Today I have a bit of a different episode for you. I’m going to be asking you a lot of questions about your diet, your weight, your current health, your running performance, and a few other …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 121 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, the weight loss coach for runners and today, is it time to change your diet? So today I have a bit of a different episode for you. I’m going to be asking you some questions about your diet, your weight, your current health, your running performance, and a few other things.
The reason for this is that I want you to consider how your current diet, whatever you’re doing today, might be affecting you in a bunch of different areas of your life. Most people don’t pay attention to their diet unless they find themselves suddenly overweight, or their doctor wants to put them on some kind of medication.
And of course, I’m joking because it’s never suddenly, “I’m overweight!” It’s a slow, gradual process, right? We just don’t notice it until it’s like I can’t put my pants on anymore. The point is, this episode is all about you and your diet. So I want you to be thinking about your diet and your current state of health and fitness as I talk about diet here today.
And by the end of this episode, I want you to have a clear understanding of the effects of food, the effects of your diet on your health, and your sports performance. And I want to help you decide whether or not it’s time to finally change your diet. And listen, I know what it’s like to try to change your diet.
I know how hard it can be. I’ve done this many, many times in the past, it was never easy. For me, it was always some sort of a struggle. And the only time it really wasn’t the only time it finally worked permanently, was when I reached out and I got some help.
I got a coach to help me figure out what I should do. What was going to work for me, not based on some fad diet. But putting together a custom plan that I felt good about that I sort of created myself and man it finally worked.
I lost 40 pounds after making this change, running became easier. I’ve never felt so good. I’ve never had so much energy. And now this is what I do. I help runners like you lose the weight that you’ve been struggling with. For years, maybe I help runners to get leaner and stronger and to become running bad asses.
So if you’re a runner, and you’d like to get that weight problem solved for good, I want to invite you to apply for coaching with me. You’ll fill out a short application, schedule a Zoom call with me, we’ll jump on a call, we’ll talk about your goals. And we’ll see how coaching can help you get there.
I would love to help you lose weight, and do it without all the stupid struggling and frustration. I know what that’s like, there’s a better way. If you’re ready for some realistic lifestyle changes, mindset shifts and sustainable results, then you’re ready for coaching, just go to runningleancoaching.com/apply to get started.
Alright, so today, I want to talk about diet and whether or not it’s time for you to make a change to your diet. So specifically, we’re going to be talking about whether or not your current diet is working for you. And listen, people get pretty emotional when talking about diet, especially when anyone suggests that maybe you should change your diet, I’m not going to make that decision for you.
I want you to just think about this for yourself and make that decision for yourself. Because your diet is either, it’s either working for you or it’s not. And sometimes we don’t understand the effects that our diet is actually having on our health, on our athletic performance on our general mood, you know, and we naturally put up a lot of resistance when anyone suggest that we change our diet, or that maybe somebody suggests that diet could be the cause of a lot of the health issues that you’re experiencing.
And I totally get this. And there’s a lot of information out there. A lot of people that are pushing an agenda on you and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to push an agenda on you. I want to help you to make a good decision and this is what I do with my coaching.
This is why the way that I do coaching is a little bit different from other coaches, I don’t just tell you what to do, we come up with a solution together, something that you feel good about. Because only you know what kinds of foods you like and don’t like. Only you know what’s going to be sustainable for you.
And when we can put together a plan that you feel good about, that you are in alignment with, this is the game changer here. Okay, and, and this was what was the game changer for me too, when I finally decided to change my diet for good and it started to work and I started to lose the weight and I became fat-adapted, and I understood how certain foods were affecting me.
And I put that together myself, I kind of put that plan together myself, obviously with a lot of guidance with a lot of help from experts and things like that. But I just want you to understand that I just want you to think about whether or not your current diet is working for you. Okay.
Now, before I dive into this, I want to also explain how I’m using the word diet today because I tend to not use this word a lot. Just because people freak out a little bit when they hear diet. I’m not saying diet in the sense of like, you need to go on a diet, or you need to really limit how much food you’re eating.
You know, I mean diet in the sense of a nutrition regimen, a food plan died in the sense of the food that you habitually eat, not like vegetarian or carnivore or vegan or keto or South Beach diet or anything like that. I just mean like, the foods that you eat, because we’re all different. You know, we all eat differently, I can’t really put what I eat, I really can’t put it into a category, like the ones I just mentioned, it’s just different. It’s just what feels good for me and what works for me, which is different from what’s going to work for you.
But people hear the word diet, and they immediately start thinking about cutting calories, deprivation, struggle, suffering, falling off the wagon, it brings up all these negative connotations, right? So today, I just want to use the word diet freely to mean the foods that you eat on a regular basis, right? It’s not good, it’s not bad. I don’t want to be polarizing here. And I’m not talking about the latest fad diet or anything like that, just the foods you typically eat. That’s the way I’m using diet here today. Cool.
And then lastly, I want to help you to understand how profoundly your diet is affecting you, and your running, and your overall health and your weight and whether or not you can lose the weight. And I want to help you decide if changing your diet is right for you or not.
So you might be doing fine. You might be listening to this and like you’re super healthy, you’re at your natural weight, you feel amazing, you have tons of energy, all this stuff, there’s probably not a real big need to change anything.
But I’m guessing that there are a lot of people listening to this right now. And there’s some areas in your life or some areas of your health and fitness that you’d like to improve. And your diet is one of the most powerful drivers of your health, good health or bad health, and it depends on the diet.
So by the end of this episode, I want you to have a clear understanding of how your diet is affecting things like your energy levels, your mood, your sleep quality, running performance, body composition, and really your overall health and happiness.
And then I want you to have what it takes to be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not it’s time for you to change your diet. Cool. Okay, so let’s look at a few of these indicators here.
So again, think about your current state of health and your current diet. When I go through some of these questions like first and foremost, how is your weight? Think about your weight. This is always the number one thing people look at when they consider changing their diet. Am I overweight? Do I need to lose weight?
So one of the ways that people determine whether or not they need to lose weight is they look at something like BMI, body mass index. And they look at this as the one indicator of whether or not they’re overweight. And you see these charts in doctors offices and things like that.
The problem with BMI, I don’t like the BMI to be honest with you because it’s only taking two data points. It’s taking your height and your weight and then making an assessment based on that. BMI is not a very accurate indicator of your state of health and fitness.
And it’s definitely not accurate if you’re pretty fit. So BMI can be very off; it can be very inaccurate, especially if you’re muscular. So for example, my son and I are the same height. We’re both 5’11. But he probably weighs 25-30 pounds more than me. And so if you look at the BMI chart, he’s borderline obese, he’s over, he’s considered overweight on the BMI chart, he’d be borderline obese.
But I have to tell you, he’s nothing but huge. He’s a bodybuilder, you know, he’s muscular. He’s put on a lot of weight in the form of muscle. But the BMI which is telling that he’s overweight, okay. So that’s a good example of where BMI can be wrong.
Right now, I’m in a place where I’m trying to gain weight. So I’m starting to dip into that overweight range of BMI. And I’m not overweight, okay, I’m gaining muscle, I’m doing some pretty intense gym workouts, I’m really focusing on building muscle this year.
So anyway, BMI, not a super good indicator of whether you are overweight or not. Okay, there is a better way to determine your body composition. When we talk about weight, I’m really talking about fat weight, okay, there’s a certain amount of fat we all need to have on our bodies. And fat is not wrong or bad.
Like, people talk about zero body fat, you would die. If you had zero body fat. The minimum body fat requirements to sustain human life for men, I think is 3%. For women is 12%. Women need more body fat to support their, you know, female reproductive systems and things like that.
So we don’t aim, we’re not aiming for a 0% body fat ever, right? Just as to sustain life, women need 12%. So maybe 20-25% body fat is where you want to be. If you’re a female, or maybe you know, 18-16% as a male. It’s different for everybody, really.
But you can use something like the US Navy body fat calculator, you can find this online. So you take some body girth measurements along with height, weight, and age, to determine your body composition. So this is a better indicator of whether or not you want to lose some of the fat weight. Okay.
And the goal when I tell people that, you know, we talked about weight loss, and I asked people like, how much weight do you want to lose? Where do you want your body composition to be? And sometimes there’s just like, I’ve never thought about that before, I just want the scale to go down.
I’m like, well, let’s say we start gaining muscle, you’re losing some of the fat weight, but you’re gaining muscle, the scale is not going to go down, it’s going to kind of stay the same. Are you okay with that?
And so then I’ve got to like, get them to take some other measurements, and we’ve got to do some other type of measuring so that we can see that we are improving our body composition, okay. And they have scales that can do something like this, you know, those smart scales that use an electrical impedance, so they send a little bit of electric current up through your body and it you know, has to do with it tries to determine your muscle weight versus fat weight.
And so it’s trying to make a determination based on how fast the electrical current goes through your body of whether or not your competition is mostly fat, or muscle or whatever. They did a study about five years ago, and consumer reports on these different scales.
And they compare them to a bod pod, so bod pod is an air displacement measuring device, which is very accurate. So you have to go somewhere and you have to sit in this thing that looks like an egg. And they shut you in there. And it’s very, very precise.
Okay, it measures volume, and it can definitely measure, you know, the difference between your fat and muscle weight. But they, they took that as the base baseline measurement, and then they compared these scales, and the scales were off by like, a lot, you know, 20 to 30% difference, this is huge, right?
There’s a huge difference between what is considered to be, you know, accurate. So, I don’t really suggest these scales are very accurate, you know, can they help you to kind of determine if you’re losing some fat weight and gaining some muscle weight, probably, but just know that they’re not very accurate, okay.
Here’s what I want you to do instead, instead of worrying about all these measurements and things like that, some are good, some not so good. Go by how you feel. Use your best judgment. You know your body better than anyone else. Ask yourself some questions.
Do you feel like you’re overweight? Would you feel better if you lost weight? Do you feel pudgy? Or doughy or fluffy or bloated? This was me. I always felt doughy like when I started to feel doughy, like the Pillsbury Doughboy, I was like, I don’t want to feel like that. And if this is how you feel every day, then you can decide for yourself if you want to lose weight or not.
But it’s not up to a number. It’s not up to the government, it’s not up to some standard that you see on a chart somewhere. Just determine this for yourself. How do you feel about yourself? How are your clothes fitting? Are they tight? You know, have you had to go up a size or two?
And a few years back, when I started gaining weight again, my clothes were getting a little snugger. And I refused to buy new clothes. I was like, eventually, I’m just going to lose this weight. But you know, for now, I’m not buying new clothes, there’s no way I was going to go up a size in pants or shirts or anything like that.
So the clothes kept getting tighter. And I kept feeling less confident. I was feeling more self conscious, I would put on the shirts like a button up shirt, and the buttons would be sort of like pulling apart at the around the belly section. This is not a good look. All right. And it was very embarrassing for me.
And so I would like just choose whatever the loosest fitting clothes I had, and not a lot. All the tight fitting clothes, I had just ended up in the back of the drawer or the back of the closet, whatever. And then I remember I had some shorts in the summertime and I had some shorts that used to fit perfectly and I loved the shorts, but I couldn’t even button them anymore.
Could not even get them buttoned. And that was part of my wake up call was like, I’ve got to do something about this because I’m not going to buy new clothes. I’m not going to go up sizes. Alright, just so you know those shorts now I wear them today. And they’re like loose on me. Like I almost could go a size down. I’m not going to do that though.
But listen, I want you to decide for yourself, do you want to feel better about yourself? Do you want to feel better in your body with losing some weight? Maybe some fat weight and gaining some muscle help you to feel better about yourself. Now I always encourage people to work on the way they feel about themselves before they decide to go on a weight loss journey.
Like you have to like, kind of love yourself through this whole process. You can’t just hate yourself and expect to love yourself when you lose the weight. No, it doesn’t work that way. But no one else can decide whether or not you need to lose weight. It’s not up to the scale or to chart or anything else like that.
And it’s not up to other people in your life, either. Because sometimes I work with people who come to me and they’re like, yeah, I really want to lose like 10 pounds. But you know, my husband tells me I look fine, and I don’t need to lose weight, or my mom tells me I shouldn’t lose any more weight.
And I just want to like encourage you to just decide what you want to do. If you want to lose five or 10 pounds, you know, maybe you want to improve your running time. You want to run a faster marathon and losing 10 or 15 pounds is gonna really help you to get there, then absolutely, that should be something that you decide for yourself.
It’s not up to other people, other people just want us to feel good about ourselves, they want us to be happy. And if they see you, you know saying like, oh, I need to lose some weight, they might think you’re unhappy. And it’s not about that. It’s about becoming our best selves. It’s about becoming badass, right?
It’s not about you know, not feeling good about ourselves. Okay, so going back to the question, how’s your weight? How do you feel about yourself? How do you feel about your weight? If you want to lose weight, if you feel like you’re overweight, diet is going to be the number one driver of this for you. We want to change your body composition, then we’re going to change your diet.
Okay. The next indicator of whether or not it might be time to change your diet is your relationship with food. Like if you struggle with food choices, if you struggle with making good choices and staying on track with a pretty healthy diet, then it might be time to give that diet an overhaul. You know if you find it very difficult to avoid junk food, sugar in particular, then it might be time to change your diet.
Listen, sugar jacks you up. It’s more like a drug than a food. There’s no real positive nutritional benefits from eating sugar. There aren’t. There’s a lot of negative consequences though. You know, sugar causes all kinds of metabolic issues like higher blood pressure, inflammation, gain, weight gain, diabetes, fatty liver disease, increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
Too much sugar in the diet is the number one cause of metabolic diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, Alzheimer’s and all these things that I just mentioned. And what it really does is it puts your body into this state of hyperinsulinemia with too much insulin in your blood, or insulin resistance, that means your body just can’t regulate insulin properly, and so it just keeps pumping out more and more and more insulin.
Insulin drives fat into fat cells. Insulin drives your body into fat storage mode. So when insulin is high all the time, you’re just storing fat all the time. You can’t burn the fat. And then in researching this podcast today, I found some other negative side effects of too much sugar in the diet.
And some of these things I did not realize first is dental health. Now of course, we all know that eating too much sugar can cause cavities, right? You know, bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar. And they release these acid byproducts which cause tooth decay, right and cavities. Think we all know that one.
But sugar also cause like an increase of kidney disease risk. Having consistently high blood sugar can damage the delicate blood vessels in your kidneys. And that can lead to an increased risk of kidney disease. Too much sugar can cause gout. Gout is an inflammatory condition characterized by pain in the joints, especially in the toes, like big toes.
I had gout some time ago, years and years ago, because I was eating a real crap diet. And I will tell you it is one of the most painful things you can experience. There was almost nothing I’ve ever experienced that was as painful as gout. I couldn’t even couldn’t even walk, couldn’t put shoes on, couldn’t have the sheets touching my feet. I had to sleep with my feet like not touching the sheets. Not good.
But sugar raises the uric acid levels in the blood, which helps make gout worse, it makes it really bad. And then another thing that I did not know is that high sugar in the diet can lead to cognitive decline, impaired memory and increased risk of dementia. Right. So why are we eating sugar?
Listen in moderation. Yes, very, very limited amounts, you know, whatever. Okay, but listen, sugar is not healthy, this is not good for you. There’s only negative consequences to eating sugar, it’s more like a drug than it is a food. It causes harm at certain levels like a drug does, it’s very difficult to quit eating sugar.
And if you struggle with giving up sugar, this is an indicator that something may have to change in your diet. Okay, if you find yourself craving sugar all the time, or just thinking about giving it up kind of sends you into like a panic mode, then it might be time to get off the sugar and change your relationship with food or change your food choices and change your diet. Okay.
Another indicator that it might be time to change your diet is your eating habits in general, like are you using food as an emotional management tool, because if you are, we got to change something here. Okay. This is about changing your thoughts and feelings, but it’s also about changing what you’re eating.
Because if you’re binging on junk food, if you’re using this hyper palatable food, you know, most processed foods most junk food is considered what they call hyper palatable, it’s been engineered to be incredibly delicious, and give you like a dopamine hit and, and make you feel good and releases all these chemicals that make you feel amazing. Again, like a drug, right?
And so if you’re using food as an emotional management tool, maybe it’s time to change your diet. Right? If you’re eating because you’re stressed, you’re bored, you’re anxious, you’re frustrated, you’re overwhelmed, angry, lonely, whatever. These are reasons to consider making a change to your diet.
Okay, you have to be able to handle your emotions and your emotional experiences in this life. Like a mature, evolved adult human being not like a toddler. The toddler reaction to our emotions is when we just want them to go away right away. I don’t want to feel this way. Give me some food to make me feel better. Right?
That’s what we do. And I’m kind of like saying it funnily. But listen, funnily is a word. I don’t even know if that’s a word. I’m saying it in a funny way. But we got to deal with our emotions like mature evolved adults, we have to actually be able to just sit with our emotions and experience these emotions without having to eat over them when we’re eating just to feel better.
This is a problem. These are not good eating habits, okay? And listen, ending emotional eating, this is not an easy thing to do. And I get it. This is a complicated topic. And we actually spent a whole month last month on this topic in the coaching project.
And people got a lot out of it, to be honest with you, we really dug deep into emotional eating and how to stop doing it and how to deal with our emotions instead, it was pretty powerful stuff. But if you regularly find yourself eating, not because you’re hungry, but because like you just want to feel better, maybe it’s time to change your diet, okay?
Another indicator that it might be time to change your diet, are you hungry all the time, because you shouldn’t be. If you’re hungry all the time, there’s something wrong. Humans evolved over, you know, millennia, I would say, lots of millennia, hundreds of thousands of years, if not millions of years, we’ve evolved to eat a couple of times a day, at most, and then sometimes we would go for days without food altogether.
So think about our human ancestors, we were amazing, persistent hunters. That’s why we’re such good runners, because we would, you know, call an animal from the herd, and then run it down. And we could just keep up with this animal, they would, they would die of exhaustion, but we can sweat really well.
We maintain our body temperature. And we’re really good at running we have big butts, which help us to balance when we’re running. And, you know, we are really good at long distance running. Right? That’s why I love endurance events, especially ultra running, where you’re running through the woods for extended periods of time, because this most typically, most directly mimics how we’ve evolved as humans, it’s like built into our DNA, this persistent hunting and this running.
But we would run down animals, this would take days sometimes. And we wouldn’t have food during that time. And during that time, if not having food was a problem, we would you know, crash and burn and die along with the animals. Right. But no, that’s not what we did, we could maintain.
Our brains actually got more focused, we became more cognitively aware of what was going on in our surroundings. And we had plenty of energy to just keep going. And if we had to eat every couple of hours, if this is the way we’ve evolved as humans, this wouldn’t have worked at all right?
This is just not normal, our digestive systems, our pancreas and things like that are designed to work sporadically to work intermittently, not all the time. So if you can’t go for a couple of hours without food, this means that your body is not working the way it’s supposed to. Okay, it means your hunger signals are messed up, your hormones are messed up.
And what causes that is the wrong kind of diet. If you’re eating the kind of diet where you know, you’re hungry all the time, this is a problem. This is not right, you need to change your diet. Speaking of energy, how are your energy levels, because if you’re crashing and burning every afternoon, then this is a problem. This means your diet needs to be changed, right?
You want to have sustainable energy, that’s pretty consistent all day long. We don’t want to be having these spikes of energy, oh my gosh, I feel amazing. And then crashes where you just feel like falling asleep at your desk at three o’clock in the afternoon, right? The wrong kind of diet will cause these spikes in your blood sugar.
And when we have these massive spikes in our blood sugar, when we come down from that, we actually kind of dropped below baseline. So we want to stay near that baseline as closely as possible. But when you spike really high, you crash really low. And that’s where people say, oh, my blood sugar is low, I need to eat some sugar, whatever, you know, I need an energy drink in the afternoon.
So this is a problem. Again, this is not normal. We should have pretty pretty steady energy all day long, right? But a diet high in sugar, high in refined carbohydrates, high in highly processed foods is typically the cause of these energy spikes and crashes. All right. And as a runner, you don’t want this. You want steady energy being delivered to your brain into your muscles like all day, especially for running especially for your athletic performance.
Speaking of which, how is your running? How is your endurance? Do you find yourself hitting the wall during long runs? Are you just getting gassed? Are you running out of energy at some point? Do you have to like wash down a bunch of gels and goos and stuff just to like, get out there and do a 10 mile run or something?
So when we talk about, you know, running out of energy, this is like hitting the wall or bonking when you’re running, right? And if this is you, if you find yourself consistently just running out of energy, then we need to look at your diet, it could be, it could be a big problem, okay?
So, running out of energy hitting the wall is a pretty common thing, especially with the marathon runners, right. And for me, I used to hit the wall between mile like 18 and 20, pretty consistently. And this is where most runners that I talked to tell me that they typically would hit the wall.
This is when you run out of glycogen in your muscles, and you have no alternative energy source. So you’re not fat-adapted, you’re not burning fat efficiently. And you’re you have no more fuel, and you just crash and burn, boom, you’re done. You just have to stop and walk. And then it’s kind of a slog fest, those last five, six miles on a marathon, right?
So you know, for me, one of the big reasons I got into sports nutrition, and especially sports nutrition with this, you know, kind of leaning towards the fat-adaptation side of things is that I wanted to figure out how to become a fat adapted runner, I wanted to figure out how to stop the bonking, how to stop hitting the wall at mile 18 or 20, I wanted to have unlimited, you know, fuel for running.
And when you become a fat-adapted runner, you virtually become bulletproof. You have this endless supply of fuel onboard in the way of your own stored body fat. And just to prove this, I’ve heard other people that have done endurance events without any calories at all. And I wanted to see, you know, can I even do this? Is this even feasible? You know, is this possible?
And then last year, once I got fat-adapted, I ran two marathons. And then the year before I did a 50k, and I did all these events on zero calories, I didn’t eat breakfast beforehand, I didn’t take in any calories during the event. And I had plenty of energy to complete these distances.
So you can absolutely do it once you’re fat adapted, you can absolutely do these long distance events without having a bunch of fuel or any fuel really, except for the fuel that you’re producing, using your own body fat. Now, is this optimal for everybody? Maybe not, I just wanted you to understand that when you become fat-adapted, you no longer need massive amounts of fuel, you can get away with not very much, right?
I actually teach my clients how to use fuel strategically during races to enhance running performance, you can use some types of fuel to keep the fat burning going, but also take advantage of you know, the carbohydrate sources or, you know, other sources of fuel to give your muscles more glycogen, so that you can like, get a little bit faster, maybe have that top gear, okay.
Speaking of speed, how is your running speed? This could be an indication that you need to switch up your diet, you know, if you find yourself just stuck at the same speed, and you just can’t make any improvements, your diet is going to help with this. Okay, your diet could be hindering your speed and your performance.
And of course, you know, when it comes to running faster, you’ve got to work on strength training, you’ve got to build stronger muscles. You want to become a more powerful runner. And you also have to do speed work, right? These are things you need to do. But diet plays a huge part in this too. Right? The wrong diet can kill your speed.
If you’re eating a bunch of junk food, processed food, a bunch of weird ingredients, you’re not giving your body, you’re not giving your muscles the nutrition that it actually needs to perform at its best. And you’re just doing yourself a disservice you’re not going to get faster, it’s going to be very difficult to get faster. Put it that way.
So look at your running speed and if you’re trying to, you know PR a marathon PR a 5k or 10k Let’s look at the diet it could be having a negative impact on your running speed. Okay. And then how are you recovering from running? Most runners who eat the Standard American Diet who eat a lot of sugar, a lot of processed foods, a lot of refined carbohydrates and refined grains experience chronic inflammation.
This means that recovering from hard workouts takes a lot longer, which will actually decrease your running performance overall. And when we get fat adapted when we change the diet, the runners that I work with telling me that they have, they are recovering faster than ever, they’ve never experienced this kind of like, they’ll go and run a 20 miler, and the next day, they feel amazing.
They no longer feel all the inflammation and the bloating. And even their doctors report the lower levels of the inflammatory marker, I can’t remember what it’s called off the top of my head here. But when you get your blood work done, there’s that inflammatory marker.
And they can see that that’s greatly lowered because of diet. So diet can have a huge impact on your recovery. And when you recover faster, and your body’s not in a state of chronic inflammation, you can become a stronger runner, you can improve your running performance, you can actually get faster too.
A couple more things. What about sleeping, how is your sleep? Sleep is often overlooked. But this is an important part of your training, it should be. It is crucial to get a good night’s sleep, your body has to use that time to, to rebuild to recover, and so that you can go out there and get after it the next day. And if you’re not getting the right amount of sleep, if your sleep is horrible, and you wake up not feeling good, feeling tired of feeling exhausted when you wake up in the morning, this is a problem, this is going to put your body in this state of chronic stress.
Chronic stress will increase your cortisol levels, which is the stress hormone, your body will produce more glucose in response to that stress hormone, which increases insulin levels, which keeps your body in that fat storage mode. Chronic stress leads to chronically storing body fat, and it makes it very difficult to improve your body composition.
If you’re super stressed out, we want to practice like acute stress in our body. So we want to run hard. Sometimes we want to lift weights hard, sometimes that’s acute stress, it’s short, short term, your body can adapt to that kind of stress.
There’s an adaptive response that happens when we experience that kind of stress, chronic stress being stressed all the time, which what is what happens when you don’t get a good night’s sleep every night, you can be just chronically stressed out, this is going to just keep it keep you from losing weight, it’s going to keep you from running at your best, it’s going to just make it very hard for you to recover.
So you gotta get a good night’s sleep. diet plays a huge role in this diet plays a huge role in your sleep. If you’re not, if you’re not eating the right diet, if you’re eating a bunch of junk food and eating a bunch of sugar, I’m going to tell you right now your sleep is going to be messed up.
People that I work with report that they’re sleeping has never been better, once they get off of that sugar kind of roller coaster. And then the last thing I want you to consider is your ability to focus and concentrate. One of the best things about being fat adapted for me, is the clear headedness that I experience, I can think more clearly, I concentrate more easily. And I can stay focused all day long.
The wrong diet doesn’t give your brain the kinds of fuel that it needs to function properly, your brain actually thrives on fat as a fuel source. So if your diet isn’t promoting fat burning, then you’re probably experiencing, you know, brain fog. And it’s hard to know that you’re experiencing brain fog when you’re in it. It just seems like this is the way things are.
But I’m telling you right now, when you get off of that sugar roller coaster, when you change your diet, you start eating real food, you start burning fat more efficiently. All of a sudden, it seems like the world comes into clearer focus, and you can concentrate and you can think more clearly.
And it’s like the fog has been lifted. It’s amazing. This is like one of my favorite parts about eating this way is that I just feel like my brain works the way it’s supposed to. Right. So all these things we just talked about are all indicators that your diet is either working for you or it’s not, you know, and if you’re finding yourself deciding that, yeah, you know, it’s time for me to change my diet. I want to encourage you to do something about it. Don’t just think about it. Don’t just listen to this and go okay, good stuff.
Let’s move on to the next one or whatever. I want you to do something, try something, take a break from sugar. Start eating real food, you know, food that still looks like food, right? Get fat-adapted as a runner. It takes a little bit of time to do that. It’s not for everyone. It’s a little bit of an uncomfortable process to go through. But once you get there It’s amazing.
And I’m going to tell you right now, you’ll never want to go back to doing what you’ve been doing in the past, right? Maybe eliminate processed food, that’s a good place for a lot of people to start. Anything that comes in a package, just stay away from it. Stop it with all the ingredients, right?
Most of these processed foods are not designed for your health, but they’re just they’re designed to taste amazing and to sell you more food really. They keep you hungry. They keep you craving foods so that you’ll buy more of their crappy processed packaged foods, right? The food companies are making a lot of money, but we pay the price with our health right?
And then consider getting some help. If you’re looking for some help with all of this. If you want some help and guidance, consider joining us in the Running Lean coaching project because you’ll learn exactly what to do and how to do it. You learn how to get fat-adapted the right way.
You’ll get support from the group and from me as your coach, you’ll get encouragement to keep going accountability to help you stay on track. And you’ll just get to your goals faster when you have the expert guidance helping you get there. Okay, so if you’re interested, love to have you just go to runningleancoaching.com/apply, and we can get you started on your journey to becoming a badass today. Cool. Okay, that’s all I got for you today. Love you all. Keep on Running Lean, and I’ll talk to you soon.
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