Found My Fitness Podcast: Ray Cronise, Cold Thermogenesis, Intermittent Fast, Weight Loss and Healthspan

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  • Bonafides: Former NASA Scientist, Co-founder of Zero Gravity, popularized using mild cold-stress for weight loss (as covered in The 4 Hour Body, by Tim Ferriss) and about to complete a 23-day (medically supervised) water fast

    • Btw, you bowel movements just stop after a while


  • Long fasts are socially draconian, but not physically draconian

    • I don’t have headache, hunger pangs, etc.


  • Fasting is helping people with diabetes, lowering blood pressure and even Ezcema

  • The idea that the body gets into a repair mode when in a dietary restrictive environment is not that far fetched, but how to you sell sitting around and drinking water?

  • Once we have dietary restriction we’ll need to supplement to make sure we’re not malnourished

  • Over past 23-days Ray’s blood levels were all at healthy levels

  • Myth: You don’t need comprehensive nutrition every single day, maybe over any given week or month, but we don’t need everything every day

    • Which makes sense if we evolved often not having food available every day as hunter-gatherers

    • AND you can be clear headed and effective when fasting, as we needed to be able to hunt without eating and do it successfully


  • What is an adequate level for vitamins/minerals?

    • The RDAs (recommended daily allowances) were set based off animal studies about what levels caused death

    • But what about the stuff that are not essential for short term survival, but essential for long term survival and damage repair (Triage Theory, Dr. Bruce Ames)?

    • But we also don’t know the consequences of over-nutrition?


  • Start thinking about diet about a lifetime thing, not a daily thing

    • g. At a certain age you are trying to have children, so you want more amino acids to help with fecundity

    • At older ages, you want to aim for longevity and have fewer amino acids


  • How do we look at HealthSpan: Live long and be functional when old, not just technically alive

  • Myth: Going without a meal will crash your metabolism or by not including a food group in every meal

    • Also, none of us are going to be deficient in protein, not happening in the West


  • Original rules were written when we didn’t have enough food and it was about making sure we had enough, now this is not the case

    • Now, what more can we get at a micro-nutrient level to optimize our health


  • Over-nutrition is rare in nature, not a big thing

    • But now we are over-nourished by a calorie density perspective

    • Strictly a disease of affluence that the US exports to other nations

    • Ironically, we are undernourished in key micro-nutrients, even though getting lots of macronutrients


  • Dietary restriction is not Caloric Nutrition and can be done without being malnourished

    • Micronutrients come mostly from plants, even though they don’t have a lot of calories


  • Food Triangle (page 3)

    • Top: Leafy green, veggies, mushroom, stems/bulbs [Eat most of your diet from here]

    • Left side: Paleo diet, you can maintain weight, but won’t get enough fiber and extra phyto-nutrients

    • Right Side: Plants, nuts, legumes, starch veggies, fruits

    • Bottom Feeder: Meat/potatos, burger/fries, etc. – very energy dense and everyone gains weight


  • Inflammation is the only biomarker with people that live well over 100

    • The gut is the greatest source of inflammation in the body

    • The Gut likes fiber, so give it fiber


  • I think we’ll start doing fetal transplants in the future commonly as we age

  • There is no such thing as a broken metabolism: It basically scales with your body mass

    • 1918 study, Francis Benedict equation is still right

    • Metabolism: Measured by ratio of oxygen in/CO2 out and we can calculate what is burned

    • You can run your ass off for hours, but if you’re just burning carbs you get nowhere

      • So people cut out carbs to get into ketosis to burn fat, but that isn’t necessary as your body does this itself when you restrict diet


    • “We used to eat to support out activity, but now we are active to support our eating”

      • “But you cannot out exercise your mouth, it is just impossible”


    • I’m not sure it’s about putting as much good stuff in my body as possible, but now I’m not sure that that is right – I may be over-nourishing

    • “Worst place to eat healthy is a vegan restaurant, they just put sugar/salt/fat on top of plants” just like meat, meat is the delivery system for sauce

    • Trackers that Ray Uses Withings trackers


    • Intermittent Fasting:

      • I try to decrease frequency of meals, blending, but NOT Juicing

      • I tend to skip breakfast

      • 3 meals a day was a created social construct to match to work day of the farm or factory worker

        • Hippocrates discussed if they should eat 1x or 2x a day, nobody ate 3x a day

        • How often we are eating could be a huge problem for health, and it’s really socially driven


      • Don’t name meals, that is for restaurants so they know what to serve you

      • There are not time of day meals and time of day foods

      • In the morning you are the most insulin sensitive (least at night, so eating starches late at night is not a good idea)

      • Having the option to just not eat dinner if you’re too busy to get food ready early on in the evening

      • Shown similar health benefits with dietary restriction, but with additional protective to infection

      • We have amazing repair processes when in a fasted state, this has been shown in many animal studies

        • The mild stress (hormesis) has massive changes in gene expression and starts “cleaning house” of dysfunction cells that are wasting resources (autophagy)

        • This cells that are cleaned out are often senescent and damaging your body and hurting nearby cells


      • The longest medically supervised water fast was 382 days!

        • Lost 276 pounds with just a multi-vitamin

        • Down to 185 pounds when finished


      • The idea that fasting is miserable is a response to the habit of eating. Symptoms of hunger are headache, irritability, lethargy = Same as giving up caffeine, cigarettes, heroin

        • Not that food is addicting, but that body only thinks to respond like withdrawal if you’re regularly feeding it

        • All of what you feel of hunger is not actually hunger

        • The only actual symptom of hunger is mouth-watering and food tastes amazingly good

        • Just smelling food is almost as if you ate it when been on a long fast

        • These symptoms is are not a way that a starving animal finds food


      • Health benefits from fasting kick-in after


    • Dietary Restriction:

      • You can be eating all day long and being calorically restricted

      • How can you optimize eating frequency?


    • Satiation is a made up word, and the entire context of using that word is with people that are chronically fed

    • Any study for low fat shows a rise in the carbohydrate arm and no increase in Fiber = increase in refined sugars – This is an irrelevant study

      • All is shows is sugar vs. fat which we know about already

      • All of Ray’s foods all come whole foods that have multiple things in it, simply a carb or protein or fat


    • Carb is way too vague a term, no real meaning. Then you add Refined Carbs you are just making stuff up to try make it all make sense

    • What if the study was about adding potatoes or beef and seeing what happened, NOT fat/protein/carb.

    • US Gov. Policy:

      • If saying something good, we name the food (fruits, veggies)

      • If saying something bad, cannot name the food (fat, sugar)

      • Because they hurt the beef industry by saying don’t eat red meat, so they won’t do that again

      • We have 20 national institutes of health, but food is regulated by the USDA


    • “In a mature bureaucracy, there is a rule against everything”

    • Fasting benefits:

      • Increase autophagy (takes 48 hours of fasting in mice studies), but unclear how long for humans?


    • Fasting might seem socially radically, but it is not biological radically – normal people can do this

    • FOXO3 is well known to be activated on healthy aging

    • Temperature/Cold Therapy/Cold Stress:

      • See Wim Hof

      • “Mild cold stress isn’t really about ice baths, more about constant exposure to mild cold” –

        • “Gloves before sweater makes you look better”

        • Ray wears gloves and ear muffs and he can walk outside in the very cold without a jacket – cover the symptoms of cold first


      • Cold Stress and Dietary Restriction hit the same mechanisms in the body

      • You don’t need to take it to the extreme like cryotherapy – cold air/water is enough

      • Cycling cold/hot before bed can make you very sleepy and give you amazing sleep (can reset your circadian rhythm – travel tip)

        • Ray’s Protocol: Contrast Showers 10 seconds warm, 20 seconds cold, repeat 10 times, end on cold

        • Skin can’t sense absolute temp. we only can tell differences/changes

        • You end up tolerating heat better after doing this, so you sweat less and get cold less easily


      • Clinically depressed patients with cold showers showed similar benefits to medications (anything below 60F)

        • Mild cold stress begins at 80F in water (60F in air), where you seeing a change

          • Below 60F begins hypothermia (<32F in air), so the risk of injury is much higher


        • You don’t need ice, don’t start extreme – start with mild levels


      • See Blog Post: Metabolism Mastering…

      • Swimming is the only exercise you can start at any age and can continue to the end of your life

        • Swimming with a tether makes it much harder

        • For Swimming, the optimal level for impact and comfort is about 75F, but when you get out just stay out, don’t go warm up if you want to burn fat

        • Exercise = Mimicking Mild Cold Stress (in some ways)

          • First step, Shivering = burn carbs, not fat

          • Then shivering stops and you shift to burning fat to make heat


        • The opposite of sedentary isn’t exercise, it’s Active

          • Let’s stop talking about exercise…

          • It’s not about balancing inputs/outputs of energy


        • We live in conditioned environments, we’ve lost being in natural warmth/colds and the responses those create in our bodies

        • We need to think about Sleep, Cold Stress and Dietary Restriction

        • Weight Loss Cold Stress Protocol: See Ray’s Website

          • It’s not burning a ton of fat, but it shifts your Respiratory Quotient

          • After a few weeks of cold stress and restricted diet, you’ll get 75% of the time burning fat


        • Cold shower/bath helps right after exercise will help avoid your muscles from hurting the next day (after doing exercise for the first time in long time)

        • Ray lives chronically in cold stress in the winter, house set at 50F and without any blankets

          • Took a while to condition himself to being without a blanket

          • We used to have blankets because we didn’t heat the house, so we do both

          • Test: If you stick your hands/feet out of our blanket while sleeping, you are too warm and trying to trick your brain into thinking you are cooler

          • We need cool to sleep, this is part of the role of melatonin – to drop your core temp drop

          • Ray’s Bedtime:

            • Contrast shower 30-45 min before bed

            • No screens

            • Ray takes a TON of melatonin (fast dissolve) a night (30mg) – this seems dangerous…

              • Cured secondary insomnia

              • Rhonda takes it rarely and no more than 3mg


            • After 40, your melatonin levels drop off, most of it is made in the gut (why?)






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