In this episode of Next Level Human Podcast, Dr. Jade talks about how to set up a personal and individualized nutrition program for yourself without having to abandon foods that you like or other personal preferences. In terms of losing weight (or gaining weight) or even maintaining weight and being more healthy, the only way to do it right is finding out what works best for you. There is no magic pill or magic recipe.
Being aware of the amount of calories you need to consume in order to lose weight is very important and has its value, but most people can create innumerous “systems” and use innumerous “tools” inside this method of monitoring calories to create results. The “system” you will use and the best “tool” for you, only you can tell and that might be unsatisfying for people to hear but it’s the best way to stick to progress. Tune in!
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[01:18] Welcome to the podcast, guys, today, we are going to be talking about how to find the right diet for you. You know, one of the things that I always talk about when people ask me, because let's face it, historically speaking, we live in an interesting time, right when it comes to diet, we have what I would call several different biases in the diet and nutrition world that make it very difficult for us to make sense of things. And one of those biases is sort of what I would call the novelty bias; anything that is new or old with new research and new exciting research people tend to jump on right. So right now the flavor of the month is intermittent fasting, and the keto diet. And before that it was sort of like detox diets and the Paleo diet. And an offshoot of that was the primal diet, vegan diets and vegetarian diets, you know, sort of the high fat, low carb diets of the 90s, the Zone diet, the Atkins diet, like those kinds of things, people will jump on anything that is new, it's almost as if we would rather be looking for something to do then doing something. And unfortunately, some of these programs will work for some people, when I say programs, I mean, these dietary systems, but most are just not useful for people over the long run as a lifestyle approach. And the truth of the matter is, is that a lifestyle approach is the only real approach that works. And so one of the things that I have been preaching for a very long time is that there's only one rule of nutrition, and health and fitness and that is do what works for you. But that answer do what works for you is, you know, very, very unsatisfying for so many people, they hear it and they say things like, well, that's a cop-out, just give me the rules just give me the recipe, just give me the protocol, I will do my best to follow it and that's the way it should work but the fact of the matter is, it does not work that way because we are each different. We are different in our motto metabolic expression, we are different in our psychology, and we are different in our personal preferences. And anyone who's listened to me for any length of time and the education that I provide knows and probably can recite this again and again and again. "Pip, don't do that. Stop." Sorry, guys. I'm babysitting my ex Jill's dog, and she's chewing on my shoe right now. Good. Don't do that. So here's the thing that I think that we need to understand, Okay, well, if it's unsatisfying, right to have this answer, do what works for you. It's probably unsatisfying, because people are like, well, what does that mean exactly? And I'm going to define in this podcast exactly what I mean by that. Now, here's the good news. The good news is that you can really start with any protocol, you want any recipe any. And when I say recipe, I just mean you know, people treating nutrition as if it's a recipe like you're baking a cake, and they just do X, Y, and Z. And you should see results. And we know this typically doesn't happen. But you can really choose anything that you want to start with. The caveat here is that it's a starting place only. And once you start with a particular regime, then you have to decide is this working for me or not? One of the best ways that I've described this to people is to listen to Bruce Lee and Bruce Lee a lot of people know him as a martial artist and a, you know, sort of celebrity actor back in the day, but he was also a philosopher of the things that a lot of people don't know about Bruce Lee is he actually created his own martial arts called Jeet Kune Do. And Jeet Kune Do was a sort of conglomeration of all the best of the martial arts, the best of the best sort of down to its basis. And he had a saying, and he basically said, you know, what you want to do when you're studying martial arts or studying, in general, is you want to absorb what is useful, discard what is not, and then add what is uniquely your own. And so this is how you really want to be looking at nutrition, and finding and then doing what works for you, there are going to be certain things that you'll be exposed to, like the keto diet, or the Paleo diet, or the vegan diet, or the vegetarian diet, or some book you read by some guru, or the vegetarian and vegan diet, there's many, many different approaches, maybe you decide to go to do go on a detox program or something like that. What you want to do is from all these experiences that you're having, you're essentially trying things out. So you can start wherever you want. And you take from those things, the aspects that are useful, so absorb what is useful for you. And then you sort of discard what is not, you know, maybe you don't like a particular food, maybe you don't like greens, drinks, and those kinds of things. And, you know, maybe you don't like chard, and maybe you don't like certain things. So you don't do those particular things, you absorb the stuff that works for you, you discard the stuff that does not whether it's not working, or just based on your personal preferences, and then you add what is uniquely your own. For example, if you love wine, and you love certain things like that, well, then you bring wine into your program, it would be ludicrous. If you love wine, or you love chocolate to say I'm never going to eat those things. Again, you find a way to bring them into your program, this diet system that you're developing for yourself, it's a program built by you, for you.
[07:06] So the first aspect of this is absorb what is useful? How do we know what is useful? So I'm going to walk you through how I would do this with somebody clinically, and it does not matter. So what I would say is, first and foremost, choose a bass line program. And if you don't have one to choose, I'll give you one but I would say you know, some of the best out there the best probably off the shelf one that I like to start most people on if you're just asking me my advice at sort of like a social gathering or something like that, and you're like, oh, I hear you're into, you know, nutrition and natural medicine and things like that. Where should what diet should I start, I would probably say something like, you know, the Paleo diet is a really good place to start because it is a good mix between a very high, you know, sort of plant based diet, lean quality proteins and we know in the research that foods that are very rich in fiber, and very rich in protein and very rich and water are highly satiating, meaning they fill us up. And by including lots and lots of these foods, we can achieve a caloric deficit without as much effort. Obviously, if you're hungry all the time is going to be hard to resist. And you're probably going to end up more times than not in calorie excess and you do need to create a calorie deficit. And so what I would say is you start with any program like that, that allows you to ease more easily achieve a calorie deficit. So one off the shell program that I oftentimes like to use is the Paleo diet and then from there, what you're going to do is you're going to eat breakfast, and you're going to eat lunch and you're going to eat dinner, or maybe you're going to do a Paleo Diet combined with intermittent fasting, because you heard that that would be cool. So you do maybe a meal at noon is your first meal and a meal at four is your second meal. And then a meal at like seven or eight is your third meal. And essentially, after all of these meals, and at the end of the day, you're going to have some way to evaluate how your body is responding. Now obviously, if you are fueling your body correctly, and your body is getting the correct fuel and getting what it needs, your body is not going to be suffering from excessive hunger. You're not going to be in a situation where you're craving things constantly. And your energy is going to be stable and predictable. You're also probably going to notice stable mood, good quality, sleep, all of those kinds of things. And so what I would say then is after each meal, you want to essentially assess what is going on with your hunger, what is going on with your cravings and what is going on with your energy. A good Next Level Human Episode 156- On Individualizing Nutrition Host: Dr. Jade Teta Solo healthy meal that fuels you and feeds you, fuels your body for good quality energy feeds your brain and makes you feel satiated and satisfied. By satiated in terms of hunger and satisfied in terms of cravings, is going to really should last you between four and six hours before you start getting hungry again. So if you eat something like a salad or something like that on a paleo type diet that you've chosen as your starting place, and you notice that you are hungry again, two hours later, and or you're getting cravings and or your energy is crashing, you are now going to have to adjust. Now if you notice that that particular meal that you ate, means you leaves you without hunger, no cravings, and stable and predictable energy levels, that is probably something that you want to absorb that is useful. So if that is, let's say, a kale salad with grilled chicken breast and a small amount of croutons and parmesan on that, then that's going to be a meal, you want to essentially make note of right down and say, this particular meal worked well for me. And now you're absorbing what is useful, versus perhaps you do something like, you know, a green drink or something like that, or a protein shake or something like that, you find that, wow, that did not help me at all. I was, you know, really hungry and feeling out of sorts, within two hours, then you want to discard that, or tweak it a little bit more to make sure that it works for you. And this is the way that people who are successful long term and by the way, long term, here's the thing that you need to understand about diet, anybody can lose weight for a time, it's just a matter of being motivated enough, you know, you can lose weight, you try hard enough, anyone can do that, it's the easiest thing to do. Maintaining the weight is what's hard. And you have to understand that the approach that you use to lose the weight better be the approach that you can maintain, forever. And this is why this is so important. And so now you're starting to experiment after each meal, you're beginning to have certain biofeedback sensations that you can judge and essentially say, wow, is this making me feel good or not? At the end of the day, you can look and sort of qualify and quantify qualify by saying how do I feel and quantify by looking at how many calories did I take in and a good quality approach is going to be approach that makes you feel satisfied without hunger, without cravings, balanced energy, and a lower calorie diet without trying so hard. Then you repeat that again, and again, and again, slowly tweaking it here and there, maybe you discover that, hey, you know what, I really do? Well, having salad as my first meal, I really do well with a protein meal replacement after my workout. And I really do well when I have a mixed dinner of meat, starch, and plenty of vegetables with a small amount of wine. And I basically just gave you guys my formula that I've discovered for myself, I do really, really well, with that kind of approach one big large salad in the middle of the day, a protein meal replacement, somewhere along the way, preferably post workout, and then a mixed meal at the end of the day that has a little starch, a little bit of fat and a little bit of alcohol and makes me feel satisfied, right. And I've even discovered certain foods because absorb what is useful discard what does not add what is uniquely your own. I've even discovered certain foods that work really, really well for me that take the edge off. For example, one of them is a high protein ice cream called Halo top. Some of you may know this. And sometimes it you can eat the whole pie and it has 300 calories in it, and very much satisfies me. And so that's another thing that I have absorbed, that is useful. I also know that if I have a small amount of wine with dinner, I'm less likely to overeat at that dinner, and I'm less likely to get dessert, and I'm less likely to do late night eating. But that is for me. And these things are all very useful for me to know how did I find this out? Through paying attention through absorbing what is useful, discarding what is not and adding what is uniquely my own. So over time, I know what I need to do for me. So you might say, Jade, do you do a paleo diet? No. Jade, do you do a keto diet? No, not necessarily. I don't do any of those things. I do the Jade Teta diet; a diet that I built for myself through my own trial and error. And so this is the approach that you want to use. [14:49] now oftentimes when I say this, people will say well, Jade, what about calories? Don't they matter? Absolutely. Calories, matter calories matter a ton. You're not going to be able to lose weight without question. Eating calorie deficits and those calorie deficits need to be sustainable. The mistake that a lot of people make is that you have to understand that your hormones some of your hunger hormones like GLP and GIP and insulin, which is a hunger hormone, and ghrelin and leptin, and all these hormones that CCK and PYY and all these hunger hormones that are elicited by what you eat, not to mention behavioral hunger, which means that we have almost like a Pavlovian response to food. If you're used to eating breakfast at 8am, you're going to be hungry at 8am, for a little while, he tried to switch to an intermittent fasting diet, let's say. And so what you need to understand is that many of these elements in the diet are going to impact these hormones, which then make it easier or harder for you to achieve that calorie deficit. But you do need to achieve that calorie deficit. And so how do you manage it? Well, there's two ways to do it, you can take a calories first approach, or you can take a calories second approach. So let's go through each of these. And let's take the calories second approach first and the calories second approach what this would be is you eating intuitively, more intuitively during the day, eating in a way to help keep hunger at bay and cravings at bay and energy stable. And at the end of the day, then you kind of go back and say, Oh, I felt really good. Today, hunger was not there or was under my control. Cravings were under my control had good stable energy, I didn't feel like I over ate. And let me just go back and check and see was I able to achieve a caloric deficit or a calorie reduction that could aid my weight loss? That's one great way to do it, right. And then you can tweak from there, you're like, oh, interesting; I did kind of eat maybe more than I thought. And this is very important, at least in the beginning, to begin to equate how you feel and what you're eating, you need to be able to see this, you need to be able to track in some way shape, or form, at least in the beginning, you don't have to do it forever. But if you've never done this before, this is one of the reasons why people suffer so much. So you can take the calories second approach. And really, that's a hormones first approach. How do I feel what I'm eating? And does that give me those calorie deficits that I need? The other approach is, I could take a calories first approach and maybe say, alright, well, I'm going to try to consume 2000 calories or less per day. And then I want to see after the fact how did that make me feel. So I eat those 2000 calories, then I look back on the day and I say, did that keep my hunger, my energy, my cravings in a check and if it didn't, then I need to adjust either the macro ratio of those calories, or the amount of calories themselves. And there's so there's many different ways to do this. And again, this is a personal preference thing as well, there's no one way that's better than the other. And it bothers me when you have certain coaches say, Oh, you need to, you know, do your macros. Some people absolutely thrive on that, because they love math. Other people want to be more intuitive with this. And so this is also a personal preference thing. And so you may want to fool around with both of these. So again, remember what we're doing absorb what is useful, discard what is not add what is uniquely your Next Level Human Episode 156- On Individualizing Nutrition Host: Dr. Jade Teta Solo own, you may find that absorbing what is useful is that you're one of these people that has to track your calories. And you're using you found out something like My Fitness Pal, I'm absorbing that that's useful. That app My Fitness Pal, if I plug my stuff in, and I'm aware of my numbers, things get easy. But if I let it slide, and I don't do that, I oftentimes end up more times than not doing three or four tablespoons of peanut butter, and going over my caloric limits by a lot. And so you can do this either way. And it's very important that you start looking at this instead of, you know, doing what most people do, which is not smart. And what they do is I read the most recent book, I'll do that, or my friend went on, you know, the whole 90 diet or whatever, and I'm going to do that, or I heard about this great detox diet, I'll do that. Or I know a friend who went on the HCG diet, I'll do that. Now there's nothing wrong with trying all these things. But rather than trying them as if you're trying to find the perfect diet, which does not exist, you should be trying them so that you're slowly creating the perfect fit for you.
[19:35] One of the things that I like to talk about here is that when you think about all the different nutritional sort of philosophies and tools that we have, that's exactly how you want to look at them. Think about it like a toolbox. In that toolbox there's a screwdriver, there's a hammer, there's some nails, there's a hacksaw, there's an Allen wrench, there's a ratchet set, there's all these different things that you can use, and depending on your unique needs, your metabolic needs, you might need a particular set of tools. And that's how I would be looking at nutrition. Intermittent fasting and fasting is a particular tool, maybe it's the screwdriver. Keto diets are a particular tool, maybe that's the hacksaw. What you want to be doing is looking at these particular things, and instead of treating them like they're a religion, and the only way to do things you look at them is like, okay, here's a set of tools, I will try these out and see if I can master some of these tools and see if they work for me or not. And you'll find out pretty quickly, if you end up doing an intermittent fasting diet or time restricted feeding approach where you basically are eating, you know, only eight hours during the day and fasting for 16 hours, you'll know pretty quickly, if that ends up more times than not making you binge throughout the week, because here's what happens to a lot of people on an intermittent fasting type approach, they fast, they come out of the fast, and in that eight hour window as a result of the fast they end up eating 5000 calories, where if instead they ate in a 12 hour window, they would only eat 2000 calories. Now other people like myself, do really well, with time restricted feeding, I give myself eight to four hours to eat my meals, I usually not going to, you know, put myself into calorie excess in that regard. And so some people intermittent fasting will backfire and cause binge eating behavior. And for other people, it won't. And this is the way it actually works. And same with the keto diet, I shall tell you a funny story about me, I tend to do a Keto approach, most winters, and I pretty much given up on the keto diet for myself after this last winter, because what happened is, every time I do it, I do really well, I'm on it, I feel really good on it. But what happens is for months afterwards, I just have carbohydrate cravings, and junk food cravings that are through the roof. And I find myself just binge eating. And it's very difficult for me to reverse that. And something about being off all of those foods, and then adding them back in, you know really does a number on me. And so the keto diet is something that I will either not do next year or will approach differently, and adjust it a little bit so that it can work for me a little bit better. And so these are the things that most people are not telling you about that you really want to pay attention to.
[22:35] So one more time, I'll walk through this really quickly. And then we'll end this podcast. But hopefully you get the point. Here's the way that you want to essentially do this take any off the shelf program of your choosing the Zone diet, the keto diet, a vegetarian diet, a vegan diet, the Paleo diet, the primal diet, and intermittent fasting approach, some book you read, you take any of those approaches, you start that approach. Don't think of it like the perfect approach, think of it like it is now a blueprint. It's my starting point. Now my job is to gather information about how my metabolism is responding to this. So I will absorb what is useful in this approach, I will discard what is not useful in this approach. And I will bring into it, what I've already discovered works for me, and then you begin to do that particular diet approach. And then all of a sudden, it adjusts. And so maybe you start on a strict, low fat paleo type approach, you know, sort of the traditional paleo diet, lots of vegetables, lots of you know, good quality lean proteins, and then you find this really isn't working for me. So then you start adding in avocado and coconut oil and all that kind of stuff. And now you're like, oh, that's interesting. Now I'm now I'm feeling full and satisfied, and my cravings are gone. Oh, but I'm not losing weight anymore. So then maybe you start counting calories a little bit with using that same approach. And next thing you know, you've found what works for you.
[24:00] Now, the final thing I'll say here is that you got to pay attention to these biofeedback sensations and calories. And so you can either take a calories first approach, or hormones first approach. And when I say hormones, first approach, I just mean, the way you feel remember all these hormones, these hunger hormones and things like that. They are just essentially the things that are creating a lot of these bodily sensations that we can tap into exercise performance, exercise, recovery, hunger, energy, cravings, sleep, mood, all these things should be stable and functioning at a very high level, if you're feeding and fueling yourself correctly, and so you're going to have to figure out and manage both of these. Yes, you want to manage calories, but you also want to be pre-emptive and also paying close attention to how the diet makes you feel to how what you're putting in your body makes you feel in terms of hunger, energy cravings, sleep, mood, performance, libido, menstrual cycle, exercise, recovery, etc. And so that's it another very important thing to understand and then one of the other things that I'll say here, before we wrap up this podcast is that the other thing you have to understand, and this is what gets people so confused, and so sort of just not loving life and getting because they, they don't understand that the metabolism will change. So you find an approach that works for you today, at your current age and your current lifestyle factors and the way you're living, that may not work for you tomorrow, maybe you'll have children and your metabolism will change. Maybe you'll go through andropause, if you're a guy and your metabolism changes, maybe you start exercising a little bit more or going through stress at work, or going through menopause or you get sick or whatever the metabolism is changing. And so when you find the diet that works for you, you may find out and you will find out that it's not always going to work for you. But that's not a problem. Because during this process of discovery, but you've actually figured out the most important thing in the world. And that is, once you figure out this process, it's a process now not a protocol. In other words, you'll never have to look for another diet again, because you will be able to create it. As soon as hunger, energy and cravings and all these biofeedback sensations start going out of check, or your calories start going up, you're not getting results, all you have to do is go back to this process that we just discussed. And you will find and the diet, again, that works for you. And some people have even, you know, run into this, I've seen this with individuals who travel a lot, sometimes they have to have a travel plan. And I oftentimes call it a Plan B and you know sort of plan that works for them when they're when they're at home. And oftentimes I talk about this as sort of a first aid diet or a plan B diet if you have sleep deprivation one night, you know, lots of I worked with lots of moms in my career. And what they'll oftentimes say is the baby didn't sleep last night, I was sleep deprived and I know I have to do something a little different. Actually, I'll give you a clinical from my clinical practice, I had one woman who she knew that if she got only four hours of sleep in a night, a sort of standard three meals per day did not work for her, she had to move into a grazing type approach where she would eat every two to four hours, instead of waiting every six hours. And what she found out is that when she did that grazing approach, it kept her from binge eating later, because something about sleep deprivation for her caused her to over eat tremendously that day. And so what she did is she had small, frequent meals on those days, whereas on other days, she would have only two to three meals. And so what happens is, people don't want to understand exactly what's going on in their metabolism. And if you start paying attention, what will really happen is what works for you will be a range of things that will work for you. So you can pull these tools from this toolbox as you see fit, because you've worked with all of them. And so that's one of the reasons I am an advocate for doing different things. People say, hey, you know, Jade, have you heard of this particular approach? Do you think I should do it? I'm like, absolutely do it but do it from the standpoint of trying to discover more about your metabolism. Don't do it from the standpoint of like, this is the end all be all and I'm going to try to do this forever and ever. No, do it from the standpoint of I am going to discover what works for me better. I want to see does a keto diet have a role to play in my long term nutritional sort of way of approaching things or not? Or not because you may just go A I just do not a like a high fat diet and kind of feel disgusting on it, or B, I can't stay on it or C maybe you're like me, it's like something happens to me afterwards where I do it, I do fine, I feel great but then I just binge like crazy on it and so all of us need to work more from this perspective, when it comes to nutrition. And I think it's the same thing with you know, natural medicine. And it's the same thing with fitness as well. [29:20] so hopefully this gives you an idea of what I mean by do what works for you. Not only is it not a cop out, it's actually a, you know, sort of a harder practice, right? But once you figure it out, it is magical. And all of a sudden, you know all these diets that you've been chasing around that work for time and then stop working. Now you've discovered something that will always work for you because you have the process of being a detective and always being able to figure out the inputs that you need to keep you feeling good and looking your best and being your healthiest and so I'm going to wrap it up here on this particular podcast but I hope this was useful for you and I will see you guys next time.