Episode #114: Can Some Foods Cripple Your Body’s Ability To Burn Fat?

Affiliate Disclosure

Fat Loss, Podcast

Listen on:

Pad Thai may look healthy, but…

Click here for the full written transcript of this episode

In this September 29, 2010 free audio episode:an interview about why we get fat and what we can do about it, quick core workouts, cheat meals, how to warm-up, what to eat before you drink alcohol, competition in cold weather, danger of low body fat, and why exercise won't make you thin.

Remember, if you have any trouble listening, downloading, or transferring to your mp3 player just e-mail [email protected]. And don't forget to leave the podcast a ranking in iTunes – it only takes 2 minutes of your time and helps grow our healthy community! Justclick here to go to our iTunes page and leave feedback.

Scroll down to donate anything over $15 to the show, and Ben will send you a BenGreenfieldFitness.com t-shirt…you can also conveniently donate any amount with your phone by simply clicking here.


Featured Topic: Can Some Foods Cripple Your Body's Ability To Burn Fat?

In today's featured topic, I interview Jonathan Bailor, author of a soon-to-be released book on smart and healthy eating, why Americans have gotten fat, and what we can do about it. During our discussion, I ask Jonathan:

1) which foods can cripple our ability to burn fat?

2) how can we burn fat without changing how many calories we eat? Is that possible?

3) do people spend too much time on cardio?

4) what form of exercise is best for maximizing fat loss?

5) how can we fix hormonal issues that could be causing fat gain or inability to lose weight?

6) You say that big business and government are burying all of this so that they can keep their oversized profits and budgets. Please expound.

As soon as I have more details on Jonathan's forthcoming book, I'll let you know!


Special Announcements:

-Flexible Option: if you simply want unlimited Q&A e-mail access to Ben Greenfield, it is $175/month. Click here to sign-up.

-Full transcripts of BenGreenfieldFitness podcast now available! Click here to check them out!

-Rock Star Triathlete Academy only open at $37 until October 1, 2010, and then tuition will increase to $67. Get in now if you want in at the current member price, along with a $1 14 day trial. Click here to check it out.

-Triathlon Dominator RE-LAUNCH. On October 4, 2010, Ben Greenfield will be adding an audio release entitled “Top 10 Mistakes Made By Triathletes”, a 3 month off-season training program, a special “Golden Ticket” to his worldwide triathlon camps, a new manual that teaches triathletes how to qualify for Ironman World Championships, and 3 day VIP access to the Rock Star Triathlete Academy, Ben's online training school for triathletes. The promotion will be offered until October 9 at midnight – the same day that coach Greenfield will be competing in the Ironman World Championships in Kona. Get in now at http://www.triathlondominator.com.

-New Refund Policy for Austin Training Camp: you can sign up now by clicking here, still get the early bird discount, and Ben will honor refunds until December 1! Think forward to your training next January…Will you be tired of the indoor trainer and the treadmill and that black line on the bottom of the pool? Are you going to be struggling to stay motivated for those wet 5-hour slogs in this rainy/snowy winter climate? Are you planning on ANY 2011 triathlon event from Olympic distance up to Ironman? Then this event is going to be perfect for you. Pacific Elite Fitness is proud to announced an Official 2011 Triathlete Training Camp, January 31-February 7, 2011 at the Endurance Ranch in Austin, Texas! Click here for more details or to register now.

– Get insider VIP tips and discounts from Ben – conveniently delivered directly to your phone! Just complete the information below…

First Name
Last Name
Cell # (1+area code)

Listener Q&A:

Shawn asks: Like many people, I have a hectic work schedule, and busy family life. Any tips on some good 15-20 minute core workouts I can do, in home and or office, when I just don't have time to make it to the gym?

TriHollywood asks via Twitter: @bengreenfield How much does a ‘cheat' or ‘reward' meal screw up your metabolism?

TriHollywood also asks vai Twitter: @bengreenfield What's the best way to do a warm up when starting a strength/resistance session?

In my response to TriHollywood, I recommend he visit this Get-Fit Guy's Quick and Dirty Tips article: “How To Warm-Up and Cool-Down”, which covers the topic of warming up.

Meredith asks: I am planning to partake in just a few drinks next weekend ,so my question is…should I eat a carb appetizer or protein before I have my first drink, or does it matter?

Constance asks: I noticed at the Spokane Triathlon that many athletes had difficulty during transitions with cold/numb extremities. What are your tips for cold management during triathlons? (e.g., what to put on clothes-wise and how, when you are wet?)

In my response to Constance, I mention Greyhound Juice – use discount code BGF for 5% discount.

Payam asks: You often suggest quinoa as a healthy alternative to other sources of carbs. However, I have read that it is high in sapponins, which are essentially a poison. Is this true, and what steps should be taken to minimize the sapponin content.

Chuck asks: With my history of an eating disorder, I have been diagnosed with low testosterone.  A few years back, I went to specialist in this area and she told me that my low testosterone was due to my body fat levels being so low.  Is my low testosterone a cause of not eating enough fat in my diet or would it be a cause of having too low a body fat % (other factors aside)?

Josie asks: I just came across this news article that was on my homepage and I was wondering what you thought about it.


Do you have a question for Ben? Just click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page and leave a voicemail, leave a Skype voicemail to username “pacificfit”, or e-mail [email protected].


Remember, if you have any trouble listening, downloading, or transferring to your mp3 player just e-mail [email protected] And don't forget to leave the podcast a ranking in iTunes – it only takes 2 minutes of your time and helps grow our healthy community! Justclick here to go to our iTunes page and leave feedback. Brand new – get insider VIP tips and discounts from Ben – conveniently delivered directly to your phone! Just complete the information below…

First Name
Last Name
Cell # (1+area code):

Scroll down to donate anything over $15 to the show, and Ben will send you a BenGreenfieldFitness.com t-shirt…you can also conveniently donate any amount with your phone by simply clicking here.


Ask Ben a Podcast Question

14 thoughts on “Episode #114: Can Some Foods Cripple Your Body’s Ability To Burn Fat?

  1. JoeBruin88 says:

    P.S. I don't think the link to the Greyhound Juice is working properly. It asks for a user name and password when clicked.

    1. I just checked…it's looking like Greyhound may have gone out of business! I'll try find a replacement.

      1. JoeBruin88 says:

        I ordered some Greyhound Juice from http://bikeman.com

      2. Try this:
        <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&location=http%3A%2F%2 Fwww.amazon.com%2Fs%3Fie%3DUTF8%26x%3D0%26ref_%3Dnb_sb_noss%26y%3D0%26field-keywords%3Dtopical%2520capsaicin%26url%3Dsearch-alias%253Daps&tag=bengree-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957″ target=”_blank”>http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?ie=UTF8&am…” target=”_blank”>Fwww.amazon.com%2Fs%3Fie%3DUTF8%26x%3D0%26ref_%3Dnb_sb_noss%26y%3D0%26field-keywords%3Dtopical%2520capsaicin%26url%3Dsearch-alias%253Daps&tag=bengree-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957

  2. Jack Russell Owner says:


    I would like to take issue with you on weight loss and mild exercise. While I agree with most of what you and Mr. Bailor said, I think you downplayed the advantage of long slow exercise like walking can play in a weight loss strategy.

    I have lost a significant amount of weight in my mid 20s (40 lbs in 4 months) and this year at age 50 (35 pounds 4 months with no decrease in lean body mass both times by counting calories and walking (although I do a lot of bicycling now as well.)

    What I find advantageous about walking is:

    1) Its real easy .. just put on some tennis shoes and out the door. I have a dog .. he likes to go on long walks so I feel I'm doing him a benefit too. I walk between 2 and 7 miles a day. This is especially important for non-athletes.

    I have taken your advice and normally walk first thing in the morning before breakfast. As your guest said .. walking is biologically 'natural' and I think the natural thing to do on long walks is burn the fat you have stored and not the muscle needed for hunting and running and not the sugar needed for the brain.

    2) Walking does not make me ravenously hungry. Often I come back from long bike rides and realize between the gatorade, lunch stop meal and/or snacks I carry (I'm talking about 60-100 mile rides) and my hunger when i get back .. that I have eaten back all the calories I exercised.

    I am actually finding this less the case now as I become more conditioned. I'm a B+ rider. But again for the out of shape person I think it is definitely true.

    3) Walking also is very relaxing and enjoyable (with my dog and with my ipod .. Ben Greenfield of course!) and if I go on a 2 hour walk that's 2 hours less I have to eat. And like I said .. I get back from a long walk and don't feel real hungry.

    4) The long slow exercise allows me to burn calories .. so I can eat more, still eat a deficit and get proper nutrition. In other words lets say I walk 5 miles and eat 500 calories right after I get back. Thats about a wash for weight gain but I'm getting the nutrition from the extra 500 calories.

    4a) This obviously assumes I am not eating those extra calories in fruit loops. So a smart diet is definitely part of the equation.

    I'm not saying you are wrong to emphasize intervals and weight lifting .. I live at the bottom of a hill so all my bike riding involves some relatively steep but short climbs that means in effect interval training .. but I find walking really helps me burn extra calories to lose weight and is also great for my days off the bike.

    I'm 50 so realistically I can't do hard interval training much more than 3 to 4 times a week (usually less .. I'm a big rest guy) so walking helps me burn calories and stay active on my off and easy days.

    The other nice thing about walking is that is very safe and virtually injury free.

    For obese or out of shape people it is a great place to start.

    Anyhow, thats my anecdotal evidence. But I know even when i get to my goal weight ( I started at 197 … I'm 160 now and 140 is my goal .. I'm 5-6) I am going to continue walking for my health and well being.

    Thanks for all that you do. I appreciate it!

  3. Good points Jerry. Interestingly we all EVOLVE. From the time we’re born, our gut evolves with the foods that we eat and the bacterial conditions we put it into.

    I think that the word evolution can mean much more than simply amoeba –> man.

  4. @ffluvssg1 says:

    Hi Ben!

    You made the following comment on Twitter today: "Research shows that many folks use exercise as an excuse for inactivity the rest of the day. Hence, the gym can make you fat." This reminded me of a Time magazine article "Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin" (Aug 9, 2009). Here is a link:

    There was a backlash against the article. Here is one example, from the American Council on Exercise:

    Essentially, the protesters were upset that the article implied there was no beneficial link between exercise and weight loss. If anything, people who exercise seem to overcompensate by eating too much.

    How can we continue to emphasize the importance of exercise in the context of proper nutrition and calorie intake? In my personal experience, once I achieved my goal weight I have had to adjust my calorie intake up or down depending upon my activity level and weight gain/waist size. I am managing smaller gains and losses at this point, but I am being careful not to overindulge after a one hour workout session, for example. What do you think about this?


    1. I think it is very important for lifestyle to think of exercise not as "exercise" but rather as "physical activity".

      Movement is paramount. If you exercise, fantastic. If you, like my wife, spend the day gardening, chasing kids and taking the dog on a walk, you may be able to (like her), hit the gym a couple times a week and call it good!

  5. Heather Cihak says:

    In episode 114 it is interesting to me how your guest speaker (in a matter of seconds, multiple times) goes back and forth between how we as humans have "evolved" from this or that or into this or that and how we are "designed" to perform this way or that way or metabolize this way or that way, etc. Creation and evolution do not co-exist. A true "evolution-believer" does not believe we are "designed" to…..anything. And a true "creation-believer" does not believe we evolved from anything and especially not millions of years ago but rather that the earth was created from a Creator about 6-10 thousand years ago. He states this is a "KEY" point: "Our bodies are fundamentally DESIGNED to be metabolically efficient. We've EVOLVED over 2.6 million years and for the vast majority of that time (like 96%) food was very scarce – we all know that and our bodies were DESIGNED…".

    This is only one of the exact quotes but he contradicts himself multiple times throughout the interview. I bring this up to say that prior to realizing this I was enjoying it and feeling like he could be on to something that could be beneficial and now I seriously doubt his credibility. His research is lacking and inconsistent and his opinions appear to be easily swayed. I say this because there are possibly others that feel the same way I do.

    Sorry to be negative but I am not one that easily jumps on board with anything – and I figure none of us would ever grow if all we ever did was praise one another right? I know you may not even read this or care and that is okay – I just had to speak my peace. :) Thanks for working so hard to help others. Have a great time in Hawaii and do great! Take care!

    1. Jonathan Bailor says:

      [reply part 1]

      Hi Heather – This is Ben’s guest speaker, Jonathan Bailor. Thanks for your feedback. I can definitely see how discussing evolution and design can seem contradictory; great catch. My research builds off the science demonstrating a human ancestry dating back over 2.6 million years. When discussing this, I often anthropomorphize natural selection/evolution and talk about how it “designed us” to thrive off certain foods. So when I say “design” that is not meant to imply what you correctly identify as what would be a contradictory belief in a 2.6 million year evolution and a 6-10k year ago divine emergence of humans in the garden of Eden. It’s simply anthropomorphizing the natural selection/evolutionary process…

      1. Jonathan Bailor says:

        [reply part 2]
        Also, could you talk a bit more about this: “A true "evolution-believer" does not believe we are "designed" to…..anything.” The theory of evolution/natural selection is the theory that over long periods of time, random changes in species that make them more suited to their environment—i.e. better “designed” for their environment—flourish while changes making species less well suited to their environment—i.e. less well “designed” for their environment—flounder. Even the most hardcore atheist such as Richard Dawkins believes that this “blind watch maker” (again anthropomorphizing) “designs” species over time. Again, “design” here is anthropomorphizing the evolutionary/natural selection process.

        Thanks again for the great feedback Heather. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

        – Jonathan Bailor

        1. Jerry says:

          One of the difficulties of reconciling the Paleo diet or other diets that are supposed to be better suited to the way our bodies are "designed"…looking back many thousands of years (or more) to what our foraging ancestors would have eaten…is the theory that our bodies should have evolved over these many thousands (or more) years to accommodate diets as they have existed over the several thousand years of recorded history. Should our bodies not have evolved…or should they no be expected to evolve?

          Somewhat of a contradiction. Is there evolution or not? Have humans, or do humans, continue to evolve or not? If so, why do we need to eat like early humans ate? If not, then we have a problem of foundation.

          I guess it's not unlike the problem facing evolution in general…that of no physical or fossil evidence of transitory species to actually document evolution and move it beyond mere theory.

          1. Jonathan Bailor says:

            Hi Jerry – Great point. I’ll defer to anthropologist and obesity researchers Boyd, Konner, Eaton, and Shostak who note: “100,000 generations of humans have been hunters and gatherers; 500 generations have been [farmers]; ten [had access to basic food processing]; and only one has been exposed [to modern food processing]…tens of thousands of years are often necessary for minor [genetic] changes to occur, hundreds of thousands or even millions for more significant changes.” So are we still evolving? Yes. Has evolution had enough time to adapt to our modern diet? No. Hope that Helps.
            -Jonathan Bailor

    2. spoonsister says:

      you could very well say that natural selection DESIGNS each organism to function well in it's environment, if you listen again, that's what he's saying. ruins his credibility? my gosh get over yourself. srsly. I do appreciate we're all given space to air our opinions, though so I'll respect your right to point out what you did. still, eyeroll. he presents a lot of current relevant info, none of which it seems you're refuting scientifically, i think that's the more important part of all this and not semantics.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *