Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss

Ep 63: Q&A – Dietary Guidelines, Carbs, Lipedema, Life Stress, Fasting for Longevity, Killer Plants, and Metabolic “Damage”

April 21, 2023 Philip Pape Episode 63
Wits & Weights | Nutrition, Lifting, Muscle, Metabolism, & Fat Loss
Ep 63: Q&A – Dietary Guidelines, Carbs, Lipedema, Life Stress, Fasting for Longevity, Killer Plants, and Metabolic “Damage”
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Show Notes Transcript

In today’s solo episode, I am excited to answer questions from listeners about how to modify nutrition and training if you have lipedema, how stress affects training and health, whether occasional fasting can increase longevity while keeping protein high, and a quick fire round where I answer seven questions sent in by one listener about dietary guidelines, killer plants, getting fat on carbs, metabolic damage, blood sugar and A1C, shredding for a vacation, and how to best measure getting jacked.

Tune in now to learn more about these topics! 

Schedule your FREE 30-minute Nutrition Momentum Call with Philip here.

Today you’ll learn all about:

[1:46] Is there any research to back up a specific diet or exercise regimen for someone with lipedema?
[5:44] How to manage life stress, and how does it affect training and health?
[9:58] Stephanie shares her experience with her one-on-one nutrition coaching with Philip
[10:45] Is fasting beneficial for longevity?
[16:00] Are dietary guidelines making us fat and sick?
[17:03] Are plants trying to kill us?
[18:01] Do carbs make us fat?
[18:40] Is there any validity to metabolic damage claims?
[19:36] If I have normal blood sugar levels, should I strive to prevent “spikes” and lower my A1c?
[20:27] What’s the best way to look great for an upcoming vacation?
[21:32] Is adding weight to the bar the only metric I need to consider?
[23:10] Outro

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Philip Pape:

Right, just think about it when you're very stressed, you're worn out, you're rundown, you're less motivated. So if you have that get up and go, you might not have that. It interferes with your sleep quantity, your sleep quality. It even reduces your immune function so you get sick more often, and it increases inflammation. Stress is so important. Welcome to the Wits & Weights podcast. I'm your host Philip pape, and this twice a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self mastery by getting stronger. Optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition will uncover science backed strategies for movement, metabolism, muscle and mindset with a skeptical eye on the fitness industry so you can look and feel your absolute best. Let's dive right in. Wits & Weights community Welcome to another solo episode of the Wits& Weights podcast where we answer questions from you the listener sent to me through wits& weights.com through IG at Wits& Weights and through our free Facebook community, also called surprise Wits & Weights. I hope you enjoyed our last episode 62 with Amanda Cooper, where we talked about personalizing your fitness. Today for episode 63 we dive into questions about how to modify nutrition and training if you have lymphedema, how stress affects training and health. Whether occasional fasting can increase longevity while keeping protein Hi, and a quick fire round where I answer seven questions sent in by one listener about dietary guidelines, killer plants, getting fat on carbs, metabolic damage, blood sugar and a one C shredding for vacation and how to best measure getting jacked. Let's dive into today's questions. Question number one is about lipedema and it comes from two listeners. Tyler s writes, I was at a conference last fall with PTS who specializes in treating individuals with lymphedema and lymphedema. My son was born with primary lymphedema, which is why I was attending. They did an eval on me and said they think I have lymphedema stage one. Interestingly enough, interestingly enough, there's no link between the two. Apparently there isn't much that can be done for it other than maintaining a healthy weight and continuing to exercise and strength train. I always knew that I carried weight disproportionately in my lower half, but never knew why is there any research to backup a specific diet or exercise regimen. Now adding to this another listener and ln k adds. I've heard keto is helpful for lymphedema, but the research is a bit spotty. I think the biggest concern for this condition is lack of mobility and the fact that the composition of your lower half may not be the same as your upper half lymphedema. So lymphedema is something I didn't know much about. And I did some research. And it's a condition that causes additional fat accumulation in the lower body, disproportionately in the legs, the thighs, the glutes, and it can also cause pain, swelling and bruising. Sometimes it's misdiagnosed as obesity or lymphedema. But those are aren't related to lymphedema. I did some research and there's no cure for lymphedema. But lifestyle changes can mitigate the symptoms, they can prevent the complications, primarily through the same nutrition and training protocols that I would use with any client to improve and maintain body composition, with some minor exceptions that I'm going to cover in a second, keeping in mind that this is a nutrition and training podcast, I'm not a medical expert, I don't dispense medical advice, etc. So for nutrition, we still care about the basics about energy intake, having sufficient protein for muscle, carbs for energy and recovery fat for hormones and health. There's no evidence that a specific diet like low carb or keto is better than any other on average for someone with lymphedema. So as always, what I recommend is N equals one you are your own experimental sample, and you should experiment on your own and see if there's any difference. And one way to do this would be an elimination diet, you would cut out a bunch of foods that you suspect are irritants or things that cause you to feel less than optimal. See if you do feel better after cutting those out, and then start adding back foods in one at a time to see if any of those don't work for you. So that's and that's a protocol that pretty much anyone can use if they think if they suspect an allergen or some intolerance. Now on the training side, we might have more to work with because we care about things like circulation, you know, blood circulation in the legs, lymphatic drainage, strength, mobility, all of that, given the disproportionate amount of fat accumulation in the lower body. And again, although I'd still recommend things like squats and avoiding high impact cardio like running, which I would recommend that for most people anyway. But I think if you have lymphedema, you want Pay attention to whether you're getting specific pain or discomfort in your lower body and then adjust your training accordingly. And I have read that you can wear compression pants or compression garments during exercise to prevent swelling around your tissues. And then last but not least, there are other treatments to consider, like compression therapy, manual lymphatic drainage massage, and medical interventions that are beyond the scope of my coaching practice or this podcast. But I wanted to mention because they came up in my research, I would suggest working with your healthcare professional and develop a personalized plan with them with your coach, monitor adjust so you can manage your lymphedema and I hope that answer helps give you some ideas you may not have considered. Okay, question number two is also from Elaine Kay who writes, I would be interested in stress management and how stress at work, social etc, can affect training and health. Okay. So when we think of stress, it's this kind of life stress. That's the term I'm going to use life stress that I think most people think of the stress from your work from your home life from your family, from anything you do on a regular basis. And I think it really does have a massive effect on your training and health. Even more than you might realize. I've seen clients who everything else seems to be dialed in. But because of this chronic stress, their body just wants to preserve itself. And this there's this direct physiological effect that is happening right where the stress, quote unquote stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline get elevated, and they get elevated for much longer than they would in a natural human state. If you think of how humans lived before civilization, where we rose and went to sleep with the sun, you look at your cortisol cycle where it rises in the morning and gradually declines at night, and then increasing your serotonin and melatonin. Nowadays, we often have to take adrenal support and melatonin supplements, and all these things because we've got blue light hitting us in the face, we've got sounds, we've got the city, you've got people and it just goes on and on. So elevated cortisol causes greater fat storage and muscle breakdown. And this chronic stress is correlated with many health factors, higher anxiety, depression, poor gut health, headaches, body aches, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, problems, sleeping, weight gain, and memory impairment, just to name a few are pretty much the name all of them. Stress also depletes your energy, right? Just think about it when you're very stressed, you're worn out, you're rundown, you're less motivated. So if you have that get up and go, you might not have that. It interferes with your sleep quantity, your sleep quality. It even reduces your immune function, so you get sick more often. And it increases inflammation. Stress is so important. And life stress makes you crave foods and makes it crave more calorie dense foods, you end up skipping meals or you forget to drink water, it affects your nutrition leads to more emotional eating. And then because life stress, stress affects your mood and your mental health. It can mess with your emotions, your self esteem, your confidence, your relationships, your quality of life. Okay, so what can we do about it, and what what I think we want, we want a good balance. We want balance between acute short term stressors, the things that we like to do for our body, like strength training, that contribute toward health. And we want a balance between that and our life stress. So even if you can't eliminate the source of the life stress, and I would argue that in many cases, if you really think hard enough and come up with a plan, you probably could eliminate some of that life stress. It just may require getting uncomfortable or making choices, choices, outside the scope of what you had thought, like changing your job or moving to a new house. These are big decisions. But if they contribute massively to chronic stress, they affect your health. And if your health is your number one priority, do the math. So if you but if you can't, or even if you can, you can mitigate life stress by training, training properly and allowing for recovery, eating foods that fuel and feel great for your body, drinking plenty of water, getting plenty of sleep, devoting at least 30 minutes each day to me time, right self care so that you can relax and recover. So guess what, these are all the things you want to be doing anyway. And once you're aware and cognizant of how important stress is toward your body composition, your nutrition, your training, you will put in the efforts to mitigate it or even eliminate it. And I really want you to take a step back and do that right now. Think about those places in your life that cause you stress and know that you are in total control of doing something about it. You can do something and then you can also mitigate the stress. So I hope that answered your question about stress management.


The most value that I got from this was the fact that I had someone that I could talk to about anything and that there was going to be no judgement, it was just Well, here are your goals, here's the best way that you're going to achieve it. And then let's work together to help you feel inspired and motivated to do that. And there's a lot of people out there trying to be coaches, and not all of them have done the work and also just be a genuine person that is positive and coming from the heart in terms of wanting to help and Phillip really embodied all of those qualities, I would recommend him to just about anyone that's looking to achieve goals in that realm of their nutrition and building new habits.

Philip Pape:

Question three is from Alan F. Who writes, I just heard Ben Pakulski on his podcast, muscle intelligence, great podcast, by the way I hadn't been funny thing is I subscribed to so many podcasts and I had not come across that one. And I started listening to it muscle intelligence. And I'm really enjoying it Allen because he his, his lens, his perspective, his angle is a little bit different than a lot of the nuts and bolts podcast. And he states he says it like it is but then he also cover some interesting angles that that others might not all back by the evidence. So great recommendation, I'm happy to recommend other podcasts in that one I did like muscle intelligence. And he heard Ben say that fasting three to four times a month can be beneficial for longevity, while protein intake remains high. There are many people adopting fasting, not just daily window fasting, which I would refer to as time restricted feeding, and some people call intermittent fasting, but also multiple day fasting. What is your take on this practice? Okay, I re I re reviewed the evidence. Okay, not that I'm some no expert. But the evidence is constantly changing. So it's good to get it refreshed in case some big study comes along, that just blows everything out of the water. But the evidence on fasting for longevity still appears inconclusive. Even if you did watch the what is that with Chris Hemsworth, limitless on Disney, pretty cool show just to show people going into extremes. And he fasted for like four days in a row. Insane. But he did. But anyway, many of the studies have been done on animals. And they've had mixed results, and actually found four studies that support fasting for longevity, but we have to keep in mind that they are short term. And they are observational. But just to play devil's advocate, I wanted to put them out there so you can look it up. And if if you read them and you're like, hey, this seems to support fasting, I want to give it a shot, go for it, give it a shot, right? It's not for everyone. And if it if it's beneficial at all, we just don't quite know on humans because we haven't enough of time, or studies on humans. Anyway, here are the four studies. There's one by Harvard, showing that fasting can increase lifespan, slow aging and improved health by altering the activity of mitochondrial networks inside our cells. There's a review article by Longo at all, in it to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of intermittent and periodic fasting for longevity and disease prevention in humans. And it links them to major nutrient sensing signaling pathways, focusing on the benefits of fasting and refeeding periods. The third one is a clinical trial by way at all that found that a five day fasting mimicking diet improved biomarkers of aging, metabolism and cardiovascular health. And then there's a study by Teruya at all, where fasting increased the levels of metabolites, the specific metabolites that decline with age and are associated with longevity in humans. So pretty cool stuff, there's a lot of data out there. But you have to take it with a grain of salt and read the methodology and so on to really understand what the study is saying. Now, other things need to be considered the type of fasting, the duration, the frequency, the intensity, your age, your overall health, your goals, and so on. And as as mentioned, in the podcast, where the question came from, you're gonna sacrifice a bit of muscle during fasting. So to your question, you could potentially try a protein only fast, which is a strategy I've recommended for time restricted feeding when you want to try that you simply eat protein throughout the day, and you avoid fats and carbs during the fasting window. So you get up in the morning, and you would just have breakfast as normal, but it would be pure protein, okay, then maybe, maybe your lunch would be pure protein, but then between three and 7pm, you would have all your carbs and fats in those meals. And then you're done. And you kind of have a small fasting window and then an extended fast from protein only, and then you start doing your fats and carbs. So that's something that you can try. I think the jury's still out in terms of longevity, but for short term benefits. There's you and you alone who can who knows if it's going to work for you. So give it a shot. Try it for a few months. Track your biofeedback track your results, get the day To compare before and after. All right, good luck. And now so this is gonna be fun. I'm gonna do a quick fire round. There are seven questions from fellow coaching community member, Dustin Lambert, who by the way, he recorded an interview with me that will come out about a month from this episode. I think he wanted to help me fill up some airtime. So what I should have done was sit him down and show my list of about 1000 ideas I have already for future solo podcast episodes. But nonetheless, Dustin man, I'm very grateful because it allows me to inject a little bit of humor to this episode, so you'll see what I mean. Now, you all listeners, you know, I love to talk, but I do it out of love. I want to share as much value as possible on the show. So either way, it's going to be fun. I'm going to answer these questions. Mike Matthews style if you don't listen to muscle for life, love the guy Mike Matthews. Sometimes he has q&a episodes where he like rapid fires his answers with with snark and Sass, so I'll do my best. Here we go. Number one, our dietary guidelines making us fat and sick. Alright, dietary guidelines are government sponsored advice on what to consume to survive to avoid malnutrition to avoid chronic disease. I would say these are rock bottom minimums in most cases, with some reasonable targets mixed in. But to your question, Dustin, are those guidelines sneaking into your kitchen at night? To make you a snack? Or here's another angle are people who struggle with weight and disease? Are they following any guidelines? You tell me? Are they following any guidelines at all, even if they wanted to? Chances are they either don't know what to do. Or if they listen to this podcast and they're educated on what to do. They struggle with how to do it and being consistent. And this is where tracking measuring taking action with tools like flexible dieting, give us freedom to choose our foods without being beholden to third party guidelines, while still being informed of the evidence when it comes to our health. So let's take the power back from guidelines from rigid diets and from fitness influencers and master our own physical health. Number two, are plants trying to kill us? All right, only if you're Seymour and Little Shop of Horrors, where Audrey to feeds on human flesh. But otherwise, plants are the best thing since sliced bread with way more nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Yes, plants have defense mechanisms like mild toxins and allergens, which is why we generally cook them and eat them in moderation. And we monitor our digestion to identify things that feel great when we consume them and avoid the things that don't chances are most people are under eating plants. I mean, I went for years without eating any vegetables, or anything you could call a vegetable. I mean I had corn and potatoes, but anything green until my wife finally trained me to do it at my request. So thank you honey for doing that. Plants have fiber they fill you up they fill in your nutrient caps, nutrient caps, nutrient gaps, and they taste great if you prepare them the right way. Number three do carbs make us fat. No, but eating too many calories over a prolonged period will make you fat. Unless carbs are now sentient with muffins being imbued with chat. GBT brains are now plotting to infiltrate our salads without us knowing carbs are not going to make you fat. On the contrary, carbs are critical for energy and recovery, and overeating. Any macro to put you in a calorie surplus is what leads to weight gain. Carbs can keep you full, especially the complex variety, like whole grains and vegetables that have lots of fiber and not much sugar, and they can regulate your blood sugar and insulin. Three cheers to carbs. Number four, is there any validity to metabolic damage claims? No, none whatsoever. But there is validity to metabolic adaptation. Damage implies permanence and it's a juicy marketing term to entice desperate people to buy your eight week rapid weight loss program. But adaptation is just a temporary state where your metabolism or total daily energy expenditure is downregulated. And it declines due to stressors like being in a calorie deficit, or doing too much cardio to those of you running a marathon every day, or simply weighing less during a fat loss phase moving and walking less and the downregulation of hormones. This is totally normal and easily reversed by recovering to maintenance calories or higher. And by the way, if you use macro factor and you know what your expenditure is, you don't have to reverse it up. If you don't want to you can jump straight to me it's calories. Number five. If I have normal blood sugar levels, should I strive to prevent spikes and lower my a one C. Okay. spikes in blood sugar are normal after eating certain foods, so don't freak out. prolonged high blood sugar however, can be a sign of metabolic disease or what we call pre diabetes. A one C measures average blood glucose over a two to three month period It normal agency level is under 5.7%. A pre diabetic level is between 5.7 and 6.4%. In the diabetic level is 6.5% or higher. If you focus on maintaining a healthy body composition, eating a diverse diet of 80 to 90% Whole Foods you're golden. Also get moving, go for walks, especially after meals. Disclaimer. Again, this podcast does not dispense medical advice, and it's for entertainment purposes only. Number six, what's the best way to look great for an upcoming vacation? Be you have fun, the right blend of confidence sunshine, a bangin pair of shades should do the trick. And here's the thing. Looking great for vacation by improving your body composition takes time and cannot be rushed in eight to 12 weeks. Give yourself six months before any such event and do the things we talk about on this podcast all the time. lift heavy weights with progressive overload in the four to six rep range. Use a flexible dieting approach where you track and measure your calories and macros until you know what and how much you eat. Walk regularly. Get plenty of high quality sleep, eat your protein and take care of yourself, then periodized your nutrition with the seasons. So your fat loss phase takes about 12 to 16 weeks leading up to your vacation. Then we're close that you feel great in smile often compliment and be kind to others and try out a new adventure. Most of all relax and have fun. Number seven is adding weight to the bar the only metric I need to consider. Well as they say variety is the spice of life. adding weight to the bar is a necessity especially for beginners to know that you're actually getting stronger and building muscle. But after a few short months of this and being consistent with this, you may need to play with rep sets volume, frequency, intensity, range of motion, tempo variation of your movements. Don't forget food, sleep and recovery. If you're in the bodybuilding, you can throw in drop sets, rest pause sets density sets isometrics to add some challenging variety. Be creative, be flexible, but also know that if you are using weight on the bar as your only metric and it's going up, enjoy the games, bro. All right. That does it for today's q&a episode. Wits & Weights community. I'm always happy to jump on a free 30 minute call to walk through your specific nutrition and fitness issues and questions. No selling no pitching. To book a free 30 minute nutrition momentum call just use the link in my show notes. We'll dive deep into your approach. We'll customize it to get you better results for your health and body composition. Again, just look for that free call link in the show notes next week for episode 64. We have a fun and informative interview with Dr. Rand McLean, also known as America's longevity doctor, you'll learn about hormones and hormone replacement menopause versus menopause peptides, innovative treatments, the use of AI in medicine and more. As always, stay strong. And I'll talk to you next time here on the Wits & Weights podcast. If you've been inspired by today's interview, and are ready to take action and build momentum on your health and fitness journey, just schedule a free 30 minute nutrition momentum call with me using the link in my show notes. I promise not to sell or pitch you on anything but I will help you gain some perspective and guidance so we can get you on the right track toward looking and feeling your best

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