Introduction: In this episode: what would happen if you quit eating carbs, how to get rid of that last bit of body fat, hyaluronic acid injections, putting aero bars on a road bike, TFL pain, irritable bowel syndrome in athletes, good sources of research for fitness and nutrition, alpha lipoid acid supplementation, what to do about dry skin from cold weather.
Ben: Hey folks, Ben Greenfield here. And in today’s interview I have a really interesting guest. This is a guy who I heard on a podcast actually a few times. He runs the Jimmy Moore’s Living La Vida Low Carb show and the guy literally is really not into carbs at all. Which you’ll know if you ever listen to his show and which you’ll also know if you listen to the podcast today. Now in celebration of releasing this podcast, I did something that I don’t normally do. I had a big sandwich. Literally. Right before I sat down to do this podcast. No actually, I had a killer workout today and that was my refueling protocol. However I did choose the sandwich just to see what would happen and tolerate digestive tolerance while I recorded today’s podcast. So if you hear things blowing up and going crazy and maybe hear some strange sounds. Even hear a toilet flush during the podcast, that means maybe my body was rebelling against those carbs. Either way it’ll be an interesting interview with Jimmy. Probably the other biggest thing about today’s show is that the Inner Circle news is out. If you subscribe to my newsletter list, then you’ve already heard about this and you may have seen it floating across Twitter but my wife and I are releasing some very cool, high quality, free videos over the next week. And I’ll be giving you a special message that tells you a little bit more about it after today’s other special announcements. But we also have some Q and A today, so quite a bit to squeeze in. So let’s go ahead and jump right in to this week’s special announcements.
Ben: So before we get into this week’s Listener Q and A, just a quick clarification. That Inner Circle podcast is not actually going to be totally accessible until Wednesday, Dec. 22. However, all four free videos are going to be released over the next week between now and then and you’ll be able to get into the Inner Circle within a week after this podcast is released. So onto the questions. If you have a question, you can email [email protected]. You can call toll free to 8772099439. Skype “pacificfit” or ask a question through the free Ben Greenfield Fitness iPhone app. And the first question today came through from Listener Justin.
Justin asks: My question is about losing body fat. I carry my excess in my thighs and in my low abdomen, I’m about 12% body fat and it’s all in those areas. How can I get rid of the last bit?
Ben answers: Well, in guys and in girls really, there’s a few different strategies when you’ve gotten fairly lean and fairly lean to kind of get rid of that last little bit. One of the things that I highly recommend is periods of intermittent fasting or periods of caloric restriction followed by refeeds. And the way that that would work – you’ve heard me talk about intermittent fasting before on this show. Real, real simple way to do it is to just quit eating two hours prior to bedtime. So after dinner, pretty much you’re done eating and when you get up in the morning, you wait a couple of hours before eating breakfast and with that scenario if you’re sleeping seven hours, you’ve got a good 11 hour, 12 hour fast right in there. The best way to do it is to actually – instead of getting up in the morning and waiting to eat breakfast is to actually get 30 to 60 minutes of light aerobic fat burning cardio in, in the morning prior to breakfast. So you wake up and your liver’s carbohydrate stores are empty so you accelerate the activity of the fat burning enzymes by keeping the exercise session aerobic. You don’t get a big cortisol release so your body doesn’t get all catabolic and digesting muscle for energy and it’s really a great way to shed fat. I personally do that a lot when I’m trying to lean up for a triathlon or a race. So that works really well. The refeeding would be cutting your caloric intake generally down by about 500 to 1000 calories per day below what you’re actually burning. So you take your resting metabolic rate and you take how many calories you’re burning during exercise and let’s say you add all that up and it comes out to 2500 calories. Well then the amount of calories that you take in each day would be 1500 to 2000 calories. So you’re at that strict caloric deficit and you shoot for that anywhere from five to six days per week but then one to two days per week and a lot of times for real active weekend warriors, those one to two days per week are on the weekend, you actually bump things up and you take in caloric balance or in slight excess. So those refeed days allow you to replenish your muscle glycogen stores and also allow you to maintain some semblance of intensity going forward into your program, and the last thing that that does is it keeps you from resetting your metabolic rate to a lower set point after you’ve gone through a period of caloric depletion, because really it’s very rare that you can go three to four weeks of caloric undercutting by 500 to 1000 calories without experiencing some type of drop in metabolism or bump down in immune system, drop in energy levels, chronic fatigue, things of that nature. So that’s when those refeeding days come in. For people who have real high metabolisms who are super lean anyways, a lot of times all you need to do – and this is relevant to today’s featured topic – is just cut sugar and starches. Literally just completely cut them. Alcohol goes hand in hand with that as well. You cut those three things, a lot of times, that’s all it takes. If you want to drop from 12% down to 8% and you’re a fairly lean person already, you’re not built like a football player. You don’t have an endomorph apple shape, you don’t have a real muscular shape or you’re literally a lean and skinny person – just cutting sugar, starches and alcohol does very, very well in eliminating that last little bit of body fat if you’re already exercising. So, when I say the last little bit of body fat, of course I’m referring to the unnecessary body fat. Everybody has a certain amount of necessary body fat that is crucial for metabolic function, hormonal formulation, insulation, padding, things of that nature. Generally for guys, Justin, it’s going to be around 3%. I would not recommend you ever going lower than that. Really, it’s only elite athletes that are going to function very well for any period of time at that body fat – and even that body fat, I only recommend maintaining during periods of competition or during periods where your esthetic appearance is very important to you. So say if you want to have a beach body during the summer, yeah cut down to a fairly low percentage during that time. But preferably bump it back up once sweater season rolls around and you’ll be doing your hormones a big favor.
So another question came through via Twitter. If you want to ask a question via Twitter, just go to twitter.com and follow Ben Greenfield and this question is from Big Paully.
bigpaully1 asks: How do you feel about hyaluronic acid being injected into a knee to reduce pain in that joint.?
Ben answers: Well we’ve talked about glucosamine before on this show as an amino group that can be injected or taken in orally to combat some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and hyaluronic acid is kind of in the similar family. It’s what’s called a glycosolaminoglycan and it’s widely distributed through a lot of your tissues and especially your connective tissue and basically it plays a role in cartilage formation. A lot of the molecular components of cartilage are made of this hyaluronic acid derivative. The idea is that by injecting that into a joint, you can accelerate the healing of a joint or you can reduce the degradation of a joint from something like arthritis. It’s a great idea and this treatment would fall under the category of something called viscousupplementation which is of course injections into the joint. It’s most typically used on the knee joint and the reason they call it viscousupplementation is it’s supposed to increase the viscosity of the joint fluid. So it increases the lubrication of the joint, increases the cushioning around the joint and could have a little bit of a pain killing effect. The issue is there haven’t been a ton of positive studies that indicates the efficacy of either injections of hyaluronic acid or oral use of hyaluronic acid, and so until clinical studies come out that there’s some kind of a positive effect on osteoarthritis, it comes down to the thing you’ll hear me say a lot on this show and that is that you may need to use yourself as a case study of one and if it works for you then fantastic, you found what works for you. But in terms of having significant efficacy in a controlled study, there hasn’t been a lot yet that’s come out in terms of the efficacy of hyaluronic acid and that’s really why a lot of pharmaceutical companies haven’t taken this on as kind of a big player or a money maker for them, because there’s not a lot to be said for it yet. Now that’s not to say that there not some derivative hyaluronic acid that’s going to come out at some point of the future that’s going to make all osteoarthritis go away forever and ever. But at this point, I can’t with good conscious tell you it’s going to help you out much, but you can always go try it and out. The flip side is there’s not a huge amount of danger to it, assuming you’re not getting these injections in a third world country with dirty needles. So good question.
Now the next question came through from Jake, and it’s a question about bicycling.
Jake asks: Does it make sense to add clip on aero bars to a standard road bike?
Ben answers: Well what Jake is referring to is these aero bars that a lot of times you’ll see triathletes riding, you’ll see time trialists riding and they put you down in this arrow position, down on your forearms rather than being up on your wrists and your hands. The idea is that triathlon bikes are designed so that when you get into those aero bars, it’s combined with a very steep seat tube angle on the triathlon bike. This puts you in a position where you can maintain relatively high cadence compared to a road bike and more importantly it puts you into a position that’s aerodynamic and uses more of the quadricep muscles, saving more of the glute and the hamstring muscles for running, which would be important for a triathlon. Once you switch to a road bike, you tend to use the butt muscles a little bit more. So you don’t typically run quite as efficiently. You can produce a little bit more power, but the seat tube angle is less steep so you’re in a less aerodynamic position which doesn’t favor riding on what tend to be relatively flat triathlon style courses and you’re not really doing yourself a favor when it comes to running off the bike either. That being said, for the first five years that I did triathlons, all I had was a road bike that I slapped a pair of aero bars on the handlebars. And I have a lot of people that I coach that do it that way and the nice part about it is then you have the advantage of being able to use a road bike when you want to use a road bike and being able to convert it to kind of a triathlon style aerodynamic position when you want to do that. You’ll get a lot of even time trialists like college teams that may not be able to afford time trial bikes and road bikes for their athletes. They’ll just supply their athletes with aero bars and when time trial comes around, you take your road bike and throw the aero bars on there. Again, not that big of an issue especially if you’re not running off the bike. If you’re in a triathlon, it makes a little more sense to switch to the steeper seat tube angle that’s on a triathlon bike. That being said, it does make sense to add those clip on bars if you don’t have access to a triathlon bike but you still want to ride in the aero position. They’re generally fairly affordable in that 50 – depending if you’re wanting to go with a carbon aero bar, you can spend up to 250 bucks on a set of aero bars. But yeah I used to ride that way. My wife rides with clip on aero bars on her road bike and it’s definitely something that you can do. It’s not going to be the fastest way but especially if you’re not going to do a lot of running off the bike, it can work for you. I got to tell you guys though if you want basically a dirt cheap triathlon bike, you should go where I recently went to get one. It’s what I’m riding now and I’m smashing apart all my records that I sent on my $8000 triathlon bike last year – this bike cost about $1700. I got it from synergysport.com. It’s made by a company called Gray and it’s called the Gray Storm Time Trial Bike. If the issue is financing, that’s about the best way to go . Super, super stiff frame. Picked that up, throw a set of aero bars on that and you’ll be set to go. Great question, and we’re going to move on to the next question from Mike.
Mike asks: In your experience with your athletes, has anyone ever complained of TFL pain? (What Mike is referring to with TFL pain is tensor fascia latae, which actually runs not out of the Starbucks coffee shop but rather down the outside of your leg. It’s basically the band that’s similar to the IT band. The tensor fascia latae is one of the long bands of fascia that runs on the outside of your leg.) I’ve had a few massages, ice, NSAIDSs, A.R.T., Graston, stretching, strengthening, refrained from all running, dry needling, hydrotherapy jets, and witchcraft. And after 7-8 weeks, the pain is no better.
Ben answers: Ok, yikes. What we’re talking about is IT band friction syndrome. Same as tensor fascia latae syndrome. But Mike has basically tried a lot of the things that I would recommend right off the bat. He’s done the soft tissue work with massages. He’s tried icing, tried non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, not that I’d necessarily recommend those. He’s tried active release therapy which is basically where you pin the end of a tendon and then run it through a stretching protocol. He’s tried Graston, stretching, strengthening, refrained from all running, tried dry needling – a little similar to acupuncture – hydrotherapy jets and don’t know what kind of witchcraft you’ve done Mike. But there are a few things that you haven’t tried that I talk about in my Bulletproof Knee program. That’s really – ultimately I’d say if you just want to do a gold standard system that runs you from A to Z for everything you need to get rid of IT band friction syndrome, just go to www.bulletproofknee.com and try the IT band friction fix that I have over there at www.bulletproofknee.com. I’ll put a link to that in the Shownotes but basically what you’re going to be looking at is in that program you begin with some real focused gluteus medius strengthening. So you do a lot of fire hydrants, hip hikes. Work on the butt – the outside of the butt and the external rotators of the hips which tends to take a lot of stress off the IT band when you’re running, doing single leg squats, things of that nature. There’s really absolutely nothing half ass in that part of the program. It’s four weeks of zero running combined with giving yourself basically just a Superman butt. Then you simultaneous to that are doing a ton of IT band flexibility work, basically every stretch. I’m sure you’ve already tried every stretch known to man but you continue to do a very specific stretching protocol. I lay out all the exercises in there and kind of walk you through them via video. Nutritional supplements – preferably not the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In that program, what we go for is fenocain which is basically a cox 2 inhibitor but it doesn’t do the same type of damage that something like ibuprofen does and then that’s combined with a high dose vitamin C and protolytic enzymes preferably on an empty stomach, something like a Recoverease. Water running to maintain fitness if that’s necessary during the time you’re training. Wearing a strap about two inches above the knee especially if the pain is localized to the IT band attachment of the knee. If it’s primarily up in the hip, then you wouldn’t really need to wear this strap, but you basically wear this strap two inches above the knee to keep friction from occurring over the tibial area where the IT band attaches. Switching to a custom molded orthotic or even an over pronation orthotic, something like a Superfeet. You can get an oven molded orthotic, something that’s going to keep your foot out of pronating which tends to put a lot of stress on that IT band, making any modification on cross training equipment like dropping the seat height on your bicycle or turning the cleats on your bicycle slightly inwards so your toes are pointing outward. If you’re doing any ice – doing the ice as an ice massage, not just an ice and hold joint. Foam roller, definitely everyday. 10 to 15 minutes twice a day even better. If you’re able to get a textured one, like a rumble roller – a rumble roller is something I’ve talked about at bengreenfieldfitness.com before. Just go to the website and do a search for rumble roller. An ultra-sound therapy combined with infrared and electrostim – if you have access to any of those physical therapy modalities, I found it to be very effective with IT band friction syndrome and specifically the electrostimulation. You can get a home electrostim unit like a Compex. And you can put the electrostim patches on to your leg and then put ice over those. Then finally a little bit of extra bang for your buck, if you can get to a non-acidic – like an alkaline diet, non-inflammatory diet, cutting a lot of the starches, the sweets, cutting a lot of the omega 6 fatty acids, really amping up the omega 3 fatty acids. Being real careful with the amount of processing that goes into the proteins you’re consuming and basically putting all that together in a shotgun approach. That’s what I walk you through in the www.bulletproofknee.com manual and then once you’ve gotten through four weeks of that, then you just move into a progressive phase where you’re just kind of laying down the foundation to rebuild your body. But a lot of times in a case like yours, that’s what it takes – to completely rebuild the body. So good question. The next question is from Billy.
Billy asks: I think I recently developed irritable bowel syndrome and I was wondering if you can talk about IBS. My doctor took blood tests and stool samples and a x-ray of my abdominal area and the results says I have a large amount of stool present at the time of the x-ray. I like to note that I do go 1-3 times a day, but most times I don’t feel relieved. Do you have any advice?
Ben answers: I’m assuming that if your doctor took blood test and stool samples, that these probably were not looking for intolerances or allergies. I would definitely go to a company – go to somebody like Unikey Health Systems. That’s one of the companies that I send most of my people to for doing a comprehensive parasitic evaluation of your stool and also evaluating any food allergies or intolerances that may be present at the same time. That test runs – I think it’s $275, maybe eve $300. Well worth the peace of mind that something like that can give you. So that’d be one option, is to actually get tested. The other thing you can do is just run yourself through an elimination protocol. The way that something like that would work is you eliminate gluten, dairy, eggs, fructose, soy, and any common allergens. You assess your gastric tolerance and then if you’re good to go, you gradually start re-introducing those foods starting with some of the foods that are less of a culprit like eggs or soy and then moving on to adding in a little bit of dairy, a little bit of fructose, a little bit of gluten. Usually athletes with IBS really can’t handle too well any of those last three and then at that point you’re basically kind of doing the detective work to figure out what was causing the bloating. As you add stuff back in, once the bloating starts back up, you know what the culprit was. And then this sounds really dumb. It’s something my wife and I talked about in an Inner Circle podcast, but it’s chewing. And something that people really don’t do enough of is chew food and a lot of times that tends to be personality based, sometimes stress based, sometimes being in a hurry when you eat. But literally chewing each bite of food 20 to 25 times can help tremendously with something like IBS. I know it sounds simple. I know it sounds stupid, but it actually works. Now if you’re a very, very active person doing a ton of exercising, obviously not eating glutens, soy, dairy, eggs, fructose – all that jazz – tends to present a paradox. Because you don’t end up having barely any energy sources or most people perceive that they don’t have any energy sources left to actually go out and train and exercise. That’s where somebody like me comes in where I can help walk you through that, create a meal plan for you. If you didn’t want to do this on your own, just shoot me an email and I’ll walk you through the process but at this point, you’re looking at either doing the testing to find out for sure – you know what I’ll do – I’ll put a link to the Unikey Health test and you’d want to go do their GI test, their parasite GI test. Or you could run yourself through and oversee for yourself an elimination diet. So podcast Shownotes number 124, I’ll put that link to the parasitic stool evaluation to actually figure out if there’s any parasitic or allergenic issues going on.
Blaine asks: I know that you do a ton of research on various journals and publications in putting together your podcasts. I would really like to learn more about exercise science and nutrition and I was wondering if you could give me some suggestions of some good journals or websites to follow or ones that you get the most information from. Also sometimes you mention some of the studies when answering questions on the podcast. I was wondering if it would be possible for you to site those research studies in the show notes.
Ben answers: To answer your first question Blaine, probably two of the biggest sources that I use – the first is that I subscribe to several different topics in the free newsletter online called Stonehearth Newsletters. And basically I get that fed into my email inbox everyday. The other thing that I do is I subscribe – since I’m a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association – I subscribe to their Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and that comes out once a month. The other thing that I do is I subscribe to a research report. That one’s put out by Allan Aragon. It’s called Allan Aragon’s Research Report. He grabs research and studies from various journals in physiology and nutrition, and basically puts his spin on them. I don’t agree with everything that he says but it does give me a way to get my hands on some of the more controversial studies that come out on a monthly basis. Then in terms of getting studies out in the Shownotes, you know what? A lot of the time I’m citing research studies that are on the Pub Med website through the National Institute of Health. For me to actually go through and add those citations in to every show would vastly slow the rate at which this podcast can be produced and the amount of work that would go into producing each podcast, and it would really make each podcast turn into like putting together a graduate thesis which I’m in no way proposing that this podcast be and I don’t want this podcast to pose as some type of highly academic research review.
In my response to Billy, I mention Alan Aragon’s Research Review, the National Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, PubMed, and the Stone Hearth Newsletters. So I really can’t put exact citations into every single podcast. Now what I have done in the past is I have talked about real controversial studies. A lot of times I’ll mention the title of those studies which you can Google over at Pub Med, or not Google but search for over at Pub Med. And the other thing that I’ll do a lot of times is put a link to the studies in the Shownotes and if I say that I’m going to do that, I will do it. But those are my primary sources of research, and generally for me it’s about 15 to 20 minutes a day that I’m actually looking through the research and then when I’m prepping a podcast, I spend a little more time than that actually, looking at the actual study. So hopefully that gives you something to look at. National Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, Allan Aragon’s research review and Pub Med as well as the free Stonehearth newsletters. So check out all of those and hopefully that helps you out a little bit. I will note that in the podcasts, Blaine. So if you visit the Shownotes for podcast episode number 124, I’ll put those in the podcast notes.
Patrick asks: Hey Ben, this is Patrick calling with a question. Things are definitely cooling off here where I live in Tennessee and really all over America. I’m still getting out there for a long bike ride and long runs on the weekend but I think it’s really, really drying out my skin and I wanted to know if you had suggestions of any good lotion to combat that. Thanks a lot man.
Ben answers: Alright Patrick, good question. And obviously the bane of anybody who is trying to train right now and lives in a cold weather climate is the dry skin. And really it’s basically a result of low moisture so if you watch the weather report on a cold winter morning, you’ve probably heard the weatherman say that there’s going to be low humidity which basically means there’s not much water in the air. So when there’s not much water in the air, that translates to dry skin because dry air essentially sucks moisture out of the skin as water moves from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. So to avoid having dry skin, you either have to control the humidity in your environment by increasing the amount of moisture in the air or figure out a way to actually keep the moisture locked into your skin. So the latter part is obviously a lot easier than somehow rotating the planet and getting some more clouds and moisture into the environment that you’re living in. So let’s talk about that. Moisturizer – basically pretty vital part of your skin care regime. And lotions and body creams would all fall into the category of moisturizer. They provide a protective layer on the skin. They help to hold water into the skin, kind of keep it supple and if you normally use a light body lotion, you can actually switch to just a richer, heavier formula when the temp drops. So that feeds your thirsty skin a little bit, keeps out the drying effects of the cold and adds this thin oily layer. When you would want to put that on is preferably right after you’ve dried off and you’ve gotten out of the bath or the shower. Related to that, don’t use real, real hot water when you can get away from it because those high temperatures can actually dehydrate skin even more and cause more dry skin. So keep the water kind of warm when you’re bathing or when you’re showering. And preferably if you’re able to, use a body lotion on your body and then use a facial lotion on your face, because the facial lotions are typically a little bit kinder to the skin on the face which is a bit more delicate. I’m assuming you’re staying hydrated, that you’re controlling your consumption of coffee and caffeinated soda drinks and tea and any of those diuretics that could suck water out of your body if you’re not staying hydrated with water. Exfoliation can be real, real useful in helping out with dry skin. Pretty easy to exfoliate. As a matter of fact, my wife just put a video up on YouTube. You go to youtube.com/bengreenfieldfitness, she put a video up on YouTube where she made a homemade body scrub and that acts as a mild exfoliant. You can use something like an oatmeal soap, any type of scrub like that. You can use it on your face, your body. If you’re getting dry feet or dry heels, pumice stones work really well also. You just want to remember not to exfoliate too often. Once every two or three days would be fine. If you exfoliate too often, you end up getting cracked or broken out areas. As far as controlling the humidity, you could do it. The weather indoors during the winter can contribute to your dry skin as much as the weather outdoors and electric heaters are especially notorious for leaching moisture out of the air. So, one thing you can do if you have electric heaters in your house is keep humidifiers around the house and adjust the humidity gauge until you get about 40 to 50% humidity and that will help out quite a bit. Getting some plants into your house and literally putting those plants in strategic locations throughout the house and keeping them watered can help as well because plants as a natural part of their photosynthesis actually let water out into the environment. So all those things can help out quite a bit. As far as actual lotions, body lotions that you could use – one that I use particularly quite a bit is one that is designed to help remove chlorine from the skin, because I do a lot of swimming, so the one that I use is made by a company called SPR. And you can check out sprsportsinc.com. They make something called Tri Swim, which is a shampoo, conditioner and a lotion. It’s kind of all three. They sent me some samples last year and I started using it on a regular basis. It works really really well and that’s what I’d recommend in terms of a lotion. My wife for the Inner Circle is working on a video kind of similar to the Body Scrub video where she teaches you how to make your own lotions that would have a lower amount of toxins and potential irritants than a lot of commercial lotions, but for now that’s one of my favorites. So great question and we’re going to move on to the final question from Listener Pete. Before I even get into this question, I do need to say that, Pete, because you asked the best question of the week, I am going to give you a free month of membership to my Body Transformation Club. The Body Transformation Club is the weekly workout and meal plan that I send out via postcard to people’s homes. And I’m going to give you a free month of that. Just shoot me an email and I’ll hook you up, and here’s your question.
Pete asks: I have a question regarding the R isomer of Alpha-Lipoic Acid. I have heard that R-ALA can be used to improve blood glucose levels and possibly prevent some fat gain by increasing insulin sensitivity. Also, I have heard that the generic Alpha-Lipoic acid is a 50/50 blend of R & S ALA, where the S version has no use and can even be harmful. What is your opinion on supplementing with R-ALA to improve insulin sensitivity? Do you think there is any benefit of taking say 150mg of R-ALA vs. 300mg of a standard ALA supplement?
Ben answers: Ok. Well this is actually very timely because a study just came out on alpha lipoic acid supplementation in terms of obesity therapy in a journal called Current Pharmaceutical Design in 2010. What they looked at was whether or not a lipid pro-oxidation, which is basically cellular injury and cellular damage could be slowed down by alpha lipoic acid and whether the slowing down of that oxidant induced cellular injury could actually affect obesity or body mass index. And what they found was by using the lipoic acid as an antioxidant, they got 9% body fat in both genders. I’m looking at this study right now and that’s very significant. I’m sorry, not 9% body fat. I was going to say that’d be huge. 9% weight, which is still significant considering if you’re 200 lbs that you could lose almost 20 lbs by doing exercise and supplementing with lipoic acid supplements versus just doing exercise. Granted these folks were taking 800 mgs a day of lipoic acid which is well over and above what you would normally see recommended to you on the back of your lipoic acid supplement. But this study had 445 men and 682 women. So, it really speaks to the fact that there could be a potential link between the use of a potent anti-oxidant, something like alpha lipoic acid, and a better rate of weight loss. Now of course for you folks out there who are just going after burn everything to shreds triathlon style fitness, overusing antioxidants – I’m taking 800 mgs a day of alpha lipoic acid – may not do you any favors when it comes to teaching your body how to burn its own free radicals or how to scavenge its own free radicals. But if it’s just obesity and fat loss that you’re going after, this stuff appears to at least have a lot of promise. Now you ask about the difference between the R and the S. Those of you who don’t have chemistry degrees, if you have a molecule there could be different isomers of that molecule and essentially just think of the R and the S being polar opposites of each other. Whenever you have two different asymmetric molecules – symmetry is something that the body takes into account in terms of biological activity and metabolism and it does turn out that R-ALA and what’s called the chirality of that or the symmetry of that can produce increased biological effectiveness and activity versus the S isomer of ALA. Now generally, what you’ll see across the board is that supplementation companies that make an R – ALA will generally tell you that you only have to take half of that R-ALA compared to using a regular ALA. The trick being that the R-ALA can sometimes be a little bit more expensive because it’s just a little bit more expensive to make. Now the issue with this recent study was it looked like all they used was the regular ALA, the blend of the S and the R. So if they use 800 mgs a day, I would propose that it could be – even though obviously this hasn’t been carried out in the study – could be effective for fat loss and increased antioxidant activity to use 400 mgs a day of an R-ALA and you could get pretty good benefits from that if what you’re going after is fat loss. So great question and that is going to wrap up the questions for this week. So with that being said, we’re going to go ahead and move on – take a little bit of a change in pace here and interview Jimmy Moore from Living La Vida Low Carb Show.
Ben: Hey folks, this is Ben Greenfield and on the other line I have the host of a really great show you should definitely check out on iTunes called the Living La Vida Low Carb show. And the gentleman who’s with me today is named Jimmy Moore and I’ll let Jimmy tell you a little bit more about this but he used to be 410 lbs, before he made some pretty radical changes in his diet and his lifestyle. He is far below 410 lbs now and I’ll let him tell you about that. He has a lifestyle and a nutrition strategy as you can guess by the title of his show, that we’re going to talk about today and we’re going to go a little bit beyond simply defining what a low carb diet is and talk more about Jimmy, talk about some of the more interesting guests that he’s had and about some of the controversy around low carb diets. So, Jimmy, thanks for coming on the call today.
Jimmy Moore: Hey Ben, thanks for having me.
Ben: No problem. So, before we launch into this low carb discussion, tell me a little bit about how you got up to 410 lbs and what happened at that point.
Jimmy Moore: How did I get there? I ate my way there. My whole life, Ben, had pretty much been defined by when was the next meal and how much was I going to eat. I guess that’s just the typical American these days that you just eat anything and everything without regard to really what it’s doing to your body. And that was my family. That was my whole growing up life. My mom was a single mom for much of my youth. So she had to feed me and my older brother Kevin and my younger sister Beverly and of course me and Kevin would eat the house down, you know? If she had made it out of food, we would have literally eaten the house down. And we just ate, and what did we eat? We ate the cheap garbage carbohydrates, cereals, Hamburger Helper, you name it Ben, we pretty much were eating it. And even sometimes we would try to eat “healthy” and mom would buy nice whole grain English muffins and such things like that and nothing ever seemed to do anything to help curb the obesity that was obviously running rampant through our family.
Ben: Gotcha. And did you eventually begin to try different diets or different exercise routines?
Jimmy Moore: Oh yeah. It started as early as a child, but I remember the first time I really found success doing something and it was never about exercise. I’ll tell you that right upfront Ben. I’ve always been active but I’ve never been purposeful in that action until I started the low carb lifestyle but yeah I tried Slim Fast and in fact 11th grade in high school, I did Slim Fast pretty much – drank it with skim milk and had a very low fat moderate calorie meal for summer and I lost a good amount of weight and looked pretty decent. But then I was just always ravenously hungry. I couldn’t stand that feeling that you had to be hungry in order to be thin and to me I equated those two. In order to be thin, in order to be fit, I had to literally be starving because that’s the way it feels when you lose weight.
Ben: Well I think a lot of people think that.
Jimmy Moore: Yeah. So it was something that stuck with me but obviously I didn’t learn my lesson from it because I kept doing those low fat, low fat diets. We do that to ourselves because we’ve been convinced from decades of lipo phobia in this country that you’re supposed to fear the fat and that you’re supposed to embrace whole grain carbohydrates as the energy source for your diet. For me, obviously, that was not true. And it wasn’t until I was able to find the Atkins diet that I was actually able to finally find something that worked for me, that kept me satiated, that I could do forever and ever amen for the rest of my life.
Ben: Is that pretty much what you use now? The Atkins diet?
Jimmy Moore: I don’t call it the Atkins diet anymore only because I think the Atkins diet as written is meant to be that kick start into a lifestyle change. And Dr. Atkins would have been the first to tell you he doesn’t want everybody staying on induction level of carbohydrates which is 20 g a day forever. But for some people Ben, they have to. Other people can get away with – people like you who exercise like mad men can get away with a lot more carbohydrate than a Jimmy Moore can even with my exercise routine. It’s just a matter of individuality and I think that’s what gets lost in a lot of this discussion over diet is – well this worked for me, well great that it worked for you. I’m so happy you found what worked for you. For somebody else, it may be something else.
Ben: Right. So 20 g of carbohydrate, under 100 calories a day of carbohydrate. You switched to this Atkins diet and what happened to your body?
Jimmy Moore: Well as you mentioned in the beginning, I was 410 lbs. I was on three prescription medications for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and a breathing medication because I was having some wheezing and within the first month I didn’t do any exercise because I quite frankly couldn’t hardly breathe so I didn’t want to try to get on a treadmill and exercise so the first month, it was pretty much all diet. Following the diet as prescribed by Dr. Atkins in his book, Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, I lost 30 lbs that first month, which again I was 410 so I had a lot to lose. By month two I was so energetic, had so much energy from the weight loss that I just had to start exercising. Started off on the treadmill, three miles an hour for about 15 minutes. I was just exhausted doing that. But 380 lb something guy, I was kind of supposed to be exhausted at that point. And so I continued the plan of course and by the end of month two, I had lost 40 more pounds. So by the end of 100 days, I had lost about 100 lbs., had a little bit of stall in the middle there because I was trying to climb the carb ladder that Dr. Atkins talks about and unfortunately that just didn’t work for me and I needed to climb back down off that ladder a little bit and even still today I have to stay right around 30 g of carbohydrate or I gain and I start having issues metabolically. So by the end of that year I lost 180 lbs total. Came completely off all those prescription medications. Haven’t really had sugar in high quantities in I don’t know how long Ben. And I feel fantastic. This is definitely a lifestyle change I can live with and plan on living for the rest of my life.
Ben: What do you weigh now?
Jimmy Moore: I got down to as low as 230 and honestly today, I weigh 275 lbs. I have been having some issues with a little bit of regain and I’m working on that. I’m certainly adding in a little extra activity although I don’t think that necessarily equates to automatic weight loss. I’m also trying to be mindful of the calories – not that I’m counting calories but I’m trying to be mindful of them that I’m not going overboard on the fat and protein that I am consuming because I’m obviously keeping my carbs pretty low.
Ben: Right. Gotcha. Well to talk a little bit more about the specifics of what a low carb diet actually looks like, can you walk us through a typical day of eating for you?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah, and I post every menu and I’ve been doing this for about three years now on a menu’s blog. It’s at lowcarbmenus.blogspot.com. If you just want to go back through and say hey how does this Jimmy Moore guy eat? It’s very monotonous. I’m one of those creatures of habit. I don’t know if you’re this way Ben, but if I find something I like, I’ll just keep eating that. Why mess with a good thing, right? So a typical day when I was losing weight is about the same as it is now. I’ll have some fat and protein in the morning. Lately I’ve been having Marksison’s Primal Fuel protein shakes. That’s been my breakfast. But I also love a good scrambled eggs with maybe some cream cheese mixed in for breakfast. Cooked in butter or cooked in coconut oil. For lunch I could have salad greens with cheese and bacon and maybe a few seeds, some ranch dressing. That’s the vegetables part of it and I’ll also have a small burger with a little cheese. Maybe another side of asparagus or mashed cauliflower or something like that. Of course, with butter. And then for supper, again it could vary. Anything from a steak with green leafy vegetables to occasionally I’ll have a little of low carb bread with some cheese – make a little grilled cheese out of it too and cook that in butter or coconut oil. So it’s very high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate.
Ben: Gotcha. Now I know you’re not a scientist per se Jimmy, but for people who are wondering how the body actually can create energy from all this whatever it might be – butter or cream cheese or eggs – where do you get your carbohydrate based energy? Can you explain how that actually works for you? When you go do an exercise session, how is your body actually able to get energy from those foods?
Jimmy Moore: You know my energy levels at those – I told you before we came on I did yoga this morning and yesterday I did Pilates. I’ll do spin classes. I love just doing all these things with taking care of my body and feeling good about it, that’s the neat thing. How do you get the energy? There’s really a neat word that we talk about in the low carb community that people should be aware about. It’s called gluconeogenesis. And what gluconeogenesis does is it basically takes the protein that you’re consuming – now a lot of people call a low carb diet a high protein diet but by very definition, it’s really not high in protein. It’s high in fat. And moderate in protein and low in carbs. But the moderate amount of protein that you do eat gets converted by the liver into glucose that the body can use as fuel. So gluconeogenesis – a shortened version of that is GNG – you’ll sometimes hear it talked about – allows your body to make its own carbs. So you don’t have to eat carbs in order to get carbohydrate or glucose in your body. Your body does it for you. It’s a beautiful thing.
Ben: Yeah. And especially if you’re overweight, if you have storage fat to burn, if you have adipose tissue to burn – you’ve got a lot of potential gluconeogenesis on board. So that’s interesting. Now this is obviously a question I’m sure a lot of people are going to be thinking about and that’s heart disease. Heart disease, risk for cardiovascular problems. The issue obviously with having mayonnaise and butter and eggs and high cholesterol, high fat foods in a diet like this – how big of a problem is heart disease risk among the low carb community?
Jimmy Moore: Well you know they haven’t really done a long term study on this. I wish they would. So we could settle this nonsense once and for all. But what they have done and there’s a big one that came out in January of 2010, that was from a guy named Ronald Kraus and Dr. Kraus basically took a look at a lot of the studies that have been out for over a 20 year period that kind of looked at low carb and the amount of energy intake from various forms – fat, protein, carbohydrate – and what he found was, hey you know what? This whole idea that saturated fat is going to clog your arteries, there’s really no evidence for it. There’s no more heart attacks, there’s no more strokes. There’s no more heart disease in people who consume a high saturated fat diet than those who don’t eat that way. So I think it’s just one of those things that have gotten out there and the whole cultural discussion of diet, Ben, that people just kind of believe it because it’s always been. There’s really not been any science to back it up. Now in my community, in my forum, in my blog and my podcast show – I’m not hearing about people keeling over from heart disease or having a heart attack because they eat a high fat, low carbohydrate diet. Usually what you hear is people who deal with those things either have some kind of familiar hypercholesterolemia or something that’s making them do it genetically or they’re eating more carbs than they’re letting on.
Ben: I think the interesting thing and of course a lot of medical professionals will acknowledge this now, is that the more dangerous form of cholesterol is really the one that’s produce or aggravated by carbohydrate and specifically a simple carbohydrate or sugar based carbohydrate sources. The small oxidized cholesterol.
Jimmy Moore: That’s right. And see, a lot of people – they just hear LDL, and they just think LDL is one thing. But what they don’t realize Ben, and I know you realize it is there’s various sizes of LDL and the size of that LDL and the amount of particles that are in your body is what’s most important. When you’re eating lots of carbohydrates, what you’re doing is you’re causing a lot of those small dents and what I call dangerous LDL particles that can penetrate the arterial wall – that’s not what you want in your body, and the only way you can get rid of those is to eat more fat, eat less carbohydrate and making sure that you do it consistently because your body remembers. Your body won’t let you get away with making too many mistakes in that realm. You’re just better off. Speaking of the particle size, I did a heart scan where they did a CT chest scan. This was back last year. To see if there was any arterial plaque buildup that was happening in my chest. You know what they found, Ben? A big fat zero. None.
Ben: That’s interesting. You know, I want to ask you in a second about some of the more interesting guests you’ve had because I’ve listened to your podcast and you’ve had some great guests on. Scientists, physicians, people in the low carb and also in the non low carb community. You talking about that reminds me of a fellow that I had on my show called Roger Drummer, and he was talking about how he had one person he was working with who had a big liver issue. Lots of inflammation in the liver, basically a failing liver and one of the things that the liver relies on is healthy fat levels and actually not having the cholesterol too low. And the guy started eating – he was at something like eight to 10 eggs a day and he came back to the doctor after a couple of months and all his liver symptoms had completely disappeared because he had actually brought his cholesterol back up to the level that the body needed. A lot of people don’t realize that cholesterol is good. Once you start creating some issues with it in your body from chemicals or inflammatory food, that’s where it becomes an issue. So you’ve had a lot of interesting people on your show, and again for people listening in, you can go find Living La Vida Low Carb Show on iTunes or just go to livinglavidalowcarb.com or follow the link that I’ll put on the Shownotes. But in terms of some of the more interesting guests that you’ve had on your show Jimmy, can you talk a little bit about the top guests that you’ve had and why?
Jimmy Moore: I’ve had so many, I think as of the recording of this right now, I’m up to about 417 or so interviews that I’ve done. It’s such an honor and you know, doing podcasts yourself Ben that when you want to find somebody, all you do is ask. And they say yes, it’s funny how that works. And the more you do it, the more you get out there as a reputation for doing good interviews and people want to come on your show, and that even attracts people from the other side and that’s who I want to start with, is one of the very first interviews I ever did. It was even before I had my podcast show but I had been working on trying to get a blog interview with Dr. Dean Ornisch – the big low fat diet guy and my very first interview, I remember I was so nervous because I had never interviewed anybody before but he would not do a blog interview. He wouldn’t sit there and type out all the answers to my questions. He wanted to talk. So I was like “Ok” and I didn’t even have – I’ve got a headset on right now and talking to you through Skype – I didn’t even know what Skype was at the time. I just got a tape recorder out and had it next to a speaker phone in my office at my job at the time after hours. And it was like, ok how’s this going to work? But it worked out pretty good. I pretty much let him talk and let him espouse what he wanted to espouse because I’m all about keeping an open mind, at least hearing people out about what they have to say regarding nutrition and health, and then making my own decision based on my own experiences and what I’ve learned. So that experience was really cool, and at the end of the interview Dr. Ornisch said well why didn’t you challenge me on anything? I was like oh really, you wanted me to butt back a little bit? Again, I had never ever done any interviews before.
Ben: Right, you didn’t want him to hang up the phone.
Jimmy Moore: No, I didn’t. I worked like two years trying to get him on the blog. So, anyways at the end of that, he said you know what? I’m writing a book and when I’m done with that book I’m going to come back on your show again. I was like wow. Here he is, this big low fat diet guy and he wants to come on a show called The Living La Vida Low Carb Show. Are you sick?
Ben: Did he come back on?
Jimmy Moore: He did come back on and we had him on, his book was called The Spectrum, and we talked about it and I pretty much let him have it in a lot of areas. Now you know my style Ben, I don’t beat people over the head like Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly but I do sometimes gently challenge people when they have something that runs counter to what I believe is true. And the same thing happened recently. I interviewed Neal Barnard who’s the head of PCRM – Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. The same thing happened. I could have beat him over the head with a lot of my questions but I choose to try to learn even from people who might be antagonistic to my overall message, I think we can learn from anybody. Something. So, those are two that stick out for the opposite ends of the spectrum. And I appreciated both of them because both – Neal Barnard and Dean Ornisch – were very kind to me when they didn’t have to be. They were very generous in their time and as much as they would come on a show that they know runs counter to what they believe, and they were just nothing but cordial and kind towards me and I have nothing but good things to say about them as human beings. I don’t care for what they believe nutritionally but as human beings…
Ben: For people listening in, nutritionally these are the guys who are very into the whole grain/plant based diet with the moderate to high amounts of carbohydrates and primarily low fat intake.
Jimmy Moore: That’s right. Speaking of plant based – I tried to get T. Collin Campbell to come on my show. He’s the guy that wrote The China Study, the big vegan diet bible that everyone quotes from and he at first agreed but then he kind of found out about me a little more, and he was like well I don’t want to come on a show where I’m going to be asked about why I think carbs are good and all that. I’m like really? That’s what’s your problem?
Ben: I just want to throw this in there while we’re on this subject, if you look at one of those low carb lifestyles like veganism or vegetarianism – a lot of people would argue that humans were just kind of designed like gorillas or chimpanzees to thrive on eating plants and that’s a healthy diet especially if they’re somehow able to get enough protein in. What do you say to someone who is a proponent of that eating style?
Jimmy Moore: I say go for it if it works for you. I say if you found the plan that has made you healthy and healthy by all the markers, lipids, blood sugar, everything and veganism is the way that got you there, then I say keep doing veganism. Now that’s controversial within my community because they’re like well you have to tell them to eat low carbs. No I don’t. Low carbs works for me. Low carbs works for a lot of people, but it’s not the be all end all for everybody. Don’t believe that. That’s why we have this obesity mess today. We’ve been told monolithically that you have to eat a low calorie, low fat diet. You have to exercise until you drop. You have to eat healthy whole grains. All of these monolithic proclamations of diet is what I think has gotten us into this trouble to begin with, Ben. And it’s not until we can individualize diet and individualize a specific exercise routine and all these things that people are truly going to find what works for them.
Ben: Now do you believe, speaking of individualization that some people may – based on blood type or metabolic type – actually have a need for a higher carbohydrate intake or do you believe that metabolic typing is something that may be true, that a guy like you might have a blood type or a metabolic type that thrives on low carbohydrates whereas some people would simply melt into a puddle of uselessness on a low carb diet?
Jimmy Moore: I think as a starting point for someone who’s not sure Ben, about what way will work for them, I think as a good starting point, at least cutting down on the amount of carbohydrates is a good start. And then you can tweak it from there. I think what happens is people drop the fat and that’s the wrong macronutrient to drop first. I think they need to drop the carbohydrates first, see how they’re doing with dropping the carbs and of course when you drop the carbs as a percentage of your total calories, your fat has to go up by definition. So it’s kind of like a high fat, moderate protein, low carb – that’s a good place to start. Do I think there’s some people that do better on higher carbs? I don’t know. I don’t know how that feels like. All I know is I have to, for me and for the people that I’ve seen, deal with a lot of metabolic syndromes – diabetes and obesity – those people, nine times out of ten are going to have some kind of carbohydrate intolerance. And they’re going to need to cut their carbs. Somebody like yourself who’s very svelte and very fit, maybe you can get away with more carbohydrates and it doesn’t bother your health or your weight. Again, it goes to that customization of the diet for who you are and I think Ben, a lot of us have damaged ourselves. You don’t get to be 400 plus pounds without doing some damage to your metabolism. And I think that’s part of the reason why I’m having a little bit of issues today being higher in weight than I’d like to be. It’s because I think I so damaged my body from all those years of poor eating and you don’t even want to know what I was eating all those years – that I think it’s catching up to me in my late 30s that I have to be that much more vigilant with what I’m doing to keep it in check.
Ben: Yeah. I would absolutely agree that there’s definitely some insulin sensitivity issues that can be taught to the body with chronic high carbohydrate intake that takes place when you gain weight like that. Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right and I think the other very important point that you’ve made so far is that switching to a low carbohydrate diet doesn’t necessarily mean switching to a high protein diet. I think a lot of people leave out that equation that you have emphasized and that is that you can include fat in a low carbohydrate diet and fat can actually be processed and utilized by the body for energy and is in fact crucial in some cases, and the amount of cholesterol you’re getting from the fat in the absence of the inflammatory carbohydrate may not be as cardiovascularly damaging. And I’ve been looking over your lowcarbmenu.blogspot.com and that is a stark contrast between your diet and many others that I’ve seen who are eating low carbohydrate and that is you’re not necessarily on a high protein diet. Your fat intake appears to be much higher than a lot of folks I have seen taking in a low carb diet. So you talk a little bit about the controversial or the opposite of the low carb interview guests you had on the show. How about some of the more interesting folks you’ve had from the low fat community?
Jimmy Moore: 2010 has been a banner year for the podcast, I’ve been able to get so many people from the low carb world to come on. It’s almost like now Ben, they’re knocking on my door. They’re like “Can I come on your show and talk about…” I’m like “Come on.” So it’s really neat. At the beginning of this year, I was able to interview Eric Westman who is the big low carb researcher at Duke University. He’s also a practitioner who uses low carb with patients so he kind of has it from both ends of the medical world, both from the research and the practitioner side and he is one of the three co-authors of the new Atkins for a New You book that came out – kind of the updated Atkins, they wanted to add the new science and all three of them – it was Jeff Bollucks, Steve Finney and Eric Westman. Those three are like the big three when it comes to researchers in the low carb world and Eric has become a very good friend of mine so of course he was very happy to come on the show and talk about the book. He’s just such a neat guy because he came at this from a total skeptical standpoint. He was like you know what? I don’t think this is going to work but I have patients coming in telling me they lost weight reading a diet book. He said I had to find out what this diet book was. He went and saw the Atkins diet and saw what they did and started talking to them about doing some research. It’s just really neat to see these people that work behind the scenes that are really doing yeoman’s work and I also did interview Jeff Bolluck later on in the year as well. Both of those guys are just doing incredible work getting the word out in the science world about low carbs. People may not know them, they may not be household names but they should be because they are doing incredible work. One of the people that I did interview and I’ve had the privilege of doing it several times now is Gary Tobbs who wrote Good Calories, Bad Calories. His upcoming book Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It – I think he’s really catapulted the discussion, Ben, about this subject to the mainstream.
Ben: That was Gary Tobbs, a low carber?
Jimmy Moore: He is. He actually does eat this way. I’ve asked him about that. I said Gary, you eat this way? Because he’s not a fat guy and I was like do you eat low carb? He’s like well after all my research, absolutely I do now. So he’ll have bacon and eggs with some tomato slices for breakfast. Now he does talk about how he still has the notion from his grown up days that he has to have a little bit of carbohydrate like in starchy vegetables from time to time, or maybe a whole grain bread from time to time just because he had that so ingrained in him as a kid. That was funny when he said that. But he definitely I think more than anybody in the past few years has moved the discussion along in a productive way so people are seriously taking a look at it. When Dr. Atkins died, everybody thought well there goes low carb. Nobody’s going to really pick up the mantle and run with it. Well Gary Tobbs took that as a challenge and has really done a great job I think. When this new book comes out, it’s going to be a huge splash because it’s a lot more user friendly than Good Calories, Bad Calories which was meant for medical minded people to read. I think that people are really going to be surprised pleasantly by what he shares in that book.
Jimmy Moore: One more guest that took me forever but I’m so glad I got him was Dr. Robert Lustig. Dr. Lustig is the fructose guy. He believes fructose is at the heart of why we deal with many of the health and weight issues as a culture today. And he was neat. But it was so funny because when I first contacted him, I said come on the Living La Vida Low Carb Show, we’d love to have you. People are asking about you. He’s got this grand video on YouTube called Sugar, The Bitter Truth. I’m sure you’ve seen that. And so I said people are begging to have you come on my show. Will you come on? No, because I don’t believe in the low carb lifestyle. I went, what do you mean no? And it wasn’t until Sean Crocston, one of our fellow podcasters said hey that Jimmy Moore guy is a good dude, go on his show that he finally said ok. But I’m not a supporter of low carb. You don’t have to be. I’ve had people on who are opposite of low carb. We just talk about health. And that’s definitely what you’re about. When he came on, it was so funny Ben because we did the interview and everything went great and we aired it and it’s gone on to be the top rated podcast on my podcast site of the year. No other show, even Gary – nobody else’s podcast became even close to the number of listens that that one got.
Ben: Now does Dr. Lustig believe that fructose from fruit based sugars is just as bad as fructose from the high fructose corn syrup and sodas?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah, I think he does. Because fructose is fructose in his mind, and obviously high fructose corn syrup is a lot more concentrated form of fructose. But fructose is fructose and it’s going to count towards your total amount. He’s not total no fructose. I think he said yeah I think you could probably get away with as much as 30 g a day of fructose, and I’m assuming he means from fruits and things like that.
Ben: Right. That would be a piece or two of fruit, which you got the nutrient density and the water and the fiber and all that jazz. I tend to be on the side of the fence that if it’s from fruit, it’s really not as much of an issue. So you’ve had one interesting experience that I wanted to ask you about before I let you go, and that’s that you’ve had a chance to testify – was that before congress – you went to testify?
Jimmy Moore: Actually it was before the USDA dietary guidelines committee.
Ben: What was that all about?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah, the 2010 dietary guidelines which as of the recording of this is only just a couple of weeks away of being released in early December, they put out these dictates of how people should be fed. It’s basically the same old, same old. You’ve heard about the food pyramid over the years where grains are at the bottom and fat is at the very top. And it’s like nothing has changed, Ben. They haven’t been looking, despite the fact that they have this grand scientific advisory committee that they go from all the various aspects of nutrition and health and academia and they try to find the best of the best of the best people and they come up with these guidelines that pretty much says keep doing the same thing we’ve been doing. And I’m thinking, let’s see, obesity is worse. Heart disease is worse. Diabetes is much worse. Why would we want to keep doing the same thing over and over again? Isn’t that insanity? So when they were coming up with these guidelines, I was like well why don’t you put some people on the scientific advisory committee who are from the low carb world? People like Eric Westman and Jeff Bolluck and Steve Finney would be great to put on that panel. Totally black listed. Totally left out of the conversation, and despite all the great low carb studies that have come out over the last couple of years, they totally ignored all of them. And came out with this very low fat, high carb, exercise – it’s just like really? We’re going down that path again? So I said you know what? I’m going to go to Washington DC and I’m going to tell my story because they deserve to see the ramifications of what they’re doing to people. So it was about me and maybe six other people in the low carb community and the rest were paid lobbyists for everything. Soy, berry, meats – everything. You name it, there was a lobbyist there. And ironically Ben, Dr. Neal Barnard right next to me.
Jimmy Moore: I looked over at him and say “Hi Dr. Barnard.” Oh do we know each other? Yeah I’m going to be interviewing you soon. I’m Jimmy Moore. Oh you’re Jimmy Moore, I’ve been wanting to meet you. I’m like I bet you do.
Ben: But no fights broke out right?
Jimmy Moore: No. Like I say, he’s a very nice man and that’s part of the problem is people want to vilify Dean Ornisch and Neal Barnard. They’re not really bad people so it’s hard to vilify them. Anyway when it came time for me to get up there and give my spiel because everybody got I believe it was three minutes each, and most of the people that got up there again were paid lobbyists on behalf of these different groups. They were reading from a script. I didn’t bring a script. I just totally shot from the heart and told them – I’m like look, you’ve been telling people to cut their fat and to cut their calories and increase their exercise forever. What has it gotten us? We have more obesity, more heart disease, more diabetes, and I said you know what, I used to be one of those people 400 plus pounds and I decided to do everything that you told me to do except I’m doing it the opposite. You told me to eat less fat, I’m going to eat more fat. You told me to eat more carbohydrate, I’m going to eat less carbohydrate. You should have seen their eyes. They were all bugging out. Every single one of them – Jeff Bolluck was saying he was watching them, he said most of the time when the others were talking they were looking down at some papers, whatever. He said when I started talking and getting into my spiel, he said every one of them was looking right at me. So that was kind of funny. But at the end of my talk I basically said you know what, I’m here representing a lot of people and I want to let you know that if you continue to put out these kinds of recommendations of low fat, low calorie and keep making that the mainstay of what we have as healthy in America, I’m going to be back here five years from now and we’re going to have more obesity, more heart disease, more diabetes. And I’m going to stand here again before this committee, look you right in the eye and ask why?
Ben: Do you feel that there’s going to be any changes in the upcoming 2010 standards Jimmy?
Jimmy Moore: Oh heck no. They’re not going to change a thing. The USDA was created for one reason and one reason only. They want to protect their interests, and their interests are grain based companies.
Ben: And corn too, to a limited extent.
Jimmy Moore: Exactly. And so, you don’t expect them to bite the hand that feeds them. I think that’s one of the reasons we need to remove the dietary guidelines from the USDA, make it an independent, non-governmental third party that truly does bring in researchers and scientists and academia people that can truly look at these things. And some people may say nobody ever listens to the dietary guidelines anyway, but people don’t realize this but the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, welfare programs, school lunch programs – all of these things are based on what is in the dietary guidelines.
Jimmy Moore: So indirectly it affects us all.
Ben: That’s what I studied all throughout college, was physiology, nutrition, tennis classes and everything from sports nutrition to weight loss was all based off that pyramid and those guidelines. So interesting. Well Jimmy you’ve given a lot of resources during our interview today. You mentioned Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Tobbs for a good for people to read. You mentioned your lowcarbmenu.blogspot.com and of course your podcast the Living La Vida Low Carb podcast that people can get for free of course on iTunes, and you have a website as well that’s kind of a hub for a lot of your other books and podcasts and things of that nature. Your exact website is what again?
Jimmy Moore: The blog or the website?
Ben: The website that would allow people to tap into all your other stuff.
Jimmy Moore: Yeah, that’s www.livinglavidalowcarb.com.
Ben: www.livinglavidalowcarb.com. So we’ll put a link to that in the Shownotes as well and check out some of the guests that Jimmy talked about today. Go back and listen to some of the podcast episodes and check out some of his interviews. It’s good stuff. So, Jimmy anything else you’d like to tell the audience before I let you go.
Jimmy Moore: Well, just find a plan that works for you, follow it exactly as prescribed and then never stop doing it for the rest of your life. If you do that, then you’ve found what works for you and you can’t help but live a long and healthy life.
Ben: Alright. Thanks Jimmy. Folks, until next time, this is Ben Greenfield and Jimmy Moore signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com.
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