Energy Balance/Stress Optimization Reflections, Part 2: Correcting Misconceptions About Calorie Balance, Fat Loss, And Longevity (Breather Episode with Brad)


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Welcome to part 2 of this four-part presentation reflecting on the foundational assumptions of energy balance and stress optimization.

These shows are inspired by the great work of Jay Feldman and Mike Fave on the Energy Balance Podcast so please listen to part 1, to my interview with Jay Feldman, and to the Energy Balance Podcast. In this show we put to bed once and for all our widespread misunderstanding of calories in-calories out in favor of the three-part truth of: caloric consumption, calories burned for energy, and calories stored.

I'll cover a variety of interesting topics like the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, the great points and some of the flaws of Blue Zones research, a lifestyle-related longevity secret of the Okinawans called ikigai (a strong sense of life purpose) and moai (a strong small group of lifelong friends), how I aspire to race the 100 meters at age 100, and a possible fresh new perspective on how to eat for longevity.

Here is a compelling quote from Jay Feldman's blog: "Considering that adaptations to stress and damage don’t improve our health, stress and damage are cumulative, and that the benefits of environmental stimuli are due to their specific effects rather than the stress they cause, hormesis would be best characterized as an extreme misrepresentation of the interaction between the organism and its environment.”


Fasting carb restriction, calorie restriction, ketogenic eating all starve the cells of energy as does intense exercise. [01:08]

If you burn more calories during devoted exercise, your body is going to make an assortment of compensations to conserve energy. [05:06]

Eating less and exercising more is ineffective. Certain foods are very inappropriate for energy utilization. [09:45]

The industrial seed oils are pervasive in our kitchens, restaurants, and markets. [13:11]

Dr. Lustig contends that if you ditch processed foods and emphasize wholesome, nutritious foods, it is virtually impossible to get fat! [15:23]
You're going to be prompted to overeat if you are not getting your protein needs met by nutrient dense high protein foods. [20:21]

Calories do different things when they are consumed, but they aren’t necessarily burned. [21:22]
If you're bad at burning energy, that's when you start to get into the realm of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's dementia related conditions, especially in the brain. [26:46]

Move more, get good sleep, and learn to manage stress appropriately. [30:32]

When you are over exercising, you are probably achieving a temporary unsustainable stress hormone spike to release stored energy and perform, until we get too tired to do so. You can't aspire to anything related to diet transformation or body transformation until you are truly healthy. [33:51]
Could this mean that a faster metabolism promotes longevity rather than what we've heard with the ancestral health and the progressive health movement that a slower metabolism, calorie restriction, metabolic efficiency are the key promoters of longevity? [37:54]

In the Minnesota Starvation Study from the 1940s, calorie deprivation showed significant decreases in strength, stamina, body temperature, heart rate, and sex drive in the subjects. [42:54]

There is no justification for ever eating junk food, even if you are a high-calorie-burning athlete. [48:07]

Brad talks about the longevity studies from the Blue Zones around the world. He describes many of the Japanese lifestyle goals that are attributed to long healthy life. [50:57]

In closing, Brad outlines the points he has been making about reducing the stress in your life, exercising appropriately, and avoiding unhealthy foods. [56:34]



  • "Gluttony and sloth are not the causes of obesity, they are the symptoms of obesity." (Taubes)

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