Applying diet and exercise information is not a straightforward process. As human beings, we naturally overeat, snack, and tend toward laziness and distraction. This is not a matter of character. It is a matter of evolution, a toxic modern environment, and the everyday stresses that push to self-medicate with unhealthy behaviors. This is why we fail to apply what we know about diet and exercise- even when taking control of our health is what we most want. If you can understand the underlying motivations behind your most unhealthy behaviors you can begin to apply diet and exercise information,
Do you need to drink 8 glasses of water per day? Is steady state cardio essential for fat loss? Will protein make your kidneys explode? This week we change gears and address some popular myths in the health and fitness industry to help you make informed decisions about your personal wellness.
Anger, sadness, fear, and disgust are core emotions that are designed to serve us. Once upon a time, that was true. But in the modern world we have become hyper sensitive to emotional triggers and we now live in an environment of unnatural emotional turmoil and exposure. Now we are constantly looking for ways to self-medicate these emotional distresses. Listen in to this episode of the Heavy Brain podcast and learn how the emotions we normalize are driving weight gain and disease.
In this episode, Tommy and Sara begin by discussing what the focus should be for someone who is new to fitness. As the conversation runs on it turns into an impromptu therapy session for an ongoing problem Sara has been facing.
In this episode. Sara asks Tommy how the social acceptance of a certain behaviour (like the red wine mom's club) affects a person's relationship with that potentially harmful substance. This turns into a lengthy rant about social media, technological distraction, and Tommy's broken dreams of being a broadway singer.
In this episode, Sara asks Tommy how the average person can achieve happiness. Tommy's answer? Happiness is a bad emotional goal to set for yourself. Why is that the case, and what should you aim for instead?
Some of us are very orderly. Some of us are very chaotic. Few of us have found that beautiful middle ground where we are routine enough to take care of our body and mind while being flexible enough to adapt and go with the flow. In this episode, Sara asks Tommy about all things habit and routine.
In this episode, Sara asks Tommy how to approach those closest to us who may be in the depths of emotional suffering. Along the way, Tommy suggests an inward journey that might help us just as much (or more) than those around us who are suffering.
In this episode, Sara begins by asking Tommy about how parents should deal with the stress and anxiety of scheduling their children. Tommy turns the question around and asks why we, as adults, need to be constantly distracted with our own over-scheduling.
In this episode, Sara poses a question to Tommy about the fear of aging. Tommy suggests that the anti-aging procedures we seek out in order to battle our aging bodies is just an inappropriate solution for a deeper, unaddressed emotional issue.
In this episode, Tommy discusses how the Heavy Brain barriers interact and 'feed off of' each other to make diet and exercise interventions nearly impossible to implement in the long-term. He also gives a key summary of each so listeners know what the essential takeaway of each barrier should be.
Questions asked/answered in this episode (in order)
Yesterday I noticed a group of girls who were looking at me and I heard them laughing and and pointing in my direction. I felt down to say the least and immediately wanted to turn to food. I staved it off for a bit, but in the end I eventually succumbed to the need to eat. What can I do in situations like these so I don’t need to eat away my sadness?
I have super healthy evening meals but always eat crap during the day. My dinner is always well formulated with good choices and portion control isn’t an issue at that time. But during the day I’m always snacking and eating- usually foods that are not great choices. How can I break this daytime eating habit?
A few years back I went on a very restricted diet. It worked well and I lost a lot of weight. Now I have gained most of the weight back and cannot seem to stop binge eating. I can go from eating thousands of calories one day to working out extra hard and not eating at all the next. How can I stop this cycle?
Is there anything to the idea of controlling your eating with limited food choices? I find that, for example, when I'm only eating stuff like soups, broth, salad, and some meats that I don't binge, I love food and I feel like variety might be an important thing. I’m just wondering if there is anything to that.
How do I stop thinking about food all day long? I think about what I’m going to eat today, and some days I even think about what I am going to have tomorrow and the next day. I binge every day. While I’m eating, I’m in heaven. Then when I stop, I’m in hell. Why can’t I stop obsessing over food?
In this AMA Tommy answers:
Do you need to count calories/macros to lose fat?
Is there a 'best time of day' to exercise?
Is there a specific balance of cardio vs strength training I should aim for?
What is a good balance of intermittent fasting with fasted workouts?
Are there supplements I should be taking?
What do you do about sauces and marinades etc?
Does washing your produce with vinegar and baking soda remove pesticides?
Is saturated fat bad for my health?
What does Tommy eat every day?
In part 2 of this series Tommy discusses the connection between adverse life experiences, unmanaged emotions, and our drive to self-medicate with food, alcohol, technological distraction, and lazyness.
Questions answered in this Q and A
What is my daily routine?
What emotional eating issues do I struggle from?
What are my Top 5 books for improved health?
What to do if meditation/mindfulness doesn't work for you?
Why is it important to understand the roots of your emotional drivers?
What are some simple strategies for late night snacking?
How can I minimize the damage of snacking/overeating?
In this episode Tommy discusses the concept of 'order and chaos' including how living to close to either leads to health issues while finding balance leads to health success. Tommy has also included the original Tedx Talk by Jordan B Peterson that inspired this line of thinking.
In this episode Tommy discusses the motivations for eating that lead us into weight issues and how even the most 'healthy' individuals will try to out exercise hedonic eating patterns while facing emotional distress.
In this two-part episode Tommy discusses how adverse life experiences can lead us to health struggles well into adulthood. In part 1 Tommy throroughly discusses this concept, and in part 2 Tommy delivers the solution to the problem.
In this episode, Tommy discusses why diet and exercise centricity is a poor strategy for solving our often complex health issues and how you can identify where your focus needs to shift in order to see long-term success.
Tommy kicks off the Heavy Brain podcast with an intro episode. In this episode, Tommy tells you what the podcast is all about, what you will learn, why you need to learn it, and what the general episode format will be.