Episode #165 – Full Transcript

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Podcast #165 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2011/09/episode-165-skinny-people-just-dont-get-it/

Introduction:  In this podcast, skinny people just don’t get it, when to use magnesium oil, how much carbohydrate do you absorb in your mouth, a frank discussion on bowel movements, cramps from muscle fatigue, how to train fat legs and cankles, what to eat on a rest day, how to use chia seeds, keeping joints healthy during endurance training, and racing to prepare for a race vs. just training.

Ben:                Hey, folks, Ben Greenfield here.  And I got to tell you, I am pretty excited.  In just four days, I shot out for Kona, Hawaii, where I will be going to race the Ironman World Championships down in the hot lava fields of the big island.  And that actually has a little bit of a relation to this podcast because it means that next week, there will be no podcast from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  Now what there will be are some pretty cool updates every single day from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  I’m going to be doing a project for the week of Ironman Hawaii called the Kona Diaries.  And each day, what I will be doing are video episodes that kind of walk you through what goes into racing a race like the Ironman World Championships. What I do when I get up in the morning and prepare for the race, what type of things I’m eating, what type of things involve signing up or registering, getting your transition bags ready, just all the little tips and tricks that I do in the week leading up to an Ironman event.  You’ll get to see me packing at my house, what type of foods I travel with, what type of things I bring when I’m traveling to a big triathlon.  And whether you’re a triathlete or you’re just somebody who’s trying to get fit and stay healthy, I guarantee that over the next week over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com  starting on October 2nd, you’re going to be able to pick up a ton of video tips.  And related to that is this week’s Twitter hash tag game.  The way that we’re doing the Twitter hash tag event this week is that I will answer in those videos any questions that you send through to me via Twitter.  You just need to ask your question with #Konaquestion.  And be sure to address that tweet to @bengreenfield.  And if you do so, I will answer any questions you have about healthy travel tips, racing triathlons, and traveling to race triathlons, things to do before an Ironman, etc.  So I will put in the show notes for this podcast, Podcast #165 exactly how you need to phrase that tweet for me to be able to answer it in the Kona diary videos I will be doing for the entire week next week from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  That being said, we’ve got a few quick special announcements and then we’ll move in to this week’s Listener Q and A followed by an interview with a bariatric surgeon who has just written a new book entitled skinny people just don’t get it.  We’re going to be talking about appetite cravings, weight gain and much more.

Special announcements:

Ben:                I have a quick technical announcement about the free Ben Greenfield Fitness Android app.  There have been some updates made to that app.  For those of you who are having trouble with the podcast feeds appearing on you android app, you will probably need to delete the app from your Android and then reinstall it from the store.  There’s a link to the free Ben Greenfield Fitness Android app over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com as well as a link to the free iPhone app.  And my basic goal in designing those apps was to give you a central place on your phone where you can have the podcast automatically delivered.  All the new posts, all the new videos, handy-dandy ask Ben question button on the phone app, and pretty much anything you need to access the information that I’m putting out for you right there in the actual app itself.  So there is a link to the app over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. But you may need to update your Android app.  The podcast awards are still taking nominations.  So if you like this podcast, please head over to podcastawards.com and nominate the Ben Greenfield Fitness show in the health and fitness category.  And for the URL that it asks you for, you can just put bengreenfieldfitness.com.  And then finally, remember that if you haven’t yet signed up for the triathlon in Jamaica, my wife and I are going down there and a few other athletes are coming along with us.  We’re going to be partying, racing, and having lots of fun down in Jamaica.  There is a 50% discount code that you can use when you register over at triathlonjamaica.com.  And I will put that discount code in the show notes for this episode, Episode #165 over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  It’s coming up super soon.  It’s in about a month and a half.  But there’s still time to grab a ticket.  There are super cheap flights out ofMiami,Philadelphia, andNew York and head down there.  Alright folks, let’s go ahead and move in to this week’s listener Q and A.

Listener Q and A:

Craig:             Hey, Ben, this is Craig from Birmingham.  And first off, congratulations on your recent win.  That was quite a performance.  And that’s almost back to back Half Ironmans there.  Secondly, I am really a believer in magnesium for recovery now.  I’m doing as you mentioned that you can spray magnesium on your arms and your legs.  My question is, I’ve ordered the compression gear that you talked about from Blitz 110% and kind of the order that you do those because magnesium says spray it, leave it on for twenty-minutes, and then rinse it off.  And then the compression gear, I’m thinking that you want to use that right away.  And I just wondered what your routine was without that.  So, thanks, Ben.  I really appreciate all you do.

Ben:                Okay, cool.  Well, for those of you who are scratching your head about this Blitz 110% and topical magnesium and this and that.  Here’s the skinny on what’s going on with this.  I use topical magnesium, which is like magnesium that you spray on your skin.  And the reason I do that is because magnesium competes for calcium on a receptor side of your muscles.  And calcium leakage is what actually causes a lot of muscle soreness.  And it can also cause muscle cramping and muscle tightness.  And when you use this topical magnesium before a work out, it can decrease your propensity to cramp or to experience muscular fatigue.  And when you use it after, it can decrease post work out soreness and also improve a lot of the blood flow to the muscles.  So I did an entire podcast interview on topical magnesium and its benefits with Dr. Mark Sircus. And if you went to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/magnesium, you could listen to that.  But basically, you’re supposed to spray this magnesium on, as Craig said, after you’ve showered and kind of dried the skin.  But then the instructions are to rinse it about ten minutes later.  The only reason that the bottle tells you to rinse is because the magnesium salts can kind of cake on the surface of your skin.  And it makes almost this kind of like white cake-y dust like appearance to the surface of your skin.  But it’s only for aesthetic reasons.  There is no other reason that you would need to actually wipe the magnesium off.  So that being said, the way that I do things is after I’ve finished a work out and showered and dried off the skin, I spray anywhere from about ten to twenty sprays of this topical magnesium on my arms and my legs.  And I don’t worry about wiping it off or anything.  I rub it all in.  And then if I’m going to wear these compression garments that Craig talked about, this Blitz 110% compression garment, I simply put that on over the skin after I rub the magnesium.  So I’ll pull my compression shorts on.  The reason I use the ones that Craig mentioned is because when you buy this compression gear, they also send you these little freezer packs.  These are basically like frozen ice packs that you whip out of your freezer.  And there are special compartments inside the shorts that you put that ice into.  So if you’re sore after a work out and you don’t want to say take an ice bath, you just throw these little packs in and it cools down the muscle after your work out.  And you leave those in for fifteen or twenty minutes and then put them back into the freezer.  I actually did a video about the compression garments and why I use the ones that I do.  And you can find that if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com and do a search for compression shorts.  But those are the ones I use.  And that’s how I actually time them with the magnesium.  Spray the magnesium on, rub it in, and then pull the shorts on over that.  And that’s perfect recovery, vastly reducing your post work out soreness and stiffness.  And it’s kind of setting you up if you want to get a good work out the next day.  This isn’t just stuff that is for like elite athletes or pro athletes.  Pretty much anybody that you know say runs one day and wants to have a good work out the next day, do this and you’ll bounce back a lot more quickly that kind of one-two combo of magnesium and compression shorts with the ice packs put into them.   So, great question.  And if you have more questions or comments or feedback about that question, you can leave it on the show notes for this episode, Episode #165 at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  We have a question now from Jeff.

Jeff:                Hey, Ben, this is Jeff in Tampa.  I have a question for the podcast.  Is there any physiological difference in having a gel melt and kind of absorb in your mouth rather than swallowing it?  And is that a good option for people that have some gastric upset with gels and shot blocks in the light?  Thanks a lot, Ben.  I appreciate it and have a great day.  Bye!

Ben:                Well, for any of you that took high school biology or college physiology or anything of that nature, you know that carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth.  You can’t digest fats and proteins in your mouth.  But in your mouth you produce an enzyme called salivary amylase.  And it begins ,to break down sugars as soon as they enter the mouth.  That’s why you can put like a saltine cracker in your mouth, you hold it in there, and within about one to two minutes, you will actually feel it begin to break down.  And you begin to taste sugar in your mouth as all of those sugars or those starches from the saltine cracker get broken down into simple sugars and begin to absorb.  Now the question is if you were to take like a sports gel and hold that in your mouth, would you actually be able to absorb enough sugar to be able to supply you with some extra energy.  Well, at first thought it seems like this might be a good idea.  After all, you look at a lot of like liquids or soft pills.  And many of them can be delivered more quickly via sublingual route, meaning that you put them under your tongue.  And they get absorbed because the vitamins actually pass through what are called the mucus membranes that are underneath your tongue.  So underneath your tongue and in your entire mouth area, you have all these tiny little blood vessels called capillaries.  And then you have a mucus membrane that covers those.  And like a vitamin going under your tongue, it passes through that mucus membrane, directly into your capillaries.  And then it gets transported into your blood stream via the larger blood vessels.  It completely bypasses digestion.  And you get a little bit better absorption.  For example, one version of Vitamin D like a Vitamin D spray is a lot better than a Vitamin D pill because the Vitamin D spray gets absorbed sublingually and doesn’t have to go into digestion.  And you also get better absorption because it’s not having to be digested.  Now the thing is, vitamins are very low in calories.  You’re not trying to absorb sugars when you eat a vitamin.  You’re trying to absorb the actual vitamins which are a lot easier to absorb underneath the tongue than like sugar molecules.  Now the deal is they do make special oral glucose packs for diabetics.  So when diabetics get hypoglycemic, they have these packs that they can put underneath the diabetic’s tongue which is especially useful if they’re so hypoglycemic that they can’t chew and swallow and focus on that type of thing.  And you get an increase in blood sugar from this absorption.  And as a matter of fact they have done studies on glucose absorption in human oral cavities.  And you do get enough absorption to be able to bring the blood sugar levels back up if the actual substance that’s being put underneath your tongue or in your mouth really is glucose.  So the actual studies that have been done we’re done specifically in a type of glucose called D-glucose.  And D-glucose is a simple sugar.  And you’re going to find it as an ingredient in some gels.  Although, most gels these days are kind of a combination of a complex sugar and a simple sugar.  It means that they will combine something like maltodextrin, a complex sugar, with fructose, a simple sugar.  But either way, maltodextrin is not too difficult for the salivary amylase in your mouth to actually break down.  And so you can get absorption of the sugars in your mouth.  The actual rate of absorption in terms of calorie rate of absorption is not something that I could ascertain through any studies that have been done on these diabetics.  But it could technically be up to thirty calories per minute that you could absorb.  So if you were to put a gel into your mouth, most gels are about ninety calories, and you’re going to like hold it underneath your tongue for about three minutes and I haven’t personally tried this yet, then you could be looking at most the absorption from the sugars in that gel.  Now all of the water and the filler and any amino acids and any vitamins and electrolytes and some of the other things that they out into that gel, some of that might not be totally absorbed.  So you’re still going to have food stuff in your mouth.  It’s not like the gel is going to disappear from your mouth.  But within three minutes, you should be able to bump up your blood sugar levels a little bit by holding that gel in your mouth without having to worry too much about the GI distress that might come from swallowing that gel all at once.  And then you can swallow what’s left in your mouth and move on.  No studies have been done that I’m aware of that have involved actually using a gel or a sugar inside the mouth for absorption.   Now some studies have been done on putting a sweet solution in the mouth and seeing if it improves performance, to see if the taste of something sweet will help you to go harder or go faster.  And that’s actually been shown to help with performance specifically in cyclists.  The same study that they did in runners didn’t help quite as much.  But regardless, you can put something sweet in your mouth and it will help you perform, studies have shown.  But I couldn’t find any sports studies that actually show how long you can actually stave off like hypoglycemia or complete loss of carbohydrate by not swallowing carbohydrates but instead just putting them in your mouth to be absorbed.  However, the idea itself has merit.  It could work.  You could get up to thirty calories from your mouth.  So it’s a great question Jeff.  And it’s worth a try.  Alright, here’s a question from Tony, a question that is not breached too often on the show.  But it is a question about poop.

Tony says:     I have a question about poop.  My poop used to always sink.  I use to follow a diet pretty close to vegetarian with some salmon and very rarely I would have red meat.  I have changed my diet and now follow your Low Carbohydrate Guide for Triathletes.  I have added more Omega 3 fats and animal fats to my diet.  My poop used to sink to the bottom.  Some still do.  But now occasionally, there are floaters.  And the floaters are more often than before I switched to eating more fat and less carbohydrates.  Is this a problem?

Ben:                Well there are certainly entire medical textbooks that are devoted to the topic of bowel movements and the contents of bowel movements.  And not just floating vs. sinking but also whether it’s whole or whether it’s in pieces and what type of color it is, etc.  But let me give you the basic overview on your stool, answer your question, and then go into a couple of other important things to think about.  There are two different opinions when it comes to stool.  One camp says stools should float because buoyancy in your stool is a good sign that your body has absorbed a lot of the minerals in your food and that all of these minerals and vitamins and nutrients aren’t in your stool but have instead been absorbed by your body.  And then the other opinion says that if you’re eating enough bulk, enough fiber, and enough vegetables in your diet, then your stool should sink.  Now, what has likely happened in your case is that you’ve increased the fat in your diet.  You’ve slightly decreased your vegetable intake.  And so you’ve got a double whammy here against sinkers.  Not only is your stool going to be more likely to float because of slightly increased fatty acid content which can cause stool to float.  But it’s also more likely to float because there’s less bulk and fiber ending up in your stool.  And this is not indicative of any type of serious health issue or anything like that.  It’s just a change in your macronutrient intake, your percentage of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  The amount of vegetables that you’ve been eating that has affected the way that your stool actually acts once it hits water.  So there’s nothing really to worry about.  There are certainly things that you should worry about if you’re looking at your stool and it shouldn’t be whether it’s floating or sinking.  For example, if you have a very high processed sugar and processed carbohydrate diet, you’re eating too many starches, you could get almost like a little bit of light green appearance to your stool.  That would be something that should concern you a little bit.  If you have a problem with your gallbladder or a problem with your liver meaning that you’re not producing enough bile to emulsify fats then you may get a really pale or clay colored stool.  And that would be something to worry about, too.  And you may want to get your gallbladder or your liver checked out.  If you have an overgrowth of bacteria in your G.I track, if you have some type of inflammation in your G.I track, if you’ve got a lot of food allergies going on, typically you’re going to have a lot of mucus that’s produced.  And your stool actually looks like it’s covered in mucus.  And sometimes it can look a little bit bloody.  That would be an issue where you may need a complete change up in your diet.  And it’s very easy to test for this stuff as well.  For example, you can get a G.I panel.  I’ll let you put a G.I panel in the link underneath your question in the show notes.  But you can find out if you have parasites, yeast, fungus, food allergies, food intolerances, and a whole range of things by a simple like poop in an envelope test and send it in.  Then you get results within a couple of weeks.  It’s really comprehensive telling you what’s going on inside your digestive tract and with your body.  If you tend to be really constipated and your stool is almost really thin, really ribbon like, a lot of times that can mean that you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet.  There’s a little bit of a constipation issue going on.  In a case like that you can something as simple as add a fiber pill in a glass of water when you get up in the morning.  I use one called Capper Cleanse occasionally.  Especially the day after I’ve done a triathlon and I’ve had a lot of sugar and gels during a triathlon, I tend to be constipated.  I’ve found that when I pop three Capper Cleanse pills in the morning with a big glass of water or in the evening after I’ve done a triathlon and it really helps clean out my system.  And it gets rid a lot of that sugar based constipation that I have after doing a race.  A really loose watery stool, if you’re looking down on it and it’s got undigested food stuffs in it like pieces of corn and stuff like that, again you’re looking at possible dietary intolerances, food allergies, mal-absorption issues.  Maybe you don’t have enough probiotics or digestive enzymes in your diet.  And those would be things to add in.  So that’s certainly something to look for, as well.  And if you get really sulfurous, really bad smelling bowel movements, typically that’s also an imbalance of your intestinal bacteria.  I actually had that issue until I started doing a lot of probiotics, a lot of Kombucha, a lot of yogurts.  I rebuild my intestinal flora.  And I use the fan a lot less in the bathroom now.  So we’ve really just scratched the surface of some of the characteristics of stool that you want to think about.  But ultimately you don’t have to worry too much about floaters vs. sinkers unless the floaters have a lot of greasy film on them and they’re really mucus covered.  Then in that case it could indicate that there are some things missing in your diet from a digestive enzyme and a probiotics stand point.  And possibly some food allergies or food intolerances going on there.  So, great question.  And I think it’s something that people should be more aware of in terms of checking out the bowel movement and seeing what goes on.  I’m certainly no expert in that topic area.  But there are a lot of resources out there when it comes to medical text books on bowel movements.  And if you’re concerned about something, you could certainly get that G.I panel that I talked about.  There’s also a book.  I’ll put a link to it.  There’s a book you can get off amazon.  It’s a book called ‘What Is Your Poop Telling You’.  And it just goes into analyzing your poop.  It might be a good book to keep by the toilet and read over the next week.

Andrew says:              If muscle fatigue is the cause of most cramps, then the answer would be to train to alleviate this.  But how do you go about that for Ironman training?  Would that be, for example, going out for a six hour bike rides at race pace followed by a long run?  Or put differently, how best to accomplish this type of training for long distance races?

Ben:                What Andrew is referring to here in his question is the fact that there’s not a ton of evidence that electrolyte loss during exercise is what causes cramps.  Certainly if you go into a long exercise session or race totally sodium depleted on a low sodium diet for a long period of time, you haven’t been salting your food, you haven’t been taking in any minerals, you can certainly have an electrolyte related cramp.  But more often than not the cause of cramps is more likely due to the fact that you’re asking your muscles to do something that you haven’t asked them to do before.  Either you’re asking them to contract and produce a much larger contraction than they’re used to or you’re asking them to produce those contractions over and over again for a much longer period of time than they’re used to doing.  Now Andrew’s question is interesting because it goes into an area that hasn’t been studied much in sports science.  And that is if cramps are related to muscle fatigue, can you completely alleviate muscle cramps by simply doing training that exactly replicates what your body is going to experience during a race.  And obviously probably the reason that studies like that haven’t been done is because you’d have to go out and have someone do for example a twelve hour training session to prepare them for something like an Ironman event.  And then you’d have to replicate that among a large number of subjects.  And then study whether or not those subjects actually cramped during Ironman compared to a control group that didn’t those very long training sessions.  So it would be a tough study to pull off and one that doesn’t really exist.  But I can tell you from personal experience and from looking at the training protocols of a lot of successful athletes that there is no need to do 100% of the total volume of what you’re going to do in a race whether it’d be a marathon or a triathlon or whatever else during your actual training.  So to train your body to not cramp from muscle fatigue during Ironman, you don’t have to go out and on a Saturday morning and do a 4k swim and a 112-mile bike and a 26.2-mile run.  Typically, you can get away with doing about 60 to 70 percent of that volume in a few longer training sessions leading up to the race and be just fine.  I would recommend that you do your training sessions on the type of terrain that you’re going to experience in the actual race.  And what I mean by that is if you’re going to be running on concrete or asphalt for an entire marathon during an Ironman triathlon, you shouldn’t go out an do all your long runs on trails and dirt and gravel and grass.  The same can be said for swimming.  If you’re going to be experiencing a 4k open water swim in choppy water, you shouldn’t be doing all of your long swims by turning out 80 laps in your relatively flat and calm pool.  So trying to replicate race environment and terrain is going to be important as well in terms of staving off cramps related to muscle fatigue.  But I would suggest that you throw in a few longer training sessions that are at least 60 to 70 percent of the volume that you’re going to experience during an Ironman triathlon.  And you try to train on the surface you’re going to be on.  And you should be just fine.  I know that from my own training, as well as from the athletes that I’ve actually coached to have successfully done Ironman without cramping.  Now as far as electrolytes go, we’re just at the cusp of not using electrolytes during Ironman.  I personally have begun recommending to my athletes that they considered not using electrolytes during their races and long training sessions.  And I personally will not be using electrolytes in a race like Ironman Hawaii and have not been using electrolytes since we breached that topic with the interview with Dr. Tim Noakes right here on this podcast.  And if you’re curious and you want to know more about this whole issue with not using electrolytes in training, go do a search for Noaks at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  And you can go back and listen to that electrolytes study.  That’s with Tim Noakes.  Question from Mark.

Mark says:     I lost about 85 pounds in the course of two years or so.  Almost two years ago I decided to get an abdominoplasty to remove a great deal of loose skin from my stomach.  The results were great and now I feel very confident in the appearance of my upper body.  But my lower body is a different story.  I still have loose skin on my butt and thighs and stubborn fat deposits that seem to stick to this loose skin no matter what I do.  I also have thick thighs and cankles that run in my family.  I know I can’t spot train those areas.  But my question is, should I avoid lower body weight training to avoid filling out my legs even more?

Ben:                Well, my suggestion here is to actually not do a lot of what would be referred to as anabolic training for your lower body.  I wouldn’t be doing a lot of weight training.  And I would be doing a lot of high intensity interval training or steep hills or things like that for your legs.  And the reason being is that this pear type body shape that tends to have thick thighs and cankles simply responds by growing thicker in those areas with that type of training.  And I instead recommend what would be considered catabolic style training for those areas of your body.  And that would be primarily running.  If you have bad knees, you can do cycling.  But you’d want to do cycling at a fairly high revolution per minute or a high spinning cadence and a low force.  So it would work out even better if you were to do those types of sessions in a fasted state.  So you can get even just a little bit more catabolic as you do them.  So for example, you could alternate every other day between running one morning and cycling one morning, 30 to 60 minutes, steady state, aerobic, and doing that on an empty stomach.  And that would be the type of training that you’d want to do for cankles or fat deposits in the lower legs, big thighs, things of that nature.  I’m actually in the process now of writing an entire book on this subject because it really can be confusing who’s supposed to do what.  Because if you take that same style of training and you have someone who has thin legs do it, they’re going to waste away to nothing.  And they’re going to get sick and depress their immune system and have a really nasty hormonal response to that style of training.  So it really does depend on your body type or the way that you describe your body.  Your lower legs are going to respond best to that style of catabolic training that’s going to break down fat.  It’s going to break down a little bit of muscle, too.  But ultimately, it’ll result in a leaner appearance in the lower body.  So that would be my suggestion for you.  And I will keep all you podcast listeners posted as that book comes closer to completion.  Now I would also recommend you go listen to a podcast I did on how to get rid of loose skin after weight loss.  That was a Get Fit Guy podcast.  And I will put a link to that in the show notes.  This is Episode #165 over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.  Just go through the show notes there and I will put a link to that episode on how to get rid of loose skin after weight loss.  And that should help you a little bit more with some of the loose skin that you have.

Kayoko asks:   I take one rest day every week.  Though you introduce good information about food, do you have any special meal selections during rest and recovery days?

Ben:                Well, my basic suggestion for this is based off of what’s going on hormonally when you’re resting and you’re recovering because when you’re not exercising, any type of blood sugar fluctuations are more damaging to your body.  Not only can high calorie intake and large increases in blood sugar and subsequent large increases in insulin cause anything from cholesterol oxidation to nerve and blood vessel damage to fat gain.  But it can lower your energy levels.  And it can reduce your fat burning efficiency.  So on rest and recovery days, I actually recommend that you switch to a higher fat moderated protein and very low carbohydrate type of diet.  And you not worry about filling up the gas tank for the next day’s work out.  It is a better idea to fill up the gas tank for that next day’s work out just two or three hours before you do that work out on the next day rather than preparing for it the day before.  Now, the only exception to that would be if you’re getting ready for a big marathon or a triathlon.  Then you throw all these health considerations to the curb side and instead focus on filling up and topping off your body’s energy storage to get ready for the next day’s event.  So there definitely is a trade off there when it comes to health versus preparing for optimal performance.  But the way that I recommend that you do it is you moderate your diet.  You choose higher fat, moderate protein, lower carbohydrate type of foods on your rest and recovery days.  And then the next day that you’re actually working out, you take any type of depletion that happened on your rest and recovery day.   And you fill back up your energy stores by doing something like having a couple of sweet potatoes or yams two or three hours before your first work out of the day, the day after a lower calorie rest and recovery day.  So lower calorie rest and recovery day, let’s say you usually have carbohydrates for breakfast, you’d instead switch to having a couple of eggs with some spinach for breakfast on a rest and recovery day.  Then let’s say you usually have maybe some fruit or serving a wild rice with lunch on a normal work out day.  On your rest and recovery day, you would not do that.  You would instead have a bed of greens with some avocado or a cut of fish or some olives.  For dinner, you would forego your carbohydrate portion when you’re on a rest and recovery day and instead do something like a nice serving of meat with big helpings of roasted vegetables or a side salad.  And you really leave most of your snacking to the waste side as well on that rest and recovery day.  And that would be how you would set that up compared to a full on work out day.  So hopefully that gives you some direction, Kayoko.

Jan says:        Can you discuss when to use chia seeds before an event?  I’m a little bit confused about how to get the maximum benefit out of them.

Ben:                Well, chia seeds have been quite popular of late among people who are into health food.  And it wasn’t just the book that came out that’s very popular, Born to Run, that talked about the long distance runners in that book actually using a gel made out of chia seeds to fuel their long distance training sessions.  But there’s a lot of legends about chia seeds in terms of being used for ultra runners, for warriors, and for people who need to be sustained for a long period of time.  And that’s because chia seeds have some really cool properties to them that allow them to give you a slow release of energy.  They’ve got a lot of fatty acids in them.  They’ve got some amino acids in them and not a ton of sugars.  So it’s really stabilized type of energy source.  And they tend to work really well when you mix them and use them for energy.  So they’re not something that you would necessarily fuel up with before you head out and work out.  There’s something that you could use as you’re out there exercising.  One really popular drink that you can use and just take in flasks is you can mix in about 9:1 ratio water to seeds.  Take about a table spoon of dried chia seeds and add about nine to ten ounces of water.  And you let the Chia seeds sit in the water for about five minutes.  And then you stir them or shake them and then let them sit again.  And the more it sits and then you stir and shake, the more gel like the consistency of the seeds mixed with the water is going to become.  Now you can let that get as thick as you want to.  But eventually you’ll transfer that into a flask or a water bottle or something that you can take with you out there to exercise.  And one table spoon of chia seeds is going to give you about 60 calories or so.  So if you’re going to be going for 200 calories an hour, you’d be up around three to four tablespoons of this chia seeds and closer up to about like you’d have anywhere in the range of 30 to 40 ounces of water mixed with that.  So this would be for a long training session.  If you want to add some sweetener to that, you add a little bit of lemon juice or lime juice, a few teaspoons of lemon juice or lime juice.  If you want to sweeten it, add some stevia or some honey or add some agave, basically just a little something to give it a sweet flavor to make it more palatable.  Not necessarily to add calories.  And that’s how you would use the chia as you are exercising.  You can use a fuel belt that has these little tiny flasks that you can drink it out of.  You can just use a full on water bottle.  But that’s basically how’d you’d use the chia seeds.  Of course you can sprinkle them on salad.  You can use them on recipes.  You can use them pretty much the same way that you would use any recipe that contains flax seeds.  And you can also put them into smoothies.  But as far as using them during exercise, that’s how you do it.  You make them into a gel by mixing them with water and you head out with your chia seeds.  So hopefully that clears that up for you.  But that’s the basic way that you would use these things during an exercise session.

Kyle says:      My passion is ultra running yet I would also like to be able to walk when I’m 50 years old and hopefully still be running.  Including supplements, types of training, etc, what are your best tips for keeping joints healthy and strong to ensure that we continue doing this endurance sport of ours into the future?

Ben:                Well, this is a good question.  We’ve broached this topic before.  When you go back and you look at a lot of pro triathletes and expert triathletes and a lot of them do limp.  You take Scott Tinley.  He’s had a hip replacement.  He was one of the Ironman champions back in the day.  A lot of them look beaten up.  And when you’re revving up your car and driving at a high speed in a high way, it is going to wear down a lot faster.  But there are certainly lifestyle and dietary modifications that you can make to ensure that your body last for a longer period of time even when you’re beating it up doing things that it probably wasn’t meant to do in the first place like ultra running.  Let’s face it, it’s not in our natural state to get up in the morning and run 50 miles.  We’re fighting against nature when we do that.  But if it’s fun and you enjoy it and it motivates you and challenges you, then more power to you.  You don’t want to live life in a bubble.  You want to enjoy life.  So a few things that I would do and that I do personally to make sure that my body is going to be able to do what I do for as long as possible is first of all I cross train.  And that’s what I actually do really like about triathlon is you hit different parts of the body on different days.  So you try not to run on consecutive days and instead the day after you run maybe you bike and swim.  And then the next day you run and you lift.  And then the next day you bike and you swim.  And the next day you run and you lift.  So you’re hitting different body parts by doing lots of different cross training methods, hitting your muscles at different angles, hitting your joints at different angles, and never getting chronic repetitive motion on just one joint.  You want to wear down a knee as quickly as possible.  You get on a treadmill and you run without changing direction, without changing movement for a longer period of time as possible day after day.  And that’s a good way to wear down your knees really quickly.  One nice thing about ultra running is you’re trails a lot of the time.  You’re changing direction, moving side to side.  And so you’re hitting your joints at different angles.  But I would certainly recommend that you also introduce cross training into that doing things like cycling and elliptical.  The ultra runners that I coach will tell you that they don’t run a ton.  They have this big training session one day a week.  Other than that it’s just some short intense runs and then cross training.  So cross train.  The next thing that I would recommend is that you strengthen your core, hip, and your glutes which are going to help you to absorb a lot of the impact that your knees and your ankles might be taking.  So you should be doing some type of weight training session or body weight training session that targets your core at least two to three times a week.  You do a 15 to 30 minute core training session for your abdominals and your low back.  During that session or doing a different session, you should also be training your butt muscles and your hip muscles and your hip extension muscles.  I like to recommend that people do a lot of kicks in all directions with cables or elastic bands.  You can do exercises like a kick out and a fire hydrant or hip hike.  These are a lot of the exercises that I recommend in my Bulletproof Knee Program over at bulletproofknee.com because they are what can protect a lot of the joints that tend to be susceptible to injury.  So that’s what I would recommend as well.  And in addition to cross training, focus on always strengthening every week your hips, core and your glutes specifically.  Avoid inflammatory foods, avoid sugars, starches.  I’ve got a few books out there about these types of things.  Holistic Fueling for Ironman Triathletes is one that I wrote that teaches you how to fuel your body with thousands of calories per day necessary for exercise and not destroy your body.  I’ll put a link to that one in the show notes for you.  It’s called Holistic Fueling for Ironman Triathletes.  The one that I more recently wrote that is again something that involves a lot of foods that are not inflammatory and that are not going to cause the same type of joint pain that a higher sugar and high starch diet can cause.  It is called Low Carbohydrate Guide For Triathletes.  I’ll put a link to that one in the show notes as well.  But either of those books would be great resources for learning how to fuel your body with foods that are not going to cause what’s called glycation or formation of advanced glycation end products.  And that’s when a sugar combines with a protein in your body and the result is a lot of inflammation.  And a high sugar high starch diet is a perfect way to get a lot of advanced glycation end products winding up doing things like aggravating your joints.  The next thing I would do is to make sure that you include good phases of rest and recovery.  And this doesn’t just mean having a rest day or having a recovery day.  But each year actually have periods of time where you give your joints complete rest and recovery.  You let them completely bounce back and produce all of that synovial fluid that’s going to lubricate the joints.  It allows all the cartilaginous areas to regenerate.  It will allow the muscles to completely repair.  And you actually have a period of time where you lay off.  A lot of times for a lot of folks, these are the holidays where you’re exercising less and sitting around a lot more.  In winter because the weather is not as conducive to going out and pounding your joints seems to be a natural time to work in at least some phase somewhere of some pure R and R.  For me, I’m a really active guy.  I don’t like to take a lot of rest and recovery.  It drives me nuts.  Typically during a year I have about a week.  Typically it’s at some point during a vacation time where I’m really not doing any type of exercise aside from splashing around doing some snorkeling and some walks on the beach and stuff like that.  So try and make sure that you work in a period of time during the year when you actually are getting some serious rest and recovery.  Meaning you’re actually laying off your body for several significant days in a row.  And that might be a one to two week complete break.  I don’t really think you need to go a lot longer than that.  But I’m talking about really not doing much at all.  And that doesn’t mean if you’re an ultra runner that you take a couple weeks to go focus on spicing up your volleyball game for a couple of weeks.  You’d want to choose some type of rest and recovery that really is low impact on the joints.  The last thing that I would consider is from a nutritional supplement stand point, I don’t want to throw a huge number of supplements at you.  Probably the one that I would recommend the highest would be Capraflex.  I actually have some sitting on my desk.  And I can go over the ingredient label with you.  It’s got a mineral blend in it.  It has goat milk mineral concentrate, calcium phosphate, alfalfa grass, oak juice, and l-carnatine.  It’s got a collagen blend in it, chicken collagen, type two bio-activated green blends which is a blend of a barley and alpha juice.  It’s lutein in it.  It’s got a flex blend of really potent anti-inflammatory like cherry juice, ginger, turmeric, white willow bark, feverfew, valerian, acerola cherry, and lemon positer.  And it’s got an enzyme blend in it, protease, bromelain, papain, amylase, lipase, cellulose, and peptidase.  This is the perfect joint fuel, bone and joint formula.  And this is the one that I’d recommend.  I always have it on hand.  I don’t take it everyday.  Whenever I’m feeling beat up, I certainly do add it in to my profile.  When I’m injured, I add it in for sure.  But it’s called Capraflex.  I love the stuff.  I’ll put a link to it in the show notes for you.  And that’s what I would recommend in terms of nutritional supplementation.  So hopefully those things help you.  You cross train.  You strengthen your core and hips and your lutes.  Avoid inflammatory foods.  Include some rest and recovery phases.  And take a dietary supplement like Capraflex.  We have one more question here.

Chuck:           Hey, Ben, this is Chuck.  And I have a question for the podcast.  Like you, I’m qualified for IT world long course in Las Vegas on November 5th.  And I have a couple of questions about training for it.  Actually right now I’m on my way back from Augusta Half Ironman.  And I have another Half Ironman a couple of weeks along with a couple half marathons based and between there.  And I was wondering if this is a good way to go about training for that race.  It’s about the IT world race is about three-fourths of an Ironman in snow.  And I was wondering if doing half Ironmans is a good way to get in long distance training and intensity.  So hopefully I will be prepared for the IT race.  Or would it have been better if I just focus more on long distance training?  I have a few weeks when all these races end.  I just wanted to see your opinion and if what I’m doing is a good idea.

Ben:                Well, I personally do a lot of racing because I find it to be far more motivating than just going out and do a long training weekend.  But the issue is that racing takes a longer period of time to recover from especially if you don’t hold yourself back during the race which I personally have a hard time doing.  And racing also requires you to taper leading up to that race if you want to do well and not feel miserable during the race.  And when you taper, you lose fitness.  So ultimately, you’re faced with a decision.  You either race and you race well, but you risk losing your fitness in all these little races that you’re doing leading up to your big race, or you race but accept the fact that you’re going to have to do a lot of sub par races.  And possibly have a lot of your friends and the people that you normally beat, beat you, because you aren’t tapering for the race and because you aren’t going as hard as you can during the actual race.  At which point, coming from me personally, it becomes a toss up.  Do I want to go pay $250 to do a Half Ironman that I’m not going to taper for, that I’m going to feel tired during and I’m not going to race very hard.  Because I know if I do taper and I race very hard, I’m going to have to take a longer period of time before that race of not working out much.  I’ll take a longer period of time recovering from the race and thus lose my fitness for the big race that’s coming up.  So racing too much is a great way to spin out your fitness and never get any faster.  It is certainly fun from a social stand point and activity and event stand point.  But there is a point where you have to say enough is enough and focus instead on quality training without a lot of the pressures or the logistical issues that come with having to race a lot.  So I’d just be careful.  Ask yourself those questions and be aware of the implications of racing a lot.  So that was a good question.  Alright folks, we’re going to be moving forward into our Skinny People Just Don’t Get It interview after a quick message.

Feature topic:

Ben:                Hey, folks, it’s Ben Greenfield here.  And I have on the call with me Dr. Joseph James Colella who actually practices gastric bypass, weight loss, and bariatric surgery over in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He is a well-known weight loss specialist.  He’s one of the only surgeons in theUnited Statesto have done robotic weight loss surgery.  And he has actually written a new book that’s entitled Skinny People Just Don’t Get It.  Today, we’re going to talk with Dr. Collela about what his book is about and some of the more non-run of the mill things that he has to say about fat and skinny.  And some of the practical solutions that he has not only for weight loss but also for spicing up your general health.  So Dr. Colella, thank you for coming on the call today.

Dr. Colella:     It’s my pleasure.  Thanks for having me.

Ben:                No problem.  So let’s start with the basic premise of your book which is entitled Skinny People Just Don’t Get It.  What’s the idea?  What inspired you to write this book?

Dr. Colella:    As you know, I’ve been doing bariatric surgery now for about ten years.  And in the care of so many people who struggled with their weight.  And by the way, by definition all of my patients are professional dieters.  They know the ins and outs of almost every diet program that’s out there.  So, many of those diet programs have resulted in failure for my patients.  And so, I get to hear their stories over and over again.  And there are 4000 patients that I’ve operated upon and countless others that I’ve talked to over the years.  And really what it boils down to is that skinny people just don’t get a number of them.  And that applies to skinny people and it applies to people that are overweight.  Let me start with skinny people.  It doesn’t matter so much what you weigh.  It’s what you eat that affects how healthy you are.  For instance, those patients and those people who eat healthy diets, their weight issues take care of themselves.  They never gain weight because their eating the right foods in the right proportions.  And we’ve learned that from our experience with gastric bypass patients after their surgery.  When we follow up with them and we take care of them.  And we teach them new ways to eat.  And basically we teach them to eat the healthy way.  The healthy ways that most people eat that never gain weight.  So the important point there again is what you eat is just as important is not more important than what you weight because again the weight will take care of itself.  The other critical thing that some skinny people just don’t get, and I’ve talked to patients in seminars all the time, prospective gastric bypass patients, and it’s interesting because when they come to see me, they often have a skinny relative or a skinny spouse or a skinny friend that’s in the room with them.  And it provides a very spirited discussion because when I say in my seminars that skinny people just don’t get it, all the skinny people shake their head ‘yes’.  And all the overweight patients shake their head ‘yes’.  And there’s that disconnect.  And that disconnect is skinny people just know what it’s like to push away from the table.  They don’t understand why their overweight counter part can’t do that and can’t exercise more.  They can’t achieve weight loss on their own.  It’s a very interesting discussion.  And the answers are in the book.  The answers are in there as to why those people, people that have a BMI over 30 or 35, can’t lose the weight on their own and keep it off.

Ben:                So based on what you just said about what it sounds like you referring to as will or self control is that what you’re getting at?  And if so, why would it be that someone who is obese has lower will or lower self control when it comes to something like food?  Is that a genetic mechanism or a mental mechanism?  What’s going on there?

Dr. Colella:     Sure. In fact just the opposite is true.  That it’s not a problem with will or self control and those who are gaining weight at an aggressive rate.  It is a genetic predisposition.  And those people fall into what I call the simple carbohydrate cycle and may become addicted to sugar.  And sugar, of course, as you know is  everywhere in our diet.  We can’t eliminate it.  We can’t stop it.  And to those who are predisposed to be addicted to it, it is the most powerful addiction on this planet.  And so it goes as follows.  People consume simple sugars whether that’s in the form of orange juice.  And by the way, who would’ve thought orange juice could be bad for you, right?  So whether it’s in simple sugar consumption like orange juice, regular soda, ice cream, milkshake, or that big piece of Italian bread, baked potato, white rice, pasta, apple sauce, honey in your tea, and that can go on and on.  Jelly on your toast.  Those simple sugars get you into this carbohydrate cycle where your blood sugar goes up.  Your blood insulin closely follows that causing an up and down swing in your blood sugar.  That up and down swing in your blood sugar is what your brain perceives as extreme hunger.  I can’t tell you how many of my patients tell me their hungry all the time.  They’ve just eaten a 2000 calorie meal and they’re ravenously hungry.  You and I both know that’s impossible to be real.  It’s not a real physiologic function.  It’s basically your blood sugar playing a trick on your brain, telling you that you need to eat a lot.

Ben:                Do some people have a higher propensity to be addicted to carbohydrates than others, in your opinion?

Dr. Colella:    Absolutely.  There’s a predisposition to it.  And I think we all have it in some extent.  But there are certain groups of the population that is highly predisposed to it.  Those people have the toughest tongue because again it’s an addiction to a chemical just like any other addiction.

Ben:                Are there studies that have found the gene that’s responsible for this?

Dr. Colella:     No.  We really haven’t yet.  We know that one of the most complex mechanisms in the human body is our appetite.  And in the book Skinny People Just Don’t Get It, I refer to that and discuss the human appetite in some detail.  But in a lay person terms, so you can really understand how your appetite works and how the countless influences that occur in our daily life affect our perception as to whether or not we want to eat.  And really at the end of the day that’s all that your appetite comes down to.  You either eat or you don’t eat.  And leading up to that decision are literally thousands of inputs to your brain on a moment to moment basis.  At the end of all that, it either leads you to the refrigerator, the pantry or it leads you away from it.

Ben:                So what do you do?  Is surgery the answer? Or are there other options for those who are addicted to carbohydrates?

Dr. Colella:    Surgery is not the answer.  Again, this book is really written to help prevent or slow down or stop America to let this procession into the  bariatric surgeon’s operating room.  And as you may know the FDA just discussed brain liberated the criteria for lap-band surgery to patients with the body mass index of 30 or greater.  And one obesity or weight related medical problem.  That’s a substantial opening up of the population relative to the criteria for bariatric surgery.   It’s essentially doubling the group of patients that we need to operate on.  And we’re already falling so far behind in our surgical care of the extremely obese.  But this book is written to the people who have not yet gotten there, who are not yet extremely obese.  It’s written to the two-thirds of the Americans who still have an opportunity to intervene or stop this progression towards obesity and incredibly disastrous consequences.

Ben:                I got you.  So as I mentioned earlier, what are a few of the things that people could do if they find that they’re addicted to carbohydrates?  Maybe they have this genetic predisposition.  Can you throw a few solutions out our way?

Dr. Colella:    Most definitely.  And again, I talked about these solutions at length in the book.  And the key is pre-emption.  So you have to pre-empt your appetite.  You cannot allow yourself to get hungry because when human beings get hungry we make bad choices more often than not.  And the bad choices are everywhere.  They’re everywhere in our lives.  They’re in our pantries.  They’re in our refrigerators.  They’re in the convenience store.  They’re at the fast food place.  And they surround us.  They’re in the office.  They’re on the desk.  They’re wherever you look.  There’s a potential to make a mistake in terms of what you put in your mouth.  So the way to prevent all that from happening is to basically script what you do.  Pre-empt hunger.  And the way to pre-empt it is with lean sources of healthy protein and complex carbohydrates.  And if you’ll let me take a moment to explain those two, let’s start with complex carbohydrates because I think the important difference between simple and complex carbohydrate is critical to understand.  And it’s really pretty simple.  Simple carbohydrates are simple sugars, table sugars.  It’s the stuff you put in your tea, stuff you put in your coffee, sugar that you put on anything you might eat, breakfast cereal loaded with sugar.  You get my point.  Those sugars are simple.  They’re easy to absorb into your intestine.  They’re easy to get into your blood stream.  And they cause immediate effects on your blood sugar.  Complex carbohydrates or complex sugars are the one found in fruits and vegetables.  And by the way here’s another caveat that I mentioned in the book, if you’re hungry for orange juice, eat the orange and don’t drink the juice.  Eating the orange and I’m about to explain why it is essentially calorie neutral.  Drinking the orange juice is essentially poisoning your carbohydrate cycle and igniting it if you will.  So the complex carbohydrates, those are the sugars that are hard to break down.  Your body actually has to work to get to the sugar.  And by the way, by the time they get to that sugar it moves so far down your digestive tract, the less of it is absorbed.  They might be absorbing pure simple sugar consumed with a glass of orange juice.  So your body actually has to spend energy to get to the carbohydrates in broccoli, for instance, or in an orange or in a grape fruit or in an asparagus.  So you see my point.  So your body has to work to get to those sugars and actually spend energy.  So that’s why they’re essentially calorie neutral.  They may affect your weight up or down.  And they don’t contribute to the carbohydrate cycle because they don’t cause spikes in your blood sugar.  The key thing to do is to keep your blood sugar level.  And the way to do that again is with lean sources of healthy protein.  And one of the greatest foods in this planet is salmon.  But fish, meat, chicken, pork, protein shakes, healthy protein bars that are low carbohydrates, those things need to be placed throughout your day, throughout your diet to intervene before you get hungry and before you get the opportunity to make a bad choice.

Ben:                And what about fats?  Don’t they have a pretty decent appetite satiating effect as well?

Dr. Colella:    Sure.  Fats do have a pretty decent appetite satiating effect.  And they don’t affect the carbohydrate cycle as much.  However, they are loaded with calories.  So, on a per gram basis you get the most calories into your body when you consume fatty foods.  Which is one of the reasons why if you think of the Atkins diet, it allows for consumption of large amounts of protein that was laced with fat.  For instance, hotdog is another bad choice.  And what I’m really advocating is lean, healthy, low trans-fat or no trans-fat types of protein sources.  That’s the key.  And when you consume those types of foods, you intervene and you interrupt the carbohydrate cycle.  And if you’re aggressive about it and you’re dedicated to it, before long you’ll be able to walk right pass the apple pie and look at it and laugh at it.  You’ll pass up the chocolate chip cookie.  You won’t need the ice cream.  You can look at it and you’ll be able to move away from it.

Ben:                In your book, do you talk about the process of discomfort that goes along with breaking the sugar addiction because I’m a sports nutritionist.  I’ve certainly had individuals who live a very high carbohydrate, like endurance athlete, lifestyle where they’re eating whatever they want to.  And when we try and cut the carbohydrates back, there’s certainly a drop in energy and a drop in performance and a blah feeling.  Do you have ways that you’ve found to help people overcome that feeling?

Dr. Colella:    Well certainly.  And being an athlete myself and doing those things, I get the whole carbohydrate deficit issue and that is high performance athletes.  People who go at it very hard certainly need more carbohydrates than the average person.  But by the same token, they’re burning huge.  They have a much higher furnace.  They have a much higher calorie burn rate.  And so in order to sustain their performance and to sustain their muscle mass and to sustain their ability to function at that level, they need to consume more carbohydrates.  The key for those people is to increase the portion of complex carbohydrates in their body because they will have a longer steady-state stable blood sugar.  Even allowing greater performance than they would if they just consumed high simple sugars like pastas and bread.  There’s a rule for them.  But the main thing that they can do to improve their world and I’ve got to mention one more important thing about it in a moment, is to increase their level of complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables.

Ben:                You wouldn’t consider fruit to be a more simple sweet carbohydrate than a complex carbohydrate?

Dr. Colella:    Again, in most fruits you have to work to get to the sugar.  And they’re a little bit simpler than broccoli or asparagus.  But they’re still way better than drinking the juice.  The juice is basically presenting yourself with a long and intravenous infusion of sugar.  Whereas consuming the fruit itself, it takes time for that sugar to get to where you can absorb it.  And by the way, you have to work to get to it.  So there is some calorie expenditure on the way to the absorption.  One of the other things that I think about this book that is unique, and it’s really the first time that it’s been mentioned in the popular press and in the popular writings, is the inflammatory nature of the simple sugars.

Ben:                I was going to ask you about that.  You have an inflammatory scale on your book.

Dr. Colella:    Correct.  And I think that’s one of the things that make this book unique.  And there are two chapters in the book that make very bold statements about the health related effects of eating simple sugars.  Now in one chapter I talk about those health consequences of allowing those simple sugars to get you overweight because that’s a deadly combination, a high diet, eating simple sugars, and being overweight at the same time.  Most of the patients really get into trouble as their BMI rapidly changing.  But then there are the groups of people, the skinny people that just don’t get it.  And I’m sure you know many of them.  And these are the people that are skinny that are not athletes or skinny people that are not high performance athletes.  And they’re not the one’s that are burning calories in an incredible rate.  They can eat anything they want and never gain an ounce.  And that’s always very frustrating to those of us on this planet who when we do eat three pieces of cheese cake notice it on our waist line.  But those people who are eating those high calorie simple sugar diets and not gaining weight think that they’re healthy because they look healthy.  What’s really happening on the inside is the high amounts of simple sugars in their diet are destroying their blood vessels.  They’re causing inflammation on the lining on our blood vessels leading to injury.  The lining of our blood vessels, the development of chafes and clots in our blood vessels damage to the entire body destroying ourselves from within.  That damage not only happens to our blood vessels but it also happens to all our organs as well.  So interestingly enough those patients in many cases have certain predilections.  They have higher predilections for various cancers.  And by the way, those cancers tend to be more aggressive.  So I have a warning in the book about people who consume these high simple sugar diets. They’re bad for you on a number of levels not just because they make you heavy.

Ben:                Are there certain nutritional supplements or medications that you recommend to people to help control carbohydrate cravings or help to satiate the appetite?

Dr. Colella:    Sure.  And one of the interesting things that I found out when I started reading all the diet books that were on the market is that they all make compromises with simple sugars.  And at some point, they allow their dieter or the regimen, the plan that they are to go and have the ice cream or go ahead and have the cheese cake or go ahead and have the bread.  And what we found in the patients who are predisposed to that, it opens Pandora’s Box.  It gets them caught back up in that addiction phase.  So one of the key things in realizing that people are people and they can’t stay away from those things completely which is why all most all diets fail.  It’s because you always end up going back in some ways and eating behaviors that got you in trouble.  You’ve seen that over and over again.  For most people, all diets ultimately fail.  But people like you who never have to really go on a diet is a different animal.  But those who are trying to constantly move to an extra ten to fifteen to thirty pounds, these diets ultimately fail.  And they fail because people latch back in to the dietary habits that they had before they started the diet.  It’s just the natural course of events.  In bariatric patients, what we teach them to do and this teaching applies to people who haven’t had surgery.  We teach them to eat protein and their complex carbohydrates source.  And by the way, after you’ve done that and if you want a sweet treat go ahead and have it.  But the beautiful thing about it in bariatric patients is there’s not much room left over for it.  And as time goes on when people get used to not eating those things, then they don’t want them anymore.  It’s an amazing thing.  People can lean themselves away.  And they don’t want it anymore.

Ben:                Have you come across anything, when you’re looking at the genetic predisposition to obesity, anything in terms of the way that people’s parents ate affecting the child or the baby’s propensity for gaining weight or having a sugar addiction?

Dr. Colella:     Well sure.  As you may know September is childhood obesity month.  And without question, we see obesity in families.  And we see that the environment that children are brought up in can lead to issues of childhood obesity.  And things are happening in that unfortunate group of people that we’d never seen before.  We’ve never seen children and adolescent with Type II diabetes with elevated cholesterol, and high blood pressure.  We’ve never seen that before.  And we are starting to see it now.  And it’s a very scary phenomenon.  Again, in the pantry you’ll find that there are simple sugars in breakfast cereals.  There are all the fruits and snack treats.  The ones that are laced with sugar, the pop tarts, for example.  Things that are in high amounts of sugar that keep these young souls addicted and caught up in that cycle, all of the juices that they consume, all the energy drinks that we’re given as beverages not as supplements to working out.  And so the consequences of those behaviors in families are devastating.  On the flip side, when we do unfortunately ever make it to bariatric surgery in a patient, it’s amazing the health benefits that instill over into their family and friends because they now are having to eat differently.  And their children and maybe their spouse, those around them, they adapt a different eating habit, a different eating regimen because of the eating regimen of the patient who has had surgery.

Ben:                Interesting.  So in terms of this book, when does it come out?  When can people actually get their hands on it and read it?

Dr. Colella:    So we’re hoping to have it out just around the holidays or hopefully in the spring.

Ben:                Okay.  I think it’s very interesting that you’ve touched on something very important that if you’re skinny, if you are fit, you can naturally eat anything you want and get away with it, then you really do need to be aware that not everybody is built like that.  And it goes one step further that you’ve hinted to in our interview that even something as simple as seeing a food and resisting the urge to grab it can possibly go beyond just an appetite craving.  And it can be genetically rooted.

Dr. Colella:    Absolutely.  And I think when you’ve learned to walk away from those foods, when you learn to push them back because you are no longer addicted to them, you will realize that you’re actually investing in your life.  You’re investing in your health.  You’re investing in your overall well being.  People get out of what we call as carbohydrate coma.  They’re more functional.  They’re more alert.  They’re happier.  They sleep better.  They look better.  They get sick less often.  They’re going to the doctor less often.  Their medication regimen, if they are on any, starts to shrink.  You’ll realize that you’re going to live longer and healthier because of it.  And if there isn’t a better motivation than that, I don’t know what is.

Ben:                Yes.  Alright, Dr. Colella, thank you for coming on the call today.  Any other resources that you have for people or are you going to have a website for the book?

Dr. Colella:    Sure.  The website for the book will be available within a week.  It’s called doctorjocolella.com.

Ben:                Fantastic.  Well, thank you for your time today.  And we’ll put a link to doctorjocolella.com in the show notes for those of you who want to go check out Doctor Colella’s website.

Alright folks, that’s going to wrap up this podcast.  But remember if you want me to answer your questions about what goes into training to triathlon and traveling healthy, tweet me a question and use #konaquestion @BenGreenfield.  And I’ll put a in the show notes podcast Episode #165 for this podcast at BenGreenfieldFitness.com exactly how to phase your question.  But just address it to @BenGreenfield and use #konaquestion.  And remember, there will be no podcast next week.  Instead, there will be a series of videos each day starting Sunday, October 2nd all the way through the actual race in Ironman Hawaii on October 8.  That goes into everything that goes into traveling to an event like this and traveling healthy.  And preparing for something like Ironman World Championships.  So be sure to stay tuned to BenGreenfieldFitness.com for that.  Be sure to remember and nominate the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast for the podcast awards at podcastawards.com.  And of course leave us a ranking and a rating in iTunes so we can beat out all those other podcasts on iTunes and get into the top of the health and fitness category which would rock.  Alright folks, have a healthy week.  This is Ben Greenfield signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.

For personal nutrition, fitness  or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net

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