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578: Nutrition Myths Debunked By Human Nutrition Expert Mark Haub, Ph.D.

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578: Nutrition Myths Debunked By Human Nutrition Expert Mark Haub, Ph.D.

In the world of diets and nutrition, it feels like everyone’s got an opinion on what’s healthy and what’s not. We’re bombarded with advice, from kale smoothies to low-carb everything. It’s a wild ride through a jungle of information.

But have you ever heard about the “Twinkie diet”? Yeah, the one where a guy decided to live on Twinkies and junk food to prove a point. And he demonstrated he could lose 27 pounds in just 10 weeks by eating a high-sugar, high-fat, low-calorie diet.

His experiment showed what all doctors and scientists already know: Weight loss really is about the number of calories that you consume, not the composition of those calories.

If you’re interested in learning about how someone could eat a high-sugar, high-fat, but low-calorie diet and still lose weight and achieve better metabolic health and what you can do in your own life to create a more sustainable approach, you are in for a treat.

In today’s episode, Ted is going to interview Mark Haub, the man behind the Twinkie Diet experiment, a Professor in Food, Nutrition, Dietetics, and Health, renowned for his contributions to the field.

They are going to talk about the Twinkie Diet, what he learned from this experiment, what changed in addition to his weight, and what the results of his experiment mean for other people.

Dr. Haub shares insights into the complexities of diet choices, the influence of social media on nutritional discussions, and the importance of being open-minded in the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. The conversation touches on the nuances of scientific research, the challenges of interpreting data, the role of mental health in overall well-being, and much more. Listen now!


Today’s Guest 

Dr. Mark Haub  

Dr. Mark Haub is a Professor in Food, Nutrition, Dietetics, and Health, renowned for his contributions to the field. He gained widespread attention through the Twinkie Diet experiment demonstrating that he could shed 27 pounds in just 10 weeks by eating a high-sugar, high-fat, low-calorie diet. His experiment showed that weight loss is all about the number of calories that you consume, not the composition of those calories 


Connect to Dr. Mark Haub   

X: @Haub_KSU 

Youtube: @markhaubphd 

Facebook: Prof Haub 


You’ll learn:

  • The motivations behind the Twinkie Diet experiment
  • The unexpected changes in metabolic health during the experiment
  • What the results of his experiment mean for other people
  • The importance of finding a personalized and sustainable approach to nutrition
  • The importance of context and dose in interpreting nutritional studies
  • The role of mental health in overall well-being and lifestyle choice
  • The challenges of balancing various aspects of life in the pursuit of health
  • And much more…


Related Episodes:  

7 Fat Loss Lies You Need To Stop Believing with Ted Ryce 

You Can’t Screw This Up: Why Eating Takeout, Enjoying Dessert, and Taking the Stress out of Dieting Leads to Weight Loss That Lasts with Adam Bornstein 

The Truth About Low Carb Diets: 5 Nutrition Facts That Low-Carb Gurus Aren’t Telling You with Ted Ryce 


Links Mentioned:

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Schedule a 15-Minute Strategy Call with Me!

Watch My Body Breakthrough Masterclass  

Connect with Ted on X and Instagram


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Podcast Transcription: Nutrition Myths Debunked By Human Nutrition Expert Mark Haub, Ph.D.

Ted Ryce: Professor Mark Haub, welcome to the show. Really excited to have you. 

Mark Haub: Hey, pleasure. These are great opportunities to engage with the public, so any opportunity I can have to help the public and other audiences, I'm on board. 

Ted Ryce: Excellent. And me too. And that's what we strive to do here on this podcast on Legendary Life is bring, let's say, evidence-based health and fitness information while still being open-minded about things that maybe haven't been decided one way or another by research yet. And I want to just jump right in. You are the Twinkie diet professor that made the rounds on, I guess, the media in 2010, but people are still talking about this. 

Mark Haub: Yeah. And so, and I think it gets misunderstood, and I think what happens a lot of, I would say almost invariably, um, people view it from the side they're familiar with. So, I often use the example, and I'm not sure you or your viewers or listeners are familiar with this. I assume they are.  

The cartoon of scientists talking about an elephant and they're blindfolded. And so, one is touching a tail, one is touching an ear, one is touching a foot, and they all say different things. This feels like a rope, this feels leathery and smooth, this feels bumpy and round, yet they're all talking about the same thing.  

And so that's, in my opinion, that's nutrition science or health science. I guess health science would be all of the elephants, not just one type, which so nutrition or one aspect of health, obesity. But that's how I view the complexity of it. You can view it from a cost perspective. You can view it from a desirable preferable perspective. You can view it from strictly data. 

This is what the data say, which may not apply to somebody because of cost, because of preference. And so, it gets into these complex. On the surface, it seems basic. But this project was developed for students who hadn't looked at more sides of the coin than what they had looked at their professors have allowed them to see. And so, most of them were juniors, maybe some sophomores, a few seniors. But so, I wanted to, A, touch on a relevant topic. And so, the birth of that was from, well, two places. One was, I was like you, had some exposure to low carbohydrate in 2010.  

There was still some pushback from healthcare providers about that. There still are. I think there's less pushback. And so that was one. And then the other is just types of food. That was also the beginning of the sugar, anti-sugar specific sugar craze. The dietary guidelines were coming out. 

So, I had that last point, being a professor and being at a land grant institution, we get some perks, I guess. One of the perks was being able to see a draft of the dietary guidelines before it came out. That was 2010, so it comes out every five years document.  

I don't remember how many pages it were, but there's a sentence that stuck out. The sentence, I'm paraphrasing, I don't have it memorized, but the sentence basically pertained to solid fats and sugar are obesogenic. 

And so that's what lit the question. Because if solid fats, so saturated fats, if solid fats and sugar are obesogenic, shouldn't be able to lose weight eating those foods, because they cause obesity. So that's the root of the experiment. So, people get caught up in all this other stuff, and I was paid, and it's like, no. I did get paid after, but I was never told what to do or what to say. So that's kind of the basis of it. 

Ted Ryce: Well, I appreciate you sharing that because, right, I made, how this came about just to let the listeners know is I'm the one that actually talked about your experiment and then people started commenting on it.  

And like you said, people always, I'm familiar with the meme you're talking about where three different blindfolded scientists are describing the same elephant, but because they're, in this case, touching the elephant from a different perspective, their account of what they're experiencing is very different, even though they're referring to the same elephant. 

So, it was interesting to see that and then someone tagged you, and I was like, oh my gosh, this guy's on Twitter or X and I reached out. And very interesting before we started recording, you wanted to know, and I'm very grateful for you to come on the show because like you said, I think there's some really simple concepts, simple principles about nutrition like calorie balance, but when it gets applied in the messy context of a human life, it's not so simple at all. It's not so simple at all. 

 And so, it's really hard to do that or get into the nuances on Twitter. And typically, if you do, even if you do a good job, they tend not to go well, right? So, I'm a little bit guilty at least of writing things on social media, yeah, without the full context. 

Mark Haub: I think we all are. One of the positives of that is people are passionate. I think that's a positive. But I think to your point, I think people need to be open-minded with that passion. If you're going to bring passion, you need to accept passion back. I do that. If I say something that upsets somebody, I want them to let me know whether it's because it was inappropriate or because it's... 

It doesn't match their expectation, which that's the level where we need to have these discussions on. And this is where so folks like you and some others. Well, way back when, I won't say his name because he's gotten into some legal trouble, but he was a low carb person. We didn't see eye to eye from a lifestyle food choice perspective. But when it came down to the basics, we were in agreement.  

And so, it was like, you know, you can agree, you can have your way of doing things, and I can have mine, and we can agree that this might be the best or better way for us without having to say, you know, you're right, I'm right, you're wrong. Because I think that doesn't get us anywhere. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, I think I know who you're talking about as well. But that's good that you came to that agreement. And let me ask you because before we hopped on, started recording, you asked me, hey, what is your background? And when I asked you, hey, is there any question that you have? And why was that important to ask? 

Mark Haub: Well, because it gives, so the background I was, that hit me was you're getting caught up in some of the contextual issues and getting confused and like we all did that, you know, the Dunning Kruger effect is kind of what gets thrown around. And it's that graph that, that you think you know everything, but that's when you know the least. And then as you learn more you have less confidence and then your confidence goes back up but it's never as high as it is in the beginning. It's helpful for people to go through that process. I didn't know what I didn't know. For me that was grad school. That's the benefit of going to graduate school. 

So, it's everybody, I hope, will have that opportunity to experience that. But it's having, you're having that experience of this is the way things work. And yeah, maybe 80% of the time, and then the other 20% is like, eh, we'll guess. So yeah, so that was. 

Ted Ryce: I don't understand what you mean there, Mark. What do you mean? I understand that Dunning Kruger, but... 

Mark Haub: So, like, a lot of times, so I teach sports nutrition, and one of the things that comes up in sports nutrition is will this help me perform better? So, there's data that show X will do Y in animals, or X will do Y in women, or X will do Y in men. Do I know what they'll do for a sprinter? No. 

Do I know what they'll do for somebody else? No. And so most athletes, most sports nutrition stuff, it's the athletes are way ahead of the scientists. And so, it's, you know, there's a physiological basis for it. Maybe some things there are, some things there's not. But science sometimes trails what's being done or what's being thought about. And so, it takes... 

It takes a lot of time for science to catch up. So, the percent is, hey, this is a likely candidate for a treatment, a condition, sport, whatever, but we're taking self-culture data and applying it to a population. And that's a mistake. Now, can you do study? 

Does that help build a study for a population? Yes. Does it mean that that's population study is going to mirror the cell culture study. Typically, not. This is the area of science I would love to see as more studies that are done in parallel with animals and humans or cell culture in humans versus this we did in cells, we did in animals, we did in humans, but is the mechanism the same across each? 

Ted Ryce: Gotcha. So, you just wanted to make sure you wanted to know where I was coming from and I shared a little bit and just to share it again briefly for anyone who's just tuning in for the first time you know, I was on my way to either neuroscience or perhaps medicine or I was even thinking about MD PhD. None of that happened because of a family tragedy.  

But ended up going back to school getting into fitness the health and fitness business as a personal trainer and health coach then going down a low carb/paleo road, and it was paleo before, it was called paleo, it was like, that was me, right, 24 years ago. And then I was very stuck in a lot of, what I would view now is a lot of conspiratorial thinking. In other words, claims without a lot of evidence backing them up, right, or at least incomplete evidence.  

Like for example, every study done by you know, a certain group is bad without really just, okay, but how does this stay stand on its own? How does, like, let's push that aside and it could be irrelevant, but let's look at the study itself and then come to conclusions later and let's see if there's other studies and see what they stay like meta-analyses and systematic reviews.  

And you made a great point because I even saw a video, I think it was yesterday, with this argument raging about soy causing the  “feminization of men” and affecting testosterone levels or raising estrogen levels.  

And then the first study that this person, who is a medical doctor by the way, but very, he was low, he was, I think he's confused, but he was carnivore, but then he started eating fruit and you know, what he, the first study that came out of his mouth was a mouse study. 

And the, what you're saying is like, it needs to be, you can only take specific data away or you can take that away that's applicable to a specific population. So, in other words, unless you're a mouse eating exactly that amount of soy, probably isn't something that you're going to be worried about because a lot of animal studies, the effects don't transfer. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, but we don't know until we do the studies on humans and then compare them. Is there anything you would add to that? 

Mark Haub: So, a lot of people have come to a, well, I don't use animal studies, animal studies or cell culture or whatever that are useless or epidemiological or whatever. Well, I understand they're not applicable. I get that. And it gets to this internal versus external validity issue. However, we need those animal studies because they provide data for the human trials.  

So, this might lead to that. I'm not going to say it does or doesn't, but the evidence shows that, you know, this would be a worthwhile study to pursue in humans and see if it elicits a similar effect, if any, or a greater effect. And the other issue with animal studies is people, a lot of people don't realize the diets that they're on, and they eat chow. 

So, it's the same food every day. And so that's one of the weaknesses for humans is I'm not sure anybody eats the same food every day. And so, I sure don't. I'll just put it that way. If somebody does, that's the way they choose to live. And that's fine with me, but most people don't. So those are the issues. I value animal studies and cell culture studies, but. 

Meta-analyses and my views have changed. Now that we have more randomized controlled trials, meta-analyses are a better tool than one randomized controlled trial. I still have issues with some meta-analyses. Because there are some statistical issues that go on that it's like increasing sample size. That will make things more likely to happen. I have some statistical concerns about meta-analysis too, but that's a discussion for a different day. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, and for maybe, yeah, even me, like I say I read studies, but I'm still in the process of getting better at reading them. And I have a group of people who I look to for guidance on that as well. And so, and I when I've given studies to my clients, they don't really enjoy reading them because they're really boring and hard to interpret. You have to be very motivated to get through it. It's like, oh, it's like probably what a lot of people think or at least what I think when I'm trying to read legalese, right? Some very complicated legal writing. 

Mark Haub: Yeah, that's a great comparison and so and I teach a class that kind of goes through this process of Understanding research understanding an article and the difference between types of studies and things like that for basically sophomores to their seniors and they don't get it.  

I mean most of the students don't understand until the end. It's like this is hard. It's like it's a skill I find if I had to go through, I don't know, 10 patients a day or do health coaching like you do and take all that information and then provide a recommendation, it would be a skill. I would get it wrong more often than not initially. But the more I go through it, the more we do things professionally, the easier those things get. And I think it's one of those things. So, this is just a professional aside. 

I have some frustration sometimes with the dietetics community because, well, and medical, anybody that does clinical work, and it's like, okay, so you spend 90% of your time treating patients for whatever, or clients. How much time do you spend collecting data, doing science, doing research? Minimal.  

And so then, how are you able to distinguish a good study from a bad study. And you know, I have my limit. I limit my, my research to things I've published in areas I've published in. So, when COVID came out, I'm a scientist, but I didn't get in it because that was not my lane that I learned to drive in. Um, I had some opinions, but they weren't, uh, trained.  

It wasn't a professional opinion; it was a personal opinion. So, I think that skill is, it's hard to get, it takes time. It's like riding a bike, it's like training. You get better, it gets easier. If you get away from it, it's easier to get back in, but it still takes some, oh, I got to do this. So, for a couple years, labs were closed, there was not much human research coming out, and so it's taken time to get back on the horse and do more science again due to COVID.  

Ted Ryce: Gotcha. Well, that's a good recommendation, a good point you're making. And yeah, because people tend to jump expertises. I'm very focused about what I talk about. And thanks for acknowledging, you know, I'm a coach, so I'm not as, yeah, I don't sit there and crunch research or argue with people, but I'm very open to hearing if someone says that I'm wrong, provided that, you know, there's a, it's just, yeah, provided that there's a solid amount of evidence behind it.  

So, Mark, what I'd love to do now is, I'd love to dive into your experiment because I think, you know, as you said, this wasn't like a … I'm the author of the Twinkie Diet book and I wrote this to show you could lose fat by eating Twinkies.  

But can you just for the people, I've talked about it on the show, but just to talk about it, you, according to the CNN article, you, for 10 weeks, you had these, had this diet of protein shakes and vegetables like canned vegetables, but you also ate Twinkies and other little Debbie snacks and Doritos chips and Oreos.  

And even with that diet that most people would say, well, that's horrible, that's going to mess you up. You can't lose fat, like you mentioned. If saturated fat and sugar are obesogenic, if you have any amount, it's going to cause fat gain, but you shed 27 pounds in two months.  

And then the other thing that is really interesting, because on that Twitter post that I made, people are like, yeah, but his metabolic health. 

Mark Haub: Yeah, yeah, but was yeah, but was the key sentence starter for a lot of conversations. Yeah, but, so anyway, so sorry to interrupt, but I can't count on my hands how many times people would say that.  

Ted Ryce: And listen, I would have been one of those “Yeah but” people back in, you know, 10, maybe more like 15 years ago now, I would have been one of those. It's like, yeah, but he destroyed himself metabolically.  

But the truth is, markers of metabolic health, for example, LDL, your LDL cholesterol dropped 20%, your good cholesterol or HDL increased by 20%, and your triglycerides, which are a form of fat circulating in your blood, dropped by 39%. Were there other markers that weren't mentioned in the CNN article that also changed? Your hemoglobin A1C. 

Mark Haub: So, blood glucose went down. Now, wow. And so, this, so just for the listeners and viewers, I had access to some basic technology for blood work. And so, in the lab that I worked in and collected data in, so it was just a, I could do a really basic CBC and metabolic profile and blood pressure and that was about it.  

And so, insulin, HbO and C, they're at, especially now, there may be some easier ways to do it than there were then, but it would take shipping the sample somewhere to get it analyzed.  

And so, I don't have insulin, didn't have, well, and that was one of the questions that people had is, well, what about its insulin?  

And it's like, well, I've never seen a study that where glucose went down and insulin went up. Because what's the role of insulin? To get glucose to go down. And so, if glucose goes down, at least fasting, insulin tends to go down. Anyway, so I didn't, so the only ones that, the only ones, yes, the, and they morphed into the carbohydrate insulin model, folks.  

And so, the ones you didn't mention were glucose which went down a little bit, it was already low, lowish I guess, in blood pressure which was normal, it just was I guess “more normal”. Measured body composition via DEXA of the 27 pounds. Yeah, so I mean, so yeah, so one of the things was, and you know … 

Ted Ryce: What was the body composition? Yeah, what was the change in your body fat and muscle mass? 

Mark Haub: I was basically, and this is a personal issue, and we all have our limits, I guess, if you want to call them that. I guess, I guess we all do. I don't know. Um, but it's like, I got to 200 pounds. And so, this was over the summer before. And so, it's like, maybe, you know, so I wasn't technically obese, but I was overweight. 

And so, I was like, well, maybe I should put my money where my mouth is and, um, shift my BMI to a, uh, a more healthy category.  

And so that was also, that's also one of the things I get into in class is, you know, what is a healthy body weight? Because I had a real big issue with the BMI categories and the BMI charts that say, this is a healthy weight, this is overweight, this is obese, and then this is underweight. And it's like, so you're telling me if my weight is within the healthy weight and I have diabetes, is that healthy diabetes?  

Ted Ryce: That's a great point. 

Mark Haub: That's where I got, that's where, so when I teach some of that stuff, it's, you know, what's, when you back away, you look at the 3000-foot view, it's what is healthy? You know, you mentioned some biomarkers, they improved. Does that mean my behaviors were good? And so, this is where I come and I'll ask a question of somebody and they'll say, well, yeah, but, this, yeah, but.  

So, if my biomarkers improved, does that mean what I did was healthy oh, well, and so if what I didn't do is healthy, so you're saying those biomarkers are invalid for health indicators. If they are, why do physicians use them to diagnose diabetes, to diagnose heart disease, those kinds of things? And so, it gets into this deeper issue of, what is healthy, what's a healthy behavior, what's healthy food? 

The flip side is, if you eat healthy food and you're unhealthily, there's one side of that sentence, that statement is wrong. Because if you have disease, are you really eating healthy food? Or maybe diseases would be worse, or it's better. So, it gets into the contextual nuances of everything. So yeah.  

Ted Ryce: Which I love, by the way. Yeah. 

Mark Haub: Back to the question of Dexa, that was available in the lab, so we used that. I think I have to go back and look. I have it all on my Facebook page, my professional professor Facebook page. So, the other thing is I put all this stuff, I made it all public. Everything I ate, my data, I made it available. Just so people wouldn't say, oh, this is, you're not. So, every day I would upload, what I ate. Yep. 

Ted Ryce: So, here's what I'll do just really quick for those listening who really can interest in that. Mark, I'm going to get the information from you. And then at the end of the episode, I'm going to all share that data for anyone who's interested. But it improved. Did you lose muscle? Do you remember that? 

Mark Haub:  So, well, that doesn't measure muscle specifically. It'll measure fat-free mass. And so, this also gets into... Yeah, so this gets into an interesting discussion, and you probably know from your low-carb exposure that most of that fat-free mass is water, at least initially.  

That's how low-carb diets tend to work up front is your glycogen levels go down, so your stored water goes down with it. And so, if you measure that from a body count perspective, it's going to show up as fat-free mass because water is fat-free. So, I don't know how much muscle was lost. Fat mass decreased by 20 pounds, so 7 pounds was fat-free mass. 

Two was I purposefully did not meet exercise guidelines so that people would not say, oh, he just exercised his way down. It was exercise that did everything. So, I made sure I stayed below, well, I think at the time it was 150 minutes a day, three days a week. So, I exercised twice a week, rode my bike to work. And that was all I did on those two days. So, to and from work, which was about an hour of physical activity.  

So that's one thing that I don't recommend doing that. That's not something I recommended, but I also didn't want people to say, well, exercise, all of these benefits are due to exercise. And downplay the other stuff, because that's what some people would also use as if they didn't know the backstory, they would say, well, he just increases exercise.  

We all know that exercises will do these same things. So, they were not willing to accept the information that, hey, this, because it was counter to what their beliefs and thoughts were.  

And here's the other scientific part is the data are the data. People can say that it's not true, it is, it isn't, or didn't measure things. One thing is my integrity as a scientist, I have to maintain that, so why would I lie? Because if I was found out that I lied, I would be Brian Wansink, who made up data, falsified data, and as a scientist, I can't. 

Ted Ryce: We never hear about him ever again, except as a cautionary tale. 

Mark Haub: So yeah, we can talk about Brian Wansink later, but he was the Cornell food scientist. He did some diet studies and... Oh, okay. 

Ted Ryce: He's been on the show a while back. I had him on the show. He was an interesting guy. And someone just validated one of his research studies. I didn't look too much into it, but another former guest, Stephan Guyenet, who's a neuroscientist who specializes in obesity. Yeah, he's been on the show a bunch of times too. Yeah, so, so yeah, but right. 

Great point. And it's I think when I hear that, you know, I never got any type of vibe that you're trying to. It just seems like you did this for your class, but it just took on a life of its own how some things do. And it's just this recurring and I'm one of those people who keep bringing it back up.  

Here's the thing. If I was really trying to convince people with strong evidence, I just say, well, look at, you know, Kevin Hall's work.  

Let's look at you know, all the research he's done and the incredible research he's done, but that just causes people's eyes to glaze over. They're not. And I don't blame people for it. But when I say, hey man, this, this guy lost 27 pounds eating Twinkies and Oreo cookies and you know, and his markers of metabolic health. And as you pointed out, if you view those markers as important, they improved. 

What does that say about what we know about health? And we're still having this conversation 13 years later. 

Mark Haub: Correct. And yeah, and that's one of the things that's really surprising that it's still coming, you know, somebody will say, I'll get either a text or something, or somebody will put my name in a conversation and say, here we go again. But I view it as an opportunity to help educate. People can accept what I say or they can't. There was an interesting, and I'm not sure if it's the one we were on, but there was one with.I can't remember his name. Is it Dr. Edberg? 

Ted Ryce: Dr. Berg, the low carb guy, He's...  

Mark Haub: maybe Dr. Berg, I can't remember. 

Ted Ryce:  he's a chiropractor who preaches the benefits of low carb and he's very like about basically if you eat sugar, you gain fat and so ... 

Mark Haub: I'm not going to say it was him, but that it was either a physician or chiropractor who is popular, has a lot of followers. I said to the individual that we were having this discussion with, I said, hey, don't listen to me. Look at the data, the truth are in the data. He actually agreed. He said, don't listen to me either. Look at data. Because it got into this test. Well, if you listen to all the experts, I'm like... 

Well, that's your problem, is you're listening to the experts. This is what I talk about in class. Experts are humans. Humans make mistakes. I make mistakes. But data are what they are. That's what we base everything else on. And so, if the data indicate this, even if it's just one study, that's one study that says, this did or didn't work in this population of people using this methodology. 

So, what do we do with that throw it away or is this what we put on the pedestal? And so, that's the kind of some of the issues that can happen and you know, the issue of doing this for class is, okay, here's a cookie. I guess one of the examples I actually do use, this is just to show how I cover this in class is, so I use pancakes a lot. 

And so there are some restaurants who have all you can eat buffets. You may know some, I'm not going to label them, but you know, I give the example of if you go have breakfast at one of these places and have a plate full of pancakes, your, your glucose and your stored fuel will do X, Y, and Z. Metabolic, here's why. Insulin and triglycerides and all the other upstream downstream markers, and they have an effect on biochemistry and there's feedback and et cetera. 

So that's your breakfast. If you go back there in two hours, what's that going to do? Versus, oh, stop, I'm going to intermittent fast until dinner or the next day. And so, this is how intermittent fasting kind of gets thrown into this conversation. Well, if you eat the same thing, that's a huge carbohydrate load, calorie load on the system. And so, this is where the dose of things becomes really, really important. Because eating one pancake, well, I'll... 

A dollar size, not a dollar size anymore, but a dollar size pancake is different than eating a stack of five plate size pancakes, even though the pancakes are exactly the same. They're made the same, same ingredients, it's the dose. And so that's where we get into, and the other example I give is automobiles have a shut off when they get full. I can't take in any more fuel. 

They'll just click off. So, you don't burn yourself or get gas on your clothes, whatever. We don't have that switch. It's, oh, just one more pancake. Or just, I don't mean to be negative for pancakes, but, or just one more steak. Whatever. 

It's, we can, and Thanksgiving, oh, Thanksgiving, we just had that. So, well, I'll have both pieces of pie instead of just pumpkin. I'll have pumpkin and pecan. 

For one day, that's probably not a problem, but if people do this continuously, it could become a problem. And that's what people just tend not to understand, is being able to limit, you know, eat in moderation. That was a terrible word to use for a long time, moderation, but some people, so that's why, low carb. 

Some people go that route because when you limit your menu, that takes those options off the table and it's like, okay, I can't eat half of what's on this menu.  

Well, therefore, that limit you impose and your following will help you maintain a body weight that you may desire or your physician wants you to have for diabetes, obesity, all the other reasons. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, thanks for thanks for explaining that, Mark. The other thing that brings up is, you know, is a couple things. Number one, I don't, I'm a coach, I don't I don't make a living off arguing with people online. I don't get paid for it. It'll actually that's a lie. I do get paid for it. I got a $17 check from X, because of some of my 

Mark Haub: There you go. 

Ted Ryce: But I don't get paid. That's not really not going to cost it. You know, that's like coffee for one day for me, right? So, it's not really, and that's for the month. So anyway, but in intellectual honesty, I do get paid a couple bucks from X. That just started after Elon took it over.  

Mark Haub: Good for you. 

Ted Ryce: But the point is this. Yeah, I know, right? Thanks. Thanks, man. It's not worth the work if that's, I do it for other reasons. 

Mark Haub: Well, no, I'm going to interject here, so try to hold that thought, because I think we need more people, and I talk about this in class, scientists don't have time to talk about their science because they're doing science. And so that opens the door for selfish, greedy people to take advantage of people who don't know. And so, they'll use pseudoscience to make money off X, make money off YouTube, make money off Instagram, and there's nobody there in the room, there's nobody in the room to say, hey, wait a minute, that doesn't make sense according to science. 

There's no science to back it up. And so that's where people like you who do have a bigger presence can be that gatekeeper of truth and or seek it out. And there's somebody else, Simon somebody, I can't remember. He's good at that too.  

Ted Ryce: Oh yeah, I know who you're talking about. Yeah, Simon Hill maybe or something like that. I would love to get him on the show. Yeah. 

Mark Haub: And yeah, yeah. Yep. So sorry to interject, but I want to make sure you understand your value in this social media environment. And so how much you make in that is not the issue. But it does show that you're doing enough, you're being busy in that space to help regulate information that gets transferred. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, thanks, Mark. I appreciate it for sure. I mean, yeah, I'm there because I do get clients from X, but they join my coaching program. And my point in saying that was I have no interest in I'm not trying to be right or trying to argue. In fact, now when people argue with me, I just block them usually, because I'm not trying to change anyone's belief. 

Who I'm really talking to are the people who did try keto and then just didn't stick with it. Or there's one guy, for example, this isn't a client, but this is something I read in a Facebook group.  

He lost 40 pounds with keto, fantastic. Switched to carnivore because apparently, he had more weight to lose. That's what I got from, he didn't say it, but it was obvious that was what he was after. And then he gained like 20 pounds back, and he's dumbfounded. 

In his defense, it wasn't that he was dumbfounded. He asked for help in the group, and they just attacked him. Of course, because it's got to defend the dogma. And it's just like, he just ate too, because ribeye is cooked in a stick of butter is a lot of calories, right?  

So, it doesn't matter if you're like, well, I'm going to do keto, but let's take it more extreme and I'm only going to restrict foods. But then you're eating bacon wrap, ribeye or filets cooked in a stick of butter. It's like, you're not getting out of that. The calories still matter. 

And for the clients who've maybe they haven't tried anything that extreme, but they're just like, I'm tired of not facing something or not being able to sustain this weight loss or trying something and it just didn't work the way that it was supposed to because they just overeat calories. And that's the person that I'm talking to. 

And, uh, but people get so mad. They try to, they, they think it's an attack when in really huge, you could just say, listen, I live a low carb lifestyle. I think it's amazing. Um, I can do it. I don't really care about pancakes.  

Uh, so that's one thing that, that comes up for me. It's like, hey, listen, you know, I'm not trying to convince you're not trying to convince anybody. You just look at the data and what I tell people is do an experiment. Do the potato hack if you want, right? If you're familiar with that, do your own science experiment. And if you're eating nothing but carbohydrates and you lose weight, what does that say about carbohydrates being the thing that causes weight gain?  

It tells you everything that you need to know. I would think. The other thing that comes up and you're, you started, you, you alluded to this, but nutrition is super nuanced. An example that I'd like to share is some of the stuff that I've been reading about fatty liver. And there was this great, so fatty liver, if you're listening, it's when fat starts to infiltrate the cells of your liver cells, and it gets to a point where it just totally disrupts how the cell functions and it starts causing all types of problems. 

So, they looked at, or scientists did a bunch of studies, and then actually put the studies together on diets, looking at the effects that these different diets had on fatty liver. And so, what was interesting about it is when it was hypocaloric for people. 

So, in other words, for obviously you know Mark, but for those people who are listening, so it's below the amount of calories that they need, put them in a calorie deficit so that they're losing weight, let's say. 

So, if you're losing weight, it really didn't matter if you had a low-fat diet or a low-carb diet, people lost the same amount of weight. But if it's in an isocaloric diet, in other words, you're eating the amount of calories you need to maintain your weight, the higher saturated fat, the higher fat diet led to an increase in problems with fatty liver.  

But that's the change like you were saying, the dose made the poison really didn't matter at all when you're in a calorie deficit, but now that the situation changed, man, that's hard to explain, Mark. It's even, I mean, you know, it's complicated. 

Mark Haub: No. And that's, so this gets at my kind of current social push is nutrition education, food education. We don't have it. There's no formal point in our education system where this happens. People can have an elective or they can choose a major that has it in it, but. 

 And this, you know, you mentioned Kevin Hall, this is where I have some pushback against government and policy is let's try educating people first versus forcing them to eat a certain way. So, his new area of research is ultra-processed foods. And this is also where my, it's like, oh, let's just look at the different side of the and now it's ultra processed instead of junk food.  

So, they're coming up with new terms, different ways to say the same thing. And it's like, why don't we help people learn how to eat for themselves? Teach people to fish versus providing their fish.  

Ted Ryce: Well, that's what I do in my coaching program, but it's not cheap what I do, that's for sure. It's hard to do it.  

Mark Haub: Well, and it's frustrating. It's because you have to change habits and you have to get time. But that also goes back to, I applaud you for, because this is what I tell people too. It's like, I'm not saying try everything, but if there's something that you think might work for you, it fits your budget. It fits your lifestyle. It fits your preferences, it fits your region, talk to a healthcare provider depending upon how risky it may or may not be.  

But give it a month or so and if it works for you and it ticks all those boxes and it's something that, alright, there may be some days in which it doesn't work quite so well or there's work issues that kind of conflict, fine, you can figure out ways to work around that.  

But you've found a way to eat that works for your lifestyle and your health, you may have some specific health issues. And so, you found an option that meets all or most of your preferred lifestyle issues. If it's low carb, great, its low carb, it's low fat, low fat. If it's Mediterranean, great, if it's vegan, fine. It's finding your path, what I call it is finding your road to wellness, and we all have a different road. If we meet up at the same place, fantastic. 

And I'm not saying mine's better than yours or better than anybody else's. I'm still trying to tweak things. And as we get older, like, so Mark Sisson, I follow him, I followed him, and I'm not sure if you're familiar with Mark. Mark's Daily Apple, I think was his, I think early, I'm not sure if he still uses that moniker or logo or whatever. But I actually got to know of him through Triathlon in the late 80s, 90s. 

And based upon recent reports from him in interviews, he's now adding fruits and other things back into his diet.  

And so, it's one of those things, you know, changing your diet, what's wrong with that? If somebody said, no, this isn't working for me right now, then change. Well, so-and-so says I should eat this way. Are they in your body? Do they have your same genetic makeup? No? Well then maybe what they're doing is not good for you. And so that's where that self-education, understanding what can work for them, I think is a perfect way to go. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, you're bringing up such a great point and it's the conversation we're not going to have time to dive into today, but it goes back to like what is healthy? What if someone has, you know, no visceral fat, their biomarkers are in all the optimal normal ranges, but they have anxiety so bad that they need sleeping pills at night even though they can run a marathon and they don't have any friends is that person healthy?   

Mark Haub: That's a great, so that's a great, so I'm going to interject here. You're bringing up some great topics that don't like to get talked about. And that's the mental health side of all this stuff. And because the flip side too is, you know, young, I'll say male, because I don't, I was not, I've never been a female, so I don't know what that's like. But young male distance runners, athletes, have a high metabolism, high metabolic rate, and there'd be people who would be grossed out by what I ate and the amount of food I ate as a high school and college young man.  

And I had a body, you know, you said low-fat's real fat, I had five to 7% body fat for eight to 10 years of my life. Eating, well, back then, low carb was it, right? 

Back in the 80s, 90s, it was low carb, just no saturated fat, limit that. I followed that in college and competed, well, could I have competed better, maybe. But and I was, not much saturated fat and skim milk and fruit loops, but I could put down a box, no problem. And so, and the dorms even had boxes, but you get free access to all that stuff.  

But then you get into the mental health side. And that mental health side, I got several, I'll say 10, maybe a dozen emails saying thank you for doing what you did. Because they were either recovering from eating disorder or going through an eating disorder and they were scared to eat the foods I was eating. Because they thought they would get, they had a fear of fatness, a fear of disease, a fear of obesity and it helped them. 

Oh, somebody ate this and those Oreos didn't go straight to their thighs. And so, it helped them, but they were private messages and I didn't share any names, but it was one of those things where it was like, and that, I had no expectations to get something like that. 

So that's a new spin for me personally that I value because that wasn't even on my radar at the time. I didn't have an eating disorder in high school, but I didn't really know people who did. I knew them, but I didn't know them personally. I didn't interact or engage with them. You touched on a critical aspect of this whole thing and how it affects our psyche and our approach to food, our approach to relationships. 

I'm not going to go to so and so's house because they don't follow my lifestyle. So, I'm rejecting that opportunity to be social and interactive, engage in positive interactions and discussions because of they eat cake. 

And it's like, why are we letting a food put a barrier between a group of people who may have a lot of other things in common? 

And so, you get self-isolated, it ends up, so the orthorexia term gets, that's the blanket. I don't like using it as a blanket, but that's kind of where people go. It's like, this could lead to orthorexia. Yeah, it could, probably doesn't, but there are people who will limit. You could, you could find a reason not to eat anything.  

There used to be the deadly dozen in grocery stores. You couldn't have apples, you couldn't have all these things because of they're unsafe, whatever. You could do that with every food. Meats, no meat, A, harms animals, saturated fat. Some plants, well, can't do that because there's arsenic and other toxins in peaches and pits of stone fruits. So, we can't eat those. And they're carbohydrates, so we can't have that. 

So, somebody could easily find themselves, paint themselves into a picture where they can only eat goji berries and walnuts or something. And picking on, I like those, both of those. So anyway, but that's also one of the problems with this whole mental health thing. You see it with the same with exercise. And you get people who may over exercise and it's like. 

You got to find a point to sleep, you got to find a point to take care of yourself, to have relationships. And that life balance, man, that's so hard. For people, and you probably see it, I don't know how many times a day you run into that with people who are trying to do all these things, juggle their life, and they can't seem to find balance because they're hearing, you need to do this for your sleep, you need to do this for your family, you need to do this for your diet, you need to do this for exercise. 

You got to do this at work. You need to walk to work instead of driving because it's better for you, wow, but it takes an hour. 24 hours, yeah, oh yeah.  

Ted Ryce: and you're going to breathe in the air pollution.  

Mark Haub:  Yeah, I mean, it's no reason there's so many people who are overwhelmed by life decisions because there are so many wrong life decisions. When...I don't know if you, who does everything right? I'd love to meet that person. There's always something we're doing that's not okay.  

Now this is my vice, you mentioned coffee. Coffee, coffee's my vice. I don't, you know, and I will use the data that say coffee is healthy to support my vice. Even if it may jeopardize other things, so. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, thanks for going down, adding your thoughts to that because 

Mark Haub: Now it's critical. 

Ted Ryce: what's being referred to as the biopsychosocial model, that's kind of what I'm doing my best to help people understand. Because like you mentioned, with all the research coming out about social isolation and loneliness and how that affects inflammation levels or lack of purpose. A diet's not going to fix that or perfect biomarkers. It's like, you know, if you're looking for that experience of really enjoying your life, it's most likely not going to be from following the whole 30 and staying home because you have nowhere to eat and no friends, you know? 

Mark Haub: Yes. Correct. Yeah, exactly. 

Ted Ryce: Complicated. Well, Mark, I really appreciate this. There are some other things that I wanted to get into. But I want to be respectful of your time. But maybe we can do this again in a few months. And just to yeah, because I feel like there's 

Mark Haub: Yeah, I would love to. And I'd love to, I'll try to follow some of the comments that come from this. But yeah, there's always something to talk about. Thankfully, that's job security for both of us. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, absolutely. Endless job security right now with all the health issues and all the complicated, yeah, absolutely. But at least you and I were doing our best to bring a more nuanced conversation. 

And you helped me, by the way, when I was stuck in dogma. And when I first saw it in 2010, I was just like, yeah, that was, I think you know, 14 years ago or 13 years ago, it was just when I was coming around to understanding, okay, there's there's something really important about this calorie balance thing, you know, this calorie balance thing.  

But it would take another few years before I would make a change. So, thank you for helping me be a better coach by doing this experiment and putting up with all the things you must have put up with. Because people again, keep bringing it up over the years. So, I really appreciate it. 

Mark Haub: Well, and that's exactly why I did it, is to provide, hey, here's an example. And people also would take that out of context. Like I was trying to prove something. No, I am not trying to prove something. I'm providing information to help guide people's decision on why things might work or why they might not versus I'm trying to prove eating junk food is healthy. That was not it at all. 

It's so I, and sometimes these things need to be repetitive. So, you heard it once and you're like, this now, this is a joker, fine. But it's the first time. And then you hear it from a different source. You may not remember or they may not remember my story, but they've heard, I remember somebody did something like that. And so, all of a sudden you hear this five times. 

Well, maybe there's something behind that. And that's how I was with low carbohydrate. You know, it was, you know, when I had a friend, we had a family friend who was doing it for epilepsy, the Atkins Diet.  

And this is back when it was called the Atkins Diet. And so, I heard this, then it's like, I hear it again from some others. It's like, well, maybe there's something to this. It's like, and then I would go around, I went around to faculty in our department at the time, and it's like, who has an Atkins book? 

Nobody had an Atkins book, yet they were saying low-carb is bad. And I was like, how are you saying something's bad when you don't really know what it's talking about?  

And so that's also, that was an enlightening point for me, um, in this dialogue, basically the social aspect, what happens in, in “reality” versus what we do in science and, and healthcare, it's kind of an unveiling of, well, here's what my mom or my grandma might be reading, or a friend, an aunt, uncle, these are the questions that are coming at me.  

So, the people that go to you, I want to know what they're also reading, hearing, learning. And so, because we live in a tower of sorts, that's what we're claimed to do. And so, my whole goal,  a goal of mine is to be to get out of that tower and to be relatable with what people are doing. And I think this project kind of helped provide one way for people to relate to food and nutrition in a real way. 

Ted Ryce: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, listen, would love to have you back on and dive into this a bit deeper and maybe we can get people to ask more questions that weren't covered in this. And if you're listening right now, I'm going to drop the X, from the app formerly known as Twitter, I'm going to drop Mark's X handle, which is haub_ksu. And we'll also put a link to his YouTube Channel as well as any other information. Anywhere else where you want people to go to? 

Mark Haub: No, I think that's fine. So, if they want to see some of the data, I think it's still visible. I have a hard time seeing it because I post it on my site. But Professor Haub’s Research, I think is what the Facebook group or Facebook page is called. It's not my personal page, but it's a page where I uploaded everything to that.  

So, if they want to see that to see the DEXA scans, to see the blood work, to see the scale when I got on the scaled away. They can track that and see that and they can ask questions. I tend not to check it. I'm bad. I tend to do X and I tend to do YouTube right now. So if people have Facebook questions, I tend not to check that very often.  

Ted Ryce: Great. All right. Well, I'll look into that. And yeah, Mark, thanks so much for coming on. Thanks for helping people like myself change and, you know, rethink what we thought we knew and looking forward to speaking to you again. 

Mark Haub: Perfect. My pleasure. Likewise, thank you for the service you provide the health community. We need more, we need more Teds.  

Ted Ryce: Thank you, appreciate that. I appreciate that Mark, thanks so much.a 

Ted Ryce is a high-performance coach, celebrity trainer, and a longevity evangelist. A leading fitness professional for over 24 years in the Miami Beach area, who has worked with celebrities like Sir Richard Branson, Rick Martin, Robert Downey, Jr., and hundreads of CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies. In addition to his fitness career, Ryce is the host of the top-rated podcast called Legendary Life, which helps men and women reclaim their health, and create the body and life they deserve.

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