Dr. Ian Smith – Health is Wealth
When it comes to losing weight, there are so many different methods out there — diets, workouts, supplements — it can all get a little overwhelming sometimes. Maybe you’ve heard about intermittent fasting, and you’ve had your doubts. Perhaps you’ve heard that it’s unhealthy to deprive your body of food for several hours, and it seems borderline like starvation. Maybe it just seems too difficult, and you don’t feel like you could fast for 8 hours or more.
In today’s episode, we take a detailed look at intermittent fasting, how it burns fat, and how we can eat cleaner to give our bodies an advantage. We can’t live MAXED OUT lives if we’re always tired, unmotivated, or lazy. Our physical health has a significant impact on our mental health and our drive, so fueling our bodies is a necessity to MAXING OUT our lives!
We’re going to debunk some health myths and get everything out in the open for you in this episode. And guys — get your pen and paper ready — because I have an expert today to tell you all about intermittent fasting and what you can do NOW to start burning those pounds and living your best life. My guest today is Dr. Ian Smith, and he’s about to tell you how you can MAXOUT your health right now.
Who Is Dr. Ian Smith?
Dr. Ian Smith is not only the best and youngest looking 50-year old I’ve ever seen, but he’s also one of the most well-known doctors on television and a #1 New York Times Bestselling author.
He graduated from Harvard College with an AB and received a master’s in science education from Teachers College of Columbia University. He attended Dartmouth Medical School and completed the last two years of his medical education and graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.
Dr. Smith was appointed by former President Obama to a second term on the prestigious President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. He is currently the medical contributor and co-host of the nationally syndicated television show The Rachael Ray Show, and he has appeared extensively on various broadcasts, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, The View, Dr. Oz, Steve Harvey Show, The Talk, Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, CNN, MSNBC and many more.
Dr. Smith is the author of 15 books, 8 of them New York Times bestsellers, including The Clean 20, Blast the Sugar Out, SUPER SHRED: The Big Results Diet, SHRED: The Revolutionary Diet, The Fat Smash Diet, and Extreme Fat Smash. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed The Blackbird Papers, which won the 2005 BCALA fiction Honor Book Award.
In this interview, we talk in depth about his novel The Ancient Nine, which was inspired by a secret society he joined in Havard undergrad. It’s so fascinating, and all you book lovers out there — be sure to check it out!
We know training our mind is key, but fueling our body the right way is just as much a necessity to MAXING OUT your life! A healthy body = a healthy mind. When you’re striving to be the best version of yourself, you’re going to need many of these things we discuss in the interview! So let’s dive in!
What Is Intermittent Fasting and Why Is It So Effective?
One of the top questions I get from you guys is about intermittent fasting and if it’s an effective way to lose weight. First of all — intermittent fasting does NOT equal starving yourself. So throw that myth out the window right now. But rather than hearing it from me, I thought I’d have an expert tell you all about it.
“Intermittent means on and off fasting, on and off eating. So basically, you have two windows — you have a feeding/eating window. You will eat from this hour to this hour, all of your meals and snacks. And that’s the only time you’ll eat. Then you have what’s called your fasting window … your body needs energy all day … [and] typically will get the energy from the food you eat.” – Dr. Ian Smith
Dr. Ian explained that our bodies store calories in the form of glycogen, and “fat” is also a type of storage. When your body needs energy, it will first take glycogen from your liver and your muscles. When those stores are depleted, it takes from your fat storage. It then breaks down the fat and converts it to energy, causing you to lose weight!
“Fasting drives your body away from food energy into fat energy … You have to be very rigid about your times … if you have a feeding window, you have to stick to it. If you extend your feeding window into your fasting window, you’re going to interrupt that fasting period.” – Dr. Ian Smith
For fasting to work, you have to be disciplined. If you break your fast too early, your body doesn’t have time to dive into those fat stores. There are different intermittent fasting methods, which all recommend different time windows for feeding and fasting periods. Dr. Ian and I talked about having a 12-hour fasting and a 12 eating period for each day, meaning that you would eat during a 12-hour window and fast during another 12-hour window. This actually isn’t as hard as it seems:
“You could be sleeping potentially eight of the other 12 … [So] if you slept for about eight hours, that means just two hours before and two hours afterward that you’re not eating. It’s [only] four hours … You can burn a lot of fat!” – Dr. Ian Smith
For those who are unsure where to begin with intermittent fasting, this is a great place to start. During your fasting periods, you can drink a cup of coffee or have a low-calorie drink, and keep yourself busy! There are more ways to curb hunger than eating food, and when you get into a rhythm of fasting, your body adjusts, and before long, you won’t have those cravings anymore! You’ll regulate your body, use energy stores effectively, and burn tons of fat in the process!
Intermittent Fasting + Clean Eating = Weight Loss Success!
So during your feeding window, can you eat whatever crap you want? Well… it doesn’t really work that way. Some people can still lose weight this way, but intermittent works best when you combine it with clean eating. In his books, Dr. Ian explains how intermittent fasting + clean eating = success!
“Clean eating means reducing the amount of processed foods or ingredients that you’re consuming. It doesn’t necessarily mean total elimination. It’s difficult not to eat anything processed for a long period of time.” – Dr. Ian Smith
Even the “healthy” food you buy at the grocery store usually has some amount of processed food, which includes synthetic chemicals that manufacturers add in. Too much of these processed foods throw your body out of balance, decrease your potential for weight loss, and cause other health concerns.
“We think that it can have a deleterious effect on your hormones … these synthetic ingredients can disrupt your body’s hormones and throw your hormones in a state of panic … we believe that some of these synthetic sweeteners, for example, that some of these things actually can message your brain chemistry … And so what happens is when you consume these artificial sweeteners, you have this dopamine response in your brain, which is pleasure, right? … Your pleasure center says, ‘Oh, I feel good. So you know what I’m gonna do again, I’m gonna get more.‘” – Dr. Ian Smith
When you eat more synthetic sugar, you crave more and more, and eventually, you’ll start consuming regular cane sugar as well. That’s when the weight gain happens, and your energy levels drop. Other studies even suggest over-consuming sugar can lead to cancer and even mental illnesses because of hormone imbalance.
That being said, Dr. Smith acknowledges that even he doesn’t eat perfectly and that it’s perfectly acceptable to eat a treat now and then.
“I don’t eat perfectly. And all of my books, the first thing I tell people is I’m never going to ask you perfectly. Yeah. Like, let’s be realistic. I’m not perfect. I mean, I had a Fatburger yesterday. I love Fatburger. Like, it’s one of my joints … when I go to New York, I’m going to have a slice of pizza.” – Dr. Ian Smith
This was so good to hear, and I’m sure you’re feeling some relief as well! The first thing I teach when it comes to dieting, fitness, and health is that whatever plan you choose, choose something that you can maintain. If you haven’t worked out in two years, then don’t try to train for two and a half hours every day. Shoot for 30 minutes a day to start. The same thing goes with eating habits! If you make yourself completely miserable, you’re not going to want to maintain that plan. So if pizza is one of your favorite foods, don’t cut it out completely! Just consume it in moderation.
Dr. Ian and I also talked about the 70/30 rule when it comes to clean eating. Basically, 70% of the time, make good, healthy decisions. 30% of the time, you can indulge yourself a little bit, maybe eat some french fries or ice cream.
“Like sometimes I’ll go eat clean, but I’ll do that [70/30 rule.]. I’m like, ‘Alright, I’m going to eat these fries, but I’m going to have a salad with it.’ Like I actually do that — kind of make a negotiation with myself.” – Dr. Ian Smith
Eating clean doesn’t have to be impossible — just commit yourself to a plan that you can manage and stick to it. Combine this plan with intermittent fasting, and you’ll be shaving off pounds in no time. In Dr. Ian’s programs, people typically lose 12 – 15 pounds in the first 30 days — talk about rapid weight loss!
Dr. Ian Smith on His Novel The Ancient Nine and Embracing Self-Confidence
Dr. Ian and I continued to talk about weight loss, intermittent fasting, and the best ways to build muscle, so make sure to listen to the full interview to get all those amazing health tips! But before we finished, I wanted to dive into Dr. Ian’s life and who he is as a person. And guys — this stuff will blow your mind.
His guy’s got Havard and Dartmouth on his resume, and he’s written several bestsellers. The Ancient Nine is probably his most unique book and one that I find the most fascinating. Even though it’s a fiction book, The Ancient Nine is basically a retelling of his experience at Harvard undergrad and being invited into a secret society.
“I’m a kid from the other side of the tracks. I didn’t grow up with wealth … but I was a very smart kid and I worked very hard … I get into Harvard and one morning, I wake up and someone has slipped under my door, an envelope with my name on it.” – Dr. Ian Smith
Dr. Ian had his doubts at first, thinking it must be an invitation to what he calls one of those “really snooty, high fluantin’ organizations.” But he ended up going and before he knew it, he was at a cocktail party in a Cambridge mansion. He went through a “rushing” experience (what they called “punching”), and he was selected from a mass group of students to be accepted into the secret society.
“And to this day, I cannot tell you why they would ask a poor kid who had no connections, didn’t go to prep school. And then they asked me to join, and it was just a great experience.” – Dr. Ian Smith
Literally, guys — this could be a movie. But the story is bigger than the secret society. Dr. Ian shared what he learned through his Harvard experience, and how he fought his way to the top, despite coming from a humble background:
“Number one — surround yourself with positive people … surround yourself with them because it’s contagious. And the second thing is [that] above all else, you must always believe in yourself. Always believe in yourself first, because sometimes and often you’re going to face situations where no one believes in you. And if you allow people’s lack of belief in you to dissuade you from believing yourself, you can’t accomplish [anything].” – Dr. Ian Smith
Empowering stuff, right? I asked Dr. Ian if he ever struggled with believing in himself or feeling like he didn’t belong. He grew up with a single mother in a low-income household, and he entered a predominantly white environment. This was his response:
“Never. I never ever had a scintilla of thought that I didn’t belong. You wanna know why? Because from a little kid, I believed my grandfather when he told me, ‘If you work hard, you can succeed and win.’ I just believed it.” – Dr. Ian Smith
Dr. Ian never let external validation motivate him or make him feel worthy. He sets the standards for himself. I used to struggle feeling like I didn’t belong, but what I realized was that, wait a minute — I’m outworking everybody. I’m doing things no one is willing to do. That’s when my self-esteem changed, and I realized my self-worth. Self-confidence is the process of making and keeping promises to yourself, and Dr. Ian is the perfect example of that.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get fit, or be a supporting parent — this message is for you. Make promises to yourself, and remind yourself of those promises every day. You have the power to MAXOUT your life, and know that I’m right here beside you, doing the exact same thing.
#MAXOUT with Dr. Ian Smith
Honestly guys, this interview has some of the most incredible advice that I’ve ever had on my show, and I’m sincerely grateful for Dr. Ian and his time. The purpose of this show is to teach, empower, and inspire, and I’m confident that we hit tens out of tens on all three of those things in this interview.
You can find Dr. Ian on Instagram @doctoriansmith, and if you want to participate in one of his health challenges, find him on Facebook! Also, check out his new book called Mind Over Weight, which discusses the 7 simple steps you’ll need to take in order to lose weight and stay motivated.
Don’t forget to use the #MAXOUT hashtag and tell me your biggest takeaways in the comments below! I read them every week and select winners who get all sorts of prizes, gear, and even coaching calls with me! I love hearing from all of you, and please share the interview with anyone you think needs to hear it too!
No matter where you are in life right now, you have the power to push past resistance and into a healthier, brighter present and future. I hope this interview with Dr. Ian Smith gives you the tools you need to start living healthier and happier. Together, we can all MAXOUT our lives to the fullest.