Starting out wanting to be a jazz musician, Jonny speaker studied at Juilliard and played piano for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre. After studying music and psychology at NYU and working in musical theatre, the Jonny became an addict and was eventually able to recover. This experience inspired them to become a zealot for healthy lifestyles and become certified as a personal trainer. Later, he became Dean of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute, during which time he started questioning the conventional wisdom of low-fat diets. Jonny went back to school to obtain a PhD in holistic nutrition and board certification from the American College of Nutrition, earning the CNS (Certified Nutrition Specialist) designation. He's written books and columns, appeared on television shows, and lectured around the world.
Calories matter, but what matters more is the hormonal effect of those calories. Some calories cause your body to release hormones that make you store fat, while others like testosterone can help you build muscle. To get control of your hormones, you should look at what the calories you are eating are doing to your hormonal universe, particularly insulin which is the fat storage hormone. Cutting back on carbohydrates is a good way to start seeing results in terms of losing body fat within a week. Transcript: "So, whoever asked this question, I love you for asking it, because I have a feeling that anyone who's heard me talk about calories. Probably has a similar question. So, here's what the question says, if body composition is important for performance. Yes, it is. And you meaning me believe the calories in calories out is obsolete, but what methodologies should we use? So I want to explain what I mean, when I say the calories in calories out is obsolete, I don't mean calories or obsolete. That they don't matter. But for decades the traditional way of looking at changing your body composition is to do a math test and see if the calories in a equaling or greater than the calories out. And is if the human body behaved like a checking account, you take this much in you spend this much. What's left, is he the muscle and fat? That's what's obsolete. It's not that calories, don't matter. It's that they can't take center stage and you can't ignore Nor the hormonal effect of those calories because some calories, tell you about a to release hormones that make you store fat and some calories. Don't some hormones like testosterone, tell you to build muscle, so you got to get control of the hormones. Now, how do you know, it's not as easy as just doing the math but it's more effective. First of all, you don't have to throw out the math equation. I do that from time to time, I keep track of my basal metabolic rate and I think about how much I've gone over or under, it's not that you can't use that. But what you got to look at it, What are those calories doing to your hormonal universe? And that's what's telling you to gain or lose. So if you see yourself gaining more body fat than you want, or your stomach is expanding, their likely culprit. Is that the calories that are coming from fat, from, I'm sorry from sugar and from starch, are the ones that are triggering that storage of fat. It's likely to be that and simply cutting back on those carbohydrates. Should immediately give you a result within a week that you can see. So That's that's my answer calories matter. But what matters as much or more is what those calories do to your hormones? Namely insulin, the fat storage hormone and if those calories that you eating are triggering a lot of insulin, it's going to be impossibly difficult to lose body fat, and continue to gain muscle."
It is possible to train on an empty stomach as part of an intermittent fasting schedule, and this can be an individualized approach. Variety in the schedule is key and experimentation is necessary to find out what works best for you. Transcript: "Hi, see, the question is on intermittent, fasting in the writer wants to know how would intermittent fasting in the evenings after my training sessions, affect recovery and performance. Great question. I don't really know enough about your situation to answer that accurately. I don't know what you're fasting schedule is and whether you are talking about training on an empty stomach. If you're worried about whether or not, you're going to get enough protein afterwards to a muscle. So let me give you as general and answer. I can in general. It is entirely possible to train on an empty stomach. In fact, the old bodybuilders at Venice Beach and Muscle Beach. It used to be called when Arnold Schwarzenegger and all those guys used to train on the beach. They always trained on an empty stomach because they intuitively, even though they didn't understand the biochemistry. They intuitively thought. Well if I'm training in a fasted State, there's nothing in my bloodstream. There's no sugar there to be used. My body is going to burn fat and And although, they didn't have all the details of that, right there were kind of on the Mark about that. So there's really there are many ways to use intermittent fasting. You don't have to eat after you train. So if you're talking, for example, which is what I'm guessing, you're talking about training in the evenings and then not eating afterwards. I think that would be perfectly, okay? If you're able to sleep. And if you're not to humped up and and, and Excited by the training and you're not too stimulated. I think it's going to be a very individual thing. There's no reason why you can't train and build muscle and do all the things that we want to do and accomplish by training, while on an intermittent fasting schedule and the, how you craft the best intermittent fasting schedule for you. I've written a whole two courses on that. So there's a lot of information to be had about about design. Seeing that kind of the schedule just like, there's a lot of information to be had about designing a workout schedule, but it's completely possible to do. And the idea that you must eat after you train has some basis. In fact, I taught that myself back in the 90s and the way we eating and what we knew, then it was a very wise idea. But we've since learned that people come in so many different varieties and there's so many different ways. To accomplish the same thing depending on your own personal metabolism, and your likes and your dislikes and your schedule, and your lifestyle. So experiment with that. There's there's absolutely no red flag about not doing it. You just got to experiment a little bit and get some variety in your schedule. Maybe you don't do it the same way every day. That's a, that's a big part of the course, that I teach the variety in intermittent fasting schedules, is kind of a good thing. So, I hope that helps. And if there's anything more specific Send another question."
I don't think Netflix's documentary Game Changers is able to make the argument that everybody should follow a vegan or vegetarian diet and that if everybody did, we'd all be super athletes. However, it is true that there are some people who do well on unconventional diets. Transcript: "Hey, everybody said the question is, what do I think of the Netflix documentary game changers? Not a lot. Listen, I've seen a lot of these knives over for what the health. I actually did a documentary rebuttal to what the health called. What the hell WTF, which is still on YouTube. I think the kindest thing I can say about these kind of movies that proselytizers very aggressively for a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle and claim that that is the way of the world and that athletes perform. Are on it and people live better on it and all of that. Is that look? I think they're, we can all agree that human metabolism is very variable and people are very different and people respond to different diets. And I think even the most devout low-carb, carnivore, keto person would admit that there are vegans, like Joel Khan who very, very healthy doing very, very well. And there are clearly vegan athletes. As this documentary portrays. But I don't think you can with a straight face. Make the argument that everybody should follow that diet and that if everybody did we'd all be super athletes and we don't perform better and live longer because that is demonstrable a false and the fact that they have to look that hard to find one or two vegan athletes, that are doing fantastically should show you that. It's a good there outliers and that is not how most people respond to a vegan diet. It's not how most people respond to a vegetarian diet and that may not be politically correct at the moment, but it is the truth. So yeah, nice movie. If your point of the movie is to take away that, that's right for everybody. I think it fails. Miserably. If your point is that there are some people who do well on unconventional, or vegan or vegetarian diets. I will grant you that happily."
The HDL/LDL test is obsolete because we now know that there are more than just two types of cholesterol and lipoproteins, and that it's actually the number and size of the lipoproteins that matters. We now have tests that measure these factors, such as the LPI or Advanced Cardio Lipoprotein Profile, which should be used instead of the outdated HDL/LDL test. Transcript: "Hey, everybody says the question was, why is the HDL LDL test obsolete? I'd love to answer that one. So back, 100 years ago, when I was a kid, you used to go to a health fair and there would be these guys in lab coats and they would have a little pinprick and they test your blood and they go. Hey mrs. Jones, your cholesterol is 240. They were meant these health. Fairs Were Meant to educate people about important factors in their health and cholesterol was believed to be extremely important. So people getting educated by having those tested a little Later, they kind of looked a little bit deeper into the microscopes and they realize, you know what, actually cholesterol is carried in the bloodstream, by two different, kinds of of containers, one is called an HDR high-density lipoprotein. The others called A low-density lipoprotein, these lipoproteins are like boats and they carry cargo such as cholesterol and triglycerides, and put a little bit of protein, and they seem to do different things. So let's not enough. The HDL one seems to do good. Things will call that one, the good one, and we'll call the LDL the bad one and that was like, 1963 folks. That was like, the equivalent of the Commodore 64 computer. It's now 2022. We have nuclear magnetic, resonance. We can look inside that cell. We see that there are 13 different kinds of cholesterol does not just good and bad. Its most simplistic ridiculous, way to categorize, cholesterol. We know there's HDL to a and to being and three. For an LDL, a in LDL be an oxidized LDL. So we now know that that clothes are much more complex than just good and bad. Furthermore. We know that what really predicts bad things is not the cholesterol, but the lightbulb proteins, the boats. Because remember, if you're like, in charge of a Marina and you don't want boat accidents, you want to know how many boats are in the water. If you are a bouncer in a nightclub, you Want to know how many people are in the bar? Because the more populated something is more likelihood. Somebody's going to step on somebody's toes. A boats going to bump into another vote. So what we now know is that it's the Lipo proteins that give us valuable information. We need to know how many of them are, and we need to know their size. Some of the lipoproteins are kind of big fluffy things like cotton balls. They don't do any damage, others are really small little nasty ones like BB pellets and And they were inflamed and atherogenic. So we need to use the modern cholesterol test to use that stupid HDL. LDL test as a means for prescribing drugs, that have a long list of side effects to use, that is like using an emissions test on your car that hasn't been calibrated in 40 years. So you're not getting valuable information from the LDL HDL. Testing. You certainly shouldn't be on a medication that was based on the results of this obsolete test. So if your doctor you won't give you what's now called the particle test because ldls lipoproteins are actually called particles. So they test, it's called different things. By different, labs are great. One is given by our lab chords called the LPI. Artest Crest gives when I think called the advanced cardio lipoprotein profile, doesn't matter. They're all called the particle test. They measured the number of lipoproteins and the size of the life in proteins, and that's what you need to know about cholesterol. Anything less is a useless test."
Nutritional supplements are not necessary for health, however they can provide optimal levels of nutrients that may not be found in everyday food. They can also provide a convenient and high-tech way to deliver these nutrients. Transcript: "This is a tricky question and it's been one that I've probably been answering ever since I started a hundred years ago in this field. Is it necessary to take nutritional supplements? And of course, that depends on your definition of the word necessary. Of course it's not necessary. And there have been people throughout history who have been very healthy and long lives without nutritional supplementation in different parts of the world. The question is, why would you want to? I mean, nutritional supplements are a high-tech delivery system for nutrients that your body absolutely needs. Can you get these nutrients elsewhere in food while the American dietetic Association has been saying? So since they were formed in 1917, can you get optimal levels from the food know, you can't and and many of the nutrients that we supplement with are just not present in the food supply earlier and foods that nobody eats like, animal organ meats, and things like that. So there are lots of reasons to take nutritional supplements. It's not necessary but neither is indoor plumbing. Yeah. But you know why would you want to live without it?"
Nuts are a great addition to your diet and can help you stay healthy during the pandemic. Be mindful of how much you eat, as they are easy to overeat and can make it harder to lose weight. Enjoy all kinds of nuts like pecans, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, filberts, cashews, etc. Transcript: "Hey Syd, the question is, what's the deal with nut? Should I avoid them completely? Not only shouldn't you avoid them. I recommend that you incorporate them into your diet, almost on a daily basis. Now. There's a couple of caveats. Let me start with the good stuff. Nuts are just one of the healthiest things on earth during the pandemic. I literally survived on nuts. I had him in the car. I just ate them during tennis. They just they kept me going and they also managed to Me keep my weight. Exactly where I wanted to be for the entire pandemic. They are a wonderful little fat bomb of, basically, fat with a little protein, in the case of cashews. They have tiny bit of carbs as well. That's why they call him the candy of the nut Kingdom, but all not-so-good. Macadamia nuts are fantastic. Brazil nuts were one of the best sources of selenium in our diet. So, I recommend them very, very highly Houston cabinet. They are very high in calories. Now. I've critiqued the calorie Theory throughout my career because I think it's simplistic. It's not that it doesn't matter. It's just that they matter calories matter in a more complex way than we thought they did. But that said, they still matter and nuts and cheese, even though they are fantastic foods and I recommend them. I love them. They're very easy to overeat. You know that if you try them. I mean, it's just really, really easy to overeat. And so, if you're really struggling with weight and weight loss resistance, Since you want to monitor the amount that you have, and that's my only reservation. There's actually probably study studies showing that people who eat nuts on a regular basis in a controlled amount have lower BMI than people who don't. So it does not cause you to get that, but overeating them can make it hard to lose weight. So, that's my only caveat about nuts. Other than that, enjoy. All of them. Pecans almonds, walnuts. Macadamia nut. Brazil nuts, Filbert's doesn't matter, Keven cash. Shoes, I love nuts and I hope that you do too."