Ep. 151 – Key Factors To Boost Everyday Wellness: A Data-Driven Approach to Good Health with Marty Kendall
I am excited today to be joined by Marty Kendall. Marty is an engineer who seeks to optimize nutrition using a data-driven approach. His interest in nutrition began eighteen years ago to help his wife Monica gain better control of her Type 1 Diabetes. Since then, he has worked to develop a systematized approach to nutrition tailored for a wide range of goals. Marty has been sharing his learnings at OptimisingNutrition.com and has developed Nutrient Optimiser and Data-Driven Fasting to guide people on their journey of nutritional optimization.
Monica was only ten years old when she was diagnosed with diabetes. She suffered decreasing control of her health until she and Marty met about fifteen years later. When they got married, neither Monica nor Marty knew anything about managing diabetes. Marty had no idea what he was getting into, but he learned quickly and found a doctor who taught them both a lot by turning their situation into a maths game. That intrigued Marty and motivated him to strive towards having healthy pregnancies by managing the numbers. Be sure to stay tuned today to hear Marty’s story and learn about his data-driven approach to good health.
“I’ve had access to big data. And I’ve been able to crunch the numbers to answer the questions and cut through the dogma, belief, and religion that is prevalent in a lot of nutritional movements.”
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- Marty shares the story of how he and Monica learned to control her diabetes by managing the numbers.
- Marty talks about the first step he took in helping to support his wife before she started riding the keto wave.
- Different people process macronutrients differently.
- Marty discusses the problems he had when he tried to optimize food choices for people with diabetes.
- Marty talks about the nutritional dogma that contributed to many metabolic diseases that we see currently in westernized countries.
- What energy toxicity represents.
- Marty provides an overview of the carb insulin index.
- Why you should check your blood sugar when you feel hungry, and not after you have already eaten.
- Whether or not you should avoid eating when your blood sugar rises more than thirty.
- Marty gives his take on biohacking devices like CGMs and glucometers.
- Using your blood sugar as a fuel gauge.
- Marty talks about how insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance influence people’s fat threshold.
- Marty describes some of the more common nutrient deficiencies.
- How Marty’s Nutrient Optimiser app blows away dogma and helps people select the right foods for their nutritional requirements.
- Navigating eating out.
- Marty reveals his recommendations for overcoming emotional eating, weight loss and insulin sensitivity, protein intake while on a maintenance diet, and gaining more muscle mass.
Connect with Marty Kendall
On websites: Optimising Nutrition, Data-Driven Fasting, Nutrient Optimiser, or Big Fat Keto Lies
On social media: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest
High Protein: Energy Recipe Book
Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
Connect with Cynthia Thurlow
Check out Cynthia’s website
Check Out Dry Farm Wines: www.dryfarmwines.com/cynthiathurlow
About Everyday Wellness Podcast
Welcome to the Everyday Wellness podcast with Cynthia Thurlow! Cynthia is a mom of 2 boys, wife, nurse practitioner, and intermittent fasting and nutrition expert. She has over 20 years experience in emergency medicine and cardiology, but pivoted to focus on food as medicine. She loves to share science-backed practical information to improve your overall well being and is grateful to be interviewing leaders in the health and wellness field. Her goal with Everyday Wellness is to help her listeners make simple changes to their everyday lives that will result in improved overall wellness and long term health.
Presenter: This is Everyday Wellness, a podcast dedicated to helping you achieve your health and wellness goals and provide practical strategies that you can use in your real life. And now, here’s your host, Nurse Practitioner Cynthia Thurlow.
Cynthia Thurlow: Today, I’m joined by Marty Kendall. He’s an engineer who seeks to optimize nutrition using a data-driven approach and for everyone that knows me, knows that I’m married to an engineer myself, so I can appreciate that methodology. His interest in nutrition began 18 years ago in an effort to help his wife, Monica, gain better control over type 1 diabetes. But since then, he has worked to develop a systemized approach to nutrition, tailored for a wide range of goals. He’s been sharing his learnings in optimisingnutrition.com and has developed the Nutrient Optimiser and data-driven fasting to guide people on their journey of nutritional optimization. Welcome. I know it’s very early in the morning for you in Brisbane. So, thank you for joining me.
Marty Kendall: Thank you, Cynthia, an honor to be here.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah. Let’s start from the beginning. I love that it was your love and your compassion for your wife that you wanted to help her manage her diabetes better? How old was she when she was diagnosed with diabetes?
Marty Kendall: Yeah, 10. Yeah, we met when we were about 25. So, that was 15 years of decreasing control in health, and neither of us really had any idea about diabetes when we got married. I didn’t really understand what I was getting into, but I quickly did. We found a GP who taught us a lot and just turned it into a math game. I got completely intrigued and thought I can solve this and have healthy pregnancies through managing the numbers, and that’s sort of how it all continued to unravel. It’s been fun and just really rewarding to see her– she’s got a 5.1 A1c now, which is just better than most people without diabetes, and that’s living a happy, healthy life. It’s really rewarding, and then it just overflowed into a few other hobbies.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, well, it certainly sounds like it. Did you both start with a lower carb approach? What was the first kind of step that you took in helping to support her? I’m assuming it didn’t start with fasting.
Marty Kendall: No. I suppose understanding how blood sugars and insulin interact and how you need to quantify carbs, and then we drifted into a lower carb approach, and got into keto and paleo, Robb wolf was a massive influence, and then came across everybody else in the big keto wave and got carried on with that. I suppose I’ve tried all of that to be a biohacker nerd, and just trying to break it down to what actually works and what doesn’t, because I think there’s been a lot of overexuberance for different beliefs about why these things work. A lot of those things didn’t work for me, and obviously, watching monitors blood sugar and insulin pretty much every hour I’m up, which is a fair bit while she sleeps, I can really get an amazing insight into what actually changes blood sugar and insulin. So, you have to make it work, you have to check the numbers with the reality you see. And then, I’ve had access to a whole lot of big data and been able to crunch the numbers on that to answer a bunch of the questions and cut through the dogma and belief and religion that is really a lot of nutritional movements.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it’s interesting, because I stumbled upon your work earlier this year, and dove down the rabbit hole, bought your book, went on vacation. Yeah, the first vacation, my family went on in 15 months. At one morning, my husband took the kids to breakfast, because I don’t eat breakfast, and we were in Charleston, South Carolina, where they have the most amazing biscuits in the world, and I still didn’t eat them just because carbs like that don’t do me any benefits at this stage in my life. I really dove into your book and thinking, “I cannot wait to connect with you,” because there were so many little insights that, as a nurse practitioner, it brought me back to the way that we used to instruct our patients about really, I think, of now is incredibly antiquated dogma.
I remember I had this one diabetic patient, my whole background as a nurse practitioner was in cardiology, and you can imagine I had lots of diabetic patients. This one patient said to me one day, this is a type 2 diabetic, so a little bit different than the type 2 diabetes your wife has. I recall that I said, “Oh, did you go see the diabetes educator?” Said, “Yes.” I said, “What did she tell you?” He said, “I have to count my carbs.” I said, “Great. Tell me about how you counted your carbs.” He said, “Well, I have six bananas a day.”
Marty Kendall: [laughs]
Cynthia Thurlow: I said, “Did you tell the diabetes educator that you had six bananas a day?” And he said, “Yes. She told me to count my carbs,” and I thought there’s something really wrong with this. If the diabetes educator is encouraging you to consume a lot of fruit and you’re already a diabetic and you’re on a lot of insulin like exogenous insulin, oral medication, I was like, “Oh my goodness.” I feel in many ways, it’s really critically important as a healthcare provider to make sure that we’re putting really good information out there to help our diabetic population, and just people in general, understand the way that our body processes different macronutrients.
Marty Kendall: Different people have different ends. For Monica, when she got off the blood sugar insulin roller coaster, Dr. Bernstein, he’s been a massive influence and really a godsend that we found Bernstein in type 1 group, talks about the law of small numbers and if you’re injecting a lot of insulin for a lot of carbohydrate, the errors are really massive. It’s impossible to perfectly match that for exogenous injected insulin, but I suppose, I dove into the insulin load and tried to optimize better food choices for people with diabetes. But then, the really high fat low insulin approach doesn’t work for everybody when they want to lose body fat that might drive high ketones, but those ketones are actually coming from your body, and eventually it leads to higher insulin levels. Anyway, I’ve tried to unravel the data to understand what works for specific people with specific goals.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, it makes me think a great deal about another engineer who’s really turning the cholesterol movement and the way that we think about cholesterol, Dave Feldman, I think about him a lot. When I was looking through your book, it really made me think back to my discussions with him about cholesterol. Sometimes, it takes an engineer to really give healthcare providers a different– to look at the problem from a different perspective, and to do it in a way that’s very methodical, organized, data driven, which all healthcare providers love data, we also love data.
But before we dive into your methodology, I really wanted to talk about how has nutritional dogma contributed to a lot of the metabolic diseases that we’re seeing. It’s not just the United States, but westernized countries in general, what do you think is contributing to that? I obviously have strong opinions, but I’m curious to get your take on it as well. It sounds like from what I understand that Australia probably is not as bad as the United States, or maybe our rates of obesity and metabolic disease are more substantial. But it sounds as if most of the westernized countries that are out there are struggling with these same issues. What do you think has really contributed to it?
Marty Kendall: We’re basically following your lead in America.
Cynthia Thurlow: Sorry.
Marty Kendall: [laughs] I don’t know. Yeah, I suppose the understanding of nutrition, I talk in the book about deities and diets and in years gone past, we understood the world that God made it rain and we did a rain dance and we ascribe to different things to religious beliefs until we could understand them and explain them with data and science, and slowly our science gets better, but we’re still evolving and as a heck of a lot we don’t understand about nutrition still. I think a lot of nutrition has evolved somewhat out of a religious background. I grew up at Seventh Day Adventist, so like Ted Naiman, interesting journey coming from that. When I was in primary school, parents left the church and went to more of an omnivorous diet, and then come 30 or so, came to paleo and low carb, and I’m definitely a high protein, higher protein advocate now.
I think a lot of it comes from a religious belief system combined with an economic food system that’s based around, a plant-based approach that really combines cheap seed oils, cheap grains, refined processed grains, and cheap sugars that make really high-profit margin foods. Over the last 100 years, we’ve worked out how to extract seed oils from different types of beans that are incredibly cheap. The amount of oil in our diet has gone up by 600 calories per person per day over the last 100 years, which is phenomenal. Then, over the last 50 years, we’ve gone with the get big or get out sort of agricultural approach, and everything’s just mass crop produced, everything’s produced in the same field over and over and over again. So, that combination of carbs and fat together with low protein, which is more expensive, is just this concoction that we can’t stop eating. So, whether it’s by design or just economic amenity, it’s cheap, it’s cost effective to sell these products, that you can then put with flavors and colors to make them look like the taste– make them look better than any natural product. It’s a time bomb that we need to reverse engineer to get out of as soon as possible.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, I agree. It’s interesting because my mother was a first generation– this Italian mom, I grew up in the 70s. I didn’t my mom was crunchy before crunchy was crunchy. She had us eating organ meats, and we ate home– my mom would bake bread and my mother made all of our meals from scratch. We very rarely ate out. My brother and I have a profound appreciation for home-cooked meals, and really subscribing to a methodology where we enjoy making meals at home. But I agree with you that we’ve had this profound shift for hyperpalatable foods, the processed food industry has really accelerated, and it makes their food– there’s a really interesting book called Salt Sugar Fat, that talks about the bliss point and talks about how these food scientists make these foods as tantalizing as possible so that we get all these dopamine hits in our brains, and we struggle to be able to limit. They always say, “You just can’t have one Dorito,” or, “You just can’t have one Cheeto.” There’s a reason for that. It’s not people not lacking the ability to constrain themselves. There’s actual biochemistry in their brain– [crosstalk]
Marty Kendall: It’s not your fault. It’s the fat and carbs together, both give additive nonnatural dopamine hit that we get from both of those energy sources together. In nature, those foods were very, very rare other than in autumn, when winter was coming and we had to get fat. So, those foods just send a signal to our body that winter is coming, we need to fatten up, we need to keep eating. But then, we never get to winter, we never get to that keto, low carb phase, and then a lot of us get around to low carb, but never moved out into spring, which is like a higher protein percentage to really lean out and get optimal and nothing cycles. We just get stuck in that autumnal fat plus carb danger zone, just perpetually. No wonder we all can’t stop eating.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yeah, exactly. I think when I was doing some research before we connected, your conversation with Ted Naiman, who I’ve interviewed, and I love, I think he’s fantastic–
Marty Kendall: Yeah. He’s a great man.
Cynthia Thurlow: He mentioned that when you get this fat carb mismatch, you’ll consume 30% to 40% more calories. Also, as you mentioned, the dopamine hit and how super addictive those together are combined with the seed oils, which for anyone that follows me, they know that’s the A number one thing that everyone needs to be aware of. I think it was Ben Bikman who recently said that the most consumed fat in the United States right now soybean oil. I thought to myself, that’s really sad, because it’s just proliferative.
Marty Kendall: It’s just really, really cheap, and you can see why the food producers have done it, and you can see why the education, the research, and the diabetes educators, the nutritional educators, guide us to eat those foods, because they’re all interrelated, and whether it’s plain or bias or belief or financial interest, that they’re all sort of leading us to eat these hyperpalatable foods that are really high profit margins. [laughs] If you want to get conspiracy theorist, that’s what they want you to eat, because that makes people a lot of profit, a lot of money and they want you to believe that protein is bad and saturated fats bad. Because what’s the option if you avoid protein, if you avoid saturated fat? You end up with this plant-based concoction. I’m all for plants, I’m all for veggies and nutrient density and some of the foods that contain carbohydrates and green non-starchy veggies contain the nutrients that are harder to find in a meat-based diet, but the version of plant based is just as long as you’re not eating animals, and that’s just the refined garbage that’s hyperprofitable and you get stuck in autumn and keep eating.
Cynthia Thurlow: I know. Let’s talk a little bit about what energy toxicity really represents. You’re alluding to, you’re talking about being stuck in autumn, and in this energy toxicity state. For the value of the listeners, let’s unpack what that represents, because I know that you use that term quite a bit, and I think it’s a really great way to talk about when you’re consuming, like your macros, the food that you’re consuming is really more than what your body can actually use.
Marty Kendall: Yeah, the concept of energy toxicity and personal fat threshold and oxidative priority are sort of all interrelated in my mind, and have been really revelatory to understand how nutrition works, and Ted talks a lot about oxidative priority and energy toxicity. We’ll get stuck talking about insulin toxicity, but the reason when you look at insulin in a type 1 diabetic, for my wife, Monica, 90% of her dose each day, you’d know from working with diabetics is a basal dose just to hold her body together. And it’s only 10%, a little fluctuation that goes up and down, that is in response to the food she eats. Trying to consider your insulin each day, in terms of the little blips you get from the food you eat is like trying to measure the volume of the ocean by measuring the height of the waves on the top. It’s crazy. You need to look at the reason why you’ve got so much insulin, it’s to hold your body from disintegrating and to manage that, you need to manage the energy toxicity, which is the upstream issue to the insulin toxicity. That’s all about creating a diet that reverse engineers that hyperpalatable situation to maximize satiety through increasing the nutrients per calorie of the food you’re eating, which is all about higher protein percentage, higher nutrient density per calorie. So, it ends up eliminating automatically all that is hyperpalatable, junk foods, the carbs, the refined oils, and you get a nutrient-dense diet that makes you feel good, and you’re satisfied with eating less.
Cynthia Thurlow: I think that’s really key for anyone that’s listening. I love that you talk about bio-individuality, I love that you’re talking about nutrient density. As you can well imagine, most traditional allopathic-trained healthcare providers in the US, and I’m sure it’s no different in Australia, we get little to no nutrition training. What we are trained with the United States is off of my plate, or the Food Guide Pyramid, which is crap and junk. From my perspective, six years ago, went back and did a functional nutrition program, and it just completely lit me up, and terms like bio individuality, nutrient dense, I’d never heard those terms before. Hearing you echo those same sentiments, I’m like, “Oh, we’re going to get along just fine.”
Marty Kendall: [laughs]
Cynthia Thurlow: Let’s talk a little bit about what is the carb insulin index, and for the benefit of people that are listening, that maybe are not as familiar as with your work. What I love is that you take very salient pieces of information, and explain them very, very clearly as engineers do or should. I think that this is a really important concept for people to really understand, so that they can then follow through with the rest of our discussion.
Marty Kendall: Yeah, I just sort of dumb it down to the point that I can understand it and explain it and quantify ideally, and then use that to make better food choices with multi-criteria analysis. One part of the multi criteria analysis for the nutritional optimization system that we use is the food insulin index. There was a 1997 study done in University of Sydney that looked at the short-term 2-hour insulin response to food, so this the fed 1000 kilojoules, which is basically a snack size portion of a whole range of foods to different, healthy students and looked at the insulin and blood sugar response after they ate, and then they ranked it basically from glucose and jellybeans at the extreme ends down to butter at the other end. And that gives us a way of quantifying the insulin response to food, and you get to a point where you can say, well, for my wife, Monica, a lower carb, higher fat dietary approach makes a whole lot of sense, because then you go back to the lower small numbers, you eliminate those fluctuations. And once her blood sugar is stable, she’s not making these massive errors in injecting exogenous insulin, and that roller coaster, she then has to ease herself out of, and I suppose that’s a critical thing that I’ve learned that once you go low, whether you’re diabetic or not, you need to eat. Again, if you get too low, if you let it go too long, you need to eat again in a hurry, and you make worse food choices when your blood sugar’s get really low. So, if you’re on the roller coaster, and your blood sugars crash, you make really poor food choices. So, that’s a really key element of that.
But I suppose what the food insulin index doesn’t do or doesn’t describe, the full basal insulin or the long-term response to different foods and I looked at the two-hour responses and look really, to quantify the amount of insulin required to respond to protein, which acts over a longer time, or fat, which acts over a much longer time because really, your body just says, “We need to get rid of the carbs really quickly. So, we’ll hold back all the energy in storage, all of a sudden, until we clear the carbohydrate.” And really, carbs can actually be more satiating, potentially, in fact, interestingly, in the studies, but with fat, the body just says, “I don’t need to really send insulin to hold back energy and storage because we’ve got heaps of storage capacity for that. So, just let it come in, we need that fat energy for later for eating out, let’s store it.” I suppose that’s the subtlety that five years ago was much more of a high fat keto zealot that I believe that I could turn off my own pancreas by eating MCT oil and butter. I did that for a couple of years, now I look in the mirror, something’s not quite working. [laughs] I’ll have to keep digging into the data to understand why that’s the case. So, that, trying to differentiate between the diet that works well for my wife, the diet that works well for me who’s got a functioning pancreas and is probably more prone to obesity and I have to have different dietary choices to try and manage my diabetes risk and my family history of diabetes, and a lot of people are in that boat as well.
Cynthia Thurlow: Two important points, and I think one of the big errors I see people make if they’re eating lower carb or ketogenic and they unknowingly, you always want to burn your endogenous. So, the fat stores you have in your body, preferentially, we want to burn those first. Unfortunately, with a lot of people, if they’re new to low carb, or ketogenic diets, they overdo it on their fat consumption. I always explain that fat is the most kind of calorically dense of macronutrients. People have to be careful, like, you can’t have all the avocado and all the butter, and all the nuts because it’s delicious, as they all are. When it’s nine calories per gram versus four for protein and carbs, that kind of adds up.
Oftentimes, I see patients and clients that unknowingly don’t realize you can’t have a pound of bacon, and five avocados, and a package of nuts every day and wonder why you’re not losing weight. I think it’s really important, because I think it’s this misnomer, that what we’re really talking about is, we want this super high fat diet, and that’s going to fix everything for everyone. What I’ve come to find, at least in my clinical experience that more often not, it’s all about bio-individuality, you mentioned you were in a higher fat, kind of moderate protein, lower carb for a while, and you realize that that per se was not necessarily working well for you. When you’re talking to your clients about blood sugar, and talking about monitoring blood sugar, I know that you’re a proponent of glucometer, so being able to check your blood sugar–
What’s interesting, and I really want listeners to appreciate this is that even with all of my functional training, we always thought about blood sugars after we ate, like, “Okay, we want to check it an hour, two hours, and we want it back at baseline.” One of the things that blew my mind was, a lot of what you recommend, and I think this is brilliant, by the way, is that you want patients and clients to check their blood sugar when they start getting hungry to see where it is, to see if they’ve hit that trigger point. Was it through your own journey or was it with Monica that you started kind of putting these pieces together that that was far more valuable information than being solely focused on postprandial values?
Marty Kendall: Yeah, postprandial values after you eat are really useful because you don’t want your blood sugar to go up really high and crash, but I see a lot of people trying to get flatline blood sugars. Everybody in keto, low carb space, they want flatline blood sugars, and to do that, they have to avoid protein and avoid all carbohydrates, of course, and then just unlimited fat is fine if it keeps your blood sugar’s flatline. But, as I said, before, you just storing all the body fat. Even if you got flatline blood sugars, because you’re just drinking butter all day, you’re going to be gaining fat, you’re not losing fat at that point. The bulletproof coffee’s model can be useful as sort of a crutch as you transition from fat plus carb diet, to a lower carb diet, and you go, “I’m getting less satiety,” but it’s probably from the increased protein you’re eating. Then once you stall out with that approach, and you can start to dial back the dietary fat if you want to lose body fat, and ketones can look after themselves and chasing high ketones is a bit of a mission fraught with danger because you don’t know what the ketone value actually means. Whether it’s coming from your body or the bulletproof coffee you just ate.
Five years ago, I came across a study that were University of Otago in New Zealand had done this really interesting work into hunger training and put out a post describing how you could do it to look at your average pre-meal blood sugar for the last seven days and use that as a gauge for your hunger. I thought, “I should come back to this,” and I kept getting messages from people that found it and use it. And then about a year ago when we’re in lockdown and I’ve done a lot of heavy lifting and bulked up a bit more than I wanted to, I thought, “I’ll try this, I’ll put together a spreadsheet and play with it myself.” I’m sick of tracking calories although, sometimes use [unintelligible [00:24:17] dial in nutrient density, I just thought, “Well, I’ll try this and put together a spreadsheet,” and worked really, really well.
I talked with my Nutrient Optimiser partner Alex about building this set into a concept, data driven fasting[?], and we bought the domain like three or four years ago. And, yeah, it just worked really well, put out a spreadsheet to a little Facebook group and a lot of people try to, and had really great success and just the idea is that when you get hungry, you check your blood sugar to see if you need to refuel at that point, because really, blood sugar is the first energy source that needs to be burnt off after a bit before excess protein, dietary fat and your body fat, so you have to deplete your glucose before those other fields can be burned. So, it just made a whole lot of sense to use that to validate your hunger to see if you’re really hungry, because most of us have got massively dysregulated hunger signals. Yeah, so just worked really well, and just seeing my wife’s blood sugar all the time, you just see how it works and have a really good appreciation for when she feels hungry based on her blood sugars and that’s just giving me a lot of insights that have been able to answer a lot of questions for people.
Cynthia Thurlow: This is really, really mind-blowing information. I can tell you, when I read it, I told my husband, I was like, “Okay, check blood sugar when you’re hungry to see what it is. If your blood sugar’s 110, you don’t need to eat. You can maybe go take a walk or continue working.” Then, the other really kind of important piece, and I want to definitely ask you about glucometers versus CGMs, or continuous glucose monitors. Your methodology is if your blood sugar rises more than 30, that is a sign that you’ve had too many carbs. So, you would avoid, is it the quantity of carbohydrates in that same meal or would you just avoid that meal entirely?
Marty Kendall: Yeah, really, you probably need to avoid that meal or eat less of that meal, and people just gamify it and keep it within the range. If your blood sugar rises more than 30 milligrams per deciliter over your trigger after you eat, you’ve overfilled your fuel tank and you’ve got too many carbs on board and you don’t need any more. It’s like, “Okay, that makes sense.” And if you see it in a fuel tank, you got different separated fuel tanks, you’ve got alcohol that can’t be stored, you got ketones, similarly can’t really be stored other than in your blood in a very small amount and your glucose, maybe 2000, 2500 calories worth in your liver and your muscles, then you’ve got the fat in your blood, which is about 200 calories or something miniscule, and you’ve got fat on your body, which is 50,000 to 200,000 calories with so, you really just have to manage those upstream fuel, so that the downstream body fat can be released from storage.
Cynthia Thurlow: Do you have a preference on glucometers versus CGMs? The reason why I’m asking is, I have been wearing CGMs intermittently since last November, and it’s been absolutely amazing. I’ve been low carb for a long time. I carb cycle, I kick myself out of ketosis. I do longer and shorter fasts. There’s a lot of variety, and I believe in the value of everyone, even if you’re metabolically flexible, being aware of how your body reacts to certain foods. It’s been a very humbling journey over the last five months. Because I’m gluten, grains, and dairy-free, things that I enjoyed on my higher carb days, like plantains don’t like me, I’ve come to find out, they really spike my blood sugar to the point where I told my husband, “This can’t be right.” [laughs] I would go from really well-controlled blood sugar to like 160. I’m like, “Whoa, where did that come from?” It’s been very enlightening, but I’m sure for people that are listening that say, “Okay, CGM. I don’t qualify based on my insurance and I don’t have the disposable income to pay for one, but I can purchase a glucometer.” But I’m sure that you probably have tracked data on both. What do you see are the benefits and the cons of both and beyond just the financial kind of outlay? Do you feel you get–
Marty Kendall: Yeah, definitely the financial is a massive component and Dexcom is the gold standard that you really need to do it properly, and the FreeStyle is not as accurate. When you change sensors, you can’t calibrate and stuff’s at the data-driven fasting system. But for my wife, Monica, with type 1 diabetes, it’s a godsend. It’s incredible. We’ve got a closed loop insulin system, and you should see that just tweaked her insulin dose basal every five minutes to keep her in this perfectly flatline blood sugar, it’s incredible and changed her life. But to manage that and to understand that has been one of the most complex things I’ve ever had to do and try to understand what other blips mean. But you see most people, I’m an engineer that loves data and have tried to be a biohacker and I’m a wannabe biohacker, but I’ve realized after five years of following Dave Asprey and everybody else that life, you can only manage so many constraints, your lizard brain, your survival reptilian instinct, if you push it from 50 different angles all at once, it’ll just rebel and take over and just blow up your brain and just go stuff, so I’m going to throw this out.
Before long if you try to control it with too many variables all at once, you’ll fail. Yeah, simplicity is best. You just need to manage the one thing that is most powerful to help you get the result you want, so you need the minimum effective dose of tracking and data to actually get the result you want, and that’s sustainable and most people need to do this for months even years to get the result they want over the long term, so you don’t want to be doing something, A, you can’t afford and, B, that just does your brain in with all that data. You’ve probably seen, “I sneezed. I had a coffee, I went for a walk, I felt a bit stressed and my blood sugar went up by three points. What does that mean? I’m going to get fat because I had a bit too much stevia?” All those things just blow people’s brains, and we just see the best results from people who just use their blood sugar to calibrate and validate their hunger when they feel hungry. If your blood sugar goes up and comes back down really quickly, that’s probably okay as long as you don’t feel a sugar crash and need to eat again. So, that’s why you keep it in a fairly stable, go up, not more than ideally 30 milligrams per deciliter, and come back down again. But just watching it all the time tends to drive people to, “I want to flatline, so I’m going to avoid that pumpkin or spinach,” or that otherwise healthy food that they would have eaten the whole healthy food. They end up going for a low carb, very high fat diet that will keep the blood sugar flatline. That’s not what you want to focus on. You want to focus on using the blood sugar just to validate your hunger before you eat again, two, three times a day. And that’s all you need to do, and you get on with the rest of your life. It’s incredibly cheap, compared to all the other options out it’s like 5% or 10% of all the other Zoe and [unintelligible [00:31:09] and everybody else, and it’s just really cost effective. A lot of people are already getting it for free as part of their Medicare or healthcare or diabetes service, it’s a whole lot more cost effective.
Then, eventually, you can throw it away because you don’t need it because you’ve retrained your hunger, and that’s the critical thing. You need to recalibrate your hunger. A lot of people have done it, did it for a month to understand hunger and I didn’t need the glucometer anymore. And that’s exactly where we want you to get to that you’ve recalibrated your hunger, rather than outsourcing your satiety to MyFitnessPal, or always watching your glucometer, your CGM, the goal is to recalibrate the hunger before you eat, to understand if you really need to eat or you can wait a little bit longer.
Cynthia Thurlow: I love your pragmatism. I think it’s really important. I have one client in particular who I advocated that we get a CGM. We did get valuable information for a month. Then, she came to me and said, “I’m getting obsessive, it’s driving me crazy. I get stressed and my blood sugar goes up. I take a shower, I play tennis, and then my blood sugar goes up, and it’s stressing me out.” I said, “Well, let’s stop,” or, “Let’s do a timeout,” because people, much to your point, the biohacking devices can be very beneficial. When it becomes obsessive, then it’s kind of bordering on this precipice of, it’s detracting away from good information or a good value from getting it. When we talk about hunger and satiety, I would imagine that quite a few people that come into your program probably have not only insulin resistance, but leptin resistance. Are you doing any tracking of how long those people take to actually get to a point where they’ve reset?
Because leptin is such a funny hormone, and I say funny, not as in ha-ha funny, but a quirky hormone. When we’re talking about like leptin and ghrelin and that hunger satiety piece and how that all these hormones really get dysregulated. I’m not talking about the average metabolically flexible individual, I’m talking about those that are insulin resistant, and those that have diabetes. Do you have a sense of how long it actually takes to reset that whole hunger hormone?
Marty Kendall: There’s a whole bunch of studies that say that people can reset their true hunger, especially wants to get to a lower blood sugar. If you get your blood sugars really all over the place at a really high level, those people got really dysregulated hunger signals, but once they actually get the trigger down to a lower level, they can experience real hunger, and they really feel those symptoms of hunger, they might feel a little bit cold, a little foggy headed, they can’t think straight, grumbly tummy, those sorts of symptoms, and they go, “Okay, this is a hunger signal, I need to eat again. I don’t need to push through this. I don’t need to fast.” I suppose a lot of people come from a fasting background where they’re planned to push through the hunger for days, and then they eat indiscriminately afterwards and don’t make long-term progress.
I suppose I’m a little bit cynical about leptin and ghrelin and all those other things that I see why, okay, and all the other peptides that we talk about that are obviously related to hunger and satiety, but we can’t measure them, we can’t really understand, and I suppose I’ve been burned by trying the carb insulin hypothesis that we’ve had all these pronouncements and biblical truths of– if you have a carbohydrate, you’ll get fat because the insulin went up. There’s a real misunderstanding when we try to interpret things that we don’t really fully understand. It’s just a simple matter of using your blood sugar as a fuel gauge, and that just tends to recalibrate it.
The important factor is what you eat, when you eat. If you go too long, you don’t eat well, you don’t make good food choices. So, you go just long enough that you can still make really good food choices and you feel satiated, and then you can eat again sooner. All these people are coming from extended fasting from two or three days and go, “I can eat two or three times a day now. This is incredible. I’m losing weight.” All these people who have had professional guidance from the gurus to fast for three weeks at a time who were stalled out are now giving nourishing their body, and their body goes, “Well, I don’t need this fat anymore, because there’s no famine, and they make progress. Honestly, I don’t know about the leptin and ghrelin because we can’t quantify it, we can quantify the blood sugars all the time. We can dial in what you eat, when you eat, and that’s as complex as it needs to be. I’m a dumb engineer, and I need the numbers to work for me to understand it. So, yeah.
Cynthia Thurlow: No, I think it’s absolutely brilliant. I’ll just keep saying that it makes so much sense. Obviously, I’m completely humbled that we’re connecting, because this is certainly going to change how I interact with my own patients and clients and the things that I teach them, of course, giving full credit to you bringing this up. Let’s pivot a little bit, and let’s talk about insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance and how when someone’s lean, they tend to be more insulin sensitive, when people are overweight or obese, they tend to be more insulin resistant or diabetic. You talk about this personal fat threshold, which each one of us has our own personal fat threshold.
Marty Kendall: [laughs]
Cynthia Thurlow: I seem to be a little tongue tied this evening. For a lot of my patients, when I’m talking to them, I’m like, I like to get a fasting insulin because it’s oftentimes the first biomarker that will actually get dysregulated way before hemoglobin A1c, oftentimes way before fasting glucose. I’ve even seen some people that have been very low, like in the 2s. But when we’re looking at insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance, let’s talk a little bit about this personal fat threshold and how that’s influenced by what we’re talking about.
Marty Kendall: Yeah, and really powerful concept. I suppose just circling back to the type 1 diabetes analogy that if my wife stopped taking insulin, all her stored energy would disintegrate into a bloodstream, she’d see high glucose, ketones, free fatty acids floating around in the bloodstream. She’d be peeing them out and she was losing incredible amounts of weight when she was diagnosed. Before long, they just waste away and die without injected insulin, which is really scary. But if you’ve got a functioning pancreas, then that’s not the case, but what’s happening is for the food you’re eating, your insulin keeps rising, and as your body fat keeps growing, your pancreas needs to keep pumping out more and more insulin. Once your adipose tissue, your bum, your belly, your cheeks, your face, all those sorts of places where you’ve got the unsightly fat that we all want to get rid of, that’s actually the easy, accessible storage depot for your fat that it’s meant to be stored there for easy access. But like a sponge, it can only hold so much energy, and once that fills up, it starts to overflow and back up into your bloodstream, as increased free fatty acids, the glucose to ketones and then it goes into your vital organs and get stored in places where it really shouldn’t be stored. To do that, your pancreas has to keep on producing more and more and more insulin, while you keep eating those autumnal foods that you can’t stop eating.
As you keep filling up all your fuel tanks, your body goes, “Okay, my winter must be coming, must be a big one. Let’s keep storing” to exceed your personal fat threshold, which is the amount your body can comfortably store before you overfill those easily accessible storage depots. We talk a lot about insulin resistance and conditional toxicity. But, again, it’s the energy toxicity that we need to be focusing on and managing that through a high-satiety, nutrient-dense diet that will enable you to– we’ve all tried counting calories, but you can only restrict what you eat intentionally for so long without changing what you eat. You can’t just say, “I’m eating 5000 calories of donuts. I’m going to cut that down to 2000 calories of donuts and pizza a day and I’ll lose weight,” but eventually, your body just goes, okay, if you’re just going to feed me that I need to get back to that 5000 calories, but if you can create a high-satiety, nutrient-dense diet, your body goes, “Okay, you’re giving me the nutrients I need to thrive, I can get rid of the stored energy. I don’t need to chew through so many calories worth of crappy food to get the nutrients I need to actually fuel my mitochondria to produce energy.”
Cynthia Thurlow: Really interesting. In your clinical experience, we talk about nutrient density and then we also talk about nutrient deficiencies. What are some of the more common deficiencies that you see with– I’m going to just throw out some of the bigger nutritional dogmas, like keto or carnivore or vegetarianism. What are some of the more– and I, of course, can probably guess some of the big ones, but for the benefit of the listeners, what are some of the more common nutrient deficiencies? What I found really fascinating when I was reading your book is that those nutrient deficiencies can then drive some of the cravings and the lack of the satiety. It’s fascinating that they all fit together like a puzzle.
Marty Kendall: Yeah, I suppose in terms of new nutrient deficiencies, some people do get diagnosed with frank clinical nutrient deficiencies. It’s where you’ll test for a nutrient deficiency, because you’re eating unfortified rice, so you’ve no meat at all, or whatever, and that does happen. But usually, your body compensates and recycles those nutrients, and works really hard and works overtime. I suppose that’s the point, if you’re not giving it a lot, it has to work a lot harder to maintain healthy potassium and magnesium, all this sort of nutrients. So, you probably won’t see frank deficiencies but in a plant-based diet, you’re struggling to get B12 and omega-3, in a carnivore diet, you might be struggling to get potassium, maybe magnesium and a number of other nutrients that are harder to get. Keto diet, similar sort of thing with the nutrients that come with green, non-starchy veggies, the plants, the magnesium, the potassium, and all the minerals are often harder to get. But it depends on the person’s individual diet. A lot of time with the keto approach, it’s just a low-satiety, nutrient-poor diet that leads to overeating.
Cynthia Thurlow: Which makes a lot of sense. What’s really interesting, and I know it’s something that you talk about quite a bit, and I do as well, that protein is the most satiating macronutrient. I think people are surprised if they’re not eating a protein-focused diet, they’re surprised because we have a very carbohydrate-focused diet, overall. When you look at the Food Guide Pyramid and MyPlate, which I call MyJunk, when you see a lot of what’s propagated in westernized countries, it’s a very unsatiating diet, which is why we can’t stop eating the bread and can’t stop eating the pasta and can’t stop eating the rice. Whereas if we have a piece of steak, or we have a piece of fish, or something along those lines, and then add in the rest of the macros, it’s a much more well-rounded. And has that been your experience that when people start switching up, and I know that Ted talks about this quite a bit as well that. You ramp up the satiety piece, and then people like the cravings, they don’t feel like continuing to eat because they feel full.
Marty Kendall: Yeah. I suppose the MyPlate and the dietary guidelines are developed by the US Department of Agriculture and their mission statement is to promote the products of US agriculture, and that’s infiltrated across the world. So, it’s no wonder the dietary recommendations guide you to products of agriculture, and the most cost-effective profitable, high profit margin, the cheapest foods available. You look in the shopping center, the vegetable oils and the sugars, they’re just dirt cheap per calorie. It’s incredible. But, yeah, amino acids, [unintelligible [00:43:12], amino acids are the most satiating micronutrient, and that’s protein. But Ted loves to make things as simple as possible, and that’s why it’s just exploded because people go, “Okay, this is the most powerful lever that works for me.” If you wanted to sort of put the icing on top of that picture, all the micronutrients have a similar sort of satiety response. If you eat foods that contain more potassium per calorie, you’ll be more satiated. You get to a certain point with sodium, of about 5 grams per 2000 calories, we get appetite settles down.
We see the same thing over and over again. We’ve tested 60,000 days’ worth of data from people using Nutrient Optimiser, logging in Cron-o-meter to understand their satiety response to all these different micronutrients to identify not just the minimum to prevent diseases of deficiency, the recommended daily intake, or the dietary reference intake, but we’ve defined optimal nutrient intake. And that’s sort of how we’ve created all the recipes and food lists to try and guide people to get the nutrients they need more off in their diet. And like you said, everybody’s got a different current nutritional profile. If you really want to level it up, “You can say what nutrients do I need to get more of in my diet to round it out to get a balanced diet at a micronutrient level?” Then, once you think in terms of that, all the dietary dogma and beliefs and religion just explode and vanish you see into the matrix of the numbers behind nutrition too. Then, the foods look beautiful and vibrant and healthy, and you just look at the meals and you go, “Yeah, that looks like good food that actually contains the nutrients that you need.”
Cynthia Thurlow: I think it’s really powerful when you have retrained your palate to crave a nutrient-dense real whole food as opposed to something that comes in a box or a bag or a can. I would love for you to kind of touch, and I know, and I’ve looked through the recipes, I am really excited to try many of them. But you have quite a collection of different recipe books that are focused in different key areas. I would imagine pain points for a lot of people, one is like fat loss, and one is balancing blood sugar. And has it been over the last several years, you’ve started compiling all these things, you and your team? Because it’s really well done.
Marty Kendall: Thank you. Yeah, it’s been an amazing journey, I’m really excited to be at this point where we’ve getting them out, issued a batch a year ago, and over the last year was developed even further. But, yeah, realize, like I said before, that not everybody needs to lose weight. Not everybody needs to control their blood sugar. There’s people who want to bulk up and bodybuilders or athletes, if they go on a high protein energy ratio diet with a very low energy availability, they’re going to lose weight and bulk and not get enough energy to perform those activities. There’s some people who, for religious reasons, follow a plant-based diet or vegetarian diet. We’ve tried to paint those diets in the best light possible, and so, “You guys need nutrients too. Here’s the most nutrient-dense meals you can have.” And then we’ve gone into to cancer, to look at if you’re looking to lose– if you need to lose weight, if you’re managing cancer, these are the meals for you that have less folate, methionine B12, glutamic acid that tend to be related to cancer growth. And if you’re sarcopenic after cancer treatment, here are the same sort of nutritional priorities, but with energy as well to actually regain weight.
We’ve got therapeutic keto for people who actually need elevated ketones for the management of epilepsy. But the reality is, most people think they want elevated ketones for weight loss, but they’re eating a really high fat diet, which actually is what you need to gain weight. So, yeah, we’ve developed an array of 26 different books, autoimmune protocols, low FODMAP, low oxalate for people who went, “No, I can’t eat spinach because I’ll die,” and to go oxalating it. Some people do have real issues with oxalate, but it’s not a lot of people. Yeah, we’ve developed the whole array, and then they’re all embedded in Nutrient Optimiser. If you log your food, it’ll actually rank them all based on your current needs of what you ate in the last few days.
Cynthia Thurlow: Is your app actually the Cron-o-meter?
Marty Kendall: We use Cron-o-meter for the food logging, and Nutrient Optimiser sort of sucks all that data in and then says, “These are the foods you need. These are the meals you need. These are the macros you need for the coming week.” We have a masterclass that guides people through that process over six weeks. So, that’s a whole lot of fun. Yeah, but Cron-o-meter is amazing for tracking macronutrients in food, and that’s really, really powerful data that just peeks behind the curtain of nutrition. As I said, blows all the dogma away.
Cynthia Thurlow: Well, because I think there’s so much focus on protein, fat, and carbs. And then alcohol is seen as the big bad toxin that people sometimes ingest. I think for so many of us, we don’t even think about micronutrients, we just think, “I’m going to eat my food, and I’ll worry about that later.” Now, one of the things I invited people to do was to ask questions that we are going to connect, and so I took five that were asked more than once. One of the questions that I received was, how do you navigate eating out? This is from Helene.
Marty Kendall: You can choose well, when you eat out, you choose the best thing you can, but I suppose if you’re 80%, 90% of the time you’re eating good food that you prepare at home, you know where it came from, you can enjoy that and then get back on the wagon. I suppose with blood sugar, you can see exactly the damage it did to your blood sugars, you can see how it filled your fuel tank, and when your fuel tanks are full, you know that they only need protein and nutrients at that point, you don’t need fuel, and that just helps you go at it back down without feeling guilty and having to fast for days on end and do hours of cardio and then you find yourself in another binge/restrict cycle, which is so endemic, I think, in fasting and that’s what we’ve tried to help people manage to find that optimum balance to get a progressive overload without going to the gym and lifting 200 kilos. The first time they’re going to break, they’re going to, “I can’t do that too often,” they need to just do a little bit and then do a little bit more and do a little bit more and adapt and eventually they reach the goal.
Cynthia Thurlow: Give yourself grace, no self-flagellation. I think that’s really important for everyone that’s listening, that you don’t overeat– and this is a perfect segue into the next question. You don’t overeat and then beat yourself up for [crosstalk] that’s not productive. Loretta asked, “You talk quite a bit about Lizzie,” and so-
Marty Kendall: [laughs]
Cynthia Thurlow: -for the benefit of listeners aren’t familiar with Lizzie, this is the amygdala. This is the kind of reptile brain that when it overrides our prefrontal cortex, we oftentimes don’t really make good food choices. When we’re in that kind of scarcity mindset, the emotional eating peace, what are your best recommendations for that?
Marty Kendall: Yeah, I think it’s pretty powerful to make peace with your inner lizard and give it what it needs, and then it settles down. If you push Lizzie too far, which is your amygdala, however you want to see the brain, the [unintelligible [00:50:14] brain, or however you want to picture it, there is a part of your instinct that needs respect, and feed it and give it what it needs and then it settles down, you’re not consumed by food all the time. What was the second part of the question there?
Cynthia Thurlow: No, asking– so in my clinical experience, when I see Lizzie or the pig, however, people wanted to call it. I’m thinking of Glenn Livingston’s pig analogy, the inner pig, it’s like your inner brain pig. Sometimes people fast for too long, and then it’s this scarcity mindset. So, their amygdala overrides their prefrontal cortex, and then they eat all the things, and then this whole guilt cycle starts all over again. So that’s– [dogs barking] sorry, my dogs are now talking. In the context of emotional eating, what are your best recommendations for people to address that behavior? Sorry.
Marty Kendall: I suppose the secret there is not to fast for so long that you trigger that instinct and when you do it, you’re actually give Lizzie what he or she needs that point. And if you do that, you won’t fall into that binge/restrict cycle, you’ll just find a piece between your prefrontal cortex and your amygdala, because you’re actually nourishing it, you’re not continually in a battle. Like I said before, we outsource it to MyFitnessPal, and that never works, and in New Zealand study, they found that the people tracking with MyFitnessPal did even worse than people who were just weighing themselves every day and the people that did best with ones testing their blood sugar’s to calibrate their actual hunger. Yeah, so if you’re fasting so long that you find yourself, like I used to in the peanut butter and yogurt and everything I could get my hands on, I was trying to get my ketones higher, so I was eating the butter and the MCT oil after that, you’ve gone too long. And you don’t need to go that long, and that’s the binge response. That’s the binge instinct that will kick in when you tell your body you’re in a famine, and that’s not a good place to be, and your body’s not going to want to release your fat stores because there’s a famine, it’s completely logical. All these people get to eat two, three times a day and go, “Amazing, what’s up with this? This is crazy. What is this magic?”
Cynthia Thurlow: It’s not just women, I think men have the same mentality as well that, we punish ourselves, it’s like, “I have to fast longer, I have to work out harder, I have to eat less food.” It’s retraining that mindset. I feel once men and women cross over late 30s and early 40s, we have to treat our bodies a little bit more kindly. I love that you kind of embrace that mentality of, don’t fast as long, maybe you need to liberalize what you’re doing, so that you aren’t feeling so prone to bingeing. Katie asked, “What are your thoughts about weight loss, and those that are insulin sensitive?”
Marty Kendall: Yeah, when you’re insulin sensitive, like a stage-lean bodybuilder, they’re incredibly insulin sensitive. So, anything they eat will be stored as fat very quickly, and so you see them with a box of donuts right after their show, because they want to gain fat, and they’re just craving energy. But when you’re insulin resistant, a lot of people think I’m fat because I’m insulin resistant, but actually, it’s the people who gain the most weight who are actually still insulin sensitive. Once you tap that, once you reach a personal fat threshold, you can’t keep on gaining weight. If you’re actually insulin sensitive, it just gets a little bit harder, and your body’s saying, “Okay, I’m happy at this weight,” and maybe need to make peace with your current weight, or just continue to pursue nutrient-dense, high-satiety foods with less energy from carbs and fat when you eat, to keep on gently taking the process down. You can drop weight very, very quickly if you’re carrying a lot of it once you give your body the food it needs, but as you get leaner, it just slows down and you have to be happy with that process and look in the mirror and go, “I’m an amazing person.”
We definitely encourage people to build strength, not just get skinny, and you want to– I got skinny, got down to 80 kilos, but I felt weak and cold and didn’t like really how I looked and how I felt, and I’d much rather be strong and robust and feel like I’m thriving at a healthy weight without being skinny as the goal.
Cynthia Thurlow: Yep. I always say healthy is sustainable, unhealthy is not. It can go on either end of the spectrum. Gabrielle asked, “What are your thoughts on protein intake while on maintenance?” I believe she’s at her healthy weight and she asked, how do you tweak protein intake and maintenance?
Marty Kendall: Protein doesn’t really change much whether you’re trying to– if you’re trying to lose weight, you probably need more protein to prevent loss of lean muscle mass, but overall protein doesn’t change too much. It’s just the energy from carbs and fat that you dial up and down. Once you hit maintenance, you still need your 1.8 grams per kilo lean body mass and you dial back up the energy to prevent fat mass losing continually. So, you already think protein, you always need nutrients, and you just dial up and down the fuel from fat and carbs to continue to maintain or lose or gain or whatever you need.
Cynthia Thurlow: Last question. Fred asked, “I’ve read the studies, and I know that I can maintain muscle while intermittent fasting. But what are your recommendations if I’m looking to gain more muscle than I currently have.”
Marty Kendall: Eat more protein and lift heavy things.
Cynthia Thurlow: Get sleep. [chuckles]
Marty Kendall: Yeah, have enough fuel onboard to grow if you want to, and to fuel that activity. It’s definitely hard to get enough protein if you’re eating less than two meals a day. Two meals a day seems to be the minimum. It’s possible with one meal a day. And there’s some people who can gain muscle with one meal a day, but you have to be incredibly intentional, and people who are fat doing extended fasting, and then eating keto to keep the insulin and blood sugars flatline are just completely undoing protein and losing lean muscle mass. If you get skinny fat and skinnier over the long term, your body’s going to rebel eventually, and Lizzie is going to come out riot completely at that point. Then, you’ll feel like a failure, feel guilty and just didn’t have enough willpower, but you will pass [unintelligible [00:56:37], you’ve got to give your body what it needs, you’ve got to nourish your body with the nutrients it needs, when it needs it.
Cynthia Thurlow: I think that’s a really critically important distinction to make. For anyone that’s listening, I sometimes wonder, maybe there are some men out there that can get in 2000 plus calories and get all their macros in eating one meal a day. But I just find that, OMAD, or one meal a day, is really challenging for people that want to maintain muscle, and especially at middle age, I know sarcopenia, which is this muscle loss with aging, which is a normal thing that happens, unless you get enough protein and lift heavy things and get enough sleep, etc., that really accelerates after age 40. I remind people that you really want to be deliberate about your protein intake.
Marty Kendall: Yeah, the biggest thing that’s killing people is just being sarcopenic in old age, and they get frail. At that point, your immune system is stuffed, and you can’t get out of a chair, and you can’t contribute to society. If you’re not actually feeling valuable in the world, then your body just starts to– They talk about the grandmother hypothesis, that people who are contributing and making a difference and giving and serving that the body says, “I’m worthy, I’m useful, I want to keep on living forever.” But if you have no purpose, because you’re too weak to serve, and give to your family and loved ones and help your grandchildren, then your body just tends to waste away and shut down. That’s a really scary place to be. For all those people who think they can avoid protein for fear of mTOR, or whatever, it’s like, “No, just be strong, be robust, be vitally healthy, feel great,” and whatever you have on your body that muscle mass at 40, it’s your bank account to have a long healthy vibrant life that you love living.
Cynthia Thurlow: Absolutely. What an incredible analogy. One of the things that I say to my patients was, when you don’t have the quadriceps strength to get up out of a chair, off the toilet, that’s a sign, that’s like a dangerous sign because the more sedentary you become, the more muscle mass that accelerates, you could become osteopenic. I remember my grandmother saying– and she volunteered up until the day she died, I remember her saying to me that your appetite changes as you get older, you’re not as hungry. She was saying, “I can’t believe how many people my own age literally do nothing other than sit all day long.” She said, “I can’t do that.” So, yes, we always want to be of service to others, absolutely critical.
Well, I am so grateful for your time. I know that you are starting your day. It is now Monday morning where you are. Can you share with the listeners how best to connect with you? How can they get your cookbooks and your program? I’m thoroughly enjoying your books, which are fantastic. How can they connect with you?
Marty Kendall: Yeah, best place is to google Optimising Nutrition, which is got all the recipe books. There’s also a Facebook page and a Facebook group, can join the data driven fasting Facebook group. I’ve got about 6000 people, it’s just exploding and people going, “Oh, this is really cool. I love it.” It’s just really going off, really enjoying that. We’ve got a regular 30-day challenge so people can get into and it’s sort of a guided program for those million questions that come up as people start to check their blood sugars and even with a simple glucometer [unintelligible [00:59:54] a little bit, so we try to guide them through that process with the data-driven fasting challenge.
Then, Nutrient Optimiser is another program that we have that we dial in with Nutritional Optimisation Masterclass, which is a six-week program that we guide people through to dial in the macros and then the micros and all these people get obsessed with chasing the highest nutrient density score and solving the puzzle of nutrition. These people who lose themselves in this process just coming up, going, “I feel great. I’ve lost all this weight and don’t need all my supplements. I’m saving $500 a month from all the subsidies I have.” So, yeah, I’m just loving having fun doing this and making great friends. So, come join the Nutrition Optimisation movement.
Cynthia Thurlow: That’s a wonderful movement and I’m so very grateful that I stumbled upon your work and I am able to bring your message to my listeners who I know will be connecting with you very soon.
Marty Kendall: Yeah, thank you.
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