HEALTHY FOODS That Heal Your Metabolism with Dr. William Li

Dr. William Li – a medical doctor, internal medicine specialist, research scientist, and New York Times bestselling author of Eat to Beat Disease and Eat to Beat Your Diet.

Dr. William Li

Eat to Beat Your Diet

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Bert Martinez is a successful entrepreneur and best-selling author. Bert is fascinated by business, marketing, and entrepreneurship. One of Bert’s favorite hobbies is to transform the complicated into simple-to-understand lessons so you can apply them to your business and life. Bert is also obsessed with exploring the mindset of the high achievers so you can follow their secrets and strategies.

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Bert Martinez:

Today on the show, we got doctor William Li. He’s a renowned physician, scientist, and president and medical director of the Angiogenesis foundation and best selling author of Eat to Beat Disease, the new science of how your body can heal itself. It’s an incredible book. It should be on everybody’s shelf.

And today, we’re gonna be diving into eat to beat your diet, burn fat, heal your metabolism, and live longer. This is, again, another book that should be on everybody’s shelf so you can understand exactly how your metabolism works and how you can use food to heal your body and burn fat easier. Doctor William Li, welcome.

Why write Eat to Beat Your Diet? Did you have a personal interest in weight loss management, or or what was going on? I think that there is so much confusion about what we should eat and food industry is not a big help.

And and then on and then on top of that, you have all these people that are trying to tell you, hey, eat this or eat that. And there’s what do you call it? So many fads that jump in and out, and and it’s just crazy. I I just I think for the average person out there who’s not gonna dedicate hours to researching this, they could actually wind up in worse shape. I mean, I hear it all the time where I’ll go to the gym and I’ll hear and again, it’s usually women. You’ll hear them talking about, hey. I tried this new diet, and I actually gained weight.

Dr. William Li:

Exactly. You know, there’s a to your point exactly, there are so many, stakeholders, different voices, special interests that are out there that it becomes an overwhelming challenge for most people. So but that’s really what I try to address. I mean, my mission is to try to bring science and clarity as both the scientists as well as a doctor who’s working in food as medicine to try to give kind of a guiding light, you know, because, the the nature of research is interesting because things change. Facts don’t reverse themselves. Facts build on each other until we actually, have some clarity on what’s going on. And that clarity can evolve naturally as we do more research.

And so that’s really what my personal mission in the in life is is to try to communicate some of the most important parts of what we’re learning about food and health.

Bert Martinez:

Yes. I again, this is something that I read years ago. I’ll say maybe 20 years ago, and it stuck in my head. And that is,

let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.

And, of course, if you look at the standard American diet and  all that other stuff, we’ve gotten so far away from just food.

Dr. William Li:

Yeah. The interesting thing about that quote is it’s attributed to Hippocrates, the the godfather of medicine, so to speak. I spoke to, some of the Greek scholars in medicine, and what they said is that it’s attributed to Hippocrates. We don’t really know if he said it or not. It’s not a quote per se from him. However, back then, there there really was only food, to be able to as a tool in the toolbox. And what we’ve done is really since the advent of antibiotics, I think, begun, derailing ourselves from centuries of wisdom that have accumulated. So we’ve lost the tool in the toolbox, but it’s coming back in now.

I think that the science that leads to gene therapies and targeted therapies and amazing transformational cancer therapies and and cardiovascular therapies, A lot of the stuff that’s happening in biotechnology, those tools are now available for researchers like me and my colleagues to be able to point the the tool, not at the drug, but really at the food in order to be able to unearth how the food actually works inside the body.

Bert Martinez:

Yeah. I think it’s, it’s we call it time, and I think also we need to have people like yourself. And when I say that, you’re an MD, and this is something that you do for a living versus again, not to take away from some people, influencers that have you know, they maybe have transformed their bodies and their life, but have no medical training. And so sometimes I find it very difficult the like you’re saying, the science behind the food. And so I think that’s it’s valuable to have an MD like yourself say, okay. Here’s the facts. Here’s the science. Here’s what we know.

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Dr. William Li:

And it’s also important to make it practical and easy to understand. I mean, at the end of the day, we just wanna know what to do. It helps. It’s very helpful if you have some way to under get your head around it so you don’t because we all forget things we’re told. But once you understand something,

You can’t unlearn something that you understand.

Yeah. Well, so first of all, I write my books based on the research that I’m doing. And hat’s really, my role as a scientist is to keep on pursuing new projects, new directions, and really to to try to figure out, how does our body respond to what you put inside it. So each book that I write is really a reflection of where my research is. My first book, Eat to Beat Disease, was really about the new science about how we’re what we’re learning about how our body protects health. And when you feed body your body certain things, how does your body respond to what you feed it? So you feed it something good, it responds in a good way. And so I describe how that response and what are the foods and the doses that do that. Well, my second book, Eat to Beat Your Diet, is not a diet book.

In fact, that title is intentionally a strict title. Eat to Beat Your Diet is an anti diet book. How do you beat your diet is because you don’t need to actually go on a special diet in order to have a better metabolism. And my research had actually gone into the area of metabolism. And, you know, what I was saying is that if you in my first book, talked about the body’s health defenses. And you kind of got into that and started to eat foods that help your body’s own shields raised to protect against disease. Where do you go next? Where how do you up your game? And where you up your game is really on metabolism. And metabolism is a topic that everybody thinks they know.

You could be a doctor and you think you know it, or you could be a fitness trainer or, an athlete, and you think you know a lot about it. It’s the 1 term that everybody thinks they know something about. I got some skin in the game. I know everything there is to know about my metabolism. But in fact, the research and the science is changing dramatically. And that’s what I write about in this book, Eat to Beat Your Diet, is what’s the new science of human metabolism? This is, by the way, not incremental. It’s not copying what other people are saying on the trend. It is profound new science.

We’re still learning how our body works. So when it comes to metabolism, and we’re not just talking about glucose spikes. No. We’re just talking about insulin. We’re really talking about the fundamentals of how do we actually have enough energy to get through the day, but also get through the decades in order to be able to live long and healthier. That’s what this book is really about. It’s about my research. It’s about the discoveries that we’re making about metabolism, and it’s really practical because it turns out to have a healthier healthier metabolism, you don’t need to have a trainer.

You don’t need to commit, you know, your most of your week to the gym. You don’t need to actually go on an ultra strict diet. There’s a way to actually leverage your own body to be able to get there.

Bert Martinez:

I love it. I love it. And just for, for everybody’s, information, the total or the the title of the book the actual title of the book is eat to beat your diet, burn fat, heal your metabolism, and live longer, and I’ll put links on the show notes. What I love about this is, again, the entire title, burn fat, which a lot of people are over always motivated to do, heal your metabolism, which I think most people, including myself, probably are unaware of how to heal your metabolism. And really, to your point, we all think we know what our metabolism is and and how it works and how to speed it up and all this other stuff, but I I really don’t. And then, of course, to live longer, I think that’s, something that’s of interest to most people. But I wanna ask you real quick.

Let’s start with what are the biggest myths of metabolism?

Dr. William Li:

Wow. Big question because there’s a lot of big myths. Alright? The first myth is that we’re all born with different metabolisms, and it’s kind of just like a crapshoot. You know? And you’ve heard this. Right? Someone will say, man, my sister was lucky and born with a fast metabolism. She can eat anything, and she’s skinny as a stick. And me, you know, you hear people say me, I was unlucky. I was born with the slow metabolism.

I fought with weight, and I fought with food my whole life. Right? So it seems like a sentence that you were given by some judge, jury, and executioner before you were born. Crapshoot. Throw the spaghetti in the wall. Let’s see what happens to your metabolism. That’s a myth, number 2. 2nd myth that’s out there is that when you have a slow metabolism, okay, it’s gonna cause you to get fat. Slow metabolism causes body fat.

Alright? 3rd myth is that when you reach middle age, unfortunately, that’s what’s gonna happen to you. Your metabolism is gonna slow down, and your body shape is gonna change, and you’re gonna have to get used to looking different, feeling different, and slowing down. That’s just the way life is, unfortunately. So people, genuinely dread and then regret getting into their middle age years, which can be some of the best years of your life. And the other thing is that, that when you eat food, eating food actually, makes you gain weight. Right? Like, so your food, your meals make you gain weight. So all of those things are have an element of mythology in them, but yet they’re so well ingrained. And, of course, then the other thing that people say is calories in calories out.

You know? Like, it’s a simple equation. You pour the water in the glass. You pour the glass water out of the glass. That’s it. There’s nothing more complicated than that. Actually, it turns out that there are, like anything in life, the the nuances. You know,

The god is in the details, and the details are inside our body, and that’s what the science is revealing.

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Bert Martinez:

Yes. And I think I’ve heard all of those myths, especially the 1 where once you get to a certain age, your body your metabolism slows down. And my question to people who say that is, is your metabolism slowing down, or are you just not as active as you used to be? Because, you know, when we’re kids and we’re at least when you and I were growing up, we were probably outside all the time running around. And now that that’s changed a lot. Kids are not outside running around as much as they used to. But back in the day, we didn’t have, you know, smartphones and game video games. It was all physical activity outside. And you would run until it got started getting dark and then you would head home or or whatever.

But you were burning calories all day long. And then, of course, as as we get older, we’re especially nowadays, we tend to be more sedentary. Right? I mean, it’s unless you make the point of doing something physical, going for a walk, going to the gym, you could literally spend the whole day sitting down. You go from sitting at your desk to sitting at the tay, the dining table to sitting and watching TV or sitting and playing video games, but you’re literally sitting and burning very little calories. So to me, it’s always been you’re slow you know, your your metabolism is slowing down because you’re not as active. And again, I don’t know if there’s a real connection there, but at least I know there’s a connection or as far as activity and and gaining weight.

Dr. William Li:

Yeah. No. You’re bringing up a really great point. So let me tell you 1 of the most profound pieces of research and discoveries that I’ve actually encountered in the last 5 years. And I’ve had a 30 plus year worth of research discoveries, and that most of my research is all about discovery. But a few years ago, a researcher, with the last name of Ponzer out of Duke University worked with 90 colleagues to study, human metabolism across the lifespan. Right? So we wanted to I mean, this this research was really trying to get at the underpinnings of how does metabolism change from birth to death over the entire spectrum of life. So here’s what they did.

They got 90 people together, 90 researchers. That’s a big crowd of of really smart people getting together to design and collaborate on a research project. Together, they enrolled 6, 000 people from 20 countries. Alright? We’re talking about almost every continent out there. And they recruited people that were real world people. So you talk about people with different, ethnic backgrounds, different foods, different diets, different lifestyles, different comorbidities. Just the real world of of people. But here’s what’s really, really cool.

They enrolled people that were 1 day old, fresh out of the oven, all the way to 90 plus years old. Right? I think everyone would agree that that’s sort of like, you know, you’re in your twilight years. You’re if you can make it to 90 plus, you know, that that’s sort of like the tail end of the lifespan for most people. Okay? And then they studied everybody for their metabolism using the exact same approach. This is what’s groundbreaking. And how they studied everybody, 6, 000 people ranging from 1 day old to 90 years old with the exact same approaches, they gave them a drink of water. Water is H20. Okay? Simple.

Right? Except the h is hydrogen. The o is oxygen. And what these researchers did is they tweaked the hydrogen, and they tweaked the oxygen so you can measure. Then they gave everybody water to drink, and then they measured how the body metabolized the h, the hydrogen, the o, the oxygen, as a reflection of their body metabolism. They did this for 6, 000 people over 20 countries from 1 day old to 90 years old. And the out and they can by the way, they can measure the metabolism with through their breath, through their blood, and through their urine. Right? So this is remarkable because it’s a global lifespan approach that really involve real people in the real world. Right? I mean, think about how different people are from Africa in Africa from Canada, you know, from Latin America to Russia.

Everybody in there, okay, is their all comers. Now, what they found at the very beginning when the first results came through was that people’s metabolism were, get ready, all over the frigging map. Alright? No rhyme or reason. Just like the just like the common myth is that, you know, it’s a crapshoot.

But we now live in a research community where a time in research where we can actually apply machine learning and artificial intelligence into datasets in order to be able to look for patterns. So the first thing they did was they knew everybody’s age, height, and weight, and what therefore, what their body type should be like. Okay? What their, what their, body should be composed of, how much body fat should they had. And then they actually knew their actual weight.

So they subtracted from every result the effect on the metabolism of excess body fat for 6, 000 people, corrected it for excess body fat, removed excess body fat in the equation. And when they did that, it was like pulling the cloak off of the statue of David for the first time, revealing how human metabolism is wired over the course of your entire life, and everybody showed this pattern. And here’s the pattern.

When we’re born, we all have the same metabolism.

Now why is that a surprise? You know, it goes against the grain of what we used to all think. Me too. Alright? But if you think about it, metabolism is just hardwired like the operating system of our laptop. Right? If I bought A laptop of the same model and you went out to your computer store and bought the same 1, we pulled it out of the box, plugged it in across the country from each other, and booted it on.

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Alright? Guess what? The operating system would be the same, and it would work exactly the same way. Now

our eyes work the same way. Our tongues work the same way. Our lungs and heart work the same way. What makes us think that our metabolism will be any different than any of those other organs?

Right? Okay.

So so that’s 1 thing that was shown is that our we’re all born with the same metabolism, number 1. Number 2, there there’s 4 phases of metabolism we all go through. The first phase is from age 0 when you’re born to age 1. K? 1st year of life, metabolism skyrockets to 50% higher than an adult’s metabolism. The babies are rocking it. Okay? And by the way, it makes a lot of sense because they’re growing super fast.

But the but the key thing is if you think about how fast babies are metabolizing, think about all the how careful we need to be of what we expose our infants to. Right? And think about microplastics, off gassing, all of this stuff that we have babies crawling on new rugs that we buy because we want them the fresh thing.

It’s off gassing. Think about the the plastic that’s coming off the pacifier, the off gassing from the new stuffed animal. Right? So this is actually making us go, jeez. We’ve gotta be really careful about what we’re actually feeding the the the the the kids, the whoobies, you know, all that stuff. All that’s coming off the the the thing. So age 1, going skyrocket. Alright. Phase 2, from age 1 to age 20.

Now during adolescence, we normally think if  anybody’s watching this had teenagers, you know, they are bouncing off the walls with energy. Right. Eating 2 or 3 dinners, they’re going crazy. Can’t stop talking, can’t stop moving. You know? Their you know, their energy levels is through the roof. You would think their metabolism is is going up because they’re growing up. Right? Wrong. This research showed that between the ages of 1 20 now don’t forget, it’s higher than adults at 1, but at age, between 1 20, your metabolism is going down, down, down, down, down to adult levels.

It’s decreasing to cruising altitude. Alright? Now and here’s the biggest discovery. Phase 3 is from age 20 to age 60. Human metabolism, when you remove the effect of excess body fat, correct the everybody’s metabolism by removing the effect of excess fat is rock stable. It does not change age 20, 30, 40, 50, 60. It is a flat line. It is an ocean without any wind or waves. Alright? Completely different than what you would have thought Right.

Or might what you might think you see and come back to that in a second. And then the final stage, stage 4 of human metabolism, this research discovered, is that from age 60 to 90, human metabolism does decrease a little bit by about 17% by the time you’re 90. Okay? By the time you’re 90, your metabolism should be 17% of what you are with 60. But 60, it can be the new 20 if you remove the effect of excess body fat. Now this is the hardwired. This is the operating system, the iOS of the body. This is how we’re designed.

Now what what actually happens in real life? Well, 1 thing that, you know, we already talked about is that this operating system, like the operating system in computer, you and I pull out the our our computer brand new laptops, gonna be great. Working the same. You’re gonna be in your office. It’s gonna be my office. You know what?

But we’re gonna treat our computers differently. Oops. I spilled some water on my computer. Oops. I packed my computer in my luggage and I dropped it. Alright? You, other your own thing. Okay? Whatever happens to your laptop. Now what happens is that all those things are gonna start to affect the way the performance of the computer, including the operating system. I download something. I’ll upload something. I got too much on my hard drive. Alright? I got a virus, and it corrupts my hard system hard drive.This is what’s happening against the operating system of our metabolism.

We’re all born the same way, all 4 cycles. But as we go through the trials and tribulations of life, things happen to us. Right? Babies are exposed to endocrine disruptors. Boom. Throws your metabolism off the off the rails. You know? Kids wind up having different habits, as you said. You know? They’re no longer active.

As active as we used to be, now they’re sedentary. Well, that’s actually knocks that what’s supposed to happen between, 1 and 20. That derails that.

And then, you know, look. What happens during 20 to 60, you know, our adult lives, it makes a lot of sense that mother nature would design our operating system from our metabolism to work the same way throughout our adult lives. Right? Like, why would it change? Why would it automatically crash right when we’re in our most productive period of our life? It doesn’t make any sense at all. Right?

Okay. So but what actually happens as I think about it is, you know, when you’re 20, you’re active. You’re you’re going out for your 1st jobs or doing whatever you’re doing. You’re raising a family. You’re emotion. Alright? By the time you’re 40 or 50, life happens to you. Right? I mean, you first of all, you got a lot of stress. I mean, anyone at 40 and 50 has gotten a lot more stress than they were when they were 20.

Stress impacts our dietary choices. Stress impacts our sleep. Stress impacts on our time for exercise.

Oh, man. I’m so I’m so wiped out. I don’t have time to go to the gym.

Alright? Uh-uh. Oh, man. I’m not cooking a new meal. I I’m just gonna eat whatever I’ve got around me. Alright? So you’re moving less, you’re doing less, and you’re more stressed.

Stress changes our metabolism as well.

Alright? And so and by the way,

Hormones, when hormones change, it also changes the way that our metabolism also works, changes our brains, changes our behavior, changes how our this operating system works. And so all real life actually affects our us during middle age.

What are we worried about middle age? It’s causing stress. We’re worried about the economy. We’re worried about our jobs. We’re worried about our boss. We’re worried about our family. We’re worried about our mortgage. We’re worried about the war. We’re worried about the pandemic.

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Whatever you’re worrying about, it’s all over the map. It’s, like, through the roof. All those things impact it’s like downloading viruses from the from, the the Internet, like, at at random. Like, that’s what actually happens to our metabolism. So, the other thing that I’ll tell you that’s important with this story of this research study is how they found the real human metabolism by removing the effect of excess body fat. So here’s the thing that’s really quite amazing, Bert.

It’s not that a slow metabolism, which is hardwired, causes you to gain extra body fat. It’s that when you throw extra body fat into the equation by having too many calories in and not too many calories out.

Alright? “Excess body fat slows your metabolism“. It’s completely the opposite. So the reason that you want to burn your fat, even if you’re not a fat person, even if you’re a skinny person forget about the skinny sister. You know, somebody with a thin tube of their body compared to a fat big tube of their body. The thin tube can also have extra body fat, and it’s just as deadly as skinny fat packed inside the whole the the the tube of their body. And so this is the reason. This is the real reason. Look.

I understand. If you wanna look better, fit into your clothes, go and get a beach body. Vanity is fair game. I totally accept that. But the real reason to control excess body fat is all that harmful stuff that gets stuck inside the middle of your tube.

Bert Martinez:

Interesting. Yeah. Yeah. And to your point, my brother is one of these guys that you would consider skinny fat. I mean, he looks skinny as a rail, but he had a heart attack. And it turned out that he had, his total cholesterol when he had a heart attack was like a 110, which is fairly low, but he had almost no, what do you call it, the the good cholesterol?

Dr. William Li:


Bert Martinez:

HDL was, like, at 5. And so that’s the doctor said that’s probably why you know, that’s what led to a heart attack. But to your point,

Just because somebody is skinny doesn’t mean that they’re healthy.

And that’s again, that is a misconception that we have. You you know, you nailed it when you were talking about, my sister’s so skinny she can eat what she wants. Well, the challenge is is that if you’re eating what you want, you’re probably not that healthy. And so, yeah, that’s a misconception. Alright.

So first of all, that’s a remarkable research. Not only is it global, but like you said, from 0 to 90 years of age, that’s an immense amount of data. And luckily, we have, the the data crunchers, the AI, and the machine learning that can crunch it down. But that is a startling research, and I’m glad that somebody did that because that’s a great myth buster. So let me ask you this. Now I’m hit with this information that, my metabolism is, is hardwired. You just mentioned that excess fat can can improve or can, slow down my metabolism. So how can I start improving my metabolism?

Dr. William Li:

Okay. So 1 thing that everyone can do is to really try to use our body’s own hardwiring to be able to burn down extra body fat. It doesn’t matter what size your body is. You can be size plus or size 0. You wanna aim towards burning away excess body fat. The word is excess. Some body fat is really important. So let me explain something new about body fat as well because there’s another myth that body fat is bad.

Body fat, in fact, is critical. Our body fat is not only padding. If you had no body fat, you slipped on the rug, you fell on the floor, your organs will split open, and that’d be it. Right? So padding is really important. Our body fat, though, is also fuel tanks for your body. Like, they’re the fuel tanks. They’re if you if you have a car and you you have and you and you it drives you use it use gasoline, you know, what do you do? You actually drive it around. You don’t think about loading up the fuel until the needle goes towards empty. And then all you can do is think about the fuel, go to a filling station, and you put the nozzle in to fill up the tank, then you go off and you’re on your way again. That’s really how our metabolism works.

I like to I like to use people give people an analogy that everyone kind of understands with a car, and that’s how our body we need fuel in order to be able to run. Our metabolism needs energy. So if the car’s energy is gasoline, and we call that gallons of gasoline, in our body, as a vehicle, in order for us to or to run our fuel, we call it food. And the fuel in our food isn’t gallons. We call it calories. Alright? So in a car, you put your, you put your gallons of gas into fuel tank, a little metal thing on the side of your car.

In our bodies, we load it into, get this, our body fat.

Our body fat is the fuel tank with the energy that we get when we eat food.  Now we know that fat is important because if you didn’t have body fat, you are not able to store fuel.

And we know that this is a a fact that, you you know, people who go down for these ultra athletes and they go down to, like, 0 body fat or 3%, 1%, they are not well. It crashes their immune system. They stop menstruating if they’re women. They got all kinds of problems. Alright? You need a certain amount of body fat just to run your car engine, your body’s metabolism.

Now what happens if you actually go to the filling station? Thank goodness at filling station when you’re filling your gas, like, there’s a thing on the button that goes click when you’re full. Alright? What would happen if you didn’t if it didn’t go click and you walked away? The gas would fill up, and you would overflow your gas tank in your car because it’s metal. The gas would float on the sides around the tires. And if you’re standing there, it you’d be filled gas would run right around your shoes, and you’d be standing in the middle of a dangerous, toxic, flammable mess. Right?

Well, our body will do the same thing if we load too much fuel. But because our fat cells, which are our fuel tanks, aren’t rigid like our gas tank and our car, they can stretch. They can stretch about 3 times 300% more than when they get started. So our fuel tank and our body, our fat cells can stretch like a water balloon, 3 times bigger than when they started. That’s why when we overeat, we stretch our fuel cells out our fuel tanks out. That’s how we gain fat. That’s why our our mass increases. Alright? But if you keep on filling up your mass so, oh, you’re still eating? Let’s go fill up another fat cell.

Well, our body will do the same thing if we load too much fuel. But because our fat cells, which are our fuel tanks, aren’t rigid like our gas tank and our car, they can stretch. They can stretch about 3 times 300% more than when they get started. So our fuel tank and our body, our fat cells can stretch like a water balloon, 3 times bigger than when they started. That’s why when we overeat, we stretch our fuel cells out our fuel tanks out. That’s how we gain fat. That’s why our our mass increases. Alright? But if you keep on filling up your mass so, oh, you’re still eating? Let’s go fill up another fat cell.

We don’t have a clicker. And, in fact, by the way, you know, in a car, if  the gas overflows onto the ground, it’s a it’s a flammable mass.

But what happens is as our fat expands, fat is an organ in our body. It requires a blood supply. But as it grows bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger, the middle of the fat outstrips the blood supply. It’s so big, it doesn’t have enough blood flow to support the living mass of the fat. That’s living. Okay? And once there’s not enough blood second.

Bert Martinez:

That is amazing. I never thought about that, but you’re absolutely right. Fat is an organ that requires blood. Yeah. That that’s a again, I never thought about it like that, but you’re right. And and so, again, if you’re morbidly obese as opposed to just moderate, just average, your your blood demands are skyrocketing.

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Dr. William Li:

That’s right. Now what happens is that, you know, when the tumor get oh, when the fat gets large, it grows like a tumor. It gets starved in the middle. Okay? It starts to die in the middle, and then inflammation starts to set in. Inflammatory cells come homing into the middle of this this kind of, dying fat. Now you just talked about your brother having a heart attack. A heart attack is basically where you’re not getting a blood flow to the heart. So when you grow fat too big, the fat has a heart attack effectively, and it starts to die in the middle.

Alright? And so and it that gets lots of inflammation. Inflammatory fat, regardless of whether you’re a big bodied or slim bodied, what it happens in the visceral fat, which is the fat stuck in the middle of your tube is really, really dangerous because inflammatory fat, those inflammatory cells basically start catching fire. Like like, if you then, lit a match and dropped it around that overflowed gas lane at the gas station, right, right, then everything catches on fire. Now your whole body is in a flame. And this is what we’re finding with one of the dangers of obesity autoimmune diseases are characterized in part caused by, symptoms caused by, certainly, inflammation. So this is why

Getting too much body fat not only suppresses your metabolism, but it actually puts all of the rest of your health, your organs in jeopardy due to that inflammation.

This is the reason why you wanna fight that harmful body fat. That’s the reason you wanna do it.

But remember when I started and when I before we went down this this deep tangent, this deep dive into fat, is that you do need fat actually to store fuel cells. I’ll tell you, by the way, when we were born, when or I’m sorry. Before we were born, when we were forming, and when your mom’s egg met your dad’s sperm and you were just a ball of cells, no face, no arms, nothing. Alright? The first tissues that formed, your first organ system formed are your blood vessels because everything’s gonna need a blood supply, so why not form that first? Alright? This is like your general contractor for your body, like a GC for your con your body. You gotta build a house. You gotta build a body. What are you gonna do? Let’s lay down the foundation. You need the blood vessels.

Second tissue that gets laid down are nerves. You need the electrical system. You need wiring in order to be able to make everything work at the end of the day. So you’re gonna put down a wiring. Right? Blood vessels and wiring, blood vessels and nerves, makes total sense. Third tissue gets put down is body fat, and body fat is formed like bubble wrap around your blood vessels. And that’s really weird because you don’t have a chin to double up yet. You don’t have an arm to put a big chunk down.

There’s no thigh, no butt. There’s no muffin to put the top around. Alright? You you’re just still forming. And the reason that fat forms like bubble wrap around blood vessels is because, guess what, that’s where the fuel is coming in. You eat the food, it gets into your bloodstream, and your fuel tanks need to absorb the fuel right where the fuel is coming from. Right? So that is a fuel tank. That is padding. That is a fuel tank.

That is also an organ system that releases healthy hormones to your brain that help to govern when we’re hungry and when we’re full. So when fat is just when you’ve got just the right amount of fat, you’re working it’s part of the operating system. It’s working well. When you actually have too much fat and it’s starving out outstrips its blood supply, it’s inflamed. Guess what? Your operating system is not gonna be working very well. Your appetite is gonna go haywire, gonna be eating too much, you’re gonna be inflamed. You can get the you get the picture. This is really the beginning, the end of your health right then and there.

Fat is also an organ system that releases healthy hormones to your brain that help to govern when we’re hungry and when we’re full.

So when fat is just when you’ve got just the right amount of fat, you’re working it’s part of the operating system. It’s working well. When you actually have too much fat and it’s starving out outstrips its blood supply, it’s inflamed. Guess what? Your operating system is not gonna be working very well. Your appetite is gonna go haywire, gonna be eating too much, you’re gonna be inflamed. You can get the you get the picture. This is really the beginning, the end of your health right then and there.

So by fighting body fat, you’re unpacking, all the damage to your hardwired health defenses and metabolism, and your metabolism is gonna rise as you fight that harmful body fat. This is what everybody can do by fighting harmful body fat. It might look better. Okay? But the real benefit you’re doing for yourself is you’re helping your metabolism do what it wants to do.

Bert Martinez:

Yeah. That’s incredible. That’s a different point of view versus, again, let’s lose fat or let’s lose weight because we wanna look good for the summer or whatever. Now it’s we should be losing excess body fat because it’s gonna rise in metabolism, plus it’s gonna give us more blood, for you know, going to the right places. It’s just a healthier lifestyle. And so, again, which makes your book instead of a you know, we’ve already kind of talked about it. You know, it’s it’s not the even though it says burn fat, it’s not the kind of fat burning that we’re used to seeing in all the TV commercials and all the vitamin supplements that, we’re talking about burning fat for a really for a health reason versus a vanity reason.

Dr. William Li:

Burning fat to heal your metabolism  so that you can live so that you can live longer and better, gives you better quality of life. You’re gonna feel better. At the end of the day, we just you know, we get out of bed. We kind of we check-in with how we feel mentally, physically. When you burn away that extra body fat, which your body wants to do all by itself, you’re gonna feel better. That’s the reason to do it.

Now you can burn body fat by exercising, working out. You know, some people hire trainers. Some people are going crazy working out. You can do that. You can also burn body fat by by actually having a more reasonable approach. And so that’s why I wrote this book, eat to beat your diet, is really how do you practice reasonableness? How do you take and take advantage of this operating system that naturally tries to give you good metabolism? And how do you burn that extra body fat off? You know? How do you actually do this? And you can do it when you’re sleeping. You can do it when you’re eating. You know? So, there’s all kinds of different ways, to be able to get at the end game, which is to get your operating system, your metabolism working as good as it can

Bert Martinez:

Absolutely. Absolutely. No. I like that I like that so much. So so let me ask this. What is the 1 thing, if if you have, the 1 thing to avoid if you want to have a better metabolism?

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Dr. William Li:

Okay. Now, you’re asking a big and slightly loaded question because there’s no magic bullet that you can remove from, you know, that from the equation to be able to cure everything. But I will tell you that the research is showing over and over and over again that ultra processed foods, which is the stuff you’d find in the middle aisle for the most part in a package of snacks, chips, drinks, you know, candies, and all the stuff in the gas station at the airport. You name it. It’s around us. Okay? That stuff is all ultra processed, and the ultra processed foods contain artificial preservatives, artificial coloring, artificial flavoring. Okay? They contain added sugars. They can eat all kinds of other stuff that doesn’t naturally belong in a whole food.

You’re not you would never cook with all this stuff together. Alright? And what it does is that actually damages our gut microbiome, the healthy bacteria in our gut. Once your gut microbiome is damaged, guess what? Your gut microbiome helps to groom your metabolism. It’s the metabolism’s caretaker. It’s the gardener for your metabolism. When that bacteria is damaged, alright, now your metabolism isn’t able to run the right way. Alright? And and all of a sudden, you’re you’re gonna start going off the rails. So 1 thing that you can do to try to keep a healthy metabolism is to not eat ultra processed foods.

Cut down or cut out. Impossible to completely eliminate because we’re surrounded by it, but cut it down. And whenever you do it, just realize that you’re taking a bullet to the skull kind of thing. Alright? So, and so I think, you know, being informed in what you do is really important. Number 2, I think that, you know, you wanna stay active. A lot of people, as you pointed out, are sitting around on their butts, you know, looking at screens. I mean, we’re doing it right now where it’s in a seat watching each other on the screen. But and and it’s by the way, it is true.

Here’s something interesting I wrote about my book. You know, you don’t have to be working out to burn calories. Okay? Actually, fidgeting burns calories. Did you know that? If you you know, like, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, you know, under your knee? The annoying thing? Like, tapping actually burns calories. That’s cool. Not not enough to overcome the birthday the whole birthday cake you ate last night, but it actually makes a difference. Alright? It’s booming. So stay in body stays in motion, okay, and winds up having a better metabolism.

So what I tell people, look. There’s a lot of aspirational things you can do. Not everyone can 1 can afford a trainer or join a gym, but everyone can afford to walk for at least 30 minutes a day. I don’t care when you do it. Could be in the morning, could be after dinner, whenever you wanna do it, but stay in motion for 30 minutes and walk at a pace where, you know, you’re not gonna be able to talk that comfortably on the phone.

You know, like like, be purposeful in how you’re walking. That’s that that actually gets your blood flowing, that trains your immune system, good for gut health, it’s good for brain health. So, you know, staying active, avoiding ultra processed foods, and then there’s a whole series of things that else you can do that involves choosing the foods that you eat, that you do eat, not that you cut out, but that you lean into that can be helpful for your metabolism as well?

Bert Martinez:

Yes. You know, back to the gut bacteria, the biome that you were talking about, I have a dear friend of mine, and, she was taking some supplement. I forgot what it was. Anyway, it was, I think it was a highly processed food, some kinda health food. Anyway, it destroyed her gut bacteria. She had a terrible, reaction and ended up destroying her gut bacteria. It took her a nutritionist in a year to repair that gut bacteria. And I just wanted to mention that because, again, we were talking about that just to let people know, that how long it can take.

And bottom line is she suffered all sorts of issues, digestive issues, hair loss, flaky skin, all because this gut bacteria was completely damaged or thrown off. Super important. And this is just one element of our health that we know very little about. It’s it’s only been talked about the last few years, and it’s just critical.

Dr. William Li:

Yeah. Totally totally right on on target with that. What we know about the gut microbiome is that it is the guardian of our health, 1 of 1 of the key guardians of our health. How many bacteria are there in the gut? About 40 trillion. That’s more stars than in the sky that you could see in a clear night. And, where are they mostly located? They’re mostly located in the lower part of the gut. Okay? Not right at the exit. Alright? You know, that’s tailpipe.

But, actually, in the colon, which is the large intestines, right in the area called the cecum, a lot of people don’t know this, but your gut bacteria is located in the cecum. It’s a pouch in a large intestines. That’s where the appendix is, wherever the large small intestines meets the large intestines. Look. If you’re a plumber or you you’re familiar with plumbing, you know how to do this. You gotta plug a small pipe into a bigger pipe. Right? And that’s and the bigger pipe actually allows everything to carry get carried out, right, to your septic system or wherever. And, essentially, the the large intestines where the small intestines plugs into, there’s a pouch called the cecum.

That’s where the appendix sticks out. And we used to think the appendix is like this nonsense useless organ. In fact, surgeons used to just snip it out when they whenever they have whenever they’re in the belly. Look at that appendix there. Boom. Gone. I took care of that one I weeded that one out.

Turns out we begin we’re not being beginning to realize that:

Appendix is probably air traffic control for our microbiome. And it probably is also a, ammo clip for our, I don’t know if that’s politically correct to use that analogy, but it’s a clip of for new for more, healthy gut bacteria.

Because, you know, as you say, we can actually lose our healthy gut bacteria. You need to restore it. Where are you actually gonna get the the the ability to restore your gut bacteria? We think the appendix plays a role in restoring healthy gut. So these things, you know, what we we we started talking about myths and the new things that we’re learning about human. But I think it’s totally amazing, Bert, that, you know, in this day and age, in the 21st century, we are still learning fundamentals about the human body even though we’ve been studying the human body for 100 of years. Right.

We’re, you know, we’re still discovering new brain cells, new cells in the heart, new immune cells. Like, how can this be? It just shows you the future of health is really putting together the story of how our health is actually maintained. That is and it’s more than just going for a jog, you know, going for a swim or playing tennis. There’s a lot more to it. And, you know, metabolism is 1 of those unifying, processes that gives us our health every single day from the time we’re born to our very last breath.

Bert Martinez:

Yeah. That’s incredible. And unfortunately, you mentioned all the processed foods out there. We have so many bad foods out there that are damaging us, you know, destroying our gut bacteria. I  feel sorry for this generation that has been, duped into consuming, these energy drinks. And not only are they consuming them, but they’re consuming them on a massive scale. You hear about these kids who they’re 17, 18, 19 years old, and they’ve had 2 or 3, Red Bulls in an you know, in a very short amount of time and then the rest of the hospital because they’re having a heart attack. And and Right.

And then you see you see some of these shows, especially like the, sexy spy shows. I’ll notice a lot of them are consuming, you know, the computer hackers are consuming, these, energy drinks, and it’s just come on. You know, the the last thing we need is a bunch of people consuming these terrible energy drinks. I just you know, it’s debt to me, and I definitely want less government. But in some cases, the government needs to step in and regulate some of these dangerous foods that are out there and let people know how unhealthy they are.

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Dr. William Li:

You know, it it’s so true that we need better guidance, because, you know, look.

We live in a capitalist system. Anyone who can make money on anything can do anything.

And right? And so this is this is where it’s a like, health should not be a free for all. Health should should have guardrails. It could be a 6 lane highway. You can you know? And the speed limit can be high. But the thing is you can’t just make it an open dirt road, and everybody goes at it however they want.

And I think that that’s really one of the big challenges we have. So hopefully, this new research will be out coming out. Now by the way, speaking of the free for all, I am feeling sorry for, frankly, humanity, society where we are today. There is research now that microplastics, which are everywhere in their environment.

Okay, in the air we breathe and, you know, the food that we eat, it’s detectable in our bloodstream now, people, because we’re looking for it. We can find it circulating in their blood, little tiny plastic pieces in our blood. Can you believe that? And that, a recent study showed from from Italy showed that those people who had the most microplastics, the plastic would stick into the the clogs of their arteries.

Though they were naturally clogging in their arteries, the plastic would embed themselves into the blockages, and those people were 4 times higher more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Alright? Because of the plastic, and they were able to dig out the the plaques and take a look at it in the microscope. And if you look at the Internet, okay, look at microplastics plaque, alright, and, and heart attack, and you’ll see pictures of what this plastic embedded, looks like. More recently and by the way, how much how much plastic do we eat? The typical American is per is per is estimated to eat a credit card’s worth of plastic every week. Every week, we need a with credit card.

Bert Martinez:

Yeah. And I use these quite a bit because they’re portable, and then I just read an article that now these are breaking up. They’re they have microplastics already in them. And so now I have to, you know, change the yes. Change that. But, yeah, credit card of wheat makes sense because as you pointed out, we have plastic everywhere, and it’s gotta be leaching in in all our foods.

Dr. William Li:

And, by the way, they’re also finding it now that we’re looking for it, we’re finding it in the brain. We’re finding it in testicles, in men’s testicles. It’s associated with damaged sperm count and decreased sperm function. So, look, I mean, I like to spend my time focusing on what people the good things people should add to their body. But I think there are just some things that we’re surrounded by where we could make better choices. You know? So we’re not gonna talk about that plastic water bottle that you just showed couple of times, but I do think that what we but, you know, it’s an example of where you can’t unlearn what we just talked about. Right? And so now it’s up to anybody who’s watching this to say, you know, what what could I do to remove that Tupperware or whatever the plastic wrap is or, you know, just we can do little things that can help our health overall. We can’t change everything overnight, and that’s the thing that I always say.

But we can make little we can take little steps, that can actually make a huge difference because a lot of little steps added together is one big step towards health.

Bert Martinez:

Absolutely. And I’m glad you you brought that up because, again, so many people try to change so much. So soon, they become overwhelmed and then they give up. And instead of just saying, okay. I’m gonna do this one thing. Master that one thing. Like you said, walking 30 minutes every day, I’m gonna master that. And again, once you master that, you you that’s part of your lifestyle now, then you can add that second element and then the third and do it easy versus overwhelm yourself.

Dr. William Li:

Well, I was I was gonna say, let me just give one more little pro tip for how you can easily improve your metabolism without having to break into a sweat. K. Okay? And this has to do with intermittent fasting, which is a trend. But I wanna I want to actually remove the bumper sticker of trend and fad onto it and tell you that of of why you should do it and why it works. Fasting is means not eating. And when you’re not eating, your body actually wants to burn off energy.

When you’re eating, your body wants to store the energy. That’s how we’re wired. That’s part of how our hardwiring works. During the day when we’re eating, our body says, okay. Bring it on. Let me store as much as we can into the fat cells. Right? And then when we’re not eating, we stop eating long enough. Our body goes, okay. No more fuel. Let’s now burn off the extra fuel. Okay? So when we’re fasting and we’re not eating, when we’re, not eating, it happens when we’re sleeping. So when we’re sleeping, we’re fasting. We’re not eating, therefore, we’re fasting. So intermittently, we’re not eating when we’re sleeping. So fast so intermittent fasting is something we do all do every single night because we go to bed. We’re asleep.

We’re not eating, and our body switches gears. And during that period we’re sleeping, that gear shift into our metabolism begins burning down extra body fat, burning down calories because it’s not expecting more calories to be coming in. This is the reason why you don’t wanna actually have a midnight snack because you’re cutting into the time when your body has to burn off extra fat. You’re stuffing a little extra stuff in there Right. Giving it less time to actually do the burning. Alright? So, the other so I’ll tell you how I try to optimize my tab my metabolism in the most, frictionless way possible.

Number 1, I wanna give myself as much my metabolism as much time to burn fat as possible. How do I do that? Well, let’s look. There’s 24 hours a day. If I can make half my day fat burning, you know, I think that’s a fair way to do it. Now how do I do that? How do I get my body 50% of time to burn fat? Well, let’s say that I eat dinner at 7 o’clock. I’m eating food. I’m putting fuel into my body. This is my I’m at the filling station.

I’m loading up my gas tanks. I really try to not overeat, and I try to choose healthy foods to eat. Alright? Not too much and and good quality fuel. Right? You never wanna go to the gas station and deliberately put the worst quality fuel into your car. Alright? I don’t care if you’re driving, like, a a cheap car or Ferrari. That’s how you’re gonna damage the life of your of your vehicle. Alright? So good food, not too much of it. Let’s say I eat dinner at 7, I stop eating at 8.

And most people eat it within an hour. Okay? Now after I put my dishes away at 8 o’clock, that is it. I’m done for the day until the until I wake up the next morning. Now think about it. 8 o’clock, let’s say I go to bed at 11. I go to bed later usually, but I got 3 hours of not eating. My body switches into gear. It gives me 3 hours of burning down fat.

Now let’s say I go to bed at 11, and I’ve got I’m gonna sleep for 8 hours. So 11 o’clock to 7 o’clock is 8 hours. We know that 8 hours is roughly the optimal window of sleeping for lots of reasons. 1 of the reasons is that your metabolism is gonna burn down extra body fat during those 8 hours. Alright? 11 o’clock to 7 o’clock in the morning. Get up at 7. That’s pretty reasonable. Now do the math.

I stopped eating at 8. I had 3 hours of fat burning until 11. 11 o’clock to 7 in the morning, 8 hours of sleep, I get that’s 8 hours. 3 plus 8, that’s 11 hours. Okay. Almost half a day of fat burning, metabolism activating. Alright? Now when I get up in the morning, I do not do what my mom told me to do when I was a kid. Hurry up, get out of bed, get down to breakfast, eat something because your brain you need something in your brain to learn.

I’m gonna catch a school bus, go to school. Nope. I’m an adult. I get up, take my time, getting ready, getting dressed. I might go check my emails first. I might go outside, go for a walk. I might read a book or read a couple pages of a book. I don’t know.

I’m taking it easy. Alright? And by the time I am ready to eat, from the time I wake up to the time I have food, it’s an hour. I wait for an hour. Now the math. 3 hours after dinner, 8 hours of sleep, 11 hours. Add 1 extra hour, 12. Boom. I hit my 12 hours of allowing my metabolism my body to burn down extra body fat.

And then when I’m eating the rest of the day from, you know, let’s say, 8 o’clock onwards until I put my dishes away, that’s 8 hours a window. It’s a 12 hour fasting, 12 hour eating. That’s a more reasonable way to intermittent fasting than 16 hours of fasting and compress all your aiding and eating in 8 hours. So that’s a really simple, everybody can do it, easy way to be able to get the most out of your hardwiring of your metabolism. Now don’t forget I told you, when you eat, choose the good foods. You want good quality fuel in your Ferrari, which is your body, And you don’t wanna eat too much because you never wanna overload your gas tank. It’s just more that you gotta burn off.

That’s the simplest way of actually, getting your metabolism in good shape.

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Bert Martinez:

What I love about that is, as you said, it’s simple. It’s easy. We’re almost already doing it. If  people are their last meal is at 6 or 7 or 8, and then you whatever, you shut down for the night at 10 or 11, and then you wait that extra hour in the morning to eat, then, yeah, I mean, that’s 12 hours of fasting, and it wasn’t inconvenient. You didn’t have to suffer.

Dr. William Li:

Yeah. And, you know, for me, sometimes I’m busy in the morning. And, you know, if I wait an extra hour after getting up, sometimes I’m not even, like, hungry, and I just won’t eat until lunch. The key, though, with this is that by the time you do eat, you’re gonna be you’re gonna be hungry. Don’t overeat. Alright? There’s a Japanese saying called harahachi ban me. It’s a Confucian saying. Huarache ban me means quit when you’re 80% full.

Don’t eat until you’re stuffed. If you eat slowly, you’ll know when you’re satisfied. And, you know, you might feel like eating extra because you’re we’re used to stuffing ourselves, but you don’t need to. And this is when you’re when you just pay close attention to your body. You feel like you’re satisfied with your hunger, step away from the plate.

Bert Martinez:

Yeah. And I think that’s at least for a lot of us, that’s the struggle is, you know, to to step away from the plate, especially when you’re when you’re ferociously hungry. There this thing that we wanna eat and eat and eat. And you know, to your point, you can eat a bunch of food, but it takes, what, 20 or 30 minutes for the brain to get the signal that you’re full. And by that time, now you’re over full, and you’re feeling tired, and you gotta take a nap.

Dr. William Li:

Yeah. Exactly. And then and now and now you’re act not active either. Right. Now you’re not burning up calories. So, you know, it’s just getting more in tune with our bodies. It’s pretty easy to do. And I think for eating, think about intentional eating.

Be very mindful of what you’re eating and the what you’re putting on your plate, how much you’re eating. Do it slowly. You know? I mean, there is really something to that kind of, Mediterranean diet is not just, you know, pizza and pasta and stuff like that. It’s a it’s a way of living. And in their way of living, they take their time to eat, and they eat with other people. When you’re eating with other people, you’re not, it’s not like you’re sitting in front of a screen, you know, wolfing the food down. Wolfing is never a good idea because you’ll always overeat when you’re wolfing.

Bert Martinez:

Yes. And years ago, I had a a client, and they were in the weight loss industry. And it was a a weight loss type clinic where you would go there, and you’d learn a little bit about how your body works and this and that. And and, they they talked about the biggest mistakes you can do is wolfing down that food and not being present.

And so if you’re sitting there, you know, watching your screen or watching TV, you’re not even aware of what you’re consuming. You’re you’re you’re not tasting it. You’re you’re you’re therefore, sometimes you can eat a full meal, but because you weren’t present in that meal, you’re not satisfied. And then you’re looking for, well, I have to have something else. I have something else, and and it’s because you were watching TV or you were engaged in something else and not Distracted. The pros yeah. Distracted and not in part of the process. Yeah.

Dr. William Li:

That’s like that’s like texting while you’re driving. Maybe even worse. And by the way, there there’s all these there’s all these, habits that we were raised, you know, from past generations that we should do to be good citizens. Right? Like, 3 meals a day. Clean your plate. Clean your plate. All I mean, by by the way, you know the history of the clean plate club is really interesting.

It occurred it started in World War 1 when there was true food shortages, and the troops were didn’t have enough foods. And so the government said, please don’t overeat. We wanna actually, you know, save save food for soldiers so that we can ship things off to the soldiers. They didn’t mean pile the food onto your plate and then clean it. Lick it clean. They meant just don’t take so much food, and so don’t waste your food. It went out as it basically, the government rescinded the clean plate club idea campaign after World War 1. World War 2, they brought it back in.

Okay? Then they never rescinded it, and everybody kept on going. Now think about it. This post World War 2, 19 forties fifties, okay, that period is exactly when food the industry of the food industry exploded. Yes. Ultra processed food. And then there’s all these habits. You know, same thing as eating breakfast. You have to eat breakfast.

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You know what? That’s all baloney. That’s a marketing campaign from people that sell breakfast food.

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Bert Martinez:

What? I can’t believe they would lie to us like that.

Dr. William Li:

Right? So but but look. This is where we’re at in society. I think this is sort of like the wake up time where we’re beginning to realize, you know, a lot of the stuff that we were told, that we accepted as gospel, that we trusted, people were saying things that were best for us. Now I think, you know, the upside in the digital age is that we can check all the stuff ourselves. We can actually listen, try to find trusted voices. You know? That’s what we talked about at at the very beginning before we started this podcast is, you know, my mission is actually as a scientist, as a doctor to tell the truth.

The truth is based on science, and science is based on facts. Facts don’t reverse themselves.

Facts build on each other. And so once we have enough facts, we have some key insights like this metabolism story and this discovery about metabolism. You know, we evolve the insights we have on what’s healthy. And there’s very, very infrequently do we have a magic bullet? You know, they the word they use the term magic, the term magic bullet, because it’s not real. Magic isn’t real. Right? And so what we wanna do is to just follow the bouncing ball of science, to follow that the clues that are out there, the cookie crumbs of what we’re actually supposed to do. And when you hear some big claim of something that’s supposed to be good for you, you know, do what I do, which is what most scientists do, which is, you know what, have a healthy amount of skepticism. Right.

Oh, that sounds interesting. But is is it true? What’s the evidence that it’s true? And look for that evidence. You know? That that’s a fancy that that’s a simple way to actually navigate in this sea of confusion.

Bert Martinez:

Absolutely. And as a marketer, I would say that anytime a food is labeled as healthy, it probably is not.

That’s just the reality. I mean, if  you if you grab if you go to the market the supermarket today and go down the healthy aisle food, which is all processed food, by the way, and you look at it you look at the label and you can start seeing that in some cases, the first ingredient is a chemical. And it’s so so it’s not a healthy food. It’s when I guess, when they’re saying, hey. This is a healthy food compared to maybe, a candy bar might be healthy, but it’s ultra processed.

Dr. William Li:

Yeah. Well, look. The the idea is we want the freedom to make our own choices. Yes. But I would say that all we’re talking about is when you make those choices, please make good ones, make better ones. Make better. You don’t have to and you don’t have to make the best choices. You know, I have a good friend, Rich Diviney, who used to be a Navy SEAL He wrote a great book called The Attitudes.

Right? Yeah. And it’s an amazing book. He’s an amazing guy. And 1 of the things that he talks about is that, you know, we all kinda feel like we want to perform at our best. We wanna make our best decisions. You know, you wanna make the you wanna be optimal most of the time. You wanna make the best decisions possible. You don’t need to make the perfect Right.

Choice because you’re not always offered the perfect choice. So always wanna just kinda do our best, be as optimal as we can. Try to take the stress off of trying to be the perfect human being because you don’t need to be. Right. If you are if you’re making better decisions every single day and you’re and you’re improving yourself, those all those little things will add up, to build up on your health.

Bert Martinez:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Alright. So let me ask you this. We we got we started talking about food. And in your book, you talk about the the the type the the 5 top foods that you can eat to help your metabolism thrive. What what are these top 5 foods?

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Dr. William Li:

You know what? There’s a lot of foods that are helpful for your metabolism. Let me give you the the 5 general categories that’ll be helpful. Number 1, I mean, the big the big frame is that if you actually have, whole food type of foods, Alright? Seasonal will be best. You’re gonna be you’ll be heading in the right direction. Alright? So what are what broadly speaking, what are those? Those are vegetables and fruits, ideally seasonal. They’re gonna be rich with polyphenols and and probiotic fiber that’s gonna feed your gut microbiome. You’re gonna be in good, you’re gonna be in a good direction. You wanna have beverages that actually help you and don’t hurt you.

So what are some of the so I’m just gonna get the second category. 3rd, category, I’ll actually tell you, is have healthy oils. Alright? Don’t have unhealthy, oils. And then when you’re snacking, snack on healthy things, not on unhealthy things. So now let’s dive let’s dive in a little bit. What are some of the big categories of whole plant based foods? You know, vegetables, green vegetables, brassica, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, all those leafy greeny things, they’re all good for you. They all contain natural bioactives, natural chemicals that activate your, brown fat. They help your fire up your brown fat to burn down harmful body fat.

They help you your metabolism achieve what it wants to achieve a little bit better and faster. Second, kinda category within our berries. Fresh berries are great. You choose your favorite berry, blueberry, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries. They’ve all been shown to actually contain these bioactives that improve not only our gut microbiome, they activate our brown fat. Brown fat that’s activated actually burns down harmful white fat, visceral fat, gut fat, inflammatory fat.

You wanna actually help right size your metabolism and burn down some fat? Berries are a good choice. Alright? By the way, organic buying organic’s a little more expensive, but organics are gonna actually give you more of the polyphenols than the, conventionally grown.

Because the reason the plants make these polyphenols is when they’re living in the most natural environment possible, little bugs are nibbling on their leaves and stems. That’s a that’s a wound heal, a wound, to the plant on the leaves and the stems and creating polyphenols as part of the wound healing response. A plant heals itself by making more of these polyphenols, when they’re in our organic environment. And when we so then when we buy them, we’re having more of the healing stuff that it used for itself. We get it for our body. So that’s the excuse to actually get organic. Another bet let’s talk about beverages. Sodas, added sugar, diet sodas,

Artificial sweeteners kill your microbiome.

They’re very bad for your back microbiome, disrupt your metabolism. What are some of the good beverages? Well, look, fruit drinks are supposed to be better for you. You squeeze fruit. And fruit is normally healthy. Okay? But I would tell you if you’re gonna have fruit drink, a beverage for juice, eat the whole fruit. There’s nothing I love more than a juicy orange or a juicy peach in the summertime, for example, or juicy pear in the fall winter. But think about it. To make a whole tall glass of orange juice, you need 8 you need 8 whole oranges. That’s a lot of sugar to have. Or and you can gulp down a whole tall glass, lickety split.

Alright? So for me, eat the whole fruit. You’re gonna get all of the fruit. You’re gonna get all of the dietary fiber. All the other stuff in it as well is better than fruit drink. So what’s a healthy beverage? Alright? A healthy beverage, tea or coffee? Because it turns out that the chlorogenic acid in coffee organic coffee is gonna have more chlorogenic acid. Alright? That stuff hot hot wires your metabolism. Alright?

Burns turns on brown fat, good for your overall metabolism, coffee, improves longevity as well, by the way, lowers inflammation, and tea, green tea, oolong tea, even black tea, like Earl Gray. And then there’s actually fermented teas like Pu’Er tea. It’s a kind of Chinese tea, smoky, like an aperitif kind of tea, helps digestion. All those things build your gut microbiome. Alright? Those teas and coffees are great. Just don’t add sugar into them. And if you’re gonna add, you know, milk, don’t add cow dairy. You can add a nut milk to it to kinda cut the flavor a little bit. Right. Those will all be better for your microbiome.

Alright? And then in terms of healthy snacks, what I would tell you is don’t eat a candy bar, don’t eat a bag of popcorn chips or whatever. Look. Every now and then you’re gonna snack. We’re human. They taste great. I get it. I gotta admit. Alright? But it’s not good for you.

But I will tell you what is good for you are nuts, tree nuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, macadamia, you know, pine nuts. Those are all really good things. You can make your own healthy trail mix out of it. You wanna add something sweet to it? Add up some dried fruit organic dried fruit. Mix it all together. Now you got yourself something you could take with you on a on a trip to snack on. So you when when you’re at the airport or at the bus station, you’re not tempted to go over there or in a car stopping at the filling station. You’re not that tempted to buy that fluorescent nuclear colored stuff that they’re selling.

Bert Martinez:

Yeah. Absolutely. You know, it’s so funny. The, I think it was, like, last year, it’s probably been on the shelf for many years, but I just noticed this last year, they were selling the Oreo stuffing, the the the white stuff in between the Oreo cookies in a container by itself. It’s just forget the cookie. Here’s just the top. I just thought that was, you know, smart marketing because people love that that filling. Right? And you see that part of their marketing campaign where people will split apart the cookie and just eat the white stuffing.

But now they’re like, here, just just buy the stuffing. It’s I just thought that was, smart marketing, but they know their they know their audience. They know their people. If you like our cookies, you’re gonna love our stuffing even more.

Dr. William Li:

Yeah. But but you know what? I gotta tell you, Bert. I think that we are all becoming savvier consumers. You know? Think about it. When you open up your mobile device and you’re in on Amazon or you’re shopping on whatever site you use, you know, we’re becoming discerning. We’re trying to make choices that are that we desire. Yeah. And I think nobody nobody would would would, consciously say, I’m gonna get up.

I’m gonna open up my shopping list, and I’m gonna deliberately choose foods or products that are going to degrade my health. Right. So I become less healthy. I slow my metabolism. I gain body fat, and I shorten my lifespan. Nobody’s gonna do that. Right? And so part of this conversation, part of what you’re doing, you know, with this podcast is really, you know, getting information out that just help people become savvier consumers. I think that’s, you know, something that is just really a public service that you’re doing.

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Bert Martinez:

Thank you. Yes. And absolutely. That’s what we hope to do today is is for you guys who are listening and watching that that, you’re taking some notes down and that you’re going to invest in doing a little research and deciding what is the best lifestyle choices, food choices for you. The book eat to beat your diet, burn fat, burn fat, heal your metabolism, and live longer. It’s a easy book. I would suggest you get both books. They’re not chock full of of, mumbo jumbo science stuff that’s hard to understand.

It’s easy. Nothing that we discussed today is difficult to find. I mean, we’re talking about, of, you know, just just now talked about fresh fruits and vegetables. Just staying away from from highly processed foods, which is about 80% of the stuff at the grocery store. None of the stuff is super hard. You don’t need a science degree to understand. So I’m grateful for you stopping by and sharing, some of, your knowledge with us and your time. I have 1 other question real quick, and and I just wanna clarify this for our audience.

Is weight loss the best way, to have a better metabolism?

Dr. William Li:

It is 1 important way if you’re losing weight with the ways that we’ve been discussed. I do think that it will improve your metabolism. But, the key to thinking about that is staying active, staying connected, meaning socially connected, trying to get good sleep, you know, trying to keep your you know, it’s self care. I think a lot of people are beginning to realize, especially after everything we’ve gone through and we’re still going through, you know, in terms of the stress of, being alive today, it’s time for us to take better care of ourselves. Weight loss, you know, sort of started I remember starting in the seventies, and people are pursuing it like crazy into the eighties and nineties. It’s never gone away. Okay? But the bottom line is that it’s it’s not sort of, magic solutions. I think that part of what we talked about today, Bert, is that there’s there’s a lot to metabolism.

There is good reasons to lose weight. They might not be the reasons that the only the reason that you started out by trying to lose weight, but there’s a lot of other good reasons to actually lose weight. And so go for it and try it try it out. And the ways to do it, you can make good choices in terms of your diet and lifestyle. Try to match the best possible things you can that will actually be healthy with your overall life goals. You know? And when it comes to food, I always say, love your food and love your health. If you can align those things, it’s like the perfect solution.

Bert Martinez:

Yeah. I love that. I love that. Because we don’t all need to have a six pack and be at 3% body fat or anything like that. I think that, again, there’s this massive propaganda out there that, again, if you’re skinny, you’re fit, which today we discussed, that’s just a myth, that, you know, that again, I love what you said there about choosing the lifestyle that’s best for you, exactly what you’re what you’re looking to do. Real quick, I do wanna ask you, about visceral fat versus brown fat. You mentioned brown fat.

This this starts cooking your brown fat or or it, starts your brown fat cooking. What what am I looking for? What what is visceral fat? I know that you mentioned it’s inflammation versus brown fat.

Dr. William Li:

Okay. So I read a huge amount about this in my book, Eat to Beat Your Diet, and I encourage anybody who wants to do a deep dive deeper dive to check that out. But, basically, our body our body fat is a fuel tank. But our fuel tank, we’ve got different kinds of body fat. White fat is wiggly jiggly. It’s under the arm. It’s around your waist. It’s under your chin.

It’s also packed inside the tube of your body. When it’s packed inside the tube of your body, it’s around your guts. Your guts are also known as viscera. Okay? And so the kind of white fat that’s packed inside the tube of your body is called visceral fat. Alright? And that’s the kind of fat that’s not good because it can wrap around your organs. It can be very highly inflammatory, and it’s a part that, you know, you wanna really definitely tame your visceral fat. Brown fat is a good fat, not a bad fat. And brown fat is a wiggly jiggly.

Brown fat is wafer thin, paper thin, and it’s not even close to the skin. You can’t see brown fat. It’s close to your bone. It’s actually plastered around your neck, underneath your breastbone, a little bit behind your back, and a little bit deep inside your belly. And what white fat does is it stores energy, okay, at the fuel tank. Brown fat is like your, your stovetop. You know, when you wanna boil something, you turn on the gas flame, click click click, whoosh. That’s brown fat.

And brown fat has to draw the fuel to create the heat, and it sucks that fuel right from your white fat, especially the visceral fat. Brown fat, good fat. White fat, visceral fat can be the harmful fat that you’ll draw on. So you wanna activate your brown fat to burn down your white fat, and there are by the way, cold plunges will activate your brown fat. Foods like beans and berries and brassica, you know, the bitters, the bitter greens, ghee, coffee, all those things will, olive extra virgin olive oil, omega 3 fatty acids. They all light up your brown fat. I give a list of more than 200 foods in my book, Eat to Beat Your Diet, that all activate brown fat. And so one of the things that I do, by the way, I have meal plans in my book.

I have recipes from my own kitchen I have in the book. This is easy if you you know, like, all these terms that we’re talking about, they’re really meaningful. Like, we’re beginning to discover the phase of the metabolism, the effect of extra body fat, what’s the difference in brown fat and white fat. And by the way, brown fat is good. You know why it’s brown? It’s because it’s got a lot of mitochondrion. I used to when I was in medical school, mitochondria, these are the powerhouses of the cells. They’re like the batteries of the cells. I used to call them might mitochondria to remember it.

You know, they’re small, but mighty, and brown fat has a lot of mitochondria because it burns fuel. Alright? It’s gotta have a lot of power packs inside it, and the mitochondria contain a lot of iron. Oh. In iron, what happens when you put a bunch of iron, like iron nails outdoors overnight? What’s gonna happen next day? What color are they gonna turn? Brown. They’re gonna rust. So mitochondria packed with iron turned brown as a matter of oxidation, and and that because there’s a ton of them in brown fat, that’s why brown fat is brown.

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Bert Martinez:

Yeah. I love it. I love it. Alright. Again, I’m gonna put this in the show note in the show notes. Eat to beat your diet, burn fat, heal your metabolism, and live longer by William Li, Doctor William Li. And where can find the what website should people, find out more about you? Where should they go?

Dr. William Li:

Yeah. You can come to my website. It’s it is how you spell the last name. And I have a YouTube channel that’s got tons of, sort of, FAQs that people are throwing at me all the time where I actually do some deep dive videos so so you can learn more about these types of interesting twists and turns on how to actually improve your health and get some pro tips for me.

Bert Martinez:

Absolutely. I love that. I love that. Doctor William Li, thank you so much for stopping by. The book is is phenomenal, and I appreciate your time today. And we’ll, looking forward to have you back again.

Dr. William Li:

Thanks very much. We would love to come back.


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