Podcast Episode #128: Calories, Do They Matter? Clearing up Dogma, 100 Calorie Packs, & Weight Loss

Diane Sanfilippo Nutrition Myths, Podcast Episodes 2 Comments

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The Balanced Bites Podcast | Episode 128 | Calories do they matter? Clearing up dogma, 100 calorie packs & weight loss Topics:

1.  #Paleotour updates [6:05] 2.  Liz’s book is out!  [8:11] 3.  Beyond Sugar Detox update [15:21] 4.  Eat the Yolks egg-cerpt and a rant from Liz[17:14] 5.  Diane’s counterpoint to a calorie is a calorie [27:20] 6.  Hitting a weight loss plateau on paleo [41:10] 7.  Weight gain on paleo [52:58]


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Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone! Liz here. Welcome to episode 128 of the Balanced Bites podcast. I am here with Diane. I think last week it was JJ Virgin, and the week before it was just me!

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes.

Liz Wolfe: Are you proud of me?

Diane Sanfilippo: I am. I have not listened to the episode yet. I will listen.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Because I tend to do that when I travel.

Liz Wolfe: When you miss me?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I’ll tune in. I’m like, what happened on my podcast that week?

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: The episode with JJ was awesome, and we are actually recording this before that one airs, so I’m really eager to see the response that folks have to that one. I really enjoyed talking with her. She’s definitely become a mentor to me on a lot of things that we talked about, so it should be interesting.

Liz Wolfe: She’s one of those people that when you’re around here, maybe you want to kind of up your game a little bit.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: That’s kind of like what you are to me, which is why I moved.

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, that’s nice {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: 2000 miles away {laughs} to a place with no internet. I don’t want to be productive.

Diane Sanfilippo: You want to hear something funny?

Liz Wolfe: No.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: I know, I’m really not funny.

Liz Wolfe: No, I want to hear it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so Oprah, you know, I totally think Oprah

Liz Wolfe: She’s your best girl.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think she’s amazing! But if I can’t be friends with Oprah, I feel like JJ’s got me on that next spot. She’s really motivational on a business front, but she does it from a very… this might sound, I don’t know, crazy to some people, but she does it from a very grounded sort of spiritual sort of humanitarian approach. She really just wants to help a ton of people, and help the people who are doing that be successful in their careers so that they can continue doing it. You know what I mean? So, we don’t want to be all broke trying to do what we’re doing because otherwise we can’t keep doing it.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I just really like her a lot. I have a lot of respect for her, and I think she’s an awesome woman. So there you go.

Liz Wolfe: I like that.

Diane Sanfilippo: You want to talk about our sponsors?

Liz Wolfe: No. Uh, yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I’m like a 2-year-old right now. I’ve just discovered the word “no”. Sponsors: Paleo Treats. Get 15% off when you enter the code BALANCEDBITES at checkout. The new Bandito bar is my husband’s favorite. Don’t, just, do what my mom does when she orders Steve’s Paleo Goods.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: She puts them in my old room, which is now like this storage/sewing room.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: I walk up there…

Diane Sanfilippo: IS that where all your trophies are?

Liz Wolfe: That’s where all {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Miss Congeniality {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: All my ribbons, all my trophies are up there. All of my childhood Barbie’s with the heads falling off that she’s saving for whenever my sister or myself has children {laughing} and I’m like, there’s no way we’re passing down tattoo head-shave Barbie. My art project to…

Diane Sanfilippo: We have gotten so far off the rails. {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: So far off field. But when you get your paleo treats, just put them in a room that you know your spouse isn’t going to go.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: So you can have them all to yourself.

Diane Sanfilippo: In the drop freezer under the livers and other things that…

Liz Wolfe: Under the lamb fries.

Diane Sanfilippo: I have to say one thing about Paleo Treats, too. They awesomely sent some goodies for a seminar that we had not long ago, you and I, but because of the whole UPS shipping debacle of the holidays, did not arrive in time, so the folks up in Stamford, Connecticut, got to enjoy Paleo Treats at my little talk I gave not long ago and {laughs} everyone was kind of chattering, and you know how I get when I’m trying to get everybody quieted down and start on time, which I didn’t because I can’t even explain the 10 reasons why I was a little bit late to my own seminar.

Liz Wolfe: Ugh.

Diane Sanfilippo: Anyway, the Paleo Treats came out, and everybody was quiet because everybody was chowing down on their goodies, so that was amazing. Just thought I’d share.

Liz Wolfe: You just reminded me of a scene from Hamlet 2. If anybody’s seen it, and they know what I’m talking about, they’re going to be laughing, the way he tries to quiet the class down.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Paleo Treats obviously.

Liz Wolfe: Uh. Ok, next sponsor. Pete’s Paleo, bringing fine dining to your cave. Pete’s Paleo is now offering our listeners a free pound of bacon with the purchase of any meal plan. And that offer is valid through, whenever it’s valid through. {laughs} So the code is BBLOVESBACON. You can also go to the blog post for these podcasts to look up the codes and the deals and all that good stuff. And finally, Chameleon Cold-Brew. It’s amazing. Our special discount code for Chameleon Cold Brew is BALANCEDBITES. Definitely worth trying. I’m seeing more and more pictures on Instagram of the Chameleon Cold Brew, Pete’s Paleo bacon, and Paleo Treats. I like it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Hashtag and tag them and do all that good stuff, and let them know we sent you their way. Good stuff.

1. #Paleotour updates [6:05]

Liz Wolfe: Very good stuff. So my, I’m going to let you do all the paleo tour updating, but my only update here is {laughs} before we got on this podcast, I had to run outside because the goats have discovered that the electric fence battery is dead, and has been dead for some time.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} And they are taking full advantage of that. They are basically bleating; I don’t know, I don’t know what goats do. They “baaa”, I don’t know. They are basically crying. I mean, literally you would think somebody was torturing these goats, the sounds that they make, but they’re basically at the side door just, “baaaaa”, like, let me in your house.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Liz Wolfe: They’re not going to go anywhere, because they know I’m in here, but I’m hoping at least the UPS guy shows up, because otherwise, what is this other than completely annoying.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} You need to Instagram a video of that.

Liz Wolfe: I tried! But my stupid, I swear they deliberately make their own devices obsolete, but I have the original iPhone, and I cannot do… I can’t even send a text message without it telling me that I’m out of storage, so I’m having some issues here. I need a new, a new flip phone.

Diane Sanfilippo: You should just get a new one. Right now. Well, paleo tour updates. I can’t really do much of that, because when this podcast airs, it will be after we are back from Texas, yet we have not gone to Texas thus far. {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Oh, yeah, that is a little confusing.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, we’re going to Texas, we’re recording this a week ahead, so we’re actually trying to get ahead of ourselves, which is a good thing. Yeah, so we’ll be able to give an update on Texas in the next episode, I think. Perhaps we’ll even record that from Texas; wishful thinking, perhaps. But, I can tell people to potentially save the date for April 19th; that’s a ways off, but there may be a sort of shifted arrangement of who’s in that “paleo tour” event, but there may be a New York City event on April 19th, so just kind of stay tuned for that. I’ll definitely send out more information when I have it.

2. Liz’s book is out! [8:11]

Liz Wolfe: So I guess the big news then is that my book is out!

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Heck yeah!

Liz Wolfe: Everybody buy it!

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: So, Diane, you have experience with this. Can you tell people how to, if they so desire, and if so I would be so immensely grateful, how to support the project.

Diane Sanfilippo: Whoo.

Liz Wolfe: From here on out. Go to the store, ask for it, etc.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, so if you haven’t preordered the book, which if you preordered, probably by now you’ve gotten the book, and that’s really helpful. One of the things that’s really helpful about preorders is that those are obviously all through Amazon or Barnes & Noble online, but in order to get the book in a store near you, the bookstores themselves want to see that that presales on the online vendors are strong. So, it seems a little random that they would do that, because that whole possibility didn’t even exist not that long ago, but they just want to see that there’s some strong interest in the book, and so in order to get the book in more places, just go ahead and order it. I guess at this point you can’t preorder it anymore. So, if you did preorder, that’s what it helped out. If you go to a local bookstore and it’s not there, definitely ask for it by name. Ask them to order it, place the order, go ahead and maybe buy the book and just have them either send it to you if it’s something that you, you know, it’s a store you can’t get back to or just go ahead and pick it up at a later date. I’m trying to think what else. It is really helpful if you can support the book in stores, because obviously tons of us want to use Amazon, maybe we have Amazon prime or we just like to order lots of things, sort of like when you shop at Target, and you go in for toothpaste, and you leave with like, I don’t even know, a whole new wardrobe.

Liz Wolfe: I’ve never left Walgreen’s without spending at least $50.

Diane Sanfilippo: $50 {laughs}. I’ve witnessed that; it’s true.

Liz Wolfe: Yup.

Diane Sanfilippo: Even if it means buying socks.

Liz Wolfe: Headbands. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And headbands. A new hairdryer, even though you already had a hair dryer. I’m just kidding.

Liz Wolfe: Did I do that? I probably did.

Diane Sanfilippo: No. I don’t think so.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: But no, it just really helps. So people may realize that Practical Paleo, for example, has gone back into Costco stores, which I am super excited about, and it’s in a select number of BJ stores, for example. None of that would happen if you guys weren’t supporting the sales of the book in the store. And so this is another one of those times when, you know, maybe you have a friend that you want to recommend the book to, maybe you’re just in the bookstore. Grab a copy of the book when you’re there versus waiting to head home, because if the stores sell the book strongly, it just encourages other stores to pick it up. Anyway, we appreciate all of that support. We appreciate you passing our books on to friends and family. I do think for sure that Eat the Yolks is one of those books that, especially, you know I’ve heard from a few women who are basically our moms’ age, Liz.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like in there, anywhere from late 50s to early 70s, perhaps, just kind of depending. This book is definitely resonating with them. It’s resonating with anyone who is in our peer group, so if you’ve got friends; I mean, most of our listeners are probably in the, I would estimate 25 to 45 age range, more females than men. This is my guess {laughs}. But it’s really going to resonate with the people that you feel like you’re trying to explain eating egg yolks is not harmful. And it’s obviously not just about eating egg yolks. There’s way more information {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: That’s a sticking point, you know.

Diane Sanfilippo: But it really is a sticking point.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: And it’s one of those things that’s sort of the gateway, because when you explain that, and then somebody realizes that this thing that they held so dear as true is not true, it opens the door for a lot of other information, and so I like the way you word it, I like the way that you back up your information, and that it gives us more of the historical perspective that’s not just about paleo, and it’s not just about this study or that study. It’s, here’s what happened over time, and here’s why this stuff moved into the spotlight versus not. So, I personally find that really interesting, just that little bit of historical perspective, too, because I think that’s where everything went wrong, you know?

Liz Wolfe: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s just more about industry and who’s making money from us buying this and that, and who’s also then making money from a “study” “proving” {laughs} that something does something else.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} so many finger-quotes. I had the most amazing conversation yesterday with our local farmer. My husband and I went out there to pick up a half a gallon of raw milk, as we do on a weekly basis. Art Ozias at Breezy Hill Farms, and we gave him a copy just thinking, oh, you know, maybe he won’t be all that into it. But both he and his wife have, and they’re in that peer group, kind of our parents age, and they absolutely loved it! And I was just amazed by that. Because I did worry a little bit that maybe this was going to be more relevant to my peer group, you know.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Liz Wolfe: With the pop culture references sprinkled around there and what not, but they were so complementary. They wanted to a buy a case so they could give it to their customers. And what’s cool is, they had actually never heard of paleo before we handed them the book. They’re kind of Weston A. Price people, very, you know, pasture based farmers. They had never heard of paleo, and not only were they not put off by the idea, but it flowed perfectly for them within the book.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Liz Wolfe: They didn’t feel like they needed to buy into some branded diet. But in context, they said it really worked. So that was just the greatest compliment I could possibly have been paid, so yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: I thought, I don’t know if you heard this. I’m sure you did, actually. So our publisher, his mom, did he talk?

Liz Wolfe: Yes! I cried.

Diane Sanfilippo: Was like, she’s read every paleo book. Maybe I’ve already talked about this on the podcast, but she’s read every paleo book, and this one really just struck her. Like, this was the way she needed to hear it. And that’s what I think is, you know, that’s why I said that I loved John Durant’s book, because it has a different way of explaining this stuff to different people. Your book does the same thing. It’s a different way of explaining things, and for those of us who already know this information, you’re still going to learn a ton and it’s entertaining. I don’t often like to read books where I kind of already know what they’re going to say, but I’m really enjoying reading it because I just am. I think it’s a really fun read. So there you go.

Liz Wolfe: Awesome. And everybody; give it away. Not just the book itself, but if you see a quote that you like, post it on Facebook. Take a picture of it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yes.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t care. I wrote this so that it could be out there. So put it out there, and let people know about it. Share things that you like. It’s completely fine.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Definitely have it as one of those books that when people ask, you know, what should I read to understand this, I don’t get what you’re talking about. Don’t forward them some kind of study that you think they’re going to read, because they’re not.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Just tell them, grab this book, it will really explain all this stuff, and it will really help you to understand why, no, I will not have a heart attack and die tomorrow because I’ve eaten two eggs every day for the last however long, or I’m eating a steak, or I’m not eating whole grains, etc. Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Goods tuff.

3. Beyond Sugar Detox update [15:21]

Liz Wolfe: Uh, cool. So anything else that you want to update on?

Diane Sanfilippo: Well, I guess the last thing is that Beyond Sugar Detox is …

Liz Wolfe: I thought you were going to say Beyonce. I’m sorry. {laughing} The Beyonce?

Diane Sanfilippo: I just saw, on somebody’s Instagram, a picture of a mug that says, “you have just as many hours in a day as Beyonce”

Liz Wolfe: Yes! That’s exactly what I was! Oh that’s funny.

Diane Sanfilippo: So that’s hilarious.

Liz Wolfe: She’s been on Instagram.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was like, ok, I better put my phone down now and get to doing some work.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} Sorry, go ahead.

Diane Sanfilippo: The Beyond Sugar Detox program is getting really close to release. We wanted to release it for the first of the year; it just, I wanted to make this program very rich with content that will support you if you are taking on a sugar detox while you’re on the program, but also, most obviously perhaps, beyond the sugar detox, so giving you additional support materials that will help you make the transition back to kind of eating some of the foods that you weren’t eating on the program but, also the name implies, it’s beyond the content that’s in the book, so it is support, a lot of support, for while you’re on the program. One of the things that we’re doing is 23 days of mini-podcast calls between myself and one of the other moderators who is a nutrition educator where we’re talking about what to expect every day. And they are just short, no more than about 15-20 minutes, so you can listen in your car, or listen just on a walk on your way somewhere each day or each morning, or even the night before that day. Just kind of get your head ready for what’s going to happen. So I think that’s really cool. I’m just really excited to be able to give people more information, because as you know, a book is finite. There’s only a certain number of pages you have there, and I’m just really excited to get this back online, so. That’s it.

4. Eat the Yolks egg-cerpt and a rant from Liz[17:14]

Liz Wolfe: Very exciting. Alright, so, on to some content and a little rant. This podcast, we’re going to delve into some calorie issues, and some issues of weight loss, weight gain, and whatnot. And I want to address something that I’m calling the calorie controversy. It sounds really primetime, right? But before I go on a little rant here, which is usually Diane’s territory, but I’m going to do my best. {laughs} I’m going to let people know where I personally stand on calories. It’s not a secret at all. I wrote a whole chapter about it in Eat the Yolks. So, first I’ll read my little egg-cerpt, so people know what’s up, and then I’ll go back and drop the bomb. The bomb calorimeter a little bit more.

Diane Sanfilippo: {evil laughing}

Liz Wolfe: {evil laughing} {pew pew pew} Alright, so a quote from the book. I’m going to deliver two quotes here. “On the list of things that matter about our foods, calories are dead last.” Now, I need to qualify that, because it’s a controversial statement, and it requires context, so I’m going to give a little bit more, quote first and then I’ll get into that. “We’ve been taught to think about the food we eat and how it affects our weight and our health solely in terms of calories, despite the fact that the food as calories concept is as dated as tapered jeans. It took root nearly 120 years ago, around 1894, and we continue to act as if that’s the whole dang story, even though the following century of scientific advancement saw the discovery of several key metabolism regulating hormones that matter far more than calories. We’ll get to that. Why does the calorie count hang around this way, then, if it’s not the most important measure of how our bodies handle food? It’s hard to say. Partly because it’s simple, perhaps, and we’re used to it. Partly because the processed food industry prefers that we think only about calories, and never about nutrition. Partly, because it’s profitable for many diet food pushers in the weight loss food industry, it would be much harder to assign Weight Watcher’s points to our hormone levels. But the way our bodies use food as orders of magnitude more intricate than a simple count of calories eaten and burned…” So, let me expand on some of this a little bit. In my opinion, the calorie count gets mountain of credit whenever it does “work” for someone, but it doesn’t lose credit when it doesn’t. It’s so similar to the story of the cholesterol measure when it does seem to tell us something when, say, certain numbers seem to align with some kind of high risk situation, we decide that those numbers matter, and we get all wigged out about it and how they matter. It’s just this kind of weird, crazy, biodome that we’re suffering under, when really the story is, and has always been, these are easy measures to take and we want to make them mean something, so when they line up we say it proves something, and when they don’t, as is generally the case with both cholesterol measures and calorie counting, we just kind of throw away the data instead of working to understand the true complexity of the topic. And that’s what I’m standing on. It’s not an easy sound bite, and I think a lot of folks, you know folks have written in to me and said, you need to focus more on this topic and on why calories matter, and I just have to say they don’t! But it requires a little bit more context than is just available in a sound bite, and that’s the truth. So, the calorie count and what it means to our bodies; specifically, how much we weigh, which is a modern concern, and it’s most often based around either vanity, let’s be honest, or the very modern problem of obesity that likely exists thanks only to the triggers of modern life, like nutrient poor foods playing on our genetics. So it’s truly a bit of a novelty. What I’m saying is, this is a debate of modernity, not of biology. Anyway, when we talk about calories and this idea that at some point calories “do matter”, finger-quotes, we’re actually just, in my opinion, mired in this idea that we’ve been saddled with to the point that we can’t see out of the calorie box and often we justify this “calories do matter” idea by calling upon the law of thermodynamics. That’s what people like to throw out at me every once in a while, and that’s the science most often evoked to this point when we talk calories. But this is actually just confusion over the laws of thermodynamics. I had many a trainer cite the laws of thermodynamics in the past, and I just ate it up. Because it sounded cool, and it sounded legit, and it seemed to confirm something that I already thought was true, which was calories in, calories out for weight loss. This idea that weight gain is contingent on calories in versus calories out, weight loss as well, and that too many calories at some point starts to “matter”. But here’s where these so-called authorities get confused. The first law of thermodynamics is basically, I think I saw this somewhere while I was tooling around on Pub Med, which is, you know, of course, we all do that. We all tool around Pub Med looking at scientific studies for fun. Basically what I saw was that the first law of thermodynamics is basically bookkeeping in a closed system. And we are not closed systems! Our energy expenditure depends on a ton of different things. What our body is managing, from inflammation to tissue repair to thinking, which some of us do less than others. {laughs} And our generation of ATP, which is our bodies true energy currency. That actually depends very much on nutrients, which I talk about a ton in Eat the Yolks. But we need nutrition. We do not need more insistence on this calorie BS! We literally need nutrients to make our bodies work as best they can. And that includes the generation of energy. And what we weigh depends most on what our hormones are doing, which I also talk about at length in Eat the Yolks. I talk about insulin and leptin. But here’s the thing, our set point, and this is a new field of study that’s really fascinating, and how leptin communicates with us to stop eating, and whether our body’s downgrade their level of unconscious activity. I’m talking about moving our feet, fidgeting, moving your hands around when you’re talking as I’m doing right now. All of those things is an interaction of the body preserving it’s set point, and there’s far, far more at work there than calories. We blame calories in these situations because it’s easy, and because we’re used to it, but it’s a proxy for something else. Period. Recently, we had Jonathan, or I had Jonathan Bailor, it was an episode I did. We had Jonathan Bailor, who is the author of The Calorie Myth, on the podcast. Now look, I don’t agree with everything anybody does, Diane, we don’t even agree on everything. I like Jonathan Bailor’s work because he’s actually looked at the preponderance of literature relating to calorie intake and weight loss, which is how we conventionally think about calories, and he’s revealed that a calorie restrictive or a calorie-counting approach with regards to weight loss has not been studied to work. So we’ve got that. Now, what Bailor doesn’t necessarily talk about, and what I like to talk about, is what weight loss or gain actually means to most people, and that where we want our bodies to be often departs from what our bodies are in that moment. What they’re meant to be, or what they become. And that’s going to be addressed quite a bit in today’s podcast, if I have anything to do with it. So here’s the thing; sometimes our bodies become something we don’t like. That doesn’t mean we’re not healthy. It just means that we wish we looked different, and that’s a very different thing. And that’s the huge disconnect in the health and fitness communities. Some say, you know, at some point, calories do matter, and if we’re Jillian Michaels or the biggest loser trainers, we say weight loss is calories in, calories out, period. If we’re Jonathan Bailor, we say counting calories has not been studied to work for weight loss, which is true. But what I say and what I think is missing from this discussion is what we want our bodies to look like doesn’t always jive with what our bodies become as we nourish them, and when we’re not ok with that we start to blame calories. Ok, so the idea , that at some point calories do matter, is wrong. And this is where we get into something more complex. That idea, that at some point calories do matter, is the idea that whatever weight we’re at is wrong, or right, and if we feel that it’s wrong, that calories, or not watching calories, or eating too many calories is what’s to blame. That’s perception. That’s not success, or failure, or calories. That’s just the way we’re thinking of something, and the way we’ve been educated for many years to think about something. By both the medical community, the weight loss community, and the media that’s telling us what we’re supposed to look like. So, our set point, or where our body is at any given moment, that’s something that is determined by nutrient input, by environmental inputs, and most importantly by hormones. We can manage these things for better, or for worse, or for change, or for the same, but the process may not be something that makes our bodies or our souls happy. That’s a fundamental disconnect, and I don’t know if I can do anything about that for people. But I can say, you know, maybe I’m kind of the anti-role model here. It’s not that I don’t care how I look like, but I fundamentally, most importantly care how I feel. I think there are people out there that would say I should lose weight if I want to be a role model for health and fitness. I completely disagree with that. I’ve found a place where I am very happy, even if it doesn’t make other people happy, but the fact is, I got sick of worrying about that crap, and I got much more fascinated with where the nutrients are and nourishing myself. And, go figure, I’m a much happier, healthier, more at peace person having let that go. I’m not saying that’s what everybody should do or that nobody should worry about their weight; I’m just saying, for some people, that’s the sticking point. Not how many calories are coming in.

5. Diane’s counterpoint to a calorie is a calorie [27:20]

Diane Sanfilippo: Whoo!

Liz Wolfe: Ok. Yep.

Diane Sanfilippo: Whoo-hoo!

Liz Wolfe: I did it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Do you want me to offer a counter point?

Liz Wolfe: I do. I thought you might.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, I want to qualify, because on a lot of the episodes we’ve done, I have definitely had that opinion, where at some point calories matter. My take on that is rooted in this: It’s rooted in the fact that we know, or at least we assume, that nutrient-dense foods will naturally support you in eating in a way that supports your hormonal balance, whatever that means. Right?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, if you need to gain weight or lose weight or whatever it is; not according to your mindset, but according to what’s healthy for your body. So when we give people information on what they should eat to be healthy that will allow their body to get to perhaps a healthier body weight if that’s what their body really needs, right?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: We’re not making that judgment call. Then, my point on “calories matter at some point” is that an excess of any sort of nutritive value at some point, there is a point where it’s excess. It’s more than what your body really needs, and what we hope is that people are eating nutrient-dense foods so that what your body really wants and needs is getting fulfilled before you take it to that excess level, and that doesn’t happen as well when you’re eating things like 100-calorie packs, when you’re eating fat-free this and that, when you’re eating foods that have lots of calories, lots of macronutrients without enough micronutrients, without enough of what your body really wants to stop you from eating more of it. And that’s where I think a lot of us who perhaps used to eat lots and lots of these sort of crappy, nutrient-poor, low-calorie foods. We used to eat this huge volume. We perhaps developed habits where we got used to eating a lot of food, and then we have to shift because we realized that the food we eat now delivers more nutrition in smaller portions, and that might take time for people. So, I feel like this is one of the reasons why some people gain weight on paleo, because whether they’re just absorbing and digesting a little bit better, so now the food that they’re eating actually does something in their body, or they used to eat X volume of food, and so they’re just so programmed to eating that volume of food, but now that volume of food delivers a lot more to your body, nutrient-wise and calorie-wise. So both macro and micronutrients. I think that if you upset a balance of not just energy but the hormonal balance in any way, I think that’s, to me, where that calories do matter at some point. It’s really not just calories. It’s where too much nutrition for your body can matter. And I think a lot of us come into a better way of eating, and we have deep, sort of nutrient deficits.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} And, it’s probably a good thing that we’re overloading ourselves.

Liz Wolfe: Decades’ worth.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and so that can be a good thing. That’s obviously one of the reasons why we like stuff like superfoods, whether it’s dark chocolate, or sea veggies, or fermented cod liver oil, broth or sunshine, all these things that we can get some concentrated doses of nutrients that we’ve probably been missing for a while. But, I don’t know. I’m not sure that I think; maybe it is just calling it a calorie is what becomes, maybe, a semantics issue here. But I think any time we might have this overwhelm of nutrition for what our body really needs based on our metabolism, our activity levels, all those different things you talked about; our constitution, whatever we might be missing. I think if you overwhelm the system, I think that’s where it can matter. So maybe it’s just a matter of whether it’s not called calories, you know?

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Whether it’s just somehow this overwhelm to the system and I could easily keep eating more, and maybe that’s the big issue. That it’s not just this calorie thing, it’s not just this thermodynamic thing, but because calories became something that are easy for people to sort of grasp and understand and put some numbers to, maybe that’s why we went there. You know?

Liz Wolfe: And maybe that’s ok. I honestly don’t know. I want to kind of jar people out of only thinking about food in the context of calories, so that’s why I took a hard stance in my book. But I totally get what you’re saying. And this is a really new field of research. I mean, the idea of the set point, leptin and how it works, and how it interacts with other hormones and drives other hormones. But I think the foundational thing is we need nutrients. We need nutrients to generate ATP. We need nutrients to do almost everything. So I think that’s where you and I both come back to and we agree on, where are the nutrients.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think we also agree on, if we do read a label, if we have a food that has a label for some reason, or we just know that we’re eating something. I mean, I know that a tablespoon of fat is the same number of calories. No matter which fat you eat. So here’s where maybe know about calories, if they do work at all the way we’ve been told, it’s just how much energy that food will give us. And so, for a lot of us we’ve looked at them in a different way now. We’re like, I don’t want to eat the food without the calories, because that does not give me any energy. And what that means, kind of more from what I think your perspective is, that doesn’t deliver anything to my cells that tells my cells, “help run this body better.”

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Without calories. So, part of that is needing the actual macronutrients, right? Because the micronutrients don’t have calories.

Liz Wolfe: And I guess that is us talking about whether a calorie is just a calorie, and of course we know that the answer is no.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s not. And that’s where some of the sort of spontaneous weight loss, where it’s like the person didn’t maybe cut calories intentionally, but if they ate more nutrient-dense foods, they may have spontaneously cut calories by just satisfying what their body wanted before they ate as many calories as they used to eat. So, for example, you could eat 3,000 calories of nutrient-poor food, or 15-1600 calories, or 2,000 calories of nutrient-dense food, and your body actually get satisfied on that lower amount of calories because the nutrition that you’re getting, the vitamins and minerals, is much greater.

Liz Wolfe: My thing is, if something doesn’t work for everybody, then we can’t talk about it like it should.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: And I think when people change their diet and do one thing or the other, basically all it means is that they found the magic recipe for them, to balance them to the point that they became healthy and dropped weight that maybe they needed to drop.

Diane Sanfilippo: You know what? I think that that point, too, I think it’s that because it’s not the whole story, it’s dangerous.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: You know what I mean? I don’t know that I think it’s not valid. I just think it’s not the whole story, so saying calories in, calories out; I mean, this is what happens in a lot of nutrition worlds or a lot of scenarios where we have more to say than just, you know, don’t eat grains.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I mean, there’s more to it, but if you’re listening to someone who’s teaching about nutrition, and they say, well it’s really just about calories in, calories out, if they believe that that’s the end of the story, then that’s not fair because that’s not the end of the story. But, you know, what if calories do matter, but it’s because of the rest of this whole context.

Liz Wolfe: In which case, it’s not even the calories that are mattering, it’s all the other stuff.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Liz Wolfe: But we’re using calories as a representative. And I get that. That’s fine. I understand that. But I can’t let that be the whole story. I’m with you.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I think it’s just really funny because if we talk about 100-calorie packs, for example… if you think about the way that might fuel your body versus 100 calories of lard, where you’re going to get some vitamins and minerals versus some kind of processed refined 100 calories, that’s where I think using calories as any sort of example becomes interesting and cool.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: This is where you can say, a calorie is not a calorie. I think it’s just the word at this point. The calorie word is so loaded.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, exactly what it’s come to mean.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s like saturated fat.

Liz Wolfe: And even with that, it’s in the context of history. We worry about this stuff because we have this constant supply of food, and not just food but nutrient-poor food, that’s confusing our bodies to the point that we completely lose our hormonal balance probably by the time we 5 freaking years old!

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Liz Wolfe: So, you know, for different people there’s a different recipe for bringing back our hormonal balance, but I don’t think its sustainable from a calories-only perspective. You know, what’s interesting is that people that are massively overweight tend to do better on an extremely highly satiating or a low-food reward diet, which of course is interesting. But again, that’s representative of the fact that different people need different things to bring themselves to full health. I think the discussion is what’s important. I think just having this conversation and working through it this way is what’s going to bring progress, versus, like you said, just saying something without qualifying it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. And I think the people who listen to our show are probably at the point where they know that when they watch that commercial about 100-calorie yogurt or pack or whatever it is that they realize that that’s not providing their body with great nutrition, and when we talk about a calorie, it’s a unit of energy and we don’t know, I don’t think that it’s been defined as a unit of energy that also sends hormonal signals. Or has the potential to, depending on what’s constituting it, if that makes sense.

Liz Wolfe: Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, one calorie from your 100-calorie pack, whatever that morsel is, versus one calorie or 100 calories or whatever of this other food, there’s just so much more to qualify it. I mean, I guess I’ve already said that.

Liz Wolfe: Well that’s our whole point, is context.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s really it. Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Whoo, man!

Liz Wolfe: There are no sound bites. I wish there were.

Diane Sanfilippo: But here’s the thing. The food manufacturer’s really prey on that, because once you have been programmed to believe something about your food; so if you’ve been programmed to believe that animal fats are bad, for example, this is where they can prey on you with talking about low-fat. You’re so programmed to believing that fat in food is bad and dangerous and making you fat, then naturally, their low-fat food, same thing with low-calorie, must be healthy. They don’t really even need to do much to sell it to you anymore, because you’ve already been sold on the concept, so now they have a really easy job of selling you this packaged crap. When truthfully, the way advertising used to work for foods, and you and I have both seen this in things like Life magazine from maybe the 40s and 50s, they used to advertise to promote the nutrients in the foods. Which is funny, in a way, because it was like, “meat; for that good eating protein.”

Liz Wolfe: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: And now, you would probably laugh at that. Everybody knows you get protein from meat. But we’ve actually spent the last 30-50 years forgetting about the nutrients in food, and focusing on the two or three things that really don’t matter as much, is how many calories are in it, how much saturated fat or cholesterol are in it. We’ve shifted everything away from “sell me this because it’s going to do something good for my body,” and now we’re being sold it because it doesn’t have all these “dangerous” things that aren’t even dangerous in the first place. Whoo!

Liz Wolfe: That’s why we write books about it. Because it’s too much. {vampire accented} Too much for podcast.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Ok, well since we’ve eaten up about 40 minutes with this discussion.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s important.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah!

Diane Sanfilippo: I think it’s really important to talk about it. And I don’t think just having questions and answers is always what’s most important. Because, you know sometimes these questions are, we have some that we are going to talk about here that are related, but I think sometimes the questions don’t tap into the stuff that you and I really end up; I mean, we could have had this conversation in my kitchen, because this is the kind of stuff that we’ll end up just chit-chatting about. And then we’ll talk about the Shah’s of Sunset or whatever in between.

Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Mo’ Mercedes, mo’ problems {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: How much did that guy spend on caviar? It must have been like 5 grand or something, at the mall, in a machine.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know. I don’t know.

Diane Sanfilippo: I couldn’t get over it. But anyway. Whoo!

6. Hitting a weight loss plateau on paleo [41:10]

Liz Wolfe: So let’s add some context, even more context to this discussion with this question from Jaime. This question is about weight loss plateau. “Hi ladies! I love the show. I wanted to ask you a question about weight loss on paleo. I’ve been eating paleo for about 6 months now. When I started, I dropped a good bit of weight, about 15 pounds, but I’ve been hovering around 200 pounds for the last couple of months now. Of course, there are other ways to track my progress. I feel much better, my skin is clearer, I have tons of energy, I haven’t been sick since I started, I don’t get the debilitating migraines that I used to get once or twice a week, and yet I still have a big ol’ belly. Maybe I’m just not being patient enough and my belly will shrink down over time, but I get nervous that I’m doing something wrong. Other than the occasional bump in the road, maybe once a month, I let my blood sugar get low and frantically dive for some of my boyfriend’s sugary cereal that he keeps in the cupboard, I am strictly paleo. What do you think? Is it normal to plateau like this? I’ve done a ton of research, and it really feels like whole foods and paleo is the way to get healthy, and yet the part of my brain that is saturated with conventional wisdom keeps whispering in my ear that I can’t lose weight eating all this fat and meat and eggs. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.” My short answer to this is that plateaus are very normal, and they can be so frustrating and the reason that people tend to give up is because they don’t give themselves enough time. But I’m curious as to your thoughts, Diane.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I think the same thing. I mean, the time is really important. I definitely have had clients where they’ve had several months of the plateau, and you know my message has been, you need to be consistent with your input. Because that’s where your body, over time, got to one place, and it really needs to be consistently sent different messages. {laughs} So, maybe it’s like positive reinforcement in a psychology kind of analogy here, where you need to continue to reinforce that positive message that the food that your putting in is nutrient-dense, you are giving your body what it needs over time. So that’s kind of where I come from on that stuff, too. So for a couple of months; I think if you go 3+ months and you don’t have a change, I don’t know, maybe this is the point where you have to see if there is something else going on. And I don’t think it always have to do with the calories. It sometimes has to do with the landscape. Why is your body not processing this food in a way that’s expected? So, this is where maybe you find out if your thyroid is working properly or not. Or you work with a functional medicine practitioner. A lot of chiropractors out there do this, or acupuncturists or nutrition consultants, and do these types of tests on you and just see what else is going on that would make it so that your body is not responding in an expected way. And I think that can be really frustrating, but it can take a lot of time to figure out. I just do think that the plateau; it’s almost like a mini test in a way.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Of your body, saying “are you sure?” {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Are you for real?

Diane Sanfilippo: “Is this really what’s going to keep happening?” So, I do think that all the signs that she’s pointed out of feeling better and all of that is really what she should go by and just kind of sticking with it. You definitely don’t want to just give up, and say “wow. Eating real, whole foods is definitely not for me because I haven’t continued to lose weight.” I think you just need to stick with it, and then go and see if there’s something else happening. And sometimes I hate saying “just stick with it” because sometimes it sounds like

Liz Wolfe: Brushing stuff under the table.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm, yeah, or like what some of our maybe plant-based counterparts might say, like, “it’s just a rough patch, and you’ll be feeling more energetic later.” She’s feeling great, but this expected outcome of what her body will physically look like hasn’t gone where she’s thinking it “should”, but why do you think it should be there. Why do you think it should only take a month. Because of watching the Biggest Loser and how quickly lose weight? You know, who knows.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think there’s a lot of other factors at play. I’m trying to look back in her question; we didn’t paste in some of the other information here, but you know, one of my other big things is, are people moving. Like, are we getting activity. Because I think it is really important.

Liz Wolfe: Not from a burning calories perspective necessarily.

Diane Sanfilippo: No.

Liz Wolfe: But like we talked about with Katie Bowman.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yep, exactly what I was going to say {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: From a cellular training. Yes.

Diane Sanfilippo: Exactly what I was going to say. From the same way the food sends a message to your cells, what message is your either sedentary or movement based lifestyle sending to your cells. So this is the point at which I would say, you know what, if you’re hovering around 200 pounds, we don’t know how tall she is or what that means for her body composition, but if you’re not moving, start moving. Because that’s going to shake things up and send different messages. And I don’t mean go crush it at the gym 5 days a week from doing nothing. I mean, just get up and go for a walk. Start walking. As your moving around your house, {laughs} do a couple of air squats or lean against the wall and do some pushups. I do that stuff sometimes, just lean against the kitchen counter and do some angled pushups, just because I’m standing there waiting for my eggs to be done cooking, or whatever it is. Just to get some movement in.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah!

Diane Sanfilippo: Because I am sitting a lot. And you know, for people who are already at a point where perhaps their body mostly reflects what they want visually, whatever they’re doing they don’t realize that there could be a different input. Even for me, I know that sitting most of the day has changed my body in the last 2 to 3 years of being back here. I’m not as lean as I was. Partially because I’m, I don’t know I think it’s mostly that I’m more sedentary. I don’t walk as much. I lived in a city for 7 years, and I walked a lot more. And it’s unfortunate, but that’s what happened.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know, you have a lot of stairs in your house, man. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t go up and down them very often {laughs}. But I think for people to ignore that that’s a huge input in the message that our cells are getting, whether it’s again just the nutrients or it’s this movement, and what patterns we have of movement. And those things take time. You can’t just go run 5 miles on a treadmill, and be like “great I got my movement!” It’s got to be over time. You have to make sure that your body is getting those signals consistently.

Liz Wolfe: I love the idea of tweaking the daily movement, which that’s something I’ve been doing.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m going to start doing squats right now. Right now, I’m doing squats.

Liz Wolfe: You should! I wake up every morning, and I do 20 air squats, which sounds so stupid, I’ll do some air squats and I’ll punch the air a little bit, you know like I’m about to crush it, like Bruce Lee. Like “ooh!” I mean, it’s fun. And it’s so ridiculous that it kind of puts a smile on your face, and it elevates your energy at the beginning of the day. And, what else do I do. People were asking me the other day; we have a garage gym set up, but I don’t know. It’s fine, I like it, but I like doing weird things a little bit more, just because I’m that kind of person. So I’ll do lunges all the way to the chicken coop, or I’ll, instead of going through the gate I’ll climb the fence or; what else do I do? Just random stuff throughout the day. I try not to lean on the counters anymore. You know, when you’re fixing something you’ll tend to lean your hips up against the counter. I’ll try …

Diane Sanfilippo: My hips do not reach the counter, so.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing} Oh, I’m a giant. But things like that; little tweaks to your movement patterns, which really do actually impact the receptivity of your cells. But I’m trying to remember how long our friend Stacey, from Paleo Parents? She hit a plateau for a pretty long time, and really just kind of persevered through the whole deal, and I think out of that grew the 3-Phase Paleo eBook that they put together. I’m not 100% sure, but it can take quite a bit of time, and we just have to remember, you know, we didn’t get here overnight. And as long as we’re well informed on why we’re doing what we’re doing, and we truly are confident that we’re doing the right thing for our body, I personally think eating high quality fat and meat and eggs is incredibly important. I talk about it in Eat the Yolks. As long as we’re confident in that and we’re willing to just kind of observe our own journeys over time.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: I think patience is what it takes.

Diane Sanfilippo: I just think it’s one of those things where sometimes people have ignored that there are these other factors. Because even though we are not “eat whatever you want and go run it off in the gym” people, I think if you’re “doing everything right” but that doesn’t include some kind of movement, then I think that’s the next step to take instead of trying to work it through with a practitioner. Whereas, ok, so say for a few months she’s had no movement on the scale. Ok, if she’s not moving, get moving. If she has been doing all of that, I would say if 3-6 months go by and you haven’t seen positive change; and this is when you have 20 or more extra pounds of body fat. This isn’t the 5 pounds or even maybe 10 pounds person whose perhaps just got this aesthetic idea of what they should look like. But if you really do have a significant amount of extra weight you are carrying around that’s body fat, that’s the point at which working with someone one on one to find out, is there something happening at a cellular level for you that, even giving your body the right input is not making the change.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: There could be something else going on. And that’s where you do some of these other tests, you find out if your body is just not metabolizing and absorbing certain nutrients. That can be an issue, but I just don’t think it’s the first place to go. I think these other practical things over long periods of time. Because sometimes people want that shotgun. “Well, I started taking magnesium, and I’ve been taking it for two weeks.” I’m like, well I can’t really tell you that I think 2 weeks is enough time. It might be for one person, but maybe you need to do something for a little longer. {laughs} You know, maybe it’s drinking broth every day for 3 months and then you start to notice something changes. So, unfortunately, these things just aren’t immediate. I’m talking a little faster because I just did like 20 air squats.

Liz Wolfe: You did not!

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, I muted so that I wasn’t panting into the microphone.

Liz Wolfe: Oh, you’re funny.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. For real.

Liz Wolfe: For realz.

Diane Sanfilippo: One more question?

Liz Wolfe: Yes, we have time for one more. Do you want to do weight gain on paleo, or eating paleo and maintaining weight with new braces?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Liz Wolfe: Have you an opinion?

Diane Sanfilippo: Braces. That’s funny, because I had Invisalign. Oh no, can you hear that alarm? Uh-oh.

Liz Wolfe: I can {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: There’s an ambulance.

Liz Wolfe: It’s like the last question warning. The one minute warning.

Diane Sanfilippo: This is one of those times where I’m laughing because I’m thinking, “this is where Liz usually says, I’ll just edit that out. I’ll just mute.”

Liz Wolfe: Yeah, I probably won’t. I think we’re sounding pretty good. Uh, so you want to do the braces one?

Diane Sanfilippo: I was waiting for them to go by. Uh, let’s see. Well, I feel like we’ve covered a lot of stuff around soft foods, and things like that. She wanted to know what I’ve been doing with Invisalign, but Invisalign comes out, so you take it out when you eat. So that’s not really sort of a valid point. I think probably the weight gain question might be easier.

7. Weight gain on paleo [52:58]

Liz Wolfe: Ok. We’ll save the braces one for another episode when we have a little more time.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: Alright, weight gain on paleo. Jessica asks, “hello! I’ve been dabbling with the paleo lifestyle for about 6 months now. I know that’s a terrible way to put it, but it’s been a slow transition. I’ve tried to do 30 day and similar programs, but it’s been difficult, especially as a member of a family of 5 that’s not on board. All that aside, my most immediate concern is that I seem to be gaining weight very quickly, which doesn’t make sense. I was already overweight to begin with, so I know it’s not just my body trying to get to a healthy weight. I don’t eat a lot of sugar or nuts, at least not any more than I was before. The sad voice in my head is screaming at me that it’s because I’ve been eating butter, bacon, and other fats for the first time in a very long time. I thought I was supposed to eat these foods now, but I really feel the paleo lifestyle is the answer to being at a healthy weight and feeling good ,but I’m having doubts. Please help.” So, obviously we can refer a bit to my calorie rant at the beginning maybe to alleviate her concerns, or maybe to intensify them, I don’t know. But my idea here is something that we’ve talked about a little bit lately and that is perhaps easing into something with purpose. I know she says dabbling, but that’s different from easing in with purpose. Also, versus doing all out, you know, 4 week programs. I think maybe for Jessica the answer would be slowly pulling out certain foods that are not healthier, that are more highly processed, and then slowly integrating foods rather than just getting rid of 100-calorie packs and eating nothing but bacon and butter. Because not only can that be disconcerting and make you question yourself, but sometimes it’s not a, like Katy Bowman has said, ripping off the Band-Aid is maybe not necessarily the best way to do it from a cellular input, body reaction perspective. Not necessarily just flat calories perspective, but how your body is responding to an entire slew of new inputs very suddenly.

Diane Sanfilippo: Agreed.

Liz Wolfe: Word.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think this issue, we’ve definitely seen this a few times, so I would recommend that Jessica kind of goes back and looks at some of the other episodes where we’ve talked about weight gain on paleo, because I think I did talk a little bit about this already earlier in this episode. But, I like your “easing in with purpose” idea, because one of the things that sometimes happens is people, they want their bread and butter too {laughs} if that makes sense.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, sometimes you’re still eating some of these inflammatory foods but you’re then also adding in some of the healthy fats and things like that, and I think it can be a little confusing for the body. I think there’s an amount of time that we need to, if we’re staging things and easing in with intent, then we’re first perhaps getting rid of the junky fats and oils, then we’re getting rid of more of the processed refined foods, we’re getting rid of most grains and other things that are not real, whole, nutrient dense options, and I think one of the first things that people do is add a ton of fat. Because they’re sad that they haven’t eaten fat for so long, but if you just dump a ton of fat on top of what you were eating before, or even sort of staged away approach to what you were eating before, I don’t know what that will do to your body. We don’t know what dabbling really means. I don’t have a view of her, “here’s what I’ve been eating every day.” But I think, I don’t know. I think that it really does take more time and more consistency with things, and…

Liz Wolfe: This is kind of a new thing.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Liz Wolfe: Not a new thing for us, but I don’t think we stressed a gradual shift as much at the beginning versus what we do now. But just over time I’ve realized, I don’t see people with these concerns who make slower, more purposeful shifts when transitioning away from something vastly different into a whole, real foods based diet. I don’t see people coming up with these questions. I see things go a lot more smoothly. I can’t 100% explain why, what the input is that’s different, but just through our practice and our experience with these things..

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Liz Wolfe: That seems to work better for people. And I think we’d be remiss if we hung on to some old idea of, “get rid of all the bad stuff and only eat the good stuff now!”

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, like yesterday this, and today this. And I mean, that is one of the reasons why I do have, not only a staged approach, but modifications and all these… it’s sort of like I have a program where there’s some quasi-strict guidelines, but then within that it’s actually so much more flexible.

Liz Wolfe: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because people have different needs, and it’s not like 3-day juice cleanse, where all of a sudden you’re trying to shock your body. But I don’t know. I don’t want her to also; {laughs}, some of this is the wording that she’s using, but the idea that dabbling is a terrible way to put it, and that’s been a slow transition and right off the bat she things that’s a negative thing.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: This is actually something I posted about yesterday, I think, on Facebook.

Liz Wolfe: Yesterday, as in like two weeks ago.

Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, just kidding.

Liz Wolfe: {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Y’all can’t go back and see that post now. It’s been swamped.

Liz Wolfe: Time is hard.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I’ll see if I can post a link. Here, I’ll grab the link to it. So, this is where I said something about people who first go on a paleo type of approach, how sometimes they’re making a lot of the baked items, or paleofied things, or breads or whatever they’re doing that are considered “paleo” because of the ingredients, but to some who are perhaps wanting to be the paleo police, you tell your friend, you shouldn’t be doing that! Don’t eat those. And I kind of just threw it out there; how many of you did that when you first made this transition? And how many of you are still doing it? And most people aren’t. So point being, it does take time. It takes time to kind of figure out how to build your own plate.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: This is one of the things where, what the balance might be for one person versus another is not the same. So, I think if she’s; is she the one who just said family member

Liz Wolfe: Not on board.

Diane Sanfilippo: A family that’s not all on board, so what’s still coming into the diet, too? You know, is she dabbling, and she’s added tons of bacon and butter and extra meat that she wasn’t eating before, but she’s also still now and then doing some bread and some of these other things. And not that I think that a piece of bread is going to always completely derail someone, but we don’t know what your body is doing.

Liz Wolfe: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know. There’s just so many factors that go into it. Maybe we did not answer her question, but did we?

Liz Wolfe: I’m going to say maybe.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sorry Jessica.

Liz Wolfe: I just think it helps to feel that someone, you know like the whole unique snowflake thing, to a degree it’s not, we all are different, and we all really do have different internal landscapes and different experiences, different inputs, different environmental inputs, stress, all of those things. And the truth is, we’re all trying to figure it out. Jessica, me, Diane, everybody. And the idea is, this person feels like this is the right way to move forward. And that’s huge, because a lot of times, people don’t feel deep down that they’ve found something that’s right and justified for reasons beyond, “Jillian Michaels said to do it.” So, I think that’s a huge thing, and we’re all figuring it out together. We’re offering suggestions, and if something sounds interesting to Jessica, then. If it resonates, then awesome. If not, keep looking.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.

Liz Wolfe: Do you remember that one time when a pair of my underwear fell out of my pants at Whole Foods?

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} I remember the story, yes.

Liz Wolfe: I just found a pair in my pocket. I don’t know why they were in there.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} Liz. Why. Why?

Liz Wolfe: Should I cut that out?

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t even know.

Liz Wolfe: I don’t know. Alright, we’ll close it out. That’s it everyone. If you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please help us spread the word by leaving a review in iTunes. Until next week, you can find Diane at, and you can find me, Liz, at, soon to be Thanks for listening. We’ll be back next week.


Diane & Liz


  • Emily

    About moving daily and Liz’s morning air squats: do you remember that scene in “Charlie’s Angels” where Cameron Diaz pops out of bed and starts dancing around while she makes the bed? I want to wake up like that in the morning.

    Loved the podcast!

    • balancedbites