One of the most common questions I get is: “Should I try XYZ health diet or protocol?”
And while, yes, most of the time, the dietary intervention in question can be a great tool, that doesn’t mean it’s going to transform you into a glowing vision of health.
In this video I share my advice to people when deciding whether or not that given dietary intervention is right for them:
Nicki: Robb, what do you think is one of the biggest, I guess, maybe roadblocks or problems that come up when people are trying to decided whether they should try a new diet or a new modality or the new flavor-of-the-day thing that’s supposed to make everything in your life better and easier?
Robb: It’s funny. We were struggling with how to ask this question so that we could couch this whole thing and set it up. So people will ask questions like, “Does having a Bulletproof Coffee interrupt my fast? And that’s not really the question to ask. The question to ask is what are you trying to do? Do you want to stimulate autophagy? Or are you trying to get leaner? Whatever the case may be. But people tend to bounce around. Like you said, they’re looking at all these different modalities and different things like Bulletproof Coffee or fasting or time-restricted feeding or what have you. Absent some sort of a goal, it’s hard to pin that stuff down, because it’s a little bit nebulous.
Robb: Again, to circle back around to the buttered coffee or Bulletproof Coffee. It’s like, “Does it interrupt fasting?” Well, kind of, but what are you hoping to get out of the fasting? Are you just wanting some caloric restriction. Do you have some lofty goals of doubling your lifespan, effective lifespan? And when you start asking questions around that, then it helps to orient things.
Robb: So again, I’ll keep in that buttered coffee kind of scenario. If your goal is just this notion of autophagy, and you think that the only way to get that is by fasting, then you’re missing the fact that lifting weights improves autophagy. Sauna improves autophagy. Coffee, by itself, improves autophagy. All these things are somewhat different in their mode of activity. But if you’re saying, “Okay, I want to improve autophagy.” Okay. Then, well why? “Well, I want to reduce my cancer likelihood.” Okay, now we’re getting pretty granular. Maybe what we want to think about in those terms is more along the line of maybe two, maybe, three times a year a 72-hour fast. You lift weights in the morning, and then you don’t eat again for 2-1/2 days or however the 72 hours plays itself out.
Robb: Again, just people bounce around a lot and ask, “Should I do this, or should I be doing X, Y, Z protocol?” But they really spend more time bouncing around than they do even asking themself, “Well, what exactly do I want to get out of thing things?”
Nicki: Because it could be different based on a person’s goals. Person A’s reason for doing something might necessitate a different path.
Robb: It’s all goal-driven, yeah.
Nicki: [crosstalk 00:03:12].
Robb: It’s 100% goal-driven. I think that people get lost in that, so it’s a really good point.
Nicki: Things are necessarily good or bad. It depends on you and [crosstalk 00:03:22].
Robb: Or helpful or unhelpful. It’s just super context-driven. This is where spending some time, again, thinking about really what is the ultimate goal. We’ve done a couple of videos on this. It’s get a little bit repetitious, but we looked at fasting in general. If good body composition is your primary goal, fasting might be helpful. But three meals a day, going to bed early, lifting weights three or four days a week is probably a better goal for most people. Although, there are people that say they’re an [inaudible 00:04:02] experiment until they started doing some sort of intermittent fasting, then everything just clicked, and it was borderline magic for them. So you can certainly get in and experiment. But again, like that goal orientation, it really helps to focus this stuff, and it removes a lot of the questions. It becomes a lot more obvious what one should do once you’ve spent some time really thinking about what’s the goal that you’re shooting for.
Craig Fletcher says
Hi Rob, been following your work for years, and the answers to questions like this almost always start with some type of “it depends” (on what your goals are, on what your body/condition is), etc. What would be great is if there was some sort of grid that showed goals on the Y Axis and modalities/things that can help on the X Axis. Like a “If this, then this” matrix. Call me crazy!
We have a troubleshooting guide like that, but expanding that in more details to many more goals would be nice, but also somewhat of a project.
Curt Hunter says
Where can I find that troubleshooting guide?
You can find it on this page https://robbwolf.com/resources/