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Tony Cohen: Keto-ish, Krav Maga & Extreme Humans

We are going to have some fun.

We are talking to Mr. Tony Cohen.

If you're getting to know Tony Cohen, I want you to know him as a renaissance man, a guy that knows Krav Maga, a special form of defense fighting, a special form of self-defense and also a keto expert.

We're going to talk a little bit about Krav Maga.

We're going to talk about extreme humans.

We're going to dive into the conversation that is keto and how following a rigid guideline might not work for you.

In addition, we talk about brain fueling and what to put into your body so that you can achieve more.

If this sounds interesting to you, let's get to it!

Dustin
The setting is Spanish Harlem, New York. You're living in a tiny studio above a pizza joint in an ice cream parlor where you ate almost every day. I can't imagine how big you were.
You were teaching Krav Maga before it was popular and you were broke. One day you receive a FedEx package filled with two clear sandwich bags of white powder from a friend north of the border in San Diego.
Tony
Out of the blue, a few years ago, I'm fat and dumb broke. In reality, probably depressed. My place was half the size of this cubicle for $2,000 a month, a bed and a little crappy desk and a chair, no kitchen and a shared shower room. That was it. I'm eating crap and winters in New York, I'm bailing heat in the building. I've sat on top of a fan heater and it becomes normal.
You get sucked into that spiral in New York. I love the place, don't get me wrong. I got a guy who went in. I never got deliveries. No one ever sent me anything unlike now where I get deliveries all the time. It was a FedEx guy. I thought it was an early birthday present.
I ripped the thing out right in front of him and it so happens, I've got a sandwich bag. I've ripped the thing open. I literally held up two bags. I don't know what is going on. I say to the guy, "It's not what you think.” “What is it?” “I don't know.” “Where's it from?” It's from San Diego.” “By Tijuana"
There's a note. I read it out loud instead. He said, "There are two bags here and there are two piss strips. Piss on the strip, take a picture, take the stuff out of the bag and then piss on the strip an hour later and send me the pictures." I looked at the guy, “That's not helping, is it?” As far as I know, I'm still blacklisted by FedEx.
I trusted the source. There's no research science. I didn't even ask. I trusted where it comes from. That was your friend. Sometimes people get analysis paralysis with stuff. A lot of it is personalities. If you look at color personalities, reds, greens, yellows and blues. The greens are the light research nerds and the reds are like me.
It's ready, fire, aim, reload and fire. I followed the instruction. Ironically, as they're saying in the Marines, the challenge with most people is they can't follow basic instructions. They follow the instruction and fifteen minutes later, I was lit as fuck.
I was on the phone with him sitting, "What have you given me?" He says, "It's ketones.” “What's a ketone? What's in it?” “Ketones are in it.” I'm like, “No, the ingredients.” “It's got ketones in it.” “What does it do?” “I don't know. It ketones you up." I said, "Did you do any research?" He said, "No, the stuff doesn't exist. It was developed for the Navy SEALs for the divers specifically."
As far as we know, even back then, NASA was utilizing it as well. There's no research, there's no nothing, “Give me a website.” “No, there's no website.” “What's the company name?” “I don't know.” I'm like, "You've given me and the next day, I'd do another one." Day three, I need some more of that stuff.
There isn't any. He said I had ten packs. You've got two of them. If I wanted to get hooked on white powder, I could've gone down the block and Pablo down there would have hooked me up in two days. That's how it all started. If you'd have told me back then to go on a diet, I would tell you to fuck off. In fact, I'm still the same guy.
This was February 2015. He said, "Sit tight." It was about April, he said, “Next month, I've got five invitations to five people as part of a prototype team.” I'm chomping at the bit. I didn't change anything. I went back to pizza and ice cream and Bagel in the morning. The night before I got a text that said, "10:00 tomorrow morning. Get ready."
I'd been through a situation with an ex-business partner where I had been hacked. I didn't have a bank account at that time. Everything got hacked. I shut everything down. I had some cash, not much. I'm on this thing. He sends me this link and I was like, “There's a challenge here. I don't have a bank account. I have to borrow yours.”
I didn't ask him. I told him, "I'm borrowing yours." It didn't go through. He said, "Maybe there's something wrong with the address." It took two days for it to go through.
I've since pulled him on stage and went, "There's something wrong with the address." You can't get declined for $400. It doesn't matter. I was order number eight and now we may bypass 200 million servings and we've not been open to the public for a few years. In those early days when he told me, he said like, "Be prepared."
The fitness industry, the health industry and the medical industry don't want to hear what we're doing. It's going to be a war.” I went, "War, that's my jam. I love this shit." It was a war. He's the guy you want in the trenches. I'm not going to name him because I'm likely to say something appropriate.
Dustin
I want to go back to lit. You said you were lit. Describe that feeling, not in a drug sense but when you say lit, what did the ketones do for you? How do they make you feel?
Tony
The best quote I've ever heard is, “I didn't realize I had brain fog until I didn't have brain fog.” That's the thing that lit me right up. It's not drug-induced.
However, I have drunk thirteen of these in three hours to see how far the body can go. If I had have taken ecstasy in my life, that's what it felt like. Do not drink thirteen unless you're in Vegas at a conference and want to get on stage and dance on your own like a lunatic because that’s the by-product.
Dustin
Ketones, keto are the terms being thrown around. There is a difference here and I want you to explain it. Some people are starting to get to know what keto is. I want to ask you, is keto a diet or is this biohacking? Is it both?
Tony
The keto diet, 99% of the keto gurus out there have no clue what they're talking about. The ketogenic diet, as we know it was developed in the 1930s to reverse seizures and also affects with autism, with kids. It was further utilized for adults and it was never a weight loss thing. When I see keto diet for weight loss, it's not for weight loss at all.
Dustin
It can help you lose weight
Tony
It can help you lose fat. That's the difference. I'm going to throw this out there now, what's the weight difference? Zero, less than a pound. That's for three months. That's when I first started and that's three months later. I didn't go to the gym once. I didn't go on a diet. However, what it did do is its reverse.
Instead of eating ice cream and pizza every night, I shifted to one or the other without even trying to do anything different. It happened. I didn't want them. It went to a couple of times a week. It cut the cravings out. I've explored more. Even to this day, I pretty much like hardcore carnivore now, but I don't diet. I'm hardcore carnivore until a cake comes out, then I'm eating all the cake.
Dustin
I want to jump in here because I know we've got people's attention. What's the difference between a ketogenic diet and ketones? If I'm ketogenic or if I'm on the ketogenic diet, am I producing ketones naturally?
Tony
Ideally, you should be. Ketosis is by definition an elevated level of ketones in the blood. It works the opposite to glucose, not directly, but sometimes when people get elevated levels of glucose in the blood, that's your Type 2 diabetes. The body has two fuels glucose or ketones. Glucose is to carbs and sugars while ketones are for fat.
If you do a hardcore ketogenic diet and it is hardcore, yes, if you influenced things like time-restricted eating, which people call intermittent fasting, no one is constantly eating. Technically, everyone's intermittent feasting. Give me like three rib-eyes like normal people. That's what it technically is and that's what the diet was, but it's very hard to do.
The downside of it is you're going to feel like shit for a while, the keto flu. What that is sugar withdrawal. I know people have come off hard drugs. They said getting off sugar was worse than getting enough cocaine if you try and do it. If you look at the science behind this, that the sugar fires up more receptors in the brain than a specific drug would.
Dustin
Do you think sugar is bad for us?
Tony
I'm not going to go off negative on that. Sugar is bad karma. If you look at where it started with the slave trade, that's where it comes from. I try and avoid it. The challenge is it's hidden in everything and people food mislabeling, no grams of sugar. The first four things on the thing are like melted Dextrin, dextrose, sucrose.
It can't be no grams of sugar. It's no grams of actual sugar, but it's loaded with sugar. That's the challenge. When you do a hardcore diet and also fasting while putting your body into a state of ketosis quicker than anything else. However, fasting by semantics is dry fasting and people use a water fasting.
The challenge is you're going to get muscle depletion. There's no way around it. However, we developed something called a keto reboot. It has nothing to do with diet, but it's making sure you don't get the muscle depletion while doing it in 60 hours. There are 90,000 people who did it.
Dustin
Everyone knows when they haven't eaten, you get hungry. Sometimes you get headaches. Are you saying that there are ways to fast essentially without getting those?
Tony
The hungry comes from a carb-heavy diet. If you're on like a fat-heavy diet, you can use the Atkins. You can use Paleo or anything like that and ketogenic as well, low-carb, you probably won't get hungry. We'll end with the top ten reasons why keto fails. The challenge is people don't change their habits.
They're still eating three meals a day or whatever. The three meals a day thing is a complete myth from the Agricultural Revolution. Before that, we have once a day. What it did is it broke the day up for the slaves in the fields. They didn't realize they were working longer hours. No one ever has watched back then.
We are still in that habit. The challenge is if you replace your Cheerios in the morning with bacon and eggs and you replace your salad at lunch with a steak. You're consuming more calories. Again, it also depends where you're at and where you intend to go.
The whole weight loss industry is a complete racket. We stay well away from that and people don't also understand the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Ketones are a blood marker. That's it. State of ketosis is technical if you're on millimolar on a blood marker, is 0.6 to 3.0 millimolar.
Dustin
How do you find that out? We opened up with that fun story there about peeing on the stick. Are we peeing or are we pricking ourselves? How are you finding out these millimolars?
Tony
The only way to do it because by definition, it’s a blood measurement is by blood. Initially, we didn't know that. I got sent these things and it will change the color. When you think about it, that's the stuff you're passing through. You're not using it.
Pee strips, just flush them away. Don't pee on them. Flush them away. Don't waste your time. Breath meters again by definition can't do it. Some of them are a good indicator, but there's no way of knowing. When we're born, we're born in a state of ketogenesis and what that means and that's where people get it wrong.
Ketosis is running off consumed fat. Ketogenesis is running off stored body fat. When a baby is born, they're running off their own fat and that's ketogenesis. That is a marker above 3.0 millimolars.
The mothers produce breast milk and they start weaning, the only food on earth with ketones in is a mother's breast milk. The time in our lives has the biggest brain development and brain growth is when we're ketone fueled. You get your baby formulas and all the rest of it loaded with glucose.
We grow up with a dependency on glucose and that's the Western world. Before we know it, we're eating like three meals a day and snacking every five minutes. You come to a studio and is a pile of shit there that is in nice wrappers that say healthy on it.
Dustin
It's gluten-free and vegan. I don't know if you saw that.
Tony
There are people that don't eat vegetables.
Dustin
What's your take on vegetables?
Tony
Some are good. Everyone is different. I spoke about this for years but never practiced it. If you eat carbs, vegetables, bread or anything, they aren't digested by alkaline digestive juices. If you eat proteins and fats, they are digested by acidic digestive juices.
If you eat meat and potatoes together, you have acid and alkaline going on together right there. Sometimes people will get bloating. Sometimes they get the food coma thing because of the amount of energy. My take on it is if vegan works for you, be a vegan. However, it's trial and error and finds what works.
There's a lot to do with genetics as well. If you go on Ancestry.com and find your genetic background, my genetics are all from Ukraine around there. I don't think there is a word in Ukrainian for fruit. I don't think they've ever seen a fruit like growing up at fruit one day of the year, Christmas Day. There's a good non-practicing Jewish family line and it was a tangerine. That was it. I never saw the fruit.
Here's a quick tip. If you want to get fat, eat fruit all year round, guaranteed because the way the cycle of the body works will store fat. We still do this genetically. We store fat in cold weather times. Going back to hunter-gatherer days, less on the fruits, you're still fat.
If you're eating the fruit in those times, it's storing fat. It's finding what fits. I want to look at that and I'm going, "Okay." There is a lot of research on different blood types. I've done the Pescatarian thing and it was pretty good for me. I got bored. I've done the vegetarian thing and I lapsed without realizing it.
I'm in my buddy's place in Brooklyn. We're watching a Manchester United game and everything. I don't work for them. I'll get any revenue on that yet. It said I'm going to order English breakfast. I'm like, "Why not?" I'm not even thinking. If you don't know what an English breakfast is, an English breakfast is two pounds of meat and an egg. It's like sausage and bacon. My friend, Mr. Goldberg, ordered bacon.
Halfway through a sausage, I went, "I forgot I'm a vegetarian but this is good. Fuck it." I was lethargic. It didn't work for me. Not that there's anything wrong with the stuff, it's like, “Find what's a fit.” Some people are better suited to going on diets. Some people are better suited to not. The whole thing, and I don't think anyone disagrees with this, is try and stay away from processed shit.
Dustin
We jumped right into the techie terms. I felt like that was the way to go and it was the way to go, but why are we doing this? Getting in ketosis, having a better time other than looking shredded. What are the benefits? I'm not asking you to make claims here. When people are in this state, other than looking great, what are we losing? Is it brain fog? What are we experiencing?
Tony
The brain is mostly fat. When it's numbed by glucose, the amount of glucose we need, there's a tiny bit we need for one specific part of the brain to keep us alive. That can be produced by gluconeogenesis. There's no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. There are three macronutrients, fat, proteins, carbohydrates.
There are no such things as essential carbohydrates. If you are not taking on carbohydrates like a hardcore Atkins Diet, what will happen is that required glucose you need, is processed through something called gluconeogenesis, which is protein developing into glucose. You don't need it. The brain will fuel way more efficiently on fat than it will on glucose. Hence, the lifting of the brain fog, the improve moods and the better sleep.
Dustin
Why? Is it because your body is not breaking down or working extra hard to break stuff down?
Tony
If you think of glucose on a heart monitor, not on a heart monitor, glucose is like this. It's a very fast fuel. It's very unstable. Fat is slow and steady. You're not having the massive spikes and crushes. Have you ever done that? You had a load of cake. Have you got kids? Here's an experiment. Go home. Give them all the birthday cakes, chase them around and watch them stop dead and crush.
Dustin
I'm often tired at the end of the night. If there's a way to make them tired, that's all I'm going to say.
Tony
Give them all the cake. That's not a medical claim. However, if you do look medically, I've got to be careful here. People at Virta Health, they're doing some great stuff with reversing diabetes. You've got Dr. Angela Poff and Dr. Dominic D'Agostino from the University of South Florida doing some great stuff with cancer.
There are certain people that they may not think. We've got Dr. Ryan Lowery from ASPI for those guys and Josh Perry who was doing some stuff in reversing PTSD and neurodegenerative diseases. I've got to be careful because I'm privy to a lot of information.
One of the big things that people say, "Is there any peer review studies on it?" No, this thing is happening now. If I've heard about something now, it's because it happened yesterday. The studies will come out, but because of the process of how it works, it's going to take time.
The stuff that's out there right now and specifically you can type in the ketogenic diet and it would list of diseases. It's pretty much beneficial for pretty much everything. If you type in exogenous ketones, there are two types of ketones, endogenous, which are produced within the body through fasting or diet exogenous, which are consumed.
If you type in these days exogenous ketones and you're going to get the same thing. Dr. Lillian from Harvard Medical School, she was saying specifically with diabetics, there's a brain insulin resistance. I'm not the science guy. She said drinking the exogenous ketones will do what the diet can't for very specific things with diabetics.
There's some very cool science going through. A guy, I had coffee with, Dr. Ken Ford, who's the world's most interesting man. This guy was the former chairman of NASA.
He heads up a not for profit called the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. He's on the Advisory Board for AIs. He is one of the very early AI guys. These guys build robots for fun. They're like the Uber nerds of Uber nerd or whatever the word is.
One of the things he said on one of his podcasts is most people will die waiting for double-blind peer-reviewed studies on whatever is wrong with them. Sometimes you got to go with anecdotal evidence.
A few years ago, I went to war with ketogenic diet people because they said what we had was bullshit. There are still people that say it's expensive piss. My answer is if it's coming out in piss, it's because you're buying cheap knock-off synthetic shit. That's it.
Dustin
What do we look for?
Tony
What we look for is beta-hydroxybutyrate. It comes in two forms, salts and esters. I'm not going to go into the differences now. The esters work, some of the salts work and that's where it gets cloudy. Dr. Jeff Volek is the performance director of Ohio State.
He and Dr. Stephen Phinney wrote a book in the ‘80s, The Art And Science of Low Carb Living. They followed up with The Art and Science of Low Carb Performance, which is an excellent book. It's the benchmark for this type of stuff. I was chatting with Jeff and he was saying, "Most of the ketones out there on the market are a blend of what are called isomers.
There's an S isomer and there's an R isomer. He said, "A few years ago, you gave us some stuff and it was a blend." These guys, Jeff and Virta Health, these guys have got the labs to do everything. This stuff came through. That was 72% R isomer, 28% S isomer. “The stuff you've given us now is 100% R isomer.”
I said, "What does that mean to a layman?" He said, "The S isomer has never been proven to do anything. He said, "It has never been proven not to do anything, but it has never been proven to do anything."
“The active isomer is the R isomer,” I said and this isn't a private conversation. It doesn't matter. It was worth sharing because it's important to get out of there. I said, “If I wanted to start exogenous ketone company, I could use 99% of the stuff that doesn't work, 1% of the stuff that does and claim it's got ten grams of BHB.”
He said you could use 100% of this stuff that doesn't work and still claim it." What you're looking for is RBHP not BHP because they'll say BHB on them. A lot of the stuff is synthetic. There's only one naturally fermented 100% R isomer on the planet. There's one. It's different flavors but there's one. You got a shipment of the stuff.
The studies are being done in that space right now, but that's what people are looking for if they want to do it. Is it expensive? There's cheaper knockoff shit that doesn't work. I do a lot of work with pro cyclists and these guys, even in the early days were comparing blood testing.
He said some of the cheapest stuff you got take six times the amount of some synthetic stuff, the equivalent of one. I don't care what the price is if you do it six times the difference. When we got involved in this space, there was no one in it. The ketogenic diet people didn't want to hear this. There are still some low diets in that space.
Dustin
Why don't they want to hear this?
Tony
They'd been around the space for years and they know everything. It's like new technology. There are still people in Pennsylvania that think trucks don't make sense. They're out in a horse and buggy.
However, what we did is send stuff out and they're like, "Tell us if it doesn't work." The same guys that thought it was bullshit years ago are speaking on our stage. They're not on the speaker circuit. You got all these people on the speaker circuit that's charging stupid money for five-year-old information.
There are some lovely people on there. There are some people that have very good information. The research that's being done now is way past the diet stage, which is a cool space to be. I've got another one in October in Louisville. These are people you can't get to see outside of it. We have access. There's always a way.
Dustin
I want you to break this down a little bit further for me. I never claimed to be the smartest guy. Let's say I'm digging the conversation, exogenous ketones. I can drink this, but this doesn't mean I can like to eat cake and whatever. This isn't like some magic pill and just ketones, is it?
Tony
There is a movie called the Magic Pill, but there's no magic pill. Here's what I'll tell you. If you eat pure crap and drink this, you don't waste your time.
Dustin
What do I need? Give me a game. What is a good game plan? I'm not looking to be shredded, but I'm looking to eliminate brain fog. I'm looking to increase my energy and sleep better. What is the game plan?
Tony
Number one, drink this every single day, once or twice, depending on the individual. What I would say to everyone, especially the people who are like Luddites when, unless you've tried this stuff, don't make any comment because you have no idea what you're talking about. It is good.
It's funny because I do a lot of business coaching in this space and every single person I know that is a customer or works in the space all started by one drink. I tell everyone, try it for ten days and see what works for you. Does it work for every single person? Yeah. Does it work for pretty much 99.9% of people? Yeah. Drink that.
People want to go on the whole diet thing. I'm like, "Don't overwhelm yourself with that stuff." Focus on cutting out processed stuff. If you've got processed food in your cupboard at home, either eat it or give it away, but do not replace it with more of the same.
Food doesn't have ingredients. We throw in a word around the word, processed. You even made a comment about the fun snacks on the table that had the nice healthy label on it.
Dustin
You don't want a banana. I know you're not a fruit fan, but there's no like, "Here's the healthy banana."
Tony
If you eat only bananas, eat bananas. We could apply this to fruit or veggies. If it's sprayed with all kinds of crump, it's going to have some effects on your gut health. There's no doubt about it because we're putting in an inorganic into an organic being. There's going to be a reaction.
Dustin
Processed being like chips, no matter how great they say they are, that's the processed food. Bread, even if it's gluten-free or Ezekiel.
Tony
Ezekiel stuff is probably better than the other stuff. I don't know. If you look at a celiac, they've tracked it back to GMO wheat. My theory on this and I've run it by a few people that work in the functional diagnostics, the ones that measure your shit and your piss, those people that are a bit weird, but whatever, functional diagnostic sounds better than the other option.
I said, "Here's my take on this. If you're modifying wheat, so it doesn't get eaten by pests and making the shell hard. It doesn't matter what you put into, but when that gets into your food, that's probably not so digestible by your natural digestive juices. You're going to get a reaction.” This was a theory I run by something.
You're going to get a reaction. What are those digestive deduces going to do? They're going to go straight into your whole digestive system. You hear about things like Celiac or Crohn's or IBS and they're all essentially inflammation based. If you think about where's the inflammation coming from? It's probably the crap we're eating.
The number one thing is cutting out the processed. If it's in a can, if it's in a box, be very careful. I also understand that not everyone will cook fresh. I find it as easy as anything. It takes me fifteen minutes to cook anything like the fridge to the table. There's a way of doing it.
No one is shocked by this. We all know this. If you look at things like high fructose corn syrup, which has been labeled, it was developed around about 1971.
It was at the same time Nixon was launching the farmers' vote. There's a theorist called Ancel Keys who sold the Mediterranean diet. There are no such things as a Mediterranean diet.
If you're in France, Morocco or in Israel, you're all in the Mediterranean but all eating completely different. He sold that. He came up with what's known as the Seven Countries Study.
If you Google Seven Countries Study, it will show you how it was manipulated to suit, saying the people that eat the most fat have the most heart attacks. The people that eat the most fat in Europe are the leanest. It's the French and they all smoked 50 a day and all the women are smoking hot. Eat more cheese. That's not medical advice. It's a flawed study.
That was presented and lobbied by Senator McCarthy and Senator Bob Dole. This was lobbied as the food pyramid as we know it now. What it allowed Nixon to do was get the farmers to vote back because he said, "Plant fence to fence corn and soy.” High fructose corn syrup is about six times sweeter than sugar and you can grow more of it.
At the time, we had trade barriers and health tariffs with Malaysia, but they wanted to buy it. He got the vote back by putting money back into the farmers. It's a bit of a history lesson. Since then, the obesity epidemic, the cancer epidemic, the heart disease epidemic and the diabetes epidemic have mushroomed since it's directly related to it.
Will ketogenic diets or drinking ketones fix everything? Probably not. Will they help? My personal opinion is yes. My personal opinion is, "Try it for a month." I can't tell you other people's stories. You've seen some of them on Facebook where they're talking about specific things. I cannot tell anyone that, "Drink this. Your diabetes will go away."
However, this is what happened to me. It's a great catalyst to, “I don't have the carb cravings as much.” I'm a little bit more mindful about what I'm eating. I'm not going to eat that pile of shit. I'm not going to go to a certain fast food place. I'll find another one. It's little things like that.
On this one, there's this whole trend of dirty keto. It's complete nonsense. I eat keto at McDonald's. There's something specifically flawed with that. I don't have the buns. You've got the buns. I can see that. This whole thing, is it beneficial? I truly believe it is. The good thing about drinking ketones and I'll go full circle what you said there.
You can drink these and eat carbs if you know how to do it in the right timing. When I hear people, "I love my carbs." I'm like, "Great. Let's still drink this stuff. I'll show you how to do it and how to cycle it, so you're not storing the sugars as fat.”
If you're on a hardcore Keto Diet and drinking this stuff, you're going through the roof. You're going to perform superhuman. Most of my clients are keto-ish. Here's a scenario, you're on the hardcore ketogenic diet. You get invited to a neighborhood barbecue.
You get there and like, "I can't eat chicken breasts because that would take me out of ketosis because it's too high in protein and too low in fat." The most hormonally doctored food on earth chicken is breasts because that's where it stores. If you look at history, there is a great book, Fast Food Nation, chickens are now bred for bigger breasts. That's the statistic of growth on chicken breasts.
I'll tell you this is not medical advice, eat all the chicken breasts and see what happens. You get to the barbecue and you’re like, "Eat a drumstick or whatever you like." “The barbecue sauce, did you make that yourself or is it out of a jar?” “It's out of a jar. Why?” “I need to go and inspect your recycling and read the label.” “Get out of my barbecue and don't ever come back."
All the others are like, "No, my kids don't eat cake." You take them to some kids’ birthday parties and they're not allowed cake, so they think they've done something wrong. You're traumatizing your kids because you're on some hardcore fucking food weird old Nazi diet.
The other thing with diets is there was no study done about diet specifically for weight loss. Anyone that's lost 50 pounds or more within five years, 97% to 98% of them have put the same or more back on. They're not sustainable.
Dustin
Why?
Tony
They relapse. One of the things is behavioral change like changing your eating habits. There's more to it that triggers emotionally and things like that. There's a book called The Blue Zones. It's about the five areas of the world where the people live past 100 years old.
Dustin
I was born in one of those places, Okinawa. Not a lot of people know that, but that's one of them.
Tony
It's a Seventh Day Adventist community, Okinawa and Loma Linda. There's a place in Sardinia. There is a place in Greece.
Dustin
What's special about these zones?
Tony
You would think it's food. However, they all eat completely different. The Loma Linda mob are all vegetarians. The Greeks eat loads of light lamb and stuff like that. Okinawa is probably a lot of seafood. Food is like fourth on the list of all these things.
It's more like a community. We eat in the western world fast instead of community meals. There's a lot of things to do with movement. The whole food thing is overly leveraged and diets are not sustainable. If you're on a hardcore ketogenetic diet, there's no cheat meal for at least a year. Your body adapts. It gets keto adapted. I don't care what anyone says.
Dustin
It takes a year, is that what you're saying?
Tony
It can take forever. Some people never get it. Keto adapters are being able to eat a donut, burn through it and you're back. If you think of a Toyota Prius with two motors, it got an electric motor and it’s got a gas motor. When you floor it, it's the electric motor kicks in and at like 25 miles an hour, that winds down and the gas motor takes over.
That's a human being. We are designed to duel fuel. A lot of that is through seasonal eating. That's one thing that people get wrong. We can buy anything anytime now so we're not seasonally. That's one of the reasons people are getting fat. Let's say the electric motor breaks, so you floor it. It's going to be sluggish, but it's going to go because the gas motor is going to kick in.
If you do the reverse, humans in the Western world alike, the gas pump is broken. We keep putting gas in the tank. However, we keep fueling the electric motor with glucose. When it slows down, put more glucose in it. This gas motor is storing and storing and we don't realize that. The human body is designed to run off glucose and ketones.
However, if we keep pumping more and more glucose in, that ketone production thing is storing as fat. To get your body back to switching naturally between both and I've done some pretty extreme blood tests. I've done it with pizza. Clean pizza, like the ingredients are all from Italy, so I know what I'll get. It's the same with certain wines and things like that.
Dustin
I wanted to ask you about alcohol. Some people love their wine, not on the East Coast or in Greece or in Okinawa.
Tony
People say, "You can do this, you can do that." You really can. There's one very specific company that imports dry-farmed wines and biodynamic wines. It's a different way of farming. They only do it in Europe and parts of Italy. It's banned towards new crops. These are these old vines that are top well down. There's no sugar, no carbs in them.
I would tell you this, unless you know exactly what you're doing is a no-go if you're in a hardcore diet. If you're drinking ketones, it doesn't matter, but drink them an hour before. Tip of the day, don't drink the caffeinated ones before you are out drinking because it opens up your blood vessels so the alcohol hits you even faster.
With wine but every test that's ever been done on American wines, it showed there are chemicals in it. It's up to 93 ingredients in American white wines outside of the grape that doesn't have to legally be shown on the label. It's same with coffee and beer.
Dustin
What if I'm a wine snob and I don't drink American wines, but I like South American.
Tony
Just US wines, Canada is slightly different again. That goes back to process. It's processed. On that full circle, it's like cut out the process. The next advice I give anyone is narrow down your eating window.
However, if you use three meals a day and three snacks, don't do it overnight and narrow your eating window down to a time-restricted eating. Again, these hardcore fucking gurus drive me nuts. It's got to be six hours. What if it's like six and a half hours? It works better for me? It's got to be six hours.
Dustin
Are you talking about the time between meals?
Tony
All your food is within a certain window. When we eat, it's three hours digestion. If you're eating three meals a day over nine hours, your gut is working for twelve hours. It's resting for twelve hours. It's simple science and simple physics. If your gut can rest longer than it's working, the gut repair should naturally take place.
All health starts in the gut. That's the thing there. A lot of that was like gunk. They’re bloat. The other thing I tell people as well is if it is specifically fat loss you're looking for, focus on the lower carb, not put the emphasis on high fat. Those are my three things. If you start to drink this and measure this, it's overwhelming.
Dustin
Although sometimes people like that. Some people can't follow basic constructions. Some people do like it. I get what you're saying, sometimes if it's so militant it's like, "I'm not even going to start that." If it's going to take me a year keep whatever my body into that state, I'll start there.
Tony
Edible Magazine interviewed me. It is a big foodie magazine and lights off and away from the script she whispered to me, "What do you do if you want a pizza?" “You know what I do, I eat a pizza." Make it clean though. That's the thing. I don't go to the big chain things because you don't know what's in them. I don't feel good after eating those.
Dustin
When are you going to go eat your pizza, are you thinking, "I don't want dairy. I want gluten-free bread or crust?"
Tony
For me personally, dairy is an interesting one. Lactose intolerance, is it just lactose from the casein from cows? Sometimes people get a reaction with casein from cows, but not from goat or sheep. It's two different types of casein. Are you lactose or is it the cow thing? Personally, I love cheese, so I eat it. I feel good about it. I don't snack.
However, I've got in my fridge this cheese box. I go to the supermarkets here, the Farmers Market type ones, the stupidly expensive places. I'm not a cheese snob but I buy the end cuts, the stuff that's left in the basket. I try it and just keep them there. If it's night and I want some wine and cheese, I'm going to have some wine and cheese, the gluten-free.
Here's an interesting one. There's a great book called The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry. Gluten is one of many lectins and lectins on natures of vegetables. It’s their natural defense. Some of them like some leaves are very spiky to the touch. It goes back through, if you look at the beginning of time, it was to stop animals eating.
Some of them will be spiky and some will be bitter. Some of these lectins don't work well with the human digestive system. One thing that doesn't work well with me is tomatoes and I believe it's the seeds. If I eat them, I'll bloat right up and feel like shit. It's a shame because I like them, but it doesn't work for me.
Dustin
Do you do the food allergy test? What is your thought on those tests out there?
Tony
I'm allergic to vegans. I have not. However, I'm going to do the whole functional diagnostic thing. The word biohacker is thrown around throughout these days. Most people don't even know what it means. It's hacking into the body's biology to see what it does. It's changing certain things. I've done that for years. I get sent stuff all the time. If it says keto on the food ingredients on the packet, if it's keto cookie, keto this or that, it isn't. 90% of this stuff, I get sent is bullshit.
Keto is a word that nobody owns. I could shop up here with a box of doughnuts at the market. I shop the keto doughnuts. There are also all these bandwagon jumpers.
I've heard Dr. Ryan Lowery say this. I've heard Dr. Jacob Wilson, both these guys from ASPI. If you don't know ASPI in Tampa, you should. I've known him for years. The whole world's talking about keto and they wouldn't be if it wasn't for what you guys did a few years ago.
That's what it's trying to mean. We created the industry. We dominate. We own the industry. But we knew it was going to happen. It happens with every industry.
Apple came up with the iPhone and there are other people that come up with cheaper versions. That's an interesting thing to go off on a sidebar is we built a community where it's education-led. The education is free.
There are loads of stuff but not for me, from like way smarter people than me. It's built a community. If you look at Apple, this is why Apple is so strong. They built a community. Samsung is a product. Apple is a community.
That also applies to things like Airbnb or Uber. How many people use Uber because someone referred them to use Uber like, "Grab an Uber or Lyft, whichever one you want." That was interesting. You look at some of the most powerful brands on earth now, it's all very community-led and that is for me sharing that education, sharing the knowledge. That's the big thing.
Dustin
You came prepared to talk about the ten Keto fails.
Tony
I didn't come prepared. I wrote them down in a minute. I've covered some of them. I already spoke about processed foods. I see these great cooking videos, do this and do that. In theory, that looks like what it is. They never addressed that. That cheese is processed. That meat is processed.
You’ve got to that behavioral change. If you switch your three meals a day from a high carb to high fat, you say, “I did Keto for a month and I put on ten pounds.” Instead of Cheerios for breakfast, you had bacon and eggs instead of this. You consume more calories and put on weight. You succeeded. What do you think was going to happen? That's a big one.
Failure to create new habits. When we change anything in our life, create new habits. People don't understand the difference in weight loss and fat loss. Weight loss can be achieved a million different ways by caloric deficit. However, a lot of weight loss is water weight and muscle, especially if you're over 30 years old. Fat loss is fat loss. When the fat's gone, it is permanent.
The only way it's going to come back is if you eat crap and you're going to store it again, but that fat is gone. Comparing to others like, "All my friend lost 30 pounds in two months and I only lost twenty." There's a whole different bunch of reasons. Ketones are cell signals. They're going to fix what's broken first.
I did an event up in Vista. There was a lady there that’s like, "I've been drinking this stuff three months and I've not lost any weight." I went, "Do your clothes fit the same?” “No, they are looser." Let me tell you this, there's a 55-year-old woman. Your hormones are all over the place. That's what's getting like the ketones are going to go to what's broken, whether you're doing it by diet, drinking, fasting or whatever, compared to others.
People talk about weight like, "I weigh the same. I've completely changed.” People also go on these what I call fat bomb crazy. They start making fat bombs and cooking in butter and steaks. I consumed a million calories and put on eight pounds. That's exactly how calories work.
They go on blood testing, “I don't do blood testing.” “How did you know you're in ketosis?” “I can feel it.” You don't feel something. There's only one way to do it and it’s in blood testing. I would say 90% of the people that have been on keto diets that I blood tested, it shocks them. It's essential.
When you are in Ketosis, you know what it feels like most people never get there, realistically never. Overstressing like, "I've got to measure my macros. It's one-minute past 6:00. I can't eat.” That creates so much cortisol, which inflames the gut, which is counterproductive to what you're during the first place.
Here's the big one, stop listening to keto gurus. They're popping up everywhere. I saw one, "We've doing been doing these for two weeks. Who wants to be in my keto group?" What do you know after two weeks that you can give advice on? They go, “I did all this and got all this.”
I'm also looking at it from a legal compliance point of view and going, “That's fucking going to get you in trouble." They've so far behind, it's not even funny. I get thrown out of groups on purpose like, "Stop adding me to these weight loss ketogenic groups please because I'm going to get into it with people." I didn't need to do this. I lost 20 pounds. Ketogenic diets are not for weight loss.
The next one and this is very specific. Number ten, trying to do it on the cheap. Here's what happened. A few years ago, people didn't want to hear and we were hardcore outliers. Literally, I would do science conferences and I'd get these fucking professors asking me science questions. I didn't know the first thing about it.
I would literally say, "Do you like the taste of orange?" “Yeah.” “Shut up and drink and tell me how your field in an hour. What's in it?” I'm in a fucking science conference. It's not cocaine. It took me a year to be able to say beta-hydroxybutyrate. Now, I use it in every sense like that or the word that you didn't want me to say for an American audience.
That's how it started. There's a quote by Gandhi, “First they ignore you, they ridicule you, they fight you and you win." That's where we're at these days. There are still some hardcore Luddites and a lot of it is ego. If you've been in the keto space fifteen years as a diet guy and we popped up the new kids on the block a few years ago, that's going to jolt your ego.
You've got two things. We can embrace change in anything in life or we can resist it and get left behind. There's a lot of ego in the keto world and including mine. A lot of the times as well, they didn't embrace the keto bandwagon financially. These guys are trying to scratch out a living as speakers on the circuit. Some of them are medical doctor.
There's a guy out there that's not a medical doctor, but if you look at his stuff, you think he is. I'm not going to name him. I don't want a lawsuit. He had lawsuits in this state, private practicing medicine without a license. He is chiropractor, but they all of a sudden pop up as experts because they are an MD. Doctors don't learn shit about nutrition, so stop following idiots.
Last year, this happened very specifically and it's bound to happen again. A few years ago, people started sniffing around The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It is like the early adopters. People started sniffing around and people would hit me up. I'd send them my whole thing works off like a four-minute cartoon, “Watch that. Let me know if it makes sense to you.”
They’re like, "I'm going to do that, but I'm going to do it by diet alone." I'm like, "I'm here to support when you need me.” I got hit up constantly with, "I did that keto thing. I lost 30 pounds." I know where it's going. "I put 40 back on over the summer." People know it works, but it's not sustainable. No diet is sustainable.
Dustin
I wanted to bring out the Krav Maga. I've been wanting to ask you about it. I didn't know about it until I moved out here. A couple of people around me are into it. Will you explain what Krav Maga is to those who don't know?
Tony
Krav Maga is a close contact or contact combat. It is the official Hand-to-Hand Combat System of the Israeli military. It is utilized by a lot of special operations guys around the world and a lot of agencies that have very specific names.
Dustin
Why this over Jujitsu or karate?
Tony
Jujitsu and karate are sports. I'm telling you right now, very specific and very effective on that mat. If you get me on a mat with a Jujitsu guy, he'll frigging snap me in half. I'm not getting on the mat the first place.
Krav Maga was formed as a hybrid. It encompasses boxing, wrestling and gymnastics, which surprises a lot of people. Some judo and Jujitsu stuff and it becomes a hybrid. It's a street-level thing. It's not a sport. It has a lot of it. The three base foundations of Krav Maga starts with psychology. It's situational awareness.
People think they've got it, they don't. Situational awareness can also be subconsciously reading micro-expressions, twitches and things like that. It's a learned art. Reaction time and distance, the quickest and fastest way to cause the maximum amount of damage in the shortest movement and then pressure point execution.
You're like, "You could punch me in the chest. All I'm going to do is get pissed." However, if you can catch me in certain parts of the body, you can drop it the fucking 400-pound guy on the floor with one finger if you know to put that finger.
Dustin
Where did you learn this?
Tony
I'll tell you a quick story. My father is dead, so it doesn't matter what I say. It was years ago. My mom died when I was seven. I had no siblings. I grew up with my dad. I'm a small kid. I used to get bullied a lot. I’ve never been over there. He didn't talk about it. There are pictures in Egypt.
He told me stuff as a kid, but it was never labeled as anything. I went and he took me to boxing. I used to get the shit kicked out of me. I grew in a non-Jewish neighborhood and it happens. After his death, I found stuff out about him where he grew up in an Irish neighborhood.
My dad was about 5’4” and ironically, he ended up getting Type 2 diabetes later in life. I didn't know the first thing about it back then. He had to fight his way through Irish gangs on the way back from school.
It would have been 1946 or '47. He's in the UK. He got conscripted into the military. He ends up in British-mandated Palestine, which is now Israel. He did his basic training in Catterick. He gets put on a boat and they don't tell you where you are going.
I found this out in his funeral because my dad always told me I was the only guy in the Army that never had a week off in all the time I served. That's all he said and then at the funeral, I’ve seen these sketchy looking dudes. I asked, "How did you know my dad?” “We served with him."
I said, "Let me ask you a question. He always told me he never had a week off. If you want to get in the Army, that never had a week off.” “Technically, he is right.” I said, "Can you explain this?" He said, "Yeah, we get on this boat and there are 2,000 people."
He said this drill sergeant is marching up and down, “If anyone who doesn't want to fight, step forward,” and my dad stepped forward. Back then, this drill sergeant was this big Scottish guy, six-foot-tall and my dad's staring at his chest.
This drill sergeant is losing his shit with my dad and like, “Why don't you want to fight, soldier?” He said, "I'm Jewish. If the Arabs capture me, they'll torture me and they'll kill me. If the Jewish underground capture me,” “There is no Jewish underground.”
“If those people that don't exist capture me, they won't kill me. They'll keep me alive and torture me.” He said, "Your dad looked up at this dude." He said like, "Do you even know whose side I'm on?"
"What's your name, soldier?” “Cohen.” “You're the guy that’s good with the money. You can do the payroll." There were three people who told me this story. I said, "What happened?" “One morning, your dad literally gave out.” I said, "What about the rest of the time? What did he do?"
They said, “He disappeared.” “What do you mean he disappeared?” “He was exempt from roll call once a week.” I said, “What did he do?” They said, "We don't know." Krav Maga, the original founder in Imi Lichtenfeld was in Jewish brigades in the same part of the world.
There is no evidence whatsoever or pictures that my dad and him ever met. I don't know. The day it became the State of Israel, all of a sudden, my dad was in a different military. We know what my dad did and we didn't know anything more on that subject in history. We can neither confirm nor deny anything.
Dustin
Your About page says, “I'm a guy who's been on life's wildest rollercoaster ride from nowhere to everywhere.” Are you waiting for the movie or are you writing a shotgun? Why is that you're saying your About Me?
Tony
I don't even know where that was.
Dustin
It was on your fancy Facebook page. Do you believe that?
Tony
I've lived all over the world and I know my buddy once called me. We were doing a live stream interview the two of us and someone complained about my language. Brian stopped and halted it and he said, “Tony's an extreme human. I don’t think he gives a fuck what you think about his language.” I was like, “I never heard that term before, extreme human.”
Compared to David Goggins, my language is pretty clean. It's been a ride. That's been the nature of my life and that to me is normal. It's like, “Pack a bag. Go around the other side of the world and we'll figure it out.”
I moved here with literally a small carry on backpack, an Uber app and an Airbnb app. I'm like, “I'll figure it out.” I didn't know anyone here when I came here. Now, I can't walk down the street. Maybe I should wear pants.
When I see people and I'm using the term loosely, white picket fence, Middle America, the high school sweethearts that still live in the same community thing. I used to get frustrated with that. It's not my challenge. It's not my thing. I would have been to Florida. It’s fucking great.
My whole take on that is you married your high school sweetheart, that's like buying the first car you ever test drove and not test driving all the cars. I'm not saying you have to bang all his buddies. Do not get relationship advice from me. There's that saying, “Our vibe attracts our tribe.” “The outliers of life hang around with the outliers of life.”
There's an author and always a friend of mine, Scott Alexander, who wrote Rhinoceros Success. The rhinos keep charging. Ironically right now, I'm doing what's called a Rhino where I coach every morning on Zoom. He said, “Cows wallow around with other cows in cow shit. Rhinos are charging. They have thick skin. They don't care and you don't stop them.”
If you're off the where you find a pack of rhinos, run with them. I do extreme shit. I've loved that stuff. I'm not necessarily an adrenaline junkie. I'm not doing the batwing thing off the buildings. I like that you can dope me rush sometimes of certain things. “Are they dangerous?” “How do you think I got my good luck?”
Dustin
Tony, thank you big time. I'm excited you're creating a course with us here at WealthFit, helping people getting the most out of themselves. I think a possible name could be Extreme Human. I think that's a great title. If folks want to keep tabs with you and find out what you're up to these days, where's the best place for people to find you?
Tony
I'm easy to find unless I don't want you to find me. These days I would say, San Diego Keto Club on Facebook, Instagram and Meetup. I do things like coffee mornings and I'm happy to share information or whatever or just hang out. We do a keto wine night every two weeks. It's not that keto, but we hang out.
That's probably the best place. The challenge with Facebook as far as personal goals, I’ve been maxed out for years. I've got a couple of others. I'm not as active on them. The best place is San Diego Keto Club and we're on that subject right now. That would make sense. For Krav Maga, it's 1947 Krav Maga.
Dustin
Thanks for being on the show. I appreciate what you're up to and I'm looking forward to more.
Tony
I appreciate it. Thanks for the invitation. For those of you on Facebook, see you on the beach.

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