Most diets, especially fad diets, are about restriction and what you can’t eat.
Of course, losing weight requires being in a calorie deficit, but what if there were specific foods you could eat more of that actually boost fat loss?
That’s the idea behind Dr. William Li’s new anti-diet book, Eat to Beat Your Diet, which explores the relationship between body fat and metabolism, and why the food choices we make matter.
In this episode, you’ll learn how specific foods can help burn excess body fat, why body fat plays a crucial role in our health and how it influences our hormones, the importance of micronutrients, the benefits of various vegetables, the impact of dietary choices on overall health, and a lot more.
In case you’re not familiar with Dr. Li, he’s an internationally renowned physician, scientist, and author of the New York Times bestseller Eat to Beat Disease, which I interviewed him about previously on the podcast.
He’s also the president and medical director of the Angiogenesis Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization that works to promote medical innovation and breakthrough technology to disrupt disease and improve world health.
In our metabolic masterclass, Dr. Li and I discuss . . .
- The crucial relationship between metabolism and overall health and the role our body fat plays in it
- Challenging conventional wisdom about “fast” or “slow” metabolism
- The role of specific foods in burning excess body fat
- The importance of hormones, muscle gain, and the four phases of metabolism in our lifespan
- Groundbreaking and surprising studies on human metabolism and their practical implications
- The significance of food choices and micronutrients, and their impact on metabolism
- And more . . .
So, if you want to gain a better understanding of your metabolism and why your food choices matter, as well as specific foods you can eat more of to enhance your metabolic health, you’re going to enjoy this interview with Dr. Li!
0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe!
1:30 – Why did you write this book?
2:43 – How do you define dieting?
4:18 What are some discoveries you made while researching more into metabolism?
12:49 – Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching: https://www.muscleforlife.show/vip
14:27 – What do you mean that calories are not all the same?
18:38 – How do the calories in broccoli and mushrooms fight off unhealthy body fat?
39:56 – Can muscle gain impact metabolism?
42:08 – By saying active and eating enough protein do my nutritional choices even matter?
51:51 – What are your thoughts on supplementation? And how can someone benefit from supplements?
01:00:06 – Where can people find you and your work?
Mentioned on the Show:
Dr. Li’s Website: https://drwilliamli.com/
Dr. Li’s Eat to Beat Your Diet:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello, there I am, Mr. Muscle for Life, Mike Matthews. And this is my podcast. Thank you for joining me today to learn about the relationship between body fat and metabolism, and why the specific foods that we eat matter, how our food choices affect both of those things. And in this episode, you’ll be hearing from Dr.
William Lee, who is an internationally renowned physician, scientist, and author of The New York Times Bestseller Eat To Beat Disease. And in this interview, Dr. Lee is going to talk about how specific foods can help you lose excess body fat. Why body fat plays a crucial role in our health. Many people don’t know that body fat is an organ, and there are very good reasons to maintain healthy types of body fat and healthy body fat levels.
Dr. Lee also helps dispel some common myths about metabolism. One related to metabolic rate as we age. Another related to fast versus slow metabolisms. In this interview, Dr. Lee also talks about specific foods and micronutrients that we can ensure we are including in our diet to improve our metabolism, or I suppose you could say, support a healthy metabolism and more.
Hey William. Good afternoon. Thank you for taking the time to come and talk
Willliam: nutrition again with me. Thanks, Mike. Always pleasure to be on. Yeah. Yeah. So
Mike: you have a new book and the first question I wanted to ask you, I like to ask this question, just as a fellow writing person, why this book? What made you wanna write this book and how does it differ from your.
First book or your
Willliam: previous book? Right. Well, a few years ago I published a book called EAT to Beat Disease and that was a book that was not about so much about food but how your body responds and what we feed it. And from that point, knowing what can you feed it in order to be able to activate our body’s health defenses.
And that was published in, did really well. But given New York Times bestseller and my research, cuz I’m a scientist and a doctor, my research continued on to look at how our bodies health defenses can work together to take us to the next level. And that next level of health has to do with metabolism, which is something that I thought I knew a lot about.
But as I did more research, I realized how much we actually don’t know yet about her metabolism. And then diving into it, discovering all these amazing new. Facts. There’s a new science of the metabolism, and that’s what I read about in my book. Eat To Beat Your Diet. That’s my new book, and it’s a trick title because although it has the word diet on the title, it’s not a diet book.
It’s in fact an anti-D diet book that teaches you how the new science of the metabolism shows us why we don’t need to go on a diet at all. Not only to improve body composition, but also to improve inner fitness, health, and longevity. And
Mike: so what do you mean by that? Because many listeners now are wondering, well, I guess, how do you define dieting?
Like, let me give you some context. So a lot of people listening when they think of going on a diet or dieting and they think of improving body composition, which let’s say that’s reducing body fat percentage and maintaining or gaining muscle, that’s the goal. They’re thinking, okay, I’m going to ensure that I am consistently eating fewer calories than I’m burning.
I’m gonna eat enough protein to support my lean mass. I’m gonna eat nutritious foods. And I would say maybe to the kind of informed, evidence-based lifestyle fitness person, that’s what they think of when they hear the word diet. Is that what you mean? Or you referring to
Willliam: something else? What I’m referring to in my title, eat to Beat Your Diet is really the kind of dieting that most people actually go on, which are extreme diets, fad diets, uh, trend diets, you know, the things that you hear about or see that a celebrity endorses and then everybody races towards it.
I think the advantage of, uh, somebody who’s a serious fitness person who reads the literature and wants to look at the signs for body composition, it’s much more informed. And I mean, you know, broadly speaking, diet is really just the pattern of eating and it could mean a lot of things to a lot of people, everything you just said, which is to reduce excess body fat, uh, maintain or improve muscle mass.
Those are a sort of very, very critical goals that we want to aim for. And yes, we can use nutrition. Exercise and a whole host of other lifestyle factors in order to be able to attain that. In fact, eating food is only one dimension of that. When
Mike: you mentioned just a few minutes ago that you thought you knew a lot about metabolism, you really start diving into literature, you realize that there’s a lot that you don’t know and, and that just, there are so many questions because it’s, it’s so complex really.
Right? You look at everything that falls under metabolism and that you made some surprising to you discoveries in your research. What are some of those
Willliam: things? Well, there are three basic areas where there are surprises. One first area is really the assumptions that many of us make about what metabolism is and what, what it must be like, especially as we get older and, and sort of over the course of our lifespan.
The second area that was surprising to me, the category is really what do we know about body fat and metabolism? Because they seem. Diametrically opposed. You have more too much fat. Your actually metabolism goes down and metabolism goes up and your fat goes down. And so there’s some really amazing and not counterintuitive, uh, relationships I discovered.
And the third thing really has to do with the fact that most people would assume that if you want to lose body fat, you want to eat less food. But in fact, it turns out that that’s not categorically true either. There are specific foods that you can choose that if you eat more of those foods, you can actually burn down excess body fat.
And so these three areas I felt were just so practical and yet surprising that it was worthy writing another book on it. And that’s what Eat To Beat Your Diet is about. Can you talk more about those three things? Sure. Well, first of all, I’m gonna throw out some of the, the common myths and misperceptions about metabolism based on what I learned.
So many people, including myself, used, uh, think that, you know, people are born, individuals are born with either a slow metabolism or a fast metabolism, and that’s why. Some people struggle with food and their weight throughout the course of their lives and other people don’t. You know, I mean, how many of you have heard that?
Oh, my sister was so lucky. She was born with the Fastm. She could eat anything. Me, I’ve had to struggle and I’ve had everything. If I look at food, I, I actually gain weight. That’s actually a one myth. Turns out to be completely not true. Turns out that every human is born with the exact. Same metabolism, metabolism’s like a, like an operating system in a, a laptop that you buy out of the computer store.
So Mike, if you went to the good local, your local computer store and I went to mine, we bought the same model of laptop, plugged it in, booted it up, the operating system in our laptops would work exactly the same way out of the box. And that’s exactly how humans are. And it makes a lot of sense because, for example, outta the box who were born, our heart works the same way.
Our brains work the same way. Kidneys work the same way. Turns out our metabolism is kind of an operating system in our body. And then this leads then to say, well, what do you mean by operating system? Isn’t it sort of infinitely complex in terms of what metabolism is and all the factors that can influence it?
Yes, it is. But I think the deeper we understand a system in the body, the clearer it is, sort of on a macro level how it works and then how do you actually think about it? It’s a f a structure and function in an operational way. So here’s what we’re really beginning to understand. Our metabolism is simply put.
A way that our body takes energy that is introduced and stored in our body and converts it into power to drive the engine of our body to go do our activities of daily living to specific types of activity, whether you’re working out, whether you’re, uh, training, um, or, or frankly, any goal running to catch an airplane.
It’s very similar to, I, I use the analogy when I’m teaching now about this, like driving a car. You know, most of us drive cars. We don’t think about it, but our car has a very complicated process to take fuel in our gas tank and power up our engines so we can actually get from point A to point B. And we generally don’t think about our fuel except in one situation.
And that is when the fuel tank runs low, the fuel gauge runs low. We pull our car over to the gas station, we fill up the tank. Tank gets filled, clicker goes on, and a nozzle get back in the car. Don’t think about it again until the next time. Well, it turns out that our body actually, our metabolism runs in a very similar way.
We put food in our body. In the form of which is fuel, that there’s a name for the fuel. It happens to be calories. The fuel that we store are used to power the engine of our body. Whenever we have excess fuel, which is a good thing to have fuel, it actually gets stored in our adipocytes or our body fat, the cells of our body fat.
So as long as we don’t overeat, our fat cells actually are really. Useful because they, not only are they a cushion in our body, but they’re actually fuel tanks. And there’s more to that story of what fat actually does. We don’t have a, a tank, a physical tank that we can follow at the meter. That’d be useful though.
Mike: Somebody ever wants to invent a little device
Willliam: you know, that’d be, that’d be like the next thing you download as an app or whatever. But if we actually had something that would actually show that our fuel tank was down, what do we actually do is we pull over, not to the filling station, but we pull over to the kitchen table, the refrigerator, the restaurant pantry, in order to.
Get something to eat. What’s really interesting in a simplified way is when we put food in our mouth, our pancreas makes insulin. Insulin is the hormone in our body that allows us to take the energy from the food that we eat and put it into the gas tank, use it as we need to, and then anything has to put into the gas tank.
But here’s the catch with metabolism. When our insulin is elevated, which means anytime that we are eating and our insulin levels of hormones elevated, our metabolism focuses on storing fuel. It focuses on storing, not burning fuel. It’s kinda like when you fill up your gas state, your car at a filling station, turn off your engine, fill up your tank, you’re not burning the gas while you’re filling up on it, right?
So that’s how our metabolism works when we’re not eating. Okay. Our insulin levels go down, and when our insulin levels are down, our metabolism switches gears to say, all right, we’re not storing anymore. Let’s burn. And when we’re burning, we can actually burn down extra fuel, including the fuel that was stored in our body.
Fat in a very simple way, using the analogy of the car, like a car we need to fill up. Periodically, the quality of the fuel matters. If you put really crummy fuel in your car, it’ll survive. You know, it’ll be drive just fine for a a few times if you do it every now and then. But if every single day, week after week, month after month, year after year, you are continuously putting crappy fuel in your car.
Your car’s not gonna run as well as somebody who’s. Takes the time to put, to maintain their car with high quality fuel. So the quality of your calories does really matter. Not all calories are created the same as the old saying, but that’s where the type of food that you eat actually makes a big difference.
Number two, um, just like a car, if you overflow your gas tank and the fuel comes running down the side, around the tires, around your feet, you got a problem at a gas station, you’re standing in a dangerous, toxic, flammable mess. Now in our body, you know, we don’t have a clicker to stop the fuel from going into our body.
We just keep eating. And that’s why overeating can be very, very dangerous because when we overeat our metabolism and fuel storing mode, it’ll stored into a fat cell. And a single fat cell, which is microscopic normally, can grow a hundred times in size. When you stretch it out with fuel and if you keep eating, your body will go, oh, you’re not done eating it.
All right, let’s stuff some more a hundred times. Oh, still more food. Let’s go stuff that up. Now you run out of fat in your body. And like that you’ve all the fat you already have. If you keep eating, your body will say, guess what? We have a trick here. We can use our stem cells to create more fat cells and now let’s go load it up again and again and again.
So as we challenge our body with more fuel, okay, especially if it’s poor quality fuel, not only do we do, we store crappy fuel in our body into our fat cells, but we actually have to grow more fat cells to accommodate it eventually. If you overeat, and I’m giving you the extremes here, eventually if you overeat, what’ll happen is that you’ll run out of.
Frank, frankly, the ability to create more fat. And now just like in your car, the fat will actually leak out of the fat cells, outta the fuel tanks, get into your bloodstream and it accumulates in your liver and it poisons your liver. And that’s actually what we call non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is a huge, it’s really an epidemic disease that’s lifestyle driven.
Now. People who are like really mindful of their body and trying to stay in shape and want, you know, want to live a long time. You know, I’m, I’m sort of in that category where, look, we’re probably not going to go out of our way to overeat and do that all the time, but I would say it’s really amazing how many people do live your lives that way.
And even for those of us who are very mindful of our fitness, it’s easy to slip into that, if not now, then down the line. Because that’s a habit that is really vulnerable to when we get distracted and when we live in a society of abundance. Do you want to transform your
Mike: body but you just can’t seem to break out of the rut?
Have you read books and articles, watched videos, listened to podcasts, but still just aren’t sure exactly how to put all the pieces together for you? Or maybe you know what to do, but you’re still struggling to stay motivated and on track and do the things that
Willliam: you know
Mike: you should do well, if you are nodding your head, I understand getting into great shape is pretty straightforward when you know what to do, but it’s not
It takes time, it
Mike: takes effort, it takes grit, and that’s why I created my v i p one-on-one coaching service. We take people by the hand and we give them everything they need to build their best body ever. We give them a custom diet plan, training plan, supplementation plan if they want supplements. You don’t have to take supplements.
We coach them on how to do every exercise correctly. We give them emotional encouragement and support, accountability, and the rest of it. And we are pretty good at it too. We have worked with thousands of men and women of all ages and abilities and lifestyles and help them build a body they can be proud of.
And guess what? We can probably do the same for you. Our service is not for everyone. But if you want to find out if it’s for you, if there’s a fit, head over to buy legion.com/vip. That’s B u i legion.com/vip and book your free consultation call. Now you mentioned that. Not all calories are the same. Could you talk more about that specifically in the context of somebody
Mike: does a good job?
Maintaining a healthy body composition doesn’t necessarily have to be somebody trying to step on a stage in board shorts, but somebody who, they’re not having fat spill over out into their blood. They keep themselves in pretty good shape. Yeah, I just, I’d love to hear some more details and I think a lot of listeners would find that interesting because I think of people ask me about food choices in particular, like yeah, they understand.
Eat some vegetables, eat some grains, eat some fruit, eat some lean protein. That’s fine advice, but I feel like you can take that a bit further to kind of make more optimal decisions than just, I guess I’ll just grab some random vegetables.
Willliam: Right, right. Well look for the audience. Listen to this. I probably don’t need to say that.
You know, if you were to say X number of calories in a candy bar and take X number of candy bars in a salad, that there’s a difference, a qualitative difference between the character, the quality of the calories between a candy bar and a salad, right? That’s kind of a no-brainer. However, here’s where it gets more interesting.
Even within that salad, if you were to pick apart the pieces of the salad and lay them out on the table and start comparing, even within healthy foods, you can actually say that the same number of calories have different properties are not all created equal. So if you were to take. Pick a number of calories that you wanna take a look at.
And you were to say, how about let’s eat broccoli with that number of calories. Okay, a broccoli dish versus let’s eat a dish with mushrooms, with those calories. Now I’ll tell you what’s really interesting is that the same number of calories, two different vegetables as just an example, I can tell you the science of what of food of medicine is now revealing.
And this is my work of research that the, in addition to the calories, cuz that’s just a unit of measure that you’re using, but looking deeper into the broccoli, broccoli contains sulforaphanes. These are natural sulfur chemicals that activate our body’s metabolism. They activate our body’s health defenses can activate your immune system and we know even how it ne activates your immune system, it causes your body to produce more protective antibodies that line your nose and your throat.
So whatever you’re breathing in, inhaling is less likely to cause an infection. That’s one of the unique properties of say, broccoli. And it’s actually that whole category of foods like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Bach choy, and so on and so forth. Swiss chard. Now, same number of calories. Okay? Same calorie number.
Let’s look at mushrooms. Mushrooms don’t have those sulforaphanes mushrooms have something called beta D glucan, foodist medicine research. Okay? What you need to know. Don’t worry about memorizing all the different substances, but bead d with glucan does something really amazing. It feeds your gut health, all right?
It feeds the gut bacteria. Your gut microbiome becomes healthier, and that’s good because when your gut is healthy, your gut bacteria is healthy. It lowers inflammation in your body. Inflammation actually can accumulate when you’ve got too much body fat. It can also, uh, it can actually counter your own efforts in order to become fitter.
And so you, by lowering inflammation, you do something good for it. The other thing that beta D glucan goes for, a group that’s interested in fitness, for example, is that bead d glucan. In addition to supporting gut health stimulates stem cells in your body to grow. So it’ll call out stem cells like bees coming out of a high, and those stem cells will then start to repair, regenerate, and rebuild muscle.
It does it by growing blood vessels to feed new muscle cells. After you’re working out, you’re breaking down muscle. It has to repair and rebuild itself. The more stem cells you put out there better, it’s actually gonna regrow. So in fact, it enhances your fitness. So we just talked about two different foods, okay?
That are healthy, not unhealthy, that have the same number of calories by an example. Okay? I didn’t pick a number because that’s not what we’re talking about. But they have two inherently different properties that do different things. Now, the one commonality by the way that both of these foods do is both the betad d glucan and the sulforaphanes in broccoli, they can turn on your metabolism.
They light up your metabolism by fighting extra harmful body fat. And how does that work?
Mike: Cause I know that people listening again, that’s one of those things I’m sure they’re like, tell me more about
Willliam: that. Yeah, so, and this is by the way, why I love being on your podcast because your audience is sort of engaged listeners who really think about the, like what they’re hearing.
Like, okay, wait a minute. Let’s see how that makes sense. It doesn’t matter if you have a large body size or a small body size. It doesn’t matter if you are obese, overweight, or whether you’re slender lean. Okay? The fact of the matter is we all have body fat and the body fat that we develop started when we were still in our mom’s womb.
So, although. Many people kind of pay super attention to the body fat that they have as an adult, usually curse it if they’re not happy with how they look. The reality is, is that body fat is one of the critical organs. And that’s right, I said an organ of the human body that forms in the womb. So when your mom’s egg met your dad’s sperm and turned into a ball of cells, that became the future.
You all right? What happened is that blood vessels got laid down because every tissue, including your muscles, need blood flow circulation. Nerves got laid down because they formed the instructions for your organs later on and for your muscles to do what they’re supposed to do. And the third tissue that gets laid down is body fat.
Now the body fat in the womb looks like bubble wrap. Now, you know the bubble wrap that you used to wrap packages for your shipping, right? Delicate packages. Well, a sheet of bubble wraps that my kids
Mike: always wanna grab and jump on for three hours
Willliam: straight. Exactly. Well, the bubble wrap, actually, imagine each of those little bubbles is actually a fat cell.
And the reason that the bubble wrap forms in a womb around blood vessels is because we just talked about this a little earlier. Fat cells are storage tanks for fuel. The fuel that you store into it comes from the blood. As present in the blood. It’s in the blood because when you eat food, the food that’s absorbed the energy.
Winds up in the bloodstream has glucose and other nutrients and then you store them right into fuel tank. So it makes a lot of sense why fat cells are stored around blood vessels. The reason I bring this up is cause a lot of people go, well isn’t fat created around my thighs or my butt or my my waistline?
And no, actually fats first created around your blood vessels. A and a lot of people
Mike: think that they think of body fat really only in negative terms. Like they don’t understand some of the stuff that you’re talking about here that it’s a vital organ. It’s not something that you want to just exterminate down to the last ounce to look as good as you can on social media.
Willliam: Cor correct. So what does our fat do? I mean, think about it. We might not like our bodies. How do our bodies look when we’re adults and we see body fat, but. Body fat can’t be all bad because when we see body fat on a baby, we smile, right? That’s what’s characteristic of every baby hudging, pot belly, big cheeks, you know, arms and legs that are fat.
They look like the circus balloons that a clown makes. You know, to make a poodle out of, if you saw a baby that was chiseled with definition, you know, cheekbones, long, thin arms, long thin legs, you know, rippling, you’d be like freaked out. Like, there’s something wrong with that baby. And you’d be right.
Okay. And so that’s why I’m bringing this up because it allows you, it liberates you to rethink what body the role of body fat is. So our body fat is a padding. It actually protects us from injury. So we didn’t have body fat inside the tube of our body. If we tripped on the rug and fell down, our, our organs could burst.
Not good. So it’s padding our body fat also is a fuel tank, like we discussed earlier. You have to have some fuel tank. You know, like you don’t wanna have like no fuel tanks. Third thing is a, your, our fat is in organ. It’s an endocrine organ. It makes healthy hormones. In fact, it makes hormones critical for our metabolism.
How many hormones are there? At least 15. What are some of the most important of those 15 hormones when it comes to metabolism? Well, I’ll tell you three of them. One, Is leptin. Leptin is a hormone that some people call sat tidy hormone, but I, you know, the reason I like to explain about leptin is that leptin isn’t an on off switch.
It’s not a toggle switch. Leptin is more like a volume control switch where it can get a little louder, a little softer, and when you actually turn the leptin switch down. Actually, you get more hungry and when you turn the leptin switch up, louder, louder, louder, you actually get less hungry. And the reason that I call it a volume switch, a riostat, you know, kind of a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit less, a little bit less, is that a lot of people think about leptin as on off onh hungry, off hungry, not hungry, doesn’t work that way.
But the reason that that’s so important is that number one, leptin is made by our fat. In order to be hungry to get that energy, to build muscle mass, you actually need good fat to make the right amount of leptin and, and have that leptin work in the right ways, works in your brain. Number two, a second hormone is called a dip Otin.
Now, some of your listeners may already know what a bein is, but I bet a lot of people don’t. And here’s basically the surprising thing. If you came to see me in a doctor’s office and I wanted to do some blood, I suggested to do some blood tests. And we take your blood tests and in addition to all the usual things that doctor would measure, you say to me, Hey, can we measure my hormones?
And I say, yes, let’s go send your blood to the lab. And I check the box to say, measure every hormone in Mike’s body. All right? The results will come back and we’d find a dip nin. And in fact, what we would find with a dip nin is that your detin is 1000 times higher in your bloodstream than any other hormone, higher than testosterone, higher than thyroid hormone, higher, higher than cortisol.
1000 times what could be so important about a fat hormone that it’s that high in somebody who’s in good shape? Well, here’s what, here’s what the answer is. It turns out a dip nin made by fat allows insulin that collaborates with insulin in order to draw energy more efficiently into your cells. So when you actually eat food and you wanna get that glucose, you wanna get all that energy into your cells.
Okay. You need a dip nein to help your insulin do it better. If a dip nein is low, it doesn’t matter what your insulin is, it’s not gonna work very well. So you’re not gonna be efficiently using your energy. So people who are like, you know, working out, trying to, you know, they really wanna be fit. If you don’t have your ab dip nein sort of in good shape, no matter what you do with your insulin isn’t gonna work the same way.
So that’s, that’s the gas pedal for efficiency of energy for metabolism made by healthy, good fat. There’s a third one called resistant. So if a dip nin is the gas pedal, let’s get into the fast lane. Let’s go fast for energy resistance to brake pedal. All right. Oops, you got a truck coming up ahead. Let’s slow down.
So a dip nin more faster energy absorption, re resistance. Slow it down just a little bit. All right. These three hormones, by the way, with normal healthy amounts of body fat function, perfectly, it’s, this is the operating system. Now, if you don’t have enough body fat, if you go way low, like 3%, Okay. Or even lower.
What you do is you disturb the amount of fat’s ability to make the lectin, make the adiponectin make the resistant. And now your metabolism is not gonna function very efficiently. You’ve just gone off the grid. You know, that’s like going into the sand trap. On the other hand, if you actually grow too much body fat, the same problems actually happen.
But on the other direction, way too much fat. Um, um, fat mass, which you wanna get rid of, actually makes the center of the fat die. It doesn’t have enough oxygen. When the center of the fat is oxygen starved, it behaves like a tumor, like a cancer. Inflammation starts to happen because it’s not as dying. And that inflammation plus extra body fat screws up your hormonal function.
Now, your body fat doesn’t make leptin a dip. Nein resistant the right way, and your body, your metabolism is going, wait a minute. Am I hungry or not hungry? I can’t tell anymore. I, I don’t know what my adult leptin’s doing. Your metabolism’s going, should I be making more, more detin or more should energy be more efficient or not?
I, I, it’s, it’s, they’re so inflamed in here, I can’t tell. And resistant goes, well, should I stop or start? Which should I be slowing down or not? I don’t know what to do. So this orchestra of hormones that plays a symphony for health and for your energy, your metabolism goes outta whack on both sides of that equation.
Which is why, you know, you sort of want to tame your fat. You want to get it down to lower levels while you’re building muscle mass, but you wanna stay away. You know, in body building, a lot of people go way low with their body fat. That’s where you actually tip it aside. This is an example of where the, um, role of fat.
We have to respect our fat. We need it to do its thing. And so I’ll pause there, but there’s some other really interesting aspects about body fat, where you can use good body fat to burn down extra harmful body fat. I’d love to hear about that.
Mike: But before I just, I just wanna follow up with a couple questions.
One being, correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding of, uh, at least the research I’ve read on leptin, is those problems and adin and resistant, like what you just described, that metabolic pill that, that can develop that if it starts to become a problem. And, and I just wanna mention this for listeners and you can correct me if, um, if I’m misunderstanding something here, because in the fitness, especially people who are really into fitness, you probably see more people getting inappropriately, like getting too lean rather than remaining too fat for too long.
And in men for example, you really start to see these effects probably at. Somewhere between seven and 8% body fat is when there is a now material difference and things are materially worse. And certainly when you start getting down towards stage lean four, 5%, your metabolism is almost broken compared to how it runs normally.
Is that correct? And the reason I wanna say that is cuz I know that there are a lot of men, they look at 7% body fat and they go, all right, that looks pretty cool. And I agree, it looks pretty cool and it’s not necessarily wrong to do my opinion Again, curious to hear yours. If it’s gonna be a, okay, you want to do it, to do a photo shoot or.
For a short period of time, you’re not going to cause long-term harm, but to try to stay that lean is not smart. And in women, same thing. It’s just probably my understanding, it’s probably around 15, 16% body fat in women is when it starts to become a problem. What’s your opinion on
Willliam: that? It. It’s true. Men and women both have that problem.
If you go below the threshold for healthy body fat, I would say, you know, everyone always asks me about like, what’s the number that people shame for? Yeah. And
Mike: that of course was gonna be one of the next questions cuz people
Willliam: ask it. Yeah, well you know, it actually has to do with a lot of factors. There’s no one size or one number that fits all, even though it’s our nature to wanna know that what that number actually is.
But I’ll tell you like in men who actually go to extreme lobe levels of body fat studies have shown, not only does testosterone actually decrease, which is one of the visible. Effects of going way low with your body fat. But the other thing is your heart rate also lowers, it actually lowers your heart rate.
And so overall, your stamina, your ability to actually do more work, stay into sort of functional fitness actually declines in women. You know, it actually also, seriously, I mean these are sort of the cardinal signs. Like how do you know something’s wrong while you can’t get your heart rate up? Or how do you know what’s funny in women?
Uh, actually they stop menstruating, like that fundamental hormonal cycle. And if you stop menstruating, it means that look, your other organs are being affected too. Your uterus, your, your ovaries, your thyroid, your, your pituitary gland. And so when you start affecting those other hormones, there’s usually a domino effect that can actually occur.
I think I’m on your same wavelength here, which is that, you know, we all get involved with activities, things that we enjoy, where, you know, I, I think it’s like actually really natural and pretty cool that people can pursue a passion to a really high level. And if you’re doing it to actually get on stage for a photo shoot, you know, to kind of get to peak performance, look, that’s fine, but it clearly isn’t something you’re gonna be able to do for a long period of time.
It’s, look, let’s move outside of the body building word and fitness ship for for a second. Let’s talk about piano. I used to play the piano. You know, if you’re gonna actually play a concert with a symphony like I have, you’re gonna be practicing, you know, like not an hour a day. You’re gonna be practicing six or seven or eight hours a day.
That is intense. That can’t be sustained. And frankly, that’s not even good for you. And so the bottom line is that, you know, when you talk about overall health, When you talk about longevity, when you talk about long-term fitness, what we wanna do is to sort of get back into the range, want to have body fat.
And for men and women, not only is it different between the genders, it’s also different between ages because what we might need to be able to sustain all those other functions of health, it’s gonna change as we kind of get older. And this actually brings me to, you know, like how another big surprise about how metabolism actually changes during aging.
So here’s myth, gigantic myth number two. Like, all right, when you’re an adolescent and you might first get interested in fitness, right? And so you start lifting or you know, working out, your parents almost always think because you eat a couple of dinners, you’re bouncing off the wall with energy and you’re growing tall and getting big, that your metabolism’s actually going up.
Like that’s what everybody assumes. They’re teenagers. Metabolism is, is skyrocketing wrong. It turns out that between the ages of one year old and 20 years old, metabolism is going down, down, down, down, down to adult levels. All right? How do we know this? We know this because there was a landmark human research study on metabolism that was published just two years ago, and this publication, so it’s brand spanking new.
It’s like smoking hot research. This research changed everything that we know about human metabolism. Let me explain to you how it was done. So there’s a guy named Herman Ponder that came from Duke University. He worked with 90 colleagues, 90 researchers across 20 countries. They studied 6,000 people.
From 20 countries, different races, different foods, different ethnicities, different cultural habits, different holidays, different body types, all right? Different genetics. And they lumped them all together and studied their metabolism and said, Hey, I wonder what human metabolism really looks like when you look globally.
All right, so here’s one of the amazing things they did, is they studied all 6,000 people in exactly the same way. How do they do it? They gave everybody a drink of water, okay? Like this, and the water, which is H two O, right? H is hydrogen, O is oxygen. That’s the breaking down the chemistry of water H two.
That’s why you call it H two O. And what they did the research did, they tweaked the hydrogen. They tweaked the oxygen so that when you drank the water, your metabolism cranks on those atoms, the hydrogen and the oxygen, and they could measure your metabolism from the breath. They could measure your metabolism from blood tests, from your blood, and they could also measure metabolism from your pee, how your body processed those atoms.
So hydrogen in the oxygen, and here’s what they found. Oh, by the way, one additional thing before I tell you what they found. The other remarkable thing about this 6,000 persons study is they studied people that were fr ranging from two days old. Newborns all the way to 90 years old and everything in between.
Largest human metabolism study that covered the entire human lifespan. What they found is this in when they just looked at the first results they found metabolism was all over the map. Just like you’d expect. Ah, you know, why do we bother doing that? Well, what they actually then did, because we live in the world of supercomputers and numbers crunching, they developed an algorithm that corrected every individual’s metabolism for excess body fat.
Remember, this is a real world study. This is people that, ordinary people, what they would be able to do because they knew every individual’s height and weight and, and other body composition facts. They were to subtract from metabolism, the effect of excess body fat. And when they did that to 6,000 people, the results they found was like pulling the cloak off the statue of David to see what human metabolism, the beauty of human metabolism they saw for the first time just two years ago, what our operating system of our metabolism is like at different parts of our life.
So remember I told you we’re all born with the exact same metabolism that was established there. Then it turns out that all humans go through four phases of metabolism. Phase number one is from zero to one year old, your metabolism is skyrocket. It’s like a rocket ship going up, up, up, up 50% higher than what adult metabolisms are gonna look like.
In the end. All right then from one to 20, we talked about this already. Metabolism goes down, down, down, down, down to adult levels, even though you’re eating two dinners and super active. And then here’s the mic drop finding that people in your podcast will probably won’t have actually known about, which is that the third phase is from age 20.
To age 60, human metabolism is hardwired to be rock stable. It is flat as the horizon. It does not change. Alright? And so our metabolism doesn’t automatically slow when we hit our forties or 45, or doesn’t actually slow, automatically slow when we hit menopause. That’s not what ha actually happens. What actually happens is that, um, you know, like, so this is where people go, well, if I have a slow metabolism, I’m gonna gain extra body fat and I’m gonna gain weight.
This research showed just the opposite. Metabolism is hardwired to be in a pattern. Four phases, four phases. After 60 to 90, it decreases a little bit by about 17% by the time you’re 90. But between the ages of 20 and 40, it’s not that a slow metabolism causes you to gain extra body fat. It’s actually that extra body fat slows down your operating system, slows down your metabolism, completely the opposite of what we thought.
Okay. Now why is that important? It’s because in a fitness community will definitely know this. We can control our body fat, we can take steps to actually tame it, right size it, get it into a better position than we had before. So there’s no more excuse to say, well, I’m midday middle age, and so therefore, nevermind.
It’s, it’s all over yet, people’s body shape. Weight do change between the ages of 20 and 60. And here’s why. The reason that people change their body shape, body composition, body fat mass, and struggle with weight when they meet reach middle age is because life habits, when we’re middle age, we suddenly have more concerns, more distractions, more worries.
You got a relationship, you got a, you got a family, you got kids, you’re worried about, you got the economy, you’ve got, you know, you’ve got, uh, world politics. You’ve got, you know, pandemics, you got whatever. Okay, we’re worried about something. And because we have all these distractions, it’s harder to actually do the things that are very important that your operating system needs for you to do to get optimal.
Levels of healthy body fat. We don’t sleep as well when we’re worried in middle age. Okay? You need good sleep for your metabolism to burn down harmful body fat while you’re sleeping, while you’re fasting, okay? We actually also oftentimes don’t have the same amount of time to be physically active. I’m not talking about having a trainer to work out.
I’m talking about just staying physically active. I mean, a lot of people just go, Ugh, my day was so hard. Forget about it. I’m just gonna hang out. I gotta rest. All right. Now you’re actually taking away the physical activity, the calorie burn that we always think about. The other thing that winds up actually happening is that stress.
Stress causes this release of low grade chronic release of cortisol, all right, and norepinephrine, and then chronic stress actually interferes with our metabolisms. While all these things conspire to less healthy behaviors on eating, choosing poorer quality foods in terms of calories, eating more, Okay, we’re more prey to actually eating, more, choosing the things, being more vulnerable to the marketing that food companies actually try to sell us on their foods.
Okay, I’m just gonna hang out with my friend and we’re gonna eat our favorite foods. When we were kids, you know that all that stuff can actually derge cause that that kind of mayhem in your metabolism. And then what happens? You start to grow body fat and when you grow body fat, it slows down your metabolism and now you’re into a spiral.
That’s actually what happens. But the empowering thing that I read about my book, eat To Beat Your Diet is that once you know that our body is hardwired to perform at a very optimal level and what we do, the choices that we make can influence the amount of body fat to lower it so that we can actually elevate, unleash our inner metabolism.
That becomes a point of empowerment to be able to make good decisions. And can you talk about
Mike: muscle gain and how that impacts metabolism? Because that’s very relevant to a lot of people listening because we have, and I want to come back of another question regarding Nutritionism, but we have, okay, we can make good nutrition choices.
We can regulate our energy balance to make sure that we don’t have excess body fat. And then we can also gain muscle though. Right. You’ve mentioned that a couple times.
Willliam: Muscle is key to healthy physical functioning and probably healthy for healthy mental functioning brain function as well. You gotta think about what’s in muscle.
All right? Muscle contains, first of all, it’s a, it’s a protein mass, but more than that it’s also, um, uh, the source of our circulation. The more muscle we have, the more circulation we have. The capillaries that you know, that we see, like if you cut your skin like a paper cut and you have a little blood, that’s nothing compared to when you cut into muscle.
It bleeds like stink because it is so rich with blood. That’s why muscle actually is, is red. If you look at a steak, that’s basically why the color of the steak is red. It is packed with hemoglobin, very rich with blood flow. That blood flow is critical for healthy metabolism. Those blood vessels help everything, all those energetics to actually function in completely and healthy ways.
Now the other thing is that muscle, um, also contains nerves. Packed with nerves, which is why muscles twitch. And so the ability to actually have good response, agility, all those actually functions also are found in your muscle. The muscles also, by the way, uh, an organ system that releases its own hormones, those hormones, feedback to our brain, feedback to our body fat to help to maintain homeostasis, it’s kind of like helps the gyroscope of our metabolism run smoothly as well.
So for all these reasons, particularly when we get older, I mean, look, if you’re talking about either a man or a woman, Over the age of 50, the reason they should be focusing on muscle mass isn’t per stage performance. It’s really actually to be, just to be able to maintain their physical fitness for the long haul.
You know, when you’re 20 years old or 30 years old, you might wanna look good in front of a camera when you’re 50 or 60, you wanna look good for the remainder for the rest of your story. And looking good is part of it. I have no problem with vanity. That’s cool. Except that the thing that people don’t realize is that losing extra body fat, which has caused that mayhem in your metabolism building and keeping strong muscle mass are absolutely critical.
By the way, one additional thing about building muscle mass, a lot of people don’t realize this, but when you’re building muscle mass, remember we talked about the stem cells building muscle recruits, stem cells. Where do your stem cells live? There are a lot of different places, but a lot of them live. A lot of stem cells live in our bone marrow.
When you actually are building muscle mass, you’re calling out stem cells from your bone marrow go into your bloodstream, and they hone into that muscle mass to keep it. Nice and vibrant. Okay. And very active and full. Those stem cells, same stem cells, flood out and they are able to repair other organs in your body as well.
So the signal from the muscle, this is part of the hormonal signal, causes stem cells to come out and it actually prompts your body to regenerate from the inside out. Not only grow the muscle and regenerate the muscle, but also regenerate other organs as well, which includes as we get older, healing those organs.
Mike: That’s very cool. Strength training. It’s like a whole body therapy in that regard. I wanna pose another question to you, and this is something I’ve seen as is an argument I’ve seen some people make and, and it goes like this. It’s okay. So I maintain a healthy body composition. I do several hours of vigorous exercise every week.
I train my muscles and I eat enough protein, therefore my nutritional choices just don’t matter. I. As much. The argument is by staying active, maintaining a healthy body composition, eating enough protein, that’s kind of the 20% that gives me 80% of, let’s say, metabolic function, metabolic health. What are your thoughts on that?
And if you disagree, I’m curious then what your thoughts are on how much somebody who is physically active, who does maintain a healthy body competition, who’s doing a lot of things right, how much more can they get from their lifestyle in terms of general health, wellbeing, physical function, wherever you want to go with it, by paying more attention to nutrition, food choices, consistency,
Willliam: and so forth.
- Agree that the macro calculation, the calculus that you described on a macro level does make sense. That 80 20 rule, but that’s macro. What we’re moving now in the sort of new eras getting down to the micronutrients. And that’s where those differences, that’s where the subtle food choices actually can make a huge difference and in ways that you may not have thought about.
You know? So you calculate, you do the calculation of, in your pie chart of what you wanna get, um, you know, from your proteins and your carbs and your fats. Figure that out. But now take a look at your calories and remember we, we talked about like the broccoli and the mushrooms. Let’s go a little bit further.
Same number of calories. Let’s choose a tomato as opposed to. A cucumber or something else, or, or these days as opposed
Mike: to butter. I mean, I get a lot of people pushing back on just eating vegetables at all, all vegetables. You need to eat those things. You just, uh, you just eat meat and you eat butter and you eat
Well, look, I mean, again, you can do anything you want for young when you’re young for a little while, but you’re not gonna be eating butter and eggs, uh, and steak, you know, for your whole life as a staple and expecting that you’re at your, your engine is actually gonna run that. Well, here’s the thing, let’s just go within a little vegetables for a second to give it.
I told you that broccoli, broccoli sprouts can improve your immune system, by the way, by threefold. That’s a big one. I told you mushrooms actually can improve gut health as proper generation look. That’s the fine aspects. And for people who really wanna be fitness, that’s fine tuning. Don’t you want even better muscle regeneration, muscle growth, not just any muscle growth.
Like, again, that’s why it’s macro versus micro. We can get to the micro now you wanna be optimal. You wanna think about that? What about tomatoes? Oh, well I, you know, I’m, I got lower body mass. Let’s sculpt that even further. Tomatoes contain something called lycopene. Lycopene is a carotinoids. What makes tomatoes red, it makes, uh, watermelon red as well.
And lycopene is happens to be a chem natural chemical that loves to dissolve an oil and fats. In fact we call it, uh, it’s a lipophilic. It likes to dissolve in fat. So when you’re actually cooking tomato sauce, if you cook it with, uh, in olive oil and you eat the tomato sauce in olive oil, your body will absorb more lycopenes.
So even how you eat it and how you prepare it will make a difference in terms of those micros. I didn’t quarrel with the macros at all. It’s the micros that I think are really, really interesting and it’s being shown in humans, lycopene into your body. You know where it goes, lycopene, cuz it loves to dissolve in fat.
When you swallow it, it gets absorbed in your bloodstream. Lycopene will naturally home in like a heat seeking missile into your body fat. Like in fact, this has been studied in women that Tufts University. What is the lycopene from food that you eat? Go first, it goes into your belly fat, then it goes into your thigh fat, then it goes into your butt fat.
And once it’s in your fat, it activates these processes to burn down. Harmful body fat and transform that fat into a healthier, it takes white fat and turn it into brown fat or Beijing. It actually starts to create healthier levels of fat. And again, these are the fine points already. Now, establishing human research, just, it’s not theoretical, it’s not, you know, in the lab with mice, this is actually, we’re seeing this in people.
So on the fruits and vegetables alone, for example, that’s how you get some of these, uh, fine poison. Now let’s just go beyond simple metabolism and muscle mass and regeneration. Look, athletes who eat like a cup and a half of blueberries on a regular basis while they’re training. Now, I don’t know if you know this, but after you compete, like in a marathon runner, when you’re done competing, An intense competition, intense workout.
There’s a short period of time after the workout where your immune system takes a dip. You be actually become more vulnerable to getting sick after you do an intense workout if you wanna actually protect yourself against that immune system dip. It’s been shown in, in young athletes that if you have a cup and a half of blueberries a day, even for three weeks before your, your competition, you’ll actually keep up your baseline of immune defense that will actually protect you against that dip at the end of performance.
All right, now you become less vulnerable. Now think about what that means, maybe outside of performance. But as you get later in life, not only are you metabolically healthier, not only do you actually are, are you able to lose more fat and keep up more muscle mass, but your immune system improves. Your circulation improves.
Uh, some of these bioactives, the lycopene, the sulforaphanes, the Beta D glucan, the anthocyanins present in blueberries, they actually protect you against cancer by cutting off the blood supply, extra blood vessels. That might feed a microscopic cancer in your body. Although when you’re young and fit, you don’t think about it.
Here’s the statistic. One in three women, no matter how fit you are when you’re younger, are going to develop cancer based on current statistics because of the dietary choices we make. Even people who eat, you know, generally healthy and one out of two men, 50% of us, that’s either me or you. Okay? That’s Russia.
That’s the kind of Russian we let, we don’t wanna play, all right? Are gonna develop one outta two. Men are gonna develop some form of cancer. Oh, wait a minute, I forgot to tell you. Lycopene. It’s in tomatoes and a research study of 35,000 men, middle-aged, found that those who eat two to three servings of cooked tomatoes per week, each serving being only a half a cup large.
That’s not very much tomato sauce. I’d want another one of those if I was eating some, eating it on pasta that just that small amount, two to three servings of cooked tomatoes, uh, uh, half a cup, each serving will decrease the risk of prostate cancer by 30% by cutting off the blood supply to your tumors.
Now all of a sudden, maybe you and I will be on the same side. You see what I’m saying? And so this is how the more refined food choices we make can actually make a difference. We’re going from the macro. Which, you know, I don’t have a problem with those ma, that macro algorithm going into the micro and that’s where the differences are being made.
That’s where the new research is. That’s where the exciting things are. So if you wanna actually thrive, uh, sort of as you get older for longevity and long-term fitness, this is the direction, this is the reason to go into that direction. Uh, I totally agree, and
Mike: this is one of the reasons why I have.
Micromanaged my own diet to some degree just to make sure that I’m eating certain foods that have special molecules that I wouldn’t otherwise get if I weren’t to eat those foods. And I’m sure you also agree, uh, with me in that I disagree with people who dismiss that and say, oh, well I’ll just take supplements that have at least the, the most important things that I’ve heard of simply because there are co-factors and other things in food that we just don’t even fully understand yet.
And I do not equate getting nutrients from whole food with getting nutrients from pills and powders. As somebody who has a sports nutrition company, I think supplementation has a role. But I do not agree with that. And if I’m hearing you correctly, cuz I’ve seen, I’ve seen people also, I think this is, uh, an incorrect way of looking at it, where they might take one benefit of eating one type of food and look at it just in a vacuum and say, well, that’s not that exciting.
It’s not as cool as some of the things that you just shared. So it’s not really necessary. And then maybe take another individual ingredient and dismiss that because it, it doesn’t wow them with whatever research is available. But if you look at the cumulative effect of doing these things, you’re talking about adding a lot of these different foods and you describe many more I know in e TB disease and I’m sure that there are, you’ve expanded on that in e tob, your diet.
And so when you look at the cumulative effect of eating strategically, eating intentionally, eating a lot of these foods, my argument would be. You are much healthier, your body is your metabolism and, and, uh, really every important physiological process in your body running at a significantly better rate or in a significantly better
Would you agree with that 100% period? That is actually so spot on. In terms of everything that all the science has shown us, it’s impossible to replicate the complexity of Whole Foods. Supplements can be really valuable, but how I look at supplements is really to be true to the actual definition of the term supplement is to top off.
I mean, I say that as somebody who
Mike: sells something, they are supplemental by definition. Let’s just start
Willliam: there. Exactly, exactly. They’re top offs, they’re supplemental Whole Foods plus supplements. You get the whole package. That’s actually what you really want to go for. I mean, you know, it, it’s just exactly where everything is going.
So, no, I, I, I think you’re absolutely correct about that.
Mike: Can we, um, finish off with supplementation and, and hear your thoughts on, so, well, I mean, let’s say, given the context of somebody who is eating a variety of nutritious foods, maybe they’ve even like us, they’ve specifically chosen certain ones, but where can someone like that who’s really trying to be conscientious benefit from supplementation?
Willliam: All right. The range of supplements that are being sold, uh, is Legion. There are so many supplements out there, and one of the simplest examples of supplements that were lifesaving going back almost a hundred years were vitamins. You know, before we actually knew how to create vitamins, vitamin deficiency was a major cause of rickets and people’s teeth falling off and their bones were weak.
I mean, forget about, you know, staying in physical fitness and, and actually getting into great, great shape. People couldn’t even maintain their vitamin stature, their, you know, their essential vitamins in the body. So that’s at the most elemental stage, uh, useful kind of supplement to take. You know, multivitamins are just sort of an insurance policy to top off whatever it is that your food might not have actually given you.
But we’ve actually gone a little bit further now to take a look at things that actually can do a little bit more. Like we know that vitamin C. Which, you know, has a lot of lore around building up your immune system probably has its greatest impact for lowering inflammation in the body. Now, inflammation, look, we want a little bit of inflammation.
If you want to heal your wound, you wanna get rid of some infections in your body, of course, but you don’t want to actually have chronic inflammation out there, kind of like it’s chronic inflammation is like a force fire. That’s burning just on the, on the, uh, the bottom parts of the forest. It’s gonna, it’s at some point it’s gonna rear up and turn into a gigantic problem for you.
And so vitamin C is a great supplement, as an example to be able to, uh, lower inflammation, um, in the body. So you work out, you’re actually getting some inflamm, your muscles are growing, stem cells are coming out, all those good things. Maybe have some, some mushrooms or bead d glucan, food containing foods, chocolate that will add dark chocolate.
Caca will also do something beneficial like that. Black tea will also do the same, something similar for regeneration of muscle. But now what you do is you, um, take some vitamin C to lower some inflammation. Another vitamin that you will do something really powerful is vitamin D three. And it turns out D three, which is made actually in our body when sunlight hits our skin.
A lot of us. And living around our world don’t get enough sunshine. Now, if you are living in Southeast, you live in South America, live in California, or you know, live in Colorado, you might actually get a lot of sunshine. But the fact of the matter is, is that many people don’t. And we live now in our, our human culture or as mostly indoors, right?
So we’re not getting as much as our. Our relatives, you know, 10,000 years ago used to get by being outside all the time. So many people are deficient in D three, we’re beginning to understand D three has some powerful impacts to protect us, improves our immunity against bacteria infections. By the way, even at the very beginning of the, of Covid over the pandemic, when people were dropping dead like flies, you mean you remember seeing those videos of people at bus stops that are, that are falling over and dying?
You know, almost all of those people went in large study and looking back, they were vitamin D three deficient. They were just more vulnerable. So for long-term health, vitamin D three is actually really, really important. Now, turns out that dietary fiber is something we’re also not often eating enough of, and you can’t actually get dietary fiber in supplementation, and you can actually have probiotics that contain good bacteria.
And although there’s a big probiotic market out there, I, I study the microbiome. So I know a little bit about this space. You know, it’s, you know, many probiotic products kind of, um, come across like I’m the one. That’s the only one you need. And the reality is we’ve got 39 trillion bacteria. We are at the beginning of this in incredible exploration of the microbiome.
I do think that we know certain bacteria or certain groups of bacteria are incredibly useful for lowering inflammation, building up strength, you know, all, all kinds of aspects of health for probiotics and including improving mood. I do think that there is actually a good role for probiotics as well, but as a compliment to a regular healthy diet as well.
So those are some of the things that I think of off the bat. Um, when you wanna do supplementation and yeah, if you wanna get green tea polyphenols, but you absolutely hate green tea, you could try some of those things cuz green tea’s shown to be actually really, really beneficial. So supplements are, you know, I would say also a, you asked at the very beginning, you’re like, we had this conversation about what’s the definition of diet?
Well what’s the definition of a supplement? Because pe if you dry up a whole food, crush it into a powder, put it into a capsule, It’s not whole anymore, but you’ve actually got everything in there. And that’s different than weightlifters D n P or some other, you know, D M A or some of these other like really intense, hardcore types of dietary supplements that have been actually used in, you know, for weightlifting.
That’s an example. You mentioned that, that’s
Mike: one of my contentions with green’s supplements, which are very popular and which are often sold as a replacement for eating vegetables. Like that’s often the pitch. Basically like, oh, you don’t like vegetables here, take a scoop or two of this. And that’s the equivalent of 20 servings of greens and reds a day.
I totally disagree
Willliam: with that. It’s a well-intentioned idea. I feel like it’s important to give credit to the people that come up with these ideas. Maybe you’re just more charitable than I
Mike: am. I, I just, I’m too cynical. Maybe I’ve been in the,
Mike: the industry for too long.
Willliam: Yeah, but I’m, I’m, I, look, you and I are on the same page.
I’m, I’m with you on this. It doesn’t substitute for eating a healthy meal because by the way, the act of eating is confers so much more benefit from eating Whole Foods co confers so much more benefits than, you know, uh, shutting down a bunch of powder or, and or drink that’s still supplementation. You know, the one thing that our body, our health loves is diversity of ingredients.
And so what we want actually is to be able to. Have this stew of good things cooked together that taste really great, and if we practice eating the right way, you know we’re eating foods that we enjoy, taste great, that are prepared in healthy ways, that we’re eating together with other people. That’s actually part of the human food tradition, is sharing meals and not just at holidays and taking the time to savor, which is code for saying not eating too fast.
Not eating in
Mike: front of the screen, scrolling
Willliam: by yourself, right In a corner someplace. But you know, like, so I, one of the things I write about eat to be your Diet 150 foods supported by evidence that you can find in the grocery store and that you can actually prepare and lots of choice, lots of diversity.
But I actually have this concept that’s actually called the Medi Asian Way of eating, which is how I eat. It’s sort of like the natural way I gravitate. But if you take a look at all these ingredients that I write about, they’re all ingredients that are found in traditional Mediterranean or traditional Asian cuisines, culinary history.
And people in those cultures get together, cook whole foods, lots of plant-based foods. They take their time to savor their food. And when they’re eating together, you know, they’re not talking about their problems. I mean, think about it. Usually when we sit down in America to eat, even if we eat with somebody else, unless it’s a holiday, what do you, you’re sitting there talking about your work.
Or bitching about something you can’t get done, throw something in the news that’s like, you know, ramping you up. And the reality is, if you go to Italy or you go to China, or you go to Thailand, when families or friends sit down for their meals, they take their time to eat, they pause to reflect on, you know, they’re, they’re grateful for the food that they actually have.
But when they have a conversation and what they talk about, they talk about their food. This is how my mom used to make it. No, no. This is how my mom used to make it. And so, you know, it’s, it’s one of these things that makes us more human. And I think the further and further we get away from being in touch with our foods, ironically, we’re also getting away from being in touch with our bodies.
So all these people that sort of try to engineer like these very extreme ways of being healthy and fit. What we are beginning to realize from our research is that it actually takes us away from our humanity, but it also takes us away from like the wholeness of being able to be fit with the foods that we eat.
I love it. Great
Mike: message. I think that we can wrap up on that. I’ve kept you a little bit longer than normal, so I hope that, um, I haven’t spilled over into something else, but I really appreciate the extra time. This was very informative. I enjoyed it, uh, just as I enjoyed our first talk. And so again, the book is Eat to Beat Your Diet.
Is there anything else? Why don’t we tell people where they can find you online if there’s anything else you want them to know
Willliam: about? Yeah, well sure. Well first of all, you can buy, eat to beat your diet, um, anywhere books are sold. Uh, and if you wanna come learn more about what I do, the science I’m working on, just come to my website.
It’s dr d r William Lee l i.com, Dr. William Lee, and my handle’s the same at Dr. William Lee. Sign up for my free newsletter. Check me out on my social Instagram TikTok. I’m putting as much information out as I can, as part of my mission is to get information out that people can use. So look forward to seeing people, but I also do masterclass that are free.
I also teach online courses for people who wanna do a deep dive along with me to, uh, kind of like just change their life using the kind of information that can be transformative. I love it. Well, thanks
Mike: again, will you and I I look forward to the
Willliam: next discussion. Thanks, Mike.
Mike: Well, I hope you liked this episode.
I hope you found it helpful, and if you did subscribe to the show because it makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes. And it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
And if you didn’t like something about this episode or about the show in general, or if you have, uh, ideas or suggestions or just feedback to share, shoot me an email, mike muscle for life.com, muscle f o r life.com, and let me know what I could do better or just, uh, what your thoughts are about maybe what you’d like to see me do in the future.
I read everything myself. I’m always looking for new ideas and constructive feedback. So thanks again for listening to this episode, and
Willliam: I hope to hear from you soon.