Balanced Bites Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo & Liz Wolfe

Podcast Episode #287: Wired to Eat with Robb Wolf, Appetite Control & Carb Tolerance

Diane Sanfilippo Cholesterol, Featured, Paleo and Primal, Podcast Episodes 4 Comments

Balanced Bites Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo & Liz WolfeTopics

  1. Shout out to the Master Class students [1:37]
  2. Introducing our guest: Robb Wolf [2:33]
  3. Something Robb is digging lately [4:36]
  4. Wired to Eat [5:51]
  5. The importance of sleep [20:42]
  6. The Paleo diet not for aesthetics [29:37]
  7. Intermittent fasting for women [35:00]
  8. Carbohydrates and thyroid function [42:52]
  9. Keto and thyroid function [48:04]
  10. Hyperpalatability, overindulging, and paleo ancestors [51:06]
  11. Helping parents with healthy diet [59:19]
  12. Preorder bonuses for Wired to Eat [1:04:35]


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You’re listening to the Balanced Bites podcast episode 287.

Diane Sanfilippo: Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast. I’m Diane; a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo and The 21-Day Sugar Detox. I live in San Francisco with my husband and fur kids; and I am thrilled to be sitting down with the guest that I have today.

Liz is on a quick break again this week, as I interview one of my mentors; Robb Wolf, about his exciting new book, Wired to Eat. Remember our disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only, and are not to be considered a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Before we get started, let’s hear from one of our sponsors.

Liz Wolfe: The Balanced Bites podcast is sponsored in part by the Nutritional Therapy Association. The NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants (including me; I’m an NTP), emphasizing bio-individuality and the range of dietary strategies that support wellness. The NTA emphasizes local, whole, properly prepared nutrient dense foods as the key to restoring balance and enhancing the body’s ability to heal. Nutritional therapy practitioners and consultants learn a wide range of tools and techniques to assess and correct nutritional imbalances. To learn lots more about the nutritional therapy program, go to There are workshop venues in the US, Canada, and Australia, so chances are you’ll be able to find a venue that works for you.

1. Shout out to Master Class students [1:37]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so it’s me; Diane, back again. I love doing interviews {laughs} so sometimes I just kind of kick Liz off for a week. Having 3 people do interviews is actually really tricky; or two people interviewing the interviewee, gets really tricky; sound quality gets weird, it’s really hard to kind of keep all that going, so we try and just break it up; and also give each other a break now a then. So really excited about today’s show.

But before we dive in, I wanted to check in with a little shout out to our Balanced Bites Master Class students and practitioners; we just have a couple more weeks left. It’s been really great taking all of you through that content. The interactions have been awesome, the live calls have been really fun. It’s been great to just kind of jump in and answer your questions and hear your feedback and watch all of you learn throughout the course. So, it’s just been super fun. And thanks to all of you for participating, and we can’t wait to see more of you in the class next year when it opens up again.

2. Introducing our guest: Robb Wolf [2:33]

Alright, so not that he needs really any introduction around these parts; but Robb Wolf is the author of The Paleo Solution; I should say the New York Times’ bestselling author of The Paleo Solution and his newest release, Wired to Eat. He’s a former research biochemist and one of the world’s leading experts in Paleolithic nutrition. Robb has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of people around the world via his top ranked iTunes podcast; I would say probably more like hundreds of thousands, if not millions. This is just my estimation. {laughs}

Robb Wolf: I said that too, but Nicki being my Italian wife said; no, that sounds too grandiose. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m pretty sure we could go there. And wildly popular seminar series. He’s no stranger to the Balanced Bites Podcast and I’m excited to welcome him back for this discussion! So, thanks for being here.

Robb Wolf: Huge honor to be here. It’s great to spend some time with you.

Diane Sanfilippo: I have to say, probably, not sure this podcast would exist if it weren’t for most of your work. I mean, any time we get on the horn here and start talking, I feel like if we were in an actual room, you wouldn’t fit through the door on the way out because your head would be way too inflated and expanded {laughs} after all the niceties that come out of my mouth. But honestly, for those listening who might be tuning in for the first time; maybe you haven’t heard from Robb before, or just don’t know the story. I started learning about holistic nutrition years ago, and started crossfitting; and went to one of Robb’s seminars; one of the first that was after it was a CrossFit cert. So when it was no longer a cert, and I was totally confused by that. I think you gave one up in Chico and then one down here in the Bay area; and I was like, wait, what am I going to? I thought this was a cert? what am I learning? I just know I pulled up with lamb meatballs and sat in the front row, and I was like, “Alright, what are we doing?” And I had a great time, and it was kind of all downhill from there in this whole paleo thing.

If it hadn’t been for the stuff Robb’s been doing for the last bazillion years, this podcast probably wouldn’t exist; none of this would be happening. So, definitely big credit to Robb for that.

Robb Wolf: Well thank you. Thank you.

3. Something Robb is digging lately [4:36]

Diane Sanfilippo: So, before we dive into some serious stuff, we’re going to ask you for something you’re digging lately. Tell us.

Robb Wolf: Oh man, I really noodled on this, because this was a very intriguing question, and I’m really digging the GymnasticsBodies workout, which is put together by coach Christopher Sommer. He’s been a national team coach for a long, long time and then eventually retired from that. But has been developing a gymnastics course for the unwashed masses, which I am definitely included in that.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Robb Wolf: But it’s really cool, because I’m able to stream all these modules, and I do them in the living room with my daughters, Zoe and Sagan. So, we do the stretching, we do some of the callisthenic type stuff. We have some rings out in the garage. And for the girls, I actually found some dog chew toys that are these little rings that are perfect sized for their hands, and they’re super strong.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} Amazing.

Robb Wolf: So they do body rows, and skin the cats, and all this stuff. So I am super-duper digging the GymnasticBodies course.

Diane Sanfilippo: Very cool.

Robb Wolf: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m going to have to check that out.

Robb Wolf: it is a lot of fun.

4. Wired to Eat [5:51]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so we’re here today to talk about your new book, which is; to say the least, highly anticipated. It’s taken you some time. I mean, we can joke on the show. It’s taken you some time, Robb. What’s been {laughing}.

Robb Wolf: When people say; “I read it in 2 days,” and I’m like, “I wish I could write them that fast!” {laughs} Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Robb Wolf: I’ve been chipping away at this thing for a while, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So to that end; it has been a while, and I can give credit where it’s due because sometimes you think you have an idea for the next book, but you just need to be for a while. See what questions are coming up. See what research is coming out. See what you’re into; what you feel like talking about, and where you think the most good can be done with another piece of work that’s going to take so much out of you to get it done. So why this book now?

Robb Wolf: You know, so this is, even though you are very complimentary of me, and thank you for that. If you know me at all, you discover that I’m kind of an idiot, and when I wrapped up The Paleo Solution; literally, when I press send to my publisher, I looked at my wife and I said, “Well, I guess we need to figure out what the next thing is.” You know, like this is just going to solve all the world’s problems {laughs} you know, we won’t need to worry about health anymore. And clearly, all of the stuff that you’ve done, that I’ve done; that everybody in this kind of ancestral health scene has helped a lot of people. But there’s still a decent amount of need out there, and I really wasn’t sure if I was going to do another protein, carb, fat diet type book again. I felt like I did a pretty thorough treatment of all that material in the first book; but there was some interesting stuff.

Like the paleo concept, as powerful as it is, it’s become a little bit like religious doctrine; where people spend a ton of time saying, “Is this paleo?” Versus asking, “Is this the appropriate thing for me?” And you know, everybody has some highly-individualized needs, and that’s something that has really popped up on our radar, maybe the last two years, this concept of personalized nutrition; that there’s this interface between our genetics and our gut microbiome and the rest of the kind of epigenetic signaling, like sleep and photo period. And it means, even though we’re very similar in many ways, often times our individual needs are quite different. And the prescription in the first book was, you know, not that broad. It didn’t provide for a whole lot of granularity.

Also, one of the really big motivators for me in talking to people who have been fiddling with changing nutrition or lifestyle, I was really intrigued by the folks that would motor along, get what observationally looked like a decent amount of success, and then these people would just spin out, like they were gone. And in talking to them, the primary thing that seemed to pop up was; “Yeah, I was making some progress, but I just felt like it was too hard, and if there was something better about myself, you know, if I had more moral fiber, {laughs} something, then this should be easy.” Basically, people were surprised that navigating a modern world of hyperpalatable foods, addictive social media, 24/7 entertainment; they thought that it should be easy for them to decouple from that. And they felt guilty about the fact that it wasn’t easy to decouple from that.

And I noodled about that for a long time, and I did a talk about PaleoFx two, maybe three years ago now, talking about brain development, and the omnivore’s real dilemma. There was a primary paper attached to that that really kind of drove that whole talk. And that thing really lit a fire under me that there was a different way of couching this whole ancestral health experience that went beyond protein, carbs, fat, and kind of religious doctrine around specific food ideologies and it really got down to the brass tacks of how is our neuroregulation of appetite driven, how can we live within the parameters that work well for us, and then what are the things that we do inadvertently that can shut that whole good process down, and create problems for ourselves. So that was the driver for writing the book. Like, I really wanted to address these issues in a very different way, and particularly wanted to diffuse kind of the emotionality and the guilt that so often goes along with the challenge of making diet and lifestyle changes.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think a little bit of the tone; how much time you spent kind of letting folks know that this is not their fault.

Robb Wolf: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t want to say it was surprising to me; but you really, you were really kind in a sense, and I don’t think for any negative reason, I was like, “Yeah! This isn’t our fault!” And not in like, we didn’t choose to put that food in our mouths way, but in a, “If you’re doing it right by our environment, if you were actually eating all the foods that are available as our genetics kind of predispose us to do, eat more and move less, which is what you said is really what our genetics want, right?

Robb Wolf: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Then if you aren’t doing that, you’re sort of doing it wrong by our genetics; I hope people don’t misunderstand that. Basically, it’s hard. It’s hard to do this. We are fighting what evolutionarily would be easy for us, and what our ancestors may have done surrounded by the types of foods we have now. So basically, getting fat and sick is sort of what we’re wired to do, given the food landscape. So any efforts we’ve been making to fight that; I mean, we should feel really darn good about that at this point.

Robb Wolf: Absolutely.

Diane Sanfilippo: The way you presented that; I really felt like this book is one that a lot of folks could really hand to their parents, and their parents would be like, “Thank you!” You know. Like, “it wasn’t my fault, but now I should probably do something about it, so what do I do?” But they’ve been given this statement of, “Here’s why this happened.” You know. This food is designed to basically completely mess you up.

Robb Wolf: Yeah, you know I’m working on a blog post right now to kind of support the book; and I make the point in the blog post that part of what went into the development of Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram were these programmers that were really looking at how to make things addictive. And they would be brain scans on people, and look at the dopamine release, and what neurons were firing. And there is some game theory behind it, but you know, they really sat down and thought about, “How do we make this process addictive.” And then when you look at the folks that are developing new foods, like these kind of food scientists; these guys really understand our evolutionary biology, our neurological wiring, and they are sitting back and saying, “Ok, given the way that we have forged our genetics in the past, what are the things that will make this bag of potato chips on par with cocaine?”

So the people who are kind of profiteering from our suffering really understand this on a deep level. And although we have more and more health care providers that kind of buy into this ancestral health perspective; the vast majority of the gate keepers are still kind of reticent to embrace this whole idea. Which is kind of funny. So you know; the people who want to sell to us, the people who want to profiteer from us being addicted to the sea salt and vinegar potato chips; which are absolutely amazing, by the way. {laughs} They really understand this stuff on a very deep level, and they know how to make it very, very compelling, and very difficult to say no to this stuff.

I had a couple of people who know me pretty well who got an advanced copy of the book; like you did, and a number of these people were like strength and conditioning coaches. Their initial exposure to the “It’s not your fault” kind of idea; they were kind of off-put.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Robb Wolf: Because they thought that I was kind of doing this, kind of fad acceptance thing. And that’s really not it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Robb Wolf: I mean, if that’s where the person wants to go, that’s fine; but my goal is to just say, “Hey, if you think this is hard, you’re right.”

Diane Sanfilippo: Right.

Robb Wolf: And now what are we going to do? But you know, if we can just get to a place where we’re not emotionally crippled by the process, then I think that we’ve got a much better opportunity to get some good work done.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I think the fact that it’s hard; those of us who have changed our diets, and have switched over to this kind of mostly paleo/real food thing, it’s still hard for us all the time, it’s just that we’ve created different habits and made it so much a part of our lives that when we deal with some emotional trauma or stress, we have different ways of coping, for the most part, or it’s just that our habits are so strong that we don’t have 10 bags of chips in the house at all times. We’re not in an environment that then supports that kind of breakdown. {laughs} I’ve been watching a lot of My 600-pound Life; which is kind of like {laughs} You know?

Robb Wolf: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s coinciding with this major emotional trauma that people deal with, and then turn to food; and then it’s this stuff. It’s this; what are we wired to eat? What creates the hyperpalatability, and why can’t stop and it is that combination of these emotional triggers, and then the food is just; it’s dopamine after dopamine lighting us up, and how can you stop, you know? It is tough.

So, no; I actually appreciated that. Because I appreciated; it’s almost like a pat on the back to those of us, and those of you listening who are doing this. This is hard, and feel good about it, and it’s cool. And if you slip, don’t think of it as slipping; you just eat something, and then you kind of come back to the normal foods that you’re eating. I think a lot of times folks kind of spiral out, and I know that’s something you just kind of alluded to earlier; it’s like if they eat pizza one day, they just feel like they’re going to throw in the towel because this is just too hard and they can’t bring themselves back.

Robb Wolf: Right; where as if they can understand that that food is really compelling, and it tastes really good; and that’s all legit, that’s all fine. But then you just have to make a choice of, “Ok, do I throw in the towel, or do I recognize that I’m one meal away from being back on track.” And in aggregate; if we eat three meals a day, 7 days a week, that’s 21 meals. If we’re 18 to 19 of those meals are pretty on point, then the rest of them maybe aren’t that big of a deal; with the caveat that we’re just aware, is there are particular food that may drive us to make that ratio 3 meals out of the 21 that are actually good, you know. And I’m not a real big sweet tooth guy; I can kind of take or leave it. But nachos, pizza…

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Those Siete chips aren’t helping {laughing}.

Robb Wolf: Oh the Siete chips are…

Diane Sanfilippo: They're so good.

Robb Wolf: Off the hook. You know, those things are amazing. And there’s no off switch for me with that. And I think that’s often times surprising for people; they think that I have some monk or Jedi-type powers to resist this stuff. But it’s very similar to just not getting into a bar fight. Like, if you don’t want your self-defense skills tested, don’t go to dodgy bars, you know. Don’t go to bad parts of the city in the middle of the night.

And similarly; we just don’t stock a lot of dodgy food options. We’ll have a little something when we go out; and Friday nights are usually our gluten free pizza night, and we’ll kick our heels up with that, and we do that just about every week. It’s the one meal; and this is kind of an interesting thing, too, with the whole kid deal. We’re totally smoked by the end of the week, and getting the kids to eat is variable as to how easy it is. But there’s a guarantee that when we do pizza night…

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Robb Wolf: There’s not going to be one damn problem.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Robb Wolf: The kids are going to eat until they collapse. We don’t have to pester them; everything’s going to be cool. But that’s some insight, too; you can see how people will slide into that really hyperpalatable kind of food options, because there is some ease to it. Some convenience.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah, and I think, you make a point about this in the book and I just want to reiterate that; when you get to the point that it isn’t about the emotional stuff, and you tell a really good story in the book about someone you were working with where there was this kind of emotional battle, and it just became like, this person really needed to figure out what was going on with themselves before getting the food stuff to really work.

I feel like for folks who have a pretty good grasp on emotional issues; you can have that one meal, or whatever it might be that you’re like, “Well, that probably wasn’t what I wanted to do.” And come back, but if you find yourself spinning out of control, or taking one meal or one day and extrapolating that out into a week or a month, and you’re just totally off the rails. As much as the food itself is totally overstimulating; there’s typically, from what I’ve seen, way more going on than food. You know? There’s some emotional reason why that’s going on. And something that’s being soothed with the food; and that food is really going to do it. {laughs} Like, it is just so soothing.

Robb Wolf: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s giving you that hit. But that’s where we need to divide when we need to encourage people to go get some help, talk to somebody about their problems, and really work on that versus; when are we just, let’s change the food that’s really going to make a big difference. Because if you keep trying to fix the food, but the food isn’t the problem; like, take the nail out of the head kind of deal.

Robb Wolf: Right. Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s the thing that we definitely; I’m sure we both see that a ton with folks who are just kind of going back and forth. We see it more, I think, because we’re a female focused podcast, and I see a lot more females having a lot of emotional issues with food.

5. The importance of sleep [20:42]

Diane Sanfilippo: So, before we dive into questions, just curious if there’s anything else you want to touch on from your end? I have a couple of other things that I thought were, just for me, really interesting. Topics that you covered in the book.

Robb Wolf: Oh, go wild. Go wild.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Robb Wolf: Your whole set up here.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok. We have notes. {laughs} We have a lot of notes.

Robb Wolf: Yeah, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, what I took away from the book; and this would be, for anyone who is listening who’s like, “Well, I feel like I’m eating pretty well. Maybe there’s something I could learn about tweaking.” You have a whole section on carb tolerance, and figuring out which carbs work for you. I thought it was fascinating, the comparison between the way folks could respond to a banana versus a cookie.

Robb Wolf: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: Like, literally burned on my brain because then I drank a smoothie that had a banana in it; we were in Hawaii. I felt like I was in a coma after I drank that.

Robb Wolf: Oh, right.

Diane Sanfilippo: I was like; I don’t think bananas work for me. {laughing} I think cookies might be better! I mean, I’m going to get a new glucometer; I had one but I lost the instructions and basically cut myself trying to prick my finger last week.

Robb Wolf: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: But anyway; I thought that stuff was really fascinating. But for someone like me who; my food is pretty dialed. There’s always something I can look at. How much time you dedicated to sleep in the book was; I mean, it just kind of slapped me upside the head. Because I know this stuff; and I know I need to be paying attention to it. But since we’ve gotten home; last night I was cleaning up the kitchen, mostly in the dark. I had like the lowest light on possible I could have to kind of get it done. Really just kept the lights low; put my blue blockers on that I’ve worn, and sometimes, eh, you know I have to wear glasses so I have the giant ones {laughs}. I look like I’m running experiments.

Robb Wolf: {laughing} Nice!

Diane Sanfilippo: But for me, that was really; it was an important reminder. And I think because you dedicated so much time to talking about it, or maybe it just seemed like more because it was hitting me harder. You had a part where you talked about, “If you do only one thing, start with your sleep.”

Robb Wolf: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: And that just hit me because I was like; you know what? For whatever is going on with me, stress, if I’m eating more chips or chocolate or whatever it is, than I want to; I am pretty self-aware that my sleep is pretty much sh*t. {laughs} So that was really important to me to kind of read that and be reminded. And it felt like, in a book, in the context of Wired to Eat. I was like, “Wake up, Diane.” Or, “Go to sleep.” This is really important; and not just, it’s not just a flipping thing. It’s REALLY important to appetite control.

Robb Wolf: Yeah, and you know it made my publishers crazy. Because as wonderful as they are, as good as a job as they do, they really wanted this thing to be like, “7 days to paleo abs.”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}

Robb Wolf: And I was like, “That’s a great book, but I am not the person to write that book.” {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Not your guy, yeah.

Robb Wolf: And there was some back and forth on that. But in the book, I lay out this notion of the four pillars of health; which I really put sleep and photoperiod; you know, the amount of light that we get as opposed to the amount that we should get during the day, and the amount we shouldn’t get at night, and all that type of stuff. It’s just incredibly important. And I’ve been pretty aware of that since maybe 2000, 2001. There was a really good book called Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival; which made a really compelling case for all this.

But then, let’s see here, in 2006, 2007 I started doing consulting work for the Naval Special Warfare Resiliency Program, where I would go speak to the seal teams, the special boat teams and their families about food, and sleep, and, you know, exercise and all this stuff. And these seals, who are arguably some of the toughest people in the world; and they go through a selection process to see when they will break, and they pull the people out who break last. But even these guys will break, and a lot of them, were in fact broken, which is part of the reason why this resiliency program was put together.

And what was happening was the flip circadian rhythm from doing, you know, traveling across the globe at a moment’s notice. Most of their work happened at night, so they would sleep during the day using things like Ambien, then they would wake up with Rock Stars and loud music to get going. And these guys were really broken. And we had to figure out strategies for repairing their sleep. And I was kind of like; ok, if this is important for these folks, then it’s probably really, really important for everybody else. You know; you could really make a credible argument that you could easily devote a whole book to the topic of sleep; but as it was, it was about as long as I could make it and not completely freak out my publishers.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think how much space, pages, etc. were dedicated were just expanded in my mind. Because I was like; mm, that was pretty much a normal chapter. {laughs}

Robb Wolf: Right, right.

Diane Sanfilippo: But I think because it was so; I don’t know, it was just a glaring hole in my overall wellness picture that I’m always working on; and I think a lot of people need to really dial that stuff in. Anyway. So I thought that was really interesting. You really kind of went off on the morality of food choices, and how people tend to feel really guilty and bad about something kind of going wrong. Which we addressed a bit, just a minute ago when talking about how this stuff is designed to make us kind of overeat. But I just thought that that was; I don’t know, just a point that people need to hear again, because it’s so pervasive when it comes to social media, and people saying they’re cheating on their diet, or they’re having a cheat day, or, you know, eating it if it fits their macros, but it’s junk food. You know?

Robb Wolf: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: So I thought that was pretty interesting.

Robb Wolf: Yeah, and you know that stuff will work for a few people. And by work, I mean, they’ll have the body composition or what have you, that they are really desiring. But you know, my real passion is in working with folks who are sick. They are facing potentially a shortened life, and a lot of suffering along the way out, and it’s my opinion that if we can get people moving in a more favorable direction, everything from autoimmunity to neurodegeneration, to just the complications, both emotional and physical from carrying too much weight; we can address that. There are options out there that are simple to describe; a lot more challenging to implement, but they’re doable. Like, folks do this all the time. And again, to your point; if we can just get them to a spot where we’re not emotionalizing this topic, there’s not a big morality piece around it. If the nutritional approaches that we’re using are a tool, and not religious doctrine, then I feel like we’re in a much better position to start; and then also, as things progress, we can kind of change gears and modify things, and make it really fit to ourselves instead of having a one-size fits all cookie-cutter kind of program that we’re hoping will apply to everyone.

And even that said, there’s a challenge to that, when people are first getting into this stuff you can’t blow them out of the water with a million details. You know; we need something that’s simple and actionable that applies to the vast majority of people, but then we also need the ability to get a little more granular and dig in a little deeper.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s something I’ve always appreciated from you and Mark Sisson; pretty non-dogmatic despite the fact that we know how, I don’t know; just how powerful this approach to eating is. It’s also never been about making it a relation; making it a centralized set of rules that if it doesn’t fit that. Because I almost think those of us who teach this stuff, we know how quickly people want things to be that. People want it to be a religion; they want it to be hard and fast rules. You know, I have a sugar detox, and we’re like; “Yeah, this is 3 weeks. Can we not make this for our whole lives? Because I never intended it to be that {laughs}. You know?

Robb Wolf: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: It’s like, I intended this to be a little reset for you, let’s not make it into it’s approved and I consider that as a rule for my entire life. I think, yeah, that’s just a huge part of it. And I think it’s really critical that people who are writing and teaching about this stuff maintain that mindset; because if we don’t, we stand no chance at keeping it from becoming, you know, like vegan propaganda; it becomes paleo propaganda, and we really don’t want that to happen.

Robb Wolf: Right.

6. The paleo diet not for aesthetics [29:37]

Diane Sanfilippo: I thought one other thing that was interesting and also worth noting to folks who listen to the show and are just always teetering on that, I don’t know, 5 or 10 pounds of fat loss because they have aesthetic goals; which is fine. One of the experiments that was run that you talked about in the book was, folks were sent home with a paleo diet, and the intention was not for them to lose weight, right? They were sent home with a certain amount of calories and they were told to eat all of it. And despite not losing any weight purposefully, because that was not the goal; their blood markers improved they got a lot healthier as a result. I think it’s really important for people to just kind of keep in mind that, first of all sometimes we think that we should lose more body fat, just because we see abs all over the place; and for some people that’s the thing, and for some people it’s not going to be a thing. But I think tying everything up, the success of our nutrition; tying that up in whether or not you have 6-pack abs is probably not a worthy effort. And really looking at what’s happening under the hood, and looking at that blood work and seeing this happen where changing your nutrition actually changes your physiology and makes you healthier, despite weight staying stable.

Robb Wolf: Yeah, despite the lack of weight loss, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: And especially in somebody who probably is a healthy weight, it’s just; you know. You know the circle that we’re in; people get crazy about it.

Robb Wolf: Right. Yeah, I mean all the guys want to be 5 or 10 pounds bigger, and more muscular; most of the gals want to be 5 or 10 pounds smaller, and you know, have a decent set of abs. and I guess to some degree, all of that is laudable, up to a point, and then at some point it’s also like trying to calculate the final digit of pi; it just goes on and on and on {laughs}. You know, there’s always something else that can be gone after. And not to divert too far, but this is; I’ve had a storied history with CrossFit, but one of the things that I think is really laudable about the whole thing. When we were running a gym, I really didn’t see much in the way of disordered eating, because people were performance oriented. And so even though they wanted to look good, they wanted even more to not be the person who came in dead last in the workout.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Totally.

Robb Wolf: And if you skipped a meal; if you binged and purged or something like that, the next day you were going to get crushed. So it was a way to say; “hey, if you want to perform really well. And yeah, yeah, we’ll try to get you some abs, and we’ll do that. But if you want to; if you’ve been trying to beat Gina, and you want to stomp her on the next workout, here’s what we’re going to do.”

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} Yeah.

Robb Wolf: And lo and behold, people would fuel appropriately. So I do; I think that performance orientation; and that can be blood markers, that can be feeling really good through the day, that can be having consistent energy so you can be really on point with your family or your work, or whatever it is. That performance orientation is way less likely to get twisted into a pathological scenario, whereas that purely aesthetic orientation is just begging for crazy behavior.

Diane Sanfilippo: Totally. And you know; there are no mirrors in most CrossFit gyms, if any, which is kind of huge. And yeah, I mean, I think it provides that community, which you also talk about in the book. Community and connection and the social aspect that really is important to overall wellness, and I do think it’s interesting, too. I definitely experienced this; that dining out with friends {laughs} versus eating alone and having maybe an unlimited supply in the fridge. Dining out; having that social connection really does sort of fill up some of the appetite that we have.

Robb Wolf: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: And I don’t think people realize it until we step back and kind of analyze what’s going on with ourselves on an ongoing basis.

Robb Wolf: Absolutely.

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7. Intermittent fasting for women [35:00]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so we have some listener questions.

Robb Wolf: Cool, cool.

Diane Sanfilippo: Some really cool ones. These all came in from Instagram, so if you guys want to know how to submit your questions, over on Instagram at Balanced Bites podcast; we usually post ahead of time.

So this one came from Kelcartwright; I don’t know if this is a guy or a girl. maybe girl; Kel. “I switched to a real food diet about 4 years ago, and have incorporated mindful eating practices in the last year. I’ve seen improvement, and feel so much better, but still struggle to lose body fat.” And there’s a two-part question here. “One, I’ve heard different takes on intermittent fasting for women.” Ok, so it’s a female. “How do I know if it’s right for me? And two, no matter what I eat mid-day I’m always ravenous in the last afternoon.” There are some follow ups here, like, “How do you recommend I tweak my lunch to sustain me? Lunch is usually kale salad and leftovers.” I’m wondering what the leftovers are, because I’m like, “Kale salad? Of course you're hungry!”

Robb Wolf: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: Strength training 3 times a week, HIIT 2 times weekly, and medium intensity cardio 2 times weekly; plus standing desk and lots of daily movement; walks with the dog, stand up paddleboard.”

Robb Wolf: So, it’s funny because you mention the sleep, and whenever somebody asks me a fat loss question, before I even ask what their food is, I ask them how much and how well are you sleeping. Just because if the sleep is squared away, then we’ve got a potential to do something on the nutrition side. If we’ve got some problems with the sleep, it doesn’t really matter what we do on the nutrition side.

It’s going to be very difficult to lean out. We can make our nutrition worse, and it’s going to be easier to get even more over weight; but we’re just going to be working so hard against our physiology if the sleep isn’t dialed in. so that’s something that I really pester folks about. Try being 100% in the rack black room an hour earlier and do that for two weeks. And just take a picture of yourself at the beginning of that process, and take a picture of yourself at the end of that process; and be neurotic and religious about this. Like, if you have to pass up a couple of social events to do it; just do an experiment with that.

But it is shocking how many people end up leaning out just because they sleep better. And you know, just because they sleep better, this is where your primary kind of insulin sensitivity is regenerated each day. We tend to start off reasonably insulin sensitive in the morning on a relative basis, and then throughout the day we become more and more insulin resistant, until in the evening depending on what people have going on, they call it afternoon diabetes or, you know, some things like that because they are really profoundly insulin resistant, particularly in the muscles. Which is not really what you want to do if you do consume excess calories at that point, then it’s really going to preferentially get shuttled into fat.

I know there was a question around intermittent fasting; the caveats with that, again, are, what’s your stress level like? What’s your sleep like? What’s the total, what’s called allostatic load; what’s the total amount of stress you’re dealing with? And how often are you in rest and restoration mode; like deep breathing and yoga and a walk in the park and stuff like that; and how often are you battling through traffic, and dealing with challenging work environments, and what not. We need to really keep an eye on that total stress load, because fasting; although incredibly beneficial, I devote a whole chapter to ketogenic diets and fasting, and I think they are absolutely stunningly powerful tools; but they’re the right tool for the right job. And if you need a screwdriver, you don’t get a band saw. And in the case of a fat loss story; if somebody is under a lot of stress, this may not be the moment in time to try to affect a bunch of change as far as fat loss.

Chris Masterjohn had a really, really amazing podcast talking about this, and you know; if you have sleep challenges, work challenges, stress, and whatnot; it definitely behooves you to eat as well as you can, but in that moment, it’s not about fat loss. It’s not necessarily about body composition; it’s about being healthy, and mitigating stressors. So I know that’s a long, convoluted answer; and it probably doesn’t quite answer what she was looking for. But this is where; you know, it becomes really granular and you need to know who is the person, and then what are they trying to do. So she articulated what she wants to do, but we don’t fully understand where she is and what’s going on.

Diane Sanfilippo: Interestingly, I had a conversation; so it will have just aired before this episode, with Dr. Cate Shanahan. She is pretty pro on the intermittent fasting, and definitely with the same caveat. If you are piled with stress, or you’re dealing with other health challenges. Or, we’ve definitely had a lot of women write in, and when they tell us what they’re doing and what they’re eating; we’re like, you’re probably undereating, so we don’t want to encourage fasting for folks who are under eating. But there are a lot of benefits to it. You’ve talked about it a million times before, so I definitely recommend that folks search Robb’s blog for stuff like that, because I know you’ve talked about it many times on your show. For the last, almost 10 years, you know? 8

Robb Wolf: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: As long as you’ve had the podcast, this question has been circulating. And there are a lot of benefits to it; digestive benefits, blood sugar benefits; but there are a lot of caveats and people need to be honest about their situation before dabbling with that, I think.

Robb Wolf: Right. Yeah, and not to belabor that one; but I do really well with a bit of intermittent fasting. We have dinner around 5, 5:30, the girls tend to eat early and they go to bed early and they wake up early; they wake up around 5:30 or 6, so we’re up and at ‘em at the ass crack.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}

Robb Wolf: But, you know, I do really well with maybe making breakfast at 8:30 or 9 a.m. But I can’t do too much coffee during that period. I can do some very low-level cardio; like walking or maybe a little bit of elliptical or something like that. But if I try to do something like a fasted CrossFit workout or fasted jujitsu or something, it will adrenalize me instantly. So this is something that I had to learn over the course of time; is that the fasting helped my blood sugar, the fasting helped my digestion, it just kind of simplified my life, too. It just made things a little bit more compressed and easier. But I couldn’t do some of these things that are often times done during fasting; like a high intensity training or tons and tons of coffee.

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Adrenalize. I like that. Yeah, I do fasted training in the morning just with some coffee; but I’m basically doing kind of body builder type lifting, and leg day is pretty heavy.

Robb Wolf: That could get a little frisky, yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: But, yeah, and right now I would consider myself to be fasting at the moment. I had breakfast around 9 o’clock, and it’s 2 o’clock now, and normally I would definitely have gone for lunch. I mean, I even scheduled this to account for lunch. But after talking to Dr. Cate, I was like; “I probably don’t need lunch. I’m probably ok.” I had a pretty high fat breakfast. And I feel fine, and that’s something; same thing. When touring, a lot of times in the morning there would be stuff going on, and I kind of to wait to eat; and it really does just depend on the situation. I wasn’t then going to be doing a CrossFit workout, or something like that. I think people just want a blanket statement, but “it depends” is always kind of the answer. I think, even like you said; tinkering and feeling it out for yourself in different situations is always important.

8. Carbohydrates and thyroid function [42:52]

Diane Sanfilippo: So, on the heels of that, there’s also a question here about carbs and thyroid health. That’s always a big question. “Please ask about carbs and thyroid health, and how that can be different for men versus women.” And then, people have a lot of questions for you. Also, “His take on carb cycling with real foods, and how that may or may not help with reaching a healthy place with thyroid issues.” This person doesn’t have a thyroid and is on T4.

Robb Wolf: Man; really good questions and this is really an area where the, “it depends” starts popping up. Again; so one piece to this story that still I’m really trying to unravel; you have some very smart people on both sides of this kind of thing, where some people are like, “Low carb will destroy the thyroid!” And other people are like, “No, it really doesn’t, and here’s the data to support it.”

Without a doubt, thyroid levels will be higher on a comparatively higher carb diet. It’s just, that T3 in particular is really important for the insulin signaling and also the processing of the carbohydrates. But it kind of goes in lock step, because the question there becomes, “Is a lower thyroid level at a lower carbohydrate level indicative of pathology.” So we have to ask some questions around, how is your performance? Are you cold or heat intolerant? Are you getting dry, brittle hair? Are your nails cracking? Getting some of these signs and symptoms with maybe some hypothyroid type activity. And some people do develop this with a lower carb approach.

But interestingly, and you alluded to this already; low carb is really, really easy to be satiated with. And that’s kind of an interesting observation right there. the trick is really to, for most people who are trying to lose weight is, how do we spontaneously reduce caloric intake; low carb is pretty darn effective at that. So effective, in fact, that I’ve noticed with myself that I can get into a mode where I’ll go weeks where I’m eating 16-1700 calories, because I’m just not that hungry. And doing Brazilian Jujitsu and being 175 pounds, that is not going to work for me. I’ll start noticing; man I’m kind of cold; my joints are kind of creaking and stuff. I’ll do a little bit of weighing and measuring of my food, and I’m like, “Oh my god, I’m undereating by half.” So was the problem low-carb specifically, or was the problem low-carb plus low-calorie?

And you can definitely, any scenario in which you stick an organism in a hypocaloric state for an extended period of time, you’re going to see some thyroid dysregulation there. So you could make a pretty credible argument that the problem was the low calories; but the low calories was brought about because of the low carb, and the satiating effects. So, then you could almost make an argument, “Well, maybe you need a little bit more carbs in the diet so that you eat more calories in total.” So, decoupling all that stuff and figuring out where you are, and what you need to do to get the desired end point; it’s not that easy. Again, I don’t know if I really fully answered that questions.

Are there differences between males and females with regard to carbohydrate and thyroid? I waffle on this all the time. Sometimes I’m like; yeah, I guess women are more sensitive to it; but then I’m not totally sure at other points, because I see some women who have a host of metabolic problems like PCOS, insulin resistance, fertility issues, and they’ll go ketogenic and Bam! Everything is fixed, and that’s the way they eat for years, possibly the rest of their life, and it’s just the most profound life altering event for them. And then other people, you know, they seem to have a history that suggests things went bad when they went really low carb.

But you know; one of the things that I talk about in the book is this notion of personalized nutrition. I really focus on the difference in carbohydrate response in the book, but we could certainly make an argument that that kind of cuts both ways. Maybe the people who respond favorably towards carbs, they’re going to respond unfavorably to a low-carb environment. If they are just kind of more naturally insulin sensitive, and maybe not as robust on the lipolytic fat mobilizing enzymes and stuff like that. So it becomes again a challenge to put a one-size fits all story into this. I think less about it being a male/female difference is we each have unique issues, and challenges, and needs; and we need to do a certain amount of experimentation to figure that out. So I would be really hesitant to say that there’s a hard and fast difference between men and women. I would default it back more that there is definitely individual variation in the story.

9. Keto and thyroid function [48:04]

Diane Sanfilippo: So, this is kind of a similar question, but a little bit more nuanced from AmyVNTP. She’s asking, “How about keto and thyroid?” So it’s the same kind of question. “Does the reduced amount of insulin affect the T4-T3 conversion? Also, doing keto or IF when you have low cortisol?”

Robb Wolf: Yeah. So, without a doubt, relative to someone; or the same person eating more carbohydrates, they will have a higher conversion of T4 into T3, higher T3 levels, TSH may or may not really change all that much under that circumstance. But again, this is just fundamentally because you need that thyroid activity to properly deal with the carbohydrates. So I don’t know that there’s really; you know, it would be hard to say that there’s anything clinically relevant there, unless we’re seeing some sort of problems; again, like cold or heat intolerance, brittle hair; like the kind of classic hypothyroid kind of issues.

And the low cortisol story is really complex. I had a guy on my podcast, Bryan Walsh; he’s a naturopath. He went so deep into the thyroid/cortisol axis; I feel like I’m usually pretty good on it, but I was literally…

Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} He’s pretty intense, yeah.

Robb Wolf: Drooling on myself. Have you had him on your show?

Diane Sanfilippo: No, but I was reading a lot of his work before I actually wrote one of the articles I wrote on your site a million years ago about adrenal fatigue and all of that; yeah.

Robb Wolf: Gotcha. Yeah, and so he makes the point that “low cortisol” maybe that’s clinically important, and something that we want to address; or maybe that’s something we don’t want to mess with at all, and things are actually working really, really well.

I had two immunologists reach out to me after that podcast, and they were like; “man, for a non-immunologist, that guy knows his immunology,” you know. So, it’s a really complex story there. and again, this is maybe where I would pull back and kind of ask some clinical empirical questions about; how do you look? How do you feel? How are you performing? And if those are really consistent with what we would normally characterize with “low cortisol” and we would definitely want to do something like an ASI test, so we get a curve of cortisol release throughout the day, and maybe even some Dutch testing, which is looking at the cortisol itself and a bunch of metabolites. Although, Bryan Walsh really shone an interesting light on the Dutch test. He likes it, but there are a bunch of caveats with that. But again; these are really, really good questions, and I feel like I’m just falling down trying to answer them, but there’s just a lot of individuality and nuance to these situations.

10. Hyperpalatability, overindulging, and paleo ancestors [51:06]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so let’s shift gears a little from the thyroid stuff over to a question from Rd_fitbiscuit. {laughs}

Robb Wolf: Awesome. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I love the handles on Instagram; it’s amazing. ”How does overeating and overindulging on hyperpalatable foods affect our entire digestive system? Short and long term health effects? How fast does our digestion clear out?” And, I loved this. “Did these habits affect our ancestors? Did they overeat?” I thought those questions were really, really good.

Robb Wolf: Mm. Mm; man those are really good questions. I may have to have you remind me of a couple of them. But you know, in the book I actually break down the normal fed state, which is when we’re eating in a way that we get about the right amount of calories. Maybe one day we’re a little high; one day we’re a little low, but you know, over the course of time we have good energy, our body composition is pretty consistent. And then I go and I dig into what does the underfed state look like, and push that all the way to the point of essentially fasting, and talk about the fasting ketogenic state, and the whole metabolic process there.

And then I look at the overfed state. Because each of those have really unique features. And interestingly in the overfed state; if this goes on long enough and the system gets sufficiently inflamed and damage, even though we are carrying lots and lots of excess calories, eventually we start losing the ability to store this in adipose tissue; to store it as intramuscular triglyceride. At some point, we start seeing elevations in blood glucose, and elevations in blood triglycerides. It’s kind of like someone who is a hoarder, and they’ve filled up everything in the house with the bulk mail that they get, and there’s nowhere else for it to go. And so this is when we really start seeing blood lipids start to go crazy, and this is really different from person to person. Again, a hat tip to Chris Masterjohn; there are genetic factors, nutritional factors.

If you are deficient in certain nutrients, you lose the ability to gain more fat, and when you cease being able to get fatter, is when you get sick, which is really interesting. So you have lots of people who start gaining weight, but they’re not yet insulin resistant or metabolically broken, or particularly inflamed. But when they reach some point where, because of some sort of a nutrient defy or some other factors that go into that situation, that’s when the inflammatory process starts ramping up. So at the end stage, when the wheels start falling off the wagon on this whole story, we are awash in excess calories. We have them stored in our body, we have them running through our circulatory system, they’re increasing our atherogenic potential. And, at the same time that’s happening, our brain loses the ability to sense those nutrients, and we actually think we’re starving. Which then causes us to eat more food. And creates a feed forward mechanism in this whole thing. So there is some really, really good engineering that goes into keeping this process pretty dialed in; but nutrient deficiencies and/or hyperpalatable foods, or stress, or circadian rhythm disturbance, inadequate sleep; all of those things feed back into this whole process.

And the question about, did our ancestors overeat? They did, but we had some caveats with that, too. There was a limited amount of food that we would ever really be exposed to. It required a significant amount of work to get that food, and in addition to a desire to eat more and move less, we also have this dueling banjo element, though, of a really powerful desire for novelty. So even though we might have a bunch of a very tasty food; once we work our way through it a little bit, we’re kind of like, “Ugh, I’m done. I’m over it.” But, in this modern world; when we get done with the lasagna, then we can have the ice cream; and oh man there are some chips, also! So you can keep changing the palate experience in a way that bypasses that palate fatigue, and it overrides the neuroregulation of appetite.

Diane Sanfilippo: I think one other part of that question was about how it impacts the digestive system; which I think you covered, you did cover this in the book, talking a bit about things like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and some other issues that come up. But it’s a bit of an adjacent topic.

Robb Wolf: Yeah.

Diane Sanfilippo: To kind of what’s going on with our brain, and our, you know, the signaling that’s happening with this whole thing.

Robb Wolf: Yeah, and you know, there is some really interesting research where overweight individuals will have a gut biome that looks like X, and then leaner, more metabolically healthy individuals will have a gut biome that looks like Y. And they’ve done this both; I believe there have been human trials of this also; definitely has happened in rodent models. Where they take the lean bacterial profile, put it in the overweight one; take the overweight one, put it in the lean one. It’s very, very easy to inoculate the lean individual with the overweight gut microbiota and make them sick, basically. It’s much more challenging to push it the other way.

So that’s another piece to this story, that we can alter the gut microbiota; which is a huge signaling factor in the pro inflammatory state, in insulin sensitivity, and there are lots of things that feed into that. Again, sleep, circadian rhythm, stress, photo period. A host of pharmaceuticals; NSAIDs, antibiotics, birth control; all these things can really tweak the gut microbiome in ways that may not be that beneficial. So even though we’re primarily looking at food; we may have something happening at the bacterial, kind of symbiotic level, that is more important than just about any of the food we’re putting down the system.

11. Helping parents with healthy diet [57:19]

Diane Sanfilippo: Alright, so I think this will be a good one to kind of wrap up on, because you are welcome to rant, or not.

Robb Wolf: {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: Or take it as quickly or go as far with it as you want, because I know this is the kind of question that we both get all the time, from Yellowcec; “My in-laws need to clean up their diet. Father-in-law had a minor stroke (a stroke of any kind in my humble opinion is a big deal).” That’s their words.

Robb Wolf: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: “And now is on blood pressure meds and also has wacky blood sugar numbers, which I imagine have been that way for a while. Question: how do I help? They keep getting mixed messages from traditional doctors: watch salt, no watch sugar, no watch carbs. They are beyond stressed, but I don't think they know how to cut through all the misinformation. I would love it if they would go all in, because they know what paleo has done for me; but they just feel like they can't. I just want to say “buck up and get your stuff together,” we don’t curse on this show. “But I also need to be conscious of not being a jerk. Any advice on the best small steps I could pass on would be great. Thanks and apologies on the novel.”

Robb Wolf: Oh man. It’s really hard. That’s legitimately hard. Part of the reason why I’ve probably continued doing this stuff is because I was unable to affect any change whatsoever with my own parents. And I think that haunts me to some degree; it also made me really good, almost the way a hound dog can pick up a scent at like 5 miles away; I know when somebody has some something going on between their ears that’s going to make change almost impossible. Like, I just ferret it out. and particularly, if there’s some of this kind of co-dependency going on. I just pick it up immediately, and I usually kind of run screaming the opposite direction. Because I’m fortunate in that I have so many people reaching out to me who legitimately want help that have very, very little bandwidth to devote to folks that aren’t willing. Even if they have hard work to do; it’s like, “Hey man, I’m going to be here with you. I’ll suffer with you; but you’ve still got to do the work. I can’t do it all for you; I can’t fight you every step of the way.”

And the crazy nefarious used-car salesman pitch that I think both you and I effectively peddle is this: Try it for 30 days, see how you look, feel, and perform; check your biomarkers before, check some biomarkers afterwards, and then decide if the work was worth the results. And if we can’t get someone to just whole-hog do a 21-Day Sugar Detox, do a 30-day reset, then there’s something else going on. And it’s unlikely that we’re really going to get any type of buy-in from that person.

So I guess one of the things that I talk about in the book is that people do need to figure out what their why is. Why do you want to do this stuff? Why is it compelling for you? I watched my parents become really sick due to type 2 diabetes complications. I had to do wound care on my dad as he lost first a toe, then part of his foot, then all of his foot, then part of his ankle, and then everything below the knee. It was horrible. But, you know, he was just in this beat state. It was really crazy. In his head, when he would start getting prepared for the next surgery, he’d be like, “Well, Robb, I guess I’ll let them take the foot.” And I was looking at him; I’m like, “You know that’s not going to deal with it?” {laughs} this is just kicking the can down the road. But in his head, he was like, making a deal with the universe.

Diane Sanfilippo: Mm-hmm.

Robb Wolf: Like, ok you take my foot and everything will be cool. That sucks, but everything will be find. And it just doesn’t work that way. And we’re really good at lying to ourselves about that. Some people get into modes also where they’ve always been sick; they’ve always been overweight, and they adopt some sort of persona, an identity around that.

Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.

Robb Wolf: And that’s really hard to crack open. So I guess the thing that I would sit down with these folks and just say, “Is there anything compelling enough that you would like to not die young from further stroke or cardiovascular disease issues?” and let’s just put all the BS about the doctor’s opinion, or this person’s opinion. “Is there something that would motivate you to try something significant for 30 days, and really do it, yes or no?” And if they hem and haw, then it’s done. There’s not really an opportunity there, in my opinion.

If they’re like; yeah, ok, I’d be willing to do something. You’re like, here’s the plan, we’re going to do blood work before, you're going to do it 30 days, you could do a huge number of things in 30 days. It’s probably not going to kill you, so we’re going to do that, then we’re going to reevaluate, and then you can decide if it’s worthwhile to continue doing this longer time. And I think that’s as honest a place as you could get, both on the sales pitch and on holding them accountable.

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Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. Yeah, I mean it’s a tough one. If people are ready for change, then of course there are a number of resources to provide. And this is where I know you interviewed Gretchen Rubin; and I did as well, after that. Knowing what kind of person they are.

Robb Wolf: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: If they are like; yeah I’m ready, and they just feel confused and they’re not sure which direction to go, then get them a copy of Wired to Eat; let them read the book. Let them learn it if they’re the Questioner type or the Obliger type, and they just need a little more information, and then they can feel a little bit more affirmed in that decision. Do they need to feel like it’s their decision? This is another complication that comes up with parents, right? It’s like, whatever the case may be, most of the time your parents don’t want to hear from you. You know?

Robb Wolf: Mm-hmm.

Diane Sanfilippo: So, it’s a little bit of psychological warfare to figure out how to get through to them. But if they’re in a place where they’re like; ok, we want to do something, but we’re not sure what to believe, then you do need to figure out how to help them find the thing to believe, if that makes sense? Because at that point then it is just a matter of them either deciding to do it or not, and as adults we can’t make other people do things. But we can support them, and provide the resources, and do our best from there. but yeah, absolutely. Totally with you on that.

And some people’s limit for pain; their threshold or what they thing is a not so great way to live is just not the same as the rest of us.

Robb Wolf: Right.

12. Preorder bonuses for Wired to Eat [1:04:35]

Diane Sanfilippo: Some of us have this threshold of; no, this is enough for me. But for other people, we can’t determine that, so it does get a little sticky.

Alright, well this was super fun. Thank you so much for taking time with me. I know the book is available; actually releases March 21st, but you’ve got a bunch of preorder goodies, and bonuses, and all kinds of good stuff going on with the book. Do you want to tell folks what that is?

Robb Wolf: Yeah, let me see if I can remember the pre-order swag.

Diane Sanfilippo: I’m going to go open your website, make sure you don’t forget something.

Robb Wolf: Yeah, it’s and the first bonus is a workbook to help people navigate that 30-day reset and the 7-day carb test. And maybe even more important than that, it really helps them to take the information that’s in the book, that helps you triage where you are; basically figure out where you are on the insulin sensitivity/insulin resistance spectrum, and that’s really going to drive the boat about how you implement that 30-day reset. So that things really valuable. I would have loved to put that in the book, but it was another, I think, 40 pages. So that was a pretty cool guide to give to people.

And then I do talk extensively about the blood work that I would recommend checking out; and I cover that in the book. But I interviewed a guy, Dr. William Cromwell, who is the head of cardiovascular disease research for LipoScience and LabCorp. He is the guy that we do our lipidology consulting with at this Reno Risk Assessment Clinic. He’s a lipidologist; regarded by most people as the most knowledgeable lipidologist in the world. And we go through and talk about the basic lipid panel, the benefits and limitations of that; and then also some more advanced testing that I recommend in the book and why all that stuff is important.

I also have a bonus chapter that was originally chapter one of the book; it’s called Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics. It’s my favorite chapter of the book, but the publisher’s put their foot down on it, and said this is too much. {laughing}

Diane Sanfilippo: Shakes fist; “Dammit!” {laughs}

Robb Wolf: Yeah, yeah. But it’s really the historical underpinnings of how we got here. It looks at the political, economic, and academic interactions from the late 1940s up until the present, and how all of the food subsidies, high carb, low fat; you know, sugar industry. It ties all that stuff together. It’s a little slightly Malcolm Gladwell-esque in that it’s like tying all these different storylines together. I was really pretty tickled with the chapter itself; was super bummed that they just said no way, the book is going to be too long with this. So that’s the bonus chapter.

And then finally, the last bonus is Thrive Market, which is an online retailer that’s kind of like Whole Foods online for nonperishable type stuff. I’ve curated a “fill your pantry” type list, so folks that preorder the book, send that preorder to Thrive Market; they will get a $20 gift card towards a $40 or great purchase.

Diane Sanfilippo: Sweet!

Robb Wolf: Yeah, cool stuff.

Diane Sanfilippo: That’s pretty much the price of the book right there.

Robb Wolf: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: So basically this is a no-brainer. And I am going to; so is this preorder or is this also when folks get the book. It’s just a preorder thing?

Robb Wolf: All of that bonus swag is going away March 21st.

Diane Sanfilippo: Ok, so the day…

Robb Wolf: So this is just for the preorder.

Diane Sanfilippo: Now I’ve got to pitch for everyone. So preorder a copy to give to someone, and then the week it releases, go to the store and buy another copy.

Robb Wolf: Ooh, oh I like it. I like it.

Diane Sanfilippo: Because; you know, just personally knowing as much kind of push that we all can make to support work like this, back in the day I remember we were all like, “Let’s all line up at Barnes and Noble and get 10 copies of the book!” And we’re trying to figure out how to support any effort to have it try and get on a bestseller list.

Robb Wolf: Right.

Diane Sanfilippo: Or something to that effect. The presales are awesome, and you get tons of bonuses and all of that, but showing up in the stores also, that week, is really a strong way to kind of make a statement with our dollars about what we want to see happening at large; and I pretty much always vote for that.

But this is the kind of book that I honestly think; just like The Paleo Solution was, I think it’s a great one to have for yourself. You will learn something from it. If you’re already eating this way, I think you will be inspired the way I was to just reevaluate and get really honest about what you’re doing in your own life that you’re like, “Yeah, I keep trying to tweak my food,” but it’s probably not about the food! {laughs} And if you’ve got friends, family members, what have you who needs something new, who don’t want it to just be like here’s a book about paleo. This is so much more, and it gets into a lot more that I think will tap into stuff that they’re thinking and feeling, but just answers more questions. So definitely grab a couple of copies wherever you can.

Robb Wolf: I love it. Thank you. {laughs}

Diane Sanfilippo: I’ll be part of your sales pitch team; don’t worry.

Robb Wolf: Perfect. Perfect.

Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome. Well that’s it for this week. Don’t forget, you can find out more and get all those details from Robb at And you can find me, Diane, at And my podcast cohost, Liz Wolfe; no relation, at Don’t forget to join our email lists for free goodies and updates you don’t find anywhere else on our websites. And, tell a friend about the show, if you think they would find it interesting. See you next week.

Comments 4

    1. Post
  1. AHHH! I just listened to the podcast because I got the reminder/recap email today and I’m too late to preorder 🙁 A week earlier would have been more helpful. Dang I really want to read that extra chapter!

    1. Post

      We aired the show about 6 days ahead of when the book came out, which is the amount of time that makes sense for us to do so. If we air an episode too far ahead of a release, it isn’t as helpful for the author because folks listening feel like the book doesn’t release for a “long time” and the response isn’t as positive. If you subscribe the podcast in iTunes, it’ll load to your app as soon as the show is live. The early bird gets the worm! 😉

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