Balanced Bites Podcast Episode #198: Effects of over training, crash diets, and pregnancy food aversions


1. What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [1:53]
2. A new thing I’m into lately: “Happier” podcast [14:44]
3. Shout Out: Balanced Bites podcast 200th episode [18:00]
Listener Questions:
4. Pregnancy and food aversions [21:41]
5. Why do crash diets seem to help some people? [31:15]
6. How much exercise is too much? [49:32]
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Epidsode #198
Welcome to the Balanced Bites podcast with Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe. Diane is a certified nutrition consultant, and the New York Times bestselling author of Practical Paleo, The 21-Day Sugar Detox, and co-author of Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. Liz is a nutritional therapy practitioner, and the best-selling author of Eat the Yolks and The Purely Primal Skincare Guide. Together, Diane and Liz answer your questions, interview leading health and wellness experts, and share their take on modern paleo living with their friendly and balanced approach. 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.
1. What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [1:53]
2. A new thing I’m into lately: the Happiness podcast [14:44]
3. Shout Out: Balanced Bites podcast 200th episode [18:00]
Listener Questions
4. Pregnancy and food aversions [21:41]
5. Why do crash diets seem to help some people? [31:15]
6. How much exercise is too much? [49:32]
Liz Wolfe: Hey everyone! Liz here, hello. Diane there.
Diane Sanfilippo: Hey!
Liz Wolfe: We’re so excited you’re here. Let’s have a little word from our sponsors.
Liz Wolfe: We are thrilled to have Paleo Treats back on our sponsor roster. We love their treats, from the Mustang bar to the Bandito and everything in between. They have been serving the paleo community since 2009, and were recently recognized by FedEx as one of the top 10 small business in America. Which of course, speaks to how much paleo and healthy eating is growing, but it also speaks to how passionate our friends Nick and Leigh and the Paleo Treats team are about what they do. Use the code BALANCEDBITES one word, no space at for 10% off. They’ll be at the 2015 Crossfit games at the end of July, and would love to meet any Paleo Treats or Balanced Bites fans who want to drop by.
Liz Wolfe: Alright. So, what’s going on with you, D?
1. What’s new for you from Diane & Liz [1:53]
Diane Sanfilippo: Well, this episode will be airing initially on July 2nd, so the next 21-Day Sugar Detox kicking off on Monday, July 6th, so if you’ve been on the fence and you want to jump in with a group, now’s a good time. It’s sometimes tricky to do it in the summer when there’s so much yummy fruit around, and obviously the program is pretty limited on the types of food you can eat. But, it is a good time to kind of just reset things, any time you want to make that commitment. But, if you’ve got vacations coming up and lots of travel, maybe pick another month. Anyway, if you’re interested you can head over to for info.
We have a Facebook 21DSD or 21-Day Sugar Detox community, I think it’s called, and that’s a group. We did that because people wanted to be able to post questions and comments and get support from other people without every one of their Facebook friends seeing it, so it is a closed group. So if you want to post somewhere where there’s not additional commentary from your non-Sugar Detoxing friends, that’s a really good place to get it. I’ve got some of the women from my team, and a bunch of moderators, and also we have some of the 21-Day Sugar Detox certified coaches who are chiming in there to help people out.
I’ve also got some loud motorcycles outside today, which is totally annoying.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, are you at Sturgis right now?
Diane Sanfilippo: It’s insane. I live in totally the most suburban New Jersey town right now, and I’m pretty sure when we move to San Francisco my apartment there will be quieter, which is just crazy pants. But we do live really close to the street where we are now.
Liz Wolfe: Speaking of motorcycles, though, do you ever watch Sons of Anarchy?
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Of course not!
Liz Wolfe: I don’t either, but I do know this guy that’s in it.
Diane Sanfilippo: Of course, you’re like, do you ever watch this, I’m like no.
Liz Wolfe: No, I don’t watch it. It came about right after Rescue Me, which I was into for like 3 years and then pretended I was into for the 7 years after that. But I’m pretty sure the main character is like wicked hot.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} So I should be watching that?
Liz Wolfe: Maybe not. Maybe just look up main character.
Diane Sanfilippo: This has to do with motorcycles, what happened?
Liz Wolfe: Something to do with motorcycles and general badassery, things like that.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} Ok.
Liz Wolfe: Long hair.
Diane Sanfilippo: Awesome, ok.
Liz Wolfe: Anywho.
Diane Sanfilippo: Anywho, what else was I going to tell people about that. Oh, that was pretty much it, so just throwing it out there if anyone is interested in that. A couple of other random updates here. I’ve got a new website for,, whatever you want to call it, in the works. I’ll probably be sending out, I guess if this is airing in July 2nd, shortly it will come out, probably in the email I send this weekend. Maybe I’ll send it more than once, but a survey to folks who are on my emailing list just to gain some insight from readers and obviously podcast listeners about what would serve them best. So if you’re on the list, look out for that.
Just trying to get some information and make sure that what I’m doing with the website and some of the updates is helping direct you to the content that you’re looking for and also to continue to develop content that does serve the needs that you have, and starts to help you out a little bit better. I love changing the website, probably every one to two years it gets overhauled a bit, and I’m ready this time, again. It will also be responsive, so that means it will be friendly for your mobile device. I apologize for the fact that it hasn’t been for the last 2 years. I’m totally behind the 8 ball on that. Anyway, there’s that. If you want to put your 2 cents in when the time comes, make sure you’re on the emailing list.
The last thing that’s totally unrelated to paleo, or anything relevant, to anybody who might be new listening, I apologize for this update, but for our longtime listeners, I’m sure a lot of them have been like, when is she going to tell us anything about this wedding that is happening. {laughs} So, I finally went wedding dress shopping. I bit the bullet, went with my mom. It was like, I actually walked in and felt like the Carrie Bradshaw, I might have hives moment.
Liz Wolfe: {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: Having nothing to do with not wanting to get married. I just, the whole wedding thing for me; I’m just opposite of most girls, I think. I just never envisioned my day and actually if I did, I was on a beach, and that’s not going to happen. We’re going to be getting married in my parent’s backyard mid September. Anyway, I was kind of thinking, I probably need to pick a dress, because if it’s going to need to get altered, I probably am running out of time {laughs}.
So, I picked it out, and I don’t know, I guess I’m excited about it. I suck, I’m totally the worst. I’m like, eh, it’s alright I guess, it’s a wedding dress. You know, that’s it. I went pretty low key and I actually ended up picking a bridesmaids dress that will be in ivory, and that was kind of my plan the whole time, just the styles that they come in are much more my speed. I’m not really into beads and lace and sequins and all that stuff. Which can be beautiful on many people; I have no problem with whatever you may like. It’s just totally not my style. I was like, well I can probably save some money if I just look downstairs {laughs} at these dresses.
Liz Wolfe: Yep.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Liz Wolfe: Well I’m excited. People might not know, I am the flower girl and the ring bearer, and will be performing the ceremony.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing}
Liz Wolfe: No, that’s a lie. All of those are lies, but I’m still waiting for you to ask me to do all those things.
Diane Sanfilippo: There will be nobody doing any of that. We have actually one of Scott’s good friends…
Liz Wolfe: What are you going to do? “I’m not going to do that, I’m not going to do that.”
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} One of Scott’s good friends is doing the ceremony, he was a youth pastor for a while, so he’s definitely really good at the extemporaneous speaking thing, although I’d like to give him a bit of a script, because I’m like, ok what is he going to end up saying {laughs} if we don’t give him much of a script; he could go a little rogue there. But he’s a great guy, so he’s going to do that. We don’t have a lot of things planned. I might need to talk to you about this. {laughs} But I don’t know. Anyway, we actually have to send the invitations still. I pretty much texted all my friends to save the date. I was like, hey, this is the day. Save the date. {laughs} That was my save the date. So yeah.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, it was a really special moment for me for my phone to ping and have it to be your long awaited save the date. “Uh, I think it’s going to be this day.” {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: I know. I’m so special with everything.
Liz Wolfe: I love it though. I think it’s great.
Diane Sanfilippo: It will be cool.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, it will be fine.
Diane Sanfilippo: It will all come together. It’s like everything else I do. It’s all stirring in my head, and then it will come together. I just can’t do all those things for months on end. I have to just cram all of whatever I can into the shortest amount of time possible, because I’m just doing other stuff, you know.
Liz Wolfe: You’ll know when you have a perfect idea that you have to implement. Like, what you want to wrap in bacon. You know what I mean. You’ll be like, yes, I need that.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: And it will make you happy. It just has to be a day…
Diane Sanfilippo: The invitations will arrive wrapped in bacon. {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: It just has to be a day that makes you happy. It doesn’t matter what you do. We just wanted to throw a big party for a bunch of people that were coming out of town, and that’s what we did.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. Yeah, that’s basically how I feel.
Liz Wolfe: And I looked like a cupcake.
Diane Sanfilippo: And what?
Liz Wolfe: I looked like a cupcake. Well, I didn’t.
Diane Sanfilippo: You did?
Liz Wolfe: No, I didn’t. But my original dress, I told you this via text, my original dress, I swear it was for a woman pregnant with triplets. It was this baby doll dress with all this volume, and I took it and I changed it completely, and it was very pretty for that day. But you can do anything with alterations. You could turn yours into jeans if you wanted to.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I’m going to do that.
Liz Wolfe: Please do.
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m actually going to turn it into culottes. {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: Will you turn it into gaucho pants? {laughing}
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughing} Palazzo pants? I think they’re back. Anyway, what’s new with you? Since we’ve gone so far off the rails.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, we’ve gone totally off the rails. It’s pretty much the same old. We’ve got lots of breastfeeding going on, lots of eating, lots of every day kind of bleeds into the next day, I’m tired and things like that. I got some questions about breastfeeding and how it affects fertility, and I wanted to just throw this out there before I forget. Breastfeeding can basically, this is desired infertility. People can use breastfeeding as a tool to basically be infertile because it will stop you from cycling. But what folks need to know is just breastfeeding isn’t going to do it. You actually need to practice something called ecological breastfeeding, and that’s what’s actually going to stimulate infertility, or destimulate fertility. So Google ecological breastfeeding if you’re expecting to use breastfeeding as a tool for not getting pregnant again. Because otherwise you might be a little surprised. There’s a certain level of breastfeeding you have to be doing in order for that to work. So everybody please check that out. Because I have several friends with {laughs} baby number one…
Diane Sanfilippo: I’m super curious now about what that means.
Liz Wolfe: Well, it’s basically, I don’t want to be too controversial about this, but it’s kind of breastfeeding more the way really traditional cultures would have breastfeed. Much more frequently, much longer duration, not using tools like pacifiers and things like that to satisfy the urge to suckle, which is; I almost hate that word more than I hate the word moist.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: The word suckle. But you do have to do it at a certain level and a certain frequency that a lot of people just don’t have the time or desire to do. And it’s a huge commitment, and a lot of people just don’t; they’ve got other stuff going on. I personally have nothing else going on. {laughs} Except for this. So, that and researching stuff for Baby Making and Beyond, that’s pretty much my job right now. So Google ecological breastfeeding. There’s a pretty simple article that summarizes it on the La Leche League website. It’s just a whole new world, baby stuff Diane.
Diane Sanfilippo: Its sounds like a thrill a minute. {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: It really is.
Diane Sanfilippo: Somebody left a review or, I think they were frustrated by our difference in place in life, and the fact that you have a baby and I’m not planning on having kids. I’m like, so what, we’re still friends. To me it’s part of the beauty of this whole thing. You’ve got a totally other set of topics to talk about with folks on the show.
Liz Wolfe: Yeah.
Diane Sanfilippo: And you know, you and I just joke about it all the time anyway.
Liz Wolfe: I feel like it’s become more inclusive versus less inclusive.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Liz Wolfe: I’m sorry that this person doesn’t like the difference in paths, but how many listeners do we have? We have a huge contingency of people with kids, and who want to have kids in the future. I wasn’t even there last year, you know what I mean? I think we had questions about it.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think it was just because I’m the no babies, nope not going to have babies. I don’t know, I was like, well ok.
Liz Wolfe: A huge chunk of our listeners are the same way.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think more people are falling in that category. I think it’s happening more and more just I don’t know, the more women tend to chose different options. Women and men, I guess. Anywho. It is what it is. I’ll be everyone’s aunt from afar. {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Do I want to hold your baby? I’ll look at the baby. That’s plenty.
Diane Sanfilippo: Baby’s don’t like me, it’s not my fault.
Liz Wolfe: Baby’s don’t like me either, that’s the funny thing. And you know what, I still feel like we adopted an alien. I love her with all of my heart, but I’m still like, when am I going to start feeling like a mom.
Diane Sanfilippo: Who are you?
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, who are you any why are you attached to my nipple. Can I say nipple?
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I’m pretty sure you can say nipple.
Liz Wolfe: I’m sure I can. Alright, so other than that we have turkeys that are growing rapidly and gobbling, it’s very funny. I’m going to try and get a sound effect eventually. And we have a black snake that’s eating our eggs in the chicken coop, which is very frustrating.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ugh. That is frustrating.
Liz Wolfe: You’re like, ugh. Loss of farm fresh eggs!
Diane Sanfilippo: I know, I would be so sad.
Liz Wolfe: It’s not ok.
Diane Sanfilippo: And a snake! I’m totally not, I’m pretty scared of snakes.
Liz Wolfe: I actually have a picture of it eating with an egg halfway down its mouth. I should text it to you.
Diane Sanfilippo: Oh, god! Ok. Text it to me. {laughs}
2. A new thing I’m into lately: the Happiness podcast [14:44]
Liz Wolfe: Alright. So with all that said, what’s the next segment? You’ve got a new one?
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah. We’re going to do something new. We’re playing around with ideas, and in our next segment, we’ll give you guys the option for throwing out more ideas to us. I’m going to get into something, a new thing I’m into lately. That’s what this segment is called; a new thing I’m into lately. It could be paleo related, food, fitness, any of that. Maybe it will be something Liz is into lately, related to the new baby or motherhood or any of that good stuff. I just decided to share this with you, our lovely podcast listeners.
I’ve been listening to a new podcast, it’s called the Happier podcast with Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft. I feel like I mentioned the podcast maybe a few episodes ago, but I wanted to mention it again because what I did just a couple of days ago I took a walk in the morning, which I like to do that. We typically will take the dog for a walk and every now and then Scott will be up too early and I’m just not getting out of bed {laughs} for another 20 minutes or who knows what. So I just kind of put my workout clothes on, and threw my earbuds in and decided to listen to this podcast, and I thought it was a really nice show to listen to to start the day. I don’t think I’ll be able to do it every day because I think they’re only once a week, the way we are, but there are a bunch of other shows I listen to as well.
But it was cool because I felt like it was a nice break from the whole nutrition world, and even a break for me from some of the marketing podcasts I listen to, and they’re just talking about habits, and things that we do, and all of our little quirks, and one of the things they were talking about recently was the advice to stop reading a book you don’t like. Which I was like, well I don’t read a ton. I tend to listen to books, but it was just a nice little piece of advice, because I think there are tons of voracious readers out there who might pick up a book that’s supposed to be really good; and maybe it is really good, but they’re just not enjoying it. They’re point was, if this book causes you to pause and then stop reading, and then you don’t continue to get to whatever you wanted to read next, it’s not worth investing your time.
Anywho, not super relevant about one episode, but I like the podcast, I like the show, I like the dynamic between them and I think it’s getting better each show. It’s very well produced, {laughs} it sounds like they have some very, I don’t know, high level sponsors and can maybe take themselves into this level of production. We don’t have a studio or any of that; Liz and I, we actually, our recording just broke like 10 minutes ago, we had to patch ourselves back together here. Anyway {laughs} it’s a new adventure in recording every time we do the show, we’re just glad to be able to bring it to you every single week.
So check out Happier, it’s a new podcast, and that’s pretty much it.
3. Shout Out: Balanced Bites podcast 200th episode [18:00]
Liz Wolfe: What about our shout out?
Diane Sanfilippo: I think you have a shout out.
Liz Wolfe: Well this is a super exciting one, because our 200th episode is coming up.
Diane Sanfilippo: How is this even possible.
Liz Wolfe: I don’t know.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} How did we do this?
Liz Wolfe: I don’t know. Facebook has been doing that time warp for me, which I think is kind of fun, where they show you timeline posts from, apparently I was on Facebook like 8 years ago, which is ridiculous.
Diane Sanfilippo: Yeah.
Liz Wolfe: But, some of our first friendshipped wallposts are in there, and it’s just crazy. So we’ve actually been friends for quite some time now.
Diane Sanfilippo: We only became friends shortly before we started recording this show, right?
Liz Wolfe: Yeah, it was kind of a necessity. {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I was like, hey do you want to do this podcast with me? You were like, no. I’m like, ok cool, let’s do it. {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: Let’s do it. So, this day at this time. No I remember exactly where I was, and when, when Hayley sent me a text and said, I think Diane is going to ask you to do a podcast with her. I was actually in the bathroom at the time. {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: Little did you know that was, she’s going to rope you into this entire commitment for the next few years. At the time I don’t think either of us thought this was going to mean the next 4+ years. Right? 200 episodes, 52 weeks. We’re going on almost more than 4 years. Whoa, what?
Liz Wolfe: Whoa. Stop it. I don’t know what happened to the last…
Diane Sanfilippo: That’s crazy.
Liz Wolfe: I was in my 20s when we started the podcast! {laughs}
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} So what I think we’ll do, what we did for episode 100 was we had all listener questions. We did a rapid fire, some of it got a little more personal than what we usually talk about on the show, but I don’t know. If you guys have ideas, throw some ideas, throw them out on Instagram or Twitter, or comment on something on Facebook. We’ll use the hashtag #BBPodcast200 just to help us comment, you can also comment on the blog post. I don’t know, if you have ideas about something we should do for the 200th.
Now, keep in mind, having us be actually together in the same room and having a live video or something to that effect is totally not possible {laughs} because there’s no way we can get in the same place for that podcast in just a couple of weeks. However, if you guys have some ideas; if there are some fun segments you’re thinking of, if you’ve got new ideas about what you’d like us to do with the podcast in general going forward, so if there are some new segments you want us to start introducing, we’re open to those ideas, as well for getting into those higher number of episodes here. It’s crazy.
Diane Sanfilippo: Pete’s Paleo is a friend of the Balanced Bites podcast. They’re bacon is insanely delicious, and sugar free, and their premade paleo meals make your life so much easier when everything is getting busy and getting real food on the table is still a top priority, as it should be. Pete’s paleo is now offering a 30-day gut healing kit containing bone broth, gelatin gummies, instant organic soup packs, and an E-cookbook. It’s the perfect complement to any anti-inflammatory diet. Get yours today at Use code GRABACUPPABROTH to get $25 off; that’s an amazing deal. It’s GRABACUPPABROTH, C-U-P-P-A. And you can grab that code at any time at to just read and make sure you’re typing it in right. You can also use code BALANCEDBITES to get $5 off any of their regular meal plans. Check out today. Pete’s Paleo; bringing fine dining to your cave.
4. Pregnancy and food aversions [21:41]
Liz Wolfe: Amazing. Alright, so are we ready for questions?
Diane Sanfilippo: I am ready for questions.
Liz Wolfe: I ask that every week like you’re going to say no. Ha!
Diane Sanfilippo: No, I’m not ready. I’ll be right back.
Liz Wolfe: {laughs} Seriously?
Diane Sanfilippo: No, not seriously. Go for it.
Liz Wolfe: Ok, very good. Alright, this one from is Yuko; pregnancy and food aversions. Yuko says, “Hi ladies! I’m a big fan and I have a question. I’m in my 10th week of pregnancy and live mainly on carbs, rice or bread, and fruits for now due to my morning sickness and food aversions. Before I was pregnant, I ate mostly paleo for more than 3 years, but I just couldn’t keep paleo kind of food down once morning sickness hit me. Question; now my morning sickness is getting better. How can I get back to my normal eating habit. I’m lost. I had food aversions to fermented cod liver oil, liver, spinach, nuts, nut butter, boiled eggs, canned salmon, all the best stuff which I used to eat every day.”
Let me see which of these additional notes I want to throw in. “I feel extremely guilty whenever I eat crackers, bread, and sweets, but I changed my mindset to overcome my morning sickness. Eating this way makes me extremely hungry all the time, and I think this is the cause of my problem. With my easing morning sickness, I incorporate fish and chicken, but I have no idea what else I should prioritize to incorporate again for my growing baby. Should I eliminate sugar first? Or bring the good stuff back. I’m constipated and sometimes feel crazy cravings for donuts or deep fried everything, which is so not me. That never happened to me. If possible, I want to know Liz’s case study. Help!”
She would drink a glass of wine a day before pregnancy, half a cup of yogurt a day. Used to be a marathon runner but was diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea last December, wanted to get pregnant ASAP so she quit running completely since then. 39 years old, gained 20 pounds, and want to enjoy every single step of this journey. Looking forward to Baby Making and Beyond.
Ok, so this one is kind of for me. I think a lot of folks know, we’ve covered… well, I shouldn’t assume that. We’ve covered this a couple of times on the podcast. It’s very natural to have an aversion to a lot of foods, particularly protein rich foods during that first part of pregnancy. It has to do with your kidneys ability, your body’s ability to deal with nitrogen. It’s really not a big deal. Because, in those first 12-14 weeks, most of the growth that is going on is going on using stores that are already shored up in your body. So it’s all about what you do before you get pregnant. That’s what’s going to really build that baby in the first trimester.
So, folks that have horrible morning sickness and food aversions, during that time really it’s not much to worry about. Just do the best you can, stay away from; I would say, if it’s the least you can do, stay away from trans fats or anything that you don’t know the ingredients in. So I would definitely not do McDonalds; I would definitely probably not go to the donut shop, because a lot of times those are fried and partially hydrogenated oils, things like that. So do what you can with what you can for that first trimester. It’s normal to feel a little funky; some of that has to do with hormones. If you can get really magnesium sufficient beforehand, and really do your due diligence in getting your hormones balanced out beforehand, that will go a long way in combating those aversions and those swings for a lot of people. Not everybody, but for a lot of people.
So, with all that said, now that the morning sickness is getting better; and I have to say, I’m a terrible case study because I actually did not have any food aversions or any morning sickness. I feel very lucky, but I also feel like I did a ton of work for many years before hand just thinking. Even when I wasn’t sure we were going to have kids, and I wasn’t really into the idea, I still was like, well just in case I’ll make sure I’m doing everything I can to nourish my body and get my hormones balanced because that makes me feel better on a monthly basis just as much as it can lead into a really healthy and peaceful pregnancy.
Let’s see, where do I want to go with this now; how can I get back to my normal eating habit? I’m lost. So I think the question with what to prioritize with regards to what she’s ready to eat now, I just almost always think the biggest priority is just to taper down on any highly processed foods, if that’s all you could stomach. So things that are really, really simple and highly processed; no good. So added white sugar, those are the types of things that you want to see go away. I don’t think fruit is a problem at all; it’s actually really, really important in pregnancy to have a good source of carbohydrates as much as possible every single day. So that doesn’t have to necessarily mean starches. Bananas and sweet potatoes and plantains and stuff like that.
You can go with some of those sugars that are a little bit more simple, like from fruit, maple syrup, things like that. That’s really not going to harm anything too much as long as your sugar tolerance is pretty good. I definitely made use of those things. Part of the reason is, I found when I was really craving crap; simple sugars, donuts, things like that, my body actually really did need a source of quick energy. Your body is telling you something there. It’s not always in this circumstance of, oh my blood sugar is out of whack. When you’re pregnant and you have that feeling, sometimes you really do need to kind of indulge it. You just need to find a way to get some quick energy to your body ,whether that’s through #Liz’sfertilitymacaroons, or whatever it might be. Some maple syrup, some gluten free pancakes, something like that. Keep an eye on your blood sugar; you can monitor it yourself if you want to. But it’s really a good idea to make sure you’re carb sufficient as a pregnant person throughout.
Let’s see, what’s next. If you can start reintroducing maybe just a little bit of liver, I would do that first. Liver, leafy greens, egg yolks, some canned salmon, just a little bit at a time. Be patient with yourself, especially if you are eating paleo and eating those types of things before hand. Just add them as you can. Add them back as you can. You don’t have to have all of these things every single day. And that’s a huge, I think, misconception around the concept of nutrient dense diets, and maybe, I’m going to get taken behind the woodshed for saying this, but you don’t have to have fermented cod liver oil, liver, egg yolks, raw milk, resistant starch, you don’t have to have all the things every single day. A little bit of these things goes a really long way. Particularly when it comes to anything that we term superfoods.
It’s almost like fermented cod liver oil or extra virgin cod liver oil; those are superfoods. They’re really highly concentrated. You don’t need a tablespoon every single day. As a matter of fact, that could lead to the opposite effect of what you actually want. If you can do a little bit every single day, or a little bit every couple of days, that’s going to provide much more mileage than I think people give it credit for.
Take a little bit of fermented cod liver oil once a week; get some leafy greens, and she mentions nuts, nut butter, I don’t think those are really necessary. They’re really dense in fat, and that’s fine, but if you’re prioritizing one thing over the other, if you have to choose between egg yolk, canned salmon, or nuts and nut butter, I would definitely go with egg yolk and canned salmon. So, am I missing anything here, Diane? That she asked and I didn’t get?
Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t think so. I was actually just going to mention to folks the previous episodes where we did talk about this, just so if anybody was looking for this information a little bit further, number 55 and number 86. So if people just wanted to dig those up and hear a couple more tips that we may have had in the past. I just wanted to mention that.
I think I also have, if folks are having issues with food aversions and digestive issues during pregnancy, I’ve got a blog post, Troubleshooting Your Digestive Issues, it’s part 4 for common issues in pregnancy, and it does cover a little bit around food aversions too, just because sometimes, obviously the nausea and things like that. I think it was actually Meg, Meg the midwife who helped us with the blog post. Your buddy there.
Liz Wolfe: My buddy. She always texts me after I answer these things, with some extra wisdom.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: She’s moving from, where is she moving from? I don’t know, I’m terrible with Canadian cities. Moving to the city, so that may be moving to Toronto from Vancouver; or from Vancouver to Toronto.
Diane Sanfilippo: I really don’t know.
Liz Wolfe: I know, it’s bad. I think I’m really exhausted. The mommy brain excuse, too, to not be able to remember. But she’s definitely moving and remodeling, so I didn’t want to bother her, but she will definitely chime in on this and I will update at the next episode if she’s got anything else to add.
Diane Sanfilippo: Ok.
5. Why do crash diets seem to help some people? [31:15]
Liz Wolfe: Ok. Alright, this one is from Kate. Why do crash diets seem to help some people? Kate says, “I was a bottle-fed, antibiotic taking, standard American diet eating, birth control using, cigarette smoking, binge drinking, yo-yo dieting, overweight child, teen, and young adult.”
Man, that sounds like me, in college actually.
Diane Sanfilippo: Whoo!
Liz Wolfe: Except for the bottle-fed part. Alright, “I’ve always struggled with my weight and tried every diet known to man, some healthy but many not.”I’m totally with you right here, Kate. I’m with you. “Since my early teen years, I’ve never been less than about 30 pounds overweight, but kept it within a 30 to 40-pound overweight range, for the most part out of sheer determination. 5 years ago I hear about the paleo/whole foods movement, and it immediately made sense. I buy into everything you and Liz say about eating whole foods, avoiding sugar and grains and processed craps. I love the idea that eating a whole food diet, moderate exercise, and not cutting calories too low should allow me to lose fat and maintain a healthy weight. But, to my enormous frustration, I have not been able to make that work for me.
At the beginning of this year at 5 foot 8 and 205 pounds, helplessly watching my weight climb with little I could do to stop it, I took desperate measures and embarked on a very low calorie eating plan, which I have followed for the last 12 weeks. It involves prepackaged garbage, and the calorie level is 1000 to 1200 calories per day. I resisted at first because it seemed so horrible and counter intuitive to what I would like to believe is true and healthy, but finally succumbed for several reasons. It can’t be healthy to be as heavy as I have been. 45% body fat, and all of the efforts I have made over the years have been absolutely fruitless. When following the paleo diet, incorporating reasonable exercise and trying daily calorie levels in the 1600 to 2200 calorie range, was able to lose a few pounds and then can’t lose beyond that no matter what.
What finally intrigued me about the plan that I’m following now is that it is being sold as being quick and resetting blood sugar issues, normalizing hormones, giving the pancreas a rest. After the weight loss portion is over, you slowly transition to a real food diet with a more sane daily calorie amount of 1800 to 2200 calories. No exercise is recommended on the current phase due to the low calories, but it is highly encouraged as the transition to a whole food diet is made and calories increase. I’m hopeful that if I can get to a healthier weight and start fresh with paleo eating and moderate exercise, I can do better.
My question for you is, why are such drastic measures seemed to be required for some people? Do you think I would have been better off just to accept being overweight? Previous diet eggs, lean meats, butter, lots of lower carb veggies plus some sweet potatoes, beets, etc. Exercise plan two high intensity interval training aerobic interval training plus 3 45-minute weight training sessions per week. I feel that I have suffered from adrenal fatigue, and I’m convinced I may have a thyroid issue like Hashimoto’s and/or PCOS. I know I’m insulin resistant, but I’m not prediabetic. Glucose meter showed that even small amounts of fruit, or half a sweet potato would spike my insulin. I’m 48 years old, 5 food 8, currently weigh 178 pounds.
I’ve sought the aid of 2 different naturopaths, taken things like fermented cod liver oil, and sought the help of an acupuncturist and kinesiologist. I changed jobs 18 months ago to reduce stress, and people have told me that I’m a different person. I’m in bed by 9 p.m., up between 5 and 6 a.m., but don’t get great restful sleep in the wee hours. I’ve supplemented with amino acids ala Dan Kalish and Chris Kresser and Julia Ross, and listened to every one of your and Sean Croxton’s podcasts to try and find answers. I have a CSA, buy much of my meat and eggs from local farmers, and put many hours in the kitchen making all of my own food. I’m gluten and dairy intolerant, and feel that I have an autoimmune disease of some sort. I did go on an extended autoimmune protocol, giving up eggs and many other foods, and did the GAPS diet for 4 months.”
Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s probably good. She had mentioned what we talk about, how we want people to accept where they’re at, and not freak out about things. What she’s talking about here with 45% body fat and the weight, that’s beyond. When we talk about, we’re talking about that 5, 10, 15 pounds even that women tend to think they need to lose, but for their body to be healthy that’s not necessarily true. So, why is it that these crash diets seem to work? It’s not really so crazy that changing the inputs very significantly and changing what your body is responding to in terms of a hormonal response, it’s not that crazy that that will elicit change in your metabolism.
My fear for this situation, it seems like it’s only, let’s see, how long, 12 weeks. The short term 12 weeks, I haven’t seen too much where that becomes a longer term problem for people if it does lead to eating disorders or, sometimes people have a lot of trouble going back to making healthy food choices after they’re not only on a restricted program, but given food to eat. So one of the reasons why something like a paleo challenge or a 21-Day Sugar Detox is kind of different from this approach is, you’re left to make your own decisions the whole time. You still have to choose healthy foods even though there are a lot of restrictions, where as when you’re given prepackaged food, all of the decisions that you would need to make to start building a healthier lifestyle are not there. You know what I mean? You’re put on autopilot. And that’s fine, I’m not judging that process. I’m just explaining the difference.
You could actually go on a restricted calorie diet eating real food. I’m just throwing it out there that if somebody is like, I need to shake things up, I need to try something, it’s not crazy to do it for a short period of time. Your body may do better with that type of reset. Where I see problems coming into play, and I’ve had clients in the past when I was doing one on one coaching, I’ve seen this a bunch with female figure competitors, and I know Liz you and I have met some at workshops, too, have had this experience where perhaps they were cycling this type of really restricted eating plan for several months or maybe it’s a couple of months, 8 weeks or so, and then would go back to something a little more balanced, or higher calorie range, and then do that pretty often, maybe multiple times a year, maybe once a year, whenever, before a competition, and what that does to our body, it’s kind of unknown. We don’t really know; for you, this may not have a long term negative effect on you. It may be a good thing.
I would love for it to have been a lower calorie approach that’s real food that you’re making sure you’re getting the nutrition you need and not getting junky ingredients and all of that. But I also think that when you’re dealing with a metabolism that doesn’t seem to be responding to kind of a longer term, well balanced approach, I can absolutely understand the desire to just do something more drastic. I think if it works for you in the short term, then that’s your truth and that’s your story. If that works for you, it works for you. Hopefully we can see you come back to eating real food.
The other thing, she’s talking about her daily calorie levels. This is again, I don’t like people to get too crazy about it, but at the same time, this kind of goes back to us talking about that podcast, the Happier podcast, Gretchen Rubin, one of the things she talks about in research on habits is that some people like to monitor things. So, I actually, when I heard her talking about that, I was like, you know, I think when I monitor things my results tend to be better. This is highly, highly true of people who are having trouble figuring out what is a healthy good, well balanced calorie range for me.
A million times over, we’ve said it’s not just about calories, but for people like myself, I could very easily overeat 500 to 1000 calories a day if I’m not mindful, and I don’t monitor and count what I eat all the time, but if I’m in a situation where I want to know what’s happening, maybe I feel like I’m not exercising as much and I should watch what I’m eating a little bit more because, when you get in the habits of eating a certain amount of food, it doesn’t always change in relation to the lack of exercise. {laughs} So I’ll eat a certain amount and be training, and then not train for a couple of weeks and still be eating the same amount. That may not lead to the right results.
So, in this case, I would say if she was eating more, like 1800 to 2200 calories a day, I would say when you get back to the real food approach, I would actually monitor that. I would see how much is coming in. Is it a case where, even on the days you’re not training you’re eating 2200 calories, and are they good, real food calories, or did you end up eating extra that you really didn’t need? Again, I don’t want people to restrict, and to be cutting calories and all of that. However, I do think sometimes we get into this energy excess where 1800 might be fine for you; it might be fine for you even on days that you train, perhaps. I don’t know. But, even just a few extra tablespoons of olive oil when you add that up over time, if you’re not getting to the place you want to get to, that’s where I would say take a look at that. For somebody who is not having this issue or is at a weight that they feel is healthy, absolutely I don’t think it’s critical to monitor to that level, but I do think if your body is not responding, sometimes it’s about looking deeper.
She’s talking about thinking she has Hashimoto’s, thinking she might have PCOS. If all of those things are at play, that’s absolutely going to make it really hard in a more well balanced diet and exercise routine to lose the weight. So, if you have Hashimoto’s or you have PCOS or any of these conditions that might imbalance your hormones, a crash diet still might work because it’s that extreme. Again, my fear here is that the flip side of the crash diet will be that much harder because your body is not balanced in the first place and not equipped to handle that. Potentially, it could be traumatizing to the body. I’m curious to see how this pans out for her, but I would say to just be aware that putting your body through that shock, it may have some really great benefits, and it may also have some reciprocal down sides. So, just kind of have to be aware of that.
Having something that’s pretty restrictive and something that’s for a short period of time; again, it’s not surprising that that can work really well for some people, and I would never say that it’s something that somebody should never try because we’re all walking around in a different body with a different set of situations and a different hormonal response to the food that we’re eating. So if that’s something that you feel that was what you wanted to turn to, it makes sense to me. I just don’t want you to feel like I’m assuming that it’s definitely going to be something negative for your body. But this is something that if somebody is curious about that, you could get yourself to 12-1500 calories in a day, especially if you’re not exercise, which wouldn’t put you quite towards that starvation range. 1000-1200 is really, really low. But 1200-1500, even 12-1400, you could get a good amount of nutrient dense food into your body at that calorie range.
I’ve definitely eaten around that much before in a day when I wasn’t training, and eating tons of veggies, nonstarchy veggies, maybe some starchy veggies, and maybe moderating the fat and protein to see where everything is coming in. and watching where the satiety happens. For folks who have no trouble eating enough calories, which that’s someone like me. I’ve said a million times, I can’t understand when someone feels like they can’t get enough food in, because it’s so easy for me to eat a ton of food. Just extra olive oil, a little extra ghee and you’ve got an extra couple of hundred calories there.
That’s something where you may not realize that your satiety level is several hundred calories per day. You may eat 500 calories more in a day than you really need to feel satisfied, and that’s something I discovered a long time ago when I was monitoring something, that I could easily eat 6-8 ounces of protein in a meal. And I’m happy eating that, I don’t feel stuffed, I don’t feel sluggish or anything like that. But really, I could eat 5-6 and feel satisfied. That’s where the monitoring helped me look at that. Reducing that protein amount at each meal doesn’t reduce my satiety, I’m still getting great nutrition, it’s not a drastic cut. It’s going to save me a little bit of money, so I’ll actually get to have more portions out of some meat that I’m cooking. But also, it’s really balancing better with what my body needs.
Anyway, I think that might be a good longer term approach. Essentially, you are just kind of shocking your hormones, which you know, it can work. But again, if you’re dealing with any of these other potential hormonal or autoimmune imbalances, we don’t know the ramifications that might have in the longer term. Just keep us posted, and for anyone who is curious, be aware that sometimes your body will fight back on the backside of that.
Liz Wolfe: Okie dokie. I had like 3 notes for that one, and I won’t go too far into it because I think you hit on pretty much all these points, but I think, you know with my book, Eat the Yolks I talk about calories not mattering, and obviously there’s a ton of context to that. I talk about insulin, I talk about leptin, so if people are kind of wondering how I feel about calories, those that have read my book are probably like, they know how much that word makes me cringe without the context behind it, I think go read my book and see what I have to say about that.
Because especially when you have issues with weight, I think you need to educate yourself, like Diane was talking about, on calories but also on the hormonal control. And that sucks, it’s not fair, people that don’t deal with weight issues often never have to learn about these things. But if that’s what you’re going for, especially with all of the other background of what you’re dealing, it’s really worth diving in to some lessons on leptin, and insulin, and satiety, and things like that. Because that’s what’s going to help you find you sweet spot. Because if you think about it, you spend 20 years trying to find the right diet for you, you can’t figure out why something doesn’t work or why something actually does work, might as well spend a little of that time getting a better understanding of how your body is actually working and how the hormones work and stuff like that. So maybe eventually you’ll be able to find something that resonates with you and the way you know your body works.
I also want to say, and this is what struck me about this question is, just having compassion for why you are where you are, even though life is not fair. For example, we’re learning now that what our mothers and grandmothers did in their diet and lifestyle can affect us. So there’s talk about bottle feeding. I was bottle-fed, and I’ve had absolutely terrible eyesight for decades, since I was really little. It’s leveled out, which is wonderful, it’s not getting worse, and worse, and worse constantly anymore, but there are consequences. Some of us maybe have issues with our gut bacteria and will be overweight, or have problems with hormonal control based on things that happened before we were even in control. I have really bad eyesight; other people may have terrible orthodontia, things like that.
It’s just one of those things where, obviously life isn’t fair, but there are so many things that take us to where we are, which is why we have to be really, really patient and soft with ourselves and have compassion for the fact that it probably took decades, and maybe even decades before we were even born, to put together the infrastructure for what we end up having to deal with later. And that sucks, and I hate thinking about it, but it’s true and it’s something that kept on confronting me over and over again when we were getting ready to get pregnant.
I also did want to say that, I do believe that carrying a certain amount of fat, while it can be very hard on the body for some people, can be healthier, in the short term, than going to extremes to lose it. I think Diane covered that really perfectly, but this goes for you especially if you’re coming from a lifetime of self abuse through diet. It’s just really tough. That’s all I wanted to say about that.
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6. How much exercise is too much? [49:32]
Liz Wolfe: Alright, how much exercise is too much? Chelsea says, “Hi Diane and Liz! I absolutely love the show. I listen every Thursday at work. I look forward to listening to both of you weekly, and love the topics you cover as well as hearing about your day to day lives. My question revolves around how much is too much exercise. I have a very physical job; think construction, and love to work out, but lately I’ve been feeling really tired and heavy. I’ve tried adding more starchy carbs to my diet, but still don’t have as much energy as other’s I work with. Just wondering if you could speak to this issue. I’m 5”4 and around 140 pounds, which is sadly important for my chosen sport. Body weight seems to affect climbing a lot.
Additional info; I eat gluten free 100% of the time, strict paleo 80% of the time. I have a sweet tooth. I don’t typically enjoy dairy products so avoiding them hasn’t been an issue. Breakfast is some type of meat cooked in ghee with a veggie and an egg or two. Fat seems to keep me full much longer in the a.m. than carbs do. Lunch is a salad with mixed veggies, chicken breast, and Tessa Mae’s dressing along with some fruit, typically berries or a banana. I’m always starving after work, and usually will eat a snack of sweet potatoes and some meat or an Epic bar. Dinner consists of either plantains or rice with veggies and some meat.
As I said, I’m very active during the day for my job, and love to rock climb for exercise. I climb typically 4 times a week, about 2-3 hours, and lift, dead lift, squat, bench, once a week for injury prevention. I also do some light cardio, running or swimming, a few times a week, but for 30 minutes or less. I sleep pretty well, around 8 hours a night. Might I add I’m 24 so this is an achievement, and I take collagen as a supplement to help aid recovery. I love white rice and peanut butter, as I seem to do better with fewer real nuts in my diet. I feel like you guys are doing an amazing service for everyone, thank you for this. Love the Friends references.”
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: I did a Friends reference earlier today that nobody caught. I go, that is what the thing is.
Diane Sanfilippo: I don’t know that one.
Liz Wolfe: You don’t? Rachel goes, the thing is, you’re married. And Ross goes, that is what the thing is.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs}
Liz Wolfe: I’m not even that big of a Friends fan and I got that.
Diane Sanfilippo: It might be kind of obscure. I feel like with my Parks and Rec watching, I have to go back and watch everything 3 more times now, because I’m not done yet with the whole series, but in order to quote anything adequately.
Liz Wolfe: You’re stupid and you’re drunk and you’re stupid.
Diane Sanfilippo: {laughs} I’m going to need to watch it a lot more. I thought this was a good question, because I’ve definitely been there with the how much exercise is too much. I’m probably around the same build as Chelsea here. I’m 5”4. I don’t know if I’m maybe around 140, I’m always kind of between 130 and 140, 135 to 140, something like that. So, I can kind of imagine what her needs might be in terms of that size and shape.
Anywho, feeling really tired and heavy that is a really interesting way of wording things, and I would like to let her know that it’s probably a sign that she is overdoing it. I don’t want to scare anyone, but adrenal fatigue might be on the horizon if you keep going at the pace that you’re at. It’s unfortunate, because I was thinking back just earlier today and yesterday about how much I used to do all the time. I would never stop. I would get up, go to the gym, go to the farmer’s market. Maybe I would have a little rest mid day, but I would shower, get dressed, go out, and just constantly be go, go, go. Now it’s like, if I could commit to one thing in a day, {laughs} other than working, we’re good. I got to the gym, ok good. I don’t have 3 other commitments into the day. Because I ran myself into the ground. I did not have a physically demanding job, but I was overtraining.
So I know for 2-3 hours of rock climbing, it’s not as intense as somebody, you can’t do 2-3 hours of Crossfit for example. It’s kind of like an on and off, a lot of upper body work, and it’s not highly cardio intensive, but it’s a lot of exercise. The thing is, if you’re very physically active during the day, unfortunately it’s going to have an impact on how much training is too much for you. Because if you’re moving all day, and it’s giving you a workout all day long. So 2-3 hours 4 times a week, this is definitely a place where I would say, can you cut that to 3 times a week or 2 times a week or can you cut it to no more than 2 hours? Can you shave from that somehow at least 30% of what you’re doing and see how you feel.
If you’re getting good sleep, if you’re eating enough. This is another, back to my previous answer, I might track how much you’re eating and make sure you’re getting enough calories in. Make sure everything you’re adding up to is not, if you’re not eating probably at least 2000 for how active you are, you’re way under eating, and for how active you are all day. She’s saying that eating more fat in the morning tends to feel better, but I would have her eating fat and carbs and protein for breakfast based on how physically demanding her job is. She’s getting them in at night, but I would add that in the morning. Have plantains cooked with ghee or coconut oil with some kind of protein. Eggs are probably not enough protein for you in the morning if you have this demanding of a job physically. If you want to do eggs, I would also have some kind of meat. She said some kind of meat with a veggie or an egg or two. So I would add in carbs to that and have the fat. I would see how you do with that as well.
If you’re like, I don’t want to cut back on my climbing, start there. Start with more carbs at breakfast and see how you feel for one to two weeks of eating more carbs at breakfast. If that works, great, then you have your answer. And then the second part would be just scaling it back a little bit. As much as that sounds kind of sucky, if you can get feeling better those times you are training, the quality of your training, the quality of 2-3 sessions of climbing a week feeling better versus 4 where you’re not feeling great, I think that’s worth it. Those are kind of all the little needles I would move and try and see how all that works out.
I definitely do think having that physically demanding of a job; I remember when I worked at Trader Joe’s years and years ago, I was definitely not training as intensely as I do now. I didn’t do heavy lifting, I would run maybe a couple of miles and lift just kind of standard light weight I guess body building type of exercises. But I wouldn’t say I was doing any bodybuilding. Like the 5 to 15 to 20 pound dumbbells for any kind of exercise, and running. On days that I would work, walking around the store, lifting boxes, being on my feet all day, definitely didn’t feel the need to also work out that day. That is a workout all day, and it’s great that we do types of training that we find fun like climbing; that is fantastic. But you have to remember what the physical demands of your body were all day, as well.
Liz Wolfe: Very good.
Diane Sanfilippo: I think that’s all we have time for. I don’t know if we have time for any more.
Liz Wolfe: Ok, well we’ll wrap it up then. That will be it for this week. You can find me, Liz, at and you can find Diane at Join our email lists for free goodies and updates that you don’t find anywhere else on our website or on the podcast. While you’re on the internet, leave us an iTunes review, which you can now do from your phone. Very exciting. Thanks for listening.

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