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Episode 20: Nutritional Pyramid of Importance Mini Series: Diets, Calorie/Carb Cycling, Meal Timing/Planning and Intermittent Fasting

by Shaun Kober
June 25th 2020

This episode is an overview of how I structure my nutrition coaching. All of these tools are just They need to be applied at the appropriate times, under the right circumstances, to r... More

Hey guys, before we get started with the intro, I just want to point out that the seven part miniseries on the nutritional pyramid of importance were actually the first seven episodes that I recorded for the podcast. So please bear that in mind when leaving a rating and review. My microphone technique was probably not quite up to scratch and I was still figuring out the process. So please bear that in mind, cheers guys. You know what is up guys, Welcome to the live train perform podcast. I'm your host, Sean cooper of performance functional training. I'm currently the head strength conditioning coach at the world renowned Tiger moisten mm A training camp based in Phuket Thailand. I'm a strength and conditioning coach, nutritional therapist. NLP master practitioner, a former Australian army soldier and combat veteran. This podcast is dedicated to bringing you the tools, knowledge, experience and expertise to allow you to live your life to your fullest, train to your potential and perform at your best. I'm going to do that by providing three different styles of podcast style one is going to be 3-5 part miniseries, 15-25 min episodes, each covering a numerous topics including nutrition, lifestyle, sleep, stress management and training philosophies style too, is going to be me interviewing people at the top of their game, who they are, how they started out where they got to where they're at and what makes them tick.

Style three is all about you guys, I'm going to be answering your questions, you can find that on my Q and a memes, which I'll be posting on my social media platforms. My social media platforms are at instagram at K O B. E. S. Underscore Pft at codes underscore PFT facebook is performance functional training and Youtube is at performance functional training. Make sure you like subscribe and follow those platforms. I will be referencing my Youtube channel throughout the episodes. So if you want your questions answered, go onto the men to Q. And A means that I'll be posting on my social media platforms, pop in your questions and I will answer them for you on the podcast. Let's get it. Mhm. Mhm. You know what is up guys? We are getting down into the weeds with the nutritional pyramid of importance. Today's episode is all about diets, intermittent fasting. We're gonna be talking about carb cycling, calorie cycling, nutrient timing, meal frequency et cetera.

If you haven't listened to the previous episodes. So nutritional pyramid of importance. Energy balance macronutrients. Micronutrients. Please go back and listen to those episodes. Otherwise this one is not going to make sense. All right today we're going to start tying all of those episodes together into how we can manipulate our food and the different diets, How we can use them. What their what each one of them is good for. We'll go through a little bit of history of dieting as well. We'll talk about some potentially good diets that could be used to talk about some fucking stupid diets that have been used in the past and then we'll start tying everything together everything that we've learned over the last 4-5 episodes. According to Wikipedia. Dieting is the practice of eating food and regulated and supervised fashion to decrease maintain or increase body weight or to prevent and treat diseases such as diabetes and obesity. A restricted diet is more often pursued by those wanting to lose weight, continuous dieting is recommended by US guidelines for obese and diabetic individuals to reduce body weight and improve general health.

Several diets to promote weight loss have been devised. Low fat, low carbohydrate, low calorie, very low calorie and more recently, flexible dieting. A matter analysis, which means a study of the studies of six randomized controlled trials found no difference between low calorie, low carbohydrate, low fat diets with a 2 to 4 kg weight loss over 12 to 18 months in all studies at two years, all calorie reduced diet types cause equal weight loss irrespective of the macronutrients emphasised in general, the most effective diet is any which reduces calorie consumption. Several diets are effective for weight loss of obese individuals with similar results. Diet success being most predicated by adherence with little effect of the type or brand of diet. Dieting appears more effective than exercise for weight loss but combining both provides even greater long term results. So here's the deal Diets have been around forever. We're going to discuss some of the more popular and effective diets and we'll also talk about some of the fucking stupid diets that have been around and have been used.

But basically all diets when it comes to weight loss adheres to energy balance, which is the law of thermodynamics. The law of thermodynamics states that to lose weight we must burn more than we consume to gain weight. We must consume more than we burn and to maintain weight, our energy in equals our energy out to get a further understanding of this in a lot more detail. Again, go back listen to the energy balance episode, let's now discuss some of the more popular diets of this time. Now some of these diets have been around for a long time, but they just keep going through the circle of life and keep being revolutionized and changed to stay up to date with the times. Now, the Ketogenic Diet was originally created in the 1920s to help treat Children with Epilepsy. The ketogenic diet is essentially a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate diet. So the whole concept of this is that your body is not getting enough carbohydrates to then turn that into glucose. Your body needs to get that energy from somewhere.

So what that does is it actually uses key tones from fats. So this puts your body into ketosis where it's essentially burning fat. Now when it comes to your body utilizing fat as an energy source. It's actually a lot slower. So carbohydrates are like your jet fuel. Whereas you're fat or ketosis is like a diesel engine. It's slow burning, it takes a lot longer for your body to convert this energy. So if you're a performance athlete or something like that, where you actually require higher energy levels and a little bit more jet fuel, higher intensity training sessions and things like that, then you're probably not going to be doing so well on a ketogenic diet if you are a little bit insulin resistance and insulin sensitive. However, the ketogenic diet might be excellent for you because it's actually going to allow you or it's going to stop any massive fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. So every single person is going to be different and you need to assess your tolerance with this as well as how it affects your performance, your mood.

Uh and everything that comes along with that, it's quite common for people that transition to a high fat ketogenic style diet will typically say things like I'm feeling sharper, my energy levels are better. Uh I'm not as foggy. My muscles aren't as saw, et cetera. Now, is that because of the ketogenic diet or is that more because they were potentially eating grains like wheat and gluten and maybe some of these other compounds that were creating some form of intolerance where the body was thinking that it was under attack and it was mounting an immune response, creating inflammation and soreness and tiredness. Um, and fluctuations in blood sugar levels. So there's a lot of things that go into this and at the end of the day, you need to pay attention to how these different diets affect you, how these different foods affect you. And one of the easiest ways to connect the dots is by tracking your food and then paying attention to your energy levels, your mood, your attitude, libido performance, ability to recover hair, skin, nails, all those types of things, but particularly around your mealtimes.

Next up, let's discuss the paleo diet, also known as a paleolithic diet, the Caveman diet or the Stone Age diet. The premise of the paleo diet is essentially that humans should be eating the way that we did through the paleolithic times. This includes foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots and meat and excludes things like dairy products, grains, sugars, legumes, processed oils, salt, alcohol and coffee. It's based on not just avoiding processed food, but rather foods that humans began eating after the Neolithic region. When humans transition from hunter gatherer lifestyles, two settled agriculture. In more recent years, a number of people have been debating and discussing whether or not we should actually be eating like this because at the end of the day, it all comes down to interpretation. Some people say that grains weren't used during that time. Whereas recently scientists and archaeologists actually discovered some Like mortar and pestle and things like that, that these people of those times used to actually smash down and processed grains.

So some of the original thoughts about the paleolithic diet that has been around since roughly the 1970s and can be traced back to as early as the 1890s. In some publications and books have been debated and potentially debunked. The paleo era lasted roughly 2.6 million years and Started roughly 3.3 million years ago. So in my opinion, our gut microbiome, our evolution has gone through such a crazy transition that to think that we should be eating exactly the way that we're eating back then. It's not ideal. It's not realistic. I do however, believe the paleo style of eating is a good foundation. However, I don't think you need to be super strict with it, but if you use paleo as a base for your diet, then you're probably going to be pretty good to go. Let's move on to our next popular diets of recent times and that is the Atkins and South Beach diet.

I'm going to throw them in together because they are quite similar. The only difference being uh, the protein fat, carbohydrate ratio consumption. Um, but other than that, they're not very different from the ketogenic diet. Okay, not quite as high in fat, not quite as restrictive when it comes to carbohydrates in particular fruits, but they are quite similar to the next popular diet is the zone diet and this is basically all of these diets put together our ketogenic diet, paleo diet. Atkins, South Beach etcetera, essentially the zone diet is advocating for pretty even ish ratios of those macronutrients, proteins, fats and carbohydrates with every meal. The final diet I'll talk about here is the whole 30 diet which emphasizes whole foods and the elimination of sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes, soy and dairy.

Over the course of 30 days, it's a little bit of an elimination type diet. It's very similar to the paleo diet. However, it is a little bit more are restrictive as people are following this diet cannot eat a natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup. What do all of these diets have in common? They're all very similar. They all advocate for eating healthy real wholesome earth grown natural foods. All right. That is the secret behind all of these diets here. And they also advocate for lowering your consumption. So now again, we're going back to rule number one of the nutritional pyramid of importance And that is energy balance. When we look at these diets, they all have something in common. They all typically lower carbohydrate. Now, why is that? Over the last 40, 50, 60 years or so, highly processed foods are becoming more and more abundantly available.

The food industry is a multibillion dollar industry. So there's food engineers out there whose job it is to make these highly processed foods. Really fucking hyper palatable and super addictive, think about Pringles, what's their catchphrase once you pop, you can't stop. So all of these highly processed foods are literally hijacking your hormones and your taste buds and sending their signals to your body that you need more and more and more. What these diets slash lifestyles advocate is to reduce primarily processed foods in the form of carbohydrates. So this is what all of these diets have in common. And this is why they all typically work is because there has actually been research and studies showing that when people eat either a processed food diet or a natural food diet without even counting calories. The people that are eating a processed food diet are typically eating 5 to 800 calories more per day.

And that's simply because when you're eating wholesome, natural real foods, you've got these regulators within your body, your hormones that send the signals to your body that, hey, all right, Call. I've had enough protein. I've had enough that I've had enough carbohydrates, we can shut that down. Now we don't need to get any more in your body is always giving you signs and signals. And this is why sometimes when you're feeling a little bit tired, you're feeling a little bit lethargic or you're craving is chocolate or lollies or a can of coke or something like that. Your body is literally going back, man, I need something, I need to bump up my energy levels. Likewise, when you're craving something savory. You might be looking for some nuts or some cheese or something like that, it's probably because your body is like actually craving some fats when you feel like you need a big steak or some fish or something like that, your body is literally going, hey man, I've been deprived of protein for too long now, I need to bump my levels up, otherwise I'm going to start causing some issues. If we also go back to our micro nutrient episode, then again, your body is going to be craving these certain nutrients because certain nutrients micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients are essential for different bodily functions.

So if you're typically missing out on some B vitamins for example, this is where your body might be going, hey, I need some protein because animal products in particular states and things like that are going to be holding a lot of these B vitamins and this will be the same for iron. So I've got some vegan and vegetarian friends that sometimes will say things like, oh I was just really craving a steak for some reason. Well that's probably because you're lacking, or some B vitamins in particular B 12 B six and maybe iron as well. So red meat holds a lot of iron for us and this is literally just your body saying, hey, I'm lacking some of these nutrients, then you start craving certain foods. Now, that's only the case if you eat real wholesome natural earth grown foods, if you're eating highly processed foods, then again, that's going to fuck up those signals and it's going to want to make you eat more and those signals cannot be trusted. I've actually worked with a number of clients who don't like tracking their food and I'm like call. If you don't want to track your food, then that's fine.

However, in saying that my most successful clients attract their food that way, we can actually get, get our finger on the pulse of what's making changes, how much you're manipulating your intake and output and then that will determine the direction that we need to go from there. However, if people don't like tracking their food, then eating wholesome, real natural foods is actually a really good way of managing their food intake. Like I said, going back to those studies before eating those wholesome natural foods will automatically decrease your food consumption, which will impact energy balance at the end of the day. It doesn't really matter what style or type of diet you choose as long as you can adhere to it and it's sustainable. It's something you can follow long term. So again, I don't follow a particular diet I do, however, eat a little bit paleo style, but I will bump up my carbohydrates and my breads and passes and rice is and things like that whenever I feel like it predominantly around my training times or whenever I'm feeling like it.

Um you know, for example, on a sunday, I might go and get myself a big ass pizza and hook into that before I crack on with the week ahead. The biggest takeaway for this and what diet you should be choosing is the one that suits your lifestyle. Go back and listen to the energy balance and the macronutrients and micronutrients episode to get an understanding of what these compounds do for you have stated this numerous times, I'm going to state it again, you should be eating depending on what you've just done and what you're about to do. It doesn't really matter how you eat as long as it serves you and it's something that you can be consistent with long term consistency for me is eating the right thing, 80% of the time and then That gives me the leeway to do whatever I want the other 20% of the time. That doesn't mean that I use that 20% all the time, but it does mean I've got the flexibility to be able to live my life. An example of this is if I know that I've got a wedding or something coming up on the weekend, then I know that I'm probably going to be over consuming alcohol. So that means that I'm planning ahead and I'm looking at the week ahead and I'm going right, I know that I'm probably going to fucking drink a shitload of booze on the weekend.

So I'm going to make sure that I eat good, healthy, nutritious, nutrient dense foods throughout the week. And I'm probably going to a couple of days leading into that wedding. I'm probably going to reduce my consumption slightly so I can save some calories for that time. So I don't have a massive blow out. Now. This is a good technique that you can use when it comes to energy balance. Now we're starting to tie everything in together. So if I have a client whose total daily energy expenditure is 2500 calories and their goal is to lose weight there, we've set the prerequisites are in a healthy place, et cetera. And now we need to go into a calorie deficit. So how we're going to go into that calorie deficit, I'm going to reduce maybe 300 calories from food and I'm going to increase their steps dependant on what their activity level is. Okay, so now 300 calories from food, 200 calories from a little bit more movement now at 500 calorie deficit. So now at 2000 calories per day for the week. So I add that up, There's 14,000 calories for the week. Now if I want to manage that and I know I've got a wedding coming up, then I might go 2000 calories, monday, 2000 calories, Tuesday might drop down to 1800 calories, Wednesday, 1800 Thursday, then I'm going to drop down to 1600 on Friday Saturday is the wedding, I can get after it, whatever Go hard then on Sunday I'm probably gonna hit 1600 calories and then bump it back up to 1800 calories, 1800 calories, 2000 calories.

Okay, so that's a very simple way of averaging out your numbers over the week. Now this is a really good technique, but it can also be dangerous because if you have that mindset of restrict and binge where you literally just fucking eat everything and then you just starve yourself. Okay, that is not a good place to be. There's some behavioral issues there, there's some psychological issues there that need to be addressed. So if you're one of those people that do restrict and binge, that's probably not an ideal way of doing it for you. Probably a better way of doing it is to even everything out and make sure you're getting those numbers pretty consistently across the day across the week. So it's more about the trend. It's more about what's going on a long term consistently than what it is from day to day. I'm going to pause there and circle back for a moment to something that I said before that's going to tie into the last thing that I said And that is doing the right thing, 80% of the time that gives you that 20% leeway to do whatever you want. What I recommend people do is actually implement cheat meals or treat meals, call it whatever you want into your week.

A lot of people are really, really good throughout the week. There really disciplined, they're really structured when they're going to work their training, they've got their meals prepped or whatever. They're really good throughout the week and they might be sticking to caloric deficit to target their weight loss goals, but then come the weekend, they just fucking blow everything out. They might be in a, an average five times 525 100 calorie deficit on the weekend. But if they go from eating 2000 calories during the week to eating 4000 calories on sunday, 4000 calories on sunday. Now actually at the end of the week there in a fucking 1500 calorie surplus rather than a 2500 calorie deficit. So they've literally just undone all of their work. So what I recommend doing is utilizing this technique of adding in a treat meal every now and again. As long as you adhere to your energy balance rule, then you're going to be okay Now, I'm not saying you need to absolutely eat everything in sight. This is where on say a Thursday, where you've had a super busy day, you're on your feet a lot more, you've taken extra 10,000 steps and you haven't eaten much throughout the day, 10,000 steps, 500 calories, then your 500 calories short, you've got 1000 calories, pretty much up your sleeve.

So that way you can go and go, you know what I can enjoy this and I can have this food. I can have this glass of one of my partner while we go to the movies and eat some popcorn or whatever. I can have this guilt free. All right, So that's a much much better way of living your life and giving you some flexibility and some allowances to do the things that actually serve you outside of just fucking focusing on health and fitness and gym as health is all encompassing and relationships actually play a massive part in your overall health. That technique is called calorie cycling. I'm a big fan of calorie cycling. Now, we need to think evolutionary speaking, we didn't evolve to eat the same amount of calories every day. Sometimes foods more available. Sometimes food was less available. So our calories actually fluctuated throughout the days. To me, it's a more natural way of eating. However, if you get caught up in the numbers and you need to be really pedantic about your numbers, find what works for you.

Okay, I typically eat depending on what I've just done and what I'm about to do. So my caloric intake is going to fluctuate from day to day, depending on what's going on, how active I am, What type of training I'm doing. The next technique I'll talk about is carb cycling. So, again, this is another another tool that we can use to kind of manipulate our energy levels throughout the day. So going back to the macro nutrient episode where we're talking about carbohydrates being the primary and preferred fuel source. This is where I use carb cycling. So typically for me, a heavy training day is going to be monday Wednesday friday. I'm typically going to be focusing on either strength or power or speed on those days. Then my Tuesday thursday saturday is a little bit of a larger session, a little bit more mobility focused, probably a little bit more kind of accessory work focus. So on those days probably going to lower my carbohydrate intake a little bit and on my training days my heavy training days, monday Wednesday friday.

I'm typically going to bump my carbohydrate intake up a little bit this week and start manipulating carbohydrates depending on how much movement you're doing throughout the day and what type of training you're doing. Each person is going to be completely different here. So you need to find out what works best for you. I've had some online clients as an example that we'll have, we'll bump their carbohydrates up the day before one of the heavy training sessions and that's when they will get most of the benefits other clients might have to bump up their carbohydrate intake on the day that they're doing, they're heavier training. So this comes back down to the individual and figuring out what works best for you Play around with those numbers and see how your body reacts to them and how it affects your performance and your ability to recover. That leads us to the next topic which is nutrient timing. So again going back and listening to the macro nutrient episode will give you a really good understanding of when you should typically be getting in these certain types of foods. Nutrient timing is it's kind of important but it's not as important as a lot of people would have.

You believe in particular supplement companies that promote the anabolic window? Yes the anabolic window is a thing. Is it as important as they make it out to be? No they're literally just ritual izing the intake of protein directly after a training session to kick off protein synthesis because well it affects their bottom line. Yes it is important but it's not as important as they would make it out to be. However if you have everything else told in your energy balance, your macro nutrient ratios and your micro nutrient ratios then this is where nutrient timing can certainly come into play and add some value. But it's not the first place you need to go. First place you need to go is through the foundation of the pyramid. Next up let's discuss meal frequency. I commonly get asked all the time how many meals should I be eating a day? When should I be eating? My carbohydrates? When should I have this? When should I have that? How much do you eat? Blah, blah, blah, blah meal frequency is going to be completely dependent on the person and what their goals are.

If I have someone that is looking to build muscle and they've been eating 3.5 1000 calories, we need to bump them up to say 4000 calories. Then they're not going to get those calories in through three meals. If they're doing 4000 calories, man might need to bump them up to like six meals a day. How that might look is going to be completely dependent on the person. I might have them have four main meals of 800 calories each, so 3200 calories total. And then I might add in two snacks where they're hitting 400 calories. So that might mean something first thing in the morning. Some carbohydrate sources are smoothie or something right before they go and train and then they might repeat that later on in the day where they're having like 400 calories twice a day to hit their overall consumption of 4000 calories. So there is a total of four main meals and two snacks. If I go the other way. However, I might be looking at someone who is has reduced their calories down to roughly 1800. So that person might do well on 3, 600 calorie meals per day.

All right now. If they're not feeling full and they're feeling really hungry, then I might need to adjust that. I might go, all right, let's give them 3 400 calorie meals, 1200 calories, and then let's add in a couple of 200 calorie snacks throughout the day. So, again, completely dependent on the individual. You need to find what works best for you. The last point I'll discuss is the benefits of intermittent fasting. Now again, intermittent fasting is just like all of the other tools. It's a tool to be used at appropriate times. Okay? We need to use the right tool for the right job. Now, for me, I look at intermittent fasting for its health benefits, not its weight loss benefits. If you're looking at intermittent fasting for its weight loss benefits, then you're doing it wrong. This feeds into the issue that I was talking about earlier, of promoting restricting and binging. The benefits of intermittent fasting are numerous and include cell autocracy, which is essentially where our old cells die off reduced inflammation and reduce stress on the digestive system.

However, the secret is in the name intermittent alright. This means you do it intermittently. If you do it every day, you're just starving and feeding Restricting and binging and those same benefits that you get from intermittent fasting no longer apply now, don't get me wrong. I actually love the benefits of fasting and I've done quite a few 24 hour fast and I'll throw them into my days every now and again, depending on how I'm feeling. There's a lot of benefits to them. Okay, but it's like anything that tool needs to be used at the correct time to really reap the benefits. If you do intermittent fast every day and that serves you well then by all means continue doing that, that obviously works for you. So do what's best for your body to wind up this episode. Diets, fasting, calorie, cycling, carb, cycling, meal, frequency, nutrient timing, et cetera. They're all tools to be used at certain times under the appropriate circumstances.

Absolutely critical. Alright now, diets have been around forever. I've gone through the benefits of some of the more popular and effective diets just before we close off, I'll give you an example of some of the crazy diets that have been around in the past. The immortality diet was around in 15 58. This was done by Luigi Carnera, an italian nobleman who lived to be 102. He put his long life down to the immortality diet, which was a restrictive 12 ounces of food and 14 ounces of wine, breath. Arians believe that a person can give up food and water altogether, replace physical food with air and light as well as metaphysical nourishment. This was around in The 1500s in the early 1900s. The Tapeworm Diet was a thing. People would swallow these pills that consisted of tapeworms which then pretty much ate everything that came into your body, but then you're stuck with a tapeworm in your body.

The Lucky Strike diet was a campaign by the Lucky Strike cigarette company which encouraged people to reach for a lucky instead of a sweet in order to get people to suppress the appetite with nicotine. In 1966 the sleeping beauty diet was around. The idea is that users take sedatives so they missed meal times resulting in waking up slimmer. Apparently Elvis Presley tried the diet out in the seventies. Hmm interesting. And that brings us to the end of this episode. In the final episode. In this miniseries, we're gonna be talking about supplements and how we can use supplements to fill in the gaps that are occurring throughout our diet to cover the nutritional pyramid of importance. If you enjoy the message that I'm delivering, please help me spread the word and like share, save and subscribe to my social media platforms, instagram is at K O B E S underscore pft at codes underscore pft.

My facebook is Sean Coba and my business page is at performance functional training. You'll also find performance functional training on youtube. Go and check that out and please pass this on to your friends, family. Anyone else who would benefit from hearing this message and if you could also leave me a five star rating and review that would be much appreciated. Anybody who does leave me a five star rating and review will have precedence when it comes to my Q and A sessions. I'm going to be posting on my social media platforms in the coming weeks of questions and answers you guys ask the questions. I will answer them on a podcast episode. That's it for me today guys, hopefully enjoyed this episode and I look forward to bringing you some awesome content moving forward piece.

Episode 20: Nutritional Pyramid of Importance Mini Series: Diets, Calorie/Carb Cycling, Meal Timing/Planning and Intermittent Fasting
Episode 20: Nutritional Pyramid of Importance Mini Series: Diets, Calorie/Carb Cycling, Meal Timing/Planning and Intermittent Fasting
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