Today, I have a special guest with me, Layne Norton. Layne is not only a world champion powerlifter but also holds a PhD in nutritional sciences. Talk about an impressive combination! Lane’s expertise in the field of food and movement is unparalleled. Whenever I get the chance to chat with someone like Layne, I always wonder how deep I should dive into the subject.
I decided to take a step back and focus on something Layne emphasizes: the connection between our psychology and physiology. If you want to geek out on interviews, I highly recommend checking out the three and a half hour sessions Layne did with Dr. Peter Atiyah and Dr. Andrew Huberman. They go really in-depth on a cellular level.
Personally, I wanted to explore what drives our failures, weight gain, lack of motivation, and how we can overcome these challenges. These are the crucial aspects that deserve attention. I think most of us struggle with fundamental reasons why we can’t eat better, sleep properly, or incorporate exercise into our daily routine. It reminded me of something – I’m on the extreme end of trying to be healthy, while Layne approaches it in a way that resonates with the majority. When it comes to seed oils, I avoid them, but Layne suggests looking at bigger issues. I appreciate these conversations where I don’t have to conform entirely but still gain valuable perspectives. In the end, what matters most is feeling the best we possibly can. That’s what I’m interested in and I want to share information that can support your journey towards optimal well-being. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Layne Norton.
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- [00:04:24] Layne’s Journey
- [00:16:35 Loosing Body Fat
- [00:17:40] Controlling Your Environment
- [00:28:43] Alligator
- [00:31:13] Body Builders
- [00:33:11] COVID
- [00:37:42] Calories
- [00:40:23] Steps
- [00:44:41] Ozempic
- [00:47:23] Calorie Restriction
- [00:54:44] Building Confidence
- [00:57:26] Protein
- [01:01:18] Snacks
- [01:20:04] Metabolism
- [01:25:58] Navy Seal
- [01:29:46] Mistakes
- [01:33:10] Low Quality Food
- [01:40:26] Microbiome
- [01:42:15] Lean Protein
- [01:49:09] Stressors
- [01:59:57] Changing Your Habits
- [02:03:53] Time Zones
[00:04:24] Layne: Yeah, I mean, I think, um, just if I can give a little bit of kind of my journey and how I got there. So, when I was an undergraduate, I was doing my undergraduate in biochemistry, and there was nothing more than I loved to geek out over, like, mechanisms, and this electron moves here, and this does this, and, you know, look at this pathway, and if we could just stimulate this, and, um, You know, I, I remember when I started, when I took on my first client, I was 23 years old and it was 2005.
So, I started doing online coaching before it was really a thing and found pretty quickly because I remember thinking I can solve the obesity problem here, just eat these. Eat these macros, you know, and you know, my experience had been that was easy, right? Like, like if I could have the flexibility to choose foods I like, if I just had to eat, you know, certain numbers, it was easy for me. But I also found out later, I’m actually kind of a robot in certain ways.
[00:05:23] Gabby: Well, I was going to say you’re, you can separate your feelings from things. Right. Was your, I’m just curious. Cause I’m looking at you, obviously people can tell you’re very fit. Um, was part of your motivation being about kind of like buff and like a badass? Oh yeah. Okay.
[00:05:41] Layne: Oh yeah. I mean, I, I 100%, the whole reason I got into a PhD was selfishly to figure out how to get bigger, you know, how to build more muscle. I was, so I, I originally wanted to be a marine biologist growing up, um, was way into sharks, way into sharks. I can tell you what the ampullae of Lorenzini was when I was five years old. Um, but as I got later in high school, I started getting lifting weights. I got bullied a lot when I was growing up for being smart.
[00:06:09] Layne: You think I’m ADHD and pretty weird. So, I think just being different when you’re young is not usually something that’s going to get you popular. But the good thing is when you’re older, being different can really help you.
[00:06:23] Layne: So, I just kind of started. Lifting weights because I’m like, all right, maybe I’ll stop getting bullied. Didn’t really help with that, but I fell in love with lifting weights. Did my first bodybuilding show when I was 19 and changed my major to biochemistry because I wanted to study more about the human body and then got into my PhD because I, by the time I was going to graduate, didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life and figured, all right, I’ll delay the real world six years and. Figure it out by then. Hopefully.
[00:06:50] Gabby: What do your parents say to something like that?
[00:06:52] Layne: My parents, my parents were always very supportive. They, they did not understand bodybuilding. They’re like, we’re not sure about this, but they were always [00:07:00] very supportive. Like if you love it, we love it. And there was nobody cheering louder for me at my first bodybuilding show than my parents.
So, they honestly, um, as. As bad as my childhood was in terms of like really bad bullying, my parents were awesome. So, I had very good support when it came to that. I’ll never forget. I’m going to bring this back. Starting to work with people. I realized, Oh, it’s. It’s not about just like telling them what to do.
The X’s and O’s are, and athletes are this way too. It’s not just about the X’s and O’s. It’s about, can you get somebody to buy in? Can you get, like, I tell people this, like, do you really think that the top NFL head coach is that much smarter than the 30th, like the 30th ranked team? Because I’ll bet you, they’re not when it comes to scheming.
What they can do is they know how to get people up. They know how to get people to buy in. And they know how to lead. And they, I think to a, you know, in the NFL, specifically picking your sub coaches is very important. So, leadership ability, but the X’s and O’s stuff, there’s plenty of people that know the X’s and O’s stuff.
And now especially with all in like athletics, with all the metrics they have, I mean, you can have AI write a game plan, you know, but it’s about can you get somebody to buy in? And I discovered as I went through coaching more and more, I ended up talking way less. About the physiology and way more about how can I get people to actually do this?
How can I get them to it here? You know, it’s like, um, um, a great example of, uh, is, um, I used to listen to a guy named Dave Ramsey for finances. And one of his things is he has what’s called that snowball. And that is, you pay off your smallest debt first, you pay minimum payments on everything else. And then once you pay that off, you throw everything at the next smallest debt, and you go on and so on and so forth.
And everybody will say, well, that’s stupid. You should pay off the thing with the highest interest, you know, and he goes, well, you’re doing math. If we were doing math, you wouldn’t be in debt. He said, this is a behavior issue. And the reason I’m going to have you pay off the smallest one first is because I want you to get some quick wins and feel bought in.
Right. And you actually see this in the weight loss data. It’s kind of counterintuitive because I’m very anti crash dieting. But when you look at obese people, there’s actually a correlation between long-term success and initial weight loss. And I think the take home there is not that initial weight loss, like going fast is better physiologically.
I think it’s; these are people who have likely tried many different approaches, felt like things didn’t work for them. And so, when they get some quick wins early, they buy in, they go, this works, and I believe in the process now. But if you don’t believe in the process, and this is the hard thing about like as an athlete, you know this, you could do every, you could put in all the work and there is absolutely no guarantee you’ll get the outcome you want, but if you don’t put in the work, you will not get the outcome you want.
Yeah. So, it’s almost like you have to take a leap of faith. Right. And just be willing to do the work with no promise of an outcome. And when it comes to nutrition, it’s kind of similar, even though we know you can get the outcome that’s not intuitive for people who have tried this a bunch of times and felt like they kept failing.
So, I got more recently, way more focused. In like the psychology of behavior changes and just how you get people to do stuff. Because again, you know, I, I always say I’ll do a lot of content on calories in calories out, explaining why, hey guys, it is valid. This is how people lose weight. It’s not, you know, all this other stuff.
And people, and people say, well, that’s too simplistic. I go, well, okay. In order to save money, you have to spend less, you spend less than you earn. No, nobody’s going to argue that. Right. But so why is everybody broke or why are so many people broke? Because it’s a behavior issue. It’s not a, it’s not a knowledge issue.
It’s not a head knowledge issue. You know, people for the most part, no, there was a lot of confusion online about nutrition, but for the most part, if I put two plates down in front of you, you, you, you probably know, you know what I mean? But getting people to buy in. Yeah. It’s so hard.
[00:11:19] Gabby: And so how did you coaching wise, if you had somebody where it was one of these complex, complicated soups, you know, they’re, uh, they work that high stress, uh, they didn’t grow up in a lifestyle where they were taught to be athletes or understood about food.
And now they are 40. They have a small child and they think. Okay. I’m going to change. Um, and maybe they do have some other thing, traumas in their life. What were some of the ways that you could get them to buy in? Because I know, and you talk about this placebo, no matter what it is, it’s, it’s a go. It works.
It has an impact. It works. That’s what I do when I take supplements. I’m like, this is working for me. My skin looks better. I know that I might, you know, whatever thing, because you never know, but you talk about that. What were the ways? That you could help unwind that for people. Cause I feel like so many people they’re just bound up in those places.
[00:12:19] Layne: You know, I think, um, and there’s probably some selection bias on my part here in terms of the clients I dealt with. But it was, there was individual differences, but what I found for a lot of folks was. Two things kind of really helped. Um, the first one was, Hey, and I love, do you know Ethan Suplee? No. Okay. So, he’s an actor.
[00:12:44] Gabby: He was, um, so yes, I do. The big guy who’s now a
[00:12:46] Layne: small guy who’s now, who’s now like, it looks like a, you know, it looks like a Navy SEAL movie, you know, um, lost 300 pounds and I love this. Uh, we were on a podcast together and he said this, I’ll never forget. He said, he’s like, everybody is spending time trying to figure out why the building is burning.
Get out of the building. Then you can figure out why it burned down. And if it’s not intuitive, what he means, it’s just start imperfect. You know, and I think there’s so much hand wringing out there more now, more than ever, because there’s so much information getting thrown at people. Don’t eat meat, don’t eat vegetables, don’t eat fruits.
I mean, you’ve seen, I’m sure you’ve seen the Instagram reels of people doing like, um, uh, going to pour a bowl of the oatmeal and here’s a video of somebody saying oatmeal is bad and then go and eat a bowl of berries. Oh, no, fruit’s bad. Um, Kevin, I have eggs. Oh, can’t have eggs. Eggs are bad. And so, there’s, I think there’s a certain percentage of the population.
And interestingly, I’ve found this a lot of people who are actually pretty successful in other areas of their lives, kind of perfectionism paralysis by analysis, right? Where they go, well, I don’t want to start something, and it not be the right thing. And so, for me a lot of what I was trying to do was get people out of their own way.
Cause I’m like, Hey, you’re not going to find the right thing if you don’t start. You know, and guess what? 75%, a hundred percent of the time is better than a hundred percent, 40 percent of the time. And the rest of it is, who knows? Yeah. So, I would really just kind of encourage people like, Hey, let’s just start walking the path and you’re going to screw up and you’re going to make mistakes.
All that stuff is fine. Right? I’m here to help you along that way and we’ll figure out why it happened. I don’t know if this is a new thing because of social media. But I think that people have started to develop really weird ideas around food, especially with kind of like the, like the black and white thinking.
What, you know, these are bad foods. These are good foods. The reality is I think a lot of financial examples, because I think it just, it hits home a little bit easier for people. So, I tell people for talking about, like, let’s say like a calorie budget, right? Let’s talk about financial budget. You know, If I make a million dollars a year, if I want to go out and spend 200, 000 on a sports car, it’s a horrible investment.
It’s going to go down in value, right? But if I can pay my mortgage, do all, take care of my responsibilities, save money for retirement, put money away for kids, college, do all those things I need to do. And I still got money’s left over. If that makes me feel good, it gives me a little attaboy, which I’m not a car guy. It’d be a boat for me,
[00:15:21] Gabby: but Oh, you really like punishment.
[00:15:23] Layne: Yeah. Bring on another thousand. Um, you know, then that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. Right. But if I make 50, 000 a year, is it a good idea for me to like go out and blow most of my income on a, you know, assume there’s no loans, uh, but go out, you know, spend a lot of my income on a car if I can’t pay my mortgage or my responsibilities?
Of course not. Right. Same thing if you’re an athlete, look at NFL players who expend so much energy or basketball players expend so much if they tried to eat clean, I mean, maybe they could do it, but it’d be really hard to keep their body weight up, you know, and so for them, they have such a big energy budget because they expend so much.
Hey, if they, you know, yes, they should be eating fruits and vegetables and some lean meats. But if they want to have some ice cream, if they want to have some cheese, like they have it in their budget. They can do that because they’re still hitting their other responsibilities. But if you’re a, you know, uh, a relatively inactive person who works a desk job, you get maybe, you know, 45 minutes a day to exercise, which by the way, doesn’t burn that many calories.
[00:16:30] Gabby: Well, and it sounds almost like probably people listening think that sounds like a lot of time. Sure. Sure. Sure.
[00:16:35] Layne: Sure. Um, then is like, and if you’re trying to lose body fat and let’s say you’re on like 1700 calories a day, is it a good idea to spend half those calories on a piece of cheesecake? That’s not going to satisfy you and not, no, it’s not a good idea, right?
Like, and I always tell people, you know, I, I follow approach called flexible dieting, which is basically like, I allow myself to have what I want as long as I meet my responsibilities for me, as I go down in calories, I changed my food selection by default because right. Sure, I could have a Snickers bar if I wanted to, but why would I want 250 calories in this little thing right here when I could have a big salad and feel more satiated?
So, I think you know, the point is just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Telling people that it actually helped ’em so much because so many people would try to just stick to their good foods and as soon as they went a little bit off. It was like, it wasn’t just a little bit. It was a lot.
[00:17:40] Gabby: So, let’s say we’ll sort of start from a, from the householder and move maybe into performance because those are sort of different rules. If you have somebody who’s a householder, so they’re, you know, they’re, they need to be, let’s say starting out a little more mindful because the margin isn’t, isn’t so great.
For them in the beginning, and so is it, so is it, how is it getting them to understand you can, how do we get you to set up your life so that maybe that impulse isn’t there as much or the, the native environment, because that’s the other thing you, you talk a lot about behavior. So not only buying in and psychology, but you talk about behavior.
Like for me personally, I’ll have people come here to work out with me. Why? So, I work out, they come at nine, I have to go downstairs. They’re going to all, they’re my friends. I got to go. That’s how I, how I can do it. How do you get them? Especially if they don’t get the support at home and they’re super busy.
Where do, where do we get them to start?
[00:23:14] Layne: So, there’s a few things to unpack there. First thing is like the easiest. Lever and a pull are control your environment, right? But that’s kind of only a short-term solution because you can’t always control your environment. Now, if I’ve got somebody who like, if I had somebody who was single, lived alone, it’s like, all right, if they’re really struggling, Okay.
Well, let’s control what you put in your household for a little while. Okay. And then we’re going to slowly add things in because you do need exposure therapy to this stuff because what’s going to happen is the same thing. You’re going to go out to a party and they’re going to have, you know, a buffet and you’re going to lose your mind.
Right. So, but to start, we’re going to start you with training wheels and training wheels is we’re going to control your environment. So, if you know something is tough for you to have around, we’re just not going to have it around for a little while. Right? Get them some wins, get them feeling like they’re moving in a positive direction.
And like, I remember this with one client. She was like, I can’t have sugar. If I have sugar, uh, uh, I, um, I can’t lose weight. I said, okay, well, what, like, do you, what are you usually consuming when you’re having sugar? It’s so funny too, because most people don’t realize when they say, I eat, I, I eat too many carbs.
They’re really talking about foods that are high in carbs and fats. Like most foods that are high, just in carbs. They can be tasty, but they’re not palatable like carbs and fats together. So, cookies, cakes, ice cream, those are all things that are high in sugar and fat. So, I said, okay, here, here’s what I want you to do.
I want you to go out and buy, uh, some single, and I just want you to do it once per day, right? Stop at your seven 11 coming home by a single serve or whatever. Eat a serving of ice cream. What do you make those little cups? Yeah. Like once. Once. Once a day. Right? End of the week, she’d lost two pounds. She’s like, oh my God, I can have, I can have ice cream.
I can have sugar. I’m like, yep. Now you understand that is, there’s nothing inherent about that that’s stopping you, but you get to choose now. Do you want to have that? Or would you rather have something more filling? Right. And then, you know, like I said, you know, there’s, there’s kind of like the 80, 20 rules, which I don’t like.
I don’t like rules. I like guidelines, which is 80 percent of your diet should be, you know, nutritious fruits and vegetables, lean meats, you know, those sorts of things. Uh, unless you’re a vegan for ethical reasons and that’s, that’s different. Uh, lean proteins, let’s say, and then the, you know, 20%, okay, you can play a little bit.
You know, as long as you, you hit your, whatever your, um, goals are, your energy intake for your goals. And that just over time when people have that exposure, it, they’re just, their anxiety goes down so much. And the other thing that I’ve really found to be helpful is I’ll have somebody like kind of show me.
What does your day to day life look like? What do you normally eat? Okay, I’m not going to take this thing and just flip it upside down because there’s zero chance you’re going to follow that. Let me see where I can make some small changes and see what kind of bang for our buck. Okay, you’re, you’re getting a salad, but you’re using the regular dressing.
Let’s switch to a lower calorie version. Oh, you’re putting nuts on, you’re putting bacon on your salad and cheese. Okay. Let’s use low fat cheese and half serving of the bacon. Right? Okay. Um, you’re, you know, I don’t know. You’re, you’re, you’re having a regular Coke per day. Okay. Let’s do a diet Coke. Now I know everybody out there freaks out about diet sodas, but I’m telling you, the research is very clear.
You are absolutely better off drinking that than you are the regular sugar stuff. Now people will, but
[00:26:56] Gabby: let’s say starting out, would it be safe to say, Hey, let’s do for let’s. Get these people to crawl and then walk. Is it that kind of approach?
[00:27:05] Layne: Ron White says shoot the alligator closest to the boat. Right.
Right. Like you can’t worry about the other alligator. You got to shoot the one that’s closest to the boat. Yeah. Um, now I will say just a brief thing on artificial sweeteners. Um, or we’ll call them nonnutritive sweeteners because they’re, they’re, you know, stevia is actually, you know, derived from a natural plant.
The research data, other than some odd studies here and there, pretty consistently shows that they appear to be pretty innocuous. Now, the only thing I will say that, um, that they appear, they, that might be a little bit of a concern is they do appear to alter the gut microbiome, some of them like sucralose.
But what we don’t know is, is that change good, bad, or neutral? Um, because we just don’t know enough about the gut microbiome. In fact, in one of the studies where they said sucralose induced gut dysbiosis, which sounds scary, I looked up at some of the species of bacteria that had increased, and one of those species is actually highly tied to improved insulin sensitivity.
Uh, reduce levels of adipose tissue and all these positive health benefits, including increased uterine production. So that’s one of those things I put in the category. Okay, let’s, let’s wait and see. Let’s see what happens over time. Right now. I’m pretty comfortable saying, I think it’s okay. And again, if we’re talking about somebody.
Drinking the fully leaded stuff versus this. I mean, the research is very, very clear. Um, people who switch lose weight, their blood markers of health improve. So again, shoot the alligator closest to the boat. So, I’m, I’m trying to make these small changes.
[00:28:43] Gabby: And I think the important thing to decipher in this conversation are the alligators, because you might have an alligator that’s a mile away.
And it’s like, okay, how do I get as close to my biology? You know, and, and eat things that have only been here and, and you know what I mean? Cause those are the conversations, for example, we’re having in my house, my house, we’re past artificial sweeteners, like we’re down the road, we’re onto how do I sort of stay as kind of connected to my physiology?
Because I live in a crazy world. I’m on a phone. I sit in a chair. I, I’m in an air, you know, you’re not supposed to be 30, 000 feet in the air flying, whatever, 600 miles an hour, you know what I mean? So, I think there’s all these things of, cause it, for, for me personally, I feel moments of kind of homeostasis more often when I’m honoring also just kind of the primal self.
So, I think that it’s really important to, to sort of say, but a lot of people are managing. Very different things. Oh, yeah. And that and then so a lot of your conversation that you’re having and sometimes I think people either They don’t want to pay attention to that or they want you to worry about them alligator a mile away Why you’re sort of saying no, we’re dealing with this immediate thing Yeah, so when you went to school and you were like, oh I can solve obesity and this is no big deal Like these people are you know, meaning Nutrition and all these people are they’re clueless Then you get into the nuance of the complexity of human beings and, and now, so, and you sort of live in these two worlds, you live in high Uber performance.
Um, what’s the gentleman’s name? Uh, Brian Whitaker, is that his name? Yeah. The bodybuilder. Like you’re, you are dealing with some big extremes of people that you’re talking to after doing this,
[00:30:38] Layne: let’s say for, Shout out to him by the way. cause he’ll get took a lot of being on here. He’s actually professor of economics
[00:30:42] Gabby: at Oklahoma State too, too.
So, know. I thought that was, I really appreciate that high. I was like a smart person that also just is ripped. You should look him up Justin. He has muscles and vascularity in his glutes, but that’s another, I don’t know how your body building. I don’t know how you do that, but So incredibly disciplined, that guy.
Yeah, I was going to say, does he have a partner? Yes. Really? Yeah.
[00:31:05] Layne: He’s, he’s retired from bodybuilding, but he, uh, he won.
[00:31:07] Gabby: I wonder what the rules are when you’re like leaning out like two weeks before about as far as like, I’ll see you in a couple of weeks,
[00:31:13] Layne: honey. So, I think, you know, the, and actually this does, it’s interesting.
People say, well, none of what you learn really applies to obese people working with bodybuilders. And I said, well, to the degree that I used it. No, but the mechanisms are still the same. Okay. In fact, I mean, there’s a lot that high level athletes can teach a lot of people about stuff because I don’t, I don’t care who has gotten to the top of any sport.
I promise you they have had stuff happen that would have broken most people and made them quit. Okay. I can promise you; I can almost guarantee it. And so that sort of mindset of resilience of as, you know, cliché as it is picking yourself up and dusting yourself off and going back into the fray. That is something a lot of people could learn from.
And I think this is some of the psychology I get into it. My friend John Delaney talks about this a lot. You know, we have more time to create our own problems now because, you’re not worried about a mountain lion coming down and grabbing you, right? You’re not worried about where your next meal is. Like if you’re worried about where your next meal is going to come from, you don’t have time to worry about, well, my partner said this and it made me feel this way, you know, like you’re just too busy trying to survive, which.
Now, I would say, you know, in many ways, we’re living in the greatest time to be alive. You have access to so much information, your, um, we, our basic needs are taken care of for most people, um, you know, like what you consider, and I, I, there are people who do live in poverty on the streets and I’m not trying to, but for the most part, the average level of poverty here is wealthy in many other places.
[00:33:05] Gabby: Right. You know, there’s, we’re safer. I know the news would like us to believe. Um, at least domestically that we’re
[00:33:11] Layne: all on a violent crime rates have been dropping for like 30, 40 years. I think, I think I went up during COVID, but I think the FBI statistics were basically before COVID we were living in the least violent time to be alive.
So, the problem with the human brain is something to do. We survived for so long because we were constantly scanning our environments for threats. And when there’s no threat left, now we make one up. Now we find
[00:33:41] Gabby: another one. It’s like picking a fight with your partner. I’ve been with my husband for almost 28 years and it’s like, I can see the temptation of like, cause we’re, we’re actually, we don’t.
Fight that much because I think it’s, uh, it’s not productive. We’re, we’re both too stubborn and to something that it’s just like, you know what? I’m just going to [00:34:00] love you and hopefully you do the same. But I think the temptation, you can always feel it sort of welling at times like, Hmm. And, and what’s that expression?
Um, hard times make. Strong, we’ll say men and hopefully people understand I’m saying humans and, uh, you know, strong men make easy times and easy times make weak men and you know, and so I, and we can see it. We’re hysterical. Our culture is hysterical. So, I agree with it. And that’s why I talk about staying connected to that biology because it’s almost like.
Okay. Get tired. Start there because then at least your kind of a better person and eat some food that maybe supports your energy so you can deal with some shit and some, you know, like stress. Great. Okay. So let’s, let me go back, but I do want to say that I appreciate that you, you do this, you know, very different sides of the spectrum that what has shown up for you if we were talking about principles for nutrition and again, there’s always exceptions.
What does it look like for people? Okay. Because there’s something important that you decipher energy balance. Mm hmm. So, I think the analogy was if your car is really full, let’s say it burned more gas per miles. And then as you got less gas, or let’s say leaner or smaller than you would. It would be less incremental, which makes sense.
[00:35:20] Layne: So, it’s kind of like, um, I think a lot of people get confused with energy balance and calories in versus calories out because, um, people view that as static, independent variables. The calories I eat do not affect the calories I burn. And we know that that is not true at all. So, um, if we look at, uh, weight loss, the, the analogy you just made is one I’ve made many times, which is, you know, if your car gives a certain miles per gallon, it pretty much gets that, right?
Now imagine a car that when your tank is full, you get really bad gas mileage. As it gets lighter and lighter. Your gas mileage starts getting way better. Now, the gas, your gas tank is your adipose tissue. So, as you lose adipose, a lot of things start to happen. Now, one is, you’re just carrying less mass. So, it just requires less energy to carry less mass around.
But we do see a drop in your BMR. Uh, on average people who lose about 10 percent of their body weight, their BMR drops about 15%. We call that metabolic adaptation. Then what’s really, I think even more powerful is there’s something called NEAT, which is non exercise activity thermogenesis. And that’s like, you know, like if I’m waving my hands around fidgeting, those little, Unconscious movements.
And this is an important distinction and it may sound pedantic, but it’s things like pacing while you’re on the phone or, you know, like I’ve been kind of rocking back in this chair or like using my hands. Those are neat. I’ve heard people say, well, I’m going to take the stairs and get my need up. That’s exercise.
That’s exercise. Because you’re consciously choosing it. And the reason I think it’s important is because the drop in meat during weight loss, it’s not like you can just be like, well, I’m just going to fidget more because if you’re consciously trying to like tap your foot, they’ve shown the human brain can’t do two things at one time, right?
Like if you’re consciously having to do that, whenever you start trying to type that paper or whatever it is, you’re going to stop doing that. Now, when we look at 10 percent weight loss. BMR drops 15%. NEAT can go down by up to 400 to 500 calories. When you consider like take me for example, I maintain my body weight about 33 to 3400 calories a day.
[00:37:42] Gabby: That’s a lot of calories Nice job.
[00:37:44] Layne: I get I get to have some fun Now I do train for like two hours a day But let’s say I’m about 208 pounds if I lost 10 percent of my body weight, okay, I’d be You know, [00:38:00] 185 is, 190 for if I started off at 2, 700 calories, that’s a pretty good calorie deficit for me. That’s like a six, 700 calorie deficits for me.
By the time I got to, and it’s again, it’s not like a drop off. This all happens gradually over time. By the time I got to that 10 percent body weight loss. If my BMR drops 15%, my BMR is around 2000. I’ve had it assessed in indirect climatology.
[00:38:25] Gabby: Can other, what is it? Basal metabolic rate?
[00:38:29] Layne: I’m glad you brought it up. So basal metabolic rate is if I just laid down and breathed and didn’t do anything else, that’s it.
[00:38:37] Gabby: No stressful thoughts?
[00:38:39] Layne: So BMR is basically the cost of keeping the lights on. Running your organs, you know, you’re, you’re just, your different processes in your body while you’re still. So no, basically no skeletal muscle movement.
So, my 15%. That’s about 300 calories right there. Then if my NEAT drops 400, well, there’s my calorie deficit right there. So, I went from a number of calories that was a good calorie deficit to now. That’s maintenance for me. So, people will observe that effect and they go, well, I’m eating in a calorie deficit.
I didn’t lose weight. It’s not a calorie deficit anymore. Maybe it was, maybe it should be, but it’s not now. Um, and then I think other things that confuse people are like these watches, right? Because this will tell me how many calories I burn. And, um, there was a recent, well, it was 2019, but I have no reason to believe that the data has changed because I don’t think the technology has changed that much.
They’re not accurate. They overestimate energy expenditure from exercise about 25 to almost a hundred percent. Yeah So if it says you burned a thousand calories, you probably burned more like five to eight hundred Okay Now the one thing I’ll tell people Neil deGrasse Tyson did a great thing on this where people were talking about you have UFOs And they said well, you know They observed that this this thing dropped fifty thousand feet in two seconds and he goes know that their instrument said it did that Right.
What makes you think the instrument is what’s actually accurate. So, when it comes to these, I said, you know, what do you think is more likely that you’re violating the laws of thermodynamics or that maybe your watch isn’t accurate, right? Yeah. And you can see it to wear a different watch or go on a different machine and they’ll give you all different kinds of readings.
[00:40:16] Gabby: Do you think people should wear, use those? Cause sometimes it gamifies it and just the awareness is a positive thing. So, I’ll tell you what I use it for.
[00:40:23] Layne: The step count is relatively accurate. Okay. I do like tracking steps because, um, it can be a proxy for neat. So, if I know that I normally get about, I naturally, I will normally get about nine to 11, 000 steps per day.
And that’s just chasing around two kids. And I’m, I pace a lot in the gym. So, if I know that, and if I start dieting and I see, oh, now my steps are at like 7, 000. Well, I can purposely do more. To make up the difference, so it can kind of help you replace that. So, I do like it for that. And then the one thing I will say when it comes to calories burned.
So, if I do a two-hour lifting session and it’s like compound movements and whatnot, usually my watch will show I burn like a thousand to twelve hundred calories in that time. Now, is that accurate? Probably not. But if that’s what I usually get, and then it says 1, 700 the next day, I probably didn’t burn that amount, but I can be relatively confident I burned more than I usually did.
Right. So, I think that’s where it can be useful. It’s the same thing for body fat. Like people think that there’s these, you know, they get all hung up on body fat percentage and uh, my, my friend Eric Helms has a great line, which he says. Hey, what number that that would read out if it was lower than you thought, would you all of a sudden be like, okay, guess I don’t need to die.
I’m good. Right. And if it was higher than you thought, like, is it going to change? Like none of it changes what you’re going to do. So, you know, even like Dexa, which is considered kind of the gold standard. If you take a Dexa. Get off, drink a gallon of water, get back on the DEXA. It will read you as having more lean mass and less body fat.
Okay. The only way to really know how much fat mass you have is to die and have them excise your fat mass. So, they’re just useful in terms of tracking progress. That’s it. And so, I would tell people, Hey, one of the handheld things or calipers or whatever is easy, right? Cause if you do a DEXA, I mean you almost, you have to do it the same way every time.
Ideally fasted first thing, you know, like most people can’t do that. So just do what you can do consistently. So, you know, these, these, these things can get people confused. And then it also, when it comes to overfeeding goes the opposite direction too. So, when they look at overweight or obese people, their BMR, it’s not lower.
It’s actually usually higher than people who are normal weight. Now, when they standardize it for lean mass, it’s about the same. Um, but we, it’s interesting, we spent so much time trying to treat obesity through one side of the equation, the calories out, the expenditure. How do we raise energy expenditure?
Um, and we tried to create drugs to do that. And we’ve actually found like the most effective drugs are actually very dangerous. You know, if you look at, um, probably the most effective drugs at increasing energy expenditure are mitochondrial uncouplers, which basically, um, make ATP production really inefficient.
But there are people who have literally cooked themselves to death taking uncouplers like DNP as an example. But actually, what we’ve had the best results from are the opposite side. which is the intake side. That’s what the GLP 1 memetics do. They are powerful appetite suppressants. In fact, I’ve, I’ve had people say, um, you know, I, I, I want to take semi glutide because my metabolism just isn’t what it used to be.
And I said, well, if that’s the case, semi glutide isn’t going to do much for you because it doesn’t increase basal metabolic rate and it doesn’t increase energy expenditure. What does it do? Powerful appetite suppressant. So, uh, GLP 1 is a gut hormone that, uh, when you eat, Your body secretes it and it basically activates receptors that tell you you’re full in your GI, but it also acts on the brain as well to tell you that you’re full.
And, um, I mean, I’ve talked to people who were like, I had one injection. I wasn’t hungry for days, you know. So., I think it’s actually did a video on this because I think it actually is a great tool. I do think it’s going to help a lot of people, but it needs to be coupled with behavior change too. Right.
It’s I view it as a jumpstart to get behavior change going. Yeah.
[00:44:41] Gabby: The buy in that I’m excited. Okay. I’m, I’m inspired. I’m motivated. I, um, it’s the same thing when I see people all taking Ozempic and I kind of laugh when its Which is, which is this, is semi gluten. But isn’t it, isn’t it also that you lose?
Like if you’re already kind of slender, it’s like, you know, I have a wedding or, Oh, that’s the dumbest reason. You know, but also don’t you lose a lot of times because they’re not eating accordingly, like two pounds of muscle to every pound of fat for something like that. So, the research studies, it’s about 60, 40, um, fat mass to lean mass now.
[00:45:16] Layne: I don’t think that’s anything inherent to the drug itself. I think the issue is people don’t have an appetite when you don’t have an appetite. I mean, you’re not picking like protein heavy things by default, right? You’re, you’re picking, you’re picking up snacks and stuff. And so, there’s where I see the problem being is if, if you’re just taking people who usually eat, you know, kind of, I hate using the word junk because it’s, but people kind of get what I’m saying.
If they usually junk, they take this, they just eat less junk. When they go off it, they haven’t learned anything, right? The other thing is to those studies, um, so far looking at lean mass loss, haven’t used people who are resistance training that I know of. And if you look at some of the studies and just people dieting without resistance training, you see anywhere from like a 25 to 40 percent loss of lean mass.
So, it’s really not that far outside of what we typically see. Right. Um, so I don’t think it causes muscle catabolism by Just anything inherent, but I do think because people aren’t eating as much and they’re certainly probably not selecting, you know, higher protein foods. I think that’s probably why you’re seeing some of this stuff.
[00:46:23] Gabby: Yeah. And, and you talk about how also the more weight you lose, uh, you’re, you’re actually less motivated to exercise.
[00:46:32] Layne: Yeah. You’re, you’re, they do see this with, um, I mean, this is in lab animals.
[00:46:37] Gabby: Yeah. I mean, like, let’s say someone like you who has A bit. It’s just, no, but it’s like, you’re doing this because you’ve put the lifestyle, you’ve put the habit in, um, typically because I can relate to this.
I’m over it by the way. I’m, I’m, let me think how many years into training. I’m, I’m 36 years into training, right? Like I went to college in 1987 as a college athlete. So, in some variation, and I think people, they don’t, you know, and it’s also, it’s almost like we’re overriding what you feel like doing. It’s just like, okay.
But I did think that that was interesting that for maybe how you get people as they’re losing weight and maybe their drive. Yeah. Goes down. Because what is that? It’s like, like a physical preservation?
[00:47:23] Layne: Basically? Yeah. So basically, you know, calorie restriction is essentially just controlled starvation is the way your brain detects it, right?
Like evolutionarily speaking, that is not a place that you want to be. Your brain is trying to drive you to eat because we want to survive. Um, and you know, if you look at. Historically, there are risks at being too lean and too fat, right? So, at too lean, it’s starvation, and at too fat, it’s the risk of predation, right?
You can’t outrun a predator. Well, this risk is basically nonexistent since we discovered fire in the wheel, right? So, there’s not a whole lot of, like, regulation on that end. It’s much easier to go past those kinds of biological controls than it is to go this way. Um, so… You know, I think one of the biggest aspects of this is just trying to get people to understand that your body is going to fight you and it’s just part of the process and that’s okay.
And so, part of that is your intrinsic drive to exercise. Good that I will say I am so blessed because I still to this day. When I go in for a heavy squat session, a deadlift session, I’m usually excited to train.
[00:48:38] Gabby: Now, because you’re a meathead a little bit and the best way I say, no, no, no, it’s fine. I think meatheads have a subcategory on their own. Cause it’s like, it’s, it’s the, it’s the pain, it’s the numbers, it’s the size, it’s your growth. It’s all this stuff. That’s I love to train.
[00:48:55] Layne: But I will tell you, I did my last bodybuilding show in 2010. And the last 12 weeks did not enjoy training. I was just going through the motions for the most part, trying to get through it, you know?
And actually, that was the thing I liked least about bodybuilding was, you know, I could deal with the hunger. I can deal with the low, like the crushingly low energy. It was the fact that I just started to hate to train by the end of it. Yeah. But I mean really as somebody who loves to train to be in that place, that takes a lot and it did happen.
Yeah. Now what I’ll tell people, cause not everybody loves to train the way I love to train, but again, one of the things I go to is like, I’ve got a client right now. I only have about a half dozen clients I still work with, but he, this guy’s a hedge fund manager. He’s got a very crazy lifestyle. He’s got kids.
He’s like very high stress, right? And, um, you know, he’s always like, well, what’s the best routine for me to build? I’m like, dude, because he’s like, well, I can take the boxing. I’m like, you love boxing. I’m like, I’m not going to make you go do something you hate replacing something you love. Like maybe it’s not the absolute best thing you could do, but you’re not trying to be Ronnie Coleman, man.
Like you’re, we’re trying to get you in shape and build some muscle. We can do that with what we’re doing. Like, just, you know, be patient and give the process time. But one of the things I tell people is at a certain point, and athletes are really good at this at a certain point, you have to divest yourself from your feelings about things.
And you almost just go into execution mode, which is, and listen, I still have those days in the gym. I have, I’ve had days. Weeks even months where I did not enjoy training, but it was okay. What is my goal? Where am I at? And what is going to be the difference between me getting there or not? Well, it’s going to be me doing the work.
This is very rudimentary algebra. You have to put in the time to become that good and again, people talk about genetics and athletes and yes, genetics matter. Absolutely. Any athlete who’s gotten to a very high level is very genetically gifted, but if they got to a very high level, they also work really hard because at that level, everyone’s genetically gifted.
That’s right. So., They worked very, very, very, very, very hard and went through setbacks, developed resilience, all that kind of stuff. So, one of the things I tell people is try not to rely on motivation. Okay. Motivation is like nitrous oxide on a car. All right. Right. Discipline is your gas tank, right?
Discipline is going to get you somewhere. Nitrous is nice. You’ll go faster for a little while, right? And you’ve had that, like, I’m sure times where you’re very motivated during training. Feels great. You’ll love it. You get done, you’re like, Oh, I could go again. But that never lasts. You’re never going to feel like that every session.
And way too many people make decisions based on how they feel. I don’t feel like training today.
[00:51:54] Gabby: That’s my favorite. And listen,
[00:51:56] Layne: and I, you know, I’ve, I’ve. I’m friends with and have been around people who’ve suffered from things like chronic fatigue, you know, that that’s different. That’s different. Like we’re talking about people who like literally can hardly move, right?
But when we’re talking about people who are able bodied, able to do it, divest yourself. And also, I really, I forget who said this, but it was like, it’s kind of like, um, Actually, I heard the line in Captain America, but it made me, I relate it to training, which is sometimes you have to take the leap first and the faith comes later.
And nobody really likes stuff when they’re not good at it. Like, yeah, you might try something and, but usually people who like stuff initially is because they have a little knack for it initially. When I went in and could only bench press 85 pounds the first time I did it, I wasn’t like, yeah, I’m going to be jacked.
I was like, wow, how am I so weak? Right. Yeah. Yeah. But you just do the work and you just, you have to have a little bit of faith that if you continue to put in the work, that things will change. And I think that’s hard for a lot of people.
[00:53:05] Gabby: But also, okay. So, you can sit here and communicate about doing the work and even I can do that.
Um, because you would have then behind that. Sure. A strategy. So, um, that’s the thing. I think people are so overwhelmed and at times it’s an interesting conundrum, I feel like because, and you see this with your clients. They are, they are overworked or stressed out and they’re sort of emotional state that they almost can’t get to the perch of clarity long enough to say, here is the plan.
And now that we have all this information, who do I get the plan from? So, third grade level, I’m overweight. I want to lose weight. I don’t have any major injuries. I can kind of do whatever. How would you, for somebody who doesn’t know, so many people you’d think that they would know they don’t have a starting thread, they don’t know what to pull on first, um, and, and the conversations.
That I keep having, it’s always about taking away the things. It’s like you said, we’re not going to flip somebody’s whole life upside down. So, it’s like, okay, taking away, not continuing to add, but also, they have to restructure. So, so what, what, what is that? Okay. So, a person’s sedentary, they’re, they’re overweight. Is it okay? Plan out your meals. And journal and start walking and, you know, you’ve got to lift, you have to do some time on your tension. How does it work?
[00:54:44] Layne: I think one of the things if somebody is like never really had much training experience, a lot of it is just building confidence that they can do it.
I know it’s intimidating. So, I’m like, Hey, like, let’s just, let’s, first off, let’s prove it to yourself. And this may sound dumb the whole crawl before you can walk, but it really is like. People talk about confidence and it’s like, you cannot develop confidence without experience behind it. Like that’s how you get confidence, right?
Is the experience. So, don’t tell me you’re going to go to the gym two hours a day, five days a week, like me, like you’ve never done this before, that you’re going to burn out, right? What is something you absolutely feel Very confident that you could execute consistently for a few weeks. And if it’s walking for 30 minutes, five days a week, let’s start there, right?
Let’s get you trusting that you’re doing that and showing up every time. And then let’s start adding some more stuff in. Right. Because what I don’t want to do is like, you start off with this, you know, if your expectations are here and you’re hitting here, you’re going to feel pretty good about yourself.
But if your expectations are here and you’re hitting here, you’re going to feel really bad about yourself, even though you’re hitting the same place. Just another fail in a way. So, you know, you don’t want to, it’s a balancing act. You don’t want to set the bar too low. Cause you to do have to push them. Cause if it’s not, if it doesn’t make them uncomfortable, they’re not growing, but you don’t want to set it too high either to the point where.
They feel like they could never achieve that. And then I think when they invariably have setbacks explaining to them, this is normal part of the process. Everybody deals with this. It’s okay. Let’s just get back on the horse as cliché as that sounds. And then when it comes to nutrition, I mean, again, it’s very broad of how we get people to do stuff, but you know, obviously what is an appropriate energy?
Consumption for you, calorie consumption for you, for where you’re, you know, where you’re at and your goals. Then the next bucket I move to is, all right, let’s make sure you’re getting enough protein to support whatever those goals are. If it’s, you know, it’s always, I always have had to like to remind myself, not everybody wants to be the most jacked, strongest human in the history of mankind that they possibly can be like me.
Um, not saying I’m the most jacked human, but like that’s, you know. Um, so if it’s, you know, if I’m just getting them to, Hey, let’s try and get your protein up to like 1. 2 grams per kilogram or, you know, 1. 6 grams per kilogram. Fantastic. Right? Like whatever you can, whatever you can do, even if it’s just, you’re going to have protein 30 grams, three times a day.
[00:57:25] Layne: Awesome.
[00:57:26] Gabby: Is that about how much you can absorb like 30, 35 grams of protein at a sitting? Is there, is there sort of a parameter on that?
[00:57:33] Layne: Great question. So. You’re not limited by absorption. Your body can absorb almost everything that you take in, uh, protein wise. Uh, now, plant-based sources tend to be a little bit less absorbable.
The intact plant sources, because, um, a lot of the protein is bound up in the fibrous material of the plant. Not saying that plant sources of protein are bad. It’s just you tend to absorb, you know, 10, 20, 30 percent less. Okay? And the amino acid profile tends to be not quite as good as animal protein. But…
The 30 grams kind of comes from some of the literature out of our lab or Dr. Layman’s lab, which basically when you look at like, okay, if we look at muscle protein synthesis, which is kind of you, your body’s anabolic response, um, where do we see it start to cap out when you consume protein? So, if you consume 100 grams of protein in a meal, you’ll absorb most of it.
Um, but you’re not getting that much more of a response than you’re getting at, like, say, 30 or 40 grams of protein. So it makes more sense to distribute kind of multiple feedings of, say, you know, 20, 30, 40 grams of protein per day than just, you know, I think the statistic is, um, it was a study by DeCastro where they, I think, found that Americans get 65 percent of the protein at dinner.
Right. Yeah. That makes sense. And you, you don’t really, your body doesn’t really have a storage mechanism for protein. Um, you know, some people have said, well, you store it when you build muscle. And I’m like, that’s like saying a house is a repository for wood. Right. Yeah. Yeah. You can get wood out of the house, but that’s not why you build the house, you know?
Right. Um, so you have a very small pool of amino acids that your body can pull from. And then whatever’s excess, your body tends to, um, oxidize or turn into glucose. And so, um, you know, if you’re just. Having one big meal of protein, your kind of actually low protein the rest of the day. And again, I don’t want to make it too, um, too important because the most important thing is the total daily protein intake you get when it comes to like protein intake for lean mass.
Secondarily would be kind of how you distribute it. So um, you know, there’s not a lot of great studies on this cause it’s really hard to study but my suggestion would be if you can get, you know, three or four like feedings in where you’re getting, you know. Around 30 40 grams of protein. That’s great And you know it does depend like the quality of the protein like for example if you look at whey is very high quality very bioavailable great amino acid profile You know 20 25 grams of whey probably caps out the response for most people whereas if you’re looking at something like a wheat gluten something like that like an isolated wheat protein You’d need, you know, probably 40 or 50 percent more to get the same response.
[01:00:27] Gabby: So, um, and what about like, when I hear this, I’m just trying to think of like, what people are always being told, um, you know, fasting or eating windows. Right. So, there’s an interesting. Um, let’s say someone, let’s say someone’s already pretty fit. So, they, they have a smaller, let’s say they are choosing to have a really small eating window or they’re trying to pull the reins in.
So, they create a small window. So, it’s, it’s 12 to six or something. So, they’re 18 hours or whatever. Um, is, is again, is this, are we looking at this as the closer. You know, alligator, which is, Hey, more important for you to get on top of your eating. So, you’re, because you don’t love snacking because typically it’s not, this isn’t great.
Most people aren’t doing very satiating venison jerky or something. Most people aren’t doing that. And they don’t remember their snacks either.
[01:01:18] Layne: That’s another thing. Right. People remember their meals, not their snacks. Yeah.
[01:01:22] Gabby: I love that. That, um, you talk about when people report, including the nutritionists, they all under report on what is being eaten.
[01:01:30] Layne: And you can see it with like, if they do a national average of calorie consumption based on food recalls, the average U. S. consumption is 2, 500 calories a day. When they do it based on actual food consumption, it’s about 3, 500. And so again, a lot of this, I think boils down to people do remember what they eat at a meal. Maybe not the portions.
[01:01:53] Gabby: They forget the little things they shove in their mouth throughout the day. Absolutely. So, okay. So, if, if somebody is saying, Hey, you know what? I’m putting conscious effort towards this. Great. Then you may not be doing three or four, you know, protein intakes throughout your day.
Your window’s smaller. Great. No problem. Just be conscious of the quality. Fine. Go
[01:02:11] Layne: ahead. No, I think with fasting windows. There’s a lot of claims made about fasting right now. What I’ll say is, as of now, the most tightly controlled studies that assess hard outcomes like losing body fat, um, the risk of cardiovascular disease, um, the markers, you know, blood levels, they don’t really see a difference when you control like weekly calorie intake.
So, when the weekly calories are the same, they don’t really see a difference between fasting protocols and not. But for some people. And there’s not on average, there’s not a difference in adherence either. Okay. But for individuals, adherence can be way different. This is why people get so, um, like rah about their diet, right?
Because I’ve talked to people who went on a keto diet. They’re like, Oh, well, like I wasn’t even dieting. I wasn’t hungry. Same thing for fasting. In fact, there was a, I think it’s an important point to make. There was a. What’s called a meta-analysis, which is basically where they’re combining studies with similar, uh, that are similar to try to form a consensus.
And this study looked at 14 different popular diets. And they looked at short term and long-term weight loss. And what they found basically take home was long term weight loss, not different between any of these diets. They were all kind of equally bad. Um, but when you stratify people based on adherence, regardless of diet, there was a linear effect and the researcher’s conclusion was basically what I’ve been saying for 20 years.
The best diet for you is the one you can adhere to consistently. Now, if you’re wanting, if you want to lose body fat, you have to restrict in some way. And Peter Atiyah kind of puts these in three buckets and I like it. You’re either doing, um, some form of like tracking restriction, so calorie restriction or you’re counting macros or whatever it is, you’re doing a time restriction where you’re putting limits on your time, or you’re doing, uh, some kind of dietary restriction, low fat, low carb.
Uh, cleaning, clean eating, whole, you know, whole foods, whatever it may be. So, you have to follow one of those three buckets. You have to have some form of restriction, but you should probably choose the form of restriction that feels the least restrictive to you because people don’t fail diets at 10 a. m. after they slept eight hours and they’re low stress. That’s not when they fail diets. It’s at 10 p. m. at night when the kids are driving them crazy. They just had a fight with their spouse. They had a rough day at work, right? That’s when, that’s when the wheels come off. And so, trying to set things up. So, whatever you’re adhering to requires the least amount of willpower possible for you is probably the best way to go.
Yeah. And that appears to be very individual. So, when people talk about this diet worked for me, this diet didn’t work for me, everybody’s different. People think physiology, but genetically we’re 99 percent identical. What it really is, is psychology of adherence. And I’ve, if I went back to do a PhD, I would be looking much more at like, how do we get people more compliant?
[01:05:40] Gabby: The other thing that always surprises me and I, I, Because, you know, when you talk to somebody and you do this way more than most people is you’re, you’re talking to people about, oh, make, this is a priority, how you feel your well-being. And for me, even at this point, I’m not trying to really do anything.
I’m just trying to do all the things I like till I die. And, and, and, and be maybe show up better, you know, I, I may be a little less reactive. I have more energy throughout my day. I, you know, maybe my decision making can be better. That’s really why I’m training, right? Like I’m not trying to be jacked or compete or control Joseph a stressor.
Yeah, just, you know, give me some space and good. And of course, listen, what I’d like to stay attractive to my partner. And part of that is taking care of myself. Of course, I’d be totally lying if that was not part of the deal.
[01:06:34] Layne: But what’s wrong with that though? Like people make it out to be vain, but like, if you feel good about yourself, yeah,
[01:06:39] Gabby: no, listen, you don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t fight it. Like I don’t want to fight that. I’m not 20, but I don’t, but don’t, I’m not going to give up. Like, Oh, well it doesn’t matter. But I’m always amazed that somehow people can’t get to the place. That it’s important to them, they, they bust their ass. They were going to make money.
They’re going to clean their car. They’re going to do their nails. They somehow this didn’t even get in the list that it’s important. And this is the other part. I. You sort of, I don’t, you don’t know what to say, like, is that they’re so far behind the eight ball that they can’t even mentally and emotionally get to the place to go.
Hey, this is a prior above just about everything else. Maybe besides a kid or a lover. I don’t know. But even that, how do we have the conversation in a real way that. This, why is this not important?
[01:07:42] Layne: So, this is one of the things I’m very passionate about and I’m kind of going to go meta here really quick.
Great. Um, so one of my biggest rants I’ll go on is about self-improvement. Now I’m all for self-improvement, but you, there are people I talk to where I’m like yourself improvement protocol is actually keeping you from improving because you’re spending so much time
I’m like. When are you actually like just doing stuff, like actually doing the thing that’s going to get you better, right? Um, so I think part of the thing people struggle with is, well, I should go back to school. I should get that promotion at my job. I should be a better parent. I should do. You’re going to have to pick because you have limited time.
Okay. So, shoot the alligator closest to the boat. Right. Um, and so like people like, hey man, how many books you read a year? I’m like, I don’t know, like two, like I’m just being real, you know, like I’ll read studies and stuff and I’ll listen to the podcast, but. Like when it comes to actually sitting down and reading, I just don’t make it a priority and I don’t feel bad about that because I’m doing all this other stuff, right?
[01:08:55] Gabby: What time in your life you have, you know, you’re, you’re with children, you’re doing other things also like times and places.
[01:09:02] Layne: Right. So, I think a lot of people wrestle with that, right? They’re kind of like. Um, a dog chasing car, right? Like then the other thing that I think is, is really important. I read a study in 2020 and its kind of really changed the way I think about weight loss.
Um, so there was a, a study in the UK where they looked at, um, successful weight loss maintainers. Which is what percentage? Very low. I mean, it depends on the statistics you pull, but if you look out, so people who lose about 10 percent of body weight, if you look out a year, over 50 percent will have regained it.
If you look at over two years, it’s like closer to 70 or 80. And then if you look it out past three years, I mean, we’re getting up into the nineties for the most part. Again, it depends on what you term successful weight loss and then successful maintenance. There’s a lot of. They can massage those numbers, but it is, it is the majority, the vast majority put it back on.
And of those quite a bit will put on more than they originally had. So, this was looking at, okay, who’s the five or 10%? What are the, like, do they have any things in common? And there’s already been studies about this stuff, um, which a lot of the things you would expect, which is there’s some form of cognitive restraint.
Uh, they tend to exercise more. They tend to weigh themselves more often, um, you know, cause its feedback, right? Like if a lot of people, it’s like, you know, hear no evil, see no evil, but if you’re weighing yourself every day and you say, Oh, you know, this week I’m about three pounds. A lot of people will modify their behavior based on that.
Correct. Yeah. Now there’s some people who have an unhealthy relationship with that. And of course, we can go into those caveats, but for the most part, that is, that’s something that people practice. But one thing really stood out to me that I’d never heard before, but it made perfect sense. They said they felt like they needed to form a new identity.
And I think that there’s a lot of people who say they want to change, but they want to change while dragging all their old habits behind them. And you are not going to do that. I mean, if you look at, I mean, I know it’s not the same thing, but if you look at alcoholics, when they get sober, they don’t have the same friend circle.
They lose their friends. They don’t have, they don’t go to the same places. A lot of times they can’t even have the same job. Because they’ve made so many associations and hardwiring the situation means I drink and they did identify that like a week to, you know, that they lost some friends. Now, some people will interpret that as, oh, well, they’re fit now and they’re just not hanging out with their fat friends.
That’s not that tends to be not what happens. Anybody who’s done a fat loss diet and been adherent to it knows there’s a lot of social pressure to engage in eating. And they show that when we eat. If you add one person to a table, so if you have somebody eating alone, they eat more with a partner. If you increase the size of the table, they eat more.
The more people were around, the more we eat. Right. And then it’s the pressure as well. Did you like the food? Do you want to have some more? Do you want to, you know, so we, and we don’t even think about it as pressure, but we do this, and we don’t even realize it? And so, jettisoning those things is very hard because even though, and I’ve had this in my life, not with nutrition, but with like just habits I developed in childhood that did not serve me, you know, they talk about like therapy speak.
What kept you safe as a kid is going to actually destroy a lot of your relationships as a little, right? Like the coping mechanisms we inherently learn. And so, it’s hard to jettison those because those are comfort zones for us. Those are where we feel safe. Even if we have like repeated exposure where this is not serving us, this is not serving us.
It’s so hard to move away from that because it’s what we know. And I think nutrition can kind of be the same thing where, yes, there is an element of personal responsibility. And I remember I had this, this thought I was at a seven 11 filling up my car with gas. I went inside to grab a drink, and this is like 8am in the morning.
I just dropped my kids off at school. And there’s a gal in front of me and she’s obese and she’s getting three slices of pizza from the 7 Eleven. And I remember thinking Old Lane would be like lazy. Now I think, you know, this is probably just part of her routine. She comes here on Tuesday. She picks up pizza because who knows?
It’s just part of what’s been ingrained into her, her routine, right? And it’s probably not even a conscious choice necessarily. I think people tend to look at obese people. Who are obese and go every single bite you take is a decision? It’s like not really. Yeah. Right. Like is every single thing you do a conscious decision.
Our brains could not handle that kind of stress. Like think about how much stuff we do in during the day. That’s just on autopilot. Yeah. You know, and so I think we need to start realizing that for people to make those changes. It does. It’s very mentally fatiguing because you are having to turn that on.
And make conscious decisions about everything consistently. Now, over time, they become unconscious, but it’s like, um, I tell people try to think about it when you’re, when you’re viewing this stuff, whether it’s exercise or making good selections with your food and the other bucket, I would say I got the protein, enough fiber, carbs and fats, kind of energy sources.
You can kind of change them out how you want in the research papers where they vary carbohydrate and fat intake. But protein and calories are the same, doesn’t seem to make a difference on fat loss or most major markers of health. There are, there are subtle differences when we get those, but making those decisions, try to think about it like this.
I’m not always motivated to brush my teeth, but I know what’s going to happen if I don’t write, like my teeth are going to go to crap. So even though I’m not motivated to do that. I do it now. Do I have to make a conscious decision every night to brush my teeth? No, it’s like it’s time for bed. This is just part of what I do, right?
So however, you can work exercise to be unconscious into your life. However, you can work this stuff to be unconscious into your life. And maybe again, when you start, it’s controlling your environment. Maybe it’s, um, you know, ordering food from a meal prep company, right? So even if you. I am not a huge fan of meal plans long term, but as training wheels, okay.
Right. Um, and there’s a lot of companies out there now that do this and even, you know, people who have more resources. I mean, I, I worked with a guy who was a multiple billionaire with a B. And, um, the hardest
[01:15:48] Gabby: people to pin down to very hard to pin down.
[01:15:50] Layne: And, you know, this guy is on a plane five days out of the week, right.
And we would with him. It was, he was great when he was home, when he was home, he was in his environment, he was a machine, right? As soon as he got on that plane, as soon as he got to other places and he had a private jet. As soon as he got to other places, it was like, I’m like, Hey, so we were having a conversation and I was like, I don’t want to tell you how to spend your money.
Right. But here’s what might be a great idea. You have a personal chef, right? He’s like, yes. I’m like, okay. So, one. Yeah. Yeah. Let’s have him make some more meals that you can take on the plane with you to, um, let’s hire a chef out wherever you’re going. Have your assistant who is just going to send your chef’s meal, like the recipe out to that guy or gal wherever you’re going and have them make them.
And he was like, oh yeah, I just never thought of that. It’s like, yeah, but you have, so think about like, how can I set myself up best for success? And I’m not saying live off of a meal plan because that’s not a sustainable way of doing things. But having like meals that are more conducive to your goals readily available when you get stressed at 10 p.m. at night. And you can just grab something and throw it in the microwave rather than grabbing a package of M& M’s,
[01:17:14] Gabby: probably a better choice. It’s like physical therapy after surgery. You’re not going to be with your PT the whole time, but if you’re getting over that injury or whatever, it’s like these nice, slow, easy, someone’s being nurtured along through that, um, I think is. It’s really helpful.
[01:17:32] Layne: What it’s actually, this is a great analogy. It’s like when you’re coming back from an injury, which I’m, I’m sure you’ve done. I’m not super familiar with your, the arc of your career, but I’m sure you’ve done myself as well. There’s a time period where you don’t have a lot of confidence that you can move the same way, plant the same way, push the same way.
Right. So, what happens? You’re starting out going either pretty slow, pretty light, and over time, over time, over time, slowly that confidence begins to return. Now, recovery from injury is nonlinear, and I’m sure you’ve had moments where like it regressed and it’s a really bad feeling, but you can keep going.
It’s the same. Why is this any different?
[01:18:14] Gabby: It is the same because also it’s reminding people that I’ve had a new, I had a new replacement and uh, that’s one injury. And uh, um, somebody said to me, um, Oh, okay. Just so you know, the first 30 days, no matter what you do, uh, it’s brutal. Doesn’t matter what you do.
It doesn’t matter how much turmeric you drink and how early you go to bed and you know, the whole thing. Right. So, what was cool is every time that fear monster or the doubt monster came in and will I, and dah, dah, I’d be like, Oh, I’m not at the 30 days yet. Don’t even analyze it. Like you said, separating from those feelings.
And I think people, when they’re starting out, I call it like the 40, 30 to 45-day window of suspended faith. Just follow the plan. Just take one step in front of the other, just keep doing it. So, I love the idea about like a, you know, whatever, HelloFresh or these things were actually cost. If you start really analyzing costs per meal, it’s not really that expensive and things like that.
So, um, within the weight loss part, set points, metabolic set points, because I experienced this like right now, today, let’s say I weigh between 170 and 180 and I played. At 165, it’s way easier to get out of the sand when you’re like, plus I was a lot younger. Um, and you know, you’re, you’re sort of, I sort of go, Oh, wait a second.
I don’t want my set point now to be 180 because I kind of know I feel better about 175. I just move better. I feel better. I feel lighter. Just works with my exercise and things like that. People have a set point and you, you know, you talk about, um, Kind of making these changes if we have children that are obese, right?
The chances of them being obese when they’re older is far greater. Yes. And it could be obviously habiting and lifestyle and then, um, but I feel like it’s that set point too, right?
[01:20:04] Layne: So, I just went to a talk. And actually, had read a few papers, uh, your, so adipose tissue metabolism is actually very fascinating.
This is another thing that I would go back and do a PhD on. Um, but your, as an adult, for the most part, your number of fat cells doesn’t change. Um, now they do turn over, it’s slow. I think the, the life of an adipose, an adipocyte is about 10 years. So, they do turn, turn over every 10 years. Um, but as a child, um, that is the time where you’re setting your number of fat cells.
So, they do increase up to about like age 20 and then they kind of stop there. And then basically changes in fat mass are due to shrinking or expanding of fat cells. Each individual fat cell, there is a limit on how much volume of triglyceride it can hold. So, if you eat past a certain point, this is where type two diabetes starts because you can literally not pack anything more into your adipose tissue.
And so now it starts getting backed up into the bloodstream. It’s not quite that defined, but that’s essentially the crux of it. So, your body can actually start creating new fat cells at that point. And actually, one of the treatments for type two diabetes, um, don’t say liposuction. No, um, actually one of the treatments for type 2 diabetes, this probably seems counterintuitive, is what’s called a PPAR gamma agonist, which actually stimulates the production of new fat cells.
Okay. Because if you produce, if you acutely increase your fat cell number, they stay with you forever? Your blood glucose, well, we don’t know, but we think so. Your blood glucose and your blood lipids will actually drop because now they can go into these new flat fat cells. Um, so actually if we look at people who are obese but have healthy blood markers, they actually tend to have more fat cells than people who are obese who have worse health markers because they have more places to put stuff.
So, it’s kind of a double-edged sword because as you said, the way we’ve now set point theory has been challenged. I should put that out there. This isn’t a proven thing necessarily. Um, I think I’m more of like a settling point. There’s like a range. There was this idea that the body’s trying to do something, right?
Like it’s trying to maintain this certain range. I think the end point is, yes, you tend to maintain a certain range, but I don’t think the body’s trying to do that. I think what you’re seeing is billions of cells competing with each other for stuff, right? Your brain cells and your muscle cells and all this kind of stuff.
It’s kind of like, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about the invisible hand in the economy. Right. That model of things where it’s like, well, we should try to get the economy to do this, whereas the economy is like a living, breathing thing, right? Like it goes up and down and it’s… A bunch of companies competing against each other, right?
Right. Well, that, that, the best way I heard metabolism described was kind of that way. But in the end, yes, we tend to have a settling point that we defend. The settling point or set point theory kind of postulates that this is based off the, the, um, the size of the individual adipocyte. So, you, your fat cell size.
So, if it shrinks, you secrete less leptin, uh, leptin is a hormone that is a big control for appetite. So, your fat cell shrinks, you get hungrier, drives you back, okay? Uh, they expand, you secrete more leptin. Not as hungry. But again, we talked about you can kind of eat past that control, especially with the obesogenic food environment now.
Yeah. Um, if you create more fat cells, the issue becomes when you lose weight, all of your individual fat cells are now smaller because you have more. And so, it becomes more difficult to maintain it because Um, you have a greater appetite and there actually is some evidence that it may slow your BMR more.
So, for example, um, if you take, um, obese people who have weight reduced versus lean controls who have never had to weight reduce and they have the same lean body mass, on average, obese people will have a slower metabolic rate. Okay, so they don’t have a slower metabolic rate when they’re obese, but remember when you lose fat it goes down So and the appetite is higher So you kind of have both ends of the spectrum trying to drive you back to your previous Now I will say that I think over time of maintaining a leaner Uh, body fat level for all intents and purposes, it can become a new settling point that I don’t know if that’s psychology.
I don’t know if that’s just habits and behaviors change so much that it just, you don’t think about it that much anymore. Or maybe it’s one of these things where you just become more sensitive to the leptin that you do have. It could be any number of things. Um, so you
[01:25:06] Gabby: basically, it’s almost like you have to ride that out a little bit.
[01:25:08] Layne: Yeah, they do show like, I think it’s kind of like once you get past like two years of maintaining a body weight, like within a certain range that, that for all intents and purposes that could become. A new set point for you.
[01:25:22] Gabby: Um, and don’t you think too, you said it with the behavior is sometimes we use certain things to medicate our feelings or to deal with stress.
Like you, you know, you, you talk about how, how seldom we really eat. Cause everybody’s got an addiction, right? It’s like, yeah. And, and so it’s getting like people, you know, Laird, uh, drank wine for the first, I think, 12 years of our life of our married life. And he realized that it. You know, and you haven’t met Laird, but, um, he doesn’t do anything like sort of full on.
[01:25:58] Layne: I think his Navy SEAL moderation is for cowards.
[01:26:02] Gabby: It was Laird went to Larry and it was like a whole thing, right? He was still in bed by nine and up at five training, but let me tell you from, you know, 430 to nine, it was sort of like, it’s just a different look in the eye, you know, but he said he got a Pellegrino bottle.
Instead, like when you exchange out the habit. So, for people listening to this, it’s like, Hey, listen, if you are writing this out, then just put something else in its place. I think that with those replacements are so important because it’s not about like, just suck it up and white knuckle it. It’s like, Hey.
What’s your Pellegrino bottle? Is it a walk? Is it watching a stupid ass show on TV that brings you some weird pleasure? Something other than like, okay, you know, this food at this time. So, I think it’s also encouraging people to be aware and say, okay, find a replacement.
[01:26:47] Layne: Absolutely. That, that’s so important because you know, like you said, people worry about peeling away, but if you don’t replace it with something, you’re going to have this like hole that kind of eats you up.
Right. Um, and then also like habit coupling. I think James Clear talks about that, right. Like trying to tie two things together, like favorable and unfavorable sort of things. Right. Yeah. I just, you know, the more I got into this and like, I love the X’s and O’s and the biochemistry and stuff, but man, it’s really, in some ways it’s so uncomplicated and other ways it’s incredibly complicated.
And I think what I would say. To people out there is I think mindset is so much more important. I know it’s easy for like, as athletes talk about mindset, you know, but I think it’s so much more important than people realize because, you know, if you just, Oh God, that’s going to sound like a raw, raw. If you don’t, if you don’t give up, if you just, if you just stay after it, even if you get knocked down, even if, you know, things go sideways.
Whatever it is, if you work diligently and more so just consistently, even if you’re consistently just at 80%, you know, every time I read the tortoise and the hare, the tortoise wins, you know, you, you will improve. Now, are you ever going to be. A bikini world champion. If you start out obese, maybe not, but you can get a lot.
If that’s your goal, I promise you, if you start walking the path, you’ll get a lot further than you would. If you just never started. Right. My uncle, my great uncle used to say, uh, shoot for the stars. If you miss, at least you land in the clouds, you know? And, um, yeah, I guess a lot of, I give the motivational talk, which is like.
Paralysis by analysis and perfectionism killed more goals than failure ever could because at least if you’re paying attention with failure, you learn stuff, you know, and that’s, I can honestly say not with nutrition and stuff, but the, the things that were most rewarding in my life came out of like my biggest failures from learning from those things.
And so, I guess I know it’s hard for people who have been in a space where they feel very desperate. Very, um, beat down. It has been done, and so it can be done. And I promise you the people that did it inherently probably weren’t that much different from you than you think. And so just start walking the path.
And if you aren’t perfect with it, welcome to the human race. And just keep a mindset of, you know, all my worst day net. Think about this. Your worst day two years from now is going to be a lot better than your worst day now and your best day two years from now can be a bit lot better than your best day now, but you have to walk the path to get there.
[01:29:46] Layne: And yeah, you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to screw up when you make mistakes. It is hold yourself accountable without shaming yourself. That’s something I’ve had to learn in like personal relationships, actually. Cause I tend to be like really hard on myself. If I like, um, you know, if somebody gets mad at me or like, I feel like I did something wrong, I’ll, I’ll be like, you’re stupid.
Instead of saying that was a stupid thing to say, well, I’ll say to myself is you’re stupid. Never really tied that together with how that could be so hard for people who are overweight or obese, which is your fat You suck. You’ll never get better at this that kind of language is not helpful If you screw up you went up you ate too much you can say, okay I do this with my clients all the time my hedge fund manager He was he was probably binge eating four or five times a week when we started now.
He probably Has it rears its head maybe a couple times a month Right. And when it’s
[01:30:49] Gabby: usually late and right before bed
[01:30:51] Layne: kind of when he’s stressed out. Yeah. And so, what I’ll say to him is like, because he’ll get really hard on himself and I’m like, hey man, look at where you’re at right now. You’re down 50 pounds and this is a behavior that used to happen literally every day or almost every day.
And now it’s like weeks go by and it doesn’t even happen. So, like I think way too many people are so hard on themselves because they just expect perfection the first time. And it’s like, it’s never going to happen. Even the absolute. Best of the best of anything are not perfect. So, but what they are is brutally consistent.
[01:31:34] Gabby: But I think it’s so easy to know that in a space that you’re good at, right? But when you’re moving into something new, like I’ll, I am. My, I have some serious flexibility issues in my hips from jumping around and long levers and everything. And let me tell you, I can do movement and do all this stuff and it’s great and I know, and I can be good and bad at it and it doesn’t matter to me.
Same thing with food. When it comes to that part of my practice. It flips me out because I suck at it. I think I’m not good. I don’t want to be consistent because I’m not good. It’s all of that. So, I just want to say, I don’t think we ever feel different, but it’s, it’s, you know, kind of, like you said, get on the path is so important.
And, you know, once you fail many times and you realize like, you know, you kind of go, Oh, I’m still alive. I think we, we, we get over that. So. Um, you know, you go to the grocery store and the majority of stuff in there is not really food. It’s just kind of packaged goods and I’m not going to, it’s impossible to put it to bed, you know, once and for all, but you, your thing about, um, you know, you have.
It’s sugar. It’s like, okay, do that make us fat? Probably not. It’s just like you said earlier, like the birthday cake, you know, it’s all of the things at once. And so, I love how people are trying to go. Well, is it the Paul? Is it the seed oils? Um, I personally don’t need a lot of them because I don’t need a lot of package foods, which that’s where the stuff is.
So, it’s probably that heated up a
[01:33:08] Layne: proxy for low quality food.
[01:33:10] Gabby: Right. And so, I guess, yeah. Maybe in this conversation, because you are so knowledgeable, I, I actually want to chunk it out bigger and wider and not get granular because people then have another thing to obsess and be weird about instead of looking at the big picture is saying, typically, um, is coconut and avocado and olive oil usually used in ways in foods that better?
It seems to So, versus some of these other oils, the seed oils. So, it’s not about going, never, never, never. But I, I tend to think that the foods that we can avoid usually have these other oils. They probably taste better and they’re cheaper. I’m not sure.
[01:33:52] Layne: Yeah. I mean, I think when you look at, so seed oils are mostly polyunsaturated fats, right? If you look at the biggest contributor to increased calories in the last few decades, it’s mostly from added oils. Um, in fact, sugar intake over the last 20 years has actually gone down.
[01:34:10] Gabby: Big in men, you said, right? Like really big in men, sugar has really gone down. I’m not sure. I think I, I read something that talked about it. Yeah.
[01:34:19] Layne: So, um, you know, but if you look at, okay, because it’s, if you’re overfeeding something, that’s different than replacing, right? So, if you’re just adding this stuff on top of your normal diet, Okay. Well, what happens when we replace saturated fat, for example, with seed oils or polyunsaturated fats like omega 6s?
Well, for most health markers, uh, like metabolic health, like liver fat, insulin sensitivity, HbA1c, um, and then we look at cardiovascular disease, um, incidence of cancer. For almost all those outcomes, It’s either a neutral effect or positive. So, to me, that says, well, it’s not the seed oils. It’s the fact that what you said, when they’re in during stuff, that’s very calorie dense, that people were eating a lot of.
So, I’m not going to get too spun up about that. And I don’t even get too spun up about packaged foods necessarily. In general, are you better off eating minimally processed foods? Absolutely. Better satiety, more fiber, more micronutrients, just a better choice. I just don’t like to demonize stuff because we’ve seen it makes, you know, weird association in people’s head because then when they do have something packaged, then they go off the deep end.
So, I’m like, all right, don’t beat yourself up over having packaged food. But in general, like, hey, if you can minimize or avoid, that’s a great way to improve your satiety. Um, and I mean, what are we talking about? We’re talking about mostly lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, but even like, you know, there’s research that shows like whole grains and, [01:36:00] uh, are associated with lower body weight.
Um, if we’re talking about. Whole grains. Now, if you’re talking about highly processed and then adding stuff to it to make it fibrous, I mean, that’s different, you know, but if you’re talking about, you know, oatmeal, those sorts of things, those are the big thing about oatmeal this past year. Well, cause
[01:36:17] Gabby: it’s also like, I mean, we have a, I have a food, we have a food company and so, um, we have an oat, uh, Mac, not or oat milk, like hot chocolate, right? And it’s like, you have to try to find stuff without glyphosate, you know, and all like all that interesting stuff. So, I think people, all the messages get pushed together into one whole mixture.
[01:36:39] Layne: Well, I think people don’t understand the concept of dosage either. Like, um, like if you can avoid glyphosate, great. But what I will say is like, okay, so let’s take oatmeal, for example, and like regular oats, just not even. Not organic, anything like that, because they’re not giving people organic oatmeal in these studies, right? They’re just giving them a normal oatmeal. Well, their health markers are improving, and that’s associated with less cardiovascular disease, lower rates of cancer, and even all-cause mortality.
So, okay, so either one of two things are happening here. Either the glyphosate in there is in such a low concentration that it just doesn’t really make a difference. Or… Oatmeal is so good for you that it’s completely offsetting any negative effects and providing you a health benefit. I tend to lean toward probably the former that it’s, you know, that it’s just a concentration thing, but unfortunately, you know, I don’t want to minimize this because maybe things will change, but.
You can find a compound, even in organic food, you could find a chemical compound in there that if you fed it in a high enough dose, it would hurt somebody, it would hurt people, it would kill people, you know, and so that’s what a lot of what I see on social media is these like, well, don’t eat. this food because it has this in it.
Don’t eat this. Well, apples have cyanide in them. Yeah. But you’d have to eat like a hundred apples at a sitting to even get close to, I saw a video. So, I said, well, watch out for vitamin B12. Cause these supplements are cyanocobalamin and the cyano is cyanide. So, I did the math on the calculation of what it would take to hit the LD 50, 43, 000 capsules of vitamin B12.
So, I’m not really too concerned because you would die from other stuff before that would ever kill you. But I think, you know, people don’t have the wherewithal to go out and check, you know, one check this stuff, you know, people will say all the time, well, this person quoted all these studies. I’m like, did you go read them?
[01:38:33] Gabby: Did you read this study? Did you go look it up? And even if you did read it, did you understand what it meant?
Yeah. I think fitness feels really inaccessible to some people. Yeah. It’s like. Well, like I got to go to the store and get wild caught salmon and, you know, fresh vegetables from the market. It just keeps them from starting.
I’m like, no, go get some frozen vegetables by like we’re shooting the alligator closest to the boat. Right. Like I tell the other thing, the other analogy I give is, okay, if the goal is to pick up as much like weight in rocks as possible, I’m going to pick up the boulders first, right? And then if I can get the boulders, if I can get some pebbles along with it, I’ll get the pebbles, but I’m not going to drop the boulder trying to pick up the pebbles.
I think a lot of people drop boulders trying to pick up pebbles. You can call it stepping over dollars to pick up pennies if you want, right? But don’t get so focused on the little minutiae. Big, broad stuff. Move, find a way to move more, find a way to reduce your calorie intake, whatever that looks like, um, and try to eat more lean proteins and fiber.
And if you do those things consistently over time, you’ll probably get to your goal. Now, how you get yourself to buy in and be consistent with that. That’s where these different tools come in. Like time restricted eating, low carb, low fat, uh, tracking macros, you know, uh, like have like, there’s a bunch of apps out there. I make one. Yeah. So
[01:39:57] Gabby: let’s, let’s. I want to talk about carbon. Um, before we, we leave, um, this area, um, the gut is connected to a lot of things, whether it’s how your brain functions, your mood autoimmune. I mean, it goes on and on and on when you are tackling talking about the gut and it’s complicated. Um, how do you, do you give clients a test? Like, how do you sort of even consider that? You’re like, Hey, listen, I’m going to worry about other things.
[01:40:26] Layne: Um, so we’re, we’re talking about the gut microbiome specifically, correct? Yeah. So, the problem is even gut microbiome experts aren’t really sure what a healthy gut microbiome exactly looks like. Um, it, we seem to.
So, one of my, uh, colleagues from grad school is now one of the world’s foremost authorities on the microbiome named Suzanne Devcota. Uh, she’s actually out here, uh, uh, Cedars Sinai. My understanding from talking to her and other gut microbiome experts, cause it’s not my area of expertise, is, um, more diversity seems to be better, right?
You want pretty diverse gut microbiome, um, and the take homes I’ve heard from them is Don’t eat too many calories too many calories actually like energy toxicity seems to be not optimal for the gut Exercise seems to be good for your gut health interestingly enough Something about the maybe the lactate produced during exercise Eating enough fiber diverse a way of prebiotic fibers.
So, fiber is the main fuel for the gut bacteria Uh, are, are good bugs for lack of a better term. So, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, those are all good stuff for the gut microbiome. That’s what they run off of, um, that allows them to produce short chain fatty acids, which is gas basically, uh, but those short chain fatty acids actually get into circulation and appear to have a lot of like health benefits, including, um, uh, better insulin sensitivity, lower cardiovascular disease risk, and, uh, possibly limiting saturated fat.
So, not necessarily because of the saturated fat from what I understand, but the bile end products appear to be, um, possibly negative for some of these good bugs that we talk about. Um, people talk about probiotics. Um, the, about five years ago, I think the conventional or the, the science said, you know, they’re not concentrated enough, like you don’t have enough species of bacteria in there.
And the problem with probiotics is, um, if you give certain species of bacteria, then maybe they do colonize. But if you’re not giving them the prebiotic fiber, they’re not going to stay. So now there have been some. Studies that suggest maybe probiotics might help, but they’re not as good as prebiotics, which prebiotics is fiber.
So, if you’re going to take a probiotic, okay, cool, but make sure you’re getting enough fiber in
[01:42:57] Gabby: as well. Do you get you specifically, uh, do you get your lean protein from a specific source? Like I, you know, we order meat from places and do stuff. Do you have any unique practices around your own nutrition?
[01:43:15] Layne: Not particularly. I mean, I, I, you know, uh, eggs, I eat, uh, pork, I eat, um, chicken. Obviously, I probably should have stock and chicken, uh, chicken breast by now. Um, you know, dairy, um, like Greek yogurt’s one of my favorite sources of protein, uh, whey protein, you know, as a supplement, fish, great source of protein. Um, so I’ve, I’ve. I’ll eat beef as well. Um, and then even some like plant sources of protein as well. Um, like people worry about soy protein, like, Oh, estrogen. And there’s quite a bit of research data out there to show that like it doesn’t affect testosterone or estrogen or anything like
[01:43:56] Gabby: that. We know you would not take it. Can you imagine?
[01:44:00] Layne: Well, one of the things I tell people is I’m like, Hey guys, you’re worried about all this stuff. I compete on a world level in a sport, like I want to win too, you know, do you think I’m like trying to make it harder on myself? Cause I promise you I’m not, you know, um, so yeah, that’s, that’s kind of what I do.
[01:49:09] Gabby: What about when you have someone who comes to you and them, they, they’re just stressors and they, it’s like, I almost feel like that’s the. The null and void. I know a lot of people who do a lot of the right practices, but their emotionality is, they’re so stressed out there. Maybe they’re not sleeping. Um, I won’t, you know, connection is a very ambiguous notion, but I feel that some friend love and connection obviously as part of it.
Have you. You know, how have you invited clients, for example, like these higher performers? Is it like, Hey, can you breathe for five minutes or how do you, because I do feel like constantly being, you know, upregulated? I think it just crushes your system.
[01:50:05] Layne: Yeah. I think, um, like some people have been like, Hey, stop watching the news. That’s the first one.
[01:50:09] Gabby: Oh God. The news is just entertainment. I mean, bad entertainment. It’s not even real.
[01:50:14] Layne: Not even real. Um, you know, this is something I’m bad at, like getting off social media, right? Well, your job is also part of that. My job is kind of a, you know, golden handcuffs sort of way. Um, but I mean, I, you know, I’ll find myself like doom scrolling, like what am I doing?
You know, like get back to it. We’re so wired to be busy now. It’s like, we almost feel bad if we’re relaxed and bored, you know, one of the things I’ve tried to tell people, I was like, Hey, cause there’s all this shame around like certain things like watching too much TV and like relaxing or whatever. I’m like, sometimes you need to flip your mind off for a little while.
Okay. But you just, you want to make sure that anything that you’re doing that with that you can also walk away from it. Right. Like if you can’t, if you don’t have the, if I heard a good term, it was something like If you start out your day saying I’m not going to do a certain thing and you end up doing a certain thing, watch out.
Um, so yeah, and I think even some of those things can be a way that you can connect. I mean, as you know, you’re probably better off doing certain things, but like sitting down and watching a show with your partner that you both enjoy, I mean, you can get some connection out of that, you know, you can hold hands.
Right. And so, I think. Try to find ways to make your mind less busy. And I think one of the other things I’m, I’m really trying to do, me personally, to become more of a minimalist, like not like if I find clothes, I like, I buy like 10 of them. Right. And I’m just, okay, here’s like one of my French jokes. Lane’s got his uniform. He wears, you know, like those jeans, those shoes, those kinds of shirt.
[01:51:55] Gabby: We’ll take that decision making.
[01:51:57] Layne: Yeah. I mean, you’ve made so many decisions on a daily basis. Like, do you really want to agonize over every single thing? And I mean, food can become the same way, right? Like I really like for almost anything in life, structure and flexibility. Right. So you want to be structured enough that it takes that you, you have a framework where things feel like it’s less energy that you have to put in, but flexible enough to where if that, if you don’t have that framework, you still know what to do. Right. And so, what I tell people is like, I tend to eat the same things day to day for the most part.
I might go through like a phase where I’m like, Ooh, I’m really liking these tacos I’m making right now or whatever, you know, but for the most part, I’ll eat kind of similar things day to day. But if I feel like doing something else. I just do it. I don’t worry about it. It’s okay. I have these guidelines.
And that’s why I said I don’t have rules. I have guidelines because rules make people weird, but guidelines, guidelines are just guidelines. You can go outside them if you know what you’re doing. So that’s, that’s kind of. What I do, but I think a lot of it just boils down to getting your mind just sometimes working a little bit slower.
It’s a good thing. Yeah, that’s something I’ve really struggled with.
[01:53:12] Gabby: Well, yeah, and it’s and it is interesting when you see people that they literally can’t stick and focus and their minds all over the place. And it’s like, how do you get them to, you know, kind of to settle in? And that’s where all the conversations are.
Because I think people are searching for all these answers. So, okay, meditation and then this and that, and a lot of this stuff I agree with, but its people thinking they have to do all of it all the time, or it’s the only way they can get it done. And you are a very good example of somebody who, um, is showing like you can get it done a lot of different ways.
[01:53:50] Layne: You just said something that, um, I really like. It’s something I say a lot and kind of a little bit different, but it’s. I think a lot of people stress because they feel like they should be able to do all the things all the time. You cannot do all the things all the time. People talk about balance in life.
Over the course of your life, it should probably, on average, be balanced with Family time, professional friendships, but at any one period of your life, it is probably unbalanced. When I was going to graduate school and competing in bodybuilding and starting my online business, I was not balanced, right?
That was pretty much what I did. I didn’t really have a social life, right? And now that I’m a dad. And doing business competing in powerlifting, like I’m not going out fishing and shooting like I used to because guess what? My hobby is lifting. That’s what I get. I parted down to that, right. Because I don’t have time for those other things, but you know what?
One day when I’m ready to retire from powerlifting and when the kids are older, that stuff’s going to be there. I’ll get to do that stuff, you know, so it’s like. Don’t feel like you have to do everything at once. You know, hopefully if you take care of yourself, you live a long life, you get a chance to do all this stuff.
Right. And so, like now, I’m sure your life looks way different than it did 20, 30 years ago. And you’re unbalanced now in some ways, way different from where it was before. And that’s okay. Right. But pick your spots. Like If you’re a single mom with three kids and you’re going back to school working two jobs, maybe now isn’t the time to focus on your, you know, do the best you can with your nutrition.
Maybe now isn’t the time to enter a bodybuilding show. You know what I mean?
[01:55:35] Gabby: Like, pick your spots. I think that’s very important. And to have the discipline of your mind to know. To be like, Oh, that’s not for right now. The minute I see something that I know it has nothing to do with what I’m in, right. In my reality, I don’t add it into, you know, my scope of thinking.
Menopause, middle age, uh, as we get older, do we change our eating? What do we? What do we do? I mean, I, I’m 53. I have, you know, I certainly, I don’t overdo my blood work, but I pay attention and I, you know, sort of watch my nutrients. But I was wondering, because this is a question that I get a lot. And I think men think.
It’s interesting to watch men do it because then all of a sudden, they decide that they want to have the large, they want to have their 18-year-old or 21-year-old male self-muscles. It’s like, okay, well calm down with that. But is there, because we can still build muscle as we obviously get older. Um, I know we lose it, but is there something that you, when you have clients of this age that you go, Hey, we’re going to tweak this a little as you move into this part of the runway.
[01:56:41] Layne: This is what gets me in trouble too, because people don’t like my answer. The, the same principles still really apply. Um,
[01:56:47] Gabby: And even for men and women,
[01:56:48] Layne: right? Yeah. So, if you look at, um, uh, Herman Ponsard did a really good study where he tracked, um, energy expenditure across age groups. And I think there was like thousands of people in this study and found that energy expenditure as, as, um, standardized for lean mass.
Didn’t change from age 20 to about age. I think it was like 60 or 70 and then it started to go down So now what I’ll say to people is I’m not saying it’s not harder to lose weight during menopause But it’s probably because the hormonal change you don’t feel as good You don’t have the drive to exercise as much you also probably spontaneously move less and your appetite is probably higher so it’s but as terms of like metabolic rate It doesn’t seem to really change.
And so, the same principles still apply, but again, it probably is harder, but just not for the reasons that people think.
[01:57:45] Gabby: I, I think it’s great. I think that’s very exciting. Did you create a carbon because you thought, okay, I, I have a sense of the formula now I can really help more people? And I know it’s not only customized based on whatever the goal is, whether it’s to lose weight, maintain, gain weight, or make a total change in your habits. Um, and in that is it, so is it eating, moving and there’s personal coaching as well.
[01:58:15] Layne: So, Carmen is. I’ll back up just real briefly. So, working with people one on one for so long, and I worked with 2000 people from like 2005 till 2019, but it was like, you know, I made good money. I got good results, but it’s like, it’s 2000 people.
What is, what is that in the, in the global sense? If I start thinking about a legacy and all that kind of stuff. And so, um, myself and a few other people got together and. The idea was, okay, could I compress my coaching into like, basically mathematics and an algorithm, um, that would, you know, you can’t do the same thing, but because you can never like really take
Right? But for people who need a guide, could this guide them? And so, you know, wrote an algorithm, got tested a lot. We went through many versions of it. Um, to now, uh, we launched, uh, three years, three and a half years ago. And, um, it’s done amazing. And so, like a lot of people, when they open it up, they think, well, it looks like my fitness pal, you know, you track your calories, whatever.
But when you sign up and ask you questions about, you know, your age, your weight, your body fat, like anthropometrical stuff. And then, so it’s using that information to figure out, okay, what do we think your energy expenditure is? Your calories outside of things. Okay. What’s your goal? And then like in the case of weight loss, for example, cause it’s not just a weight loss app.
There’s muscle gain, there’s maintenance, you know.
[01:59:57] Gabby: And even like changing your habits, period, right? Like that, there was like a little other caveat. I thought that was great. Yeah.
[02:00:03] Layne: So not, it’s trying to determine, all right, how many, what are you spending per day? Here’s what we recommend initially. But the real, the real benefit to the app is you are Checking in with the coaching portion of the app each week and based on how you’re progressing, the app will change.
It will adapt and so a lot of people will get this like, well, you know, it gave me these calories. I don’t know if they’re right. I’m like, we’ll follow them for the next few weeks. And if you’re. Not losing weight at the appropriate rate. If your goal is weight loss, the app is going to sense that and adjust.
And now, I mean, we’ve had people like lose. We’ve had multiple, actually quite a few people lose over a hundred pounds using the app. We’ve had people get ready for bodybuilding shows and win pro cards using the app. So, it really works brilliantly. I’ve been using it personally, like started with the beta version for over four years now.
And like I am in a weight class specific sport. Um, and every time I’ve used the app to make weight, not only do I make weight, I make weight within 0. 1 kilogram of what I target. So, this thing works. And when I was, I dropped out of weight class in powerlifting a few years back and pretty much I, I’m so regimented with, you know, checking in and keeping it updated with information. It knows me so well. That when I would go to like say, okay, in two weeks, I want to lose this amount of weight without fail, I would be within like two, 3 percent of whatever the target was. I mean, it’s really been impressive. So
[02:01:39] Gabby: did you learn anything about people or yourself that surprised you from the use of the app?
I think what I learned was. I didn’t really value, honestly, like the aesthetics of an app of having a good user interface of like, and, and gamification is something we’re looking to do a lot more of, um, just people being like, great job checking in, you were compliant and seeing that, you know, you were check marks and all your boxes, like people love that. So, we want to do more stuff with ours. Yeah. You know, I think that is. Like, let’s not just give them the path, let’s give them the carrot, you know what I mean? You got to do it. So, if people want to see it, it’s just carbon. com, we’ll put it in the show notes as well. Joincarbon. com. I’m sorry, joincarbon.
That’s right. I wrote that down. Sorry about that. Joincarbon. com. We’ll put that in all the notes. Um, okay. To end this, my last question is. Everything that you know today, because it’ll change, of course, I hope so, as somebody who is high performing, high achieving, get after it into, you know, certain kind of composition, even the aesthetic component of it, how do you feel about aging?
Like, do you, did you go, oh my God, as you freak out, or are you like, oh no, I’m going to manage this. I’m going to, I’m going to do this.
[02:03:01] Layne: You know, I think I was honestly the most depressed when I turned 25 cause I was closer to 30 than I was to 20, but honestly, when I turned 40, I’m like, I don’t feel that much different than I did in my twenties.
I have good energy. Um, I feel good, few more bumps and bruises, but I think that’s just time under the bar. You know, I don’t think that’s necessarily an age thing. Um, I think a lot of it is like if I’m, if I’ve slowed down at all, it’s just more stress and more responsibilities and um, you know, the, the only things I notice are, uh, I don’t recover as quick, but I think that’s more due to stress and you know, not sleeping quite as much.
Uh, and when you have kids, you never have the same restful sleep, even when they’re grown. There’s always like this baseline level of anxiety, right?
[02:03:50] Gabby: Yeah, exactly.
[02:03:53] Layne: And then like, uh, if I fly time zones, that’s the other thing I used to be able to fly when I was 22 I could fly all the way to the west coast, stay up till 4am and sleep till noon.
Now I go one time zone, my body goes, what the hell is going on? So, I think that’s really the only difference that I’ve noticed. And I’m, I’m just like, you know, I know inevitably there will be a decline. Thankfully strength, speed goes first as an athlete. Strength is one of the last things to go. So, I’m still pretty close to as strong as I’ve.
I’ve been, um, but it will go at some point and, um, you know, I think it’s just in that point. I’ll try to find something else to sink my teeth into and go to another phase of life. Yeah.
[02:04:33] Gabby: And you’ll, you will have modified and you’ll probably keep it as, as much of your strength as you possibly can. And you, you have said.
That, you know, people go, Oh, I’m, I’m hurt like from training. It’s like, well, you’re not that you’re going to feel sore no matter what, whether you do something or don’t do something. So, you might as well keep moving. And I can tell you, I, I really, when you said that, I was like, Oh, I so relate
[02:04:54] Layne: to that. Well, I think a lot of people like, look at what I do. It’s like, see me squat 600 pounds and all, but you’re going to have so many, so much pain when you’re older. I’m like, well, almost 42 now. And I feel pretty good day to day. I mean, I got some aches and pains, but like. When you’re old, you will be in pain regardless. I’d rather be in pain, have some pain and be strong than have pain and be weak.
[02:05:15] Gabby: Yeah. Okay. So, Lane, the app is joincarbon. com and can you just remind people if they want to see the other, your other character, all the places that they can find you because you’re, you, I like it. You said it in the beginning. It’s an alter ego. And I want to remind people of that. And I think it’s important because it’s effective.
[02:05:32] Layne: Yeah. So, uh, and you can also find carbon on either app store as carbon diet coach. Um, and if you want to find me, I would say my digital business card is Instagram, which is just bio lane and I’m biolane on pretty much every platform there is. I’m on Tik Tok, Facebook, YouTube, you name it.
[02:05:52] Gabby: Well, I do really appreciate that you have us such as. Scientific background, but that sometimes with people, you’re just sort of saying, let’s deal with first things first. And, uh, I think, uh, that it makes it easier for people to go, okay, you know, focus on the big rocks. Yeah. Amen. Thank you, Lane.
Thank you for listening to this week’s episode. If you want to learn more, there is a ton of valuable information on my website.
All you have to do is go to Gabrielle Reese. com or head to the episode show notes to find a full breakdown with helpful links to studies, research, books, podcasts, and so much more. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out and send them to at Gabby Reese on Instagram. And if you feel inspired, please subscribe. I’ll see you next week.
About Dr. Layne Norton
Layne Norton is the founder of BioLayne. He created the company to provide ethical, science-based coaching that synthesized real world experience with evidence based protocols. In his coaching career he has turned over 70 people pro and reshaped the way that countless people think about nutrition. To that end, Layne completed a BS in Biochemistry and a PhD in Nutritional Sciences, honing his intellectual skills under Dr. Donald Layman, one of the foremost researchers on protein metabolism and fat loss in the world. He has also enjoyed success in bodybuilding, winning a natural pro card in 2006 and competing as a pro in 2010 with his career highlight being a heavyweight class win at the 2010 IFPA International. He has also done extremely well in powerlifting, winning USAPL Nationals in 2014 and 2015 in the 93kg class and finishing with an overall silver medal at the 2015 IPF worlds, including a then world record squat of 303kg (668 lbs). He has also written two best-selling books, The Complete Contest Prep Guide and Fat Loss Forever while continuing to provide enormous amounts of free content via social media, podcasts, articles, and various other outlets. He has spoken all over the world including seminars in Australia, UK, Ireland, Denmark, Scotland, Canada, Thailand, with plans for more in the future. More recently, he has focused on providing ongoing support to help more people via biolayne.com and it’s subscription membership as well as training other coaches to use his methods to help their clients succeed.