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    #376 How to Burn Fat, Heal Your Metabolism and Live Longer with Dr William Li

    Fat is not inherently bad, but rather excessive accumulation can be problematic. Instead of focusing on weight loss, promoting body positivity and recognizing different body sizes and shapes as fit and healthy is crucial. Race and cultural differences should also be acknowledged.

    enJuly 04, 2023

    About this Episode

    Dr William Li returns to the podcast to talk about his latest book, Eat To Beat Your Diet: Burn Fat, Heal Your Metabolism and Live Longer. He describes it as an anti-diet book for people who love food. It’s a ground-breaking look at the latest science around how we can harness the power of food, to activate our innate fat-burning systems and transform our health.


    We talk about the common foods that are marketed as healthy yet are anything but. We talk about the important role that our gut bacteria play in our metabolism, and we talk about the foods that can damage our gut microbiome, resulting in us processing food less efficiently and potentially contributing to weight gain.


    That being said, Dr Li is actually really keen not to villainise any food – there are many reasons why humans choose to eat certain foods and drinks, from our innate sweet tooth to cultural, social or religious traditions. He just wants us to be mindful of what we’re consuming, how and why.

     

    We also do a deep dive on fat. What exactly is fat? Many of us have negative associations with that word but the truth is that fat is a very important endocrine organ. The problems only start to arise when we start storing too much, of the wrong type of fat, in the wrong places. And one of those harmful types of fat is something called visceral fat - which is a harmful type of white fat, not visible from the outside, that can sit inside us, causing inflammation, hormone disruption and playing havoc with the health of our internal organs. Dr Li explains why an expanding waistline and snoring at night, could be early indicators that you have an issue with internal fat, that needs addressing.


    As well as being a scientist and medical doctor, Dr Li is really a foodie at heart. And, so of course, we talk about some of his favourite foods which have medicinal properties and fat-burning potential. He also explains why his preferred diet is something that he calls ‘MediterrAsian’ and he is keen to bust some common myths around metabolism – such as, is it true that our metabolism slows down as we get older?


    This is an episode jam-packed with insights and practical information. Dr Li is an excellent communicator and full of passion. I hope you enjoy listening. 


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/376


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Excess fat, not age, is responsible for a sluggish metabolism. By making conscious dietary choices and avoiding certain foods, we can combat weight gain and improve our health.
    • Be mindful of the ingredients in popular beverages and processed plant-based foods, and be cautious of marketing claims. Pay attention to the quality and type of ingredients in bread, and consume foods in moderation for better health.
    • Embrace personalized and mindful eating by understanding how different foods affect your body, and focus on making choices that bring joy and align with your cultural background and preferences. Avoid restrictive diets and fad interventions.
    • Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is crucial for efficient metabolism and weight management. Prioritizing whole, unprocessed foods can support a healthy gut and improve overall wellness.
    • Approach the consumption of diet drinks with caution. Limit their consumption and prioritize beverages like water, tea, and coffee for overall health benefits.
    • It is important to be aware of the potential consequences of indulging in things we enjoy, but moderation and honesty in our choices can help us find a balance in our lifestyle.
    • It is important to recognize that the effects of lifestyle behaviors, such as alcohol consumption, are not solely determined by one factor. Understanding the context, social connections, and balancing indulgences can help us make informed choices for our health.
    • Fat is not inherently bad for our bodies and serves as our fuel tank. It is important to focus on maintaining a balanced and healthy amount of fat in our bodies.
    • Body fat not only protects our organs and regulates metabolism but also serves as a fuel tank, highlighting the need for a healthy balance to maintain overall health.
    • Maintaining a balance in fat consumption and being mindful of overeating is crucial for preventing health complications associated with the expansion of fat cells.
    • Fat is not inherently bad, but rather excessive accumulation can be problematic. Instead of focusing on weight loss, promoting body positivity and recognizing different body sizes and shapes as fit and healthy is crucial. Race and cultural differences should also be acknowledged.
    • Excess visceral fat can lead to inflammation, hormonal disruption, and organ pressure, but monitoring belt size can help detect and address its growth.
    • Maintaining a healthy balance of body fat is crucial for overall well-being. Both excess and extremely low levels of body fat can be harmful, emphasizing the need to find a healthy fat distribution.
    • Monitoring changes in snoring patterns can serve as an early warning sign of weight gain and potential health problems. Making small dietary changes can help reduce visceral fat and improve overall well-being.
    • Making small, subtle changes in our eating habits can have significant effects on our overall health and help us lose dangerous visceral fat, proving that food can be a powerful medicine.
    • Certain foods, such as those containing catechins, alactic acid, sulforaphanes, or turmeric, can activate brown fat and aid in weight loss without the need for cold immersion.
    • While certain foods like chili peppers can activate brown fat, relying solely on medication or excessive amounts of these foods is not advised.
    • By incorporating specific foods and practicing intermittent fasting, we can activate our body's fat-burning mode and achieve weight loss in a more effective and sustainable way.
    • By incorporating a 3-hour fasting period after dinner, waiting an hour before breakfast, and maintaining a consistent 12-hour fasting period, we can optimize our body's ability to burn fuel and fat, positively affecting metabolism and weight management.
    • By adopting a MediterrAsian eating style and incorporating fat-fighting ingredients like tomatoes, avocados, leafy greens, and mushrooms, individuals can increase their chances of achieving weight loss goals while enjoying delicious meals.
    • Including seafood in our diets and exploring different cooking methods can provide delicious and healthy options, regardless of taste or availability concerns.
    • Eating cod, despite its low omega-3 content, can still lead to weight loss and metabolic benefits, challenging the belief that only oily fish provide such advantages. Incorporating seafood alternatives is essential for improved metabolism and fighting body fat.
    • Contrary to popular belief, our metabolism does not significantly slow down as we age. It remains stable from age 20 to 60, challenging the idea that weight gain is inevitable with age.
    • By understanding our operating system and making conscious choices, we can fight against excess body fat by staying active, reducing stress, and making healthy food choices. It's within our control to improve our metabolism and overall health.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Debunking the Myth of a Slow Metabolism

    Our metabolism does not naturally slow down as we age. In fact, from age 20 to 60, our metabolism remains rock solid and stable. The misconception that slow metabolism leads to weight gain is false. The real culprit is excess fat, which actually slows down our metabolism. This is good news because it means that we have the power to fight the extra body fat that accumulates in our middle years. It's important to be mindful of what we consume, how we consume it, and why we consume it. Certain foods, such as artificial sweeteners and fruit juice, can negatively impact our metabolism and contribute to weight gain. By understanding the role of fat, particularly harmful visceral fat, and making informed dietary choices, we can activate our innate fat burning systems and improve our overall health.

    The Importance of Ingredient Awareness in Food and Drink Choices

    It's important to pay attention to the ingredients and quality of the foods and drinks we consume. Many popular beverages, such as fruit juices and flavored coffees, may seem healthy but actually contain artificial sweeteners and additives that make them unhealthy choices. Similarly, plant-based foods that are heavily processed can be just as detrimental to our health as other ultra processed foods. It's essential to be aware of marketing messages and not be deceived by claims of "healthier" options. Bread is another example where the quality of ingredients and the type of flour used can make a significant difference in its nutritional value. Additionally, the quantity of certain foods, like bread, can impact our health, and it's crucial to consume them in moderation.

    Personalized and mindful eating: Understanding the impact of food and making good choices for long-term health.

    Personalized and mindful eating is essential for maintaining a healthy diet. By utilizing tools such as continuous glucose monitoring and breathalyzer devices, individuals can better understand how different foods and quantities impact their bodies. Dr. Chatterjee emphasizes the importance of personalizing one's diet based on individual preferences, cultural backgrounds, and upbringing. He advocates for mindful eating and making good choices that align with what brings joy. Dr. Li supports this idea, highlighting the need to find what works for each person and not subscribing to restrictive diets or fad interventions. By aligning eating patterns with personal joy and focusing on sustainable habits, individuals can achieve long-term health benefits.

    The Impact of Gut Health on Metabolism and Overall Well-being

    Gut health plays a crucial role in our metabolism and overall well-being. Our gut bacteria, known as the microbiome, contribute to the efficient use of insulin and glucose absorption. When the gut microbiome is unhealthy, it can disrupt this process and lead to weight gain and inefficient energy utilization. Factors like consuming artificial sweeteners, antibiotics, alcohol, and ultra-processed foods can disturb the gut microbiome and negatively impact metabolism. It is important to be mindful of the ingredients in the foods we consume and to prioritize whole, unprocessed foods to support a healthy gut. Understanding the connection between gut health and metabolism can help guide our food choices for optimal wellness.

    The Controversy Surrounding Diet Drinks and their Impact on Health

    It's important to approach the consumption of diet drinks with caution and be informed. While the prevailing belief is that weight loss is simply a matter of calories in versus calories out, there are other factors at play. The controversy surrounding artificial sweeteners and their impact on the gut microbiome highlights the need for further research and understanding. Both doctors advise adopting a precautionary stance and limiting the consumption of diet drinks, as they may have negative effects on metabolism and overall health. Instead, they recommend focusing on beverages like water, tea, and coffee in their elemental forms, which have proven physiological benefits. It's essential to be mindful of the beverages we consume and prioritize those that promote overall health.

    The Importance of Moderation and Honesty in Our Dietary Choices

    It's important to have awareness about the potential consequences of consuming things we enjoy. Dr. Rangan Chatterjee emphasizes the need for moderation and not completely depriving ourselves of the things we like. He acknowledges that as humans, we all have our tendencies to indulge in certain foods or drinks, especially during times of stress. However, he also highlights the importance of honesty and not seeking perfection in our dietary choices. Dr. William Li reinforces the idea of moderation, explaining that consuming the occasional diet soft drink or alcohol is likely to have minimal harm. Nevertheless, he clarifies that while alcohol itself is a toxin, its cultural significance and moderation can make it a part of our human tradition without causing significant health issues. Ultimately, it's about finding a balance and considering the overall context of our lifestyle choices.

    The Complex Effects of Lifestyle Behaviors: Understanding the Impact of Multiple Factors

    The impact of lifestyle behaviors, such as alcohol consumption, cannot be simplistically attributed to just one factor. It is the combination of various factors that determine the effects on our health. Context and nuance are crucial in understanding how our choices affect our bodies. For example, bonding and social connections play a significant role in the overall impact of alcohol consumption. Additionally, the context in which food is eaten is important; it is healthier to eat with others than alone. Acknowledging our occasional indulgences and understanding that balance is key, similar to driving on a highway, where occasional speeding is acceptable but continuous reckless behavior is harmful. By considering these factors, we can personalize care for individual patients and make informed lifestyle choices.

    The Importance of Understanding Different Types and Amounts of Fat

    Fat is not inherently bad for our bodies. While excess body fat can put us at risk for chronic conditions, it is important to distinguish between different types and amounts of fat. Fat is formed in our bodies while we are in the womb and serves as our fuel tank, storing extra energy from the food we eat. It wraps around blood vessels like bubble wrap to conveniently store this energy. In fact, a chubby baby with round cheeks and a round tummy is considered healthy and happy. So, the idea that all fat is negative or toxic is not accurate. Instead, it is crucial to focus on maintaining a balanced and healthy amount of fat in our bodies.

    The Importance and Function of Body Fat

    Body fat serves important functions in our bodies. It acts as a cushion for our organs, protecting them from damage. Additionally, body fat acts as an endocrine organ, secreting hormones that regulate our metabolism and energy levels. Three important hormones produced by fat are leptin, which controls our appetite and food intake, adiponectin, which helps insulin draw energy from the food we eat, and resistin, which acts as a brake to slow down energy absorption. Our body fat also serves as a fuel tank, storing extra energy that we don't immediately use. Understanding the important roles of body fat helps us appreciate its significance and the need for a healthy balance.

    The role of fat cells in our health and the consequences of overeating

    Our body's fat cells play essential roles in our overall health and functioning. Fat cells act as a cushion, hormone producer, fuel tank, and space heater. However, overeating and consuming excess energy can lead to the expansion of fat cells, causing various health issues. Unlike a car's fuel tank, our fat fuel tanks have no automatic stop mechanism, allowing them to continuously expand if we overeat. This can result in the accumulation of fat in the liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Additionally, there are two types of fat in our body - white fat and brown fat. Brown fat acts as a space heater, burning harmful white fat for energy. Therefore, it is important to maintain a balance in our fat consumption and be mindful of overeating to prevent health complications.

    Rethinking our Perception of Fat and Embracing Body Diversity

    Our relationship with the word "Fat" needs to change. While body shaming and toxic messaging have made us view Fat as something negative, it is important to understand that Fat itself is not inherently bad. It is when Fat becomes excessive and accumulates in the wrong places that it becomes problematic. Instead of focusing on weight loss, the conversation should shift towards health and well-being. Body positivity should be promoted, recognizing that different body sizes and shapes can be fit and healthy. It is crucial to embrace the diversity of body sizes and understand that there are champions in every weight class. Furthermore, the impact of race and cultural differences on body sizes should also be acknowledged.

    The dangers of excess body fat and the importance of monitoring visceral fat growth.

    Excess body fat, especially visceral fat, can have detrimental effects on our health. When fat accumulates too quickly, it outgrows its blood supply, leading to inflammation and disruption of hormonal function. This can result in issues with hunger and metabolism regulation. Visceral fat, which grows inside the tube of our body, acts like a glove that wraps around and potentially strangles our organs. It puts pressure on our organs and can lead to further expansion, inflammation, and leaking of fat. The simplest way to determine if you are gaining visceral fat is by monitoring your belt size. If your pants are getting tighter and you need to loosen your belt, it's a sign of visceral fat growth. The good news is that we have the ability to shrink visceral fat.

    Understanding Body Fat and its Impact on Health

    The location and amount of body fat is important for our health. Visceral fat, which is the fat inside our bodies, is more harmful than the fat we can visibly see, such as under the arms or chin. While there isn't a one-size-fits-all number for what percent body fat is considered healthy, a general range of 10 to 15% is usually okay. Extremely low body fat levels, like those seen in bodybuilders, can actually be unhealthy and increase mortality risk. It's about finding the right balance of healthy amounts of body fat, neither too much nor too little. Surprisingly, the first place excess fat accumulates is on the tongue, highlighting the importance of understanding our bodies and maintaining a healthy fat distribution.

    The Link Between Tongue Health and Weight Gain

    Our tongue plays a significant role in indicating potential health issues. The middle of our tongue is muscular and helps move food around, while the back of our tongue is fatty, with visceral fat accumulated there. When we gain visceral fat, it often starts in the back of our tongue, leading to snoring and sleep apnea. This suggests that monitoring changes in snoring patterns could be an early warning sign of weight gain and potential health problems. Additionally, the conversation highlights the interconnectedness of our body, where changes in one area can affect another. Taking control of our health includes reducing visceral fat through dietary choices, as there is currently no pharmaceutical solution for this. Making small, enjoyable changes in our eating habits can have a positive impact on our overall well-being.

    The Power of Food in Targeting and Reshaping Fat for Optimal Health

    Certain foods have the power to target and reshape fat in our bodies. Dr. Rangan Chatterjee and Dr. William Li discuss the relationship between food, health, and weight loss. They emphasize that making small, subtle changes in our eating habits can have significant effects on our overall health and help us lose dangerous visceral fat. Dr. Chatterjee shares his surprise when he discovered that people were actually losing weight by eating more of the foods they enjoyed, contrary to common belief. This revelation led him to explore the hidden mechanisms within nature that can activate the healthy fat in our bodies and reshape it. Ultimately, this conversation highlights the potential of using food as medicine to optimize our well-being.

    Activating Brown Fat for Weight Loss: Foods and Cold Immersion Explained

    Certain foods have the ability to activate brown fat, which can help in losing weight and reducing excess fat. Brown fat is different from white fat and has properties that aid in weight loss. While cold immersion and cold water therapy can also activate brown fat, it is not necessary, as there are foods that can achieve the same effect. Eating specific foods, such as those containing catechins, alactic acid, sulforaphanes, or turmeric, can help shrink your waistline and reduce visceral fat. Brown fat was originally discovered in animals exposed to cold temperatures, but it is also present in humans, although less active due to our modern living conditions. Cold triggers the release of adrenaline and norepinephrine, which in turn activate brown fat. The receptor responsible for this is called the beta three adrenergic receptor.

    The Activation of Brown Fat through Certain Foods

    Certain foods, such as chili peppers, have the ability to activate brown fat in our bodies. Brown fat contains mitochondria, which are fuel cells that generate energy. When activated, brown fat acts as a space heater, helping to keep our bodies warm. Capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers, stimulates receptors in our tongue and triggers the release of endorphins, making us feel good, as well as norepinephrine, which activates nerves in our neck and ultimately activates the beta three adrenergic receptor in brown fat. Although it is fascinating to know how certain foods can activate brown fat, it is important not to rely solely on medication or excessive amounts of these foods to initiate the process.

    The Power of Food: How certain substances can activate fat-burning mechanisms and challenge traditional weight loss methods.

    The foods we eat can activate our body's fat-burning mechanisms and help us become more physiologically fit. Dr. Rangan Chatterjee explains how certain substances found in foods like capers, green tea, coffee, and beans can light up our brown fat and shapeshift our white fat, leading to the burning down of harmful fat. This is an important finding because it challenges the traditional calorie model of weight loss. Dr. William Li highlights the significant impact of focusing on whole foods and their nutrient density, which keeps us fuller quicker and prevents overeating. Additionally, intermittent fasting, a natural human practice, can shift our metabolism into fat-burning mode during periods of non-eating, further aiding in weight loss.

    The Impact of Meal Timing and Fasting Periods on Metabolism and Fat Burning

    The timing of our meals and the duration of fasting periods can have a significant impact on our metabolism and fat-burning capabilities. Dr. Rangan Chatterjee suggests that allowing for three extra hours of fasting after dinner, in addition to a full night's sleep, can maximize the body's ability to burn fuel and fat. He also recommends waiting for an hour after waking up before eating breakfast, giving the metabolism another hour of fat-burning time. Dr. William Li supports this notion and adds that a consistent 12-hour fasting period in every 24-hour cycle is achievable and beneficial for most people. Additionally, a study showed that front-loading food intake earlier in the day and having a light dinner can positively affect body fat composition. This demonstrates that not just what we eat, but when and how we eat can make a difference in our overall metabolism and weight management efforts.

    Incorporating Mediterranean and Asian Foods for Effective Weight Loss

    There are different approaches to front-loading and losing excess fat, but incorporating Mediterranean and Asian foods into your diet can stack the odds in your favor. These culinary traditions have a long history of being healthy and nutritious, and they offer a wide variety of delicious options. Dr. Chatterjee recommends a MediterrAsian eating style, which combines the best of both worlds. Fresh produce like tomatoes and avocados contain beneficial substances that fight white fat and promote the activation of brown fat. Leafy greens and mushrooms are also excellent ingredients to incorporate into meals. By selecting these fat-fighting ingredients, individuals can improve their chances of achieving their weight loss goals while enjoying tasty meals.

    Traditional Culinary Traditions and the Benefits of Seafood

    Traditional culinary traditions, especially those that include seafood, can provide delicious and healthy options. Concerns about the taste or availability of certain seafood can be addressed by exploring different cooking methods and finding responsibly sourced options. Oily fish like salmon, macro, anchovies, and sardines are known for their health benefits due to their high omega-3 content. However, a study in Iceland showed that even non-oily fish can provide health benefits for weight loss and fat burning. The important thing is to include seafood in our diets and explore various culinary traditions that incorporate it. By doing so, we can experience the many benefits of seafood in both taste and health.

    The Surprising Weight Loss Benefits of Eating Cod

    Consuming cod, a white flaky fish with low omega-3 content, can still lead to weight loss and metabolic benefits. The study found that participants who ate cod three times a week for eight weeks lost 10 pounds, even though cod has seven times less omega-3s than salmon. This discovery challenges the belief that only oily fish can provide such benefits. It opens up the possibility of exploring other seafood options for similar health advantages. However, for vegans, obtaining omega-3s from plant-based sources or taking high-quality marine omega-3 supplements is recommended. Overall, this conversation emphasizes the importance of incorporating seafood or suitable alternatives into one's diet for improved metabolism and fighting body fat.

    The Truth About Metabolism and Aging

    Our metabolism does not significantly slow down as we age, contrary to popular belief. Recent research has shown that there are four stable stages of metabolism throughout our lives as humans. From birth to one year, our metabolism skyrockets, then gradually decreases to adult levels from age one to 20. The surprising finding is that from age 20 to 60, our metabolism remains stable and does not decrease. It is hardwired to stay consistent during the main part of our adult lives. In the last phase, from 60 to 90, our metabolism gradually declines but only by about 17% compared to age 60. Therefore, understanding and following our natural metabolism can help maintain a healthy weight even as we age, challenging the commonly-held belief that weight gain is inevitable with age.

    Taking Control of Your Metabolism to Combat Excess Body Fat

    Excess body fat slows down our metabolism, not the other way around. As we age, life's stressors and hormonal changes can lead to behaviors that contribute to weight gain. However, by being aware of our operating system and making conscious choices, we can fight against that extra body fat. It is possible to affect change by staying active, reducing stress, and making healthy food choices that activate our metabolism. It's not our genetic fate, but within our control to determine the state of our metabolism. This realization is surprising and empowering because it means we have the power to combat excess body fat and improve our overall health.

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    #453 BITESIZE | Do This Every Day to Reduce Stress, Boost Immunity & Increase Resilience | Dr Susanna Søberg

    #453 BITESIZE | Do This Every Day to Reduce Stress, Boost Immunity & Increase Resilience | Dr Susanna Søberg

    Cold showers, icy plunge pools, outdoor swimming – are you a fan, or does the very idea make you shiver? 


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 322 of the podcast with Dr Susanna Søberg.


    Susanna is arguably one of the leading researchers on the topic of cold water immersion therapy. Her research on the physiology of deliberate cold and heat exposure is helping to back up what many cultures have known instinctively for thousands of years – changing our temperature is good for us.


    In this clip we discuss some of the new science around one of the biggest wellness trends of the past few years and Susanna gives some great tips so you can get started.


    CAUTION: If you have uncontrolled hypertension or heart disease it is not advised that you start practising cold water immersion. If you have any doubt at all as to whether you are fit enough to give this practice a go, please consult a qualified healthcare professional.


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/322


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.




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    #452 The Science of Rituals & How They Can Transform Our Health, Happiness and Relationships with Professor Michael Norton

    #452 The Science of Rituals & How They Can Transform Our Health, Happiness and Relationships with Professor Michael Norton

    Have you ever thought about the role that rituals play in our health and wellbeing? Whether it's a morning routine, a pre-game warmup, or a cultural tradition, rituals can provide us with structure, meaning, and connection.

     

    Today’s guest is Professor Michael Norton, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of the brand new book, The Ritual Effect: The Transformative Power of Our Everyday Actions, which delves into the science and psychology behind, why turning everyday habits into rituals can improve our work, our relationships and our lives.

     

    In this conversation, Michael and I explore the fascinating world of rituals and how they impact on our mental and physical health. We discuss the distinction between rituals and routines, why they can be really helpful in making our habits stick over the long term and how, by providing order and structure, they can help us manage overwhelm and stress.

     

    We also explore how rituals foster community and connection, how elite athletes like Serena Williams use rituals to enhance performance and mental preparation, and how team rituals, like the New Zealand rugby team’s iconic Hakka, are a great example of how ritual behaviours boost togetherness and collective identity. 

     

    Michael and I also share some of our own personal rituals  - including the preparation rituals I go through each week to prepare for this podcast. And, we also acknowledge that rituals can become problematic if taken to an extreme and the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with them, using them as tools for self-improvement rather than allowing them to be in control of us.

     

    Ultimately, this is a conversation that offers a compelling case for the power of rituals in enhancing our health and happiness. Whether you're an athlete striving for peak performance, or simply someone looking to live a more fulfilled life, I think you’ll find that understanding the "ritual effect" can be truly transformative.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/452


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #451 BITESIZE | A 103-year-old Doctor’s #1 Secret to Health and Happiness | Dr Gladys McGarey

    #451 BITESIZE | A 103-year-old Doctor’s #1 Secret to Health and Happiness | Dr Gladys McGarey

    Today’s guest is the oldest person I’ve ever welcomed onto my show, and what a great pleasure it was for me to do so. 


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 394 of the podcast with Dr Gladys McGarey.


    She’s 103 years old, co-founder of the American Holistic Medical Association, and author of the fantastic book, The Well-Lived Life: A 102-year-old Doctor’s Secrets to Health and Happiness at Every Age.


    For many of us, finding our purpose in life feels like an optional extra when we’re busy working, raising children or caring for parents. It can be hard to know who we really are or what we want out of life. But Gladys insists we should still strive to identify our reason for getting out of bed every morning.

    Gladys believes each of us holds a unique purpose - a true reason for being here. And in this clip, she invites you to find yours.


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/394


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #450 How To Eat To Boost Your Body’s Natural Defences & Avoid The Foods That Weaken Them with Dr William Li

    #450 How To Eat To Boost Your Body’s Natural Defences & Avoid The Foods That Weaken Them with Dr William Li

    Today’s guest passionately believes that the decisions we make every day about what we eat, have a huge influence on our overall health. Dr William Li is a medical doctor, internal medicine specialist, research scientist and the author of the 2 international bestsellers, Eat to Beat Disease and Eat To Beat Your Diet. He works in a field of research called Food as Medicine and having been involved with the development of many different drugs over the past few decades, he is passionate about using scientific rigour to analyse the specific benefits of food.


    Dr Li has been a guest on my podcast on 2 previous occasions - Episodes 234 and 376 - and those episodes remain some of the most downloaded episodes in the history of my show. Today’s brand new episode was actually a conversation Dr Li and I recorded together around 2 years ago, but the content within it, is just as relevant today.

     

    In this conversation, we covered a broad range of food related topics that people often find confusing, with the intention of providing more clarity. We start off talking about the foods we might want to consider cutting back on, due to their negative effects on our health. We talk about sugar, artificial sweeteners, ultra-processed foods, alcohol, and the problems with reusing oil when frying.

     

    We also talk about the practical steps we can all take immediately, when it comes to choosing foods that will enhance both our short term and long-term health.

     

    We cover so many different topics today, including:  

    • how you can go about choosing a good quality olive oil,
    • the benefits of pairing certain foods together to increase nutrient absorption,
    • how we can increase the amount of vitamin D in mushrooms,
    • why organic foods are healthier,
    • how to best read food labels,
    • the link between the foods we consume and autoimmune disease,
    • whether supplements are beneficial, and so much more.

     

    Dr Li is someone who wants joy to be at the heart of how we think about our food choices and our health. He is knowledgeable, passionate and a wonderful communicator. I always enjoy my conversations with him, I hope you enjoy listening.

    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.

    Thanks to our sponsors:

    https://drinkag1.com/livemore

    https://vivobarefoot.com/livemore

    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/450

    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #449 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit to Manage Daily Stress and Overwhelm | Tony Riddle

    #449 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit to Manage Daily Stress and Overwhelm | Tony Riddle

    Today’s guest shares a simple daily habit that can help us calm the fight-or-flight system and manage the build up of daily stress.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 278 of the podcast with natural lifestyle coach and record-breaking barefoot endurance athlete, Tony Riddle.


    Tony believes that through connecting with nature and our natural state, we can experience greater health and happiness.


    In this clip we discuss the physiology of stress and how breathwork can help us, and Tony to take us through a simple breathing exercise, in real time (so you can join in, too).


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/278


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #448 A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness: Why Being Able To Forgive Improves Your Physical & Mental Wellbeing with Dr Fred Luskin

    #448 A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness: Why Being Able To Forgive Improves Your Physical & Mental Wellbeing with Dr Fred Luskin

    What does the word forgiveness mean to you? If the very idea of letting go of a past hurt makes you feel indignant or upset, then listening to this podcast could be one of the best gifts you give yourself.


    Today’s guest wants us all to understand why forgiveness matters for our mental and physical health. Dr Frederic Luskin is a clinical psychologist, researcher and speaker who has been teaching at Stanford University for the past 30 years. As Director of the Stanford University Forgiveness Projects, he has taught tens of thousands of people to live happier and more fulfilled lives through the practice of forgiveness, gratitude and meditation.


    Although 20 years old, his book Forgive for Good: A Proven Prescription for Health and Happiness, is as relevant today as it ever was. Based on groundbreaking scientific research, it provides practical strategies for letting go of grudges and resentments. And offers startling insight into the healing powers and medical benefits of forgiveness, and its profound impact on our lives.


    Fred explains how our past hurts are stored in our bodies. People who are able to forgive are physically more relaxed. Their blood pressure and central nervous system normalise, their perception of pain lowers, their risk of depression and anxiety goes down. Crucially, their relationships are more open and trusting, so they feel less alone.


    This is such powerful knowledge to have. Most of us can probably think of an example where we’ve allowed something that’s happened in the past to sabotage our present. Not letting go of old hurts can be a way of trying to protect ourselves and control the future. But Fred points out this is a coping mechanism to stop us acknowledging when we are vulnerable. True resilience means sitting with that discomfort and learning that it will pass.


    Of course this doesn’t mean we don’t have a right to be devastated if our partner has an affair or our boss treats us badly. It’s vital to feel the hurt and process your feelings, says Fred. But if you’re still living in the negative emotions months or years later, it’s time to move on.


    If that sounds easier said than done, rest assured that Fred has plenty of inspiring examples and practical suggestions to help you forgive. He is adamant that forgiveness is a choice and a skill anyone can learn. And you start by giving yourself permission to enjoy your present and future, unbound by the past.


    I really enjoyed my conversation with Fred and completely agree with him that forgiveness is an undervalued human skill. It may feel hard to access, but it is a brave choice and one that in any given situation will trigger a cascade of rewards. I hope this conversation prompts you to reconsider some of your past hurts and move forwards with self-compassion and freedom.


    Dr Chatterjee's Journal https://drchatterjee.com/journal


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/448


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #447 BITESIZE | How To Heal Chronic Pain | Dr Howard Schubiner

    #447 BITESIZE | How To Heal Chronic Pain | Dr Howard Schubiner

    CAUTION: This podcast episode contains swearing.


    Headaches, migraine, back, neck or joint pain, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia – they’re just some of the common causes of chronic pain, which is estimated to affect between a third to half of all UK adults, or just under 28 million of us.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 310 of the podcast with Director of the Mind Body Medicine Center in Michigan and author of Unlearn Your Pain, Dr Howard Schubiner.


    Emerging neuroscience tells us our brains actually create what we experience in our bodies, through a process called predictive processing. Pain doesn’t come from the body part where it’s felt, it’s created by our brain, signalling that something needs attention.


    Howard believes that in many cases of chronic pain your brain has created a neural pathway which remembers the pain and keeps you trapped in a vicious cycle. 


    In this clip he explains why it’s not ‘all in your head’, your pain is real. And there is something you can do about it. 


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/310


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #446 Why Better Conversations Will Improve Your Health, Essential Skills To Enhance Your Relationships & Why Men Struggle To Open Up with Nihal Arthanayke

    #446 Why Better Conversations Will Improve Your Health, Essential Skills To Enhance Your Relationships & Why Men Struggle To Open Up with Nihal Arthanayke

    Today we’re going meta, as they say. Because this is a conversation about…conversation. More than that, it’s a deep and meaningful exchange about why effective, authentic dialogue is so important to humankind – and yet seemingly in decline. And who better to exchange words with on this topic, than my fellow ‘professional conversationalist’, Nihal Arthanayake.

     

    You may know Nihal as an acclaimed broadcaster and TV presenter. He presents a national daytime show on BBC Radio 5 Live, which has over 1.2 million regular listeners, and his unique style recently won him Interviewer of the Year at the BBC Radio and Music Awards. Nihal is a good friend, so I can testify to his ability to ‘give good chat’. But he’s also brilliant at having public conversations that are bold, thoughtful and honest. Guests from the world's biggest stars to leaders of inner-city gangs have lauded his ability to stimulate positive discussions without the need for confrontation. 

     

    In his wonderful book, Let’s Talk: How To Have Better Conversations, which has recently been released in paperback, Nihal explains that all the scientific evidence points towards us now sharing fewer conversations than we ever have done before. We may have hundreds of connections on social media, but fewer than ever in our daily lives. So, could learning the art of conversation be an antidote to loneliness?

     

    In our conversation, we discuss the importance of empathy and active listening, with your heart and mind as well as your ears and eyes. Are you listening to understand, says Nihal, or simply to respond? We talk about vulnerability in conversation, why men in particular find that difficult, and why it feels so hard for male friends to exchange words like ‘I miss you’ or even ‘I love you’.

     

    Nihal shares his personal experience and advice, such as how he’s approached conversations with friends who are going through tough times, or why he went to couples’ therapy with his wife on realising their interactions had become more transactional than conversational.

     

    He also explains the evolution and psychology of dialogue, as well as the neuroscience of what’s happening in the brain during meaningful discourse. And he shares some powerful, high-profile case studies who’ve proved that it is possible to find common ground with anyone, even those who are your sworn enemies, by finding your common humanity.

     

    I really think that the skills Nihal is encouraging us all to cultivate are essential if we are to live happy and contented lives, but also essential when it comes to our physical and mental wellbeing. This conversation was relaxed and light hearted but at the same time, powerful and provocative. As Nihal says, great conversation is the glue that binds us all together.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/446


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #445 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit That Can Transform Your Life | Robert Greene

    #445 BITESIZE | The Simple Habit That Can Transform Your Life | Robert Greene

    So many of us struggle to make change in our lives, and each of us has our own journey ahead of us, but, as today’s guest highlights, life is short; all of us have less time than we think to make the changes we want to make.


    Feel Better Live More Bitesize is my weekly podcast for your mind, body, and heart. Each week I’ll be featuring inspirational stories and practical tips from some of my former guests.


    Today’s clip is from episode 320 of the podcast with best-selling author and speaker, Robert Greene.


    In this clip he shares how meditation can help us gain a better understanding of who we really are, and why self awareness is key to creating lasting change in our lives.


    Thanks to our sponsor https://www.drinkag1.com/livemore


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Show notes and the full podcast are available at drchatterjee.com/320


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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    #444 The New Science Of Memory, How to Remember What Matters & Why We're Designed To Forget with Dr Charan Ranganath

    #444 The New Science Of Memory, How to Remember What Matters & Why We're Designed To Forget with Dr Charan Ranganath

    We often think about our memories as a record of the past – but what if they’re only a selective and evolving version of it? Today’s guest is a world-leading memory expert who has a surprising message: we’re not supposed to remember everything. In fact, our brains are designed to forget. And much of what you experience today will be lost by tomorrow.

     

    Dr Charan Ranganath is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Director of the Dynamic Memory Lab at the University of California at Davis.  For more than 25 years, he has studied the mechanisms in the brain that allow us to remember past events, using brain imaging techniques, computational modelling and research on patients with memory disorders. The occasion for his appearance on my podcast is the publication of his wonderful new book, Why We Remember: The Science of Memory and How it Shapes Us, which challenges, educates and enlightens, on so much of what we thought to be true about memories.

     

    In this fascinating conversation, he explains that the seemingly selective and unreliable nature of human memory doesn't reveal laziness, distraction or early dementia. Instead, it shows that our brains have not evolved to keep a comprehensive record of events. Rather than live in the past, the brain’s job is to extract the information it needs, to guide our futures.

     

    We also discuss how memories create our sense of self. We learn that our memory is an unreliable narrator but that we can use this to our advantage. By changing our perspective on traumatic experiences, we can feel differently about them in the present – a theory on which many forms of therapy are based.

     

    We also discuss our brain’s ability to change – its plasticity – and how we’re most likely to remember life’s emotional experiences as well as its new and surprising ones. Charan explains why music and smells are evocative cues, why it’s never too late to learn new skills, and why forgetting is a sign of an efficient brain - in fact, one of Charan’s key insights is that we shouldn’t strive to remember more, but to remember better

     

    This is a fascinating conversation, full of fresh ideas, wisdom and practical advice about a topic that deeply matters to all of us.


    Find out more about my NEW Journal here https://drchatterjee.com/journal


    Support the podcast and enjoy Ad-Free episodes. Try FREE for 7 days on Apple Podcasts https://apple.co/feelbetterlivemore. For other podcast platforms go to https://fblm.supercast.com.


    Thanks to our sponsors:

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    Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/444


    DISCLAIMER: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or qualified healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.



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