Listen on Apple Podcasts | Listen on Spotify | Listen on YouTube

Anyone who cares about health knows the importance of diet. How many times have you been told to eat a “healthy” diet by a doctor or some other authority?

Nearly everyone aspires to eating a healthy diet, so much so that “eat healthier” is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions. “Eat healthier” seems simple on its face, but ask a handful of people what that means and you’ll get wildly different definitions. 

How would a carnivore dieter answer compared to a vegan? What about the fat-adapted keto Crossfitter versus a carb-gel-loading endurance athlete? And how would a paleo adherent’s response differ still? 

The same can be said for any food fad or eating style including keto, IIFYM, blood type diets, and more.

One group’s “superfood” (like beans for many vegans, for example) is a veritable, evil “no no” to be avoided at all costs amongst another group of equally fervent zealots (like Dr. Gundry’s plant paradoxers). 

So, what really constitutes a healthy diet? How can we define it, and thus, create one and follow it? 

To help answer that seemingly simple question, the one and only Alan Aragon has returned to the podcast. In case you’re not familiar with Alan, he’s a nutrition researcher and educator who’s been at the forefront of the evidence-based fitness movement for over a decade now and has helped countless fitness enthusiasts, professional athletes, and top coaches, and even influenced my own work.

Alan has a knack for translating science into practical application, which you can see for yourself if you check out his research review, which was the first of its kind in 2008.

In this episode, Alan and I discuss . . .

  • What it means to be healthy and what constitutes a healthy diet
  • Why looking like an elite athlete doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy
  • The negotiables and non-negotiable of a healthy diet
  • Why food preferences matter
  • Relative energy deficiency syndrome, the female athlete triad, and healthy levels of body fat
  • Specific macro recommendations (and food choice recommendations to get there)
  • Why oats are awesome
  • Why you should take a multivitamin
  • And a lot more . . .

So, if you want to learn more about what truly makes up a healthy diet, and how you can implement these qualities into your own lifestyle, listen to this episode!

Time Stamps:

6:19 – What is a healthy diet?

21:52 – What does healthy calorie management look like?

30:28 – What are some of the adverse effects in men if they do not manage calories properly?

31:41 – How long before these effects start to manifest?

39:15 – How do macros play a role in this? 

43:07 – What are your thoughts on carbs and fats?

46:44 – What are some food choice recommendations?

55:31 – What do macros look like in the concept of healthy eating? 

1:09:13 – What are your thoughts on minimum amounts of nutritious carbs? 

1:14:33 – Would you count bread as a “healthy” carb? 

1:29:53 – Are multivitamins worth taking? 

1:37:51 – Where can people find you and your work? 

Mentioned on The Show:

Alan Aragon’s Research Review

Alan Aragon’s Website

Alan Aragon’s Instagram

Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Mike: Hello, and welcome to another episode of muscle for life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today to learn about healthy eating. What does that really mean? A lot of people want to eat healthier. In fact, that is one of the most common new year’s resolutions year after year, going back, probably a decade now eat healthier.

A lot of people want to eat healthier and. That seems simple enough on its face, but if you ask different experts, quote unquote, you will get different answers about how to actually do that. What does that actually mean? For example, how would a carnivore Dier answer that compared to a. Vegan or maybe a fat adapted keto CrossFitter versus a carb gel loading endurance athlete, and then ask a paleo zealot and then ask a food combiner and on.

And as if all that weren’t enough, you have other self-styled gurus who say the key is to eat a lot of certain foods, super foods, right? Many vegans say beans are the super food, the one food to rule them all. And then on the other hand, you have people who say that it’s more about not eating certain foods.

So Dr. Gundry’s plant paradox, quackery is a good example of that. And so it’s not surprising that many people are confused about what really constitutes a healthy diet. And you have to start with defining what does it even mean to be. To answer those apparently simple, but made, not so simple by many people questions.

I brought Alan Aragon back onto the podcast. And in case you are not familiar with him, he is a nutrition researcher and educator, really the OG nutrition researcher and educator in the evidence based fitness space. He has been at the forefront of this movement for over a decade now, and he has helped countless fitness enthusiasts, professional athletes, and top coaches, and is certainly one of the people who influenced my own work and my own dieting and training early on.

And one of the things that really struck me first about Alan and his work is he’s very good at simplifying things, taking science and complex ideas and making them into easy to apply. Techniques and strategies. And that’s one of the reasons why his research review, which you can learn about [email protected] is still going strong now after 12 or 13 years.

And anyway, in this episode, Alan and I discuss what it means to be healthy, and then how you get there or how you help create health in your body with food. Why looking like an elite athlete doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. Being shredded is usually not healthy. Actually, we talk about the negotiables and non-negotiables of a healthy diet.

The things that must be in your diet, if it is going to be characterized as healthy, and then the things that can or cannot be in your diet. We talk about healthy body fat levels. What is healthy to maintain what body composition is healthy to maintain for both men and women and. Also, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports, nutrition company, Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world.

And we’re on top because every ingredient. Dose in every product is backed by peer-reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100% transparent. There are no proprietary blends, for example, and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. So that means no artificial sweeteners, no artificial food dies, which may not be as dangerous as some people would have you believe.

But there is good evidence to suggest that having many servings of artificial sweeteners in particular every day for long periods of time may not be the best for your health. So while you don’t need pills, powders, and potions to get into great shape, and frankly, most of them are virtual. Useless. There are natural ingredients that can help you lose fat build muscle and get healthy faster, and you will find the best of them in Legion’s products.

To check out everything we have to offer, including protein powders and bars pre-workout and post-workout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more head over to BI that’s B U Y L E G I N. Dot com slash Mike. And just to show you how much I appreciate my podcast, peeps, use the coupon code M FFL checkout, and you will save 20% on your entire first order, Mr.Aragon. Thanks for coming for round two. 

Alan: Thank you so much for having me on. We had a great time last time and definitely looking forward to this one.

Mike: Yeah. Same. I enjoyed our first talk of course. And so did a lot of other people got a lot of good feedback and it got a lot of plays, so it was a no brainer to do another one.

Very good. Let’s do it. Yeah. So there are three topics that I had in mind for this talk and I just took them from your research review, which everyone listening should check out Alan And I’m not sure if we’ll get through all three but I’m just gonna throw ’em out there and we’ll get through probably two at least.

And then maybe the third is a teaser for the next one, but the first is what is a healthy diet? What does it actually mean to eat well or to eat a lot of quote unquote healthy foods? I think that’s something that I have I’ve written and spoken. In the past, but it’s been a while. And I know that you are gonna add some extra flavor to the discussion and there’s also some good topical stuff to talk about that when I was talking about it was not as popular.

And then I want to talk to you about cyclical, keto and what that is and why people should consider it and why maybe they shouldn’t consider it. And then if we have the time I have here, plant-based proteins versus animal-based proteins. But I suspect that we may not get to that, but I’ll throw it out there in case we have the time.

Yeah. So let’s start with, what is a healthy diet? What does that actually mean? Like at what point can somebody say, yes, I have a healthy diet. 

Alan: I think it goes back to. The how you would define health, this classical definition of health by the world health organization that is essentially the maximizing of wellbeing and minimizing of disease.

And that’s really a very rough paraphrasing of it. And then in 2005, a gentleman named Johanna’s Becher came around and proposed a bit more of a dynamic definition of health. So it was more, it’s more like a relativistic definition to where the good or positive aspects of your functioning are proportionally higher than what’s taken you out.

So you can take two different scenarios and somebody can be, let’s say. Magnificently healthy in one department and ailing in another department. But as long as their in quotes healthy side is overpowering their ailments. Then they’re in a relative state of health. Now you can take another person with no ailments at all, but they have basically zero aspects of kind of the upside or the fitness side or the preventive side going on.

And it can be argued that that person isn’t necessarily in a greater state of health because they don’t have any disease or they don’t have any compromises to their overall status. So there’s this kind of really interesting definition of health. That’s dynamic and relativistic by Johanna’s Becher.

And I would direct anybody towards a paper called towards a dynamic definition of health and disease by be. It’s a 2005 paper, definitely worth a read. And it’s an eye-opening look 

Mike: at health. Can you give us some, a few examples of how that could look just using, common situations, common circumstances?


Alan: So there’s other aspects woven into that? So let’s imagine we’ll take somebody who is elderly. Let’s take a senior citizen who does not have the greatest mobility or athletic ability. And they obviously are limited in the amount of time they have left on earth, but at the same time, they don’t have any chronic disease.

Okay. They don’t have, let’s say diabetes, heart disease, et cetera, and certainly no terminal disease. This person is in a relative state of health, but you can see that their compromises have to do with the fact that they are far along through their life stages and towards the proverbial end.

Okay. But they’re still in a relative state of health. Now we can take another person in contrast. Okay. Now this person he’s young and he’s vigorous and he’s athletic, but let’s add a, let’s add an addiction to this whole thing. So let’s add like excessive alcoholism or excessive alcoholism and smoking.

All at the same time, this person is not necessarily better off than our elderly guy with these decent set of habits. But his only compromise is where he’s at in terms of mobility. And in terms of age, he’s not necessarily less healthy than this guy with a lot of potential, but he is almost like a ticking time bomb.

So normally on paper, this young guy who’s healthy, all his blood biomarkers of health are great and he’s athletic, et cetera on paper. And right now he’s fine. But according to a more dynamic model of health, where you’re looking at potential and you’re looking at trajectory, he’s not necessarily better off than our old guy.

Who’s not CrossFitting, so it’s a different way of looking at health 

Mike: a more forward looking. Way, which is important because many people I think it’s just a human thing, right? We tend to not be wired to think that way we tend to be driven by present circumstances, present needs, immediate gratification, high time preference.

And some of us come wired differently and some of us learn to behave differently, but there’s certainly. It’s probably at least an evolutionary kind of force at work there, which using a less dynamic using the older definition of health could lead somebody to just look at right now, say, Hey yeah, my blood looks good enough and I have good cardio and I’m more muscular than the average person.

Those are all. Good things. So I’m good. But what you’re describing can capture the fact that what this person doesn’t know is disease and dysfunction is on the horizon. Like it is coming. Let’s just say, we know with this person for a fact, 100% something is coming and time would prove that. But let’s just say, we knew that, of course the problem with the here and now perspective is it doesn’t account for that at all.

And then when it does arrive one day, that’s that oh, wow, how did that happen? He was so healthy, which I mean, okay, if somebody’s drinking a lot and smoking a lot, then people might not be that surprised, but, and I’ve come across this many times over the years where people are surprised to see someone who looks healthy, maybe they even look really good.

They look very athletic, have health problems for any reason whatsoever. And I think that’s something else that’s probably worth commenting on because it’s just particularly relevant to the fitness crowd. And to a lot of people, listening would be that point of looking like an elite athlete doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy.


Alan: You can be somebody who is in fact and elite athlete, but let’s add an injury to you. And it can either be an acute injury or let’s say if you have a chronic injury you’re probably not gonna be an elite athlete, but let’s say you’re just really athletic, but you’re dealing with chronic injuries.

So you’re not necessarily a healthier guy than the non-athlete who has no musculoskeletal or orthopedic issues. It’s all relative looking at the picture of health. It’s really a comparison of according to Becher, it’s the potential that you’ve got versus the. Demands that are placed on this potential.

So like the demands of life, the stressors of life, if the stressors in your life, whether they be physical or emotional mental, if those are. Greater than your potential for health or the things that are functioning well within your body and mind, then it can be argued that you are in a relative state of unhealthiness.

Yeah, it’s a complicated mix and it’s tough to nutshell, actually. Yeah. So 

Mike: the end though still is probably captured by the w H O definition, right? It’s some sort of form of flourishing, maybe to use the Aristot term, but that would encompass physical, mental, emotional, maybe even spiritual as some people might lump that in there.

But I guess there, there still would be that, okay, we have this more dynamic definition, but according to what there is, of course, a criteria on, or there are criteria and they are in that direction still, it’s still there is a reason to have a body that functions well, and to not have injuries.

Ultimately, what it comes down to, is your quality of life is better. You just enjoy living more, you feel good and you feel pain free and you have good energy and you’re in good spirits. And you’re not being dragged down by these physical or mental 

Alan: disadvantages. Yeah. Yeah.

There’s many facets to it, I think can even get philosophical, but I’m totally okay with the world health organization’s definition of minimizing disease and maximizing wellbeing. And it can be looked at relativistically from one person to the next, depending on the individual’s needs and wants in life and level of fulfillment, et cetera.

And people have different definitions of that. And that’s why a healthy diet is subject to. That the dynamic nature of health and the different perceptions that individuals have of what might make them feel good or fulfilled. Just like jumping off of that concept. If you can create a diet, that’s theoretically the healthiest thing possible, but you feed it to somebody who doesn’t like the foods and will never like the foods then by golly, they’re not necessarily gonna be in an optimal state of mental health for their life as they’re forcing themselves to endure this diet, this lifestyle, this 

Mike: regiment, which will only last so long anyway.

And then they’re gonna that’s right. Ultimately they’re gonna quote unquote, fail on that. And then that can trigger the downward spiral to where they have given up on trying to be healthy or eat 

Alan: healthily at all. Yep. It is complicated. We can complicate it as much as we , there’s no limits to how much we can complicate 

Mike: it.

I think we should go in the other direction. Let’s try to simplify it a good place to start. I actually think would be to use the framework of negotiables and non-negotiables so if we’re talking about a healthy diet, how does that look for you? What are the things that you would say these are not subjective factors.

These are objective realities that you have to contend with, and they’re either gonna work for you or against you. And then, here are the things that you can play with, and there are many different ways to get to sufficiency in these objective measures. And those are the things that would be more negotiable, so to speak.

Alan: Yeah, it’s gonna be a combination. Physical slash physiological and mental aspects. Yep. Yep. 

Mike: Like you just mentioned one of them, I think. And I would agree, this is what you’re saying. That one of the non-negotiables of a healthy diet is that you do need to enjoy it. It does need to be a diet that works for you and that you are not suffering through.


Alan: That’s right. And that’s a rabbit hole as well. There is a line of research showing, or actually comparing the effectiveness or the sustainability of diets based on personal choice versus diets that you’re assigned by the research group. So there appears to be. Per the study designs and how they set everything up, there appears to be no difference in the success of the dieters on personal choice based diets, versus just getting assigned something like, low carb, high fat, or high carb, low fat.

There seems to be no difference in the success of the Dieter within the duration of the study. But I think that’s a lot different if you were to drag that out over five years, 10 years, 20 years, I think that there will be a definite and gradual 

Mike: and where people aren’t accountable to. At least if they’re being, if they’re participating in a study, they’re gonna feel some level of accountability.

They’re gonna want to keep their word. And if they’re not participating in a study, they’re trying to live their life. They’re only accountable to themselves and whatever ideas 

Alan: they have. And that’s one of the important limitations of research. One of the important limitations of carrying out science is that.

When you leave people to their own free will in free living conditions. It’s not always the same as when you’re trying to control everything in the lab. And then the subjects are trying to avoid that degree of shame of not complying with their assignments. So that’s a really good point you make. So despite the research, I would definitely say that a healthy diet has to be compatible.

Your personal food preferences, because we’re not looking at a 12 week study. We’re not looking at a six month or a 12 month study. We’re looking at a lifetime. So health is something that really needs to be the focus for however much time that we’ve got left on earth, which most of us is like 50 years.

So granted that all of us are dashing young, 30 year olds like you and me, Mike naturally 

Mike: at least, or at least biologically, 

Alan: I won’t ask your age, man. I’m 36. Oh, gotcha. Gotcha. Good. so it’s gotta be compatible with personal preferences and then. Some of the more obvious stuff needs to provide adequate essential nutrition, adequate energy or calories for the goal and the preferences of the individual.

And it has to cover, obviously, along with that stuff, along with covering essential nutrition, it should be compatible with the athletic goals, the physical activity goals, the body composition goals. So that means a macro nutrition has to be on point a healthy diet. Doesn’t have unfounded restrictions. In other words, it doesn’t have these rules of foods that you need to avoid.

We can talk about that as well. Like for example, a lot of folks will say, okay what about things like sugar? What about things like trans fats and all that stuff. And there’s caveats to saying avoid sugar and there’s caveats to saying avoid all trans fats because there’s little rabbit holes there that.

People miss that make those types of recommendations, unfounded, other. I guess non-negotiable aspects of a healthy diet is it has to be sustainable. It has to be sustainable in the long term. A healthy diet is not something that you can only endure for a week or six weeks or six months. And that’s the issue that a lot of people run into when they try to build the perfect diet.

According to all of the, even all of the scientific evidence base, you can try to idealize this unicorn diet that gets all of the special super foods in there and perfect amounts and avoids all of the bad guys. But once again, if you can’t sustain it. It’s not healthy because it doesn’t mean anything.

So those are just some of the non-negotiables I’d say, 

Mike: yeah, great points. Let’s go back to calories. Let’s talk about that. And I think it’d be worth discussing relative energy deficiency syndrome, female athlete, triad, some of the things that manifest fairly often in the hardcore fitness community and a bit of, that ties into body composition, particularly body fatness.

Of course, what we have both seen. You’ve been doing this all longer than I have, but what I have seen many times over the years, it’s usually. Lean people are very lean people who wanna stay that way and they end up not eating very many calories and usually doing too much exercise and running into physical problems because of that.

What does healthy calorie management look and you’re probably gonna have to comment on body fatness as well, right? Because in the body comp space, those things are inextricable. 

Alan: Yep. And once again, this is a dynamic thing because with some people, their sense of health and fulfillment and reaching their goals, sometimes it’s simultaneous with kind of unhealthy levels of body fat.

If we take, oh gosh, a very narrow niche here, but if we look at the competitive athletes at elite levels and certainly competitive athletes in the physique realm and fitness models in the physique realm, competitive bodybuilders, physique folks, some people legitimately unbelievably, so they can be competitors and still stay relatively healthy.

I’m not gonna say that everybody can start competing in the physique sports and make it through unscathed because there is a certain level of risk for incurring eating disorders and a dysfunctional relationship with food just. A single contest. You have to really think things through and determine whether you wanna take that risk and make that dive and create those demons so to speak.

And this comes 

Mike: back to this point of health that you started with, and it is something that I think is just worth highlighting that if somebody really loves it and they’re willing to take that risk and maybe they’re even gonna try to be smart about it and do whatever they can to mitigate the potential ramifications of that lifestyle.

But for them it’s very fulfilling and it gives them a lot of joy and satisfaction and not doing it would be very disappointing to them. Then I wouldn’t think that it is irrational or, it’s we see professional athletes on TV, making those decisions all the time. What do you think professional football players are doing?

They’re destroying their bodies. A lot of them because they love the game. And I’m sure I don’t know too many professional football players, but I’m sure the money is nice, but the main reason why those guys got that far is cuz they love the game. I would guess that’s probably generally the case, but they are admired for that and their sacrifice is considered admirable and I don’t even disagree with that.

I think it is. But it’s just interesting that the context matters a lot. Somebody who could admire the NFL running back for shattering his body to make it and to become a hall of Famer or something. And then they’re gonna make a, what is that? ESPN series, 30, whatever. They’re gonna make a documentary about him and people are gonna cry watching it.

And then there’s the physique athlete or the bodybuilder who messes his body up to, look at somebody like maybe Ronnie Coleman, right? And that’s considered kind of grotesque and oh, what a waste and almost like a mental illness. I don’t really agree. And I’m not the person who I’m not even interested in competing.

It’s not for me. I don’t wanna take the risks and I just don’t feel strongly drawn to it. So I wouldn’t bother. But I think again, if we’re talking about health, you can’t just completely neglect this point of what is gonna. Really fulfill this person, what is going to make this person want to jump outta bed every day and feel excited.

Alan: And with physique competitors, it can be a slippery slope, right? Like we can’t say with a lot of certainty that, diving into that world has minimal risk for every physique competitor that does awesome. And does not develop some kind of food neurosis or some kind of dysmorphic characteristics.

There’s at least another guy who does . Yeah. 

Mike: So that is a good point. It probably is inevitable, because the nature of the activity, it’s solely about how you look and I don’t think that’s a healthy. Way to live at all. And that’s something that I try to stay mindful of, even in with myself and my physique.

I like my physique. I think I look good, but I’m careful to not compare myself to people who are on drugs, for example, and can achieve things that I could never achieve. Now. Fortunately, I’m not drawn to the big hulking bodybuilder look, but if I were to get on drugs, the right drugs, the right amounts, would I look.

Yeah, I would I could gain a little bit of size in the right places. I could stay even leaner and that looks cool. And we all know anybody who’s been very lean knows. There is something strangely appealing about it. That just is what it is. So I take your point. I think it is a good point. And I do think it’s probably just baked into the cake.

I don’t know if it’ll ever be any different just because of the nature of the activity. Yeah. 

Alan: Yeah. You can almost draw this line, whereas 

Mike: with football it’s nobody cares what you look like, right? Yeah. You’re gonna have to be, you’re gonna have to be athletic, but it’s more, what can you do with your body?

Can are you a super freak? It’s just a different thing. 

Alan: It is a different thing. It’s an entity on its own kind of the aesthetic competitions, especially. Non-functional and they’re, it’s beautiful, but it’s not functional and it’s not healthy. yeah. But then again, that can be relative, right?

So your energy intake has to support your goals and some people’s goals, ironically are not that freaking healthy. It’s a weird irony there. It’s a weird paradox there. And 

Mike: I guess just to define that though, when you say it’s not that healthy, people are gonna make this connection I’m sure. But in some objective ways, again, that would be reflected in how they feel and would be reflected probably in blood tests and would be reflected in the fact that problems like we were talking about earlier, some serious problems are on the way.

If we don’t change facts, don’t care about your feelings, that whole thing, 

Alan: Yeah. Aside from the psychological stuff with folks who are running. Low energy availability, which by most of the definitions in the literature would be somewhere less than 30 calories per kilogram of fat free mass, especially with competitive athletes there in performance oriented sports, bodybuilders, physique folks, they routinely go below 30 calories per kilogram.

Yeah. Of fat free mass. So they’re on an island by themselves. The physical unhealth of contest prep is something that’s very understated. 

Mike: You can have guys my size, I’m 190 

Alan: pounds like running sub 2000 calories 

Mike: a day. Yeah. I was just gonna say like 1800, 1700 

Alan: calories a day for months. And it’s what are you do?

Oh, okay. You look awesome. Cool. So let’s set that group aside for a second, but performance athletes and even like artistic type athletes, like dancers and. Gosh, even like maybe gymnasts or yeah, gymnasts where there’s that fusion of art and skill relative energy deficiency can manifest adverse consequences in both sexes.

But with women in particular, we see the cessation of the menstrual cycle. And this leads to impacts on most concretely on the skeletal system, not to mention the, lean body mass losses and various consequences of that, but the ultimate manifestation. Of the triad or the female athlete triad would be menstrual dysfunction, which leads to hormonal changes that affect the body’s ability to properly regulate calcium balance and bone health.

So it begins with disordered type of eating that’s mixed in with menstrual disruption, and it can eventually turn into osteopenia and osteoporosis in large part. Is super dangerous because there’s very little recourse for reversing it once you’re osteoporotic and it’s just bad.

It’s a really bad slope to slip down with women and relative energy deficiency or the female athlete. Try it. And obviously these detriments can manifest in men as well, but there’s a special focus on the detriment towards women because there’s a lot more concrete, adverse effects that can be measured as a result of chronically not eating 

Mike: enough.

And what are some of those adverse effects in men, even if they’re not as concrete or observed 

Alan: yet scientifically unfortunate big one would. Erectile dysfunction, which can be a major issue for folks who care about being functional in that department. Not everybody cares about it, but that has some serious impacts on most just fi folks, men we can unless right.

Most would care most don’t give a damn, unless they’re 

Mike: drinking like six, six liters of soil in a day or something. Maybe those guys don’t care, but

Alan: oh Mike, the levels of humor there, most people won’t get it, man, but woo. Spicy. I get it. I get it, bro. So yeah, that would be a concrete or shall we say non concrete manifestation of relative energy deficiency in men and. All of the bad things that come with a loss of lean body mass, a loss of bone mass, a loss of function.

And there’s even cognitive compromises across both sexes that come with just not eating enough on a chronic basis. And how 

Mike: long before these things tend to manifest. I’m sure some people are wondering, maybe we can just put any fears to rest about oh, if I’m gonna cut for two months, could I run into these problems?

Or how do I make sure 

Alan: I don’t. Yeah. When you look at the different case studies of competitors, the male competitors, The severe market drops in testosterone levels to below normal levels. They occur within the first three months. Okay. And if I’m recalling correctly, the drop can be pretty rapid, especially within the first month, even.

And in talking to competitors, just interviewing them about their various levels of function. Almost every competitor will describe to you a feeling of a loss of will to live within the first three months. And certainly with natural competitors who nowadays take even a longer competitive stretch, like it’s really common for NAS to map out a six month contest prep period.

And it’s during the last couple of months where they just have really no natural desire for anything. Yeah. 

Mike: I interviewed Eric Helms about this. And he was speaking firsthand. He’s seen it with many people he has worked with, but he has experienced it firsthand competing. And he was open about that, that he, if I remember correctly described times when he didn’t even have the motivation to get up and go to the fridge and get something that’s how bad it was sometimes.

Alan: Yeah it gets extreme. And I think that these types of manifestations can happen within three months within the, the initial three months of dieting. And I think that a lot of guys don’t go into the process aware of this. And I realize that one of the reasons that contest prep back in the eighties was about three months.

And then over the course of time where more people started doing natural body building competition contest prep got dragged out to about six months because there was a recognition of the importance of dieting slower. So you can preserve more. Lean body mass cuz the faster that you diet down, the greater your risk to lean body mass.

But then the insidious problem with dieting for six months is the psychological impact of dieting that long and being that it’s like a war of attrition. Yeah. You’re reinforcing a certain degree of neurosis there and you’re really nurturing, disordered eating when. All of your judgment and all of your actions dovetail towards, okay, am I gonna get this extra ounce of fat off?

Am I going to etch in those three extra striations on my glutes that aren’t just popping out and it gets 

Mike: crazy, man. Eric spoke with that as well. The striated glutes, the quest for as much Glu striation as possible 

Alan: and look, it’s a sport, right? It’s a sport. Sports are extreme sports. Aren’t known for their sustainability and health.

The national academy of sports medicine had this really great definition of the word sport and their definition was sport is any activity that pulls your body apart and challenges you to keep it together. I like that. So that definitely fits the definition of what you’re doing with dieting down to reveal as much muscle as possible while getting rid of as much fat as possible.

And it is a physiological insult. In many ways and 

Mike: I guess some good news for people listening then is I, we could put some numbers to it for guys who are dieting down. Let’s say, the look most guys I have heard from and worked with over the years, the look they want is probably about 25 to maybe 35 pounds, more muscle than the average guy.

So they need to go from starting to plus 25 plus 35 pounds of muscle and maybe around 10% body fat and most people, most guys, when they’re cutting again, that I’ve seen are ending usually. Somewhere between 10 and 15% body fat. And I understand it’s hard to quantify body fat, but to put a visual to it for people listening at 10% body fat, you’re gonna have a six pack.

For example, you might not have AB vascularity. You might not have veins going up your abs, but you’re gonna have probably some vascularity in other parts of your body. You’re gonna look very athletic. And 15% is a fluffier version of that. You’re not gonna have as much vascularity, you’ll have some AB definition.

And so for people who are wanting to do that and maybe quickly just throw out the female version of probably about 20% is the lowered me 18 to 20% that I’ve seen is where a lot of women like to settle. Once they get into this, then maybe adding. 15 pounds or so of muscle 10 to 15 pounds to the right areas.

And that’s it. And then that’s their end game and they’re pretty happy with that. And I would agree with that. Okay. And then I would say, and you can correct me if you disagree, but I would say that is achievable and maintainable that you can do that while also being healthy. Would you agree?

Alan: Absolutely. And if you’re not competing in physique sports, then it’s what you actually would wanna do is strike a balance between the aesthetics that you’re looking for and maintaining maximal function. And with men shooting for that range, the 10 to 15% body fat. And granted there’s going to be limitations without accurate.

We can actually gauge that, yeah. But just putting numbers on it. That’s a good range. That’s a healthy range on the lean side. Yep. And then for women, 

Mike: somewhere around 20 to 25, yeah. It helps to put the visual to that. So at 

Alan: 20% and if a woman is in high teens and she still has regular menstrual.

Then fine, you 

Mike: know? Yep. Yeah. And to put a visual to that for women listening, if you’re not sure what 20% looks like, that’s a very athletic look. So there’s gonna be some muscle definition in the arms and in the shoulders. And there’s gonna be some muscle definition in the core, not a six pack, not like a guy, but there’s gonna be some lines and that’s gonna look like a flat stomach, but there are also still gonna be curves.

The boobs will not have disappeared. A woman at that body fat percentage can still have plenty of a butt and not just because of muscle. So I would say it’s a good balance between fit and feminine, where you, look, you look again like an athlete, but not a fitness competitor, right? 

Alan: Yeah. Fitness competitor.

Look, it’s either a look that people maintain for like a literal week out of the year, or some people are just built that way. Some people just have the genetics to. Basically, some people just have a Greyhound type of genetic and they’ve always looked that way. They’re either somewhere between lean to just shredded and then that’s just how they’re.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s true. It’s rare. A minority, very scarce minority of people are just that way. Yep. 

Mike: Bastards. They have the, what is it? The Belgian blue cow jeans. Oh yeah. The 

Alan: Belgian 

Mike: blues. That’s right. Their body never figured out that you’re supposed to, how to deal with MTA correctly, or 

Alan: just the, your pit bull.

Yeah. That lounges around the house for 20 hours a day. and it’s just looking like a little Ronnie Coleman there. So let’s talk macros 

Mike: now. Sure. And yeah, just in the context you had said previously that it needs to meet the athletic needs or the body composition needs. And what does that look like?


Alan: speaking. Yeah. For health, if we’re talking about this strange and dynamic idea of preserving health, macro nutrition has to. Meet the individual’s goals. If somebody doesn’t have any necessarily have any pressing goals, they’re just existing in the general public protein can be met with, I wanna say, as low as 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight, have a preference to see people consuming more than that, even though it’s published in the literature, that 1.2 is fine.

I’m. A bit more protein happy. I’m a bit more protein happy. Yes. I would rather people shoot for a bottom end of 1.5, 1.6 grams per kilogram of body weight. Because as people start hitting their elderly years, we’re seeing that. 1.2 doesn’t necessarily cut it. I’ve 

Mike: also argued that it’s gonna help with satiety as well.

And anything you can do to not pack on pounds over the years, I think is worth considering. Yep, 

Alan: totally great. Protein is an underrated macronutrient. If for one reason or another mainstream, academia has always under emphasized protein and they’ve had this raging boner for carbohydrate throughout pretty much all of the existence of mainstream nutrition, public health guidelines.

it’s always been low protein, low fat, high carbohydrate. And it’s like, why low protein damn, we’ve got 40 years of research showing that bringing up your protein is going to do all kinds of good stuff. And like you mentioned, it’s going to bolster satiety. It’s going to support lean body mass, getting a little bit more into the.

It is the most thermogenic macronutrient. So it can bias your energy balance in favor of regulating body. Weight can 

Mike: be a good source of nutrients too, 

Alan: depending on what year. No doubt about it. Yeah, as far as like the protein macro, the low end if I were to cite the literature, it’d be like 1.2.

I would really rather see 1.5, 1.6 at the low end, at the high end. It’s tough to find research that benefits the general population beyond 1.8 or so grams per kilogram of body weight. So that’s 0.7 still a fair amount. Yeah. Point seven grams of 

Mike: protein. A lot more than the average person who’s not into working out.

Yes, that’s for 

Alan: sure. Yes. That’s true. That’s true. You look at the general population, they tend towards a default intake of about 1.2 ish, but yeah, like the kind of an optimal range of protein intake for the general population and including people involved with. Recreational athletic pursuits, I would say is 1.6 to all the way up to a gram per pound.

So 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight. There are certain populations who can benefit from higher protein intake than the bro the traditional bro, bro recommendation of a gram per pound. There are certain populations that have shown one point 1.3, 1.4 grams per pound being beneficial.

If you’re at the elite competitive level for physique sports. So roughly three to 3.3 grams per kilogram of body weight is what at least observationally what the. Natty competitors are consuming and placing high in the ranks with, so you have this sort of this dual category of protein recommendations here.

So general public, all the way to recreational athletes doing great on 1.6 to 2.2 grams per kilogram of body weight. And then you’ve got the elite physique competitors doing good and placing high on about three low threes grams per kilogram, body weight. 

Mike: And what about carbs and fat? What are your thoughts 

Alan: there?

Yeah, carbs and fat. Let’s talk about fat. First as carbs are a little bit more of a story there. So getting fat out of the weight in the literature at large, it’s hard for people to sustain a fat, a dietary fat intake. That’s 20% of total calories or less when they’re assigned it. When they’re assigned a low fat.

Whether the target is 10 to 20%, they almost can never even hit the 20. They almost can’t sustain the 20%. It always creeps up till like high twenties at 

Mike: least. Yeah. Cuz your diet gets real boring. Yeah. It gets real boring. Unless you weigh 300 pounds and you’re cutting, then you’re fine. 

Alan: Sure.

If you have this massive total caloric target, then yeah. 20, percent’s fine. But for people who are running hypocaloric conditions, 20% of calories is typically unsustainable. So that’s one aspect. And then the other aspect is when people chronically run low dietary fat intakes, it can lower testosterone level.

It can lower your androgen levels. And just to be 

Mike: clear there, because then this is outside. Now the context of cutting, let’s just say maintaining 20% of daily calories from fat, would you consider that. Responsibly low that it should be a bit higher than that. Or, of course it depends how many calories the person’s eating.

I would think 

Alan: it does. And that’s the thing, Mike it’s like these studies that showed a drop in serum androgen levels from 20%. Of total calories versus 40%. It’s hard to distinguish whether that was due to it’s the synergy of hypocaloric conditions. Along with the lower fat intake. You can definitely paint a scenario where somebody eating 3000 calories and putting them on, okay.

Let’s say three to 4,000 calories. And. 20% fat of those three to 4,000 calories is probably not gonna be an issue. Yeah. With compromising androgen production. Yeah. That’s a fair amount of fat. Sure. Yeah. It is. Now you put somebody on 1500 to 2000 calories and say a mail then, and then you get ’em on the 20% fat for that.

Then that can be an issue. So yeah. There’s certain things to consider 

Mike: there. Do you like to look at it in terms of relative to body weight? Like something that I’ve a conclusion of mine that I think actually I can credit you partly for this, but is something around 0.3 grams per pound of body weight per day is probably okay.

If you want to do more than that. Sure. 

Alan: You can do more than that. That’s the, exactly the number, the figure that popped into my mind as the lower, I probably got 

Mike: it from you. So I’ll just credit you with it. 

Alan: that’s the kind of the lower cut. That you would be very wary of going below. What’s good about that 

Mike: for people listening.

So you can just understand that there is an absolute amount of dietary fat that you want to be providing your body with. There’s the hormone point. And then there, of course, the other points of why you need to eat dietary fat and the other uses your body has outside of just Andrew hormones. And you can disagree if you disagree.

I would say I have come across people who will go as low as maybe 0.2 or 0.25 for periods of cutting, maybe toward the end of a cut. They just, they need to cut their calories and they just tend to do better with higher carb. And they don’t really notice any negative side effects if they cut their fats a little bit.

And to me, that seems okay. I wouldn’t recommend 0.2 or 0.2, five as just your normal cruising altitude. 

Alan: Yep. And I would agree with that. I would definitely agree with that. Okay. So 

Mike: that’s dietary fat and maybe it’s worth what we’ll do is we’ll wrap up this and this is great. This will be the podcast we’ll have to do with the next one on cyclical keto.

But I think the last thing we should touch on is some food. Choice recommendations. Cause I, I know that some people are gonna be wondering, okay, they’re gonna go. All right. That’s cool. So then they’re gonna be thinking with their numbers. What should I be eating though? Where do I get this fat from? Is all fat made the same so we can get there.

But I think that’s probably all that needs to be said really right on the, in terms of quantity of fat 

Alan: intake. Yeah. In terms of quantity of fat intake, the, those are good cutoffs. Those are good guidelines. You can either look at the 0.3 cutoff or you can look at the 20% cutoff depending on, what, you’re more comfortable with crunching numbers with, so I wanna read off for you, Mike, the macros of national level bodybuilders who placed in the top five, 

Mike: are we to believe these are natural or it’s unknown?

Alan: Or clearly not. Reported natural. So protein, they took in 3.0 to 3.3 grams per kilogram of body weight throughout the preparation. So they started off with 3.0, they ended off with 3.3 at the end of prep, carbohydrate. This is real interesting. And I’m just talking about the men carbohydrate intake at the start of prep was 5.1 grams per kilogram of body weight.

And at the end of prep, it was 4.6 grams per kilogram of body weight. So that’s pretty fricking cool to see that these guys. Far from keto. It, in fact, they did five times the intake of typical keto at literally like 

Mike: an intake, which would be a reasonable maintenance. Maybe a little, maybe maintenance would be a bit higher depending on body weight, but I’d have to see where may have to pull up my own spreadsheet.

Cause I kind tend to eat the same stuff. I’ve been doing that for a while. So I don’t know exactly. I know my calories around 2,800 a day. I believe my carbs are probably three 50 or something maybe as high between yeah, probably around three 50 and I weigh one 90 and that’s just a personal preference.

That’s how I guess I could eat more carbs. I tend to like carbs more than fat, but that’s a, yeah, that’s a healthy amount of carbs all the way throughout it is. 

Alan: It is. And we’re talking high stakes, elite level national level. Body building competition with these Nads. And it’s just fascinating.

And it’s illuminating to see like people who placed out of the top five actually consumed less carbs than this. So they were consuming. more carbs than people who placed out the top five, but that would make sense. Anyway, because with this goal of natural body building or body building in general contests, you wanna be as full as possible.

You want the muscles to be as loaded as possible while there’re as lean as possible, and you wanna 

Mike: retain as much muscle as possible. I think you can make a good argument that you’re gonna retain more muscle on a high carb diet than you are on a keto 

Alan: diet. Yep. It’s just the cold, hard facts with that.

And so I’ve always said, if you wanna look good at the apartment complex pool, if you wanna win the contest there, then , you can take in however little amount of carbs you want, man. You can go zero carb diet. If you want, you will place in the top five at the apartment complex pool contest. Okay.

But these guys are at the highest levels. What they’re doing effectively is maximizing the amount of carb intake that will still allow them to come in as lean as possible. Okay. So now their fat intake was at the start of prep. It was 0.8 grams per kilogram. At the end of prep, it was 0.6. So 0.8 grams per kilogram is a little over three grams per pound.

 It’s 3.6 grams per pound at start of the prep. At the end of prep, it was a little under. Three, I’m sorry. Point 

Mike: three. I was gonna say 0.3, six, right? Yeah. Yeah. I was like, I was doing the math in my head. I was like, wait, did I miss something here or not? Okay, 

Alan: good. No, there’s a very important decimal point there so yeah.

Yeah. Point three, six grams per pound 0.3, six grams per pound. 

Mike: Like toward the lower of what you were just saying is eh, I probably don’t want to go below 

Alan: that. That 0.3 cutoff. I want to emphasize 0.3. So people don’t go ahead and do the three things. 

Mike: start doing their cutting backs. Balance cent with 3.6 grams. 

Alan: Wow. So yeah, their fat intake was low, dude. It was low the whole down time at roughly 0.3 grams per pound of body weight. But this is natural body building competition. It’s not necessarily life, so when we’re talking about. Fat intakes for health. It helps to look at what the lower cutoff might be because honestly the higher cutoff, it just really depends.

And there’s really no realistic, higher cutoff that you can just throw out there and name for fat because somebody might be on really low carb. And they’re, their upper cutoff might be a little over a gram per pound of body weight in terms of fat in terms of fat grams, and that’s perfectly fine.

I think that you can maintain, or you can maximize health with a low carb, high fat diet. I really do now avoiding all carbs and all sources of carbs is a whole different ballgame. And I don’t think that maximizes health. So we talked about protein and fat. Now just talking about carbohydrate and health, the evidence at large points to.

A certain amount of plant intake in order to maximize health in the sense of preventing cardiovascular disease. So some people can hit that and still remain in a ketogenic diet. Some people can have a carb cutoff at 50 grams a day of in quotes available carbs, right? Yeah. Of metabolizable carbs, even though fiber is, metabolizable just half to a little bit less than half of it.

But my point is you can still maximize long-term health. Even on a low carb, high, fat diet, even at ketogenic levels. So there is a wide range you’re gonna have 

Mike: to carefully micromanage those carbs though. You have to be like, okay, I’m spending them using them only on these foods because I need to get in my 

Alan: nutrition.

Yeah. Yeah. If you were to try to maximize health and longevity, you don’t 

Mike: get to eat some pop chips every day, a half a bath like that. That’s not gonna work. Correct? 

Alan: Correct. There’s certain for example, if somebody’s on keto and they’re trying to maintain 30 to 50 grams of carbs a day, one potato will knock that out.

You’re done yep. A cup of rice you’re done. So if somebody was trying to maximize health, then they would want to include things like fruits, vegetables, and even 

Mike: fruit is gonna be tricky. It’s probably vegetables only. Yeah. 

Alan: You’ll have to go berries with some greens. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s why it.

The conversation gets difficult. If you really try to go deep keto with a 30 gram a day thing, you can build an argument that if you’re gonna nitpick towards optimizing and maximizing longevity, then the person who’s not beholden and bound to their low keto limits is gonna have an advantage, a long term health advantage, right?

Because they can eat two fruits day or three fruits a day. And. Breach their keto limits 

Mike: and they don’t have to worry too much about the precise vegetables they’re in. They’re gonna have more variety. It’s certainly gonna be more enjoyable. Yes. 

Alan: So that’s where it really gets interesting with carb, cutoffs and health.

It’s a little more complicated. Conversation, whereas protein and fat, a little more cut and 

Mike: dry. Yeah. Yeah. I think it’s a good segue into, I think the final aspect of this that we should discuss and that is choosing foods to eat. So for the macros in the context of healthy eating, what does that look like?

And we can assume that most people, we can quickly say that you’re gonna approach. From a flexible dieting perspective, so long as you’re getting the majority of your calories from these types of foods, take a minority of your calories. 10%, 20%, maybe probably could go a little bit higher, but everybody likes 80 20 people have heard of that.

All right, 80% comes from the stuff that you’re gonna talk about 20% comes from more or less, whatever you want. You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to, but feel free to have your sugar feel free, to have maybe even a little bit of artificial trans fat in your gross tricks, cereal or something.

If that’s really what you want to do. I would say maybe try to expand your palate a little bit. I have a friend, his treats have not evolved, I think from like when he was nine. And so that’s it. That’s what he likes. 

Alan: Yeah. Some people never grow up. Peter 

Mike: pan.

If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports, nutrition company, Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world. But, yeah so I think let’s wrap up the discussion with now some food choice, 

Alan: considerations, food choices.

Yeah. Let’s take a look at the macros. I love your input on these things too. So go ahead and jump in. If I, you think I missed something, have I had to 

Mike: instill a muzzle though? Over the years I used to do it too much. I’ve gotten better at listening. It’s actually good for me on a very personal level.

It’s helped in my marriage. It’s helped in other areas as 

Alan: well. Listen, dear your audience, you’re hearing some wisdoms here. Nah, but you do have great feedback on this stuff. But yeah, so with protein, the key is to consume as much refined and highly engineered soy products as possible through the course of the day.


Mike: this episode is brought to you by Soland 

Alan: being serious. Now the protein and health thing is. Surprisingly controversial, but for the stupidest of reasons, I have some really sensible and actually some really brilliant friends who happen to be vegan, but every recommendation and the entirety of their perception of life is seen through a vegan lens.

So any kind of animal sourced, anything, even in the protein department, they’re going to see it through that ideological bias. And that does bother me a little bit, but I would say, with protein, I am totally fine. From the nutritional standpoint, getting a variety of both animal and plant sources is probably gonna be ideal.

So with animal sourced protein, 

Mike: if you’re eating just a good Omnis diet and you start building out your meal plan in Excel, you’re gonna notice that oh, I’m actually getting a fair amount of protein from these vegetables and eating and these whole grains and these other things. It’s certainly not going to get you anywhere close to where you need to be, but you don’t have to exclusively just eat steaks to get there.

Alan: That’s right. That’s right. You don’t have to exclusively eat highly processed meat stuffs. You don’t have to eat bacon every time. You’re trying to get your protein, which is gonna be a minority of protein and a majority of fat. Anyway, you don’t have to, eat cured meats and Vienna sausages all day to try to get your protein.

I it’s not about that with protein sources. I think that animal sources are fine. As long as you’re looking at fresh animal sources, minimally process. Stuff. And even some of the process stuff is fine. As long as you can moderate it. But the way that you can look at protein intake with animal foods, you’ve got your usual suspects, you’ve got your meat, fish, poultry type stuff.

Pork is in there somewhere, depending on how you wanna classify that. I think it’s perfectly fine to rotate through the day or through the week, meet fish and poultry. You wanna do a fricking, even division of those in thirds through the week. Great. That’s perfectly fine. I don’t think people need to fish fish, and then every once in a blue moon, you can just have a steak.

I think the red meat scare is overblown. I am aware of the public health recommendations. For red meat. And some people might view them as too restrictive, too conservative. It does come down to about two to three ounces a day that the major health organizations want you to max out on with red meat intake per day.

And if you 

Mike: were to not eat it every day is the idea that you could quote unquote, save those up. And so you could have then maybe eight ounces every few days or something. 

Alan: And that’s the thing it’s like even the major health organizations, like the accumulation of red meat by the end of the week would be about 12 to 18 ounces.

And you know what, if you divide that over a couple days or you just slam it all in the day that’s a nice piece of meat. so I’m okay with that. And some people will hate me. I have this contingent of vegan friends and this vegan audience. They like me because I don’t know. I like carbs. vegans love carbs.

At the same time, they freaking hate me because I will eat eggs. I think those are perfectly legitimate sources, too. Dairy eggs, great sources of protein. So you’ve got meat, fish, poultry that you can rotate somewhat evenly through the week. And then you’ve got eggs and dairy as well. And then you’ve got protein powders, dairy based protein powders are the fricking bomb in terms of health.

Body composition. And then you’ve got some upstarts coming through. I like my 

Mike: own, of course but Legion, did you say silent? It’s Legion. Soy of course. Yeah, no soil. My soy is actually proven to increased testosterone levels. Don’t look into it, but don’t worry. That’s how it works. No, 

Alan: I know you do your diligence, man.

I know you don’t just make claims and then you get nailed on it. So I know you’re more self protective. 

Mike: More paranoid at least. So it’s a combo of rice and P protein. And I personally like to alternate, I’ll do some way in the morning. When I wake up and then I hop into my infrared sauna and I read for a bit and I do a bit of cardio.

So I’ll have some way, first thing in the morning. And then when we’re done here, I’ll have another SHA that’s one scoop away in the morning. And then what I like to do is I like to mix some way with Legion is it’s called plant plus, but rice protein for people who are not familiar with plant proteins, I think that you would agree with me on this, that rice protein and P protein are viable sources, particularly.

They compliment each other nicely in terms of their amino acid profile. And I think they have a nice neutral kind of flavor, so you can make ’em taste good. They have a nice mouth feel. I like it. 

Alan: You took the words right out of my mouth and I’m just gonna reinforce what you said was that P protein and rice protein have been doing well in the research when compared to animal proteins and, frankly soy has done well in the research at least six out of nine studies.

I’ve shown them being able to run with their animal comparator. But then again, there’s limitations to that research. It’s not like you compared an all vegan protein all day group with an all day animal group. I think the all day animal group would be more anabolic, but yeah, definitely getting a mix of proteins in there.

And then the upstarts P protein, rice protein, you can even mimic the way protein, amino acid profile with something to the tune of 70% P 30% rice, if I’m getting that. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the person who went through the trouble of figuring that out, but it’s an interesting bit of trivia.

Yeah. It’s 

Mike: referred to colloquially right as the vegans way. Oh, 

Alan: okay. You’re more on top of that culture than I am, but getting a variety. Of protein types in the diet will contribute to health, even to the extent of getting a range of different types of animal source proteins. If you can cycle through poultry, fish and beef through the week, then you’ll be getting the unique nutritional aspects of each source into the diet.

You’ll be getting a fuller spectrum of micronutrition when you do it that way. And if you do include vegetable proteins, like P protein, rice protein from legumes and such, you’ll be getting the adjacent compounds within those foods that are known to have beneficial effects on health though, known to have therapeutic and or preventive effects.

So there’s a certain virtue to variety of sources, Mike like I, I wouldn’t encourage somebody just slam the obviously you’ve got some people out there. All they eat is steak. That’s it that’s their diet or 

Mike: protein powder. I get asked that fairly often, how much protein powder can I get away with?

Can I just get 80% of my protein from powder? Eh, probably not a good 

Alan: idea. There’s an opportunity cost to just getting one or two sources of protein in there. And as great as way is if you get all of your protein from way you’re not gonna get the spectrum of micronutrition that you would get from having a broader variety of protein 

Mike: sources.

You’re probably also gonna have problems with hunger, because there’s just not much in the way of volume. You just drank, eight ounces of water, basically tasty water. 

Alan: I have a friend who did an experiment. It was a hundred days. His only protein source dude, believe it or not was protein powder for a hundred days.

And his only other food besides protein powder was ice cream and a little bit of whiskey. What kind 

Mike: of experiment is this? 

Alan: It’s masochism, my friend. what 

Mike: was his hypothesis? What was he even trying to accomplish here? 

Alan: I basically sat with him through this whole thing and he chronicled it in my research review over the course of like maybe three or four issues, like way, way back, many years back.

I don’t even remember how far back the archive of my research review is just like a bottomless pit. This gentleman’s name is Anthony Howard Crow. And he went a hundred days on way protein and Ben and Jerry’s and some whiskey to get him through the hard times, he ended up feeling like shit. The macros were hit.

Protein was hit, carbs were hit, total calories were hit, but ice cream and way, he felt like dog shit, man. And it wasn’t just a psychological feeling like shit. It was an everything feeling like shit, digestive, everything, mood. So 

Mike: he was taking I FY M to its logical extreme. Basically he 

Alan: took it to an extreme and honestly, I’m wondering how much bioavailable nutrition he was taken down.

He must have been taking a multi, which actually would make 

Mike: sense again, if this is what this was. If this was a challenge to the Ify M crowd, basically, then it would make sense like, oh, but I’m gonna take my multi because I’ve run into these people over the years who try to rationalize their unhealthy diet with supplementation but I’m also taking a multi, so that should, balance out the lack of nutritious foods.


Alan: It’s the rationalization, but try it for a hundred days, eat ice cream and weigh for a hundred days. At least this N one of his, he felt so crappy, bro. That he could barely train. 

Mike: Wow. And I’m not entirely surprised. I’ve never done anything remotely, as interesting as that, but I’ve noticed, so my wife’s from Germany and we’ve went on and off usually.

So like for Christmas, we’ll do one Christmas here in the states and then the following year go over to Germany. And so she can see her extended family, blah, blah, blah. And actually the last time we were there, I didn’t do this or maybe even the previous time, but what I used to do when I would go there is for the first week or so I loved German bread.

It’s so good. And German dairy, like their butter. And they have this stuff called cork, which you can actually get here, but it’s like a yogurt or like a skier type of thing and cheese and blah, blah, blah. And so I would eat probably, I would guess a thousand to 1500 calories a day of just bread.

Dairy. So sometimes put some cheese on, sometimes put some butter and some quark and jelly, blah, blah, blah. And I would still pay attention to my calories. So I wouldn’t just completely blow myself up. So nutritionally, my diet got real bad, real fast. It went from my normal, very nutritious, healthy approach to acute nutritional deficiency basically.

And within five days or so, first thing I start to notice or would start to notice is I actually would lose my. To even eat it anymore. Like I actually would start almost craving vegetables. Like the idea of eating some fruit and vegetables suddenly became very appealing. And that only took really a few days for me to start to notice that.

And then that’s when I would cut it off. So I would enjoy it for the first, eh, maybe three let’s say five days. But then there was a point where I was just like, I can’t stomach anymore bread. I need to actually eat some nutrition. And so I could imagine if I would’ve kept going for weeks of, and that’s not even as extreme because I still actually was eating some nutritious sources of protein.

There probably was a piece of fruit here and there and a vegetable here and there, but again, not like how I’m used to eating. So that’s my very limited experience with that type of approach to eating. But I could imagine if I were to push it even further for weeks, that there would not only be physical ramifications for me, certainly there would.

Like psychological ramifications, that would not be a happy 

Alan: person. Yeah. And the thing is you’re coming from a foundation of eating much more optimally than that. So you’re going to have a tendency to revert back to your ity whereas you take the average person, who’s not really aware or not necessarily caring.

You put them in that environment. They might just keep slipping down that slope, even worse and worse, but that’s good. You have that foundation. So yeah, that’s the story with protein. And you mentioned that with protein powder, great healthy stuff, but then there’s the factor of drinking your calories versus eating them.

And I think that a lot of people will run into problem. If they just rely on protein powder to get the protein in. And this is not saying that there’s some people there’s nobody out there who can do it, but people in general, protein powder is a great addition to the diet, a great way to conveniently and economically get in high quality protein.

But in my observations, there’s very few people who really just rely on it to get the majority of protein and still skate by and optimize 

Mike: makes sense. And then what about carbs and fat? So what are we talking about? What are your thoughts on minimum amounts of nutritious carbs stuff like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains.

Alan: You got fruits, we’ll set them aside for a second. And then you’ve got non-starchy vegetables, so greens and the leafy stuff and the stuff that is mostly fiber water and nutrients and micronutrients. So we’ll set those things aside. We’ll set fruits and vegetables aside. You should be consuming those things to maximize health.

You should be eating fruits. You should be eating vegetables. 

Mike: Despite what the carnivore crowd would have. You believe it’s another discussion, but it baffles me. I don’t know 

Alan: it is another discussion, but you know what it’s worth touching upon for a second because fruits and vegetables. As in quotes, healthy as they are, and as broad and deep of an evidence basis for preventive health that they’ve got in epidemiological literature and other literature, they also can have a tendency to bother some folks digestion wise and just symptomatically with various intolerances.

So interestingly, what came out of the carnivore movement, Mike was this viable form of an elimination diet. If you’re experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, 

Mike: which if it were pitched like that, I wouldn’t. Be critical of it. Yeah. That’d be an honest pitch, but of course it’s pitched as a panacea. Yeah.

Alan: It’s not pitched like that. So it’s fine as a baseline diet upon which you systematically add back your vegetables and fruits that you like. So you can find out what the hell agent here is messing with me. 

Mike: Maybe it’s the fo map type of car. That is the problem. If anybody wants to learn about that, hetero lesion, search for F OD.

And you’ll find an article. I believe I’ve done a podcast on it as well, but there are quite a few nutritious foods that contain a certain type of carbohydrate that just cause problems cause GI problems for people. And it can be really baffling if they don’t understand that because they’re like I’m eating these healthy things and.

My stomach feels really bad, like what’s 

Alan: going on. Yep. And that’s a way of investigating. There is a fair amount of literature on low FODMAP diets, alleviating what people thought was a gluten intolerance or what people thought was like IBS or I B D. That is an interesting line of literature. So we’ve got the fruits and vegetables under this carb umbrella, and then we’ve got starches.

So under that larger car umbrella, we’ve got fruits, vegetables, and starches, and that starches have this sub umbrella where you’ve got starchy, vegetables and grains. The starchy vegetables are just to put things simply, they’re all healthy, all the root vegetables and this includes legumes.

So peas, beans, corn, yams, potato squash, those sort of things, the starchy vegetables, they’re all healthy. And some people will claim that they can’t tolerate some and that’s fine. Have what you can tolerate. And then under the grains umbrella, interesting story here, Mike, you’ve got the whole grains and you got refined grains and you have the controversies surrounding that there.

So public health guidelines dictate that you try to have at least half of your grains being in equals whole grains. And then you can have the rest being refined, but that’s another slippery little rabbit hole there, but I wanna make the point here with the grain group, the grain with the most positive research behind it is oats.

oats are like the MVP grain. I 

Mike: love oatmeal. I eat it every day. That’s my go to. Grain. I like it for the reasons that you’re gonna explain and has a couple unique properties. And I just like it. I just like eating it. It’s 

Alan: good. Some people hate it. Some people feel like you’re sentencing them to a horrible imprisonment.

If you give ’em 

Mike: oats. It has that matrix slot vibe, but I don’t know. I like it. 

Alan: I personally love oats. Okay. It tickled me to do my investigation into grains and find that oats are not only the least offensive in terms of people’s intolerances, but they are. The most fitting the profile of the super grain.

And of course you have wheat and its cousins, which not everybody can tolerate. And in terms of prevalence, roughly 1% of the population has issues with the gluten intake. And so even though wheat and wheat products, Are relatively neutral in the larger scheme of things. There are people who genuinely cannot tolerate them.

And you’ve got the people with celiac disease who are 1% ish of the general population, which is no real small number. So that’s pretty significant. They cannot eat any gluten. And then you have a more nebulous faction of folks who have non celiac gluten intolerance. And that’s hard to put a finger on because it’s hard to objectively diagnose and numbers anywhere from half a percent, all the way to 5% of the population who might have some form of non celiac, gluten intolerance, but bigger picture 95 to 99% of the population can eat gluten just fine, but they don’t have these special little benefits that oats have shown in literature.


Mike: you count? Let’s say a bread as a quote, unquote, healthy carb as a oh 

Alan: good. You’re getting in your grains, per the literature dude whole grain bread would fit under that umbrella of whole grain products that have shown neutral to beneficial effects on health. 

Mike: Okay, good. It’s just worth asking.

I’m sure. Some people are wondering what about white bread? What about white Peter? 

Alan: That would be a refined grain, but then again, per the literature and per the public health guidelines, if half of your grains are unrefined, you’re still gonna be fine. It’s still a neutral situation. So there’s still micronutrition to be had from grains.

Even the refined grains are fortified with micronutrients that have traditionally been missing populations and that were deficient with it. So grains are a much maligned. Food group, especially in the advent of the rise of paleo and the rise of keto and the rise of the anti carb movement that surged 10 years ago, 

Mike: even the anti plant movement, with Gundry’s bullshit book. 

Alan: Yeah. That’s just funny. The anti plant movement is just generally hilarious. I 

Mike: mean, it’s just marketing pure mercenary chicanery. It’s a money play because a contrarian position grabs attention. That’s a very effective way to get people, to listen to what you have to say 

Alan: and circling back the point that you made.

That, Hey, if only people can look at carnivore as maybe a starting point or a baseline for systematic investigation towards what plant foods are messing with you, that’s really the only legit use for it. When people claim that going carnivore and avoiding all plant matter is the way to VJA.

Yeah, you might make it to heaven sooner. yeah, maybe actually. Exactly. Yeah, just recapping my complicated story with carb sources and health. You do wanna. Consume fruits and vegetables. That’s a no brainer, several servings 

Mike: per day. At least the least of the vegetables. 

Alan: Two to five servings of vegetables is the public health guideline for that two to five servings of vegetables, two to four servings of fruit.

Some literature will say two to three servings of fruit, but it really depends on the fruit. And by the way, fruit juice chugging is not the same as eating whole fruits. For many reasons. I’m not the biggest damn proponent of people. Chugging fruit juice, unless you can in quotes, afford it. Calorie-wise and goal-wise.

Yeah, like you’re lean 

Mike: bulking and you’re already eating 4,000 calories a day and there’s a lot of nutrition there and you just can’t stomach more food and, 

Alan: do what you gotta do. Yeah. And that’s fine. And there is some literature showing some beneficial effects of a hundred percent fruit juice, not not from concentrate fruit juice, but as a general recommendation, I would much prefer to push people towards eating fruit that you have to chew actually, rather than chugging fruit juice.

Okay. So fruits and vegetables eat ’em starchy vegetables, all healthy eat ’em. And that includes legumes with grains. There’s a little bit of a dichotomy there between the refined stuff and the whole stuff. And then you’ve got MVP being oats. And then there’s another sub argument there with white rice versus brown rice.

The differences are two minuscule. The matter between brown rice and white rice. If you prefer brown, eat it. If you prefer white rice, eat it. If you eat enough rice. In your diet for that to actually matter, then your diet is wrong. Yep. I’ve made 

Mike: that point. Yep. What are you doing? you’re eating a pound of rice a day or something what’s happening.

Alan: Exactly. Is that your only carb source for the day and you’re eating a pound of it. Okay. Then let’s take a closer look at this. You know what I’m saying? Are you a 

Mike: competitive eater? That’s my next question. 

Alan: well then yeah, white rice will be better for your training sessions. That’s the story with carbs and health.

You’ve got those food groups. You’ve got that spectrum to consume. If you want to optimize health, I would have to say that of all the food groups under the carb, umbrella, fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, and grains. I would say that grains are probably the most expendable with the exception of oats, cuz they’re the freaking MVP.

And then finally we have fats. One thing 

Mike: I’ll quickly throw out there just as in the way of anecdote is so for. Sometime this wasn’t by design. I, this kind of just happened. Oats fell out were, it’d be inconsistent. And I would just eat more fruits and more vegetables, maybe more fat and a little bit more protein.

And that was fine. But what I did notice is that when I put the oats back in, I had less, not that I was very gassy in general, but I certainly, I noticed my bowel movements aren’t as clean and normally is. And then that’s when I was like, oh, maybe it was taking out the whole grains. Maybe that really, from what I know and how they can affect just digestion and irregularity, put them back in.

And that was the end of that issue. And just thought, I’d throw that out there. 

Alan: Did you take out oats during that. Period. And then you reintroduced them. 

Mike: Exactly. Yeah. So I took out oats and then I was eating more fruits and vegetables and probably a little bit more in the way of fat to make up the calories.

And again, it wasn’t I don’t remember it being necessarily a conscious decision. Like I’m gonna do this for this reason. It wasn’t an experiment. It just whatever, for whatever reason. And then I noticed, and I guess I can’t say it was directly caused by that, but I’m just sharing it just in case anybody else is not eating any whole grains whatsoever and running into any sort of GI issues.

And where I would notice a bit of GI disturbance would be after, if I eat like several servings of vegetables in one meal, so I’d make this big vegetable slop, I call it for dinner and then I would have several servings of fruit throughout the day. Again, some extra fat I had more gas generally and.

My bowel movements just weren’t as Curtis who heads up all the research for Legion does all the formulations. Now I’m not gonna remember his joke, but he talks about like ghost pooping. That’s the God tear pooping where it’s, it’s a big poop, no wiping and it’s clean and it doesn’t smell particularly bad.

So I was getting away further and further away from the ghost poops. And then when I put the, when I put the whole grains back in the needle, swung back in the other direction, so for whatever it’s worth, I thought I’d just share that 

Alan: those experiences are valid for the individual who experiences them.

There’s just so many factors I get asked questions of, is it detrimental to not be cycling your foods and rotating foods and stuff, and you know what, for some people, it might help for some people. It won’t sometimes you just have to try it out for yourself because not everything has been worked out sorted out in the literature over multiple replications and meta lyses and huge, evidence bases for the answers that we seek.

So you are definitely entitled. 

Mike: Only we had a billionaire on our side who just wanted to fund all the studies 

Alan: yeah, he’s just kicking back. We had just let’s try this, 

Mike: but yeah. So anyways, for my body, the lesson again, that I took away was it seems like I just do a little bit better with some whole grains with a serving or maybe two servings per day.

I’m just a creature of habit. I tend to eat the same things, every meal every day, but it would’ve been interesting maybe or could be interesting to replace again, what’s just oatmeal. Cause I like eating it with some of these other options, but I just noticed that when I put the oatmeal back in those issues quickly went away.

So for whatever it’s worth, I was like, all right, I’ll just keep it in. That is 

Alan: interesting. And I’ve definitely been a lifelong oat lover, but I’ve been eating a lot more oats lately within the past, like half year or so. A lot of my carbs have been in the form of oats just cuz I, I prefer them and they are a surprisingly digestion friendly car source for me.

Yeah. Very filling. Yes. Yes. And they take on the flavor of whatever you hit it with. And it’s just awesome. I have to share with you this oat thing that I eat that I, I love one of them is real simple. It’s my wife’s idea. Actually, she comes up with all the good ideas and she’s the cook of the family.

But all you had to do is just make some oatmeal. In my case, it’s two thirds of a cup of dry oats. And then you end up M waving it with roughly I wanna say a cup of milk or so, and then you microwave that for three minutes and something that won’t blow up on you in the microwave. And then you drop a scoop and a half of vanilla wave.

Protein powder a half a teaspoon of cinnamon to taste like a snicker doodle man. It’s real 

Mike: good. Love it. I used to make these baked oatmeal dishes. I don’t anymore just cause I don’t wanna take the time to do it. And I’d rather just cook it up and eat it with some maple syrup and milk or some fruit and milk or whatever, but let’s see if I can remember the recipes pretty simple.

It was cup of oats, dry, maybe about the same amount of milk. I put an egg in there as well, just cause I found, I liked the extra little color it added and I’d put some fruit in there and I’d put a little bit of vanilla extract and a little bit of cinnamon and a little bit of nutmeg and I maybe forgetting something.

That’s basically the idea, mix it all up and then I would bake it until it was pretty much baked through. So it wasn’t like a slurry anymore. It was more like a pie. And then I would eat that with some Greek yogurt and I used to eat that every day. It might even have been more than a cup of dry oatmeal.

At that time I was more active. I was just able to eat a lot of calories and I loved it. I would do it every night for probably, I don’t know, a year straight and I would try different fruits and, just different combinations, but it was really good. I think there’s still, if that has piqued your interest head over to Legion search for oatmeal.

And I remember I had gotten the recipe originally, I think from one of the oatmeal recipe articles on Legion’s website. And then I just started messing with it, but baked oatmeal can be really good. Kicks 

Alan: you outta ketosis though. Mike 

Mike: well, it’s a small price to pay . 

Alan: All right. So dietary fat and health.

There’s been this eons long controversy, oversaturated fat and unsaturated fat. There are unsaturated fats that are highly vilified, just as much as the saturated fats might be. But if we’re just gonna boil things down to sources now, Foods that are fat rich that have the greatest support in the scientific literature for health effects are.

If I could just rattle ’em off, we’ve got nuts. As far as oils go, olive oil appears to be the king. Sesame oil does really well too. Fish oil has a good body of literature behind it, but then there’s also some controversies surrounding just how much help health wise you’ll get from fish oil. But I think that the balance tips in favor of making sure that you get enough omega-3 in the diet, whether you get it through fatty fish or whether you supplement with fish oil.

Okay. So we’ve got nuts seeds in general have good health effects olive oil. Avocados. And if you get those fat sources in the diet regularly, then you’re gonna be doing almost everything we know to be beneficial for health. As far as fat sources go, if your diet is not dominated by land animal fats.

So saturated fats, dairy fats, galore all over the place. If you keep that down to a low roar and in moderation, then you’re not going to be compromising your health. I think that in the hierarchy of things that matter with health, Type of dietary fat sources. Honestly, that’s low on the totem pole. If you were to look at everything that contributes to health from non nutritional factors to nutritional factors, if you’re gonna honestly worry about breaching the 10% saturated fat guideline public health guideline, then your lifestyle is not in check, bro.

I think that with dietary fats, as long as you can get nuts, Olive oil avocado in some cases, seeds, and there is a coconut oil controversy out there. It can be rectified by making sure that you go extra Virgin coconut oil, if you’re gonna do coconut oil, because the non extra Virgin stuff, worst case you’re taking in a source of hydrogenated fats, which is not good.

And then the not as bad case, it’s going to be refined and you’re not going to be getting the helpful constituents within the extra Virgin. Version of coconut oil. So there is some controversy with that, 

Mike: and there’s also the saturated fat part of it, right? Depending on the rest of your diet, if your saturated fat intake is already inappropriately high, 

Alan: then you’re just gonna be pumping it on up.

And then per the literature, we know that the issue with saturated fat intake is adverse effects on your blood lipid profile. So the hiking up of the LDL or the non HDL particles, and then the cascade of bad stuff that happens as a result of that. So kicking out the yolks or eating them, I’m neutral on that.

I’m not convinced of this. Imminent threat of egg Yos. Is that still 

Mike: a mainstream narrative? Hasn’t that been debunked, even mainstream nutrition that like, oh, the dietary cholesterol it’s actually 

Alan: okay. Dietary cholesterol has a smaller effect on raising LDL than saturated fat does, but it does have an, but the thing is a small effect is a small effect and in the big picture, small effects in proportion to the other lifestyle factors can.

Immaterial, too small to matter like 

Mike: how your average egg eater is eating. What, I don’t know, two eggs a day on average, I would guess. 

Alan: Yeah. Even people who love the hell out of eggs. There’s a body of literature on three eggs a day showing a mix of good, bad and neutral effects, which in aggregate, arguably can be neutral if you’re eating other foods that have fiber polyphenols, these an antioxidant compounds that all dovetail towards these positive health outcomes worrying about your Eggo intake would really only become an issue.

If all you’re doing is just pounding massive amounts of eggs a day. And even in that case you’d have to be susceptible to adverse lipoprotein. You’d have to be dyslipidemic on a preexistent basis for something like the occasional whole eggs to even have any ghost of an impact. Yeah, man, it’s a big conversation.

We threw a lot at the audience today. Yeah, 

Mike: this was great. And I think the last little thing you should comment on is supplementation. So you mentioned fish oil and that can make sense if the person’s not eating enough fatty fish, which many people don’t I don’t. Cause I don’t particularly like fatty fish.

I can do salmon, but I prefer the leaner fish, just the taste for me. So I prefer to just supplement. What about a multivitamin? Let’s just say a well formulated multivitamin, do you think it’s worth taking, if you are doing more or less, let’s say most of the things that you just outlined mostly correct.

Most of 

Alan: the time, yeah. Unfortunately the answer to that is a little complicated because. I’ll say this most people who are in a HypoChlor. Who are dieting to lose weight, lose fat. Most of those people are gonna run a range of micronutrient deficient, at least insufficiencies. 

Mike: Their diet’s gonna be pretty imbalanced.

It just is what it 

Alan: is gonna be imbalanced. And you know what, man, even the most well planned diets, you trying to hit all the points on the spectrum with food groups and this and that. You’re still gonna come up. In one or more or several essential micronutrients. I 

Mike: mean, take vitamin K. It’s like actually hard to get enough of it unless you love kale or seaweed, 

Alan: it’s hard to get even things like enough magnesium, the nutrients of concern per the United States department of health and human services and other major agencies like that. It’s quite the list, man. It’s quite the list. Vitamin a vitamin D vitamin E vitamin C, colon iron calcium, potassium, magnesium fiber.

And if you look at multivitamins, you would have to consume, it would have to be the size of an egg or a golf ball for you to get a hundred percent of the RDA of everything. Cuz certain things like the macro minerals and stuff, they can’t just shove that into the pill and make it enormous.

And sometimes it’s expensive. Sometimes it’s prohibitively expensive, get everything that you possibly. In a multi in the recommended amounts. And so with multivitamins, they usually run short in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and certainly there isn’t gonna be omega three fatty acids in your multivitamin, unless it’s a multipack.

So long story short, Mike, I am not at all against taking a multi, just as a prophylactic measure. Just do it because the literature showing harm from multis is laughable. The literature showing benefit from taking a regular, like moderately dosed, multi of all the essentials. The benefits outweigh the risks by a long shot.

So keeping in mind that most people’s diets are crappy in terms of the balance and spectrum of foods and essential nutrient sources. Many people go through periods of where they’re dieting and some people go through periods of substance abuse. Alcohol intake, et cetera, or just eating disordered. Eating is extremely narrow food preferences of the groups just take a freaking multi it’s, inexpensive it’s low risk, and the upside outweighs that risk.

So I am all for taking a multi what I do. I take a multi and I supplement with individual nutrients that I feel are shorten my diet. Same. 

Mike: I micromanage my diet pretty thoroughly. I’m not only just getting enough servings of fruits and vegetables and grains. Again, I’ve chosen some of these foods carefully.

I’ve chosen oats for the reasons that you discussed and some stuff that you didn’t get into, like beta glucans and other things. But I’ve chosen for my fruits. I have a banana good source of fiber. I eat. Strawberries and some blueberries to get in the pigments and for vegetables, I make sure to get in about two servings, two to three servings, actually of dark leafy greens.

And then on top of that, some cruciferous and some garlic, I actually. Eat it more or less raw even go that far. 

Alan: that’s hardcore. 

Mike: of course I take my own multivitamin, but again, I give all the credit to the formulations to Curtis and the team on the advisory board for the reasons you’re explaining. I believe in that, I believe in getting the K one and K2 that gives you my D getting in some extra B12, because you know that can have some benefits getting in some extra chromium because that can have benefits.

And then in the case of Legion’s multivitamin, we also have other goodies that you’re just not gonna get in your diet. Like we have, you can get Coke Q 10, but it’s hard to get enough to make you happy if you look at the research. So there’s, cocuten in it. There is Fuku in it. There’s ashwaganda.

We have versions for men and women. So in the men’s there’s pumpkin seed extract for prostate health, there’s black human seed. So there are also some other things which yeah, you can eat black human seed if you want, but 

Alan: there, there’s an interesting, not a big body of literature, but there’s some data showing hair regrowth for pumpkin seed oil, at least in a in know, in, in a mixture of other things.


Mike: hadn’t even come across that. We were, again I can’t take credit for these things, but the reason why Curtis specifically wanted it was for prostate health, 

Alan: but also lowers LDL too. Yeah, it’s just good stuff. Yep. No I am all for a multi and there’s a surprising amount of people out there who just write it off and say, no, just, a multi is a waste.

And then you’ve got these forms that are suboptimal, and then you can hurt yourself. No, you can’t hurt yourself. And the benefits way outweigh the risks. It’s inexpensive. Everybody’s diet fricking sucks. Just take it. And even if it’s good. 

Mike: Yeah. Even if your diet is good I, you still can benefit from it.

It’s well, form. If it’s a Centrum one, a. Maybe not, I don’t know. You might end up just pooping the thing out, actually. So if you notice you’re pooping the one a day pill out. Yeah. Maybe not, but in the case of triumph, this is vlogging your septic tank. Yeah, exactly. In the case of legions it’s eight pills a day split up into two servings of four.

You’re supposed to go four in the morning with breakfast. How people usually do it, or maybe at lunch, with, with food and then four at dinner is how most people do it. And that we’ve gotten pushback on, of course, the serving size, since ever since that product. It’s always been eight pills a day.

If I wanted to maybe sell more multivitamins, backing it down to six, certainly backing it down to four day or two a day or one a day would do well. For the marketing, but I think it would be doing people a disservice because, and you, you alluded to this, that it, you need a lot of powder to deliver a lot of good stuff.

And that just means, there is magnesium in triumph. It’s I believe it’s at 200 milligrams as magnesium gluconate, so it’s a decent dose, but the calcium. I believe it’s almost N and the reason being, if I remember correctly, I remember talking to Curtis about this is because like our average customer is into this stuff and they don’t have a calcium problem.

Like they’re having several servings of protein powder per day. They’re eating dairy. Like it’s just not an issue. But to that point, it still takes though eight pills a day to deliver what we felt was an optimal amount of the key vitamins in minerals and clinically effective doses of other things that we believe should be in a multivitamin.

A multivitamin should include more if it’s gonna be considered top tier. I think it should include more than just the vitamins in minerals, 

Alan: but you’ve got Curtis on the team, which is great. He’s super O C D. He’s a great mind. He’s a good researcher. And so I’m glad that you got Curtis in charge of 

Mike: that.

Well, Alan, this was great and my eyes were clearly bigger than my appetite in terms of what we got through. I’m glad that we focused just on this, cuz I think that this is gonna give people a lot of actionable takeaways, things they can do right now to tweak their diet and find out what is gonna work best for them.

And then maybe I can get you back again for the cyclical keto, and that’ll probably turn into its own one episode discussion as well. And I’m looking forward to that too. 

Alan: Always a pleasure man. I was looking forward to this and I think that we covered a lot of really good ground and talked about a bunch of stuff that isn’t typically talked about on these kind of podcasts.

Mike: Totally. And why don’t we. Close with where people can find you and your work and your research review. And if you have anything new and exciting, you wanna tell people about let’s let them 

Alan: know. Okay. So you can find [email protected]. And my research review is the crowning jewel of what I do.

And I’ve been. Putting out this publication since 2008. And so the archive is almost 13 years deep. And I like to say that all of your idols in the industry have written for a R and they all pretty much grew up on, yeah, yours 

Mike: is the first research review I came across and I found it very helpful.


Alan: There, there have been others that kind of came and went. Mine was the first that, started when it did and just hung in there. I can’t hype it up enough. I think it’s freaking awesome. It speaks for itself and it’s a monthly subscription, but it costs less than two Starbucks mochas a month.

So it’s a no brainer to get on if you are in the industry or if you’re an enthusiast and you can always email me. With questions and comments, it’s a living, breathing organic thing. It’s not this entity that you have to climb through miles of red tape to, to reach the guy who’s in charge of it. So yeah, that, that would be my main plug is my research review, which you can [email protected].

Mike: Do you offer like a Preiss issue, a preview if people want to see what they’re paying for, or do you do like a 30, 30 day money back guarantee or any sort of risk reversal type of thing? 

Alan: I’m not good enough at marketing to do that. But there isn’t an extract. 

Mike: It sounds gimmicky, but people like 

Alan: that, you and I are gonna have to have a whole separate conversation about marketing.

Yeah. There is an extract of of the research review on the website. Yeah. You can get a feel for the content just by going through that material. And that’s about it. I do have a bunch of peer reviewed stuff coming down the pipe, but that stuff takes months and. I don’t wanna say, Hey, this is gonna get published finally.

And then they lose peer reviewers on the other end and it takes another few months, but I do have a few papers coming down the pike with some of the brilliant folks in the research world. So yeah, just keep an eye out for that. I’ll make an announcement on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter.


Mike: Oh Alan Everybody go check it out. And again I fully endorse the research review. There’s yours that subscribe to for a long time and really enjoyed. And I also really enjoy what Greg knuckles and Eric and Mike and Eric are doing with mass and they focus mostly on training stuff.

Whereas you talk about training, you talk about muscle building, fat loss, so like body comp and diet supplementation, also some op-ed type stuff. So I think there’s a nice variety and I think there’s value in subscribing to yours. And there are a couple others that for people who really like to stay on top of the science and people who are still listening right now, if you’re still listening, you’re gonna like it.

There you go. 

Alan: I appreciate you, Mike. Absolutely. And, 

Mike: Thanks again for your time. Really appreciate it. I look forward to the next. All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to me from in whichever app you’re listening to me in because that not only convinces people, that they should check out the show, it also increases search visibility and thus, it helps more people find their way to me and learn how to get fitter, leaner, stronger, healthier, and happier as well.

And of course, if you want to be notified when the next episode goes live than simply subscribed to the podcast and you won’t miss out on any new stuff. And if you didn’t like something about the show, please do shoot me an email at Mike muscle for, just muscle or and share your thoughts on how I can do this better.

I read everything myself and I’m always looking for constructive feedback, even if it is criticism, I’m open to it. And of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well. Or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with. Definitely send me an email that is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at multiple

And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode. And I hope to hear from you soon.

View Complete Transcript