Blood Sugar

#171: Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS – Breakthrough Habits and Strategies for Fat Loss

by Deanna Mutzel, DC


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Marc Bubbs, ND, CSCS

Dr. Marc Bubbs is a board-certified Naturopathic Doctor, Author, Speaker, Sport Nutrition Lead for the Canadian Men's National Basketball Team and Strength Coach. He has been working with athletes, active people and those striving to improve their health for over a decade and is passionate that diet, exercise and lifestyle are the MOST powerful tools forimproving your overall health, body composition and performance. He is the author of The Paleo Project: The 21st Century Guide to Looking Leaner, Getting Stronger, and Living Longer and a regular contributor to Breaking Muscle, Paleo and PaleohacksPrimal Docs, the Natural Path and Healthier Talks, as well as the nutrition advisory board member for Strong Magazine.


Books and Products Discussed

The Paleo Project

Optimal Creatine | Functional Food Powder | Provides Creatine Bound To Magnesium For Optimal Absorption | 247.5 Grams | 225 Servings Per Container | Seeking Health

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Interview Show Notes

03:23 Personalized Approach: Context matters. Training, lifestyle factors like sleep and stress control, and nutrition are individual and must be addressed individually. You don’t have to make sweeping changes.

03:53 Lifestyle Change:  Skeletal muscle is a great health marker for disease risk. In Mark’s book analogy, our big rocks are our major life themes, like health and work life. The big rocks in health are diet, exercise and lifestyle.

05:26 Dr. Bubbs had Malaria: He was in Africa he was stung by a few mosquitos. After he got home, he got sick and was admitted to the hospital. It was the most resistant type of malaria. Western medicine can be very effective in acute situations. Though he prefers alternative medicine, he is thankful for pharmaceuticals.

07:21 Balancing Diet and Lifestyle:  Any diet that leads to the slow and sustained release of sugar into the bloodstream is beneficial. Athletes may be consuming too many sugars and have belly fat. Longevity/health and optimal physical performance are not necessarily congruent.

08:54 Over Training: We have 3 different energy systems. Once you have trained for a number of weeks in the same way, your body adapts and you get little benefit. It can lead to nervous system fatigue, and cravings for sugar and caffeine. Professional endurance athletes may have higher HA1C levels and higher levels of systemic inflammation.

12:58 Body Types: Ectomorphs are the tall, lean, basketball player looking people. They have hotter metabolism. Their adrenals tend to be more cortisol/adrenaline. They are always on the go. They can lose weight easily, but find it challenging to hold onto muscle. Endomorphs are pear/apple shaped. They have a slower metabolism and hold on to weight. They can build muscle more easily, but it is more challenging for them to burn body fat. In the middle is the mesomorph who is strong and solid.

14:13 3 Meals vs 6 Meals: Once your insulin becomes dysfunctional, you end up with cravings and skewed leptin, the satiety hormone. If you have 10% body fat, you have 30,000 calories in storage. We need to normalize the meals of the day. Eating more than 3 meals each day does not boost metabolism. Instead, you will see increases in body fat. If you increase protein/fats and decrease carbs at breakfast, you will be better sustained for the day. Don’t count calories or try to do portion control. By eating only 3 meals a day without snacks, you create a caloric deficit naturally. The longer you can go between meals without getting hungry, generally, the flexible you are metabolically. Mid-morning coffee can serve as an appetite suppressant.

19:32 Cravings: Habit and environment are factors in cravings. Studies show that if you have a snack in your desk, you will eat it 100% of the time when you are hungry. If it is down the hall in another room, you’ll eat it 2/3s of the time. If you have to outside and two blocks over, you will eat that snack less than 20% of the time. Try to create an environment for success.

20:34 Movement: Walk more. Take the stairs. Stand more at your desk.

21:05 Circadian Rhythms: These are the hormonal patterns of our body and every cell in our body. Exposure to morning light is important for maintaining rhythms, which helps with energy and mood.

22:02 Cold and Metabolism: Cryotherapy and ice baths are used to induce lipolysis. Lack of exposure to the natural outdoor elements must play a role somewhere.

22:53 Starting Movement: When we are toddlers, we have a perfect squat naturally.  Begin by restoring movements like squatting, lunging and bending. Add some load as movement proficiency increases.

24:33 Training and Circadian Rhythms: Walking or other low intensity activities in the morning in a fasted state is beneficial. You don’t have to spend an hour working out. It is getting started that is the toughest part. Sleep is often the first thing people sacrifice in a busy life. Adding quality sleep time can improve blood sugar/insulin release. Start with one change and then add another. Step back and stay focused on your goals.

31:52 Cortisol: What are the inputs into the system that are creating that cortisol drive and preventing recovery? It could be personality or too much caffeine. Too much alcohol impacts sleep.

32:46 Benefits of Fats and Cholesterol: Ensure that healthy fat intake is up. Fats are the building blocks for cholesterol. Cholesterol is essential for health. It is needed for every cell in the body. Cell membranes communicate with other cells with cholesterol. It is the basis for sex hormones. 70% of our cholesterol is made within our body. Men on statin drugs can have lower testosterone levels. Bad saturated fats in the blood stream are a result of consuming too many carbohydrates.

35:52 Carbohydrate Timing: Root vegetables, rice, pulses, and oats are Dr. Bubbs’ preferred carbs. They are nutrient dense. Foods that are fibrous and are slowly released into the blood stream are big wins. The fitter and leaner you are, the more tolerance you will have. Focus carb consumption before, during and after exercise and then moving outward is a good approach. For those of us trying to lose weight, it is a good idea to stop the carbs until you are well and your weight is down.  What you eat over 24 hours is important, rather than loading up on carbs after a heavy training session.

38:00 Eat Low/Train Low: We used to think that we needed to consume a great number of nutrients to accelerate recovery. It is overall a good approach.  Training in a low glycogen state is stressful on your body, but it will elicit some adaptations that will help down the road. It is a good idea to have a professional help you with this. Sometimes to elicit a response, you need to feel crappy when you train.

40:04 Athletes: At the professional level, genetics can set you up for success. If you take care of your body in terms of nutrition, you can extend your playing career and minimize injuries.

41:34 Dr. Bubbs’ Morning Routine: He is an early riser and gets to work early so he can get his admin work done. Especially in the winter, he drinks a bone broth with collagen. He has a lower carb higher fat breakfast (3 or 4 eggs, avocados and leafy greens). Having a routine and finding your most productive hours and maximizing them is key.

42:34 Dr. Bubbs’ Favorite Nutrient: His favorite is the adaptogenic herb ashwaganda. It is restorative to the nervous system. For people who are revved during the day, daytime doses of ashwaganda or L-theanine or magnesium glycinate can calm them.

43:59 Dr. Bubbs’ Elevator Speech: We are spending lots of money on sick people. We subsidize the types of foods that make us sick. Basic things like how we eat, how we move and lifestyle can dramatically reduce disease rate across the board.

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