125: #125 - What Is My Set-point Weight, Non-Starchy Vegetables, and Are Beets Starchy? - with Jonathan Bailor!
October 30, 2019
Welcome back to the podcast! Today's guest is best-selling author and health expert Jonathan Bailor! He is the Founder and CEO of SANESolution, the world’s fastest growing metabolic healing and Diabesity treatment company. He founded the field of Wellness Engineering and authored the New York Times best seller The Calorie Myth and The Setpoint Diet, starred in and produced the award-winning movie BETTER, has registered over 26 patents, and has spoken at Fortune 100 companies and TED conferences for over a decade. His work has been endorsed and implemented by top doctors from Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, and UCLA. Enjoy!
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Hey, guys, I'm so excited for this week's episode, I'm thrilled for my next guest. He is a New York Times best selling author, nutrition and an exercise expert, a wellness entrepreneur and former personal trainer who specializes in using modern science and technology to simplify wellness. And that's exactly what we need. We need to simplify things because things are just, you know, going in one direction after another. So welcome, Jonathan Beyler. Thank you so much for having me. So let's talk a little bit about your own wellness journey. How did you kind of help your own health and your own wellness journey led you to develop this same program?
My journey started when I was I was very, very young. There was a catastrophic experience with the amputation of my grandfather's leg and his death, which we won't get into because it's dark, but we'll talk.
So that was part of it.
But the less dark part of it was so growing up, I was very, very ashamed of my body. I was I really wanted to be like my older brother. I have a brother who's 10 years older than I am, and he was incredibly good at sports. And I was really I was bullied very, very badly in middle school and high school. And so I wanted to be big and strong like my brother. I wanted to be able to have, for lack of better terms, defending myself. And I was very ashamed that the way I looked in the way I was treated. So I did all kinds of crazy things and stick with me here in an effort to gain weight because I wanted to be bigger to protect myself. I was I was taking all sorts of things which are now illegal. This was a long time ago when they were still legal and not not that long ago, but like in the late 90s. And I couldn't for the life of me, gain weight. And I had this moment when I was I was a personal trainer and I was working at Bally Total Fitness in Columbus, Ohio, to pay my way through college. And I was sitting across the desk from one of my clients. And this was a woman who was 20, 30 years my senior. She was an incredible professional and a mother, I mean, just like obviously very good at life. And she's sitting there crying, saying, Jonathan, what's wrong with me? What's wrong with me? Just crying, sobbing because I have run a twelve hundred calorie diet. I have her exercising for two plus hours a day. She can't get her body to do what she wants it to do, which is to get smaller. And in that moment I said to myself, Jonathan, you're eating six thousand calories a day and taking all this nonsense into your body and you can't get bigger like it's not an effort problem on your side. And it sure as hell not an effort on her side. How is this like this doesn't add up. This calorie math doesn't add up. So that was a huge inflection point for me. I quit being a personal trainer because I couldn't help myself. I couldn't help others. I have to college professor parents. So I had some long conversations with them. They encouraged me to examine the source of the information that I was using. And it's I then went on a fifteen year journey working in university libraries just as a as a hobby to and working with top researchers at Harvard Medical School, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, so on and so forth. I looked at over thirteen hundred research studies involving neurobiology, how your brain works, gastroenterology, how your digestive system works and endocrinology, your hormones to really understand why it is that so many of us. Feel one ashamed about our bodies, and then two, cannot get them to do what we want them to do, be it get bigger or smaller or stay the same and discovered some pretty incredible things. And that led to sane solution, which is the name of my company, which exists today, a couple of books which have done pretty well. And now we're just on a journey to debunk all the shame based myths that are out there really complicating our lives.
Wow. So let's talk about you. What is I love to ask people what they do in their personal life select for you. What does your eating look like? Like do you what do you do for working out? What would you say that is?
Before I answer that question, I really want to. I think it's critical to understand that I do what I do because it works for me.
This is not a recommendation. So I'm a very odd person and I lead a very odd lifestyle. What I'm about to describe is not a recommendation. It's what works for me. And honestly, that's the secret. The secret is everyone wants to go, myself included.
I want to go to the person at the gym who looks the way I want to look, figure out what they do. First of all, they're going to lie to you and they're going to and they're never going to tell you that. And I'm just going to be candid. The guys are never going to tell you they're on steroids and the girls are never going to tell you that they're taking coke or things along those lines.
And that's a lot more common than you think it is, right? These people who are like really, really thin or really, really muscular, you're like, hmm, there's something else going on there.
That's the dirty little secret that no one else wants to talk about. So I want to be straight with you and say that, look, I eat exactly what we talk about, eating insane solution, which is non starchy vegetables, nutrient dense protein, whole food fats and low fructose fruits in that order. Now I work a lot and because I work a lot, I eat the same stuff over and over again. And I cook all my food on weekends and I have a one year old daughter. So that further constrains my time. So in the mornings I don't really eat much breakfast. I'm not hungry. In the mornings I have like a little. Concoction of super foods that I drink just to get a bunch of nutrients in my body, usually sometime before noon, I have another Shakr smoothie of sorts, which has a tremendous amount of wholefood fats in it. It's usually a combination of coconut blended with chia seeds, blended with some egg white protein powder, blended with some of our ah, some of our products that help it to taste better. I drink that. I also usually have a green smoothie to get my vegetable intake increased sometime in the afternoon. I have a seafood concoction that I make in bulk and I very much enjoy eating. I usually have some vegetables with that. I really enjoy the polic burgers that Costco sells, so I'll usually have some of those. And then dinner is usually again some sort of fish with with vegetables and it's really that simple, really helps them.
Well, in your same program. What is the main focus like you had to give us? Like these are the top three things that you focus on.
Give us a little glimpse behind the program from a dietary perspective or from an overall life perspective.
OK, so from a dietary perspective, the number one thing is a tremendous amount of non starchy vegetables.
Everyone wants to talk about fat or protein or carbs, blah, blah, blah, eat more vegetables than anything else. And that's the one thing that nobody does.
So and it's the one thing that everyone agrees radically transform your health and focus on non starchy vegetables. So if it grows, if it's a potato, that's a starch. Right. Corn is a starch. So you want to focus on non starchy vegetables. Non starchy vegetables are often vegetables that you could eat raw. You do not have to eat them raw, but you could eat them raw. They often grow above ground, non starchy vegetables, dietary tip number one. But even above that, from a macro tip perspective, is the entire Sain solution is about understanding that a higher quality of life is possible for you.
But all the nutrition and exercise information in the world is not going to do a lick of good if you do not believe that you are worth a higher quality of life. I don't know if you have time to like, really get in this on the show, but if you. Have a Ferrari in your driveway. You're probably not going to put the cheapest, most garbage, low grade fuel in the gas tank possible. A lot of us don't understand that we are Ferraris, and that is not like woo woo, whatever, whatever the reality is, there is no whatever your belief system is, there is no logical explanation for why you exist. Period. None, zero if you believe in a God. He or she could have made any number of people, but he or she chose to make you, if you don't believe in a God, then a tremendous amount of things had to line up. An incalculable amount of things had to line up for you to exist. Right. If your parents didn't rendezvous at the exact moment they rendezvoused, you wouldn't exist. And if you think about all the things that had to happen leading up to that, so all of us are the definition of a miracle because there is no logical explanation for our existence. But we live in a materialistic society that tells us that unless we buy more, do more or have more, we're fundamentally bad and everything about us needs to be better. If you think about it, even the self-esteem movement, the concept of self esteem means that we're not inherently good. If you have to have self-esteem, that means you could possibly not have self-esteem. So we're really on a mission to help people understand that by definition you are extremely high quality. And once you understand that you are high quality, that makes a lot of this nutrition and exercise stuff somewhat irrelevant. Because, look, if you if you decide to become a vegan, I'm not saying that's good or bad. But if you decide to do that, you don't have to decide every day whether or not you're going to eat meat. It's not a struggle anymore because you've made one macro distinction that makes every other or many other choices irrelevant. So once you have the macro transformation that you, as you exist today, are more than enough, you are excellent. Living a life of excellence becomes not only easy, but enjoyable. So that's really important. So the vegetables become really easy to eat once you understand that they're high quality food and your high quality.
So vegetables very important from a dietary perspective, understanding the fundamental quality of you as an individual and overcoming any trauma that's standing in the way of that, overcoming any shame that standing in the way of that key thing.
Number two and key point number three is that the science is very clear that the amount of love and connection in your life is probably more important than anything you could do from a nutrition perspective, meaning that you could eat, quote unquote perfectly. But if you feel unloved and unsupported in the world, it will not matter.
So good. So good. All right. Well, let's ask one more question before we jump right into the listener questions. I know you talk about a person setpoint weight. Can you explain to the listeners what that is and how it affects their ability to lose weight?
Everything in your body and in every body, meaning every biological species on the planet, can only exist if we're in a range. So a good example of this just globally is temperature. If you think about it, there is an infinite number of temperatures that are above one hundred and thirty degrees Fahrenheit and there is an infinite number of temperatures that are below negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Isn't it amazing that our planet doesn't really hit any of those and that we stay in this tiny little range and because we stay in that range, human life and all the other life on our planet can exist? That's amazing, right? So the same kind of experience exists in your body. Everything calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, name, anything in your body. It either has to stay in a tiny range or you die. Period. It's that simple, right? So your body has a a we call it a set point, but you could think of it as a set range if you want. But let's use the term set point. Your brain, your gut and your hormones are always communicating about what the current status of of various substances are in your body. Are they going up? Are they going down? And then it will take actions to balance it so that it stays in that range. That applies to everything. Everything, right. In fact, diabetes is the breakdown of your body's automatic ability to maintain blood sugar in this range. Depression is the breakdown of your body's ability to maintain serotonin in a certain range. Hypertension is the breakdown of your body's ability to keep blood pressure within a certain range. So in a lot of ways, diseases are just names for your body's ability to maintain various set points. That's all they are. So your weight is not even though you've been told this your whole life, different than every other thing in your body. Right. Everything else in your body, like you don't need to count milligrams of vitamin C in and milligrams of vitamin C out. You don't need to monitor the concentration of estrogen in your bloodstream. Similarly, if your brain and hormones are working properly, your body will balance calories in, calories out and your weight around a healthy weight.
Now, what's happened is because a lot of us live low quality lives, not because we're low quality, but because we've been given low quality information.
We have information, we have inflammation in our brain, inflammation in our dysregulation, in our microbiome or our gut, and imbalances in our hormones that causes our body's ability to balance our weight around a healthy set point to break down and that Setpoint range becomes elevated. And because our body is, for lack of better terms, confused and would rather air on the side of not starving to death, it's going to hold on to an excess amount of body fat for protection. So things that would normally cause your body to regulate your appetite appropriately, break down your body, essentially forces you to eat too much and burn too little. But it's not because you're weak or stupid. It's because your body is pushing you to do that in a way that is. Impossible to fight, it would be like trying to fight your body's desire to go to the bathroom or to sleep, you can't just choose not to breathe. If your body really wants you to do something, you're going to do it. So your set point weight is a range that your body will fight to keep you with them. No matter what diet you go on, no matter what supplement you take in, no matter how much crosthwaite you do. The key is not to try to fight against that range, which is what we've all been taught. The key is to change that range. And you don't change that range by hacking your body or fighting your body. You change that range by healing your body. And that's the key distinction.
Wow. Well, this question came in today and I think it's appropriate for you. This is from Shandra and Brookwell and it says, My best friend and I are in a big debate and we need you to settle it. She says that beets are starchy vegetable and vegetables that are labeled starchy are when they contain more carbs and more calories compared to other non starchy vegetables. We both agree that corn, peas, potatoes, zucchini, butternut squash are starchy, but I think beets are starchy because of the sugar in it. And she says absolutely not. Please help us to settle this debate. Shandra and Brickle, we are best buddies and want to stay that way.
Well, I definitely don't want beets to come between you. If there is a new fallout as beets, that will be a sad you know, it's like what happened when we were we were doing good and then beets happened. You've got to watch out those beets. There are going to be they're going to come get you.
Look, the what matters is and this is like I'm known for giving different answers than people expect, but that's because what we're currently doing isn't working and we need to take a different approach. By definition, what matters is not the label we apply to beets. What matters is if you look at the nutritional content of beets, the point is this. If you're eating beets, you're not eating something else. So if you're eating beets instead of pop tarts, eat beets. If you're eating beets instead of kale. I'd probably eat the kale. Do we have an obesity epidemic because we're eating too many beets?
Does anybody have any disease because of their beet intake? No. So, look, I would say if if you're for example, if you're on the keto diet, don't eat beets because it's going to take you out of ketosis. But why do you want to be in ketosis? I don't know. That's another good question to ask.
If Ketosis works for you rock and roll, but if it doesn't work for you, rock and roll. So I would say, mate, friendship is key No. One. So don't fall out over beats. And two is you've got to ask yourself why you're eating the beats.
If you look at this, here's another way to think of it. If you love beets and they make you happy and they make you excited about food. That would be more important than maybe eating a better vegetable that you dislike and makes you feel miserable, because if if you dislike it and it makes you feel miserable, you won't keep doing it. And here's the secret that no one wants you to know. The only thing that matters.
Is consistency, that's it.
Anything in the right direction of health that you do consistently will work. There's a famous study that was done at Stanford that compared a very low carb diet against a zone type, more balanced diet against a higher carb diet.
And what they found is that the best diet was the one that people did.
Meaning that it didn't matter which of the three people did what mattered, as if they actually did it, if they actually did it and they did it consistently, they saw tremendous health practices or excuse me, health results most of us do is we jump from this to this to this to this, to this, to this, to this, to this thinking that the next thing is going to have the secret answer.
Here's the secret answer. Your body is freaking amazing.
And if you eat non starchy vegetables, nutrient nuts, protein, whole foods, fats and low fructose fruits in that order, every gag on day for the rest of your life and you love yourself and you love doing that, you will have a quality of life that you cannot even imagine right now.
OK, this next one is from Jennifer in Bronx, New York, which is so crazy. I was just telling my assistant that we never get anyone like I don't know what it is, but the questions we get are all from people in the south. And like I'm originally from New York, but we never get anyone who writes a question in from New York ever. So I'm like, what? From New York?
But anyway, where are you from? New York. Is that where you're from?
I'm from the Midwest. I'm from Columbus, Ohio.
OK, I gotcha. So anyway, this one is from Jennifer in Bronx.
I hate vegetables. I've done some I've done some things so far to add vegetables in my diet. For example, I swap buffalo chicken for buffalo cauliflower, I might add a cup of kale in my smoothie that isn't even green. I take a little bit of seaweed and I put it in top of my popcorn and then I will cover my pizza in a lot of vegetables. And I also like a little bit of zucchini that's fried, but that's it. Can you give me any tips of things that maybe I haven't thought of, like the buffalo cauliflower substituted for the buffalo chicken to add more vegetables in my diet?
Three things that I think are going to help you more than anything, the first is.
This is going to be a virtuous cycle, but more vegetables you eat, chances are the less sugar you're going to eat and the less sugar you eat, the more the taste of vegetables will appeal to you. One of the reasons that people don't like the taste of vegetables is because we as a culture consume so much sugar and starch that the only flavor we appreciate is sweet and bitter. For example, that's the primary flavor of vegetables is a delicious taste, right? Wine is bitter, beer is bitter, and a lot of people really enjoy drinking. Those so bitter can be delicious if we're used to it. So key. No one is as much as possible. If you could eat foods that do not contain added sugar, that's really going to help you to enjoy the taste of any vegetable you eat more. Number two is, I would say, any place that you're eating pasta or rice swap in certain vegetables. So instead of using pasta, use zucchini noodles or Zardoz or use other sort of vegetable based substitutes, because pasta itself really doesn't have much taste, you're usually eating it as a way to get sauce into your mouth. If you think about it like it's the sauce that makes it delicious. Plain pasta is disgusting. So put that sauce on vegetables and same thing with rice. You can use cauliflower, rice, parsnip, rice, or you can actually just put like Thai food or Chinese food on top of a bed of vegetables, because, again, it's usually most people don't go to an Asian restaurant and say. That was the best Thai food I ever had. The rice was so good, it's usually the sauce that you're eating.
So just put that on top of a substitute and that will really help you love it.
All right. These next couple are all about the same, but I'll read one of them only because it's and I think you've kind of answered it, but it's from Kerissa in Hartford. About five months ago, I joined a gym because I wanted to lose some weight. I've been doing the elliptical machine for about an hour a day, six times a week. I'm burning six hundred calories, but not noticing any difference in my weight. What's going on? I'm not eating more food than I was before. So what am I doing wrong? Charissa in Hartford.
Exercise is very much like eating in the sense that we've been told that it's about quantity, a.k.a. do more, do an hour, six days per week, but it's really about quality. Meaning do less but higher quality exercise. The only way that exercise will effectively change your set point, which is the only way to really change the way your body looks and feels long term, is by using exercise to change your hormones. Cardiovascular exercise will not change your hormones in a positive direction. In fact, it can change your hormones in a negative direction. It can suppress sex hormone production. It can negatively affect your thyroid hormone, and it can increase the levels of stress hormones like cortisol because you're putting a tremendous amount of stress on your body. If you want to use exercise to change your body, I would strongly recommend shifting to resistance training, meaning weight lift. So lift like a man, you will not look like a man. What you will do is you will change your hormonal balance to be more anabolic. And I know that sounds scary and it sounds like you're going to start to look like a bulldog. I promise you won't. And what's going to happen instead is you're going to optimize your testosterone levels, are going to optimize your estrogen levels and you're going to train your body to treat everything you eat differently. This is called nutrient partitioning. And when you use weight training, heavy weight training, I'm not talking about getting the pink weights and doing bicep curls. I'm talking about leg press squats. Deadlifts like this is the one thing that cross fit does really well. It's teaching women to go get it. And the gym, which I love, which is great, right? There's no women and men should not strength training any differently. We're all humans. We're equal rights in the gym as well as every place else. Yeah, because that's that's really going to be key. So I would say take all that time that you're spending on the elliptical. Do do. Less but more intense resistance training and then do some things like yoga or taichi and Palletize to also help restore a lot of the balance in your body, which is also very important.
All right. I have one more question that's a little bit different. Maggie in South Bend, I'm seriously addicted to chocolate.
As soon as I eat a meal, I have to have a piece of chocolate or something sweet or I feel like I'm unsatisfied. It's gotten to the point that I even carry emergency purse chocolate around with me just in case I eat somewhere and need my chocolate fix afterwards. How can I break this this direction? And we have a lot of questions with people saying that, like, as soon as I'm done eating, I want something sweet right after. What can I do to either kind of satisfy that? What's your thoughts?
I don't know if you can see this. It's kind of gross because it stuck to the cup. But what I'm drinking right now is actually a chocolate drink because chocolate is a very uniquely psychoactive compound and the right form of chocolate, specifically very high Cachao cocoa, very low sugar is one of the top five most beneficial foods you could consume.
So I'm not going to tell you to not eat chocolate. I'm going to tell you to try to focus on if you can eat 90 percent dark chocolate. You will radically improve your health outcomes and you do not have to give up chocolate. It is less sweet than regular chocolate, but what you will find is that. Ultimately, what we're after is a feeling that was even in the question, I don't feel satisfied. So even sugar, we eat sugar for feeling right. The reason we have an opiate addiction in this country is because people are after a feeling the Cachao substance or the cocoa substance in chocolate is the most psychoactive compound. It is the thing that gives you that feeling. So if you can gradually go from milk chocolate to thank goodness for Amazon.com because, you know, your local grocery store might not enable you to do this, but start with like 60 percent dark chocolate and eat that for two weeks and then go to 70 percent dark chocolate, eat that for two weeks, go to 80 percent dark chocolate for two weeks, 90 percent. And then eventually you can just eat 100 percent dark chocolate, which has almost no sugar in it, is almost pure straight Cachao. And holy moly, that is, you've taken something that used to be maybe detrimental to your health and you've transformed it into something that is unambiguously positive for your health with no deprivation.
Awesome. Well, thanks so much for being on the show today. It's been a pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. Where can listeners go to follow you and your work?
Just please go to my website. It's sane solution. That's an easy solution. Dotcom.
Awesome. And if you have a question that you want answered, go to questions at Chantel Ray Web Dotcom. We'll see you next time. Bye bye.