Bitesize Biohack Ben Azadi How to Achieve Metabolic Flexibility
12:04PM Feb 21, 2023
So I actually said those words out loud, I am responsible. And the second that I said that I felt empowered, I felt inspired, I felt gratitude. And I started to make better changes for my life.
This month on the podcast, we have been talking a lot about metabolism and metabolic flexibility. And I thought it was a good time actually, to share a clip from my interview with Ben Azadi, the author of keto flex, because it kind of links to how you can use keto in the short term to develop metabolic flexibility, some interesting research around that and also how you become what you think about. So this kind of really is helpful if you're looking to make a body composition change in terms of really helping you clarify your mindset on it. And also how you can develop what's known as metabolic flexibility, which gives you the freedom to have more flexibility around what you're eating, because metabolic flexibility is really where you can burn carbs and fats on demand. So have a listen to this clip. And if you're interested in listening to the full episode, it is episode 137. Can you describe first of all, what is keto flex?
Yes. So keto flexing is the premise behind how humans have existed for as long as humans have existed. For example, ketosis we know and we both agree that keto is one tool in the shed. It's not the only tool and it's not new ketosis has been around since humans have existed. Every single one of our ancestors did keto because their environment forced them into periods of time, where there was no food. So they had to fast. And if they did not have the ability to produce ketones, they would be blubbering idiots nude and be able to hunt and kill and, and do their thing. So keto flexing is the principle that yes, keto is great all around festers, did it but when our ancestors had the opportunity to eat carbohydrates, they would flex out of ketosis. So it is about metabolic flexibility and using keto to achieve that metabolic freedom and flexibility, which is very similar to what you teach as well.
Yeah, very, very similar. I couldn't agree more. I just think a lot of people get hung up on a particular diet, right? Whereas actually, metabolic flexibility is king who wouldn't want to be metabolically flexible and metabolically flex Exactly.
Were born into ketosis to mean breast milk and saturated fat and cholesterol. It's a new problem that we have where somebody's now sticking with the same diet long term. And of course, we see it in Quito, but it's also veganism and other diets out there, carnivore, it's a new problem. None of the our ancestors didn't, there's not one culture in the history of this world that stuck with the same diet long term. It wasn't until it hasn't been until the last 50 years that we have this new problem.
And a new problem of so much processed food, right. That's the other thing. It's just so difficult to Yeah, people struggle to get these Whole Foods in. So in terms of when someone wants to start, right, and they're thinking about creating metabolic volume, flexibility, I think one of the things that both you and I talk a lot about, is we need to teach people to deplete muscle glycogen again, right? They haven't been doing that so many people are just sort of topped up all the time with carbohydrates, and they're not burning enough fuel to actually facilitate the need for it. When when you've got somebody in there, maybe they're feeling like they're stressed, though, which obviously leads to more blood sugar dysregulation. They're overweight, they feel lethargic. They feel like they've got that brain fog. What's the best place would you say in your formula, and I know you have your four pillars, which I want to go through with you in a moment. For someone to start when they're just starting out. They're thinking I really want to develop metabolic flexibility.
Yeah, the first step is to start depleting those glycogen stores like you just said, and when you are what's called a sugar burner. When you're teaching your cells to burn sugar, burn glucose and only burn sugar and glucose, it leads to metabolic dysfunction. It leads to metabolic inflexibility. It's estimated that in America 88.2% of Americans are metabolically inflexible. That means there's only 12% of us that have this flexibility, which and that's in 2018 study. It's probably worse now especially after COVID. So what that means essentially, is you're eating every two to three hours, you're eating high processed carbohydrates, the average American is eating about 304 100 grammes of carbs per day. And you're going to continuously top that those glycogen stores you're going to add. It's going to you can only store about 2000 calories of sugar in those glycogen stores, muscle liver cells, and then the rest is stored as body fat. And it's not a fun way to live when I was obese. I was a sugar burner and how Do you know you're a sugar burner, you're eating every two to three hours. If you skip a meal, you're hangry, who can function and it will create insulin resistance type two diabetes, and just a whole host of other issues. So the first step is to lower your carbohydrate intake, and at the same time, increase healthy fats and protein and then eliminate the snacking, you don't have to necessarily fast in the beginning, start with three meals. But as you increase the healthy fats and protein, eat less carbs, you're actually going to find that you have less need to snack and that is the first step right there.
Yeah, that's a great first step, I see that, you know, I see that a lot with guys actually, is an I think you have problems in you in childhood. But I find it with a lot of men, actually, often as teenagers, like I look at my two teenage boys, 13 and 14, they have an incredible capacity to eat. And I think sometimes what happens is you fast forward 10 years, and now I have a 2324 year old guy who thinks he can eat like you did a 1314. But you're not growing anymore, and you just don't and you're not doing the same amount of sport and you just don't have the need for that much glucose and carbohydrates. I think that's the thing that we have to adjust and realise that we don't need it. But we do need healthy fats for our brain, we do need protein that we can break down into amino acids. It's, as you say, like, we've got to change our diet, right? Especially as we go through different decades, our needs are going to be very, very different. Your story's incredible, because you are obese. So you have come on that journey. Tell me about like that, because I know your father was very sick as well. And that was a huge wake up call. Can you just share so the audience can kind of connect with that, because you've been through a lot. And it's, it's amazing that you're so fit and healthy now to come on that journey.
Thank you, Angela. Yeah, and we have very a lot of similarities in our stories. You know, I battled with depression, just like you. I had suicidal thoughts. And growing up here in America, I follow the standard American diet, which is highly processed, very toxic. The acronym is sad standard American diet, and it's a proper acronym, because it's very sad. And it will lead to you feeling sad. And that was the case for me. So I hung out with the wrong crowd. My environment was very toxic, and I became toxic in myself. So my body was physically obese, but I was also mentally obese and mentally bankrupt. And I found myself back in 2008. Being I was a 24 year old, obese man, I weighed 250 pounds, I worked at a nine to five job that was very uninspiring. And I was going through a very difficult time in my life with my ex girlfriend who ended up breaking up with me. And I was depressed, I was rock bottom, I was actually looking for ways to end my life because I was tired of hurting everyday waking up and crying. And it was a vicious cycle for several months where I would think about suicide, I would go on the internet to look for ways to commit suicide. And then I would stop myself thinking about my mother thinking about what she would have to deal with if I went through with that. And it wasn't until I picked up actually a friend, my best friend, two of my best friends handed me a book and said, you know, read this book, I think you would get a lot from it. And one book led to five books, which led to 15 books, and I started to read incredible authors. We were just talking offline about one of them, you know, Bob Proctor, Earl Nightingale, Jim Rohn, Tony Robbins, and I could go on and on and on. The books did a lot for me. But the number one thing the books did for me, helped me take responsibility for my results in my circumstances. And that word responsibility is your ability to respond to life, my ability to respond to life up until that point was very poor. I was blaming my genetics, my enabling family members, I was blaming everything external. And then I came across Dr. Wayne Dyer's work, and I remember him saying this and it really resonated with me, he said, if other people are the cause of your problems, you would have to hire a psychiatrist for the rest of the world in order for you to get better. And I was funny and it was so true, because the problem lies within I am actually responsible I was and I still am responsible. So I actually said those words out loud, I am responsible. And the second that I said that I felt empowered, I felt inspired, I felt gratitude. And I started to make better changes for my life and I became the victor at that moment of my destiny and I stopped being the victim of my history. So I started to exercise and eat better and I went through this and credible transformation I lost about 80 pounds of fat went from 250 pounds. And that's of course I'm speaking in American and English a US terms here I should say. So I went from 250 pounds down to 170 pounds 34% body fat down to 6% body fat, size 38 waist to size 30 waist so I finally achieved the physical six pack but the most important thing that I achieved was a mental six pack. I started to understand how important your thoughts are and how you become what you think about most of the time. I have and that's what got me started in the health and fitness space.
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