Introduction: In this podcast the last diet you’ll ever need, the bar method of working out. What to do if your calves are too big, and a couple of questions about training on a bicycle.
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield here and somehow I’ve managed to figure out to get you a podcast while I’m basically stranded on top of a mountain in the middle of a small Island called Nevis in the West Indies. There are monkeys climbing on top of the roof of my little hut, appear perched on top of the hill and I’m amazed that I even have an internet connection, but I do have my portable microphone and I am here because I have a very cool interview for you today with a guy named KC Craichy about a very cool book. And it’s called “Super Health: The Last Diet You’ll Ever Need”. I would highly recommend you listen in to this interview. It’s not often that I recommend diet so this might be once in a blue moon. After you listen be sure to tune in towards the end of this episode where I am gonna tell you how to score a free book from KC. As a matter of fact, I’m gonna tell you how to score the very book that we’re talking about for free. It’s pretty easy for you to do. So, stay tuned til the end of this podcast and let’s get started in to this special announcement.
I mentioned this last week and I remind you again. On April 12 I am hosting a live free video webinar called the shocking truth about Vitamin D and fish Oil. Dr. Rick Cohen from Bioletics is gonna be in on that video seminar and I've got a link to it in the show notes to this podcast, podcast #139. Just go over to BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Click on the show notes and you ‘ll be able to RSVP for that. It's free. It's gonna be very cool, Dr. Cohen has a ton of research I haven't seen before that he is gonna be releasing that day about Vitamin D and about fish oil. So, I highly recommend it. Whether or not you're actually taking those supplements this would be a very good one to sit it on. It's gonna be on Tuesday, April 12 at 6pm. The other special announcement is going to be saved for the end of this podcast. So let's jump right in to this week's listener Q and A.
Ben Greenfield: So if you have a question you can just use the “Ask Ben” form on the podcast show notes over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. You can also ask question through the iPhone app or the android app. Both are free and you can download them over on the right side of the page at BenGreenfieldFitness.com or the other way you can ask your question is via Twitter. You can just Twitter to @bengreenfield to ask your question or go follow @bengreenfield if you want more tips from me during the day. Alright, let's go ahead and go to this week's first question which is from listener Violet who says I have always had large calves. And no matter how much weight I lose, they don't change. I don't want the muscle any bigger, I just want to lose fat, specially the fat right under my knee. I have done calf raises on the stairs but is there anything else I could try. Also I don’t know if this has anything to do with it, but I am very hyper mobile especially in my knees.
Well, first of all, as far as the last part to that question, flexibility and hyper mobility really aren’t going to affect fat deposition in a certain body part or body area. But in terms of reducing, toning or losing fat in one body part, the issue with that is that basically your body has to be put into a state where it actually has incentive to mobilize that fat. In this case, the fat that surrounds your knee. That’s storage fat. And the only way that your body is going to have incentive to mobilize that fat is if it’s put into a state where it has to burn that as a fuel or has to rely on it as fat. And some people tend to burn storage fats more predictively or more favorably in certain locations and find it easier to lose fat in those locations, you know. The women who are listening in know what I'm talking about and find it frustrating when the very first place they ever lose fat when they begin to lose weight is the chest. And a lot of women don't want that to happen. But as far as the knee goes, you should be coming at this from a nutritional and a workout program stand point. And not a targeted exercise stand point. And the reason for that is that doing things like squats and calf races those might improve the metabolic activity in that area just slightly. Just slightly improve heat, fat burning etc. But they're not going to hold the candle to what you'd be able to achieve by getting your diet dialled in, taking into account a lot of the diet or recommendations that I give out on the show and also getting things like unfed cardio sessions in in the morning, doing higher intensity cardio vascular intervals in the afternoon. Making sure you're incorporating weight training so you get that hormonal response to fat loss. All those type of things will help. Now, in terms of actually reducing the size of the muscle, that's an issue where you’re literally having to cannibalize your body's own lean muscle tissue. Some people are born with larger calves than other people and that’s just appeared genetics. But in terms of actually cannibalizing some of that lean muscle mass, the issue is that whenever you start to tap into your body's own lean muscle mass, it's stress from the body, it tends to pressure your immune system so you want to do it rather slowly but the best place that I would recommend you start is by doing unfed cardio sessions. And those will simply allow you to actually begin to cannibalize your body's own lean muscle tissue. It's a good strategy if you really are wanting to burn through fat and then subsequently burn through muscle also. Now, when I tell people who just wanna burn fat, to do this passive cardio sessions, I warn them no to go too hard. But if you're trying to lose muscle, go all out, starve yourself and go lift weights, do cardio intervals, do high intensity cardio. When I say starve yourself, I mean don't eat a big meal and go do those workouts. Do them on an empty stomach. And it's gonna be stressful to your body. I don’t recommend that you incorporate a session like that any more than three times per week and you should always space them by about 48 hours. But that will allow you to start to kind of tap in your body's own lean muscle tissue. And of course the issue with this is that if you genetically have very large calves, you may start to tap in the lean muscle tissue in the areas that you don’t want to. Your arms might get smaller, your thighs might get smaller. All those type of things could actually happen so it's that risk that you take. If you don’t notice your calves getting smaller and other parts of your body are getting smaller you don’t want to get smaller, then you may want to actually stop doing that because it will make your calves looks disproportionately even bigger. So shrinking a muscle is tough to do. I hope I'm giving you that impression, but the final thing that I would tell you is when you’re working and you’re doing exercising and you're trying to work your calves, definitely don’t work out in the repetition range that is known to cause hypertrophy or that growth of muscle size so don’t work out in like the 8 to 12 rep range. Always go like 15 20 reps plus when you're working the calves and that will have keep you from putting on new muscle fiber and really, if you really wanna get smaller I wouldn't do work too much at all and I definitely wouldn't be working into fatigue. So, it's kind of a tough stage that you are in and it really is kind of related to a book that I am working on trying to teach folks how to work out for their body type. But that is where I would start with you, with unfed high intensity cardio interval and weight training sessions, avoiding like a hypertrophy type of rang, going for the fat at the back of the knees. Basically giving your diet and your workout program dialled and not doing like specific targeting sessions for the knee itself. Okay, the next question is from Mike.
Mike: Hi Ben this is Mike Colin. Was wondering what was your take on power cranks. Can't seem to find it on your website. Doesn’t look like you’ve covered it before. Yeah. So thank you.
Ben: Well, contrary to what the name may sound like, power cranks are not a new novel form of drug. They are actually a bicycle training apparatus. And basically they are cranks. And they attach to your bicycle and they move independently of one another. So normally, when you pedal your bike, both of the arms that your pedals are attached to, or the cranks that your pedals are attached to, they move at the same time dependently on one another so as one is going down the other one is going up. And with power cranks, they move independently so both of your legs have to work on their own to figure out how to manage the pedal stroke. So by isolating both your our legs and preventing, for example, the dominant leg from compensating for a weaker leg, the power cranks will train your muscles how to incorporate your muscle mass and basically teach your brain how to recruit muscles a little bit more efficiently during the pedal stroke. They've got tons of great reviews. I know a lot of athletes that used them. The problem is that it’s kinda like learning to walk again. Or even for experienced cyclists learning how to ride your bike again. You feel very inefficient and feel very frustrating when you first start to use them. It literally takes you a good two to three months to gain back your prowess or your efficiency on the bicycle using these power cranks. And then, at that point you can use them just in training, you can use them in racing, you can use them as a training tool just a few times during the week or use them all the time, but I've never spoken with a person who has used them and not found that they vastly improved biomechanics and helped with power as well. You'll spend either about a $700 with these cranks but if you use them on your bike they are probably going to help you become a better cyclist and pedaling inefficiency is something that you deal with, it’s going to be something that could help you out tremendously. So, do I personally use them? No, it’s not an investment that I have made yet. But I do have some athletes that use them, and I've spoken with others who have used them, and they swear by them in terms of making you a better cyclist, so it’s a great question.
Ron: Several podcast have mentioned flax seed oil positively, my research differs. I stopped taking flax seed oil a year ago because of its very high phyto estrogen content. Men’s Health had an article on soy milk, also high in phyto estrogen, awhile back, in which a male was drinking two quarts a day and his breasts were enlarging.
Ben: Interesting. So phyto estrogen, they are basically the substances found in plants. And they can imitate, to a certain extent, the activity of estrogens in people. And the plants can’t make human estrogens but they make this hormone like substances that help to regulate estrogens within the human body and we call these phyto estrogens. And they can definitely impact males or females in terms of your normal hormonal metabolism. But there is very little evidence that something like phyto estrogens in soy milk could cause male breast enlargement, which is also known as gynecomastia. The way that it would happen, if it did happen, because anecdotally there's been cases where it's suggested that it could have caused a male breast enlargement. But basically the soy milk phyto estrogens are known as isoflavones and those are very similar to certain estrogens within the human body and the reason that when you ingest isoflavones they could actually cause this breast enlargement is that they could increase the estrogen concentrations enough to where a male actually starts to take on female characteristics. Now, you have to drink the equivalent in order to get that amount of isoflavone. You have to drink the equivalent of about three quartz of soy milk a day. Or that's about 350-400 mg of isoflavones in a day. So a cup of soy milk has about 25mg. So you have to be drinking a ton of soy milk to really get that phyto estrogen response. But it is feasible you can do it, I guess, if you were just like living on soy milk or doing lots of tofu and other isoflavone sources on the side. When you look at flax seed, the phyto estrogen content of flax seed is through the roof compared to soy milk and so these really sets a lot of people off because they're like well, I may take just a little soy milk but man, you don’t have to take in much flax seed oil in order to get the same amount of phyto estrogen. Well that is true. You’re gonna get a lot of phyto estrogens with flax seed oil but the main phyto estrogen in flax seed oil is not this isoflavones. It’s basically a lignan. And there's a big difference between a lignan and an isoflavone. An isoflavone will very strongly bind to the estrogen receptor and can increase production of the estrogen like compounds. Whereas a lignan weakly binds and actually inhibit some of the production of the estrogens. So huge difference in terms of the response and there is really zero evidence of flax seed oil causing something like male gynecomastia or breast enlargement. Now, of course, flax seed oil is a seed based oil and because it does contain phyto estrogen, that means it does contain phytic acid. And phytic acid is one if those things that can be considered, in high amounts, to be in anti nutrient. It can bind with a lot of the minerals and the nutrients in your digestive tract and keep you from absorbing them and that is why we wouldn't go overboard with flax seed oil. I do the equivalent of about a teaspoon a day or few capsules a day of flax seed oil and that should be enough. Remember also that good digestive health helps your body to produce some pythases that can actually cause phytic acid to do a little bit less damage to your digestive tract. So doing something like taking a digestive enzyme will also be really a good idea if you’re taking flax seed oil. Ok, so the next question comes from Ranieri.
Ranieri: Hey Ben. What's going on? This is Ranieri Palavicini. Well, I'm doing a training plans from the Jude Training plans for the Half Ironman. And I've been training in the indoor training with a bike and like two days ago, it was very warm here, I live in Elizabeth in New Jersey, and I get out very nice riding you know like 1 hour of riding I did like, I don’t know, 20 miles, 21 miles, and all of a sudden, I mean it was fine but two days after that is where the weird about, two days after, my knee starting pain. So I get up yesterday morning and, you know, that was two days from the training day and it starting pain, my knee like that's very, very weird. So, I probably sleep bad or something but I think and I remember that “oh two days ago I did some bike and its first time outside with a bike without training. I didn’t change the seat or the fitting. Nothing! I didn't change anything. Do you have any idea why that might be happening?
Ben: That's a great question. And I understand your frustration when it comes up like that out of the blue. But when on your bike and you're riding indoor s, you tend to stay in a relatively constant position. You don’t move around too much when you're training indoors. When you go outdoors, you're standing up, you're sitting down, you're shifting forward, you're shifting back, and all these changes in position can not only utilize new muscles, but they can also cause more movement in terms of your patella or your knee cap in that groove that's between the femur and the tibia. And so what can happen is there can be a little bit of dragging that goes on, a little bit of irritation, some inflammation, and it’s likely that what you felt was either you're kinda 48 hour delayed on said muscle soreness from using the quad a lot more than you were used to using them, or you actually had some patellar tracking issues from moving around a lot. Now, for the patellar tracking the best thing you could do is to strengthen your quads and also make you’re your hamstrings are flexible before you head out on a ride. And even something as simple as including your quadriceps strengthening sessions once a week and then doing hamstring stretching everyday can solve that issue. And then the other thing that I'd look into is simply giving yourself a little bit more time outdoors on the bike. Do a few more rides. See if it happens again. And if continues to happen then it’s likely that it’s not a conditioning issue. You know, it’s like a muscle soreness in the quads issue but it really is that issue with patellar maltracking. And then you know this is probably pretty unlikely since you aren't feeling your pain when you’re riding indoors, but you're only feeling it when you’re riding outdoors, but in terms of your saddle height you may want to look into raising it just slightly and also moving your seats slightly back and I realize that you didn’t have an issue with your seat height and your saddle position where its currently at when you're riding indoors, but it would be definitely something to try at this point before you head outdoors to ride again: just putting the saddle up or bring the saddle back just a few millimeters and bring the seat post up just a few millimeters and that will take some stress off the knee as well. If you do too far though, it can create pain on the outside of your knee and the back of your knee. So be careful. You don’t really want your knee to be extended more than about 25 degrees at the bottom of that pedal stroke.
Alright, we've got one more question and this question comes from Mer .
Mer: Have you ever heard of the bar method? In Chicago and LA, it’s taking off like wildfire. Lots of bold claims, lots of youtube coverage as well. I think and my muscles think I would get bored with this formulaic type class 3 times per week.
Ben: So basically with the bar method is, is you've got this bar almost like a ballerina wood work on and this is a one hour work out that is primarily body weight exercises combined with certain moves that you do stabilizing your body with this bar. And the idea is that it’s kind of a mix of some cardio vascularly intensive aerobics type moves along with some Pilates as core moves, and some almost like dancer type of flexibility and calisthenics moves. Now this type of routine is great for, say, somebody who needs to improve their mobility or needs to improve their flexibility. Pretty good for somebody who's already got muscle but wants to, say, tone the muscle a little bit more, maybe not put on more muscle and also wants to again, improve like core strength flexibility and mobility. It would be also pretty decent for somebody who really is just getting started and is able to move around and is pretty mobile but wants to start with something that has more body weight than like free weight or cable or dumbbell, barbell, weight machine based. And they would also see results from this initially. The problem with it is, it misses a very important component of fitness and that is some form of heavier weight bearing to actually stimulate the hormonal response that occurs when you expose your body to heavy loads and also to stimulate that muscle mass or lean muscle mass formation. So if you were doing something like this, like this bar method 3 times a week, you would wanna mix it up and include a couple of weight training sessions, you'd probably want to include like some cardio interval sessions, as well, like some bicycling or treadmill sprints or going hard on the elliptical trainers, some things that get you moving in that harder like anaerobic state that you are not gonna get into when you’re doing this bar method. And then use the bar method the same way as you'd use, you know, say yoga class or Pilates class or body weight only workout. Something that you include as a supplement to a weight training in cardio vascular interval based workout. But there are definitely benefits that you could get from this, if you’re using it as the sole method of getting fit though it wouldn't really like hit all the muscle system. And that's a really good way to look at any workout program as you know, is this limiting itself to just one or two different muscle system or is this hitting them all? So a good program should have weight bearing, should have some body weight stuff, should have some flexibility, some mobility, some easy aerobic cardio, some cardio vascular intervals and not just one mode of exercise.
So, I hope that helps, and now we are gonna move in to this interview about “The Last Diet You'll Ever Need”. This is a two part series so part two will come out next week. This is well worth listening to. I learned a ton when I was interviewing KC and also reading his book to learn more prior to interviewing him. Again I don’t really endorse many diets, this is one I would certainly consider listening into and then listen for a special announcement at the very end about how you can get a book that we talked about for free.
Ben: Hey folks, this is Ben Greenfield. You know, a few months ago, actually all the way back in March of 2010, with a podcast called “Are You Eating Dead Food?” And I had a gentleman named KC Craichy on the call and he talked about the difference between live food and dead food, and came up with some really interesting concept study shared and I would put a link to that podcast in the show notes to this episode. Well, KC is back and I'm gonna tell you why he is back on the show. A few weeks ago, I got an envelope in the mail. And I had a book in it. And I got to tell you I typically get about two to three books a week that come in envelopes in the mail with a request for me to review them to read them to talk about them on the show. It's very rare that I actually will do a thorough reading of the book from cover to cover and not put the book down the entire time. It's also very rare that I am so impressed by the book that I actually get the person that wrote the book to come on to the podcast and talk about it. You know, you've heard some of the podcast that we've done in the recent past with authors like Art de Vany, Phil Maffetone. Well, when it comes to books one of the genres of books that tends to be the most diamond dozen, over written, over hype style of book is the diet book. As you probably know, there are thousands of them out there and I've had just about everyone that there is shot in front of my face at one point or another. And so, when I received this book in the mail called the super health diet “The Last Diet You'll Ever Need”, I was pretty tempted to put this one towards the you know maybe I read when I get really bored pile. But I did see that it was written by KC, and you know I had KC on a podcast a few months ago, and I was pretty impressed with some of the stuff that he had to say. As a matter of fact I actually eat everyday in my diet a few of the powders in the living food supplement that KC's company creates. So, when I saw this book I decided you know what KC wrote this, I should at least take a look and I wasn't really prepared to capture anything I haven't seen before. Well, I was wrong. This is not the average diet book. So, when I open it up, the first thing that I've found was that the first half of the book didn't really even talk about eat this, not that, what to eat. All it did was give me the most thorough and comprehensive overview I have ever encountered in any book of every single diet, every single weight loss strategy, every single surgery, every supplement, everything that's out there that could be use for weight loss and every study and every little bit of research and everything that has to do with how to stop works, whether it works, why it works, if it's safe, all the way up to basically 2011 when this podcast is being produced. So completely up to date, pure gold in terms of content and then it goes on and actually talks about what to eat and it’s definitely not a rigid diet plan that I'm used to seeing in this diet book. It's a very free flowing, very common sense way of eating that we are gonna talk about in today's show. But the book is called Super Health Diet. The author is KC Craichy. He is right here on the phone with me today. So, KC thank you for coming on the call.
KC Craichy: It's my pleasure Ben, I tell you, with you opening like that you make me wanna read it.
Ben: Yeah, you should, you should. I've got a copy. I'll send it to you.
KC Craichy: Thank you.
Ben: I'll sign it on. Let's jump right into the pure content, KC. In your book, the Super Health Diet, you started off by describing every other weight loss club and diet that's out there, so in your opinion, why are there's so many diets and diet books?
KC Craichy: Ben, you know, your opening was so powerful and that you know there are so many and we've seen them all and I've drudge through them all and I had a weight issue that I had to try figure out over my lifetime and the truth is though, that based on what most people are eating and doing, I am sure you would agree that basically any diet, plan, programs, scheme that’s in existence could have most people losing weight for a time. Because basically when people stop doing what they're doing and do something structured, it usually has an improvement for one and secondly, when they go from this American diet to a plan which they can apply their fate to, even though the plan is not always true, and usually, and thus far, none of them have been all true that I've seen, then they get the benefit of the placebo effect which essentially is that they are able to believe it for a time and create a, we know now in medicine that even if you tells somebody it's a placebo in the clinical studies, their actually gonna get benefit anyway. So real power comes when you apply your faith to something that is actually true. And so this is why I went to write this book, because I have been so confused that how in the world can a system, that completely different systems, both be correct. Or multiple different systems all be correct. And you got these weight loss programs and yes, many them was started by people with passion that would actually open up and solve their own health issue and then they help others solve their issue and then they help to a lot others solve their issues and then they would sell out to a corporation who was in it for profit and then they would cut quarters and again now you are dealing with a system or a multitude of systems that are out there to make money. And they keep making money because nobody lost their weight permanently.
Ben: Yeah. With so many diets out there you actually name kind of some of the ways that you would recommend people look at a diet to recognize whether or not a diet is indeed a fad diet. What are some of those ways that you can actually know if something is a fad diet?
KC Craichy: Well, one is that, if it tells you to eat this one food all the time like, for instance, call with a juice fast, for instance. You know, a juice fast, many many people have go on to say a juice fast for reasons of losing weight, but you know what happens when people don't get enough protein and get enough of all the vital nutrients? They lose precious muscle, they don't lose weight, they lose precious muscle that they get to the end of the term and lo and behold, now there are way more than there before, and unfortunately they have changed the composition of their body, so decrease in muscle mass and an increase in fat mass which is exactly opposite of what they were looking for.
Ben: Gracias. So one thing, and you know I got to tell you what, when I pick up your book I kinda thought that this what's you gonna do because I know that, like your company makes protein powder and meal replacement powders and you know what I thought when I picked it up was, “Whoa this is just gonna tell me eat KC's protein powder and meal replacement powder for every meal,” it doesn't do that at all. But, that is a good point that, yeah, a lot of these diet tell you just to eat one thing.
KC Craichy: And then you got things like grapefruit diet. They add grapefruit to every meal somehow to miraculously burn fat. You know, and it gets pretty silly when basically when something's sounds too good to be true, it almost always is.
Ben: Now what are some other ways that we can recognize fad diet aside from just having like one thing that you’re supposed to eat?
KC Craichy: Well, they normally have silly names. You know, like the cookie diet or the you know, you see all this out there, the Hollywood diet. I mean, you see these diets out there that are, you know, they are basically rehashes old diet like the macrobiotic diets. So you got the Hollywood diet, it’s really just the macrobiotic diet with somebody else's name on it. You see, so we actually identify all these core diets like macrobiotic and the Mediterranean diet and all of those things in the book. So basically somebody comes along and they, what they like one of these old diets for whatever reason and they take pieces of it and put it into a new system and give it a new name.
Ben: What about exercise in the diet book? If diet does or does not prescribe exercise, is that something that would make an impression on you in terms of the…?
KC Craichy: Yeah. There’s your obvious fad diet. Eat this way and you don’t have to exercise and you eat all you want and life will be fine. It goes all the way, you would be of perfect health and so on. Yeah, that is an obvious one that people tend to harp on.
Ben: What's the maximum amount of weight that someone should be seeing in terms of the promise that the diet might promise them?
KC Craichy: You know that's a pretty broad question because if they're doing ketogenic diet, which are protein and fat and cut off the carbs for the most part, they're gonna lose 5 to 10 pounds in the early going , in the first week or two. But the loss of weight is from losing glycogen from the muscle. So when you lose a stored carbohydrates, stored is glycogen in the muscle, you automatically loose 3-4 times than amount weight in water because 1gm of glycogen holds 3-4gm of water. So water weight is lost at the outset so they do claim large of muscle weight loss but the real weight loss happens once you finished their diet and go back on reasonable amount of carbohydrates and get that 5-10 back so the net weight loss is the only real weight loss. Now a lot of these people are talking about this program is all about 1-2 pounds a week and it say you can't safely loose more than 1-2 pounds a week. The truth is you can lose dramatically more than that, including 5 pounds a week or 10 pounds a week depending on how heavy you want is as long as you supply every nutrient the body needs including amounts of protein necessary to not lose muscle mass. So, there are ways to lose a lot of weight that are not safe like the shake for breakfast, shake for lunch and then reasonable dinner kind of scenario, because they don't provide all the nutrients necessary, particularly don't provide nearly enough protein to lose weight. Because one of the biggest problems in health is age-related sarcopenia, which is simply muscle loss over time. In your sport we talked about this sometime, for some reason the people are muscular and hold on to on their muscles but when they go into like the endurance sports like the marathon kind of sports, they have very skinny upper bodies, they're tuning up their muscle for building other things like a body or tear the bathroom down, they build the kitchen for instance. Because they don't have enough flow of protein into the body. So it's really important for one to realize is that when calories go down the actual need for protein actually goes the other direction. Now, this is something I put in my book and put references behind it that you actually need, when you lower your calories, you need to increase your protein and not decrease your protein. And virtually every diet system fails in that area.
Ben: Why is that, that you would want to increase your protein when calorie count goes down?
KC Craichy: Interestingly, and as for like you do in triathlon as such, people have large amounts of calories and so when you have a large amount of calories, protein digestion actually gets much more efficient. It's opposite of what you would actually think. Coz when you drop the calories, protein digestion becomes very inefficient. So you need to increase, one needs to increase their protein amounts. Now, I have a whole chapter which I'm sure we'll talk about later on the dynamic role of protein but that is more of a complex subject for what we just mentioned but the truth is, that if people are lowering their calories like many people say, hey I need to lose weight so I just gonna have a salad for lunch. How many times have you heard that? So, what happens is, they're giving themselves a pillar that has a nice amount of nutrients in it but not nearly enough protein to drive metabolism and drive muscle mass increase.
Ben: Got you. So, when we are talking about diet, you know, there is recent study in the New England journal of medicine compare to ton of different diets, and found that in terms of the composition of the fats and the proteins and the carbohydrates, that there is a really large range in terms of just about all of them being somewhat effective as long as total caloric intake was low, in terms of, you know, high fat diet, high protein diet, high carb diet etc. So it seems that there's a bunch of ways to lose weight. So is there really any perfect diet or can people just kind of choose any of these diets?
KC Craichy: Well, the truth is it depends on the goal. You see, everyone has a clinical study of one. So, not everybody is the same and they respond differently to different things. But see the truth is, the goal should never be weight loss. The goal should be super health, the nice side effect of super health is weight optimization. So, when you’re comparing these diets as the journal did, they're comparing how they work in terms of weight loss over a given period of time. You see? And so we know that you can, that there's the guide into twinky diet. You read about that in there. I mean, you can literally, I mean the clinical research shows, if you have lower calories of exactly what you are eating, regardless of what you're eating, you want to lose weight. Okay. So, in terms of just dropping pounds for a window, then you can lose weight on just about any system, but when you get off of that system, that is where the problems begin. And so you are not losing the right kind of weight when you drop calories unless you have the right mix of nutrients.
Ben: It's a very good point and I've actually encountered many people who come in for weight loss who literally have damaged metabolisms from nutrient-deprived diet that they went on that did just fine for weight loss but didn't knew the many favors to all when it came to their health or their longevity.
KC Craichy: Absolutely, and you know, you got these people, these weight loss clinics live on people coming back. You know, so it obviously is not working or they wouldn't be having people repeat or come back. And so part of the reason I put this book in writing about all these systems is that you know, how does a person who comes back from the doctor, and they tell their wife that, the doctor said that my blood pressure is too high, and I weigh too much and then I'm gonna have to start eating right and exercising. And then he says to his wife, what does that mean? Well, I don't know, let's go to weighing system, I saw a commercial about this particular system yesterday and they guarantee an X number of weight of pounds will be lost so let's go there. Well, how do they know that low glycemic is better for them than just pure power restriction or you know all the other various systems out there? So, what I wanted to do was to clarify guys, listen if you're gonna go that route, at least understand what you are getting into and see how that might that work for you.
Ben: Well, in terms of diet, obviously pills and prescriptions and procedures are a big focus of a lot of diets and you talked about some of the more serious dangers and complications, liver damage, central nervous system damage, a lot of the different supplements and procedures out there, but you are also fan of a few fat loss supplements. And I don't necessarily want you to give away the farm here, but what are a couple of the supplements that you actually do agree with and encourage people to take when it comes to enhancing weight loss?
KC Craichy: Well, the things that are clear is that increase in anti-oxidant is helpful. And so increase in anti-oxidant, pro spectrum anti-oxidant in terms of broad amounts of nutrients and even supplements is a wise thing to do. But you know, one that you're gonna love and I'm surely agree with this is, fish oil. Fish oil, it actually supports weight optimization. So as the fat CLA, which is the omega 6 fat. CLA is helpful there. Supplementing with chili pepper had been shown to me very effective in assisting in weight optimization. And there are other thing out there like white bean extracts which has been shown to block carbohydrates but my experience is, people that take that actually eat more carbohydrates because they feel like they’re block and so they can eat more. So, it doesn't really end up working. So, there's some powerful thing out there that people can do and if we list a lot of them, you know there is that avandia nutrient, I mean the research on that thing is very impressive but I personally couldn't tell a difference at and will above the dosage recommendation so, if you just go read the literature though, it would seem to make sense to take these nutrient regardless because of its enhancing cell signaling and so on. So, things that you take like chromium that anything that you would take as a nutrient that would actually enhance blood sugar management actually then will be effective and weight optimization also. So, there's a number of one out there that are good and like you say, we list a bunch of them there in the book.
Ben: Yeah. I never actually heard of Avandia before until I checked out your book and you're right, the research looks interesting that you also, I thought it was cool how many of these things you've tried or you've had some of the clients before you work with try and you know the study didn’t do anything even up to four times the recommended dosage.
KC Craichy: Yeah. That to me was very disappointing because a lot of people out there are talking about 30 pounds and after you get how many weeks and with no changing your diet and yeah, again, that's where those signal words but it seemed pretty impressive so I didn't have 30 pounds to lose but I was trying to see what would happen and you know, it really was a big zero as far as I could tell, but the research again would say, “hey you know what, if it hangs cells signaling you should take it anyway”.
Ben: Now, what about spas and clinics, you talk about those in your book and this is probably the first diet book that I've seen that actually goes and kind of looks at some of the different clinics that are spread out there around the world and what they're based on but can you kind of give an overview of what a weight loss spa or weight loss clinic actually is? What somebody does there and whether they actually work?
KC Craichy: Well, you know, again, it is basically, there are actually a fair amount of them and I named some really good ones in the book that people enjoy. But, you know, when people are frustrated in their lifestyle and their habit are so deep as you've seen I mean, if people are just used to doing things in certain ways and they have certain things in their house and if its near them they're gonna eat it. And they eat their diet as like you said they have broken metabolism so they really don't feel like working out. So, at some point they get to the point where say listen, I am just gonna go somewhere and all I do is focus on diet and exercise. And those things can actually be very positive for people because they wake up and their breakfast is managed, their lunch is managed, their dinner is managed and if they get a snack it's something that's healthier. Now I don't always agree if you see in a book with a dietary approach of some of these places but the fact that people are able to go out of their normal environment and enter a structure is actually quite positive for a lot of people.
Ben: And in terms of like spas, clinics, things of that nature, can you talk about maybe just one of them that you discussed in the book just a few of them kind of get an idea of what this type of things are?
KC Craichy: Sure. You know, the one I always go back to, we have the Canyon Ranch those are good ones, and the Cooper Clinic has a program and Duke Diet and Fitness. Now, I really am not a fan of the more medical approach clinics as much but, you know, Hilton Head Health Institute has a great program. When I say great in terms of you go, get a structure. But one of the places I like is, because it really is about going to a structure. If you go to a place, and they will, like, if you go to a Ritz Carlton spa in like Orlando or Naples or out there in Bach Rigault in California. They have tremendous work out facilities and people can work you out. So, if you go there and you tell them what you are trying to accomplish, it doesn't even have to be one of these ones that I list in the book. It could be the Ritz Carlton and they say unless I'm gonna feed you, breakfast is gonna be eggs and lunch is gonna be whatever you guys agree to, and then you follow the workout program. In fact, if you do two a day, you know, you are working out morning and night, that can be very effective also. So I don't really think it's the magic of the specific program. I do mention them all in here and the good, the strengths and the weaknesses, so to speak. But, mainly it’s getting out of your environment and on to a structure.
Ben: Yeah. I think that the structure is very important. When I was a personal trainer, I had a few of my clients come to me about a couple of times a year for what we call the fat camp, where we would just put them through a week of meeting with the trainer 3 times a day. And I brought up their entire meal plan, you know, for each day of the week. And it was kind of exhausting mentally and physically for the person but they lost a lot of weight. So I agree there is something to be said for these spas and clinics.
KC Craichy: They lost a lot of weight and they had you, they saw you all the time, they had accountability in the thing, they had structure and they left what you are talking about, what you are talking about there is of course I am certain, every good as good as going to one of these places and probably better because you know what you are doing. But the point is you are also teaching them to live that way. Whereas if they go to a center then, they maybe a lot different because they're eating in restaurants every meal and so on.
Ben: Good point. So you talk about the thyroid hormones in weight loss and on this show, we talked about thyroid before. But in terms of giving people little of your view because I like the way that you explained it in your book, how would you explain how hypothyroidism causes somebody to gain weight and what they can actually do about it?
KC Craichy: Well, you know, it's really important issue. I mean, we’re now learning, I saw a study come out this week that hypothyroidism is actually one of the primary causes of Epstein barr and those chronic fatigue kind of syndromes. It's an under diagnosed, extra ordinarily under diagnosed in those syndromes where people have no energy. So, if you’re gonna get by your thyroid, it generally should be set to where, if you're a car and you stop at the stoplight, the car should run smooth and not sputter. But when you have hyperthyroidism, you drive up to the stop sign, and you push the break and the car is really shaky and is about to shut off. You know, that's the feeling I'm talking about here, the situation. Well, people that have hypothyroidism, basically have their motor adjusted too low. And if it is low enough there is really not a whole lot they can do to lose weight. They can go out they don't feel like working out, when they work out, they don't get the boost that most people would normally get when they work out. And they don't digest food as quickly, they tend to gain weight more easily, they don't feel that well and so on. So, hypothyroidism can be caused by a number of things. Nutrient deficiency is being one of them, you got the minerals, you got selenium, you got iron, and copper and zinc, and all the mineral and all the vitamins also can accomplish the same thing. Vitamin D is a really big one that very few people know about and most people listening right now, probably not to your podcast because you talk about it, but most people in general are Vitamin D deficient, very significantly deficient in Vitamin D. And they are very confused about the new recommendations for Vitamin D, they were not increased that much because they are only based on what the bone health aspect of Vitamin D might be. We now know that immunity and so many other things are dependent on the levels of Vitamin D. It's immune modulator which you know Vitamin D comes from the sun. It also comes from supplement in Vitamin D3 and eating foods that are rich in Vitamin D but the point I'm trying to make is, low Vitamin D actually can cause thyroid dysfunction. nd people are not that aware of that. Low vitamin D can do that. Low iodine can do that also. So there are so many things that are from a nutritional perspective that can, like low Vitamin D can cause reversed T3 conversion. So, we really are really talking about that you really must maximize the nutrients that are essential for the body in order to have optimal thyroid function.
Ben: Yeah. You really give quite a shot gun of different thyroid boosters in the book. To get people pointed in the right direction, obviously you're not dishing out medical prescription in the book but from iodine to thyrocine to a ton of different herbs like oatstraw and alfalfa and gotocola, a natural glandular support, ton of stuff and I do know, I saw a chapter that you actually did quite a bit of consulting with a thyroid M.D. on this part of the book. And I think that it's one of the more comprehensive treatises on hypothyroidism and how to attack that from a weight loss perspective. Right after that, you talked about sex hormones like testosterones. Can you explain how a loss of testosterone could actually cause weight gain?
KC Craichy: You know, it's a very important fixed thing, I'm glad you brought that up because men over time are told that you just naturally have lower testosterone level as you age. And in fact it's in the actuary table that when you get a blood test and you're 40, they’re expecting your testosterone to be less than when you're 30 and when you're 25 and so on. So low testosterone though, now has been shown not only to create lethargic men, you know, they have low sex drive, low drive in general, they don't feel like exercising, they get weight gain around the middle, they got actually, now we know that actually increases the likelihood of heart disease and stroke and other very significant risks in the body. So, it seems very clear now that managing testosterone level over a lifetime is a very important thing. And so I'm not just saying those straight to take in testosterone and if you back up just a moment we talked about the thyroid. There are some people who had thyroid surgery, some people that have to have thyroid, have to take thyroid in order to give that optimal level. But my advice is that you take natural compound in thyroid and not the synthetic kind that are generally prescribed. Back to testosterone, the same thing goes with testosterone and progesterone and estrogen. The drug companies have gone out there and they’ve taken a natural molecule of testosterone, of estrogen, of progesterone, and what they’ve done as they’ve added a molecule to that in order to secure patents. And essentially make a synthetic hormones using that patent and now it is a drug and they sell that to the masses so most people who are on a hormone actually are taking synthetic hormone and almost every case, if it hasn't yet, over time it likely will, these kind of synthetic hormones cause disease, particularly cancer in the body. So, there is no little thing, I do give some references of how to find practitioners that know how to do this. But not everybody needs to take testosterone or estrogen or progesterone, sometimes, you just need to optimize your own level and that's normally the first approach one would take. So, we talked about our product sold by Life Extension Foundation called Super MiraForte, basically chrysin and other nutrients have been shown to block the aromatase enzyme. Aromatase converts whatever estrogen is in the body, whatever testosterone is in the body, to estrogen. So it takes, it makes a man, man, in terms it of what makes a woman, woman. And now, men have levels of estrogen naturally, but not high estrogen. And women have levels of testosterone, but not high testosterone. So it becomes a big problem when you have high aromatase. Let's go back to aromatase. What happens when these levels drop and people eat the American diet and they're sedentary they don't feel like working out, is that they get belly fat. And what happens in belly fat is it becomes literally the largest endocrine organ in the body. So, basically have a de facto organ that's now creating things like Interleukin 6, TNF Alpha and the enzyme aromatase which we just talked about. So people are sitting with their belly fat and the belly fat starts to work against their energy levels, against their vitality and so they're lowering their testosterone level because they have belly fat and then they have belly fat because they have little testosterone levels. So it’s a spiral that people have to climb out of.
Ben: Yeah. Interesting. And in terms of aromatase inhibitor, that is one of the things that I really encourage the older males that I worked with to look into taking, basically keep testosterone from converting into estrogen and you know, that's useful not only for energy in your performance but, you hear a lot of guys complaining about what they call these days man boob. And a lot of that is also related to that conversion of testosterone into those more female like hormones so.
KC Craichy: Absolutely, but see man boobs, these things you are talking about is not just how unsightly or embarrassing that might be, it’s such a huge metabolic disturbance going on that will lead to death if left unchecked.
Ben: Yeah. And that is actually what I appreciate about your book. You come after from the health stand point. From a, be there and be able to see your grand kids grow up stand point not just the good look goodness swimsuit stand point. So yeah.
KC Craichy: It is nice look good at swimsuit, too, but let's stay around a while. I believe it's a shame that the regulating bodies over these very sports have listed testosterone as one of these banned substances because we now have a system where athletes are getting older and playing the sports longer and these athletes are really risking their health by not managing testosterone level as they get older.
Ben: Yeah. It's tough. I do have some athlete, some males, who have gone through some pretty serious andropause, and they are on testosterone patches and testosterone injections, and they are walking a fine life if they end up on a podium of an Ironman triathlon, so yeah. Aside from aesthetic reasons, we mentioned that you don't really believe that weight loss is necessarily the only thing that should be the goal of the diet program. In your book, you actually talked about 14 different reasons that people should lose weight, that kinda go beyond just looking good. What are some of those reasons that you feel are most important for people to consider for weight loss aside from just, say, getting a flat stomach?
KC Craichy: Well, you know, we talked about the problem with belly fat, you know, belly fat being the big culprit in messing up the hormonal balance in the body. So that would be the first one that I would go to. We know that people who are obese are far more likely to get the flu and things like the swine flu and other things than people who are not obese. Now that is pretty amazing when you think about it. What is going on with these people that they're obese and they're now they have lower immunity as a result. It's just fascinating. And so, we know that people who are obese actually have longer hospital stays that they actually stay a couple of days longer than someone who is not obese no matter what the reason that they went to the hospital. It's fascinating.
Ben: What about what we’re doing to our kids in terms of the possible link of obesity in a child and obesity in parents?
KC Craichy: Well, it's really terrible because now we know it's not just 5% of the likelihood of another generation having the same problem. So when you realize that the reason the kids are overweight and unhealthy is not because they inherited their parents’ genes, it's because they inherited their mom's cookbook or their dad's cookbook. And you know, it's really an amazing thing that now we know through epigenetics that there is actually a programming layer above the gene that actually can create good or bad characteristics that actually sort of re-override the programming in the genes and can pass on to next generation either a good habit or good trait or a bad habit or bad trait. This we see in alcoholism and smoking and so on but also works in fit, healthy life styles, as well.
Ben: I got in some deep water a few months ago when I tweeted on Twitter that being fat could possibly make you stupid. I probably did not put that as kindly as I could have. However, you do mention in your book that there could be a loss of brain tissue that occurs in obese individuals. How does that actually work?
KC Craichy: Well, Jermo of human brain mapping saw exactly that. They compared the brains of over 90 people in their 70's, they were healthy, but they are impaired, and they found that the actual weight of the brain of the obese people was dramatically less than the ones who weren't. That's fascinating. It’s a fascinating study.
Ben: You know, from Type II diabetes to an increase and disabilities to the gut theory, you mentioned more things and talked about that gut theory, what's the idea behind the obese individuals on the gut theory?
KC Craichy: Well, what was back up to the diabetes, I think, is so important that if you go to Type II diabetes, diabetes is basically, basically diabetes is by choice. People choose, I say that and I always get a lot of emails when I say this, people choose to be diabetic, for the most part vast majority of people who are Type II diabetic choose that, because it has been very clear that diet and lifestyle can completely reverse that situation. And most of the time, not somebody maybe who’s had it for very long time, maybe there has been so much damage and it's not gonna reverse like it would for someone who has had it a shorter time. But we know that pre diabetes and diabetes are reversible. I'm sure you've even seen this, Ben, in people you work out. That they got blood sugar issues, they were told they're pre-diabetic, they're told they're diabetic, but lo and behold, they work out and they go to this program and they are not diabetic anymore. Well, that is not by accident. Diabetes interestingly, most people have too high of insulin all the time. They eat all the time, they drink sweet drinks all the time. And they become masters, their body become masters at putting fat in various places in the body. So that they as their blood sugar insulin are high all the time, the body is like getting really good at storing fats in places. Well, I say it happens in most people and I'm classifying most people in the “diabetic / blood sugar issues” category is that it's like a drug in the gas pump. And they put the gas tank in the car and when they spill they click it a few more times so it runs down at the side of the car and then they roll it back, wind it down and fill the back seat with gasoline. The truth is, the body has about as much capacity to deal with the gasoline or the extra fluid or the extra fuel that they're eating, sugar that they're eating, as the car has the capacity to deal with the gas in the back seat. So people are becoming very unhealthy because they are letting their blood sugar stay high all the time, they're eating all the time and so on. So the trick is, according to the research that resting blood sugar level should really be below 80. And most people are telling you it's ok if it's 90, it's ok if it's 95 as long as they don’t go higher.
Ben: Yeah. I used to say that all the time. Eat six plus meals a day and based on the things that you are talking about now, I've completely changed my view on that and I'm getting better results with my clients. They are actually staying healthier because of that loss of blood sugar fluctuations. What about bacteria in the gut and the link between obesity and gut bacteria?
KC Crachy: Clearly, people who are overweight have pathogenic bacteria in the gut. It's amazing how that, just if you count all the things we talked about during this short time, the amount of things that are negative associated with being obese. It's just, you got to have a good balance of intestinal flora and you got to have enough good bacteria to offset the bad bacteria, otherwise you’re gonna get sick. And that's what happens with people who are obese. And we need to talk more maybe next time we’ll have a segment about this. You know six meals a day versus three meals a day kind of scenario.
Ben: Actually, you know what, that's exactly one of the things that we are going to be getting into when we release part two of this interview next week. And as a matter of fact, as we get close to wrapping up this part one, I did wanna mention something because I do have KC's book right here as I'm talking to him about it. One thing that I failed to mention is that there are little quotes in the side bar as you go through this book and actually many of them are very funny. For example, here is one from Dave Barry, it says, I recently had my annual physical examination which I get once every seven years and when the nurse weighed me, I was shocked to discover how much stronger the earth's gravitational pull has become since 1990. I chuckled through the whole book because it actually kept me, kept me turning the pages towards this kind of quick, funny, witty quote on each page. So kudos for working those in. We’ve talked today about obesity and weight loss and diet and some of the issues as far as that’s concerned. And next week, I'd like to get into the solutions with you, and some of the things that you talk about in this book, the Super Health Diet. But for those of you listening in right now, I'm going to put a link to this book in the show notes to this episode, it's called the Super Health Diet, The Last Diet You’ll Ever Need. I would encourage you, whether you are a health practitioner, a personal trainer, a nutritionist, someone who is trying to lose weight, someone who wants to be healthier, or if you know someone who is trying to lose weight or be healthier, that you pick up this book, it would be a super investment for your personal library. KC, thanks for contributing to part one. And I’ll be looking forward to having you back next week.
KC Craichy: Ben you got a great work out.
Ben: Well, folks, that is part one. Part two is coming next week. But as promised, I'm gonna tell you how you can win a free autographed copy of KC's book the Super Health Diet. What you can do to get that book is actually make a video. It can be with your cell phone, it can be with your computer, it doesn't matter. But in that video, what you need to do is actually let me know how you feel this book can help you. What your biggest problem is with diets, nutrition, losing weight, or staying healthy. You know, you get sick all the time and you wanna know how to boost your immune system. You lose weight and put it back on again and take it off and put it on and you want to learn a complete solution to yo-yo weight loss issue. Do you have troubles sticking the fad diet and you want something that is finally not a fad diet. Whatever it is, whatever your struggle is, what you can do is actually shoot a video explaining what you struggle with and why you feel this book will help you. And then post that video to the BenGreenfieldFitness Facebook Page, which I’ll link to in the show note to this episode, Episode #139 from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. So what you’re gonna do is make that video, upload to the Facebook Page. We're gonna choose the 12 best videos and send you a free autographed copy of this book. And of course next week, we're going to continue with part two of the Super Health Diet. So, be sure to check out the show notes for this podcast, Podcast #139 for information on everything that I talked about in this show over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have a healthy weekend. By the way, the reason I'm actually in the Carribean down here in the west Indies, is I'm doing a triathlon here called Tri Star Neves. And I will be reporting on that race over at the website Everymantri.com. Alright, over and out, this is Ben Greenfield.