Dr. Mikki Williden is a forward-thinking nutrition coach from Auckland, New Zealand with some excellent insights on how to optimize your diet as an athlete. 

She also has a great podcast, Mikkipedia, and has had much experience counseling athletes. After first appearing on Mikki’s podcast, I invited her on for a chat to discuss all things relating to nutrition, health, and fitness. In this episode, you’ll learn just why it is so hard to lose excess body fat, the way stressful training patterns compromise health and hormone function, how to look deeper into blood test results, and why it is so important to be mindful of your protein intake. 

Mikki shares why one major issue a lot of endurance athletes have to deal with is having frequent gastrointestinal problems, and we touch on the topic of chronic cardio and the importance of not stressing your body too much. We then talk about the science literature around weight loss and why it can be so hard for people to lose excess body fat, and Mikki clues us in on the signs your body will give you to communicate that your ferritin level is high.  

TIMESTAMPS:

Overly stressful athletic training patterns can really compromise your overall health, your hormone function, and lead to inability to reduce excess body fat. [02:31]

When studying for her nutritionist degrees, Mikki realized that the guidelines she was being taught didn’t apply to a real person. [06:19]

The up-to-date information around sports nutrition has not been thoroughly adopted. We still see unfit folks at the starting line.  [09:31]

Training causes damage when you’re inducing oxidative stress and inflammation. [14:34]

What about the athletes’ longevity? Some damage can be done when the training is overdone. [15:40]

It does not have to be steady state cardio to build a wonderful, fantastic cardiovascular system. [23:48]

You have to be courageous to cut back on your training when you’re feeling good. [27:09]

Calories in and calories out does not work. [28:25]

The first step being able to lose body fat is just making sure you’ve got those raw materials available that you need to help with those metabolic processes in the body. [31:27]

Many endurance athletes fall short on getting enough protein because they are focusing on carbs. What are some common deficiency patterns?  [33:06]

You get your blood test and see that your thyroid reading is off. And you are feeling sluggish, what can we do? [38:47]

How does iron come into play?  High ferritin score can lead to symptoms. [41:34]

Some of these health problems might be considered normal when they are really not normal. [45:57]

What are some dietary strategies to optimize male and female hormone function? [51:33]

For years there have been warnings about consuming too much protein. That is being toned down recently. [56:44]

High protein diets do work well for those trying to lose excess body fat because they are highly satiating. [01:04:13]

What is the connection with diet and the sex hormones? [01:06:31]

LINKS:

QUOTES:

  • “Mood swings, increased fatigue, joint pain, depression, chest pain, hair loss, dizziness, impaired sexual function, reduced testosterone, abdominal pain, and increased cholesterol markers, are all associated with high ferritin, as well as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological conditions.”
  • “Carbohydrates are not a clean burning fuel source, so they create a lot of metabolic kind of waste products that increase oxidative stress and damage in the body, so it takes a lot longer to recover from your training sessions.”

LISTEN:

 

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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (1m 47s):

Hey listeners, it’s my pleasure to introduce and connect you across the planet to Dr. Mikki Williden from the great nation of New Zealand. She is a certified nutritionist and personal coach down there. She has an awesome podcast called Mikkipedia. Go look for that and listen to her great content, particularly relating to diet nutrition, athletic performance. So she’s very competent at counseling athletes about optimizing their diet. We had a great interview when I appeared on her show and engaging back and forth on email. She had so many interesting things and insights. So I said, Hey, let’s get on. And let’s talk about some matters of great importance to health and fitness enthusiasts.

 

Brad (2m 31s):

So we get into it. First of all, talking about that sore subject of overly stressful athletic training patterns and how that can really compromise your overall health, your hormone function, and lead to inability to reduce excess body fat. So we hit that body fat subject pretty hard and get into some of the, the true secrets to dropping excess body fat. Knowing now with great certainty and scientific support that it’s not about calories in calories out, and then we get a little technical on you, but it’s really important to pick up some of these basic insights. When you are looking at your blood results, we talk about some of the thyroid numbers, some of the iron numbers that might come out as quote, unquote normal, they might pass by your family physician without extra comment.

 

Brad (3m 20s):

But if you’re an athlete, you want to dig a little deeper. And then we zero in on the extremely important topic of protein intake. And this has been really fascinating to me. I’m still reeling from Robb Wolf’s awesome sound bite, where he said, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein and reflecting on how, especially people that are immersed in a low carbohydrate, ketogenic eating patterns, and particularly people who are drifting over to the plant-based type of eating. It’s pretty easy to under consume protein, maybe not at the clinical level where you’re becoming a emaciated and exhausted and have bags under your eyes, but just not quite optimizing your protein intake and thereby experiencing some little rough around the edges, delayed recovery and other negative aspects.

 

Brad  (4m 13s):

So here’s a nice show to get you more aware of blood results, dietary strategies for peak performance, how to lose excess body fat successfully from Mikki Williden all the way from New Zealand. Thanks for joining us.

 

Mikki (4m 30s):

Oh, pleasure to be here, Brad.. So good to see you. 

 

Brad (4m 33s):

Yes. I’m glad to connect again. We did another interview for your show. Maybe you should plug it right now and then continue blabbing about what you’re into there with your wonderful offering and the deep education you’ve had and how we can help people with some dietary concerns as especially as we age

 

Mikki (4m 52s):

Awesome. Brad. So yeah, podcast, Mikkipedia find it on all your favorite platforms and speak to, you know, experts in their fields of health, fitness, nutrition. And, of course, that’s how you and I connected bread because one of the people I was immediately interested to talk to was you given your wealth of experience and knowledge and that whole kind of arena. And I’m just really fortunate to have, you know, connected with a bunch of people who are like-minded, you know, into health and to wellness and into optimizing, I suppose, their lifestyle for the, for health span. And so, yeah, that’s the podcast, I’m a registered nutritionist and senior lecturer here in Auckland, New Zealand, and also co-host over on for the radio for any triathletes who, you know, enjoy kind of spending time on the wind trainer, listening to podcasts. It’s another one.

 

Brad (5m 53s):

I don’t think you can get a cooler name than Mikkipedia. That is up there at the top of the rankings. So with your extensive nutritional training, I’m assuming like in New Zealand, similar to America, that some of that is mainstream programming that might fly wildly in the face of what you’ve come to learn on your own as you explore the progressive health and the ancestral health scene.

 

Mikki    (6m 19s):

Absolutely Brad. It was, you know, it’s a really interesting transition when you go to university. So I did my, my studies at Otago University, which is one of the main universities here in New Zealand. So I did a BS in human nutrition. In addition to fiscal education, went on to do my masters and then subsequently a PhD down the line. But along the way, as a, as a sports nutritionist, predominantly I found it really interesting that we would have these guidelines and then you would try to apply them to the real kind of person. And they just wouldn’t work. And it was almost like the secret in and animates practitioners that, you know, whilst we they’re teaching the guidelines kind of behind our hands and we’re kind of like going, we don’t actually ever used them, but we’re in a position really to kind of talk to our students about what actually worked.

 

Mikki    (7m 12s):

So, and it wasn’t really until 2009. So relatively, this is like 11 years ago, but still seems relatively recently given the number of years I’d spent practicing before. And we, we, when I was a lecturer at  Otago University here in Auckland, we started thinking about how, you know, athletes that you’d, you’d go to a race and you’d see people line up on the start line and everyone had done a very similar sort of training plan, like the, you know, yes, all shapes and sizes, but you certainly wouldn’t look at a lot of them. And I don’t mean to, I don’t know how this will sound, but I’ll just say it, it just, you couldn’t see the hard work in their physique, you know, because of course when it comes to sports nutrition, it was, you know, at least eight grams of carbohydrate per kilogram body weight, whenever you’d go out on a two-hour run, you’d take four gels with you because the back of the pack told you to have one every half hour.

 

Mikki (8m 13s):

And we really started to kind of consider well at, at a research kind of level. Well, you know, the limiting factor in that sports performance appears to be carbohydrate, but what about the hundreds of thousands of calories that people have stored on their body? So the kind of, I suppose that the idea that the guidelines didn’t necessarily work combined with us, there’s other way of thinking about it, purely from a physiology perspective, kind of started the ball rolling with regards to thinking about nutrition and much the way that you do. But it was, you have to unlearn so much. And I kind of feel that as a practitioner in the space, it is almost you go along for so many years with blinkers on because whilst the other information is out there, like you were obviously well into the field writing about ancestral health and primal health Mar    k Sisson and Robb Wolf, Jamie Scott, all of these people were talking about nutrition in a different way, but because I hadn’t learned at university, I just thought it was, you know, not at all relevant.

So it was a real kind of eye-opening moment when the penny dropped. And that’s literally, I suppose, what happened then you had to unlearn everything basically.

 

Brad (9m 31s):

Yeah. I think the favorite story along these lines is the journey of Dr. Timothy Noakes, who was the world’s leading exercise physiologist and nutritional expert and writing textbooks and studying the carbohydrate paradigm where the muscles reload with glycogen after their hard work. And so you have to go looking for these foods and consume them immediately after exercise. And we all took that as gospel. And I think those guidelines are indeed relevant if you are a carbohydrate dependent eater. And so everything was occurring in a bubble. I mean the great scientific research and the smartest minds and the Gatorade sports science Institute here in America with billions of dollars of funding, they’re all doing good, wonderful work, but it seemed like it was stuck inside this bubble where we were all stuffing our faces with carbohydrates throughout our lives.

 

Brad (10m 25s):

And then, so if we want to perform athletically, of course, we’re going to have to calibrate for that and do what the packet says and consume, you know, one, one a slurp every hour of the gel. So that awakening that’s, I guess, happened kind of on the street rather than in the university lecture rooms, even, even still today. I know people who are going through traditional training and shaking their heads, talking about how the keto diet is dangerous to health and all the other things that, you know, are still being dispensed in the, the, the, you know, the pillars of, of wisdom and academia.

 

Mikki (11m 3s):

Yeah. And I, you know, I think we’re really fortunate now that there are these other institutes, or, you know, even if the online training institutes like Holistic Performance Institute, you’ve got Integrative Nutrition. You can take courses in places like that, where you can learn more current and kind of up-to-date information around sports nutrition, and just general nutrition, but it still feels like, yeah, the, the, I suppose that deep seated kind of understanding of, of what’s required, hasn’t changed over the last 40 years and continues to be taught in the kind of university lecture halls that some of the main institutes, which is super interesting.

 

Brad (11m 45s):

Yeah. Then you go to the race, like you described very nicely and politely, that’s probably the most polite description that I’ve heard describing how there’s a bunch of fat people at these extreme endurance events and that right there, without any other evidence, you have to conclude that something is wrong with the picture. When you go and look at the, the individual training logs and people are out there putting in, you know, seven, 15, 20 hours a week of devoted exercise and still carrying around extra body fat. And it clearly they’re stuck in that carbohydrate paradigm where they’re burning a bunch of fuel and then consuming as much or more than they burned and carrying on with their lives, with no change and, you know, fat adaptation

 

Mikki (12m 32s):

Well, that’s, and that’s a real, it’s such an interesting thing as well, Brad, right? Because you know, one of the major issues that endurance athletes particularly have is gastrointestinal problems. You know, at least 80% of people would have reported that they suffer, you know, at least once a week, you know, issues with their stomach. And these are people stuck in that paradigm of higher carb kind of lower fat and even kind of moderate to high carb, you know, and they might, but because they have it in the head, they have to consume when they’re out, they’ve almost like got no other option, but to consume. So, you know, when I’m thinking about these people, I’m like, well, you know, if you drop down the level of carbohydrate, allow for that, the body to shift its fuel substrate to help, you know, begin burn body fat, you’re going to start seeing a change in the physique of these athletes, you know, and potentially, you know, not have to train as much as they would otherwise train either.

 

Mikki (13m 31s):

Because the other thing, of course, when you burn through a lot of carbohydrate, you get less increased oxidative damage, right. Because as I’m sure, you know, you, you are well familiar with is that with we burn through carbohydrates, they are not a clean burning fuel source. So they create a lot of metabolic kind of waste products that increase oxidative stress and damage in the body.  But just takes a lot longer to recover from your training sessions. So, you know, having that conversation with athletes that, you know, what, if you lower down the carbohydrate in your diet, sure. It might take a little while to start feeling as fit as what you would have otherwise, because of course we do have that adaptation process that occurs. Over time you’ll notice that your recovery is enhanced and you’ll be able to hit those training sessions so much easier and get fitter from them because you’re not still carrying around the, the damage from the previous sessions, which is less about the training and more about that fuel substrate. That’s kind of hanging around.

 

Brad (14m 34s):

Well, if the training is causing a similar damage, you’re, you’re inducing oxidative stress and inflammation, which is part of training to adapt to that, to give yourself a stressor and then recover and come back stronger. But then when you come home and you slammed down food, that itself also creates oxidative stress and inflammation, right? It’s, it’s crazy. And I think the, the athletic community seems to give out free passes left and right to consume more amount, higher amounts of indulgent treats and processed carbohydrates because they’re burning it off. But, you know, arguably this person who’s demanding more from their body than the person in the next cubicle at the office who is just walking to the subway and doing gardening on the weekend.

 

Brad [15:20] This person has higher nutritional demands and, you know, would, would benefit from, you know, orchestrating the diet to contain more nutrient dense foods and less junk. And if that means having to consume three sweet potatoes at dinner, instead of one, or, you know, larger portions of whatever it is, that’s great as long as it’s got something of value on the nutritional scoreboard.

 

Mikki (15m 49s):

Yeah. And you know, something I was really interested in when I got into this area was looking at, you know, studies that look at the long-term health of athletes as well. And we on Fetter radio, we interviewed Dr. James O’Keefe a number of years ago all around the athletic heart. And I had the pleasure of chatting to him again a couple of weeks ago on Mikkipedia. And, you know, he’s done a lot of research looking at longevity and kind of, of athletes and you know, that whole U shaped curve of a little bit of exercises, you know, probably too little, there’s a sweet spot, but the more you do the greater your risk is of cardiovascular disease and, you know, poor health outcomes.

 

Mikki (16m 34s):

But I also, one day, you know, what would happen if you looked at an athlete population or a cohort who was following more along the lines of an ancestral diet and you know, how that might change the outcomes with that same training load. Because as you, as you say, you create a lot of oxidative stress and damage through training, which is a necessary part of that adaptation process. But then on top of that, when you’ve got that oxidative damage from the traditional athlete diet, that is probably in part contributing to some of these negative health outcomes that we’re seeing, but, you know, it would be, I just think it’s an interesting conversation to kind of explore, you know, if you did follow an ancestral approach, how would that J curve differ?

 

Brad (17m 25s):

Wow. I’ve never thought about that. That’s a great point because we’re making this assumption, you know, if you’re running 30 miles a week as a long distance runner, this can be challenging to your cardiovascular health and whatnot. But I, I think you have to go hand in hand with what the people are eating and there is a way to do it, right. I think that’s what the book Primal Endurance is all about is, you know, we, we presented this book Mark Sisson and an I saying, look, if you insist on doing these crazy events, the iron man and the marathon and the ultra marathons, and we can talk like that because we’ve both been there and done those things. If you insist upon doing this, knowing that it’s antithetical to health on the baseline, that humans aren’t really meant to, you know, to, to perform in this manner, except for, you know, once in a while, we’re capable of great endurance fetes, but most people training for long distance events are doing it day after day after day.

 

Brad (18m 22s):

But if you insist on doing it, I think the, the, the pace that you’re training at and the diet is, you know, is key. And we always spend a lot of time discussing how important it is to, to moderate your pace so that you’re burning mostly fat. And then if you were to turn around and go consume mostly fat, Oh my gosh, you could be a picture of health while you were pursuing fitness goals, which is not always the case. In fact, it’s usually not the case. And that’s what that bell curve you describe. I think the listener, even if you haven’t seen the graph, you can envision what Dr. O’Keefe was talking about. He has a great Ted talk called Run For Your Life, But Not Too Far and at a Slow Pace. And I was shocked to learn what he contends to be the point where you can achieve maximum aerobic benefits, because it’s incredibly low.

 

Brad (19m 9s):

It was like two and a half hours a week at a really slow, comfortable jogging pace. And you max out, you get an,A plus on your cardiovascular health. And anything beyond that, you start to attempt these risk factors that we know so much about, especially when you talk about the extreme athletes that have been doing this for years and years. And they come up with a frying their electrical circuitry in their hearts and getting a AFib and all these disease states from extreme stuff. But boy, to realize that you can max out your cardiovascular health so easily, and then it’s like, well, then what do I do with the rest of these weekly miles? And if you’re, if you’re going slow enough, I think it can all be a plus in the health category.

 

Brad (19m 52s):

You know, people take the summers here in, in the Sierra Nevada, and they walk the, the John Muir trail or the Pacific Crest Trail, John Muir trail is like 200 and something miles. And a lot of people might take a month and be out there on the trail. And I think when you come down off the trail, after a month of, you know, hiking at whatever gentle pace, and you’re covering eight miles a day and you’re camping out and you’re seeing the stars and nature and sun, you’re going to come back as a healthier person, unlike the average, you know, training pattern of a month of someone preparing for an Ironman distance race, they’re just right on that red line of suppressed immune function, hormone dysregulation, and all those things.

 

Mikki (20m 30s):

Yeah, totally. And I got to say, I was a bit devastated by the low number that was presented in that, in that graph, because, you know, as an endurance athlete, we, you know, I feel like I gained a lot of my, my own kind of mental health benefits from getting out and doing the miles that I absolutely love it. And so to kind of discover that it’s not, you know, you’re necessarily more that you’re not really benefiting your health, but that you could be doing a disservice to it. So, yeah. Again, another hard pill to swallow.

 

Brad (21m 4s):

Yeah. It’s important that you brought up that mental health aspect. And I have, you know, lifelong friends of mine, my running buddies that I grew up with and a couple of them like Dr. Steven Kobrine is still active and he’ll go take a vacation and run a hundred miles in a single week, even though he’s in his mid-fifties, but he’s enjoying the sight, seeing of, of a new area and tackling these trails. And he absolutely loves that. He runs at a comfortable pace, same with my other buddy Steven Dietch. He was, you know, still a national class racer at age 56, running half marathons at 124 here and there. And you hear these race reports like, Oh my gosh, that’s extraordinary. And they get so much value from it. And I think also we’re talking about the most genetically adapted folks are the ones who love their endurance pursuits so much.

 

Brad (21m 50s):

And I’m referencing myself where I used to crash and burn a lot when I was trying to compete on the tri circuit, because I was going against guys who seemingly had way more adaptability to extreme training regimens. And I’d be, you know, crashed out for the entire weekend, just watching videos and sitting at home while they were pounding on more and more and more miles. So I think there’s a selection process for the people that really love it. And then, you know, for the rest of us, you have to pay attention to your own boundaries and limits and, you know, pursue those mental health goals of course. But I think so much of it if people really were honest about it, if they slow down, they could still get that benefit of being out in nature and on the trails and getting their dog out running, and all those great things without having to kind of, you know, drift into those slightly fatiguing heart rate and exertion zones where you get the instant payoff of endorphins, but you are attempting a long-term breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury.

 

Mikki (22m 49s):

Yeah. Totally and Brad, with your activity pattern nowadays. And obviously you work, you know, you’re pursuing goals outside of, you know, running, cycling, swimming, but do you get out there and hike and jog and go on the trails? And is that a regular part of your kind of weekly routine? Yeah.

 

Brad (23m 7s):

Thanks for asking. I’ve really had some epiphanies recently. I published a video called Jogging 2.0, and it was also with an article on Mark’s Daily Apple, which the title I believe was: Don’t Jog. It’s Too Dangerous. That was a quote from Dr. Art DeVany And the epiphany I experienced was, you know, I’ve been for decades starting my day with an outing in nature with my dogs, a succession of dogs, because it’s been a long time. And I think it’s so wonderful as a dog owner that you owe it to the animal to get it out. Even if it’s beyond your, you don’t feel like at one day. it’s part of my routine, no matter what, even if it’s raining or I’m, over-training, I’m tired, I’m busy.

 

Brad (23m 48s):

You have to get the animal out into nature or else, you know, don’t bother owning the animals. So yes, the, the daily cardio has been part of my scene for so long. I’m smart. I talk about this stuff and write about it. So I honor what I’m saying, and I keep my heart rate in that comfortable aerobic zone. But what I realized, and also reading some breakthrough insights and science from, from some good leaders, is that you can obtain this cardiovascular training effect, this cardiovascular fitness in a variety of ways. It does not have to be steady state cardio to build a wonderful, fantastic cardiovascular system. Dr. Doug McGuff has a really short video on YouTube called There’s No Such Thing as Cardio. 

.

 

Brad (24m 34s):

And then there’s a long one. That’s an hour long presentation. Oh, I forgot the person’s name. I send it around all the time, but he’s talking in detail about how, when you go to the gym and you get out of your car and you walk up the stairs and you do, you go through the sets of machines at the gym, your heart rate is well above resting heart rate the entire time. As soon as you leave your car, even during the two minutes of recovery where you’re sitting there on the bench, checking your text messages, and then going back to the squat rack to do more. And so this variation in heart rate from a range of, let’s say, double your resting heart rate up to perhaps your anaerobic levels. If you’re doing something that’s really difficult that lasts for 10 or 20 seconds, you, you come back with an amazing cardiovascular fitness benefit.

 

Brad (25m 21s):

And so really the only reason to engage in this steady state cardio for miles and miles is if you have performance goals. And even then, we know that most people do it to such an extreme that they compromise their performance. They’re, they’re keeping that body fat Pat on rather than losing it because they’re in this hot over-stress training patterns where the stress hormone cortisol is chronically elevated, that compromises fat burning that compromises the, the adaptive hormones like testosterone. And you’re kind of stuck in this over-training pattern where maybe you’d maybe he’d benefit from taking a couple of few days off of your mileage and going into the gym and jumping up and down the box or climbing the rope or doing things like Brian MacKenzie was an early promoter of this CrossFit endurance methods where, you know, they they’d train in a more broad and varied manner and sure enough, it would benefit their performance if they did it correctly at a very narrow, you know, extreme event, like running 30 miles on a trail.

 

Mikki (26m 21s):

Hmm. And do you know Brad you’re? So well-versed in this area of, you know, recognizing, you know, the potential deleterious effects of that, you know, chronic cardio kind of space. With a lot of people that I see in talk to, it’s still such a relatively new concept to them. Like oftentimes what I get with clients and people is, you know, sure you can, you know, if you’re feeling like you’re not hitting your numbers or you’re unable to, I don’t know. And you’re, you’re not training as much as, or as well as you would normally, like, or you are picking on the pounds or not able to lose that body fat. The default is to do more and to restrict more, you know, rather than, you know, do less and kind of take the foot off the brake.

 

Mikki (27m 9s):

Like it takes quite a, it’s almost, I would say a courageous, I don’t know if that’s the right word, but you kind of have to just, yeah, you kind of have to be a bit courageous to go right. That other person’s out training today, but I know it’s not doing my health kind of any good, so I’m just gonna leave it. But particularly people who are wired in that endurance space, it’s so difficult to know kind of when to pull back, I think,

 

Brad (27m 38s):

Yeah, you have to, you have to have some trust or some faith. Then you can transcend this flawed paradigm, especially what you just mentioned with the calories in calories out concept. Because we, you know, we, we tend to address this problem with an effort to reduce our food consumption and then another effort to burn more calories. And we now know from the sciences called the compensation theory that the body engages in assorted methods to balance out extra caloric expenditure with finding ways to get more lazy and consume more food throughout the day, over the course of the day, because you woke up and kicked butt at that 6:00 AM spinning class and burned a bunch of calories.

 

Brad (28m 25s):

There’s some great research cited in Dr. Jason Fung’s book, The Obesity Code that dietary patterns or pairing diet and exercise. There was a study that lasted for seven years. It was called the Woman’s Nurses Health Initiative Study. The women diligently agreed to consume 237 calories less per day and exercise more. And over the seven year length of the study, they were predicted to drop 23 pounds per year. Because if you go to the online calculators, you can put in your basal metabolic rate for your height and weight and your age, and this is how many you burn. And this is how many calories a spinning class burns or a six mile run.

 

Brad (29m 5s):

And so they were predicted to just, you know, turn into a physical transformation. And at the end of seven years, that aggregate weight loss was like 0.7 pounds per for participant 50,000 females. And so studies like these blow this idea out of the water that cutting calories and burning more is going to lead to anything except for a lazier, more tired human outside of these workouts. And I think anyone can raise their hand and say, Oh, gee, I’ve experienced that myself. And so now we have to look beyond that and go, well then what is the secret? 

 

Mikki [29:40] Yeah, it’s so interesting Isn’t it? When you look at the science literature around weight loss, and this is might be a slight tangent, but you know, it doesn’t, you know, when you’re looking at the randomized controlled trials and what actually works with regards to weight loss, oftentimes the using a population who, who do fall into that overweight or obese category, or as, you know, Phil Maffetone and Paul awesome would call having that kind of being overfed. And, you know, these are people who do in fact have fat to lose, but even over randomized controlled trial that might last 12 weeks and then they’ll fold them up for six months. They only really, you know, they might drop two or three pounds. And whilst it is scientifically kind of statistically significant, I mean, how meaningful is that to someone who might have 20 pounds to lose, you know, and so there’s such a, the whole space around kind of weight loss and what it takes to get it improve your body composition is, and that science kind of arena is just throws a lot of questions out to what’s kind of really practical and meaningful to people when you’re working with actual people on a one-on-one basis, day to day, right?

 

Brad (30m 52s):

Instead of fake people in some study where they say goodbye after 12 weeks and go back to their real life, working with actual people. Yeah. I guess, was a transition into some of the diet concepts since you’re so living and breathing this stuff every day. And you know, what, what can the listener or the interested party do if they’ve been checking a lot of good boxes and putting in the time and energy to, to work out, but still wishing to drop excess body fat and also minimize that oxidative stress and inflammation that comes from pounding the gels and the cubes and the blocks and the sugary drinks.

 

Mikki (31m 27s):

Yeah. Well, I guess one of the first things I like to look at, Brad. is making sure, you know, where your baseline nutrient markers are settings. So, you know, you, if possible, and I know right now in these COVID times, blood tests might not be as available as they are if you’re in a country that isn’t necessarily impacted as much by COVID. But you know, one of the things with, with being able to lose body fat is just making sure you’ve got those raw materials available that you need to help with those metabolic processes in the body. So you’ve got a good level of B12 and folate that helps support energy metabolism. that your thyroid markers are in an optimal range that your, that your iron panel and your fear attendance again, at an optimal range, which helps support your body’s ability to drop body fat.

 

MIkki (32m 20s):

So I always recommend first and foremost, that we get an idea of kind of where those baseline markers are at. And if, you know, if someone’s feeling pretty good, despite the fact that they want to drop a, you know, a few pounds in that can just serve as quite a good baseline. So if down the line things aren’t so good, they might look at my look back at where they markers were and go and do another test and go, well, you know, there’s a difference here. So maybe at that baseline level, that’s where my optimum is. So I’ll help support and bring up my level to that, to that level. So obviously three supplements, because it’s very difficult to do it just by a diet alone, but that’s, I suppose that’s where I kind of quite like to start.

 

Mikki (33m 6s):

And then, you know, in you, I know you talk a lot about, you know, the importance of protein and from an endurance athlete perspective, that’s where a lot of endurance athletes fall down because they are predominantly focusing on ensuring they’ve got adequate carbohydrate for recovery, for fueling. Or if they’re a keto type athlete, which, and this is again, and I’m sure, you know, like a common mistake is that they just drop the protein too low. And so, and that can, can impact on their ability to, to drop body fat as well, just because they’re unable to carry out and recover from their training to the same extent as if they had an adequate protein levels. So, you know, from a diet perspective, that’s certainly something which I like to focus on.

 

Brad (33m 58s):

And what do you see out there as common deficiency patterns? What are some of the red flags that people might want to look out for and even go and test? I mean, here in America, it’s super easy to go to the blood draw lab. You wear your mask, you have a space out a waiting room, and I’ve gone, you know, 10 times in the last year. Cause I’m constantly testing my testosterone and other things for my MOFO missing research. So it’s no excuse, there’s no barrier you can pay for your own tests. You don’t even have to see a physician, but you can get it ordered through your physician and get it, get it covered for many people. But the tests are so affordable now that most of us can get out there and get some really good insights.

 

Brad (34m 39s):

But then maybe some of this stuff is subclinical and we could use some additional insights, especially for the athletic healthy population where most of the stuff looks normal, but that might not be of interest if you want to be better than the pathetic normal that the average citizen is today in America. And the other developed countries where we’re, we’re suffering from the over fat pandemic as Maffetone calls it.

 

Mikki (35m 2s):

Yeah, such a good question, because I often, you know, when I talked to athletes and they go to their doctors because that’s how we generally do it in New Zealand and then they call up their lab and the, and or their doctor’s office and the person on the other end of the phone goes, Oh, you’ll find you’re all normal, but you’re absolutely right about that, that normal reference range kind of, for a lot of the markers kind of takes into consideration. Everyone that’s ever gone in to get a blood test at that particular lab, and then just takes that average, which isn’t necessarily optimal. So when I think thyroid is like a great example of that. So the for thyroid it’s quite well known in the science and internet, kind of, I’m going to say alternative health practicum, but I don’t really want to say alternative or integrative, but people in the know.

 

Brad (35m 54s) Well the know, versus people not in the know?

They’re, forward-thinking, open-minded highly critical thinking health expert.

 

Mikki

 Yes. The people who kind of stay up to the play like, so thyroid stimulating hormone has, you know, a reference range of between 0.3 to four. Now this hormone is responsible in the body for telling your brain to increase the production of something called T4, which is often known as our inactive thyroid hormone. And then that’s converted to T3, which is active. Thyroid hormone is responsible for, you know, a host of things in the body, including energy metabolism and feeling good X, Y, Z, and that TSH interval though, it’s so wide.

 

Mikki (36m 46s):

And it was originally developed including people with, with suboptimal thyroid function in it. So it’s, and I’m sure this is not news to, to your listeners, but just to remind listeners that, you know, generally speaking, a thyroid interval or sorry, TSH interval of between kind of one to 2.5 is considered optimal it in your kind of doctor’s lab, anything up to say, you know, four might be considered normal and they won’t move on any of those other kind of markers. So that’s a good one.

 

Brad (37m 21s):

So, the higher number is a bit of a concern?

 

Mikki (37m 25s):

Higher number is a concern because anything above 2.5 indicates that your, that your thyroid thinks that it neatly your brain thinking, or there’s not enough T4 hormone so I’m going to have to start pushing out more, more TSH to signal to the, to the brain. But I mean, that’s quite a complex, like what’s actually occurring. It could be any number of things as to why that’s the case, but you know, if someone’s feeling that beginning, or if someone is unable to drop body fat, feeling a bit cold, not being able to sleep properly, these are just like three examples, not recovering well from their training.

 

Mikki (38m 7s):

Then you know, that those could all be signs that your thyroid is in that kind of suboptimal range. So at first getting TSH, metered, but also getting T4 and T3, whereas here in New Zealand and I don’t, and because you guys are able to go and get whatever tests you like, you are in a different position, but in New Zealand, you really have to kind of convince your doctor to go beyond just getting TSH to meet it because they’re like, well, if TSH is above four, then go have a look at T4. But other than that, not going to make you know, that they’re not going to move on it, but it is frustrating as a practitioner, I suppose.

 

Brad (38m 47s):

Oh, sure. I mean, it’s really nice to see the explosion of internet based blood testing, where you can pick and choose and take, you know, be an advocate for your own health. So if someone is feeling kind of those sluggish collective symptoms, what are ways that a, a functional practitioner health healing oriented practitioner would, would want the individual to, to correct that through diet, through stress management? Are there any hot tips to get your thyroid going? Yeah.

 

Mikki (39m 18s):

Yeah. That’s a great question. Brad    . So, you know, if your TSH is kind of is out of range from that optimal and it, but even if T4 and T3 look normal, you’d want to miss your thyroid antibodies because if they are raised and, you know, different practitioners kind of have varying views on this, but you know, if they are elevated, then that does suggest that there’s some autoimmune component to your thyroid issue, which as we know, a lot of auto-immune responses can be driven by that stress. So from a diet perspective, if it is an auto-immune kind of approach, we look at the removal of dairy, of gluten, potentially nightshade vegetables, which are your potato, eggplant, tomato, chili, capsicum.

 

Brad (40m 10s):

We’re starting to drift toward a carnivore experiment to see if that thyroid in those, those symptoms can kick back into gear. And I know I tend toward feeling cold and easily getting cold, especially moving to a colder climate in Lake Tahoe. And I can cite times where, you know, dietary optimization has improved some of that, those tired sluggish feelings and, and trending toward cold and all those things. I went through the Nourish Balance Thrive protocol with Chris Kelly. And he, he basically said, look, you know, you’ve got to eat more food, man. Cause you’re, you’re showing some, some values here in your comprehensive blood panels that indicate a catabolic.

 

Brad (40m 53s):

So everyone’s individual, we’re now seeing this great trend toward individualization of health, health tracking and blood testing Inside Tracker.com is one of the most impressive ones I’ve seen. I just got involved with them and they take genetic testing, comprehensive blood panel and actual lifestyle data from Fitbit or another device like that. And they put it all together on this wonderful website and you can really keep track of things. And boy, you know, I’m guilty of just kind of experiencing what seems like normal, but it’s my, there might be something way better than normal that not even aware of. And so your, your perspective is all skewed.

 

Brad (41m 34s):

And so, I mean, that’s why we’re here doing podcasts and, you know, helping people directly is that we wanna, you know, promote this constant quest for optimization rather than just settling for. Oh, usually I’m, I get super tired after a busy weekend where I do a moderate hike and run around and do errands and people just used to, that could be from thyroid dysfunction. And I’d love to get a little more into it with you. You mentioned some of those iron markers too, and we talked about that offline. I think I was hitting you with some personal questions there. So how does iron come into play and tying it back to fat reduction as well as just optimization peak performance, better delivery of red blood cells to the working muscles, all that important stuff that iron’s part of.

 

Mikki (42m 24s):

Yeah, it’s a great question. Brad. So just to change tack a little bit. Well, what I will say before I shift gears is from an iron perspective for thyroid often it is low ferritin and low iron markers that can contribute to suboptimal thyroid. However, something which I’m noticing a little bit more particularly with my kind of middle-aged male athletes is the sexual trend towards higher iron load. And it’s interesting because some of the so obvious, so fearsome is as you know, it’s super important for, for red blood cells, for energy, for hormones, you know, for your brain to it, to function effectively for so much, you know. It’s such an important neutral, it’s such an important protein in the body, but, but athletes often kind of come to me and they’re feeling sluggish and they’re feeling like they’re unable to recover in particularly in those male, that male athlete population, when we do their blood markers, it’s not necessarily low iron that’s causing the issue, but it’s high iron and high ferritin.

 

Brad (43m 34s):

Describe the representation of ferritin. Is that the circulating iron versus the stored iron?

 

Mikki    (43m 41s):

Yeah. Yeah, it’s, it’s kind of, it’s, that’s, it’s ferritin is like the, I am it’s protein that kind of binds iron in the blood stream. So, you know, you, you, when you go and get a ferritin test, it can be anywhere between 20 to 400 or 20 to 600 is particularly is considered that reference range. But what would be considered optimal is around that 60 to 80. So, and females often it’s a low ferritin, it’s the issue, but in males actually, it’s that high ferritin. And you know, one thing we have to consider is of course that ferritin is an acute phase reactant.

 

Mikki(44m 24s):

So what I mean by that is your ferritin will rise in response to inflammation in the body. So if, for example, you, Brad, go along to get a blood test and test your iron markers. And it’s on the back of, I don’t know, some strenuous activity that you did or, or you’ve gotten an infection or an illness and your inflammation markers are raised in the body then ferritin could also be raised. So it’s not. So that’s one thing to be mindful of, but there are the markers that you can test to know whether or not it is iron storage, that’s the issue or, or that it’s inflammation, but particularly males are much more predisposed to that higher ferritin as they age rather than low ferritin.And that really does have some significant negative health outcomes associated with it. 

 

[ 45:11] Brad Like what?

 

Mikki: So obviously, you know, from a, how they feel kind of on a day-to-day basis, you know, they may have mood swings, increased fatigue, joint pain, depression is associated with kind of high score high ferritin, chest pain, hair loss, dizziness, impaired sexual function, reduced testosterone, abdominal pain, and also, you know, increased cholesterol markers. And then high ferritin is also associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions too.

 

Mikki (45m 57s):

So kind of on a day-to-day basis, you know, some of these kind of symptoms that I talked about, these are things which almost might be taken for as normal for that kind of aging endurance athlete, you know, on just getting old. So that’s why my joints, or, you know, I’m doing a lot of training, so I feel really tired, but it can be something else kind of underlying that that might be causing it. And so these are those kinds of quite salient things, but over the long-term the significant kind of health issues kind of liver psoriasis. So you get kind of organ, sorry, you get iron deposits in the organs, diabetes, hyperpigmentation, actually.

 

Mikki(46m 43s):

So this is when the color of your skin goes bronze Brown. Obviously, this will increase according to sun exposure as well, but you also might notice a, sort of a graying coloring as well or skin tone. So, these might all be signs that your ferritin level is, is high. And then ultimately that can lead to a cardiac failure. You know, that’s very chronic kind of down the line. And I would be very surprised if anyone left any of these things to the point where, you know, they suffered from cardiac failure. However, there are people who’d completely disregard the doctors aren’t, they aren’t there.

 

   

 

Mikki(47m 24s):

So, it’s just good to be mindful of that. And it’s minimal predisposed, I suppose, the genetic component of it as is called hemochromatosis. So, iron overload, and you can get tested with some genes to determine whether or not you are predisposed to high iron and that, you know, you can get that tested either at the doctor or 23 and me, also has a panel, which looks at the genetics behind iron overload. But, you know, even though there are a couple of genes that indicate it, as I understand it, there are actually other genes that aren’t routinely measured.

 

Mikki(48m 10s):

So just because you test negative on the eight feed genes that are measured doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t at risk from that genetic component of iron overload.

 

Brad (48m 22s):

So does high ferritin go hand in hand with, I believe that there’s other readings like iron saturation, maybe even there’s a couple more or that are they kind of directly associated or can you have some weird stuff?

 

Mikki (48m 35s):

Yeah, no, that’s a great question. So, you know, when you’re looking at testing iron, if your ferritin is high, as, as I indicated earlier, but your and your iron saturation is above 40%, then that’s when your doctor would, would kind of look a little bit more into sort of what’s going on and whether or not it is, you know, a, an iron overload kind of issue. Whereas if your, if your saturation is normal, then it might just be that ferritin is high might be because of those inflammatory processes and not necessarily ferritin itself. So that’s why getting something called high sensitive C-reactive protein measured at the same time can be quite a good way to delineate kind of which, you know, what it is that we’re actually thinking, looking at here, is this just a marker of oxidative stress in the body, or is it actually an underlying iron overload issue?

 

Brad (49m 37s):

So I guess this occurs over time, you talked about the aging athlete. I know females are at much less risk they’re at risk of low iron due to menstruation. And I think I always thought the, that the running population, the high impact sports you’re making, you’re, you’re shedding some iron when you’re traumatizing the muscles. And so that, that lowers your risk too. But as, as I told you over, over email over the last several years, I’ve come up a few times with a sky high iron reading. And I immediately went and donated blood as my strategy, but I, I suppose I was accumulating that for whatever reasons outside of genetic predispositions, but just time and dietary patterns using the cast iron skillet, what

 

Mikki (50m 26s):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Those things, you know, a high iron intake without getting rid of it for sure. Although, you know, if you look at kind of clinically speaking, it would take a lot like, you know, someone might have a, I don’t think you could say that just because you have like a high red meat intake that you’re going to therefore be that your iron is going to reach some of those, you know, really damaging levels. And there’s generally more of a, I guess, a predisposition to, to storing iron rather than just that someone is now eating red meat seven times a week.

 

Mikki(51m 8s):

So therefore they’re going to be in a position where they have to with a, are at risk of some of these issues that, that are experienced with ferritin. So, it is more of a, I’d say it’s more of a genetic, but it is still quite common. You know, I don’t know. Maybe it is another piece of the puzzle that, that people that we’re not familiar with yet as to why it is increasingly more common,

 

Brad     (51m 33s):

Good, something to watch out for. And what about some diet strategies to optimize male hormone function, female hormone function as we age?

 

Mikki (51m 44s):

Yeah. Great. So, so if you are in that position of, of a higher ferritin level, when you’re unable to, you know, get it down then, I mean, you mentioned blood donation, so that’s sort of dietary strategy, but that’s certainly one strategy. And, you know, if someone is unable to donate blood because they were in Britain during the mad cow disease or, or, or something like that, then, then a medical phlebotomy just to kind of get rid of blood. It costs a bit of money. But, you know, it’s, it’s worth it obviously. 

 

Mikki (52m 26s):

From a diet perspective, looking at combining your meals. So, you are able to reduce the absorption of iron that you eat. So, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to give up. I mean, I would definitely reduce down red meat consumption and, and liver consumption because it is so rich in iron, also mussels and oysters. I don’t know how many people would sit down to a dozen oysters at dinner, but maybe those lucky ones amongst us do. Probably avoid that. Or you’re trying to get your iron kind of back under, under control because they’re very high in bioavailable iron. But also alongside meals, having a, a, a calcium supplement 300 milligrams to help bind the iron and reduce its absorption, including phytate.

 

Mikki (53m 12s):

So, this is obviously going to be moving away from a kind of, kind of, or approach because phytate, you only see really in beans, legumes, some vegetables, something like that.  In addition to meals would help bind the iron. But, of course, you do want to ensure that you’ve got adequate zinc because something that binds iron is also going to bind to zinc. So,    it’s just making sure that you are familiar with kind of all pieces of that kind of, I suppose, puzzle. But outside of that tumeric is been found to reduce iron absorption and doing some training, actually.

 

Mikki (53m 60s):

So, getting out and doing that short, sharp exercise, that’ll raise something called hepcidin. And hepcidin is an enzyme in the gut, which will bind iron and reduce its absorption. So, using that as a tool to help reduce that iron absorption two to three times a week, I would say, would be another really good strategy. And I’m sure that lots of your listeners probably do that type of short, sharp, good for you type exercise without overdoing it as well. So that would be another strategy. And coffee and tea, the polyphenols and the tenants produce iron absorption. So, you know, someone who has low iron, you always say, do not consume foods, your iron, your meals with, with coffee and tea. Whereas the opposite is true with someone who is struggling with high ferritin.

 

Brad (54m 52s):

Interesting. Sounds like it’s highly individualized. I mean, I’m talking a lot about my fascination with a carnivore ish style dietary pattern. I’m not strict, but I’m definitely drifting in that direction for the nutritional benefits. But then here I am with a blood test suggesting that I’m getting plenty of iron probably too much at times. And so I would be on like a personal quest to steer the corner, but maybe the next person would have a completely different point of view and, and dietary strategies.

 

Mikki (55m 28s):

Yeah. But I also think someone like you, Brad, like your, you know, because you know, a lot of the, the things like tumeric, the training, you know, stuff like that. And the, and the calcium supplement, they might be options for someone like you who really does thrive on a diet that, you know, contains good sources of, or good amounts of animal protein. And I wouldn’t suggest that I certainly wouldn’t suggest that reducing a lot of that would be the best approach for almost anyone because you and I both know that so many people struggle to get in what they need, rather than that, they need to kind of cut back, but potentially looking at the sources.

 

Mikki (56m 10s):

So potentially if someone does have like quite a high ferritin and people then actually, you know, switching to the, the lighter colored meats, chicken, pork, fish, salmon, eggs, like these are all, I mean, these all do contain some iron, but not to the same extent as your, you know, your red meats. So, having a look at those sources of, of iron within your foods and making that switch. You can still do what you want to be doing, but just do it in a slightly different way.

 

Brad (56m 44s):

So, you’ve mentioned protein a few times and the critical importance of getting enough protein. And over the last 10 years, I guess we’ve been hit with some people who are deep into it had been hit with some disparate points of view. There was for a while going around this warning that over consuming protein routinely can, you know, elevate those growth factors and increase your cancer risk. It now seems like some of that commentary was based on the average sedentary human who’s stuffing their face with too much food in general, including protein and not doing anything to boost health and other ways.

 

Brad (57m 26s):

And now it seems like those warnings have been toned down and there’s a lot of people, especially in the carnivore scene and especially some of the people I really respect on this saying, Hey, you know what, it’s okay to get beyond that commonly cited recommendation. Usually, a lot of people have heard about this 0.7 grams per pound of lean body mass. That would be 1.54 kilos, a 1.54 grams per kilogram. Right? Where, where do you stand on that? If you like to spout recommendations or maybe you can just elaborate.

 

Mikki (58m 4s):

Yeah. This is like one of my favorite topics actually, because what I in, you know, this as well, I’m sure that, you know, when people talk about, you know, our protein, you know, everyone eats too much protein. They usually actually in reference to that 0.8 grams per kg, body weight. So very low protein, which is what is in the recommended dietary intake or recommended dietary allowance. You know, that’s kind of that minimum threshold with which to survive, but everyone looks at it as this kind of maximum with which we should hit. But if you follow it,

 

Brad (58m 35s):

Recommendations are for survival basic, but it’s dispensed as a recommendation.

 

Mikki (58m 43s):

I it’s crazy. Right? And, you know, I was looking at something the other day, a nutritionist wrote here in New Zealand and she put up a table of the recommended protein that was 46 grams for a female, you know, from the age of 19 to 54. And I was like, you’ve got to be kidding me. That a nutritionist is telling someone that’s like, it takes no time at all to go to search up Stu Phillips, Don Layman, you know, Jose Antonio, like these like experts in the protein nutrition field to, to know that that is so unreasonably low. Really. So, when I talk to people like I, my recommendations are generally at the, at the low end of the scale would be, say 1.8, probably 1.6 to 1.8, depending on who it is I’m talking to.

 

Mikki     (59m 32s):

But most of the time it’s at least two grams per kilogram of ideal body weight, if not more. And there have been studies such as Jose Antonio study looking at, you know, the long-term consumption of protein up to 4.4 grams per kg body weight, which would be very difficult to get

 

Brad (59m 52s):

There’s two grams per pound. So, someone like me weighing at one 65, that’s eating 330 grams in a day, which would be, you know, eight eggs, three steaks, some, some good servings of fish. That’s a lot. Yeah. I mean, for, by comparison to scoop in a typical protein supplement, I think usually the scoops are 20 grams scoops. Yeah. That would be 15, 15 of those scoops, if nothing else. Yeah. A lot of protein. And I think you can hit that satiety point pretty easily, where you’re not going to, you’re not going to routinely over consume protein because unlike potato chips, you can get pretty full after you’ve consumed two steaks and six eggs.

 

Mikki (1h 0m 38s):

Yeah, for sure. And, you know, studies like, like the one that I mentioned, I have time and again, found no detrimental impact of consuming that much protein. And I’m certainly not standing here saying we should all consume those super high levels of protein, but I get such a good illustration that protein is a higher protein diet shouldn’t be feared. And I know that a lot of these, that rhetoric out there, particularly in this plant-based, you know, kind of space that, you know, we all need to be reducing it. But, you know, when you hit protein numbers that helps support hormone regulation, appetite, regulation, help with blood sugar stabilization, brain function, muscle mass retention, bone density, all of these things, then that is optimal for health, you know, and some of these things that we’ve talked about with oxidative damage metabolic damage of a high carbohydrate load, like these, aren’t an issue when you, when you are able to consume a protein load, which is up around kind of the, the amounts that we were talking about. So,

 

Brad (1h 1m 43s):

So, you said a 2.0 or higher in kilos. And so for the, the, the English system listener that would be around a gram per pound and certainly not unreasonable. And may, you may, may give you a boost in energy to the extent that you can work out more and feel more energetic throughout the day. I I’m pulling this great soundbite from my interview with Robb Wolf, where he said, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein. And of course, those go hand in hand. And I think the people who are feeling slightly depleted, and I’d probably put myself in that category at times over the years, where again, my normal was that I could handle this many workouts a week and then I’d get too tired and I’d have to lay around all day if I did something really difficult, but maybe there were some dietary optimization that could have, you know, popped me back up from a hard training session, 24 hours later instead of 48 hours.

 

Mikki (1h 2m 44s):

I don’t doubt it, Brad, because I know when I started really focusing on my protein intake and subsequently I got my clients to really focus on it. Like I had a hamstring tendinopathy just completely disappeared. Clients with Achilles issues and another person I’m just thinking off the top of my head. They had some related issues once they started having like these, a female clients, like up around that two grams per kg, body weight, a lot of these issues have resolved because you finally, you’ve got those amino acids as raw materials to help the rebuild and the re you know, to help support that muscle mass. Whereas prior to that, their protein load was probably too low.

 

Mikki (1h 3m 26s):

And therefore, you know, those amino acids aren’t being used the way that they should be. So, yeah, I’m definitely a fan. And, you know, if you look at the literature like Stu Phillips suggests that any, you know, if we’re looking at muscle protein synthesis, which is how we always think about protein, like how do we optimize muscle protein synthesis? It, it is at that 1.6 grams per kg body weight. So, he says, you know, there’s no need really to, for muscle protein synthesis to go beyond that. But he then goes on to say, but a higher protein load can help with these other things, which I mentioned regarding appetite, blood sugar regulation. And, you know, you in a lot of practitioners say the same things.

So that’s definitely the thing that I focus on most with endurance athletes.

 

Brad (1h 4m 13s):

Well, for fat loss too, to bring the conversation back in a circle, if, I mean, there’s a reason these high protein diets work, they’re highly satiating. They keep you away from high carbohydrate intake, which would be opposite, stimulating, more appetite. And boy, it’s, it’s a pretty good trick if you’re constantly feeling well-nourished and satisfied from, from great meals and you’re kicking into accelerated fat burning, that’s a pretty big winner.

 

Mikki (1h 4m 40s):

Absolutely. And one of my colleagues and friends down here, Jamie Scott, worked with a, you know, top level runner and, you know, Jamie’s insisterly minded. And he was the guy that really got and got started in this, in this whole area of the ancestral kind of diet approach. And, and they looked at protein and carbohydrate and this runner’s diet, and, you know, he was doing some high-end kind of efforts and unable to recover. And they started by adding an additional carbohydrate to an already moderate protein load. And it just didn’t work for him. He’s he’d started giving bloating and he would just felt that lethargy over that kind of postcard coma and things like that.

 

Mikki (1h 5m 23s):

So, instead they dropped the carbohydrate down, they pushed the protein up and suddenly he was, you know, firing on all cylinders. And I don’t know if you’ve heard of Cynthia Monteleone.

 

Brad (1h 5m 37s):

YouTube viewers can see the cover of her book that you just put up there, Fast Over 40.

 

Mikki (1h 5m 46s):

This woman is amazing, Brad. You must speak to her on your, on your show. She is a kind of an athlete. She’s a, she’s a USA 400-meter champion at the Olympics as part of the relay team for over 40 plus, I believe in the single of it as well. She lives on Maui. Her, her whole premise is eat meat, basically. And I think your listeners would absolutely love hearing what Cynthia has to say. And she’s just a beautiful human being. So, I would highly recommend her book. And it’s very much in line with that sprinting. She’s all for sprinting and strength work and is totally against chronic cardio.

 

Brad (1h 6m 31s):

Mikki. This has been some great stuff, I guess, before we go, I did ask you about the, the sex hormones and the connection there to diet. And I think the protein discussion probably leads right in that direction. But if there’s anything else to, to comment on that, your what’s on your mind and with your clients, I’d love to hear.

 

Mikki (1h 6m 50s):

Yeah, sure. So, I suppose with regards to sex hormones, you know, cholesterol makes up the raw material of the production of the stress hormones. And so if you’re not consuming adequate amounts of dietary cholesterol, then you can, you know, that’s only gonna result in, in that lower production. In addition to, if you do have a higher stress component, be it oxidative stress that’s occurring through diet or just through training, then that is also going to deplete your, your sex hormones. So, you know, everything that we’ve talked about, Brad, optimizes your body’s hormone production, and you know, the old approach of high carb high training high stress is pretty much what tanks sex hormones. So, yeah. I don’t know, eat meat

 

Brad (1h 7m 45s):

Pretty simple. Yeah.

Good stuff. Check out, check out our carnivores scores chart that’s out and about now that ranks the most nutritious foods on earth. I’ll send you a copy so you can distribute it in New Zealand, but we’re pretty excited about that project I’ve done with Kate Cretsinger and other health coach in America. Mkki Williden, and bringing, bringing the heat from New Zealand. Great show. Thank you so much for the insights,

 

Mikki (1h 8m 7s):

Brad. It’s an honor to be on your show. Thank you so much.

 

Brad (1h 8m 10s):

Okay. Listeners, go check out Mikkipedia and where else can we connect with you?

 

Mikki (1h 8m 16s):

I’m on Instagram at @Mikki Williden at the same for Twitter, Facebook has @Mikki Williden Nutrition and, but mostly Instagram I’m on there doing stories all the time. And, of course, my websites, MikkiWilliden.com

 

Brad (1h 8m 33s):

Thank you, listeners that up above you for listening to the show, I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please email podcast@bradventures.com with feedback, suggestions and questions for the Q and A shows, subscribe to our email list of Brad kearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email list. And if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with Apple podcasts or wherever else, you listen to the shows that would be super, incredibly awesome.

 

Brad (1h 9m 23s):

It helps raise the profile of the B.Rad podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called overcast allows you to actually record a soundbite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and remember B.Rad.

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