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The Achiever’s Diet, Jay Leno, And Getting Fat On Purpose with Drew Manning

This episode is focused in the area of health entrepreneurship. We are talking to an interesting character, Drew Manning.

He is the personal trainer that gained 75 pounds in six months on purpose to understand exactly what it is like to deal with losing weight to gain empathy for his clients. We talk about that in this episode. This little experiment that he did gain national exposure and developed into the Fit2Fat2Fit brand.

In this show as well, you're going to get a dose of entrepreneurship. What it was like to be there front and center on The Dr. Oz Show and on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, this whole thing and how he leveraged that into a business and his stumbles along the way. We get into the conversation of what should entrepreneurs and achievers need to know about diet. How Keto and special things that we can do can help us be more productive, can help us perform at a higher level because we aren't always worried about food. I don't want to spill the beans here. I want to get to the show.

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Dustin
Drew, you are crazy having been fascinated in your youth with health and nutrition. You've been in shape most of your life but you couldn't stop there because you had this passion. You started helping and training others to get results. I can't fault you for doing that. I feel that passion, but you noticed that some of your clients weren't quite like you. They weren't getting it. You decided to put your place in their shoes. Become obese, gained 75 pounds in six months to get inside the head of your clients. What the heck were you thinking?
Drew
For me, I felt there was a disconnect from someone like me who had grown up my entire life in shape. I played football and I wrestled. I never once had a struggle with my weight and then I became a personal trainer and I’m thinking, “Here it is. It's easy. All you do is follow the meal plans. You do the workouts. You'll be skinny and fit all of a sudden.” It was hard for people to follow it. I couldn't understand why it was hard. They would tell me, “Drew, you don't understand what it's like because for you it's always been easy and for me it's hard.” I took that to heart and I thought, “Maybe me as a trainer, as a coach, need to learn a lesson. Maybe there's something I need to learn.” This idea came out of nowhere. It popped up in my head and yes, it was a crazy idea, but I felt I was being called to do it. I felt it was my calling in life to do this insane journey of putting on 75 pounds in six months and then walking the walk and losing it in the next six months. That was my why was to gain a better understanding of what it was like to be overweight for the first time in my life.
Dustin
What were your family and friends saying to you? Did you not disclose and you did it? How did you go about this? What did they think about it?
Drew
I honestly checked with everyone first and foremost to see what they thought to make sure it wasn't too crazy. 99% of them were on board with it. My wife at the time, I was married back then, she was pregnant. She was all for it because she's like, “We're going to have junk food in the house,” while she's pregnant. She's like, “That works for me.” All my friends and family were for it. The only two people that were against it were my mom and my mother-in-law at the time and they didn't want me to gain the weight because of my health. They were worried about me but for the most part, everyone was on board.
Dustin
Was it hard? When you've been so fit and it's natural. You don't even think about it. It seems that's who you are. When you decide to do it, was it hard to eat bad food and not go to the gym?
Drew
Yes and no. Part of it was easy to go to the grocery store and skip the produce section and go down the cereal aisle and pick out all the delicious foods that we have in our grocery stores here in America. That part was easy, eating the food. The food tastes good. The hard part was on the mental side of not being able to go to the gym. I remember feeling jealous and insecure when I would see other people working out or running along the road and I’m like, “That used to be me and I can't do that even though I want to.” You got to understand for me, part of my therapy or stress management had to do with exercise and I didn't have that all of a sudden. I had to turn to food.
Food became my therapy, which is interesting because that's how a lot of people deal with food. They eat their emotions and that was who I became during this journey. My identity was based on what my body looked like. Once I was even five or ten pounds heavier, I felt overweight. I felt obese. I felt insecure. My self-esteem took a hit. Was it easy? Yes, it was easy to put the food in my mouth because it tasted good. On the mental side, it was much harder than I ever imagined. That's what my first book Fit2Fat2Fit goes into was how surprised I was and how much harder this journey was than I ever imagined.
Dustin
When you eat that much food, I got to imagine you had to do something else. Did you consume a lot of TV at the time? Were you playing video games? If you're not in the gym, I can't imagine you're eating the whole time. What else were you doing with yourself?
Drew
I had a full-time job in the medical field during this journey and I was a part-time personal trainer. I stopped training people. I still had my job. I had a family. I still had chores to do around the house. I still was active. It’s not like I was sitting on a couch for 24/7. I still had responsibilities as a husband and a father at the time.
Dustin
That's interesting you say that about your clients because I was going to ask you about that. I can't imagine there you are, the guy that's 60 pounds, 70 pounds overweight training other people. Did you see that as a potential challenge or hypocrisy or you just wanted to immerse yourself into this and didn't want to be distracted by being in the gym?
Drew
I knew if I was in the gym, I would be tempted to work out and I would feel even more insecure. What we did with my TV show called Fit2Fat2Fit where we brought on other trainers as we still had them train their clients even when they were gaining weight. It was hard for them because they felt other trainers were looking at them like, “Why is this guy training you and he's overweight? How is that guy a trainer?” It was really hard for them. It made them feel even more insecure about who they were. It was a different dynamic. For me personally, I had to stop training clients and stop going to the gym altogether that I could focus on this journey. I knew it would be a temptation for me to be in the gym and not be able to work out.
Dustin
You've hinted at it here but how has this whole process of transformation, Fit2Fat2Fit, how has that helped you? Whereas before you didn't necessarily have an understanding of what people went through? How has that helped you relate to others?
Drew
The biggest lesson I learned out of this whole entire journey was how much of transformation is mental and emotional. I used to think it's just physical. It's all about your macros and your calories and eating less, being at a calorie deficit and working out and doing exercise. The physical component of weight loss is important. Everybody knows they need to do that. That's not what people struggle with. People struggle with their own mental and emotional battles. Having gone through Fit2Fat2Fit, I finally realized how powerful the emotional connection to food is. I never would have understood that had I not gone through this experience. Coming out of this, my eyes were open and I realized how wrong I was in trying to help people overcome their own mental and emotional battles. Before I used to focus so much more on the physical side like, “Let's change up your macros. Let's switch up your calories. Let’s change up your workouts.” Whatever it takes on the physical side to get you the body you want.
Now, I still focus on that stuff. That stuff's important but it's more so about the mental and emotional help that I can provide for people having gone through this. What it did for me is gave me empathy and respect and a better understanding for people that struggle with transformation so I can help them better on the mental and emotional side. They feel they can better relate to me having gone through what I did and now I can better relate to them. I understand the emotional connection to food. I understand how it works now versus before I’m like, “It's a lack of willpower. Willpower your way through it and it's not that hard.” Until I did it myself and tried to get off of Mountain Dew and cinnamon toast crunch. Even though I only did it for six months. Imagine someone who has been eating this way their whole life. How much harder it would be for them to all of a sudden switch up their diet and to start going to the gym. It's not as easy as people think. I want people to realize that. For me, it's definitely helped me connect with my clients so much more and my clients have better respect for me having gone through this.
Dustin
Did you go through withdrawal at the top when you had to stop eating the bad food?
Drew
I had to do it Cold turkey. As soon as I was done with six months of gaining weight, the next day I had to start eating the meal plans that I created for myself. The first two weeks of back to fit and eating that healthy food was hell. Here I was a proponent of healthy living, a personal trainer with all the knowledge and yet I struggled to eat the healthy food that I knew was good for me because my body fought back. My body was fighting against itself saying, “We want that high from that cinnamon toast crunch or that Hot Pockets or macaroni and cheese.” These quick, easy processed food that I had been consuming for six months straight. My body wanted the high from that food but I was giving it kale, broccoli, spinach shakes, smoothies and chicken breasts. The things I knew I was supposed to eat but the food did not taste as good. I felt moody, grumpy. I had headaches the first two weeks and I was like, “This is what my clients have been telling me.”
When I would give them a meal plan, I would expect them to be perfect on it. Yet their bodies are fighting against them as if they were a drug addict trying to get off of those drugs and not do them anymore. Your body does go through withdrawal symptoms. I didn't understand it until I went through it. Eventually, it became easier. After the first two weeks, the cravings became more manageable but it was so much more intense than I ever imagined. That emotional connection to food was way more powerful than I ever thought. It opened up my eyes to how hard it is for people who have eaten this way for so long to make a big change like that.
Dustin
I definitely want to talk about the show and talk about what you're up to in the world. What projects you're working on. Other than the show, have you ever challenged other trainers to embark on the journey that you've gone on?
Drew
Only on the TV show I have because it was controversial. If I were to say, “Every trainer needs to go through this to gain a better understanding.” That's not necessarily true although I will say this. It's common in this industry to see trainers with no empathy and not a good understanding of people's struggles because I was one of them. It could help a lot of trainers out, but it's dangerous. It's risky and controversial. I tell people to at least read my book, the first book, Fit2Fat2Fit. Try and come from a place of listening to understand instead of listening to respond, which is what a lot of us do not just in the fitness industry but in our society in general. We're always listening to respond instead of truly trying to understand where that person's coming from.
Dustin
You got to have some insane empathy and a sane appreciation for your clients and humankind to do what you did. I’m curious to understand where does this passion come from? Are your parents incredibly healthy? Is your dad Mr. Olympia or are your parent's doctors? Where does this passion that you've had at a young age, where do you think it comes from?
Drew
I looked up to my older brothers. I come from a family of eleven and us all played sports for the most part. From a young age, I was playing football and wrestling. I looked up to my older brothers that were doing those sports and I’m like, “I want to be fit like those guys.” Those guys in high school, they look muscular and they're strong and it was like, “I want to be that.” My parents weren't into health and fitness. They were just trying to feed eleven kids. They were trying to survive. We grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and casseroles and lentil soup, whatever it took to feed eleven kids. The passion came from within and seeing my brothers do that and live that lifestyle. I wanted that for myself from a young age and I got into sports and I was pretty good at sports from the beginning. That kept me going. In 2009 is when I became a trainer because I was like, “This is something that I’m passionate about.” I had come from the finance industry to the medical field and I was like, “I’m going to get my certification to be a personal trainer because I’ve always been into health and fitness.”
Dustin
This Fit2Fat2Fit journey, it went viral this thing that you did. You transformed this not into some transformation or something that you did, but this is a full-fledged brand. This is your brand. You did a New York Times best-selling book. You were on national TV like Dr. Oz and The Tonight Show and the show on A&E. We've got a lot of entrepreneurs in our audience, talk about your vision for the brand early on. You started the challenge, but did you know it was going to lead to a book? Was going to lead to the show? Going to lead to all this other stuff that you've built?
Drew
I get asked that all the time. People need to understand that a lot of this has to do with luck. For me, I had a great idea. I had no idea how to market it. I did not have a marketing strategy other than creating a YouTube channel, create a website and we'll see where it goes. I didn't have media connections with The Tonight Show or Dr. Oz. What had happened for me was I reached out to local TV stations and radio stations here in Utah, which is where I live. I said, “Would you be interested in having me on?” I got on the local news but that's as far as I could fathom this idea going. I didn't know I’d get on the Good Morning America and Dr. Oz and these big national TV shows.
I feel lucky and fortunate that it happened the way it did. What had happened was other fitness bloggers were blogging about me and interviewing me. One of them struck a chord with Yahoo and Yahoo.com picked up the story from one of their subsidiary sites and put it on the home page of Yahoo.com. That's where everybody saw it. That's where my website crashed. Every TV show was trying to get ahold of me like, “Who is this personal trainer trying to get fat on purpose. We've got to have him on.” It was like a competition. I had to pick and choose which TV shows I was going to go on. If I did one, I couldn't do the other. I’m like, “This is weird.” From there, the book deal happened. The book got turned into a TV show where I had two seasons of Fit2Fat2Fit where we coached other trainers through this process.
I feel fortunate but from a business standpoint, as an entrepreneur, I had to make the decision to leave my secure job in the medical field with a good salary. That felt very comfortable to a risky entrepreneurship role where I was in charge of my own income at that point. I had to make that decision and I did after I got the book deal and I said, “This is something that I’m passionate about. This is what I want to do.” For me, I had a passion. I had a vision. I knew that I was never going to give up. I had some hard times because I didn't know what I was doing. I was like a paper in the wind being blown this way or that way depending on what people would offer me and show me and what they could do for me.
I had to learn the hard way as an entrepreneur of how to make this business successful. Yes, I got lucky to have my story go viral and to eventually create a business around it with the TV show and the book. It wasn't what people saw. I felt I had to put on this mask or this face of like, “I’m successful because I have a New York Times best-selling book. I have a TV show.” People are like, “You're probably rich.” I’m like, “Honestly, I was struggling a lot.” I didn't know how to monetize this business until probably about a couple of years ago is where I met up with a marketing team that helped me with my marketing strategy. That totally changed the game for me. As an entrepreneur myself, it's been a struggle from the business side. A lot of people don't know this. A lot of people see Fit2Fat2Fit on social media and they see me in my happy photos that I post on social media. They don't know about the business side of it and the struggles that I’ve gone through and how all of this almost came crashing down at one point back in 2016. Here we are a few years later and things have never been better.
Dustin
I want to go deeper into two areas. Number one, we've got people that are on the sidelines or maybe they've always had this idea. They're excited about some of the things that they're learning. They want to jump from corporate as you did. You mentioned the book deal and it's easy for me to say, “Drew got the book deal. He got money and that was his runway.” Was it more about that being a sign like, “It's time to go. You had this book deal slapping you in the face,” or did you feel you needed to have that last bit of whatever you got compensated on the book deal to do it? Talk us through how you came to that decision to jump the corporate ship?
Drew
I was married at the time. My ex-wife was good with helping me find out what my passion and my vision was. She would have wanted to have a secure paycheck from my secure job and she could tell that I was passionate about this. I have to give a lot of credit to her for her helping me with this decision of like, “I know we have a kid. What do you think about me taking this risk?” I did have the book deal, which you do get an advance. That helped me feel like, “I got to at least, maybe about almost a year of some income to live off of before I know this is a success or failure,” but I had to make the decision with leaving my job in the medical field.
That's not everyone's situation. Some people don't have a secure, advance a big paycheck to live off of for a year. They have to make that decision of like, “Am I going to leave this job now and tackle my passion?” That's a different conversation. That's a different decision you have to make. For me, I felt secure in like, “I got six months to a year to try and make this work.” Here's the thing. If you have a vision and passion and you know your why, you will figure out the how. A lot of people get paralyzed and get stuck on, “I don't know how I’m going to be successful as an entrepreneur. I’m not going to take that risk until I have the how figured out.” I didn't know the how. I had my why. That was enough for me to make that step forward.
Dustin
It almost came crashing down and you found this marketing agency or mentor that helped you out along the way. What did you realize? What did they show you that flipped the dial about monetization?
Drew
I had put all my eggs in one basket with one company who would promise me a two-year contract, a salary that I was comfortable. I’m like, “This is good.” After two months of pay, they stopped paying me. I couldn't get money from other sources because I was exclusive to them. I was struggling. I went six months with zero pay from that company and there was a big falling out and it wasn't good. It wasn't pretty. After those six months of no income plus I was going through a divorce at the time, it was really hard. I took a screenshot of my bank account which was not pretty and I showed it on social media a little bit here and there. Maybe I’ll get into it deeper, but I was struggling. I had this persona to uphold. I had to be this successful Fit2Fat2Fit person because of all the TV shows that I had. It was humbling for me to go through that. I made the decision at that point on I’m never putting my eggs in one basket and relying on a company to pay my salary. I said, “I’m going to take charge,” and then that's where things started to align for me. I had the vision. I had the content. I just didn't know how to monetize it or market it to the masses. I could post on my social media all day long, but I’m posting to the same people over and over again. Not getting it in front of new eyes.
These friends I had met, that's what their expertise was and they worked with a select few people in the fitness industry. They helped with things like Facebook ads and taking my content, what I had, and putting it out there in front of the masses. I didn't know how to do that myself. I had to be humble enough and willing to let someone else take the reins on that and give them that control to help me with my brand and getting it in front of other people's eyes. That's where I was transitioning into the keto world. The Keto Diet for me I had the opportunity to go on The Dr. Oz Show talking about the benefits of the Keto Diet. From there I got some legitimacy to my brand of being the Keto Guy. That's where things blew up because it was a perfect storm of keto is super popular. It's the number one Google diet. Here I was on Dr. Oz talking about the Keto Diet. People were looking to me to help them like, “I like the idea. How do you do this?” That's where I was able to grow my brand transitioning out of Fit2Fat2Fit and going into the keto industry. That's where things have blown up since then.
Dustin
Were you nervous at all on Dr. Oz or any of the national shows that you were on? Did you feel pretty confident?
Drew
I didn't have any formal training from a PR company or a coach to be like, “Say this, don't say that.” I winged it. I felt I was pretty good from the beginning from my first TV show, which was Jay Leno, to Dr. Oz the first time to Good Morning America. The only show I would say I was nervous for, which is crazy, was The View because it was a live show and it's me versus five women and five women trying to talk to them at the same time. One person would ask a question, I’d be halfway through answering that question and then somebody will ask another question about something else. I was trying to navigate those waters. That was the one, I was nervous for because it was live taping.
Dustin
In any situation, whether it’s male or female, five people coming at you with questions and getting excited. That's a tough thing to do. I want you to break down keto. Some of us coming to this conversation, we've heard of keto. We know it's in the catalog of cool things to do to be healthy. What the heck is keto? Let's start there.
Drew
If you're reading and you're an entrepreneur, business owner, or a busy individual, keto is the perfect diet for CEOs or business owners or entrepreneurs. It helps to optimize you as a human being and as a business owner so that you can give more to your business but also give more to your family and friends afterward. Here's how it works. Keto has been around for a long time, since the 1920s when it was used to help children with epilepsy. It's a natural metabolic state that our body can enter into when we limit glucose. Glucose is what carbohydrates are broken down into in our bodies. Glucose is used as a fuel source for the brain, muscles and organs. What happens if you stop eating now? Will you die? Most likely not, you might feel like you will. A lot of us can live a long period of time without food, believe it or not.
Ketosis is our body's natural backup system when there is no food available. Our species never would have evolved had we not had this backup system to be able to live off of your own fat stores for a week, two weeks, a month, or a couple of months. The world record for a number of consecutive days fasting is 382 days by a 460-pound man in the 1960s who was monitored by a doctor. It's published in medical literature. You can look it up. Our bodies can burn its own fat as energy and that's what ketosis is. You're going from a sugar burner to a fat burner. The ways to get into ketosis is you could stop eating now and I promise every single one of you would be in a state of ketosis within a day or two. If you don't like to starve yourself, you can hack that by eating a ketogenic diet, which is high fat, moderate protein, low carbs. You're switching your fuel source from carbs to fat as fuel and you're becoming a fat burner instead of a sugar burner. That's what ketosis is in a nutshell.
Dustin
The guy that was 460 pounds, at the end of that what was he?
Drew
He lost over 200 pounds, totally healthy. He had water and vitamins and minerals administered to him, but no food. He lost over 200 pounds in a little over a year, which is insane. A lot of us think, “I can't live a day or two without food,” because our generation, our parents’ generation we've always had access to food. You'd go to the grocery store or push Uber Eats on your phone and the foods there, but it wasn't always that way. A 100 years ago, 200 years ago or 300 years ago, we’ve never known what it's like to go without food. For most of us living in a first world country like America, we haven't had to use ketosis as a backup system. It's available and that's what people are discovering. That's why it's the most popular diet out there is because it's a hack. Here's the thing, getting back to entrepreneurs is your brain is more efficient and is optimized running off of ketones versus glucose.
Glucose you have to constantly replenish. Your body burns through glucose fast. You have to replenish that food, which is why people feel the need to have to have a snack in between meals and they eat every three or four hours. Whereas on keto, you could go a good six to eight hours without food and your brain is sharp. Your digestion's better. You feel optimal. Your mental clarity is through the roof and you haven't eaten all day. A lot of people are like, “This feels like Limitless,” that movie with Bradley Cooper where your brain is on fire and it's mentally clear. It's like night and day. That's why I use keto. Yes, you can use it for fat loss or weight loss, but I use it for brain optimization. That's why a lot of Silicon Valley CEOs and entrepreneurs are jumping into this world of intermittent fasting and keto because their brains are much sharper. It gives them a mental edge.
Dustin
Talk about how is this different than Paleo? I’ve heard that floating around out there, keto versus Paleo.
Drew
Paleo is more about restricting certain types of foods. It's not about getting into a different metabolic state. Paleo was more about eating whole foods that weren't around a couple thousand years ago by our ancestors that didn't have processed foods. It's getting rid of processed foods like grains, which you have to process in order to make bread. Things like dairy aren't allowed on Paleo. Eating whole foods and nothing processed. Whereas keto, you're entering a different metabolic state. Could you do a Paleo version of keto? That's how I eat anyways. I don't eat a lot of processed foods. The only thing that you would have to eliminate would be dairy because dairy is a keto-friendly food. It's high in fat, low in carbs, good amount of protein and that's why it fits into the keto lifestyle. Not everybody can tolerate dairy. Some people are lactose intolerant so you could do a Paleo version of keto but it's two totally different things because keto is you're entering a different metabolic state. On Paleo, you can still have things like fruits and potatoes and starches that are higher in carbohydrates. Your goal with Paleo isn't to enter a state of ketosis. It’s to get rid of processed foods.
Dustin
High fat, moderate protein and low carbs for keto. Why the moderate protein versus a high protein diet and a high fat if you combine those?
Drew
It's because your body can convert too much protein into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. If some people eat a large amount of protein, your body's ability to convert that high amount of protein into glucose can kick them out of ketosis to where they're burning glucose again as fuel. That limit of how much the protein is very individual. When I have people start out, I usually put them at 70% of their calories come from fat, 25% from protein and 5% from carbs. That tends to work for most people but people that lift a lot and that are active, that already have a good amount of muscle mass, they can probably eat more protein than your average sedentary person. Someone that doesn't lift a lot, that doesn't have a lot of lean muscle mass, they probably need to err on the side of the lower amount of protein, around 20%, 25% range to be safe. That's the thing is your body can create its own glucose through protein through a process called gluconeogenesis.
Dustin
We had
Drew
I don't know all the ins and outs, but it sounds like it's similar to a Paleo approach where it's eating whole foods versus processed foods. I don't know if it's a protein limit or a carb limit on the Fit for Life.
Dustin
It's mainly fruits. There's vegan. Essentially no animal products because the idea is our endocrine system is being taxed by eating things that if you're digesting meat or even processed foods, your body is working and working. It's getting taxed and overloaded. What's your thought with a little bit of that background?
Drew
I work with a lot of the top doctors in this field that does a lot of the scientific research on the Ketogenic Diet. Keto in itself is an anti-inflammatory diet. It does help reduce inflammation in the body, especially if you aren't eating these processed foods. There’s an unhealthy way to do keto just like there's an unhealthy way to do vegan or vegetarian. It depends on how you're doing it, but keto in itself is anti-inflammatory. I’m okay with things like the Fit for Life program because different things work for different people. I’m a subscriber to that 100%. Even though I’m a big proponent of keto, I still think that it's not for everybody. It's at least worth researching, looking into the science, and then doing your own experiment to see how your body responds not just from how much weight you gain or how much weight you lose. Also get your blood work done and go off of how your medical health is affected by whatever type of lifestyle you're doing.
When it comes to Fit for Life or vegan lifestyle, plant-based lifestyle, I’m all for that. I don't think that meat is essentially bad depending on the type of meat, the quality of the meat, and the over-consumption of meat. It depends on the person's genetics. Some people do well on what's called a carnivore diet, which sounds insane. Some people do awful on it. Some people do badly on a plant-based diet. I know people personally that have done it and have almost killed themselves because they were so for that lifestyle, but they eventually had to change it up because their health was affected. We in the fitness industry have to admit that different things work for different people and that's okay. People reading out there that are confused, my goal is to empower people to become their own self-experimentation. To find out what works best for you. Don't listen to me. Don't listen to other people necessarily. Research it yourself and do your own N=1 experimentation and work with your doctor to see what fits you best. What works for you now might not work for you a few years from now. Be open to change it based on how your body's changing and how your lifestyle is changing and how your health is changing.
Dustin
I subscribed to the Bulletproof Diet. What are your thoughts about that? How would I modify it to get to keto?
Drew
I’m a good friend with Dave Asprey. He’s been on my podcast before and I’ve been on his. It is similar except for his is more so with the quality of the fats that you're eating and the quality of the foods like the proteins and the meats. Where are you getting those sources from? It's similar and Dave follows a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet. He doesn't eat a lot of carbohydrates and it's pretty much essentially the same thing as keto but with the Bulletproof brand on it. I have Bulletproof Coffee for breakfast on my plan when I do keto. The thing is you're boosting your ketone levels. He's a big fan of MCT oil or XCT oil, which is a certain type of healthy fat that converts to ketones easily in the body.
You're boosting your mental performance with higher ketone levels in the blood and you can go longer periods of time without food, which is why the Bulletproof Diet or the Keto Diet is similar. They work for busy individuals that want to get a lot done during the day but don't want to be bogged down by food and have to bring their Tupperware containers with them to work. Set their timer for every three hours to eat our next meal because their metabolism's going to slow down. It's not true. I used to teach that back in the day, to be honest with you. Now that I know better, I understand it better and I teach people that are not true. They're similar in my opinion and they both work well.
Dustin
It's all about optimization and performance and I love doing what I do. I want to be as focused and optimized in those. I’m sold. For those that are on the sidelines or saying, “Drew, this is fascinating. Thank you for sharing this with us.” What do people need to know? When you were at the height where you were eating everything and you described that two weeks of hell, what do entrepreneurs, what do achievers, what do people that are interested in this diet need to know? What should they expect in that first seven, ten, fourteen days switching to keto?
Drew
Your body has been running off of glucose for probably the majority of your life. If you live here in America, most likely you've been running off of glucose for 30, 40, 50 years depending on how old you are. To switch over to ketones all of a sudden, your body is going to need some time to learn how to do it. Your body will adapt but the first two weeks can be rough for people because your body doesn't know how to use ketones efficiently yet. You're starving yourself of glucose, which is your body's primary fuel source. It's going to struggle a little bit with energy levels. People might experience what's called the keto flu and they might have brain fog. They might have a lack of energy. They might have cramping, a little bit of dizziness, and lightheadedness. The way to combat that is with education. You need to understand how electrolytes work in the body. Supplementing with things like sodium, which is salt. Not the cheap table salt but good real salt. Supplement with that and some magnesium and potassium and once your electrolytes are balanced, then you'll feel so much better during those first two weeks.
You could also supplement with things called exogenous ketones or BHBs, which help with that transition. Basically, what those supplements do is put you in a simulated version of ketosis by basically flooding your body when you ingest them with ketones. Your body will then learn how to use as an energy source quicker versus going without it. I’ve seen it help a lot of people out with the transition. Staying hydrated and taking those electrolytes are going to help get rid of the keto flu, but be prepared that you might not be at that optimal level that we're talking about the first week or two. After that is where that euphoric feeling comes in eventually where you're running off of ketones efficiently.
Your brain is optimized. Your digestion is better. You're not as hungry. You could eat once or twice a day or go a whole day without food and feel mentally clear like you can conquer the world. It's such an awesome feeling. That's what people love about keto is they'll lose weight. They'll lose fat on it for the most part, but they stay in ketosis because of how their brain feels and that's what people want. They want better mental performance. That's why smart drugs and nootropics are popular. Ketosis is probably one of the best smart drugs out there, to be honest with you. If you know how to do it the right way and efficiently, then after a good 30 days you're running on full levels of ketones and you're feeling awesome.
Dustin
Is it bad to be in ketosis for prolonged periods of time? Could you do it for an entire year or life?
Drew
I know doctors that had been in a state of ketosis without any breaks or cheats for years and decades even, and they're totally healthy. They're totally fine. It's a totally natural metabolic state. For me personally, I like to dip in and out of ketosis because from an evolutionary standpoint that's how our ancestors did it. They didn't say, “I’m going keto this spring. I’m not eating any of the fruits and berries that are out there.” They ate whatever was available to them. They didn't time it out and say, “I’m going to eat keto this, this winter.” For us, our bodies were designed to run off both different types of fuels, glucose and ketones. I like to get keto adapted is what I call it for the first 60 to 90 days.
After that, dip in and out of ketosis based on what's going on. Let’s say me and my daughters go and it’s their birthday. I’ll have some birthday cake or we'll go on a vacation and we'll have pancakes for breakfast or pizza or whatever. I’m okay with that. The goal is to get keto-adapted first and foremost for that first 60 to 90 days and then your body are efficient at burning fat for fuel. Your ability to get back in is a lot better. I know people personally that have epilepsy or seizures that are controlled by living a keto lifestyle. They literally can't cheat. They literally can't have carbohydrates because it'll trigger a seizure, which they don't want. They literally have been in ketosis for years now since they've discovered it. It's totally safe and totally healthy.
Dustin
I didn't know that about epilepsy. I’m glad there's something there to combat that. That's huge. You mentioned intermittent fasting. Is that part of keto? Is that part of what you subscribe to? Do we need to fast?
Drew
It can be a part of keto because the quickest way to get into ketosis is to stop eating. When you do a fast whether it's sixteen hours or 24 hours, your body's going to start producing ketones because it knows it's not having any food. It knows what to do. It knows, “No food, start kicking in the ketones.” It gives you the benefits of a mild state of ketosis. Whether you eat keto or not after that, there are still benefits to doing the intermittent fasting. It works perfectly with the keto diet doing intermittent fasting for say around sixteen hours and then eats during an eight-hour eating window. That works perfectly with the ketogenic diet because you're boosting ketone levels by fasting and then you're eating keto the rest of the day. Your ketone levels are going to stay at a high level throughout the day. That's what I love about intermittent fasting.
I’ve also done an extended fast where I’ve done up to a seven-day fast before. I’ve done a bunch of four-day fast and three-day fast and two-day fast. Fasting is so great. It's overlooked in our society because we've been taught to eat three square meals a day. It's overlooked as a performance enhancer but also there are many other health benefits to it like anti-aging, cell regeneration, anti-cancer benefits and better digestion as well. Giving your digestive system a break for once in your life because we eat so much constantly throughout the day. To go a day without food does so much for our bodies because our bodies don’t have to use the energy on digesting food. It can use that energy to help cells regenerate and which will help with longevity and anti-aging.
The extended fast I don't recommend doing every single day or every single week, but once a quarter, once every six months or once a year. There are still benefits to doing the fasting, not just from the physical standpoint for our health but also our emotional health and our spiritual health as well. It’s why fasting is practiced by every major religion in the world pretty much. It's an opportunity for you to get outside of your body and realize that you can become closer to a higher power and God, whatever you believe in, by getting rid of food. That's why I said there's a spiritual component as well.
Dustin
What are you excited about? What's your future look like? What are you experimenting with in this world? What are you up to?
Drew
The way I do keto now is different than the way I did keto back in the day. When I first started, it was a traditional Keto Diet. Now, I like to experiment with how many carbs can I get away with and still stay in a state of ketosis? I do like potatoes from time to time or sweet potatoes or fruits. For me, I’ve gotten it down to a science where I know how many carbohydrates I can eat in a day and still stay in a ketogenic state. The same thing with my protein, I like to mess around with protein levels. I’m constantly experimenting and that's what's important for all of us are to become your own self-experimentation.
Get your blood work done on a regular basis. Go get your body composition tested. Hire a coach or a trainer of some type to keep you accountable with your goals. Those are the things that every successful person in this world should be doing or is already doing because everyone needs accountability. Everyone needs a coach no matter who you are. It's always good to change things up and challenge yourself in new different ways. The past few years I’ve done a triathlon, which I suck at but I trained for it because I knew it would get me out of my comfort zone. I have some cool things coming up with different forms of exercise that I’m going to be posting about my YouTube channel that I’m excited about.
On top of that with my business, I’m super excited about 2019 because first and foremost I have my second book coming out soon. It's my book called Complete Keto. I’m super excited about the launch of that because it's taken everything I’ve learned from Fit2Fat2Fit on the mental and emotional side of transformation and tying it into a ketogenic approach to a new lifestyle. My goal is to help people with a complete transformation, not just a physical transformation. Any diet book will do that, but to help people on the mental and emotional side, that's where you make it a lifestyle change instead of another 30-day diet program. That's what I’m excited about as well and a bunch of other things. There are a lot of cool things coming up.
Dustin
You mentioned experimenting with carbohydrate levels and even protein levels. It dawned on me, how does one know that they're in ketosis? Is it from the blood work, the tests?
Drew
I talk about this in detail in my book, Complete Keto, but basically in a nutshell the gold standard way is to test your blood ketone levels. You need to get a blood ketone monitor and prick your finger and see what your ketone levels are. Anything above a 0.5 is nutritional ketosis. What I recommend people doing is experimenting to find out, “What's your carb threshold? How many carbs can you eat before your body goes below those 0.5 millimolar on the blood ketone monitor? The same thing with protein, how much proteins can you eat before you're kicked out of ketosis, which means you dropped below 0.5.
Dustin
I didn't know that there was a tool available. How long does it take? Is that like a glucose monitor you can know in instant time?
Drew
It takes a countdown of ten seconds. It’s maybe a $30 to $50 investment initially to test your ketone levels.
Dustin
I want to move us into WealthFit Round, which essentially are rapid-fire questions. What has been your most worthwhile investment?
Drew
I would say myself and my health because I feel if I’m constantly pouring from an empty cup, eventually I’ll crash. A lot of people do this because they feel self-love or self-care is selfish. Investing in my health and what I mean by that is staying on top of my fitness nutrition, but also mentally and emotionally unplugging. Doing things like meditation, positive affirmations, writing down the gratitude list every single day. Going out for a walk or spending time with my daughters or going on vacation every now and then or getting a massage every now and then. Those things are important to make sure that I’m constantly trying to pour to everyone else from a full cup instead of an empty cup.
Dustin
What's that investment that you'd rather not talk about? What's that misstep?
Drew
From a business perspective, it came from trusting the wrong people and going with people that were smarter than me thinking, “They're smarter than me. They know what they're talking about. I’m going to blindly trust them to help me out,” versus thinking about the decision before going into it. I’ve had a lot of business deals go wrong quickly because I totally trusted the person without taking the time to look into it, do more research on my own and educating myself on the topic first before saying, “You're smart. I’m going to go with this guy because he's smart.”
Dustin
What is your guilty spending splurge? When life is good, what do you like to treat yourself to?
Drew
This is something that I don't feel bad about because it's worth it to me, but vacation like going and traveling and seeing the world. I came back from Japan and it was the best holiday I’ve ever had, Christmas and my birthday which is around that time as well. It's probably the best holiday I’ve had but it cost a lot. If things are going well, I’ll travel. That's an investment in myself, so I love to travel when I can.
Dustin
In the last couple of years, what have you been better at saying no to?
Drew
I sucked really bad at saying no my whole life. Literally, the first 36 years of my life or so, I would say yes because of the fear of missing out and not wanting to disappoint that person. It was really hard for me. I had to learn the hard way many times over and over again. Once I learned that saying no wasn't about saying no to that person, but it was about saying yes to myself, that totally changed my perception of that decision. I used to feel I don't want to let this person down when in reality you're not saying no to that person, you're saying yes to yourself. Once I changed that perception, I’m so much better at saying no to things that aren't bad things. There are good things sometimes as well, but for me I want it to be an awesome thing and a great thing. I can get to say yes to maybe one or two great things versus a thousand okay or good things.
Dustin
Fear and self-doubt often stop people from achieving goals. When you feel that fear, maybe you're entering a new area, a new territory. When you feel that coming into yourself, what do you do to overcome it?
Drew
This may sound weird but for me, this is the reason why meditation is important to me is sometimes I’ll go and meditate on that thing that brings me a lot of fear and play out the situation in my mind. Let your worst fears go wild and play it out in your mind and you'll realize in the end that it's all okay. It's all for your greater good. For me, if I can play those fears out in my mind first and then in real life, make the decision of something that is going to bring fear in my life, it's not as scary. I’m not as afraid anymore because I’ve already a meditated on it and play it out in my mind. I love this quote, “We suffer a thousand times more in our head than we do in reality,” because we make up stories that become powerful in our head that becomes a reality versus the reality isn't as bad as we think it is in our head. That's what's helped me over the years.
Dustin
You mentioned multiple books and YouTube channels and social media. For those that are interested in continuing the conversation, checking out the book and everything else that you're up to in the world, what's the best place for them to do that?
Drew
It's super simple. My whole brand is Fit2Fat2Fit.com. That's my podcast. That's my first book. All my social media handles. My second book, Complete Keto, you can go and find on Amazon. You could go to CompleteKeto.Fit2Fat2Fit.com to learn more about the book before you purchase it. That's basically all you need to know to find me.
Dustin
Drew, thank you big time for being on the show. I know the folks out there reading are going to resonate. It's a great time of year to be incorporating this into their world and into our world. Thanks for coming on the show and enlightening us.
Drew
Thanks for having me on, Dustin. I appreciate it.
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