Mediterranean diet pyramid: a cultural model for healthy eating
Fasting For Life Ep. 46
[00:00:01] Hello, I'm Dr. Scott Watier, and I'm Tommy Welling, and you're listening to the Fasting for Life podcast, and this podcast is about using fasting as a tool to regain your health, achieve ultimate wellness and live the life you truly deserve.
[00:00:15] Each episode is a short conversation on a single topic with immediate, actionable steps. We cover everything from fat loss on health and wellness to the science of lifestyle design.
[00:00:25] We started fasting for life because of how fasting has transformed our lives, and we hope to share the tools that we have learned along the way.
[00:00:40] Everyone, welcome to the Fasting for Life podcast. My name is Dr. Scott Watier. I'm here, as always, with my good friend and colleague, Tumi Welling. Good evening to you, sir. Hey, how are you, Scott? Awesome, awesome. Awesome. Excited about two days topic. We're going to talk about a very common diet recommendation that is made in today's world. And some of the statistics that we are going to go over were quite shocking. But before we dive into that, wanted to make the announcement that we have lost our minds and we have listened to the feedback from all of you. Shout out to you guys who are dedicated listeners week to week, you guys who are sending you questions, letting us know that this podcast and fasting and our message is resonating with you. So we're very grateful for each and every one of you. And before the end of the year, we decided that we're going to do one more 10 day fasting ramp up challenge from December 3rd to December 12th.
[00:01:45] We had a waiting list on the last one, and I am extremely excited about it. Like, I can't wait to do it again because the last one was so much fun.
[00:01:53] Yeah, it was a lot of fun. It was super high impact, just more energy and momentum than we could have even predicted. And that's that's why we felt like we really needed to get another one of these in before the end of the year, give everyone an opportunity for holidays coming up and kind of get a jump on on next year. You know, we kind of started this year with a New Year's resolution February challenge, and that's kind of where the A.A. resolutions we don't get out of here. Yeah. So we thought let's let's get a jump on that. Let's let's prevent that before it even becomes a thought for any of us. Get the momentum started in twenty twenty.
[00:02:35] Not that we're anti self improvement, but just read some stats on New Year's resolutions like I mean, come on, they don't work so. Right. I really like what you said to me earlier was the energy plus education is just unstoppable momentum. And that's kind of what we found in the last in the last challenge was just the energy plus the content, plus the information we were going over in that ten day period. Just the results were incredible. And a lot of the momentum is continued for those people, too. So like you mentioned, the holidays are coming up and that this is a perfect transition into our conversation for today, which is going to be based around the low carb diet trend and why the stats don't show to be very promising outside of the three and six month mark. So if you've been following us for a while, you know that fasting is had a great impact on both of our lives. It's a huge part of our life and our story, similar paths, not knowing each other, but ending up in a very similar place. And we've had a lot of feedback from people that resonate with that.
[00:03:49] So if you haven't heard our story, go back to the beginning, listen to the first couple episodes. Give us a little grace. We don't know what the heck we're doing with microphones and content and conversation. And but we're we're forty something episodes in now. So I feel like we're doing a little bit better job. But the the low carb thing is my point of bringing that up is if you've been with us for a while, you know that we don't say eat this one way. Right, right, right. We're not die hard. Carnivores die hard. Kids die, die hard, low carb. Now, there are certain times when we're going to recommend certain diets for certain individual populations or situations. And low carb is something that we typically will recommend for rapid fat loss. Right. And also for the population of blood sugar issues, insulin resistance, type two diabetes treatment reversal, all that kind of stuff. So today's topic is, is I was a little surprised by the long term numbers, but then when we really started thinking about it like, oh, wait a minute, I lived that for years. Right.
[00:04:51] Seen that like there. Yep. Seen people do it to myself. And the numbers start to make a little more sense because I think we all know probably most of us know somebody who's who's been down the very low carb camp maybe to try to reverse diabetes, or maybe that's how they lost a lot of weight, especially if they weren't using fasting. I know a few people who've dropped fifty to one hundred pounds using very low carbohydrate diet, but not everybody maintains those results. And that's what the numbers point to as well.
[00:05:28] And we're talking about basic kind of the basic numbers, the basic labs that you'll see if you do have weight loss resistance.
[00:05:39] Or metabolic issues, thyroid issues, extra weight around the midsection, overweight, obesity level, BMI. We're talking about basic one see cholesterol, HDL, LDL, total cholesterol, blood pressure, those types of things, body mass index, which are not all encompassing by themselves, but pretty much give a good picture of overall health when combined together. So the main study was looking at the three month mark, the six month mark, the 12 month mark and the twenty four month mark on the main blood sugar metric that's used, which is the HBR onesie.
[00:06:22] And the results were pretty eye opening, you know, in that they all look very promising when when you first start, because like you alluded to before, there's a therapeutic reason why we often recommend a lower carbohydrate diet, but but also why different diets can can work in different situations and why you don't have to follow a completely very low carbohydrate diet or keto diet or carnivore in order to lose the weight or to to get off the medications. Those those can be those things can be achieved with multiple diets. But, you know, for the very low carbohydrate diet, it does start off with with promising results and then tends to get a little bit more difficult to maintain as time goes on. Right.
[00:07:17] And I want to talk more about that, why we think that difficulty is and this is just a subjective objective data, personal data. Right. Observational type case study type data. But the. Third, this meta analysis was looking at thirty seven random controlled trials that evaluated the effects of a low carb diet at 12 weeks, and they define low carb as 40 percent. So when we think of low carb, when I think of Kitto, I think of like twenty to twenty five percent. So their range is twenty six to 40 percent and very low carb was actually under twenty six percent. Now there are some, you know, medical protocols out there that are above my pay grade when it comes to doctor supervised like zero carb, like restorative type healing diets I think specifically in the realm of cancer. But so we're not talking about the extremes. You're talking about a very moderate amount of 40 percent amount of carbohydrate for someone that's a diabetic. Typically, those diets recommend anywhere between the fifty to sixty five percent, depending on where you're getting your diabetes diet recommendations from. So they're looking at 40 percent or less, which actually isn't very low, in my opinion. But it's still had some some pretty crazy results in terms of the twelve and twenty four month mark.
[00:08:45] Yeah, so when when we're talking about those percentages, they're going to vary from study to study. And like you said, so be the more therapeutic studies usually recommending a lower point. But when we're talking about a meta analysis, basically, that means they're they're putting together results from a lot of different studies. So they're kind of has to be a defined range for that. So even in even in the less restrictive camp that that twenty six to forty or forty five percent range, even their. It became difficult to to kind of maintain that over time here.
[00:09:25] Yeah, and so the cool thing was low carb diets immediately improved glycemic control in the short term. So the short term, the agency. Plummeted very significant clinical results at three months, it was great, but at six and 12 months it went from being OK to no change to pretty much a wash to actually increasing at the twenty four month mark.
[00:09:54] Well, yeah, it kind of like I just pause because I'm like, wait a minute, why if there was such.
[00:10:04] Good results in the short term, what could be some of the contributing factors that would cause it to to become worse right at the twenty four month mark?
[00:10:16] Yeah, what I thought was interesting was when when they start to go into the data and try to answer that question, like, why do the results start slipping over time? They start looking at the actual physiology of it, because if they can actually control the diet and the compliance to the diet, the results, the results don't suffer the results and the efficacy. It continues to work. So it's not a physiological issue. It's more a matter of lifestyle restriction, maintaining the compliance to it and and actually just being able to to live like that and live that lifestyle. That seems to be the struggle point.
[00:11:00] Yeah, and I think about this personally, like whenever I've done like a whole 30 challenge, whole 30 is like no dairy, no, I don't even remember the specifics, but it's like no processed grains, no sugars. Yeah, no. No sweeteners of any kind. And I'm like, well, yeah, that's great for 30 days, but I don't know many people that live that way. Yeah, and I'm sure they're out there.
[00:11:29] But so for me, when I look at this and this really speaks to I don't even like using the word diet, which we've used like probably 15 times as I'm sorry, but the low carb, the the excuse me, the whole 30. You know, sticking to it, the adherence to it or the adherence to any of the carbohydrate metrics that they use in these studies that they looked at, the adherence to it is is the main problem. Right. So this is really like outlining what we see in the weight loss industry and the weight loss world, because you can get the 20 pounds off right when you got 40 to lose or you can get the 30 pounds off when you got 50 to lose, or you can get the 30 pounds off when you got 40 or 30 for 30, you can actually get to your goal. But so many people come to us and say, yeah, and it came right back on. Right, because the sustainability of removing all of the things that we probably shouldn't love as much as we do, all those sweetened, artificially satiating, genetically created wonderfully like textured foods that we love. Right. All of those things, we restrict and limit them for just long enough and then we really can't stick with that long term. So I think that's truly just what's happening here, is that you get to a point where you get comfortable. Some of those old habits start picking back up. You get back picking up some of those old things, those habits and patterns used to do. And you really can't restrict your way to a result consistently, especially if you have the underlying issue, which is insulin resistance, which is why, you know, the low carb approach works so well in the short term because you're removing the stimulation of the very thing that causes the blood sugar to to fluctuate, which is insulin. We really want to address that underlying insulin issue.
[00:13:24] Yeah, physiologically, it's working really, really well, even without very strict, deliberate calorie restriction, because if you reduce the carbohydrates enough, keep the sugars low enough, the Wannsee falls, those things can happen naturally, even without being in a in a in a very strict caloric deficit or without without using much as far as mealtime goes as well. So that part's interesting. But like you said, very difficult to maintain. But what I did like about the study was that they were looking for ways to maintain those results, too. So we know the the low and very low carbohydrate protocols. We're decreasing in how effective they were over time, but what they did find was that some of the other diets, Mediterranean diet, being being the the most commonly cited one, gave a level of of balance and sustainability that they found to be really, really a lot easier to maintain and to adhere to and still gave a lot of really, really good therapeutic benefits as well, right?
[00:14:40] Yeah, it was, you know, one of the studies that was linked to one of the ones that was studied in this meta analysis. That's a mouthful. Looked at HBO and see a decrease of, you know, 30 percent BMI down point to nine I'm sorry, point three percent, BMI down point three cholesterol lowered triglycerides, lowered the good cholesterol.
[00:15:06] I don't like that terminology either. But the HDL cholesterol, all cholesterol is good. But the HDL one that has that label of being good for you went up two point six milligrams. So the Mediterranean diet really simply put is, is this Whole Foods like and that's something we talk about. One of the biggest questions that we get from people are, what do I eat, what do I eat, what do I eat? And we want to just say, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. Like, just I know it does you you can really undo one meal a day successes by eating, you know, half a gallon of injuries and a pizza every night. Right.
[00:15:42] But if you're working with a plate and you fill that plate with Whole Foods and you limit the complex carbs in the process, packaged stuff and you have vegetables or fruits or, you know, cruciferous veggies. Right. And then you have some type of lean protein. I know that's not exactly the Mediterranean diet.
[00:16:04] The Mediterranean diet is low, moderate, low to moderate fish and chicken, low red meat, moderate red wine with meals, olive oils, cheeses, yogurts and then whole grains. Right. So real food.
[00:16:23] But if you follow that guideline, I'm just kind of splitting your plate up into half the plate, being all the green veggie fruit stuff, the healthy real stuff that comes out of the ground. And then you have some sort of lean protein and then you your quarter of the plate, if at all, is that 20 to 40 percent carbohydrate, which is a sprouted grain, a non refined, processed white pasta, white bread, whatever it is, you're really going to be hitting the mark for the long term.
[00:16:51] You know, you're not going to be restricting yourself out of long term results either. Right. And you know that that's the kind of balance that that we're really aiming for and that we advocate for. And that's why sometimes it's tough when somebody says, well, what should I eat? And it's it's kind of a that general recommendation is good for for a lifetime of of healthy, sustainable habits. You know, at the same time, there's a there's a therapeutic time and place for for other other diets and more restrictive on the carbohydrates and and more specific things as well, because those can help get the results that you need faster and and actually reach that that maintenance point right now.
[00:17:36] Very low carb, low carb. Absolutely.
[00:17:38] Recommendation for people trying to reverse insulin resistance, diabetes, type two, those types of situations, weight loss, resistance, hormone imbalances like. Yeah, you want to you want to be limiting the carbohydrates. There's tons of research that backs that up. So we're really talking about that group of people that has the weight loss resistance, that's tried to lose the weight, that's lost it. But it's come back. Right. Like that's really where we want to take it to another level with yes, you can get there are many different ways, but we haven't even talked about meal timing or time restricted eating as it's now being seen a lot more in the studies that are being done. And I follow a lot of like the low carb docs on Twitter and on social media. And, you know, there's a lot of great providers out there doing some amazing stuff with the low carb diet. And, you know, so when we're looking at like the overall recommendation is, let's take it to another level.
[00:18:34] So you have the flexibility in the control of making your plate look like something that you'd be able to sustain long term.
[00:18:42] Right. That works for you. But then if you add in time restricted eating or fasting, you're like you're taking away the underlying major issue, which is the stimulation of insulin, which is the thing that causes your body to store fat and not burn it.
[00:18:57] So like that's why fasting is such a tool and such a success for so many people, because it limits the screw ups and the omission and the restriction and the yo yo.
[00:19:12] Out of all the other failures and trials and errors that you've had, like it just takes the the outcome in the win, it gets you there quicker and it also gives you the control to sustain it.
[00:19:23] Yeah, you don't. Because if you're if you're looking at even a very low carbohydrate diet, like it's very difficult to get insulin levels to zero. It's almost impossible if you're if you're still just eating on a on a regular consistent basis. Three, two, three, four, two, three, four different feeding times each day. There's not enough time for that insulin to go down to to zero or near-zero levels. But you put in something that's that's sustainable, healthy, supportive of long term health, like a Mediterranean diet, and put that together with proper meal timing and putting enough space between those meals, going to a one meal a day or restricting the time each day that you're eating. Now, you have a powerful therapeutic tool where where those those insulin levels are allowed to go to to zero or near zero for an extended period of time, allow the body to heal while that's happening.
[00:20:19] And then you're bringing in sustainable food on a on a regular basis.
[00:20:25] And who doesn't like flexibility? I know we're in this period. We're like we're doing these challenges. We're getting these crazy results. Our coaching clients are seeing amazing changes, like it's like, OK, we want to tell you what to eat, but then we also want you to figure out what to eat because you you should have that ability and that control to be able to make that decision and make it fit for you. Like it's really hard for you doing thousands of console's over the years of, like, telling people that they all need to eat this one thing or this is the way you need to live or this is the way you need to do it.
[00:21:04] You just really need to have that flexibility and that ability to make that decision, because then once you decide to do it, then you're going to own it. So the low carb. Yes, absolutely works. Fasting, yes. Decreases the time under under the insulin curve allows your body to burn that fat. So really the encouraging thing or to land the plane here on time and kind of give give people like one action step to kind of take away from the conversation today. I have one in mind, but I'm curious to know what you're thinking.
[00:21:38] You know, what I'm thinking is I just I put myself back a few years ago before using any fasting. And I, like I had heard the wisdom of the Mediterranean diet. I knew what it could do. I knew it was it was sustainable. And it helped support things like regaining that insulin sensitivity, weight loss, et cetera. Very low carbohydrate diet was was really restrictive. It it was tough for me to maintain the under the twenty to twenty five percent mark. Yeah. Because, you know, if I was going to do it, I was going to do it, you know, kind of pedal to the metal. So but it was hard to maintain for me. So but the problem was with, with 30 to 40 pounds to lose at the time it was hard to see myself doing like the Mediterranean diet, which is which is really well balanced and it's good for a lifetime. But it wasn't giving me quick enough results because frankly, my insulin resistance was too high. I was eating too often. So I would encourage you if you've thought about something like the Mediterranean diet before, I think about it again in a new light where one that you combine time, time controlled eating, time restricted eating so that you can allow those insulin levels to go down and know that you're you're on a path that's that's lifetime habits with something like the Mediterranean diet. And you don't have to have the zero carbohydrate diet in order to get the results that you're looking for.
[00:23:16] Yeah. You can really insert any diet into that Mediterranean, whatever it is that works for you, do it.
[00:23:25] But the starting point would be start limiting your feeding window and that's going to give you the wind quicker.
[00:23:33] The food is always going to be there. You can play with it. You can alter it, you can tweak it. You can figure out what works for you. What do you feel best at? You feel better doing a longer, fast one time a week, once a month. Are you better with one meal a day? Do you like the small little snack thing at the 20 hour mark? And then you like to eat a small dinner a little bit later when you get home from work, like you really got a lot of, you know, a lot of variability there. So if you haven't started fasting, then the best thing to do is go to the website. The Fasting for Life Dotcom Download the Fast Start Guide. Six steps comes a little twenty minute mini masterclass video series shows you how to put five. And today, Daylife answers a lot of the starting questions, don't forget about our challenge coming up December 3rd to December 12th. That is also going to be on the website. You're going to see a countdown timer. Feel free to get early registered for that. And I think the only other thing would be stop stressing about being on a diet and being restricted in vomited and really start with just timing your meals and get do that for a couple of weeks and you're going to be absolutely shocked with the results that you get. Yeah, I, I agree wholeheartedly. It's so funny because I've seen you like just sitting there like. Yup, yup, yup, yup. You never know how these are these congruency. We're just like yeah that's exactly like how simple could it be. Right. So appreciate you guys for listening, Tommy. Thank you as always, sir. And we will talk soon. Yeah. Thank you. Bye.
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