Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat

Bonus Episode: Why Diets Fail, Food Logging Hacks, and Additive Nutrition

May 25, 2024 Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer
Bonus Episode: Why Diets Fail, Food Logging Hacks, and Additive Nutrition
Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
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Wits & Weights | Smart Science to Build Muscle and Lose Fat
Bonus Episode: Why Diets Fail, Food Logging Hacks, and Additive Nutrition
May 25, 2024
Philip Pape, Nutrition Coach & Physique Engineer

This conversation is from my appearance on Sue Bush’s Physique Development Podcast.

Sue invited me on HER podcast to talk about why diets fail, flexible dieting, misunderstood fitness terms, and more.

I shared my best tips for making food logging easier, how tracking your food and lifting weights are forms of self-care, what metabolic adapation really is vs. what it’s not, and the MOST important thing for your health.

Enjoy my conversation with Sue Bush on the Physique Development Podcast!

Episode Resources


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Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This conversation is from my appearance on Sue Bush’s Physique Development Podcast.

Sue invited me on HER podcast to talk about why diets fail, flexible dieting, misunderstood fitness terms, and more.

I shared my best tips for making food logging easier, how tracking your food and lifting weights are forms of self-care, what metabolic adapation really is vs. what it’s not, and the MOST important thing for your health.

Enjoy my conversation with Sue Bush on the Physique Development Podcast!

Episode Resources


📲 Send me a text message!

Support the Show.


🎓 Join Wits & Weights Physique University

👩‍💻 Schedule a FREE nutrition/training audit with Philip

👥 Join our Facebook community for live Q&As & support

✉️ Join the FREE email list with insider strategies and bonus content!

📱 Try MacroFactor for free with code WITSANDWEIGHTS. The only food logging app that adjusts to your metabolism!

🩷 Enjoyed this episode? Share it on social and follow/tag @witsandweights

🤩 Love the podcast? Leave a 5-star review

📞 Send a Q&A voicemail

Philip Pape:

people don't wanna do the initial steps or the hard thing, or they think that tracking food is gonna be this tedious thing, and if you're doing anything like this in a way that feels like a constant struggle, then maybe there's a different way to do it and it doesn't mean it's not the right thing to do. Welcome to the Wits and Weights podcast. I'm your host, philip Pape, and this twice-a a week podcast is dedicated to helping you achieve physical self-mastery by getting stronger, optimizing your nutrition and upgrading your body composition. We'll 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. So you can look and feel your absolute best, let's dive right in.

Philip Pape:

Wits and Weights community. Welcome to another bonus episode of the Wits and Weights podcast. This conversation is from my appearance on Sue Bush's Physique Development podcast. You recently heard Sue on this podcast, back in episode 171, where we talked about glute training, while Sue also invited me on her podcast. Thank you. What metabolic adaptation really is versus what it's not, and the most important thing for your health. Enjoy my conversation with Sue Bush on the Physique Development Podcast.

Sue Bush:

We're going to dive into all things nutrition and specifically talking about additive nutrition and flexible dieting and what it looks like when it comes to making sure that your diet is successful overall. And when I use the term diet, obviously that can mean going through a dieting phase, but it can also just mean what you eat as a whole, and so what I wanted to first dive into is why you think that diets fail, and also going into because you had given a stat recently of how often people diet in their life and I thought that it was going to be very helpful for people to hear that, because it was a huge realization for me when you talked about it and I thought that kind of being able to bring it into the conversation would be great.

Philip Pape:

It's funny you start with that because you know, in the podcast world, when we come up with titles for our shows, you're trying to come up with something like helpful but also a little clickbaity at the same time, right To get attention. And I think I was lifting, I'm like how to lose a thousand pounds? Wouldn't that be hilarious? And then I went and started research how often people diet, how much they lose when they're dieting, and there are statistics from the CDC that you can kind of correlate that say, like half of all Americans try to lose weight every single year. And so if you extrapolate it, it's like the average person diets a hundred times or more in their lifetime and loses about 10 pounds on average. With all those diets, there you go A thousand pounds. Everybody loses a thousand pounds in their lifetime.

Philip Pape:

And of course the podcast was tongue in cheek, like that's not the way we want to do it Right, it's not the way we want to do it. So, um, why do they fail? I mean the the first thing that always comes to mind with dieting for me is why do we diet Right? Like why? Rather than asking why did diets fail, it's like why are we dieting at all? And you know. Then then you start to drill into physique and body image and societal expectations and scale weight versus body composition and all of that fun stuff. When it comes down to the true question I think you're asking which is like when people are trying to improve their health and their body and their physique, why do we go about it in such a way that doesn't actually seem to work?

Philip Pape:

I think that's where the deprivation, the restriction, the short-term approaches to dieting are. You know, killing us, like we focus so much on weight, on the scale, and not on muscle which I know we're going to get into later but the cyclical pattern of yo-yo dieting, the way most people do it, is in the absence of any other like positive health practices generally. It's just a singular focus on I got to lose 10 pounds, I got to lose 20 pounds. And then, when you do it, ask yourself like are you happy? Right? I went through that in my twenties and thirties, constantly doing these weird diets, plus the the normal diets everyone knows about, like keto and um, low carb and paleo. I did paleo for like eight years while I was doing CrossFit. You know I did paleo, right, no-transcript. And then, once they do, the approach has to be sustainable. We can get into some details there.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, with you saying that people aren't dieting for the reason they should be dieting or supposed to be dieting. Are you more so saying that when it comes to like, maybe the answer isn't dieting? Are you saying just they're going about that dieting in the incorrect way?

Philip Pape:

Probably a little both. I think a lot of people can stand to focus on things other than calorie restriction and trying to lose weight for their health. That will give them what they actually want, which generally is look great, feel great, perform, function, as we were talking about on our show. Like actually playing with your kids when you're older, but even standing and walking and getting off the toilet when you're older All of these types of things. I joke that I want to croak doing a deadlift when I'm 95.

Philip Pape:

Just the idea of being capable till the day I die doesn't necessarily require dieting most of the time. However, once you've recognized that that maybe muscle and body composition and a healthy lifestyle are important, um, you still may want to lose some excess body fat, as you know. You still might want to come down from either an unhealthy level of body weight for health reasons or just for from a physique standpoint and a leanness standpoint. Nothing wrong with that at all. Right, we've talked about that wanting to look good and feel good and walk around, you know, looking like the best guy on the beach or whatever and in that case, dieting the word dieting is more of an objective, like cutting calories, doing it in a reasonable rate, doing it while keeping your protein high and all the other things that help it happen in a way that's healthy, that doesn't cause muscle loss.

Sue Bush:

Do you think that when people do diet and they go through you talked about that restriction overall that it is that they're trying to just cut calories overall and then they're getting to a spot where they're just restricting themselves more and more and then they're like you said, of not being happy at the end of it but being in a place where maybe that wasn't the correct answer? So when it comes to dieting and if someone's like, okay, I want to lose weight, then how do you tell them what the correct answer is of okay, you should diet or you shouldn't? Or is it really based on how they're going about the dieting and what that looks like like you talked about within health practices overall?

Philip Pape:

So the question is whether someone who is in a good place that wants to lose some weight, how they should go about it, because usually when I start working with a client, right, we definitely don't want to be dieting from day one, just like we talked about on the other show, with setting yourself up for success in the gym and tracking and creating awareness and all of that. I want to know that you have an understanding of your metabolic rate, your expenditure, your movement, your training, your macro and micro balance, any unresolved issues related to your health, you know autoimmune conditions, all of that stuff, which it sounds like an overwhelming list, but I think it's very simple if you just start tracking, if you just start collecting data about yourself, before you then say, okay, I'm in the best place I can be right now that I can go ahead and go into a reasonable calorie deficit. Whatever that is for me, I'm going to do it within my lifestyle, knowing that I have dining out and I have vacations and I have travel and I just want to enjoy myself, and then I can do it in a way that's efficient, like it's not just cutting calories at all costs but actually making swaps, informed choices, choosing things you enjoy, but also thinking about you know, feeling full satiety, managing your hunger, managing your stress, eating enough protein, sleeping enough, all of that good stuff. So that dieting is a very is a much more complex thing than just calories is, I think, where I'm going with that. And we can very much get to the result with a calorie deficit, where the calorie deficit doesn't feel anything like what you used to feel when you did a quote unquote diet in the past.

Sue Bush:

I think a lot of times people just think dieting has to suck and also dieting is a means to an end, which, to some degree, it is a means to an end of, like you're trying to hit a result or a physique that you want to look like, but when it comes to that aspect of dieting needs to suck, they just think that dieting is going to suck, I'm not going to like the foods that I eat and I'm going to lose this weight. And then a lot of times people think and then I'll just be able to go back to how I was living and be able to maintain that weight loss, which I think that could be a whole different conversation when it comes to truly maintaining the weight loss or what it looks like after the dieting phase. But I even recently had some people in my life who they I'm sure you get this if they talk to you about what they're doing within their diet, just because you are someone who coaches and talks about it. So they want to update you on what's going on and talking about how they're like. Well, I'm I'm just making sure that I'm not eating these type of foods and I'm staying away from this and I just like well, I'm just making sure that I'm not eating these type of foods and I'm staying away from this, and I just like.

Sue Bush:

It's really hard, though, because I'm not enjoying anything that I'm doing, and I think that that's one of the biggest reasons that they do fail is just that you're not going about it in a way that is not only going to reap the results that you want, but also in a way that is conducive to your lifestyle and to longevity as a whole and being able to really think about what that looks like. And I know that you are someone who is a fan of flexible dieting, and so I'd love for you to talk a little bit more about that, especially because in that 1,000 Pounds episode you talked about of would you rather cut foods or cut calories, and the most efficient way to reduce calories is to reduce calories, and so I think that kind of goes hand in hand with the aspect of flexible dieting and being able to not look at it of this major restriction that needs to happen, but more so of how we use that flexibility to reap the results we want.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I think flexible dieting is like it's a mindful form of choosing foods so that you can get the objectives you want right, the health and fitness objectives you want, which can differ from person to person. Right For one person it might be strength and performance, for another it might be, you know, leaning out and doing a cut, for another it might be longevity reasons. And so flexible dieting is not only flexible in what you eat, but the approach itself, the levels of tracking, the levels of aggressiveness, whether you can tolerate certain stretches of dieting or not for certain lengths of time. And so I had a great conversation with Alan Aragon. He wrote like he's one of the original pioneers of this topic and wrote a book called Flexible Dieting, where he just harped on that idea that traditional dieting is rigid. It's rigid in the sense that there are rules and there are specific lists of food and there's moral decisions that you're constantly making for right or wrong in your head when you choose a food, and therefore it becomes a personal moral choice, which is awful right, because now you're straining yourself constantly against your nature rather than just balancing things out to hit your goals. So what does that exactly mean? We can cut it down to calories. We can cut it down to micros and macros and specifics like that. I think in one of my episodes I talked about if it fits your macros versus flexible dieting. I think if it fits your macros is kind of a simplistic way to start, but we know that it's not necessarily enough because if you, for example, hit your macros, eating pizza all day, you may not be full and therefore, in a fat loss phase now you want to eat more, right? Or if you hit your macros while getting four hours of sleep like to me, sleep is part of nutrition. It allows you to be, to not get hungry, your hormones stay more regulated and therefore you don't over consume. So it's all integrated and harmonious, if you will. It is about balance and moderation, which you know.

Philip Pape:

Your grandma said eat in moderation, like my wife. When I first met her, she's like it's not hard, you just eat in moderation. And I would laugh at that. Back in the like the paleo days, I'm like no, no, no, no, you got to cut carbs because carbs cause fat storage. And you got to cut this because you know grains have anti-nutrients and plants are bad even because of this and that. And she was like no, you just have to eat in moderation. And I come back to themros.

Philip Pape:

It could be a disaster if you don't have just a little bit of education, and so that's where tracking and being educated on yourself right. To me, tracking is just logging your food and looking at the breakdown of you know, did I get enough protein? Am I getting enough fiber? Am I a little high on my saturated fat? Whatever your goal is, and then just shifting and adding in. You know, I know, additive nutrition is something we'll talk about, but just adding things in to get those numbers where you want them, and it'll start to crowd out these other, these other things and, um, emotional eating cravings, all of that stuff that we think about with diets. A lot of that gets naturally solved when we take that approach. Not all of it does, though. I think there's other tools. We can pull out the toolbox, but at its core, flexible dieting and tracking and numbers ironically teaches you the things like portion control, nutritional awareness and intuitive eating that people put on a pedestal, that are very hard to learn on their own without this sense of awareness.

Sue Bush:

You know I love that you mentioned that, because I get very fired up, I would say, when people talk about intuitive eating and it is people that, at least what I've seen I'm not saying this is everyone, but people that have tracked for years and gained a foundation of information and knowledge about food learned about portion sizes, learned about the moderation then they end up moving away from tracking because they have built up all that information and then they just hammer in intuitive eating and how you should just listen to your body to be able to eat the amounts that you need. And that drives me absolutely bonkers because I'm like first, where did you get there? You had to go through the tracking to be able to get to that point. But it's also the aspect of how can you even begin to think that you can understand food and understand your body's needs if you've never spent any time learning about nutrition and just saying your body is going to know what it needs. It's like I'll tell you a lot of the times when it comes to clients that come to us that haven't tracked before, there's no way that their body knows what their needs because their body is only listening to their mind or only listening to what's in front of them or what tastes good. It's not actually saying my body needs this, because if that was the case, then there wouldn't be an issue with eating in this world and obesity wouldn't be one of the largest things I mean pun, not intended, but happening in society right now. If we could just quote unquote listen to our bodies and to be able to get what we need.

Sue Bush:

So I love that you kind of set up that pathway is to that intuitive eating through that flexible dieting and being able to learn about food, because I think at the base of it there's so much misinformation about food and that is what causes the diets to fail.

Sue Bush:

That's what causes people to go to these extremes is because they don't understand the aspect of food in and of itself, what it can do to you, what good nutrition can actually look like. Because you also talked about cravings, which I think is really important to touch on, where my family will say like well, you used to eat foods like this all the time, and like you say you don't crave those or you don't want those anymore. And I'm like you would be surprised once you are fulfilling your body's true needs and eating enough each day and not having this not only yo-yo in the sense of dieting, but yo-yo in the day-to-day of I eat a lot one day, I eat nothing the next day, and go back and forth of when you actually consistently eat what you need, those cravings really do go out the window and there is a lot less that you turn to because your body does have what it needs overall.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, and I don't think it takes a lot of time or even effort to get to a really solid baseline of that awareness. It's just people don't want to do the initial steps or the hard thing, or they think that, like, tracking food is going to be this tedious thing. And if you're doing, if you're doing anything like this in a way that feels that feels like a constant struggle, then maybe there's a different way to do it and it doesn't mean it's not the right thing to do, like that's. I truly believe that it might come down to the app that you're using or how you're logging, or maybe you're too obsessive and neurotic about logging every single little gram and you just need to step up a level and and log more of, like, the overall ingredients and the meal, like these little hacks that help you make the process itself more enjoyable so that you can get to the nuggets which are learning about you and your signals.

Philip Pape:

And I love what you said, because we had Easter recently and you know all the candy starts flowing for Easter and I used to be a big candy fiend. It was one of my weaknesses, along with ice cream, and ice cream still is, but I have a Ninja creamy to take care of that. So protein ice cream, right. And so we have candy in the house. But if I go eat a piece of candy now, it's almost like you know, one little candy will satisfy whatever craving I might have. That's like primitive and lurking in there from years of when I used to eat it. And then I'm like you know, that's it. I'm good, like let me go. Where's the fruit? Where's the protein? Where's the burger? You know the other stuff tends to satisfy me more and I think the intuitive part that makes sense once you've gotten there is you've collected the data.

Philip Pape:

You've looked at how your body responds. You know that it doesn't respond well when you do X, y and Z. You know your digestion isn't great, your performance isn't great, you don't sleep well. You start to switch those things and see them move in the right direction. That's where the intuition starts to get formed and then you can say, like you did hey, this feels good to me, this nourishes me, this is the fuel part of food that everybody's been talking about. And then it's like a positive, virtuous cycle forever really. At that point where you're like all right, cool, I got this, I'm not going to worry that I'm going to slip into some, you know, um, uh binging craze again, like it used to be, because I can always get back to where I was now and then continue progressing from there.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, 100%. And one thing I also really like to say, within whether it's dieting or just like your nutrition in general, is being able to be strict, not restricted. Where people do look at it of if I'm going to lose weight or if I'm going to be healthy, I need to restrict all of these foods, I need to take all of these away, but instead I like to use the term of being strict Again you have to put effort forth, you have to have I don't want to say rules in place, but you have to have a balance of what that looks like when it comes to your food overall, and then that can allow you to have that flexibility. Through that strictness, through that consistency allows you to have flexibility where someone might think, oh, I just want to be flexible right off the bat. Isn't that what it's about? But even if you take something like a piece of gum is like, if you just take a piece of gum and you bend it in half, it's going to break, but if you put it in, you chew it, you're able to work on it. Then it's like OK, now it can stretch and it can bend and it can do these things.

Sue Bush:

Where, when you want to get to that flexible point. You have to put in some work to get to the point where you might have the range of flexibility that you want overall, and I think that that also, within talking about like restriction, leads into like, just additive nutrition as a whole, which I want to dive into. But since we're talking about flexible dieting and you talked about like, there might be a better way to go about it, I would love to know if you have any tips when it comes to tracking your food to make it easier for you, because one thing that I really recommend to people is anything that you eat regularly, whether it's like you go to Chipotle regularly or you have this meal that you make, or you eat this candy regularly. You go to Chipotle regularly, or you have this meal that you make, or you eat this candy regularly being able to get it logged into MyFitnessPal as far as like you can just search it and it shows up and or, for your meals, being able to have your full meals logged.

Sue Bush:

Because the great thing is, the other night I made a burger and I already had it logged in there and it had like the bun, the burger, or like the meat, the fries, and then like the toppings I had on it. If you have it added as a meal, then when you go to track it, even if the amounts change, it just tracks everything and then you can change the individual amounts versus like. There's nothing that discourages me more than when something isn't already like logged in as a meal not saying like pre-logging everything, but even just in there as a meal and then I'm like I have to put in each ingredient one by one, and then that's where I, even as someone who has tracked for many years and understands the benefit of it, I see myself getting discouraged of I don't want to log every single ingredient for this meal. So do you have any tips or things that you do or clients do to be able to help when it comes to that flexible dieting or tracking?

Philip Pape:

Yeah, sure, no, a ton of hit hacks come to mind that are pretty common things. So the first one is definitely just logging when you eat. Don't wait till the end of the day, definitely in the first week or two. Oftentimes I'm working with a client and they're like I forgot to track, I was going to do it at 8 pm and I just didn't do it. I'm like oh, 8 pm. No, you ate eight, five times today, right, so let's log right when you eat. It's going to take like 30 seconds and it's not going to be a big deal. And, by the way, when you look at screen time on your phone, you can validate how much time it actually takes you to log your food and you'll see it's probably not that much once you get going. That's one thing. Another is you kind of alluded to that eating similar foods or meals or recipes frequently and then having the ability to copy paste or just pull that right out of whatever app you're using can definitely be helpful, and just eating in a routine generally is helpful for that and also for consistency and also for your metabolism, even because you know research has shown that, like consistently eating the similar times and similar amounts gives your body, that sense of safety where the metabolic rate tends to stay a little higher.

Philip Pape:

Here's another one. Some people will. If they'll have a salad and they'll have 15 ingredients, they'll log every single ingredient. You don't necessarily have to do that. You can log it either as a salad in a common database, like just find house salad and just log it for the total amount, or just pick the high calorie macro containing ingredients and just log those. So like if my wife cooks a lot and she'll put in 10 ingredients, I'm just going to visually look and say, okay, you've got a pasta in there, you've got a meat and you've got like a green vegetable and a different vegetable and there might be eight other vegetables. I'm just going to log a few of them, but make sure the total grams match, you know. And that gets you in the ballpark, because research has shown that like 30% over or under is actually good enough to be consistent with your um body mass goals versus not tracking at all. It's a huge tolerance we have, so don't sweat it.

Philip Pape:

And then the last thing is logging in grams. A lot of people don't do that. They'll log in ounces or tablespoons or cups or something like that. If you can log everything in grams. It gives you a normalized kind of unit in your head for what things look like. So then when you go to a restaurant you know that's 100 grams of rice, that's 150 grams of chicken and that's 75 grams of broccoli, kind of in your head close enough, and you can log it later in like two seconds. Um, yeah, I could go on, but those are some that come to mind.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, I love those, and it's one that another favorite of mine is, especially when going out to eat and this mainly is when people are a little they've tracked for at least a little bit is that if you have a meal and you're like, I don't want to track all these ingredients, you can track just protein, carbs and fats, and so I have that as a search thing that I can just search protein. I'm like this looks like roughly 30 grams of protein. Put that in. Instead of being like, okay, let me find chicken breast or let me find burger and let me find where that goes in, I'll just be like I can take a rough estimate and say that this is around 30 grams of protein, around 50 grams of protein, around 15 grams of fat and then around 50 grams of carbs, and that's something where, again, it is going to take some practice to get that nailed down.

Sue Bush:

But, especially with eating out, I always overestimate on fats, on what that looks like and pushing that up. So that just always helps. Instead of being like, oh, I need to find this, or maybe this restaurant doesn't have its nutrition information, instead of being like, oh, I need to find this, or maybe this restaurant doesn't have its nutrition information. It's like let's use just our educated guess of what the process has allowed us to have, which then again translates into that intuitive eating because you can say, you can look at the meal, say this is what I need and then move on from it.

Philip Pape:

I do have one other thing that comes to mind, since you mentioned the whole like trying to be trying to make it more time efficient. The principle of all of this is is friction. You know, friction versus action. Like you want to take an action, but then there's these things that, these roadblocks in the way as you're taking that that make you say, oh, here we go again. You know, the app crashes or it takes too long or, like you said, too long to find something in a database.

Philip Pape:

Just the tool that you're using because it's so important, because food logging is a thing you're going to be doing a lot, just like a barbell is an important tool when you're training. It has to be the right one for you and not have that level of friction. So my clients and I, we all use an app called Macrofactor. I love that app over all the other ones. That's just me. But I love it because it has a low level of friction. It's very fast Um and and it also can calculate your metabolism based on what you eat. But, um, the main thing I like about it is it doesn't shame you in any way when you're like over or under calories. It doesn't have any sort of um adherence, um notifications, and some people stress over that. Some people stress over like, down to the, down to the calorie and down to the macro. And I'm telling you you can never be perfect on the calories and macros. No, the FDA, even if you try, you just can't.

Sue Bush:

You would have to eat single ingredient whole foods and have everything tracked I mean measured and tracked to an absolute T to even get close to being 100% accurate. Because if we look at the FDA, when it comes to any of the food that you buy at the grocery store, there is a huge variance on what is shown on the nutrition label. And major surprise fact which I didn't know, when products go on the shelf they don't get checked. When they go on the shelf, it could be years and years down the line and they just have a random checking process to look at things. And I specifically remember a few years ago that there was this like popcorn snack type of thing and people were like I can't believe the macros are so good. And it came out later that like the macros and the nutrition was like completely wrong. It was like it was saying it was 50 calories and it was like 300 calories and all this other stuff.

Sue Bush:

So you cannot control what that looks like within the labels and there is a huge variance in that of what is allowed. I believe it's up to a 25 or 30% variance and then there's different rules of like. Okay, if it's under 0.5, you can say it has zero fat, or if it's this amount, then you can say it has this. So there's so much in that that you can't be perfect and I don't take that. A lot of times people take that as discouraging of like I can't be perfect, so why try? And I take it of like I can't be perfect, so like, why sweat it? Like, just do what I know I can Again control the controllables, do the actions I know are best, not trying to like cheat on something and then go from there.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, for sure. And the thing about not cheating on anything like don't cheat yourself, because when you lie to these apps, you're just lying to yourself and it's going to slow you down for being able to get the data you're looking to get.

Sue Bush:

So when it comes to additive nutrition, how does that either differ or kind of build upon flexible dieting as a whole?

Philip Pape:

I mean, it's a very simple concept. It's the idea that when you look at your, let's say, you log your food for yesterday and you look at your food logging app and you know that you have a goal of eating 120 grams of protein because that's what you think you need for building muscle, for holding on to your muscle and phallus whatever tells you the number you've you ate 40 grams of protein. Well, you know there's a gap of what? 80 grams. And so additive nutrition is just saying where are the gaps in toward the guidelines or goals that we're setting for ourself in this flexible approach? Because, again, there is strictness I guess you called it right. There are guidelines that we have, but then within that, we're flexible where we say, okay, what is one thing I can do today to add protein in somewhere? And the best opportunities are the ones where you don't have very much protein.

Philip Pape:

To begin with and that might be breakfast, a mid-morning snack. For most people, they have very little protein. And then the next question is okay, how do I get that protein? All right, now I get to go down the fun rabbit hole of protein sources and you've got meat and dairy and plants and all this wonderful food out there that tastes great.

Philip Pape:

You're not depriving yourself, you're not dieting, you're not eating diet foods. You're not eating packaged foods that's labeled as like healthy, which is one of the worst things in the grocery store, in my opinion. You're just trying to find sources of protein, adding it in, and, lo and behold, when you add in a bunch of protein, it fills you up and't all of a sudden don't have room for something else in that meal and generally, over time, it'll start to displace the things that we often think of as not as great for you or bad or whatever. You know the labels we used to put on ourselves. But it's the things that don't make our bodies feel great. We start to replace them with things that do. That's really all that is.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, and I really like to think of additive nutrition also, of when it comes to like. The other day I went over to my parents and my sister had made a banana bread with chocolate chips in it and it was like fresh out of the oven. So it's like must eat, obviously, and in that instance I'd like packed a meal to eat when I got there because I, like, still needed to hit my protein goals, still needed to get more food in, and so, instead of saying I can't have this banana bread because that doesn't fit my macros, I thought what can I add to this banana bread to make it a more substance meal as a whole? And so what I did is I had actually, I always, you know, pack more than I need, because I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Of that, I had brought a Chobani shake with me, which is just a yogurt shake and they have 20 grams of protein, and so instead of having, like, my beef and rice meal that I had packed, I was like I'm just going to eat this banana bread that's going to cover my carbs and fats and then I'm going to add in this Chobani shake. So instead of telling myself you can't have banana bread, it's saying how can I add to this to make it more nutritious? And so I think of that and a lot of factors of like I love tortilla chips. Like there's not a day that goes by that I do not body some tortilla chips. They're just a part of my life.

Sue Bush:

At this point I am part tortilla chip, and with that it's something where I would have thought years ago that, like you can't have tortilla chips as part of, like, a healthy diet and lifestyle. And then, instead of thinking like, oh, normally I would just sit here with the salsa and the chips and body a whole bag. I like to think of like okay, let me instead add these tortilla chips to my meal. So instead of having 12 servings of tortilla chips, I might have one serving, but I eat it with my meal. Maybe I have a little bit less rice in my meal, if that's what it calls for to have the tortilla chips, but it's like I'd rather add those to the meal. I can use those as my little spoons and I can eat them every single day, and so that also helps when I go and there's some place where there is just chips and salsa. I don't feel like I need to body it because I haven't restricted myself from that. I have added it to something else that might be more nutritious or more filling.

Sue Bush:

Because the fact of the matter is, if I just eat a whole bag of tortilla chips, I probably first don't feel the best, my digestion doesn't feel the best, my energy doesn't feel the best, I probably am guilting myself a little bit.

Sue Bush:

There's a lot of emotions that come with eating a full bag of tortilla chips, but with that, if I am able to be in a place where I have, like my turkey, I have a good source of protein.

Sue Bush:

I'm getting carbs from the rice, getting carbs from the tortilla chips, getting some fats from the tortilla chips. Then I have some spinach in there. Then I'm eating this and I think I am the epitome of health because I'm eating this meal with spinach in it, but I'm really just enjoying foods that I like to eat, and I think that that is how you can really look at things. Instead of saying I can't have this. It's how do I make this a part of it, and that's one of my favorite parts of when I help people through like their tracking journeys or through learning about food is showing them like there's no food that's necessarily off limits, unless it's something that, like you, personally cannot eat. Like for me, dairy is pretty much off limits because it just does not make me feel great. But it's the aspect of how do you pair these things with other things to make it more whole, instead of just thinking that this is the only way that I can eat that food.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, actually that's a great example. Today for lunch I was in a hurry and we had leftover pizza and instead of eating four slices of pizza, okay, I had two with some Greek yogurt and a banana and a protein shake and I was like, okay, there we go. So, which leads me to one other little hack about food logging. If you have an app that shows you what percentage you are against your macros throughout the day, keeping them in balance is like a fun game you can play as you're doing this. So if it's a thing, if it's an indulgence you want in your like 20% of your indulgences, because that's generally the ratio I like is the 80-20, right, you can just take that tortilla chips and say, okay, I know that's going to contribute to the fat and carbs. And now the protein fell behind. What am I going to add in to get the protein to catch up and kind of play that game?

Sue Bush:

Yeah, 100%. Now you did mention something as far as the term healthy on foods and grocery stores, and I think that this is a good little rabbit hole to go through, because I think that the term healthy is often misunderstood, obviously, but it's the aspect of, I think, even healthy foods versus macro-friendly foods, where I had a client recently and she was like, oh my gosh, I went on Pinterest and I found this recipe and it said like healthy beef stew or whatever, and she put it into MyFitnessPal and it was like it showed the calories and everything. She was like, wow, that seems really high because it was like 600 calories per serving and it was just like way more than she thought for something that was labeled healthy. Then she found like another recipe, put it in, and it was like half of that when it came to the calorie allotment. And she was asking me of like, well, how do I kind of navigate through this? Because it was said that it was a healthy beef stew.

Sue Bush:

So before I was tracking, I would have just made that and said like I'm being healthy, so how do I navigate around that? And I really talked through the process of there are foods that are healthy and then there's foods that macro friendly. Those can coexist of healthy foods can be macro friendly, but we don't need to just whittle down healthy to meaning that it's going to be lower calorie because things can be healthy, but again in a larger amount it can be too much for us overall. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on just the term healthy as a whole.

Philip Pape:

I think it's a matter of context. Right, and like you kind of alluded to it, If, if I gave you a small handful of almonds, would you call that healthy or not? Now, if you ate a bag of almonds twice a day, that probably would not contribute to an over healthy. You know macro friendly approach, because you're probably far exceeding your fat and calories. So it's a. It's really about context, Just like if I'm going to have a cupcake at a birthday party, in the context of 80% of my day is whole foods. That's part of a healthy dietary pattern. It's also mentally healthy.

Philip Pape:

Like I think there's an aspect of mental health to it too, so you can't label any one thing as healthy. We do use the word. The problem with this whole industry is semantics. Right, you can misuse words, even the restriction, deprivation, strict, like different people use them in different ways, so we have to define them. But for me, healthy is did you make the choice, does it satisfy you and are you doing it guilt-free as part of your overall healthy dietary pattern? And then it's healthy. That's my opinion.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, I love those qualifiers and I do hate that I even do have to put like so many qualifiers on what I say or what I put out there and part of me gets annoyed of just like I'm just going to say what I want to say and people are going to misread me or be dedicated to not understanding regardless. But because I feel like there is so much misinformation about nutrition, I don't want to contribute to the problem and just be putting out stuff that's just catchy or that people understand. But it's difficult because not only semantics but there's a connotation with each word that someone might understand. So if I say something is healthy, then someone is going to say like okay, I'm going to go ahead and make this. She said it was good for me.

Sue Bush:

X, y and Z Versus like if I give you a recipe and I'm just like here is my burrito recipe. Versus me saying here's my healthy burrito recipe, even if it's the exact same recipe have very different connotations to them and are going to be perceived very differently as well. And so I find it hard to navigate when I'm trying to talk about food, when I'm trying to define food, when people are asking questions or even just when I want people to be drawn to something. Like you mentioned at the beginning of it, you want to find something that is going to be a little bit click-baity to get someone in, but you also want to use words that people are familiar with to be able to get them in the door, and so it kind of feels like a catch 22 to me of trying to navigate what that looks like and really being able to speak about food and nutrition clearly.

Philip Pape:

That's why I like podcasts, because you get the long form content. I mean, what came to mind? Oh, weight loss versus fat loss, like that's another one I get hung up on all the time because weight loss is such a attractive term to get views and attention, and yet I cringe myself personally, just because of how I like to distinguish it from fat loss. But I will use weight loss in titles and in copy, but not necessarily with the direct intent of telling you here's how to lose weight, but more like in the context of how we use weight loss. And then I'm going to shift your thinking over to what is maybe a better approach.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, I agree with that. It's kind of fun.

Philip Pape:

It's kind of fun. I'm going to look at the positive side of it and just be like hey look, let's have conversations and let's figure it out together. And that's where podcasts are superior, in my opinion, to like 30 second reels.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, I love being able to like, explain, give context to something, be able to give this iteration, and then, when it comes to short form content, I am always between a push and pull of how do I get people in the door to be able to tell them more, but how do I also make sure that I'm staying true to like my morals, how I want people to perceive food and how I want people to look at it. Because if I talk about, like, the problem being that everyone's just labeling things of here's this healthy recipe or this is healthy for you, then I don't want to be in a place that people get confused of. Well then, how do I know what one thing is versus the other? Because everyone's using these terms that are so easily understood or perceived by someone of what the connotation is. But yeah, long form is definitely my jam in that of just being able to explain things more thoroughly, give a backstory and being able to go from there.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, I think a baseline that I like to start from is any food in the world can be part of a healthy diet. That's the baseline I start from. So if you take that assumption, if you just connect those two ideas in your head right and you say, okay, any food, like any food, packaged food, candy, I don't care, any food in the world can be within a healthy diet, then it's like, oh interesting, okay Now, now what does that mean? And you start to unravel the word health in that context, cause then no one food is healthy or not healthy.

Sue Bush:

Yeah or no. One food is good or bad. Yeah, exactly Now, within tracking, do you see tracking food and lifting as a form of self-care?

Philip Pape:

Yeah, do I see it as a form of self-care? Yes, I think that's a good one. I don't want to give you a yes or no answer just off the top of my head here. Um, I think if you do those things, like any tool, in a way that serves you, they are definitely a form of self-care. That's, that's the way I'm going to put it right now.

Philip Pape:

Lifting weights, I think, is just by default, a form of self-care, because I love it so much. However, I do think you could overdo anything you could. You could do anything to excess. You can overtrain, you can like um, you know, screw yourself on your recovery and all of that. Similarly with tracking food. We've talked about this a lot. It creates awareness around your habits and your choices, teaches you about yourself and, at the end of the day, we know this as coaches.

Philip Pape:

No two people are alike, because there are a million variables in a human life.

Philip Pape:

You know how you live your life, your schedule, your situation, your context, what's going on, your injury history, and the list goes on and on, and so anything that progresses yourself as a person is good for your self-care.

Philip Pape:

Now, I don't remember where you might have pulled this question out from my podcast. But when I think of lifting, I think I've specifically said like lifting can be a form of self-care, just because of the process of improvement and the mental resilience that it creates and the mental health aspect of it, as well as the mindfulness of the act itself. Like I like to lift with no music and I like to really focus on the lift. You don't have to do it that way, but for me it's like a habit stack form of meditation and lifting altogether, and then the result you get from building muscle just is a no-brainer when it comes to is it for self-care? And then tracking food is just we've touched on it already. I think you know being aware of who you are and how you respond, and then having the freedom and the power to choose what works for you.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, very well put and I did just. I wanted to touch on it because I think that oftentimes people might think of self-care as like, okay, I took a bubble bath or I did whatever it may be, instead of thinking of like literally taking care of yourself is self-care and, like you said, that can manifest in multiple ways. But I think so often I see people not taking care of their bodies, not taking care of what they put in their bodies, and then they're talking about self-care and it's like you're missing a huge piece to the puzzle here of like actually taking care of yourself. And again, that comes across multiple, like a lot of multitudes as a whole. But I just think it is so important to recognize that, when self-care is so prevalent nowadays, of like literally take care of yourself and that is how you have self-care yeah, it's like the oxygen mask on the airplane, like take care of yourself or else you can't take care of others.

Philip Pape:

And I I'm sure a lot of who you and I speak to are like midlife individuals where the chronic stress is at an all-time high. You know you have a lot of obligations financially with your family. You might be the sole breadwinner or the sole caregiver and you make I don't want to say excuses, it's just it's gotten to the point where you're trying to fit everything in and spending an hour in the gym seems like you know how am I going to fit that in? Or is it worth it? Tracking my food? It seems like this extra effort that I have to take, but I assure you the amount of effort it takes up front in those is going to pay off in significant savings in effort, stress capability, sleep time, everything else. Later on it really will Like. Just being healthier means you're not going to get sick and injured nearly as much as the next person right.

Philip Pape:

I mean, I've seen in just in my own life with two, two girls who you know they get sick, they bring home bugs and stuff like that. I hardly ever get sick like I used to, just because I'm overall healthy.

Philip Pape:

And I see that a lot with with people you know, and nutrition as well, like if you have all your micronutrients in there, your vitamin C or you're zinc and all the other nutrients. Those things help with your immune system. So, yes, um, actually that ties to tracking food. If you can track to the level of awareness of, like nutrient deficiencies, that can also be empowering for your health and your self-care.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, Well, to wrap it up, I have two more questions here. So one is are there any hot topics related to nutrition and what we've specifically talked about that we haven't hit on yet?

Philip Pape:

So there's the obvious, like carbs and stuff like that, but I think I'm going to go. I think I want to touch on metabolic adaptation. Okay, if that's okay. Yeah Right, because there's this in the fitness industry, there's a massive marketing language around fixing your metabolism, fixing your broken metabolism, right Reboot your metabolism.

Philip Pape:

Reboot or reversing or, you know, I mean some words are more are maybe appropriate, like recover or upregulate that maybe is more appropriate. But people talk about fixing your metabolism and you hear, you know you talk about reverse dieting, how it's often portrayed as this magic thing where you can, you know, bring up your metabolism to higher than it was before and then you can diet for more calories. And the answer is no, it doesn't work that way. Metabolic adaptation is just a natural thing. That happens. It happens in response to the calorie restriction. It could also happen in response to overtraining, overexercise, too much chronic cardio, not enough sleep, too much stress, and sometimes you smush all of it together in a dieting phase, especially if you're not doing it right, and you get this severe drop in your metabolism. So we have to understand that it exists. There's nothing you can do about it. However, you can still increase your expenditure, you can still quote unquote burn more calories in a safe, healthy we'll use that word healthy way.

Philip Pape:

That isn't reversing metabolic adaptation, it's just, you know, telling your body that it has a little bit less stress and it can relax and stop hoarding resources so much. Because it all comes down to the cellular level. It comes down to mitochondria. You know everything you threaten your body with. They go into, you know, hunker down mode and start to conserve calories, whether it's you're running too much, you're not sleeping enough, you drink too much alcohol, like there's certain things that ramp that in the direction we don't want it to go.

Philip Pape:

So, recognizing metabolic adaptation exists and that during dieting your metabolism will inevitably go down all things equal. Having information, tracking your food, tracking your weight all those things again is going to give you the power to know that that is happening and also to know that other choices you make can sort of work around that, like a higher step count or not doing all that cardio or eating more protein even can help it out, or eating consistently or not, training fasted or or or. There's so many lists of things. It's going to vary for you and what you need to work on, but I want people to know that you can't fix your metabolism, but the power is in knowing your metabolism at all and being able to work around it with these other choices.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, and it's being able to just even if you can't technically quote fix your metabolism. It's like what can I do again to better my health? What can I do? Because they all, like everything, is going to push together to be able to get you to that point, like, if you can get some better sleep, if you can make sure that you're fueling yourself enough, if you can do some of these I'm not going to call them easy, but they are simple things to be able to better your overall health. That's going to make your overall health better, including your metabolism, including your mindset, including your physique. It is going to all attribute and contribute to that and I think far too often people try to put it on an island of its own. And it's like all of this works together. The human body all works together and the more positive inputs you can put in, the more it's going to help it. Now, to what degree is going to differ, but the more it's going to help it.

Philip Pape:

Just generally, yeah, and if you can set that all up before you try to diet. That's kind of going back to what we first started on conversation and you know you're in that state of okay, everything's clicking, I'm doing the things I want to do, I have my practices in place. You know I've pushed my comfort zone where it needs to be. I'm good. Now let's go to that calorie deficit. Now you know your metabolism is probably going to decline, might go up and down, but it's going to decline.

Philip Pape:

You can keep up with it and you can make the trade-off. Do I want to go really aggressive, knowing that it can drop even further but the duration will be short? Or do I want to stretch it out, knowing that I can eat more but it's going to take longer? And that's really it, like it's simple math and you are going to respond differently than the next person. But if you have the data like if I'm your coach and I see your data I can tell exactly what's happening and we can avoid those plateaus quote unquote like we talked about before. We can avoid those because we know how your body responds and in my opinion, there's no right or wrong answer. You know, some people want like a four week mini cut and some people want, you know, a 16 week. Take it easy type of cut and metabolic adaptation and understanding your metabolic rate comes into that.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, a hundred percent, and this is a question that you asked on your podcast, which I'm going to take with me moving forward. But what is one question you wished that I asked and your answer we didn't get?

Philip Pape:

into the whole muscle building thing. So I guess the question might be, the question would be like what's the one thing that I think is the most important, I guess, for your health? And I hate to be binary like that, but I've I've come around to the idea that, you know, we're not overweight as so much as we're under muscled, right, the idea that just having more muscle, even if you spend six months gaining a little bit, you know, in a very conservative surplus, and gaining muscle and I like six months as a minimum Um, you're going to have huge benefits from that for like years to come. Just that six months, that is a very little blip of your life, but it's going to make dieting easier, it's going to make fat loss easier, you're going to feel better, you're going to have better mental health, you're going to be more functional, like the list goes on and on.

Philip Pape:

And then you get the bug, and that's what I love about it. You get the bug. You get the bug of going to the gym and seeing your lifts go up, of feeling stronger, of being the best looking person on the beach, whatever it is for you, and it just feeds itself like an upward spiral to everything else you do, and everything we talked about today in the food side just gets a lot easier. And the intuitive side of it even gets easier as well, because now you're eating in a way that's in tune with trying to perform better, lift more, build more muscle. I just think it's a spectacular thing and I encourage everybody to do it.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, I kind of agree more. I encourage everyone to be able to gain muscle and just I try to talk about all of the benefits and things that's brought into my life of again, not only just the process and what it can do once you're in the gym, but just how helpful muscle on your physique can be for all of those things that you listed.

Philip Pape:

Yeah, totally no. Yeah, I can't shut up about it. That's me. And one last thing with muscle building, I did an episode on mental health in I think it was in November and when I was doing the research, it turns out that the process of building muscle has longer lasting effects on your mental health than any psychological intervention, according to some of these studies that compare them and long I mean long lasting, like many, many months, compared to interventions which tend to be short term and have to be repeated. So keep that in mind. For people who have, you know, symptoms of anxiety or depression or whatnot, walking and strength training can be huge in improving those naturally.

Sue Bush:

Yeah, I can personally attest to that as well.

Philip Pape:

Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Wits and Weights. If you found value in today's episode and know someone else who's looking to level up their wits or weights, please take a moment to share this episode with them and make sure to hit the follow button in your podcast platform right now to catch the next episode. Until then, stay strong.

The Truth About Dieting and Health
Effective and Sustainable Weight Loss Practices
Benefits of Flexible Dieting Approach
Importance of Nutrition and Flexible Dieting
Tips for Flexible Dieting and Tracking
Flexible Nutrition Strategies for Health
Navigating the Semantics of Healthy Eating
Understanding Metabolic Adaptation and Muscle Building

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