Welcome back, tribe! Hope you’re having a great day today!
There is a ton of information flying around about how to live the healthiest life in today’s world. You can find nutritional advice everywhere from WebMD.com to Reddit and beyond — but how are we supposed to know what’s true and what’s false?
Even as trained medical personnel, we can’t all be experts in every field! We’re bound to have gaps in our specialized knowledge — how are we supposed to pick out the facts from a sea of information?
We look at the source, right? If you’re taking medical or nutritional advice from social media, chances are it might not be the most accurate. But if you’re getting your facts from a true leader and multi-time published researcher in the field — like my guest today — you’ve probably found some reliable information!
Today, I have Dr. Paul J. Arciero on the Millennial Doc podcast to share with us his fantastic research on the power of protein pacing and a relaxed but varied exercise routine. This episode is FULL of fantastic knowledge and insight into health, nutrition, and fitness backed by years of thorough research. Let’s get into it!
Who Is Dr. Paul J. Arciero?
Dr. Paul J. Arciero is a leading international nutrition and applied physiology scientist, keynote speaker, consultant, and #1 best-selling author on Amazon. He has served as a performance physiology and nutrition expert for some of the nation’s most elite, including special operation forces soldiers, Olympic medalists, and world-class professional athletes, as well as thousands of collegiate, high school, and masters athletes of all sports and fitness routines.
Dr. Paul is also widely considered a leader among physicians. He has been inducted as a fellow of several leading health organizations, including the American College of Sports Medicine, the Obesity Society, and the International Society of Sports Nutrition. He also serves as a senior consultant and scientific advisory board member to nutrition, fitness, and wellness industries. And finally, he was appointed to the 15-member International Protein Board composed of the leading protein scientists in the world.
Throughout his career, Dr. Paul has spent ample time studying protein — its effects on the body, the best sources of it, and how much of it we need to be healthy. Over the course of his research, he has published more than 60 peer-reviewed research studies and 80 published abstracts on performance nutrition and exercise training in some of the world’s most respected scientific journals. Among others, Dr. Paul has been published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Medicine, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Frontiers in Physiology, the American Journal of Physiology, the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Those are some impressive credentials! In a world full of information and noise, Dr. Paul is consistently presenting well-researched information and easy-to-follow health advice that can help anyone improve their overall health — no matter their weight or activity level. Dr. Paul is passionate about helping others with his research, and I’m honored to have him on the show to share his knowledge with us!
We talked a lot about the excellent research in Dr. Paul’s bestselling books, The Protein Pacing Diet and The PRISE Life. In these two books, Dr. Paul explains everything you need to know about protein to create and follow a diet that is healthy for you. He also explains the four different types of exercise you should try to implement in your routine — you might need a less intense workout regimen than you think!
This episode is inspiring and informative — I learned so much from Dr. Paul, and I hope you will too! You might even want to grab a pen and some paper because this episode is worth taking notes on. Let’s dive in!
Protein Pacing — What Is It?
Dr. Paul has dedicated his life to researching protein, and he’s developed the idea of “protein pacing.” But what exactly does that mean?
“What it involves is paying attention to the quality of the protein you’re consuming. It can be from sources both animal and plant. And so that was number one. … Number two would be the quantity, and what we know through really high quality, very valid, credible scientific research is that when people consume somewhere between 20 and 40 grams of high-quality protein per eating occasion, that suits the body the best.” – Dr. Paul J. Arciero
The “protein” part of protein pacing is as simple as that — it’s about eating the right amounts of high-quality meat and plant-based proteins. Dr. Paul went on to say that if you enjoy eating animal proteins, you should try to eat local, organic, grass-fed, and wild products whenever possible so that you know you’re getting the highest quality meats. And if you’re eating plant-based proteins, it’s best to stick to non-GMO, organic, locally-based plant proteins. The less chemically-altered your food, the better!
And then you want to think about eating between 20 and 40 grams per meal. Dr. Paul has done plenty of thorough research that shows that 20-40 grams is the optimal amount for an average adult.
Now let’s talk about the “pacing” part of protein pacing. According to Dr. Paul, it’s best to space out your protein intake throughout the day and take a break once a week.
“And then third would be the timing of that protein. … And we seem to know now through, again, lots of really high-quality research, every three-and-a-half to four hours seems to be the sweet spot to when our body is benefitting the most from that high-quality protein. So that was the study that really resonated with me because it was profound when these individuals engaged in protein pacing six days a week and then on another seventh day … they did what was called intermittent fasting.” – Dr. Paul J. Arciero
Protein pacing is all about eating those high-quality, healthy proteins at regular intervals — roughly every three to four hours during the day. That fits pretty neatly within a regular breakfast-lunch-dinner schedule! You’ll do that for six days a week, and then on the seventh day, you’ll do what’s known as intermittent fasting.
Intermittent Fasting — How Does It Work?
There are several ways to do intermittent fasting, but the goal is the same: You want to restrict your calorie intake by about 25 – 40%. That means that if you normally eat a 2,000 calorie diet, you would eat only 1,200-1,500 calories on your intermittent fasting day. However, that doesn’t mean you can eat 1,500 calories-worth of potato chips or candy and be done! You want to make sure you’re eating very high-quality foods with plenty of macro and micronutrients.
“And so things like berries, blueberries, blackberries, wild berries, goji berries, wolfberry, … strawberry, blackberry — any berry that you eat is usually really highly concentrated in antioxidants. … And then adaptogens. … Adaptogens are plants that have survived in very, very harsh living conditions. … We now know that when humans consume them, they derive the same benefit of being able to adapt to stress. And so when you’re on that one day, … just [make] sure that you’re getting a really high-quality intake of those antioxidants and adaptogens, and then a good quality … protein source that you can ingest twice during that day.” – Dr. Paul J. Arciero
There are also many different ways to do intermittent fasting. One popular way is the 16:8 method. That’s where you fast for 16 hours during a 24-hour period and then consume your lowered calorie amount during an eight-hour window. But that’s not the only method! Some people choose to do the 5:2 method where you eat normally for five days and then follow a calorie-restricted on the remaining two days. Regardless of which method you choose, it’s essential to make sure you check with your doctor first!
But here’s the thing about intermittent fasting: You really have to be careful with it. According to Dr. Paul, there isn’t enough research to support any hypothesis about the long-term effects of intermittent fasting. So, if you try to be too restrictive or take too many fasting days too often, there may be adverse effects that we’re just not yet aware of over the course of years. However, studies are showing that there are some positive effects to doing a fast day only as often as once every seven days, or even as infrequently as once a month!
“What we know now through really sophisticated and excellent peer-reviewed research is that even if you do that one-day 24-hour intermittent fast … it has benefits in your body’s hormonal endocrine state for up to two to three months.” – Dr. Paul J. Arciero
Fasting really can have such a positive and lasting effect on the body, and it really can do great things for your hormones. That’s why you may not even need to take a fasting day every week — the positive effects can last so long!
KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRISE — THE EXERCISE COMPONENT OF THE PRISE METHOD
Protein pacing is the central tenet of Dr. Paul’s nutrition and fitness plan, but it’s still only a piece of the puzzle to a complete and healthy life. There are actually five pieces, and in his latest book, The PRISE Life, Dr. Paul offers a cool acronym to help you remember them all — “PRISE!” Thankfully, we have him right here on the Millennial Doc podcast to tell us about the rest of them.
So if protein pacing is the “p” in prise, what do the other letters stand for? Each letter stands for a different type of exercise. Dr. Paul recommends doing each type one day a week. And if that sounds like very little exercise, you’re right! But it’s enough to keep your body functioning well. Let’s take a look at the four different types of exercise:
R – RESISTANCE EXERCISE
Resistance exercise, or resistance training, is all about doing functional exercises. These are the types of exercises that enable you to do basic things like walk up and down stairs or carry bags of groceries. You can do simple things like lunges or step-ups. It’s about putting yourself in a controlled environment where you can practice using the muscles you need to use for everyday activities. You’ll strengthen those muscles, and you’ll be able to do functional activities with confidence later into your life.
I – INTERVAL EXERCISE
This is the one everyone talks about. Most people think of interval exercise as a pattern of working really hard for a set period and then continuing to exercise less intensely for a more extended period. And while the principle is correct, the truth is, you don’t need to push yourself to work too intensely.
Dr. Paul gave the example of taking a short walk around your neighborhood. If you power walk for about 30 seconds and then fully recover at more of a window shopping-stroll for three or four minutes and do that several times around the neighborhood, you’ve given your body enough exercise to experience lasting benefits throughout the rest of the week.
S – STRETCHING
The “s” stands for stretching, and this can be really simple. You can do some sun salutations first thing in the morning, or you can do 30 to 60 minutes of yoga per week if you enjoy that. This is about doing very gentle, static stretching where you’re holding a pose for several seconds. Stretching does wonders for your joints, ligaments, and tendons, and keeping those things healthy will significantly increase your quality of life as you get older.
E – ENDURANCE EXERCISE
And finally, we have endurance exercise. This is where you’re going to do one continuous exercise for a longer period of time. You can swim, jog or walk, ride a bike, or even rollerblade! The idea is to do one continuous aerobic cardiovascular exercise for about an hour.
“I usually tell people on a scale of one to ten, [if] one is lying in a bed, [and] ten is pushing yourself to the hardest level possible, when you’re doing an endurance bout, you should be right about in the middle, but a little bit higher — about a six. So it’s where you can have a conversation and maybe be able to do it for a couple of hours if you had to.” – Dr. Paul J. Arciero
Dr. Paul’s research shows very clearly that combining a protein pacing diet and these four types of exercise done just once a week each can have a very positive effect on the body. It can help you to maintain your quality of life even into your 80s and 90s and start improving your cardiovascular health right now.
Think about some ways you could implement these exercises into your weekly routine. Could you go for a walk today? Could you plan to do some sun salutations every Saturday morning? If you can find a way to exercise a little each day, I guarantee you’ll see positive effects for years to come!
STEP OUT WITH CONFIDENCE® WITH DR. PAUL J. ARCIERO
Dr. Paul shared so much fantastic information today. His years of experience and research have paid off, and he’s able to support his claims with solid research-based evidence. I’m so glad I got to have him on the show today, and I hope you learned something new!
Before we ended our conversation, I wanted to give Dr. Paul the opportunity to share one last message for all you millennial docs out there listening to this episode. Here’s what he said:
“I want you to know that I believe in you. I love you all. I have children the same age, so I feel that connection to you. And I believe that what you’re setting out to accomplish, you will accomplish. So there [are] people here that believe in you, and you are the future of the world, but more than anything, I want you to appreciate harmony in life.” – Dr. Paul J. Arciero
I want you all to know that I believe in you too! I know that many of you are experiencing a stressful time with medical school and exams coming up, but what you are doing is amazing, and I hope you feel supported! And remember — life is about harmony and balance. Yes, you should always work hard for what you want, but don’t forget that it’s important to slow down and find that healthy balance, too!
Also, let me know what hardships you’re going through so I can support you on that journey! I started this community to help others like me feel supported — and that includes you! You can also check out my website for more resources to Step Out with Confidence®. Please let me know how I can serve you because that is my top priority!
It would also mean so much if you could leave the Millennial Doc podcast a five-star rating on Apple Podcasts — this helps us build a community and share this message with more people like you!
I love you all! Now go Step Out with Confidence® and rock your life!
Disclaimer: The Millennial Doc® Podcast is advertising/marketing material. It is not medical advice. Please consult with your doctor on these topics. Copyright Dr. Nikoleta 2019.