Brad’s Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga, And How to Get More Focused and Disciplined for Fat Loss and Other Peak Performance Goals (Breather Episode with Brad)


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Fatty popcorn boy is me — two years after exiting a really strict ketogenic eating strategy (mostly on account of R&D while writing Keto Reset Diet with Mark Sisson) and embarking upon an experiment to increase overall caloric intake, including by default, carb intake.

The experiment was inspired by my consultants Chris Kelly and Dr. Tommy Wood — both of whom have appeared on the podcast. From review of my bloodwork, there was speculation that I might be depleted from the combined stress of high intensity workouts at advanced age and ketogenic eating patterns with extended daily fasts.

The experiment worked really well and I enjoyed a noticeable bump in energy and recovery rate. Dr. Tommy assured me that I could hit the healthy foods hard, theoretically up to the point of maximum returns represented by adding body fat! Fast forward to two years later and this is exactly what happened: With standards relaxed, occasional indulgences started to become habitual indulgences. Without really noticing, I had packed on around eight pounds of extra body fat. Shown is a photo from March, 2019 weighing 172 pounds — the most ever in my life. The comparison photo is exactly three months later, weighing 164lb. I’ve been around this weight for over 20 years, but occasionally with varying levels of muscle mass and body fat. In this recent effort, my weight change would be mostly all body fat, so I’d guess I was 12% level at 172, and 8% level at 164.

This has never been a main concern, but it was an awakening to see a body built by popcorn, dark chocolate, and habitual mindless eating in the mirror. Always eating healthy food with high standards and keto friendly in recent years, but lacking any guidelines, structure, or discipline regarding caloric intake/meal patterns. I might as well have had a dark chocolate IV at times!

This got me thinking about the absolute importance of discipline in one’s diet. We’ve all heard countless success stories from people who cut processed food, grains, sugar, and bad oils, and immediately lost a ton of weight. However, it’s also no secret that many folks actually struggle with weight gain after they’ve switched to eating a whole-foods, nutrient dense diet. How can this be? Well, it can result from many different factors, but a lot of the time, it’s just the simple fact that you can’t expect to mindlessly eat and not gain weight – even if those foods still do fall into the “healthy” category, using discipline and following guidelines is still essential, no matter how strict the parameters you set for yourself already are. Yes, one of the great parts of following the paleo diet is that you aren’t supposed to have to calorie count and worry about straying off your diet – and this is true, but it doesn’t mean you can just eat whatever you want (especially as you get older) and expect to fit into the same clothes!

We all want our bodies to feel good and look good, but it isn’t always easy to get there.

Here are some insights I’d like to share if you have body composition goals or frustrations, and want to do something about it and succeed:

  • Writing a book causes body fat increase. Need to negotiate for fat farm/spa retreat tuition with future book deals.

  • Modern humans enjoy incredible luxury, comfort, decadence. This is mostly unhealthy. We need to orchestrate ways to move more, perform explosive fitness efforts, introduce hormetic stressors like cold or heat exposure, spend more time fasting/eat less food, disconnect from hyperstimulation.

  • We can benefit from implementing habits through repetition and endurance. A main success factor for fat loss has been no calories until 12 noon. Simple. Commitment. No will power or decision fatigue involved. Just wait for the clock to strike, then consider eating options.

  • Similarly, I believe morning immersion into 34-38F chest freezer cold plunge helps boost fat metabolism. I often get an intense hunger sensation afterward, which I ignore and it passes in ~15 min (Dr. Cate Shanahan confirms this is ghrelin spike in stomach timeline).

  • Dropping fat is way more difficult than adding fat, duh. I have more empathy and appreciation for the challenge.

It’s interesting to trace how the definition of the word diet has changed drastically over the years. But let’s go back to its original meaning – diete, as it was first used in the English language, used to mean “a day’s journey.” What a cool concept! Instead of thinking of diet as this restrictive, negative thing that you must follow exactly every single day, why not think of it as a day’s journey: a positive experience, a series of mindful decisions you make for yourself, as you nourish yourself, in order to continue on with your day. If this whole fatty popcorn boy saga has truly drilled in and cemented one thing, it is the very valuable lesson that self-discipline = self-love (Thank you Will Smith for that one!). It’s all about making the best decision for yourself in that present moment, and sometimes that means a healthy, homecooked meal, and sometimes that means you just need to munch on some popcorn and chocolate! Diet is a day’s journey, one that you are in charge of, and yeah, it’s easy (and even normal) to get a little lax now and then. But when you exercise discipline and mindfulness when it comes to the food you consume throughout the day, every single day, not only does it make it so much easier for you to stay on track with your health and fitness goals, but that kind of disciplined mindset bleeds into everything else you do in life. Self-discipline equals self-love (and, also allows you to enjoy eating your popcorn without becoming the fatty popcorn boy!)


Brad talks about discovering that he needed to lose excess fat. [04:26]

Sometimes appetite regulation and caloric efficiency sometimes don’t line up well. [07:23]

Brad restructured his eating style and found it enhanced his enjoyment of eating. [10:14]

The idea of carnivore diet is emerging. [14:19]

If you're experiencing a fat reduction plateau, get in there and do some weight bearing sprints. [16:23]

Dr Phil Maffetone references the idea that a sprint workout can have a metabolic effect lasting for up to 72 hours afterward. [18:37]

As soon as you spike insulin, you shut off fat burning. [20:36]

When Brad tried to change his eating habits, he found it more difficult than he thought. [24:30]

106 episodes available. A new episode about every 3 days averaging 44 mins duration .