all the metabolic effects are accounted for, if you’re not in caloric deficit, you’re not going to lose weight. Counting calories and eating low carb to manage hunger levels is simple and easy, although weighing/measuring everything and entering it in on the fitday website is a bit tedious.

    If you don’t give your body a reason to tap your stored fat, it won’t. The reason a low-carb diet worked for me is that by allowing my body easier access to the stored fat, I ended up eating less without feeling hungry. Way back in the first Protein Power book, Eades & Eades stated clearly that losing weight requires an energy deficit.

    Reply
  47. Marilyn

    It would appear from some of the reading I’ve done that the jury is still out on vegetables. Are they REALLY good for a person, and more is always better? Or will one or two servings a day be adequate? Or are vegetables so filled with anti-nutrients, it would be best to leave them alone entirely?

    The jury is still out on fiber, as well.

    I don’t think anyone has a definitive answer on how much or how little we really need. We usually have one or two vegetable dishes with every dinner meal.

    Reply

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