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The Nutrition Linear Progression with Robert Santana | Starting Strength Radio #30

Mark Rippetoe | November 15, 2019

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Mark Rippetoe:
So, Robert, I was talking about cannibalism the other day, and I'm and I'm you know, what occurred to me that one one way to feed the homeless is to feed the homeless to each other.

Robert Santana:
Oh, yeah?

Mark Rippetoe:
Is that gonna be a balanced approach to nutrition?

Robert Santana:
Depends on how much protein the homeless guy that's being fed...

Mark Rippetoe:
Needs.

Robert Santana:
Needs.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, but that's another training question, isn't it?

Robert Santana:
Yeah. Was he squatting, too?

Mark Rippetoe:
It's something to think about.

Robert Santana:
Is he squatting?

Mark Wulfe:
From The Aasgaard Company studios in beautiful Wichita Falls, Texas... From the finest mind in the modern fitness industry... The one true voice in the strength and conditioning profession... The most important podcast on the internet... Ladies and Gentlemen! Starting Strength Radio.

Mark Rippetoe:
Welcome back to Starting Strength Radio. We're here with our friend Robert Santana again. Robert's kind of like a permanent fixture here. He spends a lot of time in Wichita Falls. They must not like him in Phoenix. I don't know of any other reason why he would be here all the time, but he likes us, I guess.

Mark Rippetoe:
But first, before we talk to Robert, we're going to do our favorite segment on the show and it's called Comments from the Haters!

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, Comments from the Haters is where the bottom 3 percent of humanity get on YouTube and just start typing. Sometimes they refer to things that are of interest. Sometimes they're just so incredibly stupid that I have to read them like this...

Mark Rippetoe:
"Hey, Rip." This is from EJ Smyth or Smith or something like that. "Hey, Rip, stop injecting your political ignorance. It under cuts" Under cuts two words, "your professionalism. Letting it show weakens your credibility. Stick to the topic you know well, strength training. You're a prime example of why we need to get rid of the Electoral College. The health of the mind is just as important as the rest of the body. Think about it.".

Mark Rippetoe:
We need to get rid of the Electoral College, right? San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City get to elect the president every year. What a great idea that is.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Now. Here's Robert Magier. And this must have something to do with... When did we talk about the clean? This is talking about clean instruction? What was that, just a video or what? It was just a video we did. "This clean instruction is completely different than instruction from Klokov. Any any reason for that? It seems like Starting Strength instruction is much easier to teach. So maybe this is the reason. To introduce dynamic exercise to normal people. Is it?"

Mark Rippetoe:
Maybe.

Mark Rippetoe:
OK. Oh, I like it when the vegans comment. It's just so fucking cool when vegans write in. "A vegan diet..." This is M space S n. Is that what that is? M S in upper case, s lower case. "A vegan diet isn't an eating disorder you adorable grumpy old old dumbass. Lacks protein? False. Where the f&ck do you think animals get their protein from?" There's some things this individual does not know.

Mark Rippetoe:
"A human being." Oh, no is says, "Human being evolve. False. We're omnivores and weak ones at that. Move to animals once nutrients become scarce. Also, grain has changed our digestive. Just like it did the dog. So again, sorry, grandpa, you're wrong. Children die WTF. Where do you pull this sh&t from? Talk about fake news. A vegan diet sustains life at any stage and it's confirmed by studies." Studies have confirmed that a vegan diet sustains life at any age. "Yes, we're omnivores..." Ah, that's boring.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right. Now, let's see one more. "Shave your head and stop holding onto those scraps. Face it, you are bald and F.Y.I you are fat."

Mark Rippetoe:
Scraps! Indeed.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that's Comments from the Haters!

Mark Rippetoe:
Ok, Robert. What the hell's going on? Thanks for being here today.

Mark Rippetoe:
We have just gotten through with a seminar we did this weekend that featured you and our friend Will Morris. We talked about recovery. We called this recovery seminar when we talked about both nutrition and rehab injuries. This sort of thing. The whole weekend, I was very impressed with the content.

Mark Rippetoe:
I was pleasantly surprised. It went a lot better than I thought it was going to. There's a whole bunch of stuff everybody learned this weekend. And it was it was a great event. It really was. We'll be doing it again here. Oh, I don't know end of January, 1st of February, sometime in there. I think we're going to probably move it to the West Coast next time.

Mark Rippetoe:
So... and we'll be releasing some some excerpts from the weekend's lectures over the next few weeks. And if you're interested in in these topics then watch our little clips that we're going to give you from the lectures and make up your mind to come to the event next time it's available. We'll either be doing this in... Well we haven't decided yet, it'll be probably Southern California. So look for that on the website at startingstrength.com events. It'll be in the events calendar.

Mark Rippetoe:
So, Robert, what's going on, man?

Robert Santana:
That question?

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, that question.

Robert Santana:
Not much, man.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, can you think of anything you want to discuss today?

Robert Santana:
I think we should discuss the nutrition linear progression we talked about.

Mark Rippetoe:
I think so, too. I think that's an excellent idea. The nutritional linear progression.

Mark Rippetoe:
So what is the nutritional linear progression?

Robert Santana:
Well, it's a little thing thing I came up with that was a kind of inspired by, you know, something you came up with.

Mark Rippetoe:
The novice linear progression in training, obviously. And those of you that follow our material are quite familiar with this. And Robert has expanded upon that idea. And... tell us about it.

Robert Santana:
Well, the whole premise behind it was that, you know, much like training, maybe even arguably worse, nutrition has become excessively complicated. And we get lots of questions about what people should be eating, when they should be eating it, how they should be eating it. What kind of food. There's like a million different things out there. And, you know, this is bad. That's bad. Low carb, low fat, vegan, GMO organic.

Robert Santana:
And I found, much like you did with training that people are wrapped up in a bunch of minutia that doesn't apply to the majority of people that are reading and buying into nutritional related products and services. They want to buy supplements. They want to buy organic food. They want to avoid GMO. They want to eat vegan.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's death by complexity, basically.

Robert Santana:
Essentially, yes. So, you know, when I was when I first started training and reading your book and, you know, getting coached by Horn periodically. I started...

Mark Rippetoe:
That' Paul Horn, the legend.

Robert Santana:
The legend.

Mark Rippetoe:
In Los Angeles.

Robert Santana:
He's in fact, a legend.

Mark Rippetoe:
He is.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. Yeah. It's not a lie. I got to train at House of Horn. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Long time ago. Well, he is a legend. You have access to Paul Horn...

Mark Rippetoe:
Can you get a bill ready for him, Bre, for that?

Robert Santana:
Anyways, so my wheels were turning and I'm like, how do I... how can I simplify nutrition in a similar manner? And that's kind of how I came up with this thing.

Robert Santana:
And the way we structured the camp yesterday, we went over all the basics of nutrition, starting with calories and how we burn calories in training and the different macronutrients and their purposes. We don't need to go into all that here, but by the end of it, the other question that we're left with is: OK. Now what the fuck do we do with all this? Right.

Robert Santana:
And you know, I came up with a list of priorities and an order of priorities. And, you know, we can talk about that today.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, let's talk about that. Priority... Well, let's first decide how you how you assign priorities to this list. What was your thought process?

Robert Santana:
My thought process was that most diets start by taking stuff away from people. I think that's a pretty fair assessment. You know...

Mark Rippetoe:
What can you not eat?

Robert Santana:
What can you not eat? Because what do most people want when they seek diet advice? What's the goal?

Mark Rippetoe:
Weight loss.

Robert Santana:
Weight loss. Most of the time, probably...

Mark Rippetoe:
Usually it's weight loss.

Robert Santana:
Ninety five percent of the time, it's weight loss.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ninety nine percent of the time it's weight loss. Shouldn't be, but it is.

Robert Santana:
Lately, I've been getting a lot of inquiries about bowel issues, digestive issues. That's been coming in more frequency, which is a little different. I kind of like that. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I think that there's a growing market for that in nutrition, but generally weight loss is the priority.

Robert Santana:
So, you know, you "go on a diet." Let's say you're on a low fat diet. The first thing they say is you've got to get rid of all your, you know, French fries, pizzas, donuts, you know, fat,fried meats etc.

Mark Rippetoe:
What must we leave out. And associated with that there's going to be the emotional cost of leaving it out. Because people and food or you know. It's probably normal for most people to be deeply attached to food. Now, there are people who are not. People with eating disorders of various types or are not interested in the food itself. It seems as though they're more interested in the effects of the manipulation of the diet in terms of their appearance or some other.

Robert Santana:
Do you hear that? Do hear that Comment from the Hater?

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah.

Robert Santana:
You talked about eating disorders. They're typing it right now...

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. Vegans.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. Right. So. Yeah. And I think, you know, part of that you've talked about it many times comes from the magazine industry here, you know.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think so. I think that most people have a primary interest in aesthetics. Not in in strength or performance. I think that we've been brought up to be worried about how we look. And I think that years and years ago this started at the checkout counter, the grocery store, when the Weider organization got its bodybuilding magazines into the slots there at the checkout.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I think prior to that, I don't think really people were terribly aware of abs and and the effect of the appearance of veins on arms and deltoids and extremely low body fat. This sort of thing. But I think it did that they did a very effective job in in marketing a set of aesthetics to people that previously hadn't they hadn't been aware of. And now we've still got that today.

Robert Santana:
Well now it's evolved to Instagram.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah.

Robert Santana:
People posting their photos up that they have the perfect lighting, you know, airbrushed and perfect pose and sometimes professionally taken sometimes. And, you know, that's made it worse because you can go on your phone anywhere at any time. Now you're not just at the supermarket reading the magazine you're not going to buy. It's all over your phone.

Robert Santana:
And you know, the expectations have just continued to become more unrealistic as more people are doing this. But yeah. So, you know, when people go on a diet, the first thing you're told is you have to stop eating everything. You have to stop eating carbs. You have to stop eating fat. You have to stop eating sugar. Single ingredient foods, all this complexity that you know, basically you're taking your shit away.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, it it's it's complicated in a way. And in another way, it's it's an oversimplification, I think. Single ingredient foods obviously are simpler than multi ingredient foods. You know, like French cooking is very complicated.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, where you take a duck and roast a duck and then you throw the duck away and then you take the drippings from the duck and blended into a bread and you bake the bread and slice the bread. And then you take the bread out of the middle and then you take the bread and stuff it back into another duck that you've cooked over here with some goose fat and several different types of expensive wine. And then you mince that all up and then you make a sandwich out of it and serve it on little pieces of bread with the crust cut off. Something like that.

Robert Santana:
Shit, I haven't tried that.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's French cooking. And there's cream. Cream, heavy cream in everything. Yeah. It's good. But damn, it's complicated.

Robert Santana:
Nobody's making that here, nobody's making that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Not Texas. Not nowadays anywa.

Robert Santana:
You know, I think another problem. You know, that could be contributing that I really think is contributing in some of these eating disorders is our food environment has changed in the last, I don't know, 50, 60 years. Do you agree with that?

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, yes, certainly. Of course. Grocery stores nowadays are completely different than they were when I was little. You know, you go in the grocery store when I was a little boy and there were two kinds of apples. Maybe.

Robert Santana:
And what else was in there? Talk about that some more because you had firsthand experience with it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, there was a there was just not the food distribution. It was a completely different situation back then. Variety was extremely limited in everything.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, in a lot of ways, the quality was quite a bit higher. For example, just off the top of my head, I think about there's quite a bit. Fifty years ago, coffee was good. Grocery store coffee was good.

Robert Santana:
It wasn't Folgers?

Mark Rippetoe:
It was not Folgers. It was we had an A&P store here and that was good coffee. And I remember even, you know, 40 years ago when I was aware of coffee, that coffee quality was a whole lot better in the previous iteration of the coffee market. Right now, unless you go to a lot of a lot of links to obtain decent coffee, the coffee you buy is going to be shit.

Robert Santana:
I would agree with that.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's going to be shit. The coffee market, the coffee trade has changed over the past 40 or 50 years.

Robert Santana:
You can't intuitively buy. You can't go grab coffee and have it no good. There's an effort required. And this is a good point because it is going to come up as we keep talking about this, because I think this applies to other foods.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes, it certainly does. Yeah, it certainly does. We've got you go into any grocery store now and there are ten different kinds of apples on the shelf. How many of them are worth eating though?

Mark Rippetoe:
So what we've got now is a more complicated scenario in the grocery store. We've got a lot of variety. And variety is one of these interesting things that on the surface looks like it's always an advantage. And it's... and it's not it's not. Variety is not always an advantage if the fact that there's a lot of variety in your ability to make choice about something heads you in the direction of making a stupid choice. Happens all the time. It happens with exercise and it happens with with the nutritional concerns as well.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So I think we can both agree that when you're purchasing food, there's a thought process involved now, whereas before there was a much more intuitive endeavor.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. We had Chuck roast, we had sirloin steak, we had t-bones, we had ribeyes. We had several different cuts of meat. We had hamburger meat. It was all of very high quality, much higher quality than it is now, actually.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now we can obtain quality meat, but it requires a sorting process that previously a lack of variety performed for you. Right?

Robert Santana:
Yeah, exactly.

Robert Santana:
So you could see how this could also contribute to some eating disorders when you contextualize it to weight management.

Mark Rippetoe:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Robert Santana:
Some people legitimately need to lose weight, but now that step is involved, whereas like you said years ago, they they'd just go, OK, eat these foods and you'll lose weight. Right now, there's a million different things being thrown at people.

Robert Santana:
So, you know, I just like to point that out, because no matter what is done to address the weight issue, there's going to be a thought process behind food. Do you agree with that?

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes, there should be obviously.

Mark Rippetoe:
One of the most persistent misconceptions in fitness is that - and we discussed this in our in our podcast on that topic. One of the most consistent misconceptions is that if you need to lose some bodyfat - you're fat, your body fat is up around 30, 35 percent - what you need to do is exercise to get that off.

Mark Rippetoe:
That is a that's an incredibly persistent myth. It won't go away. The general public thinks that all you've got to do is run. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you do not modify your diet, yhere is not any amount of exercise in the world that's going to help you out in terms of remodeling your body composition.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the reason for that is, is that exercise is just not that consumptive of calories. And you can't make it that consumptive of calories unless you do really stupid things like run 300 miles a week.

Robert Santana:
Play in the NBA...

Mark Rippetoe:
Play in the NBA or something like that that not everyone can do. So in a situation like everyone listening to this podcast is going to be confronted with who needs to lose weight, you are going to have to modify your diet in some way.

Robert Santana:
And you're going to be thinking about it until the end of time, because you're in an environment where you can't just pick up food and get the things you need. You're always going to be thinking about it. That comes with the territory of taking responsibility for what's going in your mouth.

Robert Santana:
So that brings us back to this nutritional linear progression. The way I've structured it is I've tried to remove some of those steps and try the most efficient way possible. And as I was saying earlier, we first start out by adding things because people aren't eating enough of the right things. Right.

Robert Santana:
And some of this leads to an involuntary subtraction of things that need to be taken out without even thinking about it. So we'll start with priority number one.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right.

Robert Santana:
Protein, since we're talking to lifters, primarily, anybody who's walked in the gym has been told they need to eat more protein because they're lifting weights. That's pretty common.

Mark Rippetoe:
And people will yell and scream all day long, especially the vegan community will yell and scream all day long about that being mythology. They will get enough protein accidentally. They don't need any more meal protein.

Robert Santana:
Well, if you're sedentary.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that is what we call...

Robert Santana:
Bullshit.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right.

Robert Santana:
So that is the first thing people learn, whether it's from us, the guy at Gold's Gym, anybody who works in a weight room is going to tell a new lifter or a new gym member that they need more protein. The motivations tend to tend to vary depending on where you're at.

Robert Santana:
At GNC. They want you to buy more protein. So do you need to supplement protein? That really depends on, you know, how much protein you're getting from your diet.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. When you start talking to a person that we're going to be dealing with in the fitness industry about getting more protein, the first thing that's going to come to their mind is what supplement do I need to buy? Because they've been taught they need to buy supplements. What do you think?

Robert Santana:
Whey protein

Mark Rippetoe:
Whey protein is the... whey isolate protein is the best quality supplement you can buy. But is our friend Stan Efferding has pointed out on this podcast in the past - Can we just not get it from food?

Robert Santana:
Of course we can.

Mark Rippetoe:
Wouldn't it be better to get it from food if we could get it from actual food? I mean, whey protein. A lot of people consider whey isolate protein a food. And I would have to agree to that.

Robert Santana:
I would agree to that.

Mark Rippetoe:
But it is a manufactured substance. It's not roast beef. Which is better?

Robert Santana:
We don't know. Better how? What are we talking about here?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, let's talk about that. Is roast beef better then whey isolate protein?

Robert Santana:
Well, it's gonna have some B12 in it. You're gonna get some micronutrients. Gonna have some zinc in it.

Mark Rippetoe:
There's gonna be lots of things in it that are not in a whey protein isolate that would have to be obtained through other sources. Now, so...

Robert Santana:
You're gonna get micronutrients.

Mark Rippetoe:
I would think that in I mean, there's going to be essential fatty acids in...

Robert Santana:
Iron.

Mark Rippetoe:
...In the in the roast beef that are not available in whey protein isolate. I think that on first pass we'd have to say that roast beef better than whey protein.

Robert Santana:
I would agree with that.

Mark Rippetoe:
I would prefer to eat it.

Robert Santana:
I would, too.

Mark Rippetoe:
But there are circumstances that make whey protein isolate a viable choice for a dietary supplement. And what would those be?

Robert Santana:
If you're not getting enough from your diet, obviously. And by that, because these guys, I get them every time they hire me. "Can I just have six shakes a day?".

Mark Rippetoe:
Because it's because it's easy.

Robert Santana:
It's easy.

Mark Rippetoe:
This is this is the deal. isn't it? Supplements are convenient. Yeah, supplements are convenient. They may or may not be better. Well, they're not better or not, but I know they're not better than that than an actual actual food. But under circumstances that a lot of people find themselves in, a whey protein isolate added to a shake made in a blender or a or a shaker cup is a is going to be the way they're going to be able to obtain additional protein and buy it because it's the constraints of a schedule or some other set of circumstances that prevent roast beef from being an option.

Robert Santana:
Mm hmm. Right. So that's like and that goes back to our food environment. Right. I think now more than ever, people just eat away from home for most of their meals.

Mark Rippetoe:
A lot of people.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. And what's the problem with high protein foods? They require refrigeration, cooking, preparation, lots of...

Mark Rippetoe:
Things that are by I asked by the supplement industry for you.

Mark Rippetoe:
So a supplement is a good idea under certain circumstances, but the better idea, it must be said, is for you to eat food. All right. For you to drink milk. For you to eat meat, cheese, cottage cheese.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's wonderful people forget about.

Robert Santana:
I like cottage cheese. Its pretty good.

Mark Rippetoe:
I really like cottage cheese. I grew up eating it. We had it at the house when I was growing up. We had it back when I was a kid in Wichita Falls Public Schools. We had a really good food service supervisor. That was the lady that supervised the lunch program at the schools. Ms. McGuinnes and she did a fabulous job. She did. She was a nice lady. Her daughter and I have known each other since we were kids. And she did a wonderful job with the with the food service at the public schools. And there, you know, people make fun of the school cafeteria food. But there wasn't anything wrong with ours.

Mark Rippetoe:
We had a we had a great program and we had cottage cheese available to us as a major part of that menu every single day. And we ended up eating a lot of cottage cheese. It's good that school food has declined. I'm sure bad as. Yeah. Betty McGuinnes did a fabulous job. I believe and forget people my age forget about how good we had it in the public schools, which us back at that time, because it was we had a good we had good lunch. A lot of kids had one good meal a day and that was at school.

Robert Santana:
Funny story. When I was a dietetic intern, I was at Iowa Public Schools for the food service rotation. And at the time, the state of Iowa was trying to regulate healthy food, I suppose. And they had this Healthy Kids Act that they passed. And do you know what?

Mark Rippetoe:
It always means the opposite of the name of the act.

Robert Santana:
Oh, you know the food service director, they got a budget to deal with, so French fries were a vegetable. Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ketchup's a vegetable.

Robert Santana:
And they got paid for that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Just amazing. I don't think we had French fries. I don't remember them.

Robert Santana:
Tater tots were a vegetable too.

Mark Rippetoe:
We didn't have those. I think we had mashed potatoes and made out of actual potatoes because potatoes fit the budget. Potatoes are cheap. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you know, as some of you know, I grew up in the cafe business. My dad had a cafe when I was growing up and and my dad was cheap. All right. My dad was cheap. And if there was a cheaper way to do things, then that's what he did.

Mark Rippetoe:
Cheap is making it yourself. Planning ahead and making it yourself. Made all of his own bread. Made all made his own sausage, hamburger meat and potatoes, mashed potatoes and all that stuff. Nothing came out of the kitchen that was not made by him. Because it not only is it better, but is cheaper. And that's why he ran a successful restaurant for four decades.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, I think that it's probably they're concerned with labor costs and all this. But but not to get too far off the subject...

Mark Rippetoe:
But but the simplicity is kind of circumvented by the supplement industry. I don't know what the process of making a whey protein isolate is, but I know it's got more steps in it than just opening a gallon of milk, right?

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So it's not just supplements. So now you have a lot of manufactured foods that you could buy in various places that you couldn't even buy 10 years ago. Right. You know, when I first started lifting, I couldn't find protein readily, you know, at a convenience store unless I got lucky. They maybe had one beef jerky bag there. Now they got like seventy five options for jerky that aren't necessarily all beef.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. And they got I mean, nowadays they're selling protein bars...

Robert Santana:
Protein chips!

Mark Rippetoe:
In in. Yeah. In in convenience stores up and down the highway when you're on road trip. Options now that weren't available at the time.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. There's protein bars, protein chips. I just eat a bag right before this podcast. There's brownies. Cookies. If you don't want to shake up the protein shake and wash the shaker bottle out you can buy a bottle of premade protein beverage.

Mark Rippetoe:
Muscle milk.

Robert Santana:
Muscle milk. Core power.

Mark Rippetoe:
Whatever's available. You know, all this kind of thing is... these things have emerged in the market. It's complicated now, but you have to be able to sort through the complexity. And just like with an exercise program, complexity is not always good or productive.

Mark Rippetoe:
Complexity really at... especially at the beginning stages of any endeavor, complexity is the enemy. But it is seductive, isn't it?

Robert Santana:
Oh, yes. Sounds real good.

Mark Rippetoe:
It sounds cool.

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
More complicated thing is the least... the less you probably understand it and your normal response to that is if I don't understand it...

Robert Santana:
It must be good.

Mark Rippetoe:
...these guys must be smarter than me. It must be the right thing to do. And that's not always true.

Mark Rippetoe:
We're doing it all wrong.

Robert Santana:
So the goal of the protein priority is to basically minimize some of that. So there's a couple of things that we do. Number one, I provide them with a list of readily available foods that they can find.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
So that includes some of the things we just talked about -- these manufactured protein-fortified foods. Your bars, your chips, your brownies. And then the more commonly, the more traditional high protein foods. So your meat sources.

Robert Santana:
And then now you got your vegan meatless stuff out there that they've started making. That, you know, I get a lot of vegans that hire me. You know, they're good people. Yeah, they're fine. But I had to find a way to feed them. So I had to eat all this stuff and figure out what was palatable.

Robert Santana:
And some of it's fine. I'd still eat a steak over it, but some of it or some of it was fine. You know, because I'm with you and the same philosophy with if you're going to recommend something, you better fucked around that a little bit.

Mark Rippetoe:
You'd need to have known... You need to know the ins and outs of it or you're going to end up looking like a moron because things you're not going to be as you describe them unless you have personal experience with them yourself.

Robert Santana:
And that's why I laugh at other dietitians and nutritionists that will recommend things that they wouldn't touch.

Mark Rippetoe:
Okay. So the protein protein, you know, is is animal flesh. Things with eyeballs. And a few options in terms of some processed foods that we find acceptable in terms of quality. What's next?

Robert Santana:
How to measure it. So historically, nutritionists and dietitians recommend that you weigh food with a scale. You use measuring cups, use measuring spoons. And I always present that option because it's the more precise method of doing things. However, it's very labor intensive. It's not practical in most situations, especially if you're eating away from home. So I've adopted and, you know, other places have done this, have adopted the idea of using the human hand to kind of come up with some reference sizes.

Robert Santana:
And for protein, I typically say if it's a meat product, you're gonna use your fist as your reference portion. So that should be somewhere in the range of three to six ounces depending on the size of your fist. That would be one portion of protein. And that should give you about, you know, 18 to 25 grams of protein depending on, you know, what it actually comes out to.

Robert Santana:
Now, I know somebody is out there typing, saying, no, that's too much. That's this many ounces and not this many ounces. But it's an approximation. And does it really matter if you're 100 percent precise? No, no, no, no.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you have a four ounce hamburger patty, let's say you have a quarter pounder hamburger patty. Is that one serving?

Robert Santana:
That would be one serving. What gets me about all that before we get to that of this is perfectly OK when we're talking about technology, this watch, you know, my phone, these lights, this camera, all this shit, you talk about food technology that's unnatural. That's going to kill you. Right. Yeah. We can't advance food technology. That's just wrong. It's immoral.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, I don't know, man. Mcdonald's has done a hell of a job of advancing food technology. How long does it take you to get served even when they're busy? Four and a half, five minutes?

Robert Santana:
Trying to think of a line, it takes maybe five minutes, a long line.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, and and you get exactly what you got last time. Yeah, it's hot. They just cooked it. It's fresh. So. So if you've got a a quarter pounder with cheese, you've got two servings of meat and you're you're your program at that point may very well call for two or three servings of meat depending on your protein requirements during the during the program for that day.

Robert Santana:
So ideally what I recommend most males is two of those fist sizes or protein or eight ounces, three times a day. With the goal of trying to get somewhere in the ballpark of one hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty total grams for the whole day.

Robert Santana:
Now if you do that, you should be able to accomplish that because you're also getting protein from other sources. You know, you're not just getting it from animal products.

Robert Santana:
And then I kind of give a guide for other types of protein rich foods. So what I typically say is, OK, it's a fist or it's, you know, 20, 25 grams worth if you're gonna do it that way, because you can't always just use this [the fist].

Robert Santana:
So if I go get up, you know, something at thine store, like a protein... bag of protein chips, I'm going to have to look at the label. It's gonna have the label. The measurement issue comes with meats, typically. You know, milk of the serving sizes, dairy, you'll typically have the serving sizes, but with meat, you won't. So, you need a reference range.

Mark Rippetoe:
So a quarter pounder patty has how many grams of protein?

Robert Santana:
About 20 to 25 grams, probably. I don't have the nutrition facts in front of me.

Mark Rippetoe:
So you get 40, 50 grams of protein from a double quarter pounder with cheese.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. If you're doing that three times a day you're at about 150 right there.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. And then. Yeah. Make it up with the rest of your intake.

Robert Santana:
So the problem with eating a double quarter pounder with cheese three times a day, every day. That's not what we're trying to tell people to do.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, no that's not that...

Robert Santana:
That's the guy on the highway that's driving from Phoenix, you know, to Wichita Falls after a long weekend. Right. He's got to stop at McDonald's, but right on a daily basis that's not what we're telling people.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, obviously. But they're smart enough to know that. Except for these fucking morons [waves printouts of ridiculous, willfully ignorant YouTube comments].

Robert Santana:
And I am a dietitian that recommended McDonald's. As of today, that just happened.

Mark Rippetoe:
You're on your own record.

Robert Santana:
Somebody's saying it.

Mark Rippetoe:
On record.

Robert Santana:
No, I've... the items that I've historically recommended at McDonald's to my clients are the egg white delights. That's the snack wraps are pretty good. There's lean meat there.

Robert Santana:
That's the next thing I would say, we're typically recommending lean meat, right? One or two grams of fat per ounce of meat. So if you're eating a four ounce portion, you're getting four to eight grams of fat, which is about 72 calories tops from fat, which isn't very high.

Robert Santana:
So, yeah, typically I say go with lean meat ideally and we try to kind of drill that habit because now we're adding more protein in the diet because we know that the guy that came to us is eating about 60 to 70 grams, maybe a hundred when he needs to be eating more than that to train.

Robert Santana:
On the woman that comes to us as eating about 40 grams a day. So she needs to get one fist three times a day, since she doesn't need as much as the male. And, you know, by adding that protein would accomplishing a couple of things, you know, now that person is now fuller. So they're less likely to be like, oh, crap, I'm starving. Oh, jar of m&ms. You know, Cookie, you know, Donut, because this is what... there's a lot of involuntary eating that goes on throughout the day. And we're trying to...

Mark Rippetoe:
This is largely what's wrong with nutrition science papers. Let's go through that. If you self-report your consumption, you're going to leave off the what Robert just called the involuntary eating. You're not going to you're not going to report that. And the data is always bad.

Mark Rippetoe:
So that kind of wraps up measuring. It gives us some tools to measure the protein intake. What's next on the nutritional linear progression?

Robert Santana:
So from there, we move the carbs. You know, once you accomplish your protein goal, which is defined as doing this seven days per week, not part time dieting, not Monday through Friday, and then you're going to eat pizza and donuts on Saturday and Sunday. It has to be seven consecutive days because none of this matters if you're inconsistent.

Robert Santana:
That's why I'm not so concerned about the accuracy of the measurement. Because you can measure something that may not be precisely what's in it. But if you're doing it the same exact way every time, if you adjust the amount...

Mark Rippetoe:
Then we are in control.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, we're adjusting the calories. Right? Just like you said, with plates. If you have plates that aren't calibrated, you you can mark them and use the same plates every time. And you're incrementally loading without...

Mark Rippetoe:
Even if they are not 45s, we know how much weight on the bar.

Robert Santana:
Exactly. Same concept with food. The food labels aren't even accurate. I think people don't understand that. Food labels are notoriously inaccurate when they've actually these are actual studies because they're measuring shit.

Robert Santana:
They will do what's called bomb calorimeter on the food. They'll blow it up and they can measure the calories that are in this.

Mark Rippetoe:
The actual heat content.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, the heat content of the food and the amount that they find in the food that they blow up is not matched to the amount that's on the label a lot of the time. There's papers published on this. And...

Mark Rippetoe:
Isn't that fascinating.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, because what..,.

Mark Rippetoe:
Data is not actually data.

Robert Santana:
Interesting, isn't it?

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. Yeah, it is.

Robert Santana:
So a lot of these food labels are based upon experiments.

Mark Rippetoe:
You must be a science denier.

Robert Santana:
I must be.

Mark Rippetoe:
A denialist. You are a science denialist.

Robert Santana:
Science I'm good with, professional research is where I start to have questions.

Mark Rippetoe:
Professional research is a different matter entirely isn't it? So that's a different topic for another show.

Robert Santana:
Exactly. So a lot of our values that we see on these labels come from measurements that were collected on single samples a hundred years ago. And then they're extrapolating.

Mark Rippetoe:
And they've just persisted.

Robert Santana:
So all slices of white bread must be the same content of the sliced white bread in 1932 or whatever.

Mark Rippetoe:
Whenever the first measurement was taken.

Robert Santana:
And that's fine because we're not interested in knowing the exact content of these foods. We're interested in being consistent so that we can manipulate our intake more, you know, in a more consistent, reliable way.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you know you're consistent with your intake during the day and you go down, you've reduced you caloric intake.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, right. Even if it may not match the exact numbers.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. It's not relevant.The decrease. The fact that there is a decrease in relevant.

Robert Santana:
This is why is is a habit based approach. And the weekly... the changes throughout the week are important, too. So if you're consistent Monday through Friday, then you're having a complete detraction from your calorie intake during the week on the weekend, you're now inconsistent.

Robert Santana:
And that's the most common reason people fail any diet is that that lack of consistency when they're out of their controlled environment. So that's another reason for the hand sized portions, because you're going to eat in situations where you have a little bit less control. And I'm not going to sit here and say you need seventy five Tupperware containers in your fridge. That works for some people. I've done it. Have you done that, Rip?

Mark Rippetoe:
No, I have not done that.

Robert Santana:
You haven't done that dumb shit?

Mark Rippetoe:
No, I have not done that. I've... I'm guilty of not caring about it enough to.

Robert Santana:
When you told me you did every stupid thing everybody...

Mark Rippetoe:
I have done every... Except that.

Robert Santana:
Okay. Everything but that one.

Mark Rippetoe:
Except that one.

Robert Santana:
Well, you know, bodybuilders and these physique competitor people, they do that. They try to keep it to a science.

Mark Rippetoe:
Carry around their food all the time.

Robert Santana:
If you're getting a single digit bodyfat...

Mark Rippetoe:
That it's it's that's what you've got to do. That's the way it's got to be done. Yeah. There is no doubt you have to have that kind of dial-in on your dietary intake. And it's going to require that you don't eat other people's food.

Robert Santana:
But that's a competitor we're talking about, right? That's not right.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's not even a guy who just needs to drop 5 percent bodyfat. That's a pro.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. Different situation.

Mark Rippetoe:
Pro. Different situation. Outside the topic of this discussion.

Robert Santana:
So consistency. This is gonna apply to each priority. So the next priority is carbs and I address those similar whether it's weight gain or weight loss, but with some differences.

Robert Santana:
I want to address the lack of vegetable consumption first. And I think that applies in both situations because the average American eats a high fat, high carb diet that's low in fruits and vegetables. We all know this.

Mark Rippetoe:
And probably low in protein as well.

Robert Santana:
And low in protein as well. 100 percent. At least good quality protein. It might be getting, you know, a few grams here and there from all the junk they're eating, but they're not getting, you know, complete protein sources from their diet.

Robert Santana:
So I'm not gonna be that dietitian says all you gotta eat a bunch of fruits and vegetables. I try to be realistic here. And I say one vegetable a day to start out.

Mark Rippetoe:
Just something that grew from the soil, right?

Robert Santana:
And then I'll couple that with a handful -so this is what a handful looks like - of complex carbohydrates or fruit. Because a serving of fruit typically has 15 grams of carb. It doesn't have any fat, doesn't have any protein. But the carb content is similar to a serving of grains. So a slice of bread is also going to have roughly fifteen grams of carbohydrate. So that's why kind of put fruit next to the starchy slash complex carbohydrate.

Robert Santana:
And you know, if you're talking about a slice of bread, I say use your entire hand. This is about the size of a slice of bread. And you can do that or you can measure. So I say one serving of complex carbohydrate is fifteen grams.

Robert Santana:
So what I'll say for the male is have two of those three to four times a day.

Mark Rippetoe:
So a handful...

Robert Santana:
A handful.

Mark Rippetoe:
...Is 15 grams. And this would be cooked rice?

Robert Santana:
Cooked rice, cooked pasta.

Mark Rippetoe:
What's that going to look like since we're not going to... our mom doesn't let us put our hand in the pot.What does that going to look like in the spoon?

Robert Santana:
Well, I've forgotten the names of my spoons,.

Mark Rippetoe:
Fred, the spoon and James the spoon. Alouicious the spoon. No, you're talking about a serving spoon. So tablespoons. Teaspoon notwithstanding a serving spoon. The guy that's you know, like that blue spoon in my kitchen. He's got a spoon on him about this big. That's probably about a handful isn't it.

Robert Santana:
Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
I think we need to pull a spoon... Chipoltle spoon. At least they serve with out of out of the steam table that you. That is a...

Robert Santana:
I've got to brush up on my food service stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
What we need to do and here's our here... we talked about this in terms of preparation for the next seminar we're talking about. We're going take pictures of of...

Robert Santana:
What this all looks like.

Mark Rippetoe:
Of what this all looks like, so that that we can quantify it. Seat of the pants what fifteen grams looks like in a spoon. And what's fifteen grams of rice look like in the servings. So you'll know. ou know, I think it's terribly important to get that done.

Robert Santana:
Visuals got to be there.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah it does.

Robert Santana:
So I'm going to do that when they're losing or gaining weight. Because chances are they're eating a bunch of crap - chips, you know.

Mark Rippetoe:
Did you like my stew I made the other night?

Robert Santana:
It was amazing, man. God damn.

Mark Rippetoe:
My lamb stew.

Robert Santana:
That was good.

Mark Rippetoe:
Had sheep meat. One of the one of the functions of having a freezer full of aged mutton is that you can make you make wonderful stew.

Robert Santana:
That was a real good.

Mark Rippetoe:
I put two shoulder roasts in that pot. I trimmed two shoulder roasts out, boned them and threw a lot of the fat away, gave fat to the dogs and then, you know, left enough of it in there for flavor and then just put we cooked that bay leaf salt pepper little bit. I don't even think I put garlic in. And then potatoes and carrots, just plain old food.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now when you're talking about vegetables in in in this context, do you count potatoes as a vegetable?

Robert Santana:
That is a starchy vegetable, so that would go under the complex carb slash starch category.

Mark Rippetoe:
But the carrots would have been...

Robert Santana:
I count them as a vegetable. But the eating disorder, people like to think they're a starch because they have because all seven carbs...

Mark Rippetoe:
Glycemic index and all that.

Robert Santana:
It's has seven carbs instead of five.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, my God.

Robert Santana:
That's a carb.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, that's a carb.

Robert Santana:
Carrots are vegetable.

Mark Rippetoe:
There's a bunch of vitamins.

Robert Santana:
Non-starchy vegetable.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, they're orange. They're beautiful. Carrots are wonderful. Bugs Bunny. He had his head out of his ass. He really did.

Robert Santana:
He knew he was fast too. He was a vegan.

Mark Rippetoe:
He was.

Robert Santana:
But he was cool.

Mark Rippetoe:
He was cool. As opposed to vegans nowadays. Bugs Bunny was cool..

Robert Santana:
Some vegans are.

Mark Rippetoe:
Or one or two of them.

Robert Santana:
I have a client who is a vegan who's done real well on the program. Eats a lot. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, good.

Robert Santana:
He taught me about all these products they sell now because.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, good.

Robert Santana:
I had to get the guy strong, Rip. So I started eating a bunch of vegan meat substitutes and it was... Yeah, it was educational.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well then I take it all back.

Robert Santana:
Well, hey...

Mark Rippetoe:
All of it, everything bad I've ever said about vegans, I take it back because Robert knows one that's cool.

Robert Santana:
Thanks Rip. You're welcome.

Mark Rippetoe:
Knows one that's cool.

Mark Rippetoe:
So anyway, that all notwithstanding - have some meat. OK.

Robert Santana:
Have some vegetables.

Mark Rippetoe:
Have some vegetables.

Robert Santana:
Have some fibrous carbohydrates.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now fibrous carbohydrates. Are you going to... Is that a different thing than the vegetable?

Robert Santana:
Vegetables have fiber in them, but I'm I was referring to fruits.

Mark Rippetoe:
Then the categories within your classification of carbohydrates are what?

Robert Santana:
Vegetable is one classification. And then you have complex...

Mark Rippetoe:
Starchy.

Robert Santana:
Starchy complex carbohydrates slash starchy vegetables or fruit. Because the carbohydrate content of a serving is similar with fruit and starch.

Mark Rippetoe:
OK. I've got vegetables which are cabbages and carrots. Green things. Right? I've got fruits which are... grow on trees or vines and they're sweet and thereby knows what a fruit is when they see one. Tomato is a fruit. Yep. Right. And then we've got...

Robert Santana:
But ketchup's a vegetable somehow...

Mark Rippetoe:
Ketchup... So then we've got the third type is the starchy vegetables which is potatoes and grains. And products made from potatoes and grains.

Mark Rippetoe:
So there's three categories of carbohydrates.

Robert Santana:
Mm hmm. Right. Corn would be in that third one too and peas.

Mark Rippetoe:
Corn, peas, beans, beans.

Mark Rippetoe:
That one of the most hilarious things...

Robert Santana:
Beans in a weird category.

Mark Rippetoe:
Beans are a weird category if you are... if you're the food pyramid because the government is fond of saying "Meats and beans" "meats or beans" like they're equivalent creatures.

Robert Santana:
Legumes are in the...

Mark Rippetoe:
And I'm sorry, they're not.

Robert Santana:
Legumes.

Mark Rippetoe:
Legumes are not meat. No, they're not meat.

Robert Santana:
They grow.

Mark Rippetoe:
They're... They're not high protein, they're high starch. And they've got a bunch of goofy-ass starch in them that make people fart. "Meats and beans" and they can't say it if it's not true.

Mark Rippetoe:
They can't say it, if it's not true. That's how we say it here in North Texas. You can't say it if it's not true.

Robert Santana:
Okay.

Mark Rippetoe:
Except that it's the government.

Robert Santana:
And they can say whatever they want.

Mark Rippetoe:
They say whatever they want and they do. All day long.

Robert Santana:
Oh, yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
Meats and beans. It's not the same thing. And I don't think that... I think that you need to quit thinking of them as the same thing because they're not equivalent.

Mark Rippetoe:
Why do they? Why did they wanted to be the same thing? Why did they want them so bad?

Robert Santana:
Because they're seven grams of protein per serving of beans or legumes, and there is seven grams per ounce of meat.

Mark Rippetoe:
But the quality of the protein is so completely different...

Robert Santana:
Of course.

Mark Rippetoe:
That it's not the same thing.

Robert Santana:
It's not the same thing.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's not the same thing.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh god almighty. So just keep that in mind. "Eat your beans" is a creation of the government and it is not useful for our purposes.

Mark Rippetoe:
All right, so those are the three types of carbohydrates. Now...

Robert Santana:
So what we've accomplished here is...

Mark Rippetoe:
We've got the protein.

Robert Santana:
We're getting enough protein now because we're eating vegetables and high fibers, whole grains and fruits. We're getting more fiber.

Mark Rippetoe:
We're getting more fiber and we're getting some protein, some lower quality protein from our carbohydrate division, even though it does generate into the macro protein into the diet.

Robert Santana:
And more water. What does this accomplish? Now you're a little bit fuller.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. You're... more room is occupied in your stomach.

Robert Santana:
Less involuntary eating. That's what I'm thinking about. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So when you feel like you've got enough food in your stomach, that satiety.

Robert Santana:
Yes.

Mark Rippetoe:
Satiation is the is the persistence of the of the feeling of satisfaction from the meal, right? So different foods produce different levels of both of these things. For example, Chinese food is famous for going away within an hour.

Robert Santana:
So a cereal. You could just keep eating it nonstop.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right.

Robert Santana:
So protein has the greatest effect.

Mark Rippetoe:
On satiation?

Robert Santana:
On satiation. And then carbs would be next. Protein's the most satiating then fat. Yes.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because it's persistent in the gut. It takes a long time to digest a protein. And protein digestion primarily takes place in the stomach, the first parts of it do. And that's... and so in other words, the gut holds - the stomach holds - a protein bolus until a lot of it that process..

Robert Santana:
Because you've got to denature it.

Mark Rippetoe:
You've got to denature it.

Robert Santana:
Break it apart.

Mark Rippetoe:
The acids stomach acid, the hydrochloric acid in the stomach and enzymes that are secreted into the into the stomach...

Robert Santana:
To break that shit apart.

Mark Rippetoe:
To break that shit apart. Holds it there until those processes are largely completed and then it allows it to move into the smaller intestine.

Robert Santana:
which takes much longer than something like cereal or candy, you know, sugar. That's going to break down a lot faster.

Robert Santana:
The next macro on the satiation hierarchy would be fat. So fat's more satiating than carbohydrate. Protein is more satiating than fat.

Robert Santana:
And then carbohydrate. I would divide that. I'd say that if it's high fiber, it's gonna be more satiating than if it's just pure sugar. And foods that are high in fiber also have a high water content. So that also contributes to that satiating feeling.

Mark Rippetoe:
To satiety. The feeling of fullness.

Mark Rippetoe:
Fat. All right.

Robert Santana:
That's the last one I address.

Mark Rippetoe:
The last one we address in the nutritional linear progression. Fat. What do we do with fat? We have... the interesting thing about fat is that there are essential fatty acids. And fatty acids - we'll talk about those in a minute. There are no essential carbohydrates. There are essential proteins, essential amino acids, essential fatty acids. But there are no essential carbohydrates. And this has implications for the construction of our dietary program.

Robert Santana:
So with fat, you typically don't have to think about it to get enough fat in your diet.

Mark Rippetoe:
There's usually enough accidentally in the protein.

Robert Santana:
Nobody's accidentally eating low fat. That's just not happening. It's very difficult to do that. So by the time we've gotten enough protein in the diet from the high protein sources, we've got vegetables in the diet, we've got more fiber in the diet through complex carbohydrates and fruits. Now, we've accomplished all this for seven days in a row. Week after week after week, this person has a pretty balanced diet at this point.

Robert Santana:
Now we move to fat. So if they're losing weight, that's the first thing we're gonna pull because it contributes the least to performance under the bar. Because we want this person to continue to train and make progress.

Mark Rippetoe:
To train, you have to have carbs, right? It's hard to train on keto.

Robert Santana:
Very.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's a perfectly good option.

Robert Santana:
It's fashionable.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's fashionable and it's a good option for a sedentary person to lose a bunch of bodyfat. The Atkins diet - I've said this several times - the Atkins diet, if you're sitting around on your ass, you can lose a bunch of bodyfat on it because you automatically eat fewer calories because you are not hungry.

Mark Rippetoe:
But...

Robert Santana:
Start training...

Mark Rippetoe:
...You can't train on a low carb diet. You can't do it. You can't get recovered.

Robert Santana:
Because there's just not enough... That's just the way that the metabolic processes work. If you're lifting weights, you're using up a bunch of creatine, you're using a bunch of glycogen. You can't effectively burn fat, you're burning some because these energy systems are not all or nothing. They're all active at the same time. But you're not gonna tap into fat stores during, you know, a heavy set of squats.

Mark Rippetoe:
More importantly, you're going to be sore all the time because of the contribution of carbohydrate fraction to the recovery process. And so we're talking... if we're training and we're we're assuming you're training, we're talking about the the sacrifice coming, in terms of total calories, coming from the fat portion.

Robert Santana:
There's a couple benefits to that. Number one, you can pull more calories with less food out of your diet because the caloric density of fat is over twice that of carbs.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, you can eat more for food in terms of satiety. You can fill your stomach easier with a low fat diet and perceive that you have eaten enough food to to satiate your hunger. And thus it's more satisfying to do it like that.

Robert Santana:
That's the whole origin of the whole Ornish diet. You know the title the book said eat more, weigh less. You know, that's kind of where it comes from. You're getting more food volume for the same number of calories, right. If you're on a low fat versus a high fat, you're gonna get less food for the same number of calories in a high fat.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the old standby bodybuilder diet, chicken breasts and rice. You get full on chicken breasts and rice. You just don't stay that way very well.

Robert Santana:
There's the satiation thing, right? Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Satiety, but not good satiation.

Robert Santana:
Because you're hungry. Since you don't have the fat, you're hungry every few hours. It's a common complaint you hear from bodybuilders or people that train that way - that they're constantly hungry when they're doing that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Even though they're eating a lot of food.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, but if you like to chew a lot, you know, it's pretty good diet. But if you're training, it's the best way to go because you're...

Mark Rippetoe:
You're getting the carbs and you actually train on it.

Robert Santana:
You're gonna bend the curve of that performance loss that may occur. Now, a novice shouldn't lose as much. An overweight or obese novice should still be able to get stronger.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right, sure.

Robert Santana:
So we've got to clarify that who we're talking about here. An intermediate, intermediate/advanced lifter is going to get weaker at some point on a diet because he's just so far along the adaptation curve that everything has to be present in order... in terms of recovery to facilitate more progress. You start pulling resources away, he's going to suffer. But the overweight novice is not in that situation.

Mark Rippetoe:
He doesn't have anything to worry about in terms of performance decrement.

Mark Rippetoe:
So let's explain the fats then. There are essential fatty acids. What is a triglyceride? What's a fatty acid?

Robert Santana:
Triglyceride is composed of that.

Mark Rippetoe:
You've seen this on your blood test.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. OK. Triglyceride is composed of fatty acids and glycerol backbone. And that floats around your blood. And it's also stored in your fat stores. So we're talking about dietary...

Mark Rippetoe:
It's the storage form of fat.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. When we're talking about fat, we're talking about triglycerides.

Mark Rippetoe:
We're taking about fat macro fat. We're talking about triglycerides. Because that's the form in which unless you're we're talking about oils, we're talking about eating animal fat. We're talking about eating triglycerides, which are composed of fatty acids. Three, is it. So that's where the "tri" and then glycerol.

Robert Santana:
Yes. So there's three.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes. Three fatty acids and a glycerol backbone. And that's a triglyceride. So let's demystify that. And you've all seen this on your own, your blood test. It's a measure of the circulating amount of triglyceride in your bloodstream.

Robert Santana:
And the energy that's extracted from fat comes from the fatty acids, not from the glycerol. That's I think that's where you going with that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, yes. When the when the molecule breaks down, the fatty acids are the things that compose the lipids in your diet. So a fatty acid is a long chain of...

Robert Santana:
Could be medium could be short too.

Mark Rippetoe:
But yeah. All right. So it's either a long, medium or short chain of carbon atoms with hydrogen on either side of them. And then once we are talking about fatty acids, now we're talking about saturated or unsaturated.

Robert Santana:
And that refers to whether they are hydrogenated or not. So whether they have hydrogens attached to them or not. And the structure of the chemical bonds, which we don't need to go into here.

Mark Rippetoe:
So the fatty acids are the individual lipid components that are attached to the triglycerides and all of those are broken down and the fatty acids are used as as fuel for the oxidative metabolism that we do on a daily basis all day long.

Robert Santana:
What you're doing right now.

Mark Rippetoe:
What I'm doing right now, what everybody's doing all day long. The basis of the generation of ATP for your energy systems. And the fats produce basically energy all day long.

Robert Santana:
For the most part.

Mark Rippetoe:
You've got lot of stored fat, some of us have quite a bit of stored fat and we can subsist on the metabolism of fatty acids and that's the basis of all of our energy systems.

Mark Rippetoe:
Fats are extremely important in terms of bioenergetics. But since we have a bunch of fat stored on us already, and since fats are very, very good at generating stored ATP already, then they are the things we can pull out of the diet in order to create a lower amount of caloric intake. And that's, I think what the basis of this this particular type of dietary modification is.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, there are some essential fatty acids. Talk about those.

Robert Santana:
So you have your omega 3s which are found in fish products or if you're taking a fish oil supplement, that those are real popular.

Mark Rippetoe:
And we're not going to talk about the chemistry of that. But but you you everybody knows the term omega 3. All right. What about other essential fatty acids?

Robert Santana:
Well, then you're getting into differently of DHA and EPA, EPA, which are both omega 3. And they are correlated with improvements in cardio metabolic health. They have anti-inflammatory properties. Although that's been debated.

Mark Rippetoe:
And how do we make sure we get enough of those if we're just a normal diet? Do you recommend a fish oil supplement or you like to just... Stan talks about the salmon two or three days a week and you get enough from that.

Robert Santana:
We've been recommending that for 30 years.

Mark Rippetoe:
For salmon?

Robert Santana:
Yeah, two to three times a week. You're not going to get mercury poisoning. That's been debunked.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ah that's all bullshit. Always been bullshit.

Mark Rippetoe:
So fats... What... So how are we going to manage the measurement of fats?

Robert Santana:
We can use our thumbs for most substances or we can use a tablespoon. Most people have a tablespoon. Don't necessarily...

Mark Rippetoe:
Everybody's got a thub. Well, it's not fair.

Robert Santana:
No, that guy without the thumb is pissed off.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's not fair. You know, I've just insulted a huge swath of the population.

Mark Rippetoe:
So you let's say let's say he knows what... he remembers what it looks like, though. So he's probably acutely aware of it since it's gone. And that's about how much fat?

Robert Santana:
That's about seven grams of fat.

Mark Rippetoe:
A thumb sized portion. Tablespoon's about seven grams of fat.

Robert Santana:
Maybe a little more if you have a huge thumb.

Mark Rippetoe:
For butter or olive oil or coconut oil or anything. Right. Give or take.

Robert Santana:
Oils, I prefer spoons. Use a tablespoon.

Mark Rippetoe:
Since they don't.... since there's not any way to hold oil, a thumb sized piece of oil.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So half tablespoon is one, full tablespoon is two servings of fats. That's going to do about 14 grams of fat in a tablespoon of olive oil. Or canola oil. Coconut oil is solids so you could probably go with thumb size there or if you know you're weighing it on a scale that's always an option.

Mark Rippetoe:
I see no reason to eat canola oil or sunflower seed oil or anything. They're so unsaturated and they get stale real fast and they don't have any flavor. And I just I just I would rather eat olive oil. Good olive oil or butter. Or bacon grease.

Robert Santana:
This is probably a good time to talk about why fat is not necessarily bad because it's fat. So, you know, you're sitting there talking about bacon grease and egg yolks. You know, eating the stuff is fine you know, most people don't eat eat a lot of it.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, no. And then there's especially if they're... again, because fat is the most efficient contributor of calories to your macronutrient your profile.

Robert Santana:
That's right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And if you're going to if you're going to go hypocaloric, fat's going to be the logical place...

Robert Santana:
Up to a point.

Mark Rippetoe:
...to sacrifice calories because of the size of the satiety thing. And satiety is is is accomplished with the full stomach and you can get full without a bunch of fat. Absolutely true.

Robert Santana:
Absolutely true. So. Yesterday, I did something that I hadn't done before when talking about this, I started setting limits because there is a point to which cutting more fat becomes impractical, just like if you're gaining weight there is a point at which adding more carbs becomes impractical.

Robert Santana:
If you start eating 6, 700, 800 carbs, you're chewing all day.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's too big a load on your good too. And just a bunch of digestion to take place.

Robert Santana:
And most of us are only going to store about 500 total grams of glucose as glycogen. That's liver and muscle combined.

Mark Rippetoe:
Whole damn thing.

Robert Santana:
Yeah. So seven eight hundred carbs. I don't know that it's going to do a whole lot. And the more carbs you eat, the more you burn them off. So you know, for that guy who's eating 500 carbs and he needs to gain some more weight, he's going to add more fat to his diet. He might need those eight eggs, you know, to gain more bodyweight.

Robert Santana:
And gaining body fat isn't necessarily a bad thing either. You know.

Mark Rippetoe:
Not if it's already too low.

Robert Santana:
Yeah, precisely. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Guy walking around at 5 percent bodyfat because of the previous eating disorder or just because he's, you know, naturally got very low body fat can certainly stand to gain some bodyfat.

Robert Santana:
And really that is not to say that you need to walk around looking like you're pregnant. We're not telling people to go get a forty eight inch waistline, but when you gain bodyfat, you're not just gaining it on your midsection.

Mark Rippetoe:
These [holds up YouTube comments from dense people, the bottom 3%] people will be unable to distinguish...

Robert Santana:
They've already stopped listening. Should I even finish the sentence? They're not listening. You're gaining body fat around your joints and your connective tissues. Body fat is a good insulator.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, it's a cushion. It's a rebounder. And remember, it's a structural component of a joint.

Robert Santana:
And if you don't have enough of it. Guess what? Shit starts to hurt when you got a bar on your back.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's right.

Robert Santana:
And it's happens like clockwork. These skinny guys, they try to squat three times a week and add weight to their squat, complain of more joint pain than the fat guys. Almost every time.

Mark Rippetoe:
So let's just get this out in the open here. It is... the natural state of human body composition is not 10 percent bodyfat. OK. Bodybuilding has restructured several people's minds in the wrong direction. It is not natural to be as low as 10 percent. Body fat being 5 percent body fat for a contest and having that displayed as normal human body composition is wrong. Normal human body composition is no more 8 percent body fat than it is 30 percent body fat. And you people need to process this.

Robert Santana:
I would agree with that 100 percent. If it was, why it so damn hard to get there? Why is it?

Mark Rippetoe:
Why does it take extraordinarymeans to to to get down below 10 percent bodyfat? Because it's not normal.

Robert Santana:
And why do people who previously don't have eating disorders start to develop symptoms of them when they start getting that low? That was something Carter talked about in the lecture yesterday. Right. He said when he got down to 135, he started getting bunch of body image issues and a bunch of shit he never experienced before.

Mark Rippetoe:
He became crazy. Because you're subjecting yourself to a whole bunch of circumstances that your central nervous system is not designed to deal with. You know, we're not... humans don't do well in circumstances of privation. Okay. If you're starving to death, either voluntarily or involuntarily, this is not metabolically optimal.

Robert Santana:
You're gonna go crazy.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's not psychologically optimal. It's not physiologically optimal. There's a lot of things wrong with it. And if... this is why anorexia nervosa is a disease process, okay.

Mark Rippetoe:
Get the idea that everybody needs to have washboard abs and veins on their deltoids. Get that out of your mind. There are a few people who are born with that level of subcutaneous bodyfat in, as a as a general tendency. But that's not normal. It's not species wide. And it's not good to be that to be that low in bodyfat. People don't do well at 8 percent. People do better at 15 percent.

Robert Santana:
And the guys that get down 8, 7, 6 percent, 4 shows will tell you the exact same thing you said. They do not stay there and it's for the purpose of competing.

Mark Rippetoe:
They don't stay there because they can't stay there. They can't stay there.

Robert Santana:
They can't. We have another coach who got himself down at 10 percent because he just wanted to do it, take a picture, and never, ever do it again. And he said at the very end of that, he's like, I forgot what he said he saw, but he saw some sort of junk food. And he's like, I just started eating it nonstop. And it was like an out-of-body experience. I didn't know why I was doing it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Involuntary, involuntary.

Robert Santana:
Watching himself do it. He's like, I couldn't stop.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes. It makes you... it makes you nuts, doesn't it.

Robert Santana:
The human body has mechanisms to protect against this.

Mark Rippetoe:
Ok, so let's sum up quickly. We've we've talked about protein, carbohydrates and fat. Let's sum up this wide ranging, I guess you could call it, discussion. There's probably a different term some people would use for it. Let's sum up this novice or the the nutritional linear progression.

Robert Santana:
So you're going to start with protein. Move on to carbs and vegetables and then adjust fat. And when you're ready, each one of these. Protein's typically addressed maybe in a week or two, depending on the person.

Robert Santana:
Once you get to carbs and fat, that's where it becomes kind of gray, depending on the priorities. So the weight loss guy is going to have to subtract carbs at some point later after he's subtracted fat.

Robert Santana:
The weight gain guy may have to repeat the carb step several times over until he's getting some good training in and he starts gaining some weight.

Robert Santana:
And the fat guy may eventually need to add fat because he's added too many carbs. So once you get beyond protein, that's where it kind of becomes gray and you have to alter it. You know, based on the person.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. Well, this is a this is an excellent way to think about your approach to nutrition as you approach your training.

Mark Rippetoe:
When we start training, the basic premise of our approach to training is to find out where you are now. How strong are you on the major structural exercises? Do them. learn to do them correctly and then we're going to measure how much weight you can do the first workout. And then the process begins. And that process is to add weight to the bar every time you train and the amount of weight you add to the bar will vary in proportion to the amount of muscle mass used in each one of these exercises. You may add 10 or 15 pounds every workout to your deadlift for a while. You'll add ten, maybe seven and a half pounds to your squat every workout out for a while. The bench will go up 5 pounds. The press will only go up to two and a half pounds even at first. And this is this is reflective of the amount of muscle mass that each one of these exercises uses during the execution of the full range of motion of the exercise. But what we do is we apply the process of finding out where you are and then incrementally increasing the amount of weight you use to force an adaptation. We're going to apply a stress, an incrementally increasing amount of stress from which you will recover to produce an adaptation which is stronger. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
So how does the nutritional linear progression look like in that context?

Robert Santana:
Well, when the guy comes in his first workout, he's not expending a whole lot of calories. He's not requiring a whole lot of resources because he barely knows how to move with a barbell. He needs to eat enough protein right off the bat because.

Mark Rippetoe:
Because the stress requires recovery.

Robert Santana:
So that's the first thing we address. We ramp the protein up the fastest. And then as he goes along and things start getting harder, he has to eat more and more carbs, more and more fat. But you start with carbs first because carbs facilitate the actual training event.

Robert Santana:
Protein primarily has a recovery role in all this. Carbs help during the workout. Then it helps after the workout by refilling those glycogen stores. So that's why we address carb second.

Robert Santana:
So we address protein first for the recovery aspect. We address carb second for the training aspect. And then if the person needs to lose weight, we start adjusting fat. The person needs to gain weight... or adjusting fat down. We start reducing fat intake. If the person needs to gain weight and he's eating a sufficient amount of carbohydrates to where it is becoming impractical to eat more, then he needs to add more fat to his diet to gain more weight.

Mark Rippetoe:
And so proteins for recovery, carbohydrates are for training, and fat is for adjusting body composition. That's briefly, OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
I think that's a real good way to think about this. And if you're sufficiently interested in this, I'd invite you to look on the events calendar in and we'll be offering seminars with Robert and Will Morris will be doing what we call recovery seminars that investigate various aspects of both nutrition and injury rehabilitation. And we were doing these together because they kind of seem to fit.

Mark Rippetoe:
They're very interesting topics that people who have been training for possibly a longer period of time become interested in. If you're interested enough to keep training over two or three years, you're interested in these these things as well. You know, dealing with injuries is a very important part of managing your training. And dealing with your diet is a very important part of managing your training.

Mark Rippetoe:
So if you're interested in these things, find event and and let's get you set up so you learn from the pros.

Mark Rippetoe:
Robert, thanks for being here. Thanks for coming again to Wichita Falls, your second home here in North America.

Mark Rippetoe:
Thank you for joining us on Starting Strength radio. We'll see you next time.

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Mark Rippetoe and Starting Strength Coach Robert Santana discuss Robert's approach to getting started with nutrition for people who are strength training.

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 01:16 Comments from the Haters!
  • 05:35 Nutrition & Rehab recovery event
  • 07:12 The Nutritional Linear Progression
  • 10:10 Priorities & Expectations
  • 21:15 Adding protein
  • 33:32 Measuring
  • 39:17 Carbs
  • 49:05 Bugs Bunny & vegans
  • 51:44 "Meats & beans"
  • 53:21 Satiety, satiation
  • 56:07 Fat
  • 01:09:13 Gaining bodyfat
  • 01:14:14 Summing up

Episode Resources

Nutrition & Rehab events

Horn Strength & Conditioning - The Legend

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