Optimizing Health with a Low-Carbohydrate Lifestyle
Welcome to another episode of the Meat Medic Podcast! Today, we have a very special guest, Casey Ruff. Casey has been a personal trainer since 2007 and has extensive experience in low carbohydrate lifestyles, including ketogenic and carnivore diets. He has helped thousands of clients achieve their best lifestyle through movement, lifestyle management, and proper diet. He is also the host of the Boundless Body Podcast.
Casey's expertise in low carbohydrate lifestyles makes him a valuable guest on our show.
Today, we dive into the guest's journey to a low-carbohydrate lifestyle. It all began with Casey's initial exposure to low-carbohydrate nutrition through their coaching experience. Back in 2012, they had a call with a coach who was feeding endurance athletes things like butter and bacon, and they were burning more fat during their rides, allowing their energy levels to stay high. This concept initially seemed crazy, as the guest had always believed that carbohydrates were necessary for endurance activities.
However, their curiosity was piqued, and they began exploring the benefits of fat burning for endurance athletes. They discovered that a low-carbohydrate lifestyle could lead to improved fat burning and metabolic rates. This realisation was further reinforced when they were introduced to the work of Nina Teicholz and her book 'The Big Fat Surprise'. The book challenged traditional nutrition beliefs and provided evidence for the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets.
With this newfound knowledge, the guest transitioned from traditional nutrition coaching to a focus on low-carbohydrate lifestyles. They started working with clients to incorporate low-carbohydrate nutrition into their movement, lifestyle management, and diet. They observed that many clients experienced better results and overall well-being when following a low-carbohydrate approach.
The guest's journey to a low-carbohydrate lifestyle highlights the importance of being open to new information and questioning conventional wisdom. By exploring different approaches and understanding the science behind them, individuals can make informed decisions about their own health and well-being.
Personal Health Story and Benefits of Low-Carbohydrate Eating
As an athlete, I have always believed that carbohydrates were necessary for endurance activities. However, my perspective changed when I had a call with a coach back in 2012. The coach was feeding his endurance athletes things like butter and bacon, and they were burning more fat during their rides while maintaining high energy levels. This concept seemed crazy to me at first, but it sparked my curiosity.
I started exploring the benefits of fat burning for endurance athletes and came across the work of Nina Teicholz and her book 'The Big Fat Surprise'. The book challenged traditional nutrition beliefs and provided evidence for the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. Intrigued by this new information, I transitioned from traditional nutrition coaching to a focus on low-carbohydrate lifestyles.
What I discovered through my personal experience and working with clients is that low-carbohydrate eating has numerous benefits. Firstly, it helps to maintain high energy levels throughout the day. By relying on fat as a fuel source, the body has a constant and sustainable source of energy. This is particularly beneficial for athletes and individuals who engage in endurance activities.
Additionally, low-carbohydrate eating has a positive impact on mental well-being. Many individuals report improved mental clarity and focus when following a low-carbohydrate approach. This can enhance productivity and overall cognitive function.
Furthermore, low-carbohydrate eating can support weight management goals. By reducing carbohydrate intake, the body is forced to tap into its fat stores for energy. This can lead to fat loss and improved body composition.
It's important to note that finding the right balance is crucial. Each person's body is unique, and it's essential to listen to its signals. Some individuals may thrive on a strict carnivore or ketogenic diet, while others may benefit from incorporating a small amount of carbohydrates, such as rice or berries, into their low-carbohydrate approach.
In conclusion, through my personal health journey and working with clients, I have witnessed the positive effects of low-carbohydrate eating on energy levels, mental well-being, and weight management. The key is to find the approach that works best for your body and prioritise balance and listening to your body's signals.
The Boundless Body Podcast and Starting a Business
During the pandemic, Casey and his wife, Bethany, created the Boundless Body Podcast as a way to continue working with their clients and provide valuable content. The podcast allowed them to reach a wider audience and share their knowledge on low-carbohydrate lifestyles, movement, and proper diet.
While Casey had previously worked in traditional employment, the pandemic forced them to reevaluate their careers and consider starting their own company. They saw an opportunity to expand their virtual coaching services and reach more clients who were interested in optimising their health through a low-carbohydrate lifestyle.
Starting a business during the pandemic came with its own set of challenges. They had to adapt to the virtual coaching format, navigate the uncertainties of an unstable economy, and find ways to stand out in a crowded market. However, they also saw opportunities for growth, as more people turned to online resources for health and wellness support.
The expansion into virtual coaching allowed Casey and Bethany to have a broader impact on their work. They were able to connect with clients from all over the world, providing guidance and support in achieving their health goals. Virtual coaching also allowed for more flexibility and convenience, making it easier for clients to access their services.
Guest's Carnivore Diet and Benefits
Let's delve into the guest's carnivore diet and the benefits they have experienced. Their food preferences primarily revolve around consuming animal products such as rib-eye steaks, eggs, and brisket. In the beginning, they ate exclusively rib-eye steaks for their main meal of the day. However, over time, they realised that they were overdoing it and not listening to their body's signals.
They observed that they weren't feeling as optimal and decided to incorporate a wider range of animal products into their diet. Currently, their diet mainly consists of steak and eggs, with occasional variations like chicken and ribs. They prioritise consuming a decent amount of fat and find that this balance works best for them.
One interesting aspect they have noticed is that women may have different responses to low-carbohydrate eating compared to men. They have observed that some women may benefit from cycling carbohydrates, particularly during certain times of the month. This could involve incorporating a small amount of rice or fruit into their low-carbohydrate approach.
Additionally, the guest's personal experience with the carnivore diet has highlighted its positive effects on their overall well-being. They have noticed improvements in their energy levels, mental clarity, and weight management. By relying on fat as a fuel source, they have sustained energy throughout the day, which is particularly beneficial for athletes and individuals engaged in endurance activities.
Furthermore, the guest's journey has shown the importance of intuitive eating and being in tune with one's body. They emphasise the need to listen to hunger and satiety cues, as well as paying attention to the body's response to different foods. The carnivore diet has allowed them to develop a better understanding of their body's needs and make informed decisions about their nutrition.
In conclusion, the guest's experience with the carnivore diet highlights its potential benefits for energy levels, mental well-being, and weight management. While individual needs may vary, finding the right balance of animal products and potentially incorporating small amounts of carbohydrates can help optimize health and well-being.
Effects of Carnivore Diet on Mental Health and Stress
One aspect of the carnivore diet that is often overlooked is its potential effects on mental health and stress levels. Many individuals who have adopted the carnivore diet report improvements in their mental well-being and a reduction in stress levels.
Personal Experience with Improved Mental Well-being
Guests who have tried the carnivore diet often share their personal experiences of improved mental well-being. They describe feeling more clarity and focus, reduced brain fog, and increased overall mood stability. This may be attributed to the elimination of processed foods and carbohydrates, which can cause blood sugar fluctuations and mood swings.
By relying on animal products as the main source of nutrition, the carnivore diet provides a steady supply of essential nutrients and healthy fats, which can support optimal brain function and neurotransmitter production. This can contribute to improved mental well-being and cognitive function.
Comparison of Stress Levels
Some individuals also report a decrease in stress levels after adopting the carnivore diet. This may be due to the elimination of inflammatory foods, which can contribute to stress and anxiety. By removing potential food triggers, individuals may experience a greater sense of calm and reduced stress response.
Additionally, the simplification of the diet itself can help reduce stress. The carnivore diet eliminates the need for constant meal planning and decision-making, as it primarily focuses on animal products. This can free up mental space and reduce the mental burden associated with food choices.
Relationship between Carnivore Diet and Mental Health
Research exploring the relationship between diet and mental health is still limited. However, some studies suggest that a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, such as the carnivore diet, may have positive effects on mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
One potential mechanism behind this relationship may be the impact of a low-carbohydrate diet on neurotransmitter production. Carbohydrates are essential for serotonin production, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation. However, the body can also produce serotonin from amino acids found in animal products, such as tryptophan. This suggests that a low-carbohydrate diet may still support healthy serotonin levels and contribute to improved mental health.
Connection between Carnivore Diet and Stoicism
Another interesting aspect of the carnivore diet is its potential connection to stoicism. Stoicism is a philosophy that emphasises self-control, resilience, and acceptance of the present moment. The carnivore diet, with its focus on simplicity, self-discipline, and listening to the body's needs, aligns with the principles of stoicism.
By following a carnivore diet, individuals practice self-discipline by eliminating certain foods and listening to their bodies' signals for hunger and satiety. This can lead to a greater sense of control and resilience in dealing with challenges and stressors.
In conclusion, the carnivore diet may have positive effects on mental health and stress levels. While more research is needed to fully understand the relationship, personal experiences and anecdotal evidence suggest that the diet can contribute to improved mental well-being, reduced stress, and alignment with stoic principles.
Addressing Cholesterol Concerns
One important concern that often arises when discussing the carnivore diet is its potential impact on cholesterol levels. The guest, Casey Ruff, shares his personal experience with high LDL cholesterol levels while following the carnivore diet. Despite his LDL cholesterol being over 200, Casey and his wife, Bethany, have chosen to focus on other biomarkers such as HDL and triglycerides.
The controversy surrounding cholesterol and its role in heart health has been a topic of ongoing debate within the medical community. Traditional beliefs have often associated high LDL cholesterol with an increased risk of heart disease. However, recent research and the work of experts like Dave Feldman have challenged this notion.
Casey acknowledges that while LDL cholesterol may be elevated, other factors such as high HDL levels and low triglyceride levels can indicate a healthier lipid profile. This highlights the importance of considering multiple biomarkers and not solely focusing on LDL cholesterol when assessing cardiovascular health.
Furthermore, Casey recognises that ongoing research is shedding new light on the role of cholesterol in the body. While current evidence suggests that high LDL cholesterol may not be as detrimental as once believed, it is essential to stay informed and be open to emerging research findings.
Ultimately, personal beliefs and individual experiences play a role in how one approaches cholesterol concerns. Casey shares his own perspective and emphasises the importance of finding a balance that works best for each individual. It is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional and consider all available information before making any significant changes to your diet or lifestyle.
Recommendations for Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, it's important to focus on overall health rather than just the number on the scale. Instead of fixating on losing weight, prioritize enhancing your overall well-being through a balanced approach to nutrition and lifestyle. Here are some recommendations to support your weight loss goals:
Maximising Protein Intake
Incorporating an adequate amount of protein into your diet is crucial for supporting weight loss. Protein helps increase satiety, boost metabolism, and preserve muscle mass. Focus on including lean sources of protein such as chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, and legumes in your meals.
Discussion on Carbohydrates
The role of carbohydrates in weight loss can vary depending on an individual's tolerance and preferences. Some people may thrive on a low-carbohydrate or even ketogenic diet, while others may benefit from incorporating a moderate amount of carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Experiment with different types and amounts of carbohydrates to find what works best for your body.
Emphasis on Strength Training and Resistance Exercises
While cardiovascular exercise is important for overall health, strength training and resistance exercises are particularly effective for weight loss. These types of exercises help build lean muscle mass, which increases metabolism and promotes optimal fat burning. Incorporate strength training exercises at least two to three times a week for best results.
Remember, weight loss is a journey and everyone's body is unique. It's important to listen to your body, pay attention to hunger and satiety cues, and make adjustments accordingly. Focus on sustainable habits and prioritize overall health for long-term success.
Frequency and Intensity of Exercise
When it comes to exercise, finding the right frequency and intensity is key to optimising health and reaching fitness goals. Let's explore the guest's perspective on exercise frequency and intensity, the importance of finding a balance, and the benefits of strength training for weight loss and overall health.
Casey Ruff, has a background as a personal trainer and has extensive experience in low-carbohydrate lifestyles. From his perspective, exercise frequency and intensity should be tailored to individual needs and goals. He believes in the power of movement, lifestyle management, and proper diet to achieve optimal health.
Importance of Finding a Balance and Listening to the Body's Signals
Casey emphasizes the importance of finding a balance when it comes to exercise. It's crucial to listen to the body's signals and adjust the frequency and intensity accordingly. Pushing too hard without allowing for adequate rest and recovery can lead to burnout and injuries. On the other hand, not exercising enough can hinder progress and result in suboptimal health.
Discussion on the Benefits of Strength Training
Strength training is a valuable component of any fitness routine, especially for weight loss and overall health. Casey highlights the benefits of strength training, such as increased muscle mass, improved metabolic rate, and enhanced fat burning. It also helps to improve bone density, joint stability, and functional strength.
Recommendations for Incorporating Strength Training
If you're looking to incorporate strength training into your fitness routine, Casey offers some recommendations. Aim for at least two to three strength training sessions per week, targeting different muscle groups. Start with lighter weights or bodyweight exercises and gradually increase the intensity over time. It's important to prioritize proper form and technique to avoid injuries. Consider working with a qualified trainer to develop a personalized strength training program.
In conclusion, finding the right frequency and intensity of exercise is crucial for optimising health and reaching fitness goals. It's important to listen to the body's signals, find a balance, and incorporate strength training for weight loss and overall health. By following these recommendations, you can create a fitness routine that works best for your body and leads to long-term success.
In conclusion, a low-carbohydrate lifestyle offers numerous benefits for overall health and well-being. Through personal experiences and working with clients, it is clear that adopting a low-carbohydrate approach can lead to improved energy levels, mental well-being, and weight management. However, it is important to note that individual needs may vary, and it is crucial to listen to your body's signals and find the approach that works best for you.
It is also important to prioritise long-term health over short-term weight loss goals. Focusing on overall well-being and making simple changes to prioritize nutrition and movement can have a significant impact on your health in the long run.
Remember to be open to new information and question conventional wisdom. There is a wealth of resources and support available for individuals interested in a low-carbohydrate lifestyle. Connecting with experts and like-minded individuals can help you on your journey to optimal health.
If you would like to learn more or connect with Casey Ruff, you can check out his podcast, the Boundless Body Podcast, where he discusses low-carbohydrate lifestyles, movement, and proper diet.