Podcast Episode #122: Special Guest Jonathan Bailor of The Calorie Myth

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The Balanced Bites Podcast | Episode 121 | Special Guest Jonathan Bailor Topics:
1.  Introducing our guest, Jonathan Bailor [2:46] 2.  Getting to know Jonathan [4:32] 3.  Men and women targeted differently by media [10:05] 4.  Starvation diets don’t work [12:37] 5.  The difference between men and women [14:52] 6.  How Jonathan is trying to reach the masses [18:25] 7.  Don’t propose on the first date [22:45] 8.  Their brains exploded [24:14] [smart_track_player url=”http://traffic.libsyn.com/balancedbites/BB_Podcast_122.mp3″ title=”#122: Special Guest Jonathan Bailor of The Calorie Myth” artist=”Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe ” color=”00aeef” social=”true” social_twitter=”true” social_facebook=”true” social_gplus=”true” ] Links

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Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone! Liz here, Diane is on her Paleo Tour de California today, so I’m hosting on my own. Welcome to the Balanced Bites Podcast episode 122. I do want to say that those who listened to last weeks’ episode may notice that I’m still a bit nasal, but I have not actually been sick now for two weeks. In fact, I am recording this show just one day after we recorded the previous episode, and in between yesterday and today, yes I’ve eaten copious amounts of grass-fed pastured liver egg yolks from our homestead flock and all those good immune boosting foods. So, I am doing all I can to take care of myself. Please pardon episode number 2 of my sounding like I swallowed Fran Drescher, I do apologize. So, onto the good stuff. I am excited to have a special guest today who has been making quite the splash lately in the nutrition and health world. Now, this isn’t a paleo/primal episode per se, but this, what we’re talking about today is calories, and we’re talking to a guy that has literally written the book on the topic. And this calorie situation is definitely something that folks within the paleo community get confused about, and I think it’s important to hash it out on a show all its own with one of the guys who is really advocating for a paradigm shift here. My guest is Jonathan Bailor, founder of The Smarter Science of Slim, he’s a Huffington Post blogger, he’s been featured in New York Magazine, all over the place, and now he’s the New York Times’ bestselling author of The Calorie Myth: How to Eat More, Exercise Less, Lose Weight, and Live Better, forward by Dr. William Davis, the author of Wheat Belly. Jonathan Bailor, welcome to the show!

1. Introducing our guest, Jonathan Bailor [2:46]

Jonathan Bailor: Hey Liz, thank you for having me!

Liz Wolfe: No problem. I always love talking to you because, I feel like when I was on your podcast, it was just, you’ve got such an upbeat, such an energetic, you know, rhythm to you. It always pumps me up a little bit.

Jonathan Bailor: {laughs} Well I like to keep things light.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah! Love it. And you told me, off air, speaking of immune-boosting foods, that you are making your first batch of bone broth?

Jonathan Bailor: I am. It is brewing on the stove right now. My wife and I finally got a stand-alone freezer, so.

Liz Wolfe: Yes.

Jonathan Bailor: We got a bunch of bones, because we just couldn’t fit them in our freezer, so now we have many bones, and we actually got 25 pounds of grass-fed, hormone free beef that we’ve got, as well. So we are just loving it right now.

Liz Wolfe: That’s awesome. Yes, you really do… speaking of a paradigm shift, when you start eating real food, you really do have to kind of figure out how things are going to fit. It’s a little bit different, you need a lot more freezer space and a lot less pantry space, if you ask me.

Jonathan Bailor: That’s exactly right. When we shift, exactly as you said, when we shift from calorie thinking to food-based thinking, your pantries become empty, but you need to get a second freezer {laughs} it’s shocking.

Liz Wolfe: Oh yes. We’re on our second second freezer now.

Jonathan Bailor: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: So I completely understand. Alright, so we’re going to talk about, specifically your book and your work. I’m going to get a little personal with you. I want to get to know you a little bit better. Not that you, you don’t have to share private, nitty gritty stuff, but I want to hear where you came from, I want to hear a little bit of your personal experience. You are a senior program manager at Microsoft, but it clearly seems your passion is nutrition advocacy. So, I want to hear about your back story. I want to hear about what made you so passionate about this, how you got to where you are now, what drove you, and of course, why you’re still doing double duty with this Microsoft gig and traveling the country talking about your work. Let’s get to know you a little bit better.

2. Getting to know Jonathan [4:32]

Jonathan Bailor: {laughing} So, I’ll give you the longer version. I was, and still am, a very geeky person.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: I like technical things. That’s what makes me tick. So, growing up, I was a total geek, still am a geek, and, don’t hate me, but this actually matters to the story and it has a happy ending, but growing up, I had the opposite problem most people struggle with. I was one of these naturally thin people. And there are millions of naturally thin people.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Jonathan Bailor: We all probably know and dislike them {laughs} on some level.

Liz Wolfe: We’re conditioned to be very, very jealous of people who are, whatever society has projected on us, as the ideal. Absolutely.

Jonathan Bailor: Exactly. But what that did is it allowed me to have a really interesting experience because. So I wanted to get bigger. I wanted to be a big football player, so I did what anyone who is interested in fitness and eating does or most people do, I became a personal trainer. So, I made it my job to help people. But I experienced something really profound and sad in that experience. I was eating about 6000 calories per day in an effort to get bigger. The vast majority of my clients, this was during my late high school and early college years, it’s how I paid my way through college, were females over the age of 35 who wanted to get smaller, and I did what most personal trainers are trained to do, which is to tell them to eat less and exercise more.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: I’d put them on 1200-calorie diets, and have them do an obsessive amount of cardio. I had the, now fortunate but at the time very saddening experience of, here I am, I’m eating 6000 calories, exercising less. These brilliant women are eating 1200 calories, exercising more; they are not getting smaller, I’m not getting bigger, we’re both just getting sick and sad.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: And I said to myself, hey Jonathan, this isn’t working, you’re not helping people, you’re hurting people, stop! And I retired from being a personal trainer, and I tapped into my geek side, and I said there has to be something else going on here. This isn’t working. And then I started to dig into the primary research, so these dense academic articles. Both my parents are college professors, so I was raised in an incredibly academic household. I started to do this; I immediately started to see that when you look at the primary clinical research, really dense academic journal articles, the disconnect between what I was taught as a trainer, what we hear every day in the mainstream, and what has been proven, not what has been observed, what has been proven. There is this shocking disconnect, and this just lit a fire in me, and I spent over 10 years reviewing over 1300 studies, working with top doctors at the Harvard Medical School, John’s Hopkins, UCLA, to be like, oh my gosh! You’re work is transformative, how can we get this into the mainstream, because actual expert, hardcore PhD researchers who wear lab coats and not spandex, they don’t have a marketing department.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: They don’t have a PR department, and if you take someone like me who, for example my job at Microsoft is to work with the really technical developers to take their brilliance and to make it usable by everyday people, that’s what I love to do. So I do that with technology at Microsoft, and I do that with biology with all of these institutions I just mentioned. Because think about it; for every other area of our life, just think about your phone, for example. Imagine phones from 50 years ago, and imagine phones from today. They’re not the same, right? But now think about mainstream eating and exercise advice from 50 years ago versus today. It’s the exact same! Are we to believe that there’s been no technological progress? False! So we’ve got to fill that gap.

Liz Wolfe: Preaching to the choir my friend.

Jonathan Bailor: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Preaching to the choir. You must have a raw liver smoothie every morning, because you are… you have more energy, I mean, seriously, I’m sitting here wondering if you’re on crack or raw liver. Which one is it?

Jonathan Bailor: It is actually desiccated beef liver. {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Awesome! I knew it.

Jonathan Bailor: It is. It is. So I do, I used to eat.. I haven’t yet figured out how to make liver not taste terrible. I’m sure you can tell me, so I take desiccated beef liver because I don’t have to taste it.

Liz Wolfe: I am so glad that I asked and I hope you took that as a compliment, that’s exactly how I meant it {laughs} but that’s awesome. See everybody? We talked about liver last week. It is. It is the key to having sustainable energy over time. Alright. It’s not ephedra, it’s not any of those crazy things that I tried.

Jonathan Bailor: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: in an attempt to burn more calories in an attempt to lose weight.

Jonathan Bailor: Let’s get some ECA stacks going! That’s good for you! {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I’m telling you! But you know what, the ECA stack, I should have known that you would know what that was. But, absolutely. And I know how to do the ECA stack, I was doing everything I possibly could. I don’t know if you or other men that you know or men that you worked with did the same thing, but I had an arsenal of ephedra, phentermine, you know, anything that you can think of, I was ready to try and potentially even harm myself aiming for an ideal that I don’t think I had even fully formed in my mind. I just wanted to be somebody different at the time suffering from horrendous PMS, acne, terrible moods, terrible sleep, never energetic when I woke up, as you are and as I am much more often now, but none of those things seemed like a problem to me. And, knowing, you know, the one side of this whole equation as a woman, and I {sigh} I’m kind of circling around something here, but I want to say, listeners, we’re about to talk to a man about women. And,

Jonathan Bailor: {laughs}

3. Men and women targeted differently by media [10:05]

Liz Wolfe: I’m telling you, that’s, I’m going to be honest, that’s not my favorite thing to do because a lot of times, I just want to say, you know, let me talk about how I feel, what I think, and what I’ve been through, and you can talk about how you feel, what you think, and what you’ve been through. But let’s willingly suspend our disbelief here, because I want to hear what you have to say about what women are dealing with. Something that I always want to say to people who kind of want to challenge what I’m advocating is, well if what you say is true, wouldn’t it be true? All this stuff about cholesterol and calories and whatnot. Because the thing is, if calorie counting and that whole pesky, you know, energy equation concept that I just relied on, and we’ll talk about also how this applies to women in particular, you know, as much as I hate to delineate more differences between the way, you know, men and women conceptualize food. I want us all to kind of come together. It is true that we are spoken to differently, and we are targeted differently in the most pervasive sources of communication out there, of course, advertisements that we see. And men and women are spoken to differently. There are some commonalities, but there is definitely, we do need to talk about and I want to talk about how women are targeted in this whole genre of calorie-counting, you know, weight loss and all that good stuff. But back to the science, the common sense, and really accepting the way we’ve thought about calories in particular, many other things about nutrition, but calories in particular, is that if these things we believed were true, then they would be true. But this whole calorie-counting thing, it doesn’t work for so many of the people who do it faithfully, who really do it. I did it for many years. I counted on the internet obsessively, how many, what my basal metabolic rate was, which like I say in my book, your BMR is what your body needs bare minimum to execute all of the incredible, amazing, beautiful, cellular processes that are going on while you’re sitting on your butt. And I was short changing myself by probably a goal of 3-400 calories to that BMR every single day, intentionally. And that was a direct result of what I was marketed as a woman. So again, we’ll talk about that. But guess what? It didn’t work. And if that stuff doesn’t work and I was doing it, then isn’t there a disconnect? Why do we still bang our head against the wall trying to make something work that clearly does not work.

4. Starvation diets don’t work [12:37]

Jonathan Bailor: It clearly doesn’t work. In fact, the data is incredibly clear that the failure rate of starvation dieting, calorie counting, what I was taught as a personal trainer and what we hear about all day every day in the mainstream media, the failure rate is 95.4%. To put in perspective just how ridiculously terrible that is, so a study was done by the American Cancer Society on the success rates of individuals trying to give up smoking cold turkey. This is a very interesting comparison, because studies have shown that nicotine is the third most addictive substance in the world, trailing only heroin and cocaine. So, how often are people able to successfully give up the third most addictive substance in the world without any help? 5.5% of the time. Which is obviously very low.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: But you know, it’s not as low as 4.6% of the time, which is the percent of time that starvation dieting actually worked. So we are more likely to give up the third most addictive substance in the world than we are to achieve our long-term health and fitness goals via what we’re taught all day every day in terms of these calorie myths.

Liz Wolfe: You know what’s funny, is that I actually quit smoking with very little hassle and very little problem, but I definitely did not give up all of these myths about food and nutrition without a fight.

Jonathan Bailor: And you shouldn’t, because our body is designed not to die.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: And I know that sounds a little bit silly.

Liz Wolfe: No.

Jonathan Bailor: But telling someone starve yourself; like, all you need to do, because this is literally what the mainstream is saying. Check it out guys; just try harder to starve yourself. Just try harder to tolerate hunger 24/7, 365. That’s analogous to telling a person. “Liz, just go to the bathroom less often, like what’s your problem? Just hold it!”

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: Or just, sleep less. Why do you blink so much? Stop exhaling so frequently. Eating is a natural process, and our body tells us we’re hungry for a reason. Telling someone to run with insufficient fuel in their tank is telling them to shrink into the background, to be less than they are capable of, and it’s not healthy on many, many levels.

5. The difference between men and women [14:52]

Liz Wolfe: Alright, so, and you know what’s really funny about all that is that it doesn’t work, and yet we blame ourselves for our own shortcomings rather than actually saying there is something wrong with what we’ve been told. But, this is something that you tackled in the feature in New York Magazine, about counting calories being oppressive, particularly for women. And I want to just open that up a little bit more and have you explain yourself on that a little bit and open up that part of the conversation. So, go. {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: {laughing} Let me give you a bit of a personal story here, because I think it will help give some context on this men and women discussion. So, when I was growing up, you mentioned ephedra and ECA stack. So when I was growing, so let me give you a little bit of an insider look into when men who do care about their health and fitness and physique, here’s the general conversations they have. So, I got really, really, really, really close to taking anabolic steroids.

Liz Wolfe: Mmm.

Jonathan Bailor: I never actually did, but I got really close. I was spending hundreds of dollars a month on all sorts of nutritional supplements. All sorts of nutritional supplements caused all sorts of chaos. I specifically remember going, I’m from Columbus, Ohio originally, to the Arnold Schwarzenegger bodybuilding expo.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. Yup.

Jonathan Bailor: And we would go with pillowcases. It was literally like trick or treat. We would go with pillowcases just to get whatever pill, powder, or potion they were giving away because we were told we need to be bigger. That’s what we were told as men.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: Get bigger. Be bigger. That’s what we were told. Now, listen to what women are told by the media. Eat less. Be smaller. Don’t weight train. If you go on a date, make sure you don’t order like a steak, get a salad. Shrink down. Fade into the background. Think about that message. Is it like 1920, where men are like, get big and be dominant and women are shrink down and be subservient? But that is literally the message that we … men don’t get told “count calories”. They don’t! In fact, when I was growing up, and this was before I knew the modern science, and it was back in the low-fat days, I would ask for skim milk at friend’s houses, and I remember them saying, literally, be a man.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: Like, be a man. What do you mean? You’re going to eat fewer calories? Be a man. Men don’t do that. So think about that such a sharp disconnect. Men are supposed to not count calories, are supposed to weight train, and are supposed to get bigger. Women have to count calories, shouldn’t weight train, and need to be smaller and shrink into the background. This is why I get so enthused, in addition to the beef liver, because that is the most repressive ridiculous thing I could imagine! And as a trainer, it was the same thing I experienced in working with females and hearing from them this idea that they need to shrink down and be smaller and be less. Like, weight training is so important to be stronger and to be vibrant and to eat more of the right foods to fuel your body!

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: To be vibrant and strong versus shrinking down so you can fit into a size 0 or skinny jeans? That’s put upon us by the media.

6. How Jonathan is trying to reach the masses [18:25]

Liz Wolfe: Just from the ground level, what are you advocating people eat and not worry about calories.

Jonathan Bailor: It’s… anytime I do an interview; well, not anytime. Most of the time when I do an interview, people say, oh, so you’re basically recommending the paleo diet.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: And what I say is, first of all, I don’t like calling it the paleo diet, because I’m not sure how eating; when did eating things that we ate prior to the obesity epidemic become a diet.

Liz Wolfe: I know, isn’t that funny that we have to marginalize it like that?

Jonathan Bailor: Yeah. To me, it seems like that’s what normal and we should call the Standard American Diet the “western diet”.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: And this the “normal diet” or the “default diet” or “what people ate before we had a problem.” So I say, yes. It is quite similar to a paleo diet.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. Very much so. And it’s a little different, though you do advocate maybe a few things that maybe we don’t talk about in this whole paleo community, or as we’re trying to emerge from the primordial ooze of the Standard American Diet, you know, trying to make this make more sense to folks. Continue, I’m sorry.

Jonathan Bailor: No, no worries. So what my research looks at is what the scientific community has demonstrated clinically.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: So, certain things, for example, I’m not able to speak to simply because there hasn’t been as much peer reviewed research on it. That doesn’t mean I don’t like it or I don’t endorse it, it just means my platform is articulate the research from, say, the Harvard Medical School, John’s Hopkins, UCLA, so that changes my scope a little bit.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: I also like to focus on the optimal sources of things, or how people who are struggling with morbid obesity or metabolic disregulation or diabetes how they need to eat to heal themselves first.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: Which might be a little bit different, for example, than someone who is already healthy and frequently does Crossfit. Like, what that individual is going to need to eat to maintain their Crossfitting status, and what a 65-year-old postmenopausal woman who has 100 pounds of excess fat on her body and is diabetic needs to eat to cure herself may be a bit different. So for example, one of the things I get a lot of flak for is people hear that I may say things like, sometimes I eat lean cuts of meat. Well, it’s not because I’m afraid of fat, it’s because when I speak, I’m generally speaking to middle America. And middle America oftentimes is starting from a much different place than the paleo community. The paleo community already gets this stuff. So telling them, for example if they are on food stamps, that they need to get grass-fed beef, is a little bit of a challenge.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: So they’re going to buy conventional beef, and we all know, and Robb Wolfe and Diane and everyone and you say, you know, if you’re going to eat conventional beef, it’s probably better to eat the lean kind because the toxins are in the fat.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: So, it’s really about my message is one that is optimized around helping to get the mainstream to jump on board, and then once they jump on board, we can help them to get to the next level.

Liz Wolfe: I like that, because I notice, you know, being in the blogging community where all the chitter-chatter happens, and what people seem to want, or what a lot of people seem to want, not everyone, but I notice folks really wanting just one message. And while we can send people just one message, which is rethink what we’ve been taught, which is a fabulous message, the nitty gritty of it, it is different for different groups of people. There are different points of entry for folks, and we can’t just say, eat grass-fed pastured meat from a local homesteader. Have a raw liver smoothie in the morning. In doing so, we lose every person’s individual story. Everybody got to the point that they’re at where they’re seeking something different via a different path. Metabolic issues occur for different reasons in different people, and to think that we can just tell, like you said, someone whose been struggling just to get off the Twinkies that they need to go buy a cow off of somebody.

Jonathan Bailor: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: It just doesn’t align. And that’s ok. We have to give people their point of entry, and they can start learning on their own. And the folks that don’t, probably wouldn’t move forward no matter where they started.

7. Don’t propose on the first date [22:45]

Jonathan Bailor: Liz, you’re spot on. And two analogies; one is this idea of proposing marriage on the first date.

Liz Wolfe: Mmmm.

Jonathan Bailor: It’s not a good idea, right?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: If you meet someone on the street, and you’re just like, hi! Will you marry me? They’re probably going to think you’re absolutely crazy. So not only will they not marry you, but they will probably dislike you/resent you.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: And so for example, if I go on Fox and Friends and talk about exactly the things you just said, they’re going to say, oh my gosh, this guy is asking me to marry him on his first date! Not only am I not going to do this, but I’m going to marginalize him.

Liz Wolfe: Right.

Jonathan Bailor: So, we got to come to people where they’re at, and also progress comes from going to people where they are at and helping them to see small steps rather than saying “you’re completely wrong! Change everything!”

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: That usually just causes backwards progress.

Liz Wolfe: Uh, yeah. Big, big paradigm shifts are made up of very small component parts. I completely agree with you on that. What have you found; you were on Fox and Friends, I always just think of the Saturday Night Live skits where Cheri Oteri and Will Ferrell are on the morning show, you know what I’m talking about?

Jonathan Bailor: I do.

Liz Wolfe: Ok, I might have to put a little clip up there, but, I mean, like it’s so… to get on these shows and into these big media outlets, what are they most interested in, when you bring this information to them, what else do you throw in there that they end up being interested in, as well?

8. Their brains exploded [24:14]

Jonathan Bailor: The shift from calorie quantity to food quality while for us in the paleo and broader internet nutrition community is really old news, it’s really not old news to the mainstream.

Liz Wolfe: Mmm.

Jonathan Bailor: Like, saying that eating 1200 calories of Twinkies isn’t a good idea, people are like Really?

Liz Wolfe: Well, that’s true. That sounds ridiculous, quite honestly, but then the second that K State professor lost weight eating only Twinkies, or something like that, that makes the news and people love to hold that up as like a “see?!” You know, something like that. So it’s true. People really do believe that 1200 calories of Twinkies is the same thing of 1200 calories of, say, grass-fed beef.

Jonathan Bailor: Exactly! And it’s not an easy message, because people say, well I go to my grocery store, and you say, ok eat just things found directly in nature, I got it, but that’s hard.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: 90% of my grocery store aren’t things found directly in nature and there are all these health claims on the labels.

Liz Wolfe: Yes.

Jonathan Bailor: And aren’t’ whole grains good for me? And I mean, really, when we understand, it’s a bit like the 99%/1% argument that we had in the last political election, where it’s very easy for the 1% who get it to completely, they have what’s called the curse of knowledge, where once you know these things, you can’t imagine not knowing them, and you can’t think like someone who doesn’t know them yet. 99% of the population doesn’t get the fundamental difference of not every calorie… a calories isn’t a calorie! And calories from whole food sources are different from calories from processed manufactured products. The day we can get that accepted, like that, nothing happens until we fix that disconnect. Because if people believe that calories are the primary focus, then the myth of moderation, the “oh, it’s just 100 calories, eat it. Oh, coca-cola is only 140 calories, eat it. Oh, an avocado is 300 calories, you can’t eat it. Oh, beef has fat in it, you can’t eat it, because fat has calories!” Like that is the fundamental disconnection, which once we cross that chasm and once we can get our society to cross that chasm, then it’s like Boom! Food is the focus, now we can tell you the optimal sources of food. But first, we have to get you off calories.

Liz Wolfe: So what we’re really talking about when we’re talking about food, rather than thinking about it in terms of calories, we need to be thinking about how our hormones balance, and how food impacts that. What comes with your calories. Nutrition. What nutrition is actually coming with what you’re putting in your mouth and how your body actually uses nutrition to generate energy, which in the end actually is that energy currency that we’re really depending upon day in and day out.

Jonathan Bailor: Exactly. And Liz, it’s hard to, because I like going on Fox and Friends, seeing the reaction I get from statements which I think are seemingly obvious.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: And you and listeners will think are seemingly obvious. People are like, oh my god! I never thought about that. For example, most recent one. I was talking to someone, and they were like, oh well, you know, whatever whatever. I said, think about cigarettes. Cigarettes don’t have any calories in them. Does that mean they are good for you in moderation?

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: And they were just like, oh my god, I never thought about that! That’s true! And I said, so what is the difference? So pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceuticals don’t have calories in them. But we regulate them, we understand that they have an impact on our body. Their impact on our body is completely separate from calories, so couldn’t it be true that anything you put in your body has a dramatic impact on your body independent of the caloric content. And their brain exploded. They were like, oh my god, I never thought about that. I was like, it’s so obvious, but it’s not the message that the mainstream communicates.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} It’s so true. Well, thank you for getting out there and spreading the good word for everybody and bringing this paradigm shift to the forefront of so many different communities. It’s really spectacular.

Jonathan Bailor: Well, thank you so much Liz. And, for your listeners, a lot of the “what to do” here is going to be old hat, because they are going to be experts in it. The book, The Calorie Myth, one of the things I dig about it and had a cool conversation with Mark Sisson about this, was it explains why a paleo lifestyle works. Like, it will describe the neurobiological ramifications of eating this way, why it heals your brain, how it heals your hormones, how it heals your gut, and knowing why the lifestyle you and Diane and so many others advocate, knowing why it works and seeing thousands of studies supporting that it works can be really, really empowering.

Liz Wolfe: I feel like this is the book that you are going to want to pass along, once you’ve read it, you’ll want to pass it along to your family and friends who are in that place where they need someone who has spoken to the PhDs, the scientists who have synthesized and gone through all of this different science and taken it to ground level. It’s certainly something that I appreciate. People that are out there really looking at the literature and breaking it down to pull all of these things together for me into something readable and something relatable and something that really turns that light bulb on, so I really do thank you for your work.

Jonathan Bailor: Well, I appreciate that, Liz, and I appreciate the description you gave of the work. I agree, I think it can be a useful asset. I know a lot of your listeners have probably had the following experience, which I have had too, which is if you call the way you live something, if you call it something, if you call it paleo, or if you call it primal, sometimes people will immediately dismiss you. Sometimes. Right? They will just say, oh, I don’t want to go on the caveman diet.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: Whereas if you don’t call it that {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: Then, and you just say, hey, here’s this, and actually Liz, we can learn something from the vegan community here, right. If you notice, they don’t call it veganism anymore.

Liz Wolfe: Right.

Jonathan Bailor: They call it a plant-based lifestyle.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Jonathan Bailor: And in fact, I argue that what paleo is and what I advocate in my book and what research is, is plant-based. You eat a heck of a lot of plants.

Liz Wolfe: And you eat a heck a lot of animals that ate plants.

Jonathan Bailor: Exactly!

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Jonathan Bailor: Exactly. So, what if you have anyone who you know that eating this lifestyle can benefit from but they just got that weird, oh if you call it paleo I’m going to ignore you, this is a way to show them the science first, and then they will reach the conclusion of, oh, ok I guess you’re not crazy and I guess it does work.

Liz Wolfe: Definitely. It’s a fantastic point of entry. I definitely encourage everybody to check this book out. And my book too, I mean, why not? While you're on Amazon, why don’t you just pick up both of our books?

Jonathan Bailor: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Why not? Alright, well thank you so much for coming on the show, Jonathan. We’ll let you go. Can you tell folks quickly where to find you?

Jonathan Bailor: Please hop over to caloriemythbook.com. Again, that’s caloriemythbook.com. And of course, that book, The Calorie Myth, is available everywhere books are sold, and I’d so appreciate it if you’d grab a copy.

Liz Wolfe: Most definitely, and you can see all of the videos from Fox and Friends and the different outlets that Jonathan has taken his message to on the website, I spent some time there this morning, and it is a fun ride!

Jonathan Bailor: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: Alright folks, thanks for listening to episode 122. You can find Diane at http://blog.balancedbites.com/. Definitely check out Jonathan’s work. You can find me, Liz, at http://cavegirleats.com/. Have a great day. We will be back next week.

Diane & Liz

Comments 4

  1. This episode was amazing. I’m in the middle of a Whole30 right now and it totally reaffirmed my commitment to the lifestyle. Thank you, Liz and Jonathan, for such a great perspective on how the human body works, and why our thought process around dieting truly needs to shift.

  2. This episode was amazing. I’m in the middle of a Whole30 right now and it totally reaffirmed my commitment to the lifestyle. Thank you, Liz and Jonathan, for such a great perspective on how the human body works, and why our thought process around dieting truly needs to shift.

  3. I find titles like these “The Calorie Myth” absolutely disingenuous. Maybe if you are one of those lucky thin ones. But if your ancestors gifted you a thrifty gene or a genetic makeup that is super efficient at wringing nutrition from every bite then you still need to watch those bites.

    I walk the talk: I just mailed my $600 deposit for half a grass fed cow, my ninth year running. I own two freezers and a 12-quart restaurant stockpot to make bone broth. I raise my own free-range chickens, grow alot of dark green leafies and make my own kraut, kimchi, and water kefir. Until three years ago I only bought raw dairy and sourdough breads when I switched from Nourishing Traditions eating to Paleo.

    But I let myself live it up over the holidays ala Paleo:
    Bacon wrapped chorizo stuffed dates
    Dark chocolate kumquat pistachio bark
    Almond coconut pumpkin cookies
    Hamburgers slathered with guacamole
    Duck fat roasted cauliflower
    Liver pate with grass fed butter on daikon
    Olive tapenade smeared on wild salmon
    mofongo with bacon and bacon fat (yum)

    I thought I was doing so moderately…. let me tell you I definitely could have eaten more bacon wrapped dates. Nutrient dense food is delicious!

    I’ve gained 12 pounds since Thanksgiving. That is no grain, no bread, no pasta,
    almost no dairy or alcohol, no sugar except for pale type, no pasta. Even healthy starches in amounts over 100 grams a day combined with all that healthy fat turns into jiggly muffin top on me.

    I’m a 52 year old woman and I’ve learned what works for me over the years: and it is
    thermodynamics. I would never starve myself, and I can’t given how active I am. But I want to get back to my size ten jeans zipping up comfortably. So, no more butter, duck or bacon fat. Hello: portion control on avocados and nuts. Fewer healthy carbs (bye bye roasted cassava fries!) You were fun while it lasted, but time to get back to reality. But I am not giving up my daily square of 85% cacao chocolate and weekly pint of guiness. Some things are sacred.

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