[Transcript] – What They Don’t Tell You About Nutrition Coaching, Going From Anorexia to Healthy Fitness Pro, Making Money In The Diet Industry & More With Jason Phillips

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/jason-phillips-podcast/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:31] Who is Jason Phillips?

[00:02:51] CrossFit community and paleo diet

[00:12:46] Possible reasons for feeling better on paleo diet

[00:16:22] Carnivore vs. Paleo diet

[00:23:46] Jason's struggle with anorexia

[00:29:26] Testosterone replacements

[00:36:02] Who can offer nutrition advice?

[00:40:18] What does NCI provide to people?

[00:46:06] Building a business in the health and fitness industry

[00:56:48] Jason's most important routine

[01:10:03] End of Podcast

[01:10:26] Legal Disclaimer

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

Jason:  The average person that's showing up today at 2024 has tried eight diets, nine diets. They're probably showing up with the effects of that, but they're probably showing up afraid to consume any more than 800 to 1,000 calories. And so, wherein do you connect with an individual, how do you get an individual on board to be consuming an adequate amount of calories? How do you lead them through that journey? That's not addressed in the textbook because the textbook says, “Well, just give the person 2,000 calories,” right? Well, what if the person is only willing to go to 1,200 or 1,400? How do you navigate that? Well, the average person also comes to us if you do an intake form. “What are your goals?” “I want to look better and I want to perform better.” It's like, “Okay, so you want to lose body fat and you want to increase potential strength and performance at the same time?” Scientifically, what the book is going to tell you is calorie deficit but calorie maintenance and/or surplus. Well, when have you ever navigated an individual that can be in a deficit and a surplus at the same time?

Ben:  Fitness, nutrition, biohacking, longevity, life optimization, spirituality, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the Ben Greenfield Life Show. Are you ready to hack your life? Let's do this.

Hey, you may have heard me interview or be interviewed by my friends at Mind Pump, guys who are who are well-known and prolific in the fitness and nutrition coaching industry. And, they recently interviewed me to a guy who's been in the fitness industry for decades as a cover model, as a professional athlete, and now is a sought-after fitness and nutrition coach. His name is Jason Phillips. He's the CEO and the founder of the Nutritional Coaching Institute, which, as the name implies, teaches people how to be nutrition coaches, but I'll let Jason tell you more about that. You may have seen him on the cover of various magazines. You may have seen his book, “Macros Explained.” He has also written the book, “Macros Applied.” He's been all over men's fitness and podcasts such as Renegade Radio and Ever Forward Radio, Mind Pump, Barbell Shrugged, and of course most importantly now the Ben Greenfield Life show. That's really the only one we actually care about.

But anyways, Jason is a guy who knows the ins and outs of the fitness industry and the nutrition industry, so I thought it'd be fun to, I don't know, I supposed talk shop a little bit, Jason. what do you think?

Jason:  Yeah, man. I'm looking forward to it, dude.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. And, you know what was funny, what stood out to me when I was looking over your bio was it says that you were the first one to educate the CrossFit community on the importance of post-workout supplements. That seems pretty darn specific, but I'd love to hear a little bit more of what that actually means.

Jason:   Yeah. So, I always say I was the most hated nutritionist in CrossFit in 2012, and then one of the most loved nutritionists in CrossFit in 2013. So, if we kind of go back and we look at 2012, paleo was the predominant diet in CrossFit. I think that officially HQ had maybe switched over to Zone. But, when you went into a CrossFit gym, pretty much everybody was talking about paleo. And, it didn't add up to me that the stress response from CrossFit was so high and that there just wasn't enough carbohydrate in the paleo diet not only to fuel the activity but to recover from the activity, especially for those people choosing to compete in it. And so, it sounds really basic today in 2024, but 12 years ago just the notion of a high molecular weight carbohydrate post-workout or any sort of carbohydrate post-workout to really help facilitate an attenuation of the cortisol response of the workout as well as help begin getting the CNS to a better place and also to just really fuel and recover from the day. Again, it almost sounds remedial and ridiculous to say today, but 12 years ago this was novel.

Ben:  So, it's like the paleo diet, which I think a lot of people know is or at least was kind of the darling of the CrossFit community. Maybe some of it has been replaced by carnivore now. I don't know. But, what you're saying is that the level of carbohydrate intake on the paleo diet at least traditionally applied was so shockingly low that people weren't getting the type of glycogen replenishment that they should have been getting for a highly glycolytic sport like CrossFit, and you're the person who pointed that out to them.

Jason:   Yeah. I mean, in not so many words, yeah, that was pretty much it. A lot of it too was CNS regulated. Primarily my work at the time was done with competitive CrossFitters, so I don't want to say anybody engaging in the activity of CrossFit. So, I'm going to say the sport of CrossFit. So, I got people working out two, sometimes three times a day for two hours at a time, and they're doing very little if anything post-workout or between sessions. And, when I'm looking at their daily carbohydrate intake, I'm seeing maybe 300 grams of carbohydrates. And so, really getting them to understand, I mean, we're going deep into the nervous system, into a session and there's absolutely nothing for recovery, let alone anything nutritionally speaking. And obviously, that's evolved quite a bit, but there was there was nothing being done at the time.

Ben:  And, what do you mean when you say nervous system regulations? Do you mean that you are seeing the issues with underfueling of carbohydrates specifically show up when it came to measurements of nervous system health like HRV or something like that?

Jason:  So, not necessarily HRV but one of the things that was starting to run rampant, the big conversation at the time was more adrenal fatigue. And, I guess we better stated HPA axis dysfunction. And basically, we were just see people overreaching and overtraining relative to the overall stimulus. I mean, life stress combined with training-induced stress under fueling, under-recovering, and then the subsequent hormonal implications that showed up. I mean, I was under the guidance when I first got into CrossFit of James Fitzgerald. And, one of the things he talked about was just a cortisol response of high-intensity workouts. And so, basically, you're seeing people go harder at higher intensities but absolutely nothing from a regulation standpoint at any time throughout the day, let alone post-workout to modulate that.

Ben:  Do you think people who follow the carnivore diet now are also perhaps not eating enough carbohydrates to satisfy their training?

Jason:  I can't, in any way, think that people doing carnivore are going to be able to perform glycolytic activity for prolonged periods of time. I think carnivore in the short term, I could see it working assuming like a really good hormonal profile. Back in the day, you did Bullock's 90% keto diet and performed reasonably well in an activity if I recall. Wasn't there something like that?

Ben:  Well, yeah, I mean to a certain extent. That was part of Jeff Volek's's study at University of Connecticut called the FASTER Study where he had a group of athletes, which I was part of, follow about a 85 to 90% fat-based ketogenic diet, very low-carb diet. I mean, you mentioned 300 carbs as an example of what might not be sufficient for CrossFitters. And, I mean, we're talking about closer to 50 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per day for a year, well-engaged in Iron Man training culminating and going into the Yukon lab and doing a three-hour treadmill tests, muscle biopsies, blood measurement, microbiome measurement, a VO2 max test, and indirect calorimetry like how much carbohydrates and how much fat are you burning at rest and during exercise. And, what that test showed was that for long-term aerobic activity, you can really almost double what textbooks at that point had said that you could burn in terms of fat grams per minute if you'd been following a high-fat diet for a certain period of time and not necessarily have a faster aerobic time or better aerobic performance but at least not see a decrement in aerobic performance. But then, if you dig into the data, I mean the RP, the rating of perceived exertion, on the VO2 max test was higher, no surprises there, in the low-carb athletes. And, this wasn't reported in the study, but this is just anecdotal and this would include me, thyroid dysregulation, decreased testosterone and libido, increased recovery time. 

And generally, I think the takeaway from that study is that if all you're going to do is aerobic sports, then yeah, you could get away with a pretty low amount of carbon intake and high fat intake, especially once you get that long-term shift into greater amounts of fat oxidation. But, if you're throwing anything else into the mix or if you want high libido or if you don't want long-term endocrine disruption even if you're doing a lot of aerobic activity, if you're under-fueling with carbohydrates, you're still going to see some issues. So, I mean, I tried it out for a few years and I think it is a little bit of an endurance performance hack, but if I could go back and do it over again, Jason, I would do more a cyclic keto or cyclic low carb approach with at least a weekly refeed, if not more of a significant amount of carbohydrates.

Jason:  And so, it's interesting you say that because, A, I mean a lot of that I think is what shows up early in CrossFit. So, at the time, a lot of these CrossFit gyms were doing paleo challenges. And, the reason I think paleo got its prominence is you take a very beginner CrossFit and we understand that the majority of the training adaptation is not necessarily what we'd consider physical adaptations as much as perhaps neurological adaptations. You take a brand-new person, you put them in the gym, they're going to PR every day for the first six to eight months because their body's learning how to move, they're learning how to lift. I'm of the opinion we could fuel that with a thousand calories or 3,000 calories and you're largely going to see the same response independent of even the fuel source in those calories. But, as soon as we actually become efficient in the movements, that's when the fuel source started mattering. Well, these people do these paleo challenges, they're hypocaloric, they're expending more energy than they're used to, they're PRing in the gym and they're like, “Oh, my god, paleo is the best thing in the world.” And, they tried to apply that to high-level athletics, and I think a lot of the things that you just described anecdotally speaking, thyroid dysregulation, sex hormone decrease, increase in recovery time, that's what we were seeing in high-level CrossFit athletes at the time. And so, I went in and it was like, “Man, at the very least, we have to get carbohydrate in.” Everybody thought of it in terms of just post-workout supplementation, but it was really an overall volume of CrossFit or of carbs throughout the day.

Now, similar to you, I think that at that time, aerobic base was all the rage. And, I actually preferred almost a minimum effective dose type thing with refeeds because I think that I found people felt better and actually perform better on slightly lower carbohydrate days. But yeah, I mean, that is similar application to some degree.

Ben:  Yeah. And, I think there's a lot of subtle nuances to it too. For example, let's say you're an aerobic athlete and you're using kind of that classic 80/20 polarized approach, and this is kind of a proven method for a lot of top aerobic athletes, 80% of your training is in more of a zone 2 below lactate threshold easily level of intensity and then 20% is pretty screaming high above lactate threshold and there's not a lot of in between work being done. Well, subtle nuances, for example, you could say, well, for all of that aerobic work, sure, go high fat, go ketosis, use ketone esters, limit carbs, et cetera. And then, prior to or the evening before or even during that other 20%, then you have the carbohydrates. As the phrase goes, “Sugar is a sometimes drug,” and use the carbohydrates as a performance-enhancing aid then.

And, another nuance, and I'd love to hear your take on this, is a lot of times it's not necessarily the carbohydrates that were the issue, and maybe this is why the CrossFit or paleo group that you were talking about felt better when they'd restrict carbs. Sometimes it's like gluten intolerances or FODMAP intolerances because a lot of the carbohydrates were of a fermentable source or, I realize this gets really into the weeds, but maybe you're sensitive to GMOs or pesticides or herbicides or something like that that was on all the bread that you'd been eating, or perhaps you have some type of a fructose intolerance. And so, I'd be curious how many people feel good on, I guess, a higher carbohydrate intake but a higher carbohydrate intake that comes more from safe starches like underground storage roots, purple potatoes, sweet potatoes, berries, honey, et cetera, versus more of a grain-forward approach.

Jason:  Yeah. I think it kind of goes into the time of year too. As you were saying, even in the keto diet where we introduce carbohydrate interactivity, those aren't going to be what anybody would consider the cleanest sources of carbs, right? They're just going to be simple sugars effectively. I think that in the offseason of an athletic pursuit, you're controlling the stimulus. I mean, at the end of the day, we're inducing stimulus for a response, but at the end of the day, we can control the amount of that stimulus relative to our recovery abilities. When we're in season, we don't control the stimulus, we show up on game day and we got to do what's in front of us. 

And so, I think in one of the CrossFit videos Tia Toomey once said, “I can't wait for this to be over because I'm so tired of eating so damn much.” And, I think that that statement was so appropriate because the majority of athletes just weren't fueling relative to what they truly needed, they were just eating on hunger or doing whatever they felt like. There were nights where I had a CrossFitter at the games that had done four workouts that day, the majority of our carbs where liquid carbohydrates just relative to how close the workouts were together. And, just to get calories in, man, we're getting burger patties. And, sometimes just to get some things in, they're like, “Dude, I'm used to eating fries the night before workout.” “Great, go get some fries.” I'm not saying that's in any way good advice, but from a caloric load standpoint and just simply getting starch in them, we had to do what we had to do.

Ben:  Yeah. What about the carnivore community? I'd be curious to hear your take on how, especially physically active or athletic carnivore diet enthusiasts, are getting carbohydrates. Because I've looked at guys like Paul Saladino who's been on the podcast before and he's now eating seems to be a lot of fruit and I think honey as well. But then, there are other people who I think are more strict carnivore diet enthusiasts. I think Shawn Baker is one. And, I honestly don't really know where or if they're actually consuming carbohydrates.

Jason:  Yeah. I mean, it's funny because at the local gym that I go to, I go to a Life Time here where I live. One of the trainers, he's like, “Yeah, I'm eating nothing but meat and berries and doing carnivore.” And, I actually hadn't heard of berries making their way into the carnivore diet. I was like, “I didn't know fruit was now part of the carnivore diet. I didn't know if that was some evolution that I missed.” I can't imagine in classical carnivore diet that carbohydrate does exist. I mean, maybe we're getting glucose from some level of gluconeogenesis, but we're not directly getting carbohydrates. That's for sure.

Ben:  Yeah. Well, I mean, I can't think of many long-lived populations or I suppose established civilizations who really follow a strict carnivore diet. Maybe there's some random, I don't know, Inuit whale blubber-eating population or some tribe that's subsisting on fermented meat and blood. But, it's pretty few in far between that you can epidemiologically identify a strict example of carnivory, which is why I think probably a lot of these influencers who are chomping in carnivore diet are all of a sudden eating, whatever, avocados and fruit and berries and honey and the like.

Jason:  And, I think effectively what you're going to see is you're going to see it evolve more or less into a paleo-type protocol, which again, I never once had anything against a paleo-type diet. I think if you trace its roots, it was more so an autoimmune diet. And, to what you were saying, why did a lot of the people initially when undertaking the paleo diet feel better, I do think they probably had some underlying things that you don't know what you don't know, you don't know how good you can feel until you feel that way or you don't know how bad you feel until you feel good. And, I think some of these people, it's like, man, they had never experienced life with removing some of these things that they had grown up 30 plus years used to. And so, yeah, I think you're going to see an evolution towards that. I think that quite honestly paleo-ish, and I'll use that very loosely, is a reasonable foundation for the way that the majority of people should eat. But, I'll still stand by the fact I don't think it's ever going to fuel high-level athletics. But, to your point, most society, the 1% is the 1% for a reason, it's not the 100%.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah, I agree. And, the paleo diet, I think the history of it even though I'm not 100% sure this is correct, I'm just going to claim it to be correct, is largely driven by an interest in controlling autoimmunity, eliminating wheat and soy and gluten and sometimes nightshades and seeds and nuts to help people relieve things like, I don't know, eczema or rheumatoid arthritis or gut issues that could be brought on by largely plant defense compounds. I mean, that's how I came across the paleo diet was my wife had horrible skin issues, acne, and eczema. And, this was in college, and I was already in nutrition studies at University of Idaho, but I'd never heard of this. She brought back this little–it was actually this crappy cheesy like those plastic coil bound books with the plastic cover on them and the printed 8.5 by 11 title, and it was by Loren Cordain who I later found out was a grandfather of the paleo movement or something like that. And, it was called “The Dietary Cure for Acne.” And, it was basically the paleo diet. It's like, well, cut out grains and cut out dairy and be careful with these different plants and legumes. 

And, I watched her skin transform within two to three days and she felt fantastic. And then, I started talking with my clients about it and started experimenting with at least the general idea of food elimination, which at the time, I mean my diet was what's on shot the perimeter of the grocery store and buy what happens to be on sale because I'm living paycheck to paycheck essentially as a personal trainer. And so, I realized there was something to it, but again, that was my initial exposure to it was, “Oh, you're controlling autoimmunity like eczema and acne and skin rashes and skin issues by cutting out offending foods.”

Jason:  Yeah. I mean, I would say since that period of time paleo itself, the movement has died down a little bit, but I still think something you hear referenced all the time is AIP, autoimmune paleo. And, I honestly couldn't discern the difference quite honestly between autoimmune paleo or paleo. I mean, to some degree, they're the same protocols. So yeah, I mean, I always understood it to be an amazing diet for assisting with autoimmunity. And, I still think it's fantastic in that application, but when we look at three distinct goal sets and something that we talk about it at NCI quite a bit, we talk about the goal set of performance, the goal set of aesthetics, and the goal set of longevity. They're just different. Someone that's going to live to be 120 years old, I didn't play in the Super Bowl and wasn't Mr. Olympia. And so, therefore, the diets are largely going to be different.

Ben:  Yeah. So, taking much of the chagrin of a lot of people, I think in my experience, largely females, but these days also males, higher body fat percentages are often associated with longevity. I'm not talking about, what do you call it, man, the healthy fat or the healthy obesity idea, which I can certainly admit. Yeah, I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about being cut and lean and having 12-pack abs all year long is not synonymous with longevity.

Jason:  It's a stressor. I mean, at the end of the day, we know the way to live a long time is to reduce your stressors. And, foundationally speaking, any navigation away from your set point is a stressor. And so, a reduction in body fat is only stimulated we know by creating a calorie deficit. So, either intentionally restricting or intentionally burning excess calories. And, that is stressful. Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, looking a certain way is a stressor to the body, and people hate hearing that. I mean, dude, I'm a former anorexic. I hate it with everything in me. And, I still struggle with it. I mean, knowing what I know, I couldn't sit here and tell you I do everything properly, but it's one of those things where what I know and what my brain will allow me to do at times, it's different, man.

Ben:  Yeah. And, I'll put a link to Jason's photo if you're not watching the video right now over at BenGreenfieldLife.com/JasonP, BenGreenfieldLife.com/J-A-S-O-N-P. 

But, you wouldn't have guessed that you were formally anorexic, Jason, but what exactly happened?

Jason:  Yeah. Well, long story short, I graduated high school and I thought I was going to play golf for a living. I thought that was my calling. And, I experienced my first-ever injury and found myself in the rehab setting and just kind of in honestly, I really enjoyed the gym. At that same time, I got approached by a modeling recruiter that was from Abercrombie and Fitch. This is 2002, so it's like every male's wet dream to be in Abercrombie.

Ben:  Oh, yeah. That was back in the days of the highly controversial Abercrombie catalogs where one of my wife's classmates was in the issue where he was wake surfing naked behind a boat with a Christmas tree over his crotch or something like that, and everybody's parents were freaking out about their kids buying Abercrombie and Fitch because it was quasi porn and back in that day. Yeah.

Jason:  Yeah. So, I got recruited to be in the magazine. But, I'll never forget when I left the store that day, the recruiter said to me, she said, “Hey, when you send your pictures, make sure you send pictures of your abs.” And dude, again, I was a golfer, I ate nothing but burgers, mac and cheese, chicken fillet. I was the All-American dieter.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jason:  I ordered Taco Bell with no lettuce. I hated vegetables. 

Ben:  Well, no, no, no, you were autoimmune paleo before it was cool.

Jason:  I was everything but autoimmune paleo. So, I was the reason AIP was built I'm pretty sure. So, I asked everyone how do I get abs, and my pediatrician at the time, good family friend, he said, “It's all nutrition, read the magazines and read the periodicals,” and so I did. I read everything I get my hands on. And basically, 2002, everything in a magazine was like, “Don't eat this, don't eat this, don't eat this, cardio.” And so, I was at Gold's Gym everyday training for two hours and basically eating less than 800 calories, and it took me into a pretty dark place, man. It took me to anorexia. Anorexia took me into a pretty big downward spiral in my life so much so that each night, honestly, I contemplated ended my life multiple times. Yeah, just because honestly it didn't feel worth living. I'd go to my bedroom after dinner, I would do sit-ups because I thought I was getting fat and then I'm like, “Why am I doing this? I'm not hanging out with friends, I have nothing.”

Ben:  Yeah.

Jason:   Yeah, dude, it sucked. It was a gnarly place.

Ben:  So, when did the turnaround happen?

Jason:  So, ironically one of the things that came with that was hormonal decline. I couldn't hold any sort of job because at about 2 o'clock in the afternoon every day, I would just be extremely tired. It wasn't even I desired a nap, it was like if I was on concrete, I'd lay down and go to sleep. It was awful. But, Gold's Gym had a job opening, the gym from 5:00 a.m. to 11:00. And, I was like, “Well, that's perfect. It's the only time I have any energy and it's the only environment I like being in.” So, I got a job opening the gym and one of the trainers saw what I was doing to myself. And so, there was a bodybuilder that would come in every day towards the end of my shift, he was getting ready for a bantamweight national show, and he was pretty lean but he's not like a monster by any means. And so, I was like, “Well, cool, I want to look like him.” And, she was like, “I do his training in nutrition.” And, I was like, “Can you do mine?” And, she said sure. And so, she told me that day you need to eat 4,000 calories a day.

Now, looking back on it, horrible advice.

Ben:  Why do you say that was horrible advice looking back on it?

Jason:  I mean, I don't think if an anorexic person came to me today eating 800 calories a day my first advice would be go eat 4,000 calories knowing absolutely nothing about the person.

Ben:  Okay, yeah.

Jason:  I think mentally there's a pretty significant chance that we gain weight reasonably rapidly, and anorexics don't have a great relationship with the scale.

Ben:  Okay. Yeah, it freaks him out. That's just too much too soon versus a crawl-walk-run type of strategy.

Jason:  Exactly. But, I put trust in it and so it's O2, there's no calorie, there's no MyFitnessPal or anything at the time. And so, I went to Barnes & Noble, I got a calorie counter book and I wrote out meal plans every day. The one thing anorexics don't lack is discipline. And so, I went each night, I wrote the meal plan, I made the food, I brought it with me to work the next day. And, three weeks later, I think I'd gained a little over 10 pounds, maybe 12 pounds. And, I remember looking in the mirror as I was opening the gym and I was like, “Man, I'm not fat.” And, I was like, “This food thing is not so bad after all.”

Shortly after that, I got blood work done. My testosterone level was that of a 90-year-old man. I got put on AndroGel in between, getting my calories back up and the cream. I actually started feeling like a normal 18, 19-year-old again. And, that's actually what sparked me getting into health and fitness as a profession. At Golds, I transferred over, I got certified as a trainer. My PT director had graduated from Florida State, so I transferred schools to Florida State. Got my degree and that was it, man. That's what got me in the space.

Ben:  Wow. I want to talk more about the work that you do now, but getting on testosterone that early, did you have to wean yourself off of that or you kind of on testosterone for life now?

Jason:  Yeah, interesting. So, when I went to school, I went to get a refill on it and they couldn't, for the life of them, figure out why I would have been put on it at 19 years old. And, by the time I got there, man, I was at the peak of anorexia, I was 118 pounds. By the time I was in Tallahassee going to school was probably almost 165-ish pounds, 170. And so, pretty normal 19-year-old looking dude at 170 pounds and they're like, “Yeah, you just went steroids.” And so, they pulled me off. And so, they wouldn't give it to me, but then my levels actually came back down. So, we had blood work on again nine days later, they'd come back down, the doctors were like okay. And honestly, I needed HRT ever since. I've never been able to completely get off. And so, I've been on testosterone replacement since 20 years old full-time, 19 years now.

Ben:  Have you tried anything like Clomid or HCG or enclomiphene or anything like that?

Jason:  So, I've been able recently, and when I say recently the last two to three years, to really get my test dose down with using HCG more frequently and I actually feel better. So, at one point, I was as high as 1 cc a week, 200 milligrams a week.

Ben:  Oh, wow.

Jason:  When I got my lifestyle more in order, we started to see my numbers get as high as 1,200, which is ridiculous. And so, we pulled me down. Now, I'm on 500 milligrams a week or I'm sorry 100 milligrams a week. So, 0.5 CCs a week, but I do use HCG three times a week.

Ben:  Probably one of the number one questions that I get from guys these days is–and maybe this is because there's so many hormone and testosterone farms now right where you fill out a quiz and you get your prescription for your AndroGel or your injectable, your Enclomiphene or whatever. I mean, I freaking recently sent out an email to my list about one. It was called Maximus but is very similar. It's pretty easy even at a young age to get on this stuff. So, a lot of times people ask me what do you think about what Huberman says about turkesterone I think is one that he talks about or Tribulus is also very popular. There are these herbal strategies that seem to be all over the internets and the Reddit's forums, et cetera. What do you think about those approaches?

Jason:  I mean, I don't think Trib has any peer-reviewed data behind it that I've seen, maybe Huberman has new stuff that I haven't seen. I certainly haven't looked in quite some time. Turkesterone seems to be new. I haven't gone into the rabbit hole of researching that. We just brought a new chief science officer into NCI. And so, I'd be better served to ask him on that. I mean, when I was coming up, man, it was the days of Maguire in Ergo farm. And so, 1-AD and 6-OXO, 1-TU, so androstenedione, androstenediol, the 1 and 4-ADs were the big ones. I don't want to misquote, but I think it was the 1, 4 or it was 4, but there was one that actually helped and then there was one that suppressed me while I was on HRT. So, I remember the first time I took 1-AD, all my friends were like, “This is the best thing ever. You need it for the gains.” And, I took it and I actually instantly felt like shit. So, I could never explain that.

But, to your point, man, I think that a lot of HRT is not well-distributed and I don't think it's well-controlled. I know for a long time it was my general practitioner providing it. He's like, “Sure, just take 1 CC a week. Here's 1 milligram of anastrozole a week.” He wouldn't even discuss HCG or Clomid. Then, I went to a clinic like you described and they're like, “Oh, well, do you want to add some Deca? Do you want to add some Anavar?” And I'm like, “Listen, I'm not trying to run a cycle. At this point, I'm 39 years old, I got a five-year-old. I'm genuinely trying to feel good and be here for my daughter.”

Ben:  I'm not trying to be the Liver King.

Jason:  Right, right.

Ben:  Sorry, Brian Johnson, that was mean, but yeah, I get what you're saying. And, my take on all those herbal blends, Jason, is that I've seen more concrete evidence for icing the balls and red light therapy than I have for a lot of that stuff, and definitely more evidence for lifting with the legs where there's a larger concentration of androgen receptors or sleeping or managing stress or even adequate sunlight. But, I think one of the reasons they work is they do upregulate the central nervous system. They do give you energy and they definitely increase libido. And, I think there's this positive feedback loop between exercising more and having more sex and accomplishing more and a natural endogenous rise in testosterone. I think that's why a lot of people just feel better on some of the herbal products. I don't think it's a direct steep significant rise in total of free testosterone. I think it's an affect on lifestyle that results in a positive feedback loop for endogenous production.

Jason:  Yeah, I would completely agree. I mean, we haven't seen anything stand the test of time. There's been several that come and go that claim they're the herbal thing. I think everything in the supplement industry is mildly cyclical. And so, you see things pop off, it's proven that it doesn't really work and then goes away for two or three years and then it comes back as the next greatest thing. And, I think Trib is no different.

There's another one that's escaping me that was really popular for a minute that it didn't work out. I've been behind the scenes at some supplement companies. I've sat in the office of the president of a major supplement company and heard how they describe certain ingredients and the way they're going to market them. And so, I have very little faith in the majority of supplements in the absence of any kind of peer-reviewed study. And, we just haven't seen anything hold up in the test of time.

Ben:  Yeah. Well, if everything's cyclical, we got, what, maybe a few months before marathoning and power bars become the fad. Really high shorty shorts, big old Nikes. 

So, the nutrition coach you said, I think you called the NCI, you and I haven't talked a lot about that, but I think at least for my audience, I think people get confused about the qualifications or certifications or credibility of folks who they're seeking nutrition advice from. And, I don't think that social media and influencer status and people posting their meals and then Andro carved bods has helped out much with that. So, in your description, how would you differentiate between the types of people out there offering nutrition advice or even nutrition coaching between an RD or nutritionist or whatever?

Jason:  Yeah. I think that the biggest thing to understand is scope of practice in general. I mean, I think it's clear. The only people that can provide any sort of meal planning are registered dietitians. That's abundantly clear. And so, any nutrition coach that's giving you a meal plan is 100% breaking the law.

Ben:  I'm going to totally apologize for already derailing you, but when it comes to that, does it differ in terms of how it's positioned? Like a meal plan that's served up as a prescription versus a meal plan that says, “Here's a sample meal plan that satisfies what it is that you want to accomplish” without claiming like it's a customized prescription. Does that make sense?

Jason:   Yeah. So, that's the way to beat it. So, if we go back to, again, 2012-ish when I first came into the space, it was very common for coaches to send you a meal plan. Here's what I want you to eat. And, that was illegal. Again, this is real. It's kind of the infancy of the online coaching movement. Well, it wasn't watched. I don't even know how well it's watched today quite honestly, but clearly online coaching is much bigger today than it was 12 years ago. But yeah, I mean, it's not illegal for a coach to go in and say, “Here's what I believe you should do. If I were you, this is what I think you should do. This is nothing more than me telling you what I believe to be true like what you want, but what I'm really doing as your coach is you're telling me what you're doing every single week and I'm telling you how to adjust that based on what I believe to be true.”

Ben:  Right.

Jason:  And so, it's nothing more than advice and you have to label yourself a coach. I mean, that's why we named our institute the Nutritional Coaching Institute. We build coaches, people that are there to help you navigate life effectively more so through the vehicle of what you're consuming nutritionally. And so, it definitely over time more and more–any cases that have gone to court. There was one that I believe went to court in Florida where a nutritional coach was challenged. And, because the person observed scope of practice, the coach was found that they were doing everything correctly.

Ben:  Now, when you say they observe scope of practice, you mean they were able to supply meal planning advice without it being prescriptive?

Jason:   Yeah. And, I would actually argue most coaches in the space today aren't even providing meal plans. Most coaches are actually going to macronutrient protocols.

Ben:  Okay.

Jason:  But, even there, you have to be super careful, man. I can't be like, “Hey, Ben, your prescription is 200 protein, 400 carb, 80 fat.” The way that I present this to you has to be based on this information, this is what we see happening with your body. If you wanted to do this, if you wanted to make the change, science tells us this. This is how I would anticipate you starting. And then, it's like, “Here, fill out this information over the course of the next seven days. Let me know what you do and then I'll help you interpret that in a week.”

Ben:  Right.

Jason:  You have to be very careful that you're not in any way creating prescriptive measures.

Ben:  And, that would be for anybody who's not an RD, a registered dietitian?

Jason:  Anyone, not a registered dietitian, or I would assume and again you can't quote me on this one, but I would assume a medical professional of any degree.

Ben:  Okay. So, at NCI, the Nutrition Coaching Institute, what do you guys do exactly? What are you providing to people?

Jason:  Yeah. So, effectively when we built NCI 2016, 2017, the other certifications existed. So, there's JB and the guys at PN, there's NASM. I think ISSA has one.

Ben:  And, by the way, ISSN, that's another one. I have that one, the ISSN. Yeah.

Jason:  So, Jose Antonio. Yep, they're fantastic. And so, all of those places are phenomenal in terms of knowledge, right? And so, when we build NCI, I was like, “Man, there's people way smarter than me for sure, but there's people that are not getting amazing client results. They could score 100% on a multiple choice test when it comes to nutritional knowledge, but they have no idea what they're doing in the real world of application.” And so, really what we've gone out is we've taken, alright, here's the science but here's how you apply it in a real-world scenario when clients are coming to your door. How do you take somebody that's tried every diet under the sun that's currently consuming 800 calories that if you feed them more they gain weight potentially before they lose weight? How do you connect with that person? How do you get them through that journey? How do you observe scope of practice and how do you actually be the leader that they need? Nobody had ever bridged the gap from science to application in the nutritional space. And, that was really what we set out to do.

Ben:  So, can you give me an example of what that looks like, like in terms of you discovering some scientific principle or in reverse like somebody else discovering some scientific principle and either doing a good job or for example like a crappy job applying that to a client in a practical real-world scenario?

Jason:   Yeah. I think the most common one that people would connect to is like, okay, go read any textbook and we talk about fat loss, right? It's going to lead you pretty straight to understanding daily energy expenditure and then creating a caloric deficit, either through some sort of mild food restriction and/or increase in activity. I think everybody can agree like that's going to be the same across the board. You don't need a nutritional certification to understand that that's all over Google.

The average person that's showing up today at 2024 has tried, I don't know, eight diets, nine diets. They're probably showing up with the effects of that, but they're probably showing up afraid to consume any more than 800 to 1,000 calories. And so, wherein do you connect with an individual, how do you get an individual on board to be consuming an adequate amount of calories? How do you lead them through that journey? That's not addressed in the textbook because the textbook says, “Well, just give the person 2,000 calories,” right? Well, what if the person is only willing to go to 1,200 or 1,400? How do you navigate that? Well, the average person also comes to us, if you do an intake form, “What are your goals?” “Well, I want to look better and I want to perform better.” It's like, “Okay, so you want to lose body fat and you want to increase potential strength and performance at the same time?” 

So scientifically, what the book is going to tell you is calorie deficit, but calorie maintenance and/or surplus. Well, when have you ever navigated an individual that can be in a deficit and a surplus at the same time? And obviously, there's semantics here, right? There's certain people that, sure, there's recon possible, there's certain people depending on their training age where they're at their season that you could achieve multiple sets of goals. But, at the end of the day, the average person at their current start point is probably going to reach a point of diminishing returns in their aesthetic pursuit when it comes to their performance. And, how do you explain that to them?

Ben:  So, that's interesting. And, by the way, I think that the number one way to get somebody who's not eating enough calories to get more is basically how many letters, what is it, 10-letter word called nut butter, maybe a 13-letter word called peanut butter. That's how to increase calorie intake fast. But, when it comes to the NCI, so you're basically taking people who, and correct me if I'm wrong, already have some kind of a certification like they're a personal trainer, they're a doctor or something like that and then you're equipping them with the knowledge to be able to do the type of coaching that you just talked about?

Jason:  So, yes and no. So, that's some of the population. So, I would argue 50% of the population that comes to us is already in the fitness industry to some degree and they have some level of knowledge around nutrition. There's another 50% that comes to us that they just want a career change. They're like, “You know what, I want to do remote work. Health and fitness has helped me in some way in my life and I want to learn how to now pay it forward to others and change their lives.”

Ben:  Okay. I don't know if this is a question other people are wondering, but sometimes if I'm wondering it, I know there might be a small handful of other people curious about this. How much money does a nutrition coach actually make? Is that a sole profession nowadays?

Jason:  Yeah. So, I think, I wish I actually had the tab open because I just was going through it. So, industry-standard I think for nutrition coaches and this could be off, so I'm going to give you a delta of 20k. I think it was 65k. So, this is where subtle flex, the average coach through NCI that has gone through both our certification program and our business development program is making upwards of 120,000 per year. So, we've doubled the industry standard through what we've been able to teach in connection and application.

Ben:  Okay. Yeah, that's significant.

Number one thing that I think I get asked if I get asked business questions is not necessarily how do I get smarter, how do I gain more education, how do I get more knowledge, it's more a lot of really smart pretty well-educated driven people out there who have a decent amount of intelligence but don't know how to market themselves. So, would you say that the increase in profit that you're generating via NCI is based on teaching people how to get out there more, how to have more visibility? And, if so, are there any tips that you'd share that don't delve too deeply into your secret sauce?

Jason:  Yeah. So, I think it's a combination of a few things. I mean, I think to answer the direct question, is being a nutrition coach a standalone career? First, it is. I mean, I had my coaching practice hit $3 million before I sold it. I've helped others build multi-million-dollar nutrition coaching practices. So, it certainly is a standalone thing. That being said, I think you only get to those levels if you possess three very specific skills. The first of which is you actually need to be able to create change for a human. I think that the biggest problem in the space right now is people see the financial opportunity and they're not well enough equipped to create that change. They actually suck at what they do.

Ben:  And, by the way, I think one big reason for that is coaches treat everybody else like they treat themselves and assume their fitness and nutrition program is what's going to work for the person that's hired them.

Jason:  I completely agree. I completely agree. I mean, I consulted with one business literally that was doing over 100k a month that that's what they were doing and I had to walk away from that consulting job because I obviously ethically didn't know why. But yeah, I mean, so the first skill is obviously the ability to create change and that's super noble. And, I think if we're marketing, we're like, “Oh, impact.” I mean, we talk about the impact of a billion-person mission. That's amazing. But, you're not going to touch anyone's life if you can't get clients. And, if you can't get clients, you're not going to change anyone's life in this world. So, I actually think it's incumbent upon coaches to learn how to monetize their skills. 

But, you talked about earlier being a personal trainer, charging money for your services does not make a business. Your ability to transactionally monetize and charge somebody something is not a business. It doesn't mean that you understand topline revenue and bottom-line profit. It doesn't mean you know how to maintain a P&L. It doesn't mean you understand growth and scale and any of those things. And so, the third skill would obviously be understanding how to run a business. So, do I attribute NCI's increased earnings to our marketing alone? No, I think it's we've equipped people with multiple skills. Inside of that, do we teach marketing? Absolutely because part of monetization and part of business is marketing.

Ben:  Yeah. The number one way that I made a name for myself, and people don't like to hear my answer to this when they ask me this question but it's content. And specifically, I spent over 10 years with long-form content, 60 to 90-minute podcasts, 3,000 plus word articles that I'd be writing in the backs of taxis and Ubers and on airplanes. Content, content, content was always my model. And now, I'm kind of wondering how much AI is going to disrupt that because you could obviously turn out 10 3K word articles in, what, 15 minutes now with good prompts for AI. So, I'm just kind of wondering if the algorithms will change, but that was really the number one thing that I did was I just created massive amount of content to establish expert status in my industry and that still is probably the number one source of incoming traffic for me.

Jason:  Yeah. I mean, listen, if I had to start over again, if you said you need to build a business that makes, I don't know, 300k in the next 12 months, I would probably spend the first 11 months trying to make zero dollars and just creating content and becoming visible and adding value. And then, I would come up with a really good launch in month 12 and make the $300,000. I think people underestimate, you said 10 years, I mean that's how I first found out about you is I consumed so much of your content. It's one of those things where people underestimate the longevity of what they've been able to do. Our company's eight figures and like last year, everyone's like, “Oh, overnight, you blew up.” And, I'm like, “Yeah, overnight [00:50:37] _____ years.” I've been doing this since just after anorexia. So, it's 20 years of doing things.

I think content is always going to be important. To answer your question on AI, I don't think AI is going to disrupt anything for the next three years in our space. A, I don't think long-form content is leveraged enough for it to be a big disruptor. I think that too many people have gone to shorter-form content. They're expecting creating reels and shorter videos to convert faster when I don't necessarily agree with that content strategy holistically. I think it's certainly part of a content strategy, but I think that people that adopt longer forms of content will be better, but I also think people that are really good at what they do, man. You're extremely intelligent. You know your shit. I had a conversation with Lane Norton recently. Lane's obviously extremely intelligent and Lane didn't know how to market for shit. Lane might not know how to market now, but he's built a really big business.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jason:  And, I told him that I was like jokingly because he's a friend, I'm like, “Dude, I made more money than you faster and you're way smarter than I am. You've forgotten more than I'll ever know.” But, I learned the marketing side and the content side faster. He's really good at what he does and in the absence of marketing was still able to produce. I think that the fastest-growing businesses blend the two. You're extremely talented of what you do and you understand the game of marketing and sales.

Ben:  Yeah. It reminds me of like, I don't know, Chris Masterjohn. He's another guy, a friend of mine, super smart. I would say he's really, really dialed in on content and intelligence and knowledge, but probably from a marketing and a branding standpoint could use some improvement. I could say this about my dad has a company. They're water filters and has great stuff imported from Tel Aviv and Germany, and hand-assembled, and it's the Cadillac of water filters. But, I would say marketing getting the name out there and the general branding could be improved because as you alluded to earlier, good product doesn't mean that you're making money. You actually have to have the marketing component. 

And, I think with the AI, I'm working on updating my book “Boundless,” Jason, and I was thinking about this the other day. I was working on a chapter on GABA and I was telling a story of me having too much alcohol and waking up in the wee hours and basically spinning this tale that was creatively written and then getting into, okay, so if you do wake up at night, you got transdermal solutions for GABA like Somnium cream or you got passion follower, valerian or you could straight up go to a supplement that contains gamma-aminobutyric acid and kind of weaving all this together. And, I think that for content is what AI could be weak on is the personal story, the experiential approach, the “Oh, hey, the textbooks will tell you this works, but here's what actually happens if you've had two glasses of wine instead of one the night before. And, here's what to do if this makes you groggy in the morning because the AI didn't tell you you're going to install light box on your desk if you're get going to use this solution at 3:00 a.m. in the morning so that you can wake up and be alert.” I think that's where AI falls short is consolidating everything and also telling a compelling story prior to sharing that knowledge.

Jason:  I think if you think back to a lot of the content you wrote in your earlier days, very little of it would you consider just purely academic, I guess, is the word, right? Obviously very info-packed solutions to people's problems, but always paired anecdotally with a story, with something that had some level of entertainment value so that people would continue reading the article and/or listening to the podcast. There's no recitation of facts for 90 minutes that is holding anybody's attention. It has to be mixed with entertainment. And, I think that people also just crave connection, man. We had Tom Bilyeu at our event last year and Tom's huge on AI movement.

Ben:  Yeah, he's great.

Jason:  And, he's there, dude, and he's scaring the living shit out of everybody in attendance. And, my whole shtick has been that I think it's going to be hard for AI to replace EQ. Tom is of the opinion that EQ can be surmised by AI that EQ can actually be intelligently understood algorithmically, which is mind-blowing to me if that's the case. But, I think we have recent events in the world that prove that humans crave connection. I mean, 2020 the world shuts down, everything digitally blew up because people were on Zoom, people were doing their workouts remotely. 2023, the world reopens, all of a sudden people are exiting the digital platforms. I mean, ask Peloton how that worked out for them. People want that connection to another human being. And so, I think if we leave out the human element of anything, I think that we're leaving way too much behind. And, that's why I think we're still a couple years away from AI really hitting. I think AI will figure it out. I think that the people in the AI world will figure out how to weave stories and stuff in, but I just don't think we're there yet.

Ben:  Yeah. And, even if you do say have the belief that reading is going to become a more useless skill or writing is going to be–I should say writing specifically not reading, but writing is going to become a more useless skill as AI progresses. Well, I tell my sons this, “If you're a good writer, you're going to be a good prompt engineer.” And, even if AI is creating the majority of content, if you're prompting it intelligently and interpreting what it puts out intelligently and editing it intelligently, you're still going to be ahead of the curve when it comes to creating unique and compelling content.

But, what about the meal plans, man? It seems to me that if you're a nutrition coach, and I don't know how this fits into the operating inside the scope of practice, maybe you do, and you're using AI possibly even more effectively than your brain to generate an appropriate nutrition plan for someone, do you think that's going to affect the nutrition coaching industry?

Jason:  I mean, again, I think it's how it's delivered to staying inside of scope of practice. I think that delivering a meal plan is something I would never dive into. I'll tell you as a safeguard for me, every time I operate as a coach and when I was working with individuals, anytime we dove into meal plans, I always made a collaborative effort to where it could never be perceived that I was the one building the meal plan. 

And so, I went in with parameters of advice. I would ask very specific questions. I would watch the person create the meal plan. And, by the end of it, they would almost ask me, “Would you approve of something like this?” I would say yes. And, at that point, they had constructed the meal plan. Do I think that that can be done through AI? Yeah, I genuinely do. I think that's something that will probably start showing up more and more. Obviously, at NCI we get approached all the time with different tech platforms. And so, we've had a couple tech platforms come out to us and say that they're working on AI meal planning type softwares and asking us if we have interest. So, I know it's being worked on, I don't know where it's at in terms of actual progress, but yeah, I think that would be a massively valuable tool.

Ben:  People still want the one-on-one help, the accountability, the support, the tribe. I mean, I have clients who I coach for fitness and nutrition, they repeatedly tell me the number one value that they get is being able to ask me questions at any time during the day and get personalized replies. It's not, “Oh, hey, I'm following the fitness template you wrote or these different meals that you recommended or this supplement regimen, it's all I like being able to ask you questions about something I heard in a podcast and is that right for me? Or, I'm going out to a steakhouse tonight, here's the menu. What do you think I should order?” And, I think it's the personal touch.

Jason:  Yeah, it's one of my first big things with clients. I'm like, “Man, if you're out to dinner you don't know what to order, take a picture, send it to me and I'll help you.” People are like, “Wow, I can do that?” And, also to some degree, there's an element your clients want to make you proud. We're recording this between Christmas and New Year's, and one of those things is we have a lot of coaches are like, “Oh, my god, I'm afraid to take time off. My clients are going to be so mad. They can't check in with me.” And, I was like, “You know, the majority of your clients that you reach out to and say, ‘Hey, I'm taking a week off,' they'll reply back and say, ‘I'm so happy for you,” because they actually want what's best for you. Your clients become very invested in your happiness as well assuming you're doing a good job. And so, they want to make dad proud. And so, they can't wait to send that text check-in. “Oh, my god, I'm down so many pounds, I'm down a pant size. I crushed it today. I killed it in the gym.” Whatever it might be, there's that part of it too that is non-numerical, non-data driven, just human connection driven.

Ben:  Yep, exactly. And, most of them are going to double down on January 1 and double or triple the amount of questions they ask you anyways. So, fine, take a week off before then.

So, I've got just one of the thing I want to ask you about. You've obviously studied up on the industry quite a bit, and I'm sure that you've got your own training or nutrition routines that you've assembled that seem to work based on the combination of science and experience and the discussions that you've had in the industry. So, this doesn't have to be an hour-long TED talk, but I'm just curious what your big wins are as far as your routine that you engage in each day, whether it's your exercise routine, your meals or certain supplements that you're just like, “Yeah, these are desert island compounds” that type of thing.

Jason:  So, I don't get into supplementation a ton. Obviously, I've been on HRT. I try to control that and maximize that, but that's really it on that side. Not saying that I shouldn't or that I don't think I should, I just I haven't. I've spent the majority of my time really just on business development. Nutritionally speaking, I think that–well, first, I'll say training. I train three to four times a week max. I'm 39 now. I used to be a six-day-a-week guy. I know that I actually get better gains, I get better adaptation. The less I train the more I can recover. And, I think some of that has to do with just my overall stress profile. I wouldn't say I go so far as to the minimum effective dose, but I think I've figured out what the appropriate dose is. It took me a very long time to get comfortable with that. I knew subconsciously I should be training less but it was hard for me to do that. I would say I'm very comfortable with that now. I do primarily full-body work. My training is more geared around golf-specific work. I'm actually trying to play high-level golf, so I'm trying to become one of the top 20 amateur golfers in the world. So, that's my current pursuit.

Ben:  And, by the way, you said something that was very important there. You do full-body training and I was talking with a client about this earlier today, Jason, they're into body part splits. And, here's the problem, they're busy traveling executives so they'll hit whatever chest and shoulders on a Monday and then arms on a Tuesday get, I don't know, maybe core in on a Wednesday and then take off for a week and be unable to train and come back and they've trained half their body. But, for me personally, my hack is full body strength three times a week. Because even if I miss a session, I've still triggered that muscle group at least once that week.

Jason:  Exactly. That's exactly why I crossed over. Same thing, I knew I could commit to three to four a week, I just couldn't commit the same three to four days each week.

Ben:  Yeah.

Jason:  And so, it's all become full body. And honestly, I enjoy it too. I'm still making strength gains, performance gains. Mobility is a high priority for me right now. I would say nutritionally, man, I'm very intuitive. I'm not extremely numerical. Habitually, given I have a past with anorexia, I would say I err on undereating, but I also enjoy dinner. I enjoy kind of ending my workday with a dinner. Now, this doesn't mean eating junk at dinner all the time, but it means sometimes going out for a nice steak. It means sitting down as a family like my daughter will say she loves family dinner. And so, I would say I backload the majority of my calories to dinner, maybe 40% of them are a dinner. I would say I found that the same breakfast works for me 90% of the time. And then, I have various snacks that are go-tos throughout lunch or throughout the day rather. 

And so, these are things that when I'm traveling, it's the same breakfast I can get it virtually, any breakfast restaurant. The things that I interchange throughout the day, I can find virtually anywhere. And then, the dinners, I would say I probably have six or seven different options so that they don't get overly stale throughout the week. And again, these are things that I can find out. And, I would say, again, almost not to champion anorexia but you learn a lot about your body, you learn a lot about physiological responses, and you become very in tune with how you feel. That was probably the one thing. And so, I'm very in tune with how I'm feeling from a recovery standpoint, from an energy standpoint, and I'm intelligent enough and objective enough to say, “Hey, I need more of this, less of this.” Not saying I'm perfect that I always follow it, but I at least know kind of where I sit on the spectrum most of the time.

Ben:  Yeah, I achieved the same awareness through bodybuilding and Ironman Triathlon arguably also to pretty unhealthy activities to participate in at least in the traditional sense of the word. But, one of the things that you also mentioned I think is really important is the family dinner and the evening social time. And, I'm often asked, Jason, “Oh, well, what's the scientific reason that you save the majority of your calories towards the end of the day?” Well, I think you could certainly make a case that carbohydrates might induce a little bit of a serotonin release that causes extra melatonin and sleepiness at night. The number one reason is, well, that's family dinner night. That's social going out night, right? Calorie is a calorie. At a certain point, if you save a few during the day for being able to be a lot more flexible and have a more robust social life and maybe have an extra helping as you're playing Monopoly with the kids at the dinner table because you're sitting there for an hour and a half anyways, it's more of a life hack than it is a scientifically driven principle. 

Jason:  Yeah. And, I'm not trying to be elite with my training, I'm not trying to be elite with my aesthetics. My current goal is, like I said, I do want to be elite in the sport of golf and I want to be elite as a father. Man, I want to be the best I can day-to-day for my family but also I want to be here in 45 more years. I mean, dude, you know. I mean, actually an hour before we recorded this my uncle finally passed. And, he was 82 years old. I'm 39. And so, I look at that from a mortality perspective and I'm like, “Man, I'm almost halfway there.” I want to live past that and I want to be around for the moments that will be there as I age. So, I think that it's perspective I definitely didn't have in my 20s or my early 30s. It's perspective that I think you only gain as you age. But, I'm glad that we're able to create nutritional application around that perspective.

Ben:  Yeah, you're absolutely right. Two things, I think, are very powerful making a question your priorities and motives and how you spend the hours that you do have in the day. One is awareness of your mortality through the passing of a loved one or a dear one like your uncle. And, I think the other one is the, and this is happening to me right now so I mention it, it's the upcoming realization that this might be the last year that your children are living at home. And, all of a sudden, you're like, “Oh, I have so many things I still need to equip them with and mentor them about and lead them in.” And, for me, that's a big theme of this coming year 2024 is doubling down on fatherhood and leadership for my sons because they're 16. I mean, you start to see that writing on the wall. And, while I don't swallow hook, line, and sink or the idea that whatever, 90 or 95 or 99 or whatever percentage they say of the time you're going to spend with your kids is over by the time they're 18. I want to create a scenario where my kids want to come over and hang out at the house and I see them a lot. But, at the same time, yeah, it definitely makes you think about how you're spending your day and how you're mentoring your kids when they get close to leaving. 

Jason:  Absolutely, man.

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. Well, Jason, you're a fascinating guy. And, this NCI, I'm very interested and I'm going to go explore your website a little bit more because it looks like you're providing folks with a good education. I have a lot of people who listen who are trainers and who work professionally in the field so I'm sure they'll want to tune into that as well. So, I'm going to put all the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/JasonP. Like I mentioned, my friends at Mind Pump were who originally introduced me to Jason and they have an interview with him as well that I think was really good even though mine is better. And, you can find that also I'll link to it at BenGreenfieldLife.com/JasonP.

So, Jason, thanks for coming on the show, man.

Jason:  Dude, I appreciate it, man. I've been a fan a long time. And so, it's an honor to connect and an honor to be here, dude. And, I also appreciate you being flexible with everything we've had going on. So, thank you so much for getting [01:09:19] _____.

Ben:  Yeah, sweet man. Alright, folks. Well, Jason Phillips, BenGreenfieldLife.com/JasonP. Have an amazing week.

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Jason Phillips has been active in the fitness industry for decades. From a former cover model and professional athlete to a sought-after fitness and nutrition coach, Jason is currently the CEO and founder of Nutritional Coaching Institute.

Jason runs a successful mentorship program for Fitness and Nutritional professionals where he provides group and individualized coaching to some of the most talented professionals in the industry.

He has written for several publications including Men’s Journal and his own book, Macros Explained: Your Ultimate Guide to Macronutrient Prescription for Health, Performance, and Aesthetics and his newest book, Macros Applied: Bridging the Gap from Science to Application.

Jason is a popular and prolific podcast guest featured in over 50 podcasts such as Renegade Radio with Jay FerruggiaEver Forward Radio with Chase ChewningMind Pump: Raw Fitness Truth, and Barbell Shrugged, to name a few.

Jason routinely speaks at Google, has been interviewed by Entrepreneur Weekly, and has been the featured speaker at the Cascade Classic and the 2018 Fitness Business Summit.

During this discussion, you'll discover:

-Who is Jason Phillips?…05:34

-CrossFit community and paleo diet…06:53

  • Jason was the first one to educate the CrossFit community on the importance of post-workout supplements
  • Paleo was the predominant diet in the CrossFit community
  • Podcast with the MindPump guys:
  • The level of carbohydrate intake on the Paleo diet is shockingly low and Jason pointed that out
  • Worked with competitive CrossFitters
  • At the time, their daily carbohydrate intake was not enough for recovery after training
    • The big issue was adrenal fatigue
    • The cortisol response of high-intensity workouts was not addressed in any way
  • Faster study over at Dr. Jeff Volek’s at UConn's Human Performance Laboratory
    • A group of athletes followed about a 85 to 90%, fat-based ketogenic, very low-carb diet
    • 50 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per day for a year
    • Extensive tests
  • The result:
    • For long-term aerobic activity, you can almost double what textbooks had said that you could burn in terms of fat grams per minute
    • Not necessarily have a faster aerobic time or better aerobic performance
  • The rating of perceived exertion on the VO2max test was higher in the low-carb athletes
  • Thyroid dysregulation, decreased testosterone and libido, increased recovery time

-Possible reasons for feeling better on paleo diet…16:49

  • A classic 80/20 polarized approach
  • Ketone esters
  • The reason for feeling better after restricting carbs
    • Gluten intolerance
    • FODMAP
    • GMOs, or pesticides or herbicides sensitivity
    • Fructose intolerance
  • We can control the amount of that stimulus relative to our recovery abilities
  • The majority of athletes just weren't fueling relative to what they truly needed

-Carnivore vs. Paleo diet…20:25

-Jason’s struggle with anorexia…27:16

  • Graduated high school and thought he was going to play golf for a living
  • Got injured and was approached by a modeling recruiter from Abercrombie and Fitch
  • He was required to have abs
    • Trained hard every day and drastically lowered his calorie intake to 800 calories a day
  • Anorexia issues and suicidal thoughts
    • Hormonal decline and extreme tiredness
    • Couldn’t keep a job
  • Started working at Gold's Gym
  • Met a trainer who advised him to eat 4,000 calories a day
    • Gained 10-12 pounds 3 weeks later and realized he wasn’t fat
  • Did a blood test and had the testosterone of 90-year-old
    • Increased calories and went on testosterone
  • Got certified as a trainer and got a degree in health and fitness

-Testosterone replacements…37:51

  • At first, he was declined for testosterone
  • His blood tests showed a very low level of testosterone
  • He has been on testosterone replacement for almost 20 years
  • For the last 3 years, he has been using HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) and is feeling better
  • Herbal strategies for testosterone deficiency
    • Turkesterone and Tribulus
    • Upregulates the central nervous system, they do give you energy, and they increase libido
  • It's an effect on lifestyle that results in a positive feedback loop for endogenous production
  • Jason has very little faith in the majority of supplements in the absence of any kind of peer-reviewed study

-Who can offer nutrition advice?…44:17

  • The only people who can provide any sort of meal planning are registered dieticians
  • In 2012, it was very common for coaches to send you a meal plan and that was illegal
  • A coach can only provide advice based on his experience
  • Nutritional Coaching Institute
  • Most coaches in this space today aren't providing meal plans
  • You have to be very careful that you're not in any way creating prescriptive measures if you are not a registered dietician

-What does NCI provide to people?…48:33

  • Nutritional Coaching Institute teaches people how to apply science in real-world scenarios
    • Bridging the gap from science to application in the nutritional space
    • Real-life example of their work
    • Navigating client’s goals
  • 50% of the people that comes to NCI is already in the fitness industry, to some degree
  • The other 50% wants a career change
  • How much money do nutrition coaches make?

-Building a business in the health and fitness industry…54:19

  • Many people in the industry don’t know how to market themselves
  • Do people in NCI learn how to become more visible?
  • The biggest problem in the industry:
    • People see the financial opportunity, but they're not well enough equipped to create the change
    • Coaches who treat everybody else like they treat themselves and assume it is going to work
  • The most important skill is the ability to create a change
  • Also, you have to know how to find clients and how to run a business
  • Ben created a massive amount of content to establish expert status in the industry
  • Jason thinks AI is not going to disrupt anything for the next three years
  • Lane Norton
  • The importance of branding and marketing
  • Ben's book Boundless is being revised
  • AI is weak in telling a compelling personal story
    • An article needs to have a level of entertainment value and a personal story to hook readers
    • Recitation of facts for 90 minutes doesn’t hold anybody's attention
  • Tom Bilyeu thinks that EQ can be intelligently understood algorithmically
  • Podcast with Tom Bilyeu:
  • People want the connection to another human being
  • People in the AI world will figure out how to weave stories and stuff in

-Using AI to create meal plans…1:05:03

  • Creating a meal plan as a collaborative effort
  • Parameters of advice and very specific questions are essential for the creation of a meal plan
  • Can definitely be done with AI, however, clients like the opportunity to ask questions, make their coaches proud

-Jason’s most important  routine…1:08:32

  • Jason doesn’t get much into supplementation
  • Spends the majority of his time on business development
  • Trains three to four times a week
    • Primarily full bodywork
    • More geared around golf-specific work
  • Ben’s recommendation – full body strength three times a week
  • Jason is very intuitive, not very numerical
  • He is very in tune with how he’s feeling from a recovery standpoint and energy standpoint
  • Most of his calories come from dinner
    • The social aspect of a dinner
  • The awareness of your mortality
  • The realization that your children will leave your home

-And much more…

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Resources from this episode:

– Jason Phillips:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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