How Much Exercise Is Too Much, Why Calorie Restriction May Be A Bad Thing, The Downsides of Hormesis & Other Shocking Health Myths Debunked With Jay Feldman and Mike Fave.

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Biohacking, Body, Diet & Nutrition, Fat Loss, Fitness, Health & Wellness, Nutrition, Podcast, Podcast-new, Recovery

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9 April 2022

Today on the podcast I'm joined by two guests, Jay Feldman and Mike Fave, to discuss and debunk many juicy “myths” circulating out in the health and fitness worlds today.

Jay Feldman is a health coach, independent health researcher, and the host of The Energy Balance Podcast. He has degrees in neuroscience and exercise physiology from the University of Miami and decided to forgo medical school after realizing that the conventional medical approach was not the solution to the health problems that so many of us face. After working through various conventional and alternative health paradigms and trialing countless diets (including everything from vegetarian to keto), Jay came across the idea that cellular energy is the foundation of our health. He now uses a bioenergetic approach to help men and women around the world maximize their cellular energy and achieve freedom from low-energy symptoms like chronic hunger & cravings, fatigue, brain fog, poor sleep, gut issues, and weight gain.

Jay is also joined by Mike Fave, an independent researcher and a Registered Nurse. While educated in conventional medicine as an RN, Mike spent close to a decade with his head inside a Pubmed article or a physiology textbook, and his heart in some type of nutrition or supplement experiment. At the beginning of his journey, Mike damaged his health by getting caught up in dietary dogma and nutrition ideology. He went the western medical route to try to fix the damage and wound up getting talked into a surgery he didn’t need. It’s taken him years to recover, but he doesn't regret it because he learned significantly from his mistakes. He saw all sides of the spectrum from being a patient to being a practitioner to being a part of the alternative health scene. He takes his lessons, experiences, and knowledge to help others not only avoid the mistakes he made, but help them rebuild their health without dogma, ideology, or authoritarianism.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-The history of the bioenergetic model of health…06:38

  • Dr. Ray Peat
  • Generative Energy Podcast with Danny Roddy
  • Dr. Ray Peat on One Radio Network
  • The conventional medicine route wasn't working for them
  • In-depth in physiology, cells, mitochondria
  • Flow of energy drives biological function
  • Opposes the “hormetic view” of health
  • Energy is at the forefront
  • Restricting energy flow has a deleterious effect on our health
  • When you create stress in the short term, you get a short term burst of energy production and expenditure to deal with that stress; in the long term that comes at a cost to the flow of energy
  • Hans Selye

-How Jay and Mike reconcile the dichotomy between their view and the traditional view of a hormetic approach to health…23:40

  • There's a difference between substrate and energy production
  • Ensure substrate is being converted into ATP
  • Rate of living theory: the more energy we expend, the faster we age (scarcity mindset)
  • There are better ways to create the positive effects of hormesis without the stress-induced on the body

-Why the traditional hormetic model is incorrect…26:08

  • A conceptual shift in how the benefits of hormesis are perceived
  • Understand the correct definition of hormesis
  • “What doesn't kill you…can eventually kill you.”

-What causes energy access that leads to chronic disease…29:40

  • Certain foods inhibit energy production in the body
  • Excess substrate is not being converted into energy; instead is being converted into body fat

-What Jay and Mike's model looks like in the real world…34:42

-Clarity on what Jay and Mike's model does NOT mean…39:07

-Better ways to get the benefits of hormesis without the stress of hormesis…59:40

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

Jay Feldman:

Mike Fave

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Jay Feldman or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

18 thoughts on “How Much Exercise Is Too Much, Why Calorie Restriction May Be A Bad Thing, The Downsides of Hormesis & Other Shocking Health Myths Debunked With Jay Feldman and Mike Fave.

  1. ZuckerRat says:

    I may be an n=1 experiment, but here is my personal experience FWIW. I Was a long-term keto/low-carb dieter. I pursued this for control of my diabetes and weight control. Did it work for a while? Absolutely. Was I happy eating that way? Absolutely not. I began slowly incorporating some of the concepts that Mike and Jay talk about… Such as adding fruit, juice, fruit, and starches to my diet. I did this extremely slowly because I was very afraid… I was convinced that by doing this, I would send my blood sugar through the roof and my weight would explode. But, low-carb and keto was failing me, and I had to try something else.

    What happened? My blood sugars stabilized and are lower than they were on low-carb (I should mention that I am currently not training). My weight held steady and I am actually now slowly losing.

    I actually look forward to my meals now. No more starving myself (fasting). Truthfully, I noticed that my blood sugars were higher when I was fasting. It seems as if my body was simply responding to the starvation by pumping out more sugar, likely at the expense of my muscle – something that I do not want to lose as I am a 56 year old woman and I’m going through menopause.

    As a contrast, I have a live, real time example of the negative effects of the long-term low-carb diet in front of me every day in the form of a coworker. She is sluggish (her NEAT appears to be in the basement. – I have never witnessed anyone who can stay sitting in the same chair as long as this woman can). She visibly makes attempts to avoid moving. She is moody and can’t handle stress at all… Not even a tiny bit. What I consider a nice, steady workday is absolutely overwhelming for her. She is approximately eight years younger than me and I can run circles around her. A lot of afternoons, she is practically falling asleep at her desk by 2:30 in the afternoon. All of the things that I have mentioned are very clearly upregulated on days where she decides that she is simply not going to eat anything at all and do “OMAD”. Additionally, she is also developing what could potentially be a very serious health problem that I will not mention here in detail. But let’s just say, according to some of the research done through the bioenergetic lens… Her diet may well be the root cause.

    The bioenergetic way of eating is not at all based on the concept of “eat as much and whatever you want and don’t exercise”. That is not correct at all, and I’m really not sure where this even comes from. From what I can see from actually test driving the diet for approximately the last six months is that it focusses on working with your body rather than against it.

    Unfortunately, the diet/fitness industries have convinced us that if we are struggling with our weight in particular, there must be something wrong with us, and therefore we must beat our body into submission overtraining it, starving it, denying it nutrition. I am coming at this from the angle of average person, not some sort of an elite athlete.

    Build the body that you want instead of destroying the one that you have. If you are low carb and are feeling that it is no longer giving you results, give this a try. Beginning incorporating some of the ideas very slowly. See what happens. Like me, you might be very shocked at what does happen.

  2. Jayson says:

    I agree been! You aren’t aging well. I honestly follow you to extend my life and have followed you for some time. You, honestly, are aging like my dad who does zero workouts, eats fried food, and drinks daily.

    1. Luka says:

      Damn, I was thinking the same thing. Ben looks old. The stem cell and other thousand dollar treatments are apparently shit! Good to know.

  3. Aleksi says:

    Hi! First time commenter, very long time listener here from Finland. This was absolutely a phenomenal podcast episode and even though I hadn’t heard of these guys and Dr. Ray Peat before, I must say that this stuff made a lot of sense. The hormesis case was entirely new to me, as I – like probably many here – always thought that hormesis is the way to go when enhancing health.

    I must say that Jay’s and Mike’s statements remind me A LOT of Dr. Jack Kruse’s work, where the main point is that “if the battery is depleted, there is no more to draw from”. He of course focuses on the “engine” mostly and fuel comes way later. There are deficits to his methods IMO (exercise/movement priority is almost on the bottom), but the main argument is the same I think: you can’t and shouldn’t stress a body that does not have the energy to provide for the compensation/repair.

    In my case, I have done keto+extreme exercise (tanking my libido etc but thank god not doing any further damage) and all the jazz. What I have had success with, was IMF (8/16) but what I noticed is that my weight didn’t go down very much even though I felt good and body was lean. And one thing I noticed and was wondering for years, is when on the weekends I would drive to our summer cottage (a Finnish thing) with my family and would, out of hospitality, eat breakfast and way more carbs that I regularly do. Even from grains, think about that! Although some water retention happened, I felt strong and my libido went so high it wasn’t even funny anymore! This happened on many occasions, and sometimes I noticed that even though I ate more in these trips, body composition didn’t go down and I had good energy overall. Of course there is the stress thing, more outside air etc but this baffled me a lot.

    I think internally I started to connect the dots for the mentioned occurrence, and now listening to this strengthens my “hypothesis” of just not providing my body enough energy on a regular basis, and more driving the fasting-cortisol train.

    Nowadays I eat kind of circadian rhythm – Satchin Panda style, with a good breakfast and tapering food intake down as the day continues. By the way, one mistake Ben had when he mentioned Dr. Panda, is that he actually advices in his book to eat breakfast BECAUSE the cortisol is higher in the morning and the insulin response is better on the earlier part of the day, which he mentions that the reasons aren’t known yet, but he thinks it may have something to do with light. Because of these statements, I shifted my own eating schedule to an earlier one as I tended to get the bulk of my calories in the evening, which of course doesn’t work well with going to sleep.

    Thank you Ben for keeping an open mind! I clearly see throughout the years your evolution, and I think this new update on your website is a good example of that :)

    Best regards,

  4. Mike says:

    Seems fishy. If you have a surplus of energy substrate and it’s able to be processed efficiently, then I don’t know why it would be a problem.. Only compromising other internal systems if OVER-stressing, right?

    Seems like we need to further define what stress is. Isn’t mechanically loading the muscles already considered a stressor?

    1. Jay says:

      You’re right, definition is part of the problem and often the terms (including “stress”) are misused.
      Stress is the process that occurs in response to an energy deficit. The stressor is the agent that causes the stress. Any stimuli has both a stressor effect (which is the amount of energy it uses) and specific effects, which are all of the other effects it has. The stressor effect is generalized, where all stimuli have a stressor effect that is cumulative, whereas the specific effects are unique to each stimulus.
      When it comes to exercise, the mechanical loading is a specific effect.
      I explained this further in this article:

      1. Michael says:

        Thanks Jay. That makes sense. So the main goal then should be to first have as much actual usable energy as possible.
        And then, since all of these stressors have their own specific effect, & since the stress is cumulative, it shouldn’t really matter which things we are doing, whether heat exposure, cold exposure, exercise or a certain way of dieting. But as long as we don’t go over the energy supply creating that deficit, we should be okay. Would you agree?

    2. Zuckerrat says:

      But… You basically just stated the problem. Research shows that something in the area of 90% of the population is not metabolically healthy.

      And there is the big question. Are the majority of people processing an excess of energy efficiently? Every time I go out to the park, to the mall or to work… And look at the people walking around I would have to say that answer to that question “no”.

      Anybody who has made it through high school has had to study and learn the Krebs cycle. Many people only memorized it long enough to pass the test, unfortunately.

      All you have to do is pull out an old biology, textbook, and look at it. See what your body uses as a substrate to make energy from…

  5. Brian says:

    I had been listening to Jay and Mikes podcast and just read Dr. Steven Gundrys book unlocking The Keto Code. It seems that you are hitting on some of the same science here in regards to nutrition, “uncoupling” mitochondria by eating polyphenols, Mct, and post-biotic fibers. I would love to hear more about this cellular process.

    1. EJ says:

      I agree Brian…I’ve read that book and listened to each podcast Gundry was on…looking for depth of knowledge and different interviews allow for more and more to be exposed. Ben…would love you to do a new podcast about this “cellular signaling”:)

  6. Craig Thielen says:

    Great podcast Ben! One of the things I appreciate about you is your openess to new ideas and thinking. As the great Michealango said ‘I am still learning’ and embracing that mindset, a beginner’s mindset, may be the healthiest behavior of all. Thanks for what you do!

    1. Catherine says:

      Agree totally – this was running through my mind also.. it’s why it’s the one podcast I subscribe to and never miss an episode… Stands out in the crowd.

  7. Mike says:

    Heard a bit about diet, but maybe I missed some exercise examples for bang-for-your-longevity-buck? What are you fellas doing these days, and is Ben gonna drink a bit of your cool aid?? Ha! Thanks guys

    1. Jay says:

      I think the most important piece for exercise is not to do it with the focus of “burning calories” or “driving stress” or a “no pain no gain” mindset. As long as we’re moving regularly that makes the biggest difference. And I’d also generally lean away from large amounts of endurance training due to the stress it causes relative to its benefits. When it comes specifically to hypertrophy and resistance training, I’d also lean away from techniques that increase stress and damage, like using eccentric-based training.

      We just discussed exercise further on a recent series of our podcast:

    2. Jay says:

      And I’m not sure if Ben will but I hope he does!

  8. fedfan says:

    This really makes sense as an older dude (57).

  9. EJ Vaughan says:

    Hmm…sounds like this bioenergetic model is a reminder to figure out what works for you…and if we start from a place of depletion…all the hormesis will further deteriorate our “energy”. And it’s a reminder not to combine extreme measures…to mitigate excess “measures” (diet, movement, cold/hot therapy) and living in the middle ground. Basically assessing if the benefits outweigh the “risks”…pretty much what we all “need” to “do”…knowing your endpoint and head in that direction in the most supportive (as opposed to destructive) way possible for you. Ben, your intention was fulfilled…as you mention at the end. Good, balanced discussion…and yes, as you age things change (get old) as you mentioned as well…life sorta “forces” you to get more gentle with yourself as a gift to yourself…not as a way to “take the easy road”…mostly because it becomes more aligned with how you think as you age…

    1. Candice says:

      “Get more gentle with yourself “, Well said.

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