Small Changes in Your Diet to Lose Weight With Dr. Adrienne Youdim
Doug Lotz 00:03
Hey everyone! This is Doug Lotz, active lifestyle enthusiastic armchair futurist and founder of CardioCast an audio guided fitness app where we help people get fit and stay fit by making studio quality fitness classes more accessible and affordable than ever, in delivering the best music and coaching possible. Anytime, anywhere. You’re listening to the CardioCast CoolDown Podcast, where we explore topics, the intersection of health, fitness and personal wellness, you’re ready? Let’s go. Welcome to the CardioCast CoolDown podcast where we explore topics of the intersection between health, fitness and personal wellness. Welcome to the cardio cast cooldowns podcast where we explore topics at the intersection between health fitness and personal wellness. Today we have with us Dr. Adrienne Youdim. Adrienne is a Board Certified MD who specializes in weight loss nutrition. She’s a thought leader in her field, having served as the medical director of Cedars Sinai Weight Loss Center, and founding the Center for weight loss nutrition at the lasky Clinic in Beverly Hills. She’s also been featured in a plethora of media outlets, including NPR TV, news outlets, popular TV shows, like Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil, in print media like w magazine and the LA Times. And oh yeah, I think she pretty much read the textbook on medical weight loss treatments with a recent publication of the clinicians guide to the treatment of obesity. Finally, she also has her own nutrition brand, offering bars and supplements to help to support a healthy lifestyle. And that’s called Dehl Nutrition. So, Adrienne, welcome to the show.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 01:29
Thank you, Doug. It’s so exciting to be here to talk about all the things that I love to marinate in on a regular basis.
Doug Lotz 01:37
Great, yeah, sounds good. So I always like to kind of start with why and you know, kind of explore your Whys in terms of what made you start out down your journey as a doctor, and specifically why you you maybe wanted to get into the field of weight management nutrition.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 01:54
Yeah. Interesting question and loaded. But I’ll tell you that the short of it is that, in fact, when I started in medical school, and residency, I was interested in going into a procedure related subspecialty and kind of had the sense of like, if you’re doing something like a procedure you’re fixing, right, and so I had this kind of fixing mentality. But as I trained, and I started talking to patients, I realized that, really, it’s not in the fixing, but in the empowering, I believe that people really intuitively know what’s best for them. And if you can help people sift through the noise, and really feel empowered to take on their own health, that that’s really where the magic happens. And also kind of along the same lines, we we are as a medical community in the in the West, still very much disease oriented. And to a certain degree, we’ve, we’re behind the April when that happens. And so I really wanted to take the approach of prevention, as opposed to putting out fires.
Doug Lotz 03:08
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I am always frustrated, when you know, even just going to a regular, you know, primary care doctor, and it’s always like, Okay, what tool can I use to just fix this problem, this surface problem, right, you know, put out get rid of the smoke instead to put out the fire. Right. And that’s, that’s, yeah, that’s that stuff. I think we’re, you know, we’re kind of getting there in the West. But I think it takes folks who were, you know, giving us the right information and working hard at it to kind of cut through the norms that have been in place for, you know, a generation or more generations.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 03:47
And I think the responsibility is on both ends. So as a physician, and as a patient, you know, as a provider and a consumer, you know, I’m both, I think the responsibility also relies on us as the consumer, to be proactive about our hands. You know, a lot of times we wait until we’re close to the fire, right? We wait until we dismiss kind of lifestyle, and we wait until something happens before we make change. And I don’t say that in a punitive way. That’s human nature. I mean, it is right as human nature. But I think part of this shift that you’re referring to is also that we as consumers are also being more open minded and attuned to the fact that we have to be proactive about our health. And that’s not always easy getting on the cardio cast app every morning. That’s being proactive, and it’s not always easy, but we do it in the service of our own health and well being.
Doug Lotz 04:48
You know, that just kind of go off of that for a second and being proactive. I think there’s a lot. There’s a lot of information out there today. You can find good or bad right and the problem at least for me, you know, I don’t know who to trust, like, I don’t know quite how to find, you know, the right information for me as a consumer who wants to be proactive. It’s easy enough to follow the latest fad. But I mean, you know, there’s a lot that’s changed even in the the actual professional fields, since probably you started, right? I mean, I can think back, just to, you know, growing up in the 90s, where low fat everything was like kind of the deal. And now all of a sudden, fast forward to the keto craze of the past several years. And I’m like, Who do I believe? Like, when is science gonna? Turn on me again? So that’s, that’s where as a consumer who’s conscious about it, I feel a bit caught in the middle. So I don’t know if you had any thoughts about that? Or, or how to go about handling it?
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 05:41
Yeah, there’s a couple, you know, there’s a couple tangents that I can go on. One is, if you’re asking or if the question is, where do I get the right, who’s the right source of information? Um, I think, um, you know, I think credentials are important. And and this is not being paternalistic, and saying doctors are the only people who know but even within your exercise world, exercise physiologist, or, or PT, or, you know, someone that has kind of a certification, or some understanding of body mechanics or Physiology or something to back their claims. There is a lot of information on the internet. And so we have to be kind of judicious, in what knowledge we take in what are the sources who are the people speaking? So I think we have Yes, we have to see who the sources in regards to the changing information. But the data also matters. So you can have a medical study that incorporates five people. And that can be headlines, you can have a medical study that has hundreds of 1000s of people, which makes headlines, and that is also difficult for the consumer to sift through. But I think it’s important to know that when you read a headline that says study says, you know, low fat wins, you have to kind of understand that we can massage the data really any way we we want. My personal perspective is really one of balance. And I think time and time again, this is where I land. Yes, there is data for the ketogenic diet, in the sense that when you eliminate carbohydrates to such a severe degree, that people will lose weight. Interesting, fun fact is that the keto diet didn’t start for weight loss, it was actually a therapy for epilepsy or seizure disorder. Because the energy source that the keto is an energy source for the brain. So when glycogen or sugar gets totally depleted, the brain needs an energy source to function on. And ketone bodies are created out of fat, in order to be an energy source for the brain. And those ketone bodies seem to stabilize neurons in the brain, in particular, with epilepsy. So I mean, that’s kind of an aside, but it’s funny in a way that that got extrapolated to weight loss. There are studies that show that the ketogenic diet will help people lose weight. Again, I don’t personally believe it’s a function of ketone bodies, I think it’s a function of carbohydrates being classified as pop tarts. You know, if we get away, processed carbohydrates, we’re going to lose weight. The downside of a keto diet, though, is that you’re eliminating grains, legumes, beans, and a lot of good carbs, like even vegetable sources of carbohydrate. And there’s data to support that those even beans and grains, reduce mortality in the long run, so I my approach is more balanced. And if I were to go towards a dietary strategy for health, and health doesn’t always mean weight loss. So there’s that vision. I favor the Mediterranean style diet, which at the basis is a ton of carbs. I don’t advocate for eating so many. But if you want to talk about the scientific data, the Mediterranean style diet has been shown time and time and time again, to protect against heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, I mean, a whole host of things. And so to me as a as a clinician who’s looked at the data over the years, I think the evidence really supports balance. And I think intuitively that’s where we go, right. I mean, intuitively, like balanced. makes sense to me, at least.
Doug Lotz 09:50
Yeah. So it’s, I mean, I guess my sort of take looking back would be that, you know, data has a key Related over time, there has been more accumulation and study done right of data that hasn’t, you know, pertains to nutrition and outcomes, and, you know, health and weight loss and all of the other effects of various diets that are just not, you know, not just fat retention or fat loss. And that the sciences, I’m hoping I’m taking part in the fact that the science is getting better every year, right, like anything else, I guess. So it’s just, you know, it’s tough because, again, my framework, thinking back to like, you know, like, just the severe shift in fad diets, or like the severe shift, and even not just fads like recommendations, right. I remember always, like, you know, oh, low fat, this low fat that on the packet, and you’re, like, super excited about it. But when you really look at it, it was loaded with sugar. You’re, you know, that was actually not setting us up for success. So, I think, you know, over time, I guess, things will improve, but, you know,
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 10:56
well, I think it also speaks to the balance again, right? Like, we can’t just like hang our hat on low fat, and then bury our head in the sand about everything else requires really looking at the big picture on the label, and the big picture in our diet and seeing where these things fit in as a part of a an overall, you know, balanced whole food diet. The other point is that, you know, we haven’t discussed individual variability, there’s a whole, you know, body of evidence for individualized and nutritional genomics, you know, how does your nutrition enter play for you in particular, it gets complicated that way. And I don’t like to make it complicated. So again, I just would put it out there that that exists. But then take a step back and say, again, intuitively, we know more from the earth less from the pantry, right? more fresh, less processed, more lean, you know, these big picture kind of broad strokes are things that I think we need to
Doug Lotz 12:01
follow. If you were to summarize to the average lay person, you know, what makes processed food bad, right? Cuz I, I imagine everybody’s like, Oh, yeah, they told me it’s bad. So I shouldn’t eat it, you know, what is it doing? You know, why is the whole food? Why is whole food better than not? Right? And that that’s just,
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 12:18
I mean, there’s a lot but you know, I, I always think when I think of processed food, this is kind of gross, I think about about ABC are already been chewed gum. That’s the image that comes to mind, I kind of see SP It is like, all the good stuff. And the good work has already been done. The goodness of the food has been engineered out. And so you’re left with like the residue. So when you processed grains, for example, and and create a whole grain, quote, piece of toast or cereal, you have taken out so many of the vitamins and minerals, you have taken out so much of the fiber and then what do they do, they enrich it, which sounds like a good thing, right. But what enriched means is they’re putting back in nutrients that have been removed. So it’s like, Hello, if it wasn’t processed to begin with, then you wouldn’t have to enrich it by returning the nutrients, you know, the, the earth has created that whole grain with nutrition. So the first point is that vitamins and minerals and kind of good, good stuff is removed when you process it. There’s also interesting data. So for example, that this is a really interesting point, they have compared processed food to Whole Foods in regards to hunger hormones. So they have compared like steel cut oatmeal, what happens when you consume steel cut oatmeal and you cook it on the stove, as compared to like the tear pack of oatmeal that you like, you know, one minute in. And they found that if you were to consume the former the oatmeal, that you’re less, that you’re more likely or you’re more likely to suppress hunger hormones than was the processed so that physiologically you are going to feel more hungry when you eat the processed food. The thing about that, like our food is signaling to our bodies, that we received nutrition and therefore we should no longer be hungry. And the processed food is not giving the same signal to our brain that the whole food is so that just tells you how inherently devoid of nutrients processed food is if it’s resulting in different signaling of hunger hormones,
Doug Lotz 14:46
yeah. Take a slight left turn then and talk about supplements because I you know, wasn’t going to jump to this quite yet. But actually, if I think about it, I’m always concerned especially like, you know, if I’m looking to improve my health through hitting various, you know, nutritional sort of quotas that I’ve, I’ve kind of understood from just reading about things to be, you know, appropriate and set for myself. And I try to, you know, take something, a supplement, right to get up to a certain degree of, you know, meeting that quota, how much is my body actually taking up? You know, I don’t really know, I don’t, I’ve heard there’s some stuff out there, you can start to do to like measure, you know, levels of things in your in your body when it comes to vitamins and nutrients. But, you know, I just wonder like, Is it just all kind of like the band aid, like the enriched, you know, bread that we’re doing with supplements? Or is it actually going to actually, you know, do something for me, and have my body, you know, take that up as it needs to for nutritional, you know, value.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 15:46
You know, this is where it becomes individualized, I think a lot of you want these general recommendations of what we should be eating and what how we should be supplementing. And when it comes to supplementation, I do think it’s individualized. And I will also say that there’s ideal, like the ideal of growing your own food and in your backyard and picking berries, versus the reality that we’re all busy, and we have busy lives. And so I think there’s something to be said, For convenience as well. So while I love to cook dinner for my family, and I try and do so every night, I also am a fan for having a protein shake or a protein bar for breakfast or lunch, because I don’t want to grab a muffin from Starbucks and make that my breakfast. So again, there’s balance, we do the best that we can. And when I do pick a supplement, I really try and fill in the gaps. So some common, again, I said is individualized, but like some common supplements we can talk about. I think overall when it comes to protein, even though we have all these fad diets out there, like the keto diet and Atkins etc. In general, when I see a patient for weight loss, the diet is very devoid of protein. Protein is very important in regards to promoting lean body mass, ensuring that your metabolism is maintained while you’re losing weight, helping suppress hunger hormones while you’re trying to lose weight. Protein is also important as you get older, protein levels tend to fall. But as we age, our bodies actually require more protein. So I will use a high protein bar. And also I’m an exerciser, right. And I want to be able to replenish the muscle stores that maybe get torn down when I’m doing intensive exercise. So I will use a protein shake or a bar to augment my diet. And I also will use it in place at the snack to take the place of something that is not you know, if you leave it up to me, I’m going to have sour gummy worms as my snack because that’s, that’s my pleasure. But if I have a Dell bar, you know that I created to give really the best nutrition, which is 190 calories and has 16 grams of protein and has other nutrients in it. I’m going to pick that over a sweet, so I use it in that way. Some of the other supplements that I think are important to consider vitamin D is a huge one. We are overall deplete in vitamin D,
Doug Lotz 18:36
especially Yes, here on the east coast.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 18:39
Now, but especially now, right, I mean, everyone’s indoors because of our mostly indoors because of the stay at home orders. And I will say that even in Southern California, the incidence of vitamin D deficiency is pretty high. And I personally have less than a decade ago, I ran the LA marathon and I was running maybe 40 miles a week outdoors training. And despite that degree of outdoor activity, I still had borderline low vitamin D levels. Oh, how is that? Sorry,
Doug Lotz 19:11
I’m just sort of like because, you know, if we as natural humans going outside a lot, like shouldn’t that kind of handle the whole vitamin D thing?
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 19:18
There are a couple, there are a couple thoughts about that. One is the darker skin tones because of the melanocytes don’t absorb vitamin D in the same way. And and for African Americans. That’s even it’s the most you know, they’re the highest risk for deficiency. So I am darker toned, even though I’m not African American, and so that may play a role. It also I also lather myself up with sunblock, you know, I’m at the age where I’m starting to get discoloration on my skin and we were talking about vanity before the podcast. So I’ll take vitamin D deficiency over sunspots. So it may be that too and it may just be that it’s not you know, it’s Not the degree of outdoor exposure is not sufficient. Overall we are, we are still sedentary. We’re
Doug Lotz 20:06
an office. That’s right. We’re not outside all day, every day. Most of us anyway at this point,
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 20:12
so yeah, so vitamin D. And then when we talk about, you know, joint health, which may be relevant to some of your listeners, as athletes, you know, college and has been shown to reduce joint pain and preserve joints in studies. tumeric is another antioxidant that has some benefits to joint health. And caffeine, it in in good doses, you know, everything in excess is excess. But caffeine is another nutrient, really, it’s an antioxidant, or what the, the coffee itself is an antioxidant or has antioxidants, but the caffeine in it has been shown to enhance and increase exercise performance. So I mean, there’s so many different, you know, I’ve talked about macronutrients, I talked about vitamins, I talked about minerals, but there’s so many different nutrients that we can incorporate in a kind of individualized manner to meet our needs.
Doug Lotz 21:14
So I guess there’s kind of, there’s the individual who probably is, you know, maybe already down this rabbit hole, and like, you know, taking advice from these various places, and maybe they need to do a little bit more, to just make sure they pay attention to the credentials of the people they’re following advice from and also listen to their bodies, I think a little bit more to make sure that they’re doing the right thing for themselves. But then, then there’s the folks who maybe are for the first time, especially now, when they’re kind of reexamining their relationship with food with nutrition, because they’re not out and about, they’re, you know, there may be at home, that maybe are, you know, just getting introduced to this. So for them who are kind of like, well, what’s the, if I could just take a swing, and you you know, one thing, or a couple things, to improve my health, you know, through through nutrition, what would those things be,
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 22:05
I’m a big proponent of half your plate green. So I always tell people to double their intake with with veggies. And actually I say green, but really choose your colors, because every color has a different vitamin and mineral. So half your plate colors, let’s say I also to my previous point, recommend protein with every meal. And I am not vegan, I’m a support animal proteins. But I think lean protein is important fishes, great poultry, less so but also good. Eggs are a great source of protein. But for people who don’t want to go that route, beans, and legumes are excellent sources of protein. So garbanzo, beans, lentils, soy beans, these are all good sources of protein. So I do recommend protein with every meal. And, and when I choose carbs, I favor again, things like grains and beans, that that they cross both categories of protein and carbohydrate. And then things like sweet potato or yam, you know, that are also filled with antioxidants. So again, it’s really balanced, and I encourage people to think in a balanced way about their meals. Um, I also, you know, I think weight management is really important. And I tread lightly at this time of year, even though I specialize in medical weight loss, because I don’t want to add to the noise of New Year’s New Year’s resolutions and the shame and blame that goes along with that all the conversations around weight. But I wonder if we can hold our desire to do well for ourselves, you know, in a way that is not shameful. Like it’s not about being on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That’s the analogy I use that dates me right I don’t talk about influencers on Instagram, I talk about Sports Illustrated because that’s what I aspire to as a young child. But it’s about you know, really accepting ourselves where we’re at, but then wanting the best for ourselves by managing a healthy weight and healthy weight is important. And so taking small strides to do that, you know, cutting out unnecessary calories through caloric drinks. For example, can we cut out the alcohol or minimize it? Can we cut out the fruit juices if that’s what we’re doing or the coffee beverages, you know, small steps that make you know big impact or have big impact over time. People often say to me, you know, by the time they come to me for weight loss, they want tremendous weight loss, right? They’re like how much can you guarantee a week? But let’s remember that even that two pounds per week that we dismiss is a pound A month, 24 pounds in three months, almost 50 pounds in six months. So even for my patients who have, who have gained a significant amount of excess weight over the years, you know, 50 pounds in six months is not a joke. It’s not something that
Doug Lotz 25:18
Yeah, so I want to put a pin in I heard alcohol and protein sources, let’s, we’ll come back. Because I definitely want to talk about those. But also, you know, I mentioned earlier, but you know, I struggled with being obese as a child. And that is, I know, an area where, you know, a lot of there’s a lot of young people struggling, some of them may be too young to be kind of seeking their own advice at this point. But, you know, it’s hard for me growing up, I wasn’t all that educated on nutrition, I didn’t really understand my mental relationship with food. But and now you know, there’s there’s a whole lot of sources out there to maybe help you or but there’s also a lot that’s hurting folks, I think with you know, you mentioned body image and other things, especially in social media that kids are being subjected to so. So I don’t know if you if you have any advice, but what advice might you give to parents who are are either looking to make changes and, you know, help their kids who are maybe struggling with obesity or, or advice to young people who are looking to make their own changes in maybe a nutritional landscape that isn’t 100% under their control, this is
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 26:26
such a challenging problem, or issue. And we know that the numbers are really escalating in obesity in children. And, you know, I too, struggled with issues around weight. And while I wasn’t obese, I think I thought I was obese in my head. So I definitely dealt with like the body image issues of not being you know, slender and blond, whatever that meant to me back then. So I totally can understand the issue. A lot of times patients, or people will come to me, and they’ll want me to see their kids or ask about how to manage their children. And really, I think role modeling is so important. You we have to do the things that we want our children to do ourselves. And we have to be consistent, I mean, consistent and consistent over time, so that it kind of infuses in them through osmosis. You know, what we’re doing, a lot of times we say one thing, but then we do something different. And that doesn’t resonate. So working by example. That also means facilitating healthy habits by keeping a clean home, you can’t keep chips in the pantry, and then tell the child not to eat the chips. And I mean, I have these conversations in my own home. My husband is a chips monster. Or, you know, all my secrets. I love gummy worms is so smart. But I am so unapologetically transparent. So you’ll get that from me. But yeah, so you have to kind of create the environment for success by by creating the environment, right. And then the last thing that I’ll say about it, and we could talk about this for days is really for parents and children and everyone who evolved to really meet themselves, where they’re at, from a place of self acceptance. And there’s a lot of really data right now like scientific data, to show that if you can meet yourself with self compassion, so it’s okay to want to improve. But that shouldn’t be equated with self deprecation. Those are two separate things. You can want better for yourself and yet, have compassion for where you’re at right now and love yourself as you are. And I know this, even as I say it, sometimes I feel a little cringy using these words like self love, right? But the reality is that when people come from a place of self disparagement, that they’re more they’re less likely to do what’s right for themselves. And there was a study where they asked people how they rated dietary setbacks and then looked at their food logs. And people who rated dietary setback so let’s say you, you know, you went crazy over the holidays and overindulged every single day, you know, on alcohol and Christmas cookies. I don’t know if you could see that as a, okay, well, I indulged You know, I’m over it. You are much more likely to go on and make healthy choices over the next coming weeks, as if you as compared to if you were braiding yourself, why did I do that? I shouldn’t have done that. I look at how much weight I’ve gained so when you come from a place of self disparagement, you’re less likely to go on and make healthy choices less likely to exercise as well. So really, we have to meet ourselves where we’re at, in order to achieve our goals.
Doug Lotz 30:13
So, so yeah, the holiday boos came up, come back to Algol. Because it’s, it’s an interesting topic. I’m just curious where it fits in, you know, nutritionally and especially with fat loss, better attention, like thinking to myself, and maybe it’s just a, you know, a total fabrication and not true noticing it. But I feel like if I had, look, actually look at how many calories I’m consuming with, like, you know, of an alcoholic beverage versus like that in cheese, bite the same amount of cheese every week, I would just like, I feel like I blow up like a balloon, and I can’t on a weight versus you know, the alcohol doesn’t seem to do that. But yet I know. And I’m absolutely hammered all the time, by all the literature that tells me that, you know, it’s an important, you know, yeah, it’s an important contributor to fat gain and fat retention, drinking. Yeah,
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 31:07
I mean, alcohol is a tough one. And especially during the holidays, and especially during the pandemic. And I think almost everyone I know, myself included, is has been guilty of increasing their consumption at some point. And I think it was actually JAMA, but one of these medical journals published a study where it’s like consumption, I think, increased by over 70%, during the pandemic, wouldn’t be surprised with all
Doug Lotz 31:35
the the wine memes on the internet.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 31:40
It is out there. And I think, you know, as to the health effects of alcohol, you know, the medical community has kind of lulled everyone into this belief of alcohol having health benefits. So again, we talked about Mediterranean diet, right. And so, drinking wine is part of a Mediterranean diet, and it’s associated with reduce heart disease, for example. And so that’s really been promoted. But there’s a few points to make about that. Number one, the amount of wine that is usually studied in the Mediterranean diet is four ounces, for ounces would be considered a micro poor. Right, it’s a small amount, once you start getting into higher doses of alcohol, even one glass of wine per night is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. And it’s dose dependent, such that two glasses increases at more, three more. And there’s a whole host of cancers that are associated with increased alcohol use. So we also need to be savvy to the health effects of alcohol, not to mention how it disrupts our sleep, and prevents us from going into REM sleep. Poor Sleep is a whole other issue. And I actually, when I talk about nutrition, I consider sleep a nutrient. So there’s many ways in which alcohol negatively impacts our health. And yes, it is a source of calories. And the it also interferes with hunger hormones. So you may realize that if you’ve drank excessively one night, you feel super hungry or more munchy The next day, and that appears to be a function of affecting leptin levels, which is a hormone that, you know, that signifies satiety or fullness to the brain. So there’s a lot of ways in which alcohol can have negative effects to your health into your weight. Again, moderation, balance. And if we can’t moderate then we should maybe consider withholding for a while.
Doug Lotz 33:49
Yeah, it’s an interesting topic is even just going down the path of thinking well like weight calorically? Like how exactly does this add up in the math? And at the end of the day, it’s not really a question that’s all anything other than academic because when it comes down to it, the the the health detriment across the board is pretty obvious. I for those calorie counters, you’re kind of scratching their heads a little bit about like the exact numbers and trying to figure out what why if I drink this 200 calorie drink, don’t I feel this, you know, like, and like, which gets burned First, the alcohol or the you know, the top or the the food that you’re eating? And all those questions. It’s all kind of a moot point when you look at the overarching sort of, you know, data and impact of it on your health. Yeah,
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 34:34
I agree with that. And you know, the numbers are difficult or tricky, you know, like, you probably have heard this idea of one pound equals 3500 calories. So we’ve widely said okay, if you restrict your calories by 500 calories a day, then over seven days, that’s 3500 calories, you lose a pound or we’ve said things like 100 calories, more a day over the course. Severe is a 10 pound weight gain. But we don’t live in calorie chambers. I mean, we’re min bodies and physiology does not work like a calorie chamber. So when we try and do this calorie game, and I’m not opposed necessarily to looking at calories, I mean, calories do matter. But we have to keep in mind that, again, the physiology is going to treat calories different than putting in a piece of apple pie into a caloric chamber. And, yes, that it admits, you know,
Doug Lotz 35:32
what goes back to that thing, I feel like to where, you know, everybody’s different in different situations burning, you know, it’s, yeah, even even the rate at which I’m sure I’m burning calories is wildly different based on what I’ve been putting into my body and what I’ve been doing with my body on a daily basis. I mean, so I’m actually curious as well, we haven’t really talked much about exercise and this I know, you’re kind of holistically approaching your patients, right, in their, in their health in their weight loss. I’m curious, you know, when it comes to what you put in your body and how you’re exercising, right, and, and sleep and all the other pieces, you know, but but specifically exercise, you know, where does that play a role? How important is that versus, you know, what you’re eating, you know, and drinking, when you’re actually looking at it, helping a patient to lose weight.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 36:21
So when we’re talking about weight loss, it really food food and food, the exercise, probably in the acute setting does not appreciably contribute to weight loss, although, you know, I’m not saying that it’s not important. Um, I personally noticed changes if I go a few days without exercise, which I rarely do, because I exercise for my mental well be more than anything, but it is about the food. Now, when it comes to weight maintenance. However, exercise is very important, because that is the way that you preserve muscle and muscle is going to burn more calories than fat. And so it is a big component to your metabolism or create for maintenance exercise is super key. So whether it helps you lose weight in the short term or helps you maintain, again, is semantic, it’s good for weight loss in the long run. But I don’t like the marriage of exercise and weight loss, I had my wishes we would, we would give these to a divorce because the benefits of exercise are so far beyond weight, and helps every single metric. So you could pick any organ system in the body and any medical condition, including you know, mental well being. And you could see benefits with weight loss. When it comes to productivity in the workplace. creativity in the workplace. Entrepreneurship exercises is important when it comes to academics and grades. They’ve shown that if they test individuals, I baseline and then divide them into two groups exercises versus non exercisers, exercises will always perform better on the second test, as compared to those who don’t. So I mean, the benefits of exercise are tremendous, and I hate how it gets associated only with weight loss, because people will do it for weight. They won’t lose weight, because maybe they’re overcompensating in their calories. And then they’ll throw in the towel one exercise, which is has all these benefits, right?
Doug Lotz 38:29
Yeah, no, and it goes back to they’re trying to play this numbers game that isn’t always the be all end all either with the calorie calories out, you know, versus calories in and I, you know, personally, if I’m exercising more, I’m definitely hungrier, I will definitely more it’s actually probably good that I’m eating more, I’m getting more, you know, maybe not like, it wouldn’t be good if I went out and like veggie down on, you know, lots of terrible processed foods. But if I’m actually eating more things, and being, you know, eating more engines gaining muscle, and like, I feel I definitely feel better. But actually, that leads me to another question because intermittent fasting has been, you know, was such a tool that I’ve used in my life to serve Well, I’m, you know, I’m an entrepreneur, and in this day and age, so I’m always trying to optimize. And it was one of those things where keeping weight off and seeking optimal energy levels, and you know, all this other stuff. Like I used it for a number of years, I actually still kind of, you know, depends on my schedule, but I’m more adaptive. Now. I would say that I was, like, rigid before to intermittent fasting schedule, but what are your thoughts on it? And could it be a tool? Do you use it as a tool with your patients at all? Is it just curious where you are in terms of your opinions in the medical community?
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 39:43
This is another area where I would say different strokes for different folks. One size does not fit all. There’s definitely data for intermittent fasting with regards to like health benefits and what caloric restriction and even creating ketone bodies maybe does for your team. errors in yourself really helps with longevity, loans and all of that. And yes, there’s information there, I will tell you that, in my practice, one of my patients tried to do intermittent fasting, what often happens is that they’re ignoring their hunger cues. And then they are overcompensating during the, so when you don’t respond to your hunger, your hunger gets dysregulated. And I don’t know, if you’ve ever had the experience of not eating all day, you know, because you’re busy. And then it’s like, there’s nothing you can eat at night, in order to set up and so may have not eaten all day. But then now you have taken in a tremendous load at night. Many of my patients who come to me are one meal a day eaters, so they’re like intermittent fasting, you know, 20 hours of the day, and yet, they’ve been putting on weight, you know, steadily over the years. So I think you need to kind of just see where it fits in your life, I think, if you’re eating healthy, and you want to reduce the window of your healthy eating, and you can do that without dis regulating your hunger significantly, then yes, it’s going to work for you. But if you’re, if you are going to be overly hungry, or if we’re trying to beat the system, like, Okay, I’m only going to eat for eight hours, but I’m going to, you know, take advantage of that eight hours and use much as I can look for weight loss. And I find the average person falls in the latter category,
Doug Lotz 41:33
I will admit, for me, it’s it’s been a bit of it was a bit of a fight. If I look back and actually look at the numbers, I don’t think I lost much, it was kind of a maintenance time period, especially when I was doing it regularly. And I had, you know, busy schedule, it worked for me, like, I was able to stay feel sharp mentally on it. Whereas I know a lot of people who’ve tried it kind of never get over sort of the hump of you know, feeling sort of sort of brain fog. But yeah, it’s, it’s, I think, I think the biggest thing for me is if I look at it, and I’m trying to make a recommendation for somebody who’s actually seriously trying to make a change in their life, I’m like, that’s a big change. That’s a really extreme way to go about it. And you know, you might not, you might want to start somewhere with a little more balance, and just making some smaller adjustments,
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 42:29
you know, and, and if you want to give it a fair shake, you know, there’s ways of easing yourself in. So usually, we’ll recommend do a 12 hour fast, which is really not that difficult, right? You go from, you know, 12 or 10 to 12 hours to then the eight to 10 hours, you could stay at an eight hour feeding cycle, or you can go further restrict to a six hour, but if you ease yourself in, then you’re more likely maybe to see what the effect is, as opposed to that drastic shift. But again, it’s not an approach. I’ll work with people with whatever they they want, explore, but it’s not something that I necessarily promote. Well, I think
Doug Lotz 43:09
so, you know, as you’re saying, it’s different for every, you know, everybody’s gonna have a different approach that might work for them, their mental state, their, their environment, that they’re in their lifestyle that they’re living. But it sounds to me like the on the whole the balance of nutrition that you’re getting in the right, you know, sort of quantities of ratios of macros, if you will, are kind of important. I did want to I wanted to circle back on a topic that you mentioned earlier, I heard you talking about protein sources, and I correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought I heard you say that, you know, you’re definitely not a vegan or anything, but you’re talking about I think it was, like poultry protein as like a less desirable protein source. Is that, is that what you said?
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 43:54
Yeah, well, no, I guess if we’re looking at like, again, the Mediterranean style diet, you know, fish is like superior and poultry is second to fish, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s, it’s not a good source of lean protein. And in my own household, it’s like, every night it’s like chicken fish, and try and keep red meat to a minimum. I think that’s really, you know, the bigger message works like free radicals
Doug Lotz 44:23
or whatever. I don’t know, I’m just trying to know what’s the red meat thing is? Uh, yeah, I
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 44:28
mean, I think saturated fat is still I think saturated fat is still a thing. I know, there’s been controversy about whether saturated fat or fat is good or fat is bad. And I think yes, poly and monounsaturated fats, the common seeds and avocado and oils do have health benefits. And I still believe that saturated fat that comes in like butter and red meat are harmful and associated with cardiovascular disease. I will mention the caveat and this might be a good Question. But sometimes people take the whole good fat argument to Oh, then I can have, you know, nuts as snacks. But at the end of the day, we have to portion control that to a walnut is about 28 calories per night. And if you’re eating so many good fats that you’re gaining weight, then in the end, you are increasing your risk as a result. So again, comes back to being moderate. But no, I didn’t mean to throw the chicken under the bus.
Doug Lotz 45:34
Yeah, I was just curious, cuz I don’t know, it’s it’s such a staple for you know, sort of if you’re trying to avoid red meat, because you’ve, you know, you’ve sort of just laid it out. Yeah, it’s just a it’s a cheap and easy staple. But,
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 45:47
but I will also have days where, you know, I try and incorporate pure plant based dinners into our household. You know, sometimes I’ll do eggs and veggies, or I’ll try and make it exciting by making shuck sugar or something like that.
Doug Lotz 46:03
But then you I was literally just looking at a recipe for that my girlfriend sent it to me, like literally yesterday, and I was like, I’m like, looks good. But I was like, Where’s the protein in here? I’m like, Oh, I guess there’s eggs. look tasty?
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 46:16
Yeah, it’s a great source of protein. And, you know, we kind of freaked out about the, the cholesterol and eggs.
Doug Lotz 46:22
Yeah, that’s right. That was the thing for a while. They even have like advertising campaigns, like, counter it with Incredible Edible eggs or whatever.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 46:30
But again, that’s where it has to be individualized. You know, like, eggs are a great source of Coleen, for example, which is important in cognitive and brain development of fetuses, or babies. And so I had a patient once, who was like, 22 year old female, who had cut eggs out of her diet because of cholesterol. And I was like, you know, you’re 22. I’m not saying that you don’t start thinking about heart health early. But in the absence of a cholesterol problem, why are you denying yourself that nutrient?
Doug Lotz 47:03
I think, though, this is what happens, like you get, you get so much from barddhaman. of do this, not that and like you’re just gonna pick up on the ones that you might personally feel easy to do. And they might have nothing to do with your health. Like at all, like you, you might not, you know, you might actually be setting yourself up for a different outcome, because it has, like this example, she had really no reason at that point in time to be concerned about that. But it was I’m sure it was some big news outlet,
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 47:33
even in those examples, and even in that person, you know, when when we talked about it, she was like, yeah, you know, like it intuitively didn’t even feel right. So I think a lot of times, if we can just go back to our intuition, our intuition does guide us towards balanced living. And so trust your gut.
Doug Lotz 47:54
So on the topic of supplements, are there any sort of supplements that you’d recommend to listeners? I know, we talked about vitamin D a bit as something that’s important, it’s been difficult, it’s shown to be that a lot of folks have a deficiency, but are there any supplements that listeners might not have heard about, that they may be should be hearing about that are, you know, either emerging or particularly important? And this don’t get enough play? Or, you know, just kind of interested to get your take on that? Yeah.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 48:23
I mean, there’s so many and again, I step away from not being personalized in my recommendations,
Doug Lotz 48:30
can’t wait for the day when we can all just have like our personal health, you know, everything scan about it and be like, Oh, you specifically for your genome and your activity and everything else?
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 48:40
Oh, boy, I tell you, that freaks me out a little bit, too. But I will tell you what my favorite supplement right now is. And I think we’ve talked about this before, but it’s ashwagandha. And, yeah, under is a, what’s called an adaptogen. It is a plant based supplement that has been widely utilized in ru Vedic medicine in Chinese medicine. And it has been shown to to help bodies adapt to stress and when they have looked at the benefits of ashwagandha. in clinical trials, they’ve shown that it improves mood reduces anxiety, enhances cognition and is helpful for sleep. Of course, it is a supplement, we can’t make claims. So as a physician, I can’t say take ashwagandha for your anxiety. It’s not an FDA approved supplement, you know, medication, so to speak. But I am impressed with the data out there as to its benefits. And so I have been widely recommending it. It is a star ingredient in our flagship del bar that was done by design because I believe in the supplement In addition to vitamin D, it’s the only pill that I take myself. And that’s also we also have ashwagandha in our in Dell nutrition line. So I think it is really timely right now, given that anxiety is so prevalent, sleep has been so disrupted. And because cognitive health is really coming to the forefront, you know, with the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and all of the awareness around it, I think it’s really important nutraceutical
Doug Lotz 50:32
Yeah, I’ll put my personal agreement stamp on that one. KSM 66 ashwagandha that’s the if you want to Google something, look it up. The best stuff that, you know, I’ve seen out there, but it’s, it’s, it’s one of the adaptogens are kind of weird as a concept to me, like, I’m like, oh, how does it like a dat? Like, you know, it’s kind of seems a little mystical to me to like, you know, that knows what you’re you need in your body or whatever. But I you know, just from my cold heart, sort of experiential point of view, I can say that, you know, ashwagandha has worked really well, for me, and just in terms of your mental well being and distressing. You know, for some folks, I had a good friend, you took it, and he just didn’t feel quite as sharp, you know, at work. So he kind of he stopped using it. But he was definitely a little more laid back about things. But for him having a hyper sort of energetic, you know, engagement presence at work was really important to him. And he, you know, so he backed off of it. But yeah, I think it can do great things for people. So
Dr. Adrienne Youdim 51:35
yeah, and everyone again, has to it has to be individualized. If you’re taking if you have chronic diseases if you’re on prescription drugs, yeah, there’s hormonal effects as well. You have to be careful if it does enhance testosterone levels. And so, yes, just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have effects in the body.
Doug Lotz 51:54
Yeah, there’s a sound bite for everybody to take away. Just because it’s natural does not mean it does not have, you know, effects in the body, it can absolutely have important effects. So great. Um, well, I think we’re, you know, just about out of time. But thank you so much for for chatting with me today. It’s been really interesting, really informative and fun. So I appreciate you taking the time and being on with us.
Yeah, it was fun for me to thank you for having me. And I’d love for people to engage further, they can look us up on Dehl nutrition on Instagram, also our website, Dehl nutrition.com we have a podcast, Health Bite and newsletters, really trying to disseminate information and empowering people live well.
Doug Lotz 52:43
So great. So thank you very much, and everybody, please don’t forget to subscribe to the show. And leave us a review. And also you can follow us at cardio cast app on Instagram. And check out our app CardioCasts on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store. If you listen to the podcast, you might have heard about it. But if not, please do check it out. We’re an audio only based workout app. And in these days of of zoom fatigue, I promise that you know taking an hour out of your day or even less, just a half hour to get a screen break and an exercise workout. It’ll feel really good. So that’s all from us. Thanks again and have a really healthy rest of your week. Hey everyone, if you like the CardioCast CoolDown, please don’t forget to leave us a review wherever you’re listening. You can also connect with us on Instagram at CardioCast App, and check out our website, CardioCast.app and check out our app on the App Store or Play Store. See you next week.