Why We Crave the Foods We Crave and What To Do About It

When I heard the title of my guest’s new book, Why Am I So Effing Hungry?, I knew I had to have her on the podcast ASAP!

Amy Shah, MD, is a double board-certified medical doctor and nutrition expert with training from Cornell, Columbia, and Harvard Universities. Drawing from her background in internal medicine and allergy/immunology, as well as her own wellness journey, she has dedicated her practice to helping her patients feel better and live healthier through her integrative and holistic approach to wellness. She was named one of mindbodygreen’s Top 100 Women in Wellness to Watch in 2015 and appears regularly on national television shows, magazines, and podcasts.

New predictions state that we will see a 35% rise in diabetes rates by 2060, along with a doubling of the number of people with heart disease. These numbers are frightening and beg the question, why, as a society, are we so addicted to food?

In this episode, Dr. Shah and I dive deep into why we are so hungry all the time, how the food industry fuels our food addictions, the role of dopamine in food cravings, and whether or not it’s even possible to eat intuitively in a processed food world.

But it’s not all doom and gloom! I like to say that little hinges swing big doors, and Dr. Shah offers practical, easy-to-implement steps you can take to reset your hunger signals and restore your metabolic health.

Stay tuned until the end, because we’ll tell you how to get your hands on the “secret chapter” of Dr. Shah’s new book—it’s full of tips and tricks you won’t want to miss!


00:01:00 – Introducing Dr. Amy Shah, author of Why Am I So Effing Hungry?
00:02:50 – My experience with the ProLon fasting-mimicking diet
00:06:20 – Why are we so addicted to foods on a physiological basis?
00:08:00 – Reasons you are so hungry all of the time
00:10:10 – The difference between hunger and cravings
00:11:20 – The role of dopamine in food cravings
00:14:04 – Intuitive eating in a world of processed food
00:15:50 – The raw vegetable test
00:17:50 – The role of gut bacteria in food cravings
00:19:20 – Kids and processed-food addiction
00:23:45 – Meal timing and eating for your circadian rhythm
00:28:15 – Eating a dopamine-rich breakfast
00:33:01 – How to get the secret book chapter

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Click Here To Read Transcript

Episode 553 Dr. Amy Shah_mixdown
[00:00:00] I am JJ Virgin, PhD Dropout. Sorry, mom, turn four time New York Times bestselling author. Yes, I'm a certified nutrition specialist, fitness Hall of Famer, and I speak at health conferences and trainings around the globe. But I'm driven by my insatiable curiosity and love of science to keep asking questions, digging for answers, and sharing the information I uncover with as [00:00:25] many people as I can, and that's why I created the Well Beyond 40 podcast.
To synthesize and simplify the science of health into actionable strategies to help you thrive. In each episode we'll talk about what's working in the world of wellness, from personalized nutrition and healing your metabolism to healthy aging and prescriptive fitness. Join me on the journey to better help.
So you can love how you look and feel right [00:00:50] now and have the energy to play full out at 100.
You are going to love this interview so much if you have ever been hungry. Hello. I think that means just about all of us. When I saw the title of this book, I was like, oh my gosh, that's so good. It is. Why am I so effing hungry? And it's from [00:01:15] a gal I met years ago. And I was like going, I met you somewhere at a conference and I think I carried your suitcase up the stairs.
Anyway, she is fantastic. I've watched her for years. We're super aligned and there's just so much gold in this interview because she literally is gonna give you the science behind hunger and cravings. What's the difference between the two, but more importantly, [00:01:40] what you can do that's pretty simple to put into place, to quickly shift things, let me tell you a little.
About Dr. Amy Shaw. She's a double board certified medical doctor and nutrition expert with training from Cornell, Columbia, and Harvard universities. She has a background in internal medicine and allergy and immunology, and also from her own wellness journey. She has really dedicated her [00:02:05] practice to helping her patients feel better and live better through her integrative and holistic approach to wellness.
She was named one of Mind Body Green's top 100 women in wellness to watch in 2015. And she appears regularly on national TV shows and podcasts and magazines, and she lives in Arizona. So I will put all her social handles too. I put at JJ virgin.com/hungry. You'll have the show notes. You'll have [00:02:30] her social cuz she's got some fun stuff on Instagram.
And also you're gonna learn about a really fun thing she has for you from the book, A secret hidden chapter that you'll be. For free, and it's really funny that we are recording this podcast today of all days because I decided last week, I thought, you know what'd be fun to do at the beginning of the year is to do the [00:02:55] ProLon five day fasting mimicking diet.
Now, I actually did some work with Dr. Walter Longo and his medical advisor for ProLon, Dr. Joseph an. Years ago, and so I'd done this once before. I thought this is a great thing to do. It's a fasting mimicing diet that's specially created to help trigger autophagy. And I thought, okay, let's do this. But the bottom line is you [00:03:20] basically are eating very low protein, pretty low fat, and really low calorie.
Like the first day is 1100 calories, and that's four days of 500 calories. And I gotta tell you, I'm hungry. So I'm doing this interview going, I'm hungry. Wow. I'm hungry. So I'm doing this right now and I'm checking my body composition. I'm checking my blood sugar. This program's really done to help [00:03:45] people trigger autophagy.
So that's what it's all about. It's not like built to be a weight loss program. It's built to be a program to do a deep cellular detox and clean out the cellular debris. So that's what I'm up to. So it just was so funny that here I am in the middle of doing this hungry and doing this. Why am I so effing hungry?
Podcast. There you go. That's the little behind the scenes. Pull back the kimono thing. [00:04:10] So I will be right back with Dr. Amy. And again, I'm gonna put all the [email protected] slash hungry. See you soon.
All right, so here's the deal. If you are hungry, all bets are off. There's nothing you can do like good luck trying to [00:04:35] follow your perfect program when you're stupid hungry. What the heck is going on? Why are we so hungry? Well, I have the perfect person to come on today, Dr. Amy Shaw. I'm so happy you're here, Amy.
I'm so honored to be here. I was saying a queen of. All of this health and wellness, and you've been in the industry for so many years. I've always been like, I gotta learn so much [00:05:00] more from jj. You have to remind me. Right. For so many years. So much and still looks 20. Oh, thank you. Okay. You made up for it.
I was just with Sean Stevenson goes, yeah, you've been around forever. I'm like, thanks a lot. I wanted to mention I was at Women of Impact and Lisa, bill and I are very tiny people. And she was just saying how you and her feel like you guys are from like [00:05:25] a different species because you're so different in size.
And I was like, yeah, I feel the same way. I know whenever I see Lisa, I always end up picking her up. Yeah. That's what she, you know, you're, you're both the same height, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. We're both the same size and like build, you're teeny humans. How tall are you? I'm five foot. Like maybe I could push it to five one, but it's so funny because when I go to India, I was like, oh my God, everyone here is so [00:05:50] small because I'm so used to feeling like the smallest person in the room, but it's genetics and you know, whatever.
But you wear it well, you're like you and Lisa. Like, I couldn't imagine Lisa as a six foot tall person like she is. No. She is so exactly perfect and so are you. Yeah. Huh. Thank you. Let's dig into this hunger thing cause we actually have never gone into this subject on the podcast, so I was so excited about this.
I'm [00:06:15] so excited about your book. Why am I so effing hungry? Because it's true. Like if you're hungry, all bets are off. So why'd you write this book? Yeah. You know, we grow up, we have all the best intentions. A lot of us, you and I included will say, this week I am back on plan. Or this month, that's it. I'm eating only clean or healthy Whole Foods.
And then, With your best of [00:06:40] intention, the cravings hit. And what I was trying to understand is what is going on in our society that's making us more and more addicted to processed foods? I mean, we understand there's a lot of things that the companies are doing, but I wanted to understand a little more about the physiology of it.
Most of us don't know what's happening to us with these [00:07:05] companies. The marketing, why we crave what we crave, and that we can actually do something about it. I think that's the biggest part is 2060. They predict a 35% rise in diabetes. Doubling of heart disease, a doubling Alzheimer's depression. Wait, like we're right now, you know those studies that came out before the pandemic that said only 12% of us are metabolically healthy?
That's gonna be like [00:07:30] more than a hundred percent of us. Yeah. It's literally, it's like the calm before the storm. Like even though we're talking about it now, we're just not talking about enough on a greater scale. And the biology that I now understand that I want people to underst. Then you will realize why we're on the fast track to depression, Alzheimer's, and heart disease, because we don't really have control.
We don't have knowledge of our mind body connection. [00:07:55] So we're being hijacked by people who do understand it. And so it's really important to know, okay, you're hungry. Because you could be needing nutrients for your body, or you could be craving dopamine or serotonin, and that means that you're craving something very different than food.
And so that's what I wanted people to understand. Like number one, humans can go. [00:08:20] Over a month without food, they just need water, right? So it's not like you need to eat every four hours to stay alive. But we have hunger hormones like ghrelin, which is our hunger hormone that reminds us to eat. So we never get into the position where, you know, we've starred for three days because we didn't remember to eat.
So we have reminders, and then we have dopamine that pulls on us. [00:08:45] To go and get that chocolate cake or to drink that wine or you know, all of the toxic things and food companies know how to pull on dopamine strings. And a lot of it, that's basically what I'm gonna be talking about is, you know, how do you retrain that or how do you recognize that?
How do you even know what a craving is? Well, and here's the funny part, and I wanna distinguish between hunger and cravings, but before we even get into. I [00:09:10] think we've also gotten to a point in our society where it's like, don't be hungry. And I remember, I think it was about 30 years, I've gone through so many weird food trends in my 40 years.
It's now 40 years of being in this, which is wild, but all sorts of weird stuff. But I remember it was probably 30 years ago. The big thing that dieticians were saying is do not let yourself get hungry. Yeah. Every couple hours. Never let yourself get. [00:09:35] And couple years ago I was at Expo West and I was talking to Joel K, and we were talking about atop gene.
And he goes, you know, hunger equals younger. And I thought, gosh, we need to reframe this hunger a little bit. Yeah. And I'm saying this, and today I'm actually on a five day ProLon. Oh, love this. So I'm a little hungry today. I gotta tell you, Amy, a little hungry. But you know, I think that we also need to reframe actual [00:10:00] hunger to go, it's actually okay to feel hunger and I think most people probably haven't really felt hunger for years, but let's distinguish between hunger and cravings, like an appetite.
Like what is the difference here? Because I think people get confused. They think they're hungry, but they're, no, they're just craving something. Cuz they were at Starbucks and they saw the. Yes, the muffin at Starbucks really lights up the brain in [00:10:25] ways that we're just starting to understand. And now we know that hunger and cravings gets confused because, you know, in society a lot of us are fighting against diet culture.
And you know, you'll hear people say, just listen to your intuition and you know, go for whatever your intuition. But your intuition is telling you to go for that Starbucks muffin because when you [00:10:50] know you were stressed at work, when you were young, in your twenties, you used to eat that muffin and that would give you comfort and now it's a neurological pathway of comfort for you.
Mm-hmm. So we have to realize that yes, using your true intuition can help but intuition. Can be tainted by a lot of these ultra processed foods. So dopamine is our craving hormone, and so the way I want people to [00:11:15] remember is that. We have dopamine in our brains. We think to keep us alive, even in times of famine or war, we wanna be able to remember where to get that very nourishing food.
And it makes us feel good because it helps us survive. So I give the example of thousands of years ago, you're roaming through the forest and you see a beautiful fruit [00:11:40] tree. It is full of. Wonderful fruit. Your brain will remember that tree, where that tree was located to help you in the future. So you gather up all that fruit.
It's juicy, it's delicious. You bring it back for your family and friends. And now it's created a memory. Now, fast forward to modern times. This is when we go to the baseball game and we're drinking that cook and eating the Doritos [00:12:05] and hotdog. That becomes a memory, a dopamine memory, and we remember that every time we go to a game.
So it's so convenient that these companies plant themselves at places that create lots of memories for us, and they create experiences for our brain that could never be created with real. They actually have put electrodes, and I think people, you know, a lot of us know this, but some people don't realize [00:12:30] that they use electrodes on people's brains.
They look at the release, the areas of the brain that light up and they create products that light up the most areas of your brain. So you get the biggest dopamine release that you. And so that is cravings. Cravings is a thing that will make you get up out of your chair, get in your car, and go get that [00:12:55] food, no matter how hard it is.
I mean, dopamine will make you do whatever it takes. That's craving. Hunger, on the other hand, is a true nutritional. That our bodies have to survive. I mean, we need food and water to survive. And if we just had one mechanism, you know, if we just had one hormone regulating hunger, [00:13:20] there are times that you would be too busy to eat or you'd be too stressed to eat because you were in a war or dealing with a crisis.
And so we have these other mechanisms like dopamine, other hormone. Cortisol, for example, that will make us go for food in case we forget to eat. So that's the big difference. And I think understanding that makes you realize like, oh yeah, so what I just ate right now [00:13:45] was I truly needing that for nourishment?
Or was I feeding a dopamine craving? And I'll tell you kind of how to differentiate between the two because I think that's really helpful. Yeah, that's what I was listening to, going, okay, how does someone know if it's appetite or craving? Yeah. And I do think you kind of mentioned, I'd like to dig in more about intuitive eating because I think intuitive eating in the world of processed foods can't.
Let's [00:14:10] first go. Okay, so how would someone really be able to distinguish between, was it a craving or was it true hunger? Right now, in 2023, we don't have a biological test that we can take, but soon we probably will. But if you crave something, often when you get it, it will be a mix of pleasure and pain.
[00:14:35] It will almost be like you love it so much that it's almost uncomfortable. A lot of people feel this way about alcohol. You know, you'll drink your wine and you're like, am I gonna get this again? Am I drinking too much? Like, and how much is enough? Like eating a chocolate cake? I can't give you that same feeling.
And there are certain foods that if they're in the. You cannot stop thinking about them and you have this pleasure mixed with [00:15:00] pain. When you are having that, it's good to identify those foods cuz there are certain foods for me, like a warm baked chocolate chip cookie, for example. Or if it's in the house, no matter what healthy version it is.
I will keep thinking about when I can have my next one or when the next piece kind of creates almost like a thought pattern that is invasive. I always say it's your evil [00:15:25] twin coming out, right? But is that because of what the food's made up of or is it because of some emotional connection you have, like your mom making you chocolate chip cookies?
Is it a little bit of both and I'm willing to. That probably no one's having cravings for broccoli. Yeah, exactly. So one of the biggest tests I, and I'll answer the other part of your question, but the, one of the biggest tests I put in the book [00:15:50] is the raw vegetable test. And people make fun of this, but it really works.
I mean, I love vegetables. I think you do too. You know? If you give me a plate full of roasted veggies, I will eat that all day long. But if I'm full, I don't want it. But that's not true for a frappuccino or a cake, for example. You may even be completely full, but your brain will still want that satisfaction.
That's craving. So the cooked vegetable test. [00:16:15] It's a great way to kind of ask yourself that question, and you're right, you put the nail on the head. It's kind of a mix, so everybody has a different dopamine response to different foods, like alcohol just doesn't do it for me. Like my neurological pathways are built in a way because probably from my memories of alcohol or, you know, the neurological pathway does not give me.
Same [00:16:40] mix of discomfort and pleasure that it does to other people. So everybody is different in what gives them that dopamine rush. But what we have to understand is our society is built to create dopamine rushes for us dopamine explosion. So social media porn. TV flavors that you eat in your food, they're all made to create such a big burst that [00:17:05] you're just more likely to become addicted to that food and have that neurological response.
And so at some level, You look at adolescents, for example, and they have the highest consumption of dopamine producing ultra processed foods. Why? Because, uh, you know, they have a little bit less of inhibition when it comes to pleasure seeking. They want that dopamine [00:17:30] rush, you know, they wanna. Eat that thing or do that thing that gives them that rush.
I tell people it's not just that food. Dopamine addiction is so much more than that. Like it's like that toxic relationship that you keep going back to. It's because it gives you that dopamine rush and you kind of crave that. Then the good thing is we now know from studies that our gut bacteria have so much to do with cravings that they can help [00:17:55] you.
Or hurt you in the quest to get more or less cravings. And so I find that this gut microbiome research so exciting because you know, that's our way out of this, I think. So a couple things I'd love to unpack too, and then I'd like to dig into how we support the gut microbiome then. We still have to circle back to intuitive eating.
You have opened so many loops, Amy, but is it [00:18:20] then that with our phones and all of the stuff that we're doing, that's getting us much more dopamine excited that it's actually creating more food cravings? I see what you're saying. So we have created a society. That's reliant on dopamine explosions instead of water gun sprays, which is what's natural in nature.
Like getting sunlight releases dopamine, right? Going for a sunny walk, but it's [00:18:45] not going to release it the way, you know, a video game or looking at social media notifications will, it's a spray versus a machine gun explosion. You know, that's the differe. And this always blows my mind. You go to a restaurant with your kids and they have the kitty menu.
And the kitty menu is like the most horrific crap. You know, like, why am I feeding my kid french fries? Chicken fingers? I know. It's like [00:19:10] horrendous. So then you wonder if exposure equals preference. Are we creating kids who are gonna be totally hooked on processed foods just by all those Lunchables and all that garbage that they have for kids?
I'll tell you a very real example. A couple of years ago, I went on a Disney cruise with my children. I have two kids and they were, you know, eight and 10 at the time, I think. [00:19:35] And the dinner menus were exactly like you said, the children's menu was full of processed food, fried food, desserts, and then, Listen to this.
There was a free ice cream machine that my kids and their friends would go to a few times a day and fill up. And I was like, what This place? I get it like, you want to make kids happy? But I really was [00:20:00] disappointed in the fact that, hey, there's other things you could do to entertain kids or make them happy.
And now they're equating happiness with a free ice cream machine. And you know, dessert unlimited desserts, right? It's really rampant in our society and it's so sad because our young population, like you said, We are already dealing with a depression, anxiety crisis. And now you're saying instead of one in [00:20:25] 10 in adolescents, it's four in 10 that have depression and anxiety.
So you are quadrupling it for the adolescent group and you watch how they grew up. And then we're going to be in much, much deeper trouble than we even are right now. I mean, four and 10 is pretty bad. That's like saying, you know, 40% of the adolescent population has mental health issues.[00:20:50]
You know, that should be a rarity. Yes. Just like an obese child should be a rarity. So you look at this then, and you've got. Couple things, and this is where I want to go over to intuitive eating, which sounds great. See what your body feels like. It's eat. That sounds so great, except you've got someone raised on video games.
We just allowed them to intuitively eat on the cruise ship and what they do, they went and stood by the ice cream pulley thing [00:21:15] with like all the sprinkles and toppings you could have, you know? Yeah. So you get there and, and I still think back to going to my kids' school and they were doing some birthday party.
And I forget what I was bringing in, but all the parents were bringing things and someone brought Beanie Weenie, someone brought Punch, someone brought Cupcake. There was like, it was disgusting. I was like, oh my goodness. You know, like I think I brought the one healthy thing that none of the kids [00:21:40] ate because what kid's going to eat like orange slices?
If they could have chips, beanie weenies. But when you look at that, you go. Now we've making you totally hooked on all this processed food, and how would you ever be able to rely on your inner I call, I call intuitive eating, being able to rely on your inner guidance system like your gp, s. Your gp p s is set for California [00:22:05] and they dropped you over in New York and you're trying to drive.
Right. So gonna get into a lot of accidents. Exactly. Yeah. So that's a hundred percent. The problem with today's world is like kids are kids, right? They don't understand this biology. Why would they pick the orange slices, which will give them a dopamine, you know, splash rather than picking the thing the orange soda that's gonna give them the explosion that they're looking for.
And you know, you look at [00:22:30] animals, it's very, very clear that they will go for the food that produces the most dopamine response is a food that they end up going for. And that's just human nature. Those were protective mechanisms. But now you know, you can create a food JJ, that has a bliss point. That makes an explosion response in your brain.
A real food item could never [00:22:55] make. And so you are competing on like uneven playing fields. So intuitive eating then becomes, Hey, take out all of those foods and influences and then listen to your body. That's real intuitive eating, but that's really difficult in today's world, right? You'd have to strictly stay Whole foods.
I tell people, okay, [00:23:20] you've cut out some ultra processed foods, but ultra processed food is defined as any food that could never be recreated in a kitchen, not your kitchen or any kitchen. So if you look at a lot of these protein bars and you know, health foods that we say low fat, this and that, they're ultra processed too.
It's not just the Doritos and Cheetos. Yes. So we talked food. But what does [00:23:45] timing have to do with all of this? And just, I'll give you a little story. Like I stopped eating three hours before bed, but I forget what happened. I had to eat dinner late and all of a sudden next morning my aura rings yelling at me, literally like, you ate late last night.
I go, I are you spying on me? You know, I'm hungrier. So talk timing. Yeah. That's one of the interventions that I think that people just don. Use, and it's [00:24:10] so easy. You don't have to change your diet. I mean, circadian rhythm. So our body works on a 24 hour cycle. Every single one of our cells in our body has a clock.
Our immune cells, our fat cells, our brain cells, and there's a central clock in our brain also that kind of retunes those cells every single day. And they need to know what time it is so they know whether it's time to repair and renew, or [00:24:35] whether it's time to digest. And when your melatonin is being released, you know, three hours before bed, approximately.
Your body will go into shutdown mode. It's not just telling your brain, it's also telling your pancreas to, Hey, turn down the insulin. Hey, pancreatic enzymes go down. This is nighttime because you know, until about a hundred years ago, most people were not eating big, huge meal at midnight at [00:25:00] 2:00 AM there's no Uber Eats, add microwave meals, right?
We know that if you stop eating two to three hours before bed, there's multiple things that will happen. Your blood sugar response will be better. You can improve your metabolism, you can sleep better, your blood pressure, your brain health. There's many, many documented benefits of kind of time [00:25:25] restricted eating.
The problem is, is that in our world today, most people are eating until the very last minute they go to bed. I'm talking about, you know, the last chocolate dessert wine, and then they're rolling outta bed in the morning and having their juice and bagel because they think that they need to get their metabolism going.
And so this is an area that is right for chain. So if you just stop eating three hours before [00:25:50] bed, and then maybe in the morning you don't roll out of bed and have your first meal, you wait maybe 60 to 90 minutes. You go for a quick walk or you do something else before you start to eat because. Probably biologically it is, and evolutionarily it is also the soundest way to.
It makes so much sense. I'm kind of obsessed with such an panda. Yeah, me too. And you know where he [00:26:15] was talking about 90% of the Americans eat 15 hours a day. I'm like, holy smoke. So if you just did what you just said and stop eating two to three hours before bed and wait a little bit in the morning. And I like what you just said because.
I just do not feel it's right the way people are doing time restricted eating cause it's against the circadian rhythm. It's never made sense to me. That you would eat [00:26:40] at noon and eight? Yeah. I'm like, no, no, no, no, no, no. Like I think restricting your time with at least 12 hours to begin with and ideally cutting it down from there, but don't mess up your circadian rhythm.
Right? Yeah. I a hundred percent agree with you, and I keep showing people the breakfast studies like. If you eat breakfast, your metabolism, your blood sugar, your uh, mood, everything is [00:27:05] better regulated. So it's not about skipping breakfast per se. You are just not, you know, eating first thing in the morning.
And that goes for coffee also. That I think is the hardest thing for people. Is they want to have their coffee and a first bite of food, like as soon as they get outta bed. It's a little bit of training, and I'll tell you, ghrelin, our hunger hormone is on a cycle. And so when you start to change your ways, so [00:27:30] maybe you get a few minutes of sunlight, which is amazing way to reset your circadian rhythms.
Now you, you're in Florida, I'm in Arizona. This is easy. People always say to me, there's no sun. I say, it's okay. It can be gray, it can be overcast as long it's not, you know, pitch black outside and if it is, then you can use a sun lamp. There's many, many good ones on Amazon and inexpensive ones, but really getting that sunlight in the morning.
And then [00:27:55] waiting a few, you know, 60 minutes, 90 minutes before you have your first meal and coffee is the ideal way to start your day. And, you know, if you can do a little movement before you have your first meal, great. And then I'll say, and I don't know what, what you think of this, because I wrote this in the book, always have people eat either dopamine rich breakfasts because.
We want motivation [00:28:20] and drive and alertness in the morning, and dopamine is very closely related to nor epinephrine like adrenaline, and so we want that in the morning. And high protein foods are foods that will give you that dopamine boost in the morning. We're so in sync. Oh my goodness, yes. Eating a high protein breakfast, you know, is everything.
Yeah. I really love what you're saying because I think that what I've seen with [00:28:45] the intermittent fasting world is they, they're skipping breakfast and I'm like, if you're gonna skip a meal, skip dinner. Yeah. You know, don't skip breakfast. There's so much data to back up breakfast. But again, get up in the morning and meditate.
We solve the problem, then go outside, get your feet on in the dirt and look up, you know? Yeah, exactly. There you go. It's simple. I love the idea of like fasting workouts, what makes sense? Yeah. And it does [00:29:10] make a lot of sense to do fasting cardio. I'm still looking. Weight works outs cuz I've been te, I always Guinea pig myself first and boy when I eat and then wait a little bit and work out, I get a way heavier workout.
But for cardio, where we're really looking at fat utilization, it makes so much more sense to go in fasted plus the mitochondrial development, et cetera. So, That makes a ton of [00:29:35] sense. I always say to people, if you're doing something that requires performance, like you're running the fastest mile or you're trying to lift heavy, heaviest weight you've ever done, you probably want to be in the Fed State to do those things because you want that quick glucose first.
Yeah, because that's a big thing. You're not using fast during a weight workout. If you are, you're. Something [00:30:00] yourself. Yeah. Something really, really, really wrong there. But as far as the protein goes in the morning, that is my biggest mantra is protein first. Like it is, yeah. So clear that when you start the day and you break that fast with really, you know, a good protein, at least 30 grams, like it is such a difference.
What are you seeing in terms of how that helps with the hunger when they do that? Oh, a hundred. So insulin, [00:30:25] grelin, leptin, all of these hunger hormones, cortisol, these things are very, very responsive to your first meal of the day because you're, you know, in the catabolic state. And then after you eat, you basically kind of set the tone for the day.
And so you see better control of appetite and cravings throughout the day. So these are like the things we just talked about, getting some sunlight, not eating [00:30:50] three hours before bed, having a high protein breakfast. I mean those, even just those three interventions, game changer for people, right? I have a teenager and I'm telling him all this stuff and against all of his friends and everything they do.
You know, traditionally they come home from practice and they're eating huge meals late at night and they're never getting any sunlight in the mor, you know, they're lazy in the morning, and it's like counter culture [00:31:15] to do these things, but it literally is going to save us from, I will say, like we have to learn how to save ourselves because no one is coming to save us.
You know, you say this is counterculture. Who would wanna go along with culture if that now has left us to a point where 12%, it's really less. You know that because that was the Pande pre pandemic. Some very small percentage of the population's actually metabolically healthy. [00:31:40] Clearly that's not working.
So why would we do more of that? Unless we are crazy. I'll tell you one good thing about your teens, if they're not fully adopting what you are recommending, you'll be amazed. Like one of my sons went off to college and all the things I've been telling him that he was like, mom goes off to college, calls me and goes, Hey, I take supplements for you, told me what to take.
Comes back, he's gluten-free, eating more protein. He's like, well, [00:32:05] okay, so they're listening. They might just not, you know, fully embrace. My son's like a daredevil, so he loves to try all these weird foods. So I'll be like, oh look, there's a coconut keifer that you just have to take a shot of, and it's probiotic.
And he's like, all right, lemme try it. And I, I just love, it's like kinda like a challenge, like the hot, hot chip challenge or whatever. I feel like, you know, getting this into their, just their [00:32:30] realm is exactly what you're saying. Like, I'm just hoping that at some point they're gonna be like, oh yeah, I remember having, Probiotic drink in the morning, or I remember my mom never let us eat, you know, super late at night or whatever it is.
So, yep, they'll totally get it. And it's always what you do. Like they're watching what you do and then they know why. And all of a sudden when they go off on their own, that's what they do. And you're like, oh, that's so cool. It's [00:32:55] fantastic. Now we've been talking all of this from your book, why am I so effing hungry?
And I know that you. The secret chapter. Yeah. Uh, you've written so many books, so you know, there's so much out there. There's the studies and information, and sometimes it doesn't fit into the framework of the book. And I thought, oh my God, I should just put it together. And basically the way I did it is that I expanded on [00:33:20] some of the sections that, you know, we had thought, oh, this is a whole different book, or this is, and we basically said, here are five things you can be doing.
Right now that are going to supplement everything you do with the book. And so that's available for free. Yay. I will make it simple. I'm gonna put it at jj virgin.com/hungry. Perfect. There we go. We're gonna put that [00:33:45] link to the book. And you know what I love the most about everything you're saying is I like to take.
Simplify it and make it actionable. And you've, yes. That's what you've done. You've take this all, you explain why it happens, but then it's like, okay, and just do this. Yeah. And right. And the stuff you've said just do, it's like, okay, no. Just shut the kitchen after dinner. Yeah. Easy enough to do. Like just get up in the morning and don't.
Eat [00:34:10] immediately. Easy enough, like simple things that you can do, and those ones, I, it's the little hinges swinging big doors. Metaphor, like these are small things that make a massive shift in your metabolism. I think that's the real thing is like, what do you do? Yes, we know the conceptual, you know, stop being so addicted to processed foods, but the reality of it, But how, you know, in all these little steps [00:34:35] that your circadian rhythms and doing, changing the way you eat, the timing of what you eat, the quality of the foods you eat, I even give like all the categories of food you should be having every single day, like a super six, um, to kind of retrain your cravings from the gut upwards.
So there's a lot of things there. I know we didn't even have time. I know you're up against the clock, and I'm like, but we didn't even talk about the gut microbiome. So you gotta get the book to get the super [00:35:00] six because it really is like your gut microbiome basically has a brain of its own that can store more calories from the foods you eat as fat and make you crave the wrong stuff.
So you gotta retrain that too. Okay. This has been amazing. I am so excited about this book. Thank you for writing it again. You can get the secret chapter. JJ buron.com/hungry. And then of course, you'll [00:35:25] also be able to grab the book as well. And thank you so much, Amy, for coming on. Jj, it's been such an honor to be on your podcast.
Thanks. Be sure to join me next time for more tools, tips, and techniques you can incorporate into everyday life to ensure you look and feel great, and more importantly, that you're built to last. And check me out on Instagram, Facebook. And my website, jj [00:35:50] virgin.com. And make sure to follow my podcast so you don't miss a single [email protected].
See you next time.

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