#209 Cycling Protein, Danger of Too Much Protein & Keto Diet Insights w/ Mind Pump’s Adam & Sal

by Mike Mutzel



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Studies Discussed

Levine, ME. Low Protein Intake Is Associated with a Major Reduction in IGF-1, Cancer, and Overall Mortality in the 65 and Younger but Not Older Population, Volume 19, Issue 3, p407–417, 4 March 2014


About Adam Schafer and Sal Di Stefano

Adam Schafer is a IFBB men's physique Pro and fitness expert with over 14 years of fitness experience.

Connect with Adam on instagram

At age 19 Sal was managing health clubs and by 22 he owned his own gym. After 17 years as a personal trainer he has dedicated himself to bringing science and TRUTH to the fitness industry.

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Along with Justin, Adam and Sal host the popular Mind Pump Radio podcast with garners over 1.2 million downloads per month.


Read the Show Notes

06:19 Professional body builders, physique pros and women’s bikini athletes very often have disorders. These are often the models you see on magazine covers.

07:52 If you look at food and say “That’s going to make me fat” or “make me skinny” or you cannot part with some kind of food or beverage for your health, that is a poor relationship with food. Food effects how you feel, your skin, hair, sleep, mental clarity, mood, energy, and strength. Learning to connect these dots is essential. Most people do not understand the great influence of food over their wellbeing and their health. The main driver in food choice is palatability and convenience. Your body becomes efficient at running off the limited nutrition it is fed. Most of us don’t know what it feels like to feel good.

14:18 Adam uses a cyclical ketogenic diet. It is a low carb diet with intermittent high carb days. This helps him gain bulk. He used to consume 300-400 carbs a day. When he went keto, it changed his brain and his performance. He consumes more carbohydrates to build, but intermittently. When we run low carb and a caloric deficit for a long period, we suppress the leptin hormone. It is the hormone responsible for telling our body that we have fuel/energy and kicks up metabolism.

16:28 Our ancestors had varied diets: high carb, high fat, vegan, or high protein. They ate seasonally. If you eat something in a particular way for a long period, your body becomes desensitized to it, as with insulin resistance/carbs. Change things up.

20:32  Adam’s first step in teaching a client about nutrition is to have him/her track with they eat. Everyone is unique. He then teaches about macronutrients missing in their diets. After that, he teaches things like food rotation. The overconsumption of the same foods leads to food intolerances and food allergies. Elimination diet can be illustrative.

25:49 When we fast, we have an increase in cell apoptosis (naturally occurring programmed cell death), where your body kills old cells. Fasting also stimulates stem cells. With the reintroduction of food, new cells are built. This leads to reduced cancer risk and increased insulin sensitivity.

27:05 The overconsumption of protein may be as bad as the overconsumption of carbohydrates. Your body can become desensitized to too much protein too frequently and will not utilize it as efficiently. A constant high protein diet contributes to accelerated ageing and, if you are in a pro-cancer state, can potentially increase cancer risk. We did not evolve to have a constant amount of protein, carbs or fat.

29:26 The combination of lack of movement and poor nutrition cause much of our health problems. The average American is sedentary, moving less than 4,000 steps a day. We are getting more information and better educated nutritionally, but obesity, autoimmunity, cancers and other illnesses are on the rise.

30:26 Gut health and the microbiome impacts how you think. Our food does not promote a diverse healthy microbiome. Chemicals found in foods were not tested for how they impact the microbiome. Severe food allergies are becoming epidemic and it is all linked with how/what we eat.

31:53 The state of your body that will be most resilient and adaptive is a state that is optimal health. Building muscle and burning body fat are forms of adaptation that happen because of a stressor. The closer you are to optimal health, the better your body is able to adapt and create muscle. Extreme sports/activities create imbalances.

34:18 Chase health and everything else (including fat loss) will fall into place. Don’t lose weight to become healthy. Become healthy to lose weight. Many of us latch onto something like fasting as a means of losing weight or building muscle, disregarding balance and the other benefits.

35:44 Adam and Sal were body builders eating to build muscle. With fasting, they found that they did not lose muscle, they felt better and when they did eat, they built more muscle. Adam recommends intermittently shortening the feeding window and stretching the fast for a day or two. At 15, 20, 24 hours of a fast, the Mind Pump guys find muscle building benefits. Sal recommends fasting in a way that works for you and your life. Adam recommends fasting in a way that is as different from your normal eating as possible for more adaptation and improving your relationship with food.

43:49 Resistance training is easily the most important form of exercise. It directly influences hormones in a positive way. It improves strength, flexibility, balance, and mobility, as well as amplifying metabolism. Excessive cardiovascular exercise depresses your metabolism. There are more carryovers from strength training than any other exercise. The need and importance of exercise is more important than it has ever been.

45:38 Resistance/weight training signals your body that it is okay to burn more calories a rest. You teach your body to prioritize muscle tissue, mitochondrial density, strength and performance.

47:06 Your body has two systems of energy production. One involves sugar/glycogen. The other involves ketone bodies, produced from fats. We today’s Americans almost never explore moving into ketosis. Our ancestors were in and out of ketosis all the time because of fasting caused by an inconsistent food supply. Without occasional ketosis long term, we experience desensitization to insulin and oxidative stress.

48:07 Ketosis is not beneficial for sports that require a lot of strength and power, but for long low intensity endurance activities ketosis is superior. Even a lean athlete will store 30,000 calories in the form of fats and ketones and at most 6,000 calories of glycogen.







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