The BIG SIGNS You're Not Healthy In Life & HOW TO FIX IT! | Shawn Stevenson | Transcription
Transcription for the video titled "The BIG SIGNS You're Not Healthy In Life & HOW TO FIX IT! | Shawn Stevenson".
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There are many people who sleep eight to nine hours and they wake up feeling like straight up, you know, hot garbage, you know what I'm saying? And they're just wondering why. It's because this particular topic is, and me being a nutritionist, like I was all like food matters, food first, food is the most important thing. But in my practice and seeing people coming in that, you know, we've got these folks over here, you know, 80% of the time are able to reverse type two diabetes, heart disease, get off their less centipriils and all this different stuff. And then we've got this category of people who just like literally sometimes would ironically kind of keep me up at night. Like, what is wrong? Like I'm doing all these things right. Are they lying to me? And it wasn't until I started to ask people about their sleep that it just like changed everything. And this was about six years ago. And so then, and here's the key. I can't just tell people they need to sleep more. You know this, like people don't wanna change that much. Like we want change, but we want to be little bit, right? And so I found clinically proven strategies that are super easy to implement. Almost things that can happen on automatic to help them improve their sleep quality, right? And once we did that, it's like the floodgates would open for people, you know, it'd been struggling for sometimes, you know, 15, 20 years with their weight. And finally the weight comes off, you know? And seeing people struggling with heart disease or high cholesterol, you know, the so-called bad cholesterol. And seeing those numbers finally get regulated once we got their sleep optimized. And I knew that this was incredibly important part of the conversation that was left out. And as we'll talk about, I know now that our sleep quality is more important than our diet and exercise combined. But what it does for our health and also literally our physical appearance, fascinating stuff, how much more fat you lose when you get optimal sleep, it's insane. - That's a bold statement.
Understanding And Optimizing Sleep
Sleep Benefits (01:58)
So walk me through what are some of the just core benefits that I'm gonna get, assuming that I'm sleeping sub-optimally. Like, why is that a problem? Since that's probably one of the most celebrated like things, like when you get a little sleep, people like champion you. Normally I'd sleep five to six hours a night with no alarm, okay? I haven't said an alarm in 15 years. So that's just, that was my cycle. I go to bed early, very consistently. My diet is on point, my exercise is on point. And so I'd wake up feeling awesome. And so I thought this is cash money. But because I don't set an alarm, that my sleep cycle will change. And right now I'm getting like seven to nine hours out of nowhere and super consistently. And I literally have no idea why, I'm warmer now. So I used to be freezing cold at all times. And then at the same time that my, and I don't know, correlated, causative, no idea, I've started being warmer while I sleep. And then during the day. So what are like the core components of sleep? Was something bad happening to me or less than optimal when I was only getting six hours, even though I felt good? Any correlation between the heat and the extra sleep? There's a lot to unpack there. Number one, what's so interesting is that you were doing something exceptionally right as far as with the research shows, with improving your sleep, which is you were going to bed kind of consistently a little bit earlier than other folks might. And so what we call this is this anabolic window or what we call money time sleep. And this is generally between the hours of 10 and two because it's more lined up with their natural melatonin secretion. So if you go to sleep during those times, you actually spend more time in the deepest, most anabolic stages of sleep. You tend to produce more human growth hormone than other folks. So you were already winning with that. This is why you have a tendency to feel better even if you're getting less sleep because this isn't called sleep more, right? It's sleep smarter. And there are many people who sleep eight to nine hours and they wake up feeling like straight up, you know, hot garbage, you know what I'm saying? And they're just wondering why? It's because it's the quality of sleep. And when I say quality of sleep, what does that mean? Let's break that down. So your sleep is regulated by changes in your brain waves. It's really fascinating stuff. And we still don't know really what sleep is. Trying to define sleep is like trying to define, you know, in the course of Gump's life is like a box of chocolate. Sleep is like pretending to be dead. We don't really know, right? But we do know the changes that happen in the brain. We cycle from kind of a normal waking state with gamma, beta, but probably in beta right now. We move to alpha, theta, deltas, where that deep, anabolic, dreamless sleep takes place. And we need all of them. And there's a certain percentage we spend in each that helps to rejuvenate our mind and bodies. And if you optimize certain things, you'll do it more efficiently. One of those gear shifts, like if you think about your body, like this kind of manual transmission is melatonin. Like people hear about melatonin is a sleep hormone. It just helps your body to efficiently go through your sleep cycles. And if your melatonin is suppressed by various things, you know, I'll share a couple, then you're not going through those efficiently and you can wake up feeling like a piñata after the party the next day, even though you're spending all this time on the mattress. So that's number one.
Thermal Regulation (05:25)
Number two, there's this interesting process called thermal regulation. There's a natural drop in your core body temperature at night to help facilitate sleep for all of us if things are running properly. But what was fascinating, and I shared a study about this, is that they tested insomnia acts and everyone in this particular clinical study all had too high body temperature at night. It would not go down. And so what they did was they fit them with these thermosuits, right? That lowers their skin temperature, not even their core temperature, just one degree, and virtually eliminated all their symptoms of insomnia. Whoa. Ambient can't do that, all right? And it's as simple as paying attention to how your body temperature influences your sleep. And so with your body temperature changing like that, it's kind of feeling more of an insulation as a result of having more sleep. There's a ton of different things that could be correlated there. So I'm not gonna say that the sleep is a causative factor, but it's really interesting how your body does change in accordance to sleep. There's a natural rise in your core body temperature as the night goes on that helps to kind of wake you up. So what I did wanna share though, when I said that kind of bold statement in the beginning, when we're talking about how sleep influences your body composition, I think everybody needs to know this. There was a study really blew my mind, and this was done at the University of Chicago. And they took people and they put them on a calorie restricted diet, kind of typical stuff again, on taught in college, to see the impact on weight loss, when they're sleep deprived or getting enough sleep, all right? So they put the people on this particular diet, monitor everything, one phase of study, they're getting eight and a half hours of sleep, all right? And then they track all their metrics, another phase of the study, same exact diet, same exercise, they don't change anything else, but now they sleep deprived them, and they take away three hours of sleep. So now they're getting five and a half hours of sleep versus eight and a half hours of sleep. At the end of the study, they found that when individuals were well rested, they burned 55% more body fat, just by getting more sleep. And so the question is, how does this happen? Melatonin, when I talked about this a little bit earlier, it's not just that it's involved in sleep, it's also involved in fat loss. And this study, it was done in the Journal of Pineal Research, found that melatonin production helps to increase your body's mobilization of something called brown adipose tissue, right?
This is a type of fat that burns fat, all right? And the reason that it's brown is that it has more mitochondria, so it's very energy dense, right? These mitochondria, just for people who, I'm sure people have heard of this, but it's like these energy power plants in yourselves that are creating the energy currency of your body, like how you experience energy, the energy exchange, something called ATP. And so when you are producing adequate melatonin, you're producing and mobilizing adequate amounts of brown adipose tissue, which just puts you in a metabolically advantaged state, right? But if you're not getting the melatonin production, which you've got to meet two requirements, number one, you need a biological night. So that means this could actually be during the day, but it's a consistent cycle of when it gets produced. But the other requirement needs to be met, that you need darkness. Your body produces melatonin exclusively in darkness. And so that's one. Also, how do they get that body fat change? HGH, production, which we talked about too. Human growth hormone is muscle sparing, and it's a big driver of energy. It's also known as a youth hormone. Kids have an insane amount of HGH being produced. This is why they have so much energy. We have a pretty sharp decline in our production right around 18 to 20. But my argument is that around 18 to 20, we generally, in our culture, like we leave the house, we might go to college, that kind of thing, and we no longer have structure, we no longer have rules. And we're not going to produce as much HGH. Third thing really quickly, and this is all has to do with the diet and the food choices is leptin. And I know people have talked about leptin before, but leptin is your body, it's kind of glorified, satiety hormone.
And so when you're producing adequate amounts of leptin, you feel more in control. You feel more satiated. But when leptin kind of falls off the map or you have leptin resistance can take place, then we're going to have some pretty big issues with you regulating your cravings and your appetite. And so Stanford University researchers found that just one night of sleep deprivation radically suppresses your leptin. And now I hope folks can start to pay attention whenever you might not get the best sleep, how your cravings change the next day. You're going to have a tendency to want a number one, eat more, number two, you want to eat more, kind of the starchy, crunchy, salty, sugary type things. And I remember my wife who's actually here, when we had our son, and she's never seen me eat this food. I was sitting there like waiting for the baby to come, I was eating chocolate covered raises. I was just like, and I didn't even realize I was doing it. You know, it was like three o'clock in the morning, you know? And so that's another thing. And last one I'll share, and there's so many that create that change in your body composition. But this one is incredibly important, is cortisol. Cortisol has been drug through the mud recently. You know, it's been blamed for everything, but it's not really a bad guy, it's just misunderstood. All right, cortisol is incredibly important. For example, cortisol is important for your thyroid to work. All right, and that's kind of like the metabolism regulator of your body. But here's the thing, just one night of sleep deprivation radically increases your cortisol, and suppresses melatonin actually as well. But this rise in cortisol has a really powerful ability to start to break down your muscle tissue, which muscles your body's kind of fat burning machinery. And so it can convert your muscle tissue into glucose. It's a process called gluconeogenesis as a kind of fight or flight response, because your physiology doesn't know why you're not sleeping. You know, it must be some danger about, you know? And so understanding those major hormones, and there's many others, you start to see the picture that gets painted with just how much your sleep quality impacts your physical appearance. It's really crazy. I've always known you need sleep, but I didn't know why. And so getting into, or transitioning I should say, because I always knew you needed sleep, because if I didn't get it, I felt terrible. But that was sort of the end of it. And I even let myself just stop it, that we don't really know why you sleep, but not diving into the real breakdown, which is really fascinating.
How can people optimize their sleep? (11:48)
So what are things then that people can do to actually optimize their sleep? Yeah, this is what it's really all about. You know, I like to start with the low hanging fruit first. And something really, really fascinating is just simply changing or embracing the time of day that you exercise can improve your sleep quality. And so Appalachian State University did a really cool study, and they wanted to see what time of day, exercising various times a day, how does it impact your sleep quality? And so they had the study participants exercise exclusively at 7 a.m. And another phase exclusively at 1 p.m. in the afternoon, another phase exclusively at 7 p.m. in the evening. They compiled all the data. And at the end of the study, they found that morning exercisers spend more time in the deepest, most anabolic stage of sleep, so they're producing more human growth hormone. They have more efficient sleep cycles what we've been talking about. They also tend to sleep longer, and this is the one that kind of can get glanced past. On average, they had about a 25% greater drop in blood pressure at night. So what's up with that? That's correlated with a deactivation of your sympathetic fight or flight nervous system. So you're actually able to shift gears, get to that parasympathetic rest and digest, calming down by getting some exercise in in the morning. And so how do we employ this though? That's the question, because some people is just like, I can't exercise in the morning. And there's also people who exercise in the morning who might have terrible sleep. And it's because this is not like the magic bullet. This is a thing to stack in your condition.
What are the issues when exercising first thing in the morning? (13:30)
If you're doing this and then messing up the one I'm gonna talk about next, you're probably not gonna have the best sleep. So here's how to employ this, just five minutes. And I tested this. Each morning I do this five minutes of exercise. It might be just jumping on a rebounder, little mini trampoline for five minutes. Go for a quick power walk, do some tabata, which is just four minutes, and a little mobility work. - And I guess most people don't know what tabata is. - I mean, it's a high intensity interval training, basically. It's 20 seconds of exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated over and over again for four minutes. And in his clinical studies, this was found to outperform, you know, traditional cardio, like the kind of moderate intensity, 45 minutes of exercise in four minutes. - Wow. - The change in your cardiovascular benefits, body composition, and also change your mitochondria as well. This is why it works. It does something called a cortisol reset. We talked about cortisol, but again, it's a good thing if it's in the right time and the right amount. Clinically, I would call these people tired and wired, that would come in and looking at the hormone panels, and the cortisol would be really low in the morning and high at night. Thus, they have sleep problems. So you naturally, if your cortisol is on a natural hormone rhythm, it would be elevated at its peak in the morning, right around six a.m. to eight a.m. and then gradually decline as the day goes on. Does that have to do with what time you wake up? - Sort of. I mean, the cortisol will kind of tend to nudge you out of sleep, but also will tend to notice that as your sleep goes on, it becomes lighter and lighter anyways, right? This is when you tend to remember your dreams like at the end of the sleep. And so getting this little boost, like helping your body to propel and get your cortisol up via exercise helps to reset that rhythm and get you back on track. So that's why it works. So that's number one, low hanging fruit, just get in five minutes of exercise. Start in the morning, no matter what, just five minutes, that's all you need.
How can people use exercise to reset their cortisol? (15:23)
It's gonna help to create this snowball effect of good things for you, you know, five minutes. If this is the time you do go to the gym and do your full workout, so be it all good. But everybody who's not already doing that, just get that five minutes in. The second one, and this one is more of the tough love, and the most difficult, but this is the most important one in our culture today. And it's has to do with our tech, all right? So Harvard researchers have confirmed that blue light exposure from our favorite devices, you know, iPads or iPhones, and droids, tablets, televisions, they do in fact suppress your melatonin substantially. - Because your body essentially thinks the sun's out? Is that the problem?
The Problem (16:08)
- So we have photoreceptors that are always trying to gauge what time it is, right? Because our bodies are wired up to be in sync with nature. But only recently, like literally just the past few decades that we've been able to manipulate and basically create a second daytime, right? So your body's just, it doesn't really know how to figure it out. And so the blue and white spectrum specifically are the ones that are more similar to daylight. And so what it's doing is, and so here's what the researchers found, basically every hour you're on your device at night, suppress is melatonin for about 30 minutes, right? So if you're on your, you know, you watch a movie, a three hour movie, for example, your melatonin is gonna be suppressed. Even if you go to bed right after, you're not producing adequate melatonin for about an hour and a half. And so again, you can be unconscious from sheer physical exhaustion, but you're not gonna go through your sleep cycles efficiently. And so just be mindful of that. What I encourage people to do is to give yourself a screen curfew, just 30 minutes, all right? I don't wanna make this complicated, just 30 minutes. But here's the rub. We are addicted to our devices, like straight up, we just need to be, I am, we all are, you know? Basically, it's because of this dopamine loop, right? Dopamine is so powerful, so interesting. Dopamine is one of the things I truly feel has helped to create our civilization as it is, because it drives us to seek, right? Dopamine drives us to seek and to grow and to find, to discover. The internet is perfect for manipulating this because every time you look for something, you find something, especially social media. You seek, find, seek, find. You produce the dopamine, it drives you to look. But why do you keep going is, every time you find something, you get a little bit of a hit from your opioid system. It's like this slow drip, right, of morphine. And so it starts to feel really good. And to the point where you might be doing your work and you've got a deadline, and you just, I'll check Instagram real quick. Before you know, it's like 30 minutes later, you fall into the internet black hole, just like, it just pulls you in. So be aware of that. I'm not saying again, our connection with tech is just gonna grow. So I'm not bashing that. It's just be aware of it. And that when you try to abide by this principle, which will really, really help your sleep quality to give yourself a screen curfew, you can't just sit there and twiddle your thumbs because you'll get what I call the internet jitters, right? You'll start getting like a little bit of a withdrawal effect. Like, just check, one, it's one post. What we have to do is this, you have to replace it with something of greater or equal value. It's really that simple. Hopefully, it's what I encourage people to do. This is an opportunity to connect, right? Connect with your significant other, your kids, the people like physical, like have a real conversation with somebody, right? I know it sounds crazy, but it really works. It's really, really good. And also, this is a great opportunity if you're in a relationship or not, whatever. You're into, you could utilize, and I have a chapter on this as well, intimate time, because there's a big connection between sex and sleep. And there's also a big connection between sleep and sex and how it impacts your sex life. And so, when we have an orgasm, for example, produced up chemical, I'm sorry, cocktail of chemicals, including oxytocin, norpinephrine, prolactin. And oxytocin, for example, has been found clinically to basically combat the effects of cortisol. And hopefully, sex is more interesting than Instagram, but, you know, I don't know, it depends on how you're doing it. And so, that's what I want people to do, a screen curfew, and/or use these hacks, utilize some blue light blockers. And so, for your desktops, laptops, things like that, you can get an app called Flux, that pulls out the most troublesome, sleep-sucking spectrum of light from your screen, and basically cools your screen off. And it's a simple app, you set it and forget it, it's totally free. You just go to dr. Google, type in F.L.U.X. And a couple clicks, and it's on your device, I've been using it for maybe five or six years. I love it. And for your telephone, you know, your cell phone, we've got, on the iPhones built in now, is Night Shift, with Androids, the best one out there, from my research is one called Twilight. So, there's offices for everybody. Then what about the ambient light at night, or if you're watching a movie? Again, I don't want to get too neurotic about it, but if this is a problem for you, and you're not sleeping as well as you could be, or your results, your body composition, not changing, you're not getting that blood pressure down, you're not having that focus you need through the day, then you might want to address this. But another little hack is to get some blue, like, blackened glasses. The first ones I had was straight up like, I just built the birdhouse. But now there's some really cool, stylish ones that you could rock. As a matter of fact, you'll create a neuro association. When you put the glasses on, and you'll start to get sleepy. You know, it's nuts. And that is another thing right there, is to create an evening ritual, right? Your brain is always looking for patterns. A lot of successful people, especially listening to the things that you're putting out there, have a success ritual in the morning. But a great morning starts the night before. You know, a truly great morning. And so, a couple of quick things people can do is the thermal regulation piece, turn down your thermostat, all right? Now this one's, again, this is gonna hit a pressure point for some people, but according to the research, between 62 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for sleep. And so, for some people, it's gonna sound a little bit frosty, but lowering the thermostat a little bit can have incredible benefit for your sleep. But this doesn't mean you can't use your covers and put on some warm socks, that kind of thing. So, cooling off this thermostat, making sure that your bedroom, ideally, I call it a sleep sanctuary. And so, when you walk into your bedroom at night, if your brain has a neuro association, when I go into my bedroom, I'm watching television, I'm working, those channels are gonna fire because of the myelin getting laid down over the years of you doing that behavior, or even months it can get laid down. What is up, my friend, Tom Billie here, and I have a big question to ask you, how would you rate your level of personal discipline on a scale of one to 10, if your answer?
Sleep III (22:10)
Is anything less than a 10? I've got something cool for you. And let me tell you right now, discipline, by its very nature, means compelling yourself to do difficult things that are stressful, boring, which is what kills most people, are possibly scary or even painful. Now, here is the thing, achieving huge goals and stretching to reach your potential requires you to do those challenging, stressful things, and to stick with them even when it gets boring, and it will get boring, building your level of personal discipline is not easy, but let me tell you, it pays off.
How to build ironclad discipline."" (22:32)
In fact, I will tell you, you're never going to achieve anything meaningful unless you develop discipline. All right, I've just released a class from Impact Theory University, called How to Build Ironclad Discipline that teaches you the process of building yourself up in this area so that you can push yourself to do the hard things that greatness is going to require of you. Right, click the link on the screen, register for this class right now, and let's get to work. I will see you inside this workshop from Impact Theory University, until then my friends, be legendary, peace out. And so you might have the intention of going to bed, but if your TV's in there, your brain is gonna be firing, expecting to watch television, parts of your brain are gonna be waking up in a way. And so, I encourage people to get the tech out of your room, have your bedroom be a sleep sanctuary, you know, or some place that's just for the double S, which is sleep and sex. Here's also a really interesting reason why. There's an Italian study done, they found that couples who have a television in their bedroom have 50% less sex. - Really? - Yeah, yeah. - That's interesting. - And you know, this is a little bit more middle age, little past middle age, the people in the study. But, and I know some people like, it's not true, I have sex all the time. You probably do it in a snowstorm. Like, it doesn't matter where you are, like you're a human rabbit, it doesn't matter. But for other people, it's like a distraction, right? It's a distraction, and it can also, you know, create all of those kind of chemical soup issues that we've been talking about with elevating cortisol, and those kind of things. So, ideally, get your television out of the room, the other tech, and last thing with the sleep environment I'll share, when I talked about melatonin, you need those two conditions, biological night, and you also need a dark environment. And so, if you're in an environment where you're maybe in a suburban or city environment, where there's like neighbors, porch lights coming in, there's LEDs outside, cars coming up and down the street, as crazy as this sounds, that small amount of light, where we're now dubbing light pollution, can have a significant impact on your sleep quality. And here's why we know this. Cornell University, I think, did the best study on this. And they took a test subject and had them sleep in an otherwise dark room, and they took a light, a fiber optic cable, and a light the size of a quarter, and put it behind their knee. And that was enough to disrupt their sleep cycle. Because your skin also has photoreceptors that is sending information to your brain, your nervous system, your internal organs, to try to tell your body what time it is, is trying to figure it out. So, we wanna get rid of that artificial light exposure. Now, does this mean moonlight and stars? No, humans have evolved with those things, and they're luxe, like I actually put a luxe chart in the book, it's so small compared to even the weakest fluorescent bulbs. And so, get yourself some blackout curtains if that external light is an issue. Internal light, your alarm clocks and light lamps, some people still are sleeping with their lights on and things like that. Be mindful of that, and also what you can do is just change the bulb color. If you still have issues with the dark, which some adults do, and that's okay, you can change the bulb color. And I actually had some NASA scientists, people that work with them, to send me some different bulbs, because folks in space, they don't have that biological clock. And so, they would experience all these different health challenges. They had to try to figure it out, and they knew that it was an issue with their sleep. And so, they start to give them different bulbs for different times of day, in a way, even though they're in outer space. So, it's really cool what you can do with these little hacks, but bottom line is, you wanna have a dark cycle so you can produce melatonin, and those are just a few, those are just a few of the different things people can do. - It's really interesting, 'cause you've talked about how like the light behind the knee, you've got these photoreceptors, and they're communicating, there's a lot of signaling going on.
Why food is data and sleep is a hormone reset. (26:25)
You've said that the brain makes the body, and then you've also said that food is data. Talk to me about what do you mean by food is data? I think that's a pretty powerful concept. - Yeah, definitely. This was a big game changer for me early on, when I realized that, you know, food, the food that I was eating wasn't just food, it was information. And every single bite of food that I was eating, and this is something that I've been studying now for over 10 years, I absolutely love this, is something called Neutrogenomics. And it's a study looking at how every single molecule food that you eat impacts your genetic expression. Food is that powerful, you know, and several other epigenetic factors like sleep, which might be the biggest epigenetic influence, you get to choose what kind of copies are being made of you. You know, your genes are basically blueprint to print out certain copies. And there's upwards of like 4,000 different variations that one gene can do. And you get to have a big role, a big part, in how those genes are getting expressed. So understanding that when we eat, you know, particular food, it isn't just, I'm just eating this thing, it's setting off a cascade of events. And it's incredibly empowering, but also it can be really sobering. And again, I don't want to give people into the neurotic state because I've been there, but it's more like the majority of what we want to do is things that are hormone healthy, things that are healthy for your DNA, things that are healthy for your genetic expression. Because, you know, again, you have a big influence on that. And so, you know, early on really kind of having that light bulb go off, it really empowered me to start making food decisions that can help me, 'cause, you know, if you really think about this, I had the spine of an 80 year old man when I was 20 years old. I'm in some ways, I'm like Benjamin Button, all right? Like I'm aging backwards, you know? Have you guys talked about telomeres yet? - On the show now. - So telomeres are basically the most, the most valuable asset that we have currently to basically tell us how long we're going to live, all right? And so what do I mean by that? Your telomeres are like these little, the iglets at the end of your shoestrings that keep your shoestrings from unraveling. That's kind of like how telomeres work. They're the end caps at the end of your chromosomes. And as life goes on, your cells divide, and those, they keep getting clipped off. Those telomeres get clipped off, shorter and shorter to the point where your DNA basically unravels, right? And so, the crazy thing is that sleep, your sleep spectrum, you know, whether you're getting high quality sleep or sleep deprived, could be the biggest influence on your telomere length, all right? So literally aging you faster when you're sleep deprived.
Sleep matters, on other levels though. (29:26)
So because, you know, when we're younger, we're like, sleep three hours, whatever, it's no big deal and you can quote, "Get away with it." And you can, but what you're doing is accelerating your aging process. I know that when this was happening, even before I got the diagnosis, sleep just wasn't like, I wasn't something I thought about, you know? And so I was accelerating my aging process, literally what I know. Another huge player in that is the information that we put into our body, you know, the food and the water. And also a big player is our environment, you know, our relationships, the people around us. And if you were to ask me, you know, sleep is more powerful than exercise and nutrition combined on your physical appearance and your health, but your relationships are the biggest governing force over all of it. Because that is the most influential thing on the decision you make with your sleep, on the decision you make with the food that you eat, on the decision you make on whether or not you're exercising or winning how you do it, you know? So it's incredibly important to be mindful of if we're looking at ways that we can stave off the aging process, stay young, vital, healthy, happy, as long as possible, we need to be mindful of all of those things. And again, I don't want to create a neurosis today, but there is a way to go about it. And I think that the foundational piece is listening to people like you, you know, constantly, you know, every day, getting that daily dose of like getting your mind right, getting your inner game together and immersing yourself in information like this and carry that with you into the world and do your best to get around people that are uplifting you, that are supporting you and you being the person that you want to become. - This cookie cutter system of nutrition has not really given us good results if we just look at what's happening with our society. A big part of that, as you mentioned, when I went to school, I went to a nice, private university, very expensive, they had a great pre-med track and I took a nutritional science class, which was an elective, I didn't have to take it. I thought nutrition had to do with fitness, right? So I was like, okay, I'm gonna learn about how to be more fit. There was nuance there because, you know, I didn't really understand the difference with health and fitness. And so the very first day of class, the very first day of class, he said that, if you want to control your body composition, all you have to do is control calories. If you want to control your health, we just need to manage calories. Calories were the tip of the spear. It was the thing that we would talk, if we can regulate this thing, this entity, then we can regulate our health. Now, the big problem is kind of manifested in culture is that there's actually these epic caloric controllers, all right, sort of like epigenetics, right? There's things that are above genetic control. Now we know there are things above caloric control that actually control what calories do in our bodies, which gets back to our unique metabolic fingerprint in a moment, but getting that from my professor, by the way, sidebar, my professor was borderline obese himself and he was an incredibly brilliant man. And he was doing the things that he was in like secretly going and like beer-bonging, like three musketeers or whatever, like, he was teaching us at the time it was the food pyramid, right?
Calorie Consumption And Fat Loss
It's about the QUALITY not just the QUANTITY; of the calories (32:23)
Seven to 11 servings of whole grains each day should be the staple, the base of the diet. And in that system of thinking, all he did was he created learned helplessness because he kept trying to do the thing. He was just like, well, I just need 14 to 19 servings of whole grains and I'll get it. I just need to cut my calories more and it wasn't working. And what we know today is that, for example, I'll give you one of the epic caloric controllers. You've said this before, Tom, you've heard many people say this, it's not just the calories, it's the quality of the calories. Just like with sleep smarter, it's not just the minutes of sleep, it's the quality of those minutes. And so now we've got a really interesting study. This was published in Food and Nutrition Research and I mapped this out really well in each smarter. The research wanted to find out what happened, what happens when you eat a meal of whole foods versus a meal of processed foods. And so they had some tests subject to consume what they deemed to be a whole food sandwich, which was multi-grain bread and chatter cheese. All right? Now that's of course, it's debatable, but now they've got the other group of test subjects consuming a processed food sandwich, which was white bread and cheese product. And some folks might be like, what the hell is cheese product? That's what craft is, craft singles. They can't legally call it craft cheese because there's not enough cheese in the cheese, but as I digress. So anyways, here's the most important part of this story. The sandwiches are the exact same amount of calories, the whole food version and the processed food version. Same amount of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. On paper, same sandwich, it should have the same metabolic effect. According to the calories and calories out model, but here's what happened. After compiling the data, the folks who ate the processed food sandwich had a 50% reduction in calorie burn after eating that meal versus the people who ate the whole food version. - All right, so I'm gonna pause it there. How did they determine burn? - Right, yeah. So this is a great example in Little Sidebar for everybody to understand the pathway of fat leaving your body or what we call this caloric expenditure. So that's one of the things we're demystifying and it's smart, it's like, where the hell does fat go? Where does fat go when you lose it? Where does this cold burn process happen?
The goal of fat loss. (34:58)
So number one, we've got, when we're thinking about eliminating fat, we can't indiscriminately kill a fat cell itself. When you're born, you have about the same amount of fat cells that you have today. What happens is the fat cells themselves get filled with contents, right, in the form of these energy packets, like triglycerides. And what we're doing, by the way, your fat cells can swell up and they can become 100 times their size, their original size. So it's crazy what fat cells can do. And so what the goal is, when we're talking about quote, fat loss, is getting the fat cell to number one open to release its contents, then it needs to get shuttled to its end station, which primarily the mitochondria, to actually be burned at this metabolic power plant. And it gives off this ATP, gives off energy. But what they discovered was that about 84% of the fat that we lose is via carbon dioxide when we breathe out. - So as you describe the sandwich, so first of all, the mildly processed sandwich, 'cause even cheese is obviously processed food, does not strike me as the ideal barometer for whether this is accurate. So it's interesting that there are still pretty staggering results between mildly processed and extremely processed. And then what is your prediction? If they were to do that with like the Sean Stevenson prescribed whole food diet, would that reduction in burn from where you're at with a true, real optimized whole food diet be even more-- - Even better. Yes, exactly, that's the point. That's the point, but that's getting back to what are your genes expecting you to eat? Because the further we get kind of mutated in a way from the origin of a food, the more complex it becomes for ourselves to really recognize how to use that food, which created these, what I call these hormonal clogs. So this is why there was this reduction in energy expenditure post-eating that sandwich. Basically, their hormones, their tissues became much more stingy and hanging onto that caloric energy. And-- - So fat cells not opening up? - So that's number one. And this is the part of the nuance, like we can't identify-- - We don't-- - The study doesn't identify, right, where is the clog happening, but we know it's happening? And I would argue that it's happening throughout the entire process, right? The fat cell being able to have its intelligence to do its job correctly. Because another thing, even if the fat cell releases contents, it can get reabsorbed somewhere else. So it needs to get to its end destination and then the process of metabolism with the mitochondria, the mitochondria have to be healthy and doing their job. And so so many pieces along this process can become damaged. And here's the great thing about us as humans, we're very resilient. Like your body can sort itself, if you just look at us, like just look at what the body is able to take, how unhealthy we can be and still be kicking, you know? But also just imagine how good things can get as well, you know, when we're giving our bodies the right thing. So our bodies are always seeking to get back into homeostasis.
Indiscriminately killing fat. (38:07)
It's always looking for that. But it's also very resilient in helping you to survive. And one of the things that I really want to bring forward as well in this conversation of fat, because again, I didn't know we were talking about this, but in our culture, we're trying to kill fat. We're trying to get rid of fat. We have over 200 million people in our country are overweight or obese right now. And right now we have 43% of our citizens are clinically obese, moving towards 50% half of our population within the next couple of years. It's insane. And I think you come from a similar circumstance. In my family, just say I got 30 close family members, 28 of them were obese growing up. - Oh sure. - And these are, this doesn't mean that they're bad people. It doesn't mean that they're not trying. It doesn't mean that they want to be obese. It's just the nature of the environment that we're in and not really knowing how metabolism works. And so this idea of indiscriminately killing fat, we have to do away with that. Because our body fat is actually, it's pretty amazing. It's actually doing what it's designed to do. It's what's enabled us as humans to evolve and get to this point. Because it was this incredibly, incredibly intelligent energy storage system during times when things were a little bit leaner. And the problem is we don't have any lean times anymore, at all.
Need to be kind (39:27)
- So you were a clinician for 10 years. I find your approach to talking about fat right now, very revealing and I'm interested to know why you take it. So you're being very kind. As a clinician, have you learned that you have to have a level of kindness to get people to start doing the right things? Like why lead with that? Instead of just saying, 'cause your book ends with a prescription. You tell people go do this. And look, you cage it a thousand different ways or head to your bed saying that I don't like to prescribe things like everybody's different. Why are you leading with kindness when you talk about fat? - Tom, man, I love you. This is why I love talking with you. It is very intentional. I don't come from very kind circumstances. When I was in college and figuring all this stuff out, I lived in Ferguson, Missouri. When I lived in a apartment complex, sleeping on the mattress on the floor. I never met anybody who went to college, let alone graduated except maybe professors or something like that. But just from the environment that I was in, and I was inundated with poor health and violence. And even myself, I was kicked out of high school my entire junior year of fighting. I got kicked out of that same private university that I mentioned that I went to in the first place. I got kicked out of that school for fighting. Who does that? Who goes in college kicks kicked out for fighting? I just grew up in an environment where we're taught to solve our conflicts with violence. And so I say that to say, part of it is, I believe that humans are inherently good. And, but we are also products of our environment, of our environment, but we're creators of our environment as well when we become aware of it. And so once I started changing the inputs I was putting into my body, I didn't just become physically healthier. My thoughts changed. You know, my perception of reality. And I came across this quote from Einstein very early on. And I mentioned it towards the end of the book that the most fundamental decision that we make is whether we live in a friendly or hostile universe. - I love that quote so much. - Man, like I get the chills right now because I lived in what seemed like a hostile situation. And I just start to see beauty everywhere, man. I start to see potential everywhere. I start to see the goodness in people because we're all just trying to get our needs met. And seeing in my clinical practice, nine times out of 10, the people making it to me, they have been, they weren't treated with kindness. And so I start to lead with that and see people open up. Just when I let them talk, and here's a big tip for the coaches out there, if you let somebody talk, if you just ask them questions, they will tell you the cause and cure of what's going on with them. They already know, but we have to have the patience and the kindness to do those things. And also knowing that oftentimes, even though they were making the decision to put the food in their mouth, yes. But I'm coming from a place where I didn't know that there was a difference. I just didn't know. As soon as I got access, I started to make better choices. - Now you didn't know what, that there was a difference in the foods he reading, like the quality of calories? - Exactly, yeah. I didn't know that there was a difference between a fish stick and wild caught salmon. It's just food. It's just stuff that we eat. And we're just trying to survive. Let alone thinking about thriving and cognitive performance and all this stuff. We're just trying to get by. But once I became aware of how much food mattered, that's part one, the awareness, but part two is also the accessibility. I had to take myself outside of my environment, Tom, and actually go to mile on the other side of town to a wild oats. Like I had to make exceptional decisions to make those things happen, but investing back in my self-paid off dividends, but most folks don't even know that that first part is an option to begin with. - So we're leading with kindness. I'm assuming lowering people's defenses. We wanna avoid the morality of food. I know online, you always avoid sort of BS. You talk a lot about not getting involved in arguments over minutia and staying like, "Hey, let's look at this sort of big swaths of what's actually gonna make progress." Okay, cool.
Why dont people do the things they know are good for them? (43:44)
So we're being kind. I'm assuming we're encouraging people to be kind to themselves. This is not a moral failing if you find yourself unhealthy. What this is is some fundamental misunderstanding. But you just said that people, if you let them talk, they'll actually tell you what the fix is. So if they know what the fix is, why aren't they doing it? Mm, this is a great question. For me, there's two parts. Part one is the education. And this is huge. You're a big proponent of this because you might know that there's an issue with something, but you might not be educated on why that is and also what to do about it, right? And so in the instance of food, I mentioned a little bit briefly about my indoctrination in my first encouragement science class, which again, my professor meant well, but he was teaching me something that was fundamentally flawed because it ignores the fact that your body is made of food. All right. My colleagues, I know the top cardiologist in the world, top gastroenterologist, top neurologist, the list goes on and on. They might go to school for 12 years to become a cardiologist and learn about food for two weeks. And your heart is made of fucking food. This is the problem. Like you don't even know what the thing is made of that you're treating. And then we're treating the dysfunction with the drug. Right, you've got the cinepro. You've got statins. You're not understanding your heart is made from food. The blood running through your arteries is made from food. The arteries themselves are made from food. So the system itself is fundamentally flawed. So again, people coming in, they might be aware that, yeah, I need to change what I'm eating. I know that. But they're so far removed from understanding how powerful it is and what to do about it. Because of the cookie cutter stuff that again, my colleague might get two weeks of training in, which is like low fat diet, plenty of fiber. All this is really superficial BS. And then they're telling their patients, you need to lose weight. How? How? Like, and so often, and I talk about this in the book, our system of healthcare has been treating the healthcare professionals so poorly. It's a badge of honor to absolutely destroy yourself in medical school. And then try to pull yourself out of it, you know, and just so you see the high rates of suicide, depression, anxiety, obesity, dying from the very same things that they're treating. The system is flawed. And it's fundamentally because it's not appreciated the fact that we, as I'm seeing Tom right now, and as he's seeing me, we're seeing the food that we eat. It's remarkable. - That's really well said. Okay, so I'm gonna start putting my finger on some of the things that I think end up causing people problems.
Are all calories the same (46:25)
This is obviously a world I'm extraordinarily familiar with. So put somebody on a low enough calorie diet. No matter what those calories are comprised of, I could give somebody a Twinkie with arsenic on it. And if it is low enough in calories, over time if the arsenic doesn't kill them, they're gonna lose weight. They're gonna lose fat on top of a whole host of other problems. But like, what do you say to that, Sean Stevenson? - Ooh, this is good. And there's actually a professor who did the Twinkie diet in the Twinkie experiment. You know, just like, see, I told you guys, it's just the calories. Now here's some of the fundamental issues with that. Because anybody who's just as even as remotely versed in nutrition and just fundamentals of health, because again, our system of medicine just focuses on disease. Not what creates real health, but like, what is this impact that it's having on your neurotransmitters, this Twinkie diet? What is it doing to your pancreas? What are you making your heart cells out of, right? What is the long-term ramifications of a di-protocol like that? And so here's the term that I, again, impressing upon culture is epichloric control. We mentioned the quality of food briefly. But another one of these major controllers is the microbiome. And I know that of course you had folks talking about this on the show, but I wanna take this to another level because this has to do with your body's processing of calories and research. And this was published in the journal Cell, really crazy study. They discovered that there's a certain bacteria that they found in mice that blocked their intestines from absorbing as many calories from the food that they ate. Now, through the lens of allopathic medicine, we need to bottle up whatever bacteria that is in cell S-shaped. - You know, for example. - Just block people's intestines. That's it. You know, block people's intestines from absorbing as many calories, you can keep eating what you want. Not understanding your body does not operate in a vacuum. There's no such thing as side effects. These are direct effects because everything's interconnected. One of the things I saw early on in my clinical practice, probably five years into it. I've been in this space for 19 years, but 10 years in clinical practice, probably about five years into it, I came across a study because so many people coming in, statins were like, they were the hottest thing on the streets, right? Because everybody was coming in on a statin. And there was a study that came out, revealing that folks taking a statin had a 30% increase incidence of having diabetes now. All right? Something was happening with creating abnormal blood sugar. You know, does this have to do with the beta cells? Does it have to do with insulin sensitivity? You know, that was open for debate, but we knew that it was happening. And so when you try to treat that symptom with, okay, we just need to get everybody this bacteria, it's just gonna affect my bacteria's ability to produce B12. Is it gonna affect my bacteria's ability to produce short chain fatty acids to protect my gut lining and prevent autoimmune conditions? We can't think about it in those terms. So here's where we do think about it. All right, so they discover this bacteria. Now we transition this over to humans. Now this was from researchers at the Wiseman Institute. So Tom, in my practice, I could have somebody send out for a stool sample, never even see them a day in my life. I can get their report back and know with a high degree of certainty, whether or not they're obese, based on the makeup of their microbes. - That is insane. - And so the research-- - Now the question is really fast while you're on that side note, what comes first? Do you just have a bad role of the dice and you came out of your mother's womb and the microbiome that you formed happened to be obesity promoting or is it your diet? The microbes respond to the fact that you're eating cheetos and all that kind of stuff, all your cheese-like products. Yeah, which comes first? - It's a both-and-world. It's a both-and-world because we are getting that down low specifically from our mother. But one of the studies was done in identical twins, right? You don't get more similar of a person to study, or people to study, to see the effects of one thing or the other than identical freakin' twins, right? When they find a twin whose bacteria cascade is associated with obesity and insulin resistance and weight gain, and then they find one of the other twins who has in a microbiome that's associated with leanness, right? And they track them over years that they're in the same household, eating the same diet. But the twin who has the microbiome with the cascade associated with obesity became insulin resistant more often, became obese more often than their lean microbiome twin, right?
Importance Of Diet And Exercise In Recovery
And the microbiome shifts based on our choices, based on our lifestyle, because one of the number one drivers and I broke this down any smarter as well, what we discovered was that folks who are eating more of a quote traditional diet, their hunter-gatherer, are closer to that type of diet, they have upwards of four times greater diversity in their microbes than the average person in the Western world. We're losing our diversity like crazy. And the big part of this is we're not feeding the microbes, their preferred food source for them to stick around in the first place, all right? So these are what we call quote prebiotics, and anybody can go to Google and look in prebiotic foods, but that's a limited thinking. Like we got asparagus, Joril Samarachok, onions and garlic, that's small potatoes. Here's the truth, every single food has prebiotic capacity, every single real food for some strain of bacteria. And there might be a food that your ancestors have been eating for centuries that is suddenly stripped away by a diet choice or just by proxy, just by the environment that you're in. And suddenly you don't have that bacteria getting fed anymore, it has no choice but to become extinct in your system, right? And so what the researchers discovered was that the number one way as your bacteria diversity goes down, your rate of insulin resistance goes up, bacteria diversity goes down, your rate of diabetes goes up, your rate of obesity goes up, your rate of insomnia goes up, and as your rate of microbes goes down, all right? We know that they have an inverse relationship. The number one way to reverse and improve the diversity of our microbes is so simple, is to simply increase the diversity of foods that we're eating. - Now, why does that work? I get why if I had depleted a population and I can bring back what is there, but if it's truly gone extinct, is there dirt on the food? Like how am I repopulating if I'm not taking a supplement of some kind with a probiotic in it?
If the food you're eating doesn't matter? (53:09)
- Yeah, this is a great question as well. So number one, in my practice, I put people on probiotics so frequently and we would get like these credible probiotic formulas, some of them take like two years fermentation process, it's like wizards do spells over them all kinds of shit, but we were missing the point because they're not able to colonize it to populate in the gut, to do all the cool things that they can potentially do if they're not given their preferred food substrates, they're not given their probiotic sources. And so to answer that question, yes, we do wanna have sources of probiotics coming in, preferably through food, right? And we do go through that, but also the most important thing again, is not missing the point and this is the point. When you eat a food, when you would just say we eat a berry, when you're eating that berry, you're eating a prebiotic and you're eating that berries microbiome as well, you're taking that on yourself. So it is coming along with probiotic, with bacteria, it's just the nature of eating real food. Same thing with an avocado, you're eating that avocado's microbiome. If you eat some kale, you're eating that kale's microbiome. If you eat some walnuts, you're eating that walnuts microbiome. So we have this limited thinking that I need probiotic, you know, some kind of special probiotic food, I need some special probiotics supplement. No, we're really missing the point here. Food already has the thing, but for many of us, especially where we are, we can like leverage, because I know some people have got some wonderful benefits, adding in some fermented foods, absolutely, but we don't wanna miss out on this prebiotic because prebiotics are needed for the probiotics to make postbiotics, right? So this is when they're making vitamins, minerals, short chain fatty acids in you for you. This is beautiful symbiotic relationship. So I hope that works. - It does. I wanna draw a straight line from the question about, hey, you can eat a twinkie, and if your calories are low enough, you are going to lose fat and the punchline of what you just said. So here's what I'm taking away from that. You actually can, for sure, I promise you, you can lose weight eating anything if you keep your calories low enough. Now, some foods, because of the signaling effect of calories and not all calories are the same, you may have to restrict tighter and tighter on certain foods than you would on others. And so, yes, you can lose weight eating a twinkie diet, but as you mentioned, not only do we have those kind of effects, but your blood vessels and all of that other stuff are made up of the very things that you eat. And in processing, they're like at a cellular structural level and a signaling level, you're changing the material that you're taking in. And it's like I get why people are obsessed with getting shredded and being in good shape. But when you begin to understand that that is a thing that happens and that there's actually a whole host of things that happen, then people begin to think about it in the right way. Now, what I found amazing about your book is you call out directly, hey, boys and girls, don't worry about whether you're paleo, vegan, carnivore, none of that matters. Listen to your body.
Why you should eat for your body (56:28)
- Yeah. - Now, what I wanna know is what the hell do you mean by that? - We're right now, there's a lot of infighting over my new show, as you mentioned that I said earlier. And these wonderful diet frameworks, these are my friends, the top person in each of those. And the reason that they write these books and that they have these positions is that they see results for their patients. They see results for the people that they're working with. They're not trying to be negligent, they're not trying to ignore the data, they're helping people. But what's also overlooked is that there's a large percentage of people that each of their diet frameworks is not helping. And that's the truth. And a big part of that is many of these diet frameworks, even though they can be wonderful, they can also imprison you and they can leave things out, make things off limits that you might need, that somebody else doesn't need, right? But also it might be protecting you for something. So there's balance there, but we have to have a little bit more agency over our thoughts, agency over our choices. And this gets into the discomfort of becoming more educated about who we are. And fortunately, there's no easy way around this. If you're really going to thrive and to be the best version of yourself, we have to learn how we work. But the thing that I want people to understand and just kind of going back, I got to really wrap this point up because you really like made that hard line point about this with the Twinkie Diet. Those researchers at the Wiseman Institute who understand about what's, you know, the bacteria in mice, they took bacteria samples, fecal samples, which fecal transplantation is like one of the hottest things on the street as well. It's super weird, but it is. But they took these fecal samples from folks who had a bacteria cascade associated with obesity and implanted it into lean mice. They took another set of fecal samples from human subjects who had a bacteria cascade associated with leanness and implanted that into lean mice. Those mice stayed lean. The mice who received the implants from the folks with the bacteria cascade associated with obesity, those mice became insulin resistant. They gained weight and gained body fat, not because of calories, not because they changed what they were eating because of the bacteria. These principles supersede any of the ideas that we carry about just managing calories if you just get into a caloric deficit because the mice are already even the same thing yet they're gaining weight. And I've seen again, many other people listening, especially if they're in healthcare, people coming in, they're already at a thousand calorie a day diet, you know, and maybe they're six feet tall and their weight loss has been stuck. And then once we can have a certain level of like stepping away and not thinking we have all the answers and listen to the person, do some investigation. We might find out there's an underlying autoimmune condition, a thyroid issue. We might find out that inflammation is the causative factor because as you mentioned, we talk about that as well. There's so many things that control what calories do, not to say that being in a caloric deficit can't just make weight fly off of somebody, absolutely, but even within that, there are things controlling that person's metabolism that's going to out picture different results from somebody who might be at the exact same height of weight starting off as them. - And I wanna talk about sprinting.
Back-breaking moment (01:00:02)
We're coming around the corner, we hit that final stretch and your hip breaks. What happened and then what were the knock-on effects? - Wow, you know, this is, make sure that this is incredibly important. At track practice, I'm coming around the curve onto the straightaway and I broke my hip. And there was no trauma involved, nobody hit me, I didn't fall. It just broke because, you know, cut two a few years later, I finally get diagnosed with this degenerative bone disease. And at the time being 16 years old, you know, you have the hormones of like a Greek god, you know, so you get the kind of standard of care. You know, take these NSAIDs, stay off the leg, you'll get better. And I did, but nobody stopped to ask a question, how can a young man break his hip just from running? And once I finally got this diagnosis, it was, it felt good to know what the issue was, but also it kind of sent my world into a tailspin. - Yeah, that, it's pretty crazy that it broke. It's really crazy that they didn't ask why it happened. But the thing that I find most interesting in the story is that you decide to ask a question, what are my vertebrae made of? And taking that ownership, which must have been like your late teens at that point. - Yeah, so this is cut two, so this was 20 years old when I finally get the diagnosis. And I'm in college at the time, and you know, I went from like a chronic kind of nuisance of a pain to chronic debilitating pain over the course of a few weeks. And this is important for, and I always like to share this whenever I can, my very first physician, you know, he put my MRI up for me to see, and he told me that I had a spine of an 80 year old man, you know, I had two ruptured discs and my vertebrae were deteriorating. And so when he says this to me, you know, I'm immediately like, okay, so what do we do? Like, let's fix it, you know? And he's like, you know, I'm sorry, son, there's nothing you can do about this. And what happened, and I know you've heard about this several times, the placebo effect is something where you get a positive injunction from somebody who's an authority figure, and you proceed to have certain symptoms happen, or changes in your physiology. And a lot of people don't realize this, but placebos are actually 33% effective. That's the power of the mind. But what he did for me was something called a no-cebo effect. This is giving somebody a negative injunction that something bad is going to happen, and your physiology begins to change from that. And so I spent the next two and a half years in a lot of pain, a lot of drugs, prescribed in over the county, and just laying on my floor, you know, because not only was this painful, but it was embarrassing. You know, I went from kind of being one of the cool guys to like, I'm walking around campus with a back brace and just, you know, really kind of losing myself. I saw different doctors. I, you know, went through the whole gamut of why me, why did this happen to me, why won't somebody help me, and really playing this victim role. And it wasn't until I actually decided to get well that everything changed. And most people never do that. With their bodies, with their health, with their relationships, it's mostly like I'll see what'll happen. Wishful thinking, I'll give this a try. But when you really decide something, you're cutting away the possibility of anything else, but that thing. And I'm a big student of Lexicon, and the word decision is from the Latin day, meaning from, and Chai Deer, which means to cut. So when you make a real decision about something, you cut away the possibility of anything else, but that thing. And so I decided no matter what I'm going to get well. And that said, and it wasn't like, you know, the clouds parted and like the sunshine and everything was okay. I'm a very analytical person as well. And so I put a plan together. I decided, and now it's time to do something, you know? Number one, put a plan together and that plan until three specific things. I changed the way I was eating, which getting my body the actual raw materials that it needed to regenerate me was important. And I was on what I called the tough diet at the time, which is a typical university food. So I have no joke, I'm eating pizza daily. My vitamin C is coming from Sunny D. And so it's no wonder I was made out of like, I was made out of terrible stuff, you know? And so I asked this really important question, which you mentioned, okay, if my spine is deteriorating, if my bones are deteriorating, what is it actually made of? And that set me down this incredible path of discovery because what we hear in common culture is, you know, if you want strong, healthy bones, drink milk and come to find out calcium is one of the least important things. And even getting it from your diet, it doesn't exactly work in your body the way that we're marketed to, because it's marketing. And so I found out that things like silica, magnesium, sulfur-bearing amino acids, all these things are in some cases even more important. So I start to get all those nutrients in my body through food primarily once I really got it, like food is gonna- - And was that the truth? - So how did you get that? 'Cause that's where it's becoming a lot more popular now, but when you would have been going through this, people don't really think like that. I mean, this is around the time I was thinking, I was eating licorice and it was fine because it was fat free, right?
And somebody said, well, I think if you eat too much sugar, it turns into fat. And like that didn't even make sense to me. I was like, how would that be possible? - Yeah, especially I'm from the Midwest. And so like there was like a wild oat market, whole foods just opened. And so I think it's really important in the environment. You know, when I had some friends, they would take me to the stores and then, you know, that gradually got me into like, not just a supplement aisle. And so I just began to flood my body with all these important nutrients and also hydration. Well, your disc in between the vertebrae and your spine, and you would think like, if I want these to be more hydrated, I need to drink more water, but it doesn't work like that. Your disc is hydrated through a process called remote diffusion. And so literally, it's like the last place in your body that gets nutrients and hydration. And so you needed to really super hydrate yourself, make sure your body has an abundance, like an overflow of nutrients to make sure they get to the right place. So that was number one was nutrition. Number two was movement.
The two main things exercise does for recovery. (01:05:59)
And so exercise is really about two main things. Number one is assimilation. And I came across some research that showed that when you actually are doing walking while taking on specific supplements for your bones, your bone density goes even higher, all right? Because that walking helps your body to assimilate. Number two is elimination, you know, elimination of toxins. Because your lymphatic system, which especially when you're getting healthier, your body is trading out a lot of stuff. And there's a lot of dead cells, there's a lot of metabolic waste products. And so how do you get that stuff out of your system? You have to move because your lymphatic system doesn't have a pump, like your cardiovascular system does. And you actually have four times more length than you do blood. And so that movement was so important in healing. And here's the problem is that oftentimes when you have an injury or an issue like this, we're told not to do anything. That's often the worst thing you can do because things will start to atrophy if you don't use it, you lose it. And so I just started to, and of course, if anybody's dealing with like an acute problem right now, like take a day or two off, but I encourage people to do what you can in an intelligent way. And so for me, I could barely walk properly. And so I started off on a stationary bike, progressed to treadmill, I started jogging a little bit, eventually I picked up the weights again. And just to jump really quickly to the end of the story, I'd lost 28 pounds in the next six weeks. And the pain I've been experiencing for two and a half years was gone. But the third and most important part, now I know, was the rest in recovery. It seems like I was resting a lot by not doing anything, but it really wasn't. It was a lot of suffering, and my greatest struggle was at night going to bed because the pain was so bad it would wake me up. And so I was on various medications, and I basically got to drug myself to not wake up. And so it was like a pseudo sleep, and it would take several hours before I really felt like I was awake. And the things that I was doing during the day, changing my lifestyle showed up for me on the pillow because what I really wanted to promote for people is this understanding that if you're not sleeping well, you're not healing well. And this is where your body releases the vast majority of human growth hormone of these various anabolic hormones, reparative enzymes.
Steps To Normalcy And Personal Growth
The equation that changed Shawn's life. (01:08:06)
So when my sleep got improved, I got better so fast. And so I shifted all my coursework over to biology and kinesiology and eventually opened a clinical practice. And oftentimes I would get those people who they were told there's nothing you can do. You have type 2 diabetes, blood sugars, 400 without metformin, there's nothing you can do about it. And consistently seeing these folks be able to naturally regulate their blood sugar, oftentimes get off their medications, insulin, things like that, because where there's a will, there's 10,000 ways. But it's also understanding that, first of all, just acknowledging that it is possible. And that's what I love about your story, man. That like hearing you tell that, and I've heard you quote the Einstein quote before that the most important decision anyone will ever make is whether or not they live in a hostile or friendly universe, which A, most people don't recognize that as a choice or a decision. And then two, that from that then people will take action because they believe that they will get an outcome. How did you come to that decision that you live in a universe that's gonna work for you? When the doctor is the one telling you, multiple doctors in fact, 'cause you said, look I was conscious of going and getting multiple opinions, this wasn't one guy, they all said the same thing. So how in the face of that, do you make that decision one day, I am going to get better. I think it's really valuable to understand the benefit of rock bottom.
Why the benefit of the rock bottom is important. (01:09:37)
Like for me, after getting those, the words from the other doctors that, there's nothing, the same diagnosis, I had a choice to make. I'm either gonna buy into this and continue to live as a victim or I'm gonna do something about it, at least try. But for me, it's beyond try, it's the decision. And so how I got to that place really was, I had nothing to lose at that point. I can continue as things are and continue in the suffering. And I think it was just a matter of realizing that, and I think this is really important, even though there are other people in our lives that might care for us, they don't walk in our shoes. So when the physician would tell me that there's nothing that I could do, I knew, it hit me like they're not laying at home thinking about me, I'm thinking about them and why they can't help me. I have to really take responsibility for myself. And it's just basic logic. If somebody's saying they can't help you, believe them. And so I made the decision, like if I'm gonna get better, I need to do it. I need to take action. It doesn't mean I'm not gonna have great people to support me along the way. But as Jim Rohn says, no one can do your push-ups for you. So I really had to take action. And also I wanna share this is that, if you really want something, you should make a study of it. Especially if you don't necessarily have a blueprint for a successful relationship, make it a study. If you're not doing well with your finances, make it a study. - And what does that look like for you? - I generally go right to the medical journals. I dig through there. And another quote from Einstein is that, if you can't explain it simply, you don't know it well enough. And so I really strive to make sense of these things that can be incredibly complex. But for no reason, it wasn't until I really honored my own voice and my gift in helping these things to really make sense for people. And so I'll dig around in that data.
The three steps to begin getting back to normal. (01:11:35)
And that's the first thing I'll do. And then I'll look for some anecdotal and evidence as well. People telling stories about it. But here's something else I do. I also, and this is the scary part. I also look at the problems with stuff. I also look at the things that are against what I might be believing. Most people don't want to do that. Like we believe this particular supplement is gonna work and it's the best thing since sliced bread. And then there's these other things that say, hey, wait a minute, this might not be the case. You have to have the courage to look at this too and come to a truly well-evolved thought construct. We all have that opportunity, but we tend to just wanna believe what we believe and look for things to affirm that. And you gotta be careful with studies that do the same thing. And who's finding the study as well? So I really get to that level most of the time in my research. It's really interesting to me how, and look, like you said, look at the benefits of rock bottom, but it's really interesting to me how early you came to a lot of this and I find how people tell their own story to be fascinating beyond all measure. And the opening of your bio says, "The beginning, the first half of my childhood was spent "in an idyllic suburban neighborhood "and the second half of my childhood was in the rough "and tumble inner cities around gangs and drugs." And you said, "The power came from both places "and it really helped me understand perspective." How much of that, if it all played into your ability to sort of see through the trappings of everyone telling you it can't be solved, in a way that you say it's just logic, but I think most people fall prey to that and they live there for 60, 70 years. So how much of that mindset that you got from that sort of dual beginning do you think played into it? - Man, that really hit an emotional chord here and you say that that initial environment was really a laser foundation.
Children's brains & environment (01:13:24)
Well, before the age of about seven, we're in like a theta brainwave state where a lot of things kind of get deeper into our psyche and our subconscious, our programming. And so it's really important, especially for parents and people who are just, that can be involved in kids' lives to really understand how impressionable they are. And so I really got a great formatting, kind of formatting this from my grandmother who really kind of instilled this greatness. She instilled the value of education. I loved learning, like I love the process of learning. And so I really picked up early on that you don't want to just learn stuff, you want to become good at learning. And when I shifted my residency, going from this very protected, safe, loving atmosphere, I'm in an environment where there's a lot of abuse, physical abuse towards myself and my two younger siblings, abuse with my mother and stepfather and the physical fighting. Holidays are not like they are now, like get together is in family fun. We know the holiday is going to be policing going to show up. That environment also taught me something really, really valuable, which is, even though things aren't going well, even though we're short on money, there's always a way to figure it out. No matter how bad things look, we're going to be okay. So that really was a powerful seed and combined that with the sense of greatness, the sense of the value of education, the sense of there's always a way to figure something out, really helped that moment of insight to take place of that decision, that moment of decision. And this is the first time I've articulated this, but that's really how those two things come together. - And I'm stoked that you shared that. That's, it's so powerful and in taking you as a whole and watching your show and watching you on other people's shows, there's this incredible zen-like quality to your delivery, to your mission, to what you want to do. Like everything about it is so even keel, right? Because what I find with people that make that transition is it normally breaks them. And one of the things that I'm most intrigued about in life is, and we're just have the chills, we're just talking about this before we started rolling camera where you were saying with schools, right? Do you go to one ultra tailored or do you go that's going to be the hardship where my kids have to adapt? And I don't know what's better because the number of people that are broken by the inner cities, the percentage has got to be absurd, right? In 80, 90, it's just crazy. But the people that make it, the ones that find that center, whether it's to be self-centered or not, they find that sense of self when you said that, that really hit me. That finding that sense of self, not letting the outside world dictate who they're going to be. Like now all of a sudden adversity is not such a big deal because you've got like that compass inside of you and you know where you're going. That feels to me very appropriate for what you've become known for, which is sleep, which even your own publisher was like, write a diet book and you'll be huge and famous and will all be rich. And you were like, but that's not the truth that needs to be told. Did that play in? Like was that a moment of Sean being, knowing who he is and what he's trying to do and he's just going to get to that end no matter what? - You know what? Wow, yes, there definitely was. You know, I don't want to cut corners. I wanted, you know, it's, integrity is a big word for me and I wanted to take righteous action. You know, this was, this is all bigger than us. You know, the impact that you're making, the legacy that you're leaving, you know, is so powerful. And we're part of like a big change that's happening with our culture overall, you know? - Where I want to keep pushing on though is this notion of self-awareness and how you listen to your body.
Realizing what makes you feel bad (01:17:31)
So I'll give you an example. When I first started working out, I had been working out probably for about eight months before I realized that you could fire your lats. Like you could actually send a signal to that part of your back and it would pull your arms down and you have this understanding of whoa, when I fire that muscle, I feel it. I can actually feel that muscle contracting and I now have a level of control. With food, it's the same, but it's like steering a boat. When you steer a boat, you do something, nothing happens and then six seconds later the boat moves. So it is very hard to drive a boat because you have to account for that leg. Food is insanely complicated. If you eat one thing and you're in a good mood, you'll be fine, you eat the same thing in a bad mood and it upsets your stomach, it's so complicated. I mean, that's just one of a bazillion different ways. But people don't learn to connect. I ate this thing and I feel this way. I'll give you an example from my own life. About six months ago, Sean, I'm always sharp. And I was just like, just in the middle of the day, all the time and I was like way out of it. And then finally I connected that feeling with the word people use for brain fog. I had never understood what people meant by brain fog. And so all of a sudden I was like, is this brain fog? And I was like, oh my God, this is brain fog. I don't think I'm tired. This is, if it's brain fog, it is almost certainly something I'm eating. I end up tracking it down. It was pecans. I have no idea why. I can eat pecans. But when I eat them every day, all of a sudden, 'cause I'd gotten into this routine where one of my meals was made with a lot of pecans. It was amazing. And over time, and that was the worst part, it probably took four months of me eating those, that meal almost every day, to get to that point. But then once I was there, until I removed them from my diet, I couldn't shake it. No matter how much I slept, caffeine, nothing, I just felt that brain fog. Stopped eating them was gone in like 48 hours. - That's so crazy. And this is a thing, it can be something so small and subtle like that. And what you're bringing up and how do we kind of get this inner guidance system back online?
How to Get the Inner Guidance System Back Online (01:19:47)
First of all, it's an acknowledgement that it exists because in our system, we are so focused on objective measures, which I'm very analytical. So I'm super into that stuff. But being able to track the data, the things that everybody else can measure isn't even remotely close to how powerful your subjective experience is. Tell me something that matters more than how you feel. I'll wait, you know. This is the most important barometer of everything in our life. And yet we pay so little attention to it. So basic metrics that we can pay attention to when we eat a meal. Seeing how does that make me feel? How does a digestive process feel? But so I think so often as well, we start to have these alarms that go off when we eat certain things. And we just keep hitting the snooze button on it like, ah, you know, this fatigue is normal, this stomach discomfort. We get these different responses, your body's giving you feedback that something's wrong. Something's not right here. And yet we accept it as normal. And so that inner intelligence, we start to create a lot of static on the line. All right. So that's part of it is being able to clear off the static on the line. And I wanna add another layer here, just with a little bit more science on what that static on the line can look like. There's this wonderful, I talk about the science of flavor in each smarter. And there's this wonderful occurrence of something called post-injustice feedback. All right, post-injustice feedback. And essentially through our evolution, whenever we would eat a food, your body, your brain, your tissues are essentially like taking notes, like, okay, you know, we'll just say, just found some wild berries, right? I got some copper from this, I got some selenium, I got some of some amino acids, I got a little bit of omega-3s from the seeds, your body is taking notes that when you eat that food is connecting a flavor sensation to those nutrients. And so now when you start to become deficient in those nutrients, your body can submit a craving, a craving signal to go and eat that food to get those nutrients back to where we need them to be. Now here's the problem. Process food manufacturers have really muddied up the waters of this post-injustice feedback because now we can make things taste like different things all the time and it doesn't have to be exact, but it's just enough to create enough biological interference that we don't even have that intelligence anymore, right? So a big takeaway from today and just overall for everybody is that chronic nutrient deficiency leads to chronic overeating. Chronic nutrient deficiency leads to chronic hunger. When we're having these deficiencies, part of the big reason why we're having haphazard hunger and cravings, our bodies are driving us. It's not just the fact that we're addicted, right? That can be dismissive, they're just addicted to sugar. Well, they're probably deficient in damn near every single nutrient that they need to actually thrive, right? And your body's going to keep compelling you to eat more to get those things in. That's how we evolve. And so having that process, you know, again, to become kind of skewed and twist it up, it just, it makes another layer of complexity of trying to figure out this inner intelligence. So to help with this, and I provided some very specifics in the book, but again, I'm very much on, we've got to experiment for yourself. But one of the things I was found to help to reduce the impact of hyper-palatable foods on our brain, funny enough is chlorophyll, all right? Chlorophyll is, yeah, chlorophyll is found to help to reduce the urge to eat hyper-palatable foods and also to reduce neuroinflammation, okay? - Do you take it as a supplement?
Brain Health And Nutrition
- So just in foods, you know, chlorophyll, anything green is going to be a good source of chlorophyll. So of course, green leafy vegetables, but then you've got these super dense sources of chlorophyll like chlorella, you know, they even got his name, chlorella, from the high chlorophyll content, spirulina. But then you also get these other benefits there. Like what spirulina is one of the foods clinically proven to reduce neuroinflammation. And why am I bringing this up? Where's the interference in being able to know how we feel and what do we need? Tom, I want everybody to get this because you're not gonna hear, you're gonna hear this in a few years. But right now you hear here first with Tom Villier. One of the biggest epidemics we're facing today is neuroinflammation, all right? Inflammation of the brain. And one of the studies that I talked about in the book, and this was published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, they reported that specifically hypothylamic inflammation. And your hypothylamous is like, this is like your body's internal thermostat. Reliterly regulating what your metabolic rate is. Your brain doesn't give a shit how many, if you're trying to calorie count, your hypothalamus can tell your gut to reduce the absorption of calories that you just ate. Your hypothalamus can tell your gut to increase the absorption of calories and food you just ate. All right, these things are epicolera controllers superseding that normal function. So what they discovered was that hypothylamic inflammation is one of the biggest driving forces of obesity because it's throwing off our metabolic rate, all right? And here's the other side, obesity is one of the biggest causes of hypothylamic inflammation. And it's just creating this terrible loop where people can't get out of it. And again, my friends, you might have these diet frameworks, but if we're not explicitly helping people to reduce the inflammation in their brain, we might just be spinning our wheels here. But many of these wonderful diet frameworks though, that are really worth their salt, they're accidentally doing it anyways. They're helping to reduce neural inflammation. One of the foods that was again, clinically proven to reduce inflammation, neuro inflammation, funny enough, and this is not an application for this food. It's just the data exists, I was shocked.
Brain protection from Olive oil (01:26:00)
Research at Auburn University found that Oleocanthol rich extra virgin olive oil is incredibly effective at reducing brain inflammation. And it's been found to repair the blood brain barrier, your internal security system, basically keeping things out of your brain that creating more inflammation, that gets damaged over time, especially from excess sugar and the list goes on and on. But wow, I didn't know olive oil can do that shit, that's really remarkable. And what they found was there's two to three tablespoons a day. And how do you go about that? There's nuance there too. Olive oil, if you've ever seen it in the stores, nine times out of 10, it's in dark glass. And this is because it's photosensitive. Light can damage olive oil, all right? And so you don't want it to be in clear plastic. That's already messed up, all right? Number one, and also is this should bring up, well, should I be cooking with it? You can, and it might be healthier, well, definitely healthier than these highly processed seed oils, you know, no low oil and vegetable oil, but very low heat. But ideally, and folks traditionally, we're gonna use it as a finisher. So your meal is finished, plate it, and you drizzle some olive oil on. Use it to make dressings, people put it on sourdough bread. Talk to me about that.
How to figure out what to eat (01:27:25)
So massive individual variability. Nobody's ever gonna be like you again. Nobody's had digestion like you. Nobody ever will have digestion like you. So you are doing an end of one experiment, whether you want to or not. How do people figure out what to eat? - So this gets down to principles and not written rules, not definitive points, because again, everybody is unique. So there's gonna be principles in every diet framework that are gonna make them successful. And then there's gonna be things that can make any diet framework go terribly wrong, right? So what we wanna do is eat in a way that number one, and I just mentioned this earlier, to help to reduce inflammation so that these internal guidance systems can get back online. This inflammation is, it's a really, it sounds kind of hooky, Tom. I don't know about you, but it just sounds inflammation, inflammation, but it is a real problem because inflammation number one, it's not a bad guy. That's number one. We need inflammation. It's a functional part of our immune system, a part of our healing, a part of just cellular processing period. We don't want no inflammation, it's a part of growth. However, chronic inflammation, inflammation where it's not supposed to be, like this heightened neuro inflammation, can really, really mess us up. So the biggest driving forces for most of us today with inflammation, specifically gut inflammation, is the consumption of pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, and I did share one of the studies in the book, finding conclusively a meta-analysis that pesticides do in fact, not only create inflammation in the gut, but create abnormal gene expression from your microbes. Your micro, most of our, if we go gene for gene, most of the genes we carry in our bodies are not ours. We're 99% genes of other, you know, we're our bacteria cascade that we're carrying around with us. And so these things damage our gene micro, the microbial expression of our genes. All right, so this is not a small thing. And we've come to accept it as normal. And right now we have, literally thousands of pesticides have been approved by the EPA, so-called environmental protection agencies, supposed to be protecting us. Many of them have been recalled, many of them are actually caught up in red tape right now, like clapyrifoss, for example, that's been found study after study to lead to neurodegenerative diseases, specifically for development of babies and creating brain damage and creating skyrocketing rates of miscarriages. You would think it would have been gone. It's happened so many times it's disgusting, because with these companies, it isn't innocent until proven guilty. It's innocent until it cuts into their bottom line enough, the lawsuits, because it's just, you know, it's just business as usual. They already have a certain amount of set aside for all the damage it's gonna cause. So when we're talking about avoiding pesticides, this isn't a, it's not a trendy thing that I'm talking about here. These chemicals are not designed for human consumption, but the premise is it's generally regarded as safe because we're a bigger organism. We're bigger than the little pest that they're trying to kill, but things bioaccumulate in our tissues. And number one, and number two, we're made of little things smaller than those damn pests. We're made of these things, and they're damaging our microbes. They're damaging ourselves. - So do we avoid that by eating organic? - Organic, there's nuance there with organic, but it's gonna be a generally a good step to make. And we can do that ourselves. And as we continue to demand it, there's gonna continue to change what's available in the market for sure so. And also a way around that, because again, not having a lot of money, I would start to go to farmers markets. There was a farmers market at Ferguson, and meet the farmers, ask them, "Hey, are you guys spraying shit on your lettuce?" And they're like, "Absolutely not." And they're just talking to them, learning. There's many in this much less cost. I can get three times the amount of lettuce that I was buying at Whole Foods or whatever, for the same amount of money. So yes, avoiding the things that are damaging this internal intelligence, that are damaging our metabolism. So that's just one. But then adding things in as well, that help to reduce inflammation. So what does that look like?
The most important time to consume DHA and EPA. (01:32:03)
One of the most important time, and I'm gonna say this again and again, because this has to do with metabolism, but also it has to do with our sleep quality. It also has to do with our cognitive performance, and I know this is important for you as well. And this is the need to make sure we're getting in plenty of DHA and EPA. This is so freaking important. I don't even want this to... If anybody does anything from this episode, I wanna make sure that you're getting in enough Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of DHA and EPA. So number one, DHA and EPA have expressed lanes. If you wanna think about the blood-brain barrier being like a toll booth, they have expressed passes to get into the brain. Like your brain sucks them up like in droves, because they're needed for structure of your brain cells. Omega-3's function has structural fats in your brain, creating plasticity, creating stability and signal transduction, so your brain cells can actually talk to each other. Without a Omega-3's, shit goes wrong real fast. To the degree, one of the craziest studies in the book, they found that the folks who had the lowest intake of DHA and EPA had the highest rate of brain shrinkage. All right? Your brain literally shrinks rapidly if you're not getting these fats in. And so what it was was just under 1.2 teaspoons a day. Anything under that, increase the rate of brain shrinkage. What are the best three foods or supplements to get your DHA and EPA? Okay, perfect. Food first, food first, the journal neurology found that folks who consume just one seafood meal per week do in fact perform better cognitive skills tests. I think that's a direct one-to-one response to those Omega-3's. But if you're taking a vegan vegetarian protocol, I've got good newsroom too. But food first, and then of course there's grass-fed beef in that same spectrum, has Omega-3's, a high ratio of Omega-3's, eggs. The best food source though, Tom, is not the fish, the fatty fish, but the fatty fish eggs. So salmon, rolled and caviar can have three times more DHA than the fish itself. And then we've got, from there, most of the studies done on DHA and EPA is done via fish oil.
The best sources of DHA and EPA. (01:34:26)
All right, so I did share some studies in the book that are just really shocking when it comes to fish oil. But then from there, the next one down is krill oil. Right, krill, that's a microscopic shrimp, super dense in Azazanthin, which makes your body absorb Omega-3's even better. It's incredible. That might be for somebody who's doing a vegetarian protocol, wherever that lies on your ethics, krill oil might be a savior for your brain. If anything, everybody today, even if you're taking a vegan protocol, please get yourself an algae oil. All right, high quality algae oil. It has the DHA and EPA there, but we don't have clinical studies now to see its effectiveness, but we do know that it's there. And I just don't want you to wait around for that data.
Sources Of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Ala)
Where to find ALA. (01:35:10)
DHA is so important for your brain, just to be clear, this is the plant source, is ALA, right? That's what you find in chia seeds and flax seeds and hemp seeds. I would have patients get flax seed oil for years. I was missing the point. It's not the same as DHA and EPA, but it's so important for your brain that your body can convert some ALA into DHA. But you can lose, depending on your metabolism, your unique metabolic fingerprint, you can lose 90% in the conversion process. And so you'll have to eat five bags of chia seeds a day to get what your brain needs. You know, it's just not doable. And plus you probably want to leave the bathroom at some point. So that's that part. And I also want to share this really quickly with omega-3s and omega-6s. This was a study and this was published in the journal Nutrients. And it found that a large increase in the ratio of omega-6s in the diet compared to omega-3s directly increases our risk of obesity. But here's the most important part. Let's do this shit. This, another study, and this was highlighted. And then I broke this down. I'm getting giddy right now. Another study highlighted in these more. Found that an imbalance in omega-6s to omega-3s leads to dysfunction of your hunger-related hormones and increased fat storage. Even with calories being the same, even with calories being the same, people with the higher intake of omega-6s gained more weight and more body fat and had more dysfunction to their hunger-related hormones. And that's the core control of omega-3s. And omega-3s help to reduce inflammation. Megasics are not bad, but we need more omega-3s right now because we could come to such a omega-6-dominant society. 80% of your longevity and your health in old age is controllable. And only 20% is dictated by your genes. The genome, the rest is the epigenome that responds to how we live. So that's why I'm old Gungho for changing your lifestyle because it could give you two more decades of life.